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Monday, November 15, 2010

Popcorn Bars (gluten-free, vegan)

These are inspired by my brother and sister-in-laws trip to North Carolina recently. They came back and said they had the best gluten-free vegan thing they have ever had - Swag bars from The Swag, but when they told me the recipe, it has corn syrup which I avoid using in our recipes so I adapted the recipe a tad...

1 cup turbinado or raw sugar
1 cup agave nectar
2 cups peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups popcorn
8oz. chocolate chips

Place sugar and agave in large heavy pan. Heat on med high, almost to a boil, stirring constantly. Add peanut butter and continue to stir again until almost boiling. Add vanilla extract - make sure to add vanilla right at the end or it all evaporates in the cooking process.
Take off stove; mix in popcorn. Add chocolate chips and mix again. Press into lightly oiled 9 x 13 pan. Score into bars while still hot. (They are hard to cut when cool.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oat and Pepita Patties with Tahini Gravy

Not proud of this photo - note to self: flash photography and food do not mix! But the patties themselves were really tasty. There would have been a photo retake, but the leftovers were gone before the camera was ready :) These were in place of a veggie burger - my omni husband loves when we have veggie burgers and potato salad. I am trying to move away from the bun and this burger seemed to be okay to eat on its own to him. My son also picked it up and inhaled it which he never does with food so I consider this a big win in our house!


1 cup raw pepitas
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups shredded carrots
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green onion (whites and greens), scliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Braggs
3/4 to 1 cup hot water

Add first 6 ingredients to food processor fitted with the "S" blade and pulse to a rough chop (so that the patties have some texture.)
Transfer to a large bowl and add Braggs, then slowly start adding water. Start with 3/4 cup, and add more if needed. The mixture should be thick and not runny. If you add too much water, add some more oats to thicken the mix.
Scoop out about 1/3 cup of mixture and form into patty shape, place on an oiled baking sheet.
Form patties with the remaining mix, then bake at 400 for about 8 minutes until golden brown.
Flip and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Makes approx 10 patties.

For the gravy:
In a blender, combine 1/3 cup tahini, juice of one lemon, 1 clove of garlic and whiz. Stir in some chopped chives then pour over patties, or make smaller patties, and use this as a dipping sauce.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Raw Tacos

These are really great, simple, healthy and filling tacos. This is also the first raw taco that I have made that my son, husband and I all like.


Romaine or Cabbage leaves for the shells
Butternut Squash (about 1/4 of a small squash)

for the avocado salad:
2 avocados
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, green and whites chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
juice from 1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste

for the "beans":
2 cups soaked walnuts, drained
10 soaked sundried tomatoes, soak water reserved
3/4 - 1 cup reserve liquid from sundried tomatoes
1 roma tomato, quartered
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 TBSP ground cumin
salt to taste
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

To make the avocado salad, scoop out the fruit of the avocado, then add and mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.

To make the beans, put all ingredients in the food processor fitted with an "S" blade and pulse to a creamy consistency. Start with 3/4 cup of the reserve liquid from the sundried tomatoes and add more if you need it. This recipe makes enough for about 12 tacos but I make a large batch so we can have tacos two nights. This will last in the fridge for about 3 - 5 days.

To assemble tacos, take a romaine or cabbage leaf, add a couple of spoonfuls of "beans," top with avocado salad, then top with shredded butternut squash. Eat and enjoy! (1 serving is 2 tacos)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kai's Birth Story

Kai was a planned but surprise pregnancy just like our first son. We had been trying for over a year and had basically given up on having more children. We decide to be happy with our 3 person family. I also decided that if I was going to be a mommy to one, I could also handle a new career and went back to school to become an architect. I had finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up and that was to work on sustainable community develoment. About 6 weeks into the semester, I found out I was pregnant with our second baby. I was so excited that all of our new plans were now going to have to be replanned once again.

This pregnancy was going to be a successful vaginal birth - my first son was a planned natural birth that ended in a transfer to a hospital and ultimately a c-section. I had more drugs in myself and him than I ever had wanted and had worked on physical detox when he turned 18 months. Now that I was pregnant, I realized, I also needed to work on emotional detox from my c-section as well.

I read several wonderful books, one of the ones that made a deep impact on me was The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. I thought I had read everything I needed to when pregnant with my first son, but this opened my eyes to so many things, the biggest being that there is no such thing as natural interventions. An intervention is an intervention and has no place in a healthy pregnancy or labor. I also wrote my son's birth story - I had told his story many times, but never wrote it. It took me weeks to write it, then go back and read it and add details that I had left out the first time, then add emotions I left out the second rewrite, etc. This was increibly healing. I also surrounded myself with positive birth stories, attended ICAN meetings and listened to other women talk about how they had successful VBACs and vaginal births. I mention all this prep because I strongly feel that had I not done all of this, Kai's birth would have gone differently. I did not want to see myself as anything other than a healthy birthing woman, and I had to heal from these emotional obstacles in order to do that. I remember having a cranio-sacral treatment that gave me a big "Ah Ha!" moment which was that this birth and this baby is unique and really has nothing to do with my first baby. I am just a normal, healthy pregnant woman preparing to birth the way I want to.

My pregnancy was very uneventful - I had normal symptoms, things like morning sickness in my first trimester, being tired from pregnancy and playing with my toddler. I felt wonderful, I had a glow throughout my pregnancy and was excited that I was going to experience natural labor and birth this time! I had a strong birth team who supported me. I also did not debate with those who did not support me. I just avoided talking about this pregnancy with those who were not supportive or those women who insist on telling their horrible birth stories. My husband and I also made the difficult decision that he would not attend this birth. He was raised with images that birth is incredibly dangerous and it makes him nervous. My c-section was also traumatic for him to experience and he did not have an outlet to heal from his feelings about our first son's birth. The decision was mutual and was the right one for our family.

My EDD was June 13, but throughout my pregnancy, I kept saying how auspicious I thought a solstice baby would be. If the baby was a girl, we would have to name her Summer - this was the only name my husband and I could agree on ahead of time. We decided not to find out the baby's gender ahead of time, so we needed a boy name in the waiting as well. About a week before I went into labor, we had decided we both liked Niko or Jude for a boy.

June 13th came and went, and no signs of labor. I refused vaginal exams from my midwife - there is really no need for them and they tell nothing about labor or progress. (You'll notice the difference in this story and other birth stories is that no where do I mention how dilated I was) My midwife assured me that post dates was fine with her and not to worry about anything. (My midwife with my first son was quite the opposite and very nervous about post dates.) This was a relief that there was no pressure from her for me to start things like castor oil - remember, there is no such thing as a natural intervention!

Father's Day was June 20th this year, and we had returned from celebrating at my parents' house. I had made plans for every day of the upcoming week so that I would have something to focus on other than the fact that I was now going into my 41st week of pregnancy. I also decided to go to bed at 9:30pm that night - something I had not been able to do this entire pregnancy due to either acid reflux, or just the baby's activity keeping me awake. My oldest also decided to sleep in the next morning - I got over 10 hours of sleep that night! Something I don't think has happened since I was 5 months pregnant with my first son. My oldest and I stayed in bed reading books and talking before getting up at 9am for breakfast. Around 9:30am, I realized I may have lost my mucus plug. Although this was my second pregnancy, I never went through going into labor on my own, and never lost my mucus plug. I had only heard about this being a pre-labor sign. I was not even sure if that was what just happened, so I went to google images to see if I could see a mucus plug. Lucky for me, women take pictures of their mucus plugs and mine looked just like theirs! Around 10am I decided that I was going to call my husband and my midwife to say, maybe baby today! I was having no surges and no other signs of labor.

By noon, I was having surges about every 15 minutes and lasting only 20 seconds. I had started washing sheets and making the bed and getting all my birth supplies together. My son could tell I was excited about something and shared in my excitement by singing songs to me. By 2:30pm, my surges were 6 - 10 minutes apart and lasting 30 - 45 seconds. It was getting difficult to occupy and care for a toddler who was obviously going to miss his nap today. I called my husband and asked him to come home. My husband got home around 3:30pm and apparently I wanted him to share in my nesting. I asked him to do the dishes of all things. 20 minutes later, I asked him to scratch that, just blow up the birthing tub and take our son to the mall to play. I also asked him to call my birthing team because I was no longer able to talk through the surges - they were 45 seconds long and 4 minutes apart.

