Vegan Chocolate Cake


1 ½ cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened 100% cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white vinegar
½ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks, dusted with 1 teaspoon flour (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting or frosting (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt. Sift. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, oil, vanilla and vinegar.

Whisk together wet and dry mixtures. If lumpy, whisk until smooth, or pour through a strainer into a bowl and break up lumps, pressing them through.

Mix again, stir in chips if you are using them, and pour into prepared pan. Tap edge of pan against the counter, or drop from 6 inches to the floor several times to pop air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed gently. Cool before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar, or frost, if desired.

Chickpeas form the savory base of this sweet cookie, imparting a hearty texture and plenty of high-quality protein to the recipe.

Double Chocolate Protein Cookies

Chickpeas form the savory base of this sweet cookie, imparting a hearty texture and plenty of high-quality protein to the recipe.

Its vegan, gluten free, with no sugar added.

Double Rich Chocolate Protein Cookies

This recipe makes 12 golf ball size cookies


1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and peeled
2-3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon plant based protein powder
3/4 cup chocolate chunks


In food processor or blender, puree chickpeas. Add water and protein powder, blend. It should form a ball of dough, if it is still crumbly, add a tiny amount of water, a teaspoon at a time.

Process – it should quickly form a dough ball.

Stirring by hand, add chocolate chunks.

Form into 1-inch balls.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.




Vegan Chocolate Cake with Cashew Cream FrostingINGREDIENTS:

extra virgin olive oil, for greasing 1⁄2 cup (50 g) walnuts
12⁄3 cups (210 g) gluten-free self-raising flour
1⁄2 cup (50 g) gluten-free cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of sea salt
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) agave syrup
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) pure maple syrup
sliced strawberries or roughly chopped walnuts, to serve

Cashew cream

3⁄4 cup (115 g) unsalted raw cashews 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar pinch of sea salt


95 g gluten-free dark chocolate, chopped and melted
2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 1⁄2 orange or mandarin (optional)


To make the cashew cream, pop the cashews in a bowl, add enough water to cover them completely and set aside for about 4 hours to soak.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 25 cm springform cake tin with a little extra virgin olive oil and line the base with baking paper. Grease the paper.

Drain and rinse the soaked cashews, then place in a food processor with
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) water, the lemon juice, vinegar and salt. Process until smooth and thick. Transfer to a bowl, then wash and dry the food processor.

Blitz the walnuts in the food processor until finely chopped, with a consistency similar to almond meal. Add the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and pulse a few times, until well combined.

Place the olive oil, agave syrup, maple syrup, cashew cream and 1⁄2 cup (125 ml) water in a bowl and use an electric mixer on low speed to beat
until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when touched and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and leave for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the frosting, put the melted chocolate, coconut oil, vanilla and orange or mandarin zest, if using, in a bowl and use hand-held electric beaters to beat until thick and creamy. Cover and place in the fridge for about 5 minutes to firm up to a spreadable consistency.

Remove the cooled cake from the tin, place on a serving plate and use
a spatula to cover with the frosting. Serve with the strawberries or walnuts.

TIP The cake will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container.


If you’re trying to save on calories, fat, and cholesterol, then veggie burgers are the way to go.

If you’re trying to save on calories, fat, and cholesterol, then veggie burgers are the way to go.

Completely vegan and easier to make than you think, they’re flavored with baked sweet potato, cumin, and fresh parsley.

Since most of the ones you find in the freezer section tend to be pretty flavorless, whip up this recipe that will knock your socks off.

Just whip up the mixture, heat up the patties, and they’re ready to serve to impress your vegetarian and meat-eating friends alike.


1 small sweet potato, baked
1/4 cup dry quinoa
1/4 cup dry barley
15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 fresh red peppers


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake the sweet potato for 45-60 minutes or until soft.

  2. While the sweet potato is baking, cook the quinoa and barley in separate pots until soft, about 30-60 minutes (barley takes a little longer).

  3. Remove the stem and seeds from the red peppers. Cut the whole pepper in quarters and the half a pepper in half, and roast all six pieces in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

  4. Once the sweet potato is baked and cooled, combine garbanzo beans, sweet potato, parsley, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper, flour, and one tablespoon oil in a food processor.

