When I was an undergrad, I submitted a short story to the university literary journal, which was edited by my beloved mentor, John Ditsky (I guess on some level, since we’d already become friends by then and he’d always encouraged my writing, I kind of “knew” he’d publish the story). It was a tale about a 20-something university student who arrives home for the holidays, only to find that her parents don’t recognize her. She meanders through the house, frantically seeking signs that she’d once lived there, only to find none. No matter which childhood stories she relates, or which personal items she describes, her parents don’t seem to recognize her. Eventually, confused and hysterical, she crumples to the ground, pounding her fist on the floor like Charlton Heston at the end ofPlanet of the Apes, wailing, “But I’m your daughter! It’s ME, your daughter!! I’m your daughter. . . you know me. . . Oh, my God. . . ” and runs from the house, clearly having lost her sanity. In the last scene of the story, the mother turns to the father and asks, “Who was that young woman?” To which the father intones, “I have no idea.”
“Wanna come back to my place and split a tofu pizza?”
Okay, so I was being a bit crafty here, since none of those is the question I’m thinking about. (But the answers to those ones are, respectively: I really do. Only in my mind. But I would dearly love to serve up some treats from my new cookbook on her show. VEE-gun, though some of us oldies still use the antiquated VAY-gun. Well. . . . okay. [That last one was an actual question posed to me many years ago on a date with Rocker Guy. The pizza was great, but too bad the relationship sucked.].
The single question, then, that is most dreaded by VEE-guns far and wide is this:
What if you could snack on raw cookie dough that was full of protein, lower on the glycemic index, gluten free. . . AND designed specifically as a snack rather than a baked good (though I bet this would bake up just fine–)? There’s also a filling, delicious breakfast tart and perfectly portable nutrient-dense muffins for your lunchbag or backpack.
That’s right: sweet treats. . . from chickpeas. Yes, seriously!
** to make the cookie dough ACD-friendly, omit the raisins and replace with unsweetened carob chips or cacao nibs.
Oh, and I couldn’t end this post without mentioning that my Girls have got their moment of fame (well, on a site other than this one, that is!). Check out Elsie and Chaser as the “cover dogs” on Our Hen House’s “This Animal on This Day” feature today!! (“That’s great, Mum. . . but frankly, we’d rather eat some of that cookie dough!”).
Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to Diet, Dessert and Dogs via email. (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”)
You know how they say there are more than 50 different Inuit words for snow? Well, anyone who’s read my blog though a season or two likely already knows how I feel about winter. I mean, if there were 50 (or more) ways to say “I loathe it with my entire being, abhor it to the very depths of my soul and spirit, despise it more than the fictional progeny of Osama Bin Laden, Hitler, Satan and Paul Bernardo combined” (never mind that they’re all male and therefore couldn’t spawn any progeny on their own)–well, if there were myriad ways to say “I ABSOLUTELY HATE, HATE, HATE WINTER,” then you just know I’d be the first one to utter each and every one of those words.
Then again, I must admit we’ve been pretty lucky with the dreaded frigid season this year. So far, we haven’t had a single pirta (the Inuit word for “blizzard”), nor has there been any natquik (drifting snow particles), any qengaruk (snow banks), qerretrar (icy crust on snow) or navcite (getting caught in an avalanche). In fact, even as I type this blog post, I barely see any aniu (fallen snow on the ground) at all outside. What I’d much prefer to see, however, is beaming sunshine (blessed relief from pasty white winter skin), swaying green leaves (nature reawakening after months of hibernation), itsy bitsy tank tops and teeny tiny cut offs (high school students on summer vacation), sprinklers (happy Girls) and thermometers soaring to 30C/86F (happy Ricki).
Well, if I must suffer throughenduresurvive tolerate a winter in Toronto, I’m glad to have quick, warming, filling dishes like these simple, satisfying oatmeal wedges. If you’ve got leftover cooked oats and aren’t sure what to do with them, or if you just want another option that isn’t a bowl of porridge for breakfast, this is a great way to use them.
Years ago, I wrote book reviews for a magazine called The Niagara Current. They once sent me a cookbook by a local author, Kathleen Sloan McIntosh, called New Celtic Cooking. It seemed to me that the book contained a plethora of recipes made with steel-cut or rolled oats, each with a slightly different texture, preparation method, and name–and virtually every one appealed to me. There were farls, bannocks, bread, pancakes, baps, oaten, cakes, and probably several dozen more I can’t remember at the moment. I recall leafing through the book and thinking that the Celts could easily have rivalled the Inuit when it came to naming recipes with oats. I wrote a lovely review, as I recall, then slid the book onto one of my cookbook shelves and promptly forgot about it.
