Category Archives: Friendship

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

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Filed under Bread, Friendship, Main Dishes, Sandwiches, Vegan

Bring Joy Guest Post! Vegan Egg Nog Milk Shake. Bring Joy Totes. Plus a Bonus Field Roast Celebration Roast. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas.

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So, I can’t even quite remember how Janae and I connected, but it’s been a fast and fun friendship even though I live in Utah and She lives in Texas. See, we’re both Mormon and Vegan (two things that don’t often go hand in hand). Janae found veganism over 7 years ago, while I went vegan just 2 years ago. Even though veganism isn’t common amongst members of our faith, we both feel it aligns closely with our church’s Word of Wisdom, which is kind of like a Mormon Law for Health.

Interestingly enough, we also both started out our vegan journey with more heavily restrictive vegan diets that eschewed added fats, sugars and sodium. Now we’re both into healthy moderation with all those things. Girls’ gotta live! Her blog, Bring Joy is much fancier and organized than mine! She showcases lifestyle and family posts as well as her recipes (and e-books). Everything she posts is beautifully photographed and mind-blowingly delicious.

Janae WiseLet’s welcome Janae Wise, the darling heavily pregnant, budget concious, gluten-free, mom and vegan Mormon behind the blog, Bring Joy.

The other day I went to Whole Foods. I don’t usually shop there. For one it’s not in my neck of the woods & I’m not into guzzling gas if I don’t need to.

But more importantly, my heart starts racing & I approach a near hyperventilative state whenever I look at the prices.

Don’t get me wrong–the gluten-free vegan brownies, the chickpea miso, & the organic cultured coconut yogurt certainly does cause m e to think I cannot live without these things–but I simply can’t afford to do too much shopping in that beautiful, beautiful place.

But on this recent trip (I was just looking for some light tofu, which wouldn’t ya know, they don’t carry), I came across a boxes of this:

rice-nog-milk

And they were on sale.
And there was a coupon.
So, I scored several boxes for just $1 each–yipee! I love a good deal, don’t you?

It’s nice to drink straight up, but I had other things in mind.

You see, I have four growing, always hungry, young kids. And when the older ones walk home from school each afternoon they’re especially ravenous. So, it’s my job to figure out how I can easily feed them a nutrient dense, calorie-packed snack.

I made this shake for them the other day–packed with lots of good stuff, & calorie dense (though each serving is perfect for an adult watching their calories).

The addition of nut butter & pumpkin seeds add some important nutrients for my kids, including fat, protein, zinc & vitamin E.

ingredients:

1 c. rice nog (or other non-dairy nog)
2 ripe bananas
2-3 c. ice
2 TBS. nut butter
1/4 c. unsalted raw pumpkin seeds
dash of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg
1-2 packets stevia, if desired (though I think it’s plenty sweet without!)

Put ingredients in blender by order listed & blend until smooth. This is isn’t as thick & creamy as my candy cane or pumpkin pie milkshakes (which are more like soft ice cream), but that’s okay–drink with a straw & enjoy!

nutrition info: makes 4 servings; per serving–156 calories, 5 g fat, 25 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 3.5 g protein; WWP: 4 points 

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bring joy totes are on sale through 12/20 for only $7.50 + free shipping (enter hohoho at checkout): http://bringjoyshop.bigcartel.com/product/bring-joy-tote

Janae is offering one tote bag for two lucky blog readers! Enter the giveaway! And in the meantime, hop on over to Bring Joy to peruse it’s awesomeness.

For a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Sunday December 22nd!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd December. GO!!

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Bonus Giveaway: Last but not least, Field Roast, the awesome company that makes the best “vegan grain meat” EVAH! mailed me some coupons earlier in the year, so I’m giving away one coupon for a Field Roast Celebration Roast to the first reader to go to my Vedged Out Facebook Page and message me there about how badly they want this Celebration Roast for Christmas! I’ll mail the coupon out to the winner today so that you have time to pick it up before Christmas!!!

field roast

Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle MagazineDay 2: Free Case of Butler Soy CurlsDay 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger BagDay 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice GiveawayDay 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway. Day 6: Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats, Allergy Free & Vegan Recipes. Cookbook Giveaway. Day 7: Extraordinary Vegan Cookbook Giveaway. Day 8: Emaline Delapaix, Music Download Giveaway. Day 9: Jazzy Vegetarian Classics Cookbook Giveaway.

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Filed under Beverages, Friendship, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Guest Post, Holiday Recipes, Mormon, Nut & Seed Butters, Nuts and Seeds, Snackage, Vegan Dog

Emaline Delapaix. Vegan Recording Artist. Worldwide Music Giveaway. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas.

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     Emaline Delapaix approached me last week with an offer for a giveaway. The timing was perfect because one of the giveaway sponsors I had for the 12 days of Christmas fell through. I think sometimes the Universe collides and makes wonderful things happen. This was one of those moments.
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     I took some time perusing Emaline’s sites and listening to samples of her music. All of it is right up my alley. Her voice is hauntingly beautiful and the music sounds like something you’re all ready familiar with, but only because it really speaks to the soul.

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     More about Emaline: Emaline is an Australian vegan singer, composer and musician who lives between rural Western Canada and Germany with her big orange cat Reece. She spends a lot of time writing odd folk pop for piano, acoustic guitar and harp and sometimes whatever else she has lying about the place. Some say she sounds a little like Kate Bush or Tori Amos, but she also loves a lot of Scandinavian music: music that invokes the weather like storms and warm sunsets. Emaline will be recording her first full length record between Berlin, London and Canada in winter 2013/2014, experimenting with sounds and space, the weather and environment, this CD will be her most ambitious yet with an expected release date of Spring 2014 including European, North American and Australian tour dates.
     She travels a lot and says that being vegan can be tough on the road but it’s possible. She’s living proof! She also gives a small % of CD sales to local animal charities via online sales and concerts.

Her CD’s are self recorded with her guitarist and then handmade and using recycled card and eco friendly inks.

     Emaline has generously offered a music download of her latest album, Between Breeding Seasons to THREE lucky winners.

between breeding seasons

Listen to her music here. Visit Emaline on Facebook here and finally, check out her website herePurchase her music here with a 20% discount until January 1st 2014 with the discount code: xmas 

Or for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants WORLDWIDE! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of December. GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle MagazineDay 2: Free Case of Butler Soy CurlsDay 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger BagDay 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice GiveawayDay 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway. Day 6: Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats, Allergy Free & Vegan Recipes. Cookbook Giveaway. Day 7: Extraordinary Vegan Cookbook Giveaway.

*photographs in this post courtesy of  www.facebook.com/BinneGestaltung

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Filed under Friendship, Giveaway, Reviews, Vegan

Vegan Thin Mint Cookies at the Keepin’ It Kind Holiday Cookie Exchange!

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It’s Cookie Party Time!

Kristy over at Keepin’ It Kind hosts the most amazing Holiday Cookie Exchange Parties, you know, just for vegan blogger fun-ness. Today I’m sharing my Vegan Thin Mint Cookies and boy oh boy are you in for a treat. These may even be better than the real deal.

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There’s something about the Holiday Season that makes me want to put Chocolate and Peppermint together any chance I get, uh, kinda like I did at last years Keepin’ It Kind Holiday Cookie Exchange with these Brookie Grasshopper Squares. I won’t mind if you make both ridiculously yummy desserts…

Both recipes have a gluten free option, are egg freedairy free, soy free and nut free recipe, however these are NOT sugar free or fat free, but I think you’ll forgive me! Just click on the link below to get the recipe:

Vegan Thin Mints

Now for a word about Kristy:

I think if you peruse Kristy’s site, you’ll want to gobble up everything on there. Her and her husband Chris make an awesome team. She’s doing the recipe development and the cooking, he’s working the angles on the camera. The results are stunning, eye-catching and mouthwatering! They’re in the process of writing their first vegan cookbook! Follow her over at Keepin’ it Kind, you’ll be in love with every post and dish!

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Come back on Monday where I’ll be kicking off 12 days of Vedged Out Christmas with all kinds of giveaways, goodies and gifts! Happy Holidays!

Love, Somer

10 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Friendship, Gluten Free, Snackage, Vegan

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

 

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Desserts, Friendship, Guest Post, Nut & Seed Butters, Nuts and Seeds, Snackage, Vegan, Virtual Vegan Potluck

And the Award Goes To…. Virtual Vegan Potluck Flashback

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It’s that time of year again, the Virtual Vegan Potluck is rapidly approaching! Annie (Creator and Head Mistress of the VVP) is the featuring the winners of each category over at the Virtual Vegan Potluck site, and today, my Jackfruit and Kimchi BLT Slider Bites are being featured. Head on over to check it out, and if you haven’t signed up all ready, what are you waiting for?

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Filed under Appetizers, Friendship, Snackage, Vegan, Virtual Vegan Potluck

A Fork and Beans Halloween Special! Monster Rice Cereal Treats Recipe and Worldwide E-Book Giveaway!

halloween cover

I’ve had a girl crush on Cara ever since I started stalking her at her site, Fork and Beans. For those of you that know Cara, she is infinitely creative, has a crazy sweet tooth, and makes everything that would seem impossible to make vegan, gluten-free, egg-free and dairy free into absolute perfection. I shamelessly use her Gluten-Free flour blend in nearly every gluten free recipe I make that requires a flour replacement. It’s so good that when I catered my brother’s art show, with more than 200 people in attendance, that no one could believe the baked goods were gluten-free (seriously).

Cara has recently taken the leap into full time blogger, meaning, she quit her day job to make all her culinary dreams at Fork and Beans come true. Radical! She offered me a chance to give one of my readers a copy of her very first E-Book, the very timely A Fork and Beans Halloween Special. If you know Cara at all, you know her love for all things Halloween borders on psycho obsessive (in the most endearing way)! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s inside:

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These recipes would all be fantastic for your next Halloween shin-dig! All of the recipes are vegan, egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, most of the recipes are also nut-free/soy-free. So, you’ll be happy to know you can serve it all to all your guests without worrying about everyone’s individual allergies/food needs! Today I’ll be sharing (with Cara’s permission) her Monster Rice Cereal Treats Recipe.

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Monster Rice Cereal Treats

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Dandies vegan marshmallows
  • 6 cups gluten-free rice cereal
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • Natural green food coloring
  • Edible candy eyes
  • Gauze
  • Skull cookie cutter

Directions:
In large saucepan melt the vegan butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add a few green food coloring drops into the mixture and stir until evenly colored.

Add cereal and stir until well combined.

Using wax paper, evenly press mixture into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Allow to cool.

Cut out skull shapes with the cookie cutter.

Wrap each head with gauze and place the edible eyes on by either pressing firmly in the treats or “glue” with royal icing.

Now for the best bit. This E-Book is for sale on Cara’s site for a mere $7. While I’m doing a giveaway here, I know that most of you probably have that much in change under your couch cushions, so support Cara, buy this book and throw the best Halloween Party ever!

Oh and the book includes a special bonus! 10 of Cara’s Homemade Gluten, Egg, and Dairy-Free Candy Bars!candy bars

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 WORLDWIDEYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Monday the 7th of October to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Wednesday the 10th of October. GO!!

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Filed under Appetizers, Beverages, Books, Desserts, Friendship, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Main Dishes, Reviews, Snackage, Vegan

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

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Filed under Appetizers, Books, Bread, Cheez, Desserts, Films, Forks Over Knives, Friendship, Healing Series, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Main Dishes, Running, Sandwiches, Sunwarrior, Ulcerative Colitis, Vegan, Vegan Heritage Press, Virtual Vegan Potluck

Dal Makhani – Beans in Creamy Buttery Gravy. Guest Post from Richa Hingle at Vegan Richa

