Archive for November, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!! Jo and I are in the middle of cooking the ginormous vegan T-day feast…we’ve got the family noshing on pico and tortilla chips to keep the hunger monsters out of our kitchen (and out of our hair..hehe). It’s all smelling so good, and I hope ya’ll are having a delicious vegan Thanksgiving – save room for pie! 🙂

-Sara and Jo

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Sweet Food Porn..

With the holidays coming, me working like a mad woman, and the oven still being on the outs..my kitchen time has been minimal. I apologize sincerely for the lack of recipes, but Jo and I shall be back in action after the holiday with recipes galore…so to tide you over, I offer you food porn for recipes to come that I haven’t had time to gather together for posting. Enjoy!

white chocolate chips

That’s right, vegan white chocolate chips – I got them at Cosmo’s, and they are fabulous!


Mmm…sweet nectar for granola…

caramel bonbons xsection

…caramel bonbons…

chocolate coated donut holes

Chocolate coated donut holes – anyone else drooling yet? And the best yet to come…holiday cookies!!!

Festivus 07 cookies

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Mmm… stuffing. It wouldn’t be a holiday meal without some delicious cornbread stuffing, that you just can’t get enough of.


one batch of Texas Cornbread, broken up in a large bowl (you can make it the night before and let it dry out overnight)

2 medium poblano chiles (or 1/4 tsp cayenne)

4 TBS Earth Balance Buttery Sticks

2 small onions

2 medium celery ribs

4 medium carrots

2 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS dried oregano

1 TBS dried sage

1 TBS salt

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 C veggie broth


1. Roast chiles over a gas flame, or under the broiler until skin is charred. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 15 minutes. Peel, core, seed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

2. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with Earth Balance. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. In a large skillet, melt the Earth Balance over medium-high heat. Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in oregano, sage, salt, pepper and roasted chiles.

4. Add to bowl with cornbread, along with the veggie broth. Stir everything together, and transfer to baking dish.

5. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.


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Holiday De-stress Tea

With the holidays comes stress…at least for some of us. Stress can weaken our immune system, and being around family who you don’t see all the time – especially those with children – can bring germs you’re not used to fighting. Ergo, your body becomes an ideal battleground for a cold and flu attack! So de-stress and boost your immune system this holiday with a cup of tea, black or green are both good, but I like the herbal blend below for serious de-stressing and immune boosting. Even just the act of taking 5 minutes out of your day to sit quietly with a cup of tea can do wonders for the stress level!elderberry-tea

DeStressing tea:

1 tsp chamomile loose-leaf tea (or 1 tea bag)
1 tsp elder berries (loose or 1 tea bag)
pinch of ginger
slice of lemon *optional for an extra vitamin C boost
8 oz freshly drawn and boiled water

Steep the chamomile, elder berries (in a tea sac if using loose), and pinch of ginger in the 8 oz freshly boiled water 5-8 minutes. Remove tea leaves/bags, and toss in slice of lemon. You can also sweeten with some nectar if you like.

*Note: The elder berries will give the tea a reddish/purplish hue.

Happy Teatime!

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Giving Thanks, Tex-Mex Style

Here’s a representation of a typical Turk family Thanksgiving. This was our 2006 T-day menu! For the last 3 years, the Thanksgivings have been totally vegan, and for about 4 or so years before that they were vegetarian. So hopefully this will give you guys some help, or at least some inspiration, on what to serve or bring to the meal if it’s your first or 50th vegan Thanksgiving! In addition to this menu, Jo and I have/will be posting some other dishes that would be delicious and perhaps we’ll even include them in our own future holiday meals..but here’s what we’ve had in the past. It is a bit on the Tex-Mex side of themes, but not every holiday has to be traditional right?!


Cinnamon rolls
Fresh fruit and juice

Thanksgiving Meal – usually a late lunch/early dinner:

Basic greens salad with a little lemon, olive oil, and herb dressing
Black Bean Tamales with Pico de gallo
Mashed Potatoes
Sautéed Mixed Veggies (Broccoli, peas, spinach, red bell pepper, carrots, etc)
Blue Texas Cornbread Dressing
Mashed potato house rolls
Chianti Classico


Pecan Pie
Blueberry Tart
German Riesling

Some of these recipes are already posted, others are coming, and we get the tamales from Texas Tamale Company. For some people (maybe just South Texans like us), tamales are a big part of the Christmas holiday, but we decided to have them for our Thanksgivings as well since we were no longer participating in the cruelty of having a turkey. I don’t have photos because we weren’t blogging and taking pics of food back then..but I’ll be sure to take tons this year!!

Other years we’ve made a red chile enchilada-like sauce (but a bit thicker, like a chili with some diced tomatoes added in) for the tamales, used yellow cornmeal for the dressing, etc..but one thing that remains constant is the mashed potatoes! We always have mashed potatoes – and we make about a ton of them! Other ideas that we’ve posted up to this point that I think would be yummy at a T-day meal: Jo’s Cranberry-Almond Green Beans, New Potato and Green Bean Salad, Potato Gratin, Roasted Thyme Potatoes, and if you’re going for a Tex-Mex theme offer the Tomatillo Salsa in addition to Pico!

Happy Cooking!

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apple streusel ice cream6Apple Pie à la mode? Apple Streusel à la mode? How about apple streusel pie IN la mode! Ah, hahaa! I don’t even think that makes grammatical sense, but who cares..the holidays are almost upon us, and it’s time for calorie-free, guilt-free, nonsensical noshing! Okay, so technically it’s only calorie-free on birthdays and actual holidays, so don’t overindulge until next Thursday…but I digress. I’ve never made apple pie..I know, how unAmerican – but I never liked cooked apples until I went to Canada this past July, so take that for what you will! So whether or not this ice cream actually tastes like apple pie, those of you who are aficionados of the dessert can let me know. I looked up recipes and used the spices common in apple pies, so hopefully it’s close – either way, it’s tasty! I don’t know if it’s the holiday spirit or what, but I added in an extra teaspoon of vodka and so far, the ice cream is so super soft and delicious…


Streusel:apple streusel ice cream1
3 TBSP cold Earth Balance Vegan Butter
1/3 C AP or oat flour
1/4 C packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C diced peeled apple bits (jonathan, rome, granny smith, braeburn, fiji – any sturdy fleshed apple of your choice)

Ice Cream:
1 C coconut milk or MimicCreme (Sugar-free Sweetened)
1 C hemp/oat milk
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of clove
pinch of mace
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp vodka

Optional Add-ins:
1/2 C walnuts or pecans, (regular or sweet without the spicy) roughly chopped


1. Make the ice cream: Warm both milks, sugar, and spices over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to steam but not boil, stirring to facilitate the process. Transfer to a bowl and add extracts and vodka (if using). Place in fridge to chill, covered in plastic wrap if the container doesn’t have a lid, at least 1 hour (to overnight).
2. Make the streusel: In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the vegan butter until crumbly (either with a food processor, two knives, a pastry cutter, or your fingers). In a non-stick (non-teflon) saute pan, warm the apple-sugar blend over medium-low heat until sugar is melted and apples are tender, about 8-10 min, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, let sit at room temp at least 15 minutes. Set aside to chill alongside the ice cream mixture.

apple streusel ice cream2apple streusel ice cream3

Let the apples simmer until it starts to caramelize a bit..mmm…

apple streusel ice cream4 3. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions. When the ice cream has about 5 minutes to go (after about 15 minutes for me), add the apple streusel and any nuts, if using. It’s hard to see the apples and nuts in the pic below, but I promise they’re in there!

apple streusel ice cream5

This ice cream actually tastes better once it has a day to sit – so make it a day or two ahead of time. This would be excellent with some caramel drizzled over it, or even atop a slice of pie for a double-apple experience 🙂 or cake..or perhaps even some walnut shortbread for an impromptu sundae!

Happy Freezing!

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In this dish, several hearty grains are combined in an appealing, creamy Fall pilaf-type risotto. I wonder if this could be more accurately described as a “Risolaf” since it is quite close in resemblance of a pilaf, yet is creamy like a risotto. Since you aren’t using arborio rice (typical for risotto’s), would it even classify as a risotto? Here at the Primate it does, as seen in my Creamy Orzo! I also think it’s multi-functional as it’s a side, yet can hold it’s own as a main dish (if you added in some more veg such as peas, carrots, and roasted butternut squash). Think of it as a cross between a rice pilaf and a creamy risotto, with cranberries! I love the random bite of tartness from the cranberries, and the warm comfort of creamy grains! This could perhaps be a yummy side dish at a Thanksgiving table… As a side it should serve about 6-8, and as a main course I think it could make 4 servings.

Ingredients:creamy pilaf1

3/4 C walnuts, roughly chopped
1 TBSP canola or vegetable oil
3/4 C brown basmati rice
1/4 C amaranth
1/4 C quinoa
1/4 C millet
1/2 C dried cranberries
3/4 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to tastecreamy pilaf2
2 C vegetable broth
1 C water


1. In a fry pan over medium heat, toast the walnuts, stirring constantly, until lightly fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the rice, amaranth, quinoa and millet and stir until the grains are coated with the oil and hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the cranberries, salt, pepper, broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the grains are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 40-45 minutes.

creamy pilaf3
3. Stir in the walnuts. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.

creamy pilaf4

*Additions/variations: I think pine nuts would be excellent in this dish, pending you have the funds to splurge on pine nuts. Another good nut that I think would be tasty is pecans. You could also play with the fruit and nut combo, using dried cherries with almonds in place of cranberries and walnuts, respectively. If you can’t find one of the grains, increase the others to make up for the absence. This dish is very gluten-free friendly as is, but feel free to use bulgur or any grain that tickles your gluten-tolerant fancy.

creamy pilaf5

Happy Cooking!

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