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Category Archives: Vegetarian & Vegan

Smoky Red Lentil Chili {vegan}

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This was the chili I made the Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread to go with last week.  It was the smoky factor that called to me when I saw it on Tami’s blog, and it didn’t disappoint! I upped the spicy factor to suit our tastes and it was just wonderful.  The only change I would make next time is to take the suggestion to run the red peppers through the food processor (and use two red peppers instead of one orange-lol), because I imagine that makes the chili thicker and more red and visually appealing.  I wasn’t reading the recipe closely and just diced the peppers as I usually do, which was fine, but I look forward to trying it the recommended way.

And don’t be scared of the lentils! I personally have a distaste for regular lentils, but red lentils are totally different and do not have that earthy flavor to them at all.  I found mine at a Lebanese market (you can get them at N & J Cafe’s market here in Wichita), and hope you’ll be able to find them in your area too.  So much tastier than regular lentils, IMO.

This chili has a wonderful balance of flavors and I was impressed that the creator even thought to add vinegar, something I’ve never added to chili, but somehow it’s perfect here.  You won’t really notice it, but it did need some tang to balance everything.  So good, you won’t even miss the meat.

Smoky Red Lentil Chili

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2 ounces dates (approximately 9 Deglet Noor)
1 pound red lentils (they look orange in the package)
7 cups water, divided
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted preferred)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 large chopped onion
2 large red bell peppers, finely chopped*
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1½ tablespoons dried parsley
1½ tablespoons dried oregano
1½ tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (different than regular paprika)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or more to taste – I used 1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste – I used 1 teaspoon)
scallions or Faux Parmesan – optional (for topping at the end)

Blend the dates in one cup of the water until smooth (unless you have a water-tight food processor, use a blender, or the liquid will fly out. Lesson learned the hard way by me). Place the puree, along with all remaining ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Alternatively, you can cook in an electric pressure cooker and cook on high for 10 minutes, or in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Sprinkle with chopped scallions or Faux Parmesan and serve with baked tortilla chips or over a baked potato if desired.

*Chef AJ’s note: I like to use the food processor so it’s almost a puree.

*Veronica’s note: If you live in Wichita, go to The Spice Merchant for the smoked paprika and chipotle chile powder – you will pay much less than you would for the pricey McCormick spices, and they’re just as good!

Yield: 8 servings

Recipe source: Nutmeg Notebook, originally from Unprocessed by Chef AJ.

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Fully Loaded Vegetarian Salsa Chili


Though my tastes have changed during pregnancy, mainly from loving sweets, to abhorring them, to loving them again, one thing has remained pretty consistent. My zeal for soup. It started early on, I think before I even announced I was pregnant, and continues now, though not as strong. I enjoyed and made many soups during the heat of summer, which was previously against my food religion (ewwww, hot soup in summer?!), but pregnancy knows no restrictions on seasonal meals.  I enjoyed winter meals all summer!

I created this chili during one of the weeks a month or so back when we had to eat mainly out of our cupboards because we were stretching our budget to include things like baby bedding, a 3D sonogram and bigger bras.  :D  And what a blessing that necessity became, because we had some of our best meals during those weeks, including the Tilapia with Chile Lime Butter (I found like 2 tons of tilapia in our freezer).

It’s hard to believe I actually had all these ingredients on hand (even the peppers – I barely saved them before they went bad), but I’m so glad I did because the flavor was just incredible and I can’t imagine leaving any of them out.  I usually enjoy meat in my chili, but I never missed it here because it’s so hearty and flavorful.  I ate leftovers for lunch for several days and was sad to eat the last bowl.  It is so, so very good, and for the record I never once ate it with the additional toppings pictured.  I just didn’t need anything else – it was so good all on its own.

Fully Loaded Vegetarian Salsa Chili

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3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 orange or yellow pepper, seeded and diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 ½ cups salsa
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (roasted, if you have them)
2 (15.5 oz) cans white beans (great Northern or navy) , drained and rinsed
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.25 oz) can corn, drained
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (such as Rotel)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped, seeds included (optional for a spicy kick)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
½ teaspoon rubbed sage
Salt to taste
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped
Optional garnishments: shredded cheddar, sour cream, limes for squeezing over individual bowls

Add the carrots and garlic to a food processor and process until very fine and wet, about a minute, stopping to scrape down the sides often. Add to a stock pot along with the remaining ingredients, except for the cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for an hour or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. You can simmer as long as you want but I recommend at least an hour. Stir in the cilantro and serve hot with optional garnishments and cornbread (this chili is especially good with some sweet cornbread to contrast the heat if you made it hot like I did). I have several recipes to choose from below, if you’re looking for a new one to try.

Favorite Cornbread (this one is a sweet Northern cornbread and it is the best. ever.)
Lighter Northern Cornbread
Homestead Cornbread (a flourless, sugarless, Southern-style cornbread)
Amish Friendship Creamed Cornbread
Honey Whole Wheat Cornbread
Sweet Corn Muffins (two ingredients!)

A Veronica’s Cornucopia original, with help from Biz’s Beef & Bean Salsa Chili, and Suzie’s award-winning Next Day Chili.

Secret Recipe Club

Interested in other delicious meatless meals? You might enjoy…

Chickpea Salad Wraps {Mock Tuna Salad}

Corn, Avocado & Black Bean Tostadas

Bean Curry

Bread Machine Rye Bread

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Last week I mentioned my favorite food in the whole world is a cheddar cheese sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce & onion.  Unlike other sandwiches, which I like on any bread, this one has to have a particular kind: either Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread or rye bread.  We made this sandwich a lot growing up, and we only had Ezekiel bread at home, despite my yearning for white bread.  But now Ezekiel is my all-time favorite bread (go figure) and I love this sandwich on it!  But I have to say, the flavor of rye goes so nicely with cheddar cheese that I choose it over Ezekiel bread most times.

I got this recipe from my friend, Erin, in 2009 and it’s the only rye bread recipe I’ve ever made because I just love it so much I have no reason to try another.  I’ve been making it for several years now so I thought it was about time I shared the recipe!

This loaf was baked in the bread machine and lighter in color, probably because I made my coffee a little too strong in the latest loaf.

A note regarding the molasses: if you use unsulfured/unsulphured blackstrap molasses, it adds a good dose of iron, calcium, and potassium to your bread!  (1 tablespoon contains 20% of your daily calcium and iron, and 17% of your potassium.)  It has a little bit of a different flavor from regular molasses, but I used it in my most recent loaf and it tastes just as good as ever so you may as well boost your nutrition with the good stuff! I got mine at a health food store but they might even have it at the regular supermarket.

Bread Machine Rye Bread

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1 1/3 cups strong coffee
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/3 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour (I usually use all-purpose)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons rapid-acting bread machine yeast

Fill 2-lb bread machine pan with ingredients in the order listed, and bake according to bread machine manufacturer’s directions. If you wish to bake your bread in the oven, run the dough cycle. Once complete, dump onto a floured surface and shape into a loaf with floured hands, kneading in a bit more flour if the dough is too soft. Place in a 9×5 loaf pan (or two 8×4 1-lb bread pans for small loaves), covering with a towel and allowing to rise again until doubled in size. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when removed from the pan and tapped on the bottom. Remove to cooling rack and rub all over with a cold stick of butter. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Veronica’s note: I’ve always made this bread with the three different flours, but it is probably OK to use another cup of rye in place of the whole wheat.

Recipe source: Erin N.

Small Batch Coconut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}


This month my Secret Recipe Club blog assignment was to Delicious Existence.  (Gotta love that blog title!)  On Twitter, Danielle (that’s my sister’s name, I love her already!) describes herself as a social worker, holistic health coach, lifestyle motivator and kitchen magician.  And after perusing her blog, I’d have to agree with the last two–all her wonderful vegan recipes are definitely motivating and magical!  Although not a vegan myself, I have mad love for their choice and actually try to eat vegan or vegetarian at least once a week, which isn’t too hard for me since I prefer fat and carbs (the good and bad kind :)) over meat anyway.  Over time I’ve been so wonderfully surprised how delicious & satisfying a completely meatless, dairy-free, and egg-free meal can be.

Don’t believe me?  Check out Danielle’s Herb Pinwheels, Jalapeno Popper Panini, Triple Chocolate Lust Cookies (I’m so making these!), Zucchini, Onion & One Pepper Stew, and Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Pie with Dark Chocolate Drizzle–just a few of the contenders for the recipes I marked to try.  I have gone vegan before and found it challenging to find enough variety, but Danielle is clearly a master.  Definitely go to her blog to get some inspiration!

I chose her coconut-chocolate chunk cookies to make for this month’s reveal, which is totally random, I know.  If it was December, they’d fit right in since that’ s the month everyone starts baking hoards of them to give away.  And these would be a great addition to your cookie tins this year!  But it’s the week of Thanksgiving and there’s not a speck  of cinnamon or pumpkin or even sweet potato in the recipe I chose.  I’m sorry, but you guys know about my obsession with coconut oil.  Did you really think I could pass up a recipe for cookies that contained not only my beloved coconut oil, but chocolate as well?  I think not.

You guys, these are so good.  Crazy good.  So good that I’m glad I kept it a small batch recipe so I could only eat a dozen at a time.  OK, so I didn’t really eat them all myself…but I did eat quite a few.  Both times I made them.  Yes, I made them twice this month, and will be making them again in a larger batch in December.  They’re so good!

The coconut flavor is perfectly balanced with the semisweet chocolate, IMHO.  You just would not believe how wonderful the coconut oil makes these cookies taste.  So much better than using an extract!  The cookies are sticky-crispy on the outside and the middles are soft & chewy-my favorite texture for a cookie, and I believe the corn syrup helps with it.  The original recipe did not call for corn syrup, but I wanted to use ingredients that most people would have in their kitchen so instead of making a flax seed egg (mixing flax meal with water creates a binder similar to egg), I decided to use something else that was sticky to bind the cookie together.  (You could also use agave nectar for a more natural cookie.) I used more corn syrup in the first batch and the cookies were a lot more chewy and a lot more crispy at the edges, and I think I’ve improved them by subbing a tablespoon of the corn syrup for milk (I used almond milk but coconut would obviously work great here), making the cookies softer but still crispy-chewy.

Whether you’re vegan or not, if you like coconut, I think you’re going to love these cookies!  If you don’t believe me take my friend Kevin’s word for it (it was his birthday and I gave him some, along with an accidentally egg-less version of this banana bread)–he cracks me up!

I call Kevin “Obiewan,” thus his Star Wars reference. :)

Thank you Danielle for sharing your fabulous recipe!  It pleases Jedi masters and padawans alike. :)

Coconut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}

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1/4 cup (1 7/8 oz / 52 g) virgin coconut oil, melted & cooled slightly (measured solid)
1/3 cup ( 2 ½ oz / 72 g) packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup or agave nectar
1 tablespoon milk of choice (I used almond)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup (3 oz / 85 g) all-purpose flour
¼ cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat mat.

In a small mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, corn syrup, milk, and vanilla. Stir until blended, then add the baking soda and salt and stir well. Add the flour and mix well, using your hands if necessary, then stir in the coconut & chocolate, again using your hands to combine. Roll the dough into 12 (1-inch) balls, making sure there are three chocolate chunks per cookie. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden at the edges. As soon as you remove them from the oven, use a spatula to push any misshapen cookies into place so that they retain a round shape. Allow to cool on baking sheet for five minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

Makes 1 dozen cookies.

Recipe source: adapted from Delicious Existence

I learned this trick from fellow SRC members Katrina & Liz–to whip any misshapen cookies back into shape, as soon as they’re out of the oven, scoot them into a round shape with your metal spatula.  Easy peasy and looks so much better!

To check out the other Group C SRC recipes, click the linky man below!  As always, thank you for being the bestest hostess with the mostest Miss Debbi!



Carrot Cake Protein Muffins {Vegan}

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You may remember these from the roundup of all my fair entries.  The challenge was to make a heart-healthy muffin using at least one soy product (the contest was sponsored by the Kansas Soy Commission) and I created these beauties using four: soy flour, soy milk, tofu, and soy “cream cheese.”

These were so delicious, I had high hopes of coming home with the $75 prize for first place.  There was just one problem.  Two, actually.  I didn’t notice, until it was too late, that these were supposed to be “fruit muffins” and one of the judging criteria was “ease of preparation.  I gave a sigh of relief over the “fruit muffin” thing because although these are mostly a vegetable muffin, there are raisins in them and so they might pass the “fruit muffin” test.  My heart sank at the second oversight, however, because these really aren’t simple to prepare.  They’re not horribly difficult, but you don’t look at a list of ingredients this long and with this many steps and call it “easy.”

Well, that’s exactly what the judges wrote on my judging paper.  “Very healthy ingredients.  Wide variety of ingredients.  They taste wonderful & attractive.  We are looking for ease of preparation & thought this muffin, though wonderful, has too many ingredients.”

