Chocolate peanut butter pudding

DSCF0294edweb

This is one super simple and mind blowing chocolate  peanut butter pudding recipe!  if you want to treat yourself, then this is the way to do it and it is sure to put a smile on your face. This decadent chocolate peanut butter pudding comes together in about 5 minutes! Truth is I am not much of a chocolate girl but when peanut butter comes into the game I am totally sold. Dark, sweet, and luscious with a hint of contrasting saltiness, super tasty and kinda healthy! This has been my all time favorite dessert❤

DSCF0272edweb

Ingredients

1 package firm siken tofu
1/2 cup melted semi sweet vegan chocolate chips
2 TS agave nectar
1/3 cup light peanut butter
1 ts vanilla extract

shredded chocolate for garnishing (optional)

DSCF0271edweb

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to combine. Chill for a couple of hours before serving. Enjoy!

DSCF0282edweb DSCF0288edweb DSCF0279edweb

Guinness Is Going Vegan

Great news for all my beer drinking friends!

Starting in 2016, Guinness, the famous Irish beer, will be fully vegan friendly for the first time since they started brewing beer 256 years ago!

guinness

Guinness, the Irish stout that once famously advertised itself under the slogan “Guinness is good for you,” took a step this week to inject 21stcentury food culture into its 256-year-old product. Guinness is going vegan.

The company announced on Monday that starting at the end of 2016, its beer will no longer contain trace amounts of fish bladder, an integral part of its filtration process.

Few customers — except perhaps vegans and vegetarians who enjoy a pint — were probably even aware that the famous inky-black drink contained any fish parts at all. But it is actually quite common for cask beers to be filtered using isinglass, a gelatinlike substance derived from the dried swim bladders of fish that is used to separate out unwanted solids like yeast particles from a brew, the company said.

“Isinglass has been used widely within the brewing industry as a means of filtration for decades,” the company said in a statement on Monday after a report in The Times of London. “However, because of its use we could not label Guinness as suitable for vegetarians and have been looking for an alternative solution for some time.”

Guinness said that it had arrived at a solution to its vegan problem through “investment in a state-of-the-art filtration system” at its St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin, where its beverages have been brewed since the company’s founder, Arthur Guinness, signed a 9,000-year lease on the site in 1759.

Guinness mug at the Local Pub
Guinness mug at the Local Pub

Now that is something that is truly cheers worthy!!!

Vegan milk pie

Today someone very special to me tried to motivate me to start blogging again. Not sure how and why, but I promised I would start tonight. So here is one of my favorite pie recipes along with a photo of princess Ifi. The crust is perfect for any creamy pie filling and the filling can be also used to make a vegan galaktobureko.Milkpie 

for the crust

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup ice water
2 TB sugar
pinch of salt
1 TB apple cider vinegar

Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the margarine in small pieces and add it to the flour mixture until you form a crumbly dough. Mix the water with the apple cider vinegar and slowly drizzle it over the flour. Mix the dough with your hands until it forms a soft ball. Add more water if needed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. Sprinkle your working surface or a piece of parchment paper with flour and roll out the crust. Transfer the dough crust into a pie dish and crimp the edges as desired.

for the filling

4 cups of vanilla soy milk
1 cup fine semolina
1/3 cup of vegan margarine
1 small ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/3 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. On stovetop bring milk almost to a boil in a saucepan, and then add the margarine, banana, sugar, cinnamon and semolina making sure to stir continuously over the heat until a thick cream is formed. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 45 minutes until the top has browned. Let it cool, serve and enjoy!

 

Forever would not have been enough

This post is dedicated to Peanut

baby Peanut
baby Peanut

Peanut was born on Christmas of 1996 and entered our home a week later, on New Year’s Eve of 1997. He’s been part of my family for 19 years. We basically grew up together. I promised him I was always going to love and take care of him. Peanut is a very special cat with an enormous will to live. Back in 2005 he got really sick. He got an internal ear infection that even the vets couldn’t originally diagnose, his head was constantly full of pus, and poor Peanut had 6 surgeries in less than a year. In 2006 after 10 surgeries total, and after 4 different diagnoses from different vets, we were told that the best thing we could do is put him to sleep. Thank God we didn’t. We put him in a clinic instead, had a million tests and MRI scans and got his one ear removed. A few months later, and after two polypus, we had to remove his other ear too. So now, 12 surgeries later, little peanut was basically deaf but healthy again. Still very active and playful, still very strong, still very lovable and adorable, always wanted to be petted and happy to live!

Peanut with my mom
Peanut with my mom
Me and Peanut
Me and Peanut

My story with veganism started here, as I was really sad that Peanut had to go through all this trouble and it got me thinking, why do I love one animal, and eat the others? But you can read more about this on the about me page.

Baby Peanut just few months old ...
Baby Peanut just few months old …

Following those two last surgeries, some of his nerves were damaged, his one ear dropped, and his one eye was always open. We had to put eye drops 5 times a days for years, yet eventually his eye got crystallized, he couldn’t see anymore and he was in a lot of pain. So in 2013 he had his last surgery, his one eye removed. Still with one eye and no ears, he was a very adorable and active kitty!!! Unfortunately earlier this year, at the age of 19, he was diagnosed with cat alzheimer’s disease. He wanted to eat every single hour as he kept forgetting he already had a meal, he meowed all day and all night long and he had to take pills and fluids in order to avoid a kidney failure.

peanut1

Then the bad thing happened. No, he didn’t pass away. I was (not really) a bit prepared for that. He left. I was shocked. Peanut was gone and nowhere to be found. I put posters up, ads everywhere, thousands of social media posts and shares, contacted every vet clinic and pet store, all cleaning road services, 24 hour gas stations and searched for weeks day and night. I still cannot believe this happened. My little peanut is gone.

peanut age 3

I hope… I know… I am sure that someone found him, immediately loved him and that he has a new home now. Because he is a very strong cat, and because he has a will to live, I can’t accept that something bad happened to him. I won’t lose hope, and I will never stop searching for him… Until we meet again…

Let me tell you more about Peanut. Peanut liked to travel. Over the years I did more than a hundred trips with him. He was the best travel companion I could have. He liked to sit on the passenger’s seat and he wouldn’t mind a non stop 6 hours trip with a car.  Peanut liked to eat plants. Flowers, greens, grass… it really didn’t matter! He was always so happy running around my mom’s garden. Peanut loved the snow. He was like a kid at a playground when I’d let him walk on the snow. But he didn’t like the cold. So once he got back inside he would warm his butt in front of the heater. Peanut liked hanging around other animals. His best friend was Almond. They loved playing around and sleep the one on top of the other. Peanut could feel every time I got sad and he would cuddle next to me for hours. Peanut liked to have a seat on the table at dinner parties and be part of our gatherings.

1 2 8 4

 

He was the best companion anyone could ever wish for….53 6 7

To my Peanut… I want you to know that life is not the same with you. I love you and I miss you every single moment. I miss those little things. Like your wake up calls for food. Your thankful nose kisses and the sound of your little pitter patter of paws on the floor.

peanut last

a couple from his latest photos
a couple of his latest photos

Vegan chocolate brownies

If you love chocolate you will for sure love these vegan chocolate brownies. If you add the optional chocolate chips you will get more of a fudge brownie. Instead of walnuts you can use almonds or cashews. They will still taste decilious even if you make them nut free.

11116178_10153150439139336_276938338_n 11121808_10153150438854336_1167316141_n 11123584_10153150438799336_1210186720_n 11128782_10153150439994336_1844902399_n

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 over ripe banana mashed well
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Blend the banana with all the wet ingredients in a food processor or blender until creamy. In a mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients except the walnuts. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the walnuts and pour the batter into a greased pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 20 minutes.

 

Feta cheese the almond way

This is one of my favorite vegan cheese recipes. Truth is I love a traditional Greek salad – even as a main dish during summer days – so I had to come up with a vegan feta cheese to recreate my favorite salad dish. Depending on the time you bake it, this will be either soft – like cream cheese – or firm – like we want it here. When you are ready to serve it pour a little bit of olive oil and oregano on top to get that extra Greek flavor :)

veganfeta1  Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1  tsp oregano

veganfeta2

veganfeta3

Soak and drain the almonds. In a food processor add the almonds, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and ½ cup cold water. Blend for 5 minutes until smooth. Add more water if needed. Place a large strainer over bowl, line with a thick cheesecloth and transfer the almond mixture into the cheesecloth. Twist the edges of the cheesecloth around the almond cheese and squeeze tied to help extract moisture. Refrigerate overnight and discard excess liquid. Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F. Unwrap the almond cheese from he cheesecloth, transfer it to a baking dish and bake doe 15-20 minutes until its top is slightly firm. Let it cool before refrigerating.

veganfeta5

veganfeta6 vegafeta4

Pasta with zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and almond feta

This is more of a summer recipe but I had lots of zucchinis in my fridge and I made a tone of sun-dried tomatoes during the summer, so I thought it was about time to use them. This is a light and refreshing dish that you can eat as soon as it’s made, or you can put it all into a baking pan and reheat it as a baked pasta dish the next day.

IMG_3560_veglite

Ingredients

  • 1 pound/500 grams pasta of your choice (I used gf rigatoni)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 small zucchinis, cut into thick rounds
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup plumped sun-dried tomatoes (moist)
  • 1 ½ cup almond feta (recipe coming soon)
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
  • lemon zest (optional)

 IMG_3563_veglite

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium – high heat. Add the zucchini and cook for 2 minutes each side. Add the garlic and the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta and crumble the almond feta and lemon zest on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine and serve.