Archives for category: Food & Drink

Having a long distance relationship can obviously be a bummer some times- this Valentines Day I will be frantically packing for a work trip to Honduras instead of having a romantic date. What I will say though, is that it can be super refreshing to get out of town for the weekend on a regular basis. This weekend was no exception. The cheesy nature of valentines-y things is not exactly my cup of tea, so enjoying a relaxed yet eventful weekend with my guy was the perfect substitute. This weekend literally encapsulated my favorite things:

1. VEGAN BENEDICT : I love eggs benedict (vegan, regular, whatever I can get..) so I was super stoked on this amazing breakfast that Michael made me. We used organic onion bread from Nantucket instead of english muffins and it was so. freaking. good.  I may be posting this just so that I am sure to save the recipe..

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2. LAKE MICHIGAN : Visiting the lake is always amazing. But right now with the snow and waves frozen into heaps it was a totally new experience for me. We ran around on the snow/ice mounds until we were frozen little popsicles.

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3. BEER : We tried Michaels home brew nut brown ale this weekend (I helped him make his first batch last time I was in Grand Rapids) and we also visited New Holland, Grand Rapids Brewing Co, and Stellas. New Holland is a staple, but it was my first time to the new Grand Rapids Brewing Co. It was packed, and the beer was actually super on point. It’s awesome to see how many breweries in Grand Rapids are thriving. Stellas is an awesome vegan friendly restaurant and bar that boasts over 200 whiskeys and GQ’s title of  best burger in America.

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4. COFFEE : There are some great coffee options in Grand Rapids. Rowster and Madcap are the ones to hit up! No one makes a cap quite like Rowster.

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Aaaaaaand of course, I enjoyed some great hockey and spending time with my amazing boyfriend.

// Megan //

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This is one of my original recipes that I’m pretty proud of. One night I had some friends coming over for dinner and I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on ingredients so I whipped this up with what I had around the kitchen. I recreated this recipes again last week (with a little more intention this time) and it turned out just as great.

Ingredients:

-1 medium pepper

-1 sweet onion

-1 extra large or two normal sized sweet potatoes

-1 can black beans, strained and rinsed

-A jar of salsa. I used Mrs. Renfro’s Raspberry Chipotle salsa this time, which complimented the sweetness of the sweet potatoes really well!

-Sour cream (I’ve done this vegan- with Tofutti brand or you can just use regular sour cream).

-A few avocados for garnish

-2 tbs minced garlic

-A tsp cumin

-Powdered cayenne pepper, to taste

-Tortillas

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I start by cutting everything up, the peppers, onion and sweet potatoes. I fry the pepper and onion with cumin, garlic, cayenne and a little olive oil. While that is getting nice and caramelized I boil the sweet potato. I do it in a wok so that I can later use that to mix together all of the enchilada filling. After the sweet potato chunks are softish and the peppers and onions are cooked to your satisfaction, strain the water out of the wok and mix all ingredients together. Add the black beans, sour cream and about 2/3 cup of salsa to the mix at this time too. I go pretty light on the sour cream, but if you want them to be creamier you could add more and add cheese. I honestly think they are great without it so I’d prefer to skip the extra calories and fats. Grease some pans and roll up tortillas with about 3/4 cup of filling in them. I used almost the whole remainder of the jar of salsa on top. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until the tortilla is nice and crispy.

 

 

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Good as a stand alone dish or with some sort of salad on the side. Garnish with avocado for a little extra tastiness!

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// Megan //

Yesterday I made homemade pickles for the first time. Talk about easiest DIY ever! I think I will have to try pickling some more adventurous pickle recipes in the future, but this was really great for the first time. The whole time I had this video stuck in my head:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups filtered water

2 tbs salt (use pickling salt if you have it, I just used table salt though)

4 tsp dill seed

3 tsp mustard seed

10 cloves garlic

1 1/2 packs of pickling cucumbers (or about 6)

a few sprinkles red pepper flakes, optional for a little kick

Boil apple cider vinegar, water and salt until the salt dissolves (about 5 minutes). Slice cucumbers into spears, chips or leave ’em whole. Put seasonings into a large clean jar or divide evenly into two clean jars, if you are using two smaller ones. Stuff the jar as full as possible with cucumbers and then fill almost to the top (leave about 1/2 inch) with vinegar mixture. Let the jar cool down to room temp and then pop them in the fridge. They honestly already taste delicious after just one day, but they will be more traditional pickles after about a week.

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Okay, so I know pumpkin is a fall flavor yadda yadda.. but me and Michael love pumpkin flavored everything all the time. Here is a favorite recipe that we sometime use for vegan pumpkin pancakes that I would seriously recommend! IMG_0799

A stack of delicious pancakes and my all time favorite mug!

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We tossed chocolate chips into some of these and it was awesome. As the original recipe states, they’d also be great with some dried cranberries. Great for a weekend breakfast.

 

The other day I stumbled upon this recipe on pinterest and I decided to make it that evening, because it looked sooo good. Normally when posting a recipe from another website or blog I would tell you what I’d change next time or do differently from the original recipe, but this was really great as is.  IMG_1509

So the only labor intensive part of this is making the honey sage syrup, but it really didn’t take that much time. Next time I make this I’m going to make a ton of this syrup because it disappeared so fast!

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The original recipe recommends a bacon honey rim on the drink, which sounds pretty interesting but I obviously skipped this step!

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Enjoy your middle-of-the-week cocktail!

Laura and I are back from a nice long holiday hiatus! And what could be a better first-post-of-the-year than a healthy, low-calorie meal. As per usual, I’ve made some new health related resolutions so expect more healthy, vegan food posts in the near future!

These lettuce wraps are one of my favorite things to make for guests because it’s really just a more impressive way to serve stir fry. Also, I tallied up the calories in this recipe, and it comes out to about 250 calories a wrap!  I’ll post the recipe as we made it last night, (it was particularly delicious) but you can really use any stir fry ingredients, rice or rice noodles, and hoisin wrapped in lettuce and it’s super yummy.

What you’ll need:

+ 1 head lettuce

+ marinated tofu (we used west soy teriyaki)

+ 1 onion, chopped

+ 1/2 red pepper

+ 1 head broccoli, cut small

+ rice noodles (or just rice) prepared

+ 2 tbs hoisin (and additional for each wrap)

+ 2 tbs soy sauce

+ 1 tbs Sriracha

+ green onions, optional for garnish

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First, I fried up all the veggies in some olive oil. While they were cooking I made the rice noodles. When the veggies were getting closer to done, I tossed in the diced up marinated tofu. Since it doesn’t really need to cook and I didn’t want it to lose too much of the firmness I only cooked it for a few minutes. I added the soy sauce, sriracha, and hoisin at this point just to heat and to coat all of the stir fry.

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To assemble the wraps, carefully peal a piece of lettuce off the head. Apply a layer of hoisin as a kind of paste for your other ingredients. Then put a layer of rice or rice noodles on that, and some stir fry on top. Garnish with green onions and lots of sriracha.

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Note! Everything in this recipe is vegan, BUT we realized this morning that the Sriracha shown in this picture is not vegan. It is super tasty (if you are a meat eater) but it does contain anchovy. Bummer! Usually Michael checks the ingredients on everything, but hot sauce is normally safe… I guess not this time!

I love making treats for people as Christmas gifts. This year I decided to make truffles to give to my boyfriend’s family.

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I made two different kinds: Dark Chocolate Nutella & White Chocolate Egg Nog. I liked the idea of having one white chocolate, and one dark chocolate to counter balance the super sweetness of the white chocolate.

First, I made the Dark Chocolate Nutella Truffles.
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I followed this recipe, but I used all dark chocolate instead of using white chocolate for the coating. Then, I drizzled white chocolate over them for a fancy touch! :]

Next, I made the White Chocolate Egg Nog Truffles.
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For these, I followed this recipe.

These were both pretty easy to make. The only tricky part is keeping the chocolate coating at the perfect temp. while you’re dipping them. If it’s too hot, or not hot enough, the chocolate will get lumpy. I also recommend putting the egg nog truffles in the freezer to stiffen up while you melt the coating. This makes them a lot easier to handle when you’re dipping them.

This was the first time I ever made truffles, and they turned out beautifully. PLUS they are both way tastey. They make a great gift because they look fancy & difficult, but they are actually pretty painless and fun to make!

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Merry Christmas!

// Laura Jude //

If you know my boyfriend at all, then you probably know about his vegan pizza obsession. It’s his favorite thing to whip up on the fly, especially because both of us usually have all the ingredients on hand. The best part about pizza is the endless possibilities, here are just a few of the pizzas we’ve done recently:
Fried Veggie Pizza:
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Taco Pizza! We used guac as sauce, and topped with taco tempeh, daiya, black beans, and cilantro.

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SO, the thing that makes these pizzas especially good is the homemade crust. And it’s fast, too! What you’ll need:

1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp fast rising yeast
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil (any oil will work)
1 1/4 cups flour

If you don’t have a rolling pin, you should double this recipe (it’s tough to spread otherwise). I recommend using a fork for these next steps… Mix warm water and yeast in a mixing bowl. Mix in salt, garlic powder, and oil. Mix in flour. At this point, use your hands to continue mixing the dough. Now you can either let the dough sit and expand, or you can just go for it. Either way works.

Once you spread the dough, top with whatever you want, and cook in the oven at 400°F. Should take around 10 minutes to cook (maybe more, maybe less). Just make sure the crust is firm and the bottom doesn’t burn.

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Look at the happy pizza bb!

Yesterday me and Michael made a delicious asian-inspired dinner! The quantities I’ve included in the recipe below are rough estimates.. so play around with the sauce until its the right balance of sweetness & vinegar.

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What You’ll Need:

-Rice noodles (this would also be good just served over rice)

-1 block extra firm tofu, diced/drained/pressed

-1 head of broccoli

-3/4 cup diced mushrooms

For the sauce:

-2 tablespoons soy sauce

-3 tablespoons Hoisin

-2 tablespoons rice vinegar

-1 tablespoon sesame seeds

-1 teaspoon ginger

-2 tablespoons minced garlic

-2 tablespoons cornstarch

-1/2 teaspoon orange zest

-1/2 cup water

-1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

-1 tablespoon sambel olek or Sriracha

I started by frying the broccoli and tofu with just a little oil. If you have sesame oil on hand that is best for this flavor profile. Once the broccoli has softened up a bit, add the mushrooms and fry for a little while longer. While you are doing this prepare the rice noodles according to package, usually you just let them sit in hot water for about 8 minutes. If you can multitask well start the sauce now too. I mixed all the ingredients in a sauce pan and then slowly added the cornstarch (mixed with cold water!) and whisked it together over medium heat. When all separate components are done cooking (you’ll know the sauce is done once it has thickened up) mix everything together in large wok and cook together for a minute or two to let the flavors meld a bit. Serve and enjoy! Great with green onion or cilantro for garnish. We ate this with summer rolls as a side!

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SO, like I said in my Nutella Brownies post, I am currently loving the idea of making everything I can using Nutella. This hot chocolate recipe is now quite possibly my favorite hot chocolate ever! It’s got the perfect balance of sweet & chocolate, and it’s not too heavy/rich. PLUS it’s got the really great twist of hazelnut in it from the Nutella.

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Ingredients:
3tbs Nutella
1 1/3 cup milk

Put Nutella and 1/3 cup of the milk [I used almond milk] in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk them together until Nutella is completely dissolved. Add the remaining milk and whisk until heated through. Pour into cup and enjoy!

I added whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon to mine ;]

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I will definitely be making this hot chocolate all the time. It takes no time at all & it is SO good.

// Laura Jude //

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