Thursday, February 28, 2013

No Chicken Noodle Soup

I created this recipe because I was missing chicken noodle soup after going vegan 1.5 years ago. It is low fat, low carb, gluten free and will hit the spot on a cold winter's day.  I don't use a recipe when I make it so I had to pay special attention when making it for dinner Tuesday night this week so I could approximate ingredient amounts.  It makes enough for two large dinner portions and one large portion for lunch the next day.


5 cups water
4 tsps No Chicken Bouillon
3/4 cup Celery, chopped
6-7 Brown Mushrooms, sliced
1 Onion, chopped (white or red onion)
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 pkg Shirataki Noodles (I use tofu Shirataki noodles)
1 pkg Super Firm Tofu
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Poultry Seasoning


1.  In a large saucepan heat water and add bouillon.

2.  Add onion, mushrooms, celery and garlic and bring to a boil.

(Veggies added to bouillon and water)
3.  Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are almost cooked and moisture has been released from mushrooms. Add poultry seasoning.

(Veggies simmering)
4. While the stock is simmering open the noodles  Rinse in a strainer and put on a plate.  Microwave on high 30 seconds.  Let rest on a paper towel folded in half.  Let cool, then cut with a knife to desired lengths.  I usually cut down the middle then across a few time so the noodles aren't too long. Shirataki noodles can be a little chewy so you don't want the pieces too big.

(Noodles drying - prior to cutting)
5.  While the stock is simmering also drain, rinse, pat dry, and cube the tofu into desired sized pieces. Mine were a little large.  Smaller might have been a little better this time around.

(Cubed tofu ready for the soup)
6.  Add tofu and heat thoroughly.

(Tofu added to the pot)
7.  Add noodles about 1 minute prior to removing the pan from the heat and serving.

(Noodles added to the pot)
Ready to serve.  I like to add some fresh ground pepper on top.

(mmmmm soup)
One of the things I like about this recipe is how versatile it is.  Need a bigger batch?  Add more water, bouillon and veggies.  Need to use up some carrots or spinach - throw those in the pot too.

This can be a very low calorie soup.  without the tofu the entire pot is 200 calories.  The tofu I used was Trader Joe's Organic Super Firm which added 650 calories to the pot but also 70 grams of protein.

I first tried making this with a grain based chicken substitute.  Although different brands worked quite well, I didn't like the fact they were so processed and added so much salt and preservatives to the soup.

- Au Revoir

" When baking follow directions.  When cooking follow your own taste." - Laiko Bahrs

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Homemade Pizza Dough

Way way back in the mid 1980's when I was in grade 9, I started as a waitress in a little cafe, then a few months later moved into the kitchen and started cooking as well.  One of the things we made besides the usual burger, fries, shakes, and sandwiches was pizza.  In fact we were the only place that made pizza in that little town of 3,000 people.

Back then we made the dough by hand, not using electric mixers. I have fond memories of mixing pizza dough in a 5 gallon bucket with it stuck all the way up to my elbow.  You can make this by hand, but I use my KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook.

What follows is that cafe's recipe that has been reduced to an amount for 1 large pizza or 2 small pizzas or calzones.  It is a fat free recipe and I don't use any salt.  I prefer this to any prefab pizza dough from the stores due to the amount of sodium and preservatives they contain.



2-3/4 to 3-1/4 All Purpose Flour (I use half white and half whole wheat)
1 Cup warm Water
1/4 tsp Salt (optional)
       ** Granulated garlic and herbs


1.  Heat oven to 425˚F (218˚C) and spray one large (or two small) pizza pans with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Place two cups of flour and the yeast in the bowl for your electric mixer. Mix the two together.  If you would like to add some granulated garlic or herbs for added flavor, do so now.  This is also where you would add any salt if desired.

3.  Measure out 1 cup of very warm, but not hot, tap water.  I have no idea the actual temperature as I have never measured it.  I just know to get it really warm, but if you can't hold your fingers in it, it is to warm.  You want it warm enough to activate the yeast, but not so hot as to kill it.  Add the water to the bowl and turn on mixer.

4.  You may have to scrape the sizes a bit.  I have a small spatula I can sneak into the bowl to scrape the sides while the mixer is running.  Gradually add more flour.

5.  Once it becomes stiff and starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl turn it out onto a floured surface and knead to incorporate as much of the remaining flour as you can until you have a moderately stiff dough.  

** Here at sea level I usually only use 2-1/4 cup of flour.  When we lived at 1,000 ft it took more and when we were at 2,000 ft it usually took most of the flour.  Start with 2 cups and incorporate until you have that moderately stiff dough.

6.  Roll dough into a ball on the lightly floured surface.  I like to drizzle a little olive oil on it.  Then let rest under your inverted mixing bowl for 10 minutes.  

(Dough prior to resting covered for 10 minutes)
I took a picture of the upside down bowl, but all you could see was my reflection in the stainless steel bowl.  Here is a picture of the dough after 10 minutes when it has raised.

(Dough risen - larger shape and smooth)
7.  After 10 minutes pick up dough and either press it onto your pizza pans or divide if making calzones.  I used one very large pizza pan, but you can also use a pizza stone instead.

(Ready for toppings)
8.  Top the dough as desired and bake for 16-18 minutes until crust is crispy.

This time around I was trying out a recipe from That Was Vegan Blog for Vegan Thai Chicken Pizza. You can find the recipe at this -----> LINK.  The only thing I would change in that recipe is to use low sodium soy sauce in place of the Braggs as the thai 'chicken' was way too salty for us.  The pizza as a whole was very yummy and I'll definitely be making it again.

(Thai 'chicken' pizza)

- Au Revoir

"  Pizza is like the entire food pyramid." - Madeline Oles

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Warm Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

A few days ago a friend photocopied a recipe from the Relish newspaper insert for me as she thought I'd like it.  I liked the general idea of it, but I didn't like the execution so I changed it up a bit and made it a little different.  The original recipe was for a Quinoa, Spinach and Walnut Stir-Fry.  Mine is more of a warm salad.  The original recipe can be found here:  Click ---> LINK.



1 Cup Quinoa
1-1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp 'No Chicken' Bouillon
1 tsp crushed Garlic, or 2-3 Garlic cloves minced
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 - 6 oz bag of organic baby spinach
1 pint Grape Tomatoes, cut in halves
1/2 cup toasted Walnut pieces
1/2 cup grated vegan Cheese


1.  Place warm water in medium-small saucepan.  Add 'no chicken' bouillon.  Stir until dissolved and then add quinoa.  Bring to a boil.  When boiling reduce heat to low and cover and simmer for 15 minutes until most, if not all, water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let rest covered for 5 minutes.

2.  While quinoa is cooking toast the walnuts on a pan under the broiler for a few minutes if not already toasted.  Wash and halve tomatoes and wash spinach.

3.  When the quinoa has about 2 minutes left to rest, place coconut oil in large frying pan on medium high heat.  When melted add spinach, tomatoes, and walnuts.  Stir to combine then add warm quinoa. Stir to incorporate the quinoa, add garlic and stir again. The warm quinoa will help the spinach to wilt and warm the tomatoes. Stir until spinach is almost wilted or until desired doneness of the spinach is reached.  I didn't want it too wilted so I just barely tossed it.

(Your mixture should look like this)
4.  Remove from heat and serve topped with grated cheese and fresh ground pepper.  I used Trader Joe's Vegan Mozzarella, as I think it resembles grated parmesan, but I also think this would be good topped with feta if you aren't vegan.

This made two large main course servings with a little left over.  If you were using it as a side dish it would serve 3-4 persons.  

(In a bowl ready for serving)
We used black bean and quinoa tortilla chips and scooped the leftovers cold from the fridge and it was good that way as well.  I might be temped to add some chick peas to it for some extra protein the next time I make it or even add some black olives.

- Bon Appetit

"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat." - Old New York Proverb

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Snack Attack

One evening last week we finished dinner and I was craving something sweet for dessert.  After scouring the cupboards and fridge I devised something I'd never made before.  Hidden in the fridge I discovered a roll of Pillsbury Crescents that needed to be used.  I decided to combine it with some Biscoff cookie spread and semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Ummm no, this is not a healthy snack, but it does give you a sweet craving fix.



1 tube original Crescent Rolls (Pillsbury Original are accidentally vegan)
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips


1.  Heat oven to 375˚F (190˚C)

2.  Unwrap the crescents into 8 triangles.

3.  Spread each triangle with Biscoff and sprinkle chocolate chips at the bottom of the triangle so that it is in the middle of the crescent when rolled.  *NOTE - I would use more filling next time than what is shown in the pictures.  There didn't seem to be quite enough when baked. 

4.  Roll into crescents and place on greased cookie sheet.

5.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

6.  Enjoy while warm.

- Bon Appetit

"Seize the moment.  Remember all those women on the Titanic who waived off the dessert cart." - Erma Bombeck