Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Candies

Happy Halloween Again!

This one was inspired by a recipe over on I tweaked it to my liking and made pumpkins instead of mice.

2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup peanuts
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 additional bag of chocolate chips (for melting and dipping)
wax paper

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients (except the extra package of chocolate chips) with your hands until you have a massive sticky, gooey mess. Then form small disc shapes, about 1/2" thick and 2" in diameter. Place on wax paper.

In a glass bowl, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave. I go one minute, stir, 30 seconds, stir...until fully melted. Dip each disc in chocolate and return to wax paper to cool and harden.

Decorate as desired! I used Marzipan to make my faces. Now, listen, I am no chocolatier! Nor am I a marzipan artiste, but these are easy, cute and I like my treats to look more like tricks anyhow!

BOO-berry Jigglers


I don't own any proper Jell-o molds so these look a little boring, but with a proper mold, these could really be SPOOK-tacular!

BOO-berry Jigglers
1 cup bluberries (fresh or frozen)
1 can (14 oz) Coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tsp agaragar powder (2 tbsp flakes)

Place all ingredients, except agar powder into a pot and bring to a boil. Let boil for two full minutes and then add the agar. Boil an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly as it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and pour into molds (I used mini muffin tins) immediately. Place in the fridge to set, at least thirty minutes.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Finally! We can order this AWESOME BOOK!

So Joanna's book is finally available for pre-order! Joanna says they will ship in time for the holidays so order up a few as gifts too!
Support this awesome woman and her awesome food, you will not regret it!

Joanna's Book: For more information and teaser recipes visit

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hot Tamale! Another sexy Saturday night at home in the kitchen with Dan!

Tonight we made Tamales. From Scratch. We started at about 4pm so, suffice to say, we didn't eat until 11. Nevertheless, this was a fun and exciting experience, and today I am going to bring a few over to my Mexican neighbors to get the final seal of approval! They brought us some amazing looking tamales for Christmas last year...unfortunately, I couldn't have any of them...not vegan...but Dan assured me that they were yum.

If this white girl can whip up some tamales on a Saturday night, anyone can. I found this website and based our adventure on these steps, but of course we had to eliminate their Step 2 entirely and create our own fillings. I recreated my own tutorial based on what we did, and so all of you vegans don't have to look at a recipe based on pork and chicken, but I have to say, the other website did a pretty awesome job of walking us through it step by step, with pictures.

Step 1: Soak your Husks in warm water for at least 2 hours.

Step 2: Prepare the Maseca:
2 lbs of Masa (I used Maseca Brand Instant Masa Flour)
3 Tablespoons paprika
3 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
3 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 cups corn oil
2 quarts of vegan broth (I used Chicken Flavor)

Warm up the veggie broth, don't get it hot, just nice and warm. Now put the 2 lbs. of Masa in a large bowl. Add the dry spices to the Masa. Mix the spices above into the Masa until it is completely incorporated. Mix well, as you don't want a clump of spices in a tamale.
Now add the 2 cups of Corn Oil to the Masa and Spice mixture. After adding the oil, begin to slowly work in the 2 quarts of veggie broth, about a cup at a time. Work the mixture with your hands to make dough. Slowly add the warm broth one cup at a time as you continue to work the mixture with your hands. If it is too dry, add enough warm water to get it right for spreading. It should be about like thick peanut butter. If it is too thin add more Masa, if it is too thick, add more broth or warm water. Thick peanut butter is the consistency you are trying for.

Step 3: Prepare your Fillings:
I used 3 different ones, Soyrizo, Chipotles in Adobo (processed in a food procesor) and Jalapenos (The Nacho Style Slices, processed in a food processor.) You can use ANY type of filling you want to. Pretty much ANYTHING! The best tamale I ever had was made with pumpkin puree. Be creative.

Step 4: Drain the Husks:
Remove the husks from the water and carefully seperate them. Stack them on a kitchen towel where they will be east to access.

Step 5: Spread on the Masa:
Spread from the center all the way to ONE edge of the husk. Leave enough space to roll up and fold over the pointy end.

Step 6: Add in your fillings:

Step 7: Roll it up:
Roll up the Tamale, starting from the side where the filling goes all the way to the edge. Then fold the pointy end under. I like to tie a little bow on mine, but it is totally not necessary.

Step 8: Pack in the Tamales:
Pack the Tamales in tight. So they are standing upright in your steamer, and won't fall over. I didn't even know I had a steamer this big, but apparently a "pasta pot" with a removable inside will do the trick quite nicely. We removed the inside basket, and laid it on it's side and stacked our tamales in until it was full, and then placed it upright in the larger pot.

