Tag Archives: recipe roundup

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.

hotchocolate

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.

sweetpotato

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 b├ęchamel 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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