Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ever since I was little, I always loved to bake. My mom would let me help in the kitchen and taught me how to follow recipes but I often saw her adapt them and add her own twist. My Dad loves dessert (and I've got his sweet tooth) and the best part of baking was seeing my Dad enjoy the sweets. When I went vegan more than two decades ago, the first dessert recipe I adapted was good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies, my Dad's favorite. I've been baking this recipe for pot lucks, house warming parties and birthdays for years. It's tried and true and it will satisfy vegans AND omnivores alike!

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

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1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

3/4 cup organic fine turbinado sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread

1 tsp vanilla

2 Egg Replacer Eggs  (I use Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder)

1/4 - 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life mini chips)

 

Preheat oven to 350 & Line a large baking sheet with Parchment paper.

Mix Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer mix brown sugar, white sugar and buttery spread until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg replacer eggs and mix until smooth. Gradually add and mix the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Carefully mix in chocolate chips.

Use a scoop or a spoon to drop dough onto the parchment paper. Leave 1-2" in between each scoop and if you like thinner cookies, gently press each dough ball down. Bake 8-10 min. For softer style cookies take them out of the oven when bottoms are slightly brown but tops appear undercooked. For crispy cookies wait until tops appear slightly brown to remove.

Let cool on cookie racks and store in airtight container.

 

Pancake Muffin Donuts

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Yes it’s true, I’ve got a sweet tooth. This recipe emerged out of the want for all three things in it’s title, Pancakes, muffins and donuts. Essentially these yummies have the flavor of pancakes with the texture of muffins and the shape of donuts. I’m also always looking for how to incorporate a little protein and nutrients into my sweet tooth satisfaction which is why I chose to use a Paleo pancake mix. So there you have it, take it for what it’s worth, a strange but delicious concoction that my husband (also my taste tester) was pleased with and did not leave us with a sugar high!

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Ingredients

1 cup flour

2 cups Bob’s Redmill Paleo pancake mix (this is a vegan and gluten free mix)

1/2 cup turbinado sugar (could be cut to 1/4 cup for you health freaks)

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tsp egg replacer powder

1/2 cup almond milk unsweetened

1/2 cup natural applesauce unsweetened

Preheat oven to 350

Grease a donut baking pan. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and scoop into a zip lock bag. Snip corner off bag and squeeze mixture into donut cups.

Bake for 10-12 min or until golden brown

Drizzle with glaze, dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with maple syrup and serve warm

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Tempeh Chili

 There is nothing better than supporting other artist/makers, especially when they are my friends! Bowl by  Quail Pottery . Hand dyed cloth napkin by  Flatland Alpacas .

There is nothing better than supporting other artist/makers, especially when they are my friends! Bowl by Quail Pottery. Hand dyed cloth napkin by Flatland Alpacas.

This is a throw together, ready in an hour easy vegan chili. It was inspired by a recipe for pozole, my husband loves from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook (which is a household favorite). It makes a big pot so be ready for leftovers!

Ingredients

2 Tbl olive oil

1 medium onion diced

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5 gloves garlic minced

4 cubanelle peppers (or 2 green or red peppers)

1 package tempeh

1 22oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 can black beans

1 can chick peas

1 can hominy

1 can corn (I know this is redundant because hominy is corn but it’s nice to have pops of yellow in the chili! )

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp chipotle

1 Tbl cocoa powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 cups water

Garnish (optional)

sliced avocado

shredded red cabbage

lime juice

cilantro

sliced radishes

slivered green onion

Saute onion and oil over medium heat until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add garlic and peppers and toss until fragrant. Add spices except cocoa and crumble tempeh and stir until well coated. Add beans, hominy, corn and crushed tomato, cocoa and water. Mix thoroughly and simmer on low heat for 20min-45min (if you have the time, let this simmer for longer, it only gets better with time.) If you like your chili more loose, add another cup of water. Serve warm with garnish of your choice.

Sweet & Smoky Cashews

 Serve cashews in a ripple bowl! Part of our “Seaside” Collection!

Serve cashews in a ripple bowl! Part of our “Seaside” Collection!

