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wickedvegan-blueberry lemon thumbprint 6

Yesterday there was no Day 4 of 12 Days of (vegan) Christmas cookies and here’s why- Procrastination failed me for the first time ever.

See, as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, Procrastination and I go way back, like Middle School days. I had to write a paper for DARE, waited until the night before and won an award. It was all down hill after that. Making an entire Civil War scrapbook for high school, complete with tea stained pages? Done the night before. Got an A++ (yeah, I was that girl). Final papers in college that were an obscene amount of my grade? Done the night before, hopped up on instant vanilla cappuccinos for the machine. Still got A’s and B’s.

All of these instances turned out great. So when I went to photograph pictures for the carrot cake cookies at the last moment because I didn’t get a chance to photograph them over the weekend, I totally thought I could make it work! Turns out, no natural light and a poorly lit apartment are more powerful than my relationship with procrastination. These are the pictures I got:

DSC_0860

Gah! Bad. Is that corn in there? What is happening? Who would want to eat that?

So I have learned my lesson and will do my best not to procrastinate. And here are some lemon thumbprint cookies that look about a thousand times more edible than that cookie up there.

wickedvegan-blueberry lemon thumbprint 8

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies with Vanilla Blueberry Chia Jam
makes approximately 30 cookies

Jam:
from Oh She Glows

  • 3 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Cookies:
veganized from The Foodie Affair

 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter, like Earth Balance, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Ener-G eggs (if you are making this non-vegan, The Foodie Affair used 2 egg yolks)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour

 

For the jam:

  • Add frozen blueberries and maple syrup into a medium pot and bring to a simmer.
  • After 5 minutes or so, stir in the chia seeds.
  • Continue to cook down the mixture for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours to thicken it up even more.

You can serve it as is or if you want it smoother, mash it with a potato masher or use an immersion blender. I used an immersion blender as I don’t like chunky jam. Also, this recipe makes a lot so you will have leftovers. It is great on toast, ice cream, etc.

For the cookies:

  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • With a mixer, beat Earth Balance and sugar together in a large bowl until well combined. Beat in Ener-G eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt.
  • On low-speed, beat in flour just until large moist clumps form. You may need to use your hands at this point to form one large ball. (WV note: I did not have this problem which could be because I used vegan ingredients. I want to leave it in incase it does occur to your recipe or you are making this non-vegan)
  • Roll tablespoons of dough into balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Make a deep indentation in center of each ball.
  • Fill the indentations with your blueberry jam.
  • Bake cookies until firm and lightly golden on bottom, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Alternatively, you can wait to fill your cookies after you bake them. Just make your indentation as noted above and bake like that for 18-20 minutes. I preferred baking the jam in the cookie because I found that it helped thicken the jam further, keeping it on the cookie; that it provided a moisture cookie; and when the cookies are baked without the jam, the indentations kind of disappear a bit. But you can make them however you prefer.


wickedvegan-blueberry lemon thumbprint 10

These cookies are definitely an ode to my mom, who loves all things lemon. When I was making my cookie list, my initial list had 12 chocolate cookies with minor variations- chocolate and peanut butter, chocolate and mint, chocolate and chocolate… I realized that I wasn’t exactly providing a wide variety of options so I spiced things up a bit and made sure I included a cookie for the non-chocolate lovers.

Now, I’m thinking of pulling an all-nighter, College style, to complete my Christmas cards for tomorrows. Leave me your suggestions on your favorite holiday movies to get me in the spirit and keep me going through those long hours of gluing.

 

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Do you know what I am doing now? I’m curled up under my comforter, snuggled up to my favorite pillow and teddy bear and typing this side ways with one hand. I’m too comfy to get up!! I don’t want to go to work today! “I have the measles and the mumps; a gash, a rash and purple bumps; my mouth is wet, my throat is dry. I’m going blind in my right eye. My tonsils are as big as rocks, I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox” Anyone know where that’s from??

Do you know what I did yesterday during my lunch break? I was on Etsy looking up halloween decorations. Yeap, halloween decorations. As in the holiday that is almost three months away! I blame DSW for sending me their fall boots email too early. I’ve told myself I can’t start buying halloween stuff until the first day of fall…ok, maybe Sept 1. We’ll see how my will power is…

Do you know what I did Sunday? I went grocery shopping and bought things to make this week. More specifically, I bought ingredients to make 3 different breakfasts and one meal. hmm… last time I checked, there was really only time for one breakfast in the day, not three! What am I going to do with stuff to make 3 breakfasts all week??

