Thursday, December 21, 2017

Vegan Spritz Cookies

(Recipe adopted from ValyasTasteOfHome)
Serves: 7 dozen

1.5 cups room temperature Earth Balance butter
1 cup sugar
1 Egg Replacer
2 tbsp. almond milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. almond extract
3 ½ cups. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
food coloring (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Thoroughly cream Earth Balance butter and sugar.
  2. Add Egg Replacer, almond milk, vanilla and almond extract. Beat well until smooth about 3 minutes on high speed.
  3. Stir together flour and baking powder. Sift it into the creamed mixture.
  4. Stir on low speed until all flour combined and the dough will look smooth in texture.
  5. Do not chill. Place dough into Cookie Pro Ultra and press cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Decorate them with Jam or Christmas sprinkles of your choice. Bake one batch of cookies for 8 minutes at 375 F.
  7. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan to cooling rack.  

First of all, this was THE most frustrating baking experience EVER! There is a learning curve with using a cookie press and I'm at the left of that curve. The directions LIED! Pressing the lever once and then pull up was utter FAIL. Everything was trial and error. Also, in my opinion, I would have liked it less sweet. However, our 6yo and the rest of the family loved it and said the sweetness was perfect. 

Despite it all, it was worth it spending time with Maksim. He loves baking with me. I took advantage & squeezed in math lessons with measurements.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Carmelized Onion Bruschetta

Serves 15

1 tsp Earth Balance
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
2 onilns (medium, sliced thin)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 baguette
1 tbsp olive oil
2 roma tomatoes (diced)
fresh basil
  1. Heat Earth Balance butter and oil in saucepan. Add onions and saute several minutes until onions begin to wilt.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low, add salt, sugar, and garlic and sate for 30 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium high and stir in broth. Saute until almost completely reduced.
  4. Slice bread into 1/2" slices, brush with oil, and place on rack on broiler. Broil each side until golden.
  5. Remove and top with onions, tomatoes, basil, and fresh pepper.

I got this recipe from my mother's drawer in her dining room. It must have been there for over ten years. It was mailed to her by the realtor that sold them their home over 15 years ago. It was perfect timing since my mind was trying to decide what to bring to trivia night. It was fantastic! Friends loved it.

To make it a lot easier and to my liking, I brought already broiled baguette pieces from the local grocery store. Also, I prefer my bruschetta cold. It was chilled in the refrigerator before taking it to trivia night. Another alteration is that I chopped the onions instead of cutting i with long strands. Not a fan of stringy slimy onions. It turned out great and has such a good flavor.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Vegan Arroz Caldo

Vegan Arroz Caldo
Original Recipe by Eleanor Arkhipova
Serves 8

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 large bulb garlic chopped (or more)
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger (or more)
  • 1 Vegan Half Chicken chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • spring onions chopped
  1. Saute chopped garlic in olive oil until golden.
  2. Add grated ginger and mix.
  3. Add chopped Vegan Half Chicken. Saute until chicken is slightly golden.
  4. Add the water and vegetable stock. Mix  and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the cooked white rice, mix, and bring to a boil. Put on medium heat for 10 minutes. May need to add more water.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Top with chopped spring onions.
Secret: The more garlic used, the stronger the flavor. Can also top it with more fried garlic, more veggie chicken, and or steamed broccoli.

This is Filipino dish that is usually cooked during the Christmas season. It is our version of the feel good chicken soup that warms the soul. My mother cooks this for my son whenever he is sick. When he was a picky 3 years old, he loved it. He called it, "Chicken Rice Soup."

You can use any veggie chicken available in the health food market, but I came across these VeriSoy Vegan Half Chicken at the local Oriental Store. Bought 8 pieces to stock up my freezer. Having been an omnivore in the past, this vegan chicken tastes the closest to chicken, if not, tastes better. I love that they shaped it as half the bird, only smaller. Hilarious! If I'm lazy, I slice it lengthwise and fry it just so. It's wonderful.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stuffed Mushrooms With Sautéed Green Beans

Stuffed Mushrooms With Sautéed Green Beans
Original Recipe by Eleanor Arkhipova
(Serves 4)

Ingredients Stuffed Mushrooms
  • 2 packages whole mushrooms
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 3 slices of vegan whole wheat bread pulled apart
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients Green Beans
  • 2 12 oz packages of green beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Method Stuffed Mushrooms
  1. Preheat over 30 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Wash mushrooms and remove the stem from the caps. Set caps aside and chop the stems. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized pot or wok, saute the onions in medium heat until translucent. Add the red pepper and celery. Mix until cooked.
  4. Add the pieces of whole wheat bread and mix well.
  5. Add oregano, garlic powder, onion powder. Mix.
  6. Add the unsweetened almond milk and mix. 
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Grease a baking sheet with oil spray.
  9. Place mushroom caps on the baking sheet to be filled.
  10. Stuff the mushrooms with the bread stuffing.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and the stuffing looks crunchy.
Method Green Beans
  1. Cut the ends of the green beans.
  2. In a large pan, add olive oil and then saute the green beans in medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste. Mix.
  4. Cook until desired crispiness.
  5. Serve as a side dish with the stuffed mushrooms.
  6. Enjoy!

Talk about the ultimate side dish dinner. The mushrooms went on sale at the local Aldi's so we took advantage. This went fast because it was so delicious and oh so simple. Once again, add more spices as needed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Scrambled Tofu

Srambled Tofu
Original Recipe by Eleanor Arkhipova
(serves 4)


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onions chopped
  • 12 oz firm tofu
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp vegan chicken bouillon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives or parsley to garnish

  1. Sautee onions in olive oil in medium heat until translucent.
  2. Drain the tofu and squeeze out as much water from the block as much as possible. In a separate bowl, crumble the tofu with a fork then add to the pan. Mix.
  3. Add all the spices and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Let cook for five minutes adding more spice as necessary.
  6. Top with chives or parsley.
  7. Serve with vegan hot-dogs and avocado.
  8. Enjoy!

I like this version of the scrambled tofu. It packs so much flavor - then again, I LOVE spices and am not afraid to use it. Thus being said, the spices I used in the picture were double the amount indicated in the initial recipe above. It was delicious. My father-in-law actually thought it was scrambled eggs at first sight. I thoroughly enjoyed this breakfast. YUM!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Creamy Radiatore Topped with Kalamata Olives

Creamy Radiatore Topped with Kalamata Olives
Original Recipe by Eleanor Arkhipova
(serves 6)


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp ground thyme (or whole thyme)
  • 1 14oz can of coconut milk
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 box radiatore cooked as directed
  • Parsley as garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cook half a box of radiatore as directed. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, place olive oil and then saute the chopped onions in medium heat until translucent.
  3. Add the mushrooms and thyme stirring occasionally for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and stir for 3 minutes.
  5. Place everything in the pot in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  6. After blending, place back in the pot in medium heat and add the black beans. Bring to a boil then simmer.
  7. Drain the pasta then mix it in with the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Top with kalamata olives and parsley.
  9. Enjoy!
This recipe came to me one day when I didn't feel like going to the grocery store. Basically the ingredients presented themselves in my refrigerator and pantry manifesting this great idea. I LOVE radiatore because of its crevices that trap the flavor. I always have it in my pantry in case of the last minute cooking inspiration. My husband and his father loved this dish. It was so creamy and fantastic. Adding black beans is a nice protein bonus that worked well for this recipe. And I just love kalamata olives, so win!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Simple Plov

There are days I crave Russian food, like today. Specifically, Plov, a rice dish usually eaten with a meat entree. For the sake of cravings, it was all I desired today. My father-in-law usually cooks this delicious rice dish, but he was at work so I tried my hand at it. It tastes fairly close, yet still, his is better.

Simple Plov
(serves 6)


  • 3 large carrots diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 6 cups cooked white rice
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste

  1. Cook rice in rice cooker.
  2. Saute diced onion in olive oil on medium heat until translucent.
  3. In a separate pan, saute diced carrots in olive oil on medium heat until soft.
  4. Set onion and carrots aside.
  5. In a separate large pot or a large bowl, place white rice then top with the cooked onions and carrots. Mix evenly.
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Serve with sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, and a veggie meat.
  8. Enjoy!
Saute diced onion in olive oil on medium heat until translucent.

In a separate pan, saute diced carrots in olive oil on medium heat until soft.

Set onion and carrots aside.

In a separate large pot or a large bowl, place white rice
then top with the cooked onions and carrots. 

Mix evenly then add salt to taste.

Serve with sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, and a veggie meat.

Maksim, our little Russian boy loves Plov!
The Asian boy in him also loves rice, so this was perfect for him.
He stuffed his face with Plov.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

20-Minute One Pot Vegan Sausage Pasta

It's nice to be cooking again. What's wonderful about veganism is that you can turn any recipe into vegan with just the right ingredients. A few days ago, I stumbled upon a recipe in Pinterest, 20-Minute One Pot Sausage Pasta. Having had all the ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator, I decided to go for it substituting the sausage with Tofurkey's Original Sausage.

It was fun to make and I was intrigued with the one pot pasta dish. As much as I love pasta recipes, this didn't exactly hit my taste buds right. I still maintain my original spaghetti recipe the best (which will be posted in the future). Still can appreciate this one though. My father-in-law liked it. But I suppose that this would taste best with real meat. Had I also had vegan cheese, it probably would have tasted better topped with it.

