stairway to vegan

Sharing a journey into the world of fabulous vegan food.


2 Comments

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers #veganMoFo

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

The last day of MoFo and it is time to celebrate. Another month of blogging comes to an end. I will miss my morning fix of radomofo, browsing the blogs and seeing all the great recipes, ideas, pictures and funny stories.

While I will miss MoFo, I will also enjoy a short break. Just enough time to recharge the batteries and get the creative juices flowing again.

In the meantime, I have finished my month of “Soup and Bread” with a dessert.

This soup is nice and cold. It is not overly sweet, but the addition of the Palmiers will add in the sweetness. Confession time: the recipe uses Tapioca Pearls, however, I could not find any at my store today and had run out of time to look further, so I substituted them for Orzo pasta. I think the Tapioca would have given the soup a nicer, creamier taste. I also added a dollop of cashew creme and a few fresh Lemon Verbena leaves for garnish.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup

Serves 8

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup tapioca pearls
    9 cups strawberries (frozen can be used)
    1 cup sugar
    1 lemon, juiced
    1/2 cup Champagne or sparkling white wine
    6 mint leaves, plus more, for garnish or lemon vegans leaves
    1 cup cashew creme (soak 1 cup cashews in water overnight, drain, blend with equal amount of cold water in blender until creamy and smooth)

In a saucepan, bring water, tapioca, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and Champagne to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then add mint leaves. Let cool to room temperature.

Blend together with an immersion blender or in a standing blender, then strain through a sieve. Chill in the refrigerator, covered, for 3 hours.

Serve soup in glasses with a dollop of cashew creme and garnish with mint or lemon verbena leaves.

 

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

Vegan Palmiers

Serves 8

  • 1 cup  sugar
    1 pinch salt
    1 sheet Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (double-check, but I found this brand to be vegan), defrosted but still very cold.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the sugar and salt. Pour 1/2 cup of the mixture onto a pastry board or other flat surface covered with parchment paper and spread it around. Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto the parchment and pour the other half cup of the sugar mixture on top, and spread it evenly to cover the puff pastry.Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and using a rolling-pin, roll the pastry until it’s a 12” square and sugar is pressed in all around. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Fold the sides of the pastry square toward the center so they go halfway to the middle point. Then fold one half over the other, like closing a book. You should have 6 layers. Slice the pastry “book” into 8 slices and place them cut-side up on parchment-lined baking sheets leaving plenty of space between each one.

Bake the cookies for 6 minutes or until caramalized and brown on the bottom. Then turn and bake for another 3-5 minutes until caramalized on the other side. Transfer to rack to cool.

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 267 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 362 Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.5g 13%
Saturated Fat 1.6g  8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 24mg 1%
Potassium 355mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 71.7g 24%
Dietary Fiber 4.0g 16%
Sugars 59.0g
Protein 3.8g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 165%
Calcium 4% Iron 10%
Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points
Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

Strawberry Champagne Pearl Soup with Palmiers

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Vegan Chocolate Truffles #veganchocolatetruffles

Vegan Chocolate Caramel Truffles

Vegan Chocolate Caramel Truffles

 

There are a few basic life essentials that no woman, (actually these are all my essentials) should be without.  A black lace bra that fits perfectly, a killer pair of stiletto’s and a delicious, quick and incredibly simple decadent Vegan Chocolate Truffle recipe.

These truffles literally melt in your mouth. They taste incredibly rich and the best part is, they are actually good for you. No dairy, no added sugar and a nice serving of protein.

As I mentioned, this is a very simple recipe, quick and easy for me to make and post here for you.  I have been using my time lately getting ready for Vegan Mofo…. the wonderful Vegan Month of Food.

Starting tomorrow, and continuing for the entire month of September,  vegan bloggers from around the world will be cooking, typing, taking photo’s and sharing all their wonderful talents. We are committing to post 20 or more times during the month, so it is going to be a busy time for us all. Not only creating and posting content, but being able to browse all the other blogs and savoir their amazing information.

