Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Coconut Almond Cake Balls

I was hosting a thank you dinner for people who helped me move recently, and I wanted to create the best possible menu. I heard about cake balls and decided I needed to make this for dessert and make my own recipe for doing so. I actually made two batches (one gluten free) and it took me a lot of time. When I finally got to try the results of my time in the kitchen, I decided it was definitely worth it! These were a major hit and it shouldn't take you as long since you will only be making one batch and have a recipe to follow.

Coconut Almond Cake Balls

Coconut Cake:
1 cups Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar
½ cup Earth Balance Margarine
½ cup Silken Tofu, blended
1 ½ cups Coconut Milk
2 tsp Vanilla.
2 ½ cups Unbleached White Flour
1 Tb Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
1 cup Shredded Coconut

Cream together the sugar and margarine. Beat in the tofu and then the coconut milk and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and blend until just combined. Add the coconut and combine it using a spatula, careful to not over mix. Spread into 2 greased 9-inch round baking pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

*For gluten free, use 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour, 3/4 cup sweet white rice flour, 1/4 cup potato starch and 2 tsp guar gum instead of the white flour.

Almond Frosting:
2 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
2 – 4 Tb Coconut Milk
2 tsp Almond Extract
¼ cup Earth Balance Margarine

In a large bowl, blend together the sugar, almond extract and margarine. Add the coconut milk until the frosting is a consistency that is slightly softer than traditional frosting.

Chocolate Glaze:
2 cups Vegan Chocolate Chips
2 Tb Earth Balance Margarine
2 Tb Coconut Milk (or soymilk)
1 tsp Vanilla

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat on medium heat. As the chocolate melts, combine the ingredients to a smooth consistency with a fork. Turn down heat to the lowest temperature. Allow to cool on the lower heat so the chocolate is not hot. A double broiler can also be used.

Creating the cake balls: Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside. Crumble the cakes into the frosting bowl. Combine the crumbs and the frosting with a spatula. Once the frosting is evenly distributed to the cake crumbs, form it into cake balls and place on the baking sheet. Refrigerate about 1 hour to harden slightly. Take one cake ball at a time from the sheet and dip it in the chocolate with a toothpick, allowing all but the bottom of the cake ball to be covered. Set on parchment paper and continue with the rest of the cake balls. Once all cake balls have been chocolate covered, return to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. After 4 hours, store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Year It's Pecan Cake!

It's my birthday again! Although friends are always quick to offer making cake for my birthday, at work we are responsible for bringing in our own treat to share with others (if we choose to do so). I like to bake, so I don't mind this at all. I started to think of flavors early on, and decided on a pecan cake with caramel frosting (and filling). I have made caramel sauce successfully many times, but some tweak I did this time made it so it didn't work out, so I quickly whipped up a basic vanilla frosting. Although I was sad for no caramel sauce and frosting, the results were still awesome! A week later I was still being told how much people enjoyed the cake.

Vegan Pecan Cake

1/2 cup Margarine, non dairy
1 1/2 cups Organic Raw Sugar
1/2 cup Silken Tofu, blended
1 1/2 cups Coconut Milk
2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Unbleached White Flour
1 cup Pecans, ground
1 Tb Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt

Cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Add the tofu and vanilla and blend. Slowly add the coconut milk as the beaters continue mixing. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and blend until just mixed. Put in the pecans and stir in with a spatula until incorporated, careful not to over mix. Fill two greased 9-inch cake pans with equal amounts of the batter. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. When cakes are done, the top should spring back when lightly touched.

Once cooled, assemble cake with frosting of choice between layers and all over the surface of the cake layers. Yum...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Birthday at Portland Blind Cafe

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend the Portland Blind Cafe, a dining experience in the dark, to bring awareness to the blind community. I decided it would be an interesting way to spend my birthday and challenge myself to a new perspective. Luckily I had many friends on board with the idea as well.

This was the most amazing dining experience I have ever had. That whole night came alive since you have to concentrate on senses that are usually secondary to sight. While being seated, you had to feel the chars and figure out where your friends were seating. Then you had to feel for your dishes and discover the appetizer waiting for you on your plate. Luckily before we were seated, we were told what to expect. There would be a cold tea drink in a cup with a lid and straw to our right. A water jug was in the middle of the table, along with the salads and casserole dish since this was family style dining. I knew the open chutney container for dipping the southern dolma appetizer was gonna be trouble, and as I grabbed the casserole dish to pass it around, the chutney spilled all over my lap. Luckily people were not staring at my mishap since no one saw, and I was able to coordinate with others to find extra napkins to clean myself up. No worries. I was actually impressed with myself for dealing with the situation so well in the dark!

Passing around the food took good communication and actually serving yourself and getting the food on your plate, was a bit of a challenge. But that is what the night was suppose to be about after all, and I was loving it! One of the salads contained fruit and nuts and tasted very light and fresh. The casserole dish had a polenta base with other vegetables and parts of it tasted similar to gravy. Everything tasted amazing and vegan chef Ivy Entrekin was quite impressive!

The cello is one of my favorite instruments and I was telling others that if I could magically play one instrument, that would be it. When the cello started a solo piece, I could feel the music much more intensely and I could imagine myself being the person actually playing it. Suddenly my wish of instantly playing the cello came true (even if for only one song). The music of Rosh and The One Eye Glass Broken Band were incredible and I was truly appreciative of the experience.

I was extra fortunate that evening since someone mentioned in was my birthday while checking in, so I was treated to the entire room singing me happy birthday in the dark. People kept saying I must have been red from embarrassment, but I wasn't at all. No one even knew who they were singing to, although I did sheepishly say thank you when the song was over.

