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Raw Banana & Oat Powerballs

I’ve been trying to kick sugar for a while now. Habitually it was easy to sit down after dinner and crush some vegan ice cream or some other treat. I’m on this little junket to optimal health, though, so I needed to figure out some way to get some sweetness at night but also make it something that is good for me.

I searched around the internet for a decent recipe and most had some sort of non-vegan item in them, the most prevalent being honey. As we all know now, there are so many replacements for that though, it was not an issue to switch things around. Most had chocolate chips and while I do love chocolate chips, I ended up swapping them out for this recipe. You can’t get any easier than this recipe!

Ingredients

2 Ripe Bananas
2 cups quick oats
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 scoop Naked Pea Protein

Peel the bananas and mash them in a bowl. You want them as ripe as possible, the riper they are the sweeter they are; that’s why banana bread is so righteous because those bananas are so ripe they are near death. Add a cup and half of the oats and the other ingredients to your bowl and mix well. Depending on how sticky the mix is, add the other half a cup of oats.

Roll the mixture into one inch balls and let sit for two hours.

You are ready to go. These should last a few days in the fridge. They will get darker as the days go on and those bananas start to pass. I wouldn’t go beyond a week as long as they are in an air tight container.

Sweet Potato Pie

This is my first holiday by myself in a long time. Yes, I will see my kids later but the day is going to be spent doing nothing, which I guess is ok?! Is it weird that I’m watching Boondocks Saints on Thanksliving?

Anyway, I figured rather than sit around and mope, I figured I should try and create a new tradition. So I decided to make a pie. The other day I was at the grocery store and they had a sale on sweet potatoes. It was a huge bag but the deal was too good to pass up. They’ve been sitting for a couple days and I wanted to make sure they got used before going bad. So I hopped on Google and starting searching for a recipe.

I found one I liked but it was for Pumpkin Pie. I made a couple changes. Being that I was going to bring this to a dessert get together, I wanted to sweeten it up a bit. I also thought some minor tweaks would fit better with a sweet potato pie.

Here’s how it went down and what you will need.

Ingredients

I used a frozen crust, there are vegan options that are easy to find.

3 cups roasted sweet potatoes
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup plain soy milk
4 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons molasses
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon agar powder

Preheat over to 350°

I used about 5-6 decent sized sweet potatoes. After peeling them, cut them up into chunks and place on a strip of aluminum foil long enough to fold back over the potatoes, sprinkle some oil on so they don’t stick, dust with cinnamon and a little bit of ginger then roast at 350° for 50-60 minutes.

Once they are soft enough add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Add to pie shell and cook for 60 minutes at 350°.

Chickpea Farro Soup

I am happy to share this recipe from the book “Back To The Cutting Board” by Christina Pirelli.

With a plethora of Autumn and Holiday inspired dishes, the recipes are simple and ambitious. I hope you enjoy and let me know if you make it!

Chickpea Farro Soup 

Makes 3 to 4 servings

This could easily be my favorite soup in the world and I love most soups. But my love of farro has taken my soup making to new heights. This favorite of Juliet’s (yes, that Juliet . . . ) is rich in fiber and magnesium and high in protein. Add protein-packed chickpeas and you have the perfect marriage of ingredients.

1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 stalk celery, diced

1 medium carrot, diced

4 to 5 fingerling potatoes, unpeeled and diced

1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed well and soaked for 1 hour with 1 tablespoon baking soda

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup farro, rinsed well

4 to 5 cups spring or filtered water

Sea salt

3 to 4 sprigs fresh basil, finely minced, for serving

Set a soup pot over medium heat with the olive oil, onion, and garlic. When the onion begins to sizzle, add the crushed red pepper flakes to your taste and sauté until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the celery, carrot, and potatoes and sauté for 1 minute.

Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse them well. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and farro to the pot and stir to combine. Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the chickpeas are soft, about 1 hour. Season to your taste with salt and simmer for 5 minutes more. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, garnished with fresh basil.

Apple Crisp

Fall is upon us and with that comes some of my favorite flavors. I love pumpkin as much as the next guy or gal, but it doesn’t define fall for me; apple does. Apple pie, cinnamon rolls with chopped apples, breads, and cupcakes are good and all but I prefer apple crisp. The soft and warm apples are amazing with the crispy, caramelized oats and brown sugar. *drool*

Over the years, Leah has made it based on an old family recipe. Swapping out the butter for Earth Balance made this as vegan as it’s gonna get. It’s not healthy, there is no mistake that this is a dessert but it is oh so good. Here’s what you need.

INGREDIENTS
6 medium/ large apples (Peeled and sliced)
3/4 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vegan butter

Preheat oven to 350°

Mix all ingredients except the apples.

Once everything has mixed evenly spread the apples in a 9×9 baking dish and top with the blended mixture.

Cook for 45-60 minutes depending on how done you want it to be. The full hour will be nice and crunchy, just check at 45 minutes to make sure it doesn’t get burnt.

This goes great with a little soy vanilla ice cream, just saying….

Mason Jar Creations: Fresh Lemon Lovin’

Since I was a kid. my mother had me convinced that I really liked things that were lemon flavored. Every year she would bake me a lemon cake for my birthday and to this day, I don’t know why or if I ever asked her to. Here I am though, 44 years old, and not fully understanding just why I love lemon so much; could it have been the subliminal suggestion of my mom?

Either way, I enjoy the flavor and I use lemon as often as I can. I like the freshness of it either squeezed into a dish or zested. Luckily, this recipe call for both. Hell yeah! This is a super clean dish and is really refreshing. Here’s what you will need:

INGREDIENTS
1 can garbanzo beans
1 package Lightlife tempeh
1 160z bag frozen okra (or use fresh, your call)
1 12oz bag of riced cauliflower
1/2 of a lemon
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup veggie broth

Get a large non-stick pan warmed up, nearly hot. Add in the garlic and saute for a moment, if it starts sticking just add a touch of veggie both. Add the cauliflower rice and the 1/2 cup of veggie broth.

Cook that down a bit and zest the peel of the lemon right into it. Cover and steam cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the tempeh and drained garbanzo beans into another pan. Take the half lemon and squeeze the juice right on top. Cover and cook down a bit.

In a smaller pan get the okra going. It’ll get slimy as it cooks up, it’s normal if you haven’t ever had it.

You can either serve it right away or portion it into 4 mason jars and refrigerate once it cools.

You can use oil, I tried to make this as clean and oil free as possible. I’m on jar three at work today, tastes amazing and fresh!

Baked Tomatoes w/ Lentil PLUS a GIVEAWAY

Ben Bella books has graciously allowed me to giveaway a copy of the upcoming revised edition of “The China Study Cookbook.” The new edition has over 175 amazing recipes, including the one below. I’ve quickly perused the copy I have and it’s absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to start cooking from it.

Last night I made falafel in green peppers and can’t wait for lentils baked in tomatoes, which just so happens to be the recipe I’ve shared! I used my air fryer for that so I wonder if I can do the same for this recipe. Hmm I guess I will have to try and report back when the review is done for the book. The following recipe is as clean as it gets (as is the rest of the book), no oil or additives, just real food to fuel your body.

Instructions on how to win this book are on my Instagram page at http://www.instagram.com/vegancableguy

BAKED TOMATOES WITH LENTILS
MAKES 3–4 SERVINGS

Compared to other dried beans, lentils cook quickly and easily. They work well in stuffings and loaves. I especially like them with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and oregano. To make a heartier stuffing, I like to use whole wheat bread crumbs.

3 large, firm tomatoes
½ cup diced onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¾ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1½ cups cooked lentils
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop the insides into a bowl. Turn the tomato shells upside down to drain while preparing the stuffing.
3. In a nonstick skillet, sauté onions and garlic in vegetable broth over medium-high heat until onions brown.
4. Add oregano, salt, black pepper, and insides of the tomatoes. Cook for 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Stir in lentils and bread crumbs.
6. Spoon the lentil mixture into the tomato shells and place in a small baking dish.
7. Bake, uncovered, for 20–25 minutes. Serve warm.

Blueberry Lemon Overnight Oats

I eat oatmeal most mornings. The only times I don’t are when I get bored with “the same old thing.” That’s not as often as you think though, I love oatmeal.

There’s a common misconception that oatmeal has to be served hot. I hope to start sharing more of my oatmeal recipes to dispel that error though. I especially hope to share more of the cold one’s now that it’s summer and hot as Hades outside.

But, how do you make oatmeal cold? Doesn’t the heat soften it up and make it more edible? Yes and no. With a little time and patience you’ll be eating overnight oats in no time

Overnight oats? Yeah, that’s where the time thing comes into play. In order for the oats to soften and be edible, as mentioned before, they need to soak at a cold temp for at least 4-6 hours.

Preparing ahead of time is key, and where the patience comes from. With heat it’s so much easier. You either boil some water and soak the oats for a couple of minutes or you microwave some oats with water and 1 minute later you have ready to serve oatmeal. This process is easy, just not THAT easy.

So here’s my recipe for one of my favorite flavor combinations right now, blueberries and lemon. Some folks add coconut flakes to it, which I do sometimes as well. Or even some he,p hearts for a little nutty flavor. We are gonna keep it simple though.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup plant-based milk (I use soy)
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tbsp ground flax
2 drops of lemon flavoring (or squeeze juice from a slice of fresh lemon)

Add all the ingredients into a small mason jar, shake and put in the fridge until breakfast. Sometimes the flax can absorb to much of the milk so you may want to add a bit more in the morning to loosen it up; depends on how chunky you like your oatmeal to be.

What’s you favorite flavor of oatmeal? How often do you eat it?

ps. image is of a batch without flax, I’ve been adding it recently to try to see some different results in some upcoming blood work.

Guest Recipe: Mozz Cashew Cheese

If you live on Cape Cod and are vegan or veg you surely know how hard it is to get a good pizza that is dairy free. There are a few places that will allow you to bring in vegan cheese and they will make you a pizza. Dennisport House Of Pizza is one of those places, just bring in an unopened bag and within 15-20 minutes they will whip you up something. There is also JD’s in Provincetown that makes it with Daiya, but what about something from scratch that’s a bit more “artisinal”?

You can head to Pizza Barbone in the center of downtown Hyannis, on the bustling Main Street strip. They make an in-house cashew cheese that is absolutely to die for. Anytime a vegan friend visits the Cape and asks where to go, I always recommend Pizza Barbone. It’s where I go all the time so it only makes sense, right?

One thing I’ve been wanting to do here on this site is share some local recipes, not only so you can try to make them yourselves but so you can go to these places and try them out yourself. I’ve been super sporadic about it and only had one post before this and that was for African Peanut Stew from 141 Bradford in Provincetown. With a little bit of focus, I’m back to asking local places again and already have another one on tap soon after this one.

I’ve been coy about asking for this recipe though, but I’ve wanted to get it to share with you all for a loooong time. Well, on my last visit I asked and within minutes the chef came out with the recipe and allowed me to take a pic of it.

It was that easy the whole time?

This recipe is in grams and each ingredient is weighed precisely. I tried messing around with conversions but after going back and forth with the chef I stopped and realized you can’t mess with perfection; and this stuff is just that. So, the recipe is as is and if you attempt it, I’d love to see how it works out for you. I’m set to order the ingredients myself and give it a shot soon!

INGREDIENTS

Cashew Milk
150 grams soaked or boiled cashews
4.5 cups water
8 grams soy lecithin
6 grams acidophilus powder
2 grams nutritional yeast

Mozzarella
5 Cups cashew milk
22 grams kappa carrageenan
2 grams citric acid
100 grams tapioca starch
10 grams salt
330 grams coconut oil

Take all the ingredients listed under cashew milk and blend.

Blend the rest of the ingredients listed under mozzarella with the cashew milk

Heat in pot over medium high heat, will separate but us a hand blender to bring back together.

Scoop into balls or pour into pan to cool.

Are you going to give this a try? Do you have a scale to weigh the ingredients?

Thank you Pizza Barbone for sharing this recipe, I very much appreciate it!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding

I’m trying to cut out added, and processed sugar and it sucks; bad! I just want a cookie or something, maybe some ice cream?!? AAAHH!!

I needed a way to satiate the craving and the other day my wife made an avocado pudding for a dinner at her Dad’s that was stupendous!

This time I wanted something extra in it so I added peanut butter and it’s amazing! The only sugar that is in this stuff is the sugar from the peanut butter, and that’s minimal as it’s all natural. The Bee Free Honee doe have cane sugar in it, but again, it’s not anything extra like most recipes.

Try it and let me know what you think!

You’ll need…

2 ripe avocados
2 tbsp all natural peanut butter
2 tbsp Bee Free Honee
1/4 cup raw cocoa
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup soy milk

Put it all in a blend and let it run until it’s smooth enough for you. Chill for 30 minutes and serve with some crumbled peanuts on top!

Simple Mac & Cheese

For the past week my wife has been asking me to put together a mac and cheese casserole and it was about time that I get around to it. I always mean to write down the recipe and never do; until this one. It came out awesome and my wife AND kids went back for seconds.

This is a simple recipe, you don’t need to go crazy and pre-soak or have any more skill than I, and that’s limited. So here’s what you got to do.

Preheat over to 350º

Get some water boiling for the squash, add squash and bring back to a boil, turn down to a simmer once it’s rolling.

Pan cook the tempeh bacon then dice up. Set aside.

Once its soft, spoon it out of the water and add to a blender.

Put macaroni in the water you just boiled and cook as per the package.

Add all the ingredients below minus the tempeh and 1 cup of the cheddar shreds, you are going to use that later.

Blend well

Once it’s nice and creamy, put in the pot that you have the pasta (which should have been drained by now).

Add the tempeh bacon and mix well.

Pour into a 9×12 casserole dish and top with the other cup of cheddar shreds and sprinkle some paprika on top.

Bake for 30 minutes and serve.

Ingredients
1 package macaroni
1 package tempeh bacon
2 cups butternut squash
1/2 raw cashews
3/4 cup of unflavored soy milk
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cups cheddar shreds
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
paprika