Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 8 Vegan Recipes of 2010 that Blew our Tops Off!

Jenn and I started out on our vegan/semi raw lifestyle in 2010, we've made lots of discoveries having to do with health, nutrition and well-being. We've also discovered lots of recipe gems that we'd like to share with you! If it wasn't for these recipes we don't know how we could have survived our first few months on this new way of eating:

1. Raw Frozen Cookie Dough Bites, original recipe from Oh She Glows

This was the first raw recipe that we made and realized, ok, raw is legit. You can still eat really yummy treats and be healthy. Case in point: Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. We took this recipe from Oh She Glows and instead of cookies, made them into little frozen chocolate covered bites. We love these because they remind us of eating raw cookie dough right out of the bowl. Best ever!

2. Gingery Blueberry-Pear Oat Muffins, original recipe from Happy Herbivore

This was the first recipe that we de-sketched and it turned out PERFECTLY. The muffins were so good that we decided to start a Vegan Muffins Monthly and make different versions of the recipe. Our little sister took these muffins to the movies to eat instead of popcorn (she's a weird kid) and her friends didn't believe her when she said they were vegan. Ha! It's the best feeling when you see that shocked look on people's faces after you give them one of your "raw" or "vegan" treats and they're like, "This is so good! How can it be vegan?!"

3. Smoked Tempeh Pizza w/ Carrot Pesto, an original Sketch-Free recipe!

This pizza was the result of Jenn wanting to make tempeh bacon, and me, wanting to make pizza. We instinctively put the two together and oh my lord! This is literally one of the best vegan, gluten-free vegan meals ever. The key was definitely in the tempeh bacon, it gave the pizza that satisfying smokiness that only vegans crave when they've been eating too much salad. Plus the crust is gluten-free!

4. Apple-Banana Mint Smoothie, an original Sketch-Free creation!

We made this smoothie when we were at our dad's house without any of our usual food stuffs, basically we had apples, frozen bananas and a mint plant growing outside. One thing led to another and there it was: the amazingly creamy and fresh tasting Apple-Banana Mint Smoothie. It was like a mint ice cream milk shake!

5. Almost-Raw Pumpkin Butter Tarts, an original Sketch-Free creation!

These tarts were originally supposed to be cooked, but our gluten-free tart shell recipe didn't end up working, so we made a raw crust and it worked perfectly! We are personally not the biggest fans of butter tarts, so I'm not sure what possessed us to make these. I think they started off as being pumpkin butter sandwich cookies, then cooked butter tarts then raw pumpkin butter tarts. It's funny how things just work out when you start getting crazy thoughts in the kitchen, like we did when making these!

6. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Sproutwheels, an original Sketch-Free creation!

You guys may have already noticed, but we're major smoked salmon fans. Anything smoked for that matter. We blame our jewish roots. Its pretty much the one flavour that we constantly crave and thus were thrilled by how similar these sproutwheels tasted like smoked salmon. We were inspired by the vege-lox sandwich from Aux Vivres in Montreal and was able to get the actual recipe online to put into these sproutwheels of goodness.

7. Raw Holiday Cashew Cheese, an original Sketch-Free creation!

We've made cashew cheese before, with rejuvelac, and we weren't huge fans, it was much too light and didn't have that sharp cheesy taste. THIS cheese however most definitely did, it tasted like aged cheddar cheese. Our whole family was just shocked, they kept saying: wow this tastes like cheese! We're like: I know! Even the dogs were begging for it as they do actual cheese.

8. Raw Macaroons, an original Sketch-Free creation!

We created these macaroons based on various raw macaroon recipes on the web. They are the easiest raw treats to make and don't require a food processor, this was before we purchased one. We brought these to a summer work party and everyone raved about how good they were, when I told them they were raw everyone was shocked, "but HOW?" lol

We just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughtful comments and support! See ya next year! :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post-Holiday Meal: Japanese Salad w/ Miso Dressing

After over-indulging in sugary treats all holiday season, I thought it was appropriate to make a colourful, healthful salad to offset all the heavy food we've eaten ;). I made a creamy miso dressing by blending the dressing in a mini blender. The olive oil got all whippy and creamy, it was perfection! We got a package in the mail from Truly Organic Foods which is a new Canadian based raw food company. We got to try their raw nut snacks. The Chipotle Pistachios were our favourite, the smokiness was phenomenal. We also got to try their Rosemary-Garlic Almonds and Pistachios which had the texture and taste of roasted nuts, but they were completely raw! I guess we're pretty new to the "raw-roasted" nut scene but these were amazing. So we sprinkled some on top along with sesame and flax seeds. I wish we had a picture of these nuts to show you, but they were so good we literally ate them all before getting a chance to photograph them. 

