Posted by Noelle on August 4th, 2013
Categories: Desserts
Tags: ,,,,

Strawberries are the definition of summer. They are plump, sweet, and juicy and packed full of bright strawberry flavor, it's like sunshine for your mouth :-) They are great in so many different things. When I bring them home, I try to get them quickly hulled, and quartered to macerate in the fridge. The remainder get added to oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, etc until I find myself stopping yet again at the local farm for my bright red fix. Even the extra-ripe (ok, damaged and/or squishy), strawberries can get blended with banana, and at extra special times, peanut butter, then frozen into lickable dog treats. Your dog thinks you should go make that right now... Even though the season for these beautiful red gems is short, they spread an immense amount of long-lasting happiness. I love happy food. Strawberries and shortcake are the quintessential summer dessert around here. This recipe is really easy, cooks quickly, and is refined sugar-free. Yay! The shortcake itself is kissed with vanilla and just divine topped with the macerated strawberries and a large dollop of vegan whipped cream. But I must confess, the cake would also be heavenly topped with fresh peaches, sauteed plums, or even mixed berries. It's a not-too-sweet base that let's the fruit be the shining star. So let's celebrate summer and go spread some strawberry happiness!

Vegan Strawberry & Vanilla Shortcake

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

Macerated Strawberries:

  • 1 quart of fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1/2 tsp agave nectar, more or less depending on the sweetness of the strawberries
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp good balsamic vinegar, optional
  • a couple pinches of salt

Vanilla Shortcake:

  • 1-1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer
  • 2 TBS warm water
  • 1-1/2 cup of organic white flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil, melted... you could use unrefined, but it will add a coconut flavor

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. While oven is preheating, mix strawberries, agave, vinegar (if using), and salt together in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Grease a 9" square or round cake pan. In a small bowl, whisk the egg replacer and water together. Set Aside. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. In another small bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. Add the wet into the dry, add the egg replacer mixture. Stir until well combined. Pour and spoon mixture into the pan. Spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 14-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan. To serve, put a slice of shortbread on a plate or bowl and add the macerated strawberries. If you like, top that with coconut whipped cream or your favorite vanilla vegan ice cream. Enjoy!

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry & Vanilla Shortcake

Vegan Strawberries & Vanilla Shortcake

Posted by Noelle on May 20th, 2013
Categories: Sides
Tags: ,,,

This recipe is completely inspired by my first, but hopefully not last, visit to Vedge restaurant in Philadelphia. The hubs and I were celebrating our veganversary and wanted to go somewhere special. Special does not begin to describe Vedge. From the minute I walked in, my vegan heart skipped a beat. As we were ushered past the vegan bar and into the main dining room, the ambiance and decor came together like magic. Minimalist in it's style, yet warm from the ample glowing ceiling lights, with every detail of this historic building thoughtfully restored... all with a neutral palette which quickly draws your eye to the gorgeous food on the tables. That is the real star of this place. We sit down and are given the menu and the day's "dirt list" which is the daily farm-to-table special collection of vegetables. We quickly order beer and begin the hard task of figuring out what food to order. Kung pao cauliflower with peanuts, black vinegar, and cilantro or asparagus & garlic mustard soup w/ preserved lemon and pepitas? How about both. So the food arrives and we dig in. Food orgasms begin. Sorry but seriously, those vegetables were that good. So we order two more plates of veggies. Brussels sprouts, shaved and grilled with smoked mustard arrives. We moan our way through it, savoring every delectable bite. It dawns on me that I have never had vegetables coaxed to such beautiful perfection before. It makes me want to cry tears of joy. I need to take a moment... Needless to say there were many more plates of food and of course dessert, which will require a whole post on it's own. I left Vedge so impressed and so inspired. The hubs and I set out to create our own version of those Brussels sprouts that would be quick, simple, and easy... but still taste special. And here you have it. This truly feels gourmet. It would be a great side dish to impress dinner guests with, or to make the foodie in you sing... or to just celebrate this gift of life. Peace!

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

Smoky Mustard & Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/8 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1 TBS tahini
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 lb or more Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS canola oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (depending on what saltiness you like)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Preheat a grill with a cast iron skillet or pan over medium heat. Next, make the mustard sauce. Pull all ingredients except the water into a bowl and whisk rapidly until combined. Slowly add water while whisking until the mixture becomes a thick creamy sauce. Add more water if needed to help thin it out a bit.

In a large bowl toss the Brussels sprouts with the canola oil, salt & pepper. Once grill and pan are heated, add sprout mixture and cook stirring and tossing frequently for 3 - 5 minutes or until the sprouts just start to get browned on the edges. Be careful not to overcook, you still want them to have some texture. Pile them neatly onto a serving platter and drizzle with mustard sauce and more fresh cracked black pepper. Makes 4 generous sides.

Posted by Noelle on March 24th, 2013
Categories: Entrees
Tags: ,,,,

It's been awhile since I have been able to post. I hope life has been good to you :-) It feels great to finally start reclaiming my life back after what seems like forever. Where have I been you ask? I have been helping close family members (yep, plural) battle serious illness. It's during this time you find out what you are really made of. I found out that my sense of humor never takes a vacation and that it might be my best weapon against the illness monster. The monster tried very hard to bring us all down... We didn't let it win. We aren't out of the clear yet so my postings will be a little sporadic, but as each week gets better and better I will be working on more recipes and posts.

This week's recipe is about simplicity. Time is precious. Now go hug your spouse, your partner, your kids, your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your dogs, your cat, your iguana... you get the idea. Tell them you love them right now. Great, now back to the recipe. This is one of those recipes that you don't even have to get out of your jammies to make. We all have those days. This is about minimal time investment with a huge, delicious return. That sounds good right? Yep it sure is. So make this in the morning, after you have slept in, had your cup of coffee, and are functioning well enough to use a knife. Put it in your crockpot or slow cooker and just hours later you will have some amazing comfort food. This can be served with just about anything. I like mine with a baked potato or alongside rice with a kale salad. Let's see...you could stuff it into a pita, roll it into a wrap, or eat it straight up...Did I mention it's versatile? It also makes great leftovers. Over the long cooking hours the tempeh absorbs the bbq sauce, releasing it as you bite into the perfect juicy and meaty texture. It's easy, simple, comforting, delicious and most of all pretty healthy. My favorite combination :-) Peace and good health to you and yours.

Vegan BBQ Tempeh

BBQ Tempeh - Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of tempeh, 8 oz each, I used plain soy tempeh
  • 16-18 ounces of barbecue sauce, pick something healthy and tasty, mine was agave sweetened
  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of water

Directions:

Turn your crockpot on high. Cut the tempeh into 3/4" cubes. I cut it lengthwise into 3 longs strips and then cut those strips into 9 equal pieces. Place tempeh and sliced onion into the crockpot. Add barbecue sauce and water. Stir gently with a wooden or silicone spoon. Place lid on crockpot and let cook for 5-7 hours on high. You can stir occasionally, but it's not really needed. Serves 4-5.

Vegan BBQ Tempeh

Vegan Tempeh - Barbecue Crockpot