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Ginger and Caramel Cheesecake

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Serves about 8-16

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

1 container of Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Cookies
1 stick of Earth Balance, melted

In a food processor, blend about 3/4 of the cookies and the melted margarine till it becomes a fine crumb. Press into 4 mini non-stick springform pans or one large.

1.5 containers of vegan cream cheese (12 oz)
11 oz silken tofu
2/3 c granulated white sugar

Blend together till creamy.

1/8 c lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cornstarch

Whisk together in a small bowl, then add to tofu mixture. Blend again for a couple minutes. Pour mixture evenly between the mini tins or onto the one big crust and then back for about 35-45 mins (till golden-tinged on top). Remove from oven and let cool for 2 hours.

1 c granulated white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c coconut cream (the hard stuff off the top of the can – easiest way to get this is to refrigerate the can for a few hours)

In a heavy-bottomed pot (at least medium-sized, because you don’t want to deal with boiling-over caramel), add the sugar and salt and heat on high, continuously stirring with a wooden spoon until it becomes completely lumpy (about 10 mins). Reduce heat to medium and keep stirring till most of the lumps have softened and you have a sort of soft, gooey clump of melted brown sugar (about another 10 mins). Add the coconut cream (carefully – a couple tbsp at a time – because it will boil up and splatter) and kept stirring till the lumps are gone (or at least mostly gone) (about another 10 mins). 

Once the cheesecakes have cooled you can either

– pour the hot caramel directly onto them, then cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight. The caramel will appear to harden while it’s cooling, but something in the cheesecake filling will re-liquefy it completely in about 48 hours, so it’ll end up a nice, gooey sauce or

– spread the caramel out on to parchment or wax paper and let it harden (only takes a few minutes) then break it up into chunks and sprinkle over the cheesecakes before serving or

– a combination of both of the above.

 

 

Easy Salads

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When you just don’t feel like cooking every day of the week, and you’re feeling bad about all the crap you ate last week, this is what you should do:

1. Boil some french lentils, about a 1/4 cup of dry lentils per serving, with twice as much water (rinse lentils, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for about 30 mins or so). Strain.

2. Boil some pearled barley (or quinoa, or millet, or wheat berries), about a 1/4 cup per serving – cover generously with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 30-40 mins. Strain.

3. Peel half a medium sweet potato per serving, chop into 1″ pieces, soak in cold water for about 30 mins.

4. Chop up a kabocha/buttercup pumpkin into quarters (1/4 per serving) and don’t bother peeling, also soak in cold water.

5. Heat oven to 425F. Rinse veggies, dry and then toss in a little safflower oil, some garlic powder, dried thyme and rosemary. Roast for about 30-40 mins, till tender.

6. Make a vinaigrette: 2 tbsp of good balsamic vinegar, 6 tbsp olive oil, a pinch of salt, a big pinch of brown sugar, some cracked pepper and some minced garlic (this makes enough for about 3 servings).

7. Serve everything warm, mixed up with a salad of spinach, red onion, grape tomatoes, cucumber and avocado.

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