Black Bean Tacos And Cashew Cream

After a full day at work, a bike ride home, and a good bit of homework waiting for me, I was not only hungry but wanted something fast and easy. A quick look around the kitchen and it’s decided. I had a can of black beans, taco shells, and cashews. Black bean tacos with a cashew cream.

Unless you, unlike me, planned ahead and soaked your cashews for about an hour, boil some water and soak 1 cup of cashews while you do the rest of your work.

Rinse out your can of black beans and add them to a medium sized sauce pan.
I minced 1/4 of an onion (use onion powder if you don’t have an onion) and mixed it in.
I tossed in 2 tsps minced garlic (can substitute garlic powder)
Mix in 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, and a dash of red pepper flakes
Deglaze with 1-2 tbsp water or veggie broth, mix well, and mash up some of the beans in the process.

Prepare your taco shells as instructed.

Drain your cashews, and put them in your blender. I used my Vitamix, blends it up nice and smooth in not a lot of time. Blend the cashews a bit and then add 3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp water, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp minced garlic, a couple dashes pink Himalayan salt, and a couple tsps Siracha. Blend thoroughly scraping down the sides as you go to make sure you get it all nice and smooth. If it’s too thick for your liking, just add a bit more lemon juice or water.

Put your beans in the taco shells, top with the cashew cream, and enjoy!

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Lemon Rosemary Fox Cookies

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My lovely friend, Helly, is pregnant with her baby boy Fox. This weekend was her shower so I made her a few things. Cookies are required, so I made her a batch of Sal’s cookies. I wanted to make something else and she loves rosemary and I love lemon with rosemary making this recipe an easy decision.

Lemon Rosemary Fox Cookies-
½ c earth balance buttery spread – softened
¼ c vegan sugar
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp fresh rosemary- minced
A couple dashed pink Himalayan salt
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the buttery spread with the sugar and mix thoroughly. Once well combined, add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix well. Mix in the flour, then the rosemary and salt.
Roll into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350.
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Roll out and cut the cookies into whatever shape you would like and then bake for 8-10 minutes.

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My favorite DIY lotion

I love this lotion. It’s full of all sorts of goodness that help remove free radicals, promotes collagen restoration, and helps with scars and stretch marks as well as ingredients to promote calmness and relaxation.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup grape seed oil
2 tbsp calendula flowers
1/4 tsp powdered ginger root
1  tbsp chamomile flowers
1 tbsp lavender buds
1 cup shea butter
1/4 cup cocoa butter
1 tsp lavender essential oil

In a small pot, boil about a cup or two of water. Place a glass jar in the pot and in the jar, combine the grape seed oil and ginger, flowers, and buds. Lower heat to barely boiling and let sit for about 30 minutes to infuse the oil. Using a cheese cloth or mesh strainer, strain out the buds and put the oil in a new glass jar. Put the oil only jar into the pot and add butters. Stir occasionally and heat until melted through. Once melted, remove jar from heat. Allow it to cool and mix in lavender oil. Refrigerate until hardened and then mix thoroughly to give it a nice texture.

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Very Vanilla Vegan Ice Cream – Single Serving

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I usually make my ice cream with coconut milk, but wanted to try to switch that up a bit since I don’t always have coconut milk handy. I was please with how this came out but may try a little more creamer next time to thicken it up (or just be a bit more patient). Either due to my impatience or not enough creamer, this came out a bit more like a soft serve, which is in no way a complaint! Since I was just experimenting, I made a single serving recipe. This is easily doubled if you feel like sharing or just want more ice cream!
I used an ice cream machine. I keep the tub for my ice cream machine in the freezer at all times so it’s ready to go whenever I get the urge to make something.

1 cup vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup soy creamer
a couple dashes pink Himalayan salt
1 vanilla bean
whatever you’d like to mix in!

Combine the almond milk, creamer, and salt in a pot and turn to medium heat. While that’s heating up, slice your vanilla bean. I scooped out a bit and mixed it in, and then cut the beans in half width wise and tossed them in the mix. That way I know I’m getting as much vanilla in there as I can. Stir until it begins to boil, then remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Set up your prepared ice cream machine. Pour mixture in and let it get to work! While mine was mixing away, I chopped and toasted a few walnuts and chopped up a couple Dandies vegan marshmallows. Once the ice cream mixture was starting to thicken, I tossed those in and waited. Patience is key with the ice cream making, so just try to keep busy while it’s thickening up!

Sal’s Cookies

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Last night we decided we wanted a little sweet snack. I had suggested maybe some ice cream, we had coconut milk in the fridge and I could throw it in the ice cream maker with some vanilla bean, but that would take a bit. I mentioned cookies, and Sal asked what I could put in them. Thinking about it, I realized we not only had chocolate chips, but we also had walnuts and vegan marshmallows. The decision was made that a batch of cookies had to happen. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so everything got tossed into one bowl, mixed, baked, and I was pretty pleased with the results. Here’s the recipe for what I will call Sal’s Cookies since they were made with him in mind:

1/2 cup brown sugar (I used Wholesome Sweeteners brand)
1/4 cup vegan sugar (I used Organic Sugar brand granulated)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond milk
1 1/2 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1/4 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cups chopped, toasted walnuts (pop in the oven while it’s preheating for 10 minutes or so)
1/4 cup chopped vegan marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 2 pans with parchment paper. Once at at least 100, place walnuts on one of the prepared pans and let sit in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Combine sugars, oil, milk, and mix well. Add tapioca flour and vanilla and mix. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt. Once everything is well combined, fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and marshmallows.
Place tablespoons or spoonfuls of the cookie dough about an inch apart and bake for 15 minutes until they are lightly golden brown around the edge.
Let cool at least 10 minutes before eating and enjoy!

Mom’s Berry Cake

This week is my mom’s and my little brother’s birthdays! I was lucky enough to spend the day with my mom yesterday. Before going to see her though, I wanted to make something extra special for her. This recipe is the result, and it was delicious! My mom isn’t too big on sweets, so I halved this recipe to make the layers thin.

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Mom’s Berry Cake

Cake:

Ingredients:
Combined: 1/4 c flax meal + 1/2 c water
2 1/4 c unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 c tapioca flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 c raw sugar
1 1/2 c almond milk
4 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 2 8″ round cake pans. Prepare your flax and water combo and set aside.
Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda in a medium bowl, mix well and set aside.
Combine almond milk, coconut oil, extracts, sugar and mix well. Add the flax mixture and mix thoroughly.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mix until just combined and no clumps.
Pour mixture evenly into your cake pans, and bake for 17-20 minutes. (A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean) Let cool before icing.

Raspberry Puree (for between the layers)
1 pint raspberries, rinsed
2 tbsp raw sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:
Combine in a saucepan and cook until sugar is melted and raspberries have been broken down, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain to remove seeds. (I used a strainer and set it on top of a bowl while I did everything else, this gets it strained and lets it cool)

Vanilla butter cream frosting:

1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tbsp vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat shortening and margarine together until well combined. If you would like the frosting a bit stiffer, do a bit more shortening and a bit less margarine. Once combined and fluffy, add the sugar and beat thoroughly for several minutes. Add vanilla and almond milk and mix well for several more minutes until you have a delicious fluffy frosting. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

frosting recipe from: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Berries:

2 cups strawberries, stemmed&halved (I remove the stem by cutting it in a V at the top, it results in an almost heart shape)
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/4 cup water
several dashes orange zest

Combine all in a bowl, and let marinate until you are ready to use them.
Apricot Glaze for berries:
1/2 c apricot preserves
1 tbsp water

Heat preserves and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat. Let cool until just slightly warm, and then brush the berries with it.

Assemble the cake! Frost the bottom layer, doing the sides a little bit higher up. Slowly add raspberry puree to the center of the cake, and spread it out with a spoon or spatula. Don’t feel obligated to use all of it, I saved some of mine for future use. Place the top layer on the bottom and frost the top and sides. Apply berries as you like! I alternated strawberry/blueberry around the bottom and then did blueberries all around the top edge, and then wrote out “MOM” in strawberries and blueberries on the top and trimmed one of the strawberry halves to look more heart shaped. I recommend placing berries in whatever way you prefer around the bottom. After that, you could a layer of berries covering the top, you could do a lovely cluster in the center, you could make a shape or write something, have fun with it!

Carrot Cake Pancakes and Easter goodies!

I’m sorry for the lack of posts, school has me pretty busy when I’m not in work. I have more posts coming for you and will be working on that this week! Until then, here are some of my favorite vegan suggestions for Easter weekend!

Carrot Cake Pancakes!

This is how I plan on starting our Easter:

1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup vanilla almond milk
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
dash of powdered ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup finely shredded carrots
Optional garnish: chopped walnuts

A pre-heated non-stick pan is great here, but if you don’t have one, just lightly oil a skillet and preheat.
Combine dry ingredients and mix well until there are no clumps.
Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Fold in shredded carrots.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake and cover. Let cook several minutes, just past when it bubbles. The pancake will look slightly cooked on top. Flip, cover, and allow to cook for a couple more minutes until lightly browned. Repeat until batter is used up. Makes about 6 pancakes.
I recommend topping with some toasted chopped walnuts, earth balance buttery spread, and pure maple syrup! Enjoy!

Now those pancakes are going to do a little sweet tooth satisfying, but I think a bit more sugar is expected during these festivities! Chocolate Covered Katie has a fantastic list of recipes to cover you on that:

Chocolate Covered Katie’s healthier swaps for your favorite Easter treats! I can’t wait to make some peanut butter eggs!

I will be making this magical PPK recipe:

~10 small yukon gold potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

3/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
A big pinch black pepper

For garnish:
Sweet paprika
Fresh dill

Follow the link for directions and a pretty tempting picture of these lovely babies!

Given the chance, there will be a bit more playing in the kitchen this week. Hopefully I’ll have more new recipes for you soon!