Friday, August 28, 2015

What Chelan Means to Me: Christina-Marie Wright #lovechelan #chelanfire

The #lovechelan logo was designed by Rose Weagant Olcott,
known as @dinmutha on Twitter. It is being used to raise funds
and awareness for Give Naked, a non-profit org which actively
raises funding for individual "gives" to meet the needs of those
who need assistance within the Chelan community.
This post is part of a series I will be running in the coming weeks, called "What Chelan Means to Me." It is my hope to share the stories of the grown (and growing!) children of the Chelan Valley, and its current and past residents, in order to raise awareness of the devastating fires which have ripped through our valley, and to help promote a beautiful, meaningful fundraising effort.

Visit to view our fundraising progress, and to contribute. When you make a donation at any of the listed levels, you will receive a unique and heartfelt gift, contributed by someone who has their own connection to our peaceful community.

All funds will be donated to Give Naked, a non-profit organization which actively raises funding for individual needs through Chelan Valley Hope.

You can help by:

  • Sharing this post through social media. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram... However you connect with your people, please feel free to share.
  • Using the hashtags #chelanfire and #lovechelan in your posts, to help us trend and to raise awareness and participation.
  • Making a contribution to the Indiegogo campaign, linked above. Even donations as small as $25 are rewarded with a heartfelt gift!
  • Praying for our community, in whatever way is sacred and meaningful to you.

Some of you know (and the rest of you will, now) that I grew up in a tiny little village on the most beautiful lake in the world, Lake Chelan.

My graduating class was 24 people, and at the time, we were a "big" class.

Lake Chelan is a resort and vacation destination, and people from all over the world flock to its shores to enjoy the water, the mountains, the slower pace of life, and the local love.

Fresh, local apples
It's the sort of place where the village really does raise each child... As kids, if we were out misbehavin' in public, if our parents didn't catch us, some other vigilant mama or daddy would. In a matter of moments, we'd be appropriately corrected, and our parents at home would be waiting, with a stern lecture.

Curlytop, daringly climbing a display of pumpkins at a local business six years ago

It's the sort of place that inspires creativity. I don't know if living in the Chelan valley drives folks to create, or if creative types naturally end up here, but I count among my fellow grown children of Chelan numerous painters, sculptors, poets, authors, musicians, actors and more. It's as if the beauty of the valley comes spilling out through our pens, clay, paintbrushes, keyboards, vocal cords and brains. So much glory is impossible to contain.

View uplake from the deck of a house on one of the valley's smaller lakes
I've spent years in the cocoon-like sanctuary of Lake Chelan, learning to swim in the clear waters, eating apples fresh off the trees in my grandparents' orchard, sledding down the mighty mountains, sunbathing in the glorious rays with Sun-In streaked through my hair... It is where I had my first loves and inevitable heartbreaks, my first kisses, my first broken rules, attended my first "keggers," and delivered my only biological child.

There, too, I suffered a devastating miscarriage, and fell into the comforting arms of my "family" -- the friends, neighbors and co-workers I'd come to claim as my tribe.

The Chelan Valley is where I was encouraged to boldly pursue a love of poetry and writing, thanks to teachers like Mr. Korsborn and Mr. McClure. It is where I met Mr. Wright fifteen years ago, and began a new life with him that is beyond anything I could ever have imagined for myself.

Mr. Wright, the week we met in 2000
It was where my Princess truly became a princess, serving as Miss Lake Chelan royalty.

Celebrating Princess's election to the Miss Lake Chelan royal court
And the community? We take care of our own. When my brother was diagnosed with erythroleukemia, he required countless blood transfusions. Members of the community organized a blood drive, which offset the costs of his transfusions.

When individual families fall on hard times, their neighbors are there, to help them recover and get back on their feet. But... what happens when the loss is so great, we need to look outside our benevolent community for help?

That, my friends, is where we are, now.

