Category Archives: Vegan

Big Batch Granola with Almonds, Pecans & Pepitas

a big batch of granola, jarred up and ready for gifting!

a big batch of granola, jarred up and ready for gifting!

Oh granola, how I love thee, let me count the ways…I have loved granola for as long as I can remember.  For years, my go to breakfast was a bowl of plain yogurt with fresh berries and a spoonful or two of my favorite granola. Nowadays, I don’t eat much yogurt, but I haven’t given up on granola and have found so many other delicious ways to enjoy it.  I’ve replaced the yogurt in my granola bowl to fresh berries or sliced banana topped with granola and my homemade coconut milk or almond milk, delicious!  Granola can be mixed into pancake batter for some extra flavor and texture, top off a chia cup or even a bowl of ice cream, or just eat it straight out of the jar as a healthy snack. 

 

delicious baked granola straight out of the pan

delicious baked granola straight out of the pan

About 10-12 years ago, I found a recipe for granola and started making my own.  My family loved it.  As I continued making batch after batch of granola over the years, of course I started tweaking the recipe and have created a few different versions that I really like (for a nice twist try my pumpkin pecan granola).  This one is close to my original, but with a few really great updates.  For one, I’ve figured out some great tips on how to get granola into nice size clusters, all the better for snacking on straight out of the jar. 

Tips for making granola clusters:

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Coconut Almond Blueberry Scones – vegan & gluten free

gluten free and vegan! scones bursting with juicy blueberries and dusted with coconut and almonds, yum!

gluten free and vegan! scones bursting with juicy blueberries and dusted with coconut and almonds, yum!

Hallallujah!  The birds in my head are singing and I’m doing a happy dance around my kitchen for I have finally discovered the magic of baking a GOOD gluten free scone. Coconut Almond Blueberry Scones to be exact and not only are they gluten free, but vegan too!!! 

Just baked and oozing blueberries...

Just baked and oozing blueberries…

This simple dough is made from coconut flour (or leftover coconut pulp!) and oats, studded with blueberries and almonds and rolled in a few extra oats, flaked coconut, raw sugar and almonds just for fun and a little extra yum. 

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Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu

Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu, yum

Whenever I find myself at Whole Foods I can’t leave without picking up a container or two of their golden sesame tofu.  I love this stuff.  The tofu has a perfectly dense and chewy texture and the saucy coating is just sweet enough with a little bit of spice. The whole thing is finished with fresh scallions for the right amount of crunchy freshness, yum!  

Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu

Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu

For years, I’ve been buying Whole Food’s Golden Sesame Tofu and trying to recreate it myself at home.  I’ve looked for recipes online and have tried just going off the ingredients list on the package, but I’ve never been quite happy enough with my results, that is to say, until now….  

I’ll admit, and if you’ve had the Whole Foods version before, you’ll know this recipe is not exactly the same, but for me I think it’s even better and the family agrees, even my meat eating husband loves my Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu!   Whether, it’s the golden sesame tofu you’ve had from Whole Foods or not, my Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu is delicious, give it a try and see for yourself.  yummy golden sesame ginger tofu

I start by pan frying the tofu with a light cornstarch coating, dotted with toasted sesame seeds, just until the tofu is golden and crisp but still tender and a little chewy on the inside.  

Tofu cubes with a light and crispy toasted sesame seed coating

Tofu cubes with a light and crispy toasted sesame seed coating

My sauce is a little sweet, a little tangy, a little spicy.  Golden Sesame Ginger Sauce

sweet and spicy sesame ginger sauce

sweet and spicy sesame ginger sauce

The recipe comes together fairly quickly and makes a perfect meal topping Forbidden Rice, soba noodles, crispy and fresh cabbage slaw, or anything else you can imagine.  

Sweet & Spicy Sesame & Ginger Tofu

Sweet & Spicy Sesame & Ginger Tofu

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Peanut Butter & Berry Chia Cups

Peanut butter, berries & chia breakfast cups, oh my!

Peanut butter, berries & chia breakfast cups, oh my!

Yum, peanut butter & berries, is there anything better? Well, yeah, maybe, but this combo is still one of my classic favorites.  This recipe is an easy make ahead breakfast or snack, with a little pre-planning, you can have a delicious and satisfying light meal ready to grab and go for those mornings or afternoons when you just have no time to prep. 

 

PB & Berry Chia Cup topped with Berry Jam

PB & Berry Chia Cup topped with Berry Jam

I have been a fan of the mighty chia seed for some time now and enjoy them almost daily.  I love chia seeds stirred into my yogurt, mixed into a bowl of berries and in quick breads and muffins like my Lemon Chia Tea Cake. What I have not been a fan of, not even willing or interested in trying…is one of the many recipes for chia puddings flooding the blogosphere and pinterest.  Why?  I don’t know, just the thought of gelatinized goo just never appealed, even though I know one of chia seeds greatest features is that they DO gel up, but for some reason, I really, really like the little crunchy bite of chia seeds before they get all wet and gooey.  That was, until a few months ago when Dana at the Minimilast Baker posted her Peanut Butter & Blueberry Chia Puddings and oh my, they looked so delicious I just wanted to dive into my computer screen and eat one immediately! 

