Raw Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter (such as almond, peanut, or sunflower seed)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 dates, soaked
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon raw peppermint extract
  • 2 bananas, frozen
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw cocoa nibs

Directions:

1. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Mix nut butter and cocoa powder in a food processor or high-speed blender for about 1 minute until a smooth consistency is achieved. Add dates, salt, vanilla, and peppermint extract, and mix on high for another minute (you may need to stop and scrape the sides down). Press mixture into pan and freeze for 30 minutes. Cut into 8 even square “cookies,” remove from pan, and store in freezer until ready for use.
2. Place bananas, mint, and vanilla extract in a blender, and blend for 45 seconds until smooth. Add cocoa nibs and blend for another 10 seconds.
3. Place four cookie squares onto a pan lined with parchment paper. Spoon a dollop of frozen banana mixture onto each cookie, then top with another cookie. Place back in freezer for at least another 30 minutes. Store in freezer until ready to serve.

Mini Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecakes

 

When you make dessert, even if you are disciplined and can keep yourself to one slice of cheesecake, the leftover sits in your fridge, tempting you to have a slice here and a nibble there. This recipe from Fit Pregnancy solves both problems: The muffin-sized cakes make for easy portion control, and since it only makes four servings, chances are you won’t have any remaining. But if you want to make more for a party, it’s easy to double or triple.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (from 2 whole crackers)
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/3 cup light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup lemon 2% Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • For blueberry topping:
  • 2/3 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 4 paper cupcake liners.
2. Combine graham crumbs, melted butter, and salt in a small bowl. Spoon crumb mixture into bottom of cupcake liners, pressing down lightly with the back of a spoon to flatten. Bake for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile in a medium bowl beat together cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, egg white, and lemon zest until smooth. Pour evenly into baked cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes or until set on top.
4. In a small bowl toss together blueberry topping ingredients. Microwave for 30 seconds and mash lightly with a fork to release juices.
5. Chill mini cheesecakes and blueberry topping. Garnish cheesecakes when ready to serve.

Kung Pao Tofu

 

Kung Pao Tofu

  • 1 block tofu, firm
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or olive oil
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (chili and garlic sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon Spicy Bean Paste (Korean hot sauce)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup carrot, small diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, small diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, small diced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts or peanuts

Place the water packed tofu in the freezer overnight. Using tofu that has been frozen first will give this dish a meatier feel. Freezing makes the texture of tofu chewier, which resembles chicken. Thaw the tofu by leaving it out all day or in the microwave for a few minutes. Once thawed, squeeze the tofu between your hands over a bowl to catch all the water that will come out. It will feel like squeezing a sponge dry. The more water you get out, the more the tofu will absorb the flavors of the sauce. Slice the tofu in to bite-sized cubes and fry in the peanut oil until golden brown. Set aside.

Next, make the Kung Pao sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well, then set aside. Adjust the sauce to your taste by adding more hot sauce if you want the sauce to be hotter, and less sugar to take away some sweetness.

Cut all the vegetables into same size pieces so that they will cook evenly. You can use all your favorite vegetables, these are just a suggestion. In a sauté pan heat the peanut oil and sauté the vegetables. Just be sure to add the thicker ones, like carrots, first and let cook for two minutes. Then the onion and bell peppers for another two minutes. Add delicate vegetables like zucchini last and only cook briefly or they will get mushy and lose vitamins. Add the golden tofu cubes and mix gently. Now add the sauce, a little at a time, until you get the desired coating. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes to reduce the sauce and thicken it. For the final touch, sprinkle with macadamia nuts for a truly local flair, or peanuts. Serve over jasmine rice and enjoy!

I am not a vegan but, I do prefer foods that are healthy for my heart and body.  This new year I am going to make my plate colorful so, when I upload more pictures of healthy food ideas I am going to make it colorful because food has color.