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We are cashew obsessed in our household. We always have roasted salted cashews on hand for a quick snack and I love playing with raw cashews and incorporating my own flavors. This is a super simple way to make a tasty snack. Eat them on their own or toss them in a salad or savory trail mix!

Ingredients

3 cups raw cashews

2 Tbl maple syrup

3 tsp liquid smoke

2 Tbl molasses

1 tsp fine salt

Toss all ingredients in a bowl until well combined and cashews are completely coated with mixture.

AIR FRYER: Air Fry at 350degrees for 10-12min shaking the basket or flipping the cashews every five minutes (THIS IS IMPORTANT! if you don’t flip them or toss them around they may burn!) They should appear dark molasses brown when done and they may be slightly sticky while hot. Spread them on parchment paper to cool and store in a mason jar or airtight container once completely cool.

STOVETOP: In a non stick skillet roast the cashews over low/medium heat stirring often to avoid burning until cashews are nearly dry. They may be slightly sticky while still hot. Spread them on parchment paper to cool and store in a mason jar or airtight container once completely cool.

*create your own concoction! Add a touch of siracha or cajun seasoning for some heat!

Blackened Tempeh

 Blackened Tempeh with Roasted Brussell Sprouts and Brown Rice Pasta

Blackened Tempeh with Roasted Brussell Sprouts and Brown Rice Pasta

Tempeh is a soybean product made by culturing and fermenting soybeans into a block form. It's high in protein, holds its shape and easily accepts marinades and can be fried, baked, roasted or crumbled into soups, sauces or stir fry. This is an easy way to prepare tempeh and pair it with pasta, stir fry, veggies or breakfast/brunch.

Ingredients

2 packages tempeh cut into 1/2 inch wide strips

3 Tbl Canola Oil

Marinade: 

2 Tbl soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1 Tbl Siracha

2 Tbl Olive Oil

Blackening Seasoning

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1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Use a steaming basket to steam tempeh for 8-10 min. Steaming helps soften the tempeh so it can soak up the marinade. It also helps sweeten the tempeh.

While the tempeh is steaming, mix the marinade in a mason jar or small bowl and shake the jar or whisk in a bowl to mix. Once the tempeh has steamed, remove it from the steaming basket and set into a shallow dish and pour marinade over it. Make sure it's evenly coated. Let sit while you mix the seasoning.

Mix ingredients for the blackening seasoning in a shallow bowl and set aside. Prepare a non stick frying pan with 3 Tbl of canola oil and heat over medium heat. Dredge each strip of tempeh into the blackening seasoning and carefully lay them into the hot oil. Allow to cook 2-3 min and flip to brown each side.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Sandwiches
  • Stir Fry
  • With Rice or Pasta
  • With Roasted Veggies

 

Sweet or Salty Pretzel Bites

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Dough

1 ½ cups warm water

1 Tbl organic sugar

2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 package

1 ½ tsp salt

3 Tbl coconut oil

3 ½ -4 cups all purpose flour

 

Bath

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5 cups water

3 Tbl baking soda

 

Sweet Coating: mix

¼ cup sugar or coconut sugar

2 ½ tsp Vietnamese cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

 

Salty Coating

Coarse sea salt

In a large bowl add the warm water and add sugar and mix until dissolved. Add yeast, cover and let sit for 10 min to activate yeast.  Once the yeast is foamy add salt and coconut oil then slowly mix in flour. Knead the dough on a clean floured surface 3-5 min and shape into a ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover and set in a warm place to rise for 15 min.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 450. Heat the water for the baking soda bath in a large soup pot. Once the dough has risen cut it into 8 triangles like a pizza. Roll each triangle into an 18” long rope and cut 1-2” bites. When the water boils add the baking soda and stir. Add about 20 dough bites to the bath at a time and let soak for 30 seconds and then remove with a slotted spoon and place on parchment paper. Don’t overcrowd. Bake at 450 for 10-12 min until tops are nice and brown.

Brush bites with coconut oil once they have cooled and toss into sweet coating. Or sprinkle with salt.

