Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sundaes!

IMG_4856

In my honest opinion, peanut butter and chocolate is the best combination of flavors in the world. So, I was looking in one of my mom’s cookbooks recently to veganize a Chinese Chicken Salad recipe, and found a recipe for peanut ice cream. It calls for egg yolks (which I veganized with aquafaba) and cream and all kinds of non vegan stuff, so I adapted it quite a bit. It came out quite good. Here’s the recipe:

Peanut butter ice cream sundaes

(Adapted from a non-vegan recipe in the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook)

Ingredients:

For peanut butter ice cream:

  • 1 can full fat regular coconut milk
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s coconut cream (you can use another can of coconut milk if you don’t have a nearby trader Joe’s, it may not come out as creamy but it will still be good.)
  • 1 15 oz can’s worth of drained chickpea liquid (also referred to as aquafaba)
  • ½ cup vegan sugar
  • 2/3 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter

For fudge sauce:

  • ¾ stick Earth Balance (6 tbsp)
  • ¼ pound block of dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cup vegan sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 cup coconut milk from a can
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

For ice cream:

  1. Drain the chickpeas and set aside the liquid. Place in a small saucepan and heat on low until fizzy and reduced to 1/3 cup. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the chickpea liquid into a ceramic mixing bowl along with the sugar. With an electric mixer, beat for about 5 minutes until peaks form and ribbons fall off the beaters.
  3. Pour the coconut milk and coconut cream into a large saucepan. Whisk a bit by hand until the clumps come out of the coconut cream and it is smooth. Heat on the stove until hot but not boiling.
  4. Take off the heat and add in the chickpea liquid/sugar mixture and whisk by hand until combined.
  5. Place on heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. It is ready to go when the liquid coats the back of the spoon.
  6. Allow to cool for at least a half hour off the heat. Add in the peanut butter and peanut butter powder and transfer to a blender. Blend until combined.
  7. Place in a container and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Follow your ice creamer maker directions and then stick in the freezer after it’s ready for at least another hour before serving.

For fudge sauce:

  1. Melt the Earth Balance in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Shut off the heat once melted, and add all ingredients except vanilla.
  3. Heat over medium heat until boiling while stirring constantly.
  4. When boiling, turn to low and stir for an additional 5-10 minutes until smooth and thick.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and add in the vanilla extract.
  6. Allow to cool briefly and serve while still warm on top of ice cream. You will need to refrigerate and reheat (try steaming with a double boiler) when using again.
What the chickpea liquid and sugar should look like before you add it to the coconut

What the chickpea liquid and sugar should look like before you add it to the coconut

The ice cream when done

The ice cream when done

The chocolate sauce when done

The chocolate sauce when done

Top your ice cream and fudge with peanuts and coconut whipped cream (that is if you can master it! I haven’t been able to for some reason…go figure).

Making vegan Macarons for the first time!

IMG_4640

French macarons (not to be confused with coconut macaroons) are a meringue based sandwich cookie with almond flour. They are quite popular and come in all different kinds of flavor combinations. They are supposedly difficult to make even when not vegan. Vegan macarons were once believed to be impossible to make, because there was no good vegan alternative to meringues. But now there is!

You may recall my post about magical bean juice (also referred to as aquafaba in vegan circles) for making meringue cookies. You can do the same thing with these! I didn’t make up my own recipe since I’ve never made these before, but I still want to share the recipe I used and my results.

This is the recipe I used but I changed the flavors, colors, and frosting recipe. It worked perfectly for me, even on my first try. I personally feel like it it might have had a lot to do with the weather, it was a great sunny day. I found this recipe from a group all all about making vegan meringue and using aquafaba.

I chose to make lavender agave frosting and used a super fruit jelly in the middle from Trader Joe’s.

IMG_3930

The texture came out so great. The frosting I made was a little runny, so the recipe I am including here is changed to account for it to be better.

