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.

lime-ginger-mint tempeh tacos with spanish rice and corn

TACO NIGHT! Traditional tacos just wouldn’t do, so we marinated tempeh cubes in lime, ginger, mint, and a bit of oil. Now we had an interesting flavor for our tastebuds to explore. We topped off the tasty grilled tempeh with homemade pico de gallo, napa cabbage, and avocado, inside of baby blue corn tortillas… tacos rule, just sayin. Homemade spanish rice and side of corn rounded out this great meal. Menu-worthy? Indeed.

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?

almond poppyseed muffins with orange zest

Everybody loves muffins! These babies aren’t your grandma’s muffins, and they’re not your grandkids muffins either! Almond and poppyseed flavors are balanced nicely, and the orange zest really brings the baked goods to life. Muffins should be delicately sweet, somewhere between desserty cupcakes and savory biscuits, so you can devour many of them at once while sitting at the breakfast table.

We adapted an Almond Muffin recipe from Uprisings: The Whole Grain Bakers’ Book to morph into something like this:

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • Zest from 1 1/2 oranges
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Poppyseeds (enough…we didn’t measure…)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
Cream the maple syrup, agave syrup, canola oil, and almond butter together, and then add the orange zest and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, almonds, poppyseeds, and baking powder. Slowly whisk in some of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and then add the soymilk. Finish whisking in the dry ingredients, and then spoon into an oiled cup cake tin. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until the happy muffins are golden on top.

Now ENJOY! We command it.

ginger soy tempeh sandwich with cucumber mint spread

I dreamed this up the other day: Tempeh marinated in a ginger, Braggs liquid aminos (similar to soy sauce), sesame oil, agave, grilled with sesame seeds, served on a sandwich with a homemade cucumber mint spread I whipped together in the blender. Add some more cucumber to the sammich (for crunch (don’t use grilled onions. dont do it. NO)), and some arugula.

FUGGIN GOOD. ‘NUF SAID.

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Inspired by some cookies Jef and I inhaled on the drive home from Santa Barbara (Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Cookies – the best chocolate chip peanut butter cookies we have ever had…EVER!) I decided that I wanted to try out a recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking, to see how it measured up. So I had my friend Shannon (a fellow vegan baker and vegan food fanatic) to be my cookie compadre.

We slightly changed the recipe due to what we had on hand to look like this:

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (fair trade all the way!)

We preheated the oven to three hundred and seventy five degrees. To make the egg replacer, we combined the flax meal and water in the blender until it made a smooth paste. Shannon combined all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, while I combined all the wet ingredients in another bowl. We then added the dry ingredients to the wet mixture slowly until it was well mixed, and then added in the chocolate chips. We then rolled the cookie dough into little balls and placed them on a couple of greased cookie sheets, and Shannon used a fork to press down on them to make the nice crisscross design that peanut butter cookies are known for.

Ten to twelve minutes later these bad boys were ready to be devoured! Luckily Jef came home with our friend Frank to help eat these cookies, otherwise we would have had some wicked tummy aches. These cookies were yummy, but weren’t quite as good as Uncle Eddies. Perhaps with some practice (and an investment in an electric mixer!) we can perfect and even surpass Uncle Eddies delicious cookies…