The other night, as I was scrounging through the fridge looking for something quick and hearty to cook for dinner, I spied some leftover cooked steel cut oats on one of the shelves. Now, you’d think that McIntosh’s book would come to mind and that I’d seek out one of those oat-based recipes, wouldn’t you? But that didn’t happen. To begin with, my mind is probably even more crowded these days than my bookshelves, so it never occurred to me. And even if it had, I mean, really–would you be able to find anything in this mess o’ books?
[Kitchen chaos extends to bookshelves: please ignore that blurry box of Nut Thins crackers in the foreground!]
Instead, what I did was hark back to an old favorite, Chinese Scallion Pancakes. I had the idea to combine the concept of a scallion flatbread with the simplicity of my Pan-Seared Oatmeal wedges for a savory spin on oats. I chopped the onions, grated some carrot, added seasoning–and in about 20 minutes, dinner was served. I completed the meal with a salad of mixed greens with added nuts/seeds for extra protein (though oats themselves are no slouch in this department; a 1-cup serving boasts 13g of protein).
The result was a terrific light supper. The wedges are crispy on the outside, creamy and nubby on the inside, with the characteristic caramelized flavor of fried onions. I added carrot for a bit of visual interest and additional vitamins, but really, you can adapt this recipe in an infinite number of ways, adding chopped veggies, seeds, different flavorings or seasonings as you see fit. In fact, I bet there are more than 50 variations to these oatmeal wedges. Now. . . . all that remains is just to name them all.
[Here with a splash of Bragg's liquid aminos for a flavor accent.]
Savory Pan-Fried Oatmeal Wedges with Green Onion and Grated Carrot
Super simple to whip up, these wedges are great as a light main dish or appetizer course. They’re great on their own with a splash of Bragg’s or soy sauce, or squirt of sriracha; or use them as a base for a stew or legume-based curry.
In a medium bowl, blend together the oats, onions, carrot, garlic salt, dill and salt, if using. Brush a large nonstick frypan with about half the oil and heat over medium heat. Plop the oat mixture into the pan and flatten with a spatula until about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick, shaping into a round. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the edges and bottom are browned (lift a little bit of the edge with the spatula to check). Brush the top with the rest of the melted coconut oil and then carefully cut the round into four wedges. Gently turn each wedge and cook on the other side until browned, 6-8 more minutes. Slide the wedges onto plates and serve with Bragg’s, wheat-free soy sauce or sriracha. Makes 4 servings.
Before we get to today’s broccoli-filled smoothie, can we have a little audience survey? You don’t have to press any of the buttons on your phone, and this call is not being recorded for training purposes. Okay, here we go:
If you recognized the allusion to “I Sing the Body Electric” in today’s blog post title, where is the first place you heard of it?
A) Original Fame movie (1980 ). (The action in the video really starts around 2:15. And say, what the heck ever happened to Irene Cara, anyway?)
C) Walt Whitman’s epic poem, Leaves of Grass (1855).(Okay, so to get this one, you have to be, oh, at least 160 years old. In which case, I’d love to know how that happened to you!)
As it turns out, this smoothie has virtually nothing to do with Fame, Lana, or Mr. Whitman (though I suppose it could be argued that ol’ Walt was fond of broccoli). The main connection between the line and the libation is the reference to “electric,” since that’s the shade of green you’ll see if you blend this up for yourself. I had no idea when I started up the VitaMix that morning that I’d end up with a psychedelic breakfast bowl. (Groovy, man!).
I actually had a little fun on the DDD Facebook page yesterday, challenging people to guess what was in this neon concoction. My favorite guess was from Chloe, who said “caramel noodle soup”! Actually, most guesses were for soup (most of which contained cauliflower, avocado and/or turmeric). I think you were thrown by my use of a bowl for my smoothie–something I do often, as I prefer my smoothies uber-thick.
Actually, if my memory serves me correctly (and at my age, that doesn’t happen too often), I first learned about broccoli in a smoothie from my friend Shirley, who told me she adds it all the time. Of course, I’m used to spinach, lettuce, kale–even collard or chard–in a smoothie, but had never thought to add broccoli. Given that it’s supposedly North America’s favorite vegetable, I figured, “why not?”. I had some leftover cooked kabocha squash in the fridge and decided to throw that in, too. I used hemp seeds for protein here, but you could always use a scoop of your favorite protein powder, too, if you liked.
I expected the smoothie to be green, but not this particular shade of radiated-neon-chartreuse! Something about the synergy of the kabocha and broccoli together worked to create this extraterrestrial hue. This is a smoothie that lights its own way in the dark (handy this time of year, both because it *is* dark when you get up in the morning, and also because you get to save on those electricity bills!). The pear and hemp seeds both contribute smoothness and creaminess. I found the texture of this to be really thick and silky, almost pudding-like; hence, the use of a bowl instead of a glass. (Of course, if you prefer a sippable smoothie, just add a little more milk, or some water).
Thanks to everyone who played along to guess the ingredients. I hope you’ll give it a try, despite the unusual pairing of veg and fruit here. And hey, if you don’t like it. . . . well, you can always use it to paint a 1960s-themed mural, alongside some hot pink flowers and peace signs.
Veggie-Full Sweet Smoothie
You don’t taste the broccoli in here, I promise. This tastes a little like pear, a little like sweet squash, and a lot like a yummy, fruity, smoothie.
1-2 cups (240-480 ml) large broccoli florets (start with 1 cup/240 ml and see how you like it)
1/2 cup (120 ml) baked kabocha squash, mashed or pureed
1 medium ripe pear, cored (I don’t peel mine)
1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla soy, almond or rice milk
1 Tbsp (15 ml) soy lecithin, optional (you can use ground chia or flax instead for a creamy effect)
I was chatting over email with a friend the other day (seems to be the way so many of my chats go nowadays) about how we’re so busy, we sometimes buy stuff–stuff that we really intend to use, stuff that we actually really need–and then, because our schedules are packed tighter than Madison Avenue on a Friday afternoon, we put our purchase down somewhere and then promptly forget about it. If I never cleaned my house (wouldn’t that be a dream come true? Oh, wait a sec, I suppose in that case I am already living the dream!), well, then I could leave all those bags of kitchen utensils, clothing, dog toys, CDs, etc., hanging around and never worry about them.
I’m a bit abashed to even tell you how many blouses, sweaters or pairs of shoes I have in my closet, many still with the tags on them, that I have never worn. In fact, I more or less have forgotten most of them. (This is totally different from that adorable blue wool mini skirt I purchased from the thrift store back in my 20s, barely too small on the day I bought it, but I loved “so much I’ll buy it anyway and save it for when I lose weight.” That sat in my closet, too, but I never forgot about it; I just couldn’t bear to part with it no matter how many times I moved. And–lo and behold–during one of my “slim” periods more than a decade later, I finally fit into the thing, and got a great year’s wear out of it. The next cycle of weight gain, I finally gave it away, though these days I wish I hadn’t. . . I’d still love to wear it if it ever fit me again). Similarly, I have piles of kitchen tools, cute little pans and molds, magazines, even paperbacks (yes, those do still exist among the Kindle-less), that are still patiently waiting for my attention.
Sometimes, recipes fall into this category, too. I mean, here we are all holiday-themed with Diwali just past and US Thanksgiving around the corner, and I completely forgot about this gem of a recipe that I had shared over a year ago on the XgfX blog! Sadly, the blog appears to be out of commission these days, but this recipe should be good forever. I thought I’d bring it over here to share with those of you who may have missed it, or those of you who saw it when first posted and, like me, had it slip from your memory.
The pudding is a creamy, luscious, pillowy base of pumpkin, oats and nuts (or seeds), blended to silky smooth perfection, lightly spiced and dotted with tart cranberries throughout. Straight from the oven, it makes a wonderful warm mousse-like dessert (especially great baked in a soufflé dish and topped with whipped cream); when cold, it thickens and (in my opinion) provides an equally appealing breakfast. And with this combination of ingredients, you won’t have to feel guilty eating it that way, either.
Unlike that blue woolen mini skirt, this one is a keeper. Well, until it’s baked, at least–at which point you no longer want to keep it, just eat it.
1/2 cup (75 g) lightly toasted hazelnuts (filberts), with skin
1/2 cup (75 g) lightly toasted walnut pieces
2/3 cup (100 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cook)
1 cup (240 ml) packed pumpkin purée
2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp-1/4 cup (30-60 ml) agave nectar (or if you can have it, maple syrup is lovely), to your taste*
1 Tbsp (15 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground ginger
1 tsp (5 ml) Chinese 5-Spice powder (or use 1/8 tsp/.5 ml cloves and about 1 tsp more cinnamon, to taste)
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
1-1/4 cups (300 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla soy, almond, rice or hemp milk
1 cup (240 ml) cranberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw if frozen)
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a 4-6 cup (1-1.5 L) casserole dish and set aside.
Place all ingredients except for cranberries in the bowl of a high-speed blender and blend until smooth (you will need to scrape down the sides as you go). If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can still make the pudding, this way: place nuts, oats, and milk in a blender and blend until perfectly smooth. Add remaining ingredients except for cranberries and blend until smooth (you may have to blend this part in smaller batches).
Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, then gently fold in the cranberries (scatter a few extra berries over the top as garnish if you like, as they won’t sink).
Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, rotating the casserole dish about halfway through, until the edges begin to puff and crack and the top appears dry (it will still seem unbaked in the middle—this is how it should be). Allow to cool about 10 minutes before scooping out and serving; may be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. Top with coconut whipped cream, if desired. Makes 4-6 servings. Store, covered, for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, or freeze.
Suitable for:ACD Stage 3 and beyond (For ACD Stage One, substitute with plain or vanilla flavored liquid stevia,about 1/4 tsp/1.5 ml); sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, vegan.
Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to Diet, Dessert and Dogs via email. (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”)
It’s Wellness Weekend once again–welcome to another week of sugar-free, whole foods, healthy recipes! As always, last week’s entries were a stellar combination of seasonal, creative, and absolutely mouth-watering recipes (and glad you all enjoyed Elsie and Chaser’s Halloween costumes so much!).
Thanks so much for continuing to link up!
It’s HERE! I received my copy ofSimply Gluten-Free Magazineand am delighted with how beautiful, informative and jam-packed with recipes it is! And for a little preview, here’s what you’ll find from me in the magazine:
These individual Black Forest Trifles are featured along with a rich, decadent Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake. All gluten-free, sugar-free, egg-free, and dairy-free, of course! To find out where you can purchase your own copy, or subscribe to the magazine, check the Simply Gluten-Free magazinepage.
My friend Cara is hosting a Clean Eating Cocktail Party throughout November! Every day this month, she’ll post a new recipe from a different blogger, with great ideas for what to serve at your holiday or other parties and get-togethers. Cara kicked off the festivities today with an amazing Rosemary Caramel Almond Popcorn recipe. Be sure to check in throughout the month for more party-worthy recipes!
The Cutco Knife Giveaway at Healthy Life Lessons continues until October 31st! Cutco knives are well known for their long lives and great customer service. I’ve had one for over 10 years and still use it daily. Head over to Erica’s blog to enter! Ends October 31st.
Photo shoots for my cookbook started this week–what fun it was to watch the pro in action! If you’d like to keep up with the tester recipes that have been made so far, check out the cookbook Pinterest Board where testers post their creations daily!
Do you have a blog linky event, giveaway or other event you’d like me to mention? Send me an email with the details and I’ll include a few each week (depending on how many requests I get, I may not be able to include them all).
PLEASE DO NOT ADD YOUR GIVEAWAYS OR CONTESTS TO THE LINKYS BELOW–THEY ARE FOR RECIPES ONLY. I will list the events under “Newsy Tidbits” for you if you send me an email to dietdessertdogsATgmailDOTcom.
This Week’s Picks:
Here are this week’s picks based on the theme, “Something fruity!”
Thanks for joining in and sharing all your healthy, sugar-free and vegan recipes. I love seeing what you whip up each week! And I hope you’ll also share on twitter and Facebook (there’s a new, shorter twitter hashtag, too, so you can write more about the food: #WWknd as well as the original #WellnessWeekend).
Here’s How to Participate:
The event occurs once a week, starting Thursdays at 8:00 PM my time and running until the following Monday at midnight.
Simply link up a vegan recipe you made (and posted about) that contains health-supporting ingredients. This means any good-for-you whole foods, especially those with antioxidant properties or “functional foods” (ie, offering naturally medicinal or health-promoting qualities–such as garlic, coconut oil, all vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc.)–but any fresh, real food is welcome!No-no’s include white flour or sugar, highly processed foods, or animal products. Items like vegan protein powder, grain or bean flours, or coconut milk are fine even though they are technically “processed,” since they either contain a single ingredient, or could technically be made at home. Also, if you render a recipe vegan-friendly by adding a vegan option to your ingredients, your post will be good to go!
