recipe testing

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DIY Almond Milk

Published June 4, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


I woke up today wanting to eat some cereal, knowing full well that we were out of almond milk. Now, I’m not above eating cereal with just water, but I had bought plenty of raw almonds for our raw food cleanse before we went to Portland, so I though I might as well finally give making my own almond milk a shot. I originally bought a nut milk bag a long time ago to aid in making juices with my vitamix because I refuse to buy a juicer, and my attempt using a cheesecloth was effective, but annoying. However since that purchase, it had just traveled from Boca to Fort Lauderdale to Seattle, unused.

I decided to go with a basic 1:3 almonds to water ratio for my 1st attempt here. Since I usually buy unsweetened plain almond milk, I also decided to forgo the date & vanilla extract additions I often see with raw nut milk recipes.

DIY Almond Milk
makes about 3 cups

1 c. of raw almonds
3 c. of filtered water

You will need:

high speed blender
nut milk bag
3-4 c. jar
large bowl


Blend water and almonds in high speed blender until smooth. Pour mixture through nut milk bag over a large bowl to strain. (Twisting the bag seemed to help squeeze out the milk best!) Pour milk into a jar, and freeze the almond meal for another use.

Milk will keep for 3-4 days in fridge.


This was fast, easy enough, and pretty cheap to boot. I could see that a date or a little vanilla would give it some oomph if you’re just using it for cereal, or to drink. A little carob or cacao would make it a great raw chocolate milk too! You do miss out on the extra vitamins they fortify the boxed kind with, but hey, this is fresh! And I take plenty of vitamins daily. This may just become part of my kitchen routine. I’d love to try this with raw hazelnuts. (Which I was munching on as I made this.)

Do you make your own nut milk? What are your favorite recipes?





It tasted great in my cereal! Way better than just water :)

It tasted great in my cereal! Way better than just water 🙂

Super Easy Tofu Scramble (GF)

Published April 15, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


For some reason, I have been back in the kitchen with a vengeance, despite the broken extremity. Maybe I just needed a challenge? Maybe it’s that none of my coats fit over my splinted arm, and we just had a cold snap? Regardless, this is an updated, no knifework, no fuss version of my Tofu Scramble. Enjoy!

Super Easy Tofu Scramble (GF)

olive oil for spraying skillet
1/2 package frozen onion & bell pepper mix
1 heaping tsp. crushed garlic

1 package of tofu, any style, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp. tamari for gluten-free   (or Bragg’s or shoyu or red sodium soy sauce)
1 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper, optional

2-4 c. chopped kale or greens (I used some leftover, lightly dressed mac n kale salad)

1/4 – 1/2 c. nutritional yeast


1. Spray a skillet with olive oil and raise to medium-high heat. Add onions & peppers and cook until thawed, about 5 mintues. Add garlic and cook for an additional  minute.

2. Crumble in tofu, and add all other ingredients except nutritional yeast and kale. Drop heat to medium, and stir until well combined, about 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

4. Mix in greens and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until wilted, but still bright green.

4. Remove from heat and stir in nutritional yeast.

My secret weapon!

My secret weapon!

I had Thomas crumble the tofu in for me since he has two working arms!

I had Thomas crumble the tofu in for me since he has two working arms!

Before greens.

Before greens.

And after.

And after.

Plated! Too bad we didn't have any ketchup! Thomas doused his in sriracha.

Plated! Too bad we didn’t have any ketchup! Thomas doused his in sriracha.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Vegan & Gluten Free!)

Published April 14, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Leave it to me to go on a baking kick despite my fractured arm, after all that time of not wanting to be in the kitchen when I was perfectly whole. Not only that, but I’m typing this out using only one hand! :p I decided earlier that I really wanted to make chocolate chip banana bread for the first time in my life… tonight. When Thomas claimed he’d never heard of it, my resolve solidified. First I did a bunch of recipe research, and then I wrote out this number below. I hit the kitchen, with Thomas on call for the things I couldn’t handle single handedly. Our large mixing bowl was still holding some kale salad in the fridge, so I went ahead and made the whole recipe in my trusty Kitchen-Aid, which honestly worked better with my limited space and abilities at the moment. You can do whatever you like.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Vegan & Gluten Free!)

