Saturday, December 29, 2012

Raw Cookie Dough Bites

My fellow veg friend KC, introduced me to this amazing website www.adashofcompassion.com. I found this recipe there and like usual, I was skeptical!!! But my, oh my, are these bites delicious!!!
Next time I think I will add some ground flax seed and raisins! J
What you need (slightly modified):
2/3 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup raw walnuts
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp dark chocolate chips

What you do:
1. In a food processor: process the almonds,walnuts,oats,cinnamon and salt to a fine meal.
2. Add the agave nectar and vanilla and process to combine.
3. Next mix in the chocolate chips.
4. Roll the cookie dough into balls about 1 tbsp each.
5. Place the pan in the freezer for about an hour to firm up.
6. Store balls in a tightly covered container in the freezer.



Enjoy! J
Voting:
Adults: 2 thrilled thumbs up
Children: 4 happy thumbs up

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Brownies

What should you do with all the leftover pumpkins from Halloween? Normally I make pumpkin pie, this year however, I decided to try a new recipe.....These pumpkin pie brownies are amazing! Thank you Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero and your fabulous book, Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar! Yum!
What you need:
FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 cup pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

FOR THE PUMPKIN LAYER:
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup nondairy milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch of ground nutmeg
A pinch of ground allspice

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan, or use a 9-inch square pan, preferably lined with parchment paper.
TO MAKE THE BROWNIE LAYER:
1 Melt the chocolate.
2 In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, corn starch, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine, then mix in the melted chocolate.
TO MAKE THE PUMPKIN LAYER:
1 Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
TO ASSEMBLE:
1 Use a spatula to spread the brownie layer mixture into the prepared baking pan, taking care to bring the batter to the edges of the pan. Pour pumpkin layer over it, leaving a little room at the edges if you can. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin layer looks fairly firm (a little jiggling is okay) and has cracked at the edges a bit.
2 Let the brownies cool for 20 minutes and then transfer the pan to the fridge to set for at least an hour and a half. Once set, decorate with chocolate chips, slice into wedges, and serve.


Enjoy!

VOTING
Adults: 2 thumbs up
Children: 4 thumbs up

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Green Bean Radish Salad

While the title doesn’t make this salad sound too tempting, it is actually quite delicious….and I don’t even like radishes!!! A great healthy side dish for this holiday season!

What you need:
12 ounces green beans
1 small red onion, chopped
4 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
Cracked pepper, to taste
2 tbsp red wine or fruit vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
*Feta

What you do:
1.       Steam the green beans until tender
2.       Places the beans in a large bowl and add all the ingredients
3.       Toss several times till mixed
4.       Plate and serve
*you can make your own feta by using tofu.
Mix ½ pound extra firm chopped tofu with:
¼ cup vinegar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano, ¼ tsp rosemary and 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

Enjoy!!

VOTING
Adults: 2 thumbs up
Children: 3 thumbs up, 1 just so-so


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Battle of the Grains


We love our grains and legumes! I decided to try a new grain recipe in place of my typical Harvest Grains Medley meal. My friend, Chef AD, introduced me to this Asian Rice Salad and I instantly fell in love. So we had a head to head competition and these are the results!


Oriental Wild Rice Salad (modified by Chef AD, from Cooking Light)

3 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1.5 cups uncooked long grain brown rice (TJs brown rice medley)
1.5 cups chopped bell peppers
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup frozen edamame
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 can water chestnuts drained and chopped

Bring water to boil, add wild rice, reduce heat, and simmer 10min. Add brown rice, cover and simmer 45 minutes or until tender. Combine the rice mixture with the chopped veggies in a large bowl.

Dressing:
1/3 cup thawed OJ concentrate
1 tbs sesame oil
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
1.5 tsp lemon juice (I omitted this b/c I didn’t have it on hand)
¼ tsp fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic minced

Combine the dressing ingredients. Mix with the rice/veg mixture. Cover and chill for 2 hrs before seving.

I topped it with sesame seeds.



