Gothic Granola

Category Archives: Whole Foods

Ginger Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ginger Orange Booze Cookies, that is.  While I had real ginger in the house, and could have coloured them orange with real turmeric root, I followed TC’s suggestion and made a ginger liqueur and triple sec chocolate chip cookie.  Sweetened with agave, vegan, gluten-free, slow-food, housemade, local… No, I’m not trying to up my SEO. I’m being ironic.

  ginger orange liqueur cookies vegan gluten-free | gothic granola 

Read more →

Two Tarts: Mini Apple and Honeybush

Two tarts, one easier to make than the other. I made mini apple pie tarts week before last on request.  The crust was the double crust recipe from Vegan Pie in the Sky and the filling was a stovetop version of my roasted apple pie filling.

two tarts: mini apple pie and honeybush tart | vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Read more →

Vegan Gluten-free Makeup?

What you put in your body is important, no doubt. From avoiding foods treated with pesticides to minimizing added sugars, and instead cooking whole grains and leafy greens, we can choose to fuel our bodies with foods that will prolong our lives.


Generalities aside, the motivation behind this post is two-fold: one, cosmetics for cosmetic purposes, and two, cosmetics for compassionate purposes.

When I became vegan in 2010, I wore makeup: eyeliner, eyeshadow, nail polish, sunscreen, and lipstick.

Vegan Makeup | Gothic Granola

  Read more →

Thursday Reflections | Class, Work, and Exercise

Researchers recently presented findings from analyzing the 2005-2006 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in San Francisco at the American Sociological Association. They found that college-educated workers moved more on weekends while workers with a high school diploma or less moved more during the week. The study lead author, Jarron Saint Onge, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Kansas, pointed out why this is so: “work-related activity [for less-educated, working-class people] tends to be low intensity and typically involves repetitive motions that can have harmful health effects.” 
Woo, HIIT!

Read more →

Brainssss and Walnuts | Raw Chocolate Fudge

The first time I made this recipe, I soaked the dates and it ended up as this: frosting, which I used on my 22nd birthday cake. The second and third times, I wised up and kept things dry to make raw chocolate…stuff…fudge…freezer snacks.

Read more →

The Glorification of Busy | Double Chocolate Cake

Thesis: The so-called glorification of busy in 21st-century, first world business stems from an unconscious cultural reverence of saints and mystics, and martyrs, to a lesser extent.

Bias: I studied martyrs, mystics, and saints in college and see their characteristics everywhere: self-sacrificing, obsessive, whole-soul commitment to a cause that extends (sometimes) beyond their personal aims.

Many of the workers in this article, under the front of “I’m a hard worker,” acknowledge (more like, make a guilty-sounding admission) that they feel overwhelmed at their jobs because of long hours, constant connectivity, and never truly having time off.  There’s an awareness of how one functions best at work. 

Corporate wellness programs, my specialty, hinge on that awareness. People are only going to participate in their company’s wellness program if they believe they can benefit, if they believe the program can help them solve their problems, and improve their quality of life, in and out of the workplace. Articles such as these can nudge that seed of awareness to sprout, and a wellness program tends the plant. Work in general can cause the seed to die or be choked by mangy weeds if one lets one’s stressors grow untended or loses sight of how one works.

While writing my junior paper at Princeton, I developed an awareness of my exact periods of productivity. While in school, I could generally schedule my life around when I was most able to write and do schoolwork. Of course, in the corporate and retail worlds, shit don’t work that way when you’re entry-level. The awareness became a little painful as I make more mistakes after 15:00 when my focus for the day is shot, few exceptions. 

Linda Kavelin Popov’s A Pace of Grace confirmed my ideas that my energy and focus during an 8-hour workday is going to fluctuate. For the sake of the self and of others, the most self-caring act one can do is to respect those fluctuations; otherwise, face the energy disorder consequences. I know when to do non-intense work and when I have the energy to focus hard. This awareness makes me a far more productive employee, as long as I have control over when I do most of my tasks, than if I tried to write reports after 15:00 and file in the morning–not gonna happen.

Time management cake: Whole Foods Market’s double chocolate cake. There is nothing double chocolate about the original; a piddling amount of cocoa and chocolate does not mean double chocolate! I remade it with my coconut butter-cacao nibs chocolate substitute, and it turned out a little dry and not so chocolatey. This would not meet mom-needs-chocolate standards. It can be made entirely in the blender, if you so choose. It’s “whole wheaty,” despite being gluten-free, and it would be a good proteinaceous breakfast or dessert with almond butter.

Faux Double Chocolate Cake
Modified and mocked from Whole Foods Market

3 ounces coconut butter
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)
1/3 cup raisin vodka (or applesauce; I was cleaning out the fridge)
2/3 cup pitted dates
2 teaspoons espresso powder/ coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups GF oat flour (for the love of Peter Murphy, people, for the last time, OATS ARE NOT GLUTEN-FREE UNLESS THEY ARE GF CERTIFIED!! They are cross-contaminated with wheat due to processing standards in the US unless otherwise marked.)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8-inch square baking dish and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine the coconut butter, cacao nibs, dates, nondairy milk, vodka, coffee, and vanilla. Blitz until smooth.

Ina large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and mix well (watch for dry spots). Transfer to the prepared pan and tap the sides of the pan to make it settle. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.

