Friday, June 29, 2012

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Pies

These are pretty darn delicious! This is a shortcut recipe, and also the filling is entirely my own, so pretty non-authentic.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Pies
makes 4 pies

  • 1 packaged pie crust round (1/2 package)
  • couple of tablespoons of flour, to roll out the dough
For the filling-- I used about 1/3 of the filling in the pies and ate the rest with chips- yum!
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 package (5 servings) soy chorizo-- I use a brand called Cacique- it's really cheap, available at my normal store, and really good!
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed well
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Wash and dice the sweet potato and add it to a skillet with the chorizo and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed (I didn't need any).
  •  Add the black beans, garlic, and cumin when the sweet potatoes are nearly finished (they'll finish cooking in the oven).
  • Cook for a few minutes, until garlic and cumin are fragrant.
  • Roll out your pie dough, dusting with flour if needed. Cut circles of about 6 or 7 inches (I used a bowl turned upside down as a template). Re-roll the dough and cut more circles until you've used most of the dough (it came out to 4 for me-- you can use both pie crusts if you're not making half for another filling).
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Fill each circle with 1/4-1/3 cup filling, fold over, and crimp the edges with a fork.
  • I had quite a bit of filling left-- I only used about 1/3 of the total filling recipe-- but it's really great on it's own!
  • When all are filled, put the pies on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are lightly golden.
For 1 of 4 pies, altogether using 1/3 of total filling: cals: 312kcal | fat: 4.98g | carbs: 54.14g | prot: 12.16g

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Black Bean Party Salad

 I love any food that's Mexican, or Mexican-inspired, especially at this time of year. And at this time of year I also like my food to be cold and super quick to make-- I don't want to be standing in the hot kitchen for a minute longer than necessary! This recipe is really simple delicious, and is a real crowd-pleaser, if the crowd likes avocados. Side note, I used to think I hated avocados-- how wrong and misguided I was! Two years ago I re-tried an avocado and I haven't looked back since-- except they are quite pricey here and sometimes I wish I didn't love them so much! You could definitely make this salad without the avocado if they're too expensive in your area or if you're crazy and haven't yet realized you love them. This would be great for a non-vegan summer party and it's cool since it has a little protein and staying-power if you get hungry at a non-vegan event. It stands up under room temperature or warmer for quite some time and has went off really well everywhere I've brought it! I've included individual and party-sized recipes below.

Individual Black Bean Salad
2 large servings

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 T red onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • cumin, lime juice, salt, pepper to taste
1/2 recipe: cals: 367kcal | fat: 11.67g | carbs: 54.18g | prot: 15.60g

    Party-Sized Black Bean Salad
    10 servings 1/2 cup each

    •  cups or 1 bag frozen corn
    • 2 cans black beans, rinsed
    • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 tbsp cumin
    • 2 avocado
    • 1/4 cup lime juice
    1/2 cup: cals: 240kcal | fat: 10.49g | carbs: 31.97g | prot: 7.28g 


      Friday, June 22, 2012

      Banana Blueberry Breakfast Bowl

      This is a super quick and easy breakfast. I like to eat my oatmeal cold and not cooked-- just pour some non-dairy milk over some oatmeal and go. I think it has a better texture that way. Next time I'll probably double everything but the flax and maybe add some more oatmeal. So yummy.

      1/2 large banana
      1/3 cup blueberries
      1 tablespoon milled flax
      2 tablespoons old fashioned oats
      1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk


      Mix together and enjoy!

      Tuesday, June 19, 2012

      Cake Batter Truffles

      These are yummy yummy. And they're so rich, you only need 1 or 2. I used the recipe from Averie Cooks, pretty much word for word, with the vegan substitute she recommends.

      Since I'm pretty much obsessed with anything cake batter flavored right now, and I had all of the ingredients, I couldn't help myself. I even looked for the anniversary edition cake batter oreos for my chocolate covered oreo pops, but I couldn't find them-- my usual store seems to not stock very many of this flavor. The direct link to the recipe is here.

      This is what happens when your kitchen isn't clean so you're trying to prop your cutting board on the sink to do a photoshoot-- the moral of this story is that a clean kitchen stays cleaner than a messy kitchen that causes messes-- I always forget this!

