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Blood Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

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Shelley Million gave us a blood orange cake when we made a backyard visit in March, and it was divine! I asked Larry what he wanted for his birthday, and he said this cake. Shelley made it with regular oranges and without the topping, and we had lots of oranges on our tree, so I did the same - except I made the topping and used a few blood oranges there, figuring I'd make it extra pretty for the birthday boy. I also doubled the recipe to make 2 rounds since we had 2 birthday parties, but 1 round is plenty for one group. (Also, our tree's oranges are HUGE, and blood oranges at the store were much smaller, so I used fewer oranges; adjust depending on your orange size.) Ingredients (double recipe for 2 rounds) 3 large, fresh oranges 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing 1 1/2 cups flour 2/3 cup dark cocoa powder, unsweetened 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/4 C sugar 1 C water 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar topping: 1 C powdered sugar 2 blood oranges (for color; regular orange

Impossible Lasagna

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I made a Vegan Lasagna with Nooch Cheese a couple of weeks ago, and it was good, but didn't remind me much of classic lasagna, and Larry didn't like the nooch. So I made a mental note to try to make a classic lasagna with impossible beef and shredded vegan cheese. Two weeks later, my grad school friend Judy texts me: "Hey, there. Happy new year! Happy new administration! Just going through my old recipe binder and found (this)" -- a recipe for lasagna that I gave her back around 1990. Yay, I get to veganize my own recipe. Thank you, Judy! After a few tries, we decided the following was the ticket: biggest pan, less cheese, lots of noodles, a little extra marinara to help the noodles cook.  Ingredients Sauce: 2 T canola oil 3/4 lb (1 pkg) Impossible Beef 1 onion, diced 2 carrots, diced 8 oz mushrooms (optional but recommended) 3-4 cloves garlic, diced 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 1 tsp smoked paprika 3 14 oz cans diced tomatoes 2 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp dried baslil 1/2

Shepherd's Pie

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Flippping through the How Not To Die Cookbook that Susie gave me, I came across a Shepherd's pie that looked good! I asked Larry what he thought; he said "I always like pie." The following is a mashup between the one in the book and this  minimalist baker recipe, plus some ideas from our favorite  pot pie . It was very good!   Ingredients 2 T canola oil 1/2 hot pepper, diced, or 1/2 tsp pepper flakes 1 onion, chopped 6+ oz mushrooms, sliced 10 oz frozen mixed veggies, OR 1 carrot, sliced 1 zucchini, chopped 1/2+ C frozen peas 1/2+ C frozen corn 2 C cooked lentils Slurry: 1 T arrowroot 2 T flour 3 C veggie broth Seasoning: 1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp salt 1 tsp sage  2 T nutritional yeast (optional) Topping: Cauliflower mashed potatoes Instructions Saute onion and pepper in oil about 5 minutes. Add veggies and cook, stirring frequently, a few more more minutes. Mix flour, arrowroot, and broth into a slurry. Add slurry, lentils, and seasoning to the pan. Br

Lemon Cake or Bread

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It's lemon season! When the frost comes they go bad, so Larry is bringing in scores of meyer lemons and limes. After success with key lime yogurt , I got a craving for lemon cake. Larry said yes, please! (And Sandy says lemon cake is one of her favorites - good to know!) I tried this  loving it vegan recipe , and the cake was delish. The powdered-sugar frosting was sweeter than we liked, though. Then I tried a vegan cream cheese frosting from Vegan Richa , which was pretty good.  It's yummy without any frosting, just as a lemon bread -- which is probably how I'll use this recipe in the future Ingredients Dry: 1 C + 1 T whole-wheat flour 1 1/2 C white flour 1 1/2 C sugar  1 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 tsp turmeric for color (optional) Wet: 1 T vinegar 1 1/2 C non-dairy milk (oat, soy, or almond) 1/2 C canola oil 1 tsp vanilla Zest and juice from 3 lemons Cream cheese frosting (OPTIONAL; don't need it for bread): 8 oz (vegan) cream cheese  1/3 C maple syrup zest

Persimmon Cookies

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Pat brought over more persimmons! We sliced and dried a dozen unripe ones. We still had half a dozen ripe ones, and I owe cookies to some members of our movie-review SupPort group, so time to try persimmon cookies! (The group recently watched the original Ghostbusters movie; I offered cookies to anyone who also watched the Ghostbusters 2016 remake with SNL women, and two couples took up that offer.) This makes about 4 dozen cookies. I froze half the dough and halved the glaze for those I cooked, using the juice and zest from one tangerine with the powdered sugar. Ingredients 1 cup Hachiya persimmon pulp (2-3 ripe persimmons) 1 tsp baking soda 1 C sugar 1/2 C vegan butter, at room temperature 1 flax egg (1 T flaxmeal, 3 T warm water) 2 C flour 1/2 tsp cloves 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp salt 1 C chopped walnuts 1 C raisins Glaze: 2 C powdered sugar 1/4 C fresh orange or tangerine juice 1 tsp orange zest  Instructions Peel the skin off the persimmons, and blend the pulp in a f

