Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Now on Facebook! New recipes!

Hi friends,

Just popping in to say you can now find and follow Little House On The Vegan Prairie on Facebook! You can stay up to date with all the latest LHOTVP recipes and soon to come happy vegan restaurant outings.  Please "like" the page and "share" it with your friends.

Here's the link:

And if you haven't already checked out the new blog over at WordPress, please do!:

New recipes include: Blueberry Walnut Waffles, Easy Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust, Plantain and Avocado Rolls with Spicy Cilantro Dipping Sauce, and Herbed Mashed Potatoes with Teriyaki Gardein Beefless Tips.

Thanks for your support! Happy vegan eating and living!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I've moved!

Friends and fellow vegan foodies!

I've decided to move my blog over to WordPress. I really like the easy format of the blogs on WordPress and the options for bloggers, etc. I will keep this blog open for some time. At least until I can figure out a way to re-direct all clicks to it over to WordPress. Until then, here's a direct link to my new home -- please subscribe to my blog, bookmark it, follow it, and share it with your friends!


Try out my newest recipes!:

Easy Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust

"Beef" and Barley Stuffed Peppers

Love and respect animals! Eat with your heart, mind, and stomach! Go vegan!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Carrot Cake Muffins with Vegan Cream Cheese Top Filling

Here's a little tip of the hat to one of the recipes I'm most known for among friends -- my carrot cake oatmeal cookies. I'll get around to posting those little lovelies someday, but for now here's a little something more "suitable" for breakfast, or if you're like me, this is somewhat of a "wholesome" dessert. They're really more like cupcakes than muffins, but since they're not loaded with frosting, I'm not quite sure they can win it in the cupcake category. Either way, they are sweet and delicious, especially for the carrot cake aficionados like me. These are sure to please. Happy baking!

makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup organic/vegan sugar
3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax seeds whisked with 6 tbsp water)
2/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup almond milk
1 1/2 cup (packed) shredded carrots, from about 3 large carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Cream cheese filling:

4 oz Vegan cream cheese, softened -- just let it sit out at room temperature (Try: Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese or Galaxy Foods Vegan Cream Cheese)
1 Ener-G egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup organic/vegan sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line 12  standard sized muffin tins with cupcake liners. Spray lightly with canola oil and set aside.

Soak the raisins in warm water for 10 minutes and then drain them and set them aside. This will soften them up. Shred the carrots in a food processor fitted with a shredding blade, or with a hand grater. Use your hands to squeeze all the juice from the carrots. You want them to be as dry as possible so you don't add more liquid to the recipe. Don't throw away the carrot juice, drink it! Or give it to your dog!

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flax eggs, oil, and almond milk. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Fold in the carrots, walnuts, and raisins.

Incorporate the flax/oil/milk mixture into the flour mix slowly and mix well until a batter forms. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients for the cream cheese filling and beat with a rubber spatula until smooth, but thick and creamy.

Spoon the muffin batter into the muffin cups and fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full. Drop a heaping teaspoon of the cream cheese filling on top of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake part of the muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in muffin tray for about 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vegan American Chop Suey

I've recently been told that my food is "fancy." I'm not sure if I'm to take this as a compliment or as a comment on having "complicated" or "involved" recipes. Or maybe the people who say this just eat veggie dogs and Amy's frozen dinners, I don't know. I've certainly never thought that the recipes I've posted are at all fancy or involved, otherwise I probably wouldn't be making them. I just don't have that kind of time...or know-how! I just like to cook. And I like to take pictures that aptly depict the wonderful taste of the food. Sometimes that involves a wine glass in the background, I guess.

In any case, here's a very un-fancy dish. I promised myself I wouldn't post "basic" recipes because I feel like most people who want this kind of food can easily find it elsewhere by doing an internet search. I also want to try to avoid using prepackaged vegan meat substitutes because some people can't find them easily and they're not exactly typical of a healthy vegan diet and can be misleading to non-vegans. Nonetheless, here's a satisfying quickie for all you busy moms, hungry students, and just plain ol' lazy bones like me: American Chop Suey. I've seen this recipe made so many different ways. Traditionally, with green or red pepper. I didn't have either so, I made it with sun-dried tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, and a roasted pepper pasta sauce. I also added nutritional yeast in place of parmesan cheese. It makes the dish a little more gooey and delicious. You can find the meatless grounds for this dish at almost all major grocery stores.  The Yves brand uses non genetically modified soy, by the way.

Until today, when I spoke to a west coast native, I had no idea this was an east coast dish so, there you are, west coast friends. Eat up! But don't expect me to do New England Vegan "Clam" Chowder or "Lobster" Bisque next...that's fancy.

