PB&J No Bake Protein Balls

pbjproteinballsLooking for a not so sweet peanut butter treat? I have it right here! They seriously taste like little PB&J’s.

What You’ll Need

1 banana- super mashed

1/2 C nut butter of your choice – I went with crunchy peanut butter.

2-3 scoops protein powder – I used vanilla pea protein.

1/2 TSP cinnamon

1 TBSP chia seed

1/4 C dried cherries, unsweetened

Combine all the ingredients well. Scoop evenly into balls. I had about 18. Stored in the fridge, they should last about a week.

Lemon Blueberry Mint Ice Cubes

We are in the middle of a blizzard so naturally I’m making ice cubes. What? It’s important to stay hydrated while watching Hubband and the kid shovel snow. I kid, I do my fair share of shoveling.

I love water. It’s my go to drink. But sometimes I just need a little more flavor and these cubes are perfect for that. I just toss a few in my water bottle every morning. They are also super versatile. You can use any number of flavor combinations.

What You’ll Need

icecubes

ice cube tray

blueberries – or whichever fruit you’d like

lemon juice

mint – I used mint we dehydrated from our garden last summer.

That’s it. Put a few berries in each slot, add a splash of lemon juice, a pinch of mint and freeze. Toss them into your water and enjoy!

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Brussels & Potatoes

brussels potatoes On my first trip to Maggie’s Farm last winter, I tasted their amazing brussels sprouts (minus the meat, of course). I’ve been trying to recreate that dish since. What I came up with tonight I think is even better. I threw these ingredients together without measuring but it’s so damn good I had to share.

Potatoes cut into bite sized pieces

Brussels sprouts

Marinade-

2 TBSP grape juice

2 TBSP peanut oil

2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

salt to taste

pepper to taste

Let the potatoes and Brussels marinate for a bit, throw into a pan and roast on 350 degrees for about an hour. I used relatively small Brussels. If you use larger ones, they may have to roast longer. I paired mine with roasted tofu. Enjoy!

Canning Apple Pie Filling

theveganfarmer.com applepieIt’s that time of year we amp up the canning and prepare for the winter. It’s apple season which means all the things apple are being canned- cider, applesauce, apple pie filling. Filling is great to have on hand to whip up a quick pie or cobbler. We host once a month family dinners and most major holiday events so lots of pies are being made. It’s also super tasty on toast, in oatmeal, and honestly, straight from the jar. We canned 15 quarts this weekend. This will last us the winter. It’s a large recipe. You’ll need to reduce it for smaller batches.

What You’ll Need

15 lbs apples, peeled and cored

13 C sugar

3 TBSP cinnamon

3/4 TSP nutmeg

6 TSP salt

3 TSP cardamom

3 C cornstarch

9 TBSP lemon juice

30 C water

In a very large pan mix the sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and 15 cups of water. Cook until dissolved. While that’s dissolving, whisk together 15 cups of water and 3 cups of cornstarch. Once the sugar mixture is dissolved, add the cornstarch mixture and stir frequently until it’s boiling, bubbly, and thick. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice.

While all that is happening, sterilize your jars in a water bath. Remove, and while hot, fill 3/4 with apples. Pour in the filling leaving 1/2 inch room at the top of each jar. Slide a knife around to rid the jars of air bubbles. Put the lids on and loosely screw on the bands. Return the quarts to the water bath. Once the water is boiling, can for 20 minutes. Remove the jars. Allow them to cool completely before removing them. Be sure to check each sealed properly before storing. Enjoy!

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Chickpea Salad Sammich

theveganfarmer.com chickpeasandI am incapable of saying sandwich.

One of my favorite meals when I was a meat eater was a tuna fish sandwich with a side of tortilla chips and a cup of coffee.  Yes, I think I was an old man. Sometimes I get a craving for that lunch and I find chickpeas work wonders to satisfy it.

What You’ll Need

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 C vegan mayo

green onion

1/4 C relish

1 TSP celery seed, or some diced celery

2 TSP mustard

Mash most of the chickpeas. Add the remaining ingredients and stir it all up.  Throw it on a sandwich thin, roll, on top a bed of lettuce and enjoy! Coffee is optional.

Black Bean, Rice, and Egg Bowl

theveganfarmer.com beansriceI’m on a serious bean kick. Black beans are by far my favorite. To add extra protein and get the kid to eat it, I added an egg. I threw this recipe together so this is just an approximation-

What You’ll Need

1 C brown rice, cooked

1/3 C black beans, cooked

1/4 onion, chopped

1 egg

1 TBSP oil

1/4 C water

1/4 red pepper, chopped

salt to taste

red pepper to taste

garlic to taste

splash of Braggs or soy sauce

In a pan, heat the oil and cook the onion for 4-5 minutes. Add everything but the egg and cook a few minutes until the rice and beans are heated. While this is happening, crack an egg into a heated, buttered (earth balance) pan. Fry to your liking. Pour the rice and beans into a bowl and top with the egg. To keep it vegan, leave the egg. Enjoy!

