Chef Fran Costigan

The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner

The Homemade Vegan PantryMiyoko Schinner has been delivering up her distinctive style of gourmet vegan cuisine for decades through her many enterprises, including her Now and Zen restaurant in San Francisco, the natural food company where she invented Hip Whip and the Unturkey, cooking classes, lectures, and cookbooks. Her groundbreaking book Artisan Vegan Cheese preceeded Miyokos’s highly anticipated newest: The Homemade Vegan Pantry. Miyoko is the founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen, makers of artisanal vegan cheese which are available at key retailers and online. I had the delicious pleasure of visiting Miyoko’s Kitchen on June 1st this year,  when I was in the Bay Area for my Google YouTube Vegan Chocolate event. Let me just say this, Miyoko’s cheese facility is all that you’d imagine and more. Since I stayed at Miyoko’s home, I got to see her advance copy of The Homemade Vegan Pantry and taste the Glorious Butterless Butter, which can be found in the book. It looks and tastes like the best butter of memory, and really, it is quite simple to make. Miyoko’s recipes work.

WafflesIt was hard to choose a recipe to make for the blog, and while I think most people, including Miyoko, would have expected I’d go right for the French Buttercream, my family had other ideas. I was responsible for making breakfast at my daughter’s home Sunday, June 14th, which happens to be my birthday. Go figure. My grandsons Seth and Eli (5 and 4 respectively) and their dad wanted pancakes and waffles. I looked through my copy of The Homemade Vegan Pantry and there I found Classic Pancake and Biscuit Mix. The photos we took of our adventures in breakfast are not especially fine, but the pancakes and waffles sure were. My daughter took the apron strings after all and said, “Mom, this is like a healthy Bisquick”. The mix came together in no time. Wanting to make the whole wheat version but without whole wheat pastry flour in the house, Tracy mixed all-purpose and whole wheat flours, 50-50. She heated the griddle and also her stovetop Waffle Stick pan.  Another thing Tracy has that I don’t is a pancake batter dispenser. I never understood the point. Now I do. Making designer pancakes was a breeze. The boys, who are used to taste testing recipes, gave two enthusiastic thumbs up.  Tracy is going to make this again and keep it stored in a container in her refrigerator. (Mom says, whole wheat in the refrigerator!) With recipes for everything from Ketchup, Mustard, Jam, Sour Cream, to make your own Tempeh and Real Tofu, Yuba and UnFish Sticks, there is something for everyone who wants to make their own real food. Right now, I’m fascinated by the recipe for Roasted Tomato Skin Pesto that follows the Roasted Tomatoes. Who but Miyoko would find a way to use those flavorful skins?! She did the same with the flax seeds left after straining the Flax Seed Egg Whites, giving us the option to make crackers. I’m going to be DIY’ing from this book on a very regular basis. Check it out, I think you’ll feel the same.


Classic Pancake and Biscuit Mix

 Classic Pancake and Biscuit Mix

Weekends are more relaxing with this in your cupboard ready to be turned into pancakes, biscuits, and waffles.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined,
2 to 3 minutes. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bags in your pantry for up to 6 months.
Makes 4 1/2 cups

Whole Wheat Pancake and Biscuit Mix – Substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose flour and increase the baking powder to 3 tablespoons. Follow the ratios below for pancakes and waffles.
Whole Wheat Pancakes — 1 1/2 parts baking mix : 1 part soy milk
Whole Wheat Waffles—1 part baking mix : 1 part soy milk If desired, add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup at the same time as the soy milk for extra sweetness.


Diner Pancakes

These are thick, fluffy pancakes that will delight young and old alike, bringing memories of a time when Sunday mornings were lazy and meant for pajamas. And these pancakes let you stay in your pajamas, because they’re so easy to make once you have the mix!


  • 1 cup Pancake Mix
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk


  1. Actually, the recipe is just equal parts mix and non-dairy milk, so you can make this in any quantity you want. As a guide, one cup of mix is enough for four to six pancakes, so that might feed two or three people (or sometimes only one!).
  2. Get your griddle heating before you mix the batter, because it takes no time to do that, and you’ll be waiting around for your hot griddle otherwise. Your griddle should always be hot when the pancake batter hits it. To make the batter, simply put the mix in a bowl, and the milk, and stir quickly and not thoroughly; you want to deliberately leave it lumpy. When the griddle is hot, spray it lightly with non-stick spray, or melt a little Glorious Butter on it. Then pour about a third to half a cup of batter per pancake. To make light, fluffy pancakes, make sure to cook it on one side until the top is covered in bubbles (air pockets), then flip and cook briefly until browned. They’ll rise quite a bit, so three will form quite a stack. Spread some Glorious Butter, pour on some maple syrup, and dig in while in your jammies!

Crispy Waffles


  • 1 cup Pancake mix
  • 1 1/4 cup nondairy Milk

Whisk together the mix and nondairy milk. Pour into a heated waffle iron, and cook until crispy and golden brown on both sides.


Reprinted from THE HOMEMADE VEGAN PANTRY Copyright © 2015 by Miyoko Schinner. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.  Photo © 2015 by Eva Kolenko


I have a copy of The Homemade Vegan Pantry for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight eastern time on Sunday, July 5th. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!

