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Posts Tagged ‘no-bake’

Wicked Vegan PB Cheesecake 1

As I mentioned yesterday, 2015 has not been a big year for Wicked Vegan. I moved to a new apartment in 2014 and there isn’t a ton of space or natural lighting which makes it hard to set up for photographs. Also, my poor lap top is on it’s last leg. I love it to death and it’s been around the world with me but, bless it’s heart, even after wiping the whole thing clean, it took about two hours to do (minimal) editing on those pictures for yesterday’s post. All this does not lend itself to a productive food blog.

Since I haven’t been able to add much to Wicked Vegan, I haven’t been on it too much this year. So I was shocked to discover yesterday while poking around that I had a TON of hits back in October. One day I had over 100 hits and I didn’t even post anything. What the heck?? So I went exploring and discovered that Wicked Vegan was featured in an article on MSN back in October called “50 Vegetarian Recipes That Taste Like There’s Meat“. What?!? That’s so cool! Of course, then I found my article AND ALMOST DIED OF EMBARRASSMENT. Ready for the picture that was shown? Ready? Cause it’s a doozy…

WV CB

*Groans* It’s bad. So bad. I know I’m not the worlds best food photographer but I’m working on improvement! My 12 days of Christmas cookies weren’t that bad. Some of them were pretty darn cute!! Look at those props in my blueberry lemon cookies:

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Ok, but photo quality aside, very cool to be featured in an MSN article!

So, sticking with my procrastination policy, it’s the day before Thanksgiving and I’m giving you a new recipe. This may be one of my all time favorite vegan discoveries, though, so I could NOT resist sharing with you. Vegan Cheesecake! More specifically, Peanut Butter Cup Vegan Cheesecake!! Be still my heart.

Wicked Vegan PB Cheesecake 3

No Bake Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

Ingredients
CRUST
  • 10 ounces crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (such as oreas, which are vegan, surprisingly)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or sub melted vegan butter)
FILLING
  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours then drained
  • 1 lemon, juiced (scant 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp full fat coconut milk, such as Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk in a can (see instructions for note)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
  • 1/3 cup salted natural peanut butter (I used Teddy’s Smooth)
CHOCOLAGE GANACHE SWIRL
  • 3/4 cup semisweet dairy-free chocolate chips (such as EnjoyLife)
  • 3 Tbsp full fat coconut milk, warmed to a simmer
TOPPINGS
  • 18 mini dark chocolate PB Cups (vegan-friendly), chopped (I used Justin’s pb cups)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blitz cookies in a food processor until a fine meal remains. Add 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil (or vegan butter) and pulse once more.
  2. Cut 12 small strips of parchment paper (or use paper liners) and place them in a standard, 12-slot muffin tin. One at a time, hold down a strip in the center of the tin, add 1 generous spoonful of crust mixture, then use a small cup or your spoon to pack it down as evenly as possible. I like using a small glass because it packs it in really tight and gets the top flat. Continue until all tins are filled and no crust remains. (WICKED VEGAN NOTE: This technique takes a significant amount of time. I made it through 6 before getting annoyed. Cupcake liners work just as well and are a heck of a lot easier.)
  3. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool.
  4. MINIMALIST BAKER NOTE: For the coconut milk, I like to scoop the “cream” off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if yours is already all mixed together, just add it in as is. WICKED VEGAN NOTE: I was unclear whether MB scooped the cream off and used just the cream for this recipe or whether she scooped off the cream, set it aside and just used the liquid. I didn’t think using just the cream would provide enough liquid since my blender is pretty standard. So for this recipe, I scooped the cream off the top and reserved it for later and just used the liquid that was left in the can. It came out delicious. Feel free to do whichever way you prefer.
  5. Add drained cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup and peanut butter to a blender and process until very smooth and creamy – about 3-4 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You need to make sure you get it really smooth with no small pieces or you’ll taste them in the final result. If your mixture is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk or oil to get it going. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Pour evenly into muffin tins on top of crust and gently tap on counter to remove air bubbles.
  7. Prepare ganache by bringing 3 Tbsp coconut milk (again, I just used the liquid from the can like I did above because I had some leftover) to a simmer in the microwave (30 seconds) or on the stove top in a small saucepan. Place the chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl and pour the coconut milk on top. DON’T touch for 3 minutes so it has a chance to warm the chips. Then stir gently until smooth. Microwave or set over a double boiler briefly if the chips didn’t fully melt.
  8. Spoon 1/2 Tbsp amounts of ganache over the cheesecakes and swirl with a toothpick or knife.
  9. Sprinkle 3/4 of the peanut butter cups on top of the cheesecakes and press down slightly.
  10. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until firm – at least 3 hours.
  11. To serve, remove from freezer and let sit for about 5-10 minutes before trying to remove from the pan. This applies to the strip method mentioned above as well as simply using cupcake liners.
  12. Top with any remaining ganache (reheated), chopped peanut butter cups and/or coconut whipped cream (WV NOTE: which you can make from the coconut cream if you reserved it from the can.)
 This is another recipe I tested on non-vegan/vegetarian eaters and got thumbs up all around. I do have to stress that you want to blend the heck out of those cashews, though. I’ve tried using cashews in creamy recipes like ice cream before and didn’t get the hype. For this recipe, I left my blender on for a solid 4-5 minutes since it isn’t a fancy one is was amazed how smooth it got the mixture.
These would be perfect to whip up tonight and bring to Thanksgiving tomorrow. Keep them in the freezer and take out about 5 minutes before dessert time if you want a cold treat or take them out 10-15 minutes before dessert time if you want them soft. I prefer them more on the frozen/cold side.
Wicked Vegan PB cheesecake 2
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Honestly, I’m not a big pie fan so Thanksgiving isn’t my favorite holiday for desserts. Christmas cookies are much more up my alley! I’m toying with the idea of doing the 12 Days of Christmas cookies again. What do you think??

