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 :) 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi

This recipe does not fall into the "under 30 minutes or less" category.  There is a lot of inactive cooking time for the sweet potatoes, so if you're a busy mama like I am, you may want to save this one for the weekend or a day when you have an extra set of hands! For containing just two main ingredients, I certainly wasn't prepared for the fact that I wouldn't be joining my family at the dinner table because I would be busy boiling more batches of gnocchi. Next time I will do a few more steps in advance!

I also couldn't get a final gnocchi pic tonight so please use your imagination!!

Recipe adapted from Chef Chloe's cookbook

2 large red-skinned sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour + more for rolling
1/4 cup vegan butter, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a sharp knife, poke several holes in each sweet potato. Bake them whole until tender. Depending on their size, this could take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. They will be soft to the touch when tender on the inside.

When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice each one open immediately to release steam and let cool slightly. Scoop out the flesh and put through a potato ricer or pulse in a food processor.
Place the potatoes in a non-stick skillet heated over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, or until some of the liquid has cooked off. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Add salt, nutmeg, and pepper to sweet potatoes. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well with a spoon to combine. Once a soft, slightly sticky, dough has formed divide it into six portions. Generously flour the work surface and your hands. Roll each portion of dough into ropes about 1/2 inch in diameter. Each rope will be approximately 7 to 9 inches long. Dip a sharp knife in flour and cut each rope into 1-inch long pillows.

Fill a medium saucepan with heavily salted water and bring to a boil.  When the water in boiling, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and gently drop in the gnocchi, about 20 at a time. The gnocchi will float to the surface in about 4 minutes.

While the gnocchi is boiling, heat 2 Tb of the butter in a saute pan. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the gnocchi to the skillet of butter sauce. Let cook, turning frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes. You will have to do this in several batches, until all the gnocchi are cooked. Serve immediately.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Edamole: The Healthier Guacamole


...Not that guacamole isn't already healthy!  But it doesn't hurt to reduce the calories and fat by replacing half the amount of avocado with edamame beans.  You also get a nice protein boost as well.  The result is still creamy, buttery, a little heartier, and definitely satisfying.  I used to make guacamole this way years ago (pre-kids) and I'm happy I brought it back... and you will too!! 

1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 white onion, roughly chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded abd finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes
2 to 3 tablespoons water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Put edamame, avocado, cilantro, garlic, onion, jalapeno, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Add enough water to make a creamy consistency and pulse again until smooth. Transfer edamole to a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stir. Serve with chips or vegetables.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vegan "Tuna" Salad Sammies

The tuna sandwich is a lunchbox staple.  But it also contains high levels of mercury, which puts our kids at risk to harmful effects on their nervous system, brain, heart, kidneys and lungs. According to Consumer Reports, canned tuna is the most common source of mercury in our diet.  And since its recommended that pregnant woman should avoid it altogether, why not offer an alternative that takes the same amount of time to prepare and free from toxins?

Mashing chickpeas until it forms a flaky texture gives you a very similar base as canned tuna.  Simply add your favorites; vegan mayo, mustard, pickles, salt, etc. and you've got chickpea salad!

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.  *Eden Organic makes a BPA free can liner.
2 TB vegan mayo (Vegenaise)
1 TB dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup diced dill pickles
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Using either a food processor, nutri-bullet, or a fork (not sure if a blender would work), mash the chickpeas until they becomes flaky but not pureed.   Add remaining ingredients to combine. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Flourless White Bean Blondies {Vegan}

 A few weeks ago I made black bean brownie bites.  Yesterday while I was trying to think of the next dessert I wanted to try, it dawned on me that if I can use black beans to make brownies, why couldn't I use white beans to make blondies?!  

Everything goes into the food processor at once.  The best part about baking without flour is you don't have to worry about over-mixing... which quite frankly, I stink at.  

