Baked Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese Bun Sliders–I am sharing the recipe!

I have so much I want to say about what went into creating this recipe. I have broken them up into sections so that if you do not want to read a ton of text before you get to the recipe, but some of my ideas and advice may be of interest to you, you will be more apt to read the pertinent ones.

My Inspiration

First of all, this was an attempt to recreate and veganize this recipe that I was originally alerted to on Pinterest. I had been saving it for a long time, waiting for the right moment in time to do it, and I decided the other day to try.

Nutrition Information

I was recently doing poorly with my B-12 intake food-wise (I take a vegan B complex vitamin but typically also try to get enough from nutritional yeast added to my food as well. As vegans the food we eat does not naturally have this essential vitamin in it, so it is crucial that we take a supplement and/or eat fortified foods in order to be able to do the awesome work we vegans do for our health, animals, the environment, etc. Not doing so can cause many health issues, such as Anemia.) and my nutrient tracking showed me I needed to improve on that (I use sparkpeople.com to track my food and other health/wellness/goal related things). So I decided to make this, because I knew it’d have a lot of nutritional yeast in it, and it definitely does. It helps me meet that goal exceedingly well!

I also did not want to further bread with flour and breadcrumbs and then deep fry the mac and cheese buns for my recipe. If you want to, go ahead! But I feel this fits with more with what I wanted and that step is unnecessary. It is still sinfully delicious (albeit maybe a bit less crispy and might not stay together as well).

The calories (if that concerns you) can vary a lot. I definitely don’t recommend attempting to fry the mac and cheese buns if you are concerned about them. I used a calculator to determine and tweak the amount of servings and such, but it will vary a lot most likely for everyone depending on how big you choose to make the burgers, the mac and cheese buns, etc. The way I made it, though, It comes out to be approximately 465 calories.

Making it gluten free

It has the potential to be gluten free if you use certain substitutions. I think a whole grain gluten free elbow pasta would work fantastically, as I think it might lend itself to being a bit more thick and sticky which will be pretty helpful in the long run for getting the buns to stay together more. Use a gluten free flour instead of the whole wheat pastry flour that I used. I think the rest of the ingredients I used should be gluten free, but please make sure you check further with people more knowledgeable than I am about gluten free ingredients if making it for yourself or others who have sensitivities or allergies.

This recipe is really kid friendly (not just because of the taste!)

I had a lot of fun making this recipe, not just to create conceptually, but also to prepare. When I was setting up the mac and cheese buns, and making the burgers, I felt like a kid again. It is ooey and gooey in certain parts, you can use your hands a lot to touch slimy and fun textures, can make some funny noises, and get dirty. When I was a kid, these were all qualities that made me interested in helping my mom with cooking, as well as the characteristics of a task that made me want to do it (my earliest “culinary” experience involved me making “mud cookies,” putting them in my outdoors “oven” and then proceeding to convince my younger brother they were actually edible…) so you may really want to have your kids help at certain parts of the preparation! I would recommend having them help you especially while making the mac and cheese and laying it out in the pan, and also making the burger mix! Unless they’re much older, I would say that setting up the mac and cheese buns after they have set and need to be shaped into the buns will be much safer, and less frustrating and wasteful if an adult does that part. It takes a bit of finagling, craftiness, dexterity, and a lot of patience to do that part.

Some other helpful tips:

Do not make this at the last minute. You will need to make the macaroni and cheese at least the night before so it sits for awhile and sets really well in order for the buns to stay together. I probably let it sit in the fridge for more than 24 hours though.

Adjust the burger servings to the amount of buns you make. This may require making the burgers bigger or reducing the ingredients, or just plan to have lots of leftover burgers!

Making them into the buns requires a bit of patience and skill, don’t get frustrated, it will still taste just as delicious with falling apart buns or even just as a side to the burgers with some ketchup on it.

My non-vegan brother was a bit thrown off by the taste of the Mac ‘N Cheese. If this is something you want to make for someone who is not vegan, and is unfamiliar with vegan cheesy tastes, it may not go over so well. I thought it was delicious because I love vegan Mac ‘N Cheese, and I haven’t had real cheese in ages.

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The recipe!!!!

(Makes anywhere from 5-10 complete burgers, depending on how large you want to make the veggie burger piece, you will have leftovers. I made 18 veggie burgers for a small slider size and it worked really well. I recommend saving the leftovers, maybe even freezing them for later, and putting them in other types of buns, or doing this again! Or you could just half the recipe for the burgers…)

Ingredients:

For the Mac ‘N Cheese (it’s great as a stand-a-lone or typical baked Mac ‘N Cheese if you want to eat it by itself and not make it into the buns!)

  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute gluten free flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
  • 2 slices Daiya cheddar cheese (what I used) or 1/4 cup Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 box elbow macaroni (you can substitute it with gluten free or whole wheat elbows if desired)

For the Burger sliders:

  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unflavored veggie-based protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke (if you can’t find a gluten free brand, maybe use extra smoked paprika and use gluten free tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead)
  • 1 tbsp ketchup or chili sauce (the kind that’s sort of like ketchup, I used it and think it tastes a bit better than ketchup)
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular if not available…I buy my smoked paprika at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tsp salt-free italian herb blend
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, to taste (optional…I try to cook with no added salt lately)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat (or gluten free) bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (can omit if necessary)

Directions:

For the Mac ‘N Cheese buns:

  1. Prepare the elbow macaroni according to the directions on the package. Note: I would suggest you don’t drain it immediately, and let it sit a bit to get a bit stickier, but don’t wait horribly long. You can definitely start the cheese sauce while you are cooking the pasta, and then let it sit until you are almost done with the sauce.
  2. Prepare the cheese sauce by pouring the almond milk into a large sauce pan.
  3. Place the margarine  into the pan, and turn the heat to medium.
  4. Stir somewhat frequently until the margarine is melted, and the almond milk is hot but not fully boiling.
  5. Add in the flour, and stir with a whisk until smooth.
  6. Stir the nutritional yeast until combined.
  7. Add the cheese, stir until melted.
  8. Continue to stir if possible, and fold in the salt, onion powder, paprika, turmeric, and mustard.
  9. Pour the drained elbow macaroni into the sauce, mix until every bit of pasta is completely covered.
  10. Spray a large casserole dish or baking sheet (it needs to have sides, though…) with a small amount of oil.
  11. Place the mac and cheese on top. If you are working with kids (see my note about kid friendliness up top) I would say it would be really  fun to use your bare (clean) hands. But if you do not like making funny squishy noises and getting your hands really messy, then take a piece of plastic wrap that covers the pan completely, and squish down, making it as compact as you can.
  12. Place in the fridge to set, at least 6 hours, preferably overnight or longer.
  13. When set, preferably after you have cooked the burgers (see below for instructions), preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  14. There are several ways to make the bun shape. I used a drinking glass. But you could also use a biscuit cutter, or a ramekin, or whatever else you think may work like that.
  15. In my case with the drinking glass, I pressed the opening lip into the mac and cheese, wiggled it in a circular motion a bit, and pulled up. It might (and did for me) get stuck inside the glass (that is actually a good thing for the final product, I believe!) What I did to correct this is to take a knife and un-wedge the pasta circle by sliding the knife around the edge between the glass lip. Work slowly and carefully, and be ready to place it down onto another baking sheet sprayed with a small amount of oil before you get it unstuck.
  16. Repeat until you are out of Mac ‘N Cheese to make into buns. Or you can save some of it to eat on it’s own, along with the potential mangled reject mac buns which are very likely to end up existing.
  17. Place in the oven until crispy. This takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your buns and also your oven.

For the slider burgers:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil along with the chopped veggies until soft, somewhere around 5 minutes in a large frying pan. Let sit for a bit to cool before placing into a food processor. Do not discard the pan as it will be used for cooking the burgers.
  2. In the food processor, blend the beans along with the condiments, spices (except for mustard seeds), and protein powder until they are no longer resembling whole beans, and the other ingredients are uniformly mixed.
  3. Add in the veggies, blend until combined, but not to the point where they are complete mush.
  4. Take out the mixture and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add the bread crumbs and brown rice, and combine with a spoon or (better yet) use your hands to mix it really well.
  6. Add the mustard seeds and follow the same procedure as the last step, making sure they’re spread evenly throughout.
  7. Spray the frying pan with a lot of oil so it is heavily coated. Heat on medium.
  8. Place the burgers into the pan carefully, in batches if necessary.
  9. Heat each side about 3 minutes, or until completely cooked and lightly browned.