Parting Shots:
Why no applesauce in the chocolate cake? It all went into applesauce bread. #freezercleaning

TC is right: no matter where we go, whatever I order looks the same, with varying degrees of freshness. Tofu, veggies, and rice, this time at Rice Paper in New Eden plaza in Virginia.

Chinese takeout from somewhere near College Park, MD.

Except when TC makes it: grilled tofu, sauteed peppers and onions, served over black rice, with grilled pineapple skewers.

Whippy eats things. Like other people’s keys.

April’s Challenge Exercises. I have been doing monthly challenges for a year and this was the one with which I began last year.

I have bangs again, thanks to TC.

#throwbackthursday/#flashbackfriday to 2004 when I had bangs.

Combichrist concert last night…too many mediocre opening bands wore us out before the main act at 23:00.

Happy Third Anniversary to Gothic Granola, formerly Screwfoot Q!
Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Belief | Cracker Cookies

“…Not that I believe in it.”

What is it these days with people and belief? I’ve noticed this attitude particularly amongst my peers; religion or spirituality is an uber-private facet of one’s life. If you mention it, goddess forbid you offend someone by simply saying, “Bless you,” when they sneeze. Sure, there are plenty of alternatives, but I didn’t invoke my higher power by name! 

You can’t believe in anything. 

Mention you’re Catholic (or other deistic religion) or you go to church or meditate, and ka-pow, you are an antiquated fool and you have been caught with your metaphysical pants down. Alternatively, the reaction is you’re untouchable and weirdly disciplined because you take time to talk to God/Goddess/higher self. Talk to an older person (generally over 50) and they’ll listen about religion and worldviews. Why? Because they’re closer to the grave and desire some answers to the big questions: where did we come from, where are we going, and why do bad things happen to good people?

Yeah, why do bad things happen to good people? Karma? Why would a supposedly benevolent deity let bad things happen?

You can’t believe in anything.

Nota bene I am playing both sides of the field here. I don’t have the answers and I am content to worship the mysteries of the universe. Believing in ultimate good helps me keep calm and carry on. That’s my worldview and you are free to agree or disagree.

Off my soapbox. Breakfast cookies againAnd again.

Believe these are good. Because good = healthy, and healthy = good. But, good =/= tasty, and tasty =/= healthy. Yet, not tasty = bad.

Who let moral judgment in here anyway, conflating healthy and (morally) good?

I picked up this recipe for Cocoa Peanut Cookies at a Whole Foods a while back. I believe the impetus behind the recipe was something like, “Let’s make random stuff with Engine 2 products! Yeah! (fist pump).” The sheer randomness of these cookies makes me think it was a Foodie Call type production: aaaand the theme this week is Engine 2 products! At least it didn’t have oil-free hommos. Now then, I’m not down on Engine 2 as a concept or line of products (their brown rice tortillas are actually quite good), but I do think this recipe is a bit wacky, and that’s coming from the grrl who eats green juice on hir cereal.

Of course I had to make it.

Crackers in cookies has some precedent, but not like these little blobs of salty-sweet moosh.

Cracker Cookies

(No, there are no racist/classist epithets in that title; don’t even think that for a second. It is supremely ridiculous I have to even put this little footnote in here, but someone will undoubtedly scream classism because this recipe could in fact be made, albeit with slight modification and inclusion of animal products, with the ingredients found in grocery stores frequented by poor rural whites in the Southern United States.)

  • 4 1/2 ounces VGF crackers (I used half-bags of Mary’s Gone Crackers original and Crunchmaster multigrain GF hexes)
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup nondairy milk (I used original hempmilk)
  • 2/3 cup nut butter (I used half almond and half peanut butter, both no-sugar, no-salt since the crackers are way salty)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.

In a blender or food processor, blitz the crackers to make crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl. Blitz remaining ingredients until smooth in blender (some date skins floating around is fine). Mix it all together until mixture coheres. Transfer 2-inch cookie balls to baking sheet and squish down the tops slightly.

Bake for 15 minutes or until you can pick one up and it won’t fall apart. These are soft and squidgy. They taste like everything in them all mixed together (a bit like my lunches, sometimes). Hey wait, I know why these are familiar: microlunch cookies!

Parting shots:
Felt like an avocado smoothie after the gym on Tuesday: avocado, green apple, mixed greens, ginger

 Friday was the first Friday I’ve spent by myself in months (try December…wow…too much socialization for this introvert!). I cooked up a storm and scared the bejeebes out of myself by listening to Depeche Mode’s “Damaged People” and listening to the lyrics too hard: “When your lips touch mine/ And I lose control/ I forget I’m old/ And dying.”

Mexican black beans and polenta for polenta fries. If you make nothing else this weekend, you must make polenta fries! It contains vegan catnip, aka: nutritional yeast, the best stuff evarrr.

More from Tuesday’s supper: roasted carrots and beets, kidney beans, and pumpkin furikake. Did I ever mention I eat strange combinations?

Picture from last Saturday’s party we checked out, left to right: TC, Q, and TC’s friend. We were “those motorcycle people” because we were (duh) wearing our gear.

Sushi in Philly

The lack of protein GF pizza in Arlington: Pete’s New England Pizza.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.