Posted by Noelle on September 24th, 2012
Categories: Appetizers
Tags: ,,,

Chilly nights have arrived here in eastern Pennsylvania. The leaves are starting to drift slowly from the trees, adding that fall tell-tale crunching sound to my daily walks. The leaves become exciting little creatures to my sweet dog, who must check out any unusually large ones, or ones that move a little in the wind. She has a very active imagination so now she has tons of excitement on her walks. Fall is here and it's time to warm up from the inside. This is the perfect creamy dip, served piping hot, it's comfort food at it's finest. One brisk day, it just so happened that we had a bunch of extra kale. We are addicted to kale in our house... finally something to crave that is actually good for me! But it does not stay fresh long in the fridge. So what to do with all the extra kale before the leaves start looking sad and droopy? I had a jar of artichokes and decided to try kale as a stand in for the traditional spinach. It works beautifully. This dip is unbelievably good... just like the creamy dip I remember from the old days, but packed with a little extra garlic flavor. One can never have enough garlic, and well, garlic and kale just belong together. So invite some friends over, warm up the tortilla chips, and uncork a bottle of wine... This is warmth worth sharing.

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip

Vegan Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1/2 cup nondairy plain, unsweetened coconut milk, I used SoDelicious (don’t use canned coconut milk)
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 2 TBS Earth Balance Vegan butter, melted
  • 1 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • 2 tsp agave syrup, light
  • 1 tsp tahini paste
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 6 cups kale, leaves removed from stems, stems discarded
  • 1 – 10 oz jar of artichokes in water (about 9 chokes), drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup Daiya vegan mozzarella shreds
  • Water for Boiling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large deep skillet, bring a couple inches of salted water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, chop the kale leaves into 1/2” strips. Once the water is boiling, drop the kale into the water and cover. Boil for 5 minutes then empty into a colander to drain.

Next, combine all the ingredients from milk to black pepper into a food processor. Process for about one minute to combine. Then, while processor is running, slowly drizzle olive oil in. Let run for about 10 more seconds after the last drop of the oil is in, set aside.

Chop the artichokes by cutting them in half lengthwise, then cutting those pieces across into thirds. Squeeze as much water out of them as you can by hand and place into a large bowl. Next squeeze the blanched kale in your hands to get the water out, do this in batches and place into the bowl with the chokes. Add the minced garlic and mozzarella shreds, stir gently to mix. Now pour the sauce over everything and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour everything into a small casserole dish, mine was about 4”w x 8”d x 2”h. If it’s filled pretty close to the top, as mine was, place the dish onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil to catch any drippings. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes until the top is just starting to brown and the middle and edges are bubbling. Let rest for 15 minutes, serve with toasted bread or pitas, or tortilla chips. Serves 6-8 as an appetizer.

Vegan Creamy Kale Dip

Creamy Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip

Hot Vegan Kale and Artichoke Dip

Posted by Noelle on September 17th, 2012
Categories: Breakfasts, Desserts
Tags: ,,,,

It's hard to find healthy sweet treats, even harder to find vegan and gluten-free healthy sweets. Someday I hope that every baker in America, after mastering their skills, will proudly add symbols for vegan and gluten-free goods on their signs or at least their windows. Is that too much to ask for? That would seriously be a dream come true. Anyways, until that time, I have to create my own healthier sweets. I happened to have some bananas that were looking pretty brown and a craving for chocolate. What a great combination! And of course it's the perfect time of year for oatmeal. So I combined everything together in one happy little cookie. These are more cake-like little bites, than a chewy cookie. Not too sweet, not too filling, with just enough chocolate to make me happy. These would actually make great little mini whoopie pies if you had a hankering to whip together a vegan buttercream. I have to admit that I gave them to not only my family, but my coworkers and other work associates to taste test. Why? Because I loved them, but they are different and again, healthy. Just needed a reality check for others to say they enjoyed them too... I got the thumbs up from everyone and they were gone quickly. So here's hoping you will like them too 🙂

Vegan Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 - 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of rolled oats, ground fine in a food processor
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/8 cup agave syrup, I used light
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, or more to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper, then spray the paper with non-stick spray. In a large bowl whisk together the rolled oats, ground oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk the banana, agave, oil, and vanilla together. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Using a spoon, stir until everything is well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place a heaping tablespoon of batter for each cookie onto the parchment lined pan, leaving at leaving about 2 inches between the cookies. Press the down on them slightly until they are no more than 1/2" thick. Put 8-10 cookies on each sheet. Bake cookies for 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through to make sure they back evenly. They should be just slightly golden around the edges. Let rest on pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Makes 16 - 20 cookies.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by Noelle on September 10th, 2012
Categories: Desserts
Tags: ,,,,

Fall is knocking on the door. Summer was hot and glorious, I will miss it... But Fall, with it's chilly mornings, changing leaves, and the first possibility of logs burning away in the fireplace is almost here. I find myself patiently waiting for the apple harvest, tossing around ideas on what to make with pumpkins, and dreaming of cranberries. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger can be smelled wafting through the house at any moment, inviting you to get cozy and warm with a hot cup of tea. Ah yes, fall is almost here and I am ready. This dessert is perfect for fall. All the flavors of warm, toasted coconut steeped into a sweet rich custard. Enjoy it with a fresh brewed cup of joe or even a glass of wine. It's definitely a dessert you can get cozy with. I served mine in stemless wine glasses, which made them feel extra special. The toasted coconut sprinkled on top of the whipped cream hint at the snowflakes that will inevitably fall in the coming months. So embrace the changing of the seasons, wrap your arms around your loved ones, and cozy up to some toasted coconut custard bliss together. Peace!

Vegan Toasted Coconut Pots De Creme

Toasted Coconut Puddings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups non-dairy milk, I used SoDelicious Plain Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 tsp agar agar flakes
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup, I used light
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 - 14.5 ounce can of full fat coconut milk
  • vegan whipped cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut flakes onto a cookie sheet and bake for 5 - 7 minutes stirring occasionally until coconut is toasted and golden. Next, in a medium saucepan add non-dairy coconut milk, cornstarch, agar flakes, agave syrup, and salt. Whisk well to combine. Add toasted coconut, reserving a tablespoon or two for garnish. Bring to a slow boil over medium-low heat. Once boiling, cook for 10 minutes whisking often. Place a mesh strainer above a heat proof bowl and pour coconut mixture through to strain. Use a spoon to move coconut flakes around and get all the liquid. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the thick cream, being careful to get as little of the coconut water as possible. Add the cream to the bowl with the coconut mixture. Once all the cream is added, whisk very well until everything is incorporated and there are no lumps. Pour mixture into 4 ramekins, small bowls, glasses, or whatever else you have on hand. Each serving is 1/2 cup. Put into the fridge and let chill for 1-2 hours until set. Top with vegan whipped cream and remaining toasted coconut. Makes 4 servings, 1/2 cup each.

Vegan Pot De Creme