Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pirate Ship Boat House in Unionville, ON - The Black Pearl!

We stumbled across this house whilst wandering through Unionville, Ontario. It might be the best Halloween find of 2013. Bonus: The Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack was being played from the home! This is on the Main Street Historic Unionville... if you're in the Toronto area it's worth a look, especially if you love skeletons, pirates, and Halloween.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vegan Vanilla and Agave Nectar Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting {Naturally Sweetened}

Continuing with our Halloween Styled Cupcake Blog Party (the other cupcakes are here), here are some yummy and healthy (yes, we give you permission to consider these healthy) Vanilla and Agave Nectar Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. 

Sweetened with agave nectar, these cupcakes contain no extra added refined sugar (the frosting however is not so healthy hehe). These cupcakes are so tasty, we have made them several times and they just keep getting higher and higher up on our favorite cupcake list. Soon they will be the most popular cupcakes in our eyes *swoon*. 

Simple Vegan Vanilla and Agave Nectar Cupcakes
Recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

2/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup light agave nectar
1/3 cup neutral-tasting oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1. Line muffin tins and preheat oven to 325F.
2. Mix milk and vinegar in large bowl; set aside to curdle.
3. Beat in agave, oil, vanilla, almond extract. 
4. Sift in flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Mix until smooth but do not over mix.
5. Fill liners 2/3 full.
6. Bake cupcakes for 20-22 minutes. 
7. **Allow to cool for one hour so that the flavour can develop properly.**

Frosting recipe can be found here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vegan Vanilla Mocha Almond Smoothie {Thrive Juice Bar Inspired}

Neither of us kitchen grrrls really drink coffee or tea or anything caffeinated. Most often we drink water and occasionally we have iced tea or lemonade. Our fancy drink of choice is a smoothie. This is one fancy and delicious smoothie so we are sharing it with you today.


Inspired by the amazingly delicious smoothie from Thrive Juice Bar, we have tried to recreate our favorite smoothie here on the blog so you can all enjoy the amazingness (above right, and if you want to see more of the cute pastel galaxy manicure check out our other blog Streets Ahead Style). Bottom line, make this smoothie once and you will be making it again and again everyday. You're welcome ;)

Vegan Vanilla Mocha Almond Smoothie 
Inspired by Thrive Juice Bar 

Makes 1 smoothie

1/2 Cup Vanilla Unsweetned Almond Milk
3-5 Watermelon Cubes (basically frozen watermelon chunks)
1 tbsp Organic Fair Trade Coffee Beans (or grinds)
1 tbsp Cocao Nibs
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp Vegan Chocolate Chips
1 tbsp Almond Butter
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
agave nectar for extra sweetness, if desired

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Vegan Orange "Chicken" over Rice {Awesome Plant-Based, Gluten Free Meal}

We are going to go ahead and say it: this is one of the best meals we have made this year! It might seem like a daunting recipe (and it is a bit time consuming) but it's totally doable and completely worth all the effort. The cauliflower becomes so tender and juicy, very much like chicken and the sauce is so sweet and yummy you could drink it (but don't!, you'll need it for your guests).


Please, please, please take our word and make this recipe. It's so good for you and cauliflower is actually one of the most protein-rich veggies so there is plenty of protein to be had in this meal. I think we will be making this again soon because it's just so darn good!

Crispy Orange Cauliflower Recipe
Recipe adapted from Fork and Beans

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
Rice for serving (we used a brown rice)

For Batter:
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2 Tb water, allow to thicken
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup corn starch 
1/4 cup GF flour blend (or AP flour if not concerned about it being GF)
1 tsp canola oil

Blend all ingredients together until a nice batter is formed, the consistency of waffle batter.

Heat skillet with 1/2 cup oil on medium/high heat. This needs to be quite hot!
Dip each small floret into the batter and make sure each piece is entirely covered in the batter.
Fry in oil until completely browned.
Allow to drain on a paper towel-lined plate placed over a cooling rack.

For Orange Sauce:
2 tbsp canola oil
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and zested
6 green onions, thinly sliced
zest of 1 orange plus juice of orange
2 tbsp tamari or GF soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

In a clean skillet, heat oil and garlic for 1 minute.
Add green onions, zest and juice. Cook another 1 minute.
Add soy sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil. Toss in crispy cauliflower into the skillet and coat thoroughly. Keep on the pan briefly.
Place on top of rice to serve with sauce below.

