Cookies.

Cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.

Blood Orange Cookies with White & Dark Chocolate Chips

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Strawberries and Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

I saw all of these recipes for variations of the chocolate chip cookie over on Eat the Love. They were all pretty easy to veganize, although there is a bit more work involved with the strawberry cookie.

The blood orange cookie was amazing. I decided not to do a reduction and to just use juice instead. They were sweet in the most perfect kind of way.

The blueberry cookies were also pretty grand. I pulverized freeze-dried wild blueberries into a powder to add to the dough and the cookies have dried wild bloobs as well. Next time I’ll reduce the sugar because with the berries, white chocolate chips and sugar they were sweet as could be.

From my experience with making the blueberry cookies, I did reduce the sugar just a bit for the strawberry cookies. The strawberry cookies were sort of different though–I made a strawberry soy milk crumbs using powdered soy milk. These cookies also called for mesquite powder (which I happened to have and need to use!) which has a sweet, particular kind of taste. The flavor is nice, but I feel may catch a person off-guard if they weren’t expecting it. Sorta elevates the flavor of the cookie to the next level of crazy delicious.

Sorry for the lazy and boring post. I’m about to move and you know, going crazy in general. I do have recipe posts, but need to write them out. Soup, ice cream and gluten free cookies to come! And peaches, a long post about peaches.

 

 

 

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Za’atar Rubbed Skewers.

I have so many treats to blog about, but so little time. Where does it all go? I honestly don’t know half the time, but I have so many treats to share. So. Many.

These skewers I made are the easiest and most simple thing ever, so there is no excuse not to make them and be enjoying them immediately. I made a homemade za’atar rub, which is a popular blend of spices used in Middle Eastern/Arab cuisine. I used fresh thyme and oregano as well as sumac, sesame seeds and a bit of sea salt.

The rest of the dish is composed of Gimme Lean meatballs mixed with a healthy helping of the za’atar mix, cubes of Follow Your Heart’s vegan Mozzarella, lemon slices and pattypan +  zucchini squash. Brush the squash and cheese with a touch of oil and throw on more za’atar.

I made these on a grill pan, but I know they would love the bbq treatment. You can also make a more homemade vegan meatball from homemade seitan or beans, but I’m not sure beanballs would hold up on a grill. This is also one of those occasions where the FYH cheese really gets to shine. It doesn’t melt all that easily, but that works to its benefit with these skewers. The cheese is able to withstand the heat long enough to get the squash and meatballs cooked while still holding together. It gets nice, warm and ever so slightly melty. These are a great way to say farewell to your bbq. Even though we still technically have summer for a few more months,–(meant to say weeks but my brain must know we’re not getting a break from this year’s heat that easily…) September really marks the beginning of fall. Apple picking anyone? 😉

More Pie, The Best Salad Ever & My 1st Vegan Food Swap.

First, pie.

I made this Sweet Green Heirloom Tomato Pie that was really delicious. I’m pretty sure anyone can recreate this by subbing unripe heirloom tomatoes in your favorite apple pie recipe.

Next up I found an excuse to use my black and golden raspberries along with some green rhubarb I got at the Santa Monica’s Farmer’s Market. I saw the green rhubarb at the market–I was told it was a bit more spicy than red or red/green rhubarb, but I couldn’t tell the difference after it was made into pie. I found the basic recipe for this pie in a Martha Stewart book. It’s basically about 5 cups of fruit with some sugar and starch. No fancy add-ins. Maybe a lil lemon juice. Anyhow, this was my first time eating a raspberry pie and I am happy to report it was tart yet delicious. Martha nailed that balance between sweet and tart for sure. I also enjoyed the textural component added by the seeds of the raspberries.

I let my crust get too soft, so excuse the sloppy lattice.

Next up, the September issue of Vegetarian Times had this really appealing sounding salad; Fennel and Romaine Salad with Cracked Pepper Vinaigrette. All of those flavors together sounded amazing to me. So, I whipped up this salad using shaved slices of Dr. Cow Cashew & Brazil Nut Cheese in place of the parmesan. It’s on page 46. You should probably make it right now.