This is a recipe event. Your blog post must contain a recipe.
You may link up older posts from your archives as long as they contain a link to this post. Please do not link up any posts you have previously shared at an earlier Wellness Weekend event.
Please link the post with your recipe, NOT your blog’s home page or another event page. The post must contain a recipe.
You may submit up to three recipes, but please follow the guidelines for each one individually. ONLY ONE THUMBNAIL FROM EACH BLOG POST, PLEASE.If your post contains two suitable recipes, link up once and people will still see all your fabulous recipes when they click on the linky.
Pleasemention this event and include a link back to this post so that others can find all the recipes posted!
Feel free to use the blog badge, above (or see the left sidebar of this page–if you need the html code, let me know and I’ll send it to you). Many thanks to Adrienne of Whole New Mom for setting up the badge code for me!
PLEASE NOTE: In order to promote your posts and the event, I like to occasionally tweet, mention on Facebook, or pin your blog post(s). On occasion, I will repost your photos in the following week’s Wellness Weekend as well. If you prefer that I NOT use your photos or links, please let me know in the comments below, or send an email to me at dietdessertdogsATgmailDOTcom. Thanks!
I will reluctantly remove any links that don’t comply. I apologize, but I will no longer be able to leave a comment telling you that I’ve removed a non-compliant link. I hate to have to remove links! PLEASE READ THE GUIDELINES BEFORE POSTING!
And n0w. . . what have you been cooking up lately? Please share!
Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to Diet, Dessert and Dogs via email. (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”).
[This post is part of an ongoing series of interviews with cookbook authors, bloggers, women entrepreneurs and home chefs whose work I enjoy and admire. If you've got someone in mind you'd like me to approach for an interview, please shoot me an email at dietdessertdogsATgmailDOTcom, or leave a comment here and let me know! And now, enjoy today's installment!]
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I actually met Lisa many years ago when I first attended the annual Vegetarian Food Festival here in Toronto. Lisa was the cheery, energetic volunteer with the always-smiling face who greeted many of the guests and helped us find our way as we wandered among the many stalls and vendor booths at the Fair (and, in more recent years, has become a presenter in partnership with Nicole, drawing a packed house for their recipe demos). Later, I began to read Lisa’s blog, Vegan Culinary Crusade. When I held a giveaway for baked goods from Sweet Freedom just before the book was published, it turned out that Lisa was the winner (you can read her review of the goodies here). From there, an email friendship grew and like her other loyal readers, I’ve followed along as Lisa has developed her blog, studied to become a raw food chef, and trekked around the world sharing her joyful veganism.
I was lucky enough to meet Nicole a couple of years back when Angela threw a birthday party and we were both invited. I was delighted to learn that she worked as a writer and editor (a dream job of mine!). As a food blogger and recipe creator, Nicole also holds certification in plant-based nutrition through Cornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation, so she’s adept at making those fabulous and great-tasting recipes good for you, too. Her blog, A Dash of Compassion, highlights delicious, healthy, vegan recipes, which she refers to as her own brand of “baketivism.”
Now, Lisa and Nicole have collaborated to bring you Tiny Treats, and entire ebook of 25 delicious whole-food vegan sweet treats, many of them raw (though they do also offer baked options)–no special equipment required (just a food processor or blender). The recipes I’ve tried so far have been incredible, and the photos in this ebook are also stunning (and each recipe has its own full-color photo)–every page is a mini celebration of healthy, beautiful, delicious food! And perhaps most importantly, the women are donating a portion of their proceeds to the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, in order to sponsor the elephants there. Every purchase will help them reach their goal!
Today I’m sharing the recipe for Cinnamon Bun Granola, a crispy, chewy, satisfying and just-sweet-enough treat (note that I adapted the recipe for the ACD, with no problems at all; in fact, most of the recipes would be easily adaptable by subbing coconut nectar for maple syrup).
I asked Lisa and Nicole a few questions about their baking, blogs, and ebook. Once you’re done reading, be sure to enter the giveaway, below!
1. You obviously work well together as recipe creators and cookbook designers—the recipes are all delectable and the photos are stunning. How did this collaboration come about?
We met at a vegan cookbook launch party a few years ago. It didn’t take long to discover that we’re culinary soul mates. We share a food philosophy, a curiosity about creative cuisine, and a love of learning new techniques. Over the years, we’ve collaborated on blog challenges, co-presented food demos and travelled to vegan events. With our shared love of sweet treats, the ebook became the perfect platform for us to tackle the recipes we’ve been dreaming about for years. We have different palates and different sources of inspiration, which helped to develop a diverse collection of recipes that all shared the same basic qualities: whole food ingredients and amazing flavours.
2. What did you enjoy most about working together?
We delight in each other’s creations. We’re inspired by one another’s enthusiasm and when things don’t work out there is always someone else ready to retest the sauce or taste the next batch.
3. Your ebook features many raw treats. How much of your own diet is raw? Any reason you eat this way?
The ebook recipes focus on whole-food ingredients, so they don’t call for any processed flours or sugars. However, we do use a few ingredients that do not fit into the standard definition of raw cuisine, such as maple syrup. We love the wonderful flavours that nut flours and date pastes impart but we also believe in flexibility. Even the directions in the book are not exclusively raw. Most kitchens don’t have a dehydrator so we made sure to include oven-baking instructions for any of our recipes that need a little heat.
4. Why are all the treats so small?
We both believe that a healthful diet is built around plenty of vegetables and fruit. The desserts in this book fit well into that plan. These desserts are nutrient dense and therefore surprisingly satisfying. They are the perfect size to enjoy at the end of a meal or as an in-between snack. But if you like a heartier portion, go ahead and cut those brownies into 10 rather than 20.
5. You donate a portion of the proceeds to the elephant sanctuary in Thailand. What was the motivation for this choice?
Last year, Lisa spent a week volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. It was a life-altering experience. The elephants at the park have all been rescued from situations where they have been abused at the hands of humans and yet they treat all of the guests of the park with warmth and affection. It is powerful to learn forgiveness from an elephant. Although we wish we could help to end the suffering of all animals, we felt that this would be a personal place to share the proceeds.
6. What’s your personal favorite raw food, either in the ebook or not?
Lisa:The raw food I tend to eat the most is kale. I’m a big fan of leafy greens and seem to find a way to enjoy them at every meal. When it comes to desserts I look to the combination of apples, cinnamon and ginger—making a raw apple crisp is my ideal treat.
Nicole:Just like Lisa, I gravitate toward greens (usually in salad form). On the sweeter side, I love the fresh, tangy flavour of lemon—the Lemon Lava Cakes recipe in the ebook is one of my favourites.
7. For someone who isn’t used to cooking this way, what would be the best starter recipe from the book?
The Cinnamon Bun Granola recipe would be a fantastic introduction to Tiny Treats—oats, buckwheat, walnuts and coconut are coated with spices and a thick, date-and-maple-flavoured sauce and then dehydrated (or baked) until dry. The Pecan Date Cookies are also super simple but incredibly delicious and nutrient-dense.
Having made the granola myself, I can only agree! Both The HH and I loved it. And it’s really simple to make! I’m reprinting with permission here (with my own changes in square brackets).
[Lisa and Nicole say:] If we ever open a vegan B&B, this will be on each breakfast-in-bed tray. We would keep the guestrooms full by serving it up differently each day–in a layered parfait glass with sliced apples and almond yogurt, or on top of our favorite banana soft serve, or in special tea cup with a substantial splash of coconut milk. The options are endless.
2 cups (215g) rolled oats
1/2 cup (95g) raw buckwheat groats
1/2 cup (65g) raw walnuts, chopped [I used almonds]
1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup (40g) raisins [I used goji berries]
1 tbsp (15mL) ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2.5mL) sea salt
1/4 tsp (1.25mL) fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (120mL) pure maple syrup [I used coconut nectar and 20 drops stevia]
1/4 cup (50g) Medjool dates, pitted [I used prunes]
2 tbsp (30mL) melted coconut oil
2 tbsp (30mL) water
2 tsp (10mL) pure vanilla extra
1. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, buckwheat, walnuts, shredded coconut, raisins, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
2. Using a blender, blend the maple syrup, dates, coconut oil, water and vanilla extract into a smooth, thick sauce.
3. Pour the sauce into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until all the dry ingredients are well coated.
