Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins
(Makes 12 Muffins)

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Happy Monday! Oh…and what a tired Monday it is. I went to sleep too late and woke up too early 😦 . Okay now that I got that off my chest, Muffins!! I made these on Saturday, they’re gone now… I know its only been three days, muffins don’t last long around our house, lol. These are perfectly fluffy and moist, the addition of the earth balance permeates throughout the muffin and the applesauce keeps them moist. We had an 80’s themed birthday party (so fun! Seth did awesome in the 80’s trivia) to go to Saturday afternoon so I whipped these up super quick. They are as easy as baking gets. Note: I’ve made these before without realizing I ran out of vanilla and they were still delish, don’t fret. 🙂

Ingredients:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Earth Balance Butter (Vegan Butter)
½ Cup Applesauce
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond/Coconut blend)
½ Cup Chocolate Chips (non-dairy)

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Combine all dry ingredients – whisk together to combine. -Add in Earth Balance and cut into dry mixture. I just mash it through with the whisk.
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-Add remaining wet ingredients stir to combine with a spoon.
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-Add in chocolate chips then stir to combine.
-Spoon evenly into 12 liners and bake for 25 minutes until slightly golden brown.
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Enjoy!
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Vegan Chocolate chip Muffins

  • Servings: Makes 12 Muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Earth Balance Butter (Vegan Butter)
½ Cup Applesauce
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond/Coconut blend)
½ Cup Chocolate Chips (non-dairy)

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Combine all dry ingredients – whisk together to combine.
-Add in Earth Balance and cut into dry mixture. I just mash it through with the whisk.
-Add remaining wet ingredients stir to combine with a spoon.
-Add in chocolate chips then stir to combine.
-Spoon evenly into 12 liners and bake for 25 minutes until slightly golden brown.

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Quinoa Kiwi Breakfast Bowl!

Quinoa Kiwi Breakfast Bowl
(Serves 2-4) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free
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When I created this recipe I had my Raw Energy Balls in mind. Sometimes you need a boost and a boost for breakfast would be even better I thought. As I’ve mentioned in a prior blog post about Quinoa it is indeed a Super Food. It contains all 9 essential amino acids and has been deemed a complete protein. It’s iron rich and is packed with Fiber, Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese and Vitamins B2 (Riboflavin), E and B6. I like to think of it as oatmeal/porridge when eating Quinoa for breakfast. The best thing about this recipe is with having the simple quinoa base, you can add-in countless other ingredients to the mix. This day I added Chia Seeds, Dates, Almonds, Kiwi, Maca Powder and applesauce. The kids enjoyed theirs with Chia seeds, dates, almonds, kiwi and a drizzle of Raw Agave Nectar. You can add pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, bananas, etc. Get creative and enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 Cup Red Quinoa (rinsed)
1 ½ Cup Almond/Coconut Milk (or water)
½ Tsp ground Cinnamon

Directions:
Place rinsed quinoa, cinnamon and almond milk (or water) in pot and bring to boil. Stir, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat – keeping lid on. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with fork.
Note: When using the almond/coconut milk I had to keep stirring occasionally to prevent milk from bubbling over.

Add-Ins:
My bowl included:
2 Dates, Chopped
¼ Cup Raw Almonds, soaked overnight
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tsp Maca Powder
¼ Cup Applesauce
1 Kiwi, sliced Raw Agave Nectar, optional
Here’s a pic of my raw energy balls – click the pic for the recipe!
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Bethlehem VegFest 2015

Bethlehem VegFest 2015
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It’s crazy how one week away from blogging has felt like a month for me! It has been an eventful last few weeks for us and will be an eventful next few months…guaranteed. Jasmine started cheering. Josh will begin football. Both start school soon including myself too. Of course there is the usual full-time work day for hubby and I. My brother is getting married in a couple months and once October hits forget about it. Anyone who knows me knows…Oct thru Dec, yikes! Birthdays galore and of course there’s the holiday season. Last week my family had the Biennial Luau! For my vegan selections, I made two different pasta salads, bean salad (always a favorite amongst the crowd), a pineapple upside down cake (it was amazingly moist), cupcakes (always a big hit with kids), brownies and a strawberry shortcake trifle! Lots of food. Yes, I cooked all night. Are you hiring? *Will cook for Money* Lol! 🙂 Really I enjoy it. What I should have done was taken pictures to share with you, sorry about that.

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I have some pics from yesterday! We spent time at the 5th annual Bethlehem VegFest. Lots of vegan food, information and activities too. Jasmine did an excellent job at the Girl Scouts craft booth where she had to guess the vegetables! She got them all correct, I was so proud. Heck, I know some adults that can’t identify a ginger root let alone bok choy, parsnips vs. turnips or yucca! There were also beets, acorn squash, and fennel among some easier ones like kale or carrots. I do occasionally quiz her at the grocery store, lol. We had fun there were many food vendors, cooking demos, farmer’s markets, Mind, Body and Spirit zone as well as Animal Haven’s or Health info vendors.

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A quick funny story… so we’re out there it’s hot and we passed by the Vegan Treats booth (a bakery local to that area – they’ve been featured in so many magazines etc. Amazing vegan bakery goods!) So we passed by and wanted some goodies, naturally the line was so very long and as I mentioned it was hot!

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So I had the brilliant idea [sarcasm] to go to their actual shop instead of waiting in that long line. Their actual location was only about 5-10 minutes away and we were about ready to leave any way, right. As we drive up to the bakery, wouldn’t you believe it the line out the door and wrapped past the building, lol! You can’t make this stuff up. Now you get my sarcasm, right, I guess a lot of other people had the same great idea. So we waited… Of course we did. We stocked up too while there since it’s a bit of a drive from us. The kids and I had some cake (the kids peanut butter and cookies and cream for me – pictured below), my hubby had their coconut cream caramel drizzle cheesecake (1st pic).
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We also had their brownie/peanut butter swirl soft serve. Their doughnuts are amazing too by the way. Remember – Not to self – Everything in moderation… Great place if you have the chance it is a great place to visit. They have Buns, French pastries, Sheet Cakes, Cupcakes, Cheesecakes, Gluten-free cakes, Petits Fours, Pies etc. etc. Stop by their location one day and enjoy! Here’s their linkhttp://vegantreats.com/

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Joker’s Bean Burgers

Joker’s Burger
(Makes 9 Burgers) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free

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Big thanks to my husband for making dinner tonight. It was delicious! It’s that time of year again – rushing around at practices and school will be starting soon too. I had to dash out after work to take Jasmine to practice today and to my surprise while I was still at work I received a text from Seth (aka Joker) that dinner was on him. Fantastic! His text read…
[“JOKER’S BURGER…no meat, jokes on you. Black beans, Red Kidney beans, Sweet Onion, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sun-Dried Tomatoes…with Joker’s special herbs and seasonings.”]
It’s funny because very humbly he added, “I know it’s not as appetizing as your menu items but…” Well I guess the joke was on him because they were amazing!! – It was cute because he was actually nervous for me to try them. 🙂 The flavors were great! Seth is always thinking up ideas and sometimes helps me brainstorm some of my creations. I don’t know specifically what he added (herbs/spices) but the burgers had some great heat which was tamed nicely by the sundried tomatoes. The mushrooms really stood out and were prominent with the beans adding a nice creaminess. They were baked up and served with no buns – check them out above. 🙂

Check out the formed burgers – yum!
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Here’s a pic of Mister and I at a wedding we went to last Friday. 🙂
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[Revised Added]
I included this picture in the post because it was just taken last week and I wanted to share a picture of the chef of the burgers and all, although I have included him (his pic) in other posts, this pic above was fresh in my mind. So about the wedding!…
I never talked about the wedding we went to last week. I know the bride was specific about sharing pics of them on social media but I think I can at least share a detail of something that has been on my mind.
I don’t typically cry at weddings, although they are always beautiful. I love going to them, it’s a joy to reflect on our love and marriage too. So I don’t typically cry, right? Not this wedding last Friday, the tears were flowing! Maybe I’m sharing wedding secrets here or something but I have to share this moment because it was beautiful and something I have never seen before.
[The moment I cried]…
This wedding was for a co-worker of my husband so I can’t say that I really knew them personally. I know of stories that he has shared with me of her but I didn’t know her well. One story that was shared was how she had been living with and caring for her elderly grandmother for many years. As I’m sitting there watching the bridal party coming down the aisle I see a little girl, (of course she’s the flower girl, right…), the kid coming down with her poofy white dress and fluffy socks holding a sign but no flowers? Then to my surprise I see an elderly woman coming down the aisle with her rolling walker (rollator), the flower basket… throwing the flowers. I lost it! I could not hold back my tears, knowing the back story of how she had been caring for her. As I didn’t really know her, seeing that was such and intimate moment for me, it showed me how much love, respect and care she had for her grandmother. It was such an engaging moment.
The elderly often get lost and shuffled, sometimes sadly even ignored. My mother has worked in a nursing home for 30+ years, she has such a big heart. Although I’m sure the job itself can be difficult and maybe even the patients sometimes…but I’ve seen that woman take such good care of them as if they were her own parents/family. I’ve seen it first hand as I volunteered there back when I was in High School. She has such strength, love, humbleness, loyalty and respect – she is a good woman and taught me is still teaching me to this day. I love my mommy so much, she jokes and says, ‘when I’m old just throw me in a nursing home’ sorry mom… we’ll see about that. In 20 years I’ll be cleaning your butt just like you did mine 🙂 She has such a good nature.
Even though I didn’t really know the bride I came to know her in that moment. I learned about her nature. Maybe I amplified that moment in the wedding, I don’t know, it did have an impact on me however.
One thing that is certain, we need to take better care of our elderly folks. We can learn so much from them. They are wise and live such simple lives. We tend to overcomplicate things especially at different stages in our life. Some of them have the best stories…

Cinnamon Toast!! ~ Breakfast

Cinnamon Toast!
(Serves 2-4) ~ Vegan, Dairy-Free, (Can be Soy-Free/Gluten-Free)

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Toasting to Tuesday! I’ve always struggled with the perfect ‘French Toast’ – every version I’ve had has always been, meh… from restaurants to even versions I’ve made. I’ve just never been a fan of that soggy center that seems to be a recurring theme with every version. I’ve even tried making versions previously where I only ‘dip’ one side and nothing. Enter Cinnamon Toast! Back in the day I’ve made the quick pan kind with a slather of butter and a quick sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar, I think my dad still makes it this way, lol. This recipe is a little more thought out. Man, I just remembered…there was this restaurant in Philly – called Vegan Commissary that had some amazing vegan breakfast options – they have since closed sadly 😦 but they had some delicious Cinnamon toast too. I’ve attempt different versions of cinnamon toast including some catastrophes of burnt bread, like the pan version previously mentioned. This recipe is one my favorite attempts. I actually leave the topping sit on top of the bread a few minutes before placing them in the oven to let the mixture seep in a bit – (see the piece above next to the syrup in the pic). I love how the bottom of the bread gets perfectly toasted while the top is crusted with cinnamony caramelized ‘buttery’ goodness. Use thicker slices or gluten-free bread for different variations. Enjoy!
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Ingredients:
6 Slices of Bread
¼ Cup of Earth Balance (Vegan Butter), softened
3 Tbsp Sugar (I use Pure Cane Sugar)
¼ Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
½ Tbsp Cinnamon

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Combine Vegan Butter, Sugar, Vanilla and Cinnamon until combined.
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-Spread evenly on one side of bread only – edge to edge (here you can use Gluten-Free Bread for a GF version.
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-Place on Baking sheet, keeping spread side face up. Bake for 7 minutes.

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-Remove from oven quickly and let stand for a couple minutes before slicing and serving. That’s it -Enjoy!
(You can add/dip in syrup for a “French Toast-like” version or eat as is).
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Cinnamon Toast

  • Servings: 2-4 ~ Vegan, Dairy-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: https://veganrescue.com/

Ingredients:
6 Slices of Bread
¼ Cup of Earth Balance (Vegan Butter), softened
3 Tbsp Sugar (I use Pure Cane Sugar)
¼ Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
½ Tbsp Cinnamon

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Combine Vegan Butter, Sugar, Vanilla and Cinnamon until combined.
-Spread evenly on one side of bread only – edge to edge (here you can use Gluten-Free Bread for a GF version.
-Place on Baking sheet, keeping spread side face up. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven quickly and let stand for a couple minutes before slicing and serving. That’s it -Enjoy! (You can add/dip in syrup for a “French Toast-like” version or eat as is).

Gnocchi, Leftovers and a Two-Minute Dessert!

Gnocchi & Leftovers
Yesterday’s Dinner with a Two-Minute Dessert
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I just wanted to share a quick re-make I made yesterday. There is no throwing away and we still had leftovers! My son wanted Gnocchi for dinner, it is one of his favorites. I was originally going to just keep it simple with Earth Balance/Olive Oil, fresh Garlic and herbs but instead I incorporated leftovers. The Spicy Sweet Potato Wedge & Kale Salad with Asian Tahini Dressing that I shared the other day with the Gnocchi was amazing, great flavors! Now back in February I shared my very similar Gnocchi with Sweet Potato and Kale recipe, check out! However, this leftover re-make was so delicious the dressing really pops!

Ingredients:
2 Pkgs (17.5 oz) Gnocchi – Prepare according to package add Sweet Potato/Kale and remaining Asian Tahini Dressing recipe. Toss together to combine.

I love bananas! It’s funny because I have a co-worker that will only eat pretty unblemished yellow bananas. I often let mine go and flash her my beautiful spotted bananas, lol. And when opened they are beautiful, sweeter and yummy. Sometimes I’ll forget or won’t get a chance to eat them at work and will bring them back home. They usually get darker even still… I’m guessing from all the transport, lol. When they get like this I tend to peel them up, place them in a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer for later. Did you know you can make ice cream with frozen bananas?…of course you knew this, it is one of my favorites. I want to share a funny banana story from the other day. I came home from work and placed my very overripe banana on the counter. I left the room and later that afternoon I went back in the kitchen and to my surprise – my banana was gone?? Oh no! I don’t know what made me look in the trash… but there it was, in the trash. Someone (who shall remain nameless) threw away my banana!! Noooo, I quickly rescued it. Yes it did, pulled it right out the trash. It was on top of the trash, it was good. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, picture the time that George ate the éclair from the garbage, lol! You know the episode, it was on top! So I rescued it, peeled it and froze it. Then I made my favorite ice cream the next day, just for me. 🙂

Salted Banana Peanut Butter ice cream
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Two-Minute Salted Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream:

2 Very Ripe Bananas, Peeled/Frozen overnight
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
Sprinkle of Course Sea Salt

-Combine frozen bananas and peanut butter in food processor until smooth. Sprinkle with Sea Salt, Serve & Enjoy!
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(Sometimes I’ll add vegan chocolate chips – if I have an open pack)