Who knew that nutritional yeast could be made sweet?
I went into this thinking, “Okay, this is either going to be really disgusting or absolutely amazing.” Luckily, it was the latter. And the best part? Okay, the second best part? It adds so much of a protein punch, which is often elusive for us vegans. I’ve been dabbling with some protein powders, but it’s hard to find something really unprocessed, so nutritional yeast is a great solution. This smoothie packs more than 10 grams of delicious, creamy protein. Drink up… it’s a great recharge after your morning workout.
Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie
5 medium strawberries, cored
1 cup almond milk
1/5 package light firm tofu
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp vanilla extract
stevia to taste
ice (optional) or pinch of guar gum, xantham gum, or 2 tsp of flax for a thicker smoothie (and more protein!)
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Goodness. It’s been so long since I put together a recipe that I feel like I forget how to do this!
Luckily, what’s coming your way doesn’t need much of an introduction.
I first discovered the power of pureed nuts with my walnut whipped cream. Obviously that’s a sweet recipe, but if we’re going on texture, the creaminess is something that I knew could definitely translate over to a savory recipe. Plus, I’ve heard praises sung about cashew “cheese” everywhere from other vegan blogs to veggie restaurants.
I’ve tried cashew cheese, and it’s amazing… especially in mac & cheese. (P.S. that recipe is still one of my all-time faves!)
But alfredo sauce is obviously a different breed- a different cheese. I knew I needed a more mild flavor that was still creamy. So I turned back to walnuts. Mixed with some herbs and almond milk?
And, the flavor is dead on. Don’t believe me? I challenge you to try it!
Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
1 cup almond milk
1 cup walnuts, soaked
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp dried basil or oregano
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of guar or xantham gum (optional)
your choice of pasta (or spaghetti squash!)
After soaking the nuts for 1-2 hours, drain them and put in a blender or food processor with the almond milk. Puree until smooth, and add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Puree until smooth. Heat over stove in a pot over low heat until desired temperature (add more milk if the sauce reduces at all)
Cook pasta according to instructions, pour sauce over, and serve.
Two rights make a RIGHT. Thus, this has to be good. And trust me, it is. Epicly so. It’s like carrot cake in a teeny tiny, sweet little package. It can be made vegan. And it looks so cute in an Easter basket! Another suggestion? Cut it small enough to be hidden in those plastic eggs.
That‘s a prize worth hunting for.
Carrot Cake Fudge
2 12 oz. packages of white chocolate chips (vegan as necessary)
¾ cup shredded carrot
½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1 cup sweetened condensed milk (for a vegan alternative, try this– it works fantastically!)
Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium heat. Continue stirring until the milk starts to bubble. Let it simmer for a minute, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the pan so nothing burns. Remove from heat, and stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into a 11 x 3 pan lined with greased aluminum foil. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top, cover with plastic wrap and let it firm up in the fridge or freezer before cutting into squares and serving.
Like, to the point that I used to steal them from my other family members’ Easter baskets every year. They never figured out who did it. (Sorry, guys. But not really.)
Aside from marzipan, Cadbury eggs might be, in my humble opinion, the best candy ever invented. The Europeans just understand chocolate. Scientific act.
Enough abbreviated sentences. Let’s get down to gooey, chocolate-y, VEGAN business. #OhYesIDid
Vegan Cadbury Creme Eggs
1/2 cup corn syrup or agave nectar
1/4 cup Earth Balance
3 cups vegan powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt (do NOT omit)
yellow and red food coloring
semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp coconut oil
You can get fancy with egg shaped chocolate molds, but I went without and they still turned out adorably, and more importantly, phenomenally delicious. It’s just a little messier.
Cream together the corn syrup and Earth Balance until light and fluffy with an electric beater. Add the powdered sugar, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, a little at a time until completely incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt. The texture should be as thick as possible while still being slightly pourable, like the middle ground between batter and dough. Separate into two containers, and in one, add a few drops yellow food coloring and just one drop red. Place both containers in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
Grease a mini muffin pan and spoon a heaping spoonful of the white “dough” into as many cups as possible. Add a a smaller spoonful (the “yolk”) of the yellow “dough” on top of each. Cover with plastic wrap and let firm up in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the chocolate (I used a 24 oz bag of semi-sweet) in a microwave safe bowl with the coconut oil in 10 second intervals, stirring in between each until chocolate is finally melted.
Once the “dough” in the muffin pan is firm, remove it from the freezer and prepare a large sheet of waxed paper near the bowl of melted chocolate. Remove an “egg” from the pan, and form it into an egg shape before quickly dipping it in the chocolate and placing it on the wax paper. Repeat with each egg. You may need to do it in small intervals as the dough starts to warm up and becomes stick again (if this happens, but the pan back in the freezer for a couple of minutes.) Make sure the chocolate coating is thick enough that the filling won’t ooze through once at room temperature- you may need to dip a couple of times even after the chocolate has hardened for this reason. You can also add fun designs with a toothpick while the chocolate is still slightly soft.
I had to. Because I came home the other day to this:
It’s that special time of year when omnis gleefully run around clutching Samoas and Thin Mints and Tagalongs and former omnis like myself cry into their pillows dreaming of caramel and chocolate and coconut.
I wasn’t going to take this lying down. Puh-lease.
So this morning I got to work. Somehow, I nailed it on the first try.
They’re a vegan version of Samoas (do NOT call them Caramel Delites or whatever). Basically I married a coconut macaroon and an oatmeal cookie, topped it with coconut, and drizzled it in chocolate. You’re welcome.
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp vanilla
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax soaked in 3 tbsp water)
½ cup course oat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp molasses, divided
3 tbsp almond milk
a couple tbsp coconut
a couple tbsp semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Put the coconut and water in a food processor and grind until combined, with course flakes still intact. Add the vanilla and flax egg, and process until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the 3 tbsp molasses gently until it begins to bubble. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it really foams up completely, stirring frequently with a spatula to keep from sticking to the sides of the pan and burning. Remove from heat. Stir in almond milk rapidly until completely combined and continue stirring as it cools and thickens slightly.
Whisk the molasses mixture into the rest of the batter until completely combined. Add one more tbsp of molasses, and stir until combined.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper and drop the batter by rounded tbsp onto it (should make about 8 cookies). Sprinkle a bit of extra coconut on each cookie and press on slightly. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until browned at the edges and firm to touch. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple of minutes before transferring the cookies carefully to a wire cooling rack over a sheet of waxed paper.
Put a couple tbsp semi-sweet chocolate (chips work fine) into a Ziploc bag and heat at 5 second increments until completely melted. Cut the corner off the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. Let harden and enjoy!
When I think of macaroni and cheese, I think of blue boxes, fluorescent orange noodles, and blissful childhood weekends. My mom is a great cook and we definitely ate well growing up, but weekends were her days off from chef duty and Kraft was often the go-to on Friday and Saturday nights. Come on people, you know you love loved it too. Veganism and all-natural eating don’t make Kraft mac & cheese much of a possibility for me anymore, I shouldn’t have to rule out macaroni and cheese entirely.
This recipe comes to the rescue!
It’s ingredient-heavy, for sure, and pretty pricey at that (who knew cashews were so expensive?!) But it’s sooooo tasty- the most perfect zesty cheesy, creaminess. An indulgence that deserves indulging. It’s the kind of dish to gleefully serve your friends who say “Ohhh, you’re vegan? Don’t you get tired of eating rabbit food?”
Vegan Comfort Food for the win.
Just a heads up, I served mine with spaghetti squash “noodles” which tasted AMAZING (and make it gluten free!) but feel free to use the good ‘ole regular kind! Make it classic with elbows
Dreamy Mac & Cheese
1 cup almond milk
2/3 cups cashews
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp miso paste or salt to taste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Blend all together in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. Heat over the stove until hot (add more milk if you want a thinner consistency). Stir with cooked spaghetti squash or noodles, and serve.
Are you spreading the love today? How about starting with breakfast? Spread it with some delicious homemade jam and cream. There’s a reason they say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And in my opinion, that’s not exclusive to men. Just sayin’.
As I said before, I hope your day is a tad saucier than mine. I have a paper due tomorrow. SCORE. Seriously, professor, WHERE IS THE LOVE?
Well, I guess there’s nothing like cutesy heart food to cheer me up. And I hope it makes you smile as well.
Blend tofu, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and stevia in blender until smooth. Pour into a bowl and dip the slices of bread in the mixture until coated and soaked. Heat skillet over medium heat and spray with a bit of cooking oil. Place slices on skillet and cook evenly on each side, until bread is crispier and no longer soggy. Remove from skillet. Swirl walnut cream and strawberry jam onto one of the slices. If desired, cut out heart shape in the other slice and place on top, or just place on top whole. Serve and enjoy!
Spread a little love today. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!
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Anything that I get to cross off my bucket list is a source of pride for me; however, some mean more to me than others.
I have been working on my headstand in yoga for almost a year now. It’s one of those parts of my practice that represents my inner strength for me, and the process of finding that balance and support within myself has been a little frustrating at times. However, I spent every day this week at my new yoga studio (which you’ll hear more about in a couple of days) and found that it wasn’t necessarily a question of strength or balance, but of method… it turned out that the way I had been taught by a teacher in L.A. wasn’t the ideal path to achieving a proper supported headstand. When one of my new teachers taught me the right way to do it, I was able to accomplish it with her help on the spot.
Still, the eureka moment for me came a few days later, when I started the motions in class towards balancing on my own, rather than making it halfway, stumbling, and landing on all fours once again, I suddenly realized that, slowly and steadily, I was moving up, up, and completely straight into the headstand of my dreams. Did I stay in proper form forever? Hell no. But I have a lifetime of mastering that aspect and right now I am reveling in my personal accomplishment.
I have to admit, at first I was iffy about dedicating a post to this, but then I realized that there is no reason why I shouldn’t feel proud of myself. Yoga has become an indispensable part of my life and with each step and goal I attain I have found an even deeper connection with my body.
Finding out what we’re capable of accomplishing is one of the best challenges we can constantly maintain in our lives. In other words, in my opinion, when we can surprise ourselves with our strength, intelligence, curiosity (the list goes on and on…), that is how we can live our lives to the fullest. It’s the best possible way to be selfish! And when you’re on the road to such self-discovery, I bet you’ll find that you make the most of relationships with others and the world along the way.
So whether you’re mastering a headstand, running a marathon, writing a book, or working for that promotion, even when times are tough, just think about how good it will feel when you reach that goal!
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