Handful of mixed greens
Broccoli, chopped
Sweet pepper, chopped
Tomato, diced
Green onions, sliced

1 tsp miso paste
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp dulse flakes (or sea salt)
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 clove garlic

Whip dressing in a blender until smooth. Pour on to salad. Sprinkle salad with seeds and nuts.

Question:  How are you counter-acting the holiday binge?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Raw Holiday Cashew Cheese (Vegan, GF)

First off, we hope everyone had a great Christmas! Ours was filled with family, food and fun like always. And we're really excited because we got a new camera, in between a DSLR and a regular point and shoot...definitely an upgrade from our old one. Since it was ordered online it hasn't come in yet, but when it does you can expect to see even more beautiful pics of food :P

So, onto the cheese:
Seriously, this is the best raw vegan cheese on the planet. OMG. My whole family was reveling in its cheesy goodness. Even my stepbrother who lives on McDonalds was astounded by how similar it was to real cheese! I couldn't believe it! If you want to impress non vegans with vegan food make this spread. I made this for our Christmas Eve dinner, but now that Christmas is over though you can change the add ins to whatever you like, something less festive looking, unless you're a fan of red and green.

2 1/2 cups soaked cashews
2 tsp Gen-Mai brown rice miso
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp water
chopped red pepper, parsley, green onion

Process cashews until smooth paste forms, add in all other ingredients (except for red pepper, parsley and green onion). Process until smooth. Scoop into a bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place for 12-24 hours so the miso can ferment the cheese. Then mix in veggies/herbs. Serve with crackers or cut up vegetables.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Raw Apple Pie Pudding (Vegan, GF)

I saw Lori and Michelle's Apple Pie Parfait post and was inspired to make an Apple pie pudding for breakfast this morning! I literally just improvised the ingredients and it worked out really well and tasted just like an apple pie. You could also serve these puddings in a smaller portion for dessert, especially as a part of a raw holiday dinner.

Pudding topped with chopped walnuts and golden flax seeds

Apple "Filling":
1/2 cup apple, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp maple syrup/agave
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp water, to thin
3 medjool dates, soaked

1/2 cup apple, peeled and chopped (to mix in whole)

Puree all ingredients in a food processor or hand blender. If you are making only one serving a hand blender might work better. Stir in whole apple pieces. Set aside.

1/2 cup soaked raw cashews
3 medjool dates, soaked
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut, shredded
2 tsp maple syrup/agave
2 tbsp water/almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Spread on top of apple filling. Sprinkle with walnuts and seeds. Let sit in the fridge overnight or for several hours. Makes one large serving or two smaller servings. (Jac and I shared one big bowl this morning)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Raw Maple-Cinnamon Coconut Cookies (Vegan, GF)

Raw treats are one of our favourite things to make because they are basically fool proof, ie. no baking. We love just making treats up as we go along such as these cookies. They were originally based off of our Raw Macaroon recipe, but since we added coconut flour, it made them more dense and cookie like. Basically, they were really really yummy, especially if you put maple-cinnamon caramel drizzle on top :) These would be really good as Christmas cookies too.

2 cups shredded coconut (I re-hydrated mine by soaking for a few hours because it was really hard, if you have softer coconut you probably don't need to soak)
6 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup (for truly raw, you could sub agave or raw honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract (for truly raw, sub dried vanilla bean powder)
4 tbsp melted coconut oil

Maple-Cinnamon Icing:
1/4 cup packed dates
2 tbsp maple syrup (truly raw, sub agave or raw honey)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp coconut oil
Water to thin

Combine all ingredients for cookies. Roll into balls, place on a wax-paper lined flat surface and press into a round cookie shape. Combine ingredients for glaze in a food processor. Pipe onto cookies. Top with nuts. Freeze until hardened. Makes 20 cookies.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vegan Muffins Monthly: Gingerbread-Walnut (Vegan, GF)

Muffin #3, Gingerbread! For Christmas' sake and for the molasses that has been staring at me everyday for the last 3 weeks. 

