Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake Blondies 

Recipe by Alexandra Courts 

It’s about time that we posted sometime pumpkin-related! Ditch your Starbucks PSL (wow, what a pity) and make these sweet treats instead.

   INGREDIENTS:

For the blondie base….

  • 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight
  • 2 1/2 cups dates, soaked if desired
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed

For the pumpkin cheesecake filling…

  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (including coconut oil at the bottom of the can)
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 3/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger

Directions…

  1. Blend macadamia nuts, dates, coconut and flax until thoroughly ground and incorporated. Press mixture into the base of an eight-inch square cake pan lined with wide strips of parchment paper. Ensure that base is flat to form an even crust.
  2. Blend cheesecake filling ingredients until smooth and creamy in consistency. Add more agave if necessary to further smooth.
  3. Pour cheesecake filling onto base and allow blondies to freeze for 1-2 hours or overnight if possible. If freezing overnight, allow blondies to thaw at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before slicing.
  4. Garnish with toppings of choice. Pictured is a dash of cinnamon and shredded unsweetened coconut.

Enjoy! Makes approximately 12 blondies.

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Asparagus and lemon-roasted eggplant fusilli with garlic bread

Post by Megan Stulberg

Having Celiac disease, it’s pretty rare that I’ll find myself wanting to eat a chewy alternative to wheat-heavy products. But catch me after discovering a gluten-free baguette that a) tastes like a “real” one and b) doesn’t use egg as a binding agent, then you’re going to see me suddenly go carb crazy.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE PASTA…

  • 2 jumbo lemons
  • 1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and chopped into smaller pieces
  • 3 cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 2 cups gluten-free fusilli (I prefer corn-based)
  • 1 cup chopped eggplant
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I use brown rice-based) or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

FOR THE GARLIC BREAD…

  • 1 Aidan’s baguette (Sold at grocers in the GTA, or can be ordered for delivery anywhere in Ontario)
  • 4 heaping tbsp vegan butter-style spread
  •  2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In large bowl, coat asparagus evenly with olive oil and lemon juice.
  3. Line baking sheet with aluminium foil. Drizzle sheet with olive oil and evenly spread asparagus out.
  4. Bake asparagus for 15-20 minutes until browned, flipping halfway. Set aside, but leave oven on.
  5. On stovetop, bring large pot of water to boil. Add pasta, then let cook covered 15 minutes or until water is mostly gone. Pasta should be tender when tested with fork. Drain, then set aside in same pot.
  6. Sauté onion and garlic with dash of olive oil in saucepan on medium heat until golden. Add eggplant and additional olive oil if desired to pan. Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes. Add eggplant and asparagus to pot with pasta in it.
  7. In high-speed blender combine soy milk, rice flour, nutritional yeast, sage, salt and pepper to make sauce. If consistency is too thick, slowly add tablespoons of water and pulse blender again. Add sauce to pot and mix all ingredients together.
  8. Line baking sheet with clean piece of aluminum foil. Slice baguette in half length-wise. Mix together vegan butter, garlic powder and sage in bowl. Spread butter mixture on both baguette halves. If you think it needs more butter or garlic, add more! Go wild. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and another dash of olive oil.
  9. On baking sheet, place baguette halves in oven and toast for 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy.
  10. While garlic bread is cooling, relight element on stove and heat pasta covered on medium-low for 5 minutes. A dash more almond milk may be necessary to mix in. Slice bread and serve immediately.

Serve hot! Makes 4 servings.


Cashew Cream Alfredo with cremini mushrooms and kale     

Post by Megan Stulberg

On my way home from the gym one day last week, I decided to quickly do some grocery shopping. Before I knew it I found myself in front of a boxed macaroni and cheese display, lost in a daydream-like stupor for at least five minutes. Finally I managed to fight the craving and tear myself away, then opted to make this similar (but healthier) comfort food instead.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free penne pasta of your choice (I prefer corn)
  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed EVOO
  • Dash of sea salt and black pepper

Directions…

  1. On stovetop, bring medium pot of water to a boil. Reduce to simmer.
  2. Add pasta, cover, then let cook for 15 minutes or until all water has evaporated and pasta is soft.
  3. Drain pasta, then put back in pot and set aside.
  4. In high-speed blender or food processor combine cashews, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt, pepper, butter and milk. Blend until a thick sauce has been created. If desired, add more milk for a creamier texture.
  5. In large saucepan, heat oil until it sizzles. Reduce heat and add mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes until browned. Add kale and continue sautéing until leaves have wilted and shrank down in size.
  6. Stir sauce into pasta in pot. Add mushrooms and kale, then mix thoroughly until incorporated. Top with additional paprika and salt before serving.

Serve hot and enjoy immediately! Makes 2 large portions.

Chocolate drizzle pancakes 

Post by Alexandra Courts  

Thinking about going out for brunch this weekend? Fuhgeddaboudit! Stay in and make these in your pyjamas instead.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 gluten-free all purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 2 flax eggs*
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Whisk together all dry ingredients (flour, coconut sugar and baking powder) in large bowl.
  2. *Make flax eggs by combining 2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 6 tbsp hot water in small bowl. Set mixture aside for 5 minutes to set.
  3. Add non-dairy milk to dry mix and whisk together until smooth. Add flax and whisk until combined to thicken batter.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Scoop or pour batter onto pan, using approximately 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. When brown on one side, flip and continue cooking. Repeat step and cook each pancake individually with remaining batter.
  5. To make chocolate sauce: Melt coconut oil in microwave or stovetop. Add maple syrup and raw cacao powder, then whisk together until smooth. Allow sauce to cool entirely.
  6. Serve pancakes hot with chocolate drizzle poured on top, as well as additional garnishes if desired (shredded coconut and fresh raspberries shown in photo).

Serve immediately. Makes approximately 6 pancakes (2 servings)

Raw salted dark chocolate thumbprint cookies with butterscotch icing

Post by Megan Stulberg 

I’m not sure why I’ve been craving salt so much lately. I mean, I’ve looked into it. I’m either dehydrated, have low-functioning adrenal glands or am just extremely hormonal most of the time. It’s probably the latter and I’m going with it.

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INGREDIENTS:

For the cookies…

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pink crystal salt

For the icing…

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of pink crystal salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Drain walnuts and pecans.
  2. In high-speed blender or food processor, combine walnuts, pecans, cacao, coconut, maple syrup, oil, vanilla and salt until thick mixture begins to form.
  3. Line baking sheet with plastic wrap. Roll “dough” into small balls and place on baking sheet. Flatten tops slightly with fork.
  4. Set baking sheet aside in freezer for now.
  5. Blend dates, coconut oil, water and salt together until creamy in consistency. Be careful not to over blend! Place in bowl and leave in fridge for 1 hour.
  6. Once icing has set, place a dollop on the centre of each cookie. Top each with an extra sprinkle of salt, if desired.
  7. Leave in freezer overnight. Remove from freezer half hour before eating.

Serve chilled. Makes 10 cookies.

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Raw blueberry swirl cheesecake

Post by Megan Stulberg

Another (delicious) raw cheesecake recipe from Vegan Girlfriend? Shocker! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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Ingredients…

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked 1 hour
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked 1 hour
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • Dash of almond milk, as desired
  • Water, as needed
  1. Make crust by using food processor to chop walnuts and dates until thoroughly combined.
  2. Press mixture evenly (and tightly packed) into deep cake pan lined with plastic wrap. Set aside in freezer.
  3. Combine cashews, lemon juice, coconut, oil, syrup and almond milk in food processor until creamy in consistency. Pour 3/4 of mixture on top of crust and leave 1/4 in food processor. Set pan back in freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add blueberries and water to food processor. Continue blending until a thick liquid is formed.
  5. Pour blueberry garnish directly onto cheesecake. Use chopstick or fork to shift mixture to create a swirl pattern.
  6. Leave in freezer overnight to set. Place in refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving to thaw.

Serve chilled. Makes 1 cheesecake (approximately 6-8 slices).

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French Style Chickpea “Tuna Salad” Sandwich

Post by Megan Stulberg

For the first time ever, I found a gluten-free baguette (a rare find) that doesn’t also contain egg (an even rarer find). Needless to say, I went home and ate the whole thing in one sitting. I have no regrets.

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INGREDIENTS…

  • 1 Aidans gluten-free baguette 
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance brand)
  • 1 1/2 cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 3 nori (seaweed) sheets, crumbled
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tsp dill
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut baguette lengthwise and spread each half evenly with vegan butter.
  3. On a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil, bake baguette in oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden in colour.
  4. While baguette is in oven, place chickpeas, seaweed, garlic powder, EVOO and dill in food processor and pulse quickly to loosely combine.
  5. Add onion, celery, sea salt and black pepper to mixture and combine with spoon.
  6. While baguette is still hot, fill one half with “tuna”. Add a couple big dollops of vegan mayo, place other baguette half on top, slice and enjoy immediately!

Makes 2 sandwiches and tons of leftover “tuna”.