At 4:50pm, my doula arrived. Evelyn got out her handy rebozo and started working on my belly while I was in a chest and knees position. Who knew having your belly and hips shaken could feel so good! I could feel the baby moving into position, sort of swimming himself into a better more comfortable spot for the both of us. About 30 minutes later, my friend Charlie arrived. Having friends who are birth junkies is very handy for a pregnant woman. Charlie is an amazing doula and birth assistant, and will hopefully be a midwife by the time we have our third baby. Around this time, the tub was all set up and about 10 minutes later my husband and son left (around 5:30pm).

My labor was progressing beautifully, I was still chatty between surges, and just breathing through each surge and enjoying feeling the baby move further and further down. I was doing my own vaginal checks so I could check my progression if I wanted to. Around 6:30pm, I decided I wanted to get in the tub.

I was still enjoying labor until about 30 minutes later. Suddenly things felt different. The baby was no longer moving down and felt stuck to me. I kept telling my team that the baby is stuck, and they suggested different positions in the tub. At one point I felt like I was just rolling in the tub and nothing was working. I felt a pain that I had not expected to feel - this was not from surges, it was the feeling of the baby being stuck. At 7:30pm, Charlie called my midwife to see if she could come now. This is the first time I mention calling my midwife, but my birth team had been in touch with her throughout the evening. At some point, the water just felt annoying so I moved to the bathroom and labored on the toilet, hoping again that a new position would make the baby feel less stuck.

My midwife arrived around 7:30pm. I knew there were a couple of point of conflict between my midwife and me, and we were heading into one. I had told her I took hypnobirthing classes and was determined to breathe my baby out in a gentle way. When my midwife arrived, she came in the bathroom and saw me groaning on the toilet. I told her the baby is stuck, and she told me "The baby is not stuck, babies do not just fall out of your vagina." She mumbled something about letting her know when I was going to be serious about pushing this baby out and left the bathroom to go sit on the couch. Charlie and Evelyn stayed in the bathroom with me trying to figure out how to get me and the baby to keep things moving. My surges were almost without a break at this point, but the baby was not moving down any further. Charlie was awesome and rather than suggesting any more different positions, gently told me that some babies cannot be labored down with breathing, and if he really is stuck, I may need to just bear down and give a good push to get him moving again. When my midwife heard this, she decided to come back. I pushed in the bathroom for a while and got the baby moving again. Every movement of the baby was so much more painful than I had ever imagined. I started thinking these hypnobirthing bitches are just crazy! I also started thinking, I am pushing on the toilet and I do not want my baby to be born on the toilet. By 10pm, I moved to our bed. I tried getting on my hands and knees and there was such pain that I actually started crying. The only position that felt good or at least like I was going to be able to keep going was slanted on my back. I don't remember how many pushes or how long, but at 10:35, my baby boy's head emerged with his right hand up by his face. I felt vindicated that his hand was up there - it came together in my head that his elbow must have been what was stuck on my pelvis, and his elbow was also likely what was scraping my vagina on the way out causing that pain. After one more push, his body was out and I pulled him to my chest. I no longer think hypnobirthing is crazy - pain is there for a reason, and the reason for my pain was internal vaginal tearing from his elbow and nuchal arm. I actually didn't think anything of the ring of fire sensation because it was so minor compared to what his descent had felt like.

I was planning to cut the cord myself and after the placenta was born. Unfortunately, I was bleeding pretty heavily and the herbs I took were not stopping the bleeding. I cut the cord at 10:47pm, immediately got a shot of pitocin, and one minute later the placenta was born. By 11:00pm, my baby boy was nursing and continued for the next hour and a half. I didn't care about anything else in the world, and it seemed like the world had stopped for a while. While I was watching him nurse, I thought, this baby is neither a Niko nor a Jude. He needs a new name! My husband was called and told he could come home to meet the baby. I remember when my son and husband came to the bedside, my son said something to me, and immediately, the baby looked over at him.

