Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

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July 25, 2015 By

This is the final installment of the National Ice Cream Month trilogy. I’ve saved the best for last. This ice cream is perfect for summer when these juicy blues are in season. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness that can be enjoyed by the young and old alike.

By eating blueberries, you can gain a lot of possible health benefits:

  • Maintaining healthy bones
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Managing diabetes
  • Warding off heart disease
  • Preventing cancer
  • Improving mental health
  • Healthy digestion
  • Weight loss and satiety
  • Fighting wrinkles

Now, eating this blueberry cheesecake ice cream won’t prevent diabetes, but it will keep your spirit young! A little bit of coconut-based ice cream now and then won’t hurt you.

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Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

For a picture-free print out version of this recipe, click here!

Yield: 6 cups

Churn Time: 30 minutes

Freeze: 6 hours

Ingredients

For the Cheesecake Ice Cream:

  • two cans of coconut milk, using the coconut cream only
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Blueberry Swirl:

  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or thawed
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Step 1: Prepare the swirl on the stove.

Place all the blueberry swirl ingredients (blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice) in a pan on the stove. Mix ingredients and set the heat to medium. Stir occasionally.

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Your blueberries are going to begin to burst from the heat, which is desired. You’ll know your blueberry swirl is finished when your blueberries are sitting in their own simmering juices. This process should take around 10 minutes.

Place the blueberries in the fridge for an hour to cool.

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Step 2: Blend the ice cream ingredients.

In a can of coconut milk, you’re likely to find that the coconut cream and the coconut water have separated. This is a good thing for you. For the best results, only use the coconut cream in your ice cream. Using the coconut water in your ice cream will make the ice cream more icy, and we’re going for a creamy consistency. You can save the coconut water for later use in smoothies, in another recipe, or to drink on its own.

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Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender.

 

Step 3: Churn the ice cream.

I have a stand mixer with an ice cream bowl attachment. If you don’t know what any of that means, click here and here. Make sure that you have frozen your bowl overnight before use. Pour the ice cream in the ice cream bowl and immediately begin to churn on the lowest setting for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the consistency should be that of frozen yogurt.

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If you don’t have a device to churn your ice cream, you’re going to have to do it yourself. Churning helps to create air bubbles in your mixture, which prevents the water from becoming blocks of ice in your ice cream. Here are a couple ideas you can try:

  • Pour the liquid in ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze. After 45 minutes, take out the ice cube trays, add the blueberries, mix around each cube with a fork, and place it back in the freezer. Do this process 3-4 times every 45 minutes (minus the blueberry part). Freeze for 4 hours. When you’re ready for ice cream, take out the amount of cubes you want, place in a blender or food processor, and blend all the cubes together to form your ice cream portion. (Note: this method will leave you with blue ice cream, not swirls.)
  • Pour the liquid in a large container, cover with a top or plastic wrap, and freeze. After 45 minutes, take out the container, mix around vigorously with a fork, spoon, or electric hand mixer, add the blueberries and mix gently, and place it back in the freezer. Do this process 3-4 times every 45 minutes (minus the blueberry part). Freeze for 4-6 hours.

 

Step 4: Mix in the blueberry swirl and freeze for 6 hours.

I use a large glass tupperware container with a top for my ice cream. After churning, pour the ice cream into your tupperware container.

It’s time to mix in the blueberry swirl. The key here is that you don’t fully incorporate the ice cream and the blueberry juice. In order to produce swirls, keep the mixing at a minimum. If you mix too much, you’ll have blue ice cream (which isn’t terrible, but the swirls are so cool looking). Try to get the swirl throughout the thick cheesecake mixture.

Place your container in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

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Step 4: Scoop and eat!

You might find that your ice cream needs to thaw. If this is the case, I’ll place the ice cream in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time to soften it to the perfect scooping consistency. (You might need to microwave it at 15 seconds twice, depending on how cold you keep your freezer).

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If you tried it and liked it, tag me on social media. Also, add me!

 

Happy summer,

thisvegangirllogo

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Mango Ice Cream

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July 10, 2015 By

It’s hotter than balls outside here in south Florida. Luckily, July is National Ice Cream Month! In honor of this joyous occasion, I’ve decided to devote the rest of the month to posting quality homemade ice cream recipes to keep you cool while satisfying that sweet tooth.

To receive email updates of future ice cream recipes, sign up for my newsletter.



Don’t have a ice cream maker? Don’t worry; you can do this, too! It’ll just take a little more effort. What’s a little more effort in the name of ice cream? Totally worth it.

The first recipe of the series is Mango Ice Cream. Mangos are in season during this time of year, so it’s the perfect time of year for this delicious ice cream.

 

Mango Ice Cream

For a print-out version of this recipe, click here!

Yield: about 6 cups of ice cream

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Churn Time: 30 minutes

Freeze Time: 4-6 hours

 

Ingredients:

  • two cans of coconut milk, using the coconut cream only
  • 1 large mango OR 2 small mangos
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Step 1: Blend your ingredients.

Prepare your mangos by peeling off the skin and removing the pit.