Sweet Orange Sauce for serving:
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp brown sugar

In the same skillet the sauce above was made, throw in the remainder ingredients and bring to a boil for just 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Drizzle over orange cauliflower and rice.
Garnish with green scallions, orange zest, and sesame seeds.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Vegan Double Chocolate Cupcakes {Fluffy, Moist, and Delicious}

Pictures are sufficient here for this post. Look at the cupcakes. Imagine yourself eating these cupcakes. Pretty dreamy stuff. Scroll down below for the recipe and make them... NOW!

These are quite simply the most delicious, fluffy and moist cupcakes we have ever made. We highly recommend them and the popularity of the recipe attests to their awesomeness.

Vegan Double Chocolate Cupcakes 
Adapted from Instructables 

1 1/4 cups AP flour
1 cup vegan sugar (we used Zulka Morena)
1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt with a fork, making sure it is really blended together. 
Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and again, mix together so that it's really blended together. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary.
Prepare the cupcake tin, line with paper or grease then fill 2/3 of the way. Place in oven and bake for about 20-23 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

Frost with your favorite frosting!!

Aaaand here are some pictures of our house this year for Halloween. WE LOVE DECORATING! It looks 1438570 times better IRL but these will have to do :) 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies... Vegan!

When times get tough, all you need is a chocolate chip cookie to ease (some of) the pain. Chocolate chip cookies are no therapist but they do help! These cookies from Namely Marly rocked our socks right off. They put a smile on our faces and they weren't hard on the eyes either ;) 

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies... Vegan!
Recipe by Namely Marly

2 cups vegan butter
2 cups Zulka morena pure cane sugar
2 cups brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons ground flax seed
4 tablespoons corn starch
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
5 cups blended oatmeal (Pour 5 cups oatmeal into a blender and blend to a fine powder)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 bags of chocolate chips in various sizes or percentages of chocolate

Heat your oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugars, until light and fluffy.
Add the flax seed meal, corn starch, water and vanilla, and stir some more. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir together to combine all the ingredients. Set aside.
Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture and stir well.
Then add the chocolate chips and nuts and stir some more.
Use a scooper to dispense cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the dough about 2″ apart to allow for some spread! Bake each batch for 10 – 12 minutes. Makes about 9 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vegan Eggplant Curry with Coconut Milk

Well, the time for curries and stews is dawning nearer. To ease the pain of that reality for those who are still clinging to summer, here is a delicious, healthy, and robust eggplant curry. Eggplants are still plentiful, cheap, and beautiful in our neck of the woods and hopefully they are in your area too! This is a fast and budget friendly recipe to excite your taste buds. Go on! Make it! You will love it :)

Vegan Eggplant Curry 
Recipe adapted from She Cooks She Gardens

4-5 small-medium sized eggplants, cubed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 20 oz. can chickpeas
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 heaping teaspoon almond meal (optional but reccmonded)
salt n peppa' to taste
shredded coconut for garnish
whole wheat pita bread or naan to serve

1. Prepare the eggplant and put in a colander, set over the sink and sprinkle with a
salt. Allow to drain for 20 minutes or so.
2. Rinse the eggplant under cool water and pat dry with towel.
3. Combine the garlic, ginger in a mortar and pestle and work into a paste.
4. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat in a deep, heavy based pan.
5. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes until soft and fragrant.
6. Add the garlic paste, followed by the spices and cook for another couple of minutes.
7. Add the eggplant to the pot, stir to coat well in the spice mixture, reduce the heat by half and pop the lid on to allow the eggplant to soften - about 10 minutes.
8. Stir and add the chickpeas, tomatoes and coconut milk.
9. Allow to cook for another 20 minutes or so with the lid off until the curry starts to thicken and the oils in the coconut milk begin to separate.
10. Add the almond meal if you'd prefer a thicker gravy.
11. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add some shredded coconut for garnish and fun!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Vegan Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

A pillowy dream! That's what these cookies are. Oh so soft and plush. As an irregular take on a regular chocolate chip cookies, these are a definite win. The cream cheese really sings in this recipe in terms of the flavor and definitely in the texture! Please, please, please make these cookies because they will make your mouth and belly so happy! The time is right for these light but sinfully delicious pillows of joy!


Eat all the cookies!

Vegan Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Recipe by That's So Vegan
1 cup vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegan granulated sugar
3 tsp ener-g egg mixed with 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
Cream together, with hand mixer, margarine, cream cheese, and sugars until fluffy.
Beat in the egg replacer mixture and vanilla.
Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the dough in tablespoons onto the cookie sheet, leaving about 1 inch between cookies.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. The cookies might feel gooey out of the oven but they will harden up so don’t over bake!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Vegan Vegetable Fried Rice with Sriracha {Gluten Free}

This dish came about as I was having a serious craving for fried rice one day. Actually I had been craving fried rice for weeks so the craving needed to be satisfied. And fast. 

