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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Hi everyone!

My name is Caroline and I’m super excited to share this post with you all. Like the Hungry Birdie herself, I am also a law student – studying across the pond in a town called Canterbury (yes from the tales!). As a self-professed cheese aficionado, I have to admit I wasn’t always so thrilled with the idea of vegan cooking. I expected the ingredients to be completely foreign and inaccessible, but reading Robin’s blog inspired me to try a few new recipes (Winter potato salad, Penne with sun dried tomatoes and walnuts… Mmmmm!). And while you probably won’t catch me with a forkful of tofu any day soon, I’m getting a little closer… Enjoy!

Vegetable curry

Serves: 4

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp curry paste
4 plum tomatoes, or similar
2 red bell peppers
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½  can coconut milk
4 cups of spinach or other dark green

Halve and peel one onion and slice into very thin half-moons. In deep pan, sauté onions in olive oil and a pinch of salt until golden and translucent (bonus points if you have the patience to caramelize them slightly). When golden, add two finely chopped cloves of garlic and two tablespoons of your favourite curry paste.

Add a few chopped tomatoes, sliced bell pepper and one can of chickpeas. Shake and pour in half a can of coconut milk. (I freeze the other half in an ice cube tray, pop them out and keep them in the freezer for next time!) Add about a cup of recently boiled water until you are happy with the consistency. Simmer away for a few minutes, add salt if needed.

At the end, wilt in a few handfuls of dark greens – I used organic spinach here. Serve alongside rice, quinoa, or nan bread, and a cold ale if you so fancy it. Enjoy!

If you’re in the mood for a nice light dessert to go with your spicy curry, try…

Baked Plums with Golden Sugar and Allspice

Serves: 4

4 plums, halved and pitted
2 tbsp golden brown sugar
1 ½ tsp allspice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat the exposed side of each plum in the allspice and sugar. Bake cut-side up for 20-25 minutes, until slightly scorched and soft in the middle. (This works better with firm plums.)

Serve warm or room temperature, with chopped nuts or a nice soymilk ice cream!

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Halloween is right around the corner and although I’m still stumped for costume ideas, I certainly didn’t need convincing on the cupcake front! As I’ve mentioned, I’m a somewhat tentative baker and not one to get creative with my own sweet concoctions just yet. But I got this fabulous recipe from Jess’s wonderful blog and these babies were pretty close to perfection! The only changes I made were reducing the amount of Earth Balance in the frosting (hey, I can be sensible sometimes) and adding a pinch of cinnamon for a seasonal flair.

Not that cupcake baking ever needs to be justified, but I whipped these up for a bake sale at school. I can’t remember the last time I helped out with such an event but it felt nice to contribute to a good cause. All of the funds went to organizations that help at-risk women in the Ottawa area. Lately, it’s been so easy to get consumed in my law school bubble of lectures, readings, assignments and exams. It really is as crazy as everyone said it would be. But it’s important that myself and my classmates get our noses out of our books and our butts out of the library every now and again to realize that there is, in fact, a world outside of law school. And dare I say (gasp!) even more important things than academic success. Coming from the perfectionist that I am, this is much easier said than done. But every pot luck, bike ride, and bake sale for a good cause is helping me not to forget the things that I’m passionate about. After all, I still want to come out as me at the end of this whole ride!

Vanilla Halloween Cupcakes
Makes one dozen

1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sunflower or canola oil
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup organic all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the almond milk and cider vinegar in a large bowl and set aside to curdle for about five minutes. Add in the oil, sugar and vanilla and stir until well combined. Sift the remaining dry ingredients into a separate bowl before slowly stirring them into the wet mixture. Beat (or whisk) together until smooth.

Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way full and bake for about 16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Be patient and allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing.

Vegan Vanilla Buttercream
1/3 cup earth balance vegan margerine
3 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp almond milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Red and orange food colouring
Vegan jujubes (check for no gelatin!)

Whip the Earth Balance and the vanilla together. Add in the sugar and almond milk a bit at a time until the mixture is smooth. Add in the cinnamon and food colouring. To get the orange, I used about two parts yellow to one part red. Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes and top with jujubes! YUM!

