Jan 31

italian lentil sliders

We received a tiny bit of snow this past week and everyone, myself included, promptly FREAKED OUT.

Supermarket shelves were bare. Puffy coats came out of hiding. I texted Moose on the status of the neighborhood and a map of each step that should be taken on his way home from work.

“Okay look, Court St looks like it’s okay but it’s actually so slick and you should really follow side streets and don’t step on manholes and don’t step on those trap doors outside of stores that people use to descend to their shop basements and don’t stand too close to the curb when you’re waiting to cross the street and don’t you even think about not wearing gloves and where is your hat and don’t take the garbage out because you will fall to your death and by the way should we order pineapple fried rice for dinner?”

Here is a photo of our neighborhood that night:


Aaaahh! So dangerous!

Fine. I overreacted. But I was so excited to see any snow at all!

And I wasn’t the only one. The talk around town (ie in my apartment and at one bodega) was all about how insanely crazy it would be if it were 2014 and this same dusting of snow extreme weather happened during the Super Bowl. Because the Super Bowl is coming here, you see. An outdoor game in early February! Who wants to place a bet that it will be 53 degrees and light rain for Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014? Any takers?

I’ll be spending this Sunday doing what I always do on Super Bowl Day: Eating nonstop, watching Puppy Bowl and then kind of watching the Super Bowl while spiraling into a sugar crash.

I made these sliders with game day in mind. I think they would be so great for a party (or a party of one) but here’s a hint: these lentil balls are also super good with pasta, on a sub and just on their own.

Go team!


Italian Lentil Sliders
“Meatball” recipe from My Vegan Cookbook
Sauce adapted from Simply Recipes
Serves 12
Printable recipe

Lentil ball ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons molasses

Sauce ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  • 8 slider buns
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter substitute
  • 1-2 cups arugula (depending on how much you love arugula)
  • 1 cup Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds (or the Trader Joe’s version)


Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all of the lentil ball ingredients together in a large bowl.

Scoop out approximately 3 tablespoons of the mixture and use your hands to form the mixture into balls.

Place the lentil balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cook for 15 minutes on each side, 30 minutes total.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

5-10 minutes before you remove the lentil balls from the oven, go ahead and get started on the tomato sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions, carrots, celery and parsley.

Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan, allowing the vegetables to cook until soft, approximately 15 minutes.

Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.

Cover once again and allow the sauce to simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool for 3-5 minutes.

Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and blend until the tomatoes are pureed, roughly 30 seconds.

Pour the sauce back into the pan and turn the heat on low.

Add the baked lentil balls to the sauce, spooning the sauce over the tops of the balls to cover completely.

Cover the skillet and allow the lentil balls to simmer with the sauce over low heat for 8 minutes.

Spread the underside of each half of the slider buns with vegan butter substitute. Toast the buns until golden brown.

Place a layer of arugula on each slider bun and top with a lentil ball. Spoon some sauce over top of each lentil ball if you like.

Sprinkle with Mozzarella Style Shreds and serve warm.


Jan 23

sweet potato peanut butter blondies

Last week, I had a couple of sweet potatoes that were fading fast and no idea of what I could do with them. Bake them? Boring. Dice them into fries? Yawn. Draw faces on each one and chase Sebastian around the apartment with them?


Later in the evening, after a rerun of The Office but before a rerun of The West Wing, I was scraping a spoon through a half-empty jar of peanut butter and dreaming about peanut butter blondies when it occurred to me that surely a fellow dessert-lover somewhere has combined mashed sweet potatoes and peanut butter together into a blondie recipe. A quick search was all it took to find a non-vegan recipe on Clean Eating that looked so delicious that I had to try it immediately. A couple of tweaks and substitutions later, a Vegan Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Blondie recipe was born!

Oh and guess what happened this weekend!

Home sweet home.

Regardless of the outcome, it was so great to be back in Philly, surrounded by cursing passionate fans.


Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Blondies
Recipe adapted from Clean Eating
Serves 12
Printable Recipe


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter substitute, melted
  • 1/2 cup vegan refined sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla or plain soy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup cooked, peeled and mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup natural peanut butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • grape seed oil (for coating the pan, you can also use cooking spray)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Lightly coat a 9 x 13″ baking dish with grape seed oil or a cooking spray of your choice.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sea salt and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, stir together the melted butter substitute, refined sugar and brown sugar.

Add in the soy yogurt, applesauce, mashed sweet potatoes, peanut butter, vanilla and cinnamon.

Slowly add in the flour mixture, stirring until all ingredients are fully combined. Spread the batter into the baking dish.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed with wet crumbs.

