Tag Archives: recipe roundup

Let’s be real here- there is something comforting about a warm milky drink. I am a little hesitant to say that this is a list of lattes since these are all missing the main ingredient in a latte: espresso. I have a small espresso machine at my house, but let’s face it, most people don’t. And truthfully I don’t have the cash to go to a coffee shop everyday. Not to mention that kills a lot of time. So I’ve become a big fan of making alternative hot milk drinks. I’ve even done a recipe roundup in the past of various hot chocolates, which I recommend. I tried to feature recipes that were pretty unique.

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First can I point out these coffee free lattes are so comforting that I’ve already posted quite a few recipes already on the blog. I totally recommend checking them out. Many are focused on traditional Asian lattes that are popular such as a sesame latte.

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So let’s talk about this recipe roundup. If I am feeling a little down, or things are moving slowly in the morning, I love to have a nice warm cup in my hands. Hell, sometimes I don’t even drink the cup I have. I am sure I could pour myself a cup of hot water and hold it to boost my mood. But if it is filled with a warm milky drink? Well that makes everything even MORE amazing.

So what are the requirements? Well, the drink needs to have a milk or creamy consistency. All need to be targetted for vegans, or dairy free lifestyles. There is a drink or two that says to use honey, but will most likely suggest a substitute that is vegan. And finally there is no espresso in these drinks. I am not against it, but most folks don’t have an espresso machine at home. So let’s get to the reviews!

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Raw Cacao + Goji Berry Latte

Can I first point out that The First Mess website is HORRIBLE for a mobile phone? The ads make it impossible to get to and stay on the recipe in order to make it. I had to copy and paste the text into something else to read it on my phone. Which I don’t think is too much to ask for such a simple and small recipe.

But that technically has nothing to do with how the latte tastes. And let me say- it tastes amazing. This recipe was a little frustrating at first since it makes so little and therefore I had a hard time not boiling the soy milk too much (she recommends almond and coconut milk, which I don’t think would film up.) But it is worth the wait and effort. The date and goji berries blended up nicely, which can be hard. It also then frothed up, and filled up my mug perfectly.

The taste is the perfect amount of sweet. Sweet enough to be paired with unsweetened milk and cacao, but not too sweet that your mouth feels like it needs a brushing. I can see many people wanting to add another date to the mix though. The goji berries added just enough taste, complexity, and body to the drink. I will most likely make this again.

Bottom Line: Love, love, love it.

Warming Gingerbread Latte

This was a pretty straight forward latte- toss everything into a blender, blend, then heat. So it didn’t take too long to do. But as I tossed all the ingredients into the blender I had this nagging feeling “man, this is a LOT of fats in here.” I am not a huge fat phobic person, and hey this is just a treat right? Well, I think my hunch was right- this latte was thick. I think it would be easy to fix- just get rid of the cashews. I ended up using a hazelnut milk, and there is coconut milk (she doesn’t specify the low-cal fridge versions) so I think there is plenty of fat to keep that body.

As for flavor? I think I would add a dash of molasses, but otherwise it is pretty tasty. I really like the idea of a homemade espresso free gingerbread latte. Actually you could easily make this drink and toss in a shot of espresso and get great tasting drink. You know what might taste even better? Some blackstrap molasses rum or snap liquor (a speculoos cookie inspired liquor). I mean this is more of a dessert latte, right?

Bottom Line: Maybe skip the cashews? So thick. A little booze would help

Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte

Vegan Richa and Food by Mars both posted a Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Lattte really close to each other. So I had to try both out. Just putting out there- I like Richa’s better! I like her technique of boiling the spices in hot water first, it made everything less gritty. I played around with her steps just a little. I frothed the milk by blending it up in a blender, but I poured the hot water in the blender, to help everything get mixed together.

Overall, I loved the results, but I would make these changes. There is no pumpkin in her recipe, and I would like to add it in. Blend it up with the milk, it adds flavors and body to the drink. Just 3-4 tablespoons worth. Not that much. I also only added a tablespoon of sweetener, and I probably would use none if I had used regular milk. Otherwise, this is a great latte drink.

