Sweet Utopia Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Homemade Garlic Pickles April 17, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — sharonsweets @ 12:01 pm

These pickles are so easy to make, and they pack a serious bite!! 

6 cups sliced cucumbers

1 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

Small handful garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons pickling spice mix

1/4 cup freshly washed dill, roughly chopped

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring vinegar and salt to a boil. Boil about 10 minutes.
Place the cucumbers, garlic and herbs in a large bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over this mixture. Transfer to sterile containers (mason jars or tomato sauce jars prepared by pouring boiling water over them) and store in the refrigerator. 
Wait at least a few days before serving.


Pizza Ebraica July 18, 2016

Filed under: Recipes & Food Ideas,vegan dessert — sharonsweets @ 4:02 pm

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Rome, I’ve been researching the recipes of the Jewish Ghetto. Last year I was in Venice and enjoyed original delights from the Jewish Ghetto. Rome has a different spin on things!  Here I have almost the original recipe for the most iconic Roman Jewish sweet. I took out the egg white and use cream of tartar instead. It’s a simple, delicious cookie-like dessert. In Rome it is served more deeply browned. 

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup granulated sugar

¾ cup raisins soaked in 1 cup Marsala wine for 10 minutes (you can also use purple grape juice)

1/2 cup whole almonds, with skins

1/2 cup sliced almonds 

1 cup candied chopped dried citron, or a combination of orange and lemon

½ cup pine nuts (Pignoli) (optional)

1/2 cup dried chopped apricots and/or golden raising (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Cover a jellyroll pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 
Place the olive oil, flour, cream of tartar, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl and mix. 
Add the raisins and wine and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands. Add the nuts, raisin mixture with wine, candied fruit, and other dried fruit if using it, and mix with your hands until combined. 

Spread onto the pan and shape into a large oval or rectangle, almost the size of the cookie sheet, about an inch and a half thick. 

Pat to even out the top. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until browned but not burned. 

To eat, break into pieces.


Simple Rich Chocolate Stout Cake

Filed under: Recipes & Food Ideas,vegan dessert — sharonsweets @ 12:04 pm

You’re guaranteed to love this cake! It’s so sophisticated, chocolately and rewarding, yet simple to throw together. 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt

1 cup nondairy milk 

1 cup chocolate or coffee flavored or plain stout 

1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Oil and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. 
Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. 
Stir in the wet ingredients and mix until integrated. 
Pour into the baking pans and bake for about 28 minutes. 

1 cup dark choc chips
 2 tablespoons vegan butter  

 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 

1 tablespoon dark spiced rum or other liqueur 

To make the icing, melt the chocolate with the vegan butter.

Beat in the powdered sugar and optional liqueur until smooth.

Spread over the cooled cake.


White Chocolate Coconut Cookies February 8, 2016

Filed under: Recipes & Food Ideas,vegan dessert — sharonsweets @ 2:47 pm

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
These cookies are very delicate. If the batter is too soft or sticky, refrigerate it for some time (up to a day or two in advance is ok) prior to baking.

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) Earth Balance
2/3 cup almond meal/almond flour or finely ground almonds
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon almond or other nondairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup vegan white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream the butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt separately.
Combine both mixtures.
Stir in the coconut and white chocolate chips.
Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or wax paper.
Form 1 1/2 inch balls and place on the lined baking sheet, inches apart.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are just barely light brown.
Allow cookies to cool. Store refrigerated.


Cranberry Orange Dream Pie February 2, 2016

Filed under: Recipes & Food Ideas,vegan dessert — sharonsweets @ 12:29 pm

This creamy, tangy pie is so refreshing and takes cranberry to the next level. Not just for Thanksgiving!

12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1 juicy orange
8 ounce package tofu cream cheese
12 ounce package silken tofu
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 prepared graham crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, cook the cranberries and sugar 10 minutes, until softened and thickened. Remove from heat.
Zest the orange and add to the mixture.
Squeeze the juice from the orange into the mixture.
Combine the mixture and the rest of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 14 minutes. There may be a bit of extra mixture for you to enjoy while the pie bakes.
Let the pie cool and refrigerate several hours or overnight prior to serving.



