Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Make the most of the last of summer’s fresh peaches with these two delicious, healthy recipes. Frozen or canned peaches would work also, but there is nothing like fresh summer peaches.

Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

Peach and Blueberry Phyllo Turnovers

2 large ripe peaches or 3 medium ones
¼ cup blueberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
8 sheets of phyllo
Canola oil
1 tsp sugar

1) Peel peaches and cut into cubes.

2) Stir together peaches and all ingredients (except phyllo and canola oil)

3) On flat clean surface, place one sheet of phyllo. Brush on a bit of canola oil. Place another sheet of phyllo on top and brush with canola oil. Repeat with two more sheets of phyllo. Cut layers into three even strips.

4) Place a couple tbsp. of the peach mixture on one half of each phyllo strip and pull up the strip to cover the mixture. Press down the edges of the phyllo. Place onto greased baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with sugar.

5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining phyllo sheets and peach mixture.

6) Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Makes 6 delicious turnovers.



Fresh Peach Muffins

Fresh Peach Muffins

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 organic, free range egg white
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed whisked with 3 tbsp. water
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup Smart Balance (butter substitute), softened
1 large ripe peach, peeled and chopped


¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. Smart Balance, softened
2 tbsp. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1)      Mix together the dry ingredients.

2)      Stir in the wet ingredients and then fold in the chopped peach.

3)      Add to muffin cups or greased muffin pan.

4)      Mix together topping and place some on top of each muffin.

5)      Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Makes 11 muffins.

Peach muffins

Peach muffins hot out of the oven

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Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bar

Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bar

I bought a pint of fresh raspberries at the Farmer’s Market Saturday and felt inspired to make raspberry oatmeal cookie bars. The recipe below is vegan, gluten free and heart healthy. I adapted it from a recipe on the Vegetarian Times website, but switched the white flour for oat flour and made it vegan. And I reduced the amount of sugar. I also added fresh raspberries. And I made a couple of other changes. Okay, it’s pretty much original. You could make this recipe with blueberries or strawberries too.  Try serving with raspberry or chocolate sorbet for an awesome dessert. Would be a welcome part of a brunch menu also.

Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars

• 1 ¼ cups organic oat flour
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp. baking soda
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• ½ cup butter substitute (I used Smart Balance)
• 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed, whisked with 7 tbsp. water (egg substitute)
• 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 3/4 cups oats plus an additional ¼ cup
• 10 oz. raspberry jam (about 1 cup)
• 2/3 cup raspberries
• ¼ cup chopped pecans, sliced toasted almonds or chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Stir together oat flour, cinnamon and baking soda in large bowl.
3. Whisk sugar and butter substitute until light and fluffy. Add the flaxseed mixture and vanilla and whisk til smooth.
4. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; mix until combined. Stir in 1 3/4 cups oats.
5. Spread 2/3 of batter on bottom of prepared baking dish. Spread raspberry jam over the batter with back of spoon. Sprinkle raspberries on top.
6. Add remaining 1/4 cup oats and nuts to remaining batter. Crumble evenly over top.
7. Bake 25 minutes. Cool, then cut into bars.

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Fresh StrawberriesSure you can find strawberries in the supermarket year round, but nothing tastes like fresh, local strawberries. In the mid-Atlantic, they are available in late spring. Berry farms let you pick them yourself and allow you to eat as many as you like while picking. Farmer’s markets have tables of fresh berries and even some of the supermarkets choose to carry local berries over the ones hauled in from far away.

Take advantage of the season with one of the recipes below.

Strawberry Cobbler

This recipe works with peaches or other berries as well. Tastes like it was really hard to make, but it’s easy. Make it ahead of time and pop in the oven just before dinner. The whole house will smell delicious.

Heat oven to 375 degrees

3 cups fresh strawberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Dash of salt
½ cup melted Smart Balance

1) Mix berries and sugar in medium bowl.
2) Add flour, baking powder and milk to medium-size mixing bowl. Blend in melted smart balance or butter substitute. Spread into medium-sized baking pan. Add blackberry/sugar mixture on top of batter.
3) Bake about 40 minutes. Dough will rise to the top!
4) Delicious with soy or coconut ice cream.


Fruit Turnovers

These mini fruit pies are relatively easy to make, will make your house smell wonderful and will delight your lucky guests.

