Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Green Bean Salad & Sesame Crusted Tofu

Friday, June 20, 2014

BBQ Tofu & Kale Salad

Tofu. I've been eating a lot of tofu since becoming vegan last year. Before turning vegan, the only tofu I enjoyed eating was the sweet ginger tofu dessert you get at dim sum. Other than that, tofu's texture turned me off. Not only that, but there seemed to be no flavor at all to tofu.

But, everything changed once I turned vegan. I learned how to prepare and cook tofu so there is a nice texture and flavor. I learned that the secret to properly prepping tofu is to drain out all the liquids (as much as possible). The other secret is using the right type of tofu for your dish. Since I use tofu as my meat replacement, I buy mostly the firm or extra firm tofu to use in a stir fry or a baked recipe. I like tofu crisp on the outside.

Tofu is so versatile. It absorbs flavors easily. What I usually do with tofu for a weeknight dinner is either bake it or pan fry it. I use my cast iron skillet most days. I lightly oil the pain, season the tofu with salt and pepper and fry the tofu until it is crisp on all sides. Then, I will add the sauce. For this particular dinner, I simply heated up some Stubb's BBQ sauce and poured it on the cooked tofu. As simple as it is, you'd be surprise at how easy and fast and tasty it is.

I served it with a stir-fry Kale Salad.

Kale Salad

For this salad, I used mushrooms, carrots, snap peas and onion. I drizzle some olive oil to the kale, massage the kale and tearing it up into bite size pieces for a few minutes. Simply sautee the vegetables. Once the veggies are cooked, add the kale last and only for a couple of minutes. Just letting the kale get a bit soft, but still crispy. You don't want to lose the crunchiness from the kale. I like to taste my food, so I typically only use salt and pepper. This is a quick, simple, easy and healthy vegan weeknight dinner.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The BEST Vegan Chocolate Cake

Jerry and I celebrated our anniversary recently, so I was in search for a delicious, healthy, VEGAN cake recipe. I made a vegan carrot cake for his birthday and it was pretty gross. So, I thought I'd go for chocolate, because it's easy enough. I didn't want just easy. I wanted simple because I am also working as I'm baking this darn cake.

Thank goodness! I found the best recipe for vegan cake! Thanks to The Minimalist Baker, this recipe will be my go-to recipe going forward. Not only was the cake delicious, the frosting was too. It was everything she said it would be. 

Generously frosted.

... And perfect with a scoop of soy ice-cream.

It was the first time I used the letters & numbers silicone baking molds - a Christmas gift to myself. I had create the + and + signs from another letter. It all worked out pretty good in the end. J was super impressed.

Here's the batter:

Here are the letters and numbers out of the mold:

I didn't feel like the hood in the "J" was long enough, so I added a piece to it:

 I have to say, I thought frosting the 6 would be the toughest, but it was actually the + sign that ended up being the most challenging. I frosted each letter or number individually, then very carefully added them to the platter.

Until I finished my little message:

Here's a link to her recipe, but I also copied everything here for your (and my) convenience. Just follow the instructions. I will not steer you wrong!


15 mins
25 mins
40 mins

One bowl vegan chocolate cake made in 1 hour with simple ingredients. A two layer, buttercream-frosted cake that's moist, fluffy and rich with chocolate flavor.

Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 10

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups original unsweetened Almond Breeze Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce*
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (or sub more almond milk)
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil, or sub grape seed or canola oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups cane sugar (or sub granulated sugar)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) vegan butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ~1/4 cup unsweetened original Almond Breeze Almond Milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly spray 2 8-inch round cake pans or one large rectangular pan with nonstick spray (see notes for cooking times for different size pans). Dust with cocoa powder, shake out the excess and set aside.
  2. Mix the almond milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl, and let set for a few minutes to activate. Add the oil, coffee, vanilla extract, and applesauce and beat until foamy.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a sifter and slowly sift over the wet ingredients while mixing with a hand-held or standing mixer. If you don’t have a sifter, simply mix dry ingredients in another bowl and add to the wet mixture while beating. Beat until no large lumps remain. It should be creamy and pourable. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed, adding more sugar if desired (I found it plenty sweet).
  4. Divide batter evenly between your 2 cake pans or rectangular pan.
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  6. While cooling, prepare frosting by beating together all ingredients until light and fluffy, adding the powdered sugar in small amounts until you reach your desired consistency and sweetness. If it becomes too thick, add more almond milk. If it's too thin, add more cocoa powder or powdered sugar.
  7. Once the cake is cooled, frost generously with buttercream frosting, adding a thick layer between the top and bottom layers (if doing a 2-layer cake). Alternatively, omit the frosting and dust with cocoa powder.
  8. Serve with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream, a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce, coconut whipped cream or a glass of almond milk!

He ate the "N" and I ate the "J" (well, he also ate the + and one of the = signs).

Ohhhh....the frosting!!!! Was incredibly yummy. Seriously. It was delicious! Try it yourself. I WILL NOT STEER YOU WRONG!

Friday, May 9, 2014

It's Been Two Years. Hi,There!

I can not believe it has been nearly TWO YEARS since my last post. I have seriously been busy with...life. A lot happened since my last post, and although there haven't been any posts, I *have* been cooking. I've transitioned to a plant-based diet almost a year ago. The transition was gradual and it just felt right for us. We aim to live a Vegan lifestyle (no animal products), but occasionally make exceptions and go vegetarian.

I have to say that the plant-based diet has had many benefits for us, so we're sticking to it. Stay tuned for plant-based updates soon.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cauliflower Soup

The cleanse included four days of blended meals/shakes. So, I made a couple of soups with the vegetables I had on hand. This cauliflower soup was one of them, and it was so simple and pretty hearty. I followed the very simple Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup recipe here.

So simple, yet so delicious!