To assemble the whole burger:

  1. Take one Mac ‘N Cheese bun, place the smooth side up.
  2. Place the burger on that side.
  3. Add any desired condiments, it tastes delicious with just some chili sauce or ketchup on top, and some salad on the side.
  4. Carefully place the other bun on top,  smooth side down. You may want to use a toothpick in the middle to help it stick together.
  5. It’s going to be a bit difficult to eat the whole way through in tact, but definitely take a few bites out of the Mac ‘N Cheese Bun burger before it falls apart!
  6. Eat, enjoy, and have fun!

 

 

 

 

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Foodie (photo) Friday! My week of cooking in review…

Hey everyone!

I have been trying to have a salad every day (or a meal comprised mostly of raw veggies…) and so I may have by default reduced the amount of meals I cook in a week…although usually lunch is pretty easy regardless of salads…so maybe it is essentially the same.

This week I made three things:

1. Good Gravy Bowl from Isa Does It! (the cookbook by Isa Chandra Moscowitz)

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Instead of putting rice in the bowl, I made mashed potatoes and put that at the bottom, it was really good, savory, and comforting. It is not something that really has a huge “wow!” factor to me but it’s definitely tasty and something I would make again! I’m going to give it 4 good bananas, 1 bad since it lacks the real wowieness…

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2. Butternut Squash Soup made in the crockpot from this recipe

ImageI may have ended up altering this recipe as I didn’t know weigh my squash and had no idea if was a pound, but assumed it was less, and so I reduced everything. For this reason (since I do not know if it was accurate to the original recipe or not) I am not going to give it a rating since I could have changed the flavors a lot. It was good, but I may have put too many carrots into it as the butternut squash flavor seemed weak…I also wished the coconut milk was more smooth in it, but I think that was also due to error on my part maybe.

3. Brace yourselves–Baked Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese Bun Sliders–My own original recipe (to be posted here tomorrow or possibly later on tonight)

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Oh my goodness, have I created a monster! I loved this and I am so proud of myself for pulling it off. It’s been something that has been in my arsenal for awhile now since seeing this on Pinterest. I wanted to create a version that A) was vegan and B) was baked, not deep fried. It’s possible to make it gluten free, and some of the processes that go into making it are fun to involve kids (plus the recipe itself is very kid-friendly!)

That’s it! I will be back here shortly to post the recipe for the Mac ‘N Cheese Sliders soon…

Exciting news in my world!

Hey!

So I forgot to post my typical Friday entry, and had been so excited with some great news I received this week, that it must be why I forgot! But also, I wanted to write a special post about all the new things that are going to be happening!

First of all, my last semester at my community college before I receive my Associate’s degree in General Studies starts this Tuesday! Forgive me if I don’t post as often as I have been due to adjusting to my new schedule…although I may surprise myself by writing some posts…

Second (there are 3 big things total to share), my recipe for the vegan “Scallops” Wrapped in “Bacon” was featured on the Bake and Destroy blog! I’m so honored to share my recipe there, and also so happy and proud the recipe came out so well! Here is the link to it, if you have not seen it yet!!

Thirdly (and finally!) I got accepted into a culinary arts degree program! It’s at Johnson and Wales University, in Providence, RI (about a 20 minute drive from where I live!). My goal is to get my Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition (and maybe even become a Registered Dietitian when I complete it…but one step a time…) but I have to prove myself first by completing the Culinary Arts associate’s degree with a 3.0 gpa, and applying (with references and some volunteer or work experience in nutrition). I do not think it will be much of an issue, but we shall see! Either way I am very excited!

Because of this I might try to focus on some health and nutrition topics that I enjoy, believe, and can share that have helped me from my experiences (or link to resources I can share), in addition to the usual delicious recipes, food pictures, and other vegan lifestyle related posts! I also really would like to try to include some more illustrations to accompany my blog again, but we shall see…

By the way, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to follow me on the facebook page (it’s easier to keep track of when I post new things if you don’t have your own wordpress!) https://www.facebook.com/bananacurlvegangirl

You can also find me on twitter https://twitter.com/laurahasheart

and even Pinterest- http://www.pinterest.com/hasheart/

Until next time friends! Keep eating deliciously!

