Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pumpkin carob muffins with fresh ginger.

Caucasian female 20-somethings: REJOICE. Pumpkin spice everything is back in your life. You don't know why salted sweets are a thing but hey, if that's what floating everyone else's top-knot, it must be great. Literally.

Ingredients I
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup carob chips

Ingredients II
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger 
3/4 cup sugar in the raw
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp vanilla-nut extract

Preheat your oven to 400F

In a small bowl, whisk together Ingredients I. I include the carob chips in my dry mix because in doing so, it'll prevent the chips from sinking to the bottom while baking.

In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together remaining ingredients. Stir in your dry mix until evenly incorporated. The batter will be a quite thick.

Spray your muffin tins (either two mini muffin tins, or one 12x muffin tin) and, with a spring-loaded ice cream scoop, fill your tins up to the top.

For mini muffins, bake for 10-12 minutes.
For muffins, bake for 18-20 minutes.

One-pan mexican quinoa.

Gone are the days of my hopes for a Chipotle to open up shop in Winnipeg, and really, I should know better. Instead, grab a 12" pan, and hold your breath while you frightfully remove that avocado pit with a dull-ass knife. The directions are painfully simple, and this only takes about 20 minutes to cook up.. did I just waste some internet?

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 small onion
1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1-19 oz can diced tomatoes
1-14 oz can black beans
1 small can of corn
Diced jalapenos, pickled or fresh
3 tsp taco seasoning or to taste (I make my own and jar it) 

1 avocado

(Optional - sour cream, cashew cream, cilantro, etc. to top)

In your pan, heat up the oil and add your garlic. Then. Add everything else in, except for the avocado. Bring to a gentle boil, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the quinoa is finished.

Really, that's that. Top with your avocado and anything else you fancy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tomato-basil hand pies.

My pal Amy (@theveganrunnergirl) just started a monthly vegan cooking club which I'm super stoked to be a part of. Today was the day we posted our tomato based goods, while hashtagging #thevegancookingclub. I went to Bulk Barn, nectar of thy gods, to get my usual supply of sundried tomatoes for some biscuits I was thinking up. But they quit selling them. God, that blows goats. I have proof. Anyhow, I decided to whip out the $2 pocket-pie press from my recent trip to America and give it a go. The results were solid, I don't look forward to the sleepless nights to follow the god-forsaken day that press bites the bullet. Until then, I'll be utilizing this thing regularly.

I'm using tomatoes and basil, both fresh from my garden. Oh, by the way, I garden. Don't get me wrong, the walls were gyrating thanks to DRI this whole while, and I spent a little while in a few dumpsters just last week.. but nothing beats garden fresh herbs and vegetables.

Yields: 5

Ingredients I
2 1/2 cups white flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp canola oil
~1 cup warm water

Ingredients II
Tomato paste
Basil, roughly chopped or pulled apart
Olives, pitted and quartered
Himalayan pink salt
Freshly ground pepper
--optional, other fillings of your choice 

Preheat oven to 400F.

For the dough, whisk together all dry ingredients, then add in your wet ingredients. Roughly mix with a fork, then get those hands in there. The dough should be a little sticky, but not so much it sticks ruthlessly to your hands. If that's the case, add a little more flour. Add your ball of flour to a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes. Ensure the dough remains a little sticky or it won't stick together nicely when you press the edges together.

I Pam'd the press, after learning the tough way it's for the best. Add your ingredients into the press, being mindful of the edges. Add your seasonings on top, the tomato paste doesn't have the high sodium content like premade pizza sauces. The edges best stay clean so the guts don't spew out during pressing and baking. I pressed the edges together, and used my finger to push away the excess dough, which I added back to my dough ball.

Bake at 400F for approximately 12 minutes. The pies are ready when you tap on the tops with a utensil and they sound a little "hollow", and the bottoms will be browned nicely. Let stand for 5 minutes before gorging. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Spicy chai-coconut cake with pistachios.

Baking with tea is not only a flavourful alternative, but cheaper than milking almonds, and hip enough to get this reblogged by folks wearing cool glasses from Zenni Optical. 

