Gluten- and Soy-Free Adonis Cake

Gluten Free Adonis CakeRecently my wife made a gluten- and soy-free version of the Adonis Cake recipe from Engine 2.

It tasted great and was a big hit at the celebration at our church. Here’s the recipe.

Gluten-Free Vegan Adonis Chocolate Cake

This recipe makes one layer – double it for two layers.

2 cups gluten-free oat flour
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 ½ tsp baking powder
2/3 cup maple syrup
6 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup cold water
Mini chocolate chips (0ptional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Set out a 9-inch round or 9×9 nonstick or glass cake pan. (We do not grease or flour the pan at all!)

In a mixing bowl, sift flour, baking soda and baking powder; then add cocoa and mix.

Add the maple syrup, applesauce, vinegar, vanilla, and water and mix well to combine.

Pour the batter into the cake pan. If you’d like extra chocolate, sprinkle some chocolate chips on the top. (If you mix them into the batter, they will sink to the bottom.)

Bake for 30 minutes. While the cake is cooking, make the frosting. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool. When cooled, frost with Adonis Frosting.

Store in the refrigerator.

2-Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Makes enough to generously frost the tops of 2 layers.

1 can (400 ml) full-fat coconut milk
1 bag chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is vegan and gluten free)

1. Chill can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. (Chilling for 2 nights works best in my fridge.) Put all of the chocolate chips into the pot and gently melt. Flip the coconut milk can over (yes, really!) and open with can opener. Pour off the water. Add the white coconut cream to the chocolate chips. Mix the coconut cream and the chocolate chips together over low heat, stirring frequently, until chips are completely melted. Be careful not to burn.

2. Transfer this mixture into a bowl, cover, and place in the fridge for 7 hours (or overnight). It will get firm.

3. When ready to use, whip it with electric beaters until smooth and creamy.


Quinoa, Bean and Kale Soup

Quinoa Bean and Kale Soup

A member of our Vegan Book Club brought this soup to our end of book potluck. She gave us the recipe and here is my version. This is a hearty soup, and it’s delicious. Enjoy!

Quinoa, Bean and Kale Soup

This is a recipe you can make your own depending on your taste

1 or 2 yellow onions – chopped
4 or 5 cloves of garlic – chopped or minced
1 or 2 chopped red, yellow or orange bell peppers
3 or 4 cans of beans (black, kidney and white or a mixture you prefer)
2 or 3 small jars of commercial salsa – two mild, one medium
2 heaping tablespoons of chili powder
½ to ¾ bag of frozen corn
1 to 1½ cups of dry quinoa.
4 cups of vegetarian broth
1 sweet potato, cubed and steamed for about 8-10 minutes
1 cup each of frozen vegetables – green beans, shelled edamame, peas
1 bunch of curly kale or chard broken into small pieces


2 large handfuls of chopped cilantro (added toward the end of the cooking process)
1 tiny can of chopped jalapenos or mild chiles

Cook the onions, garlic and peppers over a medium heat in a large soup pot for about 10 minutes with a little bit of water to keep it from sticking

Add the remaining ingredients except the frozen vegetables and kale. Add salsa a bit at a time to your taste. Add additional water as needed.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.

Add frozen vegetables, kale and cilantro, simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips or whole grain bread and a salad or other greens.

Cornbread (recipe from John McDougall’s website)

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add non-dairy milk, applesauce, maple syrup and sugar, if using, on top. Using a spatula, stir until just combined. Pour batter into a nonstick shallow 9″ pie dish, or other oven-safe dish. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.



Sauteed KaleMy wife and I discovered how much we love kale when we lived in Vermont. We usually have it either steamed or boiled. It tastes so good however it’s cooked.

Recently we went to one of our favorite Bay Area vegan restos – Herbivore – and the served kale with the entree. I asked how it was prepared and the waiter said it was sauteed with a little bit of oil and spices.

I decided to try this with broth instead of the oil. It was great.

