Tag Archives: bread


18 Aug

This is really exciting, guys.  Vegan nachos.  I gave myself a belly ache with these things.

I got so excited that I instagrammed my vegan nachos.  Then I frowned a bit because I got so excited that I instagrammed my vegan nachos.  Then I ate them and I was happy again.


There’s not a whole lot to this recipe.  For my birthday, Paul bought me some Nacho Teese.  I love Teese.  I was holding onto it for a special occasion.  This was it.

Holy Shit Vegan Nachos

vegan pita breads, as many as you want to eat
1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup salsa (whatever you like, I used Hot Green Mountain Gringo
1 cup Boca crumbles
1 Tbsp. curry paste
pinch of cayenne pepper
diced tomatoes, to taste
Nacho Teese, to taste
jalapeno slices, for topping
extra salsa, for topping
reduced fat Vegenaise, for topping

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Cut each pita into triangles, I got six from each pita. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, place the pita triangles on it, and spray with a little more cooking spray. Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes or so.
2) While the pitas are toasting in the oven, place the black beans, boca crumbles, 1/2 cup salsa, curry paste, and cayenne pepper in a small pot. Cook over medium heat until the crumbles are cooked through and the combination is thickened.
3) Heat your Nacho Teese in the microwave, until molten and awesome looking.
4) Assemble! Place your pita wedges on a plate. Top those wedges with some of the black bean-boca mixture, some diced tomatoes, and your Nacho Teese. Top that with some more salsa, jalapeno slices, and some vegenaise (sounds gross? It’s good) and whatever else you might want to top it with.
5) Fuuuuuck. Eat that stuff.

Also, I like this article so much. Thirteen mile run tomorrow! It will be “slow”. I’m saving the .1 for my official half marathon 🙂


The Freshest Bread and Vegetable Soup

2 Dec

Wooo, bread and vegetable soup.  Sounds boring, right?  Yeah, it sounds boring.  But when everything is fresh and home made, holy geez there was a party going on in my belly.

I’ve still been working my way through The Vegetarian Epicure, Book 2 but the bread chapter is so large!  I can only eat and give away so much bread.  Really, bread is becoming a treat for me, not something that I’m going to eat regularly.  But, I had bought a bag of rye flour and wanted to put it to use.  Rye bread is my favorite bread.

I’m still working on my bread baking skills.  I can do anything with white flours, but when I turn to whole grains I end up with something a bit more dense than I would expect.  Does anyone have any tips?  Or is this just the way it is?

The rye bread was actually a mixture of unbleached bread flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour and oatmeal.  The overwhelming flavor ended up being wheat.  Disappointing, but not bad.

To offset the carby carbs, I decided to start the soup chapter as well.  Soup is, afterall, one of my favorite things.  And with the snowy Rochester weather, it’s a perfect time to start cooking some up.

The vegetable soup recipe in The Vegetarian Epicure, Book 2 is really just a loose outline  of a soup.  Here’s what I did with it.

Fresh Vegetable Soup

makes six very large servings

1/2 medium eggplant, peeled

1 red bell pepper, seeded

1 medium potato

2 medium zucchini

a handful of mushrooms

3 scallions

1 medium onion

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 large dill pickle

1 1/2 cups baby spinach

2 medium tomatoes

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 vegetable bouillon cubes

salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper to taste

1) Chop the eggplant – onion into large chunks.

2) Slice the garlic and pickle into thin slices, and chop the tomatoes into 6 – 8 wedges each.

3) Add all of the vegetables to a large stock pot.  To this, add about 12 cups of water, the oil, vinegar, bouillon cubes, and spices.

4) Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for at least 30 minutes.  The longer this soup goes, the better it is!

Really, it’s silly to write up a recipe for this.  Throw whatever vegetables you have in a pot and season them to taste!  I meant to put some corn in there too.  I would try seasoning this differently, using some vegetable stock/broth instead of water or using some Braggs.

Regardless, this makes a very brothy and chunky soup.  Incredibly filling, especially with some bread torn into pieces and thrown on top!

Hey, that exciting news I mentioned before is still coming!  Woo woo woo!

Pictures of Things

21 Nov

Things that I’ve eaten lately!

I’m coming back and I may have something really exciting going on if you get excited about people cooking on the internet.

Until then, I will leave you with pictures of things that I’ve cooked:

You know what I like?  CARBS.

Chickpea Taco Calzones

20 Sep

Oh hey I’m back again!  Really, I am so bad at this blogging thing.  I make food, I take pictures, I plan on writing a blog post.  Then I’m unhappy with the pictures and I decide not to write anything.

But hey, I’ve been making some delicious food.

I was at an antique shop with the boy and I came across a big bookcase full of cookbooks.  Most of them were vegetarian or vegan!  I decided to pick up The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two by Anna Thomas.  Flipping through the book on the drive back home, I realized I wanted to cook every single thing in there.  So, I’m starting from the beginning!

I made my first recipe from it  yesterday, but I’m going to back up a bit because I made some delicious food the other weekend and I want to tell you about it.

Lately I’ve become a fan of Healthy Food For Living and last weekend I came upon the post for Taco Calzones with Avocado Cream.  I showed it to the boy and we were both making our hungry noises, so I decided they should be made.  But without meat!  So I proposed we make them with my favorite taco filling: chickpeas.

Since I changed this recipe around a little bit, I figured I would share it!

Chickpea Taco Calzones

makes 4 calzones

1 lb. prepared pizza dough (I bought Wegmans whole wheat pizza dough, which is surprisingly delicious for a pre-made dough!)

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 can drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped

taco seasoning to taste (I used Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle Salsa)

2oz. reduced fat cheddar or monterey jack, shredded (I used Organic Valley Reduced Fat Monterey Jack)

1) Preheat oven to 450F, place a pizza stone on the middle rack.

2) Divide your dough into four equal portions, and roll them out into circles about 1/4″ thick.  Set them aside while you prepare the filling.

3) Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, add the  onion and cook until translucent.  Add the chickpeas and cook until heated through.  Mash the chickpea and onion mixture coarsely, leaving some big chunks of chickpea.  Add in the green pepper, garlic, and taco seasoning.  Continue to cook and stir until mixed thoroughly.  If the mixture is sticking to your frying pan, deglaze with a little bit of water.

4) Stir in the salsa, remove from heat.

5) Divide the chickpea mixture among each dough circle, placing it on one half of the dough and leaving a 1/2″ border to close the calzone.  Top the mixture with some shredded cheese.

6)  Fold the other half of the dough over to close the calzone, and pinch them shut.  Pierce the tops of the calzones with a fork to allow steam to escape.

7) Place the calzones onto the preheated pizza stone with a spatula or peel.  Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the calzones are browned on top and puffy.

Thanks so much to Healthy Food For Living for the great recipe and inspiration!  Please do check out the original post, it contains directions for freezing and reheating (which I didn’t try as it didn’t take us long to feast through these babies).

We ate it with the avocado cream (also included in the original post linked above!) and additional Trader Joe’s salsa.

I’ll be back soon with the results of my first recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure, Book 2 adventure.  Also, I’ll introduce you to the boy that’s been eating all this food with me!

– Ellen

Rosemary Focaccia

8 Jan

I’ve made bread a total of two times in my life. I always wanted to, but the time commitment seemed daunting. If I go out, what if I don’t get back in time to punch the dough down? Will it keep growing until it takes over my apartment? I think I read a story about that happening when I was a kid.

Another thing keeping me from making my own bread is what doctors would call “yeast anxiety”. Maybe the bread wont rise. I don’t want to be a bread failure.

I’m slowly getting over my bread disorders, and I’ve made this focaccia twice. The first time Bret was there to help if I needed it. He used to work in a bakery and he knows bread. But it turns out that the only help I needed from him was when it came to eating it.

Since I’m currently out of a job (until my new one starts up), I have all the time in the world to bake bread. So I decided to do it again, and take pictures!

The recipe I use came from Epicurious. It’s a good recipe. I haven’t yet made it with the olive topping, but I do love olives so I’m sure it will happen. I had some leftover rosemary from making the white bean dip for the New Year’s party. I love rosemary. It was begging to be part of my focaccia.

Rosemary Focaccia, or whatever kind of topping you choose


2 cups warm water

2 tsp. dry yeast

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (and more for dusting your work surface and adding to the dough if needed)

2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. olive oil

chopped rosemary or whatever else you might want to throw on top


Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Mix it around with a fork and let it sit for about 10 minutes to dissolve.

Add 4 1/4 cups of flour and the salt to the water and yeast and stir until a sticky dough forms. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour to make the dough less sticky if you need to. Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover that with plastic wrap and let it sit somewhere warm for about 1 1/2 hours until it is doubled.

Once it’s doubled, punch the dough down (my favorite part!), knead it again on a floured surface and reshape into a ball. Place it back in the same bowl, cover and let sit until doubled again, about 45 minutes or so.

Punch the dough down again! Yeah!

Place it on an oiled baking sheet and press out to a rectangle shape, about 10×12 inches or so. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then drizzle the two tablespoons of oil on top and sprinkle with rosemary or whatever you have to sprinkle. I also added some coarse salt. Let the dough rise in a warm spot for about 25 minutes.

Make little indentations all over the bread with your fingers. I’m not sure exactly what this does other than make little puddles of olive oil deliciousness. But do it anyway. Cook in a preheated 475F oven for about 20 minutes until it’s brown and puffy.

Oh focaccia, you are so pretty.

I roasted a head of garlic for Bret and I to eat with it too!

And Bret got some tomatoes and basil. It was a carby meal, but so tasty.

– Ellen

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

17 Apr

So while I was away for work, we moved into a new office.  All I had to do was pack up my stuff, and when I got back everything was moved into my new office and all I had to do was organize.  Everyone else in the office took care of moving things.

To say thank you, I decided to bake for them.  I decided to make banana bread!

I usually keep a stock of bananas in my freezer just for banana bread.  However, I had used them to make muffins, and what I thought was bananas ended up being veggie hotdogs.  I couldn’t make hotdog bread!

 I had already decided on this banana bread recipe from The Post Punk Kitchen because it had a gazillion good reviews.  But no bananas.

I did have a can of pumpkin puree in my cabinet that I had bought to make this cheesecake thing that I never got around to.  So, work people are going to have pumpkin bread. 

Since I was already married to the banana bread recipe, I decided to stick to it and just sub out the bananas.  I also made some other substitutions.  Let’s get on with the recipe.


1 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup soybean margarine at room temperature (I use Willow Run, decent stuff)
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups flour (if I were making this just for myself, I would use half unbleached/half whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (you can use soy milk or rice milk or whatever milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts


Combine the flour, baking soda and spices.  You can sift it together if you want, but just fluffing it around with a fork works fine.  I have this nice old fashioned sifter that my mom bought me at a garage sale.  I asked her if I could actually use it and she said “Sure, why not?”  “Mom,” I says, “I think there’s bugs stuck in there.”  So anyway, I just use a fork.

 Cream the margarine and the sugar.  Add in the almond milk/vinegar, vanilla, and the pumpkin.  Mix it all up!

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir it until just moistened.  Dump it all in an oiled loaf pan, and sprinkle the walnuts on top.  Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about an hour.

I’m normally pretty impatient when it comes to baked goods and I always open the oven door to sneak a peak.  I was pretty busy while it was in the oven, so I checked it after it had been in the oven for an hour.  And it was done!  It had a perfectly rounded top, and the walnuts spread out beautifully.  Look!

Yum yum yum, straight out of the oven.

I had to make sure I wasn’t going to bring something totally gross in to my coworkers, so I cut a piece for myself.  Then I cut another piece.  Good bread!  The spices and sugar are more suited for bananas, and the pumpkin didn’t add quite as much sweetness.  I don’t like my quickbreads to be overly sweet, so it was fine with me.  I would add more cinnamon the next time, because I like lots of cinnamon. 

Dried cranberries or chocolate chips mixed in instead of the walnuts would be good, too.

I waited until my work people had tried some before I told them it was vegan.  One lady told me that she didn’t care what kind of -gan it was, it was really tasty.


– Ellen