      Cake Batter Truffles
      Makes 18 truffles

      • 1.25 cups dry cake mix
      • about 3 tablespoons vegan condensed milk (recipe below)
      • 3/4 - 1 cup chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet)
      • Mix the cake batter with the condensed milk until it forms a really thick paste.
      • Roll into small balls (mine came out with 18) and freeze them for about 1/2 an hour, or until they are hardened.
      • Melt your chocolate, either in a double boiler on the stove or in the microwave at 30 second intervals (this is what I did).
      • Once your cake balls are chilled, use two forks to roll them around in the chocolate one at a time, placing them on a foil covered plate once they are covered, until all of them are finished. Chill again.
      • Place in cute little paper cups if you want to (I always want to use cute little wrappers and things, but they are not entirely necessary), and store in the fridge or freezer.
      • Enjoy!
      Vegan Short-cut Sweetened Condensed Milk 
      • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
      • 1 tablespoon agave nectar

      For 1 truffle: cals: 92kcal | fat: 3.55g | carbs: 15.77g | prot: 1.09g

      Melty chocolate is so good.

      I'm not exactly a master chocolatier, so I couldn't get them perfectly smooth or shiny, so I tried to make them purposely swoopy instead-- I think it worked, right?

      Tower of chocolates.

      Friday, June 15, 2012

      Great Northern Bean Salad

      This is what I have for lunch a lot of the time. I'm in love with bean salads-- they're high protein, high fiber, and just plain delicious. Most times I use bottled dressing which simplifies things, but when I have time I make my own vegan mayo. Veganaise is entirely too expensive around here for me, and I have a feeling it would be a bit too expensive on my waistline too, if you know what I mean. This mayo recipe is adapted from Melomeals and it's flippin' amazing. I haven't been able to find cooked white soybeans, only edamame, so my mayo always turns out green, but it's still delicious! The original recipe is here but I've modified it to make it even more low-fat and to not use lecithin, since I didn't have any.

      Low-Fat Veganaise

      - 3/4 cup edamame
      - 1.5 tablespoons dijon mustard
      - 1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
      - 1.5 tablespoons canola oil
      - 1 tsp sugar
      - 3/4 tsp salt
      - 1/4 cup water

      -  In a blender, blend everything together-- that's it!

      Great Northern Bean Salad
      Makes 2 servings

      - 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, rinsed really well (you can also use chickpeas, smashed a little)
      - 2 stalks celery, diced small
      - 1 stalk green onion, green and white parts, chopped small
      - 1/4 cup mayo (recipe above)
      - salt and pepper, to taste

      - Mix all ingredients and enjoy on toast or with saltines-- so yummy! To be honest, I usually eat the whole batch with a spoon.

      1/2 recipe: cals: 222kcal | fat: 4.63g | carbs: 37.95g | prot: 12.76g

      Tuesday, June 12, 2012

      Chocolate Covered Oreo Pops

      Ooh, these are bad! And by bad I mean good. Despite the fact that they only have about 100 calories each, the fact that I can sit down and eat however many I just made makes them evil. In a good way. Unless you're trying to lose weight. But still delicious. Especially if you can use some self-control or share them with friends.

      I got the original idea from here via Pinterest. I held out on Pinterest for as long as I could because I knew it would be addicting-- I already have hundreds, if not thousands of things bookmarked, so I knew that somewhere that I could organize bookmarks with pictures and share them would be just too amazing. And it is! I love Pinterest-- mostly because I love that you can view a picture with every website. I'm such a visual person, so that really helps me remember what I pinned!


      I decided to go with golden oreos (after consulting Sam) since I was using dark chocolate and not white for the coating. This was an excellent choice. These taste like the Keebler Fudge Stripes I used to have in my pre-vegan days. Except covered in sprinkles. And on a stick. So yummy and cute! You could also use chocolate oreos or Newman O's.


