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Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce

I have a very picky eating child. No veggies will pass by those precious lips of hers except peas. Occasionally when I’m chopping up carrots she will say “Reno eat that” and I’ll give it to her and she either eats it or throws it in the trash. One day I had her help me snap some string beans in half and she again said “Reno eat that” and she took 2 bites of one and then that was enough. At least she tried it though and when she tries foods or actually eats foods I have Yo Gabba Gabba to thank for that. I’m always singing 2 of their songs to her. One goes something like “There’s a party in your tummy, SO YUMMY, SO YUMMY” the other ones goes “Try it! You’ll like it!” Those 2 songs have helped us get a few extra bites of food into her body.

This is all so frustrating to me on so many levels. One being that my career before having her was all about food and cooking.Two, I’m a veggie mom to a veggie kid who won’t eat her veggies. Third being…(i forgot! i know there was a third though!) Anyway I have basically resorted to blending veggies into our foods to trick her into eating them. The best thing ever for doing this besides mashed potatoes are tomato sauces. I could dump a pot of tomato sauce on our front lawn and she would eat it. Needless to say…we eat pasta…ALOT.

Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce

Don’t worry about your knife skills on this one. The veggies are blended in the beginning and the entire sauce at the end of the recipe. The chopping of the vegetables in the recipe are to make it easier on your blender/food processor.

1/3 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 bunch of kale, stems removes and chopped
2 medium carrots, scrubbed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
2 28oz cans Whole Peeled Tomatoes (i like Muir Glen)
1/2 cup fresh basil, washed well

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onions for 5 minutes then add garlic and saute for 3 more minutes or until soft.

While the onions and garlic are cooking chop the kale, carrots and pepper in a food processor until the vegetables are fully broken down into itty bitty pieces. Then add them to pot of already cooking onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.

Then add both cans of tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Place a cover over the pot with a bit of the pot still open to let steam escape. Cook or 1 hour stirring whenever you think about it. Add the basil for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Turn the heat off and blend the sauce in batches in your blender or food processor.

This recipe makes a ton of sauce. It keeps in the fridge for about 5 days. I like to freeze single serving sizes for just Reno. Its great for those nights when I don’t want to fight to get her to eat what we are eating and we don’t in turn have to eat pasta again.

Happy VeganMoFo


Gluten Free

Banana Bread from Babycakes Cookbook

I’ve really been getting into Gluten Free baking ever since I got the Babycakes Cookbook. First with the Raspberry Scones and Chocolate Chip Cookies and now with their Banana Bread and Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread.

I’m officially a fan of this type of baking. At first I was very skeptical! Especially with the Banana Bread. As I was mixing all the ingredients together it was sorta smelling a little bit funky to me which I blamed on the Gluten Free Flour Mix that I use. Its very bean-y and that isn’t something you usually associate sweet delicious bread with. I immediately wished I had added chocolate chips to the mix when I put it in the oven but it was too late. Then I thought that I could always drizzle some melted chocolate over the bread before serving. When the bread was finally done baking and cooling I started to notice it didn’t have that weird gluten free four smell anymore. The true test was when I cut into it and tried it and realized that no chocolate drizzle was needed! It was absolutely fantastic! I even sent some downstairs to my parents apartment.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread from Babycakes Cookbook

A few days later I tried my hand at the recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread minus the Cheddar. My block of vegan cheddar cheese had expired so I sadly had to leave it out. This time I wasn’t weirded out by any of the smells of the raw mix. I was super excited to try it and even more excited to use of some of the hundreds of Jalapenos that are growing in my garden.

Same as above after I cut into it and tasted it I was in cornbread heaven. It had such a lovely consistancey, although it could have cooked a few minutes longer. It wasn’t too spicy, although I would add more jalapeno next time. I sent some down to my parents below and they were fans as well. My only complaint is that I noticed both with this bread and the Banana Bread the top of the middle portion takes the longest to cook. So keep that in mind if you try either recipe from the book.

Happy VeganMoFo!



Carrot-Spinach Potstickers

This recipe has a special place in my heart because it was one of the first recipes I’ve ever created. Its probably at least 10 years old and was created long before I went to culinary school. I use to eat these spinach dumplings at a local chinese restaurant and wanted to try to make myself. In the end I came up with something not even resembling the dumplings I was trying to recreate. I came up with something so much better. When making the recipe don’t go crazy chopping up all the onions, carrots,’s all going into a food processor. The rough chopping just helps to get them going in the processor. This also makes a ton of them. You will no doubt be snacking on them as the next batch of them are cooking up over the stove. They are also fantastic cold out of the fridge the next day and the day after that.

Carrot-Spinach Potstickers

1 small onion, roughly chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and again roughly chopped
1 10 oz box chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained of any liquid
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon low sodium tamari
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 packages of wonton/dumpling skins, usually 50 come in a package, vegan ones can be found in asian markets (completely defrosted if frozen)

olive oil and water for cooking method explained below

*pulse onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor until chopped into smallish bits

*add carrots and pulse until they are in nice smallish bits

*add spinach, tamari and blend until all the ingredients are combined, stop and scrape the bowl with a spatula a few times. Everything should be very finely cut up.

*on a very clean and dry countertop of large cutting board lay out a few rows of wonton skins. (if they are square shaped wrappers lay them so one of the corners is facing you like a diamond) Add a heaping teaspoon of the carrot-spinach mixture in the middle of each wrapper. Dip one of your fingers or a pastry brush in a bowl of water and brush the edges of each wraper and fold in half from top to bottom pressing on the edges to seal them. Wet you fingers and grab the top corners and fold them up so they are touching each other and press to seal them together. It should remind you of a tortellini shape pasta. I like them this shape because you can fit more in a pan and I think they look prettier. You could totally just fold them in half if you want to skip that extra step.

*continue filling the rest of the potstickers.

*Coat the bottom of a large non-stick saute pan with a thin layer of olive oil and place on a medium-high flame. Place as many potstickers as will fit in the pan as long as they aren’t touching each other. Fry for about 1-2 minutes to develop a crispy bottom then add 1/2 of cup of water to the pan and cover immediately with a tight fitting lid. Lower heat and steam approx. 5-8 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated. Take the lid off the pan and let the rest of the water evaporate. Remove the potstickers and start cooking process again from the beginning with the rest of the potstickers, adding a bit more oil to the bottom of the pan. Each batch you’ll find you need less and less oil especially if you non stick pan is still nonstick. Mine isn’t.

*serve with some tamari or you favorite dipping sauce.

This potsticker was true to it’s name and stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Happy VeganMoFo!

VeganMoFo III


I’m so happy it’s VeganMoFo time again. This is my 3rd year participating in the vegan event. My hope always is that it will show me that I do in fact have enough time in the day to blog at least a few times a week instead of the few times a month I’ve been doing recently.

I’ve had a few ideas for this month. One I’ve already failed at but am still going to try and do it is photographing every single thing I eat through out the day and posting it in a nifty mosaic like thing just like joannalovesyou does on flickr. It’s such a great idea and since I’m just starting to keep track of everything I eat on this nifty help you lose weight iphone app it will help me fill it out a day or two later if I forget.

Last year during VeganMoFo I wanted to do a Top 3 theme and post my Top 3 dinners, desserts, lunches, snacks, breakfasts and so forth. Perhaps it’s time to finish that.

I’d also like to cook out of cookbooks that I own and have never cooked a single thing from or..

…perhaps I’ll post links to other MoFoer’s out there with interesting entries.

We will see what happens. All of it might happen or none of it might happen and I might just stick with regular ol’ theme-less posts like I usually do.

In the mean time I leave you with one of the most delicious treats I’ve ever tasted:

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Blondie Bar

I’m sure most of you have made this yourselves orĀ  have eaten it at some vegan potluck you’ve gone to. If you haven’t I suggest you go and get your tattered copy of Vegan With A Vengeance and make them right this very second. Just make sure you use frozen raspberries, I’m pretty sure it says you can use a jar of raspberry jam instead but it’s way worth it to go through the step of cooking the frozen raspberries with cornstarch or arrowroot or whatever it says in the book.

See you tomorrow!


I have to apologize to a few commenter’s! I’m getting attacked by spam comments and while dealing with them today I accidentally deleted a few real comments by my lovely readers! So sorry. Please take no offense.



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