November 28, 2010

Forks over Knives - Special Preview Screening

Special Talk with T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. December 8, 2010

7:00pm at Buchan Hall, Eliot Center, 1226 SW Salmon Street, Portland, OR 97205

T Colin Campbell was raised on a dairy farm, milking cows. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from Cornell University, conducting thesis research on increasing production of protein in cattle. However, observations he later made while working on a nutrition improvement project in the Philippines, coupled with his research results in the lab, led him to question his prior assumptions of the value of animal protein, as that research linked the consumption of animal products to a number of chronic diseases in humans.

Dr. Campbell is now Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell University; Project Director of the China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project; and author of more than 300 research papers and recipient of more than 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding. He has served on several grant review committees and actively participated in the development of national and international nutrition policy. He is an internationally known lecturer and co-author of The China Study. His work, along with the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., is featured strongly in the new powerful movie Forks Over Knives. Come hear a fascinating talk.

All proceeds from this talk will benefit Northwest VEG's education and outreach efforts. To purchase tickets, click on this link to NW Veg.

Special Preview Screening - December 9, 2010

7:30pm at the Regal Fox Tower, 846 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205

Followed by a panel discussion with special guests:

T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.

Brian Wendel, Creator and Executive Producer

Lee Fulkerson, Writer and Director

Robert Cheeke, Vegan Bodybuilder and Author

The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.

Vegan Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny Detox Soup from The Gluten Free Goddess

I ran across a nice hearty vegetable soup recipe this morning.  It's from the Gluten Free Goddess It's a vegetable soup full of flavor and warms the insides on a winter day.  I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand and it was a good way to use up some of the vegetables from the meals this week like the roasted yams.  I used those instead of the sweet potatoes in the recipe.  I had a red cabbage hanging around just looking for a home, and some other odds & ends like half an onion, a fresh pepper, and some carrots already diced up.

I served it with some toast lightly brushed with some of my homemade sage and rosemary oil.  The cream cheese on top is an herb cream cheese I made this weekend with blanched raw almonds, miso, and dried herbs from the garden.

Vegan Mulligatawny Detox Soup Recipe

This delectable post-modern version of mulligatawny is deliciously complex. The chick peas give it a boost of protein; the apple gives it a sweet-tart kick. Use organic vegetables for maximum detox. Adjust spices if you prefer a mild soup- cayenne pepper has heat.

1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons mild GF organic curry powder
1 teaspoon organic turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less, to taste
1 medium sweet or red onion, peeled, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 heaping cups thinly shredded cabbage
1 quart fresh spring water
2 cups organic Super Veggie Juice
1 14-oz. can organic chick peas, drained
A small pinch of sea salt, to taste
1 14-oz. can coconut milk, stirred
Juice from 1 medium lime, or to taste
1-2 teaspoons gluten-free brown rice syrup

For garnish:

Thin apple slices or shredded apple
Chopped fresh cilantro, if desired

For a slow cooker:

Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker except the coconut milk, lime juice and brown rice syrup. Cover and cook on high according to your manufacturer's instructions for cooking vegetable soup. When the veggies are tender, add in the coconut milk and lime. Taste test. Add brown syrup to taste. Heat through 15 minutes.

For stove top:

Heat the avocado oil over medium high heat in a medium size soup pot. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, turmeric and cayenne and briefly stir for to season the oil. Add the onion, carrots, cauliflower, apples, sweet potato and cabbage, and sauté until softened, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the spring water and chick peas; season with a touch of sea salt, if desired. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover and simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, lime juice and brown rice syrup. Stir well. Taste for seasoning adjustments. Heat through gently; don't boil.

