Holiday Recap and a Soy Curl Potpie Recipe

I’ve been so busy lately. Between graduate school, taking an improv comedy class, the holidays, my grandmother dying, etc., I’ve barely had time for cooking. I was able to create two Youtube videos in the beginning of the semester, which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIGj10TPGenVBNH6vySDPpw! I hope to make more videos on Youtube in the coming year.

I’ve also been regularly updating my blog’s new(ish) Instagram account, which you can follow @bananacurlvegangirl

If you’re not on Instagram or following along here, I’m going to do a quick photo recap of some of the food I made for the holidays.

For some homemade gifts, I made my famous sour cream and onion kale chips, green tea, goji, and coconut superfood energy bars (adapted from this recipe), vegan and gluten-free marshmallow wreaths, and chocolate peppermint patties from a recipe that’s basically this (not pictured).

 

We had 4 relatives staying with us from Christmas Eve day until yesterday. My aunt and uncle and cousins have a tradition at their house of making appetizers on Christmas eve. So, I made lentil faux chopped liver dip, a spinach and artichoke dip, and we made mini potato latkes because it was also the first night of Hanukkah and my dad celebrates the holiday and loves having latkes. Instead of using eggs, we used the Neat egg for the first time and it worked out really well! There was also a salad made that I was able to eat.

 

For dessert, I had these gluten-free, vegan sugar cookies I made from a recipe on Minimalist Baker. Check the recipe out here.

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For Christmas morning breakfast, everyone else was having bagels. My mom was nice enough to go to a local gluten-free bakery and pick up some vegan and gluten free bagels. I topped them with Kite Hill chive cream cheese, my papaya lox, and capers.

lox-bagels

For my dinner later that day, I made gluten-free, vegan stuffed shells with Kite Hill almond ricotta and pesto. I forgot to take a picture of them. We also had my favorite vegan caesar salad ever, which I also forgot to photograph, but believe there are previous posts on this blog about it.

It was a sweet Christmas! I hope you had a very merry one yourselves! As a thank you for reading, here is a picture of my three cats, that my brother photoshopped for a card.

christmas-cats

However, the best Christmas present is that I have a new recipe! For a soy curl chickun potpie that is soooo good!

WordPress has a new feature here, so I’m going to try to see what happens when I upload a word document of the recipe.

soy-curl-chickun-potpie (link to a downloadable recipe? or something)

Soy Curl Chickun Potpie

Vegan and Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soy curls
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 6-8 baby carrots chopped into rounds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • one small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp dried rubbed sage
  • ½ cup vegan no-chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp garbanzo flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk
  • 1 no-chicken bouillon cube
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 gluten-free, vegan pie crusts, homemade or store bought

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Soak soy curls, corn, and peas in a bowl with enough warm water to cover. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and drain. Set aside.
  3. Steam potatoes and carrots in a steamer basket for 10 minutes.
  4. Place olive oil, celery, onions, and garlic in a skillet on medium heat and sauté until soft. Add in the soy curls, corn, peas, nutritional yeast, sage, and ¼ cup broth. Mix in the potatoes and carrots. Stir and heat until the soy curls are warm.
  5. To make a gravy for the pie, place the vegan butter and garbanzo flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until crumbly and beginning to brown. Slowly add in the coconut milk, continuing to whisk. You may need to lower the heat. Add the remaining ¼ cup broth and the bouillon cube. Keep whisking until the bouillon melts and the gravy is thick. You can add salt and pepper to taste once you turn off the heat.
  6. Add the gravy into the soy curl and vegetables.
  7. Spoon into a bottom of a pie crust. Place the top of the pie crust as you like it. Make slits in the top to allow steam to escape. You may have some leftover filling that you can eat separately or make into other dishes.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden in color.
  9. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  10. Bon Appetit!

Enjoy the new year festivities if I don’t post before then (but I do have several posts lined up!) Happy Holidays from Banana Curl, Vegan Girl!

 

Better than Cadbury Cream Eggs! (vegan, fair trade, and gluten free) with update for palm free/gmo free recipe

Hi!

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I’ve been wanting to make a vegan chocolate cream egg since…well…every year I’ve been vegan. This year I finally decided to take action.

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I bought an egg shaped mold from a craft store and everything. However, I found a recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Hell Yeah It’s Vegan which does not require a mold (and I think comes out better if you don’t). Please check the blog out beyond this recipe. It’s amazing!

Originally I just made some simple adjustments to the recipe. Instead of using yellow and red food coloring, I made the yellow out of water and powdered turmeric. I also changed the method a bit, instead of using two disks I used one and just free-styled the yellow part of the egg by placing it in the center and wrapping the white part around it and shaping it into an egg shape. It was actually really easy in terms of making candies and other stuff.

The chocolate I used was Equal Exchange Fair Trade chocolate chips which I am really passionate about buying from now on. Not only are they conflict/child labor/slave labor free and on the Food Empowerment Project chocolate list, but they’re also the best tasting chocolate and worked like a dream.

But I was annoyed that I was making these with Earth Balance, which has palm oil in it, and corn syrup, which is often gmo and not organic (genetically modified). So I had to totally revamp the recipe. It works just as well if not better. The updated recipe is below!

Of course, these are also gluten free and also nut free (if you don’t consider coconut a nut!)

Chocolate Creme Eggs–vegan, gluten free, palm oil free, fair trade, organic

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp refined coconut oil (solid) –plus 2 tsp for the chocolate
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 cups organic/gluten free powdered sugar
  • Ground turmeric and water, as needed
  • 8 oz (or more, just use the full bag) fair trade, vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, cream the brown rice syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and water together.
  2. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar into this mixture, blending until well combined. If it is hard to mix add a small amount of water, no more than an 2 additional teaspoons.
  3. Place a small amount of the mixture into a small bowl (a third or less of it), and sprinkle the turmeric powder and a small amount of water (you do want this to get a little runny), use a small whisk or spoon to stir it together until it all incorporates and is a bright yellow color. It will be hard to combine at first.
  4. Cover both bowls and place them in the refrigerator for an hour or more. If you are short on time you can place them in the freezer for no more than 30 minutes.
  5. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.
  6. With a small spoon, place little blobs of the yellow mixture onto the tray. You want to aim for about 15 nickel size pieces.
  7. Then shape the white mixture into 30 flat egg shaped discs and place on the other tray.
  8. Place the white ones in the fridge and the yellow in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Take one white disc, place the yellow blob and put it in the middle, then place another white disc to form a sandwich. Smush together and then shape by rolling in between your hands into an egg shape. Continue on with the rest of them. It’s okay if some of the yellow is oozing out, it gets better looking results that way.
  10. Place again in the freezer for a half hour (or more).
  11. Melt the chocolate with 2 tsp coconut oil in the microwave or a double boiler.
  12. Dip the frozen eggs fully into the chocolate one by one, placing on a cookie sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment paper or wax paper to set. I have found that the best method is to use a spoon to roll the egg in the chocolate and then carefully take out of the chocolate, letting the excess drip off back into the chocolate, and then placing onto the tray. They will not be perfect, you may have some drips that deform the egg shape. Once you let them set you can break those off a little bit.
  13. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to set fully. I like to keep a big batch of them wrapped in foil in the freezer, and when there is a day that I want one, I place it in the fridge for a few hours, let it sit out for a little longer at room temperature, and then dig in! They are so good.

 

 

 

 

 

Italian Rainbow Cookies Veganized

During Christmas, I had this bad habit of being at the grocery store and looking at the ingredients of the Italian Christmas cookies hoping some of them would be vegan. Not a chance. I’ve been craving these all season.

After Christmas, I looked up some recipes for this type of cookie. I wasn’t sure what they would actually be called, but it was easy enough to find. I found this recipe, which I knew I could veganize with the magic vegan ingredient, aquafaba.

I was so worried I’d really mess up making these a lot earlier on. The parts I thought would fail were not as difficult as I thought. The hardest part was cutting it after I put the chocolate on top, which ended up crumbling a bit and making it not as pretty as I would have liked. The recipe makes it sound much more complicated and some of the steps are needlessly complicated, so I’m re-writing the recipe in the way I did it with the vegan substitutions.

This recipe also required making vegan almond paste (with aquafaba as well!)

That is the first step to making these babies.

Vegan Aquafaba Almond Paste

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups blanched almonds
  • 1.5 cups vegan powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea water/brine from a can)
  • 1.5 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, blend the almonds until smooth and pasty.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, aquafaba, extract, and salt.
  3. Process again until smooth and dough-like (it should form into a big ball).
  4. You may need to scrape the sides down frequently throughout the process.
  5. When finished, set aside 3/4 cup for your Italian Rainbow cookies. You can save the leftovers, it’s super yummy!

