Freekeh Friday: Cinnamon Raisin Bread + Cookbook Winner

I promised you this recipe weeks ago. I was expecting to do the drawing for the Oh She Glows cookbook days ago. As it happens, other things got in the way. All good things (kittens, for one! errr.. two!) and I got delayed.

Chloe and Zoey

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (with Freekeh)

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Mildly sweet, this moist and delicious loaf is wonderful as is. Or enjoy it the way we  often do: toasted beside a cup of tea. The freekeh brings a lot to the texture party, but doesn’t make the bread heavy. It also boosts the protein and fiber, too.

1/4 cup boiling water

3/4 cup raisins

1 cup lukewarm water

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups white wheat flour (or substitute some all-purpose flour, if desired), plus some extra

2 tablespoons ground flax seed

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup prepared whole or cracked freekeh

Nonstick cooking spray

Combine the boiling water and the raisins in a small bowl. Set aside to soften the raisins.

Combine the lukewarm water, maple syrup, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let sit for about 5 minutes,  or until the yeast bubbles. Add the oil and  vanilla and stir together. Add the flour, flax seed, salt, cinnamon, and freekeh. Knead with the dough hook for 5 to 6 minutes, until well combined. Add a tablespoon or two of flour at a time, if needed, as the freekeh releases moisture. This should be a wet dough,but will hold together well. Strain the raisins and add them to the dough. Knead for 1 to 2 minutes, until integrated.

Lightly flour a medium-size bowl with flour. Gather the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Turn over, so the floured side is up, and swirl the dough in the bowl, using the bowl to further round it. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan lightly with cooking spray. Flatten the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a loaf. Transfer it to the pan, cover with a tea towel,  and let rise again until nearly doubled, about 35 to 45 minutes. While rising, preheat the oven to 375 °F. Bake the bread for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and the bottom sound hollow when tapped with your knuckles. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 loaf

Variation: For a more savory sandwich-style loaf, omit the raisins and cinnamon. This variation makes incredible vegan grilled cheese sandwiches!

Number 2 on my checklist: the winner of the Oh She Glows Cookbook! Congratulations to  #14 Natasha L!  Please send me your mailing address and the publisher will get a copy in the mail to you. More cookbook contests coming your way in May!

And..don’t forget to preorder Vegan Finger Foods! If you preorder and send you receipt to, you will receive a signed bookplate to stick in your book. As a bonus, every 25th order will receive this amazing vegan bag!

Happy husband not included!


Be sure to check back for more contests, recipes, and all kinds of veganosity! Oh, one more thing! I’ve got some upcoming events (check the Events page for details!), and I’d love to meet you!

  • May 4, Park + Vine, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • May 21, Malaprops Bookstore, Asheville, North Carolina
  • June 2, Townhall/ Book Release Party! Cleveland, Ohio
  • June 7, Cleveland VegFest, Cleveland, Ohio (at the Mac’s Backs table)
  • June 21, Hal and Al’s, Columbus, Ohio

More to come- and hope to see you soon!

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Review and Contest

Angela Liddon’s  beautiful blog is packed with tons of recipes. The woman must be a cooking and writing machine. Given all the awards her blog has received, I’ll admit to being a little late to the party. So when I was contacted about reviewing her new cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook, I was happy to take a look.



At first glance, the cover is very appealing. (Click on the picture for a larger view- it kept distorting on me when I tried to make it bigger. Mad computer skills, here.) It’s carrots after all! I have to mention the fonts on the cover and throughout the book, even though it’s a little geeky. They are very clear and easy to read, looking both direct and approachable at the same time. (That’s not as easy it sounds, by the way.) The book opens with an introduction that I’m guessing her faithful readers can just skip over, and then goes into pantry planning and kitchen equipment. Rest assured that you probably have most of Angela’s suggested tools for cooking. The only one I’m missing is a pastry roller. If you’re a baker, you probably have that, too.

Enough set-up, what really matters is the food, right? The book contains 100 recipes. It’s a large, weighty book, and I would have guessed it had more. The chapters break down like this:

  • Breakfast – can’t wait to try the Maple-Cinnamon Apple and Pear Baked Oatmeal
  • Smoothies, Juice and Tea – never been a big fan of smoothies, but maybe the Classic Green Monster will change my ways
  • Appetizers- if a cookbook can do the basics well, like Classic Hummus, it’s a good sign (trying this soon)
  • Salads -Long Weekend Grilled Salad (have to try this one, thanks to Grills Gone Vegan)
  • Soups – check below for my review of one of the soups
  • Entrees – and the same for an entree
  • Sides – and yes, once again….
  • Power Snacks – always a fan of roasted chickpeas, will have to give these a go
  • Desserts – Double-Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake is sure to be in my future
  • Homemade Staples -full of milks, flours, dressings, sauces, and more

I like Angela’s cooking style. While not a no-oil book (thankfully), it is a low-oil cookbook, which works well for how I like to cook. All-purpose flour is included, but the emphasis is on whole grain flours. Most of the sweeteners are more natural, but in a few cases, good old cane sugar is the one of choice. Overall, this feels like a common-sense approach to healthful eating- and most importantly, we enjoyed the recipes.

First up, we tried the Lightened-Up Crispy Baked Fries.  A simple recipe, these delivered. I did have to bake them longer than the recipe suggested, but my fries could have been larger as well. If the most basic recipes are a success, I always think the more complicated dishes will be, too.

From there, we tried the On the Mend Spiced Red Lentil-Kale Soup. I knew we’d like this since it’s got some of our favorite spices, such as cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and more. I had to add carrots because it’s a house rule that soups almost always require carrots. The broth is flavorful and the soup is quick and flavorful.

Of course we had to try the Luxurious Tomat0-Basil Pasta. We practically live on tomatoes and basil in the summer. Creamy cashew sauce is tossed with onions, garlic, spinach, basil, and seasonings. Since we are months away from good tomatoes, we opted for the option of using canned diced tomatoes here. I did add a bit of vinegar to the cashew sauce, but otherwise, made the recipe as directed. It was a winner!

Now for the contest! All you have to do is comment on this post (any comment will do!) for your chance to win a copy, courtesy of the publisher. US shipping only, please (and sorry!). The drawing will be held on Monday, April 21st. Enter now! Be sure to check out Amey’s blog, Vegan Eats and Treats, for another chance to win!


South of the Border Freekeh Salad

Have I convinced you to try to freekeh yet? At this point, I’m thinking the only reasons to not try it would be 1. you’re gluten-free, or 2. you can’t find it. I can’t help with the gluten-free thing, but… seriously, bite the bullet and just order it by mail if you have to. You’ll be so glad you did!


South of the Border Freekeh Salad


South of the Border Freekeh Salad

This salad couldn’t be easier. It’s perfect for quick lunches, hot weather, picnics– you name it! It’s healthy, too! Packed with freekeh (my latest favorite grain), black beans (always wonderful), lots of vegetables for taste and crunch, and even a zesty, fat-free dressing, you just know you can’t go wrong. If making this ahead of time, be sure to wait to add the avocado until you are ready to serve the salad, so it remains green.

2 cups cooked freekeh, cooled

2 cups cooked black beans

1 1/2 cups chopped cabbage

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup minced scallion

1 tablespoon minced poblano, or to taste

1/2 cup favorite red salsa (we like medium here)

1 jarred red bell pepper, rinsed

1 chipotle in adobo, optional

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, optional

Salt and pepper

1 avocado,  pitted, peeled,  and chopped

Combine the freekeh and vegetables in a large bowl. Combine the salsa, red bell pepper, and chipotle (if using) in a small blender. Process until smooth. Taste and add the red wine vinegar, if more tang is needed. It all depends on the salsa. Process again. Pour over the salad and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Gently stir in the avocado.

Yield: 4 servings


Vegan Finger Foods- Preorder Now!

I am beyond excited to tell you that our latest book is about to hit the market. When hearing our theme of finger foods, so many people made comments like “That’s how I really like to eat!”, “I never know what to serve when I have company!”, “Grazing is the best!”, and “Now I know what to take to mixed parties!”. These are all paraphrases, of course, but the meaning is there. This is truly a book whose  time has come and Celine and I are confident it will get a warm welcome. Whether you are the host(ess), a party-goer, or simply prefer lighter meals, you need this book! We’ve got lots of make-ahead dishes to make your life easy, and also a bunch of dishes that can be potentially gluten-free. We’ve even included menus, so you can plan a party in minutes. This book is the key to easy entertaining, as well as incredibly satisfying small plates for all tastes and any time.

Coming soon!

The Look Inside feature is up! You can even try one of my favorite recipes in the book: Brewpub Cauliflower Dip with Chips! Enough talk! Let me share some pictures, then tell you what could be yours if you pre-order today!

spinachswirlsSpinach Swirls with Quickie Marinara

zuchinicupsHarissa Carrot Zucchini Cups

seitanroundsKimchi Stuffed Sausages

(Begin TV voice here.) And so much more!  Now for our special offer! If you are one of the first 100 people to pre-order Vegan Finger Foods  starting today,  April 7th, *and* email your receipt to,  you will receive a signed bookplate* to put in the front of your book. Or on a notebook. Or on your car. Or really, wherever you want. In addition, every 25th order (up to #250 – so 10 people) will receive a super cool vegan tote bag (photo posted as soon as we get our hands on them!).  Books can be purchased anywhere, just so you send us the proof of purchase.  We’re sorry, but this promotion is limited to US and Canada only, and is valid only while supplies last. (End TV voice).

Vegan Finger Foods is the key to easy entertaining, as well as incredibly satisfying small plates for all tastes and any time. It’s also been lauded as a VegNews Editor’s Choice for one of the most anticipated books of the year. We’ll have more reviews coming, complete with a blog tour. You know what that means: honest reviews, sample recipes, and maybe even chances to win a copy of the book. But to get a book plate and maybe even a bag, order now!

*If you need help deciphering our writing, let us know. We’ll make something up.



Freekeh Fritter Kale Salad with Tahini Harissa Dressing

Before I head right into Freekeh Friday, I’ve got an important announcement. Check this blog on Monday, April 7th. You’ll be glad you did. So come back!

Now… back to freekeh…

I know I’m going out on a limb, but I have a feeling some of you will want to make this recipe just because of the name. I’m looking at you, fritter fans! And you, kings and queens of  kale! And of course, those who are tempted by tahini!  And even those who have to have harissa as much as we do. Ok, alliteration overload aside, this is one seriously good salad. Don’t be daunted by the lengthy recipe list, this really comes together quickly.



Freekeh Fritter Kale Salad with Tahini Harissa Dressing

Warm, whole grain  fritters top a perfectly dressed salad. How perfect? Well, when you make this zesty dressing to taste, you just know it can’t be beat. Roasted asparagus is always a welcome addition to any meal.. here we  pair it with the optional (slightly sweet) roasted parsnip and oh-so-green baby kale. By the way, these fritters are fantastic without the salad, too. Just side with a harissa and lemon juice  spiked mayo for an incredible snack.

For the Salad:

6 to 8 stalks asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices, optional

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper

5 ounces baby kale

few slices red onion, halved or quartered

handful cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 bell pepper, chopped (any color)

For the Dressing:

3 tablespoons vegetable broth

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon light miso (I love South River Sweet Brown Rice Miso)

2 teaspoons harissa, or to taste

1 clove garlic, peeled

Salt and pepper

For the Fritters:

3/4 cup plain vegan milk

1/2 cup fresh corn (or frozen, thawed)

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 cup cooked freekeh

1/3  cup minced red onion

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Salt and pepper

High heat neutral-flavored oil, for cooking

To prepare the salad, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In separate bowls, toss the asparagus and parsnip with 1 teaspoon oil each and season with salt and pepper. Put on opposite ends of a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the asparagus for 10 minutes, or until tender, and transfer to a plate to cool. Bake the parsnips for 15 minutes, or until tender, and transfer to the same plate. When cool, toss the asparagus, parsnip, and all remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl.

To prepare the dressing, combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a small blender. Process until smooth. Season to taste with additional harissa and salt and pepper.

To prepare the fritters, combine the milk, corn, and garlic in small blender. Process until smooth. Pour into a medium-size bowl. Add the freekeh, onion, and coriander and stir to combine. Add 1 cup flour to form a thick batter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put the remaining flour on a plate. Scoop a rounded tablespoon of fritter batter and drop it in the flour on the plate. Pat it into a small disk, no more than 1/2 inch thick and coat with flour. Repeat until all fritters are formed. Heat a thin layer of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the fritters, in batches, for 3 to 5 minutes, until browned. Turn over to cook the second side. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. You should have 14 to 18 fritters.

To serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Divide the salad evenly among 4 plates. Top with one-quarter of the fritters and serve.

Yield: 4 servings