Posted in Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vegan Peanut Butter Cup “Milkshake”

eganIn my opinion, there’s nothing like sipping on a milkshake on a warm spring day, sitting on a porch, ignoring the world.

Although, that opportunity doesn’t happen very often. So, I tend to settle for making one up for on the go, or sipping it at the end of the day as a meal replacement. It may not be the healthiest choice for dinner, but it’s a delicious one. And there are some days, where you need to have a delicious ending, because, let’s be real, the in-between part of the day can really suck.

IMG_0721 Edited

One of my favorite milkshakes, is peanut butter cup. The rich peanut butter flavor with the creamy, cool frothiness of the milkshake, seem to just belong together. And let’s not forget the subtle chocolate flavor in the background to compliment and send it over the top.  Ahh, it’s just the best. Haha

IMG_0720 Edited

After I went vegan, I didn’t want to give up one of my simple pleasures, so ever since then, I’ve been perfecting my milkshake recipe, to make it as thick and as creamy as the original. I finally found a point in my tweaking, where it’s just like the ones I used to have.

All you need is a few ingredients and a blender, then we’ll be off!

Peanut Butter Cup “Milkshake”-

Ingredients-

  • 1/2 a large Banana (or 1 Sm. Banana)
  • 1/4 C. Peanut Butter
  • 1 Scoop (23 g.) Vegan Chocolate Protein Power (I like Orgain’s Creamy chocolate fudge)
  • 3/4 C. Your Choice of Milk (I like Almond, but Coconut or Soy should both work as well)
  • Handful of Ice Cubes (about 5-6 cubes)

Directions-

Place all ingredients in blender, in order as stated above. Blend until just smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes: 2, 6 oz. servings.
Posted in Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Crazy (Pop)Corn

This popcorn is made in coconut oil, salted, then tossed in caramelized coconut, and drizzled with chocolate. ❤

IMG_0482 Edited

Recently, my brother and I have been watching the show, Series of Unfortunate Events. We find it to be hilarious. There’s something about watching someone else have a terrible life, with absolutely no luck at all, that makes you feel so much better about your own life, you know? Haha 😉

In my opinion, this is the perfect snack for winding down on the couch, with a good series to binge watch (like, Series of Unfortunate Events), or with a good movie to watch.

IMG_0494 Edited

This popcorn is a mixture of salty and sweet. My goal was to make it similar to that chocolate drizzled popcorn you can buy at the store, that costs an arm and a leg, but tastes so divine! I mean, what’s not to love? You get that salty, slightly crisp popcorn, with pops of chocolate that just melts in your mouth. The ultimate snack. ❤

As I was putting all my ingredients together, I looked over to the other side of the kitchen, and saw these coconut chips (their not crisp like potato chips, their more like, large coconut flakes), then an idea hit me. What if I take some of the coconut, toast them, and then slightly cook them with agave nectar?

So, that’s exactly what I did. The result? Chewy caramelly coconut perfection.  It just the extra boost that the popcorn needed!

IMG_0512 Edited

Don’t be too intimidated by the amount of different components, it’s all made in one pot, and is thrown together pretty fast, after the popcorn is made. 😀

You can easily double the recipe, just use a larger pot when making the popcorn. I also recommend having all your ingredients pre-measured before you get started.  It lasts 1-2 days, stored in an airtight container.

Crazy Corn-

For the Popcorn-

  • 1/3 C. GF Popcorn Kernels (I used sprouted, I love the flavor it has, but you can just use whatever your favorite kernel is)
  • 2 Tb. Coconut Oil
  • Salt, to taste

For the Coconut-

  • 1/3 C. Unsweetened Coconut Chips (You can buy these either untoasted or toasted. If you use the former, just skip the toasting step.)
  • 2 tsp. Agave Nectar
  • Few Dashes, Salt

For the Chocolate Drizzle-

  • 1/4-1/3 C. Vegan Chocolate Chips (I really like Enjoy Life brand)
  • About 3 tsp. Non-dairy Milk (I used Almond)

Directions-

In a medium or large pot (you want to be able to have all your kernels in a single layers, if there’s doubling, some either won’t pop, or they’ll burn.) Melt coconut oil at med.-high heat. Once it’s all melted and is evenly distributed around the bottom of the pot, drop two kernels in, and cover with lid, leaving it ever so slightly ajar (if you have an air-hole in your lid, you can skip that part). Once the two kernels have both popped, pour the rest of your kernels in, using movement with your pot to even all the kernels out. Cover with lid slightly ajar again, and turn off the burner, or put it on low. Once the kernels are popped, toss in salt.

