All posts in the recipes category

Cheater Channa Masala

Published June 18, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Not the real deal at all, but I had a craving, and didn’t want to spend the money (or consume the fat) that goes with ordering take-out, especially when I already had a huge pot of cooked chickpeas sitting in the fridge! (The rest will be used for Foxy Tuna!) I put in the tweaks I’ll make on the next go with *, but thought this still came out tasty enough to share! Let me know what you think. 🙂

3 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1.5 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. sea salt

3″ piece of ginger, minced
8 garlic cloves, minced

15 oz. can chopped tomatoes and their juice (I used fire roasted w/chiles here)
15 oz. can of tomato sauce*
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. garam masala
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander*
2 tsp. sugar or evaporated cane
cayenne pepper to taste, optional

6 c. cooked chickpeas (1 lb cooked, or 4 cans)
1 c. reserved cooking liquid or can liquid
2 tbsp. lemon juice

1-2 c. frozen greens, optional


1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions, cumin and turmeric, and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add ginger and garlic, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, curry powder, garam masala, cumin, sugar and cayenne. Cover, and let the mixture simmer over low-medium/medium for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add chickpeas, liquid, and lemon juice to the mixture, and simmer for 10 more minutes. Stir in frozen greens (if using) and adjust seasonings if necessary.


Pretty good. I think I’ll up the tomato sauce and cut back the coriander a little. (*The measurements up there reflect these changes!) I served this over brown basmati rice. You could also make my easy and non-traditional Roti here if you feel so inclined. Since this is a new recipe, I somehow resisted the urge to throw a bunch of frozen greens in until I could give the flavors a chance to talk to me. Then I totally threw in some spinach at the end, because I love greens in just about everything, but that’s just me!




Smoky Black Bean Bowls (on a budget!)

Published June 5, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Baby’s on a budget! Between all the moving around I’ve done in the last few years, my recent uninsured arm fracture (I am now insured though – as of Saturday, woo!), and the loss of my old station wagon/attainment of a shiny new, gas friendly hatchback, my debts have piled sky high. So I sat down today and used two phone apps to get myself on a budget.

My thoughts immediately turned to food. In the last year I’ve become very reliant on going out and ordering in, instead of cooking. It started when we moved to Fort Lauderdale, with the major kitchen downsize, and had just continued since with all the changes this past year, but it ends now! My new goal is $50 week for groceries. Today we did $58, including beer & cider, at Trader Joe’s. I thought that was a pretty good first effort.

So in order to make this work, I decided to go back to my roots. Being Cuban/Honduran I grew up with lots of legumes and rice for weeknight meals. Trader Joe’s didn’t have dry beans, which I’m determined to start using for the most economical bang for my buck, but they did have plenty of well priced canned beans and other things. Next week we’re going to check out the local co-op to see what they have.

This was just something I whipped up based on a more traditional recipe. I served it over some kale and brown rice (a mix of short grain & basmati) for a hearty grain bowl. We sprinkled nutritional yeast on top, and the kale wilted and cooked perfectly under the hot broth.

Smoky Black Beans

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped

1/2 c. chopped tomato (I used 1/2 can of fire roasted tomatoes w/chiles)

2 16 oz. cans black beans, undrained (I used Trader Joe’s Cuban Style black beans)

1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire
1 tbsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. tamari (or red sodium soy sauce)
+ water to equal 1/2 cup

1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. vinegar (white or red wine)

Salt & Pepper, as needed
Hot Sauce, to taste, optional (I used a delicious local habanero sauce)


1. Heat olive in a medium pot over low-medium heat. (While it’s heating I roughly chop the garlic, green pepper, and onion and then pulse it in the food processor to a finer texture.

2. Add garlic, onion, and pepper to pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.

3. Add the tomatoes, and let them cook for about 10 minutes.

4. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Taste for seasoning. Raise the heat until it bubbles, cover, and drop to low to simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Serve over any greens & cooked grain of your choosing. We sprinkled with nooch, and I would have liked to throw some avocado on there, but it wasn’t quite ready yet. Enjoy!

Over a nice bed of fresh kale.

Over a nice bed of fresh kale.

Kale is perfectly cooked and bright green from the hot broth! Mmm!

We let it sit a minute or two so the kale was perfectly cooked and bright green from the hot broth! Mmm!

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 🙂

Cheer Up Green Shake (Raw)

Published May 23, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Hey all!

