Chic-Chic Pasta Sauce

Oh my. I was in Chicago, on the North Shore actually, and I ran across this Dean & Deluca Marinara Sauce. Well if you have a bit too much money and want a really, really good pasta sauce, try this.
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Yeow, I couldn’t believe it was so good, but I think it cost like $10.00 a jar. I can’t be sure because they didn’t have a price on it and I didn’t pay for it. If I’d had to I’m sure I wouldn’t have gone for it, but rich friends were doing the shopping.
If you are in a very upscale grocery store with some very rich friends and happen upon this stuff, try it.
Or I have the Dean & Deluca website to click on. On their site it’s only $24 for all three different kinds of sauce, Marinara, Arrabiata, Puttanesca. I don’t know if anything but the Marinara is actually vegan, and I don’t know if they would substitute three of one kind instead of one of all three kinds. You can send them an email and ask, for $24 they should do a little dance for you too, but this sauce is actually so incredibly good, they don’t have to.

Cookie Tip

Danielle, a very nice but perfect stranger, left a comment on my ‘Best Cookie In the Galaxy’ post that I thought I’d share.
Danielle says she thought, before reading about the Alternative Baking Company cookies, that Liz Lovely made the best vegan cookies.
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Cowboy Cookies
The Cowboy Cookie is the pick of the herd. Hearty oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies just loaded with chocolate chips and walnuts chunks coated generously on the bottom and decorated on top with rich, dark chocolate.

Well, I had to check the source of her post and found a really funny and insightful blog called joeparadox.com.
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A really cool school teacher’s view of the world.

Vegan Twists

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I found these French Twists by Barry’s Bakery today at Wal-Mart and thought I’d try them. They have no dairy, no butter, no eggs – vegan. Hey, I hope you’ll give me a break for shopping at Wal-Mart, I know they’re evil and all, but I live out in the middle of nowhere and it is the only store around that has anything. Anyway, these Twists come in a number of flavors. I got the California Almond, which I scanned in for the picture to the left because they are gone already. Not too bad, a little almond extracty tasting, but if you like that, great. I have started on the next bag I got which is Maple French Toast. I like those a lot.
There are also Chocolate Chip, Cafe Mocha, both of which they didn’t have at Wal-Mart or I would have gotten them, Wild Raspberry and Original – cinnamon flavor, which they had but I passed on, and key lime which they also didn’t have, but I wonder if I would have bought those.
They are crunchy fried layers of puff pastry and I suppose that is why they are gone already. Not as good as cuties, but good enough to munch on.

Vegan Yogurt

Yogurt??? Well not exactly, but close enough to always make me happy. WholeSoy is thicker and creamier than Silk, and it doesn’t get watery if you leave it in the fridge a few days. Best of all its completely vegan.
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11 flavors, my fave is blueberry and raspberry is great too. Also peach, plain, strawberry, cherry, lemon, apricot mango, strawberry banana, mixed berry.
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Plain WholeSoy Creamy Cultured Soy is available in 24oz size. Great for baking, recipes, smoothies.
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They also make drinkable Cultured Soy. I like this too, I don’t drink it too much and it is a little thick. I usually would rather make my own smoothies.
If you have never had soy yogurt, or you have not tried WholeSoy and are stuck on another brand, give it a try and let me know what you think.

Stewed Tomato Pasta

I sometimes wonder if I am the only one who loves stewed tomatoes as much as I do, because I don’t know anyone else who feels quite the same about them. I think they must have a bad rap, because they are in fact really great. I use them often in recipes like sautes, chili, soups.
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This recipe is actually a number of different recipes. Instead of the steak strips use vegetables like broccoli, beans, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, and yellow squash. One or any combination is great. The trick is to saute some veggies or in this version those Lightlife Smart Menu Steak Strips and vegetables, then when they are properly singed toss in the stewed tomatoes and spoon over pasta. The stewed tomatoes supply a nice thin sauce that is extremely tasty. Give it a try, it only takes a few minutes to make.
You can make this recipe completely vegan by using Vegan Parmesan Alternative. This parmesan cheese does have a soy-ee taste to it, I won’t lie to you. If you haven’t tried it before you probably will notice it and for me, it took some getting used to.
Although my cat Scout loves it, and she is not vegan.

Read moreStewed Tomato Pasta

Completely Vegan Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Yes, you can bake vegan. How? Use Ener-G Egg Replacer instead of eggs and soy margarine instead of butter. You can’t taste the difference in this recipe.
Ener-G Website – Purchase Online
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I use this egg replacer all the time, in carrot cake, chocolate cake, and cookies. I take regular recipes and then “veganize” them. Not always 100% successfully, Ener-G even says on the box to try it and see. It will work in some recipes and you may have to vary the amounts and ingredients in others. Like my carrot cake, I add a little corn, un-called for, starch to hold it all together. The first one I made fell apart, but I got it now. (carrot cake recipe to come) These oatmeal-raisin cookies will get you started and only replacing one egg is pretty safe. It’s the recipes that call for 4-5 eggs that are scary.

Read moreCompletely Vegan Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Bagels & Cream Cheese

Bagels are vegan legal, well most of them anyway. Yum, I love them, but I love bagels with cream cheese and that’s the way I have ’em.
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This Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese is just that, better. I think it is as close to the real thing as you can get, closer than imaginable. I am always surprised at just how good it is. Maybe real cream cheese is just a tad bit more sour, just a bit, but that is as much criticism as I can give this stuff.
If you have not tried Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, you absolutely must. The plain is great and it comes in flavors.
Available in most health food stores.

Vegan Steak & Gravy w/Mashed Potatoes

Having a hankering for some steak? I have not always been a vegan and I watched a number of family members chow some really thick steaks Memorial Day Weekend. Now I was strong then, but it started to get to me after a while so I made this recipe with Lightlife Steak-Style Strips.
Lightlife Steak-Style Strips
It’s not real porterhouse or anything, but I do love these steak strips in all sorts of recipes. They have a nice seasoning on them and chew like steak. Uncanny really. They are also packed with protein, just like the real thing.
Savory vegan gravy
I get the steak strips at my Wal-Mart superstore, but the gravy I used for this particular recipe should be available in most good health food stores.

Read moreVegan Steak & Gravy w/Mashed Potatoes

Vegan Margarine

If you don’t already know it, there is a totally vegan margarine and there is absolutely no reason to eat anything else.
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This margarine has no funny aftertaste, no aftertaste at all. It does not taste like soy, it just tastes good. I use it on toast, on potatoes, on anything you want “buttered.” I also bake with it all the time. It creams as good as anything else.
If you have never tried it, please do. It is great.