Bread

Happy Holidays! A Big Blogging Break, Roasted Ratatouille on Olive Focaccia and Giving Back.

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Roasted Ratatouille on Olive Focaccia

Wishing all of you the Happiest Holidays! I’m having hip surgery this Friday to repair injuries I sustained earlier this year. So, I’ll be taking a 2-3 month break from blogging while I recover. I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite recipes. A recipe I can’t believe I had forgotten about until now (I was making this like crazy two years ago, but somehow it slipped off my radar).

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When my brother Abe and I were in college, we went on an Art Trip that was nothing short of magical with the Dixie State College Art Department. Outside the LA Art Museum was a food cart selling delicious wares.

photo 1 (1)Mixing the ingredients

We both ordered the most lovely focaccia sandwich. It had eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini on it, I didn’t know at the time that this magic combination was called “ratatouille”. To this day, this is still one of my favorite sandwiches. If you prefer, you can serve the roasted ratatouille over pasta or brown rice, but what fun would that be?

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Roasted Ratatouille

  • 2 large sized globe eggplants, skin on, diced into 3/4 inch dice
  • 3 medium sized zucchini, skin on, diced into 3/4 inch dice
  • 1 very large purple onion, diced into 3/4 inch dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced very thinly
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • few dashes of red pepper flakes
  • one 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, juices drained (reserve juices for another use, you can freeze them and toss it into soup, pasta, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh chopped basil

Method: Preheat your oven to 425°. Toss all of the above ingredients EXCEPT the fresh basil together in a large bowl until all the ingredients are delicious. Pour everything onto your biggest baking sheet, it doesn’t matter if it’s layers deep, just even it out with your hands so that everything is evenly distributed. Place the baking sheet in the oven and let roast for 45-60 minutes (I like 60 minutes) stirring once or twice during roasting for maximum yumminess. Once nicely roasted, let cool for 10-15 minutes before sprinkling with the fresh basil. Ratatouille can be served hot or cold, and it’s even better the next day, especially when served on olive focaccia.

To make the Olive Focaccia, simply make this recipe and sub lots of your favorite olives for the grapes in this recipe.

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And now for giving back, most of you probably do a little “Secret Santa” or give to one of your favorite charities this time of year. If you haven’t all ready done something like that (or you’d like to do more) please visit my favorite charity, an organization called Not So Fast created by my beautiful friend, Shira McDermott. Her concept behind the organization is direct and easy. Consume Less. Give More. People who want to donate can skip that cup of fancy coffee or that lunch out and donate those funds instead to impoverished families in need of food. Bigger “fasts” can include going without alcohol or meat for a month, or perhaps a “fast” from your automobile for a month and relying on public transport instead. Just $2 can feed a family dinner. $10 gives a family vouchers at a farmer’s market. $30 provides ingredients for a community cooking class for children to teach them how to prepare healthy and inexpensive meals.

NOT SO FAST’S GOAL IS SIMPLE: TO FEED PEOPLE BY FASTING AND GIVING WHAT WE WOULD HAVE CONSUMED TO THOSE WHO HAVE LESS. 

To learn more about Not So Fast, please click here, also, read about my fast here.

not so fast

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Oil Free and Whole Grain Recipe.

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Just in case you need another indulgent meal for Thanksgiving morning… I made these delicious pancakes a couple of weeks ago on a lazy morning. There was lots of happy food noises going on around the table. My youngest ate four pancakes, which I didn’t feel too bad about, considering this recipe is relatively healthy, as far as pancakes go…

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, or for gluten-free pancakes, simply sub your favorite gluten-free flour blend. I use this one.
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk (from a carton, not a can)
  • 2 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup canned or pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Method: whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon til just combined. This batter needs to rest for about 10 minutes so that it will begin to rise for fluffiness, so while you’re waiting, start preheating your pancake skillet, I use a large griddle so I can cook more pancakes at once. Lightly oil (or use a non-stick skillet) the skillet/griddle and measure out pancake batter with a 1/3 cup measure. Cook pancakes for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Serve with Kathy Hester’s Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce and Rice Whip if desired.

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Vedged Out’s 2013 Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

Vedged Out Thanksgiving

Appetizers

Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Cheddar Cheese Ball, served with raw flax crackers and assorted vegetables.

