Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blueberry Pancakes = Perfect Fuel for Hiking

What a lovely weekend we had after all the predictions for rain, rain, and more rain. I woke up this morning with a desire to go hiking, coupled with a desire to eat pancakes. One of the beautiful things in life is when you have two things that you want equally that are not mutually exclusive--I knew I was in luck and that I could have both things that I wanted, and in fact, one thing might actually help me with the other. Because pancakes are the kind of breakfast food that make me feel full for quite awhile after I have eaten them, which is what I want when I go hiking.

Yummy Pre-Hike Blueberry Pancakes

In a large bowl, mix together:
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

In a separate container, mix together 3/4 cup soymilk with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (the combo sort of acts like buttermilk). Add the milk & vinegar mixture to the dry mix along with:

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup blueberries (I used frozen because that's all I had and it worked great).

Cook over medium heat, a few minutes on each side, and use about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. (Makes between 6 and 8 pancakes.) Happy Eating and Hiking!

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to get back to menu planning for Thanksgiving, one of my favorite things to do. :)  And if you are looking for some ideas of your own, check out my Thanksgiving idea board on Pinterest .

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gratitude and Turkeys

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and there are certain things I like to do every year to mark the occasion. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then you are probably already aware of the fact that Thanksgiving is also my "vegeversary." I stopped eating meat on Thanksgiving in 1989, so one of the things I like to do every year to celebrate is to participate in the "Adopt a Turkey" campaign sponsored by Farm Sanctuary. It makes me happy to honor this personal tradition, and it also inspires me to think about all of the things I am thankful for, like my family, my amazing friends, my wonderful job, and all of you! And of course I am also excited to start my menu planning for this year's Thanksgiving, (and you know I will share my holiday food plans with you soon...)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine: 1530 Cornwall

I had the great pleasure of eating at Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine yesterday, and while I was not the very first in line, I was lucky enough to be among the first customers of the day. I also had the great pleasure of having my wonderful and beautiful niece accompany me, so the meal was quite enjoyable, both in terms of food and the company! (I borrowed and cropped a picture from Ambo's facebook page from yesterday that includes the two of us waiting in line.)

The new space is great, the food was fantastic, and I am so pleased that we now have access to Mulu's food year round! Congratulations on your restaurant, Mulu, and congratulations to Bellingham for having the gift of Mulu's amazing food!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Vegan in Bellingham News

Happy belated World Vegan Day! Apologies for my late post--afraid I have been pretty sick with the flu these past few days, but I am finally feeling better this evening, so I am going to share with you some news now. First off, breaking-happy-wonderful-news that you probably already know, but I am so excited I am telling you anyway: Mulu is opening Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine in the Public Market this coming weekend! I don't know about you, but I will definitely be there on Saturday!

The other news comes from a reader who recently learned something about some local pizza crusts not being vegetarian, and she asked me for help in spreading the word. It turns out that both Goat Mountain Pizza and Pizza'zza use Bellingham Flatbread pizza crust, and it also turns out that Bellingham Faltbread puts gelatin in their pizza crust dough. Unfortunately, this means that not only is the pizza crust not vegan, it's not even vegetarian. Thanks to Cordelia for passing on this information --it's really great when we can help each other out by sharing news about ingredients that might not be openly disclosed. Maybe if enough of us know about these kinds of things and speak up about them, then changes will be made. (And I can't help but wonder, why on earth would anyone need horse and cow hooves in their flatbread anyway?)

Thanks again to Cordelia, and please send any type of info like this my way if you want help sharing it. And hopefully I will see you at Mulu's new place on Saturday!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cocoa Cranberry Zucchini Banana Bread

This past weekend I made this tasty bread and it was so rich and yummy, I knew I had to share how I did it. I used two smaller loaf pans to make two smaller loaves, but you could probably make one big loaf if you wanted to, although you might need to adjust the baking time. If you wanted to be really decadent, you could throw in some chocolate chips, but I also think it is plenty rich as is, especially if you use a good quality cocoa powder.

3 cups grated zucchini
2 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare your baking pans. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda & powder, salt, and spices in a bowl. In a different bowl, mix the mashed banana, sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla and zucchini.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. Add the cranberries and walnuts last. Pour into loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes.

This is a really tasty rich and delicious zucchini bread and I know I will be making it again. It's perfect when you are craving something rich and chocolatey and brownie-ish, and the cranberries give it another layer of flavor that is so delicious and satisfying. I hope you like it!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Of Busy Days and Trader Joes Dinners...

I am afraid this weekend finds me a combination of busy and lazy, which doesn't make for a great blog post. Tonight's dinner is courtesy of Trader Joes combined with the very last package of Sophie's vegan shrimp I had stashed in my freezer. My apologies for not sharing anything exciting or of much value! I wish you a happy week and I promise to write something more interesting next weekend. :)