Archive for Vegan

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Chocolate Covered Raspberries

My kids and I recently finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.  It was one of my favorite books as a child and my kids loved it as much as I did!  We had a fun time talking about all the stuff we would put in our own Chocolate Factory and boy did it make us hungry!  For our final project we decided to make our own candies.  Keegan, being the fruit lover, wanted to make a candy using raspberries and Caleb, chocolate addict, wanted a chocolate candy.  I used to love chocolate covered cherries so we used that as inspiration and came up with a delicious treat that we all loved.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips of your choice *see notes
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 8 – 10 frozen raspberries
  • plastic candy mold with at least 1 inch deep molds (you can find molds at hobby stores and kitchen gadget stores)

Preparation:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a small pan on the stovetop or in the microwave.  Once the chocolate is completely melted use a clean unused paint brush  and spread a layer of chocolate inside each of the candy molds.
  2. Place the candy mold in the freezer for 15 minutes or until the chocolate is completely frozen.
  3. Meanwhile add the almonds, shredded coconut, oil, honey, vanilla and salt to a food processor or blender.  Pulse until you have a coarse, sand like mixture.
  4. Remove the candy mold from the freezer and fill each mold with about 1/2 tbsp of the almond/coconut mixture.  Press the mixture around the edges, leaving a hole in the center for the raspberry.
  5. Place a frozen raspberry into the center of each mold and use the remaining almond/coconut mixture to fill the mold to just below the top.
  6. Spread a layer of melted chocolate over the top of each mold and place back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the candy is firm.
  7. Remove from the freezer and carefully “pop” candy out of the molds.  They should easily pop out, if not place back in the freezer for another 5 minutes.
  8. Let the candies sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before eating.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 8 – 10 candies depending on the mold you purchase.

Serving size 1 candy.

Nutritional info will vary depending on the type of chocolate chips used and how much of the filling is needed for your particular mold.

Notes:

Depending on the variety and type of chocolate chips that you use you might need to sweeten them up a little with some raw honey (or coconut nectar) and some milk.  If you want a more dark chocolate like shell them skip the honey and milk.  For those that want a more milk chocolate shell add in a tiny bit of honey and milk until you get the sweetness that you prefer.  Also, if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free chocolate chip.

Leftover candies need to be stored in the freezer until ready to serve.  Let the candies sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.

Leftovers stored in an airtight container will keep for up to 3 months.

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Tasty Tuesday: Parsleyed New Potatoes

Apr 08 2014 by | Comments (0)
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Parsleyed New Potatoes

I recently read an article in Bon Appetit magazine about the nutritional benefits of parsley. Actually, the article was about a chef with rheumatoid arthritis who has written a cookbook called Hero Food  and relates how he found that parsley as well as some other of his favorite foods improved his health. I really love parsley and it got to me wondering why I don’t use it more. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory properties it helps boost the immune system as well. One of my favorite ways of eating potatoes are Parsleyed New Potatoes. I’m definitely going to be adding some parsley to my garden, right beside the potatoes. What a perfect pairing.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 16 small new potatoes about 1-1 1/2 inches across (fingerlings, red potatoes or any thin skinned potato will work)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Boil whole potatoes until tender when pierced with a knife.
  3. Remove from heat and drain.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  5. Lay the potatoes out onto a foil lined baking sheet and gently press down with a fork or spatula just until the skin breaks. The potato should still hold together not be mashed.
  6. Brush the oil mixture on each side of the potatoes and bake 10 minutes. Turn over and bake 10 minutes more or until golden brown. You can also do this in a non-stick pan on the stove if you prefer.
  7. Serve topped with a sprig of fresh parsley if desired.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings.

4 potatoes per serving.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 193, Cal. from Fat: 89, Total Fat: 10.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 482mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven or in a skillet for best results.

Loaded Veggie Salad with Sweet Italian Dressing

Do you ever have those weeks where you feel like you’re running around from one thing to another and the next minute it’s bedtime and you’re beyond exhausted?  Yeah, me too.  Weeks like that make it hard for me to get in healthy and delicious meals so I like to throw together simple dishes that I know will fill me  up and give me the energy I need to make it through the day.  This salad involves some chopping (you can always use a hand chopper to speed the process along if needed) so I like to get everything prepped and ready to go ahead of time, then I can quickly throw everything together in minutes.  It’s perfect for lunch and for dinner I will sometimes switch out the pasta for a bit of cooked quinoa for a higher protein meal.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For the Loaded Veggie Salad:

  • 2 cup chopped salad greens
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red, yellow or orange pepper
  • 1 cup cooked pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 cup crushed Smokey Bacon-y Almonds

For the Sweet Italian Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp coconut cyrstals
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. In a large mixing bowl gently toss together the salad ingredients.  Drizzle with the dressing and toss one last time until evenly coated.

Yield:

Makes 3-4 servings.

Notes:

It’s best to serve only the amount of salad that will be eaten right away.  Leftover salad ingredients should be stored separately from the dressing and only mixed together when ready to serve.

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Market Fresh Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Hemp Dressing

Spring has sprung and with it the arrival of an abundance of veggies!  My farmer’s market has been loaded with avocados, gorgeous carrots of all colors, fresh peas, beautiful leeks, onions and delicious peppers.  I love a good pasta salad and with all the fresh veggies I stocked up on this week I knew this dish would hit the spot.  The creamy avocado hemp dressing is loaded with healthy fats, omega 3′s and protein and is so yummy you’ll want to grab a spoon and dig in!  For the salad feel free to use any of your favorite veggies and even throw in some nuts, seeds or grains for a fun twist.

Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces pasta of your choice
  • veggies of your choice, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 heaping tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • dash of soy sauce

Preparation:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions.  Drain and place in a large bowl.  Add in the veggies and set aside.
  2. In a blender add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.  Add to the large bowl and toss to mix well.
  3. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Yield:

Makes 2-4 servings.

Notes:

Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

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Peach Breakfast Cake For One

Each fall I look forward to apple season, each winter I look forward to Brussel sprouts and every summer I count down the days until peaches and nectarines show up in the supermarket.  Last week I spotted the first peaches of the season!!!  As a bonus my ‘all day’ morning sickness has subsided and fruit is back on the menu.  I tend to like hot things for breakfast and wanted to make something that was just one serving.  I took inspiration for this dish from Kristy’s Single Serve Snack Cake and whipped up this cobbler like breakfast treat.  It was a super yummy breakfast but would make a delicious dessert too.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For the peach base:

  • 2 medium peaches, pitted, cut into slices, skin removed if desired
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Pick one of the two following toppings.

For a gluten free topping:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds or ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

For a whole wheat topping:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup non dairy milk

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of a small oven safe dish (I used a 10 ounce ramekin) with your sliced peaches and evenly sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and coconut crystals.
  3. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the coconut crystals have caramelized.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the topping of your choice.
  5. Remove the ramekin from the oven and spoon the topping mixture evenly over the peaches.
  6. Lower the oven to 375 degrees and return the ramekin to the oven.  Bake for 35 minutes or until the topping is hard and starts to crack.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional info will vary depending on which topping you choose.

Notes:

Simply double, triple or quadruple the recipe as needed for additional servings.

Tasty Tuesday: Kiwi Blackberry Tart

Mar 25 2014 by | Comments (0)
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Kiwi Blackberry Crumble

This dessert is on my top 10 list for a number of reasons. It’s easy to prepare, it’s fresh and light tasting and the filling ingredients can be changed to whatever is in season. A couple of my favorite combinations besides this kiwi and blackberry combo are peach and blueberry or rhubarb and strawberry. This tart would be a great addition to an Easter brunch or just anytime you want an easy and tasty dessert.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 cup raw coconut crystals plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 2/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 8-10 kiwi’s, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup blackberries (or blueberries)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix the ground flax seed with the water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour, walnuts, 1 cup of the coconut crystals, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl.
  4. Add the Earth Balance and the flax seed mixture and mix with a fork or pastry cutter or even your hands until crumbly.
  5. Press half of the mixture into a 10 inch tart pan or if you don’t have a tart pan you could use an 8 x 8 baking pan.
  6. Gently combine the kiwi, blackberries and remaining coconut sugar and pour them into the baking dish.
  7. Spoon the remaining crumble mixture over the top of the fruit.
  8. Bake 40 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the crumble topping is browned. Let sit for 10 minutes or so before removing from the tart pan or cutting.

Nutritional Info:

Makes one 10 inch tart.

Serving size 1/10.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 346, Cal. from Fat: 152, Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 45g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 19g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 118mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Coconut Caramel

A while back I was thinking of a special treat to make for Sarah’s birthday and remembered how much she loves caramel. I made this recipe for her but Cliff ended up liking it even more than Sarah. It’s now become an all around family favorite.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut crystals
  • 1 cup coconut nectar
  • 2 cans coconut milk (not light)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or scrape 1 vanilla bean
  • course sea salt

Preparation:

  1. 24-36 hours ahead of time place the cans of coconut milk in the back of the refrigerator. After refrigerating carefully remove and open the cans. Spoon out the top layer of thick cream to equal 1 cup (save the leftover for smoothies or curries).
  2. Prepare a 9 inch square pan (not glass) by lining with parchment paper.
  3. Combine the milk with the remaining ingredients (see tip below) except the salt in a pot with tall sides (the caramel will bubble up as it cooks).
  4. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat to keep from boiling over but high enough to keep a rolling boil.
  5. Using a candy thermometer cook until you reach 250 degrees usually about 30 minutes.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan and let cool until set. Some oil will pool on the top that you can lightly dab away with a paper towel.
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  8. Remove to a flat surface and cut into bite size pieces. Wrap in wax paper.

Yield:

Approximately 60 pieces. The yield will depend on how big (or small) you cut your pieces.

Notes:

A helpful trick for measuring the sticky coconut nectar is to measure the coconut cream first, pour it into the pan and then measure the nectar in the same measuring cup used for the milk. The nectar will slide right out into the pan without sticking to the side of the cup.

Store candy at room temperature. Caramels will keep for about 2-3 weeks stored in a dark, cool place (like a pantry or cupboard).

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This is without a doubt the best soup I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot of soup in my lifetime.  I’m in love with the creamy smooth texture, the simple yet comforting flavor and the garnishes – yummy!  I love that each person can make this soup be whatever they want.  I love it topped with roasted fingerling potatoes, a sprinkle of Daiya cheese and dash of chives.  My husband loaded his soup with Italian Sausages, caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms.  No matter how you serve it up it’s bound to be delicious!  This soup is also oil free for those that follow a low or no oil diet.  Almonds take the place of the oil without sacrificing the richness that oil normally brings plus they create an amazing creaminess.  Spring might be right around the corner but there is still plenty of time to enjoy this amazing dish!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For the soup:

For the optional toppings and garnish:

  • Daiya Cheddar Cheese
  • finely chopped chives or parsley
  • fingerling potatoes, diced and roasted
  • caramelized onions
  • sautéed mushrooms
  • diced tomatoes
  • sautéed or roasted broccoli
  • chopped Italian Sausages

Preparation:

  1. Place your peeled potatoes in a large pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Drain the water and potatoes from the pot and set the potatoes aside.
  3. Return the pot to the stove and add the vegetable broth.  Heat on medium high heat.  Add in the almonds and let them soften in the broth for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat if needed to keep the broth from boiling.
  4. Add the potatoes, nutritional yeast, salt and Earth Balance (if using).  Stir well and remove from heat.
  5. Using a handheld blender (you can also transfer the ingredients to a high powered blender) process until you have a thick and creamy consistency.  Reheat if necessary before serving.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and load with any of the optional garnishes and toppings that you’d like.  Enjoy!

Yield:

Makes 6-8 servings.

Notes:

This soup makes for excellent leftovers.  It’s best when storing the leftovers to keep the soup and the garnishes/toppings separate.  The soup will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.

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Sugar Cookie Almond Butter

 

I love making my own almond butter.  Not only is it cheaper than buying it premade but you can make so many yummy varieties.  Here’s my current favorite.  So simple yet so delicious!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups roasted almonds (you can use raw almonds but roasted adds a great flavor)
  • 1/4 cup coconut crystals
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt (if using salted almonds you can omit this)

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth creamy mixture.

Yield:

Makes 1 cup.

Notes:

Store almond butter in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Tasty Tuesday: Vegetable Chow Mein

Mar 11 2014 by | Comments (0)
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Vegetable Chow Mein

I used to be a BIG fan of Chinese take out food.  When my husband and I were first married we probably got Chinese take out at least 4 times per week.  Now it’s been many many many years since we’ve had take out but that doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in one of my favorite meals – chow mein!  This dish has easily become a familiar family favorite.  While I’m not a fan of making separate meals for everyone in my family this is one dish that is easy to make to suit each person’s likes and dislikes.  My kids love it with broccoli and carrots, my husband prefers mushrooms, onions, peppers and pineapple and I’ve shared my favorite version with you below.  As a bonus – this dish can be on the table in less than 15 minutes – what’s not to love?!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 ounces cooked chow mein noodles *see notes
  • 1/2 cup sliced snow peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup shredded napa cabbage (or other Chinese cabbage)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (shittake or any variety will work – don’t mind the picture above, I totally forgot to add the mushrooms!)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup Nama Shoyu, soy sauce or tamari (gluten free variety if needed)
  • 3 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, Nama Shoyu, vinegar, 1 tbsp oil and coconut nectar.  Stir well and set the sauce aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan on high heat and add the chow mein noodles.  Pan fry the noodles until one side starts to get crispy.
  3. Push the noodles to the side of the pan and add the vegetables.  Stir fry the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes.  Add the sauce, stir well and continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Yield:

Makes 1 serving.

Notes:

For this recipe I used Annie Chuns Organic Chow Mein FreshPak Noodles.  You can use any type of noodles that you’d like, just make sure they are cooked first.  Soba noodles would also be good in this dish.