Tag Archives: vegan

Warm and Nourishing Vegan Pot Pie

In our home, pie is a point of contention. For me, pies are a lot of work with relatively little payoff. Ryan entirely disagrees, but of course, he’s not the one making the pies.

Vegan-Pot-Pie-Final-4It’s usually the pie crust that pushes me over the edge from “maybe I’ll make that” to “hell no.” I’m too stubborn to buy the pre-made crust, which frequently contains lard. And the idea of cutting butter into flour, rolling out dough, cleaning flour off the counter because, of course, I get flour everywhere…it’s just exhausting.

Pot pie, in particular, is something that took Ryan a long time to sell me on. It was a while before he convinced me that a pot pie can be more than the frozen, pea-filled, slightly fishy tasting, microwaveable flour brick of my childhood. But he asked nicely, if not repetitively, for a vegetable pot pie and how can I deny his cute face?

Vegan-Pot-Pie-Final-2If you aren’t intimidated by a little hard work, this vegan pot pie might just be for you. Or, in my case, your loved ones.

With the holidays just around the corner, this pot pie would be a perfect centerpiece to your vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Or, if you’re like us, it can be one of many centerpieces. The thick and buttery crust holds together a warm and nourishing center that leaves you feeling heavy, contented, and warm.

Vegan-Pot-Pie-Final-3I searched the web for a vegan pot pie recipe, but couldn’t find one that satisfied me. A lot of the recipes seemed to cut corners in some way. Hell, I did too by adding a frozen veggie medley. Part of the reward in cooking such a labor-intensive pie is the process of making it.  It’s clearly a pie for special occasions. One that is made slowly and consumed even slower over a glass of wine and a candlelit dining room table.

Vegan-Pot-Pie-Final-5If you’re concerned about the time it will take to make this during the holidays, don’t worry. You can freeze the assembled pie uncooked and place it in the oven when you’re ready to eat. I doubled the batch and froze an entire pie for later. Definitely worth it.

Nouishing and Warm Vegan Pot Pie
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Vegan
Cuisine: Vegan
Yields: 8 Slices
Ingredients
Double Pie Crust (adapted from Easy as Vegan Pie)
  • 2 ½ cups of flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cups cold non-dairy margarine, cut into chunks (I used earth balance)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp (or more) ice water
Vegan Pot Pie Filling
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small red potato, chopped
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups cup frozen vegetable medley (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Foursome)
  • 6 oz tofu, cut into chunks, (seasoned and pre-cooked optional, but recommended)
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup non-dairy creamer
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 fresh sage leaf, chopped
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
Make the Pie Crust
  1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl
  2. Using a food processor or a pastry blender cut in the margarine until the mixture has a grainy, wet sand-like texture. Be sure not to over-work the dough. Tip: You want the margarine very cold. I put the chunks of margarine in the freezer while I’m getting everything ready. You don’t want it to freeze, but it works much better.
  3. Sir in the lemon juice.
  4. Then add the ice water into the mixture, one tablespoon at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the texture is smooth and the dough is combined well enough that it sticks together.
  5. Split the dough into two equal-sized round balls. Cover each ball with saran wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the Filling
  1. In a small dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sauté the onion and chopped red potato until the onions are clear and the potato becomes slightly tender. The potato doesn’t have to be completely cooked at this point.
  2. Add in the tofu and the vegetable medley and cook for an additional five minutes.
  3. Pour the vegetable broth and the non dairy creamer into the pot and wait for it to simmer.
  4. In a separate bowl, create a roux by whisking together the flour with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, the nutritional yeast, and soy sauce.
  5. Add the roux into the pot with the filling, whisking constantly until the flour is well combined.
  6. Throw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped fresh sage, white pepper, and salt and let the mixture cook for five more minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and let the filling cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools.
Assembly
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. While you’re waiting for your filling to cool, roll out the pie crusts with a rolling pin.
  3. Line the bottom of a pie dish with one of the rolled out crusts.
  4. Pour the filling into the lined pie pan, smoothing the filling out so it appears flat on top.
  5. Complete the pie by adding the second rolled out pie crust on top, pushing the edges together to seal the pie.
  6. Using a sharp knife, add a few slits in the top to vent.
  7. Cover the edges of your pie crust in aluminum foil to prevent them from burning.
  8. Bake for 50 minutes (or 60 minutes if it’s a particularly deep dish pie) removing the aluminum foil after 30 minutes.
  9. Let the pie cool slightly before digging in!

