Vegan Cherry Tomato Cobbler (Yep, I said Cobbler!) Radiation is the Bomb

Just saying the word, “cobbler” makes me feel better about life. And that’s what vegan cherry tomato cobbler is all about; comfort. I hate to admit it, but I think I’ll turn into a tomato or zucchini for that matter, if I have to figure out one more time, something wonderful to prepare with the stuff. Enter Cobbler, which is a perfect solution for the end of the season’s tomatoes.

I’m not taking credit for this wonderful recipe created by Chef Mark Bittman. But, I did veganize it by turning plant based milk with vinegar into a substitute for buttermilk. So there…

Vegan Tomato Cobbler Ingredients

Serves: 4 Adults

Prep time: 10 minutes Oven: 375°F

Bake: 40 minutes

  • 2 Baskets of cherry tomatoes or 5 big tomatoes cut into wedges (add more if the bottom of the pan isn’t completely filled with tomatoes.
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup plant based butter, Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • ½ cup plant based milk
  • 1 tbsp. Braggs Raw-unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

Vegan Tomato Cobbler Recipe

Heat oven 375°F.

  1. Oil a pie plate or 8 inch square baking dish. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, garlic, basil, and a pinch of salt/pepper.
  2. Add the vinegar to the plant based milk (fake buttermilk)
  3. Pour the tomato mix into the prepared dish. If there aren’t enough tomatoes to fully cover the bottom of the pan, add a few more.
  4. To make the topping, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and a ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  5. Add the small pieces of plant based butter and stir to combine.
  6. With your fingers, break up the ‘butter’ so the pieces turn into small pebbles.
  7. Pour in the “buttermilk mixture” and mix until the topping comes together.
  8. If it looks dry, add more milk. If it doesn’t look dollop-able, add more flour.
  9. Drop dollops of the topping on top of the tomatoes, leaving little holes so the tomatoes can steam through.
  10. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are bubbling and the topping is slightly brown. Serve warm or at room temp, by the large spoonful.

I used the last beets of our summer garden 

in a tasty salad with apples and butter lettuce topped with olive oil and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar splashed over. Not only was the combination of the cobbler with the sweet/ tart salad absolutely fabulous, but the presentation with all those colors made me fall in love with tomatoes all over again 🙂

Well, Rick had a shock the other day

when meeting with his radiologist oncologist (they meet every Friday). His doctor was questioning him about the severity of the side effects Rick was describing. He looked down into his computer and said, “ Well, that’s to be expected since you’re getting a double dose of radiation everyday.” Rick was stunned. Double dosing the cancer with the radiation had never been mentioned. Later, he told me, he really had to reach deep to offset the despair he was feeling. He couldn’t imagine going through this for another six weeks. As the doctor started out the door, Rick asked, “I’ll be done on October 28th right?” The doctor replied, “No, you’re over half way now, you’ll be done on September 28th.”

He called as he was driving home. 

“I’ve got some good news, and a crazy gift.” He said. And proceeded to tell me his “good news” getting double radiation and the crazy gift of only eleven more treatments left. After hanging up, I laughed to myself, thinking how far we’ve come in our quest of choosing to live life positively. Seeing the good news, when finding out he’s getting Double Radiated, instead of being angry, outraged, and just plain pissed off. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of him.

My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.” – Henry Rollins

Yesterday was pretty damn tough, 

ending with him on the floor, trying to breathe through the deep cramping pain he was experiencing. He paced around the house, it didn’t help that those darn Dodgers were smokin’ the Oakland A’s for the division win. Following a disastrous Sunday as we watched the Giants literally trounce the A’s 14-2!! I yelled a silent cheer for Eddy though. Remember him? A couple blogs ago; Vegan Chickpea Cutlets and The Brilliance of Radiation, I wrote about the 14 year old boy sitting next to Rick waiting for his radiation treatment for bone cancer. He told Rick he loved the SF Giants. We call him Eddy. Rick hasn’t seen him since, but we pray for him every day.

Anyway, back to Rick, 

on the floor watching his team lose. Clio, get to the point; he finally found some relief in doing yoga’s child pose; the pain disappeared almost immediately. He calls it the “servant pose”. I’m naming it “lucky servant” position. While he is in this position, he breaths deep through his nostrils,  slowly in and out. Like our son Peter says, embracing the suck. Instead of resisting the radiation, he’s mentally leaning in. And why am I sharing this? If you know anyone who is experiencing the same kind of side effects from hormone treatment and radiation, tell them to try popsicles for the hot flashes and the childs pose for cramping. One more thing I found helpful, the patient can’t have coffee anytime before getting his/her treatment. All through the last winter upon awakening, I would make myself a hot lemon/honey toddy. Now, Rick’s drinking hot lemon water instead of coffee. He’s hooked. Lastly, breathing in through the nostrils and exhaling through the nostrils is an essential relaxation technique. But it’s so much more.

    “By various means, in various eras of human history, all these pulmonates discovered the same thing. They discovered that the optimum amount of air we should take in at rest per minute is 5.5 liters. The optimum breathing rate is about 5.5 breaths per minute.That’s 5.5-second inhales and 5.5-second exhales. This is perfect breath.

     Asthmatics, emphysemics, Olympians, and almost anyone, anywhere, can benefit from breathing this way for even a few minutes a day, much longer if possible: to inhale and exhale in a way that feeds our bodies just the right amount of air, at just the right time, to perform at peak capacity.Too just keep breathing, less.”

Breath by James Nestor

Try it! It’s never too late to experiment with some air 🙂

After this next Monday, 

Rick will be finished with his radiation treatment and finger crossed, cancer free. He’ll go back for another blood test at the end of December. So this begs the question, what am I going to do?? I mean, it’s weird, I’ve been consumed with prostate cancer for 18 months; doing the research, finding recipes, shopping etc.. Rick just walked by and saw what I wrote. “You’re still cooking for us aren’t you?” He sounded worried 🙂



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