Portobello Steak Oscar

IMG_0412 copy.jpgOh my gosh you guys! I recently posted my Avo Benny, which included my new recipe for the most amazing hollandaise sauce, and I am totally obsessed. I wanted to figure out other food to smother with it so I googled ‘recipes with hollandaise’ and I found a dish called Steak Oscar. It’s steak topped with crabmeat topped with asparagus topped with hollandaise. Well, that is easy to veganize:

Steak: Portobello
Crabmeat: Artichokes
Asparagus: Asparagus
Hollandaise: Vegan Hollandaise

This recipe makes enough for one but just adjust it for how many mushrooms you want to serve.

1 portobello mushroom
2 teaspoons olive oil
S and P
3 artichoke hearts
The juice of 1/2 lemon
3 asparagus spears
Hollandaise sauce
Fresh pepper, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Clean the portobello and remove the gills. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake gill side up for 20 to 25 minutes so that the mushroom is cooked and juicy.

Chop up the artichoke hearts and add them to a pan with the juice of one lemon. Toss around until they are heated through and even browning a little bit.

Steam the asparagus.

Heat the hollandaise sauce.

Assemble.

Place the portobello on a serving plate. Stuff with the artichokes. Top with the asparagus. Drown in hollandaise sauce. Add a sprinkle of fresh pepper. Enjoy!

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Book Report: The Edgy Veg + Bonus Recipe for The Token Kale Salad

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Photo credit: Brilynn Ferguson

When I went vegan over a decade ago, there weren’t that many vegan cookbooks. Nowadays, a new book comes out each week! There is a kind of vegan genre happening right now – mac and cheese, jackfruit, cauliflower, meatless meatballs, baked goods, and of course, kale salads. Each book has their own spin on things and this one is no exception. I am talking today about The Edgy Veg  by Candice Hutchings from the blog The Edgy Veg (duh!)

The subtitle is 138 Carnivore Approved Recipes which explains the way Candice approaches recipes. She became vegan years ago but wanted to offer her not vegan husband recipes he would approve of. She repurposed family recipes, on trend meals and veganized fast food faves.

And now they are all here in this well designed and easy to read to book. The recipe titles are funny, the headers are slightly irreverent but appealing, and the whole tone of the book is down to earth. The recipes are really detailed including photos for almost every recipe, hacks for when you need to change it up, what equipment you need, and easy to spot icons for gluten-free, quick and easy recipes and recipes that are great for entertaining.

The book is organized into the usual sections: basics, brunch,  soups, salads, snacks, main dishes, side dishes, drinks and desserts. One way I can tell if I am going to like a cookbook is if there are recipes for things I already make myself and there are a fair number in this book like pizza, gnocchi, mayo, bacon, pesto, pancakes, slaw, tacos and even carrot lox (although I still love mine the best!)

And then there are these recipes. Do you like seitan? Become a Master of Seitan: Chicken and Seitan Mastery 2.0: Beef. How about bacon? The recipe is called Bacon, Tho (Bacon 4 ways: coconut, mushroom, rice paper and eggplant.)

Of course there are salads like Deconstructed Pizza Salad and The Token Kale Salad (see below). I happen to love popcorn and there is a cool recipe for Theater Popcorn and Flavor Shakers (Dill Pickle, Nacho Cheese, Chili Cheese, and Salted Chocolate (brilliant!) and Cool Ranch). This really got me: Buffalo Cauliflower Wings 7 ways (7!).  And I love this take on a classic dinner: Steaks with Béarnaise Sauce (that’s portobellos.) The Brussels Sprouts That Don’t Suck recipe is fantastic. I agree, they don’t suck when made this way. And don’t forget dessert: Death by Chocolate Mousse (made with aquafaba!)

By far, the two recipes I am most excited about in this book are the Easy Cheesy Fondue and the Mason-Dixon Crab Melt (which uses the fondue in it). They are incredibly creative and I can just tell by looking at them that they are winners.

My only issue with this book is that it uses some prepackaged vegan meats (like Tofurky, ewww, gross) which I don’t think belong in a well thought out cookbook. Otherwise, I think this is a great book for vegans who are looking for some creative recipes, new and non-vegans who need smart, transitional foods that will bring them over to our side!

Check out The Token Kale Salad, which I got permission to reprint. It’s definitely creative, the dressing is pesto! Why didn’t I think of that?

