Uncategorized

Print Fundraiser for Abraham McCowan

My brother Abraham McCowan was recently hospitalized for several days with severe pneumonia and other complications. Unfortunately, he doesn't have health insurance. To help offset some of his exorbitant medical expenses, rather than asking people to contribute to a crowdfunding effort, he and I are offering some of his most recent art work for sale.

Baby Owls 1, 2, and 3

Prior to his illness, Abe spent his summer working at the Wild Friends division of Best Friend's Animal Sanctuary (The world's largest no-kill animal shelter) as a member of their seasonal wildlife rehabilitation staff. The inspiration for these pieces comes from some of the magnificent owls in his care.

"Ghost Birds"

The 3 smaller pieces are linocuts of baby owls and are 5 1/2 inches by 7 1/2 inches. The price for one of these individual prints is $30 or order all 3 for $85.

The larger piece called "Ghost Birds" is a woodcut. This is a limited edition print. Its size is 22×30. Printed on Rives BFK. The price for this print is $300.

All pieces are hand printed and pulled originals. Prices include shipping and handling within the 48 contiguous states. For AK, HI and overseas shipping, charges will be increased to cover the postal rate.

Please email Somer McCowan at vedgedout@gmail.com to order prints. 
When ordering, please specify:
1 Owl 1, 2, or 3 (pictured in numerical order)
2 All three owls
3 "Ghost Birds" (the larger print)
Please provide a shipping address, and I will reply with payment details, which can be made through Venmo, PayPal or through Square Cash.

Red Lentil Soup with Dill and Lemon

Red Lentil Soup with Dill and Lemon

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dried red lentils
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced cilantro
The juice of one lemon

In a heavy pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently until it starts to become translucent. Add the garlic and stir just once or twice before adding the ground cumin, dill, red pepper flakes, salt, vegetable broth and tomato paste. Stir and add the lentils. Bring to a boil, cover the pot with a lid, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the lentils are very tender and starting to fall apart. Add the canned diced tomatoes. Season with additional salt to taste. Serve into bowls and sprinkle with a divided amount of the cilantro and the lemon juice. Drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil if desired.

Serves 4

Easy Individual Rigatoni Pies, a Meatless Monday/Humane Society/Beyond Meat/School Lunch Story.

Rigatoni Pie2

Earlier this week I met up with Eddie Garza and his colleague Josephine Morris from The Humane Society. I had “virtually met” Eddie a few years ago when he worked for Mercy For Animals on their Choose Veg project. He featured my story on their pamphlets and on their Health page here. I picked up Eddie and Josephine at their hotel and we went out to eat at Vertical Diner, a local all vegan restaurant. The food of course was amazing, but as many of you know meeting up with other vegans is almost like a transcendent experience (cue spazzing out).

I seriously could not contain my glee when I found out the two of them were in town working with rest of The Humane Society Food Policy Team to get Meatless Monday and more vegetarian options into local schools. These guys are seriously vegan superheroes. As a mother of school-aged children I can’t imagine anything better for schools. Better nutrition for children, many of whom get the majority of their daily calories from school lunch is an endeavor that everyone should be concerned about. With childhood obesity and diabetes growing at alarming rates, we all need to do more.

I found out during this dinner that Beyond Meat is partnering with schools to provide a vegan alternative to beef for school lunches. Beyond Meat is a minimally processed vegan protein, most of their products are free of the top 8 allergens and the products are being offered at competitive pricing to government beef. Pretty much I fell in love with the company just like that.

So naturally, straight after dinner I went to Whole Foods to pick up a few Beyond Meat products.

