Happy Sunday, my kittens! Today I wanted to share with you the best vegan brownies recipe: you won’t need others as this is THE ONE. A premise though, because I love the soft brownies and I am not too much of a fan of those big, chewy brownies that you find around. These are soft and almost spongy, my favourite kind!
This recipe is by ChocolateCoveredKatie: she makes delicious vegan as well as keto and paleo recipes.
1 cup + 2 tbsp milk of choice
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup spelt, white, or ap gf flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar, unrefined if desired
1/3 cup white sugar, unrefined if desired, OR stevia baking blend
2 tbsp cornstarch, or ground flax
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips optional
Whisk the first 3 ingredients, then set aside. (If using flax, whisk it in as well.)
Preheat oven to 330F. Grease a 9×13 pan (or 8×8 for thick brownies), or line with parchment paper, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all dry ingredients. Stir wet into dry.
Pour into the pan. Smooth down. Bake 16 minutes, or 24 in 8×8.
The brownies will look a little underdone when they come out, but that’s okay! Refrigerate – they start to firm up after a few hours and are nice and cut-able by the next day, and the taste is much better the next day as well.
Beautiful kittens, I hope you are well and had a good week. Mine was very busy as at work I have had requests for 3 pieces of research while also having to look into the possibility of applying for two grants to help the library. Yesterday I felt like making these Vegan Crispy Lentil Fritters by the VietVegan: this is my go-to recipe for when I want comfort food while keeping it healthy. It was not the first time I made them, but never talked to you about them, so I am here to fix this!
Oh my goodness, they are delicious, extra easy and quick and so simple, I am sure you’ll love them. Bonus point, this recipe also talks about feminism and Lisa’s experience as a feminist in Canada.
1 cup filtered water
1 cup split red lentils, picked through for stones and rinsed
1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup chopped onion)
Soak the rinsed split red lentils and water together for 1 hour, until they have absorbed the water. Transfer soaked red lentils, onions, chives, salt and pepper into a food processor and process until smooth. It may seem a little watery but don’t worry, it’ll fry up beautifully. [I have to say that when I make them, I never use the onion nor the chives – I just go for some dried herbs like oregano and rosemary]
Preheat oil in a pan. Gently drop scant tablespoonfuls of the lentil batter into the oil. Fry 3-4 spoonfuls at a time turning occasionally until golden. Remove from oil and let drain on a paper-towel-lined platter. Enjoy!
The recipe calls for mayo and chipotle, but honestly, they are already so good I’d eat them straight from the pan!
I hope you’ll make them and enjoy them as much as I do.
Beautiful Kittens! This is a “Recipe Sunday on a Monday” – yesterday has been a very busy day and didn’t really manage to sit down and write. So here we go today! The recipe is for these beautiful and healthy Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies by HealthyLittleVittlle: I know, it’s warm and it’s not ideal to get the oven going, but I need comfort food at least once a week. But here’s the kick: the recipe I am sharing today is also very healthy!
3/4 cup maple sugar* (may substitute with coconut sugar)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Cook one serving of quinoa per package directions.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the flax eggs by combining the flaxseed meal and water together in a bowl and let it sit to ‘gel up’.
In a large bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, baking powder and maple sugar. Add the cooked quinoa, vanilla, peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter) and flax eggs to the bowl and mix until a batter forms, then fold in the chocolate chips.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then using a large cookie scoop (about 2-3 heaping tablespoons of batter per cookie), scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet leaving a few inches in between cookies.
Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes, they should just start to look golden- avoid over baking unless you like crunchier cookies.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes, then using the back of a small bowl or measuring up gently flatten the cookies, not too flat. Let them cool to set up completely and then enjoy!
I have been very lucky that since I was a child my parents have instilled the love for books and reading. My dad was already retired when I was born so he played an important role in raising me and I still remember him reading books on physics (and specialistic magazines on astronomy as well as computing). My mom was the one working every day and commuting and she loves reading and writing. Her commutes were a great time for her to get some time for herself and to read. Thanks to her work, one of the bonuses was that`1 she would get money in vouchers to spend in certain places, one of these was a bookstore in the city where she was working. It was always an exciting time when she was getting this voucher because she started taking me with her to buy the books for her and me. Oh! The books, the smell of that bookstore, paper and glue, the quiet buzz of people going there to buy stories but also to be in a serene environment away from the craziness of the city centre. I always enjoyed these visits and my mom never put limits on what we could buy (in terms of genre) and I think that’s a very positive way of educating kids as when you start imposing limits you’ll see that things like a taboo and eventually you might lose interest. Also, my little girl’s mind wasn’t going to be limited to “girly” books and if I were to choose an adventure or horror book, my mom would let me take it.