My own version of raw vegan pad thai!

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My friend Kian invited me over last night, and we made a really yummy recipe up together! Whenever I have tried to cook pre-created recipes with friends or other people, I have had a challenge doing so for some reason. But this time not following a specific recipe worked really well, and Kian and I made a really good team! Lucky for you all (my blog readers!) I did write what we did down so you can make it too!

Thank you Kian (if you are reading this!) for helping me figure out this delicious dish, and for making the (un)cooking extra fun with awesome conversation!

First of all, to make this recipe work well, you will either need a spiralizer, or some kind of a spiral cutter. I recently got this device from amazon, and that is what we used. It took a few tries to figure out exactly since it does not come with directions. Basically, you just push it into the middle and spin it around. It’s kind of like a veggie pencil sharpener!

Okay, so here is the recipe:

Laura and Kian’s Raw Vegan Pad Thai!

Serves 8-10, would be the perfect size for a picnic, potluck, or party too if you eat smaller portions

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • about 5 large zucchinis (we actually used ten mini ones) spiralized into a thick spaghetti type shape, but it’s okay if some pieces aren’t very long. We even used the parts that we could not get to spiral and just chopped them up into rounds to add some different textures in
  • 3 medium sized carrots
  • Mung bean sprouts (we used a large bag, probably about 4 cups, adjust to your liking/desired level of crunchy-ness!)
  • 1 bunch chopped scallions
  • 14 tbsp raw cashew butter (I made my own…I would say you could process 2 cups raw cashews  into a powder, then add 2 tbsp oil and some water as needed until it becomes pasty…or use store bought)
  • 8 tbsp coconut milk
  • Juice of one lime
  • 4 to 5 (or to your liking) tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated into a pulp)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (or less to your liking, it gets very strong when it’s raw)
  • about 1/3-1/2 cup chopped raw cashews (to place on top as garnish)1 bunch (or less)
  • Chopped cilantro (optional-I just put a tbsp of it on top after I served myself)

Directions:

  1. Chop the red peppers, spiralize the zucchini into noodle shapes, spiralize or peel the carrots in strips with a peeler, chop the scallions. Place in a large serving bowl, add the mung bean sprouts, and toss together.
  2. Now to make the sauce. In a medium bowl, place the cashew butter into it. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, and water. Whisk or stir with a spoon until combined. Add more water, a tbsp at a time, if necessary to reach your desired consistency (it’s really good thick, though! plus the veggies have water in them!)
  3. Mix in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder into the sauce.
  4. Mix the sauce into the veggies, making sure every part of it is coated.
  5. Add the cilantro if desired.
  6. Place the chopped cashews on top!
  7. Eat!

Foodie (Photo) Friday! I made a lot! Especially from the cookbook Isa Does It!

This week was a big week for my cooking. Not only did I create my own original recipe for a favorite, typically very non vegan appetizer, but I also tested tons of other people’s recipes.

I mostly tried a bunch of recipes from the Isa Does It cookbook though, which I have not found a single recipe that wasn’t amazing or really yummy yet. My only complaint is that the recipe names are not easy to remember because they are usually named after the ingredients and not that creative/specific so I feel like I sometimes write about them and name them different than what is in the cookbook. So apologies if I am not using the actual recipe names to a T, I am currently too tired and somewhat lazy to go get the book and double check! Woops. How unprofessional of me…

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/ Brussels Sprouts and Tarragon Cashew Cream Sauce

The most impressive recipe  I have tried  so far was definitely the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Tarragon Cashew Cream and Brussels Sprouts. I have made my own gnocchi from recipes before, but it seemed so difficult and was such a long process. Maybe my cooking skills have drastically improved over time and I just do things faster and in a more organized time saving manner, but I still think this recipe is by far an easier and simple way of making you own vegan gnocchi from scratch than the previous recipe I tried. It only really takes awhile because you have to bake the sweet potato (or potatoes…but I found a 1 lb sweet potato that worked out very well). The sauce is also simplistic yet has a very fancy flavor/touch to it with the tarragon. And a cashew based sauce makes almost any pasta recipe rich and luxurious. The Brussels Sprouts were the perfect finishing touch, and add to the dish to make it a complete healthful meal.

