Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chocolate raspberry cuptorte


Honestly, few things in life are better than chocolate and fruit. I'm not even raspberry's biggest fan, but even I know this combination makes a perfect cupcake.
I started this recipe nearly 2 years ago, and I've played with it a few times since then, even going so far to make it more brownie-like. Now, I'm back to the cupcake version and we are still so happy together.
Eventually, I will get around to making my own jelly for this recipe, but as our raspberry haul from the garden last year was less than spectacular (a lot less) I settled for a store-bought. But, it's always better to do it yourself!

1 c vanilla almond or coconut milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c oil
2 tbsps raspberry jelly/jam OR 1/8 c smashed raspberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp raspberry extract
1 c AP flour
1/3 c cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and place the liners in your cupcake pan.

Mix the non-dairy milk with the apple cider vingar and let it curdle a bit (basically, let the milk separate. It sounds a bit yucky, but all you are doing is making vegan buttermilk. It helps the cake rise by acting as the vinegar agent. I promise it will all be OK!). Combine the sugar and oil, and add the milk mixture. Then mix in your extracts and your jelly and stir. Sift in your dry ingredients in order given, and mix to remove clumps (I use a whisk for this).

Using your 1/4 c meansure, scoop the batter into liners. Bake for 20 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).

Once they come out and cool down, use a spoon to gently lift off the top of the cupcake. (This is a bit complicated to explain, but use your spoon to dig gently in a circle - you want to have a bread-bowl like cap at the end of this!) Spoon in your raspberry pudding mixture (see below), and place the "cap" back on the cupcake. Then frost and decorate!

Raspberry Pudding
1/2 c vanilla silken tofu
1 c raspberries, OR 1/3 c raspberry jelly/jam
2-4 tbsp confectionary sugar (to your desired consistency)
4 tbsps almond or coconut milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Chill for 1/2 hour at least.

Vegan Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c non-dairy butter
4 c confectionary sugar
2-6 tbsps almond or coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp raspberry extract
2-4 drops red or pink food colouring
Mix all ingredients until smooth. Pipe onto cool cupcakes.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Asparagus with Peanut Sauce

So if anyone has noticed, we like asparagus.  Let me rephrase that, I like asparagus.  After refusing to eat the pee-changer for the first two decades of my life, I'm making up for lost time.  We should really consider making a page dedicated to asparagus *makes mental note*.  Since asparagus was on sale, we bought quite a bit of it this past weekend, which translates into more asparagus experiments in the kitchen.  I originally came up with this when looking at a walnut sauce recipe, and continued to adjust it until this came to fruition.  You can either eat it as pictured above, or cut the asparagus into 1-2 inch pieces.  Speaking of all the different types of asparagus recipes, do you have a favorite?

1 pound asparagus, thick ends removed, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
½ cup peanuts, dry-roasted
¼ cup soy sauce
1/1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Bring a large skill filled with 1 inch of water to a boil.  Add asparagus and cook 2-4 minutes, or until just softened. 

Remove, rinse with cold water, and drain.  Set aside.

While bringing the water to a boil, add all other ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Drizzle sauce over the asparagus and enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tempeh Burgers


A friend of ours recently went out West and made it to Stone Brewery, where he tried these tempeh burgers, which he claimed were incredible.  Mind you, our friend is a lover of all things meat, so to get this kind of response from him regarding a vegan burger was surprising.  He even went out of his way to find a recipe to make the burger that he ate (which I believe is called the Fuego Burger) and bought tempeh for the first time to try and make them at home.  Two days later, I was tinkering with the idea to create a similar burger, and after a couple tries, this was the outcome.  How had we gone so many years without thinking "wow, the texture of tempeh when steamed is so similar to ground beef-- let's break it up and make a burger out of it?" This burger has the ground texture that is lacking in most veggie burgers, so if you're looking for an 'authentic' textured burger, this is your guy.  With the right mix of spices, it can't be beat (that I know of, at least)  It's flavorful and begging to be manipulated to your own palate.  We would have a better picture, but after I took a bite out of it, it was a bit tough to look at the burger without throwing it directly into my face.  Without even discussing it, this burger is definitely going into our quick-meal rotation.  And best of all, it's packed with protein and is low in saturated fat!

1 - 8 oz. package tempeh
1/3 cup Wheat Gluten
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
2 tbsp BBQ Sauce
2 tbsp steak sauce
2 tbsp low-sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke


Steam Tempeh for 10 minutes and grate into bowl.  If you are using a thicker steak sauce/bbq sauce, add 1-2 tbsp of water.

Mix with all other ingredients and cook as you would a hamburger.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blueberry Banana Muffins


These are a simple and quick breakfast solution - great for mornings when you are running late and find yourself trying to eat as you walk out the door.

2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 c AP flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c scant canola oil
2 1/2 tbsp vanilla almond milk
1/2 c blueberries
1 tsp lemon zest or orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 splash lemon extract or orange extract

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Combine the oil and sugar, and then add the mashed bananas. Add the almond milk, vanilla and citrus extract and zest. In two batches, add the dry ingredients, and stir until just mixed. Add in the blueberries, using your spatula or spoon to break them them apart a bit.

Spoon into cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes.