Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gluten-Free/Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Pancakes

Comfort doesn't stop just because its Gluten-Free! We all want to have those familiar meals that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. When those cravings come around, we should all have those options. When it comes to breakfast, we all think of those familiar pancakes. I can't think of a better comfort food that we LOVE to indulge in, on a nice Sunday morning...or even the occasional dinner (Yes we all LOVE breakfast for dinner). This recipe shows you how to make not only a craveable pancake, but also a vegan & GF pancake. These pancakes are a fool proof recipe that will make you remember why we love and crave that mapley carb in the morning. But the difference is, everyone can enjoy them and no one will know they are any different from the original. You can switch up the flavors and toppings to any given day and they freeze great for future meals. Pair them with your other breakfast favorites and a big glass of vegan milk. You will wish every meal is breakfast, Enjoy! 

Gluten-Free/Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Pancakes


-1 1/2 cups GF Flour 
-1 heaping cup organic blueberries
-3 Tablespoon Sugar
-2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
-1/4 teaspoon Salt
-1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
-1 1/2 cup vegan milk
-1 whole organic lemon, zested & then juiced (juice will vary, that's ok)
-2 Tablespoons oil or melted vegan butter  (your choice)
-1 1/2 teaspoons pure Vanilla extract


Combine the flour, sugar, xanthgum, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. 

Mix in the vegan milk, juice, zest, extract,  and oil.

Whisk all of these ingredients together until the batter is blended together and smooth but don't over whip too long. 

Once it is mixed, fold in your blueberries.  Some lumps from the batter are okay. 

Let this pancake batter rest for 5 to 10 minutes until you see the mixture looking bubbley and frothy. 

Heat a griddle or frying man over medium high heat with enough vegan butter or oil to cover the surface. (1 to 2 tablespoons) 

Drop 1/4 cup of batter one at a time onto the hot oiled griddle. 

When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, approximately 3-4 minute, flip and cook the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes or until both sides are golden brown and firm to touch.

Reapply butter/oil to griddle if it gets dry. Serve with your favorite vegan butter, syrups, vegan whipped cream, or even jam. Enjoy!

INFO & Tip
*Makes around 10 pancakes, less if you do bigger. You will want make extra batches for the freezer! Microwave for 30-60 seconds and you have fresh homemade pancakes in the AM.*


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vegan Lemonade Cupcakes

Vegan Lemonade Cupcakes
I love to change up the flavors of cupcakes, you don't want to get bored do you? ...Okay I don't think you can get bored with any kind of cupcake but its nice to change it up right?. This recipe will remind you of that familiar refreshing drink treat you loved to drink and cool off with on hot days. With that yummy aromatic lemon flavor, paired with that creamy and dreamy lemon buttercream frosting. This cupcake is different in all the right ways. I will guarantee you will not be disappointed. Pair the cupcake with a big glass of vegan milk and relax with this familiar drink flavored treat. Enjoy!

Vegan Lemonade Cupcakes

1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 cup vegan milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Pre-cut Straws & Vegan Sprinkles to Decorate (Optional)

Vegan Lemon Buttercream (Recipe Below)


Heat the oven to 350 Degrees.

Line your cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners and set aside.

Place the vinegar in the bottom of a 2 cup measuring cup and fill the cup with the vegan milk and lemon juice to equal 1 ½ cups. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle).

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

Once you are ready to make the batter, place your mixing bowl in your stand mixer. In the mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the vegan milk mixture, oil, vanilla, zest, and lemon extract. Add in the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until smooth using a hand-held mixer, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Once the cupcake batter is done, let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This mixture will become airy and light. Once you have your batter ready to use, fill each cupcake liner with ¼ cup of batter (if using flower cupcake liners, only fill half way up).

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire cooling rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Once they are frosted and decorated, pair the cupcakes with a big glass of vegan milk and relax with this familiar drink flavored treat. Enjoy!

Ready to Frost Cupcakes

Vegan Lemon Buttercream

1 cup vegan butter or shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest


In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the vegan butter or shortening and the exacts on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the vegan shortening mixture is creamed you can move on to the next step.

Add in your powdered sugar and switch the mixer to low, slowly adding in the lemon juice. Beat the frosting until incorporated, and then beat on medium high until the frosting is airy and thoroughly mixed, about 1 to 2 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Ready to use Frosting

When the cupcakes are ready to handle and are cooled, using a piping bag (or with a spatula) frost the top of the cupcakes with the homemade vegan frosting. Decorate each cupcake with edible vegan sprinkles (optional) and a small straw. Serve and Enjoy!

*I took regular sized straws and cut them to fit each cupcake & topped each with vegan sprinkles.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate-PB Brownies

Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate-PB Brownies
What do we think when someone says...Chocolate, Fudgey, Decadent, and Yummy? I don't know about anyone else but my mind goes straight to brownies. Brownies are definitely one of the most decadent desserts out there and it always curbs any craving for chocolate. This recipe shows you how to make not only a brownie but a perfectly chocolaty, moist, and for a choco-PB-holic, perfect brownie. Oh and did I mention they are gluten-free and vegan...yeah, I know impossible right? Not even close, this is a fool proof easy recipe that you will want to make again and again. These brownies are completely craveable, cut into 9 bars/slices or smaller bite size pieces for on the go nibbles. With the perfect combo of chocolate and peanut butter, you will think you died and went to dessert heaven. Serve them with a big glass of vegan milk and watch your chocolate-PB craving disappear. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate-PB Brownies


-1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour 
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/4 cup vegan Chocolate Chips
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 cup sugar 
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup organic firm (or extra firm) gluten-free tofu
-1/2 cup applesauce
-1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon oil (of your choice)
-1/4 cup vegan milk
-2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting
-1/2 cup vegan butter or shortening
-1 1/3 to 2 cups powdered sugar (depending on PB Brand/texture)
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
-1 cup smooth peanut butter
-Pinch Salt

*Topped with vegan chocolate chips (optional) 


Heat Oven to 325 Degrees

Combine all your brownie ingredients (except the flour) in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour in flour and on a low or dough speed until combined together. The mixture will be thick and very fudgey.

Brownie Batter

Once the mixture is combined, fold in vegan chocolate chips.

Vegan Chocolate Chips Added

Once you have the brownie batter, pour into 8×8 baking pan or a cake pan that has been greased well and dusted with the gluten-free flour (or none stick cooking spray) and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. The brownie will be firm, smell chocolaty (not burnt), and bounce back when pressed.

Greased & Floured Baking Pan
Ready to Bake Brownies

Once the brownies are done, let them cool in pan until ready to handle.

Baked Brownies

Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting

In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the vegan butter or shortening and vanilla on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low (stir setting), add the sugar and salt, mix until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat  and add in the Peanut Butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on low, gradually mix in the powdered sugar. Beat on low until incorporated, then beat on medium high until the frosting is airy and thoroughly mixed, about 1 to 2 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl


When the brownies are ready to handle, frost the top of the brownie with the homemade vegan frosting. Let the brownies rest until the frosting has hardened slightly.  

When they are ready to cut, cut into 9 brownie bars/slices or smaller brownie squares. Store them in an airtight container or place in the fridge. Serve with milk and enjoy!

Ready to cut Brownies


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup
During these long-long-long...did I say long...cold months? Great to come home after a tiring day working, to have something comforting. Comforting to help keep you cozy and warm at night. Soup is a natural winner! With it's hearty ingredients and rich steamy broth you are all set for a warm up. This recipe shows you how to make a traditional and beloved soup that has everything you would want from a comforting soup. Traditional called Italian Wedding Soup. The term "wedding soup" is a mistranslated of the Italian language phrase "minestra maritata" ("married soup")," which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together. Seeing that this recipe is a vegan remake I think the recipe lives up to it's famous name. It's filled with veggies and vegan meatballs in a flavorful broth. These ingredients definitely go well together and will make anybody ask for seconds! Easy to make and makes plenty to put in the freezer for quick reheat meals on the go. Serve it along side your favorite crusty bread and remember to go back for seconds...or thirds, your body will thank you for the warm up. Enjoy!

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup


For the meatballs:

1 package (tub) LightLife vegan ground sausage
1/4 cup vegan bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon dill (fresh or dried)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tablespoon vegan Parmesan 
1-2 green onions, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons vegan milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the soup:
2 Tablespoons oil (your choice)
1 medium yellow onion
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 stalks celery (plus leaves), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large clove garlic, minced finely
10 cups vegan chicken stock
1 Tablespoon parsley, minced
1 cup small pasta, such as tubetini or stars
16 ounces baby spinach, washed 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Heat the oven to 350 degrees

To start, place the ground vegan sausage, bread crumbs, vegan milk cornstarch garlic, parsley, green onion, dill, nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork (or your hands).

*This step is fun off the kids to help with, messy but fun!

With a Tablespoon, roll and drop vegan meatballs onto a greased sheet pan.

*They don't have to be perfectly round.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

Chop and prepare the vegetables for the soup. 

Among the veggies: 3 garlic cloves, 1 for soup & 2 for meatballs
Celery with Leaves
Washed & Prepped Spinach
In the meantime, for the soup, heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and herbs and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the vegan chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Once the veggies in the soup have become tender. Add the pasta the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender.

Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper.

Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted.

Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra vegan Parmesan. Serve along side your favorite fresh crusty bread. Great served after a long day and freezes perfectly for quick on the go reheat meals. Nothing better than a homemade soup from the heart. Enjoy!

Ready to Serve Soup