 

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Wicked Vegan- Healthy Cookie Dough Bites

Ah, Christmas. The season of cakes, cookies, candies and booze. Dinner parties, luncheons, cookies swaps and way less gym time then you would probably like. There is just so much food everywhere. Clearly, as I am celebrating 12 straight days of cookies, I am not opposed to any of this but it is nice to have a healthier options every now and then. And that is something that I really wanted to keep in mind during this cookie marathon- that not everyone wants sugar-loaded treats. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a little break from the sugar coma.  Which is why for Day 2 of 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, I’m sharing with you healthy cookie dough bites!

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Healthy Cookie Dough Bites
from LaurenConrad.com
Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2 Tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips or sweet cacoa nibs

Directions

  1. Combine oats and cashews in a food processor and grind into a flour-like consistency.
  2. Add agave, maple syrup, and vanilla, and blend again until smooth.
  3. Transfer your dough into a mixing bowl and stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  4. Chill for around an hour.
  5. Roll the dough into approximately 12 chocolate truffle-sized balls. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge/freezer for later.

DSC_0816

I really like these cookie dough bites for a treat at home. At work and friends, you are inundated  with sugary treats. When you are home and have down time, it’s nice to have a healthier options, especially since these are best cold. I keep mine in the freezer and tend to reach for them in the evening after dinner.

You can definitely gift them but they tend to get sticky and soft at room temperature so keep that in mind when thinking of presentation. I tried to photograph them at room temperature in a mason jar and they sort of just slowly mushed together. Maybe try a tin and put them in a single layer in mini cupcake liners like a box of chocolate? That would be super cute and a great alternative to cookies for people that are allergic to gluten (just use gf oats), dairy or are just looking for a healthier treat.

Plus, they’re no bake so perfect for people who are allergic to their oven.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back to the sugar, though, so don’t worry if this healthy detour is scaring you. I have plenty of chocolate and peppermint and sugar in store for you.

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Happy summer, everyone!

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Know how I know it’s summer?

It’s not the sweltering humidity that keeps me up at night. It’s not the fact that Boston is blessedly free of a ginormous number of students. And it’s not that the sun is blinding me at 5am because I’m faced with that weird dilemma of keeping the curtains open so I can actually feel the fresh air my fan is blowing in.

Nope. It’s that I’m crazy, insanely, busy! What is it about summer that makes our calendars fill up and has us going non-stop?

Anyway, that would be the reason that I haven’t posted anything in, like, 2 weeks!! And by 2 weeks, I just checked and actually mean 3! Wowza!

What sucks is that I’ve been making some pretty healthy and yummy summer meals that I’ve been wanting to share with you. With that said, you may find this blog relaxing a little more in the coming weeks. In an attempt to get some recipes up and keep on top of things, I may trade the staged, somewhat-edited pictures for cellphone, even-less-edited pictures, making this more of a food journal/blog thing. It’s just a thought. We’ll see where the summer takes us. But if the last few weeks are any indication, it’s going to be taking me to the pool/beach/bars/cookouts/social events and those places aren’t always update-your-blog friendly. So bear with me if things start to become a little more casual around here.

With that said, I did manage to get my crap together for Friday favorites, which ironically, is one of the harder posts to do since I have to pay attention to what I have been enjoying the past week (or three in this case!)