To be honest, these blondies taste more like banana chocolate cake.  I guess that's good if you like bananas.  That really wasn't the flavor I was going for, but I had 2 ripe bananas right in front of me and thought I would use them for the binder.  Next time, I will maybe use 1 banana and 1 flax egg.  Although with the addition of a small scoop of vanilla ice cream (I use coconut milk vanilla), it tastes pretty darn decadent to me!

Let's not forget there is an ENTIRE can of white beans here!!!  That adds 20g of heart-healthy protein and18g of fiber to this batch of dessert!  So dig in and happily enjoy.

1 (15oz) can white beans, either cannellini or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 ripe medium bananas
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
2 Tb peanut butter, or almond butter, or sunflower butter etc.
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tb maple syrup
3 Tb packed brown sugar
1/2 cup almond milk (or any non dairy milk)
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a 8x8" baking pan.
Combine all ingredients except for chocolate chips in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and stir in chocolate chips.  Transfer to prepared baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.  DO NOT EAT RIGHT AWAY! 
They will appear undercooked when you take them out, but will firm up as they cool. 

Teriyaki (No) Rice Bowl

I'm on a major cauliflower kick.  I've made cauliflower mashed potatoes (not posted), cauliflower alfredo sauce, roasted cauliflower (with alfredo), and now cauliflower rice.  The next thing on my cauliflower list is pizza crust.  Anyone out there experimented with that?  If so, how was it??  

This no-rice bowl is seriously satisfying, loaded with flavor, and a fraction of the calories.  One medium size head of cauliflower contains about 150 calories, which yeilds roughly 4 cups of "rice," and 38 calories.  One cup of cooked white rice is 210 calories.  You could eat the ENTIRE 4 cups and still have consumed less calories than one cup of rice.  

Let's also not forget that cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are important to your health.  

Simply start by washing and cutting your cauliflower into florets and transfer to your food processor.  You may need to do this in a few batches.

This is what your cauliflower rice should look like once processed:

Prepare the remaining ingredients for your teriyaki bowl:

1 batch easy homemade teriyaki sauce OR a nice thick store bought brand.  
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets and processed in a food processor
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup shredded carrots (I bought mine from Trader Joes already shredded)
1 cup edamame beans (either already cooked or frozen and cooked according to directions).
1 package Organic Baked Tofu, cut into small cubes (mine is from Trader Joes)
1/2 cup green onion, diced for garnish
2 Tb white sesame seeds for garnish

Heat the olive oil a large saute pan over medium high.  Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring so it doesn't burn.  Add the processed cauliflower and salt.  Mix the garlic in well and cook until hot.  
Prepare your teriyaki sauce and keep warm in a saucepan.  If store bought, pour into a saucepan and warm over medium low heat.
In a medium saucepan filled with water, bring to a boil and cook the broccoli for 5 minutes, or until desired tenderness.  I like mine soft but still with a "bite."  Drain and set aside until ready to assemble your bowl.  

To Assemble
Start with a big scoop of cauliflower rice.  Top with broccoli, shredded carrots, edamame beans and tofu.  Spoon desired amount of sauce over the top.  Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.  


Monday, July 14, 2014

Breakfast Burritos + GIVEAWAY!

Sunday morning at my house is the biggest breakfast day of the week.  Most other mornings typically consist of a boring selection of peanut butter toast, fruit, instant oatmeal, an occasional smoothie, granola bar, or quite frankly... coffee and more coffee!! But there's something about Sunday mornings for us that just scream pancakes, french toast, waffles, scrambles and today... breakfast burritos!

So whats in it?  Hash browns, tofu scramble (recipe below), avocado and salsa (we omit for kids).  Now don't get that judgey-before-you-try-it face.  Tofu scramble has been a staple in our former egg scramble home for years.  And after switching, every time my husband orders scrambled eggs at a restaurant, he always comments on how rich they taste.

