Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Looks like I’ve been on a chocolate and peanut butter kick lately. There are a ton of easy recipes out there with those two delectable ingredients. Then again, I’ll have peanut butter on just about anything. Pizza? Yes. Pickles? Yes. Don’t judge… These cups are pretty easy and would go great at potlucks or informal gatherings. Just be prepared to be hounded for the recipe. Also, think about making a double batch. Most won’t be able to stop at one cup. Now, get baking!

Ingredients (modified from The Kind Diet)

  • 1/2 c Earth Balance (vegan) butter
  • 3/4 c crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 c graham cracker crumbs (I used 9 crackers and processed them to pieces)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 c chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c soy milk
  • 1/4 c chopped nuts
  1. Line a cupcake pan with liners (this batch makes 12)
  2. Melt the butter in a small pan, then add the peanut butter, graham crumbs and sugar
  3. In a separate pan melt the chocolate chips and soy milk
  4. Add the peanut butter mixture to the liners (about 2 Tbls)

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      5.  Use a teaspoon to coat the peanut butter with chocolate. Top with peanuts. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours

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Vegan Lemon Blueberry Scones

I’ve been working at a local coffee shop and it’s really hard seeing all of these delicious looking baked goods that I can’t eat. I finally got busy in making a huge batch of scones. I found a great recipe here and played around with it a bit. I love how mild it is on the sweetness, but it could be a little drier. Regardless of the texture, they taste great and the blueberries and lemon are a match made in flavor heaven. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 c flour

  • 2 Tbls baking powder

  • 1/4 c sugar (plus an extra for toppings)

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/3 c canola oil

  • 1/2 c coconut (non dairy) creamer

  • 3/4 c soy milk plus 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 1/2 c fresh blueberries
  1. Combine dry ingredients. Make a well and pour wet into dry. Once mixture is combined, grate a lemon and fold in the zest and blueberries
  2. Use a 1/4 c measuring cup for scone sizes. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 F for 12-15 minutes

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Memorial Day Feast

When it comes to a meal, I love variety in color, flavor and texture. This feast met all those criteria. I made a simple holiday spread of BBQ cauliflower bites, warm tahini kale salad and smoky sweet potato fries.

First, I prepped all of my veggies…

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I started working on the kale first by steaming it for about 15 minutes. After it was bright green and tender, I sautéed some garlic and added the kale to the pan.

While the kale was cooking, I preheated the oven to 400 F. I tossed the cauliflower (1 head) in 2 tsp oil. I also tossed the sweet potato fries (2 potatoes, sliced) in 2 tsp oil and sprinkled it with a cayenne spice mix from Penzy’s. Both pans went in for 10 minutes. I removed the cauliflower and tossed it in barbecue sauce. Once you have a good coating, return to the oven. Be sure to stir the fries around at this time too. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.

To finish the kale off, I added a drizzle of Trader Joe’s Goddess dressing along with a handful of sunflower seeds and raisins. Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

I’ve been on a Kind Diet kick lately and decided to play around with the Peanut Butter Chocolate pie recipe. The pie is incredibly rich, but so delicious. I don’t know how anyone would be able to tell it’s vegan.

Ingredients

  • Ready made pie crust (I used a whole wheat crust from Wholly Wholesome)
  • 10-12 oz vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c soy milk
  • 1 c peanut butter
  • 1 box silken firm tofu
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  1. I baked my frozen pie crust for a few minutes, according to package instructions. After baking I put it in the fridge to cool while I made the chocolate layer
  2. For the base chocolate layer, use a double boiler to melt chips. When chips are melted, slowly whisk in soy milk. Reserve 1/4 c of the chocolate and pour the rest into the cooled pie crust. Place in the fridge for at least an hour

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        3.  Once the chocolate layer has fully cooled, create the peanut butter layer by processing peanut butter, tofu, vanilla and maple syrup. Pour on top of chocolate layer. Return to the fridge for a few hours

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       4.  Prior to serving, melt the reserve chocolate (I just microwaved mine for 15 seconds). Drizzle over pie. Place in fridge so chocolate sets…or serve right away

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Quick and Easy Vegan Granola Bars

