Done with the semester! Woohoo! A Black Forest Cake Smoothie recipe to celebrate!

Hi everyone!

I’m super excited. Yesterday I finished all my work for the term at college. I have one class this summer, and two classes in the Fall before I complete my Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational and Community Studies and Psychology (It’s a bit of a mouthful, I know!) Since I am so close, I will be walking with my class at College Unbound this May 30! I’m so excited. In two weeks I will be giving a special presentation on my journey towards this achievement and feeding people delicious vegan treats!

Anyhow, I think I’ve created the most delicious vegan protein smoothie ever!! It’s a Black Forest Cake Smoothie! For a long time as a child, my brother would request black forest cake every birthday. It was his favorite, and sometimes difficult to find. Last week, this obsession of his randomly popped into my mind, and I realized what a great smoothie it’d be!

Here is the recipe (feel free to add stuff/substitute as desired):

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Vegan Black Forest Cake Protein Smoothie (Gluten free):

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 scoops (depending on serving size) vegan chocolate protein powder (I used Vega One)
  •  3 tbsp Glutino Brownie Mix (or other gluten free and vegan cake or brownie mix, I like Glutino because it has mini chocolate chips in it!)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup organic, vegan, gluten free cherry pie filling
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite vegan non dairy milk (I used almond milk, but coconut milk from a can would be even more amazing!)
  • Handful of baby spinach (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a blender, blend everything together until smooth.
  2. Serve in a cup. If you use a small straw, some of the chocolate chips from the brownie mix may get stuck inside, so beware.
  3. Enjoy, it’s delicious!!

I’m so happy that I’m so close to being done with school and have a bit of a break! I am looking forward to posting here a bit more frequently!!

Coconut Mango Muffin Madness!

IMG_3879So, I told you I have some healthier recipes coming your way!

I had a bunch of champagne mangos (I’ve been very into them lately…can’t get enough) and I wanted to put one into a baked good. I also wanted to bake in some Dang coconut chips as a topping on something and see if they’re just as good in baked items. So, that inspired me to make mango coconut muffins.

These are made with whole wheat pastry flour and no refined sugars. They’re quite healthy, but also tasty. I served them to my classmates early in the morning and they all loved them. Some knew they were vegan, others didn’t, and everyone said they were really good!

I found that they were the perfect texture. Not too chunky with the dried coconut, and not too moist but moist enough. I’ve never described a muffin this way, but the texture was smooth and almost creamy. Or dreamy…

Anyways, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp flaxmeal whisked with 4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (or a whole champagne mango, without the refuse) chopped mango
  • 1/2 cup shredded dried coconut
  • 1/3 cup crushed coconut chips, like Dang brand

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda together.
  3. In a separate larger mixing bowl, whisk together the flaxmeal and water. Let sit for a bit.
  4. Add the agave and coconut sugar to the flaxmeal. Whisk again.
  5. Whisk in the coconut oil.
  6. Add coconut milk, orange juice, and vanilla.
  7. Add the dry ingredients from the small bowl into the wet ingredients. Stir and fold in until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  8. Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin tin liners.
  9. Sprinkle the crushed coconut chips on top.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Enjoy!

Vegan Sausage Pancake Twinkies

IMG_3857So…I’ve been running training for my half marathon that’s slowly approaching in July. When I run, I burn a lot of calories and need to eat more than if I’m not exercising. I especially need carbohydrates.

I had been wanting to make cornbread and vegan hot dog twinkies, but they were out of the Field Roast brand I like when I went to the store. So, I decided to buy Field Roast mini breakfast sausages and use them instead. Besides, I thought they’d be the perfect size, and they were!

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I made them with Bisquick mix…which is actually vegan! Or at least, some versions are!

