Thursday, November 26, 2015

Epic Birthday Cookie Dough Balls


HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAITLIN!! 

If you haven't already guessed it. It's Caitlin's birthday today. I won't tell you how old she is because, ya know, she is a modest lady who never discusses her age. LOL ;P


These cookie dough balls are epic because they are dipped in melted chocolate PLUS they have a hidden dollop of peanut butter beneath the chocolate coating. And, duh, they have sprinkles on them. Anything and everything with sprinkles is epic. 


There was a random star sprinkle in our container of nonpareils. So exciting!

Have a fantastic day everyone! And Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating!

Happy 26th Caitlin!!!

{Recipe to come}

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beets, Butternut Squash, and Tofu Bowl with Cheezy Pesto


Roasted vegetables are my Autumn jam! Soft, caramelized and full of flavour. Honestly, what could be better this time of year?

You can make a simple dish or add lots of accoutrements. Either way, you have a pretty easy meal on your hands when roasted veggies are involved.


We added a cheezy basil sauce, which creates a nice savoury contrast to the sweet vegetables. Tofu and wheat berries add a nice dose of protein. You could also serve this with whole grain rice. 

Roasted Veggies

Ingredients
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
3 beets, peeled and diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
freshly cracked pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place all the veggies in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over veggies. Mix about until everything is evenly coated.

Spread the veggies out in a single layer on a cookie sheet, you may need two. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, remove from the oven around 15 mins and give everything a stir.

When the 30 mins are up make sure everything is soften and golden if it is remove from the oven for good.

Basil Cheeze Sauce
adapted from Oh She Glows

Ingredients
1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 30 minutes, reserve the water
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup water, use the water from soaking the cashews and you will get bonus points
1 ½ cups lightly packed basil leaves
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt or Herbamere
freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Drain cashews and reserve the water. Put everything in a food processor, Vitamix, Ninja, Magic Bullet, etc. and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the edges every once in a while. Add more water, if necessary, to get the right consistency.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Veg Food Fest 2015


TAKE ME BAAACCKK! 

It's been two weeks since Veg Food Fest and I can taste all of the food like it was yesterday. 

The above photo is of a selection of treats from Bloomer's. Oh Bloomer's, how I love thee! Best doughnuts in the city, I say. As does Caitlin and our mom. The texture is like a Krispie Kreme doughnut except with more substance to it. I always found Krispie Kreme to be too airy and like "Did I just eat a doughnut or a ring of air because I can't tell!?" PLUS Bloomer's must put a little nutmeg in the batter or something and it's just divine. The thing in the middle was an iced cookie sandwich with raspberry jam in the centre. Awesome as well! The cookies reminded me of lemon icebox-type cookies. The butter tart had raisins in it so I passed but the crust was nice.


It was a drizzly, cool weekend but the food was so good I hardly noticed. It looks really dead here but it was pretty busy considering the weather. I took this near the end of the day on Sunday (the festival runs from Friday to Sunday).


Govinda's is someplace we've always wanted to try but just never have. The samosa, malai kofta, and green curry were mmm-mmm good. The coleslaw and eggplant and potatoes were my least favourite on the plate. I'm so glad we finally got to try Govinda's!


Doug McNish is an amazing chef! He was at the Vegan Food and Drink Festival as well. On the left is a Raw Tostada and it's one of the best things I've eaten. Packed with flavour. On the right is the Polenta Poutine, it is seriously awe-inspiring. Those polenta "fries" were so crispy and delicious. The gravy is sparse here but SO good. 


This dish was just KILLER. My favourite meal of the day. It's from Ital Vital. The soy chunks were coated with the best sweet BBQ sauce. I have a serious craving for this now.


The quesadilla and kebobs are from King's Cafe - thumbs up!


Vital Life soooo good! Caitlin says that the soy curls taste like cinnamon buns. I could literally eat a plate of just the soy curls! They were almost candied or something. The rice and greens were yummy as well. 


Goodies from Sweets from the Earth. Swoon! Here is a S'mores Cookie and Blueberry Cake. The cookie was chewy and gooey and just everything you would want a s'mores cookie to be. We were so pleasantly surprised by the blueberry cake! It was the lightest, fluffiest cake that was slightly spongey in the best way possible. The blueberry sauce on top was nice and slightly sweet.

I had such a good time at Veg Food Fest 2015 and I know my belly was stoked about it, too. I'm so thankful that we have such a great festival here in Toronto. We now have plenty more places to check out to get our vegan eat on!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cosmic Treats - Kensington Market Vegan Eats


I was so excited to see a new vegan spot open up in Toronto. I feel like FINALLY we're getting a robust vegan scene here in the city. This makes me suuuuper pleased.

I've only tried two of items they offer, the Chocolate Frosted Brownie and Cake Batter ice cream. They also have a few "real food" items on the menu, it's not just desserts. Check out the website here.


This brownie I would say, is cake-y yet chewy. It was nice and sort of unique. I find if you have a cake-y brownie there's no chew to be had but Cosmic Treats proved me wrong. I really appreciated the frosting on top. It added even more chocolate flavour and who wouldn't want that?! Delicious!

(As you can see, I couldn't stop myself from digging in before snapping a pic)


Next up? Cake Batter ice cream! I just can't say "No" to something with sprinkles in it, I just can't! I had this on a separate day hence the cell phone picture versus a more stylized photo. 

The majority of their ice creams are cashew-based, so I was told. The cake batter flavour is subtle, I'd say you just get more of a vanilla flavour. Nothing wrong with that because there are large pieces of chewy vanilla cake within it! Lots of pieces to be honest. It made the ice cream really stellar ;)

Something that I will note is that the ice cream is hella expensive. This picture might be deceiving but this scoop was smaaalllll and it was $4.80 including tax. I'm not too sure how that compares with other vegan ice cream joints, however. Eating it did put a smile on my face, though, and isn't that what it's all about?

So, definitely check out Cosmic Treats, I will be back to try some of the other items that they offer.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan}


Cookies. What fine creations. It is a somewhat humble dessert in comparison to cakes, pies, and tarts but when done right it can move mountains. Hahah okay maybe a little dramatic; I am a cookie gal afterall, so I enjoy a good cookie.

Making two separate doughs for these cookies might seem labour-intensive but how can you not when it makes your cookies look so sophisticated!? 

I will admit that I preferred the double chocolate side to these cookies over the straight-up chocolate chip cookie side. Mmm chocolate :P 

They did compiment one another nicely, though. I found the regular chocolate chip side to have a saltier taste and the double chocolate mildy sweeter.

 

These are great cookies for dunking in some cold almond milk and munching on whilst listening to your fav tunes. Right now I can't get enough of the song "Bassically" by Tei Shi. Sooo good!


Marbled Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Petite Panettiere

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix together coconut oil and brown sugar. Add milk and vanilla, thoroughly combine.

Add flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix until just combined. 
Stir in chocolate chips.

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup non-dairy butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 ener-g replacer egg
1 cup AP flour
2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy, add vanilla and egg - thoroughly combine.
Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt, mix until just combined. 
Stir in chocolate chips.

Bringing it all home...

Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop chocolate chip cookie dough by 1 tablespoonful, depending on preferred size. Roll into a ball and place on baking sheet a few inches apart. 
Once you have rolled the first dough, begin scooping the second dough by 1 tablespoonful, roll into a ball, then add to a rolled ball of the opposite dough. Squish the two together, roll into one giant, marbled ball, and flatten.

Bake in preheated oven 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven once edges are slightly browned. Let cool on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before nomming!

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 a 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! Don't 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. 
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