Beyond Meat

And then proceeded to adapt and veganize an idea that my friend Lee showed me from Pitbulls of Instagram via One Little Project via Noble Pig via Martha Stewart (as recipes do)

Rigatoni

Bolognese

Cheese

Melted Cheese

Easy Individual Rigatoni Pies

  • 1 lb of rigatoni (or ziti), regular, whole-grain or gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 package Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar of vegan tomato basil pasta sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces shredded vegan mozzarella (I made this one)

Method: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the rigatoni al dente according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and cook for a minute more. Add the Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles and cook until warmed through. Add the pasta sauce to the skillet and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Assembly: lightly oil four individual (or one large) springform pans. Arrange the rigatoni in the springform pans (you may have extra). Top with the sauce and push down lightly with the back of a spoon to get it into all the crevices. Top with cheese, then bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is golden, bubbly and melted and the pasta is heated through. Let cool for several minutes before releasing from the springform(s) for serving.

Plated

Living Candida-Free by Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN. Review, Toronto Sandwich Recipe and Giveaway!

Crustless QuicheChickpea Quiche page 186

I’ve reached out to Ricki Heller a few times in the last couple of years regarding mild personal health issues and severe health issues of a family member. Each time she has taken the time to answer questions and point me in the right direction for help. She’s the foremost vegan expert on Candida and is honestly one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Curried Carrot Lentil Soup

Curried Carrot Lentil Soup page 145, Chickpea Quiche page 186 

Candida is a systemic yeast/fungal overgrowth and has a myriad of symptoms. Sufferers are often tired, depressed and irritable. One of the biggest concerns for people suffering from Candida is probably “what in the world am I supposed to eat?” Ricki’s book, Living Candida-Free includes 100 vegan whole-food recipes that satisfy almost any craving. I was surprised to find the variety of foods allowed and how creative Ricki is with putting together so many recipes to ensure success while healing the body inside out with her 3-Stage Program for restoring health and vitality.

Fluffy Pancakes with Gingerbread Pecan Butter and Mojito Smoothie

Fluffy Pancakes page 120 with Gingerbread Pecan Butter page 157 and the Mojito Smoothie page 115

I would have never thought indulgent foods like pancakes and raw cookie dough truffles would be part of an anti-candida diet!

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

The cookie dough truffles (page 209) are a satisfying rich dessert that even children will enjoy.

Sunday Night Roast with Perfect Golden Gravy

Hearty main courses are covered too with recipes like Sunday Night Roast (page 196) with Perfect Golden Gravy (page 177).

But I think my favorite recipe from the book is Ricki’s Toronto Sandwich. There’s lots of ways to customize it and make it personalized. It’s quick and easy to prepare and is just plain yummy. I have permission from Ricki and her publisher to share the recipe below.

The Toronto Sandwich

The “Toronto” Sandwich

Makes 1 Sandwich

Wrapper:

  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable broth or stock
  • non-stick spray or olive or coconut oil for the pan

Filling Base:

  • 2-3 slices baked glazed tempeh (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons well-drained sauerkraut
  • Handful of shredded lettuce or greens

Creamy Topper:

  • 1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced, 1/4 cup hummus or 1/4 cup creamy dip of choice.

Make the wrapper: In a small bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour and the salt. Add the broth and whisk until smooth and pourable but not watery (like pancake batter).

Grease a 6-8 inch skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat. Add the wrapper batter, spreading out to coat the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side.

While the wrapper cooks, prepare the fillings. Assemble the sandwich.

living candida free

Visit Ricki Heller at her site here.

Purchase Living Candida-Free here.

For a chance to win a copy of Living Candida-Free, simply comment on this post below. You can enter until July 15th . I’ll contact the winner by email on July 17th. USA and Canada entries only please.

p.s. If you’ve been wanting to get my book and have been waiting for a great price drop, The Abundance Diet is only $11.50 on Amazon today. that’s a 48% discount from the publisher’s price. Buy it here now!

Restaurant Style Vegan Hot and Sour Soup (Recipe Outtakes from The Abundance Diet)

image

While I was growing up, my family loved to go out to eat. We enjoyed Chinese food immensely and almost always ordered Hot and Sour Soup when we went to a Chinese Restaurant. Steaming hot, spicy, fragrant and slightly sour, this soup embodies all the delicious umami flavors. I love it so much that I recreated my memory of the soup I ate while growing up with a tasty vegan version to go in my cookbook.

