Posts Tagged ‘Vegan dessert’
Apple Chimicheesecake

Anyone who knew me between the years 2000 and 2004 can probably attest to my love of Applebees, specifically their apple chimi-cheesecakes. Let me break it down for you: they take about half a pound of cheesecake filling, toss in some glazed apples (you know, to make it healthy), wrap it up in a giant flour tortilla, deep fry it, and roll it in cinnamon. You may think that they stop there, but you still have to add a scoop of full-fat vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. I would estimate that it comes in at 1000 calories, safely.

As a complete tangent, I was just looking up nutritional information online. Applebees has discontinued the chimicheesecake ( a responsible choice IMHO). However, this bullshit site has a user-submitted recipe that they claim comes in at 140 calories. I was so infuriated that I created an account to respond. I mean, come on, a tortilla has 120 all by itself.

Anyway, I made a vegan version that is much lighter, but still not something I would reccomend for the faint of heart. We had it on New Years Eve and paired it with When Harry Met Sally (which was actually a brilliant combination).

Spooooky Cupcakes

I know I’m a day late and a dollar short with my Halloween post, but I put these cupcakes together last weekend for a vegetarian potluck and havent had the time to post until now. I think that we can all agree that, however tardy, these cupcakes are absolutely adorable. The cake is a ginger spice cake (which I recently found out was one of my boyfriend’s favorites), and I topped it off with a classic vegan cream cheese frosting. The best part about the spice cake is that it’s completely oil-free. It could always be served with a similiarly oil-free frosting, but I wasn’t going to subject an entire room of people to that kind of cooking. If I were going to do this cake oil-free, I would probably just use a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Let’s talk about how freakin’ adorable those little bat toothpicks are. They came as part of a cupcake wrapper/toothpick combo that I picked up at the craft store. They were having some kind of ridiculous 60% off sale, so the perceived value on this particular item was pretty high. The recipe for ginger spice cake can be found after the jump, and I promise that I will do a better job of posting Thanksgiving recipes well in advance of the actual holiday.

The Spanish Conquistador

When I worked at a coffee shop in college, we used to have this pain-in-the-ass drinking chocolate from a company called Shokinag. This is why it was so bad. Reason #1: it tasted awful. Reason #2: you had to take these chocolate flakes and melt them in hot water, stir them at 100 mph, and then add steamed milk. However, I was bored one day and started reading the back of the Shokinag’s can, which was full of interesting hot chocolate lore. Thanks to my superior memory, I will always know the following.

1: Hot chocolate was brought back to Spain by the conquistadores.

2: It was a drink enjoyed by royalty.

3: It is traditionally served with cinnamon and honey.

As the sun starts to set earlier and earlier, I find myself getting home from the gym and wanting something hot to drink. So last week I plopped on my Halloween-themed slipper socks (so comfortable, go get yourself a pair), and came up with this recipe.

Wisdom Teeth :(

One morning in July, I awoke with a familiar pain. My jaw was throbbing and I had the distinct feeling of pressure on my gums. Uh oh. Wisdom teeth. I had my top two wisdom teeth out a year ago, and at the time decided to wait until the bottom two started to bother me. I waited and waited for the pain to go away on its own. It wasn’t constant, just an off and on pain that had a funny little way of resurfacing just when I thought it was gone for good.

Eventually I had to give in, so I scheduled an appointment. Big mistake, because this was the worst possible time in my life for me to have my wisdom teeth out. Not only did I have to navigate a COBRA nightmare to get coverage set up in time, but I also had to take off from a new job (which I do not like doing). I also just started this great fitness class at Pop Physique, and I hated to interrupt it.

In addition to being a bad time for me, I learned after the surgery that these teeth were severely impacted and that my healing experience would be far worse than last year. I’ll admit I kind of enjoyed having my teeth out last summer, since it meant tv and ice cream for a couple of days. I did NOT enjoy this.

The surgery was fine, but it’s a week and a half later and I still have trouble opening my mouth all the way. I saw the doctor for a follow up on Friday, and he said everything looks good, and just to wait it out. In the meantime, I have come to really appreciate the simple deliciousness of soft foods.  Since it was a little cold last week, I really threw myself into the fall with tofu pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole.  I’ll post the pumpkin recipe (which my boyfriend loved) below and save sweet potato for another day.

