italian orzo soup.

orzosoupThis soup is adapted from a recipe I kept seeing on pinterest. Its perfect for the colder weather we have been having and very easily customizable to your liking. I definitely think I’m going to add some chickpeas next time for some added protein.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, pureed in blender before adding
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups loosely-packed spinach
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • salt and black pepper

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes, until soft. Add carrots, celery and garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes. Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Bring soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Add the orzo and cook another 10 minutes, until the orzo is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is bright green and wilted. Season with salt and black pepper to taste (if needed). Serve warm with some crusty bread.

tofu and black bean enchiladas.

enchiladas

I struggle with making enchiladas; they always come out dry and just not right. I really love Trader Joes black bean and corn enchiladas. They are saucy, full of vegetables and satisfying. So on a whim, I decided to try to recreate something similar, and I think i succeeded.  I wish I had taken a photo, but my lunch leftovers will have to do.

Half a block of tofu, diced small
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small zuchinni, grated
Few handfuls of baby spinach
One ear of corn, with kernels removed from the cob
1 onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tspn cumin
2 tspn chili pepper
black pepper
daiya vegan cheddar cheese (optional)
Corn tortillas (i also did half with flour b/c thats what the husband likes!)
2 10 oz cans enchilada sauce

Preheat your oven to 375.
Add some oil to your pan, and add the tofu. Cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, then add onions and garlic and continue to cook until the onions start to wilt.  Add the cumin, chili powder and pepper; mix well. Add in the zuchinni, spinach and corn; cook for a few minutes until the spinach starts to wilt; then add in the black beans and cook until beans are heated through.

Coat the bottom of a 9×13 pan with plenty of enchilada sauce. Fill each tortilla with the filling and some daiya cheese if you are using it, and roll tightly.  Top with more enchilada sauce and bake for 20 minutes.

banana bread granola.

granola
More granola! What can I say? I’m on a granola kick!
This one is adapted from shutterbean’s recipe, found here.

  • 5 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, toss oats, walnuts, almonds, cinnamon and brown sugar together and set aside. In a small bowl mash bananas and stir in maple syrup & olive oil until thoroughly mixed. Pour wet mixture over the oat-nut mixture and stir until oats are well saturated. Spread the oats on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes, stirring mixture every 10 minutes until oats are nice & golden.  Let granola cool and transfer to an airtight container.

taquitos.

taquitos

Taquitos! These are one of my family’s favorite things that I make so I figure its about time I document it.

1 package uptons chorizo seitan or ground seitan
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 T vegan cream cheese
1/2 red bell pepper
spinach (optional – i add this to sneak some greens into it; i dont add a ton, maybe a few handfuls, chopped really good)
Green onions
2 tspn chili powder
Juice of half a lime
1/3 cup salsa (I  highly recommend trader joes salsa authentica for this)
Vegan cheese (we use daiya)

Flour tortillas

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare a 9×13 pan.

Saute your seitan; when it starts to get warm, add all the rest of the ingredients, except for the vegan cheese. mix well and cook for a few more minutes until the vegan cream cheese is all melted.

Warm your tortillas and line each tortilla with some vegan cheese; Place a heaping tablespoon full or so of the filling. Roll tightly and put into the pan. Continue until you run out of filling. you dont want to fill them too full because you want to be able to make sure to roll them nice and tight.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, flip and bake for about 5 minutes more until crispy.

Top with guacomole, vegan sour cream and more of that delicious trader joes salsa!

peanut butter granola.

PBGRANOLA

Oh, this recipe had me at peanut butter. And it only had a few ingredients, all of which I had on hand AND came together quickly. SOLD. This granola tastes like a deconstructed granola bar.  I added chocolate chips, unsalted peanuts and toasted coconut chips. I think banana chips would be so good too!  This makes a terrific (watch out, im addicted) snack. I can’t get enough of it!

3 cups old fashioned oats
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup creamy natural salted peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup toasted coconut chips
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts

  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine oats and sugar.
  3. Warm peanut butter, oil, and maple syrup or agave in a small skillet or saucepan until thoroughly combined and pourable.
  4. Pour over oats and quickly toss/stir to combine.
  5. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until evenly golden brown. Watch closely as it tends to brown quickly near the end. IMPORTANT: Toss once around the 15-minute mark to ensure even baking.
  6. Remove from oven, toss gently to release heat and let cool completely on the pan.
  7. Transfer to mixing bowl or storage container and add chocolate chips, coconut and peanuts (banana chips too maybe?!) and stir or shake.

smores cake.

smores
Although I didn’t do alot of baking and cooking this summer, i DID manage to whip up this smores cake for a dinner with friends one night. I woke up the next morning wishing we hadn’t eaten it all. It was a fun take on the classic smores (which is one of my most favorite deserts ever).

The cake recipe comes from the smores cupcake in vegan cupcakes take over the world.
(Shutterbean recently made a smores cake and posted a recipe here – No doubt hers is delicious!)

I poured the recipe into a 8×8 pan and baked it for 20 minutes.
After it cooled I made a chocolate ganache

1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

In a small sauce pan, bring the almond milk to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and add the chocolate and syrup. Mix with a rubber spatula for about 30 seconds. Turn heat off, continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted and the icing is smooth.

Ice the cake and then top with dandies marshmallows. Put back in the oven for about 3 minutes, but watch closely so your cake doesnt overcook and your marshmallows dont burn!

summer corn soup.

cornssoup

I know what you are thinking….soup?! IN THE SUMMERTIME?! But rest assured, this soup is a great summertime supper. The sweetness of corn tastes just like the joys of summer. I was able to pick up the potatoes and corn at the weekly farmers market – so it was easily a spur of the moment dinner – And it didn’t take too much time to throw together, so its great for a weeknight meal. Don’t forget to serve it with some crusty bread!

Original recipe found here.

  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped (~1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 small red potatoes (or 1 small russet), quartered and peeled
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 ears corn,  kernels sliced off
  • 2 cups veggie broth*
  • 2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk=
  • 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

peach oatmeal smoothie.

SMOOTHIE

This has been my go-to smoothie this summer. It’s the best with those big juicy peaches you find at the farmers market. I tried subbing frozen peaches, but it just wasn’t the same. You definitely want to use fresh here. Its definitely a sweet, delicious way to start your morning.

1 frozen banana
1 – 1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 fresh, ripe peach
1 T flax seed
2 -3 T dried oatmeal

Blend and ejoy!

chocolate cherry popsicles.

chocolatecherrypopsicles

Summertime! Popsicle time!

1 can coconut milk (I used low fat, but i bet full fat would be creamier!)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 Tablespoons agave
1 cup pitted bing cherries

Mix all in a blender, pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

peanut butter skillet cookie with bourbon salted caramel ice cream.

pbskillet

This recipe turned out to be a tag team effort! I had dinner at my friend’s house last night and her request was to bring a peanut butter cookies. I knew she was making some homeade icecream, so I made a simple peanut butter skillet cookie to top off with the ice cream. This was her first attempt at making vegan ice cream, and it was FANTASTIC. Holy moly. The combination of the cookie, ice cream and bourbon-caramel sauce was the perfect way to end the weekend. I will definitely be making this next time I need to feed a crowd. YUM.

So here are the recipes. I made the skillet cookie. she made the ice cream. Both are vegan and both are out of this world delicious.

I found the skillet cookie here, and veganized it:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons earth balance, melted
6 tablespoons peanut butter, melted
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tspns egg replacer, mixed with 4 T warm water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the earth balance, peanut butter and sugars until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add in the egg mixture and mix until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix well.

Press the dough into a 12-inch oven-safe skillet. Bake the cookie for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is set in the middle. If at any time the edges become too brown, tent the cookie with aluminum foil.

We served the cookie warm, topped with this ice cream. Make it. Now. you wont regret it.

  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (or for at least 6 hours), then drained
  • 1 cup Bourbon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • OPTIONAL: 1 Tbsp tapioca flour OR arrowroot starch for thickening
  1. Make sure your ice cream churning bowl is frozen and soak your cashews. This is all great to do the night before.
  2. Add bourbon and sugar to a small saucepan over medium-high and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer and swirl DON’T stir, until a bubbly caramel forms. It happens pretty quick; less than 10 minutes so stay close. Remove from heat and immediately add 3 Tbsp almond milk, sea salt, and stir. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, taste and add more salt if needed. You could also add a splash more bourbon at this point, but don’t exceed 2 tsp or it can inhibit it from freezing.
  3. Add all ingredients except bourbon reduction and tapioca flour to blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Use the “liquify” setting if you have it. You want it to be completely creamy and blended with no chunks.
  4. Add tapioca flour and HALF of the bourbon caramel and blend again. Chill remaining half of caramel.
  5. Add mixture to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions – about 45 minutes. It should look like soft serve.
  6. Add remaining bourbon reduction in last minute OR stir in with a spoon so there’s a more pronounced swirl.
  7. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and cover well. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours or until firm.
  8. Set out for 10-20 minutes (OR microwave for 30 seconds) before serving to soften. Will keep for up to 1 week, though best when fresh.

 

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