Tag Archives: almond milk

Potatoes Au Gratin, VEGAN STYLE!!!

The holidays are upon us and there’s nothing better than something that’s easy, kid friendly (for your picky nephews), low fat (for your vain body-builder cousin), cholesterol free (for your crotchety aunt), easy (for your peace of mind) and cheap (because you already spent all your money on gifts). This recipe as written will serve 6-8 people as a side dish and doubles easily. It would be great for a departmental potluck.

You’ll need the following:

2 large white potatoes (sliced thin)

2 gigantic yams or sweet potatoes (sliced thin)


Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams are easy to find for around $1 per pound this time of year so I use them fairly often during the holidays. I cut mine with a big old knife. This is one of those times I wish I wasn’t averse to mandolines. The finger that I partially amputated using one always tingles whenever I think about working with one. If you’ve got a good food processor with a slicing blade, I’d recommend using that for safety’s sake, if you’re a fan of the mandoline, use that and be really really really really careful, otherwise use a knife and be really really really careful. I leave the skin on; you don’t have to.


1 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of flake red pepper

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

12-16 ounces of silken tofu

1 cup of soy or almond milk

4 tbsp almond flour

vegan mozzarella and/or parmesan (optional)


Take the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, flake red pepper, nutritional yeast, tofu and half a cup of milk and blend it all up.


Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of almond flour on the bottom of a large baking dish and make a layer of white potatoes on it.


Then slather that layer with some of your tofu mixture. Now repeat the process with the yams or sweet potatoes: layer them on top and then add the tofu cream. You should be able to get 5 or 6 layers of potatoes. I then put the remaining milk into the rest of the tofu sauce and mixed it well before pouring it over the top of the potatoes. I added a few slices of Teese mozzarella (any vegan cheese will do) and sprinkled it with the rest of the almond meal and sprinkled it liberally with walnut parmesan.


Bake it for an hour and a half at 400F/200C


You should get a beautiful layered look and a delicious addition to any holiday meal. Hopefully your guests will be too busy enjoying it to notice the orange and white stripes.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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No Need to Knead Gluten-free Vegan Bread

I’m going to start this post by thanking 2 bloggers who have inspired me to take a stab at vegan baking. Somer of Vedged Out and recently featured on Forks over Knives and an Unrefined Vegan who has organized Virtual Vegan Potlucks have tickled my eyes, nose, mind and mouth in the best kind of way. They are two bloggers who seem to bake effortlessly. Vegan baking is certainly a nuanced thing but if any of you are experienced with baking gluten-free know that these recipes require lots and lots of eggs. So what’s a girl to do when she wants bread without gluten or eggs?

For baking bread today I’m using ground flax seeds. Flax is full of omega fatty acids and other important nutrients but practically speaking they’re also loaded with long chain polysaccharides that make it a great binding agent. With chicken eggs, protein forms the binding agent along with lots of cholesterol and recent studies bolster the claim that eggs are worse for your body than smoking. I don’t want that in my body so flax it is! Combine your ground flax seeds with water half an hour before baking (mix well) and you’ll notice the gelatinous texture that will help hold your bread together forming in your container. To start, we assembled the following ingredients

1 3/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I’m using Bob’s Red Mill)
1/8 cup oats
1/8 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp agar agar or suitable vegan gelling agent
1/4 cup lightly packed coconut sugar
5 tbsp flax meal in 1/2 cup of water (mix well and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes)
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons almond milk or other vegan alternative
1 tbsp active dry yeast (no need to put it in water first, seriously)

First, Brent combined all the dry ingredients in a large bowl including the yeast.
In another bowl, I combined the vegan milk, oil and flax “eggs”. It looked kind of gross.

I added the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Beat the batter until smooth. This can be done with a stand or hand mixer, but I like to use my Brent for this; his muscles are amazing. The batter should be thick but not doughy.

I sprayed a non-stick pan with olive oil. Then I poured the batter into the bread pan and sprinkled the top of the batter with sunflower seeds and buckwheat groats. You can also sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

We set it aside to rise for about 50 minutes or until the batter was peeking above the rim of the pan.

