For my Halloween post, I wanted to make something chocolate and fun, but still pretty simple. So often it is difficult to come across vegan chocolate candy to purchase. I love all the chocolate bars...they were my favorites growing up. I'm not a huge fan of fruit flavored candy with the exception of Skittles and Twizzlers. Luckily, they're both vegan (though not healthy at all) so I still get to indulge in them once in a while. Chocolate bars, at least conventional ones, are very much not vegan (with the exception of Peanut Chews, which are accidentally vegan).
I usually just end up buying a bar of Endangered Species dark chocolate as a treat sometimes. I'll break off a square here and there if I want something sweet, bitter and caffeinated. Sometimes, though, I like to have a little fun with my chocolate! It brings me back to my bakery days...
We used to make chocolates using various molds for holidays, cake garnishes, and special orders quite often. I decided, since I don't own one, to buy a chocolate mold for myself. This is my first investment: frog molds! Because, duh, CHOCOLATE FROGS!
I've already posted a recipe for rock cakes this year. I decided to take my Harry Potter inspiration to this post with vegan chocolate frogs. I couldn't get these frogs to move on their own, unfortunately (but not from lack of trying). They are, however, delicious. The best part about them is that they are whatever chocolate you would like them to be. You can choose your own percentage of dark chocolate, make chocolate from scratch, buy vegan milk chocolate, or even vegan white chocolate! I decided to use vegan chocolate chips for mine since they were readily available. There are a ton of raw chocolate recipes out there, though. Check them out and experiment! The mold will always be there waiting for you.
I made two flavors of frogs here. The first one is stuffed with vanilla coconut butter. I wanted to try my hand at making homemade coconut butter finally. I saw a post from Chocolate Covered Katie forever ago about how to do this and I've wanted to ever since! The Minimalist Baker also has a great tutorial. But, in a nutshell, you're basically pulverizing dried coconut until it becomes a paste (nut butter-like) consistency. It takes a lot of patience, but it's so worth it! Coconut butter comes with a high price tag in stores otherwise. This is a great economical option if you're going to use it for a recipe especially.
The other frogs are pumpkin spice flavored. No, there's no actual pumpkin in them. However, there are pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie spices. They're deliciously festive for Halloween! The pumpkin seeds are also a good nut-free alternative for those who are allergic. There are instructions provided here for you, but feel free to take the idea and run with it! Chocolates are easy to make and even easier to customize. I recommend storing these in the freezer long term. If you want one, take it out and let it come to room temp before enjoying! If you will be consuming these quickly, keep them in the fridge.
Have a spooky day, everyone!
Vegan Chocolate Frogs
Yield: Makes about 12 frogs depending on the size mold you use
Free from: Nuts, Gluten, Soy*
*Use soy-free chocolate for this option
I'll spare you the anecdotes and get right to the Thanksgiving food porn. I've listed everything I made for my first Thanksgiving dinner here. I will be seeing my immediate family this weekend where a second feast will take place. I'm blessed to have amazing family and friends who allow my boyfriend and I to bring our own food. I'm also grateful for my mom and dad who make sure that all our sides are vegan so that I can eat everything I want!
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and a festive weekend. I hope for those that work, you take a moment for yourself in any way you can. You deserve it.
Now, feast your eyes...😳😍🍂🍃🦃🍁🌳💝
Purple Sweet Potato Pie Bars
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
No recipe for this...I literally threw it together. But, if you want a good homemade recipe recommendation, see The Minimalist Baker. We made this version last year and it was delicious. This year, i just approximated everything. It's a very forgiving dish. Also, we used an entire container of fried onions because it's time to feast.
