peanut butter is my life

Cookies

Today was definitely a Monday. And when it's a typical, slow-moving Monday I need to motivate myself with food. More specifically baked goods. A heavenly treat to start the week off right and distract myself as time seems to move twice as slow and my body hurts double even though I had two days off. The Monday munchies were cured by Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillows courtesy of The Post Punk Vegan Kitchen (http://theppk.com/blog/2009/03/30/peanut-butter-pillows/). One of my favorite vegan blogs and created by the same authors as Vegan with a Vengeance and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. This cookie is literally a vegan version of a Reese's cup turned into a fluffy cookie. As someone who hates peanut butter, it was shocking that I chose to make these in the first place, but I also loved them. Definitely a keeper.

The only challenge was not eating them all before sharing them at work! And now onto some motivation for the rest of the week. Thinking about some of my favorite recipes to cook for the upcoming weekday nights! I think the time has finally come when I can comfortably make hot soup in Arizona. The weather is cooling down and I can actually fathom eating something piping hot. My sister and I got really into miso soup this summer after reading about the macrobiotic diet. It is a really interesting way of life revolved around yin and yang and all about the whole grains. We tried a layman's version of the diet in preparation for a cleanse (a whole other story resulting in one tragic day and the inability to look at green apples or olive oil for quite some time). We both really liked the concepts about food energy and eating according to the seasons and your surroundings. Definitely something I want to learn more about-Alicia Silverstone wrote a book called The Kind Diet that has a lot of good recipes and information on the subject. Anyway, miso soup. It's so easy to make and you can pretty much throw anything in there. The orignal soup has water, miso, wakame, tofu and green onions. But you can add mushrooms, spinach, cabbage, daikon radish, carrots-you name it. I even tried a colorful red miso soup with rainbow chard. You can't go wrong.

Soup is finally in season! And pizza. Well, pizza is always in season. And just because I'm vegan does not mean I can't eat pizza. Cheese is unnecessary. I don't even use fake cheese...mainly because I haven't found a brand that I'm crazy about. I recently made two delicious and very unique pizzas for a friend. Red wine, pizza, and Dexter. I used a gluten free pizza dough mix and substituted flax seed meal for eggs. I prepared the dough the night before, letting it rise and then refrigerating it. The first was topped with a pre-made olive and roasted red pepper tapenade from Trader Joe's and sliced yellow heirloom tomatoes. Yum. For the second pizza I slow roasted tomatoes with olive oil and garlic, on top of kale. The kale absorbed all of the excess tomato juice and tasted phenomenal. I put the kale and tomatoes on top of the crust and drizzled a balsamic glaze over everything. Amazing. Two delicious pizzas...no cheese.

Good dinners for dates, friends, or yourself. Don't forget the wine.