Blueberry Almond Pecan Breakfast Cereal Granola

Friday, November 17th, 2017

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In one of her most recent care packages, my mom included a few boxes of hippy-dippy cereal that I totally got hooked on. It’s not exactly a cereal in the traditional sense of the word – or at least not how I think of it – but rather a mix of cereal-type flakes, nuts, dried fruit, and granola. It’s almost like a granola mix watered down with cereal. Anyway, it’s sweet and delicious and even though I extended its life by mixing it in sparingly with my bran flakes – just enough to spice them up – it was gone way too soon.

I decided to approximate the experience by making my own granola-cereal mashup. This recipe has all the regular granola ingredients – rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts – along with a few types of store-bought cereal, just for fun. Normally I go with dried cranberries or homemade apple slices for the fruit portion of the mix, but I just couldn’t resist trying out the dried blueberries gifted to me by Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit! (If you worry that your dried fruit will get a little too dry during baking, you can always mix it in at the end.)

Though this stuff takes the better part of an afternoon to make, the end result is so worth it: sweet* and savory granola, made to your own specifications, and for a fraction of the price of store-bought stuff. The cornucopia of fruit, nuts, and other goodies in this granola really make it stand out from some of the other versions I’ve made. And yes, it works wonders for ye ole boring bran flakes!

* But not too sweet: if you really want a cavity-maker, double the maple syrup, or add in a few tablespoons of brown sugar!
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Candle Cafe’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Almond Cream and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

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My very first dish from Vegan Holiday Cooking! I decided to make it a practical one, so I chose a recipe that requires two of my current arch nemeses (butternut squash and apples, which are conspiring to make my fridge/freezer burst open at the seams). Seasoned with cinnamon, sage, rosemary, and chile powder, this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is topped with an almond cream, as well as pumpkin seeds toasted with lemon juice and cinnamon.

The soup is hella tasty and easy to make; no problems there. The almond cream was a little trickier; mine didn’t get terribly creamy and didn’t look much like that in the fancy gourmet food photo. Actually the difference in aesthetics isn’t terribly surprising; my almonds had their skins intact, hence the variation in color. But it also seemed a little heavier that Candle Cafe’s version, even with extra water added. When I plopped a little into the soup using an ice cream scoop, it just sank right to the bottom, with only a tiny bit staying afloat. Kind of like an iceberg! It still tasted great, though; ultimately I just blended the unused cream with the leftover soup and enjoyed them as one. Why use two containers when one will suffice?

Also, you might notice that those are not pumpkin seeds perched atop the almond cream. Right you are! I didn’t have any, so I subbed in pecans instead. I think they worked just as well.

My to-do list for Vegan Holiday Cooking is more than a dozen items long, so stay tuned for more!

Fall Harvest Butternut Squash with Almond-Pecan Parmesan

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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You guys, if I hadn’t already given The Oh She Glows Cookbook five stars, I’d do it on the merits of this recipe alone. SO GOOD! Yet so simple!

It’s basically just butternut squash (duh!), diced and roasted with garlic, parsley, kale (not pictured here; I was all out!), and a chunky parmesan mixture of nutritional yeast, almonds, and pecans. Since I omitted the kale and roasted the nuts ahead of time, I was able to skip the second, shorter round of roasting altogether.

Liddon recommends serving this with Field Roast’s Smoked Apple Sage Sausage to upgrade it from a side to a meal, but I found that Tofurky’s Chicken Apple flavor works just as well. Simple pan-fry it, fold into the finished squash, and enjoy!

Serves two very hungry, very gluttonous adults.

Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

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I fucking love almonds. If you fucking love almonds too, this just might be the recipe for you.

Creamy, almond-flavored ice cream laced with delicious chunks of chocolate-covered toasted almonds; is there anything else to say? I didn’t think so.

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Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

(for the ice cream batter)
2 cups soy creamer, plain or vanilla
1 cup almond or soy milk, plain or vanilla, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

(for the chocolate almonds)

3/4 cup almonds, toasted
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

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Key Lime Tarts from Rawlicious

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

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Raw tarts! Aka the easiest tarts you’ll ever make!

This is another recipe from Rawlicious in Toronto. The no-bake crust – perfect for this Missouri week, when the temps topped out at 90F – is really simple: just almonds, shredded coconut, and coconut oil.

(Though I recommend doubling it; I barely had enough for four 4″ tarts; 3 1/2″ if you measure at the base. At first I thought that maybe my tarts were bigger than the author’s but I seemed to have just the right amount of filling for four tarts. So.)

The filling is pretty easy, too: avocados, lime juice, and a few other goodies. Pro tip: it calls for psyllium as a thickener, but I swapped it out for xanthan gum without a problem.

Blend, fill, chill. Enjoy. The end.

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The filling is actually pretty great on its own, too; when chilled, it resembles pudding.

Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

(Say that five times fast…and you get a cookie!)

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So this was my first time making gluten free-cookies – or at least that I’m aware of – and I’m happy to report that it was not, in point o’ facts, a disaster. Actually it was super-easy, so much so that the fact that these cookies are GF didn’t even register until the next day. (I know, tsk tsk on me for not reading the entire recipe before tackling it! IT SAYS SO RIGHT IN THE INTRO!)

I was more worried about using the hand mixer, since we don’t exactly have an amiable relationship. Seriously, most of our outings end up with a kitchen covered in cookie dough/mashed potatoes/whathaveyou and me crying on the floor. Usually Shane has to step in to finish the job and prevent me from having a breakdown. But this time around? Smooth sailing. Maybe the beaters just prefer almond and oat flour to whole wheat? Who knows!

These Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are so good that they almost (almost!) make up for the fact that they are the only cookies to be found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook (boo! cookies are the only dessert worth making! I’m telling Cookie Monster on you!). In place of wheat flour, there’s almond and oat, along with almond butter and chocolate chips. Mine came out thin, with just the right crispy-to-chewy factor.

You’re supposed to roll ’em into balls, but the dough was sticky enough that I spooned it instead, with no real issues. I guess they’re not as perfectly round as they could be, but who cares? My taste buds sure don’t.

Lemon-Pine Nut Rice

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

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Lemon-Pine Nut* Rice from Donna Klein’s Vegan Italiano. Quick, easy, filling. Even faster if you swap out the scallions for a quarter of an onion. Scallions, why are you always such a slimy pita?

* You got me! Those are really almonds, not pine nuts, which I don’t really care for. In other changes, the rice wasn’t quite as lemony as expected, so I added some lemon zest for that extra sour kick. Muy bueno!

Farfalle with Zucchini, Mint, and Almonds

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

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If it seems like I’m eating a ton of pasta lately, that’s because I am! This dish is the Farfalle with Zucchini, Mint, and Almonds from Donna Klein’s Vegan Italiano – but with rotini in place of bow ties and using the basil variation suggested by Klein. Ridiculously good, and a most excellent use of zucchini, too. You dice and boil a few zucchinis until tender, and then combine three quarters of the zukes with basil, almonds, and some other goodies in the food processor to make a saucy pesto-esque topping. SO GOOD!

I’ll have to remember this come summer, when my fridge overfloweth with zucchini. With a few tweaks, I could easily transform this into a gravy for the dogs’ food. Hello, immersion blender!