Cranberry Banana-Blueberry Cheesecake

It's nearing the Christmas holidays and I am starting my celebrations early this year.  Today I'm in the kitchen preparing for guests.  Here's the menu:

Salad with sesame ginger mustard dressing
Whipped Mashed Potatoes
String Beans
Neat Loaf
Cranberry Banana-Blueberry Cheesecake
Hot chocolate (non-dairy)

For those of you who have my book - Vegan Bite By Bite -  The Neat Loaf recipe is on page 141.
I just documented the dessert recipe and here it is below:

Coconut flour to dust 7" spring form pan (bottom and sides)
15 dates
2 cups shredded coconut
5 tablespoons water
3 cups raw cashew nuts
2 cups pure water
1 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1- 7.5 oz. pkg. fresh cranberries
1 large banana
1 - 6 oz, pkg. blueberries

1.  In a food processor puree dates and water and place in a medium bowl.  Add shredded coconut and mix together by hand.  Dust a 7" spring form pan with coconut flour.  Press the crust mixture tightly on bottom and high sides of the pie pan.
2.  Blend filling ingredients EXCEPT blueberries and banana and leave in blender until step 3.
3.  Add sliced banana and add blueberries to pie pan and pour filling in blender into the pie pan, stir lightly.
4.  Refrigerate at least 24 -48 hours for the pie to set up properly.  The longer it is refrigerated, the firmer it will slice.
5.  Use a serrated knife along the edges of the pie crust before releasing the pie from the spring form pan - for easy release.

Serves 12 - 16

My husband Wendel makes up a delicious hot chocolate out of cacao powder, almond milk, dates, pinch of cumin and cinnamon and a teeny, teeny, teeny pinch of cayenne pepper.  Lately we have been having this treat since it seems rare to be able to order this when we are out and about.

Portabello Mushrooms

The Portobello mushroom has a hearty and meat-like texture. Mushrooms are fragile and break easily. Handle them gently at every step

4 large Portobello mushrooms,
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 pound tofu, medium/firm
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drain thoroughly  (8.5 ounce jar)
1 cup basil, fresh, minced
2 tablespoons liquid aminos
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
olive oil spray

  1. Wash mushrooms by rinsing them gently.  Pat both sides dry.
  2. Cut off stem and scoop out the black spokes of the Portobello mushrooms, leaving the shell intact.  See note below.  
  3. In a food processor add the remaining ingredients, except basil and blend.
  4. Pre-heat the oven at 400° F.
  5. Place mixture in a medium size bowl and fold in the basil.
  6. Spray a large Pyrex baking dish. Bake mushrooms 15 minutes before stuffing.
  7. Portion the mixture into 4, and stuff the mushroom shells with the filling.
  8. Bake mushrooms about 30 minutes.
  9. Optional: To further crisp the tops of the mushrooms, put them under the broiler

    4-5 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

Yield serves 4

Step 2 mushroom trimmings can be sautéed another time, served with vegetables.


Excerpted from the book VEGAN BITE BY BITE by Marilyn Peterson

Tempeh Tuna Wraps

1-8 ounce package tempeh, cut into 4 pieces
1-1/2 cups celery, diced fine
1/2 cup green scallions, sliced fine
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons liquid aminos
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 package whole wheat tortillas
Garnish: olives

  1. Pulse tempeh in food processor until fine.  Put tempeh in a medium size bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients, except tortillas and olives and mix together well.
  2. Spread 1 teaspoon Vegenaise on each tortilla and layer 1 lettuce leaf with several sunflower sprouts. Spoon out less than 1/2 cup mixture evenly and spread it over the lettuce and roll the tortilla into a wrap. Garnish with an olive and serve.

Yield 2-1/2 cups or 6 wraps

Tempeh is a fermented soy food high in protein, and easier to digest than tofu as it is less processed.  It comes in a variety of different flavors, as well as “to go” burgers in the refrigerated section of natural food stores.  The ‘vegetable’ flavor is great for this recipe.  This is a great transitional recipe towards raw.  This was a mainstay with me when I was transitioning to a higher percentage of raw foods in my diet.