I consume a lot of granola bars. My weekly intake can get rather spendy, so I’ve been on a mission to find a superb granola recipe. The recipe from Food52 is good, but way too sweet for me. Not sure what I can do about that…I do love the texture and consistency though. I just wish there was a way to limit the sweetener and still have the bars keep their form. It’s definitely a great bar to try out as it was simple and didn’t require an insane amount of ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c rolled or quick oats
  • 1 c raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 2/3 c peanut butter
  • 1/2 to 2/3 c agave
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

1.  Combine oats, seeds and raisins, set aside

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2.  Combine agave and peanut butter in a small dish. Once creamy enough, add to oat mixture. Stir well. Press into a lined pan

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3.  Cover with some foil, press again very well, then let sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours (mine sat overnight)

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Product Review: Plant Fusion Protein Shakes

I started working for a wonderful business up in Walker, MN called The Green Scene. It’s a quaint and cozy shop, plump full of wonderful organic, vegan, gluten free, locally made, natural and green products. I love that in a town of under 1,000, I can get some fresh hummus, vegan deli goods, dairy free ice cream and cheese, and I even stumbled upon a plant protein powder. I’ve been training for a half marathon and enjoy starting my morning with a protein drink. I am really pleased with the Plant Fusion brand. It was a trial run and I will definitely be going back for more!

To make my drink, I added 1 frozen banana, 1 packet of chocolate Plant Fusion powder and 12 oz of water. Next time I may use almond milk to make it richer.

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Vegan Lasagna

Of all the recipes I’ve explored, I’ll be completely honest in admitting that I’ve never once made a lasagna dish. A few months ago I did a spin on a mexi-lasagna, but that was with tortilla shells, not lasagna noodles. There is something about the long wavy noodles that has kept me at bay. Well, it was time to work through this silly fear and dive into a recipe by Isa (modified by Vegan Iowan). I spruced it up by adding some Daiya cheese slices, because what’s lasagna if it’s not filled with ooey, gooey cheesy goodness??

I can’t say how much I love this recipe. It is incredibly simple, quick, and so delicious. My boyfriend loved it, my parents loved it, and I am sure you will love it too!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lasagna noodles
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I used Newman’s garden mix)
  • 1 block tofu
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbls dried basil
  1. Cook the lasagna according to the package
  2. Next, make the tofu mixture. Press liquid out of tofu then crumble into a bowl. Add nutritional yeast through basil and mix well (I used my hands)

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      3.  After the lasagna has cooked, I preheat my oven to 375. Then, in a 9 x 13 pan, layer sauce, noodles, tofu, cheese; repeat

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4.  Cook for 20 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered

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Italian Style Soup with Kale, Quinoa, Chickpeas and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I threw together a simple soup with just a few ingredients: a carton of veggie broth, a can of chickpeas, a few sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, kale, quinoa, garlic and Italian seasoning. I sautéed a tablespoon of garlic in a little oil and then added some veggie stock and about a cup of quinoa. Once the quinoa was cooked, I added a bunch of kale which I had sautéed in a separate pan with the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.

I simmered everything together for about 15 minutes.

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Raw Banana Split

I love freezing bananas and making “ice cream” out of them. I recently tried out a raw banana split recipe. It was ready in minutes and tastes delicious! Next time I make this, the only thing I will do differently is omit the cocoa from the ice cream portion. It gets to be a little rich for me.

Ingredients

Banana ‘ice cream’

  • 3 frozen bananas, sliced
  • 3 Tbls cocoa
  • dash of salt
  • water for blending

Hot fudge

  • 2 Tbls cocoa
  • 3 Tbls melted coconut oil
  • 3 Tbls agave
  • dash of salt

Toppings

  • walnuts
  • sliced banana
  • sliced strawberry
  1. For ice cream, blend everything together in a bullet/blender/processor
  2. For hot fudge, whisk everything together until thick and gooey

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Who Doesn’t Love a Healthy Cookie?

A delicious healthy cookie is hard to come by. You either need to eat 10 to feel satisfied or you eat one and it tastes as flavorful as cardboard. Oh She Glows has a recipe for a fantastic vegan healthy cookie bite. The oats and almond leave you feeling full and the chocolate and coconut bring a mouthful of flavor. You must try this recipe out!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 large, ripe bananas, mashed (I used 2 small)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1/3 c almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 3 Tbls coconut, shredded & unsweetened
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 c chocolate chips
  1. Mash banana(s) and add vanilla and olive oil
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add dry to wet
  4. Once everything is well mixed, form into balls or scoop teaspoon sized dollops onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 14 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown

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