We baked it in a 375°F pre-heated oven for 50 minutes; until a toothpick comes out clean. We let it cool for 15 minutes. Then we removed from the pan and cool thoroughly on a rack. A glass pan might be better for next time.

As a first effort to bake gluten-free and vegan in about a year and a half, I’m pleased. The texture of the bread was good, lightly crispy outside and fluffy inside. I have had problems in the past with vegan gluten-free breads being far too dense for my taste.

The taste was lightly sweet and nutty but nothing special. Next time I plan to add some nutritional yeast or carob and maca powder and Braag’s aminos to bring out more of the flavors in all those grains and seeds. Quinoa, flax, sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats, rice, sorghum, oats and almonds make for awesome bread.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Perfect Pancakes

I have tried a handful of vegan pancake recipes and they have all been disasters until I decided to try this 5 Minute Vegan Pancakes recipe. I first tried it about one or two months ago. They turned out so well that I really wanted to write about them, but I decided that I better try them again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.

It wasn’t a fluke.

There is a minimal number of ingredients. In addition, both times I have used this recipe, I didn’t have to do the usual tossing of the first pancake. You know what I’m talking about.

I tweaked the recipe a bit today and used the following ingredients:

1 cup flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
1 tbsp turbinado
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsbp flax meal
pinch of salt
1 cup almond milk (I used soy milk the last time; either is fine)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c or so of dried blueberries

I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl…

…and then I cooked the pancakes. That’s all there was to it.

Yay! Fluffy vegan pancakes! As you can see, I couldn’t even pause to take a photo before digging in. Actually, I ate the first pancake as soon as it came off the pan. That’s how delicious these are. They’re even better with some maple syrup and a side of tempeh strips.

Next vegan pancake challenge: Swedish pancakes! –Melissa

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Panang Curry!

Curry is kind of awesome. This is a rich veggie curry rich with veggies. Is that redundant? Anyways, we like curry and will eat it whenever we get the chance so this is an easier version you can make if you’ve got a fridge full of veggies like we often do. You’ll need the following:

1.5 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots/green onions
2 tablespoons minced ginger OR 1/2 tbsp powdered
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 generous tablespoons of peanut butter
1 finger sized piece of turmeric OR 2 tsp powdered
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste or to taste
1 cup water
1 can of coconut milk (2 cups of almond milk for a lighter version, just add 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut for flavor)
juice and zest from 1 lime

1 tomato, diced
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or molasses or to taste
1 14-ounce package firm tofu, drained, cut into cubes (optional)
1 sweet potato or white potato, cubed
1 bunch green veg, ripped or cut into bite size pieces (I used broccoli and a green bell pepper because I had them but kale works well too)

salt to taste

You can also add mushrooms, sliced carrots, or other veggies
1/2 cup roasted and salted cashews or peanuts (or cilantro for a lighter version) for a garnish

Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Cook shallots, ginger, turmeric and garlic until tender. Stir in the cumin and curry paste until fragrant. We like ours spicy so I added some red peppers.

Whisk in water, coconut milk, lime juice and zest, and brown sugar and let simmer. Season to taste with salt and adjust the seasonings.

Add tofu, potato and mushrooms if you’re using them and let cook on low heat covered for 20 minutes, or until the potato begins to soften. Then add the green veggies and cook until you like the texture.

Garnish with cashews/peanuts/cilantro and serve as is or with rice or quinoa. Using almond milk instead of coconut milk makes  a huge dent in the number of calories added from fat (even compared with light coconut milk) and makes the flavors more intense. We hope you get to try it!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Eggplant Parmesan for Dummies

My sister and I decided to have another one of our cooking challenges where we take a dish and make traditional and vegan versions of it. Our next dish was eggplant parmesan. I looked at several vegan recipes and decided that I was going to follow this one from Oh She Glows. It was a good plan until I botched a critical step (thus the ‘dummies’ part of the title). It doesn’t matter because I ended up with a great version of vegan eggplant parmesan anyway!