I love the bowls so far in this cookbook. I think I forgot to post about the cucumber ranch tofu bowl I made New Year’s Eve? Well that was pretty good. Even better was the pizza bowl, though.

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Not the prettiest looking pizza bowls

I used tofurky italian sausages (Which, to my delight, do not contain soy protein isolate in them which I am really trying to avoid as much as possible now.  My nutritionist said she believes that it is that form of soy that causes the most problems for our hormone balance, and it is very highly processed (and typically g.m.o I think?) so it is good to avoid or eat irregularly. Tofu is fine unless you have digestive/other sensitivities to it, whIch I do not.

Anyways, this was absolutely delicious and comforting. The sauce is really, really good. It reminds me of pink (or vodka cream) sauce, which was one of my favorite sauces before I went vegan and I have found difficult to replicate as a vegan despite trying . Actually now this gives me an idea to try and make an even more authentic version of it! Yay!

Paired with the kale (which I actually seemed to cook right for the first time ever…I typically only eat it raw), rice, sausage, garlic, red onions, olives, etc it is just so wonderfully filling and tasty!

My pictures of it are not the prettiest, but believe me, it is so yummy!

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edamame hummus tofu wraps…before I wrapped them 🙂

I also made the tofu wraps with edamame hummus. It somehow tastes kind of like a Japanese-inspired egg salad wrap to me which I thought was pretty cool. I will definitely be making the edamame based (instead of chickpea) hummus on it’s own again multiple times. The tofu was really good too though! I love anything with sesame oil in it, and it crisps the tofu perfectly. Isa Chandra Moscowitz doesa really good job through writing her recipes teaching people the proper methods of cooking her dishes without having them fail horribly. Hopefully I can get there myself too!

I did not use sprouts because when I buy them they seem to go bad too fast, instead I used greens. When I use up the leftovers tomorrow though, I am probably going to use baby arugula. Yum!

Aside from cooking from Isa Does It, I found this recipe on a facebook group I belong to and was intrigued so I gave it a try. Behold, Green Pancakes!

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not the prettiest again but behold green pancakes!

They look kinda gross, but I felt really good about eating them for my breakfast and do not taste too different from unhealthy versions of pancakes…especially when you add some maple syrup, ha, ha. I kept thinking of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and thinking this would make a good vegan story like that, especially for kids while eating these. So it was fun, healthy, and fed my belly all at once.

Finally, I made a really delicious salad today.

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my delicious salad with chickpea “bacon”

The centerpiece of the salad was the Chickpea Bacon recipe from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! Gosh do I love that book!

I put 2 cups chopped romaine, 1/2 cup baby arugula, 1/3 cup sliced cucumber, 1/3 cup chopped hearts of palm, 1/4 of the chickpea recipe, a slice of red onion that I chopped into smaller bits, 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 2 tbsp Organicville Non Dairy Ranch! I made a similar version for my dad and he really liked it too! He was trying to refuse eating it because of the non-dairy ranch, but now he says I have to make him a salad every day! (Though fat chance…but I will make an extra for him when I have one from now on!)

Ta da! And now you know what I cooked up this week!

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can follow me on these social media outlets where I post related (and unrelated) things to my blog.

Banana Curl, Vegan Girl’s Facebook Page

Follow me on Pinterest (the blog has it’s own board if you just want to follow that)

Twitter

And I think that’s everything for now! I will be adding these to the end of my blog every so often for new people to click on and explore. Also, I love comments and feedback and love it when people spread and share my work I am doing here, so do not be shy about that!

Superbowl Snack Recipe? You got it! *drum roll* Veganized Scallops wrapped in Bacon!

Super Bowl Sunday is nearing, and I wanted to veganize a recipe my parents used to serve at their Super Bowl Parties. Scallops wrapped in bacon! I’ve been seeing hearts of palm used as all kinds of seafood substitutes lately, and I love them, so I decided to try it. And I am so excited that I thought to experiment and create this recipe! It came out so amazingly delicious and is pretty looking too.

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Not much else to say except that I am so excited to share this recipe!

