Old habits die hard. So I’m sitting looking out my window at the falling snow… there’s a fire in the wood stove, the cats are curled up in their favorite spot, and I just can’t help myself. I have to bake some cookies!!! It’s coming up on Christmas anyway, so that’s a good excuse, too, right? 😉 These cookies are really easy to make, come together in a snap, and they smell divine while baking.
I could hardly wait for them to cool! Finally… my patience pays off—the orange essence wafts up into my senses with a hint of cinnamon as I take my first, crunchy bite. Then the little pops of juicy cranberry mingle with earthy pecan bits and the experience all comes together with a sense of being nourished and loved. ❤️
We’re expecting up to 24″ of the white powdery stuff this weekend. Hoping for the best, hunkered down with my oven, my man and my kitties… life is good.
Happy, healthy holidays!
Cranberry Orange Walnut Cookies
A heavenly holiday cookie to warm you heart and home.
- 3/4 cup oat flour (I just blended rolled oats in my blender)
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 TBS ground flax seeds
- 1 tsp potato starch
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries *see notes
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt (optional)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 1/4 cup raw almond butter
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix all dry ingredients together.
- Mix the wet ingredients together and add to the dry.
- Mix well to incorporate all.
- Form into balls about 1½ inches in diameter (I used a mini ice cream scooper which works great). Roll the balls in your hands and place on the cookie sheet, then press down lightly and shape into discs.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until just barely golden.
- Cool and serve!
Try to find cranberries that are fruit juice sweetened. I got some at Trader Joe's.
Hello and Happy Holidays, dear reader! I am excited to share something festive and yummy with you today.
I just had to do it… I had to create this recipe because all of the vegan meat-substitute holiday products contain ingredients that have no business being in my body—such as isolated soy proteins, canola oil, thickeners, high sodium and vital wheat gluten. No thanks! So I created an amazing plant-based roll for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! Actually, I made cutlets with this recipe and later made the roll and guess what? They both turned out great! So it’s a versatile mix that you can tweak as you like.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I’m no stranger to Butler Soy Curls. Their versatility and meaty texture make them a perfect substitute for some animal-based dishes that perhaps you used to enjoy but would like to make plant-based. This one is no exception.
Making individual cutlets from the mixture was a bit messy and quite time consuming (I had doubled the recipe so there was a lot!) but the result was well worth the effort and my guests were extra thankful. I should note that the prep for the roll is also a little time consuming as half of the soy curls need to be shredded. Have someone help you shred. Mountain Man helped me. I honor his patience. 🙂 If you have children, this would be a great way to get them involved! This isn’t a recipe that I would make often but it’s perfect for a holiday dish or special gathering.
Oh and, by the way, the best part of this recipe is, you can make it ahead of time! Just wrap it up and keep it in the fridge until it’s time to put in the oven (extend the baking time by 10 minutes if you do this). You can even bake it ahead of time and reheat it if necessary. Anything that I can make ahead of time to give me more time to enjoy my guests is all right with me.
P.S. My Savory Bean Gravy may have even been more of a hit than the actual dish! It was the perfect complement and, of course, wonderful on the mashed potatoes. I used navy beans instead of red beans in the gravy and added a little sage and thyme for that traditional holiday flavor. Yum!
I hope you’ll try it and let me know your result!
Plant-based Holiday Turkey Roll
A wonderfully flavorful holiday loaf for you and your loved ones!
- 8 oz. dry soy curls
- 1 block firm tofu
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 TBS veggie boullion *see note
- 2 TBS organic corn starch
- 2 tsp agar agar powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried/rubbed sage
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Soak the soy curls in pure water for about 30 minutes. Then squeeze out most of the water.
- Shred half of the curls. If you've not shredded soy curls before, you'll find out that some of them pull apart easily and some just crumble. That's okay. You just want the particle size to be consistent. When you've shredded half of the curls, set them aside.
- Squeeze out most of the water from the tofu block. Don't worry if it's not really dry; you don't have to press it. As long as most of the water is out, that's fine.
- Place the tofu and the remaining ingredients (except the shredded soy curls) in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Don't be tempted to add water. It will be a VERY thick mixture. This is what you want.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl (or pot) and add the shredded curls, mixing well. I used my hands to mush it all together.
- Lay out a sheet of parchment paper about 20" long and place the mixture in the center.
- Shape into a log about 4" thick x 10" long with your hands and smooth it out the best you can.