In a can of coconut milk, you’re likely to find that the coconut cream and the coconut water have separated. This is a good thing for you. For the best results, only use the coconut cream in your ice cream. Using the coconut water in your ice cream will make the ice cream more icy, and we’re going for a creamy consistency. You can save the coconut water for later use in smoothies, in another recipe, or to drink on its own.

Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender.

 

Step 2: Churn the ice cream.

I have a stand mixer with an ice cream bowl attachment. If you don’t know what any of that means, click here and here. Make sure that you have frozen your bowl overnight before use. Pour the ice cream in the ice cream bowl and immediately begin to churn on the lowest setting for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the consistency should be that of frozen yogurt.

If you don’t have a device to churn your ice cream, you’re going to have to do it yourself. Churning helps to create air bubbles in your mixture, which prevents the water from becoming blocks of ice in your ice cream. Here are a couple ideas you can try:

  • Pour the liquid in ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze. Every 45 minutes, take out the ice cube trays, mix around each cube with a fork, and place it back in the freezer. Do this process 3-4 times. Freeze for 4 hours. When you’re ready for ice cream, take out the amount of cubes you want, place in a blender or food processor, and blend all the cubes together to form your ice cream portion.
  • Pour the liquid in a large container, cover with a top or plastic wrap, and freeze. Every 45 minutes, take out the container, mix around vigorously with a fork, spoon, or electric hand mixer, and place it back in the freezer. Do this process 3-4 times. Freeze for 4-6 hours.

Step 3: Freeze the ice cream for 4-6 hours.

I use a large glass tupperware container with a top for my ice cream. After churning, pour the ice cream into your tupperware container and place it in the fridge. Resist the urge to indulge for 4-6 hours.

Step 4: Scoop and eat!

You might find that your ice cream needs to thaw. If this is the case, I’ll place the ice cream in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time to soften it to the perfect scooping consistency. (You might need to microwave it at 15 seconds twice, depending on how cold you keep your freezer).

Boom! Now you have delicious Mango Ice Cream.

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Connect with me!

 

Happy summer,

thisvegangirllogo

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Breakfast Cupcakes

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March 20, 2015 By

Are you allowed to eat cupcakes for breakfast? I guess so, but it’s highly frowned upon. If you tell someone that you ate a cupcake for breakfast, you will probably get scolded for it. It’s the dessert label, or high sugar content, that turns people off.

Despite the sugar that exists in both pancakes (with maple syrup) and yogurt, they’re both considered to be acceptable breakfast options. I suppose the fat and sugar content isn’t as high in these two items.

What if I were to tell you that you can have your cupcake (for breakfast), and eat it, too (without being judged or berated by others)?

If you have pancake batter, a mini muffin tin, an oven, and yogurt, you have the makings of breakfast cupcakes!

 

Breakfast Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 48 mini cupcakes

 

Ingredients

For the Pancake Batter:

Dry:

  • 1 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup teff flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum

Wet:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup nondairy milk mixed with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I used coconut milk, which made the mix sweet and thick)
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water

For the Yogurt “Icing”:

You may use any yogurt you’d like, but I recommend nondairy Greek yogurt (you’ll see why later).

I created my own concoction. If you’d like to use my recipe (as seen in pictures), use the following ingredients:

  • one container of nondairy Greek plain yogurt (I used the brand So Delicious)
  • 4 small strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

 

Step 1: Mix your nondairy milk with the apple cider vinegar.

Guess what? You don’t need butter to create buttermilk! I love this part. It’s very science-y!

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Step 2: Add the buttermilk, oil, and warm water into a mixing bowl.

Mix!

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Step 3: Whisk the dry ingredients together.

Do this in a separate bowl.

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Step 4: Combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients until full incorporated.

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Step 5: Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan.

Grease up your mini muffin pan. Use a tablespoon to scoop the batter into the mini muffin pan. Fill the cup 3/4 of the way.

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Place this in the oven at 350°F for 17 minutes. There’s a good chance that they’ll look like perfect puffballs of golden perfection when they’re done cooking.

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Step 6: Gather/create your yogurt icing.

If you just plan on plopping your yogurt on top, that’s perfectly legal! I guess all you have to do is take it out of the fridge.

If you plan on using the yogurt from the package, there are two roads you can take. To Greek, or not to Greek? That is the question.

If you want a more “glazed” cupcake (as seen in my photos), go for non-Greek yogurt. If you’re looking for the normal cupcake look, go with Greek yogurt. Here is a picture from my Instagram of an instance where Greek yogurt was used with minimal modifications:

A photo posted by Kristen (@thisvegangirl) on

That looks cool, too, right? It’s all about preference.

However, I must stress that if you plan on using the yogurt icing recipe I have provided on this page, you MUST use Greek yogurt. If you use non-Greek yogurt, the result will be way too runny. The strawberries carry water that that waters down the Greek yogurt.

For those of you using the yogurt icing recipe, place all ingredients in a blender and mix until fully incorporated. While waiting for the pancakes to finish cooking, place in the refrigerator or freezer after mixing to cool down the mixture. The pancakes might be a little warm, and we don’t want the warmness of the pancakes to melt the yogurt even more.

