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Just Beet It Cupcakes Recipe

May 29, 2013 May 29, 2013/ Morgan

I’m pretty sure that i’m not the only one here that loves cake. Everyone does. If you don’t – you’re weirder than I am. I made these for a birthday party where I knew I’d have to bring out the vegan treats. I was worried that making carrot cake was a bit too “hippy” but I was assured that I was wrong. (Also, the cupcakes at the birthday party that weren’t vegan were ALSO carrot cupcakes.) 

And.. I don’t think I was trying to be EXTRA hippy when I did the next thing – I added beets to them. I ran out of carrots! And beets are sweet like carrots right?

Okay, someone told me at the party that I could have used zucchini. Doh! You can use zucchini too – or extra carrots – if you are totally afraid of beets. But I loved them this way!!! 

Let me just tell you a little secret though – you could put ANYTHING in the cupcakes and top them with cream cheese frosting and they will taste great. That stuff is the devil. It’s EVIL I tell ya! So so good.

So, let me come out with it right now: these aren’t healthy. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Sure, there is no oil in the cupcakes and they use whole wheat flour but they are full of sugar and Tofutti cream cheese is straight up bad for you as well.

But they are tasty. Very tasty. And easy to make. And if you share them and maybe eat just one or two…. right?! RIGHT?!

I swear I ate only 2 (while I was taking these pictures…) I am so glad we ate them all because they were addictive.

Look at this picture below. You know you want one. Go get your pan out and get started. I’m sure you’ve got something to celebrate!

Just Beet It Cupcakes

makes 12-16

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup soy milk (or other milk alternative) 
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded beets (or zucchini or more carrots)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

frosting:

  • 8oz Tofutti cream cheese (or your favorite brand), brought to room temperature 
  • 8 oz powdered sugar (as a maximum – you may want less!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract (or more vanilla)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with your cupcake liners (I use a brand that is nonstick which I LOVE!)

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the applesauce, soy milk, sugar and shredded carrots and beets. Mix until just combined (don’t overmix!) Fill each cupcake liner to about 3/4 of the way full – I use a 1/4 cup to measure it out. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes.. (You can do the toothpick check  to see if they are done – insert a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If you pull it out and it’s all gooey then they need to bake longer. If it has a bit of crumbs on it then it is fine. If it is dry it’s fine too!) Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. 

Make the frosting:

Whip the cream cheese with electric beaters until soft and fluffy (30 seconds – 1 minute.) Add in the powered sugar 1 cup at a time (add it, whip it, add it, and so on..) until it is to your desired taste and consistency  Then add in the vanilla and maple extract. You may want to add just a touch more powered sugar after. Cover the frosting and refrigerate until the cupcakes are 100% cool. 

I used a fancy piping bag for these cupcakes but no one is going to care because they taste so good. Just spread it on with a knife if you want!

– I’m not even going to figure out the calories on these because I don’t want to know! These are a once in a blue moon kind of treat – not an everyday or every week or every month affair. Eat at your own risk! 😀

Hooray! The first printed edition of the Vegan Taco Party is SOLD OUT!! And we’ve switched printers now so the new copies of the booklet are EVEN BETTER. I’m so excited and proud of of those!

You can order them HERE for only $13 (plus s&h) 

This booklet has everything you need to have the best vegan taco party on the block! Try out some vegan Tequila Queso Dip and Baked Corn Chips, an ice cold glass of Homemade Horchata, maybe some Chipotle Tofu Tacos with a side of Roasted Corn with a Cheesy Chile Topping and finish it all off with some Watermelon Popsicles! That is just a small sample of the recipes you’ll find in this mouthwatering little book.

May 2013 Vol 1, Issue 1!

Here are some special things about this booklet:

  • Over 40 recipes including drinks, appetizers, sides, tacos and desserts!
  • All of the recipes are 100% vegan! (And healthy vegan too!)
  • There are color photos of every recipe in the book!
  • It is also a coloring book with cute little pictures to color in while you’re cooking (or I guess your kids can color them if you let them!)
  • It is 100% lovingly made by me. The drawings, the recipes, the photographs – everything.  

May 24, 2013 May 24, 2013/ Morgan

It’s Friday and for many people that means PIZZA NIGHT! Pizza is so easy to love and so easy to make. It also is basically a flatbread with endless possibilities. 