Cooking KaleI heated the broth in the pan with a bit of garlic powder and basil, then added the kale when the broth was hot. I sprinkled a bit more broth over the kale and covered it for about 3 minutes (you can do more or less depending on how soft you want the kale).

And voila, a great bowl of delicious, healthy greens. Bon Apetit.


Yam Chickpea Spinach Curry

Chickpeas with YamsI found this wonderful recipe for Yam Chickpea Spinach Curry on the Forks Over Knives website. The recipe is by Veronica Grace who blogs and cooks at Low Fat Vegan Chef.

It is very easy to make and has some wonderful ingredients that make the kitchen smell great. Here is the recipe. You can get a PDF version on the FOK site.

Yam Chickpea Spinach Curry
Serves 2-3


  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas (unsalted), drained or 1½ cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 inch of ginger, minced or pressed
  • 1-2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (fire roasted or regular)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup of yams/sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 2” thick
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach, packed or 1 cup frozen, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala (or to taste)


If using canned chickpeas, rinse before using. If you’re using dried chickpeas, soak in water the night before and pressure-cook with salt for about 10 minutes before using for the recipe.

Sauté onion, garlic and ginger in vegetable broth until translucent, about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add more vegetable broth as necessary, to keep from burning.

Add diced tomatoes and seasonings except for garam masala.

Add chickpeas and stir to combine and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until tomatoes have broken down, the chickpeas have softened and the flavors meld, stirring occasionally. Add a little more vegetable broth or water as needed if your tomato juice is running low.

In another pot, gently steam the yams just until tender so they retain their shape, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Add the spinach to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Cook for another minute or two until it’s wilted and heated through.

Add yams and stir to combine. Be careful not to break the yams apart by over mixing. Add some garam masala to taste, as desired.

I served this dish with fresh rice, greens (kale and chard) and whole grain bread.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Chocolate Chips

This is a modification my wife created of a recipe from the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book by Caldwell Esselstyn and his wife Ann.

Here is the recipe

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies with Chocolate Chips

1/3 cup of oat bran
1/3 cup oat flour
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1/3-1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup (heaping) applesauce
½ cup almond milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup oats
2/3 cup chocolate chips (we use the Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate Mini Chips)

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the first eight ingredients in the above order in a bowl. Add oats and mix well. Add additional oat flour to get the right consistency. Then add chocolate chips and lightly mix.

Put tablespoons of dough on a baking sheet

Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly golden on edges.

They are delicious, especially when they are warm. Give them a try.

Delicious Vegan Apple Crisp

apple crisp and vanilla frozen dessertI made this wonderful apple crisp for dessert tonight. The recipe is modified from the one in The Starch Solution by John and Mary McDougall.

It’s real easy to make. I peeled three large Fuji apples and two Granny Smiths and then cut them into thin slices. I mixed in some lemon juice and half teaspoon of cinnamon.

Preheat the oven to 350 and get ready to start making the topping. Here’s what it looks like before the topping.

For the topping I used one cup of oats, half cup of Ezekiel 4:9 Cereal (or you can use Grape Nuts or similar) and half teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir and then add maple syrup to bind them. The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup, but that makes it very sweet.

Once the topping is ready, spread it over the apples. Then mix 2/3 cup of apple juice and 1 teaspoon of corn starch and pour over the top. You can use a little apple juice in the topping instead of the syrup.

View this post on Instagram

#apple #crisp ready to bake!

A post shared by Joel Gluck (@joelgvt) on

Ready to bake for 40-50 minutes. The smell in the kitchen is heavenly.

Serve warm or at room temperature by itself or with a vanilla frozen dessert. A great easy to make vegan dessert. Enjoy.

Black-Eyed Peas for Luck

New Years Day LunchA feast to start out the new year with good luck.

I hadn’t had black-eyed peas until I met my wife who grew up in Tennessee. I have to admit they weren’t my favorite, but with enough seasoning they were OK. According to her, and her family, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck and prosperity. Wikipedia – of course – explains the possible origins of this practice.

I made a pot of vegetable soup the other night and instead of using white beans, I added a couple of cans of black eyed peas. The soup was delicious.