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Step 7: Put the icing on the cupcake!

Wait for your pancakes/cupcakes to fully cool down before placing on your icing. You don’t want the yogurt to melt even more on top due to the heat.

Use this opportunity to get creative here. You can choose the classic frosted look:

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You can dip your pancakes into a yogurt pool:

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You can even dress them up elegantly with a topping of your choice:

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This recipe allows for you to get inventive and use your imagination! If you’re on Instagram or Facebook, take a picture of your breakfast cupcakes and tag me in your post so I can see your unique result!

Connect with me!

 


Happy cooking,

thisvegangirllogo

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Mushroom-Walnut Tacos with Queso

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January 29, 2015 By

The idea for these tacos came in bits and pieces. I guess it started a few weeks ago  when my soon-to-be brother-in-law was telling me how mushrooms are the umami, or savory part, of vegan dishes. He’s right! Mushrooms have volume, can easily absorb flavors, and ooze juices when cooked just right.

Fast forward to that special time of month when my stomach becomes a dumping ground from all the crap I stuff my face with. Okay, I’m exaggerating a tad, but the cravings were a bit out of control this month. I was obsessed with this Dairy-Free Dorito Popcorn recipe from Whole New Mom.

I thought about that perfect spice blend nonstop that week. Then, it came to me: “This would be a delicious taco seasoning.” That thought, plus the thought of the savoriness of mushrooms, led me conceive this dreamy meal. The “meat” here is full of flavor and has a great consistency!

Don’t get me wrong; I looove black bean tacos. However, it’s difficult to incorporate taco seasoning in black beans. They’re just not the absorbent type.

Try this recipe and you will not be disappointed. In fact, you might be obsessed like I am.

 

Mushroom-Walnut Tacos with Queso

Click here for a print-out version of this recipe!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10-20 minutes

Yield: 8 tacos

 

Ingredients

For the Mushroom-Walnut Meat:

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed (but not minced)
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

For the Queso:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, milled in the blender or food processor
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup grape seed oil

Additional Ingredients/Toppings:

  • Taco shells/tortillas (I used mini corn tortillas to keep it gluten-free)
  • tomatoes
  • red onion
  • spinach
  • avocado

 

Step 1: Prepare the toppings.

I’m trying to get more organized in the kitchen by chopping the little stuff first.

I got an EXTREMELY rare, beautiful picture of my cockatiel Fleegle here. I was taking pictures of my chopped fruits and veggies, and Fleegle flew over to see what was going on. As soon as I snapped this picture, he flew away, leaving me with a lovely picture of his wingspan! I’ve never seen the details of his underwing, and it’s so beautiful!

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Step 2: Blend/mix/cook the meat.

I like to start with the spices. Since nutritional yeast is made with flakes, I like to put all the spices in the blender together at once. That way, all the spices are evenly distributed and fused together.

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After that, throw the mushrooms in the food processor until the mushrooms are in tiny pieces.

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Are your walnuts crushed yet? If so, do that now. Make sure your walnuts are decent chunks. I lightly crushed mine with the handle of my cutting knife.

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Mix the spices, mushrooms, and walnuts together in a bowl. There’s your meat!

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Throw the meat on a skillet set at medium heat. Stir/flip the meat every minute or so for about 10-12 minutes. You’ll start to see the meat become more crumbly; this is jackpot, people.

No, you're not looking at poop in a ramekin. It's deliciousness in a ramekin.

No, you’re not looking at poop in a ramekin. It’s deliciousness in a ramekin.

Step 3: Blend your queso.

The queso can be made in 5 minutes while the taco meat is cooking (as long as you keep stirring the meat every minute or so).

Start by placing only the cashews in the blender/food processor. Blend until the cashews are in tiny bits or like cashew meal.

 

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Post milling

After that, toss or pour the rest of the cashew cheese ingredients in the blender/food processor and blend until all ingredients turn into liquid gold.

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Step 4: Prepare your taco shells.

If you’re using corn tortillas like I did, you’re going to need to fry them on the pan on medium heat. I used a tiny bit of coconut oil for every tortilla I used. The tortillas fried for about 2 minutes on each side.

For those of you that are baking your tortillas in the oven, follow the packaged directions to do that.

For those of you eating soft flour tortillas, you may happily be on your merry way to Step #5… asshole. What? I didn’t say anything. Okay, I’m just super jealous, alright? Sorry.

 

Step 5: Assemble your tacos.

Oh yay! This is the fun part! Will you put on the leafy greens first, or the meat? Who cares? It’s up to you!

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If you like what you see, you might want to do the following:

  • Follow me on Instagram @thisvegangirl. I post my day-to-day meals there. If you try one of my recipes, I love when you post a picture and tag me!
  • Like me on Facebook for quick updates on new recipes.
  • Follow my board on Pinterest to see what’s pinspiring me.
  • Comment below!

 

¡Olé!

thisvegangirllogo

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Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

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November 17, 2014 By

This Thanksgiving will be my second vegan Thanksgiving. Last year, I spent my Thanksgiving at Matt’s aunt’s house, which was very nice. I contributed a dish, and Matt’s mom made several gluten-free vegan dishes. No pressure.

