Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread -- Epicurean VeganThis fabulous recipe is from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking. The original recipe doesn’t include the chocolate chips, but I thought it would be a great addition. Because of this, I reduced the amount of granulated sugar a little to 1-1/2 cups. That may seem like a lot of sugar still, but this recipe makes 2 loaves. Patrick-Goudreau also notes that you could reduce the oil (1 cup) by using 1/2 oil, 1/2 unsweetened applesauce. Either way, you won’t be disappointed with this delicious bread!

3 Tbs ground flax seed
1/2 C water
1 C canola oil
1 Tbs white distilled vinegar
2 C granulated sugar
2 C grated zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 C flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips (Ghirardelli’s semi-sweet chips are vegan)
1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 C raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease two 8x4x2″ loaf man, 4 mini loaf pans or 2 muffin tins. In a food processor, combine the flax meal and water and blend until thick and creamy. You can also an electric mixer (which I did). Add the oil, vinegar, and sugar, and combine. Stir in the zucchini and vanilla.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the nuts, raisins, and/or chocolate chips, if using. I left out the nuts and raisins. Stir into the zucchini mixture. Divide the batter evenly into the two loaf pans (or pans of choice) and bake for 60-70 minutes. (40-45 mins for mini loaves; 30-35 for muffins).  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

Give thanks . . . for vegan cinnamon rolls

Ok, well, there’s so much more I’m thankful for: my family, my health, my friends, my house, and  . . . after this morning’s, brunch . . . our treadmill.

It was just the three of us today and so The Husband made his favorite Hash Brown Casserole and I made vegan cinnamon rolls—recipe from Mike and Dan at The Gay Vegans. What a FABULOUS recipe!! I got a lovely baker’s dozen and they were so simple to make and absolutely delicious. This will be my go-to cinnamon roll recipe for future brunches to come.

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

I’m so thankful for all of my readers and I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

Shameless Self Promotion . . .

The 2012 writing planner is finally here! Actually, it came together surprisingly fast. After doing 13 illustrations in a month, it’s great to see them all together in a finished product. You can order one for $13.95 and pick it up at the NCW Studio or $18 if you need it shipped. It feels great getting back into illustration, but the planner is hopefully going to help me write and stay on track so I can finish my book, Folsom’s 93.

Life of Pi

Alice in Wonderland

Peter Pan

Kerrie Flanagan (creator of the planner) and I hope that it will help writers set and accomplish their goals. Kerrie even added a Submission Tracker page in the back. If you live in the Fort Collins area, stop by the NCW Studio on Friday, November 25th and Saturday, the 26th from 9-3 for the annual Holiday Mart. There will be lots of handcrafted items and food, as well as journals featuring a few of the planner’s illustrations.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Another fun cooking class . . . and a contest!

It was another fun cooking class last night where participants learned to make several appetizers and the Creamy Macaroni with Cashew Cheese. My good friend, Carolyn from Hooked and Happy came–have you checked out her blog yet? Now’s a great time! Head over to her site and tell her your best “good-gifts-gone-bad” experience and you could win a $25 Amazon gift card–just in time for the holidays.

Thanks to everyone who came to the class last night!

My First Cooking Class

Last night I hosted my first vegan cooking class for fellow members of Fort Vegan, a vegan and vegetarian meetup here in Fort Collins. Many of the attendees were vegetarian, but looking to go vegan and needed ideas of how to cook without cheese and eggs. I enjoyed meeting everyone and getting a chance to “talk shop” and learn a few things myself. I put together a packet of information regarding protein, calcium, and ten different things to make with tofu. I also included the recipes for the vegan goodies we ate. I’m sorry to say, I completely forgot to serve the vegan brownies–although the recipe was included. The Seventh Grader was thrilled with my oversight.

I served four easy-to-make appetizers: Avocado Bruschetta, Crock Cheez, Hummus, and Field Roast Stuffed Phyllo Cups. I then showed attendees how to make the best mac n’ cheese ever.

Hopefully, everyone came away with lots of helpful information and full stomachs. I had a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to class number 2 next Sunday. I’m not sure what I’ll be whipping up for that class, but since Thanksgiving is coming up, I may focus on vegan holiday dishes. Thanks again to everyone who attended!

Breaded Zucchini with Bok Choy and Couscous

Breaded Zucchini with Bok Choy and Couscous -- Epicurean VeganThis was fab-freakin’-tastic! I had made a similar dish, using lentils and rainbow chard, and it was a bit hit with the family. This time, I decided to change things up again and wow . . . even better than the first version!

1 large zucchini, sliced
3 baby bok choy (about 8 stalks)
1-1/2 C mushrooms, quartered or sliced
1 box Near East Pearl Couscous
2 C panko
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 C egg-replacer powder + 1/8 C water
Olive oil

In a shallow bowl, combine the egg-replacer and water. The amounts I list are approximate–you may need to adjust slightly. In another shallow bowl, combine the panko, thyme, salt, and pepper. Steam the bok choy and mushrooms for 12-15 minutes.

Breaded Zucchini with Bok Choy and Couscous -- Epicurean Vegan

Start the couscous about the same time. It’ll take around 15 minutes. Heat some olive oil in a skillet. Dip each slice of zucchini in the egg-replacer mixture, then cover with the panko mix. Over medium-high heat, fry the zucchini slices until each side is browned.

Breaded Zucchini with Bok Choy and Couscous -- Epicurean Vegan

Zucchini actually cooks up pretty fast, so don’t worry if you have a few thick slices—they soften quickly. Keep the cooked slices warm under some foil until you’ve finished frying all the zucchini. You can also do this in the oven. Spray a foiled baking sheet with olive oil and place the breaded zucchini on it and bake each side for about 5 minutes at 400.

Serve the zucchini slices on top of the couscous and bok choy and enjoy!

Halloween Shenanigans

I’m a little slow in getting this post up—I’ve been swamped, but here it is. I LOVE Halloween—behind Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday. It’s The Husband’s least favorite holiday, but he puts up with it for me. (Thanks, hon). He’ll even don a costume . . .

The Husband, on the left, after getting fed up with the (cheaply made) Headless Man costume and our good friend, and neighbor, Chris.

I decided to go as a witch . . .

(No, I’m not drunk, just hamming it up for the camera)

I’ll make this quick . . . I threw together some appetizer favorites along with a pot of Vegetable-Barley Chili. On the menu were Stuff Phyllo Cups, Mushroom/Spinach Truffle Oil Tart, Hummus, and my mom’s famous Party Cheese Ball.

For dips, I used Tofutti sour cream with vegan veggie mixes, had some olive out, as well as cider and punch. For something sweet, I decided to make Cinnamon-Sugar Pita Chips:

So easy! Preheat oven to 425. Cut each pita in half, then each half into 3 pieces, then pull each piece apart; place on a baking sheet.  Heat about 4 Tbs of Earth Balance in a saucepan and combine 2 Tbs sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon in a bowl. Brush each pita triangle with Earth Balance, then sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake for about 4-5 minutes. Once they cool completely, whip up some icing by combining about 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2-3 Tbs of almond milk; drizzle on the chip. Enjoy!

Can you guess what my friend, Jessie is?