  5. Allow the grains to cool, and then in a separate bowl, mix the bean mixture with the quinoa and barley.

  6. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium heat. Place heaping spoonfuls of the mixture onto the hot pan, and use the back of the spoon to pat them flat and form four-inch diameter patties. Brown both sides of each burger. Serve on a bun with one piece of the roasted pepper, sliced into thirds.

TEFF LOVE | A Review by Adriana Janovich
From The Spokesman-Review

Quick look: Ethiopian food can seem intimidating, especially with long names like ye’tshom kwalima kwas, or white-bean sausage dumplings, and ye’denich be’kaysir atakilt, or tender potatoes with pickled beets and onion in a lime vinaigrette. Portland food blogger Kittee Berns – – demystifies these dishes in her new softbound book.

What’s inside: Ethiopian cuisine is characterized by colorful – often spicy – dishes and communal eating. Food is pinched by hand using spongy flatbread, or injera. It’s traditionally made from teff, the ancient grain that lends its name to the title of this 186-page book.

Recipes are divided into 13 chapters such as breakfast, appetizers and snacks, cooked vegetables and casseroles, beverages and sweets, and tibs, or stir-fries, as well as others. The introduction includes an overview of ingredients as well as a grocery list in both English and Amharic. Recipes titles are given first in Amharic, then followed with an English explanation – from ayib, or a soft, cultured vegan cheese, and azifa, tangy lentil salad, to ye’selit fitfit, or torn injera soaked in a seasoned sesame seed sauce.

Berns has “veganized” several recipes, dubbing them “new Ethiopian,” as well as included a few fusion recipes. These feature Ethiopian flavors added to nontraditional foods. (Spiced teff snickerdoodles or mocha teff brownies, anybody?)

Berns offers serving tips as well as tips for cooking for a crowd and time-saving measures. There’s a list of resources and suppliers in the back. .

What’s Not: Most recipes aren’t accompanied by photographs. Rather, there’s about a half-dozen color photos showing several recipes at once, typically served on injera.

Berbere Paste

From “Teff Love” by Kittee Berns

This recipe produces dishes that are lighter in flavor than those that contain imported ground berbere, but Berns said in her book they’re still full of flavor. For more heat, add more cayenne. Berns said she has found 1 ½ teaspoons makes a moderately hot paste that’s similar to the heat of imported berbere.

2 tablespoons organic canola oil

1/3 cup minced onion

6 cloves garlic, pressed or grated (about 1 tablespoon)

2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds

8 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon whole nigella seeds (optional)

1/4 teaspoon whole ajwain seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoons whole fenugreek seeds

1/4 teaspoon husked green cardamom seeds

1/4 cup New Mexico Chili Powder (See recipe below)

2 tablespoons granulated onion

1 tablespoon mild paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne, plus more if desired

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 large fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup water

Put 1 tablespoon of the oil and the minced onion, garlic, ginger and salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to keep the garlic from burning, until the onion is soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender or mini food processor.

Put the remaining tablespoon of oil and the coriander, cloves, optional seeds, fenugreek and cardamom in the same saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Quickly add the chili powder, granulated onion, paprika, cayenne and cinnamon and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer. Transfer to the blender and add the basil and water. Process into a thick, smooth paste. Taste and add up to 2 tablespoons additional cayenne, ½ teaspoon at a time, if desired.

Yield: ¾ cup

New Mexico Chili Powder

From “Teff Love” by Kittee Berns

Stem, seed and vein 1 ½ ounces of dried New Mexico chilies. Grind the chilies in an electric coffee mill or spice grinder until powdered.

Yield: ¼ cup

Ersho (Teff Sourdough Starter)

From “Teff Love” by Kittee Berns

1 1/2 cups teff flour, any variety

1 1/2 cups filtered water, plus more if needed

2 teaspoons instant yeast

Day 1: Combine 1 cup of the flour, 1 cup of the water, and the yeast in a large nonreactive bowl and whisk until smooth and well combined. Cover with a plate or clean, dry tea towel and put the bowl on a rimmed baking tray to catch any overflow (the mixture will bubble, rise and fall). Let it rest undisturbed in a warm, draft-free place for 24 hours. In cooler months, you can put it in an unheated oven or on top of the refrigerator.

