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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

This is a day of giving thanks, and mine, today were abundant. A lovely dinner with my family, mine plant strong, theirs, not. It is okay though, because on some level, I see my vegan thoughts and practices seeping into my family. It is all good.

One of my favorite foods in the world is pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie. And becoming a vegan means that I need to be pretty creative to make a pumpkin pie that tasted delicious, fresh, and spicy. I also wanted something that would look like a freshly made pie that would appeal to everyone.

Here's my well-tested recipe. Try making it. I make it crustless,because I am leaving added fat out of my cooking and eating. But, you could use your favorite crust, if you wanted to. If you make the pie, let me know how it turned out.

Fancy Vegan Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

One can of organic pumpkin
One brick of Silken Tofu (firm)
3/4cup of vanilla, unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup of maple or date syrup (you can also make date paste with 8 dates in place of the syrup)
1 t of vanilla

(Mix these all together until you have a light brown mixture)

Add to the mixture:
1 t of organic cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves (one of each)
dash of pepper
3/4 cup of your favorite flour (mine is gluten free, I used garbanzo bean flour)
1t of baking powder

Mix everything together. Place in a silicone round cake pan. Smooth out top. Place on the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees. Bake for about 40 minutes.

Remove. Allow to cool. Brush top with maple syrup, and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Delicious. So good.

This pie will be the new norm. Anyone for another serving of baked sweet potatoes and kale?

Happy (Plant Strong) Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Where Have You "Bean" All of My Life?

When I meet my friend Christina Pirello for lunch, we usually go to South Philly at Valentino's for lunch. They have great whole wheat pasta, and make the best arugula salad (without oil) that I have ever had. I eat the same thing when I go there--soup and salad.

Now, I do not mind spending $7 for a bowl of soup...but a cup of soup in a fancy bowl for $7? I mean, maybe it would cost $2 to make. I love this soup and decided to pick Christina's culinary mind for a run down of ingredients. She helped me figure it out, and I came home and created my own purer version of this delicious soup.

With the holidays around the corner, I need an arsenal of creative and new recipes to help keep me motivated and excited about being plant strong. I love being plant strong and I love how I feel, not just physically, but in general, fabulous. This is not a diet for me; for me it is a dietary belief. I have no carve-out days for indulgences from the other side. But, that's just me. There is no turning back for me. Plant strong, baby, plant strong.

Make this soup...you will love it!

Garbanzo Lemon Soup

2 cans of garbanzo beans, no added salt
10-12 garlic cloves
1/4 water
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/4 red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon of reduced sodium tamari

2-3 lemons

Take the garlic gloves and place in a very hot pan, add about 1T of water, and brown them, shake the pan a good deal to prevent burning. Once they are a lovely brown color, add the two cans of beans (with liquid). Add water, spices, and allow to simmer. When the garlic is soft, you are good.

Remove the garlic and mash it with a fork. Return it to the soup.

Remove about one cup of soup and put it in a blender and puree (it will look like hummus). Return it to the soup, and stir. This will add thickness.

Finally, add the juice from 2-3 lemons.

Stir well.

Time to dig in. Serve it with a salad and a piece of Masterbacher whole grain bread...perfect dinner.

Oh, and the best part? With the leftovers, the next day, MAKE HUMUS! It makes OUTRAGEOUS humus. I call this "Double Duty Soup." It's all in the lemons!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Achoo-Achoo, I Think I Have the Flu!

It started with a little ache, and then a little stabbing in my throat. It could mean only one thing...I was getting a cold. Immediately, that means a few things...rubbing my feet with Tiger Balm, taking Umka Care(r) my favorite herbal remedy, and hot beverages. But, I am talking achy to the marrow of my bones. I mean, this is hot water bottle, achy. Curl up under three blankets, achy. But this year, something is different.

I think Hippocrates was right when he talked about food being thy medicine. Because, at this point, I should be really sick. But, I have no runny nose, no hacking cough. No chills. Just a gentle reminder of an ache. Being plant strong is the BEST prophalactic there is...really, who needs a flu shot? Not me. I am stocking up on veggie soup, cranberry relish, fresh fruits, kale smoothies, and more. That is all that I need.
I used to LOVE coffee...but, I stopped drinking it two years ago. And, I used to LOVE hot cocoa. It just always felt so soothing as it slipped down my throat. So, to replicate the comfort of hot cocoa, here's what I came up with today,and I feel AMAZING. It seems to keep a runny nose at bey.

Try this on a cool, fall day...or anytime, as a matter of fact. Just remember, that food is thy medicine.

Hot Cocoa

Cup of almond milk
2 dates (remember to remove the pits)
2T cocoa powder

1/2 cup of chopped kale
Put everything in your VitaMix.

Process for about 4-5 minutes, or until the container is hot to touch. Yum. Yum. Hold the marshmallows, but
I still might need some tissues.