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April leftovers, part one

May 3, 2011

This month, I’m going to have to split my “leftovers” into two posts; I have lots to share with you!

This is a big block of raw white chocolate coconut fudge (a cookbook test recipe). I gifted some of it to Megan when we met up for drinks and tapas. She loved it!

While hanging out at First Fridays in the Crossroads district, Matt and I stopped at a new organic food truck, Good You, for a snack: a grilled vegan burrito stuffed with kidney beans and sweet potato chunks. The very next day, I recreated it for us at home for dinner.

On a sunny Sunday morning, I made us these slammin’ apple pie muffins. They tasted like they came straight out of a Starbucks, I kid you not. At some point, I plan on sharing this recipe with you, because you NEED to try these. Wowza.

Here’s another batch of rice-fried veggies and tofu I threw together. I also decided I don’t have nearly enough baby corn in my life.

Another will-share-in-the-future recipe is this lower-fat banana bread I created. I must say, it’s pretty out of this world!

I found a (possibly ancient) bag of chik’n chunks in my freezer, which I put to use by combining it with navy beans, green beans, garlic, and herbes de Provence for a one-pot dinner.

Speaking of apple pie, here’s more apple pie kamut-oatmeal I made for Matt. I don’t know when or how I got obsessed with this “apple-pie-anything” business, but I’m just fine with it!

After reading previously about Ela‘s use of Xylitol, I was excited to experiment with this bag of it I received from Emerald Forest Foods. Xylitol is a natural sweetener with 40% fewer calories than sugar. It’s good for your teeth, too!

The first thing I made with it was this batch of chocolate zucchini muffins (recipe from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook), which Matt and I took to his parents when we went to visit them in Springfield. They were a hit!

Taco roll-ups strike again! This filling had black beans, corn, and sweet potato. I added jalapeΓ±os to mine only, cuz Matt’s a spice wuss. πŸ˜‰

And finally: one last muffin to show you. If you “like” Almost Vegan on Facebook (or follow me on Twitter), you’ve already heard the story behind these beauties. I’ll recount it here, though, because it’s too precious to miss.

Here’s what I wrote right after it happened:

“I need to go outside and see if pigs are flying, because today when I woke up, Matt proudly presented me with fresh-baked vegan strawberry muffins! HE made them!! It took me 10 minutes to believe he was for real!
Listen to this: while I was still asleep, Matt looked through my cookbooks and picked the recipe for Strawberry Love Muffins out of Hannah Kaminsky’s book. He consulted one of Isa’s books on how to replace oil with applesauce. He replaced granulated sugar with a blend of palm sugar and Xylitol. He used whole wheat pastry flour in place of all-purpose. He put one on a plate for me and garnished it with a sliced fresh strawberry. And last but not least, he TOOK PHOTOS! What has gotten into my man?! I’m blown away!”

Is that amazing, or what?! I didn’t even know Matt knew how to preheat the oven! Though he did make a couple rookie errors (like combining all the ingredients in one bowl before reading the directions, hehe), these were some of the sweetest muffins, literally and figuratively, I’ve ever had. Matt, I love yer guts!

LADIES’ QUESTION: Has a guy ever cooked or baked something for you?

48 Comments leave one →
  1. gidgetnfroggi permalink
    May 3, 2011 1:03 pm

    great food as always want that recipe for the apple muffin πŸ™‚

    you must be rubbing off on matt that is so sweet and he took pictures awesome!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 10, 2011 9:53 am

      I must be! The picture-taking might’ve been the cutest part πŸ˜›

  2. May 3, 2011 1:07 pm

    Yummy eats! Yes, mine has made cookies and meals for me. He is quite the cook!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 10, 2011 9:53 am

      Nice! Go Ryan! πŸ˜‰

  3. May 3, 2011 1:13 pm

    Everything looks awesome. I recently bought some Xylitol after I heard Russell talking about it. Did you simply replace the sugar in the recipe or did it explicitly call for Xylitol?

    I have had men cook for me in the past – there is nothing more romantic. Well, I like it when they clean toilets too πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:16 pm

      The recipe called for sugar, but I just subbed Xylitol 1:1.

      Toilet-cleaning, eh? I don’t think Matt’s quite there yet πŸ˜‰

  4. May 3, 2011 1:47 pm

    Apple pie anything rocks my world!
    Way to Matt! Sometimes it’s the little things that make a marriage thrive πŸ™‚ The husband of mine can’t cook to save his life, but he’s a pro at dishes.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 10, 2011 9:54 am

      Hopefully Matt will keep doing stuff like this if/when we get married πŸ˜›
      Dishwashing is an important job! Matt does a lot of that too, which I’m very grateful for.

  5. Libbi permalink
    May 3, 2011 1:54 pm

    Any chance that you’ll be sharing the White Chocolate Coconut Fudge recipe??? It all looks amazing!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 2:00 pm

      When my cookbook finally comes out, it’ll be in there! I may try and find way to share it before that, too. πŸ˜‰

      • May 3, 2011 2:38 pm

        I would love to get this recipe too! I love white chocolate!

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          May 10, 2011 9:55 am

          Noted! I’ll definitely try to make that recipe one I share in advance. πŸ™‚

  6. May 3, 2011 1:54 pm

    What did you think of Good You? Haven’t tried any of their food yet.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 3, 2011 2:01 pm

      It was pretty good. Easy to replicate, clearly, but when you’re out and about and need to grab something quickly, it was a nice option to have around. πŸ™‚

  7. May 3, 2011 2:51 pm

    Aww, that’s so sweet that Matt made those muffins! AND made all those substitutions. AND pictures. AND they look awesome, to boot – lucky lady!
    I love all these “leftovers.” And will patiently wait for you to post the promised recipes. Patiently being the key yet maybe not so accurate word πŸ˜›

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 11, 2011 11:28 pm

      I AM a lucky lady πŸ˜€ Hehe, patience is a difficult virtue, I know, but I promise it’ll pay off when it comes to these recipes!

  8. May 3, 2011 2:56 pm

    What a cute little muffin! Nope Chris has never made a muffin but he makes lots of other foods, more to the savory side. He actually used to make raw chocolate before I took over that operation.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:39 pm

      Hehe! Maybe I should teach Matt how to make raw chocolate… πŸ˜‰

  9. May 3, 2011 4:36 pm

    That’s so stinkin’ cute that Matt made those for you! They look great!

    Now, we need to discuss a date for you to post the banana bread and apple wonderful muffin recipes…. I NEED those in my life!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:40 pm

      Haha, I can’t give an exact date…YET…but I’ll make it happen πŸ™‚

  10. May 3, 2011 4:44 pm

    A male friend of mine made a coconut cream pie for me in grad school. I was shocked because it was so good. I hope he’s still cooking cuz I lost track of him several years ago. BTW it was way prior to my becoming veganized.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:41 pm


  11. May 3, 2011 5:18 pm

    I need that white choc coconut fudge recipe! I have some good ones myself, but I’d love to know the geography of that one.

    So much fun to recreate recipes after eating them out. And that’s awesome that Matt made you muffins–how adorable! I don’t think I’ve had quite that pleasure (but I tend to be a little possessive of the kitchen, maybe).

    Glad you’re trying the xylitol and hope you enjoy it.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:46 pm

      The fudge is a cookbook recipe! Maybe I’ll share it in advance, though πŸ˜›

      Hehe, I’m possessive of the kitchen too…had I been awake, I’m sure I’d have been hovering over Matt like a hawk! But he surprised me with this secret kitchen finesse of his. πŸ™‚

  12. May 3, 2011 5:40 pm

    That’s adorable! Props, Matt. My boyfriend’s claim to fame is that he made soup. Once. I cook for him, he doesn’t cook for me.

    And raw white chocolate coconut fudge? Yes please. You have a gift, my friend.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:47 pm

      Hey, soup is still something! πŸ˜›

      Aw, thank you Nat!

  13. May 3, 2011 8:28 pm

    My husband, Nathan (I’m Kelly!) actually really enjoys cooking up a surprise for me every once in a while. I love it. The man makes a MEAN smoothie!

    And my doctor (a holistic, natural dr.) actually sells gum that is sweetened with xylitol and when I saw it in his office last week, that was the first I’d heard of it. Is it good? I’ve been taken in by the likes of Stevia before…and was, um…less than impressed, you could say.

    P.S. As a KC resident myself, I keep expecting to see you just like out walking some day. πŸ™‚ Hope I do!
    Thanks for all the great food ideas and photos. Love them!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:50 pm

      Matt’s getting pretty good with smoothie-making, too! πŸ™‚

      I couldn’t detect any difference in taste in the Xylitol muffins, actually. Two thumbs up from me!

      Ahh, how cool you’re in KC! It’s a small world…so who knows, someday, we may just run into each other (literally!). If you see me, do say hi!

  14. May 3, 2011 8:41 pm

    wow that is a whole lotta left overs. I am craving the taco wraps for sure. Also the banana muffins. Love that Matt cooked that for you and made all of those amazing changes. Awesome.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:51 pm

      I know, right? I’m so proud of him πŸ˜€

  15. May 3, 2011 9:15 pm

    wow, great looking food!! I would keel over dead if my hubby baked me something!!!! LOL

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:52 pm

      Haha! Hey, you never know, it could happen! I certainly never expected it πŸ™‚

  16. May 3, 2011 9:16 pm

    Ohh. My. Gosh. Can you just cook for me everyday? πŸ˜€


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:55 pm

      I’d love to! Wanna hire me? πŸ˜›

  17. May 4, 2011 1:23 am

    Woah! I’m so impressed with Matt! That’s cool πŸ™‚ Your eats always look SO GOOD! Wish I could reach into the computer screen and pick things out!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:56 pm

      Now THAT’d be a cool trick. As soon as you figure out how to do that, teach me! πŸ˜‰

  18. May 4, 2011 5:36 am

    The first night my German came (and stayed… ahem) over, he brought a traditional german cake that he’d made to which he’d spur-0f-the-moment added coconut cream and lychees and cherries. It made me happy. And then he left, which made me less happy.

    Just like the white chocolate fudge made me unhappy. You cruel, cruel taunting lass you!

    • Matt permalink
      May 5, 2011 12:02 am

      I would have saved some for you had you been here, Hannah. We’ll find some more German chefs for you. Surely there must be some around here somewhere…

      • May 5, 2011 12:49 am

        Aw thanks Matt. Could you please make sure that the German you find doesn’t turn out have had a girlfriend he didn’t tell me about, the existence of whom I only discover via Facebook photos later? Kthnxbai!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:57 pm

      Ohh, your German’s cake sounds wonderful. Your German? Not so wonderful, in the end. =/

      • May 13, 2011 11:25 pm

        All of the four boys I’ve had connections – albeit brief – with since my travels started in 2009 are now in serious relationships, and I’m still miss alonepants. It makes me cry inside. And outside. Sigh!

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          May 13, 2011 11:31 pm

          Well that simply means they settled – and you haven’t. You’ve come out ahead. πŸ™‚ But I do understand the heartache.

          • May 13, 2011 11:34 pm

            Thanks love. Right now I just feel like a bit of a freak, but it’ll pass πŸ™‚ Plus I just made raw pecan carob (well, the carob isn’t raw, I guess…) biscotti, so that helps!!

          • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
            May 13, 2011 11:36 pm

            Good. Biscotti should always help πŸ™‚

  19. Matt permalink
    May 4, 2011 11:59 pm

    Amber deserves this sort of treatment from me more often. She cooks for me all the time. It was time for me to get off my rump and get creative. Thanks Hannah K. for the excellent and clearly successful recipe!

    Hugs all around!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 13, 2011 10:57 pm

      Aww. Well, I can’t say I’d complain if you did stuff like this more often πŸ˜› But you spoil me enough already in so many other ways! :*

  20. Simone permalink
    May 10, 2011 3:07 am

    Hey, Amber, What a great post!! Everything looks fabulous, as usual.
    I just loved reading about Matt. What a joy to share with all of us!
    I have to tell you that my young teenage son, Ryan, who reads your blog, has surprised me more than once with homemade treats.
    One of the most memorable was a few years ago, when I came home from Jury Duty (having eaten nothing all day) he had looked up a smoothie recipe and followed it to the letter. I had a major green smoothie made iwth mango waiting for me when I walked in the door.
    After being at a meeting all day, I came home to his first two-layer cake (organic).
    Upon return from a retreat he greated me with red colored, heart shaped biscuts. ❀
    And just this last Sunday, Mother's Day, he created an original papaya smoothie for me! It was so good, that I recreated it again today!
    He is such a blessing to me, I just had to share it with you, too.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 10, 2011 9:52 am

      WOW, Simone! I hope I have kids half as sweet at that someday. Ryan sounds like the most thoughtful son ever! You’re a lucky lady to have him…and he’s a lucky guy to have you as a mom πŸ™‚ Happy belated mothers day to you!

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