Winter Snow Holiday

It's been a good week inside my home. I mean inside.  I gave the car to my husband who normally rides a bicycle and just stayed home this week. Work was slow and the weather was icy and cold. I am reminded that it is a good time of year to take some vacation days. I have just loaded up on cooking staples recently at the coop and from the local organic farmer so I have plenty to play with in the kitchen. I am grateful my job allows for this time. It's safer not to drive and I just don't get that much "at home" time that doesn't include pre-planned activities. Having some time to myself, I took it slow all week, relaxed a bit, read a bit, did some home chores that have been on the list for awhile, cooked something fun toward our holiday meals every day and took the time to walk a few times when the sun was shining. It was tricky walking in the ice. I decided walking was just as dangerous as driving. I broke my ankle last year and didn't want to go through that again.  I took it slow and carefully. I also got to speak to my youngest son twice on the phone and we drove out to St. Helen's to visit him Saturday. My oldest son should be on his way to Hawaii from Afghanistan by Wednesday,  That's terrific news!

I am not too worried about my car in the snow, I do have a Subaru. The snow isn't really that deep, but what snow was there did freeze and there are an awful lot of people with sliding stories to tell. I can also hear some sliding and tire turning on the road below from the deck. I just thought it wisest to stay home and play, since I can. I got to see quite a few people, including a semi truck, work very hard to negotiate the ice on our own street. The truck did worry me some.  He shouldn't have even driven down our street in the first place, but since he did, he had to figure out how to get back out.  It wasn't easy for him.  I think it took him 45 minutes just to get by my house. His tires were turning, burning, and smokin' for quite awhile.  He even fishtailed in front of my house.  My car wasn't parked in front of my house as it usually is, thank goodness.  That would have been typical, stay home to avoid driving and have someone wreck the car anyway while it was parked.

Even though I didn't go very far from home this week, I wasn't bored. There was plenty of activity inside and outside to watch. I had Kaylee over for a couple of days and we did some grandma/granddaughter activities. It's winter for sure in my neck of the woods.

I got to see evidence of our regular visitors in the snow this week. It looks like the raccoons are still about and the deer are still cruising through.

I am grateful for all I have and I am reminded that there is a lot of love in my life.  I have decided though that coffee belongs in the disaster survival kit.  While being inside for so many days I got to thinking that I could survive if really stuck at home, I have lots of bottled water, dried beans, home canned fruits, vegetables, and dried herbs, but that I might run out of a couple items like coffee and tea. I will be adding some things to our survival kit downstairs after this week.

Dairy Free Cranberry Orange Bread

I like homemade cranberry sauce, but since I am the only one who will eat it, I decided to make bread out of the fresh cranberries I had.  Everybody at home likes them baked.

Dairy Free Cranberry Orange Bread

2 cups spelt flour
3/4 cup agave
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons safflower oil
grated zest of orange peel from one orange, about 1-2 tablespoons
1 1/2 tablespoons egg replacer
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, rough chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Bake at 350° for about 50 minutes.

November 26, 2010

Cute Turkey Cookies

Kaylee & I played with our food today.

A friend sent this to me in an email this week as a suggestion of something fun to do with Kaylee.  We both enjoyed it.  A tasty project with Grandma and Kaylee.

Our Vegetarian Thanksgiving

I made the vegetarian "chic" pot pies and roasted yams for our Thanksgiving meal.

I'm looking forward to this for lunch today.  ;)

Not everything I try works out.  It took me three times to get the dairy free pumpkin pie to the consistency I am happy with.  The first try was OK, but still not to my liking.  This second one never set, it was good, but was really pumpkin pie pudding.  It didn't even get thick enough for mousse status, it's pudding.

I quit guessing and went looking around for a recipe. I finally found a recipe that worked out OK.  It's from a blog I follow called Gluten Free Goddess. I find lots of good recipes with whole ingredients and dairy free on this website.  I used the coconut-pecan crust and it turned out great.  The cashew cream is what bound it together to give it that pumpkin custard pie that I was looking for.  I added some homemade dairy free pumpkin pie ice cream and cashew coconut cream.

This is the first time in quite a few years we've had Thanksgiving at home.  Nice to have the leftovers around all weekend.

