Protein Power Balls

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Next up on our 52 cookbooks endeavor is Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families. We’ve been fans of Dreena’s books ever since her first one came out long ago, and now that we have kids we especially like her books for their many kid-friendly snack ideas. The recipe for these Protein Power Balls was posted here by The Green Mama. We’ve been thinking about making these for quite a while and today we finally did. They’re sweet because they contain a lot of dates but they have no added sugar and they’re packed full of healthy proteins like hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Best of all, the kids love ’em. So here’s one answer to that question so commonly asked of vegans, “where do you get your protein?”

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Breakfast x2

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One of the latest books in our 52 cookbooks adventure is Kristy Turner’s But I Could Never Go Vegan. At first we weren’t sure about getting this cookbook because from the title it sounds like it could have a lot of very basic recipes for new vegans. While new vegans will certainly find it useful, we’ve been vegan for many years and have enjoyed using this book too. I love how it’s organized into chapters that reflect common questions about or criticisms of veganism: “Vegan cooking is too hard”, “Where would I get my protein?”, and “It’s all rabbit food” are a few of the chapter titles. Of course it’s not all rabbit food and we get plenty of protein. It’s not too hard to cook great vegan meals either and it was in that chapter where Darlene found this recipe. She wanted to have something savory for breakfast recently and these chickpea omelets came out great. She just used the recipe for the batter and instead of the vegetable suggestions she used up some kale we had in the fridge. They were especially good topped with a little apple kraut from local company Farmstead Ferments.

If you Google chickpea omelet recipe, you’ll find many variations of recipes. This recipe is just chickpea flour, a little nutritional yeast, black salt and seasonings (cumin, thyme, garlic powder, smoked paprika, turmeric and pepper) mixed with enough water to make a batter roughly the thickness of pancake batter. Throw in whatever veggies  you want and fry in a skillet kind of like a pancake. Yum!

 

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From our newest cookbook to one of our oldest ones. Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe dates to our pre-vegan, vegetarian days. If you’re vegan, I can’t say I’d recommend this book because it’s pretty egg-heavy, but still, it has a lot of good breakfast ideas. Some of the recipes are already vegan and many others are easily veganized. Like these Buttermilk Barley Muffins for example. We happened to have some leftover cooked barley and these were perfect to make on a snowy morning. I think these would be good to make with leftover rice too. Here’s my adapted/veganized recipe.

What you need:

1 c. all purpose flour

1 c. white whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 c. cooked pearl barley

1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds

1/4 c. minced raw cashew pieces, toasted

3/4 c. soy or almond milk

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 Tbs. chia seeds + 2 Tbs. water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 c. canola oil

1/4 c. maple syrup

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly oil 12 muffin cups. Mix the vinegar into the milk and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the barley and mix well until it’s evenly distributed. If you have a small blender, briefly blend the chia seeds and water. Alternatively, briefly grind the chia seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, then whisk in the water. Add the chia mixture to the milk/vinegar mixture then mix in the maple syrup, canola oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, gently mixing until incorporated, then fold in the sesame seeds and cashews. Distribute evenly among 12 muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until just starting to brown. Remove the muffins from the pan and put on a rack to cool for another 20 minutes.

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Colombian-style Red Beans

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Our effort to cook from a different cookbook every week this year continues. Last night we went to Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan for this Colombian-style Red Beans recipe. It occurred to me that we need to keep this in mind for the summer when we’re getting lots of onions and peppers from our CSA. This dish (and many other Latin recipes) starts with a sofrito, which consists of onions, peppers and garlic cooked long and slow in lots of oil. In addition to the sofrito, these beans were seasoned with cumin, paprika and oregano, and also included a diced plantain and a shredded carrot. Then they were simmered in veggie broth and served with brown rice with some broccoli on the side. I also doused mine with plenty of hot sauce and garnished with fresh oregano.

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Happy New Year 2016

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We hope everyone had a great holiday season and we wish you well for 2016. Yesterday we continued our tradition of having black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day. This year we had some friends over for New Year’s dinner so we made a lot of food. It was two years ago when we first made the Black-Eyed Pea and Collard tacos from Isa Does It, and again they were a great twist on our New Year’s Day tradition. We also made a variation of the Happy New Year Chili from Robin Robertson’s Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker. In addition to the black-eyed peas called for in the recipe we also added of collards and corn, so this chili was the embodiment of the phrase “peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and corn for gold”.

One fun idea we have for 2016 is to make at least one recipe from a different cookbook every week all year. Since there will likely be times we don’t keep up with this goal we’re starting with two cookbooks here. Some weeks we may miss and other weeks we may do more than one but by the end of the year we hope to have posted about 52 cookbooks. Check out the 52 cookbooks tag to see how we’re progressing!

Happy New Year!

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