Tag Archives: vegetarian

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. 

In the Dark

Yesterday, the day I usually photograph my What I Ate Wednesday eats, my house lost power. It was a complete shock because the weather was not very hot (which is usually the cause of power outages thanks to the numerous air conditions running). Consequently, I was unable to document my eats as usual. No power meant no oven, no microwave, no lights. It was time to get creative.

I must have been wearing a pair of crabby pants because the minor inconvenience made me quite irritable and grouchy. I was a complete grump—I’ll own up to it. Fortunately, I used it as a learning experience. Instead of giving into myself and just going to sleep early, I stayed up late (as usual) and tried to find things to do. Sure, cooking was a challenge by candle light and flashlight, but reading was actually enjoyable. I very rarely read without any other stimulation (music, lights, tv, etc.), and by the end I found myself more relaxed than ever. Surprisingly, all my anxieties were gone.

Once I realized that I really had no immediate need for electricity and could get along just fine, I wondered what was really bothering me. It came down to this:

  1. Fear. I am very routien-oriented and fear any kind of deviation. Although I did not need power to survive, not having it made me feel off balance and fear the unknown. Ultimately, I was afraid that a bigger problem was at hand. I felt unsafe and powerless.
  2. Hunger. Truth be told, my blood sugar was low, and I needed food FAST. Usually I can keep my hunger-induced grouchiness under control (relatively), but not yesterday.
The first reason, fear, was difficult to remedy. By reading quietly, I finally relaxed. However, I know that the problem is much deeper. I’m a work in progress! Luckily, the second problem was much easier to solve. Here’s some of the eats that the camera caught before the power went out:

Vegan + Gluten-Free Strawberry Scones (made with avocado instead of butter/earth balance)

Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Chickpeas, Basil, and Tomato Sauce (Nooch sprinkles on top!)

Vegan Ceasar Salad (Made with Raw Avocado Dressing)

Blacked Tofu with Crispy Kale, Roasted Red Pepper and Asparagus, and Eggplant Fries

In the end, I’m almost glad the power went out. It gave me a chance to relax completely and served as a learning experience. In the end, I’m just thankful to have power in the first place. I now realize that I often take this precious gift for granted.

What do you like to cook when the power’s out? What’s one thing you’re thankful for today?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Free At Last

Well, hello there! How are you on this beautiful Monday? It’s been much too long since we last chatted!

Now that senior testing week and AP exams are over, I’m finally free. I still have one month of school left before I graduate, but it is going to be pretty chill. Instead of going to classes like usual, I am doing an internship at my school’s early childhood center. I look forward to waking up each morning, knowing that I get to play with 16 loveable, sweet, energetic 4-and-5-year-olds all day long.

This weekend was devoted to recovering lost sleep (I’m still greatly in debt!), college shopping with my mom, and just enjoying the smile beauty of summer. Because of that, I haven’t been concocting anything too blog worthy lately. However, I would still like to share a few things I have been enjoying amidst studying.

Now that summer is here to stay, my salad cravings have been out of control. I enjoyed both of these salads (one with roasted asparagus, the other with roasted broccoli and carrots) right before AP exams.

There were the perfect light, fresh foods to keep me fueled through 6 (yes, SIX!) grueling hours of testing.

I was also lucky enough to enjoy big, succulent long-stem strawberries from my great uncle. For Christmas, he gave my grandmother a subscription to Harry and David’s fruit of the month club. Her and I look forward to sharing the box every month. It is honestly some of the freshest, juiciest fruit I’ve ever tasted!

We’ve had quite an abundance of strawberries in my house lately, so I decided to make showcase them in homemade scones.

I made these scones super healthy by using whole grain (gluten-free) flour, stevia instead of sugar, and even avocado instead of butter! These scones were definitely not the butter-and-sugar-laden bricks my great-grandmother used to enjoy with tea, but I’m sure she would have enjoyed them just the same.

 

What foods are you enjoying with the increase in temperature? Have you ever tried to health-ify one of your family’s recipes? 

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

 

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

18 Things for 18 [What I Ate Wednesday]

Hey there, beautiful people! (Side note: does anyone else love when someone calls them that? My yoga teacher called me beautiful yesterday, and it made me smile. Anyway.) How’s your Wednesday shaking up?

Today is a particularly special day over here. Not only is it What I Ate Wednesday  (veggie edition—Jenn, you’re after my own heart!), but it’s also my 18th birthday. It’s hard to believe, but now I’m finally an adult…technically, at least. So what kind of things can I do now that I’m 18? Here’s 18 examples to commemorate the day:

  1. Sue someone/be sued
  2. Work more hours (no more child labor laws for me!)
  3. Buy spray paint
  4. Rent a hotel room
  5. Skydive
  6. Become an undercover cop
  7. Buy a monkey (with a license)
  8. Drive an ice cream truck
  9. Enter a contest/sweepstakes (i.e., “You must be 18 or older” –> That’s me!)
  10. Become a flight attendant
  11. Vote
  12. Get married/divorced
  13. Rent an apartment
  14. Change your name
  15. Pay a utility bill (boo!)
  16. Work with out needing to take breaks (I’m going to miss those!)
  17. Start your own business
  18. Have the freedom and independence you didn’t have before

While some of these are a little rediculous (can you really see me skydiving?), I am pretty excited about the normal rights, such as voting and renting an aprartment.

What was most exciting about your 18th birthday? How did you celebrate? 

***

And now, without further ado, What I Ate Wednesday: Birthday Edition!

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Breakfast

My breakfast wasn’t actually all that interesting. (It was a breakfast salad, if you were wondering—Yum!) However, I’m currently working on a recipe that would start anyone’s day off right: vegan apple crumble muffins with streusel topping. I can’t wait to share the recipe!

**

Lunch: salad with sundried tomato lentil burgers, roasted asparagus, and roasted broccoli

I made a batch of sundried tomato lentil burgers this weekend so lunch prep would be a breeze. I used Trader Joe’s precooked lentils so even making the burgers was easy. Healthy eating is all about knowing how to make it work for you. It’s hard to make excuses when everything is so simple!

**

Dinner: leftover lentils with roasted purple sweet potatoes, asparagus, red bell peppers, and kale (with lots of nooch!)

I definitely fulfilled my veg-pledge this week by centering my dinner around my favorite veggies. Sometimes I just crave a huge plate of roasted veggies. In truth, I would eat roasted vegetables all day, every day if I could.

For a little balance, though, I was happy to add some lentils to the meal. Not only are these Trader Joe’s lentils fast and easy, but they’re also delicious! I love to eat them cold, straight out of the refrigerator. Yum!

I can’t wait for today’s special birthday eats today. My mom is taking me to Chipolte after yoga, so I see lots of yummy black beans and guacamole in my future. I see a kabocha squash “cake” coming up, too. I may be 2 years older and wiser (I hope!), but I guess not much has changed since I was sixteen.

What are you eating today? What kind of cake do you like on your birthday? 

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