bird watching BG

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Potato skins

I got this recipe from an awesome blog :

However, I used Rice Milk Cheddar cheese and I LOVED it. I have tried so many vegan cheeses and nothing comes close to how delicious this is! It was so so yummy. I highly recommend these!

Chik'n Bake

This was absolutely delicious. My picky toddler ate all of his serving and asked for more. I had extra filling so I saved it, made another the next day and we ate it for lunch again. He loved it.
Sadly, I realized AFTER we bought the "chicken" that is not vegan :( I have no idea where to find vegan "chicken". Sigh. Oh well. It was a great recipe.


1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted margarine

1/2 (10 ounce) package vegan mozzarella cheese, divided (I use Follow Your Heart)
1/4 cup fake bacon bits (I use Bac'uns)
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 (12 ounce) package vegan chick'n strips (I use Lightlife Chick'n Strips )
1 tablespoon vegan ranch sauce, divided


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grate about 1/2 the cheese; don't put all of the cheese in the filling bowl, put a little bit in a second bowl because you'll need it later.

2. Add bac'uns into a bowl add a tablespoon water; warm in the microwave for 30 seconds. This just softens them up so they aren't crunchy. Add the softened bac'uns to the filling bowl. Add green onion to filling bowl along with the chick'n strips.

3. For dough, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add remaining dough ingredients and mix. Knead dough until it is smooth. Cut the dough into 2 pieces and roll each piece out flat.

4. Put 1/2 tablespoon ranch sauce in the middle of 1/2 the dough and spread it not all the way to the edges, but almost. Add 1/2 the filling, and pull the dough over the filling making a pocket.

5. Roll the ends together and pinch them in a little. Repeat with other 1/2 dough and filling. Sprinkle a little of the remaining cheese onto the top of the chick'n bakes and place in the oven until the whole thing is golden brown.

Potato skins recipe here.

Apple Burgers

My husband found this recipe somewhere when we first went vegetarian (2 years ago) and we still love it.
I will say that the patties don't stay together very well. This last time I made it, I blended the onions in a little food processor and I think that because it was more blended, it helped. But still, most of the patties do fall apart. If any of you try the recipe and can find a way to keep the patties together, let me know!!!

2 tart apples
1 Cup- onion (minced)
2 Cups- bread crumbs
1 Green Pepper (chopped)
1 Tsp Fresh ginger (minced)
2 Cups rice
6 Tsp rolled oats (ground up)
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tsp vegetable oil

1. Grate apples and try to squeeze the juice out with a paper towel, place in a bowl with onions, bread crumbs, green pepper, ginger, rice, 3 Tsp oats, salt and pepper
2. Heat oil in pan (medium heat)
3. Shape the mixture into patties (add more bread crumbs if needed) and coat with the remaining 3 Tsp of oats
4. Fry

Note: I serve with veganaise, catsup and lettuce. My husband prefers BBQ sauce :) Both ways are yummy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Broccoli and Mushroom Fettucini Alfredo

Alfredo for 1 (I used a full package but I do wish I would have doubled the sauce recipe)
2/3 cup broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
1 cup nondairy milk
2 tablespoons white flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic puree or 3 crushed garlic cloves, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon margarine, optional
1 tablespoon vegan parmesan, optional


1. Cook the pasta according to directions on the packet. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli, then drain.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, flour, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stir slowly until bubbly, then reduce heat to low.

3. Add mushrooms and vegan margarine. Allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes on low heat. Stir almost constantly. Taste and add more salt/pepper/garlic, if needed.

4. Put broccoli into strainer and drain water and noodles on top of the broccoli to heat it.

5. Serve over the pasta and broccoli and top with the parmesan for a quick, rich-tasting meal.

Levi gives this two BIG thumbs up. He absolutely loved it (minus the broccoli and mushrooms) and cleared his entire plate (which is a very big deal for him). He just asked for seconds also (he ate like an hour ago). So this is a very big deal! If Levi likes it, it MUST be good!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Babycakes' Blueberry Muffins

So I bought Babycakes amazing cook book recently and have loved everything Ive tried so far. It is very very particular and you have to follow directions perfectly. It also calls for some pretty uncommon things so it isnt something I use weekly or anything but it is a nice treat.

These blueberry muffins turned out PERFECT. So yummy and because of the ingredients, I didnt feel terrible for eating the entire batch (okay, Levi did help a little).

2 1/4 cups Whole Spelt Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
2/3 Cup Agave Nectar
2/3 Cup Rice Milk
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Pure Lemon Extract
2/3 Cup Fresh Blueberries

1.Preheat oven to 325 and line standard 12 muffin tin with liners.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Add the oil, agave nectar, rice milk, vanila and lemon extract to the dry ingredients and stir until batter is smooth.
4. Using a spatula, gently fold in the blueberries until they are evenly distributed throughout batter.
5. Pour 1/3 batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it.
6. Bake muffins on center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the tin 180 degrees after 15 minutes.
7. The finished muffins will bounce back slightly when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
8. Let the muffins stand in the tin for 15 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack.

The muffins are good stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up 3 days.

Roasted Tomato and Vegetable Penne

While I was on the Daniels Fast, I found this recipe and absolutely loved it! It is a bit spicy to keep that in mind but it is so so yummy. I used different noodles obviously. And I served it with stuffed zucchini and stuffed mushrooms. SO delicious.


4 whole tomatoes, sliced
2 Tbl garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp pepper
1/2 onion, sliced in rings
4 Tbl olive oil

1 12oz box penne
3 cups frozen asparagus (optional)
2 whole zucchini, cut in thin sticks
1/2 red bell pepper, cut in strips
4 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl garlic cloves, diced
1/2 Tsp onion powder
1 Tsp pepper
1/2 Tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tsp salt


1. Preheat oven to 400
2.Place sliced tomatoes on a cookie sheet. Evenly spread diced garlic and olive oil over the top of the tomatoes.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tomatoes with sliced onions
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
5. While tomatoes are baking, cook penne.
6. Clean and cut all vegetables
7. Over medium high heat, saute all vegetables with 4 Tbl of olive oil
8. After 2 minutes, add garlic, onion powder, pepper and red pepper flakes
9. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
10. Add cooked penne and salt and stir until vegetables are mixed in.
11. Add roasted tomatoes and mix well

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Favorite Chili

This is my all time favorite chili. I cant even remember where I got the recipe because it was so long ago but I know I have changed things over the years also so its basically my own recipe :) I absolutely love it.

Ingredients :

1 Large Onion
3 Stalks of Celery
1 Red Pepper
Canola Oil
1/4 Cup of Chili Powder
2 (15oz) Cans of Kidney Beans
3 (15oz) Cans of Decided Tomatoes
Quinoa (I use 1 cup of uncooked-2 cups of water)
3 or 4 Cups of Water


1.Cook Quinoa, follow directions on bag while preparing the rest of the chili
2.Cut onion, pepper and celery and cook with canola oil in a large sauce pot.
3.Add chili powder, beans (with or without liquid), tomatoes (with liquid), cooked quinoa and water.
4. Cook 30 minutes and ADD SALT AND PEPPER

Note: the salt and pepper is what gives it flavor and brings out the best of it so do not forget to add. It tastes rather bland without it :)

Grilled Portobello Sandwiches

I found a yummy recipe on VegWeb (best website EVER) and it turned out fabulous

2 large Portabello Mushrooms
3 Tbsp.Olive Oil
3 tablespoon each basil, Oregano, Parsely (USE FRESH)
2 Tbsp.balsamic vinegar
3 large cloves of Garlic
6 Leaves Arugula
Salt and Pepper to taste
Roasted Sweet Red Peppers
4 Slice of your favorite bread or 2 rolls

In a blender combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and fresh herbs until the items are combined. Clean and discard the stem of the mushrooms and place in a resealable bag. Pour the marinade from the blender into the bag over the mushrooms. Let stand for at least 30 minutes turning every 5 minutes. Heat the grill. Grill the mushrooms and continue to baste during the cooking time. Save some marinade to top off your sandwich. Lightly brush the vegan bread with olive oil and toast on the grill. To build the sandwich take a teaspoon or two and put it on one slice of vegan bread for each sandwich. Place two or three leaves of arugula on the vegan bread and then place on the roasted red pepper slices. Next place the grilled mushroom and salt and pepper to taste. Top off with the other slice of vegan bread.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Simple vegan brownies

This is my favorite recipe.
Its easy.
Its delicious.


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In large bowl- stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a 9x13 inch baking pan
Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven until the top is no longer shiny.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

I made these before a photoshoot that I had a couple months ago with the beautiful, glowing expectant momma and not only did she enjoy one herself, but I snapped a few pictures and I think they're adorable. :)

Thanks to AllRecipes for this one.

Amazing Cinnamon Rolls


Cinnamon rolls:
3/4 cup nondairy milk
1/4 cup margarine, softened
2 3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 (1/4 ounce) pack fast rise instant yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 pecans or vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Optional icing:
1/4 cup margarine, softened (I use Earth Balance)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon nondairy milk (I use soy)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan, heat the milk and 1/4 cup margarine until boiling. Remove from heat and cool until only warm. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast and white sugar, and whisk to get all the lumps out). Add water and milk/margarine mixture to the dry mixture and whisk just until it forms a rough dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add nuts and chocolate, if using.

2. Dump dough onto a floured board (or clean counter), and knead in the remaining half cup of flour. Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes (pressing up with palms and folding again and again) until the dough is perfectly smooth. Put the dough in a slightly oiled bowl, cover it with a clean, slightly damp towel and let it rise for 10-15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle the counter with flour and using a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 9X12 rectangle. Combine 1/2 cup margarine, brown sugar, and cinnamon and spread over the entire top surface of the rectangle. Start with the long part of the rectangle and roll it up the short side. Using a serrated knife, cut each cinnamon roll about 1 inch thick.

4. Place cinnamon rolls into a greased pan, (9"X13") Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 10-15 minutes. After cinnamon rolls have risen, bake for 15-20 minutes, depending how gooey you like them.

5. For icing, combine all ingredients. It will be very creamy and taste just like regular cinnamon roll icing. Spread on icing

Makes: makes 12 BIG cinnamon rolls, Preparation time: 30 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes

Thanks to vegweb

The Best Vegan Mac And Cheese

This is probably the best vegan meal Ive ever made (or tasted). And Steve and Levi agree. I usually make 3 dishes of it at a time and keep it in the fridge to eat throughout the week, that is how much everyone loves it. Levi has eaten more of this than anything else. Its amazing.

The best part is.... there is NO vegan cheese in it (i have still yet to find a vegan cheese that I love). Its incredible.
You must must try this.... even meat lovers can appreciate this!

What You Need:
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
What You Do:
  1. In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
  4. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

Thank you vegnews for this amazing recipe

Delicious banana carrot zucchini muffins

1 medium-large overripe banana
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup unrefined sugar
1/4 cup nondairy milk
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1 1/2 cups grated carrot and/or zucchini


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash the banana in a medium bowl. Add the oil, applesauce, sugar, and milk. Stir and set aside.

2. In a separate, large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly fold in the banana mixture. Combine with the veggies. Add a splash of milk if the final mixture is too dry.

3. Grease a muffin tin with a little oil. Spoon the batter into the pan, about 1 spoonful for each muffin (about 3/4 to all the way full.)

4. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes: 12 muffins, Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 25-30 minute

Banana Applesauce Cake with Banana Glaze

Sugar Free Banana Applesauce Cake
8oz (2 cups) whole wheat flour
1 tbsp wheat germ
1tsp baking soda
6 medium, ripe bananas - mashed
8 fl oz (1 cup) sugar-free applesauce
2-4 fl oz (1/4 to 1/2 cup) soy milk (I prefer almond or rice milk)

Preheat the oven to 325 deg F (160 deg C). In a bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce with the mashed bananas and milk. Pour the applesauce mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a greased pan and bake for around 1 1/2 hours. The cake is ready when a sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Banana Glaze-
1 mashed banana
Lemon juice (enough to make the glaze a bit watered down)

This recipe is from Homemade Baby Food Recipes!

Rice and Bean Pilaf

Rice and Black Bean Pilaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
cooking spray
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
14 oz vegetable broth
1 (15.5 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
Add celery and onion; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add rice and next 6 ingredients; stir gently. Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Add lime juice and mix gently.
Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

(this picture is from when I made it and I ate cheese- and believed that nothing could taste good without it but since then I have made it tons of times without cheese and its still equally delicious)


Im sure you're wondering why. Why did I become vegan? What radically changed my mind?

Well here's the deal... I ate incredibly unhealthy. And my husband? Even worse. If you knew us a few years ago.... well you'd know that we ate fast food ALL the time and way too much meat and soda and sugar in general. Then.... I got pregnant and it got WORSE. I kept McDonalds in business. Big Mac, large fry-make that two, and a large coke, please. I said this way too many times.
Fast forward to November 2009. Levi is around 7 months old, still not eating solids yet ( I am thinking how I want to raise him to eat healthy when he starts solids) and here I am eating a couple double cheeseburgers from none other than McDonalds, on my way home to watch whatever movie came from Netflix. To my surprise, Food Inc. was in the mail box (I had heard about it and convinced Steve to watch it with me) and we watched it. And I will never be the same. After that I looked at Steve and said "I will never eat meat again." Im still not sure if he believed me (he says he did but I doubt it) and I know a lot of other people thought it was something that would fade over time. But I can say that I have never eaten another living animal (other than fish) since that night.

So I gave up meat. That was easy. Steve supported me (and supported the idea of raising Levi a vegetarian) and our deal was that I would cook what I wanted and he would eat it as long as it was "good and filling" and I have lived up to that. He still occasionally ate meat when we went out but never brought it in the house or asked me to cook it. It was a fine compromise and we were both happy.

I will also say that during this time, I ate A LOT of cheese. And I did say a few times "I could never go vegan. I just couldnt give up cheese". HA! So anyways, I lost some weight, got healthier and felt a little better.

Then I read the book Skinny Bitch ( I know, stupid name but AWESOME book). It was very informative, to the point and I loved it. And it was almost enough to convert me but not quite. Living vegan is a little more difficult and requires you to actually check ingredients sometimes (God forbid you actually want to know what you're putting in your body) and it is harder to eat out sometimes. SO the vegan part took me a little longer. It was definitely a process.
Then I watched some videos on youtube and one in particular called Meet Your Meat was enough.
And that was it.
I have never felt better. I am slowly lost all the weight from my pregnancy (and more). I weigh less now that I did at 17 (and on my wedding day). That is exciting. But what's even better is how great I feel. Seriously, I dont feel gross and sluggish after meals anymore. I love it.

So I will be sharing lots of recipes, tips and tons of pictures (I am a very visual person so Ive got to have some pictures).

Another blog...

So if you know me and know my other blogs, you are probably wondering WHY? Why another blog?

Well, Ill explain. I am a tad bit OCD and I would rather keep my blogs separate and organized... its kind of like eating food. I would rather use a plate with separators so that my food doesn't run together... my blogs are a little like that. I have a photography blog, a crunchy mom blog (which does include some cooking/baking/food stuff) and this blog.

Of course I think all my blogs are great but this blog...
well this blog is fantastic and the reason I am creating this blog is because I have had a lot of requests for me to share the recipes of some delicious, fantastic foods that I have been making.

So.... waaaalaaa.
I have decided on the name This Is Vegan because the other night, after making some delicious blueberry muffins, my fantastic husband tried them and with a smile of satisfaction on his face said "wow, this is really good. This is vegan?" and I said "yes. even THIS is vegan."
Of course he knew it was vegan since that is the only way I cook and bake and he is used to that but it is true that sometimes, these things taste so delicious, its hard to remember (or believe) that they are actually "vegan".

After all, isnt "vegan" gross?
Wait, aren't all vegan people hippies who dont shave and live in tents?
Isn't it so hard?
Doesn't it mean you have to give up all the good food?
Oh you probably cant have any sweet things anymore since everything is made with dairy and eggs?
How do you eat anything?
I bet you miss all your old food!

Okay well heres the deal.
No it isnt gross.
No not all vegans are hippies... although I will admit I think Im becoming more of a hippy each and every day. But I dont have harry legs and I dont live in tents (not that either of those things are bad).
No, its not that hard (some things are harder to give up than others but its worth it and I'm definitely not crying over it).
No, I havent given up good food. Ive found even better food.
Actually I eat more sweet things that I used to... I have found some amazingly sweet recipes that I will more than gladly share with you.
I actually eat a lot... if you haven't noticed, I am not withering away. Im probably the chubbiest vegan I know ;)
I dont miss my old food. I have missed cheese.... but other than that, I love my new food even more.
And heres the best part.... i feel GOOD after I eat. I dont feel gross and bloated. I dont get cramps and feel nauseated or run to the bathroom after eating a meal.
Its fabulous.