Creamy Ginger Carrot Apple Soup (Vegan)

This ginger carrot apple soup is easy to make and perfect as a vegan Thanksgiving appetizer or light fall lunch or dinner.

The other day I had a craving for soup and decided to make something I hadn’t had in years – carrot apple soup. Adding apples to your soup may sound weird, but I remember making this recipe when I first went vegetarian as a uni student and loving it.

It’s so simple to make as well as being nutritious and filling. This soup would be perfect as an appetizer for Thanksgiving or even just as a light fall lunch or dinner, paired with a salad and some bread. The full recipe is below.

Creamy Carrot Apple Soup

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

6 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 apples, peeled and diced

1 tsp grated ginger

1 small onion, diced

2 1/2 cups of water

1 tsp each of black pepper, ground sage, garlic parsley blend

1 vegetable bouillon cube

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

salt to taste

2 tbsp of oil


Directions

  1. Peel and dice your onion, carrots, apples and grate your ginger.
  2. Heat oil over medium low heat in a pot. Add grated ginger and onions and saute for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent, being careful not to let the ginger burn.
  3. Add carrots and apples to pot along with water.
  4. Add spices, stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Once at a boil, add vegan bouillon cube and bay leaves. Cover and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes, until carrots are tender.
  6. Remove veggies from pot using a slotted spoon and add to blender. Add a few tbsps of broth if needed to blend. Reserve remaining broth and discard bay leaves. Add nutritional yeast and blend veggies until creamy.
  7. Return blended mix to reserved broth and stir. Add salt to taste. Serve soup garnished with sauteed kale and mushrooms. Top with red pepper flakes if desired.


Enjoy!

How To Make The Best Vegan Banana Carrot Muffins

The other day I had a few overripe bananas on my counter, and instead of chucking them in the freezer for my smoothie stash, I decided to make some banana muffins.

Not just bland banana muffins, but the best banana carrot muffins you will ever eat and they’re vegan to boot. Before I made these, I was on a self-imposed break from baking. I went from baking some sort of treat every week or two, to basically going on a baking fast if that’s a thing (it’s not lol).

The BEST vegan banana carrot muffins. Photo by: The Island Vegan

So when I made these muffins, I was worried that they wouldn’t come out well or worse yet, they would be so good that I would eat the whole dozen in one sitting. (They are that good but I have self-control and only ate three of them in one day. Progress!)

Trust me when I say these muffins are delicious, moist (did you just shudder at that word?), sweet but not too sweet and filled with lots of fiber that you won’t feel guilty if you eat as many as I did in one day. I shared them with omnivore friends and they were a hit, one even said she couldn’t tell they were vegan, which I took as a compliment!

The recipe calls for wholewheat flour and a flax egg, making them healthier than standard muffins, but trust me there is no compromise on taste. The carrots add more fiber and antioxidants to the recipe, while you’re getting potassium from the banana and Omega-3s from the flax seeds. Win, win!

Bet you can’t eat just one! Photo by: The Island Vegan

You could use white flour if that’s what you have on hand and your fav egg replacer but the result may turn out a bit differently than mine did.

Can I just tell you how much I love vegan baking? Even if you’re not vegan, there’s lots of reasons why you should add some plant-based recipes to your arsenal. First of all, you’re free to lick the spoon (and bowl, who am I kidding) without worrying about salmonella. You can serve vegan goodies to friends or relatives who may have allergies or dietary issues with consuming dairy. And you can indulge in healthy but tasty treats knowing they have a lower carbon footprint than traditional desserts and no cow or chicken had to be harmed to make them.

As the weather cools down, I probably will be baking a lot more so watch this spot for more recipes. Until then, let me know in the comments how this banana carrot muffin recipe turned out for you.

