Thursday, May 14, 2015

Our BEST Vegan Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies



GAH!! I love chewy cookies and these cookies are perfectly chewy with just the right amount of crisp around the edge.


Despite being peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, the peanut butter flavour isn't that obvious. The peanut butter lends just enough flavour to keep things interesting. I find regular chocolate chip cookies to be a bit boOoring.


Yes, this post is a little picture heavy but, what can I say? These cookies are beautiful, inside and out!



Crackly top, golden colour, perfectly dispersed chocolate chips...I've got a bad case of the tum rums!!



If you're looking for the perfect chewy chocolate chip cookie, we've got you covered! Bake up a batch of these and you'll be smiling for days...or until your cookies run out ;)


CHOMP!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from What Vegetarians Eat

Ingredients
1 ¼ cup flour
2/3 to 1 cup chocolate chips, depending on how chocolate chippy you like your cookies
½ cup all-natural peanut butter
¼ cup vegan butter
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ organic sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup original, unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease a cookie sheet or cover it with a Silpat.

Combine peanut butter, butter, applesauce, sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Stir flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture and drizzle in the milk while mixing.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Form 2-inch round balls and flatten somewhat. Place them on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.


Bake for 10 minutes. Wait 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spaghetti Squash, Shiitakes, Cabbage, and Tofu



One picture isn't much to go on but I'll let you know that this was a very tasty meal! It also made we want to use spaghetti squash a lot more in recipes. The last time I had it was, besides being a long time ago, unsuccessful. I think I was trying to use it as a substitute for spaghetti and when I'm eating Italian I want my carbs, thank you very much.

Anyway, this dish is flavourful and pleasing. I felt great eating it because it was basically pure vegetables and protein, awesome, right?

Spaghetti Squash, Shiitakes, Cabbage, and Tofu
adapted from Pickled Plum

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced, use green part for garnish
2 peppers, thinly sliced (you got the drill)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
5 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1-2 cup(s) coleslaw mix

For Sauce:
2 tbsp soy sauce, or tamari
1 tbsp agave syrup
Pepper to taste

Directions
Bake squash in oven at 400˚F for 40-50 mins. When time is up, remove flesh using a fork. Let the squash cool a little beforehand.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add oil and onion. Cook until softened, about three minutes. Add peppers and cook for another 3 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and coleslaw, cook for 2 minutes. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook, yet again, for two minutes.

Add squash shreds, scallions, and sauce; make sure everything is evenly coated. Cook for a couple o’ minutes and remove from heat.

Garnish with green bits of scallion and serve!



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Black Bean Brownies featuring Cocozia Chocolate Coconut Water

 I'm realizing more and more that if you try to bake/cook something and it's unsuccessful, if it still intrigues you, you better try again! I'm sure some would apply that philosophy to life but, ya know, I'm not too sure about that myself. If it doesn't work out once, maybe it was a sign? 

Just kidding... sort of ;)

That was the case with black bean brownies. We tried a recipe many moons ago but it the result was disastrous. We thought we give a go again and am I ever glad we did! Holy smokes! Favourite brownie recipe ever right here!! Yes, these are better than ANY brownie I've eaten, black bean or otherwise. I don't think I've ever heard our mom so enthused by a dessert we've made before, either. Needless to say, it didnt take long for these puppies to be devoured. 


yumyumyumyumyumyum why are they all eaten? Oh yeah, because they were delicious!


These are dense, chewy and super chocolatey good! Like I said, best brownies, ever!!!

It's best if you have a super high-powered blender to get these super smooth but if you don't just keep at it. You'll eventually get them smooth and if you don't it's no biggie, either. Adds texture.


A word on Cocozia Chocolate Coconut Water: We were super stoked to receive a package of this stuff. It tastes so good! If you don't like the taste of regular coconut water and you like chocolate this is the coconut water for you. I didn't have a problem drinking a whole carton myself and I would if it were plain coconut water. The packaging is sturdy and great for on the go. The cap has a locking mechanism so it feels secure to carry with you in a bag. This is my own opinion, no one's holding a large coconut high above my head making me say good things about Cocozia.

Black Bean Brownies featuring Cocozia Chocolate Coconut Water
Ingredients
3/4 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans
2 Tbsp plain non-dairy yogurt, but if you had chocolate that's another way to amp up the flavour
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup cane sugar
¼ cup vegan butter, melted
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Line an 8x8 loaf pan with parchment paper. Parchment paper is a must. 
In a blender, puree black beans with the almond milk, vanilla and non-dairy yogurt. Scrape down the sides as necessary, as it has to be super smooth!
Melt the vegan butter and place in a bowl. Add the bean mixture to the bowl with the sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder. Mix well! 
Stir in the chocolate chips. 
Smooth the batter into the pan. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While they come out of the oven rather moist, they will firm up as they cool. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tropical Lime Smoothie with Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water {Vegan}


May is here and I'm ready! I'm ready for sunshine, longer days, bike rides, fresh fruit and delicious tropical-inspired smoothies. This is a green smoothie but it lacks the typical greens one would expect. 

Riley and I decided that adding kale or spinach to this would work really well though we didn't get the chance to try it ourselves. 


Tropical Lime Smoothie 
Serves 2

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp lime zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 bananas, frozen and cut into pieces
2 medium zucchini, diced

Use a high speed blender for this smoothie. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses and serve cold. 


