No-bake Vegan, Gluten-free Mango (or Peach) Pie, Maybe á la Mode

08-15-20-Panama-home-raw mango pie

Joe Gallivan’s birthday was on August 9th. I usually make a mango pie for that occasion, since it coincides with the height of mango season, but, this year, even though I had all the ingredients and equipment assembled, the mangos were green, and hard as rocks.

So, we waited another six days, until they turned golden and issued their unmistakeable fragrance.

If you live somewhere that has snow in the winter, fear not. Sliced, raw, ripe peaches can be used instead of mangos.

No need to light an oven in mid-August to make this pie.

Crust: Grind in a food processor, first a cup of cashews (neither toasted nor salted), then a cup of shelled walnuts, then, finally, half a cup of de-seeded and coarsely chopped deglet dates. Combine all three in a big bowl with a big spoon, until well blended. (Substitutions: unsalted macadamia nuts for cashews, pecans for walnuts).

Form the dough into a ball (or two), and then press the dough into the shape of a piecrust into a glass piepan or a ceramic bowl. (Or you could make tiny pies in custard cups.) Press the dough into an even thickness covering the bottom and sides of the container. Don’t place it over the lip of the piepan; it will just break off when you are trying to serve it.

Filling: Cut up the mangos inside a bowl, because, if they are ripe, they will exude a lot of juice, which you will want to capture and use. Place the bite size pieces of mango inside the prepared crusts, and measure the juice into heavy pot or a double boiler. Add more liquid, if necessary, to make a total of two cups – coconut milk, juice of another fruit, or purified water will all work. Add two droppers full of stevia liquid (or a commensurate amount of another sweetener, if you prefer), and two tablespoons of agar-agar (kanten) flakes.

Bring to a boil, and then simmer for five to ten minutes – stirring gently – until the agar-agar is completely dissolved.

Then pour the hot liquid over the mango pieces to within 1/2″ of the top of the pie shell.

Place the pies into the refrigerator, covering each one with an inverted ceramic plate, and let them chill for at least an hour.  Overnight works, too.

If you want to serve with ice cream on top, plate the pie slices first, then blend frozen peeled bananas and smooth cashew butter in your food processor and scoop out the ice cream immediately onto the pie slices and serve.

Gluten-free Maple Nut Muffins (Re-purposing Leftover Gluten-free Baked Goods)

Preheat the over to 380 F.

Line muffin pan with unbleached paper muffin cups (or make muffin cups from squares of unbleached oven parchment paper)

Break leftover gluten-free baked goods into pieces, tossing them into the bowl of a food processor. I used cinnamon-raisin bread to make these muffins tonight, but any sweet (as opposed to savory) flavored bread, roll, cake, cookie or pastry (or a combination) would work as well. Use the food processor to reduce the baked goods to crumbs.

For every cup of crumbs, add:

A beaten organic pasture-raised egg (this gives batter the same expanding flexible structure while baking that gluten does)

1 or more tablespoons of maple syrup (less sweetener needed if the crumbs contains cookies or pastries)

¼ cup of raw organically grown walnuts or pecans, pulverized in the food processor
1 tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil

Optional: ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon (if you are using cinnamon raisin bread crumbs, you don’t need it)

¼ cup pure water (the amount depends on the inherent moisture of the ingredients. Just add a teaspoon at a time while blending, until the batter is thicker than pancake batter, but more liquid than cookie dough)

Once you have a thick batter, stop the food processor, and stir some organically grown raisins and dried cranberries into the batter.

Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling them about 9/10 full. They will rise, but not a lot.

Bake about 20 minutes (the sides and tops should brown a little bit).

Leave the muffins in the muffin tin until cool enough to handle, then move them to a rack to cool completely – or, serve them warm.

My Dozen Vegetable Plus Avocado Green Salad Recipe

LOTE salad illustration

 Salad illustration from Living on the Earth by Alicia Bay Laurel

(Please insert the words “organically grown” in front of each ingredient. Yes, I know tomatoes and olives are not really vegetables.)

Lettuce (my fave is red lettuce, but whatever you prefer)
Arugula or spinach or dandelion greens or baby sunflower greens
Grated carrots (I’m loving the ones in a variety of colors)
Grated daikon root and/or grated beet
Sliced radishes (also loving the ones in a variety of colors)
Sliced cucumber (usually Persian or hot house)
Sliced and chopped red cabbage
Cilantro leaves (whole) and/or basil leaves (sliced)
Scallions (cut into 1/4 inch pieces)
Sauerkraut (preferably homemade, but packaged is OK)
Pitted olives (I like green, because they don’t stain my teeth)
Cherry tomatoes (also love them in a variety of colors)

(Of course, all of the ingredients are optional, depending on what you like and/or can medically tolerate.)

I like to offer a half avocado (Hass, mostly), to each person having the salad. If the avocados are small, I offer a whole one.

Dressing: two parts olive oil to one part freshly squeezed lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar with “the mother”), seasoned with freshly pressed garlic and pink Himalayan salt or sea salt. Sometimes I soak (and remove) a branch of fresh rosemary from my garden in the olive oil before adding the oil to the dressing.

Sometimes I boil, chill in ice water, and then peel, a couple of seven-minute (pasture-raised) eggs and slice them into the salad, making it into a one-dish meal. Other times I add cubes of baked tofu or cooked tempeh instead eggs for protein.

Borcht Salad for a Hanukkah Latke Party

12-21-14-CA-LA-Lyndia's latkethon-borcht salad

Tomorrow I am going to the Hanukkah latkethon of Lyndia Lowy, my friend-since-we-were-12, who has been frying potato pancakes (and carrot, cauliflower, sweet potato, and zucchini pancakes) for weeks (and freezing them). Usually fifty or more of her best friends show up. Our tradition is that I bring a massive tossed salad of my own recipe, which, because of its similarity of ingredients to borcht soup, I call Borcht Salad.

My feeling is: If everything else on the menu is oily, hot, starchy and golden in color, then the complementary dish should be cool, crunchy, spicy, sweet, sour and deep maroon and purple – and made from super fresh, chilled, organically grown produce.

I use a Champion Juicer without the lower screen or plate, so the veggies are quickly shredded by the rotating blades. A food processor with shredding set-up works well, too. The Champion Juicer just makes it, well, juicier. However, it does NOT mince a red onion; that job is best done with a good sharp food prep knife and a cutting board.

Unless I have a huge serving bowl, I like to prepare the vegetables ahead in four equal bagsful, so that the next salad can be quickly put together when the serving dish is empty, or serve the salad in four large bowls along a banquet table.

Machine grate and divide into four parts in four zipper bags:
3 large beets, peeled and cut into long pieces that will fit into the round hopper of the Champion Juicer.
5 pounds of carrots, scrubbed and tops and tips cut off
3 pounds of daikon radish (optional), scrubbed and tops and tips cut off
1 whole, small red cabbage, with the stem removed, cut into long pieces that will fit into the round hopper of the Champion Juicer.

In a separate bag place:
1 whole red onion, peel, tip and top removed, cut into quarters and then minced

In 4 separate bags, place:
4 whole red leaf lettuces (one per bag): each leaf washed and dried in salad spinner, then torn into pieces by hand.

To assemble: pour the contents of one bag of shredded vegetables and one bag of torn lettuce into a large serving bowl and toss with minced red onion, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and black pepper.

Winter Roasted Vegetables

                  Vegetables ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 400 F. I used organic beets, carrots, parsnips, red potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in larger-than-bite-sized pieces, arranged on parchment paper that was lightly painted with organic virgin coconut oil (after being placed on a cookie sheet.) Next I brushed the vegetables with more coconut oil, and then placed branches of fresh rosemary around them. In my oven, the baking time was 25 minutes, but yours may cook faster. I tested the vegetables from time to time with a long cooking fork. When tender, they are done! Served them hot, drizzled with organic extra virgin olive oil and a tiny bit of sea salt.

                                 Vegetables after baking.


Cranberry Relish á la Persephone

11-24-11-AZ-home-cranberry pomegranite relish

Thanksgiving recipe:

I invented a new twist on cranberry relish.

I mix 8 ounces of thawed whole (organically grown) cranberries and all of the seeds of a fresh (organically grown) pomegranate in a bowl, and pour over them a steaming cup of unsweetened (organicallly grown) cranberry (or pomegranate) juice (sweetened with a couple of droppers full of stevia glycerite) inwhich a heaping tablespoon of agar flakes has been completely dissolved by simmering 3 to 5 minutes over a medium flame (longer if needed – stir often).

One hour in the fridge and it becomes cranberries and pomegranate in aspic.

Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Vegan gluten-free-pumpkin pie 2012.jpg

I have evolved this recipe over many holiday seasons.

Prepare one of these crusts:

BAKED CRUST Enough for one pie; multiply as needed

Two cups of gluten-free baking flour (usually a combo of rice, garbanzo, oat, and millet flours – any or all of these).

¾ cup coconut oil

Measure and then chill the coconut oil. Place it in a food processor with the flour and an ice cube. Blend until it forms a soft ball of dough. If it doesn’t form a dough ball while blending, very gradually add a tiny bit more cold water. As soon as it gets the right amount of water, it will form a soft ball of dough.

Flatten the ball into a disk and press into a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie pan so that it is of even ¼ inch thickness all over, and form a scalloped edge with your thumbprints. Make fork holes every ½ inch all over the bottom and sides of the pie shell. Bake at 375 Fº until golden, but not brown.

If you have extra dough, form it into a cookie shape (star, heart, tree, etc.) in another pan, make fork holes every ½ inch on it, and bake it along with the piecrust. After the filling has chilled and become firm in the crust, place the cookie shaped piece of piecrust on top of the filling. For ease of handling, I suggest forming and baking the cookie shaped piece on top of a piece of baking parchment, so that you can easily slide it onto the top of the pie without it crumbling in the process.


In a (clean) coffee grinder, powder one cup each of walnut meats and raw cashews. Remove pits from 6 dates, chop them well and place them in a food processor with the nut flours. Blend until it forms a soft dough. Press the dough into a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie pan. Keep the edge small and simple, since an extended, scalloped edge will crumble off when the pie is cut and served. Chill in the refrigerator.

If you’d like to make a decorative raw cookie for the top of the pie, take some of the nut/date dough, form into the shape of choice, and dehydrate at 105 Fº until almost crisp.


Cut a medium sized butternut squash or small kabocha (green) pumpkin into pieces about 1 to 2 inches on a side.

Spoon out the seeds, and either roast, plant or discard them. (If you compost them, who knows, you might get volunteer squash plants growing out of your compost..)

Peel two thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger and chop into small pieces.

Steam the squash and ginger until soft and let them cool until you can easily pick up one of the squash pieces with your (clean) hand, at which point you can spoon the flesh out from the shells into the food processor bowl, and compost the shells. Then dump the steamed bits of ginger from the steaming basket into the food processer with the squash, and blend until smooth. If the mixture is so thick that it bogs down the food processor, slowly add a tiny bit of the cooking water, until the blades are moving easily.

After blending, just to be sure there are no annoying bits of ginger in the pie filling, pour the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl, and stir with a wooden spoon to complete the separation.

If you’d rather not bother with peeling, chopping, steaming, blending and sieving fresh ginger, you can always skip it, instead adding ½ tsp. powdered ginger along with the other spices below. (Personally, I think it’s worth the extra work.)

Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly: one cup of unsweetened, non-flavored vegan milk (hemp, almond, rice, soy, or, if you’d like a very rich pie, coconut cream) with 2 teaspoons of agar flakes, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. cloves, ½ tsp allspice) and 3 droppers of non-flavored stevia glycerite, stirring until the agar is completely dissolved and the spices are well blended into the milk.

Place in the food processor: the butternut squash and the agar/milk mixture. Blend until completely smooth.

Pour the filling into the pie shell and chill until the agar is set (at least one hour, although you can make this pie the day before serving it and keep it in the refrigerator until then).

If you have more filling than pie shells, pour it into custard cups and chill.

A nine-inch pie will serve 8 people.

Topping (optional):

Coconut Bliss vegan ice cream (coconut flavor) would be my choice, but there are also excellent choices available from Daiya, Tofutti, So Delicious, and other vegan ice cream brands.

Living on the Earth Chosen as One of the 101 Most Influential American Cookbooks of the 20th Century

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On October 24th and 25th, 2012, Rizzoli Publishers (Random House, New York) unveiled 101 Classic Cookbooks – 501 Classic Recipes, a collection edited by Marvin J. Taylor, Director of the Fales Library and Special Collections at New York University, home to over 55,000 volumes about food, and Clark Wolf, a New York-based food and restaurant consultant.

Their panel of culinary experts, including food writer and academic Michael Pollan, Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold, New York Times food critic Florence Fabricant, and chef, food writer, and PBS producer Ruth Reichl,  chose what they considered the most influential American cookbook for each year of the 20th century, and, from those, the quintessential recipes of each book.

From Living on the Earth, they chose four recipes: Dandelion Wine, Sunflower Milk (actually, How To Make Baby Food), Yogurt, and How to Smoke Fish. In addition, six of the original illustrated and hand-lettered page layouts, plus the cover of the Random House second edition are displayed on pages 136 and 137.

Other authors included in the book include Julia Child, Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, Alice Waters, Martha Stewart, Fanny Farmer, Madhur Jaffrey, Molly Katz, and Laurel Robertson.

Here‘s more information about some of the major organizers and contributors to the book.

10-24-12-NY-NYU-reception-LOTE pages in 101 Classic Cookbooks.jpg

buy Living on the Earth’s 50th Anniversary, 5th English Language Edition

Kim Cheese

kim cheese.jpg

The hot weather is coming back, and it’s time for another cool vegan protein recipe.

Kim cheese was inspired by a spread I tasted at the Maui Four Seasons Hotel’s restaurant about 20 years ago. Theirs was a spread served with thin slices of a dense, dark bread with walnuts in it, and it was made from cream cheese, mayonnaise and kim chee, Korea’s fiery pickled Napa cabbage. Pacific fusion cuisine, I guess. I liked it.

I already knew I could make a vegan sour cream or cottage cheese by blending tofu, Vegenaise and ume vinegar in the food processor. So I added kim chee to this, and liked the result.

I realized, though, with the sour and salty ume vinegar and the pungent kim chee, I didn’t need the extra flavor of the Vegenaise, so I substituted olive oil, and liked it even better.

I use this spread on baked potatoes, steamed cauliflower, puffed brown rice cakes, cucumber slices, or whole grain pasta.

I vary the consistency from dense to runny by the type of tofu I use. Extra firm tofu makes a thick spread, better for crackers or crudites. Silken tofu makes a runny sauce to pour over pasta or vegetables.

Here are the ingredients:

One 8 ounce block of tofu (from organic, non-GMO soybeans. SprouTofu’s my fave.)
One 8 ounce jar of spicy kim chee (preferably home made and organic, certainly without MSG)
2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of ume vinegar (Japanese plum vinegar, made from the pickling of unripe plums. It is salty. You can skip it if you are avoiding salt. You can certainly add more if you prefer a saltier taste to your kim cheese.)

Place them all in a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill until serving.

Tofu Pate

Cool vegan protein for hot days.

Place together in a food processor:

10 oz extra firm organic tofu, cubed
4 T nutritional yeast flakes
4 T organic extra virgin olive oil
1 T dulse flakes
1 tsp. dried or fresh dill weed
2 tsp. ume vinegar or half of a pitted, pickled ume (plum), minced

Blend well and turn out into a festive dish. Serve with whole grain crackers and/or bite-sized raw vegetables.