Vegan Broccoli Quiche

 photo credit: Amma Rhea Photography

photo credit: Amma Rhea Photography

Ingredients

1 ½ cups raw cashews soaked overnight

½ cup cannellini beans

1 ½ tsp garlic powder

4 Tbl Nutritional Yeast

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp black salt

2 Tbl garbanzo bean flour

2 tbl unsweetened almond milk

¼ tsp celery seed

¼ cup diced onion

½ cup steamed and chopped broccoli

1 Tbl tofu bacon bits (optional)

1 package of frozen prepared pie crust

In a food processor blend: cashews, beans, garlic powder, yeast, flour, salt and turmeric until smooth.

Preheat oven to 375.  Par-bake the crust for 10 min and set aside to cool. Saute onion, broccoli until onion is browned. Add celery seed, tofu bacon bits. In a large bowl combine cashew mixture and veggies with almond milk. Fill the mini crusts and bake for 35 min or until filling is firm and crust is golden brown.

*options: replace broccoli with roasted potatoes, spinach or any veggie of your choice!

 

Oatmeal Raisin & Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These cookies are super simple and perfect for dipping in your alternative milk of choice!  Add or omit raisins/chocolate or any other add-in you prefer!

Ingredients

makes 24, 3" cookies

1/2 cup melted vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 egg replacer eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups whole oats

1 cup flour

1/4 cup mini vegan chocolate chips

1/2 cup organic raisins

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Once blended, add egg replacer and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, salt, oats and baking powder. Add the dry mix to the wet and mix thoroughly. Add the chips and raisins and mix until well combined. Drop spoonfulls of dough mixture onto a cookie sheet and flatten a bit with the back side of a spoon.

Bake 10-15 min or until lightly browned on top. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container (if they last that long!)

Butternut Squash Chili

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Ingredients

1 tetra pack of vegan broth (1 qt)

1 jar salsa of your choice (I used Newman's Own)

1 can hominy

1 can corn

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced

6 cloves garlic crushed

1 large onion diced

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1 can small red beans

1/2 cup chopped black olives

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

In a large soup pot, saute garlic, onion, squash and spices until onions begin to look transparent. Add all other ingredients and simmer uncovered until squash is tender.

Serve with corn chips and vegan cheese! I recommend aged cashew cheese from Three Girls Vegan Creamery in Guilford, CT. If you've not tried this amazing vegan cheese it's a must!

Spinach Bites

 photo credit: amma rhea photography

photo credit: amma rhea photography

These are quick, easy and delicious for snacks or appetizers. Dip them in seasoned olive oil or hummus and enjoy!

Ingredients

 photo credit: amma rhea photography

photo credit: amma rhea photography

3  Cups Fresh organic spinach

½ cup raw cashews

¾ cup almond meal flour

3 Tbl Olive Oil

1 tsp salt

1 egg replacer or flax egg

1 small chopped red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 cup oats

¼ tsp pepper

¼ tsp smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. If the mixture is overly wet, add more oats and blend until smooth. Scoop tablespoon sized balls of the mixture onto the parchment paper. Bake for 15-20min or until bottoms have browned. Remove and let cool on a cookie rack, serve warm with hummus for dipping.

Summer Tomato Marinara Sauce

 Heirloom Brandy wine tomatoes are my favorite!

Heirloom Brandy wine tomatoes are my favorite!

Ingredients:

8-10 ripe tomatoes of your choice chopped and seeds removed

8 cloves of fresh garlic minced

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1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbl light brown sugar (this can be omitted depending on preference)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I prefer California Olive Ranch Brand)

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In a large shallow saucepan heat half of the olive oil over medium heat and add the minced garlic. Saute until fragrant and then add chopped basil, stir for another minute and then add the tomatoes, the rest of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium until bubbling, turn heat to low and simmer for 30-45min until tomatoes are cooked down and color deepens. Taste the sauce and add brown sugar if desired.

Cool and blend with emulsion blender or table top blender if you want smooth sauce! This sauce freezes well and is wonderful for lasagna, pasta, stuffed peppers and so much more!

