Cook From Your Favorite Book–Part 2

So, it’s been a little while since I posted part one.  Part one had a link to all the the wonderful cook books that have provided sources of inspiration. In this post you will find photos of some the delicious dishes we shared and links to the recipes. I need to add some other words to my vocabulary because “delicious” does not always do these dishes justice!  Tempting, mouth-watering, delectable…. I wish I could fully convey to you to colors, the tastes, the textures, the aromas that we are treated to each month.  Cooking and eating without meat does NOT mean bland, boring or tasteless.  If you are in the South Carolina/Georgia Lowcountry, I invite you to join us and see for yourself. Some of the most talented and creative vegan-vegetarian-plant based-raw home chefs attend these gatherings. It is a true feast of the senses and the spirit.

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The Coconut-Lemon Bundt Cake recipe can be found here. It is from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Oat flour was substituted for the all purpose flour used in the original recipe.  The Chickpea and Eggplant Kibeh can be found here.  Note the following changes to the original recipe: The fine bulgur was increased to 3/4 cups and the cumin was increased to 1/2 teaspoon. The sesame sauce was made by thinning hummus with meyer lemon juice instead of soy milk. Mushrooms were also added. Additional recipes can be found below.

Sweet & Sour Broccoli

Stir Fried Kale

Chewy Cherry Charger Balls

If you don’t see your recipe here…fell free to email it to me and I will add it. Enjoy!

July Gathering and…..Exciting News!

First, the “Exciting News!”

I had such grandiose plans when I started this blog a year or so ago.  As my blogging friends out there know, researching and writing posts could easily be a full time job. So, this blog sort of fell by the wayside and became somewhat neglected. That is about to change! The news? Well, we now have a fantastic writer who will be contributing new posts on a regular basis. She is a creative writer, an inspired photographer and shares my passion for great, wholesome and nutritious foods. We are blessed that she has offered her talents and her time. With her contributions, this blog may begin to live up to the vision I had when it was first conceived. Great things are in store for this blog. So Welcome MMH! Welcome.

Now, on to the food….Our monthly gatherings continue to grow. We welcomed new faces this month as well as some who returned after a short hiatus. The food…well, that goes without saying. None of the additives, preservatives, colorings, etc., but ALL of the flavor. Without meat of course. There are some creative cooks out there and the caliber of food that shows up month after month continues to inspire. My favorite this month…a tough call, but I loved the Tu-no Salad. Enjoy the pictures, try the recipes and we hope to see you next month!

The Raw Curried Cabbage Salad recipe can be found here. The Tu-no Salad recipe can be found here, and the recipe for the Bliss Balls can be found by searching this blog–they were included in an earlier post.

May Gathering & Recipes

The most popular posts are by far the ones where I post recipes.  Why is that?  Well, I think because of the role that food plays in our lives. Yes it nourishes us, but more than that, most people enjoy coming together over a good meal–breaking bread, if you will, while sharing stories and uniting over the things we have in common.  And that is why we gather each month. To come together with old friends, welcome new friends and to enjoy great food that does nourish our bodies, but also our hearts and spirits. If you happen to live in the Hilton Head/Beaufort/Savannah area, or will be visiting, we invite you to join us.

In May we gathered at The Preserve around the pool.We were honored to have Cheryl McCarthy of Ageless Acupuncture as our guest speaker. Not only is she a dear friend, she is a bright light with a remarkable story and a wealth of knowledge.

Cheryl McCarthy of Ageless Acupuncture speaking to the group about the benefits of acupuncture.

Cheryl treats emotional, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological and other conditions. If you are in the South Carolina/Georgia lowcountry and would like more information, send me a message and I will pass it on to Cheryl.

The food again this month was outstanding. I’m running out of adjectives to describe the great food. One stand out for me was the Three Sisters Farm Arugula & Sorrel Pesto. I loved the peppery bite from the arugula and it was just so fresh tasting. I think that may have been my first introduction to sorrel as well. But there were many other fantastic dishes.  Eating without meat is never boring!…at least not with this group!

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In addition to the recipes posted, there were Almond and Pecan cookies; Squash with chickpeas and marinated with basil, mint, dill, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil…; Roma tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and fresh basil…; and an amazing Chocolate-Almond Biscotti based off of the Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti found from Veganomicon. You can find that recipe here.

Enjoy and we hope to see you soon!

Recipes and Photos from March Gathering

Some of these pictures are not for the faint of heart.  I will be upfront with that. Chef C from delisheeeYo was at our March gathering teaching us how to make kombucha.  She brought a big jar of kombucha with the scoby mushroom intact and took us step by step through the process.  If you are a kombucha fan (I am), then you may be familiar with strands of the “mother” or scoby floating in your bottle. Nonetheless, the sight of a mature scoby pulled from a freshly brewed batch of kombucha can be a little disconcerting as these pictures show.

Unwrapping the kombucha

Initial reaction to the scoby.

Chef C makes delicious kombucha–not to strong, fresh and the flavor of this batch made with Yerba Mate was particularly enjoyable. Again, in the interest of full disclosure, making kombucha is easy, but there are a  number of steps involved.  Comprehensive directions for brewing kombucha can be found here. If you decide it is too many steps for you, it can be found in any health food store and some mainstream grocery stores.  If you are in the Lowcountry, Chef C sells it by the shot glass and in larger containers to take home.

Now, the food:  Yummy, Tasty, Delicious, Healthy…I have recipes or links to recipes for many of the dishes. If there is something you would like a recipe for and it is not posted or you need more information on a recipe, leave a message in the comments section and I will do my best to find it.

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I was too busy eating to take pictures of the wonderful Collard Green Chips that Barb made in the food dehydrator. There were also sweet and spicy Thai Peanut Butter Cups that were a big hit.  The recipe for Aloo Gobi can be found here. Also,  Kickin’ Chickpeas, The Best Lentil Salad Ever (really) and Louisa’s Cake.  

Hope to see you in April for Forks Over Knives.

Clean Recipes

If you are not familiar with the Clean Program, it is a program developed by Dr. Alejandro Junger designed to detoxify the body and restore health. That is a very simplified description to say the least. If you want more details about his program you can read about it on his website:

In my inbox this morning was a gift from the folks over at the Clean Program….recipes.  They look delicious and some are very creative. Since I know that people are always looking for yummy recipes, I am sharing this gift with all of you.  It is not the catalog/recipes in its entirety, but some of the standouts. Enjoy.

Sandwiches from Thanksgiving Leftovers–No Turkey Needed!

One of my father’s favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner has always been the turkey sandwich made the next day from the leftovers. The thought of crusty bread piled high with turkey, onions and extra mayo would make his mouth water. I think the tradition of it appealed to him just as much, if not more than the actual sandwich. Vegetarians don’t have the next-day-turkey-sandwich-tradition to anticipate, but if you don’t already have your own way of dealing with leftovers, Chef Jeff Mauro has created some tasty sandwiches that be the start of your very own tradition. If his name sounds familiar, it is because he won “The Next Food Network Star”.  His speciality is sandwiches and boy has he risen to the challenge, coming up with creative and mouth watering sandwiches. Think Sweet potato and Toasted Pecan Grilled Cheese or Cranberry-Brie Arepas. Yum!  Follow the link for the article from the New York Times and the recipes.

Eating Without Meat gathering from 10/22/11

Last week brought another Eating Without Meat gathering.  I have been wowed by how good the food is month after month.  It truly just keeps getting better.  I think we all agreed that the indisputable hit of this feast was the African Sweet Potato and Peanut stew served over short grain brown rice.  Hearty…creamy…a touch a sweetness…I’ve already made it for my family! We had 4 new friends attend this gathering and by the end of the afternoon, I think we all truly felt nourished—in many ways.  Here is a sampling of the delicious food that was served. Links to the recipes or the actual recipe follows:

Rice Salad with Dried Fruit & Nuts

½ cup brown basmati rice, rinsed

1 cup Lundberg Wild Blend rice

(or use ½ cup each of brown basmati, wild rice, and short-grain brown rice  for a total of 1 ½ cups)

Combine rice in a pan with 3 cups water and ¼ tsp salt.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.  Meanwhile put in a large mixing bowl:

1 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup currants

½ cup dried apricots (cut in pieces—I use kitchen scissors for this)

When the rice is done add it to the dried fruit.  (The heat of the rice softens the fruit.)  While rice is still warm, pour over this dressing and mix:

¼ cup lemon juice

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

May be refrigerated when cool, depending on when you want to serve it.

Before serving mix in:

¾ cup whole pecans, toasted

½ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped mint

¼ cup chopped basil

Serve at room temperature.

Other Recipes:

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

Black Bean Salad with Mango & Kiwi (no recipe provided)

Vegetarian Chili Verde

Dan’s Special Salsa (no recipe provided)

The Light Body

For over 20 years, Marita studied the way in which food interacts with both the emotional and physical bodies.  She has worked as a nutrition and wellness counselor and operated The Traveling Gourmet School of Cooking. She created her cookbook, The Light Body, in response to the need for a comprehensive cookbook that would meet the necessary criteria for attaining optimal health.  In her words,

My philosophy on eating is not about denial, but rather an awareness of how fresh, whole foods can benefit us both in regaining, and maintaining, health and wellness.  I believe that what we put into our bodies has a direct effect on our health, our moods and the quality of our lives.

Fortunately for us, Marita attended last month’s Eating Without Meat gathering and brought with her a most delicious  Three Sisters Stew.  She graciously has agreed to allow us to share the recipe.


Three Sisters Stew

2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds butternut (or other variety) squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 large ribs celery, diagonally sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried summer savory
1 cup dried Great Northern beans or black-eyed peas, cooked
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
In a large, wide-bottomed skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add squash and next 6 ingredients with sautéed veggies. Cover and cook over medium heat until squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, simmer 3 minutes. Serve warm with a side of cooked quinoa.  Serves 4 to 6.
The “three sisters”—beans, corn and squash—were more than just food to Native Americans. Daily life was steeped in magic and mystery to the early people of the world. These three staples were part of myth and religion as well as food and were revered as “gift givers and caretakers of the People”. Bursting with flavor, this dish makes a quick, satisfying meal, ready in 30 minutes. 
Thanks Marita!
Our next gathering will be this Saturday.  We hope you can join us for more wonderful and nourishing dishes.

Harvest Soup


Autumn is the time to incorporate some of the cold weather vegetables such as winter squash and carrots into this hearty, tasty and satisfying soup. The recipe is from the Organic Garden Cafe in Beverly, MA.

Ingredients1 ¾ cups blanched almonds
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups carrot juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt

Instructions1. Blend all ingredients in a blender to creamy smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Robert Reid, The Organic Café, 2011.

You can watch the chef talk about and prepare this soup here:  via Taste of the Trib – Harvest Soup with: Robert Reid.

Beer Bread

This is the Beer Bread I brought to the last meeting.  I have made it many times and it has always turned out wonderfully.  This recipe is from the blog

Beer Bread

3 Cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 Teaspoons salt ( I have had some people make this and say theirs was too salty.  Mine never has been.  I use sea salt, that might make a difference

4 Tablespoons sugar (I use organic)

1 12 ounce bottle/can of beer (I have used Bud Light every time I have made it)

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Sift well with a fork. Pour in beer, stir until a stiff batter is formed, but do not over mix. Scrape dough into prepared pan. Melt butter and brush across the top of the dough. (Omit the butter to make vegan).

Bake 40 minutes or so until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.