Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cocomon Balls

Coconut + lemon = cocomon

I whipped up this raw, vegan dessert yesterday while waiting for my curried split pea soup to cook (check back for that blog post soon!). When I found the recipe this was adapted from I was excited to see that it called for almond flour. For weeks I have been making almond flour, hoping that I would someday find a use for it. Every time I make almond milk in the juicer, I dehydrate the pulp, then grind it into a fine powder using the Baby Bullet. Almond flour!

Popping these in the dehydrator for an hour gave them a crunch on the outside, but left them warm and gooey in the center. Omg yum. They're phenomenal with the lemon, but next time I make them I'll use lime. Lime and coconut? Yes please!

Cocomon Balls
Makes 2 dozen

  • 1 1/2 cups of almond flour (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 1/2 cups of shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup of coconut flour
  • A dash of salt
  • 6 Tbsp. of agave
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice from one lemon
  1. In a large bowl, stir the almond flour, coconut, coconut flour and salt until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the agave, vanilla and lemon.
  3. Slowly add the agave mixture to the large bowl, mixing with a hand mixer until combined.
  4. Roll the mixture into small, one inch balls.
  5. Place in the balls in the dehydrator for one hour.
  6. Serve immediately.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Honey Mustard Carrots

Steamed carrots are delicious on their own, but I wanted to kick it up a notch. Honey mustard and carrots are two of Andrew's favorite things, so I combined them into one dish for him. I'm not sure if he ate any, I think I devoured them all before he had the chance :-)

Honey Mustard Carrots
Serves at least 6 as a side

  • 1 lb. of carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. safflower oil
  • 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. local honey
  • Dash of cinnamon

  1. Steam the carrots until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve immediately.

Smashed Chickpea Avocado Salad

I've had very little time to cook lately, let alone blog about my kitchen creations. I've gone to back to work, and I'm starting to see the challenges of being a working mom. Logan is having a hard time dealing with me being gone, so when I'm home he's super clingy and doesn't let me get anything done!

Office with a view
My garden is taking a lot of my time also. I'm not sure what kind of gardening people refer to as "relaxing", but vegetable gardening isn't it. At least not when you're starting from the ground up, literally. I already have one existing 5 x 6 raised bed to work with, but I want bigger! With the help of the best dad in the world I built three 6 x 8 planting beds. After filling two of them with three yards of compost (that I filled myself!) and planting some seeds that withstand the cooler temperatures (not that we've been having any on Long Island) I finally have my garden going. It took me so long that it deserves it's own blog post, so maybe it will get one.

What I'm getting at here is that with all my time being expended in other areas, I've been looking for quick, easy recipes. I found just that with a mashed chickpea and avocado sandwich. It took only about 5 minutes to make, and my sandwich was assembled while the carrots for honey mustard carrots were steaming. It made for a light week night meal, and the leftovers were great for lunch the next day.

Smashed Chickpea Avocado Salad
Makes about 4 sandwiches

  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado
  • Juice from 1 limes
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. scallions
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Using a potato masher, mash the chickpeas and avocado together in a bowl.
  2. Mix in the cilantro, scallions, salt and pepper.
  3. Serve on your bread of choice with lettuce.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

I was trying to make a chocolate pudding, but ended up with mousse instead. I may have whipped the coconut too much, or maybe it was due to the addition of cooled chocolate, but instead of a creamy dessert I came up with a light, fluffy one. I'm ok with that! I've already concocted a delicious vegan chocolate pudding anyways.

This mousse requires only two ingredients. Coconut milk and a vegan chocolate bar. I used Ghiradelli Intense Dark chocolate. It has a 72% cacao content, which to me is perfect! I could eat that chocolate everyday (and I do). Be careful when selecting Ghiradelli chocolate though if you're avoiding animal ingredients, most of their other bars contain milk products.

After scooping the solid part from the can.
Before you start, you have to refrigerate a 15 oz can of coconut milk overnight. I always have a can in the fridge for times like this! Don't use the light stuff, you need the fat of the coconut milk to solidify. When you open the can, the liquid will have separated and will be at the bottom of the can. Using a spatula, scoop out the solid layer into a bowl. Whip it with an electric mixer until it becomes light and airy. What you have now is coconut whipped cream that is excellent on fruit! Whip in the chocolate and voila! Chocolate mousse.

I finally found a use for the whisk attachment to my electric mixer.

I wish I could make this look prettier, but it tastes better than it looks!
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Makes 4 servings

Melt the chocolate in a double broiler
or in the microwave. Cool it slightly,
but make sure it's still smooth.

  • 1 15 oz can of coconut milk, chilled overnight in the fridge.
  • 1 3.5 oz bar of vegan chocolate, melted and cooled, but still liquid.

  1. Scoop the solidified coconut milk into a bowl, avoiding the liquid at the bottom of the can.
  2. Whip with an electric mixer until light and airy.
  3. Add the chocolate while still mixing, and mix until you've reached the desired fluffy consistency.
  4. Enjoy right away, or keep in the fridge until serving (you might need to rewhip it, depending on how long it stayed in the fridge for).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Banana Oat Cookies

I make these as a healthy snack or dessert for Logan, but they go pretty quickly since everyone else can't keep their hands off them, including me. They never held together well though, so I pretty much had to follow Logan around with a broom. But in a stroke of genius, I used coconut oil instead of safflower, in hopes that the cookies wouldn't crumble as easily. It worked!

There is no added sugar in this recipe, making it the perfect snack for kids, and even adults who are looking for a heathy alternative to regular cookies. They're a breeze to make, and have only 5 ingredients.

Banana Oat Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. The coconut oil needs time to solidify and hold the cookies together.
  4. Drop the mixture on greased cookie sheets.
  5. Bake for around 17 minutes, or until the cookies start to brown on the sides.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter

I hope everybunny had a hoppy Easter!

My mom used to make a bunny cake like this every Easter when we were younger. I kept the tradition alive by tripling the recipe for blue moon orange cupcakes (minus the beer this time) and baking for about 35 minutes in two 8 inch round pans, and frosted it using vegan buttercream icing. Yum!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Quest to Find the Perfect Vegan Brownie- Part 2

Continuing my quest, I found a recipe on that used, of all things, zucchini. I was skeptical about it, but at this point I'll try anything to find fudgy, rich vegan brownies. Besides, I had some shredded zucchini in the freezer left over from zucchini bread. After mixing all the other ingredients, I realized I only had about half the zucchini that I needed. So I divided the batter in half, added zucchini to half the mix, and apple purée to the other, ending up with two types of brownies.

While they're not exactly what I'm looking for, they're pretty darn close. They were moist and chocolatey, but not as fudgy as I would have liked. Still, they're the closest I've come to an ultimate vegan brownie so far. Both the apple and the zucchini batches were good, but I preferred the zucchini a tiny bit more.

Vegan Zucchini Brownies

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

The batter will look pretty dry before you
add the zucchini, as you can see in the
bowl on the left.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Mix the oil, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, and mix until combined.
  4. Fold in the zucchini
  5. Pour batter into a greased pan. Since this recipe only makes a small amount of batter, I used a glass 8 x 6 Pyrex dish.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Cream" of Asparagus Soup

Hope, my bestie from way way back, challenged me to make a cream of asparagus soup free of animal product. She didn't believe I could make a healthy version of her favorite soup. People are generally surprised when I tell them that the food they're eating is vegan, so I knew I could replicate a healthier version of that soup without compromising the taste.

I was right!

It was perfect with a drizzle of truffle oil!
"Cream" of Asparagus Soup
Serves 8

  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced
  • 1 large bunch of asparagus, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, or just enough to cover the vegetables
  • Dash of salt and pepper

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and leeks in oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the asparagus, and sauté for a few minutes more.
  3. Add the potatoes, and cover with broth.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat and cover. Let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Logan refuses to let me feed him anymore.
He grabs the spoon and says "help".
How do I stop him from growing up so fast??