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Photo credit: Brilynn Ferguson

The Token Kale Salad
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main

As the saying goes, “You don’t make friends with salad” — until you do. This kale and pesto salad is so beyond run-of-the-mill. Pasta sauce on salad? Why didn’t anyone think of this earlier? It’s a match made in BFF heaven. It’s delicious on its own, but let’s face it: salad is a sad meal, so pair it with a burger (pages 209 to 213) or a hearty bowl of Half-Baked Mac and Cheese (page 170). Now, that’s what I call balance.

4 cups shredded dinosaur kale 1 L
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 30 mL
1-1/2 cups Presto, Pesto (page 54) 375 mL
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved 125 mL
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper 125 mL
1/4 cup finely diced red onion 60 mL
2 tbsp nutritional yeast 30 mL
1 tbsp hemp seeds 15 mL
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped cashews 60 mL

In a large bowl, drizzle kale with olive oil and massage leaves with your hands. Add pesto and continue to massage, until kale is completely coated. Add tomatoes, red pepper and red onion to salad. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, hemp seeds and sea salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to combine and top with cashews to serve.

Hack It!
It might seem a bit strange to massage your food, but you’ll be amazed at what a quick five-minute rubdown can do. Take handfuls of kale and rub them together. Play some spa music, for the full effect. As you massage, you will start to notice the leaves getting darker in color and becoming silky in texture. The longer you massage your kale, the more it will break down and become less bitter. Massage kale with pesto or dressing of choice and refrigerate up to 48 hours in advance.

Presto, Pesto
Makes 1 1/4 cups (300 mL)

Pesto is the quickest and easiest sauce to make, and it can take any meal from drab to fab. When I was in university, I literally put the stuff on everything: pasta, salad and personal- size pita pizzas. When it comes to sauces, pesto is the besto.

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil 500 mL
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds 125 mL
2 garlic cloves 2
3 tbsp nutritional yeast 45 mL
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil 60 to 125 mL
Sea salt

In a food processor, combine basil, sunflower seeds, garlic and nutritional yeast; process until a coarse meal forms.

Slowly add 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil in a steady drizzle through the feed tube as you pulse. Process until it forms a smooth paste. Add more olive oil, if necessary, if the mixture is too dry. You want the pesto to be moist and spreadable. Season with sea salt to taste.

Store in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Hack It!
Add a handful of other fresh herbs for a fun flavor twist. Mint and oregano are my personal faves.

Courtesy of The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore Approved Recipes by Candice Hutchings and James Aita © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.

Avo Benny aka Avocado Benedict!

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Introducing the new Benedict! I am calling it the Avo Benny (aka Avocado Benedict) and it is pretty perfect.

Let me tell you what I did to make this Benedict worthy of the name. Hint: the secret is in the sauce. That’s the Hollandaise sauce! I added Black Salt, aka kala namak. Do you know about this yet? It is that salt from India that is known for it’s sulfuric eggy smell/taste. It’s that eggy flavor but without the chickens!

It is really pretty simple to put this together. I made my own English Muffins from Isa’s book Vegan Brunch but of course use store bought ones unless you want to take the time to make them which is literally like 10 minutes. And then stack, pour, and eat!

Eggy Hollandaise Sauce (makes enough for 2 Avo Bennys, that’s 4 halves)
1/4 cup cashew cream*
1/2 teaspoon kala namak
1/2 tablespoon nooch
A few shakes of turmeric
A few dashes of ume plum vinegar
A teaspoon of water, or more, enough to make it pourable

Whisk all of the ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasonings.

*My basic cashew cream recipe is 1 cup cashews just covered with filtered water in the Vitamix and blended until smooth, adding a bit more water until it is the perfectly smooth creamy texture of cream. It tends to thicken up in the refrigerator so I don’t worry if it seems too thin at first. Also, I don’t season it until I am ready to use it so I can turn it into anything I want. Salad dressings, sweet cream, sour cream, and, of course, hollandaise sauce.

Avo Benny
Toast up some English Muffins. Lightly butter them and top with slices of tomato and avocado. Pour hollandaise sauce on top and garnish with a few grinds of fresh pepper.

Enjoy!

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Book Report: Awesome Vegan Soups + Bonus Recipe for Homemade Vegetable Broth Powder

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I am never happier than when a new cookbook arrives in my mailbox. This week I got Awesome Vegan Soups by Vanessa Croessmann of the blog Vegan Family Recipes.

I have to be completely honest and say that I usually skip the soup chapters of cookbooks, but this is a whole book of soups, so I couldn’t exactly skip it. I have to say that I think this little book has some great, family friendly, soup recipes!

And now I am inspired to make more soup. Let’s face it. It is a pretty easy meal to prepare. You can make big batches and refrigerate or freeze them for later. And you control the ingredients and the level of salt. I’m inspired to make some new soups this year! And I will start with some from this book.

The book is organized by season which I think is a really great idea in terms of soup. I am not a big fan of hot, root vegetable soups in the middle of the summer. And this book offers some really interesting, delicious soups that are appropriate for each season.

In the Autumn section, I can’t wait to make the Sweet Potato Chili, the Mixed Mushroom Stew and the Apple Pumpkin Soup with Chipotle (my favorite ingredient discovery of the year!)

From the Winter section, I am looking to hunker down with a hot bowl of the Roasted Root Vegetable Soup and the Creamy Rutabaga Soup.

When the Spring arrives, I will definitely be making the Lemon Asparagus Soup, the Tempeh Tortilla Soup and the Rustic New Potato Stew (hopefully with potatoes from my own garden!)

And finally, Summer. It is so far away now but I can dream of making the Creamy Corn Chowder, the TriColored Pepper Soup with Millet, and the Grilled CornTomato Soup with Guacamole.

And those are just to name a few! I will be making them all year long, so be sure to follow me on Instagram (@lisasprojectvegan) to see how they come out. Many of the recipes call for vegetable broth which I usually make by storing all of my vegetable scraps in my freezer and turning them into stock. But Vanessa has the coolest recipe for homemade Vegetable Broth Powder which I think is genius!

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Onions, carrots, celery, parsley and chives drying

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Homemade vegetable broth powder

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Reprinted with permission

Afew notes on the recipe below.

A. I doubled the recipe.
B. I used fresh parsley and chives from my garden.
C. I shredded the onions, carrots and celery in my food processor.
D. I squeezed a ton of water out by wringing out the veggies in a dish towel.
E. I baked the veggies for an hour.
F. I let the veggies dry out in a bowl for a few days.
G. I dropped the dried veggies into the processor until they became a powder.

HOMEMADE VEGETABLE BROTH POWDER

MAKES 1/3 CUP (45 G) (ENOUGH FOR 10 CUPS [2.4 L] VEGETABLE BROTH)

I love having this vegetable broth powder around. It works the same way you would use bouillon cubes. This is a rough guideline. Add other ingredients and play around with it until you find the right combo for you. Broth powder is usually very salty. Depending on how much you add, it will vary on how much you’ll need to add to make your vegetable broth. This recipe will equal to 1 tablespoon (12 g) for every 2 cups (473 ml) of water to make 2 cups (473 ml) of vegetable broth.

1 yellow onion
1 large carrot
2 ribs celery
1/3 cup (10 g) fresh parsley
1 scallion
2 tsp (10 g) salt
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 175°F (80°C).

Finely dice the yellow onion, and grate the carrot and celery as fine as possible. Chop the parsley and scallion into small slices. Spread the onion, carrot, celery, parsley and scallion on an unlined baking sheet and place in the oven.

After 40 minutes, carefully stir the vegetables around and bake for another 60 minutes. By then, the vegetable should be very dry.

Turn the oven off at this point, but leave the pan in the oven for another 2 hours, or overnight, to allow the vegetables to dry even further. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit out for one day before pulsing it in a food processor until it is pulverized.

Mix the pulverized powder together with the salt, turmeric, ginger and nutmeg. This is your finished vegetable broth powder!

PER 1 TABLESPOON (12 G) SERVING: CALORIES 19 FAT 0.1 G CARBOHYDRATES 4.3 G FIBER 1.2 G PROTEIN 0.6 G

Taco Tuesday: Baja Style Tacos Two Ways (Hearts of Palm & Artichoke)

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Hearts of Palm Tacos

Baja style tacos can be a lot of things. They are usually some kind of light taco filling topped with cabbage, salsa and sour cream. Here are two ways I like to make them using plants: lime grilled hearts of palm and lemon sautéed artichokes.

Both recipes make enough for 3 or 4 tacos.

