Posts tagged dairy free

Pinterest Inspired Spooky Smokey Spider Dip

Spooky Smokey Spider Dip

Pinterest Inspired Spooky Smokey Spider Dip. Ha! That’s a tongue twister.

If you are need a fun appetizer for your Halloween festivities this weekend, you really have to try this 5 minute dip! It’s about 5 minutes after you fumble around filling your cake decorator pouch with the vegan sour cream… You can always use a parchment paper cone! It’s also only 5 minutes if you have pre-made your guacamole or are using store bought. It’s up to you!

I love how the flavors came together on this one. So, do exactly as I say. Lol… ok, I just wanted to say that. Do whatever you want. Use your favorite salsa and vegan cheese but if you can trust me and my suggestions… you will like this! It’s just different enough that it’s not another regular old 5 layer dip.. blah blah blah. The salsa that I like gives this that spookiness… I mean smokiness.

First, make the vegan sour cream

Ingredients

  • A Half Block of Firm Tofu, Undrained
  • White Wine Vinegar, 1 to 2 tsp. Start with one.
  • Lemon Juice, about 1/2 Lemon Squeezed
  • Sea Salt *Optional
  • Agave *Optional

Directions

Add the undrained tofu to a high power blender, add the other ingredients minus the salt and agave. Blend, taste and adjust seasonings. I like to add a pinch of salt and a drop or two of agave just to round things out. See what you need. This should have a nice tang, like traditional sour cream.

Add your sour cream to the cake decorating bag with a small writing tip or use a parchment paper cone. See above.

Next, put together the dip

Ingredients

  • 1 Can of Refried Black Beans ( I used Whole Foods brand)
  • 1/2 Cup (guestimate) of Salsa. (I recommend Salpica Brand Rustic Tomato with Roasted Garlic. This is the key ingredient that makes the dish)
  • 3/4 Cup of the new Go Veggie Vegan Mexican Style Shreds
  • 1 Cup of fresh made Guacamole  (homemade or store bought.)
  • Tofu Sour Cream (Homemade – see above, or Tofutti brand)
  • Spices of Cumin, Chili Powder, Sea Salt or…. Pre-made Taco Seasoning
  • Scary spiders for the top
  • Fun Platter for Serving
  • Chips! You”ll need Tortilla Chips. We love Organic Blue Corn. But, what tasted great with this was Frontera brand with Lime and Sea Salt… it gave it an extra boost

Directions

Spread a full can of refried black beans into a nice flatish circle on the platter. Next, sprinkle some cumin, chili powder and sea salt… I just guessed it. You can also mix the beans with the spices first and taste and adjust before spreading, but I was feeling too lazy for this.

Next, spoon the salsa over the beans and spread it out being sure to still see the beans around the edge.

Then, over the salsa sprinkle the shredded vegan cheese, being sure to still see a salsa edge.

Spoon the guacamole in the center and spread out, being sure to see the cheese layer (I’m sure by now you get that each layer is smaller).

Last, take your cake decorator tube and draw your lovely spider web. Start in the center and draw your spider web. Top with the spiders, serve with chips and have a spooktacular time!

My Notes: I found this dip on Pinterest, here is the recipe but it doesn’t look like the original. It seems the original was lost in translation. That’s a shame. If you know it, let me know so I can give proper credit. Of course I veganized this and made it my own, which is always fun to do!

The new Mexican style shreds are great for this dip but don’t try in a quesadilla :( we were sorely disappointed with the drippy mess. We prefer Daiya for those.

I made this for Taco Tuesday this week and I should of heated the beans first, because it was for our family that planned to eat it right away. For the party, I didn’t bother heating it up, because dips sit around a while anyway.

This is a guess regarding how much of each ingredient. Make it to your liking and most of all, have fun with it.

Whip up a huge batch of my favorite Guacomole, carve a small pumpkin, and serve this along with it ~

puking pumpkin with guacamole

This idea seemed a bit over done to me, but I did it anyway, and I’m glad. It was a hit at our pumpkin carving party this year!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!!!

Enjoy!

Christa

~The Karmatarian

 

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Favorite Vegan Macaroni and Cheese All-In-One Casserole

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Welcome Fall!

It’s my favorite time of the year for comforting and flavorful meals.

Piping hot casseroles, stews and soups. I’m all for it!

I know you and your family will love my revamped vegan Macaroni and Cheese recipe that I want to share. This is an update to the  3-Way Mac-n-Cheese post from forever ago.

Even though there are ten thousand delicious vegan mac-n-cheese casseroles already out there, this is my default recipe now. Why? Because it is simply a meal in itself. It’s fast and convenient. You don’t have to soak the cashews or thaw the frozen veggies, which makes this so easy to throw together.