This year, the pressure is on me: I’M HOSTING. I’m hosting both Matt’s family and my family, where our parents will meet for the first time. Not only that, but I will be the only vegan in attendance, so all my vegan dishes are going to need to be kickass in order to please the omnivores. I get the sweats just thinking about all the pressure.

One of the attendees requested green bean casserole, so I went to work searching online. With disappointment, I looked through a lot of recipes that just fell short. I need to blow the socks off these people, and I refuse to make a subpar dish.

I decided to take a chance with a non-vegan recipe and to veganize it. I took the great Alton Brown’s “Best Ever Green Bean Casserole” recipe and made some gluten-free & vegan changes.

Now, I’m confident that my green bean casserole is awesome. If you need a gluten-free vegan green bean casserole for your Thanksgiving, look no further. This recipe is creamy, cheesy, flavorful, and has a pleasant little crunch from the crispy onions.

 

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Prep Time: 25 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Yield: 6-8 servings

 

Ingredients

For the Crispy Onions:

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs or seasoned coating
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • a teeny bit of coconut oil (or grape seed oil), for greasing

For the Cheesy Cashew Cream:

  • 1/2 cup cashews, milled
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tbs grape seed oil or melted coconut oil

All Other Ingredients:

  • 24 oz green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 16 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbs grape seed oil or coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbs all-purpose GF flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

Step 1: Prepare and bake the onions.

Preheat the oven to 450/232 degrees Fahrenheit/Celcius. Chop the onions thinly and separate with your fingers. Brace yourself for this step. I had to walk away with burning tears in my eyes THREE TIMES.

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Stinky goodness… so beautiful, it brings burning tears to your eyes.

Take your chopped onions, put them in a large tupperware container, pour in the breadcrumbs/coating, and shake it up, baby. Go ahead and twist and shout while you’re at it.

Once the onions are perfectly coated, take out a greased baking sheet, spread the onions out on it evenly, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, shifting the onions halfway through. When you remove the onions from the oven, reduce the heat to 400/204 degrees Fahrenheit/Celsius.

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Step 2: Blanch the green beans.

While the onions are cooking, get to making those beautiful, lush beans! Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Boil your beans for only 4-5 minutes. I did 4 minutes and 30 seconds, and my green beans were perfect.

DSC_0004While those green beans are boiling, get out a big bowl and fill it with ice water. Once the green beauties have steamed their way to perfection, quickly strain them and immediately place them in ice water. This will keep them cooked, yet firm.

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You can keep them in the water for a while, since you’ve got other things to worry about.

 

Step 3: Prepare the cashew cream.

Once step 4 comes along, things will escalate quickly, so we’ll want that cashew cream ready to go.

I don’t believe in soaking cashews to make cashew cream. The whole thing can be done without soaking as long as you have a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder.

Start by placing the cashews into your milling machine of choice. Mine is a NutriBullet, which has an amazing milling blade that does the job beautifully. Mix the cashews until they become a pulp.

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Pre milling

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After that, add all other cashew cream ingredients (coconut milk, oil, salt, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika). Set aside.

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Step 4: Cook all remaining ingredients on the stove.

But WAIT! There’s an order!

Start with the 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium heat, followed by the mushrooms. Season those mushrooms with a little bit of sea salt and pepper.

DSC_0018Once the mushrooms start to sweat (4-5 minutes), add in the minced garlic and nutmeg and cook for another 1-2 minutes. After that, sprinkle the gluten-free all-purpose flour in there, letting it cook for 1 minute.

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Pour in the vegetable broth and let it simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to low and add the cashew cream, mixing it all together and letting it cook for about 5 more minutes.

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Step 5: Put the dish together and bake.

Remove the pan from the stove and mix in the green beans and 1/4 of the crispy onions. Place the mixture in a baking pan and sprinkle the rest of the crispy onions on top. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve it hot.

It’ll look something like this:

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Oh, man. This was awesome. I can’t wait to serve this on Thanksgiving!

In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying this as my leftovers tomorrow for lunch. 🙂

 

Before I go, FREE PLUG PARTY! (Right, fellow Tosh.0 fans?)

  • Follow me on Instagram @thisvegangirl, and don’t forget to tag me in pictures of creations you’ve made from my blog! You can use the hashtag #thisvegangirl, too.
  • Like This Vegan Girl on Facebook for updates on new blog posts.
  • Comment below if you’ve tried my recipe and liked it!

 

Happy Thanksgiving,

thisvegangirllogo

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Quiche Bites

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September 26, 2014 By

When it comes to my own recipes, sometimes I need to get Pinspired. I follow a lot of vegan recipe boards on Pinterest, which allow me to step out of my comfort zone and make something I’ve never made before. These recipes aren’t for my blog, though. It’s just for me to enjoy.

However, there are the rarest of occasions when I step out of the vegan realm, put on my big girl pants, and reluctantly creep into a scary world: the vague search option Food & Drink. Anyone who is vegan knows that just looking at the Food & Drink option on Pinterest without anything in the search bar is very, very difficult. The worst, even. Recipes oozing with cheese and countless amounts of other options I can’t indulge in flood my feed.