Fruit Turnover

Fruit Turnover

2 vegetarian frozen pie shells (choose the kind that come in rolls, in the refrigerator section)
2-3 cups of fresh or frozen fruit (choose chopped peaches, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries or a mixture)
¼ cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1) Mix fruit, ¼ cup sugar, flour and spices in a medium-sized bowl. Let rest for at about 15 minutes.
2) Unroll pie shell and spread out. Divide into four even pieces.
3) Grease a cookie sheet. Place each pastry piece on the cookie sheet. Fill with about ¼ cup of the fruit mixture. Roll up the edges of the pie shell to form a little package. Sprinkle with sugar.
4) Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Will be golden brown on the outside. Delicious!

Makes 8 turnovers


Spinach Salad with Orange peppers and Strawberries

With its vibrant colors, this salad is as pretty to look at as it is tasty and healthy to eat.

Fruits and berries macro6 cups of washed baby spinach
1/2 orange pepper
About 15 strawberries
1/2 cup of toasted almonds
Dressing (I use Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette)

1) Slice orange pepper into thin 2 inch slices.Cut strawberries into quarters.

2) Purchase toasted almonds or toast them in preheated 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.

3) Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Add dressing. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.


Berry Banana Smoothie, 2 ways



If you have kids around, give them the ingredients and let them make their own.

8-10 fresh or frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. honey
1 banana, frozen and broken into chunks
4 or 5 cubes of ice

For 1st way, use: 1 cup juice made from dark fruit (I used pomegranate/cranberry juice blend—I think it is blended with apple juice to take away the bitterness of the pomegranate)

For 2nd way, use: 1 cup berry or banana or vanilla yogurt and 1/2 cup almond milk

1) Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse until well blended.
2) Pour into 2 glasses and add straws.

Makes 2 smoothies


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beachbike_summerMemorial Day weekend kicks off Summer. For the next three glorious months, we can enjoy warm weather, beach trips and laxy evenings catching up with friends and family under the stars. It’s time to celebrate with a picnic. We’ve spent all winter inside, let’s get outdoors and enjoy a vegetarian cookout this weekend. Here are a few recipes to get you started on your start of summer celebration.

Vegetarian Hotdog Chili

Vegetarians don’t have to deprive themselves of delicious chili on their veg dogs.

1 cup ground veggie burger

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. onion, chopped fine

1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Salt & pepper

1) Heat olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and sauté about 5 minutes, maybe a little longer, until translucent.

2) Add ground veggie burger and spices. Stir together and cook in the pan about another 5 minutes.

3) Add to your veggie dog.

Makes plenty of chili for two hot dogs. A nice topping of chili for four dogs.


Sara’s Veggie Kebabs

Perfect for Summer grilling.

Choose 3 or 4 of the following:

1 pepper, your choice of color

1 onion

8 button mushrooms

½ package extra firm tofu

1 Quorn “naked” vegetarian chicken

1 Yellow squash

1 Zucchini squash

1 Eggplant


3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. parsley

1 tsp. basil

Salt & pepper

1Barbecue) Cut chosen ingredients into about 1 inch pieces.

2) Mix together marinade ingredients and pour into large ziplock bag.

3) Add vegetables to bag and shake. Let sit in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours.

4) Place on skewers alternating vegetables

5) Grill

Makes 4 kebabs


Susie’s Baked Beans

Essential side dish for your Summer cookout.

2 cans (15 oz.) vegetarian baked beans

l can fat-free navy or great northern beans (drained)

1 can fat-free pinto beans (drained)

1 small onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped


2/3 cup catsup

1 tsp. prepared mustard

1/3 cup brown sugar (more if you like it sweeter)

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 tsp. Worstershire sauce

2 tbsp. barbecue sauce (Such as Sauers or Jack Daniel’s)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Mix first five ingredients together in large oven-safe pot.

2) Add sauce ingredients and stir together.

3) Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce heat in oven to 250 degrees. Bake uncovered for an additional one hour. Cover dish with foil and bake another 30 minutes.


Easy Pasta Salad

When you need to bring a dish to your Summer party, this pasta salad is a good choice. You probably already have the ingredients on hand and it pulls together in minutes. Also, it’s great for tailgate parties and picnics because it’s mayo free.

2 ½ cups uncooked tri-colored Rotini pasta

¼ red bell pepper, chopped

¼ green bell pepper, chopped

¼ broccoli crown (just the florets), chopped

8 radishes, chopped

1 cup of your favorite Italian dressing

¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)


pasta salad

pasta salad

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Don’t overcook. Drain.

2) Wash and prepare vegetables.

3) Combine drained pasta, chopped vegetables and dressing in a medium-large bowl. Stir everything together.

4) Stir in Parmesan cheese, if desired.

