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Monday, February 24, 2014

Makin Fakin Bakin for Meatless Monday

It's Meatless Monday so I thought I'd offer up a recipe to magnificently mimic one of meat eater's most favorite meats - bacon.  Sometimes I invent recipes.  Other times I "borrow" and tweak.  This time I just pretty much took the recipe for Coconut Bacon from The Simple Veganista and made it as-is.  The only thing I really changed was cutting the recipe in half because I used Melissa's Coconut Chips which come in a 3 ounce package instead of the 7 ounces called for in the recipe.
Bakin' Before Bakin'

Be sure to take note of The Simple V's recipe suggestions at the bottom of her post - they all look amazing.  As you can see, my "bakin" came out like Julie's, and as soon as the avocados I just bought are ripe I'll be making a Cobb-ish salad, some split pea soup, and maybe some maple bakin cupcakes.  I hope you'll stay tuned  .....

Bakin' After Bakin'

Friday, February 14, 2014


Chocolate Crispy Hearts (vegan)

Whether it's love for one another, love for you-fill-in-the-blank with your favorite thing, love for animals and the less fortunate, and/or love for yourself, feeling it, sharing it, receiving it, and being grateful for it is what V-Day means to me.  You?

I'm also grateful for the growing (pun) interest in eating a plant-based diet.  Whether it's for the animals, for your health, for the environment, or for whatever reason, this movement is going in the righteous direction.

In order to feel part of today's love fest I had this idea to make something chocolaty that was also vegan and that was also something I haven't eaten in forever because conventional marshmallows are made using gelatin, and gelatin is derived from animal by-products.  So I'm sending out some love to Chicago Vegan Foods for creating Dandie's vegan and air-puffed marshmallows!

For your Valentine's Day plant-based eating pleasure I present my Vegan Chocolate Crispy Hearts.  Love, sweet love - it's the only thing that there's just too little of.

Chocolate Crispy Hearts (vegan)
3 Tbsp. Earth Balance buttery sticks
1 pkg. (10 oz.) Dandie's marshmallows
5 cups Three Sisters Cocoa-Snapz (or another chocolate crispy cereal)
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 Tbsp. grape seed oil
1 box Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate squares, melted

Combine the cereal and pecans in a large bowl and set aside.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking oil.

In a large stock pot, melt the butter on low heat, add the marshmallows, and stir, stir, stir for about 4-5 minutes until the marshmallows are completely melted.  Add in the water and oil and stir, stir, stir until the mixture is creamy smooth.  Turn off the heat, pour the cereal/pecan mixture into the marshmallow cream a cup or so at a time and stir to incorporate.  Be sure to get everything well mixed or it won't hold together.

Transfer the mixture to the baking pan, spread out to about 1/2-3/4" thick, using a wooden spoon to press down.  Set aside to cool.  When cool, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make individual crispy hearts and set aside.  (Sorry, but you'll just have to scarf down the trimmings like I did.)

Melt the chocolate squares in the microwave according to package directions.   Spread melted chocolate over the top of each heart, and set aside to dry/harden.  When one side is completely dry, turn the hearts over, remelt the chocolate, and spread chocolate on side 2 and set aside until hardened.  If you need to store the hearts, carefully place between parchment paper in a sealed container.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chinese New Year Part 2

CNY Slaw

Our Food Bloggers Los Angeles group gathered last weekend to celebrate all things chocolate and champagne.  Since I'd heard through the bloggervine that there would be plenty of both, I decided to give another shout out to Chinese New Year 2014.

At the TechMunch blogger conference last week I met some people from the Beyond Meat Company, and since I'm way beyond meat I decided to incorporate one of their great items in a CNY Slaw.  

CNY Slaw Assemblage

Basically it's shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, julienne cut red bell peppers, snow peas, celery, and green onion, raw almonds, chow mein noodles, and stir-fried Beyond Meat Grilled Chicken-Free Strips.  A dressing made up of equal amounts of sesame oil and  seasoned rice vinegar, plus 2 tablespoons each of teriyaki sauce and sweet chile sauce bring all the classic flavors together.  And instead of a recipe you can call it an assemblage.

Fantastic FBLA Spread with my little CNY slaw in the bottom left corner
Photo stolen from Shockingly Delicious' Dorothy Reinhold

Hopefully I haven't missed the boat on getting this post added to the "blog-hop" for the FBLA group event. (Here's where I could probably use some of that Chinese New Year good fortune.)

Click HERE for all the chocolate recipes and champagne recommendations from my great FBLA friends!