Category Archives: Desserts

Jazzy Vegetarian Classics. Cookbook Review and Giveaway. Plus Oil-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas.

DSC_0003Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, pg. 226

Are you on Linked In? Laura Theodore is one of the many great connections I’ve made on the Linked In network this year. She asked me if I would be willing to review her cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. You can probably tell that I love reviewing cookbooks, and I’d heard so many good things about her cookbook!

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There are so many lovely things about this cookbook. First off, it’s a hardcover, which is a rarity for cookbooks these days. There are tons of full color photographs, which I appreciate since it helps you visualize the food you’ll be making. Another thing I adore about this book is that nearly every recipe uses common ingredients that can be found in almost any grocery store. There are only a few recipes that you’ll need to make a trip to the health food store to get any special ingredients. At the beginning of the book, Laura helps you with menu planning by pairing together which recipes (and the Jazz music to go with it) will go well together for whatever occasion, from casual to having guests for dinner.

Oh, and last but not least, even though the book is titled “Jazzy Vegetarian Classics,” all the recipes in the book are 100% vegan. (as you’ll see in the subtitle below, Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites).

DSC_0001Quick Tomato Salad, pg. 123

DSC_0011Polenta Pizza, pg. 158

Most of the recipes in this book are oil-free and there are many that are gluten-free. Only unrefined sweeteners and whole grains are used throughout, making this book every bit as healthy as it is delicious.

DSC_0009Raspberry Tofu Smoothie, pg. 84. It’s incredibly healthy, but almost tastes like you’re eating ice cream for breakfast.

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Now let’s get back to these whole-grain, oil-free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. My kids didn’t even notice the oil was missing. They just gobbled them up.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

*recipe used with permission

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (I’m sure gluten-free flour could be subbed here)
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (grain sweetened variety works well)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh apple puree (see note*)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons nondairy milk.

*Chef’s Note: to make the apple puree, peel and core 3 very large or 4 medium apples. Rough chop the apples. Put the apples in a blender or a food processor until the consistency of smooth applesauce is achieved. Be careful not to liquify!

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Put the flour, maple sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the pecans and the vegan chocolate chips, and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the apple puree, vanilla extract and nondairy milk and mix just until incorporated. If the dough seems overly wet, stir in a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Alternatively, if the dough seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, a tablespoon at a time.

For each cookie, drop about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly using the back of a flat spatula.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges. Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack. Cool for about 10 minutes. Stored in and airtight container in the refrigerator, the cookies will keep for about 2 days.

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jazzy-vegetarian-classics

Buy the Hardcover copy of the book on Amazon here or get the Kindle edition here.

Or for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of December. GO!!

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Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle MagazineDay 2: Free Case of Butler Soy CurlsDay 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger BagDay 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice GiveawayDay 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway. Day 6: Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats, Allergy Free & Vegan Recipes. Cookbook Giveaway. Day 7: Extraordinary Vegan Cookbook Giveaway. Day 8: Emaline Delapaix, Music Download Giveaway.

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Filed under Books, Breakfast, Desserts, Giveaway, Main Dishes, Reviews, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegan

Extraordinary Vegan. Cookbook Giveaway, Chocolate Raspberry Tart Recipe and Review. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

DSC_0016Chocolate Raspberry Tart, pg. 138 (with cherries instead of raspberries)

So, this is one of the cookbooks where I love the back story behind it as much as I do the cookbook. Private Chef, Alan Roettinger had done a previous book for Book Publishing Company. At the time, he wasn’t vegan, or even a vegetarian for that matter. But he wrote this vegetarian cookbook called “Omega 3 Cuisine.” It had good success, so Book Publishing Company asked him to write a second book, a vegan one this time. “Speed Vegan

DSC_0003-001High-Powered Green Juice, pg. 45 and Tarahumara Running Food, pg. 22

Somewhere along the line Alan mentioned in his writing of this book that the recipes were kind of “accidentally vegan” but were still good. [I'm paraphrasing here]. Book Publishing Company, a company that only publishes vegan and vegetarian cookbooks took issue with this and explained to Mr. Roettinger that their readers would too. They wanted him to understand that vegans and vegetarians think food without cruelty is delicious in its own right, and not that it’s some sort of mediocre substitute for an animal product based meal.