Fires have ravaged our community, taking with them homes, memories, business, and... lives. So far, we've lost three heroic firefighters. Businesses have burned to the ground, leaving little but a scorched sign to mark what was once a thriving merchant-place. Houses have been destroyed, the photos and mementos of the families who once felt safe within their walls nothing more now than ash and dust.

We need help. As much help as possible. And so, I am asking all of you to please do what you can to help my home. Please see the introduction of this post for ways you can help, and come visit us, if you can! We'd love to welcome you into our family.

*cross-posted at

"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sexy Vegan Mama's Easy Falafel with Sweet Lemon Tahini Dressing

 I was born in a small town...

Actually, I was born in Seattle, which is not exactly a small town, but certain neighborhoods within it have a significant "small town" vibe.

Ballard, I'm looking at you.

Anyway, now I live in a small town. Well, small-ish. Small enough that we don't have a ton of groovy food trucks (although we DO have Rå, which is a kickass, vegan-friendly, hip little truck owned by some of the nicest people you'll ever meet) which offer up a wide variety of ethnic fare, beyond several taco wagons, which serve up such delicacies as beef tongue and whatnot.

That being the case, when I have a craving for homemade falafel, the choices are fairly limited. So, I make my own, and serve it up with a decadent, tangy lemon tahini dressing. Here's how it goes:

Sexy Vegan Mama's Easy Falafel

1 - 15 oz. can chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), drained
large handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 t. cumin
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
1/4 t. black pepper
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 c. garbanzo flour

You will also need:

pastry blender or food processor
oil for frying
large, deep skillet or wok, OR a deep-fryer
candy thermometer to check oil temperature

Finely chop the chickpeas either in a food processor or in a medium bowl with a pastry blender.

Add chopped parsley, lemon juice, cumin, minced garlic, minced onion, pepper and cayenne. Mix well.

Stir in garbanzo flour, a bit at a time, until the mixture is stiff enough to roll into a ball which does not fall apart.

Heat oil in fryer, deep skillet or wok to 350 degrees F. You will need a minimum of three inches of oil.

Do a texture test by rolling into a ball a walnut-sized scoop of the mixture, then flattening slightly into a "medallion" shape. Place the medallion into the heated oil and fry about three minutes, or until golden brown. If it falls apart, or does not hold up well to the frying, add more flour.

Roll, flatten and fry the rest of the mixture, draining on paper towels after removing from oil.

Makes about 20 falafel medallions.

Drizzle with Sweet Lemon Tahini Dressing, below.

Sweet Lemon Tahini Dressing 

juice of one lemon
1/2 c tahini
2 T agave nectar, maple syrup, or other natural sweetener
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T water

In a blender, combine all ingredients.

Blend until well-mixed. More or less water may be added to achieve the consistency desired.

Store any leftover dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Makes a great salad dressing, and is yummy over pasta, too!

"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Creamy Gluten-Free Sunflower Cranberry Pasta Salad

It's definitely summer weather around here, and that means picnics and potlucks, and outdoor parties. There are all the standard potluck salads -- most of them groan-worthy to the vegan. Potato salad (with bacon!). Jell-o salad. A promising pea and carrot salad... whoops... no. That's mayo (and bacon!). And, of course, there is pasta salad.

Pasta salad generally falls into one of two categories: drowning in Italian dressing, with bits of Parmesan, or covered in mayo. I like to think my vegan, gluten-free approach takes it all to the next level, with unexpected twists.

First, how about some dried cranberries? I love cranberries, by the way. I also adore The Cranberries. Especially this song:

Then, how about some raw sunflower seeds?

And a sassy dash of chipotle or ancho pepper powder is what we're going to use to finish it off.

Did you know... Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeñpeppers, and ancho peppers are actually dried Poblano peppers? It's true! Chipotle will give any dish a warm, smoky flavor and medium heat. The flavor of the ancho is slightly sweet, with a bit of a raisin-like flavor. Ancho will also provide medium heat.

