Posts Tagged ‘vegetable’

Holiday Sprouts

Hey. How are you?


Remember when I asked you to trust me because I was borderline forcing cupcakes with beets down your throat? Remember when you trusted me and made them anyways and were super impressed?? Because you go and make my food right after I post them, obviously.

Well…I’d like you to remember that feeling because today, on a Friday of all days, I’m going to be giving you…brussel sprouts.

I know. It’s Friday. You want chocolate. It’s probably some sort of cheat day for you. You have your brain on the brunch you’re going to on Sunday. Or the movie theater popcorn you’ll be indulging in when you watch Robert Pattinson be all angsty and Kristen Stewart bite her lip as she struggles through her lines.

I get it. BUT you will need to eat something healthy. After all, French toast and movie theater popcorn does not a meal make.  

Oven Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts

From The Cooking Photographer

2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
5 cloves garlic, minced fine or pressed through a garlic press
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Move oven rack to the upper third and preheat to 425 degrees.

In a 9×13 inch baking dish, toss together Brussels sprouts, garlic, water, oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until caramelized to taste, tossing once about 25 minutes into cooking time. Remove from oven and toss Brussels sprouts in the pan scraping up brown bits into the sprouts.


So, this is my second attempt at Brussel Sprouts and I was pretty impressed. My first go around I tried to be too fancy. I tried to make vegan bacon grease, I tried to throw in some caramelized fruit. It had potential. These, though, are just straight up roasted and garlicky and good. I know they look black which you may think equals burnt but they aren’t. They are just yummy, that’s all! I served mine with a pumpkin mac and cheese recipe I tired and wasn’t Wickedvegan.com worthy. You can serve yours with some turkey and stuffing though! These are the perfect little vegetables to serve as the green portion for your Thanksgiving meals.

So who wants to start a Breaking Dawn pool with me? We can take bets on how many times Kstew bites her lip. I say 75. What about you?

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Do you trust me?

Oh, man. Look how pretty those cupcakes are! Look at that color. Isn’t it beautiful? Aren’t you super dying to know what I used to get that pretty purpley-red color?


ok…Beets…WAIT! DON’T LEAVE!! hear me out…

I know what you are thinking- Beets in cupcakes? Um…eew!! I know that’s what you are thinking because that’s exactly what I thought when my friend, Melinda, sent this to me. She sent this to me, clearly excited about her vegan find but I was not convinced. I filed in politely in my recipe folder and mentally wrote it off as ‘aint never happenin’!

But, here’s why:  I was at a friend’s house once when I was fairly young and her mom served us boiled beets. Just plain, soggy, boiled beets. I was expected to clean my plate, too. The only way I could get them down was to put a little bite in my mouth, take a big swing of milk, chew it really quickly and rinse it all down. It took me two glasses of milk to get through the beets on my plate and I’ve never eaten one since then. In fact, I’m getting queasy just typing this.

I just can't get over the color of this batter...

Melinda’s email and recipe conjured that queasy feeling again. I couldn’t bring myself to be excited about it. Then, she sent me the following email yesterday after she made them:

My dad just had one with his morning coffee and declared them absolutely delicious (and as a fellow foodie my dad’s not a liar about food). And said that he couldn’t even tell that there were beets in them, (then also being a fellow health food nut) he asked, so how good are these for you?? Pretty damn good for something covered in brown sugar, chocolate and white flour. I used bittersweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet and added walnuts. I figure with dark chocolate, walnuts and beets, it’s a veritable nutritional powerhouse. Beets and walnuts are constantly on the tops of lists of most nutritionally packed foods/best foods to eat, and dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. Also, I haven’t done much research into sugar, but some claim brown sugar is better for you than white sugar? Anyways, in summation I feel like these cupcakes are a sugary dessert that packs a nutritional punch. 