Excerpted from the book VEGAN BITE BY BITE by Marilyn Peterson

Seitan Stew

Cooking time always varies with the texture and size of the vegetable.  In order to make certain that the vegetables are al dente, do not overcook them, as they will also be cooking in the sauce. When you do a recipe, always double-check your seasonings to see if it needs more or less of something for your particular taste. Recipes can be followed to the letter, or used as a base for your own creative ideas.  This is a great freezer recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-8 ounce package (1-1/2 cups) seitan, cut bite size pieces
2 potatoes, medium, cut in bite size cubes
2 medium onions, (2 cups) medium dice
2 carrots, medium, sliced very thin
3 stalks celery, angle cut about 1” pieces
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3-14.5 ounce cans ‘fire roasted’ tomatoes
2 cups peas, frozen
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon thyme, dried
1 tablespoon oregano, dried
1 cup fresh basil, sliced very thin
tiny pinch cayenne pepper
season sea salt and pepper

1.   Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large pot.  Add the seitan and the potatoes, lightly browning the mixture.  Mix in the onions, carrots and celery.  Cover with a lid.
2.  Sweat the seitan mixture and vegetables for 5-10 minutes.  Stir in garlic.
3.  Add the tomato products and bring to a boil, then immediately turn down the heat to simmer.  Add all of the remaining ingredients except the fresh basil, salt and pepper, simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring often.
4.  Add the basil and  remaining seasonings to taste.
5.  For the freezer, allow recipe to cool, then pour into airtight containers, Name and date the label with a marking pen.
Yield 10 cups


Excerpted from the book VEGAN BITE BY BITE by Marilyn Peterson
Pimento Cream Cheese
This cream cheese recipe holds great stuffed in a cucumber shell and wrapped in both saran wrap and tin foil overnight. With a serrated knife cut thin slices and garnish for serving on an appetizer platter. Or you can spoon it in a tomato shell on lettuce leaves.
1 cup red pepper (1/2 large) rough chop
1 teaspoon garlic, rough chop
1 cup cashew nuts
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Blend all of the ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth and
2. Allow for set up in the refrigerator to resemble the texture of cream cheese.

Yield 1 cup


Excerpted from the book VEGAN BITE BY BITE by Marilyn Peterson

Parfait desserts makes a great presentation. For any leftovers, the chef eats the bonus snack. Fruits prepared this way are also excellent for smoothies. Below, I am giving ingredients according to layers. *The blueberry mixture goes in the 1st and 3rd layer.

1st layer

2 cups blueberries, fresh
1/2 cup cashews
6 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions correspond with each bold numbered layer

1. Blend the above in a blender and divide half the mixture between 4 parfait glasses. (Spoon 1/4 cup in each glass)

2nd layer

1 cup strawberries, fresh
1/2 cup cashews
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon coconut oil

2. Blend, layer 2nd layer, dividing the mixture between 4 parfait glasses. (Spoon 1/4 cup in each glass)

3rd layer

3. Add the remaining blueberry mixture to the 4 parfait glasses. (Spoon 1/4 cup in each glass)

4th layer

4. Blend 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks. Make sure there is enough space left for the 5th layer (*or blend 2 cups pineapple for the 4-5th layer). Divide mixture in 4 glasses.

5th layer

5. If you are blending pineapple for both the 4th and 5th layers, either increase the amount of pineapple (*step 4) or blend a pitted soft persimmon and finish off the layering process for the 4 glasses.
6. Allow dessert to set up overnight in the refrigerator. Garnish with strawberry fans and mint leaf sprigs.

Yield serves 4

Any colorful combination of fruits can be used. If persimmons are not in season, use another colorful, custard-like fruit, such as mango, or *increase the amount of pineapple. Sapote and cherimoya are also delicious custard-like fruits, however, they lack the color intensity, yet their tastes make it up in flavor!