Southwestern Tempeh ala Chipotle

These last few weeks have been, well, rather strange.  2015 had started out so strong.  Being married is amazing, loving my new car, my Seahawks (at least) made it to the Superbowl, having an awesome year of sales at work and then, wham, we hear from the hire-ups that our company is closing.  The land owners will not renew our contract and suddenly I’m experiencing the “thrill” of being unemployed.

It’s not so bad, really.  I never saw myself staying in that position much longer, however, I wanted the time to really find a new position that would be a great fit for me.  So while I search for a new position and ponder, “what do I want to be when I grow up?”, I take advantage of this time to cook and bake. (Hey, maybe I could do that!?)

If I could find a way to use my passions (cooking, baking, fitness, and overall health) with my next career, that would be outstanding!  Until then, I do these things for pleasure and hope that I can make a positive change in the health and wellness of at least one person.

Today’s recipe:  South Western Tempeh (with a Chipotle flair)

Chipotle tempeh 2

Southwestern Tempeh (ala Chipotle)



  • 1 packet of tempeh (chopped into cubes)
  • 1/5 chopped onion
  • 1c chopped peppers (I used red and green)
  • 1c salsa
  • 2T tomato paste
  • 1/4c sriracha
  • 1-2 diced jalapenos (optional)
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2T white wine
  • 1 can black beans
  • 3T cumin
  • 2T chili powder
  • 1T onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt to taste


Lightly grease a large, deep pan with coconut oil and saute your tempeh until the edges are brown.  Remove the tempeh and set it to the side.

Next up, saute your onions and peppers (optional jalapenos, too) until soft.  Now you can begin to add your white wine to deglaze the pan a bit.

The fun part has arrived, there is no real order to this (or at least not one that I followed, but I just began adding all of the other ingredients, the tempeh, too, and seasoned it until I liked the taste.  Let it simmer a bit to really develop the flavor of the spices.

What I was left with was this delicious southwestern tempeh (ala Chipotle).

Chipotle Tempeh

I served this deliciousness with quinoa, steamed veggies, sweet potatoes, sriracha queso, sprinkle of nutritional yeast and some guacamole; we like big servings!  Pardon the photo, I was a bit heavy handed with the guac!

Orlando City

We also thought we’d toast an Orlando City Soccer victory… well… we didn’t lose.  Go Lions!

Making Banana Pancakes…

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I love when my husband (still love the sound of that) asks what we’re having for breakfast.  I ask him, “What would you like to eat?”.  To which he responds, “I don’t know, what do we have?”.  “What would you like, and I’ll tell you if we have it?” I reply.  I think we both get frustrated until he finally asks, “can you make those pancakes from Valentine’s day?”.   I tell him, “Yes, yes, I can make pancakes”.   And an hour later of frustrating questions and answers, the decision is made. Pancakes.  I hope deciding on breakfast is an easier process for the rest of you, though it is entertaining in our home.

To be fair, we’d also enjoyed a very long session of power yoga this morning so it might have been some hunger pains getting to us.  But here it is, a quick and simple recipe for some Banana Pancakes.  I dare you not to sing a little Jack Johnson while making these.

banana pancakes  3

Banana Pancakes


Banana Pancakes

grain free, vegan

(4 small, 2 regular, or one jumbo pancake)

  • 2/3 c garbanzo (or fava) flour
  • 1T each arrowroot starch* & Coconut flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1 well mashed banana
  • 1/3c almond milk*
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

*feel free to use whatever starch or non dairy milk you like



Put all you ingredients in a bowl and mix very well.  Feel free to add a little more milk to thin the batter a bit but it will be thick.

Lightly grease a pan and set on the stovetop.  Set to high, and when it’s plenty hot, pour your batter into the hot pan and cook for about 2 minutes.  Now flip your pancake(s), turn your stove to medium heat and let it cook through for another 2-4 minutes.

banana pancakes 4

For Valentines day I added fresh blueberries to the batter and topped it all with sliced strawberries and raspberries.  This time I added a few extra slices of banana to the batter and topped it all with real maple syrup (not that fake junk).

banana pancakes 2

The hubby eats his pancakes with a few nuts, berries, and a little syrup.  I top mine with peanut butter, berries and way too much syrup… what can I say, I have a sweet tooth! banana pancakes 1

Chocolate Fudge Cake

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Someone very special in my like, aka, my husband, just celebrated a very big birthday milestone  But after a wedding, a European honeymoon, and a beautiful Christmas, this wifey was flat broke.

photo 2

So what’s a wife to do?  Have a party, of course!

