Lavender Pancakes

DSC_0352I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly delicious these pancakes are.  Upon deciding to make pancakes for brunch, it was my daughter who said “let’s use some lavender” and I readily agreed.  It was also my daughter who knew to add vanilla to enhance the lavender flavor and bring it to a new level of deliciousness.  The lavender syrup is so yummy it tastes like vegan caramel with a lavender infusion.  This dish reminds me of sleepy mornings in Provence.  Walking through lavender fields is sensory heaven and this dish evokes that experience!  I know we will be making these again very soon!

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3 T dried lavender buds, divided
  • 3/4 c non-dairy milk
  • 1 c plus 3 T maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • couple of handfuls of frozen blueberries
  • safflower oil for cooking

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In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  In a small saucepan, gently bring 1 1/2 T lavender buds, milk and 3 T maple syrup to a boil over medium heat. 

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Boil for 2 minutes and then strain and let cool. 

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Add vanilla.  Add wet to dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Add more milk, 1 T at a time, to get the desired consistency (usually takes about 4 T).  In a non-stick pan with a little  oil over medium heat, spoon batter in and add a few blueberries to each.  Cook pancakes until golden on both sides.

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Meanwhile, gently boil remaining 1 c maple syrup with remaining 1 1/2 T lavender and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.  Strain and then pour over pancakes.

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Makes 8-10 pancakes

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Sage-Rubbed Polenta with Whiskey Cream Sauce

Sage-rubbed Polenta with Whiskey Cream Sauce

This recipe is the creation of my daughter Kira.  She loves to cook and to use original combinations of food.  While she is definitely too young to have whiskey, she is pretty adept at cooking alcohol out in recipes.  This is a truly delicious way to enjoy polenta.  And if you don’t have the time to wait for the polenta to set, it is just as good right out of the pan, all warm and creamy.  We used sage right from our garden, and it really paired well with the whiskey sauce.  Although there seem to be a lot of steps to this recipe, the actual prep time is small and it is really worth making!!

For the polenta:

Boil the water in a large saucepan.  Add salt.  Gradually whisk in cornmeal.  Decrease to low and cook, 15 minutes, stirring often.  Turn off heat and stir in earth’s balance to melt.  Spray cooking spray on a 9×11 pan and pour polenta in.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

For the sauce:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c whiskey
  • 1/4 c vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 c raw cashews

Over medium-high heat, saute the onion in 1 T earth balance spread until lightly browned.  Add whiskey and let the alcohol cook out.  Add broth, salt and pepper and cook on medium until liquid is reduced by half.  Let cool.  Place cashews in a blender and add water just to cover. (If you do not have a powerful blender like a vita mix you may want to pre-soak the cashews overnight).  Blend well.  Add the onion mix and blend again.

For the rub:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 t fresh sage, chopped very fine

In a small bowl, mix olive oil,  sage, and salt and pepper to taste.  Rub over polenta.   Dab any spots with too much oil using a paper towel. Use a glass to cut circles out of the polenta and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Broil a few minutes until lightly browned.  Spoon sauce on top.

The Real Thing Vegan Burgers

Vegan Burger

I have been on a mission to create a great vegan burger – one that is both loaded with protein and healthy ingredients, but also tastes incredibly like the burgers I grew up eating as my father fired up the grill.  Hence, the liquid smoke.  I think this is as close as I can get – so I am posting the recipe and hope that you will enjoy it!  I had planned to grill these but unfortunately, it was pouring outside. No matter – they tasted great baked in the oven. However, next time I plan to grill them and am fairly certain they will hold together very nicely on the grill.

  • 2 T ground flax seed
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 1/2 c cooked brown rice
  • 15 oz black beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 t vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 t liquid smoke
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c plain bread crumbs

In a small bowl, combine the flax with 5 T water and let sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the walnuts until ground fine.

Add the rice, beans, worcestershire, onion, smoke, salt and moistened flax.

Process until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the bread crumbs.

Form into 8 patties.

Grill or bake on sheet sprayed with cooking spray at 350 for 30 minutes.

Let cool a bit before eating or, although still yummy, the texture may be a little too soft.

Adam’s Fakin’ Bacon Cheese Dip

My son is an awful cook – really awful!!  He has maybe cooked a few things in his entire life and they usually involve disaster!  However, since he is heading off to college in the fall, I am determined to let him experiment more in the kitchen and tonight I am so glad that I did.  He came up with this on his own (with just a little help) and it is delicious – and of course – really easy to make!!  Can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!!

Adam’s Fakin Bacon Cheese Dip

In a small pan, saute the onion and bacon in the olive oil until the onions are transparent.

In another small pan, heat the broth.  Add the sour cream and cream cheese and whisk until melted.

Add daiya and again whisk to melt.

Add pepper, hot sauce, scallions, and onions and bacon from other pan and simmer for five minutes.

Great on crusty bread, with tortilla chips, or as dip for crudites.

Saucy Seitan

Saucy Seitan

  • One batch of homemade seitan, or two boxes of store-bought seitan
  • I onion, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • marinade ingredients:
  • 6 T soy sauce (definitely use low sodium since there is a lot of soy sauce in this recipe)
  • 6 T sherry
  • sauce ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup + 1 T soy sauce
  • 4 1/2 T corn starch
  • 3 T sugar
  • 4 1/2 t white vinegar
  • optional garnishes – cashews and scallions
  • olive oil for cooking

Combine soy sauce and sherry and marinate seitan in it for an hour.

Discard marinade and saute seitan over medium high heat in a little olive oil until brown on both sides.  Remove from pan.

Saute onion and garlic in 1 T olive oil for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients.  Add sauce to onions and garlic in the pan.  Stir for a few minutes as it thickens.  If sauce is too thick for your liking, add vegetable stock 1 T at a time.

Return seitan to pan.  Let warm through.  Garnish with chopped scallions and cashew nuts.