Hamentaschen

Vegan Hamentaschen

Vegan Hamentaschen

Purim is so much fun!  What’s not to love about a holiday that involves hamentaschen and lots of spirits?  I look forward to eating hamentaschen each year and actually I now even enjoy making them, although rolling out dough used to be something I avoided like the plague.  Any recipe that called for rolling dough – I was out of there.  It was just so messy and I was never very good at it, so it never seemed worth the trouble.  Fast forward to four years ago when I became vegan and finding vegan hamentaschen was no easy task.  It was either make them myself or go without, so of course I was once again rolling dough.  The amazing thing is that with this vegan recipe I developed, the dough comes out perfectly every time and rolling it is simple.  I love making vegan hamentaschen!

Blueberry Hamenstaschen

Blueberry Hamenstaschen

  • 1 c vegan shortening 
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1/4 c orange juice
  • 3 1/2 c flour
  • 1  T baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T ground flax seed mixed with 5 T water
  • assorted pastry fillings
  • chocolate chips

With a hand mixer, cream the shortening and the sugar.  Add the flax seed with water, vanilla and orange juice and mix well.  Add the salt, baking powder and half of the flour and mix on low.  When combined, add the remaining flour.  Once all incorporated, cover and place in fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.  After 30 minutes, roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick.  Use a glass that is about 3 1/2 inches wide to press out circles from the dough.  Place a tablespoon of pastry filling in the center of each circle.  Place a few chocolate chips on top if desired.  Fold into triangles and press the edges together firmly.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheets and bake for 12 – 14 minutes.   Let cool before removing from sheets.

Makes about 34

tip:  almond pastry filling with lots of chocolate chips is incredible!!

ENJOY!!

Red Velvet Oreo Brownies

I love Valentine’s Day!  Mostly because I love chocolate, but also because I love just about anything sweet.  So this year I wanted to try to make something that was off the charts in terms of gooey sweetness.  I searched the internet for inspiration and found a recipe that looked incredible, and, like most delicious recipes, was very easy to veganize!  (shout out to Courtney at http://www.pizzazzerie.com who created this decadent goodie).  I do have to say that even though Valentines Day is about hearts, this recipe is not so good for the heart.  It uses processed cake and pudding mixes, which I normally stay away from, but hey – February 14th comes once a year!  It’s definitely a splurge dessert, but that said, it does get high marks for being cruelty-free, which takes lots of heart!!  Happy Valentines Day and love all living things every day!

Red Velvet Oreo Brownies

Red Velvet Oreo Brownies

  • 1 Duncan Hines box Red Velvet cake mix
  • 1/2 c melted “butter” – I use earth balance spread
  • 2 T ground flax seed mixed with 5 T water
  • 1 pkg jello french vanilla instant pudding
  • 6 T canola oil
  • 1 package oreos, crushed
  • 8 oz non-dairy cream cheese
  • 12 oz chocolate chips, melted
  • a few handfuls of mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325.  In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, flax mix, pudding and oil.  Coat a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.  Pour the batter in the pan.  It is pretty thick, so just use your hands to spread out.  Bake 30 minutes.

In the meantime, combine the oreo crumbs and the cream cheese.

Once the cake has cooled a bit, spread the oreo mix on top.  Do so by gently pushing down so it doesn’t tear the cake.

Pour melted chocolate over the oreo topping and lastly, press the mini chips on top while still warm.

Let cool.

Cut into 24 squares.

Tempeh Marsala

Tempeh Marsala

Tempeh Marsala

I love to cook and don’t mind spending the time it usually takes to make delicious, healthy and cruelty-free meals for family.  However, there are times when I need to make something quickly, yet I don’t want to sacrifice flavor or nutrition.  So last night, one of those nights when I had too many things I needed to do, and not enough time to do them, I gathered a few ingredients together and made this dish in about half an hour.  It was really great and certainly didn’t taste like I took any shortcuts at all!  The simplicity of this recipe allows for the taste of the tempeh, mushrooms and marsala to come shining through, and I was able to feed my family and get out of the kitchen in no time at all!  I know a lot of recipes call for steaming the tempeh first, to get rid of any bitterness, but there really is no bitterness in this recipe at all – I promise!!  Slicing the tempeh in half to thin it really allowed it to soak up all the yummy flavors and even my kids, who are most definitely not huge fans of mushrooms, went back for seconds!  To me, that is a successful meal!!  

  • 3 (8 oz) packages tempeh
  • 3 T “butter” (I use earth balance)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 lb chopped button mushrooms
  • 1 c marsala wine, divided
  • 1 T arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T chopped parsley

Cut each block of tempeh in half widthwise, so that it is half as thick.  Then cut each of the 6 tempeh pieces into about 6 triangles (36  triangles total).

Cooking Tempeh Marsala

Cooking Tempeh Marsala

Melt 2 T of the “butter” in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Place half of the tempeh triangles on top of the shallots and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side.  Remove that batch of tempeh, melt the remaining 1 T “butter, and cook the remaining tempeh triangles.  Remove this second batch of tempeh from the pan.  Add the olive oil and the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.  Pour 3/4 c of marsala into the pan and turn up to medium high heat.  Once it is bubbling, cook for 5 minutes more to burn out the alcohol.

In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder with the remaining 1/4 c marsala and add to the pan.  Cook for a few minutes to thicken.  Add the tempeh back in and stir to distribute the sauce over all the triangles.  Garnish with parsley.

Serves 6