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Sunday, January 22, 2017


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I've been working on this yogurt for a few months.  I wasn't having much of luck getting a tangy yogurt that was also medium-thick and creamy, like the yogurt I grew up with.  I also wanted a mixture that didn't include a thickener that needed to be cooked, and I also didn't want to have to sterilize the milk first.

I have finally refined the recipe to my satisfaction, and, now that I have an Instant Pot with a yogurt mode, that makes it even more convenient.  It's so quick to make that I make a batch every 5 days or so, rather than making huge batches that may or may not fit into my refrigerator!

Why do I make soy yogurt?  I want the nutrition of soy milk and the creaminess without too much fat. The most thorough chart of the nutrients in various plant-based milks is here:  You can see there  how superior soy is in nutrition.

If you are wary of soymilk, check out my page of research here: If you are worried about GMO beans, just buy organic soymilk-- organic products cannot contain GMO ingredients or they lose their organic labelling. The thickening ingredient is also GMO, according to my research.

Many people make coconut yogurt from canned coconut.  However, 1 serving (1/2 cup) of that type of coconut yogurt is 240 calories compared to about 57 calories for this soy yogurt (which is made from full-fat soymilk). The coconut yogurt contains about 20 g fat per serving, 14 g of it saturated., compared to 2 g fat (.4 g of it saturated) in the same amount of soy yogurt. And 1/2 cup soy yogurt contains about 3.2 g protein, compared to 2 g or less with canned coconut milk.

Printable Recipe

Yield: 5 cups

Ingredients (only 3!):
4 cups (946 mL) UHT (ultra heat treated; in a Tetra Pak carton) organic soymilk,  original style-- use an UN-opened carton
(I use PC Organics Fortified Soy Beverage, Original, a Canadian brand)

1/4 cup soy yogurt with live culture, OR 1 tsp. dried vegan yogurt culture

3 Tbs Instant Clear Jel (I understand that you can substitute twice as much Cornaby's Ultra Gel, which is easier to find in Canada. Instant Clear Jel is available in Canada only from baking supply wholesalers but it's carried on for US customers. Ultra Gel is available in Canada from
For information about these thickeners, see

An 8-cup microwave-safe (Pyrex) batter bowl or something similar
measuring cups and spoons
Immersion/stick blender
an 8" fine mesh stainless steel strainer with handle
a soup spoon
another bowl or pitcher (or even a pot) that will hold at least 6 cups-- the strainer should be able to rest on top of it without slipping.
5 half-pint canning jars and lids

Sterilise all equipment with boiling water, including the jars and the working end of the immersion blender.

Pour 1 cup of the soy milk, straight out of the newly-opened carton, into the batter bowl.  Heat on High in the microwave for 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining milk. Add the starter or yogurt and sprinkle on the Instant Clear Jel or alternate. Blend with the immersion/stick blender until well-blended with no perceptible lumps, but not excessively frothy.

Place the strainer over the extra bowl, pot or pitcher and slowly pour the yogurt mixture into it.  Press the mixture through with the back of the soup spoon if it won't go through easily.  Strain all of the yogurt mixture. This will make for a very smooth yogurt and only takes a minute or two.

Pour the mixture into the 5 jars, screw on the lids and place on the rack inside of the Instant Pot.  Secure the lid, open the steam vent and push the Yogurt function button.  Set the time.  I like a fairly tangy yogurt, so I set it for 13 hours.  You can taste it after however many hours you set it for and add time if need be.  It will get a little tangier as it cools in the refrigerator.

When it's done, refrigerate the jars for 12 hours before serving. Save 1/4 cup for the next batch.

Servings: 10

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving): 57 calories, less than 1 calories from fat, 2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 26.1mg sodium, 160mg potassium, 5.9g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 3.2g sugar, 3.2g protein, 1.4 points.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Best Blog Tips

About 10 years ago, I developed the original of this recipe for my now-defunct cooking newsletter The Vegan Feast Kitchen.  I was going for a partially whole-grain, low-fat, moist muffin with good structure.  (I don't like dry muffins.) In those days, I often used medium-firm or silken (extra-firm) tofu as an egg replacer in this type of baking, and it worked well. The other day I came across the recipe and I had all the makings. They sounded perfect for a cold winter day, along with a hot cup of tea. 

As I was assembling the ingredients, I wondered if I could use aquafaba instead of the tofu (my freezer is full of aquafaba ice cubes!). I had my doubts, because tofu is solid and aquafaba is liquid.  But, you never know til you try, so I took the plunge and substituted aquafaba for the tofu, measure for measure, but cut the non-dairy milk down by 1/4 cup. I also decided to cut the sugar down by a third, which turned out to be a good decision. The batter was very moist, even by my standards (my muffin and cake batters tend to be more moist than traditional ones) and I was a bit worried, but there was not much I could do about it at that point, so into the oven they went.

I also opted for using the two-thirds of the batter for muffins and one third for mini tea breads in little fruitcake pans, just for the heck of it.

It worked! The muffins and the tea breads came out beautifully.  (Note: I don't know if the batter would turn out so well in a large loaf pan.) The crumb was moist but the muffins and bread were easy to slice, and the flavor and aroma were balanced and delicious. This recipe is definitely a keeper and I'm happy to be able to use up some of my aquafaba stash in all of my old muffin recipes.

Printable Copy

Makes 18 muffins OR 12 muffins plus 2 mini tea breads

2 cups whole wheat PASTRY flour (do not substitute regular whole wheat flour or the muffins will be tough)
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk (I use soy milk)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup aquafaba (liquid from cooking chickpeas, or from canned chickpeas)
1 cups light unbleached granulated sugar
6 tablespoons smooth unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup oil
1 tablespoon oat bran
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
grated zest of 2 of the mandarin oranges/tangerines from "Additional" below
3 large mandarin oranges/tangerines (or 6 small ones)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup lightly-toasted chopped pecans (or other nuts, if you prefer)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare 18 muffin cups. (OR 12 muffin cups and two mini loaf pans [5.75 x 3 x 2 inches). You can use silicone cupcake liners, if you wish. I use my Homemade Cake Release to grease the muffin pans (and mini loaf pans) and don't use liners, because I like a bit of a crust on my muffins.

Use a citrus zester to zest two of the mandarin oranges. Set the zest side. Peel all three of the mandarin oranges and section them. Remove any pits that might be present. Carefully cut the sections into small pieces with a sharp knife. Set aside.

Whisk together the Dry Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Add the mandarin orange
pieces, pecans, and cranberries and toss briefly to coat.

In a blender, combine the Wet Mix ingredients until smooth, including the mandarin orange zest.

Pour the Wet Mix into the Dry Mix and stir briefly-- it will still be lumpy. Don't over-stir. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups (and mini loaf pans, if using). Bake for about 20 minutes for muffins and 25 minutes for mini loaf-- test for doneness with a cake tester or toothpick. Cool the pans on racks for 10-15 minutes before removing the muffins.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1 muffin or 1/6th tea bread):  249 calories, 52 calories from fat, 6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 150.8mg sodium, 253.7mg potassium, 46.9g carbohydrates, 3.8g fiber, 13.5g sugar, 3.8g protein


Sunday, January 1, 2017


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I don't know about you, but, after all the feasting and festivities, we feel like eating pretty simple food.  But, given the cold Northern wind blowing here today over the water, it's got to be solid winter food-- solid, but not stodgy.  Tonight, of course, we're having my vegan version of Hoppin' John, a New Year's tradition with Southern roots (I do have ancestors who hailed from Virginia).  The beans (or black-eyed peas, in this case) are for luck, along with some cooked greens for money, and some corn bread or brown rice (I haven't decided yet).

But, after that, we often have winter soup meals. (I love making soups, in case you hadn't noticed!)  So here is a soup that I developed some years ago, but have not ever posted on this blog. It's a creamy chowder-- so warming and satisfing-- but with a few twists.  I hope you enjoy it!

