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Rainy Days and Mondays–A Recipe for Brownies

You must believe me–I had no intention of baking brownies when I awoke this morning. After a rainy workweek, I spent this past beautiful, balmy weekend tidying the house, hiking with my dog, watching a Harry Potter movie with my family, and making wholesome meals. But sometime during the night the rain returned and when I opened the door for the morning dog walk, I was greeted by a wet, dreary Monday. Even then, the thought of brownies hadn’t entered my mind. This evening, when I picked up my son from his fall break day camp, he asked to go to Toys R Us. No, I said. He then asked to go to the nearby artisanal coffeehouse for vegan chocolate cake. Again, no. It was still drizzling and darkening, with the days growing shorter by the minute, and I just wanted to get home, get the dog walked, and get into my pajamas. I suppose I could have fallen back on that old parental chesnut and told him that we weren’t going to the coffeehouse …

Weekend Loafing: Warming Up with Happy Herbivore’s Hippie Loaf

The autumn equinox is nigh and the weather here is warm and golden, perfect for woodland hikes and cozy suppers. I spent much of yesterday outdoors with my dog and haven’t gotten around to doing much cooking or planning for this week’s meals, which mostly likely will include cool-weather fare such as chili and lentil sloppy joes. So today I’ll report on one of last week’s entrees, Happy Herbivore’s Hippie Loaf. This dish is a hearty and flavorful gluten-free mix of black beans, quinoa, and vegetables. Knowing the loaf would require at least 45 minutes in the oven, I prepared it late Sunday afternoon, anticipating a day or two of leftovers. My husband and I really enjoyed it (my kid was, as with most vegetable-rich dishes, meh about it), so we dispatched it handily in two dinners. I confess, I love anything (vegan) in a loaf pan. The pan itself is the epitome of elegant simplicity. From pumpkin bread to vegan meatloaf, that congealed cuboid melange of flavors, turned out neatly onto a cute serving platter, …

Muffin Topper: Celeriffic Chickpea Salad with Cranberries

This week I begin a new job that has everything going for it, including great colleagues, beautiful setting, and a spacious yet cozy office. The one major adjustment I have to make is planning to pack a lunch. At my previous job, I could walk to any number of eateries, including the cafe at the local Whole Foods. Although I aspired to bring my lunch on a regular basis, I knew I never really had to. So this week I’m getting my act together. A couple of weeks ago, I had hankering for a vegan version of egg salad, which is odd, because I never really ate egg salad before I became vegan, and it wasn’t something my mother made often when I was a kid. She did make a very mustardy macaroni salad, though, which I think of as quintessentially Midwestern, and sometimes I mimic her recipe with my own veganized version, using lots of dill relish, yellow mustard, and vegan mayonnaise. I usually buy Nasoya’s light mayo, but used Just Mayo for the first time …