      • 12 golden Oreos 
      • 12 pop sticks (I used these and I found them at my normal store in the cake decorating section)
      • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking chips- they're dairy free)
      • about 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
      • Melt your chocolate either over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, like I did.
      • Prepare your surface-- something large enough to sit flat in your fridge or freezer-- I used a cutting board covered in foil, but you could use parchment paper, or waxed paper if that's what you have on hand.
      • Slide your cookies apart and put a bit of chocolate on the cream side of one. Lay the stick on top of the chocolate and twist the stick so that the stick is covered with the chocolate. Then replace the top of your cookie and press down slightly so that the stick sinks into the cream filling a little. When all of them have sticks, stick (get it? sticks, stick? I guess there's not much to get, I just liked the double use of the word) well, stick the whole thing into the fridge or freezer until the chocolate completely hardens (15-30 minutes is my guess).
      • When the chocolate has hardened, take your cookie pops out of the fridge or freezer, re-warm the chocolate if it needs it and pour your sprinkles into a saucer-- the cool thing about this is that you can dump the whole bottle in if you want, because whatever doesn't stick to your cookies just falls right off, with no chocolate on it, and can be put back into the bottle and re-used.
      • Now that you're set up, it's time to get coating! I found the best way to cover the cookies in chocolate was not to dip-- that was way too thick and messy. What I did was to use a fork to get a big dollop of chocolate onto one side of the pop, then push it over the edges, cover the other side withe chocolate, and then use the fork to scrape off the excess, first from the edges and then each side. Then I gave the pop a little shake to smooth out the ridges and swoops-- this is where good chilling comes into play-- if the center hasn't hardened, your pop might fall apart when you shake it!
      • Next, dip one side of your pop into the sprinkles, re-dipping if it's not entirely covered. Set it sprinkle side up onto the foil and repeat for the rest of your cookies.
      • Pop it back into the fridge or freezer until hardened (about 30 minutes- an hour). Then you can store them in baggies or a container in the fridge.
      For one cookie pop: cals: 112kcal | fat: 5.96g | carbs: 16.75g | prot: 1.08g

       I love how fun these are with the colorful little sprinkles and you could definitely use any kind or color of sprinkles for a different look. They would be great for baby showers or kid's birthday parties (or adult birthday parties, for that matter)!

      They travel pretty well too. I even took them to a kickball game-- I just kept them in a mini cooler straight from the freezer. They were just a little melty by the end of the game but they were still delicious!


      Monday, June 4, 2012

      Tomato Tart and Kittens

      Wow this is good. I've been craving a tart like this for months and I was just waiting for my local farmer's market to open up with some delicious tomatoes and herbs. The filling is based on Maple Spice's almond feta. It's topped with thinly sliced tomatoes and fresh herbs and the crust is made light and crispy with the addition of rice flour.

      - 1/2 cup flour
      - 2 T brown rice flour 
      - 1/4 tsp salt
      - 1 T chopped fresh herbs
      - 2 T Bestlife or other buttery baking sticks
      - 1 T vegetable shortening
      - 2 T cold water

      Mix first 3 ingredients together and then use a fork to break up the margarine and shortening into the flour mixture. Add the water until the dough comes together and press into a pie pan. Set aside to chill.

      Almond Feta Filling (makes double than what's needed for the tart, so 1/2 or keep the rest to use in pasta or something else)
      - 1.5 cups almonds, skinned (directions below)
      - 1/3 cup lemon juice
      - 1.5 tsps salt
      - 2 cloves garlic
      - 2 T olive oil
      - water to blend, about 1 cup

      Bring some water to a boil,then  boil the almonds for 1 minute, rinse in cold water and use your fingers to pop the naked almonds out of their skins. Cover them in hot water and let soak for 1 hour to overnight. Drain the almonds and add all to a blender. Blend until it becomes smooth and creamy, stopping the blender and pushing the ingredients around if blending stops. Pour 1/2 into chilled crust (about a cup) and keep the rest in the fridge for about a week (if it lasts that long).

      Preheat oven to 350F.

      Tomato-Herb Topping
      - 3 medium to large tomatoes
      - 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped

      Slice the tomatoes very thinly-- save the ends for a salad later. Arrange the tomato slices on top of the almond filling, sprinkling the herbs between layers. Bake for 40 minutes or longer, until the crust and almond filling is lightly browned.

      Enjoy warm or cold!

      Nutrition for 1/8 of tart: cals: 177kcal | fat: 12.52g | carbs: 13.44g | prot: 4.45g

      And now a few pictures of some kittens in a bag!

      We heard these little guys meowing for weeks under our house. One morning one of them was attacked by a dog (he wasn't hurt but he was scared) and we realized him and the other 2 had been abandoned so we just couldn't help but bring them in and love them. They are the best 3 kittens in the world (excluding any kittens that you guys might have, of course).