Organic Ketchup

 Do you know what I did today in my kitchen that took me only 3 minutes? I made ketchup!  How silly is it that we buy ketchup? Five simple ingredients that you mix together in a bowl, and boom, ketchup!

I recently received the cookbook the Homemade vegan pantry, by Miyoko Schinner.  Whenever I get a new cookbook, I always make a mental note of certain recipes that I want to try right away.  This ketchup recipe was one of those that I needed to make right away.  I love ketchup, and I have been devoted to one organic brand for years; it's a little pricey, but worth it.  I've been waiting to use all of my favorite store bought ketchup up before trying to make my own.  Happy for me, sad for the store bought, because for now, I am making my own ketchup!

I challenge you to do the same.  Making homemade organic ketchup is more cost effective compared store bought and you control the ingredients.  Also, you can kick to the curb that disgusting corn syrup that is in most supermarket ketchup brands!


Yields: about 2 cups

1 1/3 cups organic tomato paste
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
2 t sea salt
* 1 T organic agave nectar (I added this for a little extra sweetness)

Place all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl, stir until completely combined.

Pour ketchup into a glass container that has a tight fitting lid and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.

*recipe from the Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner


Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Whoopie Pies

Spring is in the air, I just feel it! The days are gradually getting longer and I am itching to start planting my garden.  Unfortunately, I still have a couple of months for that to happen but it's getting closer day by day.

When I think spring, I think of citrus flavors and scents.  You know, that clean and refreshing aroma and taste!  Lemons are pretty to look at arranged in a large bowl on your kitchen table; the scent is uplifting, and the taste will delight your taste buds.

I suggest making a batch this weekend!

Ingredients for batter:

1 cup organic unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 T organic lemon rind
1 T organic poppy seeds
1/2 t baking soda
1 t organic and vegan pure vanilla extract
2 T organic lemon juice
1/2 cup organic coconut milk
1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted

Ingredients for filling:

2 cups organic powdered sugar
1/2 cup vegan butter
5 T organic lemon juice

Method for batter:

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Lightly grease one whoopie pie pan, set-aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, lemon rind, poppy seeds, and baking soda.  Mix in the extract, lemon juice, coconut milk, and the coconut oil.  Batter should be smooth and slightly thick.

Fill each whoopie well with 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter.  The batter should spread evenly into the well; if not, lightly tap the pan on the counter to distribute batter.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pan.  Remove and place on a wire rack to fully cool.

In the meantime, make the filling.

Method for filling:

Cream the powdered sugar and butter together using a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer.  Add the lemon juice and continue to beat until you have a smooth consistency.


Spread a heaping tablespoon of filling on the flat side of one of the whoopie cakes.  Then top with the domed side of another whoopee cake.

Now enjoy!


Vegan Deep Dish Pizza with a Mashed Potato Beer Crust

Have you ever made pizza dough using beer?  It's really great in a pinch because you don't have to let the dough rise.  Just pour the beer into the flour mixture and stand back!  The yeast in the beer combined with your flour mixture will give you a foamy consistency. Gently combine the beer until you have a fluffy, but firm dough. It's magic!

Ingredients for dough:

3 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 sea salt
1 beer (I used non-alcoholic)
2 organic medium potatoes, mashed

Ingredients for pizza topping:

1/2 cup Just Mayo
1 T organic dried dill
1 T organic garlic powder
1 T organic onion powder
1 T organic oregano
2 medium organic potatoes, boiled until soft, and sliced thinly

Method for pizza dough:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Lightly oil a cast iron skillet, set-aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the mashed potatoes, the mixture will be clumpy but that's okay. Next, slowly pour in the beer; the mixture will become foamy and rise slightly.  Using a large wooden spoon, gently fold the beer into the flour mixture; do not stir vigorously or you will deflate the batter.

Pour dough into the skillet; use your fingers to spread the dough out until it completely covers the bottom of the skillet and also slightly up on the sides of the skillet.  Set-aside.

Next step is to make the ranch dressing.  In a small bowl mix together the Just Mayo, dill, garlic, and onion powder.

Spread dressing over the entire surface of the dough, layer the sliced potatoes and sprinkle with oregano.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust turns a golden brown.


The Great British Baking Show-Farthing Biscuits Veganized

During the Biscuit episode, Norman baked his Farthing Biscuits.  I've never heard of Farthing Biscuits, my research found that this is a Scottish favorite.  The dough is a pleasure to work with; it's soft and easy to roll.

I made the first dozen using Norman's recipe, and the biscuits where delish.  For my second dozen, I added cinnamon and sugar.  Either way you try, you'll love them with your next cup of tea!


225g (8oz) organic plain flour
225g (8oz) organic self-rising flour
1 t sea salt
1 t organic pure cane sugar
85g (3oz) vegan butter
85g (3oz) vegan shortening (butter flavored)
1/4 cup plus of cold water
1 T organic cinnamon (optional)
1 T organic pure can sugar (optional)


Yields 2 dozen biscuits

Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, set-aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.  Incorporate the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Pour 1/4 cup of cold water into the mixture until a dough forms.  You can add more water if needed, but try an additional 1 tablespoon at a time.

Refrigerate dough for 15-20 minutes.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and place onto a large, lightly-floured cutting board.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the dough to a 1/2 inch thickness.  Using a 3 1/2 inch round cutter, cut out biscuits.  Place biscuit rounds onto the cookie sheet, and prick the tops of each round.

Bake for 14-16 minutes; bake the biscuits until dry but not brown.

Cool completely before enjoying.


Hail Seitan

I've made seitan a couple of times and each time the texture was a little gummy. You know what I mean? Right? It's like the inside never was cooked.  Maybe I was cutting my seiten pieces too thick or not cooking them long enough.  Probably a combination of both; who knows?  So, I thought, why not give it another try?  Then, I happened upon a recipe from that was in an older issue of Vegan Life magazine from their June 2015 issue.

I am not sure if it's a better recipe for seitan or if I've learned from my mistakes, but this seiten is devilishly good!


1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 t organic smoked paprika
2 T nutritional yeast
3/4 cup water
2 T organic olive oil
1 T organic soy sauce
Organic vegetable broth for simmering


In a medium bowl, combine the gluten, paprika, and nutritional yeast.  Add the water, oil, and soy sauce.  Knead the seiten in the bowl for a few minutes.

Divide the seiten in half with a large knife, then in half again.  Continue cutting each piece in half until you have approximately 30 bite sized pieces.

Place a large skillet on the stove and fill with 1/2 inch of vegetable broth.  Bring to a simmer and add seiten.  Do not boil the seiten, you want a gentle simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Remove cooked seiten from the skillet; now, depending on what you will be making with the seiten you can discard the broth or keep it.  If you are making a stew or a stir fry you could definitely use the broth for that.


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