Voting:
Adults: 2 thumbs up
Kids: 4 thumbs up


Harvest Grains Medley

1 package of Harvest Grains Blend from TJs
3.5 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup of cooked red lentils
1 can of garbanzo beans
1 cup plum tomatoes
½ cup frozen corn
½ cup frozen peas
¼ cup diced green onions

Follow the instructions on the TJs package (only 10 minutes to cook). Then add the beans and veges. Mix and serve warm.



Voting
Adults: 2 thumbs up
Kids: 4 thumbs up


The winner is…….we have a tie!!! (But I think the Asian Wild Rice Salad is better!)

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Desserts

The summer heat is here and it is time to enjoy some sweet treats!!! Here are some of my recent baking adventures: Lemon Meringue Pie, PB cup Brownies, Pineapple Upside-down Cake, and Key Lime Pie.


Lemon Meringue Pie

Yes vegan meringue is possible! Can you believe it!!! I found this recipe through VegTV on Youtube. Please see link. Mr Nice Guy does a great job of teaching us how to make a great pie. However, I think I would like my lemon filling more tart so next time I plan on adding more lemon zest, less sugar and maybe replacing the milk with more lemon juice…..

What is needed for his recipe:
CRUST
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1 cup vegan butter
½ cup cold water

LEMON FILLING
1 ¼ cups non dairy milk
1 cup water
¾ cup lemon juice
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup corn starch
¼ tsp agar
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tbs lemon zest

MERINGUE
6 tbs eggs replacer
½ cup plus 2 tbs cold water
½ cup sugar





PB cup Brownies

I came across a non-vegan recipe for these brownie bites and thought what a great idea! So I used my go-to vegan brownie recipe and vegan PB cups!
(Vegan PB cups can be purchased online or at some WFs. I prefer the following brands: Sjaak’s, Allison’s Gourmet and GoMaxGo Candies.)

Instructions:
Make your standard vegan brownie recipe, scoop into a muffin tin and then insert a PB cup in the center of the dough. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool completely before attempting to remove from the muffin tin. To help with sticking, I would recommend lining with a cupcake liner.




Pineapple Upside-down Cake

From Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Vegan Table (with some modifications):

What you need:
9 tbs melted vegan butter (divided)
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup pineapple juice (from the can of pineapple)
1 can of pineapple slices
¼ cup maraschino cherries
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
¼ cup non dairy milk
1 container plain or vanilla yogurt
½ tsp vanilla extract

What you do:
1.)    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2.)    Mix 5 tbs vegan butter with the brown sugar and ¼ cup pineapple juice
3.)    Place in bottom of a cast iron skillet
4.)    Arrange pineapple rings on top and cherries
5.)    In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
6.)    Then add remaining juice, milk, yogurt, and 4 tbs of vegan butter
7.)    Pour cake batter over the top of the pineapple rings
8.)    Bake for 40 minutes
9.)    Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert on a cake stand



Coconut Key Lime Pie

This amazing recipe with avocados from Little house of Veggies is one of my favorites!!!!








Enjoy all these treats!!!

VOTING
All thumbs up of course.


Happy Summer!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Soup and Salad!

Here are two easy and delicious recipes! Something hot and something not!

This first recipe is from my friend Chef T. It is fresh, simple and delicious! Not to mention beautiful to look at!!! Here is her secret recipe.

Chef T’s Bean Salad

Ingredients:
2 cans of White Beans (Cannellini)
16 ounce package of whole cherry tomatoes
1 diced red onion
1 peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
1 peeled and diced mango
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsps of honey or agave nectar

Mix together. Chill for 1-4 hrs before serving.

Enjoy!!!

VOTING:
Adults: 2 thumbs up
Kids: 4 thumbs up



Vegetable Soup with Pesto

I found this delectable recipe in a Vegetarian cookbook and I couldn’t resist the idea of pesto in soup!!! It instantly was a hit in our family. I made some modifications from the original recipe.