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Hearts of Palm Tacos

Lime Grilled Hearts of Palm
1 can hearts of palm
1 lime
1 teaspoon sunflower oil (or other high heat oil)
Cabbage, shredde
Scallions, thinly sliced
Tomatoes, chopped
Corn tortillas
Lime cashew cream (1 cup cashew cream + The juice of 1 lime)

Heat a grill pan on the stovetop. Brush with oil. Place the hearts of palm on the grill and squeeze the lime juice over top. Grill until there are grill marks one side and then use tongs to turn them. The hearts of palm will dry out a bit and that makes for a great texture.

Char the tortillas on an open flame. Mix the fresh lime juice into the cashew cream.

Assemble the tacos with the hearts of palm on the bottom. Top with cabbage, scallions, tomatoes and lime cashew cream.

artichoke tacos

Artichoke Tacos

Lemon Sautéed Artichoke Tacos
1 jar of artichokes packed in water, drained
The juice of 1/2 lemon
Cabbage, shredded
Red onions, diced
Tomatoes, halved
Chipotle spiced cashew cream (Cashew cream + chipotle powder)

Heat a sauté pan on the stovetop. Add the artichokes and fresh lemon juice and sauté until heated through.

Char the tortillas on the stovetop. Mix a few shakes of chipotle powder into cashew cream.

Assemble the tacos with the artichokes on the bottom. Top with cabbage, red onions, tomatoes and chipotle cashew cream.

Enjoy!

Broccoli Quiche!

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Mini-Mini Quiches

I have been in search of a vegan quiche for years. I have tried variations using tofu as the base but found them to be too heavy. I have tried using chickpeas and chickpea flour which are both good but also not my favorite. (I stopped making them.) But, here, finally, I have a recipe that works. It is based on the recipe that Selma, the owner and cook of Bloodroot Vegetarian in Connecticut, gave me.

In my post about the new pie crust, I told you how generous Selma is with her recipes. When we were at her restaurant, she suggested I have the quiche for breakfast – I loved it! – and then she let me take a photo of her handwritten recipe. There is also a version in her cookbook.

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Selma’s Recipe

I created my own take on the recipe, of course. I had to adjust it because that’s what I do! I wanted something light and fluffy but creamy as well. I definitely achieved that with a delicious custard using a bit of tofu, cashew yogurt and cashew milk.  of the non-vegans who have tried it have loved it so I know I am onto something! Thank goodness for my new friend Selma. I can’t wait to eat at Bloodroot and see what I come away with!

Now, I’ve made this recipe as mini quiches (18) and as little individual pies (4). I have not tried to make a whole one but I think you would need to at least triple (if not quadruple) the custard recipe I have written. I do think one crust recipe would be fine, but I can’t guarantee you that. I personally like to make food in miniature as I think they are way more fun to serve, and eat, of course, but try it and let me know what you come up with. Also, I happen to love broccoli quiche but lots of different vegetables will work. Just cook them a little bit before mixing them in with custard.

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Mini-Mini Quiches (Tart Pan)

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Mini Quiches (4 3/4″ tarts)

1 coconut oil crust

Roll it out on a floured surface until it is just the right thickness. Use a round cutter to cut little crusts to match the size of your tart pan or individual quiche pans.

Custard (makes about 1 1/4 cups)
3 1/2 oz. tofu (this is why having a kitchen scale is helpful!)
1/4 cup yogurt (I like Forager plain cashew yogurt)
1 tablespoon arrowroot (or potato starch or corn starch)
1 tablespoon nooch
1 tablespoon melted refined coconut oil (or sunflower oil)
1 teaspoon chickpea miso
1/2 cup homemade cashew milk (or store-bought but unsweetened)
1/4 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder (optional!)
Salt, a pinch

Mix all ingredients in the Vitamix or blender until combined and creamy.

Broccoli
1 small head of broccoli

Cut the broccoli off the stem and steam until just soft. Let cool.

Leave aside 24 little broccoli pieces for garnish and mince the rest.

Cut a few pieces for garnish and then Chop it up into small pieces, leaving a few chunkier ones for texture.

Mix the small broccoli pieces with the custard.

Assembly
Press the little crusts into the wells of the tart pans or mini tart shells. Fill each one with the broccoli/custard mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let cool until they are easy to handle. Take out of the tart pan and serve immediately. They are also good warm and even cool. They reheat well too. Enjoy!

