Vegan Peanut Butter Chip Cheesecake + More PB Desserts!


I love peanut butter desserts. You too? So yesterday, I put a peanut butter chocolate spin on my vegan cheesecake recipe that I posted earlier this week. How did this chilled slice fare at dessert time? Well, my taste-tester extraordinaire, also the most discerning peanut butter pie connoisseur I've ever met in my life (my husband) - says that this pie was his new favorite dessert. So I'll give it a thumbs up...

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake / Pie
vegan, makes one pie

8 ounces soy cream cheese (1 tub)
1/3 cup soy sour cream
1/2 cup creamy salted peanut butter
12 ounces silken tofu, drained
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 – 3/4 cup cane sugar (use 1/2 cup for a more subtly sweet pie)
4 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer + 3 tbsp water to activate (optional*)
1 chocolate cookie crust (pre-made, or homemade with chocolate cookies)

* If not using this egg replacer you could use a flax egg, a mashed banana or 2 Tbsp added virgin coconut oil - or simply omit.

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the Ener-G Egg Replacer and set aside. This is an optional step, but helps the fluffiness of the cheesecake.
3. Combine all cheesecake ingredients in a blender (all except chocolate chips) – blend until smooth. Add in egg replacer if using.
4. Pour filling into crumb-lined pie pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over top.
5. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.
6. Chill in fridge to allow pie to set. You could also serve warm for a custard-style, melted chocolate taste.
Garnish: soy whip cream and vegan chocolate sprinkles.

A few more peanut butter dessert recipes..

* Easy Chocolate Chip Peanut Cookies
* Peanut Butter Banana Waffles
* Cherry Chocolate Peanut Butter Panini
* Choco Pudding with Peanut Caramel Sauce
* PETA butter Cookies (pb chocolate chip)
* A favorite!.. Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Pie Yum-my..






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Video Recipe: Kathy's Smoky Tempeh Cubes.


I'm so excited to be posting another video recipe! This time featuring one of my favorite go-to, stand-by, make-this-all-the-time recipes: Smoky Tempeh Cubes. Hope you love it. And be sure to play it through the end for some "oh, kathy" bloopers and a cameo from my kitty Nelly. Grab the vegan popcorn, it's video time!..

Video Recipes. I am obsessed with videos. For this video, I got out of the poorly lit kitchen and into my brand new video corner set-up. I am still learning about sound and lighting, and having fun doing it.

True it takes me an entire day to shoot, edit and process a video - but they are so much fun and I really feel like it helps in the teaching process. So I am trying to present you with my very own Vegan Food Network :)

And also be sure to check out my video recipe: Acai Smoothie. Yay videos!

Check out my video and share it with a friend. Action!..



Recipes featuring a few (similar to) tempeh croutons/cubes..
* Easy Potato Soup with Tempeh "bacon" Bits
* Tempeh Cube Tacos
* Napa Salad with croutons
* Cheddar Broc Soup with Tempeh Croutons
* Light n Sassy Slaw with Maple Sesame Tempeh Cubes
* Sunny Mushroom Morning Tempeh Bagel
* Tempeh Nutrition Facts!






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Vegan Cheesecake, Custard-Style


I've been craving a unique style of Vegan Cheesecake all weekend - one that is fluffier than your average slice - less dense - with a texture similar to a flan or custard. Something I could feel good about eating all summer long.

My recipe: Custard-Style Vegan Cheesecake - light and fluffy with a creamy-style bite perfect for summer. Serve warm or chilled for a more classic firm cheesecake texture. Recipe..

Served warm (custard-style)..


Served fully chilled..






Serving Style: You can serve this cheesecake cool or warm. I actually served it warm (as shown in a few photos) for a optimal custard-like texture. But if you allow it to fully set it will firm up even more to a more classic cheesecake style texture.

I had some leftover filling, so I made mini cheesecake bites - stacked with strawberry jam and soy whipped cream. This photo also shows you how the cheesecake will look fully chilled. Get this "Strawberries-and-Cream Stacked Cheesecakes Bites" recipe here.


Serving Suggestions: Top each slice with some fresh strawberry jam or cider caramel sauce for a lovely light dessert.

Recipe..

Custard-Style Vegan Cheesecake
vegan, makes about one cheesecake

8 ounces vegan cream cheese (one container)
12.3 ounces silken tofu (one box)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar*
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup*
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
2 Tbsp vegan sour cream
1 large lemon, juiced + a few pinches lemon zest
2 Tbsp corn starch or arrowroot powder
2 Tbsp soy creamer
For added richness: 1/2 cup soaked/drained cashews OR 2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread, softened
optional: 1 1/2 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 3 Tbsp water (stir to activate)

* you can modify sweetener amounts slightly - depending on how "sweet" you want it. I did 1/2 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp maple.

