vegan spinach artichoke dip

20141009_153540This creamy-textured dip will disappear quickly even at nonvegan gatherings.  Bake it in two ramekins if you want to freeze half to reheat another day.  Alter levels of garlic and spice depending on your crowd.  Adapted from this recipe by Dreena Burton.  Shown here served hot with organic blue corn chips.  A delightful alternative to hummus!

2 generous c frozen artichoke hearts
2 10-oz pkgs frozen spinach (cut or leaf)
1 c raw cashews
3/4 c plain unsweetened almond milk
3 T lemon juice
1/4 c nutritional yeast flakes
3 -6 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 t spicy brown mustard
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t black pepper
3/4 t salt
2 pinches cayenne
generous few pinches freshly grated nutmeg



1. Preheat oven to 425 F.  Thaw spinach (2 minutes in microwave) and squeeze most of the water out. Thaw artichoke hearts about halfway (1 1/2 minutes in microwave).

2. Place all ingredients except spinach and artichoke hearts into bowl of food processor. Whir it all up till quite smooth.

3. Process a little over half the artichoke hearts by pulsing just enough to chop slightly.

4. Remove blade and stir in spinach and remaining artichoke hearts.


4. Bake in one or two ramekins, covered with foil, 18 minutes. Switch oven to broil; brown the top slightly, uncovered, for two to three minutes. Serve hot with sliced french bread, pita, or corn chips.




suze’s vegan oat bars

These nutritious breakfast or snack bars are simple to make.  Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients, press into a pan, and bake. That’s IT.  This is an adaptation of a recipe my Wisconsonite friend Suze, who is ‘near-vegan’ for health and environmental reasons.  As she says, this is a ‘very forgiving’ recipe — you can make swaps and it still works.  Her notes:  I only use 1/2 cup of dried fruit.  While I feel the 1 ripe banana is a must, using 1/2 cup applesauce or apple jelly plus 1/2 cup water also works well .  1 cup of cranberry juice is great too!  Oh!  And lining the pan with parchment makes cleanup a breeze!  

Ha, leave it to me to use three times the fruit called for…and a heaping half cup of nuts!



Prep Time:  10 minutes

Bake Time:  30 minutes

2 c old-fashioned oats
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wht flour
1/4 c ground flaxseed
2 T hemp seed (optional)
1/2 c brown sugar
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t ground clove
1/3 c each dried blueberries, cranberries, raisins (or any combination of dried fruits)
1/2 c toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)

1 ripe banana
1 c apple juice
1 t vanilla


Step One: Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with coconut oil.

Step Two: Mix dry ingredients well. Toss in fruit and toasted nuts; mix.

Step Three: Mash the banana. Mix it with apple juice and vanilla.

Step Four: Pour wet ingredients into dry. Stir well with wooden spoon; use hands if needed.

Step Five: Press into greased pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 375. Cool slightly before cutting. Makes 16 -24 bars or squares, depending how you cut them.



vegan blueberry banana bread

Lemon zest completes the mix of delightful flavors in this fat-free vegan breakfast bread. Thanks to Susan at fatfree vegan kitchen blog for her excellent recipe.  After two months of nonblogging/winter hibernation, repeated success with this bread inspired me to go ahead and blog my tweaked version.  Confession: I don’t measure the nutmeg. I just grate enough to dust the mashed bananas well. 20140311_150036


3 slightly overripe bananas
1/3 c almond milk (original unsweetened)
4 T brown rice syrup
2 T lemon juice + zest of half a lemon
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon20140311_134427
1/2 t or so freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c walnuts
1 heaping cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or grease loaf pan (9 x 5) with coconut oil.
Step One: Chop walnuts coarsely, then toast for about seven minutes over medium heat. Stir them every once in a while as they become fragrant and begin to turn golden brown.
Step Two: Mix together in larger of two bowls the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and walnuts.
Step Three: Mash bananas well with a fork. Grate nutmeg over them. Zest half a lemon and toss it over the bananas. Juice lemon(s) till you have two tablespoons of juice.
Step Four: Combine wet ingredients into smaller of two bowls: mashed banana mixture, almond milk, brown rice syrup, and lemon juice.
Step Five: Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Stir gently till it becomes a nice dough — don’t overdo it. Fold in blueberries.
Step Six: Bake at 350 till golden brown, 55 minutes to an hour.

