Posts Tagged ‘trader joes’

Tasty Tuesday: Vegan Chocolate Cake

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

I confess…sometimes there is a direct discrepancy between what I¬†blog¬†about and what is actually happening at my house. For example, one time my kids kept interrupting me while I was drafting a post about gentle parenting. Did I¬†employ the gentle parenting approach I was writing about? Nope!¬†I¬†yelled at them¬†to go outside and let me get my work done. ¬†Or recently while I was busy writing this blog post¬†about healthy eating, my kids were actually downstairs eating¬†cupcakes (3¬†cupcakes a¬†piece to be exact). I wasn’t thrilled about them eating cupcakes for breakfast, however I was happy to have them completely occupied for about 10 whole minutes.

The irony of my kids eating cupcakes while I posted about pomegranates, made me realize I need to share recipes for some of the sweet treats¬†we eat. Surely you didn’t think we survive solely on quinoa and kale? Hardly! We enjoy¬†sweets¬†too.

I have experimented a lot with vegan baking and my conclusion is that baking without eggs is tricky, but not impossible. I have had great success with this particular recipe. I attribute it to the unusual, yet palatable ingredients.



1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup cocoa nibs

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup strong brewed coffee

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

The Secret Weapon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together dry ingredients¬†in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix coffee and oil. Add oil/coffee mixture to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Quickly stir in apple cider vinegar. Bake in an 8×8 greased baking pan for 30 minutes.¬†Allow¬†to¬†cool before serving.

Now here’s¬†the secret weapon for making this cake extra fantastic. It’s a sugar, chocolate, and coffee bean grinder from Trader Joe’s and it’s THE perfect compliment to this cake! Generously sprinkle it on top of the cake. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you (then petition to get one! ;) ), you can substitute with powdered sugar or cinnamon-sugar.



This cake is especially delicious when enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee while children are still asleep. :)


Recipe: Vegan “BLT” Sandwich

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

I made this for dinner tonight and¬†it was¬†super yummy and sooo easy that I thought I would share the recipe. You might be aware that you can buy vegetarian “bacon” however it is typically heavily processed and often full of questionable ingredients. Being vegan (for me) is about eating healthy whole foods so the convenient fake meat substitutes are rarely on my grocery list or in my fridge.

In this¬†plant-based version of a BLT the ‘bacon” is actually tempeh. Tempeh is a soy¬†product,¬†however it is different than tofu. Some nutritionist think that¬†tempeh is a healthier choice than tofu because it is¬†made from fermented soy.¬†I like to buy my tempeh from Trader Joe’s.¬†¬†I basically¬†love all things Trader Joe’s but their package of organic tempeh for $1.69 is one of my favorite products (which I hope they do not discontinue!! If you are a regular at Trader Joe’s you know that have a tendency to discontinue products at random). The ingredients in Trader Joe’s brand of Tempeh are all familiar foods which include: organic soybeans, water, organic brown rice, organic barley, organic millet, and lactic acid (from plant sources). The other great thing about this product is that it has 20 grams of protein per serving! That makes this vegan smile! As well as gives me a great answer to the commonly asked question “where do you get your protein from?”

There are many different delicious ways to use/prepare tempeh, but this BLT sandwich is my current favorite. The following recipe will make 4 sandwiches.


One package of tempeh

8 slices of bread

1 Roma tomato

4 leaves of lettuce

vegan mayonnaise (oragnic Vegenaise is my favorite brand)

Oil (a high heat oil such as safflower oil works best)

Onion powder

garlic powder

Soy Sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)


Cut tempeh in half lengthwise and width-wise to create four squares of tempeh. Heat oil in pan. Place tempeh in pan. Flip over when golden brown on the bottom side. Sprinkle liberally with onion, powder and garlic powder. Squirt with soy sauce to taste. Continue to fry in pan until both sides are golden brown. Assemble sandwich on toasted bread including one slice of tempeh, sliced tomato, mayonnaise, and lettuce on each.

That’s it! It serioulsy takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and is a deliciously healthy alternative to a traditional BLT sandwich. Serve with soup and salad for a complete meal.