Crust: 1 cookie or graham crumble crust

dish: I used a 9" pie dish - so I had about 1 cup leftover filling which I used to bake mini cheesecakes in muffin cups. If you use a deep-dish pan you won't have any leftover filling.

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine the Ener-G Egg Replacer and set aside. This is an optional step, but helps the fluffiness of the cheesecake.

3. Combine all remaining cheesecake ingredients in a blender - blend until smooth. Add in egg replacer if using.

4. Pour filling into crumb-lined pie pan.

5. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Or until top begins to brown a bit. Note: I like that slight browning on top - if you do not, bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

6. chill in fridge to allow cheesecake to set. You can serve slightly warm if you'd like to savor the custard-style flavor.

Serve with strawberry sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, fresh berries or as is!

warm..


chilled..


Want a More Dense Cheese Texture? Easy modification: Sub the silken tofu with 8 ounces of vegan cream cheese.

Want More Pie/Cheesecake Recipes? For a dense vegan cheesecake, try my Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe. Or even my Chocolate Mousse Pie or Peanut Butter Pie (not cheesecakes, but still yummy rich slices).












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Mighty Leaf Iced Tea Giveaway for your Cool Summer!


Summer is here and so I'm happy to host a super cool Summer Tea Brewing Kit giveaway for you guys - from the fabulous tea makers at Mighty Leaf.

In addition to the giveaway, Healthy Happy Life readers will get 15% off any purchase at MightyLeaf.com - via a coupon code. Keep reading for the code, to enter and a super cool Iced Tea Frosty recipe!!..

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED - Congrats to Bobbie, @thevegancrew she is the winner of my Summer Brewing Kit Giveaway!





Iced Tea Lover. Yesterday I tried out the new Mighty Leaf Iced Tea bags. Loved them! I was given four flavors to try - Ginger peach, Calypso Mango, Organic Black and Sunburst Green. I used my new Bodum Iced Tea Pitcher (featured in this giveaway) to brew some tasty tea in minutes. I added some fresh peach and lemon slices to infuse the already flavorful tea with even more flavors of summer. I enjoyed a nice tall glass and was pleased to see how much tea I'll have to drink through the weekend. This pitcher holds a lot of tea!

Iced Tea Frosty. Then today I decided to experiment with an Iced Tea Frosty. I loved the end result. Super frosty and frothy with a bright spiced flavor of tea and fruit. This sip was very frothy and almost creamy - yet totally dairy and soy free! The bananas gave it a subtle sweet creaminess.

Iced Tea - frosted!..


Get my Spiced Peach Lemon Iced Tea Frosty Recipe!

To Enter the Giveaway:

* Leave a comment with your favorite "iced tea" flavor - or way to drink it.
* Tweet this post - you will gain an *extra* entry when you tweet the link. Please note in your comment that you have tweeted as well. Be sure to do the tweet though because I will double check the winner!
* Share on Facebook - same rules apply - let me know in your comment if you have shared on Facebook.

PRIZE: You will receive a Summer Brewing Kit from Mighty Leaf Tea. Includes:
* 4 full sized Iced Tea boxes - flavor as listed above. SPR: $6.25 for a 4-pouch box
* Bodum Iced Tea Pitcher

Summer Brewing Kit:


deadline - I will choose a winner next Friday July 1st 2011 - noon EST!

Coupon Code: Use code summertea15 to receive 15% off your order - sitewide - over at MightyLeaf.com






Good luck and happy iced tea drinking!!..

Spiced Peach Lemon Iced Tea Frosty Recipe!

*

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Lemon Lime Tennis Ball Vegan Cupcake Recipe


These lively Lemon Lime Vegan Cupcakes are totally Wimbledon inspired. As a long time tennis lover (watching and playing) I always get excited when prime tennis season rolls around. So tennis ball cupcakes it was!..

Tennis Ball Cupcakes. Zesty lemon cupcakes, moist from vanilla soy yogurt as the egg-replacer - a hint of olive oil. The lemon cakes are topped with a creamy vanilla butter cream frosting that's accented with fresh citrus flavors - the tennis ball colored "food coloring" is all natural.

The review from my taste-tester: "Mmm! So good. I need another one! Best cupcakes ever. So GOOD!" - followed by grabbing a second cupcake without pause. And contemplating a third. But deciding to wait until after dinner for another.

