Shop for a Cause – Who Wants to Help?

The Marine Science Club is still trying to reach their goal to be able to purchase a dishwasher to help reduce the amount of plastic consumed in the school.  Please click the link below to support their efforts!!

My vegan daughter, the environmentally aware vegan, is also president of her marine science club.  She’s currently trying to raise money to help her club purchase an industrial dishwasher to reduce the amount of plastic utensils that are used in the school.  All purchases will have 10% donated directly to the marine science club to fund the purchase of the dishwasher!  Please help support their effort to reduce the use of plastic in the environment!  Click the link here before Dec. 18th and all orders will be delivered before Christmas:  https://pamperedchef.com/go/ShopForMS

Classify this as “who knew”!

Well, now you do!!  Animal products show up all over the place!!  Yes, even in the wine you are drinking.  Unless that bottle of wine you have is specifically labeled vegan, then it is not.  No, it’s not just grapes, but animal products were used during the making or “fining” of the wine.  Here is a link to an article, “Why is Wine not Vegan”, that gives you more information about what animal products could be used in your bottle of wine and how to find vegan wines. So now you know!!


Vegan Brenda’s Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s a cold, blustery day and the kids are home as school is closed due to weather.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.   I decided to take a little time away from the blog and just enjoy the family, the holiday and relax.  But it’s after the first of the year and it’s time to get back into the groove of things.  Since the kids are home we are going to bake some cookies today and I thought the cookies would make a good first recipe to post to get back into things.  This recipe is easy and yummy and actually not that bad for you as cookies go!  Ground flax seeds are good for you as well as using cacao powder rather than cocoa powder (cacao is less processed than cocoa powder, full of calcium and has lots of benefits, look it up!!).


2 cups all-purpose baking flour

2/3-cup cacao powder – I like this much better than cocoa powder!

1-teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut oil, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. flax seed meal

½ cup soymilk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. mint extract

¾ cup vegan chocolate chips

6 leftover mint or chocolate mint candy canes (I used the chocolate mint)


Cookie sheets

Cookie scoop



Wire rack

Mixing Bowls


Parchment Paper


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients, flour, cacao powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Mix well. Set aside.

In another bowl add the flax seed meal, soymilk, vanilla and peppermint. Combine well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly, adding one cup at a time. Mix until all ingredients are combined and soft dough is formed. Add the chocolate chips by folding them into the dough with a spatula.

Drop 1” scoops of dough approximately 2” apart onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, flatten cookies slightly.  In a large sealed plastic bag crush the candy canes and drop the crushed pieces on top of the cookies.  Bake in a 350° for 12-13 minutes or until the cookies are crisp and the center begins to crack. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool and then store in an airtight container.

These cookies have become a favorite in our home, as they are easy to make and SUPER delicious! The cacao powder adds a boost of health to the treat as well!

Eating Vegan on a Dime – Holiday Pasta

Vegan Brenda’s Spinach and Tomato Rigatoni

Eating vegan doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive and this dish is neither!  It’s also a pretty dish for the holiday’s as the red and green colors look lovely on a plate and warm and warm and yummy in the tummy!


1 box rigatoni

1 carton vegetable stock

1 pound fresh, washed spinach roughly chopped

1 can Rotel tomatoes



Nutritional Yeast


Covered skillet

Santoko knife

Cutting Board



Bring the carton of vegetable stock to a boil plus one equal amount of water. Once water is boiling add a pinch of sea salt to taste to flavor pasta. Do not add the salt until water starts to boil as not to scar the pot. Add the rigatoni to the water and boil according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, wash and drain spinach in a colander. Roughly chop the spinach.   With two minutes left to cook the pasta, add the tomatoes to the pan and stir. Do not drain the liquid from the tomatoes. Add the spinach to top of the pasta and cover for one minute to let the spinach wilt.

Remove from heat and stir. Serve in a bowl with some cracked pepper and nutritional yeast on top!

The dish will be “soupy” and is best served with a good, crusty bread. This is excellent reheated as the pasta will absorb some of the liquid as it sits and will be thicker the next day.

