Friday, April 20, 2012

My love affair with peanut butter continues ♡´ ¸.✿´´¯`•.¸¸. ི♥ྀ

 Vegan Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies

Makes about two dozen cookies.  In () are the amounts to use if you wish to cut the sugar/oil content of your cookies (I do!).
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup margarine  (2 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp margarine)
1/2 cup sugar  (1/4 cup sugar)*
1/2 cup brown sugar  (1/4 cup brown sugar)
1/4 cup almond milk*
1/2 cup powdered sugar (2 tbsp powdered sugar)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)

* animal bones can be used in the bleaching process for white sugar so make sure it says vegan on the label.
* I like to use almond milk instead of soy to cut down on the amount of soy in my diet.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together the margarine (coconut oil), sugar, and brown sugar. When the sugar has been well combined and the margarine (coconut oil) is evenly mixed, add the almond milk and mix.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
  • In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter and powdered sugar using a spoon.  If desired, add chocolate chips and mix.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a small amount of the chocolate dough and roll into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Flatten the ball onto the palm of your hand using your thumb.  It doesn't have to be perfectly flat.  Take a pinch of the peanut butter mixture and place it in the center of your chocolate dough. Fold the outer edges of your cookie dough up to the center and seal the edges.  If your cookie looks funny, just give it a gentle shaping before putting it on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes, remove from oven and let cool on a cookie rack before enjoying.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pineapple Curry

Weather forecast for today... rain, rain, rainand chance of rain ☂!
If I'm stuck inside then I want something full of color to fill my kitchen! Curry!!!
The local store (and by local, I mean the biggest store close to the island) here is called Central Market and it is heaven.  

Really, I could live there.  Always rows and rows of the freshest most beautiful flowers and plants line the outside and entry to this marvelous place.  Central Market is  a blissful combination of all grocery stores combined.

Here I can buy my eco friendly, cruelty free bath products, I can buy fresh sushi, pick up sacks of dirt for the garden, kombucha, and beer.  They have everything and it's one big warehouse of all things I might need.  For many reasons, I love it here.  Since Washington state has heaps of local farmers and the Kitsap region in particular has a good amount of organic farms, buying what I need in terms of local organic produce isway easier here than it was in LA.  However, one thing that is not local (cry) is tropical fruit.  I love pineapple and wish that the aforementioned pineapples would reconsider their homes in Hawaii/Costa Rica and relocate to the gardens of the Pacific Northwest.  But no, this isn't going to happen.   So I head over to the well stocked produce area with the biggest selection of organic produce I have ever seen (♥) and buy my imported (yet still organic) pineapple and hurry home to make:

Pineapple Curry

Curry is simple, full of exotic flavor, and really really forgiving in terms of ingredients and expertise.  My usual go to curry is yellow curry with potato, carrot, peas, and tofu but today, I've made pineapple curry :)

An excellent curry powder
Cinnamon, cloves and fennel are a must for a nice sweet curry spice blend.
1 cinnamon stick
10 cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds2 tbsp turmeric powder1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or if you are sensitive to spice cut this in half)
1/2 tsp ginger powder

1. In a frying pan, toss the whole seeds in, turn to medium heat and toss gently every few minutes.  Break up the cinnamon stick and add this as well.   This will start to smell amazing and fragrant in no time at all. When you can smell all the spices, you know they've developed. 2. Transfer the spices to a grinder.  A clean and very dry (if wet at all the spice will stick) coffee grinder will do the trick.  Grind the spices very well into a powder.
3. Place freshly ground spices into a bowl and mix with the other spices.  This mixture will keep for several weeks in a dark and cool pantry or cupboard.

* if you don't have all of these spices on hand or if you want to buy them all then a premade curry mixture works just fine.  I just think it's fun to blend spices ;)

The Basics: coconut milk, veggies, rice - yes, it's that simple.

1/2 cup coconut milk 
1/4 cup water or veggie stock if you have it on hand
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion (I like mine to be fairly big pieces)
1 medium russet potato cut in cubes
2 tomato cut into wedges
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 red bell pepper chopped roughly (remove seeds)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp curry powder

1.  In a skillet bring a small amount of coconut oil to medium heat (you can use olive oil but coconut is best not only for flavor but coconut oil handles high heat beautifully).  Add potato and garlic.  Let cook for two minutes and remember to stir occasionally so that the potato does not stick.  Add 1 tbsp of water and cover.  The water will help the potato to steam and cook faster without browning.  Reduce heat to medium low and leave covered for 2 to 3 minutes adding water as needed.
2.  Add coconut milk, curry powder and vegetables (except the cilantro).  Bring to medium high heat and stir well.  If you like it HOT then add a dash of cayenne powder to the mix.  When the coconut milk begins to bubble lightly, reduce to low heat and cover.  Add the water as desired for the thickness of curry you prefer.  I add all the water.

3.  When you can slip a fork easily into the pieces of potato, then your curry is done.  Mix in the chopped cilantro and toss.  Serve with brown rice and enjoy!

                                                     yum yum  ✌

Monday, April 9, 2012


Seattle's Vegfest 2012

With so many recent news headlines eschewing the consumption of meat, it’s no wonder the majority of visitors to Vegfest 2012 were new to the world of vegetarianism.  Seattle’s popular Vegfest was held over the weekend at Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall and was presented by the Vegetarians of Washington.  Offering up free food sampling from over 500 vendors, the delightful smells wafting from Vegfest’s sample room surely enticed omnivores and vegetarians alike.

Vegetarian and vegan food vendors were present and loaded with samples galore of mouthwatering vegetarian fare.  The Canadian cheese substitute company (which I loooove), Daiya was a popular booth with samples of their much anticipated cheese wedges in havarti, cheddar, and jack flavors.  Vegfest visitors could sample a wide range of different tofu, spreads, crackers, chips, smoothies, teas, juice, coconut waters, and of course, plenty of vegan desserts.  Seattle’s famous Mighty-O’s doughnuts was handing out samples of their exquisite vegan doughnuts and local un-baker from Greenlake, Jodee’s Desserts was handing out samples of their fresh blended vegan cheesecake in double chocolate, key lime, and mocha flavors.  

For anyone looking to walk away well equipped with the knowledge to eat more vegetarian fare in their home, Vegfest had a large selection of guest speakers including the well known Neal Barnard, M.D. (The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook) and Ellen Jaffe Jones (Eat Vegan on $4 a Day).  The local Seattle based PCC Market was not only a key sponsor for the event but had organized a series of cooking demo’s for Vegfest guests.  As if tasty treats and health talks weren’t enough to entice the everyday omnivore to eat more vegetables, visitors could take one of the many health checks available.  You could check your cholesterol level, blood pressure, or antioxidant levels and chat with plenty of health and nutrition experts about your results.  One look at my blood pressure and cholesterol and everyone knew I was vegan!

This was my first time at VegFest and it was a great event.  Since it was free to the public, it really proved to be a great tool for educating non-veggies about the foods, health benefits, and ease of a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.  My only critique would be that the sample floor had way to much tofu.  Tofu is good for you but only if it organic, non gmo, and enjoyed in small quantities.  However, there was tofu spread, tofu cheese, and about a million different brands of tofu.  There were no tempeh, seitan, or even tvp (textured vegetable protein) booths.  Also, there were many sweets available to taste alongside the tofu (most of them made with tofu) and I felt it didn't give a good example of a balanced vegan diet.  One man came up to me and said, "I'm starting to get the feeling that vegetarians all live off of dessert!"  I can see how anyone would think this when walking through a room full of cakes, ice cream, cookies, doughnuts, and chocolate.  One main complaint offered up by omnivores when discussing a vegan diet is the concern that all earthly pleasures will have to be given up and leave the near monk like individual in a life of perpetual want and desire.  Well, after walking through this sugar laden pleasure taste cloud of a sample room, no one could think twice about the sinful indulgences offered up for a vegan palate.

Hi guys!  Wow, it's been a long time since my last blog and I apologize.  After a car accident last February and an uprooting move from California to Washington, I've finally settled long enough to blog some more.  I left Los Angeles in search of greener (literally) pastures and have landed (for the time being) on Bainbridge Island just next door to Seattle.  Now that the Pacific Northwest is my new home, I'll find out the best of the best and all things Vegan in Seattle. Thank you for joining me on this vegan venture and I hope you enjoy the new posts!