Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onions and Sage Crumb Topping

This is one of my favorite recipes from “Veganomicon” — the picture doesn’t really do it justice. Penne pasta is tossed with a cashew ricotta that is mixed with pumpkin, spices and caramelized onions. Walnuts are toasted with breadcrumbs and sage before being added to the top of the penne mixture. The entire thing is baked in the oven until it’s bubbly and delicious. It’s such a comforting dish.

I was able to find the recipe online here, but the cookbook itself is definitely worth the money.

I hope you all are well!

Wasabi Sesame Noodle Salad

This light salad was one of our lunch options last week. It’s actually the second dish I’ve made from Chloe’s Kitchen; the first dish, a spinach-artichoke dip, was good right out of the oven, but not so great the next day. But this quick and flavorful noodle salad made up for that.

Soba noodles, shredded carrots and cucumber are tossed in a sesame oil, wasabi powder, chili-garlic sauce and rice vinegar dressing that is really flavorful without being heavy. It would also be a great potluck dish, or as a light dinner alongside miso soup or an avocado roll.

Recipe: 30-Minute Chili

I’m all for those chili recipes that require all-day simmering and layers upon layers of special seasonings. But when I’m not in the mood to wait around, I make this quick and easy chili recipe that only takes about 30 minutes. It’s a great base chili recipe that you can easily build upon for more unique flavor.

The picture you see above was a scoop from the bottom of the pot, so you can’t really see the chunks of green pepper and onion, but they’re there. I like to serve mine with Daiya cheddar shreds, diced white onion and oyster crackers.

Of course, with most soups, it tastes better the next day, but it’s pretty good right away, too.

30-Minute Chili

Serves 8


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 green peppers, diced
2 cups TVP
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
3 15 oz. cans of kidney beans
5 cups tomato juice
3 cups water
2 teaspoons paprika
4 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1/2 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
salt and pepper to taste


Drizzle olive oil into a pot over medium heat. Throw in the diced onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Throw in the garlic and green pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the TVP and stir. Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato juice, water and seasonings. Bring to a low boil and then turn the heat to medium-low to simmer for 25 minutes. Serve with cheese, onion and crackers.


Vegan Weekly Roundup: Fall Soup, Halloween Treats and Musical Inspiration

I don’t know about you guys, but I am already dreaming of Thanksgiving food. Last year’s feast was a big success, and I’m already planning this year’s menu. In perusing the Web to find recipe ideas, I came across some vegan finds that I think you’ll enjoy. I hope you’re having a great Monday so far.

A simple, healthy fall soup.

A healthy alternative to a stuffed potato.

So happy to see that Lauren Ulm is back to posting on her fabulous site, Vegan Yum Yum.

Cannot wait to pick up Terry Hope Romero’s new cookbook, “Vegan Eats World” (as if I need another cookbook).

No-bake vegan Halloween treats.

Bryant Terry talks about the music that inspires him in the kitchen.

And, finally, here’s a little music to get your week started off right:

Pumpkin Pie Brownies

We’ve been wanting to make these brownies ever since we picked up our copy of “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar” a few years ago (sorry for the crappy picture). And these bad boys were made by my husband. I provided the taste testing and they were outrageously good. Rich chocolate brownies are topped with a pumpkin-pie-style topping. It’s a great dessert to follow a pot of chili (I’ll have a recipe for that posted soon), which is how we spent our lazy Sunday. That and back-to-back classic horror movies, such as “The Wolf Man” from 1941.

I love this time of year. I hope you all are well!

Product Review: ingenuiTEA Teapot

Ok, so I realize that this post isn’t directly related to veganism, but as a huge coffee and tea fan, it all goes hand in hand with the food — at least in my opinion.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend invited me to a Tea 101 class at the Louisville Tea Co., a new spot in town to buy loose-leaf teas and to have a cup or two. I was excited to go, but already being a tea drinker, I didn’t think I’d learn much. Boy, was I wrong. The two-hour course was super-informative and I learned lots of interesting things about how different types of teas are processed. If you live in or around Louisville, I highly recommend the class. It’s a lot of fun.

While there, I was introduced to the ingenuiTEA teapot. I’m always looking for an easier way to brew my tea and after just a few uses, I’m already in love. Just add your tea leaves and pour in the water. The leaves have plenty of room to expand so that you get the most flavor and benefits from the tea. After the appropriate brewing time, just set the teapot on top of your cup and the water comes out of the bottom to leave the leaves and any tea dust behind.

And, of course, be sure to serve your tea with vegan scones, biscotti or shortbread (see what I did there?).

Kidney Bean and Avocado Wraps

This delicious and healthy recipe is from “Big Vegan,” another one of my cookbooks that I really need to explore more. I like that the recipes use very basic and healthy ingredients that really shine in the finished dish.

For this particular recipe, kidney beans are mashed and combined with cumin, garlic and a pinch of cinnamon. They are then cooked with a bit of soy sauce (I used Bragg’s) and green salsa, and then spread on a tortilla with fresh avocado and hot sauce. The recipe calls for Romaine lettuce as an accompaniment, but I added kale to give it more nutritional value. (Tip: Give your kale a massage to break down some of the fibers to make it more tender.)

Since I was planning on this being our lunch option for a few days, I made the bean mixture ahead of time. You can just give the wrap a quick warm-up in the microwave or it’s just fine cold.

Chickpea Cutlets and Lemony Roasted Potatoes

These cutlets are one of the first recipes I made when I first received “Veganomicon.” They really are wonderful, but I still can’t get the shape right. Mine just kind of look like a big blob. I mashed the chickpeas with a potato masher, but, next time, I’m thinking of giving the chickpeas a whirl in the food processor to break them down so that I can form them into neater patties.

As for the Lemony Roasted Potatoes, this was the first time I’ve made them and they will definitely be in our regular recipe rotation. Wedges of potatoes are cooked down in a wonderful broth of garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs — super easy to throw together for a weeknight meal. Making them reminded me that I really need to dig back into that cookbook more because there are so many recipes that I still haven’t made.

A dollop of Dijon mixed with Vegenaise made for a nice dipping sauce.

Yes, It’s Vegan: Trader Joe’s Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls

Now, I love me some homemade cinnamon rolls, but sometimes it’s nice to take a little help in the kitchen. A friend of my husband’s, who happens to work at Trader Joe’s, just informed us that the Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls are, in fact, vegan (they are not labeled as such). Cinnamon rolls aren’t exactly the breakfast of champions, but these little bad boys are perfect for those Sunday mornings when you just want to sleep in, stay in your pajamas and drink coffee.

Menu for the Week: Kidney Bean Wraps and Panang Curry

This has been one of those weeks where we ran out of everything at once, so we had to keep our food budget cheap.

For breakfast, we both tend to like lighter meals, but if you’re looking for more protein, you might want to switch out the banana bread with a tofu scramble burrito or breakfast casserole.

Also, we actually had a couple of meals left over to make from last week, so I’ll be adding those in with the rest.

So, here’s what we decided to go with this week:


Banana bread from “Veganomicon
Oatmeal and toast w/ pecans and maple syrup
Yogurt w/ Maple Almond Granola — from “Vegan Soul Kitchen


Kidney Bean and Avocado Wraps from “Big Vegan
Macaroni salad, adapted from The Pioneer Woman


Sweet Potato Mac ‘n’ Cheese with a salad
Panang Curry, adapted from this recipe

I hope you all are well and are enjoying  Vegan MoFo!