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Mini Quiches (4 3/4″ tarts)

Eggplant Parmesan with Macadamia Nut Cheese Sauce

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I harvested 5 more eggplants from my garden, ran into the kitchen and made this! It reminds of the eggplant parms my Dad and I used to make together back in the old days. Our goal was to find a healthier way to make it because we didn’t want to fry the eggplants. Our solution – salt, lightly oil and then bake until tender. Of course, we were not vegan back then but all I did here was swap out the cow cheese for homemade macadamia nut sauce and voila! Brings back good kitchen memories.

I am the only one who eats eggplants in my house so I use one big or two little two eggplants when I make this. Of course, I make my own sauce. And cheese. And breadcrumbs. So I am going to outline the method for you with those measurements but you can adjust for how many eggplants you are using.

I would say the casserole in this photo should serve 2 but really, let’s face it, I ate the whole thing myself. I did have sauce and cheese left over. So, that means for 2 regular bell shaped sized eggplants, you will have just enough cheese sauce. Does that make sense? If not, email me and we can discuss!

You will need:

Small casserole dish
Eggplants
Tomato sauce
Macadamia nut cheese sauce (see below)
Breadcrumbs
Olive oil
Tomatoes, for garnish, optional

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Macadamia Nut Cheese Sauce
1 cup macadamia nuts *
2 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon nooch
1 small clove of garlic
A few dashes of ume plum vinegar
Salt, a pinch
Filtered water, enough to just cover the nuts

*If you don’t have a Vitamix, soak the nuts for 4 hours to overnight. Drain and then add to the blender.

Add all ingredients to the Vitamix, blend until smooth. You can make this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Eggplant Parm

Preheat the oven to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice the eggplants into rounds, about the same size, say about 1/4″. Set onto the parchment and sprinkle the tops with salt. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Dab the tops of the eggplant with a paper towel and soak up the natural water that came out because of the salt.

Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, or until the eggplants start to look soft and the color changes.

To assemble, spread tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Spread out a layer of eggplants. Top with macadamia nut cheese sauce and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs. Continue layering until you get to the top. If you have some nice slicing tomatoes, put them on top, top them with a little extra breadcrumbs, and then drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly and melty looking!

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Buckwheat Pancakes v2

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Ok, so my husband loves pancakes but he doesn’t want to eat white flour first thing in the morning. So, I updated my old buckwheat pancake recipe to make it easier to make in the morning before school. In the old days, I used fresh almond meal but now it is just a simple mix with ingredients I always have on hand and voila. Easy, weekday pancakes. And they are gluten and refined sugar free!

Note, the key here is that the flour to milk ratio is 1: 1.5. It works every time!

This recipe makes 4 to 6 nice pancakes. Enough for one person (in my house!)

1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons soy milk
2 tablespoons maple or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder
A few shakes of cinnamon
A pinch of salt

Whisk all of the ingredients together. Heat a skillet and add some vegan butter. Use a tablespoon measure for silver dollars or a big ice cream scooper if you like your pancakes big and drop the batter onto the heated skillet. When bubbles form on the tops, flip them over. Serve with cinnamon, maple syrup and fruit. Enjoy!

Book Report: The Mindful Vegan + Giveaway!

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*** THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER! THANKS FOR THE GREAT EMAILS ***

Two years ago, I wrote about Lani Muelrath’s book, The Plant-Based Journey which is about supporting people through the transition to a vegan/plant-based lifestyle, with clever strategies, science, inspiring stories and great recipe ideas. Lani has followed it up with a new book called The Mindful Vegan. It’s not a cookbook, although there are a few recipes, but a book that will help you understand how you think about food and how to overcome obstacles that prevent you from living joyfully.

I really like this book because I am a long time meditator and it makes sense to me that meditation and mindfulness techniques can be applied to deal with eating issues. Lani is a certified mindfulness meditation facilitator, an award winning health educator, and longtime vegan advocate. She herself has been practicing mindfulness meditation for 25 years. In this book, she teaches how to practice mindfulness and shows how it can bring freedom and joy to eating and life.

Adopting a vegan lifestyle can be a challenge but with simple techniques and a plan it can be done. If you have been struggling, this book can help you. There are step-by- step instructions, a 30-day plan, personal stories, positivity, humor, and a handful of recipes at the end. If you find yourself in a bad way when it comes to eating, your weight, your health, your food choices or your peace of mind, then this book is for you.

