5/10/2013

{Recipe} Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich Muffins for the Virtual Vegan Potluck

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Welcome! I’m excited to participate in my first Virtual Vegan Potluck – an online feast of plant-based food, where over a hundred food bloggers are coming together to share their amazing recipes. What am I bringing to this feast? These awesome sandwich muffins that I wish I always had on hand (for breakfasts, snacks, or potlucks.)

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The idea for these muffins came to me while I was enjoying a peanut butter & banana sandwich. Why not make this yummy sandwich into a muffin? The results – so good.

 

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Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich Muffins (vegan. oil-free. whole wheat.)

www.passtheveggies.com

yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

4 very ripe medium bananas

2 Tb. ground flax seed

3/4 cup warm non-dairy milk

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/4-1/3 cup agave or maple syrup (to taste)

1 Tb. vanilla extract

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 Tb. baking powder

pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a muffin tin and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mash two of the bananas. Slice the other two bananas into 1/4” thick rounds.
  3. In a cup, mix the ground flax seed and warm milk together and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, peanut butter, agave or maple syrup, and vanilla. Add and mix in the mashed bananas and the flax/milk mixture.
  5. In another small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together, then add it to the wet ingredients, and stir just until combined.
  6. To make the muffin “sandwiches”, put a heaping tablespoon of muffin batter into each muffin cup. Top the batter with 3 slices of banana, covering the batter. Now cover the bananas with the rest of the muffin batter, dividing the batter evenly among all 12 muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until muffins are golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Enjoy your muffin sandwiches and the rest of the potluck!

 

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Go forward to see what Bankrupt Vegan has brought to the potluck:

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Go back to see what My Good Clean Food has brought to the potluck:

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Do you want to start at the beginning of the potluck? Go here to Vegan Bloggers Unite. Enjoy the feast!

4/12/2013

{Recipe} Raw Chard Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

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When I have Swiss chard, I usually end up using it in soup, or occasionally some other entrée dish. But with the warmer weather, and two big bunches of green chard in my fridge that needed to be used, I decided on a raw chard salad for my lunch today. I loved the first raw chard salad I had, but wanted to try something new.

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I think I actually like this salad more. Bright chard, sweet apples, crunchy walnuts, and a slightly sweet maple vinaigrette. An easy and delicious way to get your daily dose of greens.

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Raw Chard Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

www.passtheveggies.com

Ingredients:

Salad:

1 large bunch of chard

1 large sweet apple, cut in quarters, cored, and thinly sliced

1/3-1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/4 cup craisins

Dressing:

1 tsp. pure maple syrup

2 Tb. apple cider vinegar

1-2 Tb. olive oil (or water for oil-free option)

dash of salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Wash and dry chard. Slice into ribbons or tear into small pieces and add to large bowl. Add apples, walnuts and craisins to bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small separate bowl and pour over salad. Mix and serve.

Notes: I didn’t have craisins on hand (so they aren’t shown in the pictures), but they would be perfect in this salad. Makes 1-2 entrée salads, or 4 small side salads.

Adapted from Aggie’s Kitchen.

4/10/2013

{Recipe} Japanese Vegetable Curry

vegetable curry

Years ago I learned how to make a curry dish that used a certain curry seasoning packet. Our family loved it and we made it often. Last year I finally made my own version of the dish, eliminating the need for the packaged seasoning mix (which included MSG, and other junk.) It really is easy and our family still loves it!

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It uses simple, inexpensive ingredients that I often have on hand, so it’s a good ‘go-to’ recipe when you don’t know what to make for dinner.