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Veganized Italian Rainbow Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks plus 4 tablespoons Earth Balance sticks
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup almond paste (recipe above)
  • 3/4 cup vegan sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 12 tablespoons aquafaba
  • 2 tablespoons vegan sugar
  • food coloring method of choice (red and green)
  • 15 oz Apricot Jam (not the kind with clumpy pieces in it, you want it to be smooth)
  • 10 oz vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place parchment paper on three jelly roll pans or rimmed cookie sheets and spray parchment with cooking oil.
  3. In a stand mixer bowl, place the almond paste and 3/4 cup with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix on the medium speed setting until crumbly.
  4. Cut the Earth Balance into small pieces and place into the the mixture while beating together until all the Earth Balance is in there and the batter is smooth.
  5. Sift 2 cups of flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Add into the mixer slowly and continue to mix until combined. Do not over mix.
  6. In a large metal bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, place the 12 tablespoons of aquafaba. Whip until foamy. Slowly add in the 2 tablespoons of sugar while continuing to whip on the highest setting. Stop when you have created firm peaks (if you take out the whisks from the meringue, and place them upside down, it will not drip down).
  7. Add 1/3 of the meringue into the batter and fold in with a rubber spatula. Add the rest of the meringue and mix until fully incorporated.
  8. Place the batter evenly into 3 bowls. 1 bowl keep plain, and then add green and red to the other two bowls.
  9. Transfer the batters onto their respective cookie sheets one at a time with a wet rubber spatula . My sheets were too big to be able to spread out the batter entirely, so I tried my best to make the most even shaped rectangles on each cookie sheet so they’d match up when layered together after baking.  Don’t worry too much about it, you’ll cut the edges so they’re prettier when it’s all assembled anyhow. Just worry about making relatively even thickness rectangles for now.
  10. Bake for 4 minutes, rotate the pans around in the oven so that one pan is not on the bottom rack the whole time, and bake for another 4-6 minutes until the edges are slightly browned.
  11. Allow to cool completely.
  12. Spread a thin layer of apricot jam on top of the red layer.
  13. Cut any excess parchment paper from around the white layer. Holding the bottom of the cookie with both hands, carefully line up and flip the white layer onto the red.
  14. Spread another layer of jam. Repeat step 13 with the green layer, but do not place anymore jam on top.
  15. Cover with plastic wrap. Place a clean cookie sheet on top to press down the layers. Place something heavy and even (like two cans on either side) on top of that, and place into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  16. Take off the cans, cookie sheet, and plastic wrap. With a sharp knife, trim the uneven sides into a clean rectangle shape. Let sit for a moment or a few.
  17. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave.
  18. Spread over the top layer and sides with a spatula.
  19. Allow to set, and then cut into smalls squares.
  20. Place in a container and store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Enjoy! I know I certainly will!

 

 

Happy Holidays! (xmas recap)

I’m in the mood to do a show and tell kind of post, with pictures and descriptions of my Christmas…so here it goes:

*Note: I decided to eat gluten this holiday…I need to go back to eating gluten free because I don’t feel great again, but I wanted to see how I felt with it. I’m glad I don’t have celiacs, but I’m definitely pretty sensitive. I’ve missed some of this food so much though.

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My brother illustrated a portrait of two of my cats for my dad’s business. It’s really cute. Cats seemed to be the theme of our Christmas this year.

In fact, I made a bunch of cat sugar cookies.

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Unfortunately, I am a little weak with my decoration skills.

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For Christmas Eve we made my Pizza Strips and this caesar salad.

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My orange cat, Sammy, woke me up very early on Christmas morning so I went downstairs to make some cinnamon buns with coffee icing for everyone.

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Yum! They were a hit with everyone. I actually bought pre-made vegan cinnamon buns and just made the icing myself, because it would have been difficult to make them from scratch in the morning and have them ready on time.

Later, we had Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s Pistachio Guacamole from her Italian cookbook for an appetizer:

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For my dinner I made Sporkfood’s frosted tempeh beet loaf. My mom made Chloe Coscarelli’s creamed spinach for me and twice baked potatoes.

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For dessert we made Chloe Coscarelli’s lava cakes with raspberry sauce, So Delicious coco whip and ice cream.

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And I got quite a few culinary presents in the form of new cookbooks!

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It was quite a delicious event! I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas all had a great holiday!

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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! 🙂

Happy Hanukkah! My recipe for vegan latkes

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!

I am working on my cookbook zine quite a bit and wanted to share a recipe I created for it because it is relevant! I also recently veganized kugel, which I was quite surprised by, but you’ll have to wait for the zine to come out for that one 😉

My family has a tradition for the first night of Hanukkah to make latkes. Unfortunately, the recipe we’ve always used calls for eggs. This is the first time I experimented with egg replacer, and it actually turned out better than my mom’s she made that were not vegan.

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Vegan Potato Latkes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grated raw potatoes
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp egg replacer powder
  • 4 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp flour or matzo meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • oil for frying
  • vegan sour cream or applesauce for dipping

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, fill with freezing cold water and ice.
  2. Grate potatoes and put the potatoes into the ice bath while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This prevents discoloration of the potatoes and reduces the sogginess.
  3. Chop onion and whisk together the egg replacer and warm water in a small bowl.
  4. Drain the potatoes in a strainer. Be sure to get all the ice out.
  5. In a kitchen/ tea towel, place the drained potatoes in the middle, and squeeze out any excess moisture.
  6. Place into a large mixing bowl, mix in all ingredients except oil.
  7. Cover a frying pan with about an inch of oil. Heat on high until a piece of potato bubbles and sizzles immediately upon placing in the oil.
  8. Place a wooden spoonful of the potato mixture in the oil. With the back of the spoon, press down to flatten in the oil.
  9. Use a slotted spoon to flip them after they have browned on the bottom side. Keep in the oil until both sides are browned.
  10. Place onto a plate with paper towels to drain.
  11. Continue to fry until you have used up the batter. You will probably need to turn down the heat a bit to allow them to cook a bit more slowly at some point.
  12. Enjoy! Have a happy holiday!

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Sweet Potato Marshmallow Mini Pies with Swedish Ginger Cookie Crust or Speculoos crust (either works!)

Hey everyone!

I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving. It seems like just the other day I was writing about last Thanksgivukkah. Too bad this year hanukkah is later.

I haven’t gotten a chance to post about it but I had this really great Vegan Thanksgiving Food Demo along with Rhode Island Vegan Awareness and Urban Greens Co-op in Providence, RI. I taught a large (being that only 13 people were supposed to be there based on sign ups) group of 23 people, mostly all vegan or vegetarian how to make my butternut squash and sage ravioli. It was a really fun time, and the first time I’ve ever done something like that. I’d say it went really well. I am looking forward to doing more events like that in the future.

I had pre-cooked the Gardein holiday roast and brought it to my family’s thanksgiving gathering. I had also made sage cashew cheese for an appetizer. My mom brought a vegan green bean casserole. My great aunt had made vegan mashed potatoes with oil, almond milk, and chives. I was most excited about this one recipe I created for us to eat for dessert, which I will now share here.

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Mini Pies with Cookie Crust (Speculoos or Ginger)

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Ingredients:

For the crusts:

  • 1 1/2 cup cookie crumbs made in a food processor (Speculoos or Swedish Ginger cookies–I used some cookies called Anna’s Ginger Swedish Thins instead of the Speculoos)
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted Earth Balance

For the pies:

  • 3 cups worth baked sweet potatoes without skin
  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp melted Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 12 Large sized vegan marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease a cupcake tin with either a generous amount of cooking spray or melt some extra earth balance, put some on a paper towel, and spread around the cavities of the pan until well coated. This is very important because otherwise you will have a really hard time getting them out.
  3. In a food processor, mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and Earth Balance.
  4. Scoop out an even amount (use spoons to measure, about 1 1/2 table spoonfuls) into each cupcake cavity. Press up the sides as much as you can while still keeping the bottom crust in tact. I did not have the crust going totally up the sides and it came out fine.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. It may be a little bubbly but it will crisp up a bit as it sits while you make the rest.
  6. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the sweet potatoes until smooth.
  7. When the crusts are baked, turn the heat of the oven up to 350 degrees.
  8. Whisk together the flaxmeal and water until goopy.
  9. Pour the flaxmeal and water into the pureed sweet potatoes in the processor, along with the Earth Balance, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. Blend until fully combined and smooth. Taste for sweetness. You can add more sugar if desired.
  10. Place 2 full tablespoons of the mixture on top of the crusts.
  11. Stick a marshmallow in the center of each.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes.
  13. Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely. When cooled, take a butter knife and loosen the edges by circling the pie and breaking up the crust’s edges if stuck to the tin.
  14. Take out with a metal spoon and place on a serving tray or whatever else. They can be refrigerated if they are not being served immediately.