Let's throw that salad together, hmmmm?

Creamy Gluten-Free Cranberry Pasta Salad

12 oz gluten-free pasta of choice
oil of choice (I use avocado oil)

1 c vegan mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise)
1 c vegan sour cream (I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
2 T agave syrup or other vegan sweetener
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 t ground chipotle or ancho chile
2 T apple cider vinegar
3 T non-dairy milk (I use cashew milk)

2 c fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 1/2 c dried cranberries
1 c raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
small handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 - 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 small crown of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets


1 c spinach, chopped
10 oz container of grape tomatoes, halved into teardrops

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Toss with a bit of oil to prevent drying as you assemble the rest of the salad.

In a blender, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, agave, garlic, pepper, chili powder, vinegar and milk. Blend until smooth.

In a large bowl, toss pasta with peas, cranberries, sunflower seeds, chopped basil, kidney beans, broccoli, and -- if desired -- spinach and tomatoes.

Pour mayonnaise mixture over pasta. Mix well, chill and serve.

Note: Depending on how "thirsty" your pasta is, if you are storing the pasta for more than a day, you may need to make and add a bit more dressing to keep it from drying out, as the pasta will continue to absorb moisture, even after cooked.


"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pineapple Habañero Cauliflower Steaks

Do you need some hot stuff? Do you need it, baby, tonight?

Maybe you, like Donna Summer (the queen of the "come hither look," by the way), are sittin' there, eatin' your heart out, waiting...

Waiting for something to eat besides your heart. Because you love your heart, and eating it just doesn't seem like a healthy way to express your love.

Know what is a good way to love your heart? Choosing foods that are heart-healthy, like cauliflower, which may have cardiovascular benefits, due to its natural ability to diminish inflammation.

While we're on the topic of healthy foods... We were, right? You weren't distracted by Donna Summer's come-hither eyes, were you? While we're on the topic of healthy foods, let's talk about the health benefits of hot peppers. Thanks to a terrifying, but awesome, component called capsaisin, eating hot peppers may actually lower your cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, fight weight gain, and even help prevent cancer.

NOTE: If habañero is too spicy for you and your crew, you can tame this recipe by substituting serrano, jalapeño, Anaheim, or even banana peppers, although the capsaicin content in these peppers is lower. 

So, let's get cooking with a "hot stuff" cauliflower recipe!

Pineapple Habanero Cauliflower Steaks

1 medium to large head cauliflower

1 1/2 c. pineapple juice
1 habañero pepper, finely chopped (Tip: Wear gloves when handling hot peppers)
1 t. liquid aminos
1/2 T. Cajun seasoning
2 T. agave syrup or natural sweetener

You will also need:

a broiler pan
a pastry or basting brush

Remove leaves and base of stem from cauliflower.

Slice about an inch off each of two sides, forming a rough rectangle of the head. This will provide you with some florets, which you can reserve for another use, or include in the marinade and broiling process, below. (Be sure to keep an eye on smaller florets, which will require less broiling time, if you use them.)

Cut into four thick "steaks" by slicing in half down the center, and then slice each half again. Again, if some florets fall apart, you can still use them.

Need help with this? See a good tutorial, here.

In a blender, whiz pineapple juice, habañero, liquid aminos, Cajun seasoning, and sweetener until smooth, with no remaining hunks of pepper.

Using a deep casserole dish, marinate the cauliflower "steaks" and chunks in the pineapple mixture for about ten minutes. This will keep the cauliflower from drying out as it broils.

Do not dispose of pineapple marinade.

Place marinated cauliflower on broiler pan, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat pineapple marinade over high heat until boiling, then continue to boil until liquid reduces to half or one-third its original volume, stirring frequently. The liquid should thicken as it reduces, creating a glossy glaze for basting. Remove from heat.

Broil cauliflower steaks on top oven rack for seven minutes, then turn over and broil on the other side for seven minutes.