5) Serve right away or refrigerate for about an hour before serving. Keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator. Okay to serve at room temperature.

Note: These are the veggies I used, but feel free to substitute your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand.


Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This salad may sound unusual but it is a hit at our family gatherings. It combines sweet and salty and everyone loves it.

2 cups pretzels, crushed

½ cup sugar

¾ cup butter or butter substitute, melted

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

¾ cup sugar

10 ounces whipped topping

6 ounces vegetarian gelatin* substitute, preferably strawberry flavored

2 cups boiling water

20 ounces frozen strawberries, sliced, with juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Mix pretzels, ½ cup sugar and butter and spread in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool.

2) Mix cream cheese, ¾ cup sugar and whipped topping together. Spread on top of cooled pretzel layer.

3) Dissolve vegetarian gelatin in boiling water and add strawberries. Let it partially set. When gelatin mixture is partially firm, spread it on top of the cream cheese layer.

4) Chill thoroughly.

5) Cut into slices and serve.

*Jello is not vegetarian.


Berry Peach Crisp

Berry Crisp

Berry Crisp

Healthy, light, delicious way to enjoy fresh peaches and berries

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, sliced peaches or a mixture of these

1¼ cup oatmeal- quick cooking works well, don’t use instant

3 tbsp. Smart Balance, softened

2 tbsp. Canola oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. sugar (omit or reduce if limiting sugar)

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1) Add berries with white sugar and stir. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

2) Mix together Smart Balance, Canola oil, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add oatmeal and stir together.

3) Pour berries, peaches or berry and peach mixture into a medium casserole dish that you have greased with Canola oil. Top evenly with oatmeal mixture.

4) Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

5) Serve hot with vanilla soy ice cream.

Six servings

Celebrate Summer!

Follow Vegetarian Light on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VegetarianLight

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December is so busy. Agreed? Hard to believe a couple of weeks have gone by since I last updated this blog! Since Christmas is a few days away, I thought I would post one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes.

Don't forget to leave cookies for Santa!

Don't forget to leave cookies for Santa!

Spicy Ginger Snaps

¾ cup butter or Smart Balance
1 cup sugar (use slightly less than 1 cup)
1 organic, free range egg, beaten or 3 tbsp. egg whites or 1 tbsp ground flaxseed beaten with 3 tbsp. of water (this is a good egg substitute)
¾ cup molasses (Braer Rabbit or Grandma’s)
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 heaping tbsp. ginger
1 tbsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice or ground cloves (or both!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1) Cream butter and sugar with a mixer in a large bowl. Add egg and molasses and mix well.
2) In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients together. Gradually add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend thoroughly.
3) Refrigerate one hour or overnight.
4) Form into small balls. Roll each ball into granulated sugar and place on a baking sheet (line cookie sheet with Reynolds wrap—shiny side up). The cookies will spread out into a flat cookie shape while baking so allow room for them to spread. Do not grease baking sheet.
5) Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow them to cool on baking sheet a few minutes before lifting out with a spatula. Will keep for about a week in an air-tight container and remain tasty, but are also delicious eaten warm out of the oven!

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

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It’s apple season in Virginia. After a trip to Carter Mountain in Charlottesville, I have lots of Fuji (sweet and crisp) and Pink Lady (a little tart and crisp) apples. I plan to share a few recipes over the next couple of weeks related to apples. To start, here’s a super easy–and versatile–recipe: stewed apples.

Use these stewed apples as an ingredient in apple bread, as a topping over pancakes (or an ingredient in pancakes!), as a stir-in in oatmeal, as a topping for ice cream or as a side dish. As you can see, there are lots of ways to use stewed apples and you can probably come up with even more. I hope you enjoy this easy recipe.

Easy Stewed Cinnamon Apples

This recipe is super easy, delicious and healthy. And no added fat!

2 apples
2 tbsp. apple cider or water
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground flaxseed
2 tsp. brown sugar (optional)

1) Chop apples. You can peel, if desired.
2) Add in remaining ingredients and stir.
3) Cook in microwave on high for about 1 minute 20 seconds.
4) Serve immediately or save for later.

Great stirred in oatmeal, over pancakes, over ice cream, as an ingredient in bread or cakes or as a side dish.

Try adding in golden raisins, currants or chopped pecans or walnuts. Yum!

To make it even easier, follow the youtube video at: http://youtu.be/cPUE-1kZsjo.