Born at home on the solstice - Kai Delano Williams

7 lbs 14.5oz

20.5 inches

14" head


13.5" abdomen

He did not have a name for the first 4 days of his life because we wanted a name that both fit him and had the strength and energy of the day he was born. We had decided on either Kai or Julian. Thursday morning, we still had not made a decision, and we decided to let our oldest be the tie breaker. He liked Kai (my choice as well). My husband still wanted a shot at Julian, so we decided to write both names on separate pieces of paper and whichever name we drew from a basket would be his name. Our oldest son drew out the paper, and it was Kai - 2 for 2 dad, his name is Kai. Kai means Ocean or Sea water in Hawaiian, it also means keeper of the Earth in Chinese. We knew whether a boy or girl, this baby would have the middle name Delano which is a family name. If our babies get my husband's family last name, then we decided they get a middle name from my family. Delano means the elder tree of the forest.

I had my successful VBAC, and had a healthy mama and baby. We bedded in for two weeks, and I also used my placenta for the benefits. Both of those will be separate posts :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fruit Flies!

I know I need to find the source of my fruit flies - it may just be from a day of apple cores and clementine skins, but in the mean time, I have found a great natural solution to getting rid of them. I don't want to start a conversation about whether this is vegan or not because ultimately I am killing animals, but I need to get these fruit flies out of my house.

I would post a picture of the after, but it is really not pretty. If you have some fruit flies in the house and need to get rid of them - here is my easy solution:

Step 1: Take a small jar and fill it with about 1 inch of apple cider vinegar. It does not need to be raw, unpasteurized, etc but that is what I had on hand because I use Braggs ACV for recipes.
Step 2: Add a drop or 2 of glycerin. A lot of people do not keep glycerin on hand, but it is one of the things I always have around for making my own beauty products. If you do not have any, any liquid soap will work too.
Step 3: Set the jar closest to the area of most infestation overnight
Step 4: The next morning dispose of the bodies and start over. I think fruit flies life span is about 10 days, so if you get them at the start of infestation, and get them before they can lay too many eggs, then you should be rid of them within a week or so.

I should also say - the biggest pre-step here is to make sure you remove the source of the infestation - like rotten fruit.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kale Chips (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

1 large bunch of kale
1/2 recipe of Goddess Dressing

  1. Wash and cut large veins from kale
  2. Place kale in a large mixing bowl
  3. Pour goddess dressing over kale and massage kale with your hands to coat the kale
  4. Let sit in bowl for about 5 minutes
  5. Place kale pieces flat onto two Teflex sheets, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 8 hours @ 110 degrees
  6. Rotate kale pieces after about 4 hours to get uniform crispiness in all your kale chips
  7. If they make it out of the dehydrator and last longer than they did at my house, you can store in an airtight container

Goddess Dressing (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I love Annie's Goddess dressing, or should say, loved. When we went gluten-free that was one recipe I had a very hard time replacing and still have not perfected it, but the below recipe comes pretty close and definitely hits the spot.

¾ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup Braggs liquid aminos
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water for dip consistency (more for dressing consistency)
2 scallions
1 clove garlic, deveined
juice of 1 large lemon
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency.

A note on sesame seeds - I use raw unhulled tan sesame seeds - these are powerhouses of nutrition and contain more nutrients than their hulled counterparts.

There is often concern that vegans do not get a sufficient amount of zinc in their diet. Include sesame seeds or tahini in your diet often and reap the benefit of plenty of zinc with one tablespoon supplying 1.17 mg.