This will be the last post before we head on down to Portland for Vida Vegan Con 2013 this evening! Just a little green shake I made to cheer myself up after talking with the financial people over at the hospital where I took my uninsured, fractured arm, back in April. :p I’m going to try to put that out of my mind until next week so I can enjoy all the festivities this weekend. Should be quite a lot!

We had been eating all raw since Sunday to cleanse before what will be an incredible amount of vegan food and treats this weekend, but we broke it last night with a trip to our favorite Seattle vegan bar, Highline. I figured I should probably get the tum ready with these yummy steak & black bean nachos they had on special.


Mmm! Those were good. But after feeling a little down and unmotivated after this morning’s conversation, I decided a little chlorophyll might do a body good. That, and I had a craving for a vanilla milkshake! I made a proper green revision of my previous Raw Vegan Milkshakes. Here’s the recipe!

Cheer Up Green Shake (Raw)

2 c. almond milk (raw or store bought)
3 ripe bananas, halved
2+ c. frozen spinach
1/2 c. frozen pineapple chunks
1 tbsp. flax seeds, optional
2 tbsp. raw carob powder, optional
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

2-3 c. of ice, to liking


Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender, adding ice a cup at a time, to preference.

Okay, now to go pack, wash my hair and shower. I look forward to seeing so many of you in Portland very, very soon! ~Ty

(I included a current pic of me, so you can spot me and say hi!)


Raw Vegan Veggie soup

Published May 20, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Thomas turned to me this weekend and asked if we could do a green smoothie detox for a few days to “reset”. I thought this was actually a great way to prep for the insanity that will be hundreds of vegan bloggers running around Portland this weekend at Vida Vegan Con 2013, eating everything in sight. Oh yes, it will be glorious.

We decided to do green smoothies along with raw food for variety. I decided to start out with a raw celery soup from Raw Food, but didn’t realize that I was running low on celery, so I tossed in a few carrots, extra tomato, some miso, garlic and a little bit of jalepeno and cayenne for kick. I love how flexible raw food is, and I love how full you can get on good fat like avocado.

Raw Vegan Veggie Soup

several stalks of celery, chopped into large pieces, about 2 c.
3 carrots, chopped large
3 small tomatoes, quartered
1 clove of garlic
handful of fresh parsley, about 1/2 c.
1 ripe avocado
1 c. filtered water
1 tbsp. of tamari (or shoyu or Bragg’s or red-sodium soy sauce)
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
1 tbsp. white miso, optional
1/4 fresh jalapeno
dash of cayenne pepper


Add all ingredients to high speed blender and combine until warmed through and creamy. You’re done! 🙂


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!




Lentil, Split Pea, Garbanzo Soup

Published March 20, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


So I’m posting this for Katy, who asked for the recipe after seeing a picture. These lentil split pea soups have become a staple food in my kitchen, and are never the same twice. (Which explains why there are so many of them in my recipe tab.) It’s a tradition that’s sort of been passed down to me from my mother, who makes a pot of lentils and/or split peas at LEAST once a week. She’s not into cooking anything fussy, and as a nurse, a Cuban, and a person who has always naturally leaned towards a vegetarian diet, she knows how much protein punch she can get from these simple and easy meals. My versions are fairly different from her’s, however, because mine tend to have major Indian and Macrobiotic influences. I often combine several different legumes, and even leftovers if I can get away with it.

In this particular case, we happened to really need to go grocery shopping. Honestly if you open our fridge right now, all you’ll see is the Britta, 2 cans of Dave’s Pale Ale and 2 packages of sprouted tofu.


See?! I’m dead serious, we’re even out of garlic! But we did have onions, celery and potatoes, so that was enough for me to get a good base going. I used dried lentils and split peas, and the dark colored chickpeas were leftovers from the batch that I made from scratch for another recipe and needed using up. I ended up with so much cumin because I went to add a teaspoon and a bunch dumped out, but it totally worked out. The millet paired really well with it. (How to cook millet) Anything with a ~ is an approximation.

Lentil, Split Pea, Garbanzo Soup
4-8 servings

oil for misting pot, or ~1 tsp. (I used EVOO)

2 yellow onions, chopped to liking
1 stalk of celery, chopped to liking
1 large baking potato, chopped to liking

~1/2 tsp. of salt
~1 tsp. of garlic powder
fresh ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

8 c. filtered water
6 tsp. of concentrated veg broth stuff (you can use broth, or bouillon, or powder too)

1 c. of lentils
1/2 c. of yellow split peas
2 c. of rinsed garbanzos (or 1-2 cans)

2 tbsp. curry powder
~1 tbsp. of cumin


1. Mist a large pot bottom with oil of choice, and heat to medium. Add the onions while you chop up the celery and potato, and toss them in as you go. Sprinkle in salt, garlic, and pepper. Keep stirring periodically until the onions get translucent and slightly browned.

