Tag Archives: contest winner

Weekly Contest #3 Results and Winner

22 Nov

Yep, it’s time again to talk about my most recent contest, so let’s get right to it.

As a reminder, the challenge was to make something raw – an uncooking challenge, if you will. I decided to make raw, taller-half-killing soup. The poor thing is allergic to avocados, so it was all for me. Darn. 😉

I looked at a few recipes from around the blog world and combined them to make Raw Avocado Salsa Soup.

All you do is combine in a blender:

  • Flesh from 1/2 an avocado
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • Juice from 1/4 to 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • About 1/2 a cup of homemade almond milk (start with 1/4 cup and add more to obtain desired consistency)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro

Blend until smooth and creamy. I have to be honest: I didn’t love this soup. I think I made it too creamy. The flavor was good, but it just wasn’t my taste preferences. I would be willing to try raw soup again, but I need a different – maybe chunkier? – texture and flavor. It would have been a good salad dressing or dip.

And now, what did my readers come up with?

First is Little Momo, who submitted not one, but two entries. The first are Sunshine Bars, based on this recipe at Gone Raw.

Don’t they look gorgeous? She also shared Nanaimo Bars using an original recipe:

I had to Google the term. Basically, Nanaimo Bars are no-bake squares featuring layers of cookie, icing, and chocolate. Yum! Sign me up. Here is her recipe for our enjoyment:

1 cups coconut, shredded
2 cups mixed nuts(I used pecans and cashews)
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup raisins
3 tbsps. cacao powder
coconut water

1 8oz. jar of Artisana Goji Bliss

1 cup coconut oil(warmed)
2 tbsps cacao powder
agave to taste(you want a bittersweet top since the rest is so sweet)

You will need:
large mixing bowl
food processor
one small baking pan(8×11)
saran wrap or wax paper

First, put your coconut oil in a bowl of warm water to thaw and set aside. Do this with the Goji Bliss aswell. Then, combine dates and raisins in your food processor and pulse until finely chopped, put aside in large mixing bowl. Process your nuts until fine and mix in with dates, raisins, now add the shredded coconut and cacao powder. Add a very small amount of coconut water and mix together until it is a sticky consistency(if you use soaked dates/rasisins, you will not need the coconut water). Line your pan with saran or wax paper, press in mixture evenly, set aside. Now pour the Goji Bliss over this mixture and press in to even out. Now, mix together the coconut oil, cacao powder, agave, a wee bit of coconut water (this will make the top layer more of a fudgy texture) for your topping and pour into pan. Set in fridge or freezer. Ready in 30 mins. Enjoy!!!

Once again, Kate of Fat Ass to Fit Ass, shared her lemon recipe, Raw Lemon Pudding:

She gets major props for being able to cut through an avocado pit.

Superwoman much? Like me, she embraced the avocado and lemon in her creation.

Edit to add: Vegan of the Great White North submitted her recipe on time, but it hightailed it to my spam folder. Darn it! Here is what she shared, however, Raw Vegan Cheezecake.

Ain’t it gorgeous? Head to her post to see all the progress pictures.

And the winner is . . . Little Momo! I liked the double effort, and her presentation on both is just gorgeous, but the Nanaimo Bars won me over all by themselves. I can’t get behind the consumption of raisins, but I can let that slide. 😉 I will contact you about your prize, darlin’.


Weekly Contest #2 Results and Winner

15 Nov

Hello friends!

The response was smaller for the Week #2 contest, but I’m still excited about the two entries I received. Let’s get right to it.

As a refresher, the challenge was to choose a cuisine with which you are familiar and create something. On the flip side, you could make something within another cuisine that you’ve just never tried before. I took that tack for my own creation.

I present to you Homemade Gnocchi with Arrabbiata Sauce.

Both recipes are from 1,000 Vegan Recipes, though I slightly tweaked the sauce.

You need:

  • 1 medium baking potato
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomato (I like the Muir Glen ones with no added salt)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Dash of red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

First up: bake the potato. I stab mine several times and cook it in a 450° F oven for about 45 minutes. Let it cool until you won’t burn your beautiful fingers off handling it. Cut it in half and run the innards through a potato ricer. I don’t have one, so I just scraped the insides stuff out with a fork and then fluffed it up. Put them aside in a small bowl.

In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and parsley. Add the potato until a dough forms that isn’t too sticky. Add bits of flour if necessary. Prepare a work surface with flour. Pull the dough apart into two to four pieces. Using your hands, roll one piece at a time into a long snake, about half an inch thick. Cut the snake into 3/4-inch chunks. I then rolled mine slightly into misshapen ovals with floured hands. Repeat until you have a bowl full of gnocchi.

Set aside, making sure the pieces are well floured. I chilled them in the fridge while I waited for dinner time.

Now you get to multitask. Heat water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. While the water warms up, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper for about 30 seconds, then dump in the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, and wine or vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. While the sauce is cooking and once the water boils, throw in the gnocchi. Supposedly they float when they’re done, but it doesn’t always happen. If they are still hanging out at the bottom of the pot after three minutes, give the water a quick swirl. They should start to rise. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain. When the sauce is done, just serve it atop the gnocchi.

