I love local, seasonal, and wholesome food. I also love to share my cooking experiences with people.
So stop by, relax, and take a moment to smell the baking bread.

December 29, 2010

More Granola! And...Salad

I know, I know, who wants to hear about salad on a vegan blog? Chances are your friends think that salad is all you eat, topped with alfalfa sprouts and beans. (Although that doesn't sound half bad as a base...) But we're not trying to keep the stereotype alive here. However I have a pretty solid salad dressing recipe that I've been using a lot lately, so I just thought I'd share it. It's a spin off of my mom's balsamic dressing recipe, which is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and herbs. I use miso in place of dijon, because they both have that unique salty taste. I've been on a fermented foods kick for a while, so I'm finding every possible way to get some miso in my diet.

December 27, 2010

Granola in More Than One Way

I have recieved the "But what do you eat?" question from an unfathomably large number of people, as I'm sure most people of restrictive diets have. Vegan, paleo, macro, raw, etc. Just eliminate all animal products, I eat everything else. They're usually still baffled. There's also the endless number of "vegan jokes" which have become just as funny to me as to my friends who make them. I could do a whole monologue. "Hello, i'm Natalie and I'm a veGAN.(Prounced vay-gahn.) I eat leaves and twigs that I generally collect on my nature runs through Tyler Park. Does your pet rabbit eat alfalfa? So do I! Let me know if he wants to come over for a lunch date. I know I could have just brought a peanut butter and jelly for lunch but tree bark seemed so much more appetizing, especially spread with dirt. If you have any SunChips bags to compost, give them to me, but don't be surprised if I sneak them for an afternoon snack, being biodegradable and all. 

I like to think I add a lot of comic relief to an otherwise mundane school day. 

Almond Walnut Biscotti

Another treat that my mom has been making for years is biscotti. A couple of weeks ago, she was making some to send to my sister, and I decided to make my "alternative" version so that I didn't miss out on the sweets. Let these sit in the oven for a bit after the second bake if you want them to be extra dry and crunchy!

Vegan Walnut Almond Biscotti

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup organic sugar
Equilavent of 2 eggs (when veganizing traditional recipes, I generally go with the Ener-G)
Zest from 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet
Dough: beat sugar and margarine, and then add egg replacer mixture and beat for a couple of minutes. Add orange and lemon zest and extracts. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts, be careful not to overmix.
To shape and bake logs: Shape dough into flattish log approximately 3 inches wide and a length that fits the sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
To cut and bake biscotti: Cut using bread knife, about 3/4 inch wide pieces. Lay cookies on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, turning over half way through. Remove from oven, cool.

Pumpkin Pie

My mother is an incredible self-taught cook. Mostly I think because she has no fear in the kitchen. She has made fondant, and then found reasons to make the cake. She has made numerous types of pasta, and is almost through the 50lb bad of semolina flour that has been sitting in the pantry for the past several months. A deciding factor when order at restaurants was always whether Mom could make it better at home. (Tiramisu, although probably one of my favorite desserts, was never ordered out.)

One dessert that she has mastered above everyone else's is pumpkin pie. Seriously, her pumpkin pie cannot be beaten. The recipe she uses is written on a 3x5 card that is probably older than me, and is so worn that the blue ink is starting to fade. Last year, I attempted my own vegan pumpkin pie, using silken tofu. I generally don't mind the taste of tofu, and sometimes like it. But it just did not work in this situation. Pumpkin + Tofu = strangely creamy unappealing flavor. And Mom's awesome not vegan pumpkin pie was sitting right next to it. Guess who cheated?...

December 26, 2010


Well, this is my first post as a "blogger". So thanks for taking the time to visit! This blog is mainly about making vegan food (although I sometimes do use honey) admidst a non-vegan family, while scrambling to get in college applications, ward off the effects of senioritis, and enjoy life on a simple level.
Happy very late Thanksgiving. And late Christmas. And late any other holiday that you happen to celebrate. If you're not completely turned off by any sort of food that resembles the sweet and sugary, then see the next post!