Vegan MoFo 2014: Meaty Meatless Monday: Walnut Burger Meat Crumbles

This recipe is fairly basic and can be seasoned according to your needs. I will use it later on this Wednesday in a lasagna recipe, and on Friday in an amazing pizza recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 portobello cap, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes in juice, canned, no salt added
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place walnuts, onions, portobello, and garlic in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until ground and soft but not totally smooth—keeping it still gritty.
  4. Place into a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and combine well.
  5. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper in a single layer.
  6. Bake for a total of 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, take a spatula to flip as best as you can. It’ll be crumbly, just try to get the parts that were touching the pan to face up as much as possible. Continue to bake for the remaining 15 minutes.
  7. When done, use in place of recipes that call for hamburger meat, or mix with a marinara sauce and serve over pasta,

Enjoy!! I really like this recipe, it’s so versatile and delicious!

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Vegan MoFo 2014: Sunday Brunch: Bagel Casserole

During Girls Rock Camp this Summer, we had an influx of day old bagels being donated to us daily.It was awesome and fed a lot of hungry campers and volunteers. However, I ended up with most of the leftover, slightly stale bagels that we had cut in half for ease of serving. What was I to do with all these? Well, considering I was already thinking about recipes for Vegan MoFo (in the very early stages, however) I thought: VEGAN BAGEL BREAKFAST CASSEROLE!

And so, this beauty was born.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large somewhat stale everything bagels, cut in half and then into chunks
  • Oil cooking spray
  • Vegan chive and garlic (or onion) cream cheese (I used Go Veggie vegan brand by Galaxy Foods, Daiya makes one too)-the whole container
  • 3 daiya cheddar slices, broken into bits
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1 cup unsweetened hemp milk
  • 1/4 tsp (or less) Indian Black Salt (the kind that smells like eggs)—this is somewhat optional to your preferences and availability of this ingredient
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt, to taste (I used none)

Directions:

  1. Spray a 13”x9” casserole dish with cooking oil spray
  2. Place bagel chunks into the dish, and spray the oil again over the bagels
  3. Take a butter knife and place chunks of the chive cream cheese around the bagel chunks
  4. Do the same with the pieces of Daiya cheddar slice bits (refer to picture)
  5. Drain and break up the tofu into a food processor, and add the hemp milk, blending until smooth
  6. Add the remaining ingredients into the processor and blend until combined
  7. Pour this mixture over the casserole you have assembled so far (picture)
  8. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator over night.
  9. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place in the oven for 45 minutes, uncover, and heat for another 5 minutes.
  10. Voila! Dig in!

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Reference picture for step #4

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Reference step 7

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A photo of the finished product!

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Vegan MoFo 2014: Soup, Sandwich, Salad Saturdays: Easy Creamy Tomato Soup and Basil Grilled Daiya Cheese

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Growing up, as a kid I loved creamy tomato soup. I’d even put some mozzarella cheese shreds in the soup and let it melt and swirl it around. Thankfully, due to Daiya that part was easy. However, finding an easy to make vegan creamy tomato soup was more difficult. Luckily, I figured out something that tastes good, especially if you dip the Basil and Grilled Daiya Cheese sandwich in it too!

These are two very simple recipes to make, which I am happy about.

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Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened, original hemp milk
  • Italian Seasoning blend, to taste
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Daiya Mozzarella shreds (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the tomato sauce, hemp milk, and seasoning (you can also add salt and pepper if desired).
  2. On medium heat, begin to heat up this mixture.
  3. When starting to become hot, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry in a little cup, and then whisk into the soup.
  4. Stir constantly until bubbling and thickened more. If the soup doesn’t really thicken you may need to add more cornstarch and water.
  5. Serve in a soup bowl and sprinkle some Daiya Mozzarella shreds into the soup for a melty, delicious extra kick, or dip the basil grilled Daiya cheese sandwich in it.