Day 2: If any liquid has accumulated on the surface, carefully pour it off (it’s OK if it’s dark). Gently stir the bubbly mixture, incorporating any batter clinging to the sides of the bowl or plate. If you used a tea towel and it gets wet at any point, replace it with a dry one. Mix in ¼ cup of the flour and stir gently until smooth and well blended. Cover the bowl again and let it rest undisturbed in a warm, draft-free place for another 24 hours.

Day 3: Before starting this step, read the troubleshooting tips that follow the recipe. In hot weather, skip this step and go directly to Day 4.

If any liquid has accumulated on the surface, carefully pour it off (it’s OK if it’s dark). Gently stir the bubbly mixture again, incorporating any stray batter. Add the remaining ¼ cup of filtered water and stir to combine. If you’ve poured off any liquid, add a little bit more water; the starter should be the consistency of pancake batter. Cover again and let it rest undisturbed in a warm, draft-free place for 24 hours longer.

Day 4: If any liquid has accumulated on the surface, carefully pour it off (it’s OK if it’s dark). Stir once more, gently incorporating any stray batter. Use immediately to make injera.


• In hot weather, the starter has a tendency to over-ferment and may become too sour. To avoid this, skip Day 3 and move directly to Day 4 (you’ll be decreasing the fermentation time by 24 hours and the flour by ¼ cup.

• Be sure that everything that comes in contact with the starter is clean, including all utensils, dishes, and especially your hands and fingernails; otherwise, you might introduce bacteria that could ruin the starter. There should never be any visible mold on the starter; if you see any, discard the batter and start over.

• Leftover starter can be kept in a clean, dry jar, loosely covered in the refrigerator. When you plan to use some of the starter, bring it to room temperature, feed it with equal amounts of teff flour and filtered water (Berns usually adds 2 to 4 tablespoons of each), and let it rest in a warm spot for 24 hours. Stir the starter. If it’s bubbly and active, proceed with the recipe; otherwise, toss it out and start over.

Yield: 1 ¼ cups

Note: For smaller portions, this recipe can be easily halved.

Calories: 678; protein: 24.0 g; total fat: 6.0 g; saturated fat: 0.0 g; cholesterol: 0.0 mg; sodium: 30 mg; carbohydrates: 132.0 g; fiber: 24.0 g

Ye’tef Injera (Teff Sourdough Crepes)

From “Teff Love” by Kittee Berns

This recipe makes injera that are smaller than those found in restaurants, making them more manageable to cook. If you’ve already made Ersho, homemade injera will take an additional 36 hours to ferment before they can be cooked.

3 cups teff flour, any variety (see note)

1 teaspoon ground fenugreek

5 tablespoons Ersho, at room temperature (see recipe above)

4 cups filtered water, plus more if needed

1/2 teaspoon salt

Day 1: Make the injera batter. Sift the flour and fenugreek into a large nonreactive bowl. Add the Ersho starter and water and whisk until smooth and well blended. Cover with a plate or a clean, dry tea towel, and let rest undisturbed in a warm, draft-free place for 24 hours. In cooler months, you can put it in an unheated oven or on top of the refrigerator.

Day 2: If any liquid has accumulated on the surface, carefully pour it off (it’s OK if it’s dark). Gently stir the bubbly mixture, incorporating any batter clinging to the sides of the bowl or plate. If you used a tea towel and it gets wet at any point, replace it with a dry one. Measure out ½ cup of the batter and transfer it to a small saucepan. Cook the batter over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid evaporates and the batter turns into a thick, rubbery dough (once the pan gets hot, this will only take 2 to 3 minutes). Immediately remove from the heat and spread the dough out onto a ceramic plate and let cool for 5 minutes. Return the cooked dough to the bowl of teff batter and blend using an immersion blender until smooth and bubbly. Alternatively, blend in batches using a food processor or blender and return the batter to the bowl. The batter should be the consistency of a thick slurry or crepe batter; if it seems too thick, whisk in a little filtered water to thin it out. Cover the bowl again and let it rest undisturbed in a warm, draft-free place for another 24 hours. In cooler months, you can put it in an unheated oven or on top of the refrigerator. A few hours after blending, you should notice that the batter has risen and is actively bubbling.

