Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hot Cocoa (vegan, gluten-free)

This recipe is derived from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau...if you don't have it in your collection, order it today! It's the most used book in my kitchen, and I have yet to find a recipe that non-vegans didn't devour ("this is vegan???").

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
4 cups non-dairy milk like soy, almond or rice milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp mint extract (optional)
agave or raw sugar to taste
vegan marshmallows for topping (I used Dandies)

Combine cocoa powder and water in a small pot over medium heat; stir frequently until mixture reaches a boil. Continue to cook and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Add choice of milk and heat to desired drinking temperature (do not boil). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, mint (optional), and agave. Serve immediately with a garnish of marshmallows as desired.

*gluten free, can be soy free if using a non-soy milk and skipping the marshmallows

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Masala Chai (vegan, gluten-free)

Chai (the Hindi term for tea) is a spectacular beverage, perfect for any cold Winter's day. The spices and herbs warm the body and comfort the soul. I've experimented with a few variations, and have decided to post a more traditional variation of this classical Indian spice tea, closer to what it may have been before the English introduced and encouraged the heavy use of black tea to the country. For those who desire black tea in their chai, after removing chai mix from heat, add 2-3 tsp loose black tea (recommend decaf) or 2 tea bags, steep three minutes; strain and serve.

2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp cardamom powder or 2 pods black cardamom, crushed
4 whole black peppercorns
2-4 slices fresh ginger
1/4 tsp of cinnamon or 1 large stick cinnamon
2 whole cloves
2/3-3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I prefer soy)
raw sugar or agave nectar to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Combine water and all spices in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Lower heat to simmer for 5-10  minutes. Add non-dairy milk and sweetener of choice and bring to simmer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Strain through a fine sieve and serve hot.

*gluten free, can be soy free if choosing coconut or almond milk

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Potato Leek Soup (vegan, gluten-free)

This delicately flavorful soup is simple and light.

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large leek, sliced thin (use only white and light green parts)
6 cups vegetable broth
2 medium potatoes, cubed
3-4 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
sea salt to taste

In a medium stockpot, heat canola oil over medium flame; add leeks and saute about 5 minutes, or until beginning to turn translucent. Add broth, potatoes, and carrots and bring to a boil for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, and stir in parsley, thyme, red pepper, and salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!

*gluten free (use gluten free broth/bullion) and soy free

Friday, October 21, 2011

Healing Soup (vegan, gluten-free)

The perfect soup to replace traditional chicken noodle soup. This is a classic comfort food made vegan, with the twist of healing spices from India.

12 cups vegetable broth
4 medium potatoes, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
6 carrots, sliced
2 cups gluten-free pasta
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp turmeric powder
dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
sea salt

In a large stock pot, combine vegetable broth, potatoes, celery and carrots; begin to heat over a medium high flame and watch for boil.

While broth and veggies are heating, place canola oil in a saute pan over medium flame. Once oil has heated, add cumin seeds and saute until they turn brown and pop, about 1 minute. Add onion and a couple dashes of sea salt and saute until onions are golden brown. Add turmeric and saute another minute. Add red pepper flakes, ground cumin, and garlic powder and saute another 2-3 minutes (watch the heat, you may need to lower the flame to prevent over drying) and then remove from heat. This method of cooking the onion and spices together before adding them to the main dish is from Indian culture, called a turka. It COMPLETELY transform the flavor of foods, I recommend you try it with other dishes--it has revolutionized my chili!

When you notice the broth has begun to boil, boil for about 2-3 minutes and then add your pasta. You want the total boiling time to be about 10 minutes, this will be just enough time to soften the potatoes, carrots, and celery while cooking the pasta to perfection. In the last minute of the boil, add your turka (onion and spice saute). Remove from heat, add salt to taste and serve immediately!

*soy free, can be gluten free if choosing a gluten free pasta and broth/bullion.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Golden Milk, A Powerful Anti-inflammatory Drink (vegan, gluten-free)

I've seen this recipe in many forms across the web, this is how we make Golden Milk at hOMe. I often share the healing power of Golden Milk with yoga students who arrive at class with some sort of inflammation (i.e., my shoulder, calf, hip hurts from running, lifting, etc.). Turmeric is one of the most healing spices we can consume. The most known benefit is that turmeric reduces inflammation in a way that pharmaceuticals cannot compare (and without side effects). This spice has been used for centuries in India as a part of daily diet and healing. Reducing chronic inflammation is key to healing and prevention and treatment of all sorts of dis-ease, from IBS to cancer. This delicious beverage taste more like a treat than medicine, serve it up and find ways to integrate more turmeric in your diet!