After the decadent chocolate mousse dessert and the music ended, a candle was lit and we could see around the room for the first time. I think we all imagined something different and were sad to see it come to an end, but I left feeling very blessed by the events of the evening. I look forward to the next one!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dinner with the Fam - Part 2

My family amazes me on how open they are to trying new foods. My dad actually told me that he misses my cooking on Thanksgiving! This is coming from a person who loves his turkey (and if I am cooking, everything on the table must be vegan).

My nephew loves my cooking and it is great! I am impressed by his ability to eat raw bell pepper to the green stem and he love jicama (as everyone should). When I decided to make a kale salad, I wasn't sure what he would think. After the salad was prepared, I suggested he try a piece of the kale, so he did. He loved it! Everyone loved it!

Kale Salad

2 bunches of Kale
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
1 bunch Green Onion, chopped
1 tsp Olive Oil (or sesame oil)
1 Tb Braggs
1 tsp Lemon Juice

Rinse the kale and tear the stems off. Chope the kale and place in a pan with water. Bring to a boil and cook until kale is slightly cooked. Drain water and place kale in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain off water and rinse off kale as needed.

Add the chopped peppers, green onion, oil, braggs and lemon juice in a medium bowl with the drained kale. Toss to mix all ingredients together and serve.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dinner with the Fam - Part 1

I had to post this recipe right away since my mom kept asking me about it after making it for my family. Although I spent Thankgiving day with friends, I brought an extra gluten roast up to my parents for a visit. I also make a kale salad and this coconut veggie soup. Funny thing is, my mom had just bought some coconut milk for the first time since she has seen it in so many recipes, and then suddenly could not find one to use it. Now, here is a recipe!

This soup was eaten quickly at dinner with no left overs, not even enough to save some for my sister who was not there since she was sick. I made a different version for lunch the next day with broccoli, red onion, yellow squash and orange bell pepper. Again, there was no leftovers to share with my sister. Good sign! Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as my family!

Coconut Veggie Soup

1 head of Cauliflower, chopped
3 Carrots, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Leek, chopped
1 tsp Olive Oil
3 cups Vegetable Broth
1 can Coconut Milk
1 tsp Garlic Granules
1 tsp Onion Granules
1 Tb Parsley Flakes
Juice of 1 Lime
Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute the cauliflower, carrot, leek and garlic in the olive oil until the vegetables start to soften. Add the broth, coconut milk and seasoning and cook about 15-20 minutes. Squeen the lime juice into the soup along with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 5 minutes, or until vegetables are to desired texture. Makes 6 servings.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Coconut Red Curry Vegetables and Tofu

Eating my restricted diet has been a little challenging, but that is how you learn new dishes and get creative. I've eaten a lot of beans, tofu scrambles, avocados, salsa, whole grains and salads (with hummus instead of salad dressing- a new favorite). I now have a new appreciation for raw almonds which have a wonderful sweet flavor to them and great for a snack.

When I realized that I could make a Thai red curry dish on my limited diet, I got really excited. I love coconut milk, the flavor of red curry, how the grains soak up the mixture and the tanginess of the lime juice. You can use your own veggies, but pretty much any taste great in this dish. I served this over brown rice, but buckwheat, quinoa or another grain would also be great.

Coconut Red Curry Vegetables and Tofu

½ lb Tofu, diced
1 tsp Olive Oil
½ cup Red Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Zucchini, chopped
1/2 bunch Kale, chopped
1 – 14 oz. can Lite Coconut Milk
1-2 tsp Red Curry Paste
2 Tb Braggs (or to taste)

of one Lime

Sauté the tofu in the oil until it starts to brown. Add the onion and garlic and heat a few minutes. Add the zucchini, bell pepper and kale and cook until soft. Add the coconut milk, curry paste, braggs and lime juice. Cook for about 5 minutes to let the flavors blend. Serve over brown rice or grain of choice.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Change and a Challenge

Can I live without sugar and white flour and nutritional yeast? When I was told by my naturopath to forgo these food items, strictly, for a month, I almost had a panic attack. This is the time to bake! I had grand plans of sweet potato and cherry chocolate chip crescent rolls and pumpkin bundt cake and, well. I’m freaking myself out again so I better stop. It is not as much that I need to eat all the foods, but I want to bake with them and create these recipes, but I’d also have to be able to taste them. Otherwise, that is just torture!

So I am switching to a new way of thinking. I am gearing myself up for a challenge. I like to think of myself as a bit of a recipe master, so I should be up to the challenge of limiting my diet even more and still creating tasty food. So for the next month my focus will be on vegetables. I am thinking eggplant lasagna, barley risotto, soups galore, stuffed peppers, kale salad….see those all sound delicious! It will not be the end. Send me support and I will start working on some great recipes.

In case you missed this recipe I previously posted, click on the link below. You’ll be surprised by how good such a healthy soup can taste!

Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pizza Burritos

I know this may not be a ground breaking recipe, but I was really excited about it! One of my favorite foods is simply chili and vegan cheese wrapped up in tortillas and baked. A friend was going to come over for dinner to make pizza and since I was in the process of packing for a move, pizza dough seemed like too much work. And then it hit me- what if I wrap pizza toppings in tortillas and bake them? That is how my pizza burrito was created. I am sure others have made this before, but this was the first time I thought of it and it was great!

Vegan Pizza Burritos

1 pkg vegan pepperoni, sliced in half
½ cup Olives of choice, sliced
½ Green Bell Pepper, sliced
4 Mushrooms, sliced
½ - 1 cup Pizza Sauce
Vegan Daiya Cheese
6 Wheat Tortillas

Mix together the pepperoni, olives, bell pepper and mushrooms. Add the pizza sauce until ingredients are just covered. Place about 1/3 cup of the topping mixture in the middle of a tortilla and place cheese evenly on top. Fold short sides of the burrito in and fold long side over the middle of the burrito. Fold the last side over securing the insides. Place, folds down, on top of a cookie sheet. See my post about Chili Cheese Burritos for pictures on this folding if needed. Bake the burritos for 15-20 minutes at 350 ºF.

