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Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

These Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are perfectly moist and are totally addictive!  Gingerbread is my favourite holiday flavour and over the years I’ve made lots of gingerbread recipes.  Everything from gingerbread bacon cookies to gingerbread stuffing, I love experimenting with this flavour.  Surprisingly, I had yet to make cupcakes, so for an upcoming holiday party I decided to bring a vegan dessert.  I love the richness of vegan treats and adore a cream cheese frosting (the best kind!).  I also had to make them dairy free for my boyfriend, so with that in mind I set out to make these ultimate vegan cupcakes.

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

These spiced vegan cupcakes are spongy and stay moist because of the baking soda combined with the coconut oil, which also added to the sweetness.  I used homemade apple sauce as a natural sweetener as well as a binder and it worked like a charm.  I find it so satisfying to bake without processed sugar.  For the topping,  I chose Daiya cream cheese as this brand really tastes like the real thing.  The frosting turned out amazing!  Dairy-free, creamy and fluffy, I actually prefer this to the regular version.  I couldn’t stop eating the leftovers!

These to-die-for, oh-so-moist Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are full of spiced flavour, with a kick of citrus and are topped with a velvety, tangy frosting.  A nice light, low sugar dessert for the holiday season!

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

These to-die-for, oh-so-moist Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are full of spiced flavour, with a kick of citrus and are topped with a velvety, tangy frosting. A nice light, low sugar dessert for the holiday season!

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup pure molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • For the frosting
  • 1 container (227 g) of Daiya cream cheese (or similar dairy free cream cheese)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • 12 small pieces of crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced crystallized ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a twelve cup muffin tray with liners. Heat orange juice in a small pot until it boils.
  2. Into a medium bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and the salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer mix apple sauce, coconut oil and molasses until combined.
  4. In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1/4 cup heated orange juice and stir the mixture to dissolve the baking soda. Stir the juice into the molasses mixture.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time until evenly combined, making sure to scrap the sides with a spatula.
  6. Spoon the batter into the liners, filling them halfway. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don't worry if the cupcakes are flat or slightly indented on top. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, apple sauce, coconut oil and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the icing sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, gradually increasing the speed of the mixer until all the sugar is mixed in. Beat on high until smooth and fluffy.
  8. Beat in the orange zest and juice and the chill the frosting for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  9. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and top each one with a piece of ginger.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/11/21/vegan-gingerbread-cupcakes-orange-cream-cheese-frosting/

What is your favourite vegan cupcake recipe?  Do you love gingerbread and cream cheese frosting as much as me? 

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

For many years I relied on the same old honey-pecan-carrot recipe when it came to a festive root vegetable dish, but this holiday season I was on a quest to find a new side.  Roasting vegetables is an easy way to bring out the flavours with minimal effort, and a really healthy cooking technique too.  I still wanted to use carrots, but tried to use a few other veggies that are often forgotten about,  and thus my Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel recipe was born. 

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

I absolutely love roasting fennel, the process transforms this lowly root vegetable into a soft, fragrant addition to sauces, salads, curries and sides.  High in fiber and B vitamins, fennel also has a lot of beneficial health properties, and is also a source of iron, calcium and magnesium.  Good for the body when the winter blues hits, and after indulging in heavy holiday fare!

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasting carrots brings out the sweetness and is balanced by the sweet licorice flavour of the fennel.  Parsnips are one of those vegetables that I always fear will be bland, but in this case they add a bit of heartiness and are a compliment to the sweet carrots.  The crunch from the fennel gives the dish some texture alongside the tender roasted carrots and parsnips.

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Quick and easy, this dish can be prepped ahead of time and then popped into the oven when the turkey comes out.  A healthy addition to a holiday menu, these root vegetables are given new life with the addition of fennel, and as a bonus the roasted fennel will fill your home with a delightful licorice aroma!

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Ingredients

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks discarded and bulbs cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F, making sure the racks are in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. Divide vegetables evenly between two baking sheets. Toss carrots, parsnips and fennel using half the olive oil, wine, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper per sheet.
  3. Evenly spread out the vegetables and cover pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Roast vegetables for 10 minutes, then uncover, toss and rotate sheets.
  5. Roast 10 minutes more. Toss and rotate sheets.
  6. Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes more.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/11/07/roasted-carrots-parsnips-and-fennel/

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

What is your favourite holiday side dish?   What other dishes can roasted fennel be added to besides carrots and parsnips?

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb may sound contradictory but when you’ve forgotten to defrost your meat the night before, and 2pm rolls around, you no longer have 6-8 hours of slow cooking time.  Not to worry, you can still achieve tender, juicy lamb and have dinner ready by the time you come home.

Speedy Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder

Slow cooked lamb & root vegetable bowl

I’ve recently started to buy boneless lamb leg from Costco.  One $30 leg makes about 8 meals, a really good deal!  I split the leg in two and froze the other half for a later date.  The first time I made lamb in the slow cooker I had it on low for 3 hours and 1 hour on high and the leg came out a flavourful and juicy.  For the second half of the leg, I reversed the process and cooked the lamb for 4 hours on high and 1 hour on low and the result was very different.  The leg fell apart into tender strands and chunks, and my mouth watered as I pulled the meat apart.  I added different root vegetables each time, they give another layer of flavour and are nice and soft after being cooked in lamb juice.  Squash, potatoes, parsnips –  you can’t go wrong!  

Pulled lamb taco with peach salsa, guacamole and hot banana peppers & onions

Pulled lamb taco with peach salsa, guacamole and hot banana peppers & onions

The pulled lamb was so versatile!  We used the meat for tacos on Taco Tuesday and in a carb-free root vegetable bowl.  I plan to blend the remaining vegetables with my canned tomatoes and add the leftover meat to make a lamb ragu sauce – stay tuned for those photos!

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

Ingredients

  • Boneless leg of lamb (depending on the size of your slow cooker) approx 3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup dry red wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, trimmed and peeled
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoon fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 2 pounds root vegetables scrubbed and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ cup low sodium beef broth
  • (I've used various combinations of sweet potato, yellow potato, parsnips and butternut squash)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat.
  2. Rub lamb with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkling of salt & pepper. Using tongs, sear each side for 30 seconds. Remove lamb and place on plastic cutting board. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of red wine.
  3. In a food processor, combine garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon ground pepper, mint and rosemary. Process and spread paste over lamb, making sure to get into all the little crevices.
  4. Place lamb in slow cooker along with sauce from the deglazed pan, root vegetables, beef broth and ½ cup of red wine.
  5. Cook on high for 4 hours, then for 1 hour on low.
  6. Remove lamb from slow cooker and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Pull apart using a carving fork. Using a slotted spoon, remove root vegetables.
  7. Reserve juice for gravies or for cooking quinoa.
  8. Serve lamb alongside root vegetables or in a taco.
  9. Root vegetables can be blended into a tomato sauce for a lamb ragu.

Notes

I leave the skin on the root vegetables to add flavour to the lamb, with the exception of the butternut squash which has to be peeled.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/10/31/speedy-slow-cooked-lamb/

Speedy Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder

Slow cooked lamb and root vegetable bowl

Cooking lamb in the slow cooker is a delicious meal to make on a winter’s eve.  There is nothing more comforting then walking in from the cold and being greeted by the smell of savory lamb, all ready to be served!

What is your favourite meal to make in a slow cooker?