*Adapted from Happy Herbivore's Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

So, as you can see my coffee grinder is not the best so there were still some quinoa grains fully intact...Extra crunch?
1 3/4 cup Gluten-free flour blend (I substituted quinoa flour for the brown rice flour and it worked!)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Pour wet into dry. Stir until combined. Add walnuts. Stir until further combined. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake for 26 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 10 muffins.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Smoked Tempeh Pizza w/ Carrot Pesto (Vegan, GF)

Pizza is one of our greatest loves, but it's harder than you think to make a gluten-free pizza crust without using chemicals. We decided to try to make a crust out of our Brown Rice Flax Tortillas and it worked perfectly! We topped our pizza with smoked tempeh crumbles which we were inspired to make after having tempeh bacon at Fresh Restaurant in Toronto. It is a couple minutes away from a musical theatre workshop we are currently taking downtown so we will definitely be going back. Here is how we made the pizza!

GF Pizza Crust
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1/4 cup rice bran
2 tbsp finely ground flaxseed
3/4 tsp baking powder (add if you like thick crust)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4-1 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp agave or raw honey

Combine all ingredients and form into a flat disc shape. Add more water if it's too crumbly. Press onto an oiled cookie sheet (we think coconut oil works best) and prick with a fork. Bake in a 325F oven for 20 minutes. Set aside.

Smoked Tempeh Bits
2 tbsp safflower oil
1 tbsp tamari
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried basil (optional)
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
Sea salt and pepper

Pour over 1 cup of crumble tempeh and let marinate while you prepare the pesto.

Carrot Pesto Sauce
1 large carrot (rough chopped)
1/2 cup of parsley
2 tbsp chopped red onion
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
Sea salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until it is a "pesto consistency". Set aside.

Hummus "Cheese" Sauce
1/2 cup hummus
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

After you have baked the crust. Spread carrot pesto onto crust. Sprinkle on tempeh bits and sliced red onion in an even layer. Pipe on "cheese" by putting sauce in a ziploc bag and cutting off one of the corners. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 350F oven.

I know the crust looks crackly, but I promise it only LOOKS that way, it actually stays together really nicely.

 Ok, so we just tried the pizza and OMG the smoked tempeh is ridiculous! This is definitely one of the best vegan things we've ever made!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Homemade Unsweetened Carob Chips (Vegan, GF)

You'll find that in a lot of our recipes, we use carob instead of chocolate. The reason being is that carob is much lower in caffeine, although it does still contain mild stimulating properties (theobromine) in trace amounts, and it delivers that chocolatey flavour in a more mild and gentle way. I also tend to go a little crazy when I consume raw cacao, my heart will start racing and jumping all over the place. So for that reason, I stick to carob, Jenn on the other hand doesn't seem to have these problems.  I used roasted carob and coconut oil to make super easy Carob chips! I suppose you could use raw carob, I don't know how that tastes. I think for optimum chocolate flavour though, roasted seems to taste better. There is also no need to add sweetness because carob is naturally sweet, if you are substituting cocoa in this recipe, then I would add a little sweetness to taste. Can't wait to use these in carob chip cookies! :)

1/2 cup roasted carob powder
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Mix together, simple as that. Spread on a parchment lined flat surface and allow to cool in fridge. Chop into chips, store in a cool place until ready to use.

Here is one of our favourite carob recipes:
Carob-Blueberry Energy Bars

Ways to use the chips:
Raw Frozen Cookie Dough Bites (Vegan, GF)
Chocolate Chip PB Balls (Vegan, GF)
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, GF)
Cocoa-Coco-Nut-Nut Cookies (Vegan, GF)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quinoa Apple-Cinnamon Breakfast Cake (Vegan, GF)

This recipe is originally based off of the Quinoa Applesauce Cake that I see all over the gluten-free web. I veganized it, added chopped apples, cinnamon, added hazelnut meal, rice bran (for fibre), arrow root powder, used roasted hazelnut oil instead of canola and eliminated the sugar by substituting maple syrup instead. I have been drinking the same old smoothie everyday for breakfast, I wanted something crazy, like cake! This makes for a satisfying, and filling breakfast, and it tasted so yummy! You could most likely get away with serving it for dessert with ice cream too.

1 1/4 cups quinoa flour
1/4 cup hazelnut meal (or almond meal), or substitute with another 1/4 cup of quinoa flour
1/4 cup rice bran
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup oil (I used roasted hazelnut oil)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 flax egg
1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 large apple, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl (including nut meal), set aside. Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl, set aside. Add chopped apple to dry mixture, then add wet mixture to dry and stir until combined. Pour mixture into a greased cake pan, or loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour. (I baked mine in 1 hr, 5 min).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brown Rice Flax Tortillas (Xanthan Gum-Free, Vegan, GF)

Ok, this is a BIG DEAL. We successfully made xantham-gum free, gluten-free tortillas! But, since there's no "glueing agent' you can't toss them around every which way like a regular bread dough, in other words it's very delicate work. But, unlike wheat dough, the more you play with it, the stronger and more malleable it gets :) So if you mess up while rolling, just form it back into a ball and start over. I was reading the ingredients for brown rice pasta and noticed that it included rice bran, so I thought to include it in tortillas and it worked like a charm. Rice bran is known to be one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth and might I add, is ridiculously cheap! I got a 2 pound bag of it for about $2.