But there’s a method to my madness: the Barney Stinson in me is bored and wants to challenge himself by looking for something to veganize.

Sure enough, a few days ago, I came across this famous pin from The Kitchen is My Playground:

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They’re called Individual Veggie Quiche Cups To-Go. Woah! That’s cool! My Gluten-Free Pancake Bites have probably been my most popular recipe to-date, so I am a huge fan of the cute little to-go breakfast treats! Unfortunately, the quiche recipe above has egg and cheese in it.

Challenge accepted, I told myself.

My first attempt at the recipe you are about to see was a huge success. Don’t you love it when that happens? Who knows… maybe I’m just getting better at this stuff!

Anyway, I’m very impressed with the taste and texture of these Quiche Bites. I can picture them as being an awesome hors d’oeuvre. I just relocated to a new Florida city, so I’m thinking about making these when I attend my first vegan potluck!

 

Quiche Bites

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40-45 minutes (depending on which oil you use)

Yield: 24+ mini quiches

 

Ingredients

For the food processor:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs grape seed oil or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 12oz package of extra firm tofu, cubed

To (finely) chop:

  • 1 cup spinach (or any dark leafy green)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup mushroom
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup green onion

 

Step 1: Blend the food processor ingredients.

You want to start out with the cashews. Just the cashews. My food processor is pretty weak, so here are the results it yielded:

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DSC_0005As you can see, the cashews aren’t ground into a fine pulp. Rather, it’s broken down to tiny little bits. It’s good for the texture we’re looking for.

After that, add all the other food processor ingredients (oil, milk, nutritional yeast, salt, smoked paprika) but the tofu. We’ll save the tofu for last.

As far as oil preference, I’ve found that different oils produced a different quiche. If you’re looking for a light, airy quiche, use  grape seed oil. The batch containing coconut oil was more moist and hearty, so if that’s what you’re all about, use coconut oil. The ones photographed here contained coconut oil, but I’ll admit that I prefer the taste/texture/results of grape seed oil in this recipe.

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Now, what I like to do with the tofu is plop in the cubes while the food processor is turning. I don’t know if it does anything special, but I like to think that it’s less overwhelming for my appliance.

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Once all the tofu is mixed in, you’re going to be left with a strange concoction: the base! Pour/gloop the base into a big bowl. Set aside.

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Step 2: Place chopped veggies in the bowl.

If you haven’t chopped your veggies yet, now is the time to do so.

I’m proud to share that my green onions are doing very well! I’m using them for today’s recipe. All of these have grown just by placing the white bulbs in soil… that’s it!

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Just to let you all know, you don’t have to do use these particular vegetables. You might want to take this opportunity to clear out the refrigerator by using veggies you have on-hand. In my previous batch, I used arugula instead of spinach, white onion instead of green, and didn’t use any mushrooms at all. It still tasted marvelous. Use whatever you’ve got, and I’m sure it’ll be yummy.

Once your vegetables are chopped, place them in the same bowl as your base. Mix.

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DSC_0053I know, it doesn’t look beautiful. Trust me, though; it really is.

 

Step 3: Pour and bake.

I need you all to know that I used a mini muffin pan for these Quiche Bites. Using a regular muffin pan will not yield the same fantastic results; it’s too heavy and thick, causing the quiche to fall apart. However, if you have a round pie dish lying around, you could probably yield some nice results from that.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Get out your mini muffin pan. I didn’t use muffin cups for this recipe, but hey, that’s up to you. Also, I didn’t grease my muffin pan, as the mixture has enough oil in it to moisturize the pan with minimal stickiness.

Take a tablespoon and try to neatly spoon your mixture inside the divots. Here was my best attempt at cleanliness:

DSC_0062Lol, I know. Horrible.

I really, really wanted to only do only one batch of these, so I stuffed and stacked them high. If you have enough patience to do another batch, by all means, do that. You’ll get to see my results in a few seconds, anyway.

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If you used olive oil or grape seed oil, your bites should be ready in 40 minutes.

If you used coconut oil, bake them for 45.

Take them out and let them cool down for 5 minutes. They’ll seem a little moist when you first take them out, but the cooling process will help them harden a bit.

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It's easy to see which quiches were overstuffed… oops!

It’s easy to see which quiches were overstuffed… oops!

 

Step 4: Spoon out quiche bites and enjoy!

Actually, I “forked out” my quiches (with a fork). It won’t be perfect, but that’s the glamorous life of someone who doesn’t like to buy cupcake cups!

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These little babies are SO GOOD! They’re the perfect breakfast treat for those of us who miss omelets!

If you decide to make the best decision of your life and try these out, make sure you let me know how your dish turned out! You can comment below, tell me on Facebook, or use the hashtag #thisvegangirl on Instagram. I update the blog once a week, but I post on Instagram several times a day. Also, you can follow my board on Pinterest. I post my own recipes there, but I also post other recipes that tickle my fancy.

 

Happy baking,

thisvegangirllogo

 

 

 

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The Best Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese!