Persimmon Bread

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Pat and Allen shared at least a dozen persimmons with us from their bountiful harvest, along with their persimmon bread recipe. Here's a slightly tweaked, vegan version of their bread; turned out yummy! Ingredients 1 tsp. baking soda 2 T lukewarm water 1 1/2 C persimmon puree 1 1/2 C sugar 1/2 C salad oil 2 flax eggs (2 T flaxmeal, 6 T warm water) Dry: 2 C flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/8 tsp. cloves 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. lemon juice 1 C walnuts Instructions Remove skin and puree persimmons in a food processor. Mix baking soda and warm water. Add persimmon pulp.  Let sit a few minutes. Mix sugar, oil, and flax eggs.  Mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves.  Combine persimmon and sugar mixture.  Add flour mixture with lemon and walnuts. Pour into loaf pans. For a regular large loaf, bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until done.  For small loaf pans (what I use): Cook at 350 degr

Impossible Meatloaf

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Vegans eating meatloaf? Impossible! Until Trader Joe's starting carrying Impossible Burger. My first foray into fake beef cooking, C'mon Man! Sloppy Joes , turned out well, so I decided to give meatloaf a try. I googled "impossible meatloaf" and tried a mashup with Market Street Meatloaf from my New Basics Cookbook (an excellent, classic omnivore cookbook). Larry contributed some needed-to-use scallions from our backyard;  I think the onion and veggies were important components. Would totally fool and omnivore, I bet.  Super delicious with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce! Update 1/2/21: Larry asked for more veggie to meat ratio, so I increased the veggies and bread crumbs, below. Use the upper range for more veg heavy; lower range for more meat heavy. Ingredients 2 T vegan butter 1 tsp cumin seed (or 1 tsp cumin powder later) 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes (or 1/4 tsp cayenne later) 1 cup scallions/onion, chopped 1/3 - 1/2 C carrots, chopped 1/3 - 1/2 C celery, choppe

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

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A super easy, yummy vegan pumpkin pie, great for using up that 2-pack of Wholly Wholesome pie crust (use the other one for the  Festive Chickpea Tart ).  I've tried a few vegan pumpkin pie recipes. I used to use tofu, but am moving away from that; now doing something closer to this  minimalist baker recipe. Ingredients Filling: 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree    or 2 cups cooked pumpkin or sweet potato 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp ginger 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp cloves 1/4 tsp salt 1/3 C brown sugar or maple syrup (or half each) 1 T canola oil 2/3 C almond, oat, or coconut milk 2 T arrowroot or cornstarch 1 T oat flour Pie crust: We like Wholly Wholesome crusts or shells , or make a homemade vegan crust .  Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend a couple minutes until smooth. Pour into the pie shell and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Check at 30 minutes; if the crust starts to burn, cover the crust with a pie shield. After an hour

C'mon Man! Sloppy Joes

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In honor of our new President-elect -- and his fine VP-elect -- I decided to try to make sloppy joes from the (new) Impossible Burger plant-based meat I got at Trader Joe's last week. What follows is a mashup of 4 different recipes, plus a little twist of heat. It was delicious! You could totally fool carnivores with this one. ("What, this is all plants?  C'mon, man !") Ingredients 1 package Impossible burger beef 2 T canola oil 1 onion, chopped 1 tsp cumin seed 1/2 tsp pepper flakes 1 bell pepper, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced Sauce (or could use bbq sauce): 15 oz can tomato sauce 1 T brown sugar or molasses 2 T yellow mustard 2 T ketchup (or tomato paste) 1 tsp chili pwd 1 tsp smoked paprika 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper Instructions Sauté cumin seed, pepper flakes, and onion in oil for 2-3 minutes. While it's cooking, whisk together sauce. Add garlic and bell pepper and cook 2-3 more minutes, until onion is translucent.  Add beef and cook until browned.  Add

Cauliflower Potato Curry

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Larry asked his colleague Supraja what she had for lunch the other day, and she shared this  cauliflower curry recipe. I had a small head of cauliflower and some potatoes and cabbage to use, so I added a few more vegetables and changed up the spicing a little (making up the "curry" part with the various spices I have), and it was terrific! Thank you, Supraja! This is one of my new favorites! Ingredients 1 small cauliflower, chopped  2 medium potatoes, chopped 2 C cabbage, chopped 1 onion, chopped 2 T canola oil 1 hot pepper, minced 2 tsp cumin seed 1 tsp mustard seed 1/2 tsp fenugreek seed 4 cloves garlic, minced 1" ginger, minced Spices: 1 bay leaf 1 tsp thyme 2 tsp turmeric 2 tsp coriander 2 tsp chili pwd 1/2 tsp paprika 1 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper 2 T dried or fresh cilantro 1 can diced tomatoes 1 can coconut milk zest of 1 lime Instructions Chop the vegetables. Steam the potatoes and cauliflower in the microwave for 4 minutes to precook them a little, and set asid

Cabbage Steak with Mashed Potatoes & Mushroom Gravy

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Laurie tried out some new recipes for dinner when we stopped by on our way back from our Nebraska road trip -- and it was delicious! Who'da thought that cabbage could make such a good steak? The mushroom gravy, with finely chopped mushrooms and coconut cream and nutritional yeast, was a perfect, rich complement to the potatoes and cabbage. She used green cabbage; I've tried green and purple, and also cauliflower. All yum! The mushroom gravy ties it all together. Ingredients 1 cabbage, green or purple Canola oil for brushing garlic powder  red pepper flakes black pepper to taste salt to taste lemon juice (to squeeze on top after) Gravy: Mushrooms, 8-10 oz 1/3 C onion (optional) 2 T canola oil  3 cloves garlic, minced red pepper flakes  salt & pepper to taste 1 C coconut cream 1/2 C nutritional yeast Instructions Make  mashed (cauliflower) potatoes  before, during, or after the following :) Cabbage steaks: Slide the cabbage into 3/4 inch thick steaks. Brush them with oil, and