Bottom Line: Add a smidgen pumpkin puree, and it is perfect!

Spirulina Latte

So I have been into spirulina for awhile. It gives a bunch of iron to a vegan, and as a pregnant lady, I need iron. So I thought I would give this recipe a try. It is pretty simple, very little milk, a banana, and spirulina tablets. Well, I can safely say it doesn’t work. The drink isn’t hot, which is kind-of what make a latte a latte. Hot milk and flavor. That’s it. So popped this drink in the microwave for a little bit, and it wasn’t bad at first. Then the drink started to thicken up. It became foamy and literally not drinkable. It became more like a bubbly pudding.

Bottom Line: Nope.

Date-Sweetened Vegan Chai Latte with Tahini

I love sweet sesame/tahini foods. I already made a black sesame latte on the blog. But I think this latte is pretty awesome. What is nice about this drink is that it doesn’t use any premade milks in the recipe. You get the creamy texture from the tahini and almond butter. The downside? Oh man, this is a calorie bomb! About 300 calories in the drink, which for some, they don’t mind. Just something to be aware of.

What I really like is that the recipe involves brewing a strong chai tea, then blending it with the tahini, almond butter, and dates. That’s it. Blend it all up and it takes no longer than 10 minutes from turning the burner on the boil water, and cleaning out the blender. That might seem like a long time, but I think it is worth it.

Bottom Line: One of my favorites.

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Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte

Golden Latte’s are so frigging trendy right now. And it is a little funny reading a few people throw a little shade at the trend since they aren’t really traditional golden lattes. This recipe is clearly a new twist to it. I was pretty excited about this recipe when I saw it since I’ve been trying to cut caffeine from my diet since I can’t only have so much while pregnant. I also love pumpkin spiced good so it seemed like a match made in heaven.

Sadly Food by Mars just put WAY too many spices in here. The spices over powered the pumpkin flavor and had too much of a bite. What did work for the drink is the body. I like how she uses a blender to froth up the drink and the little bit of pumpkin and coconut oil adds a little body to the drink. I skipped the whipped coconut cream that was on top, but I am sure that would help balance out the spices… but it probably wouldn’t be enough.

Bottom Line: Too many spices


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Yesterday was VERY busy. Last week I threw out some chopped lettuce, some outer leaves of romaine, AND a whole head of lettuce! It was awful. The problem was that it frozen in my fridge. My produce drawers are so packed from my CSA I couldn’t fit the lettuce in it. Which is a big bummer because lettuce season is over for my CSA, we might get a head or two later in the summer. Feeling a little bad, and I thought I should try and get on top of my product and start cooking.

I didn’t scratch the surface of what I got from my CSA (1/2 bag of shelling peas, sugar snap peas, and snow peas combined, a big bag of kale, beets and beet greens, carrots with greens, garlic scapes, summer squash, slicing and pickling cucumber) So here is a quick break down of what I made yesterday:

Image Credit from Kittee's Blog Cake Maker with her review of Protein Ninja by Terry Hope Romero

Image Credit from Kittee’s Blog Cake Maker with her review of Protein Ninja by Terry Hope Romero

EDAMAME & PEA AVOCADO TOAST
I know I didn’t get any avocados or edamame from my CSA, but I did get a bunch of shelling peas. Which is a shame, because I still have some in my freezer from last year o____o How did that happen? I remember taking forever to go through a huge economy sized bag of peas from Wegman’s before touching the hand shelled peas. Oops. So I decided to go all out, double the recipe and use all the peas I got from my CSA (I assume I won’t be getting any next week). I skipped the pumpkin seeds and onion since I didn’t have any but holy moly was this good! I ate it on some Ezekiel Sprouted Bread with thin avocado slices. Perfect. The pumpkin seeds and onion would add even more amazing texture as well. I might have to freeze some of the spread to make it last, but I might be making some yummy sandwiches for lunch with this stuff. Aside from hand shelling, the recipe doesn’t take long at all. If you are using fresh peas, I suggest boiling them right away with the edamame to make sure they are fully cooked.

