Vegan Salt –the blog

{August 23, 2011}   Broccoli Whatnot Soup

Let the anti-candida recipes begin!

A while back, I received Quinoa 365, a purely quinoa cookbook, as a bridal gift from my aunt. Naturally, when I read that quinoa was permitted on an anti-candida diet, I started scanning it for veganizable, sugar-free, gluten-free recipes. By the time I finished tweaking this quinoa soup inspired recipe, it was barely recognizable, but it tasted delicious.

In a soup pot, sautee:

1/2 onion, diced
drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil
1 tsp black pepper

After a few minutes, add:
5 cups broccoli florets or a combination of broccoli and cauliflower (the stalks are fine too, but if you're juicing, remember that broccoli stems are great in your morning vegetable juice.)
16 oz. organic vegetable broth
1/3 cup quinoa

When the quinoa and broccoli have softened, stir in:
1 cup original almond milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
a handful of Daiya shreds, mozzarella or cheddar

When the cheese has melted, blend the soup as much or as little as you'd like, then season with:
5-10 cloves of minced fresh garlic (leaving it to the end rather than cooking it in means it is a more potent fighter of candida.)
Lemon zest and juice, to taste
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste.

Serve hot with May's Gone crackers crumbled on top.


{July 22, 2011}   Mini Donuts!

As fantastic as the vegan cupcake scene is (and believe me, the vegan cupcake scene is bigger, rowdier, and more colorful than a traveling acrobatic troupe) there’s been a noticeable lack of vegan donuts in the world. Okay, they’ve been lacking in MY vegan world. Until now, that is! These little cuties required no deep frying and no oven baking, making them a perfect pastry that’s bearable to make in the summer. Did I mention how easy these are to make? And how tasty they are? How adorable?

As my regular readers know, I haven’t blogged for several months, and during that break, I married my beloved soulmate.  =)

A couple of dear friends gave us a mini donut maker as a wedding gift. Here it is, surrounded by donut ingredients and the cookbook (another fantastic wedding gift) which contains the recipe I based my donuts on.  Yes, that’s Vegan Yum Yum, the cookbook from the blog of the same name. Talk about deliciousness just oozing off glossy, full-color pages! This cookbook will make you drool and get your creative juices going.  I used her original donut recipe first, but later modified it by adding 1/4 cup of cocoa and leaving out the other spices to make chocolate donuts. Here’s what I ended up with:

Vegan Chocolate Donuts (based on recipe from Vegan Yum Yum)

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients:

1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer
1/4 tsp salt

Then add the wet ingredients, using a wire whisk to combine:

1/2 cup almond milk
4 Tbs oil or melted vegan butter, such as Earth Balance or Smart Balance
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Plug in your mini donut maker and make sure it’s clean inside. Brush or spray the inside with a touch of oil if you’re using it for the first time.  When the green light turns off, it’s ready to go!

Using a spoon, scoop the donut batter into the center of each mold, as shown to the left.

Close the donut maker and give it about 3 minutes to cook your donuts. It will tell you when it’s done. I like to leave them in for an extra 30 seconds to one minute after the green “ready” light has gone off, leaving the donuts with a slightly crispy outer shell.

Then open it up and remove the mini donuts with tongs, a wooden spatula, or chopsticks. Metal forks may scratch the donut mold, and if you use your fingers, you will burn yourself. Pop the piping hot donuts onto a wire rack to cool. The dough will make three batches of donuts, for a total of 21 adorable little munchies. Lick the bowl while the last batch cooks.  Since the whole process was so easy and quick, you’ll probably immediately make a second batch at this point. (Next time, save yourself a bit of trouble and just double it from the start!)

As the donuts cool, put 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a clean and dry glass bowl, and place it in the oven at 200 degrees until melted. Stir the chocolate with a fork. Dip the mini donuts in the chocolate, then place them back on the rack. If you’re using sprinkles, now is the time to shake them onto your donuts. Then pop the whole rack in the freezer, and your frosting will go from runny goo to a crunchy coating in no time!

Here’s the finished product, both sprinkled and unsprinkled, chillin’ in my freezer, ready for company to stop by.

Do you need a mini donut maker of your own, now that you’ve seen what they’re capable of? They’re available at Spread the tasty joy of compassionate snacking, and long live the Vegan Outreach Baking Co!

There are certain dishes that were such a fixture of my childhood that it simply wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them.  For me, the best things about Thanksgiving dinner, aside from all my cousins coming over, were the made-from-scratch stuffing and my mom’s apple pie.   After repeated efforts, I’ve veganized both recipes to my satisfaction.

Cookie Sheet Apple Pie

In March, I reminisced about my mother’s cookie-sheet-apple-pie when I posted an apple tart recipe.  Click on that to read why pie is best in a cookie sheet, but come back here for the recipe, because those mini tarts weren’t nearly as good as the real thing!

You’ll need two large glass bowls. Read the rest of this entry »

{November 1, 2010}   Happy November, Vegans!

