curry.

curry
you guys, I MADE A CURRY! and it tasted good!!!

I have the hardest time with curries, every so often i get the urge to make one and its just so bland, so I’ve pretty much given up on it. But something inspired me to try it again. After looking at a few recipes on the internet, I got the basis down and decided to go my own way and just make something up.

Feel free to use whatever vegetables are in season or you have on hand.

I package tofu, pressed and drained
Coconut oil
1 medium onion
Large chunk of fresh ginger
4-5 garlic cloves
1 can coconut milk (i used light)
2 1/2 tpsn madras curry powder
salt
Green beans
brocolli
red bell pepper
kale/and or spinach (i used both because I had a little of both on hand)

cashews, lightly roasted or pan fried
Cilantro
1/2 lime
Rice or quinoa, or grain of your choice

First – Prep your tofu. Set your oven to 400 degrees; cut into 1 inch cubes, put on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. flip over and bake 10 minutes more. set aside.

Finely chop your onion, garlic and ginger Using about 2T coconut oil, sautee them in a large pan or saucepot. Once onions start to soften, add the curry powder and a 1-2 T water to deglaze the pan so nothing burns. Add the bell pepper and green beans and saute for a few minutes. pour in the coconut milk and add the tofu and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Add about 1/2 tspn or so of salt to help bring the flavors out in the vegetables. Add the brocolli and greens and cook for a few minutes more, until your vegetables reach your desired firmness. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over the curry. Let stand for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.

Spoon on top of some rice, and top with cilantro and cashews.  I sprinkled some simply asia ginger and garlic seasoning on top of mine.

Definitely adjust the seasonings to your liking, and feel free to customize with any you might think are good. This is a great recipe to start with and build on to make better and better each time.

coconut milk scones.

scones

I found this recipe for scones a while back and finally gave it a try. I love a good scone for breakfast, but whenever I find a recipe, they are loaded with butter, or oil – not really want to i want to load myself with the first thing in the morning. While delicious, not the most nutritious thing. When i came across this recipe I noticed it had NO butter or oil, so I was definitely intrigued. These turned out pretty good. They arent as melty-amazing on the inside, nor are they overly sweet – but they have a nice outer crunch, and a softish middle. These are easily customizable – the flavor combinations are endless. I made two batches, and froze one for later, so I didnt waste the can of coconut milk I opened.

2 cups flour ( I used spelt flour)
1/3 cup sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup canned coconut milk (I used the lower fat kind and it seemed to work fine!)
1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, cherries, raisins, etc.)*

*I made cranberry/orange/coconut and chocolate chip/cherry/almond versions.

coconut milk
sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease your baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Pour in coconut milk. Gently mix with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula just until it’s combined. Fold in dried fruits. Transfer dough onto a floured surface and shape into a disc about 3/4 inches in thickness. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 8 wedges onto prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with coconut milk and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately or store them in an airtight container after they have completely cooled.

baked chocolate donut holes.

DONUTHOLES

Chocolate donuts covered in sprinkles? sign me up!

Ok, so maybe these arent traditional donuts, and maybe they arent the most sweetest things on the planet – however, they are taste like little bites of cake – and they are covered in sprinkles, so you cant go wrong in my book! I always want donuts, but rarely have them, and i ALWAYS want cake, but dont make it often, because i will eat ALOT of it. This seems to be an easy way to satisfy that cake craving – it makes 24, and they are small little bites.

I found the recipe here, and veganized it.

