Heavenly Vegan Peanut Butter Blondies with Ganache Topper

I love blondies and I love peanut butter and I love chocolate. There’s a whole lotta love in this recipe. Your heart will open wider with your first bite of these delectable divinities.pbbars twinke
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes 12 large or 24 small blondies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
2/3 cup neutral-tasting oil
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk (soy, rice, or almond)
2/3 cup whole unsalted peanuts
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 coconut-milk can’s worth (about 1 1/2 cups) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add peanut butter, oil, vanilla, brown sugar, and ginger. Mix at a low speed until blended. Add flour, salt, baking powder, milk, and peanuts and mix at a low speed until well blended. Spread mixture into an ungreased 9” x 13” baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until the blondies start pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 20 more minutes.
While blondies cool, make the ganache. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk over medium-low heat until warm. Fill the coconut milk can with chocolate chips and add them to the saucepan. Give it a stir, turn off the heat, and let sit on the burner with the heat off until the chips are melted and the mixture can be stirred like an icing. Spread ganache on top of the lightly cooled blondies.
Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before cutting and serving.
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Vegan Sweet Potato Lasagna

Sweet potatoes are on my short list of amazing greatness in the food category. My favorite kind of sweet potato is the Japanese variety. It has a yellow flesh, a dry texture, and the flavor of Italian chestnuts. Japanese sweets are delicious in this recipe, but any sweet potato will do. The combination of sweet potatoes, marinara, and noodles is ridiculously satisfying, and shockingly surprising to omnivores in this vegan sensation of an entree. This recipe could possibly change your life and the lives of those around you.

Think ahead and if you can, roast the sweets while cooking other things in the oven to get the maximum usage of your BTUs and save time when putting the lasagna together.

splasagna

Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hours, 10 minutes, plus roasting sweet potatoes

Serves 8 to 10

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces mushrooms (any kind), finely diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh
2 bay leaves
24-ounce jar marinara sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon light-colored vinegar
1 cup water
3 roasted sweet potatoes, peeled and cooled 
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
16-ounce package lasagna noodles (traditional or no-boil)
roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs or Nu Cheeze 
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and sauté onion, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper, carrot, celery, thyme, and bay leaves until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add marinara, sugar, vinegar, and water and stir to combine. Move to the back burner and simmer over low heat. While it simmers, lightly mash sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, but don’t use more than called for.

After about 15 minutes, remove sauce from heat. Assemble lasagna by scantily covering the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan with 1/2 cup sauce. Next, lay out a row of noodles edge to edge in a single layer. Evenly drop about half of the mashed sweet potatoes in large spoonfuls over the noodles; do not spread. Drop 1 cup sauce in spoonfuls, add a second layer of noodles, and press down gently until sauce oozes through the noodle layer. Add remaining sweet potatoes, then 1 1/2 cups sauce and a third layer of noodles. Spread remaining 1 cup sauce over the top. Cover lasagna with thinly sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle breadcrumbs or Nu Cheeze on top and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Cover with foil and bake for 60 minutes, removing foil at 40 minutes to brown the top. The lasagna is done when a knife inserted in the very middle slides in and out easily, ensuring cooked noodles. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy and think about what your life was like before sweet potato lasagna.

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