Tag Archives: kid friendly

Easy Peasy Smokey Mac N Cheesy

5 Mar

Hello, friends! It’s been a long, long time since my last post and for this, I apologize! Life has been overwhelmingly busy with work, with friends, with my newly adopted crippled hamster (yes, a hammy!), and with studying for the veterinary technician national exam. There have also been some recent changes to the way I feel comfortable creating recipes so, finding myself in the recipe writing, experimenting, and cooking “mode” is rare. Hopefully for all, posting this recipe will help me get back to form. So, as you can imagine, with the precious little time I have to cook for myself, when I do cook, it’s almost always easy, filling comfort food. Usually that means a massive, loaded salad, but every once in a while, it’s a pasta dish. I love pasta almost as much as I love casseroles and anything that requires an oven to cook.

Recently, I posted a photo of the less involved version of my Sweet Potato Baked Mac N Cheese on my personal Facebook page that got quite a bit of attention and requests for the recipe so, here it is, folks! This is a “staple” recipe in my book and one that I turn to whenever I need something quick and filling and good enough for lunch the next day. As far as I’m concerned, it gives its maddeningly unjust, sad, and fat laden dairy counterpart a swift kick in the arse–mostly because it’s free of animal exploitation (awesome!), and obviously because it’s delicious. Feel free to add vegan sausage, hot dogs, or broccoli–if you’re so inclined–to make it more hearty. I also recommend adding crisp tempeh bacon or barbecue spices if you like, to make it more “smokey.”

Until we meet again…enjoy!
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Stuffed Dates

24 Dec

I spent enough time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day for both holidays so, with Christmas coming up in just 1 day, I figured I’d take it easy and work on a whole meal consisting of appetizers (okay, maybe there’s a lasagna in my family’s future too). Anyway, a few days ago, my housemates and I celebrated the first night of Hanukkah. One of my housemates brought almond butter stuffed dates to the table. They were so delicious and easy that I started thinking of other ways to enjoy them and make them more presentable, if you will. So this is what I came up with. I’m simply just sharing this for the sake of sharing yet another super easy vegan delight that will have everybody at your party thinking, “Why the hell didn’t I think of that?!”

As of late, dates have been my go-to source for dietary fiber and potassium. They also pack a powerhouse of good carbohydrates; the kind you need in the middle of a long day of work. Fill these with whatever you fancy. I found that the yogurt filled dates were my favorite. I highly recommend So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt if you can get your hands on it and, if like me, you try and stay as far away from the grittiness of soy based yogurts. Another way to enjoy the yogurt filled date is to add some freshly grated citrus like lemon or orange to the top. If you want a combination of sweet and savory, try filling these with vegan cream cheese. If you have kids, this is probably a really good way to get them to sneak something super healthy into their snacking habits! Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies

8 Oct

Hi friends! Would you all like a recipe for soft, sticky, gooey, delicious pumpkin cookies? Yes? I thought so. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a recipe inspired by, yet again, the almighty pumpkin. But I’ve taken it to a whole new level of deliciousness. I heard that Chicago Soy Dairy was doing a Dandies giveaway for VeganMoFo and I thought, well hey, I should make something with marshmallows! And so this recipe is partly inspired by that and partly inspired by wanting to make something with adult flavor — that is, something big on pumpkin spice flavors — but that also appeals to kids. And since no one is ever too old to enjoy marshmallows and chocolate, I thought this would be the perfect time to bake some cookies!

I’ll have to admit, at first, I was a little scared of trying this one out because I knew the marshmallows would basically become “fluff” (which is a popular non-vegan brand name for marshmallow creme). And although I like marshmallows, I’ve never liked them in spreadable form. Also, I knew that the cookies might break apart or flatten out because the marshmallows, under high heat, would dissolve. And so…they did. What came of it was an explosion of wonderful, gooey, sugary heaven. Some of the cookies “popped” like volcanoes and so weren’t as pretty, but once you put one in your mouth, it doesn’t matter what a cookie looks like, right? Nonetheless, many of the cookies were “presentable” and many of them were hard to resist on appearance alone — who can resist something that’s basically oozing with marshmallowy sugary goodness? Obviously, only a crazy person can. And none of us are  that sort of crazy now, are we?

I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as my family and I did. To give you fair warning: when you take them out of the oven they will be a gooey mess. So make sure to space them properly on the baking sheet so that they don’t stick to one another. Also, I decided to store these in the refrigerator so that they wouldn’t become too soft if left out for a long time (I made so many, I couldn’t possibly eat them all myself, and I live alone). If you’re just going to devour them all right away, then there’s no need to refrigerate them.

Be sure to check out my other marshmallow treat that uses Dandies Vegan Marshmallows: S’mores Pops! Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

3 Oct

Alright, MoFo‘ers, recipe number three features the all-time Fall favorite: pumpkin. I went through hell and high water to get my hands on canned pumpkin just to make this. It begs the question, is there a shortage of pumpkin this year? The stores were wiped clean! I had to seek out this golden gem from a small, relatively unfrequented natural foods store. I know what you’re thinking. “Buy a pumpkin and make your own damned puree!” I would, but I just don’t have the patience to cut and especially peel my own pumpkin. I’m going to have to get over it if I’m going to want to make use of this fabulous gourd.