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Vedged Out’s Macadamia Nut Brie En Croute

 Salad

Alexander’s Rainbow Salad with Kale and Orange Red Pepper Dressing from In Vegetables We Trust

rainbow-kale-salad-vegan-orange-red-pepper-dressing (1)photo used with permission 

Bread

Vegan Monologue’s Buttery Pan Rolls

You can also use whole grain white whole wheat flour in this recipe!

 

Amanda’s Whole Grain Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

(this is what we slathered the Brie En Croute all over! They were made for each other!)

sourdough bread

Drinks

Lemon Seltzer Water

Cranberry Fizzy: equal parts cranberry juice and ginger ale

 Mains and Sides

In Pursuit of More’s Cashew Loaf (just make it, and you’ll want it as the centerpiece at every holiday!)

Somerkey Sage and Maple Seitan Loaf, stay tuned, recipe still in testing mode, coming at the start of next week!

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Dad’s Wild Rice, Cranberry and Pine Nut Stuffing

Dad’s Pine Nut and Glazed Onion Mashed Potatoes

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Vedged Out’s Sauteed Green Beans, Red Onions and Radishes

  • 2 lbs fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches radishes, washed, greens removed and quartered
  • ½ C. Toasted Slivered Almonds
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan heat the olive oil until glistening over medium heat. Add green beans, radishes and red onions. Saute until vegetables are crisp tender, about 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and peper and sprinkle with the slivered almonds.

Maple Cranberry Sauce

Maple Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, lightly glazed with pure maple syrup and unrefined coconut oil

Desserts

An Unrefined Vegan’s Apple Pie

applepie3photos used with permission

Razzleberry Pie 

Gabby’s No Bake Pumpkin Mousse Cake

An Unrefined Vegan’s Hazelnut Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Chocolate-Hazelnut Topping

Hazelnut cheesecake

Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream

Healthy Happy Life’s 4 Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pie

and Vegan Ice Cream

Dad’s Vegan Wild Rice, Cranberry and Pine Nut Stuffing. Gluten Free Option!

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My dad makes this incredible stuffing for the holidays, he always says: “Even the ‘no-stuffing eaters’ will fall in love with it” … And they do! I just found out today that I’m not going to be able to spend this Thanksgiving with my parents, so I thought I’d honor my dad this post.

Dad’s Vegan Wild Rice, Cranberry and Pine Nut Stuffing

Makes 10-ish servings, double for your biggest holiday crowds.

  • 5 cups cubed and dried vegan bread (use gluten free vegan bread for a GF option)
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, plus more, as needed
  • 1 white onions chopped fine
  • 3 celery stalks cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 t. dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 t. dried sage
  • 1 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked wild rice (instructions below)
  • 1/2 cup shelled pine nuts
  • 2 shots vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons + 1 tsp. vegan butter (divided)
  • 1/2 C. dried Cranberries

Method: Boil wild rice with water according to package directions until tender, about 40 minutes. Saute onions, mushrooms, celery and seasonings in the vegan butter. Saute pine nuts separately in the vegan butter until golden brown. Mix all ingredients in a large pot adding vegetable broth as you stir it in. Test for consistency and add more vegetable stock if too dry. Fluff with a large fork. Bake on low heat for (about 200 degrees) for half an hour or until golden.

Bake and Destroy. THE RADICAL HALLOWEEN EDITION. Review, Revenge Cookie Recipe and Giveaway.

When I was a kid, my favorite holiday by far was Halloween. My dad would bust out the bbq and fire up hot dogs for the whole dang neighborhood. Everyone came, warming up their cold little hands for a tasty meal amongst the sea of noxious candy. Of course it was also awesome that one of our neighbors brewed rootbeer in a giant cauldron and served it up while dressed as a cackling witch. We were lucky kids in that corner of Green Valley.

Revenge Cookies


One Halloween, I had the flu and couldn’t go trick-or-treating. I swear I thought it was a fate worse than death. I sobbed (and puked) on the couch in our front room as I watched out the front window and saw what seemed like hundreds of gleeful kids come eat hot dogs and enjoy the festivities.

I’ve always wanted to follow in the family tradition and grill up hot dogs too, but since I’m vegan now, and you can’t really give kids anything that isn’t store bought and pre-wrapped anymore without the parents having a heart attack, we do mini bags of potato chips, a savory salute to my childhood days.

Anyway, when I got a review copy of Bake and Destroy, it was like the perfect Halloween present had come early. I dare you to read through this book and not be thoroughly amused by the dark and silly humor whilst developing a sweet girl crush on bad-a** Natalie Slater.

Natalie Slater

First up, I made the Cannibal Corpse Crock-Pot, which is made with Jackfruit, in an awesome BBQ sauce that will blow your mind. I also put it all over a deep dish pizza, but we ate it before I could get non-Iphone photos of it. Oh, the Vegan Mayo in the book that’s on this sandwich is so delicious and diabolically simple that it’s worth the purchase of the book alone: you’ll have no more guilt over eating oil-laden store bought vegan mayo, but you’ll also stop pretending that blocks of tofu seasoned with lemon juice and pureed, or the non-fat vegan mayo versions taste anything like real mayo. Stop fooling yourself kids. Her special sauce tastes even better than the real deal without clogging your arteries or leaving your taste-buds fully disappointed.

Cannibal Corpse Crock Pot
As for the Samoa Joe Cupcakes, well, I took these bad boys to a Mormon Ward Halloween Party. They won the competition for Best Dessert Overall. Yes, they were that good. People are still talking about them… What’s not to love about a luscious cupcake filled with caramel sauce and topped with salted caramel-coconut butter-cream and chocolate drizzle? Yeah, vegan desserts rock.

Samoa Joe Cupcakes

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Even more awesome, was that my brother Abe (vegan siblings rock) was staying at my house for several days for a printmaking show and conference while I was testing recipes from the book. He fully worshipped them all. We had this totally legit Non-Cop-Out Tofu Scramble on his last morning. Since Abe mostly eats beans and rice, he was on the edge of pure vegan food bliss at every meal.

Tofu Scramble

These cute cupcake mummies made out of Natalie’s ridiculously simple Vanilla Cake Mix also went to the church party. I got a second award for best themed dessert. Ah yeah.

Vanilla Cake Mix

Funnily enough though, the recipe I tested that made me the most nostalgic, was the Pretzel Dogs of the Dead. They were insanely delicious. You know I’ll be baking these up again on Halloween with a pot of chili and another batch of those Samoa Joe Cupcakes, even if I can’t serve them to the neighbor kids. (p.s. these really are vegan hot dogs, no animals were harmed in the making of this post). I made some of Natalie’s No-Honey Mustard to dip these in, but ended up using it as a delicious salad dressing instead after I forgot all about the dip.

Pretzel Dogs of The Dead

Now, for the awesome bit. I made these Cheryl’s Sweet Revenge Cookies (not in the book and based on the movie, The Evil Dead double bonus here) and there were so many, that I took a big part of the batch to a neighbor so I wouldn’t eat them all. Somehow during our discussion I found out that my neighbors know Natalie Slater and her mom. Some things are just meant to be.

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Cheryl’s Revenge Cookies

Recipe used with permission

Somer’s Note: I couldn’t help myself and added a half cup of mini-chocolate chips to this recipe to make them the ultimate “Everything Cookie.” They were amazing!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used half organic all purpose and half whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, your choice (I used a combination of sunflower seeds, whole almonds, cashew pieces, peanuts and hempseeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit, your choice (I used cranberries, raisins and goji berries)
  • 3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut or whole rolled oats (I went with the coconut, but used unsweetened since that’s what I had on hand)

Method: Preheat your oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Whisk the dry ingredients into a small bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the margarine until smooth and fluffy. Add sugars and beat until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the ground flaxseed and water together until thick and gooey. Add this to the sugar mixture and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the nuts and fruit. Drop batter (2 tablespoons = one cookie) onto the  lined baking sheet, about 2″ apart. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes about 2 dozen vengeful, murderous cookies (unless you are Somer and you make smaller cookies and end up with 3-4 dozen).

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Buy “Bake and Destroy” Good Food for Bad Vegans in paperback format on Amazon here or get the Kindle version for $9.99 here.

Visit Natalie Slater at her site Bake and Destroy here.

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Halloween on the 31st of October to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Friday the 1st of November. GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Oil-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Squares. Guest Post from Annie at An Unrefined Vegan + Last Chance for VVP!

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Here’s a final, last minute shameless plug and call for sign ups for the Virtual Vegan Potluck. The potluck is nearly full, so if you haven’t signed up all ready, get in there. Oh, and the founder of the VVP (and my blogger BFF), Annie from An Unrefined Vegan is sharing a guest post with us today. Just looking at this recipe makes me think about all the other luscious desserts in store come potluck time!