Serves 6 
Can you ever have enough good soup recipes? Not in my book! This recipe uses a bit of smoked salt for extra flavor.

4 cups vegetarian bouillon (I prefer Better-Than-Bouillon No-Chicken Vegetarian OR  Better-Than-Bouillon Vegetable broth pastes-- use a little more salt with the vegetable base)
1/2 lb sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
1 bay leaf
1 tsp smoked salt (or sea salt with a few shakes of liquid smoke)
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 vegan "Smoked Apple Sausages", sliced (Field Roast or Tofurky brands)
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk of choice
1/2 cup medium-firm tofu OR firm to extra-firm SILKEN tofu
2 Tbs potato starch
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
smoked paprika (pimenton) for garnish

Mix together the broth, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green onions, red pepper, celery, bay leaf, and smoked salt in a medium soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until the potatoes are just tender. Add the corn kernels and the sliced sausage and heat through.

In a blender, combine the milk and tofu with the potato starch until smooth. Pour, stirring, into the hot soup. Stir until it thickens (potato starch thickens when mixed with hot liquid-- it doesn't actually have to cook). Add pepper to taste and taste for salt.

Serve hot, sprinkled with the optional smoked pimenton, if you like.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 248.2 calories; 20% calories from fat; 5.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 586.5mg sodium; 558.1mg potassium; 36.2g carbohydrates; 6.9g fiber; 8.2g sugar; 15.8g protein; 4.6 points.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Best Blog Tips

I devised this recipe for moist and delicious whole wheat muffins for my second cookbook, "The (Almost) No Fat Holiday Cookbook", but it didn't make the cut. It is, however, well worth making and is one of my husband's favorite treats. We like them simply served warm with a little vegan butter, but they can also be served as small individual "puddings"-- a quick and easy dessert topped with a sweet lemon sauce (see recipe below).

Printable Recipe

Makes 10-12 (Depending on how large you like them)

For a fat-free recipe, omit the oil and use 8 oz. of tofu. They will still be nice and moist, but may dry out more quickly.

Liquid Ingredients:
6 oz. medium-firm tofu OR firm to extra-firm silken tofu, drained well
1/2 cup molasses (I use "fancy molasses", but you can use a dark type, if you prefer.)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup oil
6 T. water
Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
6 T. oat flour (you can grind oatmeal in a DRY blender until fine)
1 T. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped small

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the liquid ingredients together in a blender or with an immersion/stick blender until smooth.

Whisk the dry ingredients together well in a medium bowl. Pour in the liquid ingredients and mix briefly. Add the crystallized ginger and mix briefly just to distribute evenly. Spoon the batter into muffin cups that have been greased with cake release (see my homemade version) or lined with muffin cup liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes (check the center of one with a toothpick after 20 minutes). Cool the pan on a rack for 5 minutes before loosening the edges of the muffins carefully with a thin knife and turning them on their sides in the muffin cups to cool.

Bryanna's Lemon Pudding Sauce-- to serve on the warm muffins as a dessert option
1 cup water
1/2 cup light unbleached organic sugar
1 T. cornstarch
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Heat the water, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small saucepan and stir over high heat until it thickens. Boil for 1 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.


Sunday, November 27, 2016


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I'm trying to use up all the great vegetables I have around-- especially the lovely local winter squash.  I love winter squash.  I actually eat it for breakfast sometimes (very satisfying!).  Last night I had a chunk of Hubbard squash and some cooked brown basmati rice in the refrigerator that I wanted to use, so I decided to make a tian, which is a type of vegetable gratin, sometimes made with the addition of rice.  It makes a great side dish or a main dish, if you like.

To add nutrition, I used my creamy, fat-free white bean flour based Béchamel sauce (see this blog post for more info), with a small amount of vegan cheese, to hold it together, instead of the more common and sometimes copious amounts, of dairy cheese and cream-based sauce.  

The ingredients for this recipe are few and simple, but, together, made a delicious and nutritious dish.

