Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vegan Crumbly Chickpea, Walnut, & Tempeh Fritters

These little thingamabobs are perfect sandwich filling or warm salad topper.
Gotta love food experimentation.
I've always said that the kitchen became another form of studio- food ingredients definitely embodying a painter's palette.
Chickpeas, walnuts, and tempeh sounded like an ideal combination.
They were supposed to be patties, but fell apart and made me laugh. Okay, I wasn't truly laughing at the time. In fact, rather screaming and cringing as hot grease jumped on my skin- hurts like the devil!
However, I loved the flavor and what managed to be achieved. Walnuts bring delicious rustic meatiness and crisp layer, chickpeas have this amazing taste that is indescribably delicious especially whenever mixed with curry flare, and tempeh is this chewy, diverse magician that soaks up everything. I would love to make these again and add a bit of rolled oats or quinoa to make them sync together better.
These crumbling funky fritters are great between two slices of bread ala sloppy joe style topped with lettuce, tomato, onion or served on top of pasta, rice, quinoa, or any other grain.

Vegan Crumbly Chickpea, Walnut, & Tempeh Fritters Ingredients and Preparation

olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, finely grounded
1 can chickpeas, drained
4 oz. tempeh, half a standard package, crumbled
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Grind walnuts. Mix with chickpeas, tempeh, and spices.
Pan fry each side in heated olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Watch out for that hot grease. It's not playing!
Most of it stayed stagnant, but wanted to collapse in certain places.
Served with a side of pasta & homemade tomato sauce.
Saucy sideways closeup.
The fritters crumble further, making for a perfect dinner.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vegan Cherry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

Creamy bananas & chunky cherry pieces blend for a delightful beverage!
I am officially a moved woman now (made it down to Philadelphia safe and sound), but some upcoming recipes will be from weeks ago- seeing as I've procrastinated far too long. I need to find a book called Dummy's Guide to Time Management. That may keep me on track.
Vegan MOFO is just around the corner (3 days away!) and I've categorized AfroVeganChick into the comfort food section. Fall will be such a good time to further explore soup combinations like hearty apples with squashes or traditional broccoli cheddar. Sadly, I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and they didn't have the Soy Mozzarella Shreds. I'll be visiting Whole Foods later on to scout for Daiya, but nondairy cheese isn't that big of a concern. Soaked cashews are still beyond my favorite.
Now one of the things I really miss is the blender. It was too big to pack and left behind with a bunch of other very necessary items.
However, I remember that last smoothie- a yummy sweet taste of juicy cherries and bananas swirling amongst So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt in the old coconut oil jar. It had been a morning of crisp brown olive oil toast lightly greased between fingertips and a desire brewing for simple fruity concoction to drown out the crunch. Just a couple of ingredients make this perfect smoothie. So Delicious calls the Cultured Coconut Milk plain flavored, but I consider it divinely addictive, licking the little six ounce cup clean of coconut milk residue after scooping most into blender with cherries, banana, and water.  So so good!!! The cherry lover inside burst happily and took pride in this marriage to banana- a winning taste bud team worthy of reward!

Vegan Cherry Banana Yogurt Smoothie Ingredients and Preparation

Introducing So Delicious's Cultured Coconut Milk! The name speaks for itself. Yum!

2 bananas, ripened
18 cherries, pitted
1 6 oz. plain So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon water

Blend all ingredients together.

Very sweet treat that cannot be beat!
Perfect for breakfast....
Alongside olive oil toast!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Vegan Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

The best hot chocolate ever!
Usually, I make hot chocolate with either boiled water or dairy free milk with cocoa powder- the traditional method started way back in the old childhood days.  Then of course, Megan over at Opinioness of The World had an incredible suggestion of melting dairy free chocolate chips into the milk for a creamier, richer, even more chocolaty enhanced flavor inside her version of Vegan Hot Chocolate. I took the idea and ran with it, adding Peanut Butter and Company's Dark Chocolate Dreams (best peanut butter ever!) to the mixture- a nutty chocolate addicted heaven that is oh so wickedly charming for my last day in Ohio. I savored it at a deliberate pace for breakfast and couldn't help feeling refined and sophisticated, sipping out of the big mug, relaxing over chocolate and peanut butter notes syncing together. This relaxing, sweet hot chocolate is definitely worth savoring and taking slow- especially if you've got a full day ahead!

Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate Ingredients and Preparation
Three sweet ingredients make for the best hot chocolate ever!
2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk (use sweetened variety if desired)
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
2 generous tablespoon Peanut Butter & Company's Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter
pinch of cinnamon

Bring almond milk to an almost boil & stir in chocolate chips & peanut butter. These will melt quickly & beautifully.
Add a touch of cinnamon if desired.
Rich, creamy, chocolaty peanut butter goodness.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Vegan Baked Portobello Mushroom "Crust" Pizzas With Spinach & Mozzarella

Who needs floury crust when a mushroom is just as delicious?!
It's been such a busy few weeks with packing boxes, cleaning, organizing, discovering what's important and not, moving and processing educational future as well as saying goodbye to everything loved and cherished. Going from an incredibly small place to a larger, worldlier city eight hours away has become scarier as the hour draws near. Tomorrow night everything changes.
With August almost over and Vegan MOFO coming soon,  I have, however, enjoyed participating in my first Vegan Package Swap so far and would love to thank the lovely Amada for sending these delicious new items to my doorstep.

My first vegan swap package contained these amazing Earth Balance Vegan Aged White Cheddar Puffs, Go Raw Bars, Primal Seitan Jerky, & more.

I sent Trader Joe's treats, Kettle's new Maple Bacon Chips, Larabar Lemon Bars, & samples of Justin's peanut butters.
Also my first Dayton City Paper article got published this week!

My caricature done by resident cartoonist Dennis Porter.
A little highlight!

Now onto today's yummy recipe!
I get inspired a lot from Instagram and lately mushroom pizza has been popping up like crazy- a portobello mushroom cap turned upside down, layered with "pizza" ingredients, and baked. Very simple to make without waiting for dough to rise or rolling squishy yeast between fingertips, mushroom pizzas are definitely a solid short cut. Either sliced and eaten like miniature pizzas or used as sandwich filling or pasta topper, cheesy ooey gooey savory spinach mushroom delights are perfect for lunch and dinner.

Vegan Baked Portobello Mushroom "Crust" Pizzas With Spinach & Mozzarella Ingredients and Preparation

2 portobello mushroom caps, stemmed
pizza sauce
1 1/2 cup spinach, cooked
1/2 cup Trader Joe's Mozzarella Style Shreds
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking sheet with oil or parchment paper.

Fill clean, stem free mushrooms with tomato sauce. Here, my sauce is made with 3 pureed tomatoes mixed with 2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic, 2 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, & 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Layer spinach.
Sprinkle on cheese & paprika. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Sprinkle additional nutritional yeast & serve.
Best eaten with a fork. Can get pretty messy if choosing to eat with hands like regular pizza. ;)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Raw Vegan Cherry Cheesecake With Raw Cherry Sauce

Cherry Lover's Cheesecake Pleasure.
I am the biggest cherry aficionado imaginable.
Cherries are phenomenal, bewitching beauties. Red, plump, juicy, sweet, finger staining lover's madness that gives chocolate a run for its money, cherries are around number 8 of the alkaline foods chart. There's of course soft spots for strawberries and blueberries, but cherries have my heart, especially the deep deep beautiful crimson ones.
Ardor is personified in this incredibly irresistible cheesecake with cherry flavor in every bite. From the slightly spiced sauce featuring delectable cherry pieces, to enticing cherry cheesecake to fresh garnished cherries scattered alongside, it is paradise befitting to a true cherry addict.
Easy to make and best served after thawing.

Raw Vegan Cherry Cheesecake With Raw Cherry Sauce Ingredients and Preparation

Raw Cherry Cheesecake

1 1/2 cup cashews, soaked
20-25 dark sweet cherries, pitted
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Puree all ingredients together and pour into a mold.

Raw Cherry Sauce

17-20 dark sweet cherries, pitted
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon sugar
pinch of cinnamon and ginger
Pit cherries.
Add lemon juice, almond extract, sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
Pour into blender and puree slightly.
Pour over thawed cheesecake.
Eat smallest slice possible. ;)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Vegan Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Pizza Hearts

A pizza heart or a piece of your heart?
I had such a blast roasting my very first batch of tomatoes last night.
It's truly wonderful how sliced open red plump beauties overtook the kitchen with an aromatic magical intensity. Straight after their finished softening, I couldn't resist eating a few misshapen, garlic and onion infused tomatoes before containing and refrigerating goodness for planned pizza and first gluten free pasta salad recipes. The taste of them is beyond anything I've imagined- like eating edible garden herb flowers.
It's quite simple.
I preheated oven to 325 degrees, stemmed and sliced 8 medium sized organic tomatoes, marinated each into a bath of 3 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoon minced garlic,  2 teaspoon Italian seasonings, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, laid one layer of tomatoes onto an oiled baking sheet, and roasted for an hour and thirty minutes. One could leave them inside for another thirty minutes or take them out sooner if softening to desired texture.
"Tomatoes roasting on an open fire...."
Lovely tomatoes about to be stored. Onions turn completely translucent.
Next time, I would love to roast them alongside a bit of red wine vinegar.  
Now on this pizza, the flavor is beautiful- layered evenly with Trader Joe's irresistible Roasted Garlic Hummus- perfect accompaniment to tomatoes having same special treatment and soy mozzarella. I fell in love. Perhaps that's why I shaped pizza crusts into hearts.
Great for a party where guests don't mind moments of silence and wish for vegan peppermints to be handed out as favors.

Vegan Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Pizza Hearts Ingredients and Preparation

homemade or store bought dough
5-6 roasted tomatoes per pizza
1/2 cup Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic Hummus
1/2 cup Trader Joe's Mozzarella Style Shreds
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare a baking sheet/pizza pan with either oil or parchment paper.

Flatten and shape about 1/4-1/2 cup pizza dough into desired heart shape.
Layer on hummus & tomatoes. It would be best to also place cheese before tomatoes too. Bake for 18-25 minutes.
Cool and serve.
Pizza party.
Sprinkle additional seasons if desired.
Praise pretty pizza & eat.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

These yummy ice cream sandwiches are both minty fresh & divinely chocolaty!
Summer is just flying!
It's not as hot as it usually is around these parts. We've had rain and more rain and cloudiness. The sun has been hiding out in fear.
The week has certainly been busy getting writing duties in order as well as packing and looking at flights or bus schedules. School is 21 days away and I'm beyond frazzled. However, great vegan news afoot- joined All About Vegan Food's Vegan Package Swap (where vegans can send their fave vegan stuff via care mail during around first of the month) and entered AfroVeganChick for next month's Vegan Mofo! Check link for details on how to share your vegan recipes for the great month of autumn leafing September! Deadline is August 28th!
Now onto tasty minty ice cream sandwiches!
A sweet peppermint treat that is certainly far more refreshing than a certain patty from York, cold chocolaty mint flavored banana ice cream oozes between two sandwiched brownies for an irresistibly tempting dessert that must be eaten with a spoon. Unless you're one of those who love licking chocolate coated palms and such....

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches Ingredients and Preparation

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

2 frozen bananas
1/3 cup Enjoy Life Food's Mini Chips
2 mint leaves
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Either blend these ingredients together and freeze or prepare just as sandwich halves are ready to be used.

Brownies (for sandwiches)

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/3 cup coconut oil (or applesauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1/4 cup Enjoy Life Food's Mini Chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift dry ingredients together.
Add liquids.
Pour into muffin tin & bake for 23-25 minutes.
Let cool.
Slice in half and place on wax paper. Preferably on a plate. Freeze for 2-3 hours- until they are desired chill and softness.
Sit out ice cream until it softens & layer on chilled brownie halves.
Someone made a little oopsy (can you spot it?), but these turned out great taste wise!