Tag: baking

Irish Soda Bread (Vegan Recipe)

Sometimes you want a delicious loaf of bread last-minute, and you don’t have time to let the dough rise. Or you don’t have live yeast. Or you’ve never made yeasted bread before! (Sometimes you’re just looking for St. Patrick’s Day recipes!)

Enter soda bread, a type of quick bread that dates to approximately 1840, when bicarbonate of soda was introduced to Ireland and replaced yeast as the leavening agent. It eventually became a staple of the Irish diet and is still used as an accompaniment to a meal. 

There are several theories as to the significance of the cross in soda bread. Some believe that the cross was placed in the bread to ward off evil, but it is more likely that the cross is used to help with the cooking of the bread or to serve as a guideline for even slices.

One of the things I love about traditional recipes such as this one featured in The Joy of Vegan Baking among 150 others, is that they rarely need to be “veganized,” because they just happen to be vegan already.  The lactic acid in buttermilk is what activates the carbon dioxide, but adding vinegar, which is acidic, to our nondairy milk creates the same effect. 

A perfect, delicious bread that anyone can make, regardless of your skill level — and whether or not it’s St. Patrick’s Day! Pair it with a hearty stew, and you’re all set!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups nondairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or melted nondairy butter

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Lightly grease a round 9- or 10-inch cake pan.

In a small bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Essentially, by adding an acidic agent, you just created “buttermilk.” 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the milk and vinegar mixture, plus the oil or butter, and combine until you have a sticky dough. Knead the dough in the bowl or on a floured surface for about 10 to 12 strokes. 

Place the dough in the prepared pan, and cut a cross in the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until the bottom has a hollow sound when thumped. Cool slightly before serving. 

Soda bread can dry out quickly and is typically good for two to three days; it is best served warm or toasted with nondairy butter.

Yield: One round loaf

Serving Suggestions and Variations 

Add

  • 1-1/2 cups of raisins
  • 1 cup of various nuts

This recipe was reprinted from The Joy of Vegan Baking. Get your copy today!

DID YOU MAKE IT? HOW DID IT TURN OUT?

What more fantastic vegan recipes? Have you checked out my cookbooks?

The Joy of Vegan Baking

The Vegan Table

Color Me Vegan

25 Meaningful Zero-Waste, Ethical Gifts

Aspiring to live “zero-waste” doesn’t mean being perfect or never buying anything ever again. It means valuing and taking responsibility for what we bring into our lives or into the lives of others.  This list first debuted on my Food for Thought Podcast, so if you’d like to hear it in the context of a larger story about living meaningfully, compassionately, and thoughtfully, check out the episode Lessons and Gifts: Making Meaningful Holidays (and Lives).

As for our list, I’ve categorized them into a few different categories and look forward to hearing your thoughts and your ideas for meaningful, zero-waste, ethical gifts. Please use the comments below to do so!

FOOD

  1. Loose Tea — find your favorite in bulk or in tins; if you order from FarLeaves.com (their tins are reusable and recyclable), enter “colleen” as the coupon code for 10% off
  2. Herbs and Spices — If you can’t find them in bulk near you, you should be able to find spices and herbs in glass jars (which can be reused again and again).  When creating your gift for others, you can make theme-based gift packets, such as “baking spices” (including cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom), or “Italian herbs” (including parsley, basil, and oregano), or “favorite herbs for soup.” You get the idea. Add the spice jars to a basket and wrap in a pretty kitchen towel and raffia ribbon.
  3. Fruit and Nut Basket — Go to a local farm stand or farmers market and buy some beautiful seasonal fruits like persimmon, pomegranates, and apples and some whole walnuts (along with a nice metal nutcracker) — even a jar of local or homemade jam and create a gift basket. Add a couple hand-written recipes that feature the fruits you’ve included. 
  4. Ready-to-Bake Ingredients in a Jar — Instead of giving chocolate chip cookies, what about giving chocolate chip cookies ingredients (and promising to come over and bake with your friend)! Get a bunch of jars from a thrift store and add exactly the amount of all the ingredients in each jar, along with the recipe itself. Make it more special by adding a pie plate or cupcake tin, and pack it up in a pretty paper box. 
  5. Homemade Baked Goods — Bake a pie, crumble, or cobbler and hand-deliver your gift! Make my Caramel Popcorn (from The Joy of Vegan Baking), and present it in a pretty  tin. There are so many ways to create a pretty presentation of homemade goodies.

REUSABLES
Give these individually, as stocking stuffers, or Secret Santa gifts — or create a gift pack of some or all of these. (If you order online, just call when you’re placing your order to request using only paper and not plastic packing materials.)

  1. Reusable straws
  2. Stainless steel food containers
  3. Reusable coffee cups
  4. Reusable grocery shopping bags
  5. Reusable produce bags
  6. Reusable water bottles
  7. Reusable tea thermos (you know me and my favorite tea thermos!)
  8. Reusable shampoo and conditioner bottles
  9. Reusable travel cutlery set
  10.  

EXPERIENCES

  1. The 30-Day Vegan Challenge Online Course 
  2. Concert or Theatre Tickets  — Either find a theatre near your recipient and pick a show you think they’d like to see, or buy a gift certificate from the theatre so your recipient can choose exactly what show they want to attend. 
  3. The Gift of Time (in a Coupon Book): Something I’ve done over many years is create a little coupon book, which you can make as simple or as elaborate as you like, that you give to a loved one for them to redeem — for a massage, a home-cooked meal, a movie, a walk, a hike, a dance — whatever experiences you want to encourage you loved one to ask you for. There are companies that sell these nowadays, but I just like making my own. 
  4. Travel by Theme: My husband David and I set for ourselves the goal to sleep in every county in California. When we lived on the east coast, one theme was “Literary / Author’s Houses” (and still is, depending on where we go) as well as “Lighthouses of New England.” The National Parks of North America is another on our list, and that can be done either by driving or by train! (Travel doesn’t have to include flying, though if you want it to, then I recommend my CPG Vegan Trips!)
  5. Local Walking Tours. Many cities have walking tours led by docents who love where they live and relish sharing the history of the place with others. Lots of cities also have themed walking tours — they might be literary, history, architectural, women’s history, etc. (For those who came to my Compassion in Action a couple years ago, I led a walking tour of the animal protection history in Oakland!). Contact a city’s chamber of commerce and register you and a friend today! Many are free; some ask for donations, some you pay a minimal fee for — it’s worth it! I promise!

BOOKS 
 Obviously, as a writer and a reader, I’m a huge fan of books — even if they’re ebooks or audiobooks. I usually buy a bunch of my favorite books to give out throughout the year, and I’ve listed some below that I use as manuals for living every day. I encourage you to create your own.

  1. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (trans. Stephen Mitchell)
  2. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (trans. Gregory Hays)
  3. The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
  4. Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker
  5. Zooburbia by Tal Moses
  6. Commonplace Book and / or Blank Journals — I journal every day, but I also keep a common book inspired by the Stoics. (Ryan Holiday explains here.) The idea is to not only record your own thoughts (blank journaling/free-writing) but also to record quotes and thoughts of others you find meaningful and want to remember. The act of just writing down meaningful sentences and paragraphs penetrates your mind even more than just reading them. 

BONUS IDEA: MY BOOKS. I’m an author. I’m proud of my seven babies. If you’d like to buy one or more as gifts for others, you’ve made it worth the work I’ve put into each of them. Thank you. 

ENJOY!


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The Joy of Vegan Baking Turns 10!

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since The Joy of Vegan Baking was first published! It remains a best seller after all this time, and now it’s gotten a gorgeous makeover: NEW design, NEW cover, NEW photos, and updated recipes! Purchase your copy on Amazon.com or ask your local store to carry it. And, of course, your reviews are always welcome and appreciated. 

Thank you to everyone who has welcomed the original edition into their homes and hearts. I hope the new edition will sit proudly next to your dog-eared, chocolate-stained original! 

Love,

Vegan Meringue Cookies on Good Day TV!

Thanks to TV host Bethany Crouch at Good Day Sacramento, I visit the studios monthly to share my message of compassion and wellness.

With the launch of Animalogy Podcast, it was an opportunity to talk about animal-related words and expressions; and in light of the hundreds of millions of hens used and killed for the egg industry, it was an opportunity to highlight how to use aquafaba, the magic bean water everyone is talking about, to make meringue in general (and meringue cookies in particular). 

GET YOUR FREE JOYFUL VEGAN GUIDE

Includes delicious plant-based recipes and a meal plan!




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