Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Chai Cake

It's not even my birthday! Chocolate cake with Banana Chai Tea Ice Cream!
Dessert time has never been better.
I used to go to a coffeehouse that had this amazing Chocolate Chai Milkshake. Just big gigantic scoops of vanilla ice cream with chai concentrate and chocolate syrup topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. Talk about a huge calorie and fat machine, especially seeing as it came in only one size for $5! Wow!
I recreated that addictive flavor in a delicate, delicious, cruelty free cake format.
With signature basic chocolate cake amped with one of my favorite beverages- Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea, it appears to be a match as wonderful as chocolate and peanut butter bliss. Warm, fragrant, moist, and inviting to both awakened nostrils and mouth watered tongue, this is the kind of cake chocoholics like me could indulge in over and over again ( you know like one small slice a day) sans the monstrous affects that Chocolate Chai Shake surely cost.
However, I only feel that familiar guilt if eating cake with ice cream... ahem.

Vegan Chocolate Chai Cake Ingredients and Preparation

2 1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil (or applesauce)
1 1/2- 2 cup Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare cake pan.
Sift dry ingredients together.
Add vanilla, coconut oil, and vanilla chai tea.
Stir in the apple cider vinegar.

Extra cinnamon never hurt. Pour into pan & bake for 25-30 minutes.
Let cool.
Light, fluffy, sweet, & spicy- perfect than the average chocolate cake!
Especially paired with a lovely complementing ice cream!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Vegan Cashew Cheese Pasta With Walnut Almond Meatballs

The most incredible "meatballs" to ever grace a pasta dish!
I adore the gratifying flavor and simplicity of making walnut meat and have been singing its praises to everyone- including disbelieving nonvegan and vegetarian friends.
As for making meatballs (my first time!), the story is quite uniquely different.
Walnuts have to be soaked. Enhanced with slivered almonds (also soaked) and rolled oats and instead of being raw (which is also just as seriously good!!!), walnut meat recipe is transformed into the most addictive meatballs. Pan fried to perfection, these amazing meatballs are great for pasta topping and sandwich filler with a delectable exterior crunch and inside contains a tender juiciness.

Vegan Cashew Cheese Pasta With Walnut Almond Meatballs Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup cooked pasta

Cashew Cheese

1 cup cashews, soaked
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Puree all ingredients into a blender and set aside.

Walnut Almond Meatballs

1/2 cup walnuts, soaked
1/2 cup slivered almonds, soaked
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoon Liquid Braggs
2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Grind walnuts and almonds together.
Mix remainder of ingredients into a blender.

Scoop out mixture (there will be large slivered almond pieces if you don't want these keep grinding).
Form into small balls.
In an inch of olive oil, place meatballs and cover.
Cook each side for 3-5 minutes.
Top cooked pasta with prepared cashew cheese and meatballs.
Sprinkle with Italian seasonings and enjoy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vegan Harvest Grain & Black Bean Stuffed Bell Pepper Boats

Sweet, colorful bell peppers filled with hearty yumminess!
These miniature bell pepper boats were inspired by Brainard Jones whose original Quinoa Stuffed Peppers recipe was shared by Stephen Poff to the Vegan Community on Google+. This very active online group provides insight on cruelty free animal lifestyle that is more than showcasing recipe links and mouthwatering food photography. If in depth conversation, humor, warmth, and respectful attitudes between members sounds like a beguiling cup of black chai tea, please join! They don't bite! Other communities to consider include Vegan Life (co-created by good peoples at Vegan Bloggers Unite), Vegan Recipes, and Vegan Breakfast. Period- created by Brian Patton, author of The Sexy Vegan.
As for the bite sized bell pepper boats, I used Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend Mix! It contains whopper ingredients like couscous, garbanzo beans, orzo, red quinoa, which delivers protein and fiber packed nutrients alongside added black beans. I didn't add Jones' corn, mushrooms, and spinach, but it still is epically delicious. Amazing as a snack (for dinner use larger bell peppers and roast them!), the simple creamy filling is embraced with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, and more for a savory sensational taste too good to pass up!
FYI: For a fresher taste- add sprigs of cilantro to each boat.

Mixed Harvest Grain & Black Bean Stuffed Bell Pepper Boats Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend
1 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika


At $2.69 a bag, this is ten meals in one! Use according to package directions- boil water, add 1 cup of Harvest Grains Blend Mix, simmer and cover for 15 minutes.
Within last few minutes of cooking time, stir in black beans, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic and onion powders, turmeric, salt, black pepper, and paprika. Simmer and cover for about two minutes more.
Ready desired amount of bell peppers.
Fill and enjoy!




Thursday, July 25, 2013

Vegan Ultimate Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is best served with dairy free milk of course!