My review: Refreshing! Summery, light citrus flavors remind me of fluffy lemon pound cake dolloped with zing-ful butter cream frosting. Dive into one of these fuzzy green tennis balls and enjoy some tennis watching with me! The recipe..

This lil guy was my mini 'taster cupcake' - and he tasted oh-so-good!..


lemon cupcakes..


lemon lime frosting..





This is a fun recipe because of all the fun yellow-green colors. For the white tennis ball "stripes" you can either use candy dots like I did - or you can just use a white frosting - via a skinny frosting tube. It was quite a painstaking job to dot on these white decorating dots - but I liked the elegant end result.

Yay Tennis! Like I said, I've been playing tennis all my life. I have a funny video of me at age 4 whacking a tennis ball right into the video camera filming us - I then shyly walked off the court as my sister laughed and laughed - she can be heard in the background sound dying of laughter. Despite that memory of humiliation - I adore tennis. I played all through high school as well. Any fellow tennis fans out there?

So I hope you toast to tennis season with one of these tasty lil cupcakes!..



Lemon Lime Tennis Ball Vegan Cupcakes
vegan, makes 12 cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes
4-5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp soy milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
yellow vegan food coloring (I used India Tree brand)

Lemon Lime Frosting
1 cup vegan butter, softened (2 sticks)
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2-3 tsp lemon and/or lime zest
1-3 tsp soy milk (as needed - to loosen frosting)
color: a few drops yellow food coloring (India Tree for me) 2 Tbsp green spinach juice (or vegan green food coloring)
note: you can also use lemon extract in place of lemon/lime juice if you'd like

white lines: decorating balls or white frosting in a thin line pastry tube

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine the dry cupcake ingredients. Fold in the wet ingredients and stir until well blended and smooth.

3. Pour cupcakes and bake for 18 minutes - or until baked through. Cool.

4. For your frosting, blend together ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth. Blend in the food coloring until your desired color is reached.

5. Chill frosting in fridge until cupcakes have cooled.

6. Frost cupcakes. Add white tennis ball lines. Serve! Or chill in the fridge until ready to eat.

Happy tennis watching (and playing!) :)


















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Pink Berry Bagel.


Good morning all! I was quite zonked today from an incredibly busy Father's Day weekend. So all I could focus on this morning was a healthy, hearty, vegan, wake-me-up breakfast!

Get my Pink Berry Bagel recipe using homemade berry jam..

Double Berry Jam. One of my favorite things to do with fresh ripe berries is to make jam. It always breaks my heart to take perfectly ripe fresh fruit and boil it – but at the first bite of jam I never have any regrets. So there are two parts to the recipe. The jam and then the very simple cream cheese blend.

The flavor in this spread is bright and tart with a sweet cream accent. I guess you could call it a berries and Cream kind of bagel.

Cream Cheese. I used a vegan tofu based cream cheese – but you could sub with whatever cream cheese you keep in your fridge.

Sweet Pink Berry Bagels
makes 2 bagels – with plenty of leftover jam/spread

Double berry Jam
3 cups ripe raspberries
1 cup ripe strawberries – destemmed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp corn starch
To Do: Boil on low for at least 45 minutes. Chill in fridge.

Also needed:
3 Tbsp tofu cream cheese
2 Tbsp Double Berry Jam, from above (chilled)
2 multigrain bagels, toasted

Directions:

1. Make the jam the night before. Store in fridge to chill.
2. In the morning, simply whip together the cream cheese and jam. Toast your bagels. Spread on bagels. Serve!

Easy. Yummy. Fun. Pink! Pairs well with this frosty coffee beverage!

My Weekend was nutso. Good and bad. Saturday consisted of tennis. Well, walking twenty minutes in ninety degree heat hoping to snag a tennis court at the local public courts - this activity was followed by failing miserably - several times. So walking home in ninety degree heat was how we ended our morning. There's nothing sadder than two tennis-dressed, racket bag toting pedestrians stumbling home from the local courts - without having played a game. However, the heated walk, I will say was a work-out in itself. So a Soy Frapp bevie stop along the way was a necessity. And pretty refreshing. We sat by a fountain and watched the little neighborhood birds picks at bagel crumbs - and little toddlers giggling from the drifting, misty fountain spray. Sunshine.

