Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Italian Apple Cake WANT

This post is entirely lifted from a newsletter email of this vegan chef I am fond of, Chloe Coscarelli, who is promoting her new vegan cookbook, Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen. I don't cook but if you make the recipe, let me know how it is, or even better invite me over for a slice! 
You know how every family or household has “the cake”? Well, this is the cake in my New York City apartment. In advance of any birthday or snowy day, my roommates will ask, “Are you making the cake?” We’re all obsessed with it. Everyone has her own copy of the recipe and makes it frequently. I have no doubt that if you try this cake once, it will become the cake in your house, too. If you’re feeling adventurous, try replacing one of the apples with a pear!
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round pan and line with parchment paper. Grease again.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be very thick, but the apples will release moisture as they bake.
Arrange some of the apples in a circular pattern to cover most of the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Then gently fold in the remaining apples into the batter. Spoon the batter into the pan, being careful not to disrupt the apple pattern on the bottom. Use a spatula or your fingertips to pat it evenly into the pan.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center is set and the cake is lightly browned on top. Rotate the cake halfway through baking time.
Once cooled, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake, and gently unmold so that the apple design is on top. Peel off the parchment paper. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour*
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Powdered sugar for serving
*For a gluten-free alternative, substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum (page 257 from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen).

Monday, September 29, 2014

Some Links

Some links of things I've been reading on the web:

Laika Magazine, http://www.laikamagazine.com/
"... You could say it’s a quarterly vegan lifestyle magazine. Or you could say it is simply a clear assertion that a full, vibrant, exciting, interesting and satisfying life can be had — without ever having to inflict harm on another. This is not a hypothetical notion. This is the reality. And LAIKA MAGAZINE is a reflection of this undeniable reality. It is the place where compassion and innovation intersect. Ground-breaking thinkers and doers, visionary fashion and beauty, inventive food, transformative travel experiences, stories of courageous activists and the animals they defend — are all told with uncompromising dedication and presented in a visually dynamic way. It is new and yet also familiar… familiar, because it shows what we’ve known about ourselves all along: our capacity for kindness is infinite. Thank you for being a part of this journey."
Vegan Chau, http://www.veganchao.com/
So cute, Asian, and lives here in NY!  I feel like she's my cooler-than-me kid sister. She not only talks food, but also beauty, fashion, and overall lifestyle!  I have her new posts emailed to me automatically.
"I started my vegan adventure on November 8, 2006, when I was about to turn 18 and my mother couldn’t force me to eat injustice any longer. That night was one of the most memorable of my life… since there was almost nothing to eat in my fridge! Since then, I have vowed not to go hungry and stock my fridge with plenty of veg-friendly options. Mom helps out now too!"
Vegan Fast Food Restaurant Options, http://urbantastebuds.com/43-vegan-chain-restaurant-menus-every-vegan-needs-know/ 
I'm not a huge fan of fast food, but sometimes when you're hongray you just feel desperate and that's where this list could come in handy.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Breaking news (to me, maybe not you):

There is a book called VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good and it sounds like Wannabegan plan if I've ever heard one!

I love the author, Mark Bittman (he's the NY Times guru), and there is an accompanying cookbook for this VB6 plan too - The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night that I would totally buy if I ever cooked.  (I peeled at ate some grapefruit this week, does that count?)

I'm happy that one of the major culinary influencers of our generation is talking about going vegan to a mainstream audience (actually, let's say an affluent, educated, yuppie audience, that's my impression of NYTimes readers). My hope that is people will open their minds a bit, dabble in a few vegan meals here and there, notice how good they feel, and then gradually transition to a predominately vegan diet.

PS while we are talking about books, I'm reading Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, super fascinating and a little scary when you think about what these big food corporations are doing to us.

I just downloaded the ebook from the NYPL, crazy easy and FREE!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Freelee's #1 tip for switching to a vegan lifestyle

I've recently gotten hooked on Freelee the Banana Girl (YouTube high-carb raw vegan advocate). She's probably the most extreme kind of vegan I've ever heard of, high carb raw vegan, or sometimes called 80/10/10, you basically eat a ton of raw fruit and vegetables.  There's a whole clique of raw vegan vloggers on YouTube, I'll post a list of my favorites some time.   I have to admit, all of the high carb raw vegan YouTube people are in such amazing shape, so high energy, and they talk about how their health, watching their videos is great motivation!

Anyway, in this video Freelee answers a ton of questions from her Facebook fans, and one that came up was "What is your #1 tip for switching to a vegan lifestyle?"

Anyway! Freelee talks about educating yourself about why you should go vegan. Here are the links in her video description (I suspect some of these may be graphic, I personally don't watch these kinds of videos):

Earthlings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce4DJh-L7Ys
5 reasons to avoid eggs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTfvdypnAgg
5 reasons to avoid milk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9hh-Npc50
What's really in your burger? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD0RTBtl0Pc

Also, she says find a community or start one. Let me know if you have your own tips in the comments!