Stuffed French Toast - Vegetarian Brunch

I am so glad my granddaughter gets to visit regularly. I spoke to my youngest son on the phone last night and he called her the "Empty Nest Patch."  That makes sense.

This morning the Thanksgiving weekend continues.  My sweetie has to work today, so I greeted him this morning with a nice breakfast.  One of my friends was talking about stuffed french toast at lunch a couple weeks ago.  We don't go out for breakfast very much, I'd not heard of it.  It sounded fun so I've been wanting to try it.  I thought Scott and Kaylee would enjoy it too.

I have some fresh ground peanut butter, frozen strawberries from when they were in season, some nice fresh whole grain bread, and some free range eggs. I whipped up some french toast batter and spread some peanut butter on the bread, laid three large strawberries in the middle of the sandwich.  I dipped the whole sandwich in the batter and grilled about 5 minutes on each side until the edges were brown and a bit crispy.

The batter:

Free Range Eggs
Coconut Milk Creamer
Orange Zest
a handful of shredded coconut

The filling is fresh ground peanut peanut butter and strawberries. (The strawberries were stored when they were in season.)

I heated frozen strawberries with about 2 TB of pure maple syrup and added some orange slices when it was hot.

November 23, 2010

Stuffed & Roasted Acorn Squash

I tried this stuffed acorn squash today.  I had a couple really nice organic Acorn squash from Willow Grove Gardens and a couple little pumpkin from Isabelle's garden.  I used some homemade rosemary oil I made from my homegrown rosemary to brush the squash before stuffing. The recipe didn't mention adding any liquid to the stuffing.  I added vegetable stock, about a half cup at a time until the stuffing was the consistency I wanted.  I think I used about a cup and a half or so. I also poured about a tablespoon of stock on top of each one before baking.  We're having Thanksgiving a little everyday this week. Very nice vegan meal with a bowl of the creamy broccoli soup I made this weekend.


    * 3 acorn squash
    * 2 tbsp margarine, softened
    * 2 tbsp olive oil
    * 1 onion, minced
    * 2 stalks celery, diced
    * 2 apples, chopped
    * 1/4 cup maple syrup
    * 1/2 cup raisins
    * 1/4 tsp parsley
    * 1/2 tsp dried sage
    * 1/2 tsp rosemary
    * 1/2 tsp thyme
    * salt and pepper to taste
    * 1 package store-bought cornbread stuffing mix (read the label to make sure it's vegan if needed)


Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Slice each acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Brush the squash with the softened margarine and set aside.

In a large skillet, sauté the onion, celery and apple in the olive oil for 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat and add the maple syrup, raisins, herbs, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, mix together the stuffing mix with the onion, celery and apple mixture until well combined. Spoon this mix into each squash half.

Cover each squash with foil and bake 40-45 minutes, or until squash is soft. Serve with vegetarian gravy if desired and enjoy!

Recipe by Jolinda Hacket

Kaylee's First Mosh Pit or Is It Her First Show ?

Had a great weekend with Kaylee as usual.  I embrace being a grandma! We made Chocolate Maple Ginger Bliss Cookies and enjoyed some Chai Rice Pudding with the peaches we canned together this last summer. We made some Creamy Broccoli Soup and some Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. We colored and made some greeting cards.  Just about the best part was dancing to the March Fourth Marching Band.  They stopped in Portland for a couple shows on their current tour.  They have an all ages matinee so their small fans can shake their stuff.  A band who engages the audience in the show, the kid's love it as much as the children over 21. We are big March Fourth fans, but enjoy the shows most when the fans are under four feet tall.  You can see that the band enjoys it too.

Kaylee's been to see the Marching band before, the first time she was two. The stilt walkers picked her up and she's not forgotten it. She got to put on her fairy wings, dance, and become part of the show.  The band members reminded the fans that it can be dangerous in the mosh pit and to be careful of each other.

I took her to Sea World in 2009 and she draws pictures of killer whales and includes herself as a trainer in the pictures. I am anxious to see some drawings of her future dreams now.

