O Olive Oil

20141107_131716Jane and I have always enjoyed dipping good bread in olive oil and balsamic. A few years ago we were introduced to Dukkah: a mix of ground roast nuts and spices, originating in Egypt, and used as a dip. You add a bit of olive oil and balsamic to your plate and then a small spoonful of dukkah (you can find our recipe below) and dip away. We've adopted this as a regular nosh for ourselves.

So when we were contacted by O Olive Oil and asked if we'd like to sample their products, we said, "absolutely."

We received a very nice package containing two olive oils and four vinegars. The first olive oil we tasted was the O Meyer Lemon Olive Oil which has a really nice light and summery taste. We also sampled the O California Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This is a basic olive oil that has a nice fruity note to it as well. Both are very good, and the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil works nicely in a salad dressing.

The vinegars we sampled included: O Fig Balsamic Vinegar, O California White Balsamic Vinegar, O California Port Balsamic Vinegar, and the O California Balsamic Vinegar. Yum. The plain balsamic tasted very good, the white balsamic was light and had less of a bite than the other vinegars, and both were very good. But the Port and Fig balsamic vinegars stood out as delicious. We're hoarding the remainder of those bottles for ourselves, and will be buying more when we finish our samples.

We sampled six of their many products. Jane has already earmarked a few of the other varieties she'd like as her holiday gift, and I'm all for that since I'll get to share in the bounty. O Olive Oil has a number of gift sets available if you're looking for a gift idea.



2/3 Cup ground almonds (or hazelnuts)

1/2 Cup toasted sesame seeds

2 Tbs ground coriander

2 Tbs cumin

1 Tbs ground pepper

3/4 Tbs salt

Mix all ingredients together. Stays fresh for a few months. Dukkah recipes vary widely, and there are many of them on the internet. You can modify the recipe with any spice mix you enjoy.


You can buy O Olive Oil directly from the manufacturer or on Amazon

One-Dish Vegan: More than 150 Soul-Satisfying Recipes by Robin Robertson

51ZQ6T67SWL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_One is the only number Robin Robertson needs in her cookbook "One-Dish Vegan." Robertson offers more than 150 one-pot, one-skillet and one-bowl recipes suitable for weeknight dinner.

Robertson's opening hook grabbed my attention: whole grains, less oil and simple preparation. The recipes include many legumes — all available at any supermarket. Some recipes include the standard vegan proteins tofu, tempeh and seitan, and Robertson offers a concise, informative overview of these three. For the relatively new vegan, as I am, and for bean-curious cooks, I wanted to see a more detailed bean introduction.

I tried several soup-pot recipes. The curried scent of Senegalese-inspired red-lentil soup beckoned my family to dinner. This spicy, stew-y soup paired well with chunks of sourdough baguette. Next time I will try it with a scoop of bulgur and a tad less cayenne. As I prepared it, this soup would better be described as Senegalese-inspired vegetable soup with red lentils. The cup of lentils disappeared into the mix of cabbage, sweet potato, carrot, tomato and onions.

Tuscan pasta and bean soup was more minestrone than the minestrone with rice a few pages earlier in the soup chapter. My zucchini took longer to cook than the corn-quinoa pasta I used. With a gluten-free option, I suggest adding pasta five to 10 minutes after the zucchini to keep the pasta's bite.

I can't wait to explore the chili chapter and some of the other easy and delicious, square meals in Robertson's book.



Senegalese-inspired red lentil soup

NOTE: Gluten-free and soy-free.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ¼ cup water
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped cabbage
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • Chopped unsalted roasted peanuts or cashews, for garnish

Heat the oil or water in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, lentils, curry powder, coriander, cayenne, sweet potato, cabbage, and tomatoes with their juices. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add salt to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. If the soup becomes too thick, stir in additional broth.

Serve hot, garnish with peanuts.

Tuscan pasta and bean soup

Gluten-free option; soy-free

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ¼ cup water
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dries basil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, or more if needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni or other small pasta such as ditalini
  • 2 medium-size zucchini, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 3 cups cooked borlotti or cannellini beans or 2 (15.5 ounce) cans borlotti or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley

Heat the oil or water in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Blend in the tomato paste, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir in the broth. Add the bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Return to a boil and stir in the macaroni, zucchini, and beans. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the macaroni and zucchini are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add a little more broth, if needed. Remove the bay leaf, then taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Stir in the parsley and serve hot.

Bombay beans with chutney

Gluten-free and soy-free

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ¼ cup water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups cooked dark red kidney beans or 2 (15.5-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • ½ cup mango chutney

Heat the oil or water in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, green beans, bell pepper, and jalapeno (if using), cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and tomato paste. Add the tomatoes with their juices, kidney beans, broth, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the chutney and simmer until the desired consistency is reached, about 10 minutes longer. Serve hot.

source: http://www.marinij.com/lifestyles/ci_24818841/cookbook-critic-one-is-only-number-vegan-chefs

If you would like to learn more about this book, click here



PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook

PETA's Vegan College Cookbook comes in. It's got 275 recipes. Click here to buy it.



peta vegan cookbookDescription

PETA's Vegan College Cookbook
Chock-full of vegan recipes that don't require mad cooking skills, much less a stove, PETA's Vegan College Cookbook: 275 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes to Keep You Vegan at School is guaranteed to help even the most culinary-impaired students whip up delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes, desserts, dips, sauces, drinks, dressings, sandwiches, salads, soups, and snacks. Written in a clever, upbeat style, recipes include Butt Ugly Sticky Buns, Hangover Helper, Tofu or Not Tofu-That Is the Sandwich, WTF Wings?, Frozen Frat Balls, Late Night at the Liberry Soy Smoothie, and many more. And the best part is that the most complicated kitchenware you'll ever need is a microwave!

A cookbook that makes it easy for both seasoned vegetarians and newbies to live vegan while keeping up with their classes, PETA's Vegan College Cookbook also features a foreword by PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk, a crash course in what vegans eat, a cheat sheet that lists all the "cheat" meats and egg and dairy alternatives you could ever want-as well as where to find them-and tips on how to stock your kitchen on the cheap.
336 pages, paperback.

Click here to buy the PETA cookbook.


10 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes via The Oregonian

The recipes just keep coming...  Here are ten more yummy sounding vegan Thanksgiving recipes courtesy of The Oregonian.

Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Sage Crepes: This elegant entree features key Thanksgiving flavors, including sage and squash. Splurge a little on high-quality wild mushrooms to achieve the greatest depth of flavor.

Stephenson's Apple Farm Green Rice Casserole: The original recipe for this dish dates back more than 50 years and  comes from the long-gone Kansas City-area restaurant Stephenson's Apple  Farm. This updated version uses plant-based substitutions for the dairy  and egg, without compromising the dish's vibrant flavors.

Ned Ludd's Charred Bruss: Brussels sprouts get the respect they deserve from Ned Ludd chef Jason French. He flash roasts them in a searing-hot cast-iron skilled, which turns them into sweet, charred beauties that diners gobble up like candy. The crowning touch is a finish of fresh lemon juice, which brings the dish's flavors all together.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Walnuts and Hickory-Baked Tofu: A protein-packed main dish that's both beautiful and delicious.

Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Sage Crepes

Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Sage Crepes is a celebratory plant-based alternative to a traditional Thanksgiving main course. (Ten Speed Press)

Classic Macaroni and "Cheeze": Decadent macaroni and cheese is a classic holiday side dish in the South and makes a great addition to any holiday potluck. But a vegan version seems impossible without butter, cream and cheddar. The richness here comes from the raw cashew and macadamia nuts that are blended into the sauce. The starch of the Yukon Gold potatoes thickens the sauce nicely.

Looking for favorite Thanksgiving recipes, plus tips for thawing, brining and roasting turkeys, plus how to make great gravy and pies? You'll find everything you need with Your ultimate Thanksgiving recipe guide.

Baked Shells With Pumpkin: This pasta casserole is like an adult version of macaroni and cheese.  The original recipe, from Everyday Food, was loaded with Parmesan  cheese. But nutritional yeast gives this "veganized" version a cheesy  quality while significantly lowering the dish's fat content.

Green Beans With Mushrooms: An alternative to the classic green bean casserole that's made even better if you spring for porcini or chanterelles, which are more expensive than your garden-variety mushrooms, but have a more intense "foresty" flavor.

Acorn Squash With Pecan-Cherry Stuffing: Just because vegans don't eat turkey doesn't meant they  don't want their stuffing fix. This stuffed squash dish is a perfect  side dish or entrée.

Sweet Potato and Vegetable Tian: This slow-cooked side dish will fill your home with the wonderful smells of sweet potato and rosemary. A tian is a Provencal earthenware baking dish and also the name of the finished product of slowly baked vegetables. You can have successful results with any shallow casserole, but the heavier the better.

Habanero Yam Soup: Let's face it -- the flavors of the Thanksgiving table are  comforting, but don't do much for fans of spice. This robust soup from  Seattle vegan chef Makini Howell packs plenty of punch. If your  tolerance for heat is lower, you can reduce the amount of  habaneros by half. Either way, wear plastic gloves when seeding and  chopping the pepper, being careful not to touch your face.

source: Oregon Live and Grant Butler (food writer for Oregon Live)

Win a GO Veggie! Apron

go veggie apronCreate your own recipe using GO Veggie! Dairy Free, Vegan Cream Cheese and then upload your original recipe and photo to the GO Veggie! Facebook page. The first 500 qualifying participants will receive an embroidered GO Veggie! apron. Plus, GO Veggie! will donate $10 to a pre-selected charity partner of the reader’s choice.

Here's some recipes courtesy of GO Veggie!

Dairy Free Vegan Recipes

• Cream Cheese Chocolate Peppermint Bark (created by Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg of Spork Foods – cooking demo video available upon request)

• Strawberry Shortcake Parfait (created by Amie Valpone of TheHealthyApple.com)

• Dairy Free Carrot Cake Ice Cream (created by Sarah Hatfield, Winner of the GO Veggie! Dairy Free Ice Cream Contest)


Tal Ronnen Cooks at Yale

On Wednesday night in Commons, celebrity chef Tal Ronnen served over 120 Yale students a multi-course, meat-free meal.

Ronnen — who is best known as the chef who catered both Oprah’s 21-day vegan cleanse and Ellen DeGeneres’ wedding — has founded restaurants across America and published a bestselling cookbook, “The Conscious Cook.” Over dinner and a cooking demonstration, Ronnen spoke about his career, shared his thoughts on the current state of the American food industry and advocated for contemporary, plant-based cuisine.

“Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to plant-based diets,” Ronnen said as he prepared faux-crab cakes with a heart of palm and chickpea base. He described a recent meeting with Bill Clinton, who has become vegan, and said he has also heard that Mike Tyson consumes a plant-based diet.

Ronnen said the most exciting thing for him about plant-based food is the impact these diet choices can have on both personal health and on the environment. Vegans, or even vegetarians, have a significantly smaller environmental impact than those who eat meat do, he said.

Ronnen, who has been a vegan for 14 years, said he first became a vegetarian in high school to impress a girl. However, Ronnen does not entirely eschew meat and other nonvegan options when designing menus for his restaurants.

“We have ‘Comforting Classics’ for that guy who doesn’t want to be [at a vegan restaurant],” Ronnen said. He added that he realizes that not everyone who visits his restaurants is vegan, and so he serves what he calls “transitional” food options to make every customer happy. On the menu at his newest restaurant, Crossroads, for example, he serves items such as lasagna and pasta with bolognese sauce.

Ronnen, who has also developed menus for many restaurants, said these collaborations often begin when a restaurateur or developer approaches him with an idea. For example, when Steve Wynn, developer of the Encore and Wynn resorts in Las Vegas, went vegan, he asked Ronnen to develop vegan menus for all of his restaurants. Ronnen said his vegan menus are now available alongside the traditional menus in all of the Wynn restaurants.

Some of Ronnen’s projects have also come out of a desire to make vegan food more accessible to all, he said, adding that he has partnered with Mike Roberts, a former president of McDonald’s, to develop faster vegan food at affordable prices.

Together, Ronnen and Roberts have opened a chain of restaurants called LYFE Kitchen that serves fare Ronnen calls “fast casual.” A meal at LYFE Kitchen typically costs $12, takes six minutes to produce and is a healthy 600 calories, he said. There are currently five LYFE Kitchen restaurants, and Ronnen said the chain plans to open 250 new locations in the next five years.

At Wednesday’s event, Ronnen served quinoa maki and focaccia for the appetizer, followed by tomato bisque with kale spanikopita, imitation crab cakes with apple and beet relish, oven roasted brussel sprouts and a belgian endive salad.

“For a non-meat meal, it is really good,” Olivia Walker ’16 said. She added that most of her meals revolve around meat, but Wednesday’s dinner was an exception.

All 20 students interviewed said this was the best meal they had eaten at Yale.

Despite Ronnen’s fame in the vegan world, most students interviewed said they had not known who Ronnen was prior to attending the event, and only a few knew that the dinner would be vegan.

Besides Ronnen, the only other vegan in the room was Anna Young ’16. Although Young was not familiar with Ronnen before the event, she said she was excited to learn that he was the chef behind Candle 79, a vegan eatery in Manhattan that she called her favorite restaurant.

“The food is amazing,” Young said, referring to the Wednesday dinner. “And he has some really good ideas about getting people to think about vegan diets.”

The first 12 students to arrive at Commons received autographed copies of Ronnen’s cookbook at the end of the event.

source: Yale Daily News

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Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes from KCET


Below are several vegan recipes for a meat-free Thanksgiving courtesy of Katherine Spiers, the Living Editor for KCET.

Hors d'Oeuvres

Chestnut Hummus With Pita Chips: This is an especially excellent choice this year, as we're celebrating the rare, happy occurrence that is Thanksgivukkah. And every American loves dip.

Main Dishes

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce and Shaved Walnuts: Unexpected and totally delicious, this one might take some explaining. But the flavors make it worth it.

Side Dishes

Frisée, Radicchio, and Persimmon Salad with Dates and Walnuts: For those with a sweet tooth, this is the rare salad that appeals. It makes the most of the fruit that's still growing in California -- something we're all thankful for.

Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, and Pearl Onions: All the Thanksgiving side dish basics, tossed together in one warm salad.

Pomegrante and Pistachio Wild Rice Salad: Dishes that are called salad but don't have any greens in them are very cheeky. This one happens to be absolutely delicious as well.

Szechwan Long Beans with Pink Peppercorn: This one cam be made as spicy of as mild as you wish, and it adds some different flavor profiles (and fun color) to your table.

source: KCET

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Here's an article from CNN about having a vegan thanksgiving. It includes recipes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the host of The Post Punk Kitchen and author of multiple vegan cookbooks, including her most recent, "Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes For Every Day Of The Week." And yes, there are recipes if you scroll down.

Chances are you have a vegan in your life - a real dyed-in-the-natural-fiber-cruelty-free-wool vegan for whom all animal products are off limits. And perhaps that vegan is threatening a visit to your Thanksgiving table this year.

Thanksgiving is stressful. Everyone knows that; the very history of it is stress. The original celebration was not what people had to eat, but that they had anything to eat at all. Maybe things aren’t as bad as all that today, but it can still be stressful when someone needs a special menu.

But one of the great things about vegan meals is that everyone can enjoy them. (Provided they don’t have a nut allergy, or a wheat allergy, or...well maybe we oughta just go out for Chinese food.)

If your first thought was an eye roll, or something along the lines of, “That’s their choice - I don’t have to cook for them,” or if you think they can get by on salad and cranberry sauce, well, honestly, don’t even invite them. Somewhere there’s a welcoming table where the lentils overfloweth, and they will take your vegan in.

But if you actually like them, maybe even love them, or if your loved one loves them, or if you want them in any way, shape, or form to have a great time as your guest, then read on. Along with religion and politics, we may view dietary choices as something that is driving family and friends apart, but instead, let’s see it as a chance to bring us together. Here’s the thing: you can’t eat your Uncle Roger’s opinion on Obamacare. But you know what? Those chickpea cutlets smothered in white pepper cashew gravy are pretty dang delicious. And I can tell you it’s nearly impossible to argue about Iran, or Israel, or China when you have a coconut cream pie stuffed in your face.

My point is, you don’t have to agree on the ethics to agree on good food. So while other political opinions may leave a bitter taste in your mouth, the only bitter you’ll find at your table will be an arugula salad - preferably made with local greens.

But it's tradition!

I know what you’re thinking: this all seems so unfamiliar. Whatever happened to tradition? But let’s take a look. Did the first Thanksgiving really occur at Plymouth in 1621? Or did it occur in Texas in 1598, as others claim, or in Virginia in 1619? And what about the indigenous tribes before them? Certainly they gave thanks, too, for bountiful harvests with celebratory feasts.

Then there’s the bird. Scholars can’t even confirm that a turkey was present at the first “Turkey Day.” Nor will they tell you it was a national “tradition” until another 200 years or so had passed. And what was with all the buckles? Everyone, it seems, had belts wrapped around their heads and feet back then. Why don’t we do that anymore?

It’s not that I think tradition isn’t significant, it’s actually that I think it is. But tradition in and of itself is not carte blanche to do whatever you want, is it? History is fraught with some pretty terrible traditions.

We all have emotional attachments to food and I think that is a positive quality. If the world seems a little wonky, what’s the harm in the fact that some sage-scented cornbread stuffing can set it right? I love that there are tastes and flavors that ground us and make us feel at home.

But a larger tradition for Thanksgiving is inclusiveness. Or, at least, that is what we’re supposed to tell our children. Let's keep that tradition by providing something out of nothing. Or, more specifically, cutlets out of chickpeas. Here’s to new traditions!

But what's in it for you?

A newfound love of lentils? An additional set of cooking skills? Do you know the wonders of cashew cream or how to emulsify a dressing without eggs? How about massaging kale? Yes, that is a thing. And you just might find it as relaxing as a regular massage.

And not to get all preachy (I am, after all, a vegan) but plant-based eating is the way of the future, if only out of necessity. It’s lower on the food chain, uses fewer resources and is better for the planet. Perhaps this will lead you to Meatless Mondays or to Vegan Before 6 or (best case scenario) to becoming a level seven vegan. Because we all want to have a planet on which to keep celebrating Thanksgiving!

But it goes both ways.

Well, yes and no. No one is asking you to have a completely vegan Thanksgiving (although, hey you never know.) Different families have different solutions. Some set a portion aside before adding dairy products, and others opt for the everything-vegan-except-for-the-turkey approach.

But it would definitely benefit us vegans to chill out a little bit this time of year, as well. Yeah, we’ve all heard those same Thanksgiving jokes from all of our uncles through all those years. You know, when they pass us the turkey or tell us that maybe some bacon would improve our butternut squash bisque.

The truth is, your uncle loves you. He is making that comment not so you will complain about him in an angst-ridden Facebook status later in the evening. He is just trying to relate to you in whatever way he can; he is trying to make you smile. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make you smile, that is neither here nor there, but that is his intent. So smile anyway.

Now that I've convinced you to feed the vegans in your life...

Should you go out and simply buy a Tofurkey? I think that most in the veggie set will recognize your gesture as somewhere from kind to totally the most generous thing ever. But what about going all out?

There are some incredibly easy things you can do to transform your non-vegan dinner into a veritable feast for all your guests. Make the stuffing vegan, using olive oil instead of butter. Try coconut oil in the whipped sweet potatoes. Even the green  bean casserole - yes, that one with the crunchy onions on top - can be made vegan. A creative mix of oils makes for a fabulously flaky  pastry crust for all of your pie needs. Mashed potatoes using almond milk are totally delish. And I’ve saved many a Thanksgiving with mushroom gravy.

I guess I should also mention that vegans love Thanksgiving. I don’t know why. They love it more than anything. And they will be happy to help you in the kitchen until the cows come home (to the farm sanctuary, of course.) Honestly, you could go get a pedicure and they will make the whole darn thing. But that’s not what this is about, now is it?

Do something great for animals and the planet all while showing the vegan in your life that you love them more than pumpkin pie can say - or at least that much.

