On my menu: 1) Vanilla & Spice's Black Bean Cups with Plantain Guacamole, 2) No Bake Chocolate Oat Cookies, and 3) what I'm calling "Not-So-Chubby Hubbies"
|Plantain Guacamole in Black Bean Cups|
I was completely bummed my camera card wasn't working, and didn't have time to troubleshoot, so I had to snap these shots with my iPhone. Grrr. Oh well.
Black Bean Cups and Plantain Guacamole
The plantain guac was yummy, and of course the sauteed plantains rocked. The black bean cups had a really good flavor that went perfectly with the plantain guac, but I think my cups turned out a little too dry. I also served the guac topped with a plantain slice in scoops tortilla chips, which is a good option if you're pressed for time, but still has more of a wow-factor than just your average guacamole. So a big thanks to Genevieve for a great recipe!
Chocolate Banana Oat Bites (No Bake)
Next, the picture I found on Pinterest of these no bake chocolate cookies made my eyes bulge. I had to try them. The original recipe wasn't vegan, but it was a snap to veganize- I just subbed non-dairy milk (I used vanilla unsweetened almond milk) and some Earth Balance butter.
A few other changes I made: since I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter, I made my own banana butter (just threw a ripe banana in a food processor with a 1/4 cup of cashews that I'd soaked in water for about 1 hour) and used a little of that (you could also simply use a ripe banana for a nut-free version). I also threw in a handful of Enjoy Life chocolate chips when melting the sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa powder for an extra kick of chocolate, and used a tiny bit less cocoa power and sugar. Since my cookies weren't getting very hard (likely because of these changes), I shaped them into bite-sized squares, put them in mini-cupcake wrappers, and stored them in the fridge (or you can store them in the freezer too- they taste great that way!). I was really worried these would be a failure because they were a little too soft, but man, they were yummy! Oaty, chocolatey, banana-ey yumminess. Keep them firm and cold by storing in the fridge or freezer, and people will gobble these little bites up.
Another variation of these: simply melt some choc chips with some (non-dairy) milk in a saucpan, mix with oats, a little agave or processed dates, and some dried cherries. Mmmmm ;-)
These cookies are based off of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar's Peanut Apple Pretzel Drops. I'm renaming them to not-so-chubby hubbies, because, after my changes to the recipe, they reminded me of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby Icecream, but I made them lower fat. My changes: the original recipe calls for peanuts; since I don't like nuts in my cookies, and I can't stand peanuts, I left them out. Instead (and this might sound like a complete contradiction to my previous statement of not really liking peanut butter), I added in a little Trader Joe's Better 'N Peanut Butter (shown below; definitely better than peanut butter in my opinion). Since I was adding peanut butter, I reduced the sugar and the oil. I probably should NOT have halved the oil- the original recipe was for 1/2 cup oil, and I used 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup better 'n butter- next time, I'd use 1/4 cup of oil + 1-2 Tbsp oil (or maybe applesauce!), with the peanut butter. They came out just a tad too dry, although you can get away with this by cooking for 10-11 minutes rather than 12-14 minutes.
If you've never had this stuff, I recommend trying it: it has a milder flavor than regular peanut butter, is super smooth, sweet, and closer to Almond Butter I think. It *also* has 85% less fat and 40% less calories than regular peanut butter.
Back to the cookies: these had an awesome flavor, with brown sugar, salty pretzels, smooth sweet mild better'n butter, and chewy apple bites. I'll post the recipe soon!
Since I had made experimental changes to most of these recipes, I also made a 1/2 batch of these carrot cake cookies, a known winner.
And that was my vegan superbowl contribution! I was completely psyched our host made some awesome roasted rosemary root vegetables - so I was a happy vegan all around! ... Even if I wasn't really watching the football ;-)