1 Tbsp almond oil or vegan soy-free butter, like Earth Balance Soy-free
1 tsp turmeric
1 - 1 1/2 cups plain or vanilla soy, almond, or coconut milk
2-3 tsp agave nectar (to taste)

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat; add turmeric and saute about 5 minutes, minding the pan heat so as not to overcook the turmeric. Add choice of non-dairy milk; heat to the start of boiling and remove from heat. Add agave nectar to desired level of sweetness; enjoy this beverage as warm as the tongue finds possible.

*gluten free, soy free when using a non-soy milk choice.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bandh Gobi Subji / Punjabi Cabbage Dish (vegan, gluten-free)

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seed
6-8 curry leaves
1 small onion, diced small
1 to 2 small jalapeno (depending on heat desired), diced small
3 cloves garlic, diced small
1 small head green cabbage, diced small
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)
sea salt to taste

Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add mustard seed and cover pan, allowing mustard seeds to pop (but not escape!). Remove cover as seeds finish popping, lower heat to medium and add onion and curry leaves; saute until onion begins to brown. Add jalapeno, garlic, cabbage and about 1/4 tsp salt, stir to mix well; cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add tumeric, cumin, and coriander; stir well, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add frozen peas; stir well and cook another 5 minutes or until any water from cabbage and peas has cooked off. Add garam masala and saute an additional 3 minutes. Test salt and add more as needed. Serve with roti (Indian flat bread) or rice.

*soy and gluten free if served with rice

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cheese Sandwich (vegan, can be gluten-free)

1/2 cup Pepper Jack Daiya Cheese
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion
4-5 slices nacho slice jalapenos
Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread
2 slices vegan bread of choice (gluten free is available in some stores)

Heat a dry skillet or flat grill/griddle to medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread and place butter side down in skillet. Add onion, jalapeno slices and Daiya cheese to the dry side of each bread slice as they grill. After about 3 minutes or when bread is beginning to turn a light golden-brown (watch closely!), place the cheesy sides of the bread together to form your sandwich, lower the flame to low heat and turn after every two minutes until cheese is meltified. Do you need instructions on what to do next...? EAT IT BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DOES! Enjoy. :)

Note for Daiya: use this product within 7 days of opening. I find the pepper jack has more moisture content and last only about 5 days. The good news is this product freezes VERY well, so I usually freeze half the package upon opening.

*soy free as posted, gluten free if choosing a gluten free bread for sandwich

Zesty Garlic Tomato Soup (vegan, gluten-free)

6 cups peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 small head garlic, roasted (I recommend roasting a whole batch while you are at it and storing for future use)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seed, whole
1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper, depend on desired heat
1 tsp raw sugar
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Cook tomatoes on medium heat 10-15 minutes until falling apart. Puree tomatoes in a blender or food processor and press through a sieve to remove all seeds. Place about a cup of tomato puree back in the food processor, add roasted garlic (removed from skins) and puree. Heat canola oil over medium-high heat; add whole cumin seeds to the hot oil and saute about 1 minute or until a light brown/aromatic. Add crushed red pepper and saute 1 minute more. Add tomato puree, roasted garlic puree, sugar, and sea salt and heat to just boiling and lower heat to lowest flame and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add additional sea salt to taste if needed and serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream and a grilled Daiya cheese sandwich (their pepper jack is amazing)!

*gluten and soy free as posted (soup only)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hearty Vegan Pasta Sauce

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe was posted prior to Marty's transition to a gluten-free diet. It will be re-written soon to fit into the gluten-free model of this blog!

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 Field Roast Grain Meat Italian Sausages, hand crumbled (more if you like added texture)
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup chopped frozen asparagus
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend (or a mix of rosemary, basil, oregano)
2-3 cups fresh baby spinch, whole
sea salt to taste (optional)

Heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a skillet over medium flame and add onion, saute for 3 minutes. Add crumbled grain meat and saute until browned and crispy. Add garlic, frozen apsaragus, and Italian seasonings and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add Fire Roasted Tomatoes and bring to a simmer; lower heat to a low flame and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add fresh baby spinach and stir in to wilt. Add sea salt if needed, I usually find it plenty flavorful as is. Sauce is ready to serve over your favorite pasta (served over organic spiral pasta from Trader Joe's pictured above). 
*soy-free as posted, contains gluten if using grain meat and gluten pasta

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Zucchini Subji (Indian Zucchini Dish) (vegan, gluten-free)

Zucchini and Summer squash abounds this time of year. Here is a simple and yummy way to prepare zucchini. I sometimes throw in a yellow Summer squash as well if my garden is in full swing.

