Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ultimate Coconut & Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Pancakes With Creamy Roasted Walnut Butter

Coconut and chocolate chip deliciousness covered by the most amazing homemade nut butter.
Despite having a pimple the size of Texas, the first day of MFA candidacy was great yesterday. I had seminar. I usually am kind of meh on the early morning talk talk talk, but this sounds like it'll be quite a winner. Syllabus contains great amount of diverse reading material (Adrian Piper, Virginia Woolf, Bell Hooks, and Freud oh my!), plus essay writing assignments! (yes I love writing papers!), and avid film watching. In fact, we viewed a Charles and Ray Ames (glorious chair makers) short piece on conversation. Plus our teacher is an artist/gallery owner who wears converse sneakers and denim- very cool and sparkly (except he wasn't sparkly). My last two seminar teachers were awesome too. Except we still must do something about this meeting at 8:30 AM. Hot chocolates will have to give energetic life and sustenance. And pancakes. One must cannot exclude pancakes from morning bliss.
For Vegan Linky Potluck 9, I bring an old classic introduced on my Facebook page. Yet to be blogged until now. You know how you have something up your sleeve and just get around to pulling out that wild card? Well, this is it. I have had these pancakes backburned far too long. Clearing up post drafts to make way for Vegan Mofo which starts this coming Meatless Monday!
To chocolate coconut fanatics these are created solely in your honor. Mixed with gluten free pancake batter (the cheat sheet way!), coconut oil and coconut flakes provide flavor and texture to otherwise chocolate chip madness. No maple syrup required when an ample amount of irresistible homemade walnut butter tops and smothers crisp, golden goodness.

Ultimate Coconut & Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Pancakes Ingredients and Preparation

coconut oil for pan frying
1 cup Maple Grove Farms Pancake/Waffle Mix
1 cup So Delicious Original Organic Coconut Milk
1/3 cup tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Enjoy Life Foods Miniature Chocolate Chips
pinch of cinnamon
Creamy Roasted Walnut Butter

Heat skillet with coconut oil.
Mix pancake mix, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut flakes, and vanilla together.
Fold in chocolate chips and cinnamon.
Pour in about 1/4 cup of batter into skillet and cover.
Flip over once little bubbles form and edges are firm- about five minutes.
Repeat. Time should be shortened upon each pancake interval.

Crafted pancakes topped with Creamy Roasted Walnut Butter- no maple syrup required!
Served alongside a mug of hot tea.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Official Vegan Mofo Press Release & Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Grits

Optional walnuts add crunchy texture to overall creaminess of rich dish.
If you haven't signed up for this year's Vegan Mofo now is the time to hop to it! Here's the official press release edited for my blog purposes:

Vegan Mofo 2014.

August 23, 2014
VeganMoFo VIII: Vegan Month of Food, with hundreds of bloggers from around the world participating!  
The 8th Annual Vegan Month of Food (aka VeganMoFo) is ready to take the internet by storm! Starting September 1, 2014, several hundred bloggers and instagrammers from all around the globe will pledge to post about vegan food at least five days a week for the whole month of September. The most dedicated participants try to blog all 30 days. Food writers, bloggers, and home cooks will write about what they eat and what they cook, all with the intention of showing off the wide and delicious world of vegan food. Some participants use VeganMoFo as a motivation to tackle massive culinary projects, some choose a different theme for each day of the week, and still others take on the challenge of daily posts from the seat-of-their-pants!
This year, for the first time, VeganMoFo will be actively including the participation of the vibrant vegan community on Instagram – with the hashtag #veganmofo2014. If ever you have wondered about what vegans are eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – you will be amazed at the variety of meals and foods. There will be everything from summer produce, family dinners, green smoothies, mountains of cookies, waffles, and goji berries!
Local blogger Janyce Denise Glasper of AfroVeganChick is one of the blogs participating this year. She first began AfroVeganChick blog in 2012 which focuses on home cooked comfort food recipes, local restaurant reviews, beauty D.I.Y., natural hair progression, and much more.
An alphabetized list of all participating blogs and Instagram accounts will be posted online at the Vegan MoFo Headquarters International ( There you will also find information about generating an RSS feed to help you keep track of all the food writing. Vegan MoFo can also be followed on @veganmofo.
VeganMoFo is a grassroots event that evolved from an international community of vegans who love to cook, and are passionate about sharing their love of vegan food with the rest of the world. First organized by famed vegan chef and cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz (, VeganMoFo has been gathering more and more enthusiasts each year. Anyone interested in food should definitely go online and check it out. And be prepared for a growling stomach! 

Whew! Did you get all that? Isn't it exciting????! My 30 day theme is Taste The Nom Nom- which will feature all kinds of mouth watering salads, entrees, desserts, appetizers, and perhaps some wonderful Philly/NYC pit stops along the way. I cannot wait!
As for today, just packing remainder of boxes and gearing up for Monday moving. Along with moving comes clearing out the refrigerator/freezer- eating all perishable foods ASAP.
There is nothing like waking up in the afternoon craving breakfast. I'm not a morning person, but that doesn't mean one skips out on most important first meal of the day.  So here is another delicious cheesy plate. This time polenta is creamed to epic proportions with Brussels sprouts and Daiya cheddar added to the mix.
I love Brussels sprouts. Adore them immensely. Delicious rounded small "cabbages" are steamed and smashed into oblivion, a perfect companion to creamed polenta. Daiya's cheddar just melts right in. Every bite is comforting indulgence. See. I'm all ready for Vegan Mofo already!

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Grits Ingredients and Preparation

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 Trader Joe's 16 oz organic polenta, diced
1 cup cooked Brussels sprouts, mashed
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a heated skillet, stir garlic and coconut oil together.
Add polenta, using spoon to mix and mash cubes into smaller and smaller pieces for about 6-7 minutes.
Cover with lid.
Combine Brussels sprouts, almond milk, Daiya, and spices with polenta. Let this warm for another 4-5 minutes. 

Stir once again and turn off heat.
Plate and top with crushed walnuts and extra black pepper.
Served with a side of strawberry banana peanut butter smoothie. Heaven.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Sweet cinnamon-y snickerdoodles make great gifts.
I said "goodbye" to someone special tonight. Sayonara isn't easiest task, but it happens when moving onto next phase of life. I always say this in an appreciative, endearing manner- for this is someone I've known practically forever. Although there are millions of words found in dictionaries and thesauruses, kind gestures speak tons. Plus I adore baking treats for people, sharing such pleasantries. Thanks to Making Thyme For Health, I found best way to spread joyous affection- fresh from the oven snickerdoodles!
Once again, the yellow rubber duck ribbon comes out to play pretty to gift presentation. Yay!
For today's 8th Virtual Vegan Linky Party, I am happy to introduce the veganization of my favorite cookies in the whole wide world! And no- it's not chocolate chip or double chocolate chip fudge surprisingly enough. Although chocolate anything sounds epically amazing- nothing pleases me more than a fresh from the oven snickerdoodle. Some believe they're simple sugar cookies disguised in cinnamon spice. Oh no. No. They're a lot more than that. Cream of tartar alone gives snickerdoodles that distinctively unique flavor. Moist, chewy, soft with a little delicate crunch thanks to minute dough balls rolled and then baked in exterior cinnamon-sugar mixture.
With this list of ten ingredients- one isn't excluded. That's love. Makes pleasant desserts even sweeter.

Snickerdoodles Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup flour (my cookies are brown due to whole wheat flour usage)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon date syrup (or vanilla)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup almond milk

1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, and sugar.
Mix in date syrup (or vanilla), coconut oil, and almond milk.
Stir evenly and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Scoop out 1 tablespoon cookie dough balls, coating them in cinnamon sugar mixture.
Place them inches apart on greased baking sheet.
Bake for 10-13 minutes.

Added just a smidgeon more of cinnamon to cooled cookies.
I love reusing old jars and containers. This Natural Delights Medjool Dates is no exception. Perfectly suited to house snickerdoodle bliss.
The best presents are homemade.
Close up of yellow ribbons and happy rubber ducks meant to brighten spirits.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Four Ingredient White Shea Butter Lotion

Same jar. Slightly different butter.
I have longed to see if there was a difference between yellow and white Shea butter. Turns out it's just the color. They're both from the karite tree and processed in the same way. Just make sure to use unrefined varieties of either one. There's a lot of eBay shops selling this on the cheap, etsy too. The same can be said for raw cocoa butter. If you find a local African shop (which there's plenty of in Philly!), you'll be in even better luck to get good, authentic product.
For weeks, I've used latest new batch of White Shea Butter Lotion straight after towel dried shower. Only four ingredients (no jojoba oil this time) and so simple to make. It's been offering great results. Thick, creamy application provides hydrated moisture all over. Lasts for almost twenty four hours. Feet are especially grateful and in debt forever. Fragrance smells too sweet and delicious- like yummy chocolate bar straight from the candy factory thanks to awesome raw cocoa butter. I love carrying the jar on the go (which surprisingly doesn't melt in the sun!) and using it on my hands. It's perfect for those moments when your vegan perfume disappears.

Four Ingredient White Shea Butter Lotion Preparation

2-3 cups of water will do for a medium sized steel bowl to sit in.
boiling water
1/2 pound (2 cup) unrefined white shea butter
2 oz.(1/2 cup) unrefined organic cocoa butter
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/3 cup olive oil

Close up of 4 ingredients.
Once water is boiling, put white shea butter and cocoa butter inside. Takes minutes for it all to dissolve.
Once Shea and cocoa butters have melted, add coconut and olive oils, stirring it all together. Turn off heat.
Pour hot lotion into jar. Refrigerate for 5-6 hours.
Pure solid. Yay!!!
Capped and ready to go places.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Zucchini & Chickpea Scramble

Make a belly pleasing breakfast with full-filling zucchini and chickpea scramble!
The countdown has begun.
For the last week, I've been busy packing up suitcases, Goodwill donation boxes and saying bittersweet goodbyes to hoarded items. One of life's hardest decisions is giving up on things that used to matter. Well, still excited for a new chapter. It's time for Philadelphia once again and this time it's permanent.
Thankfully, comfort food can heal pain.
I didn't have any tofu (or chocolate), but wanted something that would work perfect alongside plain brown rice. I was thinking scramble terminology. Tofu scramble is amazing. That's for sure. Yet chickpeas turned out to be an amazing consolation. With a little almond milk added and pureed inside blender, the remains are a half creamy, half firm mass of deliciousness. Zucchini brings home beautiful green color, mild sweet flavor, and crisp texture.

Zucchini & Chickpea Scramble Ingredients and Preparation

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 zucchini, diced
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

Saute zucchini in olive oil, stirring and browning for 7-8 minutes. Puree chickpeas with almond milk.
Add chickpea puree into zucchini and mix in ingredients. Heat for 5 minutes longer. Add Daiya Cheese, letting the good stuff melt.
Perfectly paired with brown rice and seasoned tempeh strips.
Although great for breakfast, this is great any time of the day!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Easy Jalapeno-Garlic Havarti Broccoli Soup

It's never too hot for soup right?
It's Wednesday! You know what that means? Virtual Vegan Potluck's 6th Linky Potluck Party.
Just in the midst of hot summer, eighteen days away from school starting, it's not uber humid around these parts. In fact, weather is rather cool at night. So cool, that I need to stock up on fall sweater cardigans earlier than usual. Plus nothing warms a body more than piping hot soup.
On a recent excursion, family members were distressed over taking this vegan to lunch. I don't particularly favor eating out as much as I used to, especially at places known to not have a satisfying plant based menu. Well, we wound up at O'Charley's. I ordered steamed broccoli and sweet potato fries. Alright meal. And plus it's always a blessing to be treated by someone else. My aunt had a rich potato soup that made me want to break out culinary hat.
Today, for the Potluck Party, I'm bringing a bowl of creamy, hot soup. I have missed cheese and broccoli together. Always a huge favorite. Restaurants like O'Charley's use chicken broth for every soup and side (even rice pilaf!), but in my cruelty free kitchen full fat coconut milk mimics cream, provides wonderful flavor, and makes for a fine soup basis. Daiya's mild Jalapeno Garlic Havarti melts beautifully and gives broccoli much needed cheesy applause. So delicious one cannot help licking bowl clean like happiest purring kitty cat.

Easy Jalapeno-Garlic Havarti Broccoli Soup Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup chopped broccoli, steamed
1 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
2 thin slices Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti, diced
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

In a small pot, combine broccoli and coconut milk.
Once soup boils a little (5-7 minutes), add Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti chunks, stirring until melted.
Stir in garlic, Italian seasonings, salt, crushed red pepper, and white pepper.
Bring to a simmer. 
If you have an emulsifier, break down broccoli into tinier pieces. Otherwise, chopped broccoli bits are just fine and dandy, almost like traditional soup of its kind.

Pour into desired bowl. Slices of Homemade No Knead Sandwich Wheat Bread is a perfect accompaniment.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Post # 300: Homemade No Knead Sandwich Wheat Bread

My first attempt of homemade sandwich bread turned out very good.
It's finally happened! AfroVeganChick is at blog post number 300!!!! Took long enough. Celebrating this coveted milestone with bread. Yummy yummy fresh from the oven made from scratch bread. I know y'all were expecting cookies and cake, but bread, oh glorious bread, sounded appropriate.
I buy wheat bread once a week. It's reasonably priced at $2. However, it is often out. After all, my little Wayne Avenue Kroger is a small store and they're often out of the good stuff. 
Thanks to Mattie of Vegan Baking Dot Net, I found a simple bread recipe that requires no kneading at all. I was sooooo excited. Although it takes a little over 4 hours to prepare and bake (that intimated me at first), the results are above satisfying. The kitchen smells like heaven and when taken out, bread is all browned and beautiful. Didn't have oats or wheat germ, so I topped it off with cracked black pepper and Italian seasonings to give extra flavor. Goodbye $2 loaf. This saves serious dough. Heehee. So far ate peanut butter, grilled cheese, and chickpea "burger" sandwiches. The best part after using a sharp knife to cut up rustic loaf is eating it! Has a soft, moist texture and crusty top. Very good.

Homemade No Knead Sandwich Wheat Bread Ingredients and Preparation

2 cup warm water
2 tablespoon sugar (agave or maple syrup is fine too)
1 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
3 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
coconut oil (optional)

Whisk water, sugar and yeast together. Let sit for 10 minutes.
In a much larger bowl, mix flour and salt together.
Combine wet with dry ingredients, stirring in a circular motion for one minute. Cover with plastic and let rise for an hour and a half.
It will double in size. Now stir again and let rise again for another hour and a half.
After it has risen again, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir dough for one last time. Place it into an oiled loaf pan and cover with a plastic bag for 40 minutes, leaving room for its rising.
Uncover plastic bag and let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Rose a bit in the pan. Add black pepper and Italian seasonings if desired. Now place in the oven for 45 minutes- turning pan over at halfway mark so bread is evenly baked.
Let bread cool on the stove for about 20 minutes before removal. Use a knife at each side.
Yay! Fresh bread waiting to be cut.
Store in a plastic bag in a dark place or inside a freezer.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Raw Date Syrup

Add sweetness to pancakes, smoothies, and such with yummy date syrup.
Happy August! Let the school countdown begin. I cannot be the only one excited. Haha. (smiling big)
For now it's the final Daytonian First Friday for me. Psyched about seeing great art and sampling fruit. I Never stop sampling free fruit. One of my favorite dried fruits is a medjool date. It's especially addicting whenever stuffed with Peanut Butter & Company's amazing award-winning Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter and raw walnuts. Okay, I may have been stretching the award-winning peanut butter just a bit but everyone and their mamas know that Dark Chocolate Dreams is the best chocoholic pb lover's treat.
With medjool dates, possibilities are endless.
Thanks to Oh, Ladycakes and sticky, dried fruit goodness, we have a rich, caramel like syrup that is thick and oozing sweet. One could simply mix soaked dates and water- voila! Instant dripping sap. Additions like lemon juice, vanilla bean, and even coriander (which I used here) can bring extra flavor flare to this great simple syrup! Cannot wait for the weekend. Stacked "buttery" pancakes galore.

Raw Date Syrup Ingredients and Preparation

9 medjool dates
1 1/4 cup water
pinch of ground coriander (optional)

Soak dates for 30 minutes to an hour. Or overnight if preferred.
Drain. Place into blender with water and optional coriander. Puree well.
Pour into a jar that can be sealed tight. I used one of my old coconut oil jars.
Place into refrigerator. It keeps yum up to 2 weeks.