Today, November 1st, is World Vegan Day, a day to celebrate your nonviolent lifestyle and to spread the word to others who aren’t yet vegan.  (I like to think of non-vegans as not-yet-vegans who will get there with a little encouragement, a shopping buddy, and a plate of vegan cookies, fresh from the oven.)

I’ve been vegan for four and a half years now, and I’m still discovering new reasons to celebrate.  My new-found vegan joys include:

  • coconut milk yogurt
  • a vegan “uncheese” cookbook on sale for $7
  • kombucha!! (bottled, flavored, fermented fungus-based tea, crammed with nutrients and only slightly alcoholic)
  • a place to buy cruelty-free mascara within blocks of my house

Okay, I found three of those things at the nearby Whole Foods, but even if there isn’t a health food grocery store in your neighborhood, you can enjoy my fifth vegan discovery: Vegan MoFo! That stands for Vegan Month of Food, and it kicks off today!

Whether it’s the result of the challenge involved, or the clean conscience, I’ve found that nobody loves food like vegans love food.  (If you doubt that, search Twitter for the hashtag #whatveganseat.)  Anyway, starting today, and going all month long, vegan bloggers will be sharing their food travel diaries, odes to slow cookers, glorious photos of their dinners, and vegan recipes for everything under the sun.  Those who have signed up for the challenge will attempt to post five times a week, for 20 total posts per participant.  And get this: there are over five hundred participating bloggers. Cheers to all my blogging friends who are taking on this challenge!  May your food photograph well, and may your oven never burn your masterpiece.  (No, I won’t be participating this year, but I will be reading the blogs and finding great food inspiration.  Maybe next year I’ll jump in.)

So, here’s to November!  There’s no excuse for being in a breakfast rut, or for putting off your transition to a vegan diet any longer, if you’ve been fence-sitting.  In answer to the persistent question, “What do vegans eat?”, there will soon be about 10,000 new answers online.  Of course, this raises another question: How much can your kitchen (and the stomachs of your family and friends) handle?

Follow VeganMoFo on Twitter, check out their homepage, or go back to where it all began, the Post Punk Kitchen, to start cooking.

Oh, and on more thing:

Perhaps not coincidentally, WordPress just launched today, a site which compiles the best of the WordPress food blogs into one place.  Something tells me that VeganMoFo bloggers are going to make a strong showing.  Good luck to everyone, and Bon Appetit!

Halloween is a holiday that brings a lot of creepy themed food along with it.  Unfortunately, most of it calls for sugar as the main ingredient, but your holiday food can curdle the blood without spiking your blood sugar.   If you’re throwing a party on a chilly autumn night, what better way to warm up your guests than with a bubbling pot of blood-colored soup?

This soup gets its inspiration from the spicy tomato-vodka cocktail of the same name, and yes, feel free to spike the soup!  Every time I make this, I do it a little differently, but here’s the approximate recipe.  Customize according to your own Bloody Mary preferences.

To make Bloody Mary Soup, start with:

1 onion


3 large tomatoes

4 celery stalks

5 cloves of garlic

Chop the vegetables and simmer them in a large pot with:

1/2 cup of vodka

1 tsp Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper (whichever spicy flavor you prefer)

1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (most contain anchovies, so read the label closely to find a vegan brand, or use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead.)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

The alcohol will cook out of the vodka at this stage, so if you want your soup alcoholic, add a shot of vodka to each bowl or glass while serving.

After about 10 minutes, add one large can of pure tomato juice, (you know the ones I mean: they look like a gallon of tomato juice) and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are suitably softened.  At this point, you may wish to blend the soup to give it a smoother texture.  Blending the soup will change the color!  When blended, it will be more of an orangey-red, so decide whether you’re going for the “blood” look, or the Bloody Mary drinkability.

Add salt, pepper, and more of the previously mentioned spices & seasonings to taste.  Serve the soup hot, in bowls or glasses, (remember the optional shot of vodka at this stage) and garnish each with a single celery stalk.

Have a fun and spooky Halloween!

Various fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains; ...

Image via Wikipedia

I recently asked Twitter, “Do you spend more or less money on food as a vegan than you did as an omnivore?” and the responses fell pretty evenly into the following categories.

Specialty Vegans – One group said they spend more because food items made for vegans are so expensive.   (See Vegan Grocery Bills -Part 1 on vegan replacements for old favorites like cheese and marshmallows.)  Restaurants that cater specifically to vegans also tend to charge slightly more per plate than low-end standard eateries.

Organic shoppers – Another group said they spend more now, but that it’s because becoming vegan lead them to critically examine the items they consume, and they now buy significantly more organic produce and other high-priced health foods.  Tahini, raw cashews, coconut oil, chai seeds, spelt flour, organic peanut butter; all those would have seemed like luxuries to, say, my mother.  This group of folks is paying more, but eating much higher quality food.

