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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Smashing Spaghetti

After 3 hours of shopping, this delicious gluten free spaghetti was my quick dinner for Dhanvantari..but shopping or not, this is a typical weekend dish..he likes his spaghetti! :)


2 pk gluten free rice spaghetti drained (first cooked al dente in salted water)

3 TBSP toasted sesame oil

Sautee for a few seconds:
3/4 TBSP asafoetida (Hing)
1/4 cup dried oregano
3 TBSP dried basil

Add in:
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 TSP smoked chilli flakes (optional)
1 TSP smoked paprika
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Approx 1/2 cup EV olive oil
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup tamari or to taste (for salt content)
4 cups plain mock chicken ribs (pea protein or soy based variations are available in health stores)

Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes until a little thickened. Fold this sauce into the spaghetti, adding in:

1/4 cup green or black kalamata olives chopped (optional)
2 cup parmesan cheese

Sprinkle the spaghetti with extra parmesan cheese, oregano, and a drizzle of olive oil before serving. Serve hot.

Super quick and vegan: once the spaghetti is boiled and drained, drizzle generously with olive oil, nutritional yeast, tamari, olives, oregano, smoked paprika and basil to taste. Simple and tasty.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

After only a few years pause, here's my first post returning to the blogging world. Haha, yaaaay!:)

This vegan cake recipe was one of those - educated guess experiments - that turned out really good. I wanted to make a really moist serious chocolate cake, but I was missing a couple of go to ingredients, so I substituted with whatever I had at hand. The pumpkin puree is the secret moisture ingredient in this cake, and the best part is - you can't taste it - it just makes the chocolate flavor taste more deeply velvety in your mouth. 

As my dear Kunti said, it is quite healthy as far as cakes go, although it tastes decadently is really more-ish, but not very sweet, so if you like your cakes on the sweeter side you will need to up the sugar content, or drizzle in chocolate fudge sauce and ice cream (which would be yummy), or whatever tickles your fancy! 


2 cups Arrowhead Mills sprouted pancake and waffle mix
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 TBSP baking powder
3/4 TBSP baking soda
1.5 TBSP allspice
2 TBSP cinnamon powder

Whisk together:
1.5 cup Costa Rican cocoa powder (THE BEST EVER)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1.5 cup maple syrup
2 TSP Mexican Vanilla extract (OMG, awesome flavor, wish I'd brought more back!)
3 cups hot water

Combine both mixtures adding approx 2 more cups of room temperature water - enough to get a fairly thick batter.

Pour into a lightly oiled and floured baking dish - I used a rectangular glass baking flan.

Sprinkle generously with semi sweet choc chips (I pushed them in a little so they stick when its done), a sachet of crystallized ginger, a little cinnamon and brown sugar. 

Bake at 365 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 45 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool. Delicious served as is, or with vanilla ice cream, or as you like. Have fun! :)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Quick Kale Couscous

Hey! Finally I've made it back on here. Its my first post of this year, yikes, how time flies!

So today's recipe is super simple, and who doesnt like a 15 minute recipe when you are crunched for time?! :-) I used wholewheat couscous and crisp baby kale - my latest delight - both of which can be cooked in a matter of minutes. It can be served as is or as part of a larger meal. 

Vegan. Serves two generous portions.

1 cup wholewheat couscous
1 5 oz (142 gram) baby kale
1 handful dehydrated tomato slices
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 tsp multi-color pepper coarsely ground
1 1/2 TBSP sesame oil or oil of your choice
1 TBSP rosemary infused olive oil
1 3/4 cup water

Check couscous for any stones. Heat oil in saucepan on medium heat for a minute, add in asafoetida and fry for a few seconds. Add in the couscous, stirring until its lightly toasted to give it a nutty flavor. Add water, salt and pepper. Lower heat and cover with lid. 

When most of the water has boiled off, but the couscous is still wet, add in the kale and tomato's. Drizzle with a little rosemary infused olive oil and cover so kale wilts. After approx 5 minutes kale should be wilted and bright green, the tomato's softened and the couscous fluffy. 

Remove from heat. Remember it will continue to cook itself for abit after being removed from the heat, so you want the kale to be just wilted and bright green, rather than overcooked.

Optional extras: Add in extra goodies like cranberries, olives and toasted sunflower seeds with the kale.

