Posts tagged "vegan"
St. Patrick’s Day Chocolate Beer Cupcake with Avocado Whiskey Cream Frosting
My second year attempting a version of Chef Chloe’s Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream.  Try as I may to stick to recipes, I inevitably always deviate a bit (sometimes because I don’t have all the right ingredients) or end up adding my own twist.  This year, I made two big batches of these bad boys to share with friends and neighbors, many who are in the midst of stressful grad finals, and added a literal twist by topping them with avocado-based frosting (and a sprinkle of cocoa powder, not pictured).  It’s always such a joy cooking/baking something new (more so than actually eating it!), and this was no exception.  My friends from Mexico were especially enthused by the avocado frosting…they could not get over the “dessert guacamole,” haha!
Ingredients(make 12-13 cupcakes* and frosting to cover about 20 cupcakes)
Cupcakes (same as Chloe’s but used different flours):1 cup unbleached pastry flour½ cup whole wheat pastry flour1 cup brown sugar1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (check out Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate List for chocolate/cocoa that isn’t sourced from areas where chocolate slavery still exists)1 tsp baking soda½ tsp salt1 cup stout beer (check out Barnivore for vegan-friendly stouts)½ cup canola oil2 Tbs apple cider vinegar (can also use white vinegar)1 Tbs vanilla extract

*The extra batter resulted in a 13th cupcake that didn’t fit into my cupcake pan.  I gave it a clover and dubbed it the drunk cupcake…see below ;)
Avocado Frosting:2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted (should be soft to the touch and bright green when opened!)2 cups powdered sugar1-2 Tbs whiskey or scotch1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions
1.  Whisk dry cupcakes ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, cocoa powder) in a mixing bowl until well combined and no clumps appear.  2.  In a separate bowl or large mixing cup, whisk wet ingredients (oil, apple cider vinegar, stout, vanilla extract).  Add to dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined, being careful not to overmix.3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners or a thin layer of non-stick spray, and fill about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way with batter. Try to make them as even as possible so they bake evenly!4.  Bake for 14-20 minutes, depending on your oven (mine took about 15-16 minutes).  The cupcakes are ready when a toothpick comes out clean with a little bit of moist center sticking to it.5.  While cupcakes are baking/cooling, place powdered sugar into a mixing bowl.  Add in avocado in chunks, then remaining ingredients.6.  Mix by hand until ingredients are well combined and sugar is well incorporated into avocado.  Then, use a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer to beat for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Store covered in the fridge if not using right away.7.  When cupcakes are totally cooled off, frost them by either spreading a layer of green on each cupcake with a knife, or using a cupcake froster.  Devour right away or store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days (not in the fridge!  It won’t kill them but they won’t be as moist). Frosting may start to darken after a few hours/the next day, but will remain green…that’s what happens when you use nature’s colors, yo!

St. Patrick’s Day Chocolate Beer Cupcake with Avocado Whiskey Cream Frosting

My second year attempting a version of Chef Chloe’s Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream.  Try as I may to stick to recipes, I inevitably always deviate a bit (sometimes because I don’t have all the right ingredients) or end up adding my own twist.  This year, I made two big batches of these bad boys to share with friends and neighbors, many who are in the midst of stressful grad finals, and added a literal twist by topping them with avocado-based frosting (and a sprinkle of cocoa powder, not pictured).  It’s always such a joy cooking/baking something new (more so than actually eating it!), and this was no exception.  My friends from Mexico were especially enthused by the avocado frosting…they could not get over the “dessert guacamole,” haha!

Ingredients
(make 12-13 cupcakes* and frosting to cover about 20 cupcakes)

Cupcakes (same as Chloe’s but used different flours):
1 cup unbleached pastry flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (check out Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate List for chocolate/cocoa that isn’t sourced from areas where chocolate slavery still exists)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup stout beer (check out Barnivore for vegan-friendly stouts)
½ cup canola oil
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar (can also use white vinegar)
1 Tbs vanilla extract

*The extra batter resulted in a 13th cupcake that didn’t fit into my cupcake pan.  I gave it a clover and dubbed it the drunk cupcake…see below ;)

