Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chocolate Plus Lava

Equals Cake! Or rather a chocolate lava cake.

Over the past few days I have tried out a few recipes that I have found on other blogs that I follow. As in Chocolate- Covered Katie, Sweet Tooth Runner, and Healthy Food for Living.

I, of course, added my touches to each recipe I tried, just to make it my own, which most bloggers encourage you to do because they want you to make it your to your taste. (Or at least I hope they all don't mind, sorry guys but you all inspired me!)

So this is what was on my mind to make. Chocolate lava cakes, single serving banana bread, and single serving oatmeal raisin cake. (The last one was my own recipe.) I saw the chocolate lava cake first on Sweet Tooth Runner's site. It is really Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cake, but the original blogger was Lauren from Healthy Food for Living.  Hers called for peanut flour, something I can not find (but do want to make a trip to the Trader Joe's in Princeton because it is larger than the one in Westfield and I hope they will carry it. Otherwise, does anyone know where I can get some?) so instead I used almond meal (which the Westfield TJ does carry). I wanted to make a single serving of banana bread so I could make myself banana bread french toast. So I took a recipe from Katie and made it. The oatmeal raisin cake I kind of used the idea from Katie with her baked banana oatmeal.

That is enough talking about all this food, let me show you it all...

Almond Chocolate Lava Cake for One

 1/4 cup almond meal

1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (Hershey's Special Dark is always my choice, it have such a rich flavor)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tablespoon almond milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
warm apple butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6 oz ramekin.

Whisk the dry ingredients together.

Combine all the liquid ingredients together.

Mix the two together and

spoon into the ramekin.

Bake 11 to 12 minutes. You want to let the top to be done, but the inside to still be uncooked. Hench the lave cake!

So good! Even with my almond meal change. It did make the cake a tad bit gritty, but still great in flavor. And I topped it with some more almond butter.

Banana Bread French Toast

for the bread:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon flaxmeal
1 medium sized banana
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini loaf pan.

Mash the banana, add the oil, vanilla, and flaxmeal.

Add in the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Mix and place in the pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

For the batter:
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons whole wheat white flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (little more for my taste)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all together.

Soak the banana bread in the batter, flipping the bread over a few times.

Heat a pan that is lightly oiled. (I tried 1 teaspoon coconut oil, but that was too much I think because the batter was sticking to the pan, but then after the oil kind of got used up, the batter was finally browning. I think it is how you have to make pancakes, use only a little grease because you want it to brown.) Place the bread in the pan and cook on each side until browned and crispy. Maybe 5 minutes on each side.

Top with a little syrup and fresh blueberries. Check out that crispyness on the outside and the dense fudgeyness inside:

Oatmeal Raisin Mini Bundt Pan

1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons oats
2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini bundt pan.

Combine all the dry ingredients together. Add in all the wet ingredients.

Combine, pour into pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

I topped it with almond butter, yummy!

And here is a dinner salad I wanted you all to try and make:

it had fresh avocados, grape tomatoes, purple and light yellow peppers, fresh lemon juice, roasted peppers, mushrooms, chick peas, corn, mango, black olives, green olives filled with pimentos, and lemon basil. Oh my gosh! Heaven on a plate. (the tomatoes are from my garden, the peppers are from the farmers market, and I roasted the peppers and shrooms with onion, coriander, cumin, s and p, and oregano; and the chick peas with smoked sweet paprika, the corn with just s and p.)

I swear the banana soft serve will be coming up!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ba Ba.....

Ganoush! Not black sheep, like that old folk tale song thingy from childhood.

I told you I would make my version of it and I did and now I will share with you that recipe, but before we get to that I just want to inform all of you about a scam that restaurants have been pulling on all of its patrons. "What is it?" you may ask. Well have you ever seen on a menu eggplant caviar? Well guess what it is. Yup babaganoush! They just call it by a fancier name so they can charge you an outrageous price for it. Now that you know exactly what it is, maybe next time you will just make it yourself.

What is babaganoush? It is a middle eastern dip. You can eat it with pita, veggies, along with hummus, or add it to a sandwich. A normal recipe calls for the eggplant to be roasted, the skin burnt, removed and then "mashed" with some spices added to make the dip. My version keeps the skin in the dip to add texture, nutrients, and I just plain like the skin of the eggplant. I was never one to really keep by dips smooth. Even my hummus is chunky, what can I say, I like my food to have texture.  Also, I roast the eggplant with some seasonings, then make it into the dip. So here is the recipe for my babaganoush.


1 large eggplant, or 5 small eggplants
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
4 dashes cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon tahini
1 handful of fresh parsley and lemon basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cube the eggplant, toss it with the onion, oregano, black pepper, salt, coriander, and oil.

Roast the eggplant for 30 to 40 minutes, until they become soft and lightly browned. (It really depends on how small you cube the eggplant.)

After they are done, put the eggplant in a food processor and pulse 10 times.

Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, and the tahini. Processor until almost smooth.

Slowly add the lemon juice until the dip becomes well combined.

Add in the fresh herbs and pulse 20 times to incorporate the herbs.

There you go. It is rather easy to make. And you can eat it like I did. On some cucumbers (from my garden), jicama, tomatoes from my garden, and roasted chick peas.


I also made some bars for my friends birthday present. They can easily be made vegan by using a vegan butter substitute and a vegan sugar. These bars had regular butter and sugar.

Chocolate Strawberry Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch square pan and then place parchment paper in the pan.

Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Mash in the butter either using a pastry blender or your hands.

Once the dough becomes crumbly, press 3/4 of the dough into the bottom of the pan.

Top with the jam and fresh strawberries.

Lightly press the strawberries down into the bottom crust.

Crumble the remaining batter over the strawberries. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly firm when touched.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the bars and then allow it to cool. Cut if up and eat.

Everyone really liked them and I can't wait to try out this recipe in vegan form.

Banana soft serve up next, I hope.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Knock Knock

Who's there?
Orange who?
Aren't you glad I didn't say banana.


Yes, lame, I know, but funny none the less.

The joke would have been way better if I had posted about bananas before this post, but I think I am going to be posting some banana recipes after this one. Whoops, aw well. More on that later. Let's talk about oranges.

Remember my cupcake test I did a little while ago: Cake or Death?. Although my favorite cupcake was the spice with an agave glaze, I did also enjoy the creamsicle version. I have been wanting to make that into a full out cake version. So I did just that! I had been saving fresh orange juice and zest from oranges I would eat for breakfast by freezing the juice until I was going to make the cake. I used ruby oranges for this recipe just because they are a tad sweeter then regular oranges and have a pretty pink color. I also have been wanting to try coconut palm sugar for a little while, so I tried it in this recipe. I did a pretty much equal swap of sugar or coconut palm sugar in the recipe, maybe just a quarter cup less of the coconut palm sugar, mainly because I did not want it to end up too sweet, just in case it needs to be cut in half or something because the package didn't say anything according to that. You know usually the packages tell you how to substitute the sugar in a recipe, all this one said was that it was good to use it in baked goods. I did some research on how to use it, but nothing was conclusive on the matter. So I just went ahead an made the cake. The recipe was adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World.

Orange Cream Cake

2/3 cup oil
1 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

1 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened plain
1 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 2/3 cup cup whole wheat white flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with non stick spray.

Combine the oil, milk, oj, vanilla, and zest and 2 tablespoons of the flour.

(Using a whisk really works great for this.)

Mix the rest of the flour, baking powder and soda, and the salt.

In three batches, add the dry to the wet. (Or do it like me, I mixed the wet in a large 4 cup measuring cup and then added some of the dry mix to that until it was too full. Then I whisked and poured the wet into the rest of the dry ingredients until it all came together. I do things backwards sometime.)

