Archive for the ‘vegan’ Category

Brownie + pumpkin pie = heaven.

The fact that it’s vegan is just an added bonus.

I’ve been meaning to make these ever since I saw them on Oh She Glows.

In a word, they are magical. The brownies are probably some of the best I’ve ever had. They are so moist and cake-like, but so very dense. They are so good.

And topped with pumpkin-pie like filling. Ooooh yes.

Angela is a genius.

Pupmkin Pie Brownie Cupcakes
From Oh She Glows

Pumpkin Brownie Layer:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Pumpkin Pie Layer:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. For brownies: In a stand mixer or by hand, mix together the coconut oil, pumpkin, vanilla, and sugar until blended well. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking, soda, sea salt and mix until incorporated. Take about 2 tbsp of the mixture and place in muffin tin. Wet fingers and spread around evenly so it is smooth.

3. For pumpkin layer: In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin, vanilla, and milk. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well until all clumps are gone. Now add approx 1.5-2 tbsp of the pumpkin pie mixture on top of each brownie in the pan.

4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes and then move to the fridge to chill for 1.5 hours.


I cut the recipe in half and got 6 muffins out of it. Also, Angela suggests greasing the muffin tins, but I didn’t and had no troubles with them sticking.

I am, however, having trouble keeping away from them. They are SO, SO good.


Read Full Post »

Quinoa and edamame salad

I don’t have a good track record with making up my own recipes. Something always goes wrong and I end up throwing the whole thing out and ordering pizza. But …

I think I successfully recreated the quinoa and edamame salad from the Healthy Living Summit. I’ve been dreaming about this salad for the last week. I finally decided to try out a few ideas I had bouncing around in my head and, shockingly, it worked!

This is a pretty close replica, as far as I can remember. Bonus: It was actually really, really easy and quick.

Quinoa with edamame

Quinoa with edamame

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup cooked edamame
1 tsp. mirin
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp.  sesame oil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Cook quinoa in vegetable broth. Once cooked, mix with the rest of ingredients.

If any other HLS bloggers try this out, let me know if you think it’s right!

Read Full Post »

NYC – day 1

I’m not sure how to even put this trip into words. I know it’s only day one, but I can already tell it’s going to be an epic trip. (And if you know me, you know I use that word VERY sparingly.)

I’m staying with my cousin Nicholas & his partner, Paul, and their furkid, Cooper Gizmo.

I totally made a new friend here. ūüôā

They are the best hosts ever. We walked part of Central Park – stopping at The Ballfield’s Cafe for some sangria.

Then, they took me to Pure Food & Wine last night for dinner. Everything was fantabulous.

We started off with the special appetizer of the day: mango, asparagus, mushroom & avocado sushi. I think we all could have just eaten this by the plateful. The avocado was SOOOO smooth.

mango, asparagus, mushroom & avocado sushi

Then, we all ordered something different & shared – the BEST way to experience a new restaurant. I think we all agreed the tamales were the best part of the meal. Other than the company, of course!

zucchini, local roma & heirloom tomato lasagna

Three pizettes in the style of southern Italy

Sweet corn and cashew tamales

The best part of the night – this little surprise:

Read Full Post »

I love that whenever I talk to my sister, we share recipes. This is one of the ones she gave to me during a nice long chat yesterday. I had asked her how to cut a mango – which, I’m sure I royally bungled – and she gave a quick explanation, then said “oh, I have this recipe for quinoa, black beans & mango.” When she ran down the list of ingredients and it included cilantro, I was sold. Three of my favorite things in one dish – quinoa, black beans and cilantro. What could go wrong?

Well, other than my hack-job on the mango, this recipe is perfect. It’s super easy and quite delicious. I think it came from Veganomicon.

quinoa salad with black beans & mango

Quinoa salad with black beans & mango

1 mango, peeled & cut into small dice
1 red bell pepper, seeded & cut into small dice
1 cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 can black beans, drained & rinsedCombine all in bowl & let sit to allow flavors to meld. Serve at room temp.

