Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hudson's Healthy Pumpkin Snack Stacks

I've made quite a few versions of these little snacks for Hudson, but this time I wrote the recipe down! That's one of my biggest problems.... I make things and never write down the exact measurments of what I put in! I'm getting better though!:) Basically these are and easy go-to snack for your kids that you won't feel guilty giving them. They are sweetened with maple syrup, and only a little, so they won't spike the blood sugar or makes your kids run around like maniacs. White sugar is really really bad for you, so I never use it anymore. It is so processed, and stripped of the minerals that naturally occur in it, your body has to compensate for the missing pieces, so as a result, your blood and bones are leached of very important vitamins and minerals. Not to mention the havoc it wreaks on your body by spiking your blood sugar level, only to send you crashing a short time later and making you feel like garbage! It is also usually processed using bone char from animals, so that is another reason I don't like using it. Better choices for sweetening are brown rice syrup (which you could also use in this recipe), barley malt, maple syrup, applesauce (or other fruit), blackstrap molasses, and agave nectar. Enough talk, let's get to the recipe!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

You will need:

1 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup finely chopped raw walnuts
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup canola or safflower oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together. Once mixed, add the wet ingredients, and combine thoroughly. Drop tablespoon sized spoonfuls onto a baking sheet that is either greased, lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet liner. You should get about 20 out of this recipe. Bake for 12- 14 minutes (mine took 13 minutes). They should be lightly browned on the bottom, but still soft. Let cool on baking sheet and then transfer to an airtight container. I keep them in the freezer, and pull a few out every couple of days. This way they won't go bad on you!:)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chocolate Cheesecake ~ Veganized!

Who doesn't like cheesecake?! Well, I'm sure there are a few out there who don't, but this "cheese"cake  is sure to please vegans and non-vegans alike. This also great for people who are lactose intolerant or have an allergy to dairy. Enough talking, let's get to the recipe! And no one will ever know that there is tofu in it! Sneaky sneaky! ;)

                             Adapted from The Kind Diet's Mixed Berry Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9" spring form pan, or a largish pie plate will do as well
For the crust:
3/4 cup vegan margarine, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-2 Tablespoons of vegan cane sugar (optional, depending on the sweetness of your graham crumbs)

Combine ingredients and press into the bottom, and slightly up the sides (about 1.5inches) of the baking dish you will be using. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes, then let it cool on a baking rack.
Meanwhile, you can make the filling.

1 cup of Better Than Cream Cheese (plain, non-hydrogenated version)
1 1/4 cups of medium firm, water packed tofu (about 340 grams)
1 Tablespoon of canola or safflower oil
1/2 cup of vegan cane sugar
1/4 cup rice, soy or almond milk
2 teaspoons Arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 squares of unsweetened bakers  dark chocolate, melted (about 56 grams)
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

Dark chocolate bar for garnish (use a vegetable peeler to make "curls").

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. You don't want any lumps in your mixture!:) Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. I'd recommend placing a cookie sheet under the cake as you bake it (the melted margarine leaked out a bit when I used a spring form pan). Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, and then transfer to the fridge and let cool completely. The cheesecake is best if cooled overnight (or 6 hours-ish), because the consistency is much more like cheesecake when it is fully chilled. Top with chocolate garnish and serve!

I will post another picture tomorrow when I serve it and it is cut and has the garnish on it! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies with Spiced Pumpkin Icing

Recipe courtesy of

So I stumbled across this amazing blog,, and I wanted to share this super amazing cookie recipe with everyone. The cookies are soft, almost like a cake, and the icing adds that little extra something special to them. They are perfect for the holidays, as they have that "holiday" flavor, and no one will even know that they are vegan! Plus, they are super easy to make which is always a bonus! This is the first time that I baked with parchement paper.... and Hello! Where have you been all my life? Definitely easier than oiling and then washing a baking sheet! ;)

What You Need:
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder mixed with 2 Tbsp. milk of choice (i used soymilk)
1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Spiced Pumpkin Icing (recipe follows)

To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a standing mixer or using a hand mixer, mix the butter and the sugar until pale in color and slightly whipped. Add the Pumpkin puree, vanilla, and cornstarch and mix to blend well. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix again.  Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, drop by the heaping tablespoon on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake cookies for 12-13 minutes. Let cool for 1 min. before removing from the baking sheet. Cool completely before icing cookies.

