Sunday, August 27, 2006


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The brownies in question, my "Almost-No-Fat Brownies" (but with walnuts added), recipe below.

Yesterday afternoon Brian and I went on a trip with my son Tim, his wife and their three girls, on their little boat around Denman Island, where we live. It was a glorious day and we had a great time. Best of all, was seeing our home island from a different perspective, seeing the mountains on both sides of us,

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seeing houses on Denman that you can't see from the roads, and seeing porpoises and seals right alongside the boat! I took some inari sushi made with brown rice and quinoa (an interesting if inadvertant Peruvian/Japanese fusion, I just realized-- Peru has a large Japanese population, which has influenced the cuisine), and some almost-no-fat brownies for munching.

NOTE: I forgot to bring my digital camera with me on this trip! So, the scenic pics are variously from government and local tourism sites, or taken by me or my friends Fireweed, and Debbie Knight, previously.

We embarked on our little journey at the boat launch near Boyle Point Park, which the locals call "Eagle Rock":

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We headed across to Ford's Cove Marina on Hornby Island (my oldest daughter lives on Hornby with her husband and two teenagers. It's a quaint little spot with some beautiful homes and a funky, well-stocked grocery store (shown here) and art shop. (The store carries soy cheese and fresh tofu, soy ice cream and fruit sorbet, and lots of Asian condiments.)

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Here's a view from a Hornby beach:

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and a view of Denman from Hornby:
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After getting a few necessaries, we headed back across and up the eastern side of Denman to "Tree Island" (actually "Sandy Island Provincial Marine Park", but everybody calls it "tree island"). We had porpoises swimming near the boat on the way there.

You can actually walk there at low tide, but it's a long way and people have got stuck there! we spent a couple of lazy hours on the sandy beach there, taking in the sun (there was a nice cool breeze to mitigate that), and watching the girls cavort in the water.

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Then we all piled into the boat again and went back to the boat launch up the western side of Denman, enjoying the cool wind and admiring the houses along the shore, which we never see from the land. The two younger girls fell asleep on the way.

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Here's the ferry dock on the west side of Denman:

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and a view of Denman from the ferry dock on the Vancouver Island side at Buckley Bay:

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and a Denman Island beach scene:
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We drifted for a bit near Chrome Island Lighthouse

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where we saw a seal feasting on the school of tiny fish that were jumping in the water all around us-- it looked and sounded as if it was raining! We docked the boat and went home feeling very relaxed.

Once home, we had a very simple supper of rosemary-roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and steamed asparagus with mushrooms in a simple sherry sauce:

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Now, those brownies:

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Printable Recipe

(From my second cookbook, The Almost-No-Fat HOLIDAY Cookbook.)

Nutrition facts include 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. If you need a big batch of brownies, triple the recipe and use one whole 12.3 oz. box of extra-firm (regular or lite) SILKEN tofu.

1 cup brown sugar
4 oz (1/2 c.) medium-firm tofu OR firm or extra-firm SILKEN tofu
1/2 cup unsweetened organic cocoa (I use Dutch-process-- read about cocoa powders here)
1/3 cup flour OR GF flour mix
1/4 cup water (can be part liqueur of choice, such as Kahlua)
4 tsp powdered Ener-G or Orgran No-Egg egg replacer powder
1 Tbs coffee (or coffee substitute) granules or espresso powder
2-3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
OPTIONAL: 1/4-1/2 c. chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the food processor mix until smooth the sugar, tofu, cocoa, water, egg replacer, coffee granules, vanilla and vinegar.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda. Add the cocoa mixture and mix briefly. Add nuts, if using.

Pour the mixture into a 7 x 11" or 8 x 8" cake pan lined with cooking parchment. Spread evenly. Bake 25 minutes. Cool on a rack in the pan, then cut into bars.

Servings: 12

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per 1/12th): 131.7 calories; 22% calories from fat; 3.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 148.4mg sodium; 159.5mg potassium; 24.4g carbohydrates; 1.6g fiber; 18.0g sugar; 22.7g net carbs; 2.5g protein; 2.6 points.


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Celeste said...

I've made those brownies many times, they are delectable.

jenny said...

You live in such a beautiful place!! Love the BW pics!

KleoPatra said...

You beautiful dancer you!!!

I love the photos... to see dolphins and porpoises up close is heaven to me... what a spectacular area you live in.... and absolutely great lookin' brownies, for heaven's sake. Healthy (mostly!) too... what more could one want?

This is such a "keeper" of a post!

Really... thanks for sharing a part of your world with us, Bryanna.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryanna! I've seen this recipe in your book, and was wondering: what type of flour? Pastery? Whole Wheat? Could All-purpose or Bread flour be used?

Tks, Mark

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Hi, Mark! I use just plain unbleached white regular flour.

Susan Voisin said...

You live in such a beautiful part of the world! I am truly envious.

I feel bad that I've never made your brownies; now seeing them has given me a real craving!

And finally, I hope you don't mind (and ignore it if you want) but I "tagged" you for a food meme, to name the five foods you think everyone should try. It's explained
here on my blog. I'd love to hear what you would list, but feel free to ignore it if you don't have time.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Susan! I am going to think about this all day and make my list!

Dori said...

Awesome Bryanna! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures... now I don't feel so bad that I couldn't attend that cooking vacation way back when. I now feel I have an opportunity to see your "neck of the woods".

spiceislandvegan said...


The blog and pictures brought a lot of memories of my cooking vacation with you. What a wonderful 5 days vacation we had. A beautiful place indeed! I will be back someday.

I like the hiking trails in Denman Island also.


I Am Gluten Free said...

Do you have any idea if you can just substitute gluten free flour measure for measure or would I need to add xanthan gum as well? Thanks! They look delicious!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Ellen, this recipe works really well with my gluten-free high-fiber flour mix, cup for cup! It already contains xanthan gum:


7 and 1/2 c. brown rice flour (I ground it from short grain brown rice)
2 and 1/2 c. potato starch
1 and 1/4 c. tapioca flour
1 c. ground flax seed
1 c. chickpea flour (or soy flour)
4 and 1/2 T. xanthan or guar gum (see NOTE below)

Mix well and store in a moisture-proof container in the freezer. Use cup-for-cup instead of regular flour.

NOTE: Because non-gluten flours lack the structure that gluten provides, xanthan gum or guar gum (available in health food stores) is often added to gluten-free baked goods. This mixture contains enough xanthan or guar gum for cakes, cookies, pancakes, and quick breads. For yeast breads, you may have to add up to 1 tsp. more gum per cup of gluten-free flour.

mustardseed said...

Hi Bryanna! Can I replace the expresso with more cocoa powder? I don't like, loathe, coffee. (:

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

You can just leave it out, mustardseed-- but just so you know, it doesn't make the brownies taste like coffee-- it just deepens the taste, in my opinion.

Bev's Place said...

Hi Bryanna :)

I've only been vegan for about two months and on Sunday, I had an intense craving something sweet that wasn't fruit. I wasn't worried about fat content, I just wanted sweet. I found your recipe for brownies and except for the nuts, I followed it to the letter. The brownies are a huge hit with my adult boys who would have refused it if I said it was vegan and made with tofu. Thanks for a great recipe!!

Lexi said...

First comment ever here :)

I was just wondering..on the brownies, if egg replacer isn't readily available..what should i use in a pinch?