butternut squash mac & cheese.

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When fall comes I always find myself buying a butternut squash, then scrambling to find something to make with it before it goes bad. Why not sneak it into some mac and cheese? I made it for my son and his friend and they gobbled it up. Didn’t even phase them!  This would make a great thanskgiving side dish too if you are looking for one.

I found the recipe here.  My modification is below.

  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (yields: 3.5 cups raw)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 6-7 tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • 2 T Miso Paste
  • 1 tspn onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Paprika + more to season
  • Your pasta of choice

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet.  In a bowl, season chopped squash with some oil (~1 tsp) and kosher salt (couple pinches) and stir. Add to baking sheet and roast in oven for 40 minutes, flipping once half way through baking.

2. Add roasted squash, cashews, non-dairy milk, garlic, , salt, nutritional yeast, pepper, miso, seasonings) to vitamix type of blender and process until smooth

4. Cook your pasta according to package directions. When squash is finished roasting, add it to the food processor and blend it with the cheese sauce until smooth. Adjust to taste. The sauce will thicken up with time. If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a bit of milk to thin it out.

5. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Now add the pasta back into the same pot and add your desired amount of cheese sauce on top. Stir well. Add in any desired mix-ins like peas or broccoli. You can either heat this up in the pot, or pour it into a casserole dish (I used a 4 cup dish), sprinkle on breadcrumbs + paprika, and bake it at 350 for about 20-25 minutes.

fried chick’n sandwich.

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I found a recipe to make this vegan chick’n sandwich which is supposed to be a copycat Chick-fil-a.  I never had a chick-fil-a sandwich, but having recently bought an airfryer, this appealed to me. Turned out to be pretty delicious! I modified the recipe a bit and made it twice in one week! I made the seitan ahead of time and then bread it when im ready to make some for dinner.  They reheat well too!

Chick’n Seitan:
Binder
  • ¾ cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
Breading
Topping ideas
  • Burger buns, I used pretzel buns
  • Vegan Ranch or vegan mayo
  • avocado
  • vegan cheese
  • pickles
To make the seitan:
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together wheat gluten, salt, nutritional yeast, onion powder and poultry seasoning.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine ¾ broth and tahini and whisk until smooth.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet and stir until well combined.
  4. Knead the dough until it is elastic but not dry. Sprinkle some additional gluten flour if you find you have made your dough too sticky.
  5. Divide the dough into small little burgers. Keep in mind they will grow to about twice their size, so make then smaller then you would normally. Place in a casserole dish, covering them completely with vegetable broth.
  6. Cook burgers in broth for 1 hour at 350 degrees, flipping at 45 minutes. Allow to cool.
Breading
  1. Combine the flour, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, salt, baking powder, and garlic powder in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Toss the seitan “chicken” cutlet into the dry mixtured and coat completely, then toss it into the wet, again coating evenly on all sides. Toss into the flour mixture again and coat generously. Repeat with the remaining cutlets and set aside.
  3. Place cutlets in the airfryer and bake at 370 for about 12 minutes. Flip occasionally to ensure even cooking. If you dont have an air fryer, im sure you can bake in the over, deep fry!

buffalo tofu.

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I recently jumped on the air fryer bandwagon. I kept seeing the food being made in my feed – and then saw an infomercial and knew i had to have one. I chose this one and its been working pretty well. It doesnt make french fries taste like they have been deep fried, like the infomercial promised, but it does cook things so quickly and really does make stuff crispy with using a minimal amount of oil.

I kept seeing kittee posting about her buffalo tofu and I have to say this is hands down the best thing we have made in here so far! Wowza. we turned these into buffalo tofu wraps with some avocado, home grown tomatoes and daiya ranch dressing.  Cant wait for leftovers tomorrow!

You can find Kittee’s recipe for her buffalo cauliflower here – I modified it a bit to make it work for tofu/my needs.

First, she mentioned on instagram to marinate your tofu in tamari, nutritional yeast, garlic, liquid smoke and rice vinegar.  I just kind of eyeballed it all. Mix together and let marinade a few hours to overnight.

as to the recipe i posted above i used only
1/2 cup chickpea flour instead of the three flour blends she suggested, and i think i will only use a 1/2 T of curry next time.

I already have another batch of this marinating today! I cant wait to eat it again! Its not too spicy, super crispy and  heated up nicely the next day in the air fryer – crispy as can be!

zucchini noodle lasagna.

ZUCHINNI.jpgI took a stab at making a lasagna with zuchinni instead of noodles. I just kind of threw this recipe together, and happy to say…it was a hit! I came home late from work one day and my family was gladly eating this. Milo didnt even realize the noodles were zucchini.

zucchini – sliced thin with a mandolin slicer
1 package extra firm tofu, pressed and crumbled
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup-3/4 cup water
3-4 garlic cloves
salt
pepper
nutritional yeast
fresh basil
1 bag fresh spinach
vegan parm (recipe below)
Tomato sauce

Prep your zucchini.  Slice thin with a mandolin slicer and lay flat on paper towels, sprinkled with salt. Let sit for about 10-20 minutes and dab with paper towels as zucchini starts to sweat out the water.

