Cheeseee!

I made a huge salad yesterday and I wanted to add something more to it. So, I found this vegan cheese recipe from Diet, Desserts and Dogs. Some of the ingredients were adapted as I didn’t have everything on hand. I think that any sort of spice can be added to the cheese to make different flavors.
It doesn’t really taste like swiss cheese, more like a savory jello-type food, but it’s good either way!

INGREDIENTS
1 and 1/2 cups water

5 tbsp agar powder

1/2 cup cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 cup chopped onion

2-3 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp ground coriander

Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine water and agar powder in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Then, reduce heat and simmer until the agar powder has dissolved. (About 5 minutes)

2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender and add the agar mixture as well.

3. After blending, pour the mixture into a container and let it cool uncovered in the fridge.
After it has set (about 2 hours), it can be covered.

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Easiest roasted veggies

I’ve often seen rutabagas and fennel bulbs at the grocery store, but i’ve never had the courage to buy them.
Ever since i’ve developed food intolerances i’ve been trying out new foods in attempts to vary my diet. These recipes are relatively simply to put together and not time-consuming. What’s more is that they taste great as a snack or as a side dish for lunch or dinner.

Roasted rutabaga

DIRECTIONS
1. Peel and cut the rutabaga into cubes

2. Grind equal parts rosemary, thyme, and dried parsley with 2 pinches of salt in a coffee grinder to make sure they are mixed well.

3. Spread the rutabaga cubes on a baking tray and sprinkle all the spice blend over top
Drizzle with oil and mix everything up so that everything is coated (I did this with my hands).

4. Bake for about 1 hour at 450 F or until a fork can be easily pierced through the rutabaga.

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Roasted fennel bulb

DIRECTIONS
1. Cut the fennel bulb lengthwise.

2. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 400 F, or until tender.

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Melon custard

I had this amazing mango custard a while back and I wanted to reproduce it.
Unfortunately I didn’t have any mango at home so I used honeydew melon instead.

INGREDIENTS
2 and 1/4 cups diced melon

1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk

2 tsp agar powder

1-2 packets of stevia (or 2 tsp agave)

3-4 squares of dark chocolate, shaved

DIRECTIONS
1. Blend the melon until it is liquid. Set it aside.

2. Combine the coconut milk and agar powder in a saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until the agar has dissolved.

3. Take the milk off the heat and stir in the pureed melon and sweetener.

4. Pour equal parts of the finished mixture into small sized ramekins (this recipe used 4).

5. Sprinkle shaved chocolate over each custard to garnish.

6. Chill in the fridge about 2 hours, or until set.

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Squash-stuffed mushrooms

I normally eat butternut squash roasted straight out of the oven and sometimes I add some cinnamon to it as well.
But, this time I wanted something different. So, I stuffed mushrooms with roasted squash and cooked it some more for lunch.

INGREDIENTS
1 medium-sized butternut squash, roasted

About 10 white button mushrooms

1 large onion, chopped

Spices to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. First, cook your squash. I cooked mine for 1 hour at 400 F, but temperatures can vary among ovens.

2. Separate the stems from the mushroom caps and reserve them. They will be mixed into the stuffing.

3. Puree the cooked squash (I did this by hand) and add in the chopped onion. Chop the mushroom stems into small pieces and add those in as well.

4. Season the mixture with your preferred spice blend.
I added salt, dried parsley, dried onion and garlic, dried dill weed and pinch of paprika.

5. Take about a spoonful of the mixture and stuff it into each of the mushroom caps.
There may be some leftover; it can be eaten like that (which is what I did!)

6. Place the stuffed mushrooms on a baking tray and drizzle them with a bit of olive oil.
Place the tray in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes at 350 F.

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Raw cheesecake

Cashews!
I would never have guessed that I could make “cream cheese” out of cashews.
And, what’s even better is that cashews don’t contain the animal fat that cream cheese does.
This is the first time that i’ve ever tried to imitate cheese this way after looking a various raw cheesecake recipes on the internet and i’m so amazed how close the texture and the taste comes to the traditional cake. So, healthy food really does taste good 🙂
I made this cheesecake using pineapple, but any fruit will work in the same quantity (1/2 cup).
I can be made into individual cupcakes or one larger cake. I prefer the cupcakes because they just look cuter. (My recipe makes about 5 cupcakes)

There is a bit of planning involved here as the cashews should be soaked around 2-4 hours and the cake sets in the fridge in about 1.5 to 2 hours.

INGREDIENTS
For the crust:
1/4 cup raw pecans

3-4 dates

For the filling:
3/4 cup raw cashews

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp + 2 tsp coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp liquid sweetener (I omitted this and used 1 packet of stevia to keep the carb count lower)

1/2 cup pineapple (any fruit works, frozen or fresh)

DIRECTIONS
First, the crust:
1. Process the pecans and dates until the pecans are finely crushed.

2. Divide this mixture evenly among 5 cupcake liners and press down to form the crust.

Then, the filling:
1. Combine all ingredients (except for the fruit) in a blender until creamy.
I used a magic bullet and it worked okay.

2. Add the fruit and blend.
If using frozen fruit, make sure it is soft enough that it will combine with the rest of the filling.

3. Pour the mixture on top of the crusts of the cupcakes.
Even the tops out with a spatula or knife.

4. Refrigerate to solidify for about 2 hours.
They can also be frozen to speed up the process, but I didn’t try that.

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Sundried tomato spread

A jar of sundried tomatoes in oil were left over after a get-together a while back and no one in my family touched the jar. It just sat there day after day, so I thought about adding them to beans and making a good sandwich spread or veggie dip out of them. Combining the tomatoes together with the oil they sat in gave this dip a very rich taste.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (measured with the oil)

1/2 cup cooked navy beans (or any other white beans)

1/4 cup pitted olives

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2-4 tbsp dried basil

Leaves from 4 sprigs of parsley

Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Blend everything except for parsley and basil. I used a magic bullet.

2. Add the herbs and blend again. The end-product was a bit chunky, but that’s ok. I still tasted good.

3. Place in fridge for an hour for the flavors to develop.

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Strawberry jam muffins

I’ve had coconut flour in my freezer for a while and i wanted to make something out of it.
I found this recipe from Powercakes and it looked amazing with the filling. I adapted it to make it without eggs as I can’t eat eggs. So, it’s vegan. Woot!
The filling should be made ahead of time; maybe a few hours before preparing the actual muffins to allow it to thicken.

INGREDIENTS

Strawberry filling:
1 and 1/2 cups strawberries

1/4 cup chia seeds

Muffins:
3/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup protein powder (preferably in a vanilla flavor)

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp agar powder

1/2 cup dry sweetener (or stevia, about 2-3 packets)

1 cup applesauce

1 cup non-dairy milk (i used coconut)

1/2 cup + 3 tbsp water

2 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
First make the strawberry jam:
1. Puree the strawberries until they are liquid.

2. Heat it up in the conventional oven for 10 minutes at 300 F.

3. Pour the strawberry puree into a bowl and mix the chia seeds into it.

4. Let it sit, covered, in the fridge for a few hours, or until the chia has jelled.

For the muffins:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl.

3. Mix all dry in another bowl.

4. Pour wet over dry and mix to combine.

5. Line a muffin tin with liners and spoon batter into each muffin.

Narrow out an opening in the middle of each with the back of a spoon.
Reserve some batter for later.

6. Spoon about a tablespoon of the strawberry jam into each of the muffins.

7. Take a bit of the remaining batter and cover the jam completely.

8. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

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