Virtual Vegan Potluck: Pumpkin Date Roll-Up

I can’t believe it’s that time again…the holidays!

I know. You thought  I was going to say Virtual Vegan Potluck. Well, that too 😉 Both snuck up on me this time. When did it become fall?! When did Annie start asking for VVP participants?! I seem to have missed both of those. Sigh…story of my year.

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But, I have something to share with you! Yea! It’s fall-esq. It’s fat free. It’s super easy to make, and it only contains two ingredients. That’s right. Two. Ingredients.

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Here goes. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Date Roll-Up

1 c dates, pitted and chopped

1/2 c pumpkin puree

Optional: Fall seasonings: pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, etc.

Pit and chop dates and place them in a food processor (with the normal “S” blade). Process until a mass forms. [If you’re dates are really dry, soak them first, or add a little bit of water to the food processor. You want the dates to be a big, sticky ball of deliciousness, but you need to be able to handle the date ball easily.] Remove date ball and place on a large piece of parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat). Press the dates out into a uniform, flat shape. [You can try to make it square, but I never have any luck doing with that.]

In a bowl, add the pumpkin puree and chosen seasonings. Stir to combine.

Add seasoned pumpkin puree to half of the date sheet. Use parchment help you roll the dates around the pumpkin. You’re looking for a pinwheel shape.

Wrap date roll in the parchment paper and freeze for about 15 minutes or refrigerate for about 30. You want the dates to firm up before you try to cute through the roll.

Cut and serve as is or dehydrate for a less sticky, more grab-and-go friendly treat.

Options

Dates: I used  a combo of medjool and deglet noir dates. I should have soaked them first because they caused my heavy duty Cruisinart food processor to smoke! I haven’t tried to use it since; I’m afraid I burned out the motor :-/ For your roll, please soak your dates if they aren’t super moist. It will save you a lot of trouble later. Use all medjools or a combo of your favorite dates.

Keep it raw: If you want to keep this dish 100%, use raw pumpkin and puree it in a food processor or a high powered blender. I suggest straining your raw puree before using. (You can do this in a nut milk bag/cheese cloth and just let it drain, or try your luck with a fine mesh strainer sitting over a blow.)

Add some fat: If you aren’t concerned with keeping this treat low-fat, try adding your favorite nuts to the date bag. You’ll definitely need some moisture with the dates and nuts to make them process and stick together. Soaking both your dates and your nuts will help this. (I like to use almonds  with my dates.) You can also turn your pumpkin puree into a pumpkin cream by swirling in some sweetened cashew cream. (Blend some soaked cashews with a dash of vanilla and your favorite liquid sweetener. Add a splash of non-dairy milk if the mixture won’t blend, but you want the cream to be very thick.)

Wrap it up: Dehydrate your date roll slices until they’re almost dry, then wrap them up like candy in parchment or wax paper. Tie off the ends with pretty ribbon, and you’ve got some low-fat, healthy, vegan, almost raw candy gifts! The dates are full of potassium and magnesium; the pumpkin is full of vitamins A and C and a little iron, and the cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant.

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I hope you enjoyed my contribution to the party. Check out the amazing foods people are bringing to the party by using the “Go Forward” and “Go Backward” navigation buttons below. [If you want to start from the beginning, click here.]

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Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Blog Tour

I’ve got a treat for you! Lindsay Nixon, aka “The Happy Herbivore,” is doing a blog tour for her newest baby book Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, and she’s stopping by to say, “Hi!”

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This is Lindsay’s fourth book, and it promises not to disappoint. I own the three previous HH books, and I love them all. So when Lindsay’s publishers posted they were looking for bloggers to help promote HHLL, I jumped at the chance. Why not? Who doesn’t love delicious and easy-to-make, low-fat, oil-free, vegan goodies??

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great is a unique addition to the Happy Herbivore family. This time, Lindsay has included a fitness component. If you follow the Happy Herbivore blog (like I have for many years), you know that Lindsay used to be a personal trainer. And, since being active is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, it’s only natural that fitness and food make an appearance in this latest addition to your plant-based book collection.

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According to Amazon:

With easy, no-fuss recipes, the bestselling Happy Herbivore cookbooks show how easy, affordable, and delicious eating healthy can be. Now, in her latest cookbook, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon provides recipes that put a special emphasis on weight-loss and a set of exercises that, like her recipes, are quick, easy, and produce great results.

Like all Happy Herbivore cookbooks, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean contains filling, flavorful, plant-based recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. But this time, Nixon takes healthy to an all-new level, with low-calorie, satisfying meals that will help you achieve your weight-loss goals—and without deprivation.

