Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Our local grocery store had 10lb bags of carrots for $1.99.  When I happened upon them, I had no idea what I would do with 10lbs of carrots before they went bad but I knew I had to buy a bag because it was such an amazing deal.  I have a juicer, so juicing carrots was definitely on the agenda, and with the pulp from the juiced carrots I made a batch of veggie lox and these carrot cake cupcakes.  They were good!  They don’t replace a regular cupcake, but they are a nice, healthy treat.  I really liked the cream cheeze frosting.

Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheeze Frosting

1 cup walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
2 cups carrot pulp
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1/8 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup raisins

1 cup cashews, soaked at least 1 hour
5 pitted Medjool dates, soaked at least 1 hour, water reserved (or to taste)
Pinch sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice

1. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts and dates until the form a uniform paste.
2. Add in the carrots and spices and process until it becomes a smooth dough.
3. Add raisins and pulse to combine, but do not overmix because you want chunky raisins in the dough.
4. Push the batter into muffin tins. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
5. Create your frosting: Wipe your food processor clean and then add your soaked and rinsed cashews. Pulse until completely smooth and creamy. Add the lemon juice and slowly add the reserved date soaking liquid until you achieve the consistency you desire.
6. Frost your cupcakes prior to serving.

Creamy Onion-Walnut-Chive Stuffed Crêpes

In preparation for Vegan Mofo, we bought a crêpe pan!  To christen it, we decided on making a wonderful savoury crêpes stuffed with this amazing filling from the cookbook A Vegan Taste of Eastern Europe.  These turned out surprisingly amazing!  Caramelized onions, chopped walnuts and chives, smothered in a cheesy sauce.  Yes, please!  Served with a simple side of steamed broccoli to balance the richness a bit.

There will be more crêpes comin’ your way on NVL!  Vegan Mofo is on for the month of October.  It’s really amazing!  Hundreds of vegan bloggers from around the globe vow to blog each day for the entire month of October.  It’s an immensely inspiring, challenging and fun time just as a reader – there are literally hundreds of new entries to read each day.  This will be our first year participating as bloggers, and we are really excited just looking at all the things we have planned for the month.  I highly recommend you set yourself up with the RSS feed which will keep all the MoFo-participating blogs neatly in one place for you to read.  I think that should be coming from MoFo headquarters in the next few days.  Stay tuned, it’s going to get busy up in here.
– Crystal

Hot Weather Cookin’

In case you haven’t heard, it’s been unseasonably warm in our part of the world.  Yesterday was a record-breaking 37C (99F) – and that’s not including the humidex.  Our little window air conditioner isn’t really cutting it these days.  Needless to say, the idea of spending as little time as possible in front of a hot stove is pretty appealing.

Mmm, big salads.  This one was on a bed of mesclun mix that I grew on the balcony, with candied walnuts, pumpkin seeds, strawberries, cucumber, dried cranberries and a simple balsamic dressing (probably something along the lines of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, agave syrup for a bit of sweetness, and a touch of dijon mustard).
Tonight’s was a big plate of fresh Vietnamese salad rolls.  Thin rice noodles, fried tofu, mango, mint, lettuce.  With a simple peanut sauce for dipping – I’m sure you can find a million recipes online, my basic non-recipe is natural peanut butter, water, hot sauce, soy sauce, agave, rice vinegar – to taste.  Throw in some crushed peanuts and you’ve got yourself a really good sauce.

Oh, and some miso soup with chives from the balcony, just because.  

Stay hydrated, folks!  Drink lots of water and eat tons of fruit, it’s full of water and vitamins to rehydrate.  Frozen grapes are a godsend.
– Crystal

Walnut-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I made this a couple days ago when I realized I had a couple bananas that were about to go bad.  It’s the Lower Fat Banana Bread recipe from Veganomicon – so good!  I added walnuts and chocolate chips for a little extra somethin’-somethin’.

– Crystal