Vegan (and Soy-Free) Eggplant Parmesan

1 fat eggplant (I paid an arm and a leg for an eggplant from a place that rhymes with Shmole Broods and then saw prettier looking ones for $2 at a farmers market the next day. BLAST!)
1 c unsweetened and unflavored almond milk
3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour (use a gluten-free flour for a GF version)
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 c breadcrumbs
1 jar pasta sauce (I used Organicville Italian Herb pasta sauce)
1 pkg Daiya shredded mozzarella or other vegan mozzarella cheese

I cut my eggplant into 1cm slices and ended up with 14 slices. I then sprinkled some salt on the slices to draw out some of the water –I’m afraid I may have drawn out some of the flavor as well– and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Okay, now here’s where I screwed things up. While the eggplant was chilling out, I was supposed to mix together the milk, flour, vinegar, and spices. Instead, I mixed all that and the bread crumbs. Um. Yeah. Dummy. Oh She Glows calls for the eggplant slices to be dipped in the batter and then coated with the bread crumbs. There was no turning back once I added the bread crumbs, but I will say that it all smelled very good and mixed together nicely.

I had to get over my mentally challenged moment and work with what I had (big thanks to my sis for calming me down). First, I preheated the oven to 450 degrees. Then, I grabbed a deep roasting pan, sprinkled the bottom with the bread crumb mixture, laid the eggplant on the crumbs, and then topped it off with the rest of the bread crumbs. I stuck it in the oven and let it bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, I put a pot on the stove to cook pasta to go with the eggplant parmesan, cursing myself the entire time for being unable to follow a brilliant and simple recipe. I chose this spinach spaghetti from Shmole Broods. I tossed it in olive oil and freshly minced garlic.

After the eggplant had been baking for 20 minutes, I poured the entire jar of pasta sauce into the pan, sprinkled some more Italian seasoning on top, and baked for another 15 minutes. Then, I topped it off with the shredded Daiya (I didn’t use the entire package but you can) and baked for another 5 minutes.

It tastes as good as it looks, and I hope it looks good to you. Wondering how the traditional version turned out? We didn’t make one — this version worked for everyone, including my Italian brother-in-law.

I can now say that I’m pleasantly happy with how this turned out. I undoubtedly would have found a way to screw up the breading of the eggplant, and I probably would have ended up with a lot of unused breadcrumbs. This worked out quite well and is how I plan to make this dish in the future. –Melissa

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Veggie Hash with Spicy Lime Peanut Sauce!

This was another experiment. I’m capricious and easily influenced by how pretty things look. Fortunately, vegetables are also delicious so it has been working in my favor more often than not. To make the hash, assemble the following:
1 generous pinch of chili powder
Earth Balance butter as needed
chipotle pepper as needed
1 1/2 cup corn (frozen is fine)
1 sweet potato, peeled, diced
2-3 tomatillos, diced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
garlic salt to taste
chipotle pepper to taste
14 ounce can blackeyed peas OR 1 cup of blackeyed peas, soaked
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Heat a large skillet on medium-high with 1-2 tbsp Earth Balance until it melts. Swirl to coat the pan. Add the corn, sweet potato, scallion, paprika, garlic salt. Stir occasionally until the sweet potato is soft.
Add blackeyed peas and stir to mix well; cook 1 more minute or until sweet potato are soft and blackeyed peas are warm through. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.
To make the spicy lime peanut sauce, combine the following:
 1/2 cup almond milk
juice from 1 lime (use a fork to get more of the juice out as shown)
zest from the lime
2 tsp peanut butter

Mix well and adjust the seasonings to taste.

I served mine with spinach that I prepared with garlic and jalapeño. I plated the spinach and add the roasted corn, yam, and blackeyed peas mixture to the center of the spinach. Add the spicy peanut lime sauce as desired, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
We hope you enjoy it!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
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Nuts about Flowers: Lavender Almond Chia Pudding

After how adorable and delicious the rose pistachio chia pudding turned out I wanted to give another flower combo a go. I decided that lavender might have the right herbal flowery aroma to pair with toasted almonds so I will need the following:

1 tsp lavender syrup (more if you like sweet things)

1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

10 or so roasted almonds

2 generous pinches of food grade lavender flowers

I combined the seeds, syrup and almond milk and set it aside for about half an hour.