Now. You might think “But you are a librarian! You shouldn’t buy books, but you should go to the library!” I feel you, I really do and I wouldn’t agree with going to bookstores just for the sake of it, especially after my studies in Librarianship and having been working in a library for 4 years, I know that bringing kids to a library, making them understand the whole concept of borrowing things and then returning them. But these are peculiar situations: my mom was working till late and there was a small library in the village where we used to live with such reduced opening times that it was impossible for my mom to take me there; plus, the money was from the company my mom used to work for. So it’s almost a situation of “taking from the rich to give to the poor” kind of thing XD
On a Sunday we would all be reading something and it was such a relaxing time providing a break from the weekly madness of school visiting relatives and trying not to be bullied by schoolmates and the same relatives.
Reading has always been a pleasure. Except for those times when at school they forced us to read some authors or some books that I found utterly obnoxious – the authors – or extremely depressing – the books -: that was when teachers wanted people to read only those books that were deemed respectable enough: no comic books, manga, no Dork Diaries etc.
At the beginning of the school year, I would have been the second one to have read more books during the summer: no need to force me into reading. I would prefer the company of those fictional characters or learning about different species of animals to play with the other children. And that would also apply to holidays: every time we were going on holiday, whether for a few days or weeks, I had to bring with e AT LEAST ONE book: there would always be space for a book in my luggage. Probably now this is even more relevant because I tend to travel alone and having a book with me it means I am not really alone (not that I mind being by myself, but you know what I mean). It doesn’t matter where I go or for how long I am away, there has to be a book with me.
Benefits of Reading
Reading brings you to other words, it helps you develop more sensitivity and empathy when you read fiction, and it teaches you new things or strengthens your knowledge obviously, it might be that a book isn’t suitable for you (it happened that I couldn’t finish a book because it wasn’t for me or that I finished one but leaving me disappointed). This means that when you choose a book you’ll have to be careful because you’ll get into that world with those characters and you will be together for a bit. It is understandable when people tell me: “I don’t like to read, I look at the page and my mind goes blank” and I think that that’s because you haven’t found the right book. Yet. And with the book, I mean anything that is written because we are not all the same (otherwise the word would be pretty boring). Probably you have tried to read a fantasy while you actually would prefer romance, or you have been advised to read a history book when it is the latest anime that would make you happy. This is also part of the problem of the divide between readers and non-readers: some readers are too judgemental toward those who don’t read or what they read which makes the non-readers lose the will to read. We are all different and the main message here is we are all different: read, READ, read whatever catch your curiosity, whatever tickles your brain, because that will help you develop vocabulary, and grammar, it will help you relieve stress and more.
One of the books I read recently was the fifth book of “The Invisible Library” series which is not what you would expect. A beautiful fantasy with the main character a librarian but she’s a spy as well, if you want something fast-paced, with mysteries and intrigues, dragons and Faes and multi-worlds set in different periods in time, then this is for you. I always recommend it because Genevieve Cogman (the author) never fails to write a compelling story. Nice and easy read (might do a little review some time!).
Reading is one of the pleasures of life. Getting into other lives, other stories, learning new things. Don’t get discouraged by your past experiences and read all that you can.
Another week has passed and it’s Recipe Sunday! And today’s recipe is one by the LazyCatKitchen. I love them, their recipes are amazing and the results are always pure deliciousness so when I saw the recipe for this ragu I just had to make it. I know these days are hotter, but we still need comfort food and this is what you need, trust me. Lately, I had it with vegan ravioli and the time before that I had it with homemade gnocchi. Next time (which will be very soon for sure!) I’ll have it with tagliatelle. Se here’s the recipe!
15 g dried porcini (optional) or mushroom stock cube
¼ tsp ground cumin (cinnamon or nutmeg is also delicious)
a good pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped finely
4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
2 carrots, very finely diced
2 celery stalks, very finely diced
180 ml / ¾ cup vegan red wine
360 ml / 1½ cups tomato passata
2 dry bay leaves
50 g / ½ cup walnuts, chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tsp sugar (optional), adjust to taste
Soak the dried porcini in 2 cups of boiling water until they soften (or use a mushroom stock cube dissolved in boiling water instead)
Preheat the oven to 200° C / 390° F (or 20° C / 70° F less with a fan) and grab a large baking tray.
Cut the ough bits off the mushroom stems, then tear the mushrooms into strips starting from the cap. Chop mushroom strips into a dice.
In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, soy sauce, smoked paprika, tomato puree and nutritional yeast (a sprinkle of garlic powder is also nice). Mix well and coat chopped mushrooms in this mixture. Leave the mushrooms to marinate for just a few minutes up to a few hours.
Spread mushrooms on a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes, give them a good stir and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.
While the mushrooms are baking, heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add diced onion, sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, then add the chopped garlic and sauté for about 2-3 minutes (until it softens and becomes fragrant), stirring frequently.
Season, add the remaining teaspoon of smoked paprika, cumin, chilli and chopped herbs. Stir well to coat, then add carrots and celery dice. Sauté for a few minutes before adding wine. Allow the wine to cook off before adding tomato passata.
Rinse rehydrated porcini under the tap to ensure there is no grit in them, dice very finely and add to the pan togeter with mushroom stock taking care not to tip in the grit that settles at the bottom.
Add tomato passata, the rest of the tomato paste, soy sauce and bay leaves. Reduce the sauce (lid off) on a low heat for about 20 minutes. Give it a stir from time to time.
Stir in chopped walnuts and baked oyster mushrooms. Taste, adjust the seasoning if needed. For best flavour, store the sauce in the fridge overnight for the flavours to meld.
Enjoy it with pasta, gnocchi or ravioli: you’ll love it! It’s so tasty yet the flavour goes well with also those more delicate foods like ravioli and gnocchi.
I hope you’ll make it and find it as great as I do.
So, some time ago I went to the beauty salon in the town where I live. Despite being a little salon, all the products that they use are cruelty-free with a choice of vegan products too: this is thanks to the owner of the shop, a lovely lady that loves animals and is a firm believer that animals shouldn’t be exploited in the beauty industry (she’s not vegan, but she’s doing her little bit by making a choice that I snot made that widely in the place where I live).
Anyway, I go there once in a while to have my nails done (and last year I was invited to three weddings so I felt I would have liked to have my nails and hands looking nicer than they usually do) plus the staff is always so nice and we often have a good chat and laugh.
The last time I went there, with the young lady that was doing my nails we were talking about making food, how good is it to have dinner ready when going back home after a long day at work and this kind of stuff. A bit of context, she is not a vegan nor vegetarian but sympathises with the cause, however, she lives with her fiance who is most definitely a meat-eater and also quite picky so it can be difficult to have him eating vegetables.
Then we started talking about how food cultures are different everywhere: for example, while here it’s almost unthinkable to eat a horse, she was quite surprised to know that where I grew up, horse meat is not that unusual. From there we went on that in many Asian Countries, dog and cat meat is also very common, and there she said: “Well, yes, in the end, what’s the difference between cows and cats? If you can eat a cow, why can’t you eat a cat?”. Like that. She talked about one of the main principles of veganism so casually. And I’m like “this is all veganism is about!”. It was very interesting and a different point of view from the usual one that I get in the village where I live: most of the people keep sustaining that eating meat it’s good, it’s only natural. True, here there are a lot of farmers meaning that not only the farm workers but also their families are more inclined to think this way.
So I am here basically alone in my veganism (after 4 years living here, I still haven’t found a single vegan despite media saying that vegans are on the rise here in the UK), and I this girl is talking about eating cows is the same as eating a cat!
This made me think that then the message is out there, we need a bit more advocating, showing that we are not extremists, just that a life it’s a life: it doesn’t matter if it is a sheep, a dog, a horse, a rabbit etc. A life it’s a life: as vegans, we probably have stopped, watching the heartbreaking videos of cows before being slaughtered, how you can see the fear and anguish in their eyes. It is undeniable. I always wonder if those killing them do see it, if they have thoughts on this. Even the animals raised “well and with care”, left out grazing: they have then to kill them. Don’t they see what we see?
The message is there, my kittens. We just have to keep going, keep spreading the word the way you are doing. But. Keep. Going. We can do it.
Happy Sunday, everybody! I’ve been having some busy days with some new projects at work, which is tiring but also so invigorating and I am always grateful for my job. Hence, I wanted to end the busy week with something comforting and this Vegan Beef & Broccoli by ConnoisseurusVeg did the job perfectly.
The first time I made this recipe, was also the first time I used soy curls: I got them from a healthy shop and was curious to use them, so I looked for recipes online and this one was a really interesting one. Plus it’s a “quick&easy” recipe, so it won the contest for “What Am I Cooking Tonight?” And today I am sharing it with you.