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Let’s give a hearty welcome to Annie and her luscious Oil-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Squares! I think these are healthy enough to qualify as breakfast food!

Banana Cake Slice

Over the years I’ve made a lot of banana bread from many different recipes. A lot. This one is the simplest I’ve ever made and also the most delicious. While away from home recently, I needed a banana recipe fast so I did a Google search and used the very first listing – from Simply Recipes. I veganized it; traded out the oil for almond butter, used whole wheat pastry flour, added chocolate chips, and then baked it in a square pan rather than in a loaf. This comes together ridiculously fast and is craved by vegans and non-vegans alike (mom and dad, I’m looking at you).

Thank you, Somer, for inviting me to share this recipe with your readers and for letting them know about the Virtual Vegan Potluck! I hope that the food bloggers out there will consider signing up for the November 16 event. It’s always a lot of fun and it’s a great way to find new blogs to love and to add delicious, plant-based food to your recipe stockpile.

Quick Chocolate Chip Banana (Bread) Squares
Makes 1 9″ x 9″ pan

3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp. water (whisk together then let sit for a few minutes)
1/3 cup natural almond butter
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1 full stopper of liquid stevia (I used NuNaturals Alcohol-free Stevia Pure Liquid)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9″ x 9″ baking pan with oil.

In a large bowl, combine the bananas, flaxseed meal, almond butter, sugar, and stevia. Stir well.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and firm on top. Let cool before slicing.

Banana Cake with Slice

Banana Cake on Plates

 

Vedged Out Turns One, Gets a Sweet Book Deal and More Awesomeness!

Howdy beloved readers! It’s Vedged Out’s One Year Blogiversary today and I’m taking you on a tour through the highlights and lowlights of the year:

chocolate layer cakeInsane Chocolate Layer Cake

It’s been an amazing year! Some highlights included Forks Over Knives featuring my health transformation testimonial and ChooseVeg.com featuring me on their health page.

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Then we’ve had two very. awesome. Virtual Vegan Potlucks.  

macadamia nut brie en crouteSpooky Macadamia Nut Brie En Croute 

um, I’m still dreaming about that one

vegan-blt-slidersMini Jackfruit and Kimchi BLT Slider Bites 

Two words. Jackfruit. Bacon.

The top viewed post on my site this year:pizzaIndividual Vegan Margherita Pizzas with Homemade Fresh Moxarella

people go crazy when homemade vegan cheese is tastier, easier, healthier and cheaper than running to your local Whole Foods for another bag of Daiya.

The least viewed post on my site this year:maple lima beansBaked Maple Dijon Baby Lima Beans

Yeah, can’t blame my readers, doesn’t look like the most appetizing dish, does it? I swear they were good!

The cookie bars that took over Pinterest by storm:cookie barHealthied Up Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

who doesn’t love an easy to put together ooey gooey dessert?

This ALL VEGAN Thanksgiving Menu shared with beloved friends and family, including Annie at An Unrefined Veganvegan thanksgiving

Then we had that low point, with that injury (currently still injured, I’ll have another healing series coming up soon).goodbye-runningGoodbye Running, I still miss you like crazy.

But when one door closes another one opens! And now I’ve also got some awesome news, I’ve signed a book contract with Vegan Heritage Press! I couldn’t be more proud to be working with such an amazing and compassionate publishing house. You’ll have to wait for all the juicy details, but it’s official. I’m an author!

vegan heritage press

The Vegan Heritage Press family all ready includes some Vegan Superstars: the amazing and talented raw vegan chef Amber Shea Crawley, prolific vegan cookbook author and goddess Robin Robertson, recipe developer extraordinaire Bryanna Clark Grogan, vegan baking fool Tamasin Noyes, national recipe competition winner Betsy DiJulio and several new faces that I can’t wait to become acquainted with!

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Oh, and I’ve all ready been a recipe contributor for Sunwarrior for some time, but now I’m joining their expert ambassador team as well! Yeah, just gotta submit that Bio. They’ve truly got the best vegan vitamins and supplements on the planet. Pure love.

Thanks for all the love and support along the way. Can’t wait to see what this next year brings!

good-clean-foodAmanda, Somer (holding Amanda’s juicy baby), Carolyn and Erika

If you want to start at the very beginning, see my very first post on Vedged Out here: 20 Reasons Why Going Vegan Sucks.

Love, Somer