Szechuan Sauce Heaven! – Take-out Food No More

After a few times of Brandi telling me, ‘I swear you will never order take-out again when you try this’, I decided to give it a go.   O  M  G is all I have to say.  It took all I had not to lick the sauce from the hot pan, but I did lick it from the spatula.  I told Brandi that I would have to be half dead from exhaustion in order to justify take-out again (and that still wouldn’t be a good enough excuse) because this recipe is that easy to do and that scrumptious…and way, way healthier than take-out.


The recipe can be found on page 136 of The Easy Vegan Cookbook by Kathy Hester

For once in my life I followed a recipe to a tee (the sauce).  And, anyone who knows me, knows that is near impossible for me to do.  What have you done to me Kathy?!?  LOL.  I will never order take-out again.

So, that was on a Friday night that I first tried the Szechuan sauce.  Did I have to try it again AND so soon??  Yes, yes I did.  The following Friday night, I made the sauce with these veggies…..Oh, all that is holy…super delicious!


I added baby potatoes and asparagus…Taste buds delighted…need I say more?

The Ghoulish Gourmet, Review plus a recipe :)

The Ghoulish Gourmet is a new ebook by Kathy Hester. I have made several recipes in the ebook and they have all have been fanastic. The ebook consists of 5 chapters:

Bloodcurdling basics

Appetizer apparitions

Spine chilling soups and macabre mains

Desserts of Darkness

Chilling (and warming) Concoctions

Spooky sounding isn’t it? These recipes are fun and fairly easy to make. All ingredients can be found in any grocery store. Not a healthy ebook by any means, but chill- it’s all in the name of fun. It’s Halloween. And you will not be eating this all by yourself. This recipes I can see making for other holidays (c’mon you have heart cookie cutters right?) And the potato soup? That doesn’t even need explaining.

Here’s a link to buy your own copy- it’s less than 9 dollars, and worth every penny (for those who still have pennies, for us Canadians it’s worth every nickel…. that doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The Ghoulish Gourmet

kathy hester halloween 1

Ghostly White Tangy Bean Dip

This dip is so easy to make, calls for 5 ingredients. Throw everything into a blender, and it’s done! It’s great with crackers or veggies. You can even use it as a spread.


Cemetery Crackers

These are fun to make. The kids had fun helping with the shape cutting I really liked them with the white dip. Again a 5 ingredient list. So simple and easy to make. Your guests will drool……. bahahaha (insert the Dracula laugh)


Ghoulishly Green Potato Soup

Kathy had me at potatoes 🙂 There`s everything to love about this recipes, potatoes, a smoky flavour. It`s been a few weeks since I`ve had it and I`m thinking I must make this for dinner tonight. Its a light yet filling soup. This is one of my favourite recipes in this book so far.


Moonlit Zucchini Mummies

These were so fun to make! And so filling! I made homemade sauce for this, but if you use store bought, the dish will come together faster. Also if you prepped some of the food the day before, and all you have to do is assemble then back- you can serve your guest a cocktail and enjoy one yourself while these cook. Which I may or may not have done. I will not admit to ANYTHING 😉


Hair Raising Spicy Chili Tofu

I normal can`t stand tofu unless I scramble it, make cheese, or omelettes. I don`t like it boiled, baked. BUT this is the BOMB!!!! not soggy, it was nice and crispy, the sauce is sassy er I mean spicy. And served over forbidden rice just sounds sinful! I`m sure your guests will love this dish, even the pickiest tofu lover/hater. In fact, I have some tofu in my fridge right now screaming for spicy sauce…… and now I’m hungry……


Thick Hot Chocolate

I’m picky when it comes to hot chocolate. I don’t like most recipes. But this gem, is rich, thick, satisfying. It a must make through out the colder months and not just for Halloween. I can’t find the picture. I’ll try and locate it later.

Now with permission Kathy Hester, from Healthy Slow Cooking, I get to share one recipe with you….. this one I haven’t made, so lets make these together and let me know what you think 🙂

Vegan Deviled Purple Potatoes for Halloween

  • 1 (24 ounce) bag of small red, yellow or purple potatoes, rinsed well
  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu (about 1 pound – some containers weigh a little less)
  • ⅓ cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon black salt or kala namak (or regular kosher salt, to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ cup sliced olives stuffed with pimentos
  • Instructions
    1. Add the potatoes to a stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer for
    2. about 10 minutes, or until you can pierce the potato easily with a fork.
    3. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside until cool.
    Make the tofu salad:
    1. Combine the drained tofu, mayo, mustard and salt in a bowl. Mash the tofu and mix well.
    2. Cut the cooled potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out circular holes using a melon baller or small spoon. Spoon some tofu salad into each hole and top with a pimento-stuffed olive slice.