For the donuts:
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 flax egg
  • 4 tablespoons earth balance, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons almond milk
  • sprinkles, for garnish
Instructions
  1. To make the donuts – preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until there are no lumps. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the almond milk, sugar, flax egg, melted earth balance, coffee and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry and mix until combined. Fill each mini muffin tin about ¾ of the way full (about a heaping tablespoon in each). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the donut holes to cool for 3 to 5 minutes in the pan then remove to a wire rack. Let the donuts cool for another 10 minutes, then proceed with the glaze.
  3. To make the glaze – Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt to a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the almond milk, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Lay a piece of wax or parchment paper underneath your wire rack (so the glaze doesn’t drip on your counter). Add the sprinkles to a shallow bowl. Working one at a time, roll each donut hole in the glaze. Shake off the excess then roll in the sprinkles. Shake off the excess once again and then place on the wire rack to set.

tofu scramble.

tofuscramble

Tofu scramble is a staple. And theres a million ways to make it. My friends hosted a brunch a few weeks ago, and I brought this and it was a hit – my meat-eating friends didn’t even care that they were eating tofu. So I made this again on Christmas morning. As far as produce goes, its so verstatile – you can add what you have on hand or customize to your liking.  My go-to is carrots, garlic and spinach.  Red bell peppers are great in there – and I bet some black beans would be delicious too!

Extra Firm Tofu
Oil or cooking spray for frying:
Veggies of your choice: red onion, shaved carrots, spinach or kale, red bell pepper

SAUCE
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp chili powder

Make sure your tofu is pressed, and the water is drained out. Set aside.
Prep veggies and get your pan/skillet ready. Add the oil/spry and saute veggies – starting with onions and red bell pepper first (save shaved carrots and spinach for more towards the end). Add some salt and pepper to flavor

veggies. Add your tofu. Crumble it into the pan and sautee until starts to get a little brown. I like mine well done.
Mix your seasonings with a few teaspoons of water and add to the tofu and veggies.  Let it cook for a minute or so and then add the lighter veggies like the carrots and the spinach or kale. Cook for a few more minutes, then serve with some crusty toast and breakfast potatoes.

bbq brussel sprout pizza.

brusselsproutpizza

Ive confessed before I have a mad love affair with brussel sprouts. And I’ve seen them on pizza. So i gave it a try, after finding THIS siracha and roasted garlic bbq sauce at trader joes. (this sauce also works great for making baked tofu, but thats another story.

First of all, this is my go to pizza crust. Serioulsy. We used to buy whole foods pizza crust all the time, but at $3 a crust, we realized that this is so much cost-efficient, and its so so great and practically foolproof, especially if you have a stand mixer. This recipe comes from the joy of cooking and its all over the internet.

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry active yeast
1 1/3 cups warm (105 to 110 degree F) water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar

spinach and artichoke dip.

spinachdip

I made this dip for new years eve and it was so so delicious. I think I ate half the dip myself! Its creamy and garlicky – this is definitely going to be my go-to party food! We served it warm with crusty bread, and with some pita chips. If you have a vitamix, it comes together very quickly too!

I found the recipe here, but modified it a bit to my liking.

For the spinach artichoke dip:
    • 1 can artichoke hearts, thoroughly drained and roughly chopped
    • 2 c. fresh spinach, loosely packed and measured first and then thinly sliced
    • 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Freshly ground black pepper and (optional) chili flakes
For the cashew mozzarella:
  • 1/4 c. raw cashews, soaked (see notes)
  • 1 c. plain, unsweetened nondairy milk ( I added about a half cup more towards the end)
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tb. + 1/2 tsp. corn starch
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tspn garlic powder
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritonal yeast
  • 1 cup daiya mozzerella
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

Instructions

Prep the vegetables:
    1. Toss together the artichoke hearts, spinach, white onion, garlic, black pepper, and chili flakes (if using), and put into an 8×8 pan.
Make the cashew cheese:
    1. Combine all ingredients in a vitamix or food processor (if not using a vitamix, make sure to soak your cashews!) until smooth.
    2. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Stir every few seconds, making sure to scrape around the bottom of the saucepan to keep from sticking. Stir until this thickens, Once it thickens, I added about a half cup more of soymilk, and a cup or so of shredded daiya. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
    3. Pour this cheese over your dip that is in the pan and mix together.
Bake the spinach artichoke dip:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot all the way through and the top is slightly crusty and browned.

gingerbread granola.