Tip: If your oven does not have a "broil" setting, heat your oven to 500 degrees.

Remove from oven. Using a basting or pastry brush (do you know the difference?), apply half of glaze to cauliflower.

Broil for three minutes, then turn cauliflower over and apply remainder of glaze. Broil for another three minutes.

Remove from oven, and enjoy!

"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gluten-Free Mango Chipotle Pasta

Mango and chipotle just go together, like... Like...

Like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever
As shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom
Chang chang changitty chang sha-bop
That's the way it should be
Don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about. Surely, you remember this:

Anyway, there it is. Mango and chipotle. And pasta, because I love me some pasta. I made it twice for you, so you can see the difference between using fresh tomatoes, versus canned, and a couple different types of pasta. Here's how to throw it together:

Mango Chipotle Pasta

8 oz. gluten-free pasta (I used quinoa spirals in one version, and brown rice penne in another)

2 T oil (I used avocado oil)
1 small onion, sliced
1 T agave syrup or sweetener of your choice
2-3 cloves garlic
1 medium tomato, diced (or one can diced tomatoes, drained -- I made one with fresh, one canned)
1 mango, diced
1 c. fresh or frozen peas
1/2 t. chipotle powder
1 T. balsamic vinegar

Quinoa spirals, and canned tomatoes. Glorious color on those 'maters, no?

Prepare pasta according to package ingredients.

Reserve up to one cup of starchy water from noodles before draining, and set aside.

Brown rice penne, and fresh organic tomatoes. The fresh tomatoes may not be as vibrant in color, but their flavor is awesome!

In a large skillet or deep-sided pot, heat oil over medium heat.

Add onion and sauté lightly, just until onion begins to soften.

Add agave syrup and garlic, cooking for one minute to allow onion to absorb sweetener and garlic flavor.

Add tomato and mango, tossing for about two minutes to allow natural juices from the fruits to marry into the onion garlic mixture.

Stir in peas, chipotle powder and balsamic vinegar. Allow to simmer for about one minute.

Add drained pasta to onion and mango mix, stirring to evenly distribute pasta.

As needed, add in a bit of reserved cooking water to achieve desired liquid level in sauce.

Continue to cook over medium heat until pasta is thoroughly warmed, then remove from heat and allow to stand five minutes before serving.

"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Recipe Makeover: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Can you improve upon perfection?

Sometimes, you can.

I'm not talking about, say, trying to improve the greatest song ever written and performed (which, by the way, is Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From" -- this is not a debate). Some perfection can't be outdone.

But, let's say you have a perfect cookie recipe. The kids love it, the hubby loves it, it's a hit at classroom parties, and everyone in the world look forward to indulging in your amazing, can't-be-beat creation during the holidays.

Can you improve that?

Well, sure, if you can make it gluten-free, without sacrificing any of the flavor, texture, or awesomeness!

I made over my well-tested and well-loved Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, and dare I say it's even better without the gluten?

Here's the new version:

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. sweet rice flour
1/2 c. oatmeal, blended into a fine flour in a blender or food processor
1 c. oatmeal
1 t. sea salt
1 t. baking soda

1/2 c. cane juice crystals or natural sugar
1/2 c. dairy-free stick margarine
1/2 c. creamy or chunky peanut butter
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. powdered egg replacer (such as Ener-G Foods egg replacer), prepared with 4 T. warm water
1 package dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine rice flour, oat flour, oats, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, cream together the cane juice crystals or sugar, margarine, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and prepared "egg."

Add oat and flour mixture to creamed peanut butter mixture in large bowl and stir until well-combined.

Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.

Drop dough by tablespoons about two inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes, and allow to rest on sheet for about two minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes about four dozen cookies.


"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Stir-Fried Vegetables with Raspberry Chipotle Reduction

Even a super-creative Wonder Woman like Sexy Vegan Mama gets stuck in a rut, sometimes.

