blueberry sauce

Use this terrific fruity sauce to jazz up pancakes, frozen desserts, cake, or even your morning bowl of oatmeal. Substitute fresh berries in season or your favorite frozen variety. Adjust the sugar to taste depending on the sweetness of the berry you use.

1 10-oz. package of frozen blueberries, defrosted
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 to 2 Tbs. cane sugar
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. water

1. Place blueberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a blender or food processor; puree. Push puree through a fine mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Heat to boiling.

2. Mix cornstarch and water. Add to blueberry mixture and stir until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Makes about one cup.

cantaloupe smoothie

Enjoy these fruits while they’re in season by indulging in this smoothie.

1/2 cantaloupe, seeds and rind removed
2-3 large peaches, pits and skin removed
Juice of one large orange
8-10 ice cubes
1 cup your favorite non-dairy milk

Combine all ingredients in blender; process until smooth. If you like your smoothies a little sweeter, add some agave nectar.

gallo pinto

This Costa Rican staple of rice and beans is usually eaten for breakfast, although it’s not unusual for people in this Central American country to eat this dish several times a day. Serve with some fresh, sliced papaya or mango or other tropical fruit.

3 Tbs. canola or olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cooked white rice
2 8-oz. cans black beans, undrained
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
5 Tbs. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until it becomes translucent. Add garlic and sauté until golden.

2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until heated through, stirring well. Serve warm. Gallo Pinto is one of those dishes that seems to taste better the next day.

cranberry walnut oatmeal

This delightful breakfast dish is baked in the oven, warming your kitchen on a chilly morning and scenting your home with a cinnamon fragrance. You’ll love it!

2 1/2 cups almond milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Coat a medium-size baking dish (8″ x 8″ or larger) with margarine or canola oil.

2. Mix first five ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Stir in oats, cranberries, and walnuts. Pour into baking dish. Cover and bake for about 35 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the oats are tender.

Substitution suggestions: Instead of cranberries, try dried currants, golden raisins, or dried apricots. Try toasted almonds or pecans instead of walnuts.

caramel-pecan rolls

If you’re expecting guests, roll out the red carpet and fix a batch of these caramel-pecan rolls for breakfast. They’re guaranteed to rival the offerings of your neighborhood java joint, and your guests may never leave.

Dough:
1 .25-oz. package active dry yeast
1 2/3 cup warm water
1 tsp. salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbs. vegan margarine
Additional margarine for greasing bowl and pan

Caramel:
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs. vegan margarine
3 Tbs. light corn syrup
1/3 cup chopped pecans

1. To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes; add salt. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of flour to yeast mixture. Dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating the remaining flour until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough sticks to your hands.

2. Grease a medium bowl with vegan margarine. Place dough in the bowl, cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the caramel. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with vegan margarine and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, vegan margarine, and corn syrup. Stirring constantly, heat until smooth and thick (about a minute and a half). Pour caramel into the bottom of the springform pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle pecans over the caramel mixture and set dough aside.

4. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. When dough has doubled in size, punch it down and let it rise for about 5 more minutes. On a floured surface, roll dough out into a large rectangle. Spread margarine on dough with a butter knife, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges, and sprinkle sugar over the margarine.

5. Beginning with the side of the dough closest to you, begin rolling the rectangle tightly into a log. Trim the edges off and discard. Slice the log into 1″ rounds and place them in the springform pan on top of the caramel. Cover with the clean dish towel and let rise until doubled in size (about 40 minutes).

6. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake caramel-pecan rolls for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and invert pan onto serving plate (be careful!). Open the springform pan, carefully using a knife to help free any rolls that stick to the pan. Lift off the springform pan bottom to reveal the beautiful caramel-pecan topping. Your guests will be impressed!