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Archive for the ‘review’ Category

Mixed Berry Cobbler

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The following is a quick and easy, low-fat dessert from Off The Reservation by Glen Merzer, a novel with 20 vegan recipes by the author’s wife Joanna Samorow-Merzer, reprinted with permission.

I was sent a review copy, but have not had a chance to read it yet (sorry about that). On the other hand, there’s always time for a new recipe! :)

Recipe: Mixed Berry Cobbler


  • ½ C all-purpose flour (or for gluten-free version, rice flour)
  • 1 Tb arrowroot starch/flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ C almond milk (or soy milk)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tb maple syrup
  • 1 tsp zest of fresh lemon
  • 1½ C mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries: frozen/thawed, or fresh)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar


  1. To create the batter: combine all-purpose flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder, and sea salt, and mix well in a bowl.
  2. In a measuring cup, mix and stir the almond milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and lemon zest.
  3. In the bowl with the dried ingredients, create a well in the middle.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the well.
  5. Stir gently until the consistency is smooth.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Put 1¼ C of the berries in a small baking dish.
  8. Spoon the batter over the berries.
  9. Scatter the remaining ¼ C of berres on top of the batter, and sprinkle with coconut sugar.

  10. Bake uncovered until lightly browned — about 40 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and to retain moisture cover with a cotton cloth for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  12. Serve if desired with a scoop of non-dairy vanilla ice cream.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


The result was a light and sweet treat that CRON-o-Meter calculated at 300 calories per ¼ recipe serving.

Note: If you use the book link above, I get a small cut of the sale (at no extra cost to you). Thank you.

Eastern Philosophy

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Recently, a co-worker asked me if I had any suggestions for books on Buddhism. As a bibliophile and one who has been interested in Eastern philosophies since college, I was only too happy to oblige and thought I’d briefly share them here.

The first recommendation was “anything by Alan Watts.” Watts was instrumental in bringing Eastern religion and thinking to the West during the late 50s and early 60s and making it accessible to the Western mind. His many books and audios are timeless to this day. In fact, you may have come across some of his lectures and/or excerpts thereof on YouTube. Especially viral is this short clip animated by the creators of South Park in their instantly-recognizable style.

One of my favorite Alan Watts books, which I’ve read multiple times now, is The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

The second recommendation was “anything by Ram Dass.” Born Richard Alpert, this amazing man’s spiritual path began at Harvard as a friend and professorial colleague of Timothy Leary. After they were dismissed from the college, Alpert traveled to India where he met a Hindu guru and was given the name Ram Dass, “servant of God.” His most well-known book is the 1971 Be Here Now.

In 1997, he had a stroke, which he speaks fondly about in interviews and his memoir Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart published last year (2013). He continues to teach to this day via webcasts and his retreats in Hawaii.

Lastly, it came as a pleasant surprise to find that Ram Dass has also co-authored with Stephen Levine whose book A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last really made an impression on me when I read it over a decade ago.

I hope you get a chance to explore these authors and that their words bring you peace.

Note: If you use one of the links above, I get a small cut of the sale (at no extra cost to you). Even without this incentive, I wholeheartedly recommend these authors. Enjoy!

Deluscious Vegan Cookies

Friday, August 16th, 2013

I recently had the honor of receiving a beautiful gift package from Deluscious Cookies + Milk containing four of the six flavors from their new vegan line of cookies!

As is probably obvious just from looking at the pictures below, these were definitely guilty pleasures. :)

Click an image to view larger in new window.

Of course, I’ve never had their non-vegan cookies, but these tasted as you would expect a gourmet cookie to taste; they were very rich, dense, chewy, and super sweet. Indeed, according to the description of the vegan oatmeal raisin on their site, “some say this is better than our classic” version. That’s always nice to hear.

I like to bake my own healthy cookies, so it’s rare that I buy them, but it was a fun indulgence and I’m happy to bring the “VeLuscious” lineup to your attention. The more companies start offering vegan options, the better.

My favorites were the Chocolate Decadence which reminded me of a big chocolate donut ball covered in a crystallized sugar glaze and the cinnamon sugar which was similar in flavor to a snickerdoodle. Didn’t get to try the peanut butter though. ;)

Vejibag Review

Monday, May 13th, 2013

A few weeks ago, I received a beautiful gift in the mail from Sally Erickson, founder of Vejibag. It was one of their organic cotton produce storage bags designed to keep vegetables, especially greens, crisp and fresh, and I’ve now had the chance to try it out on a couple different leafy greens.

The handcrafted quality is immediately evident when you handle the soft bag. However, I was somewhat skeptical when I read the directions to get and keep it moist. I’m so used to the ‘ole trick wasteful practice of wrapping paper towels around greens that it seemed counter-intuitive, like I’d be setting them up for exactly the opposite of the Vejibag’s intended purpose and claim of “no more slimy vegetables.”

Nevertheless, what nutritarian doesn’t need a way to keep their copious amounts of veggies from going bad before their time? So, I was definitely game…

I found the spacious bag easily accommodated a rather large bunch of chicory greens and even more easily a big head of romaine lettuce. Both remained crisp and unslimy for the week it took to eat them.

Needless to say, when I get some money together, I’ll be buying a few of these from their online store.

Also, it should be noted, at the time of this writing, they currently have an Indiegogo campaign, so that would be another way to support them.

Here’s the video they created explaining the materials and process used in the creation of the bags.

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