Rocky Road Brownies (Vegan)

Happy 4th of July!
Rocky Road Brownies are Dandy!
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Another kind of Brownie. 🙂  People seem to like my Brownie with Salted Caramel recipe so I’m sharing another kind of brownie for you guys. This recipe is more cake-like but holds up the toppings well. I prepared this in an 11×7 brownie pan to make these so the brownies will fluff up. If you use a different pan size just watch your timing. I say this because I make this brownie recipe also without the toppings in a larger pan and it bakes for 30 minutes. However, the Rocky Road way needs to bake a little longer (maybe it’s the chocolate chip topping). I made these for work today, someone in the office decided we should all bring some food in since we’re all blessed to be working the day before a holiday [please feel the sarcasm]. So I made these and my always coveted Carrot Cake…oh I made Peanut Butter Balls too. Can you tell I like to cook/bake yet? This recipe uses Dandies Vegan Marshmallows – and people thought vegans couldn’t eat marshmallows ever again… I love this particular brownie recipe with them because the brownie base is not over sweet so it can use the added toppings. Dandies are dandy – Cruelty-Free, Non-GMO, Gelatin-Free and Gluten-Free. Enjoy!
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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)
Toppings:
7 Dandies (Vegan Marshmallows)
1/3 Cup Walnuts, chopped
1/3 Cup Chopped Sandwich Cookies (like an Oreo), chopped/crushed

(The earth balance is optional here, I’ve made them with and without, I like it with the E.B. because it adds a little buttery touch)

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. Now ditch the whisk (as I always say) and incorporate wet ingredients mix with a spoon until combined. (At this point if you’re not making Rocky Road – you can just add chocolate chips into the batter directly). For Rocky Road – add chocolate chips on top.
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-Bake at 350-degrees for 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).
                                                             Brownies!!!
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-Chop Dandies into quarters and then those pieces in half. Shoot for bite-size pieces.
(Tip: Wipe the knife blade with additional Canola oil –since it’s already out – so the blade cuts clean thru…it can get a bit sticky).
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-Add crushed Sandwich cookies, walnuts and top with Dandies and bake for an additional 10 minutes ‘marshmallows’ should just get that golden color a bit. Enjoy!
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Rocky Road Brownies

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: https://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)
Toppings:
7 Dandies (Vegan Marshmallows)
1/3 Cup Walnuts, chopped
1/3 Cup Chopped Sandwich Cookies (like an Oreo), chopped/crushed

(The earth balance is optional here, I’ve made them with and without, I like it with the E.B. because it adds a little buttery touch)

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. Now ditch the whisk and incorporate wet ingredients mix with a spoon until combined. (At this point if you’re not making Rocky Road – you can just add chocolate chips into the batter directly). For Rocky Road – add chocolate chips on top.
-Bake at 350-degrees for 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).
-Chop Dandies into quarters and then those pieces in half. Shoot for bite-size pieces.
(Tip: Wipe the knife blade with additional Canola oil –since it’s already out – so the blade cuts clean thru…it can get a bit sticky).
-Add crushed Sandwich cookies, Walnuts and top with Dandies and bake for an additional 10 minutes ‘marshmallows’ should just get that golden color a bit. Enjoy!

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Waldorf Salad with Kale & Chickpeas

Kale & Chickpea Waldorf Salad with Dressing
(Serves 4-6) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
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Want to know the secret to the best Waldorf Salad? Here it goes…toast the walnuts! Oh yes and organic is best this salad is all organic as is most of the dishes I create 🙂 . So about those Walnuts…this classic with Apples, Celery and Raisins is nothing without the Walnuts. Toasting them instead deepens the earthiness; it enhances the flavor and pairs well with the dressing for added creaminess. I used Raisins and Kale instead of the traditional grapes and lettuce. Tossed in a traditional “mayo” dressing with dill and celery seed which add an extra [hmm…] to the recipe. Fresh and crisp. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
8 Stalks Kale, washed, stems removed/chopped
2 Red Apples (Gala or Pink Lady), cored/chopped
3 Celery ribs, chopped
½ Cup Raisins
1 (15.5oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
¾ Cup Walnuts, chopped (toasted)

Dressing Ingredients:
¾ Cup Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice and Zest of ½ Lemon
1 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar
¼ Tsp Dill Weed
¼ Tsp Celery Seed
¼ Tsp course Sea Salt

Directions:
-Remove Kale from stems, wash thoroughly I dry in my salad spinner before chopping then set aside.
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-Quarter and core apples then chop into bite-size pieces. Then combine Apples, Celery, Raisins, Chickpeas in a bowl and set aside.
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-Toast Walnuts in dry pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden (you’ll be able to smell the nuttiness) keep shaking the pan so they toast up evenly and so they won’t burn.
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-Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients.
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To Combine there are a few options:
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#1 You can top the kale with the Apple mixture then drizzle the dressing over top.
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#2 You can toss the apple mixture with the dressing then top over the kale.
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  #2
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#3 You can toss everything together to combine, the dressing is just enough. The salad shouldn’t be swimming in the dressing and it won’t be dry either. Enjoy!
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Kale & Chickpea Waldorf Salad with Dressing

  • Servings: 4-6 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: https://veganrescue.com/

Waldorf Salad with Chickpeas/Kale
(Serves 4-6) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Ingredients:
8 Stalks Kale, washed, stems removed/chopped
2 Red Apples (Gala or Pink Lady), cored/chopped
3 Celery ribs, chopped
½ Cup Raisins
1 (15.5oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
¾ Cup Walnuts, chopped (toasted)

Dressing Ingredients:
¾ Cup Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice and Zest of ½ Lemon
1 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar
¼ Tsp Dill Weed
¼ Tsp Celery Seed
¼ Tsp course Sea Salt

Directions:
-Remove Kale from stems, wash thoroughly I dry in my salad spinner before chopping then set aside.
-Quarter and core apples then chop into bite-size pieces. Then combine Apples, Celery, Raisins, Chickpeas in a bowl and set aside.
-Toast Walnuts in dry pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden (you’ll be able to smell the nuttiness) keep shaking the pan so they toast up evenly and so they won’t burn.
-Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients.

To Combine there are a few options:
#1 You can top the kale with the Apple mixture then drizzle the dressing over top.
#2 You can toss the apple mixture with the dressing then top over the kale.
#3 You can toss everything together to combine, the dressing is just enough. The salad shouldn’t be swimming in the dressing or it won’t be dry.

W…Wild Rice and Vegetable Medley with Lemon Pepper Dressing

Wild Rice, Walnut & Spring Vegetable Medley with Lemon Pepper Dressing
(Serves 8-10) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, No Added Salt
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W is for Wild…so get crazy about this Wild Rice! It’s perfect for the Springtime and great for a Pot-luck or family gathering. The veggies come alive with the lemon pepper dressing too. You can create this recipe using a Wild Rice Blend (I like Lundberg – Wild Blend) or you can use half Wild and Half Brown rice. I enjoy this rice as a meal in itself or prepare it as a side. Enjoy!

The chefs sample bite – yummy:
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Ingredients:
6 Cups Prepared Rice (2 Cups Dry Rice with 3 ½ Cups Water)
1 Bunch of Asparagus, sautéed lightly
2 Cups Peas, steamed
3 Radishes, Shaved thin or chopped
1 Handful of Curly Parsley, chopped
1 Shallot, sliced and sautéed
3 Scallions, chopped and sautéed lightly
½ Cup Walnuts, chopped and toasted
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Sauteeing veggies

Directions:
-Prepare Rice: Combine dry Rice and Water in saucepan, bring to boil – cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork.
-In sauté pan with Olive Oil, sauté sliced Shallots over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, back to pan sauté Asparagus (rough ends removed), sauté for about 5 minutes. –While asparagus or shallots are cooking, steam up Peas.
-Combine all ingredients toss together with Lemon Pepper dressing (recipe to follow) before serving.
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Lemon Pepper Dressing
Juice of 2 Lemons
Zest of 1 Lemon
1/3 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Horseradish Mustard or Dijon Mustard
3 Tsp course Black Pepper
2 Tsp Blue Agave Nectar

-Combine all ingredients and whisk together.

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W

Roasted Rosemary Mixed Nuts

Roasted Mixed Nuts

These are a delicious and satisfying snack. All the flavors meld together and they are just superb while they are still warm. This is a large batch of roasted mixed nuts and makes about 40 (1/4 Cup) servings combined. We surely eat more than ¼ cup [chuckle].
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Ingredients:

1 pkg (14oz) Peanuts
1 pkg (9oz) Raw Cashews
1 pkg (9.5) Raw Almonds
1 pkg (7oz) Walnuts
2 Tbsp Earth Balance (Vegan Butter)
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary, removed from stems, chopped roughly (about 2 Tbsp)
2 Tsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Raw Blue Agave
2 Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp Cinnamon

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees.
-In a large bowl toss raw nuts to combine. Spread evenly on an ungreased baking sheet (2) – I used two.
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-Roast in oven for 10-12 minutes. – I give them a shake halfway through so they roast evenly.
-While nuts are roasting in large bowl add: Earth Balance, Cayenne Pepper, Rosemary, Brown Sugar, Agave, Salt and Cinnamon. –You can use all brown sugar or all agave as the sweetener if you prefer to adjust.
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-After nuts have been roasted add them directly to mixture while they are hot. Enjoy!
Great for a party or store in airtight container (room temp or in refrigerator) and pack them for lunch to snack on.
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Vegan Asian Lettuce Wraps

Vegan Asian Style Lettuce Wraps

(Makes 12 Wraps)

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These lettuce wraps are bursting with flavor. The Asian influenced ingredients will dance on your taste buds. These are incredibly addicting and it is impossible to eat just one! Hearty, healthy and just Delectable!

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Ingredients:

1 (15.5 oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)  

4 Whole White Mushrooms                               – [Meat Base]

1 ½ Cups Whole Walnuts                                  –

1 (8oz) Can Whole Water Chestnuts, drained & rinsed

3 Scallions (Green Onions), chopped, divided

½ Tsp Salt

½ Tsp Pepper, fresh ground

3-4 Tbsp Sesame Seeds

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 head Boston Lettuce

2 Medium Carrots, shredded

Dressing: – Whisk all ingredients together.

¼ Cup Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar

½ Tsp Sriracha

2 Tbsp pure Sesame Oil

3 Garlic Cloves, grated

1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger (About 1 ½ – 2 inch piece), grated

1 Tbsp Blue Agave Nectar

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Directions:

-In food processor blend Chickpeas, Mushrooms, Walnuts, ½ of the chopped scallions, Water Chestnuts and Salt/Pepper. Pulse for about 30-45 seconds stop at least once to scrap down sides then set mixture aside.

-Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan for about 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove sesame seeds from pan and set aside.

-Return pan to stove and heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ‘meat’ mixture and half of the dressing, sauté for about 2 minutes until warmed through and incorporated. Remove pan from heat and allow filling to cool.

-While mixture is cooling, prepare your lettuce leaves – rinse/pat dry and shred carrots.

-For the dressing: whisk all ingredients together. *I only grate the garlic in this recipe since I’m already using my microplane for the ginger, feel free to mince the ginger if you prefer.

-Makes 12 wraps. Add about ¼ cup of filling per wrap. Top with about a Tsp of remaining dressing/sauce on each and divvy up the carrots and remaining scallions between each. Enjoy!

Spaghetti and “Meat” Sauce – Vegan!

Spaghetti and “Meat” Sauce – Vegan!

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I was inspired to make spaghetti today (01/19/15); I don’t really need much inspiration since Spaghetti is high up on my list of comfort foods. I was however inspired this day because I cut my hair, chopped it all off! The spaghetti was a warm reminder of my long locks. Speaking of locks…I donated to Locks of Love, this time 21 inches (braided) and 28 inches from 2013 [see pics below]! Now back to my spaghetti recipe. The great thing about this recipe, other than the yummy cruelty-free ingredients, is that it is unbelievably easy to make your own pasta ‘meat’ sauce. The ‘meat’ in this recipe is simply: chickpeas (garbanzo beans), mushrooms and whole walnuts. These three ingredients make a great ‘meat’ base; I’ve used this base in recipes from lettuce wraps to burgers or sloppy ‘joes’ among others. It is so versatile the possibilities are endless.

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Ingredients:

Meat Base:

1 (15.5 oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

4 Whole White Mushrooms

1 ½ Cups Whole Walnuts

Directions: Process all three ingredients in food processor, pulse for 30-45 seconds.

 

Pasta Sauce:

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ large Sweet Onion or 1 Med. Yellow, chopped

¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

4-5 Garlic Cloves, minced

10 fresh Basil leaves, chiffonade

2 (28 oz) cans Crushed Tomatoes

1 (16 oz) can Tomato Paste

½ Tsp Garlic Powder

2 Tbsp Sugar

½ Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp Salt, divided

½ Tsp Italian Seasoning

Directions:

-Heat olive oil in a large pot; add onions and crushed red pepper flakes sauté over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 1-2 mins. Turn off heat. -To Food Processor/Chopper: Add walnuts, chickpeas and mushrooms, pulse for 10-15 seconds. Add in fresh basil and ½ tsp Salt then pulse for another 5 seconds to incorporate. -Add ‘meaty’ mixture to onion mixture. Turn heat back on to medium. Add tomatoes and remaining seasonings (garlic powder, sugar, pepper, salt, italian seasoning), heat to a low slow simmer and continue to simmer for an hour stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t stick/burn. – Remember low and slow that is the key.

-Prepare pasta according to package until al dente about 9 minutes. Sauce the hot pasta just before serving. My preference is to add a touch of olive oil or earth balance butter to the pasta then ladle in sauce and toss to incorporate. Top with extra fresh basil. Enjoy!

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Notes:

-This meat sauce recipe makes enough sauce for (2) boxes of pasta or make spaghetti one day and ‘sloppy joes’ the next. If I use the meat sauce for spaghetti both days, I’ll make a fresh box of spaghetti the next day.

-I do suggest organic as much as possible – mushrooms are on the list of always for me. It is suggested to wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth instead of submerging in water, why? Because they are like a sponge and will absorb the water and they just won’t cook up the same. This concept (sponge) pertains to their growing environment also – so shoot for organic.

-This recipe suggests canned tomatoes but can be easily made with fresh tomatoes. On about 10-12 plum tomatoes cut a shallow ‘X’ on the bottom and top. Place them in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from boiling water and place in ice-cold water. Once cooled to the touch remove skin. – Scoop out seeds and reserve liquid – you can add this liquid back in just before serving when you toss the pasta to coat.