Vegan Spaghetti and “Beyond Meat (R)” Sauce

When I was a kid one of my favorite things was watching my mom make meat sauce. I couldn’t see in the pot but I did get to taste test with pieces of white bread. I think I would eat about a half of a loaf of white Wonder bread by the time my mom was done cooking down the sauce. I would wash it all down with some good ol’ vitamin D “red” milk and a big orangey smile. Now that I am a grown up and a vegan… well… this isn’t on my list of things I can do. But I can try to recreate that taste. The only change to my moms sauce is really the meat. The rest was already vegan. So with that, I began my attempt with the use of the new Beyond Meat Crumbles. The only reason I attempted this recipe is because of these crumbles. They have the right flavor and texture and cook the same as regular hamburger would. This was always a problem with other crumbles; they either dried out or got mushy. Not Beyond Meat! So I was so confident making it I made it for dinner without even testing. Just to let you know… they didn’t let me down it, came out perfecto! I love Beyond Meat so so much. You should too. Also, this recipe is super duper simple and low ingredient. It is virtually error proof! Eat up!

 

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Spaghetti with “Beyond Meat” Sauce

 

  • 1 Extra large can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Extra Large Can of Tomato Puree
  • 2 mini cans of Tomato Paste
  • 1 package of Beyond Meat Crumbles
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Dried or Fresh Basil
  • Granulated Garlic

 

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Cooking the Meat!

  1. Add a small amount of olive oil to an extra large sauce pot and when warm toss in Beyond Meat crumbles and a few pinches of kosher salt.
  2. Cook until heated and ready to eat.

 

Making the Sauce!

  1. Add all canned tomato products to meat.
  2. Sprinkle in Granulated Garlic, Basil, and Seasoned salt to taste.
  3. Add a little olive oil if you want now.
  4. Cook down stirring frequently over medium heat until slightly dense. Takes about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Keep the top on to avoid splatter!
  6. Serve over pasta of your choice. I prefer ziti with lines or angel hair. Enjoy!

 

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Food is Love. The Hippie Gypsy.

 

REBLOG: Chocolate Chip Cheesecake by Lucy’s Friendly Foods

This is certainly a must to reblog. It looks tasty and beautiful for spring. I would need to make a few alterations due to the change in country but seems easy enough to alter! It also has Tofutti as a main ingredient which is a favorite of mine! I would even consider topping with sliced fruit. Enjoy… Chocolate Chip Cheesecake.

Veganized Hamburger Green Bean Casserole aka Hamburger Pie aka “Mush” over Mashed Potatoes

When I was a little kid my mom would always make a dish we endearingly called “Mush”. It was ground hamburger with green beans and milky tomato soup poured over mashed potatoes. It was one of my favorite meals. It doesn’t sound great but honestly it is borderline amazing. The soup gets thick and creamy and gives the mixture a gravy/meaty tomato sauce/chili like texture. But once it is poured over mashed potatoes… heaven. I can’t explain it but to say it is simple and wonderful and now that Beyond Meat makes meaty crumbles that actually taste like ground meat. I can make it again!

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My Mom’s Recipe for Mush (Veganized)

  • 1-2 bags of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Seasoned salt
  • 1 can of green beans (drained)
  • 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  • 1 canful of Soy Milk (poured into the soup can)
  • Mashed Potatoes ( I used the dehydrated kind for this recipe with earth balance and soy milk)

 

COOK!

  1. In a large skillet heat oil and crumbles until warm and cooked through about 10 minutes (see bag label).
  2. Once cooked add soup and then one soup can worth of soy milk.
  3. Use a few sprinkles of seasoned salt to  season to taste.
  4. Add green beans last.
  5. Cook until the soup has cooked down to a thicker consistency like chili.
  6. Serve hot over mashed potatoes with a dab of earth balance butter.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Tip(s): If you add too much soup or milk and don’t have enough meat to thicken the sauce, add bulger wheat to absorb some of the liquid. It adds a meaty chew and will not talk away from flavor. it only needs about 15 minutes to soften also!

 

Serves 4.

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

Creamy Pesto Sauce over Whole Wheat Pasta

I love pesto. I love everything about it. The strong smell of herbs, the creamy texture, the sharp cheesiness, and the fatty oils. I used to get that Bertolli pesto in the small hummus like container and just indulge. However, that container has a whole lot of Parmesan cheese and olive oil in it. Don’t get me wrong I love olive oil and Parmesan is the world’s top cheese supposedly but I am vegan and I need to start eating less oil and more whole foods so this weekend I tried to make a new pesto recipe and decided to add some protein and make it a nice creamy version of my favorite since I already have a classic pesto recipe on here. So please make some, add a few of my optionals, and indulge in a delicious creamy pesto pasta on this cold, snowy Meatless Monday!

