You heard right…I did say Vegan Lentil Kale Cookies

BF607BA9-C66F-4599-B127-A6B2A94341DFAnd they are DELICIOUS, much to even my surprise, haha.

I was playing around in the kitchen this morning and thought I’d challenge myself to experiment baking with only the ingredients I have in my pantry.

There’s not much food here, but that’s a sad story for another day. (I can pinpoint the exact date and time that my love for cooking and baking was destroyed like an atom bomb.)

Anyway…

I thought these cookies were going to be making the short journey from oven to compost BUT they surprised me, so I thought I should share the recipe before I forget. If you try them, let me know what you think.

Vegan Lentil Kale Cookies

Lentils (cooked)-one cup
Kale-1/2 cup raw (freshly picked from the garden.)
Banana-one, mashed
Oil-1/3 cup
1/3 cup agave plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Chia seeds-2 tablespoons
Raisins-1/2 cup
Oats-1//2 cup (oat flour, I make my own, so easy. 1/2 cup oats in the blender or Bullet or food processor, takes just a few seconds.)
Whole wheat flour-1 cup
Baking powder-1/2 teaspoon
Pinch salt
Cinnamon-1 teaspoon
Vanilla-1 teaspoon

If you don’t already have some leftover cooked lentils like I did, cook 1 cup of lentils with 2 cups of water until soft, about 20-30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.)
Let cool.

Place one cup cooked lentils in bowl.
Combine the kale and the oil in a blender/Bullet/food processor. Blend until a smooth slurry.
Add to lentils.
Add agave/maple syrup, vanilla, raisins, chia, and all other ingredients.
Mix until flours are well incorporated.
Let chill in refrigerator a few minutes until the oven is heated to 375 degrees.

Using a teaspoon, place about two inches apart on baking sheet. Flatten with a fork coated in flour so it won’t stick.

Bake for about 17 minutes until bottom is golden brown and the top is firm.
Let cool on wire rack.
YUM!

***Options: Of course if your pantry is more well stocked than mine, you can def add grated apples, coconut, and other dried fruit and nuts.

 

 

 

 

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The Accidental Brownie #vegan

Upon my return from a week-long visit with Angel Boy 2.0, I arrived to an empty refrigerator and pantry. (Don’t worry, there was wine waiting for me, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.)

I was JONESIN’ for ANYTHING chocolate and simply didn’t feel like going to the store.

Instead, I scoured the cabinets to see what ingredients might jump out to create something at least halfway edible.

Whew! I found cocoa which was a MAJOR score, because obvs without it there could be no joy . Next, I scrounged together about a scant cup of flour. Cool. And brown sugar.

Here’s what I did:

In a bowl, I combined 1.2 cup cocoa, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 1.2 cup veg oil, 2 tablespoons black coffee since I had no vanilla and coffee complements the flavor of chocolate, 1.2 teaspoon baking powder. I didn’t want to dirty a mixer, so I used a fork to whisk it all together. It was a bit dry, so I added another tablespoon of black coffee.

I placed paper inserts in muffin tins, filled them 2/3 of the way, sprinkled the top with a little Himalyan sea salt,  and baked for 20 minutes @ 350 degrees.

When I took them out, they were still soft on the inside like a molten lava cake.

BUT EFFING DELICOUS. OMG.

I’M NOT KIDDING.

I ate two of them in a very self-congratulatory mood, and stored the rest in the refrigerator.

Now here’s where the magic must have happened.

As they set, they transformed themselves into the CHEWIEST, most intensely CHOCOLATY, FUDGEY, yummy bites of JOY that you’ve ever tasted. If I were making them for an event, I’d frost them, but on their own, they were amazing. The little bit of sea salt adds a sophisticated touch on the palate.

TRUTH.

You. Must. Try. This. Recipe.

You’re welcome.

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I’m salivating for more! Surrounded by some of my very own rock art.

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#vegan #chcolate #brownies #pleaseshare

The Accidental Brownie

1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup veg oil
Mix well with a fork.
Add 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Vanilla if you have it, or 2-3 tablespoons cold black coffee
Mix well. Spoon into lined muffin tins.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Let cool in pan and then finish in the refrigerator.
YUM.

Super Moist #Vegan Chocolate Cake With Amaretto Coffee Frosting

Since I now focus most of my baking to please Angel Boy 2.0 (the new and improved version), this was the winner of all the chocolate cakes I ever created, so I thought I’d share it again for those of you who do still currently turn on the oven and combine ingredients to conjure up lovely confections (not confessions).

At 15 months, AB 2.0 can’t have chocolate; for now he’ll have to be happy with sugarless teething biscuits and kale smoothies. 


No eggs and no dairy, yet this cake is super moist, fluffy, and fudge-tastic — with a hint of French roast coffee and almond-y Amaretto.

vegancakeTEXT

I was inspired by a recipe I found in my mom’s old cookbook — as always, I transformed it into my own version.

I know I use Amaretto a lot, but I ran out of vanilla and it’s a great flavor enhancer with chocolate and coffee.

Moist #Vegan Chocolate Cake With Amaretto Coffee Frosting

  • 1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 1/4 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 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, and vegetable oil 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.vegancake4

Amaretto Coffee Frosting
Three tablespoons softened vegan butter substitute (I use Earth Balance)
Three or four tablespoons cocoa
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Amaretto or Grand Marnier or vanilla
Cold coffee

In a medium bowl, sift sugar and cocoa. Blend with vegan butter. Add 2 teaspoons Amaretto or other flavoring, and 3 tablespoons cold coffee, Blend until desired consistency. If too dry, add more coffee or Amaretto. If too wet, add more powdered sugar.
Frost cake and dust with sifted cocoa.

vegancake3

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!

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. 

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/