Tuesday, April 30, 2013

German Chocolate Cake & Coconut Butter Cream Frosting (vegan)

German Chocolate Cake & Coconut Butter Cream Frosting


This recipe is adapted (VERY loosely based) from my well-loved 75th Anniversary Edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  This is Jake's favorite and I'll take by the emptiness of my plate sitting in the kitchen...fan favorite :)  

Happy Baking!

German Chocolate Cake & Coconut Butter Cream Frosting
Prep Time: 20-30 Minutes 
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Put together Time: 20 Minutes

Cooking Stuffs:

3 Flax seed eggs (Recipe!)
1/3 cup melted Earth Balance vegan margarine
1/3 cup mild flavored oil
1 1/4 cup baking flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
Sprinkling of salt
4 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1 Cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 "sour" milk (mostly coconut milk with a splash of vinegar will do)

1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan margarine, (preferably at room temp)
1- 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut for patting
Cinnamon for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a sauce pan, melt the margarine and whisk in the cocoa powder.  In a medium sized bowl, mix all the cake ingredients, and fold in the margarine/cocoa mixture.  Should create a slightly thick, yet pour able batter.  If it's a bit too thick, add some additional water to make up for some of the missing moisture from using flax eggs instead of regular.  Pour into (2) 9" round pans or (1) 9"x13" rectangle pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes and remove to cool.

In a smaller bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the margarine, coconut, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Should mix into a nice, creamy frosting.  Add more powdered sugar for a stiffer texture.  

Putting it together:
When your cake has cooled, remove the cake from the pan.  For a square cake, cut the rectangle sheet in half so there are 2 squares to stack.  Frost the top of the first square and stack the second square on top to create your layers.  Frost the entire cake and pat some extract coconut across the top.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  For a circle cake, do the same.  

With Love,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Orange-Ginger Teriyaki Sauce

Orange-Ginger Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Cup Water
1 1/2 Teaspoons ground Ginger
1 Orange, juiced
1 Tablespoon Orange zest
5 Tablespoons Raw Sugar
1-2 teaspoons agave syrup

2 Tablespoons of corn starch
1/4 Cup cold water

* For Orange Zest, use the littlest teeth on the grater.

In a saucepan over medium heat, start adding the Soy sauce, water, ginger, orange juice, zest, sugar and agave.  Bring to a light boil. In a small cup or bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cold water thoroughly.  Add to the sauce pan, and allow the sauce to cook for 6-8 minutes to gain it's thickness.

Serve warm over rice or noodles.

With Love,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pesto Quinoa Salad (vegan)


Dinner tonight was my favorite pasta sauce ever, basil pesto, mixed with hearty protein-packed superfood, quinoa!  Jake made up some whole-wheat noodles to mix with his, but I ate it straight.  Yum!

Pesto Quinoa Salad
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Fridge Time: 1 hour

Cooking stuffs:

4 cups quinoa (cooked)
1/4 cup whole or pieced cashews
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
Handful of Green olives
1 large Carrot, rinsed&shredded
Sprinkling of sea salt

2 Cups Basil
1/2 cup Cashews
1/2-3/4 Cups Grapeseed oil
1 Tablespoons chopped garlic

In a Cuisinart, mix all of the pesto ingredients and blend well.  It should be creamy, and if not, add a bit more Grapeseed oil until smooth.

Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker or on the stove until tender.  In a glass bowl, toss the remaining salad ingredients with the cooked quinoa.  Using a spatula, scrape all the pesto in the salad mix, and fold in thoroughly.  Cover and refrigerate until cold, approximately 1 hour.  

Serve as is or tossed with 4-6 cups of whole wheat noodles.  

With Love,

Quickie Veggie Soup (vegan)

Spent the morning with my lovely Hamilton Family <3 and came home to the predicament...what to make for lunch?  With a starving boyfriend hovering around the kitchen rifling through cupboards, he announced his choice.


Just what I wanted! So we did a fridge raid and started choppin'.  Jake ended up taking over, and doing his chef thing, while I prepped dinner.

So cute :)

Quickie Veggie Soup
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15-30 Minutes

Cooking Stuffs:
8-10 Cups Veggie Soup Base (the choices on this one are endless.)
4 Carrots, rinsed&chopped
3 Cups Kale, rinsed&chopped
1 Cup Spinach, rinsed&chopped
4 stalks Celery, rinsed&chopped
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1 Teaspoon pepper
2 Cups rice or barley, dry
1 Cup Quinoa, dry

In a large pot, start your veggie soup base on low heat.  Rinse and chop all your vegetables, and add them to your pot, stirring every so often.  Mix in the soy sauce, pepper and garlic, and bring soup to a boil.  When it has reached boiling, add the rice & quinoa allowing to cook for 8-10 minutes.  Stir regularly while the rice/quinoa is cooking.  When fully cooked, turn the soup to simmer, and serve!

The Manda Version:
Dish your soup, serve with tortilla chips.

The Jake Version:
Dish your soup.  Add 1 slice of soy mozzarella cheese & 10-15 crushed saltine crackers to it and mix in well.  Top of with 2 teaspoons of chili powder, stir in.

*Spicy, but has a very creamy taste.  Was quite tasty!

With Love,

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Hummus (vegan)

I love cookies.  I mean, who doesn't?!  So when something semi-healthy and vegan comes along that's as easy as this recipe, I have to jump on board.  I've seen a variety of ways this recipe has been made floating around on Pinterest (found by my baking buddy Whitney!) and so far over the last few weeks (with few tweaks) have made it my own delicious guilty pleasure.

And I only feel slightly guilty :)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Hummus
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Fridge Time: 30 Minutes-1 hour until chilled, refrigerate when not in use

Cooking Stuffs:
1 Cup Chick Peas
1/3 Cup Natural Peanut Butter (Adams or whatever)
1/4 Cup (minimum) Agave Syrup or Rice Syrup
2 teaspoons Raw sugar
3 Tablespoons Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Almond extract
1/2 Cup Carob Chips (vegan chocolate chips)

In your small cuisinart or a blender, blend the chickpeas until smooth.  Add the peanut butter, agave, sugar, almond extract, and vanilla and blend again until all the ingredients are mixed.  Stir in Carob chips, cover, & refrigerate.  Serve with veggies or teddy grahams (vegan!). 

Tip: Taste your hummus to make sure it's sweet enough to your liking.  If not, feel free to add a bit more agave!

Happy Snacking!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Better-Than-Sex Sundae (vegan)

Not healthy. So if that's what you're looking for, turn back now.

But for a tasty treat, try this!

3 scoops vanilla rice milk "ice cream"
1 teaspoon Agave syrup
Sprinkling of Carob chips
Sprinkling of Cashews bits
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1 Tablespoon coconut milk

In a bowl, add peanut butter & coconut milk.  Microwave for 1 minute, then whisk together until smooth. This should create a creamy peanut butter drizzle. Scoop your "ice cream" on top and add your selection of toppings. Drizzle with agave to finish.



Monday, April 8, 2013

Dessert for Breakfast

I prepped up this tasty little treat for my breakfast in the morning, since I'm a bit sick of oatmeal.  Feel free to mix it up!  Optional items are: nuts/seeds, dried fruit, or a variety of other seasonings (i.e. nutmeg, cocoa powder, etc) <3

Dessert A'la Rice
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes

Cookings Stuffs:
1 Cup Rice
3 Tablespoons Organic Agave Syrup
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon Powder
Splash of Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Fresh Blueberries

In a rice cooker or pan, cook your rice until tender.  Before it is allowed to cool, stir in the agave, cinnamon & coconut milk.  Fold in the blueberries and serve warm, or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Happy Breakfast-ing!


Pub Burgers & House Fries (vegan)

Ah, burgers.  A Summer staple food.  Picnics, BBQ's, 4th of July, there is nothing more traditional that a big juicy burger.  Except when your vegan of course! :) This morning, Jake, Chris and I made our regular Sunday venture to our favorite bakery, Petit Chat, for bread and treats and came across some in-house, vegan friendly hamburger buns.  So light & fluffy, and of course, delicious.  We were won over, and our dinner plans became set in stone, Pub burgers! I went the easy route this time, and didn't make my own hamburger patties as I would have preferred.  Boca or Morning Star stuff is a good substitute, just make sure you check the ingredients!  Not everything is VEGAN.

