Archives for July 2012

Maitake & Baby Kale Pasta

One of the easiest ways for me to create a meal is to wander through a market and choose a key ingredient that looks interesting. On a recent trip to Marukai, I picked up these beautiful organic maitake mushrooms. I love the texture of this shroom since it’s almost crisp when raw and holds a nice meaty texture when cooked. I kept the seasonings simple to allow the delicate woody taste of the maitake to stand on it’s own.

Maitake & Baby Kale Pasta

by Veggietorials

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: saute entree vegan vegetarian dairy free nut-free soy-free maitake pasta kale Meatless Monday

Ingredients (4 servings)

For the sauce

  • 10 oz dry spaghetti,cooked
  • 6 cups baby kale (washed and dried)
  • 2 tablespoons+ 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion,diced
  • 4 cloves garlic,minced
  • 1 cup prepared The Vegg
  • 1 1/2 cup plant based milk ( I used almond milk)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons Penzey’s Foxpoint seasoning (or use garlic+onion powder+chives)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup Pig Out bacony bits
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 large pot for cooking pasta
  • 1 large saute pan to make sauce

For the mushrooms

  • 2 cups maitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 sprigs thyme


For the sauce

Cook pasta until al dente,drain, set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in saucepan and cook onions until caramelized.Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Remove onions and garlic from pan, set aside. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil on med high heat in the same pan and add flour to create a roux. Add plant based milk and whisk until smooth. Mix in Foxpoint seasoning, salt & pepper, nutritional yeast and cooked onions/garlic. Add baby kale to the sauce and mix until wilted.Toss pasta with sauce.Top with mushrooms and bacony bits. Serve immediately.

For the mushrooms

Clean and rough chop maitake mushrooms.Heat olive oil in small pan and cook mushrooms and thyme over med high heat for 4 minutes.Season with salt & pepper.

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My week in photos- Hilo Edition

Got the munchies while I was packing for my trip, so I made these sweet treats (click photo for recipe)


Arrived in Hilo for a family vacation

Greeted by the cutest goat at Cafe Ono

Enjoyed the gardens and fabulous lunch at Cafe Ono

 After visiting the volcano, we stopped into Volcano Garden Arts and Cafe Ono for lunch. What an amazing find! The menu is all vegetarian with vegan options and the portions are generous. We ordered the artichoke hummus sandwich along with  the lasagna and ate in the beautiful lush gardens. The food was delicious! No vegan desserts but I did pick up a bag of the organic coconut candy to satisfy my sweet tooth. Strolled through the gallery afterwards and picked up some really unique earrings. Ira Ono (artist,owner) was a delight to meet and has created a wonderful tropical oasis in Volcano Village. I can’t wait to stay in the guest cottage on our next visit. Cafe Ono on Urbanspoon

Swam with the honu (sea turtle) and did some fantastic snorkeling

Over paid for my sweet white pineapple at Abundant Life Natural Foods…saw a bunch the next day at the farmer’s market for only $4.50 each

Longan “dragon eye” fruit from the farmer’s market

Sweet potato flax burger+Asian slaw+truffle fries at Hilo Bay Cafe

Weekend Munchies

Crispy rice treats are the perfect dessert for lazy people (like me) with the munchies. I wanted to play with my Tofu Xpress and I wanted something sweet. Nothing seemed easier than making this classic treat.Minimal effort, maximum reward.


  1. 3 tablespoons plant-based butter
  2. 10 oz vegan marshmallows
  3. 5 cups crispy brown rice cereal
  4. dark chocolate chips
  5. parchment paper
  6. lined tofu press or  lined 8″x8″ pan

Melt butter and marshmallows in a pan over medium high heat until smooth. Add half of the crispy rice, mix until well coated. Add remainder of the cereal and mix again. Fill the tofu press half full with the crisp rice mixture. Add a thin layer of chocolate chips. Cover with another layer of  rice crisp marshmallow mix. Cover with parchment paper and press mixture into corners with your fingers. Use tofu press plate to even out into a block shape. Remove from tofu press and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until firm enough to cut through with a knife. Om nom nom

I love how the layer of chocolate chips sorta melted together since the mix was pressed while still warm. Next time I’ll add some crushed up graham crackers  to make a s’mores crispy treat,MMM!

