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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Vegan Hot Artichoke Dip

I often get asked how do I come up with the vegan recipes I share. Most of them are old recipes that I used to enjoy and learned how to veganize. This dip is one of those recipes. It is so super easy too. 

Artichokes have many great benefits as well. They are most known for their antioxidants but they also have protein, fiber and prebiotics just to name a few. They also have folic acid, great for bone health, boosts your metabolism and is great for alkalizing your body. 

You can easily double or even triple this recipe for parties and get togethers. It can be served with chips, crackers or even other vegetables. 

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
18 ounces of artichoke hearts marinated in water diced
1/2 - 3/4 cup vegan mayo
1/2 cup shredded vegan parmesan
1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella
1 or 2 cloves fresh minced garlic

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Toss everything into a large bowl and stir well. 

The best pan to use would be an 8 x 8 inch square. I used a pan that was 6x6 and baked it about 10 minutes longer because it was more thick. Make sense?

I let it cool for about 30 minutes and it was still pretty warm. My favorite way to enjoy this dip is with tortilla chips but any cracker will do. Enjoy.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I always say if something has oats in it, it qualifies as a breakfast food. These cookies are no exception and veganizing them was so incredibly easy. I mean come on man, it's the holiday season. Cookies for breakfast is a given. ha ha 

Can't remember if I ever mentioned it before but I love making cookies. This is another old recipe of mine that I just had to vegan. It was quite easy too. Swap out the butter for vegan butter, replace the chocolate chips for vegan chocolate chips and use applesauce instead of eggs. Everything else stayed the same. 

Something I forgot to mention in the video. You can easily turn these from cookies to bars by spreading the cookie batter into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool completely and cut into small bars. 

Why don't we get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
1 1/4 cup room temperature vegan butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups quick oats
12 ounce package of vegan chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. 

Mix in the applesauce and vanilla. 

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually mix into the creamed sugar mix. Do not over mix. 

Mix in the oats and then the chocolate chips. 

Using a cookie scoop that measures a tablespoon full, scoop the cookie dough onto your parchment lined baking tray. They will spread so place them about two inches apart. Bake 8 - 10 minutes and let them cool for two or three minutes before removing them from the baking tray. Then, transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool completely. 

Makes about 7 dozen wonderful cookies. 

Store in an air tight container with a piece of bread. Sounds weird but the bread will help keep the cookies fresh. Enjoy.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Vegan Filled Cookies

This recipe is another childhood favorite of mine. Actually, the apricot was always the best in my humble opinion. My second favorite is strawberry. Apricots are so underrated and never get used enough in baking. Anyway, the best thing about this recipe is you can use any flavor of preserve that you like. 

My favorite way to eat them was to start with the edge of the cookie where it's not filled. Eat the entire edge then devour the part that has the preserves. 

While making these cookies vegan, I noticed I needed a little more flour than my original recipe called for. Just a little. Add enough to make the dough not sticky. I guess it depends on your climate and how you measure your flour. When measuring flour, you should always spoon the flour into your measuring cup. If you scoop it directly from the container it's in, it will be packed meaning more flour. 

The original recipe called for shortening but I decided to just try vegan butter and it worked perfectly fine. 

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 1/4 cups flour, possible a little extra for non sticky dough
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp plant milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
preserves of your choice. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. 

Add the apple sauce, vanilla and milk and mix to combine. 

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Whisk to combine then gradually add to the creamed sugar. Do not over mix. 

Measure 1/2 inch balls and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Take a small piece of parchment and place over one of the little balls and gently press with the bottom of a glass or something flat. Press until the cookie is about 1/8 inch thin. If the dough is sticky, it needs more flour. Add a teaspoon at a time until the dough is easy to work with. They will be delicate so be gentle. 

Add about 1/2 tsp of your favorite preserves onto the center of the cookie. 

Make another little flattened disc shaped cookie and place over the cookie with the preserves and gently press the edges. 

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. 

Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking tray for a few minutes. Transfer to a cooling wrack or parchment lined counter top. 

Let cool completely and enjoy.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Vegan Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Before I was vegan, one of my all time favorite cookies around the holiday's was a peanut butter cookie. I have not had one in years and this year I really, really wanted one, or two. ha ha I mean I could almost taste one just thinking about it. You just do not know how much I love peanut butter cookies. 

Anyway, I am still working on veganizing the family recipe I grew up with but I just couldn't wait any longer. I need a peanut butter cookie. So, I went on a hunt for recipes and finally came up with my own. And would you believe they taste like Do Si Do's. Those peanut butter sandwich cookies from the Girl Scouts.  This was not my intention but I'm so glad it worked out. 

Shall we get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
The cookie:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegan butter at room temp
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt (I always use pink Himalayan)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup oats (either quick or rolled)

The filling:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegan butter at room temp
1  to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted
1 to 2 tbsp plant milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream the brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter until nice and smooth with a stand or hand mixer. 

Add the applesauce, peanut butter and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. 

Gradually add the flour mix to the peanut butter mix. 

The oats. If you are using quick oats, you can add them to the cookie dough and stir to combine. If you are using rolled oats, you will want to blend them for just a second or two. You do not want oat flour. You still want some texture to your oats.  Combine with the cookie dough. 

Have a cookie tray prepared with unbleached parchment and set aside. 

I used a cookie scoop to scoop the dough. I then rolled into a small log and separated by half. Then place on the cookie tray about two inches apart. If you do not have a cookie scoop, use a tablespoon measure. Roll in a log and cut in half.

Place a small piece of parchment on the dough and gently flatten with the bottom of a glass or something similar. You can also flatten with your fingers but keep in mind, this will change the baking time as you will not get them as thin as using a glass.

Bake about 10 - 12 minutes until the edges are golden. 

Let the cookies cool on the cookie tray for a minute or two then transfer to cooling rack or lined parchment on the counter. 

Let's making the filling. This part is super easy.

In a small bowl, mix the other 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1/4 cup vegan butter until well combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Add enough plant milk until nice and creamy. 

Very gently spread about a teaspoon worth of the filling onto one of the cookies. Top with another cookie. 

Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.

Store in an airtight container and enjoy within a week. They might last longer if stored in the fridge. I really can't say though. Mine certainly did not last that long. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

DIY Vegan Laundry Powder

The main reason I started making my own laundry detergent is because I wanted something to clean my clothes that was not full of toxic chemicals. I mean come on man. Who wants carcinogenic clothes??!! I know I don't and I do not want my daughter wearing them either. Most people do not even realize how gross store bought laundry detergent and fabric softener is. 

Yes, even fabric softener is full of toxic chemicals. I stopped using fabric softener about five years ago and now when I smell someone who's clothes have been drowned in it, it makes me gag and does not smell good to me anymore. I have found in my experience that you do not need a fabric softener anymore with this laundry detergent. The washing soda and salt take care of that. My clothes are never static-y and always soft.

Do I really need to mention the dangers of carcinogens? Carcinogens cause cancer!! Plain and simple. Why would you want them in your clothes. Or your kids clothes. 

Let's get to what we need to make laundry detergent/powder. The first thing we need is washing soda. Yes you can buy washing soda but finding a cruelty free brand can be really hard. So, we will make it. It's so easy too. Using a cruelty free brand of baking soda, spread and even layer onto a baking tray and bake at 400 degrees for at least an hour. Stir every 20 minutes. This causes the alkaline and ph numbers to go up making it perfect for laundry detergent. It can no longer be used for cooking so do not use it in your food.

Borax itself is cruelty free but from what I understand it is now owned by a company that is not cruelty free. I already had a box of Borax and will use it until it's gone and figure it out later. 

You will also need a laundry bar of soap. The most common bars are Zote and Fels-Naptha but they are not vegan. I learned that the hard way. Kirks Castille and Dr. Bronner's are. Personally I love the Dr. Bronner's rose scented bar. My local health food store had these on sale for like $2 so I got a bunch of them.

Here are the measurements. 
2 cups Borax
2 cups washing soda 
1 cup pure Epsom Salt
1 bar Dr. Bronner's Bar Soap grated

Tools needed. You will either need a grater or small blender dedicated to your soap. I found a small personal blender for $9.99 at Wal-Mart.

You will also need a container with a lid to store your detergent in along with a small scoop. Like one from medicine bottle.

Once your washing soda has cooled, mix everything together in a large bowl. Gently pour into your storage container. 

Use about 1 tablespoon per load of laundry. More if laundry is really smelly and dirty. 

This will last a while too so it's also a great money saver. You can easily adjust the measurements too. This is what I like. You can also double everything to make it last even longer.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Roasted Butternut Squash Burrito Bowl

I am not a big fan of butternut squash but I am trying to like it because I know it's good for me.  It is an excellent source of B6, fiber, potassium, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Anyway, I came across this recipe yesterday in a magazine and thought, man this sounds really good. I think I am going to try this. So, today I did and it's really good. Glad I have leftovers for tomorrow too. 

Another great thing about this squash besides the health benefits is it's really inexpensive. I bought a small organic one pounder and it was only $2. I'm sure non organic would be a lot cheaper than that too. 

And do not toss the seeds. You can treat and eat them just as you would pumpkin seeds. They are also loaded with fantastical nutrition. 

Why don't we get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
1 small butternut squash
1 tbsp cold pressed oil
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
water as needed to thin the marinade. just a little at a time.

You will also need toppings: These are all to your liking and are approximations of what I used. 
2 cups of brown rice, quinoa would work too
1 1/2 cups black beans
1/2 cup salsa
chopped tomato
1 small avocado diced
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 small wedge fresh lime

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl mix the oil and spices. Add a little water at a time to thin the marinade. 

Peel and seed the squash. Cut into small bite size pieces and add to the marinade. Toss to coat as evenly as possible. Transfer to a baking tray and roast for about 25 minutes or longer depending on your taste.

In a large serving bowl mix the rice and beans. Top with the roasted squash and desired toppings. Serve and enjoy!!!! 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Vegan Pumpkin Un Roll Cake

Hey everyone, the hippie here with my most favoritist holiday dessert ever. I swear I'm not kidding. I love a pumpkin roll with cream cheese frosting. All vegan of course but, I realized making a roll cake might be a little intimidating for some. I know it was for me when I first made it. Don't you fret though. This is the same exact recipe as a cake roll. It's just not rolled. ha ha It's sooooo good and I can't wait to have it again.

Let's get right to the recipe. Here is what you will need.
3/4 cup unbleached all purposed flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or 3 tbsp neutral oil)
2 tbsp plant milk (I used almond but any will do)
1 tsp vanilla

4 ounces of vegan cream cheese at room temperature
1 tbsp vegan butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine pumpkin puree, sugar, apple sauce, vanilla and milk.

Gradually add the flour mix to the pumpkin mix.

Pour into a 8" round pan and bake for 25- 30 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

The frosting.
Cream together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar.

Depending on the brand of vegan cream cheese you use, you might need to make the frosting the night before and let it sit in the fridge over night.

Once the cake is cooled, spread the frosting over the very carefully. 

You can make a layer cake by making two of these and doubling the frosting. Or they would be fantastic as cupcakes. 

Serve and enjoy. If there are any leftovers, store them in the fridge. Enjoy!!!