Put the hot couscous into small bowls for 10 minutes to set into a rounded forms. Then up-end on a serving plate and garnish with yogurt or a sauce of your choice and a sprinkle of pepper. Voila, your simple quick lunch is ready! :-) 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Almond Spice Muffins

Hi folks! 

Happy Holidays! :-)

This is my latest gluten-free, vegan and Ekadasi-friendly muffin recipe, specially posted for my friend Loka as a thanksgiving gift. :-)  She loved these so much it made my day! Makes approx 20 delicious moist fluffy muffins.

3 cups ground almonds
1 cup buckwheat flour (not considered a true grain)
1 heaped TBSP baking soda
4 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup chopped candied ginger (Trader Joe's)
1 cup orange flavor cranberries (Trader Joe's)

Mix all dry ingredients. Add in cranberries and candied ginger. 

Blend together the following til smooth:
2 banana's
1 TBSP vanilla essence (optional)
1 1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup safflower/sunflower oil
 Approx 1 cup of water

Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix evenly. Fill into paper muffin cases in a muffin tray. Sprinkle tops with a dash of brown sugar.

Make sure you lightly oil the muffin tray to avoid burning the muffin cases and muffins while baking. Bake for approx 35 mins in a pre-heated oven at 380 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Offer with love and serve with tea, or however you desire. Very more-ish!! :-)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Semolina Dhokla

Hey folks,

So I'm back! :-)

Its raining outside like there will be no tomorrow, and has gotten cold here in D.C., changing seasons. makes me just want to curl up and hibernate!

Today I cooked breakfast for everyone at my local Krishna temple. I wanted to make something new for me, and so I took the opportunity to learn how to make semolina dhokla from Radha Bhavini - one of the resident ladies here. I like dhokla and I've wanted to know how to make it for the longest time, so I'm all excited about this recipe.

Dhokla is a traditional Indian snack from Gujarat - it can be made in different ways, but the quickest version is basically a steamed semolina bread. It reminds me abit of cornbread, not sure why because they dont taste anything alike. Anyways, its yummy, super quick to make and easily digestible.

This recipe make approx 60 generous pieces of dhokla. Serves approx 15-16 people (3-4 pieces each).

4 cups semolina
4 cups thick yoghurt
2 tsps Eno fruit salts (a raising agent available in Indian grocery stores)
2 TBSP shredded fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp tumeric powder
1/4 tsp sambar/chat masala
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1 TBSP salt or to taste
1 1/2 cups water (or as required to make the batter - if the yogurt is runny then you wont need much water).

Freshly chopped cilantro
Approx 2 TBSP mustard seeds
Approx 2 TBSP sesame seeds
1/2 tsp hing
Approx 2 TBSP ghee or oil
Approx 1 cup water

Set up a steaming rack. We used a big pot 1/3 filled with water and a round wok ring inside to set a baking tray on top of for steaming the dhokla. Bring water to boil. Oil the baking tray - should be at least an inch and 1/2 deep. 

Mix semolina with spices and salt. Add in the fresh ginger. Mix all well. Mix in the yoghurt and water as required to make a semi thick batter - should run from a spoon easily enough. if you make it too runny add more semolina.

In the last possible moment at the Eno salt and mix. Pour into the baking tray and set on the steaming rack immediately. Cover the pot to trap the steam inside. After 15 minutes it should be ready. Remove from heat.

While the dhokla is steaming prepare the dressing. Heat ghee or oil. When hot add in mustard and sesame seeds. When they begin popping add in the hing for a couple seconds and remove from heat. (Some people like abit more spice and add whole green chili's into the oil too).

Swirl it over the dhokla, and use a spoon to gently spread it out evenly. Take approx a cup of water into the pan you used for the dressing and sprinkle over the dhokla. This helps prevent it from drying out. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the top.

Allow to cool. Then cut into squares and serve with a chutney, as part of a meal, or as is. :-)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Creamy Mango Strawberry Vegan Cheesecake

Hey Im back! :-)

This awesome vegan cheesecake is soooo creamy and delicious and you would never know its vegan! :-) This is the approx recipe because I eyeballed it for the most part.

 Serves 8 very generous slices - it is very more-ish - so watch out! :-)

Mango layer - blend all of it til creamy smooth:
4 cups frozen mangos
21/2 -3 cups organic raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
3/4 - 1 cup pure organic maple syrup 

8 TBSP organic virgin cold pressed coconut oil (melted)
2 TBSP fresh lemon or lime juice
11/2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

 Strawberry layer - blend all of it til creamy smooth:
4 cups strawberries
21/2 -3 cups organic raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup pure organic maple syrup 
8 TBSP organic virgin cold pressed coconut oil (melted)

2 TBSP fresh lemon or lime juice
11/2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

 Base - tastes like larabar - really yummy as is:

1 cup organic toasted walnuts or pecans crushed
1/2 cup organic toasted almonds crushed
11/4 cup organic mejool dates, pits removed
1 tsp organic vanilla essence
A pinch of sea salt

Mash base ingredients into a nice bar like consistency and spread out in a spring form pan base.

 Pour on Strawberry layer, freeze til firm. Then pour on mango layer and swirl on some maple syrup on top. Freeze overnight. 

Remove from freezer approx an hr before serving to allow to thaw abit. Open spring form pan and cut into slices. I put waxed paper on the base of my spring form pan because I dont like to scratch the non stick coating. Keep in fridge or return to freezer if there is extra after serving because it will melt just like ice cream.

Offer with love! Yummmmmmmy! :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mock Choc Orange Burfi

Hari Haribol folks!! :-)

Just got done making a bunch of sweets and having fun experimenting in our local temple kitchen. :-)

Today I made a quick burfi which came out really yummy, just have to share it with you. Palaka Prabhu told me that this burfi tastes like tootsie rolls...I have never eaten them so I have no idea, but he liked them alot.:-)

Burfi is a very traditional Indian sweet made by cooking down milk til it becomes solid, and then adding sugar and flavor at the end. Its a delectable dessert but is also time consuming to make. So short-cut burfi is a good alternative when you are pressed for time and or patience! :-)

This burfi recipe of mine is lovely and chewy, yet still soft enough not to pull out your tooth fillings! The orange flavor melds so well with the carob, its quite delicious and though not chocolate, I'm happy to call it mock choc because it comes close enough! I'd love to put toasted hazelnuts into this sometime. :-)

Makes 60+ squares. Total cooking time is approx 20 mins.

5 sticks butter
Approx 51/2 - 6 cups brown sugar to taste
7 cups skim milk powder
1-2 cups pure carob powder to taste
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure orange essence
1/2 cup fresh zest from 2 large oranges and 1 lemon
1-2 cups dried cranberries or cherries
1-2 cups chopped walnuts/hazelnuts (optional - I didnt add them this time, but its a good combination flavor-wise)

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed, wide pot, on medium low heat.

Add in sugar and bring to a boil. (I like to boil it for a few mins to give a caramel flavor).

Add in milk, orange essence and orange and lemon zest. Mix, then whisk in the carob powder and cranberries.

After a few minutes whisk in the milk powder. The pot should be on a low flame at this point to avoid burning. You can turn the heat back up when everything is evenly mixed. Cook down and keep scraping the bottom of the pot with a wide spatula. It should be done after about 10 mins.

Pour onto a buttered tray. Smooth out with a stick of butter and a flat spatula or large knife (non serrated).

Mark the lines you want to cut it at. When a little firm cut into squares. Place in fridge for an hour to firm up. Then recut the llines you made earlier and mark any designs you want on the surface.

Offer with love and honor with joy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lemon Glazed Valentines Day Donuts

It is such a beautiful day! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, the air is fragrant and the birds are singing and this pleasing atmosphere is giving fresh life to everything and everyone.

It is Vasant Panchami today - the first day of Spring - according to the Vedic calender. So on this day in our local ISKCON Krishna temple, Radha Krishna are dressed in yellow garments to celebrate the beginning of the spring season. :-)

It also happens to be valentines day! On an occasion such as this I wanted to make something special for Krishna. Oh Lord, wilt thou be my valentine?! ;-)

These lemon glazed donuts were my little offering to the Lord for His afternoon snack. I converted the basic batter recipe from a non-vegetarian version I found the on the back of the donut tray, and embellished upon it to make my own version of baked donuts. The creme is my own creation entirely with the inspiration of the Lord in my heart. I hope you enjoy making them. Makes 18 medium sized baked donuts.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 scant cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional - you can also use cinnamon or another sweet spice instead)
1 TBSP fresh lemon rind
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 - 1 cup plain yogurt
2 TBSP double cream
2 TBSP oil ( I use safflower usually)
Water as needed to make a medium thick batter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all the dry ingredients. Add in the wet ones using a hand whisk to mix everything evenly.
Oil the donut tray cavities and spoon in the batter til 3/4 full.

Optional extra: Fill bottom of donut cavity 1/4 full with an oat crumble and fill the rest with the donut batter.

Bake briefly - 10 mins is enough - or til the donut springs back when you gently press it with you finger.
Allow to cool for a few minutes and then they should come out of the tray fairly easily - if not just upturn the tray and give it a little knock! :-)

Lemon glaze:
Juice of 2 big lemons and 1/2 a juicy orange
3 1/2 cups powder sugar
a pinch of yellow food coloring

Mix evenly til smooth. Dip the donut into the glaze and set on a tray. Re-coat with more glaze when dry.

Carob/Chocolate walnut butter creme filling:

3/4 cup double cream
Approx 1 1/2 cups carob/cocoa powder
Approx 2 1/2 cups powder sugar
1/4 tsp pure orange essence (or vanilla essence)
1 cup toasted walnuts, crushed small - keep 3 TBSP aside for garnishing
A handful of small strawberries, washed, trimmed. Cut a small V into the top so when sliced they look like hearts.

Blend the cream til it becomes butter. Drain off the liquid and add the other ingredients. Blend til evenly mixed. It should be thick. If not add a little more powder sugar and or carob powder.

Spoon the creme into the donut centers and sprinkle with some crushed walnut pieces. Stick a little strawberry heart into the creme, and voila, lemon glazed donuts are ready. :-)

Offer with love and honor with joy! Haribol! :-)

Sunset this evening..Isnt it glorious? Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita; "Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor," and this beautiful sunset is a reminder of the Lord who is the source of all creativity.

When we offer our talent and creativity in His service with love - that is the perfection of our life. Thank you to everyone who has enabled me to follow this path up to now. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to aspire to re-awaken that dormant loving connection - which we all have with the Lord - within my own heart. May we all find our original lover, our original perfect valentine within our own hearts. :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Savory Heartcakes

So this recipe is here by special request of my friend Devaki. I made it as part of a supper offering this week. Again, please remember the measurements are approximate since I used my hands to measure and made it up as I went along - according to the ingredients I had at hand.

These pancakes, or heartcakes - so called because I made them in heart shapes - are very versatile and can be made with all manner of veggies and spices. Sometimes I use pureed tomato's in place of water, chopped olives are great too.

Makes 12 medium small pancakes.

1 1/2 - 2 cups sprouted wheat pancake and waffle mix (Arrowhead mills)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery heart
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped fine
2-3 small fresh green chilies chopped fine (optional)
a pinch of sea salt and blk salt (- you know, the pink salt that smells like sulpher)

A dash of the following spices, according to your taste:
turmeric powder
blk pepper
coriander powder

Oil or butter to pan fry.
Enough water to make a thick batter.

Mix all ingredients evenly. Heat a griddle on medium low heat, grease it and place small scoops of the batter on to cook. Turn with a pan knife after 3 minutes or so (should be nicely browned on the turned side). Add a knob of butter to the cooked side.

I made some of these in heart shapes by pouring a scoop of the batter into a heart shaped cookie cutter placed directly on the griddle. Gently remove the cookie cutter when its time to turn the pancake over. Its a little more time consuming and you have to clean the cookie cutter between pancakes. But it looks pretty and is worth it if you have the time to spare! :-)

Offer with love and honor with joy! :-) Great served hot with a little yoghurt.

Chocolate Cake Donuts

Hi folks!

Its been a loooong time, my life got too busy to blog, but finally some new recipes are going up. :-)

My new kitchen toy has been donut trays which I chanced upon in Michaels, and so, as you can probably guess, one of my latest experiment crazes has been making baked donuts. Its been a lot of fun playing around with recipes and ideas.

Today I made chocolate donuts with a strawberry rose icing. They came out lovely, moist and chocolaty ..mmmmm!! This recipe is still an evolving one, but I like it enough to share it with you! :-)

BTW, I really like using rosewater in my sweets, but if you aren't a fan, just leave it out.

Amounts of ingredients are all approximate since I eyeballed everything. Makes 15 donuts or so..

2 cups organic sprouted pancake and waffle mix (Arrowhead Mills)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 heaped cups of unsweetened organic cocoa powder ( I used Rapunzel)
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder

Mix the above evenly.

1/2 cup safflower oil
1 1/2 TBSP double cream
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/ 2 TBSP pure vanilla extract
Water - enough to make a thick batter.

Add the above to the dry ingredients. Mix well and spoon into an oiled donut pan. I fill the cavities approx 3/4 full otherwise they turn into little cakes instead of donuts.

Bake in a preheated oven at 415 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 10-12 mins - its done when the surface of the donut springs back up when gently pressed with a fingertip. If you bake them longer it they will become rather hard - I gave a batch of burnt ones to the squirrels - squirrelnuts, haha!

Remove from pan after it has cooled off for a few minutes. The donuts should just fall out easily when you give the up-ended pan a tap on the counter.

Dip in icing and arrange on a plate. I double dipped mine after the first coat had soaked in abit. And then, since I had extra icing I drizzled more on there you can see them drenched in 3 coats of strawberry icing. :-) You can also garnish them with sprinkles, toasted nuts, strawberry pieces or whatever you like.

Offer with love and honor with joy! :-)

1 1/2 cup organic big juicy strawberries, washed and beheaded
1 1/2 cups powder sugar
1 TBSP pure rosewater
1 tsp pure vanilla essence

Blend everything til smooth.

Lunch today! :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Serious Chocolate Raspberry Bars

Alright! Here's a decadent chocolate bar I created for lunch dessert today. If you are in the mood for serious chocolate, this is for you! 

Makes 9 generous chunky squares. 


No bake base:
Approx 2 cups ground almond meal
Approx 1 cup pure cocoa powder
Approx 3 TBSP honey
1 TBSP vanilla extract
A pinch of sea salt

Combine all the above ingredients in a bowl and mix into a firm but pliable smooth ball. Press and flatten onto a flat baking sheet covered in grease proof paper. Create into a even square shape and form a ridge on the edges to secure the filling.

* You can also create a pretty contrast by making a double layer base using a white almond mixture something like the above replacing the cocoa powder with almond meal instead and less honey. Experiment and learn - don't be afraid of your ingredients!! :-)

Approx 1 1/2 cups firm fresh organic raspberries, rinsed and drained or patted dry with a paper towel

Arrange in even rows on the base, filling the whole surface. Set aside.

*If you have time and inspiration, you can fill the raspberries with something yummy and non runny before arranging them on the base. E.g. my choc avocado mousse.

Topping 1:
1 bar of 75%  unsweetened dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Add water to a pot, place a double boiler on top and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low once boiled. Add chocolate pieces into double boiler and allow to melt. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat once melted.

Pour the melted chocolate over the raspberries covering evenly. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to flash freeze it.

Topping 2:
1 heaped cup pure semi sweet chocolate chips (or milk or white chocolate which creates a lovely contrast against the dark chocolate - as you wish)
1 1/2 tsp coconut cream or coconut oil

Add chocolate pieces and coconut cream into double boiler and allow to melt. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat once melted.

Remove raspberry bar from the freezer, and again pour the melted chocolate mix evenly over the raspberries. Now is the time to sprinkle with toasted almonds etc., if you would like to garnish it - I left mine plain. Return to freezer for another 10-15 mins to set. 

Remove from freezer, cut into squares and arrange as desired on a serving plate. Offer with love! :-)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Green Avocado Broccoli Salad

Hey folks!

So here is a simple, satisfying salad recipe which I made for lunch today. The mini broccoli pieces have a lovely crunchy texture contrasting with the creamy avocado. :-)

Serves 4, vegan.

4 medium-large perfectly ripe avocado's, peeled and cut into cubits
1 cup of mini pieces of broccoli
2 TBSP toasted almond slivers (optional)

Mix the above in a salad bowl, keeping an avocado stone in the bowl to help retard blacking of the avocado's.

1 TBSP lime juice
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp hing
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried dill (optional)
1/2 tsp sea salt

Blend all the above ingredients. Mix evenly into avocado and broccoli. 

*Here is another variation of this dressing which I really like because it has a nice kick to it:

Approx 1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP plain yellow mustard
2 1/2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp hing
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch of black pepper

Offer with love. Serve as a side to a larger meal.

Aromatic Sunflower and Basil Rice

Here's a tasty fancy rice I whipped up for lunch today. :-) Its tasty, vegan, and super quick to make - done within 1/2 an hour. 

