Friday, October 21, 2016

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Sometimes I get into a smoothie rut. Okay, maybe most of the time. So, it's really nice to switch it up every once in a while. What better way to switch things up than by taking inspiration from the seasons?

When everything and everyone is screaming Autumn, embrace it with a pumpkin smoothie.

This smoothie was super good and flavourful. The banana mellows out the pumpkin flavour a tad so if you're a bit wary of full pumpkin potency you may be alright, but have a pumpkin fan on speed dial just in case ;)

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
adapted from Hot for Food

1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
2 tbsp raw oats
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 large pitted dates or 4 small ones
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup ice cubes

Place everything in your blender and blen, baby, blend! until smooth :)

Top with granola or cookies crumbs.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Vegan Frosted Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Continuing with the pumpkin theme, here's some yummy (and cute!) pumpkin cookies.

You could always go without the frosting on these cookies, but I would be lying if I told you I didn't prefer them with frosting. When you're having dessert why not go all in and really make it worth the calories, right?

Also, topping the cookies with frosting enables you to add cute festive sprinkles! I can't resist the opportunity to seasonally customize my desserts.

Frosted Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
adapted from Minimalist Baker


1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
1/2 white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp AP flour
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp unsweetened original almond milk

1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
1 tsp pumpkin butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 -3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp each cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
drop of unsweetened original almond milk

Add butter to large bowl and beat for 1 minute. 

Add sugars and vanilla, cream for another minute.

Add pumpkin and mix again. Sift in dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not overmix. 

Pour in almond milk, mix to combine once more. 

Freeze dough for 15 mins or refrigerate for 30 mins. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Scoop out dough with a tablespoon. Roll into balls and place two inches apart. They will spread.

Press down cookies either with your hand or the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 10-12 mins or until golden.

Once baked, take them out of the oven and let the cookies rest for a minute or so before transferring to a cooling rack.

Place butter into bowl, Beat until fluffy. Then add vanilla, spices, pumpkin butter and mix some more. 

Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup instalments, mixing in between. Add a dash of milk if it gets too thick. You want the frosting pretty thick though. 

Once the cookies have completely cooled, go to town frosting those babies up! 

Don't forget some festive sprinkles for added flair!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Tarts with Hazelnut Crust

It's the most wonderful time of year! The time of year when pumpkins abound and the world has a golden glow. 

You really can't deny the beauty of Fall.

We've had some pretty unusually warm days so far this year, but the mornings are crisp.

Despite the sunny days and undeniable beauty of Fall, this has been an exceptionally hard one for us. Our grandmother (or Nannie as we called her), passed away in August. It's still so hard to believe she isn't here. She's been a constant in our lives, living with us for majority of our lives. We called her our second mom. All of the firsts are hard and this change in seasons has been no exception. So, while I love Fall and all of the pumpkin-y goodness it has to offer, I can't help but feel that bittersweet edge.  

It may not be the healthiest thing to do, but when I'm sad...dessert. Who's with me?

These tarts are delicious and the perfect use for pumpkin.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Tarts
adapted from Peaceful Dumpling

1 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cold water

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
3 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup silken tofu
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly grease muffin pan.

In a food processor blend all crust ingredients except the water. Add water and pulse to form dough. 

Press dough into the bottom of the muffin pan. About 2 tbsp per section. Make sure to bring the dough up to create a lip around the edge.

Bake for 15 mins.

While the crusts are baking, blend together all the filling ingredients.

When the crusts are finished, take them out of the oven and add the filling. 

Place back in the oven and bake for 20-24 mins, until edges are browned.

Once done, remove from oven and let cool.

Top with pumpkin seeds if you so desire.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Easy Veggies, Rice, and Gardien Beefless Tips Stir Fry

Gardein is pretty much a plant-based meat substitute powerhouse (what a mouthful)! These beefless tips kinda freak me out a bit because of how much the texture resembles meat. So, if you're longing for a beef-like substance between your teeth, this might just be the meal for you.

This is a very satisfying meal that's pretty nice to look at too!

Easy Gardein Beefless Tips Stir FryAdapted from back of Gardien package

1 package Gardein Beefless Tips, cut in half
2 cups cooked rice (we used wild variety)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1garlic clove, finely minced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 peppers, sliced lengthwise 

Remove Gardein Beefless Tips from package, thaw for 5 minutes, and cut in half. 

In large bowl combine soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic clove, and brown sugar. Mix well and set aside. 

In a non-stick pan over medium heat, sauté halved Gardein Beefless Tips in vegetable oil for 4-5 minutes caramelizing well on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside. 

Add onions and peppers to the pan and cook until onions are caramelized and peppers are soft, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture, cooked beefless tips and cook until sauce has thickened and everything is hot.

Serve stir fry over cooked rice and enjoy!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Sweet and spicy and chocolaty! These cookies taste exactly like a Mexican hot chocolate. Perfect for summer! Haha, well, maybe not. But, whatever floats your boat! They're definitely chocolaty, which is always a delight to me!

Depending on your tolerance for heat, these can be quite spicy. I made these for some co-workers once and quickly realized these may not be the best cookies to bake for people you don't thaat well. Also, the heat seems to intensify with time. I'm really not trying to deter you from making these, honest! Just forewarning. 

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles
Makes 2 dozen Cookies
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate or vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups AP flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the topping ingredients together on a flat plate. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together oil,  sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix in extracts.
Sift in remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all ingredients are added mix until you’ve got a pliable dough.
Roll dough into walnut sized balls. Pat into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly 2 inch discs. Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up, at least 2 inches apart (they do spread). This should be easy as the the bottom of the cookies should just stick to your fingers so you can just flip them over onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, they should be a bit spread and crackly on top. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Perfect with a cold glass of almond milk and this playing on your computer!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Chickpea and Veggie Pasta

This is pretty much my go-to meal when I need food fast! There's protein from the chickpeas, veggies, and carbs. Plus, it's pretty satisfying. 

Pasta dishes are so simple and offer the perfect opportunity to clear out the fridge. 

For some reason pasta without tomato sauce reminds me of Summer. Oh, how I long for Summer!! Who's with me? Our Winter wasn't thaaat bad but we're getting a second wind of Winter weather right now and I am not pleased. Oh well. This pasta will make it all better :)

Pasta and Veggies
1/2 + 1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas 
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
cooked pasta

Heat olive oil in medium-sized frying pan on medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 2-4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Place peppers in pan and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Toss in the chickpeas, mix about to distribute and heat through, roughly 2-3 minutes. 

Remove from heat, add to pot of cooked and drained pasta. Mix in the basil with 1 tbsp olive oil and stir to evenly distribute. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Lime Lime Cookies

Well, it's been a long dang time since we last posted. Caitlin started a new job in the big city and Riley has been super busy caring for our mom and grandparents who are going through a lot of health issues. Sometimes life sucks the big one but we are learning to enjoy every moment. To look for the beauty in each moment of each day. To take limes and make Lime Lime cookies. 

Sweet yet tart, these cookies will satisfy any cookie craving unless you're craving a chocolate chip cookie then these are not the cookies for you. They're shortbread-like but, like, soooo good. They will also trick your brain into thinking it's Summer even though it's Spring but still feels like Winter. 

Lime Lime Cookies

Adapted from "Isa Does It" by Isa Chandra Moskawitz

For the cookies:
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons almond milk
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon organic cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (it took about 2-3 limes)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil, melted

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking sheet with a silpat or something along those lines.

2.  In a large bowl, use a fork to beat together the coconut oil and sugar.  Add the almond milk, lime zest, and vanilla, and beat another minute or so until it resembles applesauce.

3.  Add about half the flour, as well as the cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.  Add the remaining flour and mix until a soft dough forms.

4.  Scoop the dough onto the baking sheets in rounded spoonfuls.  Flatten the tops gently with your fingers. 

5.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. You really need to check the bottoms of the cookie for a golden brown colour even though the tops will be pale.

6. Let cool on the sheets for a few minutes or so, then transfer to cookie racks to let cool completely.

7.  For the glaze, place the confectioner's sugar in a bowl.  Add the lime juice, vanilla, and coconut oil and stir vigorously until a thick and smooth but pourable icing forms. 

8.  While the cookies are on the racks, spoon the glaze over each one, letting it drip down the sides. You can also sprinkle with lime zest. Let the glaze set for 10 to 20 minutes.
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