1/3 c. coconut oil (or your preference)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 c. non dairy milk + 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, optional
4 tbsp. water + 1  egg replacer or 1 tbsp. ground flax seed (I used Beyond Eggs replacer)

4 mashed, ripe bananas

2 c. flour of choice (I used Trader Joes GF AP flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. chocolate chips

extra sugar & cinnamon for sprinkling on top, optional


1. Pre-heat oven to 350*F and grease your loaf pan with a little extra oil. Whisk milk & vinegar OR water and egg replacer, and set aside.

2. Cream oil and sugar. Add vanilla and milk or egg replacer mixture. Mix in mashed bananas.

3. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt together. Add wet mixture, and stir to combine.

4. Fold in chocolate chips, and turn batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar, if desired. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or when cake tester comes out clean.

I used the whisk for the oil and sugar, then switched to the paddle for the banana addition.

I used the whisk for the oil and sugar, then switched to the paddle for the banana addition.

I added all the dry ingredients on top, mixed, and then folded in the chocolate chips all in the same bowl.

I added all the dry ingredients on top, mixed, and then folded in the chocolate chips all in the same bowl.

going in!

going in!

50 minutes later!

50 minutes later!

And this is what my left arm currently looks like :/

And this is what my left arm currently looks like :/

OK, I’ll leave you with a more cheerful picture. Here’s one that Thomas snapped of the kittens earlier…


Foxy Tuna (Vegan Chickpea Tuna)

Published April 4, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


So my original attempt at vegan tuna recipe writing [almost to the day, three years ago, in Brooklyn] was named Fauxy Tuna, but more than one person told me they read it “Foxy” in their head, so this time, I’m just gonna let you go right ahead and do that with my blessing.

I was setting out to make us some chickpea tuna tonight, and after consulting several sources, including my own previous tempeh based tuna recipe (which I didn’t feel like fussing with, plus, it is really best if you have carrots with tops!), I just decided to wing a new one. My beef with most tuna recipes is really they just rely heavily on vegan mayo and pickle relish to do all the magic. Nothing against pickle relish and mayo, but I grew up eating tuna sans pickle relish, and with minimal mayo. In high school and college I was a vegetarian. A vegetarian who still ate tuna fish occasionally “for protein”. I was also rather weight conscious, so I used a crazy amount of mustard in lieu of mayo in said tuna. (It was the 90s, and fat was the devil.)

I’ve never been one for sea food, actually. Unless it was tuna fish, or occasionally fish and chips or salmon as an adult, fish sticks or Mrs. Paul’s were the only fish I’d go near as a kid. (Ok, I really liked the tartar sauce that came with them! I take it back. Tartar sauce = Mayo + Pickle relish. Delicious. Fin.)

So let me try to reel it back in. (No pun intended, I swear!) I set out to make this have that salty, briney sort of thing that I find missing from most vegan tuna by adding in some chopped pimento stuffed olives. I think it did the trick, but you let me know what you think.

I’m still getting to know my Seattle Whole Foods better, so when I set out to find kelp powder the last time, all I found was the Bragg’s kelp seasoning. (I’ve since located the actual kelp powder!) So if you’re using regular kelp powder, you may need to adjust the amount. Ok, without further adieu…

Foxy Tuna (Vegan Chickpea Tuna)

2 – cans of chickpeas, well rinsed and drained

2 medium carrots, chopped into large pieces
1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped into large pieces
1/4 medium onion, chopped roughly
6-8 large pimento stuffed spanish olives

1/4 c. vegan mayo (I used red fat Veganaise. The 90s still haunt me.)
1-2 tbsp. mustard (I used 2 of dijon)
2-3 tbsp. kelp seasoning or powder (I used 3 of Bragg’s kelp seasoning)
2 tbsp. pickle relish
fresh ground pepper
1-2 tsp. Tamari, Bragg’s aminos, or red sodium soy sauce, optional
dash of cayenne pepper, optional


1. Add carrots, celery, onion and olives to food processor, and pulse until roughly chopped. (Alternatively, finely chop and add to a large bowl.)

2. Add chickpeas to food processor and pulse until crumbly, but be careful not to mash them too much. Dump into a large bowl and add all other ingredients. (Alternatively, mash them in bowl from #1, with a fork.)

3. Mix up everything with a fork. Taste for seasoning.

You can serve this as sandwiches, tuna melts, or scooped on salad greens!




How To Make Roti bread

Published February 17, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


I was having a huge craving for roti bread and channa masala the other day, but didn’t feel like spending any money, so I took a stab at making it at home. I added some collard greens to the channa masala, and it came out okay, but I’ll need to work on that a bit before I post you any recipes. My roti bread, however, came out great!

Traditionally roti is made with Atta, a stone ground durum whole wheat flour, but here I used white whole wheat flour with good results. I also decided to use some unrefined coconut oil as an experiment. I figured, if it left a coconuty flavor, it would be a nice complement to the food, but it actually didn’t, so you can use what you like. I used this recipe as my guide.

Roti Bread (non-traditional)

2 c. white whole wheat flour
3/4 c. filtered water
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil


1. Put ingredients into a large bowl, or bowl of a stand up mixer. Mix to combine ingredients. (I used the paddle attachment of my stand up mixer.)

2. Knead for about 10 minutes. (I switched to the dough hook for my mixer.)

3. Cut into 12 pieces and shape into dough balls. Use the palms of your hands to shape into a disc and then roll out into thin circles. (I no longer have a rolling pin, so I used the sides of my water bottle.

4. Preheat an ungreased skillet (or griddle) to medium/medium high heat. (I started at med-high, and then reduced to just above medium.)

5. Place disc(s) onto skillet and let cook for about a minute, depending on thickness. It’s kind of like pancakes, you’ll see the edges change color when it’s ready to turn. Turn to the other side to cook through, about another minute.

Ingredients in

Ingredients in

Mix with paddle attachment.

Mix with paddle attachment.

Dough after kneading with dough hook, about 7-10 minutes.

Dough after kneading with dough hook, about 7-10 minutes.

Divided into 12 pieces.

Divided into 12 pieces.

Flattened out with palm prior to rolling.

Flattened out with palm prior to rolling.



January Raw Kickoff: Day 2 & a Raw Apple Cobbler recipe

Published January 9, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Day 2 started out much like Day 1, with the buckwheat groat porridge, though this time I ran it in the Vitamix until it was warm.


For lunch I made us some celery soup. You can see most of the ingredients above! It was delicious and the avocado kept us full for a while.


Dinner came from Matthew Kinney’s Everyday Raw Express. I made the Curried Carrot Slaw, Endive, Pine Nuts, Golden Raisins.


Only minus the endive, because it is too expensive, with regular raisins, and with ALMONDS instead of cashews for the sauce because Thomas is allergic to cashews. (I do this all the time now as a straight substitute and have had no problems. I’m going to try to make some artisan almond cheese one of these days based off of a cashew recipe.) I served it on romaine leaves as incredibly fresh and tasty burritos. The pine nuts gave this the necessary filling ingredient. The sauce on this combined with the mint was just so flavorful.


For dessert, I made this apple cobbler, very similarly to the way I made the pear blackberry one the day previously.

Raw Apple Cobbler

2-3 apples, cut into bite-sized pieces
drizzle of raw agave
sprinkle of cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger

1/2 c. almonds
1/2 c. raisins
pinch of salt

1. Place apples in a 2-3 quart dish. Drizzle with lightly with agave and toss with spices until lightly coated.

2. For the topping, add almonds, raisins, and salt to the small bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of fruit.

Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Onions

Published December 18, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Now, I’ve made roasted brussel sprouts before, but I recently had some at Mohawk Bend in L.A. that left me wanting to experiment. They do theirs with maple syrup, apples, and almonds, but I decided to try apples and onions in a maple dijon glaze here. The dijon is pretty subtle, but not integral to the dish, so I’d say it’s safe to leave it out if you’re not into mustard.

Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Onions

2 lbs of brussel sprouts, ends trimmed, loose leaves removed, and cut in halves
olive oil
salt & pepper

1 large apple, chopped small
~1/2 large onion, chopped

3 tbsp. real maple syrup
1 scant tbsp. dijon mustard
1.5 tbsp. apple cider vinegar


1. Pre-heat oven to 450*F. Mist a large oven proof baking dish (preferably something heavy, like cast-iron) with olive oil and add prepared brussel sprouts. Mist with a little more olive oil and toss with a bit of fresh ground salt & pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway, or every 10 minutes.

2. Mist a large skillet with olive oil, and heat to low-medium. Cook apples and onions until the onions are translucent, about 7-10 minutes.

3. Whisk together maple syrup, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and a little bit of salt & pepper.

4. Pull brussel sprouts out of the oven, and reduce heat to 375*F. Carefully mix in apples and onions, and drizzle with glaze. Return dish to oven to bake for and additional 10 minutes. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes until there are brussel leaves that look charred and crispy.

