Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Cake

I first typed "Perfect Chocolate Cake," but then I realized this wasn't gluten-free, so it's not entirely perfect. I really meant to use all-purpose gluten-free flour and I totally forgot. So give it a whirl. Let me know how it goes.

I'm embarrassed to say where I got this recipe, though I don't know why. I wish I could say I pulled it from the pages of some fancy schmancy French-titled chocolate-themed periodical, but really I tweaked it from the back of the Hershey's cocoa can. What? I was in a hurry. And it works! My husband says this is THE moistest cake he's EVER had. So there.

Almost Perfect Chocolate Cake
1 c sugar
3/4 c agave
1 3/4 c flour
3/4 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 c applesauce
1 c soy milk
1/2 c canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c boiling water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" pans.
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add applesauce, milk, oil, and vanilla, beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes until toothpick clean.

1/2 c Earth Balance vegan butter
2/3 c cocoa
3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c soy milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add sugar and milk, beating on medium speed. Stir in vanilla.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sweet Potato Coconut Milk Soup

AKA, My Favorite Soup. I'm pretty sure my husband's, too. And now yours. haha.

This soup is soooo easy and quick to make. The hardest part is chopping the sweet potatoes, so grab your sharpest knife.

Sweet Potato Coconut Milk Soup
adapted from Get It Ripe
4 c vegetable stock
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp salt
2 TB olive oil or coconut oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 onion, diced
2 TB ginger
1 can coconut milk (non-light)

Boil stock, sweet potatoes, and salt. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 10 minutes until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, saute onions in oil with spices until soft. Add to soup. Stir in coconut milk.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

Energy? Yeah right, you're saying. I know, it seems hard to believe. Usually anything with the words "chocolate chips" in the title is just going to lead to a crash. But these only have a little bitty handful, so chill.

 The main ingredients are almonds, walnuts, oats, and peanut butter. See? Good for you stuff. And Deb, these are gluten-free for you babe! Although I'm betting you'll leave out the agave because these are already pretty sweet with just the chocolate chips so you might want to bump up the peanut butter a tad.

Now for the photos, I used my good ol cookie scoop, which is probably like two tablespoons or some ridiculous amount, I should find out. But anyway that is way too big for snacking size, so after the photos I broke them in half and rolled them into ugly little balls and I got about eighteen. I don't even remember from which book I got this recipe, but I've messed around with it so much that now it's mine, aaaalll mine mwahahahaa. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
1 c almonds
1 c walnuts
1 c oats
1/2 c natural peanut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 TB agave
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c chocolate chips

In a food processor or blender, combine nuts cinnamon and oats. Blend to a fine meal. Add agave, vanilla, and peanut butter, process to combine. Remove from blender, stir in chocolate chips. Roll into balls. The end.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Peanut Butter Waffles

Or, alternately titled, The End. Like, this is as good as it gets people. Yeah so maybe waffles with peanut butter are my favorite food to begin with, but that's besides the point. I'm being totally impartial here.

Delectable. Luscious. Divine. Usually used to describe some garbage like chocolate mousse, right? Whatever because these are so moist that you can HEAR your fork cutting into them. I've been waiting a long time for this day, so you'll excuse me if I ramble on a bit about lakes of peanut butter overflowing with dripping rivulets of syrup.... sexy, right? The important thing here, besides the waffles themselves ruining all other waffles for me forever, is that you're going to make sure each individual waffle square is filled to the top with peanut butter, and then drown the whole thing in about six dollars' worth of pure maple syrup. It's the only way.

Speaking of peanut butter, you're going to run down to your local grocery store, and then every one in a fifty-mile radius if necessary, and pick up a jar (or twelve) of Smuckers natural peanut butter. It's the only way. I consider myself somewhat of a peanut butter connoisseur, and you've gotta trust me on this one. You will buy it. You will love it. You will be ruined forever for all other peanut butters.

Peanut Butter Waffles
adapted from Vegan Brunch
3/4 c natural peanut butter
3 TB maple syrup
3 TB applesauce (or oil, if you wanna be naughty)
2 c soy milk
1 TB cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c flour
1 TB baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat waffle iron.
Mix peanut butter, syrup, and applesauce until well combined.
In separate bowl, mix milk, cornstarch, and vanilla. Add to batter.
Add dry ingredients to batter and mix until mostly smooth.
Do your waffle cooking thang!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spaghetti and Beanballs

Will these fool your husband into thinking he's getting a mouthful of ground sirloin? Ehhh no. But will he eat them? YES! I put that in the win column. These just feel good to eat, know what I mean? They are nutritious, filling, and way better for your body than meat. Good stuff.