 

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Oil Free Creamy Pesto Sauce

  • 1 container lite silken tofu
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup frozen basil
  • 1 tbsp pinenuts (pignolias)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic

Optional: (1) Add raw sliced almonds to the processor for a little texture. (2) Top with bruschetta tomatoes and a balsamic drizzle for a fresh twist. (3) Eat with American Flatbread Company’s new Farmer’s Tomato Pie instead of garlic bread or crusty bread.

 

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Preparation

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Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until well combined and then when you drain your pasta place the sauce in the pot over medium or medium low heat stirring often until bubbling. Add pasta and toss. Serve hot with bread or Tomato Pie!

 

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Serves 4.

 

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

Preparing Tofu the Right Way

Since I became vegan I have always been afraid of preparing my own Tofu. First it was that I didn’t know how to use the different kinds (lite, firm, silken, extra firm, huh?). Then it was that it was all watery and mushy. Last, it was that everyone told me I had to dry it out or press it down or just buy the pre-baked from Trader Joe’s (which I did). I never knew what exactly to do. Then I started reading blogs and still not completely comfortable. Then I starting asking other vegetarians and cooks that I knew. i got closer to confident. But this past month I got a free cooking school online pass. They taught me so much so fast. I feel so much more confident about my tofu skills now. So here is my simple and best way to prepare tofu successfully. The pictures are provided by my closest friend that currently is living in Florida and doing a fast in which she has to prepare vegan food but was an omnivore prior to this fast. (The fast is called the Danial Fast Click Here to learn more.) I gave her my recipe and she followed it perfectly and topped her veggie bowl with the tofu.

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Pan Fried and Baked Tofu

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 block of lite or regular extra firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal

 

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Prepare!

  1. Slice tofu into sticks by dividing the tofu in half and then half each side again creating 4 slabs. Divide those slabs into half to create sticks.
  2. Take tofu sticks and place on a plate that has 3 layers of paper towels. Let tofu drain on those towels at least 30 minutes. Then take an additional paper towel and press away excess water from the top.
  3. Next sprinkle with kosher salt and make rest 5 more minutes.
  4. In a bowl mix together cornstarch and cornmeal. Dredge the tofu through the mixture. You can add salt and pepper directly to the flour to create a seasoned flour.

 

Cook!

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan until almost spitting. To test heat place a droplet of water into pan and watch it sizzle.
  2. With tongs place sticks into the hot oil moving frequently so they do not stick. Rotate each side until lightly cooked then place on a silpat for the oven.
  3. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-20 minutes until firm and not longer leaking excess water.
  4. Place on a dish with paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve.

 

I eat it with a side of peanut satay sauce or over brown rice and veggies with terriyaki sauce. They come out almost with a light crisp like a tempura would but not oily. Its the perfect way to keep it moist, not oily, and crisp. Enjoy!

 

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PS: I have used the following substitutions successfully: Chia Seeds instead of Cornmeal, Arrowroot instead of Cornstarch, Canola instead of Olive Oil.

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

 

 

Purple Potato French Fries

I buy purple potatoes frequently. (1) Because they are delicious, (2) because they are healthier, and (3) because they are more fun than regular white or red potatoes. When I was watching a cooking show the other day with my husband, one of the cooks used purple potatoes and they explained the health benefits and now my husband feels savvy in why I use them too. When I made these purple potato french fries he says to me “You know these are healthier than those starchy white potatoes.” I stated that yes I knew that and then laughed. At least all this crazy veganism is teaching him something too (other than how to avoid veggie based dinners by eating cereal and going to Taco Bell when I am not looking). With that, I want to introduce you to the tastiest french fries I have ever made and probably would never have made had I not been vegan. They are easy and better than Ore-Ida from the frozen bags and better than plain old baked white ones that I made as a kid. Enjoy!

 

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Purple Potato Fries

  • (1) Bag of Organic Purple Potatoes (24oz is about right)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Olive Oil (1 is usually enough but use a little more so they get crispy and then drain them)
  • 1 tbsp or more Kosher Salt

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Cook!

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

Take each round potato and slice off two sides so that they are lying down flat with a flat top.

Then slice into 6 sticks by cutting another horizontal line to make two flat rounds stacked on top of each other and then three slices across to make 6 sticks (3 on each of the 2 layers).

There is no need to peel the potato. You can however place them in a bowl of cold water to soak if you want.

Do this to all potatoes. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place on cookie sheet and into preheated oven for at least 20-25minutes. You will see them brown, sizzle and crisp.

Remove when done and place on paper towels to drain.

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I add a touch more salt while they are still damp with oil and then serve!

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They are sweet and nutty and so so so good. You will love them, I promise!

 

Serves 4-6.

WW Points for 4 Servings: 5 pts

WW Points for 6 servings: 3 pts

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

Vegan Sundried Tomato, Onion, and Rosemary Bread from a Bread Machine

I have wanted a bread machine since the day I saw one in a thrift store in Imperial Beach, California. It was $10 and looked like a deal to me. Although I am bummed I didn’t buy it back then I am glad now because I think I would’ve lost my love for them. The reviews on the cheaper models are terrible. They look like war stories of collapsed breads and mutilated pasta dough. That should be a crime because honestly breads and carbs are the only thing that make people truly happy sometimes and if they do all that work to make them from scratch and not go buy a slice of 8,000 calorie banana bread from the coffee shop, then they should be rewarded with something wonderful. Instead the bread falls in the center creating a volcano of doughy gooey mess that one must carefully discard without losing the little rudder that helps knead the bread in the bottom of the baking pan. (Yes, I have thrown mine out and had to recover it already). That being said over the weekend I was very sick with bronchitis. I think I may have coughed up my lungs. So what better to do when stuck in the house for a few days but bake.

I made a delicious batch of my low ingredient oatmeal cookies with bananas, hazelnuts, and chocolate and I made two breads. Only one of which survived because…. well…. I wasn’t paying attention and forgot the flour (yes the flour) in one of them. It didn’t dawn on me for about an hour and then I went OH COME ON! Because I knew the baking portion had started and the kneading/stirring had passed. So my bread lovers here is my recipe for my very successful and delicious smelling sundried tomato, onion, and rosemary bread.

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Sundried Tomato, Onion, and Rosemary Bread

Ingredients (see below for sizes and layering):

  • Crisco
  • (1) White Onion
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Sundried Tomato Infused Olive Oil
  • Sundried Tomatoes in olive oil
  • Bread Flour ( I used Gold’s,  DO NOT use all purpose)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Vegan Sugar
  • Dry Active Yeast ( I use fast rising or bread only)
  • Water

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Preparation:

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First you need to cook down and puree the onions. Just place chopped onions in a pan with Crisco and a few pinches of salt and cook down until translucent. Then puree with a hand blender or food processor. Place to the side.

Take the bread baking pan out of the breadmaker and begin layering your ingredients. Many breadmakers come with their own ingredients and settings. I will generally make a 1.5lb loaf in a 2lb machine instead of the max so that any ingredients I add can be incorporated with enough room. I also always use medium settings like a medium crust color. Not light or dark. Moderation helps with a finicky machine I feel.

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Layering:

The layering of ingredients for this bread are as follows (read below before you start layering:

  • Water (3/4 cup)
  • Infused olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Few pinches of salt (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup of onion mixture
  • Sugar (1 teaspoon)
  • Bread Flour (3cups)
  • Dried Rosemary (1-2 teaspoons)
  • Optional: dash of granulated garlic or other spices
  • Active Dry Yeast (1 packet) (make sure to read below before this layer)
  • Sliced Sundried Tomatoes in Oil (1/8 to 1/4 cup)

You will layer the above ingredients one on top of the other in the baking pan to be stirred, kneaded, etc. by the bread machine however when you go to add the yeast there is a small trick. Make a crater in the center so that the yeast can get to the sugar and water easier. Yeast eats sugar so this is helping guide the process. If a recipe doesn’t call for sugar but does for yeast I encourage the same process and 2 pinches of sugar into the dough to help it rise better. Also always use bread flour it is different than all purpose containing more proteins, etc.

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BAKING:

Last place the settings on your bread machine to a basic or white bread setting and moderate crust color and size is for 1.5 lbs. If you want you can always take the bread out and knead it a little before the rise setting and add a dash of water or flour if you think it needs it. I do this occasionally. Sometimes I also spray the pan with Pam/Canola or olive oil.

Once it rises and before it bakes add a drizzle of the infused olive oil and a pinch of salt on top. It will make it have a little extra zing on the crust.

Take out immediately after baking and place on rack. if you are not there that is okay. it will just get a little soggy on the bottom if it auto-shuts off.

Enjoy!

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Food is Love. 

The Hippie Gypsy

Ooey Gooey Vegan S’mores Cheesecake Trifle

I joined the Wellness Committee at my work a few months back. I thought it was important to have a truly opposite opinion to the mainstream ideas of health in such a  group. One that focused not on conventional “healthy” recipes and ways of being “well” but one that is a little more alternative. I am obviously a vegan but I am also a bit of a hippie and very interested in how wellness is also about being mentally well and taking care of the earth to result in healthy food and a healthy planet. This holiday season we had a Christmas/Holiday/Seasonal get together/luncheon at work. The Wellness Group sponsored it and although it was healthi-er I think we have a long way to go. I must say that I did prepare a not so perfectly healthy trifle for the baking contest so I am as much at fault as anyone on the healthiness of this luncheon. To me this recipe is far from healthy but for the group, I think they will find it the healthiest option on the table with all things considered. Take a look and Happy Holidays! (PS I won the contest!)

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S’mores Cheesecake Trifle

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages Vegan Marshmallows
  • 2 containers Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
  • 2 cans of Coconut Milk (refrigerated overnight or longer to separate)
  • 1 cup powdered organic vegan sugar
  • 1 squeeze bottle of Breyer’s Hot Fudge Sauce (vegan and sold at Walmart)
  • 1 box of Fudge Brownie Mix (Betty Crocker is vegan)
  • 2 cans of pureed pumpkin
  • 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix (many vegan varieties are available)
  • 1 package of graham crackers

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Preparation:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
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  3. Get out (2) medium mixing bowls.
  4. Get 1 smaller pie pan and 1 regular sized cake pan.
  5. Get out your trifle container.
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  7. Spray cake and pie pan with Coconut Oil spray or some Pam-type equivalent of canola oil.
  8. Open cans of coconut milk and slowly remove top layer of coconut milk fat and leave coconut water at the bottom. Try to remove as little wet material as possible. Place in one mixing bowl with cream cheese. Mix until combined well. Sift in powdered sugar with a sieve or squeeze sifter. I use a plastic $1.99 sieve I got at the Chinese grocery store and it works great. No need for anything fancy! Place bowl of cream in refrigerator.
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  10. In second bowl prepare brownie mix with one can of pureed pumpkin. Combine the two until smooth. Place in Pie Pan.
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  12. In the second bowl (do not wipe) add cake mix and 2nd can of pureed pumpkin. Combine well until smooth and place batter in cake pan.
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Cooking:

  1. Place both batters into oven. The cake will take approximately 30 minutes and the brownies will take approximately 50-55 minutes.
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  3. Take squeeze fudge and line the bottom of the trifle bowl. The cake will be going in the bottom and tends to be crumbly. This will give the appearance on the exterior glass of a neat chocolate line while also keeping the moisture of the cake in.
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  5. Next, cut or tear marshmallows in half. This will allow for them to be stuck to the glass and cake when layering.
  6. When the cake comes out. Take the trifle bowl and press through to the bottom of the pan. This will create a circular indent. Most trifle bowls are smaller on the bottom than the top. That is why you place the cake and not brownie in the bottom. Cake will squish down and together so it will fit despite the slight size difference.
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  8. Flip the pan over on a wire rack to unlodge from pan and cool.
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  10. Once cool, tear away edges from the circular imprint and press down into the trifle bowl.
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  12. The fudge will make up for any imperfections. Feel free to add more fudge in a circle on top to finish the layer. Then place a few dots on top of the cake to prepare for marshmallows.
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  14. Press marshmallows up against the glass all around the bowl and then on top of the cake/fudge layer.
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  16. Take out a creme brulee style kitchen torch and brown the cake layers. Be careful lot to get too close the the glass. Not all glass is heat friendly.
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  18. Fill in holes between marshmallows with some fudge. Then crumble graham crackers on top. I used 1 package from a box. Approximately 8 sheets (you can reserve some for top layer if you want or just use more!).
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  20. Next place 1/3 of the cheesecake cream in the center of the crackers but try to avoid bringing the liquid too close to the edges.
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  22. Now add the brownie layer once it has been removed from the oven and cooled on a wire rack. You do not need to make a circular cut on this. Simply cut a triangular piece of brownie out of the “pie” and then it will allow for you to fold it into the trifle bowl by almost overlapping the edges where the cut was made. It also allows for you to have a snack 🙂
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  24. Next add the rest of the cheesecake cream and decorate with marshmallows, fudge, and crumbled grahams. I like to line the edge again with marshmallows and place a dollop of fudge between for a nice finish on it 🙂
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  26. Refrigerate overnight to settle. Serve cold. Enjoy!

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

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Check My Recipe Out on Tofutti.com also!

https://twitter.com/tofuttibrand/status/412642439371816960/photo/1

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=698712053479883&set=a.192319737452453.46978.148368278514266&type=1&theater

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/550916966888690463/

http://www.tofutti.com/vegan-smores/

Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Bread

I must say that I am in LOVE with the onion foccacia bread that is prepared at Whole Foods. I buy it all the time. I use it in my recipe for chicken pot pie. It is borderline amazing for any purpose. I just adore it. That being said I thought to myself after the holidays were over, “Wow I ate a lot of stuffing but I didn’t stuff it INTO anything”. Then I turned that on it’s head and wondered why not stuff a bread instead of stuff an animal. It is obviously healthier and less gross so let’s give it a whirl. Out came an amazing and delicious treat I have even served my guy friends at a recent dinner with a side of pumpkin curry soup. Enjoy! (they definitely did).

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Veggie Stuffed Bread

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Ingredients:

  • Onion Foccacia Square from Whole Foods
  • Sliced Green and Yellow Squash
  • Fresh Green Beans
  • Daiya Havarti (1/2) Block
  • Olive Oil

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Baking:

  1. Preheat oven to 430 degrees.
  2. Slice out a one inch section of the center of the bread so that it is hollowed out but still has some bread on top and bottom. Do not cut complately through like a sandwich though so that you can fold it shut after filling.
  3. Drizzle bottom interior of bread with olive oil then stack with sliced squash.
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  5. Crumble cheese on top and in between squash. Layer with Raw Fresh Green Beans.
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  7. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Fold top shut.
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  9. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  10. Enjoy!

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Food is Love. 

The Hippie Gypsy

Perfect. Toll-House-Style. Vegan. Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I love chocolate chip cookies. I love chocolate chip cookie dough even more. And in an honest, yet disgusting unveiling of my inner glutton, I love when you cream the butter, vanilla, and sugar together to make chocolate chip cookies. When I was a kid I used to try to steal dollops of the creamed mixture when my mom wasn’t looking. It was so good. I am glad I didn’t know about salmonella poisoning back then or the fat content of whole butter. Luckily with vegan baking, that salmonella is never a problem so yea… eat all the cookie dough you want! Also my brother is coming for Thanksgiving Dessert with his wife and my first and only nephew Baby Nolan and he (my brother) is a cookie monster, so I wanted to be able to make him chocolate chip cookies that I could also eat and so could any of my dairy intolerant family. My brother loves cookies so much I got him a replica cookie jar from our childhood for Christmas last year and it was not easy to find an owl cookie jar either! This will definitely be an experience thanks to my cookies 🙂

That being said here is my chocolate chip cookie recipe that I have been working on for ages. Every time I start I become uninspired by dry cookie dough (which every vegan can relate to due to the lack of eggs) and of course the ones that crumble or the ones that don’t taste quite right. These are not any of those. They are gooey and crunchy on the edges and melt until they are just thin enough but still soft inside. If you love cookies… you will also love me after you make this recipe.

 

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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. 1 cup of earth balance organic buttery spread
  2. 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  3. 3 flax eggs (3 tablespoons of water and 1 tbsp powdered flax per egg)
  4. 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract (I use Penzey’s Mexican)
  5. 1 and 1/4 cups of vegan sugar (try half brown sugar if you have it for a richer flavor)
  6. 2.5 cups of all purpose unbleached flour
  7. 1-2 teaspoons of salt (I use kosher)
  8. 1 cup of vegan semisweet chocolate chips (I used Kirkland (Costco brand) this time instead of Whole Foods)

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*Optional: 1 cup of walnuts or pecans

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MIXING TIME!

  • Place all dry ingredients (except chocolate) in a medium to small bowl. Mix until well combined.
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  • Cream butter and sugar together in a larger bowl with a mixer. Then place all wet ingredients into the bowl and mix until well combined.
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  • If you have never made a flax egg all you do is place warm water in a bowl and pulverize flaxseeds in a coffee grinder until powdered and stir. It’s that easy.
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  • Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until a dough forms. I use my hands but a mixer works well too.
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  • Last toss in chocolate chips and any nuts and knead into the dough. It will be a little oily. 
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BAKE:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place a silpat or parchment on your baking sheet. These cookies WILL STICK OTHERWISE! This is very important.
  • Once the oven is completely preheated, place balls of cookie dough on the silpat or parchment lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 20-22minutes.
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  • Remove let sit for 5-10minutes and then transfer to a cookie cooling rack.
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  • Makes 3 dozen. Enjoy!
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FOOD IS LOVE.

The Hippie Gypsy