Orgasmic Clouds of Bliss

clouds4FINALLY, tugboat man returned to a double celebration; the act of coming home (of course), AND his birthday.

Two of his favorite activities are eating and sleeping.

I got him a new barbecue and Angel Boy got him a hammock from REI that we can take wherever we go.

It took him about ninety minutes to put the barbecue together and ninety seconds to set up the hammock.

This was perfect timing.

As you probably know by now, I’m often sent products to sample and review.

I stay in my wheelhouse, trying and recommending products that are vegan, healthy, and cruelty-free.

THIS time I’m speechless or I would be if I ever stopped talking, haha.

There really aren’t enough adjectives to describe the amazingness of these vegan marshmallows.

As vegans, we realized that we’d have to probably survive without things like marshmallows — which isn’t too much of a hardship, considering we don’t really want to eat food that contains the bones of a once living creature.

These marshmallows are joyful clouds of orgasmic joy.

REALLY. For realzies.

Don’t walk — RUN — to the store and buy them.

Whether you’re vegan or not, these are the most DELICIOUS marshmallows EVER.

I can’t wait to make hot chocolate with almond milk and float a few dozen of the minis on top.

chubbybunnyI enlisted tugboat man’s help to create a Chubby Bunny Challenge video of love as we went totes old skool with sticks and simply roasted marshmallows over the fire. Although I had chocolate and graham crackers, we chose to stay pure because on their own, they were so satisfying, we didn’t feel the need to add any other ingredients.

…“Marshmallows should make people happy, not be made with scary ingredients. I’m down with Dandies!!”

Learn more at Facebook.com/MyDandies and @MyDandies

chubbybunny2

Dandies are the first Non-GMO Project Verified marshmallows on the market. Made with all-natural ingredients and completely free of gelatin, artificial ingredients, and high fructose corn syrup, the products are produced in the company’s dedicated facility, which is free of dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree-nuts. These fluffy balls of fun are also free of wheat, gluten and corn, 100% vegan, and certified kosher by the Chicago Rabbinical Council. The best part is, Dandies marshmallows are air puffed, which gives them a traditional texture and flavor that is indistinguishable from their conventional counterparts. They melt and taste just like the marshmallows we grew up with! Dandies are available at Whole Foods Market and other natural foods stores across the U.S. Chicago Vegan Foods

(Product for sample and review only; no compensation.)

Thinking About Going VEGAN?

vegancookingOr if you already are, you still need to read this book.

Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking by Annie and Dan Shannon contains more than TWO HUNDRED delicious recipes, tips to save you $$$, and how to stock your pantry.

It’s one of those books you’ll turn to on a daily basis. I thought I knew it ALL, but I learned much more valuable info.

From the Shannons:

“In our new book, we strive to show readers how to cook creatively and thriftily with recipes, sidebars, and tips on stocking a pantry and using ingredients creatively. Most recipes result in leftover ingredients and servings that can be reused in multiple ways, reducing waste in your kitchen while keeping your meals fresh and flavorful. Inspired by the recipes and cost-saving techniques used during the Depression and World War II and paying a vegan homage to Julia Child, we’ve worked to create a system that’ll help vegans and not-yet-vegans alike get the most out of what kitchen goods you’ve already invested in so that you can spend less and get more.”

The photos are AMAZING, the recipes are easy to follow, and the tips are great!

Some of the recipes I can’t wait to try: Tofu Spring Rolls with Agave Chili Sauce, Pumpkin Pie Muffins, Slow-Cooker Tempeh Jumbalaya, and Sesame Miso Kale Chips.

Don’t they sound DELICIOUS?

Annie and Dan have appeared on the Today Show, Oprah.com, the Kitchn, in BUST magazine and numerous other media outlets, publications, and food festivals promoting compassionate living. Their first book, Betty Goes Vegan, won VegNews magazine’s Cookbook of the Year award in 2013.

P.S. If you live in the Portland, Oregon area, you can meet the authors at a book signing.

PORTLAND
Saturday, July 18
Herbivore Clothing Company Store
1211 Southeast Stark Street

Website: http://www.meettheshannons.com/

The Good Karma Diet: Book Review

41NE50FNxPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_“Eat gently, Feel amazing, age in slow motion.”

It seems to me that 4th of July — Independence Day — is the perfect time to review The Good Karma Diet since so many of us (well, not ME exactly, more like some of YOU) will be grilling and barbecuing thousands of pounds of dead flesh, an orgy of pig and cow and chicken and who knows what else.

Don’t get me wrong —  we love to barbecue too, but nothing that used to live and breathe — and it’s still an altogether happy and pleasant and fulfilling experience for tugboat man to get his grill on — with corn on the cob (non GMO of course), potatoes, veggie burgers, tempeh, tofu, garden veggies — and we are causing no harm and eating ethically.

Think of how beautiful our world could be if Independence Day meant Independence for ALL creatures from factory farm hell to enslaved circus animals to SlaveWorld to the horrors of puppy mills.

Freedom for ALL.

Many popular diets call for avoiding some foods or eating others exclusively. But as The Good Karma Diet reveals, the secret to looking and feeling great is actually quite simple: Treat our planet and all its inhabitants well. In this revolutionary book, bestselling author Victoria Moran reveals that by doing what’s best for all creatures and the planet, you align your eating with your ethics—a powerful health and wellness tool if there ever was one!

The Good Karma Diet shows readers how favoring foods that are karmically good for you will help you:

– Sustain energy
– Extend youthfulness
– Take off those stubborn extra pounds
– Reflect an enlightened outlook

This book also includes the inspiring stories of men and women across the country who have made this simple mealtime shift and reaped “good karma” in every aspect of their lives. Follow this wise diet and lifestyle program and you will find yourself waking up in a good mood more often and having a luminous look that bespeaks health and clean living.

Hopefully, you’ll read this wonderfully sweet book and shift your eating habits and quite possibly your KARMA.

The Good Karma Diet shows you why it’s in your self-interest to care about animals and the future of this planet. You feel better and avoid the ills plaguing American society, like heart disease and obesity. We all win a better world. And, good karma is delicious.”
—Jane Velez-Mitchell, creator of JaneUnchained.com, journalist, and author of Addict Nation 

I was provided this book to read and review.

Happy 4th of July!

Of Circuses and Condoms: The Slave Trade is Alive and Well in 2015

Circus TextThis might come as a shock to you.

I don’t spend ALL of my time shopping. Seriously, is that what you thought?

It’s true that I devote a great deal of my waking hours in a search for treasures old and new, but once in a while, I aspire to a higher calling.

circus5On Sunday and Monday, I hung out with an amazing and dedicated group who were protesting Ramos Brothers Circus in San Marcos, California.

Shame on San Marcos for supporting the mistreatment of animals.


What’s my story?
 I’ve never been to a circus because my mom felt strongly that animals should not do tricks and that there is something so very wrong in forcing animals to become entertainment for human profit.

If you were wondering where all my animal activist genes came from, I’d have to thank my mom. (Also thanks to her for the fashionista gene.)

I stopped eating meat in 1970 when I was a senior in high school. My surfer boyfriend (yes, I have a type haha) at the time wanted to try to eat healthier so I went along with his experiment. We eventually broke up but I never did eat meat again.

circus1Thank you to everyone who drove by, honked, and gave a thumbs up in support of our efforts.circus4

I have a request to make of you…the next time you see a group of people protesting animal abuse, STOP. Get out of your car. JOIN US. Take an hour out of your busy day just like we did to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Bring your children. Show them that you don’t just talk about caring for animals…you are agents of change. circus2

Then, hopefully, we CAN make the world a better place.

