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Vegan Valentine 2021

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Today I decided to try making a Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding, in case my readers are looking for a new dessert on February 14—the joyful (if commercial) holiday of chocolate love. I had never tried making pudding from scratch, the exception being rice pudding (which is also divine). So, I asked Annapurna, the goddess of food and nourishment, to be my coach. The first try was oh so good and I’m happy to share the recipe with all of you!

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Sweet Potato Latkes for the Season of Light

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When we were children, my brother and I looked forward to Hanukkah with great anticipation. The excitement was all about opening gifts, because Hanukkah had become the gift-giving time of year for modern Jewish families—likely because, falling as it did sometime in December, this Jewish holiday always had proximity on the calendar to Christmas. Rick recalls sneaking into the den closet to examine the wrapped presents hidden there. I fondly remember the Hanukkah when I was given my first

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Notice to Readers: Taking a Hiatus

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Photo by Roger Winstead

 

Dear readers:

Have you ever felt so off kilter that you had to put your foot on the brake to stop the world from spinning so fast? I’m in the middle of just this kind of experience, making a conscious effort to SLOW down and unwind from my habitual hectic pace.

As I begin my period of unwinding, I want to check in with loyal fans and new readers to explain why I won’t be generating new content for Sacred & Delicious for the next… let’s say several months. I feel that I need to take a hiatus.

My mother died recently, and the years leading up to her death were challenging for me, as well as for her. Mom had profound dementia along with numerous other health conditions that demanded medical attention and required my support for more than a decade.

Of course, my situation is commonplace. Millions of others around the globe help loved ones as they age.

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Healthy Comfort Food

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Comfort food was definitely going to be on our table one night last week, when I was in a bit of a funk. These easy Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes were calling my name!

Truth be told, I was in a funk after meeting my 93-year-old mother at the emergency room because she had gashed a leg during a fall. I dreaded being in a hospital ER during the Covid-19 outbreak here in North Carolina, but no way was I going to let her be in that situation alone. So, I went, wearing a mask and repeating my mantra. Ten days later, her leg is mending well and, happily, I’m still symptom free. I count both of us as among the lucky ones that day.

These are certainly perilous time we are living in. No one is immune from the cascading impact of Covid-19, and this is a time for us to be kind to ourselves. I am not suggesting that we stuff our feelings with comfort food. Not at all. I am, however, acknowledging that, besides providing sustenance, food brings us comfort. And, I’m using this recipe today to demonstrate at least one way to succumb to your comfort food cravings deliciously—without undermining your precious health.

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Chocolate Indulgence for Valentine’s Day

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Today’s joyful offering is a recipe for vegan and gluten-free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. With this dish, I offer my salutations to the Goddess of Chocolate and my gratitude to the chocolatiers of yore who infused an ancient pagan holiday with the chocolate tradition!

Who doesn’t love an excuse to revel in Mother Nature’s finest flavor? Whether you prefer extra dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate, February 14th gives you full permission to indulge your chocolate fix—yes even on the Ayurvedic path. Made with almond and oat flours, and sweetened with unrefined coconut sugar and dark chocolate chips, these cookies fit my guilt-free version of desserts…when eaten in moderation, of course!

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10 Ways to Celebrate the Healing Power of Spices

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Looking for a soup to warm you, body and soul? Then look no further than this Curried Cauliflower Soup, which serves as a great introduction to the healing power of spices.

After a week of frigid weather in North Carolina, we’re definitely craving hot soup for dinner. Although the cherry trees in our neighborhood were already starting to bloom, as they were apparently confused by a few weeks of 65 to 70 degrees!

To many readers, nothing says “hot” quite like “curry,” but if you don’t enjoy heavily spiced foods—because, like me, you avoid cayenne pepper—you may be pleasantly surprised how much you’ll love this cauliflower soup. Why? Because this recipe has built-in flexibility from delicately flavored to spicy hot. Although “curry” usually signals fiery hot, when I cook, I leave the cayenne out altogetherbut you can certainly add as much as you enjoy. A curry is simply any Indian-spiced dish with a mélange of spices that are cooked in water and fat to create a gravy, or in this case, a soup.

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QUICK VEGAN MEALS: Introducing Mung Pasta

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Whenever you need to make a quick vegan meal, pasta with vegetables is a good choice—and even better if you use a pasta that’s high in protein content. Today’s new recipe, Gluten-Free Pasta with Broccoli and Vegan Cream Sauce, features mung pasta so I can introduce readers to this healthy gluten-free option. Of course, if you don’t have mung pasta on hand, you can also use red lentil, chickpea, or your pasta of choice.

I know that mung pasta does not make for the prettiest photo, but as my readers know by now, Ayurveda is all about ease of digestion, and pasta made from mung bean flour fits the Ayurvedic way.

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Thanksgiving Sides Your Guests Will Never Forget!

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For vegetarians and vegans, Thanksgiving is all about the traditional mouth-watering side dishes, and of course, I’m all about making them as healthy as they are delicious!

Today I’ll point to all of my favorite holiday sides and introduce you to a new recipe: Reimagined Green Bean Casserole.

When I was young, in the ’50s and ’60s, cooking for convenience was all the rage, and there was no cornucopia of fresh vegetables readily available in grocery stores. I can’t fault my mother for her frozen spinach with canned mushroom soup—though just the thought of it now makes me cringe! Even then, I had no taste for such food. I learned to love vegetables only when I began cooking with my college roommate, Ellen Brock, who grew up picking fresh veggies out of her mother’s garden.

But there was nothing wrong with the idea behind my in-laws’ green bean casserole with canned mushroom soup and canned onion rings. The potential is there for a great dish. I invite you to expand your culinary imagination with this recipe.

This Reimagined Green Bean Casserole is a vegan and gluten-free dish made with fresh ingredients: green beans, caramelized onions, fresh almond milk (if available), fresh ginger, and shiitake mushrooms

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All Things Pumpkin 2019

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This October Pumpkin Spice Cookie recipe reflects my most recent experimentation with gluten-free baking. I’m happy to say the experiment turned out well—though I regret it was in response to my newest food sensitivity!

 

Sadly, I seem to have developed an intolerance to nuts, including almond flour. Eating nuts or baked goods with almond flour make me itch. From an Ayurvedic perspective, it makes sense: nuts increase pitta, and high pitta can cause itching. Since nuts are also a common allergen and cause of food intolerance, I decided to explore baking with another high-protein flour for my growing readership.

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Best Veggie Burgers!

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If you like a good veggie burger, I’m betting you’ll love this fresh Vegan Black Bean & Sweet Potato Patties recipe for Memorial Day festivities! It’s easy, it’s delicious (of course!) and it’s perfect for casual entertaining during these summer months.

I haven’t had a real hamburger in about thirty years, and I’ve never truly missed them. However, I do occasionally crave that classic American experience of biting into a bun with a mound of protein, mustard and ketchup! A freshly made veggie burger will more than suffice.

Today’s recipe was inspired by delicious burgers Tom and I ate at The Present Moment Café in St. Augustine, Florida during an anniversary weekend. The chef may not be familiar with Ayurvedic cuisine, but it was nonetheless brilliant to pair hard-to-digest black beans with soft and grounding sweet potatoes. I’ve added garlic powder, gluten-free asafetida, and cumin to aid digestion.

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