Lastly, I just wanted to share that I participated in this amazing vegan food swap! The concept is really cool–you sign up and then get emailed a partner and you become someone else’s partner. Everyone goes out and buys or makes a bunch of treats for one another and then we mail it along. You get to make new friends and try new treats, it’s the best! This month, my buddy was Shelby from over at Everyday Vegan Girl. Shelby’s blog is full of yummy sounding healthy recipes and treats, def check it out. 🙂 She sent me a bunch of delicious things:

Individual nut butters from Artisana and Barney Butter

Panda All Natural Licorice

Kaia Foods Sprouted Sunflower Seeds

Homemade Granola

Coconut Sugar

Raw Revolution Bar, Crispy Rice Bar & Sesame Crunch

Ginger Chews

Wheatgrass Drink Mix

Alter-Eco Chocolate Bar (I LOVE Alter-Eco!)

And, a very lovely card.

Thanks Shelby!

Endless Wonder: The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

I hate to come over here and bitch. Dirty life and its stresses and things. Boo. Nay. Well, be gone stress, before I cut you. All I will say is that I moved really fast and unexpectedly (always a good time) and that there were all kinds of things happening, but I think things are going to be calm now. Yes, yes, I’d like some calm. I’d like some Frankie says “relax”. But enough of that. Enough words. Here are some updates before and post move of what I’ve had time to make in the kitch.

First up, Lemon-Olallieberry Chess Pie. Veganized from Eat The Love.

I spent several Wednesdays in a row going to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. It’s pretty far from where I lived and now even farther from my current place. The morning traffic on the 10 is horrendous, but at the same time, all of that bs is balanced by how glorious the market is. I have been hearing and reading about it for years. It’s one of the best farmer’s markets in the country and had heard over and over again that it is always and ever a source of the obscure, the hard-to-find, the heirloom varieties of everything, home base of the best and most delicious produce ever. The rumors could not be more true. I feel such a sense of joy and wonder while I’m there, it’s a miracle that I ever make it home. I could be there for hours, looking at all of the magical, colorful, produce. Tasting samples of the sweetest, juiciest, in-season fruits. Talking to the farmers about a specific variety of eggplant or orange….I want to go to there. On one of my visits, I was in a berry mood. I visited all of the berries. ALL of them. I stumbled upon a farmer who had some offerings that I don’t see very often. She had black raspberries, golden raspberries (these are more common), mulberries (lots of these trees around LA), boysenberries (SO SOUR) and olallieberries. Since small time farmers are awesome, they will let you taste anything. I tasted everything. I decided on black and golden raspberries and the olallieberries. The olallieberry is a hybrid blackberry, bred from two other hybrid blackberries.

I thought the olallieberries were particularly delicious and I thought for a long time on whether or not I ought to just eat them as is, or turn them into a dessert. Since Eat the Love is of endless inspiration I browsed around and decided on Irvin’s award winning chess pie. Feeling lazy, I did not make a proper grid to make my pie a nice chess board, as seen above. I still think it turned out okay. I had some major crust shrinkage issues, I don’t even know what went wrong there, but the pie was still pretty dang good. I wish I had a proper recipe for you, but I threw together the olallieberry curd on a whim and the lemon filling was a bastard version of the tofu based lemon bars from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Smothered in Organic Honey Jumbleberry Sauce.

Since I never get tired of baking pies, I also decided to do a version of Irvin’s Apricot, Sweet Cherry & Plum Vanilla Spiced Pie. I wish my version of this pie had come out a little juicier, but it was still delish. I used Brittany Gold apricots from the far mar, the last of my precious Bings and some plums (forgot the variety!).

 

I also happened upon some young green garlic while perusing the market. I had thought of green garlic as being strictly a spring thing, but you know, this is California and the farmers have skillz. I decided on another Eat the Love recipe, which was orginally gluten free. I’m still not that great at veganizing gluten free recipes. So, I decided to make my version with gluten. Lots of gluten. I used the basic scone recipe from Vegan Brunch, then added tempeh bacon, green garlic, and thyme. The white pepper-maple glaze is amazing and if you are to ever make these, don’t skip the glaze! These scones were a true breakfast treat. I really loved them. 🙂

Once you let the glaze dry and harden, it gives a wonderful textural balance between it and the soft scone.

Sometimes in life you need a tray of roasted vegetables. These rainbow carrots were brushed with Earthy B, salt, pepper and springs of fresh time from the garden. They were like butter in my mouth. Honest to goodness mouthgasm.

This Tomatillo Grilled Cheese is like the latin version of this grilled cheese. Daiya Jack cheese, tomatillos, tempeh bacon….nom..

 

Roasted Blueberry Frozen Yogurt from Oh, Ladycakes. I needed a frozen treat and my last ice cream endeavor was soooo decadent that it was nice to have something a little bit healthier.

Last food update is this pork style seitan burger. It’s my version of this recipe from Giada. I made a batch of pork chop style seitan, made some tofu pancetta and added everything else accordingly. In the future I’d like to figure out how to make these patties a little sturdier. Perhaps I should have added a grain like brown rice or quinoa. I needed something to make them a bit stickier and I didn’t want to add a bunch of potato starch or egg replacer as I thought that would effect the taste too much. I’ll have to work on them and post a recipe at some point. For those of you who have access to Match Meat products, this recipe would come together in a snap with Match. My local vendor has been out of it for a while.

 

Okay, a real post and some recipes coming soon. I also found some gorgeous Moro blood oranges at the market which turned into cookies, and there is sweet green tomato pie, plus what became of the raspberries mentioned above! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Valencia Orange Ice Cream w/ Olive Oil & Chocolate Chunks.

Wow. Totally did not intend to take a two week hiatus from this blog, but it’s been getting real over here. Really real. I am moving unexpectedly this weekend. While moving is probably the most stressful business ever, I know that I am going to be much happier after the move. Anyone who knows me though, knows I have an insane amount of stuff. I love cooking and baking, so naturally there are a million plates, dishes, pots, pans, etc plus a Kitchenaid stand mixer, food processor, Vitamix, ice cream maker, slow cooker….ahhhh….so many kitchen things. And don’t get me started on my books and clothes. Or my pantry….I have two refrigerators and one of them just holds different types of flour and nuts….I’m a loon what can I say. A kitchen happy flour hoarding loon.

I also saw a surgeon on Monday who says it’s finally time for my gallbladder to come out. I’ve known I’ve had gallstones for about 7 years, but I wasn’t really having symptoms until recently. He told me that my healthy diet* has probably prevented me from having symptoms for a long time, but one of my stones has grown pretty large and now I’m having some issues. Sept. 13 is the date–any well wishes sent my way on that day would be much appreciated! It’s a relatively simple procedure, but general anesthesia always a little scary and I will wake up one organ less than before. Weird.

But enough of that noise. In all this stress a girl needs ice cream. A girl needs a vegan version of this wildly delicious sounding ice cream from Eat the Love.

So recreated it has been and eaten it was. For those of you with ice cream makers….make this. This was some of the creamiest most ridiculous ice cream ever. I would not suggest subbing out the coconut milk for anything else. This ice cream is certainly not diet food. It’s filled with fatty fat fat and should be eaten either in moderation or entirely in one sitting. Just putting it out there.

Valencia Orange Ice Cream w/ Olive Oil & Chocolate Chunks

Ingredients:

3 c canned coconut milk, full fat, not light

2 tbsp arrowroot powder

2 tbsp Valencia orange zest

1/2 c freshly squeezed Valencia orange juice

1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil, cold pressed and local (if you’re in CA)

heaping 1/3 c or 1/2 c unbleached cane sugar ( I used a heaping 1/3 c, but if you like really sweet ice cream, use 1/2 c)

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp vodka

1/2 to 3/4 c dark chocolate chunks

Method:

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 c coconut milk with the arrowroot powder. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the remaning coconut milk, orange zest and juice, olive oil and sugar. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, making sure not to get it too hot. You just want to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and add in the arrowroot/milk mixture. Next whisk in the vanilla and vodka. Pour everything into a large metal or glass bowl. Chill in the fridge until ice cream base is cold. Use this mixture in your ice cream maker and mix according to the directions. You are going to add in the chocolate chunks during the last few minutes of the process. Don’t add them sooner unless the directions for your ice cream maker allow you to do so. I have a Cuisinart brand one that is very affordable and works great. With my model, you have to save add-ins for the very end or you risk breaking your machine.

*I eat a pretty healthy vegan diet compared to the S.A.D, but not 24/7 you know…I mean, I’m posting about ice cream and this blog is loaded with pies and cookies and things, but I don’t live on desserts or even eat them everyday (I’d like to though!) So, I don’t eat the world’s healthiest diet because I would be even crazier than I am now living a life without pie, but I’d like to think that my diet is still considered healthy by most people’s standards.

Peach-Blueberry Pie w/ Lavender & Coconut Scented Crust.

The first thing I want to say is forgive the ugly photos. This is a pie I threw together a couple of years ago. It turned out pretty amazing, but I’ve never gotten around to taking some better pictures of it. The coconut scentedness was not entirely on purpose. I wanted to make a wheat crust with coconut oil, but I had run out of the refined (the kind with no coconut smell or taste). I only had virgin coconut oil on hand, so whatever, I used it. I thought it added a delightful dimension to this pie. Nowadays I typically like to use a combination of virgin coconut oil and Earth Balance Coconut Spread.

The crust recipe doubles just fine if you want two pie crusts. Making the crust as is, will yield one bottom crust plus enough scraps to make some leaves or decorations.

Peach-Blueberry Pie with Lavender & Coconut Scented Crust

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1 c whole wheat flour

7 1/2 tbsp virgin coconut oil (you’ll need this to be solid, but not refrigerated)

1/4 c Earth Balance Coconut Spread

1/4 c unbleached cane sugar

pinch sea salt

1 tbsp ice cold water

1 tbsp vodka

Filling:

3 c yellow peaches, blanched, skins removed, and cut into slices

2 c blueberries

3/4 c unbleached cane sugar

2 heaping tbsp arrowroot powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 heaping tbsp dried lavender

Method:

To make the crust, combine the flours, sugar and salt. Add the coconut oil and spread in tablespoons or chunks. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the coconut oil and spread until you start seeing fine crumbs. Add the ice water and vodka. Stir until a dough starts to come together. If you need more liquid, add more ice water 1 tbsp at a time. Take your ball of dough and flatten it into a disk. Cover in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least an hour or until you’re ready to use it.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Take the crust from the fridge and roll it out to fit your pie plate. Use the remaining dough to cut out shapes for the top. Poke the crust with a fork for ventilation. I didn’t have pie weights back when I first started making this pie, so I don’t think you’ll need them. Use them if you have them, or if you want to use dried rice or beans as weights, go right ahead! Remember to line your crust with parchment if you’re using weights of any kind. Bake crust at 450°F for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

For the filling, place the fruit in a big mixing bowl. Add sugar, arrowroot, cinnamon and lavender.

Pour the filling into the crust and bake pie for about 10 min at 450°F. Lower oven temp to 350°F and bake pie  about 35 min or until filling is hot and bubbling.

 

Cherry-Bulgur Burgers w/ Rosemary & Daiya Jack Cheese.

Look. I’m posting a recipe for something savory. Sort of. 😉

These burgers are pretty easy to put together and they grill really nicely. I made them on Sputnik (it looks like a satellite), my tabletop outdoor grill. Don’t forget the vegan cheese as the it cuts the sweetness of the cherries. If you can’t get ahold of the new Daiya wedges, use your favorite vegan cheese you have access to. If you can’t get any near you, try making your own at home. There are a lot of recipes for nut based cheeses online and in various vegan cookbooks.

Cherry-Bulgur Burgers w/ Rosemary & Daiya Jack Cheese

Adapted from Sunset Magazine

Ingredients:

2 tbsp bulgur wheat

1 c chopped onion + one additional onion cut into slices (grill the slices for extra delicious, or just reserve them to top your burgers with)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 c Vegenaise (I like the reduced fat version)

2 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely and divided

zest of half a lemon

3/4 tsp black pepper, divded

scant cup dried cherries

1 tsp sea salt

one package Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style

one Daiya Jack wedge (you’ll need about 6 slices)

hamburger buns

lettuce

Method:

Combine the bulgur with 1/3 c boiling water. Let it stand for about 10 min. If not all of the water is completely absorbed after 10 min, microwave the bulgur for about a minute until the water is absorbed.

In a bowl, combine the Vegenaise, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp of rosemary and 1/4 tsp back pepper. Mix and set in the fridge to chill.

Now grab a pan to cook your chopped onion. Heat about a tbsp of oil and add the onion. Cook for 10-15 min until the onion is golden. Add the garlic and give it a stir. Remove from heat and scrape contents into a large bowl. Add the bulgur, and Gimme Lean beef, remaining rosemary, salt and remaining pepper.

Whirl the cherries in a food processor to break them up a bit, or just give them a good chop with a sharp knife. Add the cherries to the bowl.

Use your hands to really mash everything together. Take handfuls of the mixture and form burger patties to your desired size. I made about 6 patties.

Now you can cook the burgers in pan, or do what I did and grill them. If you decide to grill them, add the vegan cheese in the last few minutes. The new Daiya wedges are a lot softer than the shreds and they melt more easily, so you won’t need to leave them for too long. I also like to grill or toast my buns. Rudi’s Organic Whole Buns are my favorite to use, just in case you were wondering. 😉 Add desired amount of Vegenaise, some nice crispy lettuce and some onions (which I hope you grilled!).