The BEST Chocolate Cake Ever!!

Seriously. And it just HAPPENS to be vegan.

I can’t take credit for it but here is every thing you need to know. My personal edits to the recipe are in parenthesis:

MRS. LANE’S CHOCOLATE CAKE

Memories of Cookie ~ Around 1962 we moved into a wonderful old farmhouse that was built circa 1691 by a New England whaling captain, named Crane. It was a magical place for a child, and we had some good neighbors by the name of Lane. Mrs. Lane gave Cookie this recipe for a Depression Era chocolate cake, and Cookie never baked a different chocolate recipe since that day. Me either. This cake is rich and dark, not too sweet and is totally dairy free, which means my Vegan daughter makes it, too. It’s even a great cake to take to school for science projects because it causes a chemical eruption if not whipped together fast enough!

I’ve used this recipe for the foundation of many different cakes, including my award winning chocolate raspberry cake. (Those of you who have been to one of my Christmas parties know the cake I’m talking about!) Cookie made this cake so many times through the years, she often didn’t even bother with getting the recipe card out of the box. She knew it by heart. So do I, and once your family tastes this wondrous confection, they’ll have you memorizing it, too!

Preheat Oven 350 F
Butter and flour WELL your baking pan(s)
(Cookie NOTE: If you don’t butter and flour your pans well, this cake will fall apart on you when you try to get it out of the pan. I often just bake it in a large pan and serve it right from there.)

Put the following in a sifter and sift together:
3 Cups Flour        (I’ve used GF flour and it was still quite good!)                                 

2 Cups Sugar (I use organic vegan sugar)

2 Teas. Baking Soda

1 Teas. Salt

6 Heaping Tablespoons of Hershey’s Cocoa (I don’t do Hershey’s. Use your favorite organic brand)

Sift all dry ingredients into large bowl. Make 2 holes in the dry mixture. To each hole add one of:
3/4 Cup Veg. Oil (I use coconut oil)

2 Tablespoons White Vinegar


QUICKLY pour 2 Cups water over all, and beat 350 strokes.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until straw tests done. Cool on bake racks. Run a knife along the edge of pan before trying to remove cake from pan. If the cake will not come out right away, leave upside down for a few minutes.

Frost with your favorite frosting.

 

SOOOOOOOOO delicious! Happy baking!

Peachy Green

Image

I love peaches. So I decided to whip up a quick smoothie with the one peach we had left in our fruit bowl. Peachy Green is just one banana peeled and sliced, one pitted peach, a generous handful of fresh spinach, and about 1/4-1/2 cup of water. Blend in your VitaMix, or other blender, until smooth. May add ice for texture.

Enjoy!

20130503-151235.jpg

Gluten-free Veggie Pot Pie

I adapted a recipe I found here. I love her site. We were having guests over that are sensitive to gluten, so I made two gluten-free casserole “pot pies”. Here’s what I did:

Veggie Filling:
2 bags petite peas, organic (frozen)
4 large carrots, or 6 small, diced
2 small potatoes, peeled/diced (I used a sweet white yam, and a sweet potato)
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
IMG_8492

IMG_8498

Cashew Base:
1 cup water
2 packages of cashews (the bag in the photo says “roasted and salted”, but the ones I used were raw)
1 clove garlic
sea salt to taste

IMG_8488

Crust:
4 C Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour
1 cup virgin coconut oil
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
juice of 1 lemon
16-20 Tbsp warm water

I made two casserole dishes full of this, so you may need to adjust based on your dish size.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Add your cashews, 2 packages before they are soaked (see photo above) to a large bowl and cover with very hot water. The hottest setting on your tap. (note: If you have time and plan ahead, soak the cashews for even longer – 4+ hours is great. This will help ease the blending process just a bit. This is advised if you are not using a high speed blender.)

3. Prep all your veggies. Steam the carrots and potatoes until just tender, 10-20 minutes.

IMG_8499

4. Drain your cashews and add the soaked cashews to your blender. Add the water, garlic, and salt. Blend from low to high until smooth and creamy. This may take a minute or so. Set aside. (Adjust salt if desired.) Mine looked like this:

IMG_8489

6. When potatoes and carrots are finished steaming, put them, along with chopped zucchini and frozen peas, in a big bowl or pot.

7. Pour the sauce over top the veggies and toss until all the veggies are well coated.

8. Pour the veggie filling into your pot pie serving/baking dish. Set aside.

9. Quickly mix up your dry ingredients for your crust. Then using your hands, mash in the coconut oil. Then one tablespoon at a time, add in the water. Mixing with every few spoonfuls. Keep adding until your dough in kneadable yet still moist. When this occurs, take half of the dough, knead a bit then press out on a cookie sheet. (I started rolling mine out on the counter and quickly realized it was NOT going to work!) Do the same with the other half (remember, this is for two casserole dishes). It looks like this on the cookie sheet:

IMG_8502

10. Use one cookie sheet per casserole dish. Once dough is pressed out, flip the cookie sheet over on top of the casserole dish. It’ll look something like this:

IMG_8503

I was a bit skeptical. But, onward!

10. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve after about 20 minutes of cooling. Store in fridge and reheat as needed. Eat within 3 days.

Here is what the finished product looked like:

IMG_8504

IMG_8506

And here’s what it looked like in the end:

IMG_8505

So, clearly it was absolutely delicious! And extremely filling. I took a size portion that is pretty normal for me, and I could only eat about half of it. So, maybe only one casserole dish next time!

Green Lunch

OK, so I had no idea what to name this recipe. I was hungry and wanted something quick and easy. I had about 2 cups of cooked brown rice and some seaweed sheets:

IMG_8515

I cut the seaweed sheets into quarters. I used two sheets in this recipe, so I ended up with eight smaller squares. I wanted a creamy sauce to go over the rice so here is what I came up with. Do not be deceived by appearances. It smelled and tasted amazing!

IMG_8513

IMG_8514

For the sauce here’s what I used:

1 cup unpacked baby spinach

1 clove garlic

1 T flax oil (use whatever oil you like, I just grabbed this out of the fridge)

pinch of cilantro

1/4-1/2 C sprouted almonds

water

1. Put the oil, spinach and garlic into a blender. As you blend on high add the water as needed. You will need the liquid to get the ingredients to mix well. Don’t worry if it’s a little watery, the next step will fix that.

2. Add the almonds a little at a time, until the sauce has reached the desired consistency.

Add salt to taste, if you’re a salt person. That’s it. I poured it on the rice, and ate away. The spinach is obviously what gives the sauce the green color, that’s why the rice is green in the photos.

This was very quick, very easy, and very filling. In fact, I really wasn’t all that hungry for dinner later. I think it was the almonds. Maybe next time I’ll use half an avocado to thicken the sauce up instead of the almonds. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Savory Smoothie

I did it! I finally made my own savory smoothie. When I started making green smoothies, the thought of savory just sounded so gross. I loved the sweet fruit masking the flavor of the greens. But as I’ve grown more accustomed to green flavors I found myself craving something a little less sweet today. Besides that, my cilantro had to be harvested, so I put it to use.

Yup, cilantro and harvesting in one sentence together. Meaning I didn’t kill it. I actually have a nice little garden growing atop one of our bookshelves. Basil, parsley, cilantro, and wheat grass. And they’re all doing surprisingly well! YouTube is great for tips on growing and harvesting these plants by the way.

IMG_8517

Anyway, back to the smoothie. I just kind if eyeballed everything, so these are general measurements, give or take.

One bunch of cilantro
One clove of garlic
Half of a cucumber
Ont quarter of a red pepper
Juice of one lime
One avocado
1-2 cups filtered water (depending on the consistency you prefer)

Throw everything into your blender, starting with just one cup of the water. Blend until smooth. Add more water as needed. Easy peasy!

A Vegan Easter

Easter in a traditional American household usually means a huge family dinner. One in which the main dish is typically ham or lamb or some other type of meat.

I’m in the middle of transitioning to a raw vegan diet and the afire mentioned meal choices make my stomach turn a little. Thank you to Kathy for her amazing blog. This is her recent post with over 40 vegan Easter menu options, and their recipes of course. I highly recommend following her blog, it’s fantastic!

Happy Healthy Lunchbox Blog