The answer to that- breakfast for lunch! So yeah…sorry for the two back-to-back breakfast posts…

Roasted Blueberry Coconut Quinoa Parfait
veganized from How Sweet Eats
makes 4 parfaits

  • 1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups light canned coconut milk (1 can has about 1.5 cups so I just used that)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 24 oz vanilla vegan yogurt (aka, 4 individual containers)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place blueberries on a nonstick baking sheet with a pinch of salt. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until berries start to burst. (At this time, if you don’t have granola or didn’t make it prior to, mix up the coconut granola recipe below and bake it at the same time, on the upper rack.) Remove both and set side.

While blueberries and granola are baking, add quinoa and coconut milk to a saucepan along with another pinch of salt and the coconut flakes. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

When ready, assemble parfaits with layers of yogurt, roasted blueberries, coconut quinoa and granola. YUM! Or, if you are bringing this to work or on the go, assemble the parfait but leave out the granola. Leave enough room at the top so  you can add the layer of granola when you are about to eat it, that way it doesn’t get soggy.

Easy Coconut Granola

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 3 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, measured in solid form
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, cinnamon and salt. Melt coconut oil and add it to the oats, along with maple syrup and vanilla, and stir thoroughly to moisten. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. Remove and let sit for about 10 minutes to get crumbly.

How Sweet Eats is one of my favorite blogs, hands down. It definitely isn’t vegan, though. So when she makes something that I can easily adapt, I get super excited! This breakfast was delicious!

Now…I should probably get out of bed. There’s that little thing called work that pays for this food hobby of mine. I should probably make an appearance there…

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One more day until we get a mid-week day off! I have to say, even though I’d rather be on vacation this week with everyone I know, the lack of traffic in Boston is beautiful! It took me 7 minutes to get to work. 7! It usually take me at least 20. I am way too excited about this.
 
So what are everyones plans for the 4th? I foresee some serious sleeping in and laziness occurring for me. Maybe a mid-day BBQ, definitely a margarita and overall just enjoying the day I have off while secretly praying my 6-930 shift at my retail job is cancelled.
 
One things for sure- I will be concluding my BBQ lunch with these Popsicles, which I am a HUGE fan of. I’ve been craving popsicles like crazy lately but I haven’t been able to find popsicle molds anywhere. Popsicles are like the new cupcake. Come on, stores! Instead, I went the old fashion route- dixie cups, popsicle sticks and a spring form pan to keep the cups from rolling around in my freezer. Success! I imagine a lot more popsicle recipes in the future. Chocolate mint? Strawberry margarita? Cookie dough? oh yeah!
Patriotic Popsicles
from Taste of Home
  • 1 1/4 C sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 3/4 c (14 oz) vanilla yogurt divided (I used Soy  Delicious vanilla coconut-milk yogurt)
  • 1 1/4 c blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 6 popsicle molds or paper cups (app. 3 oz. each)*

Place the fresh strawberries and 2 TBSP yogurt in a blender and process until fully combined. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

In the blender, process the blueberries and 2 TBSP yogurt until full combined. Set aside.

Layer approximately 1 1/2 TBSP of strawberry mixture, 3 TBSP yogurt and 1/2 TBSP blueberry mixture in each mold or cup. Top with holders or cover plastic cups with tinfoil then insert popsicle stick. If you are using plastic cups, place the cups in a deep pan to hold them together in the freezer. I used a round springform plan and it worked perfectly!

*The original recipe said this made 12 popsicles by doing a 1:2:1 ratio of fruit, yogurt, fruit but when I tried doubling it to 2:4:2, I barely got 5. This 1.5:3:1.5 ratio I provided above should comfortably give you 6 popsicles.

 

And know for some great vegan recipes that should please everyone at your BBQ, or at least give you something to munch on!

Recipe Round Up:

appetizers/drink:

Black Bean Salsa

Blueberry Strawberry Salsa– My friend Amelia said this salsa changed her life. She could be exaggerating. Then again, maybe she isn’t…

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Strawberry Avocado Salsa

Strawberry Margarita– Best. Cocktail. EVER

Meals/sides:

Nuts and Oats Burger (make ahead of time and bring to the party that way they are ready to get thrown on the grill when the time comes. Also freezes well)

Peanut Pasta Salad with Fried Tempeh


Strawberry Chickpea Salad with Cinnamon Dijon Dressing- A change from the heavy pasta and potato salad, this dish would work as a side or as a full meal for those not interested in grilled meat.