Iron Woman – Or, Beating Anemia, Vegan-Style August 13, 2015

Filed under: vegan health — sharonsweets @ 12:11 pm
Tags: , ,

A friend of mine, an avid meat eater, unfortunately, recently found out that she was severely anemic. Her doctor told her to eat copious amounts of bloody red meat each week, almost daily. She reminded me of how when i was pregnant, I overcame a case of anemia within a week. Here’s what I ate:

-Organic Blackstrap Molasses by the spoonful, with some orange juice as a chaser, because Vitamin C helps you to absorb iron

–Dried Apricots, preferably unsulphured

–Lentils, again with citrus, lime is yummy, as is my lentil-walnut pate, recipe on the blog

–Dark red kidney beans and black beans

–Drops of Yellow Dock tincture in some orange juice, several times per day (purchased through Amazon or health store)

–Spinach, raw and cooked, with lemon

My midwife was shocked at how quickly I snapped back into health after the brief bout of pregnancy anemia. I proceeded to have a super healthy pregnancy!!




Quick Pumpkin Soup September 27, 2014

Filed under: gluten-free,Recipes & Food Ideas,sugar-free — sharonsweets @ 9:07 am

Ever wonder what to do with the rest of the canned pumpkin after you make one of my many delicious pumpkin recipes in Sweet Utopia? Whip up some healthy pumpkin soup!

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup plain or vanilla nondairy milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar or sweetener of choice to taste (stevia, agave, etc)
Crushed graham crackers and/or coconut oil for garnish (optional)

Stir the pumpkin, milk and spices together in a small saucepan over low heat.
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in the sweetener and garnish with crushed graham crackers, cinnamon, additional sweetener, and drizzle liquid (melted) coconut oil on top if desired.




Chia “Rice” Pudding (Sugar-free, Gluten-free) September 22, 2014

Filed under: gluten-free,Recipes & Food Ideas,sugar-free,vegan dessert — sharonsweets @ 9:36 am

Here is a very healthy take on traditional rice pudding. It’s very quick and simple to prepare, and provides all the health benefits of chia! You can also make this using regular nondairy milk instead of unsweetened, and adjust the amount of stevia.

1 cup unsweetened almond or other nondairy milk (plain or vanilla flavored)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup chia seeds

Liquid vanilla stevia drops, to taste

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Combine the milk and cinnamon in a small saucepan and cook over low heat about 5 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a boil.

Stir in the vanilla, chia and orange zest.

Add stevia drops to taste.

Let the mixture thicken then spoon into small bowls.

Serve warm or chilled.

Keep refrigerated.






Parsnip Carrot Patties September 21, 2014

Flavorful and super healthy packages of beta carotene, these bright patties have a hint of natural sweetness and are a great autumn mini dish.IMG_9408e

Quantity: 12

Size: Regular



1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks

3 tablespoons olive, canola or safflower oil

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons chopped scallions, mainly white and light green parts

1/3 cup brown rice flour

2 tablespoons water

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil for brushing


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and oil a regular 12-muffin pan. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the parsnips and carrots for 10 minutes. Drain, remove and shred or pulse in a food processor until very small pieces form.

Sauté the onion in the oil until lightly browned. Add the scallions and cook another minute. Place the contents of the pan in a large bowl. Add the parsnip/carrot mixture to the onion mixture. Add in the flour, water, salt and pepper and mix until well combined. Press the mixture into the pan and drizzle or brush with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.






Chilaquile Cups

These are fun to make – and a perfect dish that is ok to be messy and imperfect, which is perfect for kids to help with.

Quantity: 12

Size: Regular



4 ounces tortilla chips

1 1/2 cups refried beans

3 tablespoons chopped sliced jalapenos, fresh or canned

1 1/4 cup salsa, plus more for serving

Half a fresh lime

1/2 cup shredded yellow or Mexican-flavored vegan cheese

Garnish: (optional)

Salsa, vegan gluten-free sour cream, guacamole, lettuce


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and oil a regular 12-muffin pan. Place 3-4 tortilla chips on the bottom of each cup and around the sides. The chips can be broken. Divide the refried beans and place in the middle of the chips. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons water over each cup. Divide and place the salsa over the cups. Squeeze the lime over each cup. Place 1-2 tablespoons of cheese on top.

Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned with crispy edges. Allow the cups to cool for a few minutes before carefully removing. Garnish with additional salsa, guacamole, lettuce and vegan sour cream if desired. Serve warm.