Monday, August 30, 2010


With the recall of eggs in this country causing fear and concern, I thought this would be a good time to discuss why I DON'T EVER EAT EGGS. Salmonella is the least of my concern, but the conditions of farms that raise chickens increase the likelihood of outbreaks such as this. This morning the media showed a short clip of a chicken in these conditions and you can immediately notice something is a little different about her than the ones you would see if you were to look into someone's back yard farm. The chicken had her beak clipped off. The front of her beak is distorted by a cruel practice called debeaking, which cuts through bone, cartilage and soft tissue. This is done since these birds are placed in such unnatural conditions that they will peck each other and do harm. The unnatural conditions also cause their feet to grow into the cage wires and lay eggs more often due to stress of artificial lighting. Their bodies are covered with bruises and abrasions, have feather and psychological disorders since there are commonly 4 hens in a 16-inch square wire cage.

A chicken at Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary.

Before I went vegan, I thought the animals used to produce eggs and dairy were unharmed since they weren’t being killed. I was so wrong. The consumption of eggs not only supports this type of cruelty, but these chickens are killed for their meat as well, after one year, since their bodies are so taxed they are considered “spent” and do not produce enough eggs for profit. Many people believe that egg laying hens are the most abused of all farm animals. The torture they endure is unimaginable. The conditions of the farms produce an unimaginable amount of waste as well. There is nothing ok about these farms.

Male chickens being dumped in the trash (literally) since no use to chicken farming. Photo compliments of Farm Sanctuary.

“Free range” or “cage free” eggs are really no better. These chickens may not be in the wire cages, but they are not free, they are still debeaked and suffer from bruises and abrasions and their bodies are just as taxed producing all those eggs in such close quarters and they too, will be killed for their meat at the end. I once visited one of these “cage free” egg farms, and there is no daylight for these chickens. The farm was under so much security and fear of exposure that cops were called on me, when I was visiting as a representative of a restaurant purchasing the eggs. They didn’t want people to know the truth. Even backyard chickens are not cruelty-free, since the males born in this industry are usually killed right away.

Photo compliments of Farm Sanctuary

Eggs are not necessary in your diet. They are not needed for cooking or baking. Tofu makes a great scramble, and eggs in baking are easily replaced. Even if they weren’t, to me it is not worth the suffering of others just for a pleasurable food experience. Please consider taking eggs out of your diet if you have not already or at least cut back considerable. For every one egg consumed, a hen has to endure hours of absolute misery.

Photo taken at Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary

Please support farm sanctuaries that give animals a second chance of a truly free and wondrous life. In Oregon, Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary and Out to Pasture are both great places to support. Farm Sanctuary has farms on the east and west coast and does a lot about education concerning animals used in agriculture. The Humane Society of the United States also has a lot of great information about the cruelty of farm animals (and other animals) on their website as well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"It tastes like milk chocolate"

Liz (left) wanted me to quote her about the chocolate frosting tasting like milk chocolate. Chelsea (right) was the birthday girl.

I enjoy making cupcakes for people when I have the time. When my friend Chelsea asked me to make some for a birthday gathering, I was sad to say no cause I was just too busy. Luckily she was having two celebrations and I could help out for the other one. I try to come up with slightly different flavors and I knew she liked chocolate and disliked fruit. I was going to go with coconut, but then realized she is not a fan of coconut (expect when it is in my cookies I found out). I did have almond slices though and a little bit of cocoa powder. I made 18 cupcakes and brought them to a bar where the birthday fun was to happen.

There were more cupcakes then people though, so Chelsea went table to table offering strangers the cupcakes. People loved them, and I loved them loving them! It makes me want to bake stuff once in awhile just to give to strangers and see their happy faces. A friend recently made some cupcakes and left some on my doorstep to greet me from my day at work. It made me so delighted! Cupcakes really do have the power to make people joyful, and I am going to have to use that power more often. It is just the right thing to do.

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Almond Cake:
½ cup Soy Margarine
1 cup Organic Raw Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Silken Tofu
1 ½ cups Coconut Milk
2 tsp Vanilla (or 1 tsp Almond Extract)
2 ½ cups Unbleached White Flour
1 Tb Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
1/2 cup Sliced Almonds

Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup Margarine
3 cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tb Cocoa Powder
2-5 Tb. Coconut Milk

Cake: Cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and blend, then the tofu and blend some more. Pour in the coconut milk and blend until incorporated. Add the flour, baking power and salt and blend until just mixed in. Fill greased muffin tins, or cupcake cups about 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes. When cupcakes are done, the top should spring back when lightly touched.

Frosting: Blend the powdered sugar, cocoa and margarine together. Add coconut milk, a little at a time, until you reach the desired texture. Frost cupcakes and add a few almond slices on top if desired. Makes 18 cupcakes

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baking without Dairy & Eggs Class

I forgot how exciting it is to hear new or possibly new vegans talking around you. That exploration into something new that helps the animals, the planet and yourself can be extremely rewarding. The talk I gave last night concerning baking without dairy and eggs will hopefully give people some more tools to be successful at their new lifestyle.

One thing I heard discussed last night is whether you will actually see a personal difference when adapting to a vegan diet. The truth is, we are all so different and our bodies react in their own special way, it is hard to say. When I went vegan I was young, I was not as in tune with my body and I didn’t really care about health since it was all about the animals for me. I was too distracted trying to change the world. I do know that now, I have good cholesterol readings. I was such a cheese addict I know that would not be the same case if I was not vegan. I have become more aware of nutrition. I look younger than my age. Whether a person has a noticeable change when they go vegan may not always happen, but I guarantee, that all individuals will reap benefits by switching to a plant based diet. And most importantly to me, I can live with my conscious of knowing my life (mostly) did not cause the suffering of others through my dietary choices.

