Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hiatus? But It's Not the End!

Hello Kitchen Grrrls readers!!

I am popping in to let you know that we will be going on an indefinite hiatus. I'm sure we'll post every now and then when there is time, but for now I didn't want our blog to be one of those sad blogs that's left out-of-date without any explanation. I am very sad but right now I'm trying to figure out my life (AHHHH!) and that takes quite a bit of consideration thus preventing me from being regularly active on the blog. This isn't the end because I love this blog!!

Until next time, enjoy the rest of your summer and keep on rocking!! TTFN :D

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Curried Kale and Tofu Spring Rolls


These spring rolls are the perfect light summer meal (wait, I guess these are summer rolls?). But that doesn't mean they're light on flavour or nutrients ;) Leafy green kale and protein-packed tofu make these babies some great grub.


Making spring/summer rolls can seem like an arduous task but once you get in the groove it's really not so bad. The thing that I find the most difficult is not eating too many of the spring rolls while I'm assembling them.


You could eat these spring/summer rolls on their own as a meal or as a quick snack or with some soup! Oh, the possibilities!

Ironically, Conoisseurous Veg made these in Autumn but here we are making them in Summer on a day that feels rather Fall-like. Haha. Where is Summer? I hope it's hot and sunny where you are!

Curried Kale Spring Rolls
adapted from Conisseurous Veg

Ingredients
For the rolls:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 package of tofu, pressed
2 cups kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
¼ cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 scallion, thinly sliced
8 rice paper wrappers

For dipping sauce:
2 tbsp lime juice
 ½ tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

Directions

Break down the tofu by either using a fork or your fingers. You don't want to crumble it too fine. Make sure there's still some texture to it.

Heat olive in a pan over medium high heat. Toss in the garlic and heat for 1 min. Add the tofu, peanuts, and kale to the pan, saute for about 5 mins. Add lime juice, curry powder, soy sauce or tamari, and scallions. Stir about to distribute and heat everything through.

Fill a wide, shallow bowl with warm water. Make sure you have a clean open space to roll your spring rolls as well as something like a clean cutting board to lay finished spring rolls.

Place a single piece of rice paper in the water for about 30 secs then lay it out flat and fill with a 1/4 cup of the tofu and kale mixture. Roll it up and proceed to make more rolls until the mixture is gone.

Whisk all of the dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and transfer to an even smaller bowl (lol) or dish. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Brownies {Vegan}


We will not be held responsible for any damage caused to your keyboard which you have effectively drooled all over. Obviously, you're drooling right now because these look so delicious. And, guess what? They are! These are ooey-gooey-nice-and-chewy-rhythm-and-blues... yeah! (If anyone other than Riley gets that reference then we need to be best friends for eternity). Take the time and effort to make these but REMEMBER.... they need to cool! And cool well they must before you can enjoy. 


Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Brownies

From Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
Makes 16 brownies

Ingredients
3 ounces firm silken tofu, like Mori-Nu (1/4 of the package)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the cream cheese topping
8 ounces plain vegan cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8-inch brownie pan with parchment paper; it should cover the bottom as well as curve up and cover the sides. Take cream cheese out of the fridge to soften it.

Puree the tofu, nondairy milk, and oil in a blender or food processor until smooth and fluffy. (I used a hand-held immersion blender) Use a spatula to scrape down the sides to make sure you get everything.

Transfer the tofu mixture to a mixing bowl. Use a fork to vigorously mix in the sugar. Add vanilla.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Using a sifter is important; clumpy cocoa or cornstarch can ruin your precious brownie, so sift! Use a spatula to fold and mix batter until smooth. Transfer the batter to the pan and spread to corners of the pan.

To make the topping: In a mixing bowl, using electric beaters, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the arrowroot powder, flour and vanilla and beat once more until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the entire mixture over the uncooked brownie batter, smoothing the topping evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and gently stir the topping once more to distribute the chips into the topping.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. When it’s cool enough to touch, place the pan in the refrigerator to chill the brownies overnight or until firm. The easiest way to slice cooled fudgy brownies is to use a regular disposable plastic knife, running it through the brownies, top to bottom, end to end. Store the brownies chilled and in a tightly covered container, letting them warm on the counter for 10 minutes prior to serving, if desired.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kale and Orzo Soup with White Beanballs


This soup looks like an Italian Wedding soup to me. Can't say I've ever had one. An Italian Wedding Soup or an Italian wedding. 

