Apple Vanilla "Depression Cake"

Apple Vanilla Depression Cake
Serves 8

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a nonstick 9-inch round or 8-inch square pan. Alternatively, use a regular pan, oil the sides, line the bottom with parchment paper and oil the parchment. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl whisk oil, water, vanilla and vinegar. Pour wet mixture into dry and mix until just combined. Batter will be thick. Arrange apple slices in an overlapping pattern in the bottom of prepared pan. Chop remaining apples and fold into batter. Spoon batter into pan and smooth the top. Bake 20 minutes. Rotate cake and continue baking until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Cool on a rack. When cool, invert onto a serving dish. Gently peel off parchment. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or cinnamon.

Chimichangas

Chimichangas

Topped with guacamole and sour cream
Makes 4 cups filling
Serves 6 to 8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid for another use)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ancho (or regular) chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Rounded 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen Gardein Chick’n Scallopini or Beef Tips, thawed slightly, diced
  • 6 to 8 large flour tortillas
  • About 1/2 cup Daiya shredded cheddar/Jack
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • For serving: hot rice and beans
  • Optional toppings: vegan sour cream, guacamole, salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium and sauté onion, pepper and garlic until onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, chilies, cilantro, nutritional yeast, oregano, chili powder, salt and cumin, and mix well. Add vegan meat and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Turn off heat.
  2. On a tortilla place 1/2 to 1/3 cup filling and 1 to 2 tablespoons cheese, and fold burrito-style. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  3. In a medium skillet place vegetable oil to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Heat to 375 degrees F. Batching, fry chimichangas on both sides until golden-brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. 
  4. Serve chimichangas topped with a dollop of sour cream, guacamole, and/or salsa, next to rice and beans, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and sliced black olives.

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza
Makes 1 (13-inch) pizza, 6 slices, serves 2
  • 1 (about 28 ounce) ball refrigerated pre-made pizza dough (pizzeria, Italian pork store, supermarket)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 3 ounces tomato paste (6 tablespoons; 1/2 can)
  • Sugar to taste, optional
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Daiya mozzarella shreds
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional toppings:
  • 6 (1/4-inch) round slices Globe eggplant
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • About 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • A few slices vegan pepperoni
  • About 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  • Etc!
  1. Remove dough from refrigerator, place on a floured surface and cover with a clean dish towel. Allow to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine tomato sauce, tomato paste and sugar (if using) and mix well. If sauce is chunky, puree if desired. Set aside.
  3. If using eggplant, broil 5 minutes on each side until browned. If using bell pepper, roast over an open gas flame until skin is somewhat blackened, then remove char and slice pepper.
  4. Place oven rack in center position. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Lightly brush pizza pan with olive oil.
  5. On floured surface using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough from center to edges until it approximates the sizes of the pan. Fold dough into quarters, transfer to pizza pan, unfold, and shape edges with fingers to fit into pan.
  6. Ladle 1 to 2 cups sauce (to taste) onto dough and use back of ladle to spread sauce over entire surface. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over sauce. Arrange basil leaves on mozzarella. Add toppings. Drizzle a little olive oil over all. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. Bake until edges are golden brown and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Rosemary White Bean Soup

Rosemary White Bean Soup
Serves 6

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 4 stalks celery, diced small (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Great Northern beans or cannellini, drained and rinsed OR 3 cups cooked OR 1 cup dried white beans, soaked and cooked
  • 6 cups chicken-flavor or regular vegetable broth (or water + bouillon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/6 to 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, to taste
  • Chopped parsley, optional garnish

Heat oil in a large saucepan on high. When shimmering, sauté onions and celery until translucent. Add rosemary and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add beans and broth, bring to a simmer, then simmer gently 15 to 20 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender, or allow soup to cool slightly and puree in a countertop blender then return soup to saucepan. Reheat if necessary before serving. Garnish bowls with chopped parsley if desired.

Chayote Soup

Chayote Soup
Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chayote, peeled, seeded and diced 1/2 inch
  • 1 onion, finely diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chili, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn kernels, liquid reserved
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or 4 cups water + 4 teaspoons bouillon)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable bouillon, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Thinly sliced avocado for garnish, optional

In a saucepan heat oil on medium and sauté chayote and onion until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, and cumin, and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. Place corn liquid in a 2-cup measure and add water to total 2 cups; add to saucepan. Add tomato paste and salt, bring to a boil, then simmer until chayote is tender, about 20 minutes. Add chickpeas and corn. Using an immersion blender or countertop blender, puree until as chunky or smooth as desired; return soup to saucepan. Add broth, bouillon, and cilantro, and simmer until heated through. Turn off heat and stir in lime juice. Garnish with avocado slices if desired, and serve hot.