Homemade Almond Milk

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups filtered water, chilled
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 cup organic raw almonds, soaked overnight
  • 6 fresh Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Into a high-speed blender, place water and ice. Add almonds, dates, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Blend on high-speed for one minute. Drink immediately, or refrigerate in a glass jar for up to two days.

Notes:

  • Prefer plain almond milk? Leave out the vanilla and salt
  • Make a hazelnut milk by substituting hazelnuts for the almonds
  • If the Medjool dates aren’t fresh, soak before using
  • Want a smoother almond milk? Strain the milk through a cheese cloth

via: VegNews

Slow Cooker Curry over Sweet Potatoes

Here’s an easy and healthy slow cooker recipe that’s just perfect for the dropping temperatures.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package very firm tofu, cubed (optional)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon roasted red chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 6 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • More coconut oil

Directions:

In a skillet or wok, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and stir-fry until softened. Add garlic, chile paste, curry powder and thyme and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, with juice, bring to a boil, stirring and scraping the pan.

Transfer everything in the pan into your slow cooker. Add coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Thirty minutes before it’s done cooking, add the tofu, if using.

Prepare your sweet potatoes: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Peel your potatoes and slice them into quarter-inch rounds. Lay rounds on a parchment-covered cookie sheet and rub coconut oil onto the exposed side of each round. Roast for 25 minutes, flipping over your rounds halfway.

At the 2-hour mark for the curry, add bell pepper and green onions, and cook another 15 minutes. Serve over warm, roasted sweet potatoes. Serves: 4.

Note: for an even easier recipe, serve the slow-cooked curry sauce over rice or noodles and forget the potatoes.

via: Lawrence.com

Sweet Potato Spice Cake

This cake is similar to carrot cake—grated sweet potatoes make it moist and rich. The cake can be made up to three days ahead, but frost and garnish it within 12 hours of serving.

Ingredients:
Cake
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup plain almond milk
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely grated (3 cups)
  • ½ cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • ½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
Topping
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. vegan cream cheese
  • 1 Tbs. agave nectar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • ½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

Directions:

1. To make Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

2. Place raisins in small bowl, and cover with boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes, then drain, and set aside.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in bowl. Whisk together oil, brown sugar, and sugar in separate bowl; whisk in almond milk and lemon juice.

4. Stir flour mixture into oil mixture with spatula until thick batter forms. Fold in sweet potato, candied ginger, hazelnuts, and raisins. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center of Cake comes out clean. Cool pan 10 minutes on wire rack, then unmold Cake onto wire rack to cool completely.

5. To make Topping: Whisk together cream cheese, agave nectar, and vanilla in bowl until smooth; spread over cooled Cake. Decorate top of Cake with candied ginger and hazelnuts.

via: Vegetarian Times

Pumpkin Pie Bars

I hope everyone is gearing up for a great Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow which is a day that has the potential to be a great time or a real drag for vegans. I’ve given some tips in the past that might help make things go a little smoother for you if you have a particularly carnivorous family. It also never hurts to pack along some of these pumpkin pie bars to win everyone over!

Here are some other vegan Thanksgiving ideas to get you started. Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pumpkin
  • ½ cup raw, unsalted almond butter
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 2 flax “eggs” (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons water for each “egg”)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (less if you happen to be using roasted almond butter)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a deep-dish glass pie plate with coconut oil. Set aside.

Put all ingredients except for the chocolate chips in a bowl. Stir well. Once all of those ingredients are incorporated, stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into your oiled pie plate. Bake 25 minutes or until the the edges are golden and the center is firm. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. These store well in the fridge, as the cold helps them set up a bit more.

via: Lawrence.com

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello, everyone! My sincere apologies for the delay since I last posted. Busy summer, new job, etc. etc. I won’t bore you with the details, but now that Fall is in full swing, I have some new recipes that I really want to share. The first one is a go-to pumpkin cookie recipe, just in time for Halloween. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup shortening or vegan margarine
  • 1-½ cups sugar (I often use half coconut sugar)
  • ¼ cup soy yogurt (vanilla, plain or maple)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour through cinnamon (all dry ingredients). Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together your shortening/margarine with the sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the yogurt and then stir in the pumpkin and vanilla.

Gradually stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. When all combined, add chocolate chips.

Drop by the teaspoonful onto parchment. Flatten a bit with clean fingers. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Yield 50 cookies.

via: www.lawrence.com

Koshary

I’ve been thinking a lot about Egypt lately since the news coming out of the Middle East is intense to say the least. Since, lately, the news has been all bad, I wanted to share something amazing to come out of Egyptian culture - Koshary. Koshary is a staple street food in Egypt and is beyond delicious.

"Koshary originated in the mid 19th century, during a time when Egypt was a multi-cultural country and the economy was booming. The lower-class’ usually limited pantry became full with a myriad of ingredients: lentils, rice, pasta, chickpeas, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, oil, etc. At the end of the month, families would usually have a little left of everything, so families would use it up by putting it all together into a tasty dish."*

This recipe is a little time consuming, but the results are worth it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed**
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) package ditalini pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups short-grain rice, rinsed
  • cold water, to cover
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown lentils
  • water, to cover
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes**
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola, olive oil, vegan margarine)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (3 ounce) can French-fried onions
** I doubled the amount of chickpeas and crushed tomatoes and I think it was just the right amount. You can adjust that according to your taste.
 
Directions:
  1. Combine the chickpeas, vinegar, coriander, cayenne pepper, and cumin in a resealable bag or container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in refrigerator while prepping remainder of dish, shaking occasionally.
  2. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the ditalani pasta in the boiling water until cooked through yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.
  3. Combine the rice with enough cold water to cover; allow to soak for 20 minutes. Drain.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the lentils with enough water to cover in a pot; season with salt and pepper. Bring the lentils to a boil and cook at a boil until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat; cook and stir the onion and garlic in the hot oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to medium-low, and maintain at a simmer while preparing remainder of dish.
  6. Add the oil to a pot over medium-high heat. Add the rice to the oil, increase heat to high, and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour the vegetable stock over the rice; bring to a boil. Season the rice mixture with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  7. Mix the rice and lentils together on a large serving platter. Spread the cooked ditalani over the rice and lentil mixture. Serve with the marinated chickpeas, the tomato sauce, and the French-fried onions as condiments.

* From Wikipedia

via: All Recipes

Chocolate Wacky Cake

There is a lot of marriage-related news happening this week which, in addition to my wedding anniversary coming up in a few days, warrants a quick story about the wedding cake my wife and I had at our big event.

Several of our friends had recommended an older woman to us who was a cake baker who lived out in the country. She had been making wedding cakes out of her home for years and years and was said to be a true artist. We set up an appointment to meet with her one afternoon and when we arrived, she warmly greeted us with a book of beautiful cake photos in hand. She had jumped right in to some ideas and options when I stopped her and said that we were actually looking for a “vegan” cake and asked if that would that be possible. The blank stare seemed to imply that she wasn’t familiar with the term. I explained that, while we didn’t want to interfere with her process, we didn’t want any animal products at all in the cake. She gave me a long stare before her eyes lit up and she said, “Wait, you mean a wacky cake? I haven’t made one of those in years!”

Turns out, during the Great Depression era, animal products were expensive and hard to come by. By World War II, food rationing was also to blame. A popular cake recipe was passed around that used inexpensive ingredients as replacements, making it completely vegan. This timeless recipe is known as “depression cake” or “wacky cake”.

Once we all were on the same page with the ingredients, we picked out some colors and sizes and gave her many thanks as we went on our way. Sure enough, when the cake arrived at our wedding, it was absolutely beautiful, very delicious and came with a little bit of history, too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together by hand.  Add all the wet ingredients until well combined.  Pour into a 8×8 pan which has been prepared with non stick spray.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes or until done.  Allow to completely cool before serving. Cake is even better if eaten the next day.  Enjoy!
  3. Optional: top it off with a dusting of powdered sugar or your favorite frosting.

via: Savory Sweet Life

French Picnic Lentil Salad

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups French green (Puy) lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 small celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Place the water, lentils and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and continue simmering for 8-10 more minutes, or until lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  2. While the lentils are simmering, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, onion, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly, until vinaigrette is thoroughly blended.
  4. When lentils are done cooking, drain into a colander and discard bay leaf. Add lentils and vinaigrette to the pan with the cooked vegetables and stir to mix. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature. Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Notes:

  • Brown lentils can be used in place of French green lentils. Start checking for doneness a few minutes earlier.
  • This recipe can easily be halved, but the salad keeps so well and makes such an excellent lunch or snack, it’s worth making the full amount.
via: Eat Your Greens