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!

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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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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!

Chimichurri (Verde) Sauce

Chimichurri (Verde) Sauce
(Makes about 2 ½ Cups) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Mmm…Chimichurri sauce typically used as a marinade (hint: try on some portabella mushrooms) today used as a sauce. An insanely good garlicky herbed sauce to top gnocchi and also used in a bean salad. So good you want to put it on everything!

Ingredients:
2/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7 Garlic cloves
3 Scallions (white/light green parts only)
1 handful bunch of Fresh Parsley
1 small handful bunch of Fresh Cilantro
5 Fresh Basil Leaves
½ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
½ Tsp dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Chives (I used dried)
¼ Cup Vinegar
¼ Cup White Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup Water
1 Tsp Black Pepper
½ Tbsp Salt
½ Tbsp Sugar
Directions:
-Blend all ingredients to combine. I used a high speed blender (nutribullet).
-Refrigerate leftover sauce for 2-3 days. Enjoy!

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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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Stuffed Tomatoes ~ Vegan

Sundried tomato and Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
(Serves 4) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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You may find this hard to believe, but in all my years of cooking it never occurred to me before to stuff tomatoes, lol. I’m sure I’ve had to at least see them before at some point in my life, right? Not until a few months ago when I was perusing through blog posts and saw that one of my fellow bloggers stuffed tomatoes. This was literally the moment when the light bulb went off in my head. Why? My husband does not like stuffed peppers, maybe it’s the way the flavor of the cooked peppers permeate throughout the filling. He loves raw peppers just not cooked/baked. I’ve made them in the past for myself and really do like them, guess I never just thought to stuff tomatoes. Stuffed squash is pretty good too. This recipe is very flavorful, filling and heart healthy. The sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds and quinoa offer a great texture.

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Ingredients:
4 Large Tomatoes
3 White Button Mushrooms, wiped clean/chopped
3 large Cauliflower Florets (about 1 cup), raw
7 Basil leaves, chiffonade
1 handful fresh Parsley (about 1/3 Cup), chopped
7 Pieces Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Cooked Quinoa
½ Cup Sunflower Seeds (I soaked the seeds for about 30 minutes)
1 Garlic clove, minced
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Chili Powder

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-In a large bowl combine all ingredients. [except for the large tomatoes of course J ]

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-Carefully cut around the top of each tomato to core. Scoop the inside of your tomatoes with a spoon to core. (I used my ice cream scoop to core out the insides. Only because my scoop comes to a slight point. I don’t have the traditional disher style scoop with the mechanical lever which I suppose could be bulky and get in the way.)

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-Fill each tomato with stuffing mix – I used my measuring cup so I can give you all a pretty accurate measurement. I was able to fill each tomato with about 2/3 Cup of the mixture. (I used my 1/3 measuring cup – make sure to pack it down with each scoop).

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-Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle again with a dash of salt/pepper and chili powder.
-Bake for 25 minutes @ 375. Enjoy!

Tip: In this recipe I used jarred sundried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil. Instead of using EVOO from my pantry – I used 3 Tbsp of the olive oil that the sundried tomatoes were packed in! Extra flavorful. J -I also used curly parsley in this recipe you flat leaf should work well too.

Sundried tomato and Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: veganrescue.com

Ingredients:
4 Large Tomatoes
3 White Button Mushrooms, wiped clean/chopped
3 large Cauliflower Florets (about 1 cup), raw
7 Basil leaves, chiffonade
1 handful fresh Parsley (about 1/3 Cup), chopped
7 Pieces Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Cooked Quinoa
½ Cup Sunflower Seeds (I soaked the seeds for about 30 minutes)
1 Garlic clove, minced
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Chili Powder

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-In a large bowl combine all ingredients. [except for the large tomatoes of course J ]
-Carefully cut around the top of each tomato to core. Scoop the inside of your tomatoes with a spoon to core. (I used my ice cream scoop to core out the insides. Only because my scoop comes to a slight point. I don’t have the traditional disher style scoop with the mechanical lever which I suppose could be bulky and get in the way.)
-Fill each tomato with stuffing mix – I used my measuring cup so I can give you all a pretty accurate measurement. I was able to fill each tomato with about 2/3 Cup of the mixture. (I used my 1/3 measuring cup – make sure to pack it down with each scoop).
-Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle again with a dash of salt/pepper and chili powder.
-Bake for 25 minutes @ 375. Enjoy!