go-to granola.

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Granola is something that is so easy to make from scratch – and goes along way. Makes both a hearty breakfast item AND a delicious snack. I was looking for a recipe to make – that didnt require any processed sugar – and I kept finding recipes that would be good, buuuuut I was out of a key ingredient.  Then I came across this on buzzfeed.

Its a really helpful guide as to what goes into making a good granola recipe. By giving you the basics, you design and make your own granola. Genuis! It will be my new go to guide to making granola and I will continue to share any winning combinations that work for me…including this one!

3 cups oats
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup mixed – seasame seeds, sunflower seeds and chopped almonds
1 cup large coconut flakes
3/4 tspn salt
1/2 tspn cardamom
1 tspn cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Mix everything together and coat it well.
Spread evenly on a flat baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Give it a good stir, and bake for 15 minutes more.

Let cool and add any dried fruit you would like. I added some chopped dates.

 

 

sweet potato chocolate cake.

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I had no idea you could make an unrefined sugar & oil free- chocolate cake taste so good…and with frosting! My friend told me about this cake and I whipped it up saturday night and was suprised at how easy it came together, and how rich and not dense it was. I could only have a little piece at a time, but I guess thats probably a good thing. Milos friend was over and saw me eating some and said “is that chocolate cake?!” I told her there wasnt going to be any sugar in it and it might taste wierd….And she had no problems digging right in!

Original recipe found here.

 

3/4 cup peeled, cooked, and cooled orange sweet potato
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole-grain spelt flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup mini or regular nondairy chocolate chips ( I used these)
1/2 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8” x 8” brownie/cake pan or a 9” round cake pan. In a blender puree the sweet potato, 1/2 cup of the water, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla extract until completely smooth. In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut sugar, chocolate chips, and sea salt, then sift in the cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry (be sure to scrape out all the blended ingredients with a spatula, and use the remaining 1 tablespoon of water to rinse the blender jar and get out any remaining puree). Mix until just well incorporated. Transfer to the prepared pan, bake for 21–23 minutes, remove, and let cool on a cooling rack.

Frosting
1/2 cup packed cup peeled, cooked, and cooled sweet potato (I used a white sweet potoato here)
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup almond butter
1/8 rounded teaspoon sea salt
2-3 tablespoons nondairy milk (see tip)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the sweet potato, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, cashew butter, sea salt, 1–2 tablespoons of the milk, and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. I. Taste, and add more sweetener if desired, and also another 1 tablespoon of milk if needed to thin to preferred consistency. Puree until smooth, scraping down the blender/processor bowl as needed. Puree until as smooth as possible. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

laundry soap: powdered.

laundrysoap

I tried out making some laundry soap this weekend using this tutorial. This laundry soap will clump up on you so make sure to add desiccant. Ive been saving the little packs that come with my vitamins and other random things, opened them up and made a little cloth bag to put them in. I used dr. brommers peppermint castille soap and i love how minty and clean this smells. If you use a plain bar of soap you can always add a few drops of essential oils in there too if you want it to have a little smell.

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile soapGrate the bar of soap finely. I used an old cheese grater, then thew it in my vitamix to mix a little finer. You want it to be pretty fine.
    Put the grated soap in a large bowl, add all of the other ingredients, and stir to combine. If it gets a little clumpy as you stir, you can use a pastry blender to break up the clumps.Pour the laundry soap into an airtight container for storage. I used an old bucket we had from diswashing pods. You could use a big wide mouth jar of some sort too.

berry kombucha smoothie.

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I havent made a new smoothie in a while, but that changed recently when I discovered using kombucha as my base. I can only imagine the different kinds you can make using all the different kombucha flavors that is out there. I had a blueberry ginger on on hand, so I thought a berry smoothie would be in order.  Heres what I did:

3/4 cup berry ginger kombucha
1/2 banana, frozen
handful of strawberries, frozen
handful of blueberries, frozen
2 handfuls spinach
1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Mix and enjoy!

homeade cavatelli.

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I suddenly got the urge to make my own pasta noodles recently. We have both a metal, crank machine and a kitchen aid attachment that are both collecting dust for many years – but turns out I didn’t even need either. I went with cavatelli. I found alot of recipes online that didnt require any eggs, so I gave it a go.

These were suprisingly not very hard to make. I made the dough and let it sit for a while, covered, while I went and did other things. When it came time to make the noodles, I made them and let them sit, covered with a towel for about an hour or so until I was ready to boil. They only boil for a few minutes – once they float take them out. They were a little tough, but they were pretty good, overall. Maybe thats because the recipe didnt call for egg? Maybe I overworked the dough ( I tried to be careful about that). if anyone has any tips for next time, I’d love to hear them.

I found a you tube video that showed you how to roll them – using a sushi mat! Genius! I caught on very quickly, and this went alot faster than using the butter knife method.

The recipe/video I followed for making the dough is here.
This video was super helpful and I followed along easily.

To make cavatelli dough you will need:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups water, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • extra flour for rolling
Instructions
  1. Place the flour on a wooden board and make a well.
  2. Add the water and the salt in the center of the well.
  3. With a fork, start incorporating the flour and the water until you get a thick batter.
  4. With the help of a dough scraper, incorporate the rest of the flour (it may appear to you that there isn’t enough water…just keep kneading…magically everything comes together).
  5. Knead for about 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature (I will usually place a tea towel over the top).
  7. Cut the dough into 4 pieces.
  8. Roll out each piece about a ⅛ inch thick. (If the dough is not easy to roll out, let it rest for another hour or so). Make sure your board and rolling pin are floured.
  9. Cut the into ¾ – 1 inch strips.
  10. Cut each strip into ¼ – ½ inch pieces.
  11. Using the index finger, apply a gentle pressure on the dough, dragging it toward you. There should be a slight curl formed.
  12. Place cavatelli on large baking sheets which has been dusted with flour in a single layer, not touching each other.
  13. Continue until all the dough has been formed into cavatelli.
  14. If using immediately, drop in a large pot of salted boiling water for a few minutes. The cavatelli are done when they float to the top. (Try to shake off as much as the flour as possible before boiling them). Taste to make sure they are cooked to your liking.
  15. If freezing, place the tray of cavatelli in the freezer and once frozen, place in plastic bag in the freezer. Can be cooked frozen. (Should take 6-8 minutes to cook. Taste to make sure they are cooked).
  16. Serve with your favorite sauce.

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peanut butter mousse pie.

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My easter tradition seems to be to make a pie. Holidays in general make me want to make a pie.

This year I decided to do it on a whim, and quickly found this recipe, which seemed easy enough and I had just enough of everything on hand. I recently bought a can of coconut creme and had it sitting in the fridge, just for a time like this.

This came together in no time – and I’m not gonna lie – I had my doubts after I whipped up the peanut butter mousse. BUT when I served it up, it was delicious, together with the pie crust. Its actually pretty hard to believe there is no refined sugar in this pie, and just 2T of maple syrup as the sweetener. I will, for sure, be making this pie again.

  • 1 1/2 cups almonds
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 18 Dates or 10 Medjool Dates
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Natural Peanut Butter (creamy, lightly salted)
  • 2 cups Coconut Cream (chilled)
  • 2-3 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup Vegan Chocolate Chips (melted) (I used grain free ones)
  1. Line a 7 inch springform or pie form with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare chocolate almond crust by pulsing almonds cocoa powder, dates, and salt in a food processor until a sticky mass forms. Press firmly into base of form and place in freezer.
  3. Mix peanut butter, coconut cream, and maple syrup with an electric mixer. Beat until peanut butter mousse is creamy and soft peaks form.
  4. Remove pie crust from freezer and spread peanut butter mousse on crust using a spatula.
  5. Melt chocolate chips in microwave, warm water bath, or double boiler. Drizzle melted chocolate over peanut butter mousse.I also melted some peanut butter and also drizzled this across the top.

popsicle stick bunny.

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Easter is right around the corner – Here’s a fun craft you can do with kids – I find hot glue works better than elmers glue, so you might need to assist with that part. These make fun little puppets!

You need:
popsicle sticks
pom poms of different sizes
googly eyes
pipe cleaners

First, twist a pipe cleaner around the base of your popsicle stick.
Glue a big pom pom to the top of the stick, then add the nose and googly eyes.
Cut pipe cleaners to make ears, and then glue to the back/top of the head.
Glue a smaller pom pom ball to the back of the popsicle stick for a tail…and you are done!

2 zip hipster bag: revisited.

hipsterbagThis is my second attempt at this bag.   I made a practice one a few years ago, and decided to make one I would actually use. I used canvas last time, and I think that might have been the better choice, but I’m happy with the way this one turned out. I needed a purse a little bit bigger than the one I currently have and this does the trick!

This really is a great pattern. Its really really detailed, and explains everything with photos, so its really thorough and easy to follow. I had a bit of trial and error, but once I made an error, it was really easy to figure out how to revise. And just like that, I have a new bag!

Buffalo cauliflower.

My husband has been bugging me to make this for a while, and when I found a head of cauliflower in my fridge that needed to be used, the opportunity finally came. Not sure what took me so long – it came together so fast and with ingredients we had on hand, and was delicious. I have made buffalo tempeh in the past and It always calls for so much earth balance – this recipe was fairly on the healthy side, and by cooking it in the two stages, it sort of has a breading which addS a nice dimension. We served it with some vegan ranch dressing – and he made a salad with the leftovers. Definitely think this would be a crowd pleaser!

Original recipe found here

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon melted earth balance
2/3 cup hot sauce (we used franks hot sauce) 

Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, water, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk together until smooth.

Toss cauliflower into garbanzo batter, making sure to coat each piece completely, then place battered cauliflower on a lightly greased, nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, tossing halfway through.

In the meantime, combine melted earth balance and hot sauce in a large bowl, regularly stirring. When cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and gently toss it in the hot sauce mixture. Place cauliflower back on the baking sheet and cook for an additional 25 minutes until it becomes crispy. Allow cauliflower to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

roasted red bell pepper pasta.

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This recipe will be in rotation at my house. If you roast your red bell peppers ahead of time, it comes together very quickly. Its a nice alternative to tomato-based pasta sauce; its creamy and cheesy and doesnt use any nuts! Really enjoyed this and it made great leftovers too!

Original recipe found here

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2-Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Linguini noodles
  • dried or fresh basil and/or parsley (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees Fand roast red peppers on a baking sheet until charred – about 25-30 minutes. Cover in foil for 10 minutes to steam, then remove (peel away) charred skin, seeds and stems. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  3. While the red peppers are roasting, bring a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic in 2-3 Tbsp olive oil until golden brown and soft – about 4-5 minutes. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Transfer sautéed onion and garlic to blender with roasted peppers, almond milk, nutritional yeast and cornstarch. Season with desired amount of salt and pepper.
  5. Blend until creamy and smooth, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper or nutritional yeast for flavor. You want the flavor to be pretty robust and strong since the noodles don’t have much flavor – so be generous with your seasonings.
  6. Once blended, place sauce back in the skillet over medium heat to thicken. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and continue simmering.
  7. Once sauce is thickened to desired consistency, add noodles. However, before tossing add a touch more olive oil, salt and pepper to the un-tossed noodles for added flavor. Then, toss to coat.
  8. Serve with crusehd red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley or basil.
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