Kim’s Vegan Sugar Cookies

My wonderful friend and reader, Kim, has shared some really great recipes with me in the past. I am super excited to have her Guest Post here 🙂 These cookies look absolutely amazing!!!! I think these would be great for any holiday or event as they are so versatile!! YUM!!!!

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So I always find family holidays a bit tough because they always revolve around candy and sweet baked goods.  So every year I usually try out a new recipe of some sort to see how it comes out and to test it on my family.  My goal is to find the perfect vegan holiday recipe that not only will I enjoy, but my family will as well (and they are picky eaters).  So I found this recipe in VegNews and decided to give it a go.  Not only did it come out fantastic but my family can’t get enough of them.  My Grandmother and myself were up to our elbows in cookies for Easter, with frosting everywhere.  We spent a good amount of time trying to design the perfect cookie to be photographed, but got so tired by the end of the night that we only shot a few cookies and decided that we would just slap some frosting on the rest for the family.  They are so delicious that we didn’t think the family would mind or notice.  Hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as me and my family does.

Vegan Sugar Cookies

For the cookies:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegan margarine, softened
3 teaspoons ener-g egg replacer, mixed with 1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup vegan sour cream
4 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:
1/4 cup vegan margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons soymilk (I use almond milk)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
(for the frosting I think they messed up the amount of milk. It  makes
a crumbly consistency so i usually follow it and once it’s mixed I
slowly pour in more milk until it becomes a nice smooth frosting)

  1. To prepare cookies, preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl cream margarine and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg replacer, vanilla, and sour cream and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry mixture to wet
  3. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes or until combined then roll dough into large ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  4. Remove dough from fridge and roll out 1/2 inch thick on floured board.  Cut using cookie cutters.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden.  Allow to cool before frosting.
  5. For frosting mix all ingredients with mixer on medium speed until creamy and soft (will need to add more milk I have yet to calculate how much I usually add so just eye it)
  6. This makes a lot of cookies and I usually put the dough in the freezer  while each batch is in the oven so that while your waiting the dough doesn’t get too soft ( just don’t leave it too long or else you will have iced cookie dough)

And be warned these are addicting, be prepared to eat at least 5 before you even offer them to anyone else because they are that good. My grandmother ate at least 2 handfuls by Easter and she doesn’t usually eat that much sweets.

Lisa Dawn’s Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese!!

I am super excited about having my amazing friend Lisa Dawn Guest Blog!! She has just started her own fabulous blog, Lisa’s Project:Vegan with deelish vegan recipes which almost all take less than a half hour to make! She was the inspiration behind the Coconut Lentil Soup, which if you tried I know you loved! The Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese below looks out of this world. I know I will be making this soon myself!! Thanks Lisa!

About Lisa Dawn: I am a vegan mom and wife and I love to cook. I became vegan over four years ago for several reasons – the health and welfare of the animals, myself, and that of the world. My husband has been vegan since he was a teenager and together we are raising our son vegan. It is a challenge to do so in this world but it makes it that much more fun to be creative and to cook delicious meals that people really enjoy. Everyone who joins us for a meal leaves fully satisfied and with a handful of recipes!

My cashew ricotta cheese is outstanding and I use it in a lot of dishes. But nothing beats stuffed shells! You can vary the filling (e.g., you can use butternut squash or just plain cashew ricotta). My family loves it! It is not as hard as you think to make this and it is very satisfying!

Stuffed Shells

Cashew Ricotta
1 lb cashews (soaked overnight)
water
salt
nutmeg
fresh lemon juice
Stuffed Shells
1 box shells (to make it gluten free, use rice pasta shells)
1 small bag frozen spinach
garlic powder
1 jar of tomato sauce (or make your own)
Cashew Ricotta
Soak cashews overnight.  In the morning, drain them and then place 1 cup at a time into the in the food processor.  Process the nuts until fine and then add 3/4 cup of water, a pinch of salt, a pinch of nutmeg, and a dash of lemon juice.  Process and then place in strainer (with very small mesh) over a bowl to drain excess water.   Repeat until you finish all of the cashews.  Let this strain for a few hours.  The top might get slightly hard but don’t worry, just mix it back in.  When it seems like all the excess water has drained out, place in a container and use it when ready.
Stuffed Shells
Preheat oven to 350.  Boil up shells according to package directions.  Use lots of salt in the water to season the pasta.   While they are boiling, place frozen spinach in small pot with a little water and set on a high flame to defrost quickly or do this ahead of time.  Either way, make sure you drain all of the water out.  Mix the spinach with the cashew ricotta.  Add some garlic powder and mix.  Taste it and decide if you want any more seasoning, e.g., salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with tomato sauce.  When the shells are done, carefully strain them.  Assemble your shells by stuffing them with the mixture and placing them into the baking dish.  Pour tomato sauce in between and around the shells.  Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes so they are thoroughly heated through.

Enjoy!

1 great reason to become vegetarian – Guest Post!

I am super excited to welcome Louise from vegetarianmenu.net to write a guest post today! See below 🙂

Give me five minutes and I’ll provide you 1 great reason to become vegetarian.

While fish may serve as the most important dietary supply of the long-chain omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which were shown to be important in supporting brain health, low intake of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in vegetarians will not adversely affect mood, according to a new research (Nutr J. 2010;9:26. DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-9-26).

A study team from Arizona State University conducted a cross-sectional study to check the mood of vegetarians who never eat fish with the mood of healthy omnivorous adults.

A total of 138 healthy Seventh Day Adventist adults residing in Arizona and California (64 vegetarians and 79 non-vegetarians) were enrolled in the study and completed a health history questionnaire, food frequency questionnaire and two psychometric tests, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and the Profile of Mood States..

Vegetarians had significantly lower mean intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and the omega-6 arachidonic acid; they had higher intakes of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and the omega-6 linoleic acid.

“Seed oils are the richest sources of α-linolenic acid, notably those of rapeseed (canola), soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed (Linseed oil), clary sage seeds, perilla, chia, and hemp.”

However, the vegetarians also reported considerably less negative emotion than omnivores in both psychometric tests. Mean total psychometric scores were positively linked to the mean intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid , and inversely associated with alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic acid intake.

The research team noted there is also the chance that vegetarians may make smarter dietary choices and could generally be healthier and happier.

If you would like to try it out, here is a good example of vegetarian recipe based on Italian cuisine.

Italian Spaghetti with Zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 17 oz. Spaghetti
  • 24 oz. Of thin sliced zucchini
  • A half cup of walnuts oil
  • Some basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of yeast flakes
  • Salt and pepper

In a skillet or frying pan heat the oil and when hot, add garlic and zucchini. Raise the heat and stir often to finish their cooking. They need to be golden and crispy outside and tender inside. Cook the pasta, drain and sauté in pan with zucchini, basil and yeast. Serve immediately.

***Zucchini contain fewer calories and have no fat. However they are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin e, vitamin c, folate, lutein and zeaxanthin. These types of nutrients are very sensitive to heat and to enjoy their full benefits you need to find a quick method to cook or even eat raw in salads. From the therapeutic viewpoint, zucchini have laxative, refreshing, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and detoxifying action.

About the Author – Louise Infante writes for the www.vegetarianmenu.net. Her personal hobby blog focused entirely on vegetarian cooking tips to help people live better.

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