This year, I will be following a theme. Soup and Bread  pairings. So, really, I will be posting north of 40 recipes during the month…..:)

Meanwhile, back at today’s recipe,

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Vegan Chocolate Caramel Truffles

Vegan Chocolate Caramel Truffles

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

Makes approx 45 truffles

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 500 g vegan dark chocolate (a lot of regular  dark bittersweet chocolate is vegan, check the ingredients)
  • cocoa powder for dusting

Nutty Caramel

  • 10 soft large dates (soak in hot water for 20 mins if necessary)
  • 1/2 tspn vanilla
  • 1.2 tspn fine sea salt
  • 1 Tblspn coconut oil
  • 2 Tbspn Almond or other nut butter

Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water to soak overnight.

Drain cashews and add to a blender with 3/4 cup of cold water. Blend on high speed for  at least 3 mins stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides. The cashews will turn into a smooth thick almost white cream when ready. Set aside.

Place chocolate in a double boiler (or you can use one small and one medium pot) and gently melt. Note: melting chocolate is not as easy as you would think. If done too quickly or if moisture gets into the chocolate, it can seize….get hard and chalky. Using a double boiler helps prevent this. If you don’t have a double boiler, take a medium pot and place about an inch of water in the bottom. Take a small pot and sit it inside the medium one. Place the chocolate in the top, small pot. Place the two pots (one on top of the other) on the stove over moderate heat. Stir the chocolate constantly until it has melted and is smooth and runny. Remove the top pot from the stove. Gently stir the hot melted chocolate into the cashew cream. Mix to completely combine. Place in the fridge to cool and set, approx 2 hours.

Once set, take small spoonful’s and roll into balls and place on a plate. If you want, you can dust the balls in cocoa.

You can also make these Caramel Truffles by placing a dollop of Nutty Caramel on the top of the truffles, or you can roll the caramel into a ball and then wrap in the chocolate truffle mixture.

To make the Nutty Caramel, place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides. Set aside to chill in the fridge.

 

Vegan Chocolate Caramel Truffles

Vegan Chocolate Caramel Truffles

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 15 g one truffle
Amount Per Serving
Calories 80 Calories from Fat 43
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.8g 7%
Saturated Fat 2.7g 13%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 55mg 2%
Potassium 67mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 8.3g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0.6g 2%
Sugars 6.6g
Protein 1.3g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% Iron 2%
Nutrition Grade D
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

 


5 Comments

Visions of #Sugar Plums danced in their heads….#sweet #Christmas #treats

Sugar Plums

Sugar Plums

T’was the night before Christmas….well technically it is about three weeks before Christmas, but I am in full festive mode.

I love Christmas and all that goes with it. The hustle and bustle of shopping along with hundreds of other people, the cold days and snowfalls, corny movies and red scarves. what a magical time.

Once December 1st rolls around it is time to start decorating. I often joke, that if you stand still too long in my house, you will end up with a string of lights wound around you….:)

Outside, lights are up on my house and look wonderful. Growing up in Australia, we did not have the backdrop of snow, so I just love the way everything sparkles here. My tree is all done. I love the smell that fills the house from the  real tree, there is nothing quite like it. Add in the cinnamon sticks nestled amongst oranges studded with cloves sitting on my dining room table and the scent is complete.

With all the decorating done, now it is time to hit the kitchen and come up with some magical goodies.

What better way, than to start off with Sugar Plums. We have all heard the poem, “the children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads”, but I am guessing a lot of people (like me) have never really thought about what a Sugar Plum is. From what I can gather, a Sugar Plum is a mixture of dried fruit and nuts combined with a liquid sweetener and then rolled in sugar. The term “plum” was used to describe something rich or fancy (plum job, etc). In the 1800’s dried fruits, nuts and honey would all be luxury items only available to the wealthier families. Hence the children would dream of sugar plums…..(not sure of the accuracy of this, but the story sounds nice to me).

