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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Bruce and I spent it with friends eating a ton of great vegan food... Some friends opened their home for a potluck, and about 30 of us showed up and laughed over new stories and sharing memories from the year. I have to admit- it was really nice spending a holiday, that is surrounded by food, with friends that have the same mindset and views. Sometimes we have family that sees us as more of the odd man, then understanding that we see the environment, animals and our fellow humans are not for us to exploit....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

3 Bean Chili

3 Bean Chili

Needing to cook some butternut squash and sweet potato, and looking for something that the boys would eat I made this. They liked since I heard no complaints, and ate some as left overs. I served this with some pearl barley and blue corn tortilla chips....

2 red bell peppers
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can ranchero beans
1 sweet potato, cubed
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup of vegetable broth, plus 2 Tablespoons (divided)
1 cup of no-chicken broth (I ran out of veggie broth)
1/2 Tablespoon thyme
1/2 Tablespoon sage
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place pepper halves in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and chop peppers.

3. In a large pan or dutch oven, over medium-high heat, combine the 2 Tablespoons of vegetable broth, garlic and onion. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Stir in cumin and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers, broth, squash, sweet potato and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans; simmer 25 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Chili will be ready when the squash and sweet potato are tender when pierced with a fork.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How To Prepare & Freeze Fresh Pumpkin The Easy Way

How To Prepare & Freeze Fresh Pumpkin The Easy Way

I found this from the Farmers Almanac. Coming home from Hawaii, I had 2 small pumpkins that needed to be processed. Being afraid that they were turning, I followed the steps and it was SO easy! Hopefully this helps you as much as it helped me. I went ahead and pureed all 8 cups of pumpkin, and have been finding lots of recipes for it, let's just hope that I won't get tired of pumpkin.... ~_^

To Prepare Fresh Pumpkin for Baking and Other Uses:
Cut a pumpkin in half and then into fourths.

1. Use a large spoon or scoop to remove the seeds, and set aside (Seeds are edible and nutritious too. Save for roasting.)

2. Place the pumpkin skin-side down in a roasting pan. Add a little water to cover the bottom of the pan and cover.

3. Place in a 300°F oven. The pumpkin will take about 1 hour to bake, unless you are working with a small one.

4. Test the center of the pumpkin for softness with a knife. When the pumpkin is done, it will slice easily. Remove pumpkin from the oven when it's ready and uncover.

5. Allow to cool slightly to the touch. Cut the fleshly part away from the hard outside shell. Chop the fleshy part into 2” to 3” inch chunks.

6. If the pumpkin will be used solely for pies or breads, process the pumpkin cubes in a blender or food processor until smooth.

7. Store pumpkin in the freezer for future use. Freeze in storage containers or pressure-can in pint-canning jars.

To Freeze Fresh Pumpkin

You can enjoy baking your favorite pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pudding and pancakes just by freezing your fresh pumpkin. Here’s how:

1. Once the fresh pumpkin has been cooked and processed in a food processor, measure quantities for your favorite pumpkin recipes, usually 1 to 2 cup portions.

2. Measure pumpkin into freezer storage bags.
Label contents, date and quantity and store in freezer until ready to use.

To Defrost Frozen Pumpkin:

Fresh frozen pumpkin defrosts nicely and should be ready to use in only an hour after removing from the freezer. To expedite the thawing process:

1. Rip plastic freezer bag open and place pumpkin on a glass pie pan in the microwave.
Defrost 2 to 3 minutes or until soft.

2. Use defrosted pumpkin for any recipe that calls for pumpkin. It's a great substitute for the canned product.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacony Bits

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacony Bits
Vegan; Serves 4; 30 minutes

2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 tablespoon Sesame oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 clove of garlic
1 Tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Bacony Bits
2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If sprouts are very small, cut in half; otherwise cut into quarters. Cook the sprouts until barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.

2. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, stirring often, until soft but not browned, reducing the heat if necessary, about 4 minutes. Stir in thyme (or savory) sprigs, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high, add the Brussels sprouts, and cook, tossing or stirring occasionally, until tender and warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove the herb sprigs. Add the bacony bits, thyme (or savory) leaves and lemon juice, if using, and toss.

Pumpkin Burgers

Pumpkin Burgers
Vegan; Makes 6 patties

With all of the pumpkin I still have, I'm finding different recipes for it. I made these last, and they are really good! Since my pumpkin had already been pureed, these didn't take very long to make. I served these with an old favorite, chipotle mayo and Brussels sprouts on the side (recipe will follow).

