Sold-out Success: The Chocolate Trio

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
Dr. Christine Dickson, Secrets of Vegan Baking

Dr. Christine Dickson, Secrets of Vegan Baking

Dr. Christine Dickson relaunched the Secrets of Vegan Baking Classes with theme class of “The Chocolate Trio” on March 27th at the San Mateo Whole Foods.

The class was sold-out, and unfortunately for those anxiously waiting for a cancellation, we had a full house.

Christine started the class with a bonus — sampling her delightful fudgie brownie bites.

Then the class officially began with the featured vegan desserts, Chocolate Cream-Cheese Bundt Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and then the Chocolate Hazelnut Torte.  Christine had prepared samples of each dessert (pictured above at the beginning of the class).

During the class, Christine and volunteer assistants from the audience prepared each vegan delight.  Both the Chocolate Chip Cookies  and Chocolate Cream-Cheese Bundt Cake in class were also baked fresh in class and available for more sampling.

Vegan Baking Class, March 2010

Vegan Baking Class, March 2010

If you love chocolate, visit Christine’s website to watch how to make fudge brownie bites.

Upcoming Secrets of Vegan Baking Class

The next vegan baking class is “Berry Sweets” on Saturday, April 24th, at San Mateo Whole Foods.

Christine will share her secrets of baking delicious old-fashioned strawberry shortcake, raspberry tart, and blueberry muffins.  Cost is $25 per person, and registrations are now being accepted.  [ more info ]

Thank you to Christine for sharing her time and talents for creating egg- and dairy-free desserts.  Most attendees at the class were new to vegan baking, and we look forward to our continued partnership with Christine and the Secrets of Vegan Baking to promote compassionate and cruelty-free baking in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Secrets of Vegan Baking classes start March 27th

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Class participant made Christine's vegan cupcakes for a bakesale

Christine Dickson will once again be offering her popular Secrets of Vegan Baking Classes with Bay Area Vegetarians!  In 2007, many of you will remember the Secrets of Vegan Baking classes held at Sur La Table in SF’s Union Square.   This class is now being held at Whole Foods in San Mateo.

Upcoming Secrets of Vegan Baking Classes include:

03/27 Secrets of Vegan Baking: The Chocolate Trio – San Mateo
04/24 Secrets of Vegan Baking: Berry Sweets – San Mateo

Christine has also created the Secrets of Vegan Baking website with Video Demonstration, Free Sample Recipes, and Baking Tips.

She will be giving a free presentation during our 2/28 Vegan Food Party, and we’ll be giving away one of her vegan cookie mixes!

Christine teaching at Sur La Table in SF

Thank you to  Christine for once again offering these classes, and to Whole Foods for underwriting this class with space and ingredients.  The San Mateo Whole Foods is also offering a vegan raw foods class on 3/9 with Patti Searle ($35 , more info )

Love and Let Live: Pride Party Food

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
Roasted Potato Salad

Roasted Potato Salad

In support of the big veg outreach effort happening at SF Pride this year, Drew and Jeff hosted a Pride Veg Outreach Party at their home last month.

Chef Jeff made some fabulous food, including bruchettas, roasted potato salad, pasta with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, quinoa artichoke salad, Moroccan couscous salad, cupcakes, cookies, and dips.

After eating, we all wanted his secret recipes.  He modestly said there wasn’t any secret at all, that he just found them on the web. Ah, but that is the secret, isn’t it — finding a good recipe out of the gazillions that exist.

Drew and Chef Jeff

Drew and Chef Jeff

Chef Jeff was gracious enough to share a couple of these recipes with us.  He also added that the roasted potato salad is just mixed potatoes roasted with onions and bell peppers with fresh herbs.

We hope you enjoy these dishes as much as we did, and thanks again to Drew and Jeff and their co-hosts, canines Reggie, Mindy, and Theo, for hosting the fabulous party for Pride outreach volunteers.

Even if you missed the party, there’s still time to get involved with veg outreach at Pride.  Remember, love and let live.


Quinoa Artichoke Salad

Quinoa Artichoke Salad

Quinoa Artichoke Salad

This recipe is very flexible and forgiving; feel free to add other ingredients you like or leave things out that you don’t care for.

1 cup quinoa
½ cup red quinoa
2 Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. almond butter
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
4 large artichoke hearts in oil (chopped into small pieces)
1 small red onion
4 green onions, chopped finely
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¼” pieces
½ cup pitted kalmata or other olives, chopped finely
1 Fuji  apple (seeded and core removed, and cut into ¼” chunks)
2 Roma tomatoes (seeded and cut into ¼” pieces)
handful of chopped cashew nuts
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook both types of quinoa in approx. 2 cups water.  Allow to cool slightly.  Mix tahini, almond butter, and balsamic vinegars.  Dilute with a bit of warm water if very thick.  Stir this mixture into the warm quinoa.  Add artichoke hearts, onion, green onion, red bell pepper, olives, apple and tomato.  Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.  Sprinkle cashews over salad when ready to serve.

Adapted from recipe “Quinoa Artichoke “Special Mix” from vegweb.com.



Moroccan Couscous Salad

Moroccan Couscous Salad

Moroccan Cous Cous Salad

3 cups cooked Couscous.
I medium yellow or white onion, chopped finely
4 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground coriander
Pinch of saffron (optional)
¾ cup white wine
¾ cup dried currants
4 chopped green onions
½ cup toasted blanched almond pieces

To make couscous: Bring 1 2/3 cup water to boil in wide pan with ½ tsp. salt.  Add 1 1/3 cup dry couscous. Immediately turn off heat.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork.

Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium if onions start to scorch.  Add cinnamon and coriander; stir approximately one additional minute.  Add white wine and saffron; cook over medium high heat until wine is reduced by half.  Add currants and cook an additional minute.  Add this mixture to the warm couscous.  Add green onions and almonds.  Serve at room temperature.

Mother’s Day Salute

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Happy Mother’s Day! And that goes out to everyone who nurtures, loves and cares for someone small. BAV has some really cool parents on the list, raising veg kids, and we’ve also got countless folks who love and care for rescued dogs, cats, rats, birds, cows, chickens, and pigs. So Happy Mom Day to everyone from Bay Area Veg!

Mother’s Day seems to revolve around a big breakfast, and that just doesn’t work for me. Old fashioned breakfasts are made from lots of eggs and milk. Eggs and milk come from mother cows and mother chickens. It’s the food their bodies create for their babies, but we take it away to give ourselves heart disease and cancer. Could anything be LESS celebratory of Mother’s Day?!?

This year, try some vegan goodies for your mom (or for yourself, if all your “kids” are furry and can’t be trusted to use the stove).

Pancakes are always a winner. The following recipe is for the classic, blueberry pancakes, and they’re pretty hard to mess up. Serve with vegan butter (Earth Balance), maple syrup, sliced fruit (grill it if you want to be really fancy!), and some strong coffee or tea with Silk soy creamer. Add a side of vegan mock “bacon” that you buy at the store, or make your own (recipe below).

If your mom prefers savory, try this recipe for breakfast burritos:

And if your mom is a runner, like mine, give her some more carbs! Try a heaping plate of hashbrowns with tofu scramble. Recipes below, and don’t forget the ketchup and Tabasco sauce!

Last but not least, I wanted to share a great local resource with you. 101 Cookbooks is an award-winning recipe blog written by San Francisco native Heidi Swanson. I *love* her vegan recipes. The site is veg, heavily vegan, with gorgeous photographs and idea. Here is a yummy-sounding cookie recipe that I’m going to make for my mom. It’s worth 10 minutes of your time to browse through Heidi’s vegan recipes. You’ll be inspired.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend!

Blueberry Pancakes
Better Than Bacon
Hashbrowns
Tofu Scramble

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Healthy and Cheap Breakfasts

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Running season, swimsuit season, lettuce-bikini season. It’s all about to start. This is the time to incorporate some healthy eating habits. Don’t starve yourself—that can confuse your body and make it harder to lose weight. If you’re hungry all the time you’re not enjoying life, and you’re more likely to give in to some junk food.

For me, Team Vegan is about to start up again (April 26: mark your calendars now!), so it’s time to think about food as fuel. This year our team will train together for 13 weeks to run either a 5k (3 miles), a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) or a Marathon (26.2 miles!). Crazy, I know, but with the right food you can run 100 miles!*

Fill up on good vegan food. A big bowl of oatmeal in the morning contains very few calories, is naturally vegan and free of cholesterol, and you’ll be too full to nibble on Krispy Kremes. Doesn’t hurt that it’s cheap, too! When you buy oats instead of coffee-shop sugar-bomb muffins, you’ll have extra money to sponsor a Team Vegan runner. Sweet!

I love my oats during the week. But let’s face it: we can’t be all good, all the time. Sometimes it’s fun to splurge a bit on a Sunday morning. Below is a link to a great French toast recipes, and my recipe for tofu scramble. Both recipes are yummy enough for breakfast in bed, but still healthier (and cheaper) than hitting your local greasy spoon.

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Eat Your Carrots: Carrot-Walnut Cake and Carrot-Red Lentil Soup

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I had a craving for carrot cake last week, so I pulled up this recipe. It looked a little boring, but I figured it couldn’t be that bad…and I was in a hurry.

I decided to double it so I could bring one cake to the office and keep one at home to score points with the honey. I purchased twice the amount of carrots, and grated them in my food processor. Unfortunately, I did not purchase twice the other ingredients! The result? Keep reading for a carrot and lentil soup recipe. Read the rest of this entry »

Vegan Holiday Food

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Vegan holiday food is actually some of the easiest and tastiest food you can make (or buy). Below are recipes for holiday winter squash, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Cranberry sauce, green beans, salads, sweet potatoes…all the other favorites are already vegan, or so close you won’t need a recipe (Annie’s Goddess dressing instead of the tired old ranch dressing, green beans cooked in veg stock instead of chicken stock, etc).

The main dish is the big question. Tofurky? Field Roast? A big stuffed squash? That’s up to you and your personal tastes. My favorite Thanksgiving involved a six hour hike up a snowy mountain, followed by a feast of latkes (potato pancakes) with apple sauce and vegan sour cream. 3 carefully-chosen people and 7 dogs who were not actually carefully-chosen, being rescues, but they were well-loved. That holiday was so easy, and so fun—none of the stress, misery, heart attacks and animal suffering I was used to—that it set the tone and I haven’t celebrated a “traditional” Thanksgiving since.

If you’re celebrating with a crowd, try to arrange one of each centerpiece foods (Tofurky, Field Roast, stuffed pumpkin). Have a taste test and then you’ll know what you like in the future.

Plan ahead–read through these recipes and check out www.vegcooking.com for a huge new Thanksgiving food feature.  Don’t wait until the week before the holiday–the more you plan, the more you’ll enjoy this holiday of delicious food, friends and family!

Holiday Winter Squash
Mashed Potatoes
Cashew Gravy
Cornbread and Pecan Stuffing
Pumpkin Patch “Cheesecake”

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