Monday, May 4, 2015

Thai Rice Noodles with Asparagus, Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Tofu


Last week I had intended to publish a new post every other day. You may have noticed that I fell a bit (okay, okay a lot) short of that goal, as in I didn't publish a single post last week. Well, I'm going to get back on that horse and try again. And this time it looks like things make turn out but maybe it's too soon to make that assumption :P 

This is a wonderfully light meal that still gives you protein and veggies, plus, it's gluten-free! :O


This dish is perfect for Spring! It seems like we've bypassed the spring weather here and have gone straight to the shorts and sundress weather.


How's the weather where you are? Regardless, this is a tasty and simple dish!

Thai Rice Noodles with Broccoli, Asparagus, Tofu, and Mushrooms 
adapted from Vegetarian Gastronomy 

Ingredients
1 package of thick rice noodles
1 cup of button mushrooms, cleaned, de-stemmed, and thinly sliced
1 bunch of asparagus, washed and chopped
1 head of broccoli, washed and chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil + more
1 package of non-GMO tofu

Sauce
4 ½ tbsp. hoisin sauce
½ cup soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
¼ cup water
1-2 tsp Sriracha sauce or other chili sauce
2 tsp cornstarch

Directions
Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain,  rinse with cold water, and toss with a little oil so they don’t stick together. 

Prepare the tofu according to these directions from Connoisseurus Veg for crispy tofu.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the garlic and fry until fragrant but not browned. Add the onions, broccoli, asparagus, and mushrooms. Stir to combine. Cook until the vegetables are tender but still crisp. About 10 minutes.

Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. The cornstarch should be completely dissolved.

Turn the heat on the pan to medium-low. Add the rice noodles and tofu to the vegetables and toss. Pour the sauce over the noodles, tofu, and vegetables, stirring until the sauce thickens. It won’t thicken too much; it’ll take only a few minutes.

Remove from heat and serve!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chewy Chickpea Blondies



How do you feel about beans in your brownies? Or blondies? I feel pretty good about the latter. This blondie recipe is the reason why.

Aaaand the only reason I feel pretty good about beans in my blondies and not my brownies is that I haven't tried the right recipe yet, but I know it exists!


Chewy and dense like a decadent treat. Except it's not! Are they healthy? Not exactly, but these babies are sure a heck of a lot better than most dessert options. If not for the fact that they've got so much more protein than the average vegan baked good.

Sure, go ahead, call them healthy!


You can use any nut butter you'd like in these blondies but something like almond butter seems a little more "neutral" to me, flavour wise. If you were to use peanut butter it might become all about the PB, if you know what I mean? I wouldn't be able to just call these Chickpea Blondies, they'd have to be called Peanut Butter Chickpea Blondies because the PB flavour would be so obvious.


So, have you found your go-to bean brownie or blondie recipe? What's your verdict on beans in dessert? Do you find peanut butter works well in a recipe like this without being overpowering?


Chewy Chickpea Blondies
adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Ingredients
1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed well and drained
½ cup nut butter, like almond
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8x8 inch glass dish. 

Add all of the ingredients, minus the chocolate chips, to a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and add the chocolate chips. You’ll need to use your muscles to evenly distribute the chips throughout the batter.

Dump the batter into the baking dish and smooth out the top. It’ll pretty much look the same before and after baking so just try and get the top as smooth as possible; that’s only if you like a smooth top to your blondies.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out more or less clean. It may not appear to be done but you don’t want to dry out your blondies either. Place the dish on a cookie rack and let cool for 20 minutes. It’ll continue to cook a little in case you’re worried they don’t look done.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Rigatoni, Vegan Sausage, and Broccoli Rabe Bake


Give me pasta any day and I'll be a happy lady! This is a colourful and hearty dish and it's sure to please anyone to which you serve it. Veggies, sausage, and cheese. What could be better?


I'm not a huge fan of Tofurky sausages so I probably would've enjoyed this dish more had we made our own sausage but sometimes life doesn't grant you the luxury of making homemade vegan sausage. C'est la vie! 

But, without making your own sausage this dish is fairly quick to prepare and the payoff is substantial! Full stomachs all around the table! (whoa, why does stomach look like such a weird word right now?)


Enjoy!!

Rigatoni, Vegan Sausage, and Broccoli Rabe Bake

Ingredients
1 large bunch of broccoli, chopped and using the upper half of each stalk
1 package of rigatoni
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 large can of diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 package of Daiya Mozzarella shreds
2 -3 vegan sausages, like Tofurky Italian Sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into bite-sized pieces

Directions
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish with olive oil.

Boil a large pot of water. Add the broccoli rabe and blanch for 1 minute. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon. Rinse in cold water. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package. When it’s done drain and return to the pot.

Add the sausage to a pan over medium heat. Toss them around until heated through.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the olive oil to a pan and heat over medium heat. When the oil is heated add the onion and pepper, cook until tender. Add the can of tomatoes and break up the tomatoes further with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and make sure it is completely dissolved. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the sausage and veggie sauce to the pot with the pasta. Add in 3/4 of the bag of Daiya cheese shreds. Mix it about so that everything is evenly distributed. Place it in the casserole dish and then in the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted.

Let sit for a bit before serving.

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