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Almost-Instant Chocolate Pudding

Amost-Instant Chocolate Pudding from Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan

I grew up eating my mom’s chocolate pudding from a boxed mix. It was a bit lumpy and thick, with rubbery chocolate pudding skin (My mom gave me permission to tell this story), but it was warm and chocolate and homemade, and I liked it. On the East Coast there was only one brand worth knowing: My-T-Fine, the premium pudding. It wasn’t exactly instant, since the mix had to be cooked with dairy milk. Somewhere along the way Mom decided cooking pudding and washing the pot was not worth the effort. We moved over to Jell-O brand—really instant pudding: put the mix in a bowl, add milk, and mix with a rotary egg beater. Still, if the bowl wasn’t deep enough (especially if I was doing the mixing) it spattered, and then there were still beaters to wash. And the finished pudding was cold! That’s why I love this recipe so much: in the same time it took my mom to make sad chocolate pudding, or less, you can make Almost-Instant Chocolate Pudding that is real chocolate pudding the way we always wanted it to be: warm, thick, and chocolaty. Plus this one additive, dairy and cholesterol-free.

Notes: The cornstarch is crucial to get the right texture for this pudding. Using another starch thickener, such as my usual first choice arrowroot, would result in pudding with a stringy, unpleasant texture.

Almost-Instant Chocolate Pudding

Makes 2 1/4 cups


  • 1 cup /222grams organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup /56 grams organic cornstarch (do not use arrowroot, see Note)
  • 1/4 cup / 50 grams Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 3/4 cups / 900ml vanilla soymilk, vanilla almond milk, or vanilla coconut milk beverage
  • 3 ounces / 46 grams dark chocolate (59 to 70%), chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon/ 5ml pure vanilla extract


  1. Sift the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt through a wire mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Slowly stir in the milk. Keep stirring until no trace of any of the dry ingredients is visible. The idea is to make sure the cornstarch is completely dissolved before you turn on the heat.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken and is close to a boil. This can take as long as 12 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to get a full boil, but don’t let it be so high that the bottom scorches. As soon as the pudding starts to boil, it will thicken to pudding consistency. Immediately lower the
    heat and boil gently for another minute, stirring frequently with a silicone spatula.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Gently stir in the chocolate with the silicone spatula until the chocolate is melted and incorporated.
    Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Spoon the pudding into a bowl. It will be set and ready to use in about 30 minutes at room temperature, but it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. If you refrigerate it, cover the surface with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap adheres to the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.


From Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts© 2013 by Fran Costigan, Running Press. Photo credit: Kate Lewis

Vegan Cruise to Alaska

Vegan Vacation at SeaIf this is a dream, don’t wake me up! Seeing Alaska has been one of my dreams for many years and now, in mid-September it will become a reality. What can be better than a cruise to Alaska? I’ll tell you what: a Vegan Cruise to Alaska by Franci and Curtis, the Vegan Cruise Planners from September 19th – September 26th, 2015

We will be sailing on the Holland America Line’s ms Westerdam to Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria B.C. We are all focused on one thing: providing absolutely FUN sailing, complete with awesome vegan cuisine and awesome people. You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy the fantastic food, the shore excursions, and meeting new lifelong friends! This Vegan Vacation at Sea will tempt your vegan sensibilities and taste buds with these exclusive offerings:


Vegan Vacation at SeaFrom the wesbite: Cooking demonstrations in the Westerdam’s fantastic Culinary Arts Center by an ALL STAR lineup of vegan chefs:

  • Fran Costigan (that’s me!)
  • Myoko Schinner (the artisan cheesemaker, cookbook author, host of Vegan Mashup)
  • Vegan Black Metal Chef (Metal and recipes- that’s Brian!)
  • The Vegan Zombies (Check out the show and cookbook!)

The Cruise will feature:

  • Exclusive vegan menu featuring recipes from the guest chefs
  • Exclusive vegan shore excursions available ONLY for our group*
  • Exclusive vegan private parties and social events
  • Vegan Swag Bag
  • Vegan Vacation at Sea Tee Shirt

See the detailed FAQ page for all your questions. The full itinerary (including rates, ship information and information on ports of call) can be viewed by clicking the “Cruise Information” tab.

Note that bookings made through other agencies or direct with Holland America Line will NOT have access to the fabulous offerings listed above. Vegan Cruise Planners is your EXCLUSIVE agent for Vegan Vacation at Sea!


Vegan Vacation at SeaA note about Yom Kippor Observance:

It is the goal of Vegan Cruise Planners that all guests who wish to observe Yom Kippur while on board the ms Westerdam during Vegan Vacation at Sea 2015 are able to do so. Holland America will have a Rabbi on board for Yom Kippur services. They have also made the following arrangements:

Before sundown on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 – the fourth day of the cruise – Vegan Cruise Planners will arrange a vegan Seudah HaMafseket meal for guests.

On Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 – Vegan Cruise Planners will arrange for the guests who observe  a festive evening Break-Fast meal of easily digestible vegan foods to ease everyone back.

Additionally, we will not be scheduling any cooking demos, meet and greets, or social events/parties during the observance.