In the same pot, immediately place coconut, on medium heat. Stirring around a bit, until lightly browned. Stir in agave nectar. Let cook for just a minute or two. Dash with salt. Turn off heat, then carefully (the coconut mixture will be very hot) toss in popcorn.

In the same pot, immediately place chocolate chips. They should melt with just the heat of the pot, so there’s no need to turn on your burner. Stir constantly, until just melted. Add milk, a little at a time. You want it to be smooth enough to drizzle, but be careful not to add too much, or else it won’t harden around your popcorn as it cools, making it pretty hard to eat.

Drizzle half the melted chocolate with a fork, over the top of the popcorn. Using a wooden spoon, very gently flip once or twice, then drizzle the rest of the chocolate on top.

You can eat immediately, but I would recommend waiting about 20 minutes, for the chocolate to melt, for easier consumption. 🙂

Serves: 2-3 people

 

 

 

 

Posted in Vegan, Vegetarian

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are slightly crisp around the edges and soft + chewy on the inside.

img_0547-edited

There’s just something so special about having a warm cookie fresh from the oven. I’m not sure what it is I love most about it…perhaps the gooeyness the melted chocolate chips provide. Maybe it’s the aroma that fills the air as they bake and cool. Or perhaps, it’s the sweet little memories they evoke for me.

img_0569-edited-2

When I think of chocolate chip cookies, I see my mother scooping freshly baked cookies onto a rack.

I see my older sister getting upset with me, for swiping some dough from the baking bowl, using my finger, as I just so happened to pass by the kitchen……okay, fine. I smelled cookies and had to investigate. 😉

I see a pile of cookies stacked high on a plate in the middle of the table, and knowing if I didn’t go for it at that very moment, my brothers would definitely eat everything on the plate, before I got the chance to get a single cookie. As a kid, who loved sugar (because, who doesn’t?) I will tell you, that the adrenaline rush was in fact, very real.

img_0534-edited

So, it’s no surprise that when I went vegan, one of the first “missions” I set out on, was to find a vegan cookie recipe, that wasn’t ridiculously complicated. As I believe baking cookies should be a more relaxing activity, rather than a chore.

After many trials + errors, I finally managed to create a cookie recipe, that comes out wonderfully every time, and doesn’t have too many ingredients that leave you going “who has that stocked in their kitchen all the time?”. So, whether you’ve been baking vegan for a long time, or are perhaps trying to make something to add as a vegan option for a get together, this recipe is for you. 😀

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies-

Wet Ingredients-

  • 1/4 C. Vegan Butter, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 C. Brown Sugar (I like to use dark, but light does work too.)
  • 3/4 C. White Sugar
  • 3 Tb. Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Dry Ingredients-

  • 2 1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 C. Vegan Chocolate Chips

Directions-

Preheat oven to 350°, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or silicone baking mats

In a large bowl beat butter, oil, and both sugars together, until smooth. Bet in milk and vanilla. 

Add flour, baking soda (I recommend sprinkling it over the bowl a bit, to ensure there’s no baking soda clumps in the dough), and salt to wet ingredients, and gently stir together. 

Fold in chocolate chips.

Optional: refrigerate dough for an hour or two. You don’t have to do this, but your cookies will be a bit thinner than pictured above, if you don’t refrigerate. But they do taste good either way. 🙂

Scoop tablespoonfuls, onto the prepared cookie sheets, keeping them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Watch carefully during the last couple minutes, if the tops brown too much, once they cool, they’ll be hard. You want the bottoms browned, but take them out before the tops do. 

Let cool on pans for around 2 minutes, before transferring to cookie sheets (or your mouth 😉 ) to cool completely. 

Makes:  Around 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies
Posted in Vegan, Vegetarian

Vegan Pancakes for Two

Pancakes are one of my favorite foods to have for breakfast. I find them to be delicious and somehow comforting. With a bit of melted butter and a drizzle of maple syrup, they send me to a new world with magical creatures, happiness, and bliss.

img_0451-edited

So, because of this, I take my pancakes very seriously, with a cup of hot steaming idealism. When I first went vegan, I was so lost as to how to make my favorite food work. They either didn’t brown enough, hardened on the outside as they cooked, didn’t bind properly, or had a gummy texture. Not pleasant.

img_0465-edited

Which then sent me out on a research binge. Assuredly, vegans eat good pancakes, you can’t just cut that out, that would be ridiculous. Sure enough, there had been several recipes that looked very good, and in one of them, I was intrigued. They had used apple cider vinegar in it. I had heard of putting it in cakes and such to help make them fluffy, but I had never thought of putting them in pancake batter before.

And so, my pancake testing continued. After playing around with the amount of vinegar I put in, I finally found a ratio that gave it the fluffiness that the pancakes needed, while at the same time not changing the flavor of them. It’s a miracle!!! 😀

After that, the other problems seemed to disappear. They held up really well, they browned wonderfully, and didn’t harden! 😀

img_0459-edited-2-cropped

I like my pancakes to be big and fluffy, but if you like thinner pancakes, just add more milk to it, to thin it out. The thinner the batter, the thinner the pancakes will be. 🙂

Vegan Pancakes for Two-

Ingredients-

  • 1 C. All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vegetable Oil, or Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 C. Non-Dairy Milk (I like to use vanilla almond milk)

Directions-

In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

Create a well (a hole in the middle of your flour mixture), and pour in the vinegar, oil, vanilla, and milk. Gently mix until combined. Some lumps are okay, they add texture to pancakes.

Heat a pan or griddle on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, pour the batter on using 1/4-1/2 cup of batter at a time (depending on how big you want them, I used about a 1/3 C.).

Once you see the batter bubble all over the top (about 3-5 minutes, depending on the size), it’s time to flip! Cook until browned.

Makes: 4 Pancakes

 

 

 

Posted in Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vegan Peppermint Mocha

One of my favorite drinks to get at Starbucks is that seasonal treat they come out with every year. The peppermint mocha. To me, as cheesy as it may sound, it’s Christmas in a cup. Perhaps that makes me “basic”, but you know what, if I am, then I am proud of it! 😀

img_0164-edited-2

However, I’ve always found the prices there to be expensive, and they seem to constantly be rising! Around this time of year, I especially don’t want to spend over $4 for a cup of coffee, as I’m already spending quite a bit of money on gifts.

img_0159-edited

So, I set out to make my own peppermint mocha, so I (and you) could save money, and also have it whenever (like when I’m lounging in my sweatpants). 😉

So, without a further ado, brew your coffee, grab your favorite Christmas mug, and let’s get started!

Vegan Peppermint Mocha:

Ingredients-

  • 3/4 C. Almond Milk
  • 1 C. Strong Hot Coffee
  • 1 Tb. Cocoa Powder (or a vegan how cocoa mix + omitting agave nectar)
  • 2 Tb. Agave Nectar
  • 1/8-1/4 Tsp.Peppermint Extract (depending on how strong you like your peppermint. If you like strong peppermint up your amount to 1/4 tsp.) 

Directions-

In a small bowl heat almond milk in microwave (about 2 minutes). Then whisk in cocoa, agave, and peppermint. 

If you have a milk frother, you can go ahead and briefly foam it up a bit. Set aside.

Using either one larger mug, or two smaller ones, pour hot coffee.

Pour milk mixture evenly on top of the coffee. 

Serve immediately. 

Makes: 1 Large mug full, or two normal/small mugs full
Posted in Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate. It’s the hot comfort on a cold night. It’s the emotional wreck’s best friend. It can be sweet. It can be bitter. It’s the cold joy on a hot summers day. It’s happiness for the taste-buds, and I love it! 😀

I remember as a kid absolutely loving those pudding cups you can get at the store, you know the ones. They were always silky smooth, and sweet. And had a cooling sensation as it slip down your throat with ease. It was always a cause of excitement in my house, since my parents rarely bought them. My mama had a liking for using the word “healthy”, and I had no idea what the definition was, except it usually meant I was going to be snacking on that carrot stick instead of that amazing looking cookie, or in this case, pudding cup.