Vegan Holiday Recipes Kale Salad With Butternut and Lentils Serves 6

The trick with eating raw kale is to work it really hard with your hands, like you’re ROLFing it (which is a deep tissue massage, that looks kind of fun.) Work it at every step, including when you rinse and drain it. Use your hands to really scrunch the leaves up to get the water out, almost like ringing out a sponge. Don’t worry, kale can take it! In fact, afterwards it might feel a little like you after a massage; tender, relaxed and ready to be smothered in vinaigrette.

1 lb butternut squash 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 lb kale, stems removed, torn into bite sized pieces (about 8 cups) 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils (or a 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)

Vinaigrette: 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons agave syrup (or maple syrup) 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced (or microplaned) 1 cloves garlic, finely minced (or microplaned) 1/4 teaspoon salt

Roast the squash: Preheat oven to 425 F. Peel the squash and divide the round part from the long part. Cut the round part in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice everything into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch pieces.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread squash out in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. The single layer is important because if the baking sheet is overcrowded the squash won’t brown, it’ll steam and just get mushy. Sprinkle with salt and toss with your hands to coat.

Pop in the oven for about 25 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes or so. They’re done when lightly browned on the outside and tender inside. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Assemble the salad: Stir the vinaigrette into a large mixing bowl – everything will be going in there so make sure it’s large enough to hold all that kale.

Add the kale and take a minute or so, using your hands, to rub the vinaigrette into the leaves and really swish it around in there. Add the cooled butternut and lentils and toss to coat. Give the flavors a few minutes to settle in, then taste for salt and serve.

Recipe notes: For the ginger and garlic, you want to get them to be almost a paste. A microplane grater works perfect for this, or you can just mince the hell out of them.

15 minute option: Don’t feel like butternut squash, or just looking for something a little less labor intensive? Replace the roasted butternut with apple. Just peel two tart apples, like Granny Smith, and dice them into 1/2 inch pieces.

Make ahead: Roast a mess of squash an evening or two before as a side dish for dinner, and use the leftovers (about 2 cups) for this salad.

Sweet Potato Soup With Ginger and Vanilla Vanilla bean and ginger holding hands in a field of creamy sweet potato, with pretty bursts of lime lighting their way, and just a touch of heat.

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, diced medium 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 3 lbs garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks 4 cups vegetable broth 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (tip to use a steak knife) 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Preheat a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in oil with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Add ginger and red pepper flakes, and saute another minute or so.

Add yams, veggie broth and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat a bit to a slow simmer and cook until potatoes are tender – usually 5 more minutes or so.

Once tender, add the vanilla beans. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Or transfer the soup in batches to a blender or food processor to puree. Be sure to let the steam escape in between pulses so that the steam doesn’t build up and explode all over you. Then transfer the soup back to the pot.

Add maple syrup and lime and taste for salt. Thin with a little water, if necessary. You can eat immediately, but the flavor develops a lot as it sits. The lime mellows out and the vanilla becomes more pronounced, especially the next day. Serve garnished with lime, if you like. You may also want to do a coconut swirl, or something like that, if you’re feeling fancy.

Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes 24 cookies A sublime combination that tastes like the holidays!

1/2 cup refined coconut oil, softened 2 tablespoons lightly packed, finely chopped fresh rosemary 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup light brown sugar 1/4 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk) 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (golden preferred) 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup chocolate semisweet chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to beat together the coconut oil and rosemary, until relatively smooth. Add the sugar, and beat for about a minute.

Add the non-dairy milk and flax seeds, and beat once again, for 30 seconds or so. Mix in the vanilla.

Add about half the flour, as well as the salt and baking soda, and mix well. Add the remainder of the flour, along with the chocolate chips, and mix well until it looks like, well, cookie dough.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets in rounded spoonfuls. Flatten gently with your hands. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.

Let cool on sheets for 3 minutes or so, then transfer to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.