GINGERBREAD

Happy new year! Gingerbread cookies are probably one of my favorite holiday treats.  I have made it in cake form, waffles, cupcakes, biscotti, cookies, and now granola! I have been steering clear of all of the above because I love it so and I will eat it so! So I’m attempting something on the healthier side – with some granola. It’s not too sweet, but super robust in flavor, just like gingerbread! It came together in no time, and didn’t use very many ingredients at all.  All which I had on hand.

Next year I hope to add gingerbread house to that list! One of these days Ill work up the courage to make one….

The original recipe is found here.

  • 3 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp coconut palm sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
WET
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp molassesAdd ins: crystalized ginger, coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, warm the coconut oil, maple syrup, and molasses. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly onto a a large baking sheet and bake for 18–22 minutes, stirring near the halfway point to ensure even cooking. The coconut oil will help this granola crisp up nicely, but be sure to watch it carefully as it browns quickly.
  5. Once the granola is visibly browned, remove from the oven and let cool completely on the pan before storing. Add any mix ins now.
  6. Keep in a container that has an air-tight seal; I use a big mason jar.

Homeade thanksgiving! And a recipe for green bean casserole.

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. This was my first year hosting – and we did it potluck style. It was a success! The night before the big dinner, I decided we needed to get a little crafty with some decorations. So at the last minute, i whipped up this little banner using what I had on hand: washi tape, card stock and bakers twine. We made little place cards too using cardstock, washi tape and stamps.

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We had a meal that was vegan-a-plenty! I dont really have photos of everything because I was too busy eating, but here’s what I made:

Tofurkey
Gravy
Mac and cheese
Green bean casserole (recipe to follow!)
Pumpkin cheesecake
Brownies

We also had:
Brussel sprouts/apples/potato/walnut mixture, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rice and beans, sweet potato casserole, salad and a homeade tofu roast! Everything was so delicious and I REALLY enjoyed eating all the leftovers all weekend!
FullSizeRender-01

I took a stab at making a green bean casserole for the first time. Ive never had it vegan and when searching the internet there seemed to be alot of different ways to make it. I took a gamble, and went with this recipe, and I’m glad I did, because it was absolutely delicious!

Green Bean Casserole

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3-ounce) can of French fried onions

Instructions:

Cook the green beans in a pot of boiling salted water until tender.  Drain well and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, cover, and cook until softened.  Stir in the mushrooms and thyme, and cook until the mushrooms are soft and release their juices.

Combine the vegetable broth and soy sauce in a small bowl.  Whisk in the flour until smooth and add it to the mushroom mixture. Simmer, stirring, until the liquid thickens. Stir in the soy milk and nutritional yeast and simmer until thick, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the reserved green beans, stirring to coat.

Transfer the green bean mixture into an oiled casserole dish.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and top with the French fried onions. Bake uncovered until browned and bubbly, about 10 minutes longer.

Serves 4 to 6

roasted acorn squash & sweet potato soup.

soup

It got really cold really quick here and I’ve been on a big soup kick! This is a really easy and delicious soup I found here, and once you roast your squash and potatoes it comes together in no time!

  • 2 -3 lb acorn squash, sliced lengthwise in half and seeds removed
  • 3 small sweet potatoes (1 lb)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the acorn squash in half (lengthwise) and remove the seeds and guts–place cut side up on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, drizzle and rub the cut side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on the baking sheet along with the acorn squash.
  2. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, or until both the potato and acorn squash are fork tender and very soft. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin and set aside in a large bowl. Discard the skin.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in medium-sized soup pot. Add the onion and saute over low heat until soft and completely translucent.
  4. Add the ground ginger and garam masala and cook for an additional minute or two, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Add the vegetable broth, roasted squash, and sweet potato.
  5. Bring to low simmer, cover, and cook for an additional for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Puree in a blender (in batches, if necessary) and return to heat. Add the coconut milk and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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.
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