Okay folks, I am back from New York City, and I had some of the best food I have ever had. I ate at some amazing vegan restaurants, and may have over done it. If that is possible! I definitely need to get back on track though, with my normal, pretty healthy eating and smaller portions. My brother and I ate so much food in New York. So I decided to do some meal prep, because that is seriously the only way I can handle eating well. Once I get hungry, I get ravenous, and then I will literally eat anything (except meat, of course.) So, this is an idea I have been playing around with for a while, and wanted to make a breakfast cookie that was not only vegan, but gluten free and refined sugar free. I also really wanted a flavor that I felt was wintery. So I decided dark chocolate and cherries sounded like a delightful winter flavor.
So, here is the most delicious, super easy make ahead breakfast ever. You can make about a dozen cookies with this recipe, so you have 12 breakfasts taken care of, which is totally awesome. I am generally running around like an insane person in the morning, just trying to get a little coffee in my system before I speak to anyone. Make these on a lazy Sunday, and then you don’t have to worry about the morning for while! Also, these have been tested by 2 four year olds with a unanimous 2 thumbs up! So throw the kids out the door with a healthy breakfast as well!
I think these are a great idea for anytime of year, so feel free to substitute the chocolate and cherries for any kind of dried fruits and nuts! The possibilities are pretty endless here, so be creative! I will say though, that the dark chocolate and cherries are such an amazing combination, I recommend you try that combo at least once! My favorite part about these cookies, is that this is literally like eating an entire breakfast in an easy and portable package. There are bananas, oats and almond butter in them, creating a whole meal!
This recipe contains only 10 ingredients, is gluten free, vegan, the sweetener is mostly banana with a bit of agave, only requires one bowl and takes about 20-25 minutes to complete the entire thing. Has a nice amount of protein, and all the other things you need to get you going in the morning. They are light and fluffy, yet super filling. Portable, adorable, and I would say all around, the perfect breakfast. Please enjoy!
Dark Chocolate Cherry Breakfast Cookies (vegan and gluten free)
These cookies are for breakfast! Oats, bananas, almond butter, with dried cherries and chocolate create an amazing portable breakfast!
- 2 Ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 2/3 C. Quick cooking oats,gluten free
- 1 tsp. Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1/2 C. Almond butter
- 2 Tbsp. Agave nectar
- 1/2 C. Dark chocolate chunks or chips, vegan
- 1/2 C. Dried Cherries, chopped if they are large
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, mashed the bananas really well.Set aside.
- In a food processor, add half of the oats, so 1 1/3 C. Process to a pretty fine flour consistency, this should happen pretty quickly.
- Add the oat flour you made, the rest of the oats that weren't processed, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl with the mashed bananas. Mix together.
- Add the vanilla, almond butter and agave. Make sure everything is fully combined and mixed well.
- Stir in the chocolate and cherries.
- Form large balls, and place on a prepared baking sheet and press down a bit to make cookie shapes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes.
- The cookies won't spread, so you want to shape them how you want them to look.
- Want some extra goodness, add some a few scoops of flax or chia seeds!
- Store in the fridge for a week or two.
Rabbit and Wolves http://www.rabbitandwolves.com/
I try really hard when I have an idea, to do some research and make sure there are not already a bunch of recipes already available that are pretty much the same recipe as what I want to work on. I prefer to not find any, but if I do, I make sure it is in no way similar to the recipe I have written. That being said, this is the exception. I have seen many vegan shepherd’s pie recipes. There is a very important reason that I went ahead and I am posting this recipe anyways. This is THE BEST vegan shepherd’s pie EVER. I have had several different vegan shepherd’s pie, and none compare to this one.
There is a reason that this is the best, my husband has been lovingly developing this for years. He has tried a million different combinations, and has ultimately come up with something so totally addictive, I have a very hard time just having one serving. It is so comforting and hearty, this is the perfect cold weather dish. It will also feed a crowd, which is great for this time of year!
This bad boy has not just ale in it, but a nice splash of whiskey for the ultimate warmth and comfort. My husband likes to to add corn and carrot as the veggies, but also sometimes does a little leek depending on the year, so that is something to consider if you want. This recipe just has carrots and corn, and it was amazing! However, I am a sucker for leeks! This is a great make ahead recipe, as you can make the separate components and then put together in a baking dish and bake when ready! I get so busy, I love to have these casserole thrown into an oven options!
This is definitely the ultimate plant based comfort food to share with your family on one of these long cold nights! So easy, and ready to be baked when you are. I hope you guys enjoy!
Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Warm meaty filling with a hint of beer and whiskey, topped with delicious mashed potatoes!
- 2 Carrots (grated)
- 1/2 An Onion (grated)
- 1 Can of Corn
- 3 Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 Pkg. Veggie Beef, I used Gimme Lean
- 1 C. Textured Vegan Protein (TVP)
- 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 2 C. Vegetable Broth
- 1 Bottle Vegan ale, I used Yuengling
- 2 Tbsp. Vegan Whiskey
- 1 tsp. Thyme
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 6-8 Yukon Gold Potatoes ( depending on size)
- 1/3 C. Vegan butter, I used Earth Balance
- 3 Cloves of garlic (chopped)
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil, and add the carrot.
- Sweat the carrot for a few minutes then add the onion, corn and garlic.
- Cook for a few minutes, then add the veggie beef. Using a spoon or smasher, smash the veggie beef and start to brown.
- Add the TVP, tomato paste and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir together. The TVP will start to absorb the liquid.
- Add the ale and whiskey, then the thyme.
- Reduce down for about 15 minutes, the filling will thicken up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Set aside while you make the potatoes.
- Peel and chop the potatoes.
- Boil until soft.
- Mash with the vegan butter and garlic.
- Salt to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- In a large baking dish, scoop the filling into the bottom and smooth out.
- Scoop the potatoes on top and smooth out. Scrap with a fork to create texture.
- Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. You can broil for a few minutes as well if you want to brown the top more.
Rabbit and Wolves http://www.rabbitandwolves.com/
Who doesn’t love chocolate and peppermint merged together in sweet harmony? The answer, my four year old daughter, but no one else. She thinks peppermint is “too spicy”. I on the other hand(and everyone else), think it is a quintessential part of the holiday season, and one of my favorite flavors. This tart is only 6 ingredients, the filling is made with agave instead of refined sugar, and I made my crust gluten free! No one will be able to tell! This is one of the most decadent desserts ever. It needs to chill for a few hours, but the actual process of making this tart takes maybe 15 minutes! I think this is a must have for any holiday party you attend. Especially the ones where you know there will be no healthy desserts!
The chocolate peppermint filling for this tart is literal perfection, just the right amount of peppermint, just the right amount of sweetness. The crust is crunchy and the exact texture contrast this tart needed. I think you will find this is going to be a new holiday staple in your house, once you give it a try. I am pretty sure my husband will be requesting many of these in the next month!
So, I made this crust gluten free just by using gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies, but you can use whatever you want. Even a graham cracker crust made the same way would be delicious, I just really wanted that super luscious double chocolate flavor. The beautifully smooth and creamy chocolate filling is made so gorgeous with the help of coconut cream. Damn it, I love Trader Joe’s. Their coconut cream is so thick, the things it can accomplish are insane!
This tart did not last long, I can tell I have a winner when my husband takes one bite of something and declares “this will not last until tomorrow”. That is exactly what happened when I gave him a bite of this to try. Not only does he have super creative, awesome ideas himself, but he is also my taste tester! I am pretty sure he loves that part of his job!
I hope you all do some great cooking and baking this holiday season! This is my favorite time of year, it is totally acceptable for me to over feed everyone I know. You definitely want to be my friend around November and December, I will give you all the goodies! The rest of the year I am a real jerk, jk. Love to you all, and happy food adventures!
Tools I Used:
Fox Run Preferred Non-stick Rectangular Quiche Pan w/ Removeable Bottom, 14″ X 5″
Fox Run Preffered Round Quiche Pan w/ Removable Bottom
ExcelSteel 579 3-Piece Stainless Steel Boiler, 2.5-Quart
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor (70725A)
Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Tart
- Prep Time: 15m
- Cook Time: 15m
- Total Time: 3h 30m
- 30 Gluten free or regular chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Trader Joe’s Gluten free Joe Joe’s)
- 1/4 c Vegan butter, I used Earth Balance (melted)
- 1 Can of Coconut Cream, just the solid cream part (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 3 c Dark Chocolate, make sure it is vegan
- 1/2 tsp. Peppermint extract
- 1/4 c Agave nectar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a food processor, process the chocolate sandwich cookies and melted vegan butter. Pulse for a few minutes until the cookies become a fine crumb texture and it starts to comes together and form a ball.
- Press into a prepared tart pan that is either circular or rectangular, just make sure it has a pop out bottom. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, using a double boiler, add all the filling ingredients to the top portion of your double boiler(I have a special double boiler pot, but you can just set a heat resistant bowl on top of a small pot filled with a bit of water and brought to a boil) Stir constantly until the chocolate is fully melted and everything is smooth and shiny. This will take a few minutes.
- Once the crust has baked, remove from oven, pour chocolate mixture into the crust. Smooth out evenly, and place in fridge. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve with dairy free whipped cream and some chopped candy canes!