Seven kids with lives, a rockstar husband (literally), a bustling sexual health education business to run (I'm a popular girl)... Dinner has taken a backseat, and our local pizza delivery guy probably expects to be written into our wills by now. He's practically like family, at this point.

I'm tired. Let's face it... I'm pooped.

So, I put on my big girl panties, pulled myself up by my bootstraps, and decided to actually cook dinner for my family. I know -- novel idea. I even ventured to the grocery store for fresh vegetables! Red-letter date, considering how busy the summer has been.

Stir-fried veggies and brown rice are relatively easy to prepare, but my favorite spicy peanut sauce (pardon the craptastic photos at the link) has to simmer for 30 minutes after all the prep work is done. 30 minutes! Ain't nobody got time for that!

Instead, I whipped up a fantastic raspberry chipotle reduction I'd been dreaming of creating.

Raspberry Chipotle Reduction

1 1/2 c raspberries (I used frozen)
2 T natural sweetener, or to taste
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 T minced garlic
1-2 t chipotle powder
2 t pectin granules

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.

Heat over medium heat, bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Sauce should reduce to less than half its original volume.

This particular recipe requires doubling for my family. We like it saucy. ;)

Oh, oh, oh...! Know what's also splendid? Toss all those ingredients in a blender, and whiz them into an awesome salad dressing!

Serve over stir-fried vegetables, and enjoy!

"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!ShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThisShareThis

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gluten-Free Spicy Sweet Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

I don't know if you're hip to the cauliflower thing that's going on, but it's kind of a big deal. Like, taking over Pinterest kind of big.

People are using cauliflower for all sorts of things that cauliflower might not have even known it was capable of, itself. Like for pizza crust. And pie crust, believe it or not. And "steaks." (Get my recipe for Broiled Balsamic Peanut Cauliflower Steaks here.)

I've had a few recipes for Buffalo cauliflower "wings" pop up in my feed, but nearly all of them call for flour. I'm sure a more refined search would lead me to plenty of gluten-free recipes, but I decided to figure it out, myself. 

Spicy Cauli + Perf Dippin' Sauce - Gluten = .....


Here's what I did:

Gluten-Free Spicy Sweet Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

1 head cauliflower

For batter:

1 c rice flour
1/2 c garbanzo flour
1 c water
1/4 c Sriracha sauce
4 T agave nectar
1/4 c non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)

For spicy-sweet basting sauce:
2 T oil (I used avocado oil)
2 T agave nectar
2 T Sriracha sauce

For Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce:
2 T non-dairy milk
1/2 c vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
1 T agave nectar
1/4 c vegan mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise)
Small handful fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.

Prepare the batter by combining flours, water, Sriracha, agave and milk. Whisk together until smooth.

Toss the cauliflower pieces in the batter until each are well-coated.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and spray lightly with oil or non-stick spray.

Place the battered cauliflower pieces onto the cookie sheet.

Bake for ten minutes.

Remove from oven, and carefully flip each of the pieces.

Bake for five more minutes.

Prepare the spicy-sweet basting sauce by combining oil, agave and Sriracha in a blender or whisking together until blended.

Remove battered cauliflower from oven and flip each of the pieces again.

Using a basting brush, lightly "paint" each piece with spicy-sweet sauce.

Bake for five more minutes.

Remove from oven and flip each piece again.

Baste the other side of the pieces, and return to oven for another five minutes.

Allow to cool for five to ten minutes before removing from cookie sheet. This is a great time to prepare your dipping sauce.

For dipping sauce, combine milk, sour cream, agave, mayonnaise and cilantro in a blender and blend until smooth.

Serve together while watching the game, or as a perfect appetizer! The "cool" dipping sauce evens out the "heat" of the cauliflower bites, like magic. Enjoy!

"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Creamy Sweet Chili Pineapple Curry One-Pot Gluten-Free Pasta

I'm still loving the one-pot pasta thing, like the rest of Pinterest . After doing this recipe makeover, I was hooked! Put all your stuff into one pot, boil and stir... How easy is that?!