    That is all for now! Make sure you get your copy! Let me know what you thinkl!

    I don’t know if I really need to disclose this info or not, but I was one of the lucky few who were able to be a taste tester for this ebook. If I didn’t stand behind it, I would’ve stepped away from the project…. but Kathy’s recipes keeps me coming back for more 😀

    Luv Ya

The Easy Vegan Cookbook

Lets talk about The easy vegan cookbook, by Kathy Hester. I have loved every recipe I have tried in this book so far. I’ve made more dishes than I’m about to post today (due to lack of pictures) and I will be updating as I cook along from this book. I will give a link back to any dish that Kathy has on her site, but if it’s not on her site- you must buy or borrow the book. I promise you that every SINGLE recipe in the book are 100% suitable for week night meals and for those who hate a long winded ingredient list AND every single  ingredient can be found in any grocery store, there’s not a single name you need to look up to figure out WTH is  that? I mean unless you don’t know what tempeh is- and even then, you can sub in chickpeas or tofu depending on the recipe and still get a keeper recipe.

Be sure to check out her site, she has lots of drool worthy recipes. And if you don’t know anything about Kathy- she’s the queen of slow cooking- (this book is mainly stove top cooking) Here’s her blog Healthy Slow Cooking

The book contains 9 chapters which includes:

Make ahead staples

Soups save the day

Simple Stews

Pushover Pastas

manageable Mains

Speedy stir fry’s

Easy sandwich fillings and spreads

Straight- forward sides

and of course Desserts and drinks

Spiced Applesauce Cake

The hardest part of this recipe is the waiting for it to bake. But this is a dessert that can be baked and ready on your table for after dinner, without any effort. I didn’t have any applesauce so I made my own using the Instant Pot (if you don’t have one, you really need to get one, but enough about that)

Due to the ease of this recipe, you only need ONE set of measuring cups and spoons (not including a glass measuring cup) I have two sets of measuring spoons because some recipes are just like that- and I don’t like washing dishes until I’m finished the recipe.

This cake is so easy to make and so tasty I made 2 on Monday, it’s kid approved. I’m sure this would freeze well if you wanted to make a double batch- that way you can just pull it out of your freezer before bed and have a nice homemade treat for breakfast. Add some ice cream if that is the way you feel like rolling. (which reminds me, I should freeze some banana’s to make my own ice cream)

I apologize for nothing by posting this picture you are about to drool over 😉 btw the recipe can be found on pg 188

applesauce spice cake
applesauce spice cake

Broccoli with Spicy Garlic Sauce

I know, I had you at garlic sauce, didn’t I? This is by far my favorite recipe in the book. It’s quicker than take out. tastes better- and if you happen to have left overs-  it tastes just as fresh as when you just made it. This dish is cooked within 15 mins- your Lipton noodles or Kraft dinner stuff takes just as long (basically) only this dish is HEALTHY for you. I made rice in the instant pot (took 3 mins). I like this over brown rice noodles as well. You can just eat the broccoli without adding a starch to it. It doesn’t matter- the sauce in this dish is the BEST!!! Hate broccoli? You won’t after trying this, and if you are insisting that you can not will not make this dish because you think the only place for trees is outside- fine, suit yourself, more for me- but seriously switch it out with a veggie do you love.

Next time, I’m going to add more veggies to this. I used cauliflower as well because I had some prepped already and didn’t have enough broccoli for my liking. You could use frozen veggies if you want to but using fresh taster better (trust me in the winter when produce is so expensive I mainly buy frozen)

And one final word on this dish- I’ve taken it to a potluck, and got rave reviews. Now you know that it’s just not me saying it amazing 🙂 recipe can be found on page 132.


Szechuan Eggplant

Ok, ok, ok, I know what I just said in the last post BUT OMG!!!!! Just when I didn’t think anything could come close to the spicy garlic sauce, along came this gem of a recipe. To be fair, the recipes are very close to one another- but there’s one ingredient that just makes this recipe sing. (Yes recipes can sing, or maybe it’s my tastebuds- either way- I heard singing, and felt completely satisfied. I used zucchini as my eggplant turned brown on me…. is that normal? I haven’t had eggplant in YEARS and I only bought it to try out this recipe before I went ahead and changed the veggies up.

Anyways, she says 4 servings, but I bet you will eat it all….. again- serve with rice, noodles or just a spoon 🙂


That is all I have right now. Stayed tuned as I will have more to add. After giving a quick flip through it- I can see at least 5 other recipes I’ve made and they are all keepers. Oh, and fyi The Easy Vegan Cookbook, Make healthy home cooking practically effortless includes oil free, soy free and gluten free options.