Monthly Archives: June 2014

Tangy Citrus -Grape Skewers with Beyond Meat


We’re on a no-cook roll ’round these parts. It’s still hot. I mean, hello, it’s June and summer is just getting started. My guess is that there will be plenty more sweltering days to come. And this skewer recipe is perfect for hot days when you really don’t want to turn on the stove.  The fruit and cucumbers create a nice diversity of texture against the Beyond Meat Chicken-less Strips – which also don’t need to be cooked before you eat!

You can throw this together and eat it right away, but it’s much tastier when it marinates overnight. We used whole fresh oranges and limes for juice and zest, but bottled is okay if you’re in a rush – you’ll just have to miss out on the zest part. If you have large skewers, it makes about 4 to 6 portions; if you use small skewers or toothpicks, this could be an elegant appetizer or a good dish to share at a picnic. Too tired to thread food on skewers? Just serve it in a bowl with forks and drizzle the dipping sauce on top like dressing. This whole idea came from deconstructing chicken salad, so there’s no reason it can’t work like that, too!


 Tangy Citrus-Grape Skewers with Beyond Meat

2 Tbl. grapeseed oil

1 Tbl. fruity vinegar (raspberry, blueberry, cranberry; balsamic will work too)

1/3 cup orange juice

1 Tbl. orange zest

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1 package Beyond Meat Chicken-less Strips, Grilled Style, cubed

2 cups whole, seedless grapes

1 or 2 cucumbers, cut into chunks (cut when ready to serve)


Lime-Poppyseed Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup vegan sour cream (we used Tofutti)

1/4 cup lime juice

1 Tbl. lime zest

1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbl. fresh mint, chiffonade

1 Tbl. poppy seeds

salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients for marinade: grapeseed oil, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, grated fresh ginger, salt and white pepper. Whisk together. In a large bowl, mix together cubed Beyond Meat and grapes; fold in marinade. Set aside for at least an hour and up to overnight in the fridge. Note: Don’t add cukes at this point, they get too soggy!

Mix together all ingredients of Lime-Poppyseed Dipping Sauce: vegan sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, sliced green onions, mint, poppy seeds and salt/pepper. Chill for at least one hour or overnight.

To serve, thread grapes, Beyond Meat and cucumbers on skewers until all are used up. Serve with Dipping Sauce on the side. Enjoy this cool dish on a warm day for lunch, brunch or dinner!

Ready to try this? We’ve got a coupon for you to get some Beyond Meat. $2 off and good until July 1! (Please click the link to get the actual coupon – this is a screen grab and doesn’t have the scan code. 🙂  Thanks! )


Vegan Wine and Cheese – with some goats


We haven’t run into too many people who aren’t into wine and cheese parties. Even vegans. I mean, hey – you can make cheese from things other than animal milk. Like cashews, almonds, soy milk – you get the idea. Add into that a whole bunch of cutie-pie rescued farm animals and you have the recipe for a great event.

The folks at Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary had just such an idea. On June 28th and again on August 16th, they are hosting Vegan Wine and Cheese Tours, which include tastings and a tour of the farm to meet the animals. For families, there is the option for grape juice and cheese, as well.

Now, usually, I would go overboard posting adorable images of the horses, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, mules, chickens, donkeys and other residents at Burleigh to try and entice you to visit the farm for a tour. Their sweet faces are so precious, I don’t know how anyone can resist.

But this event has another star sharing the marquee – it’s the vegan cheese. These creamy delights are coming from several amazing donors – Treeline Artisanal Cheese, Teese Cheese (Chicago Vegan Foods); Chef Dora Siragua from La Cucina Vegana; Chef Kristin Linde from High Impact Vegan – and well, us! Don’t get me wrong, I am not lumping us with the others. We plan to make the blue cheese we posted two years ago as our contribution. nothing like a a nice sharp blue to offset a dry red wine, after all.

Enough of me blathering though… let me SHOW you how amazing these vegan cheeses are…


Fresh vegan mozzarella from Chef Dora.


Spreadable caper and olive vegan cheese from Chef Dora.


Treeline hard cheese wheels.


Treeline peppered cheese.


Teese cheese-ball.


And here’s that  blue cheese we made, with a recipe from the Melomeals blog.

With all this cheesy goodness, are you still deciding?

Do you really want me to post the cute critters, too? Yea… I know. At least a goat.


These fun-filled days will kick off with a guided tour of Burleigh where you will get to meet some animal friends. Be prepared to walk a bit and be sure to wear closed toed shoes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and connect with the animals during the tour, so be prepared to have some fun.