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat:

1 Tbsp coconut oil

Add and saute 1 minute or until seeds begin to pop:

1 Tbsp cumin seed

Add and saute until onions are translucent:

1 small onion, diced
1/4 c fresh ginger root, peeled, sliced thin
1/2 or 1 jalapeno (depending on desired heat), diced
dash of salt

Add and saute another 2 minutes:

1 tsp tumeric
2 tsp coriander powder
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 medium tomato, diced

Add and cook on a medium-low heat 15-25 minutes or until zucchini falls apart:

3 cups zucchini, semi-circle sliced thin

Add and stir in, cooking just 2-3 minutes more:

1 tsp garam masala (find it at your local Indian grocery)

Serve with cooked basmati or Jasmine rice or with fresh roti (Indian flat breads).

*gluten free (as is, without roti) and soy free

Friday, August 5, 2011

Creamy Summer Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

One of the textures we tend to miss as vegans is CREAMY. Well, at least I do! Sometimes non-vegans as why I re-create dairy textures, after all, I went vegan and gave up dairy…and I always reply that I didn't go vegan because I lost my taste for dairy, I went vegan because I lost my taste for cruelty

Creamy vegan foods are readily available and simple to make with a little creativity. This recipe uses my Vegan Ranch Dip recipe to recreate the typical store-bought or homemade deli salads we find at Summer picnics. You can substitute/add any veggies you like to create your own unique version of this Summertime favorite.

4 cups cooked organic quinoa pasta (elbows, curlsyou choose!)
1 pint organic cherry tomatoes (heirloom if available), whole
1/2 cup organic onion, diced small
1 medium organic cucumber, diced small
1 can small whole black olives, choose organic or check label for additives
1/2-3/4 cup of my Vegan Ranch Dip, depending on how creamy you like it

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and gently combine with a large wooden spoon. Chill for at least two hours or overnight. Gently stir before serving.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove animal products from our diet, and organic tastes better too!

*gluten-free, soy-free

Ranch Dip (vegan, gluten-free)

Use this yummy dip for veggies and pizza, to replace mayo on sandwiches, and in pasta salads.

2 cups vegan sour cream (I use Wayfare's since is soy/gluten-free)
2 Tbsp Vegenaise (soy-free vegan mayo-style spread options available)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried chives
1 tsp dried onion flakes

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix well. For a thinner consistency more like a salad dressing, add almond milk to desired consistency. Chill and serve.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*gluten free, can be soy-free

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe was posted prior to Marty's transition to a gluten-free diet. It will be re-written soon to fit into the gluten-free model of this blog!

This dessert was an all-time favorite growing up. It represented the true return of Summer in the flavor of the sun-kissed strawberries. This vegan variation is, in my opinion, even better than what I remember tasting as a child (don't tell my Mother...:)). I found the original recipe for the yummy shortbread and strawberry sauce at, but have altered the ingredients to suit my dietary preferences and re-written the instructions in my own words. This recipe yields 8 servings.

Shortbread Recipe

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2 cups all purpose organic, unbleached flour
1 Tbs. aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 Tbs. cold vegan butter, like non-soy Earth Balance
2 Tbs. raw sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter, add the cold vegan butter, cutting the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in sugar. Add coconut milk and combine just enough to form a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Kneed dough 6-8 times to form a soft dough. Pat or roll dough to a square or rectangle shape (I do this by hand, no roller), adding a small amount of flour to dough surface if sticking. Cut dough with a knife into 8 rectangles or squares. Place squares onto a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until just starting to brown (try to avoid a hard bottom crust).

Cool completely before assembling shortcakes to serve.

Strawberry Sauce

1 pint organic strawberries, washed, topped, and diced small (maybe reserve a few berries for garnishing)
1 - 2 Tbs. raw sugar, based on desired sweetness

Combine diced strawberries and sugar in a small bowl, cover and chill until ready for use.

To assemble your shortcakes, slice each shortcake in half vertically, like you would slice a biscuit to butter it. Place lower half of the shortcake on your serving dish, add about 1/2 cup of the strawberry sauce, and top with the second half of your shortcake. Garnish with reserved sliced strawberries and serve with a dab of vegan whipped cream topping or a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately and enjoy thoroughly. :)

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*contains gluten, soy-free

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thai Red Curry (vegan, gluten-free)

Heat over a medium flame:
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
Add and saute until onions become translucent:
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup ginger, sliced thin and small or grated
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced
  • 8-10 white button or baby Bella mushrooms, sliced thin
Add and saute until zucchini softens
  • 1-2 medium zucchini, in a large julienned-style cut
  • 1 medium tomato, diced or 1 cup Muir Glenn Organic Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes (preferred)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen pea and carrot blend
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
Add and stir until mixed well; bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 5-10 minutes:
  • 1-4 Tbsp prepared Thai Red Curry Paste, adjust to desired spicy factor (I used Thai Kitchen brand, labeled vegan)
  • 2-3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
Serve with sticky rice or jasmine rice (both cook in a rice cooker nicely).

Note: You can add a grain/veggie meat to this dish (remember most of these contain gluten and/or soy), like the one pictured here. I sauteed them in a separate pan and added them at the end of the veggies and before the Red Curry paste.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*gluten free if not adding a grain/veggie meat, can be soy free if you choose a non-soy grain/veggie meat or omit

Lemon Ginger Iced Tea (vegan, gluten-free)

Make in advance, needs time to chill!

Brew 12 bags of lemon ginger tea (I used Stash brand) in 4 cups of boiled water for 8-10 minutes for a strong brew; give tea bags a good squeeze upon removal. Add tea to serving jar (10-12 cup capacity, I use a x-large mason jar). In same pot, bring a second 4 cups of water to high enough heat to dissolve 1 cup raw sugar or sweetener of choice. Chill in the refrigerator 4 hours or overnight. Serve with lemon slices and ice if desired. This tea has wonderful healing properties including anti-inflammatory and digestive ease.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*gluten/soy free

Indian Inspired Curry (vegan, gluten-free)

Heat over medium-high flame in a large skillet (steel preferably):
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil 
Add  and let them 'pop' for about 30 seconds:
  • 1 Tbsp whole cumin seed
Add and saute until onions are beginning to become translucent:

  • 1/2 cup (1 small) onion, diced 
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger root, sliced small and thin or grated
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced (adjust for desired spicy factor)
  • dash of sea salt
Add and saute until the oil releases from the tomatoes (you will begin to see the oil leaving the ingredients and returning to the pan). Experiment to adjust spices to your preference:
  • 1 medium tomato, diced (or 1 cup Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes, my preference)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
Add and saute until veggies are soft:
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli, diced to bite size pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrot mixture
  • any other veggies that you like such as spinach, green onion, asparagus, etc. (note: if adding mushroom, add them in the second step with the onions)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Add and cook until milk reaches a soft boil, reduce heat and simmer up to 10 minutes:
  • 1-2 Tbsp agave nectar (adjust to desired sweetness)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (to desired consistency)
  • 1 tsp at a time of corn starch once boiling if you desire a thicker curry
Taste test and adjust spices and add sea salt as desired. Serve over rice or with roti (Indian flat breads).

Note: Top photo of curry is a version with Gardein cutlets (this adds gluten/soy). If you are adding a grain/veggie meat, add this between the onion step and the tomato step.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*gluten and soy-free if not adding a grain/veggie meat.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


After months of trying to transition off of cheese...I have found success. A week ago I asked the universe for a little assistance, and a few days later stumbled over a link to the documentary film EARTHLINGS. Although I have seen footage similar to this, I had never made the connection as fully as I did last week. I have been vegan for 1.5 weeks now, and plan to stay that way. I just can't participate in this madness any more. I want to thank the filmmaker for having the courage to produce this film. And thank you to the thousands who have viewed this film...this is an act of courage.

I will be increasing my activity on this blog, sharing how I've made the transition one of ease instead of feeling deprived. Recipes, stories, photos to come.

I urge you to please, watch this film, it's free to view online (viewer discretion is advised, not for young children, must be 18 or older to view via YouTube). If you can't view it at, then use this link for YouTube. It is about so much more than dietary evolution. It gives an amazing overview of how we as a species have developed a horrific hierarchy to the animal that used to be revered and respected as mystical and sacred.

Watch the film. All the way to the end. Keep your eyes open, do not turn away. If you think it is too hard to witness, imagine how it must have felt to be the animal. At the very least these animals deserve to have their suffering witnessed, so that their deaths and suffering can serve as a teacher to humankind.

Thank you for listening...and for opening your heart and mind to a more compassionate way of life, for all of Life.

May all Beings Live in Peace,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vegan Pineapple Cake

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe was posted prior to Marty's transition to a gluten-free diet. It will be re-written soon to fit into the gluten-free model of this blog!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare and grease two 9" round cake pans or equivalent. (Note: I recommend using a non-hydrogenated, organic vegetable shortening or vegan butter substitute and then a light dusting of flour to coat the pans, as using canola oil on the pans left the bottom of the cake over absorbed with oil.)