No matter what you think about PETA, they’re right about this:

“Animals aren’t actors, spectacles to imprison and gawk at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of these animals are forced to perform silly, confusing tricks under the threat of physical punishment; are carted across the country in cramped and stuffy boxcars or semi-truck trailers; are kept chained or caged in barren, boring, and filthy enclosures; and are separated from their families and friends—all for the sake of human “entertainment.” Many of these animals even pay with their lives.”

Animals have RIGHTS.

Did you grow up eating meat, wearing leather, going to circuses, zoos, and the bathtub that is SeaWorld?

Do you wear wool and silk?

Are you now considering the impact of your actions on the animals?

If you haven’t, maybe you SHOULD.

Animals are NOT a requirement for a circus-type entertainment to be prosperous.

The overwhelming success of Cirque du Soleil is proof that you don’t need to have animals of any kind to have a circus.

Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, said people have turned against animal acts as they learn more about the animals and how they are treated. “These are complex, intelligent animals, and this is a lousy, lousy, dirty, cruel business, and people see that,” she said. “This was purely a business decision.”

Isn’t it wrong that these animals don’t get to see this glorious sky, bask in the breeze, and feel rain on their fur? Their lives are dismal, traveling from one city to another in dark, smelly, cramped trailers.
circus8

I’m not going to share the sad, tragic, horrific, heartbreaking pictures and videos of abused animals. If you need proof, you are more than welcome to Google and compile your own documentation.

I KNOW all I need to know.

A couple years ago, I spoke (along with PETA) against elephant rides at the San Diego County Fair and almost got into an altercation with one of the few supporters of this barbaric form of entertainment. I don’t understand how seemingly intelligent and civilized humans could allow this kind of abuse in 2015 when we’ve seen the videos, when we know what hell an animal endures to become “entertainment”.

Aren’t we better than this?

Haven’t we evolved at all in the last one hundred years?

Do you really need all that bacon-wrapped crap when you know what hellish existence pigs endure in factory farms?

Really?

Compassion
Let’s teach our children, the next generation, that not only do animals have feelings, animals have the right not to be exploited, mistreated, abused, and enslaved.

For more information, visit circusprotest.com
I hope to see you in San Diego at the next protest!

As we walked our way over to the sidewalk with our signs, look what we had to step over.

Gross, huh?circus11

However, in some way, it’s a perfect albeit disgusting metaphor for the way too many people think about animals; that their lives have as much value as a discarded condom. Or something like that.

How about a little inspiration from Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young?

Teach Your Children

Scrumptious Vegan Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Dark Chocolate Vegan Cake www.enchantedseashells.comWe have a  bounty of zucchini here at the Casa de Enchanted Seashell garden, and the dilemma becomes what the heck does one do with all of this summer squash?

I made a few loaves of zucchini bread because they freeze well and tugboat man can enjoy them when he returns.

Did I forget to mention that he’s gone again?

Yup, he left a couple days ago, but I’m happy that he got some good surf so he wasn’t all moody and depressed, and we were able to go camping and commune with nature.

But what about all the zucchini?

I’ll pickle a few jars like I’ve done with cucumbers and then I got the brilliant idea to add shredded zucchini to my favorite chocolate cake to boost the nutritional value and keep it super moist, not that it lasts more than a day or two, ‘cos it’s the best chocolate cake EVER, vegan or not.

Best of all, the zucchini magically disappears during baking, so if you have children who are recalcitrant and don’t like veggies (how is that even possible?) this is a great way to TRICK them, although I don’t really approve of deceit as a parenting technique.

Son and DIL are coming down for a brief visit so that’s the perfect excuse reason to experiment PLUS they’re bringing a friend that Angel Boy was in graduate school with at Yale (bad sentence structure, I know), so it’s just like the “old days” when the house was filled with kids for me to stuff with food.