2. Add water and deglaze pot bottom by stirring up any pieces that got stuck to the bottom. Add veggie broth stuff, legumes, and remaining spices.

3. Bring up to a boil, cover and drop to simmer for at least an hour. Done!


DIY Coconut Oil Vegan Deodorant

Published March 10, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I don’t know if you’ve heard about how to make your own deodorant yet, but if you haven’t, or have been curious about trying it… pay attention!

I first came across the idea when my friend reposted this link on facebook. Then I noticed that was selling some for more than I wanted to pay, so started asking around to see if anyone had tried it. My friend Timb said he had been using a similar recipe with his own sage or peppermint oils for about 2 months, and that it was the best deodorant he’d ever used.

Just to give you a background on Timb, he’s a 6’4″ guy who lives in South Florida and drives a car with no A/C, so once he told me this, I knew it was worth giving it a try! Now the recipe he used said you could use cornstarch for the arrowroot from the above recipe, and listed the essential oils as optional.

Since I had a whole bunch of unrefined coconut oil, organic cornstarch and baking powder right in my kitchen cabinets, I decided to give it a go. (That and I had been scraping on the very last bit of my usual men’s antiperspirant, so I figured it was time.)

For my 1st batch I used a 1:1:1 ratio of the above ingredients, using 3.5 tsps of each. I used an empty vitamin D2 bottle as my container not only because I wanted to start with a small batch in case I didn’t like it, but also because I was flying the next day and was aiming to keep it to an airline friendly amount.

This is the recipe from my 2nd batch with just a little more cornstarch and in a larger quantity. Still fit in the vitamin bottle perfectly. Almost filled it… (Updated 4/9/13)

EDIT: 6/29/13 I have made a Summer Strength version as well! Not only is it better at fighting the summer sweat, it keeps the mixture a little less runny in the hotter liquid state. Also appropriate year round for Florida! See below! 🙂

DIY Coconut Oil Vegan Deodorant

2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. organic cornstarch (or arrowroot)
2 tbsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil

Summer Strength

2 tbsp. + 2 tsp. organic cornstarch (or arrowroot)
2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil


1. Combine dry ingredients. I did this by adding them in, and shaking the sealed bottle.

2. Add liquid coconut oil. If yours isn’t liquid, you’ll need to warm it up so that it’ll mix well. I have a very warm kitchen, so I just left it on the counter for a little while. I poured in the liquid, and shook it up again to combine all the ingredients well.


What I was left with was a rich cream. It hardened up in my bathroom over night, but it wasn’t a problem. Once I dug in a little with my finger it gave way. You’ll only need about a dime to nickel size amount for each underarm. I love the smell, even without the essential oils! It’s like rubbing macaroons into your axilla. 🙂 It may crumble a little, but mostly it just melts right in. I suggest rubbing it in the direction of hair growth after shaving to help with sensitivity of the skin. I did find it burned briefly a couple of times, but haven’t had the issue anymore, especially with the latest formula. (above)


YES IT DOES!! I agree with Timb, this is the best deodorant I’ve used. I’ve been using it for nearly a week and I have ZERO complaints. I wore it out singing and dancing, drinking, flying on a plane, sweating in Florida, etc. And even when I was actively sweating, I didn’t smell bad. After the sweating subsided, no odor. It really does the job.

*3/12/13 EDIT: So I do have one complaint! Since this is NOT an anti-persperant like I’m accustomed to, I am a little uncomfortable with the sweating part. I don’t know if adjusting the ratio could improve the wetness issue at all, but I may try that next.

*3/25/13 EDIT: I’ve just been using a bit extra on each underarm, and have not had the issue anymore. Of course, it’s been pretty cold lately. I’ll be making my second batch soon! I will keep you posted if anything else noteworthy comes up.

*4/9/13 EDIT: Updated the recipe with my more cornstachy formula. Works great!!

I’m so happy because not only am I off of the nasty chemical laden stuff that probably causes cancer, disease and god only knows what else, but it’s easy, cheap and vegan! Your skin is your largest organ, and absorbs everything you put on it, so whenever I can switch to something I wouldn’t feel unsafe eating, I feel a little bit better. Especially as someone working in the Oncology industry. Check it out and let me know what you think!


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