Vegan Brenda’s Roasted Beet Hummus

I belong to a CSA program so each week I get a box full of local grown, seasonal vegetables. One of my recent boxes had some beautiful beets in it. Normally I just roast the beets in some olive oil with a little grind of sea salt and cracked pepper. So yummy! But this time I decided to do something different with my beets, to step out of the box (see what I did there?).

My family loves roasted red pepper hummus. I can’t keep it in the refrigerator. So I thought, why not?!? Let’s see what happens when I use beets to make hummus! The color is gorgeous, so vibrant; a beautiful color for the holidays! And the flavor is very fresh with the hint of lemon. It’s not your traditional hummus, so you have to be ready to shift your paradigm with this hummus!


4 small beets

2 cans of chic peas with their liquid, cooked

4 heaping Tbsp. of tahini

olive oil

lemon zest

lemon juice




Garlic press


Measuring spoons

Measuring cup


Prep bowl

Shallow baker

Aluminum foil



Preheat oven to 375. Wash beets. Lay beets on individual sheets of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with olive oil and wrap the beets loosely. Place on the flat pan and place in the oven to roast for 45-60 minutes until beets are tender.


When you remove the beets from the oven let the cool. While they are cooling, cook chic peas in a sauce pan over medium heat for 7-10 minutes until tender in their liquid.


Once beets are cooled to the touch, remove their outer skin. Roughly chop the beets.


Add the chic peas and their liquid, the roughly chopped beets, tahini, a drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice to a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend under the ingredients are smooth, the consistency of hummus.


The color will be a brilliant fushia and will have a lemony kick!

What you eat makes an impact

During the time I couldn’t be in my kitchen I was on my computer doing research for new recipes and I’m ready to get back to cooking and having fun being creative again!  But during that time I was also doing research to be able to share articles and learning about being vegan.  The first one I want to share is a video I came across that ties into why my daughter and I started our journey into the vegan lifestyle.  If you recall, it wasn’t because we looked longingly into the eyes of a cow one day and just couldn’t eat a hamburger any longer, or we had a fight with the Meatasaurus in our house and decided we were only going to have plants in the house from there after!  No!  It was an earth conscious decision.  My daughter came home after her research about the environment and made an informed decision that a vegan lifestyle was the best for a sustainable earth.

The video linked here, “The Diet that Helps Fight Climate Change” discusses work by Ben Houlton of the John Muir Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Davis.  In this short video the idea of what we eat and how it has an impact on the climate is discussed.  I don’t want to summarize the video too much, I really want you to watch it!!  But I want to give you this just to tantalize you into watching; 25% of all the global changes we’re seeing can be attributed to what we are putting on our plates!  That’s huge!  While the vegan diet has the least carbon impact, the video does suggest that everyone does not need to switch to a vegan diet to make a big difference for our environment.  So, if you are not up for going completely vegan, you can still feel good about what you can do for our earth by altering your diet to vegetarian or Mediterranean (although it is suggested to reduce meat intake by 90%, sorry to all of you meatasaurus lovers).

When your kitchen springs a leak…

I haven’t posted in a few days…I’ve been a little busy in the kitchen but in a way I’d prefer not to be!  The other night my daughter and I were sitting around the kitchen table that has been in my family for 3 generations now.  As she got up to go to bed, I got up to clean up the kitchen.  And then I saw it, the kitchen faucet was steadily leaking!  Oh no!  I crossed my fingers and hoped that it was just above the sink, please let there be no water under the sink.  But no, the cabinet was as wet as could be as well.  Dang!  So, with that I figured out how to turn the water off (and of course no, the valves were not traditional lefty loosey, righty tighty valves) and went to bed for the night.  The next day was spent with several trips to Home Depot and of course, the hoses were not traditional in length that were required.  It has been a three day project to replace the faucet but I have a much nicer faucet that will now accommodate my large pasta pots!  Hopefully I will be back in my kitchen creating recipes again soon!!