CARROT TOP PESTO
I got a bunch of carrots with their tops in tact. I never know what to do with them, so I decided to make some pesto to make a savory bread. There is extra, naturally. I modified the recipe from Wholly Goodness, which means I used some sweet basil and garlic scapes in the recipe. In the past I made the mistake of chucking all the greens in the food processor AND THAT IS A BAD IDEA! Take the time to pull off the delicate whispy leaves from the tough stalks. Well worth time.

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SAVORY ZUCCHINI PESTO QUICK BREAD
So I made that pesto JUST for a half baked idea for zucchini bread. I am VERY sick of sweet things… well for the most part. Now that I am not drinking beer and much coffee most drinks other than water are sweet. And to make things worse, most shelf stable snacks are sweet as well. Ugh! So I grabbed a zucchini from last week shredded it and modified this recipe. It turned out really nice, except it probably could of baked just a little longer. Oops. I upped the pesto to a quarter of a cup, and I had some vegan yogurt in the fridge. I might want to see if I can make a super vegan version that uses something other than vegan yogurt. So you might see a recipe on the blog in the future!

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SAVORY MISO TAHINI OAT BALLS
Probably mid-stream in my sugar rant to my husband, I had a very duh moment. I apparently pinned these savory oat balls on my pinterest board awhile ago. It was a big face palm moment. They are quick to make, and doesn’t use a particularly large amount of any ingredient. And I have to say Laci NAILED it. They are super salty, full of umami flavors, and have a hint of sweet that isn’t overwhelming. I think I might try flattening them out to make a bar next time, as the balls tend to be crumbly. Oh and don’t think I am a complete sugar hater. I’ve been eating plenty of ice cream, nice cream, and I have a box of strawberry shortcake cookies at my work.

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HOMEMADE STOCK & BEET CARROT GINGER SOUP
Let’s talk OLD SCHOOL! Dinner was a recipe from The Vegetarian Planet, published in 1997. This was a book that my Mother had, who always had a thing for eating no meat meals, which didn’t go completely unnoticed by her daughters. My older sister Lindsay was vegetarian for a few years (but gave up when living in rural France), and I tried going total vegetarian a few times as kid. Anyways, this soup is very easy to make, just a pound of beets, a pound of carrots, onion, and lots of stock. I had to use up the veggie scraps I’d been saving in my freezer, so made a batch of stock. Well, it was a group effort as my husband filled the pot with water and brought it to a boil while I was grocery shopping. I strained the veggies out later. I strongly recommend making this soup, and just use some vegan sour cream or yogurt.

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Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug? Try Exercise

Why am I not surprised I liked this article? Oh because I later discovered that it was written by Aaron E. Carroll. I seem to pretty much like everything he writes. I think most readers aren’t too surprised by this- exercise is good. He peppers through many studies that show how much it helps us. What I like is that he doesn’t always advocate intensive exercise, which can be good. But sometimes just walking for 30 minutes, is PLENTY. I can’t stress that enough when so many people bum it on the couch all day and say how they aren’t “the exercise type.”

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You’ll Never Guess What this Rum is Made From!

Okay I hate this clickbait title, but I like this idea. Rum is made from Sugar cane right? Well why not sugar from beets? Well, that is what this distillery is doing! I am excited because this makes for a greener rum since it is made in the USA. Plus, there seems to be a big push for “100% sugar cane” on labels, which makes sugar beets less desirable. Plus I am unsure if rum is ever fully vegan since sugar from sugar cane uses non-vegan filters. Let’s cross our fingers that this company has a 100% vegan process!


Every week I almost always make a batch of cookies. Why? They travel easily for my husband’s lunches. I mean, I eat them sometimes as well. Truthfully, sometimes making cookies at home isn’t necessarily cheaper than buying them in stores, but most of the time they are. So I decided to review some cookie recipes that were available online. I keep in mind when they should be eaten (aka how sweet and decadent they are) and how well they kept.

If any of you guys have tried these cookies with different results PLEASE SHARE! There are lots of variables to baking so hearing other people’s baking results help figure out how to get the correct results. Everyone- start baking!

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Chai Spice Snickerdoodles

I had to alter this recipe a little. I forgot I never replaced my cardamon and therefore used a mixed garam masala instead for the snickerdoodle sugar mix. They still turned out delicious. I can’t image the cookies tasting that much different if I used the exact spice measurements given in the recipe.

These cookies are pretty darn sweet and fall under the dessert category. They were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They tasted great as a nice little snacks. But sadly I didn’t store them properly and some of them got stale. The best thing to do with them is to dunk the stale cookies in chai tea. Yeah, chai cookies in chai tea. It is amazing.

Bottom Line: Super sweet & Yummy

Quinoa Gingersnap Cookies

I always like when I find gluten-free recipes that don’t just use an all purpose mix. There is something nice to have control over every ingredient used. So I was a little happy to make these cookies, but was a little skeptical. Why? She only uses quinoa flour, which can have a specific aftertaste.

The cookies come together rather quickly, about 15 minutes, with a quick clean up. I skipped the rolled sugar outside, but it would definitely add a nice quality to the cookies. I also used only a small amount of brown sugar, using mostly just white. I think it worked out fine since I ended up using blackstrap molasses over normal molasses, which has much more of a bite.

The end result? Pretty awesome. They still had a little bit of a quinoa taste, and the blackstrap molasses definitely had a specific taste as well. But I felt pretty confident handing these cookies to my husband for his lunch. Five cookies have 12% calcium for the day and 10% iron. Not too bad honestly for unfortified cookies.

Bottom Line: Not bad, pretty nutritious

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am a little torn on these cookies. They are yummy, but cookie? I mean isn’t that a stretch? They are so fluffy and puffy they feel a little bit more like muffin tops than cookies. I am a little torn, they are delicious but I feel lied to that they are put into a cookie category.

They were great but there are two things I wish she suggested. One is be careful about overheating the butter, I didn’t put much thought into it and mixed in the chocolate chips, which melted into the batter. I got a cool marbling effect instead. No big deal. Second thing is that these cookies probably taste better the next day. Toss them in a bag or a well sealed container overnight, and they get even more moist. I’m not complaining.

Bottom Line: Puffy Cookies, which isn’t bad?

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

These cookies tasted amazing. The ingredients list is so short that I was a little afraid about how they would turn out. Answer: Fabulous, they turned out fabulous! They are soft, crumbly, delicate, and very lemony. Which makes them amazing, but didn’t fit the bill as “daily cookies for lunch.” I am planning on making these for my yearly Christmas cookies.

The only problem is the step where she makes you roll the cookie dough in powder sugar. I am conflicted since I didn’t get any “crinkle” effect on the cookie. I think the dough absorbed too much of the powdered sugar and the dough color wasn’t nearly dark enough to register. But it did give a little bit of a crusty outside, probably from the sugar melting? I would probably skip this step.

Bottom Line: Nice dessert cookie

Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I think this cookie goes into the “it’s too healthy for a dessert category.” The recipe uses banana, peanut butter, rolled oats, and apple sauce to make the bulk of these cookies. The end result isn’t a tasty cookie. The nuts in the cookie gets soft and taste out of place. The cookies also didn’t have a normal texture as other cookies. They weren’t soft, pillowy, or crunchy. Instead they had a kind-of rubber feel when bitting into them.

The cookies aren’t nearly sweet enough, which makes me feel like they should been playing up savory flavors. Instead of chocolate chips maybe have some sun-dried tomatoes. Maybe chopped herbs, etc. I think that is my biggest complaint about “healthy” snacks, people are trying to cut down on sugar. By all means, I think things are usually too sweet, but not these cookies. They might of been better if I used normally sweetened mainstream peanut butter, but I can’t image by that much.

Bottom Line: Texture stinks, not sweet enough.

Teff Almond Butter Cookies

Man talk about recipe flop. Well, I have two theories about what happened. The obvious one is that I used teff not teff flour. My local store special ordered the wrong thing and I felt bad and thought I could grind it down into a flour myself. I didn’t do that great of a job.

The second theory is that I made them on a hot day and the almond butter and oil just were too much. I am thinking that if I maybe put the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes the oils would of melted slower and made a more solid cookie.

But the cookies TASTE pretty good, which might motivate me to try the recipe again. Might being the key word because these cookies are expensive. Each ingredient is a big dent in the bank, which is a bummer because as mentioned the cookies were flat but tasty.

Bottom Line: Tasted great, not ruling them out yet as a flop


This recipe roundup was a little tricky. Tempeh can be a vegan staple, but so many people are afraid to use it. It has a bitter taste when raw, and is a flavor that might take some time to grow on you. I also find that some people have a hard time imagining outside of the box for tempeh. A lot of recipes use it for a stir-fry.

tempeh

I tried my best to find traditional and non-traditional recipes for tempeh. Some might seem traditional but is really a mix of cuisines. For example the gochujang tempeh with blasted broccoli might seem traditional but tempeh isn’t used in Korean cooking. It is still a great combination. Everything was pretty good, so read and pick something new to cook this week!

Stir-Fry with Tempeh with Black Bean Sauce

I am fairly big admirer of the No Meat Athlete. I like the guys sensabilities and he seems so down to earth. He makes vegetarianism/veganism seem so normal. Sometimes people make vegans seem like they are part of some specific subculture, punks, hippies, hipsters, etc.

The overall recipe is pretty much okay. Stir-fries are nice since you really can’t mess it up. BUT I am not a huge fan of using kale in a stir-fry. Although generally tasty, there are a lot of cooking technics I would switch up. I would of put more emphasis on browning the tempeh. I would of also toss the kale in the wok first and cooked it down for 3-5 minutes before adding the other veggies. The kale was too chewy, but if I cooked it any longer, the other veggies would of been over cooked. 

Bottom Line: I would of used bok choy or nappa cabbage instead of kale, but very tasty.

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Depending where you are, this recipe roundup is either late or just in time. Anyone on the northern hemisphere is coming out of winter and are probably looking for iced tea recipes. But if you are in the southern hemisphere, you are probably dreaming of hot chocolate and lattes. This post right now is for you guys.

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I usually start these posts by talking about all the recipes as a whole. But truthfully, it is hard to talk about all these recipes and not compare them. Out of all the different styles and techniques, I noticed one ingredient made one hot chocolate shine out of all the others- using chocolate bars. Yes, out of all the different recipes the Luxurious Dairy Free Hot Cocoa from Oh She Glows takes first prize. Why? Well she uses chocolate that isn’t just in a powder form. Using a chocolate bar or even bakers chocolate, she adds a whole lot more dimension to the dessert. That being said, all the other hot chocolate recipes would benefit from using a chocolate bar over cocoa powder. But all the different hot chocolates have their positives.

Hot Cacao with Cinnamon, Coconut + Dates

This sounded super yummy and low in fat. Sometimes I don’t like how rich hot cocoa can be. Emily uses coconut to make the milk base, and uses ginger tea and cinnamon to add flavor. The end result tastes great, I love how you get a kind-of chocolate chai drink. But, I found that even with long blending, the coconut didn’t blend all the way. If I made this again, I would probably toss the coconut in while the tea was brewing.

Bottom Line: A little chunky, maybe pre-soak coconut

Luxurious Dairy Free Hot Cocoa

I love the idea of being able to make hot cocoa from scratch instead of using mixes. Most mixes have dairy in it so why not just make it from scratch? This recipe uses an actual chunk of chocolate, making the drink incredibly rich. And if that isn’t enough, she uses a little cocoa powder as a big double punch. The biggest downside? It makes more than just one serving. I probably have “two servings” and added the rest in a smoothie for my husband to make sure it didn’t go bad.

Bottom Line: Whoa so perfect- hope you have friends to share with

Vegan Nutella Hot Chocolate

I wanted to love this recipe so badly, I mean come on guise?! Nutella AND hot chocolate? Well, it was pretty good, but I think it could of improved. The drink was too bitter, and probably needed a little more sweetener. I probably would of also included some melted chocolate to the recipe, mostly because if the name is going to include nutella, I want it to be RICH!