Next, we decided to forget tennis and go to a bakery! Yup. A bakery. Sticky, sweet delights. But this was not just any bakery. Cupcakes, cookies, little devils.. This was Sticky Fingers Bakery in Wash DC. My husband was dying to try it out for the first time - and I was anxious to see the bakery since it won an episode of Cupcake Wars on Food Network. Hooray and bravo.

After a long metro ride through the dark, sticky, musty, underground maze that is the DC Metro system - we finally made it. It was AWESOME. Review post coming up this week. Don't miss it.

Then on Father's Day Sunday my parents came over for a nice brunch. Or what we thought would be a nice relaxing brunch. Not so much. I have never seen such lines-out-the-door at every restaurant in town for Dad's Day. I guess that's good news for the dads though.

We decided to go to a DC area Le Pain Quotodien. I usually rave about Le Pains. The NYC Le Pains I frequented several times a week were always (or almost always) spot-on - amazing service was expected and received. But lately the DC Le pains have been quite disappointing to me - it pains me to say that. But I actually walk away feeling more stressed out that when I walked in. Not good. I like to chill when I go out to weekend brunch - not worry about getting my order served to me correctly or having to wait painfully long before my first sip of soy latte.

..I will say that there are a small handful of DC Le Pain employees who rock my world. I just wish the service was much more consistent.

And my Sunday isn't over .. there's more..

Luckily my dad seemed to like his Amazon Kindle Dad's Day gift. (yay)

But the day got even "better" when I decided to leave the lights on in my mom's car - so when we returned (lotsa fridge-needed groceries in hand) the car battery was dead. Thank goodness for a speedy AAA service guy - and my wonderful husband who saved the day (so I didn't have to).

..so alas, busy weekend under my vegan belt, today I was craving a nice energizing breakfast. Oatmeal and a lime papaya bowl for me? Or maybe a chocolate shake smoothie. Or maybe some banana bread waffles? Hmm.. What would you have as your perfect Monday morning breakfast after a crazy weekend??

Peruse my options in my Vegan Breakfast Recipe Index or my BREAKFAST tag.


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Aloha Dad's Day Pizza!


Happy Dad's Day to all the daddy's out there!

Aloha Pizza. This vegan Aloha Pizza is perfect for dad's day. It was actually a very quickie recipe I did that turned out deliciously! Zesty sweet barbecue sauce, grilled pineapple, tender vegan citrus "chickn" and lots of melty Daiya cheese on top of a fluffy/crisp classic pizza crust. Aloha Pizza was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers (and my fabulous dad of course!)..

Father's Day Recipes. Oh yes, "man food" is fun. But really, dad can only eat so many greasy, triple-stacked cheeseburgers and pulled pork sandwiches without feeling, well, crappy. So I'd rather make dad feel good on Dad's Day.

So I rebelled against the traditional greasy, cheesy, meaty Dad's Day articles - check out my jam-packed post: 30 Veganized "Man Food" Recipes for Dad's Day! Lotsa yummy foods for dad - pizza, spicy chili, chili cheese dogs and more.

Lessons From Dad. I loved this moving Babble.com slide show of "Lessons From My Dad" - I am featured on page #2 of the slide show! Here's my quote from it..

Lesson: Get Out of The Car - "My family went on all sorts of outdoor trips when I was a kid in California — Yosemite, Big Sur, Yellowstone, Lake Tahoe and more. Sometimes, after those long car rides, all I’d want to do was stay in the car once we’d arrived at our destination. Another hike? More wildflower fields? But my dad always inspired me to "get out of the car" to discover where the path would take me. This lesson has stuck with me — even when you are tired, just go."

..you can see a nice photo of me and my dad in the Babble feature - and here's my dad (way back when) in Yosemite, doing what he does best "getting out of the car"..



Aloha Pizza! I've often said I am not a huge fan of fake meat products - but I fell in love with VegeUSA's products. I hate the names of the products "steak" "sparerib cutlets" "drumsticks" etc - but the flavor is awesome. High protein. Soy and wheat based.

For my Aloha Pizza I used the Citrus Sparerib Cutlets. I know, I know, don't you just hate the name? Ah, well. Get more info at Vegetarian Plus. You can also use Gardein products (I like the in-freezer products) - or your own Aloha-infused seitan or tempeh toppings.

Cheeky Inspiration. Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen inspired this Hawaiian Pizza. I've attended several food events with Brooke (Thermador. Dole 1. Dole 2) - she is truly one of the sweetest people - I could rave about her for pages, but I'll let her blog speak for itself. It's not vegan, but Brooke's stories, photos and genius ideas still make is one of my faves for inspiration and comfort. See Brooke's Ultimate Hawaiian Pizza here. Then click back here veg folks for my veganized recipe below!..