Chia Cups topped with berries, peanut butter and berry compote

Chia Cups topped with berries, peanut butter and berry compote

So by the next day, I dove right into my kitchen and made up my own version and then I made them 3 more times in the next couple of weeks and then made some more, because they were that good!  Now, of course I did change up Dana’s recipe just a bit to suit my own tastes.  I used both homemade almond and coconut milks, since I’ve been making those for several months now with great delight (see tips for making your own at the end of the recipe!).  I also prefer raspberries and blackberries with peanut butter to Dana’s blueberries and…since I was new to the whole gelling chia world I decided to use a tad less chia seeds in my cups then the original just to get my feet wet, but I think my combo here is just perfect and I hope you agree! 

peanut butter and berry chia cup topped with a blackberry

peanut butter and berry chia cup topped with a blackberry

And one more note of encouragement to any of you out there who have not yet discovered all the wonders of chia seeds…even my daughter Skyler, who has had for a long time a strange “fear” of chia seeds, LOVES these chia cups!  So go ahead, give it a try, they are nutritious and delicious…

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Syrian Style Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip with Pomegranate Molasses

Syrian Style Roasted Red Pepper, Toasted Walnut and Pomegranate Molasses Spread

Syrian Style Roasted Red Pepper, Toasted Walnut and Pomegranate Molasses Spread

This dip is my take on a traditional middle eastern Muhammara dip which is an amazingly delicious mixture of roasted red peppers, walnuts, bread and pomegranate molasses.  If you’ve never tried pomegranate molasses before, it’s worth seeking out at your local middle eastern shop (I bought mine at Yaranush in White Plains, NY) or other specialty market, you may even find it in the “international” section of your local supermarket or in places like Whole Foods.  Pomegranate molasses is a deep dark burgundy colored syrupy sauce with an unusual sweet and tangy almost citrusy taste, it’s like nothing I’ve ever tried before, but once I did I started imagining all kinds of possibilities!

my take on a Syrian Muhummara dip with Roasted Red Pepper, Toasted Walnut, Sun dried Tomato and Pomegranate Molasses

I first came across this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers and cookbook authors Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks.com and knew I had to give it a try.  I changed it up a bit from the traditional recipe, by adding in some sun dried tomatoes, just thought their tangy umami flavor would work well and it does!  I also skip the bread all together, making this a great grain & gluten free dip, of course I still serve it up with a some toasted baguette slices for anyone who enjoys bread, it is delicious as a topping this way or spread into a leaf of romaine as a topping for a bean & veggie burger, with falafel, in a hummus wrap as Colin likes it, with tuna or even on top of a fried egg! As you can see, the list is pretty endless and once you try this I’m sure you’ll come up with even more ways to enjoy this unusually delicious dip, also perfect for parties…

I must confess, I’m a little late on getting this post out as my original intention was to post this in December as I thought this a perfect party dip for the holidays.  Well, a house full of sick people and the normal/stress filled rush of the season kept that from happening, but I am happy to note I’m squeaking by getting in my first post of the New Year in before the month of January officially ends (even if by mere moments!).

Syrian Style Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip

with Pomegranate Molasses

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

 gluten free, vegan

Ingredients:

1 roasted Red pepper – jarred works just fine, but if you have fresh roasted all the better

½ cup toasted walnuts – toast in a dry skillet until fragrant or toast in the oven

6 sun dried tomatoes – oil packed preferably – roughly chopped

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses

½ clove or 1 very small clove of garlic

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Sea salt to taste

1-2 Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

2 Tablespoons fresh chopped mint

Squeeze of fresh lemon

Directions:

Into the bowl of food processor add – red pepper, walnuts, sun dried tomatoes, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses and garlic.  Process until mostly smooth, or leave it a little bit chunky if you like it that way.  Next mix in red pepper flakes, salt and water, blend again and add more water if needed to get it to the consistency you like. Stir in chopped herbs and finish with a squeeze of lemon.

Pour into a small bowl and use as you like.  For a party, surround the bowl with *toasted sliced baguette* and small romaine or endive leaves OR on a platter with other spreads & salads such as hummus, taboulli, creamy feta and some cut up veggies and pita wedges.

 *I like to slice a baguette, rub each slice with garlic infused olive oil and then grill each side until lightly toasted.  You can even make this a few hours ahead of a party.

Other serving ideas: this is an all around delicious condiment; spread in place of mayo or mustard on a turkey or chicken sandwich, on a hummus wrap or dolloped on top of a bowl of nutty brown rice & veggies or even atop a runny yolk fried egg, yum, Enjoy!

also known as yum dip! Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut & Pomegranate Molasses

also known as yum dip! Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut & Pomegranate Molasses

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