After the tour,  the wine and cheese event will be on the lawn of the estate. There will be a few tables set up but please feel free to bring a blanket or small camp style chair to sit on and enjoy your snacks. Grape juice will be provided for children and adults who prefer not to drink. This event is rain or shine. If it does rain, the wine and cheese tasting will be moved to one of our indoor facilities.

Tickets are available online and there are 3 tours to choose from: 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm.

Alphie the goat hopes to see you there! He also hopes for some snacks…


Sunflower Seed & Sun-Dried Tomato Dip


It’s getting too hot to cook here in Baltimore. We’ve been stuck in the high nineties all week. So what to do for lunch? No way I’m turning on the stove right now, nevermind the oven.

This easy dip has been a lifesaver. Soaked sunflower seeds and sun-dried tomatoes go beautifully with fresh garden basil, lemon juice and black olives. It’s delish served cold on crackers or bread. To make a sandwich, just smear some on and add your fave toppings, like lettuce, fresh tomato, zucchini or Torkury deli slices.seedy5_lr

The quick and simple recipe for Sunflower Seed & Sun-Dried Tomato Dip is guest-posted over at Sister Eden’s blog. Check it out to save yourself from turning on the heat in the kitchen this summer! This dip is also great for parties, potlucks, picnics and plain old snacking! Enjoy!

Locality: Shiny Spoons Pudding


Folks in Baltimore come up with some pretty tasty stuff. Like Shiny Spoons Puddings. We first tried these at the DC Green Festival and we were hooked. We ate several that day and bought a bunch to bring home. And the good news – we also found these gems at Whole Foods and Grind House Juice Bar. You can also order them via Relay Foods. This is more than just love for the local company, though.

Shiny Spoons Pudding is made from buckwheat. It’s hearty & filling, smooth, creamy, gluten-free and vegan. The flavors are amazing, too: try dark, dark chocolate, vanilla bean & cashew, toasted pistachio with tea rose or my favortite – NoMilk chocolate with jasmine tea.


The puddings were created in the kitchen of a young mother as an ode to her past and a commitment to serving her family only the purest, most wholesome ingredients. Using flavor combinations from her childhood, growing up on the shores of the Black Sea, Irina Rey set out to create healthy versions of sinfully delicious desserts that could satisfy even the toughest critics – her four young daughters.


These little sweeties are sure to please your kids – and you. The would be ideal for packed lunches, picnics, car trips and to pull out of the cooler at the beach. Shiny Spoons Puddings, you make Baltimore proud! 🙂 If you live in the area, seek these gems out. You won’t be sorry for the search!

Yumpeez: Peas, Please!


Peas. So hot right now. Who knew that the day would come for these modest legumes? But peas are fast becoming a big trend. They’re non-GMO, gluten-free, high in protein, contain iron/fiber/calcium, and are low in fat. For vegans peas can be a great source of soy-free, nut-free protein. And if you have a garden, peas are easy to grow, too.

At the Natural Products Expo last fall, we bumped into a pea company and their delicous snack packs – Yumpeez. These little organic treats are made from yellow split-peas and boast 7 grams of protein per bag. Grown and made in Canada, the mother-company of Yumpeez is Best Cooking Pulses. They have been in the business of growing peas since 1936. That’s an impressive history.


Best Cooking Pulses is a family-owned and their crops include/products green and yellow split peas, whole peas, chickpeas, lentils, pulse flours (pea, chickpea, lentil and bean), pea fiber, pea bran meal, and roasted split peas. All of their goods are gluten-free, kosher, halal, vegan/vegetarian, non-GMO and available certified organic. This company also believes in and practices sustainability policies for a greener future. Need some recipes with peas? They have that too!

Yumpeez are  roasted and seasoned peas. They have barbecue and dill pickle flavors. The little peas are crunchy and savory, with very little sugar and no MSG. This would be an ideal snack for kids’ lunches, picnics, camping, hikes, even to stash in your desk at the office.

Currently, Yumpeez aren’t available in stores in the USA, only Canada. However, you can buy them on Amazon! A pack of 12 is about $20.

So go ahead, get yumpers over some Yumpeez. They’re delicious and good for you!

Baltimore Vegan Drinks @ Joe Squared/Power Plant


There’s nothing like pizza and a cold brew on a June evening. So if you’re in the Baltimore area, stop by Joe Squared/Power Plant, 30 Market Place in Baltimore on Tuesday evening, June 17 from 7pm to 9pm for Baltimore Vegan Drinks.


Joe Squared is best known for their sourdough-crust pizzas. They have even been on Food Network! The vegan options are pretty vast. Try any of these toppings…  Crushed tomato sauce with … vegan cheese, apples, artichokes, asparagus, avacado, basil , black beans, broccoli, carrots, cilantro, corn, eggplant, dill, fennel, mint, mushrooms, grren or black olives, onions or shallts, bell/jalapeno/pepperocini peppers, pineapple, white or sweet potatoes, rosemary, spinach, thyme, fresh/roasted/sundried tomatoes or zucchini.