For these sugar plums, I have used Agave for the liquid sweetener.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Sugar Plums

Sugar Plums

Sugar Plums

Makes approx 80

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces walnuts
  • 6 ounces dried apricots
  • 6 ounces dried figs
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1 cup coarse sugar

Place nuts and dried fruit in to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Add all other ingredients and process until well mixed. Chill for 1 hour.

Scoop the mixture into 1 tblspn portions and roll into balls. Roll in sugar and serve.

Keep refrigerated for up to a month in an airtight container.

Sugar Plums

Sugar Plums

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 9 g – 1 sugar plum
Amount Per Serving
Calories 30
Calories from Fat 12
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.3g 2%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 4.5g 2%
Sugars 3.9g
Protein 0.6g
Vitamin A   1% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1% Iron 1%
Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points
 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Banana Sunflower Bread, perfect for a lazy Sunday

Banana Sunflower Bread

Banana Sunflower Bread

What better way to spend a lazy Fall Sunday than with a nice slice of Banana Bread and a hot cup of herbal tea. Today was a perfect Fall day with clear blue skies, a crisp breeze but with a little heat still left in the sunshine. The sounds of leaves crunching underfoot and the smell of wood fires in the air.

While I am a summer girl at heart, there is something very soothing about a day like today. It calls for relaxing with a good book and the aforementioned slice (or two) of Banana Bread.

This recipe is not overly sweet, the coconut palm sugar used, is lower on the glycemic scale, for a healthier option than regular sugar.

The nutritional information at the end is based on one slice and the loaf being sliced into 12 pieces.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Banana Sunflower Bread

Banana Sunflower Bread

Banana Sunflower Bread

Makes 1 loaf

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tspns baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn baking soda
  • 1/4 tspn cinnamon
  • 1/8 tspn nutmeg
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 2 Tblspns ground flax mixed into 6 Tblspns water and allowed to gel
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup flax oil
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Prepare one loaf tin by lining with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350 F

In large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In medium bowl combine gelled flax, banana, sugar and oil. Add banana mixture to dry mixture and stir until just combined. Add sunflower seeds and mix lightly.

Pour into prepared loaf tin.

Bake for 45 mins (or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean). Remove from oven and let sit in pan for 10 mins.

Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire rack.

Banana Sunflower Bread

Banana Sunflower Bread

 

Nutrition Facts 1/12 of loaf
Serving Size 71 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 249 Calories from Fat  98
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10.8g 17%
Saturated Fat 0.9g 4%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium  40mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 37.4g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1.8g 7%
Sugars 14.4g
Protein 3.0g
Vitamin A   0% Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 4% Iron 7%
Nutrition Grade B-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points


1 Comment

Coconut Vanilla Icecream Sandwiches with Chocolate Fudge Cookies, Vegan MoFo Receipt # 20 !!

Coconut Vanilla Icecream Sandwich with Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Coconut Vanilla Ice cream Sandwich with Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Vegan MoFo Recipe # 20, and for the grand finale, Drum roll please,………. Coconut Vanilla ice-cream Sandwiches with Chocolate Fudge Cookies.

A fitting end to a wonderful month of vegan blogging. This is the first year for both my blog, and, for me to find out and participate in Vegan MoFo. I have had a wonderful (although sometimes exhausting) time. The best part for me is all the other fantastic blogs out there I have found (whoever came up with the randomofo is a genius).

I wanted to end the month with something special. As I have mentioned previously, I do  not have a sweet tooth, so tend to forget the dessert side of cooking, but back at the beginning of summer, I was as the Toronto Vegan Festival and had a coconut ice cream sundae that was sitting on a chocolate brownie. It was so good, I made a note to try to make it at home one day. Well, there is no time like the present.

I have combined a number of recipes to come up with this. The ice cream is the same basic frozen banana soft serve I have been making for a long time, but I added frozen coconut milk for the creamy texture and a little vanilla for taste. The cookie’s are a base of a traditional chocolate chip cookie, but with extra cocoa and no chips. I replaced the egg with the chia and water. The end result is perfect. Rich creamy ice-cream sandwiched in between two fudgey chocolate cookies….yum.

