“There is Nothing Like A Dream to Create the Future” – Victor Hugo. I think that’s so true. What we dream of, and what we think, absolutely sculpt our reality. I could get really deep with that whole thing, but I know you’re just really wanting to know if those are real, vegan, gluten free, Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls in the picture above, and I am happy to say, YES, they are!! As if vegan, gluten free chocolate cinnamon rolls aren’t enough, these babies actually have mini chocolate chips rolled into them, and they are glazed with a Chocolate Gourmet Espresso Glaze!! The rolls are great, but the glaze really takes these to the next level! So, these are pretty much proving that quote right… I have been dreaming of cinnamon rolls ever since I went gluten free about 5 years ago, and that time I saw a photo of cinnamon rolls baked in a cast iron skillet, I knew that must be in my future! So let’s talk about how to get these fluffy, chocolate COFFEE cinnamon rolls into your future….
Vegan and Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Scones?!!! Yes!! Ok, the first thing I have to say about this recipe is, I ❤❤❤ strawberries, photography, and anything pink or red, so shooting these pictures was A LOT of fun! Spring is definitely in full swing here in Southern California, and one of the best parts of this season, is fresh, juicy, organic strawberries! I live near the coast and they grow a lot of strawberries around here, so they are showing up in big gorgeous flats at the farmer’s markets, so how can you resist? I *might* have over bought this past weekend, and once I got them home thought, ‘what am I going to do with all of these berries?’! They don’t last long and I seem to be the only one in my house that is completely in love with them. This love of strawberries runs deep with me. When I was a kid, my favorite toys were my Strawberry Shortcake dolls. My favorite book was “The Strawberry Dress Escape” by Crescent Dragonwagon. My mom made dresses for me with strawberries on them, and my room was decked out with.. you guessed it… Strawberry Shortcake. Oh, and my favorite treats, Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Milkshakes, Strawberry Pie, you get the idea… So when I got the idea for these Strawberries and Cream Scones, I worked on the recipe until it was up to my strawberry obsessed standards, and now I’m so excited to share it with you!! The recipe is easy to put together and they don’t take long to bake, so you need to make these ASAP! These yummy scones are prefect for serving for breakfast, brunch (Mother’s Day!) or at tea time… and you can eat them for dessert too, they are just that delicious!
I could have called this smoothie, the ‘New Blender Celebration Smoothie’, but I thought it might sound a little better if I went with ‘Banana Date Protein Smoothie’. I am celebrating though, because I just got a new blender!(Please read that in your best Oprah voice…) Yay! I bought a Ninja blender about 3 or 4 years ago and I LOVED it! I used it almost every.single.day, at least once, but a lot of times more than once! After so much lovin’, and lots and lots of ice blending, my blades were getting a little dull. I had my hubby sharpen them with his handy, dandy, knife sharpener, and that worked pretty well, and I could have kept using it for quite a while, but I still kinda wanted a new one. And then it happened… my husband was doing his regular hero things around the house which included the DISHES (thank you!!), and he accidentally knocked the blender off of the counter, and it landed in just the right way to split it down the side! I admit that I am so hopelessly addicted to this smoothie that I used it in the morning, crack and all, with a towel wrapped around it ( I know, embarassing, right?) but then I promptly bought a new one. And the new one is even more awesome than my older one! It came with some large smoothie cups with lids and a separate ‘nutrient extraction blade’, which I haven’t used yet, but I’m sure I’ll be appreciating the professionally extracted nutrients! 😉 I know some people spend a few hundred dollars on super fancy blenders, and I’m sure they’re totally awesome, but I’ve never had one of those and I don’t know what I may or may not be missing. I just know that this blender rocks out my smoothies! So, if you’ve been thinking about a new blender, be careful what you wish for, because yours may just fall right off the counter top! Law of Attraction – It’s powerful! Now let’s talk about a smoothie that is so yummy, it’s fit for christening my new blender!