However, during the testing phase for The Abundance Diet, somehow this recipe eluded most of my testers and therefore didn’t end up making the cut in the final cookbook. I’ve decided to share it here with you now, and in the coming months I’ll be sharing other Outtakes here as well that are suitable for use while following The Abundance Diet.

This soup is a brothy sort of soup so it needs a really good chicken flavored vegetable stock. (An oxymoron I know) I like Better than Bullion No Chicken Paste or the Edward and Sons vegan Not Chick’n cubes.

It’s also notable that this recipe uses oil, which 99% of the recipes in the cookbook don’t. The oil here is mostly used for seasoning and flavor. So reduce it to a teaspoon if you like, but don’t leave it out.

Restaurant Style Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cups fresh sliced button or shittake mushrooms (or other fresh mushrooms)
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1 large clove minced garlic
4 cups vegan chicken flavored broth
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons non GMO corn starch
2 tablespoons wood ear mushrooms (leave them out if you can’t find them)
8 oz firm tofu, drained and cubed
2 tablespoons tamari
Pinch cayenne
1/2 teaspoon organic sugar
3 diced scallions

Heat the oil over medium heat in a soup pot until shimmering, add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid, about 4-6 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute or two more.

Combine the broth, rice vinegar and the corn starch with a wire whisk. Add this liquid mixture to the soup pot.

Add the the wood ear mushrooms, tofu, tamari, cayenne and sugar. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add scallions. Serve immediately.

Note: if desired you can also add bamboo shoots to this recipe.

image

So Much Love for Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen! Plus Review, Giveaway and Recipe for Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes

Chana Masala

I can’t remember how or when I was first introduced to Richa Hingle’s blog, Vegan Richa, but I do know that I fell hard for her site, her food and her creativity straight away. Every vegan I know loves and adores Richa and it’s not hard to see why! She’s exceedingly talented, makes the most incredible and accessible vegan food. Her site has won numerous awards and her following is nothing short of astounding. But on top of all these attributes, Richa is super humble and kind.

naanPuffy Restaurant-Style Naan

In the past, I’d tried making Indian food at home multiple times and not quite catching the flavor essences I was after. A few emails back and forth with Richa and a visit to the “Indian Pantry” guide on her site had me ready to tackle all of my restaurant favorites as well as new to me Indian food.

Richa

Fudgy Coconut BallsFudgy Coconut Balls (Nariyal Ladoo) pg. 221

Every recipe of Richa’s I’ve ever made has been nothing short of delicious. I was overwhelmed with glee when I found out she was going to be writing her debut cookbook. Her dedication and talent shine in Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. The book is designed to simplify complex procedures. Richa’s recipes incorporate modern techniques and offer alternatives for hard-to-find spices while creating mouth-watering dishes true to her Indian heritage.

Chana Masala1I was able to make a feast out of recipes from the book for my parents and brother who are in town visiting. Everyone said the meal was better than the food at any Indian restaurant they’d ever been to. The naan perfectly buttery, tender and chewy, the chana masala spiced to perfection and the fudgy coconut balls were simply delightful.

But perhaps one of my favorite recipes from the book (the one I’ll certainly make over and over again) is Richa’s Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes. I’ve got the recipe here for you below.

