How to make vegan treats for Fourth of July

Sea Isle City

Sea Isle City New Jersey

Happy Fourth of July! I hope everyone is having a safe and fun holiday weekend. I have some really delicious and simple recipe ideas that I would love to share with you. All would be wonderful to pack for the beach, a picnic, or if you are hosting a BBQ. If you have guests that suffer from Celiac disease or are vegans, these are the perfect recipes to offer.

My favorite kind of hummus…fresh and homemade. It is so simple to make hummus and the secret to making truly great hummus, fresh squeezed lemon. Using a white bean like Cannellini beans are an excellent alternative to traditional hummus. It creates a smoother, fluffier texture.

Ingredients:

1 can of chick peas

1/2 lemon

pinch of parsley

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon of curry powder

1 teaspoon of tahini paste

1 teaspoon of olive oil

How to:

Simply blend all ingredients at once until smooth and creamy. Use a blender or food processor.

Curry Hummus

White Bean Hummus

White Bean Hummus

Glutenfree Vegan Potato Salad

Ingredients:

3 Yukon Gold Potatoes

1 celery stalk

8 black olives

1/4 red onion

1 teaspoon of turmeric

pinch of salt

pinch of parsley

1 tablespoon of Vegenaise

How to:

Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain and allow to fully cool. Chop the celery and red onion to small pieces. Finely chop the olives. Dice potatoes and add the celery, onion, and black olives. Stir in Vegenasise and spices. Serve and enjoy!

Potato Salad

Mango Nice Cream (vegan)

Ingredients:

1 frozen ripe mango

How to:

Simply blend the frozen mango in a food processor until smooth. Serve and enjoy!

Mango nice cream

Nice cream

I have been wanting to try this recipe for quite some time and finally got around to making it. I kept seeing all of these gorgeous pictures on instagram of people making this fabulous vegan ice cream and putting it into an overflowing mason jar with toppings pouring over the top. I was so intrigued I needed to make it for myself. If you are unfamiliar, Nice cream is completely made of frozen bananas and somehow the texture mimics dairy ice cream. It is creamy, sweet, and best of all healthy. This is such a versatile recipe. You could add toppings as if you are creating a sundae or you could blend the desired fillings with the bananas.

Here’s how you make this delicious treat. Freeze ripened bananas. I have been using two bananas, but you could just use one or five. Freeze overnight for the best results. After the bananas are frozen solid throw them into a device that blends. I am not including my process because I used a hand blender as opposed to an actual blender and it took me a lot longer. Keep processing until it becomes smooth and mouse-like. You can add other fruit to the mix to make a flavored nice cream or you can add the toppings later.

I made a few different kinds. I made a raspberry sauce one time using one cup of frozen raspberries. I poured them into a small saucepan with a pinch of cinnamon and let them reduce until thick. You could strain if you wanted to remove the seeds. You could also add vanilla extract. Once the raspberries are reduced, remove from the heat and allow to cool.

raspberries

In the meantime take one tablespoon of vegan, glutenfree chocolate chips. I always use Enjoy Life brand. Melt the chips either in the microwave or in a double boiler. When it is melted add a teaspoon of flax milk an stir evenly. You are creating a ganache for the nice cream to prevent the chips from freezing when it touches the nice cream.

bananaandraspberries

Finishing touches…pour the raspberry sauce and then the ganache.

You could also just sprinkle the chips or fresh blueberries on top. The possibilities are endless! If you can resist and want to eat at a later time, just put nice cream in a sealed container and throw in the freezer.

nicecrem

blueberries

BerryBanana Nice Cream

Mixed berry Nice Cream with Vegan Chocolate

Let me know what you think. For more of my pictures follow me on instagram @ashleybasla

Easter weekend recipes

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend whether celebrating Passover or Easter. I had such a nice holiday visiting with my family and participating in all of the traditions. My mother made my Grandma Basla’s Lemon Ricotta cake and her family’s sweet anise Easter bread. Even though, I could not eat either one it was still fun to watch her bake and the smells were amazing. We colored eggs, which all turned out pastel.

eastereggs

My parents still gave myself and siblings an Easter basket and mine was filled with goodies that I could eat, including vegan chocolate!

Easterbasket

After mass we had a delicious meal with artichokes prepared with parsley, garlic, and olive oil.

artichoke

Below, I included the recipes for these baked goods. Enjoy! Let me know what you think!

Sweet Easter Bread:

Ingredients:

2 1/4 – 3 1/4 cups of flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 package of dry yeast

2/3 cups of milk

2 tablespoons of butter

2 eggs at room temperature

1 tablespoon of anise flavoring

How to:

Heat milk and butter until warm. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients. Add all wet ingredients to that bowl. Mix, knead, and then let dough rise until double in size. Cut, shape, and let rise an additional 15 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Allow to cool and then frost. (Cut in three even pieces. The dough is meant to wrap around a boiled egg to appear like swaddled baby Jesus. This year it is without the egg. Roll out like a log and then twist like a braid).

