Homemade Ginger Ale Starter

2 1/2 cups ginger, roughly peeled and chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup lime juice
8 cups water
Sparkling water
Frozen grapes

Place ginger in a high speed blender and pulse to chop fine. Add 2 cups of water and blend again. Using a fine sieve, drain into a large bowl and press down on the ginger pieces gently. Scrape ginger back into blender. Repeat process using 2 more cups of water at a time until 8 cups of water has been used. Stir in sugar and lime juice until sugar is dissolved. Use ½ cup ginger ale with ½ cup sparkling water and use frozen grapes and perhaps a sprig of mint to serve. Store extra in a large container or freeze in glass containers.

Egg-y Brunch Casserole

4-6 slices rye bread – day old
1 bag hash browns or cubed potatoes, thawed to room temperature
2 packages Mori-Nu silken tofu, firm
¼ cup water (don’t use any if your tofu is watery, use judgement)
3 Tbsp McKay’s vegan chicken seasoning
4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1½ Tbsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 box veggie-based breakfast sausage patties, thawed and crumbled

Directions: Oil a 9×13 pan and set the oven to 350˚F. Steam cook the potatoes if they aren’t already thawed out. Rip up or slice the rye bread and place on bottom of prepared pan. Blend the tofu, water and seasonings until smooth. Pour ½ mixture over the bread. Layer the potatoes on top, pour the rest of the tofu mixture on and add the crumbled sausage. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until the mixture is well set and the tops of the potatoes start to brown. VEGAN

Strawberry Shake

(Serves 1-2)

12 oz. or 1 1/2 cups almond or coconut milk
10 medium strawberries
1/4 cup dates (about 6 whole pitted medjool dates)
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups ice

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Vegan Asian Sticky Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, rinsed and cut into bite sized pieces/chunks
1/2 cup egg replacer powder – whisked with 2 tsp. each: onion powder & garlic powder and 1 cup water
2 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs

1 red pepper, diced
5-6 green onions, sliced thin and separated into 2 parts (reserving some green for garnish)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2/3 cup soy sauce (or equivalent)
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced ginger
Pinch red chili flakes (optional)
4 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with ½ cup cold water in a jar with tight fitting lid

Sesame seeds for sprinkling before serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 450. Line a pan with parchment. Whisk egg replacer powder with onion & garlic powders and 1 cup water until smooth. Dip, stir in or shake the cut cauliflower with this mixture to coat the cauliflower. Next dip cauliflower into the panko crumbs. Set on the pan trying to give each precious piece some space. Bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, using a medium pot, cook the sauce. Whisk the sugar and soy sauce on medium high heat to dissolve sugar. Add vinegar, diced pepper, majority of green onions (reserving a handful of the sliced green parts for garnish), fresh ginger, garlic and red chili flakes. Cook and stir until veggies are cooked. Add shaken cornstarch mixture at a higher heat and stir constantly until thickened, turning heat down as it starts to thicken. Set aside. Cauliflower should be lightly browned at 25 minutes. Set under the broiler for a few minutes on low if desired. Toss with sweet/spicy sauce, coating cauliflower well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve immediately.

Key Lime Oats with Mango

I really like the way fresh lime juice just makes foods taste fresh and refreshing. Adding lime has put a whole new spin on eating oats for me. Quick cooking steel cut oats (specifically) are excellent, easy and fast. This is a refreshing way to enjoy leftovers as well!

1 1/2 cups cooked steel cut oats, cold or warm
1 small lime, juiced (use ½ lime if larger)
1 mango, chopped (or try peaches – thawed frozen)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Dash of cinnamon

Combine all and adjust pure maple syrup to your desired taste.

Super Easy Vegan Lasagna

Makes 8 servings. Enjoy this cholesterol- and dairy-free meal which also boasts tons of filling fiber and cancer-fighting nutrients. Top this dish off with fortified nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor and for added vitamin B12.

2 lbs firm tofu (2 packages “produce-style” tofu, packed in water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup Vegenaise (or nayonaise, optional)
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp sea salt
1 – 29 oz jar marinara sauce, store bought or homemade PLUS 1 – 14 oz jar tomato sauce, mix both together
1 lb uncooked lasagna noodles
1 pint size package mushrooms or 15 button mushrooms, sliced
1-2 cups grated carrots (optional)
1 – 16 oz bag chopped frozen spinach, thawed OR 1 box fresh baby spinach, rinsed

Directions: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Mash together tofu, nutritional yeast, Vegenaise, garlic, oregano, basil and salt in a mixing bowl. Coat the bottom of a 9×13 pan with sauce mixture (about ½ cup) followed by a layer of lasagna noodles, overlapping noodles slightly. Spread 1/3 of the spinach, mushrooms, and carrots over the noodles. Add 1/3 of the tofu mixture and another layer of lasagna noodles. Add a layer of sauce, enough to cover the noodles, and then continue to add layers of noodles, spinach and tofu, sauce and veggies until the layers reach the top of the pan. The final layer should be noodles covered in sauce. Top with vegan parmesan substitute or nutritional yeast and a sprinkle of oregano and basil. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 75 minutes. Leave covered and let set for 15 minutes before serving.



Gwen’s Pita Pizzas

6 whole wheat pita rounds
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 small handful of fresh cilantro
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 cup taco sauce or picante sauce
2 green onions, sliced with green parts
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup mild jalapenos to taste (optional)
1 small can black olives, sliced
2 cups veggie cheese or shredded carrots (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 425˚F. Place pita breads on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the beans, cilantro, cumin and salt in a food processor. Spread the seasoned beans onto the warm pita rounds. Add taco sauce, green onions, chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, black olives, and shredded carrots and/or veggie cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.




Ingredients #1:
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 lb portabella mushrooms, cut into bite sized chunks (or feel free to try a seitan, or beef-like product of choice)
1/2 cup flour of choice

Directions #1: Put the flour into a bag, add in the mushrooms/seitan and give it all a good shake. In a deep or best yet, OVEN SAFE pot, bring the oil to frying temperature. Brown the mushrooms until they resemble beef that’s been lightly fried. Turn off the heat and add to the pot:

Ingredients #2:
4 large carrots, cut into 3/4” pieces
3 large potatoes, cut into 3/4” pieces
4 large stalks celery, cut into 3/4” pieces
1 large onion, sliced thin so it will nearly disintegrate into the gravy this recipe produces
2 small bay leaves or 1 large one
1 garlic clove, minced

Then, in a large measuring cup place…
1 1/2 cups of hot vegetable or no-beef broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (found in health food stores)
1 Tbsp beef-like vegan bouillon
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp of cloves
1/2 cup of red wine

Directions #2: Stir the liquid to distribute everything evenly, then pour it over the vegetables. Cover the pot (or transfer to an oven safe pot) and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the vegetables are fork tender.



Low Fat Granola

Yields approximately 3 cups
4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup apple, pineapple or orange juice
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp vanilla
4 dates
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions: Place oats in a large bowl. Blend orange juice, maple syrup, vanilla and dates in a blender or food processor until dates are pureed. Pour over oats. Add almonds, walnuts, or your favorite nuts. Spread mixture evenly on a prepared baking sheet. Bake at 250°F for 2 1/2 hours, stirring once or twice. Oven times may vary, suddenly, the mixture will turn a light brown color. Remove from oven and cool completely. Add the cranberries. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.



Ginger Garlic Noodle Salad

Julie Hasson juliehasson.com Owner of Julie’s Original Baking Mixes

8 oz dried rice stick noodles
1/3 cup nut butter of choice
1/4 cup warm water
3 Tbsp tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 1/2 Tbsp agave
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sriracha
1 tsp sesame oil
2 large garlic, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 cups thinly shredded purple cabbage
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil or mint leaves
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions: In a large pot of boiling water, cook noodles until tender. Drain, rinse and set aside to cool. In a medium bowl whisk nut butter, water, tamari, agave, rice vinegar, sriracha, and sesame oil until smooth. Stir in garlic and ginger. Alternatively, add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. In a large bowl, combine noodles, cabbage, carrots, basil and scallions. Pour nut sauce over noodle mixture and toss until well coated. Serve at room temperature.



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