Snowed in…

I am a born and raised Minnesotan. This last weekend was by far one of the snowiest I have encountered. There is nothing more frustrating than going outside to shovel each hour, for three hours, only to see more snow. Jack Frost, Mother Nature, and the Snow Miser were all foes of mine that day. To balance out the pain and misery I decided to bake and cook! Below is a compilation of the treats and dishes I created.

Chocolate Macaroons (courtesy of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau)

  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c butter
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 c quick cooking oats
  • 1 c unsweetened coconut

Heat the sugar/butter/milk, stir constantly, and bring to a boil.  Add cocoa, oats and coconut and remove from heat. Stir it all together. Then transfer teaspoon fulls onto a lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. It is recommended that you store them in a cool dry place (i.e fridge).
You could also add 1tsp of vanilla, I opted out though. I didn’t have unsweetened cocoa, just sweetened cocoa so I cut the sugar in half when I made it (just using 1 c sugar) and it tasted great. I used plain almond milk and earth balance butter.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies (courtesy of Vegetarian About)

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 ½ cups quick cooking or rolled oatmeal
  • dash cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup flour

Mash bananas until smooth. Add peanut butter, soy milk, vanilla and maple syrup and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 13-16 minutes at 350 degrees, or until done.

Lemon Cookies (courtesy of VegWeb)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1/2 cup silken tofu
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with nonstick foil. Beat margarine and sugar until creamy. Beat in the sour cream, silken tofu, lemon zest, and lemon juice or extract. Mix well.

Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Cool completely before glazing.

For glaze, mix the powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to reach your desired taste and consistency. Frost the cooled cookies with the glaze. It may seem drippy at first, but it will firm up in a few minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Kale Portabella Polenta Lasagna (courtesy of Fat Free Vegan)

1 18-ounce package prepared polenta (I used sun-dried tomato, mmm)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 large portabella mushroom, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups, chopped)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 bunch kale (about 8 ounces after trimming), center rib removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces (may substitute spinach or other greens)
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Cheese sauce (below)
1 1/4 cups marinara sauce (homemade or in a jar)

Cheese Sauce (courtesy of the Veggie Table):

  • ½ c nutritional yeast
  • 3 T flour
  • 4 t corn starch or arrowroot powder
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 c water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 t Dijon mustard

Combine yeast, flour, corn starch, and salt. Whisking constantly over medium heat, add water and oil. When the sauce thickens, add mustard. Continue heating for 30 seconds and then serve over pasta, veggies, or whatever else needs a good dose of warm and gooey cheese.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

Make the cheese sauce first, then…

Sauté the onions and portabellas in a non-stick skillet until the mushrooms begin to exude their juices. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.

Add the kale, basil, and 1/4 cup water. Sauté until the kale is wilted and tender and the water has evaporated. Add the cheese sauce and cook, stirring, until thickened. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove from the heat.

Cut the polenta into 1/4-inch thick slices. Line the bottom of the baking dish with half of the slices, overlapping slightly if possible. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the polenta, and then spread the kale mixture over the sauce. Spread the remaining marinara sauce over the top and sprinkle with soy parmesan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.

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