So how DO you cut a mango?

Read Full Post »

I so loved reading all about what you love about your pets! I especially loved seeing another black cat owner – that totally made my day! Black cats always get a bad rap, but I swear mine are the BEST.

So our winner is – Kira at Cook, Love, Pray! (Sorry I don’t have photo of the random generator – I accidentally closed the screen when I was trying to figure out how to do a screen capture. #bloggerfail.) Kira, send your address to blackcatkitchen at gmail and I’ll get your goodies out to you right away! ūüôā


Who says you need a special occasion to make a cake? Not me! I made this vegan chocolate cake in June for my birthday. My mom and dad both politely ate it and said it was good. But, of course, not as good as mom’s original chocolate cake. I’ll give them that. But, for a cake free of milk, eggs and butter, this is damn good. Plus, I love that it makes just a LITTLE cake (or 3-4 individual cakes) so I don’t end up with lots of leftovers. Oh, and, it’s ridiculously easy.

vegan chocolaty goodness

Vegan chocolate fudge cake
from Chef in You

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup cold water

Sift together dry ingredients. In separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Add to dry ingredients and mix slowly until smooth.

Grease & flour 7″ round pan (or 3-4 individual ramikens). Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool, then remove from pan and top with vegan chocolate frosting or powdered sugar if desired.

Vegan chocolate frosting
From Chef in You

  • 1 cup icing/powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • About 1/3 cup warm water (this will make it little thin. Add tbsp at a time until you reach your desired¬†consistency)

What’s something that you’d like to make ‘just because?’

Read Full Post »

Sisterly love

My sister and I are finally easing into our roles as siblings. You see, my sis is 7 years younger than me, so we’ve never been really close.¬†¬†But, in the years since she’s been in college, we’ve actually started talking. Instead of the stilted pleasantries when I’d call home and she’d answer the phone, she’s actually calling me just to talk. We exchange text messages a few times a month and my mom actually calls me every once in a while and asks, “Have you talked to your sister lately?” as if I’m going to have news she doesn’t. Suddenly, we have things in common – food/recipes, pets, relationships, school. It’s amazing and every single time I talk to my sister on the phone – or get a text message from her – I realize just how much I love having such an awesome sister.

My sister is vegetarian/vegan, and I really think my transitioning into a healthier lifestyle opened up so many new things for us to talk about and share. We often trade recipes and recommend cookbooks or websites to each other. I just wish we lived closer to each other so we could cook together! A lot of our text messages revolve around food – like this one Sunday:

Me: Found another really good recipe for you – chickpea & broccoli casserole. Vegan & delcious.
Sis: Mmm. Sounds good. I made this thing called southwestern corn pudding that was really good too. We should trade later.
Me: For sure.

chickpea and broccoli casserole

This recipe is freakin’ awesome. I judge recipes based on how sad I’ll be when they’re gone, or how quickly I make it again because I liked it so much. And I have a feeling I’ll be making this again next week¬†– especially if I get more broccoli in my CSA box Wednesday. As it was, I should have used more broccoli. I’m not sure I got the right consistency for the chickpeas, but it didn’t matter. I kind of like the chunks of chickpeas in there. I think this would be a great side dish for a holiday meal.

not the prettiest, but OH, SO good

Chickpea broccoli casserole
From Vegan with a Vengeance via The Humane Society of the United States
Serves 4

Three 16-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3 large carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
2¬†tablespoons thinly sliced chives (I used a few shakes of¬†Yah’s Best seasoning instead)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (preferably whole wheat)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350¬ļ F.In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas well, using a potato masher or firm fork. It takes about 2 minutes to get the right consistency. Add the vegetables and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and mix; then add the oil, and mix again. Finally, add the vegetable broth and salt, and mix one last time.Transfer all ingredients to a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish (preferably glass or ceramic). Press the mixture firmly into the casserole. Cover with foil, and¬†bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes.

Read Full Post »