Serves 4 as part of a larger meal. Bon Appetite! :-)

1 cup quick-cooking scratched brown basmati rice (Trader Joe's)
21/2 cups water
1 tsp oil of choice
1 tsp sea salt

Combine the above, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook til soft and fluffy - approx 15-20 mins.

2 TBSP safflower oil or as you choose
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp paprika flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup cherry tomato's

Heat a cast iron pan with the oil in it. When hot, drop in the spices and after a few seconds add the tomato's. Lower heat to medium low and lightly sautee tomato's stirring occasionally. When the skins have split and darkened a little remove from heat and add in the following:

1/4 cup fresh basil, washed and chopped roughly
3 TBSP green stuffed olives, rinse and cut in halves
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 tsp sea salt or to taste

Add in the rice to the sauteed tomato's and gently mix everything together. 

Offer with love. Best served hot.

Here's how I served my rice - from left to right; curried tahini veggies, avocado broccoli salad, sunflower basil rice, stewed cinnamon apples. :-)

  I also made spicy vegan bean quesadilla's served with a choice of humus dip or ketchup.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blueberry Ginger Choc 'n' Lemon Muffins

OK, I just invented my own favorite muffin recipe of all time! :-) The decadent combination of juicy blueberries with melting chocolate, candied ginger and tart fresh lemon zest is dangerously addictive! Oh yummmmmmmmmmy!! 

This a perfect consolation dessert in the cold wet weather, when you just want to snuggle up with a book in a cosy corner somewhere. And the rich welcome aroma of warm cinnamon and chocolate fills the house while these are baking - good for chasing away the pre-winter blues methinks! :-)

Makes 14 medium sized muffins. Vegan.

Moist, fluffy and bursting with goodies and sweet spice flavors. . .

Approx 2 1/4 cups sprouted wheat pancake and waffle mix (Arrowhead Mills)
Approx 1 cup sprouted wheat flour (Arrowhead Mills)
1 heaped tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
A pinch of clove powder
A pinch of sea salt
2 TBSP lemon zest
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger (Trader Joe's)
1 cup frozen organic blueberries

Mix all dry ingredients. Add lemon zest, choc chips and candied ginger. Mix, then add frozen blueberries and mix again.

Blend together the following til smooth:
I banana
1 1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup safflower oil
1 TBSP vanilla essence
 Approx 1/2 cup of water

Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix evenly. Fill into paper muffin cases in a muffin tray. Allow to sit for 20 mins or more before baking. 

Make sure you lightly oil the muffin tray to avoid burning the muffin cases and muffins while baking. Bake for approx 35 mins in a pre-heated oven at 380 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Peel off paper cases from the muffins before completely cooled. Offer with love and serve with tea, or however you desire. Very more-ish!! :-)

Basil Lime Potato wraps

Good evening folks! :-)

On this wet, cold, indoor weather day I decided we needed filling comfort food for lunch. Brrrrrr it really feels like winter is coming, I'm already missing the sun and it's only September! 

So I did a twist on the traditional Indian paratha (stuffed griddle bread) - which is usually ghee laden - and decided to make it into vegan wrap! :-) 

Potato's and fresh basil seemed like a lovely combination - add a squeeze of lime juice to give it a little tartness - and coconut oil to replace the ghee. That's a bunch of lovely flavors right there!!!

Make approx 10-12 large paratha's.

1 cup sprouted wheat flour
1 cup sprouted wheat pancake and waffle mix
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 TBSP dried basil
2 TBSP coconut oil
warm water as needed to make an elastic dough

Mix all dry ingredients. Add coconut oil and water and mix evenly. Knead to an elastic dough and let sit for minimum 20 minutes.

I bunch green asparagus, washed and removed from woody part of stem, snapped in halves
1 tsp curry powder
pinch asafoetida
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt

Heat pan, add coconut oil, add spices. Stir-fry a few seconds and throw in the asparagus halves. Add a few TBSP water, cover and cook for 7 mins or so. Sprinkle with salt and remove from heat. Use this to garnish the paratha's later.

6 medium red russet potato's, sliced and steamed
2 TBSP coconut oil
1/2 cup fresh basil washed and chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp blk pepper
1/2 tsp asafoetida

Mash the potato's with the above ingredients. Set aside to cool.

Roll dough into golf ball sized rounds. Roll out into a thick circle. Add 2 TBSP of filling.

 Pull edges of circle together over the filling like a drawstring purse. Squeeze closed, making sure its fully sealed.

Gently flatten in palms and using a rolling pin, roll out as thinly as possible without breaking the pastry.

Heat a cast iron griddle, adding 1 tsp of coconut oil. Place paratha on hot griddle and allow each side to cook. Add more coconut oil as needed.

It should be dappled dark and golden brown. Stack the paratha's on a flat dish to soften. Makes approx 10-12 medium thick paratha's.

Spread homemade chickpea sesame hummus or another dip of your choice on one side of each paratha. Carefully and tightly roll paratha's up like a pancake. Cut it in half. 

Gently spear 2 curried asparagus onto a toothpick and push into each half of rolled paratha wrap. Drizzle with a zigzag of ketchup or pesto or whatever sauce you like. Serve with love! :-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Creamy Dreamy Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake

Good evening folks! :-)

So I had another wonderful creative day in the kitchen experimenting with how to make delicious vegan desserts and this dreamy creamy chocolate blueberry cheesecake is the result! I got inspired by recipe I found online and made it my own. :-)

Madhva, Kunti and I love this combination of melt in your mouth chocolate frosting with the tart blueberries and the hint of cardamom spice which adds a new dimension of flavor. :-) This is Madhva's favorite of all the vegan cheesecakes I have made so far. As we savored this we were exclaiming that if vegan cheesecake can taste this good and light on the tummy then we will have no desire to eat a dairy cheesecake ever again! :-) 

Easily serves 8 generous helpings. :-) Its vegan, no-bake, raw, and contains all good ingredients - can you beat that?!  Made with love and honored with joy. :-)

Cheesecake Base:

1 cup organic toasted walnuts
1/2 cup organic toasted almonds
Approx 1/4 cup organic cocoa powder (optional)

11/4  cup organic mejool dates, pits removed (if you skip the cocoa powder, then 
also remove 1/4 cup of the dates)
1 tsp organic vanilla essence
A pinch of sea salt

Whiz the nuts in a spice grinder til fairly fine. Chop and mash up the dates. 
Then evenly mix the nuts, dates vanilla and salt, kneading it into a smooth patty.
Press evenly onto the base of a spring form pan covered in grease-proof paper 
smeared lightly with coconut oil. Lightly oil sides of the spring form pan too.

Creamy Berry Filling:

4 cups frozen blueberries
2 cups organic raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1/2 cup pure organic maple syrup 

8 TBSP organic virgin cold pressed coconut oil (melted)
2 TBSP fresh lemon and lime juice
11/2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup organic shredded coconut
Strawberries, kiwi's and blueberries to garnish

Blend the following until smooth and creamy: 
3 cups of the blueberries, cashews,maple syrup, coconut oil, lime juice, vanilla extract, cardamom and salt. Set aside.

Arrange 1 cup of blueberries over the crust pressing them lightly into the crust. 

Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top (to help absorb the water from the frozen 
berries. (The cake will also taste just fine without the extra berries so this entire 
step is optional).Pour the berry filling over this or the plain base - as you choose.

Put it in freezer for approx 10 mins to set a little. Then garnish the top with cut 
strawberries, kiwi fruits and blueberries, pressing them lightly into the top so they 
are even with the face of the filling.

Place in freezer for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight to set fully.
Remove from freezer approx 1 hour before serving to soften and keep in the fridge. 

Take it out of the spring form pan and base. Place on a flat cake plate of your 
choice. Be aware - if it thaws out fully it will basically just melt like ice cream - so 
keep chilled.

This is how mine looked after a night in the freezer and an hour of thawing out - I 
already garnished with flowers and sprinkled the sides with shredded coconut to 
absorb moisture because it looked a little mushy.

Chocolate frosting cream:

2 medium sized perfectly ripe avocados, peeled and sliced, remove any dark spots/blemishes
Approx 1 cup maple syrup
Approx 1 cup of organic cocoa powder
Approx 3-4 TBSP extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil or to taste
Approx 1 tsp vanilla essence
4 mejool dates, pitted

Blend everything together til silky smooth. Put into a piping bag with a small round hole nozzle. Seal and set in fridge overnight.

Before serving the cheesecake decorate it with the frosting cream as you like - I did a retro filigree design - above. Garnish with flowers and shredded coconut if you like.

Very delicious! I served with an extra dollop of the chocolate mouse which I'd used for the frosting - Yummy! :-) 

Dig in folks! Look at that creamy texture, oh la la! :-D