Coconut Vanilla Icecream Sandwich with Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Coconut Vanilla Ice cream Sandwich with Chocolate Fudge Cookies

The cookies for the ice cream sandwiches were made oversize, but you can also make regular size cookies too. In fact, this recipe made three huge ice cream sandwich’s plus another dozen regular cookies.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Chocolate Fudge Cookie

Chocolate Fudge Cookie

 

Coconut Vanilla Ice cream Sandwiches with Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Makes 6 sandwiches

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tblspn cornstarch
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tblspn chia seeds
  • 3 tblspns water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy (or other non dairy) milk
  • 1 tspn vanilla

Ice cream:

Combine all but 1/4 cup of the coconut milk in pot with 1 tspn of vanilla. Heat gently until quite warm. Combine remaining coconut milk and cornstarch in separate bowl until cornstarch is dissolved. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into coconut milk, vanilla mixture. Increase heat to medium and cook stirring for 3 – 5 mins until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, pour into ice-cube trays and freeze overnight.

Peel and cut banana’s into 1 inch slices. Place in freezer bag and freeze overnight.

When ready to serve, place frozen coconut milk and frozen banana into food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. This will take a few minutes, but the texture will be similar to a soft serve.

Chocolate Fudge Cookies:

Place chia seeds and water in small bowl and let sit for 5 mins to gel.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in bowl. Mix well.

In a separate large bowl, combine vegetable oil, palm sugar and gelled chia seeds. Mix well.  Add soy milk and vanilla and mix to combine.

Add dry mixture into wet mixture and mix until just combined. ( add a little extra soy milk if necessary, mixture should be quite stiff but all dry ingredients should be incorporated)

For large sandwich cookies, take 1/4 cupfuls and roll into balls with your hands then flatten to around 1/2 inch discs.

For small cookies, use tablespoonfuls

Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10 mins. Keep a close eye on cookies and make sure you do not over cook. The larger cookies might need a min or two more than the small, check middle of cookie with a toothpick to see if cooked.

Remove from trays and place on cooling racks.

When ready to serve, Take one large cookie, top with approx 1/2 cup ice cream and place another cookie on top. Press together gently.

Coconut Vanilla Icecream Sandwich with Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Coconut Vanilla Ice cream Sandwich with Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 272 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 796 Calories from Fat 422
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46.9g 72%
Saturated Fat 23.0g 115%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 327mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 96.7g 32%
Dietary Fiber 9.1g   37%
Sugars38.8g
Protein 10.3g
Vitamin A   1% Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 6% Iron 33%
Nutrition Grade D+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points


5 Comments

Coconut Carrot Date Slice Vegan Mofo Recipe #4

Coconut Carrot Date Slice

Coconut Carrot Date Slic

As I have mentioned before, I do not have a sweet tooth, thank goodness. With my pasta and potato addictions, I would literally explode if I also went overboard on sugar. So in order to be fair and interesting I have challenged myself toremember to insert the odd sweet recipe.

Coconut Carrot Date Slice, is sweet with the dates and carrots, and tropical with the coconut. I also absolutely love the taste and smell of coconut. I have it everywhere in my home, shampoo, soap, air freshener, you name it, if it comes in coconut, I have it.

This slice is very similar to traditional carrot cake, but more dense and filling. Even though the sweetness did not draw me in, the coconut did and this slice, only lasted a few days in my kitchen before it was gone.

Cooper, the wonderdog, of course loved it, as his very fav veggie, carrots, were in the mix and he got his four slices.

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Coconut Carrot Date Slice

Coconut Carrot Date Slice

Coconut Carrot Date Slice

8 slices

  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1/4 tspn nutmeg
  • 1/8 tspn allspice
  • 9 tblspns water
  • 3 – 5 drops stevia to taste
  • 5 tblspns Almond milk
  • 2 tspns olive oil
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • zest of 1 orange finely minced
  • 1/5 cup finely diced dates

Pre-heat oven to 350 F and place rack in middle.

Line 3 X 9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

Sift together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, Add back in the whole wheat flour husks. Whisk briefly to incorporate air into the dry ingredients.

Coconut Carrot Date Slice

In separate bowl, whisk together water, stevia, almond milk, olive oil and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix together.

Stir in grated carrots, coconut and orange zest.

Fold in dates and pour into loaf pan.

Coconut Carrot Date Slice

Smooth top and place in oven. Bake 25 – 35 mins until brown and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Removed from oven and allow to sit 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.Place wire rack on top of  tin, turn upside down. Peel parchment paper off loaf. Place a second wire rack on bottom of loaf and invert.Allow to cool before serving.

Coconut Carrot Date Slice

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 58 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 168 Calories from Fat 61
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4.9g 25%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 185mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 24.0g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5.0g 20%
Sugars 9.9g
Protein 2.9g
Vitamin A   46% Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 4% Iron 5%
Nutrition Grade D+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points


Leave a comment

On the sweeter side……Decadent Chocolate Crackles

Decadent Chocolate Crackles

Decadent Chocolate Crackles

Personally, I do not have a sweet tooth. I rarely eat desserts, I would rather a double helping of the main course (especially if pasta or potato’s are involved), so, I have to remind myself that other people might like something sweet for a change.

Growing up in Australia we had “Chocolate Crackles”. These crunchy, chocolate, coconut treats were always immediately gobbled up as soon as they appeared. You could always tell when they were around, as all the children had huge smiles on their chocolate covered faces. It is impossible to eat one of these without getting chocolate all over you.

Since I moved here in 1991, I have not made these treats due to the fact that one, vitally important ingredient is not available in North America. Copha, as I have now found out, is a hydrogenated coconut oil that is solid at room temperature. It looks similar to its North American cousin, Crisco. Same type of packaging and general texture, but the two cannot be substituted for each other.

During my journey into the vegan world, and specifically the raw vegan world, coconut oil keeps cropping up. At first, I just assumed, it would be like any other oil, liquid at room temperature, but now I find that it is solid…..just like Copha, but without the processing. So I have made these Chocolate Crackles with coconut oil, and they turned out great.

I think I may do a theme of Australian goodies. Maybe Pavlova (meringue with whipped cream and fruit) and Lamingtons (Chocolate and coconut coated vanilla cake with a middle of cream and jam). I will have to adapt them to vegan ingredients, but I do like a challenge.

In the meantime, here are my childhood treats, Chocolate Crackles.

Decadent Chocolate Crackles

Decadent Chocolate Crackles

Enjoy,

96B4F31D4DF30EE65A022CF611762965

Decadent Chocolate Crackles

makes 24

  • 24 cup cake paper liners
  • 1 cup medium shredded coconut (plus a little extra to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 Tblspns Cocoa (make sure it does not contain dairy, to be vegan)
  • 4 cups Rice  Crispies
  • 250 g solid coconut oil

Place paper liners in muffin tin to hold shape.

Heat coconut oil over low heat until melted. Allow to cool slightly.

In separate bowl, mix together shredded coconut, icing sugar, cocoa and Rice Crispies.

Pour melted coconut oil into dry mixture and combine completely.

Spoon mixture into paper liners, sprinkle extra coconut on top. Place in refrigerator to set for one hour.

Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

Decadent Chocolate Crackles

Decadent Chocolate Crackles

  • Nutrition Facts
    Amount Per Serving (one Chocolate Crackle)
    Calories 152
    Calories from Fat 106
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 11.8g 18%
    Saturated Fat 9.9g 49%
    Trans Fat 0.0g
    Cholesterol 0mg 0%
    Sodium 34mg 1%
    Total Carbohydrates 14.8g 5%
    Dietary Fiber 3.1g 12%
    Sugars 5.8g
    Protein 2.1g
    Vitamin A 0%•
    Vitamin C 0%
    Calcium 1%
    Iron 15%
  • * Based on a 2000 calorie diet