Happy Birthday to me! Banana costumes and a birthday-worthy waffle recipe!

For my 30th birthday, which happens to be today, I had a bunch of fun stuff planned. The biggest thing was my run last weekend, in which I lived up to my blog’s name, and ran in a banana suit in the Providence (RI) Monster Dash 5k. I made a PR by about 2 minutes and it was soooo fun running in this costume:

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10435985_10100231982422689_6184586216801925680_nIt was a big hit with kids, especially. When I ran through the large crowd of people cheering us on, so many kids along the way would exclaim “there goes the banana!” And many of them put their little hands out to catch a high five from me as I ran past them…it was so cute. I waved to several of them, and even had a trifecta of 3 little kids put their hands out all at once that made me feel like I was a celebrity working the crowd. Haha. So that was cool, and I also plan to use this banana suit for more things for this blog, to make it funnier. You’ll see what is in store for it soon!

This morning, I made birthday cake waffles. I had some left over chocolate sauce from my candy apples and some strawberry syrup left from the strawberry frosted donut recipe that I put on top. Yum.

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BIRTHDAY Cake Vegan Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Immaculate yellow cake mix (found in my local Target in the baking section)
  • 1 cup vegan bisquick mix (read labels)
  • 1-2 scoops vanilla vegan protein powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp melted Earth Balance
  • 1 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 ½ cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup vegan non-pareille sprinkles (read label, I was able to find one without the confectioner’s glaze that’s in most sprinkles at my regular local grocery store, and instead has carnauba wax.

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and follow waffle iron’s directions to cook them. Makes about 5 waffles depending on your maker.

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The batter

Tonight my family is making me a vegan vanilla cake, with raspberry filling and chocolate buttercream. I am making vegan crockpot buffalo ranch lasagna from this recipe for my dinner. I will share pictures later in a new post, maybe.

Also, I got three new cookbooks for my birthday present:

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So far I have looked in Chloe’s book the most, and I was seriously drooling after that. I will be cooking out of these for awhile in the next few weeks I think, so get ready for me sharing some reviews and pictures! 🙂

Vegan MoFo Day 28: Sunday Brunch: Pretzel Bread Chia Pudding and Date Caramel Casserole

So I already posted this, but I’ll post it again in case you missed it because it’s relevant. I’ve been making food to share with my classmates at my college program as a part of my project I’m working on. Recently, they wrote about me in their “student snapshots” and actually took pictures of me unveiling this dish I’m about to post the recipe to now. It was a big hit. Take a look.

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This is the type of brunch dish that is so good it amazes people. It’s also the type of dish where when you eat it you are gasping a bit. I literally said “Omm nom” when I first tried it, I think. It was so good that no one who wasn’t vegan even cared that it was vegan. I’m sorry for bragging, but honestly I was actually a bit shocked at first at how good this thing I invented came out.

It has a lot going on, but trust me, it’s so good.

It’s a bit of a pain if you need to make the pretzels just to make this dish, but if you want pretzels too, then it’s a great decision. Just reserve at least 2 days before you plan on having this.

My family has a tradition for certain holidays to make the most luxurious, elaborate, and fancy brunch recipes for certain holidays like Christmas morning and such, and this is definitely already on the menu for that!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 homemade pretzels from my recipe here
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 batch caramel date sauce (recipe from the pretzel recipe here)
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted

Directions:

  1. Break up pretzels into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour almond milk over this mixture and coat well. Let sit in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, mix the chia seeds, arrowroot, water, sugars, vanilla, and spices together.
  5. Place the pretzel mixture into a casserole dish, and fold in the mixture you just prepared in the medium bowl.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Take out of the oven and drizzle both the date caramel and melted margarine over the bread pudding.
  8. Dig in!

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: 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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Vegan MoFo Day 7: Sunday Brunch: Vegan Griddlecake Sandwich

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Well well well, it’s the first Sunday of Vegan MoFo 2014 and I AM SO EXCITED! to give you my first Sunday Brunch recipe, because brunch foods are my favorite foods of all time.

