Thursday, September 25, 2014

5 Minute Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding

I love to cook. I like to bake.  But I really love 5 minute recipes.  This chocolate peanut butter avocado pudding is just that.  Simple, creamy, thick, delicious.  You wont have to feel guilty when your kids ask for a treat and you pull this out of the fridge! 

And yes, it literally took me 5 minutes to make.  Eat it straight from the food processor or even better, let it chill in the fridge for a couple hours to let the flavors get to know each other a little more. 

Serves 6
1 1/2 ripe avocados
1 large ripe banana
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
1/2 cup salted creamy or crunchy peanut butter + more for topping
1/2 cup sweetener of choice i.e. maple syrup, agave, date paste or honey
1/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk (slightly more if using dates)

Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add more dairy-free milk to thin/help blend. Add more cocoa powder for a richer chocolate flavor. Add more sweetener of choice to enhance sweetness.

Eat right away or chill for a few hours to overnight.  Leftovers will keep in the fridge up to a few days, though best when fresh.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The BEST DAMN Vegan Cheese Sauce EVER

Nachos Dip Square 

Today I perfected vegan cheese sauce, and it is damn good!!  I used it today for nachos, but you can certainly use it for mac n cheese, add it on top of baked potatoes or get your kids to devour their veggies by adding a scoop on top.  

Makes 6 Servings 
1 TB olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed & finely chopped
2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup raw cashews, roasted * See Note
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup Earth Balance (vegan butter), melted
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup pimentos, drained
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium high in a saute pan.  Add the onions, garlic and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add the chopped potatoes and carrots to a sauce pan and cover with water by about 2 inches.  Bring to a boil and cook until veggies are soft.  Remove from heat but do not drain. 
Add cooked veggies with the cooking water to a high powdered blender, along with the onion mixture. 
Add remaining ingredients and blend on high until sauce is creamy and smooth.  

Note:  To roast cashews, add to a baking sheet and put in the oven at 350 for about 8 minutes.  Check after 5 minutes and give the baking sheet a little shake. 



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekend Vegan Chocolate Waffles

I woke up this morning and felt like digging into some thick, old fashioned waffles; topped with a little melted (vegan) butter, pure maple syrup and a big handful of strawberries...

And like every other thing I want to do for myself, a four year old swings on in for the WIN!  Chocolate waffles it is.

1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Scant 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat your waffle iron.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center and add milk, maple syrup, applesauce and vanilla.  Mix together until well combined.
Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and cook waffles according to manufacturer's directions. 
We served with diced strawberries and the kids got 5 semi-sweet chocolate chips on top!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vegan Banana Walnut Bread

A good friend of mine recently asked me if I had any good banana bread recipes.  I actually have quite a few that I rotate through.  With three perfectly ripe bananas sitting on my counter, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give my friend a recipe and post one it as well! 

This recipe is vegan and oil-free but still maintains a moist, dense, satisfying texture. I enjoy a slice fresh from the oven with a small slab of vegan butter melted right on top.  DELISH!

3 medium ripe bananas
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 flax egg (1 TB ground flax & 3 TB water) or 1 egg
4 Tbsp organic apple sauce (today I used a baby food pouch of squash, carrots and apples) 
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup almond or dairy milk
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cup spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached white flour
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Mash banana in a large bowl. Add all ingredients through almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Last add almond meal, flour, oats and stir.
  3. Add to your loaf pan and top with walnuts.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly and golden brown on top.
  5. Let cool completely before cutting or it will be too tender to hold form.
  6. Serve with butter and honey or as is. Store leftovers in a covered container for up to a few days. Slice and freeze for longer term storage.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mini Zucchini Raisin Muffins

Loosely adapted from a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tb applesauce
6 Tb maple syrup
2 flax eggs (2 Tb flax + 6 Tb water)
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners.
Prepare the flax eggs by combining the flax and water in a small dish and set aside.  
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, maple syrup, and prepared flax eggs.  Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Mix in the zucchini and raisins.
Using a small spoon, fill the prepared muffin cups three-quarters full with the batter.  Bake until light golden, about 15 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan.  Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Vegan Butternut Squash & Kale Lasagna Rolls {W/OUT PICTURES}


Makes 6 Large Rolls
6 lasagna sheets, cooked according to package
Half batch cashew cheese 
1 small bunch organic lacinato kale
1 medium sized butternut squash
1 TB olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup vegetable stock 
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350
Peel and chop squash into cubes.  Place them in a large pot and cover completely with water.  Boil under fork tender.
While the squash is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the fresh thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.
Add cooked squash and onion mix to a blender, along with the nutmeg and vegetable stock.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  

Add all the kale leaves (torn from stems) into a food processor and pulse until very small.  You can also do this by hand, but because I have little kids, I like the kale pieces to be a small as possible.  Add the chopped kale to your cashew cheese.  

To Assemble
In a square glass dish, cover the bottom with a layer of the butternut squash puree.
Lay out one cooked lasagna sheet.  Cover it entirely with the kale-cashew cheese mixture.  Roll up and place in the prepared glass dish.  Repeat with the remaining lasagna sheets.  Cover the rolls with the rest of the butternut squash. 

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Blueberry Kale Smoothie

Photo: Heading to the gym this morning with the kids. The best pre-fuel food is one that is easily absorbed by the body. 
It's important that your oxygenated blood is going to your muscles, not your digestive system!  So start with a smoothie about 30 minutes before a workout. 

Blueberry Kale Smoothie - Serves 4
2 cups almond milk
2 cups tightly packed organic kale (washed & torn)
2 ripe bananas
1 cup organic frozen blueberries
1 Tb ground flax
4 soft mejool dates 

Blend and Serve!  This serves 2 adults and 2 kids.  Halve the recipe if you need to :)