Chocolate Banana Bread to Sweeten Your VegWeek

This delicious banana bread is not only vegan, it’s gluten-free, too, so you can make it for all of your gf friends.  The recipe hails from the Babycakes cookbook by Erin McKenna, and while I certainly recommend getting your hands on the book (everything I’ve made from it has been super yummy), Erin also posted a link for this recipe a while back, which I’m including below.  You can make this yourself tonight!  Tomorrow morning, at the latest.  

Queenie and I used to be regulars at the Babycakes shops in Los Angeles before we moved to Washington.  Now that we can no longer pop in whenever we feel like it, I’m quite grateful to have Erin’s recipes at hand.  She also did a second book, entitled Babycakes Covers the Classics.  Can you say gluten-free, vegan donuts?????  And if you find yourself in LA or Manhattan, be sure to pop into the Babycakes shop.  They are charming establishments filled to the brim with delicious sweets, and every single one of them is vegan and gluten-free.

Here’s the recipe for the banana bread:

http://www.babycakesnyc.com/2010/12/my-favorite-banana-bread-recipe.html

And here’s what it will look like while you’re making it:

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(I use Sunspire’s grain-sweetened dark chocolate chips, but any kind will be fine.)  Here it is, just out of the oven:

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Yes, I used two loaf pans even though the recipe suggests using only one.  I have found that the loaf recipes in the Babycakes books explode out of my pan when I use just one.  I have also found that they take forever to finish baking when I use just one.  So my solution:  use two.  Works for me.

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Enjoy!  xo

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Tasty Hummus Bowl a la Isa Chandra Moskowitz

I’ve been making a lot of the bowl recipes from Isa Does It lately, and they have all been delicious.  Yesterday, it was the “Cucumber Ranch Bowl” (page 200), and it was great.  The breaded tofu was super yummy, as was the cucumber ranch dressing.  Put it all together and it will disappear quickly!  Today, it was the “Cozy Hummus Bowl” (page 201).  This recipe is simple:  brown rice, greens, baked tofu, tomato, cucumber, sprouts (if you’ve got them – I didn’t) and hummus.  The secret, though, is that this particular hummus has some kalamata olives mixed in.  SOOOO good.  Not sure why I haven’t done that before, but I can assure you that I will be doing it again soon, both for bowls and general consumption.  If you have any appreciation for olives at all, I recommend that you do the same.  Yum.

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Enjoy!  xo

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