Unhulled (sometimes called Natural) sesame seeds are high in calcium. One tablespoon provides 87.8 mg while the hulled variety offers only 10.5 mg for that same tablespoon. Comparing sesame seeds to milk turned up some surprising figures in the calcium count. One cup of natural sesame seeds had 1404.0 mg of calcium, while one cup of non-fat milk provided 316.3 mg. and one cup of whole milk contained 291 mg of calcium. Both natural and hulled sesame seeds contain healthy amounts of the B vitamins riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. With natural seeds scoring 8.7 mcg of folic acid for 1 tablespoon and plenty of vitamin B6, you can count on sesame seeds for excellent nourishment.

Mineral values of the sesame seed:
One tablespoon of hulled seeds contains .62 mg of iron, 27.73 mg of magnesium, 32.53 mg potassium, and .82 mg of zinc. Figures for the natural, unhulled, are slightly higher.
Sesame seeds also contain healthy amounts of phosphorous.
If you're lacking iron, turn to the sesame seed. Its iron content is equal to that of liver.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Strawberry Blueberry Cobbler (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I made this for a workshop this past Saturday, and while technically, it should have served about 14 - 16 people, 6 of us devoured it. The workshop was a mix of people including vegetarians and omnis - I plan to make this again for an upcoming omni event.

2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 cups pecans
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted dates

Pudding Center:
2 cups blueberries
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup water

Fruit topping:
3 cups strawberries, sliced

  1. To make the crust, place seeds, nuts, salt and vanilla bean in food processor fitted with an "S" Blade until the mixture becomes crumby.
  2. Add olive oil and process again until the mix becomes dough like
  3. Add dates slowly through top while processing
  4. Cover the bottom of a 9"x13" pan allowing some of the dough to come up about 1/4" on the sides
  5. To make the pudding center, blend berries, dates and enough water to make a thick syrupy mix. The pectin in the berries will make this gel like after it sets
  6. Pour the blueberry pudding on top of the crust and spread evenly
  7. Evenly distribute the strawberries on top of the pudding

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Deveining" Garlic

Most of us have read about all the benefits of garlic, and for me, I just love the taste. But sometimes raw garlic can have a bitter burn to it that no one in my family enjoys, including myself. I read this tip in a cookbook a while ago (can't remember which one) but the author stated if you pull the "vein" out of the garlic, yo get a milder flavor without that bitter bite. Some people also have a hard time with the digestion part of garlic - seems that without the vein you don't end up, umm... re-tasting your garlic all night, or at least in our house, none of us had that issue. Could it really be this little vein causing so much trouble?

So how to devein - it is really easy. Cut your clove in half, lengthwise (the picture above is so you can see the dark center where the vein is, but you cut it lengthwise to remove the vein), then just use the tip of a knife to pull the vein out. Typically it is a little darker in color than the rest of the clove, otherwise it is just that very center sprout. Use your garlic just like you would in the rest of the recipe, and maybe it will be a little more enjoyable, especially in raw dishes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I was craving peanut butter and chocolate so whipped up this ice cream (and topped it with chocolate ganache) - it comes together very quickly and you can start enjoying it within about a half hour as long as you have the ice cream maker in the freezer.

3 Cups Coconut Milk (either canned, or taking the water and meat of a young coconut to make your own coconut milk is fine)
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Dates, pitted
2 tsp Vanilla extract (alcohol-free so the ice cream will freeze)
1/8 tsp Almond extract (alcohol-free)

Blend all ingredients together until smooth, then place in an ice cream freezer and follow the manufacturers directions.

1 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Cup Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (or as chocolate chips)
2 tsp Vanilla extract

  1. Place chocolate in a heat safe bowl.
  2. Bring coconut milk to a boil, then remove from heat.
  3. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and let it stand for a moment to allow the chocolate to soften.
  4. Whisk chocolate and coconut milk together until smooth.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  6. Warm and use like hot fudge over ice cream.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chocolate Coconut Brownies (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I have made these brownies for the last few potlucks I have gone to - and even omnivores love them. I have yet to bring home any leftovers.

Makes 24 brownies (depending on how you cut them)
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw pecans
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup dehydrated coconut flake
3 cups fresh dates, pitted
2 Tbs coconut oil

  1. Process nuts, vanilla bean and salt in a food processor fitted with the "S" blade until nuts are powder.
  2. Add cacao powder and pulse to incorporate
  3. Add coconut flake and pulse to incorporate.
  4. Add dates and coconut oil and pulse until mixture starts to form a dough ball.
  5. Press into a 9"x13" pan and let set in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  6. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tie Dye

My camera battery needed charging so I didn't get any pictures of our process, (just the final product) but as a fun homeschool project we recently did a single color tie-dye. I also learned that there are a lot of people out there who have never experimented with coloring fabric on their own.

My son picked the color - purple, lavender and pink are currently his favorites so we went for purple. We picked a onesie for his sibling we will meet this summer, and a shirt for him so we could make them matching shirts. Of course, with tie-dye, there is no such thing as tie dye.
  1. To make a circular, almost web pattern, I took the center of the t-shirt, poked my finger through so there was a bit of fabric to twist, then wrapped a rubber band around that area. I did the same thing to the onesie.
  2. Anywhere we want the white of the shirt to show is where we added rubber bands. This is a great exercise for finger dexterity and prepping for other fine motor skills.
  3. Continue wrapping rubber bands around the shirts until you get a "tube" of shirt - keeping in mind that all the white areas you see will be colored with the dye.
  4. We used Rit dye and the washing machine method.
  5. Submerse all the material to be dyed in very hot water so it is completely wet.
  6. We took a packet of dye, added it to the machine, then added all the clothing to be colored to the machine and let it sit for the recommended 30 minutes for more vibrant colors.
  7. Once the color process is complete, you can then either hang the clothing to dry or put it in the dryer.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Gluten Free, Vegan)

I have been craving Pineapple Upside down cake for the last few days, so finally decided I needed to take a stab at it. I did got he easy way here and bought a Pamela's Vanilla Cake Mix - I just didn't have the various GF flours to make a good cake batter, so here is my alteration to make this cake mix into an awesome cake!

1/4 cup coconut oil
Egg replacer for 3 eggs
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 bag Pamela's Classic Vanilla Cake Mix
2/3 cup pineapple juice (reserved from pineapple rings)

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 can pineapple slices in water (10 slices)
10 cherries without stems (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Melt coconut oil (if solid) in a 9-inch x 13-inch pan in preheated oven.
  3. When melted, remove pan and sprinkle brown sugar over oil.
  4. Place pineapple slices side by side in top.
  5. Place cherries in the centers of the pineapple rings.
  6. Whisk egg replacer in a large bowl until frothy.
  7. Add coconut oil and whisk until incorporated.
  8. Add almond extract.
  9. Mix cake mix into the oil/egg replacer mixture.
  10. Add pineapple juice and mix until incorporated - in a mixer, turn on med for about 60 seconds.
  11. Spoon cake mix evenly over pineapple rings and cherries - do not pour or you will likely make the rings move around in the pan.
  12. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  13. Let stand for 5 minutes then invert cake onto plate.
  14. Spoon any remaining syrup from pan over cake.
Of course, after I made this, I realized as a kid, my mom used to put pecans in the topping as well because my dad loves pecans. I was going to do this too and completely forgot until I had already put the batter over the pineapple, so maybe next time there will be a few pecans in our topping.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vegan GF Monster Cookies

This is a revamped recipe from this cookie recipe. The differences make for a coconutty, chewy cookie that is not too sweet.
4 Tbls flax seed
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grind the flax seed in a spice grinder
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flax seed meal and water and beat until frothy
  4. Add oils, peanut butter and vanilla. Add sugar and brown sugar.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda and salt. (No need to sift)
  6. Combine with oil mixture.
  7. Stir in the oatmeal and chocolate chips until well combined.
  8. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cashew Cheese - Cheddar Style (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Most people when confronted with the change from vegetarian to vegan claim they could never give up cheese. This is not really where I want to get into that statement so much as to offer alternatives to cheese that are not only soy-free, but tasty and will also melt. The below recipe is kid approved - we had a taco bar party and there were at least 10 kids ages 18 months to 6 years. All the kids and the parents loved the cheese, and at long last, here is the recipe to share as requested.

