Friday, May 31, 2013

Vegan & Gluten-Free Rose Flavored Macarons with a Vegan Strawberry Buttercream

Vegan & Gluten Free Rose Flavored Macarons
with a Vegan Strawberry Buttercream 
When you think gluten free and vegan we DO NOT think macarons can be one of the other. This is a classic recipe that people have grown up with. They are based off meringue...which is not vegan and mixed with special flour. This shows you how to achieve not only a vegan meringue but a gluten-free macaron as well. These little treats can be made into any flavor you can imagine and are great for any occasion. This recipe shows you that any treat can be made to fit your lifestyle and delish at that! Serves great as a beautiful dessert or great for parties. Pairs great with an adult beverage to class it up or coffee. Enjoy!

Vegan & Gluten-Free Rose Flavored Macarons with a Vegan Strawberry Buttercream



-4 cups prepared vegan meringue (Recipe Below)
-3/4 cup almond or coconut flour
-1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon vegan pink food gel (depending on how pink you want it) 
-1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon rose water, optional (you can do ANY flavor extract)

Fillings For Macarons 
(Recipe Below)


Heat oven to 375 Degrees, making sure that your racks are in the middle and not low to the oven floor.

Prepare 2 cookie sheets and line them both with wax paper. This ensures the macaroons do not stick. 

Different Ingredients
Take your prepared meringue in a stand mixer and add the food coloring to the mixture and mix to combine the color to the vegan meringue. Once the meringue is pink, add in the rose water and mix to blend in. 

Rose Water
Flavored & Colored Meringue
Flavored & Colored Meringue
Now add the flour over meringue, doing this 1/4 cup at a time and stir it in on low speed with the mixer fold until it is smooth and shiny.

Finished Macaron Dough
Finished Macaron Dough
Take this now ready batter and  with a 2 Tbsp ice cream scoop form and place each Macaron on the lined baking sheet. Place them 1/2 inch apart from one another. 

Macaron Dough Formed
Macaron Dough Formed
Once all have been formed and placed, lightly press them down until you have a flattened top. DO NOT flatten the Macaron or you will have a cookie and not a macaroon. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Macaron Dough Formed & Pressed
Now that they have rested, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Place the macaroons into the 325 Degree. 

Macaroon in the Oven
Macaron in the Oven
Bake the Macaron making sure to rotate them halfway through, bake for about 12 to 15 minutes and then with the last 5 minutes crack your oven door and bake until macarons are crisp on the outside and springy and cakey on the inside. 

Finished Macarons
Once the macarons are done, remove from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack or foil to let macaroons cool. 

Finished Macarons Cooling
When they have cooled completely, you can fill them with you filling. Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and keep in the fridge. You can also freeze for later snacking.

Strawberry Buttercream Filling


-2 Tablespoons strawberry preserve 
-2 Tablespoons vegan butter or Crisco
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Place all ingredients in a stand mixer and combine until mixed. Add in powdered sugar and mixed until completely combined and fluffy. 

Homemade Vegan Meringue
(Makes: 2 1/2 to 3 Cups)


-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
-3/4 tsp xanthan gum powder
-4 Tablespoons soya protein isolate
-3/4 cup cold water
-3 teaspoons white vinegar
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 Tablespoons soya protein isolate


In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, xanthan gum and the 4 Tbsps soya protein. Set aside.

Powdered Sugar Mixture
In a kitchen aid mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place the water, vinegar, vanilla and 2 Tbsps soya protein in the mixing bowl.

All Wet Ingredients in Mixer
Whisk on high speed for 10 minutes until it becomes fluffy and bubbly, it will get a bit lighter. 
(the highest setting on your mixer)

Whipping Mixture until Frothy
Once the mixer is done whisking for 10 minutes you are ready to add the powdered sugar mixture. Keeping the whisk on high add the powdered sugar mixture, a heaping 1 Tbsp at a time. This mixture will eventually turn white and leave stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted out of the mix. It will be the consistency of marshmallow creme. This sticky and delicious vegan marshmallow creme can be used in many recipes and stored in the fridge for later use. This recipe makes about 3 cups. Enjoy!

Finished Vegan Marshmallow Creme

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vegan Pasta Sostanza (Carrabba's Inspired)

Vegan Pasta Sostanza 
(Carrabba's Inspired)
Going out to dinner is great, it means you don't have to cook or do the dishes but sometimes we crave those restaurant favorites all the time and don't want to pay those prices all the time. I think recreating those meals at home can not only save you money but also be just as delish as the original dish. Carrabba's Italian Grill is a well known restaurant that has plenty of great dishes but not everything is vegan and we all want to try those great flavors...but not those none vegan ingredients. This recipe is original made up of Tagliarini (a egg noodle) with sautéed mushrooms, artichoke hearts and spinach in tomato basil sauce topped with seasoned I bring you Vegan Pasta Sostanza. Even I was surprised with the outcome of this dish compared to its original. A very hearty but light dish, made up of fresh spring ingredients. Perfect for any summer day meal! Serve with a garden salad and fresh bread and your all set for your in home tipping required! Enjoy!

Vegan Pasta Sostanza 
(Carrabba's Inspired)


-2 teaspoons olive oil
-1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
-3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

-1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powdered, to taste
-1 (28 oz) can diced fire roasted tomatoes with juice

-2 cups pasta sauce, your favorite brand
-1 cup mushrooms, sliced (I used baby portabellos or 
-1 can artichoke hearts, quartered and drained
-6 very large basil leaves, julienned 

-2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
-1 Tablespoon capers (small pearl style)

-1 cup chopped or whole spinach, fresh or frozen
-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

-1 Pound Pasta, I used Pici but any pasta you like

Toasted Bread Crumb Topping
-1/2 cup Italian style vegan bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
-1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
-Salt, to taste


In a medium-sized saucepan, place the olive oil and onion over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, the onions will start to get soft and translucent and just starting to caramelize. 
Add in the sliced garlic and cook 1 to 2 more minutes until it becomes fragrant.

Diced Onion 
Measured Diced Onion
Translucent Onions with Garlic

Add the diced tomatoes

Diced Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes
Tomatoes with Onion & Garlic
Capers, Herbs, and garlic powder and stir to combine. 

1 Tablespoon Capers 
Diced Parsley
Herbs in Sauce
Once you have stirred in those ingredients, add in the sliced mushrooms, pasta sauce, and artichoke hearts.

Mushrooms & Sauce
Added Artichokes
Add in the salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the sauce from burning.

Stewing Sauce
When the sauce is done cooking, add in the chopped spinach.

Chopped Spinach
Spinach Added to Sauce
Stir to combine and taste for seasoning and add if needed.

Added Spinach
Place the top on the sauce, turn off heat and let sit until pasta is ready. The spinach will soften and heat threw off the heat.

Finished Cooked Sauce
In a seperate pot, cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Pici Pasta
(Any pasta can be used)
Cooking Pasta
When done, drain pasta and add the drained pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine the ingredients. Serve on a plate or pasta bowl. Sprinkle each portion with the Toasted Bread Crumbs (Recipe Below) prior to serving and vegan parmesan for serving. Pairs great with a garden salad and your favorite fresh bread. Enjoy!
Toasted Breadcrumbs on top
Finished Dish
Toasted Bread Crumb Topping
In a medium-sized saute pan, add the oil. Once oil is added, add in the bread crumbs and stir to coat.

Pre-Toasted Bread Crumbs
The bread crumbs will cook quickly, you don't want to add them into a hot pan, otherwise they can burn. Stir the bread crumbs constantly. Season lightly with salt and/or pepper. Saute for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a seperate bowl to use as needed.

Finished Bread Crumbs
Topped Pasta

Vegan Pasta Sostanza
(Carrabba's Inspired)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Homemade Bangin' Vegan Baba Ghanoush

Homemade Bangin' Vegan Baba Ghanoush
We all love dips and during the summer time it makes the day that much more enjoyable. Its nice to have different choices instead of the same old, same old. Baba Ghanoush a more exotic choice than the french onion dips and plain chips. This recipe gives you a smooth and creamy dip with tons of flavor. A roasted eggplant dip with lots of spices and herbs, that will make your same old dip a thing of the past. Serves great with extra olive oil and herbs on top, with your favorite items to dip. Pairs great with crackers, sliced baguette, toasted pita chips for dipping and/or veggies. Enjoy!

Homemade Bangin' Vegan Baba Ghanoush


-1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
-Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black pepper, to taste
-1 garlic cloves (raw) OR 2 to 3 cloves roasted/cooked with eggplant
-2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup tahini paste (if you like it stronger, add 1/4)
-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1/8 teaspoon chili powder
-1/4 cup parley leaves
-3 teaspoons vegan cream cheese
-1 Tablespoon vegan mayo


Heat the oven to 375 Degrees

Cut ends off the eggplant. 

Eggplant with Ends Cut Off & Tools
Peel the eggplant until all the skin is removed.

Peeled Eggplant
Slice eggplant in half.

Halved Eggplant
Then half it again and into 1/2 inch thick slices. 

Then take those 1/2 inch strips and cut diagnonal to chunk into pieces. 

Chunked Eggplant

Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and season with the paprika, cumin, and salt.

Seasoning Eggplant
Roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft, you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them with no hardness.

Pre-Roasted Eggplant with Seasoning
Roasted Eggplant Finished
Remove from oven and let cool either on the sheet or place cooled pieces in the fridge overnight for later use.

Cooled Eggplant
Once the eggplant has cooled, add the garlic to the food processor with the other remaining ingredients  and blend until smooth.

(Fresh or Roasted)
Remaining Ingredients Added
Remaining Ingredients Added (Side)
Finished Pureed
Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper if needed. To serve, drizzle with a little olive oil and more chopped parsley on top. Pairs great with crackers, sliced baguette, toasted pita chips for dipping and/or veggies. Enjoy!

Drizzled with Olive Oil for Serving
Finished Babe Ghanoush