Raw Pomodoro Sauce w/ Zucchini Spaghetti

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-2 cups  sundried tomatoes, soaked in water for 3 hours or more and then drained
-8 Roma tomatoes, the riper the better, quartered
-1/3 avocado
-1 large red pepper, seeded and quartered

-5 leaves of fresh basil

1 sprig oregano

-1/3 cup nutritional yeast

-Juice of 1 lemon
-2 Tbs. agave nectar (can substitute 3 pitted fresh dates)
-1 large zucchini

In a blender, combine soaked sundried tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, avocado, red pepper, basil, lemon juice, agave nectar (or dates), and salt, if using. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Using a Saladacca garnishing machine, create spaghetti noodles using the zucchini. If you don’t have a Saladacca, just shred the zucchini with a food processor or a hand grater.

Serve the sauce over a bed of zucchini “noodles.”  Try sprinkling a bit of chopped basil and kalamata olives for a little extra color and flavor.

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Raw Vegan Berry Cheesecake

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Desserts resembling cheesecake dates back to the early Roman days, but what we know in the US as cheesecake came around in 1872. William Lawrence from Chester, NY, along with other dairymen, came up with a way of making an “un-ripened cheese” that is heavier and creamier by accident, actually looking for a way to recreate the soft, French cheese, Neufchatel. Lawrence distributed the cheese in foil, becoming a brand that is familiarly recognized as “Philadelphia”. Later on in 1912, James Kraft invented a form of this cream cheese, but pasteurized it- this is now the most commonly used cheese for cheesecake. Along with cream, eggs and all sorts of other heavy foods, it’s about time it got veganized, and what better than RAWr Vegan!

Crust
1 cup Brazil nuts (or almonds)
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried figs (or dates)
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbs. of orange juice
pinch of salt

Filling
2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 10 hours)
1 cup almonds or mac nuts (soaked for 2 hrs)
3 tbs. pine nuts
2 tbs. rejuvelac or lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/3 cup coconut water and 3 tbs. chopped meat
1 sun dried vanilla bean or 1 ts. vanilla extract
4 tbs. agave nectar or honey or 7-12 soaked dates

Whipped Cream
1 cup young coconut meat (chopped up)
3 tbs. raw cashews or mac nuts (soaked for 8-10 hrs)
8 soaked dates or 2 tbs. honey (or more if you like it sweeter)
3 tbs. coconut water or almond milk
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
drop of vanilla extract

Topping
1 pint really ripe red strawberries (sliced fine and put into a bowl)
3 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tbs agave nectar or honey
pure water (not tap)

How to: Ok, begin with a round cheezcake pan (spring form pan). Process all the ingredients for the crust. Press the mixture into the pan and set aside (chill in the fridge).
Now the filling. In the vitamix or champion juicer blend/process the cashews and almonds or macnuts untill they are creamy. Put this in a bowl and add the rejuvelac and salt. Mix really well. Put in a nut milk bag or cheese cloth or bowl covered with a towel and leave it out in a warm place (room temp) for 10-12 hrs. Combine this “cream cheez” mixture and blend it with the 1/3 cup coconut water and coconut meat, vanilla bean or extract, agave nectar or honey. Put in the freezer until ready to use.
Blend all the ingredients for the whipped cream and chill in the freezer
Now for the topping. Take the strawberries and strain them, to get the strawberry liquid from the bowl, mix that with the lemon juice and a little agave nectar or honey. Set aside until ready to use.

Assembly:
Yay, we’re almost done. Ok. Take the spring form pan, pour the filling in and tap the pan down to get all the air bubbles. Layer the slices of strawberries on top and pour the lemon mixture over it. Put the whipped cream in a star tipped pipping bag and pipe it all along the sides of the cake, or all over. Garnish with extra lemon zest, and put in the freezer for 8 hrs.

Make a strawberry sauce to go with the cake.
1 cup frozen strawberries or try black berries, or blue berries, or cherries!
1 tbs. lemon juice
1/2 cup water or orange juice

Blend in a high speed blender, and strain out the seeds. Serve along side the cake.This cake is soooo good, it’s better to make two. It’s a little time consuming but well worth it. Trust me.

