Meatless Monday – Vegan Chocolate

Meatless Monday – Vegan Chocolate

From Mark Bittman’s transition to mostly vegan, to Gwyneth Paltrow’s emphasis on vegan meals in her new family cookbook, more and more people are realizing they can enjoy the benefits and satisfaction of a vegan diet without having to commit to plant-based eating at every meal.  Thanks to Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, either full- or part-time vegan eating can include rich, sinful-tasting, and delicious chocolate desserts.

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Meatless Monday – Spicy Lentil and Carrot Soup

Meatless Monday – Spicy Lentil and Carrot Soup

I’ve never been too much of a soup person.  I have friends who get really excited at the prospect of having soup for lunch, and I’ve never understood their enthusiasm. Maybe it’s because when I was growing up, soup meant opening a can of flavored water with bits of vegetables and beans floating around it in. It never tasted very good and it never filled me up.

All that has changed with this spicy lentil soup. It’s filling and extremely flavorful, and when I know that I have it waiting for me for lunch, I count down the minutes until it’s time to eat. Have I become a soup person after all?

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Meatless Monday - Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad

Meatless Monday - Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad
August can be a strange month, as even though we're still in the throws of summer, signs of fall peeking around the corner are visible. Hearty squash can be found alongside fresh peaches at the farmer's market, and the weather can be unpredictable with temperatures in the low 70s followed by scorching hot days in the 90s. This Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad combines both worlds, with both summery greens and autumnal roasted root veggies.


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Meatless Monday – Otis’s Award Winning Vegan Cookies

Last weekend Take Back The Kitchen held their first annual Kids Milk and Cookies baking competition at MontclairTV34 studio. The event was sponsored by King Arthur Flour and Five Acre Farms and was designed to include kids who are usually excluded from activities centered around baked goods because of food allergies and dietary restrictions. The three cookie categories were Gluten-Free, Vegan and Whole Wheat Flour. The event also raised money for Toni’s Soup Kitchen.

Naturally, my ears perked up a bit at the mention of vegan cookies, and I was excited to hear that SO Tasty Vegan’s Sally Owens was the vegan cookie judge.  Sally is the genius behind the new vegan pop-up dinners that take place on Wednesday nights at Trattoria Rustica in Montclair, and after tasting some of her amazing creations, I know she’s well aware of what’s tasty and what’s not. I was also super excited to learn that eight year old Otis Gannett-Len was the winner in the vegan cookie category, as I happen to be good friends with his mother Jen. Otis won a $75 gift card for the King Arthur Flour catalog, and Jen suspects he will be picking out chocolate, cocoa and decorative sugar so he can bake up more sweet treats.

Otis won the contest with a batch of delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Jen was kind enough to share the recipe with me, so that I can share it with you.

Otis’s Award Winning Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 ½ teaspoons egg replacer (such as Ener-G or Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 6 teaspoons water
  • ¾ cup vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whip together the egg replacer and water in a small bowl until it’s thick and creamy. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the margarine, brown sugar and cane sugar together. Beat in the egg replacer, vanilla extract and peppermint extract.
  4.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5.  Drop dough by the teaspoonful onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove the cookies from the cookie sheets and place on a cooling rack.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Based on a recipe by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

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