Strawberry pie with oat streusel

This is my lazy pie recipe. Great for limited counter space and lazy folks, like me.

Preheat oven to 400F.

1 1/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. unrefined cane sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 c. vegetable shortening, non-hydrogenated
1/2 c. cold water
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Mix the vinegar into the water and set aside in the refrigerator. Sift together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the shortening into small chunks and add it to the flour. Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry blender (if you want to get fancy), crumb the shortening into the flour until it becomes a course meal. Mixing the dough with your hand, slowly add a spoonful of the water mixture at a time, just until the dough comes together. You won't need all of the water.

Tear off a piece of the dough and starting at the middle of a 9" pie pan (the cool kids use glass), press the dough outwards until it's about 1/4" thick. Continue to add and press pieces of dough until you've covered the dish (sides, too!) Don't fret if it's ugly; no one's going to see it.

2 lbs. strawberries, quartered (or substitute other berries, stone fruits, etc.)
2 tbsish agave nectar (this amount will vary depending on how sweet you like your pie and the fruit you started out with)
2 tbs. arrowroot powder
1 tbs. lemon juice
a couple passes on the microplaner of nutmeg

Mix together in a large bowl, being careful to not beat up the fruit too much, then pour into the prepared crust.

1 c. rolled oats
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 c. unrefined cane sugar
1 tbs. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 c. canola oil

Mix together dry ingredients, then add oil. Sprinkle over the pie.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Variations: The streusel topping is a great quick dessert when sprinkled over your fruit of choice in a small baking dish. Yay for fruit crisps!

Sesame-crusted tofu sticks with agave-mustard sauce

Crunchy, tangy tofu sticks, inspired by Jennifer over at Shmooed Food.

1 box (14 oz) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

1/2 c. soymilk
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. sriracha, or hot sauce
1 tbs. soy sauce

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 tbs. sesame seeds
1 tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

cooking oil

Preheat oven to 425F.

Slice the tofu into sticks (I get 16 from one package) and set aside. Mix the soymilk, vinegar, sriracha, and soy sauce in a bowl. Mix the dry ingredients on a plate. Have another plate ready for the dipped sticks. Begin by dusting a piece of tofu in the dry mix, dipping it in the liquid mix, then dredging it once again in the dry. Repeat until all sticks are covered.

Arrage the sticks on a lightly oiled baking sheet, spray or drizzle the tops with oil, and bake for 20-22 minutes or until crisp and golden, turning over once after about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with lime juice and serve immediately.

Agave-mustard dipping sauce
2 tbs. mustard
2 tbs. agave nectar
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. sesame oil
juice of 1 small lime

Mix together all ingredients and serve alongside tofu sticks.

Basic cooked buttercream frosting

I've been struggling to create a frosting that reminded me of the cakes my mom used to make. Rich, buttery, barely sweet. This is a veganized version of cooked, buttercream frosting. It whips up light and fluffy, and sets to a creamy, smooth finish. It's subtly sweet and perfect for cakes and cupcakes.

1 tbs. cornstarch
1/2 c. soy milk
1/2 c. Earth Balance buttery spread, room temp
1/2 c. unrefined cane sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. extract of choice, optional
2 tbs. powdered sugar, optional

Whisk together the cornstarch and milk until the lumps are all gone. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat until thickened (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Cream butter and sugar together with a stand or hand mixer for 3-5 minutes, then add extracts. Continue to beat while adding cooled milk mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary. Beat for 2-3 more minutes until light and fluffy. Powdered sugar may be added at this time to increase sweetness, if desired.

Recipe will frost 12 cupcakes. It is not as stable as shortening-style frostings, so refrigerate your treats if it's warm!

Variations: Any combination of extracts may used for the 2 tsp. to customize your frosting. I haven't used nut milks, but they would probably work. For extra decadence, I'd imagine flavored Silk creamers would be especially tasty. Brown sugar may also be substituted for a caramel-like flavor.

Double shot mocha cupcakes with hazelnut-mocha frosting. (Brown sugar, 1 tsp. hazelnut, 1/2 tsp. coffee, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extracts.) Cupcakes modified from VCTOTW.


I love food. Eating, preparing, cooking, sharing, though mostly eating. And when you're vegan, conscious of all of the crud out there in processed foods, and missing all of those childhood favorites that don't exist in vegan form, you learn to be resourceful.

There are a ton of vegan blogs out there and an ever increasing number of cookbooks; I'd like to think I have something to add as well. I enjoy collecting recipes and being inspired to try new things, and I'd like to contribute to this community by sharing my own recipes. And who are we kidding? The pretty pictures are the best part.

I hope you enjoy my food as much as shane does.

- Mel