We all want life to be easy. Or at least the basics shouldn’t be so difficult that we struggle just to keep ourselves going. There is almost no realm of life that people want to be easier than the acquisition of food. It’s the reason for fast food and packaged food: Ease.
But Ease doesn’t have to mean low quality, or junk food. Quick recipes can make your kitchen time a breeze.
In answer to that common refrain: “Healthy food takes too much time,” Laura Theodore has come to the rescue. Her new book, Laura Theodore’s Vegan -Ease An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet, is hitting the marketplace this month. And if you want to win a copy, and a bar of Pasha Chocolate, you will have an opportunity to enter at the bottom of this post.
You may know Theodore as “The Jazzy Vegetarian,” the name of her popular cooking show on PBS. It’s about to start a fifth season. On her show, Theodore welcomes celebrity guests, and cooks camera-ready vegetarian fare. She also does radio,and you can listen to her library of episodes here.
Vegan-ease is her third cookbook, and a companion to the show. And true to its name, it is packed with genuinely fast and easy recipes. It starts out with a vegan nutrition guide and a pantry plan, as well as some basics on equipment. The recipes are all ranked by “ease-factor,” on a scale of 1 to 3. 1 means almost instant, and 3 might take a little work, but nothing too major. All the recipes have nutrition analysis, so you can keep track of what you are taking in.
Many of the recipes only have a few ingredients, like the Four-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies pictured above. She’s serious about cutting time.
Vegan-ease is a comprehensive book, in that it covers all meals, snacks, and even holiday meal planning. Theodore knows her audience, and she chimes in with tips on how to shop to save money, and all sorts of vegan advice.
This is a good book for beginners at vegan cookery, as well as people just looking for fast, easy to make food. Theodore stays away from convenient fixes, like fake meat, and recommends a little vegan cheese as an option. Part of her mission is to use ingredients anyone can get, in mainstream grocery stores. Her taste in food is very family friendly, with recipes like Hungry Guy Burgers with Baked Steak Fries, Not-So-Crabby Cakes, Mac n Peas with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce, Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse and Lemon Buttermilk Cake.
Which brings me to the cookies.
If you are craving a chocolate fix, and want some cookies to serve sooner, rather than later, this recipe is for you. Mash, stir, scoop, bake. I made mine about twice the recommended size, and only got eight, and I baked them for 20 minutes. They are moist, chewy, and just chocolatey enough. Hot out of the oven, you can forget that you are basically eating oats and bananas. If any are left to cool off, you can pack them along for snacks.
Use gluten free oats, and they are not only vegan, but GF.
Four-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 16 to 18 Cookies
Ease Factor 1
Oh yeah! These delectable little cuties are so simple to make, you just may want to make a double batch. With only four ingredients, you can’t go wrong with this easy twist on a classic cookie.
2 large, ripe bananas
1¼ cups rolled oats
1⁄3 cup raisins
1⁄3 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the bananas in a medium-sized bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until smooth. Add the oats, raisins and chocolate chips; stir to combine.
Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, drop a heaping tablespoonful of the cookie batter onto the lined baking sheet, gently flattening it with a rubber spatula or clean fingertips. Continue in this manner with the remaining cookie dough.
Bake for 13 to 17 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and cookies are almost set. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, cookies will keep for about 3 days.
Recipe © 2015 Laura Theodore, published by Jazzy Vegetarian, LLC, reprinted by permission.
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