Sample Recipes from the Vegan Cookbooks

Sample Recipes - Taken from the Free Vegan (Vegetarian) Cookbooks: A Taste of Vitality and Desserts of Vitality.

The page lists a very small sampling of the recipes from the two free cookbooks available from the Vitalita Culinary Group (VCG). To obtain the full cookbooks (A Taste of Vitality and Desserts of Vitality), visit the main cookbook page.



- A dish with a combination of cuisines (style from Italy, ingredients from Asia) for a meal more nutritionally-dense and complete than the original Italian lasagna.



  3               cups  broccoli florets

  1 1/2           cups  broccoli stalks -- peeled, sliced (florets and stalks from 2 bunches - about 3 pounds)


  1 1/2    tablespoons  dark (toasted) sesame oil

  180            grams  portobello mushrooms -- sliced 1/2" thick (about 2 large mushrooms, stems chopped)

  1              large  onion -- diced

  5             medium  carrots -- sliced

  1             medium  red bell pepper -- cubed

     1/2         pound  collard greens -- chopped (about 8 collard leaves)

  6                     garlic cloves -- minced


  1 1/2    tablespoons  ginger juice, fresh -- (squeezed from fresh, grated ginger root)

  1         tablespoon  sweet sherry -- (e.g., mirin)

     1/2      teaspoon  sea salt



  1         tablespoon  dark (toasted) sesame oil

  8             ounces  tempeh -- defrosted

     1/4           cup  water

  1         tablespoon  Tamari soy sauce

  1         tablespoon  sweet sherry -- (e.g., mirin)



  18            ounces  no-salt-added vegetable broth -- (or water)

  14            ounces  coconut milk

  2        tablespoons  ginger juice, fresh -- (squeezed from fresh, grated ginger root)

  8                     garlic cloves -- crushed

  3        tablespoons  tahini -- (adjust tahini depending on your tastes) (use more if you want a richer dish) (use less if you want a lighter dish)

     1/8      teaspoon  sea salt


  4        tablespoons  brown rice flour -- (or whole-grain spelt flour, but only if the dish can have some gluten)

  1         tablespoon  white miso



     1/2         pound  no-boil/oven-ready rice lasagna noodles -- (or no-boil/oven-ready whole wheat lasagna noodles, but only if the dish can have some gluten) (if you want to use regular lasagna noodles, prepare as indicated on the package, and then use them in this recipe as directed) (about 9-12 inch pieces)



  4        tablespoons  basil, fresh -- chopped

     3/4           cup  green onions -- chopped (about 6 stalks)



To prepare the broccoli: a) cut off the florets, b) peel the stalks, and c) slice the stalks.

To prepare the filling, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.  Add mushrooms and saute for about 10 minutes.  Add onion and sliced broccoli stalks and cook about 6 minutes.  Add carrots and cook 4 minutes.  Add red bell pepper and continue to saute another 4 minutes.  Add collard greens and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Add broccoli florets and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.  This sealing of each vegetable one by one helps develop a rich flavor.  After sealing, season vegetable mixture with ginger juice, sherry, and salt.  Turn off heat.


During this process, prepare tempeh.  Steam the tempeh for 20 minutes.  Slice tempeh into long 1/4 inch strips.  Dab the oil on all sides of all the tempeh strips, then heat a pan over medium-high heat and add the tempeh.  Seal on all sides.  Combine water, tamari soy sauce, and sherry.  When finished, turn down heat and pour combined liquids over the tempeh.  Cook gently until all moisture is absorbed by the tempeh, and then turn off the heat.


As time allows, prepare the sauce.  Combine all sauce ingredients, except flour and miso, in a sauce pan.  Slowly sprinkle in flour stirring continuously so lumps do not form.  If you use less tahini, you will need a little more flour.  Heat over low to medium-low heat for about 7 minutes to integrate and thicken.  The sauce should be not get too thick.  Add additional water if needed to make a thin sauce texture (or add additional flour to thicken more).  Take a 1/4 cup of sauce out of the sauce pan, and dissolve the miso in it.  Add this back to the sauce, and stir.  Turn off heat.


To assemble, use a large (about 9"x13") baking pan.  Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan (about 3/4 cup).  Place 3 pieces of lasagna noodles (about 1/3 of the noodles) in the bottom of the pan.  You don't want the noodles to overlap since the pasta will expand during baking.  Spread another thin layer of sauce over the noodles.  Lay half of the tempeh slices on this, and then spread half of the vegetable filling on top and around the tempeh.  Continue this noodle-tempeh-filling layering until all filling is used, and then top with the last layer of noodles, covering it thoroughly with sauce.  There should be 3 layers of noodles, and 2 layers of tempeh/filling.

Cover pan with foil, and bake in a 375 degree F (190 degree C) oven (no need to preheat oven) for 40 minutes, then remove foil and bake 10 minutes more to give the top layer a golden brown appearance.

Serve garnished with basil and green onions.


- For a lower fat dish, replace coconut milk in the sauce with an equal amount of water plus 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract/flavoring.

- Use even more coconut milk in place of some of the water in the sauce.  Note: this will give the dish a higher fat content.

- You can use any type of lasagna noodles: if you use noodles that are not oven ready, prepare the noodles as described on the box and then use in this recipe as described; if you are not concerned about gluten in the dish, you can use regular (wheat) lasagna noodles.

- Use pressed tofu in place of tempeh.

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 356 Calories; 18g Fat (43.9% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 326mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 Fat.

Serving Ideas : With brown rice.




                        * CAKE

                        DRY INGREDIENTS

  1 1/4           cups  brown rice flour -- (or spelt flour if it OK for the cake to have gluten)

     1/4           cup  millet flour -- (or spelt flour) (or brown rice flour)

  1 1/2           cups  sorghum flour -- (or spelt flour) (or brown rice flour)

  4        tablespoons  tapioca flour

  1         tablespoon  ground flax seed

  1 1/4           cups  cocoa -- (unsweetened)

     3/4      teaspoon  sea salt

  2          teaspoons  baking powder -- (double acting)

     3/8      teaspoon  baking soda


                        WET INGREDIENTS

     1/4           cup  high oleic sunflower oil -- (or coconut oil) (or other oil high in monounsaturated fat)

     1/4           cup  unrefined coconut oil -- (or other oil as above)

  4        tablespoons  applesauce, unsweetened -- (or puree about 1/3 of an apple)

  1 3/4           cups  maple syrup

     1/2           cup  unrefined granulated sugar -- (such as Rapadura or Sucanat) (or any granulated sugar)

  1 1/2    tablespoons  vanilla extract

  14            ounces  coconut milk -- (or water)

  1                cup  water


                        * FILLING

  10            ounces  raspberries, frozen -- (or 10 ounces fresh raspberries) (or .5 cup jam mixed with 1 T lemon juice)

  1         tablespoon  brown rice syrup -- (or maple syrup)


                        * GARNISH

  1             recipe  Chocolate Icing -- (see recipe below)

  4             ounces  fresh raspberries

  1           teaspoon  citrus zest -- in long, thin strips (from 1 pieces of citrus fruit)

  1           teaspoon  chocolate, bittersweet, dairy-free -- shaved

     1/3           cup  pecan halves -- toasted, glazed


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Oil and flour two 10 inch round spring form pans (it is also possible to use one 9 inch by 13 inch pan) (for more information refer to the Cake Pan discussion in the "Cake Notes" at the beginning of this chapter).



Sift dry ingredients together (except ground flax seed).  Stir in ground flax seed.


Blend liquids, then stir into the flour mixture.  Pour into the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30-40 minutes (longer if using one 9 inch by 13 inch pan).  Test to be sure the cakes are finished: the cakes should slightly pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out fairly clean (not wet with batter clinging to it).  Also be careful not to overbake the cakes because they can become too dry and dense in this case.


When making a layered cake (using 2 identical sized pans), make the raspberry layer filling by lightly cooking the frozen raspberries with brown rice syrup, adding tablespoons of water as needed.


Once raspberry layer filling has cooked down a bit, and after the cakes have cooled, place the bottom layer of the cake on a serving plate (with parchment paper under the edges), and spread filling over the top of this first layer.  Then place the second layer on top of the first, and frost/ice the entire cake.

Garnish cake with fresh whole raspberries, citrus zest, shaved chocolate, and toasted, glazed pecans (chopped nuts around the edge and halves for the top).


- "Carob-Raspberry Cake" - Use carob powder in place of cocoa, and "Carob Icing" in place of "Chocolate Icing" (see recipe).  This will yield a lower fat cake.

- "Black Forest Cake" - Use cherry jam in place of the raspberry filling, and then garnish with pitted cherries (either fresh, drained cherries from a can, or thawed frozen cherries).

- "Chocolate Sambuca Cake" - Add 5 tablespoons of Sambuca liqueur to the batter, and add 4 teaspoons to the icing.  Additionally, glaze the pecans with the liqueur after they are toasted.

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 401 Calories; 16g Fat (34.3% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 64g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 162mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 3 Fat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.



- If you have time, make this icing a day in advance and refrigerate it.  It will make the icing thicker and therefore easier to spread on a cake.


  100            grams  chocolate, bittersweet, dairy-free -- melted (about 3/4 cup when cut) (or 3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips)

  12 1/3        ounces  silken tofu, extra-firm or firm (aseptically packaged) -- (do not use soft or medium or fresh tofu because it will not make a firm enough icing) (see the "Glossary of Ingredients" for more information about silken tofu)

  1           teaspoon  vanilla extract

     1/4           cup  brown rice syrup -- (or maple syrup)

  2        tablespoons  maple syrup

  2        tablespoons  unrefined granulated sugar -- (such as Rapadura or Sucanat) (or any granulated sugar)

  2        tablespoons  cashew butter -- (optional) (or other type of nut butter with a compatible flavor for the dessert such as almond butter or hazelnut butter)

  1              pinch  sea salt


Blend all ingredients with an electric hand blender (immersion blender) (this makes for easier clean up) or a food processor until smooth.

Refrigerate icing to firm it up and make it easier to spread on a cake.

Spread on cooled cake.  Optionally, if you feel it is needed to setup the icing, refrigerate briefly to set the icing to the cake.  Do not leave the cake in the refrigerator too long because that will dry out the cake.

Should have enough icing to cover a double-layered-10-inch round cake.


- Add more cashew butter (or other nut butter) for a thicker icing.

- As the sweetener, any combination of sweeteners (maple syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup, agave syrup, granulated sugar, etc.) can be used, and in varying amounts depending on your tastes (see "Dessert Notes" for more information about sweeteners).

- For a lower fat icing, use 2/3 cup cocoa powder in place of the dairy-free, bittersweet chocolate.  Although this icing will not be nearly as rich and smooth, this will yield an icing which contains only 12% calories from fat (about 0.5 grams of fat per serving).

- "Carob Icing" - on a carob cake, use chunks of dairy-free carob bars or chips in place of chocolate (or carob powder in place of cocoa powder if making the low fat variation listed above).

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 69 Calories; 3g Fat (37.2% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 9mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.