Day 15 – Obama is your Dinner Guest

President Obama and I go way back. We used to work out in the same gym in Chicago. It wasn’t unusual to see Secret Service agents roaming the halls of our apartment building, but one morning I got to see Obama, too. The agents and bomb-sniffing dogs did a sweep so I know Obama is on his way. This is when I had a two and a half hour commute and I had to catch an early enough bus or else I’d miss my train that ran every two hours. I was anxious for him to get there before I had to leave. The main entrance to the gym was to my right so I glanced that direction every so often. I was not aware that there was a back entrance to the gym, which of course is what he used. When I turned my head to the left to wipe the sweat off my forehead, Obama was right there. I was so surprised that I just turned around and kept going with my workout. Meanwhile, everyone else is politely nodding and saying “good morning.” 

Sorry, Obama! Come over for teriyaki stir fry and I’ll make it up to you!
This is a pretty good dish for a non-vegan. It’s loaded with familiar veggies but it has a little tofu if they want to step outside their comfort zone. Plus, who doesn’t love teriyaki sauce? 

Presidential Cookie Bake Off – Veganized

Since 1992, Family Circle has held a Presidential Bake-off with recipes from the wives of presidential candidates. It’s a contest that is both delicious and sexist, but let’s focus on the positive. The recipes from Michelle Obama and Ann Romney are not vegan (I imagine the dairy lobbyists would burn down the White House if that happened), but with some simple changes, the presidential bake-off can be cruelty-free.  If only Dennis Kucinich was running for president, then we’d have a cookie recipe from Elizabeth.

Michelle Obama’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

MAKES 2 1/2 dozen cookies

PREP 15 minutes

BAKE at 375° for 12 minutes per batch

  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance
  • 1 stick Earth Balance vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar – half granulated and half packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon egg replacer
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup each white chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (I don’t know if anyone makes vegan mint chocolate chips, but the recipe said you could substitute Andes mint pieces, so I just chopped up a mint chocolate bar. I used Equal Exchange’s Organic Mint Chocolate with a Delicate Crunch)
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream margarine, shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.  In a small bowl, whisk egg replacer with water and add to butter mixture.   On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white chocolate chips, chocolate chips and mint chips. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Ann Romney’s M&M’s Cookies

MAKES 1 1/2 dozen cookies

PREP 15 minutes

BAKE at 325° for 18 minutes

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups crunchy creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup (such as Karo)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons egg replacer
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup Holy Cow Dark Chocolate beans (Vegan M&Ms)

Heat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, cream sugars, margarine, peanut butter and corn syrup on high speed until well combined. In a small bowl, whisk egg replacer with water and add to peanut butter mixture.  Beat in vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix together oats and baking soda. Stir into peanut butter mixture until combined. Mix in chocolate chips and M&M’s. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets (about 9 per sheet). Bake at 325° for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


The result? Ann’s cookies looked better, but the mint chocolate in Michelle’s cookies knocks it out of the park.  Michelle lost to Cindy McCain last time, so she definitely stepped it up for 2012.