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It’s my birthday and I pulled out a plate my grandmother had from the year I was born. I made enough cake batter for one cake and about 9 sampler muffins. Enjoy!

  

For the Pineapple Topping

* 2 tbs canola oil for bottom and sides of pan

* 1/4 cup date sugar 

* 7-9 thick slices canned pineapple rings in juice
For the Cake

* 1 2/3 cups spelt flour 

* 2/3 cup corn meal

* 2/3 cup garbanzo flour

* 1/3 cup all purpose flour

* 1 cup date sugar 

* 1 tbsp baking powder

* 1/2 tsp. baking soda

* 1/4 tsp. salt

* 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar 

* 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice

* 1 cup coconut milk (canned)

* 1/2 cup canola oil

* 1 tsp. vanilla extract

VEGAN PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Ingredients

* For the Pineapple Topping

* canola oil

* date sugar

* pineapple, slices

* dark sweet cherries, pitted and halved 

* For the Cake

* 1 2/3 cups spelt flour (could sub all-purpose)

* 1/2 cup light brown sugar

* 1/2 tsp. baking powder

* 1/4 tsp. baking soda

* 1/4 tsp. salt

* 1 pinch of saffron threads

* 1/4 tsp turmeric 

* 3/4 cup pineapple juice

* 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned)

* 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
1. Prepare the Pineapple Topping

2. Preheat oven to 350º. Place oil in 9 inch round cake pan. Roll to coat bottom surface and sides. Arrange pineapple slices in a relatively even layer, slice sweet cherries to fill holes, then sprinkle date sugar 

3. Prepare the Cake

4. Stir flour, date sugar, baking powder, baking soda, flax, saffron, turmeric and salt together in large mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, stir together pineapple juice, coconut milk, canola oil and vanilla. Pour into dry mixture and stir until thoroughly blended, without over mixing. Batter will be thick.

5. Pour 2/3 batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing out the top. Spoon remaining batter into 9 lined muffin pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 25-35 muffins 35-45 minutes for the cake.

6. Remove from oven and invert onto plate. Serve.

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Edamame Mac n Cheez

I love making different versions of macaroni with creamy sauces.

This version uses three types of noodles:  wheat twists, wheat elbow macaroni and corn elbow macaroni.

Basil and edamame brings bright flavor, calcium and protein.

1/2 cup each: wheat twists, wheat elbow macaroni and corn elbow macaroni.

1 1/2 cups organic soy milk 

1 boullion cube

1/2 cup raw cashew pieces

Basil 4-6 frozen cubes or 1/2 cup chopped fresh

1 cup frozen, shelled edamame 

4 T extra virgin olive oil 

Cook pasta according to directions- the times may differ so stagger them. Combine all ingredients except edamame in blender, process until smooth.

Combine cooked pasta with sauce and thawed edamame.

Edamame Mac n Cheez

I love making different versions of macaroni with creamy sauces.

This version uses three types of noodles:  wheat twists, wheat elbow macaroni and corn elbow macaroni.

Basil and edamame brings bright flavor, calcium and protein.

1/2 cup each: wheat twists, wheat elbow macaroni and corn elbow macaroni.

1 1/2 cups organic soy milk 

1 boullion cube

1/2 cup raw cashew pieces

Basil 4-6 frozen cubes or 1/2 cup chopped fresh

1 cup frozen, shelled edamame 

4 T extra virgin olive oil 

Cook pasta according to directions- the times may differ so stagger them. Combine all ingredients except edamame in blender, process until smooth.

Combine cooked pasta with sauce and thawed edamame.

  

posting a preview here of what is to come…

Week 1: 1st-6th November 2016 Treat Yourself (and others)!
1st: Your favourite food – What is your favourite food? Make it and share!

Macaroni and Vegan “Cheese”– this week with Myoko’s Creamery nut and seed spread.

2nd: How to make friends – What’s your go to “impress me” meal?

For breakfast- Soy Chorizo and Scrambled Tofu

For lunch- Dolmas, Falafel and Hummus 

For dinner- Kabocha Soup, Local Sourdough Bread, Lemon and Creole Roasted Seitan Skewers

3rd: Treat yourself…to a break – What’s your “easy cook” meal? That you make when you can’t be bothered to cook much?

Baked Potatoes with all the Fixings: that way I can take a walk before dinner and not work too hard cooking.

4th: Eating out – Where do you eat when you want someone else to cook for you?

Charlie Hong Kongs (a local place) or Veggie Grill

5th: Late Night Snack – Tell us what you’re midnight snacking on!

Orange Almond Granola 

6th: Comfort food – Something that always cheers you up.

Panini Sandwiches with fresh Basil, Tomatoes and Zucchini 

Vegan Month of Food

Is coming to my blog in November! I’m so excited to participate for my third year. I’ve been a vegan since high school – I wanted to do something for the planet, later after two of my grandparents died of cardiovascular disease, I knew I was also eating vegan for my health.

I’m considering the prompts and also have a tendency to crave vegan mac and cheese but make a different version eery time- always noodles witha “creamy” sauce. I’m considering a month of experiments in vegan mac and cheese evolving  from more traditional elbows with bright orange colored sauce to shells with a white “cheddar” like sauce to the vast shape world of pasta combined with creamy craving satisfying sauces based on chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin etc…

Let me know what you think in comments below. Would you like to see a month of mac and non dairy cheese?

  

Footnote: In keeping up with the memes- my Vegan MoFo blog will be Mac and “Gary” aka (vegan cheese).

I recently attended a BLT party and brought along my own vegan bacon like strips. Who are we kidding? It tastes nothing like bacon. 

Nevertheless, I do love the three ingredient sandwich: especially when it is served with Gayle’s local bakery sourdough bread, red oak leaf, butter and Romain lettuce varieties and seven different kinds of farmer’s market heirloom tomatoes.

  
Heirloom Tomatoes, photo by Daniella Woolf.

I got lucky after the party and came home with leftover tomatoes. Kim says, “Daniella invites fifteen, but prepares food for fifty.” I am the same; I like to feed people and send them home with leftovers. 

I ate a few more three ingredient sandwiches until the ingredients dwindled from two to one. I still had lots of tomatoes. Then, a friend plucked some wide purple blue kale and I knew what to do with the remaining tomatoes. I pulled out walnuts, kale, the delicious tomatoes and linguine. 

Roasting a 3/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts in olive oil to release their aroma, I mixed in 3 Tablespoons of Stonehouse Farms Napa Valley Blend spices, and about two cups diced tomatoes. Sautéing them briefly, I added about 16 ounces of my favorite marinara sauce: Mezzetta Italian Plum Tomato flavor. While the salted pasta water was coming to a boil, I deveined the kale and cut it chiffonade style, into ribbons. Then a quick blanch, tossed with balsamic vinegar and truffle olive oil, I had a healthy colorful addition to my pasta. 

  
I cooked the linguine al dente and tossed it together with the kale. From my garden, I picked fresh basil, thyme and Italian flat leaf parsley, to mince and fold in at the end.

Buon appetito!

  

Thanks to Laura Brown at Two Writing Teachers for inviting me to participate in the Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge. Since this is a food blog I will try to keep it on topic. 

But I need to start with teeth.

I’ve always been very conscious of teeth. My teeth, my mom’s teeth, other people’s teeth. Disclosing tablets were a thing in my family growing up: little red tablets that dissolve when you chew them and highlight the plaque on your teeth. 

After chewing the iron tasting pill, I would then proceed to brush as much of the disclosing tablet color (think red-pink) and plaque off my teeth, but the final check came from mom. It didn’t matter that I brushed my teeth for the full two minute egg timer, where the sand in the hourglass trickled down as I brushed, mom would always come in for a second look. Which usually involved her brushing more vigorously on my back teeth and reminding me how important it was to get all the plaque off everywhere.

“Oh-aye! I ot ieth!” I would say: because, in my house, toothbrush-in-the-mouth is my mom’s second language. She would hand me back my Big Bird tooth brush because I said, “Okay! I got it!”

As I got older, I made my own lunch; “Okay, I got it!”

Mom has always been a certifiable health nut. Much to my smooth peanut butter loving spouse’s chagrin, I learned to pour all the separated oil off the top of any natural peanut butter jar, (“What happened to the peanut butter? It’s so dry!?”) and then I’d use only a very thin spread of jam on whole wheat bread with hard crunchy wheatberries. I picked the berries out like most kids pull off crusts. I always packed carrots or apples, and swished with water to get the food out of my teeth after eating. This dental hygiene routine was difficult since four spigot water choices at the playground, included terrible choices for dental health. 

The power of kid imagination designated the following flavor choices: coffee, tea, soda pop, or pee. The trouble was the selection could be listed either from left to right, or right to left. So the middle two fountains received all the use. We were “safe” with either soda pop or tea. Our teeth would not have been.

When my little brother, Leif turned two years old, he learned how to turn the doorknob to downstairs. He proceeded to fall to the bottom of the wooden staircase arriving at the downstairs door to mom’s bedroom in a heap. He screamed and his screams echoed up the stairwell, out the half door. We both came running. Mom and I crouched down beside him. He looked a mess and howled even worse. Snot coming out of his nose and blood all over his face. Mom ran him up to the kitchen sink, and inspected his face. She turned to me, “He lost his tooth. Go get his tooth.”

I ran downstairs hearing my brother’s cries and searched the floor for a baby tooth that had fallen out. I couldn’t find anything except a long white thing. That couldn’t be a tooth could it? I brought it upstairs,”I couldn’t find his tooth, but I found this.” 

“That’s it!” she said, grabbed it and shoved it into my brother’s open mouth before he could blink.

Apparently a tooth can reattach if found quickly, unwashed and reinserted. It turns out, the long tapering thing, that was the root. The baby tooth reattached, yet remained a dull grey until it fell out naturally. At least he could bite his food and chew.

“He has gum disease and needs to floss,” mom once said of a guy who wanted to date me. I notice teeth now too, coffee and tea stains, cavities from too much soda pop. My brother became an orthodontist and he sees overbites and underbites, crossbites and veneers. 

I got used to the crunch of wheatberries in bread. I still try to pour off the oil, but my spouse usually gets to the jar of peanut butter first, and stirs it in. I spread jam thin and am grateful to have healthy teeth. For eating. See? I brought it back to food.