Gilding Lilies Greeting Cards

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Day Of Vegan MoFo

Going, going, almost gone. Today is the final day of Vegan MoFo. I've met so many nice new veg friends. I'm sad to see it come to an end.
Today's sandwich is a good one. Make your favorite, classic, grilled sandwich but instead of the stretchy stuff make it with avocado. Sprinkle on some garlic salt, maybe add some tomato, any way you slice it, it's great!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday - Coupon Code

To show my appreciation to all my readers I wanted to give you something on this Cyber Monday. This is supposed to be the busiest shopping day of the year, online. Are any of you doing any cyber purchasing today? I think I might partake a bit. It is so much easier than struggling with the crowds, and I love to support the little guys, like the folks on Etsy.
To say thank you for all your support, I give you, my readers, this special savings coupon. When making a purchase at the Gilding Lilies Etsy Store enter the coupon code HAPPYHOLIDAYS2010 and receive 10% off your purchase. The code will be good through the end of the year.
Enjoy, happy holidays, and thanks for your support and patronage, it really means so much to me!

Meatless Monday - Red Lentil Dahl

I'm back from Las Vegas. I had such a wonderful time visiting with my family. I will have a few stories to tell, and many pictures to share later. In the meantime, the lovely Laloofah is here to share another one of her outstanding recipes. This recipe is for a Red Lentil Dahl, yum! Please stop by her blog,  Mehitable Days, and pay her a visit (she has some good looking holiday recipes over there right now, I need to try them). So, without further ado, take it away Laloofah.

When I was a senior in college I lived in an international dorm, which had its own kitchen. Every Wednesday night during the spring semester each room took turns cooking dinner for the dorm, and the international students usually made typical fare from their homeland. My friend Safdar from Karachi, Pakistan made dahl (or dal, daal or dhal) when it was his turn. I'd never heard of dahl before, but I fell in love with it immediately and ate three bowls of it that night! The recipe was his mom's, which I got a copy of but lost track of - along with Safdar, sadly - at some point in the ensuing years, but I never forgot him or his dahl.

So several years ago I decided to try to recreate Safdar's dahl from memory. My first batch turned out well, and surprisingly close to how I remembered Safdar's, but the recipe has changed a bit over the years as I've added more spices and combined it with ingredients I've found in other dahl recipes I've come across.

The basic dahl recipe is, of course, still lentils (I prefer the red ones, which cook more quickly while holding their shape pretty well, and are prettier ~ says me!), onion, garlic, and the typical spices like turmeric, cumin and coriander. Feel free to add, increase, reduce or delete spices and veggies to your own taste (as long as you keep the lentils and curry!), and have fun playing with this recipe to make it your own.


- 4 - 5 cups water or vegetable broth**
- 1 3/4 cups red lentils
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
- 3 tsp curry
- 1/2 - 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 - 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 - 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2-3 medium potatoes, cubed (we use Yukon Golds)
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (or about 5 medium tomatoes, chopped)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)

Heat a large non-stick soup pot over medium heat. When heated, add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently (add just enough water to prevent sticking, if necessary) till onions are translucent.

Add water or broth**

Rinse lentils, picking out any stones, and add to pot, along with the curry, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne (if desired)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes, celery, and carrots, cover and simmer over low-medium heat an additional 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add the can of tomatoes and simmer 5-10 minutes more, uncovered, until heated through and the thickness you desire.

Great by itself, with vegan naan (or any whole grain) bread, or over brown rice.

** If we plan to eat the dahl by itself and want it thick and more stew-like, I use 4 cups of liquid - usually half organic vegetable broth and half water. If we plan to serve it over rice we like it a bit thinner, like a thick soup, so I use 5 cups of liquid (3 cups water and 2 cups broth).

Adjust the spice measurements according to your taste and to how much liquid you're using, using larger measurements if you're using 5 cups of liquid.
We live at high altitude so it takes longer for the potatoes to cook here. Adjust cooking times as needed for your own conditions and preferences (depending on what variety of potato you're using, you may want to add the potatoes with the lentils at the beginning, and the carrots and celery later. If you like your dahl more on the mushy side, you can add all of the above at the beginning... if you prefer your carrots and celery more al dente, add them later. This is a forgiving recipe, play with it till it suits your tastes!)

Other veggies and spices I've seen in other dahl recipes and sometimes add to this one include grated or ground ginger, thyme leaves, garam masala, curry leaves, zucchini, kohlrabi, spinach, and kale.

I have another dahl recipe (Compassionate Cooks' Masoor Dal) that calls for cumin seed, which is sautéed along with the onion and garlic. (You can try that with this recipe, too. I keep meaning to and forget!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm off to Las Vegas. I can't wait to spend time with my family, take pictures, and play. I'll be back in a few days. Big hugs.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meatless Monday - Extra Special Irish Oats

I'm lovin' these special oats. I suggest making a lot and just reheating it as needed throughout the week.

Extra Special Irish Oats

4 1/8 cup Water
1 cup Traditional Irish Oatmeal
2 Tbsp Ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir. Over medium/high heat bring to a boil. Stir again, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Avoid over cooking so that they maintain that nice nutty flavor. Serve with almond milk, a little Earth Balance buttery spread. You can also add blueberries or sliced banana and nuts. Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vegan Pho

It is blustery here, with lot's of rain, and bunch of thunder too. Poor little Abby Dog is not into it! She is convinced that if you bark enough, and sit on someones feet, you will be safe, and the thunder won't get you. I'm not sure that works, but she won't be convinced otherwise. So, with Abby on my feet I made a pot of pho. I used the recipe that you can find on Vegweb . It was the perfect meal for a rainy day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Productive And Delicious

I'm workin' hard over here! Trying to get all sorts of things going. I thought I'd share some stuff.
  • I now have a Trunkt Shop. Trunkt is like the wholesale version on Etsy. We'll see how that goes, I think it might be a great way to get my greetings cards out there far and wide.
  • For those of you that have a Kindle, you can now subscribe to Gilding Lilies Journal on your Kindle. Not sure if any of you have a Kindle, but there you go.
  • I have a really cool thing coming up. I'm not going to spill the beans yet, but I think you are really going to like it! Here's a hint, it has to do with Guerrilla's (those of you that came over from my other blog, you know what's coming). Are you curious? Great! I really think you are going to like this, so stay tuned.
  • And then there was lunch...

 Green Burrito. I have been making Green Burritos for years, it's a classic around our house. Here is the gist of how to make them. You slice up a bunch of zucchini and saute it until it's tender. You add some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil to taste. Then you sprinkle wheat germ and faux cheese on top of it. Allow the cheese-like stuff to melt, then give it a stir. Somehow the zuc juice, wheat germ, and cheesy stuff combine to make this really delicious mixture that coats the zucchini slices. Wrap it up in a tortilla, and you have yourself a green burrito, a Gilding Lilies classic. Now, I know this doesn't sound special, but trust me, it is really, really good! Even as a little kid, my daughter was a zuc hater, but she has always enjoyed a Green Burrito.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wiener Dog On A Wednesday

OK, all my animal loving friends (shout out to my new vegan followers, go MoFo!). How cute is this? Here's a photo of my little Abby Dog. This is the way she stands when her tail is wagging like crazy. I know, this is random, but cute, right? Her proportions crack me up.

I love that little dog!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meatless Monday - Squished Potatoes

I hope everybody had a great weekend. Mine was rather uneventful, except that I reconnected with a long lost friend, and that was really nice. I have a really bad attitude about Facebook (it's a long story) but I have to admit it really came through. Ironically, I was talking with my daughter about why I didn't need to have Facebook. She, and everyone else, always mentions how it is such a great way to reconnect with people you have lost touch with. I started thinking about it, and there was only one person I wanted to find. Everybody else, I either know how to contact them, or I'd prefer not to. So, in an attempt to prove my point, that Facebook is useless to me, I asked my daughter to see if she could find my sweet friend Kristine. The good news, she found Kristine. Hooray, I've missed her so much. The bad news, I must admit, in this one tiny instance, that Facebook did good (drat!).
Anyway, on with today's recipe. I've posted this recipe before, on my other blog, but it's so good it deserves another post. As is often the case, I'm not specifying any quantities, I suggest you just wing it, I know I do. These potatoes are perfectly crispy on the outside, soft and yummy on the inside, and taste great.

Squished Potatoes

Organic baby potatoes, washed
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Garlic powder

Gently boil the potatoes until tender. Allow them to cool enough so that so that you can handle them. Here comes the squishing part. Squish the potatoes, using the bottom of a cup to flatten them, you want them to break open but not completely fall apart. Generously coat them with olive oil, add seasonings to taste. Put in a baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven until crispy on the outside but tender on the inside, about 45 minutes.