The Best Vegan Banana Carrot Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

1 flax egg

1 tsp of white vinegar

half cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk

⅓ cup of oil (I used organic canola)

1 scant cup of vegan sugar


Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare flax egg. (Mix one tablespoon ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water. Stir and set aside until it congeals, about ten minutes.)
  3. Peel bananas. In a small bowl, mash banana with a fork until it resembles pudding and set aside.
  4. Add vinegar to non-dairy milk, stir then set aside.
  5. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and then add flax egg, banana, and remaining wet ingredients. Mix well to combine with a spoon, but do not over mix. If mix appears too dry, add one tablespoon of non-dairy milk. Fold in carrots.
  6. Lightly spray or grease a muffin tin. Scoop batter into muffin pan, filling each hole about 2/3 full. If you have remaining cups, fill them with one or two tablespoons of water to ensure even baking.
  7. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until tops are brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for five minutes before eating or cooling fully on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Comforting Chickpea Stew

My favorite recipes are ones that are simple, quick to make and full of flavor.

While I love spending time in the kitchen and making elaborate dishes, most of the time I don’t have the time, but that doesn’t mean I want to skimp on taste or food quality.

Lately I’ve been eating a lot of stews. They are easy to make and customize with what I’ve got in the fridge and pantry, and also are very comforting in the cool weather we’ve had in the Bahamas in the evenings for the past few months, which is rare.

A few days ago I whipped up a chickpea stew that reminded me of my recent trip to Costa Rica, which I will blog about soon. The recipe came about as a result of me needing to use up some items left over in my fridge from before my trip and also me craving a layer of flavors.

Vegan chickpea stew

The end result was very satisfying and tasty, so I hope you try it out and let me know what you think!

Comforting chickpea stew (makes four servings)

One small onion, diced

1 ¼ cup of diced white mushrooms

1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used cherry)

1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup of frozen corn kernels

1 ½ tsp ground sage

1 tsp cumin

¼ tsp chipotle powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of red pepper flakes (for garnish)

Chopped cilantro (for garnish)  

1 1//4 cup of veggie broth

1 tbsp of tapioca starch or cornstarch

Oil for sautéing

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until transluscent, about two to three minutes. Add mushrooms and tomatoes, stirring occassionally and cook for about two minutes more.

Add tapioca starch to veggie broth and stir to combine, ensuring there are no clumps. Add broth/tapioca mix to pot and stir. Add chickpeas and spices except red pepper flakes and cilantro. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 20 minutes. Then add frozen corn and cook for another five minutes uncovered.

Garnish with red pepper flakes and cilantro and serve with rice.

Chocolate Cake For One

Some days I feel like baking a whole cake and getting all fancy, other times I get a chocolate craving at 7 pm and just want a few bites of something sweet, without having leftovers in the fridge to tempt me the next day (and the next!).

That’s where this chocolate mug cake comes in. It’s dairy-free, egg-free and a cinch to make. You can make this in the microwave, but I decided to bake mine because I try to nuke things as little as possible.

I have made mug cakes in the past that have just been okay, but this chocolate baby came out moist, fluffy, gooey in the center and fudgy. I knew it was a win because my boyfriend finished it off for me after I got full.

If you enjoy this recipe, please like and comment and follow this blog for more content.

Vegan Chocolate Cake
Chocolate cake for one

Vegan Chocolate Mug Cake

  • Servings: 1-2
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Ingredients


– 4 tbsp flour
– 3 tbsp sugar
– 1/4 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 5 tbsp non-dairy milk
– 1/2 tsp white vinegar
– 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Mix dry ingredients in a mug or ramekin. I used a ramekin. Add liquid ingredients and stir with a fork, being careful to scrape the bottom to combine the mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking after 20 minutes. You can also make this in the microwave by nuking it for one to three minutes, starting at one minute and cooking for 30 second intervals until desired doneness is reached. Let cool and enjoy.

Mango Chia Seed Parfait

Happy Monday everyone!

I’ve only been back home from Greece for about two days and finally getting back into the swing of things. While I had an amazing time on my trip (which I will detail with posts and lots of photos on this space later) I did miss blogging and creating content. So I am very happy to be back, although my travel lust is already in swing and I am planning my next big trip.

Also, I can’t believe it’s October already! In no time at all it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving (which isn’t a holiday in the Bahamas but since we’re so close to the US, it might as well be) and then Christmas. Then a new year will be upon us and we will all be wondering where the time has gone. Normally the end of the year tends to get me a bit depressed because I think about all the things I haven’t done, goals I haven’t met, and the general pressure over holiday shopping etc.

But this year I am taking a different approach and instead reflecting on all the good things that have happened this year and all I have accomplished. I finally travelled to Greece, which was number one on my bucket list and my first time to Europe, I overcame my fear of swimming in the ocean, bathed in a hot spring, (another bucket list item), hiked up a volcano and I have been working on this blog as well as other creative projects and I feel a new sense of commitment to getting the things I want out of life.

Today I am sharing a simple breakfast/snack recipe with you. I love making intricate dishes, but sometimes you also want something that is simple and easy to make.

This mango chia seed parfait fits the bill. I hope you enjoy.

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Easy Mango Chia Seed Parfait

  • Servings: 1
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • half cup of non-dairy milk plus three tablespoons
  • 1/4 tsp of green superfood powder of choice (optional)
  • 2 tsp of agave nectar
  • 1 cup of mango chunks (I used a fresh mango)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of water

Directions

  1. In a mason jar, combine chia seeds, agave nectar, non-dairy milk and green powder. Mix and cover in the fridge overnight, stirring twice after 30 minute intervals.
  2. The next morning, place mango chunks into a high-speed blender and mix, using the water 1 tbsp at a time if needed to thin the mango puree.
  3. Layer the mango puree over the chia seed pudding. Top with granola, oats, or fruit. Enjoy!

How to Make Awesome Avocado Ice Cream (Vegan)

Summer is almost gone, can you believe it?

I know it’s September already, but technically the last day of summer is not until near the end of the month. So you still have time to squeeze in some summer bbqs and bonfires and pretend like you’re still a teenager, without a care in the world. (Or maybe you are, in which case I hate you!)

There were so many things I had planned for this season that didn’t get done – I was supposed to get back in the gym, work on my novel novels (I have so many draft pages of projects I start and stop), and also work on this blog more. But, life as usual gets in the way and as they say, God laughs at man’s plans.

Anyway, I couldn’t let summer pass me by without making ice cream. I bought a Cuisine Art ice cream maker last year and actually used it several times (unlike my dehydrator which is sitting on top of my fridge, catching dust, waiting sadly to be donated to the Salvation Army.)

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Chocolate and cashews put this avocado ice cream over the top.

I also had a super ripe jumbo avocado in the fridge, too ripe to eat on its own. So, I decided I can either make guac with it or ice cream. I chose ice cream, wouldn’t you? I know what you’re thinking, avocados in ice cream? Is this bish crazy? But before you close this screen, let me school you. Avocados are actually a fruit, so it makes sense to put them in ice cream. Considered a superfood, this nutritional powerhouse has lots of healthy fat, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and a host of other vitamins. The fattiness of the avocado also adds creaminess to this non-dairy ice cream, something once lacking in my homemade attempts.

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Coconut cream also ups the ante on creaminess. The trick is it has to be cold and firm so make sure your can has been chilled in the fridge overnight. Whenever I go grocery shopping I normally buy a can or two of coconut cream or milk, and I always have one in the fridge since I use it so often to make vegan desserts.

A few of the problems I’ve encountered in the past is that my ice cream just comes out too hard, full of crystals. No matter what I did. Except for my first batch which was a peanut butter vanilla flavor, everything else ended up in the trash after a few bites.

To help solve that I used agave nectar instead of sugar (the liquid sweetener slows down crystal formation) and also added a special ingredient – agar agar. According, to One Green Planet, agar agar “is a mix of carbohydrates extracted from seaweed, specifically Red Sea algae.” But don’t freak out! It has no flavor, odor or color and can be used as a sub for “gelatin, to thicken soups, and make jams and jellies, ice cream, and other desserts that need to set.”

I found a packet of agar agar flakes in my local organic health store. You can also grab some from Amazon if it’s not found near you. My packet was pretty pricey, like all specialty foods imported to the Bahamas but I plan to use it later on to make cashew cheese and vegan Jello, so I think it’s worth the coins. It may be cheaper where you live. Plus a little goes a long way.

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Enjoy this vegan avocado ice cream poolside.

