Saturday, July 28, 2012

Creamy Brussels Sprouts & Broccoli Oatmeal

Usually my oatmeal combinations are on the sweet side- peanut butter and preserves oatmeal, chocolate chip oatmeal, fruit infused oatmeal, brown sugar oatmeal...
Yet lately, ever since using this ingredient in making burgers, it seemed a great idea to turn oatmeal into a savory dinner dish.

Creamy Brussels Sprouts & Broccoli Oatmeal Ingredients

1 12 oz package Brussels Sprouts
2 cups of broccoli
2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Bring Brussels Sprouts & broccoli to a boil in about 2 1/2 cups water.
Dtrain the vegetable water directly into bowl of oats, stirring as it cooks.
Chop up the Brussels sprouts.
Add veggies to the cooked oatmeal.
Spice it up!
It turned out amazing.
A surprisingly superb flavor, the warm, vegetable infused oatmeal's consistency a cross between buttery mashed potatoes and mushy brown rice, it was a delicious experience good for anytime of the day. 
With little time to prepare- under 12 minutes, I highly recommend it, but will add chopped red onions, fresh herbs, and a pinch of unsweetened soy milk to make it even more yummy.

The leftovers were even still creamy. Sprinkled a bit more turmeric on top for the perfect yum!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Vegan Ginger Orange Coconut Cupcakes

Mmmmhmmm. Bliss.
I don't eat oranges themselves, not a fan of peeling, of the rind and pulp, but I love a good cup of Tropicana in the morning. This idea stemmed from drinking that sweet morning sunshine and that long ago Thistle catered art event that featured delicious vegan orange bliss cupcakes that still tongue dance in dreams.
Of course, the thought of citrus happiness blended with spicy ginger and yummy coconut made my mouth water in anticipation.

Vegan Ginger Orange Coconut Cupcake Ingredients

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain soy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes
pinch of salt

Orange Glaze

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ginger

additional coconut for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper cups.

Blend ingredients well.
Add shredded coconut.
Pour batter into baking cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Mix the glaze ingredients while waiting.
All ready!
Ta da! Covered w/ glaze, coconut, and a smidgeon of ginger, this cupcake awaits!
A bit sticky, but I love it!
These cupcakes are very light, not too sweet, and moist, with the sugary glaze adding a slight crunch effect alongside the coconut texture and that doesn't make me regret not adding walnuts or almonds to the batter. Orange flavor is present, but may need to add more orange juice and less milk next time.
Overall, a good cake.
And funnily enough someone stole my homemade baked treats, leaving a most cryptic note,"yum! Took 2. Thanks."
Haha! The nerve of some people...
As I slowly appreciated and devoured cupcakes, (pinky swear only had 2), I couldn't help but think about doughnuts. With a little yeast, orange extract (or liquor), and zest, these yummy, scrumptious cupcakes can be transformed into the perfect orange doughnuts!
Plus, they taste amazing with or without the glaze- which be a little tooooooo sugary to some.
So I guess it's up to me to create these orange doughnuts, huh? ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

These Yummy Vegan Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty

Italian spices and nutritional yeast baked right in!
I've had a craving for unsalted "buttery" pretzels for a while, especially hot and freshly baked from the oven. 
At a movie theater, the server made me one, but it sorely lacked. Bland and flavorless, I almost cried, wishing for that $5 back. He went through all that work so of course I wasn't going to complain in his face.
Still, why does unsalted and vegan equate to crispy, tasteless dough?
Twisted Sisters Pretzels
Research led me to this cutesy blog called Peas And Thank You. Featuring a deliciously interesting recipe written by a humorous vegan mama, not only is this a keeper, so is the site. My mouth is already drooling at the thought of Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cake....
Mmmmhmmmmmm chocolate.
Oh yes.
Back to pretzels.
Well, lots of work involved in the creative process of pretzel making, but in the end, it's all worth it.
Funnily enough, I used olive oil instead of Earth Balance.

Yummy Vegan Pretzels

3/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 flour
8 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Mix warm, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Add the olive oil.
Gradually stir in the flour. This is at 1 cup added.
2nd cup of flour.
After last remaining 1/2 cup, knead the dough for 5 minutes more, adding more flour if needed. Or kneaded? ;)
In an oiled bowl, set the dough, cover, and let rise for an hour.
Olivia aides in the only part she can- the waiting period!
Cut dough into 4 sections. Mine weren't equal. Also at this point place water and baking soda on the stove and preheat oven to 450 degrees!
Remembering Auntie Annie's in the mall, I tried to make the best shape possible. Obviously need to see a Pretzel Jedi Master.
Four wannabe looking like pretzels raring to go.
Once water is at a boil, gently place in one pretzel at a time, leaving them in for 30 seconds.
Once they are on a greased cookie sheet, place desired seasonings on top.
12-15 minutes later, pretzel glory awaits!
Drizzled extra virgin olive oil on top.
Not bad for a first try.
These pretzels are sooooooo good, especially with the seasonings on top. Better than anything at the movie theater. Hot, soft, & "buttery," the texture was all there.
Impressed with how they turned out.
Seriously, there were a few cringeworthy moments, but I'm so very happy with the final results.
Poor Olivia.
Since my kitty usually misses out on the good stuff, I didn't eat it in front of her, preferring to devour my hot salvation in the corner and immediately washing my hands clean from seasony, olive oil aftermath.
Now she'll never know!  ;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Very, Very Sweet Banana Cantaloupe Grape Smoothie

Well it wasn't that orange....
No sorbet today.
But this banana cantaloupe grape smoothie was pretty interesting.

Sweet Banana Cantaloupe Grape Ingredients

1 large ripened frozen banana
1 cup diced cantaloupe
14 seedless plump juicy cold green grapes
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup orange juice not from concentrate (I used Tropicana!)
4 extra grapes for garnish (optional)

4 of the 5 ingredients.
Banana is ice cold. Had been in the freezer for 2 days.
Prepared to be mixed fruits!
Blended and ready to drink.
Enough for one.
Very peculiar.
It's as though these flavors don't mesh and they try so hard to be perfect.
It was a "what have I created? Yes. No. Yes.  No. No way. YES! YES! YES!!!!!" Sort of emotional response.  
I loved that it tasted like a creamy, slightly frothy cantaloupe orange juice with REAL grapes and that the banana's purpose was to make sure the smoothie was cold.
Some people hate it, but I personally have become an avid fan of chewing on pieces of fruit in the middle of drinking. To me, it staples this punchline,"you're officially enjoying REAL fruit and not processed, corn syrup, artificial laboratory garbage." There were grape pieces almost throughout, but having plump juiciness covered in remainder of smoothie at the end- excellent! 
So what do I call these? Chunkies? The chunk-smooth? Or the smooth-chunky?
For now, I'm sticking with smoothie until someone tells me different.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Vegan Fruity Ice Cream With Coconut & Almond

Warning: This May Be Hard To Share!
Cherries, bananas, coconuts, and almonds, oh my!
More ice cream smorgasbord.
Only the third try at making this homemade hot day dessert and I do believe someone's becoming mightily addicted...


1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lime
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Only 7 ingredients for this summer treat.
Squeezing in the lime juice.
This is gonna be a chunky one!
Top with additional coconut flakes and almonds if desired.
Nom. Nom. Nom.
Very incredible flavors cheering the tongue here, mostly sweet cherries (w/ a few surprising chunks! Yay!) with the flaky coconut and crisp almond textures. Banana almost absent (which I wanted!). Getting pretty good at mimicking the texture of ice cream now, I'm almost at the advanced stage of crafting it.
Just need to iron out a few crinks. ;)
Can you believe it?
I actually shared my little bowl of yum and had only 1 complaint- it's tooooo cold! Sheesh. Didn't know that ice cream wasn't supposed to be cold. Hahaha!
Definitely had a fan though. :)
I'm having a ball and am certainly not done experimenting. Summer is not yet over. Plus there's cantaloupe in my fridge. And grapes. A sorbet for tomorrow? Hmmm....

Vegan Baked Chickpea And Green Pea Balls

Yummy curried chickpea balls a hot dance on the tongue!
Ah falafel.
One of my favorite meals to eat vegan.
My vegan younger sister introduced it to me a couple of years ago and I've been addicted ever since.
Vegan Yack Attack's Baked Spinach Falafel
That site always has the most compelling recipes with the falafel catching my eye.
However, since not having all the necessary components for the popular Mediterranean fare, and having chickpeas ruling my brain, I decided to bake to my heart's content sans the parsley, paprika, and oats. (okay, I had oats, but still...)
Instead of spinach, I used yummy yummy green peas, my favorite!


1 15 ounce can rinsed and drained chickpeas
1/2 cup cooked green peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Note: Cumin and Coriander are ingredients in curry powder.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

Shower your chickpeas with a waterfall in the sink.
Mix well with green peas.
Add olive oil, garlic, onions, lemon juice, & curry powder.
Add four remaining dry ingredients.
I placed mixture in blender & stirred for a while, mashing a majority of the chickpeas, but keeping some whole.
On a greased cookie sheet, scooped out a tablespoon balls, spreading them evenly apart. Bake for 15 minutes each on both sides.
On a bed of brown rice & delicious salsa, topped the dish with these delicious chickpea balls & nutritional yeast.
Yum! Yum! Yum!
Also a very, very great sandwich in the wee hours of morning....
I must have said that how many times this post?
Well, it's delicious, especially those little surprising chickpeas that weren't mashed by the evil blender blade. It has a touch of sweetness, a slight crunch, & chewy center. Actually tastes a bit meaty and would be perfect atop of spaghetti.
Going the nontraditional route by not making a tzatkiki sauce, the salsa added a perfect amount of heat, complimenting the flavors of sensually spiced chickpeas perfectly.
In fact on the sandwich, salsa was the topping too.
Just a fiery blend of tomatoes, cilantro, white onions, and peppers to marry with great tasting chickpea balls- a match made in tongue/belly heaven!