Dad's Aloha Pizza - vegan

1 ball of pizza dough - or a pre-made crust
1 cup vegan barbecue sauce - homemade recipe (or use fave store bought)
8 round slices pineapple
1 cup vegan citrus "chicken" - brand: Vegetarian Plus
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes - marinated in EVOO
1 cup Daiya cheese - Mozzarella & Cheddar blend (or one variety)
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onions

Directions:

1. First prepare your barbecue sauce - if making from scratch.

2. Roast your vegan chickn cutlets in the oven according to directions on box. Set aside when tender and roasted. DO NOT over cook -= since you will be placing the pieces back in the oven for a while.

3. Pineapple rounds - I grill them on my stove top over and open flame for about a minute - but you can certainly use an outdoor grill for more flavor. A real grill will also make your pineapple a tad more tender.

4. Now assemble your pizza. Roll out your pizza dough. Brush it with some EVOO. Then brush with your BBQ sauce. Layer with cheese, onions, tomatoes, pineapples and cooked chicken.

5. Place pizza on a pizza pan or stone - in 425 degree heated oven for at least 15 minutes - every oven is different. Make sure the crust is cooked through and edges are crisp on the outside, fluffy on inside. Practice makes perfect when making pizza at home - so don't get frustrated if this is your first pizza.

Serve hot! Aloha.

Drink Pairing - Watermelon Margarita..









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Health Food Today. A Reinvention. (and Zoo)


Quinoa at Costco, vegan hot dogs at the Zoo, vegan Soy Fraps at Starbucks,coconut water at 7-Eleven and vegan room service in Vegas (a la The Wynn). Today it hit me, "healthy eating" is not what it used to be. And a vegan lifestyle is easier and more delicious than ever!

Just a few years ago, cliché "health food" consisted of items like tofu, carob, wheat germ, bran, sprouts, a few interesting legumes like lentils, standard fruits and veggies and quirky snack items like rice cakes and trail mix. Later came fancy energy protein bars, exotic hummus varieties, high fiber breakfast cereal and a wide variety of bottled juice and smoothie concoctions.

Even some foods that I would consider far from healthy - like egg whites, cottage cheese (low fat dairy products) and even lean deli meats - seemed to be considered the healthy options for nutrition-conscious folks.

Cut to today when trendy healthy foods are everywhere and "health food" seems to have reinvented itself..

So yes, today I spent the morning at the National Zoo in Wash DC with my cutie pie niece and nephew...





This little macaque was quite enjoying his veggie feast!..






..I actually used to work at the Zoo back in college so I have much respect for the people and animals there. The conservation efforts of the Smithsonian's National Zoo are impressive - and although some animal lovers consider Zoos controversial - I am mostly a fan. I mean, where else can you expose children to beautiful animals from all over the world - elephants, lions, tigers, apes - and foster a love of animals at a young age. Anyways, so at the Zoo today I noticed that among the popcorn, soda and hot dogs there were now vegan options! A vegan hot dog. Loved it. So I began thinking about "healthy eating" and how the scene of food has changed..

Modern Health Foods. You don't have to tote around carrot sticks and ranch dressing to embrace your healthy side. Not only are there now many more healthy, vegan foods and new products available in supermarkets - but there are more and more ways to use these healthy foods - thanks to the thriving online recipe blogging community. Instead of having to read a book on the merits of tofu - you can simply google and have a wealth of knowledge, recipes and ideas at your fingertips.

I can't wait to see what new super foods and healthy delicious products come to market in the next few years. It only gets better and better - and easier to embrace a healthy delicious lifestyle.

We've also learned a lot. Like the fact that just because it is vegetarian, low fat or vegan doesn't mean it is necessarily healthy. I remember my mom feeding us "cheddar cheese sandwiches" for a healthy lunch because "milk contains calcium - and cheese is vegetarian" - we've come a long way.

Moving Forward. Here's a good example - I recently went to the mainstream warehouse store Costco for the first time in about five years. I was impressed to find quinoa, almond butter, soy milk, veggie burgers, falafels, coconut water and agave syrup for sale now.

So in honor of my love of the modern "health food" scene, please check out my list of Ten Trendy Healthy Foods to Try. If you already know and love all the foods featured - please forward the post to someone you know who is curious about healthy living, but doesn't know where to start when it comes to new foods.

what are your favorite "modern" health foods?

And what are you favorite "vegan goes mainstream" breakthroughs from over the past few years?



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