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Basil Grilled Daiya Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread of choice (I used sprouted rye)
  • 2 slices Daiya Provolone or Swiss
  • 6 leaves of fresh basil
  • Spray oil

Directions:

  1. I recommend lightly toasting the bread first, especially if you have a softer type of bread you are using.
  2. Spray each side of the bread with oil.
  3. Place the cheese slices on one slice of bread, followed by the basil leaves.
  4. Place the other slice of bread on top.
  5. Spray a bit more oil onto a frying pan.
  6. Heat on both sides of the sandwich on medium heat until the bread is crispy and brown and the cheese is melted.
  7. Dip in the soup or eat alone. Enjoy!

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Vegan Mofo 2014: Friday Pie Day: Basic Veggie Pot Pie

Hi there,

I originally fell in love with vegan pot pies after trying to follow this recipe, which was originally on vegweb. However, it inspired me to create my own pie crust recipe, because prepared vegan pie crusts are a pain to find. Also, since so much of the recipe just says “to taste” it’s hard to find the right amounts to make it feasible. I have experimented with all kinds of fillings, but this is my favorite combination (much of which isn’t really on the original recipe). I also have more or less figured out a good proportion for the broth, cornstarch and water, and almond milk but please note that it can vary depending on how big or small the vegetables are.

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Basic Vegan Veggie Pot Pie Recipe:

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp cold Earth Balance
  • 6 tbsp non-hydrogenated organic vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For the filling:

  • Cauliflower- 1 cup steamed
  • 1/2-1 cup mushrooms, sautéed until the juices are released
  • 1 zucchini steamed
  • 1 yellow squash steamed
  • 1 onion, sautéed for about 3 minutes with a bit of oil
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage
  • 4 daiya cheddar slices or 1/2 cup daiya shredded cheddar

Directions:

For the pie crust:

  1. Place flours and salt in a food processor. Give it a quick whir to combine together.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of shortening, quickly pulse, and continue to add the shortening 2 tbsp at a time until you’ve put in 6 tbsp.
  3. Follow the same method with the earth balance as above.
  4. With the processor running, open the little opening thing on top and slowly pour in the water.
  5. Separate the dough into fairly equal halves.
  6. Smoosh into two round disk shapes, and wrap each in plastic wrap.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to 2 hours.

For the rest of the pie:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Take out the crust disks from the fridge to soften up a bit depending on how long you placed them in the fridge. If you only placed it in for 15 minutes then just take it out right before you want to use it.
  3. Prepare the vegetables accordingly. Once each is cooked place in a large bowl.
  4. Once the oven is heated, roll out one disk of the dough on a flat surface over plastic wrap into a thin circular shape (it’s okay if it’s not perfect) and place over a pie dish. Mould to the sides of the dish, place some slits with a knife into the bottom of the dough, and bake for 5-7 minutes so it isn’t as soft as it was before. Set aside.
  5. Prepare the broth/gravy.  Mix together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl or cup. Set aside and boil together the veggie broth and almond milk and herbs and spices. When hot, add in the cornstarch and water mixture and whisk until this all starts to boil and thicken. Pour over the vegetables in the bowl you set aside and stir to combine.
  6. Place the Daiya cheddar in the bottom crust.
  7. Place the veggie and gravy filling inside the crust.
  8. Repeat the steps you used to roll out the bottom crust and place on top, pinching the sides together. Design a cute decoration out of the slits you cut for ventilation.
  9. I find it a good idea to place a baking dish under the pie before baking in case things ooze out.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes to ensure the crust isn’t burning in your oven. If you think you need more time to bake it but the crust is starting to brown around the edges, you can wrap foil around those edges and it will help with that problem.

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Made with love!

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The filling before it was baked

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Happy Friday, everyone!!

Bonus Blog Post for the day! Definition Magazine.

Hey! I’m back. I sort of miss being able to post things without them needing to fit into my vegan mofo theme, so I thought I’d make an extra post.

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I have recently started editing at an awesome vegan fitness magazine for women. It’s called Definition and currently it is available through various online sites for free or by donation (but the donations go directly to trying to get it published for newsstands!). You can find more information on it here!

It includes some great vegan Rosh Hashanah recipes, (which was actually the topic of my first ever blog post here a year ago) by the lovely Emily Segal! And it includes lots of other amazing nutrition information, recipes, workout tips, and plant-powered fitness stories!

