Browsing Tag

vegan

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Vegan Pumpkin Cashew Custard

November 4, 2013

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Happy Monday, friends! I hope your week is off to a great start. I’ve got the slightest case of the Mondays today, but this week is going to be super busy on the work front, so I better snap out of it quick. Please excuse me if posting is a little slower over the next couple weeks. If nothing else, I’ll be checking in with more life updates and fewer recipes.

Maybe the reason I’ve got a case of the Mondays has something to do with the fact that our weekend was so busy/fun. We took a trip to NW Iowa to help my mom with a weekend of yard work before the snow falls, which included cleaning gutters, trimming back plants and sorting through boxes of stuff in the basement. I may have also discovered my prom dresses in the basement and had fun trying them all on Friday night.

Other weekend highlights:
-Coffee with Kayla. I’m pretty sure we could have chatted all day if we had the time.
-Tasting Victory Bars for the first time! My cousin is launching a new line of vegan and gluten-free nutrition bars and they are amazing. They’re officially launching in January, so look out for more information. And in the meantime, go like their Facebook Page. (pleeeasseee?!)
-Having coffee with our good friends, Cassie and Heath! Always a breath of fresh air to chat with people who have been friends since high school.

Switching gears a bit, I do have a recipe to share today! I made this Vegan Pumpkin Cashew Custard a few weeks ago when I was looking for something a little healthier to satisfy my sweets craving. Although cashew cream of any sort isn’t exactly low calorie, it certainly is much better than sitting down with a piece of pie or a bowl of ice cream. Plus, I love that cashew cream contains a little more protein than other desserts.

If you’re looking for a little something sweet to end your night, I would highly suggest making a batch for the week and helping yourself to a scoop each night. I’ve been topping mine with a little bit of Greek yogurt for a healthier take on whipped cream, but I could also imagine a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs or a drizzle of chocolate sauce making a nice addition.

Vegan Pumpkin Cashew Custard
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 3 hours and drained
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 packets stevia natural sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch of nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Combine all the above ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender (such as a Vitamix) and process or blend 2 to 3 minutes or until nearly smooth.
  2. If you like a little more texture, feel free to process less until you reach your desired consistency. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Spoon into dishes to serve.

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Healthy Banana Pudding

August 5, 2013

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If I had to pick one dessert to eat for the rest of my life it would be banana pudding. I haven’t always loved banana pudding, since I hated bananas for a good chunk of my childhood. But once I realized the error of my ways and discovered my love for bananas, I was head over heels in love with banana pudding. I still remember visiting my grandmother in North Carolina a number of years ago and being greeted with a huge aluminum casserole dish filled with the most delicious banana pudding I’ve ever tasted. It’s a food memory that will stay with me forever.

While I could easily eat banana pudding every day of my life, I try to show a little restraint by treating myself only now and again. It’s not exactly waistline friendly, until today! And now that I’ve discovered a healthier alternative to my favorite dessert, I’ve been enjoying it a whole lot more often.

Ever since I discovered the tastiness that is tofu pudding, I’ve been crazy about playing around with different ways to enjoy this healthy dessert. I have no idea why it didn’t strike me earlier to use my beloved tofu pudding as the base for a banana-flavored version. The base is made with tofu (silken firm tofu is a must, don’t sub anything else!) and two ripe bananas. Blend them together with a little cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond milk and stevia and you’ve got yourself a crazy tasty dessert.

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Healthy Banana Pudding
Makes 2 generous servings
Ingredients
16 oz silken firm tofu
2 medium ripe bananas
1/4 cup almond milk or other milk of choice
2 packets stevia sweetener
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients
Combine all the above ingredients together in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until completely chilled. Serve with sliced bananas and cinnamon, if desired.

Happy Cooking!
Madison

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free & vegan)

June 3, 2013

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First up, the winners of the pancake giveaway! They are:
-Sarah (who likes her pancakes with syrup and Nutella)
-Jessica Honcoop
-Kristin Darhower
-Andrea (who likes to make healthy pancakes with whole wheat flour, oats and yogurt)

Ladies, shoot me an e-mail with your address to madisonjanemayberry@gmail.com to claim your prizes!

Lately I’ve become increasingly interested in gluten-free, vegan baking. Not necessarily because I personally need to bake treats without gluten or animal products. But it feels like the next frontier in baking, a wide, undiscovered world of flours, meals and gums, among other things. Gluten-free, vegan baking challenges me, and everything I’ve come to know about baking. Since I was little I’ve been baking with all-purpose flour, eggs and butter. It’s incredibly challenging to break all my previous assumptions about what makes a quality baked good and play around with recipes that are entirely different in method and ingredients.

In the past, I’ve always felt that even the most successful gluten-free, vegan baked goods needed to come with a disclaimer. “This is a really good cookie recipe, for being gluten-free and vegan!”

