A Lotus Grows in Brooklyn

July 4th vegan recipes
July 7, 2009, 9:19 am
Filed under: Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , ,

My eight-hour baking and cooking bonanza on July 4th produced mixed results, as should be expected, I suppose. Any time you try out a new recipe, you evaluate the results and then fiddle with it to make it your own the next time. Here are the highlights of my vegan July 4th barbecue offerings.

No. 1  (because it was by far the most popular)

Vegan Nine Layer Dip

Picture 026


1 package vegan ground beef substitute  (like Smart Ground)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 16 ounce can fat-free refried beans
1 4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1/2 package of taco seasoning
2 cups vegan shredded cheese  (I like Rice Shreds)
1 cup vegan sour cream
1/3 cup chopped green onions
Lettuce and tomatoes, chopped for garnish
Cooking spray
Tortilla chips

Crumble the ground beef substitute into a large bowl. Add chili powder and onion powder. Set aside.

In a baking dish coated with cooking spray, layer the beans, ground beef replacement, green chilies, taco seasoning, and 1 1/2 cup vegan cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until cheese melts and bubbles around the edges. Cool for five minutes.

Spread vegan sour cream on top; sprinkle with green onions and remaining cheese. Garnish with chopped lettuce and tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips. (Recipe adapted from Examiner.com.)

 No. 2

 International Quinoa Salad (Click for recipe, to preserve author’s copyright.)

Picture 039

I had high hopes for this, because most recipes from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen are superb. But it turned out a bit soggy, and I think it needs more spice. I’d add more jalapeno and chipotle peppers, and more salt and black pepper. And perhaps drain the quinoa very thoroughly.

 No. 3

Teriyaki Tofu and Vegetable Kabobs (Click for recipe, to preserve author’s copyright.)

These are simple, and all you really need the recipe for is to make teriyaki. Very easy and tasty! (The only thing I changed is that I didn’t have sake or mirin, so I substituted Sauvignon Blanc. Weird, but it worked!) You could also, of course, use this recipe for other kabob-friendly foods, like pineapple, mushrooms, and onions. Mmm…

No. 4

Lemon Corn Cakes

Picture 017

This one requires some explanation. I am a moron, and when I was confronted with the array of flours at Whole Foods, I didn’t see “cake” flour so I bought “pastry” flour instead. Now, I understand that the idea of using cake flour is that it is finer than regular flour. But apparently pastry flour is less fine than regular flour. I realized my mistake about halfway through mixing. “Hm, this batter seems awfully grainy!” The results, alas, were not a lovely cupcake, like the recipe intends, but something resembling cornbread. Still good, though! I think you could make it either way, depending on your mood.


1 1/3 cups cake flour (or pastry flour, if you want the dense feel!)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup turbinado sugar (you can use regular)
1 cup almond milk + 1 tsp vinegar, mixed and set aside to curdle for a few minutes
1/2 cup vegan butter like Soy Garden
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and mix well. Set aside.

In another bowl, with a hand mixer or a stand mixer set to medium speed, cream the vegan butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the two extracts.

Add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the almond milk, beating in well after each addition so there are no lumps. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Divide the batter equally among the cups, filling each cup about 2/3rds.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven about 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Set aside on a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Faux Cream Cheese Frosting


1 8-oz package of vegan cream cheese like Tofutti, left out of the refrigerator for at least an hour to soften
1/4 cup sugar, powdered
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom (optional)
A couple of drops of yellow food coloring
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract

Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer for a minute or two until light and fluffy. Using a spatula or, if you have one, a pastry bag, decorate each cupcake any way you wish.

(Recipe adapted from the Examiner, adapted from Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.)

I also made black bean burgers, but I don’t love how they came out, so I’m not posting them here. Happy 7th of July, everybody! What’s next on the cooking agenda?

(All photos taken by me.)


9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

hot like fire

Comment by Dhaval M.

“This one requires some explanation. I am a moron…” Awesome.

Comment by fictionadvocate

Since when are foxes not animals? You made cream cheese out of one and still call yourself a vegan…

Or is it okay to eat them because they are clever, deceitful creatures?

I’m not sure I understand veganism.

But these recipes look good. Thanks!

Comment by Klaus

That joke was so bad I didn’t even get it for like 2 minutes.


Comment by Carrie M

That’s what happens when you wake up and think you’ll do a little commenting before the first cup of coffee.

Comment by Klaus

wowzah you have been busy! I happened to stumble across your blog and was lured in by that delicious looking nine layer dip. mmm-mmm. i look forward to reading your blog.

Michal ^___^

Comment by Michal Mymo

What is the maximum number of layers dip is allowed to have, and where can I find the maximum kind?

Comment by fictionadvocate

Thanks for looking, Michal!

Comment by Carrie M


Nice recipes,

I have a recipe review site here! ( in the signature place)

Now site is in evolving phase! You can find lot of functions in near future !

I am welcoming your suggestion and if you have any recipe site(other than blog) let me know and i will include your site!


Crock-Pot Chicken Recipes recipes
Banana Raisin Bread Pudding recipe

Comment by ramesh

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