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September 14, 2014 By

When I first became vegan, I tried to substitute a lot of food I was previously addicted to (namely cheese). I bought all the fake cheeses at the store, and almost every single one disappointed me. I tried to substitute the taste I missed so much.

Here I am, a year and a half later, and I don’t have those cravings anymore. I guess you can say I’ve weaned myself off of my former addiction to cheese. Although I make cashew cheese now (my latest obsession), I’ve accepted that they are two different tastes. In fact, I love the way my cashew cheese tastes, and I feel good about the benefits.

This recipe is an upgrade from my last macaroni and cheese entry, which I deemed to be “The Best Vegan Macaroni and Cheese.” No, lol. Just no. It was not the best macaroni and cheese. I know this now because THIS is the best macaroni and cheese. 

Here is a picture of my former macaroni and cheese, including a list of why it wasn’t the best:

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  • It was sticky. Macaroni and cheese shouldn’t have the consistency of white rice. It should be oozy.
  • It was processed. Adding the Tofutti cream cheese gave the mac n’ cheese a processed flair that I didn’t care for.
  • The flavor still had room for improvement. It could still afford to be cheesier.

Rest assured that this entry right here is the cure to all of your vegan mac ‘n cheese woes, including the ones listed above. To make the dish more oozy, I added more oil and milk and took away the water completely. I formerly used Tofutti cream cheese to improve texture, but it turns out that if I added more cashew cream, Tofutti wasn’t at all necessary. Finally, to improve flavor, I used some different spices, which includes a perfected medley of nutritional yeast, sea salt, and smoked paprika.

So come on down and try the best vegan mac ‘n cheese you will ever try in your life. Yeah, performed that song and dance before, but that was then and this is now. I guarantee you that this is the last time I will ever change this recipe, because now, it’s perfect the way it is.

 

The Best Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese!

Click here for a print-out version of this recipe!

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 full servings or 8 side-dish servings

 

Ingredients

In the skillet:

  • 1 cup russet potatoes, chopped (any white variety will do)
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 tsp grape seed oil

For the cashew cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked** for 8 hours prior to use OR milled)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs of grape seed oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Other ingredients:

  • 1 pound of your favorite noodles (I use gluten-free quinoa pasta from Ancient Harvest)
  • 1 head of broccoli, de-stemmed and chopped

** If you soak your cashews, use 3/4 cup of raw cashews instead of 1 cup, as the cashews will expand.

Step 1: Cook the skillet ingredients.

Cut up the potatoes, carrots, and onion. Don’t peel your potatoes; keep those nutrients in! Place these items in skillet with the 2 tablespoons of oil. Initially, place the items on medium heat. Once the contents start crackling, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

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Step 2: Boil the macaroni noodles.

Don’t worry about cooking them al dente. I have found that the al dente noodles tend to get a little crunchy in the oven, so I always cook my noodles until they are squishy, but not mushy. Nobody likes mushy.

Once you strain the noodles, rinse them off with cold water. This prevents the noodles from cooking themselves longer from the heat they retain during boiling.

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Step 3: Prepare the cashew cream.

I have a NutriBullet, which has a milling blade that grinds cashews to a flour without the need for soaking. If you place the raw cashews in a strong food processor, blender, or coffee grinder, it will probably work. The result you’re looking for is the cashew pulp, seen below. For the non-soakers, blend your cashews first before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Pre milling

Post milling

For most of you, you will need to soak your cashews for 8 hours prior to making this meal. Once the soaking is over, drain your cashews. Make sure you have a strong blender or food processor to avoid chunks of wet cashews (ew). For the soakers, you’ll probably need blend the cashews and coconut milk first before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Once you have blended the cashews, add the rest of the cashew cream ingredients. It will look something like this:

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Step 4: Blend the skillet and cashew cream ingredients in a food processor.

Your skillet time should be up. Dump both the skillet ingredients and cashew cream ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

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Step 5: Mix the noodles, cheese, and broccoli together. Cook.

I cook for only two, so this recipe is excessive for us. We are huge leftover fans, so I put half of the noodles in one baking dish and half in another. I do the same with the cheese and broccoli. One dish will be cooked now; the other will be placed in the fridge and will be cooked tomorrow.

Splitting it in half

Splitting it in half

Yay for delicious leftovers!

Yay for delicious leftovers!

If you live in a house of 4 or more, you’re probably intent on cooking all of it at once, and that is a splendid idea! Oil your favorite baking dish(es) first. Place your noodles in the baking dish. Dump the cheese on top, sprinkle your broccoli pieces, and stir it all up.

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Place your dish(es) in the oven at 350º for 30 minutes.

See? No more sticky noodles. Only the yums.

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If you’re looking for more cashew cheese recipes, you can check out Quesadillas with Monterey Jack Cheese, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, and Balsamic Basil Chickun Wraps with Cashew Cheese.

Also, as always, make sure you let me know how your dish turned out! You can comment below, tell me on Facebook, or use the hashtag #thisvegangirl on Instagram. I update the blog once a week, but I post on Instagram several times a day. Also, you can follow my board on Pinterest. I post my own recipes there, but I also post other recipes that tickle my fancy.

Connect with me!