Here are some links to recipes I thing you will enjoy.

Non-dairy cheese class (ricotta, cheese sauce and my roasted red pepper cashew spread).


Gluten Free & Vegan Recipes!

Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup (It is so good!)

Buckwheat Stuffing (also gluten free)

Fresh Collard Wraps

Mango Mint Salad

Cannellini Herb Spread

There are lots more recipes on my blog for biscuits, pancakes, cupcakes, cakes, sour cream lasagna, cookies, gluten and so much more!

Here is the information from the class:

Dairy Free Baking

• Any recipe which calls for milk, a replacement can be used. These include “milk” made from soy, rice, almond, oat and even hemp. Soymilk works the best as a replacement.

• To replace butter in a recipe, use a non-hydrogenated margarine or shortening. Earth Balance is a non-dairy margarine which works really well and Spectrum has a shortening made from palm oil. Using a regular oil may not work properly for the recipe.

• If a recipe calls for buttermilk, simply add 2 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar per one cup of milk replacement. Stir, and let stand a minute.

• If a recipe calls for milk powder, you can use a non-dairy milk equivalent in a powdered form. Two brands which work well in baking includes “Better than Milk” Soy Powder and DariFree Milk Powder Alternative made from potato. If a recipe calls for less than 2 Tb of the milk powder, you can simply omit the ingredient.

Egg Replacers

Flaxseed Meal: 1 Tb. flaxseed meal + 3 Tb. water = 1 egg. Mix together flaxseed meal and water, let sit a couple of minutes, then add as you would egg. This is a useful egg replacement that works for most applications, but will add some color specs to your baked goods.

Chia Seeds: Combine 1/3 cup of seeds with 2 cups water and let sit a few minutes. Use ¼ cup gel per egg. Very versatile and works for most baked good, plus it adds nutrition.

• Starches: Combine 1 Tb. of starch (corn starch / potato starch) + 3 Tb. water = 1 egg. Eggs are mostly used as a binder in cookie recipes, so this works best with cookies.

• Bananas: Use ¼ cup of mashed banana per egg. Great for muffins or sweet breads that benefit from a banana taste.

• Apple Sauce: Use ¼ cup of applesauce per egg. Works best in muffins and sweet breads.

• Blended Silken Tofu: ¼ cup tofu = 1 egg. Blend before adding to the recipe. Great for cakes! This will gives cakes a moist texture without being too dense.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I am happy to help!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Egg and Dairy Free Baking Class Tonight!

As part of Try Vegan Week here in Portland, OR, I am teaching a class on egg and dairy free baking. Learn to veganize your favorite recipes and why vegan baking is so much more fun! Plus, I will be available to answer any questions you have about egg and dairy free alternatives, whole grain baking, gluten free info, veganism, how cute my rats are (especially eating tofu) and so much more!

Baking Without Dairy & Eggs
8 pm at Bay Leaf
(4768 SE Division St.)

For more information please go to or here is a link to the whole week’s schedule.

Biscuits made with a veganized buttermilk.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Camping requires cookies

The other Chelsea eats the cookie while waiting for the ferry.

Baking cookies the night before a camping trip has become a ritual and I like it. The trip to San Juan Island included a 5 hour drive, 2 hour ferry wait and 1+ hour ferry ride, so the cookies made good snacking. The plan was to use the cookies as a sandwich with roasted vegan Dandies marshmallows as well, but sadly, the marshmallows were placed in the cooler and got ruined. It really was sad. I’ve only gotten to roast marshmallows twice in the last 15 years, since vegan versions are still fairly new to the market. Luckily there were orcas and beautiful landscape, deer and friends to distract me from this flaw in the trip. And the cookies were great by themselves.

Chocolate Chip Oat Coconut Cookies

2 cups Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar
½ cup Vegan Margarine
½ cup Almond Milk
2 tsp Vanilla
2 cups Unbleached White Flour
1 cup Quick Rolled Oats
2 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Salt
½ cup Shredded Coconut, unsweetened
½ cup Vegan Chocolate Chips

Cream together the sugar and margarine until smooth. Add the almond milk and vanilla and blend some more. Add the flour, oats, baking powder and salt, and mix until mostly combined. Add the coconut and chocolate chips and finish mixing until combined, but careful not to mix too much. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Form into balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before cooling on rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lemon Coconut Cake

A little bit tart, occasionally sour and lots of sweet. That sums up my friend Liz who just celebrated her birthday, and the cake I made for her. Looks like the cake was a success and I love the different flavor combination. And it is always great to celebrate with a good friend!

Lemon Coconut Cake

Lemon Coconut Cake:
½ cup Soy Margarine
1 ½ cups Organic Raw Sugar
½ cup Silken Tofu, blended
1 cup Almond or Coconut Milk
½ cup fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Vanilla
2 ½ cups Unbleached White Flour
½ cup Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
1 Tb Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt

Lemon Frosting:
1/2 cup Margarine
3 cups Powdered Sugar
3-5 Tb Lemon Juice
1 cup Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)

Cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Add the tofu and blend. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and blend some more. Slowly add the almond or coconut milk as the beaters continue mixing. Add the flour, baking power and salt and blend until just mixed in. Put in the shredded coconut and stir in with a spatula until incorporated. Fill two greased 9-inch cakes pans with equal amounts of batter. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. When cakes are done, the top should spring back when lightly touched.

Frosting: Blend the powdered sugar and margarine together. Add lemon juice, a little at a time, until you reach the desired texture.

To assemble the cake, frost the top of one 9-inch cake. Add the other cake layer on top and frost it as well. Go around the sides with more frosting making sure to cover the entire cake. Sprinkle the coconut flakes onto the frosting (top and sides), patting it into the frosting to make sure it sticks. Serve with a birthday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Curry Veggie Split Pea Soup

This is the time of year that I can really get into veggies! I am trying to visit the farmers markets and check out all the local offerings at my local natural food store. I have been eating a lot of salads and have found that making bean spreads work great in place of a traditional salad dressing. I have used hummus, bean & artichoke dip and I even had success blending up black beans with a green tomatillo salsa.

