Vegan Peanut Butter Balls

Vegan Peanut Butter Balls
(Makes about 15 Balls)

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Happy June everyone! Honestly, I wrote this recipe out back in April before Easter; I originally wanted to make Peanut Butter Eggs. The day I made these I did half eggs and half PB Balls. This recipe is slightly different than the usual ones you may see using rice cereal. This unique recipe uses my secret ingredient (sugar cones), which gives it a little bit of a crunch and adds to the sweetness.

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Ingredients:
1 Cup (creamy) Peanut Butter
1 Stick of Earth Balance (vegan butter) or ½ Cup, melted
3 Sugar Cones, crushed (place in sandwich/ziplock bag and crush with rolling pin)
1 ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions (For Peanut Butter):
-Melt butter first then add the peanut butter and vanilla until creamy.
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-Gently mix in the crushed sugar cones and powdered sugar until combined.
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-Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes while you prepare the chocolate for easier handling.
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-Roll peanut butter into balls or mold into desired shape, like eggs for Easter!
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Chocolate Ingredients:
1 ½ Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
2 Tbsp Soy Milk (or any other non-dairy should work fine)
1 Tbsp Earth Balance (vegan butter)

Directions (For Chocolate):
-Combine all ingredients over a double boiler (for a better consistency) until smooth. Or you can microwave for about two minutes stirring in between.
-Drizzle melted chocolate mixture over peanut butter balls and place back in the freezer for 10 minutes (I am impatient or refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!
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As I previously mentioned I changed careers and started a new job a few months back, coupled with finishing up school, times have been very busy. ☹ I’ll be back more consistently soon enough. Miss you all. 😊

 

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Vegan Peanut Butter Balls

  • Difficulty: very easy
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Ingredients:
1 Cup (creamy) Peanut Butter
1 Stick of Earth Balance (vegan butter) or ½ Cup, melted
3 Sugar Cones, crushed (place in sandwich/ziplock bag and crush with rolling pin)
1 ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions (For Peanut Butter):
-Melt butter first then add the peanut butter and vanilla until creamy. Gently mix in the crushed sugar cones and powdered sugar until combined.
-Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes while you prepare the chocolate for easier handling.
-Roll peanut butter into balls or mold into desired shape, like eggs for Easter!

Chocolate Ingredients:
1 ½ Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
2 Tbsp Soy Milk (or any other non-dairy should work fine)
1 Tbsp Earth Balance (vegan butter)

Directions (For Chocolate):
-Combine all ingredients over a double boiler (for a better consistency) until smooth. Or you can microwave for about two minutes stirring in between.
-Drizzle melted chocolate mixture over peanut butter balls and place back in the freezer for 10 minutes (I am impatient or refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!

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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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Gnocchi & Sausage Chimichurri ~ Vegan

Gnocchi & Sausage Chimichurri ~ Vegan
(Serves 8-12)

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Again it’s all in the sauce. The chimichurri sauce is so bold but marries so perfectly with the gnocchi and Tofurky Italian sausage.

Speaking of marriages…Seth the artist is always creating something. As I always say my artistic expression is cooking, but him… if he’s not photographing, writing or painting you’ll find him always creating something. 😊 Recently he began making music – amazing work too. He’s been creating drum and bass, trance, lounge-type music. Check out his YouTube channel, here is his latest song if you’re interested: https://youtu.be/G5ud12LJCMg . He also tweets them find him @nsanity777.

My eclectic music selections can range anywhere from Miles Davis to Tool or some TripHop…a little Massive Attack/Portishead. As of late, my music sessions end up with anything Electronica/Drum & Bass. Seth turned me onto Goldie, good stuff. Oh to live in England, I’d love to even visit for that matter, the UK seems to have it going on. They’re about ten years ahead of us in music, he says. I can envision the nightclub scene out there, whew.  Good music and timeless, in my opinion. Artists and songs from ten or fifteen years ago, are still hot if you listened to them today. Drum and Bass…there’s no barricade between genres. Drum, the walls come down between jazz, reggae, house, classical, electronica and fuse into a great sound, bass. Seth is always teaching me something… He not only looks up an artist, but the artist that influenced those artists or ones that are similar. It probably started with him with that old-school ‘jungle’ music and his collection just grew. Joey Beltram, Omni Trio, The Prodigy, Goldie, Tricky, Massive Attack, Pendulum…and some popular US favs– Deadmau5, Gridlok, Skrillex, DJ Craze. We saw RL Grime in Vegas a couple years ago A-Mazing time! Maybe one day we’ll visit Bristol…

Ingredients:
Cooked Gnocchi (about 3-4 17oz pkgs)
Fresh Basil, chiffonade (about 7 pieces)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (drizzle to toss in pan before adding sauce)
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 (15oz can) Diced Garlic Tomatoes
2 Tofurky Italian Sausages, sliced (sautéed in olive oil over med-high heat for 3-5 mins.)
1 Cup Chimichurri Sauce

-Toss all ingredients to combine – adjust seasoning to taste.
Enjoy!

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentil Vegetable Soup
(Serves 12-18) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Maybe I just don’t have it in me to make a small pot of soup or something. So I’ll just warn you now that this recipe makes an enormous amount of soup! Lol – feel free to cut it down or just go crazy and make the large pot like I did, it freezes great too. I typically go with the large pot of soup since it will last for several days – lunch and dinner. Not only is this vegan soup hearty with veggies it is wholesome too. Lentils are packed with nutrients and are high in protein and fiber – great for lowering cholesterol! I hope you try this great weeknight dinner, sample it with your favorite veggies. Enjoy!

Vegan Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 12-18
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped
2 Large Russet Potatoes, diced/cubed
4 Scallions, chopped
7 stalks Celery, chopped
5 Carrots, diced/cubed
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
1 ½ to 2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Chili Powder
2 Bay Leaves
1 (28oz can) Diced Tomatoes
4 Cups dry Lentils, picked/rinsed (I used Bob’s Red Mill – the entire 27oz pkg)
3 Quarts Vegetable Broth (about 12 cups)
3 Cups Water
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste (I used tomato/basil paste)
10oz fresh Green Beans, trimmed/cut (about 2 ½ cups)
4 stalks Kale, stems removed/chopped
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:
-Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. You’ll need an extra-large pot! Add onions, potatoes, garlic and scallions then heat for 5 minutes. Then add carrots and celery continue to sauté for another 3 minutes.
-Next, add seasonings: salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and bay leaves. Stir to combine before adding tomatoes.
-Add your vegetable broth and water to the pot and heat to boil. While stock is boiling remember to pick through your lentils check for any rocks for example before rinsing.
-Add lentils, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 40 minutes.
-During the last 10 minutes of cooking add your green beans and kale. Enjoy!

Warning! – Ginormous pot of soup below!

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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).

Vegan Bread Pudding

Vegan Bread Pudding
[Makes 1 (9×13 baking dish) ~ Serves about 12-15 depending on slices]

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This bread pudding is delish! This recipe was inspired by our little one and her science fair project. Yes, it’s that time of year again – Science Fair experimentation time. I think they strategically plan for it in January so kids can plan and execute their experiments during winter break. Both Josh and Jasmine every year seem to do a food related experiment, maybe I have an influence on them afterall.? This year Jasmine’s experiment involved bread baking/rising etc. Long story short the experiment resulted with about 6-8 loaves of bread over the last couple weeks. (Note to Self: Type out written Bread Recipe for Jasmine) she used one of my bread recipes. 🙂 So with that said, this recipe utilized one of her day old loaves of bread. I also used cashew milk, I feel like cashew milk is the skim milk of the non-dairy world… Maybe the low calories makes me feel better about the dessert too. 😉 Any non-dairy milk should suffice, cashew milk just happened to be what we had available this day. If you ever end up with 6 loaves like use there are options: freezing, croutons, bread crumbs and yes…Bread Pudding. Enjoy!

Jasmine making her bread… 🙂
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Ingredients:
1 Loaf (9×5 size loaf pan-about 8-12 cups) Day of Bread, cubed
2 Cups Warm Water
2 Cups Non-Dairy Milk
¼ Cup Corn Starch
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
3 Tsp ground Cinnamon
1 ½ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Demerara Natural Sugar (any sugar should work fine)
1 ½ Cups Pecans, chopped (optional)
1 Cup Raisins, optional
¼ Tsp ground Nutmeg
¼ Tsp Salt

Directions:
-Whisk together corn starch and warm water until dissolved.
-Add Non-Dairy Milk, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, Sugar(s), Nutmeg, Salt and Pecans to corn starch mixture. Stir to combine and let stand for about 10-15 minutes.
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-Grease 9x13x2 inch dish (using earth balance butter or a non-stick cooking spray).
Cubed Bread
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-Add cubed bread to baking dish and pour mixture to combine. If using raisins add to bread now. Press down on bread or stir to be sure each piece has been moistened.
Let mixture stand for about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven during this time 350 degrees.
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-Bake for 1 hour and let stand before serving. Be sure to reheat leftovers – better served warm! Enjoy!

Our household seems to not be a fan of raisins, so I added raisins only to 1/4 of the dish. This is my piece with raisins. 🙂

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Vegan Bread Pudding

  • Servings: 12-15
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: https://veganrescue.com/

Ingredients:
1 Loaf (9×5 size loaf pan-about 8-12 cups) Day of Bread, cubed
2 Cups Warm Water
2 Cups Non-Dairy Milk
¼ Cup Corn Starch
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
3 Tsp ground Cinnamon
1 ½ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Demerara Natural Sugar (any sugar should work fine)
1 ½ Cups Pecans, chopped (optional)
1 Cup Raisins, optional
¼ Tsp ground Nutmeg
¼ Tsp Salt

Directions:
-Whisk together corn starch and warm water until dissolved.
-Add Non-Dairy Milk, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, Sugar(s), Nutmeg, Salt and Pecans to corn starch mixture. Stir to combine and let stand for about 10-15 minutes.
-Grease 9x13x2 inch dish (using earth balance butter or a non-stick cooking spray).
-Add cubed bread to baking dish and pour mixture to combine. If using raisins add to bread now. Press down on bread or stir to be sure each piece has been moistened.
Let mixture stand for about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven during this time 350 degrees.
-Bake for 1 hour and let stand before serving. Be sure to reheat leftovers – better served warm! Enjoy!