Chai Tea Concentrate

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I've been a chai tea lover for years and I've tried all the store bought concentrates which tend to be pricey and filled with sugar, not to mention they often lack the real spicy flavor I'm craving in a good chai. Despite being obsessed with hot drinks all year round the hot New England Summer has left me wanting something cool. I looked at a bunch of recipes for chai concentrate before concocting my own version which leaves out the controversial star anise. Let's face it, anise is a love it or hate it flavor and my hubby hates it so I left it out of this recipe.  If you love it, skip to the bottom for *suggestions. This recipe makes about 6 cups (or 3 pint sized mason jars full) and can easily be halved, but why bother when it keeps in the fridge for several weeks or makes a great hostess gift for a summer soiree! 

Ingredients

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10 cups water

2 inches fresh ginger peeled

8 cinnamon sticks

16 tsp loose black tea

16 whole cloves

10 cardamom pods

24 black peppercorns

30 allspice berries

3/4 - 1 cup coconut sugar

muslin bag OR cheesecloth and cotton cord OR strainer

Put the 10 cups of water into a large pot and boil while you prep the ingredients for steeping the tea. I used a piece of cheesecloth folded over several times into a 8"x8" square to make a large teabag for this recipe but you could just add everything to the water and strain it with fine mesh when you're done. 

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Crack the peppercorns, allspice, cardamom and cloves with the back of a heavy knife and add them to the cheesecloth.  Slice the vanillla bean lengthwise and use a knife tip to scrape out the seeds adding them to the cheesecloth. Add the loose tea to the cheesecloth and lift up the corners and twist to make a large tea bag, secure the sachet with cotton cording.  Peel and rough chop the ginger and set it aside.

Once your water comes to a boil add the loose ginger, cinnamon sticks and the sachet with all other ingredients into the water and turn heat down to simmer uncovered for 20 min or until the liquid is reduced by 2 cups. Remove the sachet if using one and add your coconut sugar to taste, I used approx 3/4 cup. Stir to dissolve. Strain the remaining liquid and jar when cooled.

To use your concentrate:

I use 1/3 concentrate to 2/3 almond milk. It depends on how spicy you want your mixture. You could also do a 50/50 ratio.

Suggestions:

  • This is great cold OR hot!
  • For a decaf version, use Rooibos loose tea instead of black
  • Add a cinnamon stick to a hot version for a bit more spice
  • Try it with coconut milk or soy milk!
  • Add in 1 or 2 Star Anise (no need to crack these just toss them in)
  • Add in 1-2 tsp cacao nibs for a chocolate chai!
  • Make your own version of dirty chai with 1/3 coffee, 1/3 chai, 1/3 milk of choice
  • Add seeds from a second vanilla bean for smoother/sweeter tones
  •  

Tofu Breakfast Scramble

tofuscramble

This is a quick and easy recipe that is adaptable for any flavor profile (mexican, indian, italian etc) When you live with an omnivore who loves eggs for breakfast like I do, you want to make something just as easy and that involves similar ingredients so that you can both enjoy a lovely Sunday brunch together. This is a great way to use up leftover veggies too!

Ingredients:

1 package extra firm tofu, drained

2 Tbl olive oil

1/4 cup diced red pepper

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh spinach

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp salt

pepper to taste

2 Tbl nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp paprika

In a large frying pan heat the oil over medium heat. Crumble the tofu into the hot oil and sprinkle with turmeric, salt,pepper, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and paprika. Toss and cook until the tofu dries out and begins to brown. Push the tofu to one side of the frying pan and add the onions and red peppers to the other side and toss until the veggies heat through. Mix tofu and veggies together and toss in the spinach. When spinach turns bright green, turn off the heat and serve while hot.

* Make it Mexican: add 1/2 tsp ground cumin and 1 Tbl diced jalepeno

* Make it Indian: add 1/2 tsp curry powder and 1/4 tsp garam masala

* Make it Italian: add 1 Tbl of Herbs de Provence and 1/4 cup diced tomatos

Corn Salsa

Looking for the perfect dish to bring to a summer picnic, pot luck or backyard BBQ?  This is IT!  It's quick, easy, delicious and will be a hit with vegans and omnivores alike! Scoop it up with corn chips or enjoy it like a salad or side! It's great leftover on top of rice too!