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, turning the pan half way through baking. My cake took 35 minutes to bake. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, and the cake should give only slightly when pressed.

Allow it to cool completely, then frost and decorate.

I frosted and decorate mine with some good old Truwhip (I really love that stuff! They should hook me up with all the promoting I do for them, just putting that out there.) and vegan sprinkles by Let's Do Organic. I wanted to use the Truwhip because I knew I would not be able to create something as light and fluffy. I really wanted something creamy to make the "cream" part of this cake perfect.

It was a big hit at the party I brought it to as the present for the grad girlie. It was moist, which was even surprising to me (I'm not going to lie) and had a great orange taste. Not too over powering, not too tart, and not too sweet. It came out just right.

So for the banana part of my joke in the beginning, I am finally going to jump on the ban-wagon of the banilla vegan "ice cream" craze. Also know as banana soft serve. I have four flavors I can't wait to try out: cinnamon, chocolate peanut butter, cookie dough, and the last is a toss between chocolate cherry or strawberry. Cinnamon was one of my favorite flavors of ice cream as was cookie dough. So to revamp them is going to be fun. Chocolate peanut butter is just crazy yummy and I am not sure which is more appealing to me to make for the fourth, or hey crazy idea why not get another banana and try both- duh!

Problem solved. So that is what is coming up soon. Also a recipe of my take on baba ganoush. Until then...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Trail Mix In Cookie Form

Who could beat that, or pass them up. These are something I have made many variations of before, but this version is probably my best ones yet. When I usually make these I add in anything that I have in my pantry, such as dried cherries, dried blueberries, sunflower seeds, any nuts, coconut, and the key that I absolutely love is almond extract. This time around I also made them gluten free! Awesome!

Trail Mix Cookies

1 1/4 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon flax seed meal
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries, fruit juice sweetened
1/2 cup coconut, unsweetened
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1 tablespoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
if necessary extra water (1 tablespoon)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place wax paper on baking sheets. Combine the flax meal and water together.

Mix all of the dry ingredients- flours to baking soda. Then add in all of the mix-ins, the cherries, cranberries, seeds, and coconut.
In another bowl mix the oil, agave, applesauce, extracts, and flax mixture.

Add the wet to the dry.

Combine until well mixed, you may need to add a little more water if there is too much flour in the bottom of the bowl.

Form into cookies. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning the pan half way through baking, until they are golden browned and don't feel soft when touched.

They have a nice almond flavor to them that is really good. You can add in nuts if you like, also feel free to use any other dried fruit and seeds you would like. But staying true to trail mix keep the coconut in there, also the nutmeg is the secret weapon. It is a hidden gem in many recipes that people can never quite distinguish in the food they eat. Like in a white bechmel sauce, apple pie, and taste grate on carrots, and it is the secret spice in my new favorite breakfast.

Which is this granola cereal I have been obsessed with recently. I don't know if you remember one of my other breakfast I showed you all my apple crisp for breakfast: Pudding Pie. This granola is like the granola I make for the "crisp" topping. Here is my quick recipe:

Breakfast Granola

1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon flaxseeds
1 tablespoon vegan "butter" (I use smart balance light)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon hot water

Mix the dry ingredients together.

Add in the butter, mush (aka cut) it into the dry mix.

Add the maple syrup and water. You may need a tad bit more water to make the mixture a stiff dough.

Crumble it on to pan and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

This taste great on fresh fruit, especially bananas! So yummy.

I just wanted to share with you one of my favorite (this post is full of a lot of my favorites, done unintentionally of course) summer time dinners. A quick curry, which really only has curry powder added to it. I use a premixed curry blend (McCormick makes one that I enjoy) and saute any type of veggie, but the most important veggie that makes this my summer time dinner is green beans from my garden. The best. This is the first time I made it this year because I finally got some green beans from the garden. I called this curry Green and Golden Curry.

It had golden beets, yellow carrots, and yellow and orange grape tomatoes (also from my garden).  Yum.

Up next? Hum...