- Next, roll it up into the parchment paper, twisting the ends to secure it.
- Have a piece of aluminum foil ready and place the wrapped log onto the foil and roll that up as well, securing the ends.
- Place onto a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 1 hour.
- When finished baking, gently and carefully unroll the foil and paper and let cool for about 30 minutes before serving. It gets firmer as it cools, so this step is important, otherwise it will be hard to slice.
Finding a good quality vegetable base can be challenging. I don't use "better than boullion" brand because it is ridiculously high in sodium. I've found other brands that are good, one is by Edward & Sons, another is Vogue instant Veggie Base. Check your local health food stores and read your labels.
Oh, man. These. These are… I can’t even… If I cursed, I would be using expletives about how good these are!
So here’s a little back story. Mountain Man and I are at our favorite little restaurant (one of the very few where we can actually eat off the menu, called Dobra Tea West in Asheville). We finished our meal and my honey wanted a sweet treat. I sighed and said, “I’ll look but most of them have a lot of oil.” So I meandered over to the dessert fridge and took a peek. Nope, not really anything. Well, my man has a sweet tooth and was not giving up so easily. He decided to look for himself. A few moments later he came over to the table with this huge BALL of something, a big smile on his face. I said, “Really? Doesn’t it have oodles of coconut oil?” I got up to look at the ingredients… nope! No oil. And wow, was it incredible. Okay, so this recipe isn’t really mine but I just had to make these the next day, based on the ingredients given, and share them with you!
They turned out great! Possibly better… Mine are about half the size of the ones at Dobra because, really, they were ginormous and I can’t eat that much sweet in one sitting. I’m bringing these to an event this weekend and working on creating a little pistachio filling, just like a real truffle… shouldn’t be too hard. So, stay tuned for a possible upgrade! 🙂
For the relatively small amount of ingredients, the flavor profile of these little treats is very deep and rich. If you love pistachios, like we do, and are a fan of matcha tea, like we are… you will love these. They are also sweetened with dates only, so yeah. These will be on my dessert rotation plan.
Pistachio Matcha Truffles
A delectable treat for the sweet tooth in all of us!
- 1/2 pound raw, shelled pistachios (see notes)
- 1½ cups pitted dates (I used medjool dates which are perfect for this as they are nice and soft)
- 3 TBS tahini
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp matcha tea powder
- 1 tsp powdered vanilla bean
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut + ½ tsp matcha
- Place the pistachios and the dates in a food processor and pulse until well incorporated.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture holds together well when pinched.
- Form into balls, about the size of golfballs.
- Mix the coconut shreds and the matcha tea until the coconut is coated. (see notes)
- Roll the balls in the coconut mixture and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
**It's sometimes not easy to find shelled pistachios. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they usually carry them.
**Instead of rolling the balls in coconut shreds, you could also pulverize some pistachios in a nut grinder and roll them in that.
Wow! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that I finally, finally, FINALLY nailed this recipe. I feel like calling this “Carrot Cake: Take 3,455” … because that’s how many trials and errors I seem to have endured. I have posted a raw carrot cake recipe, and that one was wonderful in its own right, but it’s simply not the same as a genuine, classic carrot cake.
I’m all about texture when creating baked goods, and it just wasn’t happening. Carrot cakes usually call for TONS of oil. That’s probably why I had such a hard time. But I finally did it. A prefect crumb, not too dense, not too sticky, not heavy at all and NO OIL. Yay! And the timing couldn’t have been better since I was asked to bake this wonderful dessert for a dear friend’s birthday.
One of the most important factors in getting that rise and texture just right is the particle size of the dry ingredients, so make sure to chop the walnuts pretty small and use the finest grater setting for your carrots. In keeping with that particle size, I also opted for currants instead of raisins, but raisins would be fine, too.
So here it is! What may arguably be the perfect, plant-based, oil-free carrot cake.
A decorative and scrumptious tradition, made oil-free and plant based!
- 1½ cups light buckwheat flour (see notes)
- 1 cup tightly packed almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups finely grated carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins or currants (I used currants)
- 1 cup chopped raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or other minimally processed, granulated sweetener)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, plant based milk (I used soy)
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 TBS ground flaxseed + 1/4 of the orange juice listed above
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked at least 5 hours
- 1- 1½ cups water
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder or extract or a couple of drops of orange oil flavoring
- 3 TBS maple syrup or sweetener of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Combine the 2 tablespoons of flax meal with 1/4 cup of the orange juice and set aside.
