Better than Cadbury Cream Eggs! (vegan, fair trade, and gluten free) with update for palm free/gmo free recipe

Hi!

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I’ve been wanting to make a vegan chocolate cream egg since…well…every year I’ve been vegan. This year I finally decided to take action.

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I bought an egg shaped mold from a craft store and everything. However, I found a recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Hell Yeah It’s Vegan which does not require a mold (and I think comes out better if you don’t). Please check the blog out beyond this recipe. It’s amazing!

Originally I just made some simple adjustments to the recipe. Instead of using yellow and red food coloring, I made the yellow out of water and powdered turmeric. I also changed the method a bit, instead of using two disks I used one and just free-styled the yellow part of the egg by placing it in the center and wrapping the white part around it and shaping it into an egg shape. It was actually really easy in terms of making candies and other stuff.

The chocolate I used was Equal Exchange Fair Trade chocolate chips which I am really passionate about buying from now on. Not only are they conflict/child labor/slave labor free and on the Food Empowerment Project chocolate list, but they’re also the best tasting chocolate and worked like a dream.

But I was annoyed that I was making these with Earth Balance, which has palm oil in it, and corn syrup, which is often gmo and not organic (genetically modified). So I had to totally revamp the recipe. It works just as well if not better. The updated recipe is below!

Of course, these are also gluten free and also nut free (if you don’t consider coconut a nut!)

Chocolate Creme Eggs–vegan, gluten free, palm oil free, fair trade, organic

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp refined coconut oil (solid) –plus 2 tsp for the chocolate
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 cups organic/gluten free powdered sugar
  • Ground turmeric and water, as needed
  • 8 oz (or more, just use the full bag) fair trade, vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, cream the brown rice syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and water together.
  2. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar into this mixture, blending until well combined. If it is hard to mix add a small amount of water, no more than an 2 additional teaspoons.
  3. Place a small amount of the mixture into a small bowl (a third or less of it), and sprinkle the turmeric powder and a small amount of water (you do want this to get a little runny), use a small whisk or spoon to stir it together until it all incorporates and is a bright yellow color. It will be hard to combine at first.
  4. Cover both bowls and place them in the refrigerator for an hour or more. If you are short on time you can place them in the freezer for no more than 30 minutes.
  5. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.
  6. With a small spoon, place little blobs of the yellow mixture onto the tray. You want to aim for about 15 nickel size pieces.
  7. Then shape the white mixture into 30 flat egg shaped discs and place on the other tray.
  8. Place the white ones in the fridge and the yellow in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Take one white disc, place the yellow blob and put it in the middle, then place another white disc to form a sandwich. Smush together and then shape by rolling in between your hands into an egg shape. Continue on with the rest of them. It’s okay if some of the yellow is oozing out, it gets better looking results that way.
  10. Place again in the freezer for a half hour (or more).
  11. Melt the chocolate with 2 tsp coconut oil in the microwave or a double boiler.
  12. Dip the frozen eggs fully into the chocolate one by one, placing on a cookie sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment paper or wax paper to set. I have found that the best method is to use a spoon to roll the egg in the chocolate and then carefully take out of the chocolate, letting the excess drip off back into the chocolate, and then placing onto the tray. They will not be perfect, you may have some drips that deform the egg shape. Once you let them set you can break those off a little bit.
  13. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to set fully. I like to keep a big batch of them wrapped in foil in the freezer, and when there is a day that I want one, I place it in the fridge for a few hours, let it sit out for a little longer at room temperature, and then dig in! They are so good.

 

 

 

 

 

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Asparagus and Saffron and Garlic Aioli

When I was younger, my mom used to make a non vegan version of this that I loved. Every time she’d make it, she would say “Saffron and Garlic Aioliiiiii” all long and drawn out in a funny voice and it made me have fonder memories of it. It leaves you with horrible garlic breath, but is worth it.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • Olive oil or spray oil
  • 1 cup Just Mayo (vegan mayo brand…I do not recommend trying this with other brands of veganaise, they will get too thin and the taste won’t be the same)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch saffron threads

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Trim the ends of the asparagus off. Place in a baking pan with oil spread or sprayed on the bottom. Spray the tops of the asparagus with oil as well or use a couple teaspoons of oil if you don’t spray.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. To prepare the aioli, place the vinegar, agave, and saffron in a saucepan and bring it to a boil on medium heat.
  5. Allow the vinegar to cool in the refrigerator.
  6. Stir the garlic together with the Just Mayo.
  7. When the vinegar mixture is cool, mix together with the mayo and garlic.
  8. Dollop the aioli over the asparagus. Enjoy! It also makes a yummy dip for other veggies and such.

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To-fu Young Recipe

Oh man, I messed up this time on Vegan MoFo towards the end. Just wasn’t feeling it as much. I think I would have preferred a theme I had chosen and developed a bit more.

But, onward and upwards, so the saying goes?

I have a new recipe to share. Also, I’m very tired from not sleeping well and having run a 5k race today.

The other day I remembered egg fu young, and was like, “why haven’t I made this vegan yet?” so…I did.

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To-fu Young with gravy recipe

Gravy ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

To-fu Young Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup shredded celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional if allergic, use another oil or no oil at all)
  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 1/2 tsp Indian black salt (the kind that smells like eggs)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • dash white pepper
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tbsp egg replacer powder (I use Ener-g)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Peanut oil (or canola if you’re allergic to nuts) for frying

Directions for gravy:

  1. Mix all ingredients except cornstarch and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Heat until bubbling.
  3. Add cornstarch and water mix while whisking constantly.
  4. Continue to whisk until the gravy thickens.
  5. Serve on top of To-fu Young when ready

Directions for To-fu Young

  1. Cook all veggies all together with the sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until soft and the mushrooms have become darker.
  2. Turn off heat.
  3. Break the tofu block in half. Crumble one half into small pieces into the pan with the vegetables are in. Stir well.
  4. Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend well until it becomes a thick liquid batter.
  5. Fold into the vegetables and tofu, stirring well.
  6. To fry them up, I used an electric fryer that we use for making potato latkes because I thought it would work better than doing it in a frying pan. You can definitely do it in a frying pan though if you have one that doesn’t stick too much with this sort of stuff (I don’t).
  7. Heat the oil (you want about a half inch of oil or more) until some of the batter begins to sizzle when flicked in.
  8. Place large spoonfuls of the batter into the oil. Cook on one side and then flip when the side is browned. If not ready yet keep frying it on the side until it becomes crispy and brown. I would have tried to be more mindful of time, but it can vary so much depending on your equipment and your ability to keep the temperature of the oil stable.
  9. When both sides are sufficiently browned and crispy, place on a paper towel on a plate to soak up some of the oil and cool.
  10. Serve with rice and the brown gravy.IMG_5449

Vegan MoFo day #13 Post #10: Kitchen tour time and recipe for yellow rice

Hey,

Today’s Vegan MoFo post prompt is: It’s kitchen tour time!

Technically “my” kitchen is actually my mom’s kitchen. I am very lucky to live with my parents right now because they have a really awesome kitchen. I’ll miss it when I move out.

The pictures I will post at the end will show that the kitchen a bit messy, and that’s because I took them right after I made an elaborate dinner. My mom is always complaining about the messes I make. I really can be a bit of a hurricane when I cook.

Tonight’s dinner was from the cookbook Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World by Allyson Kramer. It was the Peanut Mole soy curls, although I’m not sure why it’s called that, since there are no peanuts in it. In addition to that, I decided to make a yellow rice recipe, which wasn’t in the book, but somehow came out looking almost exactly like the rice that was pictured in the recipe.

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The mole may not be exactly attractive, but let me tell you, anything that has a whole bar of melted chocolate in it is worth making!

Here is the recipe for the rice I made:

Yellow Rice Makes about 4 cups cooked

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup defrosted frozen peas

Directions:

  1. I recommend using a rice cooker for this as it’s easier and I love rice cookers! Place all the ingredients except the peas and tomatoes into the pot of the rice cooker and stir before turning on.
  2. If using a rice cooker, set to cook and leave it alone until it switches to warming. If you prefer not to use a rice cooker, cook on the stove as you would any other rice (you probably know better how to do that than me at this point, since I’ve grown reliant on rice cookers.)
  3. Once cooked, transfer into a large bowl and fold in the tomatoes and peas.
  4. Serve as a delicious side.

And now, what you’ve been waiting for: the kitchen tour!

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This is the area where the stove, oven, fruit basket, utensils, and blender reside. You can also see my rice cooker and the mole I just made when this was taken.

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This is the corner where my new juicer resides that I am loving and endlessly intrigued by.

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This is the sink area. You can also see on the left hand side (sorta, it isn’t clear) some pencils, pens, and paper that we keep there along with my parents’ actual landline phone. It is a mess of dirty dishes in this picture AHHHH! I cleaned them up right after eating.

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This is where a lot of the cups and glasses are stored above and where I often prepare food but am not really supposed to because my mom likes it as clean as possible. My hot water heater is currently on the top of the counter top. My cat Neko often jumps up onto this counter to get his food (since we prepare it on there), which we’ve tried to discourage him from because it’s gross, but we haven’t been consistent enough with correcting the behavior so he’s still doing it. In the background you can see the eating area where my brother is eating the Mole dish as well (he’s not a vegan but likes the food I make and eats it happily).

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The pantry area, spice rack, microwave, toaster oven, Mrs. Pots Cookie jar, etc. You can also see the cupcakes left over from the bbq I told you about that I made for Saturday, my Vega One shake, some random ingredients such as gluten free vegan breadcrumbs and buckwheat flour, and other cluttery stuff. Check out my mom’s alphabetized spice rack…we have a bit of an overgrowth of spices, as the overflow is housed in the cabinet above.

That’s all for tonight, it was fun showing you the kitchen!

Vegan MoFo 2015 Day 3, Post #3. Quick and Easy recipe.

Hey everyone!

This quick and easy recipe also happens to follow yesterday’s theme, which is something I grew up with as a kid. The recipe is also in my zine. See yesterday’s post for details about that.

This recipe is simple and can be gluten free if you use gluten free english muffins (I like Ener-g, they remind me of brioches a little bit!) If you don’t like almost raw onions, however, I do not recommend you try this! But if you can tolerate them or like them, I definitely recommend you keep an open mind! It sounds a little weird, but it’s one of my favorite snacks/easy small lunches.

Onion and Green Pepper English Muffin Melts

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Just Mayo (Veganaise by Hampton Creek)
  • 1/2 cup daiya shredded mozzarella
  • English Muffin (gluten free or regular)

Directions:

  1. Toast English muffin.
  2. Prepare the spread by mixing together all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Spread the mix on each muffin half.
  4. Broil the English muffins until the cheese melts. About 2-5 minutes depending on the oven/toaster. Watch very carefully.
  5. Eat!

Have fun, kids! Happy MoFo! 🙂

Vegan MoFo Post #2: Childhood Favorites: sharing a recipe from my zine!

Hey all,

Welcome again to Vegan MoFo 2015!

Today’s prompt is to recreate a meal from my childhood. I’ve actually already done that multiple times, and wrote about the stories behind them, in my zine that accompanies this blog!

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You can buy it from my Etsy shop here. Please keep in mind, that I wrote these recipes earlier in the year, before I went gluten free, so almost all of the recipes are made with gluten, many are not very easily adaptable either. I can no longer eat most of them either. Such sadness.

But, if you can eat gluten, here is one of a few recipes I will be highlighting from the zine this month!

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Vegan Sausage Macaroni Skillet:

This used to be our favorite meal in our family, until my mom became allergic to milk. For awhile my mom would make it for us on special occasions, or if she couldn’t eat. Since going vegan, I remade it! It came out just as good, and healthier of course. My mom still couldn’t eat it because she can’t have soy. And now I can’t either until I find a good gluten free substitute for the Gimme Lean. Maybe that’s next on my recipe agenda…

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Gimme Lean Sausage style
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp vegan white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)
  • 1/4 cup plain almond milk or other non dairy milk of choice
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • Oil, as needed

Directions:

  1. Break Gimme Lean up into pieces, and fry in a pan with a bit of oil until browned and a bit shiny. It should become firmer than it was before it was cooked.
  2. In a large skillet over high heat, add some oil and saute onions and peppers until they are shiny and start to become translucent. Add the sausage at this point.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, uncooked macaroni (I promise it’ll be cooked when done), sugar, salt, and pepper.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the vegan sour cream and almond milk.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

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Have fun!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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! 

update and recipe for vegan Portuguese muffins!

Hi! I’ve been gone for awhile. The reason for my absence has been because I have been putting most of my recipe energy into working on the cookbook zine, school, and am also planning food for another Ladies Rock Camp! Speaking of which check me out in their volunteer spotlight!

Valentines day has come and gone. That day I cooked up a storm. I veganized our family’s brisket recipe using seitan for my zine, I made heart shaped frosted sugar cookies, and I veganized a recipe for Portuguese muffins.

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I used this recipe (although I changed the icing recipe a bit to add raspberry juice and almond milk).

I have always lived in an area where there is a large Portuguese population. The grocery stores always sell sweet breads and Portuguese muffins here. I used to love them. Portuguese muffins are basically like English muffins without the nooks and crannies and are made from sweet bread.

I have been craving them badly lately, but they are not vegan. They contain milk and eggs.

So, I adapted this recipe to become vegan.

These are the ingredients I used:

1 cup vanilla almond milk or other nondairy milk of choice
4 tbsp Earth Balance
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tbsp potato starch
1/4 cup soy flour
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1 package teaspoons instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer and 4 tbsp water whisked together
2 tsp vanilla
1 lemon’s worth of lemon zest

You basically follow the directions on the recipe exactly, although ignore the parts about how much it should rise as I don’t think it really did the amount it said it would and they still came out alright.

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If you’ve never had them, now you can try them vegan! If you have, enjoy the comforting flavor of sweet bread again!

Jalapeno Popper Vegan Quiche

Hi! Didn’t realize I’d be back so soon.

Today I invented an awesome new recipe. This one will not be in my zine, haha.

It’s a jalapeno popper flavored vegan quiche!

I used a pre-made pie crust bottom–gasp. Surprisingly a lot of store bought pie crusts are indeed vegan! I wanted to make it quickly so I chose that, but if you want to make your own, here is my recipe for a pie with a crust recipe (you’d only have to make half of it).

popper quiche!

popper quiche!

Jalapeno Popper Vegan Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb extra firmed tofu (I used sprouted tofu)
  • 1 tbsp Ener-g egg replacer without water added
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup plain almond milk or other non dairy milk of choice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Indian black salt (the kind that smells like eggs)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup daiya cheese shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
  • 3 jalapenos, chopped into thick rounds, seeds and veins removed
  • 1 9 inch prepared pie crust, or homemade from the recipe linked above

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place tofu, egg replacer, nutritional yeast, Earth Balance, non dairy milk, onion powder, black salt, and black pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula and then blending a bit more.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the daiya cheese, bread crumbs, and jalapenos.
  4. Place into pie crust, smooth down with a spatula.
  5. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool slightly, then dig in!

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