On the fry side,  I have ALWAYS been an advocate for baking home fries instead of frying them simply because it's healthier, and was raised on baked potato fries.  Jake, however, is an Indianian, and down South in Indiana, they fry.  So for the first time in our 2 years of dating, I broke down and agreed to let him to actually fry our fries!  He had a blast :) We used Grapeseed oil instead of soybean or veggie (bleh), but they turned out pretty durn good.  Maybe in another 2 years, I may let him try them again :)

Not trying to scare you out of trying them, however: Caution on the fries, these are NOT LOW FAT!  They are everything bad you'd expect them to be.  They are vegan, but only in technicality alone. Unfortunately though, they are yummy, yummy, yummy!

P.S. Enjoy!

Pub Burgers & Home Fries

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes-1 Hour

Cooking Stuffs:

Petit Chat's Tuscan Kaiser Hamburger Rolls or any other vegan hamburger bun (make your own!)
1 Box of Boca or Morning Star Vegan Hamburgers or Make your own (See here for one recipe)!!!


Cabbage or lettuce
1 Large Red Pepper
1 Scallion, minced
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced


2 Cups (sliced) your choice of regular potatoes, sweet potatoes, or eggplant

Onion Powder
Chicken Seasoning (VEGAN) (Basically just a mixture of: Paprika, Onion, Curry, Garlic, Black Pepper)
Black Pepper
Sea Salt
3 Tablespoons Flour
2 Cups Grapeseed or Sesame Oil
Coconut Oil Spray (optional)
1 batch of homemade Vegan Fry Sauce

Allow the burgers to defrost if frozen.  Chop the red peppers into 1/4" slices, and allow to brown on medium heat in a non-stick skillet.  While they are starting to brown add the scallion & garlic.  When they are done (about 10-15 minutes, keep a close eye), remove from heat and set aside. Move on to the fries.  While the fries are cooking, place your burgers in a skillet to brown (approximately 3 minutes on each side on Medium heat).

1. Read Safety First below.  Place the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  MAKE SURE you have on long sleeves.  Ensure the pan is covered or it will pop all over the walls and you.  While it is preheating, slice your potatoes or egg plant into slices no bigger than 1/4" thick.  In a gallon sized Ziploc bag, mix your seasonings, Sea salt, and flour.  Close and shake thoroughly  Either rinse your potatoes/eggplant in a strainer or spray them with a light coat of coconut oil, then dump into the bag of your mixed seasonings.  Seal, and shake well thoroughly covering them in an outer coat.  When you're ready, pull them out and drop them into your oil with a METAL strainer spoon.  Allow them to cook for 15-30 seconds and remove immediately.  Place them on a cookie sheet to cool.

*Disclaimer:  Safety First.  Deep frying is EXTREMELY dangerous if done incorrectly.  It can be an extreme fire hazard as people continually prove every Thanksgiving.  Do your homework, and be confident that you know what you're doing.  /Always wear long sleeves or long oven mitts if you have them.  Always keep a lid and a giant box of baking soda nearby, and NEVER USE WATER to put out a grease fire.  Good Luck, Be Safe!
Deep Frying on an Electric Stove.
Kitchen Safety: Putting Out Grease Fires

When your burgers and fries are done, build your burger!  We are boring and usually only use vegannaise, ketchup, and lettuce, but feel free to take creative intiative.  

Happy Cooking!


The Nourishing Gourmet

Um, this looks amazing.

Curried Sprouted Lentils w/Ginger & Garlic Cilantro Sauce


Damn you Martha.

I realized this morning that after years of ambitiously following her, (prison years discluded lol),

I will never be Martha Stewart.

I can decorate a house, cook & bake up a storm, and create stellar floral arrangements...

But I will NEVER be able to keep anything beige clean.  

Damn you Martha.