Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

OH my word, friends. This Healthy Vegan Carrot Carrot Cake Loaf is one to remember! This might just be my new favorite quick bread. Moist, soft and flavorful vegan carrot cake topped off with a thick layer of Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Let’s just say this Vegan Carrot Cake did not stand a chance around here… it was gone in under 2 days. Yum!

It’s funny how food is SO cultural. There’s a going joke in Belgium about a person walking into a bakery asking for carrot cake and the baker walking out with some carrot sticks and a cake. The people who I’ve mentioned carrot cake to here (and don’t get me started on Zucchini Bread LOL) look at me like I might have a third eye. 😉

And I have to admit, the idea of putting vegetables into a cake does seem kinda strange if you haven’t grown up on eating veggie breads like chocolate zucchini bread, pumpkin bread and carrot cake. Did you grow up on carrot cake or does the whole idea of carrots in a cake seem kinda odd to you!?

Why would you grate carrots into a cake?! And then stick a thick layer of cream cheese icing on top?!

Because the results are oh soooo amazing! 😀 I mean, look at that Soft Vegan Carrot Cake and thick layer of Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing. Nom nom nom.

Carrots do something magical to cakes. They are super saweeeeeet and add in a lot of moisture to quick breads. Which is why it’s easy to make an Oil-Free Vegan Carrot Cake like this one that tastes totally moist, soft and delicious.

Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

INGREDIENTS
Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups spelt flour*
  • ½ tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Wet ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seed + 6 tbsp water)
  • 6 tbsp orange juice*
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup applesauce*
  • ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup dark brown cane sugar (or dark brown sugar)*
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1½ cups finely grated carrots

Vegan Cream Cheese Icing

  • ½ cup raw cashews soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes or overnight
  • 1½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1½ – 2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch sea salt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F/180. Prepare a loaf pan with coconut oil or non-stick cooking spray. If making the icing, boil water and soak cashews while preparing the cake.
  2. In a large size bowl, add flax seed and water and leave to thicken up while preparing the dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, add and mix dry ingredients together until evenly dispersed.
  4. When the flax has reached an egg-like consistency add the rest of the Wet Ingredients (Orange Juice through to Finely Grated Carrots). Whisk together until well combined. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined making sure not to over-mix the batter.

You can find complete recipes of this Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing in cearaskitchen.com

VEGAN CHILI PINEAPPLE SWEET POTATO BURGERS

VEGAN CHILI PINEAPPLE SWEET POTATO BURGERS

These Vegan Chili Pineapple Sweet Potato Burgers are FULL of flavor! sweet pineapple and spicy chili make an amazing combo.  A chili flavored spread pairs perfectly with these burgers! Vegan and Gluten Free Option.

I love sweet potatoes rice burgers! Don’t you?!

This. Is. My. Favorite. Burger. Yet. 😉

You may have already seen my Healthy Black Bean Sweet Potato Burger and my Vegan Curry Burger and those are both out of this world flavorful and delicious but it’s getting warm out and pineapple in my burger is TOTALLY necessary!

obviously I have been on a pineapple kick lately! I mean… Chili Pineapple Mango Salsa and Vegan Caribbean Quinoa Taco’s over the last couple weeks! 😉 I might have most of my pineapple obsession out of me now… maybeee HA!

Anyways, I really think you are going to love it because the sweet pineapple goes perfect with a dash of chili and sweet potatoes and rice in this Vegan Chili Pineapple Sweet Potato Burger!

VEGAN CHILI PINEAPPLE SWEET POTATO BURGERS
VEGAN CHILI PINEAPPLE SWEET POTATO BURGERS

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 oz. bag of frozen cubed sweet potatoes (about 1⅓ cups mashed) * see notes
  • ¾ cups dry rice cooked (about 2 cups after cooked, I used basmati rice)
  • ⅔ cup chopped and squeezed pineapple* (see notes*)
  • ¼ of a small purple onion chopped tiny
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • ½ TBSP olive oil (optional see notes)
  • FLAX egg optional see notes! (1 tbsp flax seeds ground up which will make 1½ tbsp plus 3 TBSP water)

SPREAD:

  • 1 ½ TBSP vegan mayo
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • ¼ of a small lemon squeezed (make sure no seeds fall in)
  • (double this recipe if you like a lot of dressing on your burger)

EXTRAS optional:

  • burger buns (I used sprouted grain ones from Food For Life brand)
  • sliced thick tomato
  • shredded lettuce
  • onion

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by cooking the rice and steaming the sweet potatoes. Cook rice according to directions on your package.
  2. For the sweet potatoes place them in a pot with about 2 oz. of water and a lid, let steam on low-medium heat for about 15-30 minutes depending on heat level and if you use fresh or frozen, once they are mash able with a spoon they are done!
  3. Next while those are cooking, chop the onion and pineapple and place in a large mixing bowl so it is ready!
  4. Once rice and potatoes are done, add the rice to the big bowl with the pineapple and onion and let the rice cool until you are able to touch it without getting burned (about 10 minutes) , then mash the sweet potatoes in the pot before adding to the rice mixture, then add the sweet potatoes and mix everything really well!

You can find complete recipes of this VEGAN CHILI PINEAPPLE SWEET POTATO BURGERS in tworaspberries.com

Vegan Pad Thai

Vegan Pad Thai

I’m so happy because I love this recipe so much and I wanted to share with you since I made it for the first time. This vegan Pad Thai is to die for, actually it’s one of my favorite recipes at the moment and is super healthy.

Pad Thai is a typical Thai recipe, which is a stir-fry rice noodle dish. As I’m trying to eat clean and avoid refined grains and flours, I used buckwheat noodles instead (they’re also gluten-free, yay!) and zoodles (zucchini noodles). I couldn’t live without my Spiralizer, I use it a lot! Healthy gluten-free pastas are usually expensive, so I combine them with spiralized veggies to save money and enjoy healthier pasta dishes.

I also made other changes: I used raw cashews instead of peanuts, red cabbage sprouts instead of soy sprouts, the sauce is different, but it’s still spicy and bittersweet and is also a cruelty-free recipe. You should make this vegan Pad Thai, it’s absolutely delicious!

Vegan Pad Thai
Vegan Pad Thai

INGREDIENTS

  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • 5 oz firm tofu, thinly sliced and patted dry (140 g)
  • 2.6 oz buckwheat noodles (75 g)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ onion, julienned
  • ¼ red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 zucchini, spiralized

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp water or vegetable broth
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne powder
  • For garnish: red cabbage sprouts, raw cashews (chopped), fresh cilantro and lime

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and cook the tofu until golden brown on both sides, about 2 or 3 minutes each side.
  2. Cook the noodles according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a wok and when it’s hot, add the veggies and stir fry for 2 or 3 minutes until tender-crisp. Stir occasionally.

You can find complete recipes of this VEGAN PAD THAI in simpleveganblog.com

BAKED ASPARAGUS FRIES

BAKED ASPARAGUS FRIES

A healthy alternative to french fries baked to crisp perfection right in the oven!

I was lying in bed one night, tossing and turning, when I had this sudden craving for french fries. It didn’t matter where it was from – McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Carl’s Jr – you name it. All I could think about was shoving those crisp fries right into my face. But since our Cabo trip is 2 1/2 weeks away, I opted out for something a little lighter and healthier with these asparagus fries.

Now I’ve quickly learned that these really are the best kind of “fries” ever. They’re so nutritious and healthy, and they won’t add on those extra carb weights. Plus, I skipped the deep fry and threw these bad boys right into the oven, keeping them nice and light, and baked them to absolute crisp perfection.

So the next time you have that sudden urge for those greasy fast food french fries, these asparagus fries are sure to fulfill those cravings. But be sure to have some self control when you make this because you’ll definitely want seconds and thirds!

BAKED ASPARAGUS FRIES
BAKED ASPARAGUS FRIES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Panko*
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Panko and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  3. Working in batches, dredge asparagus in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in Panko mixture, pressing to coat.

You can find complete recipes of this BAKED ASPARAGUS FRIES in damndelicious.net

 

Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes Brussels Sprouts and Sautéed Apples

Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes Brussels Sprouts and Sautéed Apples

I owe this Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Sautéed Apples—one of the top five most popular recipes on my site— to a chance encounter at Trader Joe’s. Had it not been for a fortuitous introduction in the wine aisle, this gem of a recipe might have been lost forever. Watch the short video above to see the recipe being made, then read on below for the tale of how this wonderful chicken skillet came back into my life and into many of your lives as well!

The original version of Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Sautéed Apples first appeared in my recipe archives four years ago, when I was still snapping haphazard recipe photos with my non-smart phone. I took these photos under our hazy orange kitchen light 30 seconds before dinner. I then casually uploaded the recipe to the interwebs and happily went along my food blogger path. The photos were far from enticing (see for yourself—I included the original at the bottom of this post for posterity), and I assumed no one ever really got around to cooking it.

Fast forward a few years and a few hundred recipes later, and I had all but forgotten this Harvest Chicken Skillet existed.

Then, I went to Trader Joe’s.

Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes Brussels Sprouts and Sautéed Apples
Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes Brussels Sprouts and Sautéed Apples

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high, until hot and shimmering. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels.
  2. Reduce skillet heat to medium low. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp and brown and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate (I simply laid another paper towel on top of the plate with the chicken, then stacked the bacon on that). Discard all but 1 1/2 tablespoons bacon fat from the pan.

You can find complete recipes of this Chicken, Apple, Sweet Potato, and Brussels Sprouts Skillet in wellplated.com

ROASTED GARLIC PASTA SALAD

ROASTED GARLIC PASTA SALAD

This pasta salad is super easy to throw together and is surprisingly filling! I was also really happy with how creamy and delicious it was, despite the fact that I used part-skim ricotta. It looks and tastes like a really creamy, guilt-inducing pasta salad, when really it’s quite innocent!

Half of the reason that I wanted to make this pasta salad is that I wanted to try out a technique that I’ve been seeing around the internet: roasting garlic in the microwave. I ruined one head of garlic in the process, but I think I got it right after that. The end result isn’t as caramelized as real, oven roasted garlic, but the flavor is definitely good enough to make this technique worth it when you’re in a hurry. Roasting garlic in an oven can take almost an hour and this only takes 2 minutes – literally!

There are a few different techniques that I’ve seen, some microwaving for a minute or so, and some for up to 8 minutes (with water added), but I found 2 minutes with no water to be just right for me. I’m sure every microwave is different and each head of garlic will require a slightly different amount of time to cook, so I suggest microwaving in small, one minute increments until you get the technique just right. You want the garlic to be soft, and very fragrant, not brown and hard. Microwaving past the point of softness will only lead you down the road to burnville, and believe me, it doesn’t taste or smell pretty!

Oh, one more thing. If you have access to inexpensive fresh basil, it would be to-die-for in this recipe. Just add it on in with the spinach or even in place of the spinach!

ROASTED GARLIC PASTA SALAD
ROASTED GARLIC PASTA SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head garlic $0.59
  • ½ Tbsp olive oil $0.09
  • 1 lb. pasta shells $1.29
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese $2.45
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan $0.23
  • to taste salt & pepper $0.05
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes $2.50
  • 3 cups baby spinach $1.33

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut approximately ½ inch off the top of the head of garlic. Place the garlic bulb in a small bowl or dish and drizzle ½ tablespoon of olive oil over the exposed cloves. Cover the bowl with an inverted plate. Microwave on high, in one minute increments, until the garlic is soft and fragrant (about 2 minutes). Use caution when touching the dishes, they will be very hot. Allow the garlic to cool.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add the pasta, and cook for 7-10 minutes or until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta cooking water.

You can find complete recipes of this ROASTED GARLIC PASTA SALAD in budgetbytes.com