Tag Archives: muffins

a taste for fall…

5 Oct

As the cooler weather sets in, I start to crave comfort foods. While not necessarily looking for overly hearty fare, chilly nights and layer-weather beckons for something that sticks to your ribs. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane for some recipes that fit the bill.

Some Curried Carrot Soup is simple to make, but is thick and flavorful for rainy nights or when you have the sniffles.

Some Pesto Ricotta will add flavor and protein to any pasta or pizza and make for happy tummies.

Inspired by Starbucks’ annual fall muffin, my Stuff This In Your Pumpkin Pie Hole Muffin will please vegans and non-vegans alike and is the perfect breakfast on a chilly autumn morning.

What are your favorite autumn eats?


muffins on the boob tube

5 Jan

Hey there! I was featured on a morning show here in Portland, talking about vegan baking in the new year. You can check out the segment here.

*sorry, it won’t let me imbed the video.

Yay, vegan baking!

Oh, and here is the recipe.

You Are My Sunshine Loaf (or Muffins!)

This bread is so bright and sunny you can almost feel the sunshine on your face. If California could be made in the form of a bread, this would be it. With its lovely orange color and citrus notes, along with sweet bursts of raisins, this is a welcome breakfast bread on the grayest days.

1- 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white-wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded carrots
1 medium apple, peeled and shredded
1- 1/4 cups grain or nut milk
¼ cup oil
zest of 1 medium orange
juice of one medium orange
½ cup raisins
½ cup walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with margarine or oil.

In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, white-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, combine shredded carrots, shredded apple and milk and mix until well-combined. Add oil, orange zest and orange juice. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two batches until just combined. Gently mix in raisins and walnuts.

Spread batter in the loaf pan and bake for 60 to 65 minutes, until bread is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack until the pan is cool enough to touch, about 40 minutes. Run a knife around the outside of the loaf to separate it from the pan, and turn bread out of the pan to finish cooling on a rack.

If making muffins, bake in greased or lined muffin tins for 22-25 minutes. Follow cooling instructions for loaf.

Store leftover bread (or muffins) covered at room temperature.

Yield: 1 loaf, 10 slices or 12 regular sized muffins

*this recipe is slightly amended from the version in “The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes”. Please see this page for more information.

stuff this in your (pumpkin) pie hole

25 Oct

Somewhat recently I was with a friend at Starbucks. Yes, boo Starbucks, whatever, I was there on business. I always like to take a look at their bakery case because they are well loved for their seasonal treats. I have a knock-off of one of their baked snacks they have around Christmas time in my book (a lemon and cranberry bar with lemon icing). What caught my eye this time was a pumpkin muffin with a cream cheese filling. It looked decadent and inviting, so I made note of it.

Being that it’s pumpkin time and I like to put pumpkin in, oh, everything I bake at this time of year, I decided that a vegan version of this muffin was necessary. Like, now. I have no idea what Starbucks’ muffin tastes like, but I can guarantee that these muffins will draw out uncomfortably delighted yummy noises from those who eat them, so beware of the potential for embarrassment if consuming in public.


This recipe combines the flavors of two holiday favorites- pumpkin pie and cheesecake. The muffin itself is a moist, pumpkin fest to be enjoyed all the way down to the cheesecake dollop in the middle. As the spices deepen with a little time, I recommend making them the night before eating. These would be perfect to serve the morning after Thanksgiving as you power up to take on Black Friday or whatever it is you do with your family.

I desperately wanted to give them an actual name so here’s what you get when I try too hard:

Cheesecake For Your Pumpkin Pie Hole Muffins

2 1/4 cups flour (I used 1 1/4 white whole wheat and 1 all-purp)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 teas. salt
2 1/2 teas. pumpkin pie spice
1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 tbsp. molasses
1/2 teas. vanilla

2/3 container soy cream cheese (8 oz container, I used Tofutti)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. plus 2 teas. cornstarch
1/2 teas. vanilla
1 teas. lemon juice

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Line a muffin tin with liners or grease lightly. Begin by making the filling. In a small bowl, using the back of a fork, mix the cream cheese until creamy. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add this mixture to the cream cheese. Add vanilla and lemon juice and mix to combine. Let filling rest in fridge until ready to use.

In a medium sized bowl, combine muffin ingredients starting with flour through pumpkin pie spice. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, oil, vanilla and molasses until smooth. Add flour ingredients in batches until incorporated.


