September 30, 2010

Triple Ginger Gingersnap Cookies

This is a recipe out of the VegNews Food Issue this month.  It's a small cookie with lots of flavor. It's a recipe by Beverly Lynn Bennett, a vegan chef and baker, and author of The complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking.  I might have to buy it.  The recipe was simple, easy, and tasty. 

Date sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, safflower oil, egg replacer, molasses, grated fresh ginger, whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, fresh ground allspice, black pepper, a dash of salt, and some finely chopped crystallized ginger.

I have a pretty tense meeting tomorrow, thought this might sweeten the gang.

Garden Update - Autumn Harvest

The garden isn't ready to sleep for the winter yet.  There's been some warm fall weather and I'm getting a nice basket of ripe tomatoes every couple days.  Even the cloudy and rainy days have been warm and it seems to be dry right when we want to be out in the dirt.  The moon has kept us company a few times this past week. We have a little less daylight, but enough to get some weeding and harvesting done

September 26, 2010

Triple Chocolate Vegan Browines

Nana sent me a recipe to try recently.  Triple chocolate brownies made with black beans.  I was instantly intrigued by the use of black beans.  By itself it's a pretty healthy recipe, but I made a few changes, by eliminating the dairy and the animal fat, using date sugar and less of that.  They came out very fudgy. If I want a more cake like brownie, I think I would add a little more flour next time.  This is how I made them this time.

Triple Chocolate Surprise Brownies


    * 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
    * 2  tablespoons sunflower oil
    * 1/2 cup thawed and squeezed dry frozen spinach - I used frozen chard from my garden
    * 1/2 whole apple pureed in the blender
    *  3 TBL egg replacer with 6 TBL water and about half of a mashed banana
    *  1/2 cup date sugar
    * 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
    *  strong coffee, about 1/2 cup
    * 3 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
    * 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1/2 cup brown rice flour - I think a heartier flour would have been better like whole wheat or spelt and a little more than 1/2 cup
    * 1/3 cup non dairy chocolate chips
    * 1/3 cup chopped pecans
    * 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°. Put black beans, olive oil, spinach, applesauce, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, cocoa, and espresso powder in a food processor; pulse for 1 minute or until smooth. Microwave bittersweet chocolate and butter in a glass bowl, stirring every 30 seconds or until smooth; cool for 5 minutes. Add chocolate, vanilla extract, and salt to processor; pulse to blend. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in flour and mini chocolate chips. Pour into an oiled 9- x 13-inch pan; top with chopped pecans. Bake for 25-30 minutes; cool for 15 minutes.

Thanks Nana, these are very good.

Vegan Chocolate Gelato

There is a recipe that a friend of mine told me to try. It is a "vegan" gelato recipe that is thickened with cornstarch instead of egg.  Her recipe called for two cups of soy creamer.  I used what I had on hand, coconut milk and non dairy milk.  I chilled it overnight and thought about just eating the gelato mixture as pudding, it has a very nice texture and flavor, much like a nice chocolate pudding.

12 oz can coconut milk, chilled
1/2 - 3/4 cup non dairy milk
1/2 cup date sugar
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
3 oz. dark chocolate,chopped
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine milks, date sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt in small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in chocolate and vanilla until chocolate is melted.  Cover, and chill 4 hours, or overnight. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

Thanks Morgaine, this is a good recipe, easy, few ingredients, and it tastes very good.  The flavor and texture reminds me of a fudgesicle. It's nutritious too.

September 25, 2010

Acorn Squash stuffed with Pears

I just saw a tip on facebook for pears and squash.  I'm not sure where I saw it, but it was easy to remember.

It said to Hollow out the seeds from an acorn or butternut squash, fill it with chopped pears, a little maple syrup, and a bit of coconut oil.  Then bake it. 

I had a red curry acorn squash I picked up on Sauve Island last weekend.  I hollowed out the seeds, sliced about six small pears, chopped one apple, added a handful of currants, a tablespoon of pure maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon, a dash of sea salt, and a tablespoon of coconut oil.  I roasted the whole thing for about 40-45 minutes at 375º.  The apples were still crunchy, my husband described this as fun. 

September 24, 2010

Vegan Peach Ice Scream

I made some very easy and simple vegan peach ice cream with the peaches this year.  I found this recipe on another blog, called the Gluten-Free Goddess. Vegan Peach Ice Scream It's only four ingredients because I omitted the rum.  My husband says that's his favorite kind of rum, "may omit." I also used pure maple syrup instead of the organic brown sugar.  I made a little too much of the mixture for the ice cream maker so I added a little agar and made a nice peach sauce.

September 23, 2010

Michael Franti - Hey World Don't Give Up

I've been moving through life at a fast pace lately.  It's a busy time of year at work and at home.  I'm a little behind with my blog. I haven't felt much like sitting at a computer and blogging when I get home from work the last couple of weeks. There's also been quite a bit to get done in the evenings.  The garden still needs lots of love and time and I've also been preserving all the produce I can while it's in season.  The last two weeks we have canned rhubarb, peaches, homemade sauerkraut, and pears. We just received a large bag of apples.  Applesauce and maybe some apple butter to prepare soon.  Life should slow down a little soon, if I let it.

I guess it's officially fall and it will be colder soon.  I'm already reaching for the socks in the morning instead of sandals.  It's a lot of work, but joyful work, and I am happy with the fruits, vegetables, and herbs we have ready for the winter. I did remember I wanted to share this wonderful video.  I had the opportunity to dance, sweat, sing, and share some love with my sweetie enjoying this man's music last Saturday night.


Beans, Greens, & Cornbread, Vegan Peach cake and Ice Creme

Beans, Greens, & Cornbread

Had lunch with my granddaughter this weekend.  We had some Cannellini beans  simmered with a little chopped onion, peppers, fresh carrots, and chopped summer squash over steamed beet greens.  I made some quick fried cornbread, dairy free, and some fresh cucumber and tomato salad.

She's a veggie luvin' kid and that makes me smile.  She's only six, but so far she likes what grandma serves her.

We also made some dairy free chocolate chip ice cream and a peach upside down cake together.  We used raw cashews and almonds, coconut, non-dairy milk, a little agave, seeds from a vanilla bean, and wheat sweetened chocolate chips.  I would have liked just the vanilla ice cream, but it was fun for her to add something to the mixture.

Fresh & Simple and from the Garden

Steamed Spaghetti Squash with Zucchini and Summer Squash Hummus, and a bowl of fresh Gazpacho Soup.

All picked from the garden this week.

The Zucchini and Summer Squash are blended with some sesame tahini, a couple small Anaheim peppers, garlic, cumin, fresh lemon juice, and a tablespoon of garlic/chili sunflower oil.

The soup is blended fresh tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, a couple peppers, sea salt, a dash of pepper, a handfull of fresh cilantro, and a little red onion.

I poured the blended mixture over fresh chopped tomatoes, and cucumbers and some whole steamed spelt berries. I garnished the soup with chopped avocados.

Harvest Moon - Autumn Equinox at Once, a Rare and Beautiful Occurence

The moon was especially beautiful last night.

The Harvest Moon gets its name from agriculture. In the days before electric lights, farmers depended on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset. It was the only way they could gather their ripening crops in time for market. The full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox became "the Harvest Moon," and it was always a welcome sight.

September 13, 2010

Portland Veg Fest 2010 - September 18 & 19,

Veg Fest 2010 this weekend in Portland. This year there are over 100 businesses and organizations participating. If you are curious at all about vegetarian or vegan lifestyles, check it out. It's only $5. There's a $1 off coupon on the main website: Portland VegFest 2010

September 12, 2010

Garden Update September

It was a slow start and we didn't get to give away as much vegetables as last year, but the garden is booming now.  We've harvested probably three loads just like this one this week.  It's been a busy week of washing, preparing, storing, and finding homes for our garden goodies.  It's been fun though.  I have lots put up for the winter.  I don't think I will be visiting a grocery store as much as I did last winter.  While canning my sauerkraut made from our garden cabbage this weekend, I realized that I am entertained by watching a canner simmer or fresh ice cream churning. Funny.

Roasted Garden Veggies

Columbia River Gorge, George, WA

We went to the Gorge this last Labor day for some sunshine, camping, wandering, and enjoying music with friends.  When we returned after not being to the garden for almost a week, we found that it had kind of exploded.  We harvested at least three carloads of veggies out of there this week.  I not only gave away lots to friends and family, our local produce stand took some too, giving me credit toward some winter veggies and fruit.  Life is good.

A portion of what I harvested yesterday became a tasty vegetable roast shortly after arriving home.

I sliced the squash, eggplant, and tomatoes to about a half inch thick. I chopped the parsley, a little fresh oregano, and the garlic. I layered it all in a glass baking dish lightly greased with some coconut oil. I added a little grated Romano cheese and some Panko bread crumbs to the top. I baked it for about 40 minutes at 375°.

Before Roasting, adding just a small amount of Romano Cheese
After Roasting.
The lemony early girl tomatoes were delightful with the roasted eggplant and fresh oregano. 