November 22, 2010

Chocolate Maple Ginger Bliss Cookies

This was the result of team work, Grandpa and Granddaughter had a good time in the kitchen too.  We were proud of our work. 

Chocolate Maple Ginger Bliss Cookies
     ~Vegan World Fusion Cuisine pg 162

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup sucanot
1/3 cup safflower oil
3 TB maple syrup
2 TB ginger juice
4 tsp molasses
4 tsp applesauce

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup spelt flour (or any whole grain flour)
2 tsp flax seeds, ground
2 tsp Arrowroot powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
Pinch ground allspice
Pinch ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 400°

Mix wet ingredients in large bowl.  Sift dry ingredients in separate bowl.  Add dry to wet and mix together well.  Refrigerate dough for 10 minutes.  Form cookies about 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

"Love is Our Guide" ~ Samandhi Lotus

Chai Rice Pudding with Peaches

I made Chai Rice Pudding for breakfast Saturday for something warm and fun. I didn't have any dates on hand so I used a small handful of dried currants. I also folded in some home canned peaches.

Chai Rice Pudding
By Vered Lenn

Serves 8
1 cups water
4 cups unsweetened almond milk, divided
1 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon dates
1/4 cup raisins

1. In a medium pot, bring water and 2 cups
almond milk to a boil. Add rice, agave, and salt.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add remaining almond milk, cinnamon,
cardamom, cloves, and ginger. Simmer uncovered
for 20 minutes or until rice is very soft.

3. Remove from heat, add dates and raisins,
cover, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Dust with more cinnamon.

The granddaughter gave it two thumbs up.

Pumpkin Risotto

I cooked a medium pumpkin this weekend.  Made some vegan pumpkin pie ice cream, a dairy free pumpkin pie, and pumpkin risotto.  There is still a little bit left for something else.

Pumpkin Risotto

    * 1 onion. diced
    * 1 tbsp olive oil
    * 2 cups arborio (risotto) rice
    * 1 cup white wine
    * 4 cups vegetable broth
    * 1 cup canned pumpkin
    * 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
    * 1 tsp nutmeg
    * 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    * 1 tbsp margarine
    * salt and pepper to taste

I added 3/4 cup cashews and nutritional yeast to the pumpkin pure which gave it a rich cheesy texture and taste.  Served with a fresh salad of Chard, collard greens, peppers, carrots, and diced avocado with a little lemon juice.


Saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat for three to five minutes, or until soft. Add the rice. Allow to cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Slowly add the wine.

Start to add the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup at a time. Allow the moisture to cook off before adding the next 1/2 cup. Stir frequently.

Add remaining ingredients, stirring well, and cook for just a few minutes, until heated through.

November 21, 2010

Vegan Creamy Broccoli Soup and Charlie Free "Tuna" Sandwiches

I made some fresh vegetable soup this weekend.  Pretty cool, it's snowing today and all the vegetables in this soup were picked this week.  My local farmer has some green houses and quite a few goodies left in the fields. Good thing too, because what's left out there will probably freeze this week.

I did a creamy broccoli/vegetable soup.  I sauteed diced garlic, onions, carrots, a couple sliced parsnips, and lots of fresh celery including the tops and leaves in a bit of homemade rosemary oil until they were soft.  I added some sea salt, fresh ground pepper, sage, and oregano to the mix while it was cooking.  I added some vegetable stock and let it all simmer and reduce for about 20 minutes.  Then I added filtered water, I'd say about 2 lb of fresh broccoli, and the tops of the celery.  I let that simmer about 20 minutes then transferred about a third of it to my blender and added a small block of firm tofu, about 12 oz. I blended it all together until it was smooth and creamy and added it back to the soup pot.

We made a nice lunch of it along with some Charlie Free "tuna" sandwiches.  I made a mock tuna salad with whole grain tempeh, vegan mayonnaise, celery, red onion, garlic, shoyu, stone ground mustard, some of my zucchini pickles I made this summer, chopped Italian parsley, chopped garlic, and a little balsamic vinegar. Instead of lettuce, I used some raw collard greens. I made them with "Good Seed" bread from Dave's Killer Bread.  Nice Lunch, followed up with some fresh homemade vegan pumpkin pie ice cream.

November 16, 2010

November 14, 2010

Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream with Roasted Almonds and a Touch of Mint

Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream with roasted almonds and a touch of mint. I had some mint agave syrup in the freezer from some mint ice cream I made this summer.  It gave it just a hint of mint flavor.

Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

3/4 cup brown rice syrup
3/4 cup agave (I used about 1/4 cup mint agave syrup I made for some mint ice cream in the mixture)
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 c whole grain flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/3 cup non diary milk
3 TB egg replacer with 1/2 cup non dairy milk, whisked well
1 TB vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 qt So-Delicious coconut milk creamer
Coconut cream from one can of coconut milk

about 1/2 cup rough chopped raw almonds, lightly toasted in saute pan. 

In medium saucepan combine sugar, cocoa, flour and salt, stir in milk and egg replacer.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, creamer, and coconut cream.  Refrigerate until cold and mix in ice cream freezer.  Add the roasted almonds after ice cream begins to get thick. Makes about 2 quarts ice cream. This mixture made a little more than the ice cream machine holds, darn, we had to drink some rich chocolate shake.

I served it over sliced bananas and added about a tablespoon of the cherry syrup from the warm cherries and maple syrup mixture I made for breakfast this morning with a couple cherries.

This is a decadent tasting dessert without the guilt. One of Michael Pollan's Food Rules is: "You can have all the junk food you want if you are willing to do the work yourself." I don't think I'll ever look at ice cream in a package and wish I had some again.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I cut open an Acorn Squash and a Delicata Squash, rubbed vegan margarine in the halves and set aside.  Then stuffed and roasted them in the oven for about an 45 minutes at 375° until I could put a fork through the squash wall.

For the stuffing, I cooked about a cup of orzo, and a cup of forbidden rice. I tossed them together with a little avocado oil and a little coconut water* I had left over, a few mushrooms, a couple small scallions, and a diced red pepper, sea salt and ground black pepper. I sprinkled a little Parmesan cheese and about a 1/2 tsp of vegan margarine on the top. (For a vegan dish, just leave off the cheese.)

*The coconut water is the thin milky water after using the cream from a can of coconut in something else, like maybe dairy free chocolate ice cream....

The stuffing is good all by itself. I didn't use all of it so I think I'll add some fresh veggies and use it as a salad later too.

Vegetarian "Chicken" Pot Pie

This is a nice recipe I ran across while looking for vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving ideas. I didn't really make any changes to this recipe, I used some meatless, soy free, chik'n cutlets I found, added about a cup of diced potatoes, and used fresh herbs.  It came out just the way you want chicken pot pie to taste. It's good, warm, rainy day comfort food.  I'm going to include this in my Thanksgiving dinner.

Vegetarian "Chicken" Pot Pie

* 1 package Gardein vegetarian chicken scallopini, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (I used "Naked Chik'N Cutlets," meatless & soy free little cutlets)
    * 6 cups vegan chicken stock I used low sodium vegetable broth
    * 1 cup yellow onion, diced
    * 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
    * 1 cup diced potatoes (I thought it needed some potatoes)
    * 1 cup green peas
    * 3/4 tsp thyme, minced
    * 3/4 tsp sage, minced
    * 3/4 tsp sea salt
    * 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    * 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
    * 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
    * 2-4 tbsp canola oil
    * 3/4 cup flour
    * 3/4 cup vegan margarine (Tal recommends Earth Balance)
    * 1 puff pastry sheet rolled out to by 12x10 inches

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Brown diced vegetarian "chicken" in a saute pan with 1 tablespoon canola oil. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside. To make a roux, melt the vegan margarine in a saute pan, add flour and whisk constantly until light brown in color. Cool and set aside.

