Category Archives: Sandwiches

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

Elianni’s Gluten-Free Vegan Huge Food Box Giveaway! Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

elianni - CopyFresh out of the review box! We ate everything before I remembered to take a proper photo of all the products together!

So, how would TWO OF YOU you like to receive this very same $75 value box?!?

I got the most incredible food box to review last month from Elianni! When they offered to send it out, I had no idea just how much stuff I’d be receiving! Lets just say when it came, it felt like Christmas came a little early this year! At first glance, I thought these products may be a bit too processed or have some ingredients that I might not be fond of that are in a lot of veggie meat replacements, so I was pleasantly surprised when I read all the labels. Every product has a very clean label so you can indulge to your heart’s content!

I got 4 different Organic and Vegan Veggie Rolls including: Mushroom, Tomato, Fine Herbs and Mediterannean Flavors. These rolls are positively wonderful for slicing and serving on sandwiches or for sauteing lightly and using in your favorite recipe. The mushroom roll was my favorite, though I loved them all!

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I also received 5 different Organic Vegan Pâtè’s including: Zesty Apple, Red Pepper Olive, Vegetable, Peppercorn and Mushroom. These pâtè’s are wonderful served on crackers or spread on a crusty loaf of bread. They also make a nice sandwich spread for a panini or toasted sandwich. The peppercorn flavor was my favorite one here!

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Also included was a box of Elianni’s Veggie Cutlets. This natural and nutritious high protein TVP vegan product is made of non-GMO soybeans and pinto bean flour and is a fantastic meat replacement in any recipe. The cutlets simply need to be hydrated and seasoned. We used it in a stir fry with excellent results!

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…and my favorite part of the box! This lovely bottle of Organic Mosto de Lagrima Free-Run Grape Juice. I don’t drink alcohol, so it was lovely to have this fancy organic drink at our last Holiday meal. It was simply delicious.

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Elianni

To learn more about or to purchase Elianni’s affordable and amazing gluten-free and vegan foods, please visit their site here!

Or for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! Remember, this is going out to TWO readers! 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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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 GiveawayDay 9: Jazzy Vegetarian Classics Cookbook Giveaway. Day 10: Bring Joy Totes & Field Roast Celebration Roast.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beverages, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Organic, Reviews, Sandwiches, Side Dishes, Snackage, Vegan

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

Samoa Joe 2

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.

Revenge Cookies 2

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).

Cover Photo

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!!

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Filed under Appetizers, Books, Bread, Breakfast, Desserts, Giveaway, Main Dishes, Mormon, Nuts and Seeds, Reviews, Salad Dressings, Sandwiches, Side Dishes, 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

Antioxidant Purplicious Chia Jam with Super Powered Nut Butter

PB&J

So, several months back, I was talking to Annie over at An Unrefined Vegan. We both had sworn we’d never do MOFO again after last year. Well, somehow during that conversation I suckered her in, I was going to go along for the ride as well, but circumstances for me didn’t allow it, so this is a bit of an ode to Annie’s PB&J MOFO theme. Wishing I was doing MOFO too, but there’s always next year!

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Antioxidant Purplicious Chia Jam

  • 3 C. Pitted Cherries
  • 2 C. Raspberries
  • 1 C. Blueberries
  • 1 C. Strawberries
  • 1/2 C. Pomegranate Arils
  • 1/2 C. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 5 T. Chia Seeds
  • Dash Cinnamon

Method: Combine fruits, pure maple syrup and cinnamon in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it reaches a low boil. Mash a bit with a potato masher, add chia seeds and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often until nicely thickened. Remove from heat and ladle into jars. Share. Keep refrigerated, will stay fresh for several weeks.

tower o jam

nut butter

Super-Powered Nut Butter

  • 2 C. Raw Almonds
  • 2 C. Raw Cashews
  • 1 C. Raw Pecans
  • 1/2 C. Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 T. Hemp Seeds
  • 2 T. Sesame Seeds (I used black and regular)
  • 2 T. Flax Seeds
  • 2 T. Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 C. Unsweetened Dried Shaved Coconut
  • 1/4 C. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 t. Kosher Salt

You may also need to halve this recipe if you have large food processor envy. 

