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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Vegan Eggnog Smoothie

Vegan Eggnog Smoothie | ourfourforks.com

Breakfast decisions are difficult for me because I want it all. My go-to is oatmeal or granola, but when I’m trying to pack in some more nutrition (or eat light before workout), I make smoothies. Usually, they’re pretty boring: frozen bananas, frozen berries, flax, protein powder, cinnamon and kale (of course).

 

But when Vega sent me their new Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake, I decided it was time to change it up. I’ve made vegan eggnog before, but I had never thought to add protein powder to it and make it a full meal. I’ve been a longtime fan of Vega, but their new Vega One vanilla shake is amazing; not only does it taste better (think more of a smooth flavor, less of the typical protein powder grittiness), but it has more protein, greens, vitamins and minerals. It is still 100% made from real, whole foods without anything artificial. Eggnog for breakfast? Yes.
 

Vegan Eggnog Smoothie | ourfourforks.com

Cauliflower “Couscous” with Dried Apricots & Cashews

Cauliflower Couscous | ourfourforks.com

I usually associate cauliflower with the fall and winter months, but when a cauliflower popped up in our CSA last week, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve made cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and cauliflower “rice,” but it dawned on me that I had never tried cauliflower “couscous.” Cold grain salads have always been a staple in my family in the summer months; they’re perfect paired with grilled veggies, meat, fish and even other salads. But if you’re trying to avoid grains or just lower your carb intake, this cauliflower couscous is the perfect alternative.

 

Cauliflower couscous has such a mild flavor, that I decided to spice it up with a ginger cinnamon dressing, dried apricots and cashews. The dressing, inspired by Ottolenghi, may sound weird, but trust me: you’ll want to put it on everything. This dish is seasonally versatile: eat it cold in the summer, serve warm in the winter. Either way, enjoy!

 

Cauliflower Couscous | ourfourforks.com

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Carrot Cake Bars

Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com

There is a table in my office that is a dessert depository;  leftover birthday cake, unfinished batches of cookies, candy someone bought and decided not to finish. Usually, I’m pretty good about ignoring this spot until recently someone left carrot cake and I couldn’t keep myself from trying a piece. My obsession with carrot cake was born in my hometown of Southampton, New York. I grew up on Tate’s Bakeshop carrot cake, which I’ve requested for every birthday since I grew out of my Carvel ice cream cake phase many years ago. After all this time, I’m still convinced there is no better carrot cake in existence.

 

There is, however, healthier versions of carrot cake. And in celebration of Easter, I decided to pay homage to the carrot cake by making these carrot cake bars, topped with a vegan cashew cream cheese frosting. Gluten-free, vegan, and paleo, they are a decadent and filling dessert, snack or quick breakfast on the go.

 

Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com

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Vegan Nacho Cheese

Vegan Nacho Cheese | ourfourforks.com

I’m go right out and admit that I’m usually scared of recipes for vegan “cheese.” They usually contain processed ingredients, including soy protein, questionable thickeners (such as carrageenan), and a lot of (often GMO) oils. Recently, however, many healthier vegan “cheese” recipes have intrigued me. Lindsay of Pinch of Yum has created a Creamy Cauliflower Sauce, Jeanine of Love and Lemons made Cauliflower Mac & Cheese and Angela of Oh She Glows has made Cauli-power Fettuccine Alfredo. The common denominator? Cauliflower and wholesome, real ingredients. Nothing processed. So I set out to create my take on cauliflower vegan “cheese,” nacho style.

 

Vegan Nacho Cheese | ourfourforks.com

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