Vegan-Pot-Pie-Final-1I’ve adapted this a couple of different ways. I’ve added Follow Your Heart mozzarella style cheese and  vegan sausage crumbles. Both were very good, but I’d avoid doing both at the same time because it gets a little too salty.

Pin it here!

This warm and nourishing pot pie is perfect for a cool fall day.
This warm and nourishing pot pie is perfect for a cool fall day.

the best vegan pancakes

It’s probably no surprise that I love pancakes. They’re perfect just the way they are and I would rather not modify them. So when it comes to making a vegan version, I’m really picky. I’ve gone through so many recipes trying to find the best one. I’ve tried practically every “vegan pancake recipe” on the first page of Google. Many of them come out dense, flat, and oily, with no resemblance to the cakey, fluffy texture I want out of pancakes.

Vegan-Pancakes-1I’ve even tried Champs’ pancakes and was like, “Mmm, sorry, no.”

But I’ve finally found the perfect recipe!  I have made this recipe half a dozen times at least and each time it turns out great! You’d never know they were vegan. They’re perfectly fluffy with the right balance of buttery and cakey goodness with crispy edges.

Vegan-Pancakes-5The best part? You only need one bowl.

Vegan-Pancakes-4The secret is the flax egg – a mix of ground flaxseed, or flax meal, and water. It’s often used in vegan baking to mimic the effects of an egg.

I’ve made these pancakes with both banana and blueberries and it turned out amazing each time. I use liquid coconut oil which gives them a slightly nutty taste. You can use olive or canola oil, but for the best taste, go with coconut.

Vegan-Pancakes-3Adapted from here.

the best vegan pancakes
 
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Quick and easy vegan pancakes to add to your morning brunch.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Yields: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed
  • 2.5 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (liquid form)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • vegan butter for griddle (I used Earth Balance)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, create a flax egg by whisking together the flaxseed and water. Let it set for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the coconut oil, maple syrup, and almond milk until well combined.
  3. Switch to a wooden spoon and gently stir in the baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and flour until combined. Be sure not to over-mix.
  4. Melt the vegan butter on a skillet pre-heated to medium heat. I use about 1 tsp for each pancake.
  5. Pour ¼ cup of batter into the skillet at a time.
  6. If you’re adding mix-ins, sprinkle them into the batter as you place it on the skillet.
  7. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on both sides, until crispy and thoroughly cooked.

Vegan-Pancakes-6I’ve shared a few more tips on making perfect pancakes here.

How do you like your pancakes? I rarely use syrup on my pancakes. My favorite are blueberry pancakes with whipped cream. I used to love chocolate chip, but have lately only wanted blueberry. Ryan loves banana and maple syrup. 

Basic Tofu Scramble

I spent many, many years as a vegetarian before ever trying tofu scramble. I don’t know what I was thinking, because it’s so good. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you should definitely give it a try because YOLO, right?

Tofu-Scram-7

I’m sure when that acronym was coined, they didn’t have eating tofu in mind.

I was so tempted to write that making tofu scramble is quick and fun, but thought that it sounded gimicky and generic. The truth is, while it doesn’t take long to cook (think scrambled eggs), it is fun. Well, if you think smashing tofu with a fork is fun, which I do.

And here’s where you all tell me to get out more…

I thought I’d hare a really basic tofu scramble, because the beauty of a tofu scram is you can add all sorts of vegetables in it to create something totally unique each time.

I recommend these combinations:

  • Southwest style with black beans, avocado, and seitan
  • Zucchini, yellow squash, or mushrooms
  • Spinach, pesto, feta
  • Top with tomato

I’m not of those people who think tofu is bland, I really enjoy the taste and am absolutely fine with eating it unseasoned. But if you’re feeling apprehensive about it, adding spices and mix-ins are key to getting a good flavor.