Vegan Broccoli ‘Beef’?! Yep. This is happening! It’s make-over time!! Traditional Broccoli Beef gets a vegan, gluten free make-over, with meaty, succulent, portabello mushrooms standing in for the beef. (That’s why the ” around ‘Beef’ in the title of this recipe!) Subbing portabello mushrooms for beef in this recipe takes the cholesterol down to ZERO (all plant based foods contain no cholesterol, so if you need to lower yours, eating more plant based foods is a great start!), and they are also a good source of protein and iron. Oh, and let’s not forget to say that this recipe is DELICIOUS! That’s fairly important right?! You will definitely enjoy the full flavors of the sauce and the crunch of broccoli cooked just until it’s crisp, tender. I know that you have food on your mind, so let’s get right into it!…
From some of the best food blogs on the web, here is a round up post of 15 Vegan Mexican Food Recipes that you simply MUST TRY! You’ll be glad you did! Vegan Churros?! Yes, please!! There’s everything here to make a feast. Let the fiesta begin!
1. Enchilada Breakfast Casserole
In my last post, I gave you a recipe for Vegan Breakfast Eggs, and today, I’m going to give you a recipe that uses that same tofu scramble as a layer in this delicious, enchilada inspired, breakfast casserole! This is a favorite dish with my family and friends! It can be made in a deep skillet, dutch oven, or in baking dish. It doesn’t take long to put together, (Make sure you scroll down for my quick video!!) and it’s packed with protein and fiber, so it’s really satisfying! I’ve made this for breakfast many times while we were camping in our RV, and even when we were tent camping at the beach, because you only need one pan! (I brought the tofu, corn tortillas, cheese, and sliced zucchini in the cooler, and I cooked it on a Coleman camping stove! So fun and DELICIOUS!!). And this enchilada casserole isn’t just for breakfast, I give you permission to make it for dinner anytime you want to rock out a delicious casserole! I make this frequently for friends when we are having company (friends who aren’t vegan), and it’s a real crowd pleaser. So, let’s get to the good part! Layers of “eggs”, corn tortillas, Enchilada sauce, vegan cheddar cheese, pinto beans, corn, and zucchini! OMG! I can’t wait for you to try this! Seriously… you probably have most of the ingredients in your house already!!
As a vegan, I get more questions about replacing eggs as a food, or in a recipe, than any other ingredient – even more than cheese! Eggs are such a staple in most people’s diets, and they can’t imagine life without them. Whether you decide to stop eating eggs in favor of a plant based diet, or because they don’t agree with you or with a loved one, don’t fear! I’ve got your back with this recipe for Vegan Eggs!
There are so many ways to make vegan eggs for substitutes in baked goods, and that’s a post in and of itself, but a quick list is, bananas, flax seeds, chia seeds, bean brine (What?! See this post on my Melt in Your Mouth Cornbread to learn more about that one!), etc, and there are even some commercial ones available. It’s not as hard as you might think. (Here’s a muffin recipe with coconut yogurt as an egg replacer) However, one of the things that you will quickly want to learn when cutting eggs out of your diet, is a what to make for breakfast on those days when you want a really satisfying, old school, scrambled eggs type breakfast! So today’s recipe is for just such an occasion! This is a recipe that anyone who is either vegan, or just can’t do eggs, must have in their arsenal. It is fast, easy, and satisfying. I’ve taught this recipe or some variation of it at all of my cooking classes. And the best part is that it’s really versatile! (Which may be a BIG TEASE for the subject of my next post!! It involves these vegan breakfast eggs, and a lot of Mexican flavors and yumminess, and that’s all I’m going to say for now!) Seriously, this is a recipe that you will want to master, because vegan breakfast doesn’t have to be all smoothies and oatmeal, it can be whatever you can dream it to be. Just start with this really basic recipe for scrambled breakfast tofu, and eat it as is, or get creative! It’s great with veggies mixed in, with salsa on top, with vegan cheese, etc! Oh, it doesn’t have to be just for breakfast! My kids love it when I make this for dinner! I throw some vegan jack cheese, and a bag of frozen broccoli or spinach into the scramble when it’s almost done, and serve it with toast! There’s seriously so many options! Leave a comment at the end of this post and let me know what kinds of dishes you dream up!
What comes to mind when you think of Chili? Comfort Food, right? Chili has that wonderful, comfort food ability to make you feel that all is right with the world! It’s warm, it’s filling, and most of us grew up eating it, so there’s that home cooked meal – memory thing built into your thoughts on chili! That’s why, when I decided to make a post about chili, I decided to do a classic chili. Sure, we could get fancy and add all kind of new fangled chili ingredients, like lentils, and mangos or something, but when it comes to chili, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Am I right? Let’s go with yes, at least for the duration of this post… 🙂 This recipe is not spicy either, so you can add your own heat when you’re cooking it, or if you have kiddos at the table, you can let each person spice it to their liking. I like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce with mine, and the hubby goes Tabasco or some kind of local, artisan hot sauce, he’s a bit of a connoisseur of hot hot sauces! My boys like it just as is. Another great thing about chili is that it is so versatile. I’m talking in a bowl, on top of chips with melted cheese, on a baked potato, on a veggie dog, you know where I’m going with this right? Yes! Tell me what you like to eat chili on or with, so we can all get inspired together!!
As you can see from the photos, I made some yummy (vegan/GF) cornbread with this batch! Recipe here! It takes just a few minutes to whip up, and you will be so glad you did!
Sometimes I make some bold claims with my recipe titles, like The Best Stuffed Mushrooms Ever or my Super Amazing Green Smoothie, but it’s just because I get really, really excited about yummy recipes, and this Melt in Your Mouth Vegan Cornbread, is no exception. It’s really that good, and I promise, it will live up to it’s title! It’s Vegan and Gluten free, and it is AWESOME with chili, soup, or even as a snack with some butter, or jelly. I made mine in a cast iron pan because this one is so cute, and I needed an excuse to use it, but also because it was kind of a bucket list thing for me. I once saw my step-mom’s father, who was a real character BTW, make corn bread in a cast iron skillet, and I was VERY impressed! I had never seen anyone do this before, and it was really, super cool. I was about 10…. Is it normal for an 10 year old to get that impressed by a cooking technique? Um, ok. Moving on…. I LOVE learning new stuff and especially when it’s kitchen and/or photography related. Anyways, this cornbread recipe is super easy and fluffy and yummy, and today, my friend, YOU might learn something new!! I can’t wait to tell you about it, so let’s dig in!
Have you ever heard of aquafaba? Yeah, neither had I until a few ago, but since then it’s kinda been rocking my world! It’s a cool new way to replace eggs in baked goods, and it works GREAT!! The best part is that you probably have it RIGHT NOW in your cabinet? Ok, I’ll stop teasing you. Time to spill the beans… (A little Aquafaba humor, anyone?) It’s the liquid that canned beans come packed in! Whaaat??? I know it sounds crazy, but it actually works! This egg like liquid will actually whip up into a thick cream and can be baked as meringues (you have to add a few things), or used as is, straight for the can to replace eggs in baked goods. The liquid has a texture that is VERY similar to egg whites. I will definitely be posting more recipes using aquafaba soon! In the meantime, look up the Vegan Meringue Hit and Misses Facebook Group, and see all of the wonderful creations people are coming up with. I’ve seen Lemon Meringue Pies, breads, cookies, gingerbread houses, and even a gingerbread version of the Grand Budapest Hotel! Before you go crazy and start constructing your own version of the Empire States Building or something with your own aquafaba creation, let’s start with something a little more basic, and um, practical, and delicious with Chili!! Really, this is the perfect recipe to try it out with, it’s easy. Oh, and there’s no complicated Gluten Free flour blends or weird ingredients to source! Just two flours. That’s it.
Speaking of chili, it has lots of beans! Lots of beans = lots of aquafaba to play with! I made a big pot of chili, and I used some of the liquid from the beans to replace the eggs in this cornbread recipe. It was really that easy, you don’t have to whip it or anything, just put the liquid into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and it works it’s magic! Because I made chili, with kidney beans, the aquafaba had a slight pinkish tint to it, but it’s definitely fine in this recipe. If you were making a white icing or a meringue with the aquafaba, I’d recommend liquid from a can of garbanzo (chickpea) or cannellini beans, as it’s more clear.
In case you’re wondering why the butter (vegan margarine) looks curly like that, I grated it because grating your butter is supposed to help give your baked goods a fluffier texture. This has a fluffy texture. Not sure if the grated butter helped, but it was fun. You are supposed to freeze your butter first, and then grate it, and I kinda skipped that step, so it was a little messy, but whatever!
You can mix the batter by hand (that’s what I did here), or with a mixer. Either way, mix all of your ingredients until the batter is thoroughly mixed and the batter is thickened, about 1 minute by hand, half of that in a mixer, and then spoon into pan and bake.
There’s really nothing to it! If you’re like me, you’ll be standing there, at the oven door, watching the cornbread get fluffy in the oven. Aquafaba is amazing, and so fun to play with! I can’t even wait to share my next aquafaba adventure with you! I’ll give you a teaser… it involves CHOCOLATE!! Lots of chocolate! Make sure you get on my email list, or follow me on Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss anything!! If you’ve tried this recipe, or another recipe with aquafaba, post it in the comments! I’d love to hear about your adventures too!
P.S. Click Here for my Classic Chili Recipe! It goes great with this cornbread!!
- 1½ C Corn Flour (not corn starch or cornmeal)
- ½ C White Sorghum Flour
- ¼ C chilled vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks), grated
- 1½ C unsweetened Almond Milk, Coconut Milk or other unsweeened, non-dairy milk of choice
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t sugar
- ½ t sea salt
- ½ baking soda
- 7 Tblsp. aqaufaba
- Preheat oven to 450*. Grease cast iron skillet or 8x8 baking dish. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl, and mix for 30 seconds (by hand) or 1 minute in a mixer. When ingredients are thoroughly mixed and batter is thickened, add to pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through, and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission from Amazon. It helps me keep the blog running, so if you do purchase after reading my post, that’s awesome, thanks! Most importantly, I just want to inspire you, and be inspired by you. I never endorse products that I don’t use, or don’t believe in. When I do find something that I’m passionate about, or that I believe will help my readers, I like to share it! 🙂
Brussel Sprouts are yummy, and water doesn’t really rust your pipes…
If you know me at all, (and I hope that you will read my blog often!) you know that my Grandfather was a V.I.P. in my life. I could fill volumes on how much he meant to me, and to everyone who knew him, as there was really something special about him.
But there was one particular thing about him, that is relevant to this post…. He was super fun. He was always joking around with my brothers and I, and playing games with us, and telling us stories. Because I looked up to him so much, and also because I’m very gullible, I believed everything he told me. (Well, almost everything… I didn’t really believe that drinking water would rust your pipes..) He once told me that he liked every vegetable, EXCEPT for brussel sprouts, and that they were terrible. So I honestly went through my whole life believing that brussel sprouts are terrible and I never. even. tried them! I was brussel sprout curious, I must admit, but I didn’t do it. And then a few years ago, a friend of mine brought a large stalk of brussel sprouts to my house for a BBQ (yes, she’s a total hippy), and she proceeded to prepare them, with just oil, salt, and pepper. The curiosity got the better of me! And you know what? They were great, but you probably already guessed that, because I wouldn’t have made a whole post and recipe about them if they weren’t amazing! I honestly think that most people, (including my Grandfather) don’t like brussel spouts because of the way they are prepared. Brussel Sprouts actually taste a lot like cabbage, so if you like cabbage, chances are, you’ll like brussel sprouts. They should be eaten steamed, until they are crisp tender, or roasted, like in this recipe. So if you’ve been on the fence about brussel sprouts, please, give this recipe for roasted brussel sprouts a try, you’ll be glad you did!