Aug 24, 2009

Oatmeal Carrot Raisin Cookies

I love oatmeal raisin cookies, and have tried a lot. Some turn out too cakey, and some are too crispy, but I think this one is just right! Yes, Goldilocks would've loved these.


1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1 C. minced carrot (I used a food processor)
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 T. ground flaxseed
1/2 C. soymilk

2 C. all purpose flour
2 C. oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 C. raisins

Mix wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Add dry to the wet and mix until combined. Add spoonfuls to a prepared cookie sheet (about 2" apart). Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until edges look crispy and golden. Makes about 2-3 dozen depending on size.

Aug 22, 2009

Zucchini Brownies

A clever, yet sneaky way to hide veggies! These turned out moist, chewy, and chocolatey-good.

Ingredients (wet):

1 1/2 C. pureed raw zucchini (consistency of apple sauce)
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. vegetable oil
Add 2 T. ground flaxseed to this mixture

Ingredients (dry):

2 C. all purpose flour (you should be able to use whole wheat pastry flour, but haven't tried it)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 C. cocoa powder
3/4 C. chocolate chips (optional)

Mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Add half of the dry mix to the wet until incorporated, then the second half - don't over mix! Pour into a prepared 9x13x2" baking pan, spread out, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350. Let cool for 10 minutes on a rack before cutting.

Note: My home-grown zucchini is very juicy and the batter is thick but easily spread. If your batter seems a bit too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of soy milk (or other milk) to thin it out.

Aug 14, 2009

Stuffed Shells with Spinach Basil Pesto

Roasted baby white eggplant and homemade seitan are stuffed into large pasta shells and topped with a spinach basil pesto.

What is it about pasta dishes? I've always craved them since I was a kid, eating instant ramen and tuna casserole (before vegan). Spaghetti and marinara was my cheap staple in college. And I could never turn down a ravioli or lasagna.

One thing that's different since I became a vegan, is the lack of cheese in these dishes. True, there are some great subs out there, but I find myself without them sometimes, because they tend to be expensive and I've been trying to cut down on processed foods.

To make up for the lack of creaminess, I used pureed roasted eggplant in the filling, and "cheesy" cashews in the pesto. It was so rich and full of flavor, I didn't miss a thing!

These beauties came from my garden. They're little white eggplant- something I've never seen in the supermarkets.

This is what they look like after roasting - too bad they don't stay white!

Spinach Basil Pesto

1/2 C. cashews
1 C. fresh basil
2 C. fresh spinach
3 cloves garlic (I used roasted, but you may want to cut back if using raw)
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt to taste


Process the cashews until you get a crumble. Put everything else in and puree until it becomes a smooth sauce.

Stuffed Shells


1 12-oz. package of jumbo pasta shells
2 C. roasted eggplant
3 cloves roasted garlic
1 C. chopped seitan
1/2 C. roasted onion
1 C. roasted summer squash
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried rosmary
salt & pepper to taste


Cook the shells as directed. Puree the eggplant, garlic, and summer squash. Add the seitan and pulse until small, but still a little chunky. Mix in the spices to taste. Drain shells, and let cool enough to handle. Use a spoon to fill with the mixture. I did have some shells left over.

I also ate mine with more cooked veggies and some good marinara sauce.

Aug 5, 2009

Stuffed Squash, and Squash Stuff

With what I like to call the "Zucchini Outbreak" that so many are currently experiencing, my garden has also been "infected." The fun part of growing your own, is to be able to make wonderful things with the blossoms, and also to grow giant radio-active, "Giligan's Island" -looking zucchini, that you would never see in the supermarket. Mine barely fit into my 18" baking pan!

It turned out delicious, stuffed with carmelized onion, eggplant (also from the garden), mushrooms, tomato, homemade seitan, and topped with bread crumbs.
Here's a round zucchini, stuffed with vegan cheese, onion, more squash, and sun dried tomatoes.

And, if you're growing- you gotta try the blossoms! We stuffed them with an eggplant mixture, dipped them in a light tempura batter and bread crumbs, then fried them quickly. Make sure you wash out all the little critters with a gentle, yet thorough rinse first!

I found a lovely straight zucchini, which I cored out, and stuffed with blanched carrots. I used an apple corer and a butter knife to help get the center out, then roasted the whole thing in the oven. Next time, I think I'll mash some of the carrots up to keep them from falling out.

The only thing I haven't posted yet are the Zucchini Brownies that I made. I think after that, I'm all zucchinied out!

Food Not Bombs!

Ok, so I've taken a WAY too long hiatus from blogging. Yes, I do feel guilty... and yes, I have thought about coming up with some good excuses, but camera failure and dog-ate-my-keyboard just sounds lame (and untrue).

To be honest, I think I just needed some time to get a little lost, and then to find myself again (if that makes sense). So what have I been up to?

I've cooked- some things good, some not so good. Eaten from my own garden for the first time- magical! Checked up on Dad every day (both of us battling insomnia at night, but getting better). Worked some gigs- some fun, some not so fun. And devoted a few hours on Sundays to Food Not Bombs.

I first learned about this organization from reading a little bit from Vegan With A Vengeance. I was curious, so I did a little research and found out that I had a chapter right here in my city! For those who've never heard of it, it's a bunch of people who take food donations from local establishments (usually food that has ripened or left-over, but still good to eat and would otherwise be thrown out) and cook it up for the homeless. And, it's totally vegan.

I've also been contributing some home made baked goods, which has added a little "zing" to the weekly menu. Last time, I made banana chocolate chip blondies (recipe from Bitter Sweet's Lunchbox Bites ebook- thanks, Hannah!), which were a very big hit.

I realized, after hanging out around some of the homeless people that a lot of them just want to feel a bit normal. To them, standing in line at a soup kitchen or to receive free shelter, may not require money, but often require a price in pride. Casually hanging out in the park with friends, sharing food and helping themselves is much more relaxed- a feeling that most of us take for granted. The motto for Food Not Bombs is "Food is a right, not a privilege." And it is a shame that the money our government spends on weapons could be used to feed all of the nation's hungry... but that is the world we live in.

This is Roger, who has been organizing FNB every Sunday for the past 13 years!