I have a copy to give away! Read this interview I did with Lani and then write to me and tell me why you would benefit from this book. I will pick a winner by Friday and send it out.

LPV: I read your book and I am a long time meditator too. I love how you connect meditation and mindfulness to living a vegan lifestyle. Can you explain how you made the connection?

LM: Years ago I was looking for some way to navigate the unsettling challenges I had around food, eating, and my weight. Burned out on dieting, I figured there must be another way – a way that would create a better relationship with food, eating, and my body and establish more skillful ways of dealing with life’s ups and downs. Mindfulness meditation delivered that to me.  It also moved me from being vegetarian – which I had been for a long time – to vegan. I became increasingly aware of the dissonance of eating any animal products (dairy was the last thing left) and a life of kindness, ease, equanimity, and compassion.

LPV: Can you describe your ‘aha’ moment when mindfulness changed your life and relationship to food?

LM: Day 4 of the 10 day mindfulness meditation silent retreat I was on 25 years ago. This is detailed in the chapter My Watershed Moment in The Mindful Vegan book. As I sat down to eat the midday meal, I became aware in an enlightening new way how much tension I had around the entire food and eating experience.  It became very clear that a shift in this relationship was important for living the life that I envisioned, so from that moment on I gave up my old attitudes toward food and eating in favor of eating mindfully.  And as I discovered, as you practice mindfulness and live more mindfully, you eat more mindfully.

LPV: Throughout the book you back up everything with science. Why has it taken so long to make the connection with food?

LM: I have been doing meditation for 45 years, but not mindfulness practice until 25 years ago. The previous practice I was using didn’t give me the tools for navigating life and living, or the tools of awareness for thoughts and emotions, like mindfulness practice does. As I describe in the book, though I had a book referring to mindfulness, and had a sense it was an answer for me, it took a few years to come across instruction and actually start a practice. From there it happened fast.

LPV: Can anyone follow this plan?

LM: Mindfulness practice and the 30 day plan as I set it up in The Mindful Vegan can be implemented by anyone. As it is non-sectarian, doesn’t require any beliefs, and is based on the scientific processes of mindfulness training, I invite everyone who might be interested in enjoying the outcomes, experience, and results of mindfulness training give it a try and see if it is for them.

###

Challah v2 + Overnight Baked Challah French Toast

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I love making challah but just like with my other bread, I don’t like to knead. But guess what? You don’t need to knead challah bread either! So I experimented with my challah recipe and guess what? It works! You just dump all of the ingredients into a bowl and let it rise all by itself.

I use coconut sugar for color and the flavor is spot on!

If you want that extra shiny crust, you can whisk together equal parts maple sugar and olive oil and brush on top of the challah. That is about 2 tablespoons each for this recipe. If you are a sesame or poppy seed challah kind of person, you will need brush the maple/oil mixture on the challah and then sprinkle the seeds on top before baking.

Makes 2 braided challahs

4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 package active dry yeast 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast)
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup safflower oil

Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Mix well. Add oil and water. Mix together and cover with plastic until it doubles in size.

Take the dough out and cut it in half using a bench scraper. Cut each into thirds. Braid. Let sit for 15 minutes covered.

Preheat the oven to 350. Brush the challahs with cold water (or oil/sugar mixture) and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool. Eat immediately or slice and freeze. Enjoy!

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I had company coming over and I wanted to make a breakfast dish but I had so much cooking to do for lunch and dinner. So I created this overnight baked French Toast!

My challah was small, I got 9 pieces out of it and used a small 8×8 baking dish but you can adjust as necessary. The key is to cover the bread with the mixture. You will see how easy it is!

1/4 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup plant milk *
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Challah bread, about 9 small pieces or 6 big pieces (whatever will fit in an 8×8 dish)
Handful of pecans, chopped
A few pinches of coconut sugar

*Any plant milk will work but I love cashew milk here. If you don’t have a Vitamix, soak your cashews first for a few hours. Blend 1/2 cup cashews with 1 cup of filtered water. Let it rip until well blended. You will have leftover cashew milk.

Arrange the bread slices in the pan.

In a big bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, plant milk and vanilla extract until totally combined.

Pour the batter over the challah. Use tongs to gently turn the challah over and move it around so that both sides are covered.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Take out of the refrigerator and bring up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350.

Sprinkle the challah with pecans and coconut sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until it smells great.

Serve with cinnamon and maple syrup and anything else you want. Enjoy!