Make the cashew cream: Blend together the drained raw cashews, fresh water, garlic, lemon juice, and generous pinches of salt and pepper.Add a little fresh basil if youd like as well.  Add a little vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

Make the spinach: I make spinach by filling a tea kettle with water and boiling it, then putting bag of spinach in a colander and pour boiling water on top of spinach.  Run some cold water on it and squeeze out all excess water.  Chop roughly.

Make the tofu ricotta: Take crumbled tofu, cashew cream and spinach and mix to combine. Add fresh chopped basil.

Assemble the lasagna:Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour some pasta sauce in an 8×8 pan. Layer the zucchini noodles, then layer with tofu ricotta and sauce. Continue until you end on a layer of noodles on top. Top with remaining sauce and vegan parmesan.  Bake covered with foil for 25 min.  Uncover and bake for about 30 min more.

blueberry peach scones.

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This that time of year in the midwest: blueberry season. peach season. Nothing beats fresh picked blueberries or fresh picked peaches. Im on my way to the farmers market after this post to get more peaches because we ate the last batch so fast! These scones were awesome. Ill be making more this afternoon!

I found the original recipe here.

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 T coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) earth balance, cold and cut into small pieces
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh peach, in ½” pieces (about half a medium peach)
  • ⅓ cup blueberries (cut in half if they’re large)
  • 1 egg replacer, prepped (or 1 egg if not vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
For the topping
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

    1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon until combined. Add the earth balance and using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut it in until the mixture is crumbly. Some chunks of earth balance should remain. Add in the peaches and blueberries.
    2.In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the egg/egg replacer, vanilla, and applesauce. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
    3. Prep your baking pan
    4. Scrape the dough onto the floured surface. Pat the dough into a 5″ to 5½” circle about ¾” thick.
    5. To make the topping, stir together the coarse sugar and cinnamon. Brush the dough with milk, and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top.
    6. Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice the circle into 6 wedges.
    7. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them, about 1 inch between them at the edges. Place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
    8. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown.

stawberry rhubarb bars.

STRAWBERRYRHUBARBI’m still working like a mad-woman to use up all this rhubarb in my garden. I froze a whole bunch, gave some away, and I still have a bit more to harvest. I found this recipe, and since it was pretty low on the sugar side, I gave it a go. I love the crust. Would think this recipe would be great with just about any fruit that is in season. I ate this all week for breakfast, and maybe for dessert too…but who’s counting?!

CRUST
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup  raw almonds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp (24 g) coconut sugar*
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp (68 g) coconut oil, melted
FILLING
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup straweberries
  • 1/4 cup orange or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
CRUMBLE TOPPING
  • 3 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare an 8×8 pan.
  2. Add oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a food processor or high speed blender and pulse into a fine meal.
  3. Add melted coconut oil and pulse to incorporate. It should form a loose dough that forms when squeezed between two fingers. Add more melted oil if too dry.
  4. Spread the mixture into the baking dish and press down into an even layer.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then increase heat to 375 degrees F and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the crust is fragrant and the edges are slightly golden brown. Set aside.
  6. In the meantime, add rhubarb, strawberries, juice, coconut sugar and cornstarch to a medium saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until slightly softened and bubbly – about 5-7 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking, then remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Next prepare crumble by adding all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and using a fork or your fingers to mix ingredients into a crumble. Set aside.
  8. Add strawberry-rhubarb mixture to the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Then top with crumble topping and spread evenly to cover fruit.
  9. Reduce oven heat back to 350 degrees and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the strawberry topping is warm and bubbly and the crumble is golden brown.
  10. Remove squares from oven and let cool completely – 1-2 hours. Once cooled, gently lift bars from pan and slice into 9 even squares, or 10 bars.

zuchinni fries.

ZUCHINNIFRIESJust like the years before, I have yet again neglected my garden and wind up finding GIANT zuchinnis growing and then racking my brain trying to figure out what to do with them. I’m going to take a stab at some zuchinni noodles this year, but for the time being I tried some zuchinni fries.  DEFINITELY a fan. These were so so delicious.

Sliced zuchinni
1/4 cup flour
1 T cornstarch
1/2 cup plain almond milk
1/2 tspn apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tspn salt
pepper
1 tspn olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Spray pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Youll need a bowl for the batter, and another for the breading. In one bowl add flour, cornstarch and almond milk and mix really well. In another add the bread crumbs and the olive oil and mix together with your fingers.

Dip zuchinni in almond milk mixture, then into the bread crumbs and lay on pan.  Once finished, bake for about 10/15 minutes, and then flip over and bake another 10 minutes more or so.  Add more salt and pepper to your liking.

whoopie pie smores.

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Fourth of july was just here and I used that as an excuse to get some cooking/baking in. I was drooling over this recipe for these whoopie pie smores – and since I had a bag of vegan marshmallows from trader joes, I used this as the perfect opportunity to make them! The original recipe is gluten free, but I didnt have gluten free flour blend, so i just subbed some regular flour and these turned out pretty great!!

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp  water)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp  maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup  almond meal (finely ground from raw almonds)
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (finely ground from raw oats)
  • 3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
FILLINGS
  • 1 10 ounce (283 g) bag Vegan Marshmallows
  • 6 ounces  vegan dark chocolate, broken/roughly chopped
  • optional: Fresh blueberries + sliced strawberries
Instructions
  1. Make chocolate cakes by measuring out almond milk in a liquid measuring cup and adding apple cider vinegar  and baking soda and stir. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, prepare flax eggs by combining water and flaxseed meal. Let rest for 5 minutes while you prepare your other ingredients.
  3. Add the oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup, and whisk to combine.
  4. Next add applesauce, vanilla, and salt, and whisk to combine. Then add almond milk mixture and whisk again until everything is thoroughly incorporated – about 30 seconds.
  5. Lastly, add baking powder, cocoa powder, almond meal, oat flour, and gluten free flour, and whisk to combine, making sure no large lumps remain.
  6. Transfer batter to the refrigerator to chill/thicken for 20 minutes, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Grease two large baking sheets with nonstick spray (if you don’t have two baking sheets, just use one and bake the cakes in 3-4 batches).
  7. Once the oven is preheated, scoop out 1 heaping Tbsp amount of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1-inch of room for spreading. Use your tablespoon to slightly spread them into a small disc. One standard baking sheet should fit 12 cakes. Repeat on second baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges appear dry. (I found 12 minutes to be the perfect time.) Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
  9. Repeat this process, baking the mini cakes until all batter is used – you should have about 40-48 total cakes.
  10. Once the cakes are completely cooled, arrange half of the cakes on 1-2 baking sheets (upside down) and top each with a chocolate square and several halved marshmallows.
  11. Broil on the top rack of the oven on high broil until toasty and brown. Watch carefully as they will burn/toast quickly! (Alternatively, if using a grill or campfire, toast the marshmallows over the fire and place between cakes once toasted).
  12. Top with fruit (optional) and another cake of similar size and shape and press down slightly.
  13. Enjoy immediately! Best when fresh.
  14. Leftover cakes will keep covered at room temperature up to 3 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.

 

cashew seitan.

cashewseitan

 

This dish is easy, ready in about 20 minutes, and is loaded with flavor and easy to customize to your liking. The original recipe called for chicken, but I swapped it for some upton’s seitan, and I love the texture. You could swap for tofu too, I imagine, but I needed a change of pace. Below is my take on the recipe:

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package uptons seitan
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 heaping cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup red bell peppers, diced small
  • 1 cup shelled frozen edamame
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted whole cashews
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili garlic sauce, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 to 1 cup green onions, sliced into thin rounds (from about 3 or 4 green onions)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To a gallon-sized ziptop bag, add the cornstarch, salt, pepper, seitan, seal, and shake to coat seitan evenly.
  2. To a large skillet, add the oil, and seitan, and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat, flipping and stirring so all sides cook evenly.
  3. Add the broccoli, bell peppers, edamame, garlic, and stir to combine. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.. While vegetables cook, make the sauce.
  4. To a medium bowl add the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, and whisk to combine; set aside.
  5. Add the cashews to the skillet and stir to combine.
  6. Add the sauce and stir to combine. Allow sauce to simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the green onions, stir to combine, and serve immediately.

strawberry rhubarb crisp.

strawberryrhubarbcrisp
I
ts that time of year again where I have rhubarb coming out of my ears and no clue what to do with it besides make pie. So I present to you a crumble. I tried to find something that was refined-sugar free; this was a little tart, but it was pretty good. I think it would be great mixed into some yogurt! The top makes almost like a granola – it was my favorite part.

  • 2 cups rhubarb, diced
  • 2 cups strawberries, diced
  • zest from one orange (or lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1½ Tablespoons cornstarch
For the crumbles
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • ¾ cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the strawberries and rhubarb in a large mixing bowl with the zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and cornstarch and mix well.
  2. Mix the almonds, flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and maple syrup together in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the coconut oil with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture begins to form crumbs.
  3. Grease an oven proof casserole or skillet and spoon in the fruit filling. Crumble the topping evenly over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, checking occasionally. When the topping is browned and the fruit is bubbling, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.