Unfortunately, the prep was not all smooth sailing…


I’m still getting to know my Seattle kitchen appliances, and it appears that I overloaded the garbage disposal with brussel sprout ends. Fortunately, Thomas came to my rescue…


In no time he had found the offending clogged pipe and cleared the problem. It was mostly brussel sprouts and some onion skins. Oops!


Here are the trouble makers all pretty and ready to head into the oven.


And here they are all nicely roasted and glazed! 🙂

Reheating was pretty much the same as the last part… 10 minutes at 375*F, and 5 minutes under the broiler on high to crisp them back up! Enjoy!!

Vegan Garbanzos con Chorizo (Chickpeas and Sausage)

Published December 14, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Okay, it’s been a while, but here’s another veganized cuban classic! This was my 1st try at Garbanzos con Chorizo. In an attempt to be thriftier, I made the chickpeas from scratch, but you can easily use can beans. I’ll leave the salt up to you depending on what you decide to do there. When I get the right combination I’ll mark it as such, and add it to my recipe page. This really came out so good, I don’t think I’m going to change the recipe much in the future.

Vegan Garbanzos con Chorizo (Chickpeas and Sausage)

3-4 tbsp. olive oil (cut back from 1/3 c.)

1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 oz. tomato sauce (alternatively, you can use a whole 8oz can of tomato sauce and/or the tomato paste & water)
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 c. water

3 cups of well rinsed garbanzos, or 2 cans worth
1 package of vegan sausage (I used a 14 oz. pack of Tofurky Brats, but there are vegan chorizo out there.)

salt & pepper, to taste
dash of cayenne pepper, optional


1. Heat olive oil over low heat in a large, deep skillet. Add onion, pepper, and garlic. Raise heat to medium, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, paste and water, and cook for a few more minutes.

2. Stir in chickpeas and sausage, cover, and drop heat to low to simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, and taste for seasoning.

You’re done! Serve over rice and enjoy.


I’m not the biggest fan of chopping things finely. Especially when it comes to onions, so I cut the onions into eighths, and threw them in with some roughly chopped pepper and garlic.




This worked out really well for the sausages too. I chopped them up and threw them in.


And pulsed them to the perfect, crumbly texture.


Result: I really thought this recipe was going to use more tweaking, but this first attempt came out pretty awesome. Not a whole lot of work yields a whole lot of flavor here. Not only that, it made my kitchen smell like my grandma’s used to. I’m adding it to the recipe page.

Appetite for Reduction’s Chili-Lime-Rubbed Tofu, Mashed Yuca & Kale Salad

Published April 24, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Well, by the end of this past weekend I finally had unpacked and organized all of my remaining kitchen items. (A few things had to be returned to their owners or donated.) I made out a meal plan for the week, for what seemed like the first time in ages, and headed to the store. I’ve been favoring AFR lately in an attempt to make my cooking life a little simpler and leaner. And I even managed to make a couple of dishes from it in the midst of being half unpacked the last few weeks.

This ended up being 3 courses of mixed latin fusion inspired goodness.

The Kale salad was of my own invention to use up some ripe mango and avocado I got from my mother. I used kale because I’m addicted to it and crave it all the time, but I snuck in a little chiffonade of basil since I had just bought it and it smelled so good. It made for a very nice, fresh contrast. I added black beans and some super fresh corn to give it a sort of mexi vibe, and dressed it very lightly with lime juice, a tiny mist of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some fresh ground smoked black pepper.

Mango, Avocado, Kale salad

1 bunch of kale, stems removed, ripped or chopped into tiny pieces
10 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade or chopped finely, optional
1 mango, small dice
1 avocado, small dice
1 can of black beans, well rinsed
1 tbsp. of red onion, chopped finely
fresh corn cut from one ear
lime juice, to taste
olive oil, optional
salt & pepper


I was going to try Isa’s suggested Mashed Yuca with Cilantro & Lime, but both stores I went to were curiously out of cilantro. I was already planning on buying the Goya frozen yuca instead of buying fresh, since that’s all I’ve ever seen my family use, and it was easier. That’s what’s in that pot there below on the right, 2 small bags worth. I had a little red onion left from the salad, so that’s the pink you’ll surely notice in my final result. I used this and 2 big cloves of garlic to make a quickie mojo, because I just can’t imagine eating yuca without it. So I’ll put my little version here as well. It sure tasted good. But honestly, just the yuca straight out of the salted water tasted amazing. I love yuca. I had never made it before. I did use Isa’s suggestion for reserving a cup of the cooking water to mash with.