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1/4 cup rice bran
2 tbsp finely ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp agave, or honey

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine warm water and honey/agave in a measuring cup and add to dry mixture. You may need to add more sweet rice flour, use your judgement but also remember that it will absorb flour while rolling.
2. Heat a skillet to medium and add oil, distribute evenly with a spatula or heat-proof pastry brush. When oil is hot, turn down heat to low and wait about 7 minutes until the temperature stabilizes. Also have a plate beside the stove (you'll know why later).
3. Sprinkle sweet rice flour over a clean countertop, wet your hands with some warm water, rip off a small piece of the dough and knead it in your hands until it becomes nice and doughy, then form into a disc, sprinkle some more sweet rice flour on top. Roll as thinly as possible. Using a spatula, lift the dough off of the surface CAREFULLY, while also using your hands, put it in skillet.
4. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown on the one side. Using spatula, lift off of skillet and put on empty plate. Add more oil and brush with pastry brush to evenly coat. Put tortilla back in pan this time on the other side. Cook until golden brown or when you think it is sufficiently cooked through.
5. This is important: put cooked tortilla immediately into a large ziploc bag (this allows it to steam and become soft), as you make the tortillas add each one to this ziploc bag and this is how you can store them. The tortillas should stay in the bag for at least a few hours so they can really moisten up. You may notice that one side may be crackly, if you are using this for a wrap, roll with this side facing inside. Makes 8 tortillas.

A wrap of avocado and tomato, you can see how flexible the tortillas are, not your ordinary gluten-free wrap!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pomegranate-Coconut Granola (Vegan, GF)

You may not know this, but Jenn and I are cereal fiends! We will buy a huge box of cereal and it will literally only last one single day. We just love it! We were inspired by edible perspective's recipes for granola, and decided to make our own! We replaced the applesauce with pomegranate seed puree, if you want a stronger pomegranate flavour you can easily substitute the puree for juice, the seeds just add extra fibre. As well we added a berry tea bag, this made ALL the difference, if you have pomegranate tea, all the better, but we used acai berry. The results were a very berry-licious breakfast cereal :)

1 cup GF oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
4 tbsp brown rice syrup, agave, maple syrup, or honey (we used honey)
3 tbsp pomegranate juice (see description above)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp hemp oil
1 tea bag worth of berry tea leaves
Pinch of salt
Varied dried fruit

Preheat oven to 325. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl except for tea. Combine wet ingredients +tea in another bowl. Combine wet into dry. Stir until combined. Spread evenly onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring granola with a spatula every 5 minutes to prevent burning. It will still be soft after 30 minutes, allow to cool and it will harden up. Mix in dried fruit. Makes 3 bowls of cereal.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Pudding (Vegan, GF)

So last night, Jenn and I ventured out to make a pumpkin pie without eggs and replaced them with flax eggs. As you can predict, it did not turn out as well as we wanted it to, actually it didn't turn out at all! So note to vegan thanksgivingers: non-tofu vegan pumpkin pies requires eggs unless you can find a magical recipe that doesn't and works. Actually I came across one that looks promising from Affairs of Living: We are major fans of this allergen-free vegan recipe blog. For the crust I found this recipe for a cornflake crust, except I replaced the cornflakes with a millet-rice cereal and added some coconut oil. The cookie-like crumbs you see on the pudding is this very crust that was leftover and didn't fit into the pie dish. It was a really good crust and stayed together after baking, unlike the filling, which was a lost cause. So, we had all these leftover pumpkin pie ingredients, so I said what the heck, let's make pudding!

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of cloves

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Let sit overnight in the fridge or for a few hours until chilled. Makes 1 large serving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Marble Fudge (Vegan, GF)

These are by far the most satisfying vegan treats I've ever made. Fudge takes a snap to make, just throw everything in a food processor and you're off! And marbling makes fudge more sophisticated looking, don't you think? Anyway, there's no way you can go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate...ever. Another delicious vegan PB and chocolate treat!

