Sunday, June 28, 2009


Best Blog Tips

The Field Roast cookbook I have been working on with the owner/founder, David Lee, from Seattle, is taking longer than expected, but it's 's coming along! This week I have not had alot of time for cooking or writing recipes (painting kitchen cupboards!), so here are some "teaser" pictures of two of my latest Field Roast Grain Meatloaves, a South African version and an Indian-style version:

This is my Field Roast Bobotie, a fruity, spicy South African-style grain meatloaf, which turned out really well. I have been veganizing this recipe for years, as my stepsons' late mother was from South Africa. The origins of Bobotie (you can listen to the pronunciation of this word here) can be traced back to the influence of the Cape Malay people on South African culture.

A little history about this dish: "The first group of Malaysian state prisoners landed on the shores of South Africa from Java and the neighboring Indonesian islands in the late 1600's. Many more followed in the years 1727 until 1749. Not only did this proud and attractive people bring with them the Moslem faith and fine architecture, they also brought with them a unique cookery style, introducing exciting mixtures of pungent spices that has had a heady influence on traditional South African cuisine. Indeed, the Malay-Portuguese words such as bobotie (a curried ground beef and egg custard dish), sosatie (kebabs marinated in a curry mixture) and bredie (slowly cooked stews rich in meat, tomatoes and spices) are integral in our cookery vocabulary." Source

Earlier this week I made an Indian-style version of the Field Roast Grain Meatloaf:

I served it with spicy Indian-style roasted red potatoes, Indian-style braised kubocha squash, and braised greens with garlic and chile. I glazed the loaf with a spicy tamarind-ketchup sauce, and served it with mango and ginger chutney.

I also made some Indian-style kofta kebabs and patties with the grain meatloaf mixture and they were both delicious!

Forming the koftas on bamboo skewers

The koftas before steaming

The koftas after steaming

The patties before steaming

Steaming the grain meatloaf and the patties in an electric skillet (not shown is the dome lid)

The browned kofta kebabs on spicy quinoa and bulgur with peas, with masala cauliflower.

I promise you that this book will be worth the wait!!

PS: see more pictures of recipes that will be in the book (including grain meat loaves and roasts, sausages, cutlets, grain meatballs) at the following links:

(scroll way down to the bottom of this post to see the photo of the rolled, stuffed grain meatloaf)

All the best,

Monday, June 22, 2009


Best Blog Tips Italian kale from our garden patch

I have to tell you that DH and I are NOT gardeners! We both don't like gardening much (I'm almost afraid to admit that around here!), and our soil is very rocky, but DH has made a fertile little patch and then we grow some hot-weather plants in pots on our back deck-- enough to keep us in fresh greens, herbs, and tomatoes for the summer and fall, with a few things in the freezer.

Below are some photos of our VERY modest little veggie patch, and potted plants on out back deck.

A view of some of the plants on the deck (tomatoes, peppers, basil, parsley, etc.)


More greens:


Russian kale

While I'm at it, here are some views of the woods and greenery around our house:

View from the back deck

View from the living room window

**Back to the eating sort of greenery-- I picked a big bowl of mixed greens the other day and at the same time made a batch of my lower-fat guacamole, and then I had to figure out something to do with them that didn't involve tortillas or tortilla chips (which I didn't have on hand). So below is what I came up with, and it was good!

Below that are some family photos.:)

Masa Crepes with Green Filling, Topped with Black Bean and Corn Salsa and Lower-Fat Guacamole (UPDATE: the recipe will be in my new book coming up at the end of  August 2011!)

And now, proud Nonna has to show off a little!

My granddaughter H. at her piano recital.

5-year-old grandson L., seen here playing swordsman, is now reading whole books by himself!

Here he is playing hockey for the first time:

Two more granddaughters (who are stepsisters, one already 10 and one about to be 10) got their yellow belts in tai kwon do on Saturday:

Going through their paces:

F. doing her high kick.

M. doing her high kick.

Proud moment!

F. on the far left, and M. on the far right.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Best Blog Tips
Pasta with Lemon, Asparagus, Peas and Vegan "Ham"

I posted a picture of this dish on a blog post back in May and promised to post the recipe. I'm finally getting around to it, after all of those desserts!

If you like creamy, lemony foods, you'll love this dish! And it's super easy and low-fat, as well! A perfect early summer supper dish.

Printable Recipe (sauce recipe included)

Serves 6

1 recipe Bryanna's Quick Creamy Sauce for Pasta (I used the sherry option)
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into about 1" pieces
1 lb. wholewheat spaghetti or fettucine
approx. 2 cups slivered vegan "ham", loose-packed (such as Yves [I actually prefer their "bacon" to their "ham"])
1 1/4 cups frozen petit pois (baby peas), thawed
the juice of 1 large lemon
1/3 to 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan substitute (Follow Your Heart (Earth Island in Canada brand is excellent)
zest of 1 large organic lemon (use a citrus zester, if possible, for long slivers of zest, as pictured)
a handful of chopped chives

Make the Quick Creamy Pasta Sauce and set aside.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

Steam or blanch the asparagus pieces until just crisp-tender, and quickly run them under cold water to stop cooking. Drain and set aside.

When the water boils, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, brown the ham slivers lightly in a large sauté pan, stir-fry pan or skillet (use a spray of oil from a pump-sprayer, if necessary). Add the peas and asparagus to the pan and stir-fry just to heat them up. Add the lemon juice to the Quick Creamy Pasta Sauce and then add the mixture to the skillet, along with the Parmesan substitute of your choice. Stir it around over medium heat until the sauce bubbles.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet and toss with the sauce so that everything is coated and the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide the pasta dish evenly between 5 pasta bowls or plates (preferably warm ones). Top each serving with some of the lemon zest and chives and serve immediately.

 Nutrition (per serving): 459.4 calories; 5% calories from fat; 3.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 1271.8mg sodium; 724.2mg potassium; 77.2g carbohydrates; 5.7g fiber; 3.9g sugar; 71.5g net carbs; 33.4g protein; 8.6 points.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Best Blog Tips

We enjoyed a vegan potluck dinner party last night, celebrating several birthdays! I have only had one slice of these desserts, by the way-- no seconds! (DH, too!)

The dinner party was held at our friends Sarah and Gordon's house and there were 5 vegan couples, as usual. S asked for a Mexican theme, and the weather cooperated! I made my Vegan Coconut-Lime Cake to stay with the tropical theme, and also some of my crusty no-knead bread.

It was a great evening of wonderful vegan food and wine, convivial atmosphere, laughter, and conversation. Here are some pictures, and then the cake recipe.

DH snapping the other photographer!
Finishing Touches:

Appreciating the crusty bread!
Friends conversing and enjoying freshly-made guacamole and tortilla chips

The Feast:

Crusty bread, vegan Chile Rellenos, Mexican Quinoa Salad, and, in foreground, Enchilada Bake--all scrumptious!

In back: Vegan Chile Rellenos, Mexican Quinoa Salad, spicy Arroz con Chipotle; In front: Enchilada Bake, and yummy Mango Salsa, and Roasted Corn Salsa

Checking out the raised-bed garden.

The dining pavillion-- doesn't it look like we're in the Mediterranean?
The lovely table in the dining pavillion
Toasting to good friends and good vegan food!
Preparing to cut the birthday cake


Printable Recipe

Servings: 12
The tangy Lime Curd filling contrasts deliciously with the sweet coconut cake and icing. You have a choice between two frostings and two fillings!

Creamed Mixture:
6 tablespoons vegan "butter" (try my palm oil-free Vegan Buttah!)
1 1/2 cups granulated organic unbleached sugar
2 tablespoons water
Dry Mix:
2 5/8 cups white pastry or cake flour (2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons) (DO NOT USE ALL-PURPOSE OR 'PLAIN" FLOUR OR THE CAKE WILL BE TOUGH!)
NOTE: To measure the flour, stir the flour in the bag or container, then spoon it out into the cup measure and level off with a knife. Do not sift or pack down.
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Wet Mix:
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup lite coconut milk
1/4 cup lime juice (fresh or organic, bottled)
finely grated zest of 3 small organic limes
Assembling the cake:
1/2 recipe Vegan Lime Curd (recipe below) OR, 1 cup of the lower- sugar, vegetable-based curd recipe
1 recipe Vegan Coconut-Lime "Buttercream" OR, the lower-fat lower-sugar option, Vegan Coconut-Lime Mock "Buttercream" Frosting (recipes below)
1 cup lightly-toasted unsweetened large flake coconut for garnish

Make the whichever Vegan Lime Curd you prefer and refrigerate until serving time.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the pans by greasing two 8" round cake pans with non-hydrogenated shortening and then coating with flour (shake excess off). If you like, you can also line the bottoms of the pans with cooking parchment cut to fit the bottom.

To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the Creamed Mixture ingredients and beat together for about 3 minutes, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides a couple of times.

Mix the Dry Mix ingredients together with a whisk in a large mixing bowl.

Mix together the Wet Mix ingredients in a pitcher or large measuring cup.

Add the Dry Mix and the Wet Mix to the Creamed Mixture in the stand mixer alternately, using about 1/3 of each mix at a time, starting with the Dry Mix. Beat on medium in the stand mixer just until mixed. Do not over-beat. NOTE: This batter is runnier than ordinary cake batter, so don't worry!

Divide equally between the two prepared cake pans. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until cakes tests done.

Cool the cake layers in the pans on racks for 10 minutes. To remove from pans, first, run a thin knife to loosen the edge of the cake layer from the pan. Then, place a wire cake rack over the top of it and with a hand on each side of the baking pan and rack, quickly invert. Gently shake or tap the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon handle to help remove the cake layer . Carefully peel off the parchment liner, if you used one, and turn cake layer right-side-up to cool on the rack. Cool thoroughly before icing.

While the cake layers cool, make the whichever Frosting you prefer and refrigerate it. Toast the coconut flakes lightly in a dry cast iron pan over medium-high heat and set aside. (You can spread them on a plate-- leave the center empty-- and microwave 2-3 minutes.)

To assemble the cake:
Place the bottom layer on a plate with a slight raised edge, with the bottom, flat side of the cake layer facing up. Spread evenly with the Lime Curd. Top with the second layer, flat side down. Ice the whole cake with the Coconut-Lime Mock Buttercream or Coconut-Lime "Buttercream". Sprinkle the cake all over, top and sides, with the toasted coconut flakes.

Refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, sprinkle the top with the remaining grated lime zest.

Nutrition Facts 

#1) (Made with the vegetable-based Lime Curd recipe and the "Mock Buttercream":
Nutrition (per serving):
 469.7 calories; 28% calories from fat; 14.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 278.4mg sodium; 233.5mg potassium; 81.8g carbohydrates; 2.3g fiber; 51.9g sugar; 79.4g net carbs; 3.9g protein; 10.2 points.

#2) (Made with the Vegan Lime Curd recipe below and the Coconut-Lime "Buttercream")
Nutrition (per serving): 563.0 calories; 32% calories from fat; 20.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 276.8mg sodium; 197.2mg potassium; 94.2g carbohydrates; 1.8g fiber; 66.6g sugar; 92.5g net carbs; 3.3g protein; 12.6 points.

Cooking Tips

BRYANNA'S VEGAN LIME CURD (or use the lower-sugar, vegetable-based curd recipe)
Servings: 12
Yield: 2 cups

This makes a lovely cake filling-quite tangy, so it contrasts with the icing. It's important to use freshly-squeezed lime juice in this recipe. Refrigerate the leftovers to spread on toast or scones, or to fill tarts.

1 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups granulated organic unbleached sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch (you can get organic cornstarch)
1/8 tsp salt
grated zest of 2 small organic limes,
6 Tbs full fat soymilk, nut milk, coconut milk, or organic nondairy creamer
2 Tbs vegan "butter" (try my palm oil-free Vegan Buttah!)

In a blend, whiz together the juice, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Pour into a heavy saucepan with the zest. Whisk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a full boil. Boil 1 minute, not stirring.

OR, what I usually do is microwave the mixture in a Pyrex bowl for 2 minutes, whisk, then 2 minutes more. It should be thick and translucent and have large bubbles on top. Remove from heat. Add soymilk or alternate and Earth Balance. Blend well with the whisk. Cool the curd, then refrigerate in a covered container. It thickens as it cools.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 2 tablespoons = 2 tsp. serving)
: 129.8 calories; 13% calories from fat; 1.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 45.0mg sodium; 35.5mg potassium; 29.2g carbohydrates; 0.2g fiber; 25.5g sugar; 28.9g net carbs; 0.3g protein; 2.7 points.

BRYANNA'S COCONUT-LIME "BUTTERCREAM" (or use the lower-fat, lower-sugar icing recipe below this one)
Servings: 12

This is a creamy vegan "buttercream" with a lower percentage of fat than most "buttercreams". Chill until it's time to ice the cake.

(If you use this icing, the Nutrition Facts for a 12th of the cake are as follows: 563.0 calories; 32% calories from fat; 20.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 276.8mg sodium; 197.2mg potassium; 94.2g carbohydrates; 1.8g fiber; 66.6g sugar; 92.5g net carbs; 3.3g protein; 12.6 points.)

1/4 cup vegan "butter" (try my palm oil-free Vegan Buttah!)
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
(OR use 1/2 cup homemade palm oil-free Buttah" )
3/4 lb organic powdered sugar, sifted (have a bit more on hand in case the icing needs thickening-up)
1 tablespoon coconut milk
2 teaspoons lime juice (fresh or bottled organic)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
grated zest of one large organic lime

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the Earth Balance and shortening until smooth. Add 1 c. of the sugar and the remaining ingredients. Beat until creamy. It may look curdled-- don't worry! Add the remaining sugar, a little at a time, as you beat it, until it holds it shape well and you can see "trails" in it from the beaters. Refrigerate until using.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
43.9 calories; 92% calories from fat; 4.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 42.5mg sodium; 8.9mg potassium; 0.7g carbohydrates; 0.2g fiber; 0.4g sugar; 0.5g net carbs; 0.1g protein; 1.2 points.

This is a lower-fat, lower-sugar option.
Servings: 12

1 cup lite coconut milk
5 Tbs white unbleached flour
3/4 tsp agar powder
3 Tbs vegan butter (try my palm oil-free Vegan Buttah!) OR solid coconut oil
1 cup granulated organic unbleached sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 organic lime
1/8 tsp salt

Whisk milk into flour and agar in small saucepan until smooth (You can use a hand immersion blender if you wish, or even run it through the blender). Heat and stir until it boils and thickens.

MICROWAVE OPTION: Whisk the flour, agar and milk in a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, whisk, and repeat twice, or until thick.

Cool thoroughly (place in a small bowl inside of a larger bowl of cold water). It will get quite stiff-don't worry!

With an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar, vanilla lime zest, and salt until light and fluffy-- several minutes. Beat in the cooled flour paste with the electric beaters and mix until smooth and fluffy. Chill thoroughly before frosting. Use to frost any cooled cake. Keep the frosted cake refrigerated until serving time.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving)
: 118.9 calories; 31% calories from fat; 4.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 55.7mg sodium; 7.5mg potassium; 20.1g carbohydrates; 0.2g fiber; 17.0g sugar; 19.9g net carbs; 0.7g protein; 2.7 points.