Vegan Mofo 2014: Thirsty Thursday: Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie

First of all, my blog’s graphics got revamped! I love it. Thank you to my brother Chad Kaplan for that! You can check out more of his work on his facebook page. And here’s one of my favorite pieces that he did last year for Thanksgiving. That turkey is really getting some revenge:

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It’s another edition of Vegan MoFo 2014, and in my theme today is Thirsty Thursday! I have prepared a Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie recipe.

When I gave up coffee for the first time awhile ago, my boyfriend bought me some instant chicory from France. If you are unfamiliar with this ingredient, chicory is a coffee substitute (from a plant) without caffeine that tastes somewhat like coffee, among other things. It is believed to be able to help people fight intestinal parasites. Thankfully, I do not believe I have any of those. It’s just a good tasting drink that sort of tastes like coffee but to me has a sort of gingerbread flavor to it too.

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This smoothie was great for me because I used blackstrap molasses in it, which contains a high amount of dietary iron. I tend to lose a lot of iron when it’s that time of the month, so it can be really good for women to use as a sweetener or in other recipes where it’ll taste good. However, the full tablespoon ended up making it taste a little weird to me. I’d recommend depending on your needs that you put less molasses into it unless you’re not like me and really love the taste of molasses.

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Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp instant chicory
  • 1 tsp-1 tbsp (depending on preference, see above description) blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 pinches allspice
  • 2 pinches ground nutmeg
  • 2 pinches ground cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • scoop or two protein powder
  • greens

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Vegan Mofo Day 17: Worldly Wednesdays: French Onion Soup

Okay, so this could have easily also went into Saturday’s theme, but I felt for some reason that having it in Worldly Wednesday was more fitting.

French onion soup with melty cheese on top of French bread croutons

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French onion soup with melty cheese on top of french bread croutons

This recipe took a lot of research and was referenced to two different recipes, one vegan from the start and one not. The main recipe I want to give credit to is the recipe I based the cheese off of, http://vedgedout.com/2013/03/11/individual-vegan-margherita-pizzas-with-homemade-fresh-moxarella-cheese/. I tweaked it quite a bit because I wanted it to have a sharper flavor that tasted more like the cheese I remember from this dish and rewrote the directions based upon my own experience with making it.

My entire family (none are vegan themselves) all ate it and said it tasted like the real thing. My mom (although full disclosure: has not eaten real cheese since the 90s, longer than I have abstained from it) said the texture and melty-ness of the cheese was spot on and was of excellent flavor.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the soup:

  • 1 stick earth balance (1/2 cup or 8 tbsp)
  • 4 vidalia onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup vegan red wine (See barnivore.com to be sure the wine you select is vegan)
  • 3 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) vegetable broth (I used Trader Joe’s Low Sodium variety)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I only added 1/2 tsp black pepper because I’m watching my sodium and it didn’t seem bland at all)
  • 1 french baguette, sliced thick
  • 1 batch melty tapioca cheese (see below)

For the cheese:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:

For the cheese (it is best to make this first because it can sit while you cook the rest):

  1. Blend ingredients in a good blender until totally smooth/liquid.
  2. Pour into a saucepan and cook while stirring constantly on medium-high heat.
  3. After it begins to look as if it is separating (and is), turn the heat to medium and continue to stir until it becomes very thick and is a melty, stretchy consistency. It will also be bubbling quite a bit. Pretend you are a witch making a fancy vegan potion or a mad scientist doing a new experiment. :P
  4. Set aside or place in the fridge when cool for use a bit later when the rest of the soup is done.

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After the cheese is done

For the soup:

  1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the stick of Earth Balance.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs and cook covered for about 20-25 minutes until the onions are browned, soft, and caramelized. Check about every five minutes or so and stir gently to make sure it doesn’t start to burn.
  3. Add wine, boil, and reduce the heat to simmer until the wine is mostly evaporated and the onions are somewhat starting to dehydrate. Leave the pot uncovered for this step. This will take at least 10 minutes, maybe longer.
  4. Add the flour and stir. Reduce the heat and cook for about 3 minutes or less if the flour really starts to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the vegetable broth and stir the contents of the bottom of the pot to deglaze the flour and onions stuck to the bottom.
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Add pepper and/or salt as desired. Don’t be tempted to add too much salt as the salt in the vegetable broth should be enough (unless you bought a salt free brand). I just added 1/2 tsp black pepper, you might like more or less.