This beautiful pizza (isn’t it colorful?!) is just a wicked tasty healthier version of the peanut sauced pizzas you see in some fancy pants pizza places. While researching (looking at 1000 or so recipes) everything I saw called for AT LEAST 1/2 cup of peanut butter. That kind of made me feel heavy just reading it. 

I figured we could lighten that up but still keep that awesome nutty flavor. No problem! And then top it with some easy baked tofu, some fresh veggies and then.. OM NOM NOM! (I watch at lot of Sesame Street with my kiddo so that was a Cookie Monster om nom!)

Ohh so for the tofu you could get a little fancier (and spicer!) and go for some Sriracha Baked Tofu. It’s just as easy to make, really but it’s a bit more crazy than just plain ole baked tofu. Not that there’s anything wrong with plain ole baked tofu – me and my daughter are crazy for that stuff! We had to force ourselves to stop munching on it while making the pizza. 

Man, anyone that thinks vegan pizza would be boring hasn’t tried something like this! There is so much flavor going on here that you won’t be missing anything. Except maybe a few dashes of extra sriracha on top!

Now, I’m sure most people know this but I just have to say – this pizza is even better the next morning (cold) for breakfast. Try it out and you won’t be sorry! Well, you might be sorry if you get some cilantro stuck in your teeth before you go out to work. That would be bad. 

serves – 2-6 (depending on how much you share. I could eat a whole pizza!)

  • 1 large pizza sized ball of your favorite pizza dough
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 lb tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 Tablespoons peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter you like)
  • 3/4 cup soy milk (or other milk alternative)
  • 3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated with microplane
  • 1 – 3 Tablespoons sriracha (to taste!)
  • 1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

First bake the tofu – preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Toss your cubed tofu with the 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce. Spread them out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, turning halfway through, until they are lightly browned.

Turn the oven up to 425 degrees. If you use a pizza stone place it in to preheat with the oven.

Stretch your pizza dough out and place onto your pizza stone (dust it with cornmeal if you think it will stick) or onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Prebake your pizza dough for about 8 – 10 minutes or until just starting to brown. 

Make the nutty sauce: Whisk all of the ingredients for the Nutty Sauce together in a medium sized sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a simmer while whisking continuously.  Whisk until thickened and take off the heat to cool. 

Spread the nutty sauce over the prebaked pizza dough. Scatter the tofu, red onions and red peppers over the top.  Bake for 5 – 7 minutes longer, or until the crust is as crispy as you desire. 

Take the pizza out and sprinkle with the green onions, cilantro and shredded carrot. Now cut yourself a big ole slice and enjoy!

Nutritional information per serving : Serving size:  1 slice (1/8th)

7 WWPointsPlus  232 calories, 9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 31g carbohydrates, 3.3g fiber, 5.3g sugar, 9.7g protein

May 23, 2013 May 23, 2013/ Morgan

There is a lovely Thai restraunt near us that I used to love to go to. That is until I had my daughter. It’s just that the place isn’t really “kid friendly” and it’s more of a date night place. Since we hardly ever go anywhere for date nights it has dropped off of our radar.  That doesn’t mean i’ve stopped loving Thai food though! 

(One of my neighbors came out and accused us of being “hipster” for taking pictures of of our curry on such a lovely evening! hahahah! Then I sold him a Fo Reals Life Vegan Taco Party booklet!!!)

Thai food could easily be a complicated affair including trips to the Asian market for things like lemon grass, kafir lime leaves and galangal. There happens to be some pretty nice curry pastes that you can get in many regular grocery stores though that are flavorful and vegan! I use Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste when i’m not feeling like making a big deal out of dinner. 

This is so easy to make that you could do it for any weeknight dinner. It makes quite a bit so you will have leftovers. The leftovers are just as tasty the next day as they were the day you made it. Curry leftovers are actually some of my favorite leftovers (besides pizza!)

You can add any vegetables you want to this. We had some fresh asparagus and potatoes from our farmer’s market. I wanted to keep it simple so I just threw in some red pepper to balance it out. Use whatever you have in your fridge or one of these: onions, eggplant, carrots, sweet potato, any kind of peppers, summer squash, green beans, peas, finely sliced greens, broccoli, cauliflower, etc! See, anything would taste great in here. Just undercook everything slightly because it tastes best when the vegetables are still just a bit crisp. 

You may notice that I use coconut extract in this recipe. I find it adds the perfect coconut taste without all of the extra calories and saturated fat. It’s a sweet little trick from Mary McDougall’s recipes!

Easy Tempeh, Potato and Spring Vegetable Red Curry

makes 4-6 servings

  • 8 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 15-20 stalks asparagus
  • 8 oz tempeh, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons red curry paste (or to taste)
  • 3 cups soy milk (or your favorite milk alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • sriracha to taste

Place a steamer over a pot with water in it and steam your potatoes and tempeh until the potatoes are fork tender (anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how large the pieces are.)

Take the asparagus and snap off the tough woody ends and discard them. Chop the tender stalks into 1-2″ pieces.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Saute the asparagus and bell pepper for 3 – 4 minutes. Whisk the curry paste, soy sauce and coconut extract into the soy milk and add it to the asparagus and peppers. Add in the potatoes and tempeh. 

Bring to a boil and then immediately turn the heat down and simmer. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.

I like to serve this as a one pot meal but you can always eat it over some cooked brown rice or quinoa.

Nutritional information per serving : Serving size:  1/6 curry dish

7 WWPointsPlus  274 calories, 6.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 41.6g carbohydrates, 4.5g fiber, 5.3g sugar, 15.1g protein

May 21, 2013 May 21, 2013/ Morgan

I don’t mind calling my own food kick ass. If you’ve made a few vegan meatballs you’ve probably noticed a trend – they fall apart, they are squishy in the middle and they taste like nothing that should be called a meatball. I’ve had this problem. I was thinking it sounded an awful lot like my burger problem that I solved with a Vegan Burger that will blow you away. Really, it’s been getting great reviews from friends and testers! And I kind of couldn’t stop eating them….

So the logical next step was to use that basic ratio and make a meatball. I made sure to change a few things to make sure they held together if they were simmered in a sauce. Also I added in some spinach because I love it. 

This recipes makes a bunch of meatballs. If you want, you can freeze them after they are baked and keep them in a freezer bag until you want them. Just thaw and heat up. 

So I just wanted to show you a picture of how awesome it would be on a sandwich but these are fantastic with spaghetti (Hello spaghetti and meatballs, I’ve missed you!) or you can put them on a pizza or stick a toothpick in ’em and serve them as appetizers. It’s totally up to you and your imagination. 

makes about 35

  • 8 oz tempeh 
  • 6 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (or 1/4 cup flour if you don’t have it / don’t like it)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup pizza or tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fennel

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Depending on the brand you use, you may want to steam your tempeh before adding it to the meatballs. Steam over a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Then set aside to let cool. Once it’s cool chop it up until it is pretty fine – about 1/4″ pieces max. It should crumble up a bunch and that’s good!

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add the chopped spinach and 1-2 Tablespoons of water.  Cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add to your tempeh and let cool. 

In a separate bowl mix together your vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, salt, basil, oregano, dried pepper flakes and fennel.

Mix the pizza sauce, tomato paste and rice with your tempeh mixture. Then add that to your dry mix. Stir to combine and then knead for a minute or so. 

Take a small piece of the mixture out and shape into a ball that is no larger than 1 inch in diameter. You should end up making around 35 – 40 meatballs. 

Bake for 15 minutes and then flip. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes (this is pretty crucial because it lets inside of the meatball firm up in texture.)

If you would like to you can now simmer them in your favorite marinara sauce for 5-10 minutes to warm them up. Or you can serve them without sauce, whatever you like!

Nutritional information per serving : Serving size:  about 6 vegan meatballs

? WWPointsPlus  266 calories, 5.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 33.1g carbohydrates, 4.1g fiber, 8.7g sugar, 25.3g protein

May 15, 2013 May 15, 2013/ Morgan

Hey everyone! I wanted to make a quick video on how to cut a mango. I know that many people may already know but it’s nice to see a quick way when you aren’t sure or you think you’re making a huge mess. (Maybe you peel the mango and then try to cut a slippery orb? Maybe you just avoid buying them at all because you’re not sure?) Well just check it out – it is super easy and nothing beats a good fresh mango!

Just a few tips:

I like to cut it with the stem end down because it is a bit more stable. You can turn it around and cut it with the stem up if that helps you visualise where the center of the mango is when you are cutting.

How to make sure your mango is ripe – smell it! They should smell sweet and fragrant. They are also a little soft with you squeeze it but not squishy. If you find that the ones at the store are only hard you can ripen them on your counter.

Enjoy!