Day 3: If any liquid has accumulated on the surface, carefully pour it off (it’s OK if it’s dark). Add the salt and gently stir to combine; it should be the consistency of a thick slurry or thin crepe batter. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of filtered water as needed to thin.

To cook the injera: Heat a nonstick flat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Line a counter or table with a large, clean, dry tea towel. Keep another dampened tea towel nearby.

Form the injera by pouring 1/3 cup of the batter into a disk on the hot griddle. Use the back of a small spoon to quickly and lightly smooth the batter into a 7-inch disk, starting in the center and working in concentric circles until you reach the edges (try to keep the center of the crepe the thickest and the edges the thinnest). The disk should be about ¼-inch thick.

Cover the pan and cook the injera for 3 minutes (do not flip it, as injera are only cooked on one side). Fully cooked, the injera should be dry on the top with little holes that have formed over the entire surface; the bottom should be firm, smooth and unbrowned. Depending on your cookware and stove, you’ll most likely need to adjust the heat to achieve this. Use a flat, flexible spatula to loosen the injera and then quickly transfer it to the towel-lined surface. Cover it with another clean, dry tea towel.

Use the dampened towel to wipe off any visible starch on the pan or griddle. Repeat the cooking process until the batter is used up. As they cool, the injera will develop a spongy texture, and they can be stacked without sticking.

Once they’re completely cooled, wrap them in a clean, dry tea towel and store them in a tightly closed zip-tie bag. Be certain that the injera are dry; otherwise the bag will collect moisture and the injera will spoil. If you notice any condensation, open the bag to air it out.

Yield: 16 (7-inch) injera

Note: Injera made from whole-grain brown teff will be a deep chocolate-brown color. If you want lighter injera that look similar to those served in Ethiopian restaurants, use ivory teff flour.

Calories: 96; protein: 3.0 g; total fat: 1.0 g; saturated fat: 0.0 g; cholesterol: 0.0 mg; sodium: 39 mg; carbohydrates: 19.0 g; fiber: 3.0 g

Easy Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutesTotal Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 11 rolls

Easy Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls


    • 2-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 .25-ounce package baking yeast (such as Red Star® Platinum Superior Baking Yeast – see note below)
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 cup dairy-free milk alternative
    • 2-1/2 tablespoons dairy-free non-hydrogenated margarine
    • 1 large egg (can sub 1/4 cup applesauce or 1 Ener-G egg replacer equivalent for egg-free)
    • 3 Tablespoons dairy-free non-hydrogenated margarine, softened to room temperature
    • 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered (confectioners’) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk alternative or coconut milk creamer


Make the Dough:
    1. Set aside 1/2 cup of flour. In a large bowl, toss 2-1/4 cups flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed.
    2. Heat the water, milk alternative, and margarine together in the microwave until the mixture is very warm, but not too hot to touch, about 125-130°F.
    3. Stir the margarine mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
    4. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 to 5 minutes. Place it in a lightly greased bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.
Assemble with the Filling:
    1. After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle.
    2. Spread the softened margarine on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it over the margarine.
    3. Roll up the dough tightly and cut into 11 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan or pie dish.
Rise and Bake:
    1. Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60 and 90 minutes.
    2. After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat your oven to 375°F.
    3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cover the rolls with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to avoid heavy browning, if you prefer.
Make the Glaze:
  1. Whisk the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Top the cinnamon rolls with glaze right before serving.


Red Star Platinum Yeast has dough conditioners to offer a lighter, fluffier result. It is dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, and certified kosher parve. It does contain soy flour.

From Go Dairy Free

Vegan Cassoulet for your New Year's table

Vegan Cassoulet for your New Year’s table


Cassoulet is the quintessential French peasant dish. It combines low-cost ingredients with a few choice cuts of meat to turn out a tasty, economical meal. Here, we use tofu sausage and the flavor comes through without a ton of fat. You can enjoy this a couple of nights in a row because the flavor improves the next day. To speed things up, we used canned beans. Just 45 minutes prep, from fridge to table.
Serves 6 hearty portions

6 links tofu sausage, any flavor
One onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
One small bunch of fresh thyme
One small handful of fresh parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons, plus ¼ cup olive oil
2 15-ounce containers of chopped tomatoes
1 cup white wine
3 cans beans of your choice, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs

1. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, combine sausages, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and fresh herbs along with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
2. Stir and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients, except bread crumbs and 1/4 cup of olive oil.
4. Season to taste and heat through.
5. Transfer to a casserole dish.
6. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and olive oil and sprinkle over casserole.
7. Bake for 30 minutes until brown and bubbly.