Favorite activity: lounging on the deck with friends and watching the storms come in

porch loungin storm watchin

Favorite beverage: a nice cold beer. My favorite lately has been Shock Tops Raspberry Wheat

shock top

Favorite music (you knew it was coming!): Taking Back Sunday’s new acoustic cd. I know- it’s kind of a cop out since over the years, they’ve released some of these songs live SO many times AND they didn’t put the Ballad of Sal Villanueva. But it’s TBS. I can’t help myself

Favorite read, (definitely wouldn’t qualify as “beach read” I don’t think): Game of Thrones. So…I’m caught up. Watched all the seasons. Ranted to my one friend who watches it. Was left frustrated because seriously, how is one supposed to wait a whole year for new season?! So I picked up the third book, where the series left off, and just started reading the bloody thing! Image and book can be purchased from herestorm of thrones

and last but not least, Favorite summer produce: Fresh strawberries. OMG. SO good. I can’t stop putting them in everything!

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And this is where todays recipe comes in. Strawberry macaroons! It doesn’t have fresh strawberries but it does hit the spot without rotting nearly as quickly as the fresh ones.

Strawberry Macaroons
by Tessa the Domestic Diva

makes between 20-24

Ingredients
  • 2 cups unsweetened grate coconut
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 bag freeze dried strawberries or raspberries (1.2 ounces), (I found mine at Whole Foods. Also available at Trader Joes and online
  • 3-4 tablespoons of maple syrup, honey, or coconut nectar, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, plus an added vanilla bean scraped (optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Process the ingredients for 2-3 minutes until the shredded coconut beings to break down. Depending on how textured you like it, as long as the ingredients are well incorporated, the will hold together well.
  3. Drop the batter, about 2-3 teaspoons worth onto a lined cookie sheet. If you find that the ingredients aren’t sticking together easily (mine didn’t), place them in the fridge to harden a bit. They will be more moldable once chilled a bit
  4. Place in the fridge or freezer to harden for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

DSC_2290

I find that once these have been chilled, you can keep them at room temperature for a bit without them melting all over the place, which is nice. I wouldn’t leave them in the sun or anything though.

These little things are light and not too sweet, two things I love when making dessert for the summer. Plus, they are no bake, which is huge! My house is a sauna as it is. No need to crank the oven to 350 also!

What are some things you’re looking forward to this summer? I have some summer concerts I’m pumped for! Also, lots and lots of relaxation (hopefully!)

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So, let me introduce you to no-bake Chocolate Peppermint Bars. I’ve made these twice now: once, they came out, well, not so great. I may have, possibly, dumped an entire canister of salt into the food processor instead of 1/2 tsp. Then, because I had used the last of my cocoa powder for these bars and had no other desserts lined up for a snack for the week, I may have spent 30 minutes oh-so-carefully scooping out as much of the salt as I possibly could in an attempt to salvage these bars.

Not surprisingly, that didn’t really work and the end result was a very, VERY salty dessert bar that I attempted to eat so I wouldn’t waste it. And even less surprising, I had to throw them out half way through because I just couldn’t torture myself anymore.

BUT, as fate would have it, Angela at Oh She Glows ended up posting a sugar-free version a week or so later, which I was even more excited to try! See, everything in life happens for a reason.

Chocolate Peppermint Bars
from Oh She Glows

  • 1 cup packed, pitted Medjool dates (approx 12)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 4 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life) or chopped chocolate
  • 1-2 tbsp large flake unsweetened coconut, for garnish, or, I used unsweetened flaked coconut

Line a loaf pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way. Set aside. In a food processor, process the pitted dates until chopped and sticky.

Add in the rolled oats, cocoa powder, salt, peppermint extract, and almond milk. Process until combined, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.

Add in the nuts and chocolate chips and pulse until combined and sticky. It should be sticky enough to easily make a ball.

Crumble mixture all over prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle a handful of coconut on top and press mixture into pan with slightly wet fingers. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and roll out smooth with a pastry roller.

Freeze for about 15 minutes or until set. Slice into 6 rows and then slice rows in half to make 12 small bars.

These little bars would be great to munch on while your picking apples, having a picnic on a nice fall day or on a road trip to check out the foliage! And you know, for lunch boxes and stuff.

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Last week was brutal. Every time I walked into the kitchen, I just started melting. It was just too hot and humid to function.

Despite this, I attempted to make cookies for my friends on Friday. Worst. Idea. Ever. The first batch spread out to thin pancakes in the oven. I attempted to chill them and add a bit of flour and then they just sat like rocks in the oven. They also turned an odd brown color. Rock shape + brown color resulted in my friends affectionately nicknaming them Cat Poop cookies. Thanks, guys! =)

After this lovely attempt at turning my oven on again, I reluctantly accepted  the fact that it’s not fall yet. ARGH!

So I am reluctantly continuing with my no-bake, no-oven routine. I hate it, but I’m continuing. Here is a recipe for cold soup. It’s my compromise with the weather- I want it to be fall and cook soups and wear boots and scarves. But the weather is all, no way! I’m going to be humid and ruin your life and make you want to waste away in front of the AC. Fine, I’ll make cold soup. Be that way.

unblended


Raspberry-Nectarine Gazpacho
from New England Soup Kitchen Cookbook, found on Free Recipes
makes about 6 servings 

2 cups red raspberries
3 nectarines, peeled and diced
1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1/2 long English cucumber, diced small
1 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
3 cups V-8 Splash juice (I used the Berry Blend flavor cause it had raspberry juice in it)
3 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
Juice of 1 fresh limes
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon green Tabasco sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a very large and deep bowl, combine the raspberries, nectarines, scallions, yellow pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, V-8 Splash, tomato juice, bread crumbs, lime juice, cilantro, Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper and stir well.

Pour 3 cups of the soup into a blender. Puree until the texture is mostly smooth, but a few chunks remain. Return to the bowl and stir to incorporate.(I made sure that all the cilantro and bread crumbs got put into the blender because I didn’t want whole herbs or soggy bread in my soup but that was just personal preference) Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Before I made this, I pretty strongly believed that soup should not be cold. I’m desperate for something other than salads, though. So, I braved the cold soup and I’m really glad I did! It’s different, especially since I’ve never had any sort of gazpacho. But this blog was created to encourage me to try new things so I can share them with you! So, I guess it succeeded!

Now…is it too soon to start a count down to fall? *cough 40 days cough* How about to start a birthday list if my birthday is early October??

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This week, a truly amazing thing happened that left me all warm and fuzzy.

DSW and Toms sent me their fall shoe preview emails.

That’s right…fall shoes. Which means only one thing, summer is almost over. I’m getting giddy just thinking about it! Fall is right around the corner and I will be pulling out my tights, boots and scarves (and apparently my new plaid Toms…So cute!) in no time!

Just not yet.

Because today, it’s going to be in the 80s and I am still recovering from my Warped Tour sunburn which has moved from the “oh-my-god-this-hurts-so-bad-I-can’t-sleep” phase to the “oh-my-god-this-itches-so-bad-I-can’t-sleep” phase. The latter is also known as “aren’t-I-so-sexy-with-my-peeling-skin” phase. Needless to say, my upcoming beach weekend will be spent with a tshirt on At. All. Times. I imagine the only thing worse than a sunburn is a sunburn on top of a sunburn. *shudder*.

Anyway, since I can’t fire up the oven, pull out my soup pot and go apple picking just yet, I’m chowing down on these no-bake S’mores Truffles.

the “dough”

S’mores Truffles 
from The Wonder Forest, created by Catherine from Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth
Makes 10 kisses

2 graham crackers + 1 for outer “crust”
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1 cup Medjool dates – pitted
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp vegan mini chocolate chips (or carob chips for a vegan option)
Optional: additional 1/4 cup of chocolate for dunking.

Place 1 graham cracker in a food processor or blender and process until finely ground. Empty the graham cracker contents into a bowl and set aside, as it will be used to roll the truffles in later. Combine cashews and 2 graham crackers  in a food processor and grind until they become very finely ground, but not a butter. Remove pits from dates. Once pits have been removed, add the dates and vanilla into the food processor. Process until the contents are evenly chopped/combined and form a sticky dough (my food processor apparently isn’t cool enough to form a dough. Instead, everything got really finely ground, which worked fine. See picture for reference). Remove dough from the food processor and fold in chocolate chips by hand or mixing spoon. Using a 1tbsp measuring spoon, scoop the dough into balls and roll evenly in your hands.

At this point, you can either: 1. Roll the ball through the bowl of ground graham cracker, coating it evenly (this will add flavor and prevent the kisses from sticking together). Or, 2. melt the additional chocolate chips in a double boiler with a tiny bit of vegetable shortening. Dip the truffles in the melted chocolate (I only dipped half of each truffle in chocolate) and then roll in the ground graham crackers.  

store in the refrigerator for 1 week, or freezer for up to 1 month.

I’ve made these both ways, with the graham cracker crust and dunked in chocolate. If you are planning on taking these on an outing such as the beach or camping, stick with the graham cracker crust. If you are munching on these for lunch throughout the week and can keep them refrigerated, make the chocolate dunked ones. Both are delicious, though!

These are definitely getting packed for this weekends beach adventure! Along with SPF 500, long sleeve t-shirts and jeans. I will not get sunburned again!!

PS. Do you like my red paper napkin prop?? Goal for next week- work on picture composition and props!

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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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