I old-school shredded the zucchini…

zucchinicake

All dry ingredients go into the mixing bowl.

zucchinicake1 Add the liquids…

zucchinicake2 And the zucchini. So simple, now beat for a couple of minutes to incorporate all the goodness.

zucchinicake3 When it’s out of the oven and still hot, place about 1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips on top. When they melt…zucchinicake4 Take an offset spatula and spread to make a delicious and easy topping.zucchinicake6

See how shiny?zucchinicake7

It’s always nice to garnish with garden blooms. I plucked a nasturtium, mint, and lemon verbena.

It’s as yummy as it is GORGEOUS!

zucchinicake8

Dark Chocolate and Zucchini Vegan Cake

  • 1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (squeeze out any excess liquid)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose, I use King Arthur, not because they pay me, but because it’s U.S. grown and an employee-owned company)
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (or Amaretto or Grand Marnier)
  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold coffee or water (coffee is better with chocolate) or you could always use soy/almond/cashew/coconut milk.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Mix the first five dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Make three shallow depressions in the dry ingredients.
3. Pour vinegar in one, vanilla/amaretto in the other, vegetable oil and zucchini in the third.
4. Pour coffee/water over all.
5. Mix well until smooth.

Grease a nine-inch pan. Bake on middle rack of oven for approximately twenty-five to thirty-five minutes.  Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Don’t over bake or it’ll dry out. Cool and frost.

Veggie Power! Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Keep it GREEN. *

wheatgrassAs in the green of wheatgrass.

Now don’t scrunch your face at me or say YUCK.

Just give it a chance.

For some of us, the fresh and refreshing flavor of wheatgrass was an instant hit with our palates, but I do realize that for a lot of you, it might take a bit of effort to enjoy.

I’ve been an advocate of wheatgrass since 2000, when a girlfriend started carrying around a water bottle filled with a jade-colored beverage, and said it was the single best thing she’s done for her health and well-being since becoming a vegan.

Ever since then, tugboat man and I “do” wheatgrass pretty much on a daily basis.

What’s the best time of day (and method) to take your greens?

I like to add them to smoothies or drop a tablespoon to the water I bring to the gym and drink it during class.

Here’s what Pines suggests: Take with a good amount of water or other liquid. This helps your body take full advantage of the nutrients without competing with other foods, and may also take the edge off your hunger so you don’t eat as much at meals. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are great times for a green energy pick-me-up.

(There are tablets, if you just CAN’T.)

The health benefits are HUGE. 

According to the Pines International Wheat Grass (the wheat grass people since 1976) website…

1) PROVIDE PROTECTION FROM CANCER
There is significant scientific evidence that eating certain green, leafy vegetables can help prevent cancer.  The American Institute of Cancer Research states:

Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and Swiss chard are excellent sources of fiber, folate and a wide range of carotenoids that can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer .

2) A RICH SOURCE OF VITAMINS & MINERALS
Greens represent a convenient, essentially non-caloric, nutrient-dense source of otherwise hard to obtain minerals, like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese .

3) LOWER THE RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AND TYPE 2 DIABETES
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables contain fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and help to temper blood-sugar swings by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals. This lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes .

4) BOOST YOUR MOOD
Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and collards contain folate and vitamin B12. According to WebMD, there is a correlation between the consumption of these vitamins and rates of depression. “These veggies contain lots of the B-complex vitamins, which are needed to make serotonin, a mood-boosting chemical” .

5) IMPROVE BREATH
Green leafy vegetable like spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, and lettuce, kale and salad greens contains the highest amount of chlorophyll (the green pigment) which is an excellent deodorizer. The green vegetables help balance the pH level of the body and thus prevent the occurrence of dry mouth which is one of the root causes of bad breath. A diet which is comprised of loads of green leafy vegetables will not only eliminate offensive odor but it will also boost the production of digestive enzymes .

6) SLOW THE AGING PROCESS
In addition to playing a key role in helping blood to clot, vitamin K is critical in preventing certain age-related conditions. Researchers in California found inadequate K can lead to cardiovascular disease, bone fragility, and arterial and kidney calcification.

Pines grows the only sold anywhere that is Non-GMO Project Verified.