My Week in Photos- Summer Cravings

Working on the garden again

Happiness is a clean Yorkie

Kalbi style portobella w/soba noodle salad

Recipe coming soon

Roasted Pineapple Mojito

Girls night with my Mom

I love a big breakfast on the weekend

Life handed me lemons but I made lemonade 🙂

The Simply Bar- Product Review+Giveaway


Giveaway Details:
1) You must be SUBSCRIBED to my Veggietorials YouTube channel to be eligible to win
2)To enter, Leave a comment on this video letting me know what your favorite protein bar is. I will select one random winner and send one box of The Simply Bar peanut butter chocolate bars (must be a U.S. shipping address)
3)One entry per person
4)Giveaway ends July 20,2012
5) Winner will be announced via YouTube messages and will have 48hrs to claim their prize or I will choose an alternate winner

Good Luck!

Guest Post: Valerie Yankelevich- Why I Like Borsch

Valerie Yankelevich is a guest in the Veggietorials kitchen today sharing her family recipe for borsch. She is the Creative Designer that designed my latest logo and is helping me make things look a little more interesting across all my channels. I was thrilled when I found out she was just excited about food as I am and asked her to share her favorite Ukrainian recipe.

Borsch is one of the Ukrainian traditional mainstay dishes. It combines a wonderful sweet and sour taste with a little bit of spice and garlic. It also contains a lot of different vegetables, proteins and fats. So, in one meal you get all the nutrients you need.

When I was growing up back in Ukraine, soups were considered a very healthy food. My parents made a different soup every few days and every day I had to start my dinner with one. I was never a big fan of those soups. I did not like the boiled vegetables very much and the fact that if you don’t wait for it to cool down you can burn your tongue.

But those days that my grandmother made borsch it was different. It was kind of sweet and sour and tasted different then any other soup. Plus with garlic it had a very tangy flavor. I also really liked eating it with rounded corner of dark rustic bread. I remember cutting all the corners of a loaf of bread and just leaving behind the soft inside. My parents were not to happy about that. In my family we actually would take garlic and rub it on the bread crust and it that with borsch. Back then most of the time it was cooked with beef and sometimes I would find a marrow bone and eat it. It brings a smile to my face even thinking about it.

I also remember it was extremely filling food. It was usually first serving of a three servings dinner but after eating a plate I pretty much felt like getting out of the table and going for a nap. I even forgot about the deserts which were my favorite part any ways.

So, now days I still love Ukrainian and Russian food but unfortunately a lot of it is extremely fattening. Back then we never counted calories. It was just food. You cook it and eat it. And because there were always shortages with meat we ate it rarely but were happy to have it.

But now days I am always thinking about what is going on into each meal. And looking through my favorite Ukraine recipes, Borsch is one of the few that I can enjoy and fill well about. Of course I don’t use meat in it any more. But all the other ingredients are there. And it tastes exactly as it did back in Ukraine when I was growing up.


You need two cooking pots. A large one and a medium one. And  grater.


1) 1 a cup beans

2) 2 medium beats

3) 1 large onion

4) 2 medium carrots

5) 2-3 medium potatoes

6) 2 chilly papers

7) 1 large cabbage

8) Catchup or tomato paste

9) Garlic

10) Sour cream

11) Black bread



1) Put beans into container with cold water  and soak for about half an hour

2) Put beans into a large cooking pot and start boiling

3) At the same time boil carrots and beats in a separate cooking pot until they are half cooked. They must be semisoft.

4) Take the beats and carrots out of the pot. Cool them. Peal them. Use grater with the largest holes in it. You don’t want it to be too fine. This is not a cream soup.

5) Cut onion into medium size long strips

6) Cut cabbage into long fine strips

7) Peel potatoes and cut into medium size pieces.

8) Add beats, carrots, onions and cabbage into the large pot that already contains beans. Also, add solt, paper and 2 chilly papers

9) In about an hour you should see how soft your cabbage and beans are. If they are pretty soft and close to being done you can toss in your potatoes. Also, add the main ingredient catchup. It’s up to you how much you add. I like to add quite a lot. I try to get the super to be pretty sweat. Sometimes I even add sugar to it.

10) Cook for another half an hour or until potatoes are soft.

11) Take garlic and cut into small cubes. Those those cubes into the soup. It’s up to you how much you want to add.

12) Serve this soup steaming hot. Pore it into plates. Add one table spoon of cold sour cream into each plate. This should cool the soup down to the normal temperature. This is what gives sourness into already pretty sweet taste

13) Also, this soup should be eaten with dark bread top crust of which should be rubbed with garlic.


Recipe courtesy of  Valerie Yankelevich
Photo: Juerg Vollmer from Zürich, Schweiz (Borschtsch 01) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Panko Crusted Tofu Medallions w/the Tofu XPress

I’m going to give away my age by using an 80’s reference to MacGyver again. Oh you know.You’ve  MacGyver’d too…when you rig up the solution for a challenge using your limited resources instead of the tools you *wish* you had. That’s what I’ve been doing for years when I had to press tofu. I’ve used plates, trays, and cooling racks piled high with weights in the form of canned goods, telephone books and anything else I could stack, to press the water out of my green protein.

For years, this was the only way I knew to achieve that fantastic chewy, meaty texture of restaurant style tofu. Through the wonder of the internet machine, I stumbled across the Tofu Xpress Gourmet Food Press. This amazing gadget presses out all the excess water from the tofu in about an hour. No fuss, no muss and you can marinate right in the same container!


This recipe requires a very firm texture for the tofu to hold it’s shape while frying. I was super impressed with the way the medallions turned out.They were chewy and dense, almost like a savory marshmallow on the inside and crispy golden spiced goodness on the outside.


Tofu Medallions w/Kale & Carrot Shirataki Noodles

by Veggietorials

Prep Time: 1 hour (inactive)

Cook Time: 30 minutes (active)

Keywords: fry entree dairy free nut-free vegan vegetarian tofu the vegg

Ingredients (4 servings)

For the tofu medallions

  • 1 block organic tofu (firm or extra firm)
  • 1 cup panko mixed with 3-4 tablespoons curry seasoning
  • 1 cup prepared Vegg yolk
  • oil for frying

For the noodles

  • 1 package Shirataki noodles
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tabelspoon nama shoyu
  • 1 small carrot, julienned
  • 2 cups kale- finely chopped, massaged with a little drizzle of oil and a big pinch of sea salt
  • sesame seeds,green onions for garnish


For the Tofu

Drain water and remove tofu from package. Press excess water out of tofu using the Tofu Xpress or your preferred method.

Cut pressed tofu into medallion shapes. Dip tofu into Vegg mixture and then dredge in panko+spice mix. Coat evenly.

Heat oil in a pan on the stove and pan fry medallions for about 2 minutes on the top and bottom. Fry the medallions on the sides to get an nice crispy crust.

For the Noodles

Prepare noodles according to directions on the package. Mix sesame oil, chili oil, agave, shoyu and rice vinegar in a small bowl.Add sauce to noodles after they have been drained and rinsed. Toss with wilted kale and top with carrots,sesame seeds and green onions. Plate with tofu medallions.

Serve immediately. The noodles can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days but the tofu medallions are best eaten right after preparation.

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You can purchase The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk online or at various natural food stores.

Disclaimer: This video is not sponsored nor did I receive any compensation for making this video. I contacted TofuXpress and asked them to send me product for review. My opinions are always honest and I only share reviews for products that I use and enjoy in my daily life.