So, do you think I can refuse to join Facebook forever? I'm not too sure. I know, I know, it's a great marketing tool, blah, blah, blah. I think I'll eat some squished potatoes and avoid it awhile longer.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm Visiting Nuestra Cena

Today, I am over on Nuestra Cena. Millie's blog features vegan American and Latin Cuisine. I love visiting her blog because her recipes are so different from the way I ordinarily cook. It's been a great education, and I've discovered some yummy new favorites.
She is doing a very fun Christmas Cookie Extravaganza all month long. A whole month of vegan cookies, how great is that?! Today she is sharing my Pumpkin Chip Cookies (and an actual photo of me, yikes!). I recommend stopping by and gathering some delicious cookie recipes. Have fun!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Peppermint Patty

Peppermint Patty

2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp corn syrup (aka half of your 1/3 measuring cup)
1/8 cup  Earth Balance Margarine
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar (break up the lumps if there are any)
3/4 teaspoons of peppermint oil/extract
1/2 a bag of vegan chocolate chips (I use Tropical Source)

Whip together the syrup, margarine, and peppermint. Slowly add the sugar, alittle at a time, while mixing. You will end up with a crumbly, dry mixture.
Pick up small handfuls of the mixture and start to press into patty shapes. Place them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Pop them into the frig, to chill,  while you get the chocolate ready.
Melt the chips until stir-able and a little shiny looking. Turn the heat way down so it doesn't burn. Quickly dunk the patties in the chocolate. Place on a non stick surface. When all the patties are done, I put them back in the frig again to firm up a bit, and temper the chocolate.
A perfect little treat for the holidays.

Scattered, Random, But Having Fun

Here's the deal, I'm giving myself a MoFo guilt trip. I feel like I shouldn't post until later today when I have a super yummy sweet recipe to share. However, I've been playing, and I want to do show and tell. So, I'm bringing you this random and scattered post. It's part show and tell, and part vegan recipe suggestion. Then, later today, I will be back with a treat (once I take pictures).
OK, this is the vegan recipe suggestion part. Here is a link to a recipe for General Tao's Tofu. This stuff is amazing! I made it the other night, and it was great. Serve it with some rice and steamed broccoli, yum! Vegan, or not, this is a keeper.
Now for the show and tell.

I like that this piece leaves you wondering what the story is. What is glowing inside the cage? Why are there feathers floating around? I like the model's (my daughter, by the way) sort of sassy pose, what has happened here? I would love to hear your interpretations.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gift Certificates

I've been creating some gift certificates for the ole Etsy shop. Here is one making its way through the sewing machine.

I have pre-made certificates in $20, $40, and $100 amounts. Or, they can be made in any amount you might want. They can even be purchased "e" style, so you can print them yourself, or email them. Attention last minute shoppers (I'm not naming any names or anything) I'm talkin' to you!
Here is one post sewing machine.

A Completely Incomplete Veg Restaurant Guide

I thought I'd talk a little about veggie restaurants. I've had the pleasure to travel quite a bit, and have been to many vegetarian dining establishments. Before I leave on a trip I always visit Happy Cow - A Compassionate Eating Guide, it's a great resource, and it always helps me to figure out where to go in an unfamiliar city. Some places are so rich with choices that I find I barely use the research that I've done on Happy Cow. While other cities make it tough, and I'm very thankful to have my little veg friendly list. For example, Portland Oregon, soooo easy, but in Las Vegas a vegan could starve to death. All those buffets and not a bite to eat, so sad!
Anyway, I thought I would offer up a list of some of my favorite veg friendly establishments across the country. As the post title suggests, it will be far from a complete list, and I welcome all my readers to add their favorites in the comments (especially in Las Vegas, since I'll be there soon, searching for a vegetable that hasn't been smothered in butter or cheese). In no particular order, and with many close to my home, here we go.
  • Vegetarian House in Portland Oregon (funky atmosphere, good food)
  • Sweetpea Baking Company in Portland Oregon (while there visit Herbivore, next door)
  • Wildginger in Seattle Washington (not a vegetarian restaurant, but very vegan friendly)
  • Mighty-O Donuts in Seattle Washington (vegan donuts, need I say more?)
  • Pizza Lounge in Dallas Texas (serves meat too, but lots of vegan options, yummy)
  • Millennium Restaurant In San Fransisco California (talk about spoiled!)
  • Cha Ya in Berkeley California (light, healthy and delicious - great shopping all around)
  • Cafe Gratitude (several locations in California)
  • Babycakes (several locations, I went to the one in New York)
  • Go Raw Cafe on the out skirts of Las Vegas Nevada (lots of raw products you can purchase and try)
  • The Chicago Diner Chicago Illinois (my absolute favorite place to eat - ever!)
  • Living Light Cafe Fort Bragg California (mostly raw, good food, and I'm their resident artist, who could beat that?!)
  • Ravens' Restaurant Mendocino California (at the Stanford Inn) 
  • The Food Co-op Port Townsend Washington (a really good health food store with lots of prepared foods)
  • Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe in Elk California (not a vegetarian restaurant, but she always has a vegan dish that is delicious. It's one of my favorite places to go.)
  • Emeril's in New Orleans (not vegetarian, but totally accommodating to a vegan, and oh so delicious)
  • Lotus Vegan in North Hollywood California (beautiful food presentation)
  • Sunpower Natural Cafe in Studio City California (lots of raw food)
OK, it's your turn, what yummies have you discovered?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waves On Wednesday

I went for a walk this morning, soaking in the beauty of this area where I live.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meatless Monday - Pumpkin Chip Cookies

Hi Everybody, I hope you had a great weekend. Thanks again to Jamie for swapping, that was fun! Well, for me it officially feels like Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I've felt a little "off" about it because I won't be home for Thanksgiving. I'm super excited to go to Las Vegas, and see my family, but I'm so used to preparing a big Thanksgiving meal, that without it,  it just didn't feel like Thanksgiving was coming. Well, these cookies fixed that right up. They're all pumpkiny (and I don't really even like pumpkin) with a wee bit of spice, and they fill the house with that wonderful Thanksgivingy smell. Now I have it all - Thanksgiving aroma, chill in the air, and most importantly family (I'll miss you Nalls). I'm all set!

Pumpkin Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 sticks Earth Balance Margarine
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tsp powdered egg replacer
4 tbsp warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 oz. vegan chocolate chips
1 cup toasted pecans

Combine the flour, baking powder, and spice. In a separate bowl mix the margarine, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, and the vanilla, until fluffy. Combine the egg replacer and the water, once combined, add to the moist ingredients and stir.  Mix the dry ingredients, moist ingredients, chips, and the pecans together. Put spoonfuls of the batter onto a greased baking sheet, and bake in a 300 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on them, they are done when firm and slightly golden brown. Pumkiny deliciousness!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Swapping Saturday

My good friend Jamie (from the lovely Lyrical Journey) and I decided to do a Swapping Saturday. I'm posting over on her blog and she is over here. I hope you enjoy the change of pace, I think you will, she brought tunes with her, hooray! Come visit me over on her blog. Have fun, and here's Jamie.

 Purple Sunrise - House
Hi, I'm Jamie from Lyrical Journey, I'm thrilled to be here at Gilding Lilies today!  If you've ever visited my blog (and if you haven't, come on over one of these days) you'll know that I LOVE music and believe every day should have a song or two to accompany it.  When Jennifer and I discussed a swap I knew instantly I'd put together a playlist of great songs for you, in the hope that you would hear something new or an old favorite.

This playlist was inspired by Jennifer's "Time Flies" series of jewelry.  I love the concept of time and using it in a meaningful way and am always working in my life to be more deliberate in the way I choose to spend my time.  I hope as you get busier with the holiday season approaching you'll take some time out to remember what things really matter and equally important, to take care of yourself.

Enjoy the playlist and please let me know if I've missed out on your favorite songs about time - I'm always looking to add great music to my collection.

Happy Listening!
Lyrical Journey

Friday, November 5, 2010

Flowers On A Friday - Something Exotic And A Tid-Bit

King Protea

Monkey Tails

Pink Mink Protea

I thought I'd include this little tid-bit to think about, since, after all,  it is Vegan MoFo.  In Sweden, food labels are required to list the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for any food item's production.  Since soy is often imported, from the Amazon (where trees are cut down to make room for soy production),  to feed cattle, that means that a traditional burger can have a mighty big eco footprint. I think that labeling that reflects this information would be so interesting to see.  It would probably alter my purchases at the market, how about yours?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'm Getting Ambushed - Hooray!

I feel so lucky to be part of the fabulous fPOE ( Female Photographers Of Etsy) team! They are an amazing, talented, generous, and caring group of ladies. I could gush about them endlessly, but I will try to resist the urge. Happily, I am today's ambush "victim". Which means that they are showing me, my shop, and my blog some lovin'. Isn't that wonderful?! I'm really excited about it, and I'm already feelin' the love. So, to all the fPOE members, let me say welcome and thank you so much, you ladies are the greatest!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy World Vegan Day

An Etsy Treasury featuring some vegan finds, in honor of World Vegan Day. Click on any of the links, if you are interested in purchasing the item. I have my eye on the "Wally becomes a vegetarian..." bowl on the bottom row, it cracks me up!

'Happy World Vegan Day' by gildinglilies

An all Vegan Treasury, enjoy!

Mini Vegan Shortbread Hearts

Organic Cotton bear beanie i...

Vegan Oatmeal Scotchies Cook...

Sandalwood - Cold Process Ve...

One Inch Tofu Pirate Pin- Ve...

Cookies and Cream Vegan Butt...

Small Hessian Bag with a Bla...

Cracklin Birch Soap

Baked Bread Soy Candle

Poison Apple Scented Sea Sal...

Eco-Chic Handmade Vegan Ball...

Orange Lollipoppy

SAMPLE Mochi Bits 2oz Coconu...

Vegan necklace

Chocolate Petals Organic Lip...

Wally becomes a vegetarian s...


Meatless Monday - A Special Guest

My good friend Laloofah, from the wonderful blog Mehitable Days, is being kind enough to share with us some of her vegan cooking expertise. I'm so glad she is here today, and even more glad that she has agreed to do two guest posts. So, be on the lookout because she will be visiting again soon, with another yummy creation.
I'm going to be doing a little extra veg stuff this month in honor of Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month Of Food). I'm very happy to take part, and I'm hoping to welcome some vegetarians to the old blog. So, if you are new, welcome, I'm so happy you stopped by. And, to my dear regulars, please enjoy this recipe that Laloofah is sharing with us today. Take it away Laloofah.

A few years after my husband and I became vegan, I got a wicked hankering for New England clam chowder. It wasn't a soup I ate a lot growing up despite having lived in various New England states (mostly Maine), but occasionally I would crave it and that craving had come upon me once again. So I found a couple of recipes for vegan versions, used ideas from both and added some of my own, and over the years I made changes every time I made the soup till I arrived at what, to me, is a perfect vegan version of New England clam chowder and now one of my husband's very favorite soups! It's a good way to eat nutritious sea veggies, too, which are available online or in Asian or natural food stores.

Happy-As-A-Clam Clamfree Chowder
A yummy and nutritious soup, especially on a nor'easter sort of day! Ayuh! :-)

1/4 cup tamari
1 tsp dulse flakes
1/4 tsp nori flakes
1/8 tsp kelp flakes

1 14-oz (more or less) organic extra firm tofu, marinated, baked and cubed (see directions below)

About 3-4 TBSP water (for sautéing)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 cups water
2 cups organic unsweetened soy milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 TBSP dulse flakes or a combination of dulse and nori flakes
1/2 tsp celery seed
3 large potatoes, cubed (I use organic Yukon Golds)
3 celery stalks, chopped

Mix the dulse, nori and kelp flakes with the tamari. Set aside.
Drain the tofu well (press as much water out as possible) and slice it into strips about 1/4" thick and 1/2" wide, and marinate them in the tamari mix for 3-4 hours, turning the tofu strips now and then so it's well coated in the marinade. (I marinate them using one of those leak-proof containers with the locking latched lids, so I just turn the entire container over every hour or so).
After marinating, bake the "tofu sticks" on a dark, nonstick cookie sheet at 425ºF for 10-15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned but not crispy. Let cool. Cut into cubes for the chowder and set aside. (I like to use all but a handful - about 4 or 5 of the strips - in the soup, using the rest on tossed salads or just to nibble on.)
Heat 3-4 TBSP of water in a large non-stick soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until onion is soft. (If necessary, add a little more water to prevent sticking).
Add the 2 cups of water and the soy milk and stir.
Add the salt, pepper and celery seed and bring to a low boil. Add the potatoes and celery, immediately reduce heat to low-medium, and let the chowder simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 30-45 minutes), stirring occasionally. (I tend to simmer mine covered, and at my high altitude it takes about 45 minutes for the potatoes to be done. The longer you simmer the soup, the thicker it will be).
Add the tofu cubes during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking. (Adding them sooner makes them too soft).
Salt to taste, if desired -- but remember that the dulse flakes and the marinated tofu both taste salty!

Makes 6-8 servings

To learn more about nutritious, delicious sea vegetables and more ways to incorporate them into your diet, visit Maine Coast Sea Vegetables or Cooks Thesaurus: Sea Vegetables.

If human civilization is going to invade the waters of the earth,

then let it be, first of all, to carry a message of respect ~ respect for all life.

~ Jacques Cousteau

Thanks Laloofah for sharing with all of us.