© Nancy Schneider from the January 2014 issue of Inside New Jersey. Photo by Cathy Miller

Vegan Twice Baked Potatoes

Recipe and image from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites by Laura Theodore. Reprinted with permissions for Go Dairy Free by the publisher, BenBella Books.


  • 3 very large russet potatoes, scrubbed, baked, and cooled (see note)
  • 1 cup cooked white beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk alternative, plus more as needed
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF and line a small, rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the pulp, using a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon, leaving about 1/4-inch of the potato skin and pulp intact.
  3. Put the potato pulp, white beans, milk alternative, garlic powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. If the mixture is still lumpy, add more milk alternative, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve a smooth consistency.
  4. Put the potato mixture in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the onion and pepper.
  5. Using a large spoon or piping bag, spoon or pipe one-sixth of the potato mixture into each potato skin. Place the potatoes on the prepared baking pan.
  6. Sprinkle the tops of each potato with paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.
  7. Tent the baking pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are crispy and slightly golden. Cool for 5 to 7 minutes before servings.

White bean and kale stew
Puffy rolls

Christmas is almost here and it’s time to plan some vegan recipes for the perfect holiday dinner. A white bean and kale stew accompanied by yeast rolls provides warm comfort food for a white Christmas. For dessert, delight in some decadent cake balls made with vanilla cake and covered in chocolate and walnuts. Enjoy for Christmas, New Year’s, or throughout winter! — Global Animal

White Bean & Kale Stew

(VEGAN/VEGETARIAN) Kale White Bean Stew for Christmas!

This white bean and kale stew is made with cannellini beans and seasoned with rosemary and thyme. Photo Credit: Elana Pisani (VEGAN/VEGETARIAN)

Yield: 4 servings

7 cups of cooked Cannellini Beans
2 tbsp Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tsp dried Rosemary
1 tsp dried Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 small Onion, diced
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1 bunch of Fresh Kale
Salt and White Pepper to Taste

Cook the minced garlic and onion in the olive oil in a large pot for 2 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the kale and cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Then stir in the kale and reduce the heat. Simmer for 5 more minutes.



These yeast rolls are light and fluffy and can be eaten by themselves or with Earth Balance.
Photo Credit: Elana Pisani (VEGAN/VEGETARIAN)

Yield: 20 rolls

3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 package Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup Warm Water
1/2 cup Almond or Coconut Milk
1 Egg Replacer

Whisk together the sugar, warm water, and yeast in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and sea salt. Add the yeast, Earth Balance, and almond (or coconut) milk. Stir it with a wooden spoon for two minutes. Then add in the egg replacer and stir again for another minute.

Transfer the dough to a floured, flat surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl and cover for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.

Punch down the dough. Form the dough into about 20 balls. Grease 2 round or square pans and place the balls close together in the pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes.

walnut cake clusters


Instead of walnuts, you can substitute sprinkles or coconut slices to make these cake balls your own! Photo Credit: Elana Pisani (VEGAN/VEGETARIAN)

Yield: 10 servings

1 1/2 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Raw Cane Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup vegetable Oil
1 cup Almond Milk
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tbsp Coconut Milk
1 1/2 cups of Vegan Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped Walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 inch square or round pan with cooking spray and then sprinkle flour over it.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the oil, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and then stir altogether. Pour directly into the pan and bake for 30 minutes.

While the cake cools, make the glaze. Stir together the powdered sugar and coconut milk. Once the cake is cool, break it up with a fork and form it into balls using the glaze to make it stick together. Place the balls on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight.

Melt the chocolate chips in a large bowl in the microwave (or use a double boiler if you have one). Spread out the chopped walnuts on a plate. Dip a ball in the melted chocolate, covering it completely and then place on top of the walnuts to dry. Repeat with the rest of the balls. Allow to harden and then serve.