So I made a double batch of the tofu, because Thomas is a tofu eating machine, and I wanted some leftovers to eat with the leftover salad for lunch the next day. (PS- I did, and they were extremely delicious together!) So that’s me putting fork holes in two bricks of sprouted, prepressed tofu. The only thing I didn’t double in the marinade was the oil. I stuck with just the 1 tsp. and I used less salt in the rub, and not quite double the chili powder.


In the marinade…


With their rub on…


Baked, flipped, baked some more & outta the oven…


Ty’s Mojo Infused Mashed Yuca

2 lbs of frozen yuca chunks (I used the Goya Brand), cooked according to package directions/taste. I like mine a bit “al dente” for lack of a better term. Yuca will get mushy, but for me the perfect texture is still firm on the inside.
1 c. of reserved cooking water
1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 large cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced
mist of olive oil
2 tbsp. lime juice, split


1. In the last 5-10 minutes of yuca cooking, spray a small skillet with a little olive oil and lightly fry up onion and garlic. As it gets dryer, splash in 1 tbsp. of lime juice, and cook down.

2. Drain yuca and return to pot or to a large bowl you can mash it in. Remove the fibrous little strings in the centers of the chunks, preferably with a fork so you don’t burn your fingers. Add “mojo” mixture, additional lime juice and enough cooking water to get to your desired consistency. Mmm! This made a wonderful bed for the tofu.


Final Thoughts…

So if you’re really cool, you could knock this out in 30 minutes flat. If you make the salad while the other 2 cook. I’m not that cool, so it took me somewhere between 45-60 minutes so that I could include dancing and beer drinking too. If you haven’t checked out Appetite for Reduction, it’s worth checking out. The recipes are a lot simpler than let’s say the Veganomicon, but still packed with plenty of flavor and guiltier items too like corn bread and onion rings, etc. I like it so much I even bought the kindle edition with the intent of selling back or giving away my hard copy, but don’t think I will after all. 🙂


Coconut Lentil & Split Pea Soup

Published February 23, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I followed a link for roasted brussel sprouts the other day, and ended up finding this soup recipe on La Petite Maison Verte. As I read further, I found it amusing that the recipe had a history. She had found it on 101 Cookbooks, who was turned on to it by her neighbor, who had adapted it from a copy of the Esalon cookbook. And now I pass it onto you, as I have made it. ; ) I had about a cup of roasted onions, carrots, and steamed collards that I used instead of fresh carrots, and though I attempted toasting the curry powder, I’m not sure that it made much of a difference. It may make more of a difference if you’re actually toasting the whole spices and grinding them yourself, as they do in traditional Indian cooking, so I just left it as an option.

This one is definitely going in my permanent rotation. It made a lovely meal on one of our last “winter” cold snaps. The pictures aren’t the greatest, but it was really delicious!

** EDIT 6/19/2013 : I condensed this recipe a bit from my original take to make it easier for a simple weeknight meal. I added some cinnamon & cayenne too. **

Coconut Lentil & Split Pea Soup

1 c. green (or yellow) split peas, rinsed
1 c. lentils, rinsed (I’ve used red and regular)
7 c. water
1 piece of kombu, optional
1-2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced (divided)

olive oil for misting
remaining ginger
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons curry powder (optional: toasted by heating over low heat in a small skillet until fragrant)
1 14-ounce can [light] coconut milk
1-2 tsp. sea salt  ( or low sodium soy sauce/shoyu/tamari or bragg’s, to taste )
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
cayenne pepper to taste

1/2-1 c. fresh or frozen chopped greens, optional


1. Place lentils, split peas, water and kombu in a large pot and set to boil. When lentils and water boil (skim off any foam!), add carrots and 2 tbsp. of the ginger. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

2. Mist a skillet with a little more olive oil (or you can use a thin layer of water), and set to low-medium. Add red onion, remaining tablespoon of ginger, and raisins. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, and add tomato paste. Cook an additional 2 or 3 minutes.

3. After soup simmers for 30 minutes, add onion mixture, curry powder, coconut milk, and salt. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. If you like, throw in some greens for the last 5 minutes. At this point you can blend it using an immersion blender, or pour it very carefully into a blender in batches to get a wonderful, smooth consistency, or just leave it as is for a hearty soup.






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