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Carob powder was on sale last week, and I have come to the conclusion that I am infatuated with it. A few years ago, when I first tried carob, I wrote it off as being cocoa’s sad cousin that tasted a bit like dirty socks. Luckily, I’ve reformed my opinion! This drink is really delicious, and a nice alternative to hot cocoa. I think it would be even better with melted carob, though I’ve yet to get my hands on carob chips.

Hot Carob Drink for One (I feel like you should be able to call this a hot carob, like hot cocoa, but that just sounds strange….)

-1 1/4 c. non-dairy milk

-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

-1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. carob powder

-1/2 – 1 tbsp. maple syrup

-pinch/sprinkle of cinnamon

Blend all ingredients in a blender (this gets all the lumps out, and makes it frothy!), and then heat and serve! Yum! πŸ™‚

-Eve

A few days late, but happy holidays to everyone! Whether you celebrate christmas or not, I hope everyone has enjoyed at least a few days off, and perhaps even have a chance to relax this coming week. πŸ™‚

-Eve

I quite enjoy blog posts that are simply about recent meals a blogger may have eaten. I find I often see recipes that I would have sworn up and down weren’t in a certain cookbook, but that definitely sound delicious. So, a few meals I’ve enjoyed recently:
Vegan YumYum’s Broccoli Daal:

Appetite for Reduction’s Butternut Apple Soup

The Uncheese Cookbook’s Broccoli Rice Casserole:

Appetite for Reduction’s Sundried Tomato-Walnut Dressing over salad, quinoa, roasted potatoes, zucchini, and tempeh, and glazed beets. And finally, I made the fortunate (unfortunate?) discovery that it is possible to find mainstream Christmas candy that happens to be vegan. If I eat half my body weight in liquor filled chocolates over the next few days, I can’t be held accountable!

Um, yum. πŸ™‚

-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome! The contest ends tomorrow, so go enter now! :)***

This past Sunday I made caramels, and took pictures! I also learned a few things along the way:

1) Making candy is exciting! Really exciting!

2) I can’t be around delicious candy without eating too much and slipping into a sugar coma.

3) Therefore, candy is best left un-made or shipped to unsuspecting individuals post-haste.

I used this recipe for salted caramels from CHOW, and made a few alterations. I used Silk coffee creamer for the cream, Earth Balance for the butter, and cut the salt back to only 1 tsp. to compensate for the salt in both those products. If you make them, make sure NOT to freeze the sheet of caramel ‘rock hard’ like the recipe instructs, because it will shatter everywhere if you try and cut it! Now, pictures:

Boiling the cream....

....and getting ready to add various sugars (and eventually butter/vanilla).

Boiling caramel with a desperate/ingenious thermometer grasp, and a wooden spoon/back of a spatula handle. Classy.

Scraping the caramel into a dish to set and harden....

...and form a most unwieldy slab!

The slab was portioned into ~1M. little cubes. The recipe claims it makes 85, but I know better. The hand I used to push the knife through the caramel still hurts!

I attempted (and succeeded?) to temper chocolate in my ghetto double boiler.....

....and make a rather unholy mess of the kitchen, and myself. I had chocolate everywhere from my forehead to my socks. True talent!

If I were a conscientious blogger, this is where there would be an amazing, out-of-the-kitchen photo of the finished caramels, but I can’t say I took any such pictures. 😦 Nevertheless, they were delicious, and I hope that the tin I sent to my family will be thoroughly enjoyed! πŸ™‚

-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome! Contest ends on the 15th, so go enter now! πŸ™‚ ***

I’d never tried a smooth mushroom soup, and although I don’t mind the texture of mushrooms, a chunky soup just didn’t sound at all good in this particular instance. The smooth soup I came up with turned out very well, despite its admittedly off-putting appearance. (Off-putting? How about swamp muck!) I used a potato to thicken in lieu of making a roux (can you even make a gluten free roux?), which I thought turned out pretty well. The boyfriend deemed it “definitely blog worthy” (hooray!), so here is the recipe!

Smooth Mushroom Soup (Cream of Mushroom Soup?)

-1 onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-2 stalks celery, diced
-2 carrots, peeled and sliced
-1 potato, diced
-10-15 mushrooms (or about 3.5 cups sliced), sliced
-2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
-a few grinds of black pepper, or to taste
-about 4 c. water or vegetable broth
-1 c. or a little more of almond milk (or another non-dairy milk)

In a soup pot, saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the veggies, spices, and broth, and cover and simmer until the carrots and potato are tender and cooked. Use a blender to puree, and then dump back into the pot and thin with non-dairy milk until the consistency is to your liking. Bring back to a simmer before serving. That’s it! πŸ™‚

-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome!***

My apologies in advance for the lack of colour in this post – I swear I do eat brighter looking foods!

I thought I’d do an ultra-quick recap of two of the fantastic recipes I’ve tried from Vegan YumYum. I’m sure that this cookbook has way more to offer than the handful of recipes I’ve tried from it, but the things I’ve made (including the two things in this post) are so delicious that I come back to them again and again.

This is the hurry-up alfredo sauce, which is a mainstay in my quick lunch or supper repertoire. It’s perhaps not the healthiest thing in the world, but it sure is good. I mix it up a bit by omitting the nutmeg and adding way more nooch, to make it less alfredo and more mac-n-cheese. I toss it with whatever brown rice pasta I’ve got on hand, and serve with a bucket of ketchup and hotsauce. Mmm, sodium.
These slices may not be much to look at, but I’m sure they’d be much more presentable tucked into a sandwich (which is where they appear in Vegan YumYum) or cubed onto a salad. This is the smoky miso tofu recipe, and it is seriously amazing. If you like miso and tasty things, you should probably go make this right now. I would never have thought to put miso on tofu (or to make miso smoky!), but I guess that’s what cookbooks are for! I love to bake the slices on a cookie sheet, so that they get crispy around the edges and chewy in the centre, but make sure you’ve got someone around to coerce into scrubbing clean the burnt sauce after the fact! πŸ™‚

Tomorrow I have big plans to make caramels (and maybe rum balls and truffles? We’ll see!), and I have great intentions of photographing my experiments. It should be fun! I hope everyone else is having a great weekend πŸ™‚
-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome!***

Sometimes simple soups are best, and this catch-all soup is something I make at least a few times a month. It’s great for using up leftover grains and wilting veggies, and it tastes good, to boot!

The roasted garlic is really good here, and I usually roast mine a day or two in advance (while I have the oven on for something else) so I don’t have to wait for the garlic to roast when I want soup fast! If you’ve never roasted garlic before, here’s a good tutorial, though I would add that you don’t need to have the oven set as high as it recommends – 350 works fine! A couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast in the broth adds a delicious savoury taste and makes the soup less watery, but if nooch isn’t your thing, feel free to leave it out!

Garlicky Greens, Beans, and Veggie Soup

-1 onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 head roasted garlic, minced
-2 stalks celery, sliced
-2 carrots, diced
-1 potato, diced
-2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
-1 tsp. dried basil, or to taste
-1 tsp. dried oregano, or to taste
-a few grinds of black pepper, or to taste
-1 bay leaf
-4 cups vegetable stock
-3/4 c. cooked quinoa
-2 c. pre-cooked cannellini beans
-about 3 c. greens – I used 1/2 bunch of slivered collards, and about 3/4 c. of sliced frozen spinach

In a big pot, saute the onions and garlic until translucent, and then add the carrots, celery, potato, roasted garlic, spices, and broth. Simmer until the veggies are tender, and then add the greens, beans, and grain and cook until the greens are softened. Add more veg. stock/water if desired and serve alone or with hot sauce, if you’re as addicted to the stuff as I am! πŸ™‚ Serves 3-4, maybe?

-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome!***

For those of you who’ve been reading along for a while, you may have noticed that only K has been updating recently. Although I’ve let her shoulder the weight of MoFo (and um, most of the last 6 months…) of blogging, I’ve decided that I should get back on the blogging train. If you’re a newer reader, there are two people who update this blog! Originally it was our way of talking about vegan eats with each other when we lived in different provinces, but I moved this past summer and we now live in the same city! It’s all very exciting, but unfortunately it ruins our blog premise and we’re not sure how to fix it yet. πŸ™‚

Even if this new-to-me coastal ‘winter’ has been rather balmy so far, I’ve been satisfying my cravings for all varieties of soups, so expect to see lots of them posted here! Recently, I tried the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup from Vegan with a Vengeance, which was a welcome departure from the curry that I usually flavour squash soup with.

I’m not sure if this is a new product, but recently my local health food store started carrying Cocoa Camino almond and peanut butter filled dark chocolate. Of course, I jumped at the chance to try the peanut butter flavour, and it was totally delicious. If a Reese’s peanut butter cup was veganized, had its quality improved, and was made into a bar form, I think that this is what you’d end up with! Next time I’m going to try the almond butter bar!

-Eve

This raw(ish) tart has a delicious and attractive lime cream (seriously, the best part!), and a pressed crust that has oats to lend it a flavour reminiscent of traditional pastry. Oats aren’t usually raw, but I’m sure you could omit them and create a fully raw crust recipe as you saw fit. It got two big thumbs up from my boyfriend, even though he was a bit squicked out by the concept of dessert avocado. I’m sure any fruit you may have on hand would be delicious, but I’ve given the amounts of the fruit I chose to use below.

Crust:

-1/2 c. walnuts
-3 medjool dates (I think 4 might be better)
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-5 tbsp shredded coconut
-3/4 c. rolled oats

Combine in a food processor or blender and blend until a crumbly dough forms. It should be quite uniform and be moist enough to hold together if pressed. Mine ended up being a bit too crumbly, so next time I would add another date or a spoonful of agave.

Key Lime Cream

-juice of 3 key limes
-1 large avocado
-1/4 c. cashews, optionally soaked
-1/4 c. agave
-1/2 tsp. vanilla

Blend all ingredients in a blender until totally smooth. Delicious!

Press the crust into a greased (coconut oil) shallow pie plate or tart pan, and spread the key lime creme over top. Arrange fresh fruit as desired. I used 1 1/2 peaches, most of a small (ataulfo) mango, and 5 small strawberries.

Eve

I suspect this blog post might not make it under the deadline for an extra entry in Ricki’s stevia giveaway, but that’s ok! I wanted to blog about the brownie recipe she posted, because a) it is super yummy and b) it is super unusual.

I knew I wanted to make the brownies as soon as I saw the post, but didn’t get to it until a few days later. I felt like I was making a science experiment (and I had the messy kitchen to prove it!). Here’s the wet part of the recipe pre-blending:
ο»Ώ
I was curious to see how all the ingredients would end up once blended, so here’s photo evidence ofΒ  the totally passable brownie batter results. I couldn’t stop licking the spoon!

Ok, in hindsight that is a really unappetizing picture. But you get the idea, right? Dark brown, almost billowly, intensely chocolatey? Good. Carrying on!

I tried the brownies before they were completely cool, and here’s where it gets strange. When I bit into a chunk, it seemed quite bitter, but while chewing they were definitely sweet seeming. However, they left a VERY bitter aftertaste. The recipe instructs you to leave them in the fridge to cool completely, so I popped them in overnight. Today, they are totally different! Maybe it’s because they’re cold, or maybe it’s because they sat overnight, but for whatever reason, there is no bitterness at all today! Obviously, what I should take away from this is that people that know what they’re doing know what they’re doing, and I should probably follow their instructions. Since, y’know, they know what they’re doing. πŸ™‚

Anyways, stevia in general seems to hit the ‘sweet’ spot on my tongue quite far back – way further back than sugary sweet things.Β  I was speculating that maybe since the bitterness of the brownie was registering on my tongue in a different spot than the stevia sweetness, that might be why the uncooled brownie seemed so bitter when I wasn’t actively chewing a bite. I ran my theory by K, and she claimed she hadn’t noticed that aspect of stevia (she did mention that she gets a licorice-like aftertaste, which I’ve never noticed), so maybe I’m just nuts? Has anyone else noticed where they seem to pick up on the sweetness of stevia?

In any case, my verdict?


Yum. Totally moist and dense/chewy, and you’d never guess that they were made with beans and vegetables. Healthy desserts are amazing! πŸ™‚

Notes:

-blended everything but flour/carob/leaving agents/salts all at once, demonstrating yet again my inability to follow instructions (but it seemed to work out ok?)
-used pumpkin puree instead of sweet potato
-my milk wasn’t unsweetened
-used a mixture of almond butter/tahini
-used a mixture of agave/yacon syrup (how delicious is yacon?? Mmm….)
-35 stevia drops

-Eve