Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I found this recipe on a vegan blog (http://vegan.sheknows.com) while searching online for a vegan spinach artichoke dip recipe. This one sounded good, so I decided to try it. It was delicious! I brought it to my sister's house for Easter and got great reviews on it. I will definitely make this dip again. I followed the recipe on the blog but added some Daiya Mozzarella shreds to the mixture and then sprinkled some on top. I think that added a nice touch.

Here is the recipe http://vegan.sheknows.com/2011/01/26/vegan-spinach-artichoke-dip/

Choose compassion!
-Krista

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Vanilla & Strawberry Cheesecake

I took my raspberry swirled cheesecake recipe here (http://foodwithheart1.blogspot.com/2013/01/swirled-raspberry-cheesecake.html) and made it into a strawberry version. I also discovered a vegan strawberry cream cheese by Galaxy Foods and thought it would taste good in a cheesecake. I was right! I took this cheesecake to my sister's house for Easter and got rave reviews on it. I forgot to take a picture of the cheesecake after the top of springform pan was removed so you could see the layers. I wish I would've cause it's pretty. You will just have to take my word for it and find out when you make it yourself :-)

Ingredients

Crust:
-1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (Nabisco is one brand that makes vegan graham crackers)
-2 Tbsp. sugar
-1/4 cup non-dairy butter (I use Earth Balance)

Cheesecake filling:
-1 (8oz) package plain non-dairy cream cheese (I use Tofutti)
-1 (8oz) package Galaxy Foods brand strawberry flavored cream cheese (http://www.galaxyfoods.com/galaxy-products/vegan/vegan-cream-cheese/)
-1 (12oz) package extra-firm silken tofu
-2/3 cup sugar
-1/3 cup cornstarch
-1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
-1 Tbsp. vanilla

Strawberry Topping:
-1 (12oz) package frozen or 2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
-1/4 cup water
-1/3 cup sugar
-1 Tbsp. cornstarch
-2 Tbsp. water

Directions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8-inch springform pan and set aside. 

For Crust:
-In a food processor, place graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter together and process for 1 minute. Using your hands, firmly press mixture into prepared springform pan, and chill crust in refrigerator while preparing filling. Rinse food processor. 

For Cheesecake Filling:
-In cleaned food processor, combine plain cream cheese and half the amount of the tofu, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla and process for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of container, and process for 30 seconds. Put mixture in bowl and set aside.
-Put strawberry cream cheese and other half of filling ingredients in food processor and process same as above. 

For Strawberry Topping:
-Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in medium sized saucepan. If using fresh strawberries, simmer until soft. 
-Dissolve cornstarch in 2 Tbsp. of water and then add to hot strawberry mixture. Heat until just thickened-do not boil mixture (will thicken as sets). Mash strawberries with a masher. Set aside to cool.

To Assemble Cheesecake:
-Pour half of the vanilla cheesecake filling on top of prepared crust. 
-Then pour half of the strawberry cheesecake filling on top of vanilla.
-Pour half of the strawberry topping on top of the strawberry cheesecake filling.
-Then pour other half of the vanilla filling on top of strawberry topping.
-Finally, pour other half of strawberry cheesecake filling on top of vanilla.

-Place cheesecake in oven and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, pull out cheesecake and spread remaining strawberry topping on top and bake for 10 more minutes. 
-Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
-Top with fresh strawberry slices if desired.

Choose compassion!
-Krista 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Potato Soup with Asparagus

I got this recipe from Whole Foods Market and just made it vegan. I love potato soup (it's such a comfort food!) and never thought to add asparagus to it before. I didn't have any red potatoes so I used regular white potatoes, and it still turned out great. So use whatever potatoes you have on hand. 

Ingredients:
-3 Tbsp. non-dairy butter, such as Earth Balance
-3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
-2 pounds medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
-1 (48 oz) box no chicken broth or vegetable broth
-3 cups non-dairy milk
-1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
-6 sprigs fresh thyme
-1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, thinly sliced into coins
-1 cup of shredded Daiya cheese, cheddar flavor 


Directions:
-Melt non-dairy butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, non-dairy milk, salt and thyme; bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 20-25 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. 
-Working in batches, carefully puree soup in a blender until smooth, and then return to pot. Return to a simmer, add asparagus and cook until just tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the Daiya cheese. 

Choose compassion!
-Krista 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vegan finds at World Market

I love World Market. I can find so many great vegan food items there as well as non food items. If you have a World Market near you, I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already. I am going to share with you some of my favorite vegan products from there.

World Market has many vegan chocolates there. Here are some of my favorite vegan chocolate bars from there:




Also, the World Market brand has many large sized dark chocolate bars that are vegan. I love the strawberries and champagne flavored dark chocolate (don't have a pic of it unfortunately). 


They also sell Biscoff spread and the cookies there. The cookies are a brown sugar flavored cookie that go great with coffee and the spread is the cookies ground up into a spread. 


Here are some healthier snacks you can get there:
This nut mix is delicious. It is sweet with a small kick of spice from the cayenne in it. 

These fig bars come in many flavors like raspberry, blueberry, apple cinnamon, and original. The crust is a whole wheat crust, so healthier than Fig Newton's, which aren't vegan anyway. Each package comes with two fig bars.


Dry roasted edamame. Tasty and healthy for you. Made from non-GMO soy. They also offer a wasabi flavor for those who like spicy. 

This is a big container of PB filled pretzels. They are so good and can be addicting. A must for PB lovers. 

It's hard to find gnocchi where I live and I am thrilled that World Market sells vegan gnocchi. They also sell sweet potato, whole wheat and mini gnocchi. They often have their gnocchi on sell too. 

Not pictured, but World Market also sells great teas, coffees, flavored syrups for coffee, spices, sauces, pasta, etc. that are vegan. Take a trip there sometime and discover all the great vegan items there. 

Choose compassion!
-Krista 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mozzarella Sticks


Since going vegan, I have missed mozzarella sticks and haven't found any pre-made frozen ones or recipes for them. Then I found The Vegan Zombie and his video where he makes vegan mozzarella sticks. They looked so good, I knew I had to make them. I am glad I did too because they were delicious. 

If you haven't heard of The Vegan Zombie before, he makes vegan cooking videos on YouTube and I recommend you go check out his videos. I have only tried a couple of his recipes so far, but they were delicious and I can't wait to try more of his food. He not only makes great vegan food but is funny to watch as well. 

Here is the video for the vegan mozzarella sticks and it includes the recipe in the description: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnyTZJ9tTsw

Thank you The Vegan Zombie for the delicious recipe and for making it possible for me to have mozzarella sticks again. 

Choose compassion!
-Krista 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Veg Sushi

I never tried sushi before becoming vegan. The thought of raw seafood didn't sound appetizing to me. I never knew they had vegetarian sushi. I decided to try it once and loved it. My family and I like to go out for vegetarian sushi once in awhile. We have many great sushi places in the Lansing, Michigan area. One of my favorites is a place in East Lansing, Michigan called AI Fusion (pronounced eye fusion).

My favorite sushi there is the AAC roll (asparagus, avocado and cucumber). The kanpyo roll is also good. It's a Japanese gourd (I believe a pumpkin). I also love the gyoza dumplings there. They are delicious and I definitely recommend you try those. The edamame is also a great appetizer.

They serve a miso soup and salad before dinner that are not vegetarian or vegan. The miso soup has fish broth and the salad has mayo in the dressing. If you wanted, you could always ask for the salad with a vegan dressing and say no soup. Also, the tempura sushi is vegetarian but not vegan. It is in the picture below because my mom loves it (she is not vegan but vegetarian).

They have a menu of vegetarian sushi. Here are some pictures from a couple of visits there:

There is the AAC roll and tempura roll

Here is the tempura roll, shitake roll, kanpyo roll, AAC roll, and monsoon roll (the monsoon roll is more like a dessert roll to me)

Check out their menu: http://www.ai-fusion.com/


There is another sushi restaurant in Brighton, Michigan called Sushi Zen that my family and I discovered that is delicious. Their miso soup was also not vegetarian but the salad was vegan. Here is our sushi from there:

We had the AAC roll, kanpyo roll, and avocado roll. 

Here is their website: http://www.sushizenusa.com/
(I don't see the veg sushi on the website, but they had it when we went there last year)

Even if you don't live in Michigan, you can still see if there are any sushi places in your area and give them a try. If  you have never tried sushi before, definitely go try some vegetarian sushi. 

Choose compassion!
-Krista

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lentil Rice Soup

I got this recipe from a book called The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen and just tweaked the spices a little. This is a delicious and healthy recipe. It takes awhile for the soup to cook, but it's worth it to wait for this soup.

Ingredients:
-2 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 small bunch scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
-4 oz (about 2 small) carrots, chopped
-a few stalks of celery, chopped
-2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
-4 cups vegetable broth or no chicken broth
-1 cup water
-1 cup lentils, rinsed
-1/4 cup brown rice
-1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (can add Italian style tomatoes for more flavor)
-1/2 tsp. dried basil
-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
-1 large bay leave
-salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
-In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the green onions, carrots, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
-Add the broth, water, lentils, rice, tomatoes and their juices, spices, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently; partially covered, until the lentils and rice are tender, stirring occasionally, 50 to 60 minutes.
-Discard the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Choose compassion!
-Krista