Monday, January 13, 2014

twice baked sweet potato skins

A few weeks ago, I ran across a recipe for twice baked sweet potato skins. Since Beth LOVES eating the skins when we have baked potatoes, I figured she was also a fan of twice baked potatoes and loaded potato skins. Needless to say, I was shocked to find out that she had never had them before! With this recipe, we changed that. Better late than never.

These guys are easily adaptable for vegan and gluten-free diets, so you can enjoy them by yourself or with any and ALL of your friends! The recipe is super flexible and more of a general guide, so make however many you’d like with whichever toppings you prefer. We made two varieties, one sweet and one savory. The sky is the limit, though, and we would love to hear about other toppings you try!




Small sweet potatoes (1-2 per person; choose wisely since you’ll be eating the skin)
Coconut oil or butter

Sweet Topping Suggestions:
Brown Sugar
Chopped walnuts
Salt, if desired (we LOVED ours with some salt!)

Savory Topping Suggestions:
Shredded cheddar cheese or your choice of vegan cheddar “cheese”
Steamed broccoli florets
Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and dry sweet potatoes. If desired, coat the potato skin in oil and salt. Place on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven, cool until they are cool to the touch, then cut in half. Scoop out the flesh of the sweet potatoes and place in a mixing bowl, leaving a thin layer of sweet potato still in the skin.
  3. Oil the sweet potato skin “boat” with either coconut oil or butter (I prefer coconut oil to butter in the sweet version, even though I am not vegan myself!) and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  4. While the skins are baking, combine the sweet potato flesh with your desired toppings.
  5. Divide mixture equally and place in sweet potato “boats,” adding additional toppings if desired.
  6. Bake skins for an additional five minutes to warm (and melt cheese, if necessary) before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

carrot cake cupcakes!

Happy 2014! May your year be full of much joy and love! 
While enjoying our extended stay at my wonderful in-laws' in Ohio on this lovely snowy day, I decided to whip something up with the Tofutti's "Better Than Cream Cheese" and Earth Balance I picked up during a recent Kroger grocery trip. It seems that these extra, splurge vegan products cost way more in Chicago, so I was excited to make something special with them when I found them for reasonable prices in Ohio! I found a fabulous carrot cupcake recipe here and modified slightly. The cupcakes turned out delightful, and the icing makes a very yummy vegan cream cheese icing. Enjoy these tasty treats especially with the happy thought that no animals were harmed in their making!

Cupcake ingredients: 
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
½ cup packed organic, fair-trade brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup grated organic carrot
¼ cup unrefined coconut oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
¾ cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ tablespoon lemon juice

Icing ingredients:
1/2 of 8 oz container non-hydrogenated Tofutti Cream Cheese 
1/8 cup non-hydrogenated Earth Balance vegan spread
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Vanilla to taste

1. Mix and stir dry ingredients together. 
2. Melt coconut oil, and then mix all ingredients together well. 
3. Spoon batter evenly (about ¾ cup) into lined or oiled muffin pans. 
4. Bake at 365 F for 20 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack until completely cooled. 
5. Mix Tofutti cream cheese and Earth Balance together with an electric mixer or whisk. 
6. Gently fold in vanilla and powdered sugar in ½ cup increments until desired taste and consistency. 7. Spread or pipe on icing.
8. Eat immediately or refrigerate. Enjoy!