Brownies (and Giveaway Winner)!!

Do you want to know who won the Food Fight t-shirt giveaway?! I will reveal the answer at the end of this post. Mean, I know… Perhaps a recipe will make up for it?

A few years ago I was feverishly writing an all vegan (of course!) brownie book. My plan at the time had been to create all the recipes and then find a publisher. Well, I did write a lot of recipes and then I got sick of brownies and some dumb stuff happened in my life that put my motivation on the back burner. I don’t have any immediate plans to finish the book, but I do still love baking brownies. Plus, I am nearly finished with a sweet lil’ vegan cookzine that features a brownie recipe, so it all works out! In the meantime I figured it might be nice to share an updated version of my classic brownie recipe!

This recipe is very simple. It yields relatively fudgy, super chocolatey brownies. Feel free to stir in fun ingredients like chopped cookies, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, nuts, marshmallows… You get the idea. Want a gluten-free version? You are in luck, click here.

Basic Fudgy Brownies

2/3 cup warm water
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 cup softened coconut oil
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (please use fair trade/organic!)
1 cup organic sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup mix-ins, optional (I used Newman O cookies)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
2. In a glass measuring cup, vigorously whisk together the water and ground flax seeds. Set aside to thicken.
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add in the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Pour in flax mixture and chocolate mixture. Stir well to incorporate. The batter will be thick. Stir in any mix-ins and spread batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until mostly set. Allow brownies to cool for about 30 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator to set for several hours. Please don’t skip this step! The  brownies turn magically fudgy in the fridge.
6. Cut into squares and serve!

Now it’s time to announce the winner of my giveaway. It’s… Maud, from Food Feud!!! Congratulations!!! You are the new owner of an awesome t-shirt! I will send you an e-mail shortly so we can arrange shipment of your prize. For everybody else, don’t be sad. I have another giveaway coming up soon, and it’s a good one! See you all tomorrow!!

 

Sweet Potato Curry – A Recipe

My last post proclaimed my love for tacos. This post is going to demonstrate my love for curry. Admittedly, I have no idea how to create an authentic curry. I always stray from recipes and go by instinct instead. It would be fun to take a class from a curry making professional, but until then, I shall settle with what Tim and I consider curry. It makes our tummies happy and that’s really what matters most, right?

Sunday night was cool and rainy – a perfect night for curry! We whipped up a sweet potato curry and served it with brown rice. I did my best to write down the recipe so I could share it with you!

Sweet Potato Curry
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 small shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small stalk lemongrass, minced
1″ knob of ginger, finely chopped
2  large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons good quality yellow curry paste (or red)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup brown sugar (organic if you have it)
Splash of tamari sauce
1 large avocado, diced
1/3 cup roasted cashews
Water as needed

Directions:

1. Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger. Saute for 2 minutes, or until aromatic.
2. Add the sweet potatoes and stir well. Now add the chickpeas and stir again. If the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of your pan, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of water.
3. Scoot the potatoes and chickpeas to one side of the skillet and stir in the curry paste and curry powder. Move the paste and spice around for a few seconds to toast. Stir the potatoes and chickpeas into the mixture and saute for a few minutes.
4. Pour in the coconut milk, splash of tamari, and brown sugar. Stir well to incorporate. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the curry for 25-30 minutes. The mixture will thicken as it cooks.
5. Check to make sure the potatoes are tender and then add the avocado and cashews to the skillet. Stir everything together and let the curry simmer for a few more minutes. Season to taste.
6. Remove from heat and serve with brown rice or the grain of your choice.

Enjoy!!

More Tacos!

I am obsessed with tacos right now. Maybe it’s because they are fun to eat? Or, maybe it’s because they are so darn delicious? All I know is that when the opportunity strikes for eating tacos, I am at the front of the line. Today was perfect for enjoying tacos. Tim and I have friends in town from Seattle and we met up with them for lunch at El Nutri Taco in NE Portland.

El Nutri has two locations and both provide consistently amazing Mexican food. The NE location used to be a food truck and I happily discovered this afternoon that they moved into a small restaurant space! Yeah! Now I can get my taco fix indoors if it’s raining. El Nutri also has a separate vegan/vegetarian menu that will please every single herbivore in the whole wide world. I always get the same thing because that’s how I roll.

The Potatoes Burrito = potatoes, grilled onions, lettuce, black beans, rice, cheese (Daiya), and sour cream (Tofutti) in a whole wheat tortilla

Tim opted for the Chimichanga:

Chimichanga = deep fried burrito filled with beans, rice, cheese, and a choice of potatoes, soyrizo, or tofu, topped with cheese, sour cream, and served with a side of lettuce and salsa fresca

Our friends got the tacos:

Corn tortillas, grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado

It was yummy.

Waffles in the Morning

I know what you must be thinking – Don’t most people eat waffles in the morning? Sure, I bet most people do eat waffles in the morning. But, I usually eat waffles for dinner. Today was different! Tim and I ate waffles for a late breakfast. I have been meaning to make the Peanut Butter Waffles from Vegan Brunch for a long time and the perfect opportunity struck this weekend. We even used homemade peanut butter! We don’t mess around when it comes to waffles. These were kept simple with just a drizzle of maple syrup (made locally near Tim’s parents’ house in the great state of Ohio).

Some roasted chopped peanuts would have been lovely on top but we didn’t have any left after making peanut butter. Next time we will toss a handful of chocolate chips into the batter. Dessert for breakfast!

Taco Time!

This post is quite late, but I still have two hours left in the day! Life has been busy lately and despite my love for cooking, there have been a few occasions where quick dinners are necessary. Tim has been making me dinner all week, which I appreciate so much! A few nights ago we had soft tacos filled with smokey black beans, avocado, Spanish rice, roasted red peppers, and corn. They were exactly what I needed! Sadly, I don’t have a photograph of the finished tacos, but I did manage a shot of the rice, which is a new to us recipe from The Vegan Family Cookbook by Brian P. McCarthy. It tasted okay, but definitely needed some extra spices.

To make up for a lack of taco photos, here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy tacos:

These are double decker soft tacos Tim and I enjoyed while on our road trip this summer. Corn tortillas + sauteed bell peppers + avocado + refried beans = dinner while camping!

BBQ’d mushrooms and black beans + corn tortillas = simple, but delicious dinner!

And that concludes my lame post about tacos. Tomorrow I will be back with a post on waffles! We all love waffles, right?