Positives? The recipe is super easy to cut in half, if you don’t want to make four servings (let’s face it is more like two or three servings). The drink was really smooth, which I liked as well.

Bottom Line: Good, want it to be richer

Vegan Chai Hot Chocolate

This recipe is pretty simple, milk, chocolate, and chai mix. Luckily, it links to another part of the blog that gives a recipe for a homemade chai spice mix. The mix is okay, focusing mostly on ginger, which I though was weird since I smell more cardamom than ginger in chai teas. This is easily overlooked with the final product, I can barely taste the ginger! The recipe is alright, the chai spices give an interesting variation to hot chocolate, but I found myself adding more sweetener to my hot chocolate.

Bottom Line: Not bad, added some sweetness

Raw Maca Maple Hot Chocolate

I feel like I have a sneaking hunch that there might be a misprint in the recipe, because my drink didn’t look like hers and had too much of a chocolate taste. The drink was really bitter, and I found myself adding the max suggested maple syrup AND some liquid stevia. I think if I divided the chocolate in half, meaning 1/8th of a cup for two servings, instead of 1/4th, I would be much happier with this drink. The plus? It was easy to halve, and therefore making only one for me. It is easy to make whenever, just add ingredients and enjoy. I cheated and used store bought coconut milk that is in the refrigerator non-dairy milk section (instead of making a raw-homemade version).

Bottom Line: Too bitter, not enough maca & maple flavors

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate has an nice thick creamy body. It is so thick and creamy from the pumpkin puree, not from fats. The drink isn’t too bitter, but leaves too much open ended with how much to sweeten the drink. I like having defined measurements sometimes, if anything suggested amounts. The overall drink didn’t scream pumpkin or pumpkin spice. In fact, I probably would ditch the pumpkin spice, and just leave as is. The pumpkin got overwhelmed by the chocolate, and I am okay with that. As mentioned the pumpkin did much more for the body and texture of the drink.

Bottom Line: Thick creamy, and delicious


chickpeas

There aren’t many vegan’s who don’t love chickpeas. They are so versatile and they even have been growing in popularity in their flour form- besan. But this chickpea round-up is all about chickpeas in their cooked bean form. We tried to give lots of options here, pizza, curry, sandwich, salad, and even blondies!

This grouping I am happy to report yummy findings with very different flavor profiles! So I recommend reading all these reviews and pick at least one to cook at home. We got a wide range of styles so you can’t say there isn’t anything you would like.

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Curried Chickpea Salad

I made this recipe on a whim – I wanted to try something new in the kitchen and something that was easy and flexible. I tend to look at a recipe and will tailor it to my liking by either adding a vegetable or spice if I think it’ll improve upon itself. This recipe only really asked for chickpeas, carrots, onions and the home-made curry sauce, but I added craisins to balance out the savoriness and add a little bit of sweet to it and the result was delicious! And it was nice because I was able to make enough to last me throughout the week for meals at work. It’s a great light dish or summer dish to bring to barbeques as well, I would think.

Bottom Line: Good recipe, will make again, would recommend.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chickpea Cookie Bars

Funny thing is when I picked this recipe I had my doubts from the photos alone. The outside of the bar looks so nice and crunchy but the insides a little undercooked. My first instinct was to spread the batter out, but figured I would follow the recipe fairly strictly and kept with the loaf pan.

The dough was promising, in it’s raw state it was sweet and yummy with a little hint of chickpea. I poured the batter into the pan and baked for a full hour. The end result for the first day is alright. The outside was so crunchy compared to the inside that it was hard to cut into squares. But once the bars sat in a container for a day, they are a lot more paletable. I think I still might try and bake these in a larger more spread out pan next time.

Bottom Line: Not bad for a dessert chickpea bar.

Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea + Quinoa Salad with Jalapeno Lime Dressing

I made this dish thinking about my lunches for the week. I figured it would make two lunches, and it would be great. Not really. The dish was alright, and I had two things cross my mind. One was that the dish would of tasted better when the chickpea and cauliflower came fresh out of the oven. Then my second thought was that the the dressing was lacking. So if I would do this differently I would make this as a main dinner dish, and double the dressing.