Printable Copy

4-6 servings

1 Tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
2 tsp dried, crumbled sage (not powdered)
3 cups grated peeled winter squash (such as Butternut, Hubbard, etc.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley (this can be omitted, if you don't have any)
3 cups cooked long grain brown rice, such as brown basmati
1/2 cup grated melt-able vegan cheese, such as Daiya Mozza or "Smoked Gouda", or your favorite kind
Fat-Free, Creamy Vegan White Bean Flour-Based Béchamel (Make ahead):
2 cups non-dairy milk of choice (use Original type-- I use soy milk)
1 tsp vegan chicken-style broth powder or paste (I like Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan Broth Base)
1/4 cup white bean flour (or white urad dal flour)-- see below
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch grated nutmeg
freshly-ground pepper to taste

Freshly-milled white bean flour-- you can use navy beans, Great Northern, cannellini or white kidney beans.  This batch was made with navy beans. If you can't find white bean flour to purchase look for white Urad Dal flour where ingredients for Indian cooking are sold (which includes some large supermarkets).
To make the Béchamel Sauce:

Place all of the Béchamel ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth. I cook the sauce in the microwave, in a large Pyrex batter bowl. I cook it on 100% power for three minutes, then whisk it then repeat for 3 minutes more. Microwave a bit more if necessary. If you prefer, you can cook it in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils and thickens.

To make the casserole:
Set oven to 400 degrees F. Oil an 8-cup shallow gratin or casserole dish.

In a wide heavy skillet, stir-fry pan or sauté pan, heat the vegan butter or olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sage and grated squash.  Sauté until the squash has just softened.  I only sautéed it for 3 minutes, but it may take longer if you grate it more coarsely.  You don't want it mushy. Immediately stir in the chopped garlic and parsley (if using).

Combine the sautéed squash in a large bowl with the cooked brown rice, the pre-made Béchamel Sauce.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the oven.

Bake for 25 to 25 minutes, or until a bit of a crust forms on top.  Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/4 of recipe): 365 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 488.3mg sodium, 712mg potassium, 63.2g carbohydrates, 8.5g fiber, 7.4g sugar, 10.8g protein, 10.4 points.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/6 of recipe): 243 calories, 53 calories from fat, 5.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 325.5mg sodium, 474.7mg potassium, 42.1g carbohydrates, 5.7g fiber, 4.9g sugar, 7.2g protein, 6.9 points.


Monday, November 21, 2016


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I'm so sorry for not blogging for so long!  I have not been terribly inspired in the last few months, so have been taking a bit of a blogging vacation. On top of that, I have had the worst cold of my life for the last three weeks-- very tired from waking up coughing at night. But, I'm on the mend, finally.

One wonderful addition to our life-- I have a great-grandson!  Here he is with me just after he turned 4 months old:

I have been working on a few things and hope to post them soon.  In the meantime, I made some muffins yesterday.  I used to make muffins quite often, but I don't do much baking these days.  We have to watch our calories and fat. But Brian expressed an interest in carrot cake all of sudden, so I suggested carrot muffins instead of cake. (I happen to have a huge bag of carrots in the house and have been trying to use them up, so it sounded like a good idea.)

I like muffins that are low in fat, but moist. The crushed pineapple helps with that and I think using the aquafaba as an egg substitute also helps. We loved them, and I hope you do, too.

Printable Recipe


Yield: 10 muffins

Dry Mix:
1  cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1  tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar
Wet Mix:
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup aquafaba (cooking liquid from cooking chickpeas, or liquid from canned chickpeas)
3 Tbsp oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Additional Ingredients:
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained thoroughly
(NOTE: If you have only canned pineapple slices, use 6 slices and shred with a fork; drain thoroughly.)
1 1/2 cups grated raw carrot, squeezed by hand to remove juice.
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

Turn the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 10 muffin cups with cake release, or line with unbleached paper cupcake liners.

In one bowl, mix together the Dry Mix ingredients with a whisk.

In a larger bowl whisk together the Wet Mix ingredients thoroughly.  Pour in the Dry Mix and stir gently.  Add the pineapple, grated carrots and raisins (and optional nuts, if using). Mix just enough to distribute the ingredients evenly.

Distribute the batter evenly between 10 prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the center of one muffin comes out clean.

Place the muffin tin on a rack for a few minutes, then carefully loosen the muffins from the cups and turn on their sides.

Nutrition Facts (without nuts)
Nutrition (per muffin): 215 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 248.2mg sodium, 332.6mg potassium, 42.5g carbohydrates, 2.9g fiber, 25.4g sugar, 3.1g protein, 6.3 points.

Nutrition Facts (with optional nuts)
Nutrition (per muffin): 254 calories, 72 calories from fat, 8.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 248.3mg sodium, 358.4mg potassium, 43.3g carbohydrates, 3.3g fiber, 25.6g sugar, 4g protein, 7.4 points.


Friday, October 14, 2016


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This recipe came about in my kitchen two days ago when I was trying to think of something yummy to do with 2 cups of homemade vegan "sweet crema" that I had made for Thanksgiving dessert but never used, and some leftover vegan sour cream (both items made with silken tofu).  I thought about ice cream right away because both of these low-fat items are so nice, creamy and rich-tasting. But I wasn't sure if there was such a thing as Sour Cream Ice Cream.  However, it sounded possible, so I looked it up.  And, yes, there is such a thing as Sour Cream Ice Cream. The two recipes I found were egg-free, which is a good start for a vegan interpretation. One contained sour cream, whole milk yogurt and whole milk.  The other contained sourcream, 1/2 and 1/2, and heavy cream.

So, with some skepticism, I used my "sweet crema" (I'll post the recipe another time) and the leftover Tofu Sour Cream (recipe here) with some soymilk.  But it turned out to be absolutely delicious!  Topped with dribbles of the easy Brown Sugar Sauce (recipe below)...mmm, mmm!

NOTE: There's no need to make two additional recipes in order to make the ice cream recipe. To create a "from scratch" recipe (see below), I combined the ingredients for my "sweet crema" and 1/3 of my Tofu Sour Cream recipe, along with all of the additional ingredients.

Printable Recipe

Servings: 8

16 oz extra-firm silken tofu (1+1/3 MoriNu 12 oz. shelf-stable cartons)
1 cup creamy original soymilk (I use Silk Organic Original), or other creamy non-dairy milk (NOT full-fat coconut milk)
(NOTE: If you prefer, you can use your favorite commercial vegan creamer, such as So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer)
3/4 cup light-colored unbleached organic granulated sugar
4 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Instant Clear Jel or UltraGel (OR 1/2 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum)
(NOTE: the above ingredients help keep the ice cream from getting icy)

1 tsp lemon oil or 2 tsp. finely-grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/8 tsp salt

Crumble the tofu into a blender and add all other ingredients.  Blend until VERY smooth.  Chill mixture until it is very cold.

Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream maker. I use a Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker and this recipe took about 20 minutes freezing time.

Spread the mixture into a 2 quart rectangular glass or ceramic baking pan or a rectangular 2 qt. freezer container. Cover and freeze for several hours before serving-- preferably overnight.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 119 calories, 11 calories from fat, 1.6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 136.5mg sodium, 140.8mg potassium, 21.7g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 20.3g sugar, 5.1g protein, 3.3 points.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups
This isn't a real caramel sauce.  In that type of recipe, you must actually caramelize white sugar. But, believe me, this short-cut version is delish!

1 cup brown sugar (light brown or regular-- your pick)
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup creamy non-daiiry milk (I use Silk Organic Original) OR vegan creamer such as So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Keep whisking gently for about 5 minutes, or until it thicken. Remove from heat. Serve warm or refrigerate. The warm sauce will harden a bit when dribbled over ice cream.

To reheat, microwave briefly at low power.

Nutrition (per 1 Tbsp serving): 55 calories, 17 calories from fat, 1.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 25.7mg sodium, 39.4mg potassium, 9.2g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 9g sugar, less than 1g protein, 1.6 points.