berries_waffle collage

The wild blackberry bush I pass on my morning run is fully ripe and I gathered as many of the plump berries as I could fit into my waist pouch. Then home to pour them all over Crispy Coconut Waffles.

I guess it all started with the book recipe testing project.

On schedule for the August first deadline at Ben BellaBooks – my publisher- for the full manuscript of The Plant-Based Journey meant testing the recipes as they are to be published in the book.

Sundried tomato, dill, and chive cashew cheese

Sundried tomato, dill, and chive cashew cheese

Once, twice, and yet again.

That meant this outdoor grrrl – who would rather be hiking and biking than slicing and stirring – had to  make an attitude adjustment and measure some ingredients.

For someone who doesn’t like to cook yet loves to eat, the part about which I grumble the most is the cleanup.  Greg has heard me say more than just a few times “I just want to EAT!”

Rest assured, I’ve kept most of my recipes in the book short and sweet for that very reason.  It’s how I cook, after all.

Yet I’ve also learned that to get to some extraordinarily good eats, investing a little time isn’t so bad after all.

Good food is important to the  journey.

And earts are won through palates. 

Whole Spice Market

A stop at Whole Spice Market in Napa, CA fired me up to get creative in the kitchen – here’s my shopping stash of spices.

A stop at Whole Spice Market (no relation to WFM) while on a weekend getaway in Napa with my sisters created domestic momentum.

So did a short demonstration in making non-dairy cheese and a serendipitous encounter with patch of wild blackberries.

I wanted to show you what I’ve thrown together in the kitchen the past couple of weeks.

Sunday’s breakfast:

Crispy Coconut Waffles

The slight bit of coconut flour gives this a cake-like crumble; the brown rice flour adds incomparable crunch.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup brown rice flour

1/3 cup garbanzo flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbls baking powder

1 tsp En-R-G egg replacer whipped with 2 tbls water (consider this  one of the wet ingredients)

1 cup soymilk (any plant milk will do)

2/3 cup (give or take, depending on how it all comes together) water  


1| Mix dry ingredients   2| Add the wet ingredients  3| Stir just until moistened 4| Bake in hot waffle iron

Serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup.


Lime-Chipotle Chickpeas

The lime-chipotle chickpea project was co-incidental with my first venture into making sharp cheddar cashew cheese from my friend Miyoko's book.

The lime-chipotle chickpea project was co-incidental with my first venture into making sharp cheddar cashew cheese.

Lime chipotle chickpeas on salad with avocado tomato onion sandwich

Lime chipotle chickpeas on salad with avocado tomato onion sandwich

I always think black beans are my favorite until I get caught up with how versatile are garbanzo beans.

I think it’s more fun to call them chickpeas. Somehow sounds sexier and more festive.

Whole Spice Market had a hummus spice blend, which I haven’t yet had a chance to try.

But I also walked away from the marketplace with – for starters – garam masala, curry vindaloo, italian pasta herb blend, coriander, adobo. My stash included a fresh bag of chipotle powder and it got me to thinking…

So I tossed together some lime, tamari, garlic, balsamic, onion, and some of the chipotle – scooped in a few cups of chickpeas – and stirred the whole fragrant bowl a few times to get each bean bathed in the flavorings.

Long story short, these came out so good that the recipe is going into the book. Seriously!  These are great scooped over a salad (my original intention) or simply as a dish in their own right.

In other words, if you want to keep some of these on hand in the fridge, you’ll have to hide them.


My first batch of cashew cheese - a spreadable herb blend.  Keeper!

My first batch of cashew cheese – a spreadable herb blend. Keeper!

More Adventures with Cashew Cheese

You’ll have to see my friend Miyoko Schinner’s book Artisan Vegan Cheese for the recipes (OR stay tuned for the opening of Miyoko’s Kitchen in California that will be shipping cheese nationally before you know it!  I’ll be sure to announce right here when it opens.)

At the same time, I promised to keep you posted about my adventures in non-dairy cheese making.

In addition to the herbed cheese I posted above right – which I served on sandwiches at lunch today with fresh grilled eggplant, tomato slices and a shaving of red onion – I’ve also adventured into making the sharp cheddar.

I’ve already served some as appetizers on crackers before dinner, but as for the rest, I’m planning to age it a little in the fridge. If Greg doesn’t find it first, that is!

Sharp cheddar - it slices!

Sharp cheddar – it slices!

Adventures in Cooking?

How about you – any recent adventures in cooking to tell me about?

Honestly, I’m the last person you’d expect to find dabbling for hours in the kitchen – it took me about eight months from the time Miyoko gave me a copy of her book to getting myself down plant-based cheese-making business. So I’m easily impressed by whatever you might be stirring up in you kitchen!

Enjoy what you eat!





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