This recipe on a canoe pan, aka twinkie pan…I’m not sure what you could do instead if you don’t have this kind of pan, but they were pretty cheap on amazon when I got mine, and worth it for all the twinkie like foods you can make with it!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vegan Bisquick
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk or nondairy milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 eggs worth of egg replacer (I used Ener-g powder mixed with the amount of water recommended on the box)
  • 8 Field Roast mini apple maple sausages

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the Bisquick with the nondairy milk, brown sugar, and egg replacer.
  3. Pour or spoon batter into the cavities of the pan, about 3/4 of the way up. Save a little batter to cover the sausages with if needed later.
  4. Place the sausages in the middle of the canoe cavity. Push down until covered by the batter. You may need to spoon some extra batter on top to achieve this.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until puffy, firm, and golden.
  6. Enjoy with maple syrup and Earth Balance melted together.

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Coming soon will be some healthier recipes, haha. Despite the appearance of this recipe, I’ve been on a big healthy food kick lately…can’t wait to share more of those types of recipes, and I have a few up my sleeve right now. :)

Magic Bean juice for lavender vegan meringues

Okay, so I had been aware that vegans all over the internet had discovered that it was possible to make meringue out of the juice inside a can of chickpeas (drained from the chickpeas). However, I was a bit skeptical. I didn’t think it was easy. But I finally got the courage to try. It was a beautiful day out, and though I’m not sure it’s the same for vegan meringue, I remember as a kid when my mom would make my grandmother’s famous real meringues, they wouldn’t come out well if it was rainy or humid. Apparently that’s an actual thing. So, thinking to myself that it was the perfect day, I decided to make them.

Meringue was seriously one thing I never thought would be successfully veganized, but I was so wrong. To me, this just proves “anything you can eat I can eat vegan!” It’s like the last frontier of veganizing…

So behold! the magical vegan bean juice. I can’t wait to try to veganize my mom’s meringue frosting, macarons, and more, never mind explore other flavors for these ones. I think I will try some peppermint chocolate chip ones next…

I took a bit of artistic license to this recipe. That recipe uses white beans instead of chickpeas and doesn’t have a flavor. I personally cannot taste the chickpeas in the recipe I created, but it’s probably because I added stuff to it.

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Ingredients:

  • The strained juice of a 15 oz can of chickpeas minus one tablespoon. 
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp vegan sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemonade (I used organic bottled strawberry lemonade)
  • 1 tbsp blueberry juice (I took the juice of some frozen blueberries that I microwaved for a bit)–this doesn’t add flavor, it’s just for the effect of the color, so this is essentially optional
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp lavender extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, pour the bean juice, sugar, lemonade, and blueberry juice.
  3. With an electric handheld mixer or whisk attachment on a stand mixer, begin to whisk together the ingredients in circles around the sides of the mixing bowl.
  4. Continue to mix until thick and fluffy. The time varies a lot. It took mine 10 minutes to get to the perfect point, but I had my handheld mixer on the highest setting (5) and I’m not sure how other brand mixers may work. See picture for reference.
  5. When thick yet fluffy with peaks, add in the extracts and give it about 2 minutes of remixing again.
  6. Lay some parchment paper on several baking sheets. Take a spoon and add dollops of the meringue onto the sheet, like cookies only with a more liquid batter. They will come out looking prettiest if you try to make them look like chocolate kisses. You know what I mean I hope…I can’t describe it any other way, haha.
  7. Place in the oven for an hour. After an hour, check them. The baking sheet that was on the bottom rack was done at this point. If you poke them with your finger they should be stiff and not make a print.
  8. It took about an hour and 15 minutes for the rest of my meringues to be done. If they’re not done after an hour and 15, check in another ten minutes, and then more frequently after that if they’re still not ready.
  9. Allow to cool on the sheets for at least 15 minutes. You’ll want to eat them, and you can enjoy almost as many as you want, I calculated that they are only about 10 calories each…depending on how big you make them (I made 34).
  10. Store them (if you have any left) in a sealed container to try to prevent them from getting too moist. I personally like them a bit soggier and chewy, though!
what it should look like when ready

what it should look like when ready

before going into the oven

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Meringues were big in my family growing up, as I mentioned above. Check out more childhood favorite recipes that I veganized in my zine, on etsy! 