True to its title, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean also includes “recipes” for your body with basic workouts, plus tips and tricks that will inspire you to move more for a trimmer, more-toned you. As always, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean recipes are free from oils, processed foods, and diet chemicals such as artificial sweeteners.

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean keeps it healthy, keeps it simple, and keeps it delicious.

Are you excited yet? Wait…there’s more! I had the chance to ask Lindsay a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:

VV: After four cookbooks, where do find your continued motivation?

HH: Contractual obligations with your publisher, I find, make one very motivated 😉 Though in all fairness I signed up for a total of 6 books freely. I had (still have) a lot of ideas. I’m one of those people who likes a challenge… a goal to work toward. My fans and supporters are also incredibly motivating. Everything I do, I do for them

VV: Since Light & Lean introduces readers to the fitness component of HH, are you going to continue to incorporate it into the mix? For example, are you perhaps going to offer fitness plans in the future?

HH: There are fitness plans in the new book 🙂

VV: With the holiday season upon us, what’s your best tip not only staying plant strong but light and lean as well?

HH: Have a plan in place. Have a strategy before you walk in the door to a party, hit the buffet line or sit down to dinner. If you want to indulge a little, great, but decide what and how much before you start feasting with your eyes.

I was really interested in the motivation part. I can barely come up with enough content for a weekly blog post, let along fill 4 (6?!) cookbooks with tasty and unique recipes and stories that keep people coming back for more.

I’ve got one last surprise for you. Lindsay’s publishers graciously agreed to share a recipe from HHLL, and I chose Meatloaf Bites. Why? Because I love meatloaf (meat-less loaf?) and anything that’s bite sized. Seriously. I can’t resist finger foods! (That’s tiny food. Not food made from fingers. (Hey. It’s Halloween. I don’t know where your mind is! Ha!))

Meatloaf Bites

Makes 8

Gluten-free, Quick, Budget

One afternoon I grabbed what I thought was corn from the freezer but later realized it was mixed vegetables. Once they thawed on the counter I knew they weren’t going back in, so I looked for a new, inventive way to use them. A can of kidney beans started calling, and before I knew it I had a vegetable-filled meatloaf in the oven. Since this meatloaf is baked in a muffin tin (great for serving sizes and portion control), I call it meatloaf “bites” and, yes, leftovers are great as a burger!

1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tbsp chili powder (add another 1 tsp if you like it spicy)

3 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp mustard

1 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (recipe in full cookbook)

1 c frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

6 tbsp instant oats

 Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or use nonstick. Mash beans in a bowl with fork or potato masher until well mashed. Add remaining ingredients, except oats, and stir to combine.

Stir in oats. Spoon into muffin tin and pack down. Bake for 20 minutes until crisp on the outside and fairly firm to the touch (firms a bit as it cools). Serve with ketchup, Quick Gravy (pg. 188), etc.

Per BiteCalories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.7g

Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.9g

Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.5g

Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3g

Protein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.8g

WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

[Note: I added the mechanical emphasis to make the recipe appear more consistent with the way I post recipes. I also added the color to make the recipe stand out. I didn’t want you to miss anything!]

Disclaimer: Lindsay’s publishers offered to send me a copy of HHLL for participating in the blog tour (but I would have done it anyway. I’m always happy and willing to help promote a healthy, plant-based life!).

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Aren’t these the cutest?! See…finger foods! And that ketchup frosting? What a great idea!

Are you excited yet? You can pre-order your copy of HHLL here. Books are scheduled to be available at the beginning of December, but I’ve heard through the grapevine (OK, it was on the HH blog *wink*) that preordered books may ship sooner. Order now, and you might  have a new resource for your [American] Thanksgiving meal planning!

Enjoy your Meatloaf Bites!

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Another Chance to Win!

Didn’t win the blog give-a-way for  The New Green Juicing Diet: With 60+ Alkalizing, Energizing, Detoxifying, Fat Burning Recipes by Liz Swann?

Don’t worry…you can still win!

To win a copy of the book, simply visit the Veggie V Facebook page and leave a comment on the original post (see feed) telling me why you love green juice or why you want to start juicing.

Contest open through Thursday at 11:50 p.m. (EST). Winner announced on Friday. Open internationally!

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And the Winner is…

The winner of The New Green Juice Diet book give-a-way is Courtney!

Congrats, Courtney! Your ebook will be coming to your inbox soon 🙂

And a big ‘ol thank you to all of those who entered the give-a-way! I really appreciate all of your support.

 

Give-A-Way: The New Green Juicing Diet

Hey there, friends!

Our friend, Elizabeth Swann, is at it again. This time, she’s treating us with a new book on juicing…green juicing to be precise.

Elizabeth’s newest book, The New Green Juicing Diet: With 60+ Alkalizing, Energizing, Detoxifying, Fat Burning Recipes, is jam packed with well over 100 pages of crazy useful information and recipes that will get you more excited about green juice than you’ve been in a long time.

A trained naturophath, Liz turned to green juice to lower her cholesterol and get a handle on her weight.

Even though they might not always look that appealing (unless you’re like me and think a giant glass of green goodness is a sight to behold), green juices can supply you with tons of nutrients and energy. Think of it like a shot of espresso – without the coffee 😀

With over 60 green juice recipes, Liz takes us from the beginning, “Why Green Juice,” all the way to an “…Encyclopedia of Green Juice Ingredients” and everything in between. Liz helps us understand why we should be juicing, what greens to choose for the most nutrition and best flavor combs, how to pick out and take care of a juicer (if you don’t have one already), how to juice on a budget, how to use juicing for weight loss, detoxing, energy, boosting brain power, looking better, and staying healthy.

Sounds pretty good, hu? It is! And, guess what…Elizabeth has graciously agreed to share a copy of her newest book, The New Green Juicing Diet, with a lucky Veggie V reader. Woohoo!

This contest is open to everyone – even international residents. Double woohoo!

To Enter (to win a digital copy of Liz’s newest book)…

* Leave a comment sharing why you want to start drinking green juice OR how much you love drinking green juice

* Sign up to receive Veggie V blog posts via email or Blog Reader (WP reader and Blog Lovin’ are my favs), AND let me know you signed up (or already get the goods sent to ya)

* Like Veggie V’s Vegan Adventure on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram AND leave a message letting me know you did (or do)

* Bonus entry: Join the Raw Fusion Reset group on Facebook. (Mattie and I encourage new challenges each month and help motivate group members along their personal journeys. We also share recipes and other fun stuff!)

CONTEST OPEN MONDAY, OCTOBER 7 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9 (at 11:59 p.m. EST). Winner announced on Thursday, October 10.

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Vegan MoFo Fail

Ok. I admit it. I got in over my head this year and failed miserably at MoFo’ing. (Yup. Just turned that into an adjective.) mofo 2013 FAIL

I could blame it on moving. I could blame it on – wait – I am going to blame it on moving. But, I probably shouldn’t have been so ambitious in the first place.

So, my apologies to those of you who were looking forward to more than two favorite vegan things last month.

But, I’m going to make it up to you! An apology for empty promises is not enough. Nope, not nearly enough.

So, what about a give-a-way?

Woohoo! A give-a-way!

Come back tomorrow (and yes, it will be tomorrow) to enter to win a copy of a brand new ebook all about everyone’s favorite – green juice!

See you then 😀

 

Vegan Mofo: My Favorite Tahini

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Ok. By now it’s apparent this year’s MOFO has been a major fail. Day 21 and I’ve only posted twice. Wowza. At least I have moving to blame it on. Right? *sheepish look*

I still want to share a few of my favorite vegan things with you this month, and this one is one of my all-time favorites…Max Sesame Tahini Spread. It’s sooooo good!

Max Sesame Tahini Spread

I started using this brand of tahini after reading about it on Carry on Vegan. I’ve been ordering it for a few months, and it really makes all other tahini pale in taste comparison. I can even eat this tasty little seed butter straight out of the jar – something I can’t say for other brands of tahini I’ve tried.

I know these little jars are a bit pricy, but the flavor is very pronounced, allowing you to use less of the product. Also, you can save on shipping if you order a few jars at a time – like I just did 😉

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Vegan MoFo: My Favorite Thing is…Oat Flour!

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Ok, so my MoFo’ing is off to a slow start. Here we are at day 6, and this is my first real post. At this rate, I won’t get to share very many of my favorite vegan things :-/

Regardless to my pace of posting (posting pace?), I wanted to get this month rolling with one of my very favorite ingredients…oats! And, more specifically, oat flour. Why oat flour versus the whole oat? Sometimes I react to whole oats, specifically oat meal. I use make a point to purchase organic, gluten free rolled oats (or steel cut/oat groats), but sometimes, when I eat oat meal, I almost feel asthmatic. I would probably feel the same if I ate an entire batch of whatever it is I make with the oat flour, but I’m usually able to control myself. Usually 😉

Back on track…Why do I love oat flour so much? It’s crazy versatile! I’ve had great luck substituting it one-for-one for in everything I’ve tried. (Given, I haven’t tried it with every recipe.)  But, I’ve great luck with pancakes, muffins, and…cookies! Yummy, yummy cookies.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 c oat flour

1/2 c rolled oats

1 c peanut butter

1 c fruit spread/jelly

1 flax egg (1 TBSP flax meal + 1-2 TBSP water – combine and allow to gel)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking powder

Splash vanilla (about 1 tsp)

Sprinkle salt (if peanut butter is unsalted)

Combine dry ingredients (oat flour, oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder) and stir to combine. (I do this with a fork, but a sifter would work wonderfully. Just add the whole oats secondary.) Add wet ingredients (peanut butter, jelly, vanilla, flax egg). Stir just to combine ingredients. Scoop by large scooper (I used an ice cream scooper.) onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten a little after scooping.

Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes. (Check after 8 minutes if your oven runs hot.) Time will depend upon your oven and thickness of cookies. Remove cookies from cookie sheet right away (the oat flour will draw moisture and make the bottom of your cookies soggy), and cool on a wire rack.

My batch of dough made 16 large cookies, but don’t let that stop you from making them; they freeze well and reheat great too!

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Notes:

I thought these cookies are naturally sweet from the sweetness of the whole fruit spread, but if you’re feeding these to people who eat ‘traditional’ cookies, you might want to add a little liquid sweetener or your favorite non-nutritive sweetener. Additionally, if you want to turn these soft, cake-like cookies into muffins, try thinning out the batter with a little non-dairy milk. Mix-ins would be good too! Try crushed peanuts, diced pieces of whole fruit, chocolate chips, etc. Go crazy!

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Vegan MoFo 2013 is Here!

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It’s here! It’s here!

Today is the first day of the 2013 Vegan Month of Food – affectionately known as Vegan MoFo 2013. Woohooo!!

This is my third year participating in Vegan MoFo, and, like last year, I theme for this year’s event. For the next month, yes, the entire month of September, I will be sharing my favorite (vegan) things with you. Some of my favorite things will include products, places, websites, recipes, books, magazines, blogs, and…two give-a-ways. Yes, you read that right – two give-a-ways! Because, c’mon, everyone’s favorite thing is free stuff *wink*

Just in case you’re asking yourself, “What the hell is a MoFo?,” I’ll tell ya. Well, technically, someone from the MoFo gang will tell you, because I’m quoting their “About” page:

VeganMoFo was originally created on the Post Punk Kitchen, as an homage to NaNoWriMo. Because we do want to write novels, but sometimes cooking gets in the way. So why not combine them!

The idea is to write as much as you can all month, about vegan food. The blog entries can be about anything food related – your love of tongs, your top secret tofu pressing techniques, the first time your mom cooked vegan for you, vegan options in Timbuktu – you get the idea, right? If not, browse around on some of our round-ups and you’ll catch on fast!

And there you have it. And here you have me, posting as much as possible this month and sharing all (ok, most some) of my favorite vegan things. Simple. And exciting!

While it’s fresh in your brain, check out the Vegan MoFo Blog Roll, RSS Feed, and Facebook page. All the cool kids are doing it. You should too.

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Book Review: Vegan Cooking at Home

When I reviewed Samantha Shorkey’s  Jacked on the Beanstalk: Plant Based Fuel for Vegan Athletes, I mentioned Samantha was a part of The Vegan Project, a blog dedicated to the journey of adopting a vegan lifestyle. Samantha, along with her blog mates Bridget Burns (author) and Jennifer Boyle (co-author and co-founder of The Vegan Project), and a bunch of other contributors, put together an eBook collection of some of their favorite home-cooked, vegan recipes.

According to Bridget:

About This Book

I’ve been eating vegan for almost four years, and I’ve rarely felt deprived. How do I do
it? I make sure I’m set up with the ingredients and tools to have food that I can eat on
hand, always.

The following recipes have been designed with ease in mind and I’ve relied on them
many times over the years. We have a term for it around here – home food. It’s not
something you’d entertain with, but it’s something you eat often in the comfort of your
own home…so simple, yet so good.

In this book you’ll also find tips for choosing healthier foods, a seven-day meal plan, a
guide to vegan snacks, and a shopping list – everything you need for successful and
delicious vegan cooking at home!

Vegan Cooking at Home: Plant Based Eating Made Easy offers tips for weekly shopping and big batch cooking, recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and sample meal plans. With recipes like Tofu Scramble (Who can’t use another tofu scramble recipe? I’m always on the lookout for a new twist on mine!), Kale Caesar salad (Helllloooo Kale!), Tempeh Tacos (mmmm….tacos….), this ittle book is a hit. And, at about $12US, it’s a good value, too. (Or, you can buy the combo pack, a copy of Vegan Cooking at Home and Jacked on the Beanstalk, for a significant savings.)