Strawberry Shortcake
I crafted together this decadent, mature dessert to accompany my seitan shake n’ bake. It’s really a cobbled together recipe of macadamia creme, fat-free scones, and balsalmic-infused strawberries. I sliced the scones in half and layered with berries and then macadamia creme. On top, I added another layer of berries and creme, and then topped the whole damn thing with a generous squirt of soy-whip vegan whipped cream. The scone recipe comes to us courtesy of Fat Free Vegan, except that I added a tablespoon of vegan white sugar to the batter. They were delicious for fat free scones. By that I mean that they were dense, chewy, and sweet, but not the same as if I had used a full-fat shortcake. I actually think that they translated well into this recipe, which was meant to be more of a grown-up strawberry short cake. After the jump, please find my recipes for balsamic strawberries and macadamia creme.
Baked Peaches

One of my favorite things about summer in my new house is the smell of the peach tree outside our front door. While none of the peaches have been ripe enough to harvest, just the smell of fresh peaches  makes me feel sort of rustic and “farm-y”. It also makes me crave peaches, and they are in season, so I picked up some delicious white peaches at market. I guess that I’m lucky it’s not a chocolate cupcake tree, because that would be unfortunate for my waistline. I would hate to lose all of my hard-earned level 1 gymnastics skills by falling out of shape. Anyway, I had one delicious peach left, and decided to go the good girlfriend route and put together a little something.

This recipe is a follow-up to my failed attempt at peach cobbler (which will not be posted). Basically, I tried to make a fat-free, minimal sugar peach cobbler, and I severely missed the mark. The peaches were great, but I used too much oat flour and regular flour and ended up with baked peaches with dry crumbly shit on top.

Vegan Baklava

Working with phyllo dough can be fun. It can also be incredibly tricky, but I’ve got some tips that should help you make magic happen in your kitchen. It will be almost as magical as that scene from Simply Irresistible where Sarah Michelle Gellar cries in the eclair batter and makes Sean Patrick Flannery fall in love with her. I promise.
The first step is to take the package of phyllo dough out of the freezer and let it sit, wrapped, for about an hour. It needs to defrost enough that you can pull the delicate pieces apart.
The next thing you should do is unroll the entire package onto a cutting board, and cover it with a damp towel. This will keep the moisture in, and you will be surprised how quickly the dough can dry out and ruin your phyllo.
Lay one sheet of phyllo onto your cooking surface (a baking sheet works best) and then drizzle a thin line of earth balance down the middle. Using a pastry brush, spread the earth balance out to either side. This is what will create your flakes.
When you are done, immediately roll the phyllo back up and put it back in the freezer, making sure to seal it tightly.
Now, here is a recipe for walnut baklava. Except instead of layering it, you just spread the mixture in the middle and roll it up. Easy. These would be great for breakfast or at the end to any Mediterranean-themed meal.

Vegan Baklava

4 sheets of phyllo dough
2 c. chopped walnuts
4 TBSP agave
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c. melted earth balance
2 TBSP Orange Juice
2 TBSP Confectioner’s Sugar

In a bowl, combine walnuts, agave, cinnamon, and orange juice. Mix well.
Unroll a sheet of phyllo dough, brush with earth balance, and repeat 4 times.
Spread the walnut mixture over the phyllo and roll tightly.
Cut into slices 1/2″ thick and lay flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until filling bubbles and the dough is golden brown.
Mix 2 TBSP orange juice and 2 TBSP confectioner’s sugar and drizzle over the warm rolls before serving.

The Proof is in the Pudding

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were at Urth Cafe in Santa Monica, waiting in an extremely long line for the privilege of paying $6 for a cup of coffee (which we gladly do, because it’s worth it). The line takes you past a very full and very delicious looking pastry case full of non-vegan baked goods. Now don’t get me wrong, Urth does a decent job of having some vegan options. However, their vegan cookies taste like cardboard ground into dust and then stuck back together with glue. Even though I know they don’t taste good, I sometimes end up with one of these cookies to quell the cravings brought on by that hellish pastry case. If I thought that I could get away with it, I would certainly bring my own delicious dessert to accompany what has to be the most perfect latte in the universe.
That particular time, I happened to notice a bread pudding. OK, I was probably staring at that bread pudding the way a Manhatten Socialite eyes the jewelry counter at Harry Winston’s. Logically, I recognized that that bread pudding was full of butter and cream which were produced at the expense of baby animals everywhere. On the other hand, my mouth was telling me I was hungry. I decided to do what I always do, which is put together my own vegan version of said bread pudding.