While catering might be a great option, this gal loves to cook and bake so immediately I start preparing a menu.  Don’t get too excited, I stuck with simple snacks and dips and plenty of drinks.  However, no birthday celebration is complete without a champagne toast (even though it’s not my favorite drink of choice) and a cake in which to blow out candles.  Again, this might also be a time when ordering a cake would be a good decision, but I was not about to serve my husband and guests a refined, non-vegan, sugar-filled dessert.  [Watch the film FedUp and you’ll see the dangerous effects of sugar].


So glad I took on this challenge because what I made was phenomenal and so ridiculously easy!   Are you ready for this?  A chocolate fudge cake, with a vanilla blueberry filling, and a deliciously rich frosting.   This cake was 1. vegan; 2. gluten free; and 3. without refined sugars.  The trifecta! *pats self on back*

So here you have it, the Chocolate Fudge Cake with all the trimmings.  enjoy!

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

(Vegan, gluten free, grain free, free of refined sugars)


  • 2 plantains (those are the fruits you see at the market that almost look like bananas)
  • 1c applesauce
  • 1/2c coconut oil
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1/4c almond butter (coconut, or any nut or seed butter will work)
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • scant cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2c hemp flour; or a 1/2c your favorite chocolate protein powder [really you could use any flour, but I wanted to keep it grain free]
  • *optional:  dash of nutmeg; dash of cinnamon; a tablespoon or two of Disaronno 


Preheat your over to 350F and grease two 9″ round cake pans (spring form seem to be a bit easier).  In a blender, (I love my Vitamix), add your first five ingredients and blend until smooth.  Toss your other ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together until well incorporated.  Now pour your blender concoction into the flour and mix well.  Pour your batter evenly between the two cake pans.  Bake your cakes for 25 minutes (I usually check at the 20 minute mark because I like them underdone).

Chocolate Fudge Cake

After the cakes have cooled, frost and glaze the top or one cake and place the other cake on top.  Now you can frost your entire confection.

For the frosting, I used this Vanilla Bean Frosting, and for the blueberry filling, it was just this simple…

Chocolate Fudge Cake 3

Simple Blueberry Filling


  • 2c frozen (or fresh) blueberries
  • 2T maples syrup
  • 3/4c cabernet wine (or a cheap red)
  • a few drops of liquid vanilla stevia (you can always reduce the cabernet, and add more maple syrup and 2T of vanilla extract instead)


Put all your ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  After it’s boiling, reduce to medium heat and stir occasionally.  After it has reduced for a few minutes, mush the blueberries a bit.  You’re finished when you have a bit like jam (a little runnier).

Now have your cake and eat it, too!… easier to do without the guilt, right?!

Chocolate Fudge Cake 5

Quiche Gone Vegan

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One of those breakfast wonders is the quiche. Eggs in most forms appear on breakfast menus across the nation. Scrambled, fried, sunny-side up, over-easy and then there is the quiche. For whatever reason it seems to get the fancy name even though it’s still just a bunch of eggs baked (kind of like a really thick omelet).

But just like omelets, and the other egg offerings, they’re not vegan and sadly loaded with animal proteins, cholesterol and dietary fat. [browse the China Study for more info. on the link between animal proteins and diabetes, coronary heart disease and more]. Sometimes I almost miss those delicious eggy variations until I remember that I can make the same thing with oodles of health benefits!

Here is my recipe for a vegan quiche’. You’re welcome.

