Sweet Sundays: Vegan living is about far more than food … though the food is still quite important … which is why Melisser Elliott, otherwise known as The Urban Housewife, has released a new book entitled The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life. This is her mini tomb for do-it-yourself projects, all things girly, and of course those ever important recipes for ladies who are just embarking on a vegan lifestyle or veterans who could use some fun ideas and a fresh perspective.
In The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life, Melisser shares tips on finding the best veganism has to offer, from animal-free cosmetics to fun vacation spots. But her book is not just about what to buy, it is also about what you can make. It is stuffed with crafty projects and recipes from her own collection and those of several well-known vegan contributors, including Hannah Kaminsky, Celine Steen, Jenn Shagrin, and Kelly Peloza.
For those who don't already know Melisser's funky style, you can be assured that this book is a fun and fresh read that is, dare I say, hip. As noted by Hannah Kaminsky, "… she could make a computer manual sound like fun!" Plus, the variety of content (interviews of successful vegans, how to handle social situations, gardening tips, tattoos, etc.) sets it apart from other vegan books, easily leaving those skinny bitches in the dust.
But, since most of you come here for the food, here are just a few highlights and a sample recipe from The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life:
Purple Cow Cupcakes
Banana Bread French Toast with Strawberry Syrup
This recipe is from The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life by Melisser Elliott, with photography by Hannah Kaminsky.
While this can take a bit of time, if you make the bread and syrup the night before, you’ll have French Toast in no time the next morning. The banana bread is a good on its own, but it’s really designed to be battered and fried for maximum deliciousness! If you don’t want to make the syrup, this is just as good with maple syrup.
- 2 cups ripe mashed Bananas
- 1/3 cup Canola Oil
- 1 Tbsp Molasses
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9×5 or similar sized loaf pan. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, blend the bananas until mainly smooth. Add the oil, molasses, sugar, and vanilla, and mix to combine. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and then pour in to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool completely before making the French toast and slice it in to 3/4 inch pieces.
French Toast Batter
- 1 cup Non-Dairy Milk (if using unsweetened, add 1 Tbsp Sugar + 1 Tbsp Vanilla)
- 4 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Tbsp Chickpea Flour
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- A pinch of nutmeg
Mix the flour, chickpea flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Add the non-dairy milk slowly, whisking as you go. Heat a pan over medium heat and lightly coat it with oil or vegan margarine. Dip the bread in the batter, allowing the excess to fall off, and then add it to the pan. Allow the bread to brown on each side, about 5 minutes per side, then serve warm with strawberry syrup or other topping of choice.
- 1 pound Strawberries, hulled and diced finely
- 3/4 cup Turbinado Sugar
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
- 1/4 tsp Lemon Zest
In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients and then bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer until the strawberries are soft, about 20 minutes. Mash the berries in to the syrup, and then either serve as is, or strain the berries and return the syrup to the heat and reduce over medium for 10 minutes.
Article by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, and blogger at www.AlisaCooks.com and www.DairyFreeandFit.com. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan and blogger at Bittersweet.