Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa - Sandys Parish Bermuda


Vegan Tuna Salad

Un-tuna salad sandwich with Kalamata olives

 It's been really hot here lately.  The last several days, we've topped 100F degrees.  Miserable.  Needless to say, we didn't feel like starting up the oven to cook anything.  In an effort to have some yummy comfort food, we found a terrific recipe from Earth Balance's website,  Of course they plug using their brands in the ingredient listings, but you can use whatever you have on hand.  We left out the seaweed flakes, because we didn't have any, and it still turned out great.

My children are fussy eaters and even they loved this sandwich.  I think that's the best testament to how good this salad is.  We like to put it on regular sandwich bread with salad greens.  It's hearty and easy to throw together.


    2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, drained
    1/2 cup Earth Balance® MindfulMayo -soy free olive oil variety
    1/3 cup celery, chopped finely
    3 tbsp. red onion, peeled and chopped finely
    3 tbsp. dill pickle, diced
    1 1/2 tbsp. nori seaweed flakes
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp. sea salt
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    8 slices whole grain or gluten-free bread
    8 slices fresh tomato
    4 large romaine lettuce leaves

On a large plate, mash garbanzo beans using fingers, potato masher or back of a fork.

In a medium bowl, stir together Earth Balance® MindfulMayo – soy free olive oil variety, celery, onion, pickle, seaweed, garlic, salt, and pepper. Fold in the mashed garbanzo beans and combine thoroughly.

On bread, layer lettuce, 2 slices tomato and a generous scoop of Save the Tuna salad. If you like, spread an extra layer of Earth Balance® MindfulMayo – soy free olive oil variety on the bread. Cut in two, on the diagonal and serve.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"Chlostess" Creme-Filled Cupcakes

Don't mind my sub-par decorations, these cupcakes taste fab!
I'm not a natural cook like Brad.  I like to bake though, as long as it's nothing too crazy.  Cupcakes seem like a good option most of the time.  I have the very awesome Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and have loved every recipe I've tried.  But there is a new contender for awesome vegan cupcake recipes, and her name is Chloe Coscarelli.  Chloe won the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, competing against non-vegan chefs.  The recipe she won with, Ginger Nutmeg Spice Cupcakes, is featured in her new cookbook, Chloe's Kitchen, but I chose her Chlostess Creme-Filled Cupcakes as my first recipe to try.  I'm so glad I did!  Although I didn't get near enough filling into each cupcake (my first try), and my curly-cues are a little wonky, they taste amazing!  Let's be honest,... sometimes you can tell a cupcake is vegan.  You cannot tell with these cupcakes.  They're just plain good.

Here is the recipe as detailed in Chloe's Kitchen:

Chocolate Cupcakes
1-1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Cup cold coffee or water
1/2 Cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Creme Frosting
1 Cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 Cups powered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 5 Tablespoons soy, almond or rice milk

Chocolate Ganache
1 Cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
1/4 Cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
2 Tablespoons canola oil

To Make the Chocolate Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners. 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.  Do not overmix.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3rds full with batter.  Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it.  Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting. 

To Make the Creme Frosting:

Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth.  With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.  You may not need to use all of the nondairy milk.  Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.

To Make the Chocolate Ganache:

Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in a double boiler or microwave.  Whisk in oil until smooth.

To Assemble Cupcakes:

Fit a piping bag with a small round or Bismarck tip and fill with the Creme Frosting.  Insert the tip into the center of the top of each cupcake and squeeze the bag to fill the cupcake with about 2 to 3 teaspoons frosting.  There is no need to scoop out of any of the cake.  Spread the top of each cupcake with a thin layer of Chocolate Ganache and pipe a 4-loop design with the Creme Frosting.

Everyone in the family loved these cupcakes, so I declare them a success!  We can't wait to try the other recipes in Chloe's book.  I highly recommend picking it up.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Vegan Peanut Butter & Chocolate Truffle Cookies

They look good, don't they?  I attempted to make vegan chocolate chip cookies yesterday and they turned out awful!  Today, I am redeemed in the baking arts with these super easy, super yummy peanut butter & chocolate chip truffle cookies.  This recipe was adapted from one found on the very awesome


1 Cup creamy peanut butter (natural is always best)
1 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
Equivalent of one egg (I used 1-1/2 teaspoons egg replacer mixed with 2 Tablespoons of water)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the first four ingredients.  Mix well.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheet or one covered with parchment paper.
Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before removing.

Super easy, super delicious!  This is also a great recipe for little ones to help with.  Baby A helped me add the ingredients and was my taste tester.  Baby B declared these are the best cookies he's ever had, but he says that about almost every cookie he eats - except for the cookies I made yesterday...


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vegan Pancakes

It's Sunday, my favorite day of the week. The day I do my long runs, make updates to the blog, and try to get the laundry and a million other things done. My favorite thing to do is to make a big English-style breakfast for Jenni and the boys while I listen to my travel podcasts.

I've been making breakfast since I was about 7. At least once a month I would get up early and reduce my parents' kitchen to a heavily floured and drippy rubble. (In high school this ritual would begin at 3 or 4 am when I rolled in from wherever I'd been.) I no longer inflict the same level of damage on the pots and pans, nor do I have to do as much explaining. I've mastered pumpkin pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, chocolate, blueberry, Swedish and potato pancakes. Here is a fantastic vegan pancake recipe that I modified from Vegan with a Vengance by Isa Chandra Moskowtiz from the Post Punk Kitchen. Fantastic and quick.

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tbs vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups soy milk
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
Maple Syrup

Oil a large skillet over medium heat.

In a large bowl sift the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients. When mixed add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined, a tablespoon or two of flour if it's not the consistency you like.

Use a 1/3 cup or a ladle and add the batter to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides. Transfer the pancakes to a plate.



Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World

We've had a lot of change around our house lately.  It's never dull anyway, but a bigger issue has presented itself; a major health scare that will require surgery and months of recovery.  Due to this health issue and our constant evaluation of how deliberately we are living this life, we've decided to embrace living vegan.  I have tried veganism before (for almost a year) and really enjoyed it.  It was only due to some travel challenges, and ultimately laziness, that I reverted back to dairy.  I feel reinvigorated thanks to some wonderful podcasts I have found, in particular, Big Fat Vegan Radio and Vegetarian Food for Thought.  After educating myself and sharing these insights with the rest of the family, we have decided that we will all live a vegan lifestyle now.  I am so excited and truly enthusiastic about this decision.  I have been reading voraciously about every vegan subject I can find, listening to hours of podcasts and have once again attempted to cook for my family.  Brad is our primary cook and is damn good at it, so I generally don't have to do more than put together the odd sandwich for the boys.

Our boys are 7-1/2 years old (you have to include the 1/2!) and have been vegetarian since conception.  They have questioned this lifestyle only a couple times, and usually in relation to someone at school making fun of them for not eating meat.  They are comfortable being vegetarian, but vegan is a different issue.  As vegetarians, they can "pass."  They can have most snacks or birthday treats at school, they can eat cold lunch at school, like pb&j or cheese sandwiches, and can eat out at many restaurants.  Vegan is harder.  Better, but harder.  Right now we are living 'vegan at home.'  So far, this has been a raging success!  Even Baby A, who is somewhat addicted to sharp cheddar cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches (yuck!) has made the transition well.  In fact, he's my most enthusiastic partner in this switch.  Baby B has been a little grumpy, but ultimately on board.  Outside our vegan haven at home?  It's going to be a challenge.  Because of this, I have been checking out tons of books from the library, trolling the vegan mommy blogs and bought the book, Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World by Erin Pavlina, founder of  

As I read it, I realize that we are already doing many of the things she suggests for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.  At least my children have the benefit of having been vegetarian their entire lives.  She does have some excellent tips about transitioning at different ages, how to handle social situations (my particular fear for my boys) and how to travel as vegans.  

I plan to write more about our progress into this new plant based, peace centered journey.  There are some wonderful recipes that we have recently discovered that we will post soon.  Because of the health set back this summer, our travel plans for the rest of the year, (and maybe into next year as well), have been halted.  So for now, there will be more focus on the vegetarian part of The Vegetarians Abroad, instead of the travel part.  I'm sure Brad won't be able to resist blogging about some travel issues though.  He's so passionate about travel that even if he can't do it, he will stay abreast of all the latest.  :)

All the best,