That’s right, veggies are involved and smothered in cheese sauce, so 8 year olds gobble it down without complaint. You can even add Gardein Chick’n strips or Beyond Meat grilled or lightly seasoned strips… hence the “all-in-one”.

This recipe always leaves leftovers for our family of three, which I love. Some weeks we get lucky and one night we’ll do a leftover buffet from a few previous meals. Isn’t that the best? As much as I like cooking, I love NOT cooking!

You can serve this with a side salad as you may find you won’t be able to stop eating this casserole. A salad may help to slow you down.

I usually use a lot more broccoli than pictured, but I ran out for this round. I decided it was time to blog it anyway.

In my old post, I talked about not being able to eat nutritional yeast… well, I didn’t realize that as a newer vegan, when I tried nutritional yeast, it was too potent with fiber that my body was not used to. I wrote it off then, but THANKFULLY I gave it another chance after being vegan for a while, and now all is fine in my intestinal world… We can’t get enough of it now. High protein, high fiber, B-12 and cheesy goodness!

You can make this dish gluten free by using brown rice noodles, which we usually opt for. We like Tinkyada brand. For this dish pictured, I used mini wheat elbows for something different (not gluten free). I really like the look of this casserole with a brown rice Fusili noodle, which is mostly what I use. I know I said it would soak up too much liquid in my other post, but we take our chances and it works out fine. I even cut back the liquid from the original recipe in order to make it a thicker sauce. You can always keep it at two cups and add more cashews if necessary.

You’ll have to play around with this recipe depending on your preference and baking dish. I know you’ll make this more than once!

With that said, please take note of the casserole dish I am using, because I feel it needs to be a deeper dish in order to keep the casserole from potentially drying out.

Keep me posted in the comment section if you make this recipe. I look forward to hearing from you.

By the way, if you are looking for more recipe ideas or daily inspiration, the best place to follow me is on Instagram at karmatarian, or Facebook. I also have a few recipes over on Pinterest. I usually follow back on Instagram if you aren’t a private user.

Be sure to sign up for email notifications for future blog posts as I post when the mood strikes.

…and it would not be my post without a sarcastic comment about how much I hate the dairy industry!  I’ll leave it to Dr. Klaper and his now famous words from the must see documentary “Cowspiracy”. Listen to what he has to say about baby calf fluid…

 

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Favorite Vegan Macaroni and Cheese All-In-One Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 -16 oz Box or Bag of preferred Pasta Noodles
  • 1 plus 3/4 Cup Non Dairy Milk, Plain
  • 1 Cup of Raw Cashews
  • 2 Tbs Soy Sauce (I usually useTamari)
  • 1/2 Lemon – (Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp of Jarred Crushed Garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 of a 16 oz bag of frozen Broccoli (guesstimate on the frozen veggies because you can add as much or as little as you like)
  • 1/2 of a 16 oz bag of frozen Green Peas
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs, Gluten Free Bread Crumbs or Panko Crumbs
  • 1 Tbs Melted Coconut Oil or Grapeseed oil
  • Optional Paprika to sprinkle on the top

Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees

Boil  water and cook pasta according the the directions.

While pasta is cooking, add the next 11 ingredients to a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings. It should taste bold as flavor will dissipate a little among the noodles and veggies.

When noodles are finished, drain and pour into a 2.8 Liter oval casserole dish

Mix in the frozen veggies

Mix in optional cooked chick’n (I don’t usually do this, but it is an idea)

*Make sure all ingredients are at least level with the top of the casserole and not overflowing, because you want the sauce to cover everything, or at least have coated the top later.

Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and veggies and mix well

In a small bowl pour bread crumbs and 1 Tbs oil and then use a fork to blend well until nice and crumbly.

Sprinkle the coated bread crumbs evenly over the casserole. Sprinkle with a little paprika if desired.

Pop the casserole into the oven uncovered and bake for 20 to 25 mins. Bread crumbs should brown nicely.

Enjoy!

Christa

~The Karmatarian

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3 Minute Mini Coconut Pudding Pies

3 minute mini coconut pudding pies

Dessert is served! In about 3 mins flat. And it’s healthy! Not overpoweringly sweet either. It’s just enough to fill you up and hit the spot after a light plant-based meal. Perfect for Summer.

Here it is… the simple coconut pudding pie I was telling you about. Life Changing! Ok, not really in the grand scheme of things, but still pretty fast and fun. I was playing around with coconut flour in my last post Mandarin Coconut Dressing Over Spring Salad. Coconut flour is in many-a-vegan athlete’s cupboards and I know why. It’s low carb, high protein and high fiber. It’s filling.  A little goes a long way, so be warned. You can do so many things with coconut flour but who knew you could mix it with a non-dairy milk and get an instant “pudding”?

