To add to the new family’s stash I baked a Chocolate Chip Banana Coffee Cake from Vegan Brunch. It’s one of the many variations to the basic crumb topped coffee cake. I added the mashed banana to the wet ingredients and then layered on the chocolate chips before the crumb topping. Of course I save a piece or two for myself. I think I like the jam or fruit version of the cake better, this was more of a dessert than a breakfast food although for brunch I guess you can have dessert.
Bananas get a mashing in my favorite bowl
Batter and crumbs
Chocolate chipped up
I continued my cooking and baking for the new family this morning and made Carrot Pineapple Sunshine Muffins from VCON. I was lucky enough to get a batch of Nantes carrots in my CSA shipment this week. They’re smaller and sweeter than your average bad boy carrot from the grocery store. They also contain more moisture so I thought they were a good choice for the muffins. These muffins don’t rise much which they tell you in the book, so they’ve got a flat top look instead of a puffy round top like many bakery muffins. Taste, though, a little less sweet than carrot cake but with the same cinnamony, gingery spiciness to them. I melted a blob of Artisana Coconut Butter on mine and boy was that a nice little breakfast surprise. New family got half a dozen and I kept the other half-dozen for N. and me. They make a nice afternoon snack with a cup of Coconut Chai tea, I should know since that’s what I had for mine.
Flattops or crew cut muffins, they look almost like cookies don’t they?
A big blob of Coconut Butter, it melted into a pool of loveliness on my warm muffin.
Bagged up, labeled and ready to deliver to those in muffin need
I took the day off today to make up some casseroles for the new family. They’ll be coming home tomorrow and when I brought their mail in I checked out the fridge situation and it didn’t look too promising (yes, I ‘m one of those snoopy mothers who looks in the fridge when you’re away). I got kind of nostalgic, which I guess you do when you see a new generation come into the world. It made me think of the kind of mom I had hoped to be and how I wanted to raise my kids all organic and close to the Earth. That really didn’t happen but I always tried. Today I pulled out one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I ever purchased, The Deaf Smith Country Cookbook. It was published in 1973, (imagine that I was old enough to purchase cookbooks in 1973), the Preface to the book says, “Our technology has conquered mountains, oceans, and space, but many of us are empty and unsatisfied”, I think that statement is as relevent today as it was almost forty years ago, times change people don’t. We always seem to be looking for more when what’s important is right at our front door. So enough of waxing nostalgic. From TDSCC I made one of my kids favorite meals, Spaghetti Casserole. I had forgotten how simple and satisfying it is. It’s only seasoned with soy sauce and sea salt, but it has a garden of vegetable in it and is topped with cheese, I veganized it with Daiya. I split it up and made a casserole for T. and R. and N. and I had ours for dinner tonight.
Can you tell this was a favorite of ours?
Well loved, much used, and nearly forgotten, what a shame!
A garden of veggies all chopped and ready to be casseroled!
Topped with Daiya ready for devouring
I didn’t have much time to cook, or even eat today because I was at the hospital witnessing the birth of baby K. He is most excellent and mom and dad are doing fine after only a few hours of labor. When I got home I just wanted a snack, I had dates leftover from the scones and some walnuts in the freezer so I decided to try my hand at some homemade Lara Bars. I used Enlightened Cooking’s recipe and it made just two bars. This is the perfect amount for me and my little mini processor. Besides the dates and walnuts I added some dried cherries and a titch of cinnamon, delish! I think I needed a few more nuts because my dates were super soft (remember the date paste scones?) but they went together quickly and tasted as sweet as my new grandbaby!
This isn’t exactly one of Guy Fieri recipe’s but it’s from one of his many trips on Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and it’s printed up in the book of the same name. It’s actually a recipe from Falafel’s Drive In in San Jose, CA. It was very simple to make but you do have to remember to soak your chickpeas overnight. Once soaked there’s no cooking, just grind them up and add some seasoning, a little flour and a chopped onion, and you have falafel ready for the fryer. I tried out our new deep fryer, that D. actually got some time ago but it’s been gathering dust on his kitchen counter. It took a ton of oil just to get it up to the minimum fill line…I don’t know what I was thinking with my one little bottle of canola. I had to borrow some oil from the neighbor. I think you’re not supposed to re-use heated oil but it seems a shame to dump all that out. The recipe specified soy bean oil was to be used to get the real Drive-In taste but I used canola, grapeseed, peanut, and plain old vegetable oil to get this thing filled up. The falafel fried up all crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, so that was successful. I would change a few things in the recipe…a smaller onion. It called for one large onion but I think I would have used half of that and possibly chopped it a little finer. Next time I will add just a titch more seasoning including a dash more salt. Other that they they were simple and delicious. I served them along side a nice Greek inspired salad of lettuce, cuke, tomato, and Kalamata olives, with an olive oil and cider vinegar dressing. I also squeezed a bit of the Tahini Dressing that I made for the kale the other night all over the top. All in all a substantial and tasty meal.
I got to use my new cookie scoop to make uniform falafel balls. It worked like a charm, I just hope my next batch of cookies don’t taste of cumin.
Scooped and ready for the fryer
The new deep fryer. It’s got a little spigot behind that black door on the front to make it easy to empty the oil. See the balls in the basket? Get it? They’re basket balls (heh heh)!
and finally plated with salad and sauce.
You can put PB&J on toast, or on an english muffin, or even in an omelet or on a bagel. I’m sure there are PB&J muffin recipes out there (I’ll check when I ‘m done typing) so there are plenty of ways to sneak in a PB&J for breakfast. The ultimate PB&J for breakfast though is the Peanut Butter Waffle from Vegan Brunch topped with some raspberry syrup. These suckers are FILLING (yes, I shouted it). I could only eat half and that filled me up until late in the afternoon. They are dense and peanut buttery, not overly sweet so the raspberry syrup was just right.
Peanut Butter, maple syrup and canola oil…
Soy milk (I had to use some soy creamer because I ran out of milk), and vanilla making a lovely swirl…
Whipped all together using my favorite vintage egg beater.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg
Into the waffle iron…I use a Belgian waffler so the waffles have deep pockets for melted goodness in the form of Earth Balance and syrup. You can see how thick this stuff is.
Breakfast is served…
In honor of Earth Day I whipped up a green lunch. It consisted of leftover kale with a drizzle of tahini dressing, a green salad of lettuce, cucumbers, avocados, with a lime and olive oil dressing. I’ve been into green living as much as I can since I was in high school, my sisters always thought I was the hippy of the family (you know braless and organic), but over the years I kind of fell away from it as I climbed the corporate ladder and fell into American consumerism. Recently though I’ve begun taking steps to get back to a simpler way of life. I started composting and have really been concentrating on eating lower on the food chain, working at home saves gas and cuts down on pollution, my newly planted garden should supply me with enough organic produce to feed me this summer (hopefully!). EarthDay.org has a whole list of things that people have pledged to do to make the world a little greener. While I like the idea of a day (or week) dedicated to the Earth I think it should be like the answer our mothers always gave us when we asked why there wasn’t a kids day. Who hasn’t heard, “Every day is kids day”, well I think every day should be Earth Day. So I pledge to live more consciously on the Earth and lighten my footprint however I can (no fat jokes please!).
Leftover kale in my special Vegan bowl from Vegan Dish. This bowl is good for more than just ice cream…I’m thinking of getting another in a different color.
An all green salad, quite yummy by salad standards!