So without further ado,

Vegan “scallops” wrapped in “bacon” or as I prefer to call it, “Hearts of Palm Wrapped in Tempeh Bacon”

Servings 8-12 depending on how thin you slice the tempeh and other various factors

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional if you can’t find it)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar (I used coconut palm sugar because I had some and it’s healthier for you…but brown sugar will work just as well if not better…)
  • About 3 stalks of canned hearts of palm
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • ½ tsp kelp granules (if you can’t get your hands on this, double the Old Bay)
  • 1 tbsp oil

You will also need some toothpicks, a small shallow bowl, a small frying pan, a cookie sheet, cooking spray, and some extra Old Bay…(I love to make rhymes…but it is true)

Directions:

  1. Slice tempeh with a long knife into 10-12 thin pieces.
  2. Place in a Ziploc type bag
  3. Pour all ingredients in order ending with the smoked paprika into the bag.
  4. Seal bag and gently toss to coat the tempeh. Place in the refrigerator.
  5. You probably want to marinate the tempeh bacon for about an hour, shaking the bag lightly every 15 minutes or so and placing back into the fridge.
  6. In the meantime while the tempeh is marinating, take about 3 hearts of palm stalks from a can.
  7. Slice them to be about 1.5 inches tall or so. Maybe 2.
  8. Place them into a shallow bowl and pour 2 tbsp of lemon juice over them.
  9. Then sprinkle the Old Bay Seasoning over the tops, making sure each piece has some on it.
  10. Repeat with the kelp granules.
  11. Place some plastic wrap over them and also place them into the fridge like you did with the tempeh bacon. Turn over every time you shake the bacon. The idea is to let the hearts of palm soak up the flavors a bit and marinate.
  12. Around halfway through marinating both items, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  13. When the bacon is done marinating, spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place the tempeh in a single layer. Do not put any extra marinade or liquid into the pan. Just the marinated tempeh.
  14. Take the coconut palm sugar or brown sugar and sprinkle onto the pieces of tempeh. Rub it a bit into the tempeh with your fingers. This will make the tempeh bacon more like actual bacon in my opinion. It ends up getting crispy, sticky and extra delicious when done.
  15. Heat in the oven for 15 minutes.
  16. When there’s about 5 minutes left for the tempeh bacon to cook, take out the hearts of palm.
  17. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a smallish frying pan.
  18. Place the hearts of palm without the marinade liquid into the pan and sprinkle with some extra Old Bay, maybe some salt if you desire too. Be very careful as it may splatter a bit.
  19. Heat on each side until it begins to brown, 1-2 minutes each side.
  20. Take out the bacon at 15 minutes and let it cool while you finish the hearts of palm.
  21. Place the hearts of palm on a plate.
  22. When you can handle the tempeh bacon with your hands, take one heart of palm piece and one slice of tempeh bacon. Wrap the bacon around the circle…if it breaks it’s ok, just finagle the toothpick into it so that it sticks on as well as you can. It’s all going into the same place anyhow. It’s kind of difficult to explain the procedure though. If you look at the pictures of the recipe it might give you a better idea of a strategy for handling it.
  23. Serve as soon as possible afterward. They’ll be best when still warm. You can try reheating them in a toaster oven on broil if you have that capacity later…microwave may work too but no guarantees it’ll taste the same when reheated. I’m pretty sure if you have a lot of people over or even just you, they’ll be tasty enough to polish off quickly
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the hearts of palm marinating

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the hearts of palm after they’ve been cooked

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all asembled!

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One more picture for good measure!

Foodie Friday Catch-up

I have forgotten/been busy and have been neglecting this for a few weeks. Aside from some Christmas food postings, and my recipe for my brownies the other night, I have not been posting much! Hopefully I can change that while I’m on break from school!

Anyways, I am going to fill in some gaps of some things I have made recently.

I think this is everything, except I did make the healthy (and delicious! might I add) waffle recipe from Isa Does it for New Year’s Morning and I forgot to take a picture of it. Oh, and I made a salad to share for a writing workshop I attended, also from Isa Does It (the avocado ranch one) that I forgot to to take a picture of as well.

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Lentils from Isa Does It

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I really loved the texture of this salad! The flavors were great. As a meal it was surprisingly satisfied. I’d definitely make it again and it was quite easy. The easier the better lately, in my opinion!