No Bake PB&J Bites

It’s swelteringly (totally a word) hot here the last couple of days. I don’t even want to look at my oven. What’s a girl to do when she needs a sweet treat? Make some no bake PB&J bites! These are hands down my favorite treat. The rest of the family enjoys them too.

What You’ll Need

theveganfarmer.com pbj

10 medjool dates, pitted

1/2 C raisins- or 1/4 C raisins and 1/4 C dried cherries

1/3 C peanuts

1/4 C cashews

3 TBSP creamy peanut butter

pinch of salt

Throw everything in a food processor and blend about one minute. You don’t want it to be smooth. Roll the mixture into small balls or flatten into bars and chill for about an hour. How many bites you end up with depends on who is helping make them.

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I usually end up with 18-20. These are the perfect snack packed with protein and yum. Enjoy!

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Canned Spiced Cherry Jam (without pectin)

theveganfarmer.com spicedcherryjamYou guyyyyysssss. This jam. It’s everything. We have a sour cherry tree in our yard. It is sour cherry season. I’ve spent the last several days arguing with the birds over how many I’m allowed to have. Seriously. An Oriole almost took my eye out this morning. Anyway, if you’ve never had jam made from sour cherries, I suggest you RUN to the nearest pick your own farm and get some. It was super easy to make.

What You’ll Need

lots of cherries. LOTS. I used about 2.5 quarts

4 cups white sugar

3 cups brown sugar

4 TBSP lemon juice

cinnamon

nutmeg

ground clove

Remove stems and pits from the cherries. This is much quicker to do if you have a cherry pitter. Throw them in a big pot with about 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to a boil then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Add the sugars, lemon juice, and spices. I don’t have measurements for the spices. Just add them in small amounts until you find the flavor you like best. At this point I took a potato masher and mashed some of the cherries. My next batch I’ll puree half before adding to the pot. Bring it back to a full boil and stir constantly for about 10 minutes. Sterilize your jars and lids. Once the jam has thickened a little, go ahead and pour it into the sterilized jars. Leave about 1/4 inch space at the top. Place lids and bands on until just tight. Lower the jars into a water bath, cover, and bring to a boil for 8 minutes. Remove the jars from the water bath and let sit for 24 hours. Test the lids to make sure they’ve sealed. Enjoy this cherry deliciousness on toast, ice cream, in oatmeal or straight from the spoon.

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Tofu

theveganfarmer.com coconutcurrytofuMy slow cooker may be the most used appliance in my kitchen. Second to my coffee pot, of course. As I dug it out the other morning, I thought why not whip up some coconut curry tofu? I’ve not had it in a while and I had some tofu nearing its expiration date.

What You’ll Need

1 block tofu, drained and cubed

1 small onion, chopped

2 TSP minced garlic

pinch of salt

1.5 C bell peppers, chopped – I used peppers we froze from our garden last year. Any kind will do.

1.5 TBSP smooth peanut butter

1.5 TSP garam masala powder – I didn’t have any so I made some. *See below for recipe.

2.5 TSP curry powder

1 C coconut milk – I was out of the canned stuff so I whipped up a small batch. **See recipe below.

1 can tomato paste

Blend all ingredients together except the tofu. Pour it into your slow cooker. Add the tofu, give it a quick stir and set it on low for 4-5 hours. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

* Garam Masala

2 TSP ginger

1 TSP cinnamon

2 TSP pepper

3 TSP cumin

3 TSP coriander

1/2 TSP nutmeg

1 TSP ground cloves

Mix all spices together and store in an airtight container.

**Coconut Milk

1/2 C shredded coconut

2 C very hot water

Blend together until smooth.

Crispy Gnocchi and Brussels Sprouts

theveganfarmer.com crispygnocchibrusselssproutsThis is one of those recipes that came together as a result of needing to cook things up before they went bad. Brussels sprouts are a relatively new food for me. I discovered over the fall that I really like them.  This recipe is quick, delicious, and satisfying.

What You’ll Need

1 small package gnocchi

1 small bag Brussels sprouts

1 TBSP minced garlic

2.5 TBSP Earth Balance butter

1 TSP onion powder

juice from 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese – I use Go Veggie! brand.

Tear off the dark green leaves from the sprouts. Cook the gnocchi. Save about 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Melt the Earth Balance butter in a pan and add the gnocchi to crisp it up a bit. This should only take about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Now add the Brussels sprout leaves, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup cooking water. Stir until combined and cook another minute or so. Put it on a plate or eat it straight from the pan. I won’t judge. Enjoy!