Frosted Blueberry Cake: MMAZ #30

BWV-Round2-April_thumb

For this week’s Meatless Monday from A-Z the mission is to cook a recipe that features blueberries. I haven’t made any of the recipes yet from last week’s Create with Blueberries linkup, but I did make this gorgeous Frosted Blueberry Cake from Healthy Happy Life.

For the past couple of years I’ve volunteered to make the birthday cakes (one for each sister) for my sisters’ birthday. Birthdays are a great excuse to try out a sweeter-than-usual dessert that I’ve been eyeing, and doing the baking, guarantees I’ll actually be able to eat something come dessert time. This year I couldn’t pass up Jem’s request for this Frosted Blueberry Cake.

IMG_1786

What I really love about this cake is that the actual cake is not too sweet, and pretty darn healthy. The flax, oats, applesauce, blueberries, and walnuts do the double duty of making the cake taste great, and providing some actual nutrients, instead of just empty calories. Without the frosting, this cake is more like a snack-cake than a true dessert, but as soon as you add the amazing coconut frosting, it is elevated to a beautiful dessert, perfect for any occasion. And the frosting really is amazing!

IMG_1770

I did make a couple of minor changes to the original recipe:
– I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. I rarely even buy all purpose flour anymore, and I’m always pleased with the results I get using whole wheat flour. As usual, when substituting whole wheat flour, I just had to add an extra little splash of nondairy milk when mixing the wet and dry together.
– I used ground flaxseeds.
– I choose to use coconut sugar.
– I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk in place of the soy milk.
– I couldn’t find any fresh blueberries, so I used frozen blueberries in the cake, and fresh raspberries for decorating.

In regards to the options listed in the original recipe, I used almond extract, I didn’t use any cinnamon, and I used walnuts.

IMG_1762IMG_1767

IMG_1772IMG_1773

IMG_1776

IMG_1778

IMG_1783

We really enjoyed this cake, and I will absolutely be using both the cake recipe and the frosting recipe again!

IMG_1789

I’ve shared this post with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 4/23/13.

You May Also Enjoy:
Title, Berry Chia Jam

Title, Blueberry Oat Scones

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Orange Avocado Scones: MMAZ #28

BWV-Round2-April_thumb

MMAZ stands for Meatless Mondays from A-Z. This is a weekly link up hosted by Better With Veggies where everyone links up a recipe featuring the ingredient of the week (it begins with an ingredient starting with the letter A and works through the alphabet).  The first round of MMAZ finished a while ago, and I didn’t end up contributing as much as I’d planned on.

Now, Round 2 has started and I am super excited about the new changes. This time around, each ingredient will be around for 2 weeks. The first week is CREATE week, where we are encouraged to create and share a recipe using the featured ingredient, and the second is COOK week, where you can cook someone else’s recipe using the featured ingredient (maybe one from the Create week) and share your experience. I really think the new Cook week will help a lot more people, including myself to participate more often.

The first ingredient for MMAZ is Avocado. Sadly, I missed the Create link up and just missed the Cook link up, but I did try one of the recipes submitted and wanted to share it with you anyway. Hopefully I can get myself in gear for next week!

These Blood Orange Avocado Scones from Sprint 2 the Table looked delicious and the thought of baking with avocado (probably the only way I’ve never used it) was very intriguing so I decided to give them a try.

IMG_1544IMG_1546

IMG_1547IMG_1550

IMG_1568

The only minor changes I made to the recipe, just based on what I had on hand, were to sub brown rice flour for half of the almond meal, and to use a regular orange in place of a blood orange.

This is the first time I’ve made gluten-free scones and I really enjoyed the texture and taste that the chickpea, almond, and brown rice flours give. The avocado really does make them “buttery” without affecting the taste at all and there is just enough orange flavour. I also really love the beautiful yellow colour of these scones. I’m pretty sure I will be making these again!

IMG_1569

IMG_1574

I’ve shared this post with Gluten Free Fridays #35.

Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I really like using frozen berries and chia seeds to make quick sauces for oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, and desserts.

100_3525100_3401100_3583
Instant Cranberry Sauce, Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce, Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Once I realized that I could make delicious healthy sauces like this, I knew that it would also be possible to make jam in the same way. It would just have to be a little thicker. I’ve also started seeing some recipes for chia jams spreading through the web.

The other day I was making soup and biscuits for dinner and was upset to find that I was all out of jam (an absolute must for me with home-made biscuits), until I realized it would be the perfect opportunity to try making some of my own. Now I only wish I’d tried it sooner!

IMG_1304

Now this is healthy home-made vegan comfort food! I’ll be posting about the soup (it’s kind of like minestrone) and the biscuits (from The Joy of Vegan Baking) soon.

This jam is super simple to make, as the chia seeds to most of the work for you, and has only a few ingredients. The results won’t taste exactly like store-bought jam, mainly because it will taste a lot more like fruit and a whole lot less like sugar. I don’t know about you, but jam that actually tastes like fruit, sounds like a great idea to me. Your home-made chia jam will also be free of additives, preservatives, and processed sugars and full of antioxidants, omega 3’s, calcium, iron, protein, and lots of fibre. This is guilt-free jam!

Title, Berry Chia Jam

I’ve been devouring this jam all week on biscuits, toast, oatmeal, and even vanilla ice cream. This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of jam, and I had no problem using it up in about four days.

When deciding how much to make, keep in mind that because this jam has no preservatives, additives, or massive amounts of sugar, it will not keep forever like store-bought jam. I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t want to leave it any more than one week.

Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam (Yields 1 cup)
2/3 cup blueberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
2/3 cup blackberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp coconut sugar (or to taste)

1) Using a blender, food processor, or hand blender, process the blueberries, blackberries, and vanilla just until there are no whole berries left. This took me about 2 seconds with my hand blender, which I’d recommend using if you have one, as it will leave  you with a lot less clean up than a blender or food processor.
2) Stir the chia seeds and sugar into the berry mixture. If you used a food processor or blender you’ll need to transfer the berry mixture into a different container first. You can use the sealable jar or container you’ll be storing your jam in.
3) Make sure the jam is in a sealed container (a mason jar works perfect) and place in the fridge overnight, or at least for a couple of hours. The chia seeds will soak up the liquid, gelatinize, and turn this into a jam-like consistency for you.
4) Keep your chia jam in a sealed container in the fridge. Enjoy!

IMG_1298IMG_1302

IMG_1300IMG_1306

Notes:
– I prefer the texture of ground chia seeds in my jam, but whole chia seeds will work as well. As I also prefer the texture of ground chia in things such as smoothies and puddings, I buy whole chia seeds, grind some with my coffee/spice grinder, and keep a small jar of this in my fridge. 
– While I’m sure that other berries or fruit could be substituted for the blueberries and blackberries, keep in mind that different fruits have different levels of moisture, which means you might need a different amount of chia to achieve a jam-like consistency.

IMG_1309

Silver Hills toast with almond butter and Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam. Yum!

I’ve shared this recipe with Healthy Vegan Friday #37Raw Food Thursdays (4/4/13),  Gluten Free Friday #34Wellness Weekends (Apr4-8/2013), and Meatless Monday A-Z #29 (Create w/ Blueberries.

BWV-Round2-April_thumb

Back to Basics: No-Mayo Coleslaw

IMG_0606

This may look like a boring bowl of shredded cabbage, but please trust me, it is anything but boring. This is my Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw and it boasts a fantastically bright tangy flavour, with just the right hint of sweetness.

I’ve never really been interested in coleslaw before and until a few months ago had never tried making it. All those creamy mayo-based ones have always kind of grossed me out. When I realized a great way to use up that big hunk of cabbage sitting in the fridge (and get a salad out of the deal while I was seriously low on other salad ingredients) would be to try making coleslaw the last thing I was interested in was a creamy vegan-mayo based recipe. After a bit of searching around through recipes I decided on my dressing ingredients. I know that if I cover any salad with a tangy acidic dressing I will have no problem devouring it, so I followed the same rule with this coleslaw.

I’ve made this coleslaw three more times since that last time and I find it seriously addictive. It makes a great side-dish, or an addition to a wrap or taco. I’ve also enjoyed it as is, topped with some spicy saucy lentils. Also, cabbage is usually super cheap, it lasts almost forever, and you probably all the dressing ingredients in your kitchen. So go make coleslaw!

100_3818100_3830

Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw
4 cups shredded cabbage (red or green or both)
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil (or try Vega Antioxidant Omega Oil Blend)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Place all dressing ingredients in a large bowl (large enough for the entire recipe) and whisk until combined. Add cabbage to bowl and toss until dressing covers all of the cabbage. You can enjoy this coleslaw immediately but it will be even better if it sits for a few hours. This will keep in the fridge for a few days. Just stir before eating. Enjoy!

IMG_0112

One of the best things about basic recipes like this one is that they are a great starting point for creating more complicated recipes. You can choose either lemon or lime juice, choose your oil, and even substitute agave for the maple syrup. Also, feel free to substitute part of the cabbage for shredded carrot or broccoli stem (or maybe a pre-packaged coleslaw mix if you’re really short on time and energy). Adding some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes would make for a spicy coleslaw, or adding one of your favourite spices or herbs could make for a tasty variation. Whatever you choose, you should end up with a delicious coleslaw!

IMG_0609

This recipe has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #28 and Meatless Mondays A-Z #31 (Create With Cabbage).

the veggie nookBWV-Round2-April_thumb

Butternut Squash Miso Noodle Soup with Kale and Edamame

Yes, I know that title says almost every ingredient that is in this soup, but I really didn’t think it was fair to leave anything out!

Just like the title says, this miso soup is packed full of soba noodles, butternut squash, kale, and edamame. Lots of warm comforting goodness to get you through a chilly fall or winter day, or maybe a bad cold. I like my noodle soup spicy, and I think the heat pairs great with the sweetness of the butternut squash here, so I’ve added crushed red pepper flakes, but you could certainly leave them out if you’d prefer.

Butternut Squash Miso Noodle Soup with Kale and Edamame (Inspired by Nava Atlas’s Miso-Butternut Squash Soup)
4-6 cups water
1 unsalted vegetable bouillon cube (I use Harvest Sun)
A quarter-sized bunch of soba noodles, broken in half
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1/2 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)
2 cups cooked butternut squash, cut into bite-size cubes*
1/2 bunch (2 large stems) kale, washed and chopped
1-2 tbsp miso paste
Roasted sesame seeds to garnish

*To roast squash, peel and cut into 1 inch cubes, spread on a baking sheet, and bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. You want the squash to be fork-tender, but not overcooked, or it will fall apart in your soup (though it would still taste great). You can also steam the squash, but I’ve never done it so I’m not going to tell you how.

Bring water to boil in a pot. Add the soba noodles, edamame, bouillon cube, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the boiling water, and boil over medium-high heat until the noodles are cooked. Reduce to low heat. Scoop some of the hot broth into a small bowl or cup, whisk the miso paste into it, then transfer back to the pot. Stir the butternut squash and kale into the soup, cover, and let simmer on low for a few minutes, until kale has wilted and the squash is warm. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over each bowl before serving. Enjoy!

This recipe is for Meatless Monday A-Z: Miso.

MMAZ Better With Veggies


You May Also Enjoy:
Kale-Millet Croquettes, Spicy Peanut Vegetable Soup, Baked Vegetable Spring Rolls