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from The Gluten-Free Vegan by Susan O’Brien

2 tbsp olive or coconut oil (I used coconut, and it really added a traditional curry flavor!)
2 c chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
4 c (1 head or about 1 1/2 pounds) coarsely chopped organic cauliflower florets
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 c cored and diced apple
1 c chopped walnuts
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 (32 oz) carton organic vegetable stock, or homemade (4 cups)
2 c water, or 1 c water and 1 c white wine
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 c chopped fresh cilantro
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a 3- to 4-quart stockpot over medium-high heat and add the onions and cauliflower. Saute until the onion is soft and cauliflower is crisp-tender. Add the garlic, apples, walnuts, curry powder, and turmeric, and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, water (and wine, if using), agave nectar, and cilantro. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender. Add the salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Serves 4.

This soup is perfect for a rainy spring day! It was quick and easy to make. I halved the recipe because I was short on walnuts, and then served it with rice. It was kind of a zingy little soup, mixed with some sweet, thanks to the agave, apple, and coconut oil. The author says that a soup like this would normally be blended, but I’m glad it wasn’t. It has such a great texture. And a crunch in soup, I kinda like it. I did not add the cilantro, because it’s my enemy. Feel free to add it if you like, but I feel it was just fine without it. Next time I’ll definitely make a full recipe, so that we can have leftovers that allow time for those super flavors to mingle overnight!

from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Basic Scones:
1 1/4 c nondairy milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 c flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For Apple Cinnamon Variation:
1 1/2 c diced apples
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of cloves

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Measure out the milk in a large measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Set it aside to curdle.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. (Add the spices if you’re doing the Apple Cinnamon variation). Add the shortening in small clumps, then use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut it into the flour until the dough texture becomes pebblelike.

Create a well in the center and add the milk mixture, oil, and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until about half the flour is incorporated. (Add the apples). Mix again until all the ingredients are just moistened, taking care not to overmix. A couple of dry-looking spots are just fine.

Spray a 1/4-cup measuring cup with cooking spray and use the cup to scoop the scones onto the baking sheet.

Dust the tops of the scones with more sugar, then bake for 18-22 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Transfer the scones to a cooling rack to cool, or serve warm! Makes 12 scones.

So, I have this friend who recently said “Vegan pastries are against my religion.” Ooooh, did this make my blood boil or what? I had to convert her. So while she was down last weekend visiting her mom, I brought these over for them to sample. Also, I had to get them out of my house! They’re just the right weight, soft, and have just the right amount of sweetness… My friend liked jam on her’s, but I prefer good ol’ Earth Balance vegan margarine. The recipe is for a basic scone, and then Moskowitz offers several variations; I made the Cinnamon Raisin ones for Christmas with my husband’s family. Next time I’ll probably do the berry one. They’re really easy- about as much effort as drop biscuits. I am curious to know how they’d turn out if I shaped them into the traditional scone triangle. I’ll let you know when I do!
And a note on vegan pastries, for those of you that are non-believers: the only thing that I’ve come across can’t be veganized is a dessert that calls for separated eggs- such as lemon meringue, which consists of all those nasty egg whites. There are so many good substitutes for eggs- ranging from packaged egg replacers to something as simple as applesauce. We’ll explore many of them in recipes to come.

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