Step 9: Steam the Tamales:
Place enough water in the bottom of the pot so that it does not touch the tamales. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium low, and steam for 120-180 minutes. Remember to check on the water level every once in awhile so that the pot does not boil dry.

Step 10: Test a Tamale:
After 2 hours of steaming, remove one tamale, and place it on a plate to cool for 5 minutes. Unwrap it and test for doneness. It should be it's own "unit" and mot mushy or runny. If it is done AWESOME If not, continue to steam for another 15-30 minutes.

Step 11: Remove the Tamales from the pot:
Place on a tray to cool and enjoy, or place into ziploc bags to freeze. The other website says that in Ziplocs you can freeze tamales for up to a YEAR!!!! Well, mine won't even make it to the freezer! YUM!

Mine are the cute petite ones with bows. Dan's are big and manly with no dainty ties:

Step 12: ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

From the Burger Test Kitchen: Thai Inspired Spicy Tofu, Black Bean & Potato Patties

Cooked, on a whole wheat bun, topped with carmelized
onions on a bed of shredded cabbage and vegenaise.

Thai Inspired Spicy Tofu, Black Bean & Potato Patties (makes 10 patties)
Serving Suggestion: Serve with a side of Thai style peanut coleslaw. As a burger, on a nice wheat bun with thai peanut sauce on a bed of shredded cabbage.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Foodie Blogroll

I am now a proud member of the Foodie Blogroll. This is not a vegan site, but a site for foodies, and a link to all foodie type blogs. I will admit to enjoying browsing and perusing non vegan blogs, sites and cookbooks. There are lots of amazing ideas out there SCREAMING to be veganized. So check out the site, and if you have an awesome veggie or vegan food blog, apply to be included! I bet there are lots of omnis out there who love to browse and peruse our sites as well!

Oh my gosh! It's been a whole week...

...since I've updated my blog! I am so ashamed. Well it was a crazy weekend, but the Children's Benefit for Salem School went off without a hitch. My wonderful Mom came down to help out, and we got lots of wonderful feedback on the food. We served over 300 phyllo cups! People kept coming back for more, and lots of folks were very interested in the fact that all of it was vegan. "How do you make it so good without meat?" "We were told to come get food from this table, 'cause it was the best!" The coolest thing was, we were set up next to a guy who did an entire table of meats and cheeses, and guess what? Almost all of his food was left uneaten at the end of the night...he said I was his nemisis...hee-hee.


Here are some pics of the final products:

Me, my Mom and our table:

Little Taco Salads (Soyrizo mixed with Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese topped with Tofutti Sour Supreme and green onions):

Caramelized Onions and walnuts in an agave nectar and balsamic reduction:

Mediterranean Couscous (with olive oil, basil, sundried tomatoes and garlic):

Spanikopita, spinach and tofu feta with lemon juice, nooch and garlic, topped with toasted pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes (this seemed to be the crowd favorite!):

Mushroom Rissotto made with Jasmine rice instaed of arborio:

And our tower of Lemon Gems (from VCTOTW) with lemon cream cheese frosting, topped with lemon zest and a blueberry:

And if you are wondering about the bandanas and horse shoes all over the table...the party had a western theme and we were asked to decorate our table accordingly.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: The Environment

I could be better. I should be better. But I do recycle my newspapers, bottles and cans and I shut off the water when I brush my teeth. But I COULD be better. I SHOULD be better.

Reduce my consumption of all things.
Reuse my things that I already have.
Recycle those things I can no longer use.

Cliche, I know. But if I actually lived everyday following these simple rules, I could be doing better. I WOULD be doing better.

I no longer consume any animal products. That is good. If I could only get Dan to do the same, that would be better.

I save and re-use my plastic grocery bags. That is good. If I bought and used (read: I have bought many but always forget to bring them) reusable shopping bags, that would be better.

I recycle my plastic water bottles. That is good. If I just used filtered water and filled up my own (I already own a nice insulated bottle) that would be better.

What do you do that is good? What could you do that was better?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Complete Wiener

With Sauer Kraut and Agave Mustard:

And thanks everyone, for the birthday wishes!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kahlua Cupcakes

Happy Birthday to me! I always love to look at fellow vegan's posts about their birthdays because it's almost inevitable that we make our own birthday cakes! No complaints here, there is no place I'd rather be than in the kitchen making myself some cupcakes!

