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Posts Tagged ‘VeganMoFo’

IMG_1694Baking awesome vegan cookies should come with a warning – WILL HAVE PEOPLE BEGGING FOR MORE! This is especially true if you send the hubby to the office along with a box of fresh cookies. A few days later you start getting comments like, ‘when are you thinking of testing more cookie recipes?’ or, ‘so and so broke up with his girlfriend and needs a pick me up’ etc etc. Obviously, if you consider yourself a vegan cookie fairy, bringing happiness and peace to the world with decadent cookies, or if you just want to avoid an office revolution; HOW can you resist!  So, off I went, with the excuse of an office-full of hungry men (and a few curious ladies ‘on a diet’), I decided to take the advantage of having ‘mouths to feed’ to try another cookie recipe from my current cookbook craze, Bake and Destroy.

Since they loved last week’s Cowboy cookies so much, I decided to make their chocoholic brothers, aka German’s Chocolate Cookies. Holy Moly! JACKPOT! 

Like my cowboy cookies, I switched up a few ingredients;  replacing the flours with all whole wheatIMG_1691 pastry flour, reducing and replacing the sugar with a mix of brown sugar and maple syrup, and replacing the canola oil with coconut oil. I toasted both the pecans and coconut shreds before folding them in the batter. I also added larger chunks of broken up chocolate instead of chocolate chips. Wow, it made for a pretty darn good cookie! Like suggested on the recipe, I undercooked them a bit and they turned out to be the softest and most decadent chocolate cookies! 

I think tuning down the amount of sugar in chocolate recipes is especially good because I prefer the more bitter chocolates, where the chocolate flavor really pops. And it totally did in these cookies, with the unexpected crunch from pieces of pecans… YUM!!!

I must admit, I did keep a few for myself…!

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When I returned from NYC I was so excited to come back to our delicious breads (mostly free of those funky alien wheat varieties), that I got comfortable in the European standard of bread for breakfast; mostly in the form of fresh bread with some local jam. However, after a few months like this it started to make me feel a little funky. That, topped with lots of pasta lunches, made me decide to go gluten free for a while. I needed a clean break to have my body recover. While I was at it, I decided to take a break from coffee and nightshades too! My husband was like WTH?! 

Now, about a month later, I am back to my normal self and have added some gluten back into my diet. I am still off coffee and nightshades. The nightshade vegetables is the hardest for me because I just LOVE eggplants, LOVE tomatoes and LOVE peppers! I naturally tend to eat a Mediterranean vegan diet, so it’s a little weird. However, there is a theory that they aren’t awesome for your bones. So, since I hurt my foot a month ago, I thought it would be the prefect time to take a break from them. I am planning to slowly add them back in but, like gluten, keep their consumption under control. For the coffee, I am fine without it for now. I am quite a tea fanatic, so it’s easy.

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Anyways, because of this change, I have had to experiment a little with my breakfast foods. That’s when I (re)discovered amaranth. I feel so great and powered when I have this seed for breakfast! My husband has even taken a liking to it and has it more mornings. I feel like it has a less distinct taste then quinoa so there is less need to ‘cover up’. You can also do 50/50 with quinoa. The great thing with amaranth is that it is packed with vitamins as well as protein. So you really get a boost right from the start of your day.

I like to prepare it like oatmeal. I have a few flavor varieties that I rotate; one is with banana, berries, maple syrup and gluten free granola, and the other is a little more decadent; with peanut butter, chocolate chips and banana.

It is a little time consuming to prepare as it takes about 40minutes, as well as needing to be soaked overnight. Therefore, I just make a batch for 3 days every time and just keep it in mason jars in the fridge. In the mornings I just need to heat up my portion with some soy milk. It’s perfect!

The reason for soaking it is to make it more digestible and to ‘wake’ the seed; making it also more nourishing. Sounds nuts, but I believe it!

Ingredients (for about 5 servings)

1 cup amaranth, soaked overnight and rinsed well
1 cup non dairy milk of choice
1 cup water
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave

1/2 banana, sliced
1/4 cup strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon favourite gluten free granola

IMG_2019Heat up the amaranth, milk, water, salt and cinnamon in a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer 25minutes. Stir regularly to prevent anything sticking to the bottom and a skin from forming at the top. When cooked the amaranth should be nice and creamy and it shouldn’t be ‘al dente’. Add more milk if you feel it is getting too thick. Now, this is the tricky part! Once cooked, let the amaranth rest 10minutes in the pot to thicken. This is a rather important step that I always used to skip and then complained about runny amaranth. So, be patient. Stir in your sweetener (this is also when I divide it into mason jars, so it is already sweetened).

Finally, pour over your fruit and sprinkle with granola. Enjoy!

Like I mentioned before, you can also stir in some nut butter to thicken it and sprinkle some chocolate chips if you need a little chocolate fix!

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