Crash Test Vegetarian

Vegan to Omnivore outreach program

No Bake Crack Balls

No, they aren’t the testicles of crack cocaine, they are little balls of concentrated awesome that just so happen to have crack-like addictive properties.

Ok, maybe that’s a LITTLE bit of a stretch.  But not much!!  I made these for the first time 2 weeks ago and have had to make them 3 time since.

These little bites were an answer to my poor little one’s cry for something to eat.  He hit his picky-as-hell phase, but he was always hungry cause he wouldn’t eat ANYTHING.  So I made these, hoping he’d enjoy them, and enjoy them he did.    The original recipe included mini chocolate chips, but that seemed a bit overboard, and after tasting them – I agree that it would have been.    These are extremely rich as they are, they’re high in fat, so these are not a snack on a few hand fulls of them kind of treat.

Prior to these, the only thing he would eat is tofu cubes that I’d bake with my Tofu Lo Mein recipe or Tofu Rice Casserole, which I was totally sick of.

Thankfully he’s doing better now.  For some reason after he tasted these, he seemed to trust my cooking again.  =P

My husband pops them here and there when he refuses to eat cause he’s too busy with whatever.  And I bring 2 or 3 of them to work for a quick breakfast.

If you’ve read my blog before, you know how I feel about complicating recipes that really do not need to be complicated, and this super easy recipe is going to be no different.

So here it is:

Mix the dry team together.  And don’t get any of sweetened coconut crap from the grocery store, you need to get some quality unsweetened shredded coconut.  I got mine in bulk from the local health food store.

Mix the wet team together.  You can use honey, agave, or even maple syrup – but you need a nice sticky liquid sweetener.  And, if you use natural, unsweetened peanut butter, you may need to taste it and add a pinch of salt or more sweetener.  I used standard store-bought peanut butter, which I think is perfect for this.  You also may want to microwave the peanut butter and sweetener for about 30 seconds or so to soften it and make mixing easier.

Mix it all up.

Now that you’ve got it all mixed up, let it sit in the fridge for 30 – 60 minutes to firm up a bit, and press (not roll, it will just fall apart) into little balls.

Store in the fridge.  Eat sparingly. 🙂

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Watermelon Granita (aka Slushy!)

Watermelon Granita

When your husband says, “Hey maybe we should use the blender,” you may want to listen.

I did not.

And I made one HELL of a mess.  For some reason I thought this would be better made in the food processor.  What the heck was I thinking?  So I whirred away, and next thing I know there’s watermelon juice coming out of spots in my food processor that I didn’t even know were open!  Yes.

It even seeped out from UNDER the processor bowl.  You know how?  Somehow, SOMEHOW, I managed to get watermelon up and UNDER the blade-mabob-thingy.  And if that wasn’t enough, it spun so high, it started leaking out from under the lid.   I ALMOST took photos.  Almost.

Thankfully my husband didn’t laugh, point,  and say, “I told you so!”  Although, he could have rightfully done so.  He just handed me a paper towel.  I’ll bet he was laughing in his head though!

The second batch (yes, I made a second one after the first one turned out so great I knew I had to share it with all my friends) was made using the blender – where all things fruity should be chopped up.

Next is strawberries…  Thanks to 365 Scoops for the inspiration!

Choppa choppa
Some seedless watermelon (let your blender be your guide – fill-her-up!)

Into a small saucepan, pour out a small amount of the mixture (about 1/2 a cup or so, no need to measure) and combine
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (or equivelent substitutes) depending on the sweetness of your watermelon (and don’t EVEN tell me you didn’t taste it)

When the sugar is completely dissolved, add sugar/watermelon mixture back into the blender along with
1-2 Tbsp Vodka (optional – you can’t taste it – or more if you want some fun, it helps keep it from freezing solid)
2-3 Tbsp Lime juice

Blendy, blendy  for a few seconds to mix it all up then pour mixture into a large glass baking dish or rimmed baking sheet / jelly roll pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and throw in the freezer.

Depending on your freezer (ours took hours to even start freezing, it sucks!), you’ll either need to start the scraping process when it’s frozen a little bit.  With a spoon or fork to scrape away at the top layer.  Uh…. just see the pictures. Yeah.

watermelon granita

Then keep freezing it, and scrape the rest of it!  If you don’t know what to do from here on out, there’s just no help for you.

watermelon granita

Noms.

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Is it a pancake or is it a cobbler?

Whatever it is, it’s delicious and it’s filled with blueberries.  What’s not to love?    We whipped it up in less than 5 minutes.  It reminded us of a blueberry pancake.  It was slightly sweet, but not overpowering.  He topped his with a little bit of maple syrup to make it sweeter, but I liked it just the way it was.

vegan blueberry cobler

This is supposed to be made in a cake or pie pan, something where the batter has a chance to spread out, but I didn’t have either, so I used a bread pan and it came out just fine.  It doesn’t look so pretty but it was delicious.  It really reminded me a blueberry pancake, but with lots more blueberries!

My picture does this NO justice.  Next time we have company for brunch, I will definitely be making this.  I have yet to have any real luck with making vegan pancakes, so this is a perfect solution… especially since I always top them with blueberries anyway.

We decided that this recipe would be equally appropriate for a breakfast or dessert.  And it really is in just the right place of sweetness that it could be appealing to anyone.   When we made it, we used “lite” syrup, but clearly it would taste even better with the real thing.

My recipe is a adaptation of the original which you can find at the Happy Herbivore.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together
     2/3 cup whole wheat flour
     1 1/2 tsp baking powder
     1/8 tsp salt
     2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a separate bowl (Or I just use my Pyrex measuring cup) combine
     2 tsp melted vegan margarine(or some apple sauce – this is optional but it will be dry otherwise)
     1/3 cup maple syrup (I used lite)
     2/3 cup non-dairy milk
     1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

Mix the wet team and dry team together and pour into a greased pie plate, 8×8 cake pan, etc…

Top with
     2 cups frozen blueberries

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until top is golden brown.  Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve as is, or topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or maple syrup.

I was really happy with how this turned out and really look forward to making it again.  My omnivore husband happily gobbled down half the recipe because it was so scrumptious, and I clearly never feed the poor guy!

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Peanut Butter Cups – Take 2! (Vegan)

So, last week I made an attempt at Coy Bettie’s Peanut Butter Cups.  I don’t even really know why I tried again – I really don’t eat sweets that much but man oh man do I love feeding people.

Peanut Butter Cups

The last time I tried, the cocoa I used was entirely too bitter.  It was not just bittersweet, it was 70%, which my taste buds were not prepared for.  After some research, I discovered I could make the chocolate milder with some added fats and more sugar.  So, if the original recipe wasn’t fatty enough…

From what I can figure out, adding cocoa butter is a great way to make it milder – but I didn’t have any, so I added sugar and Earth Balance.  I knew that it would solidify in the fridge, but I had my doubts about any counter stability and I was right.   Since I still used the original recipe, just modified it for my taste buds (aka fat and sugar to the chocolate), please refer back to the original recipe to try Coy Bettie’s Peanut Butter Cups.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t measure the Earth Balance or sugar, I just added a little at a time of both until it turned to a mild dark.

They turned out to be absolutely delicious.

No, really.  DELICIOUS.

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Vegan no-bake Sweet Treat (super easy)

Very rarely do I crave sweets, and even less so since becoming a vegan – but there’s one candy in particular that I miss that I’m on a mission to reproduce.

You will have to come back tomorrow for the finished product and recipe.  For now, feel free to guess what it is. 🙂

Warning: This is NOT a healthy food.

 

Yum!

Well, I don’t know for sure yet, it’s setting.  We shall find out tomorrow!

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