Ingredients

It is easiest to make the dressing first and let it cool while you do the rest of the recipe.

For dressing, bring to a boil:

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 Tbls. water

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute

Cool before pouring over beans/corn/veggie mixture below.

Combine in large bowl:

1 can black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)

1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 small orange or red pepper chopped

1 cans of corn, drained

1 small red onion chopped

1 small green pepper chopped

1-2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)

1 jalepeno pepper chopped (optional)

Vegan, Gluten Free Mac & "Cheese"

vegan glueten free mac and cheese

What's better than comfort food in the Winter? When you're looking for a hearty and tasty easy one pot wonder, this yum yum will do the trick!  Despite the fact that this dish clearly takes center stage at any meal, it's the 'right thing to do' to add veggies and a protein, so I served up a side of roasted brussell sprouts and marinated pan fried tempeh. Nom, nom nom!

Ingredients

1/2 lb gluten free pasta (i used shells but it works fine with any shape pasta)

6 Tbl melted Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread

6 Tbl Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

2 Tbl Mustard Powder

Salt / Pepper to taste

1/3cup Nutritional Yeast

1 1/2 cups Daiya Cheddar Cheese Shreds

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs

First get your water boiling for your pasta. Add a pinch of salt and a Tbl of olive oil and while you're waiting make your "cheese" sauce. (keep an eye on your water and toss in the pasta once it boils).

Preheat your oven to 350. On the stove top, over low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan and add flour and mustard powder. Whisk quickly and add almond milk continue to whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Add yeast and cheese and continue to whisk over low heat until the mixture is smooth, (do not boil as you will boil out the nutrients in the yeast!) add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, cover and set aside until your pasta is cooked.

Drain your pasta and add it to the cheese sauce and stir to fully coat. Pour the mixture into a casserole, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for approx 30 min or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve!

 

 

Lentil Butternut Squash Soup

I love soup all year round but there is nothing like a homemade bowl of scrumptious hearty soup on a chilly Fall day. When I'm creating a new recipe it's usually in part due to having ingredients I need to use and this one included a home grown butternut squash my Dad grew this past summer that had been sitting on my counter for quite some time. (thankfully winter squash lasts forever!) I love to add fresh toppings to warm soup as well and this one is the perfect candidate so make sure to check out all the options in the ingredients list and let me know if you come up with your own ideas too!

vegan lentil butternut squash soup

 

Ingredients

2 Tbl olive oil

13 cloves garlic - 3 minced, 8 whole

3 carrots diced

1 sweet onion diced

1 red pepper diced

1 small butternut squash

2 cups french lentils (the small black ones, they are actually speckled but these are the best kind because they hold their shape and don't turn to mush!)

3 cups thinly chopped fresh spinach

1/4 tsp ground mustard

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1/4 tsp ground sage

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 chipotle powder

3 Tbl *no chicken soup base bullion (or sub the water for veggie broth)

10 cups water* or veggie broth

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

**Optional toppings: diced fresh avocado, sliced scallions, fresh squeezed lime, tortilla chips

First up, roasting the squash. Preheat the oven to 425. Slice the top and bottom of the squash off and then slice it long ways down the middle, remove the seeds and turn them face down onto a baking pan. Place 4 cloves of garlic in the well of each half of squash and add 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Roast the squash for 30 min. If a knife tip easily pierces the squash, it's ready, otherwise roast for an additional 10-15 min. Let cool and peel off the skin. Some will easily peel by hand, other parts are easily removed with a pairing knife. Diced into small pieces once peeled and set aside in a bowl

In a large soup pot saute the olive oil, garlic, onion, carrot and red pepper until onion begins to turn translucent. Add all the spices and stir well for 1-2min. Add the lentils, water and bullion (or veggie stock if substituting).  Bring to a boil and add squash. Simmer for 30 min or until lentils are cooked through.  Add fresh chopped spinach and simmer another 5-10min.

Serve hot with toppings of your choice or a side of fresh baked bread!