Sometimes, I'm not even sure what I'm writing. But I will say that I always end up cracking myself up. I hope you can appreciate my zany humour, too.


This soup is so flavourful! The beanballs are just killer. I love me a good beanball, like these we made FOUR years ago! 

I just felt so healthy and satisfied after eating this soup. I was like "life is good." Do you ever feel that way after eating a meal?  If you haven't, try out this soup! You won't regret it ;)

Kale and Orzo Soup with White Beanballs
adapted from Shock Munch

Ingredients
For beanballs:
1 small onion, minced 
2 cans of white beans, like Navy or even Romano, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp vegetable seasoning
zest of 1 lemon
sprinkling of red pepper flakes

For soup:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried orzo
9 cups veggie broth
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 bunch of kale, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with oil.

Mash beans in a large bowl. You want them pretty much completely mashed but if parts of beans are still visible, no problem! Add the remaining beanball ingredients. Add a dash of water if the mixture seems dry.

Form golf ball-sized beanballs and place them on the baking sheet. Spritz or drizzle with oil. Bake the balls for 30 mins, flipping at the halfway mark.

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add onion, carrots, celery and red pepper. Cook for 3-5 mins. Throw in the garlic and the orzo, stir about for 30 secs. Pour in the broth and let simmer for 15-20 mins. Add in the lemon juice and kale and turn off the heat.

When the beanballs are finished, remove from the oven and add some to each bowl. Ladle over the soup and enjoy!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Vegan Blueberry Handpies with Coconut Oil Crust


HANDPIES AND HUGS FOR ALL!

I definitely feel like that should be some sort of mandate. That, or everyone should have a hand pie in their back pocket. For those times when you need a little hand. Haha, cheeeese.


Hand pies are portable pillows of joy and plump juicy fruit.

Blueberry might be my favourite fruit to use in desserts. The crunchy (and oh so plentiful) seeds in raspberries just turn me off any most desserts that utilize them.

Blueberries offer such great colour along with being sweet (and virtually seedless) that it's a win-win.


The pastry for these hand pies is flaky and slightly sweet, just the way I like it! Our hand pies are not suuuuper golden but, ya know, we were trying not to go overboard with the whole decadence thing. Sheesh! 


Things get a little messy when these babies bake up, so totally make sure to line that baking sheet with some parchment. Otherwise, good luck scrubbing for dayzzz.

After trying these handpies you'll have to scrub their memory from your mind or else you'll be baking up a batch everyday! Too far? Maybe? You be the judge.


Go bake yourself some!

Vegan Blueberry Hand Pies
adapted from Memo 2 Munch 

Ingredients
2 ¼ cup AP flour
½ cup coconut oil such as Cocozia, solid 
½ cup ice water
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (we used a mix of both)
zest of 1 lemon¼ cup organic sugar
¼ tsp. salt
vegan margarine, melted

Directions
For the filling, toss blueberries, lemon zest, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour and salt together in a large bowl, mix to combine. Add coconut oil and use a using a fork to incorporate until mixture is crumbly. Add the water, a little bit at a time, until dough starts to come together. Make sure it is wet enough that it will stick together to form a ball.

Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 5-6 inch rounds. Whatever will get the job done will do i.e. bowls, cups, plates

Scoop a nice spoonful of the filling onto one side of the circle of dough. Don’t forget to leave enough room to seal it up.
 
 Before you seal these precious pouches, wet your finger and (stick it in someone’s ear. jk!) run it along the outer edge of the dough. Fold dough in half and crimp the edges shut with a fork.

Brush margarine on top of the hand pies.

Bake for 30-35 mins or until golden. Let them cool slightly before removing from pan. 

