Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day and Happy Vegan MoFo!

Today is the first day of the Vegan Month of Food (MoFo) and once again I'll be trekking across space and time to taste the many flavors of the universe!

All month long, you may look forward to recipes for my renditions of food and drink from my favorite sci-fi and fantasy series (plural), along with copious quantities of curry.

I will probably post about my adventures around Denver and share my current projects.

Last year's MoFo was a lot of fun. This year I have new territory to explore. This year, I'll go where no cowgirl has gone before...
Set course for 2014 Vegan Month of Food.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pinterest Popsicle Party

 This post is dedicated to my niece, Avalanche. Today is her 9th birthday!

I kinda want to open a vegan ice cream Popsicle Parlor. My Pinterest feed this summer has been full of popsicle recipes and I want to share my favorites with you! Here are my picks, with links, plus an easy-freezy recipeezy for Peanut Butter Banana Pops.


For the Southern Belle: Sweet Peach Iced Tea Popsicles

For the Teatotaler: Green Tea Coconut Popsicles

For the Chocoholics: Chocolate-Covered Toasted Coconut Pops

For the Sophisticate: French 75 Champagne Popsicles


Peanut Butter Banana with Chocolate on Top
 (makes 6)

2 ripe bananas
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

In a blender or food processor, whizz the bananas, almond milk and peanut butter together until thick and frothy. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze 2 hours or until solid.
Melt the coconut oil over medium-low flame and add the chocolate chips, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat and let cool a minute or so.
Dip the popsicles in the chocolate coating - the icy pop will make the chocolate harden almost instantly. Lay the ice cream pops on a sheet of waxed paper and re-freeze or serve immediately!

We used organic bananas and unsweetened peanut butter. We doubled the chocolate sauce recipe and had lots leftover for making chocolate candies with almonds and dried fruit.

With Chocolate
Calories per serving: 308
Total fat: 20.9g
Carbohydrates: 25.1g
Sugars: 14.8g
Protein: 6.6g

Without Chocolate
Calories per serving: 185
Total fat: 11.9g
Carbohydrates: 14.3g
Sugars: 6.6g
Protein: 5.3g

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tempeh Taco Tuesday

I decided that I had to get one more Taco Tuesday post in before I switch over to Trekkie TV Tuesdays in September for the Vegan Month of Food. I'm a bit fixated on tacos lately, if you couldn't tell...links to more taco recipes at the end of this post.

My tempeh tacos are pretty famous. Once upon a time in New Jersey, they inspired my friend Tom to start a weekly Tempeh Taco Tuesday party. Everybody brought ingredients, tacos got made and were subsequently devoured. 

Tempeh tacos are super easy (and inexpensive) to make, so you might want throw your own Taco Tuesday party! The recipe is easy to adapt to whatever ingredients people happen to bring. Add some avocado? Absolutely. Sweet corn? Sure! Mangoes? Anything goes!

Tempeh Tacos

  • 1 block tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 hot pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash cayenne powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari (or salt to taste)
  • 1 cup chopped rainbow chard (or spinach or kale)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons oil for frying

  1. Heat the oil over medium flame in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
  2. Crumble the tempeh into the skillet and add the minced garlic. Stir-fry a few minutes, until the tempeh begins to brown.
  3. Add the spices and sauté for one minute, then add the vinegar, molasses and tamari.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the rainbow chard and simmer until greens are tender.
  5. Lightly steam the tortillas. Top tortillas with tempeh mix and garnish with cherry tomatoes.
This post is part of Vitual Vegan Linky Potluck #9!

I never get tired of tacos...

Grilled Eggplant Tacos
Almond Tacos

Black Bean & Corn Tacos

Refried Beans & Guac Tacos

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tiny Tacos Tuesday Take Two

Tacos on Tuesdays is becoming a ritual in the Cowgirl Kitchen, and I can't get enough of these tiny corn tortillas from Mi Rancho. They're tasty, gluten-free and made from organic corn. Cantina-style tacos are totally trending, so I invented another two more yummy recipes with the ingredients I had on hand.

Tacos Almendras
(serves 2)

For the filling:

1 cup raw almonds
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
dash cayenne
dash coriander
dash cinnamon

For the toppings:

2 red radishes, diced
2 green onions, chopped
1 lime, cut in wedges
fresh cilantro, minced


Pulse almonds in food processor until they're right in between chunky and crumbly. Add the tamari, vinegar and spices and set aside to let the flavors soak in. Marinate for 15 minutes if you're in a hurry or make ahead of time and refrigerate.

When you're ready to eat, chop up some fresh toppings. Load your tiny tortillas with filling and toppings, then squeeze a little lime juice over top for extra pizzazz. For a raw version, fold inside a crispy leaf of lettuce.

Tiny tacos are great finger food for appetizers at your next party!

Tacos Aubergine 

For the filling:
1 cup Grilled Eggplant Dip

For the toppings:
hot sauce
minced cilantro
minced garlic
mixed baby greens
black olives (I forgot to put black olives on mine but that would have been really tasty)

Lightly steam the tortillas. Fill them. Sprinkle with salt. Squilch a bunch of hot sauce on and eat them!!!

More tacos, anyone?

Did you know that the Virtual Vegan Potluck has a weekly Linky party?
This post is part of Linky Potluck #7 - join me in the festivities!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Grilled Eggplant Dip

It's summertime, aka grilling season. I am not very experienced at cooking on a grill, but I have all these veggies and I wanted to try it, so I decided to grill an eggplant.

Nothing could be simpler! Just throw a whole aubergine on the grill. That's all you have to do, besides maybe turning it occasionally. Make sure that the grill isn't too hot - you should be able to hold your hand over it for a few seconds - and plop that eggplant on the barbie. Close the grill and wait. After roasting for 30 minutes or so, the eggplant will kinda deflate, which means it's done.

deflated eggplant
Slice the roasted eggplant in half and scoop out all the gooey inside (or peel off the skin, whatever works). Put it in a food processor with some tahini, lemon juice and seasonings (smoked paprika would be really good!) 

 I added:
1/3 cup tahini
1 tablespoon tamari
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon black pepper
Now simply whizz it all together...
...and voila! Grilled Eggplant Dip!

Serve as an appetizer with pita triangles, tortilla chips or cucumber slices, or make it part of an entree or dinner salad. What I did was, I made myself a big bowl of rice, sauteed some zucchini slices in olive oil with garlic, glopped my roasted eggplant dip on top, then tossed in some cherry tomatoes, chopped almonds and fresh herbs (dill and cilantro). It was delicious. I want some more...

In fact, there is more, and I'm hungry. I think I'll make this again for lunch...

You might also like:
Sweet Sesame Tempeh with Baba Ghanoush
 Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian
Shish Kebab Boom Bah

Friday, August 1, 2014

Native Foods Café, Denver

One of my favorite things about visiting a new city is trying new restaurants, and Denver boasts several plant-based establishments. Whenever I go to a new restaurant, I gauge the quality of the food by ordering one of my favorite dishes. For instance, if I'm trying a Thai restaurant for the first time, I will invariably order a Green Curry. At a vegan joint, I always try their burger.

Native Foods Café did not disappoint - far from it! I went to their Glendale location and tried the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger. Flippin' delicious!! If vegan bacon and vegan cheddar aren't enough to get your mouth watering, allow me to inform you that there are battered dill pickle chips on top. I don't know about you, but I'm crazy about deep-fried pickles. Fried pickles are second only to fried avocados in my book. Mmm...

Getting a vegan burger right is not an easy feat to accomplish. Sometimes they're squishy and flavorless, with a few sad tortillas chips on the side that make you want to cry. Other times, they totally rock! I've eaten many a vegan burger in the last 8 years, and the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger from Native Foods now ranks in my top three, up there with Café Blossom's Soy Bacon Cheeseburger (NYC) and The Steer's Baja Burger (Buffalo). This is definitely the best burger west of the Mississippi!

Native Foods restaurants have been serving vegan fare for 20 years, and they know what's up. Just take a look at the Oklahoma Burger's description: "Our thinly sliced Native Original Seitan, melted cheddar, caramelized onions, and crispy Native Bacon on a bun slathered with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, romaine, carrots, onion and tomato. Topped with crunchy battered dill pickle chips." The only way to improve on this burger is to add a side of sweet potato fries. So I did.

Native Foods has three Denver area locations: Boulder, University Park and Glendale. I'll be back again soon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tiny Tacos Tuesday

I've said it before - anybody can make tacos! Yesterday, when I was shopping at Natural Grocers, I found these super cute tiny tortillas made from organic corn. Today I whipped up some easy guacamole and refried beans for tiny tacos! Because today is Tuesday, and I love eating tacos. I also enjoy smashing foods with a fork.

For the guacamole:

3 ripe avocados
3 (or more) cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1 lime
sea salt to taste

Smash up the avocados in a bowl. Add the minced garlic and cilantro, and squeeze in the juice of that lime. Add salt to taste. Done.

For the beans:

1 can pinto beans
1 tablespoon oil, for frying
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder
dash of cinnamon
dash of cayenne, if you like it hot
dash of salt

Heat the oil over medium flame, add the cumin seeds and onion, and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the pinto beans, salt and spices, and stir until the beans are warmed. Turn off the burner. Smash the beans roughly with a fork. Done.

Taco time!

You might also like my other taco-related posts:

This post is now part of Virtual Vegan LINKY Potluck #5!
Hop on over to browse this week's entries.