My zine is finally done!

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You can buy it here on Etsy (but if you live in RI email me first at pleasinvegan@yahoo.com before doing so, because we may be able to arrange a pickup or something so you don’t have to pay/wait for shipping)!

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I was selling these for donations for Girls Rock RI at Ladies Rock Camp this weekend. Maybe you’ve seen my posts about it in the past, here, here, and here. You can also see this video of me during the camp, where I gave a speech about being food coordinator and some other fun stuff. I love this organization!

Here are some cool pics of it there!

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Also, this is so cool! It’s the shout out wall at camp…IMG_3616_2

update and recipe for vegan Portuguese muffins!

Hi! I’ve been gone for awhile. The reason for my absence has been because I have been putting most of my recipe energy into working on the cookbook zine, school, and am also planning food for another Ladies Rock Camp! Speaking of which check me out in their volunteer spotlight!

Valentines day has come and gone. That day I cooked up a storm. I veganized our family’s brisket recipe using seitan for my zine, I made heart shaped frosted sugar cookies, and I veganized a recipe for Portuguese muffins.

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I used this recipe (although I changed the icing recipe a bit to add raspberry juice and almond milk).

I have always lived in an area where there is a large Portuguese population. The grocery stores always sell sweet breads and Portuguese muffins here. I used to love them. Portuguese muffins are basically like English muffins without the nooks and crannies and are made from sweet bread.

I have been craving them badly lately, but they are not vegan. They contain milk and eggs.

So, I adapted this recipe to become vegan.

These are the ingredients I used:

1 cup vanilla almond milk or other nondairy milk of choice
4 tbsp Earth Balance
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tbsp potato starch
1/4 cup soy flour
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1 package teaspoons instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer and 4 tbsp water whisked together
2 tsp vanilla
1 lemon’s worth of lemon zest

You basically follow the directions on the recipe exactly, although ignore the parts about how much it should rise as I don’t think it really did the amount it said it would and they still came out alright.

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If you’ve never had them, now you can try them vegan! If you have, enjoy the comforting flavor of sweet bread again!

Jalapeno Popper Vegan Quiche

Hi! Didn’t realize I’d be back so soon.

Today I invented an awesome new recipe. This one will not be in my zine, haha.

It’s a jalapeno popper flavored vegan quiche!

I used a pre-made pie crust bottom–gasp. Surprisingly a lot of store bought pie crusts are indeed vegan! I wanted to make it quickly so I chose that, but if you want to make your own, here is my recipe for a pie with a crust recipe (you’d only have to make half of it).

popper quiche!

popper quiche!

Jalapeno Popper Vegan Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb extra firmed tofu (I used sprouted tofu)
  • 1 tbsp Ener-g egg replacer without water added
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup plain almond milk or other non dairy milk of choice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Indian black salt (the kind that smells like eggs)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup daiya cheese shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
  • 3 jalapenos, chopped into thick rounds, seeds and veins removed
  • 1 9 inch prepared pie crust, or homemade from the recipe linked above

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place tofu, egg replacer, nutritional yeast, Earth Balance, non dairy milk, onion powder, black salt, and black pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula and then blending a bit more.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the daiya cheese, bread crumbs, and jalapenos.
  4. Place into pie crust, smooth down with a spatula.
  5. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool slightly, then dig in!

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Easy Baked Seitan Recipe for Vegan Homemade Hibachi!

Hi all, it’s been awhile since I have posted anything. I’ve taken a sort of unofficial break to work on some other stuff.

Things like my running blog, actually training for a half marathon, and my Banana Curl, Vegan Girl cookbook zine that’s all my favorite recipes from my childhood. I hope to complete it and start selling it by March. I’ve also started a new website, but haven’t done much work on it yet. It’s not ready to share yet, but I plan to have it be an informational website for vegans of all levels interested in various topics around veganism for social justice and support for people who want to become new vegans. I’m really excited about it, but I have to be patient and keep it secret for now while I’m working on it.