But last week I finally arrived at an adapted cookie recipe that didn’t need a disclaimer. In fact, I think these cookies may have become my favorite cookie recipe. No disclaimer or excuses necessary. These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are, plain and simple, my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie; they hold their own when pitted against their butter and gluten-laden counterparts. And I’m sure that when you make them (please make them!) you will agree.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free and vegan)
Makes 24 cookies
Adapted from the Baby Cakes Bakery recipe on the Bob’s Red Mill package
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups oat bran (make sure it is gluten-free)
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup ground flax
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or canola oil
5 tablespoons applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (to make this recipe completely vegan, make sure the chocolate chips are vegan)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
2. In large bowl combine oat bran, all-purpose gluten-free flour, flax, sugar, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt until well combined. In small bowl combine oil, applesauce and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to try ingredients and stir until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Drop mixture by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet, rolling between your hands into balls if you want the cookies to be uniform and round. Mixture will feel oily and may take a little effort to keep the dough in round balls. Don’t worry, that’s totally normal.
4. Bake 7 minutes. Rotate baking sheet. Bake 7 minutes more or until cookies are golden brown. Cool on pan 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking!
Madison

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Healthy Chocolate-Tofu Pudding (gluten-free and vegan)

May 2, 2013

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Friends, I have great news for you. You can enjoy a huge chocolate pudding parfait for a little more than 100 calories per serving. Sound like a dream? I had to do a double take myself when I finally discovered a dessert that was vegan, gluten-free and had no added sugar.

For those of you who don’t like tofu, or hate the idea of eating tofu in sweet form, I can promise you that you won’t know the tofu is in this dish. The key to getting creamy pudding-like texture without the tofu taste is to find silken firm tofu, which is different than regular firm tofu. The silken variety has a milder taste and blends more seamlessly into this dish. I made the mistake of using regular firm tofu the first time around and just barely managed to swallow each bite.

I have found silken firm tofu in the non refrigerated section of my local Trader Joe’s, but have seen it in other stores as well.

So, while this might not take the place of a cookie when you are truly craving something decadent, it will totally hit the spot on a regular weeknight when you are looking for a dessert that is tasty but totally healthy. And packed with protein, too!

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Chocolate-Tofu Pudding Parfaits with Raspberries
Makes 2 servings
1 block silken firm tofu
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 to 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk (can use cow’s milk if desired)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 packets stevia (can use sugar if desired)
Frozen thawed raspberries or fresh raspberries

Directions
Combine all the ingredients except the raspberries in a food processor. Process until completely smooth, scraping down the edges as necessary. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to eat. To serve, layer the pudding with the raspberries.

Happy cooking!
Madison

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Spaghetti with Lentil Vegetable Marinara (gluten-free and vegan)

April 28, 2013

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Lately I’ve felt incredibly distant from Espresso and Cream. I can honestly say that in the 3 1/2 years that I have been blogging, I have never felt my passion and excitement for blogging trail off in the least bit. Until recently. That’s not to say that I’m going to stop blogging, it’s just something I’ve been thinking and feeling for the last couple weeks. More than anything, it seems that my life is so full of food that at the end of the day I feel creatively tapped out. My job, which I love, has me in the kitchen constantly, creating new recipes and developing new ideas. And to top things off, Joe and I embarked on a cleanse that has made every day eating and cooking more of a creative challenge than I had anticipated.

I’ve loved our cleanse and enjoyed being forced out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. Reading labels is a new (not so favorite) pastime and I have a new found appreciation for anyone who has to live with a food allergy, especially a gluten or dairy allergy since it is in everything.

That said, I’ve also had a lot of my creative juices zapped since planning for and preparing three cleanse-friendly meals a day takes a lot of time, effort and energy. Already I can see how things are starting to get easier and I’m sure that if Joe and I were to stick to this diet longer term it would become second nature to me, but for now it is uncharted territory.

All of that is really just me saying thank you for understanding if I’ve seemed a bit distant and removed from E&C over the past couple weeks. We are now on our last week of the cleanse and feeling great, but I’m also looking forward to adding some foods back into the regular rotation, mainly eggs since they are so useful in the kitchen.

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you this dish I made for lunch on Sunday. It’s incredibly simple to pull together and also super tasty. I should also note that it is husband-approved, meaning it feels hearty and satisfying, without weighing you down after. The “meat sauce” is made with a mixture of lentils, mushrooms, onions and sweet peppers. The combination is flavorful and packed with protein and vitamins. And if, like me, you are seeking ultimate convenience, there is no shame in purchasing pre-cooked lentils to cut down on time in the kitchen.

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Spaghetti with Lentil-Vegetable Marinara
Makes 4 servings
Ingredients
*4 servings of gluten-free brown rice spaghetti
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 medium onion, chopped
*1 clove garlic, minced
*1 medium orange or red sweet pepper, chopped
*1 cup chopped mushrooms
*1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (to make things quicker/easier this week, we bought lentils pre-cooked at Trader Joe’s)
*1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 jar (25 to 28 oz) gluten-free marinara sauce of choice (I used a roasted garlic variety)

Directions
*Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. While pasta cooks, you can throw together the rest of this dish.
*Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is softened and opaque. Add in the garlic, sweet pepper and mushrooms and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes more or until pepper and mushrooms are cooked through and tender. Add in the lentils, salt and black pepper. Stir until well combined.
*Pour sauce into skillet and reduce heat to low. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until sauce is warmed through and flavors are mixed together.
*Serve mixture atop cooked pasta.

Happy Cooking!
Madison

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