Ingredients:
8 cups water
6 celery stalks, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
5 new potatoes, chunked
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 can Cannellini beans
½ cup frozen peas
2 baby bok choy chopped
3 large Swiss chard leaves, chopped (or any other green you desire)
3 cups arugula
1 tbs fresh parsley
1 tbs thyme
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Cracked pepper to taste
Salt to taste (I have omitted this now and still find the soup delicious)

Pesto:
2 large handfuls fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
2 tbs toasted pine nuts
2 tbs olive oil (recipe called for 4 tbs, I used a small amount of water as replacement)


What to do:
1.)    In a large soup pot combine the water, celery, carrots, and potatoes
2.)    Bring to a boil, add the spices and let simmer for 10 minutes
3.)    Make the Pesto by combining the above in your food processor, set aside
4.)    Into the soup pot add the peas, onions and beans
5.)    Let cook for another 10 minutes
6.)    Next add the bok choy, swiss chard (greens), and arugula
7.)    Cook an additional 2-3 minutes
8.)    Served with a dollop of Pesto on top…stir any leftover Pesto into the soup pot!!!

Enjoy!!!

VOTING
Adults: 2 hot thumbs up
Kids: 3 thumbs up. 1 not so fond of soup.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies

I never thought to combine blueberries with brownies, but I found this recipe in Veganomicon intriguing so I gave it a try!! I must say, this is my new favorite brownie recipe!!! The ice cream and blueberry topping are the icing on the cake!!!! J

What you need:

Brownies:
2/3 cup plus ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (I use TJs brand)
10 ounces blueberry jelly or jam (I used a pure fruit spread, TJ brand of course)
¼ cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond, or coconut)
¾ cup sugar (I use evaporated cane juice from TJs)
½ cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

What you do:
1)      Preheat oven to 325
2)      Grease a 9x13 baking pan
3)      Melt the 2/3 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave
4)      In a large mixing bowl combine the jam, milk, sugar, canola oil and extracts
5)      Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt
6)      Add the melted chocolate chips
7)      Mix well
8)      Add the ½ cup chocolate chips
9)      Fold in the fresh blueberries
10)  Bake for 45 minutes (although I recommend 50 minutes – was a little gooey in the center.
11)  Remove from the oven and serve with ice cream and blueberry topping.
12)  Best if the brownies and blueberry topping are still warm!!!


Ice cream: I recommend So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean or TJs Coconut Milk Chocolate ice cream.

Blueberry Compote (ie topping)
Make your own with:
16 ounces fresh blueberries
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs evaporated cane juice (more if you want it sweeter)
Place in quart pot on low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Enjoy!!!!

Voting:
10 out of 11 fudgy pudgy thumbs up! (one is not a chocolate lover)
J



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sesame Tofu Sticks

Have you ever had the Sesame Tofu Sticks from the Whole Foods Deli? YUM!!! However, they are very pricey! So I read the ingredients on the label and made my own. Our family gobbles these up at least once a week!!! I never wrote down the measurements, until recently when my friends urged me to do so.

So here is my recipe:

What you need: (to serve 6 people who love tofu!)
2 packages TJs Organic Super Firm Tofu (this is my fave tofu brand. Plus it is cheap)

Sauce:
½ cup water
1 tbs sesame oil (regular or toasted)
2 tbs rice wine vinegar (or white balsamic or rice mirin)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbs agave nectar
2 tbs soy or tamari sauce
2 tbs minced fresh ginger (I use the Ginger People Organic Minced Ginger sold at WFs)
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp garlic powder (or use 1 clove crushed garlic for more garlic flavor)
1 tbs white sesame seeds
1 tbs black sesame seeds
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ tsp Wasabi Sesame Dipping Sauce from TJs (optional)
½ tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)

This is a versatile sauce. If you want a thicker sauce use more oil and less water. If you want it less sweet, then reduce the agave nectar. For more kick, add more cayenne. This can be adjusted to your liking!


Directions:

You can cut the tofu into sticks, cubes, chunks… whatever you desire. Then place in a glass baking dish. Assemble the sauce. You can pour some of the sauce over the tofu to bake or you can bake it plain. I like to sprinkle with some sea salt and black and white sesame seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (till the tofu is warm). You can always sauté or fry the tofu to get a more crispy texture.

Serve:
HOT!
You can pour the sauce over the tofu at the end and serve. Or place the sauce in a bowl and then dip your tofu in it and eat. We like the dipping method!

Then Enjoy! This is a great way to get a healthy, natural form of soy, packed with protein, calcium and iron.



(these pictures dont do justice to this amazingly delicious food)

VOTING:
Adults: 2 thumb-licking-good thumbs up
Kids: 4 happy little thumbs up

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Got Fudge?

Want a quick yummy recipe for fudge? I have one for you! Thank you to Chef J2 and The Four Ingredient Vegan now you two can make fudge in just minutes!

Below is the actual recipe, but if you are lazy like me then you can just microwave the chocolate chips (I use the TJs brand) and mix with PB of your choice and the Ricemellow crème. I thought of omitting this last ingredient but I think it is necessary for the fudgy texture. You can find it at Sunflower, Sprouts, or WFs.

Enjoy!!!!




VOTING:
Adults: 2 thumbs up!
Kids: 4 thumbs up!



RECIPE (from Chef J2)

What you need:
1 package (12 ounces) vegan chocolate chips*
1 cup vegan marshmallow creme**
1/2 cup crunchy unsalted peanut butter***

Lightly mist an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Measure out the marshmallow creme and peanut butter, so they will be ready when your chocolate is melted. Pour about 2 inches of water into a large skillet. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Put the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl or saucepan. Set the bowl in the simmering water. Stir the chocolate chips for about 5 minutes, until melted and completely smooth.

Transfer the bowl to heatproof surface. Add the marshmallow creme and peanut butter and stir until thoroughly blended. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.

Cool for 15 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 more hours before cutting into 25 squares.

*I use the Whole Foods 365 brand of vegan chocolate chips. I like to bake with the Ghirardelli semi-sweet (vegan) chocolate chips, but they come in a 10oz bag, and the WF brand comes in 12 oz bag, so it is a little easier.
** I use Suzanne's Ricemellow creme (available at WF in the baking section)
***Recipe calls for crunchy but I used creamy this time...either is yummy :)

Variations:
Almond Fudge: Replace peanut butter with either smooth or crunchy almond butter.
Fudge Crisp: Add 1 cup of crispy rice cereal to the melted chocolate chips, stirring it in gently but thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients and proceed as above.

From The Four Ingredient Vegan, by Maribeth Abrams and Anne Dinshah 


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Go Monkey for this Bread!

Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

Thank you Chef Auntie C for this modified family recipe. We love making it and even more eating it! No monkey-business here. Easy and delicious!

Ingredients:
6 bananas (any stage of ripeness)
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup of organic sugar (or ½ cup of agave nectar)
2 eggs (I used Energy Egg Replacer)
2.5 cups non bleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Trader Joes are vegan)

Directions:
Mix the mashed up bananas with the oil, sugar, egg replacer.
Whisk in the baking soda and flour
Then add the walnuts and chocolate chips
Pour into 2 medium sized oiled bread pans or 3 smaller bread pans
Sprinkle top with more chocolate chips for us chocolate lovers
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
Check center with toothpick
Let cool and slice and serve!



VOTING:
Big monkeys: 2 chocolaty thumbs up
Little monkeys: 8 gooey thumbs up

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Monk Bowl

As the 30 minute Vegan cookbook calls this “a bowl of enlightenment”. It was indeed!! Simple. Easy to prepare. Most of all -- delicious!
Enjoy this healthy, hearty and of a “higher-power” meal.

Ingredients:
1.5 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 package Trader Joe’s regular plain tempeh
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs water
8 cups chopped veges: broccoli, carrots, snow peas, bell peppers, zucchini, or cauliflower
Sea salt

Directions:
1)      Cook the quinoa with the 3 cups of water or vegetable stock. (~15 minutes)
2)      Crumble the tempeh into a skillet with soy sauce and sesame oil
3)      Cook tempeh for 10 minutes, stir occasionally
4)      Chop up your veges of choice
5)      Steam or stir-fry your veges
6)      Place the quinoa in a bowl and then top with the veges and tempeh
7)      Season with sea salt and serve!
8)      Variations include: top with roasted peanuts or sesame seeds. Or use rice or noodles in place of the quinoa. Or replace tempeh with baked tofu.

Enjoy!




Voting:
Adults: 2 thumbs up!
Children: 4 thumbs up!
(a new staple food in our house!)
J