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Jan 16

white chicken-less chili

I was sooo excited when I found this chili recipe over at The Kitchn. I was immediately drawn to it because it is possible to make this chili as thick as you’d like it to be. I love thick chili. I want my chili so thick that I can eat it on a plate if I choose to. This recipe calls for a flour mixture to be added in after an hour of cooking, and it gives the chili an amazing texture. It’s also easy to control the amount of thickness, so if you like it less thick, reduce the amount of flour. And if you’re still worried about the chili becoming too thick, just add in more vegetable broth or cut the cooking time short by about a half hour. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe. It’s perfect for a night in front of the television, watching hockey.


White Chicken-less Chili
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
Serves 6-8
Printable recipe


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 ounces (1 can) fire-roasted green chiles
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 (15.8 ounce) cans Cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 cups yellow corn (fresh or thawed if frozen)
  • 3 cups vegan chicken substitute (I used Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Strips, chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk or creamer
  • Vegan sour cream (optional, for serving)
  • Daiya Cheddar-Style Shreds (optional, for serving)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Grab your onion, celery and bell pepper

and toss them in the pot. Cook until they’re soft, around 10 minutes.

Stir in the fire-roasted green chiles, garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne.

Pour in the vegetable stock and bring the ingredients to a boil

Stir in the Cannellini beans, corn, vegan chicken substitute, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat and allow the chili to simmer for an hour. Taste test every 15 minutes or so in case you want to add more salt or pepper.

In a separate pan, melt the vegan butter substitute over medium heat.

Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add in the soy creamer and stir until the ingredients form a paste, roughly 2-3 minutes.

Add the paste to the pot of chili and stir until fully combined.

Allow the chili to simmer for another hour, continuing to taste test every 15 minutes, adding additional salt, pepper or other seasonings to suit your preference.

Remove the chili from the heat and allow it to sit for as long as you can before serving, as it will thicken and the flavors will enhance over time.

I followed The Kitchn’s suggestion and let the chili cool completely, then reheated it before serving.

Top with an optional spoonful of vegan sour cream and/or a sprinkle of Daiya Cheddar-Style Shreds.

Jan 09

chocolate mousse

I’m not here to go all crazy on you. I know that a lot of you don’t really care. But just let me quickly say that hockey is back.


Also, chocolate mousse can be made healthy with minimal effort.


I didn’t invent or even adapt this mousse recipe. I did, however, eat it while thinking about how I get to watch hockey on TV soon and how maybe I can go see hockey in person soon and I wonder if hockey has missed me as much as I’ve missed it?

Chocolate Mousse
Recipe from Purely Delicious Magazine via Madhava Natural Sweeteners
Yields approximately 2 cups


  • 2 small ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup light agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, raw cocao powder or carob powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of cinnamon

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend on high until very smooth.

Eat up!



Store any remaining mousse in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and then go watch some hockey. Because hockey is back, my friends. HOCKEY IS BACK!

Jan 03

vidalia onion mini cornbread muffins

Moose and I touched down in NYC on Sunday evening after a week spent down south with family, friends and the occasional dusting of snow.

We walked into our apartment, ordered the best veggie chili in the borough, watched football and then listed our two tickets for a popular New Year’s Eve concert for sale online.


We had spent a nice chunk of change on those tickets. We were really looking forward to it, especially because we could walk to the venue and wouldn’t have to put forth the additional effort of getting on a subway or hailing a cab on one of the craziest nights of the year. But after a week of flying, driving and excessive eating, we just weren’t feeling it.



I like to tell myself that these kind of decisions, the ones that involve shrugging off an event that many other people are longing to attend, are not made because I’m old and tired, but because I’m old enough to recognize and embrace when I want to do something and when I don’t, and I am past the point of caring what I should do because it’s exciting or because I’m in New York City or because it’s cool.


Do the kids even say “cool” anymore?



I also like to tell myself that any calories consumed between late November and early January don’t count, and that they certainly aren’t the reason that I can barely button my coat all the way up right now.


I spent my New Year’s Eve watching Clueless and thinking about how horrified Alicia Silverstone would be if she saw that I had stirred peanut butter and powdered sugar together in a bowl and was devouring it with the ease of a normal adult leisurely consuming their morning high-fiber cereal.


Let’s start off 2013 with these Vidalia Onion Mini Cornbread Muffins that I made for One Green Planet.



I suppose I’ll spend the next few weeks breaking myself of my holiday eating habits. After a while, even I can agree that candy isn’t the wisest choice for lunch and that hot cocoa isn’t always a suitable substitute for water.


Vidalia Onion Mini Cornbread Muffins

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen
Makes 24 mini muffins
Printable recipe


  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
  • 1/2 of a large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease or line a mini muffin tin.

Melt the vegan butter substitute in a medium skillet over low-medium heat.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook until the onion is tender, approximately 3 minutes.

While the onion cooks, whisk together the cornmeal, all-purpose flour,baking powder, sea salt and dill in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the grape seed oil, soy milk, sour cream and apple cider vinegar.

Pour the batter into the muffin cups.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.