The market had collard greens on sale, so I made those today to have with the soup and cornbread.

Here’s how I cooked the greens.

I chopped half of an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic in the processor and sauteed them in a large pan with some vegetable broth. While that cooked, I pulled the greens off the stem in small pieces.

I then added the greens to the pan with some more broth. I covered the pan and cooked them on medium for about 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, I lowered the temp to just above low and cooked them covered for another 20 minutes. Then I left the lid off to cooked them a bit more. Depending on your taste, you can cook them as little as you want or an hour or more.

It was quite a tasty lunch and I hope it continues to bring us good luck.

Happy New Year.

Adonis Cake


My wife and I are part of a very active Vegan Meetup here in Marin County. One of the ongoing activities is a Book Club. We recently read Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian’s Survival Handbook by Carol Adams. The book was published in 2001, and feels a bit dated, but has some good advice for Vegans and Vegetarians navigating the world of carnivores. Out next book is Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger?: And Other Questions People Ask Vegans by Sherry Colb.

By now you’re saying what does all this have to do with the chocolate cake pictured above?

Well, the Book Club had a potluck last night and the cake and a pot of Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup were our contributions. I made the soup and my wife baked the cake.

The cake recipe is from Rip Esselstyn’s book My Beef with Meat. The picture above is from the Engine 2 Diet Facebook page. We made ours in a 9×9 glass dish (no oil needed in the pan, and I forgot to take a picture). It was a great hit and was gone in 10 minutes. The cake was moist and chocolatey and the frosting was sweet and delicious.

This was so easy to make. Since we didn’t take the cake out of the pan to frost, we have enough frosting for another cake. We’re going to make one tonight. Any volunteers to help us eat it?

Here’s the recipe

Adonis Cake

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup maple syrup
6 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set out a 9×9 nonstick cake pan

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda and mix well
Add the maple syrup, applesauce, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well to combine
Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes
While the cake is cooking, make the frosting

When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool. When cooled, frost with Adonis Frosting

Adonis Frosting
Makes about 2 cups of frosting, enough for one Adonis Cake

1 12 oz package of silken tofu
3/4 cup dairy-free, semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Place the silken tofu in a food processor. Add the melted chocolate chips to the food processor and blend

Add the vanilla and blend until chocolatey and creamy.

Taste at this stage, if using grain-sweetened chips, you may want to add a bit of maple syrup-or not (we added just under a tablespoon). Trust your own taste.
Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Bad 2 The Bone Chili

Bad 2 the Bone Chili

Getting ready to spend Thanksgiving with my mother and sister in Southern Oregon. We made a large pot of Bad 2 the Bone Chili from Rip Esselstyn’s My Beef with Meat book.

What I love about this chili is all of the veggies.

cut up veggies ready to cook

You start by cutting up onion, carrot, celery, red pepper, mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash and let them cook down.

add beans tomato and lentils

Then you add the rest of the ingredients – a cup of cooked red lentils, tomatoes and beans.

fresh tomatoes

The recipe calls for canned tomatoes, but I got some beautiful dry-farmed Early Girls from the Farmers’ Market. The recipe also calls for just kidney beans, but I use a can each of kidney, pinto and great northern beans.

add spices and addl liquid

Then chili powder, cumin, barbeque sauce, maple syrup and salsa. Let it boil, turn down the heat to simmer and in 30 minutes it’s done.

Bad 2 the Bone Chili

There’s nothing like a bowl of chili for a cold night – there’s a possible Nor’easter brewing back East in Vermont. A pot of this will keep you warm after shoveling snow.

We serve the chili with a cornbread recipe from Dr. McDougall’s site.


1 c cornmeal
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 cup non-dairy milk (such as fat-free soymilk)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp raw sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add non-dairy milk, applesauce, maple syrup and sugar, if using, on top. Using a spatula, stir until just combined. Pour batter into a nonstick shallow 9″ pie dish, or other oven-safe dish. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

I’m making this tomorrow night. I’ll post a picture then.

Happy Holidays and Safe Travels.