1 15oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree
egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 onion, diced (add more if you like onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (if you like it a little hotter add 1 teaspoon)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs

1. Saute garlic, onion and red bell pepper, until soft. About 5 minutes.

2. In a food processor, add chickpeas, egg replacer, cumin, chili powder, and coriander. Pulse until smooth.

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs, chickpea mixture and pumpkin until mixture is stiff enough to from and hold patty shape. In a skillet (I used a little oil to coat the pan) over medium high heat, cook patties until golden brown. About 5 minutes on both side.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Vegan "Caramel" Fruit Dip

Vegan Caramel Fruit Dip

For those who will entertaining over this up-coming holiday season, this is perfect to set out with cut up fruit. This is also perfect for those with little ones, watch out though, there is a lot of sugar. The boys LOVED this one!

1 cup dates
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup hemp milk

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Pulse until smooth and chill until ready to be served.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Green Pea Poulourie

Green Pea Poulourie
Vegan; Can be made Gluten Free

Having an abundance of green split peas came in handy for this recipe! Bruce and I both had a bag when we combined kitchens. This recipe came out more falafel like, so I served them with Tzatziki sauce and flat bread.

1 (14 ounce) bag dried green or yellow split peas
3 cloves garlic, crushed (I had to use garlic powder since I ran out of fresh garlic)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional (use gluten free flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
oil for frying

1. Pick through the split peas removing rocks, then rinse. Soak, covered by 2-inches of water until soft enough to be broken with your fingernail, 3 hours to overnight. (Short on time, I put the split peas in the rice maker and put the setting on Brown Rice. It worked pretty good.)

2. When soft, drain peas, then puree in 1 cup batches in a food processor or blender until smooth along with the garlic, curry powder, salt, and serrano pepper. Add water as needed to make a thick paste. Sift baking powder and 1/2 cup of flour into a large bowl then stir in the pea puree, adding additional flour to make a stiff batter.

3. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

4.Form into small patties and place into the hot oil in batches for about 10. Turn when the bottoms turn brown, and continue cooking to brown the other side, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with additional salt if desired.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

As these were baking, both Choxie and Fortune were in the kitchen watching the oven. Somehow they knew these were being made just for them. Grant actually tried one, and liked it. He asked what smelled good. He shared his cookie with Choxie and Fortune, but did take the last bite. So there you go..... Not only Puppy Friendly, but kid friendly too!

Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
1 cup fresh pureed pumpkin
2 tablespoons hemp milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 1/2 cups gluten free flour (you can use all-purpose)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In large bowl, whisk together egg replacer and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in hemp milk, vanilla, sea salt, and cinnamon. Add flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a soft, dry dough. Briefly kneed and roll out into about 1 inch balls.

3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the 1 inch balls on the cookie sheet and press down. (Like a peanut butter cookie.) Poke holes with a fork and bake (in batches if needed) for 20 minutes until golden.

Pumpkin Spice Almost-Raw Cheesecake

Pumpkin Spice Almost-Raw Cheesecake
Vegan, Gluten Free, Almost Raw

Getting back from vacation, I was able to finally get to the pumpkins that I thought were going to go bad. Ending up having almost 8 cups of pureed pumpkin, I'll be posting the next few recipes calling for pumpkin. I took this to a potluck on Sunday, and didn't even get a slice since it went SO fast! Adapted from Addicted to Veggies.


1 cup Walnuts
1 cup Dates
1 pinch of salt


1 cup Cashews (I soaked overnight)
1 cup Macadamia nuts (I soaked overnight)
2 cups fresh/raw pureed Pumpkin Flesh
1/2 cup Coconut Sugar plus 3 heaping Tbsp
1/4 cup Coconut Oil- liquefied
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground Allspice
1/2 tsp ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
2 pinches Salt

1. Combine walnuts, dates and a pinch of sea salt in a food processor until finely chopped. Press mixture very compactly into the bottom of a spring-form pan. I used the back of a spoon and my thumb to press the crust down, and it worked perfectly.

2. Take all filling ingredients and blend in food processor until smooth. Just let it go for a few minutes…. the texture should be nice and creamy. (I had to add a little bit of water, so I didn't burn out my food processor motor.)

3. Pour filling on top of crust and spread out until smooth. Cover with foil and freeze overnight. The freezing process will re-harden the coconut oil and set up the cake. After it is frozen you can refrigerate and it will be ready to serve after about one hour. Even though you have to freeze this cake to set it up, it is not a frozen cake… once refrigerated, it takes on an extremely similar texture to a regular old cheesecake.

World Vegan Day

World Vegan Day

November 1st was World Vegan Day and it wraps up the month of Vegetarian Awareness Month. Starting off with World Vegetarian Day and World Farm Animal Day, this month is a long celebration has been created to share wisdom, compassion and educate all of us to rise to the next level....

I have been busy with protesting a Bison and Cow meat packing plant, and socializing with friends that share the same thoughts. As much as being active making a difference in the world has great impact on all, we need to be able to take those much needed breaks and recharge....

So, in this up coming holiday season. Seek out the friends who make you laugh and smile, along with making new friends. Continue to make a difference for those you love or those who have no voice.