Chocolate Fudge:
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup raw honey, agave, or maple syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Peanut Butter Fudge:
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 raw honey, agave, or maple syrup
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

For chocolate fudge: Process the cashews in a food processor until it turns into a dense butter (it should look sort of like play-doh but still be crumbly, no nut pieces though!) Then add cocoa and salt. Blend until combined. Add sweetener of choice, coconut oil and vanilla. Blend until thoroughly combined, it should ball up at this point. Take out and set aside on cutting board or clean countertop.
For peanut butter fudge: Process cashews the same way as for the chocolate fudge. Add salt, blend until combined. Add peanut butter, sweetener of choice, coconut oil and vanilla. Process until thoroughly combined.
Rip doughs into 4 large chunks so you have 8. Marble fudge by combining the 8 separate pieces together, and knead until you see it marbling. Shape into a flat rectangle a good inch thick. Chill covered in fridge overnight or at least 3 hours. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Raw Pistachio Pudding (Vegan, GF)

I don't know why but I have been obsessed with pudding. The last time I made chocolate pudding, I noticed how pretty the green colour was before I added cocoa in. And thought, how can I make green pudding visually and appetizingly appealing?...Pistachios! The pistachios in this pudding should be peeled, unless you'd like extra fibre. Once they're soaked they are quite easy to peel, you just have to squeeze em every which way until it pops out of its skin. I put this in the freezer and it was really close to pistachio ice cream :) and it's raw!

1/2 cup soaked pistachios, peeled
1 avocado
Water, to thin
3 tbsp agave syrup (or to desired sweetness)
1/2 - 3/4 tsp vanilla extract or almond extract
1 1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
Squirt of lemon juice

Process the pistachios until very smooth (takes a good few minutes) in food processor, add all other ingredients. Process until smooth. Let set in refrigerator for a few hours. Makes one serving.

I found this food timeline website and it shows when foods were introduced, I never knew pistachios were this ancient, see for yourself.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Smoked Salmon and Cream-Cheese Sproutwheels (Vegan, GF)

Jenn and I travelled to Montreal a few weeks ago to visit some friends and we went to Aux Vivres. We both were craving a substantial sandwich so she got the "BLT" with coconut bacon, it was actually not bad. And I got the Vegelox sandwich. I could not believe how much it tasted like salmon, we were floored! So, I was searching for a "mock" salmon salad and came across this blog and they had the ACTUAL recipe for vegelox posted, I don't know how they got it but I'm so glad I found it. So naturally I planned to make it, but instead of your everyday sandwich, I thought it would be fun in pinwheel form. I even made carrot juice, just to use the pulp, ya very eager. The tortilla used is a sprouted grain, which ISN'T gluten-free but it's the healthier alternative to a regular flour tortilla. If you'd like a Gluten-Free Tortilla, check out this recipe. These were so so good, I finally have somewhat satisfied my smoked salmon step at a time...:)

1 cup carrot juice pulp
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp dulse flakes
3-4 dashes liquid smoke
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients in a food process and process until combined. Taste and adjust condiments as necessary. 

Cream Cheese:
3/4 cup cashews, soaked
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Warm 2 sprouted grain tortillas (they must be warm or else it will be difficult to roll), spread a layer of cream cheese onto tortillas then spread on vegelox, I find its easier to spread it with your hands. Next layer any kind of sprout (I used alfalfa), and roll. Once rolled, cut into 1 inch thick slices and secure with toothpick. Makes 12-14 pinwheels.

To make these Gluten-free, wrap in our Brown Rice Flax Tortillas!

A perfect appetizer for your vegan friends!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vegan Muffins Monthly: Carrot Cake (Vegan, GF)

For some reason Jenn has always "LOVED" carrot muffins even when she was little. She was kind of weird, I know. I would of course go for a sugar covered chocolate chip muffin like a typical sugar hungry kid. But now I kind of get why she loves them so much. Carrots have a high "sugar" content, making them really sweet tasting (try carrot juice, it is soo sweet) which deams them perfect for these fat free, gluten-free, vegan muffins. They are pictured here topped with apple butter and almonds.

*Adapted from Happy Herbivore's Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

1 3/4 cups Gluten-free Flour Blend (see substitutions)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sucunat
1 cup grated carrot
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Pour wet into dry. Stir until combined. Add in carrots, stir until further combined. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake for 26 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 10 muffins.

