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Monday, September 28, 2015

Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes for One

Strawberries just cry out to have something bread-like and a gloppy sauce with them, don’t they? Here’s an excellent way to start your day with a little sweet.
For the Whipped Topping:
6 TBLSP raw walnuts, cashews, or other favorite nut
Soaking water
2 TBLSP freshly squeezed orange juice
½ TBLSP maple syrup
Drop of almond extract (or vanilla, if you prefer)
For the Strawberries:
6-8 strawberries, sliced
1 ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
For the Pancakes:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 TBLSP rolled oats
2/3 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
1 TBLSP granulated sugar
Slosh of vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 TBLSP coconut oil
Chopped almonds for topping

Start the Whipped Topping:
  1. In a small bowl, soak the nuts in water for 2 hours or more (overnight, if you like).

Make the Strawberries:
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the strawberries with the sugar. Refrigerate until everything else is ready.

Make the Whipped Topping:
  1. Drain the nuts and place them in a blender or food processor with the juice, syrup, and extract. Whirl away, scraping down the sides periodically, until it’s a nice smooth and fluffy concoction. This will take 5 minutes or more. Don’t expect it to be like whipped cream—it’s fluffy, but mostly, it’s unctuous and creamy. The important thing is that it be completely smooth.

Make the Pancakes:
  1. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Add the vanilla, almond milk, and coconut oil and stir briskly until you have a smooth batter.
  3. In an oiled or non-stick frying pan, fry half the batter at a medium-low temperature, flipping when bubbles start to form on the top. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Assemble the Stack:

  1. Place one pancake on your serving plate. Slather the topping all over it and sprinkle some of the sliced strawberries on it. Top with the other pancake, some more of the topping (you’ll probably have extra), and the rest of the sliced strawberries. Top with chopped almonds, if you like, and then devour with the raging hunger of a thousand dragons. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Roasted Figs and Sweet Potatoes for One

Fig season is almost over, and I have selfishly hoarded all my fig recipes this year. Guilt has set in with the High Holy Days, and so, here’s a figgy recipe for you. The sad thing is that you’ll never know how it tastes because all the figs are mine. Mine, I tell you. Gimme.

1 small sweet potato, halved lengthwise
1 ½ TBLSP olive oil
2 TBLSP balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
3 green onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2–inch segments
3 ripe figs, quartered (use more if they’re small)
1 ounce (about 2 TBLSP of faux creamy cheese)

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Cut the sweet potato wedges into three further wedges (so six wedges total, eight if you have a plump potato).
  2. On a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil over the potato wedges. Sprinkle salt and pepper over them too, and then stir them up to coat everything. Make sure the potato wedges end up skin side down on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes until soft but not mushy. Let them cool on a rack.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and sugar. Bring it to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 4 minutes, until it thickens a little. Remove it from the heat when it’s about as thick as maple syrup. If it gets too thick, stir in a little water.
  5. Arrange the cooled potato wedges on the serving plate. I like to nestle mine in a bed of lettuce, but you do whatever pleases you.
  6. Heat a little more oil in a small frying pan over medium heat and add the green onion and fry for 4-5 minutes. Spoon the fried onions over the sweet potatoes.
  7. Arrange the fig pieces among the potato wedges and then slosh the balsamic reduction artfully over the top. Dot the faux cheese (if you’re using it) on top of that.
  8. Then get out of the way, because I will come barreling through your door and eat it all up before you get a chance to sample it. 

Usually, my second photo shows a bite being taken or removed. But it's figs! Figs, I tell you! I couldn't help myself. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Strawberry Shortcake for One

When my neighbor gave me a flat of organic strawberries straight from the farmer’s market, I knew I had to do something special. Makes 2. You’ll want them both, trust me.

For the Whipped Topping:
6 TBLSP raw walnuts, cashews, or other favorite nut
Soaking water
2 TBLSP freshly squeezed orange juice
½ TBLSP maple syrup
Drop of almond extract (or vanilla, if you prefer)
For the Strawberries:
6-8 fresh strawberries, sliced
1 ½ teaspoon sugar
For the Cake:
6 TBLSP almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
Slosh of apple cider vinegar
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
Pinch of salt
Dash of ground nutmeg or ginger

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil two ramekins or line with parchment paper. (You can also go free-form on a lined or greased baking sheet.)
Get the Whipped Topping Started:
  1. Cover the nuts completely with water, and leave to soak for two hours or more.

Make the Strawberries:
  1. Place the sliced strawberries and sugar in a small bowl, stir to mix, and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the shortcakes. These smell delicious and you may have a hard time resisting.

