Even if you aren’t totally vegan, like myself, everyone can’t deny minimalist baking is a very attractive option. Minimalist cooking is healthier and cheaper too!
If you haven’t learned the art of using cashew cream instead of overly processed and more fattening ingredients, take a look at this page. And if you don’t know if you’ll like vegan butter, you can always substitute something else in there like a banana or lemon + olive oil (like in the cupcakes featured below). Even if baking isn’t your thing we have some regular vegan options and some easy delicious recipes below!
Here’s a recipe for raw cupcakes (trust me they are delicious):
For the cashew cream:
2 cups raw cashews
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup water
For the chocolate sauce:
1/2 cup coconut paste
3/4 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut oil – melted
For the cupcakes:
2 cups carrot pulp (in processor)
1 cup dates
1 cup walnuts (or other nuts)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
water, if needed
3/4 cup raisins
Now, here’s what you do. For the whipped cashew cream: blend everything together until it’s smooth and thick, adding water as needed. You want it to be the texture of a thick yogurt. Set aside. For the chocolate sauce: Mix all the ingredients together and blend until smooth.
For the cupcakes:
Pulse the nuts into powder in a food processor. Add all other ingredients until it forms a sticky paste. You can add some water.
Press the dough you have formed into lined cupcake tins and set in the fridge for a minimum of three hours.
Swirl 1/3 cup of the chocolate sauce into 1 1/2 cups of the whipped coconut cream and then decorate your cupcakes with this. Then top it off with chopped nuts or chopped cacao.
Here’s a recipe for basic vegan cupcakes that sounds delicious:
1 cup non-dairy milk plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), softened
1 cup granulated sugar or cane sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter, softened
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Tsp non-dairy milk
Then: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a standard muffin holder with 12 paper liners. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out non-dairy milk and add vinegar or lemon juice. Let set to activate. Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer. Then add sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients in this order: 1 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and then remaining 1/2 cup flour. Sift over butter/sugar mixture alternating with the almond milk mixture. Blend until until no large lumps remain.
Divide evenly among cupcake holders making sure NOT to overfill. These do best at 3/4 of the way up.
Bake on a center rack at 350 for 20-24 minutes.
Let cool completely on a cooling rack. In the meantime, prepare frosting.
Wipe clean your mixing bowl and add softened butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Then add vanilla and mix.
Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and continue mixing until thick and creamy. Drizzle in a little non-dairy milk to thin.
Once cooled, frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles. Serve immediately. Store leftovers covered at room temperature or refrigerated.
Lastly, another desert recipe for vegan olive oil lemon cupcakes (adapted from Food Network):
Coconut Whipped Cream:
One 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk (not light), chilled in the refrigerator overnight (do not shake or stir)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the cupcake liners
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon zest plus 1/4 cup lemon juice, plus additional zest, for the garnish
1 tablespoon lemon extract
Fresh berries and mint leaves, for garnish
For the coconut whipped cream: Chill the bowl and whisk of a stand mixer in the freezer for about 10 minutes. If they are not very cold, the cream will not whip properly. Skim the solidified coconut cream from the chilled can of coconut milk and transfer the solids to the bowl of the stand mixer. Do not include any of the coconut water, even if you have to leave behind a little margin of coconut cream.
Add the powdered sugar and whip for a few minutes until the mixture begins to stiffen and turn into whipped cream. Chill the whipped cream in a covered container in the refrigerator. It should firm up even more as it sits in the refrigerator for the next few hours or overnight.
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with 14 cupcake liners and spray the liners with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, lemon zest and juice, lemon extract and 3/4 cup water. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over-mix.
Fill the cupcake liners evenly with the batter. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cupcakes comes out dry, with a few crumbs clinging to it. Rotate halfway through the baking time. Cool the cupcakes completely before un-molding.
To serve: Top each cupcake with some coconut whipped cream. Garnish each cupcake with mint leaves and/or lemon zest.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.
Here’s a recipe for dairy free icing using a cashew cream frosting:
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours and rinsed
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Process all ingredients, chill in freezer for hours. Spread on top of cakes or breads.
Here’s a delicious recipe for lentil (dal) curry:
FOR THE CURRY:
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
3 large or 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 cups peeled and finely diced carrots
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
1 (14-oz/398ml) can light coconut milk
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2-1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup spinach
FOR THE RICE:
1 cup dry basmati rice
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup unpacked fresh cilantro
Sea salt and black pepper
lime juice splash
For the curry: Add the oil in a large pot and increase heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Saute over medium heat until softened.
Stir in the ginger and carrots, and then add the curry powder, cumin, and turmeric. Stir well.
Pick over and rinse the lentils. Stir in the entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, and salt. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered with the lid off until the lentils and carrots are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom. Next, stir in all of the spinach until wilted. Stir in the black pepper, cayenne (if using), and sugar (if using). Taste and adjust salt, if desired.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice, cook for 12-16 minutes, until the rice is soft and tender. Fluff with fork and stir in cilantro.
(adapted from Oh she glows vegan cookbook)
And here’s another easy recipe for tomato chutney, great with toast, rice, or on veggies:
1/2 of one red onion
1-2 mixed-color tomatoes
1 fresh red chilli
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Blend, mix or process all ingredients together and simmer for 30 mins. Serve over your choice or pour into jar for later use.
Lastly, here is a recipe that will encourage you to eat your veggies. My one hope is that you discover how much fun vegan noodles can be with the use of a spiraliser or julienne peeler. Seriously, this is a wonderful tool for making veggies taste almost like noodles (or better).
Vegetti Noodles with Curried Coconut Sauce:
1 small shallot
1 small clove of garlic
2 tesapoons ground turmeric
one tsp coconut milk
3 tablespoons coconut water
one tsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon medium-hot curry powder
as much squash, carrots, peas as you like in your noodle mixture
First make the sauce. Peel and roughly chop the shallot, garlic and ginger, roughly chop the chilli.
Using a julienne peeler or spiraliser, cut the squash and carrot into long noodles. Place in a bowl with the rest of the vegetables, slicing to your liking. Pour sauce over noodles. It’s that easy.
(Adapted from Jamie Oliver)
And last but not least, here’s an easy recipe for Cauliflower rice:
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Skillet with lid
Cut the cauliflower into large pieces.
Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor.
Pulse the cauliflower until completely broken down.
Cauliflower rice can be used raw, tossed like grains into a salad or in a cold side dish.
However you can also cook it: Cooking makes the cauliflower more tender. Warm a tablespoon of olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the mixture and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, serve immediately. Refrigerate the couscous for up to a week.