Blueberry Crisp with Maple-Pecan Topping

Blueberries are my favorite summer fruit. We have a few patches here in Northern Minnesota, but our growing season was a flop so I had to pick them up from the store. The recipe I found called for blackberries and it was actually double the amount of what I made. You can sub any berry or fruit for that matter. Enjoy!

Blueberry Crisp with Maple-Pecan Topping from Vegetarian Times September 2012

  • 2 1/2 tbls maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 c blueberries (fresh!)
  • 1 1/2 tbls sugar
  • 8 tbls flour, divided
  • salt
  • 1/3 c rolled oats
  • 1/3 c chopped pecans
  • 1/6 c brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbls canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350 F and coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

Whisk together 1 tbls maple syrup and 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar. Pour over 3 cups of blueberries. To this mixture, add sugar, 1 1/2 tbls flour and a dash of salt. Combine and add to the baking dish.

Now, for the topping, combine 6 1/2 tbls flour, oats, pecans, brown sugar and 1/8 tsp salt. Combine.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 maple syrup and canola oil. With your hands combing the wet with the dry until clumps form. Sprinkle the clumps over the blueberry mixture.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the topping has browned.


Portabella Parmesan with Citrus Artichoke Green Beans

Blogging is a bit tough right now as I am caught waist deep in a food coma. Tonight’s meal was magnificent. The best part is it was made with ease and minimal ingredients. I found a good baked mushroom recipe here and found the recipe for the green beans on this blog. I omitted and added a few odds and ends with both recipes. Cheers!

Citrus Artichoke Green Beans

  • 1 lb green beans
  • a clove of garlic
  • 2/3 c artichoke
  • oil
  • white onion, chopped
  • lemon juice
  • Mrs. Dash’s lemon seasoning

Boil some water and add the green beans. Cook for a few minutes, drain and dip beans in an ice water bath. Next, saute the onion and garlic in some oil. When the onions become soft and translucent, add the lemon juice and artichoke. After a few minutes, toss in the green beans. Sprinkle some lemon season and salt and pepper to taste. Heat through for a few more minutes and serve.

Easy Portabella Parmesan

  • 4 bella caps
  • 1 1/2 c pasta sauce
  • dried basil
  • cheese of your choice (I used Daiya mozzarella for myself and dairy cheese for my guests)

Remove stems. Broil caps gills down for 5 minutes and gills up for 5 minutes. Drain any juice that seeped out. Then pour a cup or so on the bottom of the pan along with a spoonful of sauce over the gills.

Sprinkle with dried basil. Top with cheese(s) of your choice.

Bake at 400 F for around 10 minutes, or until the cheese browns.


Pickles are one food I could never live without. I love them in everything, from sandwiches to pizzas to beer. They are the ultimate staple! You’d think I’d have made millions by now, but I haven’t. In fact, this was my first pickle recipe I ever attempted and I must say, it’s pretty spectacular. Next time I’d use a bit less pepper and maybe throw in some red pepper flakes. I’d also consider reducing the salt content just a smidge.

I highly recommend you try this out!

Ecopolitan’s Pickles

  • 1/8 cup fresh dill        
  • 8 garlic cloves, whole or sliced        
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar        
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar        
  • 2 cups water        
  • 1/4 cup salt (necessary to preserve)        
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper        
  • 1/2 tbls turmeric (optional for color)        
  • 3 cucumbers, sliced into 1/3-inch rounds (add last)

Stir all ingredients except the cucumber together in a large bowl.  Add the cucumber slices and place something heavy (like a plate) on top in the bowl so that the cucumbers stay submerged under the surface of the liquid. Cover the bowl with a cloth to keep out bugs.  Let the cucumbers marinate at room temperature for 3 days.  Refrigerate when ready.

And here’s a pretty butterfly who happened to be posing ever so nicely while I was photographing the pickles.

Midnight Chocolate Cake

If you are looking for a go-to chocolate cake recipe, look no further. I’ve come across the perfect one. With just a handful of ingredients, this cake can be made with some of your most basic foods that are in your pantry right now. Also, you don’t need any funky pans or equipment. I cannot say enough good things about this recipe. Take a gander and print/bookmark this page right now!

Midnight Chocolate Cake (derived from Vegetarian Times)

  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 2/3 c sugar (divided)
  • 1 1/3 c cocoa (unsweetened and divided)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c soymilk (divided)
  • 1/3 c plus 1/4 c canola oil (divided)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9″ round pan with parchment. Spray parchment with cooking spray.

2. Combine flour, 1 c sugar, 2/3 c cocoa, baking soda and salt.

3. Now whisk together wet ingredients: 2/3 c soymilk, 1/3 c oil and 1/2 c water.

4. Add to the dry mixture and once everything is mixed together add the batter to the pan.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Perfect time to take a little cat nap

6. After your nap, take the cake out and let it sit for a few minutes.

7. For the frosting, over medium heat add 2/3 c cocoa, 2/3 c sugar and 1/4 c oil in a saucepan. Then, add in 1/3 c soymilk. Cook for a minute or until the icing smooths out. Spread over the warm cake and top with walnuts. Enjoy!

Niece tested and approved!

Raw Dill Kale Crisps

I’ve been trying to do a juice cleanse the past few days and haven’t stuck to it very well. However, the foods that I have been cheating with are raw and delicious! My parents bought a dehydrator a year or so ago, and I was lucky enough to break it in today. Hopefully this inspires them to start putting it to use, otherwise it might disappear when I head back home.

