Look what happens to the leftover Oatmeal at The Leafy Cafe

It magically turns into delicious Oatmeal Cake! This is just meant to be a quick little post with a fast recipe and not so good photo of the cake I made this morning from my leftover oatmeal. The cake turned out so good I just had to tell y'all!

I am doing everything I shouldn't be and NOT what I'm supposed to be doing today. I have tons of receipts to file and bills to pay. I'm planning to post a story about our neighbors on the Ridge who have fantastic veggie gardens which they are already eating from BUT NO, I must make something out of  the leftover oatmeal instead, and this is it!

Low(er) Fat Oatmeal Cake

1/8 c. canola oil or melted vegan margarine
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. caster or regular table sugar
1 mashed banana
2 T. ground flax seed mixed in enough warm water to cover
1 1/2 c. left-over prepared oatmeal
1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt (I actually used less than this)
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
juice of 1 lemon

Topping Ingredients:
1/4 c. canola oil or vegan margarine
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. low fat oat milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 c shredded coconut
 1/4 c. uncooked quick oats

350 oven  9 x 13 brownie type pan sprayed with pan spray
Place canola oil or margarine in a medium saucepan and heat with sugars until melted. Add mashed banana, soaked flax seed and oatmeal and mix thoroughly. Sift four, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg right into the pan in batches and stir until mixed (do not over stir) add lemon juice. Watch the magic happen! Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes in regular oven, 20 minutes in convection oven.  Remove from oven and spread prepared topping evenly over cake and return to oven for 5 minutes more. Cool on rack.
heat canola oil or margarine in saucepan with sugar until melted, add milk until bubbling. Remove from heat and add coconut & oats. Stir until blended.


"C" is for Cookie?

Double or even Triple (low fat) Chocolate Cookies
On our epic drive from way up north to way down south, we sampled a few snacks I had prepared for the road trip including some yummy oatmeal cookies. The cookies were an experimental recipe and I used coconut oil for the fat so they were by no means low or non-fat. The truth about coconut oil is that it is saturated fat and we should avoid it like the plague but I happened to have some on hand and I'm still not so sure it is so awful that we can't enjoy an occasional cookie made with it. For more argument regarding coconut oil click here & here.

Cookies are not always easy to make if you are following a low-fat-plant-based way of life but cookies are definitely on my list of favorite things to make, especially when I have my BSC (best sous-chef) "C" in the kitchen. I love cooking in the kitchen of our Georgia home and one of the reasons is because of the memories created there. Memories of times spent with friends, cooking & eating yummy Sunday dinners, making Christmas goodies or coloring Easter Eggs with "C", (remember the time we colored eggs with the 2 English boys visiting next-door?) the list goes on, and because the house is so ancient, there are even thoughts and memories of generations of others, whose names I do not know, who no doubt cooked fabulous food in that kitchen. Its a great kitchen.

Well, apparently the cookies made with coconut oil were really well-liked by my traveling companions and a request came in for MORE PLEASE. Not only could I not remember the recipe, or there was no recipe, but I was not about to use coconut oil again any time soon. So, with Caroline, (or "C" as her  mom and I often call her) in the kitchen as my assistant I attempted another cookie which would be low fat and just as pleasing. Here are the results.

In this case, C stands for Cookie, C stands for Chocolate and always, C stands for my Caroline!!! Luv ya honey!


Low-Fat (Double or Triple) Chocolate Cookies
makes: as many cookies as it makes, depends on the size of your measure. I used a tablespoon.
Oven: 350 unless you have a convection oven, then lower the temp or time by 1/3

2 c Flour ( I used 1c all purpose and 1c Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 c ground flax meal soaked in 1/3 c soy or other non-dairy milk (I used low fat Oat milk)
1 c sugar
1/2 c pureed prunes (I have used both the kind in a bag and the ones in a jar. The jarred are more moist)
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 c vegan chocolate chips or 1/4 c cacoa nibs or both
3/4 c. chopped walnuts

1. Sift together Flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda & salt and set aside. (use med-large bowl)

2. In a separate Large bowl, mix together the sugar, prunes, soaked flax meal w/milk & vanilla extract.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, in batches without over mixing. Add the chocolate chips or cacoa nibs or both (hence the triple chocolate) and the nuts.
4. Drop by uniform measures onto sil-pat or parchment lined baking sheet and flatten.
5. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Allow to cool a bit on the sheet then transfer to wire rack.
These cookies came out really moist, almost brownie-like. They were good but I miss a little more fat to give that nice cookie texture. Caroline and her mom seemed to really like them just the way they are:-)

Food For Life!

Recently I've been offered one of the most exciting opportunities of my life. In late March, I returned to Washington, DC to train as a cooking instructor for The Cancer Project. TCP is a non-profit organization which supports cancer prevention & survival through nutrition, specifically plant based nutrition.

As many of you know, I have completed a course on Plant Based Nutrition offered by Cornell University online. This is a certificate course based on the findings of nutritionist T. Colin Campbell, PHd & his ground breaking work, The China Study. Completion of this curriculum combined with my culinary school training and my love of working with people put me in the position along with only 5% of the applicants who go forward to attend the training and become Food For Life instructors. Instructors then offer cooking classes in their communities across the globe. You can read more about TCP and Food for Life here, and more about The China Study, T. Colin Campbell, & eCornell here.

There were 10 new instructors and about as many more Educational Alliance trainees present for the Spring 3 day immersion. We were initiated with a cooking course held at the local Whole Foods Market and given by seasoned FFL instructor Katherine Lawrence, who you can read more about and find loads of yummy cancer/disease fighting recipes on her blog Delectable Planet. Among many things, we learned about the Saladmaster cookware we will be using in our classes, we had a Vitamix demonstration, we were debriefed on media exposure and each of us practiced a television interview!
Fellow FFL Instructor in the interview "Hot Seat"
MiMi gives FFL demo of Tomato & Cuke Salad

On the final day we all gave a cooking demonstration critiqued by TCP staff.  Now it's up to us to return to our communities and start teaching! I will be very busy contacting venues in which to offer the series of classes. I already have a couple of venues in mind and will keep you all up to date as to where & when the classes will be held. I feel as though this is the time in my life when I will be giving back something valuable to my communities (I plan to teach these classes in more locations than my Maine hometown). 

Last Tuesday we hosted a Saladmaster party in our Georgia home. I wanted to introduce my friends to this impressive cookware which had been kept a secret to me until I went to the FFL training. Saladmaster has paired with TCP which seems only natural given the health benefits of using this cookware. The party was fun, well attended, and I would like to send a giant THANKS to the Saladmaster staff of Lilian Gines, MD, who along with chefs Gloria & Bobby came up from south of Jacksonville, FL to prepare fabulous food for 15 guests.
Saladmaster gives a GREAT hostess gift!!
I'm including the recipe for  Tomato, Cucumber & Basil Salad which is from The Cancer Survivor's Guide. You can download a free PDF for this fantastic cookbook full of science based information on Plant Based Nutrition and recipes written by Neal Barnard, M.D. and Jennifer Reilly R.D. The Cancer Survivor's Guide is the book which accompanies the FFL series of classes and this salad is the recipe I prepared at the end of the FFL training.  For The Cancer Survivor's Guide and other free and valuable resources, click here.
Wish me luck on my new endeavor, and if there is a Food For Life cooking series in your neck of the woods I highly recommend that you sign up!


Tomato, Basil, Cucumber Salad

Tomato, Basil & Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

This tomato-based salad is rich in lycopene, a powerful carotenoid that has proven its importance in prostate cancer prevention and survival. With tomatoes and cucumbers in season, this is truly a salad for the summer. Serve it with fresh bread or as a starter with light pasta dishes.

3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper Arrange the tomatoes and cucumber in a shallow bowl.
Scatter the basil leaves on top, add the balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with the vinegar and pepper.
Tomato, Cucumber, and Basil Salad is best served at room temperature shortly after it has been made.
Nutrition Information
Per serving (1/6 recipe):
20 calories
0.2 g fat
0 g saturated fat
10.4% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol
4.3 g carbohydrate
1.3 g fiber
2.5 g sugar
1 g protein
5 mg sodium
11.8 mg vitamin C
487 mcg beta-carotene
0.5 mg vitamin E
17 mg calcium
2110.9 mcg lycopene
Recipe from The Cancer Survivor's Guide

What do Washington D.C., Beaufort, SC, Little St. Simons Island, GA & Ponte Vedre FL all have in common?