Serves 2 - 3

1 1/2 cups elbow, fusilli, or small shell pasta, cooked al dente
1/2 package of meatless "beef" crumbles (Try: Lightlife Smart Ground Original or Yves Meatless Ground Round Original)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 portobello mushroom top, chopped thickly into squares
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup pasta sauce
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 to 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil


Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Add about 3 tbsp of olive oil and saute the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the onions and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes more. Next, add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and meatless crumbles next, stirring to incorporate everything well. Then add the dried oregano. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring, until everything is well heated. Next add the pasta sauce and salt and pepper. Continue stirring and cooking until the pasta sauce is well heated, about 5 minutes.

Immediately pour the hot contents into a bowl or pot with the pasta and mix until evenly incorporated. Add the nutritional yeast and stir.

Serve and enjoy!

This photo is purposefully not fancy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Banana Coconut Rum Cake

Look at this cake. Just look at it! You can't go into a sugar coma or gain 5 pounds by just looking at it, but you might if you make it. This cake is so indulgent, so moist (a little more moist and it would be bread pudding), so sweet, and so decadent. And it's my first drunken cake! You might ask what the special occasion is, but I had no reason to make this cake other than wanting to make something sinfully delicious. This is the kind of cake you make when you want to impress someone's family. It's just that good and that beautiful.

As I'll say again and again, I am not a baker. I hope to one day get the hang of making baked goods up on my own, but all I can offer you now is vegan versions of recipes that have already been tried and true. This "Bahama Mama Rum Cake" originally hails from Jill O'Connor's cookbook, "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey" - a very non-vegan cookbook. I couldn't stand not trying this cake out, so I made some necessary rearrangements to her recipe, including organic sugar and cruelty-free baking soda; both of these being wholly vegan where others are not. The original calls for sour cream, which I substituted with coconut milk as it has the same consistency and even adds a little bit more flavor to the cake. If you're against coconut milk, you could certainly use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream. Also, for a a little added kick, I used spiced rum rather than regular or dark. According to Barnivore, Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum is vegan. So go ahead, indulge! Enjoy!

Rum Glaze:
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (1 stick)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup firmly packed organic dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum (other vegan rum will do)
The Cake:
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted 
1 1/2 cups Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (3 sticks)
2 cups granulated organic sugar
1 cup firmly packed organic dark brown sugar
5 Ener-G eggs: 7 and 1/2 tsps egg replacer with 10 tbsp water
1 cup very ripe bananas (about 3 medium sized), mashed
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
First make the glaze. Combine the Earth Balance butter, water, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum. Set aside, cover, and keep warm.
For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 F. If using whole pecans, chop them or alternatively, place them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse them a few times until they are chopped into small pieces, but not pulverized. Measure out the amount of pecans after chopping. Toast them for about 5 to 6 minutes in a glass oven safe dish. Remove from the oven and set aside. Next, grease a 10 cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle the pecans in the bottom of the pan. This will create quite a deep layer of nuts, but it will work out okay, trust me.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat together the butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in Ener- G eggs, pouring them in a little at a time, mix well after each addition. Beat in the mashed bananas, vanilla, and rum. Sift the flour, baking osda, baking powder, and salt over the batter and fold it in using a rubber spatula, until well combined. Fold in the coconut milk.  Spoon the batter over the pecans in the pan and spread the batter evenly on top using a rubber spatula.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean about 60 - 80 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes. 
Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour 1/4 cup of the warm glaze over the cake. Let the cake cool for 5 more minutes. Next, place a serving platter over the pan and invert the pan to release the cake onto the platter. Spoon the remaining glaze over the cake, a little at a time, and let  it stand until the glaze is completely absorbed into the cake. As the glaze hardens, it will form a light coat of rum-sugary goodness over the cake.
Let the cake cook completely before serving (if you served warm, it's not only incredibly delicious, it becomes more like a rummy bread pudding).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweet Potato Baked Mac and Cheese: Three ways!

It's been a rough week. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but this much needed week long vacation just couldn't come soon enough. I recently had a death in the family and after days of funeral/wake attendances and seeing my family mourn, I just needed some serious comfort food. Baked macaroni and cheese is my most favorite food in this category. Growing up, I was a big fan of the blue Kraft box and had no clue one could bake mac and cheese. Now I know better than to eat that junk and make a healthier, just as tasty (or tastier - depending on how you look at it) version. Of course, there's no animal based cheese in this meal, but you will easily be fooled and won't even mind that it's not there! And perhaps, you won't get that bogged down, tired feeling one gets after eating dairy. If you do, well, kick back and get comfy and rejoice in knowing that your comfort is not at anyone else's expense.