Shoot.  The real kick in the butt was my soy yeast bread, though (pictured above).  It didn’t rise as well as I would have liked, and thought the judges must have found it too dense because it didn’t place.  Well, this is what they wrote on that paper: “Beautiful bread-the cinnamon with the raisins is fantastic. I loved it!  HOWEVER: due to the facts listed in the State Fair Rule Book, this entry was to be entered on a “sturdy white plain paper plate” & had to be disqualified.  I am sorry.  Please pay close attention to the listed rules.” (Wasn’t she sweet about? Aw!)

I entered my bread on a foil-wrapped piece of cardboard because that is what I used for all my other breads for the regular contests.  But the special contests apparently have special rules too. DRAT!  Oh well, maybe next year I’ll get it right.

One thing I did get right is the moisture (so moist!) and taste (like dessert!) on these muffins.  They are just SO good you would never guess they don’t have any eggs or dairy–even the soy “cream cheese” filling tastes nothing like soy.  Honestly, they hardly even taste “healthy” because they are so good.  I froze the leftovers and have been enjoying them slowly.  I have only a precious few left and even after almost two months in the freezer, they are still as wonderful as the day I made them!

Carrot Cake Protein Muffins

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Filling
8 oz. Toffutti Better Than Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Muffins
1 cup white whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup soy flour*
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 ½ teaspoons salt
16 oz. silken tofu
½ cup orange juice
½ cup soy milk
¼ cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 ½ cups finely shredded carrots
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins

Topping
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Mix the filling ingredients together until smooth; set aside. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, rolled oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. In a blender, combine tofu, orange juice, soy milk, agave nectar, and canola oil. Blend until smooth, then add the orange zest and pulse once to combine. Pour into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir until moistened. Fold in the carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Divide half the batter between prepared muffin cups, then spoon about 1 ½ teaspoons of the filling mixture over the centers before covering with the remaining batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the center no longer looks wet and feels done when touched in the middle (a toothpick will not come out clean because of the filling so go by the look and feel). Remove to cool completely on a wire rack.

*There’s no need to go out and buy soy flour if you don’t have it, just use a full cup of all-purpose flour and omit the soy flour.

Recipe source: adapted beyond belief from Healthy Happy Life

Wacky Pumpkin Spice Cake {Vegan}

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Yes!  Another wacky cake!  I’m on a roll.  :)  (If you’re new to my blog and have no idea what a wacky cake is, I explain that here.)  I’ve been hanging onto a Wacky Spice Cake recipe that my friend, Rhonda, shared with me two years ago.  I kept forgetting about it until mid-summer, for some odd reason, when spice cake was the last thing I wanted baking in my oven.  Thankfully I remembered it on time this year, but I seem to have a problem following recipes exactly and had to add pumpkin.  The resulting cake, like any wacky cake, is very moist.  And delicious!

For more wacky yumminess, try my Wacky White Cake and the original Wacky Cake!  Faith of An Edible Mosaic has a red velvet wacky cake recipe, so I don’t know how many more versions need to be covered.  Wacky Caramel Cake, anyone? :)

Wacky Pumpkin Spice Cake

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3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa*
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 ½ cups water
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Maple-Cinnamon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup real maple syrup
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” bundt pan (I used Miracle Pan Release) and set aside.

In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until thoroughly combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Place on a cooling rack and allow the cake to stay in the pan for five minutes, then invert onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Once cool, put on a plate, blend the glaze ingredients together and pour over the cake.

*Honestly, I have no clue why the cocoa is an ingredient, unless the person that created the recipe wanted it to be a darker spice cake.  I will omit this next time because I don’t think it added any flavor, and I prefer my pumpkin cake to look more orange and less dark.  If anyone omits it, please let me know your results!

Recipe source: adapted from Rhonda C.

Secret Recipe Club

Wacky White Cake {Vegan}

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I recently had a request on facebook for a vegan white cake recipe from a lady whose daughters both have extreme food allergies.  Since I don’t have one, I decided to try making one up, and unlike many baking experiments, this one turned out great the first time!  I combined my recipe for Wacky Cake with the Dairy-Free White Cupcakes recipe and although the resulting cake is heavier than a regular white cake, it is very moist and has a great flavor.  I have no pictures of the whole cake because I hate a whole row of the cake while it was still warm.  Oops!

Wacky White Cake

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3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (use clear to keep the cake white-I didn’t)
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. Sift all dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Make three wells and put the oil in one, the vanilla & almond extract in another, and the lemon juice in the last. Pour water over it all and mix until well blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Frost with white celebration frosting, or your favorite recipe. (I made a simple glaze with lemon juice, water, and powdered sugar.)  Serve at room temperature.

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