Vegan Quiche

seahawk quiche 4

Crust (optional)

  • 1c Brown Rice Flour
  • 1c Cashew (or almond) flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3T coconut oil (solid)
  • 3T water


Preheat over to 350F and lightly grease an oven-safe pie plate.  Stir together dry ingredients.  Begin to combine coconut oil and water until you have a very crumbly mixture (add more water by the table spoon if the dough is very dry; might take a few minutes to mix).  Once your dough is ready, being pressing it into the pie plate.  Using a fork, poke a few holes on the bottom of the pie and then get crafty and create a pattern on the crust.

Pre-bake the crust for 20 minutes.  Let the crust cool before adding your filling or place in the fridge until you feel like putting it all together.


The (Veggie) Quiche


  • 1 block of non-gmo firm tofu
  • 3T nutritional yeast
  • 1T onion powder
  • 1t thyme
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1T arrowroot starch
  • 1c grated carrot
  • 1c grated zucchini
  • scant cup daiya shredded cheese (optional)


Using a food processor, blend together all of your ingredients except carrot, zucchini and optional cheese.  Give it a taste to check your seasoning levels.  Pour contents of food processor into a large mixing bowl and combine veggies and cheese.  When everything is well combined, pour the mixture into a prepared crust or lightly greased pie pan.  Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes.  Let cool when finished and then enjoy!

seahawk quiche 1

seahawk quiche 5

I loved this with a little organic ketchup and hot sauce.  I especially loved eating it as my SEAHAWKS played on to VICTORY!

seahawk quiche 2

This Sea-gal will be watching SUPERBOWL 2015 for certain!seahawk quiche 3

Jam Cookies

*Some images may not appear, so be sure to check Http:// for the full post.  That said…

I love my German heritage.  My husband and I even took our recent honeymoon over to Europe and spent a good deal of time with family in Munich and Berlin.  We even spent my Omi’s 90th birthday with her.

handsome husband

What a great man I married, right?

handsome hubby

Who spends half the honeymoon with their grandmother, mother and a handful of other relatives.  We do!

marz family

Being in Germany reminds me of all the yummy cookies and cakes I enjoyed when I was younger.  One of my favorites were Husaren-Krapferl. But since I no longer eat wheat, dairy or eggs, I wanted to remake the “Jam Cookies” and then share my vegan, gluten free and equally delightful recipe with anyone that will listen.

Jam Cookies

Jam Cookies

Fig Jam Cookies

  • 3/4c coconut oil
  • 2 flax eggs (2T flax meal + 6T water; stir and let sit five minutes)
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4c ground hazelnuts
  • 2c gluten free flour (I used brown rice)
  • 1/4c arrowroot starch
  • 1/4c coconut flour
  • 1/2 – 1t uncut stevia
  • 1/4t nutmeg
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1 jar of fig jam


In a mixing bowl, “cream together” coconut oil, flax eggs, vanilla, salt and stevia.  Once all that goodness is in the bowl slowly incorporate the rest of your ingredients (except for the fig jam).  Mix the ingredients well until you have a nice dough ball.  If it’s too dry, I like to add a little applesauce, or non-dairy milk.

Now place that nice dough ball in the fridge to cool for at least two hours… wait impatiently…

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet (parchment or a slipat also work).  Take your glourious dough ball from the fridge and begin to take golf ball-sized chunks of dough and roll them between your hands.  Press each ball down and, using your thumb, make a small divot.  The larger the divot, the more jammy goodness fits in there.

When you’ve finished laying out your divoted dough balls, bake in the over for 15-20 minutes.

Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes or so, then drop a glob of jam into the center of each cookie.  This is the difficult part for those of us who are impatient *hand raised*, leave your cookies on the counter to “dry” for at least 24 hours.

Once they’ve dried, you can add a sprinkling of powdered sugar all over them, or not.  I don’t need the extra sugar because I usually nibble on these with a nice glass of wine.

I used Trader Joe’s Fig Jam, but use whatever fig jam you’d like.  Or don’t.  Use raspberry, that’s delicious, too, or whatever jam you’d like!

After the long 24 hour wait, go ahead and enjoy!

Happy New Year, and Stats

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for and I appreciate that.  This is what those busy little monkeys had to share with me…

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people. So While I may not be the most active site on the web, I am thankful to the visitors that have come to my page and I promise more delicious recipes to come this year!

Click here to see the complete report.