Posts Tagged ‘maple syrup’

This weekend was busy but fun…minus that unfortunate game last night but we’re just going to pretend that didn’t happen.

Renee, me and Rachel. Happy Birthday, Renee!

On Friday night, I went over to my friend Rachel’s to celebrate our friend, Renee’s, birthday. We had lots of yummy food (including this black bean salsa) and I brought these cupcakes with me. They were a big hit. I won’t tell you how many Renee ate but let us just say she really enjoyed them…and probably didn’t have any grounds for yelling at her boyfriend for over doing it with the frosting on his cupcake.

Then Sunday, we had our Super Bowl party. After Rent-a-Center told me it would cost me $500 to rent a TV (seriously?!), we stuck with our little inherited TV. We had a ton of food for only 9 people, all of it delicious and most of it vegan (someone brought boneless wings but that was the only non-vegan item). Bonnie made a super yummy avocado tomato bruschetta and a chipotle hummus I may share with you later in the week. I made my black bean salsa, again, and these cupcakes, again, which got thumbs up all around. Melinda made the artichoke spinach dip I shared with you last week. It was kind of a delicious spread!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
from Brown Eyed Baker 

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup plain almond milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Purée avocado in food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup, almond milk, oil, and vanilla, and blend until creamy. Whisk avocado mixture into flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared cupcake cups. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached. Cool.

These cupcakes are so perfect because the avocado and maple syrup make them super moist and rich but not too sweet. They are just so darn good! No worries though, you can’t taste the avocado in the cupcake. It’s too mild of a flavor. The chocolate and vanilla easily mask it.

Sooo…I sort of don’t have a frosting recipe for you. For Renee’s birthday, I attempted to make vegan nutella frosting. It was a big fail…or so I thought. I was running late and instead of a fluffy frosting of amazingness to present to her, I had liquid goop.

So I bought a can of rainbow chip frosting on my way to her house…45 minutes late. Darn you nutella frosting!! I was the only vegan there though so no one cared that the rainbow chip frosting had dairy and oodles of chemicals in it. Cheers to birthday cupcakes anyway!! (Rachel, in the gray shirt, is ‘cheering’ with my cupcake and hers so I could take a picture. That isn’t my hairy arm in the foreground- promise. Sorry, Ryan…)

Then Sunday, after working all day, I had some perfectly baked cupcakes ready for thefootballgamethatshallnotbementioned and I couldn’t bring myself to make the Cherrybrook Kitchen chocolate frosting from a box. Yes- it’s vegan. Yes-it’s free of chemicals. and yes- I will make it for you eventually and review it but I just couldn’t bring myself to use it on my perfect chocolate cupcakes. Nothing makes homemade cupcakes go to the dogs quicker then store bought frosting. So I dug out the massive bowl of should-have-been vegan nutella frosting from the fridge and to my delight… it was solid and spreadable. Granted, more like a icing then a frosting, but I’d take it!!

Then I piped confectioners sugar mixed with a little water for the stitching. I just used a sandwich bag and cut a tin hole in one of the corners. Super easy. Aren’t they cute? That 83 in the heart was made for my dad for his man, Welker, obviously!

My roommate, Bonnie, rocking some serious Pat's attitude. Hmm...Maybe we'll just put those Pat's jersey's away for a while...

I have the day off so I’m going to go wash all our dirty dishes from last night and maybe try to be productive. Now that the Super Bowl is over I guess I should start brainstorming some Valentines desserts for you guys? Or maybe, like that awful game last night, I’ll just pretend it isn’t happening…

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Hot Veggie Salad

Here’s the thing: Blogging can be hard!

Sometimes, it’s late Sunday night and you should be posting recipes but you are sitting in the Cheesecake Factory shoveling the 800th guacamole-ladened tortilla chip in your mouth with a friend under the pretense of “planning your week”. Ok, whatever…do we get free refills on the guac?

Other times, it’s a freezing cold Thursday and you should be posting recipes but you are at a friends soaking in the warmth of their apartment under the pretense of lending an ear to their woes. “oh man, that’s awful! Why don’t I just stay here a few more hours to comfort you…”

Or sometimes, I just plain forget! I take pictures of all my meals, I plan out my week for when and what I’m going to post, and then I just forget. It’s kinda pathetic.

But this recipe is amazing for lunches, so if you can pull yourself away from restaurant eating/socializing/whoring-yourself-out-for warmth, I would seriously recommend preparing a batch of this to be consumed throughout the week. It comes together pretty fast.

Hot Veggy Salad
from Healthful Pursuit

makes 2 cups (I tripled the recipe so I could have it for lunch during the week. )



  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup brown basmati rice, uncooked (the original recipe called for wild rice but I just used what I already had)

Cayenne roasted veggies

  • 1 yellow pepper, diced small
  • 2 carrots, diced small
  • 10 asparagus spears, diced small
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne (the cayenne is SO subtle. If you want spice, you definitely will need more)

Maple dressing

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp unpasteurized apple vinegar
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Herbamare or salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (if you are making this ahead of time like I did, keep the sunflowers to the side and add them right before you eat so they don’t get soggy)


  1. Prepare the Basmati rice (or your rice of choice) according to the package
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Place pepper, carrot, and asparagus in a large bowl. Stir in the coconut oil until all the veggies are coated. Your veggies will not taste like coconut. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cayenne. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. (Alternatively, healthfulpursuits.com says you can do this on a stove top, cooking on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, but I like the taste of baked-in-the-oven veggies more, I don’t know why…)
  4. Remove veggies from oven and place in the bowl with rice.
  5. In a small dish combine olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar and mustard, salt and pepper. If you are making this head of time, store separately from the salad. I used an old, glass olive oil jar. It worked perfectly!
  6. When ready to eat, microwave the rice and veggies for a few minutes. Pour the dressing over the salad, stir, and top with sunflower seeds.

Aren’t the colors super pretty in this salad?! I was super excited for this recipe because I wanted something loaded with vegetables that wasn’t your standard romaine lettuce/carrots/dressing salad. That gets so boring after a while. Plus, its warmth and color helps fight off the winter blues, which has definitely hit Boston- finally. But all the colors in the world won’t motivate me to eat this if it isn’t easy and yummy, which it was. I was able to package this up into servings for lunch and just grab it in the morning! Love how easy that is!

Reused Olive Oil bottle works excellent for home made dressings!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make a few phone calls to see who with heat I can bribe with cookies in exchange for letting me crash on their futons/couches. It’s an icebox in my house!

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