Whole Foods Candy Cane Sandwich Cookies...vegan :)
This Sunday, October 26th, A Vegan Life Meetup will gather at Beetbox Bakery and Cafe, a totally vegan establishment where you can hang out with friends for lunch and then bring home ( or to the office or school ... ) fabulous cookies, cupcakes and pastries that will impress even your meat-eating, dairy-using friends and colleagues...no apologies or excuses necessary...these baked goods are the best ! They use mostly organic/non-GMO ingredients with no artificial colors, preservatives or hydrogenated oils. Many items are or can be made gluten-free.
Their baked goodies grace some great Denver eateries as desserts...see which ones here.
Keep Beetbox in mind for the upcoming busy holiday time and let them help spread good cheer and the good vegan word by placing a Special Order.
I have to confess that Jamie and I have not yet had a chance to try their sandwiches ( when we do I'm getting the Avocado Melt with cashew cream cheese,tomato , red onion and arugula ! ), but we have had their Cinnamon Rolls, cupcakes, Bear Claws and Apple Maple Donuts, and they were all very very good. Jamie has taken several dozen cupcakes in to work where they were fell upon by everyone and gone in no time, and he makes a point out of telling people they are vegan and where he got them...yay Jamie !
Wish Beetbox could open a storefront here in Boulder ! But for now, here is their Denver location fo the Bakery and Cafe:
Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary is holding their annual celebration of life at their sanctuary out in Deer Trail, CO Sunday, November 24th from noon to 3pm. If you've never been out there and looked into the eyes of some of the rescued farmed animals, now is a great time to go !
This year,not only will there be great vegan food for noshing, but Rooster Sanctuary at Danzig's Roost and Nooch Vegan Market will also be there,and donating their proceeds Peaceful Prairie.
This event sells out quickly...don't miss it ! Visit their Facebook page or their website for more details...I hope to see you there :)
In SO many ways ! First of all, with animal butter out of the equation, there is no built-in, concentrated cruelty, and no rush to get the dough rolled out, onto the pan and into the hot oven before the fat melts and makes your cut-outs spread into weird shapes. Sadly, there are also some serious issues that come with using vegan butters and shortenings made with palm oil. Entire jungles ( and all the life within ) are being clear cut for massive palm oil plantations. There is a soy-based vegan margarine, Fleishmann's Unsalted, but it has some trans fats and the dough still needs to handled carefully, to keep it chilled. A much better solution is to use recipes that call for vegetable oil for the fat.
I have always loved making cut-out cookies...so much fun to bring little critters to life on the cookie sheet ! But man, the whole race to get the dough rolled out and onto the pan always took some of the fun out of it, and I'd kind of quit making them. Using oil makes a much more forgiving, flexible dough. Scraps can be mashed together and rolled back out, or tossed in the freezer for another day.
Here's a rundown on some cut-out recipes and how i made the Bears in the picture :)
Vanilla Sugar Cookie Cut-outs :
I've been playing with this recipe for basic Vanilla Sugar Cookies for years...I'm not sure who originated it, but there are versions of it on the net. These have a little different texture from the ones made from butter ( vegan or not ) ...they have a nice chewiness to them, and if you bake them till they are lightly browned, a crispy chewiness. And they are not too sweet...perfect for slathering on lots of super sweet icing ! Change out the extracts to make it a lemon cookie ( add some fresh lemon zest too !) , almond or stick with vanilla.
2 cups flour ( try using half whole wheat pastry flour )
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup applesauce ( baby applesauce works great here...super smooth texture ! )
1/2 cup organic canola oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract ( or 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon lemon extract; or 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract )
Zest of one lemon ( if making lemon cookies )
Preheat oven to 350. Oil two cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. Sift together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together well the wet ingredients and then add to the dry ingredients, mixing well. If too crumbly, add a tiny bit of water. If too wet, add a bit of flour.
Gather dough up and pat out into a circle, cover tightly, and chill for an hour or a few days. When ready to bake, roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut your shapes, keeping the dough about 1/8 thickness. Transfer them to the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your cookies and the accuracy of your oven. Dont overbake ! They are done with the edges just start to get brown....a little longer for extra crispy :)
Chocolate Cut-out Cookies:
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar is such a great cookie resource...so many recipes ( their Brownie recipe is my standard now ) and baking tips... you should buy it ! The Chocolate Cookie recipe is fantastic...super easy to mix up and the dough is nice to work with and very chocolatey. Worth the price of the book, all by itself ! The pictures above are of some bears I made using the recipe from VCIYCJ. They look a little rough, and that's from using a paper template to cut around...still thinking about exactly what size to make the actual cookie cutter. The chocolate icing ( which also makes a nice easy syrup for ice cream, or just something chocolatey to eat from a spoon...) I spread on the bears dries to a hard matte finish after a few hours ( may take longer to firm up in higher humidity ) and goes like this:
Chocolate Bear Icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons water
Mix together the sugar and cocoa and salt in a small bowl or cup, distributing the cocoa throughout. Add the vanilla, then 2 tablespoons of the water and stir,stir,stir, mashing the mixture against the sides of the bowl or cup to break up the dry lumps of the sugar and the cocoa. Only add tiny bits of extra water as needed...it can change from perfect consistency to too thin in seconds. If that happens, just add a little more powdered sugar. Mix till very smooth. Cover with a sheet of plastic to keep it from drying out. This is good for spreading with an offset spatula or dipping, but if you make it a little thicker, you could pipe it from a pastry bag for simple lines and writing. Makes about 1/2 cup. Will keep a few days in the fridge, tightly covered.
The bears were decorated after cooling completely. First I iced them using a small offset spatula ( but could have dipped ) and while the icing was still wet, I added toasted almond slices for the tan muzzles and mini chocolate chips ( Enjoy Life brand has some tiny ones ) eyes and another mini chip for the nose, using a little dab of the icing for nose cement to stick it to the muzzle.
Our Black Bears here in Boulder have had a rough year. Four have been shot and killed, just since May, for making a habit out of eating our trash. A mother bear with two dependent cubs was one of the victims. Her cubs were shipped off to another county, left to feed and defend themselves in the wild, when possibly all they have known is the easy pickings from us lazy, wasteful humans. Adult black bears in the fall need a whopping 20,000 calories a day to lay on the fat necessary to carry them through the winter while they hibernate. Read more about bears in Boulder at
the Boulder Bear Coalition. And if you live anywhere where bears might be eating your trash, please secure it from them...it may save their life.
I had previously blogged about making Bison with a wonderful Vegetarian Resource Group-based recipe for Gingerbread, and you can go straight to the recipe for it on my old blog, New Leaf Vegan.org.
Almond Star Cut-outs ( gluten-free):
This recipe for Almond Stars is SO good ! I found it on a website by a woman who lives in Utah and basically lives to climb...check out her website..pretty amazing person. And again, another super easy to make, featuring almond meal and coconut oil. They are gluten-free to boot. I've made them several times and really, they are addictive ! Good thing they are also fairly nourishing :) Of course you can use shapes other than stars, but dont make them too big, since this cookie is a bit fragile if made large.
Peanut Butter Cut-outs ( gluten-free):
I havent tried these yet, but plan on making them soon...dates and maple syrup are the sweeteners and there is oatmeal too...don't they sound devine ?
Here are the main players in a version of what I like to call Immunity Stew. Whenever I am feeling low or maybe a cold trying to take hold i make a soup/stew with lots of veggies and usually some seaweed. The strange looking skinny brown root is burdock, bought in the produce department. I lightly peeled it before chopping it up. The tiny seeds of amaranth are in the wooden bowl. Not familiar with amaranth ? Neither am I ! But I want to learn more about it and cook with it more amaranth is considered a 'super grain' ,along with quinoa...another South American native. This stew is being made for a sweet strong friend who is undergoing a total knee replacement surgery. I hope to get it over to her today, and maybe the stew can help her bounce back to her "old" self :)
The stars of this stew are:
Amaranth...about 1/4 cup
Burdock root...about 12" long
Not-Chikn buillion Cube
They were all tossed together and are gently simmering for about 40 minutes, adding the swisschard at the last 5 minutes. The amaranth will thicken the soup into a nice stew. White rice would be a good sub.
Well, dang....i am having some serious issues with my Blog Roll editing on the Weebly site...please forgive me for temporary deletions ! I will fix it later today...
UPDATE...The glitch seems to have been fixed...but I did not have the full list of the blogs I had listed :(
I will continue to add websites and blogs as they occur to me. Please feel free to suggest some !
Jamie and i are at City, O' City in downtown Denver. Mostly vegan fare. Getting a pizza this time...need to break the Savory Waffle rut ! We just came in from hanging out at the Denver Botanic Gardens for a few hours. Love all the different garden areas with lots of emphasis on native plants. We were really wowed by all the cool grass displays, since we are going to redo the front lawn in grasses and native plants. Great place for kids to run around too...even some grassy knolls that looked purpose-built for rolling.
Me: Pizza with lots of mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach and a fantastic house-made almond cashew ricotta cheese. Jaime : Seitan wings...spicy !
Now, time to eat !
Today's post was written by Lynn Halpern, a longtime vegan advocate, educator and rescuer of many farmed and discarded nonhuman animals. She is also the Outreach Coordinator for Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, tabling at many local events with beautiful brochures, pamphlets and posters designed and published by PPS.
With the holidays coming up soon, and hundreds of millions turkeys scheduled for slaughter, a trip out to Peaceful Prairie's "Living at Thanksgiving" feast and sanctuary tour is just the thing to keep from hating humanity too much. Mingle with others in a fun celebration of life and fantastic vegan food on November 24th, the Sunday before Thanksgiving and meet some of the rescued farmed animals who's stories you can read on the website. Join PPS's email list ( easy to do on their Home page ), Friend them on Facebook or just check back on their website to get more details about this great annual event and other happenings with the animals and the Sanctuary.
Here's Lynn :
A Forever Home on the Range
Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary is “a safe haven for animals that have been given a second chance at life” located about an hour from Denver on the eastern plains of Colorado. It is home to several hundred animals that have been rescued from a life of exploitation and an untimely death for the purpose of food production – something that is completely unnecessary for human survival.
A visit to the sanctuary provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet the residents, hear their stories and learn why going vegan is essential to prevent the needless suffering of their less fortunate brethren. Here you can mingle with cows, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, ducks, geese, turkeys and llamas, all of whom receive the love and respect allowing them to just be themselves and express their wonderful and unique personalities.
Most come from the small family farms that many people think fit the idyllic image currently being marketed to the “caring consumer” as the solution to the horrors of industrial animal agriculture. A closer examination reveals that, from the animal’s perspective, nothing could be further from the truth. The screams and terror of the slaughterhouse are the same and all will end up there sooner or later – most sooner. Even cows and chickens born and raised for their milk and eggs will wind up there while still in their youth. Chicken breeds that have been developed to maximize egg production resulted in male birds that are not desirable for their flesh. They are gruesomely killed within a day or two of birth at the hatcheries that supply virtually all chicken keepers, whether backyard hobbyists, battery, organic, or cage-free facilities. Male cows of dairy breeds aren’t worth keeping to adulthood for meat, so they may be trashed at birth or cruelly raised for veal. Male goats that are a by-product of goat milk production may live for a bit longer than there bovine counterparts, but they will be sold for their flesh as well. Goat meat is popular in many cultures and indeed, goats are the most widely consumed mammal, eaten by more than 70% of the world’s population. When it comes to the females of these species, a decline in egg and milk production means a trip to the abattoir for them as well.
Only a tiny fraction of the billions that are killed every year in the US alone will end up at sanctuaries, yet none deserve their sad fate. For this reason, vegan advocacy is a large part of the Peaceful Prairie mission and should be an important function of every organization working to protect farmed animals. To this end, Peaceful Prairie has produced a body of literature concentrating on dispelling the myth of so-called humane farming, thus filling a large void in the existing materials on the subject. Much of it has been translated in to other languages as it is in demand around the world. Literature can be purchased at cost by contacting the sanctuary or downloaded for free from their website.
Tours are given on Sundays throughout the year and must be scheduled ahead of time through the website. While out there, those that wish to may learn more about how to lend a helping hand.
This all-volunteer organization has endured for the last 15 years because of the 24/7 hard work and dedication of founders, Chris and Michele Alley-Grubb. The sanctuary depends completely on donations to fund their work. All money raised goes towards animal care and vegan outreach. None is used to pay salaries or for fundraising.
This Tuesday, Native Foods Café in Boulder will be giving a portion of the proceeds for that day to Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary.
Lynn Halpern, Outreach Coordinator and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
General PPS inquiries can be directed to email@example.com
Tours can be scheduled by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
These are pretty darn good ! Crunchier than some crisp rice and not too sweet. I could see adding some of these to homemade granola and homemade energy bars. Plus they use the word " veganic" and even provide a definition: "cultivated without animal-based fertilizers-a new higher standard."
A new cereal to love !
Greetings from Boulder, CO ! I'll be blogging about our new life here on the Front Range where the Plains meet the Rockies in awesome geologic confluence :)
Blog Roll ( in no particular order )