Cinnamon Rolls (Buns)

Cinnamon Rolls (Buns)
(Makes about 18-19 rolls) ~ Vegan

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A Labor of Love
I made this recipe to redeem myself. Why? Because the birthday cake I made for myself a little over a week ago was a disaster. This recipe also began kind of rough – I had to save it. Guess I’m rusty from not blogging or creating these last couple of months. We have been experiencing a wave of quick recipes in our home, lots of: rice/beans, mashed potatoes, pastas, veggies and meatless products (i.e. Gardein/Tofurky) – our convenience foods.
About my birthday cake… It was rather laughable. The original recipe I had written out turned out very liquidy or smoothie-like. So I tried to save it but the result was a dry sponge. We joked so much at the table as we tried to eat it. We wondered if we could cut the cake into slices and wash the dishes with it or wipe down the counters with that cake. Hehe. The next day I made a vegan pudding and broke up/crumbled the cake and layered it into a trifle.
Saving the cinnamon bun: Make sure you gradually add the flour and/or reserve a portion for flouring the surface. I made the mistake initially by only reserving about 2 Tbsp to flour my surface. Quick Tip: If you add too much flour and your ball of dough as you’re kneading becomes rough just add a bit more liquid or in my case honey! Honey is a great way to bring your ball of dough back to life.

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Ingredients:
Yeast/Flour Mixture (#1):
1 Pkg Active Dry Yeast
¼ Cup Warm Water
¼ Tsp Sugar
#2
¾ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
1/3 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Earth Balance (Vegan Butter) or 1 Stick
#3
4 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 ½ Tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer, optional
2 Tbsp Honey, optional
Filling (#4):
½ Cup Earth Balance or 1 Stick, melted
1 ½ Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Sugar
Topping/Glaze (#5):
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
¼ Tsp Ground Cinnamon

Directions:
-Proof your yeast. In a small bowl dissolve yeast with warm water and stir ¼ Tsp Sugar. Let this stand for about 5 minutes. (#1)
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-In another glass bowl, microwave: milk, earth balance and sugar (#2) for about 2 – 2 ½ minutes. You will want to take the chill of the milk and melt/soften the earth balance.
-In a separate bowl whisk together (#3): flour, salt, egg replacer to combine. Typically one may sift these ingredients together but I don’t own a sifter and probably would just continue to use a whisk since it seems easier. 😊
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-To the bowl with milk/butter bowl add about ½ of the flour mixture. Stir together to combine. Add in yeast mixture and stir again to combine. Add in remaining flour, however, be sure to reserve some for flouring your surface. (Initially I only reserved 2 Tbsp for my surface but my dough ball started to break apart. I added the honey here, during the last 2 minutes of kneading, to revive my dough ball during kneading.)
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-Knead for the dough for about 10 minutes.
-Grease a large glass bowl (with oil or non-stick cooking spray) add your ball of dough. Cover and let rise for about 1 ½ hours. Dough should double in size.
-Punch down the dough or remove and fold out to remove the air.
-Flour your surface again and roll out your dough into a rectangular shape, about ¼ inch thick.
-In a glass bowl, combine filling ingredients (#4): Earth balance, sugar(s) and cinnamon. Microwave for about 1-1 ½ minutes to melt. -Pour into your dough and spread evenly, leaving about 1-inch from the edge.
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Pre-heat oven 350 degrees F.
-Roll up dough with filling carefully pinching the final piece to secure.
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-Grease (2) two (9-inch) round pan – Earth Balance (Vegan Butter) or cooking spray, if you prefer.
-Cut dough log into 1-inch pieces. I was able to cut into about 18 pieces, which included the two ends that were a bit teeny.
-Add pieces to prepared pan and let these rise for about another 25 minutes.
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-Bake for 30 minutes.
-While your rolls are in the oven combine ingredients for the glaze (#5). Just whisk together to combine.
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-Remove from oven and let them stand for about 10 minutes before glazing. You can let them cool longer if you can wait. 😊 Enjoy!

Whew…
Well I did say it was a labor of love, right? ❤ But really it wasn’t so bad. If feels like a long time and really it was but I did other things to break up the time. During the initial 1 ½ hours while the dough rose I went off to the grocery store to do my weekly (or 2-day) shopping trip. During the rest of the time in between prepping I made breakfast. J You really can get a lot accomplished during this time, don’t be discouraged – these are delicious and well worth it.