Bottom Line: Yummy, best eat right away, needs more dressing

Crowd Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad

I made this dish a few times for family get togethers for this Christmas season. I can safely say it impressed everyone, vegans and omnivores alike. The dressing is creamy, garlicky, and salty. The crunchy chickpea croutons were different and added a unique twist to the dish. 

There are only one major “issue” which can be a plus (depending how you view it). The portions are HUGE! So much that I had a hard time tossing the greens in the dressing. This could be problematic if you are making this dish for yourself, but perfect when serving a large party.

But most/all aspects can be prepared a day before hand, so if you are bringing the salad to dinner you don’t have to sweat about cooking a dish while putting your hair up. I did have trouble storing the chickpeas, and they softened after a day. So if you are going to do something the day of, I would suggest roasting the chickpeas first thing that morning.

Bottom Line: Amazing, but large portions

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Buffalo Chickpea Ranch Pizza

This pizza can be easy to make, if you prep a few things in advance. For example I prepped the ranch dressing the morning of so I wouldn’t have to clean the blender again at night. Aside from that everything is easy to chop, coat, etc. The downside is the dough. I was not impressed by it. I got a tough and dense dough that I didn’t really like. And her recipe calls for pre-baking the dough creating too crunchy of a crust, and I found it broke in odd places.

BUT ignoring the crust, this dish was awesome. My husband had doubts as I spread such a small layer of sauce on the crust. But he was asking for more. I think this dish would probably find it’s way as a standard pizza in this household since it is so easy to make.

Bottom Line: Awesome, but I would use a different dough

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Chickpea Massaman Curry

This is a super easy dish to make, especially if you have the massaman curry already made. It takes about 30 minutes total and it is super filling. I jazzed the recipe up a little and served it over couscous instead of rice, but both would taste great. The only downside is that the dish largely relies on the curry paste of choice, so if you curry sucks, the dish will suck.

But the recipe given to make your own massaman curry at home was pretty good. I used that recipe to a t, with two exceptions, I didn’t add any shallots and I used pre-ground chili powder. The curry was awesome but sadly doesn’t freeze in solid cubes. Instead it is still soft in the freezer. Actually I am not sure if this is a bad or good thing.

Bottom Line: Quick to make.

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Learning to love the sweet potato has taken time for me. It was too sweet. The flavors too strong. I felt overwhelmed. Well, it is hard being vegan and not eating sweet potatoes. I can safely say that I am a converted fan. Especially since I get a BUNCH of sweet potatoes from my local CSA share. Since I had so many sweet potatoes, I’ve been busy in the kitchen.

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Vegan Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili

Okay, so the easiest way to sum this up is that this dish is yummy, easy, and somewhat fast. (or rather little manual work). But the dish is a little bland, and can be easily altered according to personal tastes, adding some more hot sauce, more oil, more salt, whatever.

But actually reading the recipe is annoying. The directions are clear, but the ingredients are not listed as you use them, which is pretty standard practice. Then midway through the recipe switches from vegetable stock to chicken stock, therefore making it not vegetarian. Yes, anyone would be able to figure this out, but it is sloppy from the authors standpoint. 

Bottom Line: Yummy, easy, a little bland.

Lasagna Bachamel with Sweet Potato and Cauliflower

I had my doubts with this recipe. I never had luck with having raw vegetables cook in the oven in a casserole or having no bake lasagna cook all the way. Both happened. The sweet potato, cauliflower, and noodles cooked to perfection. The only issues I had was that if the noodles weren’t covered, they didn’t bake properly. So I would recommend making a smidgen more béchamel sauce just to cover your basis.

The dish was super easy to make, just make the sauce, then layer all the parts. Super simple. The end result is a super creamy and super dense lasagna, which got my husband’s seal of approval. Plus the dish is pretty open for changes. I added some daiya mozzarella on top and bread crumbs. I even doubled the sauce and made an extra large batch at once. I would make sure you have extra sweet potato and cauliflower since the dish is pretty open ended. I actually used one and two thirds of a sweet potato for a double batch, when the recipe would of used only one whole sweet potato.

