I have vivid memories of being ten years old and lying on a beach towel in Le Havre, Normandy and reading a new book I had bought at the local bookstore, a “Livre Poche” titled La Cuisine Vegetarienne; I was enamored with the idea of being a vegetarian. I was only about ten years old at the time, and it was the 1980s; hardly a time when being a vegetarian was as popular or discussed as familiarly as today. I remember studying every recipe, searching out the ones I could try out as home.
Years later, as a high school student in New York City, I attempted a vegan diet. I would have to say, however, that I didn’t really know what I was doing. Still, I favored vegetables, grains, and eschewed meats. Now, however, as an adult, a parent, and a professional, eating a plant-based diet has proven to be positive personal decision. I am feeling better on a number of levels.
This past Monday was a whirlwind of a day. To top it off, I had to run back out for an evening event for my job. So, it was one of those evenings when I realized I had a bag of frozen veggies, Field Roast Sausages, shallots, left over champagne from mother’s day, and herbs from my garden terrace… and voila!
I had a fabulous mother’s day, complete with daughter dancing in her recital, time spent with the family, a lovely mother’s day brunch, a beautiful card from my son, and gift from my mother. So, the quatre-quarts didn’t turn out the way I envisioned it. I’ve come to terms with that, and will go back to the drawing board. But there were so many pluses this weekend, it balances out. My husband bought me a small lavendar plant, which I replanted into a larger pot and is sitting on our terrace. Oh, how I would love to turn my little terrace into a slice of my grandmother’s garden in France. It’s all a work in progress, but this weekend reminded me of what a lucky mom I am.
I made these for my children this afternoon. Peanut butter and chocolate is not a French flavor combination. No, these brownies are decidedly American. They are oh so good!
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 cup almond or soymilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/3 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tb. agave nectar
Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients (except for peanut butter and agave) in a mixer for a minute. Pour mixture into a brownie pan. In a separate bowl, mix peanut butter and agave and drizzle the peanut butter mixture onto the brownie batter. Using a toothpick, swirl around the peanut butter. Bake for about twenty minutes.