Frosting:

Confectioner’s sugar

Milk

Softened butter

1/2 teaspoon of anise flavoring

Mix together to desired texture and frost.

Easterbreads

anisebread

Easterbread

Frosting

Lemon Ricotta Cake:

Ingredients:

1 lemon cake mix

2 pounds of whole milk ricotta

2 ounces of milk

4 eggs

3/4 cups of sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoon of lemon flavoring

How to:

Spray a 9×13 pan with Pam cooking spray. Mix the lemon cake mix as directed on box and pour into pan. In a separate bowl mix with hand beaters all remaining ingredients on slow speed until completely mixed. Pour the mixture on top of the cake mixture evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Let cool completely. Chill overnight in refrigerator. Cut and serve cold.

LemonRicotta

 

Gluten free chips

I have been craving nachos for quite some time. It could just be because as soon as you cannot have something that is when you want it most. I have been gluten free for almost a year with a couple of mishaps, which wreaked havoc on my body. Anyway, I simply could not take it anymore and needed to act fast. Over the weekend a chip was born. Quinoa is a versatile high protein grain. It is the main ingredient for this simple recipe.

A popular way to make the quinoa chip. Begin by toasting plain, uncooked quinoa in a pan. Toast by adding desired amount of quinoa in pan without water and stir to avoid burning. Allow to cool slightly and add quinoa to food processor or blender. Pour in water to get the processing started. You are looking for a consistency similar to a wet flour. Once the quinoa is ready, pour onto a lightly greased sheet tray and spread thin to cover the entire tray. Sprinkle with salt. The size will depend on how much quinoa used. Bake until the edges are pulling up from the sides. Then remove, slice into chip sized chunks and bake once more.

Quinoa

The chips should turn a brown color ( I used tri color quinoa so the color is much darker). Allow the chip to cool and serve with your favorite dip or in my case guacamole without onions.

Ingredients

Chips

I also made a spicy Bruschetta using the chips. I added one tomato, a half of a jalapeno pepper and half a cup of fresh cilantro. For the dressing I used one teaspoon of olive oil, a small wedge of fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. I piled the mixture on top of the chips and rebaked only for approximately five minutes.

Bruschetta

 

Lavender vanilla bean cookies

I love the smell of lavender. The fragrance is intoxicating, which makes the edible component excellent. I purchased a bag of fresh lavender flowers at Herbiary in the Reading Terminal Market and wanted to do something more than just add to tea. I developed this vegan cookie recipe instead. I have to say they are the perfect, elegant, just the right sweetness cookie. I really needed to restrain myself from eating the entire batch. Here is the recipe, just in case you need a hostess gift or are staying home for a movie marathon.

Dry ingredients:

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free quick oats

1/2 cup Ancient Grain quinoa flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp fresh lavender flowers

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp flax meal

Wet ingredients:

6 tbsp Olivio coconut vegan spread

2 vanilla beans

2 tbsp warm water

How-to:

Combine oats, flour, baking powder, and lavender flowers in one bowl. Wisk together. In a microwave safe bowl add vegan spread and vanilla bean and melt partially-no more than 15-20 seconds. Remove from the microwave and whip on high speed with beaters until smooth. Add brown sugar, flax meal, and warm water and stir with a wooden spoon. Gently add half the dry ingredients. Stir and then add the second half. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake on 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let finish cooking on sheet until cooled.

Vanillabean

Vanilla

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Lavender5

Lavenderbatter

Lavender2

Lavendervanillabean

Lavendercookies

Lavendervanillabeanteacookie

Teff Pizza

Papa, my grandpa, brought me garlic cloves as big as softballs from his garden on his last visit with my grandma. He knows I love garlic and it served as the inspiration for this new recipe. This week I was craving pizza so here is my delicious teff flour, gluten free, vegan, and grilled veggie pizza. Keep in mind the texture of the dough is a little chewy, which makes the grilled veggies really stand out- it is a nice textural contrast. If you miss the cheese, sprinkle with Daiya mozzarella shredded non dairy cheese.

Ingredients

Pizza Crust:

3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Teff flour

1 tbsp baking powder

Flax milk- as needed adding a little as you go to get the right consistency

Roll out flat and bake crust on 350 degrees

Toppings:

1 large garlic bulb

1 head of radicchio

black olives

green beans

1 tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

oregano, black pepper, and salt

Cut garlic bulb in half leaving skin on. Drizzle with olive oil, place inside tin foil and bake on 350 degrees until the garlic is softened

Spread garlic over the cooked pizza crust in one smooth layer

Chop the radicchio and sautee in pan with green beans, cider vinegar, , olive oil, and seasonings

Add sliced black olives once the radicchio is wilted and caramelized just to warm

Cover the crust with the topping, serve hot. Enjoy!

pizzadough4

pizzadough3

pizzadough2

Radicchio

Roastedgarlic

Pizzadough

Radicchiopizza

Banana Date Vegan and Gluten Free Muffins

It is no secret that I crave sweets on a regular basis, especially in the morning. I love a hot cup of chamomile with some sort of pastry. However, I need to be creative with all of my food intolerances. The overall taste does not need to change. After a little experimenting, please enjoy this recipe for a delicious breakfast muffin or anytime snack!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

3/4 cup flax meal

3/4 cup oat bran

1/2 brown sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 ripe mashed banans

6 chopped medule dates

1 cup flax milk

Mix all together

Separate into cupcake papers

Bake at 350 degrees until done

Makes 12 small muffins

I used Bob’s Red Mill Flour, Oat, and Meals, which can be purchased at Whole Foods.