Combine in a medium sized mixing bowl:

  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup vegan butter (like Earth Balance soy-free)
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Combine in a second, larger mixing bowl:
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup agave nectar (depending on desired sweetness)
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached naturally white flour
  • 1 1/2 T baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1 t salt

Additional ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (medium diced)
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until smooth (electric mixer or by hand). Add pineapple and stir in by hand.

Pour batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean. If using a glass pan, muffin cups, or mini bunt pan, baking time will need adjustment. (Note: I found that when the cake begin to lightly brown and pull from the sides of the pan, it was perfect.) Remove from oven and COOL COMPLETELY.

Remove cake from pan and frost and top with toasted coconut flakes or simply dust with powdered sugar if desired. (Note: I found this cake was similar to pound cake, and felt it was perfect without frosting, but was also nice with a glaze as below.)

Optional Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (or lemon or orange extract, depending on flavor preference)
  • 3-5 teaspoons coconut milk (or lemon juice or orange juice if using a citrus extract)

Combine until smooth and pour over cooled cake no more than a few hours before serving, as glaze will tend to melt/sweat after storage overnight.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*contains gluten, soy-free

Note: this recipe was derived from an original recipe found on

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Banana Pancakes

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe was posted prior to Marty's transition to a gluten-free diet. It will be re-written soon to fit into the gluten-free model of this blog!

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl:

1 c all-purpose flour
1 t aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 t baking soda

Combine moist ingredients in a second bowl:

2 T agave nectar
1 c almond milk
1 T canola oil
2 T ground flax seed + 3 T warm water


2 just-ripe bananas, sliced thin (or try raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
1/4 c vegan chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 c maple syrup, warmed
vegan butter, like non-soy Earth Balance

Place a flat griddle or pan on stove top over medium heat; allow pan to heat through.

Combine dry and moist ingredients, stirring until smooth.

Making the first pancake by itself is important; it's a strange little trick I've learned that the first pancake is almost always a mess and unusable. Place about a teaspoon of vegan butter substitute in center of pan (do not use oil, it will make the pancakes saturate and become heavy); place 1/4 cup batter over the melted vegan butter and immediately lay 4-5 slices of banana into the poured pancake. Let the pancake sit and cook until the batter is visibly
cooked almost through; there should be lots of bubbles that form and only a small amount of moist batter left at the top of the pancake. Time to flip; lift the pancake with spatula, add a dab of vegan butter to the pan and place the pancake on the melted butter. Cook on the second side for about 1-2 minutes. If your pancake burns, lower the heat. Heat should sit where the pancakes turn a deep brown.

Now repeat this process, placing 3-5 pancakes in the pad/griddle at a time.

Serve with a dab of vegan butter, warmed maple syrup,
and fresh fruit if you like.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove animal products from our diet!

*contains gluten, soy-free

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vegan Cashew Cranberry Granola Bars

Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside:

3 cups old fashion rolled oats (not quick oats)
1/4 - 1 cup dried cranberries, depending on desired sweetness (or any dried fruit)
1 cup finely chopped cashews (or any choice nut)
1/4 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds
1 T flax meal
1 T chia seed, ground
1 T sesame seed
2 T shredded coconut

Bring to a smooth consistency in saucepan over low heat:

1 cup milk of choice (try coconut, almond, or hemp)
1 T olive, coconut or grape seed oil
1/2 cup cashew butter (or corresponding nut butter for choice nut)
2 T  to 1/2 c maple syrup, depending on desired sweetness
Add warm liquids to dry ingredients and mix well. Press firmly (prevents crumbling) into a well-oiled 9x9 pan.

Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes if in a metal pan, or 25 minutes if using a glass pan. Bars should be turning a light golden brown around the edges.

Here is the key to bars that won't crumble...YOU MUST LET THEM COOL COMPLETELY before cutting and storing. These freeze very well, I usually make up 2-3 batches with different nut/fruit combinations and store them in the freezer and make a wonderful on the go snack. They are good thawed or try them frozen with a smear of fresh peanut butter for a dessert-like treat. Some of the combinations I like are cashew-mango, almond-ginger (I use crystalized ginger), almond-vanilla-cherry (add 1 t vanilla to wet mixture), and peanut butter and jelly (I add 1/4 c. finely chopped pumpkin seeds and leave out the maple syrup and when you are ready to put them in the pan, press 1/2 the mixture into the bottom of the pan, add a layer of jelly/jam and then top with the remaining mixture and bake).

Storage Note: Best to store these in the freezer if planning to keep them more than a few days. They will stay fresh at room temperature for about 3 days, but are best eaten right away or frozen. Adding Vit E as a preservative may prolong freshness.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*gluten-free and soy-free