4. Transfer the granola to a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray and spread into a thin (about 1/2 inch thick), even layer. Dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours at 115F.
4. Preheat the oven to 300F. Transfer the mixture to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and spread into a thin, even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, gently stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even browning. Allow to cool completely before gently breaking into clusters. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or at room temperature.
Makes about 6 cups of granola.
Suitable for [with the changes in square brackets]:ACD Stage 3 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, vegan, lower glycemic.
AND NOW, FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
To enter, please leave a comment letting me know which sweet treat YOU love and would love to see in a whole-foods, refined sugar-free cookbook.
I’m going to keep this one simple: to enter the giveaway, just click the “comment” option in the Rafflecopter box, below, THEN leave your comment in the comments section. That’s it! Giveaway ends Friday, November 2nd at midnight. I’ll choose a winner at random and the name will be announced below. If I don’t hear from the winner within 3 days, I’ll choose another winner.
If you’d like, you can also tweet the giveaway, mention it on Facebook, Pin this page, etc. Any and all mentions (which will ultimately help support the elephant sanctuary) would be welcome!
[Sometimes, you just want a dish that's quick and easy--no fuss. I've decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so simple to make that no recipe is required. Here's today's "Flash in the Pan." (For other FitP recipes, see "Categories" at right).]
I swear, if my father had been born a Canadian (rather than a poor farmer’s son in Depression-era Europe), he would have been a lawyer instead of a butcher.* You see, in our house growing up, every request from me or one of my sisters for pretty much anything from a new notebook to a new bicycle, required us to present my dad with an argument so compelling and airtight that we could have put Atticus Finch to shame.
When it was time to submit my opening statements, I’d approach the bench my dad with great trepidation as I attempted to memorize the logic that would win him over. I’d stammer through the reasons why I needed that bicycle (or Easy Bake oven, or new bell-bottoms, or troll doll), beads of sweat forming on my brow like morning dew on spring leaves:
“Well, Gemini I’s mom got her a new sweater and it’s–”
“You have enough sweaters. You already don’t wear half of them.”
“But this one is made from special yarn that’s extra soft–”
“So it’s probably thin, then, and it will wear out too quickly.”
“But I don’t have anything that’s blue, I want to wear it with my blue pants–”
“What? So now green doesn’t go with blue any more? Wear your green one.”
–and so on.
My dad would sit at the kitchen table, his intractable expression evaporating my confidence with each grimace as he tacitly challenged me to prove him wrong. (The only other stare I’ve experienced with that same intensity of purpose is when Elsie’s border collie genes assert themselves each day at dinnertime and her gaze bores into my back, willing me to get up and feed her.)
After the ordeal of The Presentation, inevitably my dad would wave me away like a mosquito at a picnic, and pronounce his answer. It was almost always the same:
The implied message was very clear: if something was too easy, it wasn’t worth very much. (I guess someone really should have told that to my friend LM, who managed to parlay “easy” into three very lucrative marriages–and divorces–within 10 years.).
Well, the same principles apply to food, I reckon. Do y’all know the story of how cake mixes came to be so popular in the late 1950s? Trying to save all those newly-liberated women time in the kitchen, an industrious male entrepreneur created a powdered mix that was all-inclusive: it contained all the necessary ingredients, including dehydrated milk and whole egg powder, for a complete cake. All the overworked housewife had to do was add water, pour, and bake. So easy! So convenient! Such a timesaver!
And–a total flop.
Turns out that even though the mix removed 95% of the work and hassle, housewives didn’t embrace the new cakes. You see, despite going out and working alongside their male counterparts (for 55% of the male’s paycheck, mind you), and despite being in charge of the kiddoes and pets, and despite bearing responsibility for the housework and the laundry–well, these devoted women’s libbers couldn’t relinquish supremacy in the kitchen. They felt too guilty, as if they hadn’t “really” baked anything when the only ingredient they had to add was water!
So Betty and Duncan did what any smart businessperson would do–they made the mixes less convenient and harder to prepare: after a new formula was introduced that required women to add their own fresh eggs to the powder, the boxed mixes flew off the shelves. It was no longer “too easy.”
With my own crazy-making schedule these days (okay, fine, I was that way before the new schedule), I think I’d leap over the moon if I found a mix that could re-create one of my own (whole-foods) cakes by just adding water. For now, though, I’ll have to make do with a slew of “flash in the pan” recipes that are quick and easy, albeit not extravagant.