Banana Date Muffins

Banana Date Muffins 2

 

If you have a sweet tooth

Recipe time! I am a bread junkie, banana, pumpkin, cranberry- I love it. However, I needed to make a few tweaks to one of my favorite dessert foods and that was to create a vegan banana bread recipe. The texture is slightly different. It is still tender and flavorful just not as sponge like- more on the granular side, but just as delicious and very easy to bake. Try it out this weekend! Enjoy.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of coconut flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 1/4 cups of coconut milk

2 ripe bananas

1/2 cup gluten, dairy, soy, and nut free chocolate chips

 

Mix all batter together in large mixing bowl

Pour into lightly greased pan (I use Olive oil cooking spray)

Add chocolate chips evenly on top of the batter

Bake on 350 degrees until golden brown (use a fork and delicately test the middle of the bread. If fork is clean the bread is cooked)

Bananabread

GlutenFree2

Bananabread2

Make sure to let cool completely before you cut. Otherwise the bread will crumble.

Gluten free Pasta e Fagioli

I have many dietary restrictions like so many of you. For me it is a learning process without the luxury of the time needed. I must avoid many foods including Gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, shellfish, and let’s not forget meat as I have been a vegetarian for almost 10 years. I find that the best ways to avoid contamination is to rely on homemade meals and snacks. the simpler the better. Spices are my best friend- a really easy way to incorporate flavor without adding extra ingredients. Of course, there are exceptions to the rules and I will share later all the snacks that I enjoy.

Here is my recipe for a delicious and hardy meal full of protein and zero gluten.

Pasta e Fagioli

Ingredients:

1 Serrano pepper

Fresh Oregano

Olive oil

Garlic cloves

Sea salt

1 can of garbanzo beans

1 28 oz of hand crushed San Marzano tomatoes

1 box of favorite gluten free Barilla pasta

In my kitchen- just like my Grandmother and Mother it is always according to taste, a little of this, a pinch of that. Cooking can be flexible, but make sure to follow the exact recipe when baking!

Start by heating olive oil on low in a large saucepan. Add the cloves of garlic ( I love garlic so I tend to use multiple cloves). Then add the oregano ( I used fresh oregano picked from the garden so make sure to chop).

garlic

oregano

Once the garlic begins to brown add the chopped serrano pepper. Keep heat low- there is nothing worse than the taste of burned garlic!

garlicoil

serranopepper

Add the can of drained garbanzo beans to the pan. Once they are incorporated evenly with the other ingredients add the crushed tomatoes.

chickpeas

pasta2

On another burner boil salted water for the pasta. Once the water comes to a rolling boil add pasta.

Drain pasta once it is cooked. This is a personal preference. I like my pasta to be on the firm side (Al dente) however, when cooking gluten free pasta I find it tastes better when it is cooked more thoroughly.

Place pasta in large serving platter and pour sauce with beans on top. Gently stir. For those of you who can eat dairy, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, garnish with fresh oregano, and serve. Buon appetito!

pastafagioli

Zucchini Flowers

Last night I packed up in the early am headed back to Philadelphia. I had an absolutely wonderful time in NY with the family, but in true Ashley Basla form, I could not possibly go on vacation with a mild hiccup. I came down with a case of strep throat and am now resting at home. However, before my throat felt as if I was swallowing a combination of needles and hellfire, I had the opportunity to watch my grandmother in action in the kitchen. My grandfather has had a massive garden for as long as I can remember with goodies like green beens, beets, broccoli, and zucchini. In the morning he picked several zucchini flowers for my grandmother to prepare with dinner. Later, I asked why they needed to be picked in the morning and my grandmother told me that it will avoid a nasty conflict with bees! Here is the delicious recipe for battered and fried zucchini flowers.

zucchiniflowers2

Rinse flowers in cold water thoroughly and then place on paper towel to dry.

z.flowers

Batter ingredients:

1 cup of flour

pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried parsley

Can of your favorite beer (add a little at a time to batter mixture- you want the same consistency as pancake batter)

Canola or vegetable oil

zucchinibatter

Heat the oil in a deep pan on the stove. Once the oil is hot enough (you can test by adding a small amount of batter to the oil. It should sizzle).

Coat the flowers with batter and delicately add to the oil with a pair of cooking tongs to avoid burn.

zucchiniflowers

Once the flowers are golden brown- remove from the oil and place of a dish lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.

zucchini

flowers