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, roast nuts all nuts and seeds on a large baking sheet (except coconut) for 5-7 minutes, stirring once. Add shaved coconut to the nuts and seeds and roast for a few minutes more until the coconut turns golden. Remove from oven. Let cool briefly. Add to food processor and let ‘er rip. You may have to scrape down the sides a couple of times but in 5 minutes or so it should start to come together and stop looking like very finely ground nut flour. When that happens, add the maple syrup and the salt. If you notice steamy fragrant luciousness emitting from your food processor, you’re not the only one, and no the motor isn’t malfunctioning, the nut butter is heating up under blissful pressure. Process for a couple more minutes until delicious. Eat while gooey and warm and turn into a nut butter superhero. Add pretzel rolls, I know you haven’t forgotten these! :)

bread basket

 Instant Picnic! Make sure to visit Annie for 20+ posts of PB&J insanity!

 

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Filed under Bread, Nut & Seed Butters, Nuts and Seeds, Sandwiches, Snackage, Vegan

Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce from The Great Vegan Bean Book + Review and Giveaway!

zucchiniTopped with Easy Almond Parm, pg. 27


Kathy Hester is one of my very favorite cookbook authors. She’s saved my vegan bacon on many rushed days with her book: The Vegan Slow Cooker.  Every. Single. Recipe. I’ve tried out of that book has turned out fabulously, so you can imagine I jumped at the chance when she asked me to review her newest cookbook: The Great Vegan Bean Book. I’ll be sharing (with her permission) the recipe for the Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce later in this post, but first feast your eyes on some of the other creations I made from her book.

Artichoke DipLets just say that the dip disappeared before the bag of pita chips was gone. I thought for sure I was going to need to doctor this recipe with some vegan sour cream to fatten it up. Nope. It’s perfectly skinny and delicious just the way it is.

Chickpea SeitanA certain someone in my house likes to occasionally nosh on the Boca Vegan Chik’n patties. Not ever buying those again after making these. I’ve been looking for a “chick’n” patty replacement I could make at home for some time now. I once made another way inferior chickpea patty recipe from a certain plant based author. Those sucked. These ruled.

SandwichThen I combined the above two recipes and made a Crispy Grilled Sandwich Delight on Marbled Rye Bread with the Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip White Bean Dip, the Baked Crispy Chickpea Seitan Patty and Kimchi. SO good I could have cried.

Coconut Pecan BlondiesOf course I had to try a dessert. These babies were absolutely calling my name.

Bite Sized BlissCoconut Pecan Blondies, pg. 181. I heart you.

Campanelle

Now back to the Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce. Did I mention your kids will eat it, and ask for seconds? Here’s the conversation surrounding that dinner:

Silence while everyone is nomming on the sauce over noodles…

Somer: Did you guys know I put a whole head of kale in this?

Kid #1: I can’t even taste the kale

Husband: My head turned into kale today

Kid #1: All I can taste is vegetable deliciousness

Kid #2 who doesn’t like vegetables: Silence whilst gobbling down all his dinner.

Polenta

Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce

This hearty, protein-rich sauce serves a crowd, or it can be a staple you make every month or so, freezing any leftovers so they will be there for you during those crazy weeks (we ate it all weekend, hence photos of all the ways we used this delicious and nutritious pasta sauce)

  • 1 cup (192 g) lentils (green, brown, or beluga)
  • 3 medium carrots (peeled if not organic), each cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1-2 cups (235 to 475 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (20 ounces, or 560 g) crushed tomatoes, or 3 cups (750 g) homemade puree plus 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon (2 g) dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or crushed dried chilies (optional)
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces (about 3 cups [201 g]) (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (87 g) quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine or 2 tablespoons (28 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooked pasta, for serving, use GF pasta for a GF meal

Add the lentils, carrots, and water to a large soup pot. Turn the heat to high, cook until the mixture is simmering, and then decrease to low and cover. Cook until the lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add the bell pepper and garlic and saute for 1 minute more.

Once the carrots and lentils are cooked remove the carrots from the pot of lentils and add them to a food processor or blender along with the tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, kale, and sauteed veggies, and puree until smooth.

At the same time, add the quinoa and red wine to the pot of lentils. Turn the heat to medium, cook until it starts to simmer again, and then cover and decrease the heat to low. Cook until the quinoa start to show their white tails.

Add the puree to the lentil-quinoa mixture and cook, covered, over low heat until the sauce melds and heats thoroughly, about 20 minutes.

Eggplant LasagnaKathy’s going to have to forgive me, since her book is so popular, her publisher didn’t have review copies available, so I got the book in a PDF format until a hard copy is available to send out. The PDF copy is stamped with the publisher’s logo on each page and was difficult for me to read cover to cover (the way I always read cookbooks). So, I invented a Grilled Eggplant Lasagna, using the leftovers of Kathy’s amazing Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce, then later read through the PDF to find that Kathy has her own Eggplant Lasagna recipe in the book. Well, the more the merrier I say! I’ll be sharing my version with you later in the week.

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Buy “The Great Vegan Bean Book” in paperback book on Amazon here or the Kindle version here

Visit Kathy Hester at her site Healthy Slow Cooking here

Visit “The Great Vegan Bean Book” Blog Tour page here

Visit the photographer’s site for the book, Renee Comet, 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 Monday the 10th of June to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Wednesday the 12th. GO!!

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Books, Desserts, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Reviews, Sandwiches, Vegan

Celebrating 100 Posts!

It’s a good day all around, this post marks my 100th post since I started this blog in September 2012. I’m feeling all kinds of love and support! Thanks to all of you. Today I got twitter follows from Forks Over Knives, Dr. McDougall and a Hospital!?! I also got featured on the brand new site, Choose Veg. Feeling happy and blessed. Here’s a look back at 99 posts, in no particular order.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Beverages, Books, Bread, Breakfast, Cheez, Desserts, Essential Oils, Films, Forks Over Knives, Friendship, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Green Smoothie Challenge, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Juice Feast, Main Dishes, Movies, Nut & Seed Butters, Nuts and Seeds, Organic, Raw, Reviews, Running, Salad Dressings, Salads, Sandwiches, Side Dishes, Snackage, Soups and Stews, Stock Powder, Sunwarrior, Ulcerative Colitis, Vegan, Vegan Dog, Vegan Household, Virtual Vegan Potluck

Vegan Monte Cristo Sandwich – Vegan MOFO Iron Chef Challenge!

I haven’t entered any of the Vegan MOFO cooking challenges yet since I had no idea what I’d make with the ingredients given. This one was a no brainer…

We were given three ingredients to work with, Sunflower Seeds, Grapes and Hot Peppers. I used the hot peppers in the dried variety.

With those three ingredients, I created 3 recipes you’ll need to make this sandwich, a Savory Grape Focaccia, Thick “Ham Slices” and a Sweet and Sour Grape-Pepper Jam

Savory Grape Focaccia

  • 1 1/2 C. organic unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 C. white whole wheat flour
  • 1  c. warm water
  • 4 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/4 t. active dry yeast
  • 2 t. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 T. dried rosemary
  • 2 T. sunflower seeds (for topping)
  • 1 C. grapes, cut into halves (I used red and green)
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes

Focaccia Dough: drizzled with olive oil, pressed with grapes and sprinkled with sunflower seeds, red pepper flakes and dried rosemary

Method: Combine flours, half the salt, half the olive oil, the active dry yeast and the warm water in your kneading apparatus (or use a large bowl and your hands) knead dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. Lightly oil a 9×13 pan with extra olive oil then roll press the dough into the pan with your hands to fit the sheet.  Drizzle the dough with remaining olive oil and smooth it all over the surface with your hands. Press grape halves all over into the dough, sprinkle with sunflower seeds, red pepper flakes and the remaining salt. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In the meantime, let dough rise again until doubled in size, about 30 more minutes. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until crust is golden and crispy. Remove from pan and let cool on a cooling rack. Cut into sandwich sized pieces, I got 8 nice sized pieces.

