Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pick A Fruit Coffee Cake Squares

I figured it was time to post something a little sweet.  With strawberries and rhubarb just coming into season this is a good recipe.  Of course I made this recipe a month or so ago and instead of fresh fruit I used some frozen local raspberries and blueberries we picked last summer.  While you can use one fruit, you can always mix and match fruits as long as you use the same total quantity.

I enjoy this recipe because not only can you use any fruit, but it is very easy to make.  It looks like a lot of ingredients, but that is just because I have separated them by layers so you don't confuse the individual amounts of sugar, flour, and coconut oil with the total amounts.

I've made the recipe many times over the last 27 years.  It is a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook I purchased sometime back in 1988-89 that I have adapted to be vegan.

In the pictures I've used an Ener-G egg replacer.  You can always use a flax egg and it will work, I was just out of ground flax seed.


1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen Fruit
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Sugar (I used organic raw sugar)
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1-1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 - 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
4 Tbsp vegan Margarine or Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Non-Dairy Milk
1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Flax Egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water) OR 1 Ener-G Egg substitute
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Tbsp vegan Margarine or Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350˚F (176˚C).  Spray an 8-inch or 9-inch square glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2.  For the filling:  In a medium saucepan combine the fruit and 1/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Combine 1/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch and then add to the fruit mixture.  Cook and stir until about 2 minutes until thickened and bubbly.  Set aside.

3.  For the batter:  In a small dish combine your non-dairy milk and vinegar and set aside.  In separate dish mix the flax egg or energy egg and set aside.

4.  In a medium mixing bowl combine the 1-1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Cut in 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) of margarine or coconut oil until small crumbs remain.    Add flax egg/Ener-G egg and vanilla to non-dairy milk and stir to combine.  Add wet to dry and stir until moistened.  Add a little extra non-dairy milk if it seems too dry.

5.  Spread 1/2 of the batter in the prepared glass dish.

6.  Spread evenly with the fruit filling.

7.  Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls onto fruit mixture.  9 spoonfuls seem to work well and act as a guide for cutting later.

8.  For the topping:  In small dish combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup flour.  Melt last 2 Tbsp margarine or coconut oil and mix into sugar/flour mixture until crumbly.  You can also add a little cinnamon to the topping.  Sprinkle on top of coffee cake.

9.  Bake in 350˚F oven for 40-45 minutes.  Please note I used coconut oil in the pictures in this recipe so while the squares are baked well, they did not brown on top like when using a vegan margarine. Remove from oven and let dish cool on a wire rack.

10.  Cut into squares and enjoy.  If serving the squares when they are still warm, you'll want to use a fork to eat them. If they are completely cool you can pick up the squares and eat them with your fingers.  Cover leftovers loosely with wax paper and they will last for a few days at room temperature.

- Bon Appetit

"  Life is short. Eat dessert first." - Ernestine Ulmer

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Unstuffed Smothered Roasted Sweet Potatoes

A lot of people enjoy stuffed baked potatoes or even stuffed sweet potatoes.  I, for some reason, don't like baking potatoes in the oven for an hour. They tend to turn out tough on the outside and it isn't always easy to get them perfectly cooked inside.

So, I turn to unstuffed potatoes or sweet potatoes. I saw a recipe some time ago on The Simple Veganista for Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with a Sriracha Cashew Cream Sauce.  See original recipe HERE.  While I thought it was a great idea, I didn't want to bake the sweet potatoes that long.

The result - Smothered roasted sweet potatoes. Yumm.  The recipe below serves 2.  If you are not a fan of broccoli you can use any veggie.

The cashew cream sauce is really tasty.  If you use a little less water I think it would be good as a dip for tortilla chips or even as a sandwich spread on a wrap or pita.


2 Small or 1 Large Sweet Potato or Yam
1 Broccoli Crown
1/2 Avocado
1/2 cup Cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes (drain and rinse after soaking)
1/4-1/3 cup Water
1 clove Garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce (or less to taste)
** Black pepper and salt (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 425˚F (218˚C).  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  I use the olive oil spray from Trader Joes.

2.  Wash sweet potatoes or yams.  I do not peel them, you can if you like.  Cut into 1 inch chucks.  Place on foil and spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and/or salt if desired.  

3.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and turn over chunks of potato.  Return to oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Remove from oven when done.

4.  While the sweet potatoes/yams are baking, cut the broccoli  crown into florets.  Steam the florets until bright green and al dente.  Chop or slice avocado.

5.  In a blender (I use a Vitamix) blend the cashews, 1/4 cup water, garlic, nutritional yeast, and sriracha.  Add a tablespoon or two more of water until it is the desired consistency for drizzling.

6.  To assemble.  Divide the sweet potatoes/yams into two serving dishes.

7.  Divide broccoli florets evenly between the two dishes.

8.  Drizzle the cashew cheese sauce over the sweet potatoes and broccoli.

9.  Top with the chopped avocado and sprinkle with black pepper.  Enjoy.

- Bon Appetit

"My dream is to become a farmer.  Just a Bohemian guy pulling up his own sweet potatoes for dinner." - Lenny Kravitz