IMG_4638

The recipe for the frosting is as follows:

  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lavender extract
  • 3 tbsp almond milk

You just need to mix everything together.

IMG_3932

in the oven almost done

IMG_3937

out of the oven

IMG_3935

close up of the feet

I absolutely loved these, and the best part is they are automatically gluten free!

I’m deep in the midst of making food for volunteers at Girls Rock RI this week, stay tuned for a post about that soon!

Making my french toast recipe gluten free!

So when I first went gluten free a few weeks ago I had bought Ian’s brand French Toast Sticks. They were almost inedible. Gross.

So, today I decided to try to re-make my own recipe I had made a long time ago to also be gluten free. It worked better than I thought it would, and was quite tasty, but I can’t say it’s as good as the non-gluten free version. It’ll have to do, though since I feel much better being gluten free.

IMG_4511

To do this, I substituted the flour for gluten free all purpose flour. I used this brand shown here:

IMG_4507

I also recommend adding 1 tbsp maca powder for a more buttery, maple taste that will improve the flavor. If not, maybe try adding at least one more teaspoon of maple syrup.

The bread I used was Ener-g’s brown rice loaf. It had been frozen and defrosted, which I think may have contributed to it’s ability to fry better in the batter because it was a bit stiffer.

Here is a picture of what the batter looks like:

IMG_4505

So, yeah, now I can eat one of my favorite foods as a vegan AND gluten free person! Yay!

:)

Mango Cashew Thai Yellow Curry

Tonight I made this really good dinner for my brother and I! He said it tasted like it was from a restaurant. It was surprisingly easy though. I had bought this curry paste, pictured below, at Market Basket:

IMG_4485

Which eventually became this:

IMG_4482

Note: the curry paste is not mild in spiciness. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can organic full fat coconut milk
  • 1 package Kanokwan yellow curry paste
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 14 oz chopped stir fry veggies of choice
  • 1 champagne mango, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • Cooked rice, for serving

Directions:

  1. Mix together the full can of coconut milk and curry paste. Heat on medium low heat and stir until oily on top.
  2. Add in cubed tofu. Stir and allow to cook for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in vegetable broth and stir. Increase heat to medium, and add veggies, mango, and cashews.
  4. Heat until veggies are cooked.
  5. Serve over rice.
  6. Deliciously simple!

Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice and Father’s Day! I wish it wasn’t supposed to rain…:(

Going gluten free. First gluten free and vegan baked good –strawberry rhubarb pie!

Well, I am somewhat relieved to finally have an explanation as to why I have been so exhausted lately. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disorder. I also have hypothyroidism as a result of it. So, I started researching what else I can do that will help me to feel better besides what my doctor is doing for me. And I kept seeing the benefit of going gluten free. I know I seem to have issues with feeling like crap when I eat too much gluten, so I am trying it. It’s sad for me, because I really loved gluten. I will need to learn more about baking gluten free, and I know I can do it, and be making all sorts of new delicious vegan AND gluten free stuff in the future!

In fact, I made a pie. Unfortunately, my oven and stove just randomly stopped working yesterday. I’m glad I made this before that! I have some ideas up my sleeve for the future, but they will have to wait until it gets fixed :(

IMG_3740It’s my favorite pie of all time, strawberry rhubarb.

I actually used Bob’s Red Mill Pie Crust Mix. I had used it before and thought it was awesome even when I wasn’t gluten free.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Bob’s Red Mill gf pie crust mix
  • 12 tbsp Earth Balance cut into tbsp sized pieces
  • 8 tbsp cold non hydrogenated organic vegetable shortening
  • 8 tbsp cold water
  • 1 lb strawberries, chopped into slices
  • 1 1/4 cup rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 cup vegan sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. First make the crust. Follow the directions on the back of the packaging. I always need the full 8 tbsp of water it says I might need. You may need 6 or 7 like it says. I find it hard to roll out after it’s been in the fridge…but I manage to fix it up if it breaks apart a bit as it’s pretty easy to put back together.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. While the crusts are chilling, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice into a large bowl.
  4. Take the crusts out of the fridge after the hour has passed, and roll one out into a large circle.
  5. Press into a pie pan.
  6. Pour the filling inside.
  7. To make a latticed topping, cut strips out of the second pie crust after rolling it out a bit.
  8. Place the strips across the pie. First lay them out horizontally, then vertically. You may need a spatula to help you get them off your work surface, and they will probably break apart, but it will still look nice even if they break apart on the pie. Just smoosh them together a bit if they crack or fall apart in the process.
  9. Place in the oven with a cookie sheet underneath to avoid the gooey delicious filling from falling on the bottom of the oven, making a mess and a nasty smell/smoke.
  10. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 350 and bake for anywhere between 30-60 additional minutes until the crust is firm and golden/brown around the edges.
  11. Enjoy! My entire family loved it. When I asked if they could tell the difference between this and a gluten based pie crust, they said they couldn’t. (I can, unfortunately, haha! but it’s still really good!)

IMG_3730

IMG_3732

IMG_3738

Rhode Island Pizza Strip Recipe, and a whirlwind month just ended

Hi everyone,

Wow. That’s all I can say right now haha. So much has been going on in my life. May was a busy month for me. I finished my last ever spring semester as an undergraduate! Then I began preparing for my graduation from College Unbound. Part of this included sharing my story and growth in what is called a senior exhibition. I used it as an opportunity to do an inspirational speech based upon my life thus far. You can check it out on youtube here!! 

IMG_4232

The night of that event, my mom and I made food for everyone who came out to see me speak and show their support. I made my famous raspberry lime rickey cupcakes, a cookie pie from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, these gluten free cookies which are always a big hit, a cake (from an overspill of the cupcakes), and vegan caesar salad. Additionally, I veganized a type of pizza I have only ever found in RI, but is delicious. It’s basically pizza strips that you can find in delis and bakeries, which I’m pretty sure is fairly unique to this state. It looks weird/plain, but I assure you it is really good!

Here is the recipe:

Rhode Island Style Pizza Strips

Ingredients:

2 lbs pizza dough, divided in half

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes without citric acid (optional, but makes the sauce sweeter)

½ cup olive oil, divided in half

3 tbsp vegan white sugar

½ tsp salt

1 clove minced garlic

¾ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or grease them with olive oil.
  3. In a spice grinder or small food processor, blend together the nutritional yeast and hemp seeds.
  4. Make the sauce by mixing the tomatoes, ¼ cup olive oil, sugar, salt, garlic, oregano, pepper, and the hemp/nutritional yeast mix together in a bowl. Make sure the sugar and salt is not just sitting at the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Take each one-pound of dough and spread it out onto the baking sheet into a thick (about ½ inch or a bit more) rectangular shape.
  6. Spread half the sauce on each of the two rectangles of dough.
  7. Drizzle half the olive oil (2 tbsp each) onto each rectangle.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You want the sauce to be dry and the edges and moist in the middle.
  9. Let cool on a wire rack, and cut into strips of 8 slices for each rectangle.
  10. Enjoy this famous RI pizza, veganized!

IMG_4320

Here are some more pictures from that night!

IMG_4228

IMG_4230

IMG_4235

And of course, how could I not include photos from my graduation that Saturday?

11216584_10100343997488599_4137329737064666963_n11214049_10100343997408759_4543952946422817344_n

You may be able to tell, I was crying in the second picture! haha

I made it! ;)

Done with the semester! Woohoo! A Black Forest Cake Smoothie recipe to celebrate!

Hi everyone!

I’m super excited. Yesterday I finished all my work for the term at college. I have one class this summer, and two classes in the Fall before I complete my Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational and Community Studies and Psychology (It’s a bit of a mouthful, I know!) Since I am so close, I will be walking with my class at College Unbound this May 30! I’m so excited. In two weeks I will be giving a special presentation on my journey towards this achievement and feeding people delicious vegan treats!