Thick “Ham” Slices

  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 C. of my grated smoked coconut gouda or other vegan mozzarella cheez
  • 1/4 C. minced onion
  • 1/4 C. vital wheat gluten
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 C. sunflower seeds
  • 1 t. celery salt
  • 1 T. liquid smoke
  • 1/4 C. vegan fakin’ bacon type bits (I buy mine in bulk at my local health food store, mine have no artificial colorings or unsavory ingredients)
  • 1/4 C. masa harina (finely ground corn meal used for tamales)

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If your food processor isn’t broken like mine is at the moment, add all ingredients and pulse til combined. Otherwise, dump everything into a bowl and squish it all to bits with you hands. Beans should be mostly mashed. Press mixture into a lightly oiled (I used pan spray) 9×13 baking dish and score into 8 even pieces with a knife. Spray the mixture with a bit of pan spray and bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and and lightly browned. Remove “ham” slices from the pan with a spatula and let cool on a cooling rack.

Sweet and Sour Grape-Pepper Jam

  • 2 C. grapes (I used all red grapes)
  • 1/2 C. grape juice concentrate (the purple kind from concord grapes)
  • 2-4 dried red chilies, snipped into bits
  • 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • 2 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 2 t. dry Pomona’s Pectin powder
  • 1 large pinch calcium powder from the Pomona’s Pectin calcium packet

Method: Blend all ingredients in the blender until small bits remain intact, pour mixture into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes then pour into a clean glass jar. Jam will set and thicken while it cools.

Additional Assembly ingredients for the Monte Cristo Sandwich: 

  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Sliced Smoked Coconut Gouda or Vegan Mozzarella Cheez
  • Spinach or Lettuce Leaves
  • Vegan Mayo

Assembly: Preheat your oven on the broil setting, Slice focaccia pieces in half to make sandwiches. On a baking tray place thick “ham” slices and cover with slices of smoked coconut gouda. Spread jam from above on the bottom half of the focaccia pieces, cover with spinach, avocado, tomato slices and smoked coconut gouda slices. Broil all on top oven rack until cheez is melted, about 2-4 minutes. Slather top half of focaccia piece with vegan mayo and some of the jam. Put it all together, see if your mouth will possibly fit over it. If you are feeling absolutely ridiculous, sprinkle the sandwiches with vegan powdered sugar before serving.

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Filed under Beans, Bread, Cheez, Sandwiches, Vegan

Vegan BBQ Sandwich


For Vegan MOFO I decided I needed to branch out and try some new vegan foods I haven’t tried before. You’ve all ready seen Butler Soy Curls in action in my Not Beef Stew, but I wanted to see how they’d perform as the star of the show. For those of you who are afraid of soy curls, check out the photo below, the soybeans are grown pesticide free and this is the ingredient label: Soy Curls are made from delicately textured select, non GMO, whole soybeans. Compare that to other faux 20 something ingredient vegan meat substitutes! Did I mention they are gluten free and suitable for celiacs? Take that seitan!

Vegan BBQ Sandwich

  • 1/2 package Butler Soy Curls: prepared according to package directions and drained on paper towels, press the water out
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin slivers
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz diced portobello mushrooms.

Method: In a non-stick skillet, water saute all the veggies until the onion is slightly soft. Add the soy curls and 1 recipe sriracha BBQ sauce:

Sriracha BBQ Sauce:

combine:

  • 1/2 C. organic ketchup
  • 2 T. molasses
  •  2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 t. agave
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 t. liquid smoke
  • 1 to 2 t. Sriracha Hot Sauce (to taste)
  •  few grinds of black pepper.

Continue cooking until most of the sauce is absorbed and soy curls start to get a bit browned. Serve on a whole grain pretzel bun with Susan Voisin’s tofu cashew mayonnaise, lettuce, pickles and whatever other fixins’ float your boat.

Verdict, my family literally asked if we’d gone off our vegan diet. I’m not sure if that’s gross or not, but no-one left a crumb on their plate.

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Filed under Sandwiches, Vegan