Saturday, March 15, 2014

Strawberry Lemon Almond Scones

This is my first try at gluten-free baking.  These came out great!

1 and ¾ cup gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder (non-aluminum kind like Rumford)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tb vegan butter, chilled (Earth Balance brand)
1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
heaping 1/2 cup diced strawberries
coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Heat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Sift dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt).  Cut butter into small bits and add to the dry ingredients.  With a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your hand, cut the butter into the flour so the pieces of butter are small like peas and blended into the flour, giving it a sandy texture. Add almond milk, vanilla and lemon zest and mix briefly just to combine.  Add almonds and strawberries and carefully mix again. 

Divide dough in half and place one half on a floured board (using gluten free flour) and knead a couple of times and pat into a 6-inch circle.  Cut each circle into 6 triangles.  Place them on the prepared baking sheet.   Repeat with rest of the dough.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake for 16-20 minutes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vegan Espresso Pecan Scones

I got the recipe from here and it is easy and yummy.  I changed a couple of things but nothing major.

Espresso Pecan Scones

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2-1 Tbsp ground espresso
1 cup lightly toasted pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup warm coconut butter or coconut oil, plus a bit extra for brushing
1/3 cup local honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp hot water

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add the pecans and coconut, again, mixing well, and set aside.

Warm the coconut butter and honey together - either over low heat on the stove or in the microwave - and stir until its lump free. Then, pour the coconut mixture over the dry ingredients and press it into the dry ingredients to combine completely. You want the texture of the mixture to be like wet sand before you add the water.

Pour the water over the dry ingredients and, with your hands, squeeze and press the mixture so it comes together into a dough. If the dough has a hard time coming together, add a tiny bit more water but not too much!

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface or cutting board and pat the dough into a nice little round circle. Cut the circle into sixths. Place the scones - evenly spaced - onto the prepared cookie sheet, brush lightly with coconut oil.

Bake for 13-14 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let cool for a moment before eating! If you're porting the scones, let them cool completely before putting them in an airtight container for travel (so that they don't get soggy.)

Fabulous Lemon Coconut Balls

I got the recipe from here but made them into balls instead of bars.  Easy and really really delicious :)

Lemon Coconut Balls

1 (packed) cup dried Medjool dates (about 8-10 VERY large dates)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
3 tbsp. almond butter
1 tbs. extra-virgin coconut oil, unmelted
1 tbs. agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes & extra coconut for rolling balls
1 tbs. ground flax seed
1/8 tsp. salt

Place all the ingredients in a food processor.  Grind til soft and crumbly.
The mixture should stick together when pressed.  If it’s too sticky add some more nuts and if it’s too crumbly add more almond butter or agave.

Roll into balls and then roll in coconut.  Keep in the fridge. 

Eat and be happy :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

 This is easy and fabulous.  Everyone I served this to, loved it :)

  • 2 medium heads of cauliflower
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups white rice flour (all purpose is fine too)
  • 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5 cup Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 Tb melted earth balance

Heat oven to 450 deg F.  Mix water, white rice flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and peppers.  Whisk together.

Cut cauliflower into florets.  Line a cookie sheet with nonstick foil and lightly spray foil with oil spray.  Dip each floret into flour mix and place on a baking sheet.  Put in the oven for 20 minutes.  Combine Red Hot and earth balance.  Pull out cauliflower and dip into hot sauce mix and put back on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 5-7 min more. Serve with Vegan Ranch Dipping Sauce.

Vegan Ranch Dipping Sauce
  • 1 cup vegan mayo (Vegenaise)
  • ½ cup vegan sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcesterchire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fine chopped dill or 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped fine or ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped fine
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced fine or garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients and let chill before serving.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Buffalo Chik'n Dip

Made this for the superbowl and it was fabulous!  All the omnivores loved it.  This is a great use for soy curls.