- Line 2 round 8-inch cake pans with wax paper or parchment (I use wax paper, cut to match the size of the bottoms of the pans and also use just a touch of cooking spray oil both beneath and above the paper for ease of unmolding after baking)
- Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. NOTE: it's important to separate all of the carrot shreds so they aren't sticking together.
- Combine all of the remaining wet ingredients except the flax mixture and stir well, adding the flax mixture last and stirring gently.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans as best you can and smooth the tops with a spatula.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool for about 20 minutes, then turn the pans upside down onto wire racks to unmold. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, simply blend all ingredients in a high powered blender. Add bits of water at a time, as you don't want the mixture to become too thin. You may need more water than is mentioned above, it really depends on how long your cashews have soaked.
- Blend until smooth.
- REFRIGERATE, covered, for several hours before using as it will firm up as it cools and be easier to use.
- Decorate as you like! I used candied pineapple, chopped pistachios, dried rose petals/buds and fresh marigold flowers (yes they are edible, just make sure they are organic if purchasing)
I prefer to use LIGHT buckwheat flour in this cake, though you could certainly use regular buckwheat, but it would change the color considerably. I find mine on Amazon, available from one or two sellers. Alternately, you could certainly use wheat or spelt flour. I just prefer to keep mine gluten-free. But don't use the GF mixes, they won't work. Trust me, I've tried so many kinds of flours. Enjoy!
Greetings, lovely ones! If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I am no stranger to Chia Pudding! To me, it is the the ideal plant-based dessert (besides just fruit of course). The nutritional profile of chia seeds is just off the chart. And it’s so easy to make, which is a huge bonus for most of us! 🙂
I recently attended a Dr. Fuhrman conference right here in our own mountain backyard! It was wonderful to see him and it’s always good to get “reminded” of why we eat the way we do. I made a few awesome new friends and gleaned some new and important nutritional information, too. There’s always more to learn in the field of nutrition, right?
I’ve been super busy getting my art business off the ground. I’m almost there! I have a couple of local retail establishments that want to carry my prints and greeting cards so this is very exciting and a long time coming. Wish me luck! If you want to visit my website to view my gallery you may do so here–>> New Consciousness Art by Harmony Grace. It’s still a work in progress, but I do have about a dozen products uploaded now for sale. Any support you can send my way is much appreciated!!! I’ve mostly been doing digital art. Here is a sample of one of my paintings:
Well, back to the matter at hand; this recipe is as simple as all of my other chia pudding recipes with the addition of in-season berries which have been outstanding this year! So without further ado, here it is in all its simple amazingness. Enjoy!
A simple and highly nutritious dessert that is both beautiful and tasty!
- 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk (I used soy milk)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1 pint fresh blackberries
- 2 TBS sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract)
- Combine the milk, chia, sweetener and vanilla. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Let stand for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally until the seeds are well incorporated and not sinking to the bottom. I use a whisk for this process.
- In the mean time, crush half of the berries so they resemble a thick jam. You can sweeten them if you like but mine were so sweet I didn't have to.
- When the pudding is set up, layer in the crushed berries into 2 serving vessels, like parfaits.
- Top with fresh berries.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
I got this idea from Dr. Greger who promotes hibiscus for lowering blood pressure and I’m hooked! The flavor is divine on its own and adding a bit of peppermint is delightful in the summer months for a tasty, refreshing drink. But how much of this can you drink? Can there be too much of a good thing? Well, any food, be it a tea or an herb or a flower, that has some kind of pharmacological effect should be used with some caution. Dr. Greger also addresses this particular issue in this video.
You can use whatever sweetener you prefer in this tea but I like to use erythritol as it has some health benefits and zero calories. Another calorie-free sweetener that I sometimes use in this recipe is xylitol, but erythritol has more health benefits. It actually contains antioxidants! Check out what Dr. Greger has to say about this sweetener: ERYTHRITOL
I hope you try this delicious beverage and enjoy it as much as we do! It’s the perfect addition to a whole food, plant-based diet. In case you’re wondering, I have a family history of hypertension and so it works perfectly for me. But hubby Mountain Man is just the opposite—his blood pressure usually runs VERY low. However he also enjoys this tea, of course in moderation, and it has no ill effect on his already low blood pressure.
A delightful and refreshing tea that will also help to lower blood pressure!
