Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cauliflower Cannellini Soup

Had a can of Cannellini Beans kicking around and thought I'd better use them before they expire. I bought them a long time ago because I was going to make something with them but never did! Sound like a familiar story? They are by Eden and were a bit overdone but better than underdone! Eden is overall a great company that provides quality products. For one thing they're one of the few companies that use Bisphenol-A free cans. I threw the beans in a strainer, rinsed them and that got rid of most of the excess starch. Not that it mattered in the end because I decided to take my immersion blender and pretty well liquefied the whole pot! I had 500 gm of organic frozen cauliflower to try out -- doesn't take long to cook that stuff -- next time I'm not going to use as much water as per directions on package. One-half cup is way too much -- about 2 tablespoons would have probably been better. Overall though I've got to say there's not a whole lot of flavor going on with frozen cauliflower - organic or not. I'll give it one more try as I do have one more bag. Maybe the fault lies with my water-logged preparation problem. Other than that I'd recommend fresh cauliflower as it's definitely got more of the flavor you're going to be looking for. It worked out okay in my soup because of all the extra ingredients but on it's own it would be kinda of sad! I was real excited about making the frozen cauliflower work because, of course, hey super easy, as opposed to chopping up mr. rough and tough fresh cauliflower! Plus in the winter cauliflower can cost about $6.00 a head on the prairies so the frozen is kinda of a bargain. I got them on sale for $3.00 for 500 gm bag and it contained about 2-1/2 cups. You don't get much more than that from a fresh head so you can see why I was mighty pleased with the "budget" part of the equation. It's the "taste" part of the equation that's getting me down, just a wee bit, but like I said I'm going to give it one more whirl. Regardless of whether you go with the frozen, or fresh cauliflower, this is a stick-to-the-ribs soup that will freeze well, balance your nervous energy and probably help you loose a few pounds. Doesn't that sound good?? Pass me the soup, pronto!!


Recipe
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium size onions, sauteed
4 cloves garlic
1 carrot, finely minced
5 baby bok choy stems, chopped fine
sage, garlic powder, chili powder (1/2 tsp each)
curry powder (3 tsp)
white pepper & salt (to taste)
veggie broth powder (1 tbsp.)

3-4 medium size potatoes, diced
500 gm bag frozen cauliflower
425 gm (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed/drained.
lL Vitasoy Original Soy Milk
2-4 cups water


Saute the first 4 ingredients in the spices and oil while you peel about 3-4 medium size potatoes. Add 2 cups water to the pot. Add diced potatoes. If you are using fresh cauliflower add it now as well -- about 2 - 3 cups chopped. If using this route you might want to add some more water to assure veggies can cook properly. I guess you could throw in the frozen cauliflower straight in with the raw potatoes or pre-steam it, drain and set aside for a bit like I did. Simmer till potatoes are cooked. Add rinsed can of cannellini beans and the cauliflower if you set it aside. Add one litre of Vitasoy Original Soy Milk. I'm a real big fan of Vitasoy -- the tetrapak stuff seems a little thicker than refrigerated soy milks and hence makes for creamier soups, white sauces and puddings -- at least I think so. Take your immersion blender and whirl till smooth. Add extra water as required to get consistency you like. And if you prefer a chunky soup -- don't blend anything, skip the 1 L of soy milk and instead make a medium white sauce to stir through at the end. Oh, and perhaps this soup could benefit from a pinch of nutmeg --I didn't but next time I'll try and remember as cauliflower and nutmeg pair well together.

I made a few homemade croutons from some spelt bread I had in the freezer and I was set to go! This recipe made a huge pot of soup -- about 14 cups! An average size bowl holds about 2 cups so I guess you can count on about 7 servings. Looks like I'll be eating cauliflower soup for breakfast tomorrow morning! I actually like any meal any time of day so it's all good.

http://www.edenfoods.com/

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Best Canned Tomatoes Ever + Surprise from Spain!


What's my secret -- well here in Edmonton it's called the Italian Centre. There are two locations -- one downtown in Little Italy 10878-95 Street and one on the southside at 5028 104A Street. I was so tired of those pale tomatoes in a can with not much flavor and since I can't get out to the farmer's markets as often as I like I needed a reasonable alternative. I finally stumbled upon a wonderful brand called La Molisana Plum Tomatoes available at the Italian Centre Shops. Double bonus points for being organic and very reasonably priced. There are approximately 4 big juicy red plum tomatoes in each can. Considering that this is an organic product the price at $1.69 for 397 ml (regular size can) is quite affordable.

They also have a great selection of organic lentils and beans. I find that the organic red lentils I buy there are the most tender I've ever purchased. My soups turn out creamy smooth and mild flavored which is what I consider to be admirable traits of a good red lentil. Brand name is Clic and they are sold in see-thru reusable container and provide an expiry date (very important in the land of lentils too as far as I'm concerned).

Whilst perusing the bread aisle I was lucky enough to find a little treasure aptly named "Torta De Aceite" in the midst of all the healthy wasa crackers and the like. In my books anything that starts with Torta should be in the cake or candy aisle! This is a tasty treat! Try holding yourself back from eating the whole package. Could take some will power. Just in case you're wondering I'm not here advocating a life of deprivation -- there are other food sites that will serve you well if that's what you want and all the power to you. I'm afraid Prairie Girl will probably never be able to say no to anything sugar-coated -- sad but true! But I do balance it with litres and litres of home made soups :) I'm following the Ying/Yang principle better known as the sweet/salty principle!! Lovers of chocolate covered pretzels understand this principle very well. Torta De Aceite is a super easy treat to bring along to any gathering without anybody knowing or caring that it's 100% vegan.The main ingredients are wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, sesame seeds, anise seeds, anise flavor, sugar and cinnamon. Because extra virgin olive oil is used instead of other oils, it is a healthy alternative to other pastries. There you go --practically health food :) What more do you need to know? On the Vegan Richter Scale these crispbreads are pretty well hitting the 9-10 range! I'd love for everyone to try them out and let me know if you agree.

http://www.italiancentre.ca/

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One Potato, Two Potato!


If all else fails and you don't know what to eat...grab some (organic if you can) potatoes and onions. You really can't go wrong with this simple peasant style meal, can you? I hate what the industry has done to potatoes -- I don't think there is one french fry out there that I would want to eat! I hate to sound old and stuffy but darn -- in the old days (we're talking the 60's here) french fries were delicious! It was a real treat. We used to take a bus to go shopping in downtown Edmonton and we always finished up with a stop by the Zellers' food counter for a glass of orange crush (again something that doesn't even come close to tasting like it used to) and a plate of wonderful french fries that were actually tasty! We used to always ask for mayo on the side instead of ketchup which used to draw a few strange looks! That was the dutch coming out of us -- my mom always gave us mayo with our fries. Hmmmm..makes me want to go grab a big jar of veganaise and make some homemade fries! And I'm still really ticked that orange crush now tastes like a bunch of chemicals in a can!! There's no reason that they can't make orange crush taste like it used to is there? Seriously -- the old recipe must be floating around somewhere! Please bring it back!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kiju Apple Juice


I love Canadian products and I love organic products so this one scores twice! And then it scores again for terrific flavor. Check out the website below for more info and all the different flavors they have available. And if you live in Canada visit your nearest Planet Organic Store because they are having a super sale on these juices -- 2 for $4.00! They also have them in the lunchbox size for kids and they are on sale too -- 2 packages of 3/250 ml size for $4.00. This is the juice that goes in my grandson's sippy cup. Good month to stock up at this price -- I did!

http://www.kiju.ca/kiju-organic-juice/

Caramel Corn

170 gm bag of Nature's Path Organic Corn Puffs
(12 cups corn puffs in the bag)

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda


Heat oven to 200F. Put corn puffs onto an ungreased extra large size cookie sheet with rims.

Heat sugar, margarine, syrup and salt, stirring occasionally, until bubbly around the edges. Continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in baking soda until foamy. Pour onto corn puffs, stir until most puffs are coated.

Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Veggie Prairie Girl Rambles
You can of course use fresh popped corn in place of the purchased corn puffs. This is the first time I've made it with the corn puffs. I was thinking it might be nice not to have all the hard kernels. However the flavor is probably better with fresh popcorn popped in oil. And since fat = flavor for most of us it's no wonder because I'm sure I used to use about 4 tablespoons of oil to pop my corn for this recipe. My husband tasted it and his comment was "is this the diet version"?? Hardly diet but certainly compared to how I used to do it! He said it was tasty enough. Perhaps next time I think I might cut down the amount of popcorn to 10 cups and that way there would be more coating on each kernel as I thought it was slightly skimpy for the full 12 cups. Either that or 1-1/2x the recipe above and have it super duper coated!
I got the idea to try the corn puffs from my brother as for thanksgiving he made caramel popcorn with the bagged popcorn twists! I just thought that it might be a "little healthier" to try using organic corn puffs. However I must say his version was very very yummy so I might have to ask him for the recipe! I just really like that this is a nice treat for the gluten sensitive.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creamy Yam Stew


This is a super high energy food -- just the thing we need to get us through the coming flu season. It's more important than ever before to start fueling up on nutritious meals and this Creamy Yam Stew fits the bill perfectly! It's crammed with goodness -- bok choy, chickpeas, organic rice and peanut butter plus more! So delicious my two-year old grandson cleaned the plate I scooped out for him! He said, in his cute little baby bear voice, "more"? I also made this for him when he was younger and whirled it in the blender in 1/2 cup portions, stuck it in the freezer and we'd have an instant well-balanced meal for him whenever necessary. It's freezer friendly, unblended in adult size portions as well, so make a double batch and you've got frozen dinners you'll actually enjoy! This mixture would probably make a very tasty Empanada filling and I'll be trying that out soon! I love anything in a pastry shell! I was also thinking it would make a great appetizer done in muffin size bread tartlets. I really want to try those too -- I remember making them in Home Ec with a tuna/green pea mixture (can we say 60's) and I thought it was so adorable! Have never tried it since but it's on my to-do-list now!! I'll post pics when I do.

Step#1
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 baby bok choy, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup parsley, snipped
Step#2
4 cups spring water
1/2 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 teaspoons veggie powder
1 tablespoon paul bragg
1/2 cup sushi rice, raw
Step #3
2 medium yam, diced
1 cup chickpeas from regular size can
(save whatever is leftover for Step #4)
3/4 cup frozen petite green peas
Step #4
leftover chick peas from above
1 tablespoon paul bragg
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons water or broth from stew

Saute first four ingredients in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil for a few minutes. Add 2 cups of the water along with the seasonings and the 1/2 cup raw rice. This can simmer a bit while you dice the yams. Rinse your chickpeas and throw in about 1 cup and the green peas. Add another cup of water and simmer on medium for at least an hour or so -- keep an eye on it -- stir once in a while so the rice doesn't stick to bottom of your pan. Add more water if it looks like it needs it. Blend all ingredients from step four in a blender until smooth. Pour this into your stew and let simmer on low for another 15 minutes whilst continuing to stir once in a while to prevent rice sticking. Sushi rice is a little stickier than long grain hence the reason for keeping a bit of an eye on it! I like sushi rice in stew because it just seems more cohesive in it's ability to absorb all the flavors.

Veggie Prairie Girl Rambles
#1 -- I used Lundberg organic sushi rice. Never lets me down! Makes great rice pudding too!
#2 -- All my the spices I used are Frontier organic! I love that they come in little tiny containers so that I'm constantly assured of fresher spices for home use. I also find that the chili powder is much more potent than your regular supermarket brand chili powder and I would hazard to guess that this is possibly due to the fact that there are no fillers in it.
#3 -- Chickpeas -- super important to find a good quality brand if you don't make your own stock from dried! I don't. But I found a huge difference amongst brands. For instance the Organic O brand by Safeway is absolutely horrid -- they are the smallest chickpeas I've ever seen, they're dry and hard and certainly not tasty! My favorite brand right now is Western Family Organic Chickpeas -- beautifully plump, moist and delicious. Tasty enough to eat cold out of the can! Again for those on the prairies Western Family Brand is available at Save-On-Foods!! And no, I don't work for them! LOL! Or get any compensation for my endorsements :) I wish I did!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quick Fudge Frosting


1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Mix sugar and cocoa in saucepan. Add margarine, milk, syrup and salt; heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Boil vigorously 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cool. Beat in in icing sugar and vanilla. Frosts 9" square cake or in my case enough to frost 12 cupcakes with a bit left over to lick off a spoon!
Like I said in my previous post I got a bit carried away with the decorating! I crazily decided to melt some semi-sweet chocolate chips in my microwave -- swirled that over top of my nice fudge frosting and then gayly added the confetti sprinkles! A bit of overkill but so be it! It's just a shame you can't see what a pretty glossy icing this Quick Fudge Frosting is! I do highly recommend it though -- it's so nice in that it hardens to icing that's not easily destroyed by wrapping! It's also nice that these sprinkles are very child-friendly as they have no artificial color in them so use them if you can -- the less color additives we feed our young kids the better off they'll be!

Veggie Prairie Girl Rambles
Use a good quality cocoa -- makes all the difference. I really like Cocoa Camino for various reasons but mainly because of it's outstanding flavor. It's thankfully also organic, fairly traded and made in Canada! http://www.cocoacamino.com/en/index.php

Use a good quality icing sugar -- this is difficult because I personally don't like the taste of off-the-shelf icing sugar anymore! Don't ask me what they are doing differently but I'm not impressed. Fortunately for me I have a Vita-Mix Blender (dry blade attachment) and I now grind my own Organic Granulated Sugar into icing sugar! It works amazingly well! Yay for Vita-Mix! It's definitely a worthwhile piece of equipment in the vegan and/or organic kitchen!

Work Quickly -- this icing sets very fast so make sure your cupcakes are cooled before you prepare the icing. Then ice the cupcakes as soon as the icing is made. If it does harden a bit quicker than you like -- pop it in the microwave for about 5 seconds and continue on.

Lets Do ... Sprinkelz
Lets Do... Sprinkelz is made by Let's Do...Organic and it is a great product. There are no red, blue or yellow numbered dyes, no high-fructose corn-syrup, and no "extras" in these products.They are Gluten-free, Vegan, and all-natural. I prefer the carnival sprinkles (for looks and taste -- my preference) over the confetti but I only had enough carnival sprinkles leftover to do two cupcakes so had to finish with confetti. Lets Do...Organic products at: http://www.edwardandsons.com/ldo_info.itml

Chocolate Overdose Cupcakes

This is my version of Joan's Grandmother's Cake from The Compassionate Cook (put out by PETA)in 1993. It's one of my favorite little vegan cookbooks and it's even printed on recycled paper. I'm not sure if it's still sold by PETA or not -- perhaps check out their website. In the meantime I'm going to give you my version plus the exact one from PETA so you can decide which suits you better. I don't think you can go wrong with either one. I should have called this "As Easy as A Cake Mix Recipe" because it couldn't be more simple and foolproof. The frosting I made is called "Quick Fudge Frosting" and it's from another of my favorite old recipes books (circa 70's) called "The Betty Crocker Kitchens". The only change I made was to use soy milk instead of milk -- other than that it's the original recipe. It has a nice glossy look to it and it's a very sturdy frosting that won't come off even if you cover it with saran wrap. Great for potlucks or other to go places. I got a bit carried away and then melted some vegan chocolate chips in the microwave -- put that on top of my nice glossy frosting and then got sprinkle happy! It's okay but probably less is more and now you can't appreciate the pretty glossy frosting. Sometimes I don't know when to quit! Anyhow next time I'll keep it simple! Less costly as well. Do you love my retro metalware on which I photographed my cupcakes? I do -- they're circa 50's/ early 60's -- called Gourmates by Glo-Hill and they were made here in Canada. I've got quite a few pieces and am amazed at how pretty and classy they still look 50 years later!

Recipe
1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. cocoa plus 1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda

3 tbsp. melted earth balance margarine
3 tbsp. pureed prunes (baby food works great)
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla (organic frontier is great)
1 tablespoon white vinegar


Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix all the dry ingredients lightly together, then sift into a large mixing bowl. I like to sift this mixture as that way you are assured there will be no lumpy cocoa bits or nasty little bits of baking soda to bite into!

Into your melted margarine add the pureed prunes and 1 tsp. of vanilla and mix well.
Pour your cup of cold water to which you have stirred in the 1 tablespoon white vinegar into your dry ingredients along with the melted margarine mixture. Stir together. Divide evenly amongst 12 muffin tins (I used my muffin liners) and bake in the center of your oven for about 18 minutes. Remove and cool on wire rack before frosting.

Veggie Prairie Girl Rambles

The above recipe is my version of Joan's Grandmother's Cake -- I am giving you the original recipe below along with my comments as to why I made some minor changes to suit my preferences. You decide which version appeals more to your style of baking.

Uses 1 cup of white sugar ( I use half white and half brown as brown sugar really enhances the taste of chocolate -- at least I think so)
Uses 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (I like a deeper chocolate flavor so again I used 4 tablespoons and added the 1 tablespoon of instant coffee because once again the addition of the coffee further enhances the chocolate flavor)
Uses 5 tablespoons of oil or melted margarine (I used 3 tablespoons melted margarine plus the 3 tablespoons of prunes so I could justify the fat required (2 tablespoons) in my icing! False sense of justification I'm sure but so be it :)
Has the option of adding 1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips. That would be too much chocolate for me!
Original version is baked in a 9" square pan for 30 - 35 minutes. I prefer cupcakes because that way I can serve 12 instead of 8 and plus they are easier to sneak out of the freezer one at a time!

Directions for Original Version of Joan's Grandmother's Cake:
Using a fork, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda in a 9 inch square baking pan. Stir in the vanilla, vinegar, and oil or margarine.
Pour the water over the mixture and stir well. If you are using chocolate chips, sprinkle them over the top of the batter, then bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Serves 8.

P.S. This version is also very delicious and obviously slightly faster than mine plus less clean-up as she mixes it straight into the baking pan!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vegetarians of Alberta

Vegetarians of Alberta was formed in 1989 to serve people who are interested in learning about,adopting or maintaining a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.

Glen McLean - founder Vegetarians of Alberta:
Glen's decision in 1970 to become a vegetarian was a moral one -- he was against killing! Years later when he started a vegetarian food manufacturing business in Edmonton, the health food stores that he retailed through would often refer individuals looking for vegetarian information to him. He realized the growing need for a vegetarian association in the capital city. So, in the late spring of 1989, Glen rented a room at an Edmonton Public Library and showed the film "Vegetarian World" to a group of 35 people -- Vegetarians of Alberta was formed!

Through Glen's dedication, as well as that of Claire Lafreniere, Margaret Marean, and David Parker, VOA has blossomed into a strong organization of over 200 members and volunteers.

"If we know that compassion/reverence for life is at the root of our belief, it means that being a vegetarian/vegan is not just embracing a certain eating pattern but, a whole life view that reaches far beyond ourselves."
— Glen McLean, VOA founder

Veggie Prairie Girl has met many wonderful people through Vegetarians of Alberta (VOA) and is grateful to everyone who has and continues to make it a viable organization in Edmonton. I have to thank Karen Biggins who first introduced me to Diet for a New America (John Robbins) and encouraged me to check out my first VOA potluck in 1992!
Thanks to VOA I've had the opportunity to hear first rate speakers such as John Robbins, Howard Lyman, Brenda Davis and Neal Barnard right here in Edmonton!

Check out their website for past newsletters for excellent articles and of course lots of recipes. Also check out their facebook page for up-date information on what's happening on the veggie scene in our capital city!

http://vofa.ca/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Edmonton-AB/Vegetarians-of-Alberta/129163475081

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quinoa Coconut Soup

I'm always up for a bowl of soup and base the day's special on what's in the cupboard and in the fridge. Today's ingredients resulted in the recipe below.

Recipe
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
4 carrots, cubed
1 tablespoon veggie powder
1/2 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

3/4 cup of red lentils
1 yam, cubed
2 red potatoes, grated roughly
1 cup of chopped savoy cabbage
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

1 envelope (65 gm) instant quinoa soup
5 - 500 ml bottles of spring water (10 cups)
1/2 can of the (160 ml/6 oz) size can of coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen veggie chicken chunks (opt)


Saute onion, garlic, carrots and spices in 1 tbsp. oil for about 2 or 3 minutes...then add about 2 cups of water. Add the lentils and let simmer for a bit while you continue to chop up remaining veggies. I like to grate the potatoes as I like the extra thickening it gives in certain types of soups. Plus it makes it easier to freeze if you so desire as potatoes are often the reason why freezing is not recommended (supposedly not if you use russet but I haven't tried it myself).

Add the remaining water -- any water will do -- I just put exactly what I did as lately I prefer spring water for my cooking and drinking. Edmonton water tastes fine straight out of the tap but it is extremely hard and fluoridated so hence my preference for the spring water. Also at this point throw in the package of Gogo Quinoa and Vegetable Soup Mix and the frozen veggie chicken chunks if you decide to use them (definitely not a must -- I was just using up small amount of leftover so I will not have to see it in the freezer anymore) :)

Simmer for about an hour or so. Add coconut milk during the last 5 minutes of cooking. I used only 1/2 can because I freaked out about how high calorie it was -- it was 360 calories for the little tiny can -- 160 ml/(6 oz). I'm quite sure it would taste fine with the whole can as the amount I used certainly did not overpower any of my other ingredients. Next time I'll skip the veggie chicken chunks (because there won't be any in the freezer anyhow) and I'll try using the entire can of coconut milk because the flavor seems very nice with the red lentils.
Makes about 10 cups of soup.

http://www.gogoquinoa.com/home.htm

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Colander Does Double Duty!

Last week I was contemplating buying a steamer -- I had it in my hand and turned it over several times and then put it back. My kitchen space is limited and I just hated the thought of adding something else that I would have to find a space for. I did leave it behind relunctantly as I thought it would be useful if indeed I was to aim for some lower calorie style cooking. Well lucky for me my daughter decided to steam some cauliflower and broccoli for lunch and when I came to the kitchen I was amazed to find out her method -- she had simply inserted my beautiful stainless steel colander into a pot and voila -- the colander was now also a steamer! Just goes to show two brains are indeed better than one and I'm now so happy I didn't buy the steamer! She also steamed enough rice to sink a ship which she did intentionally as we like to cook once and then freeze in measured portions for quick use anytime we need it. Frozen rice reheats beautifully.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chocolate Chip Mookies

Today is Thanksgiving on the prairies in Canada!It feels a little more like Christmas than Thanksgiving today as the snow continues to swirl around and around! So is the weather on the Canadian prairies -- highly unpredictable as to what one day is like from one to the next. But of course today we must reflect on our blessings! Obviously they are many in comparison to other countries struggling for adequate food and water.

Canada is now a huge melting pot of many cultures and thankfully we're all getting along pretty splendidly -- at least from my viewpoint. Edmonton is a friendly city and most people are decent folks. I am going to give thanks on this day by sharing a simple, and delicious veganized sweet that will also fit the bill for those that are gluten sensitive and those that like the idea of a low-fat treat. These received a thumbs up from several willing guinea pigs. They taste a lot more decadent than one would expect -- a sweet surprise indeed. They kind of remind me of butter tart filling taste and I was thinking next time I might add raisins instead of chocolate chips and cooking mixture in a small pastry shell.

I was considering making a peanut butter icing for these as the little indentations lends itself well to a dollop of such added pleasure! However I held back due to the fact I'm kind of watching my calories a bit - at least for this week :) We're holding our thanksgiving get-together next weekend as over 50% of the family was out of town this weekend. Looking for lots of vegelicious ideas for Thanksgiving? Search the world's largest collection of vegetarian recipes at VegWeb!

1/4 cup earth balance margarine
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed plus 3 tbsp. soy milk
1 teaspoon frontier pure vanilla

7/8 cup organic brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tbsp. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Soften earth balance in a large mixing bowl. I prefer to use Earth Balance margarine because it has no added color or other junk and gives consistent excellent results in all my veganized recipes)for a bit -- add applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Put the flaxseed in a little bowl, add the soy milk and let it sit for a minute, stir and add to the above ingredients. I use Premium Gold True Cold Milled™ Flax seed because it's so handy for vegan baking -- it is golden in color and has a shelf life of 22 months with no refrigeration required. Once everything is in the bowl together -- beat with a electric hand mixer for a few minutes until light and fluffy!

Mix together the rice flour, baking soda and chocolate chips (and yes I only used 3 tbsp. -- measure them or the dough could get too gooey). Blend the rice flour mixture into the wet ingredients using a wooden spoon.

Line muffin tin with -- If You Care paper cup liners. I really like these because you never have to grease anything -- they're unbleached and available here in Edmonton at Earth's General Store or Planet Organic.

Put equal amounts of dough in each muffin liner -- don't fret the dough is not going to be thick like cookie dough but more like cake batter. Bake for about 12 minutes --check at 10 minute mark in case oven temps differ. Mine took full 12 minutes -- till edges are browning and toothpick isn't stuck with raw batter! Approximate calorie count on the mookies -- about 100 each.You can let them cool in the muffin pan for quite some time -- they take about an hour or so to set.

Veggie Prairie Girl Rambles
I was lucky enough to find Western Family Pure Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips at Save-On Foods that had only four ingredients -- sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter and soy lecithin. They're quite tasty -- and that's saying something because I've had a lot that were down right yucky and would never purchase again. You have to be careful to always check your ingredients even if you have purchased them before as sometimes ingredients DO change. Be especially diligent if you are lactose intolerant as so many have whey powder added to them.