Can’t Believe It’s Vegan Pancakes

tumblr_lw1r7fmILt1qdjzrk

To a non-vegan, the highest complement they can think of to give your culinary efforts is “I can’t believe it’s vegan”.  Kind of subtly insulting, but they usually mean well. These are great for introducing a newbie to vegan cooking or just as a delicious, melt-in-your mouth standby for Saturday mornings.  This recipe serves 2-4, depending on what you consider a serving.  For my weekend indulgence, serving sizes get a little bit more, um, “American sized”.

Ingredients:

1.5 c. unbleached flour (or whole wheat if you’re feeling extra virtuous this morning)

3.5 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 T. sugar (only if using unsweetened almond milk)

1.25 c. vanilla or plain almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)

1 t. vanilla extract

Vegan chocolates chips (or other add ins)

2 T. Earth Balance margarine, melted

+ Earth Balance to grease skillet

Recipe:

Sift (or stir well) together dry ingredients.  Stir in vanilla, non-dairy milk, and melted non-dairy butter.  Mix until smooth.  Heat skillet (cast iron is best) over medium heat.  Grease. Add 1/4 c. batter per pancake to skillet.  Top with chocolate chips, blueberries, whatever.  Flip.  Remove when fluffy and golden on each side.  Serve with warm maple syrup.

My fiance may not be my soul mate yet.. but he will be.

A few weeks ago, with only four months to go until my own wedding, I came across My husband is not my soul mate over on The Art in Life.  My fiance may not be my soul mate yet.. but he will be.

Sand hearts

The traditional concept of soul mates has always seemed wrong to me.  I do not subscribe to the idea that there is one perfect person out there for me that will somehow ‘complete me’. I think so many marriages struggle because one or both parties expect their partner to fill a gap in their lives that no mere human can ever fill.

I do not believe that my wonderful fiance is the only man out of the 3.5 billion or so on this earth that I could have fallen in love with.  We are not where we are today because we were soul mates — timing, luck, mutual attraction, and a commitment to growing our relationship let us fall in love and build a life together.  As our marriage grows and prospers, it will not be because we are soul mates and all our problems are therefore irrelevant.  True love takes a lifetime of hard work.

If you glue two thin pieces of paper together and pull them apart right away, both papers are still intact. 

If the glue is partially dried, the papers will have some damage when pulled apart but are still separate papers. 

Once the glue is dried, however, you can never again have two separate papers. 

A lifetime of love gluing us together is what will make us soul mates.  Our glue has already started to dry, and even now, separating us would damage us both.  A lifetime of shared experiences of joys intensified and sorrows made easier to bear by one another fuses two hearts and souls together to become soul mates in the purest and most wonderful sense of the term.

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

KJV, Mark 10:9

 

What do you think?  Is your spouse your soul mate?

 

The Top 5 Vegan Cookbooks for New Vegans

Vegan cooking suffers from an image problem.  There are some amazing vegan cookbooks out there, but there are also too many cookbooks that require 27 hard-to-find, expensive ingredients per recipe or feature yet another flavorless veggie patty idea.  An Amazon search for “vegan cookbook” gives you a cool 2,832 options vying for your hard-earned money (I, on the other hand, make no money off you purchasing any of the below).  Here are the Top 5 Vegan Cookbooks that won’t be collecting dust on the shelf:

Vegan Cookbooks

The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet - Alicia Silverstone

Pros: Healthy, delicious recipes, clear directions, a wealth of information about making the transition to veganism

Cons: Some of these recipes do require a special trip to the store until your shopping habits catch up to your new lifestyle

Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes. - Lindsay S. Nixon

Pros: You actually have these ingredients in your pantry (ketchup, oats, beans, etc.), Recipes are quick and easy, Great for budget cooking

Cons: Some of the desserts are too high in sugar

Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: Crazy Delicious Recipes that Are Good to the Earth and Great for Your BodKim Barnouin

Pros: This is the cookbook that should have followed up the original Skinny Bitch  (let’s all forget the over-processed horror that was Skinny Bitch in the Kitch) – beautiful photography, unique but still easy to follow recipes, lots of information about the vegan lifestyle

Cons: These are not 5 minute recipes – be prepared to actually spend time in your kitchen

The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein

Pros: Healthy Mediterranean style recipes that don’t rely on meat substitutes

Cons: No pictures.  Recipes are geared at experienced cooks.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero, Rebecca Bent and Sara Quin

Pros:  Delicious treats. Many varieties for varying skill levels.

Cons: Remember, vegan doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.  These are still cupcakes.

 

What cookbooks do you recommend for new vegans? Are there any that you would recommend new vegans not buy? Leave a comment below!

Hot Fudge Brownie Pudding Cake

Delicious chocolately goodness that makes an amazing dessert for company and an even more amazing breakfast treat.

Hot Fudge Brownie Pudding Cake

Please excuse the horrible photography/lighting. The deliciousness was getting cold.

 

Hot Fudge Brownie Pudding Cake

1 c. flour (white whole wheat)

3/4 c. organic sugar or evaporated cane juice

2 T. cocoa

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk

1 t. vanilla extract

2 T. olive oil

3/4 c. chopped walnuts (chopped fresh)

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. cocoa

1.75 c. boiling water

Mix first 8 ingredients and spread in greased 8×8 pan.  Combine walnuts, brown sugar, and cocoa in separate bowl.  Add boiling water to nut mixture and mix well.  Pour over batter in pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Do not overbake or you will lose the pudding part and be left with a mere chocolate cake/brownie.  Serve warm.