Raisin Cinnamon Round (Hold Your Hats! A Recipe!)

I’ve been slacking a bit in posting recipes lately. When we’re getting close to wrapping up a book, my focus tends to shift and my blog gets put on the back burner. But to make up for it, here is a new recipe. This delectable bread makes a large loaf, which can be topped with a glaze, or not. Your choice. Give it a try!

Raisin Cinnamon Round

Made mostly from sprouted whole wheat flour, this loaf is wonderfully tender and light. A slice is the perfect partner to a cup of tea, or try it toasted for a breakfast treat. Sprouted wheat flour is becoming more widely available and is worth seeking out. The nutritional profile boasts more protein and vitamins than whole wheat flour, as well as a lower glycemic index and easier digestibility.

To make a drizzle for the round, whisk together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 2 to 3 teaspoons soy milk. Drizzle over the cooled loaf.

Raisin Cinnamon Round

1 1/2 cups soy milk, divided

4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup ground flax seed

3 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups sprouted wheat flour

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup raisins

Gently warm 1/4 cup of soy milk to lukewarm. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 1 tablespoon maple syrup and the yeast. Stir and let sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the remaining 1 1/4 cup soy milk, remaining 3 tablespoons maple syrup, flax seed, oil, and vanilla.

Add the flours and salt to the mixing bowl, along with the liquid ingredients. Knead on low for 8 minutes. The dough will be wet and should clear the sides of the bowl, but probably not the bottom of the bowl. Add additional flour a tablespoon at a time if needed. The dough will be soft. Add the raisins and knead on low until they are incorporated. Sprinkle a large bowl with flour. Gather the dough into a ball and transfer to the bowl. Sprinkle the top with a little flour. With a swirling motion, “round” the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Place a large, deep, covered casserole pot in the oven. (I use an 8-inch Le Creuset style pot.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. When the dough has risen, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Sprinkle the pot with a small amount of flour. Round the dough again (using the bowl) and transfer (smooth-side up) to the pot. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, and continue to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with your knuckles. Let cool on a rack.

Yield: 1 large round

Grills Gone Vegan Winner! Thanksgiving Feast!

Congratulations go to Sandy Zimmer. Random.org shined it’s light on you! Please send me your mailing address, and I’ll get Grills Gone Vegan  in the mail to you. With so few entrants, I am sorry I couldn’t send a copy to all of you! Remember, you can use the book year-round, so maybe pick up a copy to get that summer feel when you are digging out of the next snowstorm.

With the year winding down, I thought I’d post one of our two Thanksgiving feasts. This one happened to be at Deagan’s and was wonderfully traditional.


Thanksgiving Feast at Deagan’s


Green Bean Casserole (side dish)


Spice Cake (topped with apples)

Please, somebody, tell me where this year has gone! Wishing everyone the best in 2014!


Cookbook Contests and Almost Instant Apple Pies!

Woohoo! Probably like many of you, this week got away from me. But it’s time to announce the winner of One Dish Vegan. Congratulations to #17, Rachel! Her fave one dish meal is chili. This book is going to expand your one dish horizons in wonderful ways! I will try to contact you for your address,but if you see this first, please email it to me.

As promised, one contest is leading right into another here for the next few weeks. This time, you get a chance to win Grills Gone Vegan!. I’ll also share one of my favorite recipes from the book: Almost Instant Apple Pies. These take only minutes and hit that homey feeling. To enter,  just tell me one of the things you like to grill in the comments below. US and Canada shipping only, please.

Let me remind you that this book is the key to getting smoky grilled flavors both in your kitchen and on the grill! Every recipe has indoor options. Even if the snow is falling where you are,  you won’t miss out on  favorite foods. Bring a bit of summer into your gray days!

I’ve got a huge Thanksgiving post coming soon, so check back. And don’t forget there will be more contests, too!


Almost Instant Apple Pie (photo by CelineSteen)

 Almost Instant Apple Pies (photo courtesy of Celine Steen)

Almost Instant Apple Pies with Dark Caramel Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Incredibly easy but so delicious, these miniature pies with a tortilla crust satisfy dessert cravings any time of day or night. Although lemon juice may be an unusual ingredient for caramel sauce, the acidity discourages sugar crystals from forming.  For instant satisfaction, just make the caramel sauce and dip apple slices into it.

Caramel Sauce
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons plain soy milk
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch salt

Apple Pies
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Four (8-inch) tortillas

To make the sauce, melt the margarine in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, soy milk,lemon juice, and salt and whisk to combine. Increase the heat to medium-low. Heat, whisking constantly, until just barely bubbling, be careful not to overheat the sauce as it can burn easily. Decrease the heat to low if necessary. Cook, whisking almost constantly, until the sauce is smooth and not at all grainy, 4 to 5 minutes. The sauce can be used immediately or may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  If chilled, gently warm the sauce over low heat before serving.

To make and serve the pies, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Fit an electric grill with the smooth plates and preheat to medium heat.

Put the apple, lemon juice and cinnamon in a small bowl and gently toss to combine. Spread the mixture evenly over two of the tortillas. Cover with the remaining tortillas.

Put on of the pies on the grill and close the lid. Cook until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in the oven while cooking the second pie.

Cut each pie into quarters. Put 2 quarters on each plate and drizzle with the warm caramel sauce.

Per serving: 268 calories, 3 g protein, 9 g fat (4 g sat), 46 carbs, 432 mg sodium, 35 mg calcium, 2 g fiber

One Dish Vegan Book Review, Recipe, and Contest!

Mac and Thai

Mac and Thai (photo credit Robin Robertson)

When I was invited to be part of the blog tour for One Dish Vegan, I quickly said yes. Robin Robertson was one of the first authors I tested for, and it is her  husband’s company that gave life to American Vegan Kitchen, my first cookbook which led to others:  Grills Gone Vegan, Whole Grain Vegan Baking, and Vegan Sandwiches Save the  Day (the latter two with Celine Steen.) I am very grateful to both Robin and Jon for introducing me to the vegan cookbook writing world.

Robin is a prolific and influential cookbook author. I can’t begin to imagine all the people who have either dabbled in vegan cooking, or committed to it after first getting their feet wet in her books. I can only reach a fraction of the people Robin has through her cooking. Robin’s latest release, One Dish Vegan, is full of easy recipes that are perfect for weeknight cooking, which is sure to draw even more people to the V side.

The book opens with Robin’s explanation that “one-dish” doesn’t necessarily mean “one-pot”, but that when this dish is placed on the table, it is in one serving vessel. This is followed by some very helpful information about stocking a vegan kitchen, as well as cooking times for beans and grains. Then we get to the most important part of the book: the recipes. The chapters include soups, salads, stews, chili, stir-fries, pasta dishes, and baked dishes. The recipes really are easy, have short ingredient lists, and are quick to get on the table. We had the Mac and Thai and really enjoyed it. Robin and the publisher are allowing me to share the recipe with you. I subbed broccoli for the asparagus, and used the tofu option. It was hearty and an interesting take on a traditional dish. Photo credit goes to Robin herself, as our days have been rather dark for photography and I didn’t do the dish justice.

In addition to sharing the recipe, Harvard Common Press is offering a copy to one lucky blog reader! Tell me one of your favorite one dish meals in the comments, or just say “hi”! The winner will be drawn randomly next week. US and Canada shipping are ok! If you already have a collection of Robin’s books, take note that this one is massive revision of One Pot Vegetarian. Many of the revised recipes are lower in fat, contain more whole grains, and offer gluten and soy-free options. There are also many new recipes, too! I look forward to exploring lots of the International recipes for which Robin is known.

Enter today! Good luck!

Check back the next 4 weeks for 4 more cookbook contests!

Mac and  Thai

Gluten-free Option | Serves 4

Leftover pad Thai was the inspiration for this macaroni pie with Thai flavors. It actually tastes like pad Thai, so I almost called it Pad Thai Pie. Instead of the white beans, you may substitute 1 1/2 cups crumbled firm tofu, if you like. Use rice noodles to make this gluten-free.


·        1 1/2 cups cooked white beans or 1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained

·        1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk or other nondairy milk

·        2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

·        5 scallions, minced

·        2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

·        1 teaspoon rice vinegar

·        1 teaspoon peanut butter

·        1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

·        Salt

·        3 cups cooked linguine or soaked rice noodles (6 to 8 ounces before cooking)

·        1 tablespoon vegetable oil or 1/4 cup water

·        1/2 cup chopped red onion

·        6 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into

·        1-inch pieces

·        2 garlic cloves, minced

·        1 small carrot, peeled and shredded

·        1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

·        1 cup thinly sliced white mushrooms

·        2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or vegan oyster sauce

·        1 tablespoon natural sugar

·        1 teaspoon Asian chili paste (optional)

·        2 tablespoons water

·        6 grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

·        3 tablespoons crushed unsalted roasted peanuts

·        2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or Thai basil

·        Lime wedges, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9- to 10-inch pie plate or quiche pan.

2. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the beans, almond milk, nutritional yeast, half of the scallions, the lime juice, vinegar, peanut butter, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the noodles and mix well to combine. Set aside.

3. Heat the oil or water in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes to soften. Add the asparagus, garlic, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, and remaining scallions. Stir in the tamari, sugar, chili paste (if using), and water. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the noodle mixture and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

4. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Arrange the tomato halves on top of the mixture around the outer edge of the pan in an evenly spaced circle, pressing the tomatoes lightly into the mixture. Cover loosely and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly. Let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle the top with the peanuts and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe © 2013 by Robin Robertson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press



Winner of Pies and Tarts with Heart!

Congratulations, #10: Cassi Conyers! I will try to contact you privately, but if you don’t hear from me, please send me your mailing address. I know you will love Pies and Tarts with Heart, which is packed with both savory and sweet recipes.

Because Celine and I are starting work on a new book, I don’t have a recipe to share with you today. Truth be told: I’m quilting a lot, too. But here is a photo of one my light (and easy!) dishes.

Edamame Salad

I promise that this won’t turn into a quilt blog, but I can’t resist sharing a couple of my recent creations. Apparently, my taste in quilting parallels my taste in cooking in some ways: I like bold flavors and bold colors.

Starry Quilt with Sophie!

Tipped Blocks

Be sure to check back soon for another cookbook contest and maybe even a recipe post! Congratulations again, Cassi!