In the next few months or so I will be trying to post new recipes more often as I’ve gotten a bit out of habit with it. I will be sharing recipes I’ve created for the zine too to get you all excited about buying it when it comes out…(It’ll be cheap, like 2-5 dollars I think).

One of those recipes I’d like to share is my recipe for Vegan Hibachi. I loved hibachi and other Japanese foods so much growing up as a kid. We had this restaurant in Providence called Fuji when I was very young in Providence that we would always go to. We went there so often that we got to know the family who owned it really well. Their daughter even came with us on a trip to San Francisco. Unfortunately, it went out of business years ago, but I still have fond memories of it. They always gave us Botan Rice candies as a treat when we left, which I still love (and they are vegan too!) It wasn’t a hibachi restaurant. It was more traditional.  After it went out of business we often went to Hibachi restaurants. I feel like trying to recreate a dish from Fuji I would never get right, and would not do justice to. So, I have settled on making yummy vegan hibachi.

This recipe consists of 4 major steps, but with some planning I am sure you can pull it off! Make the Yum Yum dipping sauce and baked seitan the day before, then prepare the veggies and seitan and mushroom hibachi right before serving.

vegan hibachi!

vegan hibachi!

Recipe for Yum Yum Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup Just Mayo (a commercial vegan mayo that can be found at Target and Whole Foods, among others)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp melted Earth Balance
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • dash cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Stir together all ingredients.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Use as a dip for the hibachi.

Recipe for Seitan:

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp organic brown sugar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. If you have an electric stand mixer, place them in the bowl for that.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into another bowl or large measuring cup. Stir together well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir until there is no loose powder.
  6. When cohesively stirred together, use the dough hook attachment on your mixer, or knead the dough by hand on a clean surface for 10 minutes.
  7. Place into a loaf pan, stretching it to fit the length of the pan.
  8. Heat for 30 minutes, flip over, reduce heat of oven to 350 degrees, and heat for another 20 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then take out of the loaf pan and place on a plate to cool.
  10. Slice up into pieces as desired.

Recipe for Seitan w/ Mushrooms and Veggie Hibachi

Ingredients for seitan hibachi:

  • 8 oz whole white mushrooms, sliced in halves
  • 1 batch Seitan (in the basics chapter)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and Pepper

Ingredients for hibachi veggies:

  • 2 cups chopped zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp earth balance
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper

Directions for Hibachi:

  1. Place a tablespoon of oil in two separate skillets. Heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Melt Earth Balance in the skillet in which you will cook the veggies in.
  3. In the other, add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the mushrooms.
  4. Cook mushrooms until their juices are released.
  5. Melt the Earth Balance with the mushrooms and 2 more tablespoons soy sauce.
  6. Add seitan to the mushrooms, cook until heated, stirring frequently.
  7. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  8. In the other pan, place the veggies into the oil and melted Earth Balance, add 4 tablespoons soy sauce, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  9. Stir frequently, until everything is fully cooked.
  10. Serve with Yum Yum sauce to dip in.

If you like or dislike this recipe, please tell me why in the comments. And keep an eye out for the zine that will have this recipe inside!! :)

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Ps: here is a beautiful picture of my cat, Franz, that I took recently and wanted to share. Isn’t he cute?

Christmas Re-cap

Oi. So the school semester finished Sunday the 21st and I was a bit of a mess. After that, I barely stopped. It was a whir of wrapping presents, menu planning, grocery shopping (multiple times, ugh), spending time with family, cooking, etc. Since then I haven’t really stopped either, until today…Thank Goodness.

Remember my menu? I stuck to it pretty closely with a few adjustments.

My mom actually made the salad and the eggplant Christmas Eve which was great. She actually helped so much with the cooking which was a big relief because even as I write this now, I still feel like I am recovering from being so stressed during school.

First, we had the greek salad:

Isa Does It Greek Diner Salad

Isa Does It Greek Diner Salad

Then we had the main course, which for me was a piece of Spanakopita pot pie and the eggplant parm.

Spinach Pot Pie

Spinach Pot Pie

Spinach Pot Pie-Inside

Spinach Pot Pie-Inside

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

The dessert I was making for Christmas Day got screwed up because my mom was trying to teach me a trick with the roll cake but forgot how to do it the correct way and it fell apart :( So we decided to save the mud pie for Christmas day, and instead would have the vegan peppermint stick ice cream I had made…The frosting for the cake was already made, so we ended up making some of the crumbled up cake, ice cream, frosting, crushed peppermint candies, and chocolate syrup into sundaes. Everyone was obsessed with the peppermint stick ice cream, and I really don’t blame them! It was so good. It’s been requested that I make it again.

Vegan xmas Ice Cream Sundae

Vegan xmas Ice Cream Sundae

Then on Christmas morning we had my famous pretzel bread pudding for breakfast:

Pretzel Bread Pudding

Pretzel Bread Pudding

For an appetizer I made the Hummus Pomodoro with Warm Pizza Crust from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen which was so good. Everyone really loved it, and my grandmother was telling me I selected some really good tomatoes, haha.

Festive hummus, pizza bread slices not pictured

Festive hummus, pizza crust slices not pictured

For dinner, here was my plate:

Clockwise from top left: Caramelized onion mashed potatoes, Gardein Holiday Roast, creamed spinach, and glazed carrots

Clockwise from top left:
Caramelized onion mashed potatoes, Gardein Holiday Roast, creamed spinach, and glazed carrots

And for dessert? Well, my grandmother decided to leave before we had it, so while I was waiting for my mom to take her home, I ended up whipping up a surprise. I had so much frosting leftover from the botched cake that I decided to make whoopie pies:

Whoops, I made Whoopie Pies

Whoops, I made Whoopie Pies

And we ate them along with the mud pie! (two gross but delicious sounding “pies,” haha)

Mud Pie!

Mud Pie!

This was also the first year I barely got any cooking related gifts.  Believe it or not, I’m okay with that. This is because:

A) I have way too many cookbooks and am now trying to make my own cookbook zine so I’m mostly eating my own creations.

B) I have pretty much everything I need in the way of utensils, though I did get a new measuring cup set and a cool little frosting thingy for decorating cakes and stuff in my stocking.

C) I am trying to also eat a bit healthier, so candy and junk food isn’t wise. Although, I did get a package of peppermint Bark Thins and Supercandy (they are vegan and basically gum drops with tons of B vitamins in them) in my stocking.

D) Apparently my love of working out has almost overtaken my love of cooking, at least, gift wise. I got some cool workout gear this year!

I do hope to use the two Whole Foods gift cards I got for presents for some food-related goodies/healthy foods! Yay.

Happy holidays everyone! I will probably not be posting until after the New Year, so I hope you all have a happy one!

My Xmas Menu

Happy holidays everyone!

Just a quick post to share my menu I have planned out for Christmas. I hope to post a bit more later on in the week.

Christmas eve dinner:

  • Greek Diner Salad from Isa Does It
  • Spinach pot pie (own recipe)
  • Eggplant Parmesan from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen
  • Dessert: Mississippi Mud Pie (own recipe)

Christmas day breakfast:

My pretzel bread pudding casserole

Christmas day appetizer:

Hummus Pomodoro with Warm Pizza Crust from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen

Christmas day meal:

  • Gardein Holiday Roast
  • Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes from Vegan Table
  • Creamed Spinach from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen
  • Glazed carrots (my mom’s recipe)
  • Dessert: Peppermint stick ice cream (my own recipe) and chocolate peppermint roll cake (my own recipe as well)

I’m so excited for all this! haha. Yum.

Have a delicious holiday season! :)