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Happy reinventing,

thisvegangirllogo

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Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl

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July 14, 2014 By

I have been more active on the This Vegan Girl account on Instagram recently.

Being on IG, I had no problem finding people to follow. Gorgeous photos, vibrant colors, exotic fruit, and ideas made to inspire filled my feed.

There was one recipe that seemed to be appearing time and time again: the smoothie bowl. In Buddha bowls or mason jars, these bowls were fruity, colorful, and versatile. The term “nana ice cream” also became a new word in my vocabulary.

I decided to try it myself. Not only was it incredibly easy, but the results have been superb time and time again. It is a fabulous breakfast or snack that can fill you up with healthy, wholesome ingredients.

The main things you’ll need to make Nana Ice Cream, or the base of any smoothie bowl, must contain the following:

  • frozen banana
  • non-dairy milk (I use coconut milk, as it is thick and sweet)
  • a blender/food processor

I bought three bunches of bananas, sliced them, placed them in a plastic storage ziplock bag, and put the bag in the freezer. Do this the day or night before you intend to make your smoothie bowl. These bananas will definitely be gone in the next week or so.


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When you’re ready to make the smoothie bowl, place 2-3 handfuls of frozen banana in your food processor. Fill with milk near the top of the fruit, almost covering the top frozen banana (but not quite). Mix and serve. It’s that simple.

Of course, there are so many ways to get creative with it. Here is one of my favorite smoothie bowls to make.

 

Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Yield: as little, or as much, as you need

 

Ingredients

Base: (to go in the food processor)

  • frozen banana
  • frozen dark leafy greens
  • coconut milk
  • 2 tbs almond butter
  • a splash of vanilla
  • flax seed (optional)

Toppings:

  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • walnuts
  • hemp hearts
  • chia seed

 

STEP 1: Gather your base ingredients and place them in your food processor or blender. 

The day before, I cut up frozen banana and placed them in the freezer in a plastic ziplock storage bag.

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As far as the frozen dark leafy greens go, I make my own plastic ziplock storage bag containing a medley of my three favorites: kale, spinach, and swiss chard.

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My baby Fleegle loves to help in the kitchen! Here he is singing to the bag of frozen dark leafy greens.

When placing the items in the food processor, put in all ingredients except the coconut milk. You want to pour in the milk last in order to fill in gaps and see exactly how much you need. The milk should be filled near the top of the pile, but don’t have it cover the ingredients. You want enough milk so the contents will stir, but you don’t want so much that you’ll be left with watery soup. You’ll want it to be the consistency of frozen yogurt (or frozen yogurt juuuust as its starting to melt).

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STEP 2: Pour the base into a bowl.

I usually end up putting the bowl in the freezer as I prepare the toppings. This keeps the base cold, along with the bowl.

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Or, you guys could be professional chefs and have everything ready before you begin. Whatever, all you organized people out there. Again, I’m the epitome of amateur hour.

 

STEP 3: Prepare the toppings.

I have all my seeds and nuts in mason jars. I’ll set them out in a row, kind of like an assembly line.

In this case, I needed to cut the strawberries. I sliced up a handful.

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STEP 4: DECORATE!

This is the fun part!

Remove your smoothie bowl from the freezer. Stir it up before dressing it up, as the top and edges may be slightly solid from being in the freezer. After that, have fun!

Matt likes to just sprinkle and pile his toppings in no particular order or fashion. I, on the other hand, treat each bowl like a blank canvas. I try to make each bowl a different work of art.

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To check out all of my smoothie bowl art, go to my Instagram account. Don’t forget to add me while you’re there. I’m trying to update the blog once per week, but I upload something on IG almost every day.

 

 

Happy blending,

thisvegangirllogo

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Creamy Dreamy Garlic Pizza

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July 1, 2014 By

I love experimenting with vegan pizza. This is my fourth pizza on the blog, officially making pizza the most versatile dish ever. It’s all about the base.

My other three pizzas include:

And now, the latest edition to the vegan pizza brigade: the creamy garlic base!

I’m proud of this one. The creaminess imitates the presence of cheese. I’m also thrilled by the fact that this is soy-free and free of processed ingredients!

 

Creamy Dreamy Garlic Pizza

Prep Time: about 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes (most can be done during prep time)

Yield: 8 slices

 

Ingredients

GF Pizza Crust: (see recipe here) (optional)

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Water (warm)
  • 1 tbs flax seed mixed with 3 tbs warm water
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1-1/2 cups GF all-purpose baking flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Cashew Cream Base/Drizzle:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, milled (or soaked in water for 8 hours)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/8-1/4 cup water (depending on how thick you want it. I opted for 1/4 cup.)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Pizza Toppings:

  • 4oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 10 grape tomatoes
  • 1 small handful of arugula
  • 1 small handful of pine nuts

 

STEP 1: Make the pizza crust or knead your dough. 

For all the glutards out there (don’t worry, guys… I’m a part of the community, so it’s cool), I have provided a great gluten-free recipe hereIt’s from Bob’s Red Mill’s website. I have tried more than a handful of different pizza crust recipes, and that one is by far my favorite one.