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Fruit Punch “winkies” from Bake and Destroy

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I also made these for the writing workshop with my new canoe pan I got for Christmas! The cake batter ends up coming out really thick and bakes like the consistency of a donut. You can’t really taste the fruit punch flavor as much as I’d like. Some tweaking of my own vegan twinkie creations is definitely in order! But it was great to have a recipe to work from and see if it works, get inspired by! Believe me…there’ll be more vegan twinkie recipes in the future. As someone of an aside…I need to get more practice with the frosting syringe so that the filling gets distributed evenly throughout the twinkie fully…

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Cucumber Ranch Bowl from Isa Does It

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This was quite good. I loved the crispy tofu and the  spices used to make it. The dressing has a bit of an odd texture but is good. The broccoli goes well and also gets more veggies into the dish. I liked the textures combined with the rice. I do not know for sure if it is something I would make again though? I thought it would be much better than I thought by the write up it had in the cookbook. I think it’s good for a one time trial…not sure what to rate it banana-wise since it was good enough, maybe I will settle on 3 good bananas? I cannot decide though! Ok 3 good bananas it is. But I would definitely make the tofu again, just in something different.

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So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream (vanilla) with this strawberry sauce recipe

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I made this for my dessert on New Years Eve. It was really good, and not sickeningly sweet. I liked it a lot and put it on my waffles the next morning as a healthy topping! So good.

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Tempeh Soft Tacos (made with diy taco seasoning), with guacamole, lettuce, nutritional yeast, and salsa

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I used some recipes for reference for this. Mainly this one for the tempeh taco meat and this one (for the taco seasoning which I tweaked a bit by reducing salt and omitting the crushed red pepper). It was delicious though I put way too much of my guacamole onto it haha. Yum. The tempeh taco meat is definitely a good idea!

I have also been making a lot salads with some bbq’d Beyond Meat I got for free, eating the brownies I made last night, making a few daiya grilled cheese sandwiches, and other convenient foods but I need to get back to eating and cooking with more fresh veggies and such. I am going to try making the sweet potato gnocchi with tarragon cashew cream soon from Isa Does It. Be prepared to see that next week!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

First of all, I have a confession to make. You know my original brownie recipe I made awhile ago? When I wrote it down and published it on the blog, I forgot to include the amount of flour I used! I just updated my error now in that blog entry. So if you don’t want something as fancy as these delectable treats, or are not a big fan of pumpkin (like my parents…I do not understand them…but oh well) try those.

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Here is the recipe:

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Ingredients:

for the Brownie layer:

  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegan white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) Earth Balance Vegan margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup non dairy milk (I use almond milk)

for the cheesecake layer:

  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (I used canned)
  • 1/2 container (4 oz) vegan cream cheesed (I used daiya cream cheese-I feel it’s the best vegan cream cheese brand out there)
  • 1 tsp ener-g egg replacer powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients (except flaxmeal) in a bowl together.
  3. Make 2 flaxmeal “eggs” by whisking the flaxmeal with the water. Let sit until it’s thick.
  4. Mix in the flaxmeal “eggs” and the rest of the wet ingredients into the dry ones.
  5. Place all the batter, minus 1/2 cup into a greased square baking pan (mine was probably 9″ x 9″?)
  6. Now make the pumpkin cheesecake mix by blending in a food processor the pumpkin and cream cheese. Set aside for a moment.
  7. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg replacer and water until frothy.
  8. Add corn flour, maple syrup, and spice and whisk again.
  9. Add this mixture into the cream cheese and pumpkin and pulse the food processor a bit until fully incorporated.
  10. Cover the brownie layer with the cheesecake layer.
  11. Take the half cup of brownie batter you reserved, and spoon little dollops set apart from each other on top of the cheesecake layer.
  12. Take a fork and swirl the brownie batter and cheesecake to make a pretty design.
  13. Put into your oven for at least 30 minutes, you want a toothpick to be inserted and come up mostly clean with a bit of the wet cheesecake layer. It took my oven about 48 minutes, so I’d say a good range of baking time depending on your oven would be 40-50 minutes, but please be aware of what’s going on in your kitchen and start checking it when you start to smell it cooking occasionally.
  14. Take out of the oven and allow to cool fully, slice, and enjoy!

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