Coconut Bacon? Heck yes!

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coconut baconIn a previous post, Double Chocolate Chip Rosemary Cookies, I referenced Fettle Vegan’s Coconut Bacon. This stuff is freaking awesome! I don’t crave meat anymore, so this wasn’t made with the intent of some bacon substitute. Rather, it’s a great recipe to add a touch of savory with a hint of sweet to a dish. The crunch of the coconut is reminiscent of bacon; at least it is in my vague vegan memory!

Whether eaten by the handful, on a salad, or on top of banana chocolate ice cream, this “bacon” is a great addition to any concoction that could use a little crunch.

The original recipe calls for Braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce. Being that soy is my enemy, I substituted coconut aminos. I also recommend tasting the mixture before adding in the smoked paprika. Next time I make this, I will be splitting the batch, leaving half plain, and adding the paprika to the other half. Both are delicious, and provide a bit of different flavor.

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After baking. Look at that color and crunch–yum!

Ingredients:
3 cups coconut chips
2 Tbsp liquid smoke
1 Tbsp coconut aminos
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 325. Prep your baking sheet with either parchment paper or a baking mat.

In a mixing bowl, combine the liquid smoke, coconut aminos, maple syrup, and water.

Add in the coconut chips and stir to coat evenly.
Give it a taste and see what you think. Either leave the batch as is, split and add smoked paprika to half, or add the paprika to the entire batch—the world is your oyster!

Spread the coated coconut chips on your pan and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Set a timer to alert you to stir the mixture every 5 minutes to prevent burning.

After cooling, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I am obsessed with my mason jars, and encourage everyone to have a dozen lying around for storing purposes. They are just so goldarn handy!

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Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and add to almost any dish!


Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

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This was my second time making this amazing salad dressing from Nutrition Stripped–check it out, McKel is a genius! The first time, it was delicious but I knew it could be better. I had skipped a couple of ingredients and didn’t really adjust for their absence, so the dressing was a bit runny the first time around. This time, that definitely wasn’t a problem.

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The original recipe calls for a tablespoon of miso paste. However, due to a need to avoid soy, I substituted a teaspoon of coconut aminos instead. It’s super concentrated (and delicious), which is why I only used a teaspoon. Feel free to adjust to taste!

Because the miso paste is thicker, I compensated for this by removing the filtered water and adding in some flax seed meal. I like super thick dressing that sticks to and coats the salad—plus, the color of this dressing is so gorgeous that I wanted it thick enough to really POP!

Lastly, I altered the amount of tahini used from the original recipe. I used 3 tablespoons, rather than the 2 the recipe called for. Why? Well, honestly, the jar had 3 tablespoons left and I felt ridiculous putting it back in the fridge with a skiff of tahini! So there’s your answer 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic red bell peppers, roasted and charred
  • 1 organic red bell pepper, raw and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (Braggs Raw)
  • 3 tablespoons organic tahini
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (sugar free version use stevia to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste

To roast the 2 red bell peppers, preheat your oven to 450 F. Place the peppers on a silpat (my preferred method) or a baking sheet on the middle rack. Rotate the peppers every 5 minutes for 20-25 minutes, until fully charred.

After removing them from the oven, place in a glass bowl, cover with saran wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. You want the peppers to still be a bit warm when you take them out, as this will help the skin slide off more easily; however, you also don’t want them to burn your fingers clear off!

Once they are cool, peel the skin off by hand. If some skin is left on the pepper, no biggie. Then open up the pepper and remove the stem and seeds. I wasn’t too picky about removing all of the seeds.

Place the freshly seeded bell peppers in your blender, along with the rest of the ingredients. Puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning and thickness as desired.


Why a blog? I’ll tell you!

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6 months ago, I was an omnivore that had little-to-no cooking skills, oblivious to the plant-based world. Today, I love spending hours in the kitchen, often flying by the seat of my pants, cooking vegan dinners and an excessive amount of desserts.

My purpose of this here page is to create a space to keep all of my recipes—whether successful or total failures. It doesn’t hurt to also have a place to document various adventures during my next phase of life. This summer, I’ll be entering the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry Class of 2017. Quite a mouthful, huh? Get it? Mouthful? Anywho, I’m super excited to be moving to San Francisco soon—a vegan’s paradise! It will be so lovely to be able to go to a restaurant and know that I can eat something delicious other than salad. Hooray!

Lastly, I hope to start branching into creating my own concoctions. I’m just not quite confident enough for that yet! But hell, if I never do, oh well! At least I’m still making freaking fabulous food that makes me feel fantastic.

So… enjoy a glimpse into my nerdy life. This should (might?) be fun!

Double Chocolate Chip Rosemary Cookies

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Tonight, I wanted to make vegan thin mints. I was completely stoked about the thought of having my all-time favorite cookie made vegan! I hunted through the cabinets for peppermint extract (leading to throwing away a few expired items), only to find the bottle containing one single drop of this much needed ingredient. *sigh*

This led to a quick internet search for a knockout cookie recipe. And man oh man, did I find one! I stopped on by fettlevegan.com, the source of my favorite coconut bacon. I decided to venture into a nontraditional cookie, the Dark Chocolate Rosemary Cookies. Let me just tell you, once these babies were out of the oven, my parents could NOT stop raving about them! My dad said that they are the best double chocolate chip cookies he’s ever had, and my mom stated that these are her favorite cookies I have made so far. I consider that a win!

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I changed the recipe up a bit, as I usually don’t have all of the correct ingredients. Don’t ever let that stop you!

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup raw cacao
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance (soy free)
1 1/2 cups organic raw sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
1/2 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons dried, chopped rosemary (Fettle Vegan states that if using fresh rosemary, substitute 2 tablespoons)
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I used 1/2 cup of dark chocolate and 1/4 cup of Enjoy Life semi sweet chocolate mega chunks—dairy, nut, and soy free)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cacao, baking soda, and salt until well mixed.

In a mixer or with hand beaters (or even with a fork as recommended by Isa, the original source of these cookies) cream together the Earth Balance butter and sugar. Add ground flax, almond milk, vanilla and chopped rosemary, and mix until totally combined.

Add the dry ingredients 1/2 a cup at a time. Pour in chocolate chips and mix into the dough.

Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon (I used heaping tablespoons) to scoop dough onto a greased cookie sheet (I am addicted to my Artisan non-stick baking mats so I skip the greasing step) about 2 inches apart (I ignored the 2-inch rule and some of my cookies became attached at the rosemary-hip).

Bake for 15 minutes, until edges are crisp and tops begin to crack. Remove from the oven and let sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Once cool, they can be moved to a storage container for up to a week, but I can’t imagine that they’ll last that long! While taking photos of the cookies, I took a bite of one and then a sip of almond milk; I had to sit down it was so darn good!

I ended up with 28 decently sized cookies.