Try it!

No, really. TRY IT!


PINES International offers a line of the purest, freshest and nutrient-rich wheatgrass, barley grass, alfalfa and beet juice powder that can be added to your shaker bottle for some instant Green Energy®. PINES also offers veggie power in tablets and capsules. Just one teaspoonful of PINES Wheat Grass powder, mixed in water or juice, provides the same amount of nutrition as a serving of deep-green, leafy vegetables. Seven wheat grass tablets will do the same.

Pound for pound, PINES Wheat Grass products are many times richer in chlorophyll and iron than spinach. Protein levels average 25 percent and contain virtually every vitamin known, along with 20 amino acids, including the eight that are considered essential for human health.

*The Pines slogan

I was provided product to sample and review; the opinions are my own.

Scrumptious Vegan Pesto

Although I usually make all the food I serve to my family from scratch, sometimes it’s nice to have a healthy vegan FAST option in my pantry.

Sauces ‘n Love sent me their Vegan Pesto to sample and review and it was the perfect choice for my tugboat man’s whirlwind visit home.

I wanted to prepare a homemade meal but didn’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen. vegan pesto

There are only SEVEN ingredients!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Basil, Pinenuts, Garlic, Salt, Black Pepper
Sauces ’n Love Vegan Pesto has the same authentic Italian flavor that’s been perfectly balanced with fresh basil, pine nuts and olive oil and garlic.
It has that rich flavor and texture of the best pesto sauces but without the cheese. Use this vegan pesto over pasta, salads, sandwiches or as a condiment.

I added a two tablespoons to a couple of hastily thrown together stuffed portobello mushrooms for an appetizer and it was delicious.

With Spring here and Summer not far behind, when was the last time you had a truly amazing vegan pesto on a warm day?

Sauces ‘n Love has a reputation for quality with fifteen Specialty Food Association Awards for superior gourmet flavor.

Check out the brand at www.saucesnlove.com.

Sauces ‘n Love Vegan Pesto with Asparagus with Mushrooms

Ingredients:

Sauces ‘n Love Vegan Pesto
8 oz. Linguine
1 bunch asparagus
4 oz. mixed mushrooms
1 Shallot (or onion)
3 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil Salt & Black Pepper

Preparation :

Set pot of cold water (3-4 qts.) on high heat. Wash and dry asparagus, cut hard end off (3-4″), trim heads, and cut stem in 1/4″ cylinders. Cut heads in half, lengthwise. Slice shallot thinly. Trim mushroom stems, rub head with damp paper towel, removing any dirt. Roughly chop mushrooms.

Actions: In skillet heat 3 tbsp oil on Medium.

  1. Saute’ shallots for 1 minute stirring, add asparagus cylinders (retain the heads), cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add salt to boiling water, add pasta and set timer according to instructions on package.
  3. Add mushroom to asparagus, cook for 5 minutes. Adjust for salt and pepper
  4. Add Sauces ‘n Love Vegan Pesto and asparagus heads, bring to gentle simmer, add 2 tbsp pasta water (more if you want the sauce thinner)
  5. Drain pasta, add to sauce and gently coat by stirring medium heat.

Presentation : Serve on warm plates, decorate with a sprig of your favorite herb. We like everything a bit spicy, so just added a few hot red pepper flakes. Buon Appetito! (I was provided product to sample and review. Opinions are my own.)

Keep It Simple With Brown Rice, Kale, and Tofu #MeatlessMonday

Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen a huge increase in the numbers of vegan blogs and vegan recipes (YAY!) but it seems that they’re getting more and more elaborate, as if it’s a sort of competition to create the most difficult-to-prepare meals.

I’m sending a more simple back-to-basics message.

If we agree that one of the reasons for not eating meat advocates for a cruelty-free life to protect animals from a hellish existence on earth, we need to also communicate that it doesn’t always have to be a herculean task to do the right thing.

