Vegan Blueberry Muffins

My mom and my sister came home yesterday (pictures coming soon) so I decided to bake some delicious treats. I  had a surplus of blueberries so I decided to make something new.. muffins!

I used a recipe I found online, but another healthy alternative is Oh She Glows.  I was going to use hers but I totally forgot about it and just googled Vegan Blueberry Muffins.  I recommend using her recipe and not the one I used because it incorporates flax seed, maple syrup, and no additional “sugar”.  The recipe I followed made my batter too chunky and not liquid-y enough so I ended up using more almond milk than I probably should have.

Speaking of blueberries… I’ve created my new favorite superfood breakfast cereal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1/4 cup of nature’s path organic pumpkin flax plus granola
  • sprinkle of Kellog’s Special K cereal

I don’t even need almond milk!

 

Lunch at Whole Foods

Sorry for the late post!  There was a huge storm Wednesday night and we lost power Thursday.  We just got it back at noon today.  I tried blogging from the library computers but it wasn’t the same.  My last post on the chocolate chip cookies wasn’t as neat as I wanted it to be.  I also started my Calculus class this past tuesday.  I’m taking Calc1 at OCC because I didn’t take calculus my senior year.  Instead, I took AP Statistics.  Calc1 at Michigan is a weeder class.  I’ve incessantly heard how hard it is and I thought taking the class over the summer will be very helpful in preparing me for the fall.  Since we had no power, I decided to stop by Whole Foods and try out their fresh food.

I wish I could eat lunch at Whole Foods everyday….

 

My salad consisted of spring mix, mushrooms, mixed peppers, tofu, broccli tabouli, lemon quinoa, and carrots.  Oil-free balsamic vinaigrette on the side.

It’s also been SO HOT these past couple of days 😦

I spent the fourth of July going to my friend’s lake.  The fireworks show was by far the best.  Being on the lake makes it more surreal.  At the end they had fireworks shoot up from the lake.  It was incredible.

My favorite picture

Me and my friends

I’m going back to Inn Season Cafe for dinner today!  I can’t wait.. especially for the desert 🙂

 

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

My friend Ashley is having her graduation party today!  Since one of my goals this week was to bake a vegan desert, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to accomplish two things at once.

Remember the book I rented from the library… Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World?  Well this is where I got the recipe from with a few alterations.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes 12 cupcakes-

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1.  Pre-heat oven 350 degrees F and line muffin pan with paper liners

2.  Whisk together the almond milk, vinegar and set aside for two minutes.  Then add the other wet ingredients.

3.  In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

4.  Add in dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a couple batches at a time.

5.  Stir until the batter is smooth as possible

6.  Pour batter into the paper liners.  Bake in oven for 18 minutes

Once they cool down.. FROST!  I didn’t make my own frosting, I used the kind from a can (still vegan but not health).  I’ll do a post on vegan butter cream frosting asap.

Inn Season Cafe

Finally.. I have dined at the infamous Inn Season Cafe.  Even though it is located in down town Royal Oak and is kind of far away, it was 100% worth it.  The restaurant itself is fairly small and it has a very homely ambiance.  They’ve been in business since 1981!  We arrived just before noon and it was already pretty crowded.  Their menu includes a wide range of food: salads, burgers, pizza, stir fry. In addition, all of their ingredients are fresh, locally grown, and organic!

I ordered a Portabello Burger.  From the menu: Baked mushroom cap (seasoned with balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, tamari) served on whole grain with cheese or vegan Daiya cheese, sauteed onions, lettuce and tomato.  Served with colselsaw, blue corn chips and choice of sauce.  I chose the tahini dressing and substituted the vegan cheese for avocado.

The burger was delicious.  I could only eat half of it because I wanted to save room for desert……

I am a huge desert foodie.  The hardest part about being a vegan is forgoing cake.  But at the inn season, 99% is vegan/vegetarian.  I decided to try the Opera Cake : layers of hazelnut cake, mocha creme, raspberry, chocolate cake, vegan chocolate mousse and coconut-almond frosting.  Raspberry sauce and hot fudge garnish.

Side View

Wow. It was amazing.  I couldn’t believe it was VEGAN!!!! I asked one of the waiters where they get their cakes.  He credits a Bosnian woman who works at the cafe and makes all their cakes.  I need to get in touch with this Bosnian woman and learn her secrets!

Both my friends got deserts.  One had a Lemon Cake: White lemon cake layered with lemon tofu pudding.  Frosted with a vegan butter cream.

My other friend had the Carrot Pecan Cake: organic carrot and currant cake frosted with almond frosting and garnished with orange sauce and candied pecans.

The Opera Cake was by far the best cake 🙂  We’ve decided to come back to Inn Season weekly.  Next time I think I will try a mexican dish.

Today at Leo’s I decided to have the Michigan Salad.  I did not have the mozzarella cheese or the raspberry vinaigrette dressing and I asked the cooks to grill the onions.  The walnuts were my favorite part

 

 

WIAW – First Post

My first ever.. What I ate Wednesday!

My usual morning routine starts off with, of course, breakfast!  But before I even prepare breakfast itself, I always start with a cup of green tea.

Breakfast: Special K cereal with sliced bananas and organic pumpkin and flax seed granola.  I used a tiny amount of Almond milk because I hate when cereal gets soggy.  Omitting the almond milk would make the cereal too dry and crunchy.  The happy medium is about 1/4 cup.  The bananas were a great combination as its softness juxtaposed the crunchy cereal.

Lunch: Iceberg lettuce with hummus dressing, craisins, almonds, and cashews.  Side of white beans and some other green colored bean that I’m not very fond of.  I included it in my lunch because my dad cooked them the night before.  I know iceberg lettuce isn’t the best choice for a salad since it has zero nutrition, but we didn’t have any romaine or spinach in the house.  I think the other salad contents, especially the hummus, and the beans helped balance out the nutrition.  And yes… I ate it with chopsticks

Snack: Apple slices with nut butter.  Half was almond butter and the other half was peanut butter.  I couldn’t decide on which nut butter I wanted… so I had both!  Pretty right?  I saw this in a seventeen magazine issue and I couldn’t resist doing the same design.

Dinner: Veggie Stir Fry!  Not included in the picture is a steamed grecian pita which I used to make my own “veggie” pita.

Desert: Well it was supposed to be a Vegan cupcake but it turns out the bakery near my house doesn’t actually have vegan deserts.  There is, however, vegan cupcakes at the Cupcake Station, Taste Love Cupcakes, and Just Baked.  Tomorrow I’m going with my two other vegan friends to Inn Season Cafe the best vegetarian and vegan restaurant in metro-detroit.  I also hear they have AMAZING deserts so I can’t wait to go!  If the desert isn’t that good its okay… we can walk to Taste Love Cupcakes next door.  Not only did they just opened last year in April, but they won Cupcake wars!!  I have tried their vegan chocolate cupcake and it is superb.

Flax French Toast

Since I’ve been a vegan for almost a week now, I’ve decided to set some blog goals:

  1. Bake/blog a new Vegan friendly desert once a week.  I’m thinking cupcakes for this week….
  2. More on recipes…blog a new Breakfast recipe each day.  (Lunch and Dinner recipes will follow in the future)
  3. Follow more Vegan/Vegetarian blogs.  I stumbled upon a post yesterday by Brittny, who blogged about her favorite spring “vegan treats and eats” and her overall transition from vegetarian to vegan.   Her post was inspiring and motivating.

And now for Monday’s Breakfast Recipe… 

Flax French Toast
Adapted from VeganMonster

Ingredients

  1. 2 slices of Whole Wheat Bread
  2. 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp Almond Milk
  3.  2 tbsp Flax Meal
  4. 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  5. Ground Cinnamon
  6. Ground Nutmeg (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix together the milk and flax in a bowl.  Microwave for 30-40 seconds and beat lightly with a fork.
  2. Add in the vanilla and cinnamon and heat frying pan
  3. Dip both sides of the bread in the mixture and bake on pan.
  4. Fry until golden color appears.
  5. Serve with maple syrup, dried fruit, fresh fruit, or granola
Tips:  Important to heat the milk and flax or else your french toast will be cold.  Also, if your bread is very thick, slice it because the too much milk absorbed will make the toast very soggy.

 

Vegan Fruit and Nut Bar Recipe

Three graduation parties this weekend… what to give as gifts?  Well, since I’ve been browsing through vegan blogs lately I wanted to try out this cool fruit and nut bar recipe I found on Oh She Glows.  The bars look so cute wrapped up in parchment paper and tied with a ribbon.  They make for perfect graduation presents!  And I would practice my baking skills.  They turned out really great!  I did, however, make a couple of mistakes that could have improved the overall quality of the bars.  I have italicized the mistakes so YOU will not make the same ones!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1.5 cup toasted peanuts (chopped! IMPORTANT!)
  • 1/2 cup Craisins
  • 1 cup or 9 Medjool Dates (pitted and chopped) or 
  • 1/2 cup dried Turkish Apricots
  • 1 “Flax Egg” (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 tbsp Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Step by Step Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 325F.  With your 9×9 inch pan with wax or parchment paper.  Make sure there is extra paper on two sides so you can easily lift it from the pan.
  2. Mix the Flax egg together in a small bowl.  (I forgot to do this immediately, make sure you do!)
  3. TOAST your peanuts (or any nut that you’re using)  in the oven at 325F for about 10 minutes.
  4. While you are waiting for your nuts to toast, remove the pits from the dates and chop the dried apricots.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda/powder, cinnamon, and sea salt.)  Then add in the peanuts and dried fruit.
  6. Make sure that the dried fruit is covered with the flour
  7. Mix the vanilla into the flax egg after it has thickened up for about 10 minutes.  (I accidentally added it in before it thickened…)
  8. Add the flax egg mixture and the Almond Milk with the rest of the batter and mix well.
  9. Spread mixture into the pan.  With your fingers or a rolling pan, gently even out through the pan.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes until a golden color is reached.  With the loose parchment paper, lift and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  11. Then put it back in the pan for a 10 minute cool in the freezer.
  12. Let it sit for 10 minutes on the cooling rack.  Afterwards, place on cutting board and cut the giant block with a large, sharp kitchen knife
    This is where I had problems.  The wax paper was sticking to the dried fruit and the peanuts (since they weren’t chopped) were too big and if they were on the corners they easily snapped off.  I managed to only loose one bar and saved 14 🙂 (three cuts on one side and 5 cuts on the other)
  13. I then took the wax paper and wrapped the bars neatly with a bow.

    Jonah, the grad, is going to Duke next year so I thought it would be appropriate to incorporate his school colors with the bows!  7 Blue and 7 White (okay so it’s actually creme).  For the gift bag I even attached a cute ribbon on the handle.
I have another graduation tomorrow and I think I’m going to bake bars again!  But they will be a different recipe..involving bananas.  Stay tuned!