Rustic Mashed Red Bliss Potatoes
Again, no real recipe. I can tell you roughly how I did this:
About two years ago, I made three different types of cake doughnuts to celebrate the fall season. Now, I'm back to make a new incarnation of one of them. I'm taking my pumpkin doughnut and throwing some fun Halloween flavors on top of it! Pumpkin and s'mores always seemed like two things that could be good together. I finally figured out how to successfully integrate them: pumpkin spice vegan marshmallows. 😮🎃
Once i found these precious gems, I knew I had to grab them. I was overcome by the pumpkin spice spell once more. The base recipe of these doughnuts is formulated from Erin McKenna's Babycakes Covers the Classics, which was one of the first all gluten-free vegan baking books I ever bought. It opened my eyes to what would ultimately become my fabulous vegan cake recipe, which I am very proud of! Its origins stemmed from how McKenna bakes at her bakeries. Although it isn't exactly the same, it's similar in the types of flours that I combine together.
I love these doughnuts because they are light and spongey but also moist. I used to be a huge fiend of cake doughnuts growing up. Unfortunately, I only ever had Dunkin's until I was older and discovered wonderful places like Voodoo Doughnut, Dottie's Donuts, The Cinnamon Snail, and Dunwell Doughnuts. Now, I am a doughnut explorer. I try all varieties as long as the flavor suits me. I'm also a fan of fritters. 😜
These doughnuts are safe for those who do not wish to worry about gluten or sugar overload while enjoying a delicious fall treat. The fixins on this doughnut do contain sugar, but the batter itself only calls for coconut sugar. You can also substitute an appropriate amount of stevia at your own risk. I recommend enjoying these with your friends/family/cat/dog and a nice hot cup of something. Enjoy and have a spooky weekend.
Pumpkin S'mores Doughnuts
Free from: Soy*, Gluten, Nuts*
You only need a small amount of ganache to drizzle onto the doughnuts so your marshallow and cookie crumbs will stick. If you have leftover, you can always use it to top ice cream later. 😏
Adjust the amount of milk/chocolate as needed for a thicker or thinner consistency. You can use a thick ganache to dip the doughnuts in for more of a glaze effect or drizzle a thinner ganache on top for a fun texture!
Today's post was originally supposed to be a cookie recipe.
Although, since I've been a little cookie-happy lately, I decided to mix it up and make my cookie into a doughnut. It's been awhile since I made doughnuts.
I love baked cake doughnuts. Don't get me wrong, I love (and eat) my fair share of fried yeast and cake doughnuts and I absolutely love it. However, I love to bake (if you couldn't tell!). Baking doughnuts gives them a toasty quality that I secretly miss when I eat a fried doughnut. The two ways of making doughnuts yield such vastly different eating experiences. What I wanted today was a doughnut that really wants to be a cookie, but can't quite figure it out. I think I succeeded.
These doughnuts are faintly pumpkin flavored but I did not put pumpkin pie spice in the batter. I wanted the granola that I sprinkled on top of the doughnuts to be the focus, and it most certainly is! Biting into one is a wonderful experience of soft and crunchy textures working together to delight you.
Did I sell them? ;)
Hearty Granola Doughnuts
Yield: about 5 doughnuts (I used a Wilton pan)
Free of: Gluten, Soy*, Refined Sugar*
*Depends on non-dairy milk and optional powdered sugar garnish
Adapted from: Sweet Freedom Bakery's Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Recipe
Oven 350 F.
I wasn't going to do another pumpkin post, but I feel kind of obligated to. I should get it out of my system while it's still autumn, right?!
Truth be told, I hate the amount of things that are pumpkin spice "flavored" these days. It's a bit over-kill. The problem is, I have always loved pumpkin! When I was younger, the only things I could get pumpkin flavored were cookies and pie during the holidays. It was such a treat. Now, you can get pumpkin spice coffee literally everywhere from about August to January. It's pumpkin everything.
I still have a love for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies. I think spiced baked goods with the earthy sweetness of pumpkin are irresistible. I don't like to get these things out, though. I love baking them so much more. The smell of the spices wafting throughout the house is almost as enjoyable as eating whatever is cooking.
If you're like me and love pumpkin but want it quicker than 15-20 minutes, make this recipe! I knew I wanted to make griddle cakes for my next post, but I wasn't sure what flavors to go with. I just knew I wanted something delicious and spicy quickly.
These griddle cakes are minimally sweet so the whipped cream gives a nice sweetness to the entire dish. If you don't want or don't have coconut cream on hand, try maple syrup, agave, vegan honee, coconut sugar or any other sweet thing to drizzle/shake on top. If you prefer nothing on top, that's fine too! You may want to up the amount of coconut sugar you add to the batter, though. Like i said, these are minimally sweet (but still delicious!).
* The batter itself is also oil-free. I did, however, cook mine in extra virgin coconut oil. If you are avoiding oil, I would suggest baking these in the oven on some parchment paper. They may turn out like whoopie pies. I don't know...I didn't try it. But maybe they do? That would be cool. ;)
Pumpkin Espresso Griddle Cakes
Recipe Adapted from: Vegan Dorayaki
Yield: about 5 griddle cakes (double recipe for more than 1-2 people
Free from: gluten, soy, nuts
*Oil-free option (see above)
Whipped coconut cream recipe is here. I simply added some vegan powdered sugar and cinnamon to taste. It was so divine! <3 Save a little extra for topping dessert later. ;)
I also sprinkled some more espresso powder and cinnamon on top. =P
This vegan royal icing is easy to pipe, sets quickly and isn't too sweet. It's everything I've ever wanted out of an icing. It's also egg-free, soy-free and fat-free. What else could you want?
The cookies themselves are very simple to make. They are an adaption of a simple rolled sugar cookie recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks (non-veg). The fact that they are gluten-free is great because they never change in consistency no matter how many times you roll them out. It's pretty wonderful. =)
I love that the cookies are aromatic without being too sweet. You can easily add up to 1/4 cup more coconut sugar (or regular sugar) if you want them sweeter. I prefer them more buttery because I don't like cookies to be too sweet after they are iced. That is entirely up to you, though!
Feel free to play around with the design/cookie cutter you choose. I made mine look like skeletons and used a gingerbread man cutter. These would also be great as pumpkin shapes (of course) and even circles (ghosts? skulls?). Since the cookies are pumpkin flavored, you could easily make these for Thanksgiving and change up your cutter/design for that too! The possibilities are (almost) endless!
Happy cutting, everyone! ;D
Pumpkin Cutout Cookies
Yield: Approx. 24-36 cookies (depending on the shape)
Free of: Gluten, Soy, Nuts
Adapted from The Blenderist's Recipe
Royal Icing Instructions
This dessert has bold flavor but is very light and easy on the stomach. Since it's grain free, it doesn't take a lot for your body to digest. The mousse is light yet creamy and the filling is crisp and fruity. I really love that these parfaits are as healthy as you want to make them. If you're feeling more indulgent, throwing some cookie crumbs or pie crust crumbs in there would be absolutely amazing!
Bring these for your next fall get together or make them for date night (by yourself definitely counts!). Cheers to fall and pumpkin everything!
Sugar Free Apple & Pumpkin Parfaits
1-5 servings, depending on the size of serving vessel
Free of: Gluten, Refined Sugar, Soy
So, to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, I've decided to go full throttle Halloween-Thanksgiving theme. Not only is my dish black, orange and green, but it's hearty and savory enough for a celebratory entree. I'd love to serve this at Thanksgiving...what a departure from my normal formula of making a bunch of vegan side dishes. I mean, I don't mind making a meal out of salad, stuffing, potatoes and pie. Not at all!
However, it is nice to sit down to a special and festive entree that will satisfy any stomach. This pumpkin is just that. Not only is it totally adorable and seasonally festive, it's delicious and nutritious. It adds wonderful soft and creamy texture to the toothsome pasta filling. It's quite wonderful, if I do say so.
I may have eaten an entire half by myself.
This pumpkin looks huge in my photo, but it wasn't much larger than my hand (and I have small hands, I swear). I would recommend a 3 pound pumpkin for this recipe. It will serve 2-4 people.
Roasting the pumpkin was actually a breeze. I cut my pumpkin in half length-wise like any other winter squash being used for stuffing, rather than cutting a hole in the top like you would for carving. The pumpkin cooked in only a little over a half hour and was perfectly caramelized and fork tender. Mmmm! ^_^
I decided to stuff my pumpkin with a sautee of shiitake mushrooms, garlic, shallots and baby spinach, all dressed simply in olive oil, salt and pepper. Nothing too crazy here. I didn't want to overwhelm the delicate sweetness of the pumpkin. Also, I decided to use black bean penne pasta because it has a gorgeous black color and it's a great gluten-free and protein-rich product that I had never used before. It cooked very well and didn't disappoint in texture!
Oh, and for a toasty, crunchy treat, I topped it all with toasted sliced almonds. Delicious.
Welcome, Fall. It's been a year and I've missed you so! <3 (Please last longer this year before you give way to the bitter cold, plz & thnx.)
Pasta Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin
Yield: 2-4 servings (2 stuffed halves of the pumpkin)
Free of: Soy, Gluten, *Nuts, optional
Preheat oven 350 F.
Oh, and for dessert, I indulged in a tiny piece of chocolate heaven that I happened upon this afternoon. It was a Fall miracle and I'm so happy I know about this wonderful company that makes amazing vegan chocolate.
Yes, that's vegan rice milk chocolate surrounding pumpkin spice caramel on the inside.
You're welcome. ;D
First of all,
Happy World Vegan Day!!!! =D
What better way to celebrate being vegan than with cruelty-free, delicious doughnuts!!!! <3
It's hard to believe that I (an avid baker) haven't tried to make actual doughnuts before. I've made doughnut recipes in muffin tins before, yes, but that doesn't really count...
This fall, after seeing many an apple cider doughnut picture on Instagram, I decided it was time to make my own homemade doughnuts. I've always loved the allure of a warm doughnut in the chilly fall months. There's something wonderful about it. There also must be a hot mug of something to go with said doughnut. The two cannot be separate. It's impossible.
About a year ago, I got my hands on this wonderful book:
Babycakes NYC is a famous bakery in (you guessed it) New York City. There are two other locations in California and Orlando, Florida. I, unfortunately, have never had the privilege to visit any of the bakeries (...yet!). However, I've admired their baking and cake decorating from afar for years now. I've had my eye on their recipes, too. Being able to transform every day baked goods (like, doughnuts, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, madelienes, etc.) into vegan and gluten-free treats is something miraculous when done correctly. I give Erin McKenna major props for creating all that she has. Her recipes yield accurate and effective results, which is important. I never feel good about trying a new recipe only for it to fail and become garbage. =(
What I also love about Erin's recipes are the fact that they are all made using real ingredients. For fats, she mostly uses coconut oil or some other neutral oil. She shies away from using any processed vegan substitutes. These products have their places in baking, sure...However, to use them all the time is kind of cheating in my book! I love to be able to taste food in the most pure form I can. There is nothing to hide in these desserts. Each baked good you will make from this book will taste pure (and sweet! I'll get to that in a minute...).
The only alterations I've made to Erin's basic cake doughnut recipe (my favorite!) are the key flavor ingredients (pumpkin, apple, banana...) and the type of sugar. She uses vegan sugar, which is fine, of course. I have this thing with sugar...I don't particularly like it in large quantities. It's extremely sweet, and I'll admit, I like to use it for certain things that must be just that (frosting, dusting sugar, etc.). But, again, using sugar in large quantities I find overpowers other ingredients in a recipe. I always try to strive for balance in everything I cook, even desserts. Desserts don't have to feel like their socking you over the head with sweetness...they can be complex and satisfying at the same time! (I promise...) ;)
For the batter itself, I used coconut sugar. For anyone who has read my other recipes, you probably know by now that coconut sugar is my go-to sweetener. Well, that and maple syrup! But, for the sake of these autumnal flavored doughnuts, I wanted the deep caramel-like complexity of coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is also wonderful because it's less sweet and also low-GI for anyone who is sugar conscious.
However, to kick these doughnuts up a notch, top them with glaze and real sugar. Since the cake itself is only mildly sweet and a little spicy (thanks to cinnamon and friends), the sweetness on top balances and pulls the whole thing together!
I try to think about these things. ;)
So, without further introduction, here are Babycakes NYC doughnuts three ways. Enjoy and have fun with other flavors!
Oven 325 F
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Doughnuts
Source: see above
Yield: 12 doughnuts (same)
Oven 325 F.
Same as above.
Dip each doughnut in the glaze once completely cooled.
Whisk together all ingredients until desired consistency is achieved. Thin out with more maple syrup if needed.
Banana Doughnuts with Peanut Butter Glaze
Source: see above
Yield: 12 doughnuts
Oven 325 F.
Same as above.
Dip each doughnut in peanut butter glaze after they have cooled completely.
Peanut Butter Glaze
Whisk together until thick but still liquid. Add more coconut oil if needed to thin out.
Enjoy and make a little extra for the ones you love. Show them that vegans can (and do) eat more than kale and grass and stuff. =P
I feel like Thanksgiving took forever to get here. I thought about what I was going to make during the summer months, pining away for fall foods. Now, I feel like Christmas is sneaking up on me. I'm still in my post-pumpkin reverie and eggnog is being forced down my throat.
Don't get me wrong; I love the holidays. But, I wish that our consumer culture would let these holidays speak for themselves instead of using them as a marketing tool. That is, however, a discussion for another post! =)
This post is about Thanksgiving food. It is also about an eclectic selection of finger foods that I just served up at a little potluck party the other night. After my binge-cook-a-thon before Thanksgiving (16 hour stretches of food prep will make you hear things), I decided to take it easy for this potluck. I made hors d'oeuvres and small bite desserts along with some easy kettle corn for munching. I always adore small bite foods because you can eat more of them! I also like to eat a different variety of foods when I'm socializing. It makes the night interesting and gives people something to talk about (with their mouths full)!
Before I get into what I made for the potluck, I'll go over my Thanksgiving menu. Recipes will be posted at a later time. This is due to the lack of photos that I took since I was running around like a maniac trying to prepare everything. Also, I would like to try the recipes a second time =D. You know, to ensure quality and accuracy... I mean, who's going to say "no" to stuffing in December? Not I!
Here is what the menu looked like for the big day:
I also made a loaf each of Pumpkin Nut Bread and Parsnip Spice Bread as gifts for friends. Originally, I also had a salad planned but never got around to making it. Way too much other food! I was a little bummed because I like to have at least one raw dish during Thanksgiving to balance all the other heavily cooked and baked foods. Luckily, I'm making up for it now! One way to get through a holiday food hangover is to eat as many greens as possible!
Moving on to the potluck, I had a more simplified menu with easy-to-eat foods that were lighter yet still flavorful. I made a bunch of dishes that weren't exactly tied to any theme or ethnic background. All the dishes had in common was that i liked to eat them! Like the Thanksgiving recipes, I will shed these out to you over time as well. Today I give you the hummus recipe to hold you over! It's absolutely wonderful. It will alleviate any pizza craving you may have.
I knew I wanted to make a type of hummus or dip for people to try. So often, dips are a vegan's worst nightmare: cream cheese, sour cream, some other type of dairy product, mixed with delicious things that you can eat! Take spinach and artichoke dip for instance; it could so easily be vegan. But, alas, it isn't.
Pizza flavors are synonymous with parties. I figured that infusing hummus with pizza would only lead to approval by omnivorous taste buds. I used white beans instead of chickpeas for a more creamy and mild backdrop. The marinara sauce and garlic really shine this way.
Italian "Pizza" Hummus
Serves: A crowd; About 10 people (You will probably have leftovers. Hide them!)
Take everything except the olive oil and place in blender/food processor. This is much easier if you have a food processor or a high speed blender. I used a Vitamix to puree everything until very smooth. Once the mixture is combined as much as you can get it, steam the olive oil into the machine while processing. Mix with a tamper and/or scrape down the sides often to ensure everything gets incorporated. Once the hummus is smooth and silky to your taste, you can plate it and enjoy. You can use as much or as little oil as you like. This hummus is still delicious without the oil. But, after all, it's the holidays. Treat yourself. ;)
This is my very first food blog! I post revised conventional recipes of foods that I hold near and dear to my heart. My cooking here is all gluten-free and cruelty-free, but full of flavor and comfort.