Soups are also great for veggies. Although I avoid making soup when the temperature is above 90°F outside, the summer here has been mild and soups can be so easy to conjure up. Here is my latest creation.

Curry Veggie Split Pea Soup

1 ½ cups Green Split Peas
4 cups Water
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 Potatoes, diced
2 large Carrots, chopped
1 small Onion, chopped
1 bunch Kale, chopped
2-inch piece of Ginger, minced
2 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Garlic Granules
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional)

Bring the water and split peas to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes. Add the broth, potatoes, carrot, onion and ginger and cook an additional 15 minutes. Add the spices and kale and simmer until kale is soft, about 10 minutes.

These spices are how I like it. You may find starting with less salt and pepper and adding more as you go will cater to your own taste buds. I really like ginger, so cut down on this is you are not as much of a fan. Soups are great in that they can easily be altered to your own liking.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rats are Rad!

Devi and Anatidae being held by auntie Liz

People just do not understand rats. I have spent most of my adult life in and out of relationships with rats, since their one downfall is a short lifespan of 2-3 years. Even with this in mind, it is worth the love investment in these tiny furry creatures regardless of the heartbreak you will later suffer.

What does this have to do with veganism? Part of me being vegan is my understanding of animals and their feelings and personalities and knowing who they are, not what they are. Animals in general are misunderstood as an object, something put on earth to use or something that can’t feel. Rats are especially subject to these misconceptions where they are readily used in animal research and so many people hate the idea of them being companion animals.

I personally describe rats as being like very small dogs, but smarter. I’ve even had a rat who once out-smarted my dog who was confused for days after she moved her nest to get away from his insistent curiosity. They are very loyal and loving as well. My rats Nicademus and Sadhu were brothers adopted at the Oregon Humane Society. I went in there with only $2 planning to not take anyone home. But there was a special, 2 for 1 deal, and rats only cost $2. It was fate that brought me so much joy and love and laughter. I remember them running up to me everyday when I would get home to greet me. They would often sleep in my arms at night or sit on my shoulder while watching tv. They were with me often and shared many wonderful moments together.

When I was faced with a decision to adopt more rats who needed a home, I asked myself what to do? I did not want any more pets at home with my two needy cats already getting so much of my attention. But then I remembered all that affection from my previous rats and knew the answer once I stopped asking my brain, and asked my heart what to do.

Devi and Anatidae are about 2 months old and already their individual personalities are shining through. Devi was named after Amrita Devi, who gave her life in the 1700s to save the forest her village relied on from being cut down. Although many people died that day in the effort Devi started, the forest was spared. This little rat is a sweet heart who is more social and more adventurous. Anatidae is the family order for ducks and geese which I did a report on for a biology class. I call her little Ana and she is much more shy than Devi, but has moments of bravery which is cute to watch.

I am so excited for years of experiences with these two adorable rats. They are a good reminder how sometimes two species can get along so amazingly well.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Portland's Vegan Iron Chef 2010

I have never seen an iron chef competition on TV so I was excited my first experience would be with Portland’s first Vegan Iron Chef competition organized by friends with Try Vegan PDX. Liz did an amazing job with the art direction and all the posters and everything was top notch. I was impressed with Jess’ directing abilities shouting for action to the runners to make sure everything got done. Who knew she could be so authoritative. I liked it! Of course there were tons of other volunteers for the pantry and donations and the venue and other things that Deanna, Tina, Cindy, Val and people I did not know got done. Personally, I enjoyed just being able to take a seat and enjoy. It was quite the show!

The competitors included Aaron Adams from Portobello who is opening at his new location this month. This is where I have found the best lasagna I have ever eaten and his friendliness and culinary knowledge is impressive.

Wes from Blossoming Lotus excels at raw foods in my opinion and has unique vegan options to choose from.

I have never eaten at Quasu’s Asaase Ital Palace food cart by PSU, but somehow I found myself routing for her. Maybe it was her mystery or the fact she was the closest to me on the stage with no formal training or maybe it was that I found her poster to be the most compelling.

The competition was fun to witness and the stage was hectic with chefs and their assistants trying to get everything done in the 75 minutes allotted and volunteer runners were busy trying to help and not be in the way. I think they did a great job. I was so jealous I did not get to taste anything since everything looked so tasty.

I especially appreciated Joanna from Yellow Rose Recipes since she explained more what she tasted rather than stating the obvious one judge did. In the end, Quasu was announced the winner, but I think the whole Portland vegan community were the winners that night.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I am addicted to Black Eyed Peas and Greens (Soup)

I bought some black eyes peas since I have found I really like their flavor thanks to a variety of dishes including the Portland Bye and Bye bar's side dish on the BBQ platter. Yum! I have never tried mustard greens before so I decided to try them in a soup and carrots sounded like they would go well with it all. As I was cooking up the soup, I decided it needed a little more of something, and decided to add lemon juice. After it was all cooked and ready for eating, I was surprised by my enjoy of this fairly simple soup. I hope you have the same surprise.

Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup

1 1/2 cups dry Black Eyed Peas
10 cups water
2 Carrots, chopped
2 Vegetable Bouillon Cubes
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Granules
1 bunch Mustard Greens, chopped

Place the black eye peas in 4 cups of the water and bring to a boil in a large pot. Lower heat to a low simmer and cook 30 minutes. Add the rest of the water, carrots, bouillon cubes, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic and cook an additional 15 minutes. Place the greens in the pot and stir to combine and cook for about 10 minutes, until the greens are cooked down and flavors could be absorbed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Betty White Party with lots of food

Betty White has done a lot for animals in her lifetime and she has also delivered a great amount of laughs. When a campaign to see her host Saturday Night Live appeared on facebook, I joined right away. And when she was finally announced to host SNL, I organized a party right away. When I throw a party, what food I will serve becomes my first planning task. I have a few friends that eat gluten free, so I did know I wanted a least most of it to be safe for everyone to eat.