Stuffed Thanksgiving Burgers Makes 6 burgers You can turn these burgers into an entree simply by serving with gravy and without the bun.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided Small yellow onion, diced medium 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced 8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced Fresh black pepper 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage 4 cups baguette sliced into cubes 1 cup vegetable broth 1/2 cup hazelnuts 1 cup cooked green or brown lentils (1 16 oz can, rinsed and drained) 3/4 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup dried cranberries

To serve: 6 sourdough rolls Kale [or your preferred greens] Vegan mayo (storebought or homemade)

Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan non-stick (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Saute onion in one tablespoon olive oil for about 3 minutes with a pinch of salt, until translucent. Add mushroom, celery, garlic, black pepper, thyme and sage and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, until mushrooms have released most of their moisture.

Add baguette cubes, and drizzle in the other tablespoon of oil. Toss bread to coat in the mixture and cook for 5 minutes or so, tossing often, to lightly brown the bread.

Add the vegetable broth and use your spatula to really mush the bread up in the broth, so that it absorbs all the liquid and resembles stuffing. Let it cook about 3 more minutes, to sop up all the flavor.

While everything is cooking in the pan, place hazelnuts in food processor and pulse until they are chopped (not pureed.) Pieces should range from itty bitty to pea sized. Transfer nuts to a large mixing bowl. (No need to clean it out for the next step.)

Add the lentils to the food processor and puree until relatively smooth. Now add the bread mixture from the pan into the processor and pulse 10 to 15 times. You want the mixture to hold together, but there should still be mushroom and celery visible, it shouldn’t be a puree.

Transfer this to the mixing bowl with the hazelnuts. Add in the cranberries and salt. The cranberries like to stick together so make sure you separate them. Combine thoroughly, using your hands if need be, to form a firm but still malleable mixture. Taste for salt and pepper.

Let the mixture cool completely. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or so, just to help it firm up and let the flavors meld a bit.

Rinse out your cast iron, and preheat on medium-high. Roll the burgers into 6 equal sized tennis balls. Wash your hands often and keep them a little damp during this process for that the burgers don’t stick to your hands.

Flatten into 1 1/2 inch thick patties. Cook in a thin layer of oil for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve on buns with greens and mayo. Die of happiness!

Recipes used with permission of Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Source: CNN.com

How to Make Cashew Milk


We are huge proponents of soy milk makers. Here's a link to reviews we have done of different soy milk makers. Here's a link to our soy milk maker review where we compared the Soyajoy G4 (which is the 2013 model) with its predecessor, the G3. Here's a link comparing various soy milk makers.

While we love our soy milk maker, we understand that there are those of you who are not interested in purchasing one. Alternatively, you could use your blender and make cashew milk. The beautiful image (above) and the recipe (below) are courtesy of our friends at One Green Planet

Hazelnut Cashew Milk


  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3-8 cups of water, depending on how rich you want the milk to be
  • Dates, pitted, 1 per cup of water used
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp per cup of water used


Soak nuts in water for roughly 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Mix all ingredients in a high speed blender until only pepper-sized flecks remain. Strain mixture through nut milk

Vegan Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Pie veganHappy Halloween week....  Thanks to our friends at eatdrinkbetter.com, here are 10 pumpkin recipes:

1. GMO Free Pumpkin Spice Latte – Most commercially-made pumpkin spice lattes don’t contain any pumpkin. What they do contain are plenty of GMO ingredients. Boo! This year, why not make your own instead?

2. Vegan Pumpkin Bread – Start the day off with some dairy-free pumpkin bread. Maybe spread with a bit of almond or cashew butter? Eh?

3. Pumpkin Walnut Pate – When you think pate, you probably think “goose liver,” but there are plenty of plant-based pate recipes out there. This one is particularly awesome.

4. Pumpkin Pie – Most pumpkin pie recipes call for sweetened, condensed milk, but you don’t need this processed food to get a seasonal pumpkin pie on the table.

5. Pumpkin Green Smoothie – Get your smoothie on in seasonal style!

6. Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal – If pumpkin bread isn’t your thing, try this recipe to put a little squash into your morning.

7. Massaman Curry Pumpkin Hummus – Need I say more?

8. Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk and Curry – Pureed pumpkin makes this cozy soup extra rich and creamy.

9. Vegan Pumpkin French Toast – Wouldn’t this make a nice main event for a fall-themed brunch?

10. Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies – Treat yourself to some dairy-free cookies packed with fall flavors!

Source: eatdrinkbetter.com