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 August 19th, 2012
Categories: Entrees, Sandwiches
Tags: ,,,

This recipe to me is summer in a sandwich. We hit the farmers market almost every weekend and bring home whatever beautiful, fresh vegetables that catch our eye. When summer is in full swing, it's almost a challenge to edit and not bring home an entire car full of squashes, eggplants, corn, peppers, tomatoes, etc. Plus you add in all the bunches of herbs, and I am in heaven. There is also an organic baker that often comes with his artisan vegan baguettes and breads. We always end up buying too much though... So what to do with all of this? Make a freaking amazing vegan sandwich silly! This sandwich has truly become a family staple in the summer. It can vary week-to-week on what vegetables it contains, but the premise is always the same: the freshest veggies, marinated and grilled, piled on top of a baguette that has been smothered with garlicky goodness. Even the bread gets a brief stint on the grill to make it warm and crunchy... are you drooling yet? FYI You can't really go wrong with the veggies in this, just use what you love, what you have on hand, or use it as an excuse to go to the farmers market 🙂 Peace!

Grilled Vegetable and Garlic Vegan Sandwich

Vegan Grilled Vegetable Sub

Ingredients:

Vegetable Marinade:

  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp agave syrup, I used light
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Garlic Bread:

  • 1 baguette loaf, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS Earth Balance Spread, melted
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

Vegetables (Feel free to use whatever you like or have on hand):

  • 1 or 2 baby eggplants, sliced lengthwise 1/4" thick
  • 1 or 2 zucchini or summer squash, sliced lengthwise 1/4" thick
  • 2 to 3 small sweet or spicy peppers, such as Hungarian, long hots, etc
  • 1 or 2 small onions, peeled and ends removed
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 12 leaves of fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat grill to medium heat. While grill is preheating combine all marinade ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor. Pulse a few times, scraping down as needed, then turn processor on and drizzle in the olive oil until the marinade is emulsified or thickened slightly. Transfer to a bowl. Using a brush (I use a silicone one), coat all the vegetables you are using, except the tomatoes and basil, with the marinade.

For garlic bread, combine the garlic and Earth Balance, brush onto the cut sides of the loaf. Then, using your fingers, sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the cut sides making sure to evenly distribute. Set aside.

Once grill is hot, place vegetables (except tomatoes and basil) on a single layer on the grill and grill a couple minutes each side, flipping to grill both sides. You want the vegetables to be slightly softened with good grill marks. We grill the onions and peppers whole, so they can take a bit longer than everything else. Transfer the veggies as they get done to a platter or cookie sheet. Once they are all grilled, set aside. Next add the garlic bread, cut sides down and grill for a couple minutes until they get nice grill marks, flip and grill other side for another minute or two. Remove from heat.

Next peel the skins off the peppers, remove stems and seeds and cut into 2-3 pieces lengthwise. Slice the grilled onions into 1/4" thick rounds. Now it's time to assemble the sandwich. I usually put the flattest veggies on the bottom, so that would be the eggplant strips, zucchini or squash. Create a single layer to cover the whole base of baguette. Keep layering the grilled veggies onto the sandwich. Then top with the tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and salt and pepper. Put the top of the baguette on the sandwich and carefully slice into 3-4 large sections, I usually involve my elbows to help keep the sandwich together while cutting. Serves 3-4 people.

Vegan Grilled Vegetable and Garlic Hoagie

Vegan Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

Posted by Noelle on August 12th, 2012
Categories: Breakfasts
Tags: ,,,,,

Dear summer, thank you for the beautiful bounty of sweet, juicy peaches... Seriously, this summer has produced an incredible crop. They are so tender and lush I can literally just peel the skin right off. They are the kind of soft, ripe peaches that when you eat them by hand you pretty much need a bib to catch all the drippings. This is when I am glad I don't eat the sugar load that too many of us do. It really allows me to savor and appreciate the natural sweetness of fruit. Each mouth-watering bite can be credited to dew filled mornings, sun drenched days, and the perfect balance of rain... and of course our local farmer that tends to them so carefully. It's truly harmonious. I haven't even delved into the pretty blushing fuzzy skins that each peach seems to proudly wear. They really are little globes of happiness perched on my counter top. Sigh... it's good to be vegan 🙂 This is one of those recipes I dreamed about. Between alien attacks, solving some bizarre crisis, laughing with long-gone friends and relatives, etc (I have weird dreams) I manage to dream up recipes. Usually it's a recurring dream that I'll keep having until I finally break out the measuring cups and start bringing the recipe to life. Hence, we have peach and pecan backed oatmeal. I made mine with white peaches because they are my absolute favorite. You really could change this recipe up and use different fruits, or whatever you have on hand. This truly is one of those recipes that causes instantaneous moaning. You know what I mean. You could even drizzle some warmed maple syrup on top if you like things a little sweeter, or gulp, add some vegan whipped cream. Maybe tonight, when you drift off to sleep, you can dream about sweet summer peaches. I know I will be 🙂

Vegan Peach and Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Peach and Pecan Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 4 large ripe peaches, chopped into bite sized pieces, about 3/4"
  • 1 large ripe peach, sliced into 1/4" half moons (for garnish, optional)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • 3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or plain milk + 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 + 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • non-dairy milk of choice for serving
  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a glass 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, oats through nutmeg, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla until the maple syrup is dissolved. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until well mixed. Add the chopped peaches and pecans, again stirring gently to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and use a spoon to make sure everything is evenly distributed. The mixture will be fairly wet so it's easy to move peaches and pecans around. If desired, add the sliced peach to the top in an artsy pattern. Place onto middle rack in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden and the oatmeal is firm (no more liquid in the dish). Remove from the oven and let cool at least 15 minutes. The longer the oatmeal sits, the better it gets. You can cut it into squares or just spoon it out. I like mine with a little almond or coconut milk on top, my hubs prefers his without. If serving to a bunch of guests pour some milk into a pitcher and each guest can easily add milk if they like. This serves 6-8 people.

    Vegan White Peach & Pecan Baked Oatmeal

    Peach and Pecan Baked Oatmeal