Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vegan Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Delicious, not too sweet banana oatmeal muffins are to die for!
Once upon a time, in a kitchen far, far away, two little once yellow green bananas sitting on the counter turning browner and browner, stared at a vegan maker dancing hardcore to The Smiths, wondering if she would stop and bake them into something wonderful and tasty.
It's not just in my imagination.
Sometimes the food really speaks.
So I obliged the fruit by quitting horrible jiving that would never get me on "So You Think You Can Dance" and instead focused my creative talents on baking yummy addictive muffins worth sharing!

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ripened bananas at room temperature
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (used Almond Breeze brand)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoon cocoa (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with baking cups.
Mix all dry ingredients separately.
Cream vanilla, bananas, and almond milk in a blender.
Combine wet with the dry.
Add remaining ingredients.
Pour into cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

I love these polka dot baking cups! Running quite low on them.
These are super duper moist & rich muffins.
Meant to be enjoyed with almond milk & chick flicks.
Spicy, sultry banana vixens in a muffin cup!
All the taste buds reveal is banana at its creamy finest blended with the best of seasonings, a reminder of the warm autumn breeze as each soft, tender bite of moist, decadent muffin is savored slowly. Gotta love that chewy texture of oats and coconut combined with the crunch of walnuts, and that hearty cinnamon flavor.
Great for an on the go breakfast!
If you want a little spread on top, might I suggest almond butter or a bit of fruit jam?
Though, I highly recommend it strictly naked with a side of dairy free milk! Yummmy!!! :)
Since there were many leftover sweet treats to spare and overcome with a rather joyous disposition after having my desired fill, I placed extra muffins in my trusty "spread the love" wicker basket and handed them out to friends, always happy to bring that unexpected vegan celebration to someone's stomach.
As always, the feedback was positively uplifting!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vegan "Tempeh" Sausage, Green Sauce, & Daiya "Mozzarella" Pizza

Tempeh Sausage makes for a yummy pizza topping.
My first vegan sausage pizza & it was delicious!
Though baking on the cookie sheet is awesome, I actually went out and bought a pizza pie pan.
Now my pizzas will be super round and anatomically correct. ;)
As I conducted vegan recipe research, there were two ingredients in most recipes for tempeh sausage not available in my spice cabinet. So while fennel seed and red pepper flakes are on this week's grocery list, that "meaty" flavor on the pizza turned out exceptional without it.

Pizza Dough

1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
2 tablespoon olive oil

My Pizza Crust Instructions
*tip after adding flour- massage garlic, seasonings, & olive oil into the dried dough, it gives off the most amazing smell & the crust is addictive!

Tempeh Sausage

1 package tempeh, crumbled
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon Italian seasonings

Spinach And Basil Green Sauce

3 cup spinach
1 1/2 cup fresh basil
1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Simply mix these ingredients in a blender & voila! Sauce is ready. :)

Daiya for topping

Crumble tempeh & mix the ingredients into a bowl. Cook the "sausage" mixture on a medium high nonstick skillet with additional balsamic vinegar for 5-7 minutes.
Once pizza dough is ready, spread onto the pan. Add the sauce.
Cooked tempeh "sausage" & extra spinach leaves.
Then the Daiya! Add more "cheese" if desired. And yes, those New Balances are mine!!!
Bake for 15-22 minutes.
It was very, very delicious!!! But I needed more "cheese."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vegan Cocoa Butter Birthday Chocolate Cake Topped With Cherry Preserves, Coconut, & Sliced Almonds

A merry slice of chocolate birthday cake paired with Trader Joe's Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
This past Sunday, upon turning older and celebrating in modest style amongst my family, I realized a newfound pride in creating new recipes and sharing vegan food with loved ones. It's just wonderful to have not only made it to 10 months, but to find an appreciation to interweave animal compassion into my birthday and beyond.
The idea to utilize cocoa butter, an ingredient solely used in my hair/face/body products, came from saving a huge chunk of the raw, unrefined rock that smelled so delicious that it begged to be in the cake.
Sorry, I can honestly state that my birthday wasn't oil free. Maybe next year?
And let's agree not talk about the epic failure of the pumpkin frosting or if the So Delicious Coconut Almond Chip survived long enough to reach October 7th.....

Vegan Cocoa Butter Birthday Chocolate Cake Topped With Cherry Preserves, Coconut, & Sliced Almonds

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup melted cocoa butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (So Delicious Plus)
2 tablespoon cherry preserves
2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt


3 tablespoon cherry preserves
2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
handful sliced almonds

Grease and flour a 8 or 9 inch cake pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend all the lovely ingredients together. Bonne Maman hands down best Cherry preserves ever & apparently imported from France, which makes it super duper fancy!
Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes & transfer onto a plate. As it cools, spread on the preserves & sprinkle on the coconut & almonds.
Though it sits near the spinach & basil pesto Daiya topped pizza, the cake was never forgotten during dinner. If you spied how old I became, do not congratulate yourself. ;)
At $3.99 for 8 servings, I commend this delicious flavor of soy ice cream! So very yum & coordinated well with the cherry chocolate theme of the party.
Moist, delightful heaven, the cocoa butter shines through every bite of this rich chocolate cake complemented harmoniously by textured flaky coconut, sweet cherry preserves, and the raw crunch provided by sliced unsalted almonds and the soft, flavorful soy ice cream.
The cake wasn't the only hit.
My nonvegan family enjoyed the green saucy nontraditional Daiya topped pizza (perhaps not truly believing that the "cheese" was really vegan), the crispy Kettle Brand potato chips, and the yummy addictive Trader Joe's ice cream was almost gone before the party ended.
And keep in mind, there were only four of us! Hahaha!
Now Mom said she'll be by often. Yes!
Though I do enjoy eating alone, it's even sweeter to watch people relishing and greedily engulfing your food as though there's nothing better on earth to eat, especially this compassionate, animal free cooking that makes my heart and insides feel all warm and fuzzy.
So yes, all in all, a great birthday this year. After 3 days, I still cannot stop thinking about it.
Maybe because I ate the last slice of cake today. Good warmed up too!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Vegan Acorn Squash Stuffed Brussels Sprout & Cauliflower "Cheesy" Puree

That little smidgeon of cinnamon on top of stuffed acorn squash makes it worth a million bites.
Autumn and squash go together perfectly!
At 69 cents a pound, I love picking up these yellow green gourds and devising different flavor combinations to stuff their buttery consistent centers with. It seemed only right to make a lovely concoction that blended love of cauliflower "cheese" sauce and Brussels sprouts. 

Vegan Acorn Squash Stuffed Brussels Sprout & Cauliflower "Cheesy" Puree

2 cups frozen Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup extra firm tofu
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoon panko bread crumbs
dash of cinnamon

Step 1 as always- preheat oven to 350 degrees.
After cutting the acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds and membrane.
Bake for 30 minutes and prepare cooking Brussels sprouts and cauliflower accordingly.

Once Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are cooked, place into a blender with all ingredients.

Giving it a spoon toss in between rounds of blending.
After taking out the acorn squash around half their baking mark, fill each with the cream.
Spread thin layer of yellow mustard....
Sprinkle on the panko bread crumbs and cinnamon. Bake for 20-30 minutes more.
Breaking it in and drooling at the thick, rich texture. So savory and delicious!
What can I say?
Gotta love the makeshift edible bowl.
The pleasurable companionship of cauliflower and Brussels sprouts cream, and the acorn squash tastes warm, sweet (by trick of cinnamon madness!), and comforting-  much needed in these cold nights that make kitten hugs even more rewarding.
Might add more panko next time, couldn't get enough of the crunchy topping! So amazing....

Okay, on a bad note, I ended the night consuming half of coveted birthday dessert due to Matt Bomer and his White Collar show. I feel so ashamed yet satisfied at the same time. Coconut Almond Chip. Try it. And die.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Creamy Red Skinned Potato And Green Pea Cream Over Asparagus

Sobbing asparagus is comforted by warm red skinned potato & green pea cream. 
Happy October, my friends!
It's a most lovely time of the year- the leaves are transforming into beautiful vibrant colors, the boots are ready to be warn with ribbed animal free sweaters, and the Libras are all in cahoots, setting out to bask in the moment of birthday celebration by painting the autumn nights red (or purple in my case).
Just 4 days away from my big day and have special goodies in store, especially with newly acquired raw unrefined cocoa butter that I cannot wait to use for Cherry Pumpkin Frosted Chocolate Cake. Let's hope that it turns out to be more than just a yummy name.
For the most part, I'm still retaining oil free cooking, but this cake will be a celebratory treat along with the amazing So Delicious Coconut Almond Chip as birthday sidekick treat.
Alas, tonight's dinner was quite exceptional.
Last week, I made amazing mashed potatoes with green peas and while eating that wondered if that creamy madness could be transported as a sauce.
Lo and behold, by adding extra almond milk- voila- a sauce that any vegetable would love to drown their "sorrows" in.
Oh FYI: This will take a long while. It's best not to be uber hungry when preparing this.

8 small red potatoes
1 cup frozen green peas
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings blend
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 asparagus bunch (steamed or boiled)

In a medium pan, boil red potatoes and within seven minutes of 50 minute cooking time add frozen green peas.
After draining excess water, toss potatoes & green peas into blender.
Add in the ingredients! Gotta love Unsweetened Almond Breeze and Bragg's Nutritional Yeast!
 Puree and whip and chop until there is nothing seen but cream.
Pour cream over hot asparagus and chow down! Or savor slowly. Take your pick.
If you must know, that whole bunch of asparagus is gone and this little woman ate like a raving mad Popeye dining at an all you can eat spinach buffet.
Thankfully, there is plenty of that divine rich cream leftover- it's thick, "cheesy" taste flows lovingly against crisp asparagus and surprised pieces of chunky potato are delightful heaven to the tongue.
I have plans to add curry and other spices and serve it over rice and chickpeas for tomorrow's Indian inspired dinner. Plus making a run to Trader Joe's (love this store!!!) and hoping to find vegan naan to complete my life. ;)