Community Gardening!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's that time of year! And although with all the crazy weather we've been getting here in the Dairyland it may not seem like it, it's time to bust out the shovels and gloves and scruffy clothes, because it's GARDENING SEASON!!
Now I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants a garden but lives in an apartment...and I doubt my landlords would appreciate me tearing up a patch of grass to start my own garden. HOWEVER, that's where Community Gardens come into place! What is a community garden? Well, Madison, as well as many cities around the country, are sprouting these guys all over! Cities are turning empty lots into places where people can buy/rent/donate to a small plot of it, and grow as they please. You can get a tiny plot, or a huge plot, whatever best suits your personal needs, and the cost is usually super low for the growing season. Not only that, but you get the personal satisfaction of being able to care for and grow your very own food! Most plots you rent or buy, and others you can use for free if you donate the harvest to local food banks, which is also pretty sweet.

Now, if you're looking in your area, you can always Google "Community Gardens [city, state]" or you can check out to see if your area is located on their national map! So check it out, and get growing!

Easter Breakfast Tarte

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Simply Delicious!

Let me preface this with the fact that this is probably one of THE easiest recipes you'll ever make, and yet it will make you the superstar of any brunch you bring this to! It's simple, and you can use any flavor fruit preserve in it that you like for a different flavor.

Boysenberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Tarte

1 roll of Pillsbury seamless dough (yes, it's vegan! And if you can't find it, their croissant dough works fine, too)
Boysenberry Preserves, or whatever flavor jam or preserve you choose
Galaxy Vegan Cream Cheese

Way Better than Tofutti!!!

Preheat oven to 375. On a cookie sheet, place wax paper down to avoid the tarte sticking to the pan. Roll out dough into a long rectangle onto the wax paper. On one half, spread the Galaxy Cream Cheese evenly throughout. On the other half, spread evenly your fruit preserves.

Fold in half the long way, and poke holes in the top with a fork. Press the edges closed so all the yummy goodness doesn't seep out while baking.

Place in the oven, and let bake for 12 minutes, until the crust is a golden brown. Let cool, and serve!

Told 'ya it was simple and delicious!!!

Simplicity at it's finest!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Simple Lunch:
1 Gardein Scallopini
1/8 cup artichoke hearts, drained
Drizzle of olive oil
A few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes
Perfect simple lunch!

Huba-Huba Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cheesecake

Monday, April 4, 2011

So I've been drooling over an image over at VeganPandaMonium's blog for a while now, and while I had an excellent cheesecake recipe, I couldn't STAND the taste of Toffutti's cream cheese substitute. WELL, my grocery store finally started carrying the NEW cream cheese substitute made by Galaxy Nutritional Foods, so I figured it couldn't possibly be as nasty as Toffutti's, so I finally gave it a chance. Now, the idea for this cheesecake is definitely not original, but I used my cheesecake recipe instead of the one on Veganpandamonium's blog, just because I'm more familiar with the outcome. Just incorporated some of her smooth moves to make it pretty, and I must say this was probably one of the easiest, tastiest desserts ever. Seriously simple, and the Galaxy Cream Cheese substitute is not only amazing, but PERFECT for this recipe!

Huba-Huba Chococlate-Dipped Strawberry Cheesecake

16 ounces, or two tubs of Galaxy Non-Dairy Cream Cheese
1/2 cup agave nectar (or sugar)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pie-crust (Danielle got lazy and bought a pre-made vegan one this time!)
Vegan Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 350. Put the "cream cheese", agave nectar, lemon juice and vanilla in a blender and blend on low until smooth. Add in the cornstarch and blend until incorporated. Pour mixture into your piecrust, reserving about 1/4 to 1/3 of the batter. Add the cocoa powder to remaining batter and blend until incorporated. Pour into piecrust, and swirl together with a knife. Bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven time, until the top is a golden color. Let sit for about an hour, then put in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating.

While cooling, melt down some chocolate chips in a double boiler (or, place a heat-resistant bowl over the top of a pan of water on medium heat). Slice the stems off your strawberries diagonally, making the heart-shaped top, then slice lengthwise, to get perfect strawberry hearts. Dip half in your melted chocolate and set on wax paper to cool. Add to your cheesecake as a garnish.

"Bacon" and Petite Pea Creamy Risotto

Friday, April 1, 2011

Risotto - One of those things you really can't go wrong with. If you enjoy risotto, I think you're going to love this deliciously creamy, simple dish!

Bacon and Petite Pea Creamy Risotto
Serves 2:

1 and 1/3 cups orzo rice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small diced onion
4 slices vegan bacon, I use Lightlife Smart Bacon.
3/4 cup frozen petite peas
1 litre vegetable stock, I made mine with 1 tsp marigold vegan bouillon powder
4 Tbsp nutritional yeast, I like to grind mine to a finer powder in a mortar and pestle so it dissolves more easily into the risotto.
smoked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan then add the onion, fry on low heat until soft and transparent. Add the dry rice and stir, making sure all grains are coated in oil for about 2 minutes. Start adding the stock a little at a time, making sure all liquid is absorbed between additions.

Meanwhile, fry the Lightlife bacon in a tiny bit of oil until heated through, about 2 minutes a side. Remove from the pan and chop up.

When you have a bit of stock left add the petite peas and when all the stock is added and the rice is tender stir in the nutritional yeast and bacon. You may need to add a bit more water if the rice isn't cooked. Season with the smoked sea salt and black pepper.

Yum, yum, yum, yum, YUM is all I have to say about this recipe! Enjoy!

Grillin' up those onions!

The best "bacon" alternative out there!

Fryin' up that vegan bacon!

I wish you could scratch and sniff, because this smelled delicious!

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