Mar 31

mini neapolitan cupcakes – a guest post at Como Water

Hi gang! I have a guest post today over at one of my very favorite blogs written by one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. If you’re not already familiar with Tiff and Como Water, now is a great time to click on over to explore her creative vegan and vegetarian recipes. She’s just so darn amazing! A couple days ago she posted a recipe for Sweet Potato-Poblano Lasagna. Who doesn’t want to devour that? I know I do. So does Harrison, but we won’t let him.

Tiff also uses Como Water as a teaching tool and her current series, Farm Bill 101, is one of my favorites so far. You will also find inspiring quotes and a super helpful Q&A and resources section. Plus, there are Mini Neapolitan Cupcakes waiting for you!

Oh and PS…

GO KENTUCKY! BEAT LOUISVILLE!!!

Mar 26

Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers for the “No More ‘Mallows!” Blogger Recipe Contest

The kind folks over at the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission are holding a recipe contest with the cutest name ever. It’s called “No More ‘Mallows!” and it’s a call to bloggers to:

PUT DOWN THE CANDIED NUTS & STEP AWAY FROM THE MARSHMALLOWS!
IT’S TIME TO DIG DEEPER WITH SWEET POTATOES


I am submitting my Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers, which I was inspired to create after a brainstorming session for a new way to use sweet potatoes in a burger. I wanted something savory with a subtle spicy kick and a dash of sweetness, all rolled into one. There are definitely no ‘mallows involved as this recipe is 100% vegan. All my fellow blogger friends, get in on this contest if you looove sweet potatoes! The deadline for entry is 3/31.


Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers
Makes 4 large burgers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peeled, cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or another vegan butter substitute
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus a sprinkle for the onion topping)
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 buns of your choice

If your pecans aren’t already dry roasted, you can roast them easily by spreading them out on a baking sheet and baking for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

Directions:

  1. To make the burgers, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Since sweet potatoes come in all shapes and sizes, I opted to include a measurement of the potatoes already cooked and mashed rather than a total number of sweet potatoes to use. I ended up using three small potatoes for this recipe. I microwaved them until soft, then removed the skin and mashed them with a fork in a large bowl.
  3. While your potatoes are cooking, bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan.
  4. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover the saucepan, allowing the quinoa to cook for 8-10 minutes. Check the quinoa every couple of minutes since stove temperatures vary. It may cook faster or slower than expected. You’ll know it’s done when the water is almost gone from the pan and the quinoa appears to be nearly transparent instead of its original whitish color.
  5. Remove the quinoa from the stove and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
  6. In a separate saucepan, or in a microwave, melt 1 tablespoon of the vegan butter.
  7. Stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the cayenne pepper.
  8. Stir the maple syrup sauce in with the mashed sweet potatoes
  9. Then stir in the the cooked quinoa, pecans, kale and sea salt.
  10. Form the mixture into four patties and place on a baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes, turning once at the halfway point.
  12. When the burgers have around 15 minutes left to cook, make the onion topping by first roughly chopping the Vidalia onion.
  13. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegan butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
  14. Add the onion to the melted butter
  15. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  16. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  17. Turn the heat down to low and pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
  18. Stir continuously as the onions continue to cook for 3 more minutes.
  19. Remove the onion mixture from the heat and spoon over the tops of the burgers once they have finished baking.

 

Mar 24

sweet scents and more favorite dinners

There is something that I’ve been meaning to share with you guys but I keep getting sidetracked by hockey, March Madness, kittehs meow-talking to the birds outside of our windows and frosting.

I’ve been searching for a vegan perfume to wear for quite some time and I do believe I’ve hit the jackpot.

I ordered this sample set from Sweet Anthem Handmade Perfumes in Seattle, Washington and I LOVE them!

From Sweet Anthem’s website:
Sweet Anthem is a micro-perfumery that is devoted to unique vegan-friendly fragrances hand crafted in small batches by perfumer Meredith Smith, whose ten fingers are responsible for measuring, pouring, and packaging everything you see here. Our perfumes are each compounded in our West Seattle atelier under the careful nose of our master perfumer. You won’t find any mass-produced, stock scents here: only 100% original scented medleys that have been composed by hand and from the heart.

These little vials go a long way and I think they would make adorable gifts. I only ordered a sample of three, but super nice Meredith threw in a fourth sample for free. The “Madeline” scent  truly won me over and I’ll be ordering a full-size bottle soon.

Oh and one other cool thing about Meredith and her shop is that she offers scents in a 5 ml Solid Perfume Twist or a 10ml Parfum so you never have to worry about it spilling or being flagged by airport security.

Next up, I want to share another round of my favorite dinners! It’s been a few months since I last chatted about recipes I love from others bloggers and today I’m back with some new favorites. In no particular order we have….