Check out October's muffin!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Coconut-Chocolate Pudding + Stevia? (Vegan, GF)

I've been on a raw pudding craze these past few weeks, they are just so simple to make and so so satisfying. I've been doing banana-avocado-carob combinations with maple syrup and my oh my, maple and carob go soo well together, who knew?!
I recently went out on a limb and purchased stevia in liquid form, I haphazardly made the mistake of not researching the product before I bought it. And low and behold, I found out that buying liquid stevia is actually a huge rip off and that you can easily make your own with the powdered extract, which is cheaper.  I do like how it comes in a tincture and you can control the drops though. The brand that I bought was advertised to NOT have a bitter aftertaste, it IS slightly bitter, so the next time I will probably combine it with another sweetener. I also found out that stevia extract is quite refined, and that it's best to buy the dried and powdered leaves (the powder should be green, not white). All in all stevia seems to be safe, I mean it is a herb, and when I use it, I don't feel the sugar "rush" I tend to feel with agave or honey.

Anyway, I managed to make a yummy pudding out of it! :)

Coconut Joy!

1 avocado
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, ground
3 spoonfuls cocoa powder
8 drops stevia (or reduce drops and add other sweetener)
Water, to thin out
Squirt of lemon juice (to prevent oxidation)

Combine avocado, coconut milk, chia seed meal, lemon juice and stevia in a blender. Blend until combined, add water to thin to desired consistency, but be aware that the chia seeds will thicken it up quite a bit. Leave overnight in fridge to set. Makes 1 large serving.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ezekiel's Wheel Salad- from Aarti Paarti (Vegan, GF)

You may have already noticed, but we are huge fans of Aarti from The Next Food Network Star and she won! So now she has her own show on the Food Network called Aarti Party. Unfortunately it is not being aired in Canada as of yet but when it does you can bet we will be following her wonderful Indian food adventures religiously! We've been watching her video blog (before she was famous) for some time now, and her videos are just so silly! But also informative; AND a lot of the recipes she makes are vegan, like this salad! You can watch Aarti make it here, and I bet you will be tempted to watch more you'll see! Aarti also explains in the video why she called it Ezekiel's Wheel Salad if you are curious :)

So onto the salad, it features so many yummy components it's hard to believe that it would taste anything but delicious! It's also very filling which is important for vegans, and it has pomegranate seeds in it! which are in season right now and apparently they go really well with tahini. Also, a side note about the spices: I was unable to find Zaatar, the middle-eastern spice blend, so I looked it up and all it is, is ground sumac, oregano, marjoram, thyme and toasted sesame seeds, I couldn't find sumac so I substituted lemon zest and put in a little extra salt. Enjoy!

1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup or so of hot water
1 clove of garlic
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 cans chick peas, drained and rinsed (2 small or 1 and 1/2 large cans)
3 roasted red peppers
Handful of pomegranate seeds or 3-4 pickled beets
Handful chopped parsley
Zaatar (3/4 tsp oregano, 3/4 tsp marjoram, 3/4 tsp thyme, 1 tbsp lemon zest, salt)
Ground black pepper

Combine shallot, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl, let sit while you toast your pine nuts. Add tahini and water until you have a dressing that is not sticky but the consistency of a cream-based salad dressing or yogurt. Combine everything else in! Mix until combined. It gets even better if you leave it overnight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Butternut Squash Bruschetta with Sage Pesto (Vegan, GF)

Sage is one of those herbs that grows so easily and abundantly, but, what do you do with it besides put it in your vegan stuffing...Jenn and I were looking for a recipe to use our many bunches of sage leaves and came across this recipe from Dishin' and Dishes. It looked so unique! We made it sketch-free by replacing the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast, and using brown rice bread instead of white baguette. The bread does have xantham gum, because we have yet to find a store-bought gluten-free bread without it, if any one knows of any please let us know! The bruschetta was very aromatic and sagey, so if you are not a sage fan, don't make this because it thrives on a love of sage. :)

True Sage love
1 small butternut squash, diced
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
Red pepper flakes
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Brown Rice or other Gluten-free Bread

Combine above ingredients in a bowl, toss to coat with olive oil.
Preheat oven to 400F, spread squash mixture evenly on a baking sheet, bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through and roasty :).

1 cup fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup walnuts
Olive oil

Combine above ingredients into food processor, drizzle olive oil until mixture forms into a spreadable pesto consistency.

Cut bread into manageable pieces, drizzle with olive oil and bake in oven until toasted (about 10 minutes on 400F). Once toasted, spread pesto onto each piece and top with squash mixture. Put back in oven for 3-4 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 12 pieces.