Spiced Pumpkin Icing:
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter
1 Tbsp Pumpkin puree
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
very generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp. milk alternative (soymilk, almond milk, etc.)

With a whisk beater blend until creamy and mixed well. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill well to help it spread easily.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Only 9 Days Until Christmas!

Wow time sure flies hey? I apologize for not posting any recipes lately.... I just don't feel like eating these days..... everything grosses me out! Even the thought of writing a recipe out is making me feel ill right now... haha. BUT! I will be doing some Christmas baking and making some homemade chocolates, so I will be posting recipes very shortly! My plan is to make sugar cookies, gingerbread, shortbread thumbprint cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip raisin cookies, chocolates filled with a chocolaty hazelnut filling, a orangy filling, and maybe a mocha filling? Haven't quite decided. Do you have any favorite vegan holiday baking recipes? I have made the sugar cookies already, but I have not iced them, so I will post a picture once they are iced! :)
Oh, and I'm going to be making a vegan chocolate cheesecake and a spinach artichoke dip for a potluck on Sunday, so I'll be posting those as well!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Poem for Hudson

I found this poem online somewhere, but I can't remember where, so I can't take credit for it. I changed a few words to make it more "us" I guess you could say. I really love it though! I hope you enjoy it too:)

You'll never watch an elephant standing on her head
You will see amazing acrobats and painted clowns instead.
You'll never color Easter eggs or eat a "Happy" Meal
Instead you'll give pigs belly rubs - You'll know chickens dream and feel.
The clamor from the ice cream truck won't be music to your ears
You will know your vegan "ice cream" caused no suffering or tears.
You may hear a gentle gobble as you softly stroke a turkey
And give thanks that she's alive as you're eating your Tofurky.
While other kids buy leather shoes and eat at Chuck E. Cheese
You'll be kissing cows and feeding goats and saying "veggies please!"
Being different can be hard I know - This world is often cruel
Maybe you'll be laughed at by the other kids at school.
But compassion is a vital gift that too few share with others
And your heart will not be filled with guilt the way it plagues your mother's.
So don't ever be embarrassed or ashamed because you care
You'll be uniquely beautiful with an empathy that's rare.
And when you see a rescued lamb and touch his thick warm fleece
You'll feel no sadness or remorse - You can look at him in peace.
What took so long for me to learn, I'll start teaching you from birth
And your footprint will be much tinier on this fragile earth

Friday, December 10, 2010

Delicious Leek and Potato Soup!

Now I know the picture doesn't look to great, and it definitely does not do the soup justice, but believe me, this soup is really really good! It's super simple too, which makes it even better!
You will need:

1-2 Tablespoons of oil (canola, safflower or olive will do)
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (mine make 2 cups of stock per cube)
8 cups of water
1 large leek (about 1.5 cups chopped)
8 small potatoes
1/2 a cup of silk coffee creamer (original)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of pepper

First you will need to cut your leek into thin rings. Starting from the bottom, cut the bottom off and compost or discard. Then work your way up the leek, cutting rings that are about 1/2 a centimeter or 1/4 inch thick. Don't worry if they are too thick, as the really break apart in the cooking process. Now wash the rings. It is very important to wash them thoroughly as there tends to be a lot of dirt in leeks.
Now heat your oil on medium heat in a large pot. Add the leeks, and allow them to soften, but not brown. Keep and eye on them and stir as needed. While you are doing this, you can wash and chop your potatoes into small cubes. I used new potatoes, so I left the peel on.
Once the leeks have softened, add the water, potatoes, and bouillon cubes to the pot. Bring to a boil on high heat, and then reduce to low/medium and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Take a potato masher, or a hand blender, and mash the contents of the pot. You can leave it at whatever consistency suits you. Now add the silk creamer and the salt and pepper. You can add more or less salt and pepper to taste of course! Let simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Question to You

Yesterday I was on Facebook, and came across a post where someone was asking where the best place to buy Ugg boots was. I had recently been reading that apparently it takes 8 sheep (wool and skin) to make one pair of Ugg boots. So I commented on her post and let her know this, and that there are many fake versions of these boot on the market that are cruelty free. Sometimes people are not aware of the cruelty that goes on for some of their beloved possessions, and when they become aware, they think twice. Unfortunately that wasn't the case with the Ugg boots. She told me "Oh honey, that's where we differ;)". Ok, I tried..... and obviously that wasn't the response I was hoping for, but it raises this question; Why do we choose to buy things that bring harm to another living being, when there are countless other cruelty free options available?  I guess the same question can go for eating meat. Why do we eat meat? Do we eat it because it tastes good? Do we eating it because we just can't live without it? Do we think that we need it to survive? Or do we eat it just because we can? It's actually been proven that humans live a longer, healthier life, with less instance of disease when they choose a plant based diet. So if we know that we can live longer, be healthier, AND be more humane while doing so, why do we still choose to eat meat? Not to mention that eating a plant based diet is far better for the environment. These are my questions to you. I believe that life is precious, life is short, and death is final. So because of this, I choose to try and do my best not to take the lives of other living creatures. What's your take?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Whole Wheat Rotini with Vegan "Alfredo", Mushrooms and Green Peppers

Sometimes I crave a dish that is reminiscent of something I would have eaten back in my dairy days. For times like these, the dairy/cheese substitutes come in very handy! Today was one of those days, so I decided to make a mock alfredo sauce using Better Than Cream Cheese and Daiya "cheese". My friend Diana made something similar a few weeks ago, so thanks Diana for the inspiration!

You will need:

3 cups of whole wheat rotini, or your favotite pasta
1/2 cup plain soy milk
1/4 water
1 TBSP plus 1 tsp Earth Balance
1 TBSP flour
1/4 cup Better Than Cream Cheese (plain, non-hydrogenated)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup Daiya mozza

5 large mushrooms, sliced
1 green pepper, diced

Add pasta to boiling salted water, and cook until done.

Saute the mushrooms and green pepper in a pan with the 1 tsp of Earth Balance. Season with a dash of salt, pepper and garlic granules.

In the meantime, melt Earth Balace in a small or medium sauce pan. Add the flour to make a roux (pronounced "roo" in case you aren't familiar with it), which is a cooked mixture of a fat and flour, and acts as a thickening agent. Cook on medium for a few minutes, stirring continually. Next, add the plain soymilk and water. Whisk together. Now add the cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic granules and onion powder. Continue whisking until you have a smooth mixture, and the sauce has come to a light boil. Once the mixture is smooth, add the Daiya "cheese", and stir until melted.

You can either spoon the sauce and veggies onto the pasta separately, or you can mix it all together in the pot you cooked the pasta in.  Eat as is, or top with vegan parmesan if you like. Enjoy! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Steamed Fried Kale, Carrot and Cabbage, with Wild Rice, Toasted Sunflower seeds and Tahini Dressing!

Long title I know! But I promise, it isn't a complicated meal:)

To begin:

Cook some rice, whatever kind you like. I would make about 1 to 1.5 cups cooked (1/2 to 3/4 cup dry), depending on how much rice you want! You can always cook a big batch and keep it in the fridge for a few days. This saves time, since wild and brown rice take about 45 minutes to cook.

Next, you will need:

1 bunch of kale, washed and torn into pieces
1/2 a small head of red cabbage (probably 1/4 of a large head)
1 cup of grated carrot
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of garlic powder
1 Tablespoon of Earth Balace margarine, or olive oil if you prefer

Melt the Earth Balance in a large frying pan or wok on medium heat. Add all the veggies, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Cook until veggies are tender, but not overcooked.

While your veggies are cooking, you can make your tahini dressing.
You will need:

1/4 cup of tahini
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1.5 Tablespoons of shoyu or tamari
1/4 cup of water

Add all ingredients together, and blend them in a blender, or like me, you can use a magic bullet.

Toast about 1/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds in a toaster oven (at 400) or a frying pan on medium heat. You want them to be a light toasty brown. Keep an eye on them though, as they will burn easily! Once they are done, put them in a bowl and sprinkle them with shoyu or tamari (only about 1/4 tsp worth) and toss. This adds a nice flavour.

Now, bring it all together!

Place a scoop of rice on your place, add veggies on top, drizzle with the tahini dressing, and sprinkle on some sunflower seeds! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hudson's Lentil Patties

I like to try and integrate healthy foods into Hudson's diet at every meal, but sometimes, for one reason or another, he doesn't like certain foods. Sometimes it has to do with the texture, and not necessarily the taste. That is the case with lentils. At this stage in his eating career, he only has 7 (almost 8) teeth, so some things are hard to chew. So I have come up with a little lentil patty recipe that tastes yummy, and will get those lentils into your little ones tummy without any fuss! I've incorporated walnuts and olive oil into the recipe to increase the amount of fat (good fat) in the recipe, since babies need fat to grow. Most babies drink whole milk and have full fat yogurt etc, which is full of fat, a lot of which is saturated, and also a lot of cholesterol. In my opinion, eating a diet full of good fats is a better choice. You can definitely make this recipe without the walnuts if your child has an allergy, or isn't at the nut stage yet. In that case, I'd omit the olive oil as well, or add more breadcrumbs to compensate.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

You will need:

1 19oz can of brown lentils, drained and rinsed well ( or the equivalent of home cooked)
1/2 cup of whole grain bread crumbs (homemade  or store bought)
1 piece of whole grain bread ripped into pieces
1/2 cup walnuts
1/8 cup of organic ketchup
1/8 cup of vegenaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
pepper to taste
canola oil for baking

Place all ingredients (except canola oil for baking) into a food processor and put on high for about 1 minute, or until all ingredients are mixed well and the lentils have been turned into a paste. You should have a mixture that resembles cookie dough. For the dough into little patties, about 2.5 inches wide, and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes at 375 for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the patties over. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. You can freeze these and use them as you need, or freeze some and keep some in the fridge (max 4 days).

You don't have to be a baby/toddler to enjoy these either! They can be a great addition to any meal!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Massaged kale salad and vegan latkes

So tonight for dinner we tried a new recipe, vegan latkes, which are pretty much a potato pancake. They were really good! I made a veggie burger patty (Amy's Texas Burger), and ate it on top of a latke. We also has massaged kale salad. It is called "massaged" kale salad because you massage the kale with the salt that is in the recipe, and it helps the kale wilt down a bit. So good! Kale is such a healthy vegetable, and I love finding new ways to use it! I got the recipe for the vegan latkes from one of my favorite websites,, and you can find it here

The recipe for the kale salad is as follows:
Adapted from

1 bunch of Kale (or enough to fill a big salad bowl) stem removed and ripped into salad size pieces.
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins. cherries etc, your choice
1 small apple diced
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (out of the shell). I toasted mine in a pan until slightly golden
pepper to taste

Wash kale. Pat dry. Place in salad bowl and sprinkle salt on it. Massage kale for a few minutes until it becomes somewhat wilted. If it doesn't wilt, you can add a sprinkle more salt. Now add the rest of the ingredients and toss. Add toasted sunflower seeds to each portion individually when ready to serve. This will help stop them from becoming soggy. You can change this reacipe up to make it however you like it really. You could use balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar. You could add whatever veggies you think you'd like. Go for it!:)

Friday, December 3, 2010

A little about what I eat.

I have, over the years, been asked many times what I eat on a daily basis. It has fluctuated between being vegetarian (dairy and eggs included, but no animal by products such as gelatin, rennet etc), and being vegan (no animal products at all). For me, being vegetarian/vegan also includes not buying any products that have come from an animal such as wool, leather, suede, silk, cashmere, or food that has been colored with certain dyes that are made with carmine, which is a pigment of a bright red color obtained from the carminic acid produced by some scale insects, such as the cochineal and the Polish cochineal. Anyways......  Often people associate a vegan diet with being boring. They think that they will be missing out on many of the things that they love to eat. But that is simply not true. There are so many products these days that are just as good, or even better that the dairy or meat versions. My family and I try to stick to whole foods, foods in their natural form that haven't been processed or preserved, but it's great to have vegan alternatives to say, cheese, sour cream, mayo etc around for those times that you feel like you need something naughty! :) So today I wanted to introduce you to a few of my favorite dairy alternatives.

First, there is a great company called Tofutti, and they make cream cheese, sour cream, ice cream, etc... all dairy free! Here in Lethbridge, the place to buy this stuff it at Nutters. You have to watch though, because for some reason they make a hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated version, so obviously you wan to choose the non-hydrogenated version! Check out the Tofutti site at :)

Next up is a company called Follow Your Heart. They make my favorite vegan mayo. It's so good! You can find it at Nutter and at Superstore here in Lethbridge. They also make a bunch of other wonderful products, but unfortunately I have yet to find any in Lethbridge:(
Check out their site at

Now for some cheesy goodness! This company is called Daiya. I have long been on the hunt for a good vegan cheese, as most of them leave a bad taste in your mouth.... literally! haha :) I don't even remember how I came to find out about this wonderful product, but I'm so glad that I did! Now of course it doesn't taste exactly like dairy cheese, but when used in recipes and even on pizza, it is a darn good substitute! I have made pizza, quesadillas, mac n cheese, scalloped potatoes, veggie pot pies, pig in a blanket, "chuna" melt (see earlier post for chuna... my mock tuna!), added it to spaghetti sauce..... the list goes on! Unfortunately it is not yet available in Lethbridge, but it is in Calgary at a number of their health food stores, and also at Karmavore is an awesome vegan store that is located in Vancouver, and they also have an online store. So it's great to buy things when you can't find them where you live:) Also check out for product info and recipes etc.

Do you have a sweet tooth? I do sometimes! And these little "ice cream" bars are so good! They are made by a company called Turtle Mountain ( ), who also make pints of ice cream, ice cream sandwiches etc. They used to only make soy based products, but have recently come out with a slew of coconut milk based ones, which I love because I like to limit the amount of soy in my diet. You can buy these at Walmart (best price by far) and  Save-on-Foods.

If you are looking for a healthy alternative to your butter or margarine, Earth Balance is it! They have a variety of vegan "butters" that are both tasty and a healthy alternative to conventional items. Earth Balance is great for baking and cooking, and will give you that "buttery" taste you are looking for without the added chemicals that margarine has, or the cholesterol that butter has! If you are wondering why regular margarine isn't vegan, the reason is that it contains whey, which is a milk protein, and usually some for of lactose which is a sugar found in milk. Check out their site at

Well, those are a few of my favorite vegan go-to items that I use when I feel like a need a "dairy fix". I hope that you learned a bit, and found this information helpful! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chocolate, Cheese, Meat, and Sugar -- Physically Addictive

This is Dr. Neal Barnard, one of the doctors from PCRM. He had a lot of interesting points in this speech. I know it's a little long, but it is worth watching for sure. Check it out!! :)

PCRM~ A great vegan resource!

Throughout my vegan travels, I have been asked many questions about my diet, like where I get certain nutrients from, what I eat, and why i'm vegan. To me it's second nature to know these things, but to someone else, it may need a little more explanation. I have recently come across a great website,, which is an organization made of up of doctors and scientists, who help to make sense of a vegan lifestyle to those who are interested in adopting a vegan diet, or even for those who are simply interested in learning more about it. Check out this link: .
PCRM also does a lot of research on nutrition, and how our diet can actually help to reverse disease, or can help us avoid becoming ill all together. Check out this link for more info:
I also love PCRM because not only are they determined to end human suffering, they are also committed to end animal suffering as well. They promote alternatives to animal research and animal testing, and also also promote non-animal methods in medical education.
They also have a great recipe archive if you are just starting out and don't know where to start, of if you just want to incorporate a few new veggie recipes into your diet! You can find recipes here:
So if you have questions and are looking for answers, this is a great resource for you to take advantage of!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Chuna" salad! Yum!!

So I came up with this recipe the other day, and to my surprise, it was scrumptious! I call it "chuna" because it is reminiscent of tuna, but is made with chickpeas! I've seen other recipes for mock tuna using chickpeas, but this one is tailored to my tastes!

You will need:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or about 1.5 cups home cooked
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
2 Tablespoons Vegenaise
salt and pepper to taste (you might need a little salt if you use chickpeas that are packed in water)

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mash with a potato masher! Easy as that! You can use the chuna in a wrap, with crackers, in a sandwich or just on it's own. Feel free to add other seasonings/spices such as garlic powder, onion power, curry etc.  Enjoy!

Good Day!

So today is day 1 of Vegan Momma on a Mission! I am going to try my best to keep this blog updated, but of course, my family will always come first, so there may be gaps here and there! I apologize in advance:) My goal is to share yummy recipes, both created by me, and found elsewhere (books, websites, other blogs), and also try to share my experiences of bringing up a vegan family. I want to make is easier for people to maintain a vegan diet for themselves, and their families.