Everyone’s Favourite Banana Cake


In honor of Mother’s Day it’s all about all things sweet.

… and not to mention comforting. With banana cake here’s certainly both.

Call it banana bread or call it cake, I don’t know any mom who hasn’t cut out a slice after the need has arisen to use up some over ripened bananas.

So perfect for a Mother’s Day luncheon, especially if your Mother in Law happens to be vegan, as is mine.

There is certainly no reason to deprive any woman on her big day!

As most moms will tell you this is the best way of using up those bananas. In our house we’re pretty particular over the colour yellow so once bananas are streaked with brown they’re destined for the freezer where they keep wonderfully until something delicious is ready for them.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

EGGLESS BANANA CAKE

3 Ripe Bananas
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Salt
Replacer equal to one egg (+ water to package direction)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 Cup Soft Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Pieces
1/2 Cup Broken, Toasted Pecans (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a large mixer, cream the bananas with the oil, sugar and vanilla.

Prepare the egg replacer as to the package directions and add it and the salt to the banana mixture.

Once well combined, add the baking powder and soda, followed by the flour, adding it in batches.

Stir in chocolate pieces and nuts, if using.

Oil and dust a 8″ round pan with flour. Pour in the batter and bake on the centre rack for about 40 -45 minutes.

Check bounce at the centre of the cake or insert and remove a toothpick. The cake is moist but it should come out fairly clean.

Allow to cool slightly and dust with confectioners sugar.

This recipe will also make a great loaf (55 – 65 minutes), 12 muffins(18-20 minutes) or 24 mini muffins (about 13 – 15 minutes).

Cauliflower Popcorn


This is a classic mom dish… or at least it was in my house growing up so when my now two year old has decided to boycott all things vitamin enriched (i.e. green) I had to think fast on how to spare the poor boy from scurvy.

I figured it had to work. I loved this as a kid making my mom practically make double just to get enough to the dinner table. Not only is cauliflower scrumptious but it really does look like popcorn!

CAULIFLOWER POPCORN

1 head of cauliflower
1 Cup breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons Margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

Method

Wash and trim the cauliflower. Cut away the big stalks and stems leaving little, bite-sized florets.

Steam or boil the cauliflower until just fork tender. Plunge into cold water, drain and set aside.

Add the salt, pepper and garlic to the breadcrumbs.

Preheat a large sauté pan to medium and melt the margarine. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat.

Sprinkle over the crumb mixture stirring well to adhere.

Brown the cauliflower to crisp up the crumbs. Shake up the pan to get them popping and golden.

Serve it hot.

Feeds 4 as a snack or a side… (Maybe)

Aunt Martha’s Bean Salad


So she’s not my aunt, but she is someone’s. Growing up I would never even dare taste a bean salad let alone make one. However, starving while out at the beach one day, I was cornered with this, my only sustenance and can I say that since that moment I was not only a convert but a Beano stock holder.

I adapted that version and have since made it one of my signature BBQ/Potluck/quick in a pinch wow ’em salads.

DRESSING

3/4 Cup Red or Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Extra Fine Fruit Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to Taste

Method

Combine ingredients in an air tight container and shake well to dissolve the sugar.
Allow to stand for about and hour or at least the time to prepare the salad ingredients, if you are in a hurry.

SALAD

3 Cans of Beans (garbanzo, turtle, romano etc.)
1 Cup Fresh Green Beans (Trimmed and sliced to 1″ inch lengths) ** – measure to get correct number
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
2 Carrots
2 Celery Stalks
1 Red Onion (Small)
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley (optional, if you’re feeling decorative)

Method

Rinse the canned beans well and set aside in a large bowl.
Peel and mince the garlic.
Trim and slice green beans to 1″ inch lengths. Clean and trim the remaining vegetables and chop each into about a 1/2″ dice.
Add everything to the beans, including the dressing and toss well to coat.
This salad can be served immediately or made ahead to marinate up to a day ahead for a more thorough flavor.

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup


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VEGAN CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

2 Tbsp oil
1 Onion diced (red if you can)
3 Cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 C Dried porcini or shitake mushrooms
4 C Sliced mushrooms – white, porcini, portabello, shitaki approx. 2 medium portabellos and 6 cremini. (the earthier the mushroom the richer the flavor)
3T Cognac (optional)
1 Potato (peeled and cubed)
2T Flour
1 Sprig of fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp Salt
¼ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
2T Large leaf parsley (finely chopped)
10 C Water
1 C Soy milk
2T Arrowroot powder

Method

In a large bowl cover the dried mushrooms with 6 cups of boiling water. Allow the mushrooms to re-hydrate for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mushrooms with cheesecloth or a clean tea towel to reserve the liquid. Set the mushrooms and the liquid aside.

Prepare the onion and garlic and heat the oil in a large stock pot. Sauté the onions and garlic until they are soft and translucent (about 2 minutes), add the cognac and cook the alcohol down for about 1 minute. Add the raw mushrooms and in batches if necessary not to overcrowd the pot for about another 2 minutes. Listen for a persistent sizzle, stirring occasionally to cook evenly.
Add the re-hydrated mushrooms, salt, pepper and rosemary.
Toss the mushrooms with the flour, stir to coat.
Add the reserved liquid from the mushrooms and the remaining 4 cups of water, scraping any “bits” from the bottom of the pan. Add the potatoes and bring the soup to a rolling simmer for about 30 minutes.

Once the potato is soft, remove and discard the rosemary sprig and reserve about 1 cup of the mushrooms, stir in chopped parsley and set aside.

Purée the soup using a immersion blender or in batches with a food processor.
Dissolve the arrowroot powder in the cold soy milk and drizzle mixture into the hot soup.
Adjust seasoning.

Serve garnished with reserved mushrooms and brushed garlic crustini.

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies


Ever just need a cookie? The perfect sweet treat or quick snack is here and it’s almost healthy! Oatmeal wins again!

oatmealcookie

VEGAN OATMEAL COOKIES

1/2 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
3/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar
2 Tablespoons Molasses
1 Ripe Banana, mashed
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 Cups Whole Oats (not quick)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon (if you’re adding dried fruit, not chocolate)
1/2 Cup Dried Apricots, finely chopped or Raisins (optional)
1/2 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (also optional, but delicious)
Maldon Salt, for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Melt the coconut oil and add it to a large bowl along with the sugar, mashed banana and salt. Mix well to cream and dissolve sugar. Add the molasses and the cinnamon/dried fruit, if using.
Fold in the oats, flour, baking soda and baking powder, mixing just to combine and dampen the oats. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
Drop the cookie dough by the heaping tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet with a cookie width space between each dollop, as they will spread slightly.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden around the edges.
Cool slightly on baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Granola Bars


Yummy. Can we say waay better than store bought? And the kids like ’em too.

GRANOLA BARS

1/4 Cup Vegan Margarine
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar (packed) – Check your source
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 Cups Rolled Oats (regular, not quick)
1 Cup Rice Krispies
1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Banana Chips (crushed), optional
1/2 Cup Hazelnuts (crushed), optional

Method

Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and margarine in a saucepan.
Melt the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about two minutes.
Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
Combine the oatmeal, rice, banana chips and half of the chocolate pieces (or other dry ingredients) in a large bowl.
Pour over the brown sugar mixture, stirring to coat everything well.

Spread evenly in a 13″ x 9″ dish.

Press remaining chocolate over top to incorporate and flatten the bars.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until set.

Cut into bars (or squares).

Alternates to try

Omit the banana chips and chocolate for one cup worth of the following combinations:

Dried cherries (1/4C) and chocolate (1/2C) with slivered almonds (1/4C)

Dried coconut (1/4C), banana chips (1/2C) and sunflower seeds (1/4C)

Dried cranberries and hemp seeds