The Ultimate Ratbag

First I want to thank you all for the overwhelming response for this new blog! 

Now, let’s get a little more acquainted.

My name is Somer, and I am a Ratbag.

I started blogging earlier in the year at Good Clean Food and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of my three friends there: Amanda, Erika and Carolyn. They gave me my blogging wings and helped me stand firm when the transition to a plant-based diet was toughest.

In an act of penance for leaving them and going solo on this site, here are 3 fabulous recipes in photo form, one of my favorites from each lovely lady.

Amanda’s African-Inspired Peanut and Vegetable Stew

recipe here

This beauty of a dish is a one pot meal. You can cook it on the stove-top like in Amanda’s directions, but it’s also fabulous simmered in a slow cooker all day. It’s autumn comfort food meets creamy, spicy and peanut buttery goodness.

Guess what else? There’s a whole head of kale in it (shhh!) and your kids will eat it AND lick their bowls.

Erika’s Happiness in a Cookie Bite

recipe here

When Erika named these cookie dough bites, she wasn’t messing around. She brought them to a lunch we had at my house and we were all very happy to eat every last one.

They made us so happy we couldn’t stop. Delicious, meet nutritious!

Carolyn’s Sourdough Quinoa and Black Bean Bread

recipe here

I’ll admit when Carolyn first posted this recipe I was too afraid to try it. Quinoa and black beans in sourdough bread? Um, weird! Then, once I made it, I couldn’t figure out why I waited so long. It’s unique and amazing!

Here’s a little hint: don’t go searching high and low for the black bean flour. Grind your own flour from bagged, dried black beans in your high powered blender or coffee grinder. If you’re trying to cut back on oils and sugars like I am, just replace them with an equal amount of almond milk in the recipe.

If you don’t all ready have a sourdough start, there are also lots of recipes on-line for getting your own start going. Carolyn gave me some of her ancient sourdough starter with this warning: if it turns orange, it means DEATH! Chuck it out! Thanks girl, it still hasn’t turned orange!

Much love and thanks, Somer

p.s. I’m finally on Facebook and Pinterest. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing in either forum yet, but you’re welcome to come hang out with me in either place.

Facebook Link

Pinterest Link


      1. Okay – it makes sense now, sorry for being slow. I thought the stuff about branching out alone was a positive rather than a mea culpa. So why not write about something connected to that? Recipes are alright but a little anodyne. Explore your desire for independence perhaps 😉

        1. It’s a mixed bag really, going solo is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but actually doing it has been bit painful and sad. I share a really special bond and friendship with the girls at Good Clean Food you know? Exploring and all the reasons why are a bit more personal, so I took the silly route. This blog will mostly be about food and how healthy food can improve lives. So I’ll be sure to explore that 🙂

            1. I started blogging with my friends at in February of this year. One by one we all went plant based while blogging together, so as you can imagine it was a pretty incredible journey to share. The blog is mostly about food but has other sweet tidbits thrown in. The recipe page is amazing. Some of the recipes there are pre-plant based lifestyle, so just ignore those if you look at that page.

            2. Many of the followers I have followed me over to Vedged Out from GCF. I didn’t anticipate acquiring so many new followers in the beginning who would be missing out on the back story 😉 glad you found me.

              1. Okay my friend, it all makes sense now, and I’m pleased to have connected with you.However I still don’t think you should call yourself names.Our brains are like fields, just as feet make tracks so thoughts make neural pathways – there are enough nasty people out there who’ll insult you, so be nice to yourself 😉

  1. Black bean flour! Brilliant! I have to make bread today too! I don’t have sourdough starter, and I make my bread in a bread-maker, but that sounds dangerously good.

    You know what I think of you. . .

    1. I still use the bread maker for kneading, but you could totally bake this in the bread-maker. You might just have to mess with the proportions a bit to get it to fit your machine. I even think you could grind the quinoa down (1/2 the amount of cooked) with the dry black beans and add it uncooked. No sourdough? No problem, just substitute flour and water (half and half) to make an equal amount of liquid pasty goo. But really, starting sourdough is easy, you should get some going!

      1. Oh… Ha! Ratbag is definitely a colloquialism I get from my family.

        Great idea about the quilt though 🙂 My mom crochets awesome rugs out of old t-shirts…

  2. Hey! Thanks for following my blog. And so much vegan goodness, oh my heavens — I’m not vegan (well, not currently … who knows what the future may hold) but love vegan/raw cooking. That peanut stew? Holy cannoli. Hello, dinner this week. Thanks for sharing such great ideas!

  3. Fabulous roundup (and I don’t think rat bag suits you ;)!) – those cookie bites! That soup! It is all making me hungry!

    1. Ha! You would! 😉 (I mean that as the best compliment ever!) Now you have no excuse to not make this bread! Go to it. Your teenagers will devour it!

  4. No ratbag…no dirtbag…you are way too kind and generous to have those names attached to you. Love your blog and of course the cute gal behind it. You are an amazing lady!

    1. Thanks Debbie! I forgot to tell you to not worry about ‘adapting’ to the leek and potato soup 😉 it’s absolutely fine to say you don’t like something and chuck it out 😉 We eat some unique things around here! I promise to try and post recipes that are more universal and likable 🙂

  5. You are so not a ratbag. I commend you for following your heart and I love how supportive of you all the GCF gals were. This is a great little tribute to them. 🙂

    1. Yes, exactly what it was meant to be. A tribute post. I probably should have written that somewhere… 😉 And yes, I am a ratbag, but Amanda says I’m a lovely one. I think that fits nicely.

  6. Will be making the soup real soon…. it looks so good. Always looking for sneaky ways to get extra kale into my family. And I always love a Ratbag.

    1. I think it will be right up your alley! I love the sneaky kale bit the best. They’ll never know!

      Did I tell you I’ve been making your Moroccan Lentil Soup ever since I figured out which spices comprised “Moroccan Spice Blend” 🙂

      Yes, Ratbags are endearing, aren’t they? 😉

    1. Thanks Nick! um, Ratbag is synonymous with Dirtbag or Scumbag. I don’t know if my family coined it or not, but it is definitely part of our colloquialism.

  7. Looks interesting, must try them. Do you or anyone else here have an easy and tasty recipe for home made humous? I tried it once but the recipe I had was NOT good – I think it was probably too much tahini. That put me off a bit, but I’d like to try again – I just know everyone in the house would eat lots of it, and more raw veg, if it was a tasty home made dip always available…

    1. Thanks! Here is a hummus recipe without tahini similar to the one I make at home
      It is a low-cal, low-fat hummus that won’t add to your waistline and you can eat as much as you like. It’s really basic without any bells or whistles, but simple and satisfying.

      If you are feeling a little more adventurous, try this bad boy
      It’s seriously the best hummus I’ve ever tasted. If you are cooking without oil, just replace the olive oil in the recipe with water.

      I hope to have my recipe database up and ready soon!

    1. Oh yes, the almond butter would be perfect! I often use almond butter in place of peanut because it’s more alkaline and has more nutrients. It really is an incredible soup. I could eat it weekly!

  8. The african peanut stew looks rather interesting and I have most of the ingredients to hand. Sunday afternoon cooking session? Think that might have to be done!

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