Dairy Free Mint Ice Cream

Dairy Free Mint Ice Cream with homemade Chocolate Sauce.

I just started going through the recipes in the Veg News food issue.  This is the first one I had to try.  I broke down and bought a little kitchen ice cream maker for the occasion.  I can see a lot of fun with this little gadget.

Raw cashews, coconut, agave, fresh mint from the garden, vanilla bean, and a dash of salt. The chocolate sauce is made with raw cocoa and agave with the seeds of a vanilla bean.

This ice cream received quite a few thumbs up from the fans at work.  They are getting a little less worried about trying the vegan treats I bring in.

Living Corn Chowder

On the way home from the gorge last weekend we picked up some peaches and some beautiful fresh corn.  Ours isn't quite ready in the garden.  I made a very fresh, lively corn chowder.  It's called living corn chowder because this is a cold, raw vegetable soup.   It's a  very refreshing summer treat. Most of the other ingredients were grown in my garden.

This recipe is a variation of Aiyah's Garden Living Corn Chowder, in the Blossoming Lotus, Vegan World Cuisine Fusion Cookbook.

Filtered water
3 cups fresh corn
1 C avocado
¼ cup diced fennel bulb
¼ cup diced onion
1 Tbl Shoyu, or to taste
1 tsp Ginger, peeled & minced
1 tsp Garlic, peeled & minced
1 tsp Sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp Fresh jalapeño, seeded & diced
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tsp Cilantro, minced
½ cup Red bell pepper diced

Place 2 cups of corn and all remaining ingredients except cilantro and red bell pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add the remaining corn, bell pepper, and cilantro.  Serve chilled.

Cholcolate Chip Cookie Pie - Dairy Free and Whole Grain

From Zennie:

"I make a horribly unhealthy chocolate pie that everyone loves but I am not supposed to eat 90% of what is in it. I have tried to play with it to make it semi healthy but I fail. Think one of you ladies can give it a shot? If it is white or packaged I am not supposed to eat it or limit it greatly.

The pie itself is:

1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
stick of butter
dash vanilla
two eggs

mix that up and pour it into a pie shell filled with chocolate chips and nuts. If you use less then 3/4 cup of each the pie loses its zing.  We love this but I am actively trying to eat healthier so if you can give it a whack I would appreciate it.

If you look at recipe it is basically just a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I somehow messed up years ago and started baking it in pie form instead."

The above is a request from a poster in a forum I visit.  This is my response.  I had fun taking this recipe and editing the ingredients to whole grain and dairy free.

A chocolate chip cookie recipe gone right, I'd say.  I can imagine how rich this is using the butter and eggs.  At first I thought of a non dairy cheezecake, but I'll do that next time.  I made this as close to what I think you described.  Hope you like it, we sure do.  I omitted the dairy by replacing the butter with coconut oil and used the Bob's Red Mill egg replacer. I used whole grain brown rice flour for the crust and whole spelt flour for the filling. I used 3/4 cup of Sucanat instead of the ½ cup white and ½ brown sugar.  I used wheat sweetened chocolate chips.  They are sweetened with barley malt instead of refined sugars.

I think this is the pie she described.

The crust

Dry Ingredients

2 C Spelt flour or other whole grain flour (I used brown rice flour for this one)
¼ cup Sucanat
1 Tbl Arrowroot powder
1 tsp Baking powder
¼ tsp Cardamom powder
¼ Sea salt, or to taste

Wet Ingredients

1/3 C Safflower oil
2 Tbl Raw agave
2 Tbl Apple juice, fresh (Just put an apple in the blender for fresh juice)
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Place dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and mix well.  Place wet ingredients in the blender and blend well.  Add wet to dry, mixing well with hands, crumbling the ingredients together.  Press into the bottom of a pie pan, or spring pan. Bake at 350° for about 10 minutes.

The filling

½ cup whole spelt flour
¾ cup sucanat
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
Egg replacer for the equivalent of 2 eggs

Then I roasted 3/4 cup coarse chopped pecans and put them in the bottom of the baked crust.  I added 3/4 cup wheat sweetened chocolate chips. Then I put the filling ingredients in the blender and poured the mixture on the pecans and chocolate chips.  I baked it at 350º for about 35 minutes.  I got a big chewy chocolate chip cookie in a pie pan.

I made it a bit healthier and it may not be what you're looking for, but we sure like it. Thanks for the idea.  I am going to try this same base, the crust, nuts, and chocolate chips with a non dairy cheezecake filling.  I bet that would be really nice too.