Apr 28

green beans with sweet mustard vinaigrette

Harrison jumped in the refrigerator the other day. He does this every couple of months. It’s not because he wants the food inside (shocker, I know), he will just happen to be in a super hyper mood and he sees any door opening as an invitation to spring into action. It always ends the same way. He jumps inside, freezes because he is confused as to what just happened and why he is in a cold place (this also happens when he runs into the shower, just replace “cold” with “hot and wet”), turns to look at me for a few seconds, then jumps out. Only once have I had a camera within reach when he has done this, and when I was going back through old photos to find the evidence I came across these photos, dated April 2010.

You can tell that I wasn’t a vegan yet by the items in the fridge.

Here’s what I discovered from this photo that might upset some of you. When I looked at this photo I got up, walked over to the fridge, peeked inside and called out to Moose:

Me: “Have you cleaned the refrigerator since we moved in?”
Moose: “Claude Giroux is so talented and dreamy….oh, um…no I haven’t cleaned the fridge.”
Me: “Me neither. That was 2008. The fridge hasn’t been cleaned since 2008!”

So I grabbed a rag and some spray cleaner and got to work! Just kidding. I closed the fridge door and walked away. That was two weeks ago. The end.

How do you segue from talking about dirty refrigerators to talking about green beans? Like this, I suppose. Guess what! I took some green beans and made them even more awesome than they already were! I’ve been all about agave recently and these green beans are another example of how a recipe involving honey can be easily made vegan by using agave nectar instead.

Green Beans with Sweet Mustard Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from White on Rice Couple
Serves 4
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Wash the green beans and trim the stems.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and boil the green beans for 2-3 minutes, until the beans are tender.

While the beans boil, fill a large bowl with cold water and 8-10 ice cubes.


Once the beans are tender, remove them from the heat, drain, rinse with cold water and place into the ice bath.


Let the beans take a bath until they have cooled completely.

While the beans cool, combine the grape seed oil, mustard, agave, balsamic vinegar and fresh lemon juice in a bowl and stir.

Drain the beans and toss them in the vinaigrette.

It’s that easy.

Go Flyers!

Apr 20

agave nut butter

We caught a brief glimpse of summer earlier this week in NYC. The high on Monday was 84 degrees and I, of course, hated it. I much prefer April showers to April sweating. However I will say that the warmer weather was perfect for a sunset bridge stroll

It was also perfect for smearing sweet, flavored butter onto crisp, cold fruit.

I switched out the butter and honey for Earth Balance and agave in this beautiful recipe from Lauren at The Talking Kitchen, and my new favorite fruit/bread/muffin/everything spread was born. Unlike the Raspberry Butter that I made a while back, I decided to serve this butter as a soft spread rather than rolling it into a log and refrigerating. Either method works great.

Agave Nut Butter
Recipe adapted from The Talking Kitchen
Yields 1/2 cup butter
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter substitute (I used Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread), room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • pinch of sea salt

To make the butter, stir all ingredients together in a bowl


and serve immediately OR place in plastic wrap, roll into a log and store in the refrigerator until time to devour.


Apr 13

spicy carrot slaw

I made this orange-colored slaw in honor of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Just kidding.

It’s pure coincidence that I happen to be chatting about orange food the same day the Flyers are going to take on the Penguins in Game 2 of their series. I put those words in bold to make it seem serious. This is serious business, people. Let’s eat some serious slaw to mentally prepare ourselves, shall we?

Wait, before we do…I want to stick to the hockey theme we have going on here so I can tell you that Moose’s new hockey stick came shipped in this giant box (which I dragged home on the F train, because I am the best wife on earth)

 

and Harrison has found his soulmate.

Slaw time!

The original recipe uses the title “Carrot, Cilantro and Chile Slaw” for this dish, but I liked just saying “spicy” instead. I have a low tolerance for spice, so to me the two jalapenos in this recipe give it just enough kick for me to deem it a “spicy” slaw. If you looooove peppers, toss in some more. Or add in different kinds of peppers. I threw in some cherry tomatoes, too. The best part about this slaw, aside from its simplicity, is that you can add as many ingredients as you like. Go nuts, I say! Oh…note for next time: add nuts!

