Saturday, July 4, 2015

Vegan Blueberry Handpies with Coconut Oil Crust


I definitely feel like that should be some sort of mandate. That, or everyone should have a hand pie in their back pocket. For those times when you need a little hand. Haha, cheeeese.

Hand pies are portable pillows of joy and plump juicy fruit.

Blueberry might be my favourite fruit to use in desserts. The crunchy (and oh so plentiful) seeds in raspberries just turn me off any most desserts that utilize them.

Blueberries offer such great colour along with being sweet (and virtually seedless) that it's a win-win.

The pastry for these hand pies is flaky and slightly sweet, just the way I like it! Our hand pies are not suuuuper golden but, ya know, we were trying not to go overboard with the whole decadence thing. Sheesh! 

Things get a little messy when these babies bake up, so totally make sure to line that baking sheet with some parchment. Otherwise, good luck scrubbing for dayzzz.

After trying these handpies you'll have to scrub their memory from your mind or else you'll be baking up a batch everyday! Too far? Maybe? You be the judge.

Go bake yourself some!

Vegan Blueberry Hand Pies
adapted from Memo 2 Munch 

2 ¼ cup AP flour
½ cup coconut oil such as Cocozia, solid 
½ cup ice water
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (we used a mix of both)
zest of 1 lemon¼ cup organic sugar
¼ tsp. salt
vegan margarine, melted

For the filling, toss blueberries, lemon zest, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour and salt together in a large bowl, mix to combine. Add coconut oil and use a using a fork to incorporate until mixture is crumbly. Add the water, a little bit at a time, until dough starts to come together. Make sure it is wet enough that it will stick together to form a ball.

Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 5-6 inch rounds. Whatever will get the job done will do i.e. bowls, cups, plates

Scoop a nice spoonful of the filling onto one side of the circle of dough. Don’t forget to leave enough room to seal it up.
 Before you seal these precious pouches, wet your finger and (stick it in someone’s ear. jk!) run it along the outer edge of the dough. Fold dough in half and crimp the edges shut with a fork.

Brush margarine on top of the hand pies.

Bake for 30-35 mins or until golden. Let them cool slightly before removing from pan. 


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mac and Cheeze with Jackfruit Pulled un-Pork

I had to make (kind of) a big decision today. I won't get into the specifics but I will say this: I didn't choose the practical, safe route. I chose what felt right for me and I think what will, in the long run, benefit me and my future career. 

You can never quite be sure if you're making the right decision but you've got to make a decision and stick with it. Don't look back!

It's times like these when comfort food is ALWAYS helpful. It's for times like these that mac and cheeze was created! For me, there's nothing quite as good as a nice bowl of pasta coated in a cheezy sauce. Add some pulled un-pork and a way we go.

This was our first time making a dish with jackfruit and I quite enjoyed it. We found it difficult to really crisp up the jackfruit, no matter how long we kept it baking in the oven. Nonetheless it was tasty and nice topping to the mac. It's really great how jackfruit just assumes the flavour of whatever you put on it. It's definitely a versatile ingredient. But it's so freaky how much it looks like meat. Just look at it! To let that deter you from trying out jackfruit.

So when you have to make hard choices or the going gets rough, I recommend comfort food and quality time with family and/or friends. It's a no-brainer! 

Caitlin picked up some Tofutti Yours Truly (the most amazing vegan frozen treats) and those always make for the BEST ending to a delicious meal!

Mac and Cheeze with Jackfruit Pulled un-Pork 
Jackfruit Pulled un-Pork adapted from Yup It's Vegan
1 can of jackfruit, drained
approx.. ½ your favourite BBQ sauce

Cheeze Sauce adapted from The Sweetest Vegan
1 package cooked small shell pasta, or whatever pasta shape you enjoy
1 can romano beans, rinsed and drained (you could use navy or cannellini as well)
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup cooked sweet potato
2 - 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup almond milk
a few splashes of vegetable stock, as needed

Pulled un-Pork
Remove hard ends from jackfruit. Separate jackfruit into shreds using your hands.

