Vegan Chipotle Twice Baked Sweet Potato

4-26-14 202

In case you couldn’t already tell, I’m a huge fan of sweet potatoes. Not only are they delicious in their own right, but they’re incredibly packed with vitamin A, which always seems to help out my skin. I used to have them almost every morning in my favorite maple mashed form. I’ve fallen in love with breakfast smoothies, however, so I started looking for more quick, savory recipes to put my beloved sweet potatoes in.

That’s when I came across the “twice baked sweet potato” concept, and now I’ve come up with a new favorite lunch that only takes 15 minutes or less to make. And it tastes amazingly gourmet! The beauty of the recipe is that what you add in can be varied a lot to your preferences or what you have on hand; the amounts below are just my favorite version. You could make it sweet, italian style, asian style, or tex-mex style like I did. You can add in protein sources like beans, or throw in all sorts of veggies. The options are endless!

Eating them open face sandwich style also makes it a fun meal; I personally love the skins, and they’re really good for you!

4-26-14 193

Makes 1 serving. Calories: ~250

Ingredients

  • 1 medium (~5″ length, 2″ diameter) or 1/2 large sweet potato with skin
  • 1/3 medium white onion
  • 1 big leaf of kale (optional)
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheddar, chopped or shredded
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1. Remove the eyes and blemishes from the skin, and bake it. You can bake it in the oven, but I prefer to use the microwave method for speed: pierce the potato on all sides with a fork or knife, set on a paper towel, and microwave for about 4 minutes, or until tender. (Giant potatoes like the one in my photo may take up to 8 minutes.) You may want to flip midway.

2. While it’s baking, saute the onions and kale over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the kale is tender. Remove from heat, and add in the cheese, chipotle powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.

3. Once the sweet potato is tender, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out enough of the flesh to leave a “rind” of ~1/2 inch. (See third picture below.) Mash the scooped out flesh, and mix it with the onion-cheese mixture until fully combined.

4. Scoop the entire mixture back into the potato-skin shells, and microwave until the cheese is melted and everything is fully heated.

5. Eat it open-face sandwich style, or with a fork and knife.

And enjoy your vitamin A packed meal!

4-26-14 210

Method photos (Note that I cut my potato in half first because it was giant.)

4-26-14 164  4-26-14 171 4-26-14 175 4-26-14 1794-26-14 1834-26-14 212

 

Thanks for reading!

Michelle

 

Advertisements

Vegan Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

4-20-14 091

“WHAT? Vegans eat this well?!”

That’s one of the responses these cookies got. One of the mildly annoying things about veganism is that truly palatable dairy and egg-free baked goods are hard to come by. Luckily, through a lot of trial and error (emphasis on the error thanks to the finicky nature of vegan baking), I’m gradually building up my own arsenal of delicious vegan recipes so I’ll never feel deprived again. This particular recipe comes from a friend of mine: she veganized the original egg-and-dairy recipe amazingly! Not to mention, the strong almond flavors are just irresistible–I’m a bit of an almond addict.

I only modified it a little bit from the one she shared, and these cookies were an absolute hit. I brought a batch to the store I bake for, and they sold out really quickly!

4-20-14 0594-20-14 118

Makes 2 dozen cookies (~3″ diameter)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup earth balance (or sub in equal part applesauce to make it lower fat)
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed with 6 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Salt to sprinkle on top

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare flax egg by mixing the flaxseed and water in a small bowl. Set it aside, stirring occasionally, until fully combined and gelatinous. (yum!)

2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl: vegetable oil, earth balance, flax mixture, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until combined. Fold in almonds and chocolate chips.

3. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour, then form into balls on a cookie sheet, leaving about a 2″ space between them. Sprinkle a bit of salt on top of each one.

4. Bake at 350 degrees, or until the tops have crisped up. Transfer to cooling rack until set, and enjoy!

Serving size: 1 cookie. Calories per serving: 210 (using earth balance), 180 (using applesauce)

4-20-14 0834-20-14 0854-20-14 0764-20-14 080

 

One-hour Cinnamon Rolls

3-15-14 3693-08-14 205

As someone who eats almost entirely vegan but indulges in dairy on rare occasion, my strategy for coming up with particularly tricky veganized versions of classic dishes often involves attempting to make the original versions first. In order to try to make a vegan version as similar as possible, I’ll taste some of the original to get an idea of what I’m aiming for, and give the rest away to friends. I try to avoid making non-vegan food whenever possible, but with cinnamon rolls, I knew I needed a reference point; I’d never made them before, and had no idea what homemade ones should taste like!