Spicy Carrot Slaw
Recipe from Bon Appetit via Epicurious
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces carrots, peeled and sliced (I used long shaved pieces)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons refined sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Fresh ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss together the carrots, tomatoes, grapeseed oil, fresh lime juice, sugar, sea salt and jalapenos.

Let sit for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Add in the cilantro and coriander and season with black pepper.

That’s it! Super easy. Super delicious.

Go Flyers!

Apr 12

sweet (potato) news

This week has been packed with highs and lows, and there are a couple of highs that I’m so excited to share with you.

High #1 – The Flyers beat the Penguins on Wednesday in OVERTIME! What’s that? You don’t care? Okay, moving on.

High #2 – My Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers won the grand prize in the No More Mallows Blogger Recipe Contest!

I’m so grateful for this win, not only for the prize but because the panel of judges actually tasted each recipe rather than simply reading a list of ingredients and assuming it would taste good. Someone made the burger and several someones ate it up and gave it a thumbs up, and for that I am shocked, thrilled and so very thankful. I don’t really consider myself someone who creates recipes. I think in total I’ve created fewer than 10 recipes all on my own, and so this win feels especially sweet. Sweet like sweet potatoes.

Sweet like Sebastian snuggles.

Sweet like Kentucky’s win over Kansas. (Did you think I wasn’t going to mention that at some point?)

Sweet like Harrison as he helps me write this post.

Sweet like Court Kitty before he gnaws on your face.

Apr 07

butterscotch finger cakes

This is the last weekend of regular season NHL hockey and, for some of us, the last weekend our teams will play hockey until the fall. Lucky for Moose, his Flyers are headed to the playoffs and to celebrate, I’ve whipped up some vegan finger cakes inspired by Butterscotch Krimpets, a decades-old Tastykake Treat. At Philadelphia Flyers hockey games, each Flyer who scores a goal “scores for a case of Tastykakes,” meaning that a case of Tastykake products are donated to the charity of the player’s choice.

Most recipes that I stumbled upon called for butterscotch chips to be melted and used in the frosting. I couldn’t find any vegan butterscotch chips, although I did read that many store brands are vegan, so check our your local grocery store if you want to use chips in your recipe. Instead, I turned to a very easy butterscotch sauce recipe from Smitten Kitchen that worked really well after just a few tweaks to make it vegan.

This recipe will be available in my April recipe column at One Green Planet, and you can also find it included with this cake recipe below.

The frosting recipe involves making the sauce and then using the sauce to make the frosting, which sounds daunting, but I promise it’s not. You can make the sauce days ahead of time, or you can make it first and allow it to cool while you prepare the cake.

Butterscotch Finger Cakes
Cake and frosting recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
Butterscotch sauce recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 16 finger cakes

Printable recipe

Cake ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or another vegan butter substitute, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup refined sugar
  • 8 ounces dairy-free vanilla yogurt (I used soy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Frosting ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or another vegan butter substitute, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup Vegan Butterscotch Sauce (ingredients below) OR vegan butterscotch chips, melted

Vegan Butterscotch Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or another vegan butter substitute
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy creamer
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the sauce:

  1. Melt 4 tablespoons of Earth Balance over medium heat in a heavy-bottom sauce pan.
  2. Once the Earth Balance is melted, stir in the light brown sugar, soy creamer and sea salt.
  3. Stir until all ingredients are fully combined.
  4. Bring the sauce to a low boil and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and pour into a smaller container for cooling.
  6. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperate and move on to making the cake. If you are making the sauce ahead of time, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week until you are ready to use it.

For the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour a 9×13″ baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the Earth Balance, brown sugar and refined sugar on low speed.


Mix in the yogurt, vanilla extract, almond extract and almond milk.


In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mixing on low-medium speed until fully combined.

Use a spoon to stir in the lemon juice, then pour the batter onto the baking pan, spreading it evenly.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.


Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the cake by sliding a butter knife between the cake and the edges of the pan. Place parchment paper and a cooling rack on top of the cake, then flip the cake over. Lift the pan off of the cake.

Now we have a nice, flat surface to frost. While the cake continues to cool, make the frosting by combining the butterscotch sauce (or melted butterscotch chips), Earth Balance and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and mixing on low-medium speed.

Spread the frosting on top of the cake.


Slice it up and enjoy!

 

Go Flyers!