Rocky Road Fudge

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Our favorite time of year is well underway-baking season! Christmas time growing up was all about baking as many cookies and treats as possible. Most were made to give away as gifts but we definitely kept and snuck our fair share! So far this year we’ve made yummy chocolate peppermint cookies, Snickerdoodles, one of our favorite Christmas classics Candy Cane Cookie Sandwiches, and we’re planning a big sugar cookie bake this weekend (recipe to follow)! Today I made a new favorite I came up with last year-Rocky Road Fudge. We made fudge a lot growing up but I hadn’t made it since going vegan. I went with a coconut cream base and added in marshmallows and walnuts. Yum! This recipe was such a hit I ended up making it several times last year. It was a great treat to serve at our New Year’s Eve celebration. This recipe is vegan, omnivore tested, approved and loved! Best of all it is so easy! Just leave enough time to let the fudge set in the fridge.

 

Rocky Road Fudge
(VEGAN)

For those of you new to the vegan game, there are two major brands of vegan marshmallows: Sweet & Sara, and my personal favorite, Dandies. You can find these online from various sellers or sometimes Whole Foods and other specialty stores.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup full fat canned coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (not melted)
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (make sure you check the ingredients, sometimes they sneak milk in there)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegan marshmallows, mini or chopped regular (2/3 for the inside, 1/3 for the topping)
  • 1 cup walnut halves (2/3 for the inside, 1/3 for the topping)

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Line a small baking dish with parchment paper, or greased foil. If you  are using regular sized marshmallows, cut them into fourths or sixths and set aside.

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In a medium pot, heat the coconut milk and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil and stir until it melts.

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Add the chocolate chips and stir quickly with a whisk until all of the chips are melted and you have a pot of gooey yummy chocolate.

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Remove from heat or pour into a mixing bowl if you don’t have a lot of stir room. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2/3 cup marshmallows and 2/3 cup walnuts and stir well. Make sure the marshmallows aren’t in a huge clump when you put them in.

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Pour the mixture into your lined baking dish. Sprinkle walnuts and marshmallows over the top, about 1/3 cup of each.

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Place in the fridge overnight, or at least in the freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into bite sized pieces. Store in the refrigerator.

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Chilly Weather/Chili Weather


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Today we’re sharing the perfect meal for blustery winter nights- chili! Hopefully by now you have cleared out the Thanksgiving leftovers and are ready to take on the next rush of holidays! Winter nights mean cooler temperatures and less time for dinner prep! I don’t know about you, but we definitely don’t feel like coming home after a long day of holiday shopping and trimming the tree to prep a super-involved dinner! Chili is one of our favorite go-to easy and hearty meals. Today Nikki shows you how to make a tomatillo and white bean chicken chili while Jess shares a classic vegan chili recipe full of protein and veggies.

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Follow along as we show you, step-by-step, how to make a simple and substantial winter-time meal. Click the link below to see the recipes!

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Thanksgiving Series: Pumpkin Spice Pecan Cookies

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The Thanksgiving countdown has begun! We are just 4 days away from the big day! For the past week, we have been sharing our Thanksgiving Series with you, showing you how to create the perfect meal from drinks to dessert. Today we are sharing our first dessert recipe with you, Pumpkin Spice Pecan Cookies. These are a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving spread and really switch things up from the same old pumpkin pie.

These cookies are moist and chewy with lots of pecan pieces and a hint of cinnamon. The pumpkin spice adds a rich pumpkin flavor that is irresistible! They can easily be made vegan by substituting a few things, which are listed in the ingredients below. Also, these cookies turn out best when the dough is chilled so it is best to make these the day (or at least a few hours) before you plan on serving them to allow time for the dough to cool. Enjoy!

Click the link below to follow along as I show you, step-by-step, how to make these delicious, cookies!

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Thanksgiving Series: Twice Baked Potato Casserole

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I’m so excited to share quite possibly my favorite dish ever! I grew up eating the omnivorous version of this every Thanksgiving and requesting it for any special event. When I first went vegan 4 years ago I was surprised and delighted at how easily this dish was made vegan. This is a great replacement and step up from the standard mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s creamy, cheesy, salty and just delicious.  All of the ingredients can be adjusted to your taste; increase any ingredient you feel is lacking. You can also choose to serve this as stuffed potato skins instead of a casserole. I think the skins are great as an appetizer or snack before dinner. Depending on how many people you’re serving (and/or your love of leftovers!) you may want to double the recipe. This dish can easily be made the day before Thanksgiving and reheated right before dinner.