GF pizza crust works way differently in terms of how it’s handled. Regular dough requires kneading to spread it onto a pizza pan. GF pizza crust is more of a smoothing process, as the dough doesn’t “bounce back” like normal dough does. A great tip for smoothing the GF dough onto a pan is to keep your hands wet.  This prevents your fingers from transforming into those of a dough monster.

GF crust needs to go through a preliminary cooking stage before any toppings go on. Place the crust in the oven at 425 degrees for 7 minutes. Take out and set aside.

 

Pre precook

Pre precook

Post precook

Post precook

 

STEP 2: Prepare toppings that need to be cooked down beforehand.

After the mushrooms and onions are chopped, let them simmer in the coconut oil until they are sweating, which will take 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Spritz them with lemon juice during the last minute. Set aside.

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STEP 3: Prepare the cashew cream. 

This is a great step to tackle while Step 1 and 2 are cooking.

If you did not soak your cashews and have a very strong food processor or milling device (I use my Nutribullet milling blade. A coffee grinder will probably work, too.), mill the cashews and garlic before adding the rest of the ingredients. Mix until creamy and smooth.

If you did soak the cashews, drain the cashews and mix well in the food processor with the garlic. Once the cashews are completely liquified, add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until creamy and smooth.

If you want a thick cream, opt for 1/8 cup of water. I wanted my base to be the consistency of a drizzle, so I measured out 1/4 cup instead. It’s all about preference.

 

Milled garlic and cashews: The Bold and the Beautiful

Milled garlic and cashews: The Bold and the Beautiful

 

STEP 4: Put the crust with base and precooked toppings in the oven.

Start with pouring the cashew cream on the crust and spreading it to the edges. Make sure to save some for the drizzle at the end! Sprinkle on the mushroom/onion mixture as the topping. Place in the oven for 6-7 minutes at the same temperature.

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STEP 5: Chop and prepare raw toppings. 

I love mixing fresh, raw toppings with cooked toppings on pizza! Grape tomatoes and arugula worked very well with this recipe. Complete this step while your base is still cooking.

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STEP 6: Once the base is done cooking, dress up the rest of your pizza! 

Add on the tomatoes and arugula, along with pine nuts and drizzle. Slice it up and enjoy!

Pre drizzle

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Post drizzle

Post drizzle

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So, I went to sit down in front of the TV to relish this tasty lunch I made when I found THIS. TWO SLEEPY BEEPY BABIES.

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Be still my heart.

 

 

Happy cooking,

thisvegangirllogo

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Spicy Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

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June 24, 2014 By

Who out there can’t live without their food processor? Mine is perpetually in the dishwasher, being that I use it on the daily. Now that I’ve had one, I don’t think I could happily go on without one.

I regularly make hummus, broth, dressings, and drizzles with it. I’ve dabbled with ice cream-making and pie crusts with it, too. Surprisingly enough, this was the first time I’ve made pasta sauce with it, and I feel like I’ve found a key to a door that should’ve been opened a long time ago.

Pasta dishes seem so boring and cliche. Not to mention that the pictures are pretty unstimulating, as well. (Who has the energy to put the oregano leaves on top, and surround the final photo with the raw ingredients used? Hmm… real photographers, I guess. Complaining like a true amateur.) But trust me when I say that despite the dullness these photos may exude, this pasta sauce is easy to make and easy to fall in love with.

 

Spicy Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

 

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 Ingredients

Sauce ingredients:

  • a heaping cup of tomatoes
  • a heaping cup of red bell pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs fresh oregano, minced
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Other ingredients seen in pictures:

  • gluten-free quinoa spaghetti
  • 1 1/2 cups baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup baby eggplants, sliced
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped

 

STEP 1: Mince the garlic and oregano.

I use my NutriBullet’s mincing blade to make these two as small as possible. I find that if I throw the garlic and herbs full-sized along with the other ingredients in the food processor, it doesn’t get the ingredients as small as I want it to be. The smaller it is, the more flavor throughout.

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Dat Purple Haze… just kidding. It’s oregano.

By the way, I would like to congratulate my oregano on its first appearance! It’s doing well in the herb garden.

 

STEP 2: Throw in all ingredients in the food processor.

Make sure it’s a strong food processor, as you want the sauce to be smooth. If not thoroughly mixed, this will not produce the “chunky” sauce you want.

Set aside when smooth.

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STEP 3: Chop up other ingredients you wish to feature in your pasta.

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I found these adorable baby eggplants at Nelson Family Farms in Fort Pierce, FL! There a bit longer than my palm. I’ve never seen these before! This variety of eggplant is easy to chop, perfect for bite-sized disks, and absorbs flavors like a dream.

I also chose to throw in onion and mushrooms. It was a medley of perfection.

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STEP 4: Cook pasta and chopped veggies.

I used two tablespoons of coconut oil to cook the veggies with. It takes about 10 or so minutes to accomplish.

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STEP 6: Simmer sauce and strain pasta.

Once the veggies are cooked down, set the stove to a low setting and pour in the spicy red pepper sauce. Mix and let it sit for a few minutes.

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Dish out the pasta noodles, pour the sauce on top, and enjoy!

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Happy cooking,

thisvegangirllogo

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