     I’m welcoming my incredible friend Richa from Vegan Richa today. Every time Richa posts something, I’m literally salivating and wishing the girl was my neighbor so I could run and grab a bite of whatever it is she’s cooked up. I’m always in awe of her creativity and her crazy good photography.
     If you love Indian Food, you’ll find every possible variety made vegan on her site. It’s like an Indian Vegan Mecca. But Indian food is just the beginning, the girl is a crazy amazing bread maker (with loads of gluten free options). Last year, for Vegan MOFO, She amazed us all with her incredible pizza theme! That’s right, 20 fantastic pizza posts complete with homemade vegan cheeses, sauces and an infinite variety of crusts.
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     What I love about Richa’s blog is that it’s not just about the food all the time. Richa is a passionate animal activist and within her posts you’ll find statistics, facts and infographics for all the reasons in the world to remove animal products from your diet.
     Richa is also a cancer survivor. A surgery to remove a tumor in her brain left her with nerve damage to one of her eyes and a prolonged battle with dizziness, balance and vertigo. Still she creates all this beautiful food, maintains her amazing blog and fosters rescue dogs. She lives in Seattle with her husband and their adorable fluff ball of a dog, Chewie.
     I’m incredibly grateful she agreed to guest post here today. For even more fabulous-ness check the end of this post for some of my favorite recipes from her site. Now, check out this amazing Dal!
Hi you all. Yippie, I get to bring some Dal to Vedged Out readers today! I discovered Somer via Kristy and have been hooked to Vedged Out since. All the positive energy, amazing food, her personality, keep me coming back for more and more. Wish you a consistent and good recovery Somer. Thank you for opening up your space to us.
Beans and lentils, are what we eat pretty much everyday as a part of Indian meals. They end up on the plate usually in a Dal preparation. Some other days in Burgers, pizzas, and more too. Dals are my comfort food, as well as something I would serve as a part of an Indian meal at an event. Amp up the earthy lentils with some specific spices, non dairy milk/butter, different methods of Tadka/Tempering and there you have a delicious hearty bowl of goodness.
Today, I am bringing you my Mom’s Dal Makhani. The lentils used are Whole black gram and Kidney beans. Makhani means creamy and buttery. The non vegan version of this Dal contains a good load of cream, ghee(clarified butter) and butter. Mom is now quite adept at vegan-izing things. So when I asked her what she was going to do about the Makhani part, she said just wait and watch and added some almond milk and cashew milk for a similar taste and it worked perfectly. I served the Dal with a teaspoon of Earth balance on top per bowl. And you should have seen the bliss on my Dad’s face:)  My omni brother also guzzled down bowls and bowls full of the Dal.
If you cant find the lentils used for this Dal, use any similar sized lentil or bean as a substitute from your local store. Substitute brown lentils for black gram, and pinto, black eyed pea, black beans for kidney beans.

Lots more Dals, Bean/Lentil Stews here

Black gram/ Whole Urad

Red Kidney Beans

Whole Urad lentils, Vigna mungo, black gram or black lentil are these pretty lentils which look like black Mung beans. The beans are available as whole or split or split+skinned like most whole lentils in India.
Ground into flour or soaked and fermented, urad is also extensively used in South Indian culinary preparations, such as dosa crepes, idli – steamed lentil cakes, vada – savory doughnuts, and Papad/Papadum.
Black gram is rich in good protein, vitamin A, B1 and B3 and has small amount of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C in it.

Red Kidney Beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, kidney beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein.

Steps:

Tempering Ingredients.

Heat oil. Add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant.
Add garlic, ginger, chili and cook until golden.

Add onions and cook until translucent.

Add tomatoes, asafoetida, garam masala and cook until tomatoes are tender.

Add tempering to cooked beans. Add milks, mix well.
Cook until the beans are mushy.

Serve hot topped with a dollop of vegan butter or olive oil.

Dal Makhani – Beans in creamy buttery gravy
Allergy Information: Free of dairy, egg, corn, soy, gluten, grain, yeast

Serves 4-5
Ingredients:
For the Lentils:
1 cup whole black gram (whole Urad)
1/2 cup kidney beans (Rajma)
3.5 – 4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt or to taste

For the Tempering:
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-3 green chilis finely chopped (I use Serrano chili pepper)
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium size onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon asafoetida(hing)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala (regular or punjabi)
1 Tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves(Kasoori methi, or Use a 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek/methi seeds)-Optional
2 medium size tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons Almond milk
1/4 cup Cashew milk (I used So delicious Cashew milk. Or Soak cashews and blend to make milky cashew cream.)
Vegan butter as needed

Method:
Pressure cook black gram and Kidney beans in 3.5 cups of water with salt and chili powder for 3-4 whistles.
Or use a slow cooker to cook both the beans and keep ready.
In a large pan, add oil and heat on medium-high heat.
Add cumin seeds and cook till they start to change color.
Add ginger, garlic and green chili and saute until golden.
Add onion and cook until translucent.
Add the tomato and cook until tomatoes are mushy. (13-15 minutes till this step).
Add the cooked black gram, kidney beans and the water they were cooked in.
Add garam masala and the milks. Mix, taste and adjust salt.
Add more water if the mixture is too thick.
Simmer on low heat till the dals/beans are totally soft and well blended. 30 minutes.
Or pressure cook for 1 whistle and then cook on low for another 10 minutes.
Top with a small dollop of vegan butter or olive oil and cilantro.
Serve with Roti/Naan flatbread or Rice Pilaf or other cooked grains like Quinoa, millet.

Richa Collage

 

Clockwise: Roasted Butternut Squash Slider, Avocado Naan, Pasta Sauce Mixes in Jars, Cinnamon Rolls, Lasagna Bolognese, Triple Salted Caramel Brownies, Grilled Nacho Cashew Sandwich, Spiced Apple Cake with Salted Caramel, Home Made Doritos Spice Mix (featured on Oprah!), Whole Roasted Cauliflower in Creamy Makhani Gravy.

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Filed under Beans, Friendship, Guest Post, Main Dishes, Vegan

Chocolate-Drizzled Vegan Cannoli with Fresh Peaches! Guest Post from Kelli Roberts at Kelli’s Vegan Kitchen

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So, right after I wrote my injury post, the sweet Kelli at Kelli’s Vegan Kitchen contacted me and offered to send me some yoga DVD’s from her practice to enable me to get some healing exercises into my regimen. Being the ratbag that I am, I kind of ignored the message then later tried to tell her I had plenty of other things I was trying to incorporate into my recovery (I have a hard time accepting help, even when I need it). Thankfully she eventually got through to me, mostly because she wouldn’t take no for an answer. At that time I was doing a restorative yoga class at my local gym and some pool running for cardio. I found that even though restorative yoga was good for my soul, it wasn’t really giving me a workout, plus the pool running became more and more difficult when I found I would be in pain for several days after each session. When I tried the yoga class that was the next level up from restorative at my gym, I couldn’t do most of the poses or keep up with the fast pace of the class because of my injury. I ended up leaving after 10 minutes, humiliated and down trodden.

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Enter Kelli’s miraculous TriYoga DVD’s. I finally decided to give them a go since I figured I had nothing left to lose. Well ladies and gentlemen, they are absolutely perfect for my level of fitness at the moment. Gentle, but challenging. They actually make me feel like I’m getting a workout without hurting myself. And, I can preserve my novice yoga dignity and do them in the privacy of my own home. A couple of weeks ago, I had ladies in my family lined up on our family reunion vacation doing these yoga exercises with me. Yeah, my mom ended up ordering the DVD’s too.

Anyway, the moral of this story is that sometimes people come into your life for the right reason at the right time and that sometimes you find help, healing and inspiration where you think you’d be least likely to find it.

Be open to it.

Stay tuned at the end of this post to see some of the delicious offerings on Kelli’s site. Now, here’s Kelli with these amazing Cannoli!

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Hey Vedged Out readers! I’m thrilled that Somer has invited me to join you all today and share a new recipe. I’ve long been an admirer of hers, and her creativity in the kitchen continually inspires me to new heights. I’m so honored to be in such talented company here.

One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that I don’t often actually plan out recipes. Sometimes they’re triggered by a memory, or a meal that I’ve loved, and sometimes they just appear in my mind fully formed. Amazing how that happens…. This particular one came from remembering long-ago desserts.