Vegan Whoopie! Pies

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Not quite a pie, not quite a cookie or cake, these fun desserts are somewhere in between. A sweet creamy filling is sandwiched between two chocolate cakes and served with a fork. These little diddies are a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition. According to food historians, Amish women would pack these little confections into farmer’ lunch boxes and called them hucklebucks. However,  every time the farmers were confronted with a hucklebuck in their lunchbox they would shot “whoopie!”, resulting in the popular name known today.

Here is a recipe for my own vegan version:

  • 1 cup dairy-free almond milk
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free soy margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 T. egg replacer powder mixed with 3 T. hot water

Filling

  • 2 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 tbsp milk substitute of your choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2  vanilla beans (optional, but defiantly worth it)

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper (this makes clean up so easy!). In a small bowl, whisk together the dairy-free almond milk and apple cider vinegar, and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, or until thickened and slightly curdled. Set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the dairy-free soy margarine and sugar until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the Egg Replacer mixture, and beat until the mixture is creamy and well combined. Add the dry mixture in several additions, alternating with the almond milk mixture, until all ingredients have been added and the mixture is smooth.

4. Using an ice cream scoop or measuring cup, scoop the batter onto the prepared sheets, leaving about 2″ between cakes. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed. Use a spatula to transfer the cakes to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before filling.

5. For the filling: beat the shortening and the sugar on medium speed until fluffy, then slowly add the liquid ingredients. If you wish to add the vanilla bean, slice the bean down the center and scoop out the “caviar” with a spoon. Discard the husk (or keep it in your sugar to make vanilla sugar!) and add the vanilla “caviar” to the mixture. Beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, then whip the mixture on high-speed for 2 minutes.

6. When the cakes are  	completely cool, spread the flat side (bottom) of one chocolate cake with a  	generous amount of filling. Top with another cake, pressing down gently to  	distribute the filling evenly. Repeat with all cookies. 
7. Enjoy them now, or to save them for later, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze them for up to a month.

Snobby Joes

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Sloppy Joe day always resulted in stained t-shirts and messy countertops because the food is well, sloppy. However, that does not mean it didn’t bring a tomato stained smile to American faces both young and old. The tradition beef dish is about as american as chared hot dogs and corn over an open grill, but where did it come from? Who is Joe? Is he really sloppy, or is it just the sandwich that is?

Well, the history is a bit more interesting than I had thought. Sloppy Joe’s is a bar located in Key West Flordia.  When it opened in 1933, the bar went through two name changes before they settled on “Sloppy Joes”. The final name was suggested by a regular customer, Ernest Hemingway.  The name was coined from a bar in Old Havana, on the corner of Zulueta and Anímas, that sold both liquor and iced seafood. In the Cuban heat, the ice melted and patrons taunted the owner José (Joe) García Río that he ran a “sloppy” place.

Here is a painting of sailors having a sloppy shindig at the place.

The exact story of how the sandwich came to be is unknown, but we can see how quickly became part of American culture. Women left their kitchens to for factory labor during WWII, and didn’t have much time to cook. Meat rations were low, and were often just ground beef. Sloppy Joes  made it both cheap and easy stretch 1 pound of ground beef to feed a family. Now with women still in the workplace, busy moms still cook the All-American Sloppy Joe. I hope this Vegan version is everything you remember of a sloppy joe, but with a bit more of a grown up appeal.

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard (wet mustard)

4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns (wheat free if it is a concern)

Directions
Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.

Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, nutritional yeast and mustard and heat through.

Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can’t wait. I like to serve these open faced, with a scoop of snobby joe on each slice of the bun.

turkish lentil soup

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Turkish Lentil Soup Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1 lb. dried red lentils (brown lentils also work fine)

12 cup water

3 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cup chopped onions

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup bulgur/couscous or 1 cup cooked rice

4 cup vegetable stock

2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1- 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice

2 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup chopped parsley

3 tablespoon lemon juice or pepper-infused vinegar

Directions: In a huge stockpot (5 qts), bring to a boil 12 cups of water. Add the lentils and 2 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile in a 3 or 4 qt. pot, saute onions, garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in the olive oil until slightly brown.