These are Kam's Kahlua Kanary Kake (from Cozy Inside) made into cupcakes. There is creem cheeze buttercreem frosting both inside and on top, dusted with a little cocoa and topped off with a small, but decadent, square of Green & Blacks espresso chocolate.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Octoberfest Wieners

Tomorrow is my birthday. I wanted to go to Octoberfest. Why? You know, to drink beer and eat brats. Truth is, I don't like beer, and I obviously don't eat brats, so why should I go to some wacky overcrowded beer garden and pay $15 to get in the gates and $9 a beer, that I don't even drink?

Solution. My husband suggested we make our backyard into a beer garden and have Octoberfest in our own backyard. Genius! I knew there was a reason I married that man.

Then I got to thinking...he and some of our friends are still gonna be eating brats covered in kraut and drinking lots of beer, so whattabout me? It is MY birthday!

I wanna have brats! So here they are...Octoberfest Wieners:

Naked in all of their krauty glory. Tomorrow I will smother them with sauer kraut and mustard on a nice crusty roll! And I'll be drinking Kahlua and Vanilla Soymilk!

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup sauer kraut
+/- 1 1/2 cups veggie stock

Preheat oven to 35o. In a mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. Than add the sauer kraut and 1 cup of the veggie stock. Knead together (if it's too dry, add in the remainder of the veggie stock) about 5 minutes until it looks like brains

Divide into little logs and place on a square of aluminum foil.

Roll up the foil tightly and twist the ends closed.

Bake for about 60 minutes. Remove from the oven. Remove from foil, when cool enough to handle.

Cozy Inside is finally available on AMAZON!

The Black and White version of Cozy Inside is finally available on! I know a lot of folks trust Amazon, while they are leary of less popular sites like Lulu and CreateSpace. SO, if you have been holding back because you were worried about internet fraud, etc...


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Appetizers Take 3

Way "too vegan" to serve to regular folks. But man, sure was tasty. I guess I'll just go with the phyllo cups and mini lemon cupcakes. Thanks for all of your feedback!

Ginger Soy marinated and grilled Tofu skewers with Thai peanut dipping sauce:
Ginger Soy Marinade:
1/3 cup soysauce or tamari
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp ground ginger

Mix it all up and use as a marinade. Tofu should only marinate for about 30 minutes or it gets too salty.
I just took one block of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, and sliced it into 6 pieces, and then cut those six peces in half. (See the diagram.) I then marinated the slices for 30 minutes and placed them on the skewers. Then on an indoor grill (a bbq would be fine too) I grilled each side of the skewer for about 1-2 minutes and then flipped it over to the next side. 4 turns total.

Simple Thai Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes

Put it all in the blender and puree until smooth.

Curry Couscous stuffed mushrooms:

Curry Couscous Stuffed Mushrooms:
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup couscous
8 oz mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp yellow curry powder
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp garam masala
Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Carefully remove the stems from the mushrooms. Reserve stems, chop and saute in the olive oil in a pan along with the onions and garlic until fragrant, about 7-10 minutes. Bring water to boil. Add couscous, reduce heat and stir until all water is absorbed. Add in the sauteed mixture, curry, garam masala, salt and pepper. Mix together well. Stuff into the hollowed out mushrooms and bake for about 15 minutes. Eat the leftover couscous mixture for dinner!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Appetizers Take 2

I give you "The Phyllo Cup"...You give me...HONEST feedback!

Phyllo cup filled with a garlic, basil and sundried tomato couscous garnished with a baby basil leaf:

Phyllo cup filled with a spinach and tofu feta mixture, topped with sundried tomatoes (pretend there are toasted pin nuts on top too!):

Phyllo cup filled with sweet carmelized onions and walnuts in a balsamic reduction:

Phyllo cup filled with sweet carmelized onions and walnuts in a balsamic reduction garnished with a fresh basil leaf:

Monday, October 8, 2007

Appetizers Take One

I signed on as the only vegetarian/vegan caterer for a children's benefit on October 20th. The event will feature 10 local chefs all serving at least 2 appetizers for 250 guests. That's 500 appetizers folks! So I put my thinking cap on trying to think of the easiest, tastiest and most eye appealing appetizers and I am seriously coming up blank. I have mastered the art of making something taste great, but my presentation has left something to be desired.

Before I turned to the ppk, I tried a few things out myself. But, alas, the ppk'ers have given me such great inspiration, that I think these two may fall of the list and I will try some of their ideas out this week.

What would you make? I wanted to make one sweet and one savory, and for the sweet I was thinking of a mini one bite lemon cupcake with lemon creem cheeze frosting topped with lemon zest and a rasberry...but someone said that cupcakes don't count as appetizers. So now what?