When I was young, my father was a news photographer for a local tv station. And like fathers do, he brought me souvenirs from the stories that he filmed – from huge Jimmy Carter presidential convention posters, to autographs from every famous person who came into town, to (my favorite) the video he filmed of an open-heart surgery that I brought in to show my sixth-grade class. (It was 1981, and things like that weren’t seen much). And every year around the holidays, he always managed to do a story at a local Italian bakery and brought home the most amazing desserts – what kid doesn’t love a pile of fried dough balls covered with sugar syrup and colored sprinkles? And the cannoli – the most incredible things I’ve ever had. I was recently thinking of those yummy desserts….

But sadly, I’d not had cannoli since becoming vegan, so I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to create the ideal late-summer version: sweet whole grain shells filled with tangy cashew cream and perfectly ripe peaches, all drizzled with chocolate. And it was so much easier than I’d ever expected!

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Now before we get to the recipe, I have 2 variations, just so no one gets scared off  :)

-          If you want the delicious cannoli flavors without the bother challenge of rolling the shells, press the baked dough into mini-muffin tins, let cool and then fill, to make mini cannoli cups.

-          These are best served right away so the shells stay crunchy, but if they do get soft, put them in the freezer for an AMAZING frozen dessert. They taste just like ice-cream cake rolls!

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Chocolate-Drizzled Vegan Cannoli with Fresh Peaches

 For the filling:

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours if you don’t have a high speed blender)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave
  • ½ cup diced fresh peaches

For the shells:

  • 3 teaspoons egg replacer, mixed with 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance (coconut oil may also work, but I haven’t tried it)
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar/coconut sugar/sucanat
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup spelt flour

For the chocolate drizzle:

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk

Make the filling first by blending together all of the filling ingredients except the peaches. I made mine more tangy than sweet, so I used 4 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of agave. If you prefer your filling sweeter, you can add more agave and reduce the water accordingly. Stir in the diced peaches. Place in the fridge to chill while baking the shells. The filling can also be made a couple of days in advance.

For the shells, begin by creaming the Earth Balance and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg replacer and mix well. Blend in the vanilla, balsamic vinegar and flour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, make thin flat circles of batter 3-4 inches in diameter (I drew circles on the parchment to make sure I had the right size and shape). Do only about 3 at a time. Bake for approximately 8 minutes, until the edges are brown and the dough is cooked through. Let cool for a minute or so, and then while the dough is still pliable, roll it around something about 1” in diameter. I used cannoli forms for this, but you can also use a bottle neck or the handle from your mortar & pestle. Let it stay wrapped until it starts to cool and holds its shape. Place on a cooling rack until completely cool.

Melt the chocolate chips and non-dairy milk together in the microwave or on the stovetop. Whisk together to make a smooth, drippable chocolate.

Once the shells are completely cooled, pipe the cashew filling into them using a pastry bag or plastic bag with a hole cut in the corner (make sure it’s big enough for the peaches to go through!). Drizzle with chocolate and a dusting of powdered sugar if desired. Serve immediately.

This amount makes about 10 cannoli.

Kelli's Cannoli

I’ve always thought of cannoli as a special occasion dessert, but why wait? It’s a delicious way to do something special for someone you love.  Thanks again, Somer, for having me over today!

Kelli Roberts is a skilled Vegan Chef with a certificate in plant-based diet from Cornell University, and is a certified health & nutrition counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has been vegetarian for nearly 20 years and vegan for 11, and has spent hundreds of hours learning about the benefits of a vegan diet and healthful cooking techniques. Kelli teaches vegan cooking classes and programs to transition to a plant-based diet (online and in person), and offers individualized nutrition and lifestyle counseling. She is also a Level 3-certified TriYoga teacher. With this training, she leads vegan yoga retreats that offer a complete package of wellness, including yoga classes, group meal preparation, health and nutrition information, and techniques to bring this knowledge actively into our daily lives.

Kelli's Collage

To see some of Kelli’s most recent incredible creations on her site, click on any of the following links.

Clockwise: Carrot Cake WafflesMostly Raw Blackberry Lavender Ice Cream, Rosemary Olive Potpie TurnoversRaw Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Sundaes, Vegan Pasta CarbonaraRaw Strawberry Ginger Pudding, The Best Avocado Toast Ever and Green Warrior-Goddess Soup.

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Filed under Desserts, Friendship, Guest Post, Healing Series, Vegan