Place jackfruit in a small saucepan and coat with BBQ sauce. Heat on medium-high heat and cook for 10 to 12 mins, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove jackfruit from saucepan and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure the jackfruit is assembled in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Bake for 15 mins or until the jackfruit is crisped.

Mac and Cheeze
Blend together romano beans, nutritional yeast, sweet potato, soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, tahini, agave nectar, yellow bell pepper, and almond milk. If the mixture is too thick, add a few dashes of vegetable stock until you reach your desired consistency.

You want a finely pureed sauce. No chunks. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 mins.

Pour it over warm pasta and mix well so that all the shells are coated.

Top with pulled un-pork/ jackfruit and/or broccoli. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Gooey Chocolate Brownies

DAAAYUUUUUMMM! Don't those brownies look good? 

Better yet, they taste amazing!

An oh-so-thin crinkle top and chocolatey, fudgy goodness. They're a thing of beauty and delight. Brownies might be the best way to fix a chocolate craving. And these are super chocolatey.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and all of the other cookbooks by Isa and Terry never cease to amaze me. So many delicious and pretty much foolproof recipes!

You know what would go great with a little (or big) brownie? Some delicious vegan ice cream! Just this past weekend I was oogling the wide variety of Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavours when I said to my mom "Why doesn't Ben & Jerry's have a vegan ice cream? They are based in Vermont, I feel like they should be all on that vegan ice cream train!" (or something like that) and now today I hear that they're going to start making vegan ice cream and that there's been a petition on for a while. Freaky!! It's about time, I say. I'm sooooo excited!

Gooey Chocolate Brownies
from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

3 ounces silken tofu
¼ cup unsweetened original almond milk
½ cup canola oil
1 cup organic sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup AP flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375˚F and grease an 8x8 inch pan.

Puree tofu, milk, and oil in a blender until smooth and frothy. Make sure everything is well incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides every now and then.

Pour the tofu mixture into a large bowl. Mix in vanilla and sugar.

Sift in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula, until smooth. Transfer to pan and make the top smooth.

Bake for 30-32 minutes. Once removed from the oven, let the brownies cool for minimum 15 minutes. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Vegan Chocolate Chip and Marshmallow Oatmeal Cookies

Well, last Friday was a banner day for me. I backed into a stupid little metal fence and damaged my grandparent's bumper. When I say little, I mean little. Like so little and insignificant that I don't really know what it's purpose was or whether it actually was a fence. It was like somone find a cute shabby- chic piece of wrought iron, stuck in the ground and thought "my backyard is now complete." Ugggghhhhh!! 
If something bad happens to you do you ever think about the minutes before and how you were so innocent and naive as to what was about to go down and how you never would have imagined it only a few minutes ago? I do that. I'm sure lots of people do. It adds insult to injury and doesn't accomplish anything. 

What we can and should do is think about everything else that is good and right in the world. Like spending some fun, quality time with your sister at the Lana Del Rey concert (TAKE ME BACK!) and these chocolate chip and marshmallow oatmeal cookies...or whatever makes you happy.

These cookies are tantalizingly good. They have LEGIT oats in them. That's what Caitlin wrote on our grocery list so we wouldn't buy quick oats or minute oats but toothy, hardy old-fashioned rolled oats.

And they totally make the difference. 

Make these cookies. They are delicious!!

Chocolate Chip and Marshmallow 
Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Serious Eats

¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup neutral oil
2 tbsp agave nectar
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup AP flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats aka legit oats
¼ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cup chocolate chips
1 handful or 4-5 vegan marshmallows such as Dandies, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 375˚ F and line a cookie sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix together brown sugar, oil, agave, salt, water, and vanilla then stir in flou, oats, baking soda, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.

Place tablespoons of dough onto the cookie sheet; try to make them ¾ of an inch thick. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden. Cool for 10 minutes on pan and then transfer to cookie rack.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Vegan Blueberry Scones with Coconut Oil

I think we've said it before but I'll say it again: we like to do things rustic here on Kitchen Grrrls. When you're hungry for some baked goods you whip up a batch of super simple scones and don't fuss about making them into fancy rounds or triangles. 

These are the best scones we've made! And they are oh, so simple. A complete snap to prepare!

They have just a slight coconut flavour but if you're not a fan of coconut don't worry because you probably won't notice it. What you will notice is the soft texture, bursts of blueberry, and subtle lemon flavour.

We were fortunate to get some Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Oil to try and these scones were the perfect place to test it out. Sometimes I find coconut oil makes baked goods too dense but these scones maintained a light texture despite the coconut oil. We were very pleased :)

Blueberry Coconut Oil Scones
adpated from Dog Hill Kitchen 

1 cup AP flour
¼ cup organic sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp solid coconut oil, like Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Oil
6 tbsp plain coconut yogurt
Juice of half a large lemon, or as needed
3/4 to 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 400˚F and line baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Toss in lemon zest and distribute evenly.
Cut in coconut oil with a fork until the flour looks pebbly. Add in yogurt and lemon juice.

Grab a tablespoon or cookie scoop and plop mounds of dough onto the lined baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.

Friday, May 29, 2015

FINN CRISP Thin Crispbread with Kale-Basil Pesto

Let's talk about crackers. Do you like crackers? I LOVE crackers. I don't know what it is about them exactly but they excite me. Haha!

Somehow FINN CRISP must have known about my love of crackers because they reached out to us and we got a few boxes of their Original Rye Thin Crispbread. Okay, these are crispbreads and not crackers but same sort of idea. I was going to compare them to Melba Toasts but they don't exactly have that mini toast appearance and they are much thinner and crisper. 

They have awesome texture! The best part about it is that they don't crumble apart when you bite into them! SUPER! They're sturdy and crunchy. You could load these babies up real well with toppings and they would definitely withstand it. They've got a great rye flavour. It's strong but not overpowering.

The one thing I will warn you against is scarfing these down quickly, otherwise they'll cut you up. They'll cut up your throat.

You can use these crispbreads to make some appretizers but they make a great accompaniment to a plate of veggies for a healthy snack, too. They'll high in fibre and that's just marvelous. 

In the first picture I topped the crispbread with Daiya Plain Cream Cheese and a kale-basil pesto, plus cherry tomato.

Kale-Basil Pesto
adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook

1 garlic clove
2 stems of kale, destemmed and roughly chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, the ones that come in oil
1 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt

Place the garlic clove in a food processor and pulse 'til minced. Place the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed in between pulses.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Veggie Delight in Kensington Market, Toronto

So, we were SUPER bummed when our favourite vegan burrito joint closed it's doors this past March. To say the least. But, now not so much. Wanna know why?

Two words: Veggie Delight.

The name of the place that's taken over both the old Hot Beans location and our hearts.

We stopped by on Friday to check it out but a sign on the door said they were sold out. Did we let that stop us from opening the door to ask if we could take a peek at the menu? NO! And am I ever glad we didn't! The owner/chef took the opportunity to give us a sampling of the four different proteins (Jerk Seitan, Chickpea Curry, Split Pea Roast, and the fourth involves red beans) they offer and let me tell you my taste buds were smiling from ear to ear. 

The menu is broken down into three categories: proteins, carbs, and veggies. You can mix and match between the three groups. Everything is non-GMO and made from scratch - even the coconut milk!!! I saw the coconuts in the fridge. Also, each meal is a complete meal and completely flavourful! He's all about making sure things are seasoned and flavourful and he definitely delivers.

Here are my wonderful pictures of us dining al caro (that's fancy for eating in your car). Luckily, he still had some split pea roti left, so we were actually able to buy something after all. Above is the Split Pea Roast in a roti with cabbage and carrots. Ummmm I don't even know how to describe the fabulous deliciousness that is the Split Pea Roast. There's a sauce that goes with it that I think really puts it over the top but I can't remember what it is made of :P

Here is the Jerk Seitan in a roti with cabbage, carrots, and Flax Rice. Another amazing option that is also so wonderfully delicious I can't even describe it!

The owner/chef (I never got his name) is so passionate about serving satisfying, flavourful, and nutritious vegan food; it was so inspiring to hear his food philosophy and we REALLY appreciated the little exclusive sample session. 

We'll definitely be back for more!

So, there you have it. Not a super informative post but hopefully one that intrigues you enough to check out Veggie Delight. It is SO good.

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