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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lemon Scone for One

This golden treasure whips up in less than five minutes, bakes in 15, and has you rubbing your tummy with happiness in a trice! The delicate lemon flavor can sing on its own, or be complemented by faux cream cheese, lemon curd (there are vegan versions--my recipe is here), or with a little bit of vegan butter mixed with lemon juice.

½ TBLSP chia seeds
1 ½ TBLSP almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choosing)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sugar
A pinch of salt
2/3 TBLSP vegan butter
1 TBLSP lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Grind chia seeds in a mortar and pestle or blender long enough to make a coarse meal (not a flour). (You can skip the grinding—the taste is a little less robust, but the seeds produce the same texture.) Place the ground seeds in a small container (or leave in the mortar), add the almond milk and stir briskly. Let it sit for five minutes (while you mix the rest of the ingredients). The goopy result is a substitute for ½ of an egg, so if you’re not a vegan, you can use half a beaten egg.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in a small bowl. A cereal bowl is plenty big enough.
  3. Cut in the butter with a pastry knife or a fork until it’s the texture of cornmeal.
  4. Add in the chia goop and the lemon juice. Mix briefly and press into a flattened circle, about 3/4-inch thick on a baking dish or in a shallow cake pan. Score it into wedges (if you like) and brush the top with a little bit more milk.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

  • Make a glaze from confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice.
  • Mix ½ TBLSP almond milk with a little lemon extract before brushing the tops and baking.
  • Toss some poppy seeds in for additional crunch.
  • Raisins or dried cranberries can make a nice textural variation. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins for One

It looks like a lot of ingredients, but these little sweeties whip up in no time. The only drawback is that they’re so good, you’ll wish there were enough to share.

For the Cake:
6 ½ TBLSP all-purpose flour
1 ½ TBLSP brown sugar
½ TBLSP granulated sugar
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon flaxseed meal
Pinch of xanthan gum
A couple of shakes of cinnamon
A single shake of nutmeg
3 TBLSP non-dairy milk (I use almond)
1 teaspoon canola oil (or other mild-flavored oil, such as coconut)
Slosh of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
For the Topping:
3 TBLSP all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon brown sugar (generous, not packed)
Several shakes of cinnamon
2 TBLSP vegan butter
For the Icing:
3 ½ TBLSP confectioner’s sugar
Tiny slosh of non-dairy milk (again, I used almond)
1/8th teaspoon light corn syrup (or rice syrup)
Tiny slosh of almond extract (or vanilla)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease or line two or three spaces in a muffin pan, or if you’re lucky like me, and a friend gave you silicon muffin liners, drop those into two spaces. You might want to put water halfway up the empty spaces in the tin to facilitate even baking, but I find it too sloshy.

To Make the Cake:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder and soda, salt, flaxseed, xanthan gum, and cinnamon.
  2. In another small bowl, mix together the milk, oil, and vinegar. It will separate a bit, because the vinegar curdles the milk, like buttermilk
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until it’s well combined. It’s more like a dough than a batter.
  4. Put the dough into the prepared muffin pan, smooshing it into the corners and making a roughly even surface on the top.

To Make the Topping:
  1. In one of the now-empty bowls, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and butter. It should be a doughy little pile of goodness.
  2. Roll the dough into disks approximately the size of the muffin tops and put the topping on top of the muffins in the pan. It’s like a little hat of sweetness.
  3. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until firm to the touch.

Allow them to cool on a wire rack while you make the icing.

To Make the Icing:
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and milk until it is absolutely smooth. No lumps!
  2. Add the corn syrup and almond extract and keep stirring until the icing is smooth and glossy. Add more sugar if it’s too thin, more milk if it’s too thick.
  3. Drizzle on top of your lovely little muffins.

  • Instead of adding flour to the topping, just leave it out. You’ll get a caramelized and sweet crumble and you won’t need the icing on the top.
  • Experiment with icing flavors, like vanilla and lemon. A little scent of orange zest would be nice too. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Vietnamese Corn Soup for One

My dad and I went to a little Vietnamese restaurant last week. I’d had food delivered from there, but I was excited to see an expanded menu in the brick-and-mortar shop. It was a cute little place, and the food was excellent. So excellent that I rushed home and mocked up their soup as best I could.

