Vegan Zucchini Bread – So lame, I know


I know, I’m AWOL for, like, ever, and I show up with a zucchini bread? I should be banned from blogging, but really, this isn’t so much for blogging purposes but for archival and word processing purposes. I mean, I don’t even have a GOOD picture! (But I did figure out how to use that annoying and almost worthless camera on top of my screen.) Yes, super lame. But I have my reasons.

First, I have a new laptop without a word processing program on it yet, so I’m using this. Second, my laptop isn’t in the dungeon (like the dinosaur) so I can use it without being banished from the kingdom and fearing I’ll never see the sun again. Third, I have a mountain of summer squash things that is beginning to take over my house, so testing this recipe to death gives me a productive project. So, fourth, this is just my first incarnation of this recipe. I promise you, I’ll mess with it at least three more times. I can’t seem to help myself, though my kids ADORED this recipe and it wasn’t overly sticky, sweet, mushy or too bready. It was just right. And finally, since I’ll be doorbell ditching these behemoth Viking club-sized objects, the least I can do is provide a delicious and healthy recipe to use them up. Yeah, there’s no pretending it’s someone else leaving them. I’m the only nerd in our townhouse community with a garden so it’s kind of obvious.


Vegan Zucchini Bread
makes 2-8×4 loaves

6 T ground flax seeds
½ c. warm water
2/3 c. white sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
½ c. oil (coconut or canola)
½ c. applesauce
1 to 2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. kamut flour
1 T. baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. salt
2 c. grated zucchini (core removed if large, or it turns out icky)
1 c. chocolate chips, chopped walnuts/pecans, or dried fruit, optional

1. Grease two 8×4 loaf pans & preheat oven to 350 (365 on mine).
2. Add flax seeds and warm water to blender, blend until combined.
3. To blender jar, add sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla and blend until combined.
4. In a separate large bowl, stir remaining dry ingredients.
5. Pour wet ingredients into dry, add zucchini, stir until combined, but not thoroughly mixed. Don’t over mix or you’ll have dense bread, so moist but still lumpy.
6. Carefully fold in optional chocolate chips, nuts or dried fruit. Divide batter between prepared pans.
7. Bake at 350 (365 in my oven) for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes before slicing.

**Notes: obviously, use the sugars you’re most comfortable with. I use Wholesome Sweeteners and I like the results in everything I make. I’ll be trying this with GF flour soon, so if it works, I might let you know. And your zucchini can make or break this. The spongy middle of the giant ones isn’t a pleasant addition to this, so I say just cut it out then shred.

Modified from THIS recipe.

VVP: Herby Olive Tomato Kale Bread (or Rolls)

VVP herbed kale bread 8

Welcome!!! You made it. Are you stuffed yet? You just started and you’re already full? Well this isn’t going to help much since it’s almost like dinner all by itself, but since it’s only virtual, your eyes won’t fill up.  As I wrote this, I realized this is like Prom for food bloggers, isn’t it? Gasp, I speak craziness! But think about it, we’ve dressed ourselves up in our finest attire, spent hours on our hair, posed for pictures, and thrown all caution to the wind. This should be fun…

VVP herbed kale bread 10

In reflection, I wish that instead of going Prom in high school, I’d gone hiking. So today we’re in Bryce Canyon today checking out hoodoos and red rocks and stuff, or so I hope. It’s a last minute, much needed getaway, part of our attempt to make life more authentic, but last minute trips require lots of frantic work I’m hanging out at home with three sick kids, thoroughly enjoying the VVP, but spent the week planning a fun (and at least temporarily failed) family getaway. In the midst of all that planning, I had the shocking realization a few days ago that despite making bread multiple times a week, I had nothing ready to bring to the party. Total party foul. And my husband had already made, photographed and enjoyed his Authentic Ginger Beer and he’s a total blog beginner.

VVP herbed kale bread 1So I closed my eyes really tight and imagined what would be yummy. And I ran out to the front and picked some herbs. And while my kids made tents out of blankets and houses out of blocks, I made bread out of what we had. And doggoneit, it’s amazing!

VVP herbed kale bread 9

Confession: I had great plans of showing how this is done on the grill. I mean, it’s grilling season, hot season, don’t have a good air conditioner season, so I was going to make everyone happy with BREAD ON THE GRILL! But alas, I ran out of propane during the preheat. So, boring oven bread it is. And with that, the whole puffy bread thing failed because I had to re-preheat and well, let’s just say, my timing got off – never good with bread. Anyway, look for grilled bread later this spring. I will perfect it, at least for me.

Herby Olive Tomato Kale Bread (or Rolls)
Yield: Two medium loaves or 18 rolls (or any other combo)

6 c. flour (2 c. bread + 4 c. white whole wheat + 1-2 T. vital wheat gluten to offset the whole wheat flour)
3 T. rapid rise/instant yeast
3 T. salt
2 ½ – 3 c. warm water
2 T. sugar
5-6 large leaves of kale, ribs removed & chopped
Olive oil or water for sautéing kale
3 -4 T. minced fresh herbs (I used equal parts rosemary, thyme & garlic chives)
1/3 – ½ c. chopped green olives
¼ c. chopped sundried tomatoes (rehydrated if dry, rinsed if packed in oil)

  1. In your mixer, mix flours, yeast & salt using the dough hook. With mixer on low, add 2 ½ cups warm water and sugar and mix until the dough just comes together. Without taking the whole thing apart, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest for 15 minutes or so.
  2. While the dough is resting, quickly sauté the kale just until it is bright green and slightly tender.
  3. Knead the dough on medium-low speed until smooth and elastic, adding more water or flour as needed. The dough should be pretty tacky, but still clear the sides of the bowl. Add herbs, olives, tomatoes and cooked kale to your mixer bowl and knead on low until just combined.
  4. Turn dough out onto a silicone baking mat or a floured surface and knead just until everything comes together in a ball. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  5. Turn dough back out onto your work surface and deflate it gently – dimple, mash, whatever. Divide into two parts and either roll into rolls, or shape carefully into two tight balls. For rolls, either space on a baking sheet lined with parchment/Silpat, or nestle nicely in a lightly oiled 8×8 (9) or 9×13 (18); for boules, place on parchment or your silicone mat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Preheat baking stone in the oven for at least 30 minutes if possible at 500F. Add hot water to a roasting pan on the bottom rack and put your bread/rolls in the oven on your pizza stone. If it’s on parchment, leave it on there and let it bake that way. Bake at super hot until spotty and golden, then turn your temp down to 400F, baking another 25 -30 minutes until crusty, golden and beautiful.
  7. Let it cool until it’s cool, or not like me and rip a roll off and dip it in calorie laden olive oil. It’s totally worth it.

VVP Go Back VVP Go Forward VVP Home

Thanks for stopping by! It was lovely having a visit. Next stop, more bread, and then many, many more VVP specialties.

Gone Sour – Whole Grain Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

So, apparently if I have a post started on my phone, it isn’t saved here, so I’m trying to catch up on all of my drafts that aren’t quite finished. Oops!

Fresh ground wheat flour

I was telling Annie (I think), from An Unrefined Vegan, that I had about 43 recipes and posts all queued up in my head, but it was the transfer from there to here that is causing some great problems! That, and we moved the computer into the basement and I almost never make it down here – which can be argued as both good and bad! I’m not making excuses, but I do have so, so much to share, not just in recipes but in fun experiences!

Thanksgiving with Annie & Somer

So, back to that title. One of the reasons I’ve been hesitant to post lately is that I have become a sourdough junkie. That’s not entirely a problem, but in order to make these lovely things, one must have a sourdough start and you can’t just pick one up at Whole Foods with your tofu and broccoli. But I am going to tell you now, and I’m only going to tell you once. Get one NOW! Okay, maybe not, but I have way too much fun with mine and think you could too.

In the morning

In the two months, I’ve made not only several kinds of bread, but weekly waffles & pancakes, bagels, french toast, cornbread, cake, cookies (those last two were AWFUL!), and several big messes justified in the name of science.

First Rest

I maintain a whole wheat start that is happiest when fed twice a day with about 2/3 c. whole wheat flour and 1/2 c. filtered water (but survives when ignored for 36 hours). I stir it to death with a chopstick in a quart jar to incorporate air and loosely throw a plastic top on to keep out floaters and drifters. If I don’t need to use it 12 hours later, I dump most of it into an old peanut butter container in the fridge to use for waffles and pancakes. Don’t worry, I’ll share my waffles eventually because vegan, whole grain sourdough waffles are crazy good.


This bread is adapted from Classic Sourdoughs, a book that I will regrettably have to give back to the library in the next week or so. (Few of the recipes work the way I like, but it’s a good guide.) This bread is amazing because at Thanksgiving, I paired it with Somer’s OFF THE CHAIN (yes, I took that from Madagascar because that is the level of my life – tell me you’ve seen the commercial where the mom gets reprimanded by her 9 year old for saying “Raise the Roof!” – I digress, but that’s totally me) Baked Macadamia Nut Brie en Croute. I didn’t want to eat anything else, but I did because there were 22 other people there and I tried to be polite. The two were made for each other – this bread and her brie.

Bread and Brie

So, without further adieu, here is your Cranberry Walnut Bread:


Whole Grain Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

(almost all) Whole Grain Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

Adapted from Classic Sourdoughs, by Ed Wood and Jean Wood

Makes 2 loaves

2 c. whole wheat sourdough culture (I split my start into two jars and double feed it in the morning, then it’s ready to use in the evening)

1 ¼ c. water

2 T. sweetener (honey, sugar, barley malt syrup, but it’s flat without any sweetener)

2 t. salt

½ – 2/3 c. dried sweetened cranberries

½ – 2/3 c. chopped walnuts

4 ½ – 7 c. flour, mixed (I usually use 3-4 c. whole grain (wheat, kamut), and 2 c. all-purpose)

At night: Combine the first 6 ingredients, through the walnuts. Stir around in your stand mixer or a bowl. (I hear you can use a bread maker, but I haven’t tried.) Add flour a cup at a time, kneading on low speed and adding flour until your dough is crazy stiff, so stiff you don’t think it could possibly take any more flour (I usually add just a bit more after that). Knead until smooth and satiny. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap (a towel didn’t work for me, I tried), and let rise overnight, 8-12 hours, until it is beautiful and at least doubled.

In the morning: Gently ease your dough out of its bowl onto a floured board or a silpat. (I love my silpat because it works through the whole process.) Let it sit there for 30 minutes or so, and if it looks like it’s deflating, add more flour. If not, cut it in half, shape into two loaves, cover with your plastic wrap from the first rise, and let it rise again until doubled, usually about 2 – 2 ½ hours.

Just after lunch: Place your silpat on the pan, slash your loaves in a lovely decorative manner, and slide them in a cold oven. Add some hot water to a pan on the lower rack (for oven spring). Turn the oven to 350F and bake for 65 – 70 minutes. The top will be dark brown, and if you used black walnuts, you’ll also have bluish bread – it’s cool, believe me.

Notes: When adding flour, I found that if I didn’t add enough, the bread didn’t turn out – it was flat and dense, which seems counterintuitive. I think that because it’s a whole grain bread, it doesn’t lend itself well to the custardy middle/wet dough philosophy.

On the second rise, I let mine rise at room temperature until it has just doubled, usually two hours. If it gets too warm (75+ degrees) or goes too long (4 hours), the sour flavor is more strongly pronounced and the bread is less fluffy, which isn’t always bad, but I don’t think it’s as nice with this particular bread.

If you don’t want to make Somer’s Baked Brie, then you might need to know that the Earth Balance Coconut Spread is fantastic on this as well. The sweet of the coconut with the hint of sour…yeah, it’s pretty much amazing.

And I will be trying this with dried apples and walnuts or pecans soon. Ooh, that sounds good. Maybe tonight even.



Banana Bread and Seed WINNER!

Dear Friends,

It’s late, late, late Tuesday night and I’ve just finished baking another loaf of banana bread and a double batch of Granola. We have an impromptu trip coming up so I’m trying to prepare – Montana isn’t the most plant-based friendly location I’ve been. I”m lucky that with a full kitchen at our disposal on our trip, we’re planning on cooking a lot. It will serve as a great reminder that meal planning is a good idea and makes life much easier, even if we eat pasta twice in a week.

It’s been a busy week full of surprises – both good and bad, a visit from my dear mother (7 half-pints of pesto in the freezer!), and preparation for changes ahead (but isn’t that all of life?). When things get crazy around here, I head to the kitchen. It must be my coping mechanism, the way I deal with life, so it’s a wonder I don’t weigh 800 pounds.

I, like most silly people, often turn my tired bananas into banana bread. We do this so we don’t waste the 42 cents worth of bananas and fail to consider the added cost of all the other ingredients and calories that will be inflicted upon us. This may be the most expensive banana bread I’ve ever made, but it’s super yummy, plant-based, whole grain and more expensive (which makes it better if we’re getting points for being pretentious) than your average banana bread.

Plant-based Banana Bread

2 T. flax meal

4 ½ T water

1 c. sugar – I used Sucanat, but any will work

½ c. unrefined coconut oil (I like the flavor in this)

3 bananas

1 ½ c. fine kamut flour (whole wheat pastry flour would also work)

½ t. salt

¾ t. baking soda

1 T. apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil and flour 8×4 bread pan (you could use any other option, just change the baking time).

Combine flax meal and water in a small bowl (your flax “eggs”).  Cream together the coconut oil and sugar, or at least combine well. Add bananas and mix until creamier. Add your flax eggs and combine. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt and soda. Add to the banana mixture, stirring just until almost combined. Stir in vinegar until barely combined – it will start streaking white. Quickly pour into your bread pan and bake 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out onto cooling rack after 5 minutes in pan. And if you’re like me, you’ll eat it with good, old-fashioned butter, just to negate the vegan-ness of it.

And for the winner of last week’s seed giveaway (using

SARAH who shared this memory:

The oldest memory I have is picking strawberries with my Mom in the hills. She gave me my love of making jam to say the least……

Sarah – email me at so I can get your mailing address and send it to

I can’t tell you how many memories had berries in them. Reading them was great fun as I was reminded of other memories of mine. Thank you all for sharing.

Oh Snap (No Worries) Mexi Bean Dip and Dreamy Agave Cornbread

I have to be honest.  I can’t sugar coat things and say I have had a lovely week of vegan bliss.  This week was challenging, in a knock the wind out of your sails kind of way.  It was HARD to be vegan.  Get togethers didn’t have vegan fare, restaurants had limited options, everything I made at home for 2 days was a flop (grey mush, doughy bisquits, the list goes on) and I can’t even tell you how many people gave me “the look.”  You know the one.  The are-you-kidding-me-you-crazy-non-conforming-health-nut-why-don’t-you-just-eat-like-a-normal-person one.

So I press on, determined to stay positive and 0n track.  I feel healthier and lighter as I eat a plant based diet.  When I have slipped and eaten something with processed sugar or have had more carbs than produce, I feel heavy, weighed down.  I know I am on the right path.  I know without a doubt that my health is worth it, for me and for my family.

Now I share  with you my go-to dish.  All ingredients are stocked in my pantry at all times, minus the produce, but those are staples in our kitchen anyways.  If there is a last minute company coming, I always know I can pull out a colorful batch of Oh Snap (No Worries) Mexi Bean Dip.  Add tortilla chips, roll it up in a tortilla, serve with cornbread, or eat as a side.  A very versatile dish.  And loaded with nutrients.

I had to show you the separate ingredients, so pretty!  Here it is all stirred up:

Oh Snap (No Worries) Mexi Bean Dip

3 cans of beans (or 6 cups cooked) rinsed and drained well
3 varieties- black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, be creative!
1 can (2 c. fresh) corn, drained
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 pepper, diced (green, red, jalepeno, mix it up)
1 jar salsa (homemade is best, but whatever you’ve got)
1/2 packet favorite seasoning packet (fajita, guacamole) or individual seasonings to taste
1 avocado, cubed
1 lime

Important:  Save avocado and lime until just before you serve!

Combine all ingredients except avocado and lime.  Gently toss.  Right before serving, drizzle lime juice over avocado and add to other ingredients.  You’re done!

Like I mentioned, this dish is super versatile, so play with it, it’s a tough one to mess up.  That’s saying a lot coming from me. And I have to ask- what’s your go to dish?

Up next, Dreamy Agave Cornbread found on Allrecipes.  I have been craving a moist, delicious baked good lately and finally found one that hit the spot.  They were gobbled up by the family in minutes, next round will need to be a triple batch if I want leftovers!

Vegan Agave Cornbread Muffins

This Kitchen Approved Recipe has an average star rating of 4.8 by 87 voters! a good sign- now 88 🙂

Original Recipe Yield 6 muffins-I made 10 and they were a perfect single serving size for little hands


  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (I did closer to 1/3 to adjust for altitude)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (we had homemade in the freezer, the little apple chunks were a nice addition)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (I used coconut oil, yummy substitute, worked great especially since our house is so warm it was already melted for ease of use!)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a muffin pan.
  2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; stir in the applesauce, soy milk, and agave nectar. Slowly add the oil while stirring. Pour the mixture into the muffin pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick or small knife inserted in the crown of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

We topped ours with strawberry freezer jam- delightful.

And finally we put together this little number for dessert, thanks to Aijay at FreeFlowFoodie only hers was much more lovely seeing as I had three hollering, very hungry children needing me to hurry up.  Beauty had to be sacrificed a bit.  We served the fruit with a yummy berry yogurt and it was a hit.  Aijay, my family gives you props for presentation!

Lululemon Giveaway and Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato and Kalamata Olive Bread

It’s Somer Saturday and I’m so excited about today’s giveaway that I’m letting you know about it before I give you my bread recipe, If you know how much I love bread, you know this is a pretty big deal. A friend recently asked me: “Is it true that cute running clothes make you faster?” I told her yes, and they make you stronger too! Now here’s the catch…. I have one Lululemon Run For All Skirt, new with tags, in a size 4 for this giveaway. Now if any of you ladies or gentleman wear lulu skirts, you know that the size 4 is equivalent to a U.S. extra small. Size chart here if you need to measure! So I’m sorry that this isn’t a gift card or something that can be exchanged for a different size. I do know however, that this particular Lulu skirt sold out within hours online and hasn’t been offered again. I also know that even though it retailed for somewhere around $60 bucks,  it has been selling for close to $100 bucks on ebay (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). So if you win, surely you or can rock it or give it to a teeny-tiny-sassy-lulu-lover, or, you can hawk it. I won’t tell.

For more photos of this skirt and outfit combo ideas, click here.

 Rules of Engagement:

1- You must be a follower of this blog, if you don’t know how to do that, there is a “Follow blog via email” button at the top column to the right. This contest is open to all followers, including International Readers.

2- You must like this post (click on the title name of this post, then go to the bottom of the post just above comments and push the like button),

3- You must comment below, telling me what you do to get active, bonus points for runner comments 😉

Winner to be announced Saturday July 14th, 2012. Yes, you have all week to enter.

Now on to the nearly as exciting bread recipe

Sun-Dried Tomato and Kalamata Olive Bread

Ingredients: 2 C. white whole wheat four, 1 C. unbleached organic bread flour,1.5 heaped t. active dry yeast, 1 heaped t. sea salt. 1 1/3 C. warm water. 1 T.vital wheat gluten, 1/4 C. sun-dried tomatoes julliened (not oil packed), 1/2 C. pitted kalamata olives, 1 t. ground black pepper, 2-3 cloves freshly minced garlic.

Method: In your kneading apparatus or with your hands, combine all the ingredients. Knead for 10 minutes or until elastic and smooth. Shape into a round ball and place on a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal. Let rest for 20 minutes.  Make some slashes across the top with a sharp knife,bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. 

You can also slap everything in your bread-maker (like the bread photographed) and let it work it’s magic on the express function for delicious hot bread in under and hour. Woot Woot!

Stay tuned for Tasty Tuesday and another giveaway!

My 30-year old A/C and Grilled Portabello “Burgers”

We live in a two bedroom townhouse, and yes, it feels like we’re walking all over each other, but for several reasons we’re here for a few more years. We moved in between my last two law school finals three weeks before Turbo was born 5+ years ago with the intent to move in 3-5 years. Oops.

That said, my air conditioner is original (1980) and the design of our home makes circulation abysmal. We’re also sort of cheap  frugal, which translates into not running the A/C, thus making stove and oven use problematic. Somehow, the heat from those permeate our house within seconds, but the A/C can take all day to cool this place down – go figure.

And now that you have my HVAC history, you will understand why many of my upcoming posts have everything to do with our grill or outdoor cooking or un-cooking. On any given hot day, you might find a Crock Pot or a rice cooker going on the back deck, or the grill fired up to bake bread, grill pineapple, make pizza, cook up fajita veggies, or even make cobbler.

And, since vegan grilling seems to be an undiscovered art, I’m on my way to discover it. We’ve already covered some of the best vegan burgers on the planet, but they’re fussy and I don’t have time for fussy this summer. I need quick – super quick. And I need something that omnivore company can try without needing to go looking for bacon.

Enter the Grilled Portabello Mushroom Burger. Or is it Portabella? Nobody seems to agree, so we’ll not worry about it. Just eat it. It’s hearty, and meaty, and not trying to pretend it’s something else. Matt found the recipe and I veganized it, which didn’t take much effort. After three tries we still love them. Matt’s brave parents even ate them without complaint and confessed to liking them! So feel free to head to your cousin’s 4th of July barbeque with these in tow, and I promise even the most die-hard meat-eaters will look enviously in your direction. (And sorry the pictures are lousy – these deserve so, so much better.)

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Grilled Portabello Mushroom Burgers, Veganized!

  • 2 tablespoons brown spicy mustard
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (probably optional, but use 1-2 T, then add water to 1/2 c, then emulsify)
  • 1 teaspoon Real salt (local first!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • Loaf of Somer’s Seeded Sandwich bread, sliced 1/2 -3/4″ thick – see modifications below
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • Lettuce – enough leaves to make it count
  • 1 tomato, sliced thin
  • Any other tasty veggies – roasted red pepper, sprouts, cukes – all would be tasty


Combine mustard, vinegar, oil or oil and water mixture. salt, pepper and hot sauce in blender, and whiz up until combined, Reserve two tablespoons of marinade and set aside. Place caps into a baking dish and pour remaining marinade over top. Use a brush to make sure all caps are covered with the marinade. Set aside and let marinate up to 2 hours, but 15 minutes will do.

Remove the portobellos from marinade and place gill side down on a preheated gas, electric or charcoal grill over medium-high heat. Grill 3 to 4 minutes per side – longer if mushrooms are super fresh, fat and juicy.

In a medium bowl combine 1/2 cup vegan mayo and the 2 tablespoons of reserved marinade.

Spread the flavored mayonnaise onto sliced bread and top with portobellos. Serve with sliced onion, lettuce and tomato.It will drip and be soggy, so lean over and keep a napkin handy!

My sweet Mods to Somer’s seeded sandwich bread:

Makes 2-9×5 loaves, a bit squat, but that’s okay. And seriously, this bread is so fast that it’s faster to make than to go to the store, especially with three kids! And cheaper since I don’t buy anything else…

Quick Sandwich Loaf


  • 4 C. whole wheat flour (I grind organic hard white wheat pretty fine, which keeps it light)
  • 2 C. unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • Scant 1 T. active dry yeast
  • 2 heaped t. Real salt
  • 2 2/3 C. warm water
  • 3 T. vital wheat gluten (extra to make up for all-purpose flour instead of bread flour)
In your kneading apparatus or with your hands, combine flours, yeast, salt, vital wheat gluten and water. Knead for 10 minutes or until elastic and smooth. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two 9×5 loaf pans with parchment paper (like a sling) and spray the ends of the pans with non-stick spray. Divide in half and shape into two long skinny loaves, pressing them into the loaf pans so the dough is pushed into the corners and even. Let rest for 20 minutes. Brush top of loaves with a bit of olive oil, and using a serrated knife slash diagonally a few times across the top to keep it from breaking open while baking. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45, minutes or until crust is golden brown. You can also put some hot water in a pan in the oven to help it rise just a bit more – one of those no-knead artisan bread tricks. Remove from pans and let cool on cooling rack (you don’t want soggy bread). 

Tasty Tuesday Series: Ragnar Recovery (Fruited Nut Rolls)

So I’m back at home, rested and over the Cafe Rio fiasco. I’ve been drinking recovery green smoothies with maca like a fool and downing shots of wheat grass like it’s nobody’s business.

Erika and I at the finish line

Race Lowlights:

Using Honey Buckets for more than 30 hours straight

Getting the ‘runs’ during my 9 mile unsupported downhill mountain leg due to a questionable coconut water beverage I consumed at the first exchange. Let’s just say I was grateful for some bushes to offer cover and that what I used to ahem, clean myself, was NOT poison ivy

Having to have Steve take over for the last 3 miles of said above downhill leg because I couldn’t finish it

Telling Erika gleefully that we were having whole grain waffles for breakfast then remembering she is on a grain restricted diet for another week. Sorry!

Race Highlights:

Hanging out with some of my very best friends while running through some of the most beautiful terrain ever, what could be more fun than that?

Christina getting interviewed by local news while wearing her light up Medusa hairdo

The dude that kept flashing his nipple at us while running as Erika and I made catcalls out to him out of the back of the truck

Finishing with no black toenails and no vomiting

Eating Amanda’s giant homemade Larabar

Sleeping at Steve’s Cabin for a few hours and eating Sue’s spaghetti dinner she makes every year

Eating Oreo’s for the first time in months, because, hey they’re vegan and junk food at Ragnar once a year won’t kill me

Not being crazy sore or stiff after the race (thank’s plant-based diet!)

These Carb-Load Rolls I make every year for Ragnar (sorry, we ate them, no photos)

Ragnar Carb-Load Fruited Nut Rolls

Ingredients: 2 C. white whole wheat flour, 2 C. unbleached organic flour, 2 C. rolled oats, 1/4 C. vital wheat gluten, 2.5 c. warm soymilk, 1 T. coconut oil, 1/2 C. dried blueberries, 1/2 C. dried cranberries, 1/2 C. dried zante currants, 1 C. chopped pecans, 1/4 C. agave, 1 t. cinnamon, 1.5 T. heaped active dry yeast and 1 T. salt. Method: Combine all ingredients in kneading apparatus (I use my bread-maker) and let knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Remove dough, divide into 24 pieces. Place side by side on a large cookie sheet. Let rise until doubled in size in a warm place for about an hour. Rolls should be touching. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

More photos and details coming on Somer Saturday

Carb Loading – Somer Saturday (Pretzel Rolls, Sourdough Pancakes)

I’ts Somer Saturday and I have been either been intentionally or unintentionally carb loading for my Ragnar Relay Race Next weekend. Not really sure which one, but I am really, really loving carbs at the moment.

Pretzel Rolls: Adapted & veganized from this recipe here.  3 C. White whole wheat flour, 1 C. organic unbleached flour, 1 t. salt, 1 1/4 C. warm almond milk, 1/2 C. warm water, 2 t. active dry yeast, 2 T. vital wheat gluten, kosher salt for sprinkling. In a breadmaker or other kneading apparatus (possibly your hands) knead all the above for 10 minutes. Let rise for 30 minutes. Divide into 12 rolls or 8 hamburger buns (for the best vegan Scott Jurek burger ever). Let rise for 15 more minutes. In the meantime boil 2 quarts (8 cups) water with 1 T. kosher salt and 4 T. baking soda. Poach 3 rolls at a time for one minute, turning over halfway through until all are poached. Remove with a slotted spoon. Slash each roll 3 times across the top with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt and some sesame seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes for rolls or 25-30 minutes for hamburger buns. Please use parchment paper to bake on, otherwise you will need a chisel and a hammer and quite possibly ruin your favorite baking sheet. I also made a sourdough version later in the week by replacing 1 C. Sourdough starter for 1/2 c. of the liquid and 1/2 C. of the flour. INSANE.

Kristy’s Vegan M&M Cookies. I baked them for 2 minutes less than she recommended, because I like super soft cookies. There aren’t any left. BOO! I also used leftover dairy free chocolate beans I got for my kids for Easter from a Jewish Kosher online store because the one’s Kristy used are no longer available (I would provide you with a link, but can’t find it). These would also be crazy good with Vegan Chocolate Chips!

And finally….. Vegan Sourdough Pancakes: I did an “In the in the pan shot” because look! I had to show you that they behave like normal (non-vegan) pancakes do! Getting dry at the edges and bubbles bursting when ready to flip. It nearly made me cry! Plus they were the fluffiest vegan pancakes I have made to date!

Ingredients: 1.5 C. sourdough starter, 3/4 C. White whole wheat flour, 3/4 C. Soymilk, 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. baking powder.

Method: Whisk until just combined. Cook over medium heat in lightly oiled skillet. Makes 4 giant pancakes or 8-12 smaller pancakes. Top with fruit of choice and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

p.s. if you want to start your own sourdough starter, google it. I’m not an expert. Carolyn gave me mine and I think I nearly killed it. I did recently however convert it to a 100% whole wheat starter and it is currently a normal color and doing well in my fridge at the moment since I have stopped neglecting it.

Oh and I nearly forgot to mention the most recent nomination for Good Clean Food! Thanks Kristy at Keepin it Kind, for your cookie recipe and the nomination!!! I’m pretty sure she is a fellow runner and carboholic. 😉 Love her!

Are you carb loading for any races at the moment too?

A Salad Sandwich on Seeded Bread – Tasty Tuesday Series

It’s Tasty Tuesday and sometimes I can’t decide whether to have a salad for lunch or a sandwich. So instead I make a salad sandwich. 🙂

When you make a sandwich do you get in a rut and stick to basics or mostly go for the fail-safe PB&J? If so, it’s time to branch out with a sandwich that’s anything but mundane. I fell in love with many foods when I lived in Australia for 2 years (15 years ago). However, my favorite lunch go-to was the salad sandwich on seeded bread, not that they don’t have seeded bread here in the USA, but almost all bread you buy here is sweetened, whereas bread in Australia is never sweetened unless it’s an intentional sweet bread…. Got it?  This sandwich is inspired by my favorite little sandwich shop in Sydney on George Street near the Queen Victoria Building.

Salad Sandwich Possibilities:

feel free to add whatever veggies suit your fancy

Seeded or wholegrain bread (seeded bread recipe below), Romaine, spinach or baby lettuces, Beets, sliced or shredded, raw or pickled, Carrots, shredded, Bell pepper strips (bright colors are sweeter and yummier), Alfalfa or other sprouts, Avocado Slices, Cucumber Slices, Tomato Slices, Red or White onion thinly slivered, A slice or two of Cashew Cheez A sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepperSpread possibilities: Hummus, house dressing, dijon mustard, miso cashew ranch dressing, sriracha bbq sauce, sundried tomato pesto. This particular sandwich had the miso cashew dressing, dijon mustard AND sriracha bbq sauce. Divine.

Quick Seeded Bread

Ingredients: 2 C. white whole wheat four, 1 C. unbleached organic bread flour, 1.5 heaped t. active dry yeast, 1 heaped t. sea salt. 1 1/3 C. warm water. 1 T. vital wheat gluten

Seed combo: a T. of each; flax, chia, sunflower, millet (ok, this is really a grain), black sesame and white sesame.

Method: In your kneading apparatus or with your hands, combine flours, yeast, salt, vital wheat gluten and water. Knead for 10 minutes or until elastic and smooth. Shape into a round ball and place on a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal. Let rest for 20 minutes. Brush top of loaf with water, sprinkle seed mixture over the top. Make some slashes across the top with a sharp knife, bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown

What do you put on your sandwich?