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mac and Cheeze with Jackfruit Pulled un-Pork


I had to make (kind of) a big decision today. I won't get into the specifics but I will say this: I didn't choose the practical, safe route. I chose what felt right for me and I think what will, in the long run, benefit me and my future career. 

You can never quite be sure if you're making the right decision but you've got to make a decision and stick with it. Don't look back!


It's times like these when comfort food is ALWAYS helpful. It's for times like these that mac and cheeze was created! For me, there's nothing quite as good as a nice bowl of pasta coated in a cheezy sauce. Add some pulled un-pork and a way we go.


This was our first time making a dish with jackfruit and I quite enjoyed it. We found it difficult to really crisp up the jackfruit, no matter how long we kept it baking in the oven. Nonetheless it was tasty and nice topping to the mac. It's really great how jackfruit just assumes the flavour of whatever you put on it. It's definitely a versatile ingredient. But it's so freaky how much it looks like meat. Just look at it! To let that deter you from trying out jackfruit.


So when you have to make hard choices or the going gets rough, I recommend comfort food and quality time with family and/or friends. It's a no-brainer! 

Caitlin picked up some Tofutti Yours Truly (the most amazing vegan frozen treats) and those always make for the BEST ending to a delicious meal!

Mac and Cheeze with Jackfruit Pulled un-Pork 
Ingredients
Jackfruit Pulled un-Pork adapted from Yup It's Vegan
1 can of jackfruit, drained
approx.. ½ your favourite BBQ sauce

Cheeze Sauce adapted from The Sweetest Vegan
1 package cooked small shell pasta, or whatever pasta shape you enjoy
1 can romano beans, rinsed and drained (you could use navy or cannellini as well)
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup cooked sweet potato
2 - 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup almond milk
a few splashes of vegetable stock, as needed

Directions
Pulled un-Pork
Remove hard ends from jackfruit. Separate jackfruit into shreds using your hands.

Place jackfruit in a small saucepan and coat with BBQ sauce. Heat on medium-high heat and cook for 10 to 12 mins, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove jackfruit from saucepan and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure the jackfruit is assembled in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Bake for 15 mins or until the jackfruit is crisped.

Mac and Cheeze
Blend together romano beans, nutritional yeast, sweet potato, soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, tahini, agave nectar, yellow bell pepper, and almond milk. If the mixture is too thick, add a few dashes of vegetable stock until you reach your desired consistency.

You want a finely pureed sauce. No chunks. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 mins.

Pour it over warm pasta and mix well so that all the shells are coated.

Top with pulled un-pork/ jackfruit and/or broccoli. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Gooey Chocolate Brownies


DAAAYUUUUUMMM! Don't those brownies look good? 

Better yet, they taste amazing!


An oh-so-thin crinkle top and chocolatey, fudgy goodness. They're a thing of beauty and delight. Brownies might be the best way to fix a chocolate craving. And these are super chocolatey.


Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and all of the other cookbooks by Isa and Terry never cease to amaze me. So many delicious and pretty much foolproof recipes!


You know what would go great with a little (or big) brownie? Some delicious vegan ice cream! Just this past weekend I was oogling the wide variety of Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavours when I said to my mom "Why doesn't Ben & Jerry's have a vegan ice cream? They are based in Vermont, I feel like they should be all on that vegan ice cream train!" (or something like that) and now today I hear that they're going to start making vegan ice cream and that there's been a petition on change.org for a while. Freaky!! It's about time, I say. I'm sooooo excited!

Gooey Chocolate Brownies
from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Ingredients
3 ounces silken tofu
¼ cup unsweetened original almond milk
½ cup canola oil
1 cup organic sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup AP flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 375˚F and grease an 8x8 inch pan.

Puree tofu, milk, and oil in a blender until smooth and frothy. Make sure everything is well incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides every now and then.

Pour the tofu mixture into a large bowl. Mix in vanilla and sugar.

Sift in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula, until smooth. Transfer to pan and make the top smooth.

Bake for 30-32 minutes. Once removed from the oven, let the brownies cool for minimum 15 minutes. 

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