Friday, July 25, 2014

vegan chai spice cake + cinnamon buttercream frosting

Happy Birthday Tom! For my husband's birthday I attempted my second vegan cake, with much success! This recipe is adapted from Veggie and the Beast blog. I only made a few minor changes based on what I had in my kitchen cabinets :)

Start with the cake...

  • 2 cups minus 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 coconut sugar or raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup brewed chai tea
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

First, brew some chai tea. I used a rooibos chai so there was no caffeine, and I double bagged it for extra strength. And preheat the oven to 350.

Measure the 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar into a measuring cup, then top it up to two cups with the almond milk. Whisk together and set aside. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices into a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl combine the salt, sugar, oil, tea, and vanilla. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the almond milk mixture to the sugar mixture, mixing until just combined, no lumps.

Grease two 9" cake pans. Divide batter between the two pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. My cake pans are a little bigger than 9" so they were done just before 30 minutes. Test with a knife or toothpick, inserting into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean, its done!

Allow cakes to cool at least ten minutes in the pans before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Now for the cinnamon buttercream...

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan butter (I used earth balance)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

This is the fun part! Place one cake on a plate and spread a thick layer of frosting on top, then top with the other cake. Now spread all of the remaining frosting on and around the whole cake. Yum. This is definitely my favorite part :). Refrigerate until frosting is set, top with something fun (I chose a honu magnet), and enjoy! Happy Birthday!

Friday, July 11, 2014

eggless salad

Mana Foods has got to be, hands down, the best grocery store in the world. Yep, I said it. And I get to shop there all the time! Not only do they have everything healthy that has ever been discovered, but they have an incredible salad bar with tons of raw and vegan options. It's heaven. This recipe is inspired by Mana Foods eggless salad, which I love. It is packed with flavor, protein, and some sneaky veggies.

  • 1 small sweet maui onion (or a few spring onions)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery, leaves included
  • 10 oz super firm tofu
  • 3/4 cup veganaise
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste

Chop onion and celery super fine and grate or shred the carrot.

Crumble the tofu into a medium mixing bowl.

Add veggies, veganaise, and spices. Combine well, making sure everything is coated and yellow from the turmeric!

Now its up to you from here. Dip some crackers in it, throw it on a salad, make a sandwich, or wrap it up!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

wheat berry salad + roasted veggies

Wheat berries are the whole shebang. They contain the germ, endosperm, and bran, as well as all the nutrients wheat has to offer. You can't get much more of a whole grain than a wheat berry. Plus, they are really good! Just simmered in water until tender, they resemble brown rice, but with a sweet nutty flavor and a chewier texture. I recommend cooking the wheat berries ahead of time because they take almost an hour. If you've never cooked with them before, check out this blog on how to cook wheat berries to chewy perfection. And cook extra to keep in the fridge for a quick salad later in the week!

As for the roasted veggies that partake in this recipe, be creative! I used golden beets, green beans, and sweet onions.
  • 3 golden beets
  • 1 cup chopped fresh green beans
  • 1 small sweet onion (maui onion) 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cups cooked wheat berries
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil + drizzle on veggies
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash beets and cut into wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and roast by themselves for 30 minutes, stirring/flipping halfway through.

Add the green beens, onion, garlic and rosemary to the beets and cover with foil. Note: cut the veggies the size and shape that you want them in the salad, this way you don't have to cut them again after they are cooked!

Roast for another 30 minutes, or until all veggies are cooked but crunchy. Combine wheat berries, fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper, toss to combine. When the veggies are done and still hot, add to the wheat berries, toss to combine. This could be a cold salad, a hot salad (if you just made your wheat berries), or a warm salad (my favorite, the wheat berries were cold but the veggies were hot out of the oven!). It's up to you! Enjoy!