Basic Tofu Scramble
 
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Author:
Cuisine: Breakfast
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ small yellow onion, chopped
  • ¼ red pepper, chopped
  • 1 16 oz container of extra-firm tofu, pressed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain the tofu of excess water by pressing for 30 minutes.
  2. Using a fork, smash the tofu until it reaches a scrambled texture.
  3. Heat your olive oil in a In a skillet over medium-low heat.
  4. Once it’s warm, toss in your onions, red peppers, tomato paste, and spices, mixing them together. Saute for about 5 minutes until they start to soften and the onions turn clear.
  5. Add the tofu and gently saute it for five minutes, making sure to cover it in the olive oil and spices.

 

You have to press the tofu before you cook it to get a really solid tofu scramble. I place the tofu between two plates, and put a heavy book on top of it. Then press it for about 30 min.

I’ve also noticed if you slice the tofu lengthwise into thinner pieces, you can drain more water from them.

Then comes the fun part of smashing the tofu with a fork until it’s reached a “scrambled” texture.

Chop the onions and red pepper.

Heat your olive oil in a In a skillet over medium-low heat. Once it’s warm, toss in your onions, red peppers, and spices, mixing them together. Sautee for about 5 minutes until they start to soften and the onions turn clear.

Then add the tofu and gently saute it for five minutes, making sure to cover it in the olive oil and spices. Eat warm and serve with cheese or your favorite hot sauce. This dish can last up to three days refrigerated. Let me know what you think! What are your favorite additions to tofu scramble?

Creamy kale and grapefruit salad with garlic tahini dressing

Since many of us are making resolutions to commit to a healthier lifestyle, I thought I’d share a tasty way to put a little more kick in your kale salad.

Kale-Salad-2

Last year, something clicked and I determined that I absolutely loved kale. Prior to that, it was only a fibrous and bitter leaf and the butt of my jokes. “No one actually likes kale. They just eat it out of a sense of responsibility to their body or the clean eating culture or whatever cause it may possibly represent.” I was one of them. I even blogged about kale chips! I still stand by them, but let’s face it, it’s not the same as a carb-loaded potato chip.

What changed? I’m not sure. It’s likely I was eating it wrong many years. Being stubborn without cause, I kept chewing through it and eventually found a few ways to make kale a lot more enjoyable.

  • Massage it – Before I tried massaging the leaves, I didn’t think it would really make that much of a difference, but it does! If your kale is too tough, throw a few drops of olive oil into the leaves and massage it for a few minutes with your hands.
  • Dress it – With kale, you can’t dip your fork into a side of dressing before eating the leaf. This kind of goes along with massaging it, but the kale leaf needs to be sufficiently covered with a dressing, even if it’s just balsamic vinegar. It helps soften and moisturize the leaves while making it more palatable.
  • Dry it – My salads improved immensely when I bought a salad spinner. It’s hard to get all of the water out of the curly kale leaves, but the spinner leaves them crisp and dry.
  • Top it – I’ve found that the toppings make all the difference. First, add fruit. Fruit isn’t too common in the traditional iceberg and romaine salads, which are usually filled with cheeses and vegetables. But I think fruit is definitely a “must” when it comes to kale. It’s soft and adds a bit of juice. Additionally, it adds sweetness to offset some of kale’s bitterness. I also like to add nuts in my salads to give it a crunch. Adding anything to change the way the salad feels in your mouth will enhance its flavor.
  • Go for something different – Don’t be afraid to try something that you wouldn’t ordinarily add in a salad. I hesitantly added a raw egg yolk in this recipe (my favorite!) and it was amazing! I experienced reluctance with the grapefruit and fennel in this recipe and was pleasantly surprised.

Kale-Salad-3

I first tried this salad over the Thanksgiving holiday. Ryan’s sister prepared it for us and I have to say, I was reluctant. While I’m usually pretty enthusiastic about kale, I’m definitely less so about grapefruit and fennel. You know how I said I used to joke that no one likes kale? Well, I strongly believe that no one can possibly like grapefruit.

But the flavors really come together in this salad. The grapefruit bursts with juice as you bite down, but it’s mellowed out by the creamy tahini. There’s definitely a lot of bitterness in this salad, but it’s not overwhelming and very pleasant to eat.

Kale-Salad-1

Creamy Kale and Grapefruit Salad with Garlic Tahini Dressing
 
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Makes enough dressing for one bunch of kale and serves 4 – 6
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Yields: 4 - 6
Ingredients
For the Dressing
  • 1 – 2 Cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp of water
For the Salad
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • 1 bulb of fennel or small red onion
  • 1 bunch of kale (lactino or curly)
  • Toasted pine nuts (optional)
Instructions
For the Dressing
  1. Create the dressing by whisking together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  2. Add the oil by slowly drizzling it into your tahini mixture as you continue to whisk.
  3. Whisk in a tablespoon or two of water to thin out your mixture. You can do this as needed, if you find the mixture is too thick to cover completely cover the salad.
For the Salad
  1. Wash the kale and remove the ribs. Tear the kale into bite-size pieces. If you’re using lactino kale, consider slicing them a little thinner.
  2. Peel and slice the grapefruit into chunks removing any seeds or pith.
  3. Thinly slice the fennel bulb or red onion.
  4. Combine all of these ingredients into a large salad bowl
  5. Pour the dressing over the kale salad, making sure to cover all of the leaves.
  6. Serve with toasted pine nuts.

 

Kale-Salad-4

I had to use a red onion because I didn’t have any fennel on hand, but they are both delicious. I promise this will not disappoint!

So what about you? Do you like kale? What’s one food that you can’t believe people eat?

summer peach salad

I’ve been away for a few weeks, settling into the new home and neighborhood. For the past few weeks, the only cooking we’ve been doing has been on the grill. Otherwise, we’ve been exploring the amazing selection of restaurants around here.

Summer Peach Salad

This weekend, we went on an impromptu date to the little Italian restaurant down the street, enjoying the restaurant’s quiet and tree-filled backyard. The sun was setting and heat dissipating, leaving cool and breezy air behind. We lingered for a while, with nowhere to go and nothing to do.

I ordered the peach salad, expecting the usual tiny slices of peach over a bed of greens but was delightfully surprised when I received a plate full of large, crunchy peach slices, no greens, and a huge slab of parmesan. The combination was entirely satisfying.

Summer Peach Salad

The next day, I  ran out for some peaches and re-created the salad. I’m already fairly certain this will be at the top of my summer salad list. By the middle of summer, I’m usually sick of salads loaded with greens and am ready to switch it up.

Summer Peach Salad

I recommend just-ripe, or slightly under-ripe peaches for this recipe. It gives the salad a great crunch. I don’t think it would be the same if the peaches are too ripe and soggy.

summer peach salad
 
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Author:
Cuisine: Salad
Yields: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 peaches, peeled, pitted and just ripe
  • 1 oz. hard parmesan, thinly sliced or grated
  • 1 sprig of parsley or mint, chopped
  • thick balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Peel and slice peaches in large, thin pieces
  2. Top peaches with parmesan and parsley
  3. Drizzle with thick balsamic vinegar, to taste

This salad feels so fancy. It would make a great addition to a picnic or lunch.

Peach Salad

Save this recipe! Pin it here!

four-ingredient-summer-peach-salad

summer favorite: tofu garlic dressing

Since bathing suit season is almost here, I have been thinking a lot about what I used to eat in the summer. I have to say goodbye to the warm baked foods that kept me warm and sane in the winter. Now it’s time to think about foods that fuel summer playtime, runs in the sun, and long days. Salads aren’t my obvious choice, but this dressing is packed with enough protein to keep you going without weighing you down with heavy carbs.

tofu garlic dressing

I’ve been a vegetarian since high school. Back then, the only food I could eat in the cafeteria came from our salad bar. So every day I ate shredded iceberg lettuce piled high with yellow fake cheddar, ranch dressing, and croutons. Sometimes I added carrots if I wanted to make it “healthy.” After eating that every day, it took me years before I could eat another salad.

But now I’m back to eating salads, in a very grown-up way. I’m looking at you arugula and ohmygod chickpeas in salads – incredible.

tofu garlic dressing 2 (1 of 1)

My first lesson in “grown-up salads” was making your own salad dressing. A lot of restaurant salads taste amazing because they don’t used bottled salad dressing. They make their own.  Lately, I’ve been mixing tarragon vinegar, olive oil and these spice blends for a quick, incredible dressing.  But this dressing adds a little more protein in my lunches to keep me fuller.

tofu garlic dressing

So creamy. So garlicky. So wonderful.

Instead of using milk or cream, this uses soft tofu to give it a smooth, creamy texture. Store this in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks, but it’s usually gone before then.

tofu garlic dressing
 
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Author:
Recipe type: dressing
Ingredients
  • 14 oz. soft tofu
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¾ medium yellow onion
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil or 2 tsp of dried basil
  • a few grinds of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Yields 8 oz.

You can also use this as vegetable dipping sauce or top over brown rice bowls.

vegan carrot cake pie

You haven’t seen many (if any) desserts or foods with a strong carrot base on my blog. I’ve struggled to like them for a long time. I don’t like being a picky eater. It’s not a very appealing trait. And while I’ll never return a plate if it has a food I don’t like on it, I do occasionally “eat around” certain foods,

Raw Carrots

Those foods are: raw onions, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, peppers (including bell), and cilantro (!). I can stomach a few bites of them, but if there is a full plate of them, I definitely leave them for the garbage. The list has gotten a lot shorter. Mushrooms and tomatoes used to be included, and now I love them. And I’ve made considerable progress on the bell pepper.

It’s taking a lot of time to warm up to carrots. I’ve had a few dishes of roasted carrots and thought to myself, “I guess this is ok, but it’s no mashed potatoes.” And the carrots I get from the CSA are way better than anything you can get at the grocery store. But carrot desserts are pretty much strictly off-limits. I don’t really consider anything with carrots in it a dessert, but instead torture – something that takes a long time to prepare and an even longer time to consume (if I’m being forced to). And it’s not fooling anyone – I’m clearly eating a vegetable for dessert, no matter how much sugar you put on it.

vegan carrot cake pie-2

Sadly, Ryan doesn’t see it this way. He loves carrot desserts. So, occasionally, when the mood strikes, or when a fridge full of CSA carrots haunts me, I’ll make one for him.

This recipe is adapted from Easy as Vegan Pie. I didn’t use as many carrots as the original recipe called for, so I made a few adjustment.  It tastes and feels a bit like a cross between a carrot cake and a pumpkin pie. I wasn’t crazy about the vegan pie crust. Feel free to use your own. If anyone has suggestions for a go-to vegan pie crust recipe, please let me know.

Vegan Carrot Cake Pie
 
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This pie has a flavor combination and consistency between a carrot cake and a pumpkin pie.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert, vegan
Yields: 8
Ingredients
Vegan Pie Crust
  • 1 ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp chilled, quartered non-dairy margarine
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp ice cold water
  • Extra flour for rolling
Roasted Carrot Puree
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
Batter
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup margarine, melted
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts.
Instructions
For the Crust
  1. With a few pulses, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of your food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender or a fork.
  2. Add your margarine in the bowl, a few chunks at a time, pulsing in between each addition.
  3. Once all of the margarine is in the bowl, give it a few more pulses, until the texture resembles a coarsely ground meal.
  4. Drip in the lemon juice and the first tablespoon of water. Give it a few more pulses. If the dough holds together when you squeeze it, it's ready. If it's still crumbly, continue adding water.
  5. Pull the dough out of the food processor and use your hands to roll it in a ball. Flatten the dough ball until it's ½ an inch thick and wrap with plastic wrap.
  6. Place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
Roast the Carrots
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel and cut your carrots into pieces that are 2-3 inches long. You want them all around the same size and thickness so they roast evenly.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. Coat the raw carrots with coconut oil and place in the oven.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes until they're lightly toasted and easily punctured with a fork.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Place in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Putting it all Together
  1. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll out your chilled pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Place the flattened crust in a 9 inch pie pan.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the pureed carrots, almond milk, melted margarine, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until smooth.
  4. Next, stir in the flour, then raisins, and walnuts.
  5. Fill the pie crust with the batter. Use a spatula to smooth the top of the filling.
  6. Place in the oven for 45 - 50 minutes.
  7. Let cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving to help it set.

 

vegan carrot cake pie

So what about you? How do you feel about carrot desserts?

Love it? Pin it here!

Vegan Carrot Cake Pie

quick and easy vegan fudge

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that time of the month and you’re losing your mind craving something chocolate. So you start searching the house like a hungry dog looking for something to appease the craving. And, of course, you don’t have any chocolate around. This is usually for two reasons:

  1. You are trying to “be good” and only keep healthy snacks in your house. Or
  2. You’ve eaten all of the chocolate already.

I struggle with a combination of both equally terrible situations in my apartment. So the next best thing is to look in your pantry and see what you can whip together before you tear someone’s head off. Oh, is that just me?

I whipped together this fudge in a matter of minutes and placed it in could be considered a single-serving sized tray. You only have to put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before it’s ready to eat. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter melting in my mouth kept the mind monsters at bay so I could get on with my life.

The tray was actually a leftover Chinese takeout container that I cleaned and lined with wax paper.

The container was about 6 inches wide by 4 inches tall. It made about six slices of fudge. If you’re using a larger pan, I recommend doubling the recipe.

fast and easy vegan fudge
 
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This vegan fudge is made with pantry staples. It is easy and quick to prepare.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: vegan
Yields: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 squares semi-sweet baking chocolates
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • sea salt for topping
Instructions
  1. On the stove top, melt the baking chocolate over low heat, being careful not to burn the chocolate.
  2. Once it is melted, stir in the coconut oil.
  3. Whisk in the cocoa powder and peanut butter until well combined.
  4. Remove from heat and continue to whisk in the powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into a wax-paper lined baking dish.
  6. Place the fudge into the fridge for 10 minutes to allow it to firm up before eating.
  7. Serve cold. This fudge melts easily. Top with a pinch of sea salt.

 

Vegan Fudge

I used crunchy peanut butter, which nicely added a few peanuts to the fudge. Top with finishing salt or sea salt. This is a must.

the best vegan cheesecake

I made a vegan cheesecake and it was perfect.

Vegan Cheesecake

I baked it for our Christmas celebration, which traditionally happens a few weeks after Christmas since Ryan and I are procrastinators when it comes to buying gifts and usually spend Christmas apart (with our families) anyway.

While I’m not going vegan, we are both trying to eat more ethically, so you’ll probably see a lot more vegan recipes on the blog.

Vegan Cheesecake

If you’re reluctant to try this vegan cheesecake recipe, don’t be. It is so good and easy to make. Basically, you put all of the ingredients into a food processor and pour it into a pre-made pie crust (the Keebler ones are vegan).

I’ll admit, when I tasted the batter, I was reluctant and thought it tasted like pureed tofu with sugar. But I followed through with it. Something happens when you put it in the oven, all of the ingredients and flavors blend together magically and you’re left with a very cheesecake-like product.  We devoured it.

This recipe is adapted from here. You’ll need a pre-baked pie crust, cashews, vegan cream cheese, vegan sour cream, tofu, vanilla extract, lemon juice, vegan sugar and maple syrup.

Ingredients

First, soak 1 cup of cashews for a few hours, or overnight. If you have a powerful food processor, an hour or two soak will work just fine.

Soak Cashews

After you’re done soaking your cashews, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the cashews and throw them into the food processor with  the vegan sour cream, cream cheese, tofu, vanilla lemon juice, maple syrup and sugar.

Mix in Food Processor

Puree until everything is smooth and well combined.

Vegan Cheesecake Batter

Then pour it into your pre-made pie crust.

Pour the Batter

And smooth out the top.

Vegan Cheesecake

Place in the oven for for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 250 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Once it’s done baking, place it in the fridge for a few hours to let it firm up. This part is pretty important. There was a noticeable difference in the cake’s texture when we ate it only a few hours after baking versus eating it the next morning (for breakfast). I recommend letting it set overnight.

Vegan Cheesecake

the best vegan cheesecake
 
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This vegan cheesecake has a great consistency and flavor, even non-vegans will love it.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: vegan
Yields: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust (the Keebler ones are vegan)
  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked)
  • 4 oz. (1/4 block) of firm tofu
  • ½ cup vegan cream cheese
  • ½ cup vegan sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ⅔ cup vegan sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in water for 1 - 2 hours.
  2. Once the cashews are done soaking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Drain the cashews
  4. Add the cashews, tofu, cream cheese, sour cream, maple syrup, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice to a food processor.
  5. Puree all of the ingredients until well combined and smooth.
  6. Pour the cheesecake batter into the pre-made pie crust.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degree and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

 

warm butternut squash salad with lemon tahini dressing

It’s clear I have a small obsession with butternut squash. But how can you not? It’s just so delicious and versatile. And this recipe is the best one yet! I promise. I’ve made it at least four times this winter. That’s how good it is. When the weather is cold and it’s nice to comfort myself with the warm, sweet, buttery taste of squash, chickpeas, and tahini.

warm-butternut-squash-salad-2

 

I discovered this recipe from my friend Jamie. She got it from Smitten Kitchen and there are tons of adaptions in between. My variation includes roasting the onions, garlic and chickpeas instead of eating them cold and raw. I did want to show you how I make it a one-pot (sort of) dish. The hardest part is peeling and dicing the squash. After that, it’s easy street.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Start with peeling and dicing your squash into bite-sized cubes. Remove all seeds and innards.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

Then dice an onion into medium pieces.

Dice Onion

Place the squash and the onion in an aluminium-lined baking dish or baking sheet. You’ll want the walls of the baking dish later, when you stir everything together.

Top  with some salt and pepper and coat the squash and onion with oil. I used coconut, which is pictured below in its non-liquid state. You can use olive oil though. I had to wait until my coconut oil melted before I could stir it in.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

Roast your butternut squash for 25 – 35 minutes. 25 minutes should work fine for a small squash, but if you had a larger squash and a more crowded baking sheet, you’ll want to keep it in the oven for a bit longer.

In the meantime, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and water in a large mixing cup.

Here’s a tip. Don’t have tahini? I’ve used store-bought hummus and it turned out great. Other variations of this recipe suggest using peanut butter or almond butter.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Dice up a clove of garlic and rinse the canned chickpeas. Wait until you have about five minutes left on your roast and stir in the chickpeas and garlic. Place the mixture back in the oven for an additional five minutes. This warms up the chickpeas and cuts the intensity of the garlic.

Add Chickpeas

When the butternut squash is soft and tender, pull it out of the oven. Pour on the lemon tahini dressing (or you can leave it on the side).

Add Lemon Tahini Dressing

And mix it together.

Mix

Plate and enjoy! This keeps wonderfully in the refrigerator. I make a big pot of it on Sunday and eat it for the week.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

warm butternut squash salad with lemon tahini dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: vegan/vegetarian
Yields: 4
Ingredients
Squash Salad
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic
Lemon Tahini Dressing
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. tahini (or store-bought hummus)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Instructions
Prepare the Warm Salad
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Peel and dice a small butternut squash. Discard all seeds and guts.
  3. Chop a medium yellow onion.
  4. Place the onion and butternut squash in a roasting pan.
  5. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, to taste
  6. Cover all the pieces with 2 Tbsp. of oil.
  7. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Allow more cooking time if you have a larger squash.
Add Chickpeas
  1. Rinse and drain your can of chickpeas.
  2. Mince the garlic clove.
  3. Wait until there is five minutes left on the roast and stir in the chickpeas and garlic.
Prepare the Lemon Tahini Dressing
  1. While you're waiting on the roast, whisk together the lemon juice, tahini, water, and olive oil until it's completely mixed together.
Assembly
  1. Top the squash salad with the lemon tahini dressing while it is still warm. Mix together with a wooden spoon until all pieces are nicely covered. Serve hot.