Tuesday, November 30, 2010


My daughter made the most delicious sandwiches with our Thanksgiving leftovers . . . tofurkey and gravy, cranberry sauce, lettuce and mayo sandwiches--with a side of roasted butternut squash!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tofurky Vegetarian Feast

The Tofurky people were nice enough to let me try their new Tofurky Vegetarian Feast, which is 100% vegan, cooks in about an hour and a half, and serves six. The feast contains:

- One Tofurky® Roast (made with organic non-genetically engineered soybeans) - now 20% larger
- Savory Giblet Gravy
- Wild Rice, Whole Wheat Bread Crumb Stuffing
- Tofurky® Jurky Wishstix
- New ! Organic Chocolate Cake from Amy's Kitchen
- Happy Tofurky Day card & coupons

Here's our review:

Everybody liked the Tofurky® Roast. I made the basting sauce as directed from olive oil, soy sauce, and fresh herbs and added chopped onions. My casserole dish wasn't big enough to close tightly over the roast so I lined it with parchment paper and foil and sealed it tightly. It came out moist and tasty. The middle of the roast contained stuffing, but it was not enough for my family--especially not for my husband. If you have a stuffing-loving family, you might want to make your own batch on the side. The gravy was delicious and there was enough to put over the roast and our mashed potatoes. We also had roasted butternut squash, veggies, and homemade applesauce, and cranberry sauce for a wonderful feast that everyone raved over.

For dessert, the feast included Amy's Chocolate Cake which was rich, chocolatey and moist, and the right amount for six people (since we are 4, we had 2 servings left over). I served it with homemade coconut ice cream from Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.

The box also contained Tofurky Jurky but I'm sorry to say, none of us liked it at all--at least none of the humans. Our dogs LOVED it and were begging for more.

Stay tuned for leftovers . . .

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Books to promote healthy eating

I was on Caryn Hartglass's It's All About Food radio show today talking about helping kids and families to eat more healthfully. She asked me about my job as a library technician at an elementary school library. She wanted to know what books would I recommend to promote healthful eating . Well, the first one that popped into my head was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess--I like the message of not being afraid to try to new foods. Later, as I thought over the show, it hit me that encouringing kids to eat green eggs and ham might have offended listeners who were most likely vegetarian or vegan. I was thinking though . . . since the ham is green, perhaps it's veggie ham???? Anyway, while I stand by the message of encouraging kids to try new foods in that book, here are some more veg-friendly titles you might want to try with your kids:

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Gregory, the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmot (not vegetarian but still a good one)
To Market, To Market by Anne MIranda (one of my favorites . . . funny, promotes whole foods and not eating animals)
Making Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
Grow It, Cook It by Jill Bloomfield
Eat Healthy, Feel Great by William Sears

And for kids' cookbooks, we love Mollie Katzen's books like Honest Pretzels, etc.

I'm sure there are lots more out there, but here are a few off the top of my head. Feel free to comment with other suggestions.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

I wanted to bake something for my writers' group, but make enough that my family would have a treat too so I came up with this pumkin bread recipe that makes two loaves. Perfect! One for my group and one to leave home. It's not too sweet--we liked it with butter or cream cheese (dairy or nondairy versions). This would be great with soup for dinner . . . unfortunately, I don't think there'll be any left by then.

Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 loaves

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup natural granulated sugar
2/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pumkin pie spice
1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.

In large mixing bowl, beat pumpkin, sugars, oil, vanilla, and eggs until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, salt and spice. Pour flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Still gently just until flour is mixed in. Fold in nuts.

Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Carefully remove loaves from pan. Cool on a rack for 1 hour before slicing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

GIVEAWAY: Happy Haulidays with Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books is holding a contest where you can win $500 worth of their books. To enter, you can post a list of books you'd like to win on your blog . . . . or simply comment on this post to be entered in the drawing. Get the details here. Last day to submit entries is December 10th. Winners will be announced on December 13th. GOOD LUCK!

This is my wish list:

Of course I have to start with cookbooks (and they have a great selection--I own several already and love them!)

D.I.Y. Delicious Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food from Scratch by Vanessa Barrington
Fast, Fresh & Green: More Than 90 Delicious Recipes for Veggie Lovers By Susie Middleton
Anna Getty's Easy Green Organic: Cook Well-Eat Well-Live Well by Anna Getty
New Vegetarian by Robin Asbell
The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell
Farmers' Market Desserts by Jennie Schacht
Luscious Chocolate Desserts by Lori Longbotham

Art and Craft Books

Amy Butler's In Stitches More Than 25 Simple and Stylish Sewing Projects By Amy Butler
Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects by Lotta Jansdotter
Knitting Pretty Simple Instructions for 30 Fabulous Projects by Kris Percival
Mastering the Art of Beading by Genevieve A. Sterbenz
Squiggles A Really Giant Drawing and Painting Book by Taro Gomi

Fiction (Cause I just plain LOVE to read)

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal $16.99 (We keep checking this out of the library--clearly we need our own copy!)
Chicken Big By Keith Graves $16.99 (Love the premise!)
Day and Night by Teddy Newton $14.99 (Another library favorite)
The Space Between Trees by katie Williams
Sparky The Life and Art of Charles Schulz by Beverly Gherman
Noonie's Masterpiece By Lisa Railsback
The Kid Who Named Pluto And the Stories of Other Extraordinary Young People in Science by Marc McCutcheon
Cats Are Weird And More Observations by Jeffrey Brown
Ivy + Bean Gift Set
Ivy + Bean Boxed Set 2
Erika's Story Creative Editions by Ruth Vander Zee

And I just can't resist this game:
Haikubes by Forrest-Pruzan Creative

Added 11/27/10: To sweeten this great deal for my wonderful readers. If you win the Chronicle Books giveaway AND you are a follower of my blog, you can get an additional prize of your choice of any one of my cookbooks (US residents only). (New followers are eligible as well as long as you are a follower on Dec. 13th when the winners are announced--so become a follower now to qualify.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Banana Molasses Muffins

With the weather getting colder, we've been enjoying lots of soup for dinners and lunches. And what goes better with soup than fresh, warm muffins!

This weekend we made a batch of Banana Molasses Muffins from The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook. I especially like these because they are sweetened with just three tablespoons of blackstrap molasses (for the whole batch of 12 muffins!). Blackstrap molasses is a good source of calcium and iron so it's a healthy sweetener. If there are any leftover muffins, freeze them to pack in your child's school lunch (they thaw by lunchtime.)

Banana-Molasses Muffins
Blackstrap molasses, and almonds add vitamins and minerals to these moist, flavorful muffins. To make these vegan, use nondairy yogurt and omit the egg.

1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds
1 cup whole wheat, spelt, or barley flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 bananas)
1 egg (optional)
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup plain yogurt (dairy or nondairy)

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil muffin tins. In food processor or blender, grind oats and nuts to a coarse meal. Transfer to mixing bowl and whisk in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Beat remaining ingredients together until smooth. Add to oat mixture and stir just until mixed. Pour batter into prepared tins. Bake 20 minutes, or until tops are firm to the touch.

Makes 1 dozen

Note: For quick preparation, puree liquid ingredients in food processor or blender after removing oat/nut mixture.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Vegan Thanksgiving E-Cookbook

Get the e-cookbook A Bountiful Vegan Thanksgiving put together by Nava Atlas with recipes from your favorite vegetarian authors (including a few of mine!). It's a great deal at only $8.95, plus the profits will be donated to humanitarian charities concerned with hunger, microfinancing for women in developing countries, and the alleviation of human trafficking.

Click here for details.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

GE Salmon could be approved!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will potentially approve the long-shelved AquAdvantage transgenic salmon as the first genetically engineered (GE) animal intended for human consumption. This GE Atlantic salmon is genetically engineered to produce growth hormones year-round which is supposed to make it grow at twice the normal rate.

Each year millions of farmed salmon escape from open-water net pens, outcompeting wild populations for resources and straining ecosystems. In addition, the human health impacts of eating GE fish are entirely unknown, and the scientific research that has been done is alarming. According to the Center for Food Safety, these GE farmed salmon carry with them all of the health hazards of other farmed salmon, but also may be more susceptible to disease than fish currently grown in aquaculture facilities because transgenic fish are identified as “macro-mutants” with a reduced ability to survive. Consequently, the amount of antibiotics given to transgenic fish may be higher than the amount currently given to farmed fish; already farmed salmon are given more antibiotics than any other livestock by weight, threatening the health of those who eat them and the continued efficacy of these antibiotics to treat human disease.

There is a short window of time to let the FDA know you want them to reject these GE fish, or at the very, very least label them so consumers will know what they are buying. Click on this link to tell the Food and Drug Administration not to approve GE salmon.

Rainy Day Baking

My daughter baked up a batch of Everything Cookies from The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook for us (though she omitted the raisons and used extra chocolate chips). Tea, cookies, and Scrabble . . . a great way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.