This recipe is so easy and fast that anyone could make it. It tastes delicious, has veggies and is Gluten Free, and it satisfies those cravings! I will be making this again and again. If you can, try to use certified non-GMO frozen veggies in this dish (avoid these Monsanto-related companies).

Vegan Vegetable Fried Rice with Sriracha 

1/4 cup low sodium tamari (or soy sauce if you don't need it to be GF)
3 tbsp dry white wine or rice wine
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ head broccoli, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 cup of frozen vegetable mixture (with baby corn, peas, water chestnuts, etc.)
4 cups leftover certified-GF rice
1/2 cup raw cashews 
Sriracha for garnish (and general consumption)

Whisk together the tamari (or soy sauce) and wine vinegar, set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the garlic and fry for one minute, stirring. Add the veggies. Stir-fry for one or two more minutes, then add the left over rice stirring frequently.
Pour the soy sauce and wine over the rice, and stir until well combined and the rice is hot all the way through! Add cashews and garnish with sriracha.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Sour Cream Doughnut Holes

Doughnut Holes! Cinnamon Sugary Doughnut Holes! So freaking good! I grew up on Tim Hortons Sour Cream Doughnuts but those certainly aren't vegan. These doughnuts capture the flavour and texture of Timmies Sour Cream Donuts without the dairy or over-processed nasties. Extra bonus: these are baked! 

Whenever I don't know what to make but want something that isn't brownies (because we all know that this blog has about 100 brownie recipes), I turn to doughnuts. Everything about these doughnuts is wonderful. Try them, eat them, bake them for friends. Share the doughnut hole love!

Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Sour Cream Doughnut Holes 

1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup white vegan sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup original unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup vanilla soy creamer
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1 tsp ener-g egg powder
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup white vegan sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup melted vegan margarine

Preheat oven to 350F. Sift flour and baking powder together in large bowl, add in sugar and salt. Mix remaning ingredients together in medium bowl. Stir well. Add wet into dry. Mix well but do not over mix. We used a mini muffin tin to make doughnut holes but you could also use a doughnut baking tray for doughnut-looking treats. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

For topping, melt vegan margarine in one bowl. Place cinnamon and sugar in another bowl and then dunk the holes in the margarine and then toss in the cinnamon sugar. Alternatively you could brush on the margarine then roll the holes in the cinn-sugar. EAT!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Pesto Sandwiches - Featuring Cauliflower Steaks

Oh do we love sandwiches! We actually don't eat sandwiches often so we find them to be quite a treat which is kind of counterintuitive for most people who eat them everyday. After making a batch of pesto (link to our recipe) the other day, we decided to put it to use in a veggie sandwich. We also had a cauliflower laying around so we put it to use as well! This was a freaking delicious and filling sandwich, let us tell you. WOW! So flavourful and complex - it was a treat for our eyes, noses, and most importantly tasetbuds!! Make use of the last of your local, seasonal veggies and make this sammy!!!

Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Pesto Sandwiches featuring Cauliflower Steaks

1 head cauliflower
(seasonings of your choosing - we used a Club House Pepper and Garlic one)
2 zucchini1 red pepper
1 tomato
some eggplant (we used some fried eggplant parmesan > from here)
1 sweet onion
Homemade pesto (link to our recipe)
Yummy white rolls (or whole wheat, of course)

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the cauliflower lengthwise, including the stalk, into 1 inch slices. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with evoo and salt and seasonings.
2.  Cut all other veggies length-wise and place on baking sheet; drizzle with evoo (you might need a separate sheet for this unless you have a mega huge sheet LOL).
3.   Roast veggies for 25 minutes, or until they are lightly browned; make sure the cauliflower steaks’ stems are easily pierced with a fork.
4.  Assemble sandwiches by spreading on some pesto and layering on the veggies! Stuff your face!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vegan Basil Pesto Straight from the Garden

Here is a classic (vegan) basil pesto recipe to make use of the last vestiges of that basil plant on your patio that is starting to look a little droopy. You know the one ;) 

This was a fresh and flavorful pesto that worked well on sandwiches as well as pasta and pasta salads. We hope you will enjoy it too!

Vegan Basil Pesto

~2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup pine nuts
5 cloves garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Process all ingredients in blender until relatively smooth. Enjoy!
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