Sausage Substitute : Tofurkey's Original Sausage

Lentil Sloppy Joes

{ 08.29.2010 - Eleanor's Kitchen - Lentil Sloppy Joes }
{ Recipe from Vegan Dad

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups water (more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Tabasco sauce to taste


  1. 1. Heat oil in a frying pan over med-hi heat. Saute onion, celery, green pepper, and oregano for 5-7 mins, until onion is translucent and pepper has softened.
  2. Add lentils and mix well. Add ketchup, 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, Worcestershire (if using), sugar, salt and pepper, and Tabasco.
  3. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat, and cover. Cook for about 30 mins, stirring regularly, adding more water if needed until lentils are cooked but still hold their shape.
  4. Serve on toasted rolls, open-faced if you want. 
I love Vegan Dad's website. So many good food to try, and they're all VEGAN!!! I used to be vegan before I met my husband. He didn't particularly like my nutrition choice, but he dealt with it. Somehow we came to the middle and became vegetarians... and then five years later, we started to eat meat. lol. Pretty funny.Still though, I prefer vegetarian dishes over meat dishes.

Nonetheless, the recipe above is pretty decent - kid friendly. I couldn't find the Red Lentil Beans at the grocery store so I used regular ones.

Hearty Lentil & Buckwheat Soup

{ Eleanor's Original Recipe - Hearty Lentil & Buckwheat Soup }

  • 1/2 cup lentils (soak for 2-3 hours prior to cooking)
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat (can be omitted but it's pretty good with it)
  • 4 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 medium sized carrots chopped
  • 2 small potatoes cut in squares
  • 1/2 box of Rich Brown Washington Broth (also available at health food markets)
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • In a large pot boil the lentils in 2.5 cups of water. Keep adding water throughout cooking so it doesn't dry out. Make it as soupy as you want. Cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add the buckwheat. Cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water as needed.
  • Add the Rich Brown Washington Broth.
  • Add the chopped celery, chopped carrots, and the potatoes. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Eat soup alone or over rice.

Are you in the mood for a hearty healthy meal that will not increase your waist line?  This is a good recipe to get all your veggies and grains into your system to make you feel better and stronger. It is also a very good dish for a chilly day and soup night with the family. My husband and I believe in eating light for dinner. A bowl of this soup hits the spot. :-) Enjoy!

Sushi & Spring Rolls

Izzy (brother) and I made some healthy dishes today. He made the sushi and I made the fresh spring rolls. The sushi is filled with different combinations of cucumbers, carrots, avocado, eggs, cream cheese, and sesame seeds. The spring rolls are all fresh wrapped in spring roll rice wrappers containing green onions, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, avocado, alfalfa, and bean sprouts. These are fairly easy to make and I had fun bonding with my brother while creating these. He's a great cook and an even more awesome brother.

Ehiopian Cabbage Dish

Today's dish is a cabbage side from Ethiopia. Someday I'd like to travel there to learn of their culture and culinary.  This recipe is delicious, healthy, and easy to make.

Ethiopian Cabbage Dish


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes


  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the carrots and onion in the hot oil about 5 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, and cabbage and cook another 15 to 20 minutes. 
  3. Add the potatoes; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.

Mariquitas-Plantain Chips

My brother, Izzy, came over yesterday and showed me how to cook an excellent appetizer, Mariquitas-Plantain Chips. This recipe is his own version of the Mariquitas-Plantain Chips we ordered from the Little Havana Restaurant during our trip to Miami last year. It's extremely delicious but must be served within 15 minutes of cooking. Very easy to make. See the recipe below.

Mariquitas-Plantain Chips
By Izzy

2 unripe plantain bananas
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tbs olive oil or butter
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp lime juice
salt to taste


Peel the plantain bananas. The easiest way to peel is to cut both ends off
and then make a vertical incision from the top of the banana to the bottom. Peel.

Using a peeler, peel the banana from top to bottom.

The peeled plantains should look like this.

In a deep medium pot, deep fry the bananas until golden. The consistency should be crispy but not burned.
Do not  put too many in so that they won't stick together.

Here is a crumpled one just out of the fryer. Still very good.

Sauce Mix:
You can either use an olive oil base or a butter base. We used olive oil.
In a small container combine the olive oil, garlic, and lime juice. Mix.
Drizzle  sauce over the plantain chips. Mix the plantain chips and drizzle more sauce to it.
Salt as desired.

Serve and ENJOY!

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

I got this recipe from and it is SUPER easy!  I added my own ingredients to make it my own and BY GEORGE, it tasted fantastic!  It literally took me 15 minutes to make this.  While the pasta was boiling I minced the garlic, cut the sun dried tomatoes, and then measured out the crushed red peppers.  I added the ingredients to the cooked pasta and then drizzled the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste - mix and  VIOLA!  Simple, delicious, low-carb pasta dish for dinner.  I served this with grilled chicken breasts and steamed broccoli.

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

The measurements in this recipe can be shifted depending on your taste preferences.

1 box DreamFields Spaghetti (healthier pasta)
15 Half sized Sun Dried Tomatoes (sliced in strips)
10 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp of Red Pepper Flakes
2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

  1. Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package, until it is al dente.
  2. Strain spaghetti and place in a large serving dish.
  3. Add sun dried tomatoes, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix together well.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.