This recipe is so easy. It only has seven ingredients (one of them is water, does that even count?) and it’s totally healthier than store-bought frozen desserts with God knows what in them. It is also refined sugar-free. You will need a blender and an ice-cream maker for this recipe (I’m an appliance junkie, but honestly, how does a dessert lover live without an ice-cream maker??) and that’s it!

I hope you try this recipe out and let me know in the comments, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

7 Ingredient Avocado Ice Cream

  • Servings: Makes 2 pints
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Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe avocado, cut in half and pitted
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 can coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp agar agar flakes
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • Juice of half a lime

Directions

  1. Add agar agar flakes and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently, until flakes have dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside. Once cooled, the mixture should congeal.
  2. Scoop avocado meat into a high speed blender. Add the top layer of the hardened coconut cream, being careful not to add any water that’s left at the bottom of the can. Store coconut water for a smoothie or other later use, or discard.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, including agar agar, and blend on high until smooth.
  4. Chill ice cream mix in the fridge for about 20 minutes before transferring to your ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions (I ran mine for about 30 minutes).
  5. You can eat the ice cream immediately as a soft serve or transfer to an airtight freezer safe container (if using a pyrex dish, place a layer of plastic wrap over the ice cream, gently pressing out the air) and freeze for a few hours. Let ice cream defrost for a few minutes before scooping.
  6. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!


 

Bahamian-Style Corn Fritters

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys!

Anyone familiar with Bahamian food knows that conch is a frequent feature in our delicacies. Bahamians love it so much that it’s pretty much everywhere. Conch chowder, cracked conch (basically deep-fried, battered conch served usually with fries), conch salad (think ceviche), conch fritters and the list goes on.

Top on my list was always conch fritters. There was a time in my life when I ate them every week. My friends and I would go to the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay, where every Sunday night without fail, I would order a plate of fritters and a Miami Vice daiquiri.

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You can never have too much sauce!

That was years before I gave up eating animals. If you truly love conch, the best thing to do is leave it off your plate. According to this 2017 Miami Herald article, conch populations in Florida are in trouble and researchers are worried about declining young conchs in the Bahamas.

“A marine preserve in the Bahamas famed for its abundance of queen conchs and intended to help keep the country’s population thriving is missing something: young conchs. Researchers studying the no-take park off Exuma, one of hundreds throughout the Caribbean, found that over the last two decades, the number of young has sharply declined as adult conchs steadily matured and died off. The population hasn’t crashed yet like it has in the Florida Keys, but in the last five years, the number of adult conchs in one of the Bahamas’ healthiest populations dropped by 71 percent,” the article reported.

Humans are overfishing this treasured resource, and if we aren’t careful, the Bahamian conch could one day go extinct. If that isn’t reason not to eat this sea-snail, I don’t know what is.

Lately I’ve been craving a vegan version of fritters. There’s just something about deep-fried food that makes you remember your childhood right? Sweet corn is a perfect substitute for conch in this recipe, but you can also use mushrooms and I’m sure they will turn out just as delish. I added a few sheets of salty seaweed sheets (I used Annie Chun’s Seaweed Snacks, wasabi flavor) to give it more of a “fishy” taste but you can totally leave them out.

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I’m happy to report that these fritters hit the spot. Crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. But the dipping sauce is what really pushes it over the top.

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Look at that deep fried goodness!

If you make these, please don’t skimp out on the sauce, because that’s part of the experience!

Bahamian-Style Corn Fritters

  • Servings: About 4
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Ingredients

    For the fritters
  • 1 quart oil for frying
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 flax egg
  • ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
  • Old Bay seasoning or cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh sweet corn kernels
  • ½ medium white onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • 4 small seaweed sheets, crushed (optional)
  • For the dipping sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Half a tsp to one tsp of hot pepper sauce or hot sauce

Directions

  1. Prepare flax egg by mixing one tbsp of ground flax seeds with three tbsp water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix dipping sauce ingredients together then set aside.
  3. 3. Heat oil in pot or a deep fryer.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine flour and spices, mix together.
  5. Add milk, flax egg and crushed seaweed sheets, if using. Mix together.
  6. Drop batter into hot oil, one rounded tablespoon at a time.
  7. Fry fritters until golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve with sauce and enjoy!

Adapted from: Conch fritter recipe