Chilla

Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes

Chilla (Pudla)
Prep: 15 minutes | Active: 25 minutes | Inactive: 20 to 25 minutes| Makes 8 to 10
This is my Mom’s chilla recipe. It is also known as pudla.The classic Indian pancake made with chickpea flour is a popular breakfast in North India. These chillas in the simplest form are easy and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or a side flatbread.
For a veggie omelet version, add less water, for a thicker batter and add leavening such as baking powder. Add finely chopped vegetables such as zucchini. (Recipe from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen Copyright © 2015 by Richa Hingle. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour, garbanzo bean flour, or besan
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon carom seeds or cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 hot green chile, finely chopped (remove seeds to reduce heat)
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon safflower oil, divided
1. In a bowl, combine the chickpea flour and 3/4 cup water. Whisk to get a smooth consistency. Whisk in another 1/2 to 3/4 cup water to make a thin lump-free batter. (If using besan, you will need less water).
2. Add the salt, turmeric, cayenne, carom seeds, onion, chile, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon of oil, and mix well. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.
3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, drizzle a few drops of oil on the skillet. Spread the oil using a paper towel. Pour a ladle full (1/4 to 1/3 cup) of the batter onto the skillet. Spread the batter by moving the skillet to make a 6 to 8-inch pancake. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the edges of the pancake.
4. Cook until the edges start to leave the pan and the bottom is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Continue to make the rest of the pancakes. Serve hot.

Dinner

Vegan Richa

Visit Richa at her site Vegan Richa.

Purchase Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen here.

For a chance to win a copy of Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook, simply comment on this post below. You can enter until June 20th. I’ll contact the winner by email on June 22nd. USA entries only please.

The Abundance Diet Official Release Day! Book Giveaway, Blog Tour Kickoff and a Super Refreshing Apple Pie Green Smoothie!

The Abundance Diet

The Abundance Diet hits stores today! To enter to win one of five copies of this book, simply enter the rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of this post! (USA only please!) Or, get your own copy here! The blog tour will be starting later this week with some of my most incredible blogger friends!

6/11/15 Richa Hingle at Vegan Richa

6/12/15 Zsu Dever at Zsu’s Vegan Pantry

6/15/15 Kristina Slogget at Spabettie

6/16/15 Julie Hasson at Julie’s Kitchenette

6/25/15 Kathy Hester at Healthy Slow Cooking

6/29/15 Dianne Wenz at Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen

7/07/15 Kelli Roberts at Kelli’s Vegan Kitchen

7/08/15 Poppy Velosa at Bunny Kitchen

7/20/15 Jackie Sobon at Vegan Yack Attack

7/31/15 Erin Wysocarski at Olives for Dinner

8/12/15 Ricki Heller at Ricki Heller

Tour dates still TBD: Annie Oliverio at An Unrefined Vegan, Kittee at Cake Maker to the Stars, Cara Reed at Fork and Beans, Gail Davis at Hungry Vegan, , Chic Vegan, Amey Matthews at Vegan Eats and Treats and a few more surprise guests!

Now for that super refreshing smoothie!

Apple Pie Smoothie2 LR

Apple Pie Green Smoothie

This smoothie is surprisingly reminiscent of apple pie. It is really delicious and I think you’ll find it one of your fast favorites. The fiber from the apples also keeps your stomach full for a long time, so this is a favorite smoothie of mine to take out and about when I’m running errands all morning and need something to tide me over until I get home.

(Recipe from The Abundance Diet, © 2015 by Somer McCowan. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press LLC.)

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups packed organic baby spinach
  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 small apples, cored and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon organic apple butter or 1 date, pitted and snipped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, chia seed, or hemp seed (optional)
  • Liquid stevia, to taste (optional)

In a blender, combine the water, spinach, banana, apples, apple butter, cinnamon, ice, and flaxseed, if using. Blend the mixture until completely smooth, creamy, and well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the liquid stevia, if using, and pulse to incorporate.

Makes 1 serving (about 1 quart)

Photo credits and cover design of The Abundance Diet: Annie Oliverio at An Unrefined Vegan.

Apple Pie Smoothie

menu plan

xo,

Somer

Purchase your own copy of The Abundance Diet: The 28-day Plan to Reinvent Your Health, Lose Weight, and Discover the Power of Plant-Based Foods!

For a chance to win one of five copies for 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 Tuesday June 16th!  I will notify the winners by email on Friday the 19th June. GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway