Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vegan pumpkin pie brownie

Misha and Nika have a pillow fight.
Ever since these two were added to our menagerie, there has never been a dull moment. In fact, I can safely say I never sit around for very long. I'm sure I am following the new guidelines of never sitting for more than 30 minutes at a stretch. I'm usually grabbing a leash to head outside for a walk, romp or something. I'm not advocating getting a pair like this to keep you moving but it definitely works unless you want your house in shambles.

Nika tries to snatch a muffin.
Even your breakfast might get snatched if you are not vigilant as my husband found out while checking his e-mails.

Child's pose with help

 I turn to yoga to try to destress from all this doggie activity but even that is not canine-free.

Too much yoga help

Yoga is not always relaxing. This is where the dynamic duo get sent outside to their pen.

Bailey and Kona do the relaxation pose.

Why can't the other two be more like these guys? The look so relaxed I wish I could join them.

Vegan pumpkin pie brownie

Amidst all the doggie activity, I still had time to experiment with a recipe for Thanksgiving. I've never been a fan of pumpkin pie which my hubby dearly loves. It's got to have a chocolate or what is the point of consuming the extra calories in my book. I thought why not combine my favorite with his and Vegan Pumpkin Pie Brownie was born.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Brownie

Ingredients for Brownie Layer:
  1. 2/3 cup cacao powder
  2. 1/2 cup amaranth flour
  3. 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp. salt
  5. 1/4 cup coconut sugar plus stevia to taste
  6. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  7. 1/4 cup olive oil
  8. 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1 flax egg (1 T. flax mixed with 3 T. hemp milk)
Ingredients for Pumpkin Layer:
  1. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  2. 1 T. flax
  3. 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, such as hemp
  4. 1/4 cup coconut sugar plus stevia to taste
  5. 1/4 tsp each cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon
  6. Optional: cacao nibs for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an eight-inch square pan.
  2. Make the pumpkin layer first by mixing all the pumpkin layer ingredients in a food processor. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Don't bother rinsing out the food processor before moving onto the brownie layer. Mix all the brownie layer ingredients in the food processor.
  4. Pour the brownie layer mixture into your prepared baking pan. Pour the pumpkin layer on top and smooth it out to the sides.
  5. Bake for 30+ minutes until the pumpkin layer looks firm and has cracked at the edges.
  6. Let cool before decorating with cacao nibs or chocolate drizzle.

Misha takes a break but not for long.

Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving and try to enjoy some relaxation time, just like Misha, above.

This recipe is entered in Weekend Wellness at:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Vegan chocolate kiss, cookie dough cookies

Misha underfoot

Kona blocking door

Misha and Kona blocking yet another door
 I guess you can see from the pix above why one of the No. 1 accidents around the house is from tripping over a dog or dogs. So far, no injuries have occurred in our household, probably because this has been going on since we added Kona, now 13, to our household. We have acquired the skill of stepping carefully about the house.

 Kona was the first one to perfect blocking doorways and being underfoot. Now, she has passed this "skill" along to our newbies, Misha and Nika, and even our cat, Bailey. We have tried to train this out of our brood but they are so darned pack-driven they just keep coming back to their favorite spots which happen to be in the way.
Vegan chocolate kiss, cookie dough cookies

Do you think I can blame all these dogs underfoot for my chocolate attacks/obsession? It works for me. I have been a lover of cookie dough since the beginning of time. Cookie dough balls, dipped in chocolate, fly out of my freezer. The last one I devoured recently was delicious but also an inspiration for another chocolate treat. As I savoured the last bite, I thought why not put the chocolate on the inside. That didn't work but instead Vegan chocolate kiss, cookie dough cookies were born. The name is a mouthful to say but who cares about the name, just eat 'em.

Vegan Chocalate Kiss, Cookie Dough Cookies

1 cup ground raw or toasted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup quinoa flakes
2 scoops rice protein powder
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 T. chia seeds
Pinch of salt
1 T. coconut nectar or agave nectar
Powdered stevia to taste
2 T. hemp milk or enough to make every stick together
Chocolate protein seed butter (make your own by combining 2 T. melted coconut oil with 1/2 cup unsweetened sunbutter or other seed/nut butter of choice, stevia, 2-3 scoops rice protein powder)

For the cookie dough: mix everything but chocolate protein seed butter in a food processor. Scoop out tablespoonsful of the cookie dough and place onto a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Pick up one hunk at a time and make a small indentation on top with your fingers. Fill the indentation with chocolate protein seed butter which serves as the "chocolate kiss." Place the cookie dough cookies in the freezer to firm everything up. Snack on as desired but be careful, these are dangerous!

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vegan pumpkin seed bars with coconut glaze

Dogs in the kitchen as usual

Bailey and Misha investigating food ops in kitchen

Vegan pumpkin seed bars with coconut glaze
The dogs are still overtaking my life and my kitchen but they are adorable especially when sleeping. The rest of the time it is pure chaos. Bailey and Misha offer a glimpse of what it's like getting anything done in the kitchen in the photo above where they are investigating what's on the stove.

The new kid in the house, Nika, loves food like nothing I have ever seen. She is literally a shopvac when it comes to eating her food. She could easily enter a professional eating contest if they had such a thing for canines.

The best time to prepare anything for the humans in the house to eat is when all the dogs are sleeping which actally works part of the time. I had a nice one-hour window of tranquility to prepare the vegan pumpkin seeds bars.

Vegan Pumpkin Seeds Bars

  1. 3 cups of quinoa flakes or rolled oats
  2. 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  3. 1/4 cup coconut syrup
  4. stevia for additional sweetness
  5. 3 scoops rice protein powder
  6. 2 cups of seeds (or nuts) of your choice ground in a coffee grinder.
  7. 1/4 cup unsweetened sunbutter or use other seed or nut butter of choice.
  8. 2 T. coconut oil, melted
  9. 1 T. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  10. 1/4 cup unsweetened hemp milk (or other alternative dairy beverage)
  11. 1 + cups of pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a large cookie sheet.
  3. Process all the ingredients in a food processor.
  4. Add enough pumpkin puree and hemp milk to get the mixture to hold together.
  5. Spread the mixture onto the cookie sheet. It should be about 1/3-inch thick.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or so.
  7. Cut into bars and spread them apart on the cookie sheet.
  8. Return the bars to the oven for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove them again and flip them over
  10. Continue baking until the bars are firm. Remove those that get done sooner as needed.
  11. When done, place the bars to cool on a rack.
  12. In the meantime, prepare a simple glaze of 1-2 T. coconut butter melted with 1 T. coconut oil.
  13. Drizzle on the cooled bars and allow to harden.
  14. Store the bars in the fridge or freezer.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cauliflower-pumpkin (cheesecake) spread

Take a look at my kitchen floor. There's nary a cat in sight but the dogs are wall to wall as my menagerie grows yet again. This time the new addition is two-month-old Nika, a red malamute pup.  I think I should have called my blog, "Dogs in the Kitchen," because it looks like they have taken over. 

Here's some shots of the new dog in the kitchen.

Well, you can probably guess this new little "floor rug" has been keeping me busy, almost too busy to cook. The first few days I had no life other than getting Misha, Kona and Bailey, the cat, to embrace their new sister, Nika. There was lots of protesting in the form of howling and whimpering from Nika, and snarling and snapping from hyper, alpha boy, Misha. Kona was good with whatever as long as she got her food while Bailey hid under the bed.

Fortuntely, most of the kinks have been ironed out in the past three days; well, all but the potty training. That's a whole different issue. I continue to spend most of my time at the end of several leashes as I take the wee one (16 pounds), accompanied by her new pals, on endless walks to get the "deed" done outside.

I managed to pull together a nice veggie-protein spread, "Cauliflower-pumpkin (cheesecake) spread," that keeps my snacking, hunger-pains at bay and tastes delicious too, almost like pumpkin cheesecake, but much healthier! It's super easy too which makes it a lifesaver right now.

Cauliflower-pumpkin spread

Cauliflower-pumpkin spread with chocolate topping

Cauliflower-pumpkin (cheesecake) spread

  1. 1/2 medium cauliflower, washed, trimmed and riced in food processor
  2. 2 T. unsweetened sunbutter, tahini or other nut or seed butter
  3. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  4. 1 tsp. agave nectar plus stevia
  5. 1 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  6. 2-3 T. rice protein powder
  1. Rice the cauliflower in a food processor
  2. Add the nut or seed butter, pumpkin, protein powder and sweetener
  3. Process until you have a smooth spread
  4. Add more pumpkin puree or bit of water if spread is too thick
  5. Serve on crackers, rice cakes
  6. Extra stores well in fridge for up to a week
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