Ok, so let’s talk quickbreads! We only need to say that they’re like cake without the frosting. And for me, that’s pretty much heaven. Up until I had pumpkin bread, I didn’t think I’d ever love anything more than banana bread. I think it has to do with the fact that pumpkin spices are just crazy delicious and, at least for me, they evoke a certain sort of longing for and comfort from Autumn. I think that’s why a lot of places exploit ‘pumpkin spice this’ and ‘pumpkin spice that’ around this time of year. Doesn’t it just make you want to throw on a flannel and go for a foliage hike? Is that just a New England thing? Maybe.

Anyway, this quickbread is all sorts of fabulous. It’s easy to make, it’s moist, but not too soft and cake-like, as a quickbread should be. And it’s heavy on the pumpkin flavor (just like I like it). It also features the almighty chocolate chip, which only heightens its awesomeness by giving it a sweet chocolate crunch. I like the way the orange color and chocolate chips contrast one another — it’s very Halloween-y. This bread went over so well with my family that there was barely any left for me. My only regret is not having made two loaves!

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Baked Apples with Oatmeal Cookie Stuffing

1 Oct

Hello, friends! After a long, unintentional hiatus, I’m back in action. In the time I’ve been away, I’ve been keeping busy with work, losing sleep, driving back and forth between states, moving back to Boston, and doing some animal rights advocacy. I recently had an article of mine published in Vegan:UK’s online  magazine, “The Abolitionist.” Check it out!

I’ve also been coming up with recipes for the fifth annual VeganMoFo and  as a result, for the entire month of October, I’ll be keeping to a theme (as best as I can). The theme is “Autumn in New England.” Basically, what this means is that if you like comfort food, pumpkins, squash, apples, and food that pleases just about anybody — you’ve come to the right place. The folks over at The Vegan Month of Food require that a blogger post at least 20 entries for the entire month of October in order to remain on the blogroll. So, as you can imagine, this means I have at least 20 ideas for recipes for the month of October. So, roll up your sleeves, get your flax-egg whipping arm ready, get in the kitchen and start feeding the masses! Here we go!

Ok, so here’s the first MoFo recipe. It’s a little funny that I should start with this given my widely known distaste for apples. The only way I can eat an apple is 1) baked and loaded with sugar or 2) there is no 2. That being said, please don’t judge my apple cooking/baking skills on the fact that I don’t like apples. I know how to make them taste good because I work hard to make their flavor acceptable to me.

Here’s a very easy, very satisfying recipe that I love, fully centered around apples and my favorite kind of cookie. Nothing says “Autumn in New England” more than apple picking, warm oatmeal, and maple syrup. I especially love these because the oatmeal takes on a crunchy cookie-like texture at the top, but as soon as you cut into the soft, warm apple, it’s like eating a gooey, chewy oatmeal cookie. These are sure to please any age at any level of apple enthusiasm. Serve them for breakfast, brunch, or with a side of vegan vanilla ice cream for dessert!

Note: You can use any type of apple you want. I chose Cortland apples because they’re good for baking and not too sweet or too tart. Roma apples would be good in this recipe, as well as Granny Smiths, if you want something a little more tart. Continue reading

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

19 Jul

Keep the cows happy: Serve with a nice tall glass of almond milk!

Peanut butter, bananas, chocolate. What’s not to love?! For a long time, I’ve feared that I simply couldn’t make an “uncomplicated” cookie. But here I am, proving myself wrong. This cookie recipe is so simple and all you need is one bowl! Chances are you already have all the ingredients at home — but you might need to run out to the store for some vegan chocolate which can be easily found at Whole Foods or most supermarkets. As usual, if a certain brand is “accidentally” vegan, please make sure that if the ingredients list sugar that it is organic or beet sugar as these are inherently vegan and not processed with bones. This is really simple stuff, folks. Don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise — bone processed sugar is insanely easy to affordably avoid.

Another plus about these super simple cookies is that they are flourless. That’s right. No flour. You know what that means? They’re gluten free — as long as you use gluten free vegan chocolate chips, of course! These  gluten free ones are easy to find in most supermarkets. These cookies are also delicious and hard to resist! I recently made a batch to take on a hiking trip and boy were they a welcome treat at the top of the mountain! If I hadn’t added chocolate, I could have shared them with the dogs who seemed very eager to give me their expert opinions. But they settled for their very own vegan treats (see picture below)!

I highly recommend trying these out if you love peanut butter. Or, you know, cookies in general. Don’t fret about using light brown sugar (they’ll just come out a little lighter in color) or smooth peanut butter — they’ll still be super tasty! If you are using natural peanut butter — the kind that separates from the oil — make sure that you mix it very well before adding it. You don’t want to add a lot of the extra oil to the cookies or they will flatten out quite a bit! Enjoy!
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Absurdly Easy Tempeh “Tuna” Salad

29 Jun

As promised, here’s another salad sandwich recipe just in time for beach season here in New England or for lunch wherever you are. This recipe is so simple and easy, it only has two directions! I was going to use tofu or mashed chickpeas instead of tempeh, which seems to be a more traditional way of making vegan tuna, but tempeh once crumbled really does seem to have a similar texture to canned tuna. It is also a wonderful source of protein — the highest in a vegan diet per serving — and an invaluable resource to vegan cuisine because like tofu, it is a versatile “stand in” and it takes up flavor phenomenally!

In any case, if you prefer to use mashed chickpeas or tofu, you can. I am seriously in love with how easy and delicious this recipe is. Tuna sandwiches were my favorite when I was growing up, but this just hits the spot better than any fish could. I honestly feel like I just want a child to feed this to. So if you have kids who’ll like this, please feed it to them and tell me about their smiles because I need to live vicariously through you. I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

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