Bean & Pepper Burritos

Here are some photos of the festivities taken by my good friend Heather of HA! Photography She’s quite talented.

And for those of you wondering how on earth to make amazingly simple and delicious burritos, here’s the inside scoop:

1.Preheat oven to 350
2. In a skillet, saute diced bell peppers and onions with either taco seasonings or chili powder and red pepper
3. Scoop refried beans, black beans, diced peppers, brown rice, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and anything else you like off centered onto a large tortilla.
4. Roll the sides in and then roll from the top down until the burrito is completely folded. Make sure you don’t overstuff.
5. Place seam-side-down in a casserole dish and cook about 30 minutes
6. Enjoy the goodness

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Pumpkin Spice Vegan Cookies

“Domestic Goddess”, that’s what you may call me. 🙂 Just kidding, but seriosuly, you can.

Yesterday I came up with (yes that’s right, I did it myself) this really great pumpkin spice cookie recipe. And today, I haven’t been able to work up the self-control to stop eating them. I can’t help it. Not only is today the first day of cooler weather down here in the south, but after baking 3 trays of these little beauties the smell of cinnamon and pumkin has completely filled the studio and even when I try not to think about them, I can smell them, and it makes my mouth water all over again.

So, I thought I’d share them with you because they are ridiculously simple to make. They’re very light, almost cake-like in texture and slightly sweet. They almost taste more like pumpkin bread than cookies, but I think they’re better that way.

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 scant cup organic unbleached sugar
1 egg’s equivalent from Ener-G Egg Replacer (or, if you don’t want vegan, use 1 regular egg)
1 can organic pumpkin pie mix
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2.5 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

+ extra cinnamon and sugar to roll the cookies in before baking

Preheat oven to 350.
1. Combing shortening, sugar, egg, pumpkin pie mix, and vanilla extract and blend on high until combined and fluffy. Set aside.
2. Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Mix dry ingredients into wet until combined.
4. Roll rounded spoonfulls of dough loosely into balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
5. Bake evenly spaced on a greased cookie sheet 10-12 minutes.
6. Pray your friends don’t come over and eat them all! 🙂

*For those of you who are chocoholics, you can add semi-sweet chocolate chips to the mix before baking. Or drizzle melted chocolate over the cookies after they’ve cooled to add a bit of fancy. 😉
**These are vegan. But the only difference with this recipe is trading an egg for an egg substitute. It’s so much healthier for you to use a substitute and it makes absolutely NO difference in the flavor so you might as well. If you don’t want to use Ener-G (which works really well in cookies) you can use:
-1/4 c. silken tofu blended until smooth=1 egg (best in dense cakes and brownies)
– 1/2 banana mashed until smooth= 1 egg (best in quick breads, muffins, pancakes, cakes)

Basil Pasta Salad

Basil pasta with tuna, chickpeas & pesto sauce

1/2 lb. homemade basil pasta (from the farmer’s market)
fresh pesto (mix basil, olive oil, kosher salt, and garlic in a small food processor)
1/2 can of organic chickpeas
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
1 can tuna
freshly grated parmesean cheese

1. Prepare pasta, drain, return to pot (with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking)
2. Shred tuna with a fork
3. Toss all ingredients together
4. Enjoy. 😉
Prep time: 25 minutes 🙂

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Collect the ingredients:

1 c. (2 sticks) Earth Balance
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. natural sugar
2 egg’s equivalent from Ener-G Egg Substitute
1 tsp. vanilla
1.5 c. organic unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbs. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 c. Oats
*1/2 c. chocolate chips

*optional

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Beat together sofened Earth Balance and sugars until creamy.
3. Add Ener-G Egg Substitute and vanilla, and beat well.
4. In a seperate bowl, whisk together flour, bakin soda, cinnamon and salt.
5. Slowly add the flour mix to the wet ingredients.
6. Stir in oats (*and chocolate chips).
7. Drop by teaspoonfulls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
8. Bake 10 minutes until golden brown.
Yeilds: 40 cookies

This recipe is so simple and so good. Be careful not to overcook them or they will become a little granola-y. You want them to be gooey. These are even pretty healthy! I added up the nutrition info for you (yes, be thankful) so you can eat them without guilt. Here it is:

Serving: 1 cookie
Calories: 104
Fat: 5.2 g
Sodium: 47 mg
Sugar: 7.3 g
Protein: 1 g

On a side note, I’ve decided that my favorite thing about making vegan baked goods is I can eat all the cookie dough I want without having to worry about the raw eggs. It’s fabulous! I probably ate about 5 cookies worth of dough. These cookies are just as good pre-baked as they are post-baked.