In a 5.5 qt. stock pot, cook onions in canola oil for 3 minutes and add carrots, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add already boiling stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in nutritional yeast flakes.

Add the roux a bit at a time and continue to cook as sauce begins to thicken. Stir in "chicken" cubes, tamari and peas. Pour mixture into a large shallow pan to cool.

Once mixture is cool, pour into individual ramekins, glass pie pan or small casserole dish. Cover mixture with puff pastry (be sure to leave a small excess of pastry for folding and fluting of the edge) and seal edges. Cut small slits.

Bake for 35 min or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

recipe by Chef Tal Ronnen.

November 13, 2010

Fall's Beauty

Every season has its special beauty and autumn is no exception. Watching the trees turn from a uniform green to all varieties of gold, yellow and red is a spectacular experience. One can almost be blinded by the fiery brilliance. How can it be that all this beauty is sign of death and decay? With all this beauty there is a certain sadness in knowing that the changing colors foreshadow the arrival of a long cold winter.

Fall By Family Friend Poems / CC BY 3.0

Taurus & Scorpio

Being opposites, these two often attract, and when handled with care, this relationship has potential. Scorpio's magnetic aura is captivating to Taurus, who sees a prize worth possessing. Taurus appeals to Scorpio's desire for a settled, loyal mate. Their big shared vice of being possessive can be the superglue that holds them in place. They know how to reassure the insecurities, and even welcome a smidge of jealousy as a sign the other is truly enmeshed. Scorpio has intuitive powers and Taurus is master of the 3-D physical world -- as a team they can experiment in bringing visions into form.

The Scorpio-Taurus works because they've met their match in the other. When Scorpio gives the evil eye, Taurus doesn't back down. Both can be stubborn and "fixed" in their stance, but in their refusal to yield, a strong bond is formed across that divide. Things go wrong when neither is willing to compromise, and the arguments grow more fierce and entrenched. It works well when there's a common goal, and they can become immersed into challenging feats, projects, collaborations together. In the sack, they're passionate and deep, Scorpio emotionally and Taurus sensually. As long as the personal barricades never get too high, this is a powerhouse duo that can last a lifetime.

This Taurus has loved a Scorpio for twenty five years! 

 Happy Anniversary SK!

Love - Kahlil Gibran

Kahlil Gibran on Love

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

November 11, 2010

The Flexitarian Cookbook is Here

Although I post mainly plant based dishes and recipes, I am a flexitarian.  That means I eat vegan and vegetarian most of the time with the occasional animal protein which is usually fresh seafood. I've posted some meals I've cooked in the past year and have mentioned I can't post the exact recipe because they are test recipes for an unpublished cookbook.  Well, it's published and for sale now: The Flexitarian Cookbook and I am very excited about it. All the recipes are made with whole fresh foods and are written to be made with and without meat. I only have one original recipe in the book because I could only think of one completely original recipe at the time they requested it.  I have tested many of these recipes and suggested changes though.  It's been a really fun project to be involved with.

It's 100% voluntarily produced and the proceeds go to two great charities, Slow Food USA and Yoga Bear

The Flexitarian Cookbook

It can be purchased at

November 7, 2010

Baked Apples

Had dinner with a friend, Morgaine, last night.  She made some awesome baked apples that were warm, caramely, goodness.  Brought back fond memories of eating baked apples as a child. You know, I think that is the first thing I made in home economics in junior high school.  I had some apples in the kitchen waiting for a purpose, I just had to bake some too.  My husband and granddaughter were very excited to see me pop these in the oven today.

Had a little of the coconut caramel ice cream I made last week left over to enjoy with them.  Yummo!

