Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake | ourfourforks.com | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

Whenever I visit my parents, my sisters and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, experimenting with various “healthy” dessert recipes; gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, etc. When it comes to making nutritious desserts, raw nut-based ones are fail-proof options. Treats like mocha brownie barschocolate peanut butter cookies, and vegan peanut butter pie are just a few that have been approved by even the most traditionalist dessert eaters.

I’ve always enjoyed raw desserts, but am usually a bit turned off by the amount of nuts the recipes call for. While the nut-based approach works well for brownies, cookies, or crusts, raw cakes are usually a bit too dense for me. When I came across this recipe for lemon meltaway pie that adds cauliflower (!) to the cashew cake base, I knew I had to test it out. My sisters and I were skeptical at first, but as soon as we tried it, we were sold. The cauliflower transforms the density of the nuts to a make a  light and airy filling.

This vegan strawberry “cheesecake” is the perfect summer dessert. Served cold, it tastes really similar to those delicious (but not so good for you) Good Humor strawberry shortcake bars. Other berries would be great in this too – feel free to use them in lieu of the strawberries. For a plain cheesecake, just omit the berries altogether.

Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake | ourfourforks.com | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

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Mexican Chocolate Tortilla Chip Pie

Mexican Chocolate Tortilla Chip Pie | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

Warmer weather (FINALLY) inevitably means less time in the kitchen and more weekends spent outside, exploring new places. A new Mexican restaurant opened up in our neighborhood with great tacos, killer pineapple guacamole and strong margaritas. After spending a bit too much money there too many times (already), we decided to start making healthy Mexican food at home more often.

Whole Foods has almost an entire aisle full of tortilla chips and I’ve been known to spend an obnoxious amount of time reading every label, comparing and contrasting chips. Are they made with organic ingredients? Non-GMO? Certified gluten-free? Preservative-free? I always end up choosing Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips, made with simple, whole food ingredients and I’ve never been disappointed. You can imagine I was pretty psyched when they asked me to develop a recipe using one of their products.

Cinco de Mayo’s around the corner and although I have salsanachos, and (kombucha) margaritas covered, I’d never made a celebratory Mexican dessert. This Mexican chocolate tortilla chip pie is one of the more decadent and delicious pies I’ve ever had. The salty, sweet and crunchy Food Should Taste Good tortilla chip crust is the perfect contrast of flavor and texture to the creamy rich, avocado chocolate filling. It’s got that sweet/savory thing going on that I love (with a little kick of Mexican chile snuck in).

Mexican Chocolate Tortilla Chip Pie | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree #recipeMexican Chocolate Tortilla Chip Pie | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

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Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies | ourfourforks.com | #glutenfree #vegan #recipe

I’ve alluded to my bad habit of making late night cookies several times on this blog. But when I say “cookies” what I really mean is cookie dough (the dough rarely makes it into the oven). And when I say “cookie dough” what I really mean is some nut butter mixed with some gluten free flour, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and chocolate chips. I’ve never had a recipe for this cookie (dough) so I decided it was time to figure one out.

This iteration of my late night cookie uses cocoa powder instead of gluten free all purpose, making them flourless. They are rich, decadent but still healthy-ish without tasting like it. If you’re not into peanut butter, almond butter or hazelnut butter (nutella cookies?) would work just as well. Just make sure the nut butter is very smooth and creamy to the point of being pourable.

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies | ourfourforks.com | #glutenfree #vegan #recipeFlourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies | ourfourforks.com | #glutenfree #vegan #recipe

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Vanilla and Chocolate Protein Truffles

Vanilla and Chocolate Protein Truffles | ourfourforks.com | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

My breakfast routine changes a lot. I don’t mix it up every day, but stick to one thing for months until I’m over it. I’ll have several weeks of smoothies and eggs, then months of rice porridge with yogurt, then granola in smoothies, and (currently) sweet potatoes with coconut butter, apple butter and sausage. Protein is pretty much the only common denominator; I feel better when I start the day with a balanced meal.

Because I’ve been feeling a bit trapped inside from the snow, I’ve been making a point to exercise in the morning before work. I eat my full breakfast at work, but in the car between the studio and the office, I’m starving. These protein truffles are the perfect post-workout portable snack; full of healthy fat, protein and easily digestible carbs.

I don’t eat protein powder every day, but when I do, I’m super picky about which ones I eat; my favorites, aside from pure hemp protein, are Vega and Sunwarrior. I tested a couple of different powders with the protein truffles and I like Sunwarrior’s classic protein (vanilla and chocolate) best for this recipe.

Vanilla and Chocolate Protein Truffles | ourfourforks.com | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

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Mini Mocha Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

Mini Mocha Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting | ourfourforks.com

Aside from the occasional (post red wine) late night cookie, I don’t bake very often. But since Valentine’s Day is around the corner and Juno (and several other storms) trapped me inside, I made these mini mocha cupcakes with raspberry cream. Twice. After one snow day last week, I brought the first batch out to one of our favorite neighborhood bars and they were devoured in minutes. The second batch, made for a Super Bowl gathering, was gone just as fast and the two remaining (which I may have hidden) were eaten for breakfast.

Made with simple, healthy ingredients, these mocha cupcakes are gluten free, vegan and full of chocolate and coffee flavor. The creamy raspberry frosting, made with just coconut oil, confectioners sugar and raspberry juice, is easy to whip up with ingredients you likely have on hand. For more of a mocha muffin rather than a cupcake, just omit the frosting and enjoy with your morning coffee.

Mini Mocha Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting | ourfourforks.com

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