Try them out and tell my what you think. 🙂

Vegan Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

Inspired by The Urban Housewife to try my hand at converting a standard recipe to a vegan recipe, I spent the early hours of the morning hunting through my favorite baking cookbook, Baking Illustrated for a quickbread recipe. Let me preface by saying, I am not a vegan. But I am a vegetarian who understands the amazing health benefits of cutting all animal products and byproducts out of one’s diet. I also only use vegan products on my face and skin. (Thanks to Arbonne!) And I try to avoid dairy whenever I can. And my newest entertainment has been vegan baking. Ok, now that you’re up to speed… I stumbled across an easy recipe for Zucchini Bread, and although I really wanted to make Banana Bread, I happened to have 3 zucchinni’s sitting in my fridge and 0 spotted bananas. The decision was made.

Here is the adapted recipe:

2 cups organic unbleached flour
1 lb zucchini, washed and dried, ends removed, and cut into 1 inch dices.
3/4 c. natural sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 c. vanilla soy yogurt
1 tbs fresh lemon juice (it takes about 1/2 a lemon)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) Earth Balance (or other vegan butter substitute), melted and cooled
The equivallent of 2 eggs from Ener-g Egg Replacer*
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I LOVE Tropical Source Chocolate Chips They are completely vegan and gluten free and taste identical to regular chocolate chips. (Great for your lactose intolerant friends!)

*There are many things you can do to replace eggs in a recipe. Ener-g is just one option.
(some examples are: mashed bananas, applesauce (also a great sub for vegetable oil to reduce fat), tofu, and gram or soya flour mixed with water)

1. Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 375 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9X5 loaf pan; dust with four, tapping off the excess
2. In a food processor process the zucchini and 2 tbs of the natural sugar until the zucchini is coarsely shredded. Transfer to a strainer and let drain for 20 minutes. OR…. you can shred halved zucchini (don’t dice into 1 in. pieces) on a cheese grater’s large holes and toss with the sugar and then drain in a strainer.
3. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
4. Whisk together the remaining sugar, yougurt, egg substitute, lemon juice, and melted butter in small bowl. Set aside.
5. After the zucchini has drained, squeeze the zucchini with paper towels to absorb any excess water. Stir the zucchini and the wet mixture into the flour micture until just moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the serface with a rubber spatula.
6. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (About 45-50 minutes). Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. Enjoy!

Homemade Vegan Candy Corn

Because of the cool breeze, I decided to celebrate the coming of October by attempting to make my own candy corn. The Urban Housewife inspired me with her post a few days ago with a vegan candycorn recipe. I’m just a humble vegetarian, I’ve never made the switch to vegan. Sadly, I enjoy real ice cream and cheese way to much. But, I do like to be as health-concious as I can be and avoid dairy in instances when it isn’t completely necessary. And candycorn seemed like a great chance to try it out. (The recipe was adapted from a regular candy corn recipe for all of you who want real butter in your candy, but I promise you the vegan ones taste just as good)

First gather your ingredients. It’s a short list so it won’t be too hard.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup (preferably organic, avoid high fructose corn syrup!)
5 tablespoons Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup powdered soy milk ( I couldn’t find this anywhere, if you find it…please let me know!)
a pinch of sea salt
Red & yellow food coloring

Instructions…
In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup, Earth Balance, & vanilla to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-high & boil the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After 5 minutes, remove from heat.
Sift the powdered sugar, powdered soy milk (I used flour since I couldn’t find the powdered milk), & salt into medium bowl.
Add the powdered sugar mixture to pan & stir to combine.
Let the mixture stand until slightly warm to touch, about 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.
Consider putting on rubber gloves, so you don’t stain your hands. Add several drops of yellow food coloring to one piece of dough & knead food coloring into the dough until smooth and color is even. Repeat using red & yellow food coloring (for orange) with the second piece & leave the last piece white, but knead it until smooth. This isn’t an easy task & could take up to 15 minutes!
Roll each piece into ropes of equal length (don’t roll too thin or the dough will break) and push the three ropes together to form a long rectangle.

Using sharp knife, cut the ropes into triangles. Some will be white tipped & some will be yellow tipped.
This (supposedly) yeilds 110 candy corn, larger than store-bought.

My notes:
Like I said, I couldn’t find the powdered soy milk so I used flour and a little bit of acutal soy milk in it’s place. My candy corn were a little softer than they should have been and I think it’s because of that fact. But they still taste great. I used a little more vanilla because I like it. These are slightly less sweet than store-bought which is good because you won’t get that sick-to-your stomach feeling after eating a few. Such a great recepe!
Getting all your candy corn the same size is hard so if you’re not too Type A about it, just let it go. It’s hard to get each rope the exact same size and each cut the exact same width. And please, please, please buy organic corn syrup. It’s more pricey but it’s so much better. High Fructose Corn Syrup is one of the worst things you can put in your body.

These passed the outsider taste test since I took them to my two girlfriends the next morning. I’ll probably make some more and try to find the powdered soy because I’d like them to be a little harder next time.

Try these out sometime this month. They are a lot of fun and pretty easy to make. Enjoy!