Home Cookers – People in the third category said they actually saved money as vegans by eating out less (sometimes because so few vegan options are available) and by cooking more, usually from scratch.  This is the secret to being a frugal vegan eater. By all means, use Chick’n patties and vegan cream cheese as needed, especially as you transition to eating vegan, but keep in mind that your goal should be eating more whole plant foods.

Yes, this means learning to cook.  Yes, it takes some time, but it saves you a bunch of money, and as much as you may think you hate cooking, you’ll find that a simple meal can taste scrumptious when you have put it together yourself.  Accomplishment is a spice that goes well with everything. Read the rest of this entry »

{July 28, 2010}   Kale Chips!

You may or may recall that one of my personal goals for this year was to learn to eat (and enjoy) kale, the ultimate nutritional powerhouse vegetable.  Kale is a strong and frilly leafy green.  Its flavor is bold and a bit bitter, and its texture is tough, almost rubbery.  Kale makes most lettuce look like wilted onion layers.  For these reasons, kale can be intimidating to many, but kale fans rave about it, so I had to find out what all the buzz was about.

I started out by putting some in my favorite everyday salad.  Sometimes I use half kale, half spinach, other times entirely kale!  It’s quite good with all the vegetables and homemade dressing, once I let it sit for five or ten minutes to marinate and soften.

Ah, but now a wonderful new world has been opened to me by the vegan Twitter community: the world of easy, homemade, vegan “junk” food.  I’m talking, of course, about kale chips.  I threw a batch of them together on impulse before heading to work yesterday, and we devoured them all within minutes.  Kale chips are more compulsively eatable than popcorn or potato chips.  You can flavor them just about any way you like, I imagine, and since they’re made out of kale, you can actually pat yourself on the back (with your seasoning-covered fingers) for munching on them!

Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve met plenty of vegans who are repulsed by the very thought or smell of eggs, and can’t believe they ever ate them.  But there are others who will admit to missing something about an omelet, or an egg salad sandwich, or quiche, at least until they think about where eggs come from.  Eggs, the kind with shells on them, are bird (or reptile) menstruation.  In terms of standard modern consumption, the menstruation of a chicken.  Usually a filthy, caged, suffering chicken.  Now that you’re completely grossed out, let’s talk about making plant foods taste like eggs!  You really can have the taste with none of the cruelty or ickiness.

Black salt is the common name for Kala Namak a powdered spice from India.  It is pinkish-grey in color and tastes like sulfur.   I found a 3.5 oz bag for just $1.90 at Read the rest of this entry »

{June 16, 2010}   Spicy Peanut Stir-Fry

I seem to be on a recipe kick lately.  I’ll get back to writing about vegan theory soon, I promise, but I made this fun and easy dish tonight and couldn’t believe I’d never posted it on the blog!  That’s tonight’s dinner below, slightly blurry, posed on my yoga mat.  (And yes, I’m mortified that my carrots look like shrimp!)  Click to enlarge.

Here’s my recipe for easy peanut sauce.  In a small bowl, combine:

  • 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter, either smooth or chunky.  You want the kind that separates and has to be stirred.
  • 1-2 Tbsp of vinegar (white, rice, or apple cider vinegar, not balsamic.)
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • A dash of cayenne pepper


  • A pinch of sugar
  • A splash of soy sauce
  • A bit of lime juice
  • a handful of chopped peanuts

Thin with coconut milk until creamy.  Adjust spices to taste.   When you can hardly bear not to eat it with a spoon, set the peanut sauce aside and prep your vegetables for the stir-fry

Read the rest of this entry »

I’m a firm believer in cooking by intuition and instinct.  Every cook should allow himself the freedom to experiment and to follow his personal tastes into new culinary territory.  (As long as nobody is harmed in the process, of course, which is why we stick to the plants.)  Sometimes that territory is a little “out there” – even in the vegan world.  I’m alluding to my favorite secret ingredient: the dark tangy liquid that black olives are kept in.  See?  It doesn’t even have a real name!  It’s a byproduct! I’m going to call it “olive juice” from now on.

*Note: Olives tend to be canned in water with some added salt, and since the liquid is just there to keep the olives juicy, I do not know the nutritional content of the ‘juice.’  I’m guessing it contains a decent amount of sodium and of course,  fat from the olives.

When I was young, sipping some of the juice from the can of black olives was equal parts secret pleasure and secret shame.  Not until years later would I think to save the liquid and add it to dishes as I cooked.  Oddly enough, even the olive-haters I’ve known have raved about meals I’ve made with olive juice as a secret ingredient.  It just adds a little something.

Some of the foods I use olive juice in are:

  • chili
  • soup
  • taco fillings (rice, beans, or “meat”)
  • salads
  • risotto
  • dips
  • pasta salad
  • spaghetti

Liquids function as soup bases, marinades, sauce thinners, salad dressings, and are absorbed by the vegetables and other foods which soak up their flavors when simmered in them.  Replace water or vegetable broth with olive juice, or just ask yourself, “Would a little hint of olive go well with this?”

To get you started, here’s a salad dressing/ marinade I made the other day Read the rest of this entry »

et cetera