Follow us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/VegetarianLight

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If you want to give somone special a treat this Halloween, bake a batch of these Pumpkin cookies. Made with white whole wheat flour instead of white flour, and filled with fiber-rich pumpkin, they offer a healthier alternative to many of the empty calorie sweets around. And the warm scent of cinnamon and spices will fill your home while they’re baking. They are sure to delight!

Pumpkin Cookies with Vanilla Glaze

Pumpkin Cookies with Vanilla Glaze

Pumpkin Cookies with Vanilla Glaze

2 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. allspice
½ cup Smart Balance
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 can (15 oz) of pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed plus 3 tbsp. water, whisked together (egg substitute)
1 tsp. vanilla

Vanilla Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. milk
½ tbsp. melted butter substitute (Smart Balance)
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1) Combine all dry ingredients. Set aside.

2) In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white and brown sugar. Add the pumpkin, egg substitute and vanilla and beat until creamy.

3) Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls and flatten slightly.

4) Bake for 15-20 minutes in 375 degree oven.

5) Cool slightly.

6) Mix together glaze ingredients and drizzle glaze on cookies.

Makes about 3 dozen. They freeze well.

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Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Those spongy cakes marketed at the supermarket as “strawberry shortcakes” taste like dish rags. And why buy them when it’s so easy to whip up a batch of real shortcakes?

For this recipe, I use Heart Smart Bisquick. My mom has always cooked with Bisquick, and I use it too for biscuits and pancakes (although I usually mix in either ground flax seed or buckwheat pancake mix to make the recipe healthier).  It’s a great shortcut.

Strawberry Shortcakes

1 pint of strawberries
1 cup and 1 tbsp. Heart Smart Bisquick
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. Smart Balance (butter substitute), melted
2 tbsp. sugar plus 1/2 tsp. sugar
Whipped cream and/or non-fat vanilla ice cream or soy ice cream

1) Slice strawberries and sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of sugar over them. Stir together and set aside.

2) Mix together Bisquick, almond milk, Smart Balance and 2 tbsp. sugar.

3) Drop shortcakes onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

4) Remove from oven. Cut shortcakes in half. Top with sliced strawberries and with your choice of whipped cream, non-fat vanilla ice cream or vegan ice cream.

Makes about 5 shortcakes. To reheat, split cakes in half and toast in toaster oven for a couple of minutes.

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pecansMy friend Lanell is a Vegan who loves animals. She often brings her Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie to parties and cookouts. All other desserts on the table pale in comparison to this pie. You just won’t believe how good it is until you try it yourself.

from HOW IT ALL VEGAN by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

Egg Replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
2 T of molasses ( I use Sorghum from Good Foods)
1/2 c of corn syrup
2 T Jack Daniels (totally optional….I have made with and without)
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t salt
1 1/2 c of chopped pecans
1 c chocolate chips (I use Ghirrardelli)

1 pie crust…..I either make my own graham cracker crust or often buy a ready made one. Whole Foods has some without hydrogenated fats. But most pre-made crusts are not the healthiest.

Mix together the first 6 ingredients, then add the pecans and chips and mix together well .

Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350.


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Nutty Glazed Banana Bread

Nutty Glazed Banana Bread

The other day I noticed a banana in my fruit bowl and I knew in a day it would be too soft to eat, so I decided to make Banana Bread.

I had seen a recipe in an old Cooking Light magazine that looked pretty good, and pretty light. But I decided to make the recipe even lighter–less fat and less sugar, one egg instead of two, oat and wheat flour instead of white. Plus I added nuts and a few more spices. I have to tell you, it turned out fabulous. I think it was the best banana bread I’ve ever eaten. And healthy too! I think it would freeze well, but I didn’t need to freeze it because it didn’t last. Great for breakfast, afternoons, midnight snacks, etc.

Nutty Glazed Banana Bread

1 ripe banana
½ cup chopped toasted pecans (or your favorite nut) (optional)
½ cup applesauce or apple butter
4 tbsp. Smart Balance, melted
1 tbsp. Canola oil
1 tbsp. ground flax seed plus 3 tbsp. water, beaten together (this is an egg substitute)
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour (your choice)
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves

For glaze:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp. almond milk

1) Mix all wet ingredients together.
2) Mix all dry ingredients together, except nuts.
3) Gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Add in nuts.
4) Pour into bread pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Knife inserted in middle of bread should come out clean.
5) Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Mix together glaze ingredients and pour onto bread.

Note: If you don’t feel like making the glaze, sprinkling a little sugar on top before you bake works well.

Also: If you don’t have all of the spices listed, it will still be good without them.

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