I decided on a host of dips and stuffed stuff. This included my popular Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Spread, White Bean Artichoke Heart Dip and Tofutti Sour Cream with a Frontier Organics French Onion Soup dry mix.

I also served zucchini stuffed with a garbanzo tahini mash and small red potatoes stuffed with tofu celery salad. I served multiple veggies as well including cherry tomatoes I had hoped to stuff with guacamole but that became too much work, so I offered them for snacking instead.

For dessert I offered strawberries, a vegan whipped cream, sweet mini biscuits and cheesecake bites with an almond meal crust (gluten free).

Vegan Cheesecake Bites

1 – 8 oz container Tofutti Cream Cheese
½ cup blended Silken Tofu
1/3 cup Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar
2 Tb Cornstarch
1 tsp Vanilla

1 ½ cups Almond Meal
1 Tb Cornstarch
2 Tb Margarine, melted
1-2 Tb Almond Milk

Filling: Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Crust: Combine the almond meal and cornstarch. Using a fork, blend in the margarine. Add the almond milk until the meal starts to hold together when pressed.

Place about a tablespoon of the crust in a greased mini cupcake holder and press down. Filling the cupcake holder until about full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Luckily SNL with Betty White was hilarious and wondrous and the food was enjoyed between the laughs.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Brownie Bites (Gluten Free)

I made these for a bake sale to benefit SPECIEES. I wanted to offer something that was gluten free since there seems to be more and more demand for it. This recipe uses almond meal flour and cornstarch instead of white flour so it has a great taste and no xanthan gum was needed. I have found that blended silken tofu is best egg replacement in brownies. The resulting product is rich in choclate taste and decadent in texture. Yumm!

Brownie Bites

1/2 cup Non-Dairy Margarine, melted
1/2 cup Cocoa, unsweetened
1 cup Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar
½ cup Silken Tofu, blended
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Tb Corn Starch
1/2 cup Almond Meal Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt

In a food processor, blend the silken tofu until smooth. Scoop out ½ cup and reserve left over for other baking or for making a “pudding” by blending the tofu with melted chocolate chips and sugar or make a “creamsicle”.

Combine the melted butter and cocoa, stirring to combine. Add sugar, blended tofu and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the almond flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Scoop the batter by the spoonful into a greased mini muffin pan, filling each space about 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes and then let cool 15 minutes. Makes 32 brownies bites.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mac & Cheese like my mom use to make

As a child, macaroni and cheese was my favorite. I really didn’t if it came from a box, or served at school, or a microwave dinner. However, the few times my mom made it from scratch were a special treat. I remember her heating the milk and adding the butter and melting in the cheese and the decadent flavor it created. The prepared vegan cheeses on the market were not designed for this type of creation, but then Daiya brand vegan cheese showed up.

Daiya cheese has been impressing vegans since its arrival. It has a head up in the vegan cheese world since it actually melts and has some stretchiness. It is not my favorite for every application, but it is opening up the possibilities. I decided it would be a good candidate for the old fashioned mac and cheese my mom use to make. It has a pretty strong flavor, however, so I knew I didn’t want to rely on it all by itself, or the flavor would be too overwhelming. This is where the old stand by nutritional yeast comes in to equalize the flavors and the results were great!

“Old Fashioned” Macaroni and Cheese

8 oz. Pasta
¼ cup Earth Balance Margarine
2 cups Almond Milk (plain, unsweetened)
2 Tb Corn Starch
½ - ¾ Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Garlic Granules
1 cup Daiya Cheese
1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast

Bread Crumbs (optional):

2 cups cubed sourdough bread
1 Tb Olive Oil
2 Tb fresh Sage, chopped
¼ tsp Garlic Granules

Bread Crumbs: Place the oil, sage and garlic in a bowl and stir together. Add the cubed bread and stir to incorporate into the bread until it seems equally distributed. Set aside.

Macaroni and Cheese: Cook and drain the pasta according to directions; set aside. In a large cooking pot, melt the margarine and then add the almond milk and cornstarch and whisk together. Heat the sauce on medium heat until thick, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and add the Daiya cheese, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and garlic granules. Whisk until all the ingredients are incorporated and the Daiya cheese has melted into the sauce. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to cover it; then place in a 9-inch square baking pan. Spread the bread crumbs on top to cover evenly. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite veggies such as asparagus like I did.

*For a soy-free version, just use the soy-free version margarine from Earth Balance (or another brand if you can find one).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Non-Dairy Cheese Class

On Sunday I taught a cooking class on non-dairy cheeses for NW Veg's Veg 101 series. This series is a great introduction to vegan living since every class including an informative talk about an inportant topic and a cooking demonstration. Here is what I taught and shared.


Tofu Ricotta

1 lb. Tofu
1 Tb Olive Oil
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tb Tahini
½ tsp Garlic Granules
½ tsp Basil
½ tsp Oregano
¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
Salt to taste

Crumble tofu in a medium bowl. Place oil, lemon juice, tahini and spices in the tofu and use a fork to blend. Add the nutritional yeast and blend until fully incorporated.

* I used this recipe to make the lasagna pictured above. I simply sauted portobello mushrooms, zucchini and garlic in a little olive oil, and then added a tomato sauce. I placed half this sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 9-inch square pan, stuffed cooked manicotti noodles with the tofu ricotti, then topped them with the remaining sauce. Baked at 350°F for 30 minutes. Yum!