Avocado Frosting:
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted (should be soft to the touch and bright green when opened!)
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tbs whiskey or scotch
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1.  Whisk dry cupcakes ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, cocoa powder) in a mixing bowl until well combined and no clumps appear.  
2.  In a separate bowl or large mixing cup, whisk wet ingredients (oil, apple cider vinegar, stout, vanilla extract).  Add to dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined, being careful not to overmix.
3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners or a thin layer of non-stick spray, and fill about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way with batter. Try to make them as even as possible so they bake evenly!
4.  Bake for 14-20 minutes, depending on your oven (mine took about 15-16 minutes).  The cupcakes are ready when a toothpick comes out clean with a little bit of moist center sticking to it.
5.  While cupcakes are baking/cooling, place powdered sugar into a mixing bowl.  Add in avocado in chunks, then remaining ingredients.
6.  Mix by hand until ingredients are well combined and sugar is well incorporated into avocado.  Then, use a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer to beat for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Store covered in the fridge if not using right away.
7.  When cupcakes are totally cooled off, frost them by either spreading a layer of green on each cupcake with a knife, or using a cupcake froster.  Devour right away or store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days (not in the fridge!  It won’t kill them but they won’t be as moist). Frosting may start to darken after a few hours/the next day, but will remain green…that’s what happens when you use nature’s colors, yo!

Drunk cupcake

I wasn’t kidding when I said I was hooked on Pudla!  Here’s some of the leftover breakfast batter from last night incorporated into a yumdelish dinner:  pudla, yellow lentils with ginger, onions, and sundried tomatoes, and an adapted version of Colacannon from Beer Advocate magazine (classic Irish dish with ale, potatoes, kale, leeks, cream).  

I don’t really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but having lived in Boston and loving to experiment in the kitchen, I’ll take an excuse to cook St. Pat’s-themed food  :)  Later on today, I’ll reattempt Chloe’s Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream…nom nom.

erinwyso:

Shiitake bacon! Recipe at www.olivesfordinner.com.

So making this soon!  Olives for Dinner is a great blog…big loving shout-out :)

A new brunch/anytime go-to!  Found this idea on a blog I follow and I think I’m hooked…they’re so quick @ easy to make, super customizable, and uber nutritious!  You can use your choice of seasoning, stuff them with your favorite veggie combos, and top with your favorite sauces or condiments.  This really hit the spot after a hard workout this morning.

Pudla! (version 1)

Ingredients
(makes 4-8 servings)

1 3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 - 1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vegetarian bouillon mix
1 cup scallions, finely chopped
1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
Dashes of cumin, coriander, turmeric, Everyday Seasoning, 21 Seasoning Salute, and ground black pepper

Directions

1.  Mix dry ingredients together witha spoon or a whisk.
2.  Add in water slowly while mixing until pancake batter consistency is reached.
3.  Mix in scallions, beefsteak tomato, and mushroom slices.
4.  Spray a pan witha little bit of oil (optional…my batter didn’t stick to the pan at all!) and let heat up on medium setting.  Scoop spoonfuls of batter into the pan.
5.  When batter starts to bubble and become golden at the edges (1-2 minutes), use a spatula to flip your pudla!  Heat on other side for slightly less time.
6.  Enjoy plain or with your favorite toppings.  I had mine with slices of avocado and a tiny sprinkle of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos…two big thumbs up!

Nutrition facts per large serving of about 3 big pancakes (not including toppings) — this is pretty ridiculously healthy
Calories: ~288
Fat: ~5g
Sodium: ~385mg (can omit salty add-ins, like the bouillon powder, to cut this number down even more)
Carbs: 
~49g
Fiber: ~14g (fills you up!)
Sugar: ~9g
Protein: ~16g (keeps you full!)

Seven Seas BUCKWHEAT!
Like the Lemon-Infused Seven Seas Quinoa, this one is inspired by that awesome dish at Loving Hut.  My friend had been raving about buckwheat yesterday, which reminded me that I had a big bag of it at home that I had yet to use.  Whipped this up for lunch…it is my first time making this gluten-free grain, and I’m a fan!
Ingredients(Makes 3-5 servings)
2 cups water*1 cup vegetable broth*1.5 cups buckwheatHandful of sesame seeds1/4 cup nutritional yeast2 sheets of nori or other seaweedGarlic powder, to tasteBragg’s Liquid Aminos, to tasteGenerous handful or two of chardGenerous handful or two of kale leaves1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers (I used frozen ones to expedite the process)8 veggie “meatballs,” a.k.a meatless balls (totally optional…just had some handy and decided to throw them in the mix!)
*can make your own water and vegetable broth ratio, or use water and a bouillon cube
Directions
1.  Bring water/broth mixture to a rapid boil.  Turn heat down and add buckwheat.2.  After about 10 minutes, add in meatless balls if using.  After another 5 minutes, turn heat down again and add in the veggies.3.  When buckwheat is chewy and soft but not mushy, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Mix in seasonings and sesame seeds (feel free to mush up the meatless balls).4.  When the dish has cooled off a bit more, break up the nori sheets into small pieces and mix them in.

Seven Seas BUCKWHEAT!

Like the Lemon-Infused Seven Seas Quinoa, this one is inspired by that awesome dish at Loving Hut.  My friend had been raving about buckwheat yesterday, which reminded me that I had a big bag of it at home that I had yet to use.  Whipped this up for lunch…it is my first time making this gluten-free grain, and I’m a fan!

Ingredients
(Makes 3-5 servings)

2 cups water*
1 cup vegetable broth*
1.5 cups buckwheat
Handful of sesame seeds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 sheets of nori or other seaweed
Garlic powder, to taste
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, to taste
Generous handful or two of chard
Generous handful or two of kale leaves
1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers (I used frozen ones to expedite the process)
8 veggie “meatballs,” a.k.a meatless balls (totally optional…just had some handy and decided to throw them in the mix!)

*can make your own water and vegetable broth ratio, or use water and a bouillon cube

Directions

1.  Bring water/broth mixture to a rapid boil.  Turn heat down and add buckwheat.
2.  After about 10 minutes, add in meatless balls if using.  After another 5 minutes, turn heat down again and add in the veggies.
3.  When buckwheat is chewy and soft but not mushy, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Mix in seasonings and sesame seeds (feel free to mush up the meatless balls).
4.  When the dish has cooled off a bit more, break up the nori sheets into small pieces and mix them in.

An unusual but yummy breakfast experiment!  I think I’ll call it the Green-eyed Morning Glory.
Quick recipe:
- 1/4 cup of rolled oats and 1-2 Tbs of chia seeds cooked in 1 cup water/unsweetened soymilk mix- 1/2 ruby red grapefruit- 2 cups of chopped kale mixed in food processor with about 2 Tbs of soymilk- dash of vanilla extract, stevia, cinnamon, and cardamom
Mix and top with some toasted coconut shreds or sliced almonds.  mmmm wholesome, and you get veggies, whole grains, fruit, and protein all in one!

An unusual but yummy breakfast experiment!  I think I’ll call it the Green-eyed Morning Glory.

Quick recipe:

- 1/4 cup of rolled oats and 1-2 Tbs of chia seeds cooked in 1 cup water/unsweetened soymilk mix
- 1/2 ruby red grapefruit
- 2 cups of chopped kale mixed in food processor with about 2 Tbs of soymilk
- dash of vanilla extract, stevia, cinnamon, and cardamom

Mix and top with some toasted coconut shreds or sliced almonds.  mmmm wholesome, and you get veggies, whole grains, fruit, and protein all in one!

Beautiful and divine Marbled Banana Bread inspired by the PPK!
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour3/4 tsp baking soda3/4 tsp salt3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder1 cup very ripe banana, mashed1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar OR 1/2 cup vegan sugar or date puree (soaked, pitted, and blended with a little bit of hot water)1 tsp vanilla extract1.5 Tbs olive oil (or 2 Tbs canola or vegetable oil)1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk6 Tbs boiling waterdash or two of cinnamon (optional)
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.2.  In a mixing bowl, mixer, or food processor, thoroughly mix the thoroughly mashed bananas with the sweetener, oil, milk, and vanilla extract.3.  Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon if using) together in a separate bowl, and add to the banana mixture, mixing the two together by hand.4.  Boil your 6 Tbs of water, and while that’s heating up, scoop about 1/3 of the batter into your other bowl.5.  When water is boiling, transfer half to your original bowl and mix into the plain batter.6.  Mix the rest of the boiling water with the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined/dissolved.  Add this chocolate mixture to the second bowl (with about 1/3 of the batter in it) until chocolate is fully incorporated.7.  Lightly grease an 8x4 or 9x5 loaf pan. Scoop alternate small cupfuls of chocolate/banana batter into the pan. Have fun with it!  Once all of the batter is in, take a butter knife or fork and swirl it through the batter to create that marbled effect.8.  Bake for 30-40 minutes (might be more depending on your oven…set the timer it for 30 and then check on it every few minutes!).  When knife/toothpick comes out clean, it is ready.  Even if it’s a little gooey, it’s totally fine…one of the beauties of egg-free baking!9.  Let cool, slice, and munch!  If you let it sit on the counter or the fridge overnight, the banana flavor gets even stronger.  But will it last until the morning?

Beautiful and divine Marbled Banana Bread inspired by the PPK!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup very ripe banana, mashed
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar OR 1/2 cup vegan sugar or date puree (soaked, pitted, and blended with a little bit of hot water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 Tbs olive oil (or 2 Tbs canola or vegetable oil)
1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
6 Tbs boiling water
dash or two of cinnamon (optional)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.
2.  In a mixing bowl, mixer, or food processor, thoroughly mix the thoroughly mashed bananas with the sweetener, oil, milk, and vanilla extract.
3.  Mix dry ingredients (
flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon if using) together in a separate bowl, and add to the banana mixture, mixing the two together by hand.
4.  Boil your 6 Tbs of water, and while that’s heating up, s
coop about 1/3 of the batter into your other bowl.
5.  When water is boiling, transfer half to your original bowl and mix into the plain batter.
6.  Mix the rest of the boiling water with the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined/dissolved.  Add this chocolate mixture to the second bowl (with about 1/3 of the batter in it) until chocolate is fully incorporated.
7.  
Lightly grease an 8x4 or 9x5 loaf pan. Scoop alternate small cupfuls of chocolate/banana batter into the pan. Have fun with it!  Once all of the batter is in, take a butter knife or fork and swirl it through the batter to create that marbled effect.
8.  Bake for 30-40 minutes (might be more depending on your oven…set the timer it for 30 and then check on it every few minutes!).  When knife/toothpick comes out clean, it is ready.  Even if it’s a little gooey, it’s totally fine…one of the beauties of egg-free baking!
9.  Let cool, slice, and munch!  If you let it sit on the counter or the fridge overnight, the banana flavor gets even stronger.  But will it last until the morning?

Two recipes for your Sunday!
Both are gluten-free, have no added sweeteners (except for optional chocolate chip cookies in the first recipe), and utilize protein powder for an extra post-workout recovery boost.  Make ‘em your own and let me know what you think!
Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
Ingredients (makes about 11 muffins)
1 large banana1 container organic canned pumpkin1 1/2 cups oats2 scoops protein powder (I used Vega chocolate) — can sub this out for more oats, or other type of flour4 pitted Medjool dates, soaked — soaking for a few hours is optional but it makes it softer and easier to blend.  You can add extra dates or other sweetener of choice if you prefer your muffin sweeter than I made it the other day!  1 tsp cinnamon1 dash nutmeg1 dash of cayenne pepper1 small dash of saltOptional add ins: pecans, dark chocolate chips — either mix into batter or add on top of muffins before baking
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend all ingredients in a food processor, using a mixer, or by hand.  If NOT using a food processor, make sure bananas are smushed in advance, and consider using a different sweetener than dates since they do not break down as easily (agave, honey, brown sugar, stevia, etc.).   Also consider using pre-ground oats or oat flour, unless you enjoy really oats-y muffins!2.  Add a little bit of water as you mix, if needed.  Batter should be thick and sticky.3.  Scoop into muffin/cupcake baking pan, filling up all the way (they do not really rise).  OR scoop onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet to make cookies instead.4.  Bake until batter starts to set but hasn’t gotten too dark, about 14-16 minutes.5.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Might still be sticky on the inside but all the ingredients are safe when eaten raw, so not to worry :)
Black Bean Protein Brownies/Fudge Squares
Ingredients (makes about 8-12 brownies)
2 1/2 cups black beans, cooked (unsalted)1/4 cup coconut oil1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder1 medium organic apple your choice, chopped and cored2/3 scoops scoops protein powder (I used Vega chocolate)10-15 pitted Medjool dates, soaked — soaking for a few hours is optional but it makes it softer and easier to blend.  You can sub with 1/2-2/3 cup other sweetener of choice, but keep in mind when taste testing batter that some of the sweetness bakes off1 Tbs pure vanilla extract1/2 tsp ground sea saltspices of choiceOptional add ins: 1/2 cup toasted pecans, 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup sliced almonds
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend all ingredients except nuts in a food processor.2.  Pour batter into parchment-paper lined pan.  You can use a casserole dish or a deeper pan — mine is about 9” deep and this made for thicker portions!3.  Bake for about 35-45 minutes (time will vary depending on your oven and the dish you use) or until knife comes out clean.  NOTE: The knife might not come out totally clean because these are flourless and have a different texture than regular brownies.  I personally prefer them a bit underdone and more on the fudge-side.4.  Let cool completely and eat up!
Enjoy!

Two recipes for your Sunday!

Both are gluten-free, have no added sweeteners (except for optional chocolate chip cookies in the first recipe), and utilize protein powder for an extra post-workout recovery boost.  Make ‘em your own and let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients
(makes about 11 muffins)

1 large banana
1 container organic canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups oats
2 scoops protein powder (I used Vega chocolate) — can sub this out for more oats, or other type of flour
4 pitted Medjool dates, soaked — soaking for a few hours is optional but it makes it softer and easier to blend.  You can add extra dates or other sweetener of choice if you prefer your muffin sweeter than I made it the other day!  
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
1 dash of cayenne pepper
1 small dash of salt
Optional add ins: pecans, dark chocolate chips — either mix into batter or add on top of muffins before baking

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend all ingredients in a food processor, using a mixer, or by hand.  If NOT using a food processor, make sure bananas are smushed in advance, and consider using a different sweetener than dates since they do not break down as easily (agave, honey, brown sugar, stevia, etc.).   Also consider using pre-ground oats or oat flour, unless you enjoy really oats-y muffins!
2.  Add a little bit of water as you mix, if needed.  Batter should be thick and sticky.
3.  Scoop into muffin/cupcake baking pan, filling up all the way (they do not really rise).  OR scoop onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet to make cookies instead.
4.  Bake until batter starts to set but hasn’t gotten too dark, about 14-16 minutes.
5.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Might still be sticky on the inside but all the ingredients are safe when eaten raw, so not to worry :)


Black Bean Protein Brownies/Fudge Squares

Ingredients
(makes about 8-12 brownies)

2 1/2 cups black beans, cooked (unsalted)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder
1 medium organic apple your choice, chopped and cored
2/3 scoops scoops protein powder (I used Vega chocolate)
10-15 pitted Medjool dates, soaked — soaking for a few hours is optional but it makes it softer and easier to blend.  You can sub with 1/2-2/3 cup other sweetener of choice, but keep in mind when taste testing batter that some of the sweetness bakes off
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
spices of choice
Optional add ins: 1/2 cup toasted pecans, 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend all ingredients except nuts in a food processor.
2.  Pour batter into parchment-paper lined pan.  You can use a casserole dish or a deeper pan — mine is about 9” deep and this made for thicker portions!
3.  Bake for about 35-45 minutes (time will vary depending on your oven and the dish you use) or until knife comes out clean.  NOTE: The knife might not come out totally clean because these are flourless and have a different texture than regular brownies.  I personally prefer them a bit underdone and more on the fudge-side.
4.  Let cool completely and eat up!

Enjoy!

Jeff and I are cooking up what I think will be an epic belated Valentine’s Day dinner this, but being the sweetie that he is and knowing me all too well, he cut up an awesome assortment of beautiful fruit as a surprise for actual V-Day yesterday.  I would be happing nomming away on fruit salad all day, but wanted to return the favor by baking something new to try that I thought he would enjoy.  My friend Steph recently sent me a link to a potato chip cookie recipe she once made, so I decided to do a vegan spin on it.  It’s admittedly not the healthiest of treats, but who can resist a mouthful of crunchy-savory mixed with chewy-sweet heaven??
The best part was that the cookies came out delicious despite a last-minute ingredient switch.  I ran out of flour and used oats instead (in the ratio listed below).  I suspect that these would be equally as good with either flour OR oats…meaning you could easily make them gluten free if you make sure your chocolate and potato chips are too :)
Chocolate-Dipped Potato Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients(makes about 15 small cookies)
1 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance is a favorite)1/2 cup vegan sugar, plus extra 1/8-1/4 cup for dipping1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/4 teaspoon table salt1/2 + 1 Tbs cup finely crushed potato chips (I used Trader Joe’s Salt & Pepper Ridge Cut chips and crushed them in a Ziploc bag.  And yes, I have had pepper in certain desserts and really liked it!)1/2 cup all-purpose flour*1 1/2 cups rolled oats*1/2 cup-1 cup dark chocolate chips or baking chocolate (optional—these cookies are really good sans chocolate too!)
* Can use either 2 cups flour or 2 cups oats or oat flour if preferred.  Can also sub out half or all of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat baking flour!
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Using a mixer or food processor, cream together margarine and 1/2 cup sugar.2.  Add in flour, oats, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup potato chips, and salt, and keep mixing until well combined and oats are finely chopped up.  If you prefer cookies with a more distinctive oat texture, don’t mix as long.3.  Place the remaining sugar (1/8-1/4 cup) in a small bowl.  Pull apart cookie dough and form into small balls, rolling in sugar until coated.  4.  Place dough balls on a parchment-paper-line baking sheet (or Silpat) and flatten down with hand.  Sprinkle some extra crushed potato chips on top of each cookie.5.  Bake until edges start to become golden but not brown, about 15 minutes.  6.  Remove cookies from oven and let cool completely.  While cookies are cooling, melt chocolate (if using) in a stove-pan  double boiler, or in the microwave.  If using the microwave, make sure you do it in small time increments and mix in between!7.  If desired, dip fully cooled cookies in chocolate mixture, or spread chocolate on top with a knife.  Enjoy while they’re still ooey-gooey or after the chocolate sets!

Jeff and I are cooking up what I think will be an epic belated Valentine’s Day dinner this, but being the sweetie that he is and knowing me all too well, he cut up an awesome assortment of beautiful fruit as a surprise for actual V-Day yesterday.  I would be happing nomming away on fruit salad all day, but wanted to return the favor by baking something new to try that I thought he would enjoy.  My friend Steph recently sent me a link to a potato chip cookie recipe she once made, so I decided to do a vegan spin on it.  It’s admittedly not the healthiest of treats, but who can resist a mouthful of crunchy-savory mixed with chewy-sweet heaven??

The best part was that the cookies came out delicious despite a last-minute ingredient switch.  I ran out of flour and used oats instead (in the ratio listed below).  I suspect that these would be equally as good with either flour OR oats…meaning you could easily make them gluten free if you make sure your chocolate and potato chips are too :)

Chocolate-Dipped Potato Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients
(makes about 15 small cookies)

1 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance is a favorite)
1/2 cup vegan sugar, plus extra 1/8-1/4 cup for dipping
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 + 1 Tbs cup finely crushed potato chips (I used Trader Joe’s Salt & Pepper Ridge Cut chips and crushed them in a Ziploc bag.  And yes, I have had pepper in certain desserts and really liked it!)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour*
1 1/2 cups rolled oats*
1/2 cup-1 cup dark chocolate chips or baking chocolate (optional—these cookies are really good sans chocolate too!)

* Can use either 2 cups flour or 2 cups oats or oat flour if preferred.  Can also sub out half or all of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat baking flour!

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Using a mixer or food processor, cream together margarine and 1/2 cup sugar.
2.  Add in flour, oats, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup potato chips, and salt, and keep mixing until well combined and oats are finely chopped up.  If you prefer cookies with a more distinctive oat texture, don’t mix as long.
3.  Place the remaining sugar (1/8-1/4 cup) in a small bowl.  Pull apart cookie dough and form into small balls, rolling in sugar until coated.  
4.  Place dough balls on a parchment-paper-line baking sheet (or Silpat) and flatten down with hand.  Sprinkle some extra crushed potato chips on top of each cookie.
5.  Bake until edges start to become golden but not brown, about 15 minutes.  
6.  Remove cookies from oven and let cool completely.  
While cookies are cooling, melt chocolate (if using) in a stove-pan  double boiler, or in the microwave.  If using the microwave, make sure you do it in small time increments and mix in between!
7.  If desired, dip fully cooled cookies in chocolate mixture, or spread chocolate on top with a knife.  Enjoy while they’re still ooey-gooey or after the chocolate sets!

Vegg Review up on Chic Vegan!

Check out my review of the Vegg, now up on Chic Vegan!  Article copied below :)

The Vegg: A Review and Recipe

Many vegans would probably agree that one of the many great things about a plant-based way of eating is being able to expand your taste and food horizons in a really unique way. Though the variety of grains, fruits, plants, and ethnic cuisines to try are seemingly limitless, sometimes nothing satisfies quite like an animal-free take on an old non-veg favorite.

In comes the Vegg, “The World’s First Vegan Egg Yolk,” a product that is helping satisfy egg lovers’ cravings everywhere without the cholesterol or cruelty often associated with consuming chickens’ eggs.  Introduced to the market in early 2012, the Vegg proclaims the following mission statement on its Facebook page:

“To help put an end to the suffering of male and female chicks in industrialized egg production factory farms through competing with the industry by way of offering to the public a cruelty-free, ecologically sustainable zero cholesterol, gluten-free alternative to eggs.”

The company goes a step further by also donating 10% of all profits from Vegg sales to Compassion Over Killing, a non-profit organization that works to protect animals.  Sounds lovely in theory, but what does this vegan egg yolk actually taste like?  And what sorts of weird things and preservatives must one mix together to form something with a convincing yolk consistency?

A vegan broccoli quiche topped with Daiya and sundried tomato, made using the Vegg

A vegan broccoli quiche topped with Daiya and sundried tomatoes, made using the Vegg

To address the latter question, the Vegg’s ingredients list is actually quite short, and not at all full of strange, questionable things; it consists of fortified nutritional yeast (an all-natural and tasty deactivated yeast often used as a health supplement or delicious cheese substitute), sodium alginate, black salt (which gives it that sulfuric, “eggy” smell), and beta carotene.  The only preparation involved with the Vegg, which comes in a powder form, is to add water and mix using a small food processor or blender.  This step is vital, as it gives the mixture an instantly thick, yolky texture, which is sadly not achievable if mixed by hand.

Tasty savory French Toast made with the Vegg.  It even has the same egg-like color!

Tasty savory French Toast made with the Vegg. It even has the same egg-like color!  Recipe below.

As for the taste?  Not only has it gotten enthusiastic approval from all the people whom I’ve shared it with, but it has turned me—someone who never really ate or was particularly fond of egg products—into a Vegg lover.  Not just that, but a bonified, Licks-the-Stick-Blender-After-Blending-a-Batch-of-Vegg-Yolk lover.  Needless to say, I highly recommend it!  Below is a recipe for basic Vegg French Toast, like the one pictured above.  The Vegg is available at select retailers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and online.  For meal ideas like the ones featured in this post (and many more!), visit the Vegg’s special recipe page and let your creativity take over from there!

Scrambled Tofu with  Vegg, veggies, and toast.  Adding a little Vegg gives the tofu scramble a nice hint of yolk taste, but adding more and using tofu with less moisture creates a VERY convincing vegan egg scramble!  Versatile depending on your personal taste preferences.

Scrambled Tofu with Vegg, veggies, and toast. Adding a little Vegg gives the tofu scramble a nice hint of yolk taste, but adding more and using tofu with less moisture creates a VERY convincing vegan egg scramble! Versatile depending on your personal taste preferences.

Vegg Savory French Toast For Two
(inspired by a recipe originally featured on The Vegetarian Recipe Club)

Ingredients:
2 tsp Vegg flakes/powder
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or other milk alternative)
4-6 slices of bread
1-2 Tbs olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil (optional if using a non-stick pan–works both with and without, in my experience!)
salt*, pepper, and other seasonings to taste**

*I found that the flavors of the Vegg were strong enough, and additional salt was not necessary
**You may omit seasonings, or add cinnamon and other spices, to create French toast compatible with sweet toppings

Method:
1. Blend or process the Vegg flakes/powder together until smooth.  Stir in milk and seasonings, and pour into a shallow bowl or baking dish (big enough to fit the bread slices)
2. Place the bread in dish and turn the slices over until covered and soaked with Vegg mixture.
3. Heat oil (if using) in pan for several seconds, and drop bread into pan.  Lightly fry each piece of bread for several minutes, turning and pressing down with a spatula as needed until  both sides are golden and Vegg starts to appear crispy.
4. Serve with your favorite toppings and breakfast sides!

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