Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Roasted Potato and Cauliflower Soup - Quick Weeknight Meal

Super simple soup right here. You could make this with your eyes closed; however, things might get a bit messy. You might end up missing a few fingers and with soup on the ceiling. 
Always cook with your eyes open, LOL. 

This soup has a great roasted veg flavour. Roasted veggies are pretty awesome. You'll definitely be tempted to eat the entire pan of veggies when they come out of the oven, or at least I was. There's nothing quite like a soft, creamy piece of roasted cauliflower. This soup is the liquid form of roasted cauliflower and potatoes.

Roasted Potato and Cauliflower Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb of Yukon Gold potatoes (roughly 5 medium sized potatoes), 1" cubes
1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
3 shallots, thick dice
1/2 tsp salt or more
good amount of pepper
6 cups water + 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon

Preheat oven to 400F. Place all the veggies on a baking sheet, pour on the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix it about with your hands, or another kitchen tool, so all the veg is coated with oil. Roast the veggies for 1 hour. Keep an eye on them in case they're done before the hour mark. Once roasted, let cool for 10 mins then place in a blender with the water/stock and pulse until smooth. Alternately, you could place the veggies in a pot with the water and use an immersion blender on them. If you use the blender you may need to transfer everything to a pot and place it on medium heat until warmed through.

Soup will be quite thick so you can add more liquid depending on how viscous you like your soup.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Vegan Pumpkin Streusel Muffins with Caramel

Mmmm mmmmm mmmmm. I love muffins. Especially pumpkin muffins!! These muffins are great. Not exactly the healthiest but great nonetheless.

Muffins with a streusel topping really get me excited. They just seem so warm and inviting. These muffins actually have a layer of streusel in the middle plus some caramel sauce. Yeah! You could probably forego the middle streusel because unless you put a substantial amount in the centre it more or less gets lost. Then you would have enough to make a streusel mound atop each muffin. Sounds tubular, huh?

These muffins are everything a pumpkin muffin with streusel should be: soft, flavourful, spice-y, and delicious.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins 

Streusel Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup AP flour
5 tbsp softened margarine
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts of your liking

In a medium bowl, add everything except the margarine; stir it about. Add the margarine and work it into coarse crumbles using a fork or your fingers.

Caramel Sauce found here.

Ingredients for Muffin Batter 
2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salty
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp all-spice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk like Silk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl add apple cider vinegar and apple cider vinegar. In the meantime, sift the dry ingredients (not including sugar) into a small bowl. Once the milk has curdled add in the pumpkin, sugars, and oil. Next, fold in the dry ingredients. 

Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan but only halfway. Add a layer of crumble plus a drizzling of caramel sauce. Add the rest of the batter and another helping of streusel. Bake for 50 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Once they're done remove from the oven and transfer to a cookie rack. Allow the muffins to cool before drizzling on more caramel. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder with Red Kale

This soup is really good! Actually it's delicious. It's got a lot of goodies in it so you feel good eating it, too. Despite all the good-for-you ingredients, it really tastes like a traditional corn chowder, but really it tastes better because it has lots of flavour.

I think this is definitely going to be one of those soups that we whip up quite a bit. It doesn't have too many ingredients plus they're easy to find ingredients plus they're so wholesome. Basically, this soup is doubleplusgood.

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder with Red Kale
inspired by this recipe

1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 medium leek, sliced
2 sweet potatoes, uniformly cubed 
1 small Yukon gold potato, cubed same size as sweet potato 
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
generous cracking of black pepper
6 cups water + 1 tsp of Better than Bouillon
1 bunch of red kale,* chopped fairly fine
2 cups of corn

*I chopped all of the kale but only ended up using about 3/4 of it because I didn't want this becoming a kale soup so you can add how much you'd like of the kale

In a large soup pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add shallots and cook until translucent. Next, add the garlic and leek; cook until softened. Then, add in the potatoes. Give it a stir, add the paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes. Pour in the liquid and bring to a slow boil. Keep it boiling until the taters are easily pierced. Turn off the heat. Remove the pot from the stove top and pulse everything with an immersion blender or in a blender. Once everything smooth or as smooth as you want it, return the pot to the stove this time on med-low heat. Add the kale and corn. Stir it about and make sure the corn is warmed through and the kale a bit wilted before serving.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vegan Bacon and Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are cookies and there are potato chips. Then, there are cookies with potato chips inside them. And when you feel like experimenting as if you were mad scientists, you bake cookies with potato chips and bacon. Needless to say, these cookies might not be for everybody.

I can be somewhat of a purist when it comes to my desserts so I was a bit of a skeptic when it came to baking these cookies. Cookies are my jam and chips are amazing (especially Cape Cod) but could they be amazing together? 

These cookies are pretty sweet (I still prefer to appreciate the two entities separately), they're crispy around the edge but chewy in the centre; plus, they have a great golden colour! If you do add the tofu bacon make sure to break it up into tiny pieces otherwise it can be this odd tough thing amongst everything else that's crispy and chewy. I'm thinking right now that it would be even better to add coconut bacon rather than tofu.

Vegan Bacon and Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Yummy Crumble 

1 cup AP flour 
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp molasses
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup potato chips (our favourite = Cape Cod)
couple of strips of vegan tofu bacon torn into bits (recipe here)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients (not including chocolate, chips, or bacon). In a medium bowl whisk together the liquid ingredients until well incorporated. Pour the wet into the dry and mix well without overworking the batter. Fold in the chocolate chips, potato chips, and bacon. 

Roll dough into balls (size is your call) and flatten in the palm of your hand. Place cookies on baking sheet roughly an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 mins.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Daiya Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Pizza

Ooh this pizza is good! It's Daiya's Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Frozen Pizza. Everything about it is spot on. The crust is super thin and crispy so you don't have a soggy crust sitch on your hands, which is never very pleasant.

There's a substantial amount of sauce - we like our pizzas pretty saucy. And get a load of that cheese! They aren't skimping!! Sure there isn't an enormous amount of mushroom on there but I'm not complaining because the roasted garlic flavour is great. I'll take garlic over mushrooms any day!

This pizza gets 5 stars from us! I just wish it were bigger. Good job Daiya!

And if you like pizza reviews here's another:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Health Conscious Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting {Low Fat & Vegan}

Call a professional. We're officially addicted to cupcakes. Baking cupcakes. Eating cupcakes. Decorating cupcakes. Photographing cupcakes. Everything to do with cupcakes.

I don't think we can fully explain why it is that we love cupcakes so much right now but they are kind of all we want to bake whenever we sit down to pick a dessert recipe. 

Now, cupcakes aren't really a healthy option but they are delicious and fun and cute. Well, these cupcakes are healthier than the usual. They're the Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Yes, low fat.

Hold your horses, the frosting isn't low fat. We haven't found a way to make a yummy low fat frosting yet but you could always just whip some coconut cream for a frothy, delicate topper. Or, you could make the decadent Vanilla Buttercream frosting we love so dearly. 

Health Conscious Vanilla Cupcakes
Recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

½ cup vanilla soy yogurt
2/3 cup vanilla or plain almond milk
¼ cup applesauce
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, soy milk, applesauce, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix well. Fill cupcake liners three-quarters full.

Bake at 350F for 22-24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Frost as you desire or top with fresh berries and powdered sugar!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Vegan Valentine's Chocolate Marshmallow Bites

Whether you love or hate Valentine's Day, whether you're alone or happily partnered, it's the perfect day to indulge! Particularly in chocolate. Pretty chocolate. Fancy chocolate. 

As someone who is obsessed with pink and chocolate and hearts, Valentine's Day gets a warm welcome from me. I am celebrating this year with these Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Bites!

Riley introduced me to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid). These chocolates are pretty much a K.I.S.S. idea. So good!! Okay, you want the recipe don't you? Just look at this delectable bite below first...

Vegan Valentine's Chocolate Marshmallow Bites

1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
10 vegan marshmallows, chopped in half or quarters (we used Dandies)
Sprinkles and such

Melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly and keeping a close watch. As soon as everything has melted, remove from the heat. Now all you have to do is dip those little marshmallows in the chocolate, roll them around and get them completely covered. Place the chocolate covered 'mellows on a cooling rack so the excess chocolate drips off or just place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Finally, decorate to your heart's content.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Marble Cupcakes

Marble cupcakes!!! So fun, right? It's been ages since I've eaten marbled anything. Definitely the last time I had marble cupcakes the mix came from a box.  

I don't think I've ever had a cupcake that's tasted quite like this one. The texture is really great. It's dense yet at the same time fluffy. I'm not quite sure how it works out that way, but I'm glad it does.   

I have a really artsy (unofficial) name for these cupcakes: Dark and Darker Still. Haha. It's inspired by the fact that I was trying to use up our expired dark chocolate almond milk and forgot that the whole point of marble cupcakes is that it's a blend of vanilla and chocolate batter. So, these are light chocolate and dark chocolate marble cupcakes.  

This is the kind of cupcake that you can eat without any icing or frosting.
I actually preferred it without. 

Chocolate Marble Vegan Cupcakes 

1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup soy milk (to get the chocolate-on-chocolate marble, use Dark Chocolate Soy or Almond Milk)
1/2 cup margarine, softened
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a muffin tin or line with cupcake liners.
Mix together the vinegar and milk in a measuring cup, whisk for about 20 seconds, and set to the side.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the extracts and cornstarch and mix to combine. In 3 additions each, add the milk mixture, then the flour mixture, alternating until all additions have been added. Stir vigorously after each addition until the resulting batter is silky smooth.
Boil about 1/2 cup of water. Place the cocoa powder into a bowl, and add 3 Tbsp of the water and whisk until it’s smooth. Add 1 cup of the batter to the cocoa powder mixture and mix well until you have a dark chocolate batter mixture.
Into the liners, place one spoonful of each of the batters, alternating until they are almost all the way full. Then, using a knife or a toothpick, create swirls to make a marbled effect. 
Bake for 25 minutes. 
Let cool before frosting with your favorite frosting, such as our personal fave Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Banana Peanut Butter Pancakes {Vegan, No Sugar}

Pancake time! It's been a while since we made pancakes. Too long. We ended the pancake drought with these super easy, no sugar added, yummy banana peanut butter pancakes.

Of course, we couldn't leave good enough alone so we threw in some chocolate chips for good measure. Peanut butter + banana + chocolate is always a winning combination. It's no exception in these pancakes. Make them and start your morning with a smile.

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 ½ cups oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt 
2 very ripe bananas
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 cups non-dairy milk of your choice
Handfuls of chocolate chips, optional

These are blender pancakes so get our your blender!
Place oats in blender and pulse until it becomes more flour-like.
Next, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse once to mix.
Add in the banana, vanilla, peanut butter and milk to the blender. Pulse on high until everything is incorporated well. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender once or twice.
Heat up the griddle and make those pancakes! Throw some chocolate chips on the batter right after it hits the griddle, if you wish. Enjoy!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Baked Vegan Dark Chocolate Doughnuts

These are BY FAR the BEST doughnuts we've EVER made!

In the past I've found baked doughnuts to be pretty lackluster plus they only tasted good if you ate them right away. Not with these babies!! These doughnuts are dynamite.

The chocolate flavour is excellent and the texture is truly like that of a cake doughnut. They've got some substance to them, they aren't all airy fairy. You'd never guess these are virtually harmless.

If you've ever had a chocolate glazed doughnut from Tim Hortons then you can expect these doughnuts to taste like that except without the icky, oily after taste. The glaze on these doughnuts isn't too heavy either. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness. 

With Valentine's Day not too far away we couldn't help but bring out all the seasonal sprinkles and non-pareils. Valentine's Day always makes for a cute backdrop.

Vegan Chocolate Baked Doughnuts

3/4 cup AP Flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice (organic pure cane sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp Silk dark chocolate almond milk
2 tbsp water

Vanilla Glaze
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp non-dairy milk

For the doughnuts:
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease the doughnut pan (or mini muffin tin).
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (including the sugar).
In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients until smooth.
Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated but do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the doughnut pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and pan and allow to cool on cooling rack.

For the glaze:
Mix all ingredients in a shallow bowl. Dip the doughnuts into the glaze and return to the cooling rack so that the excess drips off.
Decorate accordingly.
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