Tag Archives: VeganMoFo2014

VeganMoFo Day 14: I Scream, You Scream, the Home Team Needs Ice Cream!

The good news is last night’s pizza was great tonight, too! Unfortunately, here in California, both our home teams didn’t fare so well today. We just wrapped up the 49ers-Bears game. Hot day, and a bummer of a football night.

Ice CreamThank goodness for vegan ice cream!

Ice CreamWell get ’em next time! Until then, ice cream is the best medicine.

Ice Cream

Happy Sunday, everyone!


VeganMoFo Day 13: Overzealous Pizzas with Roasted Veggies

Earlier tonight, I sent this picture of the booger bunny to my sister-in-law. She responded by asking if Thump was on safari. She wasn’t far off.


It’s 5,000 here degrees today, so the temperature feels safari-ish. The monkey and elephant have a giraffe friend, all of whom were purchased by me at the now legendary Target visit the other day. They’re actually dog toys, but since the dog has been quietly eating all the rabbit toys lately, I figured Thump could use some dog toys. Interestingly, the dog is totally ignoring them.


Still riding high from my success with the Beyond Meat grilled strips yesterday, I decided to use the Beyond Meat beefy crumbles tonight. Although everyone is sort of sluggish from the heat, I determined we were all starving. As it turns out, we’re too hot to be starving and I managed to make enough pizza for the rest of  the year this weekend.

To go along with California’s idea of roasting the state this weekend, I started out by roasting veggies. I tossed onion, red pepper, green pepper, and diced garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a foil lined cookie sheet. I roasted them for about 20 minutes in the oven at 425.veggies

I threw the Beyond Meat beefy crumbles into a pan with some olive oil and added 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cooked it until browned. It was my favorite kind of too-hot summer night dinner plan: imprecise and easy.

We used Pillsbury Pizza Crusts (on PETA’s Accidentally Vegan list) for the dough and plain ol’ store bought pizza sauce with all vegan ingredients because it was easy. I managed to corral my hungry 19-year-old into helping me decorate the crusts with the roasted veggies, crumbles, mushrooms, olives, vegan pepperoni, and Daiya cheese.


Despite my belief that we were famished, we have four million pieces leftover in the fridge for tomorrow. This is a shocking surprise since I only made one pizza per person. How could that be too much?


My husband said it’ll be breakfast, lunch, and dinner tomorrow. Then, he said, he’d take it to lunch on Monday.

My son thought that was an interesting choice, and I couldn’t help but wonder aloud what the pizza might order on this peculiar lunch date with my husband… Needless to say, my husband thinks we’re hilarious.

So, with enough foil-wrapped pizza stored for the apocalypse, I’m signing off for tonight. I’m not sure what I’ll have to share tomorrow since reheated pizza doesn’t seem too exciting right now. I’m sure I’ll find something. Perhaps, just to spice things up a bit, I should invite a guest to entertain you all. I suppose that if all else fails, the booger bunny can visit you and do show-and-tell with her new toys.

Potential Guest Bloggers: Mocha "It Wasn't Me" Dog and Thumper "The Mop" Rabbit

Potential Guest Bloggers: (left to right) Thumper “The Mop” Rabbit and Mocha “It Wasn’t Me” Dog

Or perhaps Mocha can explain her recent obsession with willow-based rabbit toys. We’ve observed Mocha chowing down on dry leaves for years, a strange favorite of hers we dubbed “Dog Salad,” so this isn’t an entirely shocking turn of events. Besides, Thump’s toys are all vegan, and apparently quite tasty to Mo. But Mocha also eats soap, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in her opinion. I suggest taking pizza out to lunch instead.


VeganMoFo Day 12: Mom, Target, a Bit of Curry… and Beyond!

Oh, good heavens, California. Fall is a week from next Tuesday. We get it.

The temperature on my patio was an inviting 102 this evening. We’ve dropped down significantly since then:

But it's a dry heat.

Yay, right? I’m not sure what to say about Sunday being 96 but having a “RealFeel” of 98. Hmm.

But wait, there’s more! (And keep reading, because it takes a minute, but this one’s a sincere Yay!)

When I was running errands the other day, I stopped by Target to grab a few things. I always take a quick tour of the grocery area. It’s a habit I have because it’s not easy to grocery shop here. Going to the store is something of a crap shoot around here. I mean, it would be if “crap shoot” meant staring at shelves thinking, “Aww, crap. Shoot!” because more often than not, something I anticipated I could find isn’t even known by the store’s employees.

This happened recently when I sent my husband to a major grocery store looking for “Beyond Meat.” Everyone’s been talking about this product for about two years, but vegan food is a rarity in our grocery stores. Still, I’d heard that other stores in this chain carried it; I assumed that meant the store in my city would.

Nope. Soon enough I got the text, “They don’t even know what that means.”

Ugh. Crap. Shoot.

I wasn’t feeling good about what I’d find at Target because they’d been clearancing vegan food items the last time I was there. I rounded the corner of the aisle, steadying myself for the total elimination of the vegan section. What I found instead was:

Beyond Meat!

Angels sang. The people wept. I almost cried myself. I did whisper, “Target, I love you.”

It’s okay. I’ve lived here for over ten years. Even if people heard me, they’re used to me by now. Well, more or less.

Tonight, studying my package of Beyond Meat Grilled Strips, I considered my options. My mom sent me an email last week with a recipe for Curried Chicken Rice Salad (Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast, Oxmoor House, 
2009) and a note that read: “Will need tweaking. I really, really love this. Make lots, the guys will gobble it.”

And it’s served cold. Perfect!

Curried… and Beyond! Rice Salad

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 container vanilla soy yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 package Beyond Chicken Grilled Strips
  • 1 small bunch chopped celery, chopped
  • 1 red apple, chopped
  • ¼ cup craisins
  • Romaine lettuce

Prepare your rice and chill. If you are preparing it right before dinner, prepare the rice first and place it in the freezer while you do the rest of the steps. It’s easier, and cooler, if you prepare it ahead and store it in the fridge until you’re ready for it.

Prepare the grilled strips as directed. Dice them into small pieces.

Beyond Meat

Chop the celery and apple. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, curry powder, and salt. Add the grilled strips, celery, and apple and mix well to coat. Add the rice and mix completely.

Curried Beyond

Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Curried Beyond

The vanilla yogurt and the curry give this such a subtle flavor boost. Sometimes curry is a bit much for me, but I loved what the addition of the vegan vanilla yogurt did for the dish. It was exactly what we needed to cool down and unwind into the weekend.

Our furry, four-legged kids are sprawled out on the floor, nodding off in the warm evening breeze. After this, I’m ready to pack it in for the night, too.  Thankfully, the kitchen stayed cool and clean up was simple.

This dish is an all-star summer salad. If you’re experiencing a late summer heat wave like we are, you really need to try it. Even my husband, after surveying me warily as I added the curry, looked surprised as he said, “This is actually really, really good!”

Curried Beyond

Just like Mom said!

VeganMoFo Day 11: Squirrely Cookies

You know what’s awesome? Squirrels. Because they just are.


I have a mountain of work beside me that I still need to complete before my day is done. Without the time to make a balanced dinner, I did what any thinking person would do. I made cookies.

Now, before you judge me too harshly, I also had a sandwich. But I needed a bit of extra fuel to carry me through this evening. Dedicated to the MoFo cause as I am, cookies sounded like just the thing to carry me through while also giving me something to share with you!

So, back to squirrels. The other day I was grocery shopping and noticed a darling face grinning at me from the shelf. How could I resist this face?

Almond Butter

Especially when I turned the jar around and saw this:

Almond Butter Back

I knew there was some reason that I needed to have such a cool product available, so I purchased it and soon decided it required some cookie-ing.

There are a few people in my family who have problems with peanut butter. Although they aren’t allergic, it disagrees with them. Peanut butter cookies are a favorite of mine, so I can’t imagine what a bummer it is to be without them.

There are some people in my family with a squirrel phobia as well, but I’m fairly certain that’s unrelated to the peanut issue.  They once had a traumatic run in with some squirrels from the rough side of town who approached their car in a menacing fashion, or so I heard. Words were exchanged… in the car, of course, between the passengers who were concerned about the suspiciously organized band of squirrels.

I’m not sure what tipped them off that these squirrels were trouble since I wasn’t there. Fortunately, they got out of there before things escalated Anchorman-style. They’ve avoided close contact with squirrels ever since. I’m hoping they’ll be able to reconcile themselves to this peanut/squirrel compromise cookie I’ve created.

On another note, when my husband and I were at the Grand Canyon this past spring, people were allowing squirrels to drink from their water bottles despite signs like this:

And he didn't understand why I needed a picture of this!

And he didn’t understand why I needed a picture of this!

Those squirrels were clogging up paths while they posed for pictures. There were a couple of places where it was hard to get to the vista point because there were so many tourists mobbing the squirrels like paparazzi. I didn’t take a picture on principle and because I see squirrels every day around here, but it was quite a scene.

Being a squirrel fan, I also follow Berkeley Squirrels on Facebook, getting my regular dose of cute squirrels doing all sorts of things while they study at Cal, probably majoring in Physics or Comparative Literature.

Needing some squirrel-like energy, I flung cookie ingredients together to give to you:


Squirrel Cookies

(100% vegan. Squirrels served as creative consultants, but, after fierce contract negotiations, they were well compensated.)

  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup Earth Balance, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Wild Friends Chocolate Almond Butter with Sunflower Seeds, or regular Almond Butter
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed whisked with 6 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup craisins
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds

Blend the flours, baking powder, and oats in a bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix the brown sugar, Earth Balance, and salt using a hand mixer. Add the agave and vanilla, blend. Next add the ground flax/water mixture, mixing thoroughly.

Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix completely. Fold in the chocolate chips, craisins, and sunflower seeds.

Preheat your oven to 300 while your dough chills in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

cookie sheet

Drop rounded tablespoons on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned at the very edges. I liked the ones that I left in long enough that they were a bit crispy, but if you like a softer cookie, you may want to take them out at the 20 minute mark (or sooner, depending on your oven).

These make an unusual and flavorful cookie. I liked the mix of textures and the salty sweet flavor. They’re heaven when dipped in chocolate almond milk.

cookie with almond milk

I’m off to work. I’ve eaten half my sandwich and, ahem, several cookies. They’re giving me just the kick I need to keep me going as I wrap up my work for the evening.

With the (rumored) inscrutability of a squirrel, I’m not telling anyone here what’s in the cookies. But, of course, that isn’t stopping anyone from devouring them. Quickly. Maybe even too quickly.


So, I’ve got to dash now, MoFo-ers. I’ve gotta get back to work. But first, I need to go grab a few more cookies and squirrel them away for later, just in case.

VeganMoFo Day 10: Mandarin Orange Chick’n Salad with Mr. Mom Noodles

I was buzzing along the freeway at a roaring 20 miles an hour earlier (I do live in California, after all), contemplating my day. I had a meeting in a nearby city this morning, several imperative errands to run, a few not-so-imperative errands to run, and plenty of work I needed to complete.

I was also feeling a little harried about dinner. It’s not always clear how many people will be sitting around my table each evening. Some evenings, it’s just bunny girl, Mocha dog, the crazy conure, and me home at dinnertime. Other days I’m wondering how to stretch a two person meal to cover five or more. I don’t like to let anyone leave the table hungry, so on those days I need to get extra creative.

Last night, I made dinner before my almost-daughter arrived. It was one of my favorite go-to I-don’t-know-who-all’s-coming-to-dinner-but-I’ve-got-it-covered meals.

Once upon a time, I loosely followed the recipe described on the back of the Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n package. What’s evolved since then is delightfully easy, can be made ahead, and is loved by everyone. Even omnivores fill their plates a second — and sometimes even a third — time and marvel (yes, marvel!) at how good this is. It’s the best, so I made it again tonight – and it disappeared once again. So warm up your printer or grab your pad of paper. This one’s a keeper!

Mandarin Orange Chick’n Salad

  • 1 package Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n, prepared as directed, diced, and tossed with included sauce
  • 1 large package shredded coleslaw veggie mix or shredded cabbage (red and green cabbage is more festive)
  • 1 medium package shredded carrots
  • 2 cups sliced and chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup cilantro paste
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 package rice noodles
  • 1 bottle cooking oil (canola or vegetable)

To begin, you’ll need a very large salad bowl.

Prepare the Gardein as directed, then dice the pieces into small chunks of chick’n.

chopped chick'n

Place in your very large bowl and toss it with the contents of the included sauce packet. Add the shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, sliced green onions, and chopped shiitake mushrooms. Toss to mix.

In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the cilantro paste, rice vinegar, olive oil, and soy sauce. Pour over the salad and toss.


This is the point at which you can cover the salad and keep it in the fridge until it is time to serve. But there is one final detail that really adds a bit of flair. While you can prepare this next part ahead as well, I always wait because it’s too cool not to show off. If you do this step ahead, however, don’t add this ingredient until you’re ready to serve your meal. Adding this too early allows the moisture in the salad to destroy the wonderful texture it adds.

Now, before we can move on, I must bring you back to a time I like to call “The 80s.” Back then, in the 80s, before Michael Keaton was Batman, he was Mr. Mom. This was also before he was Beetlejuice (don’t say it three times!) and the lesser known but fargin wonderful Johnny Dangerously.

Anyway, in Mr. Mom, Michael Keaton’s character makes dinner for his wife, played by Terri Garr. She’s working late and he tosses some noodles into a pan of oil and they blossom dramatically. When I first saw this, I fell in love with those noodles. My only problem was that no one I asked knew what those magical noodles were.

You see, this was back in the olden days, before we had the internet available for answering important questions and obtaining life-changing information such as “Mr. Mom Making Dinner Scene Kind of Noodles?” If you want a laugh, type in some variation of that sentence now and you’ll see that I’m not the only one who spent years on a quest to discover the name of the “oriental noodles that go WOOSH”!

These were the questions of the 80s, my friends. It was a more innocent time. A time before Batman reboots and Beetlejuice… (Whew! I’d better not say that name again.)

Back then, some of us just wanted to know how Mr. Mom cooked noodles.

It took me AGES to discover that these magical noodles are rice noodles. In fact, it was only a few years ago that I learned this, and it was pretty much like surprise Christmas. I hooted and hollered and uncooked white noodle sticks snowed down on my kitchen floor like snowflakes at the climax of a holiday movie. (It gets less messy when you get the hang of it, but it’s awfully fun when you haven’t yet!)

Now, I have to put on my grown up hat for the serious part:

Be very careful with the hot oil. This may go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. Hot oil burns, and those burns hurt for a long, long time. Despite your rollicking good time with the noodles, keep the little ones (both human and animal variety) out of the kitchen while you do this.

Do not get water on the tongs during this process. Water on the tongs will cause the hot oil to spit and may cause you to get burned. Please be careful. It’s a noodle party, MoFo-ers, but it’s a controlled noodle party. Beware of the oil and be careful with yourself and all of your lovelies, please.

To prepare them, heat at least two inches of oil in a large, high-sided pot to about 400 degrees and grab a pair of metal tongs. I have found that it’s best to watch the pot as the old adage is true and if you keep watching it and checking the temperature, you can prevent it from boiling. Don’t let it boil or get too hot. Your noodles will turn an unappealing brown and burn before you can retrieve them and you may require fans and a small army to stop the smoke alarm’s persistent shrieking. I use a cooking thermometer to keep track of my oil’s temperature.

Pull the noodles apart to form small bunches. Do this down low in your sink because those noodles can really get airborne if you do this on your counter. I’ve found that I can contain them even better if I use a sharp pair of kitchen shears to cut them in the sink.

Pre-cooked noodles

Drop the bundle of noodles into the hot oil. They will immediately sizzle, blossom, and rise to the top of the oil. Quickly use your tongs and flip them over one time. There is often a bit more of a sizzle as any previously protected area is placed in the oil. Then quickly remove the noodles from the oil and place them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil and cool.



Remove the oil from the heat when you’re done noodling and allow it to cool before storing or discarding.

Take the noodles and place them in small bunches into the bowl, crushing them with your hands and tossing them with the salad mixture before adding another bunch. After the last bundle, toss all of the salad well to mix completely. You’re almost there! In fact, all you have left is to…

Chick'n SaladReveal your creation!

chick'n salad

You can serve this with more soy sauce, salt, pepper, and anything else you and your guests enjoy in an Asian-themed dished. I’ve never had anyone stop at one serving yet. It makes a ton, but it’s never too much. It’s also very forgiving, so if you have enough unexpected guests that you’re concerned, simply add more shredded cabbage and carrots and whatever other ingredients you have on hand to stretch it to make sure everyone has enough, because it will disappear.

chick'n salad

Every time I make it, it disappears almost as fast as the noodles go WOOSH!

VeganMoFo Day 9: Sweet & Easy Dessert Rolls

My beautiful almost-daughter visited today. She spent much of last year away at school and recently returned from Haiti. By the end of this year, she’ll be on her way to France for 18 months. I have to savor every moment I get with her, so we spent the afternoon catching up and having fun playing in the kitchen.

Since we were a bit distracted, I figured we shouldn’t attempt anything too complicated today. Dessert seemed like the best possible thing to make because, as she said, “If something tastes good, it’s okay if it looks a little weird.” I agree! Fortunately, what we made ended up looking and tasting MORE than good! I’d like to say that’s because we are fabulously talented cooks, but this was so simple that even a mother and her almost-daughter who were distracted by chatting with each other and family members still managed to get it just right. Plus, we are fabulously talented!

“Accidentally vegan” foods are always a great convenience. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are one of those easy options that are also surprisingly versatile. I’d started out planning for cinnamon rolls and then accidentally stumbled on recipes that described using crescent rolls as the dough for cinnamon rolls. By using accidentally vegan crescent rolls with the idea that I accidentally discovered, she and I had fun putting together flavors that sounded yummy to us. We made things up as we went along, which was fun and easy, almost too easy to justify writing out as a recipe. So even though I’ll be telling you what we did, this is an idea that you should have fun developing to your own tastes. If you have any ideas that sound good to you, we encourage you to try them out and, if you like, share with us what you created in the comments section.

The first batch we made were strawberry rolls. Super simple and very good!

Strawberry Rolls

  • 1 package vegan crescent rolls
  • approximately 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • approximately 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
  • approximately 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced strawberries
  • confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 375.

Unroll the crescent rolls onto wax paper. Divide the rolls into two equal pieces (what would have been four crescent rolls). Pinch the perforated seams closed.

Crescent roll


Spread the softened margarine across the dough, leaving one edge uncovered for the seam. Next, spread the strawberry preserves across all the dough, again leaving one edge for the seam. Sprinkle the length with cinnamon. Finally, place one layer of sliced strawberries on top of the margarine, strawberry preserves, and cinnamon. The measurements I give are imprecise because, again, we were just having fun and using what looked good to us.

Strawberry roll

Roll the dough to form a jelly roll (like rolling a sleeping bag). Try to keep the roll somewhat tight. I say somewhat because it’s not going to be easy, but if it feels or appears that you aren’t creating a jelly roll shape (meaning it appears like you’re folding more than rolling), unroll to the last point where you were making a roll and try again. Press the end edge gently into the dough to create a seam. 

Strawberry rolls

The first ones we rolled were a bit messy. It helps to have the dough very cold so it has more body. Fortunately, once baked, all of the rolls looked equally good.

After rolling, slice the roll into 8 rolls. Place them in a round 9″ cake pans. Place seven along the outside edge and one in the center.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Next we made caramel apple rolls. These were her favorite.

Caramel Apple Rolls

  • One package vegan crescent rolls
  • approximately 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • approximately 3 tablespoons applesauce
  • approximately 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • vegan caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 375.

Unroll the crescent rolls onto wax paper. Pinch the perforated seams closed. Spread the softened margarine across the dough, leaving one edge uncovered for the seam. Spread applesauce over the margarine, then sprinkle cinnamon on top of the applesauce. 

Applesauce rolls

As with the strawberry rolls, roll the dough to form a jelly roll, trying to keep the roll somewhat tight. 

After rolling, slice the roll into 8 rolls. Place them in a round 9″ cake pans. Place seven along the outside edge and one in the center.

They may start out like this...

They may start out like this…

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

... but they end up looking like this!

… but they end up looking like this!

I was a little concerned that our talking might make for a less than beautiful result, but both batches looked amazing when they came out of the oven. If only everything we could make would be as forgiving as these rolls! I plan to experiment more with different flavor combinations because they are so easy and fun.

We sprinkled confectioner’s sugar on top of the strawberry rolls and spooned caramel sauce over the apple rolls. For the caramel, we used a quick recipe found here: http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/2014/09/vegan-caramel-sauce/  

It made a caramel syrup that added just the right amount of sweetness to the mildly tart apple.

Strawberry Rolls

Strawberry Rolls

Apple Rolls

Apple Rolls

We dazzled the men in the house with our culinary expertise so much so that she’s already been asked back to cook with me again. We’ve even been given our next assignment!

So, my post tonight is short and sweet, sharing with you a sweet and easy dessert, made by me and my almost-daughter as we make sweet memories before she takes off on her next adventure.

Cinnamon rolls




VeganMoFo Day 8: Super Awesome Crockpot Meatless Loaf

Yes, the name is a mouthful. I know. And it might seem to be the teensiest bit braggy. But when my husband helped himself to his second slice of meatless loaf this evening and asked if I had a name for the recipe, I hadn’t yet settled on one.

“Well,” he said, “you don’t have to use it, but I think it should be called Super Awesome Crockpot Meatless Loaf. It’s the best one we’ve had!” Then, as if for emphasis, he scarfed down another piece.

Now you understand, don’t you? I mean, come on. When someone proposes a name like that, you kinda just have to run with it. I think it’s even in the rule book.


I’m never going to fight a review like that, especially not from him. Foods intended to imitate foods we ate before we became vegans have often been a struggle for him. For a long time, we only tried recipes that were completely new to us, recipes that didn’t focus on trying to be something they weren’t. We avoided trying anything that suggested it was reminiscent of any kind of meat dish. I think it helped us transition; I highly recommend that method for transitioning into veganism. Being vegan was a big change for a former country boy. He went vegan for ethical reasons, but that didn’t mean he forgot the flavors on which he was raised. It was easier to just make everything different than to choke down those older recipes for omni-meal imitations.

Sure, we’d tried to make different sorts of vegan loafs. Meatless loafs crumbled sadly at holiday dinners. On more than one cold winter night we suffered with a dry Sloppy Joe-looking disaster. Even promising recipes resulted in dense little flavorless loafs of tofu. Still, it was the “Ehhhhh. It’s okay, but it’s not quite right” attempts that really brought a girl down.

Last week, I had a friend recommend that I do a crockpot recipe sometime during MoFo. With an unexpectedly free afternoon and the bunny and 90 pound pup quietly dozing nearby, today seemed like a perfect day.

Vegan meals, like other meals, fail or succeed based on a variety of factors and personal tastes. We like a lot of flavor here, but we all also have issues with unpleasant texture. When attempting a vegan “meat,” there’s a lot of experimenting before you get that texture right. This afternoon, with my family cookbook still nearby from the other night, I decided to mimic my mom’s recipe for the flavor, but to really play with the texture. Based on my husband’s reaction, I kinda think I nailed it. Sweet!

Super Awesome Crockpot Meatless Loaf

  • 1 16 oz. package extra firm tofu, patted dry and crumbled
  • 1 ½ cups TVP
  • ¼ cup oats
  • ¼ cup panko
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ c HP sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • Heaping ¼ cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon flax mixed with 3 tablespoons hot water (you may want to double the flax and water for a firmer loaf)

 In a large bowl, crumble the tofu. Add TVP, oats, and panko. Stir until blended

Tofu and dry ingredients

Next, add the garlic powder, celery seed, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well.

It's easy getting the crockpot ingredients ready in the early afternoon sunshine.

It’s easy getting the crockpot ingredients ready in the early afternoon sunshine.

Now add the Worcestershire Sauce, HP sauce, ketchup, molasses, onion, garlic, and sugar. Mix well.

Add the flax mixture and stir. After briefly stirring, use your hands and squeeze the mixture through your fingers to blend the ingredients and compress. This reduces the size of your mixture considerably.

Loaf into the crockpot

When the mixture is sticking together well, shape your loaf. Place your loaf into a lightly oiled crockpot. Spread a little more HP sauce over the top of the loaf if desired. Cook on high for three and a half hours. It takes some time before you can see the loaf begin to brown. When it does, if you have a glass lid on your crockpot, you’ll also see some condensation begin to form.

After three and a half hours, pour as much ketchup as is desired on top of the loaf, spreading it around evenly with the back of a spoon. Continue to cook on high for another 20 minutes. Remove from the crockpot and let stand briefly to cool. Slice and serve with additional ketchup available for those who desire more.

We like our meatless loaf a little burned around the edges, maybe even a lot burned. The end pieces are always the first to disappear. If you want a more tender loaf, reduce the cooking time no more than about a half an hour. If you like it a bit more burned around the edges, you could try leaving it in a tad longer, but it may become unpleasantly dry.


I wasn’t sure I’d hit it just right because it tasted different from what I’d eaten when I was growing up, but my husband was delighted. He raved throughout dinner and clean up, and he just walked in to ask if I was telling you all about “Super Awesome Crockpot Meatless Loaf.” So while I may not have made a meatless loaf just like my mom made, I think I got pretty close to what his did. Since he’s the one who’s been waiting for something like this, I don’t think I’ll tinker too much more. I rather like rave reviews. It makes a girl blush. Aww, shucks…

Anyway, we served ours with mashed potatoes and quick green beans. Since I have a thing about color on my dinner plate, I cooked them with some leftover chopped veggies from my fridge. I’ll quickly share what I did in case you’re curious.

Purdy Green Beans

Quick n’ Purdy Green Beans

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can green beans, drained
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the onion, sauté until softened. Add the drained green beans, red pepper, and ground pepper. Stir constantly with a spatula until hot. Serve.

Meatless Loaf

So here I sit, dishes washed, kitchen cleaned, and tummies full. I’ve even had a chance to enjoy the enormous Harvest Moon, the final Supermoon of this dry but beautiful summer.

Harvest Moon Supermoon

Crockpot, I think you’re gonna be seeing a lot of action this fall, or late summer, or whatever we call our California season transition. Who knows? Maybe this year we’ll call it Tuesday.