Anyhow, I think I’ve created the most delicious vegan protein smoothie ever!! It’s a Black Forest Cake Smoothie! For a long time as a child, my brother would request black forest cake every birthday. It was his favorite, and sometimes difficult to find. Last week, this obsession of his randomly popped into my mind, and I realized what a great smoothie it’d be!

Here is the recipe (feel free to add stuff/substitute as desired):

IMG_4130

Vegan Black Forest Cake Protein Smoothie (Gluten free):

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 scoops (depending on serving size) vegan chocolate protein powder (I used Vega One)
  •  3 tbsp Glutino Brownie Mix (or other gluten free and vegan cake or brownie mix, I like Glutino because it has mini chocolate chips in it!)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup organic, vegan, gluten free cherry pie filling
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite vegan non dairy milk (I used almond milk, but coconut milk from a can would be even more amazing!)
  • Handful of baby spinach (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a blender, blend everything together until smooth.
  2. Serve in a cup. If you use a small straw, some of the chocolate chips from the brownie mix may get stuck inside, so beware.
  3. Enjoy, it’s delicious!!

I’m so happy that I’m so close to being done with school and have a bit of a break! I am looking forward to posting here a bit more frequently!!

Coconut Mango Muffin Madness!

IMG_3879So, I told you I have some healthier recipes coming your way!

I had a bunch of champagne mangos (I’ve been very into them lately…can’t get enough) and I wanted to put one into a baked good. I also wanted to bake in some Dang coconut chips as a topping on something and see if they’re just as good in baked items. So, that inspired me to make mango coconut muffins.

These are made with whole wheat pastry flour and no refined sugars. They’re quite healthy, but also tasty. I served them to my classmates early in the morning and they all loved them. Some knew they were vegan, others didn’t, and everyone said they were really good!

I found that they were the perfect texture. Not too chunky with the dried coconut, and not too moist but moist enough. I’ve never described a muffin this way, but the texture was smooth and almost creamy. Or dreamy…

Anyways, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp flaxmeal whisked with 4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (or a whole champagne mango, without the refuse) chopped mango
  • 1/2 cup shredded dried coconut
  • 1/3 cup crushed coconut chips, like Dang brand

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda together.
  3. In a separate larger mixing bowl, whisk together the flaxmeal and water. Let sit for a bit.
  4. Add the agave and coconut sugar to the flaxmeal. Whisk again.
  5. Whisk in the coconut oil.
  6. Add coconut milk, orange juice, and vanilla.
  7. Add the dry ingredients from the small bowl into the wet ingredients. Stir and fold in until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  8. Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin tin liners.
  9. Sprinkle the crushed coconut chips on top.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

IMG_3888

Enjoy!

Vegan Sausage Pancake Twinkies

IMG_3857So…I’ve been running training for my half marathon that’s slowly approaching in July. When I run, I burn a lot of calories and need to eat more than if I’m not exercising. I especially need carbohydrates.

I had been wanting to make cornbread and vegan hot dog twinkies, but they were out of the Field Roast brand I like when I went to the store. So, I decided to buy Field Roast mini breakfast sausages and use them instead. Besides, I thought they’d be the perfect size, and they were!

IMG_3851

I made them with Bisquick mix…which is actually vegan! Or at least, some versions are!

This recipe on a canoe pan, aka twinkie pan…I’m not sure what you could do instead if you don’t have this kind of pan, but they were pretty cheap on amazon when I got mine, and worth it for all the twinkie like foods you can make with it!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vegan Bisquick
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk or nondairy milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 eggs worth of egg replacer (I used Ener-g powder mixed with the amount of water recommended on the box)
  • 8 Field Roast mini apple maple sausages

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the Bisquick with the nondairy milk, brown sugar, and egg replacer.
  3. Pour or spoon batter into the cavities of the pan, about 3/4 of the way up. Save a little batter to cover the sausages with if needed later.
  4. Place the sausages in the middle of the canoe cavity. Push down until covered by the batter. You may need to spoon some extra batter on top to achieve this.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until puffy, firm, and golden.
  6. Enjoy with maple syrup and Earth Balance melted together.

IMG_3853

IMG_3855

Coming soon will be some healthier recipes, haha. Despite the appearance of this recipe, I’ve been on a big healthy food kick lately…can’t wait to share more of those types of recipes, and I have a few up my sleeve right now. :)

Magic Bean juice for lavender vegan meringues

Okay, so I had been aware that vegans all over the internet had discovered that it was possible to make meringue out of the juice inside a can of chickpeas (drained from the chickpeas). However, I was a bit skeptical. I didn’t think it was easy. But I finally got the courage to try. It was a beautiful day out, and though I’m not sure it’s the same for vegan meringue, I remember as a kid when my mom would make my grandmother’s famous real meringues, they wouldn’t come out well if it was rainy or humid. Apparently that’s an actual thing. So, thinking to myself that it was the perfect day, I decided to make them.

Meringue was seriously one thing I never thought would be successfully veganized, but I was so wrong. To me, this just proves “anything you can eat I can eat vegan!” It’s like the last frontier of veganizing…

So behold! the magical vegan bean juice. I can’t wait to try to veganize my mom’s meringue frosting, macarons, and more, never mind explore other flavors for these ones. I think I will try some peppermint chocolate chip ones next…

I took a bit of artistic license to this recipe. That recipe uses white beans instead of chickpeas and doesn’t have a flavor. I personally cannot taste the chickpeas in the recipe I created, but it’s probably because I added stuff to it.

IMG_3817

Ingredients:

  • The strained juice of a 15 oz can of chickpeas minus one tablespoon. 
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp vegan sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemonade (I used organic bottled strawberry lemonade)
  • 1 tbsp blueberry juice (I took the juice of some frozen blueberries that I microwaved for a bit)–this doesn’t add flavor, it’s just for the effect of the color, so this is essentially optional
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp lavender extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, pour the bean juice, sugar, lemonade, and blueberry juice.
  3. With an electric handheld mixer or whisk attachment on a stand mixer, begin to whisk together the ingredients in circles around the sides of the mixing bowl.
  4. Continue to mix until thick and fluffy. The time varies a lot. It took mine 10 minutes to get to the perfect point, but I had my handheld mixer on the highest setting (5) and I’m not sure how other brand mixers may work. See picture for reference.
  5. When thick yet fluffy with peaks, add in the extracts and give it about 2 minutes of remixing again.
  6. Lay some parchment paper on several baking sheets. Take a spoon and add dollops of the meringue onto the sheet, like cookies only with a more liquid batter. They will come out looking prettiest if you try to make them look like chocolate kisses. You know what I mean I hope…I can’t describe it any other way, haha.
  7. Place in the oven for an hour. After an hour, check them. The baking sheet that was on the bottom rack was done at this point. If you poke them with your finger they should be stiff and not make a print.
  8. It took about an hour and 15 minutes for the rest of my meringues to be done. If they’re not done after an hour and 15, check in another ten minutes, and then more frequently after that if they’re still not ready.
  9. Allow to cool on the sheets for at least 15 minutes. You’ll want to eat them, and you can enjoy almost as many as you want, I calculated that they are only about 10 calories each…depending on how big you make them (I made 34).
  10. Store them (if you have any left) in a sealed container to try to prevent them from getting too moist. I personally like them a bit soggier and chewy, though!
what it should look like when ready

what it should look like when ready

before going into the oven

before going into the ovenIMG_3815

Meringues were big in my family growing up, as I mentioned above. Check out more childhood favorite recipes that I veganized in my zine, on etsy!