And this slightly modified version of a recipe from Averiecooks turned out amazingly. In fact, I was shocked at their resemblance to Cinnabon, especially considering that these only took an hour. The insides were tender and buttery, and the sweetness was perfectly offset by the tartness of the cream cheese frosting; my friends devoured them within minutes. I even added a splash of Bailey’s to the frosting for some St. Patrick’s weekend spirit!

As for the vegan version coming up: hopefully, curdling some soymilk will have a similar effect to the buttermilk called for, Earth balance should easily replace the butter, and I’ll be substituting Daiya cream cheese in for the frosting. If you try these (or other) substitutions, let me know how it goes!

3-08-14 182

Makes about eight 3″ cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk, warmed
  • 2 & 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Inside filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), very soft
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon

Glaze:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (Or more if you like it sweeter)
  • ~1 tbs half and half, milk, or Bailey’s, to your desired consistency
  • Dash of vanilla

3-08-14 172

Directions

(See photos of the whole process below!)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ round or square pan.

2. Combine flour, buttermilk, yeast, oil, salt, and sugar in a bowl, and mix until it begins to form a ball. Turn onto a large cutting board or other clean surface, and knead for about 5 minutes either by hand or with a stand mixer. The ball should be smooth, no longer sticky, and getting difficult to knead.

3. Using a rolling pin or similar shaped object (since my rolling pin is back home, I had to use a jar!), roll out the dough until it is about 9″13 inches–you can use your 9″ pan for reference.

4. Spread the butter across the dough leaving a small margin at the edges. In a bowl, combine the sugars and cinnamon; sprinkle the mixture across the top of the butter in an even layer.

5. Starting with the longer side, roll the dough relatively tightly into a log. Depending on how large you want your cinnamon rolls, cut the log at 1-2″ intervals using a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss.

6. Arrange your rolls in the pan leaving at least 1/2″ between them, and reshape them a bit if they got squished during the cutting process. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the exposed parts of the dough aren’t squishy when tapped. (Warning: if you don’t leave a bit of space between the rolls when you first put them in the pan, the dough between them could end up raw, and they will be hard to separate! They’ll spread out into each other as they bake, so leave them a little room to do that.)

7. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla, and add liquid(s) of your choice until it reaches your desired consistency.

8. Remove the rolls from the oven, top with glaze, and serve immediately! Some of the cinnamon-sugar-butter sauce will be at the bottom of the pan; we found scooping it back on top of the rolls was a fun sort of second glaze!

3-08-14 1523-15-14 3393-15-14 3453-08-14 1603-15-14 3473-15-14 3563-15-14 362

Recipe: Hazelnut Butter [Vegan]

3-24-14 040 warm

Something about being home from college makes me want to spend all my time experimenting in the kitchen. Perhaps it’s the free time, perhaps it’s the availability of actual cooking equipment like food processors and stand mixers; either way, I keep coming up with all sorts of concoctions.

One of my favorites from this spring break was homemade hazelnut butter–I’m a huge nut butter fanatic. I usually stick to almond and peanut butters, but saw a packet of hazelnut butter at the store and had to go home and try it for myself. A few toasted hazelnuts later and I was in nut butter heaven: it was rich, creamy, bursting with flavor, and like nothing I’ve had before. It’s also a great base for your own homemade vegan nutella: just add cocoa and sweetener!

I then proceeded to come up with a hazelnut-butter cinnamon roll recipe, but I’ll save that one for another post.

3-24-14 002

 

Makes about a cup of butter.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2/3 cup soy, almond, or coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Optional: cinnamon, cocoa powder, maple, or other flavorings

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread hazelnuts on baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes.

2. Place nuts between 2 paper towels and rub together to remove the shells. You may have to take off a few stragglers by hand.

3. Put de-shelled nuts (leaving a few on is fine, but the shells are bitter) into a food processor, and process for about 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and liquid. You’ll need to scrape down the sides of the processor every minute or so. If you’re having trouble getting it to go from fine powder to liquid, add the milk and continue processing until smooth.

4. Add the coconut sugar, flavorings, and milk if you haven’t already, and process until combined.

5. Optional: Add 1 part milk to 1 part almond butter, and blend until combined. You’ll essentially be halving the calories if you use a low-cal milk!

Enjoy it on fruit, bread, in pastries, or by the spoonful!

3-24-14 0093-24-14 0183-24-14 025

 

Thanks for reading,

Michelle