Honey-Granola Bread & Sausage Corn Soup

The bread was what I was craving – a whole wheat loaf that doesn’t taste or feel heavy. It went great with pumpkin butter I might add….as for the soup I didn’t use real sausage, I found one more package of Harmony Valley Vegetarian Sausage Mix in my pantry. Making soup sounded like a nice way to use it up (and yes, I am still focused on the last removing of processed foods out of our house, we have very little left now!) Both were tasty, but the bread? Phenomenal! Also great spread with butter and or almond-choco spread….

And even better is it was a big loaf so we have bread today for lunch!

Honey-Granola Bread


  • 1½ cups warm water (80°)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp dry milk
  • 3¾ cups + 1 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
  • 1 cup granola cereal (used Pumpkin Flax)
  • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast


Add the water, oil and honey to the bread machine pan, add the dry ingredients in order on top. Set for a 2 lb whole wheat loaf and turn on.

After baking knock the loaf out and cool fully on a wire rack. Store wrapped tightly.

Makes a 2 lb loaf.

Sausage Corn Soup


  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 package Harmony Valley Vegetarian Sausage Mix, prepared to package directions
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • 4 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chunky salsa (16 ounces)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Green Tabasco sauce to taste or favorite hot sauce
  • Queso Fresco cheese for topping


Heat a large skillet over medium-high, add the oil, onion and sausage. Cook until the sausage is browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Turn to medium, add the garlic and cook for a minute.

Add the broth, tomatoes, salsa and corn, heat through. Season to taste and serve in bowls with crumbled cheese on top.

Serves 4.


Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Veggie Version)

In my quest to truly stop eating processed convenience foods – and to clear out our pantry – I used up our last bag of Harmony Valley Vegetable Hamburger Mix. I will miss it, it was an easy way to make a dinner heartier (and that is the issue – I need less crutches in the kitchen). Who knows if I will stick to my quest or not, I might get tempted once again, it is a great product. So I enjoyed it in a favorite dish, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, and served it over baked coconut brown rice. Yum….It was a lot of work but was worth it. Thankfully the baby slept while I cooked!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Veggie Version)


Meatballs –

Sweet and Sour Sauce –

  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp lower sodium sauce
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp diced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 tsp finely minced ginger
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 20 ounce can pineapple chunks
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Baked Coconut Brown Rice –

  • 2½ cups boiling water
  • 1½ cups brown rice
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 375°.

Rice –

Add the ingredients to an 8×8″ glass baking dish, cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour, fluff up.

Meatballs –

Add the hamburger mix, ginger, onion powder and black pepper to a medium mixing bowl. Stir in 1 ¼ cups cool water, stir well. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to rehydrate. Finely chop the oats in a blender or food chopper, stir them and the milk into the mix. Make balls with a 3-Tablespoon Disher and place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes at 375°.

Sauce –

Meanwhile whisk the brown sugar through red pepper flakes together in a small bowl, drain the pineapple juice into the sauce, set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add half the oil onion and the peppers. Let sauté until browning, turn down to medium and let cook until nearly caramelizing. Add the drained pineapple and toss, let cook for a couple of more minutes. Set the vegetables aside in a bowl, take the meatballs out of the oven and add the remaining oil to the skillet. Turn up to medium-high heat and add the meatballs in. Let cook until crispy on both sides, add the vegetables back in and shake gently to combine. Turn down to medium-low, pour the sauce over and let cook covered until bubbling.

Serve over plates of hot rice.

Serves 4.


Sunday Morning Biscuits and Gravy

Sundays are my “fun” morning often, when I don’t make oatmeal for Kirk and I but take the time to bake and cook. Kirk watches the baby for me and entertains the toddler which helps a lot! So I made a new version of “sausage” gravy this morning over what were the best tasting baking powder biscuits I have made. I adapted two recipes I found in my copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 1968 Edition, the cream of tartar really makes a difference – and I used butter instead of shortening.

PS: For even biscuits use a 50mm (3-Tablespoon) Disher or an ice cream scoop in similar size.

“Sausage” Gravy



Prepare the sausage to package directions, using 1¼ cups water. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to fully rehydrate. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high, add the oil and sausage, cook until browned, breaking up into small pieces. Turn down to medium, add in the sage and flour, let cook, stirring often. Stir in the milk and stir smooth, letting thicken, lowering the heat as needed to avoid bubbling.