Spoon muffin batter into muffin tins until just below the rim. Remove filling from fridge and scoop into a pastry bag with a fat tip. Pipe the filling into the middle of each muffin evenly, pushing tip down into the middle of the muffin and lifting it up as you pipe. Alternately, if you do not have a pastry bag, you can carefully spoon the filling into the middle of each muffin. Sprinkle tops of muffins with pumpkin seeds and coarse sugar.

Bake for 19-21 minutes for regular sized muffins or 27-29 for jumbo muffins, until a toothpick comes out of the side of the muffin clean and cheesecake part is puffy and golden.

Yields: 12 regular sized or 6 jumbo muffins


mixin’ it up muffins

5 Oct

I love muffins.

No, that is an understatement. I LURVE muffins!

Muffins and cookies share a common characteristic that I hold dear, which is why they are both such popular items in our house. They are like a blank canvas, begging to be tinkered with. So tasty and so versatile, these treats have a flexibility in the kitchen that is irresistible. A little of this, a little of that. Ooh, I feel like this kind of spice today or this kind of nut/fruit/flavor/fill-in-the-blank. Muffins can make those flavor daydreams a reality.

The other day I was getting ready to make muffins when I remembered a lone lemon in our fridge. “Oh, that would taste great with oats,” I thought. When I went into the pantry to fetch the oats, I found some cranberries on top of the oats container. Cranberries and lemon, that’s a winning flavor combo! For good measure, I decided to throw in some nuts, mostly because I can’t stop myself from filling baked good with what Jim lovingly calls “debris”.


Lemon Oat Muffins with Cranberries and Walnuts

1 3/4 cups white wheat flour (all-purpose is fine, too)
3/4 cup traditional oats, coarsely ground
3/4 cup sugar
1 teas. baking powder
1 teas. baking soda
1/8 teas. salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup oil
1 1/4 cups milk (soy, almond, rice, etc)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teas. vanilla
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts
coarse sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Line muffin tin with liners or grease each cup.

In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce and oil. Add the milk, lemon juice and zest and the vanilla and mix well. Let sit for a few minutes. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in cranberries and walnuts. Spoon evenly into muffin cups until cups are just full. Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar, if using.

Bake regular-sized muffins for 18-22 minutes and jumbo for 25-28 or until a toothpick comes out clean.


not-mystery not-meat and a recipe

29 Apr

There is food being cooked! I haven’t had much to post lately because, frankly, we’ve been eating terribly boring food. But I’ve been trying to mix it up a little bit, plus bring back some classics.


Ooh, surprise, surprise, quinoa! I never could have guessed! Well, I never said it would be thrilling. 🙂 I will admit to being a quinoa addict as of late and the 4 lb bag of organic quinoa I picked up at Costco last week for $8 is going to keep the love alive. I sauteed some chickpeas and mixed them with 1 1/2 smashed heads of roasted garlic. Some snap peas and sweet potato on the side and I called it a meal.


This may not look like much, but wow have these sandwiches been hitting the spot! Tofurky slices with mustard, baby greens and pickles on Dave’s Killer Bread… yum! We haven’t been keeping bread in the house for the past few months because we normally only use it for toast and in the winter we default to oatmeal mode, but I just can’t say no to a loaf of Dave’s. Sometimes revisiting those nostalgic foods really satisfies and this is one of them.

A week ago I went to work in a short sleeved shirt, with no jacket, and we took the duvet off our bed, foolishly thinking spring is here. Today it was 45 and raining, much like the past week. With my spring cheer hiding underneath the bed, I fell back into some fall comfort food.


Real Food Daily tempeh meatloaf with mashed potatoes and some broccolini. I loved the ingredients in the meatloaf (tempeh, a little gluten, miso, fresh veggies) but I’m just not a meatloaf kind of gal, even in vegan form. Jim LOVES meatloaf and was deliriously happy to come home to this dinner. I haven’t heard that much lip-smacking come out of the boy in awhile. I wasn’t too big on the texture, it reminded me of stuffing, although the flavor was awesome. Next time I may add a little more gluten to make the texture firmer and a splash of liquid smoke.

I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, from observers and tasters, on the French Toast Muffins from my upcoming cookbook. And I have to admit, they are one of my favorites, so I wanted to give a sneak peek and share the recipe with you. Not having handheld French toast is no way to live.

French Toast Muffins- 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes

French Toast Muffins- 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes

French Toast Muffins

Prep time before baking: 20 minutes

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teas. baking powder
1/8 teas. salt
1 teas. cinnamon
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. yogurt (equivalent to 1- 6 oz. container of soy yogurt)
1 1/2 teas. maple extract
1/2 teas. vanilla
cinnamon and powered sugar to dust tops of muffins

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease with margarine or oil, or line with paper liners, 6 jumbo or 12 regular sized muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, mix together the milk, oil, yogurt, maple extract and vanilla to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 2 batches until just mixed.

Fill each muffin tin to just just below full. Bake for 18-20 minutes for regular sized muffins or 25-30 for jumbo muffins until lightly golden and a tooth pick comes out clean. Remove muffins from oven and let cool completely before removing from tin. Sift powdered sugar and cinnamon on top of each muffin. Store leftover muffins covered at room temperature.

Yields: 12 regular sized or 6 jumbo muffins

*For extra maple goodness, combine 1 tbsp. of maple syrup with 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar and glaze the tops of the muffins with the maple topping before sifting on the cinnamon and powdered sugar.

With some fresh, spring berries on the side and washed down with a big glass of almond milk- now that’s what I call breakfast! Yum!

outside our vegan bubble

23 Mar

It’s easy to insulate yourself in the wonderful world of veggies and forget that there are other brands, products and forms of life out there. I’ve come across two things related to veganism in mainstream culture that I thought you’d all be interested in.

The first one came in a coupon book I received in the mail from Target. I don’t expect more than I assume you should from a store like Target. I mean, I’m the first to admit that I love Target, I just bought a pair of incredibly cute all man-made material shoes there a few weeks ago, but they don’t normally deliver the vegan news. And simultaneously I also don’t expect much from L’Oreal. I mean, it’s L’Oreal, so do I really need to say more? Imagine my surprise upon opening my mail and coming across a blurb in an advertisement for some new shampoo and conditioner that reads, “Made with natural botanicals, it’s sulfate-free and 100% vegan.” Wow! It’s a part of their EverPure line, which is labeled as all vegan. I remember years ago hearing people poo-poo the impact of a veganism and down play the effect of voting with your dollars by not buying from major companies. We are a fraction of the vegetarian population, who is a fraction of the population at large. To them I say, “Ha! Check it!” Here a major cosmetics company trying to make vegan-friendly products and advertising them as such- I think companies are hearing us loud and clear.

But do they understand? L’Oreal is still listed on PeTA’s list on companies who still do animal testing. On their website, they state that they stopped doing animal testing on their finished products in 1989, but say nothing about the testing of individual ingredients. While I honestly appreciate that they are trying to create a more Earthy and animal-friendly product, they are still missing the mark. I believe there are plenty of evil companies out there, but I also believe that there are companies who just don’t get it and they need us to help educate them on our demands as consumers. We need to give them some feedback to help them grow and become a cruelty-free company. Click here if you’d like to contact L’Oreal regarding this. Be sure to let them know that they are making strides in the right direction, but that they aren’t really in the vegan category yet. Remember, well-phrased feedback is always more constructive. People who take the “jerk” approach aren’t helping anyone.

In real, constructive veg-related news, Yoga Journal has an excellent article in it’s May issue. (Why am I already getting May issues of anything?) Years ago I had been a long-time YJ subscriber, but dropped it when it started focusing more on Americanized, consumer yoga and less about the eight limbs. Like anything, there is an ebb and flow and they seem to be flowing the right way now, so I happily resubscribed this year. I have been very happy with their inclusion of vegan recipes in the issues I have received, but this particular article was gold. This is the perfect article to pass along to the people in your life who say they care about the environment especially if they are budding yogis. In an article titled “Diet for a Green Planet” they address not only the affects of animal agriculture on the environment but also work on changing the perception of beans as an inadequate source of protein. It is accompanied by two simply veganizable recipes that look delicious. The article is written in a careful and thoughtful way and would be a good read for anyone in your life who is prone to feeling judged when they have their animal-product eating ways questioned. I don’t see the article up on their site yet, but their magazine is widely available and they have tons of other interesting recipes and articles online.

I am putting the finishing touches on the book manuscript and will be done with it in the next few days, so there will be more real food soon. Until then, here is a picture of another favorite recipe in the new book: French Toast Muffins!

French Toast Muffins

French Toast Muffins

Not the greatest food photo in my life, but they are sure to become one of your favorites. I am hoping to get my flickr account all loaded up with cookbook pictures and put up here this week. More noms to come!