ME, That's what!! It has been a whirlwind of a month! I have been to each of these places (some of them twice) in the last 30 days.
Karen, Caroline & I explored Washington DC on our way down to GA. It was a beautiful day and we were all excited to see the Monuments, White House, etc. Rosie was the hit of the day with everyone stopping to ask "what type of dog is that"?

After leaving Washington DC we made our way to coastal Georgia and the girls returned to their normal lives, Karen as a talented & skilled nurse in the Maternity Center of our local hospital and Caroline as a student par excellent at the Oglethorpe Elementary School.

Upon my return to the beloved south-land I was greeted by some sad news. One funeral down and  another on Monday, funerals are never fun but none the less its a good way to reconnect with many friends whom I have not seen in way too many years. RIP Chuck & Al.

I  traveled down to Ponte Vedre, FL to cook for a friend and her 87 year old mother who has heart disease.  While I was there, my friend treated me to the very best vegan meal I have ever eaten in a non-vegan (or even vegetarian) restaurant:  Medure.
I recommend this restaurant! The chef prepared a plant-based sampler which blew me away. I was so in awe that I failed to take a photo or note all that was on the plate but I can tell you that it was great and the staff were actually excited about it! The chef's mom is vegan. Thanks Medure!

A few good plant based meals in the fridge for Cay's mom & I left for Beaufort, SC to meet David for a shoot at the prestigious Sessation Golf Club.
"The Big Chill" was filmed in Beaufort, along with The Great Santini & many other movies. It is a charming southern town right in the heart of the Low Country. While in Beaufort I managed to catch up with another friend I have not seen in over a dozen years at least! Here's an old photo of me with my bud in 1984!
I found this old photo while looking for a birthday card about a week after we met in Beaufort, what a  coincidence!

 David and I managed to squeeze in a quick trip to LSSI before he left, where we celebrated Mark Farver's birthday. David and I shot this video many years ago and the Island has changed so little that the video is still used on the LSSI website: http://www.littlestsimonsisland.com/video.html Its worth the watch!

 I know you all want recipes and they are on the way but recently I have been enjoying food from my three new books: An Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick Goudreau and The Cancer Survivor's Guide by Neal Barnard, MD & Jennifer Reilly, RD.  You can download a PDF copy of The Cancer Survivor's guide which I totally suggest you do! This is the handbook which accompanies the Food for Life Nutrition and Cooking Series which I am now certified to teach! My next post will bring us up to date with the totally awesome immersion training program I went to last week at PCRM in DC. Stay tuned!!
Until then,
Sláinte! = Health
(remember? slawn-cha)

Sláinte (pronounced SLAWN-CHA) and My Good News!

Sláinte means "Health"  in Gaelic. I had intended to publish this post some time around St. Patrick's Day but it did not happen. I figure that's alright because I say Sláinte and toast my green smoothie "to health" all year long, not just on March 17.  Besides my good fortune of being healthy, I have definitely had the luck of the Irish recently.

The exciting news in my life is that I have been accepted to participate in the Spring training session to become a Food For Life cooking instructor with The Cancer Project! This is the most exciting opportunity and a perfect fit for me. Many of you know that I have been obsessed about diet and health for many years since my first husband and several other close friends lost their battles with cancer of one sort or another. I have always known that there must be some link between what we eat and disease. 

While it now seems common knowledge that certain dietary patterns are linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes & cancer, 20 years ago, it was not considered, especially not for cancer prevention or cure. Now we have physicians and multiple studies that support a Plant Based-Whole Foods diet as the optimal diet for prevention, reversal, and cure for many diseases! It is by far the healthiest way to eat, not only on the planet but FOR THE PLANET!! 

After the application process and background checks (whew, they did not find the dirt on me) I made it into an elite group (5%) of applicants who actually go to Washington DC for the training and then start teaching others how to cook a low-fat PBD and incorporate it into their lives.  I can't wait to get started!