We are pleased to announce the arrival of The Littlest Cake, our friend Shannon’s vegan baking/food blog! HOORAY! A new vegan food blog is born! She specializes in baking supremely tasty cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and all treats in general, and she is a mighty vegan kitchen wizard! You should definitely pay her a visit, because she is AMAZING, and I love her so.
Shannon has co-cheffed in the creation of a couple of tasty treats here at The Bear and The Blackberry: Matcha and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes and Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (Part One & Part Two!), and now Zucchini Walnut Bread with Chia Seeds!
Our neighbor/landlord has been bringing us MONSTEROUS zucchinis lately… so we decided a proper way of eating them up would be to make some marvelous vegan zucchini bread!
And marvelous it is, dahhlinnggg. It is tasty fresh out of the oven, but if you practice the art of patience, we recommend letting it cool/refridgerating it, since that helps it stick together like a bona fide zucchini bread should!
Curious to try it for yourself? Have a whole metric shit-ton of zucchini that you don’t know what to do with?? Zip on over to The Littlest Cake for the full recipe, and try it for yourself!
Ahhh… I think we need to go home right now and MAKE MORE ZUCCHINI BREAD!!
To accompany The Family’s Szechuan Tofu with Broccoli and Shiitake Mushroom dinner dish, we made an improv Asian inspired slaw: Purple Cabbage Slaw with Kale and Cilantro.
What makes up this tasty salad? Well, let us share with you our most intimate slaw secrets… obviously there is purple cabbage, rainbow kale (from our own organic garden!), and cilantro… but what you might not know is that there is also carrots, scallions, and sesame seeds inside this salad! The tasty dressing/marinade is made up of lime juice, peanut butter, tamari, mirin, agave, and minced ginger. YUM!
We are going camping in Santa Cruz this weekend ( ahhh, the beach has been calling us for far too long now!!)… so we plan on making a whole metric shit-ton of this (to share with friends, of course!) and using raw peanut butter instead of roasted so that our raw friend Mark can get down on some slaw, too! I guess we may have to look into how to raw-ify/replace other ingredients, too… but I’m certain we will figure something out!
To accompany The Family’s Baked Spring Rolls, we made a Vegetable Lo Mein dish(Chow Mein has crunchy fried noodles…shame on you for confusing the two!!) … which is basically (in America) a noodle-y stir fry dish in a delectable sauce with lots of yummy vegetables and tofu. Basically.
The ingredients starring in this dish are tofu, broccoli, red bell pepper, purple onion, and sliced almonds sauteed in canola oil and then tossed with whole wheat spaghetti noodles and thoroughly saturated in a delectable sauce made out of tamari, mirin, sesame oil, agave nectar, fresh ginger and garlic.
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Jef is officially my sous chef for the family that I have been cooking for, and he will be working his way up to co-chef! It shouldn’t take much time at all, because Jef possesses mad kitchen wizardry!
Having the extra hands to help and the company in the kitchen is very nice and brings the fun back to cooking while booting out the stress of doing it professionally! Who knows, perhaps soon we will expand our personal chef business by adding another client? Only time shall tell… BUT we did put it on our wish list of aspirations!
The family wanted the spring rolls that they love… but they wanted them to be done egg roll style. So after a little bit of research, we strategized a plan of attack!
All the veggies that went into these little mini beasts were: green cabbage, purple onion, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic. The vegetables were sauteed and then double wrapped (like a burrito!) in spring roll wrappers. Then each side was coated in canola oil, and they were put into a 450 degree fahrenheit oven for about 25-30 minutes, turning every few minutes to get even browning.
We made a Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce to go with these, which consisted of agave nectar, tamari, and brown rice vinegar. It was pretty dang tasty. I want these now. Now, I say!
Making your own vegan ice cream is easier than you think! No need for fancy ice cream makers… a blender is a sufficient device for whipping up this simple, healthy, and tasty treat!
Jef and I like to buy the discounted bananas at the co-op when we can, because they are perfect for making ice cream and smoothies. These bananas have a lot of brown spots on them, so they are at ample sweetness (and antioxidant levels are their highest). We bring them home, chop them up, and put them in tupperware for freezer time.
The ingredients that you will need for this dish are:
- Frozen bananas (sliced)
- Soy milk
- Raw cacao powder
- Hemp protein powder
- Agave nectar
Now for ice cream time! Put a bunch of frozen banana slices in the blender with a wee-bit of soy milk. We have found that gradually adding the bananas to the soy milk is gentler on the blender, and makes the process easier. Once the consistency is nice and thick (seriously guys and gals… THICK!!!) you can add in raw cacao powder, hemp protein powder, and a touch of agave nectar to make this extra delicious. Activate BLENDIFICATION!
Once blended, you can eat this straight away, OR… you can return it to the freezer for a couple of hours (in a tupperware container), remove, and reblend just enough for a consistent consistency that is freezy, creamy, and you know… like ice cream! YUM!
For funsies, go a little crazy! Add peanut butter (nomnomnomnom!) or fresh mint or… whatever else your heart desires! Once you get the consistency down, play it up with different flavors. Here are some secret flavors that we are thinking about: lavender-lemon, pistachio, peach-ginger, matcha-vanilla bean, blood (keep it vegan for the children’s sake), and fire!
Hooray for ice cream!
Szechuan Tofu.. how is it pronounced?? Who knows! What does it mean?? It comes from the far, far east, and the meaning has been obscured over the generations.. Some informed individuals believe (with good reason) that it roughly translates to “delectable vegetable spicy awesomely goodness of a meal.” Yes, I know.. quite a lot of meaning crammed into a few syllables. Quite a lot of flavor crammed into a handful of ingredients, yet it does not overwhelm one’s palate, it keeps the appetite going until you need another bowlful, and another, and another..
The ingredients in this dish are tofu, broccoli, shiitakes, cashews, celery, onions, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, canola oil, tamari, and mirin.
To make this BOWL O’ AWESOMENESS, heat up some canola oil in your skillet/wok and toss in minced jalapeños or other fun chili peppers. Sauté for about thirty seconds, and add in cubed tofu, cooking until browned. Now add in your onions, shiitakes, celery, garlic, and ginger, cooking for a few minutes. Add in the broccoli, cover and let steam for a couple of minutes. Uncover, add in tamari, mirin, and cashews, cooking just a bit more.
And VOILA! It is ready for devouring!
P.S. You should check out our two new pages: Inspiration and Aspirations !!!
So first I would like to say that it is very rare that we eat a salad (and JUST a salad) for dinner here at The Best Residence, but when we do… we make sure that the salad rocks our socks off and leaves us satisfied and full of deliciousness!
This Creamy Kale Salad with Nectarine and Red Onion just so happens to be one of those incredibly gratifying salads. A recipe of my coworker’s inspired this salad, where they used avocado and cumin (among other delicious things) as a dressing on a kale salad of their own. We twisted this salad to look a little somethin’ somethin’ like this:
The dressing was made of avocado, tamari, balsamic vinegar, sesame seeds, agave nectar, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and cumin. The body of the salad was kale (massaged like a pro with Jef’s muscle-y MAN HANDS!), nectarine, red onion, and pumpkinseeds. We have yet to perfect it into a finite recipe. Someday we will get the hang of this recipe thing… some day…