The banana bread slips right out, pretty much right away. Cool on a rack and serve still warmish, or toasted piece by piece (my favorite way to eat this) with Olivio spread.!

vegan super granola

This is a super-nutritious, crunchy, oat-and-walnutty granola that clumps up well.  Dried goji berries, cranberries, and peaches complete the mix, but you could use raisins and/or nearly any dried fruit.  This recipe fills two quart-sized mason jars — if you don’t nibble too much of it right out of the oven!   Largely based on a recipe from oh she glows, with cayenne idea borrowed from yummy life blog. granolabamboo

2 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1/2 c raw walnuts, chopped medium
1/2 c unsalted raw nut mix such as cashews, peanuts, sunflower seed
2 T pepitas (pumpkin seed, toasted)
1/2 c shelled hemp seed
2 T ground flaxseed
2 T coconut flakes or shreds
1 t cinnamon
generous pinch nutmegwetndryingredgr
1/2 t salt
1/8 t cayenne
5 T brown rice syrup
1 T coconut oil
2 T pear butter or apple butter
2 T peanut butter
1/4 c brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 c dried goji berries
1/2 c dried unsweetened cranberries
3 dried peach halves, diced (about 1/2 c diced)

Step One: Preheat oven to 300. Combine all dry ingredients (except dried fruit) in a large bowl. Mix well.
Step Two: Combine wet ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat till the mixture boils. Lower heat and simmer, stirring intermittently, about ten minutes or till nicely fragrant and smooth.

Step Three: Pour wet mixture, while warm, over dry, and stir well with wooden spoon. Most of it will clump up nicely. Break up any too-large clumps and stir a bit more till it’s pretty even.


Step Four:  Spread mixture in a 15 x 10 or similar baking pan or sheet with sides. Bake in a 300-degree oven forty-five minutes, stirring gently about every 10 – 15 minutes for even browning. (The granola will seem damp while it’s baking. It crisps up as it cools!)

Step Five: Let cool to crispen, while gathering and/or dicing about 1 1/2 cups of dried fruits of your choice. After about ten minutes of cooling, give the granola a stir and cool ten more minutes. After twenty minutes’ cooling, add fruit and mix it all up.

Step Six: Store in jars with lids, or ziploc bags. Hide some away before it’s all gone!


roasted winter squash seeds

These are ridiculously easy to make, any time you’re roasting winter squash.  Save the seeds, rinse well (takes some detangling ‘squash strings’ effort), pat dry, and pop into the oven once it’s cooled down to 250.  These are seasoned with cumin, onion powder, and cayenne.  I look forward to hearing what other seasonings you choose to complement the seeds.  Here’s nutrition data  — good fiber and, said to be a good source of protein, vitamin K, iron and copper, and a very good source of magnesium, phosphorus and manganese.  I wouldn’t blog any food that isn’t a good source of something to keep you healthy!

Time:  45 min. baking, + 10 min. to scoop and wash seeds
3 winter squash, any type
1 1/2 t olive oil
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 t onion powder


Step One:  Cut open the squash with a big sharp knife.  Scoop out seeds, along with the inner stringy pulp, using a regular spoon.


Step Two:  Place the seeds and pulp in a colander and rinse well, while pulling pulp off the seeds.  It takes some patience, two hands, and a good heavy water spray.



Step Three:  Place seeds onto a dry dishcloth and pat them dry with it.  It’s helpful to leave them out to dry while you go ahead and roast the squash for another recipe, such as spicy roasted squash spread.  Then while the oven cools down…


Step Four:  Place seeds on olive-oiled cookie sheet and move them around a little to coat lightly.  Sprinkle spices over the seeds.  Pop into a 250 F oven for 35 – 40 minutes; give them a little more or less time depending how crunchy and dark you prefer them.  The ones pictured, I baked for nearly an hour for a smoky well-done flavor.

Enjoy!  They taste great warm, and perk up a salad, wrap, or bowl of soup.  I confess I like to nibble on them with raisins from a little bowl …but then, I like nearly anything with raisins from a little bowl.

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