DSC_0006-001Three Sisters Soup, pg. 66

Around that period in time Alan went to the Dr. for his yearly physical. He had high blood pressure. His cholesterol was through the roof and he was tired all the time and overweight. His Dr. suggested that Alan should go on statin medications. Alan replied with something to this effect [paraphrasing again] “Naw, I’m going to go vegan.” I’ll check back with you in a few months and we can look at my results.”

DSC_0008-001Ratatouille, pg. 116

As you can probably guess, Alan never did need those statin medications. He dropped his extra weight, as well as his cholesterol and the blood pressure. He’s 100% vegan now and he’s never looked back. Today he’s creating Extraordinary Vegan meals where plants are the star of the show and loving it.

He served this beautiful tart at his birthday dinner the first year he was vegan. His guests were wondering how he could make a delicious birthday cake without eggs, cream or butter. I’m pretty sure this showed them that those things are completely unneccessary.

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Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Almond Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground or chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

Chocolate Filling:

  • 4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons framboise eau de vie or raspberry liqueur

Topping and Glaze:

  • 2 pints fresh raspberries (I used cherries)
  • 3/4 cup fruit-juice-sweetened raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust, combine the almonds, sugar and oil in a medium bowl and work with your fingers to form a thick, crumbly paste. Press into and 8-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Use a one-cup measuring cup or similar small container to press and form an even inside edge. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. The crust will be puffy and slightly misshapen. Press the crust gently back into shape with the measuring cup. Return to the oven and bake for 7 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the chocolate filling, put the chocolate into a blender. Put the coconut milk into a small sauce pan over medium heat. As soon as it begins to bubble around the edge, remove from the heat. Count 10 seconds and then pour over the chocolate in the blender. Add the liqueur and process until very smooth.

Pour half of the chocolate mixture into the cooled crust. It should come about halfway up the inner side of the shell. Spread it out evenly, taking care not to get any on the rim.

Starting from the rim of the tart, arrange half of the raspberries in tight concentric circles over the filling. pushing the berries down slightly so they touch the bottom. End with one raspberry in the center. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture over them, filling in spaces between the raspberry tops and covering them completely. Take car not to drip any filling on the rim. Layer the remaining raspberries on top of the chocolate. again in concentric circles, but don’t press them down. Refrigerate the tart until the filling is firm, 2-4 hours.

To make the glaze, put the jam in a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it melts. It should be fairly thick, but runny enough to apply with a pastry brush. Pour through a strainer to remove any raspberry seeds, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible. Using a pastry brush, very gently brush the melted jam over the raspberries, allowing a little of the excess to drip down between them and cover the filling underneath. When the entire surface of the raspberries is coated, set the tart aside for at least 10 minutes to let the glaze congeal.

To serve, hold the tart pan rim with one hand and push up gently on the bottom with the other hand to release the tart. Set the rim portion aside. Slip a knife very carefully between the tart shell and the bottom of the mold. work the knife gently around until the tart comes away from the mold. Set the tart down on a cutting board and cut it with a hot, dry knife. bracing the rim with one finger on either side of the knife to keep the tart shell intact. Slide the knife under the cut portion and gently lift it out. Put the slice on a dessert plate. Repeat as needed. Serve at once.

Extraordinary-Vegan-Front-Cover-258x300

Buy the paperback copy of the book on Amazon here or get the Kindle edition for just $9.99 here!

Or for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of December. GO!!

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Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle MagazineDay 2: Free Case of Butler Soy CurlsDay 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger BagDay 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice GiveawayDay 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway. Day 6: Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats, Allergy Free & Vegan Recipes. Cookbook Giveaway.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Beverages, Books, Desserts, Giveaway, Main Dishes, Reviews, Soups and Stews, Vegan

Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats. Allergy-Free and Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery. Plus, Sunflower Buttercup Brownies. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas

DSC_0004Sunflower Buttercup Brownies, pg. 49

I love reviewing cookbooks and this book is incredible for those who are gluten-free or have food allergies. Debbie Adler, the author of this cookbook was all ready running a successful California bakery, Sweet Debbie’s when she discovered that her young son had many life-threatening food allergies. She revamped her menu to make her bakery a safe haven for anyone with food allergies. It made her business boom! Who wouldn’t want these treats? These recipes contain no soy, gluten, eggs, dairy, refined sugars, soy or nuts. Yet they still taste incredibly delicious!

debbie

I have multiple friends who suffer from serious food allergies or who have children who do. While my family isn’t affected by these issues (so far, knock on wood) My own children, just being vegan, all ready have issues regarding food when they attend parties, sporting events, school functions and more. I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be to eat ANYWHERE when major food allergies are involved.

DSC_0006Gourmet Dark Chocolate Mesquite Brownies, pg. 39

I’ve become resourceful. We bring our own food to most events and some to share so others can taste how good vegan food is. This book is excellent for those who need to provide their own treats for themselves and their children, or for anyone who wants to have allergy free food for their guests.

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Sunflower Buttercup Brownies

“Reprinted from SWEET DEBBIE’S ORGANIC TREATS by Debbie Adler. Published by Harlequin. Copyright Debbie Adler 2013.”

Must Have:

  • 24 mini paper baking cups
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (Debbie’s special blend is on page 13)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sodium-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/8 teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (Debbie’s sunflower butter recipe is on page 11)
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (Debbie’s allergy free chocolate chip recipe on page 12)

Must do: 

1- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 24-cup mini muffin tin with mini paper baking cups.

2- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, guar gum and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.

3- Add the grapeseed oil, applesauce, coconut nectar, vanilla and stevia and stir to combine. Next add the sunflower seed butter and stir to combine. Fold in 3/4 of the chocolate chips.

4- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling the cups to the top and each with the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

5- Bake the buttercups for 18-20 minutes or until they are a light golden brown and bounce back slightly to the touch.

6- Transfer the muffin tin form the oven to a wire rack and let sit for about 15 minutes before removing the buttercups to cool completely.

Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

sweet-debbies-organic-treats-cookbookBuy the paperback copy of the book on Amazon here or get the Kindle edition for just $9.99 here!

Or for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of December. GO!!

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Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle MagazineDay 2: Free Case of Butler Soy CurlsDay 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger Bag. Day 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice Giveaway. Day 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway.

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Filed under Books, Desserts, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Snackage, Vegan, Vegan Household

Vegan Thin Mint Cookies at the Keepin’ It Kind Holiday Cookie Exchange!

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It’s Cookie Party Time!

Kristy over at Keepin’ It Kind hosts the most amazing Holiday Cookie Exchange Parties, you know, just for vegan blogger fun-ness. Today I’m sharing my Vegan Thin Mint Cookies and boy oh boy are you in for a treat. These may even be better than the real deal.

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There’s something about the Holiday Season that makes me want to put Chocolate and Peppermint together any chance I get, uh, kinda like I did at last years Keepin’ It Kind Holiday Cookie Exchange with these Brookie Grasshopper Squares. I won’t mind if you make both ridiculously yummy desserts…

Both recipes have a gluten free option, are egg freedairy free, soy free and nut free recipe, however these are NOT sugar free or fat free, but I think you’ll forgive me! Just click on the link below to get the recipe:

Vegan Thin Mints

Now for a word about Kristy:

I think if you peruse Kristy’s site, you’ll want to gobble up everything on there. Her and her husband Chris make an awesome team. She’s doing the recipe development and the cooking, he’s working the angles on the camera. The results are stunning, eye-catching and mouthwatering! They’re in the process of writing their first vegan cookbook! Follow her over at Keepin’ it Kind, you’ll be in love with every post and dish!

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Come back on Monday where I’ll be kicking off 12 days of Vedged Out Christmas with all kinds of giveaways, goodies and gifts! Happy Holidays!

Love, Somer

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Filed under Desserts, Friendship, Gluten Free, Snackage, Vegan

Vegan Richa’s Vegan Diwali Sweets E-Book. Nan Khatai Shortbread Recipe and Worldwide Giveaway!

You guys all ready know how much I love Richa, so when she asked me to help promote her E-book, of course I was thrilled to help. Enter to win the giveaway below, or head on over to Richa’s site to get the e-book yourself for a mere $5 bucks.Cover
Diwali, the festival of lights is one of the big festivals celebrated in India and is coming up on November 3. The Sweets and Desserts served for the festival are quite heavily dependent on dairy. Like any major festival or holiday in any country, we all get obsessed with vegan-izing some family favorites. With very few Vegan Indian commercial options in India and almost none in the United states, I try to vegan-ize some of my favorites around the Indian festivals that people can make at home. This year I have a decent collection that I could make into an E-book.
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The names of the sweets and flavors might be new to some, but they are delicious and addictive. I have tried to keep the sweets close to traditional wherever possible, that means a few do have similar oil content as you would find in a ghee laden sweet. A good number of the recipes though are low-fat with no or little refined oil and some also use natural sugars like maple syrup. Gluten-free options are mentioned wherever possible.
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Nan Khatai Shortbread Recipe 

Ingredients: Makes 15-16
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 cardamom pod seeds or 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoons organic canola oil
  • 1/4 cup earth balance butter or vegan margarine or melted coconut oil or melted cocoa butter
  • 2 teaspoons non dairy yogurt or cashew cream or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fine semolina/sooji
  • 1 teaspoon chickpea flour/besan (optional)
  • 2/3 cup unbleached organic white flour
  • 2 Tablespoons ground pistachios or cashews
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Method: Grind the sugar with the cardamom, nutmeg and salt into a fine powder. Add the oils, yogurt  to the sugar and whisk to make a well combined mixture. Whisk the semolina, baking soda & powder, flour, ground pistachio and chickpea flour together then add to sugar mixture. Knead to form a dough. Spray just a little water or non dairy milk to help make the dough only if it is too crumbly.Refrigerate the dough for an hour. Shape the dough into balls. Press almond slivers or pistachio slivers on top if desired. Bake in pre-heated 350 degrees F/180 degrees Celsius for 13-14 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for another 3-4 minutes before removing from the sheet. Cool and store in airtight container for a few weeks.

Visit Richa at her site Vegan Richa to see many more of her amazing creations here .

Richa Collage

Buy “Vegan Diwali Sweets E-Book” for $5.00 here.

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing E-book, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants worldwide! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until the Tuesday 5th of November to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Wednesday the 6th of November. GO!!

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Bake and Destroy. THE RADICAL HALLOWEEN EDITION. Review, Revenge Cookie Recipe and Giveaway.

When I was a kid, my favorite holiday by far was Halloween. My dad would bust out the bbq and fire up hot dogs for the whole dang neighborhood. Everyone came, warming up their cold little hands for a tasty meal amongst the sea of noxious candy. Of course it was also awesome that one of our neighbors brewed rootbeer in a giant cauldron and served it up while dressed as a cackling witch. We were lucky kids in that corner of Green Valley.

Revenge Cookies


One Halloween, I had the flu and couldn’t go trick-or-treating. I swear I thought it was a fate worse than death. I sobbed (and puked) on the couch in our front room as I watched out the front window and saw what seemed like hundreds of gleeful kids come eat hot dogs and enjoy the festivities.

I’ve always wanted to follow in the family tradition and grill up hot dogs too, but since I’m vegan now, and you can’t really give kids anything that isn’t store bought and pre-wrapped anymore without the parents having a heart attack, we do mini bags of potato chips, a savory salute to my childhood days.

Anyway, when I got a review copy of Bake and Destroy, it was like the perfect Halloween present had come early. I dare you to read through this book and not be thoroughly amused by the dark and silly humor whilst developing a sweet girl crush on bad-a** Natalie Slater.

Natalie Slater

First up, I made the Cannibal Corpse Crock-Pot, which is made with Jackfruit, in an awesome BBQ sauce that will blow your mind. I also put it all over a deep dish pizza, but we ate it before I could get non-Iphone photos of it. Oh, the Vegan Mayo in the book that’s on this sandwich is so delicious and diabolically simple that it’s worth the purchase of the book alone: you’ll have no more guilt over eating oil-laden store bought vegan mayo, but you’ll also stop pretending that blocks of tofu seasoned with lemon juice and pureed, or the non-fat vegan mayo versions taste anything like real mayo. Stop fooling yourself kids. Her special sauce tastes even better than the real deal without clogging your arteries or leaving your taste-buds fully disappointed.

Cannibal Corpse Crock Pot
As for the Samoa Joe Cupcakes, well, I took these bad boys to a Mormon Ward Halloween Party. They won the competition for Best Dessert Overall. Yes, they were that good. People are still talking about them… What’s not to love about a luscious cupcake filled with caramel sauce and topped with salted caramel-coconut butter-cream and chocolate drizzle? Yeah, vegan desserts rock.

Samoa Joe Cupcakes

Samoa Joe 2

Even more awesome, was that my brother Abe (vegan siblings rock) was staying at my house for several days for a printmaking show and conference while I was testing recipes from the book. He fully worshipped them all. We had this totally legit Non-Cop-Out Tofu Scramble on his last morning. Since Abe mostly eats beans and rice, he was on the edge of pure vegan food bliss at every meal.

Tofu Scramble

These cute cupcake mummies made out of Natalie’s ridiculously simple Vanilla Cake Mix also went to the church party. I got a second award for best themed dessert. Ah yeah.

Vanilla Cake Mix

Funnily enough though, the recipe I tested that made me the most nostalgic, was the Pretzel Dogs of the Dead. They were insanely delicious. You know I’ll be baking these up again on Halloween with a pot of chili and another batch of those Samoa Joe Cupcakes, even if I can’t serve them to the neighbor kids. (p.s. these really are vegan hot dogs, no animals were harmed in the making of this post). I made some of Natalie’s No-Honey Mustard to dip these in, but ended up using it as a delicious salad dressing instead after I forgot all about the dip.

Pretzel Dogs of The Dead

Now, for the awesome bit. I made these Cheryl’s Sweet Revenge Cookies (not in the book and based on the movie, The Evil Dead double bonus here) and there were so many, that I took a big part of the batch to a neighbor so I wouldn’t eat them all. Somehow during our discussion I found out that my neighbors know Natalie Slater and her mom. Some things are just meant to be.

Revenge Cookies 2

Cheryl’s Revenge Cookies

Recipe used with permission

Somer’s Note: I couldn’t help myself and added a half cup of mini-chocolate chips to this recipe to make them the ultimate “Everything Cookie.” They were amazing!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used half organic all purpose and half whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, your choice (I used a combination of sunflower seeds, whole almonds, cashew pieces, peanuts and hempseeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit, your choice (I used cranberries, raisins and goji berries)
  • 3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut or whole rolled oats (I went with the coconut, but used unsweetened since that’s what I had on hand)

Method: Preheat your oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Whisk the dry ingredients into a small bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the margarine until smooth and fluffy. Add sugars and beat until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the ground flaxseed and water together until thick and gooey. Add this to the sugar mixture and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the nuts and fruit. Drop batter (2 tablespoons = one cookie) onto the  lined baking sheet, about 2″ apart. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes about 2 dozen vengeful, murderous cookies (unless you are Somer and you make smaller cookies and end up with 3-4 dozen).

Cover Photo

Buy “Bake and Destroy” Good Food for Bad Vegans in paperback format on Amazon here or get the Kindle version for $9.99 here.

Visit Natalie Slater at her site Bake and Destroy here.

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Halloween on the 31st of October to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Friday the 1st of November. GO!!

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Filed under Appetizers, Books, Bread, Breakfast, Desserts, Giveaway, Main Dishes, Mormon, Nuts and Seeds, Reviews, Salad Dressings, Sandwiches, Side Dishes, Snackage, Vegan

Oil-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Squares. Guest Post from Annie at An Unrefined Vegan + Last Chance for VVP!

vvp4

Here’s a final, last minute shameless plug and call for sign ups for the Virtual Vegan Potluck. The potluck is nearly full, so if you haven’t signed up all ready, get in there. Oh, and the founder of the VVP (and my blogger BFF), Annie from An Unrefined Vegan is sharing a guest post with us today. Just looking at this recipe makes me think about all the other luscious desserts in store come potluck time!

potluck spoons

Let’s give a hearty welcome to Annie and her luscious Oil-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Squares! I think these are healthy enough to qualify as breakfast food!

Banana Cake Slice

Over the years I’ve made a lot of banana bread from many different recipes. A lot. This one is the simplest I’ve ever made and also the most delicious. While away from home recently, I needed a banana recipe fast so I did a Google search and used the very first listing – from Simply Recipes. I veganized it; traded out the oil for almond butter, used whole wheat pastry flour, added chocolate chips, and then baked it in a square pan rather than in a loaf. This comes together ridiculously fast and is craved by vegans and non-vegans alike (mom and dad, I’m looking at you).

Thank you, Somer, for inviting me to share this recipe with your readers and for letting them know about the Virtual Vegan Potluck! I hope that the food bloggers out there will consider signing up for the November 16 event. It’s always a lot of fun and it’s a great way to find new blogs to love and to add delicious, plant-based food to your recipe stockpile.

Quick Chocolate Chip Banana (Bread) Squares
Makes 1 9″ x 9″ pan

3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp. water (whisk together then let sit for a few minutes)
1/3 cup natural almond butter
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1 full stopper of liquid stevia (I used NuNaturals Alcohol-free Stevia Pure Liquid)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9″ x 9″ baking pan with oil.

In a large bowl, combine the bananas, flaxseed meal, almond butter, sugar, and stevia. Stir well.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and firm on top. Let cool before slicing.

Banana Cake with Slice

Banana Cake on Plates

 

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Desserts, Friendship, Guest Post, Nut & Seed Butters, Nuts and Seeds, Snackage, Vegan, Virtual Vegan Potluck

The 45 Second Single-Serve Vegan Chocolate Brownie -with a Gluten-Free Option + Loads of Variations

Chocolate Brownie

I had one of those days last week, where at the end of the day, ALL I WANTED WAS A DANG BROWNIE! It was the kind of day, that if  I’d had access to a full pan of brownies, I might have eaten them all (and very possibly not felt guilty about it). Fortunately, knowing I needed to master a bit more self-control whilst still really yearning for that brownie, I came up with this little beauty.

The 45 second, single serve chocolate brownie. It was everything I needed it to be, gooey, moist, decadent and intensely chocolatey, all while being ridiculously simple and delicious.

top view

The 45 Second, Single-Serve Vegan Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons Whole Wheat Pastry Flour or for gluten-free, use a Gluten-Free Flour Blend (I use this one)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sucanat, Coconut Sugar, Maple Sugar, Raw Sugar or other dry unrefined sweetener
  • 1/8th teaspoon Powdered Stevia or 5 drops liquid stevia OR 1 packet Truvia Sweetener
  • 1/8th teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tiny pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground golden flax-seed
  • 1 teaspoon Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or other vegan mini chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (optional, if you’re oil free, leave it out, but it will make a denser moister brownie if you leave it in. Oil free peeps could also use 1 teaspoon almond or peanut butter cut in with the dry ingredients with the tines of a fork instead of the olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Method: Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl (the first 8 ingredients). Next, add all the wet ingredients and stir together with a fork until just combined. Scoop the brownie batter into a lightly oiled mini 1/2 cup sized ramekin, small mug or tea-cup. Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds, or until the brownie springs back when touched.

Variations:  

Nutty Brownie: add 1 tablespoon of your favorite chopped nuts to the brownie with the dry ingredients.

Mint, Almond or Orange Chocolate Brownie: add 1/8 teaspoon mint, almond or orange extract to the wet ingredients.

Peanut Butter Brownie: swirl 1 t. melted peanut butter into the top of the brownie before cooking

Double Chocolate: increase chocolate chips to 1 tablespoon, sprinkle even more on top when the brownie is cooked.

Mocha Brownie: stir in 1 t. instant coffee substitute or instant coffee granules into the dry ingredients.

Chocolate Iced Brownie: after cooking, let cool slightly and frost with 2 T. powdered sugar, 1 t. cocoa powder and 1 t. vegan butter mixed.

Salted Caramel Brownie: drench it in this stuff, just cooked for a shorter period of time so it doesn’t thicken too much.

You could also add: vegan white chocolate chips, dried fruit (I think goji berries or cranberries would be awesome!), cacao nibs, cinnamon + cayenne (mayan chocolate), top with a vegan marshmallow and nuke for a few seconds more, etc! Get creative!

Notes: for the non-microwave peeps: place your ramekin on a baking sheet and bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes. For the non-stevia peeps: use 1 slightly heaped tablespoon unrefined dry sweetener or 1 T. unrefined liquid sweetener as a total replacement for the amount of sweetener in the recipe.

The brownie that is photographed here is made using GF flour, I’ve also made it with the whole wheat pastry flour and it is amazing either way.

Bite

This brownie may just be the solution to all our government issues, world peace, personal stresses and sorrows  for just over 150 calories, since we will not have to eat the whole pan of brownies…

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Filed under Desserts, Gluten Free, Snackage, Vegan, Weight Loss

A Fork and Beans Halloween Special! Monster Rice Cereal Treats Recipe and Worldwide E-Book Giveaway!

halloween cover

I’ve had a girl crush on Cara ever since I started stalking her at her site, Fork and Beans. For those of you that know Cara, she is infinitely creative, has a crazy sweet tooth, and makes everything that would seem impossible to make vegan, gluten-free, egg-free and dairy free into absolute perfection. I shamelessly use her Gluten-Free flour blend in nearly every gluten free recipe I make that requires a flour replacement. It’s so good that when I catered my brother’s art show, with more than 200 people in attendance, that no one could believe the baked goods were gluten-free (seriously).

Cara has recently taken the leap into full time blogger, meaning, she quit her day job to make all her culinary dreams at Fork and Beans come true. Radical! She offered me a chance to give one of my readers a copy of her very first E-Book, the very timely A Fork and Beans Halloween Special. If you know Cara at all, you know her love for all things Halloween borders on psycho obsessive (in the most endearing way)! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s inside:

TOC

These recipes would all be fantastic for your next Halloween shin-dig! All of the recipes are vegan, egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, most of the recipes are also nut-free/soy-free. So, you’ll be happy to know you can serve it all to all your guests without worrying about everyone’s individual allergies/food needs! Today I’ll be sharing (with Cara’s permission) her Monster Rice Cereal Treats Recipe.

monsterkrispies (2)

Monster Rice Cereal Treats

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Dandies vegan marshmallows
  • 6 cups gluten-free rice cereal
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • Natural green food coloring
  • Edible candy eyes
  • Gauze
  • Skull cookie cutter

Directions:
In large saucepan melt the vegan butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add a few green food coloring drops into the mixture and stir until evenly colored.

Add cereal and stir until well combined.

Using wax paper, evenly press mixture into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Allow to cool.

Cut out skull shapes with the cookie cutter.

Wrap each head with gauze and place the edible eyes on by either pressing firmly in the treats or “glue” with royal icing.

Now for the best bit. This E-Book is for sale on Cara’s site for a mere $7. While I’m doing a giveaway here, I know that most of you probably have that much in change under your couch cushions, so support Cara, buy this book and throw the best Halloween Party ever!

Oh and the book includes a special bonus! 10 of Cara’s Homemade Gluten, Egg, and Dairy-Free Candy Bars!candy bars

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants WORLDWIDEYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Monday the 7th of October to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Wednesday the 10th of October. GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Filed under Appetizers, Beverages, Books, Desserts, Friendship, Giveaway, Gluten Free, Main Dishes, Reviews, Snackage, Vegan

Kathy Hester’s Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You. Review, Recipe and Giveaway!

Blueberry Lemon Cake 1

Kathy Hester is at it again! This time she’s saving the day with a Vegan Slow Cooker book that’s for small families, or perhaps one like mine, where all of us can’t agree on one single dinner so the kids get PB&J or vegan ramen if I know they aren’t going to want what’s on the menu (shhh). Almost all of the recipes are low-fat or oil free, are simple to prepare and use ingredients that most of us all ready stock in our fridge or pantry. You will need however, one very important item, a 1.5 quart or 1.5 liter slow cooker to make these recipes. I bought mine for $10 ages ago. You can find one online or at a big box or kitchen store. Believe me, it’s worth the investment (says the girl with 6 slow cookers of various sizes).

I also own her book, The Vegan Slow Cooker, which is absolutely amazing and perfect for larger families or for making enough to have leftovers to freeze for busy days.  I reviewed her awesome The Great Vegan Bean Book a few months ago and her Lentil Quinoa Bolognese recipe I shared from that book is still getting loads of traffic on my site (yes, it’s so delicious!). Today I’ll be sharing (with her permission) the recipe for a gorgeous and perfectly portioned Lemon Blueberry Cake later in this post, but first feast your eyes on some of the other creations I made from Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You. Bananas FosterOoey Gooey Bananas Foster. This little ditty can cook overnight and welcome you to the breakfast table with glee. If you add her Butterscotch Rum Sauce to this dish, like I did, be prepared to start putting that stuff on and in everything… You won’t be able to stop!

Basic BrownieI made this bad boy gluten-free using this GF blend. No one was the wiser… Oh and it got a dosing of the Butterscotch Rum sauce as well.

Hearty LasagnaHearty Lasagna Layered with Nut Ricotta. My family pretty much has a lasagna fetish, this one definitely met our high-standard approval rating.

Chocolate Chip CookieGimme That! Need I say more?

Every Season MinestroneEvery Season Minestrone. This recipe is excellent for using up whatever veggies you may have around. It’s both light and comforting, which is perfect for the cool weather that’s arrived.

Blueberry Lemon Cake 2

Blueberry Lemon Cake

*Soy-Free *Gluten-Free Option *Oil Free Option

When you bake a cake like this one in your slow cooker, it becomes moist and sumptuous. But you don’t want the condensation making it wet and preventing it from baking, so use a clean dish towel under the lid to soak up the moisture. Just make sure to fold the towel in quarters so it doesn’t touch the hot sides of your slow cooker.

For the Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (60 g) whole-wheat pastry flour (for gluten free, use GF baking mix)
  • 1/4 teaspoon stevia plus 1 teaspoon agave nectar or sweetener of your choice, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1/4 cup (36 g) blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds mixed with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) warm water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (for oil free, substitute applesauce or pumpkin puree)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Spray the crock with oil or line with parchment paper to make the recipe oil-free. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Then add the wet to the dry and mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and spread evenly on the bottom. Put a clean dish towel or paper towel between the lid and slow cooker to absorb the condensation.

Cook on high for 60 to 80 minutes or until the middle is solid and doesn’t indent when you touch it.

Vegan Slow Cooking

Buy “Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You” in paperback format on Amazon here or get the Kindle version here.

Visit Kathy Hester at her site Healthy Slow Cooking here.

Visit the Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You” Blog Tour page here to get some other great recipes from this book!

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday the 4th of October to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 7th of October. GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Main Dishes, Reviews, Soups and Stews, Vegan