Ingredients I
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup white flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/8 cup quick oats

Ingredients II
I cup strong brewed chai tea, cooled
1/3 cup unsweetened apple butter
3 tsp white vinegar
Almond extract
Vanilla extract

Ingredients III
2/3 cup pistachios, chopped
1/3 cup slivered almonds, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 tsp freshly grated ginger

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease up your 8x8" baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together all of Ingredients I. In a separate bowl, stir together Ingredients II and add into your dry mix bowl. Fold in Ingredients III. If desired, shove a few tablespoons of coconut and/or nuts on top of the batter.

Bake for 25 minutes, rotating in between, or until a toothpick comes clean out the centre.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bean stew with toasted buckwheat and wild rice.

Holy smokes, my friend Jenna (@rawmissoulamomma) is having a 6k Vegan Buckwheat Competition in celebration of nabbing 6,000 followers. High fives all about to Jenna, she's a real peach, she is. Check out the latest entries on Instagram by searching up #buckwheat6k and immediately watching this:

For my entry, I made bean stew with toasted buckwheat and wild rice. It's real filling, and you can make it on the cheap, about $6 for a massive soup pot. Be warned, the buckwheat expand to at least 4x their original size, so don't be a turkey, practice that mise en place. 

2 tbsp dairy free butter
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, quartered
1-19oz can black beans, rinsed
1-19oz can butter beans, rinsed
3/4 cup toasted buckwheat
1/2 cup wild rice
6-8 cups water
Seasonings -- salt, pepper, cumin, coriander
Optional -- fresh dill

In your large soup pot, melt your butter on medium-high heat and add in all your fresh, chopped vegetables. Pop a lid on it for around 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.  Add in the remaining ingredients. Check up on your stew in ten minutes, and add in additional water if needed. Around 20 minutes in, your stew should be about ready. Serve with buttered bread, or crackers if you're ages 4-12 or 55+.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Homemade Clif/Simply Bars? No bake Maple almond protein bars with hemp + chia seeds.

Going to Bulk Barn is a thing all us Canadians do. With coupons in hand, and the very "secret" sampling, Bulk Barn in an investment of hard earned time, money, and metabolism. Everyone knows to start off at the farthest aisle, the snack aisle, and work your way toward the spelt flour and hemp milk, and all that other hairy, scary hippie munch. Well, that hippie munch section is my favourite section. Between the obnoxious assholes with oxblood lipstick who developed their severe gluten intolerance last month, to the old folks with legitimate life long food intolerances that I would love to gently high five and provide top notch pericare to, that section's got my name plastered all over it. Around this section, you'll swim through a big ole scene of energy bars. Some are vegan, others have those damned modified milk ingredients snuck into the midst of the listings. I love Simply Bars. I love the occasional Clif Bar. I love Lemon Luna Bars. I don't love spending $3-4 on them. I mean, I still will, when push comes to shove, but I ought to whip something similar up in the kitchen on this rainy day off, no?

1 cup rice cereal, smashed quite a bit
1 cup soy crisp cereal, smashed quite a bit
1/2 cup oat flour (or blend large flaked oats in a blender until a flour-like consistency is reached)
5 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp cashew butter (blend roasted cashews on their own for several minutes, until you get a natural nut butter consistency)
2 tbsp raw, shelled hemp seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Optional: protein powder of your choice

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and place into an 8x8" baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Press down with a spatula. Place plastic wrap over top of the whole shebang and smash it all down, compact and flat. That last manchild you datedbabysat for a while? SMASH IT UP. Your extended family who prepared you salmon sandwiches because they've well-versed in the wonderful world of veganism? Elbow drop those corners. That one (of many) dude who seems to only dig your once-in-a-blue-moon portraitures on Instagram, but doesn't give a hoot about your cookin'? Give'r, give'r, down the river!

Once pressed down a heap, refrigerate for at least an hour. The more you compact these fellas, the easier they will be to slice up, and the less likely they will be to fall apart. Rad refrigerated or frozen. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Natural vegan peanut butter cup smoothie.

Caffeine doesn't kick it in the sandbox with me, I'm vegan, and I like peanut butter cups. Enough to make your head spin, no?

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
6 ice cubes
2 tbsp natural nut butter
1 tbsp carob power
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp unsweetened, flaked coconut

Blend for 2 minutes, let sit in the fridge or freezer for 5-10 minutes, top with more coconut and chia seeds.