Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Last night I was craving something sweet but healthy. I combined a couple of recipes to get Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies. Probably the best part of vegan baking is the fact that you can eat the raw batter without having to worry about raw eggs.  I took full advantage last night, the raw batter was just a good as the final product!

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 TSP vanilla
1 cup of whole wheat flour 
1 cup of oats
1 TSP baking soda
1/8 TSP salt
1 TSP cinnamon 
1/2 cup soy milk  
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
3/4 cup jumbo raisins 
The batter will be very dry before you add the soy milk. 
The batter after soy milk is added.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. 
2. Mix brown sugar and peanut butter until well blended.

3. Add vanilla, flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. The batter will be very dry at this point, don't worry!
4.  Add soy milk and stir until everything is blended. 
5. Fold in chocolate chips and raisins.
6. Take a sample taste!
7. Roll into 1.5 inch balls and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. 
8. Bake for 10 minutes.
9. Enjoy with a cold glass of your favorite non-dairy milk!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cranberry Pomegranate Pearled Couscous

Cranberry Pomegranate Pearled Couscous with Stuffed Artichoke

         I actually made this recipe for Valentine’s Day. It made for a very festive presentation with the red cranberries and pomegranate seeds. I also made stuffed artichokes, but they didn’t turn out so well. In fact, I think they managed to turn Rich and I off of artichokes for a bit. Since we didn’t really like the artichokes, the couscous carried our Valentine’s Day meal. It was bursting with flavor and sweet without being overly so. I usually eat regular couscous so larger pearled consistency was a welcome change. I recommend this meal as a delightful side. It is also a great thing to make in bulk and bring to work for lunchtime.  It is enjoyable warm or cold

1 1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup uncooked pearled (Israeli) couscous

1 tbsp. Earth Balance Butter Spread 

1 tbsp. honey

¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
The seeds from one pomegranate
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chickpeas


1.    Add water, cumin, and cinnamon to a pot and bring to a boil.
2.    Once the water boils, add the couscous, bring the temperature down to simmer, and add the lid to the pot. Cook this way for 8-10 minutes. It is done when the couscous is tender upon biting. 
3.    Mix in Earth Balance and honey until the honey is dissolved.
4.    Place this mixture in a larger mixing bowl.
5.    Add orange juice, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, and chickpeas. Stir until blended.
6.    Serve warm or cold.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine's Day Vegan Love Drops

I thought the frozen peanut butter bars were addictive but these are a whole new level. They taste so much like coconut ice cream bars (specifically the Dove ones). They have a soft chocolate outside with a cold but creamy inside. They are sweet and divine. They are also easy (although quite messy) to make. They are a prefect vegan Valentine's Day treat! I got the originally recipe from another vegan blog and didn't believe it would really work out.  I made some adjustments to the original recipe and I was very happy with my end result.

For the inside filling
2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp. coconut oil
¼ cup of cane sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. coconut milk

For the chocolate outside
1/3 cup almonds ground
1 cup of shredded coconut
2 tbsps. coco powder
2 tsps. cane sugar
2 tbsps. vegan butter
½ cup vegan chocolate chips
6 tbsps. coconut milk

1.       Mix the inside filling ingredients in the food processor until blended. Add the coconut milk last until the consistency is such that you can roll the coconut into balls but you do not have excess liquid.
2.       Roll the coconut drops in your hand and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
3.       Freeze the drops for 15 minutes.
4.       Melt vegan butter in a pot and add chocolate. Melt slowly so the chocolate temperature never rises too high.
5.       Place this to the side to cool.
6.       Chop almonds in the food processor until ground.
7.       Add shredded coconut, coco powder, and sugar. Mixed until combined.
8.       Mix in melted (and cooled) chocolate.
9.       Add coconut milk until you have a creamy consistency to cover your coconut drops with.
10.   Take the coconut drops out of the freezer and roll them in the chocolate (this was really messy!)
11.   Place the drops back in the freezer for ½ hour.
12.   Take out as many drops as you would like to eat and put them on a place for about 5 minutes.
13.   Enjoy with a nice cup of tea!
Note: I am storing the rest in the freezer for new. When I take them out, I will give them 8-10minutes to thaw.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Healthy and Hearty Whole Wheat Bread Machine Recipe

This bread makes a delicious meal with a large salad

         Recently I have been noticing how much sodium is in even the healthiest of breads I buy, not to mention I am paying about $8 per loaf. I decided to try to make my own with less salt in the bread maker. I have been really happy with the recipe below. It is hearty and healthy tasting with a dense consistency. It also makes my apartment smell like a bakery while it is cooking! We love to eat it with a little local honey drizzled on top while it is still warm.

1 cup soy milk (almond milk also works)
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt (you can use a little more if you like saltier bread)
3 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup old fashion oats
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
Add a hole for the yeast

1. Place the wet ingredients in the bread machine
2. Add flour, oats, and sunflower seeds.
3. Make a hole in the flour (see picture above) that is not too deep to touch the liquid.
4. Add the dry yeast in the hole. This is to keep the yeast from rising if you are setting your bread maker to start a little later. I love to set it for 3 hours before I wake up so I wake up to the smell!
5. Set your bread maker on the “whole wheat” setting.
6. Try to wait patiently for 3-4 hours, depending on your bread maker. Let cool for 15 minutes (let’s be honest, I never even wait this long).
7. Top with a little honey, vegan cream cheese, or a nice jam.

I estimated that this loaf costs between $2.00 and $2.50 cents to make depending on where you buy ingredients. That means more money for fun toppings like cashew cream cheese from the Dr. Cow. Oh, and it's vegan. :) 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dr. Cow Vegan Cheese

My friend and I recently went to Pure Food and Wine for a gourmet vegan dinner. I was most impressed by the vegan cheese platter we had with crackers. The flavors were complex and nutty. The texture felt very much like a slice of cheese in my mouth.

When I first started eating vegan food, I couldn’t stand vegan cheese. I thought it had a funny aftertaste and I didn’t like all the additives. Recently I have gotten into Diaya, but it is really only good when it is melted.

The cheese I hade at Pure Food and Wine was called Dr. Cow Cheese. Dr. Cow is a Brooklyn based company that makes their cheeses entirely from organic nuts. They actually mix in acidophilus to create a nut curd. As a result, it is technically real cheese just using nuts instead of milk! Their flavors include cashew, macadamia nut, and hemp.   I picked some up the other night and Rich and I had cheese, crackers, and a nice big salad!

I know you can get this product at many Whole Foods locations in NYC. The Park Slope Food Co-op also carries Dr. Cow Cheese.  It was very good with sesame crackers and wine!