To put it all together:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet, spray both bottoms and tops with cooking oil, and place a good sized dollop of the cheese (about 2 tbsp) on top.
  3. Broil for 3-5 minutes watching and checking quite carefully. Don’t let making the soup distract you because you could easily burn them beyond recognition if you don’t.
  4. Place soup in bowls or pretty ramekins and place the croutons on top of the soup, allowing the soup liquid to seep into the bread.
  5. If you have any leftover cheese, it might be a great idea to add a bit more to the soup and float it around for more of that gooey, stretchy, deliciousness.

Vegan Mofo 2014: Too Good Baked Good Tuesday: Raspberry Lime Rickey Cupcakes!

Hello,

Today is the day I bring you the recipe that some of my friends from RIVA (Rhode Island Vegan Awareness) have been patiently waiting for almost a month since the vegan Summer picnic in which I originally brought them to. raspberrylimecupcakes

These have, in my opinion, the best tasting frosting ever! My mom who apparently finished all the leftovers of the frosting last night when I made them again yesterday from my class would agree.

Raspberry Lime Rickey Cupcake Recipe:

Makes 14 Jumbo cupcakes (use jumbo liners and fill them 2/3-3/4 full….)

or 24 regular size cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted not solid
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups unflavored (plain) almond milk
  • 2 limes worth of zest
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ~1/4 cup raspberries, preferably somewhat mushy when you use them

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 1/2 cup earth balance
  • 1/2 cup organic non hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup raspberry lime rickey syrup (link here)

Directions for cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place jumbo liners (if using) into a muffin pan…it says you can place them onto a cookie sheet but I’m doubtful. Maybe try that if you have enough batter to make a few more cupcakes though. I just put 2 extra liners into a muffin pan that has 6 slots.
  3. Mix the melted coconut oil and sugar together in a stand mixer. Make sure you’ve already grated the lime zest and juiced the limes for the next step because the coconut will solidify more if you stop to do that after this step.
  4. Add the almond milk, lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla and mix on a low setting until combined.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until a batter forms. You will want to scrape down the sides of the bowl really good with a spatula, and then mix a bit more.
  6. Fold in the raspberries and mix until the raspberries combine and are no longer whole.
  7. Place about 1/3 cup into each jumbo cupcake liner, or until 2/3-3/4 of the way full. For regular size cupcakes, you will have about 2 1/4 tbsp to put in each cupcake liner.
  8. Bake for about 23-25 minutes for the jumbo cupcakes, mine were good at 24. If using regular sized cupcake liners, bake for about 20 minutes.
  9. They will be an interesting green color when done, which I thought was cool and I hadn’t actually anticipated that effect!

Directions for the frosting (beware, this frosting is seriously one of the most amazing things I’ve invented, I believe…)

  1. Cream together the Earth Balance and shortening in the mixer.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, mix until large clumps form.
  3. Add the raspberry lime syrup and mix until fluffy.
  4. It becomes the most beautiful light pink color! And its flavor is totally amazing!!
  5. Frost the cupcakes after they have completely cooled, and add garnishes like a lime wedge or a raspberry on top!

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Vegan Mofo 2014: Day 15: Meaty Meatless Monday: Jackfruit Tutorial

Hey all!

Today for Meaty Meatless Monday I want to do a bit of a tutorial/guide to cooking with Jackfruit rather than sharing a specific recipe (although I will definitely share some of my favorite recipes for it).

For those of you that don’t know, Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is popular in regions of Asia, that happens to be, when in the right form, a fantastic faux meat substitute for vegans in terms of it’s texture. It can be used in vegan pulled pork type recipes, bbq, as a crab or tuna substitute, even in a recipe for Philly Cheese Steak, to name a few! It is rich in iron as a half cup has 25% iron, but otherwise has fairly neutral nutritional value. It is similar to tofu in that it can take on whatever flavors you cook it with, with a bit more of tangy, even sweetly sour taste.