ALSO they are crazy moist and really rich. “- Melinda
A “veritable nutritional powerhouse”, huh? *sigh* Fine, I will give it a try. Melinda tends to be annoyingly right about food things… (see The Great Bread Dilemma)

Beet Cupcakes
Epicurious via Melinda

Makes 12-16

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (340 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups (450 g) puréed cooked (boiled or steamed) red beets (about 3 medium-size beets)*
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) nondairy semisweet chocolate chips, melted ( I used 365 Dark Chocolate mini chunks)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (9 g) baking powder (look for aluminum-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • approximately 1/4c semisweet chocolate chips to stir into batter ( I used 365 Dark Chocolate mini chunks)
  • approximately 1/4c. pecans or walnuts to stir into batter (I used pecans)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

*To get a beet puree, cut the ends of three beets and place in a medium size sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beets are tender. Once cooked through, remove beet from water with a slotted spoon (reserve beet water) and run under cool water until the beet is cool enough to handle. Peel off the skin. It should just slide right off. Repeat with the rest of your beets. Then place beets in a blender with a little of the water they boiled in. Puree. Continue to add water until you have 2 cups of beet puree.

My beet puree was very liquidy. Melinda used 4-5 beets and less water and her puree came could closer to an applesauce consistency. Both will work for this recipe.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5), and line cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

In a mixing bowl, cream together oil and brown sugar. Add beets, melted chocolate chips, and vanilla, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet beet mixture, and stir until just combined.

Fold in the semisweet chocolate chips and walnuts/pecans. I did a little more than a handful each so you can add more or less based on your preference

Pour into prepared cupcake tin, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (Melinda’s took about 17 minutes, mine took about 19)

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

I agree with everything that Melinda said in her email. (oh man, she’s going to have such an ego after this post!) These came out really moist and chocolatey. I loved the addition of the chocolate chips and the walnuts at the end. The cupcakes are dense and almost bread-like so the nuts add texture that I think is a definite plus. And no, you can’t taste the beets! Yeah!

Melinda included a PS in her email. It read: “the only addition my dad recommended was pot. which he claims is also healthy and all natural” LOL! I will let you make up your own mind regarding the pot. I thought the cupcakes were great without it.

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I know what you are thinking. “Holy crap! She posted something that wasn’t covered in butter and/or sugar!” It’s true. My site has been a little bit heavy on the carbs. Surprisingly, I eat other things though, like vegetables!!

It wasn’t always that way, though. Back in the day, I would pretty much only eat canned, Green Giant corn niblets and canned Green Giant green beans. That’s it. I wouldn’t eat another name brand and I wouldn’t eat anything that was frozen. Green Giant. Canned. Corn. Green beans. The end.

green beans and garlic

Then I went to college. You would think that my taste would have expanded being away from the comforts of home. They didn’t. Unfortunately, though, my parents’ did. I remember coming home one time and being served fresh asparagus. “Um…excuse me? This is not what you have been serving me for the past 10 years. What is going on here??” When I stopped wrinkling my nose in distrust and tried them, the asparagus ended up being delicious. It’s still one of my favorite vegetables.

I hate when my parents are right.

Anyway, It’s pretty appropriate that my first veggy recipe on wickedvegan.com is my old buddy, Green Bean. They are no longer canned but I am pleased to say that they are even better than I remember the Green Giant kind being!

Szechuan Green Bean Stir Fry

from Weight Watchers

1 pound of green beans, cut into 2″ length

2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce

2 tsp of ketchup

1 tsp of red wine vinegar*

1 tsp of cornstarch (dissolved with 3 TBS of water)

1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

1 C of bamboo shoots, canned, drained

1 tsp of sesame oil

In a large sauce pan, steam green beans until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, dissolved cornstarch and pepper sauce.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat. Stir-fry green beans and garlic 2 minutes; add soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in bamboo shoots and sesame oil; serve at once.

*this recipe is incredibly versatile. I don’t think I’ve made it the same way twice. This time, I didn’t have red wine vinegar so substituted balsamic vinegar. I also didn’t have sesame oil and really didn’t want to add anymore oil to the recipe so I sprinkled sesame seeds on instead. This also goes together really quickly.

yeah for green things!

Not sure what to serve with random green beans and bamboo shoots? If you’re cool like me, you’d have just this for dinner, with a hand full of raw almonds, on your way to a second job. If you prefer sitting down at dinner and actually eating a full meal, then come back Friday. I’ll have yummy Ginger Lime Noodles!

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