Ingredients for Tofu Scramble
1 12oz block extra firm organic tofu
1 package Fantastic World Foods Tofu Scrambler seasoning mix... Giveaway details below!!!!!
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 Tb nutritional yeast
1 Tb olive oil or 1 Tb vegan butter or 1/4 cup vegetable stock or 1/4 cup water (for sauteing)
Your favorite scramble add-ins.
I used:  
1/3 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, 5 thinly sliced large white mushrooms

This seasoning mix is awesome! Just mix with crumbled tofu and cook!  The addition of salt, onion powder and nutritional yeast in my recipe is optional, but I like a little more flavor than the seasoning alone (and so does my family).

 **Giveaway Details**  
To qualify for a free packet of Fantastic Farms Tofu Scrambler Mix, all you have to do is "LIKE" this post on Green Apple Baby's facebook page.  I will put all names in a basket and draw a winner at the end of the day.  Good Luck!!

First, drain and wrap the block of tofu in paper towels or a dish towel to soak up more of the water.  While the tofu is wrapped, dice onion, bell pepper and mushroom (or the mix-in's of your choice).  Warm a saute pan over medium heat and a add the cooking liquid of your choice.  Add your veggies and cook 5-6 minutes. 
While the veggies are cooking, unwrap tofu and crumble (using your hands) into a bowl.  Add seasoning packet and mix together well.  Add to the saute pan and mix with veggies.  Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder and salt.  Press down using your spatula to flatten out entire mix and allow to cook out more of the water.  After 3 minutes, flip the tofu over, pat back down and cook another 3 minutes. 

Assemble your burritos!  note: I used the Simply Potatoes brand for my hash browns and followed instructions on the package. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Good Ol' Fashioned {Vegan} Pancakes

It's been a while since I've made a good pancake.  Over the past week or so I've been doing some pancake "research."  Reading about the best methods, heating, best amount of baking powder to use, good flour combinations, etc.  I woke up this morning and decided today was the day! 

My husband said these are the best pancakes I've made to date.  I can't write much more... I currently have one kid attached to my leg, and the other one making loud banging noises in the other room.  Crap.

1 cup spelt flour
1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 Tb oil (vegetable or canola)
1 Tb sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder

Heat a medium sized pan over medium high heat for 3 minutes.  
In a blender, add milk first, followed by all the remaining ingredients.  Blend for just a few seconds until mixed.
When pan is hot, coat with a good amount of cooking spray. From the blender, pour one serving directly in the center of the pan (you will cook one at a time for best results).  After a couple minutes you will start to see bubbles form on the top of the batter.  When the sides of the pancake start to dry out, flip it over and cook for another minute.  Add more cooking spray and repeat! 
Top with pure maple syrup for the best tasting pancake on the planet :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce {Nut Free}

This sauce blows my mind.  It's creamy, garlicky, silky and decadent.  But yet it's also dairy free, nut free, and guilt-free!!  So what in the heck is in this magical sauce??  Just a few simple ingredients actually!

This recipe yields a TON of sauce and will easily serve a family of 6 with GENEROUS portions.  I made fettuccine alfredo with steamed broccoli for my husband and son, cooked a small batch of orecchiette pasta for my 16 month old (easier for her to eat), and I helped myself to a huge serving of roasted cauliflower with creamy alfredo sauce... plus I ate what was left on the kids plates.  Actually, lets be honest.  I literally licked the plates clean.  

Just look at the difference between a very popular store-bought alfredo sauce versus this sauce.  I mean, is there even a second thought?!  You NEED to make this tonight!!!

