I. Vegan MoFo:
Well, right off the bat, I want to say this to all the other Vegan MoFo participants:
I salute you.
Kudos to you all.
You have my admiration.
I am in awe of you.
And also, I am very tired.
Sure, I’ve been accused of being a little bit off my rocker in the past (and have, coincidentally, been turned off of Rocker Guy–He of the Black Leather Pants–for quite some time, now, too), but let me tell you, this “writing every day” business? I must have been utterly, truly mad when I signed up.
Don’t get me wrong: I love my blog. I love writing my blog posts. I love Vegan MoFo. I love writing, period. And I really love my blog readers and reading their comments. But writing every day?? For a month–????
Insanity, I tell you.
Well, today marks the (almost) halfway point of the quotidian posting that is Vegan MoFo IV, and I’ve made it this far–yay!. (I make no promises about the future, however.)
This past week was hoppin’ here at the DDD household! I thought I’d share a few highlights, plus a few of my favorite MoFo posts from the past week.
[Win my giveaway and get a gift pack so you can make this at home!]
II. Giveaways Galore–and you can still enter all three of them!
- The regular monthly SOS Kitchen Challenge hosted by Kim of Affairs of Living and me is still going strong! Show us your best (or even your “just okay”!) recipes using sweet potatoes and you’re automatically entered to win a package of my two anti-candida ebooks or a handmade jar cozy from Kim. See full details here.
- Shirley over at Gluten Free Easily is hosting this week’s A Gluten Free Holiday post, and she’s got a fantastic, foolproof pie crust recipe to share–plus SIX COPIES of two amazing cookbooks! If you’d like to win The Spunky Coconut or Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, head over and leave a comment or share a Thanksgiving favorite–full details here.
- And my cinque e’ cinque giveaway will continue until midnight on Tuesday, November 16th! If you haven’t yet, head on over to read my rave review and enter to win a gift package for yourself!
III. Cranberries Galore–and you can make them yourself!
If you’re like me (hmm, sorry to hear that), then you don’t eat sugar at the moment, in any of its myriad forms. That means no unrefined evaporated cane juice, no maple syrup, no brown rice syrup, no Sucanat, no dextrose, maltose, sucrose, glucose or any other -ose. . . basically, the only permitted sweeteners are stevia, yacon syrup and the (very) occasional grain of palm sugar or drop of agave nectar. Well, around holiday time, I like to bake things with dried fruits, but the ACD doesn’t allow dried fruits. I am, however, permitted fresh berries. So. . . I decided to dry my own.
This recipe for oven-dried cranberries seemed to stike a chord with many of you, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve used them in biscuits and muffins so far. . . and must admit, I just ate the rest as-is, by the handful.
[Moi, with the lovely Natali who interviewed me today. See the special foil-covered light above her head? How cool is that?]
IV. Cameras Galore–and you can peek into a TV shoot at my house!
This afternoon, the lovely folks from York Region Living dropped in to interview me and tape me making up some Coconut Macaroons. I’ve shared the recipe before on my one and only YouTube video, but here it is again (below) for those of you who don’t want to skip over there.
The two hours they were in the house flew by, and before I knew it, the interview was over and the crew was busy filming the props (ie baked goods). Here’s Jeff, the cameraman, taking a shot of the table after the interview was done:
Yes, I am a total nerd: the entire experience was incredibly fun and exciting. I really enjoyed setting up the kitchen space and chatting about healthy baking, food intolerances and the ACD. Thanks so much to everyone on the show for a great afternoon! (NB: the show doesn’t air until January; of course I’ll let you know when it’s available to view!).
And here’s the recipe Natali and I baked up during the segment:
Grain Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Sugar Free Coconut Macaroons (suitable for ACD Maintenance only)
from Diet, Dessert and Dogs (http://rickiheller.com)
These were one of the most popular cookies from my bakery, Bake it Healthy. The HH still requests them on a regular basis. Nicely browned and crisp on the edges with a soft, chewy interior, these are bona fide macaroons. The tahini adds a good source of calcium, yet the flavor isn’t prominent in the cookies.
3/4 cup (135 g) raw, natural almonds, with skin
2 Tbsp (30 ml) finely ground flax seeds
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
2 cups (160 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) light agave nectar
1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini (sesame paste)
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) coconut extract, optional
2 Tbsp (60 ml) cacao nibs or chocolate chips, optional
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
In the bowl of a food processor, whir the almonds, flax and salt together until they resemble a coarse meal, about the texture of cornmeal. The mixture should be very finely ground, without any identifiable pieces of almond visible. Add the coconut and pulse once or twice to combine.
Pour the maple syrup, agave nectar, tahini, vanilla and coconut extract over the dry ingredients. Process again until everything is incorporated and the mixture forms a sticky ball (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl once or twice). Stop as soon as the mixture holds together to avoid grinding the coconut too fine. Stir in the cacao nibs or chocolate chips by hand; do not process again.
Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon (15 ml), drop small mounds of the mixture onto the cookie sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Wet your palms (or use a silicon spatula) and flatten the cookies slightly.
Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets about halfway through, until the cookies are deep golden brown on top. Cool completely before removing to a cooling rack (the cookies will firm up as they cool). Makes 14-16 cookies. May be frozen.
V. MoFo Posts Galore:
It’s been tough to keep up with all the posts happening over the past two weeks–so many amazing bloggers blogging daily! I’ve been reading and commenting as much as I can, but am woefully behind even now. Here are but a few of the stellar posts I’ve encountered recently:
Becks’ amazing Storm in a Tea Cup
River is outed
Lisa visits some of my wish-list restaurants, virtually
Andrea eats food I wish I could find in my neighborhood
Gena lends some sanity to an incendiary issue (and kicks butt)
Amey travels the world
jessy cooks up some superw00t! Mac ‘N Trees
. . . . and too many more to mention!
VI. And, finally–DDD In Your Kitchen:
As always, I love it when readers try my recipes and let me know that they did. I thought I’d share links to other people who made recipes from the blog and posted about it during the past few weeks.
Here’s a list of recent culinary creations based on DDD recipes. If I missed yours, let me know and I’d be happy to add it to the list!
Erin from Vegan Homemade has been busy in the kitchen trying out a whole whack of DDD recipes! First up, she tried out Angela’s adaptations of the Almond-Crusted Root Veggie Fries and the Vegetarian Veggie Burgers made from Vegetables. Then a few days ago, she whipped up some Apple and Red Wine Soup (sorry it wasn’t to your taste!) and Nutroast Extraordinaire;
River of the adorable Wing-It Vegan was another busy bee (or would that be turkey?) who cooked up some beetaroni (faux pepperoni) as well as some Chocolate Fudge Nut Clusters. But most importantly, River launched her crafty campaign to help get me on the Ellen Show! (for those of you who weren’t reading back then, Ellen has recommended my book on her website. The next step is to actually bake goodies from it on her show! If you’d like to support the campaign–and get a free copy of the book if I’m on the show–just check out River’s blog);
Thanks so much, everyone!
Phew! How’s that for an end-of-week MoFo post? (Surely it’s long enough to count for two from next week, right?)
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Last Year at this Time: Lucky Comestible 6(3): Apple and Red Wine Soup (with Anti-Candida Variation)
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Pecan Pie (ACD maintenance only)
Three Years Ago: Sweet Potato and Carrot Casserole