Monday, July 27, 2015

Methods for Adding Mileage to your Freezer Cooking Plan

There are a few special types of recipes that really add a lot of mileage to your freezer cooking plan - they can be prepared in minutes, but save a lot of time later. Try using just one or two of these ideas next time you freezer-cook, and watch the return on your investment of time multiply!

Seasoning packets 

Mixes like homemade Taco Seasoning can help you create a meal in minutes later.

Once you have the seasoning made, you're ready to make any of these quick dishes:
Black Bean Enchiladas
Chili Cornbread Casserole
Chili-Topped Potatoes
Fill Your Own Tortilla Night
Guacamole, Super Simple 
Refried Beans, Easiest Healthy
Veggie Fajitas
Southwest Black Bean Burgers
Mexican Haystacks
Black Bean & Corn Salad

Pantry Mixes

Homemade Corn Bread Mix, Muffin Mix, Pancake Mix, Cake & Cookie Mix and French Breakfast Mix can be prepared quickly (perhaps while waiting for another dish to simmer) and make for a quick meal or snack later.

For complete variations on each of these ideas, check out the Make Your Own Vegan Mixes tab 

Just Add Water Pancake Mix

Pumpkin Mini Muffins from Muffin Mix

Make 1 Mix - Make 10 Cookies!

French Crepes from French Breakfast Mix, GF, Top 8 Free, Vegan


These can be mixed up & formed in patties, but require no cooking until the day they're eaten (though they can be cooked ahead for microwaving on the day they're eaten, if you prefer)

Burgers & Fries Vegan Style

Vegan Sausage Patties

Southwest Black Bean Burgers   


Some sauces can be prepared on cooking day, and then make dish preparation almost instant.

Yachni Sauce
Make Sauce Tonight, Have Easy Meals for a Week

Bread Dough

Having a dough on hand like this one can take 10 minutes of hands-on time, and allow you to have four nights of fresh, homemade bread over the course of a week or two.

Your simple double

If you're going to all the work to make a dish, doubling it means you can eat it twice for the same amount of work. If your family likes a dish a lot, and if you have the freezer space, this is a great way to go.

Cooking Ingredients for later use

Some ingredients take a long time to cook, but can be combined into a dish later quite quickly. For Vegans, cooking Beans, Grains, Lentils & even Pasta or Rice in advance for the freezer can prepare you for a lot of instant meals. This is especially helpful if you cook for one, and can freeze these ingredients in single portions. Many Omnivore cooking plans are centered around roasted meat for this reason. Holly over at "My Plant-Based Family" often does batch cooking this way, and has LOTS of meal plans that are focused around this method - like this one

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Zucchini Bread Waffles

Zucchini Bread Waffles
If you love Zucchini Bread, and you love Waffles - this is the perfect Waffle for you! It is made from your own mix, so it comes together quite quickly : )

Zucchini Bread Waffles
Stir Together in mixing bowl
1 cup Shredded Zucchini (approx. 1 small)
2 Cups Stuffedveggies Pancake & Waffle Mix (see below)
2 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch*
4 Tablespoons Sugar (more or less to taste)
2 Tablespoons Orange Juice Concentrate
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 1/2 Cups Water (more or less as needed for proper batter consistency)

Prepare according to Waffle Iron Instructions

Here are a few tips that work with my Waffle Iron:
I brush the Iron with a little oil from a pastry brush before each waffle is made.
I use a 1/4 cup batter per waffle.
I spread the batter around in the form with the back of a spoon before I close the Iron.
I wait until the light has gone off AND the steaming has almost completely stopped before I open the Iron to remove the waffle.

*The Tapioca Starch helps provide a nice crispy edge to the waffle without the addition of oil to the recipe.

Freezer directions: These are VERY freezer friendly! I let them cool on a wire rack
and put them in a plastic freezer container with a sheet of waxed paper between each one. When I want Waffles for breakfast, I simply remove the desired number from the box, and heat them in the Toaster Oven. They actually are better after toasting than they are fresh out of the Iron! 

Mix in a labeled container. This recipe may be doubled if you have a larger family, or like to have pancakes often.

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (also known as Graham flour) OR White Whole Wheat Flour*
1-3 tablespoons sugar (white, or raw/turbinado sugar)
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, or cornstarch (acts as vegan egg-substitute for dry mixes)
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

*Note Edited in December 2014: For a long time, I only made this with Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, but then recently I couldn't get to my favorite specialty shop, and was forced to try subbing the White Whole Wheat Flour. To my delight, it worked as well or better than the Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. This is great because White Whole Wheat - while still 100% whole grain, is easier to find and cheaper! : )

For LOTS more recipes from this mix, check out my Make Your Own Mix Tab

Monday, July 13, 2015

Zucchini Mini Muffins (Whole Wheat, Oil Free, Vegan)

Zucchini Mini Muffins
Zucchini Mini Muffins are a real delight. And, when you have your own mix, they're SO easy to make! Even better, these are much healthier than many other Zucchini Muffins, since they have no animal products, no oil and they're whole wheat (but not heavy)! This is my own recipe, inspired by the Make a Mix Cookbook.

Zucchini Mini Muffins
Preheat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit
Stir together, till most lumps are gone, but a few remain

1 Cup stuffedveggies Muffin Mix
1/2 Cup Shredded Zucchini
1/2 Tablespoon Orange Juice Concentrate
I label my mix canister with the recipe for easy refills
1/2 Cup Water
Small Handful chopped Walnuts (optional, but tasty!)

Fill prepared Mini Muffin Pan. Sprinkle with Cinnamon Sugar (optional).
Bake until done, approximately 20-25 minutes.


(For Regular Sized Muffins, Double the Batch and bake at the same temperature for approximately
10 additional minutes)

Versatile Vegan Mini Muffin Mix

Just fill with mix ingredients & shake.
Mix together

8 cups whole wheat pastry flour *
2 cups turbinado sugar or other sugar of your choice
4 Tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch or Arrowroot Powder (Cornstarch may be used as an emergency substitute)

After all the ingredients are in your chosen container close securely and shake well to evenly distribute contents.

Store in pantry in cooler house temperatures, or if mix will be used in a month or less. For longer storage, or in very warm weather, store in fridge or freezer.

* The King Arthur website says Whole Wheat Pastry Flour & Graham Flour are the same thing. It's a lower-protein whole wheat flour, that produces a lighter, more tender product than traditional whole wheat flour.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Delightful Vegan Brownies

Perfect Vegan Brownies
Brownies are, perhaps, my biggest weakness when it comes to desserts. For years, I've been looking for a Vegan recipe that would really satisfy. I thought I wanted one that tasted exactly like the boxed mix my Mom made when I was a kid. Then, I serendipitously created this one, and discovered that it is WAY better than what I thought I wanted!

These are an easy to make, one bowl sort of brownie, they're fudgy, but still tender and somewhat cakey - but not TOO cakey. They're much lower fat than nearly every brownie out there, and they have no animal products. They're adapted from this one, but they turn out quite differently. They're the PERFECT thing to pair with Ice Cream - whether the Vegan or Dairy variety. 

Perfect Vegan Brownies
Oil a 8 x 8 square pan, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stir together in a mixing bowl
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Oil (I use Sunflower)

Then add & Stir
1/3 Cup Cocoa (Sieved to remove any small lumps)
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Stuffedveggies Cookie & Cake Mix (see below if you don't want to click)
1/2 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips (many national brands are vegan - just check the ingredients)

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 Minutes. Cool (at least enough that you don't burn yourself!)
 & enjoy! If you like your brownies with Ice Cream (Vegan or otherwise) this one will work well in that capacity.

Stuffedveggies Cookie & Cake Mix
Shake together in large Canister or Zippered Gallon Bag:
9 Cups All Purpose Flour*
4 Cups Sugar*
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt

This mix also makes:
       Vegan Brownie Snowball Cookies
       Cashew Cardamom Cookies
       Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
       Vegan Gingerbread Crunch Cookies
       The PB&J
       Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
       Pineapple Upside Down Cake
       Vegan Russian Teacakes ( Vegan Mexican Wedding Cakes )
       Vegan Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies
       Strawberry Celebration Cupcakes
       Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
       12 Children's Vegan Mixes for Toy Ovens
       Make One Mix, Make Ten Different Cookies