I must STRESS that this won’t taste the same with all milks… You need a sweet milk. I used Silk brand Soy VERY VANILLA. It made all the difference. I tried rice milk and it was pretty good. It was not good with regular almond milk.

I would definitely make this again with the very vanilla soy.

Next, it’s only going to take 3 minutes if you have pre-made mini crusts. Graham cracker crumbs and coconut oil or earth balance buttery spread is all that’s necessary to press into some mini pie pans. You can use those Keebler Ready Crusts. They aren’t perfect, but they are vegan. I’m still alive and I’ve used them before. However, I don’t prefer to use them. Just take a look at the ingredients. Not stellar. But, I saved the little cute tins and just make my own now. You can freeze the crusts so they are ready to go when you want them. Or just take the 2 extra minutes to press the ingredients freshly into a serving dish of your choice. This 3 minute dessert will now be a 5 minute dessert. How awful. Lol.

Here is a great recipe for healthy graham cracker crust over at Chocolate Covered Katie. She has a great vegan dessert blog!

If you want to know more about coconut flour and where to buy online, check out the awesome site Nuts.com

Ingredients and Directions

This is quite informal because it’s really so easy…. you mix coconut flour and very vanilla soy milk with a fork until the right smooth consistency is achieved. I think I started with 1 tablespoon or 2 of flour for three mini tins. Pour the pudding into the pie tins, top with coconut flakes, mini vegan chocolate chips and a few raspberries. Then watch your seven year old’s face light right up!

You could also refrigerate for a while before serving if you like it chilled.

Enjoy!

Christa

~The Karmatarian

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Blueberry Avocado Breakfast Muffins

Blueberry avocado Breakfast Muffin

How dare I switch up pancake Sunday and make blueberry muffins! I’m such a rebel! To be fair, these actually tasted like pancakes in muffin form with a sweet crumble topping.  I decided to go halfsies on the flour and add whole wheat. It gave a much denser batter that required more liquid. That’s just me striving to make everything healthier. You can certainly sub the flour. I am sure they would have been lighter and fluffier had I stuck with all purpose flour but we gobbled these right up regardless! They tasted great by our standards. We like our pancakes and muffins HEARTY. Biting in and hitting a fresh juicy baked blueberry made these a hit with me!

My friends wanted the recipe the other day when they saw my Instagram post. I was hoping to make them a few more times before I shared, uh cuz I was just playing around. But that may never happen, so oh what the heck… I will tell you what I did, and then share my notes.

Let’s talk about the avocado for a second… think of it as an oil or butter substitute. It’s a healthier fat and a whole food. It’s a better-for-you-ingredient and it didn’t even turn my final product green nor did it taste like guacamole *wink*.  You don’t taste the avocado at all. I have seen internet pics of avocado blueberry muffins that do indeed look green. Fancy lighting? Photoshop? It could be that I used whole wheat flour which absorbed too much liquid? I don’t know. Baking is not my expertise… I have been seeing versions of these around the interwebs and I just wanted to try. So I did. Here is my recipe:

Ok, I lied… first you need to watch this video.

I don’t think I can ever eat another blueberry without thinking of this poor sweet child! Blueberries, blueberries!!!

Blueberry Avocado Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Organic All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Black Salt
  • 1 Avocado, pit and peel removed
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 T Stevia in the Raw
  • 1 Flax “egg” (1 Tbs Ground Flax mixed with 3 Tbs water, let sit for 10 mins to gel)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1, 6 oz container of O’Soy Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1, 6 oz package FRESH Blueberries

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/4 Cup Organic Sugar
  • 5 Tbs Organic All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbs Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners

Using a fork, blend crumb topping ingredients until well mixed and crumbly. Keep cold in the fridge until ready

In the bowl of your food processor, add the avocado, flax egg, vanilla, sugars, almond milk and soy yogurt. Give it a whiz until well blended. Transfer to a larger bowl.

In another bowl, add flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt, blend well with a whisk and add or sift into the wet ingredients. Only stirring to combine. Do not over stir. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon batter evenly into each muffin cup. Sprinkle crumb topping onto each.

Bake for 20 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let slightly cool.

Best enjoyed warm

*Notes* I have been using black salt in my recipes where an egg flavor might be present such as pancakes or omelets, quiche, french toast, etc… You can certainly sub regular salt. I try to cut sugar whenever possible so I subbed raw stevia for half. You can use all brown sugar or split half brown and half organic sugar. You can even add 1/4 cup MORE organic sugar to increase the sweetness. I didn’t want these to be too sweet. You shouldn’t use all stevia by itself because baking requires some moisture from the sugar.