While the chia were absorbing the liquid, I put some roasted almonds in a paper bag and bashed them with my favorite rolling pin. It was very cathartic.

I mixed them into the pudding with the lavender flowers, saving some of each for a garnish. This is a refreshing snack that I feel like I should be enjoying with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

Some of you might be asking yourselves what sort of syrup I use for my lavender and rose flavoring. Monin makes vegan syrup in organic and conventional varieties as well as sugar free syrups. I’m a big fan of their line.

This is Christie, signing off!

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Virtual Vegan Potluck!

In case you’re wondering, this particular post is part of a blog circle called the Virtual Vegan Potluck. This post is one in a series and we here at Turning Veganese encourage you to check out the other bloggers participating in the fun!

For the preceding delicious beverage in the Virtual Vegan Potluck go to Lorna’s Tearoom Delights.

For the next delicious salad in the Virtual Vegan Potluck check out Along Comes Mary….

Now for the submission part of the post: submit to our delicious bevergage!!!

Brent and I used to enjoy an Irish Car Bomb from time to time in our pre-vegan days. This is not an improvised explosive device but rather a 2 part drink meant to be mixed immediately before consumption and enjoyed as a party drink. Much to our vegan dismay, none of the ingredients (save for the whiskey) are vegan!
Irish cream and Guinness are 2 things that I miss but we’ve managed to replace Guinness with Boddington’s and the Irish cream and whiskey with a mix of almond milk and creme de cacao. If you want to get technical, Guinness’ stout is vegan but I’m not a fan of glass bottles: aluminum is cheaper to recycle.
To prepare this drink you’ll need 2 cups and 2 shot glasses. We use plastic because I’m incredibly clumsy and I have a secret fear of a heavy shot glass knocking out all my front teeth. Split the beer between the two glasses. Fill each shot glass halfway with creme de cacao and top off with almond milk. We add a little cinnamon to the top of the shot. Drop the shot into the cup immediately before drinking. We call this animal friendly drink a “Kaboo flower”.
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
Keep Potlucking!

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Cuban Inspired Shepherdless Pie

After working with plantains more often, I wanted to try a vegan shepherdless pie using ingredients popular in cuisine from our island neighbor to the South. Cuban food commonly has a lot of interesting vegan elements: plantains, yuca, beans, rice and bananas. I’m a big fan of those things so this dish made sense. This is what we started with for the mashed plantains:
8 plantains (8 fist sized potatoes would work too)
1/4 cup of Diaya cheese
1/2 cup of soy milk (any non-dairy milk will work, almond if you’ve got a soy allergy)
2 tbsp vegan margarine

I peeled the plantains and put them into water to boil. Plantains and potato have similar nutritional profiles except that plantains have a significant amount of vitamin A, where potato has none. They’re both starchy, provide vitamin C, and are free of fat and cholesterol. Getting back to business, while that was happening I prepared the filling with the following ingredients:
1 white onion, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of black beans, soaked overnight or 1 can of beans, partially drained
1 can of diced tomato
10 okra, ends removed and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 lb. frozen corn kernels
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and chili powder to taste

I browned the onion, garlic and jalapeño along with the cumin until the onion became translucent. Then we added the okra, tomato, beans, corn and cilantro and stirred until everything was steamy and sticky from the okra.

Brent took the plantains and combined them with the milk, cheese and margarine and mashed them until they were gloriously creamy. They were really dry so you might need to add more soy milk depending on your plantains (or potatoes).Check out that radical dedicated mooshing face.

He also prepared a base layer in our baking dish of tortillas and daiya to aid in scooping but it’s not necessary.

He spread the mashed plantains over the hot veggies and we put it into the oven for 20 minutes at 350C/175F until it was bubbly and delightful.

It was a hearty filling meal, loaded with vegetables and flavors. It made even better leftovers after everything had a night to marinade in it’s own juice.

Next time I might tweak the seasoning but overall it was a success. We ate half the tray and the rest is disappearing fast.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off.

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