Raw Dill Kale Crisps courtesy of the Rawtarian

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 3 tbls olive oil
  • 3 tbls dill
  • 5 tbls nutritional yeast (although, I only used 4)
  • 3 tbls tamari/shoyu
  • 1/2 tsp salt (which I omitted)

Tear kale into bite-size, chip-like, pieces (leaving the stems out). Mix everything together. It’s easiest to use your hands. Make sure each future crisp has an equal coating on it.

Dehydrate at 120 F for an hour and then at 105 F for several hours. I had mine going for about 4 hours and finally bumped it back up, past 120 F to 135 F and left it there for a couple more hours. The crisps have a lot of potential, but were way too salty for my liking. Next time I will use at least a tablespoon less of the shoyu. I can’t wait to dehydrate some more!!

Summer Pasta Salad


I don’t know why I called this a summer pasta salad. I’m not using any specific summer vegetables. I guess it just seemed fitting, being that it’s summer and all.

I found this recipe on She Knows website. It turned out alright. I think I would modify the dill quantity though, it seemed to be a bit much. I also would consider adding a tablespoon or so extra of the vegenaise. Otherwise it’s great! I played with the veggies and here is everything I added to the 4 cups of cooked pasta:

  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 carrots, shredded

  • 5 pieces sundried tomatoes soaked in oil, diced
  • small can of black olives
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c Vegenaise
  • 1 tbls Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbls lemon juice
  • 1 tbls red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbls dried parsley
  • 1 tbls dried dill
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix together, refrigerate and enjoy!

Mary’s Famous Banana Bread

I am happy enough when my parents branch out and try my vegan foods, but for them to make vegan foods is a whole other realm of jubilation. My mom whipped up her sister-in-law’s recipe for banana bread. In the past she has used eggs and butter, but this time she used flax/water mixture and vegetable shortening. It is seriously the best banana bread I’ve had.

Here she is!


  • 1/2 c vegetable shortening
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 tbls ground flax with 6 tbls water
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed

Mix all together and bake at 350 F for 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Curious Curry

Today’s just been one of those days, starting with the ominous sighting of a black cat before work. After work – dead car. Returned home to have a $20 late fee for a cookbook I rented from the public library. Outrage. So needless to say, I wanted a meal that was no fuss.

I came across a curry simmering sauce at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and decided to try it out tonight.

I cranked up the radio, prepped my veggies and began steaming onions and garlic. In the end, I had added: red and yellow peppers, asparagus, broccoli, baby bok choy, celery and carrots.


When everything was soft I added the simmering sauce. While that was simmering away, I cooked some tofu which was in a quick-marinade (Bragg’s liquid aminos, sesame oil, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes) back while I was prepping veggies. After the tofu browned, I plated up.








Overall the spice level is perfect. Unfortunately I must have had a partial moment of blindness when buying this sauce because I loathe cilantro and this sauce is full of it. Somehow it didn’t trigger my gag reflexes like cilantro has a tendency to do. It tasted more tropical, with hints of lime and lemongrass, and less like what I connect curry to taste like. I’d definitely recommend this sauce if you are in a pinch for something quick.

Cheers to a better tomorrow 🙂

Baking the Bean

Baked beans are a staple in my pantry. Growing up my friend and I would devour them, eating as a dip with Pringle’s potato chips. Today I’ve gone above and beyond, moving away from Bush’s vegetarian canned beans and making my very own! Huzzah! Now, if I could only use dried beans instead of canned…baby steps people.

*Note, I didn’t follow the last part of this recipe. I’ll bake it once I get up north. I did a quick taste test though and it’s fantastic. Happy fourth everyone!!

I followed Happy Herbivore’s recipe, just doubled it…

Baked Beans – serves 4

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 15 oz can navy beans (drained and rinse, I always rinse!!)
  • 2 tbls ketchup
  • 2 tbls molasses
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbls low sodium soy sauce (I used low sodium tamari)
  • 2-3 tbls pure maple syrup (next time, I’d lean towards using less)
  • salt and pepper, to taste (didn’t add either, soy sauce is enough)

Preheat oven to 300F. Cook onion and garlic in 1/4 cup water over high heat until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, remove from heat and transfer mixture to a casserole dish, cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let beans rest for 15 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken. Stir to incorporate just before serving.

Nutritional info per serving: 160 calories, 0.1g fat, 33.9g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 13.7g sugars, 6.3g protein.

Best in Show: HUMMUS

I have perfected my hummus recipe and am happy to share with my lovely readers. The secret is in the directions, so don’t look over that part. I’ve always been one to buy store brand hummus, but after this recipe, I don’t think any will even come close to being as delicious!

Danielle’s Garlic Tahini Hummus

  • 1 15 oz can of organic chickpeas
  • a heaping 1/4 c tahini
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • dash of salt
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbls olive oil


  1. Rinse chickpeas, add to pot and fill with water until just covered
  2. Boil chickpeas (in water) for 5 minutes or until soft *KEY!! Do not omit this part*
  3. Drain some water, but save at least a cup
  4. Add chickpeas to a food processor, along with lemon juice, garlic, tahini and 1/2 c reserved water (I started with one garlic clove and added two more by the end, you may want to taste as you go too)
  5. Process for 5 minutes
  6. Scrape hummus off the sides and add a pinch of salt along with 1 tbls olive oil
  7. Process for several more minutes. Add extra water to obtain a desired consistency


And a sunset!