For this one, I was craving something a little sweet. And a little spicy. And really creamy.

Actually, I was kinda premenstrual, but I personally feel that's when the best recipes come about. (Hello, Salted Cashew Crispy Marshmallow Bites!)

Anyway, I started with the idea to make a pineapple pasta. Then, I thought, What if it was creamy, as well as fruity? Finally, I realized if I didn't add a little kick to it, I was probably going to melt into a sugary pool of vegan premenstrual sweet-creaminess. So, the spice entered the ensemble.

Here's how to get your spicy-creamy-sweet groove on, no matter what time of the month it is:

Creamy Sweet Chili Pineapple Curry One-Pot Gluten-Free Pasta

8 oz. gluten-free spaghetti-style pasta
1 - 20 oz. can pineapple chunks in their own juice, drained (save juice)
1 c. pineapple juice (drained from can)
1 c. vegan sour cream (I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
1/4 c. sweet chili sauce
1 - 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 c. fresh or frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise and then into 1/4" half-moons
1 1/2 c. water
1 t. curry powder
1 - 15 oz. can baby corn, drained

Tip: Spray gluten-free pasta with non-stick cooking spray or oil and roll the pasta sticks between your palms, coating the noodles, before placing in pan. This will help keep them from sticking together while they're cooking.

Put all ingredients into a deep skillet, pan, or wok. The liquid should just rise to the top of the ingredients, covering the noodles. Rearrange ingredients, if necessary. (This photo was taken before the water was added, just to show how I arranged the ingredients in the pan.)

Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Boil for about ten minutes, stirring constantly.

Let stand for ten minutes before plating, and then enjoy!

"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Vegan Sweet Potato "Cheesy" Shepherd's Pie with Daiya (Gluten-Free)

I may or may not have tied one on (a green one, at that) during St. Patrick's Day festivities in the past. You know, during my younger years?

These days, with work, kiddos and a schedule that makes the Marines look like wussies, a good Shepherd's Pie is as Irish as I can get on March 17th.

This is how this year's went down:

Sweet Potato Cheesy Shepherd's Pie

Mashed Sweet Potato Topping:

3 pounds sweet potatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegan margarine
a few splashes non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)


2 medium turnips, peeled and diced small
1/2 medium onion, diced medium
1 cup fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup fresh or frozen petite peas
1 - 15oz. can garbanzo beans
8 oz. Daiya Deliciously Dairy-Free cheddar-style cheese shreds


1/4 cup vegan margarine
3 T garbanzo bean flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 T oil (I used avocado oil)
1 t dried basil
1 1/2 c non-dairy milk

Sweet potato topping:

Peel sweet potatoes and dice into large chunks.

Place in a large pot, and add enough water to cover potatoes.

Bring water to a boil, and boil potatoes for about 20 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork and tender.

(I use a stand mixer for this part.) Mash potatoes, adding minced garlic and vegan margarine.

Add non-dairy milk as necessary to make a creamy texture.

Set aside sweet potato topping.


(I do this prep while the potatoes are boiling.) In a large bowl, combine diced turnips, onion, broccoli, peas and garbanzo beans with "cheese" shreds.

Mix well, and set aside while you're preparing sauce.


(Save yourself the dishes, and wash and dry your potato pot for this next part.) Over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup margarine and add garbanzo bean flour and nutritional yeast to create a roux.

Blend in oil until a smooth paste is created.

Add basil and stir.

Whisk in non-dairy milk until well-blended.

Gently increase heat and bring mixture to a boil.

Boil for about three minutes while stirring, or until sauce is thickened.


Pour sauce over filling and mix well.

Dump into an oiled 10" x 10" casserole dish.

Top with sweet potato topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, covering with foil for the last 30 minutes to prevent topping from burning.

Let stand for five to ten minutes before serving, and then enjoy!

"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!