Bottom Line: Super easy and open for changes, just time consuming for layering.

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This recipe round up is a little more interesting this time around. One reason is because Alexa reviewed a recipe! Whooo! She devoted a whole post to it, but we are putting it up again. Why? If you are searching for a good cauliflower recipe it is simple to find! Duh!

Since there are two recipes we talked about in the past, that means we have some bonus photos! I think it is a little fun to include them to compare photos. Funny thing is sometimes to non-model shots of food seem more yummy than the actual photo!
cauliflower

Oh and there is a bonus recipe on the bottom! It was featured in the Everything Free Recipe Roundup. I figured I would tack it on the page for any cauliflower fans. I think our grouping is really eclectic. Different food styles, Indian, Chinese-American take-out, pasta, salad, and a side dish. I know mind blowing! So start reading what you should make:

BBQ Cauliflower Salad

I am sure everyone has seen this recipe lurking on pinterest. Even Alexa pinned it, which gave me push to go ahead and make it for this recipe roundup. (Alexa claims responsibility for this recipe by the way) I personally like Fork and Beans, and I remember making her Cauliflower “Risotto” but wasn’t thrilled by it. 

As I started the recipe red flags went up. “Oh this won’t work!” but I wanted to stick the recipe. Maybe something is going on that I am not noticing? When I pulled the cauliflower out of the oven I thought that the cauliflower was too hard. But I bit my tongue and finish up the salad and thought “just wait till you eat it.”

It. Was. Amazing. I everything was in perfect sync. I didn’t follow the recipe to a T since I didn’t have corn, and couldn’t make the ranch dressing since I didn’t have a blender. But it still worked out amazingly. The ONLY thing I would change would be that I would put the BBQ on the cauliflower before tossing in the oven, then again after 5-7 minutes.

Otherwise this is a great recipe to prep for lunch the night before. Got the oven on? Toss in the cauliflower for a few minutes and assemble the night before. It is super yummy!

Bottom Line: Helllllo new lunch fav.

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Hey guys! It’s me Jen! I’ve been missing all week due to really unpredictable electricity. For some reason the power randomly flickers which causes my computer to crash. It was happening so often, at random times of the day, that I just turned the computer off and ordered a battery backup. I kept the computer off until it came in the mail. Which has been cool since Alexa got time to post all her backed posts! Yey! So I hope everyone enjoyed reading those.

pumpkinspice

I know everyone is excited for the fall and pumpkin spice everything! So I thought I would do a sampling over pumpkin spiced goods. Ranging from drinks, to syrups, to baked goods. But everything is sweet. Most were pretty good, but everything I think I would change ever so slightly. But check out which ones to give a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

This was really tasty. I was a little surprised how nicely it came together. I first used it in a soy latte in a coffee shop. It helped it was an amazing latte without the syrup, but the syrup added the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor. Though I might amp it up to 3 to 4 tbsp for more mediocre lattes.

The syrup also works well in smoothies. I used it to add some sweetness and flavor to my husband smoothies. It would also be a great topping to for various other snacks like yogurt bowls, cupcakes, cookies, or ice cream. It makes a lot of syrup, so I would recommend even halving the recipe so it doesn’t go bad in the fridge.

Bottom Line: Great to make for the pumpkin spice season, put it on everything.

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My goal is to be more adventurous with trying out blog recipes. I know too many people who inundate their Pinterest pages with food recipes, but never actually try any of them. More disturbing is how many beautiful food photos result in blah recipes. I wish that Pinterest would include a “rate that recipe” button, but until that day, I can write reviews.

glutensoydairypeanutfree

First round of reviews goes to the Everything-Free category. Sort of. As mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I have been on an elimination diet that forced us to cut a LOT of foods from our diet. The first two weeks we eliminated gluten, soy, dairy, and peanut from our meals. It’s been a bit of a struggle, especially since I didn’t know which recipes to substitute in to our new diets. But thanks to the invention of tags, I’ve been able to peruse various blogs for help. Of course not everything was a winner.

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