One of these days I will venture out and get the required ground flax seed (which isn't that expensive) or the Ener G Egg Replacer, but for now sticking to can do no wrong apple cider vinegar, applesauce, or bananas as substitute for shell cracking.
Originally, I did set out to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, but they failed and not wanting to throw away a big bowl of batter, I scooped the rest into a cake pan and voila! cookie cake happened.
It is the most delicious, yummy, sensational accident ever of cookies meeting cake for a romantic date! With an irresistibly terrific combination- warm chocolate chips, oats, crunchy walnuts, and coconut with a kick of spicy cinnamon, how can it go wrong?
Well, if one slice can calm cravings and almond milk is always on hand, there is no problem....

Vegan Ultimate Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Ingredients and Preparation

2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup almond milk
1 cup Enjoy Life Foods mini chocolate chips (or any other dairy free variety)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 1/2 table apple cider vinegar
pinch of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8 or 9 inch cake pan with oil.
In a large bowl, sift flour, oats, salt, and baking soda.
Add brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and almond milk.

Stir in chocolate chips.
Prepare crushed walnuts if larger. I grounded mine with a pestle and mortar.
Add walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, and apple cider vinegar.
Press into pan and bake for 25- 30 minutes. Let cool before transferring onto plate. 
Yes! Plated almost successfully.
Helping myself to one slice. Just one.
One lovely slice.
Just amazing...
But sure would have been great with almond milk. Blah! Why am I always running out of things?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vegan Avocado Cheesecake Flavor For National Ice Cream Day!

Three scoops please.
Happy National Ice Cream Day everyone!
The best way to celebrate is of course by having the vanilla, the chocolate, the strawberry, and the other traditional flavors that spark your fancy. But what about our delicious green yummy versatile avocado friend? Yes, yes! I may have an alarming addiction, but how can I ever stop eating them raw or otherwise. They're just so out of this world amazing!
Last week, I made a delicious raw avocado lime cheesecake and decided not to waste the leftovers by using them as ice cream components. Although, I lost pretty green coloring along the way, the avocado flavor is still present and as tasty as ever in this cold infectious treat.
90 degree weather be darned.

Vegan Avocado Lime Cheesecake Ice Cream Ingredients and Preparation


Crust

1 1/2 cup walnuts
4 pitted dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Cheesecake

1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1 ripened avocado
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest and juice from 2 limes

Combine crust ingredients into a blender or food processor until it reaches desired consistency (when it all is cohesive and slightly sticky).
Press onto parchment papered pan and refrigerate.
In a blender combine all the cheesecake filling ingredients.
Pour this atop of prepared crust.
Refrigerate overnight.
You can stop right here and enjoy the cheesecake, but for ice cream makers....

OMG! Yum! Good in or out of ice cream!

Take a couple of slices (two hefty ones), freeze for two hours, place into a blender, and combine with 1 1/2 cup of dairy free milk. I used almond, but full fat coconut would probably be better (and won't steal green color). Don't blend too much- those crust pieces add delicious texture to the ice cream!

Squeeze extra lime juice (if desired) & top with julienne avocado for a beautiful presentation.
Sweet, sweet heaven...





Saturday, July 20, 2013

Vegan Vanilla Banana Chai Tea Ice Cream

Vanilla Banana Chai Tea Ice Cream is awesome!
It has stayed relatively in the 90 degree temperature range all week, but blistering hot summer skies haven't stopped me from my daily walking around town. When I burst through the door sweaty and in need of cold replenishment, I grab water and look in the freezer for homemade ice cream.
And Vanilla Banana Chai Tea is like no other.
It has an amazingly unique flavor that combines spicy fragrant chai tea soaked in rich thick coconut milk and frozen ripened bananas at the peak of sweetness. Very simple to make, this lovely bowl of golden ice cream is a wonderful way to tamper down the outside humidity.

Vegan Vanilla Banana Chai Tea Ice Cream Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
3 chai tea packets
2 frozen bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Bring coconut milk to a boil. Turn off heat and drop in chai tea bags. Steep for 10-15 minutes.
 Pour into a heat proof bowl, cover, and place in freezer for an hour. Once desired cold, blend with bananas and vanilla.  
Scoop into a bowl.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and ginger.
I added mini chocolate chips, but it's good without as well!







Friday, July 19, 2013

Vegan Zucchini & Tempeh Breakfast Scramble

Zucchini & tempeh surrounded by delicious vegetables.
Who needs scrambled eggs when fresh green organic zucchini is readily available, yummy, and minuses all the horrific content inside one little yellow yolk?
Here's a terrific early morning dish that is a simple stir fry most excellent with a side of hash browns and toast and a beverage of breakfast tea or hot chocolate (mine yes!). With crisp diced tempeh, grated zucchini is the perfect accompaniment to sap up all the flavors traditionally used to give my "meat" its desired flavor. The vegetables only enhance a beautiful presentation with their amazingly vivid color. Topped with melted mozzarella (and the optional avocado slices), buzzing alarms and kitty paws never sounded or felt so wonderful.
For an extra bit of sweetness delete the mozzarella and add a touch of maple syrup.

Vegan Zucchini & Tempeh Breakfast Scramble Ingredients and Preparation

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1 zucchini, grated
4 oz tempeh, diced
2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 small bell peppers, sliced
red onion, chopped
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Mozzarella Shreds
1 ripened avocado (optional)

Heat olive oil and garlic.
In a bowl, hand mix grated zucchini with diced tempeh with Italian seasonings, cumin, turmeric, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt, and black pepper. 
Pour mixture into a pan and cover- stirring every three to five minutes.

Bring in veggies after the forth or fifth stir. Cook this for about four minutes. Melt in the mozzarella style shreds.
Plate and garnish with avocado slices.
Dig in!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Most Most Awesome Vegantastic Wednesday

The sign should say "Welcome To a Great Afternoon & Pleasant Evening!"
On days when eyes open from a blissful dream and body lays serene as air conditioner blows cool air and a little beautiful cat paws for breakfast or a treat to calm her furry belly's hunger, a certain magic sparks with promise. Okay- this happens everyday for me, but it was even stronger today.
Today, I received my first assignment as an intern to Dayton City Paper- a very intelligent independently ran paper that I read faithfully every week for the intelligent articles, reviews, and coming attractions to our little city. My upcoming story is to cover the August African American Cultural Festival! Yippee! It's quite exciting and I'm looking forward to this amazing opportunity to put writing to another use.
Days of Our Lives was great this afternoon (sorry, I had to say it!) and the news of Earthfare's free ice cream celebration made me feel like celebrating even further! It's almost an hour bus trip, my favorite kind of adventure (and yes, soooo excited I missed my stop too).
Here I share So Delicious treats and some amazing new discoveries found in Centerville- a place I must go more often.
Yay! I made it & beat the summer heat!
Hmmmm. I may have to get this Herbal Skin Crack...
Hail Merry's (never heard of them! Why???) line of raw treats were on sale 2 for $6!
I had to try the Chocolate Raw Almond Butter Miracle Tart.
Miraculous alright....
And here's my free vegan ice cream sundae- So Delicious Chocolate Coconut Milk topped with Soy Whip & cherries. My thighs are definitely going to Guilty Vegan Jail today. Pilates (combative superheroine against all caloric evils) for the win!A big thank you to Earthfare for providing the nourishing chocoholic ice cream & sweet toppings! So very, very cordial of them!
Speaking of So Delicious- I found their Greek style yogurts! FINALLY!!!
After Earthfare, I walked over to Marshalls. Curse thee who placed these beautiful flats in the wrong section! Me wanted them, but feet are just a wee too big. If only toes weren't so necessary- I'd cut them off for these. Hahaha!
Hats off to those going to SDCC (San Diego Comic Con). Until that day I get to head over to California for geekery enjoyment, I shall simply squee at all things Marvel, DC, & Independent Comics designed into real life situations such as these X-Men headphones! 
Chyeah! Homemade Zombies. Better than making cookies, I bet!
OMG! $6 Pig Pancake Pan. Too cute right?
And tree pencils! Ugh! Marshalls has everything!
These beauty products were the biggest steals of the day easily! Juice Organics (one of my favorite brands) Pomwash Facial Cleanser with pineapple and papaya enzymes plus pomegranate, organic white grape, peach, and aloe juices sound like a miraculously delicious treat for my face! Sukin, an Australian vegan company first caught my attention from Paint It Black, a vegan beauty blogger from Australia. (See her post on Sukin's lip balm here). This hair conditioner has a boat load of great oils like avocado, sesame, wheat germ, jojoba, rose hip, etc and it's formulated for dry hair!
Juice Organics Pomwash was 40% off the $10 price & the Sukin hair conditioner was 50% a great bargain especially considering how much it costs to ship this bad boy! (or bad girl!) Can't wait to use both of these and review them!
Marshalls also sells some great vegan snacks such as Brad's Raw Kale! OMG! At $3.49 each, there are various flavors- Baked, Nacho, Naked, and...... Vampire Killer? Heehee. Must be garlic-y? :D
The wonderful day ended at Bed, Bath, & Beyond with the cutest trash can ever seen. 
And what did I come home to- Emily of New Moon: The Complete Series based on L. M. Montgomery's trilogy on a passionate, spirited orphaned writer! Some prefer Anne of Green Gables (which I too adore)- but Emily- well, she's my personal favorite. Marathon time indeed.