If using all purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour, you may not need to add almond milk. Or just try 1/4 cup because most of the recipes I have seen that were similar, noted 8 oz yogurt. I only had a 6 oz container. So I was already short “liquid” so 1/2 cup almond milk worked for me. My batter was VERY thick. I could have used more liquid. So this may be a recipe in progress, playing with the liquid, but if you make this exactly like I did, it should come out great. Just remember to adjust the sweetener if you want the final product more dessert like. Or follow my directions for a slightly sweet breakfast muffin. Don’t forget there is a sweet topping that adds to it.

Enjoy!

xo,

Christa

~The Karmatarian

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Chocolate Cupcakes Sent from Heaven with Fluffy Cookies-n-Cream Frosting

Chocolate vegan cupcakes with cookies ~n~ cream frosting

Life~ It’s unpredictable. Eat Dessert First!

In celebration of my first real blog article let’s do dessert!  I want to share  with you one of my most favorite chocolate cupcake recipes which you absolutely won’t believe is vegan! It means that no animals were harmed in the making so you will earn your wings while baking them and just one bite will send you straight to heaven! I am so impressed by these it’s not even funny. Thankfully I didn’t let the word vegan scare me from trying this recipe when I found it waaay back by accident because it  helped me to broaden my awareness and realize there is an awesome world of baking out there that does not involve harming animals or needless added cholesterol! Who ever started that whole baking trend that must consist of eggs and dairy? Well it doesn’t! How exciting is that!?!

I love the idea of cupcakes because they are so trendy yet they never seem to go out of style. I have to be honest, I really wasn’t a huge cupcake fan until I Close up chocolate vegan cupcake with sprinklesbaked these. No joke. I can’t stand a dry cupcake and that’s usually my luck when I bite into one. Times have changed and I see many batches of vegan cupcakes in my future as my son enters his grade school years and if I can find any reason at all to bake these, I will! This is a cupcake that visits me in my dreams!

I would love to take the credit for these cupcakes but I can’t. Truth is I only changed the recipe slightly, baked a few batches and then got creative and baked a whole cake. That’s right cake fans, this recipe can be turned into the most impressive moist chocolate cake! Credit for this cupcake and frosting recipe is due to the must have cupcake cook book called: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Tempting creations like Green Tea, Banana split, Chai Latte, Smores, Tiramisu, Chocolate Mint, and tons more, 75  to be exact. There’s a cupcake flavor for everyone! I originally found the Basic Vegan Chocolate Cupcake recipe at Chow along with the Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting.

The Chocolate Cupcake

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla hemp milk. I used Living Harvest brand. You can use soy, almond or other non-dairy milk

1 tsp  apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup vegan organic granulated sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp  vanilla extract

1/2 tsp more vanilla extract. You can use almond or chocolate here but I chose more vanilla

1 cup all-purpose organic flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder, I used Hershey brand cocoa before I found organic cocoa

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt

Directions

 Preheat  oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

Whisk together the hemp milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes (if using soy milk this will make it curdle which is what you want, I didn’t notice any curdling with the hemp milk but did not want to chance omitting the apple cider vinegar as they came out so perfect with it). Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, more vanilla or other extract to the hemp milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large clumps remain (a few small ones are ok).

Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

 
Single chocolate vegan cupcake
 

Cookies -n- Cream Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening. I used Earth Balance vegan natural shortening sticks

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine. I used Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks

3 + 1/2  cups vegan, organic powdered sugar, sifted

1 + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup vanilla hemp milk. You can use plain soy or soy creamer

1/2 cup finely mashed vegan chocolate cream filled sandwich cookies. I used Back to Nature organic brand. You can use Newman-O’s or even Oreo which are vegan. About 5 cookies = 1/2 cup mashed

Directions

Leave the shortening and margarine sticks out to soften at room temperature for a bit. Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and hemp milk and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy. Stir into the frosting 1/2 cup mashed vegan chocolate cream filled sandwich cookies. Frost cupcakes generously and top each with half of a sandwich cookie.

I put the frosting in a big Zip-Loc and cut the corner off and piped my frosting on (a real baking Pro! Ha ha). I froze the remaining frosting for when I get a crazy craving for this amazing treat! It defrosts pretty decently at room temp. You can halve this frosting recipe if you are spreading rather than piping as it  makes a lot!

For a fun variation: I frosted a few cupcakes before I added the mashed cookies to the Cookies-n-Cream frosting recipe and just topped with sprinkles.

 

To make a dChocolate vegan cupcake cakeouble layer round chocolate cake, I made two batches of the cupcake batter, one for each 9 inch round baking pan and baked for the same amount of time (adjusting if needed). It came out perfect! You can get pretty creative with fillings for the middle or  just use some of the same frosting.


 
 
 
 
 
chocolate vegan cupcake tier


I would love to hear from you! Any favorite vegan cupcake recipes out there? Please do share :)

 
Enjoy!

The Karmatarian~

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