This recipe calls for an ingredient you may have not seen or even heard of before: vital wheat gluten. Don't freak out and give up on this recipe, this is totally do-able. If you saw the ricotta lasagna recipe where we used nutritional yeast flakes, it's going to be just like that. Go to your local health foods store, find the wall o' bins, and get a small scoop of the vital wheat gluten. It looks like little light crunchy dry clumps and it is very cheap. It's used a lot in recipes that need a meat-like texture.

Another cool thing about this recipe is that it's very "hands-on". The only way I could get the beans mashed was to use a fist with the back of my hand. So if you like getting messy and pulverizing things with your fists, this is the project for you... *side eyes*

Spaghetti and Beanballs
adapted from Veganomicon
1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti
32 oz spaghetti sauce
two 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB tomato paste
2 TB olive oil, plus more for finishing
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/4 c vital wheat gluten
1/4 tsp thyme

Mash beans in a mixing bowl until no whole beans are left, but not completely smooth. Add soy sauce, tomato paste, olive oil, bread crumbs, vital wheat gluten, and thyme. Mix with fork and knead with hands until smooth.
Roll into balls about one inch wide, line up on sprayed baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Bake 15 minutes, flip, bake 10 more minutes.
In the meantime, cook the spaghetti and heat the sauce. Serve with beanballs.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Almond Chai Muffins

 Love chai? Nodding head? Me too. You'll love these muffins. Or bread, whichever way you decide to make it. Personally I prefer the bread. It's a bit more moist, a bit fluffier, just BETTER. Now don't forget to have a cup of chai while you eat these. Perfection.

Almond Chai Muffins
adapted from Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale
1 c boiling water
6 chai tea bags
1 1/4 c flour
1 c almond meal
1 c wheat flour
1/4 c agave
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 c almond milk
1/4 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c sliced almonds

In a large cup or small bowl, add tea bags to 1 cup boiling water. Cover the cup and steep 15 minutes. Uncover and steep 15 additional minutes in the fridge. Remove tea bags and squeeze out excess water.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups or spray an 8" baking pan.
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Add wet to dry ingredients and barely mix- just enough to combine.
Pour into muffin cups or baking pan. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Bake 18-22 minutes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Almond Cake with Cherry Buttercream Filling and Buttercream Frosting

I mean, wow, right?

I'm not going to lie, this isn't anywhere near ok for your body. The original recipe (Always With Butter) called for FIVE AND A HALF STICKS OF BUTTER. It also takes awhile to make and you'll have to wash your baking dishes a few times throughout. But I'm telling you, it's totally worth it. Everyone goes absolutely crazy for this cake, and it can serve a lot of people because first of all, it's huge- very tall. And obviously it's very rich, so even when I carefully slice very small pieces, people have a hard time finishing them.

Almond, Cherry, and Buttercream Cake
 Cake adapted from cuteanddelicious.com
2 c almond milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 c flour
2/3 c almond meal
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 TB almond extract

filling adapted from alwayswithbutter.blogspot.com
1 c Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1 c cherry preserves
2 c powdered sugar

frosting adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World
1 c Earth Balance, softened
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 TB almond milk

small bag of sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 8" round cake pans.
Whisk vinegar into almond milk, set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. 
In separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, vanilla, almond extract, and almond milk mixture. 
Pour wet ingredients into dry. Stir just until combined.
Pour batter into pans evenly. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown on edges.

Meanwhile, make cherry buttercream filling:
Beat cherry preserves and Earth Balance until combined. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Set aside.

Wait to make buttercream frosting until after cakes are finished baking and cooled:
Beat Earth Balance and powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and almond milk, beat another three minutes until fluffy.

To assemble cake, carefully slice both cakes into two even layers, making four altogether. Divide the cherry filling into thirds and spread each between a layer, stacking the layers as you go. Frost with buttercream frosting. Decorate with sliced almonds.