How about a tasty somewhat naughty festive treat? I was making cupcakes for a potluck that my yoga teacher training group decided to put on. I made these vegan friendly and oh my, they were tasty! The recipe below is the healthier way I would make them but I will include the recipe variation to make them vegan friendly too. They were originally going to be gluten free and vegan friendly but that challenge is going to be saved for another day. These were so tasty even my meatatarien husband has been enjoying them. For those who are curious I’m an omnomnomivore. Food is tasty.
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 12 tbl low fat cooking margarine
- 1 1/2 cup splenda
- 10 tbl egg substitute (like egg beaters)
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened original
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 tbl orange zest, grated fine
- Juice of 1 orange (usually about 2 ounces)
- 2 1/2 cup icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a bowl cream together the margarine, egg, almond extract and splenda.
- In another bowl combine the baking powder and flour. (yes, sometimes I’m lazy and skip this step too…it’s o.k.)
- Slowly alternate between adding the flour and the almond milk while beating the creamed mixture on low. Continue until all combined.
- Spoon batter into cup pan and bake for 20 minutes. You can tell they are done when they spring back when you touch them and are golden.
- While the cupcakes bake, combine the zest and icing sugar in a bowl.
- Slowly add the orange juice to the sugar mixture while beating on low. Once it is all combined at the desired consistency (you do not have to use all of the juice) beat for 2 minutes on high. Chill the glaze for 1 hour.
- Glaze the cupcakes when they have cooled.
Makes 16 cupcakes, each cupcake with glaze contains approximately 176 calories, 2.4 grams fat, 39 grams carbs, .9 gram fiber, and 2.2 grams protein.
To make this vegan friendly I used powdered egg substitute ( a local brand from the health store), vegan butter (earth balance buttery spread), and brown sugar instead of splenda. The nutritional info for this version is much higher of course. To make the cupcakes you just add the extra step before you cream of adding the required amount of water to the powdered egg substitute and stir. Other than that it is straight forward and the baking time is the same.
A few weeks ago my husband and I went out to a vegetarian style restaurant with some gaming buddies of ours called Rebar. You may have heard of them, they have a cookbook that many people swear by. I ended up ordering their almond burger. It was quite tasty and did not disappoint….especially with it’s topping of aioli and alfalfa sprouts. I love alfalfa sprouts…my dad used to call them frog hairs…which made me love them more…I was a very strange little girl. I remain a very strange girl ofcourse. I had been toying with the idea of a lentil slider for some time and this burger inspired me to add almonds. I loved the texture that the almonds in their burger gave. It definitely was that last missing touch to the slider I’ve been aiming for. So, thank you Rebar for the inspiration! Remember, it is good for yourself and the environment if you have atleast one meat free meal a day.
- 1/2 cup dry red lentils
- 3 tbl dry couscous
- 5 crimini mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 green onion
- 3 carrots, grated
- 4 tbl sliced almonds
- Cook the lentils according to the directions on the package. This is usually 1 1/2 cup of water and lentils simmering for 12 minutes or so.
- Using a blender, combine the garlic, mushrooms and half of the still hot lentils.
- Pour into a bowl. Add the sliced green onions, dry cous cous, carrots, almonds, and remaining lentils. Stir until well combined. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Form the mixture into 10 slider patties. Freeze for atleast 4 hours.
- Grill or pan fry, usually about 2 minutes per side.
Makes 10 lentil sliders. Each contain (without bun or toppings) 48 calories, 1.3 grams fat, 7.2 grams carbs, 1.8 grams fibre, and 2.2 grams protein. Great served as an open face slider topped with a bit of light mayo mixed with sriracha sauce. Num! In fact these are so nice and light why not serve them as a lovely trio outside?
My first taste of butternut squash soup was at a marche restaurant in Toronto. I was so blown away by its creaminess and flavour I worked hard to recreate it. I think I’ve come close and on top of that it is completely healthy. Theirs probably had cream in it but I have found that this recipe just doesn’t need it. It is tasty and creamy all on its own. Pair this with some fresh baked bread and you really have a heavenly meal. It’s a favourite of mine really, especially when it is cold and rainy. Which happens often out here!
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 leeks, white part only, chopped
- 2 lbs butternut squash, cubed
- 1 bartlett pear, cored and chopped
- 6 cup water or chicken stock
- 2 purple basil leaves, chopped finely
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and leeks. Saute until carmelization occurs.
- Add the squash, pear, stock or water, basil and pie spice. Season with some salt and pepper. Allow to simmer until the squash and pear are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Puree the soup using a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender until it is smooth.
- Reheat the soup and serve.
Makes 8 large portions. Each portion (about 2 cups) is 72 calories, .8 gram fat, 4.4 grams fibre, 17.2 grams carbs, 1.3 grams protein. Calculated if water is used instead of stock. If you need a bit of extra creaminess a dollop of fat free sour cream is excellent in this. I don’t usually do that, made for a pretty picture though!
It’s definitely been a cookies kind of week. I put these together using some leftover pumpkin from a batch of pumpkin cheesecake muffins. Can’t let good pumpkin go to waste now can we? I love fall cooking. Yes, I have justified having one with my breakfast on occasion simply because of its pumpkin content…don’t judge me monkey.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, unpacked
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbl pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup pumpkin (canned or cooked, not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 cup applesauce (if you make it with my hardcore hobbit applesauce this become even more numly!)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- Combine the sugar, applesauce, and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in the pumpkin.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spice.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Using a teaspoon drop the mix unto a baking sheet.
- Bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes.
Makes 46 cookies. Each cookie contains 34 calories, .4 grams of fat, and .4 grams of fibre. These are such a light and cake-like cookie. Pumpkin and chocolate were made to go together!