Category Archives: Recipes

Wild Blueberry Lemon Muffins

You know what they say, you never forget how to ride a bike…

…err, I mean, bake. I’ve been making my usual staples time and time again (apple nutmeg muffins, I’m looking at you!), but this weekend I finally got back into the kitchen to experiment. I made vanilla donuts, two types of reduced-sugar and -fat frostings, gluten-free + vegan donuts, and wild blueberry muffins.

I just couldn’t help myself! Even though just the thought of turning the oven on the summer heat makes me sweat, the breeze that flowed through my kitchen made the rising temperaturse much more bearable. There’s just nothing like a warm summer breeze, sweet fresh blueberries, and good company. After all, part of the fun of baking is sharing with the ones you love.

Welcome back to you, summer! I see many more fresh salads, sweet berries, and tantalizing treats to come.

Wild Blueberry and Lemon Muffins

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  •  3/4 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1-1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 TBS warm water, whisked together
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 TBS Earth Balance or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract (optional)
  • zest from 1 lemon + extra for garnish
  • oats (for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. 
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and wild blueberries. 
  3. In another bowl, combine prepared egg replacer, sugar, almond milk, earth balance/coconut oil, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest. 
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. 
  5. Evenly distribute batter into 6 muffin cups. (If you have a 12-cup muffin tin, you can easily double the batter or fill half of the tin with water instead of batter to ensure even baking.) 
  6. Sprinkle oats and extra lemon zest on each muffin, if desired. 
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into each muffin comes out clean. 
  8. Cool on a wire-rack. Enjoy with freshly squeezed lemonade. 

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Lentil Burgers

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

Mine was (not surprisingly) busy, but this time it was filled with outings rather than mounds of homework… and that’s just how I like it. However, being out so much didn’t leave much time for food preparation for the week. When this happens, I usually try to make the simplest recipe that I know will keep me adequately fueled.

It’s times like these that I revert to old favorites that I can practically make in my sleep. Don’t let the time simplicity fool you; these sun-dried tomato basil lentil burgers are full of flavor! I love eating them on a big romaine lettuce salad filled to the brim with fresh veggies and topped with a drizzle of dijon mustard. Yum!

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Lentil Burgers 

Makes 4 burgers 

  • 8 oz precooked lentils (i.e. from Trader Joe’s; you can make your own if you have more time, but the flavor will be different)
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce/tamari)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  1. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients until just combined. Be careful not to process too much or the mixture will become paste-like. Leave a little texture instead!
  2. Divide mixture into 4 equal pieces. Shape into patties/burgers using your hands.
  3. Cook on a medium high heat in a non-stick skilled for ~3 minutes on each side, or until a gold-brown crust is achieved.
  4. Enjoy on a bun, salad, or as is! They’re even lovely cold.
Do you make your own homemade veggie burgers? What’s your favorite flavor combination? 
Have a lovely day!
Mandiee

Vegan Apple Streusel Muffins with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

These muffins speak for themselves.

Fluffy muffins filled with sweet cinnamon-coated apples and topped with a beautiful brown-sugar oatmeal streusel.

 

Why? Because let’s be honest: it’s really all about that beautiful crumb. It’s perfect for delicately picking apart piece by piece with your fingers, savoring every bite or just grabbing for an afternoon on the go. With bakery-style muffins, this time vegan and just a little bit healthier, it’s good that muffins can be enjoyed all day long… not that that ever stopped anyone before.

Vegan Apple Streusel Muffins with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

Makes 12 muffins 

Streusel Topping: 

  • 1/4 cup flour (can use AP Gluten-free)
  • 1/3 cup oats (use certified-GF if you have a sensitivity)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 TBS Earth Balance

Batter: 

  • 1-1/4 cup flour (can use AP Gluten-free)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (use certified-GF if you have a sensitivity)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 TBS oil
  • 1.5 tsp egg replacer + 2 TBS warm water (prepared) OR 1 TBS flax meal + 3 TBS warm water (prepared)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease or line a muffin tin.
  2. To make streusel topping: Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut Earth Balance into mixture using two knifes. The texture should be crumbly.
  3. To make batter: In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix almond milk, oil, prepared egg replacer mixture, and vanilla extract. Pour wet mixture into dry and mix to combine. Stir in chopped apples.
  4. Evenly distribute muffin batter into 12 muffin cups. Top with a generous tablespoon or two of streusel topping.
  5. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove muffins from oven and let cool in muffin tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling wrack.
  6. Enjoy warm or cold.

What’s your favorite kind of muffin? Do you like sweet, bakery-style muffins or more hearty ones? 

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Fudge-y Banana Brownies

I love Saturdays. But really, who doesn’t?

It’s hard not to love them when they start with an extra-long hot yoga practice and end with watching Saturday Night Live while enjoying the beautiful silence of night. And when the middle includes grocery shopping (anyone else enjoy this?), baking, and babysitting, all is right with the world.

 

Babysitting on Saturday nights has become a relatively new occurrence, but I’m absolutely loving it. The girl I babysit (let’s call her “J”) is so sweet, and we always have lots of fun. Now that I know she loves baking, I can’t help but dream up creative things for us to make. Last week we made s’mores cupcakes filled with mini marshmallows. I covered them in vegan buttercream frosting, sprinkled them with crushed graham crackers, and drizzled them with melted chocolate. Needless to say it was a hit.

I’ve really enjoyed teaching her and her parents about veganism, too. I always make the distinction that veganism is a personal choice but that it’s fun to play with the chemistry of food no matter what your dietary preferences are. I love seeing her sweet smile when she tells her parents with delight, “Look what we made. Can you believe these are vegan!”

Last weekend was especially fun because I also turned J’s favorite dessert, rich, chocolate-y brownies, into a vegan treat. When I brought them over to her house, they were still warm out of the oven. Yumm…

The verdict?

My grandmother said they were fudgey, perfectly sweet, and delicious.

My uncle winked while telling me I could make them for him anytime.

And J… she just said “yum!” and smiled. She then proceeded to ask for another.

Vegan Fudge-y Banana Brownies 

  • 2-1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash cinnamon
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. 
  3. In another bowl, vigorously mix brown sugar, water, oil, mashed banana, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract with a fork until well-combined. 
  4. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until just combined. 
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour mixture into baking pan. Spread evenly (it will be thick!). 
  7. Bake until the brownies firm up, or at least 20 minutes. Remove from oven when your desired texture is reached. For fudge-ier brownies, remove closer to 20 minutes; for firmer brownies, wait until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (I baked mine for ~45-50 minutes). 
Do you have a favorite brownie recipe? What are your favorite things to bake with kids?
Have a lovely day!
Mandiee

 

 

 

Au Naturale

Some things are just better left au naturale.

Case in point: since making my college decision, my mom and I keep joking about the Californification process. I’m already apart of USC’s Class of 2016 Facebook page (900 members strong so far!), so I have an idea of the personality of my class. One thing I’ve noticed: at least 80% of the girls are blond. My mom half-teases me that I’ll join that number soon enough.

While I can’t say I’m not curious about what I’d look like as a blonde, I really do love my natural hair color and would hate to lose it. Who knows, maybe as  a brunette, I’ll stand out in the crowd (for better or for worse).

What I do know, however, is that I am happy with who I am. If I feel like changing my hair color (or anything else for that matter), it will be for fun, not because I feel like I have to in order to fit in.

blonde? brunette? who knows!

Just like with these vegan banana donuts, some things are better just left au naturale. You can dress them up with a simple glaze, dip them in chocolate, or just leave them as is. No matter what, they will still be the same wonderfully delicious donuts inside. And that’s what counts.

Vegan Banana Donuts 

Makes 6 donuts 

  • 1/2 cup + 2 TBS flour (can use All-Purpose Gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 bananas, mashed (should yield a little more than 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup oil (coconut is lovely here, but canola will work)
  • 1 TBS Ener-G Egg Replacer + 4 TBS water, prepared according to directions on box
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Coat donut pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine mashed bannas, oil, prepared egg replacer, vanilla extract, and sugar with a fork until evenly incorporated.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  5. Evenly distribute batter among 6 donut cavities. (I recommend using a small ice cream scooper for this.)
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the donut comes out clean.
  7. Let donuts rest in pan for ~5 minutes before removing. Place on wire rack to cool.
Have you ever changed something about your appearance? What was it? And do you think I would look good blonde? Haha.
Have a lovely day!
Mandiee

Breakfast Salad with Fruit and Chocolate Protein Dressing

Hiya! How was your holiday? Whether you celebrated Passover, Easter, or just a lovely weekend, I hope your days were filled with good food, loving family and friends, and lots of laugher.

 

I had originally planned to (finally) post my recipe for vegan butternut squash mac and cheese, but I thought a detoxifying recipe was more appropriate after what might have been an indulgent weekend. So what better to get back on the healthy train than a salad first thing in the morning?

I prefer sweet breakfasts over savory ones, but lately my usual breakfast options have been feeling a little too sweet. Rather than craving oat bakes or green monster fruit smoothies, I’ve found myself wanting  salads…but ones with crisp fruit and crunchy romaine. So what’s a girl to do? Essentially, make a refreshing, protein-rich, deconstructed green smoothie in salad form, that’s what!

 

Cheers to healthy balance, including indulgent holiday desserts and nutrient-packed breakfast salads to get back on track deliciously.

Breakfast Salad with Fruit and Chocolate Protein Dressing 

  • 3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • 1/4 banana, chopped
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, chopped
  • chopped almonds (optional)

For the salad: place romaine on the bottom of a pretty bowl or to-go container. Carefully arrange apple, banana, strawberries, and blueberries on top. Add almonds, if desired.

  • 2 TBS hemp protein powder (or 1 serving of your favorite powder)
  • 1 TBS cocoa powder
  • 2 TBS pumpkin or applesauce
  • dash cinnamon
  • stevia, to taste
  • almond milk, to thin

For the dressing: using a fork, combine all ingredients until well mixed, adding enough almond milk to thin the dressing to desired consistency.  Drizzle liberally over salad or pack up in a little container to-go.

 

Do you prefer sweet or savory breakfasts? Would you be open to eating a salad for breakfast? 

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

My world has been completely flipped upside down in the past 48 hours. All I can say is that I’m more excited than ever to start my college life! I am still working out the details, but I can’t wait to share the good news with you all soon.

In celebration, I would like to share a recipe for Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting with you.

As usual, this recipe grew out of necessity. I scored a large bunch of slightly spotty bananas on sale for 19 cents, but didn’t know what to do with them. After making banana soft serve, roasting/sauteeing bananas is my favorite way to eat the sweet fruit, so I developed the idea into a full-fledged dessert.

Stuffing the bananas in the center of the cupcake definitely amps up the traditional vanilla cupcake and is a delicious suprise to bite into. Naturally peanut butter frosting completes the flavor profile. Peanut butter and bananas were just meant for each other! (Add a chocolate drizzle to the mix, and I guarantee your taste buds will thank you.)

Even though this recipe has a few steps (cupcakes, filling, frosting), it’s actually quite easy to make! I suppose if you were crunched on time, you could also make a boxed mix for the cupcakes and just use the filling + frosting to dress them up. However, with a cupcake recipe as easy as this, you’ll never need another boxed mix again!

So whether you’re celebrating a big announcement like me or just another beautiful day in the life of you, I hope these cupcakes will make your life just a little bit sweeter.

Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting 

(makes 6 cupcakes)

  • 1 recipe vanilla cupcakes (see below)
  • 1 recipe caramelized banana filling (see below)
  • 1 recipe peanut butter frosting (see below)
  • melted chocolate, for drizzling (optional)
  • chopped bananas, for garnish (optional)
  1. Prepare all recipes.
  2. Cut a circle out of each cooled cupcake. This should make a little cone-shaped well big enough for you to stuff Banana filling into.
  3. Place a dollop of banana filling into each well. It can come a little over the top of the well, but it should not be too much.
  4. Once banana filling has set a bit inside the cupcake, frost cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.
  5. Using a fork, drizzle each cupcake with melted chocolate, if desired. Garnish with chopped bananas.

 

Easy Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

(makes 6 cupcakes)

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 TBS flour
  • 1 TBS arrowroot (or cornstarch)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • dash cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 TBS oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2TBS NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend or organic sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a small muffin tin with cupcake holders.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, combine non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes to curdle. (This creates vegan buttermilk.)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, arrowroot/cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. (*For best results, sift them together.)
  4. In another bowl, use a fork to combine oil, stevia baking blend/sugar, and vanilla extract. Add in almond milk mixture from step 2. Mix until no clumps remain.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until well-combined.
  6. Evenly distribute batter between 6 muffin cups, filling them up about 2/3 way full. (I use an ice cream scooper or measuring cup for this.)
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a cooling rack.

**

Caramelized Banana Filling 

  • 1TBS earth balance or coconut oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, chopped
  • 1 TBS maple syrup, or more to taste
  • pinch of cinnamon and salt (optional)
  1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add earth balance. Once hot, add bananas.
  3. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. The bananas should start to reduce and become saucy.
  4. Add in maple syrup. Cook for ~2 more minutes, caramelizing the bananas further with the sugar from the syrup.
  5. Remove from heat to cool + thicken a little bit.
**
Simple Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting 
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 TBS Earth Balance or coconut oil, at room temperature
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ~1-2 TBS non-dairy milk, to thin (if needed)
  1. In a large bowl or stand-mixer, beat peanut butter and earth balance until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  2. Slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar until frosting becomes thick. Add in a little non-dairy milk at a time, if needed, to thin the frosting to desired consistency.
Note: this recipe is naturally vegan, but it can also be gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free, and relatively healthy depending on what ingredients you use. Email me at kabochavore [at] me [dot] com if you need ideas on how to do this. Cupcakes for all!

What are you celebrating today? Are you a pb + banana fan?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee