Almond Joy “Larabar”

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So I have been undeniably busy lately. Ive been studying for more certifications I want to obtain and I have been working every night training my clients.

Whether vegan or omni, the biggest complaint I hear from my clients is that they are “always hungry”, never feel “full or satisfied” or they dont want to “deprive” themselves. Believe me, I totally get that feeling. Implementing dietary changes or physical activity changes in your life can be just as psychologically challenging as it is physically.

So today, I decided to go back to my roots and do what I do best; create a delicious, satisfying vegan snack.

I enlisted the help of my youngest mini. Needless to say, this recipe is mini approved.

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Almond Joy Bars

*Note: I did not measure anything. I just eyeballed it and adjusted the ingredients so that the end product was a lump, sticky ball

Pitted dates

Almond meal

Shredded, unsweetened coconut

Raw cacao powder

Coconut oil (can use honey , which isnt vegan but still works)

Blend together in a food processor until all ingredients come together to form a sticky ball. Adjust ingredients as needed to obtain that consistency.

Remove ball and roll out between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper.

Cut into bars.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to get firm.

Dates make a great base for these bars and the flavor combinations are endless. I know I have made these before but its been a while and worth re-posting, plus, my son LOVES them. They are healthy, feeling and they satisfy the sweet tooth. Its an excellent snack in between meals to fight off hunger pangs. I plan on giving them to my clients to try. Im sure they will love them and they are a great example of how delicious a vegan snack can be; win win.

 

My Sirabella vegan cheesecake review

  
I’ve been kind of putting off this review because I have mixed feelings about this company. I think the good outweighs the bad though so I’ll start with that.

This cake is delicious. Seriously. It’s amazing. It tastes just like traditional cheesecake and I truly believe no one would know the difference . It’s creamy , decadent and dreamy. And if that weren’t enough, it sits on a heavenly cookie crust. This is by far one of the best veganized products I’ve ever tasted.

  
It came frozen and packaged with dry ice. There was absolutely no damage or spoilage. 

For these reasons, I highly, highly recommend trying this cake.

I hate to really be negative but there are a few things I was unhappy about.

I ordered this cake on 8/27. With shipping costs, it came out to almost $53.00. Within a few days of my order, I get an email from the company. It’s rather long and it’s explaining basically how they are back ordered and my shipment won’t go out until 9/9. Ok. I can understand that.

By Friday 9/11, I still hadn’t received shipping confirmation so I sent an email.  They responded by saying they were experiencing a shortage of dry ice but it will be shipped on Monday . At this point I’m annoyed because nothing would have been said had I not reached out.

Monday comes and I send another email asking if my cake was shipped, as promised. The response was that there was still a delay and he couldn’t say when it would ship.

At this point, I kindly ask for my money back.

Guess what the response was? A Fed Ex tracking number . 

It shouldn’t take me asking for a refund to finally get my cake shipped. I even mentioned in my first email that I have a blog in which I wanted to feature this product.

Maybe they were just overwhelmed with orders and I can understand that. I just didn’t appreciate the lack of communication and follow through.

With that said, I will order from them again. The cake is exceptional and I really do love supporting small businesses. 

Ok now back to my cheesecake 😋

My first cheeze making experience 

  
I have been wanting to try this for awhile . I see various types all over the blogs and forums I follow. I’ve been lazy though. Some recipes seemed like a lot of work. Others had ingredients I hadn’t heard of. Agar agar? Sodium bicarbonate? Sounds like science 

I finally sat down with all the recipes I wanted to try ,that contained unusual ingredients ,and and ordered them all in Amazon.

So I’m officially ready to experiment. Of course I wanted to try making cheeze.

Smoked chedda

Ingredients:

1.5 c water

1 c soaked raw cashews

2 tsp agar agar powder OR 2 TBSP agar flakes

1/4 c nutritional yeast

1/4 c fresh lemon juice

1 TBSP onion powder

1 tsp smoked salt

1 tsp smoked black pepper

Directions:

Soak cashews overnight 

  
When ready to prepare, start by bringing the 1.5 cups of water to a boil in a small sauce pan.

Add agar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Turn down heat after a minute and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until agar is fully dissolved.

Put drained cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder , salt and pepper into a food processor. 

Add agar mixture and blend in high until really smooth.

Pour mixture into an oiled glass dish.

  
Refrigerate until firm. Lasts 5 days.

  
Overall, for a first try, I’d say it was a success. As I’m typing this recipe though, I realize now that I only used 1 cup of water instead of 1.5. That may have made a difference , not sure. The texture of this came out smooth and creamy. Spreadable.

Practice makes perfect so I’ll keep working on perfecting this recipe as well as a few others id like to try.😋

Sausage and pepper quiche

  
So, I’ve been messing around with different recipes lately, and I decided to modify one I found in my Vegg cookbook.

I used to enjoy eating sausage and peppers ( must be the Italian in me) and I happened to have some Lightlife chorizo meatless sausages in the fridge, so I thought, why not ?

Sausage and pepper quiche

Ingredients:

6 tsp Vegg powder

1.5 c water

12 oz silken tofu 

2 cups chopped peppers

1 small onion , chopped

3 meatless sausage links

1 c Daiya shredded cheddar

Pastry: 

I used a ready-made vegan crust but, to make one , you need:

1/2 c plain flour

1/4 c vegan butter

2-3 Tbsp cold water

Pinch of salt

Pre heat oven to 400.

If using a ready made crust, pop it in the oven and bake for about 5 mins.

If making the crust, sift flour into a mixing bowl.

Cut in the butter and salt.

Add the water gradually, mixing with a wooden spoon.

Once a ball in formed, use a floured rolling pin to roll out and place in a pie pan or casserole dish.

Bake for 5 mins.

For the filling, sautée the peppers and onions with a little bit of oil. (I used avocado)

When the veggies are almost done, cut up the sausage links and add them to it.

In a blender, blend Vegg with the water. Then add the tofu and continue blending until thick and smooth.

To assemble, pour sausage and pepper mixture into the crust.

  
Pour egg mixture over it and add the cheese.

  
Then, using a spoon, mix it all together. Top with additional cheese.

Bake for 45 mins or until firm.

Once out of the oven, I let mine sit on the counter for about 30 mins to set.

  
I hate to pat myself on the back BUT…

This thing came out AMAZING!!! It kind of had a philly cheese steak vibe to it. It’s super delicious; I’m embarrassed to admit my hubby and I ate 1/2 the pan already….

Sorry.

Not sorry 😝

The more it’s been sitting, the more firm it’s becoming. I’m sure it will be equally as good cold.

So I’ll try that for breakfast 😉

Cookie dough brownie bars!!!

 
My sweet tooth is in overdrive despite my best efforts to really stick to this “28 day diet jumpstart” that I have embarked on.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and while my head told me “don’t do it, you’ll eat the whole thing in one sitting ” , my belly told me “we need this.”

Ultimately , belly won, without much of a fight. It’s raw and vegan so it’s healthy 😋

Makes 10 servings

Brownie base:

1/3 c pecans (I used cashews)

1/2 c blanched almond flour

4 TBSP raw cacao powder

5 pitted medjool dates 

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBSP melted coconut oil

Pulse nuts in food processor until it becomes a course meal. Set aside into a bowl.

Next, pulse dates into a smooth paste.

With your hands, mix the ground nuts, date paste, almond flour, cacao powder, vanilla and coconut oil until well combined . Spread evenly into a small pan lined with parchment .

 
Cookie dough:

 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

3 tablespoons coconut milk, full fat

1½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tablespoon raw honey

1½ cups almond flour

½ cup chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla extract and honey.

Next,add almond flour and mix just until all ingredients are combined. Do not over mix
Fold in chocolate chips

Then, spread the cookie dough mixture on top of the brownie and use a piece of parchment paper to smooth the top of the cookie dough

  
Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Once you have patiently waited by the fridge for 60 whole minutes, take that bad boy out and dig in!!!

   
 

It’s basically like fudge . Delicious, dense, rich , chocolately heaven. I cut mine into little squares to make myself feel less like a slob. 😋

This recipe is mini approved   👍

  

My Friday night insomnia

  

So I couldn’t sleep on Friday night. My mind was racing and I needed to do something to distract myself. What’s better then baking during the wee hours of the night?

I made 2 creations ; black bean coconut brownie bites

  
And tiramisu brownie cake

  
Of course , chocolate distracts me 😋

First up are the brownie bites.

Ingredients:

15 oz black beans , rinsed and drained 

5 tbsp raw cacao powder

2 tbsp nut butter

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp unsweetened coconut 

2 tbsp coconut sugar 

3/4 c vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

Blend beans, cacao powder , nut butter and maple syrup in food processor . Process for a few minutes until dough is well combined.

  
Next, roll the dough into 12-14 balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set.

Once chilled, melt the chocolate chips and with a spoon, pour melted chocolate over the brownies.

Top with shredded coconut and refrigerate for 10 minutes to set.

One would think I’d be tired at this point , eat a brownie and go to bed.

Nope.

I then made the tiramisu brownie cake.

Ingredients:

For the brownie part

Dry:

1/2 c oat flour

1/4 coconut flour

2 tbsp cacao powder

1/4 tsp vanilla

Wet:

1 tbsp flax meal 

2 tbsp non dairy milk

1/4 c maple syrup

1/3 c vegan dark chocolate 

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp soaked finely ground coffee grinds

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp raw sugar

For the tiramisu part-

1/2 package firm tofu 

2 tbsp coconut flour

2 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp raw sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper

Brownie: in a large bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well. In a pan, heat milk and maple syrup until hot. Then add dark chocolate and stir until fully melted . Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well. Combine with the dry ingredients.

Spread batter into prepared pan.

Tiramisu –

Drain tofu and blend in food processor. Add the remaining tiramisu ingredients and blend until smooth.

Spread mixture on top of brownie mixture.

  
Bake for 40-45 mins or until completely set.

Sprinkle with cocoa powder and cinnamon.

By the time this was all said and done and cleaned up, it was 3 am! I considered making something else, but decided to call it a night .

What should I make next? I’ve been a little stressed lately and I find cooking or baking pretty soothing.

Chocolate mousse for the minis!

 

And for mama too 😋

As I was perusing Pinterest the other day, I came across a very simple vegan chocolate mousse recipe . Since I had all the ingredients on hand, and I have an undying love for all things chocolate , I decided to go for it.

Ingredients:

Makes 2 servings

1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used raw cacao powder)

2 TBSP powdered coconut sugar (I used a coffee grinder to make mine)

3/4 c coconut milk ( I used unsweetened)

2 TBSP ground chia seeds

Dash of vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or with a hand blender.  Place in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow to solidify.

 

I was really happy with the way this came out. It definitely had that thick, luscious consistency typical of traditional mousse. I garnished mine with raw mint chocolate shavings and the mint really added a delicious element. You could add whatever you’d like to give this mousse a little pizazz;  cinnamon, mint, almond, peanut butter, coconut just to name a few.

I’m sure I’ll end up trying all those combinations in the future! 😋🍫🍫🍫