grilled tofu and mushroom guacamole burgers

The guacamole I made for The Family’s dinner on Monday night looked really freaking tasty. So when I got home from delivering it, naturally the question of what dinner would consist of that night came to mind…

The only thing I could think of is that it HAD TO BE SOMETHING WITH THAT TASTY SPICY GUACAMOLE ON IT!!! So I got to making the guacamole. The spicy guacamole recipe goes a little somethin somethin like this:

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 of a small onion, diced
  • 1/2 of a jalapeño, diced
  • 1/2 of a lime, juiced
  • A bit of garlic powder
  • Some sea salt
Mix all of these ingredients together and BAM! Spicy Guacamole is ready for action! I usually use red onion for color, but we were fresh out. And I usually add cilantro for tasty cilantro flavor, but we were out of that as well.

SO. Back to the program. I had part of the dinner puzzle solved. The rest was easy peasy to figure out when I flash backed to the incredibly tasty dinner Jef and I had a couple of nights before… Grilled Tofu and Mushroom Burgers with Spicy Sweet Potato Fries. How to make those burgers even better? SMOTHER THEM IN SPICY GUACAMOLE!

To make these tasty burgers, we grilled tofu, mushrooms, and onions in a bit of olive oil until they were DELICIOUS. We then toasted ourselves some sprouted grain sesame buns and layered on our grilled tofu, onions, mushrooms, and romaine lettuce. Then we SMOTHERED THEM IN SPICY GUACAMOLE and DEVOURED THEM! Muahahhahaaha!

 MMMM mmmmm MMMMM these were so FRIGGIN GOOOOOOD!

soy chorizo and potato tacos

We came home from a long evening of blog updating and whatnot at The Office (aka Broadacre Coffee) and we were RAVENOUS! Luckily, we had just done some co-oping earlier, and were stocked up on some groceries that could be easily translated into a quick and delicious dinner.

POOF! Soy Chorizo and Potato Tacos! We fried up some potatoes in grapeseed oil along with some red bell pepper, got em nice and crispy-cooked, and added in some soy chorizo. We heated up some tasty corn tortillas, spooned in some potato/soy chorizo mixture, and then topped it all off with sliced scallions, fresh cilantro, avocado, and a nice squirt of lime juice. We served these tacos with a side of steamed spinach. YUM! : )

Popeye approves!

The best thing about these tacos is that they can be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a quick snack! Oooh  soy chorizo, you are so versatile!

dark chocolate cupcakes topped with strawberry cashew cream

Happy Sandy Day! We love to show our friends and family that we adore them with home made treats and doodads. For my friend Sandy’s Twenty-Fifth Birthday we made these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Strawberry Cashew Cream, plus a sweet home made card featuring her dog, Jolie!

I scoured my cookbook collections for the perfect Birthday-Treat recipe for Sandy… Leslie Cerier has done it again! Yet another tantalizing and decadent vegan recipe from her cookbook Going Wild in the Kitchen:

Dark Chocolate Cake (or in this case…Cupcakes!):

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons flaxseeds
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks
3/4 cup vanilla soymilk

Preheat the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Place the flaxseeds in a blender and grind to a powder. Next add the apple juice, canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, blending very well. Heat the chocolate chips and soy milk over low heat in a double boiler or medium sized saucepan, constantly stirring until the chocolate is melted. Add the blender mixture and melted chocolate to the flour mixture, stirring to a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into a lightly oiled cake pan and bake for forty minutes, or until your toothpick comes out batter-free when inserted in the center. Let the cake cool completely before frosting. DEVOUR! Or share… sharing is caring!

*To make cupcakes out of this recipe, simply pour the batter into cupcake papers in cupcake tins and cut the baking time in half, to around twenty minutes or so.

Strawberry Cashew Cream:

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed

Grab your BEST food processor ever. Throw in your cashews and grind to a fine meal. With the magic machine still running, slowly add the soy milk through the top. Next the maple syrup, then the vanilla, and last (but most importantly!) the fresh strawberries. VOILA!

Jef and I shared a cupcake (to test the recipe, naturally!) and THESE ARE SO GOOD! We had to restrain ourselves from devouring ALL of Sandy’s cupcakes! Rich and chocolaty, but topped with the fresh tasting strawberry cashew cream… it was a perfect balance! YUM!

We will definitely be making these again. I love that the recipe does not use any processed sugar or questionable ingredients. Just whole, organic, natural food… just like Great Great Vegan Grandma made (I wish I had a Great Great Vegan Grandma.. know of any that I can adopt??)! The organic California strawberries (that just came into season!) really make the cashew cream spectacular.

Sandy and I, dressed up in funky attire for some funky birthday rollerskating!

spice up your life sandwich

Today, I wanted a sandwich for lunch. But not just any sandwich, oh no. I wanted a kick in the pants, spicy-savory sandwich! I took a gander at what the fridge had to offer, brainstormed like a lightening bolt, got busy, and not too long after came up with this little beauty. BEHOLD! The Spice Up Your Life Sandwich! Also known as Curry Tempeh Sandwich with Spicy Hummus and Spinach.

Now for the story behind the photo:

I started off making some spicy hummus. I tossed some garbanzo beans, garlic cloves, toasted red hot chili peppers, lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, and sea salt into the amazing food processor, and let it do it’s magic. After some minor adjustments (more salt, more lemon juice) the hummus was pretty freaking tasty.

Next was curry tempeh time! Curry tempeh time is fun because it’s quick and easy…and delicious! I sauteed some tempeh slices in curry powder, cracked black pepper, and grapeseed oil until they were nice and brown on both sides.

Now to assemble the sandwich. I toasted a couple slices of quality whole grain bread, slathered the spicy hummus on both sides, laid down the curry tempeh, and followed suit with sliced roma tomatoes, onions, and spinach leaves.

Great success! I got the kick in the pants I was looking for, but it wasn’t overpowering (thanks to the presence of the cool spinach and tomatoes).

Perhaps soon we will get in the habit of measuring when we cook, so that we can share recipes with you! : )

sweet tamari tempeh quinoa bowl

Rice bowl! errr.. Quinoa bowl! HOORAY! This particular bowl features broccoli, cremini mushrooms, cabbage, and tempeh cooked in a tamari-based sauce sweetened with agave. Sweet and savory, fast and filling, tasty and [un]tedious, its the perfect meal!

I boiled about 2/3 cup of quinoa with 4/3 cups water (1:2, quinoa to water). While that was going, I chopped my veggies and tempeh, laid down some grapeseed oil, and got to frying (I tend to keep the veggies and the tempeh separate, but in the same skillet). All that goodness was on autopilot and I mixed tamari, sesame oil, agave, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl and added to the tempeh side of the skillet. Cover. Wait. Patience. I SAID WAIT. Is the quinoa done? no? keep waiting. Check it again. Its done?? cool. Are the veggies/tempeh cooked? Yes? EAT.

spicy sweet potato fries

Sweet potato fries are the BEST! Especially when seasoned with some spicy goodness to counter the natural sweetness of these wonder tubers.

We made a spicy seasoning mix out of cayenne pepper, chili powder, tumeric, onion powder, garlic powder, kelp granules, sea salt, cracked black pepper, and cumin. We tossed them in this magic mix along with some grapeseed oil, and then roasted them at four hundred and twenty five degrees, turning every so now and then to ensure even cooking. They were ready to gobble up when they were a little crisp on the outside.

For some fun nutritional facts about sweet potatoes, check out an entry from the past, Tofu Kale Scramble.

valentines day treats!

First off:

NOMNOMNOM TREEEEATS!

Secondly:

MUWA MUWA MUWA KISSES!

Cool. We spent V-day baking, specifically Lemon Poppy Seed Almond Cupcakes and Brownie Pecan Cookies with Orange Zest. They won. We won. Everyone won. It was a good day. Sharing is caring, so we spread the love and even shared these with friends!

Cupcakes, a traditional Valentine treat, are great, and decorating them is a blast. We made a vegan buttercream frosting and then crafted little hearts out of strawberries for the cupcake decor. Über Cüte. Cookies are usually a St. Valentine favorite as well, but typically sugar cookies.. BORING. We love chocolate (yet another favorite for this Holy day), so we made some zesty chocolate cookies. Flavorful and sweet, but not disgustingly rich, I could eat them for breakfast!

We found these tasty treat recipes in The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer, and only slightly adapted them to fit our palates.

super strawberry spirulina smoothie!

Smoothie in the morning, smoothie in the evening, smoothie at supper time, when there is a smoothie in the blender, you can have smoothies anytime!

Seriously, though. We here at The Bear and The Blackberry love smoothies. LOVE EM. We like to mix and match ingredients for smoothie fun time, to ensure variety (someone told us it’s the spice of life). BUT, there is one smoothie that has been haunting me lately, keeping me coming back for more… this seriously addicting smoothie is…

THE SUPER STRAWBERRY SPIRULINA SMOOTHIE!

The ingredients are simple: one ripe banana, frozen strawberries, unsweetened soy milk, agave nectar, and one teaspoon of spirulina.

What is spirulina, you ask? Well, allow me to shine some light on this mystery ingredient! Spirulina is a blue-green algae, and is nature’s gift to vegans. Spirulina is a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids, and it is also a natural source of Vitamin B12 (which we have been told is hard for vegans to obtain…pssssshhhhaawww!). There are tons of other vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, making It pretty much a multi-vitamin in and of itself. Isn’t nature wonderful?

rustic cinnamon and brown sugar apple roll-ups

Goodness gracious great apple roll-ups! These little gals are SO FREAKING GOOD! I came up with this the other morning when I had a little extra time on my hands before work, so I made myself a cinnamon-sugar apple quesadilla for breakfast. I thought that something similar would make a great dessert or snack, if just done a little differently. And then BAM! Rustic Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Apple Roll-Ups were born in my brain!

So last night we decided to try this idea out for dessert. Best thing about this? It’s easy and fun, and takes relatively little time.

We threw some almonds and earth balance in the food processor to make quite literally, almond butter, and then stirred in finely diced apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar. We spread this mixture onto the most fantastic tortilla ever invented (thick whole wheat tortillas from the Sacramento Foods Co-op), rolled it up, sliced it, and put it in a glass baking dish. Then we drizzled a little grapeseed oil on top and a bit more brown sugar (for funsies).

Next came some super hot oven lovin’ (three hundred and fifty degrees for about fifteen minutes, then up to four hundred and twenty five for a few minuts of crispiness action) and then came INHALATION!!! I mean… dainty eating with a fork and a knife, of course!

SOGOOOOOODD!!