Panforte means strong bread, so be strong. Go lavish with the spices here — they balance the richness of the fruit and nuts — and don’t wimp out with the black pepper. Traditionally, panforte is made with honey — it’s the goo bonding the dried fruit and nuts. Swap it for vegan honey. The best commercial one I know is BeeFree Honee. I’ve also had good luck making this recipe with brown rice syrup, which has plenty of goo and adds a caramel-y note. Use a good sharp knife and serve skinny slices with a cup of espresso or a small glass of vin santo or sambucca. Recipe and photo contributed by Ellen Kanner. more→
The first full week of December makes Thanksgiving seem like a bygone memory already — the holiday rush is officially on! With so much to do, and travel and social plans to make, we’ll keep things light and easy this week. First up is Pasta with Spinach, Chickpeas and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, is a tasty take on the classic Italian-inspired trio of pasta, beans, and greens. You need only a salad and some crusty bread to accompany this hearty pasta dish that’s welcome all year around. more→
If you can’t get your family (or yourself!) to eat enough vegetables, you can try sweetening the deal — literally. By incorporating the orange-fleshed fall/winter veggies — carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, and winter squash into these vegan cakes, pies, muffins, and cookies, you’ll be adding a dose of vitamins A and C to your desserts, and a host of antioxidants and fiber. But you and yours won’t taste any of those — just some lovely sweet flavors that will please everyone.
Cranberry-Carrot Cake (at top) is festive and luscious, but with a minimum of fat and a plethora of fresh fruit (and a vegetable!) in the batter, not the least bit guilt-inducing. It’s a nice alternative to pumpkin pie as a Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert. more→
If you’re looking for an easy, healthy, and yummy spread for fresh bread, crackers, or tortilla chips, you’re in luck. This one combines tasty chickpeas with smooth avocado, and boosted with a good dose of baby spinach or arugula. Spread it on toast any time of day — even for breakfast, or scoop a little of the soft center from a fresh crusty baguette. It’s as good for everyday lunches as it is as a special occasion dip or spread. Makes about 2 cups. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→