Gone Green Mac and Cheese


This is my first son's favorite meal. I make it nearly every week just for him! It is reminiscent of a mac and cheese but gone green!

8 oz pack Quinoa pasta
8 oz spinach chopped by a food processor
Fresh basil to taste (I use 1/2 cup)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 almond milk
1/2 grated vegan cheese
salt to taste


Cook quinoa pasta according to the package directions, which should be about 8 minutes.
In a large pan saute garlic in the olive oil.

Next chop up spinach and basil in your food processor and put in pan along with almond milk.

Let simmer until sauce started thicken just a little.

Remove from heat and toss pasta, cheese and spinach mixture together sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Apple Crumble Cake


Here is an oldie but goodie. I couldn't sleep the other night so I made this instead! The prep time is really fast and with bake time it's less than an hour! I don't recall the first time I made this but it is a go to recipe of mine for unplanned guests and is always a big hit! I used whole wheat flour instead of white whole wheat flour for the crumble cake in the picture which made the cake part a bit dense but that was all I had in my pantry, it still worked out great and I really wanted something sweet!


2 large organic apples - about 4 cups
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Egg or egg replacement (I used 1/4 cup hot water with 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed)
1/3 cup melted margarine

For the crumble mixture:

3/4 cup of raw cane sugar or light brown sugar
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2 Tbs. margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Coat a standard square cake pan (8" x 8" x 2") with margarine.

Mix the flour and baking powder together, and mix in the cane sugar. Add the milk, beaten egg or egg substitute and melted margarine; mix together just until there are no lumps. Pour into the pan.

Make the crumble mixture by melt the margarine in a pan, add the flour, sugar and cinnamon, and mix well until it become crumble.

Cut up the apples leaving the skins on, and put on to of the cake batter. Sprinkle the top with the crumble mixture. Bake for about 40 minutes. Slice and serve warm plain or a topping of your choice.

Lid Cooking


A few weeks ago I posted about Hyperbaking and since Earth Day was this last week I have been really thinking green! I wanted to share another tip with you for your stove top. The term is called "Lid Cooking"  and to save energy you simply, use a lid!

How lid cooking works is easy just cover your pot with a tight-fitting lid and turn the burner off while letting the trapped heat do the cooking for you! You can save up to a quarter of the energy needed for preparing the dish.

So let's take pasta as an example: Bring water to a boil, next add the pasta and bring back to a rolling boil. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. “Lid cook” for the time your package recommends minus 1 minute.  When you try this technique remember no peeking or it won't work!

Who said you can't be green, huh?

White Wine Vegan Cream Sauce over Spinach and Mushroom Pasta


After watching Food, Inc. my husband decided to eat a lot less meat, really only a few times a month, if at all! So, I was lucky enough to resurrect my old vegan recipes that I haven't touched in a little over a year and pull this out like WHAM! This recipe was easier than I remembered, basically you just boil some water cut up a few veggies while you stir your broth and your done! An easy meal for 4!


1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ Yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine or veggie stock
3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp margarine
1 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 cups raw spinach
3 large mushrooms
1 8 oz. Quinoa Pasta Pack


In a medium sauce pan add the olive oil, onion, and garlic over low heat. Cook the onions until they are soft, about 5 - 10 minutes depending on how small you minced your onions.

While your onions and garlic are cooking start boiling the water for your pasta.

Once the onions are soft add the white wine and water to the pan and bring to a low simmer.

Continue simmering for about 10 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, place your pasta in the boiling water and cook until done, about 8 minutes.

Chop spinach and mushrooms and place in colander. Next, pour the cooked pasta/water in the colander over spinach and mushrooms then set aside.

Next, add the margarine and flour to your sauce pan, stirring until completely combined and the sauce begins to thicken. If the sauce becomes too thick, add more water until you reach the desired consistency, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, mushrooms, pasta and white-wine sauce, then toss until the pasta is completely coated.

Serve warm and enjoy!



The word on the street these days is "green". Everyone you know, every TV channel, every magazine the same term "Go Green". As a mother of 3 I will admit that cutting corners is easier sometimes though not environmentally friendly but with screaming kids and laundry to finish I do what I can!

Every recipe you read calls for you to preheat the oven to a certain temperature. Once the oven has reached the desired temperature you than place your food in the oven and remove once you have cooked your meal the directed amount of time. Seeing as how your conventional oven uses an estimated 6% of its energy output to cook your food, your oven is screaming "NOT GREEN"!

While reading a magazine called Kiwi I came across this term called "Hyperbaking". It's a technique based on the principles of hypermiling, where you take every opportunity to save gas while driving. So hyperbaking would be taking every opportunity to save gas while using your conventional oven!

The process is easy and you may have done it many times before without even realizing it. Simply don't preheat your oven! Once you have prepared your gourmet meal, place your dish in the oven and set at the desired temperature. Once your food is almost done, say 10 minutes before, turn off your oven! Though your food may be in the oven a bit longer you are saving energy!

This technique works great with most dishes but I would consider not hyperbaking dishes that are temperature sensitive such as poultry.

One last thought, don't open the oven door while cooking! The temperature can drop 25 degrees leaving you waiting longer for dinner!

Have fun hyperbaking!

Agave Nectar Baked Root Vegetables


So winter time is officially over and root vegetable's are out of season since they are consider best during the winter and fall months. When I went to the Farmers Market in Fullerton a local grower had everything I needed to make an amazing dish called Agave Nectar Baked Root Vegetables. Seeing as how this may have been my last chance to make this side dish until the next Winter I bought up all the tasty looking root vegetables and hurried home to make dinner!


2 Large Carrots, peeled and cut in small chunks
2 Large Parsnips, peeled and cut in small chunks
1 Small Rutabaga, peeled and cut in small chunks
4 Shallots cut in 4
2 Turnips, peeled and cut in small chunks
2 T Oil
3 T Agave Nectar
Fresh ground sea salt and pepper


While cutting all you root vegetable's into small chucks try to ensure all the pieces are the same since so they cook evenly.

Preheat over to 450 F.

Place all you vegetables in a bowl and mix well with oil and agave nectar.

Next place all your vegetables in a lightly oiled baking pan and bake until soft on the inside and caramelized on the outside. This will take about an hour stirring gently every 20 minutes or so.

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed With Garlic Mashed Potatoes And Fried Leeks


While skimming thorough my all time favorite cook book Vegan Planet written by Robin Robertson, I came across this tasty sounding dish! Seeing as how I have never prepared leeks myself I thought I would give this recipe a shot! Robin Robertson calls for Chipotle Mashed Potatoes for this recipe but I opted for garlic potatoes since I know my children will eat them!

This recipe seems like it would take a long time to prepare but actually the most time consuming part was scraping the mushrooms and playing hide and seek with my kids while the potatoes boiled! If you are stretched for time you could always use left over mashed potatoes to cut back on time. This dish took my about 45 minutes but remember I was also playing with my children, too!


2 leeks (white parts only), washed well and slivered lengthwise
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tamari/soy sauce/braggs
4 larger red potatoes
8 cloves garlic
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
White Pepper
4 large Portobello mushrooms


After you wash your potatoes cut them in half and place the potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan with cold salted water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to boil until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
In the mean time use a knife or a spoon, scrape out and discard the brown gills from the under­side of the mushroom caps and remove caps with knife.

Remove garlic a few minutes before the potatoes are done so they can cool.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms cut side up and sear until browned, about 60 seconds.

Add the tamari, turn over the mushrooms, season with salt and white pepper to taste, and cook for 60 seconds. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside. Remove potatoes so they can cool slightly.

Take the garlic and using your fingers, squeeze the cloves of garlic from their skins, and place them in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the cloves of garlic to form a paste.

Combine the mashed garlic, almond milk, potatoes and 1 T oil in a bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and white pepper, and whip the potatoes until smooth.

Add a little of the reserved potato cooking liquid, if needed, to achieve a creamy consistency.
Spoon 1/2 cup of the mashed potatoes into each mushroom cap and smooth the top.
Drizzle the stuffed mushrooms with a little of the olive oil and place in a lightly oiled baking dish.

Bake until hot, about 15 minutes.

While the mushrooms are baking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

To serve, place the mushrooms on a plate and top with the fried leeks.

Creole Seasoning

I love cajun/creole seasoning. It is by far my favorite!! I add it to everything I prepare for myself such as salads, cabbage chips, radish chips or whatever! I just love this stuff and finally got around to start making my own organic version since I was always buying Zatarains and it's kind of salty. Here is my recipe, which is good enough to give away as a present!


2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried thyme
4 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp white pepper
1 tbsp cayenne pepper

Commercially Prepared Pancake Mix... What are you really buying?


Finally it's Friday and the weekend is almost here! To my family, Saturday mornings usually entail pancakes served with fresh fruit. Delicious! Most families I know these days plan for breakfast by buying a box of pancake mix from the store. Here at The Crunchy Kitchen my goal is to cook from fresh as much possible but buying a box of commercially prepared pancake mix doesn't really fall under those guidelines in my opinion. Below I have listed a few of the popular brands you would come across in the super market including their ingredients.

Krusteaz Complete Pancake Mix, Buttermilk Ingredients:
Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, May Contain Malted Barley Flour, Enzymes, Ascorbic Acid), Sugar, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Soy Flour, Dextrose, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils, Buttermilk, Salt, Mono- Diglycerides (Emulsifier), Eggs.

Aunt Jemima Ingredients:
Enriched Bleached Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Dextrose, Dried Buttermilk, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with Mono and Diglycerides, Dried Whole Eggs, Salt, Defatted Soy Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Corn Syrup Solids, Nonfat Dry Milk, Soy Lecithin, Sodium Caseinate, Soybean Oil.

Bisquick Ingredients:
Enriched flour bleached (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), canola oil, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), dextrose, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, salt, datem.

Now - after really reading all the additives in those mixes your perfect picture Saturday morning breakfast has gone out the window! Just a quick thought about additives such as hydrogenated oil these are far more damaging than even saturated fats... and corn syrup solids can contribute to high cholesterol. If you could, wouldn't you rather feed your family pancakes with just a few ingredients? Ingredients you know and trust? Things you can buy at local grocers?

So why not make your own mix? It is so easy!


1 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp raw cane sugar
2 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup non-dairy milk
2 tsp oil
Spray oil such as Organic Olive Oil by Pam (Anything else will result in a mess)


Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.

Mix in the "milk" and oil and whisk until batter is smooth.

Heat griddle or pan on medium heat.

Spray griddle or pan with Pam. Once hot drop 1/3 cup of batter at a time .

When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, flip, and cook the other side for about 2 minutes.

Top with fresh blueberries or fresh strawberries. I serve these without the use of Nucoa Margarine and use Organic Agave Syrup instead.

As a family we really enjoy our pancakes so I choose to make this recipe for the whole month! I pre-make only the dry mix recipe x4 and add the oil and milk when it's time to eat. This makes for a quicker prep time! So remember 1 cup dry mix to 1 cup milk plus 2 tsp oil and your set!

One other great thing about these pancakes being dairy and egg free is the my son can eat the batter which he loves to do!

Homemade Corndogs


I can remember growing up and when my mom would heat some corn dogs up in the microwave and it would be like the best meal ever! I loved it! I went to the store and was completely grossed out by what some of the commercially prepared corn dogs contained.

So what does Mommy decide to do? Bake her own! I Googled home made corn dogs and found corn dogs are basically corn bread surrounding a hot dog! Now I know it took me 30 years to figure this out, but in all fairness I haven't even given corn dogs a chance as an adult, so I never really thought about what they were really made from.

I came across this site called The Vegan Lunch Box. It was exactly what I was looking for plus I already had a Twinkie pan for baking yummy treats for my children! Inspired, I baked some of these up and they were a real hit!


1¼ cup all purpose whole wheat flour
1¼ cup fine ground organic cornmeal
2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
1½ cup almong milksoy milk
2 T oil


Preheat oven to 400 F. grease twinkie pan lightly. Put dry ingredients in one bowl, and mix them. Put oil and milkmilk together, combine and mix just until moist. Pour your homemade corn dog mix to cover the bottom of the cup with batter, set a (slightly trimmed) veggie dog in the middle, then covered it with more batter.

I baked them at 375ยบ for 25 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

Serve with organic ketchup!

You could always get crazy and buy some wooden coffee stirring sticks and insert them in the middle after they have cooled a bit. I will be doing this when my boys are older as my 2 YO took his out immediately and used it as a little sword and knife to play with his food. :-)

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