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Showing posts from December, 2011

5 Spice Banana Bread with Orange Butter

I'm sure by now, you all realize that I love banana bread. If I could put a ring on it I probably would.

It's the holiday season and apparently I tend to lose track of time this time of year. Christmas really snuck up on me! When I woke up on Christmas Eve and realized I had neglected to plan Christmas morning breakfast, a whole string of four letter words spewed out of my mouth.  Luckily, I almost always have over ripe bananas just waiting to baked into bread, muffins, cakes and cookies. As I say to my daughter "Yep! We're have banana bread, AGAIN!"

3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup Apple Pear Butter
2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbl vanilla extract
1 Tbl Chinese 5 Spice
1 Tbl orange juice
Preheat oven to 350Mash the bananas with a fork. Add the apple pear butter and stir. In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and 5 spice. Mix the wet with the dry and add vanilla and orange juice. Pour into a loaf pan and bake for …

ApplePear Butter

I love apple butter and apple sauce. It makes for a wonderful egg substitute in baking, a great side dish to any meal at any time of the day and it's great as a spread on my favorite breakfast breads and muffins. I always keep some on hand in the fridge. You never know when you'll need it!

2 lbs apple (about 5 apples)
1 lb of pears (about 4 pears)
Juice from half of a lemon
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbl maple syrup
Cut apples and pears into 1-inch chunks. Place in a medium saucepan with juice, cinnamon and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until fruit is very soft, about 30 minutes. (if you cut fruit smaller, it will cook in about 20 minutes)Stir in maple syrup and continue to simmer until very thick, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. During the last 15 minutes, stir more frequently to prevent sticking and burning. Mash with a fork or, for a smoother consistency, puree in a food processor. Ser…

Santa's Cookies

Since the 1930s, children have left cookies and milk on a table for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. My household isn't much different except for that our Santa is vegan which means we make homemade vegan cookies on Christmas Eve and Santa enjoys those with a tall glass of Silk Light Vanilla Soy Milk.

Here's Santa's favorite :)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp Torani Sugar Free Vanilla syrup
1 Tbsp. Karo
1/4 cup Apple Pear Butter
Cinnamon and sugar, to coat
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients (make sure they're blended well). Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using your hands form the dough into a big ball. (If it sticks together well, then it's the right consistency. If not, add a bit of water and mix it well.) Form the dough into cookie-sized balls and roll them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each ball…

Pumpkin Hummus

Hummus is a seriously addictive food. And when you add in a special twist? Even more so. I ate this straight up with a spoon, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Of course, it also works well with the usual suspects – veggies and crackers, spread for a sammich, etc.

I love this dip. I have had a long time affair with the sexy combination of sweet and heat. The creaminess of the chickpeas coupled with the sweetness of the pumpkin, along with a little kick of heat make for one crazy combination of addictions.

I take advantage anytime I can make a dish with a squash like pumpkin; it is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and magnesium, plus it has anti-inflammatory properties. I heart anti-inflammatory foods!

Here's what you need:
2 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
½ cup pureed pumpkin
¼ cup water
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tbsp tahini
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Place chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, water, and tahini in a food processor. W…

Maple & Brown Sugar Candied Pecans

This is a product of one of those evenings when all I want to do is spend the night in my kitchen. I noticed I had a big bag of raw pecans leftover from Thanksgiving and decided to give a snack a whirl. I'm pleased as punch with the results and plan on giving this batch away as a Christmas gift. Next time I make these I think I will add some cayenne.

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 lb raw pecans
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 325combine sugar, paprika and salt until no lumps are visibleIn a separate bowl, coat pecans in maple syrup. Add sugar/spice mixture and toss to coat. Spread single layer on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.Cool.

Chana Masala Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Every once in a while, a recipe comes along that makes me say, ‘Wow, I did good’. This recipe is brilliantly simple, tasty and hearty enough for a main dish. The contrast of sweetness and spice provides heavenly, multi-layered flavours.

2 sweet potatoes
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp garam masala
½ – ¾ cup crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup water
2 cups cooked chickpeas
¼ tsp salt
splash of lemon juice In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and continue sauteing to briefly cook, 1-2 more minutes.Add the spices to the onions and fully coat them, cook 1-2 minutes longer. Stir in the tomatoes, water and chickpeas. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding more water if you prefer. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and lemon juice.Preheat oven to 425°F. Prick the sweet potato…


On a cold and rainy day, there's nothing quite as comforting as a big warm pot of food. Brazilians have a cure for cold and rainy days; it's an all-day dish called feijoada, their national dish. Its a combination of slow simmered black beans, various types of meat, bay leaves and other spices, with wine or beer. The vegan way, of course, involves some substitutions, but its still incredibly rich, comforting and delicious, especially with sides of rice and braised kale.

The real, "from scratch" recipe takes several hours, given that you use dried beans to get a luscious broth. But I do a short-cut recipe that captures most of the appeal of the original without the many hours of stirring. I definitely recommend trying the traditional recipe, however- many vegans cook books offer awesome versions. I'm sure we all suffer from the same ailment known as time and to make this dish as traditional as possible you NEED time. In my case. I don't have time and I think my…

Miso-Tahini Tacos

I shamelessly recreated this dish from a small burrito joint here in town. This copy cat recipe couldn't have made me a happier little vegan. I know I usually "highly recommend" my dishes but this one is hands down my favorite of all time! It may not seem like much but remember it's all in the sauce. Use this sauce on anything and everything.

Here's what you need to make the sauce:
2 tbsp sesame tahini
3 tbsp miso
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water
Whisk all ingredients until smooth. Add more miso for extra thickness, if desired, or water to thin to desired consistency. Set aside.Here's what you need for assembly:
2 corn tortillas
black beans
red cabbage, shredded
carrots, shredded
sunflower seeds
miso tahini sauce
sriracha, to taste
Warm tortillas and layer ingredients: black beans, cabbage, carrots, sunflower seeds Garnish with cilantro, miso tahini sauce and sriracha

The Best Cookies Ever!

This is not speculation my friends, this is a fact. In a taste test performed by me in my kitchen with no other cookies up against it, I found these to be the best cookies I have ever eaten.  These cookies are light, soft, super fluffy, and spiced with allspice, cinnamon, and ginger.

Let me tell you something else spectacularly wonderful about these cookies. They are as healthy as a cookie can get. I hesitate to call things healthy just because they aren't fattening, especially cookies, but these are actually good for you. The pumpkin is a great source of carotenoids, lutein, and xeaxanthin!


I don't know what any of these things are, but I do know that they fight against free radicals! And Pumpkin is high in fiber. No big words needed there.

Because of the use of pumpkin, there is not as much of a need for fat. There is only about 1/2 cup of oil in the entire recipe, bringing these bad boys to a grand total of 100 calories per cookie! Throw in some chocolate chips and ad…