Last summer hurrah strawberry tart

September 13, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in recipe, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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IMAG0700Originally posted on No Sweat, York

As an indicator of the changing seasons, this past week has been crazy hot and humid, as if summer is saying, “Don’t let me go!” Because of this, I really don’t like to cook.

See, I moved into my latest apartment last year this time, and while the temperatures were still warm then, it was nothing like it is now. This kitchen is far from my air conditioner, doesn’t have vents over the stove, and the windows are old and without screens unless I put one in myself each time I open them. There also is no storm door at the back, would have been lovely when a cool breeze happens to blow.

My kitchen is not ideal for ho- weather cooking.

When strawberries were at their peak, I love to use them before the season ends. This week, strawberries were on sale, and though that was weird because they are out of season in the Northeast, I gobbled them up before the transition to fall happens. Earlier in the summer, I found this tart recipe. However, I am not the queen of raw baking (when the food is not cooked hotter than 115-118 degrees F. In this case, it is the same as a no-bake dessert.) I like my recipes to be quick and easy, so I substituted the raw crust for a store-bought, graham-cracker crust.

160x220_g3This meant I didn’t need as many strawberries in the bottom of the crust. I made up for this with some extra chocolate, which is a favorite addition for my fiance.

If you like to bake raw desserts, let me know how it turned out! Whether raw or not-so-raw, this tart will fill you with that summer feeling.

Not-so-raw strawberry tart
Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

  • Store-bought, graham-cracker crust
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 5 dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 1 cup whole strawberries, tops removed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chocolate chips (dairy-free if vegan)

Recipe:

  1.  Place pitted dates in a bowl; cover with warm water.
  2. While waiting for the dates, remove tops and slice two cups of strawberries.
  3. Place strawberries in a single layer on the bottom of the graham-cracker-crust pan.
  4. When 10 minutes are up, place drained dates, a cup of whole strawberries with tops removed and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  5. Pour the strawberry mixture on top of the strawberries and graham-cracker crust in a single layer.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top. You also can add more sliced strawberries in a design, if you desire.
  7. Let set in the fridge for one hour before serving.

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Texas vegan chile con queso

June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

The heat might have us feeling like we are really residents of Texas rather than Pennsylvania.

I know, Texas probably has a dry heat, unlike our latest humidity bubble, but Texas is where I drew inspiration from to make chile con queso.

I chose Texas for my next culinary experiment for 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes because I have spicy food on the brain. After Cinco de Mayo and the Mission burritos, I realized I have grown to love spicy, Mexican food. This is funny to me, as I never experimented with these flavors before I went vegan and my struggles with IBS prevented my culinary explorations.

But now, bring on the spice!

Chile con queso is popular at Tex-Mex restaurants as an appetizer or side dish, served with tortilla chips. It is usually just spicy, melted cheese, but you can add black beans to the cheese and serve a bowl of guacamole on the side.

I found this super simple recipe by The Food Network and substituted vegan ingredients. I also went with canned chilies and jalapenos because I figured that was the safest bet for me, though fresh can be subbed instead. I also took a tip from the comments and sauteed the veggies before creating the cheese masterpiece.

Wanting to take it to another level of spicy, I used Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti. This blows the dish away. And even though it seems like this dip would be bad for you, one serving is 80 calories.

Get ready for some fondue fun!

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Texas vegan chile con queso…

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