20161107_154516-edited-2

As I got older, I began to understand what healthy meant, but my love for pudding never changed. I still have the ability to put away 5 little packages of pudding with no help from anyone else. That is where my inspiration for this recipe came from.

Pudding is not a filling food, that’s just a given for most people. But, I, in order not to gain 85 Ib. this year, thought perhaps I could make an equally delicious pudding, that was a little more filling, so that the needing to eat so much pudding could be crossed out.

20161107_154238-2-edited-2

Enter protein powder. I was hoping that by using extra protein it should do the trick, however I was nervous about the taste of protein powder would take over, as it seems to have a knack at doing so. After a little trial and error, I was finally able to make one that has 5 grams of protein per serving, compared to the 1 gram, that the prepackaged one has. Not a lot more, but it was enough to satisfy me, as I hope it does for you as well.

It’s a simple recipe, and I was thankfully able to figure out my way to make it vegan, while keeping the creaminess in tacked! 🙂

Chocolate Pudding-

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. + 3 Tb. Almond/or Coconut Milk
  • 2 Scp./approx. 46 g. Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder (I used Orgain’s Creamy Chocolate Fudge)
  • 3 Tb. Cornstarch
  • 1 Tb. Cocoa Powder
  • 1/3 C Stevia/ or Liquid Sweetener (e.g. agave, or honey if not making it vegan)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Directions-

In a saucepan whisk together 2 cups milk and protein powder on med-low heat, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl mix together cornstarch, 3 Tb milk, and cocoa powder (this helps ensure your pudding to be smooth).

Once your protein milk is hot, add vanilla extract, sweetener and cornstarch mixture. Slowly whisk on low heat, for about 10 minutes, until you can see it’s thickened and has come to a slow boil . Keeping in mind that it will thicken a little bit as it cools, but not a lot.

Take off heat. Eat warm, or store covered, in fridge for up to 3 days.

Makes: 4, 1/2 cup servings.
Posted in Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite things, in the whole wide world is pumpkin.  No, seriously. I love it so much that you could even ask someone I’ve only had a couple of conversations with, and they could tell you, pumpkin would be on my list of favorite things. It’s almost embarrassing. 😉

I remember the first time I  bit into a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, I was around the age of 13, and my older sister was making them. From the first moment I tasted it, I knew…it was true love. I then proceeded to eat every last one in that cookie jar! And let me tell you, I still have no regrets about that decision.*cue smirking*

20161012_164117

These are not all that unlike the ones I had that day. The difference you ask? Well, I’d be glad to tell you. Because of my eating restrictions, and the eating restrictions of the people around me, I wanted to make these work for both me and many of them. So, after some trial and error, I’ve managed to make these both gluten-free and vegan!  Not to mention they’re also very easy to make. 🙂

I hope these bring as much warmth to your table as they did to mine.

Gluten Free, Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies-              

Dry Ingredients-

  • 3 C. Oat Flour (can easily make this at home, with your choice of unflavored, GF oats+ a food processor, or blender)
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, dash of cloves, and a dash of allspice)
  • 1 C. White Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Dark Brown Sugar (can use agave instead, just add with wet ingredients +increase cooking time by 5-10 min. It will make them bigger, but less fluffy)

Wet Ingredients-

  • 1 Tb. Cornstarch, mixed with 3 Tb. Water
  • 1 C. Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 C. Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 C. Vegan Chocolate Chips

Directions-

Preheat oven to 350°, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients, then create a well in the middle, like so.

oat-flour

Place all the wet ingredients, except the chocolate chips in the ‘well’, and mix with wooden spoon until just blended. Then gently fold in Chocolate Chips.

Scoop heaping tablespoon fulls of dough on prepared sheets, and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Let cool on sheet for a couple of minutes, before moving to a cookie sheet to cool fully.

Makes: 2 Dozen Cookies