Season to taste with ground pepper and hot sauce if desired.

Baking Powder Biscuits


  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 cup low-fat milk


Preheat the oven to 450° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl add the dry ingredients, work the butter into the flour with your fingers until it is fine crumbs. Stir the milk in, just until you have a wet dough.

Divide into 12 biscuits, drop onto the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Split in half and top with gravy.

Serves 4 adults.


Dirty Rice – Veg Friendly

This was my answer to the meat heavy Dirty Rice recipes – and it was even better the second day as a burrito filling (topped with a sprinkle of cheese and spicy salsa!).

Veg Friendly Dirty Rice


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 14 ounce bag bell pepper strips, chopped (frozen or thawed)
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced (4 cloves/jarred is fine)
  • 2 tsp Cajun spice blend (find in spice aisle)
  • 1 package Harmony Valley Vegetarian Sausage Mix
  • 15 ounce can lower sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups white long grain rice
  • Hot sauce to taste


Prepare the sausage mix according to package directions, let sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to rehydrate.

In a large skillet heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium-high heat, add the onion, peppers and celery, cook until tender, add in the garlic and Cajun spice blend and cook for a minute. Transfer the vegetables to a heat safe bowl. Add the remaining oil to the skillet, add int he sauage and cook till browned, stirring and breaking it up as it browns.

Add the vegetables back in with the broth, beans and rice. Bring to a boil, stirring, then lower to medium-low. Cover tightly and let cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff up and seaon to taste with salt and hot sauce, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6 – it makes quite a bit!


Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

I adapted a recipe I saw on Harmony Valley’s website for their Shepherds Pie, based on what I had on hand. Hearty, warming and so filling! I used Harmony Valley Vegetable Hamburger Mix, which I keep falling in love with more each time I use it.

Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie


  • 1 package Harmony Valley Vegetable Hamburger Mix
  • 1¼ cups cold water
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 carrots)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, diced (jarred works well)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups lower sodium vegetable broth (or beef for non-vegs)
  • 1 Tbsp Annie’s Naturals Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp dried crumbled rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 15 ounce can green beans

Sweet Potatoes –

  • 3 good-sized sweet potatoes ( 2½ lbs or so)
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup Liquid Egg Beaters© or 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ tsp each salt and ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup 2% grated cheese (I used Swiss)


Mix the Harmony Valley “beef” mix with the cold water and the ¼ cup oil in a mixing bowl, stash in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400° and spray a 9×13″ glass baking pan with cooking spray.

Peel the sweet potatoes and chop up, add to a tall saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn down and let gently boil until fork tender, drain. Heat the milk and butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave until warm – 30 to 60 seconds. Add to the potatoes, mash well. Season with salt and pepper, then mash in the egg. Set aside.

In a large skillet heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil over medium high heat, add in the onion and carrots, cook till the onions are turning golden. Add in the garlic, cook for a minute, then add the tomato paste, working in.

Sprinkle on the flour, working in and let cook for a minute or two.

Stir in the broth and remaining seasonings, turn to medium-low and let thicken, then add the drained green beans in. Cover and let simmer while the potatoes finsih cooking.

Spread the hot filling in the pan, top with the potatoes, smoothing out gently. Sprinkle the cheese on the top.

Bake for 25 minutes, let sit for 5 minutes and then serve.

Serves about 6.


Sausage Gravy

Another Sunday morning, another take on my favorite weekend breakfast 😉 I tried out a package of Harmony Valley Sausage Mix in the gravy – and it worked perfectly. It, hot gravy and a baking sheet of hot biscuits? Sunday morning bliss.

Easy to make and a delicious hearty flavor! The gravy I made this time with low-fat dairy milk but any unsweetened milk can be used so that the gravy is vegan.

Want more info on Harmony Valley? Check out their website!

Sausage Gravy


•    2 Tbsp canola oil
•    1 large onion, peeled and diced
•   1 package vegan sausage mix (Vegetarian Sausage Mix)
•    1 Tbsp diced garlic
•    1 tsp dried rubbed sage
•    1 tsp ground black pepper
•    1 tsp dried parsley
•    ½ tsp paprika
•    ¼ cup all-purpose flour
•    3 cups low-fat milk (dairy or unsweetened non-dairy)
•    2 tsp lower sodium soy sauce
Prepare the sausage mix according to the directions (add 1¼ cups cold water to the dry mix in a bowl, stir well and then let chill for at least 15 minutes).

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook until tender. Add the sausage mix and cook until golden, stirring often, breaking up the sausage into small chunks. Sprinkle on the seasonings and the flour, work in and let cook for a couple of minutes.
Slowly add in the milk, turn down to medium-low, stirring as it thickens.
Stir in the soy sauce and add more of it and more black pepper if desired.
Serve over hot biscuits.
Serves 4.

Harmony Valley ‘Hamburger’ Mix (With Recipe)

Harmony Valley Foods is a company with two products (and soon a third!) that are Vegan and Kosher friendly. Unlike most meat substitutes they are shelf stable making them a great choice for the pantry, emergency food stores (yes, everyone should have a month of non-perishable food on hand!) and even for camping and backpacking. When I was first backpacking years ago I often used a Fantastic Foods mix (lets back that one up a bit – I first ate it in Shake Down Street at Dead shows in the early 90’s!) but let us say that the mixes of yonder days have been improved on. Taste and convenience have come far. Each bag is 5.7 ounces and makes the equivalent of 1 pound of meat, pulls together with cold water and in 15 minutes is ready to used in nearly any recipe as you would use ground hamburger – just minus the cholesterol and saturated fat and is high in fiber, protein and iron. And unlike the mixes of past, this hamburger mix actually looks and works like hamburger.

Harmony Valley even has a nice collection of recipes on their website to look through, of which I did and picked a recipe to try.

Harmony Valley Vegetable Hamburger Mix:

The company also makes a Harmony Valley Vegetarian Sausage Mix that I am hoping to find soon to try:

And in the near future will have an instant hummus mix for sale (I am very excited about that, dry hummus is great for taking hiking and backpacking).

So what did I decide to do with my bag of hamburger mix? Well, I decided to look at their recipes and picked the Swedish Meatballs, which I adapted a bit to make more cholesterol friendly. The meatballs were delicious – so good there was no leftovers, the guys scarfed them down. And more so….they didn’t taste like fake meat. Easy to make up the base, easy to make into a meal. I liked it so much I went onto Amazon and bought a 6 pack of both kinds. That says a lot – I really liked it and it will give me some new ideas for dinners in the future.

Swedish Meatballs
•    1 package Harmony Valley Vegetarian Hamburger Mix
•    2 slices fresh bread (used Dave’s Killer Bread)
•    ¼ cup dairy milk
•    6 tablespoons butter or margarine
•    1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
•    ½ cup Eggbeaters or similar
•    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
•    ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
•    ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
•    ¼ cup all-purpose flour
•    3 cups stock; mushroom, no-beef broth, or vegetable stock
•    ¼ cup whole milk
Prepare Harmony Valley Vegetarian Hamburger Mix according to package instructions (which is add 1¼ cups water to the mix, stir up well and let sit for 15 minutes).
Preheat oven to 200°.
Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small mixing bowl along with the milk. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion and sweat until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sodden milk, the prepared Harmony Valley Vegetarian Hamburger mix, EggBeaters, ½ teaspoon black pepper, allspice, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and the cooked onions. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Using a 1 tablespoon disher, scoop the mixture and shape into meat balls with your hands. (For less mess make the meatballs and place on a sheet of parchment paper)

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium heat and sauté ½ of the meatballs in the butter until they are golden brown on both sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper in the warm oven.

Melt 1 more tablespoon of butter in the skillet and cook the remaining meatballs. Add to the first batch of meatballs and place back in the oven.

Melt the remaining butter in the skillet and add the flour. Whisk until lightly browned. Gradually add the broth and whisk until the sauce begins to thicken.

Add the milk, ½ teaspoon black pepper and ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg, and continue to cook until the gravy reaches the desired consistency.

Remove the meatballs from the oven, add to the gravy the gravy and let simmer for a couple of minutes

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a 8 to 12 ounce package of egg noodles (8 ounces for 3, 12 for 4) and cook for time on package, drain. (Use No Yolk brand for low-cholesterol!)

Divide the noodles between plates and cover with the meatballs and gravy, sprinkle with chopped parsley as desired.

Serves 3 to 4.


FTC Disclaimer: We received samples for potential review.

%d bloggers like this: