Vegan Chocolate Tart (No bake!)

Well, it’s been a while and this post has been a long time in the works. I actually made this tart-that-I-turned-into-a-pie by-using-a-tinfoil-pie-pan-because-I-wasn’t-ready-to-commit-to-a-tart-pan… for “pi” day in March. It went over really well! So well in fact, that many people begged for the recipe and I promised it would be up on the blog by the end of the month.

Well, that was kindof misleading wasn’t it as here we are in August! I feel badly about that… Onwards and upwards.

So here is it, in all it’s glory. Seriously this was amazing. I even tricked a number of “I wont eat anything that’s Vegan” eaters to eat it and then come back for seconds… and thirds…

I also kind of botched the recipe a bit. I actually used .56lb of cashews (which is just over a cup) instead of the 1 1/2 cups I was supposed to use. So there’s that. But I think it worked so I’d go with it!

Now, without further adieu…

Vegan No Bake Chocolate Tart | Kalelovesquinoa

Vegan Chocolate Tart (No bake!)
Prep time: 15min
Serves 1

What you need:

Crust
2 cups organic vegan chocolate cookie crumbs or cookies you can smash (make sure they’re gluten free if you want this to be completely gluten free!)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling
1 to 1 1/2 cups of cashews, soaked in water for at least two hours (overnight is best), drained
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons light agave syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I ended up adding a little more than this, probably 1 tsp)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Almond milk (probably 1/2 cup or so)

Vegan No Bake Chocolate Tart Crust | Kalelovesquinoa

What you do:

Make the Crust

  1. To get cookie crumbs, I bought vegan chocolate cookies and mashed with a spoon. Somewhat tedious but effective.
  2. Let’s get messy. Use your hands (that I’m sure you just washed!) to mix the coconut oil cookie crumbs and salt until crumbs hold together. Press in a very thin layer in tart pan and chill in freezer before filling.

Vegan No Bake Chocolate Tart Middle | Kalelovesquinoa

Make the Filling

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Keep an eye on your consistency. This should be pudding like. Add some more almond milk as needed and feel free to mess with the sweetness/richness to suit your tastes. I like mine rich so I kept the agave as is, but you may find you need to add a little more.
  2. Fill cookie crumb crust and chill in freezer overnight. Remove tart from pan and serve. Store leftovers in freezer.

It’s delish right? I made this in a tinfoil pie tin because that’s all I had on hand and I didn’t really feel like going to the store. But I’d definitely recommend using a proper tart dish for this baby. You could actually use a springform pan to make your life way easier. Then you’d just crust the bottom and not have any peeping up the top as I did in my “fake pie” tart concoction.

I also made a couple mini versions in ramekins that went over very well.

One final comment (then you can make your chocolate tart-pie). I’d try adding a little cayenne pepper. Not much, maybe 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp but I bet it would add some great flavor. Coffee would be a fun add in as well, just make sure you balance it out with the almond milk.

I’m out! Enjoy the chocolate deliciousness.

Adapted from this NoBake Vegan Chocolate Tart recipe.

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Picnic Pasta Salad

This weekend, I’m heading up to wine country and I’ve been charged with bringing the picnic! So I sat around and brainstormed today… sandwiches? Yeah, maybe but that didn’t sound super exciting. Veggie burgers? Those would be tricky to take in the car for a few hours. I even thought about just bringing a bunch of snacks (which I’m totally doing anyway…) and then it hit me! Pasta salad. Delish and perfect for a picnic because it can be served cold and is easy to transport!

Pasta salads typically have a whole bunch a dairy n stuff in it. Oh, not to mention pasta? Not so gluten free friendly eh? False. You fell right into that one didn’t you? Well, I’ve come up with a way to keep the awesome but ditch the dairy and not so awesome for you pasta. Let’s do this.

Picnic Pasta Salad - kalelovesquinoa

Picnic Pasta Salad
Prep time: 30min
Serves a lot! Probably 4 – 6

What you need:
1box quinoa Rotelle pasta (I like Ancient Quinoa brand, tastes just like normal pasta.)
2 zuchini
handful of asparagus spears
1 cup or so roma tomatoes
10 oz firm tofu
1/2 cup veganaise (I love Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
juice of half a lemon
cayenne pepper
sea salt and pepper

What you do:
  1. Cook qunioa pasta according to package directions. You know, boil some water, stick the pasta in. You got this.
  2. While your pasta’s cooking, chop your veggies into bite sized pieces. I like to cut my asparagus into slanted pieces about 1in long. I chopped the zucchini into quarters and diced. Tomatoes sliced in half or quarters depending on their size. Chop up your basil leaves as well. TIP: Roll the basil leaves into a little twig shape and chop. Makes life way easier. Then chop again into smaller pieces.
  3. Cook your veggies. I cooked mine in the microwave, quick and easy works best for me. Let those cool.
  4. Drain your pasta, take care of business and let that cool as well.
  5. Meanwhile, make your tofu sauce. Mash your tofu up so it’s crumbled then add the veganaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper… mix that all up!
  6. Once everything has cooled, mix the veggies, pasta, and tofu sauce together. Add the cayene pepper plus any more lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Viola! Picnic time and a glass of wine.

Well now I’m hungry and this is delicious so eat up!

Enjoy veg friends. XO

Jalapeño Cilantro Hummus

I love hummus. I literally cannot get enough of the stuff. I eat it in the morning on toast with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes or mashed tofu. I eat it for a snack with carrots or gluten free crackers. I’ll eve use it to top off my salads or add it to quinoa to get a nice creamy texture. It’s divine. My favorite brand is Sabra’s – it’s creamy and delicious and comes in a bunch of yummy flavors, all vegan and gluten free 🙂

But hummus can get expensive… it’s often at least $3 and can be up to $5! I’ve tried making my own hummus before. In fact, my friend Colleen has an amazing pesto hummus recipe on her blog, The Healthy Appetite. I’d highly recommend checking it out!

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This hummus however, is about jalapeños. I can’t really handle super spicy, but this recipe is delicious. The jalapeños give it just the right amount of kick and flavor. Easy, tasty, and cheap to make – I may be eating homemade hummus more often! Just don’t stick your knife in your brand new Cuisinart blender… like I did. Sometimes I don’t think things through. Luckily, I did think this recipe through so check it out and enjoy 🙂

Jalapeño Cilantro Hummus
Prep time: 15 – 20 mins max!
Serves one ladies book-club or 6 girls a’ snacking

What you need:

1-2 jalepeños (I used two and took most/all of the seeds out – that’s where the spice lives! – Remember use GLOVES!)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup sesame seed oil (some people use tahini instead)
1 tsp cumin
1 cup fresh cilantro (I chopped mine a little)
pinch cayenne pepper (paprike would work too)
sea salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  1. Chop the jalapeños and throw in a skillet with the garlic on medium heat until nice and toasted. Like I mentioned,I used two jalapeños but removed most, if not all, of the seeds. More seeds = more heat so feel free to spice it up if you like!
  2. Meanwhile, put the remaining ingredients into a food processor and blend em up!
  3. Add in the jalapeños, garlic, sea salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add in more lemon and/or olive oil (or even a little bit of water) to thin it to the consistency you like and enjoy!

Adapted from Big Red Clifford.

Pumpkin Sage Quinoa

This recipe turned out delicious. I made this a few weeks back when I hosted my annual VSFS viewing party. Yes, I did that, I do that. For all you hipsters out there, VSFS is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. My girlfriends and I get together,  drink some wine, nibble on some festive treats and watch Adriana Lima strut her stuff.

But that’s not the point, the point is pumpkin sage quinoa my friends.

This is one of those dishes you’ll have people saying, this is VEGAN!? This is GLUTEN FREE?! The world has gone mad?! Dont panic, I’m just a badass in the kitchen I’ll say. But in all honesty, this recipe is easy peasy!

Give it a try! What’s your favorite fall quinoa recipe? Please share!

Pumpkin Sage Quinoa
Prep time: 20 mins
Serves 6

What You Need:

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 diced sweet onion (or white onion)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups pumpkin purée
2 tablespoon minced fresh sage
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary (or feel free to use fresh rosemary!)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegan cheese, shredded (I used Follow Your Heart Jack cheese and shredded myself)

What You Do:

  1. In a medium pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and sweet onion, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes until water is absorbed.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cooked quinoa with salt, pumpkin, sage, nutritional yeast, rosemary, thyme, and pepper and stir well to combine. Once combined, add in the vegan cheese and mix until creamy. Serve immediately.

Adapted from VegNews.

Cookie Dough Truffles

I figured my first post would be something wholesome, healthy, hearty and representative of the wonderful flavors of winter and fall. Or at the very least, something with kale or quinoa in it? Nope, I made truffles. Oh man they’re good. They’re in my fridge right now and I just want to eat them all.

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In fact, while making these at 11pm this evening, I purposefully brushed my teeth prior to dipping these sweet balls of heavenly goodness into delicious semi-sweet chooclate… Did that stop me? Well of course not. I can safely say these turned out delicious!

See. I told you this wouldn’t be all hippie vegan celery and parsnips… both of which are great by the way.

These were adapted from a Chef Chloe recipe to make them gluten-free and I added some sea salt and baking soda to snazz em up a bit. Let me know what you think in the comments! You could add peanut butter, pumpkin, banana and nuts to these! What will you try?

Cookie Dough Truffles
Prep time: 1 to 2 hours
Makes approx. 30

What you need:

1/2 cup vegan margarine (I use earth balance)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp sea salt (plus more for topping)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp water
1 ¼ cup gluten free all-purpose flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips (dairy-free)*
12 ounces semisweet chocolate (dairy-free)*

*I have been trying to figure out if Guittard and/or Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips are vegan? On the packaging, it says there is no milk in them however it doesn’t explicitly say they’re vegan. Anyone have an answer to this? The blogs are telling me they’re vegan but I’d love a second opinion!

What you do:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a mixer, beat margarine, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and water until combined. Add flour and baking soda and beat until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour (or freezing for 30 mins works too if you’re in a time crunch!).
  3. Roll chilled dough into 1 inch sized balls using your hands. Place on prepared baking sheets and freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Melt the remaining 12 ounces chocolate in a double boiler or microwave and let cool for a minute or so. Remove cookie dough balls from the freezer and dip each ball into the melted chocolate and remove using two spoons. Place the coated balls back onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt if desired before they harden. Once all the balls are dipped, transfer to the refrigerator. Chill until the chocolate is set, about 20 minutes or overnight. Store in refrigerator until ready for nibbling!

What do you think?! Did you try these? What’s your favorite sweet treat?

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Adapted from Vegan Cookie Dough Truffles