White Bean Garlic Dip and Homemade Tortillas

GPG TortillasI’m over at Guinea Pigging Green today with the recipe for a delicious white bean garlic dip I threw together last week. It wound up being so yummy I just had to share it! No doubt it can be improved upon (my tiny Korean kitchen, while growing, is still not completely stocked) but it was the perfect addition to some light, fresh veggie wraps.

The same day, I made tortillas by hand for the first time. At the risk of sounding like a complete and total loser: it was so much fun! Not only did I feel like a domestic goddess extraordinaire, but the tortillas were so tasty and came out perfectly. I was following a recipe from Oh She Glows (all of her recipes are always awesome) using regular flour instead of the spelt flour she recommends.

You would have laughed to see me – I was covered from head to toe in flour, rolling out tortillas using my water bottle then whipping around to drop them into my little frying pan, doing a little dance back and forth the whole time. But it was fun. So far, my 24 before 24 list has been feeding me well – literally and figuratively!

Check out the recipe (and some other ideas for what to put in these tortillas) here!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

20140415-152642.jpgI’m over at Guinea Pigging Green today sharing a recipe for homemade, raw, and vegan peanut butter cups! I’ve already eaten four from the batch today, so it’s lucky they’re rather small.

These peanut butter cups are pillowy, naturally sweetened, nutty, and delicious. They’re a great little sweet treat and miraculously I was able to make them in my tiny Korean apartment without a real mixing bowl (I used a shallow bowl I got when I bought strawberries off the street), or a muffin tin (I used an empty plastic egg carton), or an oven (they’re raw)!

It felt good to mix ingredients up in a bowl, to use strong cinnamon, and to take food photos in a new space with new light. Baking while photographing the process is one of my favourite things to do but I always seem to forget how much I love it until I’m doing it again. Today I was reminded that I can always make good things happen for myself, even in a small space in a foreign country. It comforts me to think that as long as I have peanut butter and a wooden spoon, I can feel like I’m home. 

Check out the recipe here!

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

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I’m still eating vegan and still going strong! It’s been nice to get so much support from friends & family, but it’s also been (truly) not that big of a deal. Which is awesome! It’s a good feeling.

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I’ve also really enjoyed making vegan versions of things, including those yummy peanut butter balls. Funnily enough, Angela of Oh She Glows made her own recipe for those that looks a whole lot healthier than mine but seems just as tasty! I wish she’d posted it just a week earlier…oh well, at the rate they’re disappearing in my house, I’ll probably have to make another batch soon enough, and maybe I’ll give her recipe a try.

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In the meantime, I tried my hand at another old classic, the jam thumbprint cookie. I found the recipe on Keepin’ It Kind, a vegan website that actually hosts a virtual Christmas cookie swap every year! How cool is that? These are raspberry almond thumbprint cookies by Ketty of Luminous Vegans.

These cookies taste different than the non-vegan version, but since I haven’t had a regular jam thumbprint in a very long time, I can’t tell you exactly how they differ (helpfulness is my specialty, obviously). These are chewier, and taste deliciously of almonds, that much I know.

Ingredients

Makes 24 cookies

  • 4 tbsp of solid coconut oil (don’t melt it!)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup packed ground almonds (the original recipe doesn’t state if the ground almonds should be packed into the measuring cup, but I did and they turned out great. I ground my almonds whole and raw in the food processor.)
  • 2-3 tbsp almond milk (I found I needed a bit more almond milk than the recipe called for to hold the dough together)
  • ~2 tbsp jam of your choice (I used a summer fruit jam)

Set your oven to 350F. Mix together the oil, sugar and extracts until you get a consistency similar to creamed butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and ground almonds.

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Incorporate the dry ingredients into the sugar and oil mixture. It will probably not seem to come together very well, but after you add the almond milk it should form a dough that holds together when it’s squeezed. Knead the dough and shape it so it forms a ball.

Roll the dough into approximately 1 inch balls. Now for the fun part! Use your thumb to press indentations into the cookies. If they crack a little it’s okay, that’s part of their rustic charm don’t cha know.

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Bake for 6 minutes in the preheated oven. Then remove the cookies and use the back of a teaspoon to press the indentations in again, as they might have flattened out during baking. Then spoon about a 1/4 tsp of jam into each one. Bake for another 6-10 minutes (mine took around 10 more) until they are slightly browned around the edges. Sprinkle with powdered sugar!

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My house is slowly becoming dangerously full of delicious vegan treats. Yikes! Happily, they’re so tasty that even the non-vegans who live here are eating them too.

Peanut Butter Balls

pbbThe holiday baking is officially in full swing! These little guys have always been a favourite, but for my first vegan holiday season, they’re looking even better since they are so easy to veganize.

Our family always makes big trays of assorted holiday sweets, full of our favourite recipes that we’ve accumulated over the years. There are always peanut butter balls, butter tart squares, shortbread cookies, raspberry-coconut bars, “secrets” bars and decorated sugar cookies. This year I plan to make a few switcharoos to some of our favourite sweet treats to make them vegan-friendly, and hopefully nobody will be able to tell the difference!

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Ingredients:

Makes 24 balls

  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons “buttery” spread (I used Becel’s Vegan margarine)
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk (I used plain almond milk)
  • 3-4 oz vegan chocolate (I used Enjoy Life chocolate)

Mix together the peanut butter, buttery spread, icing sugar and non-dairy milk. You’re looking for it to be fully incorporated with no lumps, in a consistency that holds together if you squeeze it.

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Form the mix into small balls, about a teaspoon each, rolling them between your palms. Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet and put them in the refrigerator to harden for at least an hour.

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Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave. If you want the chocolate to be glossier, you can add about a teaspoon of vegetable shortening. I chose not to and am happy with my results.

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Roll the balls in the melted chocolate until fully coated. This works well with a fork. Shake off the excess a little and replace them on the cookie sheet. Let the chocolate harden, then enjoy!

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Stay tuned for more vegan adventures this holiday season. I’m already on the lookout for more sweet things I can make vegan-friendly!