Make the Cake:
  1. In another small bowl, combine the milk with the vinegar. Set aside to curdle.
  2. In yet another small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix it up pretty well, because you won’t want to over mix the batter once the milk goes in.
  3. By now, the milk should be curdled. Stir the milk into the dry ingredients until just barely combined. A few lumps are okay, but they should be small ones.
  4. Plop the batter into the ramekins. They will be slightly more than half full. (If you’re free-styling, make sure to leave enough space between two rounds so that the cakes can expand a bit.)
  5. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a baking rack. Mine made lovely mounds of cake, like little top hats.

Make the Whipped Topping:
  1. Drain the nuts and place them in a blender or food processor with the juice, syrup, and extract. Whirl away, scraping down the sides periodically, until it’s a nice smooth and fluffy concoction. This will take 5 minutes or more. Don’t expect it to be like whipped cream—it’s fluffy, but mostly, it’s unctuous and creamy. The important thing is that it be completely smooth.

Assemble the Shortcake:
  1. Remove the little darlings from their ramekins (or just remove one, and serve piled up in the other), and place on a serving dish. I like to slice the tops off and put a layer of topping and some strawberries in there, then close the lid and repeat. But you might like to slather the whole thing in topping and make a lake of strawberries and their juice. Or settle the little preciousness in a puddle of topping and drape the strawberries across the top. It’s up to you!
  2. Of course, if you’re free-styling, you’ve got to get creative in your own free-style kind of way.
  3. Sprinkle with a little nutmeg or ground ginger, if you’re so inclined.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Not Quite Chow Mein for One

I love noodles—who doesn’t? Combining them with veggies and a distinctly Asian sauce makes me happy. This is a great dish for using up scraps of veggies—use whatever you’ve got on hand!

For the Sauce:
2 TBLSP tamari or soy sauce
1 TBLSP rice vinegar
½ teaspoon maple syrup (or agave nectar)
½ teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice powder
For the Stir Fry:
Asian rice noodles, cooked to al dente
Slosh of sesame oil
2 TBLSP water
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ inch ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 small carrot, diced
Zucchini or summer squash, cubed
1 green onion, chopped
2 mushrooms, sliced
2 slices of jicama, cubed
Slosh of water (more, if it sticks)
Sprinkle of sesame seeds

For the Sauce:
  1. In a small bowl, combine tamari, vinegar, syrup, and the 5-spice powder.

For the Stir Fry:
  1. Drain the noodles well and rinse them in cold water. Place them in a bowl and drizzle with sesame oil to keep them from sticking.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the water and add in the garlic, ginger, carrots, and squash and stir fry for 4 minutes. Add in the mushrooms, green onions, and any other veg that appeals to you (peas, edamame, whatever you’ve got), and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Slosh in water if it seems to be getting dry in there.
  4. Add in the sauce and the noodles, and keep frying until everything is heated through.
  5. Top with sesame seeds to serve

Monday, September 14, 2015

Peach Crumb Muffins for One

This recipe combines one of my favorite stone fruits and a quick bread, which is my favorite thing to eat for breakfast. If you don’t have any peaches in your house right now, rush right out and stock up!

1 ½ TBLSP flax meal
½ teaspoon water
5 ½ TBLSP all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
2 shakes of cinnamon
2 teaspoons coconut oil or vegan butter, melted
2 ½ TBLSP non-dairy milk (I like almond)
Squirt of lemon juice
2 ½ TBLSP pitted, peeled, and chopped peach (about 1/3 of a peach)
2 TBLSP all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 TBLSP granulated sugar (or try it with brown sugar for a caramel twist)
1 teaspoon vegan butter, softened.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two spots in a muffin tin.
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and water, stirring until it’s all wet. Let it sit for a few minutes to become a nice viscous glop.
  2. In another small bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add in the coconut oil or vegan butter, milk, and flax glop. Give it a good stir and then gently fold in the peach pieces.
  4. Fill each muffin tin about ¾ of the way up.
  5. In a small bowl (you can re-use one, if you like), mix the flour, sugar, and butter together with a fork until it’s crumbly.
  6. Sprinkle the crumbly topping on top of the peachy batter.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden.

Allow to rest for 15 minutes before decorating with a slice of peach and a blop of faux cream cheese and devouring.

In the photo, you can see that I paired these tasty muffins with a left-over Angeled Non-Egg. Yummy!

  • Try it with a nectarine instead of a peach.
  • Put about half of the batter into each muffin tin, blop in some peach jam and then cover with the rest of the batter for a nice peachy surprise inside.
  • Put the whole batch into a single (greased) mini-loaf pan and top with crumble for a more dessert-like treat. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sweet Potato Pie for One

This dessert can only be pronounced with a southern accent. I’ve never actually been to the American South, but I’m told that this little delight is a family favorite to be seen at all gatherings, diners, and coffee shops. That must be nice, because it’s delicious, no matter whose recipe you try!

For the Crust:
1 TBLSP pecans, coarsely chopper
1 TBLSP rolled oats
2 TBLSO whole wheat pastry flour
½ TBLSP coconut oil, melted
1 TBLSP maple syrup

For the Filling:
1 1/3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 ½ TBLSP dark brown sugar
½ sweet potato (or 1 small), cooked (steamed or baked), relieved of its jacket, and mashed
1 ½ TBLSP non-dairy milk (I like almond)
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
Small pinch of salt
Brown sugar (for the top)
Pecans for decoration

Make the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. In a blender or food processor, add the pecans and oats, and whirl until it’s ground to a flour. If you go too far, it will become a paste, so stop before you get there.
  2. Put the pecan flour in a small bowl, and add the flour and oil. Mix until it’s thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Add in the maple syrup, mix just well enough to form a dough that will hold together when you squeeze it into a ball.
  4. Push the dough into a small pie pan (mine is about 4 ½ inches across). It should come up the sides. Poke holes in the bottom and sides with a fork.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Let it cool before filling.
Make the Filling:
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cornstarch. Add the sweet potato, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt, and stir it together until it’s well combined. Glop this mixture into the pre-baked crust, making a smooth surface.
  2. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes, and then arrange the decorate pecans in a decorative way. Bake for 15 more minutes, or until the edges of the filling are set and the center is still a little loose.
Let it cool at least 1 hour before serving.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hummus and Sprout Sandwich for One

Hummus is one of those staples that vegans live for. I make it every week and play with herbs, different beans, and various spices so that no two batches are the same.

2 slices multi-grain bread
2 TBLSP homemade hummus (recipe follows)
1 ½ TBLSP vegan cream cheese
6 kalamata olives, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
½ cup sprouts of choice
¼ avocado, sliced thinly lengthwise
1 TBLSP raw almonds, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Smear the hummus on one side of one piece of bread, and the cream cheese on one side of the other piece of bread.
  2. Doodle the olives and onions evenly around on top of the hummus.
  3. Spread the sprouts evenly across the olives and onions.
  4. Line the avocados up neatly on top of the sprouts. They will want to wander off, so keep a close eye on them. You might need to pat them in place.
  5. Doodle the chopped almonds on top of the avocado.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste, and close the sandwich up by putting the cream cheesed side of the other piece of bread face down. (I know you know how to make a sandwich. I’m just being thorough.)
  7. Cut in half and serve!
If you’re wrapping it up to go, use waxed paper. Waxed paper will help your sandwich stay fresh and keep it all herded together nicely. It’s also compostable.


You can use hummus as a dip, as a filling for burritos or sandwiches, or to stuff celery. Go wild! Eat it with a spoon!

1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
½ bunch cilantro
3 cloves roasted garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Slosh of olive oil (perhaps 1 ½ TBLSP)
Juice of half a lemon (or lime)
Ground cumin (to taste)
2 TBLSP tahini (peanut butter will do, in a pinch)
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients and whirl until it’s a stiff paste. If you like it thinner, add lemon juice or olive oil. If you want it thicker, add more tahini, beans, or herbs.

In the photo, there’s “green” hummus on one side, which is colored by lots and lots of fresh herbs. Yummy!

  • Experiment with beans—black beans make a lovely lavender-colored hummus with a mild flavor, kidney beans make a reddish hummus with a strong flavor. You won’t know which is your favorite until you try them all!
  • I like to throw in whatever fresh herbs I have hanging around, which is usually basil and/or cilantro, but has been as mundane as parsley and as exotic as lavender. The more you throw in, not only will you get more flavor of that herb (or combination of herbs), but it will affect the color, which can be fun.
  • Sometimes I use fennel, cardamom, or caraway seeds. I blend some with everything else, and then I toss some whole seeds in at the end for texture.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Banana-Orange Relish for One

Sometimes, it’s good to play with your food.

½ ripe banana, diced
1/8 teaspoon orange zest
½ orange, peeled, segmented, and chopped roughly
1 TBLSP diced cilantro or parsley
½ TBLSP lemon or lime juice
1 green onion, diced
Pinch ground coriander
Shake or two of kosher salt.
  1. In a small bowl, stir together banana, zest, oranges, cilantro, onion, juice, coriander, and salt.
  2. Refrigerate for an hour.

 Serve over tofu, tempeh, seitan strips—anything that’s a little bland and needs some excitement. You can see it in action here over bread with faux cream cheese as a side for Roasted Cherry Soup For One.