Add the bulgur, pepper and cayenne. (If you are using rice instead of bulgur, don’t add it just yet.) Stir until well combined and slightly toasted. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock. Simmer 15 minutes. Add tomato mixture, chopped parsley, and rice (if using) to the lentils, and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Before serving, stir in lemon juice or vinegar. Taste for salt and pepper. Garnish with more chopped parsley if desired. Serves: 8-10 Preparation time: 1 hour

POW! Vegan Protien Bars

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POW!

ZAM!!

It’s homemade vegan protein bars! I got tired of paying close to $2 a piece for conventional bars/glorified protein powder in a chocolaty casing. My entire family is on a exercise and protein kick, and I felt that $24 a week per person was tossing money in the trash. Besides, I don’t need a fancy wrapper to make me feel better about myself, I need high doses of protein!
These are great as a meal replacement, or cut up into 1 inch chunks make an amazing snack. Also perfect for hiking, long bike rides and such, just make sure to keep them in a separate baggie, as the chocolaty goodness gets a bit messy. Then, lick the chocolate sensually off your digits.

-4 cups oats

-1/2 cup golden ground flax

-10 scoops vegan protein powder, I used “Alive”-Vanilla by Nature’s Way

-3/4 cup hot water

-2 cups crispy brown rice cereal

-egg replacer for 3 eggs

-3 cups vegan chocolate chips

-2 cups  unsalted mixed nuts (I used raw walnuts and raw almonds)

-1 cup vegan caramel (optional)

Place the first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add the egg replacer (mixed with the appropriate amount of water, this varies by brand) and mix well. Spoon the mixture in the bottom of a shallow sheet pan lined with wax paper or saran wrap, this ensures an easy clean up.

Press the the crispy rice cereal into the mixture, then add the nuts pressing them well into the oat mixture. Drizzle the caramel over the nuts, and smooth out with the back of a spoon.

Freeze until cool.

Meanwhile melt the chocolate chips with a double boiler method. Fill a pot with water, and find a bowl that easily fits on top. The steam from the boiling water below will melt the chocolate chips with an even heat, not burning them.

Once the bars are cooled and solid, drizzle the melted chocolate over the bottom layers and smooth with the back of the spoon. Feel free to add more chocolate for a thicker top layer, if you are looking for more of a candy bar than a protein bar.

Freeze until hard

To cut, using a long sharp knife cut 1 inch by 4 inch long bars and store in the freezer. I also cut small 1 inch chunks to keep as snacks in a tupperware.

Vegan Tiramisu Cupcakes!

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I just needed to share this amazing recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World! These are just as cute as they are delicious!

Vegan Tiramisu Cupcakes:

1/4 cup non hydrogenated margarine (softened)

1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (softened)

2 cups of confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Second! Prepare the cupcake batter. You will need:

1 cup soy milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar mix vinegar and soy milk together and let sit to curdle for about 10 minutes

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour mix your dry ingredients together with a fork and set aside

2 tbsp cornstarch

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup canola oil mix wet ingredients in a mixer for a few minutes and then add dry ingredients a bit at the time

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

Third: Prepare your soaking liquid

1/3 cup espresso or strong coffee

1/3 cup Kahlua or other coffee flavored liqueur

Save for last to sprinkle over cupcakes and garnish:

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1

2 chocolate covered coffee beans or chocolate chips

Mix your icing and put it in the frig. Mix your batter and bake it for 22 minutes at 350 in cupcake papers Let your cupcakes cool Cut a little cone shape of the top of the cupcake and save it Pour about 2 tablespoons of Kahlua in to the divot you cut in your cupcake top and let it soak in Fill the divot with icing and then swirl some up on top Dip the little cone shaped piece of cup cake you cut out in to the Kahlua mixture then place it on top of the icing Put another little dollop of icing on top of that, then dust with cocoa, cinnamon, and add coffee beans and chocolate chips. Serve right away! You might want to make a double batch once you’ve mastered this one. They go fast!