6 cups cauliflower florets (1 medium cauliflower) *Get a large one and roast what's left!!
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB vegan butter (earth balance)
1 (32-oz) box of low sodium vegetable stock (yields about 4 cups) + 2 cups water
1/2 cup almond milk (or any non dairy milk)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Bring vegetable stock and water to boil and add the cauliflower.  Let cook about 7 minutes or until fork tender.
While the cauliflower is cooking, add the vegan butter to a saute pan over medium high heat.  When the butter starts to look foamy, add the garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring most of the time.  DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC!  Transfer garlic and melted butter to blender.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower and transfer to a blender.  Do not drain the liquid.  Add 1 cup of the cooking liquid to the blender and along with remaining ingredients.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Serve hot and enjoy a HUGE serving!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

4 Ingredient,5 Minute Tofu Nuggets.

This recipe is so ridiculously easy you will wonder why you didn't come up with it yourself!  All you need is a block of organic extra firm tofu (the water-packed kind), low sodium soy sauce, italian style bread crumbs and nutritional yeast (sub for Parmesan for a vegetarian option).

Start by draining your tofu and patting it dry with some paper towels.  Then, stand it up and slice lengthwise into fourths.  Using a cookie cutter (any shape will do), cut out fun shapes and set into a shallow dish.

Pour some soy sauce over the tops of all the tofu nuggets, then flip them over so they are all evenly covered.  Let them sit for a few minutes.  Grab a dish and combine 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and 1 TB nutritional yeast.  Dip each nugget in the mixture (coat completely) and transfer to a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper).  Transfer to a 350 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes!  That's it!!  5 minutes of prep time is all you need.  While these are in the oven, go steam some green beans!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Homemade Goldfish Crackers & DIY Goldfish Cutters!

I think Goldfish Crackers are definitely on the top 5 if not the top 3 list of a toddler's favorite snack food.  I don't know what it is, but I just never got on that bandwagon with Kaden (and now Addison).  They will eat plenty of them at friends' houses, school, birthday parties etc., so I decided a long time ago they would not enter our house.  I honestly try as hard as possible to limit the amount of snacks that come from a bag, although, it really is difficult when "snacks from the pantry" are all my kids want!  

So I am on a mission now to try and re-create and "copycat" some of our kids favorites.  Just a couple weeks ago I attempted the Clif Bar ZBar for kids.  You can see that recipe HERE.   

These goldfish for starters, are vegan.  So the cheesy taste will come from Nutritional Yeast.  I've included a lot of recipes with this ingredient and you may be confused on what it is and why I use it.  I've included a link for you to read about HERE from a great blog called

They are also a bit softer and a tad crumblier than the go-to favorite.  So yes, I will continue to perfect this recipe but I think they turned out pretty darn good!  

The second reason I dragged my feet on making them was because I didn't want to take the time to buy a small goldfish cutter.  TAH-DAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii made those!!  And it was a damn good excuse to empty out my husband's last can of coca cola!  It only took me an hour (lol) to figure it out, but now that I have 5 perfectly good goldfish cutters, I want to give them to YOU!  All you have to do is enter a comment on this post on facebook AND share the recipe post on your wall, and I will mail out your very own cutter.  Easy enough!  Oh... and since I only have 5, its limited to the first 5 people who do this.  

Recipe by Chef Chloe
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
¼ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric (I didn't have this, but it is more to add a yellow color rather than for taste)
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper (optional, but recommended for adults)
5 tablespoons vegan margarine
3 tablespoons cold water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a food processor, combine flour, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, and turmeric. Process until combined. Add margarine, and pulse about 15 times until crumbly. Add water and process until mixture just comes together.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough until it is 1/8-inch thick. It will be easier to roll if you work with half of the dough at a time. Using a goldfish cookie cutter, or other small cookie cutter, cut out the fish and line then on a baking sheet. If desired, carve a face, as pictured. I used the prong of a fork for the eyeball and a toothpick for the smile. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden and very lightly browned. Let cool and store at room temperature in a tightly sealed container or bag.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Vegan Blueberry Streusel Muffins. For Two.

...Well they were supposed to be for two.  Until my 4 year old at the other one before I got a chance to take it's picture.  Oh well.  I guess that says something about how delicious they are!

My husband has been asking me to create a giant vegan blueberry streusel muffin just like the ones they sell at Corner Bakery.  Of course, those are loaded with butter, eggs & oil so over the holiday weekend I went to work.  The best part about these (in my opinion) is that they only yeild two large, heavenly muffins.  I'm usually over everything I cook/bake after 24 hours and end up having too much leftovers.  So this is perfect!

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (white flour and whole wheat pastry flour works well too)
1 tsp baking powder
1 small ripe banana
3 Tb brown sugar
1 Tb vegan butter, melted (Earth Balance)
1 flax egg (1/2 Tablespoon flaxseed meal + 1 Tablespoon warm water)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh blueberries

For the Streusel Topping
1/2 Tb cold vegan butter
1/8 cup flour
1 1/2 Tb packed brown sugar
2 Tb frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375.  Prepare two small ramekins with cooking spray or vegan butter and set aside.  Prepare flax egg, stir well and let sit for about 5 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, mash banana and add to it, brown sugar and baking powder.  Stir well.  Add flax egg, vanilla and melted butter and stir again.
Add flour and use a spoon to combine and be careful to not over mix.  Divide batter evenly between the ramekins and top with streusel.  Bake for 28 minutes and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Vegan Sushi. 2 Ways. No Mat.

A couple years ago, I taught a cooking class and these sushi rolls were on the menu.  Particularly the ones of the left.  I called them Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls.  They were a huge hit.  I made them so often at the time, though, that we got sick of them.  And today is first time in almost two years I made them again.  Even better than I remember.

Here is my vegan version of a Spicy Tuna Roll and a traditional Vegetarian Roll.  No bamboo mat required!!

4 Nori sheets, cut in half
1 cup sushi rice, cooked as directed on package
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 package tempeh
2-4 TB Vegenaise, depending on how creamy you like it
2-4 TB Sriracha, spice to taste
1 cucumber, sliced thin
1 medium sized carrot, sliced thin
1 avocado, sliced thin
plastic wrap & a sharp knife

Side note on Tempeh:  "Tem-pay" is made by fermenting soy beans into a rectangular patty.  It is actually less processed than tofu and contains more protein and fiber as well.  It has a firm and chewy consistency and works well when using it to replace ground meats.  Steaming the tempeh helps break down the raw bitter taste and makes it easier to work with.

Break the tempeh in half with your hands and then again in quarters.  Place them in a steamer basket and steam for 15 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and smash well with a fork.  Add the vegenaise and sriracha to taste.  Set aside.
Cook sushi rice according to directions on package.  When done, transfer to a glass bowl and add rice vinegar, sugar and salt.  Stir together and set aside. 
When the rice has cooled, you are ready to assemble your sushi rolls! 

For Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls
Lay out a medium sized square of plastic wrap on your cutting board.  Place a half sheet of nori on top.  With wet hands, grab a handful of sushi rice and press down on the nori, covering the majority of the sheet.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and flip over so the rice part is now on top of the plastic wrap.  Now, spoon your prepared tempeh over the middle of the sheet, lengthwise, and spread across.  Add a few slices of cucumber.  Now, with the plastic wrap, roll the nori over the filling and press down.  Pull out any plastic wrap that is caught underneath and make sure all filling is inside.  Roll one more time and form with your hands.  Remove plastic wrap.  Cut down the center with your sharp knife and then two more times on each half.  It works well when you run the knife under hot water for a few seconds.

For the Vegetable Roll
Follow the first few steps from above and instead of flipping the sheet to make an inside out roll (where rice is on top), continue layering with carrots, cucumbers and avocado.  Roll with the help of the plastic wrap and press/form gently to make a cylinder.  Remove plastic wrap and cut into 6 equal rolls.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mini Lentil Meatballs

 My family loves pasta... especially spaghetti and meatballs.  It is a classic, simple, go-to staple in almost every American household.  Even though I sometimes give in and buy a store-bought bag of organic meatballs, it is always nice to have a meatless alternative.  These came together fairly quickly and baked up in the oven for 30 minutes.  It actually took more time to form the mini lentil-balls than it did to put it together.  So if you are short on time, feel free to make larger sized meatballs and increase the cooking time by about 10-15 minutes. 

1 (15 ounce) can lentils, drained not rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup oats
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1 flax egg (1 Tb ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tb warm water and allowed to set 10 min)
1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 350
Either spray a large baking sheet or cover with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium pan, cook the onions and garlic with 1/4 cup vegetable stock until soft.  As the pan starts to get dry, add a Tb more of stock at a time until done.
While the onions and garlic are cooking, add the walnuts and oats to the food processor and pulse until very finely ground.  Add the lentils and onion mixture.  Blend until combined.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and combine well. 
Using a teaspoon, scoop a generous tsp, form into a ball and place on your prepared baking sheet.  You should be able to make at least 50-60 mini meatballs.  If your hand starts to get sticky, wash off with water, dry and continue.  
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

No-Bake Cheesecake Cups {Vegan/Gluten Free}

I probably took these out of the freezer about 2 hours too early.  The creamy filling part would have firmed up a bit more for the photo.  But what are you supposed to do when you're on a time crunch with a baby up from her nap and needing wanting to get the recipe up before I pick up my son from summer school.  

These are the most heavenly melt-in-your-mouth bites of vegan cheesecake you will ever sink your teeth into.  Not only are they vegan, but they are also raw (no cooked ingredients) and gluten free.  My husband is pretty much a cheesecake snob.  So tonight after dinner he will be my determining factor if these are a winner.  I will definitely add an update to this post with his response!

Speaking of a time crunch, lets get right to the recipe!

1 1/4 cup walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
1 heaping TB cocoa powder
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours or overnight
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (lemon juice can work as well)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 can coconut milk, cream part skimmed from the top only.
1/2 cup maple syrup (grade b if you can)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch salt
Optional Toppings:
Fresh or frozen blueberries, strawberries

Add the dates and walnuts to the food processor until they form a ball.  You may need to scrape the sides and continue to process until well combined.  Add the cocoa powder and pulse until mixed.
Using a standard size muffin pan, lightly coat with cooking spray.  Add 1 heaping Tb of the crust to each muffin slot.  I used the top of my cooking spray lid to press them down firmly. 
Transfer the muffin pan to the freezer and allow the crust to set while you prepare the filling.
Add all filling ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth.  Add 2 big spoonfuls of the filling to the top of each crust and top with frozen or fresh fruit.  Or nothing!  It's delicious plain. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the freezer for 4-6 hours.  When ready to eat, take a small knife and cut around the cheesecake to loosen it up. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

{easy} Restaurant-Style Hummus

Five ingredients is all you need to make this damn good restaurant-style, velvety, creamy, garlicky hummus... WITHOUT using oil!  How do we accomplish this you ask?  I recently discovered a trick to homemade hummus that changed everything!  A microwave.  Before I go on, yes I am aware of how bad a microwave is and how we shouldn't use it to reheat food, etc etc etc.  However, I am making an exception here.  And you should too!!  For hummus sakes... ya... that was bad. 

The concept of this hummus is to cook the garlic with the chickpeas and its' liquid from the can so it gets extra creamy and luxurious.  Once the beans and garlic are done, simply add to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  That's it!

 Even though this hummus comes together in minutes, you want to give yourself a couple hours to let it cool in the refrigerator and allow flavors to come together a little more.  

1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), do not drain
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed butter/paste)
3 Tb lemon juice (2 may work for you since I like a lot of lemon)
1 tsp salt
optional for presentation: drizzle with a tiny amount of olive oil and sprinkle with paprika  

In a large microwave safe bowl, add chickpeas and the liquid along with your 3 whole garlic cloves.  Microwave for 4 1/2 minutes.  Add to blender or food processor along with lemon juice, salt and tahini.  Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed to fully combine.  
Transfer to the fridge and allow to cool before serving.