Thursday, October 24, 2013

Recipe Review: Cookie Dough Dip

Chocolate Covered Katie's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip is delish! A big hit with adults, kids, and everyone in between. I have made this dip twice and it is super easy. The recipe scores an 8/10 easily in my book. The only downside is that I have to try and not eat the whole bowl. You can find the recipe here. I just threw all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in my ninja and ninja'd for a good long time to smooth everything out.

The dip looks a little runny in these pictures but you can just pop it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes and it thickens up. Serve with graham crackers. Just be sure to keep the secret ingredient a secret... chick peas!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Recipe Review: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is in the air... and I had some left over pumpkin to use after I made chocolate chip pumpkin brownies last week...

And so we have chocolate chip pumpkin muffins! I found the recipe here (and you can too) from All Recipes. These muffins are moist, thick, chocolatey, and delicious. Super bonus: they are also low fat. The pumpkin takes the place of any oil or butter.

I followed the recipe almost exactly but I used white wheat flour, mini-chocolate chips, and sprinkled a little cinnamon sugar mix on top.

I give this recipe a 6/10. I love the festiveness of the orange muffin, but I prefer my muffins filled with fruit instead. :-) Also, after the muffin cooled it was a big spongey. It is great for the season though. I love that a muffin is practically a dessert that can pass as a good breakfast option too.

Happy Fall! I hope you all are staying warm. I'm using my oven as much as possible to help heat up the house!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Charleston Vegan Eats: Five Loaves Cafe & Mellow Mushroom

Can I just take a moment to say how beautiful Charleston is? Arguably one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. Look at this college campus! Can you imagine going to school here and then moving to INDIANA? 

While downtown Charleston a couple weeks ago we decided to check out Five Loaves Cafe. This place is good... especially if you are NOT a vegan. But it worked for us. We ordered the only 2 veganish items on the menu: Sweet Chili Glazed Eggplant Wrap and the Mediterranean Garden Wrap. They were both pretty good, but definitely not the highest highlight of our trip.

The place was pretty cute but I was so hungry I forgot to take pics of the food. So instead you get a pic of the table with a nice Lucille Ball quote on it!

One of the nights we needed a late night snack and I had heard a rumor that Mellow Mushroom had vegan cheese. The rumor was true! And the pizza was pretty stinking good. This is only the second restaurant made vegan-cheese pizza we have had, so it really was a treat for us! It has Daiya cheese and sun dried tomatoes on it.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Brownies

I found this fall-appropriate brownie recipe just in time for the cool weather to come rolling it. These brownies are so fudgey and delicious! Another great recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. You can find it publicly posted here.

I give this recipe an 8/10. It was very easy and quick. I used all-purpose white flour instead of ww pastry flour and baked my brownies a little longer than Katie suggested: about 27 minutes at 330 degrees. My husband voted for a 7/10. After I tell him what is in the recipe he always changes his mind a little. I did add a little squirt of Hersey chocolate syrup before I baked these - a brownie habit (HFCS!) that is hard to break.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vegan in Kalamazoo: The Crow's Nest

The Queen Anne's Revenge at the Crow's Nest in Kalamazoo might seriously be my favorite vegan meal of all time. I would eat this stuff all day and all night if I could! 

Queen Anne's revenge is a scramble of vegan pesto, sun dried tomatoes, tofu, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms in it. The Crow's Nest serves it as a huge helping with hashbrowns and toast. 

They also have a coffee shop downstairs with vegan desserts, breads, and of course coffee. I had a vegan "Dirty Chai." If you don't know, a dirty chai has a shot of espresso in it! What could be better?

One last note about the Crow's Nest. I read on Urbanspoon a lot of hating on the place for poor service, bad atmosphere, etc. To be honest, I love the service there. It can be a little spotty but it is such a neat little place with a great atmosphere, I don't mind it at all. Don't go there if you are in a rush. To be fair, I took my dad there once and he will never go back. We went at a busy time and were too close to a group of loud women + he wasn't too hip on the atmosphere for some reason. Not his scene I guess!

Crow's Nest on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 4, 2013

Recipe Review: Cheezy Broccoli Orzo

Time and again I have been disappointed by "cheezy" sauce recipes or mixes or jars. I am happy to announce that today I finally made one that is as good as it looks! I made just a few slight variations to this recipe which can be found posted publicly here on My Vegan Cookbook or pinned to my Vegan Recipe Pinterest board here.

First, I omitted onion powder because we didn't have any, second, I added a squirt of Dijon mustard and third, I cut the amount of nutritional yeast in half (because I'm not a huge nooch fan!). I also steamed (instead of boiled) extra broccoli because I love love broccoli!

I give this recipe a 10/10. It is so creamy and comforting. I hope it heats up well... I'll get back to you on that. I think this would make a really great side dish or even an entree. I ate it by itself for lunch today. It reminds me a lot of non-vegan broccoli rice casserole but even better.

P.S. Isn't orzo amazing?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Charleston Vegan Eats: Puree

Next on our journey through vegan cuisine in Charleston, SC was Puree Cafe, an adorable little restaurant in Mt. Pleasant. The service was great and the atmosphere was very clean, crisp, and fresh feeling. My husband did say it was a little offensive to his manliness (not all vegans/vegetarians are chicks ya know!) but I thought it was charming.

T.J. ordered the BBQ tempeh sausage burger with lentil salad on the side (both were delish!)

I got the tofu scrambler with pesto toast. I think I would have preferred jam on my toast because I like to do a little salty a little sweet, but it was very good. The tofu chunks were a little big for my taste, but overall a healthy and hearty lunch.

We topped it all off with a little key lime cheesecake, because when in the South I must eat key lime something! The only drawback to this place was the price tag. If I still lived in CHS there is no way we could afford to eat here often. But since it was on vacation, why not! 

Puree Organic Cafe on Urbanspoon