It’s not polite to brag, but oh my freaking goodness, this meal was incredible. I expected homemade gnocchi to be much more difficult, but it was actually pretty easy and a whole lot of fun. It totally melted in my mouth, too. My taller half – wisely – declared it the best gnocchi he’s ever had. Good boy. I loved the sauce as well. It’s very spicy, as it should be, but if that’s not your thing, halve the crushed red pepper and the garlic. The only thing I would do differently next time is use less oil. I love olive oil, but the dish would have been just as good with less fat.

And now let’s see what you came up with.

First up is Tara, my crafting buddy and all-around cool chick. She shared a Spicy Thai Jicama Salad that is making my mouth water.

How delicious does that sound? I love the presentation, too.

Next up is Kate of Fat Ass to Fit Ass, who shared a delicious apple crisp recipe with us last week. This week she showcases a Falafel-Millet Burger recipe.

Her submission is both vegan and macrobiotic-friendly. Plus, it’s falafel. Yum. I love that she shared her whole meal, which included hummus, carrots, and spinach salad.

Once again, I’m incredibly thrilled and impressed that I received submissions from non-vegans. Neither Tara nor Kate are even vegetarian, so big bonus points for them.

Because I only received two submissions, and both are from local gals, I’ve decided to name them both winners. Ladies, I’ll work out a way to get some goodies to you. How’s about Friday?

I’m off to ballet, but expect the Week #3 contest announcement later on tonight. Thanks again to Kate and Tara!

Weekly Contest #1 Results and Winner

9 Nov

Hey folks,

I’m excited that five people participated in the baking challenge. I also heard from a few others who wanted to but had a stumbling block for one reason or another. I totally understand and encourage you all to participate in my next food challenge, which I will announce after this post goes up.

So, without further ado, here’s a round-up of my participants. I will start with my own entry (which, of course, can’t win the prize).

My reasons for choosing this challenge were partly selfish. A coworker now has a beautiful one-month-old daughter, and since I’m obsessed with babies, I’m always looking for excuses to go see mom and little one. On a recent visit, I told my friend to let me know if she needed anything, and recalling a batch of Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles I brought to the office for my birthday, she quickly responded, “Cookies.” The catch is that her new arrival cannot have chocolate – it’s too much of a stimulant for her. A catch for most bakers is also that the baby has a dairy allergy, but that one was easy for me. So I began to brainstorm what to bake instead of my usuals, which made me interested to see what all of you would do. Here’s what I made for her:

Citrus Glitters (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats) and Cinnamon Coffee Cake (from The Joy of Vegan Baking)

Not a bad little care package, eh?

For the Citrus Glitters, I used a mix of mostly orange and lemon zest with a bit of lime, too. It was the first time I made this recipe, and they totally rocked. The citrus packed a punch without being overwhelming. Next time, I will amp up the lime so the flavors are a little better balanced, but I highly recommend this recipe. You get to use your hands, which is always fun.

The coffee cake is one of my faves. It’s full of fall spices, and it’s great on its own or with a nice hot beverage. The only deviation I make from the recipe is in the crumb topping. I don’t use the nuts (I don’t like the way they overpower the ginger), and I add just enough oil to give it a good texture. If you skip the nuts and don’t reduce the oil, then the topping is basically impossible to spread. I never measure the oil – just drizzle it in and stop when the flour-spice mix is wet bit still sprinkle-able.

And now, let’s see what all of you came up with. These are in order of when I received them:

Up first is meansoybean’s (LOVE that name!) pan-fried butternut squash cake.Her entry is an inventive use of leftover cake (I’m trying to imagine that happening in my home) that is getting a little past its prime. I’m pressed to think of something more indulgent than fried cake. It sounds absolutely delicious!

Next, we have Czech Vegan in America’s Cranberry Pumpkin Bread.I love how gorgeous the cranberries look in that deep orange bread. It just screams fall. I also love how simple the recipe is. I bet mini loaves of this would be a great holiday gift.

Our third submission is Tofu Cheesecake from the blog My Brand New Life.

It’s like a regular cheesecake, only vegan and huge! I haven’t tried any vegan desserts with tofu, so this one definitely caught my attention.

Up next, Phoenix Dreaming brings us Jack (the Pumpkin King) Pie.

The name alone is definitely a winner, and I love pumpkin. For others unfamiliar with Speculoos, they are a kind of shortbread cookie. Tasty!

And finally, my real-life homegirl Kate of Fat Ass to Fit Ass (sorry, Mom!) brings us Vegan Apple Crisp.

Kate is not a vegan nor does she have much vegan baking experience, so she gets props for taking on the challenge, even if she apparently hates cinnamon. I also love that she took the challenge in a slightly healthier direction. Also, yum, apples!

And now folks, the winner is . . .


Congratulations! The judges (i.e. my taller half and I) applauded your presentation, creativity, and the effort that went into sharing your recipe with us. I can’t wait to try it! I will email you to get your address so I can send some goodies. Please let me know if you have any food allergies.

Thanks again to everyone who entered! It was a really tough choice, which is why I had to ask for help from my taller half. You’re all awesome!

Which entry are you the most excited to bake? Also, look for the week #2 contest announcement in just a bit.