1 cup water
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 dried oyster mushrooms
1 slice red onion
1 TBLSP olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water or vegetable stock
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
1 TBLSP soy sauce
2/3 cup corn (fresh or frozen), cooked (steamed)
1/3 cup tofu, pressed and crumbled or cubed
1 green onion, sliced narrowly on the diagonal
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. In 1 cup of water, soak the mushrooms (shiitake and oyster) for about 10 minutes. DON’T DISCARD THE SOAKING WATER!!!! Put the soaking water in your saucepan and destem and slice the softened mushrooms into bite-sized strips and set them aside.
  2. In a small frying pan, slowly soften the red onions in the olive oil on medium heat. When they’re translucent and soft, add in the balsamic vinegar and cook for another couple of minutes. Take this step slowly—if you hurry, the onions will steam off all their yummy flavor.
  3. In a small bowl, add the cornstarch to the ½ cup of water or stock, stirring well, until it’s about the consistency of milk. If you leave lumps, you’ll have lumps in your soup. No one wants that.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat the mushroom water and the soy sauce to boiling. Add the cornstarch slurry slowly to the boiling water and you’ll find it thickening. You don’t want it very thick, just a pale golden delicate soup.
  5. Add in the corn, tofu, green onion, mushrooms, and pepper, heating everything through. You’ll probably want to bring it back to a boil, and then call it finished. Pour into a serving bowl and top with the caramelized onion. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Zucchini and Raisin Loaf or Muffins for One

Baked goods don’t have to be super sweet to qualify for good breakfast eating, and this little loaf can be slightly sweet, or you can add chocolate chips and make it certainly sweet. Try it both ways and see what you think!

5 TBLSP plus 1 teaspoon whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch baking soda
Couple shakes of cinnamon
2 ½ TBLSP applesauce
1 teaspoon canola or melted coconut oil
½ TBLSP non-dairy milk (I use almond)
Slosh of vanilla extract
2 ½ TBLSP firmly packed grated zucchini, squeezed nearly dry
4 teaspoons raisins
2 teaspoons walnuts
4 teaspoons chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a mini-loaf pan or three muffin-tin spaces
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  2. Add in the applesauce, oil, milk, and vanilla. Stir it together until a nice stiff batter is formed. (You might need more milk.)
  3. Add in the zucchini, raisins, walnuts, and chocolate chips, if you’re using them. Don’t over mix!
  4. Plop the stiff batter into the prepared loaf pan or divide the batter between 3 or 4 muffin tins (each 3/4 full).
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top(s) look golden.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Creamy Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette for One

It’s spring, and my attention has returned with a giggle of glee to salads. This little dressing whips up in no time, uses ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, and tastes like a million bucks!
¼ shallot, diced small
2 TBLSP olive oil
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2/3 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/3 teaspoon agave nectar (or maple syrup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Whirl all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Use on salads, as a dip for crudités, as a marinade for tofu…go wild! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Alfredo Sauce for One

Do you ever have a hankering for a rich and flavorful sauce, and all you really have in the kitchen is tofu? Well, here’s the answer to your cravings. This sauce is not only delicious, but it’s good for you too!

Warning: Cook it in a fairly deep saucepan, because when the little bubbles pop, they’ll share their deliciousness with your stovetop. You don’t want to cover the pan because it will get too hot and burn.

(Makes about ½ cup)
1/4 pound silken tofu (about 1/3 of a block of tofu)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 TBLSP tahini
1 TBLSP shoyu or tamari soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
Pinch of salt
¼ cup of water
  1.  Blend all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a saucepan and cook for an hour over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Serve warm over pasta or vegetables.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Negg Breakfast Sandwich for One

Some days, you just want junk food for breakfast or brunch. This little bite will take a big bite out of your hunger, and you’ll be able to climb that mountain, code that app, or chase those toddlers far longer than usual.

For the Scrambled Egg:
½ cup firm tofu, drained and pressed
½ teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
Pinch turmeric
Pinch black Himalayan salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon  olive oil
For the Sandwich:
1 English muffin, toasted or not
1/3 avocado, sliced thinly
3 or 4 leaves of spinach, kale, or lettuce, or go wild and try sprouts
2 or 3 slices of Unbacon
½ TBLSP diced red onion
Slices of faux cheese (I used Camembert from Skye Michael Conroy’s book “The Non-Dairy Evolution”)
Vegan mayonnaise or mustard (or both!)
Assemble the Sandwich:
I like to do this in advance so that the egg is still warm when I put it in the sandwich.
  1. Open the English muffin, and put any mayo or mustard on the open faces.
  2. Layer on avocado and spinach on one half, and top the onion with the cooked Unbacon and faux cheese on the other half.

Make the Scrambled Egg:
  1. In a small bowl, crumble the tofu. (If it isn’t pressed, it’s okay. It will just take longer to cook all the water out.)
  2. Stir in the yeast, turmeric, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Toss in the tofu mixture and stir often until it’s warmed through, about 2 or 3 minutes. Try to get it fairly dry without burning it.
  4. Using a small cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, press the tofu into a nice disk shape using the back of a spoon. You’ll want to do this on a separate plate so you can place it (neatly) onto your sandwich. I carried mine from the plate to the sandwich on the blade of a wide knife, but a spatula would do just as well.
  5. Close the sandwich up and devour!