Cheese and Chocolate

No, not together. And not real cheese either. Obviously.

So the chocolate fest began on Monday night when my mom commissioned me to make dessert for an early birthday bash for my dad (his actual birthday’s tomorrow, but my sister Livie left for college on Tuesday, so we had to push it up a couple days…). I only recently acquired My Sweet Vegan, and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to take it for a spin. I wish I could say that I chose to make the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie because it’s my dad’s favorite, or something adorably sentimental like that, but really, it was the first decent recipe I found for which we had all the ingredients. :) It was dayummm good though! Here’s my pops blowing out his candles:

Okay, you got me. He’s not 23. Just like my recipe choice, the pie toppers were dictated by what was available.

Mmm. This is definitely a special occasion pie, as it’s LOADED with Earth Balance and sugar, but it was so delicious. I think next time I made it, I would just use the concept of this recipe, but use a super healthy cookie dough recipe like Dreena’s. But it was fun to make this once!

Something else I made recently – okay, so it’s not chocolate, but carob is close enough – Oatmeal Muffins from Eat’n Veg’n. Look at these cuties:

They’re super dense and healthy (mine were especially dense because I only made 10 muffins instead of 18), but in a good way! And they’re wheat/flour-free and sugar-free (besides the carob chips I added). They’re literally just bananas, peanut butter, oats, carob chips, cinnamon, raisins, and a little baking powder! And those, my friends, are a lot of my favorite things. :) They also make a fun template – you can switch up the nut butter, spices, and mix-ins easily.

Okay, another real chocolate recipe. Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Cookies from Simple Treats. This was my first time using this cookbook as well, though I can’t for the life of me imagine why! It’s right up my alley – delicious and healthy baked goods free of refined sugar and flour (they use barley flour instead of wheat flour in all the recipes).

I followed the recipe, but just swirled in a little peanut butter at the end to make them pretty. Did I do a good job? ;) That is not a rhetorical question.

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a cookie where I didn’t replace half the oil with applesauce or something, so this recipe was a welcome change because, with a cup of peanut butter and a bit of canola oil, these cookies achieved a “buttery,” flaky texture that my baking often lacks. I think I generally prefer “hippier,” chewier baked goods, but these were amazing and reminded me of these chocolate almond cookies my mom used to always make for me when I was pulling all-nighters writing papers in high school before I was vegan. :)

Enough chocolate! You want “cheese,” right? Thought so.

Macaroni and “Cheese” Casserole from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook. Look at that cute little curious noodle poking it’s noochy head up into the wide world from it’s cozy bed of bread crumbs:

I didn’t actually have any of this because I was helping my mom out by making it for one of her sick friends. Her friend loves Mac ‘n Cheese apparently, and my mom was going to make her some until I stepped in and set things right. :) It sure smelled good though. If I ever make this for myself however, I will probably quarter the fat or something. Lots and lots of Earth Balance and oil. I was too afraid to alter it for my mom’s omnivore friend because I didn’t want to lower the fat too much and give vegan food a bad rap since I have no experience with this recipe.

Naturally, I wanted something cheesy after making that dish for someone else, so I made the Zucchini Chedda Soup from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook with the optional brown rice added for extra comfort food power.

I’m not really sure I can accurately recall the taste of real cheese, but this tasted pretty freaking cheesy to me. Seriously, if someone else served this soup to me, I would’ve been like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you trying to pull?” The cheddar-cheese color comes from roasted red bell peppers blended up with a lot of nooch and other delicious things. I added a little turmeric and mustard for extra color, too. Look, it even stretches like cheese!

That’s it, except for some bonus smoothies! Here’s a blueberry-banana-cinnamon:

And here’s a yummy green monster, with mango, banana, kale, spinach, spirulina, hemp and flax.

Green smoothies really are the perfect breakfast. I need to have them more like every other day than once a week, which is what I do now. It’s insane how much nutrition you can pack into one Magic Bullet cup.

Did this post acquit me of my laziness in the past few days? I hope so! Oh, and Ruby Red Vegan, I sent your Weil bars out today!

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17 responses to “Cheese and Chocolate

  1. I love that noodle curiously poking up! Everything looks so yummy! Thanks for taking so many pics!

  2. Everything looks so good. The picture of your dad is so funny. I laughed at the candles.

  3. Everything looks delicious! I especially want some mac and cheese now, and a peanut butter chocolate fudge cookie. Yum!

  4. I've always wanted to make that pie for my little brothers but never got around to it! Now I just might have to go buy the ingredients for it!

  5. i have to say the pb fudge cookies look amazingly good

  6. The Voracious Vegan

    This post is so packed with deliciousness I don't know where to start. Your dad is so lucky, his birthday cake looked scrumptious!And those peanut butter fudge cookies??? YES PLEASE! What a great combination, you can never go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter.Mac and cheese is one of my favorite meals, the leftovers just keep getting better and better.And you are so right, having green smoothies or a green juice, is one of the best ways to start your day. Just knowing how many vitamins and nutrients I've already put into my body puts a spring in my step!

  7. Where to start? Everything looks delicious! Yay for purchasing My Sweet Vegan. I love the book and often use the cake recipes for birthday parties.

  8. I got My Sweet Vegan not too long ago but haven't made much yet. I'm going to bookmark that pie recipe though because yours looks so delicious!

  9. Holy coW! Those colors of the soup and smoothies are BRILLIANT! And natural, too, but SO so soooo cool!And haha! Your dad's expression is a perfect kodak moment! Glad you caught that, but my face would be like that too at the face of so many amazing GOODIES!

  10. Haha, that's a cute picture of your dad. He looks like he's having a good time. The pie looks amazing! What will your family do when you go back to school and you're not there to cook all this amazing food for them?

  11. Oh, what stunning photos! I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed the cookie dough pie… And yeah, it is rather rich, but I think that desserts should be- That's why they're treats, right? ;)

  12. Oh, what stunning photos! I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed the cookie dough pie… And yeah, it is rather rich, but I think that desserts should be- That's why they're treats, right? ;)

  13. It all looks gorgeous, i'm gonna have to dig out my uncheese book and make that soup, yum.and cookie dough pied sounds awesome too. and cookies!

  14. Epic post! I've been eying that zucchini soup in Uncheese; now I will definitely have to make it soon.

  15. ChocolateCoveredVegan

    I don't know what to comment on first! It ALL looks so amazing!!!!

  16. Thanks, girlie! I have Simple Treats too, but I still have never used it! I love barley flour cookies but never actually have made them myself…I will pick up the bag of barley flour at the grocery store and always put it back down. One of these days…And thanks for linking to the Oatmeal Muffin recipe! Those look delicious. Your food photos are quite stunning!!! And they are making me really really hungry – it is almost dinnertime!

  17. Everything looks so good! The oatmeal muffins are right up my alley, and the soup looks so cheesy.

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