I jumped on the jackfruit wagon as soon as I could find a way to get some, and at first that meant purchasing it from Vegan Essentials’ online store. You can find a link to the actual jackfruit here. However, since every vegan I knew in my small state had said they couldn’t find it locally, I at first did not question them, and assumed the Asian Markets had been checked thoroughly since people had said they had looked there. Well, one day I decided to question that and see for myself. And low and behold, The Chinese American Mini Market in Cranston, RI had a big shelf of them, and they were less expensive than Vegan Essentials at $1.35 a can, as well as no shipping costs were needed. Hurray!

Another mistake I see people making is that there are two different types (maybe more, I don’t know) of Jackfruit. One is a sweeter, more fruit-like kind. It typically (if referring to Chaokoh brand which is the most commonly found canned brand) comes in a yellow container, like so:

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This can still be used for other types of recipes, but won’t work if you want to make a shredded meat-like recipe. Notice that the can also says it is in syrup.

Instead, you want to buy young green jackfruit in brine (or water if you find other brands).  I am assuming based on the differences between the two, that this form is not as developed as the other, maybe even not quite ripe yet. Here is a picture of what you are looking for:

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To make it easier to remember though, I made some handy graphics to keep in mind when looking for the meaty type of jackfruit:

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When preparing the jackfruit, you typically want to drain and rinse it before using. The easiest and best way I have found to shred it is to pulse it a few times in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, then it’s a good idea to simply follow the instructions the recipe usually includes that asks you to shred it with a fork, either before or after it is cooked.

Now, on to the recipes!

In books, my favorite recipes using jackfruit are from Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater. She has a recipe for yummy bbq’d jackfruit in the crockpot (which I believe is called Cannibal Corpse Crock Pot) that she also uses on top of a yummy kale salad. She also has a recipe for a sweet potato and walnut jackfruit hash (which she calls “You Don’t Know Jack Hash”) which I absolutely loved. Check her and her book out!

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The jackfruit salad from Bake and Destroy

The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life by Melisser Elliott also has a really great vegan carnitas taco recipe in it.

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The jackfruit carnitas tacos

As far as websites go, here are my favorite, tried and true jackfruit recipes:

The V-Word (a fellow Mofo-er) has a mind blowing recipe for Vegan Philly Cheesesteak.

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Vegan Philly Jackfruit Cheesesteak!

Finally, one of my absolute favorite non-tuna salad sandwich recipes can be found here. It is amazing, and unfortunately gets gobbled up so fast every time I make it that I don’t have any pictures. It was a big hit by itself (without the melt part) at Girls Rock this past Summer amongst the volunteers!

And how could I forget? My very own Jackfruit Chick’un Noodle Soup!

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So, in conclusion, do not be afraid to try jackfruit. It’s really fun to use and delicious, and there are many recipes you can find. I hope this settles some of the confusion you might have had if you are a jackfruit newbie looking to find it and don’t know much about it, as well.

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Vegan MoFo 2014: Day 14: Sunday Brunch: French Toast, Seitan Ham, and Homemade Cheese

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After making my ham seitan recipe, I decided to make a breakfast sandwich out of it. This sandwich utilized one of my earlier recipes, Simple Vegan French Toast, and another recipe I love for vegan Muenster Cheese (not my own). There won’t be a specific recipe this time, as all you do is make the french toast, cheese, and ham and then slice the ham and cheese and put it into a sandwich. There will be, however more pictures. And also, a question I need you all to help me with.

Whether you are vegan or not and reading my blog, I need your help. After I am done with Vegan Mofo 2014 I want to start posting (at least once a week) a common reason people say they can’t become vegan and tackle the solutions to it.

Some of the reasons I’ve thought of so far are:

  • It’s too expensive.
  • I like cheese too much.
  • Bacon.

I’d like to hear from you, the readers of my blog about what other reasons you have or have heard to avoid going vegan and would like to see me address in my own unique way. Please comment on this post to share. Thanks!!

Oh, and here are some more food pics, as promised:

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The vegan muenster cheese

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