Note: I used jumbo shell pasta for this recipe, but since the recipe is mainly for the cheese sauce, you can use whatever pasta you want, including the traditional "elbow" mac which you see pictured here or a gluten free pasta. The veggies are also optional and interchangeable. I also found that the sauce alone makes a great cheese dip (not pictured) that can be served hot or cold. So think of it for your next party!

(serves 4 to 6)

1 box jumbo shell pasta
1 medium to large sweet potato
2 - 3 broccoli crowns, chopped (optional)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used the Trader Joe's brand, buy Panko, or make your own with toasted bread)

1 3/4 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
1/8 cup water
1 tbsp juice of a lemon
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp white miso paste
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt (more if you like it saltier)
black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake the sweet potato. This will take 40 to 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake it in a microwave.

In a blender or food processor, combine all of the sauce ingredients and blend well. When the sweet potato is done, scoop out the potato from the skin and add it to the bowl of the food processor. Blend again until the mixture is uniform and smooth. You may need to add a little more almond milk or water if it is too thick. It shouldn't be too runny, but it also shouldn't be a paste, in other words, it should be pourable, but thick.

Boil the pasta according to the directions on the box. In a small sauce pan, add a thin layer of water and steam the broccoli and peas for about 5 - 6 minutes. Drain the liquid and set aside.

Pour a thin layer of the cheese sauce into a 9 x 12 inch casserole dish (or a smaller round one if you are not using stuffing shells). Place the shells into the dish, in one layer, open side up. Put about 1 heaping teaspoon of sauce in each shell, then stuff each shell with some of the broccoli and peas. Pour the remainder of the cheese sauce on top and then top with the bread crumbs. If you are not using shells, just mix the pasta, veggies, and sauce together in the casserole dish.

Cover and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Alternatively, if not using shelled pasta, you could forgo baking and for a "creamier" mac and cheese, heat the dish in a medium sauce pan for  5 - 10 minutes, stirring frequently, then serve.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash Sauce (gluten free)

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about what "new" vegetarians and vegans eat before they realize that they haven't compromised anything in their dietary habits and that there is an abundance of food available to them. Until I went vegan, there were foods I avoided simply because I didn't know how to cook them and didn't want to risk buying something "gross" or "weird." All I can recall eating excessively in the beginning was pasta and sauce because it was easy, satisfying, and didn't require much thought or preparation.

Well, as they say, old habits die hard and sometimes you just want to eat something simple and satisfying that doesn't come out of the freezer section at the store. And sometimes, as they say, you want to feed to birds with one scone and make something simple with just a touch more class. So here's my new take on the pasta and sauce staple. It's 100% gluten-free, meat/cheese analog free, and goes well served with sauteed kale and broccoli. The sauce recipe makes a little over one standard store-bought pasta jar of sauce so, if you don't use it all up at once, you will have plenty for leftovers!

(Makes about 4 servings of pasta and 30oz sauce)

1 box Quinoa Pasta (I used pagoda shaped)
1/2 medium sized butternut squash
1 organic red pepper, quartered
1 stalk celery
2 medium organic tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 cup water
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 - 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp raw turbinado sugar
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp (a pinch!) cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil, for spraying on veggies


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cut the butternut squash in half. Remove the seeds from one half. Spray the flesh side with vegetable oil and lay, cut side down, on a non-stick baking pan. Spray the quartered red pepper with oil and place it cut side down on the baking pan. Roast for 40-50 minutes. You may need to remove the red peppers from the oven at the 40 minute mark to prevent them from burning through. If they are somewhat burnt on the edges, that's ok! The butternut squash may take the full 50 minutes!

While your veggies are roasting, prepare the rest of the sauce ingredients. In a food processor fitted with a grating/chopping disk, mince the celery. Remove the chopping disk and put the blade attachment on. Set aside. In a saute pan, place the olive oil and garlic and saute on medium high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add the onion and saute for about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with a touch of salt. Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of the food processor. Blend until well combined. Add the tomatoes. Blend again.

When your roasted veggies are done, scoop out the butternut squash from the skin and place it in the food processor along with the roasted red pepper. Blend until fully combined. Next, pour all of the ingredients into a medium sauce pan. Add the water, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, and sugar. Cook on medium low stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Next add the thyme, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.  Stir well. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Make the pasta according to the package instructions.

Serve alongside sauteed and seasoned kale and broccoli or your favorite veggies. Enjoy!