Desserts:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Cookie Dough Truffles

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes– Though these are chocolate and not white, which would be more ideal for the holiday, they are the perfect not-too-sweet cupcake that has always gotten thumbs up when served. You can go crazy with the frosting and sprinkles to make them more festive!

Fruit and Chocolate Dessert Pizza

Funfetti Cake Balls– these would look adorable with red white and blue sprinkles

Strawberry Margarita Cupcake

Trailmix Seven Layer Bars

Whole wheat Cherry Pecan Cookies– Cookies are great because they go together easily and are great for all ages

This round up has made me realize two things: 1. I have A LOT of dessert recipes and 2. I have A LOT of strawberry recipes. Good things 4th of July cook outs are perfect for both!

Have a safe 4th of July everyone!

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This has definitely been a week of celebrating! The most fun was celebrating my friend, Melinda’s, birthday.

If you read this blog often enough, you know Melinda is my fellow foodie friend. As such, I feel like I should give a little shout out to her:

Melinda and I have known each other since we were youngin’s in college. We met at a find-a-roommate night: I needed a roommate because my freshman one ended up not working out and Melinda needed one cause she had just transferred. We bonded over her purple vans and ended up rooming together off and on through college and after we graduated.

What can I say, a good pair of shoes can change your life.

We’ve come a long way since we rocked the vans and ate ramen noodles in our dorm room. I think one of the reasons we’re still hanging out (besides the fact that we’re both awesome!) is that our interest in food has weirdly enough followed a similar path. Granted, Melinda is always a step or so ahead of me buuut…she’s a year older then me. So, you know, with age comes wisdom? Or something like that…

Anyway, so it goes without saying that to celebrate Melinda’s birthday, we cooked. Obviously!

Homemade veggy burgers, grilled veggies and potatoes and almond joy cake truffles. Yes, please! Oh yes, there was also dancing in the rain, some speeches, drinking and Melinda as grill master. All good things!

Of course, I’ve already made and posted most of what we ate which meant I need to incorporate a recipe that I hadn’t shared with you.

Introducing Blueberry salsa aka, our appetizer:

Blueberry Lime Salsa
 from How Sweet Eats (aka, the queen of fruit salsas)

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 5 medium strawberries
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • juice of two limes
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

put blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse 5-6 times for a chunky salsa or longer if you want it smoother. Pour into a bowl and fold in the chopped avocado. Season with salt and pepper.

Basically, this was just an excuse to feed my new lime addiction. It’s weird because I loath lemons and anything with lemon in it. But limes? Limes I can’t get enough of! I had a ton lying around because I’ve been drinking lime water like its going out of style (and possibly margaritas…)so obviously, blueberry lime salsa was just begging to be made.

Anyway, you will notice there aren’t any action shots with this salsa. It’s because someone who was in charge of the chips *cough Amelia cough* took their sweet time arriving. By the time the chips did arrive, we were so famished and weak from hunger that we bypassed the photo sesh and just dug right in.

And it was delicious! Totally worth the excruciatingly long wait for chips and it was the perfect light, summery appetizer!

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I hate mornings.

I hate alarm clocks.

I hate having to pull myself away from my warm bed (and possibly that special someone…) to face the cold air.

I hate changing out of my cozy flannel pants and hoodie to put on work clothes.

I hate mornings.

So it goes without saying that pulling my half awake brain together to get myself breakfast never happens. Ever. Especially since I am chronically running 15 minutes late because I hit snoozed/cuddled in bed/picked out clothes for too long.

Because I hate mornings.

but… i LOVE this recipe.

I make it the night before. It comes together in 5 minutes and it makes 2-3 batches which means I don’t have to think about breakfast for 2-3 days. It’s convinent. It’s portable. It’s yummy. It’s my new obsession. Expect a new overnight oats recipe every week in a different flavor.

Because I LOVE this recipe.