Nutritional Yeast Cheese Sauce

½ cup Nutritional Yeast
½ cup Unbleached White Flour
½ tsp Garlic Granules
2 cups Water
2 Tb Braggs
1 Tb Margarine
2 tsp Mustard

Place nutritional yeast, flour and garlic granules in a medium size cooking pot. Whisk in the water and heat on medium-high heat. Whisk occasionally and when sauce starts to thicken, whisk often. Once thick, remove from heat and add Braggs, margarine and mustard.
* Works well for mac & cheese, on top of pizzas and lasagna, burritos and more. When refrigerated, sauce will solidify and can be used for grilled cheese sandwiches.

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Spread

½ cup Cashews, unsalted
2 Roasted Red Peppers
1 Tb Lemon Juice or Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Salt
½ cup Nutritional Yeast

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
* Enjoy on bread, in sandwiches, on top of pizzas and so much more.

Commercially Available Non-Dairy Cheese Products

Daiya Cheese

Follow Your Heart




Galaxy Vegan Cheese

Yumm! Sauce: Found in Fodd Fight!, New Seasons and other local markets.

Sour Cream and Cream Cheese

Tofutti and Follow Your Heart both offer vegan sour cream and cream cheese on the market.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ramblings of Recipes and Looking for Input

Spring is about new things, changes and nicer weather, right? I am thinking of changing some things for my blog, even though it will still have a concentration of vegan food and recipes, but wanted to get input from others. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement or if you would like to see anything specific on the blog. Thanks!

I do not have pictures to share (sorry) but I made some cupcakes for a friend’s birthday recently and the frosting was so yummy I could not stop eating it. I am normally not like that. This frosting used about 3 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, 2 Tb cocoa powder and a few tablespoons of coconut milk to get it to the correct consistency. The coconut milk gave the frosting an amazingly rich and smooth texture. I highly recommend trying this at home.

For two recent events, I brought my Amazing Cashew Spread and people talk about it so favorably, I wanted to share it again. Here you go!

Amazing Cashew Spread

2 Roasted Red Peppers, whole
½ - ¾ cup Cashews, unsalted
½ cup Nutritional Yeast
1 Tb Balsamic Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1 tsp Salt

Place all the ingredients in a food process and blend until smooth. I served this with bread and it can be used for sandwiches, pizza, a dip, or a pasta sauce if you add more water.

For a thicker consistency, use more cashews. I buy roasted red peppers in a glass jar from Trader Joes so it is inexpensive and it has the exact quantity for this recipe, so not measuring required, you just need to drain off the excess liquid.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Shortbread Cookies

Some friends of mine hosted a candy party so I wanted to try and make twix. Then, the day I needed to start making stuff, I was not in the mood for chocolate. So my twix became shortbread cookies topped with caramel and pecans. I have a recipe for making a caramel sauce which I have done many times, but I’ve been cutting down on my soy intake and used the soy-free Earth Balance margarine and Coconut creamer, instead of soy version. Once you combine all the ingredients, you allow them to boil for quite awhile, so that way when it cools it will harden. The soy-free ingredient versions took a lot longer to boil down, so the caramel sauce ended up being softer than I intended. The cookies were great, but I do need to work more of the caramel recipe before sharing.

The shortbread cookies did turn out nicely, so I would love to share this recipe. The cookies can be rolled out and cut into rectangles or squares, as I did, or you can use a cookie cutter and get different shapes. You can also decorate these cookies with frosting and sprinkles if desired, to liven up the cookies. They are really good on their own as well.

Shortbread Cookies

1 ½ cups Margarine
1 cup Organic Cane Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
3 cups Unbleached White Flour
½ tsp Salt

Cream together the sugar and margarine. Add the vanilla and beat together some more. Add the flour and salt and mix until incorporated.

Form the dough into two balls and refrigerate one as you work on the other. Roll the ball out to ¼-inch thickness. Cut the dough into squares, or cut with cookie cutters. Place dough on a cookie sheet at bake at F for about 10-15 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on the size of the cookie. It should just start to brown on the sides of the cookie.

Another option to cut the cookies: Instead of rolling out the dough, form the dough into a long log. Slice the dough into ¼-inch disks and place on cookie sheet and bake as directed.

I do plan to share a Twix recipe in the future using this recipe as the cookie base once I perfect the soy-free caramel sauce. Yay!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

BOYCOTT Whole Foods Market

Yesterday I learned about a new program being implemented at Whole Foods Market called “Team Member Healthy Discount Incentive Program”. Although the sound of it may sound nice, it is based on discrimination. I have been livid since hearing the news about this program and so upset that a company would think this program is acceptable. The program gives further discounts than the standard 20% off for those who fit certain criteria. The amount of the additional discount depends on your health scores based on if you are a non-smoker, cholesterol level, blood pressure reading and your BMI.

BMI (Body Mass Index) is determined in a formula using your weight and height. It does not allow for consideration of your actual body health. Studies have even shown the category of “overweight” is statistically the healthiest category. Most athletes would be considered overweight and even some obese.

You may be wondering what all this can to do with vegan recipes. I have been vegan for about 14 years now, but I have been fat for 34. I have been a dedicated animal rights activist, but I have also been a dedicated fat acceptance activist. All through these years I have been a very active individual. As a child you could usually find me either hiking in a local park or playing sports. As an adult I’ve biked a lot including a bike delivery business and a century ride around wine country. I did all that I was “supposed” to do of eating well and being active, and I am still a fat girl. This is who I am.

I have had to deal with a lot of stereotyping of my behavior due to my size. I have been called a “fatass” while biking up a very steep hill. I have been told I am not a good vegan because of my size. I have had food thrown at me during protests while being called fat names. I have had to put up with a lot of bullshit due to other people’s ignorance.

I believe in health, and I believe in size acceptance and I do think these two things are important to go together. There is too much hatred in this world of ourselves and others to accept this type of behavior, so I need to speak up when I see people/government/companies further fat hate and stereotyping. What Whole Foods is doing is not okay. There are fit and fat people who will watch unfit and thin people get further benefits than themselves. Below is my letter to Whole Foods. I encourage everyone to write one as well and until this program is changed, please BOYCOTT Whole Foods. Do not support a business who contributes to discrimination. It is just not acceptable.

Dear John Mackey,

I just learned about you “Healthy Discount Incentive Program” for team members. This program discriminates against people who are larger in size and doesn’t take into account true health. Studies have actually shown the healthiest population is from the “overweight” category of the BMI determination scale. Majority of athletes are considered overweight on the BMI scale as well, since these measurements do not account for muscle, which you would hope healthy people would have.

Personally, I am considered obese according to my BMI. I have always been a fat girl, and I have always been active. When I was working at Whole Foods myself, 8 years ago, I biked to work every day and everywhere else I traveled to. I worked out often and I was fit. I was also fat. That is who I am. I have been vegan for about 14 years and although I am not perfect, I eat fairly healthy, and definitely healthier than the average person. If the program went in effect while I was working at Whole Foods, I would have been one of the fittest people there and I would have seen people who eat unhealthy and never exercise get more of a discount than myself. This is an example of why this program is discrimination. We are not all created the same size. It is called diversity.

A person’s health should be none of a company’s business. This should not be a factor in rewarding or punishing employees. Although all employees will still be allowed the 20% employee discount, giving other employees more of a discount is punishing those who do not qualify under their determining health factors. Although the program may be “voluntary”, it is not an option for your fit and fat team members.

I am whole-heartily disgusted by the implementation of this program. I plan to boycott Whole Foods until this program truly rewards ALL healthy individuals by taking out the BMI criteria, or changing the program entirely. I will encourage others to do the same.There are so many other options to reward healthy living, without discriminating or engrossing on employee’s personal health information. Try giving further discount on vegetables and whole grains, give discounts for biking or walking to work, or joining a gym. I encourage creating a workplace of not only health, but also acceptance of all people. I do hope I hear you reconsider this program and find a way to reward health to all.

Sincerely, Chelsea Lincoln

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This weekend in Portland...

For those of you in Portland, the must go-to event of the month is this Saturday at Multnomah County Library, central location from 1 – 2:30pm. Jess of get sconed! blog will talk all about her blog, eating locally, and being a Portland vegan. Samples will be available! Jess is one of the nicest people I know and her blog is fun and personal with amazing food pics and recipes. She knows more about the Portland food scene than anyone else I know.

Another must-see event is Margin of Certainty: from Veganism to Activism is an interactive workshop which will be led by Jasmin Singer, Farm Sanctuary’s campaigns manager. This one is on Sunday at 1pm located at Matt Dishman Community Center (77 NE Knott Portland, OR 97212) Classroom A. Let Live is putting on the event so show your support and learn something new!

I wish I could go and show my support for both of these events but my weekend is filled with volunteer work and studying. School is great but definitely takes a lot of time and commitment. My volunteer commitment is entirely worth it since I get to have so many precious interactions with wild creatures we're hoping to help at Audubon Wildlife Care Center.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I love cupcakes!

When I visit my family for the holidays, I really get into planning the dinner and dessert that I will be making. I usually try new and exciting things and mostly, this has worked really well for me. This year when trying to decide what dessert to make, all I could think about was peppermint cupcakes with chocolate frosting. It wasn’t the most creative thing, but I had to make them. I forgot my sister doesn’t really like cupcakes, but she did eat it and I think she enjoyed it. Everyone else loved them and when taking photos of the cupcakes, my mom insisted on including some holiday cheer in the form of frosty the snowman and in the far distance, my dad’s addition of a teddy bear with a santa hat.

Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

Peppermint Cupcakes:

½ cup Margarine
1 ½ cups Organic Raw Sugar
½ cup Silken Tofu, blended
1 ½ cups Almond Milk
1 – 2 tsp Peppermint Extract
2 ½ cups Unbleached White Flour
1 Tb Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt

Chocolate Frosting:

½ cup Chocolate Chips, melted
2 Tb Margarine
2 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
4 – 6 Tb Almond Milk

Cupcakes: Cream together the margarine and sugar. Add the silken tofu and blend. Add the peppermint extract and the almond milk slowly as you mix the batter.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend until just combined. Pour into greased cupcake pans or liners about ¾ full. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until cupcake top springs back when lightly tapped.

Frosting: Melt the chocolate chips and margarine together. Add this to the powdered sugar and blend until incorporated evenly through the sugar. Add the almond milk until you reached the desired frosting consistency. Spread on the cupcakes once they have cooled.

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms

I made these mushrooms for Christmas dinner with my family. Since I was feeding two kids (my niece and nephew) I didn't think these would be a big hit, but after the first bite, we all realized I had made a mistake. We all wanted more than the 2 each I prepared. Luckily there was much more other food to go around; however this was the surprise hit.

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms

1 small Leek, sliced and chopped
2 stalks Celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tb Olive Oil
1 Tb fresh Thyme
½ cup Bread Crumbs, ground
18 Crimini mushrooms, stems removed
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Braggs
2 Tb Water

Prepare the mushrooms by removing the stems. This is easily done by moving the stem around forcing it to go in the different directions, and then pulled out.

Sauté the leeks, celery and garlic in the 1 Tb olive oil until soft. In a medium bowl, add the bread crumbs and fresh thyme and pour in the cooked veggies and combine. Using your hands, push as much of the filling into the mushroom as it will allow. Place mushroom with the filling faced up in a baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the mushrooms.

Combine the 1 tsp oil, braggs and water and pour into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until golden. Pour in more water if needed so the mushrooms do not dry out.