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1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (see note for w/w pastry or spelt version)
1⁄4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp almond slivers, toasted or not
3 tbsp non-dairy chocolate chips
1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup (a little generous measure)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1⁄4 cup organic canola oil (a little generous measure)
2 - 3 tbsp non-dairy chocolate bar, broken in small chunks,or chocolate chips (for topping)
3 tbsp almond slivers (toasted or not, for topping)

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a bowl, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the almonds, chocolate chips, sugar, and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the vanilla and almond extracts, then stir in the oil until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir through until just well combined (do not overmix). Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Take 1 or 2 chocolate chunks and a pinch or two of almonds and gently press into each cookie, flattening cookies a little. Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool for no more than 1 minute on the sheet (again, to prevent drying), then remove with a large spatula and transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 8-10 large cookies, or 12 smaller ones.

1) Unbleached all-purpose flour produces a more decadent cookie with classic taste and texture. You can, however, use whole-wheat pastry flour and still have a cookie
that is fantastic (really!).

2) For a wheat-free version, use spelt flour, but add another 3 1/2 - 4 tbsp of flour.

Favorite Milks?

I'm interested in lowering my consumption of soy. Not because I'm buying in to all of the "soy is evil" bullshit, but just because it's become way too much of a staple for me and I don't want any one thing to be so influential in my diet.
So, I figure the easiest way to do this is to try other milks. I'm not exactly rich right now and can't just go out and buy all of the different ones available to do a testing, so I figured I'd ask your help. I'm also moving back to college in a few weeks and have limited storage (well, fridge) space. 
SO, what are your favorite non-soy vegan milks? Brands are helpful, too. And what kinds of things do you use them for? Like, if a recipe calls for soy milk, which other kinds of milk work for certain things? I know rice is thiner than soy milk and almond milk might give it a nutty taste. I'm also interested in the nutritional value of these other milks. Not calories/protein/etc., but on the overall health benefits of them.

Curried Cauliflower with Black Beans


1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 small cauliflower -- cored and separated in florets
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
14 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 can canned black beans -- rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons cilantro -- minced

Heat a large, non-stick skillet. Add the curry, cumin and coriander. Cook, stirring, until just fragrant, 10-15 seconds.

Add cauliflower, pepper flakes and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring as needed until the cauliflower is well coated and nearly all the liquid is evaporated, 3-4 minutes

Add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Cook, covered, stirring as needed until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Gently stir in the beans. Cook until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Per serving: 128 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (8% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 462mg Sodium; 8 g Dietary Fiber

2 points per serving

Dal Makhani


  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 400g can red kidney beans, drained (or 1/3 cup dried, soaked, then boiled)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 tsp each cumin, coriander, fenugreek and chilli
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Begin boiling the brown lentils, until they are soft

2. Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan, fry the onion, garlic, ginger and spices in a little water, and then cover with water. Cook it on high until the mixture thickens

3. Once the lentils are cooked and have absorbed all of the water, add the onion/spice mixture, the tomato and the kidney beans. Cook for around 20 minutes

4. Serve over rice

Servings: 6

Walnut-Flaxseed Hummus

Instead of sesame tahini, this hummus recipe uses walnuts and flax seed, which are rich in important Omega-3 fatty acids.  The result is milder-tasting than traditional hummus, but equally delicious.  An added bonus: People following the Eat to Live nutritional program can eat this without guilt!

  • 1 16-ounce can (or 1 1/2 cups) cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup water or chickpea cooking liquid
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • dash cayenne or chipotle chili powder

Toss the garlic into a running food processor, and process until thoroughly chopped.  Add the walnuts, and process until they are in tiny pieces.  Add the chickpeas, flaxseed, and 1/4 cup of water (or cooking liquid).  Begin blending and add the lemon juice.  Continue blending until the mixture is smooth, adding a little more liquid if necessary.  Add 1/8 tsp. of the cumin, the paprika, and dash cayenne, and blend for another minute, and taste to check the seasonings.  If needed, add more cumin and lemon juice.

Serve as a dip for veggies, a filling for pita bread, or atop a salad.

Serves: 4

Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

8 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
12 ounces light firm silken tofu (or extra-firm)
1/2 cup agave nectar (or sugar)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned, not pumpkin pie mix)
2 teaspoons rum (optional)
3 tablespoons brown sugar or natural sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg (please!)

1 pre-made 8-inch graham cracker crust

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put the first set of ingredients (toffuti through vanilla) in a food processor and puree until completely smooth. It should be silky smooth--not chalky or lumpy.

Remove a cup of this mixture from the processor and spread it in the bottom of the crust.

Add the next set of ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg) to the ingredients remaining in the food processor and process until well blended. Smooth it carefully over the white layer in the crust, heaping it slightly in the middle. Bake until the center is almost set, about 45-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 3 hours. Serve to delighted guests. (Don't tell them it's vegan, and they won't know!)

Serves 8. Per serving (not including the crust): 218 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat; (28% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 179mg Sodium.

Tamarind Seitan Kabobs


1 Recipe Seitan, below
1 Recipe Tamarind Glaze, below
20 Broccoli Florets, or 20 Veggie Pieces, your choice
Wooden Skewers, with pointy ends

Seitan Cubes
1 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
2 tsp Bill’s Best Chik’Nish Seasoning, optional
3/4 Cup Water
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Soy Sauce

Vegetable Stock, for simmering

Tamarind Glaze
1 Tbs Tamarind Concentrate
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
1 Tbs Tamari or Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Molasses
Black Pepper

Begin by making the seitan.  In a medium bowl, combine the gluten with the dry ingredients and mix well.  Add the wet ingredients and knead for a few minutes. With a large knife, divide the seitan in half, and in half again. Continue to cut each piece in half until you have about 30 bite-sized chunks of seitan.

Place a large skillet (one that has sides) on the stove and fill with 1-2″ of vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, then add the seitan cubes. The stock should be about level with the seitan, the same amount of liquid you’d use for braising. GENTLY simmer (no boiling allowed!) for 8-10 minutes. When the seitan chunks are done, they should be larger, paler, and springier than when you started. Remove the seitan chunks with a slotted spoon. Set them aside until they’re cool enough to handle.

Save the braising broth to blanch any vegetables you’ll be using on your kabobs.

Blanch any veggies in the leftover broth and drain and set aside.  Stir together your tamarind glaze and set aside.

Making Kabobs

Begin assembling your kabobs.  Be careful with smaller pieces of veggies (especially broccoli), as they’ll split and fall off the skewer if they’re not large enough.  I like to alternate veggie/seitan/veggie, but it’s your kabob, so make it the way you want!

At this point, you can refrigerate the assembled kabobs for later. Wrap them up and they’ll be ready for grilling whenever you (or your party guests!) are ready for them.  Everything can be made a day ahead, even the sauce, so all you’ll need is a few minutes to grill before serving.

Speaking of the grill, here are a few tips:

  • If you’re grilling outside, soak the skewers in water for a few hours before assembling the kabobs. This will prevent them from, um, catching on fire.
  •  Larger pieces of veggies will stay on the skewers more securely
  •  Like all sweet glazes, be careful or they’ll burn!  Add the glaze towards the end of grilling, not right away.
  • This will work just as well in a grill pan inside.
  • Once you’re ready to grill, unwrap the kabobs and throw them on. Everything is already cooked, so you don’t need to worry about anything other than 1) heating the kabob up 2) getting some nice grill marks and 3) caramelizing the sauce a little.  I failed at getting grill marks, but the kabobs were still pretty.

    Grill for a minute or two on each side, then brush the sauce over the kabobs. When the sauce starts to sizzle and bubble, your kabobs are done. Serve immediately with lots of napkins.

    Tamarind Seitan Kabobs

    Quinoa-Stuffed Avocados

    This recipe is from the book, Vegan Fire and Spice.

    3/4 cup quinoa
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 small red onion, minced
    1 ripe tomato, chopped
    1 tablespoon minced parsley
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    2 ripe Haas avocados
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    4 large butter lettuce leaves

    Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.
    Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes to soften. Transfer the onion to a bowl. Add the reserved quinoa, tomato, parsley, salt, and pepper, and mix until well combined.
    Carefully halve the avocados lengthwise and remove the pits. Running a small knife around the between the avocado skin and flesh, remove the pulp, keeping the shells intact.
    Cut the avocado pulp into 1/2-inch dice and add to the quinoa mixture. Add the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
    Spoon the mixture into the reserved avocado shells and serve immediately on salad plates lined with lettuce leaves.

    Fresh Strawberry Pie

    1 1/2 cups almonds or walnuts
    1/2 cup pitted dates
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5 cups sliced strawberries
    6 pitted dates, soaked 10 minutes in warm water and drained
    2 tablespoons agave nectar
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

    1. In a food processor, coarsely grind the almonds or walnuts. Add the 1/2 cup dates and the vanilla and process until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into a pie plate.
    2. Arrange 4 cups of the sliced strawberries on top of the crust in a circular pattern and set aside. 3. In a food processor or blender combine the remaining 1 cup of strawberries with the 6 dates, agave, and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Pour the sauce mixture over strawberries and refrigerate the pie for 1 hour before serving.
    Makes 6 servings