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photos by pwisenberg

Hello everyone and happy Thanksgiving! Since I finally have time to breathe and relax a bit this weekend, I thought I’d share a recent recipe. I made this mish-mash of a dish on a chilly Tuesday night and it wound up being so flavourful that I felt it deserved to be shared! The star ingredient were the baked sweet potatoes that I seasoned with oregano and paprika. These hearty tots are perfect when cut into thick wedges and served on a bed of bright quinoa salad.

Baked sweet potato wedges and quinoa salad
Serves 4

Baked Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees. Place 2 large sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and prick with a fork. Bake for about 45 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and slice into thick wedges. Sprinkle generously with oregano, paprika, sea salt and coarse black pepper.

Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup baby spinach

While the potatoes are cooking, add quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for around 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Sautee until soft and slightly golden. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, dijon and remaining olive oil. Add in the warm quinoa, cooked veggies, walnuts and tomatoes and toss it all together. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the potato wedges over a bed of  warm quinoa and baby spinach for a healthy meal that I guarantee will leave you with a very happy belly!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone xo

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photo by pwisenberg

If that’s not an up-close and personal photo of a cookie, I don’t know what is! But trust me when I say, if you’re gonna get intimate with a cookie, this is the one to choose. They basically include everything you’d want in a dessert (heck, in a meal!) all in a couple of tasty bites. They are made from quinoa, coconut, banana and chocolate chips. Now, you all know I am quite the quinoa lover, but I never would have thought to use them in a cookie before. I adapted the recipe from this book by Peggy Kotsopoulos, a gift from my friend, and fellow-vegan, Lindsay. She raved about these cookies and yesterday morning’s gloomy weather provided the perfect opportunity to finally bake up a batch. So that’s it folks, a simple cookie that’s just sweet enough to satisfy your cravings, and just nutritious enough to go back for another. Or two.

Quinoa cookies
Makes about 2 dozen 

4 ripe bananas
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup uncooked quinoa flakes
1 cup shaved coconut
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Begin by preheating your oven to 380 degrees. In a large bowl, add the bananas and mash them until smooth. Stir in the vanilla, quinoa, quinoa flakes, coconut and sugar until well combined. Add in the chocolate chips. Take a nibble, just cause. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add tablespoon-sized drops of the batter. Free-form is good, the more rustic, the better. Bake for about 14-18 minutes, until still soft, but crispy around the edges. Delish!

On another note, I am headed back to New York this weekend and I can’t wait! We’re doing another road trip with friends and so far plans include strolling through Central Park, checking out the Brooklyn Flea, trying my first ever vegan soft serve and, of course, going back here and here. Please let me know if you have suggestions for places to visit, shop or eat!

xo robin katherine

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photos by pwisenberg

Okay, so it may not be New York City, but Ottawa sure has its perks. Highlights of the weekend include touring the University of Ottawa Law School, having one of the best meals of my life at Zen Kitchen and taking shelter in the rain by cozying up in our hotel room with Netflix and a bottle of wine. We even did the good old Parliament tour which, go figure, was not as boring as I remembered it being in seventh grade. On our way out of town, we stopped for lunch at The Green Door Restaurant where we piled our plates with vegan goodies like spanakopita, fresh rolls and smashed yams. Clearly, we couldn’t leave without grabbing dessert, so we tried a peanut butter cookie, a slice of the mint chocolate tofu “cheesecake” and the most rich and delicious orange chocolate layer cake. Lastly, on the long drive home we were blessed with the most breathtaking sunset that seemed to go on forever. I’ve been spoiled with all the road trips we’ve been taking lately, I could sure get used to this!

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photo by me

What’s better than milk and cookies? Nothing of course. I made this recipe and the cookies turned out soft, chewy and perrrfect! I didn’t have tapioca flour, so I substituted 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch and I added some raw sugar to the top of each cookie for added crunch. So yummy, what more can I say?

Happy Tuesday! xo

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Be mine

photos by pwisenberg & me

Happy Valentine’s Day! In honour of cuddles, kisses and sugary sweets, I decided to bake up some special v-day cookies. I used this recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen (although the cinnamon hearts were my festive idea), and was surprised at how easy they were to make. Oh, and it’s basically a peanut butter ball wrapped in chocolate cookie dough, seriously. I’ll admit one thing though, the raw dough just may have been better than the final product, so I permit you to lick the spoon until the cows come home. These little bites are scrumptious and the recipe makes tons, so there’s plenty of love to go around!

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