DELICIOUS Sweet and Savory Vegan Holiday Recipes with Food For Life Bread

Another homecoming! 

Tugboat man will return in a few days, Angel Boy and DIL will be here for Thanksgiving; so I’m doing what I do, cleaning and cleaning, waxing and polishing furniture, planning meals — and waiting. And waiting.

This is the-lull-before-the-storm time.

When Food for Life sent me a box of assorted breads to sample and review, I couldn’t wait to begin to experiment with recipes for Thanksgiving.

We are thankful to enjoy a meat-free, cruelty-free Thanksgiving dinner.

My family LOVES bread and as tasty as these breads are on their own — stand alone goodness — I wanted to craft a few recipes and share them with anyone looking to eat healthier and of course, vegan.

These breads are gluten free, vegan, and USDA certified organic.

My family especially enjoys the bread toasted, which brings out all of the unique flavors. They are amazing simply with hummus or in veggie sandwiches.

For holiday baking ideas, here’s one dessert bread pudding, one savory bread pudding, and my version of a vegan stuffing.


 

1. Vegan Bread Pudding (Sweet)breadpudding1

*****This is a MUST for you to make. It’s so unbelievably good, I ate the biggest bowl as soon as it came out of the oven. OK, to be honest, I ate TWO bowls. (That’s like half a loaf of bread haha). It was even better than I had anticipated.

The blueberries and apples are key to the whole moist yumminess and the slight toasty crunch of coconut is amazing. Next time I’ll add a tablespoon of orange zest to brighten the fruity flavors.

Ingredients:

One loaf Food for Life Sprouted For Life Bread Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin with sprouted chia, quinoa, and millet. (The Almond version would be awesome, too.)
2-3 cups plain or vanilla almond milk, really SOAK the bread
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried blueberries
One apple, peeled, diced
Ground cinnamon
Toasted coconut for topping 

breadpudding2Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Grease a nine-inch baking dish or casserole dish.
  2. Tear the bread into rough cubes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, cinnamon, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the bread, let sit about 10-20 minutes, or until bread is soft and has absorbed most of the milk. Add the raisins gently mix. Don’t over mix.
  4. Scoop into prepared pan.
  5. Lightly sprinkle top with a little more cinnamon and the coconut.
  6. Bake 30-45 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and it’s a puffy golden brown.

YUM! Just TRY to stop eating it.
I think it’d also be awesome with your favorite sauce
or a 
scoop of vegan ice cream.
breadpudding3


I don’t have pics of the next two because I didn’t want to prepare them too far in advance, but I wanted to share the recipes so you’ll all have enough time to shop for the ingredients.

2. Vegan Bread Pudding (Savory)

Ingredients:

One loaf  Food for Life Sprouted For Life Bread Gluten Free (Flax Seed is the one I’ll be using.)
1 bunch Swiss chard, kale, or spinach (about 1 lb.)
1 cup almond or soy or rice milk
1 cup vegetable broth (low sodium)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups cubed bread
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sliced tomatoes
Option: Add tofu cubes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove and discard ribs from Swiss chard or kale. Rinse with cold water; drain and coarsely chop. If using spinach, wash and chop.
2. Whisk together milk, broth, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. Stir in bread.
3. Sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic, red pepper in hot oil until tender and soft. Stir in chard, kale, or spinach, and sauté 2 minutes. Fold vegetable mixture into liquid/bread mixture.
4. Top with thinly sliced tomatoes.If you have a vegan cheese that you like, crumble a few slices on top of tomatoes.
5. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 5 minutes.


Vegan Stuffing (Dressing)

Yummy to stuff green or red peppers or baked butternut squash, halved. I serve with my homemade cranberry sauce. No one misses the meat and if they do, they know better than to mention it! This recipe makes enough to feed our family and have leftovers the next day.

2 medium onions, diced
6 stalks celery with leaves, diced
4 carrots, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
Two loaves of Original Three Seed Sprouted for Life Food for Life
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 – 3/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups hot Homemade Vegetable Stock or a good quality low sodium purchased veg stock

Directions:
1. Saute onion, carrots, and celery, stirring occasionally until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. (Vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing.)
2. Transfer to large bowl and add stuffing cubes, parsley, celery salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups hot stock.
3. If stuffing peppers or other vegetables, stuff lightly and bake for about 30-40 minutes.
4. If baking entire recipe as side dish: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 3-quart casserole or 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and drizzle with 1/2 cup hot stock. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Of course you can add or detract any vegetables your family doesn’t like (our DIL doesn’t like mushrooms so I’ll make a small batch for her without them) and add more herbs and spices depending upon your own personal tastes. We like it rather peppery with bold flavors since it’s more than just a side dish.

Bon appétit!

I received product for sample and review, no other compensation. My opinions are my own.

http://www.foodforlife.com/

Got Leftover Sweet Potatoes?

Or yams? Or pumpkin?

(I did.)

MeatFreeZoneAt our house, it’s a meat-free Thanksgiving. 

Even though I haven’t eaten any meat or poultry of any kind since 1971, I used to continue to roast a turkey for Thanksgiving for my son and guests up until a few years ago when I learned about the horrors of factory farming.

Now I tell everyone if they want to eat meat, they can do it someplace else. I haven’t lost anyone yet, so I guess the food I do serve is tasty enough to keep ‘em coming!

Here’s our Thanksgiving dinner menu:

  • Lentil-Walnut loaf (full of protein)
  • Kugel (click on it for the recipe)
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes with vegan gravy
  • Salad
  • Roasted yams
  • Challah
  • Apple and Pumpkin Pie

Challah just out of the oven. Mmmmmm.
Challah

Angel Boy and DIL have gone back to their own lives and my tugboat man and I didn’t have many leftovers because we packed them up with the kids — all except for the roasted yams.

I’m a frugal and thrifty gal when I’m not shopping, really I am. Honest. I swear. For reals.

Here’s what I did with them and it was soo easy!

I used my tried and true recipe for banana bread but replaced the bananas with mashed up yams (you could use sweet potatoes or pumpkin too, of course).

Look how moist and yummy it looks along with oatmeal raisin cookies.Yam Bread

So simple; one bowl; you don’t need to bring out the big mixer for this one.

Leftover Sweet Potato (or Yam or Pumpkin) Bread
2 cups flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat)
1 cup sugar (brown and white)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Mashed yam/sweet potato, about a cup
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2-3 TBS milk (or plain, unflavored yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla (optional: 1 TBS pure maple syrup)
1/3 chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Mix oil, eggs, vanilla, milk. Add sugar(s) and mix well.
Add mashed yam and mix well. I use a fork; it’s so easy!
Add flour combined with other dry ingredients and nuts. Mix well.
Turn into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about fifty minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
When cool, I make a little glaze with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 TBS orange juice. It adds a nice sheen to the top of the loaf.

Super delicious with an afternoon cuppa. My fave is ginger tea. Enjoy!

When a Zygocactus Blooms, It’s a Sure Sign the Holidays are Coming!

Whether you call it Christmas Cactus or Zygocactus, it’s really a Schlumbergera hybrid.

Christmas Cactus1Today at Casa de Enchanted Seashells, we’re packing up to drive the eight hours it takes to get to Sacramento so I can testify at the Fish and Wildlife hearing  on Friday to protest the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species List.

I’m so happy (and relieved) that my tugboat man is going to be able to attend the hearing with me and I’m sure that he’s REALLY looking forward to keeping me out of jail.

FYI — Princess Rosebud and hunters do not mix. It’s a recipe for disaster. Cue the tugboat man, a voice of reason versus my ghetto mouth that has no impulse control!!

However and whatever…

I’ve got a new black suit, AMAZING heels, and a speech that I hope will make a difference, ‘cos that’s what it’s really all about.

While we’ve been getting ready, I noticed a magnificent plant blooming and crying out for attention.

My bright little pot loves to sit in our kitchen window for most of the year; when I see the red buds at the tips of the leaves, I know it won’t be long before the massive butterfly blooms emerge. 

(There’s an x-rated overt clitoral resemblance when the buds start to swell…just saying’.)

I love to say “zygocactus” like ten times in a row cos it feels so good as it rolls off the tongue, plus it’s really easy to grow!

You try it. It’s neat, huh?

zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus zygocactus

Schlumbergera truncatus blooms closer to Thanksgiving while Schlumbergera bridgesii blooms closer to Christmas, but through hybridization there is a certain overlapping of blooming times.

This is the most intense pink; the flowers feel kind of waxy or fleshy.
Christmas Cactus

Schlumbergera are epiphytes (tree-dwelling) originating in the mountainous rainforests of Brazil.

It’s excellent as hanging basket plant on a sheltered patio, or can be brought indoors in a bright area with excellent airflow.

Think about how lovely a blooming plant will be as a gift to bring joy for many years.

I’ve had pretty good success propagating these beauties by snipping a cutting at the natural “joint”, letting it dry out for a couple days, and then planting in sandy soil, keeping it only slightly moist until roots appear.

Don’t make the same mistakes I did by letting it get too wet or it’ll rot and die.

The next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Sacramento, meeting other wolf advocates and giving my two cents worth to a panel of Fish and Wildlife members who have blood on their hands from the senseless deaths of hundreds of beautiful wolves.

However, they have yet to hear from Princess Rosebud.

The Roller Coaster Life of a Professional Mariner’s Wife

The sea is calling

We’re in the parking lot at Trader Joe’s — collect the re-usable bags from the back seat — to replenish the empty pantry after our vacation.

A cell phone rings.

“Is that your phone or mine?”

“It’s mine. [He looks at the screen] It’s work.”

“What is it, do they have ESP? How did they know you were back home?”

“I’ll meet you in the store when I’m finished with the call.”

[A few minutes later in the yogurt section]

“They want to know if I’m available to pick up a newly built tug from a shipyard and take it through the Panama Canal.”

“Uh oh. Are you SERIOUS? When?”

“Day after tomorrow.”

“WHAT?? Crap. For how long?”

“Altogether, about two months.”

“But we just got home!  You’re not supposed to leave for two more weeks. That’s not fair.”

“I know, it sucks.”

[He doesn’t look too sad.]

“Hey, you’re not fooling me. Don’t act like you’re not excited to drive a brand new boat. It’s like a new car, all shiny and clean, right?”

“Well, I have to admit it does sound exciting, but I’m not happy to go. I’m never happy to leave.”

“Fine. I guess we better start getting you ready. We only have one more day together.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Only fish in the seaSIGH…the plan is to keep busy by downloading and organizing pics and video of our trip — we shot video of the most intense thunderstorm either of us have ever experienced — and trying to read my journal’s scribbles. Home before Thanksgiving, fingers crossed…

Anchor Heart

Building a paper Titanic

This seemed as good a time as any to revisit a previously written post. This one’s about one of the captain’s hobbies. He def likes to keep busy. He’s gone again, missing Thanksgiving, which is one of his fave holidays cos he likes to eat and it’s a day that I don’t police his consumption.  He’s a surf-aholic and this time of year usually brings good waves. Right now there’s a High Surf Advisory from an Alaskan storm. It’s about 5-6 ft. –maybe more– and my son’s here with DIL and sister wife. They’ve been surfing twice a day, which leaves me time to clean up from all their meals and start prepping for the next one. I’m really missing the captain but there’s so much to be grateful for in spite of his absence. I have so much admiration for the wives of our deployed soldiers. They are apart for much longer periods of time than this wife of a Merchant Marine, and have to be incredibly brave and stoic–and hope their loved ones come back alive. Although being a tugboat captain has its elements of danger, being shot at or bombed is not one of them.

When he’s home,  after he catches up on his sleep, my captain lines up projects to keep busy, whether it’s around the house or something creative. Unless there’s surf. In that case, I become a surf-widow and only see him when the tide drops or he’s hungry.

He’s made some awesome shelves in the living room and our bedroom, done a whole lot of house painting (inside and out).  The last time he was home for a few months, he found a paper model of the Titanic (he’s fascinated with anything Titanic) called Build the Titanic at Barnes and Noble and holed up in his man cave working on its miniature parts, gluing and painting. It’s more than two feet long and pretty much to scale. There’s a great little book that came with the model written by a female captain, Meghan Cleary, who lives aboard her thirty-five-foot sailboat.

I don’t normally watch daytime TV on any regular basis since All My Children went off the air. My mom and I started watching it together when it first began.  She was a stay-at-home mom until high school and then she went back to work part-time, as an RN. She was charge nurse for Women’s Surgical at a local hospital and worked the 3pm to 11pm shift, so we would hang out during summer vacation before she left for work.

When my son was born, I used to nurse him during All My Children, One Life to Liveand General HospitalThree hours, that’s right. I would switch him from side to side every twenty minutes or so, ‘cos my mom told me to nurse him as long as he was hungry, so we  had these marathon sessions. Plus, I read somewhere that breastfeeding burns tons of calories, so it provided value added options for me. I could lose baby weight, bond with my child, feed him, and watch TV at the same time!  That’s what I remember I was doing during Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.

I was working on a small proofing job and caught a few minutes of The View, muted ‘cos that one blonde chicka has a voice that could turn milk sour, geez, but what in the world has happened to Barbara Walters’ earlobes? I have enough of my own personal body image issues so that I do have empathy, but they are ay-may-zing specimens. I know she’s like eighty or something, and gravity happens, but WOW. She was wearing gigantic button earrings (ring, ring, 1983 is calling!) but even those monstrosities could not hide her elephant-sized lobes. It was fascinating and stomach-turning at the same time; I couldn’t turn away, I couldn’t look, I expected them to start flapping in the breeze. C’mon girl, you are obvs no stranger to plastic surgery-for the love of all that is holy, pullease nip/tuck those things! At the very least, have your hair stylist do a little cover-up. Pull-ease. It’s funny–for the hell of it I Googled “Barbara Walters’ ears” and discovered a lot of internet commentary, so I am not the only one who noticed. Like I said, aging is sad for so many, many reasons.

It’s now 9pm and I’m watching So You Think You Can Dance. Got a call from my captain, but it was such a bad connection and kept breaking up, so we didn’t get to have any kind of conversation besides the usual, “How are you, is everything OK?

“Yes, I’m fine, are you all right?”

“I can’t really hear you, I’m breaking up, I better go, I’ll try and call again in the morning if we’re near a cell tower. Love you.”

“I love  you, too. I miss you lots.”

At least we were able to get the important things said.  I am fanatical about ending conversations with “I love you”. With my son, ever since he spent his junior year abroad and continues to travel all over the world,  I always end every single telephone call or Skype that way.  No matter how brief the conversation, I want those to be the last words and the last thought I leave with him.

The real meaning of Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

 

 

From one of the funniest blogs out there,  My Life as Lucille, the absolute best quote about Thanksgiving from my secret crush, Jon Stewart.

Thanksgiving Quote
I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.~Jon Stewart