From Elana Pisani and Global Animal

Having people with different food needs over for Thanksgiving?  This particular recipe is one we have every year, and it just so happens to be easily made vegan.  Jack-O-Lantern size pumpkins can be hard to come by after Halloween, so keep in mind that any large-size squash with a large seed chamber will work.  Larger pie pumkins, kabocha, hubbard squash can all work well, and you can even do individual versions with acorn squash or pie pumkins – just make sure to cut yourself a flat surface for the squashes that don’t naturally sit nicely.

I first got this idea from Epicurious, who got it from the book Passionate Vegetarian.  I also like that this recipe can be made vegetarian or even vegan (use vegetable oil instead of butter, and check that your wine and bread are vegan.) and gives you a centerpiece dish that’s accessible to everyone.  Keep in mind that this recipe is a ratio, but the amount of stuffing you will need depends largely on the size or number of squash.

This is one of those dishes that sounds more complicated than it actually is; really, the major work is prepping the pumpkin which you do every year for Halloween!  I did a lot of the initial prep work, as it’s a multi-step recipe and that can be a bit much for a novice cook.  First, the bread.  I like to buy a loaf of whole-grain French or Italian-style country bread, one that has big holes and a lot of chew – this year I was lucky to find that our local baker had Miche, a large whole-grain sourdough loaf that worked especially well; I used a quarter for this recipe.  I removed the crust and cut it into large squares and put it in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until they were nicely dry and a bit hard.

Next, prepare your squash.  If you have room to refrigerate it, you can do this a day ahead (and you can prep all your ingredients ahead and assemble them just before baking,) but it’s best to parbake the squash while you’re assembling your stuffing.  Cut the top off so you have a “lid,” and then scoop out the seeds (we usually discard them, but they can be fried or baked if you like.)  Place the whole thing on a cookie sheet and set it in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until it just starts to cook and your lid is nice and brown (you can put the lid in the fridge after this point and reheat it later.)


1 large squash
1 loaf wholegrain Italian or French bread, crusts removed, cubed, and dried
2 leeks
2 ribs celery
2 firm sweet-tart apples (fuji, macintosh, cortland, gala, braeburn)
1/3 cup mixed dried cranberries, cherries, and chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup sherry or port
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup whole pecans or walnuts
3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (I use parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and not just because I’m a fan of Simon & Garfunkel.  About 2:1 parsley to other herbs)
1/2  cup apple cider
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup stock (vegetable or turkey, as desired)
4 tbsp light-tasting vegetable oil or butter, as desired
Salt to taste (at least 2 tsp)

The sherry and dried fruits were mixed together in a small bowl, and microwaved for about a minute, until the spirits were quite warm.  We set this aside to plump up while we prepped the vegetables.

So, Sparky cleaned and diced the celery and leeks, both of which tend to get a little sandy in between the layers and thus need to be washed thoroughly.  With both of them, you cut the root end to release the layers.  The tough green parts of the leeks are cut off (we slice these off at an angle, because the center light-green parts are tasty) and then they’re cut in half and rinsed carefully in between the leaves.  Celery stalks are rinsed – and leaves are carefully hoarded for this dish!  Both celery and leeks were coarsly chopped and set aside in our largest bowl.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Then the apples were peeled and diced and set aside in a bowl of acidulated (a splash of vinegar, lemon, or other acid added) water.

Then we diced the onions and minced the herbs and began to assemble our dish: the dried fruit with its juices, vegetables, nuts, and herbs were added to a bowl and the dried bread was crumbled into it.  The liquids were all combined together, salted, peppered, and whisked (it should taste fairly salty, as it’s you’re only seasoning for the dish) and poured over the bowl in three additions.  Everything was tossed together until the bread was thoroughly coated – you may not need all of your liquid and you may want to add more.  The idea is that the bread should retain its structure and not get squashy, but be thoroughly damp.

The whole thing gets packed into your pumpkin; it’s best if you have the pumpkin sitting on a bit of parchment in a large baking dish that can double as a serving dish – sometimes it gets a bit, well, squashy.  You want the stuffing to be firm, so that everything is in contact without air gaps, but not so tight that you won’t be able to get a spoon in there to scoop it out.

Bake it, uncovered, at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until your pumpkin appears to be about to collapse (you can use your meat thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing – optimally, it should reach 165 degrees.)  You may want to reheat the pumpkin lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking.


You should have a delightfully crunchy top and delicious stuffing that can be served with scoops, or even wedges, of pumpkin flesh.

From Chicago Now