This porridge provides a creamy, warming and filling base (courtesy squash), with the textural nubbiness of coconut, hemp seeds and nut butter, ideal for these chilly autumn mornings. The classic flavor melding of squash and cinnamon tickles the tastebuds, too.
But hey, feel free to make this more complicated if you wish. You could add a cooked grain, I suppose, or grind some of your own flour, or grow your own hemp seeds if it makes you feel better. But really, in this case, “easy” is perfect just as it is.
*Yes, I know, my father was a butcher. I talk about this irony more on my About page.
** Don’t feel too sorry for me. It’s true that my dad’s most frequent response to requests was “no,” but invariably, our mother would later sneak us downtown and buy us something fun and frivolous instead, like blue suede shoes (how I loved those), or a buffet lunch at House of Chan, or a winter coat with white faux fur collar and cuffs. It would be brought home and blend into the daily routine as if it had always been there. If he noticed, Dad never said a word.
This “porridge” is a fabulous way to use up leftover baked squash or pumpkin to mimic the thick, grainy texture of oat-based porridge perfectly. Warming, thick, creamy and very filling, it’s a perfect way to start the morning, whether you normally eat grains or not.
1/2 cup (120 ml) squash purée (or for a chunkier texture, just mash with a fork)–Kabocha is my favorite, but Butternut and even Sugar Pumpkin work nicely
Okay, everyone, please take up your positions. The Squash-a-thon is about to begin!
On the one hand, fall is the season for marathons and runs. On the other hand, it’s also the season for squashes–anything from pumpkin (the first place frontrunner right now) to kabocha (my own pick for a winner) to acorn (cute curves) to butternut (so long and lean on top!). Since I much prefer extended stays in the kitchen to developing muscle cramps on the concrete, I decided to go with the indoor “Squash-a-Thon” and busy myself with a whack of squash-based recipes this month instead of joining the outdoor kind (that one stint doing “Miles for Millions” back in grade school was more than enough for me.).
This recipe was one of those serendipitous creations in which every component came together perfectly; I couldn’t have found a more delectable melding of ingredients and spices if I’d tried.
I consider this recipe sort of like the Cinderella of savory lunch (or dinner, or even breakfast) dishes. Sort of plain and drab at first glance–certainly nothing that would pique your interest. But add a pumpkin to the story and–Bam!–suddenly, it’s transformed into a thing of beauty, and you’re smitten. I know that fava beans are not the most pulchritudinous of legumes; their exterior appearance does not shout, “come hither!” But if you can ignore the surface appearance, you’ll be rewarded with a memorable, mouth-watering dish.
One everning last week, I was on the lookout for a quick dinner. In addition, I’m always searching for more recipes using beans and legumes, as I feel they are one protein source I don’t get enough of. A powerhouse superfood, beans and legumes are low in fat, high in protein, brimming with antioxidants, and incredibly high in fiber. I had actually planned to make my beloved Ful Medames, but realized we were all out of tomatoes (egads!). So I thought, why don’t I try mixing in some of my pumpkin instead (since I had just baked yet another sugar pumpkin,primarily for the seeds)? The result was beyond delicious. And this concoction is actually much more filling than the original ful medames, due to the addition of the pumpkin.
Spoon the filling over a tortilla, into a wrap, onto a raw collard leaf, or over a bed of rice. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it so much. . . you might just race to the finish.
African-Inspired Spicy Squash and Fava Beans on Raw Collard Leaf “Tortillas”
1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
1/2-1 cup (120 ml-240 ml) vegetable broth or stock
1 can (400 ml or 12 oz) fava beans, rinsed and drained (or use red kidney or black beans)
1 cup (240 ml) squash purée (I prefer kabocha; but acorn and pumpkin worked well, too)
1 tsp (5 ml) African Bahrat spice blend (recipe here; or use half curry powder/half chili powder)
1/4-1/2 tsp fine sea salt, to your taste
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick frypan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onion is soft, 5-10 minutes. Add the jalapeno and continue to cook for another minute, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
Lower heat. Add the broth and about half the favas. Mash the beans in the pan until almost smooth, then add the rest of the beans, the squash, spice and salt. Stir to combine well. Cover and allow to cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Serve over raw collard leaves (or wrapped in them), on tortillas or Indian flatbreads. Makes 4 servings. Filling may be stored, covered, in the refrigerator up to 3 days.