Category: Kitchen

Fruit and Flower Torte

Image-4I was making my husband a jelly roll, doing laundry, and writing when I got a phone call. Guess what happened to the cake? Right, it was overcooked. It did not burn, but it wasn’t soft spongy cake anymore. I did not want to waste it, so it became this Failed Jelly Roll Torte. It tasted quite good, even though it was born from disaster. I made jam with fresh strawberries and lemon buttercream (I will give you the recipes soon). After eating this simple torte, I started looking at other ones online and discovered a viral cake craze.  It is a fruit and flower decorated torte, designed by Israeli baker Gargeran. And I decided to make a plant-based version. I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Make it for Valentine’s Day and surprise the ones you love best!

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Fruit and Flower Torte

It is best to make the Torte and Meringue Cookes the day before you want to serve the cake. This dessert consists of four separate components.

  1. Vanilla Torte
  2. Aquafaba Meringue Cookies
  3. Aquafaba Meringue Cream
  4. Fresh Berries and Flowers



  1. Make a triple batch of Vanilla Torte (recipe below) and divide it equally between 2 prepared 18×13 inch rectangular pans. When the cakes are cool, cut them into 12×7 inch rectangles. Save the discarded cake for a snack.
  2. Put each layer on a cake board and individually wrap them in plastic wrap. Then put them in the freezer until ready to use.
  3. Make the Aquafaba Meringue Cookies, (recipe below). When they are cool, put them into an airtight container. Save until ready to use.
  4. Make the Aquafaba Meringue Cream (recipe below) on the day you plan to serve the cake.
  5. Gather all the prepared ingredients and assemble your cake. Take the first torte, using a plain large piping nozzle and bag, make giant Hershey’s Kiss shapes with the Aquafaba Meringue Cream on the entire surface of the cake.
  6. Put the next cake layer on top of the cream. Decorate it just like the other one.
  7. Design the fruit and flower arrangement on an empty cake board and transfer the pattern to the top of the cake.


        Fill any empty spaces with more fruit and flowers. Refrigerate. This cake is best eaten the same day it is prepared.


Vanilla Torte

1 cup white flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup plus 2 – 3 tablespoons vanilla rice milk

  1. Set the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 2 – 18×13 rectangular pans by greasing and lining them with parchment paper. Cut the paper about one inch larger than the pan, so the sides of the cake are also covered with the paper.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients together into a bowl.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.
  4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients, mix well and pour into the prepared pans. Make sure the batter is evenly distributed.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
  6. Lower the heat to 350 and leave the oven door open for a few seconds to quickly reduce the inside oven temperature.
  7. Continue baking for an additional 20 – 25 minutes. The cake should be quite firm but not burnt.
  8. When completely cooled, remove the parchment paper.


Aquafaba Meringue Cookies

All the liquid from a 1lb. 13oz. can of chickpeas (aquafaba)

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

pink food color gel, not liquid

a candy thermometer

  1. Prepare a cookie sheet by greasing the bottom and sides then putting parchment paper on it. Set it aside. Heat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Drain and save the liquid from the chickpeas. (Keep the chickpeas for another recipe). In a small saucepan, reduce the aquafaba until it is 1/2 the original amount. A can of chickpeas usually has about 1 1/2 cups of liquid. That should be reduced to 3/4 cup. Cool the reduced liquid in the freezer until it is quite cold, about 15 minutes.
  3. Using a mixer beat the aquafaba on low until it is foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high. Continue beating until very stiff peaks are formed.
  4. While the aquafaba is beating, make a simple syrup. Put the water and sugar in a thick bottomed saucepan. Let the sugar completely dissolve in the water before turning the heat on. After the sugar is melted turn the heat to medium-high and then cook it until it boils.
  5. Continue boiling the syrup until it reaches between 220 – 230 degrees. Lower the heat.
  6. Slowly drizzle the syrup into the meringue one spoonful at a time. Between each spoonful, return the syrup to the burner to keep it in a liquid state. If the syrup gets cold, it will get hard.
  7. When all the syrup is incorporated into the meringue add the vanilla and mix one more minute.
  8. Divide the meringue. Keep 1 cup of meringue in the mixing bowl and put the rest in an airtight container. (Use the leftover meringue to make French Macaroons. I will post a recipe for Lavender & Lemon French Macaroons soon).
  9. Add 1 to 2 drops of the food coloring gel and whip the meringue until the color is even.
  10. Use a small star piping nozzle and make the cookies on the parchment lined cookie sheet. They should be no wider than 1/2 inch.
  11. Bake the cookies for 3 hours in a 170-degree Fahrenheit oven. They will be crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside while they are still hot but will become completely crunchy when cool. Let them cool on the cookie sheet. When they are at room temperature, put them in an airtight container.


Aquafaba Meringue Cream

You will use the same ingredients as for the Aquafaba Meringue Cookies, omitting the food coloring. Additional ingredients are:

1 1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder  (agar agar is a plant-based thickening agent that behaves like gelatin. You can order it online, or find it in health food stores).

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup lemon juice

  1. Follow the directions for the aquafaba meringue cookies. Make sure you read the following directions before beginning the recipe.
  2. Put the sugar in the water and let it sit until all the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Mix the agar agar and 2 tablespoons of water in a small cup. Let it sit to the side until the sugar syrup is almost done. It is important to let the agar agar soak for at least 5 minutes.
  4. When the syrup reaches 180 degrees add the agar agar to the syrup. Use the back of a spoon to stir the syrup and incorporate the agar agar. The agar agar may stick to the bottom of the pan, stirring with the bottom of the spoon will prevent clumps of agar agar from being pulled off the bottom of the pan and ruining the meringue.
  5. Drizzle the sugar and agar agar mixture into the meringue as directed in the Aquafaba Meringue Cookie recipe.
  6. After all the sugar is incorporated, continue mixing as you add the vanilla and then add the lemon juice one spoonful at a time.
  7. Put the cream into a large piping bag with a large plain round nozzle. Follow the directions for assembling the cake as outlined above.



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Butternut Squash Soup


As I write this, it has been snowing for 12 straight days. The snow on our lawn is about three feet deep. As I always say, a Michigan winter is like living in a snow globe.

Snow globes are nice, but their fascination lasts only a short time.

I like the snow, but we have too much of a good thing. So here is a recipe for a sunny soup that perks up those winter blues. A friend recently made this recipe for the first time and she said, “I did not think that soup would taste as good as it did. It was delicious.”

I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as she did.


2 large butternut squash

Peel, seed and cut the squash. Cook them covered in water until they are tender. drain them reserving 4 cups of the cooking broth. Set them aside.

Put the following ingredients into a blender:

1 cup cashews

2 cups reserved broth

1 clove garlic

blend until perfectly smooth. To the blender add:

2 teaspoons dry dill

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

cooked squash

If necessary blend the ingredients in small batches. Add the rest of the reserved broth as necessary. Pour into a large soup pot. Heat the soup through. Add salt to taste and garnish with fresh parsley or dill


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Gluten Free Thanksgiving Entree

There are a growing number of people who are gluten free. If you are one of these people and also eat a plant based diet there are times, like holidays, when what is on your plate is not as appetizing as what is on other people’s plates. Well this is the last year for that!  Here is a gluten free recipe for a Thanksgiving entrée that even meat eaters will love.

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Gluten Free Bread Stuffing


1 loaf multi grain gluten free bread, cut into small cubes.

1/2 teaspoon each chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and sage

2 cups celery chopped small 

1 cup thinly sliced onions

2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Take the cut bread and bake it on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The bread should be well toasted and firm, but not too hard to chew. In the meantime begin step 2.
  2. Put the oil in a small pot, add the celery and cover.  With the heat at medium-high let the celery get hot enough so it begins to sweat. Stir in the onion.  Lower the heat and continue cooking covered until the vegetables are soft, but not turning brown. Stir the vegetables occasionally.
  3. Add the toasted bread cubes to the sautéed vegetables and stir to mix.
  4. Cover the pot and let it sit off the heat for at least 30 minutes so the bread gets soft from the steam coming off the vegetables.
  5. If you feel that the bread is not getting soft enough, you can drizzle small amounts of vegan chicken seasoning that has been mixed in water, until you get your desired softness.


Thanksgiving Roasted Portabello Mushroom


3 tablespoons sesame seed oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons McKay’s Chicken Style Seasoning, Vegan

2 large portobello mushrooms, prepared


Prepare the mushrooms by cutting off the stem and taking the black fins off with a spoon. Next score the bottom of the mushrooms about 1/8 inch thick into the flesh.

Make the marinade by putting the sesame seed oil, lemon juice and vegan chicken seasoning into a small bowl and mixing together.

Put the prepared mushrooms into a gallon sized freezer plastic bag and pour the marinade on them. Remove as much of the air as possible and seal the bag. Move the marinade around so all sides of the mushrooms are coated. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.Take the mushrooms out of the marinade and fry the tops for 5 minutes. Fry them in what ever amount of marinade is left on them. You can add some more marinade if necessary so they don’t stick to the pan, but you don’t want to have greasy mushrooms.  Fry on high heat to get a light crusty top on the mushrooms.

IMG_0548Bake the mushrooms on a rack that has been put in a cookie sheet. This will allow the mushroom liquid to drop down into the cookie sheet and not make the mushrooms slimy. Bake for 5 minutes on each side. Take them out and serve them on top of some gluten free stuffing.Garnish and serve.


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Coconut Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

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Thanksgiving’s menu is about tradition. This is how I traditionally serve sweet potatoes on this holiday. The recipe takes the ordinary casserole with marshmallows and jettisons it to up to a different plane. I have served these many times and the reaction is always the same.  “Wow, those sweet potatoes are really great!  Can I have the recipe?” I originally shared the recipe before Thanksgiving 2015, but traditions are about repetition.  So here it is again. I hope it becomes part of your holiday tradition.

1 – 2     medium fleshed orange sweet potatoes, thinly sliced

1 can   coconut milk

1/2 cup  raw cashews

2 tbsp  cornstarch

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp  vanilla

1/2 tsp  salt

Put the sliced sweet potatoes in greased muffin cups.  Stack the slices above the level of the top of the cups.  This will give the top layer of slices crinkled edges.  Blend the rest of the ingredients.  It is alright to leave some small cashew chunks.  They will give the dish additional texture.  Slowly drizzle the coconut milk batter into the muffin tins until they are full of liquid.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Let them cool 5 to 10 minutes to make the potato cups easier to remove from the pan.

You can find this and other recipes in my book Satisfy Thy Mouth.  More than just a cookbook, it is a resource which explains how health changes are possible without the struggles most people face.  Buy your copy today and enjoy this and other delicious plant based recipes for the holidays or read it online at our Free Online Library

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Layered Water


I often forget drinks when hosting a holiday meal, they seem so unimportant when compared to all the amazing food that has to be cooked.  Here is a wonderfully stunning recipe. It is sweet and tart. And the best thing is can be prepared a few hours before you plan to eat and just left to sit on the dinner table until the meal is ready.

Into a clear 16 ounce glass, place the following ingredients in order. Do not stir the ingredients or move the glasses too much. The goal is to get everything to remain in layers.

  1. 1 teaspoon Old Orchard Cranberry Blend Frozen Concentrate.
  2. Fill the entire glass with crushed ice.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  4. Using a spoon pour water into the glass until it reaches 1 inch from the top.
  5. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon pomegranate seeds on top of the ice.
  6. Decoratively place a 3 – 4 inch rosemary sprig into the glass.
  7. Let the ice melt.
  8. The drinks will be ready to serve when the ice is mostly melted. The time it takes will depend on how warm it is in the room. It took about 2 hours in our 70 degree room.


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Not Lobster Bisque


I love the ocean and having lived most of my life in New England there are certain things that feel like autumn, like the colors on the trees changing, the bright smell of frost in the morning and beach cookouts.  In the fall, most of the sun worshipers are gone from the shore and only those in love with the surf remain. One of the romantic things of autumn beach combing is the food.  People in Massachusetts love seafood and lobster is their prime choice.

Now, lobster is not a healthy thing to eat.  Not only is it a living creature, but it eats the filth at the bottom of the sea.  The old saying, “You are what you eat.” is true.   And since lobsters eat sea muck, they are mucky too. So for those of you who still want to have a beach cook out, bring the side dishes and leave the lobster in the ocean.  Roast your red potatoes, grill your corn and try making this Not Lobster Bisque ahead of time. To be honest, it does not taste like lobster, but it is healthier than lobster and it tastes really good.


Not Lobster Bisque

2 stalks celery

2 medium carrots

1 small red onion

2 medium leeks

3  garlic cloves

2 roma tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

Clean and cut all the vegetables; then pour the olive oil on them.  Put in a pan and roast them in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then stir them.  Roast another 5 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.  Take the vegetables out of the oven and let them cool a little.  Put them in the blender and add:

1 1/2 cups  vegetable stock

2 1/2 teaspoons kelp powder (if your store does not carry kelp powder in a bag, you can substitute nutritional kelp powder capsules.  If so, use 13 capsules.  Open them up, sprinkle the powder on the stock and throw the capsules away.  Kelp powder is not as obscure as you may think.  I find mine at Walmart).

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 – 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste

Blend all the ingredients until it is smooth.  Heat through and serve.


Download My Free Recipes For A Great Picnic At The Beach.

  • Not Lobster Bisque
  • Campfire Roasted Corn and Potatoes
  • Onion Bread
  • Almond Truffles

If you are interested in other plant based recipes, purchase my cookbook: Satisfy Thy Mouth, With Good Things, or you can read it at our Free Online Library.

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Cook’s Lunch

Proof by Assertion


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Stuffed Red Pepper Rolls

This is a great recipe.  It is one of my favorites and I could eat these Stuffed Red Pepper Rolls every day.  You can find this and other delicious 100% plant based recipes in my pdf cookbook: Satisfy Thy Mouth: With Good Things.


8 medium roasted red peppers

1 batch Almond Ricotta Like Cheese

Slice the roasted red peppers on one side so that they can lay open, like a sheet of paper.  Fill the peppers with dollops of Almond Ricotta Like Cheese and then roll them like cigars.  Place them on a serving platter with the seam side down.  You may have to cut each pepper into 2 – 3 lengths so the rolls are not too fat.

Gluten free.


Download my free recipes:

  • Almond Ricotta Like Cheese
  • Stuffed Red Pepper Rolls



October 1 is World Vegetarian Day.  It is the national kickoff to World Vegetarian Month. Why not learn some new meatless recipes in my pdf book…


You can purchase it here, or read at our Free Online Library.

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Simple Berry Trifle

I saw it happen by accident.  I sat under the patio umbrella, finishing my meal.  The tall woman brought her desert out to the back porch and sat down at the next table.  The conversation at my table was quite lively and as I looked up and laughed I saw her take her first bite of the trifle.  She stopped, took a deep breath, closed her eyes and then asked her table mate, “Who made this?”  “I don’t know” was her friend’s response.

I did not volunteer any information.  I tend to be shy about my cooking. But I saw her face and realized that the trifle was better than I had expected.  Now, I don’t eat sugar anymore, and I don’t eat gluten, so this dessert was a shot in the dark, so to speak.  But we had an invitation and I wanted to bring a nice summer dish.

I made it the day before and asked my husband to taste the components.

“Dearest, how does this cake taste?”


“O.K.  How does this whipped coconut cream taste?  


“O.K.  How about the watered down jam?  Is it too thin?”  

“No, it’s good.”  

(So you see what I was up against.  It was all good, but that is what he says about everything I make).

So I brought the trifle, satisfied it would at least be good.  But that woman’s face said something different.  It said the trifle was better than just good.  As more people ate the dessert, the news finally got around that I had made the cake.  And as sometimes happens, somebody asked for the recipe.  So here it is.



Simple Berry Trifle

Prepare all the following:


Vegan Vanilla Cake

1 cup unbleached white cake flour

1/2 cup bakers sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup, plus 2 – 3 tablespoons vegan milk

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare one 9 inch round cake pan by greasing the bottom and side.  Cover the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper, cut to size, then grease the parchment paper too. Combine all the dry ingredients into one bowl and sift.  In another bowl combine all the wet ingredients.  Quickly add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well to combine.  Place in the hot oven and let bake 5 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.

When a fork gently pressed into the center of the cake comes out clean, take it out of the oven.  Cool the cake 5 – 10 minutes, then gently loosen the sides with a knife.  Invert the cake onto a wire cooling rack and let it come to room temperature.



Strawberry Jam Spread

1/2 cup of strawberry jam

Put the jam into a small bowl and add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin it out into a loose jelly. (Notice the photo of the jam, it is loose, but not watery). Set aside.


Lemon Coconut Whipped Cream

4 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator at least 2 hours

1 lemon zested and juiced

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons sugar

Carefully open the coconut milk cans and scoop out the thickened coconut fat that has solidified into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Try not to get any of the coconut liquid in your bowl, but reserve it for another dish.  Add the zest and juice from the lemon, the vanilla and sugar.  Turn the mixer on high and whip the cream until it is fluffy.  It will not hold peaks.  Use immediately.


Fresh Mixed Berries

4 cups of your choice



1. Tear off 2 inch pieces of the cake and set in the bottom of a clear glass bowl.  Drizzle the strawberry jam spread on that and follow with big dollops of the lemon coconut whipped cream.  Put a generous portion of fruit on top of the cream.

2. Begin layering again with the cake and follow the same procedure until all the ingredients are used up.  Let the cake sit covered with plastic film over night.  This will help the flavors mix.  Let the cake sit out of the refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving.  And then watch for that look from some unsuspecting dessert aficionado.




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Foods that Heal – Like Parm Cheese

This is my last entry about Beach B.A.L.L.S.  Bringing you this information has been fun.  Please subscribe to my website and get other valuable posts every week.  ‘S’ stands for seeds in the acronym.This recipe is made using sunflower seeds.

Like Parm Cheese


1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dry basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Process the sunflower seeds, yeast flakes, garlic powder and salt in a food processor.  Use the ‘S’ blade until a powder if formed.  Add the basil and pulse to distribute.  Use the Like Parm Cheese on top of pasta, salad, or popcorn.  Add it to burgers or beans.  Gluten free.

Beach B.A.L.L.S. is an acronym copyrighted by Keziah’s Publishing House, 2017


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Foods that Heal – Legumes

This summer I have been focusing on the top foods that have been scientifically proven to heal disease.  We have covered berriesalliumsleaves and now legumes.  Like leaves, beans can be added to anything.  Add a layer of seasoned mashed chickpeas to lasagna.  Throw a can of drained beans into a salad.  You can even make gluten free brownies out of black beans! (Find that recipe is in my cookbook, Satisfy Thy Mouth, With Good Things).  But today, I will show you how to make a simple bean salsa.


Bean Salsa


1 large clove of garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

2 cups beans or one 15.5 oz can, drained

1 cup corn kernels

1 medium green pepper, diced

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or 1/2 tablespoon dry

1/2 teaspoon each cumin, coriander and salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

*add red pepper flakes to your liking

Mix all the ingredients.  Chill and serve.

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Foods that Heal – Leaves

This summer I have been focusing on the leading foods that have been proven to heal disease.  We have covered berries, alliums, and now leaves.  Leaves are easy to get into a diet.  We usually think we have to eat a plate of greens or a big bowl of salad to eat leaves.  But leaves should be as plentiful in our diets as they are in nature.


Trees are full of leaves. Grass is the elongated leaves of the grain family.  Flowers all have leaves.   Even the spines on cacti are modified leaves. Without leaves plants would die.  The same is true of people. We need the nutrients in leaves for health and healing.  So instead of thinking of them as an isolated side dish, we should incorporate them into everything we eat.

We can add leaves to


*Liccy’s Split Pea Soup



Not Lobster Rolls, found in Food Before and After



Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

and grains.


*Debbie’s Green Rice

It is easy to make a bed of leaves for your entrée,


*Polenta Stacks


wilt them on roasted vegetables,


Lizzy’s Roasted Butternut Squash

spice up drinks with them,


Layered Water

 and garnish dessert.

IMG_8467*Coconut Rice with Pineapple, garnished with mint leaves

Eat them the usual way as a side dish


Braised Collard Greens with Israeli Couscous

or salad


*Middle Eastern Salad

Or try something new.

Make a dip with them,


*Kale Dip

Or add them to a fruit salad.


(Savory Grape Salad, see recipe below).

Anyway you eat leaves, your health will be improved.  So go out today and get some healing leaves and add them to everything.

All * recipes can be found in my cookbooks Satisfy Thy Mouth: With Good Things,
or in our Free Online Library.

Savory Grape Salad

3 cups          very sweet red grapes

3 tbsp          minced, fresh cilantro

1 tbsp          minced, fresh parsley

2 tsp            minced, fresh mint

1 tbsp          olive oil

2 tbsp          lemon juice

1 tbsp          thinly sliced green onion

Put all the ingredients into a bowl, stir and serve.



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Cucumber and Onion Salad

Here is an easy way to get a few more allium slices in your meal, make a Cucumber and Onion Salad.


Slice as many cucumbers as you want.  Sprinkle them with some salt and set aside.  Do the same with the onion.  Let them rest in the salt for 10 minutes.  Rinse the salt off and decoratively arrange them on a serving platter.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.

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Double Decker Waffle Treat




Everyone was at work, except me.  It was time for a little indulgence.  I thought there would be no better way than to make a wonderful treat for my lunch.  I started with Oat Waffles and stacked them with homemade banana and banana-berry ice cream.  It was easy to make and wonderful to eat.  You can find the waffle recipe on page 33 here, and how to make the ice cream below.


Banana/Banana-Berry Ice Cream

Slice 2 very ripe bananas into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick slices.  Freeze and have ready for use.

Take your frozen banana slices and using the “S” blade of your food processor, blend them until they become light and airy like ice cream.  You will have to occasionally turn the machine off and scrape the bananas down to the blades.

When the banana cream is perfectly smooth, take half of it out and put in the freezer until you are ready to assemble the waffles.  Take 1/2 cup of frozen berries and add them to the remaining banana ice cream. Process again until mostly smooth.  The berries will not become as smooth as the bananas.

Assemble your treat.  Place a waffle on a plate and top with the berry cream.  Add a waffle on top of that and follow with banana cream.  Top the stack with frozen  berries.  Eat this decadent treat without any guilt, as it is a healthy way of getting all your daily recommended fruit servings.  And remember berries are one of the world’s healthiest foods.

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Cook’s Lunch

So for the past few months a few of my church friends and I have been meeting monthly, cooking and enjoying lunch together. We call it Cook’s Lunch.   We are a gourmet, health conscious, small group.  We all have different things we would like to accomplish and learn from the group. Some of those desires are being met and others explored.  But the best part is the company.  Today’s menu was Black Bean Soup topped with Almond Mayo, Plantain Waffles with Mango Salsa.

Black Bean Soup


3  16 ounce cans of black beans drained, save the juice; or 6 cups of beans drained, save the juice

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dry basil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 1/2 cups liquid; add water to the juice from the beans to make up the total amount

1 teaspoon salt

Put all the ingredients into your blender and blend until a smooth soup.  Heat stirring often, so as not to scorch the bottom.

Plantain Waffle


4 green plantains, peeled

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

Grate the plantains, add oil and salt.  Cook 3/4 cup, or enough shredded plantains, 1/2 inch thick in waffle maker.   Cook for 10 minutes or until the inside is soft and chewy, while the outside is toasty.

*Do not use a deep or Belgian waffle maker, or the waffle will be difficult to take out.


You can find this recipe in Satisfy Thy Mouth cookbook in our Market.


Mango Salsa

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2 cups chopped fresh mango, about 1 medium sized mango

3 cups tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup minced onion

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil.

* can add 1/2 minced jalepeño pepper for a spicy salsa.

Almond Mayo

3/4 cup blanched almonds

3/4 cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon salt

Blend all ingredients for two full minutes.  The mixture will thicken as it blends.

You can find this recipe and other 100 % plant based dishes on our Free Online Library.

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Polenta Stacks

So for the past few months a few of my church friends and I have been meeting monthly, cooking and enjoying lunch together. We call it Cook’s Lunch.   We are a gourmet, health conscious, small group.  We all have different things we would like to accomplish and learn from the group. Some of those desires are being met and others explored.  But the best part is the company. Today’s lunch was really good, but as always the company was better.  Here is what we ate.




1 cup organic corn grits

4 cups water

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a large pot.  Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently.   Reduce the heat to low.  Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.  Pour into a greased cookie sheet and let cool completely.  Cut into 3 inch rounds with a cookie cutter.  Put the rounds back on the greased pan and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 15 – 20 minutes. Set aside.

Better Alfredo Sauce (from Satisfy Thy Mouth, cookbook)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup raw cashews

2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 cup baby spinach

Blend everything except for the spinach until smooth, then add:

1 cup water

Blend again. Season with

1/2 tsp each dry basil, parsley and oregano

Bring to a low boil for one minute and stir constantly.  Add spinach just before serving.

Black Olive Spread (from Satisfy Thy Mouth, cookbook)

1 cup black olives

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp ground thyme

1/2 tsp ground basil

1 clove garlic, minced

Using the ‘S’ blade in your food processor; pulse the ingredients until a chunky paste is formed.  Set to the side.

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Slices

2 large organic tomatoes

2 large organic red peppers

Cut tomato slices 1/2 inch thick.

Cut red pepper into 1/2 inch strips

Grease a large cookie sheet, placing the tomatoes on it.  Grease a second cookie sheet and put the pepper slices on it.

Sprinkle all with salt and herbs (optional)

Bake tomatoes in a 400 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Bake the red peppers in 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.



Make a stack in the following way

bed of baby spinach

polenta round

roasted tomato

olive spread

repeat the sequence one more time.

Top with Better Alfredo Sauce and garnish with roasted red peppers.

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Carob Brownie Cake

As stated previously, Comfort Food is wonderfully simple and homey; but sometimes we want a digestible spectacle.  New Years a the perfect occasion for making an extravagant dish.


Carob Brownie Cake

The Cake


2/3 cup carob powder

3/4 cup quinoa flour*

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 – 15 oz can unseasoned black beans,  rinsed and drained

1/2 cup safflower oil

2/3 cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp almond extract

Grease a spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Grease the paper.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the carob powder, quinoa flour, and salt.  In a food processor using the “S” blade, process the beans, oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract until perfectly smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. The batter will be thick.  Fill the spring form pan and spread the batter evenly.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool the pan on a rack, and then remove the cake from pan turning upside down on a platter. Carefully peel the paper off the cake . Set aside.  Repeat for the second cake layer.

*If you cannot purchase quinoa flour, grind 1 cup of quinoa in your blender until it is as fine as whole wheat flour.  Do not run the blender continuously, as it will over heat the motor.  Blend for 30 seconds and then let the blender rest for 10 seconds etc., until the flour is at the correct consistency.

The Filling


1/2 cup water

1/2 cup raw cashews

Blend the water and cashews until they are perfectly smooth.  Then add:

1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp corn starch

1 can Goya Crema de Coco, the sweet coconut liquid used for Piña Colada

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup carob powder

1/2 tsp almond extract

Blend again.  If the mixture is too thick blend it in small batches or add small amounts of coconut milk one tablespoon at a time, to keep the blades moving.  Do not add more than three tablespoons of liquid.  Cook the mixture stirring constantly, until thick, about 10 minutes.

Put the cake back into the the springform pan.  Pour the filling on top of the cake.  Cover and let sit in the refrigerator.

The Ganache


1/4 cup carob powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup agave syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon juice

Prepare the carob ganache about one hour before icing the cake with it. 

Blend all but the carob.  Let the oil melt to a margarine like consistency.  Add the carob and blend again until the carob is well incorporated.  Set aside.  (This is a fudge like ganache and it will not harden into a hard crust.)

The Streamers


Make the streamers while the cheesecake is setting up.  The most important thing about making the streamers is safety.  They are caramelized sugar, which is extremely hot.  The melted sugar will stick to your skin and burn deeply.  Please use caution.  It is best to wear long sleeves and oven mitts when cooking the streamers.  It may also be a good idea to have a large bowl with ice water in it to stick your hand into if you get burned.   That being said, melting the sugar is quite simple.

  1. Gather your utensils. 
    1. thick bottomed pot
    2. long handled spoon
    3. bowl with very cold water in it for testing the sugar
    4. cutting board
    5. plastic freezer bags
  2. Gather your ingredients:  1 cup of sugar

Pour the sugar into the pot.  Set the stove heat to medium high and let the sugar begin to melt.  It may only melt on the edges.  If that happens use the long handled spoon to pull the liquid sugar back into the crystalized sugar.  Continue in this way until all the sugar is melted. If the sugar begins to turn very brown before the rest of the crystals melt, lower the heat and let the solid sugar melt on low heat.  You do not want to burn the caramel.  Once completely melted the sugar will eventually begin to boil. Continue cooking it, without stirring, until it is a deep amber color.

At this point test the sugar to see if it is ready to pour.  Take your spoon and pour a small amount of the syrup into the bowl with cold water.  If the sugar is ready the drop of syrup will turn into hard brittle threads.  If you are using a candy thermometer, it will read 310 degrees.

Put the freezer bag on top of the cutting board to protect your counter from the hot sugar.  Drizzle the melted sugar onto the freezer bag trying to make separate lines.  Let the streamers cool before touching them.

The Assembly


Remove the paper off the second cake layer and put it back into the spring form pan on top of the cheesecake filling..  Let the cake sit covered in the refrigerator overnight.  The next day, use a knife to loosen the entire cake from the pan.  Set the bottom of the pan on a wire rack and pour ganache all over the cake.  Refrigerate it to let the ganache harden a little bit; at least two – three hours. Garnish with sugar streamers.


You can find this and other delicious 100% plant desserts in my cookbook: Comfort Cheesecake

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Gluten Puffs

Here is a third exciting recipe in honor of World Vegetarian Month.  The other two recipes, Cilantro and Gingered Tofu and Mexican Hat, have been completely gluten free.  Well this one is for those of you left who still eat gluten.


img_4185Dry ingredients:

1 1/3 cups Vital Wheat Gluten flour (this can be found in many grocery stores. A common brand is Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup onion powder

1 tsp basil

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp savory

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp turmeric


Wet Ingredients:

1 clove garlic, minced

2 1/3 cups mashed potatoes

2 tbsp oil

1 cup water

Mix all the dry ingredients into one bowl and stir to combine.  In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and knead the dough in the bowl until it is one large sticky ball.  Pull walnut sized portions from the big dough ball; leave them in odd shapes and lay them on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake the Gluten Puffs for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Turn the puffs occasionally so as not to burn the bottoms.

October 1 was World Vegetarian Day.  It is the national kickoff to World Vegetarian Month. Why not challenge yourself this month by learning why meat is not needed in your diet.  Each week, between October first and November first, which is World Vegan Day, I will post two excerpts from my cookbook, Satisfy Thy Mouth, with Good Things.  One will be informational material and the other a recipe.stm-front-page-photo-001

You can find this and other delicious 100% plant recipes in my cookbook: Satisfy Thy Mouth: with Good Things

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Mexican Hat

Last week, in honor of World Vegetarian Month I posted a recipe for Cilantro and Gingered Tofu.  Well here is another recipe to tickle your taste buds. It is super easy to make and tastes like a burrito.


2 packages 100% corn tortillas

4 jars Herdez Salsa Casera or your favorite salsa

4 cups cooked red or pinto beans, pulsed with the “S” blade of a food processor until a chunky purée is achieved

2 cups cooked corn kernels

1 recipe Like Cheese

This dish is a Mexican version of Lasagna.  The corn tortillas are used in the same manner as the lasagna noodles, the salsa is used instead of the spaghetti sauce.

Pour some salsa on the bottom of your casserole dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with one layer of tortillas. Top that with a layer of beans, followed by corn, Like Cheese and a generous layer of salsa.  Begin with tortillas again, until you have 1/2 inch left to go before you reach the top edge of the dish. You may add other vegetables between the layers of corn tortillas if you would like to.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until the salsa is simmering.

Gluten free.


October 1 was World Vegetarian Day.  It is the national kickoff to World Vegetarian Month. Why not challenge yourself this month by learning why meat is not needed in your diet.  Each week, between October first and November first, which is World Vegan Day, I will post two excerpts from my cookbook, Satisfy Thy Mouth, with Good Things.  One will be informational material and the other a recipe.stm-front-page-photo-001

You can find this and other delicious 100% plant recipes in my cookbook: Satisfy Thy Mouth: with Good Things

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Cilantro and Ginger Tofu

So in honor of World Vegetarian Month I want to post this amazing recipe.  The tofu has a good texture and the marinade is too amazing for words. Try it this month and add it to your regular menu.


1 package extra firm tofu, frozen overnight and thawed the next day

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 inches fresh ginger, grated

2 tbsp whole coriander seed, or 1 tsp powdered coriander

4 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp tomato paste

4 tbsp lime juice

2 large bunches fresh cilantro

1 tsp kosher salt

1 – 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk

2 large sweet vidalia onions, sliced


Take your thawed tofu and squeeze out as much of the water as possible.  Cut the tofu into chunks and set aside.


Place the garlic, ginger, coriander and olive oil in a frying pan.  Gently sauté the seasonings in the oil on low heat.  Once the aroma of the seasonings are fragrant add the tomato paste and turn the heat up to medium.


Stir the tomato paste until it is incorporated into the oil

Pour your mixture into a blender and add the lime juice and cilantro.  Blend for a few seconds until the cilantro is well chopped.  Next add the coconut milk and blend again.  This is the marinade and sauce for the tofu.


Take half of the marinade and in a shallow dish pour it over the tofu chunks, coating them well.  Let the tofu sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Place the chunks on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Turn the tofu occasionally.  After the baking time is expired, broil the tofu for 1 – 2 minutes to create a crust.  Keep a close eye on the tofu while broiling so it does not burn.



While the tofu is baking sauté the onions.  Add them to the reserved marinade.  Heat this mixture through and use it as a sauce.  Serve the tofu and sauce over brown rice.

Gluten free.


You can find this and other delicious 100% plant recipes in my cookbook: Satisfy Thy Mouth: with Good Things

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Not Pulled Pork


This is the perfect dish to take to your Fourth of July celebration.  It does not taste like pulled pork, but it is delicious. A perfect finger licking sandwich.


1     3 pound spaghetti squash

Wash the squash.  Cut it in fourths and deseed it.  Use 1/2 of the squash, saving the unused portions for a different recipe.  Place it cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes; or until the strings are easily removed.  Use a fork to scrape the flesh from off the skin.  Return the flesh to the cookie sheet and broil it until the juices from the squash have caramelized and turn some of the strings brown. Stir the squash frequently while broiling so as not to burn it.


1 medium onion, sliced

1 tbsp     oil

1 tbsp     tomato paste

1 clove    garlic, minced

1/2 tsp    Liquid Smoke

1/4 cup   barbecue sauce

Sauté the sliced onions in the oil until they are golden in color.  Add the tomato paste and stir continuously.  Fry the onions and tomato paste until the paste begins to stick to the bottom of the frying pan and looks a deep red color.  Add the minced garlic and Liquid Smoke and cook one more minute.  Finally, add the barbecue sauce and the spaghetti squash.  Cook, stirring until everything is heated through.  Serve on a hamburger bun.

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