- 1/4 cup loose, dried hibiscus flowers
- 1 TBS loose, dried and crushed peppermint leaves
- 2/3 cup erythritol or sweetener of your choice
- Place the hibiscus and peppermint in a pyrex or other heat proof container (I use a 2 cup measuring cup)
- Add boiling water to fill to about one cup.
- Steep 10 minutes.
- While the tea steeps, dissolve the erythritol in hot water and add it to whatever 2 liter vessel you will use to store your tea.
- Strain and add your steeped tea to the dissolved erythritol and fill with cool water to make 2 liters.
You can also use tea bags for this though I haven't tried it. I would use 5-6 hibiscus bags plus one peppermint bag and that should work just fine.
Greetings!!!! I’ve been meaning to share this simple and tasty, plant-based recipe with you for a while now. These burgers are a cinch to put together and are just perfectly delicious. As the summer months get to a start here in the northern hemisphere, plant-based burgers are always a great idea for lunch or dinner. These guys also freeze well, which I LOVE because that means an easy future meal for me! So go ahead and double the recipe if you like and freeze a bunch for future use.
I have a secret to share with you… you may already know about it but it’s an ingredient that I will now never be without! The binding agent extraordinaire, otherwise known as PSYLLIUM HUSK. Woohoo! It’s just the best, not only for burgers but it also works great for baked goods and bean loaves. The thing I am really loving about this ingredient is the perfect texture it gives my burgers. They’re not soggy or pasty. You know what I’m talking about right? When I first started making bean and veggie burgers it took a lot of trial and error to get that texture just right, playing with varying amounts of chia, flax seed, oats, etc. Well, not any more!
Psyllium husk is becoming more and more popular. I saw some huge conatiners of it on an end cap at my local Whole Foods so I guess maybe it’s not such a secret anymore. 🙂 Besides holding things together like a champ, psyllium husk is also a prebiotic AND a wonderful source of dietary soluble fiber. Score!
I get mine on Amazon here –> WHOLE PSYLLIUM HUSKS
Anyway, without further ado, here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy these burgers as much as we do! They’re are a staple at our house now…
An easy-to-make, plant-based yum burger!
- 1 cup cooked rice (short grain brown rice is best for these)
- 1 can red beans (about 1½ cups) I used Eden brand adzuki beans
- 1 TBS almond butter
- 2 TBS whole psyllium husk
- 1 TBS Spike salt-free seasoning or any favorite salt free seasoning you prefer
- 1 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp coconut sugar or other minimally processed sweetener
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ garlic powder
- Drain most of the liquid from the beans. Mash HALF of them with the liquid you have left, leave the rest whole.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (see first NOTE).
- Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes to give the psyllium a chance to do its magic.
- Shape into burgers. I used about 1/2 cup of the mix per burger. An ice cream scooper is perfect for this!
- Cook on the stovetop in a non-stick pan on medium-low heat until golden brown on both sides. Alternatively you can bake them at 350°F for 30 minutes, flipping at 15 minutes.
- Let the burgers cool off just a bit before serving. They firm up more when they cool off.
I usually like to cook my rice at the same time I put these together. When the rice is warm it mixes much easier with the other ingredients. I usually make a big batch of rice and save what I don't use for a future meal.
You can certainly adjust these to suit your taste! Add some salsa and cumin for a zesty Mexican burger, add some fresh veggies, too. Chopped green onion is nice as well as red bell pepper. These make a good base for just about any additions you want to use.
Hi lovely readers! I posted a recipe for plant-based, cashew cream cheese AGES ago but it was pretty involved as it used rejuvelac, which is a culturing medium made from soaking grains. This process was pretty lengthy. So some time ago I experimented with using probiotic powder instead, and voilà! It worked like a charm and was so much quicker and easier.
I use a very high quality probiotic for this recipe. You can find it HERE on Amazon. Yes, it’s quite pricey but the only thing I use it for is this recipe so it lasts a long while. And since I get a consistent, good result every time, I feel it’s totally worth it. You can also use good quality capsules, which you can find in most health food stores, and just open them up, but I find the powder so much more convenient. Make sure to keep your probiotics in the refrigerator!
You can also use this recipe to make sour cream… just thin it out with a little water. Yum! 🙂 Feel free to add some fresh herbs at the end or even fruit! Spruce it up however you like or enjoy it plain.
To make this recipe even easier for you, I’ve created a video which I hope you will find helpful. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel. It’s a work in progress, with many more instructional videos to come.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to post this delicious plant-based cheese! Enjoy!
CULTURED CASHEW CREAM CHEESE VIDEO
Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese ~ plant based!
A tangy, real cultured, vegan cheese filled with healthful probiotics!
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1/2 cup pure water
- 1/2 tsp good quality probiotic powder (see my post for a link to the one I use)
- pinch of sea salt (about 1/8 tsp)
- Soak cashews overnight or for at least 5 hours. (see IMPORTANT note)
- Rinse well and drain.
- Add to high powered blender with 1/2 cup pure water and the salt.
- Blend well, scraping down the sides as needed. It should be pretty thick.
- Add probiotic powder and blend again until smooth.
- Transfer to a glass bowl, cover with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel and secure.
- Set on the counter.
- WAIT. The culturing takes anywhere from 24-48 hours depending on various factors, most importantly the ambient temperature of the room.
- When the cheese is done, the mixture will PUFF UP with air. You can also taste it to see if it is tangy enough for your preference.
- When it's done, stir it well to remove all the air, cover and refrigerate. The mixture will firm up more as it cools. It lasts quite a while in the fridge, at least a week, especially if you keep it covered and prevent moisture from getting in.
THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT!!! Do not use city tap water for this recipe. Almost all tap water in the US and Canada contains a form of chlorine called chloramine. Its purpose is to KILL bacteria! It will kill all the happy microorganisms in your mixture and you'll wind up with nothing but blended cashews. So use fresh spring water or distilled, or if you have well water, that's fine too.
Greetings from the mountains, Dear Ones! Ahhh… warm weather is finally gracing us here in the northern hemisphere after such a harsh winter. I am so happy to have gotten our garden started and the open windows with the fresh breezes are a pleasure!
Well, you know me. I love a good soup, be it in the winter or summer months. Nothing beats the ease of a one-pot meal like a hearty soup. And THIS is one I’ve been wanting to make and share for a long time. It’s called an “Indian” soup because of those ever-aromatic Indian spices but it actually has its origin in Great Britain! Who knew? But wherever it began, it ends up in my happy belly! So without further ado, below is the recipe for a flavorful, plant-based Mulligatawny soup!
NOTE: PLEASE don’t be put off by the long list of Indian spices. I have built my spice cupboard bit by bit. If you don’t have all of them, use what you can find easily. It will still be yummy. I will include some Amazon links above the recipe card, if you want to purchase some of these spices to build your own Indian arsenal of flavor. 🙂 Enjoy!
Mulligatawny Soup ~ plant-based, oil-free!
A hearty, flavorful and aromatic soup!
- 1 pound dry red lentils
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup coconut milk or other unsweetened, plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp minimally processed sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp anise seeds
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp cinnamon (try to use Ceylon cinnamon, it has a more mellow flavor)
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- pinch of asafetida
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
- 7 cups pure water
- Add all ingredients to a soup pot and simmer until the lentils and carrots are tender (about 30 min), stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. BE CAREFUL! You may want to wait until it's cooled a bit, depending on your blender. You can also add more water if you prefer a thinner, brothy type of soup. I like mine thick!
- Garnish with some cilantro leaves if desired.
Ahhh, smoothie bowls! One of my favorite ways to “break fast” in the warmer months. And those days are just ahead! So I thought I would share this scrumptious, whole-food, plant-based winner of a recipe with you. It’s a snap to put together. Top it with some of your favorite superfoods and you have a nutrient-rich bowl of sunshine!
So, what’s this superfood giveaway about? It’s about the magic berry called amla, also known as golden berries or gooseberries. They are SUPERCHARGED with antioxidants. In order to qualify for this giveaway of Terrasoul Amla Powder, simply leave a brief comment below and watch an informative video by Dr. Michael Greger on YouTube, in which he reveals the amazing benefits of this Indian berry. That’s it! One winner will be randomly selected. Oh, and if you haven’t yet, I would greatly appreciate it if you would mosey on over to my Facebook Page and hit the LIKE button there. Thanks for checking in!
This giveaway will close in seven days, so don’t delay and good luck!
>>> CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY CONTEST! <<<
Golden Amla Smoothie Bowl
A super yummy antioxidant-rich smoothie to start your day!
- Add all ingredients plus one cup of the coconut water to your blender and blend, adding more coconut water as needed to reach a smooth consistency. Remember, this is a smoothie BOWL, so you want it to be as thick as possible.
- Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve!