Lime Quinoa Salad

Lime Quinoa SaladI never knew the joys of lime on, well, anything until I lived in Thailand after college. It had always been lemon. Traveling in Thailand I would see "lemonade" on a menu and would end up with limeade. Most noodle dishes came with slices of lime. Hostels would have crepes with "lemon" and sugar on a menu but again lime would show up on the table. It ends up lemons are not so easy to get in Thailand, but I'm not so sure why lime in Thai did not ever get translated into lime in English. Regardless, I fell in love with lime. I get excited when I go out to eat here in the states and a slice of lime shows up. So in my first quest to make quinoa I decided to use lime. And you know what? I love quinoa and lime. Who would have guessed.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups stock 
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt

3 scallions chopped
1/2 cup red pepper
1/2 cup green pepper
3/4 cup sweet corn
1/4 baby lima beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
pepper to taste

Add quinoa, stock, lime zest, garlic, and salt to a pot and bring to a boil. One you hit a boil bring the heat down and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 min, or until all of the stock is absorbed.  While the quinoa is cooking chop up the scallions, red pepper, and green pepper into small pieces. I used frozen corn and lima beans so at this point I microwaved them to defrost them. 
Once the quinoa is finished cooking remove from heat and mix in olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, and pepper until the quinoa is well coated. Finally, toss in the scallions, peppers, corn, and lima beans. Enjoy immediately, at room temperature, or chilled! 
Lime Quinoa Salad


Vegan Peanut Butter Truffles

Vegan Peanut Butter TrufflesIn addition to the previous Chocolate Cashew Cream Truffles I also made my husband peanut butter truffles for Valentine's Day. Boy did he get a lot of truffles, which I will gladly help him finish of course. These are just as simple to make as the cashew cream truffles and I can't decide which ones I like better. They are both so good!

1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whatever toppings you so desire: Cocoa powder, crushed nuts, sprinkles, melted chocolate, etc.

Heat the soy milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once at a boil mix in the peanut butter and then remove from the heat. Immediately stir in the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well blended stir in the maple syrup and vanilla. Pour the mixture into a flat pan and place in the fridge for 1.5 to 3 hours. The mixture should be firm like fudge. Before you start forming truffles make sure your toppings are ready to be rolled in. I used cocoa powder and placed it in a bowl.  Now it's time to get messy! Use a teaspoon or melon baller to scoop a small amount of the mixture out. Roll between your hands to form a ball and roll in whatever topping(s) you want. Place in a small muffin liner or whatever else you may have. Enjoy! Be sure to store in the fridge.


Vegan Chocolate Cashew Cream Truffles

Vegan Chocolate Cashew Cream TrufflesThis post is a few days past Valentine's Day but for good reason. I made these for my husband and since he reads my blog I couldn't post them until after he got them. These are the first of two different truffles I made. They were so simple and easy to make. And they look pretty! Truffles usually require cream but a healthier and vegan option is to make a cream out of cashews. You may say, 'But I just want chocolate truffles, no nutty flavor!' and I assure you that these taste nothing more than pure chocolate. Fudgy balls of goodness! 

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips 
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Anything you want to coat the truffles in: cocoa powder, sprinkles, crushed nuts, powdered sugar, crushed cookies, melted chocolate, etc.

The first step is to make a cream out of your cashews and water. Blend the two in a food processor for about 4 minutes, until you have what looks like cream. 
Cashew Cream
Next you want to melt your chocolate. You can do this in a double broiler or in the microwave like I did. If you do it in the microwave, make sure to stir it every 30 seconds or so. Once the chocolate is melted stir in the maple syrup and the cashew cream. 
The mixture now needs to firm up before you can form the truffles. You can just put the bowl in the fridge but it might take awhile. I transferred the mixture to a square pan so that it was more spread out and would firm up quicker. It will take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours in the fridge to get firm enough, depending on you refrigerator temperature. 
Once the mixture is firm it is time to shape the truffles. This will get a little messy because you are rolling chocolate in your hands. Make sure anything that you are rolling your truffles in is ready to go. Since I rolled some of my truffles in pink sugar and some in cocoa powder I put each of those things in their own bowl. Now for the messy part! With a teaspoon or melon baller scoop a small amount of the truffle mixture out and roll between your hands to form a ball. You can then roll the truffle in whatever coating you choose. Place the finished truffle in a mini muffin liner or anything else of your choosing. Store the truffles in the fridge and try not to eat them all at once! 
Vegan Chocolate Cashew Cream Truffle
Stay tuned for the next post on the other truffle I made...Peanut butter truffles! Mmmm....


Ginger and Garlic Cashew Stir-Fry

Ginger and Garlic Cashew Stir-Fry
When I decided to make this stir-fry I had no idea it would end up with such flavor in the end. I was just trying to find a use for the rest of our green beans, cashews, and red pepper. The combination of fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and scallions really brought an exciting flavor. Little did I know I would stumble upon something that I am actually craving again at the moment! 

2 carrots
3 scallions
1 small red pepper
1/2 cup of green beans
1/2 cup of cashews
2 teaspoons grated ginger
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 cup of short-grain brown rice
 Start cooking your rice before doing anything else since the rice is going to take the longest. While the rice is cooking you can prepare the stir-fry.
Chop up the carrots, green beans, red pepper, and scallions. You want to make sure the carrots are not too thick or else they might not cook all of the way through. Grate the ginger and press or mince the garlic. Heat up your pan on high with the canola oil. The next part is fairly easy. Throw in your green beans, carrots, scallions, red pepper, ginger, garlic, cashews, sesame oil, and soy sauce all at once! In other words, throw in everything! Keep stirring it all around for 10-15 minutes, or until your carrots are tender. Serve over your cooked rice and enjoy!


Cookies 'N' Cream Cupcakes

cookies 'n' cream cupcakesI was anxious to try another recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the Worldand decided to go for the cookies 'n' cream cupcakes. I made the basic chocolate cupcake batter and mixed in a cup of Hint O' Mint Newman-O's that were crushed in the food processor. I then made half of the recipe of the fluffy buttercream frosting and mixed in 1/4 cup of the crushed cookies. Mmmm....