The special pizza for the night will feature OLD BAY potatoes, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Yea, it’s pretty awesome. We tried it.


The tastiness doesn’t stop at pizza, though. Joe Squared knows how to feed vegans! There are house-made veggie burgers, dinner salads and soup.




And the RISOTTO is in a league all by itself!  With flavors ranging from asparagus/orange, avocado/pine nut/corn, and roasted mushroom with almonds and thyme to sweet potato/sage and spinach with red onion and walnuts, these rice entrees are gluten-free and fabulous.


So plan to stop by. There’s outdoor seating if it’s nice. Or hang out inside at the bar, where you can hook it up with the evening’s drink specials: Dale’s Pale Ale or Mama’s Little Yella Pils for $4 and Mojitos for $5.





Don’t forget – that’s Tuesday June 17th at Joe Squared/Power Plant from 7pm to pm. See you at Baltimore Vegan Drinks!

Pizza Monkey Bread


Does everyone remember Monkey Bread from childhood? Those fun little dough balls, all smothered in nuts and sugary syrup, crammed into a bundt pan – that’s good times. But what ELSE can happen with Monkey Bread? Why not go savory? After all, it’s just rolls from a can, and they’re technically savory already. So we went there. The ultimate TV-time supper. Pizza Monkey Bread.

Our dinner conversion began with Beyond Meat Crumbles. We sauted it with pizza fixins and then stuffed it into the dough. Really easy. This would be a good recipe for kids to help with. Stuffing and rolling the monkey bread is perfect for little hands.

We used Beyond Meat vegan beef, onions, bell peppers, vegan pepperoni, and fresh herbs in our Pizza Monkey Bread. But if you prefer mushrooms or artichoke or sun-dried tomatoes or veg-sausage crumbles – any of that will work. You just need to be mindful of how much you add, or you’ll end up with more filling than rolls.

This recipe uses two rolls of Cresent-style dough and makes 16 Monkey Bread rolls. It serves four to six, unless you have teen-age boys in the house. Then maybe only two or three. 🙂 To vegan Crescent-style rolls you don’t need to go far. Pilsbury brand is vegan, as well as Trader Joe’s and many store brands, like Giant.




Pizza Monkey Bread

1 cup onions, chopped

1 Tbl. olive oil

1 cup green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pack vegan pepperoni (we used Yves)

1 bag Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles, “Beefy” Style

2 Tbl. fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbl. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbl. fresh oregano, chopped

1 1/2 cups pasta sauce, separated (your fave, we used Muir Glen)

2 cups vegan mozzarella shreds (we used Daiya)

non-sticking cooking spray

2 tubes Crescent-style dough


Preheat oven to 375.

In a large pan over medium heat, saute chopped onions in olive oil until soft and wilted, about 4-6 minutes. Add chopped green pepper and garlic and saute another minute or two, to warm through. Next, stir in the vegan pepperoni, Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles, fresh herbs, 1/2 cup pasta sauce and 1/2 cup vegan cheese shreds.  Combine all ingredient and stir frequently until everything is warmed through and gooey with melted cheese. Turn off heat and prepare to make the rolls.

Coat a large casserole pan with non-stick spray. Pop open the Crescent-style tubes and unroll the dough. Using a spatula, eyeball your filling and make a mark for “half” and then “quarters.” Each dough triangle will hold 1/4 of each quarter of filling. Spoon the filling onto the triangle and cover with dough edges, sealing as best you can. Place in sprayed casserole. Repeat with remaining 15 dough triangles.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until all monkey-rolls are crispy and lightly browned. Pull out of oven and top each roll with a heaping spoon of remaining pasta sauce. Top with all remaining cheese shreds. Return to the oven for 2 to 5 minutes, as long as it takes your shreds to get melty.

Serve warm with lots of napkins on the side! This is a messy, eat-with-your-hands supper!





Find Yourself a Farmer’s Market!


No matter where you live, there’s a Farmer’s Market in full swing. Need help finding one? Try this link, it can guide you to a market in your region. While the prize crops like tomatoes and eggplants aren’t out yet, you can find some real gems. There’s a variety of greens – kale, lettuce, spinach and more. Cabbage, broccoli, beets, garlic scapes and zucchini are already showing up, too.

We’ve got three seasonally-inspired recipes for you featuring goodies from market: Radishes, Asparagus and Strawberries. Depending where you live, these are all likely available right now.

Radishes are a seriously under-rated veggie. It is time for them to take their place among the salad greens and enjoy top billing. In our Spicy Radish Salad, this root veggie blends elegantly with cucumbers, almonds, carrots, spring mix and sprouts. The homemade dressing features raspberry jam, lime zest and balsamic vinegar with olive oil.  For this recipe, click over to Sister Eden’s blog, where it is guest-posted.


Looking for something a bit more stick-to-your-ribs? How about pasta and asparagus, smothered in creamy, lush alfredo sauce? Yes, you saw that correctly: vegan alfredo sauce. We’ve see a few jarred vegan alfredos, but nothing beats homemade, so we went to the kitchen and smoothed this out for you. Cashews and almond milk make it creamy; arrowroot makes it thick; miso, garlic, white pepper and nutmeg make it savory. This alfredo is all you have been dreaming of. And over crisp asparagus spears, all nestled in a bed of linguine, you may just feel like you are in pasta heaven. This recipe is also living as a guest-post on Sister Eden’s blog. So hop over and get ready to dive into some Asparagus with Alfredo.


In Maryland, we’re in the midst of an awe-inspiring strawberry season. From our small backyard patch, we have harvested over eight quarts. No joke. Your local market might just be brimming with strawberries; ours certainly is! Feeling ambitious? You can try to find a pick-your-own farm using this link and get some dirt under your nails harvesting berries. It’s really fun and a great way to pass a few hours with friends or family.

When you get home from picking, try these Strawberry Spring Rolls with Lemon Basil Dipping Sauce. They’re a refreshing spin on the usual and combine sweet red strawberries with crispy cukes, tender rice noodles, smoked tofu and crunchy almonds. The rolls really come together well with the dipping sauce. It has a spicy bite from ginger, red pepper flakes and garlic that is brightened up by lemon and basil. We ate a double batch of these rolls and sauce. Um… several times. Give it a whirl, it’s quite surprising! Again, this recipe’s home is on Sister Eden’s guest-post roster, and you can find it by clicking here.



Have some fun at your local Farmer’s Market this week. Maybe you will discover a new veggie, score a great deal or find an exotic jar of pickles. But no matter what, checking out a local Farmer’s Market is a win, because you are supporting small, local farms and businesses!

Baked: Thick Cookie Sandwiches


Hardworking people deserve hardworking treats. Like our friend Lisa at Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary. Seven days a week in rain, snow, heat and whatever, she cares for her rescued farm animals. Horses, pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, mules, donkeys, bunnies, cats, a dog and a cow.  And each one needs attention and care daily.

Because Lisa is so awesome and took in all these beautiful creatures, we thought she deserved some cookies that work as hard are she does. This sandwich has it all – flax seeds, oats, peanut butter and decadent chocolate filling. If you know someone who deserves a special reward, try these cookies. Or reward yourself. These are great for sharing at parties, potlucks or picnics, too!


Thick Cookie Sandwiches


1 Tbl. ground flaxmeal

1/2 cup vanilla soy milk

2 cups oats

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

pinch cinnamon

pinch salt

3/4 cup chunky peanut butter, warmed slightly to make soft

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups mini chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life)


Soak ground flaxmeal in soy milk. It will become thick and gooey.  Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

Combine dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the flax meal/soy milk to the liquid ingredients and fold into the mix.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in peanut butter mixture. Incorporate the wet and dry ingredients until throughly mixed and slightly crumbly. Add the mini chips by hand until evenly dispersed.

Dough may be crumbly; if needed add a few drops of water until it holds together. Form 20 large cookies and  place on baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, until cookies are firm and lightly browned. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Before making the sandwiches, be sure to cool completely to room temperature, or allow to cool overnight.


1/2 cup Earth Balance, room temperature

1 container vegan cream cheese, room temperature (we used Tofutti)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 Tablespoons chocolate soy milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream together Earth Balance and vegan cream cheese until smooth and well-combined. This is easiest in a stand mixer, but a hand mixer or a wooden spoon & lots of effort also work. Add sifted cocoa powder and beat well until mixed. Next, add in the powdered sugar in 1-cup increments, being careful to avoid making a cloud of sugar with the beaters. Finally, add in chocolate soy milk and vanilla, and beat several more minutes until fluffy and creamy.

If the filling is too thin to smear on cookies, add more powdered sugar; if it’s thick, add a little more chocolate soy milk. Filling can be made in advance and stored in fridge for a few days.



First, make sure you have an even number of cookies, as each will need a sandwich top and bottom.

Using a butter knife or icing knife, smear a heavy coating of filling on half of the cookies. Try to use about the same amount on each cookie. Top with the un-frosted cookie and you’re done!