 

Japanese Vegetable Curry

www.passtheveggies.com

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, diced small

2 tsp. ground cumin

2-4 tsp. curry powder (depending on how spicy you like it)

2-4 tsp. garam masala

3 cloves garlic, minced

1” piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and minced or grated

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced

1 can garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed (optional)

1 can coconut milk, or homemade coconut milk (optional)

1 Tb. sweetener (like agave – optional)

1 1/2 - 2 tsp. salt, or to taste

2 apples, peeled, cored, and cubed

2 Tb. cornstarch

Directions:

In a large pot, water saute’ the onion over medium/high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all spices, garlic and ginger to the pot, stir and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.. Add all vegetables (and beans if using), coconut milk (if using), enough water to cover everything, sweetener, and salt. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer about 5 minutes. Add apples to the pot and simmer a few more minutes, until everything is tender. Mix cornstarch with a little water (about 1/4 cup) until there are no lumps. Add to the pot, and simmer about 1 minute more, until liquid has thickened. (It should be the consistency of a stew. Add more water/cornstarch mixture if needed to make it the right thickness.) Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over brown rice, or other whole grain. (It is served over whole wheat couscous in the pictures.)

Notes: The coconut milk makes it creamy, and tones down the spiciness of the seasonings. I use more seasonings when I use the coconut milk, and less when I just use water.

4/04/2013

{Recipe} Homemade Coconut Milk

coconut milk

I love using coconut milk in vegetable curry, or other recipes to add creaminess without dairy, but I often find I’m out. Now that I know I can make my own using dried coconut, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to using the canned stuff. (It’s much cheaper and just as easy as opening up a can!)

I knew about homemade nut milk, like almond milk, and homemade milk from grains, like rice. But – it doesn’t stop there. You can make your own coconut milk too! It’s fast and simple and perfect for using in any recipes you have calling for canned coconut milk. Awesome, right?

 

Homemade Coconut Milk

www.passtheveggies.com

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened dried coconut

2 cups very hot water

Directions:

Combine coconut and water in a blender. Blend until smooth. (I used the “whole juice” button on my Blendtec.) Let sit a few minutes. Strain milk through cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. Use right away or store covered in the fridge for a few days.

Notes: This recipe yields a creamy coconut milk similar to canned. If you want a thinner milk, simply thin out with water or repeat the blending and straining. I used the leftover coconut pulp in my No-Bake Lemon Poppy Seed Macaroons recipe and it worked perfectly! The texture of the cookies does change, because the coconut is ground up fine, but my kids didn’t care. Try using the coconut pulp in other favorite recipes that you would normally use unsweetened shredded coconut in.

Yield: About 2 cups.

(Lightly adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.)

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Need some ideas for using your fresh coconut milk? Try one of these recipes:

4/02/2013

{My Garden} Spring Planting

Spring has finally sprung and I planted some seeds!

Spring planting can begin as soon as you’re able to work the ground – meaning it isn’t frozen anymore. For me this was several weeks ago, but I just got around to my garden about a week ago. Here are the steps I took to prepare my garden boxes for planting:

1. Clean out all old plants, leaves, weeds, etc.

(I use raised beds and the square-foot gardening method (by Mel Bartholomew), so actually before this step I removed my lathe that marks my 1’ squares.)

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2. Add compost to your soil.

In the square-foot gardening method you fill your garden boxes with a mix of vermiculite, peat moss, and compost, in equal parts. Then, each time you plant something new you add in more compost. This is an easy, simple, organic method of gardening (which is virtually weed free!) But even if you don’t use the square-foot gardening method, this is a great thing to do for your garden every year.

For my 4’x4’ garden box, I mixed in 2 cubic feet of compost. This equals about 1.5” into each square foot.

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3. If you are a square-foot gardener, add on your lathe or other material to mark where each square foot is.

This simplifies things by showing you exactly where you’ll plant what, and how many options and possibilities you have.

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Now you are ready to plant some spring crops!

I planted the following:

  • Sugar Snap Peas (4 square feet (9 per square) on the north side of my box, which will grow up a vertical frame)
  • Spinach (3 plants now, 6 more later in the same square)
  • Lettuce mix (4 in a square)
  • Collards (1 in the middle of a square)

This weekend I’ll be planting my kale and bok choy plants outside. I’m hardening them off this week. (I hope I don’t kill them!)

Note: I live in USDA Hardiness Zone 7.