Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

I had a bad cupcake day yesterday, so I had to redeem myself with these! We had made the frosting earlier, so it didn’t get quite as smooth as I wanted here, but it tastes good – just isn’t as pretty in photos.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract or cherry juice
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup chocolate pieces or chips
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries chopped

In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil. Pour the cold water over the mixture and stir until moistened. Add the chocolate chips and cherries and gently mix. Spoon into cupcake tins (fill 1/2 to 2/3 full).  Bake at 350°F. oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean.  Allow to cool before frosting.

Frosting/Icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup vegan butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cherry juice or extract
  • 1+ tbsp soy milk

Cream sugar and butter. Add syrup and extract. Add soy milk if necessary to reach desired consistency.

Summer Squash and Tomato Pasta

This is one of those “what’s in the produce drawer?” dishes, but it turned out lovely!

Ingredients
2 large summer squash, cut in bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
1 pt grape tomatoes, halved
2 medium green peppers, diced
1 handful of fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 /4 cup olive oil
1 /4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 lemons, juiced
Salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to taste
1 lb pasta of your choice

Process
Preheat oven to 400*.
Arrange vegetables on a baking pan or sheet.
Whisk together oil, vinegar, and lemon juice and then drizzle over vegetables.
Bake at 400* until summer squash is fully cooked.
While vegetables are baking, prepare your pasta.
Toss and serve (with bread, of course)!

Spicy Peanut Stew

This ended up being even more delicious than I thought it would be! It’s a little spicy, a little tangy, and a lot of comforting.

I only used 2 sweet potatoes, but they were HUGE (image below next to a standard box grater and 6 inch (blade) knife for comparison). You may need 4 or so if they are more regular sized.

Ingredients

1 onion, diced
1.5 tbs ginger, grated
1 ½ tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 lbs or so of sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 cans tomato paste
1 cup smooth peanut butter
8 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
Salt
1/2 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Rice prepared your favorite way
Hot sauce if desired

Process

You can use an instant pot for this, or go with a stock pot. I have directions below for both.

Sauté onions, garlic, and ginger for 2-3 minutes.

Add cumin and sweet potatoes and continue to sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add tomato paste, vegetable broth, and peanut butter. At this point, if you are using an Instant Pot, pressure cook for 10 minutes, allow to depressurize for 10 minutes and then release if not already done. If you are using your a stock pot, bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft.

Once the potatoes are done, use an immersion blender or mixer to mash the potatoes to your desired level of smoothness. Add the kale and allow it to simmer another 10 minutes while you finish up your accompaniments. Salt to taste.

Serve with rice, chopped peanuts, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, and some homemade garlic sourdough bread if you happen to have it handy (ha!).