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In case you missed it, on Sunday we started Thanksgiving Series off with a Pomegranate Mule. We have 3 more delicious recipes to share over the next week, so stay tuned! Also check out last year’s Thanksgiving Series where we shared vegan Green Bean Casserole, Nikki’s Mac and Cheese, and a vegan Pecan Pie!

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Twice Baked Potato Casserole

(VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 6 russet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegan sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds
  • 2 slices of veggie bacon, cooked and chopped in small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkle of pepper

I know faux meat and cheese vegan products can be pretty polarizing. I’ve tested just about everything out there in this recipe, and these are my favorites. Sometimes I leave the bacon out, especially if I can’t find a brand I like.

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Preheat oven to 400. Wash potatoes well, and poke several deep holes in them with a fork. Bake at 400 for 1 hour.

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Remove potatoes and allow to cool or use an oven mitt to handle. Lower oven temp to 350. Slice the potatoes in half and scoop the insides out into a casserole dish or mixing bowl. If you’re making potato skins or restuffing the potatoes preserve the skins.

IMG_4484Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork. Mix in all ingredients well. If you’re serving right away evenly spread the mixture in a casserole dish and put back in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes. Optionally, you can add extra cheese and bacon to the top before baking.

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If you’re going the twice baked potato/potato skin route restuff the potato skins with the mixture and add extra chopped bacon and green onions to the top. Pop back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve with a side of vegan sour cream or ranch.

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Thanksgiving Series: Pomegranate Mule

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Hi everyone! We are so excited to announce the start of our Thanksgiving Series here on the blog. From now until Thanksgiving, we will be sharing our favorite Thanksgiving recipes, perfect for any gathering, big or small. Stressed about all your loved ones coming over for a feast? Don’t worry! We’ll walk you through dinner, dessert, and everything in between. Also, don’t forget to check out our Thanksgiving Series from last year, which includes melty mac and cheese, delectable pecan pie, and hearty green bean casserole. You also can search “Thanksgiving Series” on the search box to pull up all of our best Thanksgiving recipes in one place.

To kick off this year’s series, we’re showing you how to make an easy and festive cocktail, a Pomegranate Mule. Prepare these ahead of time and have them ready as your guests arrive for a fun and delicious Thanksgiving kickoff. This also gives your guests a chance to mix and mingle over drinks while you are busy in the kitchen!

I am a huge fan of traditional Moscow Mules, which usually include vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. They have a hint of spice from the ginger beer which is the perfect complement to the sweetness and tartness of the lime. These mules mix things up with the addition of Sparkling Pomegranate Juice, which I found at Trader Joe’s. I also garnished them with fresh pomegranate seeds for a holiday-inspired appeal. Additionally, I added Old Fashioned Bitters (available at BevMo and many grocery stores) for a zesty kick. Cheers!

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Ingredients:

Makes one serving

  • 2 oz ginger beer (ginger ale will work fine if you cannot find the beer)
  • 2 oz Sparkling Pomegranate Juice (or regular Pomegranate juice)
  • 1.5 oz Grey Goose vodka
  • juice of 1/4 lime
  • 5-8 dashes of bitters, depending on your preference
  • fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Do not shake- simply stir with a spoon to combine. Pour over ice and garnish with pomegranate seeds and a lime wedge.

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Grown-Up Granola Bars

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Hi there! Today I’m sharing an easy recipe for what I like to call, Grown-Up Granola Bars. This nutrient-packed snack is so easy, with just a few ingredients and no baking required. They make a great mid-day snack that feels like a guilty pleasure without all the added sugar and calories. I know kids and adults will equally enjoy them. The agave and vegan chocolate chips sweeten them up but don’t be fooled! They are also full of a lot of protein and fiber. Let’s get started!

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NO BAKE GROWN-UP GRANOLA BARS (VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (can also use creamy almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup agave (can also use honey if you are not vegan)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup vegan mini chocolate chips, like these
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, like the one found here
  • parchment paper
  • 9×13 baking pan

Directions:

  1. Measure out the agave(1/2 cup) and sunflower seed butter (1 cup).

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2. Mix the agave and sunflower seed in a small pot over low heat until combined and smooth. Remove from heat.

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3. Meanwhile, prepare a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Spray the corners of the pan with nonstick spray so the parchment paper sticks to the pan.

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5. Mix the mini chocolate chips and the oats together in a large bowl.

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6. Pour the agave-sunflower seed butter mixture in with the oats and mix until evenly combined.

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6. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down with the back of a spoon to spread evenly.

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7. Sprinkle shredded coconut over mixture.

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8. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and lay flat. Cut the mixture into bars with a knife. Enjoy!

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Meatless Monday: Tostada Salad

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Hi there! I hope all of you had a wonderful and safe Halloween with family and friends. Personally, I consumed one-too-many pieces of Halloween candy and I’m trying to get back on track this week.

Today, for our Meatless Monday meal, I’m sharing a fresh and flavorful “tostada” salad that is full of fresh produce yet still fills you up. It is topped with a tasty chipotle-agave vinaigrette. If you’re looking for an easy dinner that is healthy yet satisfying, look no further!

While there is not a lot of cooking and/or time needed for this salad, most of the work involves washing and chopping the salad ingredients, which can be tedious. So, get your best knife and cutting board ready!

TOSTADA CHOPPED SALAD (VEGAN)

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 3-4 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 4 radishes, sliced and cut into quarters
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, each tomato cut in half
  • 2 fresh corn on the cob, shucked with kernels cut off
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup tortilla strips
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar or dairy free cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons agave (or honey)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo with 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves

Note: Feel free to add more chipotle peppers and/or adobo sauce if you like things spicy! As is, the dressing does have a kick to it.

Directions:

First, wash and chop all the salad toppings: romaine, radishes, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro.

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Next, drain and rinse the black beans under cold water.

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Now, it’s time to roast the corn. Cut the corn off the cob. Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.

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Add the corn kernels and chopped cilantro, stirring to mix. Continue to stir until corn is roasted to a golden brown color. Remove from heat and set aside.

Next, we make the dressing. This dressing is so good and much better than store-bought with all of those added preservatives. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Combine all the salad ingredients in a big bowl. Top with pumpkin seeds, tortilla strips, and cheese or non dairy cheese. Drizzle with dressing and toss. Enjoy!

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Meatless Monday: Mediterranean Orzo

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It’s Monday! Hopefully all of you had a fun and relaxing weekend. Monday dinners can be tough while getting back into the weekly routine. We will continue to share easy and healthy Meatless Monday options that everyone, vegans and omnivores, are sure to love.

This week, we are sharing two versions of Mediterranean Orzo. Jess’s vegan version is light and fresh with Greek olives and artichoke hearts while Nikki shares a cheesy shrimp orzo with feta and from-scratch tomato sauce.

Click the link below to get the recipe!
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Overnight Oats

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As we delve into the busy fall season, I am always searching for easy breakfasts that require little-to-no prep. These overnight oats could not get any easier! They basically make themselves while you are resting away. Also, I found this great Super Seed Blend at Trader Joe’s that is totally optional but makes for added nutrition and deliciousness with cranberries, coconut chips, chia seed, buckwheat, and hemp seed. You can add whatever you’d like to your oats when they’re done, including cinnamon, honey, nuts, dried and fresh fruit, almond butter- the options are endless. I used steel-cut oats for this recipe, but you can use traditional rolled oats instead, just cut back on the amount of almond milk you add.

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OVERNIGHT OATS (VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup steel-cut oats
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Super Seed Blend (optional, can also use plain chia seeds)
  • 1 large Tupperware/food storage container, with lid
  • fresh fruit for topping

Directions:

  1. Mix the oats and almond milk together in a large bowl. Transfer to a large food storage container.
  2. Sprinkle Super Seed Blend on top of the oat and milk mixture. Seal container with lid.
  3. Refrigerate oats overnight.
  4. When ready to eat, warm up oats in the microwave and top with fresh fruit or any other desired toppings.

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Almond Pulp Granola

Earlier this week we made easy, creamy almond milk, which left us with some almond pulp, perfect for making gluten-free, paleo granola.  Granola is definitely one of my guilty pleasures, and this version is one of my favorites, as it feels much less like a guilty pleasure and more like a healthy breakfast food. Feel free to get creative with this recipe, adding and substituting your favorite granola ingredients!

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Almond Pulp Granola

(VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • Almond pulp from a batch of almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted cooconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the almond pulp evenly over the sheet.

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Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, until the pulp begins to turn golden.

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Remove from the oven and pour the pulp into a mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix well.

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Pour the granola back onto the sheet and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until brown. Enjoy with your almond milk, over yogurt, or gift it with a jar of almond milk!

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