Cinnamon Rolls (buns)

  • Servings: 16-18
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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Ingredients:
Yeast/Flour Mixture (#1):
1 Pkg Active Dry Yeast
¼ Cup Warm Water
¼ Tsp Sugar
#2
¾ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
1/3 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Earth Balance (Vegan Butter) or 1 Stick
#3
4 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 ½ Tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer, optional
2 Tbsp Honey, optional
Filling (#4):
½ Cup Earth Balance or 1 Stick, melted
1 ½ Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Sugar
Topping/Glaze (#5):
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
¼ Tsp Ground Cinnamon

Directions:
-Proof your yeast. In a small bowl dissolve yeast with warm water and stir ¼ Tsp Sugar. Let this stand for about 5 minutes. (#1)
-In another glass bowl, microwave: milk, earth balance and sugar (#2) for about 2 – 2 ½ minutes. You will want to take the chill of the milk and melt/soften the earth balance.
-In a separate bowl whisk together (#3): flour, salt, egg replacer to combine. Typically one may sift these ingredients together but I don’t own a sifter and probably would just continue to use a whisk since it seems easier. 😊
-To the bowl with milk/butter bowl add about ½ of the flour mixture. Stir together to combine. Add in yeast mixture and stir again to combine. Add in remaining flour, however, be sure to reserve some for flouring your surface. (Initially I only reserved 2 Tbsp for my surface but my dough ball started to break apart. I added the honey here, during the last 2 minutes of kneading, to revive my dough ball during kneading.)
-Knead for the dough for about 10 minutes.
-Grease a large glass bowl (with oil or non-stick cooking spray) add your ball of dough. Cover and let rise for about 1 ½ hours. Dough should double in size.
-Punch down the dough or remove and fold out to remove the air.
-Flour your surface again and roll out your dough into a rectangular shape, about ¼ inch thick.
-In a glass bowl, combine filling ingredients (#4): Earth balance, sugar(s) and cinnamon. Microwave for about 1-1 ½ minutes to melt. -Pour into your dough and spread evenly, leaving about 1-inch from the edge.
Pre-heat oven 350 degrees F.
-Roll up dough with filling carefully pinching the final piece to secure.
-Grease (2) two (9-inch) round pan – Earth Balance (Vegan Butter) or cooking spray, if you prefer.
-Cut dough log into 1-inch pieces. I was able to cut into about 18 pieces, which included the two ends that were a bit teeny.
-Add pieces to prepared pan and let these rise for about another 25 minutes.
-Bake for 30 minutes.
-While your rolls are in the oven combine ingredients for the glaze (#5). Just whisk together to combine.
-Remove from oven and let them stand for about 10 minutes before glazing. You can let them cool longer if you can wait. 😊 Enjoy!

Morning Smoothie!

Morning Smoothie!
(Serves 3) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw, Soy-Free

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Morning Sunshine! I should say instead. This smoothie is not so pretty, but it’s pretty healthy. I say not-so-pretty because at least that is what a co-worker thought last week. It was a bright sunny day (jk). So, I was at work reaching for my smoothie as a co-worker passed by and says, “ew, what is that!?!” To which I replied a smoothie, here try some. 😊 She thought it was delicious by the way. I honestly believe she meant no ill-will but the story doesn’t end or start here. A few weeks ago Seth was at a deli picking up some veggie sandwiches, the employee does the ‘ol “order up – veggie sandwiches!” An patron nearby hears this and says, “ew, who would even order a veggie sandwich. Ugh, a sandwich with no meat etc. etc.”  Well her supercilious comment wasn’t going to get by Seth that easily. He replies back, “that would be mine. by the way what form of dead animal carcass will be decomposing in your body today?”  Another incident within the same week occurred at a grocery store. He was on his way home, it was pouring out, I got in late myself and wasn’t up for cooking. So… he stops off to grab pizza. (Vegan – Daiya Pizzas to be exact). Another customer hears the automated self-checkout say the item and price. The customer to his son says, “whoa, that price for 1 pizza my God we could get 2 large pies for that price! The son adds or 3 medium!” Followed by both of them cackling. Now I don’t remember exactly what Seth commented back and he’s sleeping at the moment or I’d ask but I do remember in short – he let it go.

I suppose this rant is all to say or ask the burning question: Has society as a whole lost their manners?  Where is the tact? Has ill-mannered behavior become socially acceptable? Despite the popular ‘vegan perception’ I don’t look in other people’s carts at the grocery store and examine their items. I don’t arrogantly comment or turn up my nose at the person who orders the triple bacon cheeseburger. Can we not get the same treatment?
We are modest and humble people we don’t flash around or advertise our vegan lifestyle. I enjoy life, animals, family and love. I enjoy creating recipes and sharing them with all who will seek them out.
Think about it and ‘do to others as you would have them do to you.”

The best part about this smoothie is that my kids have been begging me to make it. I made this last week before heading into work. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
4-5 pieces of Kale, stems removed
7 Strawberries, hulled
½ to 1 cup Fresh Raspberries
½ Banana
1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Sweetener (Agave Nectar or Honey)

-Blend together in high-speed blender. I used my nutribullet. Enjoy!

 

Black-Eyed Chimichurri Bean Salad

Black-Eyed Chimichurri Bean Salad
(Serves 8-12) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Bursting with flavor! Try this amazing side at your next bbq/party. Beans always remind me of Seth since he LOVES beans and all things beans! Hell it even inspired us naming our first dog-child together (Beanie). 😊 So I wanted to share a funny story that happened on Monday night. Seth and I have been binge watching Oz (I know so 90’s, right?) and during one of the episodes the topic of Hell, Hades or something about a ‘lifetime of torture’ came up. (Sorry I butchered that explanation, I know). Anyhow, so he asks me what I would consider so torturous that would haunt me for a lifetime. My response was something about bugs, insects or rodents crawling all over me. I have nothing against the little guys…I just don’t want them crawling all over me. SO I ask him the same question and he replies, “what would torture me for life would be to lose all my senses… to not have the ability to see you anymore, smell or touch your soft skin, or to hear your voice… that would be torture to me – losing all my senses. Knowing that I once could experience those things but to no longer have that ability…” [melt] Um – he won, lol! ❤ well now you all know another reason why I fell in love – he’s smooth, right?

SO if anyone ever asks the question… for the love of God go with your senses.

Pft!…bugs, what was I thinking. 😊 Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 (15.5oz cans) Blackeye Peas, drained/rinsed
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg Corn
1 Tofurky sausage, diced (sautéed for 3 minutes), optional
½ – 1 Cup Chimichurri Sauce

-Toss all ingredients to combine and refrigerate overnight. Best served cold.

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PB&C Layered Cake ~ Vegan

PB&C Layered Cake ~ Vegan
(Peanut Butter and Chocolate layered cake)

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I am looking forward to summer and it is almost here! We’ve had so much rain lately. This recipe is rich and moist. A few weeks ago we celebrated our little girls 12th birthday (time flies, doesn’t it?). I promise this recipe is not MY obsession with the peanut butter and chocolate combo, it was Jasmine’s idea and birthday request. First the brownies and now this cake – she does tend to go with what she knows. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
2 ½ Cups Cake Flour
½ Cup Cocoa Powder
1 ½ Tsp Baking Soda
½ Tsp Salt
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/3 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
½ Cup Shortening, softened (I use Earth Balance)
1 ½ Tsp Vanilla extract
½ Cup Hot Water
½ to 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, optional

Frosting/Icing:
Vegan Cream Cheese (Tofutti’s) – I used 1 (8oz tub)
Peanut Butter – about 1 cup
Powdered Sugar – about 2/3 Cup
Vanilla Extract to taste

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Directions:
-Pre-heat oven 350 degrees. Grease (2) two (8-inch) round pan – Earth Balance (Vegan Butter) or cooking spray, if you prefer.
-Combine dry ingredients then mix in softened shortening.
-Add wet ingredients and stir in to combine using a spoon, adding Chocolate chips last.
-Pour into prepared baking pans and bake for 40 minutes.
-Remove from pans and let cake cool completely. Cut each into two pieces to make four layers.
Icing: -Combine ingredients to combine. Spread evenly onto each layer. Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Swirl Vegan Brownies

Peanut Butter Swirl Vegan Brownies!
(Makes 12-15 brownies, depending on size)

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Greetings! I know – I know… it has been quite some time since my post. Almost 2 months 😕 but for good reason(s). We’ve had so many great things happen these last couple of months. We’re grandparents now – that is huge news! Our eldest Megan brought baby Nadia into this world in April. 🙂 I am now “GJ” (Grandma Jess) and Seth is Pop-Pop. In addition to that BIG news, Seth and I recently celebrated our anniversary. Five amazing years with such an incredible man. I love him so much 💕! Aside from all these great things, my time has generally been consumed with classes. This past semester was a bit more demanding on my brain than I anticipated. With my creative process on pause, we’ve had a lot of easy dinners or we’ve just been eating out recently, hehe! Hoping to get back in the swing of things on April 3rd – Jasmine was begging me to make a dessert. She wanted to take a different approach on brownies and this recipe was easy enough. Using my basic brownie recipe I changed the topping of my rocky road brownies and swapped with a peanut butter swirl. I hope you enjoy this one – I look forward to reading your blogs and exploring some new ones too.

Ingredients:
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 cups White Sugar
½ cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Water
½ cup Canola Oil
¼ Cup Earth Balance, melted (optional)
¾ cup Applesauce
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ Cup Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet), optional
(Note: I omit the Earth Balance from original recipe only because I’m using it in the topping also).

Toppings:
3 Tbsp Earth Balance (vegan butter)
¼ Cup Peanut Butter
3 Tbsp Powdered Sugar

Directions:
-Preheat Oven 350 degrees F. Prepare 7×11 Brownie Pan (Earth Balance/Flour or vegan cooking spray if you prefer.
-Combine all dry ingredients – whisk together. As I always say then ditch the whisk and incorporate wet ingredients mix with a spoon until combined. Add chocolate chips into batter, optional. Pour into prepared baking pan.
Topping:
-Melt earth balance vegan butter and mix into peanut butter adding powdered sugar. Combine until smooth.
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-Place dollops of peanut butter topping onto brownies and swirl with a knife.
IMG_0070 -Bake at 350-degrees for 30-40 minutes – checking for doneness after 30 minutes with a toothpick (toothpick should come out clean – in the center avoid a spot near a chocolate chip to not confuse the test).

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Fluffy cake-like vegan brownies with a sweet and salty peanut butter swirl.

Credit: http://www.veganrescue.com

Ingredients:
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 cups White Sugar
½ cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Water
½ cup Canola Oil
¼ Cup Earth Balance, melted (optional)
¾ cup Applesauce
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ Cup Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet), optional
(Note: I omit the Earth Balance from original recipe only because I’m using it in the topping also).

Toppings:
3 Tbsp Earth Balance (vegan butter)
¼ Cup Peanut Butter
3 Tbsp Powdered Sugar

Directions:
-Preheat Oven 350 degrees F. Prepare 7×11 Brownie Pan (Earth Balance/Flour or vegan cooking spray if you prefer.
-Combine all dry ingredients – whisk together. As I always say then ditch the whisk and incorporate wet ingredients mix with a spoon until combined. Add chocolate chips into batter, optional. Pour into prepared baking pan.
Topping:
-Melt earth balance vegan butter and mix into peanut butter adding powdered sugar. Combine until smooth.
-Place dollops of peanut butter topping onto brownies and swirl with a knife.
-Bake at 350-degrees for 30-40 minutes – checking for doneness after 30 minutes with a toothpick (toothpick should come out clean – in the center avoid a spot near a chocolate chip to not confuse the test).

Jumbo Blueberry Muffins!

Jumbo Blueberry Muffins
(Makes 6 Jumbo Muffins) ~ Vegan

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Delicious, Fluffy and Moist – my favorite terms to describe these scrumptious Mmmuffins. I originally intended on making these last weekend for a baby shower but opted not to. These were so simple to put together that I made a batch while putting away my mother’s china. If you remember from my tea sandwich post mom very enthusiastically allowed me to borrow all her tea cups and tea pots. Although I ended up not using them, I more than appreciate her – she’s the best! I reflected a lot while wrapping away her china and ironically had some emotional moments. Without rehashing my feelings, I just want to take a moment to recognize how much I value my parents, husband, children and all my family. Family: Unselfish, Trustworthy, Supportive, Loyal, Happy, Loving… ❤
Now now… enjoy these amazing muffins and cherish your loved ones, always. 🙂 Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 2/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Earth Balance (vegan butter)
¼ Cup Applesauce
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
2 ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 Cups Frozen Blueberries

Directions:
-Preheat oven 350 degrees and line muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners. Combine Flour and Sugar first then cut in vegan butter. I typically use a whisk and mash the Earth Balance throughout the flour mixture.
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(Technically you can add all dry ingredients first before cutting in Earth Balance, which is what I typically do – the order was changed today accidently…either way should work)
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-Stir in remaining ingredients to combine – adding blueberries last.
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-Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. I reserve about nine blueberries and place three each on top before popping them in to bake.
-Bake for 45 minutes test with toothpick until it comes out clean. Enjoy!
(Instead of 6 jumbo muffins you can make a dozen cupcake sized muffins, just check your muffins for doneness after 30 minutes with a toothpick.)
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Jumbo Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 6 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: http://www.veganrescue.com

Ingredients:
1 2/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Earth Balance (vegan butter)
¼ Cup Applesauce
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
2 ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 Cups Frozen Blueberries

Directions:
-Preheat oven 350 degrees and line muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners. Combine Flour and Sugar first then cut in vegan butter. I typically use a whisk and mash the Earth Balance throughout the flour mixture.
(Technically you can add all dry ingredients first before cutting in Earth Balance, which is what I typically do – the order was changed today accidently…either way should work)
-Stir in remaining ingredients to combine – adding blueberries last.
-Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. I reserve about nine blueberries and place three each on top before popping them in to bake.
-Bake for 45 minutes test with toothpick until it comes out clean. Enjoy!
(Instead of 6 jumbo muffins you can make a dozen cupcake sized muffins, just check your muffins for doneness after 30 minutes with a toothpick.) 

Tea Time! – 4 Tea Sandwich Ideas

Four Tea Sandwich Ideas!

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Last Sunday I went by my mom’s to drop off an invite to an upcoming tea party next month. In no time she broke out all her tea sets. So many lovely teapots and sets, she’s so cute and was super excited to share them with me. My mom amassed such a collection over many years and in some cases much of the china she bought second-hand. Given the upcoming event and the fact that my mother already has such a collection I agreed to borrow the fine china. As a vegan today I would not set out to purchase these items, however. Did you know or realize what some of your teapots or cups are made of? – Yes, your bone china…fine bone china…porcelain…or sometimes it’s called English porcelain? Bones, yes animal bones are used in the production of this fine china. For ethical reasons I will not purchase these products today and if I’m being honest…I can drink tea out of anything, lol. 🙂
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Not only do you have to be mindful of your tea vessel but apparently certain companies test tea on animals too. Check out this article from PETA: http://www.peta.org/living/food/cruelty-free-tea-please/

We’re here about the recipes so check out these ideas for some delicious tea sandwich ideas. 🙂

Herbed Cream Cheese & Olive Tapenade – (Makes about 15 open sandwiches)
Cucumber, Tomato & Parsley – (Makes about a dozen)
Chickpea & Toasted Almond – (Makes 4 Sandwiches)
Strawberry Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches – (Makes 6-7 sandwiches)

Herbed Cream Cheese & Olive Tapenade
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Herbed Cream Cheese & Olive Tapenade

  • Servings: 15
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
½ Cup Vegan Cream Cheese (such as Tofutti’s)
1 handful Fresh Parsley, chopped
3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp Chives, chopped (dried or fresh)
5oz-6oz Kalamata Olives, chopped
5oz Green Olives (stuffed with chili peppers), chopped
2 Tbsp Capers Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sourdough bread (thin), edges removed

Directions:
-Combine cream cheese and herbs in a small mixing bowl. Spread onto bread and top with olive mixture.
-Before serving drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!

Cucumber, Tomato & Parsley
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Cucumber, Tomato & Parsley

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
½ English Cucumber, sliced thin (3mm)
1 Medium Tomato, sliced thin (3mm)
1 Handful Fresh Curly Parsley, chopped
Vegenaise (Vegan Mayo)
Sourdough bread (thin)
Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:
-Slice cucumber and tomato thin, using vegetable peeler or mandolin.
-Spread vegenaise on each slice and top with thinly sliced cucumber and tomatoes. Season with salt/pepper to taste and top with parsley before covering with 2nd slice.


Chickpea & Toasted Almond
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Chickpea & Toasted Almond

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
1 (15.5 oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
3 Tbsp Vegenaise (Vegan Mayo)
¼ Tsp Celery Seed
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Pepper
2 Sprigs Fresh Dill, chopped
½ Cup Sliced Almonds, toasted
8 Slices Bread (white or whole wheat), edges removed

Directions:
-Drain chickpeas (but save the brine for other recipes). Two ways to mash the chickpeas: Mash with a fork or sometimes I pull out the mini chopper, both seem to work fine.
-Mix together chickpeas with: Vegenaise, Celery Seed, Paprika, Salt/Pepper and Dill. -Lightly toast sliced almonds in dry pan until golden, about 3-5 minutes.
-Fill bread with chickpea mixture and press down until some of the filling slightly comes out of sides then press edges into almonds. Serve and Enjoy!



Strawberry Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
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Strawberry Cream Cheese

  • Servings: 6-7
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
2/3 Cup Vegan Cream Cheese (Tofutti’s)
¼ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
1/3 Cup Strawberry Preserves
Fresh Mint
1/3 Sliced Almonds, toasted (optional)
Rye Bread Melba Thin, edges removed

Directions:
-Combine cream cheese with powdered sugar until whipped and well incorporated. If using almonds mixt into cream cheese mixture.
-On one side of bread spread cream cheese mixture and opposite side preserves.
-Remove edges from bread with knife or cookie cutter. Top with fresh mint leaf and toothpick. Enjoy!