Bold and Beautiful.

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Easy Vegan Apple Crisp

This fresh summer dish is sure to impress all of your guests. The best part is that it’s super easy to make.  Unlike traditional baking, you have no leavening agent or egg ratios, so all you’re doing is cooking the apples, melting the butter, and crisping the crisp.

Let’s get started. (The full recipe is soon to come!)

Granny smith apples.  Tart and crisp.  You could use a Fuji apple or pink lady, which both have a little bit more sweetness but are also crisp,  or even a mix of any of those 3, but I think the Granny smith are traditional.  But really, any combination of the above would give you a great apple crisp.

Rinse and peel them. The recipe calls for 8, I always did 9 because I’m one of those girls who likes extra of everything, but in this particular case, I had a lot of apples that were rotten in the middle so I probable ended up using about 12.  I just cut around the bad parts.

When you’re cutting your apples, sometimes I do a thin cut , almost like a mandolin, and sometimes I do thicker.  Either will work, because as I said there is no exact science to this, but be sure you have the same consistency throughout.  Otherwise you’ll have some crunchier apples and some soft apples.

So here’s our cut apples.

So next we’ll get started on our dry ingredients.

Quaker oats, wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Crumble the brown sugar so that its easier to crumble into the apples later. No chunks.

Next is the butter. Soy butter in this case , but if your not vegan or you don’t want to use vegan butter, regular unsalted will do.  1/3 of a cup, but i already told you i’m an “extra” kind of girl so I may have done a little bit more.  And then melt that.

Mix it all together. Your hands work best, especially in this case because you’ll be able to feel out lumps and make it into a consistent crumble.

So now I like to mix about half of the mixture in with the apples, and leave half for the topping.  It just tastes better that way.

Then pour it into your glass dish, or I had to use two because I only had two smaller ones, and level it out.

Perfect.  Bake it at 375 for 30 minutes, or more if it hasn’t browned completely.   A nice crisp top.

Serve with ice cream ( or soy ice cream), whipped cream , caramel sauce –whatever your heart desires. And you have a fabulous summer dessert, that tastes just as delicious made vegan.

Absolutely delicious.


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Balsamic Guacamole Toast

Guacamole is a traditional alternative to salsa.  But what happens when you take the traditional and change it up a little.  This is a personal sized serving of homemade guacamole, and then instead of chips, we chose to go a little more classy.

To start, we need just half of an avocado.  This is all you need.

Next, add in the classic pairing, tomato.  I cut them skinny and organic shaped.  Very easy.

So you could add in a variety of things from here, but since it is more of a spread, we don’t want it too chunky.  Also, cutting up onion and garlic can be time consuming and not very fun.  So instead, I have a better solution.

We are going to bump our guac up with spice. (Keep in mind, you can use whatever you want)

I started with cayenne. Just a little, not too spicy.

Going back to the classic, I added dried onion pieces, and in there was a little powder also.  So we’re really going to get that onion flavor all the way through.

Perfect.  We have our guac.

So our next step is to slather that guac on a piece of toast.

Finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (the older and thicker the better)  and olive oil and then top it with fresh ground cracked black pepper and sea salt.

How good does that look.

Mmm what a great bite. Crunchy bottom, flavorful spread, and the balsamic and olive oil really brings out some great flavor.

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Tropical Spinach Smoothie

This tropical smoothie comes packed with nutrients.  Spinach, fruit, and soy protein– you cannot go wrong.  But you know what, it is so good you will never even know how good it is for you.  

Ok, to start, we’re going to use a few strawberries, but mostly some mango and pineapple. Because that is where all the sweetness is.  You could also use a banana in there. You just want to make sure you’ve got some sweeter fruit so that it will mask other flavors.

Then pile them into your blender along with your spinach.

Add in the soymilk.  If it doesn’t go smoothly, just add milk until its the thickness you want.

Blended to perfection.  Its not the prettiest color, but it is quite tasty, and more important, healthy.

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Spicy Mango Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée- a french dessert known for its rich creamy inside, and sweet crackling outside.  This dessert has been around for centuries.  I’ve seen it flavored this way and that way, but once again I decide to take a turn for the wild and influence this dessert  with some mangoes.

We start with the mangoes.   Cutting and slicing and cubing, and two mangoes later..

..We have two mangoes cut and sliced and cubed. Equally divided amoung 4 ramekins.  Who doesn’t love their own precious dessert.

**For an extra little spice, I just sprinkled a little cayenne pepper right on top of the mangoes. It will actually be quite mellow, just from the cream and the mangoes, but it adds a little extra flavor.

Ok so now for the cream.

It isn’t made of eggs or cream or butter, but in fact a few healthier ingredients.

Marscapone. Definitely healthier.

And then some yogurt. I just happened to have soy, regular is fine.  Also I chose mango just to go with the flavors but if your feeling adventurous try something funner or be plain jane with vanilla. Really, anything is fine.

So then you whisk these together. It should look thick and creamy like some pastry cream.

hen we’re gonna add some lemon zest and lemon juice.  Also for a few spices I added some more cayenne as well as some ginger.   Finish it off with a little brown sugar, just to sweeten it a little.

Plop the mixture on top.

You’re going to want to chill the ramekins so that the cream mixture thickens up.  Then Top it with raw or natural sugar, something with big crystals sort of. I used a vegan natural sugar.  Broil until it start to bubble and brown.  If you have a kitchen blow torch, that would work best. But for sure don’t use a blow torch NOT from the kitchen.

Mine didn’t broil perfectly , but its they bubbled enough that when you put them back in the fridge it has a crunch.  You DEFINITELY want to put them back into the fridge after you broil them because otherwise your cream will by soupy again. You don’t want it soupy.

You want cream and crunch.

And when you do, its sooooo good.

Its creamy and sugary, but with the cayenne pepper, it just suprises you.  Its a definite twist on the classic Crème Brûlée, but its totally delicious.

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Cocoa Mango Smoothie

Oh yes, I said it–Cocoa.  This smoothie would be close to just a regular smoothie without its long lost companion– cocoa powder. **notice I said close because even without the cocoa it would still reign supreme.

2 key things lead this smoothie into pure bliss.  First, is its superb simplicity. The less ingredients the better.  Second, Soymilk.

Soymilk ranks above regular milk for a ton of reasons,  many of which I could honestly care less about.  But , in a smoothie,  it adds a sweet and creaminess that almost makes it taste like ice cream.  In my smoothies, the only liquid I use is soy milk.  I suppose you could use whatever, but I promise, those who switch to soy milk never go back.

In addition, we will need some frozen fruit (whatever you like) and a banana.

You like the clips don’t you. They are pretty sexy if I say so myself.

Ok. So now you start to add it to the blender.  Again, my resources reign supreme.  From all the difficulties my mother and I had with blenders, she chose to invest 500 dollars in the all mighty vita-mix.

I will say however, it has been worth it, incase anyone was on the fence about these things.

Anyways, onward and upwards.  Into the blender goes our ingredients.

The banana.

The Strawberries.

The milk.

Everyone is in the pot to play.

So we blend.

Ok so the name is a little misleading. I ended up putting mangoes in because it was a little thin, but i didn’t take a picture… But I liked the sound of cocoa with mango so I kept it. Oh well, we’ll all get over it.

But the cocoa part is accurate.

We split the smoothie in half and add some cocoa.  A little will easily change the color so you can make some layers in glass and only  a little more than that will give you a very chocolatey drink.

So then you layer and enjoy.  ** note : you must layer very carefully , like use a spoon, otherwise if you pour it will go straight to the bottom. However, when it is layered visual , it is layer tastebud wise and you can really taste the difference between sips.  but i imagine not if you use a straw. But i didn’t test it