- I recommend keeping this in the fridge until you are ready to serve! Slice and enjoy!
Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Tart
Have you ever wished that your stuffing was a handheld, dip-able treat? Well fear not citizen, I present to you the vegan stuffing fry! From the brilliant mind of my husband, who decided this was the best side dish to my vegan holiday burger. He hypothesized that he could make stuffing a bit wetter than normal, press into a baking sheet, chill, cut and fry. He was correct and it was the best decision either of us has ever made.
This is so easy, 7 ingredients, super creative, and something you can do with some of those holiday leftovers! You will never look at stuffing the same way again! We made a vegan mushroom gravy to dip it in, and good lord, it was magic! I recommend using this as the side dish to my Vegan Holiday Burger.
So crispy and crunchy and filled with the taste of the holidays. Impress all your friends by showing them how clever you are. You can make this ahead of time, by mixing everything and pressing into a pan and saving it in the fridge until you are ready. We made the day before we ended up frying and devouring them .
I hope you love these as much as we did, have a great Thanksgiving everyone!
Vegan Stuffing Fries
- Prep Time: 2h 15m
- Cook Time: 15m
- Total Time: 2h 30m
- 4 tbsp. Vegan butter, I used Earth Balance
- 1/2 an Onion, diced
- 2 Carrots, diced
- 1 Celery stalk, diced
- 2 Cloves of Garlic minced
- 6 1/2 c Bread crumbs, large
- 4 c Vegetable stock
- In a large pot,melt vegan butter, and sweat the carrots for about 5 minutes, then add the other diced veggies and garlic. Saute on low for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft and the onion is transparent.
- Take off heat and add the cooked veggies and bread crumbs to a large bowl. Slowly add the stock and mix until everything is evenly mixed. You want this a bit wetter than regular stuffing.
- Press stuffing evenly into a baking sheet that has parchment paper on it. Chill for 2 hours
- When ready, cut into strips and fry in oil of choice. A few minutes on each side. They will get nice and brown and crispy. Serve with a dipping sauce, I recommend and garlic aioli or mushroom gravy! They are delicious just by themselves as well!
Vegan Stuffing Fries
I had an idea, I think it may have been a really good idea. I was thinking about how much I love leftovers from Thanksgiving and Christmas. They may be my favorite thing. I like to put together all the leftovers on a sandwich, I’m sure this is something we all do, but isn’t it just the greatest thing? So, what if you could make a complete meal out of leftovers? I came up with something so totally delicious that is can definitely be a stand alone dish you make all year. Even if you don’t have these exact things as leftovers, this would be a great holiday entree to get you through the tough family times. The times where your grandma still thinks that chicken broth is vegetarian, and she is not really even 100% sure what a vegan is.
The sweet potato patty is really simple and just a few ingredients. All thrown into a food processor. I added poultry seasoning to give it that totally holiday flavoring, a bit of garlic and bam! One of the greatest veggie burgers I have ever had. Topped with tart cranberry relish, creamy vegan mayo and peppery arugula and you have yourself one hell of a burger!
Here is another thing you will probably be really interested in. Wait for it…wait for it…vegan stuffing fries. Yes, my genius husband came up with the perfect side dish for a holiday burger, what else but fries made out of stuffing? They are so good, you will wonder how you ever lived without vegan stuffing fries. You don’t have to serve these burgers with stuffing fries, but I would recommend it. Here is recipe for Vegan Stuffing Fries.
I promise you, you want to try this. Thrown together so easily, protein packed and a healthy way to recover from Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or a super healthy meal to serve for an holiday dinner you may be having! I hope you enjoy and have a great holiday season!
Vegan Holiday Burger
- Prep Time: 1h
- Cook Time: 15m
- Total Time: 1h 15m
- 1 Can of Chickpeas,drained
- 3 c Sweet potato, roasted
- 1 1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp. Poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tbsp. Water
- 2 c Cranberries, fresh
- 1/2 c Water
- 1/2 c Agave
- Roast the sweet potatoes at 450 for about 1/2 an hour or until soft enough to scoop out and mash.
- While the potatoes are roasting, make the cranberry relish by adding all the ingredients to a medium sauce pan and simmer until all the cranberries have popped. Take off the heat and mash the cranberries with a fork. Set aside and let cool.
- When the sweet potatoes are done, add all the burger ingredients to a food processor and process until everything is fine and mashed together and starts to form a ball. It will probably take a few minutes.
- When everything comes together(it will look a little mushy,don’t worry) form patties with your hand. Heat a bit of oil of your choice in a skillet and cook the patties. They will take a few minutes per side.
- Build the burger with bun, vegan mayo, sweet potato patty, cranberry relish and arugula. Tastes just like Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Vegan Holiday Burger