Monday, January 23, 2012

Orange Olive Oil Cookies

Fresh baked cookies are totally awesome. And whole grain, vegan cookies, made with a healthful oil are even more awesome. If you're willing to try some cookies that are a little out of the box, you are going to love these cookies. Don't get me wrong, these are cookies for grown ups. Not that they contain any booze or other illicit substances, but they are more subtle and lightly flavored than the more in-your-face favorites. The olive oil gives them a hint of savory, and makes the citrus flavor pop. It also gives a crispy, crumbly texture that you usually can't get without eggs. These were the perfect afternoon snack for several afternoons last week, they went perfectly with my afternoon licorice tea.

Orange Olive Oil Cookies

Makes 12-16 cookies


  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 C + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest (zest the orange before you peel it for best results)


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment and preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and sea salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer), beat together sugar, olive oil, orange juice, vanilla and orange zest.
  • Slowly pour flour mixture into olive oil mixture and blend until just combined.
  • Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. (be sure to leave plenty of room – approx. 3″ – between cookies as they will spread)
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly until firm on baking sheet then remove to wire rack.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vegan Fennel and Leek Gratin

One of my favorite pre-vegan dishes is a vegetable gratin. Something about drowning vegetables in cream sauce and/or cheese and topping it with bread crumbs makes simple veggies company worthy. Normally, I prefer my vegetables simply steamed or roasted. But this weekend, I wanted some Sunday dinner-worthy vegetables. I took it upon myself to veganize one of my favorite vegetable dishes. Since, this was a special vegetable dish, I decided to use earth balance to make my bechamel. (Bechemel is one of the three mother sauces in French cooking.) I don't usually like franken-foods, even vegan franken-foods, but I used the soy free Earth Balance, and only a couple of tablespoons. It was totally worth it!

Vegan Fennel and Leek Gratin

2 cups almond milk, heated gently on the stove
2.5 T soy-free earth balance
3 T wheat flour
salt and nutmeg to taste
1T nutritional yeast
2 heads fennel, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
Vegan panko bread crumbs to taste (I like a lot)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the Earth Balance over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour, and continue stirring for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until it thickens. (This will take longer than you think it should). The sauce should coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and add the spices and nutritional yeast.

Pour about a third of the sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Put the veggies on top. Pour the rest of the sauce on. Finally, top with panko crumbs. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

FYI, the leftovers make a great tortilla pizza topper.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Winter Salad with Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Fries and Massaged Kale Salad. Two of my favorite things. One naughty. One Nice. But when you put them together, they are nothing but sugar and spice. (Yeah, I just rhymed.)

Sweet Potato and Kale Salad (Serves one very hungry person)

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 small shallots, diced
salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon, to taste
spray coconut oil

1 head of kale
a couple of tablespoons of olive oil
lemon juice

Heat up a saute pan over medium heat, spray with coconut oil and saute the shallots until they are a bit soft. Add the sweet potato cubes and spices. Stir occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are crispy. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, tear up the kale massage it with olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice.

When the sweet potatoes are crispy, dump them on the kale and gobble it all up.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This Salad Will Convert You to Raw Brussels Sprouts

I know that's a bold statement. But if you already enjoy coleslaw, you enjoy the grown up version of brussels (i.e. cabbage). Stay with me, here. I was a late convert to brussels sprouts. Like a late twenties convert. I fell in love with baby cabbage when I tried Heidi Swanson's lightly seared version. But this week, I was in the mood for something fresh and raw. So, I shredded the sprouts on my trusty mandolin, julienned a honey crisp apple, and chopped up some raw walnuts. Then, I made and drizzled on a dressing that will change your attitude towards raw brussels forever.

Raw Brussels Sprout Salad with Spicy Maple Vinaigrette


1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T maple syrup
1 dash cinnamon
salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
2 T olive oil


About a pound of brussels sprouts, shredded on a mandolin
1 honey crisp apple, julienned
handful of raw walnuts, chopped