I’ve been a veg since 1970 and in those 40+ years have seen a lot of people make a similar decision to go meat-free and then, for one reason or another, fall off the wagon.

One of the reasons I’ve heard time and time again is that it’s “too hard”.

I disagree.

Some of my most enjoyable and satisfying meals are the most simple.

Here’s an example of a basic, easy-to-prepare dinner.

Start with my can’t fail One Dish Brown Rice recipe.

It’s PERFECT every time.

1. Add one cup brown rice to a 9×9 glass baking dish.

2. Pour over the rice not quite two cups water plus one teaspoon olive oil.

3. Lay gently on top of the rice one-inch chunks of tofu.

4. Sprinkle pepper, chopped fresh herbs, freshly ground salt (if you must).

5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

6. While the rice is baking, I picked a bunch of kale from the garden, cut into bite-size pieces, and steamed it.

7. To serve, sprinkle rice with low-sodium soy sauce, slice an organic tomato and garnish with cilantro or parsley (we grow cilantro year-round in the Casa de Enchanted Seashells garden.

A chilled chardonnay will dance a tango on your palate and complement the earthy rice, tofu, and kale combo.

Simple. Delicious. 

Best 100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Easy+Spectacular 100% Whole Wheat BreadWhen my tugboat man’s home or when my son is here, I bake a lot.

When I’m alone, I don’t bake or cook at all; I guess that’s why I enjoy it as much as I do.

Sometimes the results are great; sometimes they end up in the compost bin.

And I’m OK with that; I love to experiment and put my own spin on established recipes.

Without a doubt, THIS is the absolute BEST 100% whole wheat bread I’ve ever made.

I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but you can use a hand mixer with the bread hook attachment. And if you don’t have that, you can go totally old school with a big bowl, a wooden spoon, and get a great upper body work out. Sometimes I still make bread that way just to prove to myself that I can.

Easy + Spectacular Whole Wheat Bread 

One cup warm water (not too hot)
1/4 cup orange juice (I used fresh squeezed)
One packet yeast
1/4 cup agave syrup (honey or molasses works, too)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 1/2 cups 100% whole wheat flour, approximately.
One teaspoon sea salt

Mix water and orange juice plus agave in large bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top; stir.

Cover with a cloth for a few minutes to allow the yeast to bloom.

All at once, add, oil, THREE cups of flour, and salt.

With paddle attachment, mix for about three or four minutes. Switch over to the bread hook attachment and knead approximately 8-10 minutes, adding the last 1/2 (or so) cup flour a little at a time.

When the dough begins to form a ball and pull away from the sides, turn it out onto a floured board and knead by hand until it’s soft and pliable, not sticky.

Oil a bowl for rising, add dough, cover with plastic, and then cover with dishcloth. Let rise until it doubles in size. I like to find a non-drafty location like the oven or on top of a dryer.

When it’s doubled (about two hours), punch down gently and let sit on floured cutting board for a few minutes. Here’s my quick technique for shaping bread for a loaf pan.

Pat the dough into a rectangle — you don’t need to measure or be all OCD about it…

Fold in half. Starting at the folded side, roll into a cigar shape, pinch the edges closed, and pop into a loaf pan.

Try not to use too much extra flour ‘cos that will make it tough and dry.

Let it rise again for about thirty minutes or until the bread rises above the rim of the pan. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bake about thirty-forty minutes, checking to make sure it doesn’t become too brown. You can always cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil the last five minutes or so of baking.

When it’s done, let it cool for five minutes in the pan, then turn the bread onto a rack to finish cooling. Tap the bottom of the loaf with your fingers to see if it gives off a hollow sound. Then you know for sure it’s done.

Does this sound very tedious and time consuming? Just do it a couple of times, and it’ll be come second nature to you.

Homemade bread is SO much superior to store bought, chemical and preservative-laden bread. The texture of this bread is finely grained and tender; almost cake-like.easy+spectacular100%wholewheatbread1

#vegan

 

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.
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