Cheddar Style Vegan Cheese (adapted from The Uncheese Cookbook)
1 1/2 cups water
2 T agar powder (get this from the Asian market or you will pay way too much for it)

4 oz jar of pimiento pieces, drained (this lends flavor and color - if you do not like the taste, you can subsititute 2 T tomato paste
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
juice of 1 large lemon
2 T tahini
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp mustard powder

  1. Place the water and agar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often and making sure to stir down the sides of the saucepan
  3. Place in high-powered blender with the remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth
  4. Pour immediately into a lightly oiled 3 cup loaf pan
  5. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to overnight
  6. To serve, take a slim knife around the edges of the loaf pan, and turn out of the mold. You can now slice, grate or cube this cheese as you would any other cheese.
Yields One 3-cup brick

As an alternative, for a liquid sauce (great for mac & cheese or topped on baked potatoes) skip steps 1 and 2 and just blend the mixture with approximately 1 cup of water until the cheese sauce is the consistency you want.

Cauliflower Au Gratin (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

1 medium to large head of cauliflower
1 cup water
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
juice of 1 large lemon
2 T tahini
1 T onion powder
2 T Dijon mustard (like Grey Poupon)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 - 1/2 GF breadcrumbs, or other crusty topping - I used crushed blue corn chips
1/4 cup chopped parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Oil a 9x13 baking dish
  3. Wash and chop cauliflower to bite size pieces
  4. Place cauliflower in baking dish - try to keep it to one layer
  5. Mix next 11 ingredients in a high powered blender until creamy
  6. Pour sauce over cauliflower
  7. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top
  8. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes
  9. Top with parsley
This is great as a side dish, or can be served as the main course. I served this as a main course over a bed of millet with a large salad.

Serves 8 as a side dish
Serves 4 as a main course

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Vegan GF Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I was craving Peanut Butter, Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies but could not find a recipe in any cookbook or on the internet that was vegan and GF or could easily be adapted, so I just modified a traditional Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookie Recipe and came up with this. They are pretty rich and really tasty! This recipe is also soy free - as long as you check your chocolate chips to make sure they do not contain soy lecithin.

3/4 cup vegetable oil (I prefer Grapeseed for this recipe)
1/2 cup peanut butter
Egg replacer for three eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups GF All Purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 - 3/4 cup chocolate chips (depending on how chocolatey you want the cookies)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, peanut butter, egg replacer and vanilla. Add sugar and brown sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, xantham gum, baking soda and salt.
  4. Combine with oil mixture.
  5. Stir in the oatmeal and chocolate chips until well combined.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rustic White Beans and Mushrooms Casserole

This is from Veganomicon - so many great recipes and this one is really simple and really great on a cold fall/winter day. This is really good as a main dish with a side salad or some braised greens (like bok choy or kale)

2 cups dried white beans, soaked for at least 8 hours
1 small onion, peeled & sliced in half
1 stalk celery, cut into 2 pieces
1 small carrot, sliced in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large leek, sliced thinly
1/2 lb mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
fresh ground black pepper

  1. Drain and rinse beans. Add to stockpot with 4 c cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Skim off any white foam from the top. Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium. Add the onion, celery, carrot, thyme and tarragon. Simmer for about 45 minutes.
  2. Remove the carrot, onion and celery (either discard or use in a stock). Lower the heat to low and continue to simmer. The beans should resemble a thick stew, if there's too much liquid, leave the pot uncovered and stir occasionally.
  3. About 10 minutes before the beans are done, place the garlic and 2 T oil in a cold skillet. Heat the skillet over medium heat, allowing the garlic to sizzle for about 30 seconds. Add the chopped leeks and saute 1-2 minutes. Scrape the leeks into the beans.
  4. Add the remaining 2 T oil, allow to warm, and add the mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms lightly with 1/2 t salt and saute until most of the mushroom liquid has evaporated, anywhere from 8-12 minutes depending on the types of mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the beans.
  5. Turn off the heat and season the beans with the remaining salt and pepper.
  6. OPTIONAL - Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Top with bread crumbs (or other crumb topping) and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

No Mother Left Behind