Something Drool-Worthy for Day 4 of VegWeek

I was planning on posting about something else (a healthy salad, to be exact), when I saw this photo:

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VegNews posted it on their facebook page, and I promptly went to the link they provided to learn more.  It is the creation of someone named Amanda, an obvious dessert goddess, and all of the details are on her blog called Create N Plate.  So far, I have merely drooled over the photos and imagined myself eating it.  That will soon change.  However, if you beat me to it, please let me know how it goes!  Here’s what you need to know:

http://createnplate.com/2014/04/14/raw-vegan-chocolate-peanut-butter-cheesecake/

Enjoy!  xo

A VegWeek Post About Orcas

Today’s post for VegWeek doesn’t have to do with food, which may seem strange.  However, since many people choose to go veg because they love animals (myself very much included), I thought that a post about animals would make sense as we celebrate this week.

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending “Kiss The Sky:  The Orca Freedom Concert,” a benefit to raise money for various organizations that help orcas.  Held at EMP in Seattle, the concert was a lot of fun, featuring Country Joe McDonald, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Heart with Graham Nash as their special guest, and several other performers.  

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For me, though, the highlight of the evening was hearing the stories of people who have dedicated their lives to helping whales and dolphins.  Since many of these organizations were new to me, I wanted to share them here with you to make sure as many people as possible are familiar with their work.  Please check out their sites and learn more about the important work they are doing, and if you are able to support them in some way, that would be wonderful.

The first speaker was Dr. Paul Spong of OrcaLab.  I found his talk extremely moving.  He is a gentle soul whose life has been devoted to understanding and trying to protect these wonderful creatures, and his story of knowing Corky (an orca who has been in captivity longer than any other) and her mother prior to Corky’s capture had me in tears.  Please check out their site and the “Free Corky” campaign:  http://orcalab.org/

The other passionate speakers were Dave Phillips from Earth Island Institute and Ken Balcomb from the Center for Whale Research, both wonderful organizations doing important work:

http://www.earthisland.org/

http://www.whaleresearch.com/

I am grateful that there are people who devote their lives to making the world better for all of its inhabitants, including these magnificent residents of the sea.

 

A Super Delicious Salad for VegWeek!

I am a big fan of the blog “A House in the Hills” by Sarah Yates.  I’ve never met Sarah, but if I did, I’m quite sure we’d hit it off as we appear to have much in common.  First, there are the delicious vegan food recipes that she creates and posts – yum!  Then there are her obsessions with lovely home interiors and fashion – fun!  I hope you will take a moment to check out her blog.  At a minimum, I must insist that you check out her divine recipe for “Roasted Potato and Paprika Chickpea Salad” which we enjoyed the other day.  SO good and really easy to put together (not much active time).  Queenie and I devoured it!

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(Note:  the recipe calls for arugula, which would be delightful.  However, when I opened my package of arugula, it smelled funky (despite being within its expiration date – argh), so I subbed in spinach instead.  Worked great, too.)

Here’s the recipe for your savoring pleasure:

http://ahouseinthehills.com/2014/04/10/roasted-potato-and-paprika-chickpea-salad/

Enjoy!  xo

Happy US VegWeek 2014!

In honor of US VegWeek, I am going to try to post something each day this week in the hope that it will help inspire you to participate in VegWeek.  Wait – you’re not sure what VegWeek is?  It’s really quite simple:  it’s a week (starting today) during which people commit to eating veg for one week.  For more info, check this out:

http://usvegweek.com/

Okay, now that you’re up to speed and on board, here’s what I have to offer today:

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Queenie has dubbed this plate of food “Sweet Potato Fluff and Smoky Collards,” and you can call it that, too, if you’d like.  It’s really two recipes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s Veganomicon, a book you need to get your hands on if you haven’t already.  If you have it, turn to page 111 for the “Mashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes” and to page 106 for the “Sauteed Collards.”  If you don’t have it, know that the concept is sweet potatoes flavored with pumpkin pie spices and collards flavored with smoke and garlic (now go get the book!).  Here’s where the magic happens:  put the two together!  Oh my.  SOOOOOO good.  We’ve been eating this a lot lately and are nowhere close to getting sick of it yet.

Enjoy!  xo

Easy Play Date Snack

Queenie had a friend over the other day.  A friend who happens to be gluten-free.  Here’s what we whipped up:  home-made hummus, a variety of heirloom carrots, and some gf (rice-based) crackers.  Queenie also said her friend likes coconut water, so we had some on hand.  Easy and yummy.

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Enjoy!  xo

Oh She Glows, Indeed!

If you haven’t already discovered it, I want to recommend a wonderful blog called “Oh She Glows” by Angela Liddon.  It’s really fun, well done and chock-full of terrific recipes.  There’s even an Oh She Glows Cookbook that came out in March.  I don’t have my hands on it yet, but I certainly will at some point soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a recent recipe from the blog because it was insanely good.  So good that Queenie and I are wildly craving it all the time.  Since it’s a big, delicious salad bowl, this is a very healthy addiction!  It’s called “The Nourish + Glow Miracle Bowl,” and all of the particulars can be found here:  http://ohsheglows.com/2014/03/24/exciting-news-plus-the-nourish-glow-miracle-bowl/

I did a slightly abbreviated version, and I set it up salad bar style.  We did mixed greens (I’ve been loving the Organic Girl “Super Greens” these days), cherry tomatoes, cucumber, julienned carrots, avocado and hemp seeds.  In addition, I made Liddon’s Sun-dried Tomato Hummus (SO good and super easy) and her Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing (YUM!!!).  This all came together in a divinely tasty and, yes, nourishing bowl.  The addition of the hummus elevated the usual salad (nothing against usual salads) and made it even more filling.  Queenie and I both polished off huge vats of it, and it’s going to be in our regular rotation for sure.

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Enjoy!  xo

Open-faced Portobello Burgers with Red Pepper Mayonnaise

I have been making this recipe for many years.  Since July 2000, to be exact, which is when I pulled it from the pages of Bon Appetit magazine and veganized it.  It is easy to make and REALLY tasty, and it always pleases vegans and omnivores alike.  You can make it in your home, in your oven or on a stove-top grill pan; you can make it on your BBQ; and added bonus:  it’s great to make while camping!  The one time I went camping (no, I’m not much of a camper), I just made the red pepper mayo ahead of time, and everything else came together easily at the camp site.

To make the heavenly mayo, blend 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (from a jar), 1/4 cup vegan mayo, 1 garlic clove and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a processor until smooth.

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Next, prepare your BBQ or heat your oven.  In this particular case, I simply baked things at 400, but you can experiment to see how you prefer it (you can’t go wrong with an outdoor grill when it comes to portobellos!).  This recipe makes four servings, so you will want at least four mushrooms.  In this house, we prefer a ratio closer to 1-1/2 mushrooms per person, but just use the amount you prefer.  I remove the stems and gills of these mushrooms to make sure there’s no hidden grit.  Once you’ve done that, just wipe them down quickly (again, an anti-grit measure), then spray them on both sides with olive oil spray and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.  Cook until they are tender and meaty, turning them over about half way through the cooking process.  Depending on your heat source, it can range from about 10 minutes to closer to 20.  When done, they will be fork tender and delicious.  For serving, I cut them into strips.

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The original recipe calls for four thick slices of crusty country bread.  It also calls for placing one whole (unsliced) mushroom on top of each slice of bread.  I’ve amended that a bit, not only by increasing the mushroom amount per serving and slicing them, but by doubling, yes doubling, the amount of bread involved.  We don’t eat this kind of bread at home very often, but when we do, we go crazy.  We use ciabatta, which I recommend.  However much bread you end up using, slice it thickly and spray both sides with olive oil spray.  Toward the end of the mushroom’s cooking time, add the bread slices to the grill or oven.  You want them to get a bit toasted and crispy on the outside, but still be tender and luscious on the inside.  This should take no more than 5 minutes.

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While the mushrooms and bread are cooking, prepare your greens.  You need about 4 cups of greens.  I usually use baby spinach (what the recipe recommended), but this time I used a mix of baby “super greens,” baby kale, tatsoi, spinach and various other tasty things.  Prepare a dressing by transferring 2 tablespoons of your red pepper mayo to a large bowl.  Whisk in 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, add the greens and toss to coat.  Divide the greens among your dinner plates.

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Place bread slice(s) on top of the greens.  Put the mushrooms on top of the bread.  Spoon red pepper mayo over each and serve.  The flavors and consistencies are wonderful, and the mayo sauce will soak into the bread in just the right way.  Yum.

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Enjoy!  xo