This one was inspired by a fast food company that shall not be named. I loved their similar, non vegan sandwiches in my pre-vegan days. It was a weakness of mine, really. I tried to get it as close as possible, but it did fall short a bit. I think that if you really want to make it extra delicious, you might try frying the griddlecakes in a bit more oil than I did. I didn’t want to because I don’t like eating a lot of oil.

This recipe includes my recipe for sausage patties from the first Meaty Meatless Monday of MoFo 2014, which can be found here. 

Here is the recipe for it all:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp evaporated cane juice (white organic vegan sugar)
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Pecan Black Eyed Pea Sausage recipe 
  • Daiya Cheddar Cheese Slices

Directions:

  1. Cook sausages according to recipe.
  2. Keep sausages in an aluminum foil pouch on a single layer so that they stay warm while you make the pancakes. You can maybe start the pancake batter while you cook the sausages if you’re a good multitasking cook.
  3. Heat a griddle over medium heat sprayed with cooking oil.
  4. Place flour, baking powder, and evaporated cane juice in a large mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon.
  5. Add almond milk, maple syrup, and vegetable oil and mix until smooth with the spoon.
  6. Place brown sugar into batter, and briefly mix but not fully combine.
  7. Turn the griddle to medium or low heat, depending on your stovetop’s intensity.
  8. Pour batter onto griddle (about 1/4 cup worth) and flip when bubbly or when the edges are starting to look firm.
  9. Fry on the other side until thoroughly cooked.
  10. To assemble the griddle sandwiches, place a slice of the Daiya cheese on to one pancake while still hot.
  11. Place the sausage on top, and then another pancake.
  12. If you want to eat leftovers or save for later and reheat, microwave the cold pancake, daiya cheese, and sausage sandwich in a microwave for about 30 seconds, or broil in a toaste oven until the cheese melts and the sandwich is thoroughly heated.

YUM!

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VEGANMOFO.COM

also, see randomofo.com for a fun way to see other blogs participating in this blogging event (if not already familiar with it)!

 

Vegan MoFo 2014 Day 1: Monday=Meaty Meatless Mondays-Pecan Black Eyed Pea Sausage Patties

Hello! I’d like give a shout-out to those who have followed my blog since seeing it on Vegan MoFo 2014’s blogroll. 

As I introduced my theme yesterday as being “The Month of Many Mini Themes” (I like alliteration, can’t you see?), here is the first entry for Meaty Meatless Monday (you can read that post here). 

Today I am sharing a recipe for these sausage patties I created. I will be using them in a Sunday Brunch recipe next Sunday, but I think they would be good as a side for your breakfast or whatever else you want.

Pecan Black Eyed Pea Sausages Patties

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can or (equivalent to can=1.75 cups) cooked black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds or flax meal
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder/flour
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • oil for frying (about 2 tbsp)
  1. Place all ingredients except water into a food processor.
  2. Pulse until combined and somewhat smooth.
  3. Scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula and pulse for a few seconds, repeat at least three more times.
  4. Add water and pulse about 30 seconds.
  5. You can keep in the fridge for a bit if desired, or get straight to making them into sausages.
  6. Heat the oil on medium heat in a large frying pan.
  7. When the oil is heated, place patties formed into circles and flattened and place into the pan.
  8. Cook until browned slightly and firmed up a bit on both sides. The longer you cook them the mushier they will get, so be sure to take them out of the pan as soon as both sides are getting golden throughout the surface.
  9. Use as a side or in my Griddle Pancake Sandwiches (recipe coming Sunday!)

Tune in for tomorrow, Tuesday which is a yummy baking recipe as part of Tuesday’s theme, Too Good Baked Goods!

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Sharing my breakfast today with my readers!

I made a delicious breakfast this morning.

I made lemon poppy seed pancakes from this recipe, topped with a tiny bit of Earth Balance Spread, and a side of Upton’s Naturals seitan bacon (my new favorite vegan bacon!).

 

Image I am hoping I will have time to post more soon, but it is starting to be crunch time at school.

Playing a bit of catch up-tofu, hibachi, gyros, and taco salad

I have been a bit missing in action lately. Sorry!

Next weekend I am playing food Coordinator again at the Ladies Rock camp through Girls Rock RI so that will be super fun, but I will also be super busy.

Here is what  I’ve been cooking up!

photo 3 (2)This is what I made for breakfast today. It was the Curry Scrambled Tofu with Cabbage and Caraway from the Vegan Brunch Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moscowitz. My kitchen still smells absolutely amazing from cooking it, and it’s now 3:30pm (I got up at 8 to cook it). Yay. Also, I love that it’s a fusion of Russian and Indian food together, which are two cuisines I would not think to pair together but love individually. They work together too, to my surprise. I always reduce the salt when I cook by a lot…I am not a fan of it and try to cook without it when possible. I did not always do that, though.

photo 2 (2)I made vegan hibachi vegetables with a vegan version of my favorite Japanese dipping sauce (called “yum yum sauce” on recipe sites). Basically for the veggies you just cut 4 zucchini into bite size pieces and 1 1/2 white or yellow onions and stir fry it with 2 tbsp Earth Balance and 4 tbsp soy sauce until cooked thoroughly (I think 5-8 minutes?). For the mushrooms just chop them and cook them in 1 tbsp Earth  Balance and 1 tbsp soy sauce. For the Yum Yum sauce I used this recipe  and made vegan substitutions with vegenaise and Earth Balance and used a bit less water (or you can just add more vegenaise after and stir it up to make it thicker like I did). It’ll need to rest overnight before you eat it so the flavors set.

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Tempeh Gyros with tofu Tzatziki! From this recipe! They were so good and quite healthy! The Tzatziki is made with silken tofu and you can’t even tell it’s not made with yogurt of some type. The only thing I realized is that there is an error in the recipe and they do not tell you what to do with the cucumbers they allude to later (like how much to use and how to cut them up) so I just omitted them and put sliced cucumbers into the sandwich.

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I used the recipe from the Eat To Live Cookbook for the taco salad. It’s really healthy, but could use some kind of improvement in flavor I think that I cannot quite pinpoint. Maybe some more spices or some cherry tomatoes, I do not know! It has corn, black beans, red onion, red and green bell pepper, and a “guacamole” dressing.

That’s all for now! For dinner tonight I am making the Bacon Cheeseburger Pie from Betty Goes Vegan, so I will let you all know how that goes sometime soon!

My favorite new cookbook! Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon!

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Me with my favorite new cookbook

First of all, I have been so busy with finals that I have not had time to write any entries until now. However I managed to finish everything for this semester tonight! I have taken all my exams, and as of 6:30 pm finished the last of 3 or so papers I had to write.Go me!

In honor of this momentous feat, I treated myself to cooking an amazing sounding dinner from my newest cookbook in the collection. Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon, which happens to be VEGAN CHICK’N AND WAFFLES!! (on page 38, it’s actually titled “Baked Vegan Chicken and Easy Waffles.”

It was as amazing as it should be, as perfect as I had hoped. It blew me away. It was pretty much in my stomach faster than I would have liked, that’s how good it was.

You’ll need a waffle iron for this recipe though…and access to Gardein Chick’n Scallopini…but if you have the recipe and these two things, I HIGHLY recommend you try it.

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I mean, how can you resist it now?

I give this particular recipe 5 good bananas! But if I could I’d seriously give it 10 good ones!…

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I’ll probably be writing more about this cookbook in the future. I love it so far! I love the sheer volume of recipes (500), the ease in which every recipe I’ve made so far has come together, and the minimal use of utensils and dishes because I hardly have to do any dishes after I make these recipes. Which is rare, but I also tend to pick really complex recipes. The recipes are very simple but make it appear and taste like they are very complex. I love that about it.

The only criticism I would say I is that it relies too much on actual brand name foods and ingredients. I cannot find the creole seasoning it recommends anywhere near me. Luckily Gardein products are readily available for me. I do however wish there were base faux meat recipes for every recipe that needs fake meats, because it would be healthier (less processed and with better ingredients) but then again it would have been quite difficult to make 500 recipes and perfect the fake meat recipes for so many of them too. It would also detract from the simplicity of making all these recipes if you had to make the faux meats from scratch. So, I’m somewhat torn…

But yeah. I think despite the criticism I mentioned above, I’d still give this cookbook overall 5 good bananas!

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Yay!

Foodie (Photo) Friday is back! (sorry it was absent for a bit…I was still cooking though!)

Hey there!

I am still recovering from the weekend where I was very busy…I cannot believe it’s been a week already since the start of the Ladies Rock Camp. It went really well, especially the food, from my standpoint.  Well of course everything went well, but I was focused most on making sure the food was great, and I think it was.

Anyhow! I think I am going to play catch up a bit.

This week I made some Hawaiian Toast (Page 44) for breakfast and Texas Beefless Skewers with Chipotle Peach Glaze (Page 140) from Betty Goes Vegan, pizza english muffins and easy monkey bread (from the Vegan Stoner Cookbook, haha) with a friend, a really good salad several times, and a jackfruit/northern beans “tuna” melt. I don’t have pictures of the monkey bread and pizza English Muffins, sadly…

In weeks prior where I did not get to post, I also made:

  • a Cheezburger Pie from Betty Goes Vegan
  • Cupcakes for my birthday (on October 29) from Chloe’s Kitchen–the spice ones

and other stuff too, but that I apparently did not take pictures of or remember. Ooops.

Here are the details and evidence:

Northern bean/Jackfruit un’tuna melt…
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Bye bye, chickpea untuna sandwiches! This combination beats chickpea faux tuna sandwiches by a landslide! So good and a close flavor from what I remember! I didn’t add any salt and it was recommended to me to not use a whole lemon. I did not use the frying step as listed because it seemed fairly redundant. I just broiled some bread with spinach, tomatoes, and daiya cheddar on it and then put the still hot sandwich mixture inside. The un’tuna salad tastes good when cold the next day, too. Also, I don’t know how this makes just two sandwiches! It makes about 4 for me. If I piled the amount it’d take to halve the recipe on the bread, it wouldn’t hold it all. But this is probably one of my favorite recipes using jackfruit I’ve tried so far.

I rate this recipe:

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Hawaiian French Toast from Betty Goes Vegan Cookbook

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This cookbook has so many amazing sounding recipes, especially for breakfasts. This one immediately caught my eye when I read it. It has both a tropical and cheesy flavor to it, and works out really well when you follow the directions as instructed. I would not change anything about it! It’s so yummy. My non-vegan brother gobbled it up, and I don’t even think he likes French Toast type things much, but no complaints…This definitely deserves a 5 good banana rating!

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Texas Beefless Skewers with Chipotle Peach Glaze from Betty Goes Vegan

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I used Gardein Beefless tips as directed for this recipe. It looks almost too real, which is slightly scary for me. They were oh so tasty, though! I made some cilantro lime rice with corn in it (a frozen prepared bag, haha) to go along with it and it was delicious! When I shared this picture on facebook, it seemed to get more “likes” than usual…I do not know if maybe it is because it looks so convincing as a fake meat, or what, but yeah…It was also pretty quick and easy to make. I am finding that most of the recipes I have tried so far in this cookbook are, which is great and a huge plus for me. The only thing I would recommend with this particular recipe that wasn’t mentioned in the book is to have a baking pan on the rack underneath in case the juices drip out…it was needed and I thankfully thought of it before it was too late…

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Cheezburger Pie from Betty Goes Vegan

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 Well, this was amazing. I used Whole Foods Brand burgers and did not defrost them and they worked fine. The Bisquick and the ener-g egg replacer make this almost quiche-like…which I was very impressed with. I have not been too keen on ener-g egg replacer powder until I used this cookbook and particularly this recipe. I ate it with ketchup, dill relish, and yellow mustard. It was comforting. Amazingly, when I calculated the nutrition facts  it was fairly decent  (at least calorie wise, I was thinking this would be really intense). Visually it is appealing too as you can see, haha!

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Finally, I amnot going to review them because I’m mostly tired now, but I will leave you with some pictures of the cupcakes for my birthday on October 29 which I neglected to blog about. They were from Chloe’s Kitchen.

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