1/2 package soy curls (4 oz), rehydrated according to package directions.
3/4 cup Franks hot sauce
8 oz vegan cream cheese
1/3 cup vegan sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
6 oz vegan cheddar, grated or use the pre-shredded bag (I used pre-shredded Daiya brand)
1 red bell pepper, diced fine (or 5 stalks of celery, diced fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drain rehydrated soy curls and mix with hot sauce. Set aside.  In another bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder and onion powder.  Mix well.  If cream cheese is a little stiff, microwave for about 30 seconds to soften.  Add bell pepper or celery and the shredded cheddar.  Mix in the hot sauce and soy curls.  Place in a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.  Stir the dip and cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes.  Serve warm with tortilla chips, crackers, etc.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


A Moroccan soup from the cookbook "Isa Does It."   This soup has eggplant, lentils, chickpeas and pasta.  It is warm and filling and perfect on a cold night, especially with all this polar vortex business... The recipe is online here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Problem with Dairy

I went to the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society Meeting yesterday and heard Sherry Colb speak.  She wrote the book "Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger? And Other Questions People Ask Vegans."  The talk made me reflect on how I used to think about dairy and how those views changed, causing me to become vegan.

When I was kid, I hated drinking milk.  The taste repulsed me.  However,  I did like eating cheese.   Story books showed happy cows on family farms and it never occurred to me that producing milk was not something cows did naturally all the time.  Heck, I thought the farmers were doing them a favor by milking them so that they could be more comfortable.  Did you ever see those ads on tv that say happy cows come from California?  It shows cute cows frolicking in green pastures and cracking jokes with each other.   Well it took a while but I finally realized that cows only give milk just like human mothers and other mammals, because they have had a baby.  And this is when I started learning about the problems with dairy.

1. Lifecycle of a cow - In order to keep a cow producing milk, she has to endure being forcibly artificially inseminated by being restrained on a device that is sometimes called a "rape rack."  The cow is forced to go through cycles of pregnancy in order to keep her producing milk.  These cycles of pregnancy and lactation take a toll on the cow and it not profitable for the farmer to keep her after 4-7 years.  Keep in mind that the natural lifespan of a cow is 20-25 years. 

2.  Milk for the baby -  Just like a human mother, the cow is producing milk only because she had a baby and needs to feed her baby.  However, the farmer's goal is to sell this milk for profit and to accomplish this, they take the baby away from the mother.  According to Colb, just like human moms " cows produce hormones during labor and delivery that ordinarily cause them to bond intensely with their newborns...If left to her own devices the mother cow would nurse her baby for 9 to 12 months.  Cows bellow, sometimes for days  on end and behave in ways that plainly exhibit desperation and misery, including a lack of interest in eating and a tendency to pace around the area they last saw their calves.  Other cows in the herd, if permitted to do so, will often spend more time with and comfort the mother who has just lost her baby."  This is heartbreaking :(

3.  Disposable Male Babies - Colb uses this term because in both the dairy and egg industry, male babies are not needed.  They are a different breed than the male chicks and calves that are bred for meat and to maintain profitability they are killed.  I never even thought about this when I used to eat dairy and eggs.  Colb states that "male dairy calves, sometimes called 'veal calves', are slaugthered when they are anywhere from a few days old (when many still have an umbilical cord and attempt to suckle on workers' fingers while being readied for slaughter) to a few months old."  It is important to understand that veal is a by product of the dairy industry.   Similarly in the egg industry, I was shocked and saddened to find out that male chicks are thrown live and conscious either into a meat grinder, plastic bag (where they suffocate) or gassed.

These problems are just from the animal suffering point of view.  There is also the fact that all animal products, despite what we've been led to believe, are very unhealthy for us and raise our risk for obesity, heart disease, many types of cancers and diabetes.  The production of these animal products is also very unhealthy for the planet, contributing significantly to green house gases and using much of the grain produced as animal feed. 

Here are some great resources if you are interested in learning more:

Forks Over Knives
Engine 2 Diet
The China Study
The World Peace Diet
Meet Your Meat
Veganism Is Nonviolence