Lovely Lentil Salad with Dilly Homefries from Cupcakes and Kale

Photo credit: Jess @ Cupcakes and Kale

Homefries with vinegar and dill. Lentil salad with olives and lemon. And it only takes around 35 minutes to create the entire meal, including cooking time.

Sweet Potato Salad from The Hungry Birdie

Photo credit: Robin @ The Hungry Birdie

I eat sweet potatoes 2-3 times a week in a very boring way (wash potatoes, microwave potatoes, stuff face with potatoes, repeat). Robin’s salad is such a clever creation and it’s perfect for warm weather munching.

Lentil Loaf from the Snarky Chickpea

Photo credit: Meg @ The Snarky Chickpea

Make this with mashed potatoes. I’m serious. It’s so good and it’s even better the following day. Meg, the genius that she is, took a recipe from My Vegan Cookbook and altered it so that it’s less time-consuming. When I make this recipe, I follow Meg’s instructions to the letter except that I use soy sauce instead of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos because I always have soy sauce on hand.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili from The Kitchenarian

Photo credit: Lorie @ The Kitchenarian

Have I mentioned that I love sweet potatoes? I also love chili. Favorite potato + favorite dish to eat in a bowl that isn’t ice cream = happiness.

Jeweled Basmati Rice from Manifest Vegan

Photo credit: Allyson @ Manifest Vegan

Pistachios, almonds, cranberries, raisins, carrots and rice, all dancing around together in your belly, making you feel energized and ready to take on the world. Yes, please.

Veggie Chicken and Dumplins from Vegan Belle

Photo credit: Kate @ Vegan Belle

Another vegan Southerner in the house! Or on the web, I mean. I love that Kate has taken this classic to a whole new vegan level. Perfect for homesick Southerners or for anyone who loves a hearty, flavorful meal.

Italian Quinoa Wraps from Veggie Grettie

Photo credit: Gretchen @ Veggie Grettie

Bookmark these wraps and don’t forget about them because they are a great use for summer tomatoes. Just a handful of ingredients, a quick spin in the food processor, and a few seconds spent rolling up the wraps and you have the perfect summer meal.

Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Photo credit: Kalyn @ Kalyn’s Kitchen

This is my new go-to recipe for tofu. I like to slice the tofu into strips, bake it to a crisp and then eat it with my fingers like french fries. I know, I’m so uncivilized.

Fettuccine with Artichokes from Gourmet via Epicurious.com

Photo credit: Epicurious.com

This recipe doesn’t fit into the “from a blogger” category but I do make it quite often so I thought I’d share it. Make the following substitutions for a vegan meal: Replace the butter with a vegan butter substitute, make sure your pasta is egg-free and omit the Parmesan completely. You won’t miss it. This pasta is also delicious as leftovers. I always make extra to take for lunch the following day.

I hope you all have fun trying out these recipes. Save room for dessert, cause I have something special coming up next weekend!

Mar 18

baked biscoff donuts

Every time I waltz through the airport in search of the gate that houses my plane to Kentucky, there are two thoughts on my mind. 1. I hope our flight is on time. 2. I hope they offer Biscoff cookies on the plane. Did you guys know that Biscoff cookies are vegan? They totally are! And also, prepare to have your mind blown…

Biscoff makes a SPREAD! WHAT!?

It tastes just like the cookies. You can use it as a substitute for peanut butter. You can spread it on bread and bananas and apples. Or you do what comes naturally: use it to make donuts.

But before we stuff our faces with donuts, I want to introduce you to someone new. His name is Oscar, and he’s here to steal your heart.

This photo is courtesy of Thea, a super sweet, kind and hilarious TTV reader. Thea’s mom is lucky enough to call Oscar her own. Don’t you wish you knew Oscar, too?

I know I do. Look at that face. Even though he kind of looks like he wants to murder us in this photo, he is so precious!

Let’s eat some donuts, count down the days until Kentucky wins their next basketball game and daydream about rubbing noses with Oscar. Sound good?

Baked Biscoff Donuts
Recipe adapted from Candy Girl
Makes 12-16 donuts
Printable recipe

Donut Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup refined sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or another vegan butter substitute, melted
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff spread

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy creamer
  • 1/3 cup Biscoff spread

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and spray your donut pan with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, stir together the soy milk and the distilled white vinegar and set it aside.

Let it do its cool, buttermilk-making thing while you whip together the rest of the batter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, refined sugar, baking powder and nutmeg.

Stir in the soy yogurt, melted vegan butter substitute and your milk/vinegar combo.

Add in the Biscoff spread and stir by hand until all the ingredients are fully combined.

Fill the pan 3/4 of the way

and bake the donuts for 7 minutes or until the tops spring back when you touch them.

Let the donuts cool to room temperature while you make the glaze.

The glaze is easy to make. Just stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl. For thicker glaze, add more confectioners’ sugar. Dunk each donut into the glaze

and eat up!

Mar 11

chickpea magazine spring 2012

Hi friends! I have some super exciting news to share with you! The Spring issue of Chickpea Magazine is out!

And as if that’s not exciting enough…ta-da!

Baked Eggplant Sliders from yours truly!

Aaaahhh! I am freaking out with excitement! Okay, let me calm down and I’ll tell you all about it…

Chickpea Magazine is a community vegan quarterly and labor of love from Cara Livermore and Bob Lawton of hipsterfood. It can be read online for free or purchased in print by issue or by annual subscription. The issues are free of advertising and each copy is printed on high quality paper with vegetable-based inks. You don’t have to be a publishing-for-a-day-job-geek like myself to appreciate the weight and feel of the printed version. Oh and plus, the content is top notch. Inside you’ll find recipes, lifestyle pieces, product guides, book reviews and more. I am honored and incredibly grateful to be a part of this beautiful publication and I hope you’ll take a peek inside!

Mar 08

jalapeño cornbread biscuits

I have slowly come to like faux cheese. I like it baked into things. I like it in small doses on little pizza mini bagels. I like it in large doses if it’s a wacky kind of pizza. And I heard that Daiya is coming out with new cheese slices, which I can’t wait to shove between some bread and dunk into a bowl of tomato soup. Oooohhh yes.

The thing is, I never really use all of the faux cheese when I buy it. The stuff ain’t cheap, you know? I’ll use half the bag and then the other half just sits in my fridge, sad and alone. But not anymore! I found a new way to use up cheese! Last weekend, I emptied a bag of pepperjack shreds by baking them into biscuits. I know, it seems so simple. But this was my first fake cheese + biscuit experiment that didn’t involve a casserole dish.

I love these biscuits. They’re biscuits but they’re cornbread. They don’t require a rolling pin. They’re savory and spicy, and if you dip them into a bowl of chili your life will be forever changed.

Oh wait! Before we go on, I just want to show you these adorable little vegan kitty chocolates!

If you order a box of Tabby Toffees in the month of March from Lagusta’s Luscious, $10 will be donated to the Teal Cat Project. They’re so cute, you won’t even want to eat them! But you will. The kitties want you to. Do it for your taste buds. Do it for kit kats.

 

Jalapeño Cornbread Biscuits
Recipe adapted from Saturday Nights
Makes 12 biscuits
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or another vegan butter substitute, melted
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded pepperjack cheese (I used Daiya Pepperjack Style Shreds)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, stir together the nondairy milk and distilled white vinegar. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and sea salt.

Add the melted Earth Balance to the bowl of milk, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until fully combined.

Fold in the jalapeño peppers

 

and the pepperjack cheese.

Drop spoonfuls of the biscuits onto a baking sheet

and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops begin to brown.

Serve warm with vegan sour cream and a giant bowl of veggie chili.

Mar 02

cherry cordial brownies

I have avoided making vegan brownies for months now. No, for years. I’ve just been so scared of them. I have no idea why. I was the same way about cookies for a long time, too. I just thought that I’d burn them or they’d be too dry or too bland or too this or too that, and so instead of experimenting, I avoided them completely.

Last weekend I faced a fear. I made brownies. When I saw this cherry frosting on top of chocolate brownies from Cafe Terra, I knew that it was time to suck it up, preheat the oven and embrace this rich, dense dessert. I used a brownie recipe from Oh She Glows because I knew that Angela would never lead me down a dry brownie path. And, of course, they were super delicious and incredibly easy to make. The frosting is so good and would be delicious on a million other things. Honestly, about a quarter of the frosting never even saw a brownie because it went straight from the spoon to my mouth.

Cherry Cordial Brownies
Brownie recipe adapted from Oh She Glows
Frosting adapted from Cafe Terra
Makes 16 brownies
Printable recipe

Brownie ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground flax
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almonds, ground (or 1 1/2 cups almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or other non-dairy butter substitute
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups vegan refined sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting ingredients:

  • 4 cups vegan confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, softened
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper and grease all sides (I used Earth Balance).

In a small bowl, stir together the flax seed and water. Set aside.

I only had blueberry flax on hand, that’s why mine is purple.

If you are grinding your own almonds, pour them into a food processor or blender and blend away. Be careful not to blend for too long or your almonds will transform into almond butter.

Whisk together the ground almonds (or almond flour), cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda.

In a small bowl, microwave the Earth Balance and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips until melted.

Stir in the flax mixture, refined sugar, almond milk and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined. The batter will be very thick and dry, but don’t freak out. This is a good thing.

Fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and spread the batter into the baking pan. I recommend using your fingers to evenly distribute the batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.

Once the brownies are done, allow them to cool completely. This is going to take some time. I put mine by the window and they cooled in about an hour.

Make the frosting by combining all ingredients in a large bowl and mixing on low-medium speed.

Then stuff your face. Follow with face planting.