These are two of the ideas I came up with:

This is a mushroom and garlic rissotto atop a garlic, herb and cheeze cracker (I used this recipe, and added garlic and dill.) garnished with a fresh basil leaf.

This is a fire roasted red pepper and garlic creem cheeze sauce on a small bed of alfalpha sprouts atop the same cracker, also garnished with a fresh basil leaf.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I Love Vegans!

Yesterday, I had a pretty rough day at work. I was fairly miserable when I walked in the front door. Ready to just go to bed.


The Amazing Celine Steen of Have Cake Will Travel had sent me a treat package full of yummy PB Rice & Ohs Treats ! She posted the recipe on her blog:

Let me tell you a little bit about Celine. She is an awesome Vegan Foodie and Chef who makes some of the most amazing meals and treats I have ever seen. And to add to it, she is an AMAZING photographer. I am going to try and convince her to let me hire her to photograph the burgers for my next cookbook. SHE IS FRIGGIN' AWESOME! In addition to her culinary masterpieces, she is an awesome person. We have sent eachother emails and messages through the interweb over the last several months, and I absolutely cannot wait to meet her in person! She doesn't own or drive a car. She rides her bike everywhere! EVEN TO GET GROCERIES! Now that is an inspiration. Especially where she lives!

Visit Her Website! And I guarantee you won't be dissapointed. She is very generous with her recipes, even though I know she is writing a book/'zine to hopefully come out soon. SUPPORT THIS AMAZING WOMAN! If you live anywhere near her, I think she will bake and cook for hire, as in cookies, cakes, treats...

THANKS CELINE! You turned my horrible day into a wonderful one!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Really "Meaty" Veggie Burgers with Lot's of Protein!

If there was an Atkin's diet for vegans, this burger would definitely be on the menu! It is the "meatiest" veggie burger I've ever had. Dan, my husband, likes it too!



Really “Meaty” Burger
If there was an Atkins'™ diet for vegans, this burger would definitely be on the menu! It is the meatiest veggie burger I've ever had. It's a bit labor intensive, unless you make the Seitan ahead of time, but OH MY! They are really meaty.

Serving Suggestion: This one really is a standard meaty burger that goes great with the standard fixin's (ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, mayo...) and a side of fries (or Tater tots!).

2 cups (170 g) of seitan, chopped up into tiny bits
2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut oil
1 cup (96 g) TVP granules
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
3/4 cup (180 ml) veggie broth, or water
1/2 cup (72 g) vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon (8 g) garlic powder
1 tablespoon (8 g) onion powder
pepper to taste
+/- 1/3 cup (80 ml) additional veggie broth

Reconstitute TVP granules with the soy sauce and veggie stock either by mixing together, covering tightly with plastic wrap and placing in the microwave for 5 to 6 minutes or by pouring the boiling liquid over the granules, covering and let stand for 10 minutes.
            Preheat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. 
            Sauté seitan, until browned, but not too crispy.
            Add seitan along with the remainder of the ingredients up to the additional veggie broth to a large mixing bowl.
            Mix well, using your hands to make sure the flour and spices get fully incorporated.
            Add in the additional broth until you get a patty-able consistency.
            Form into patties and prepare as desired.
             I really like these fried. About 4 to 5 minutes per side until crispy and golden brown.
            If baking, cover with foil to keep moist. 15 minutes per side at 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).

Yield: 6 to 8 burgers

Happy Birthday Bob!

Another birthday at the office. Bob turned "29" so I made him cupcakes. Those Realtors didn't even suspect that they were eating VEGAN (gasp!) food. They just gobbled 'em up saying how good they were!

Basic Chocolate Cupcake from VCTOTW with the Cookies & Cream Variation of the Fluffy Buttercream.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Cozy Inside" Now Available in Black & White!

After much debate, I have released a 2nd edition of Cozy Inside in black and white. It is currently available for $11.95 plus S&H through CreateSpace. It should be available on Amazon within 2-3 weeks. I will keep you updated.

To order a black and white copy, visit my CreateSpace storefront. CLICK HERE.

Of course, the ebook and full color 1st edition are still available on my Lulu Storefront. CLICK HERE.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Curried Chickpea Patties with Broccoli and Udon Pesto

First for the burger. It's kinda like hummus on a bun.
Before Cooking:

On the bun:

And then for the Udon Pesto. I know, udon are Japanese and pesto is not. Sue me. I had leftover pesto from the pesto burgers.

2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni