Category Archives: baking

My Favorite Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes


Olive-Fig Tapenade
Adapted from

1 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 (8 ounce) package vegan cream cheese (optional)

Combine figs and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, and liquid has reduced. Remove from heat, and stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne. Add olives and garlic, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend.
Unwrap cream cheese block, and place on a serving platter. Spoon tapenade over vegan cheese, and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve with slices of French bread or crackers.

Cajun Spiced Pecans
Calm those ragin’ Cajun appetites until dinner is ready.
Recipe adapted from About Southern Food (
Serves 8
Preparation Time: 10 minutes plus 2 1/4 hours cooking time

1 pound pecan halves
1/4 cup melted margarine (Earth Balance)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes. Turn to LOW and continue to cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 2 hours. Transfer nuts to a baking sheet and cool completely. Serve as appetizer, or pack into glass jars and decorate with bows for holiday gifts.

Main Dishes
Cashew Nut Roast with Herbed Stuffing

Recipe adapted from Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Christmas & PETA
Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 1:30

2 small onions
4 slices bread white preferred
1/2 cup margarine melted
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 cup parsley fresh, chopped
2 large onion chopped
1/2 cup margarine
3 cups cashews raw (unroasted)
8 slices bread white or whole wheat
4 large garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1 cup water or light vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (to taste)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (to taste)
lemon slices
parsley sprigs

Set the oven to 400 F and line one large loaf pan with nonstick paper (or use non-stick pans); use some of the margarine to grease the pan and paper (if using) well.

For the most efficient use of your food processor, and the least clean-up, grate the onion for the stuffing first. Dump that into the bowl for the stuffing, replace the grating blade with the “S” blade, and grind your bread slices for the stuffing. You will have about 3 cups of soft crumbs. Add the crumbs to the stuffing bowl. Add the melted margarine and the herbs to the stuffing mixture. Set aside. (Don’t wash food processor yet!)

Using your food processor, chop the large onions medium fine. Melt the margarine in a large frying pan and saute the onions in it until they are soft and translucscent, but not browned.

In the meantime, grind the cashews in the food processor with the bread slices and garlic, until they form a uniform grainy mixture, then add that to the onion, together with the water or stock and add salt, pepper, grated nutmeg, and lemon juice to taste. Be careful with salt/lemon juice balance. (You can wash your food processor bowl now.)

Put half the cashew nut mixture into the prepared pan, top with the stuffing, then spoon the rest of the nut mixture on top. Press lightly and smooth the mixture. Dot with the remaining margarine. Stand the pan in a larger pan to catch any margarine which may ooze out, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned. (Cover the roast with foil if it gets too brown before then.) (Lisa’s note: I like my nut roast crispy and brown on the outside, so I bake it an additional 15 minutes or so. Be watchful, though, as the crust can go from brown to nearly black very quickly.)

Let the roast rest in its pan for about 15 minutes, then turn out onto serving platter. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley. Serve with gravy. Have copies of recipe ready for eager guests.
Notes: You can double this recipe and divide it equally between 3 small loaf pans.

Leftovers freeze very well. You can reheat slices in the microwave, or reheat the thawed loaf in the oven about 30-45 minutes at 350 F.

Per serving : 412 Calories; 32g Fat (67% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 478mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch/Bread; 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 6 Fat

Wild Rice Stuffed Pumpkin

Recipe By: Lisa T. Bennett
Serves 8
Preparation Time: 3 hours

4 pound pumpkin
3/4 cup brown rice
3/4 cup wild rice
1 teaspoon salt or seasoning salt
2 tablespoons margarine (Earth Balance)
1 cup onion, finely diced
2 large scallions, sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
dash cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup pecans, dry-roasted, chopped
1/4 c hot water

Cut the stem end of the pumpkin as if you were about to carve a jack o’lantern. Set aside “lid”. Remove strings and seeds inside pumpkin and discard (or save seeds to roast and munch on). Using a grapefruit knife or melon baller, scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin, leaving a 1/4 – 1/2” thick shell. Chop flesh and set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring 3 quarts of salted water to boil and stir in the brown rice and wild rice. Bring rice back to a boil. Cook over low heat, covered until still a bit hard to the bite — about 35 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat the margarine in a skillet. Add the onion and celery and sauté until the onion is golden. Add the apple and sauté another 5 minutes.

In large bowl, combine pumpkin flesh, the sautéed mixture, the partially cooked rice, the orange juice, scallions, and dried cranberries. Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon stuffing loosely into pumpkin, sprinkle with the hot water and put “lid” on tightly. Place on sturdy baking sheet and bake till pumpkin is tender to the point of a knife — about 2 hrs. Cut into wedges and serve.

Brown Mushroom Gravy

Recipe By: PETA
Serving Size: 24
Preparation Time: 0:15

1 medium onion diced
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water

Sauté the onion in the oil until soft. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute more. Shake the flour, broth and water together in a jar and add this to the onions and mushrooms. Mix in the soy sauce and stir over medium heat until thick.

Per serving: 36 Calories; 2g Fat (37% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 481mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1/2 Fat

Everybody’s Favorite Cream of Mushroom Soup

Recipe By: adapted from The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook, J.Stepaniak
Serving Size: 4
Preparation Time: 0:30

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound mushrooms thinly sliced
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 cups warm water or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup soy milk not low-fat

Place the oil in a 4 1/2 quart saucepan or Dutch oven, and heat it over medium-high flame. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and saute until they are soft, about 4-6 minutes.

Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the warm water or broth using a wire whisk. Work slowly and carefully to keep the mixture from lumping. Then stir in the nutritional yeast flakes, soy sauce, parsley, and paprika. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the saucepan, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in soymilk and serve.

Yield : 4 servings.
Notes: To make a vegan version of “condensed” cream of mushroom soup for casseroles, reduce the broth to 2 cups.

Per serving (excluding unknown items): 81 Calories; 5g Fat (45% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 763mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat

Cranberry Chutney

Recipe By: Vegetarian Celebrations, Nava Atlas
Serving Size: 8
Preparation Time: 1:00

12 ounces cranberries fresh
1 cup peeled apples diced
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dried apricots diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup maple syrup to taste

Place the first seven ingredients in a deep, heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat with the lid slightly ajar for 20-25 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Add maple syrup to taste and simmer uncovered for another 5-10 minutes until thick. Let the chutney cool to room temperature, then store in a sterilized jar, tightly covered but not sealed. Refrigerate until needed. Before serving, bring to room temperature.

Per serving: 97 Calories; less than one gram Fat (3% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 3mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

Braided Sweet Potato Bread

Recipe By: Nava Atlas, Vegetarian Celebrations
Serves 8
Preparation Time: 3 hours from start to finish

1 package active dry yeast (or 2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup canola, safflower, or olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potato
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup soy milk
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
soy milk to brush top of loaves

Combine the yeast and the water in a medium-sized mixing bowl and let stand 10 minutes. (The yeast water should look bubbly. If not, try again with fresh yeast.)
Stir in the oil and thyme, then the mashed sweet potato, maple syrup, and soy milk. Stir gently until the mixture is smooth.

In another bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet mixture. Work together, using a spoon at first, then hands, until thoroughly combined into a dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 8-10 minutes, adding additional flour a little at a time until the dough loses its stickiness.

(Or you can knead the dough in your large stand mixer or large food processor according to the directions.)

Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch the dough down and turn back out onto the board. Divide into six equal pieces. With hand, roll each piece into a long coil, about 1 inch in diameter. To make each loaf, braid three coils and pinch the ends together. Place the loaves on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal, cover with a tea towel, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Brush the tops of the loaves with soymilk. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the loaves feel hollow when tapped.

Notes: To make a bread braid without stretching the dough too much, begin the braid at the center of the loaf, then braid out to each end.

To make the dough in a bread machine, cut the recipe in half, put the ingredients in the order your machine requires, and stop at the end of the first rising period. Continue on to punch down, divide, shape, and bake your bread as directed.

Creamy Mushroom Soup
Recipe By: Nava Atlas, Vegetarian Celebrations
Serves 8
Preparation Time: 45 minutes

3 tablespoons margarine (Earth Balance), divided
1 cup onions, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery ribs with leaves, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water
2 vegetable broth cubes
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup dry white wine, optional
12 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces fresh shiitake or other wild mushrooms OR 6-8 large dried shiitakes
2 cups canned or cooked navy beans or cannellini
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced parsley

Heat 2 tablespoons of the margarine in a large soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over moderate heat until golden. Add the next five ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the seasonings and wine, cover and simmer over moderate heat for 15 minutes.

Add half of the sliced white mushrooms and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and let stand several minutes.

If using fresh wild mushrooms, wipe clean, remove the stems (you can save these for broth or discard), and slice the caps. If using dried shiitakes, soak in warm water for 15 minutes, then remove and discard the stems and slice the caps. Heat the remaining tablespoon of margarine in a skillet. Add the reserved white mushrooms and shiitakes. Sauté, covered, for 10 minutes.

Puree the soup along with the white beans, in batches in a blender (Be careful! Don’t fill a blender more than half full of hot liquid) or with an immersion blender in the pot. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the sautéed mushrooms. Grind in pepper to taste. (You can make the soup up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate it, tightly covered, at this point.)

Before serving, bring to a simmer for at least 10 minutes. Adjust the consistency with more water if soup is too thick. Divide among soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with the parsley.

Georgia Kudzu Pecan Pie

Recipe By: Meredith McCarty, in Lorna Sass’ Complete Vegetarian Kitchen
Serves 8
Preparation Time: 45 minutes, plus time to set

1 9 inch unbaked pie shell (check ingredients or make your own)
1 1/2 cups brown rice syrup (see cook’s notes)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup agar flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons kuzu or arrowroot
water, to barely cover the kuzu
2 cups toasted pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Set pie weights or beans into the pie crust and bake on the middle shelf of a 375 F oven until lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Set on a rack to cool. This is a good time to toast your pecans as well. Check them after 12-14 minutes.
2. In a heavy saucepan, prepare the filling. Whisk together the rice syrup, water, agar flakes, cinnamon, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over very low heat until the agar completely dissolves, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, dissolve the arrowroot in water to barely cover and add to the agar-rice syrup mixture. While cooking the mixture at a low simmer, whisk it until the chalky color becomes clear.
4. Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the pecans and vanilla and pour into the prepared pie crust, taking care to distribute the pecans evenly.
5. Let the pie cool to room temperature and set, about 2 hours (or refrigerate pie about 1 hour to firm up more quickly). For optimum flavor, bring to room temperature before serving.
Cook’s notes: For the filling, Meredith favors the dark brown rice syrup made by Mitoku. Other brands (often lighter in color) sometimes prevent the filling from setting firmly. (Lisa’s note: I use either Tree of Life Rice Syrup or Lundberg Gluten-Free Brown Rice Syrup – both quite light in color – and both work well).

Option: To really make this pie a truly decadent Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, use about 1 cup water and 1/2 cup bourbon to dissolve the agar flakes (the alcohol will dissipate while simmering, leaving just the flavor), and add 1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips to the partly cooled filling before you pour it into the crust. Yum!!

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Star Spangled Breakfast

Star Spangled Breakfast, originally uploaded by teeveeolantern.

Crispy 100% Whole Wheat Waffles with Mimicreme Ice Cream, Blueberries, and Strawberries

Lisa’s Basic Vegan Waffles
This is a very basic, plain waffle. If you use unbleached flour, it is very light in color and texture. Adding whole wheat pastry flour helps give it a bit more “presence”. I like a 50/50 blend of unbleached and whole wheat pastry flour in these, as I do in most pastries. I have found that 100% whole wheat pastry flour makes really great, light pastries – better than a 50/50 blend.  These waffles were 100% whole wheat and they were feather light!  Feel free to change the flavoring extract, or leave it out altogether. The sugar is also optional, but it helps with browning.

Recipe By Lisa T. Bennett
Serves 6 if they’re polite and not too ravenous
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

2 cups soy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups flour,(unbleached all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or a combination)
1 tablespoon unbleached sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pre-heat your waffle iron per directions. Set it on “medium” to begin with, until you see how your first waffle turns out.

Mix wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Lightly whisk wet into dry. (Don’t worry if there are a few small lumps.) The batter should be like a medium pancake batter. Spray waffle iron with non-stick pan spray. Ladle the batter onto your waffle iron and close lid. Bake for 5 minutes and test. If you can’t get the lid open easily, let it bake for another minute and try again. Remove waffle when it is golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

Note: the five-minute timing works perfectly for my very ancient standard waffle iron. Newer ones might bake faster.

For more waffle recipes and an article on the whys and wherefores of waffles, see the May 2005 article in the sidebar.

About that “homemade” ice cream….I used Sweetened Mimic Creme from Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe. I added a bit of vanilla extract, but otherwise, I poured about 2 cups of straight Sweetened Mimic Creme into my Cuisinart ice cream maker (one of those with the pre-frozen sleeves), and it worked like a charm. The ice cream “churned” in about the time it took me to dust off the waffle iron and mix up the waffle batter. The Mimic Creme is a cashew-based ice cream/dessert mix, so it has a bit of a nutty flavor, but we like that, so it was a hit at our house.

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Whole Wheat Biscuits

Whole Wheat Bisuits, originally uploaded by teeveeolantern.

Light Whole-Wheat “Buttermilk” Biscuits
Make sure you use whole wheat pastry flour, or your biscuits will not be light at all!
Recipe By: Lisa T. Bennett
Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

2 cups soy milk (up to 2 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup Spectrum Organic shortening

Pre-heat oven to 450 F. Spray a 9X13 pan lightly with pan spray or grease lightly with shortening.

Add vinegar to soymilk and set aside to sour. This is your “buttermilk”.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

Cut shortening into flour until it resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces of shortening remaining. Mix in 2 cups of soured soymilk quickly. Don’t overmix the dough or your biscuits will be tough. Dough should be wet, but still hold its shape when scooped. Add more plain soymilk if necessary. Spoon dough into 12 equal pieces. Quickly shape each by hand into a biscuit, dredging the dough in a bit of extra flour if necessary to hold its shape. (My mother just drops hers from a spoon into the pan and flattens the tops lightly with her hand.) Bake ’til lightly browned, 12 – 15 minutes.

Makes 12 large (“cathead”) biscuits or 24 two-bite hors d’oeuvres-sized ones.
Notes: Placing the biscuits close together will cause them to rise up and will yield tall biscuits with soft sides (classic Southern biscuits). Leaving a little space between them with make them crusty all over and a bit shorter and wider.

This biscuit dough is quite wet. The extra moisture creates steam on the inside of the biscuits after the outside has begun to set from the high heat of the oven. This steam causes the biscuits to rise high and light.

Make sure you use whole wheat *pastry* flour, not bread flour. The pastry flour makes much lighter biscuits because it’s lower in gluten. (see my March 2002 article on Biscuits and Cornbread to understand why this is important.)

Variation: Substitute Earth Balance for Spectrum Organic Shortening for a more “buttery” flavor. Omit salt, as the Earth Balance is quite salty already.

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Vegan Banana Bran Muffins

Since David was home today for the MLK holiday, I made muffins while he worked on figuring out this blogging/picture thing.

For some reason, I was having a craving for old-school bran muffins. I checked some of my newer vegan cookbooks, and then decided what I wanted was more likely to be found in an old-fashioned omni cookbook. I pulled out the old favorite, The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (that red and white checked one your mom and grandmom used) and found a banana bran muffin recipe. I veganized it, and here it is. It works great, but I think next time I’m changing the sugar to Sucanat, and doubling it. I really wanted them to be sweeter.

Vegan Banana Bran Muffins

Recipe By: LTB (adapted from BH&G)
Serves 12


1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup wheat bran

2 tablespoons flax seed

4 tablespoons water

1 cup ripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup soy milk

2 tablespoons canola oil


Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare 12-cup muffin tin by spraying with pan spray or lining with paper liners.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in bran.

Grind flax seeds in dry blender jar or spice grinder. Add remaining ingredients to blender, blend ’til smooth, and then add to dry ingredients.

Mix just until moistened (don’t overmix). Fill muffin tins almost full.

Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

When the muffins are ready, let them cool for just a few minutes in the pan before turning them out. If you leave them in the pan to cool, the crusts will steam and get soggy.

If you want to keep your muffins warm for just a few extra minutes during breakfast, you can turn them halfway out of their cups, leaving them on their sides in the pan. That way, the steam can evaporate but the residual heat from the tin will keep them from getting cold too quickly.

Drink at least one extra glass of water with every muffin, or they’ll do the exact opposite of what you expect from a bran muffin.  And don’t overdo it if you aren’t used to a high fiber diet.  Freeze the leftovers and eat them one or two at a time.


Filed under baking, breakfast, muffins