Baked Rice Bites

I've had this recipe card laying around the kitchen for awhile for something called "breakfast in a cup."  It's a rice, cheese, and egg mixture you bake in the oven.  I finally decided to play with it today.  I've been thinking of trying to make them with egg replacer.  I had this great idea to use coconut milk instead of water to give it a creamier texture. They came out OK, the outside is kind of crispy and the inside moist.  I served them for breakfast with some fresh fruit salad.  I think they'd make a good buffet item with a nice sauce, maybe some salsa. 

Baked Rice Bites

3 cups cooked brown rice

1 red pepper diced
1/2 cup diced onion
2-3 mild chilis diced
1/3 cup coconut milk
3 TBL egg replacer whipped with 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste.

Combine all in a large bowl and spoon into muffin cups.  Bake at 400° for about 15 minutes until they start to brown a bit.

I added the rest of them to my pot of beans, now I've got beans and rice for lunch this week too.

Pumpkin Curry Soup with a White Pumpkin

I picked up a little white pumpkin this week.  Perfect for a batch of Pumpkin Curry Soup.  I was pleased when my granddaughter said "Oh boy grandpa, we're going to have more pumpkin soup."

November 6, 2010

Dairy Free Chocolate Layer Cake w/ Dark Chocolate Mint Frosting

I found that if I cruise the liquidation stores regularly there are many organic products marked down to very reasonable prices.  Recently I found coconut milk for .99 a can and low sodium vegetable broth, 10 for $1.   I am usually happy when they're $2 each.  I never know what I'm going to find.  Recently I bought some Bob's Red Mill whole grain cake mix for $1.49 a package.  That's one third the normal price.  I would normally make this all myself, but couldn't resist that price.  I do like Bob's Red Mill products. Of course, I made it my way, with egg replacer and homemade applesauce instead of oil and 1 cup of filtered water.

After the cake was baked and cooled, I poked holes in the bottom layer with a fork.   Then I poured some of the caramel I made last week for the ice creme over the top and spread it around so it would fall into the holes. 

The frosting:

1/2 cup vegan margarine
4 oz very dark chocolate — choc chips can be used, I used 4 oz of an organic very dark chocolate mint bar
1 cup sucanat
1/3 cup soy or coconut milk creamer
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
     I like to put some of the nuts in the frosting and some just sprinkled on top.

Put margarine, chocolate, sucanat, and creamer in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Stirring ingredients together, boil for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and 1/2 cup nuts.  Pour over cake, sprinkle remaining nuts on top. chill for about 30 minutes to set frosting.

And we put it in a bowl with Morgaine's warm baked apple. 

OMG this was a pretty awesome dessert.  My granddaughter gave it two thumbs up.  I think everyone else in the room agreed with her.

Vegetarian Lasagña

When I first moved here one of my new friends thought it was very strange that I would get up and make dinner in the morning, normal for me.  After this, my granddaughter and I will make a vegan chocolate birthday cake for grandpa and while it cools I think we'll check out the Toy Soldier Bazaar.   We have all day to play together, dinner is ready to pop in the oven.

I made a sauce with onions, garlic, julienne carrots and zucchini, a quart of my homegrown tomatoes, chopped green pepper, a diced mild chili, a small can of organic tomato paste, dried herbs from the garden, oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. I added a little agave and some white balsamic vinegar, a dash of cooking sherry, and some sliced mushrooms.  Sliced large because my husband doesn't like them too much.  I still cook with them, but make them large enough for him to pick out.

I made the Ricotta by blending tofu, garlic, a dash of shoyu, oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, about 1/4 cup olive oil, and about half a large chopped red bell pepper.

I have come along some on the cheese.  I've made this recipe for many years. I used to use cottage cheese, eggs, and Parmesan cheese for a ricotta and about a pound of mozzarella cheese and more Parmesan cheese. This only has about 4 - 6 oz. of cheese for the whole recipe.  I blended grated mozzarella, Parmesan, and Romano cheese.

There's also a layer of chopped greens from the garden, chard and beet greens, between the lasagna layers and the ricotta.

Bake this in the oven on 400° for about 45 - 50 minutes until the cheese melts and browns and the sauce is a bit bubbly.