Chocolate and Peanut Butter – a perfect combination. What could be better – and it’s all Vegan.
Chocolate Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Filling
Everything Vegan – Vegetarian Times Magazine’s Cookbook
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups cane sugar
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 lb confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 oz creamy peanut butter
4 oz firm silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. preheat oven 350 degrees F., coat 2 8” round cake pans with cooking spray
2. Sift flour, sugar and cocoa, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
3. Whisk the oil, vinegar, vanilla and 2 cups water together in a medium bowl.
4. Fold the wet into the dry, pour into the two prepared cake pans.
5. Bake for 40 minutes (check that a toothpick comes out clean)
6. Cool in pans 20 minutes.
1. Sift sugar and cocoa together in a bowl.
2. Add shortening and mix on low with an electric mixer 1 minute.
3. Add 2/3 cup boiling water and vanilla and beat until smooth. Let cool 20 minutes.
1. Purée peanut butter and tofu in blender until smooth.
2. Add sugar, slowly and add vanilla blend until smooth.
3. Cool in fridge until firm enough to spread.
1. Place on cake layer on plate, top with filling.
2. Add second cake layer and spread icing on top and sides as desired.
3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This was a Great Salad! Took forever to cook the wheat berries but it was really worth it. I added the Feta cheese to Belle’s salad but of course didn’t have any in mine. Also changed the honey to Organic Blue Agave syrup for the same reason. This made it a really nice Vegan salad. I could have added some crumbled tofu instead of cheese but I really liked it just the way it was. Belle is on a real kale kick right now so she asked that next time we try it with the organic baby kale leaves. I know it is going to happen very soon.
Wheat Berry and Arugula Salad – Serves 2
Adapted from Cooking for Two, 2012 ATK
1/2 cup wheat berries, salt and pepper
3/4 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
1/3 cup roasted red peppers, rinsed and finely chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional – omit for Vegan salad)
3 oz (3 cup) organic baby arugula
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Agave syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch of cayenne (optional)
1. Bring 8 cups of water with 1/4 tsp salt to the boil, add wheat berries and boil, partially covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2. Drain and rinse berries, lay out on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry and cool.
1. Bring the orange juice to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce to medium and simmer until liquid has reduce to half and is thick and syrupy.
2. Place in a bowl and in fridge to cool – 15 minutes.
3. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, let stand to combine flavours.
4. In a large bowl combine the wheat berries, chickpeas and peppers and half the dressing. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
5. In another bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining dressing.
6. Plate half the arugula, add some of the wheat berry mixture on top and add the feta – if you must to that. repeat for second plate.
The original recipe is for farro instead of barley but I could not find farro so I substituted pearl barley instead. It was great. I will keep looking for farro and give it a try that way too. Hayley and her friend polished off my left overs so it was a hit with others as well. Very nice soup. Goes on my list of must make fall and winter soups. Called a soup but really eats more like a stew, thick and chunky – very nice. Dylan even tried a piece of the apple.
Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple and Barley Soup
adapted from Vegetarian Times Reader’s Top-Rated Recipes
2 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 1 small squash)
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cubed
1 cup sliced shallots (4 large)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup pearl barley
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
zest of 1/2 lemon
1. Pre-heat oven 450 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Toss squash with 2 tbsp oil in a bowl and season with seas salt, pour onto one baking sheet.
3. Toss the apples with 2 tbsp oil in a bowl with sea salt and pour onto other baking sheet.
4. Roast the squash for 10 minutes then add the apples baking sheet and continue to bake for 25 minutes (total 35 min for squash).
5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large pot over medium-low heat, add shallots, cover and cook 10 minutes – until soft. Stir occasionally. Add 1-2 tbsp water if too dry.
6. Add coriander, cumin and pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
7. Add 7 cups of vegetable stock and barley, bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes.
8. Add in squash and apples. Remove from heat, add mint and lemon zest, adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
What a great soup. The salsa transforms this soup into a meal. There is enough heat in the two chipotle chiles to satisfy but I think three next time is worth a try.
Corn and Chipotle Soup with Avocado-Radish Salsa
adapted from The Vegetarian Times – October 2012
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lrg red onion, sliced
2 tbsp water
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 12oz cans of corn – peaches and cream, divided
2 cups vegetable stock, preferably organic
2 lrg chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
1/4 cup almond milk
3 lrg radishes, diced
1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium – high heat. When the oil is hot add the onion and after a minute or two add the water.
2. When the onion is soft add the garlic and coriander and cook for 1-2 minutes.
3. Reserve 1/2 cup of corn and add the rest to the pot along with the stock and chiles. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 8-10 minutes.
4. Stir in the almond milk and purée with an immersion blender or carefully blend in a blender (caution – hot liquid may erupt from the blender).
5. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Combine the radish, avocado, pepper and lime juice in a bowl.
7. Serve the soup and add the salsa on top, along with a sprinkling of some of the reserved corn and cilantro.
This one comes from Nigella Lawson and is very, very good. I started making it with tofu for myself and salmon for the rest of the family. Very easy recipe and the sauce is great on the rice – so says Dylan.
Of course the salmon is not vegan but using tofu instead makes this vegan.
Mirin Glazed Tofu or Salmon
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
For tofu only:
1 tsp hot chili oil
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1. Marinate the salmon / tofu for 30 minutes to one hour.
2. Remove and dry fry on medium heat, 3 minutes first side then add marinade and cook 3-5 minutes.
3. Remove tofu or salmon add rice vinegar and heat, pour over tofu/ salmon
Jicama is a wonderful vegetable. Looks like a potato, tastes like an apple. I tell Dylan it is a Mexican apple. He likes it.
I tend to serve this with the Beef Tataki slices with soy sauce and wasabi and Portobello Carpaccio with Orange-Kalamata Tapenade. It is a great meal for the whole family. I have tried various chilies in this recipe and they all work, just depends on how spicy you like it and the flavour of the chilie. Poblano and Cubanelle work and so does Anaheim and jalapeno or regular red chilies.
Spicy Jicama Carpaccio
adapted from the Vegetarian Times
1 large jicama, peeled and sliced very thin
1 small Anaheim, Jalapeno, Cubanelle, Poblano or long red chilie, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tbsp lime juice, organic preferred
1 1/2 tsp lime zest (1 lime), organic preferred
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
Mild chili powder for dusting on top
1. Arrange sliced jicama on serving plate and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
2. Sprinkle chili over jicama.
3. In a medium bowl mix the remaining ingredients (except chili powder).
4. Spread cilantro mixture over jicama and sprinkle with chili powder.
5. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Here is one of Belle’s absolute favourites. It is a great side for meat-eaters (served with Beef Tataki slices with soy sauce and wasabi) and Spicy Jicama Carpaccio. It is also a great late night snack, much healthier then chips and dip!
Portobello Carpaccio with Orange-Kalamata Tapenade
adapted from Vegetarian Times Magazine
4 Portobello mushroom caps, stemmed and gilled (use a spoon to gently scrape out the gills)
1 tbsp olive oil plus extra for brushing the mushroom caps
1 large orange, zested then peeled and chopped (remove pithy parts first)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
2 tbsp capers, drained, rinsed and mashed
2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
1. Brush or rub the mushroom caps with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
2. Sautè the mushroom caps over med-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, remove from heat and let cool.
3. In a medium bowl mix the olive oil, orange zest, chopped orange, olives, capers and shallots.
4. Slice the mushroom caps thinly on the bias, arrange on serving plate and top with tapenade.
5. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
This is not a vegan recipe but Belle really likes this one. I thought I should make a record of it so I am putting on the blog, sort of my on-line recipe book. This is a very simple Chinese dish and goes great with anything. It is common for breakfast and late night snack and everything in between.
I use to use large scallops and cut them up but that was a very expensive meal so now I buy the fresh or frozen bay scallops and use them whole. You can use any white fish you happen to have and could add shrimp as well but we never do.
1 lb Bay scallops (or 10 large scallops , quartered
2 fillets white fish (Sole, Cod, Halibut or Tilapia), deboned and cut up into pieces
1 tbsp Olive oil
200 g cooked white rice
1 liter chicken stock, preferably organic
dash of fine sea salt, sugar, sesame oil and Chinese cooking wine
2 tsp cilantro (coriander) stems, chopped
2 large egg whites, preferably free range, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Dash of Sesame oil
6 tsp cornstarch
scallions, chopped and/or shallots, chopped and fried
1. Make marinade – combine all ingredients in a large bowl, add scallops and fish for 1 hour
2. Remove scallops and fish and poach in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, remove and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a pot over med-high, add rice and stir fry 2 minutes.
4. Add stock and seasoning, bring to a boil.
5. Add cilantro stems, fish and scallops, cook 2-3 minutes
6. Serve with garnish or alone.
We love finger food in our family. Often everyone is busy working on their PC, doing homework, home school or running one way or the other. Finger food is great. You can eat it in the office with your PC or the living room with a Pink Pather DVD. Here is a fast wonton recipe that everyone loved. I found a press in my kitchen drawer, something we must have bought years ago and never used. I have since starting using it for samosas and wontons. I makes everything easier. Although with samosas, I do enjoy the folding by hand and pressing with a fork. But the press certainly makes everything uniform. Below is the press with a chick pea samosa filling on homemade samosa dough. I will post that one soon.
Wontons with Chili Sauce
adapted from Fresh and Fast Vegan by Amanda Grant
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups Portobello mushrooms, (stems and gills removed) and chopped
1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and then chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dry white wine
2 tsp sesame oil
pinch of sugar
pinch of sea salt
25 wonton wrappers
Water in a small bowl
Wonton press (optional)
Bamboo steam basket (optional but very useful)
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp hot chili oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed
4 scallions, finely chopped
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and scallions, cook until soft, 6-8 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce, wine, sesame oil, sugar and salt and cook for 1-2 more minutes
- Remove from the heat.
- Lay out your wrappers, floured side down.
- Dip a finger in the water and moisten the edge of 4-5 wrappers (swipe the wet finger all around the circumference of the wrapper).
- Place one wrapper on the press, if using.
- Add about 1/2 tablespoon of mushroom filling to the middle of the wrapper and fold the press to seal the wonton.
- OR fold over the wrapper by hand and crimp the edge to seal the wonton.
- Fill a large pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Cut parchment paper to fit in the steamer basket** and place on the pot of boiling water.
- Place some of the wontons in the basket, add the lid and steam for 6-8 minutes, until translucent.
- Remove to a serving plate and repeat with the remaining wontons. (make sure there is still water in the pot).
- While the wontons are steaming, whisk all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
** If you don’t have a basket, put the parchment paper on a baking wire rack and place this in a large wok. Add a cup or two of water and bring to the boil.
Put the wontons on the wire rack. Make sure the water level is lower then the wire rack.
Another great Vegan recipe from the HappyHerbivore. I was getting lazy about making myself lunches and would settle for peanut butter or something but then I tried a spicy black bean soup from the local grocery store (Loblaws) and really liked it. It is spicy but not my kind of spicy. Then I found this recipe and gave it a try when I was making fish and chips for the rest of the family for dinner. Great soup!
Black Bean and Salsa Soup
adapted from the HappyHerbivore.com
1 19oz can black beans – drained and rinsed and divided
1 cup store bought salsa (hot) or homemade
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 can corn, drained
1. Place 1 cup of the beans along with the salsa, stock, cumin and hot sauce in a blender and blend.
2. Pour blender into medium sauce pan and heat over med-low heat, adding the remaining beans and corn.