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

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

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

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


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 

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

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. 

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