Blueberry Pie Overnight Oats
from Oh She Glows 
makes 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cups non-dairy milk
  • 3 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds*
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 small bananas, peeled & mashed
  • 1/2 – 1 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Granola sprinkled on top before serving  

Directions: Mix all the ingredients, except granola, in a small bowl. Divide into 2 or 3 small containers (I used glass mason jars) and place in fridge overnight. In the morning, give it a stir and enjoy cold with a sprinkle of granola on top. Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.

*The chia seeds can be found in the health food section of most grocery stores and definitely at Whole Foods. They are really essential to the thickening process so without them, you will most likely end up with oats and blueberries floating in milk. Not so tasty. Or, you can get the online. What did people do without the internet?? Though be warned, depending on what kind you buy, they look a little more expensive on line then in the store. One package will last you awhile though.

Also, I used mason jars because 1. I had them around and 2. They have a lid and I can throw them in my bag without having to do a thing with them in the morning. Less work = more snuggling time= a less grouchy Erin in the morning. And that should make everyone a little happier.

By the way, Oatmeal is really hard to photograph. And also…Happy Friday the 13th!

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I haven’t adjusted well to the whole going back to work thing. In fact, I’m starting to think my future holds a man with lots of money and me staying home all day, cooking him a healthy vegan meals, scrapbooking and watching my stories. Except, my stories would be more like re-runs of Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls and not traditional soap operas.

This morning, I not only managed to sleep through my alarm clock, but I somehow also managed to reset my clock forward 15 minutes. So when I woke at 7:15, aka the exact time I’m suppose to leave the house, I had a huge freak out. At some point as I flung on whatever clothes where closest to me, I was able to calm down a bit because I realized I had 15 whole minutes instead of 0. But still, I have zero recollection of resetting my clock!

A little tip: Save all your glass jars from sauces, nut butters or jams and reuse them for storage. My ground flax seed is in an old tomato sauce jar and my spices are stored in tiny mason jars! You reuse, it helps with storage situations and it keeps nasty moths and bugs out of your items. Yeah!

I also managed to 1. forget my badge for work so I had to run back and get it, 2. wait 15 minutes in my driveway as my next door neighbor’s painter moved his van, 3. get stuck behind the recycling truck, 4. get stuck behind a school bus and 5. forget my much-needed, happily-caffinated tea at home.

At least I managed to whip up a batch of these last night so that I had a yummy breakfast…

Baked Blueberry Streusal Oatmeal
adapted from Healthful Pursuit

Wet

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp freshly ground flax seed mixed with 2 tbsp warm water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before use)
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 banana, mashed (yield about 1/4 cup mashed)
  • 1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk – I used unsweetened, original almond milk 
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • Dry
  • 2.5 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp  baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt  
  • One small carton of blueberries (roughly a cup)

Toppings

  • 2 TBSP vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners.
  2. Place wet ingredients and mix with a mixer or beaters.
  3. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine. Pour wet into dry and mix. It will be runny, but don’t worry!
  4. Fold in blueberries.
  5. Pour mixture into muffin cups and top with desired toppings. The don’t rise so you can fill the liners almost to the top.
  6. Mix all the topping ingredients together in a bowl. Top the oatmeal cups with streusal mix (I forgot to get the pecans for this photoshoot so these are sans nuts. They work well this way too)
  7. Place in prepared oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Mine were done at 26 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack.
  9. Microwave before serving for 30 to 45 seconds to get a hot oatmeal flavor. I served mine over half a carton of vegan vanilla yogurt to make it a little more heartier.

 When I made these, I was sort of expecting a cake like consistency but they really do taste like oatmeal! The applesauce and the banana make them super moist and give it that oatmeal consistency. I’m definitely a fan!

Plus, without the streusal topping, Leanne at Healthful Pursuit said these were only 102 calories! Not too shabby.

If you are looking to keep this sugar-free, some possible toppings that Leanne tried were:

  • cinnamon raisin: 1/2 tbsp raisins and sprinkle of ground cinnamon per cup
  • apple: 2 apple slices per cup
  • coconut: 1/2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut per cup
  • trail mix: 1/2 tbsp trail mix per cup

I haven’t tried any of those yet so I can’t vouch for their yumminess but the overall, the oatmeal cups are great so I imagine any toppings you like will be a great addition. Note: Leanne didn’t add blueberries to her oatmeal so those toppings were all added to a plain oatmeal cup.

Now, let’s see if I can actually eat my breakfast without dropping it on my lap or down the front of my shirt. I don’t have high hopes but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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