Vegan Bread Pudding

  • 1 loaf cinnamon raisin bread
  • 2 c. vanilla flavored soy milk
  • 1 TBSP. egg replacer powder mixed with 1/4 c. water
  • 2 TBSP. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 TBSP. earth balance

Cut the cinnamon raisin bread into 1″ cubes and leave in a bowl overnight until it gets stale.
Warm 2 cups of soy milk over low heat for about 5 minutes. It should be just below the boiling point.
Whisk in the egg replacer, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. Remove from heat.
Arrange the bread chunks in a nonstick pan. They should be about 3 inches deep. Pour the warm soymilk over the bread and dot with earth balance. Let it sit while the oven preheats.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

A Little Help from My Friend Amy

So yes, it is always good to make your own chocolate cake with applesauce and cocoa powder, and the end result is always something deliciously low in fat and almost good for you. On the other hand, sometimes you are willing to take a break from your diet and are looking for something delicious to round out a low-fat dinner. Last night, I had a failed attempt at gnocchi. I’m not sure what really went wrong, but the end result was a lumpy, sticky potato-mush on the counter. The upside was that I was ready with brown rice pasta as a backup, which ended up going very well with my oil-free vegan pesto. Since we started the meal with a tomato bruschetta (which used a very teensy teaspoon of olive oil), I felt more than justified in taking a major shortcut with dessert.
Cue Amy’s. for those of you not in the know, Amy’s is a brand that produces natural, organic packaged foods, which are largely available in the frozen section of grocery stores. Even Ralph’s carries Amy’s products. Yesterday, I was at Whole Foods trying to improvise a dessert. We were in the frozen section, checking out a selection of raw gelato and ice cream. After checking the ingredients on the raw ice cream, I realized that it had just as much oil as any other dessert. and I reasoned that if I was going to break the McDougall plan, I was going to do it for something I knew would be delicious. Cue the improvisation. I debated the idea of baking a lemon-poppy seed cake and wrestled with the notion of baklava. I was considering a lemon tart when, like a shining beacon of hope, Amy’s frozen cakes jumped out at me. I originally went for the lemon poppy seed, but it was not vegan. Our choices were limited to orange or chocolate, and the boyfriend made the right choice with the chocolate. I also snagged a bag of Whole Food’s frozen berry medley, making this quite possibly the easiest dessert ever created. As a bonus, it was also delicious.

Wine pairing: an entire bottle of Almond Creek Champagne :)

So Easy It’s Cheating Chocolate Cake

  • 1 Amy’s frozen chocolate cake
  • 1 c. Whole Foods frozen berry blend
  • 2 TBSP. carob chips

Defrost the cake in the fridge for a few hours.
Just before you are ready to serve, heat the berries and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan.
Cut the cake into slices and spoon the warm berry mixture over each slice.
Sprinkle carob chips on top.
Hide the Amy’s box from your guests, wipe some cocoa powder on your cheek, and pretend you did it all yourself.

Oil-free Chocolate Pie

Going into the Great McDougall experiment, I knew that I had to be prepared with some serious dessert. Despite trying to give it up many times, I have come to the very simple conclusion that dessert is what makes dinner worth eating. It’s something to look forward to at the end of a long day (that and an over-sized glass of red wine). Luckily, I found a great recipe on the McDougall forums and tweaked it to better suit my tastes and aversion to sugar.
 As you can see in the picture, I artfully arranged sliced kiwi and cherries on top of the pie. If I were Oprah, cherries would be on my list of favorite things. The pigment in cherries may reduce swelling and inflammation, plus they look really cute on rockabilly dresses and accessories. In all seriousness, I don’t think I had ever eaten a non-maraschino cherry until a few weeks ago. I don’t know how I went 25 years without them. I also don’t know what I’m going to do when all of these fruits and vegetables stop being new to me. Maybe I’ll have to start shopping the produce aisles of ethnic grocery stores?

Chocolate Tofu Pie
Can I just say that this recipe was delicious? It totally satisfied my chocolate cravings, but it’s oil-free! As a result, a slice of this pie comes in at only 160 calories. 

  • 2 12 oz packages of silken tofu (preferably lite)
  • 3/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 TBSP. sugar
    1/4 c. honey
  • 1 TBSP. vanilla


  • 1 1/2 c high fiber cereal, crushed
  • 3/4 c. apple juice

This is a great and easy recipe. Start by running the cereal through a food processor. Or, you can put it in a ziplock bag and roll a rolling pin over it. Mix this with 3/4 c. apple juice and press into the bottom and sides of an 8 inch cake pan.
Bake the crush at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let it cool a bit and then start in on your filling.
Blend the tofu in a food processor (we didn’t use one which is why my pie looks grainy). Mix in honey, sugar, and cocoa powder and beat together until it’s as smooth as possible.
Pour the chocolate tofu mixture into the pie crust and garnish with fruit. Refrigerate for 4 hours.