Vegan MoFo day 8: Meaty Meatless Monday-Rosemary Agave Ham Seitan Loaf

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For those who might be reading my blog and be new to the idea of veganism and vegan food, I’d like to offer a definition of what seitan is:

Seitan: a vegan mock meat (or meat substitute) made from wheat gluten. It has a firm and somewhat rubbery texture. It is typically made by making a dough (main ingredient: vital wheat gluten) with a variety of dry and wet ingredients and be made to substitute many different meats. Seitan needs to be cooked in a broth for a fairly long time in order to form properly, but the method in which you can do that varies. I have made seitan in a crockpot and been able to go about my own business most of the day, but I’ve also made it in the oven on low temperatures and had to stick around and be more careful. You can also boil it on the stove, and then saute or bake it, but that requires the most care and time. It is probably one of the most advanced types of foods you will consider making as a vegan concerning the cooking skills required to make it.

This recipe was adapted from here. It came about from the need for a vegan ham I could make myself. Next Sunday I plan on using it in a recipe for brunch. This would work really well if you make another sweet glaze for it and use it as a roast or something. I didn’t try that (yet!) but it can essentially be used in multiple ways and serve many purposes. As always with seitan, if you can’t use it all within a week, wrap the pieces up in plastic wrap (and maybe a plastic bag too) and freeze until needed. 

Recipe

Ingredients:

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed between fingers

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup hot water

  • 3 tbsp vegan bac’un bits
  • 1/2 block extra firm tofu crumbled into pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp agave

For the cooking broth:

1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp marmite (a yeast extract that can be found in your grocery’s British international section if it has one)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan poultry seasoning blend
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke

Directions:

  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl or your electric stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
  2. In a blender, place the hot water, bac’un bits and whir the blender on a high setting until the bits have combined with the hot water as much as possible. Add the tofu, cold water, soy sauce, liquid smoke, tomato paste, and agave and blend.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and run the mixer with the dough hook for about ten minutes. Alternately, you can knead it by hand for about 15 minutes, I’ve done it before, it takes a lot of elbow grease, but is possible. It is more difficult to knead than bread, makes your hands smell a bit funny, and can make quite a sticky mess on the surface you are kneading it on.
  4. Let the dough sit covered for an hour.
  5. In the meantime, prepare the cooking broth. Place the broth, water, marmite, and agave together in a saucepan.
  6. Heat over medium heat until the agave and marmite melt into the other liquids.
  7. Take off the heat and stir in the seasoning blend, sesame oil, ketchup, and liquid smoke. Set aside.
  8. After the hour of letting the dough sit is over, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  9. Knead the dough for another ten minutes. The dough should be smooth.
  10. Take the whole ball of dough and place into an oiled loaf pan. Press down with your hands.
  11. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven.
  12. Immediately after placing in the oven, turn the temperature down to 200 degrees F.
  13. Bake for three hours.
  14. With a good spatula, loosen the loaf and flip the seitan so that side that was the bottom is now the top and facing up. Re-cover with the foil.
  15. Turn the heat back up to 325 degrees again and bake for another 30 minutes.
  16. After the 30 minutes, flip again, re-cover, and bake for 15 minutes.
  17. After the 15 minutes, flip for the last time and re-cover and bake for a final ten more minutes or until the broth has been fully absorbed into the seitan.
  18. Take out of the oven, let it cool slightly. Slice as desired and use in other recipes, such as my french toast, rosemary “ham” and cashew cheese sandwich coming next Sunday! I love freezing seitan wrapped in plastic wrap and in ziplock bags to save for later when my recipes call for it, as mentioned in the beginning of my post.

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My culinary Christmas!

Hey everyone! Hope you enjoyed the holiday!

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I know I certainly did.

First matter of business: I need to share pictures of all the delicious food I ate. You can access the links to the recipes if you want them in the post directly before this about my menu!

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Vegan Raw Cheeseball!

Uh, this was the best. It was addictingly good. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to make this again without being able to give it to someone else…because I seriously devoured most of it wayyyy too fast and now I am slightly mad at myself about that. But happy it’s gone because…it is…way too good. This recipe deserves the best rating, by far!

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Om. NOM.

ImageMy dinner. Thanksgiving Veggie Burgers and Brussels Sprouts.

Really good but the burger recipe was slightly over-hyped. I think it’d be better with more dried or fresh cranberries in it. Still pretty amazing though. And for the Brussels Sprouts, that’s seriously my favorite recipe for them. Even my Dad who has been afraid to eat Brussels Sprouts since he was a kid ate and enjoyed them!

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Dessert! Truffles! So rich and tasty!

On to the presents!

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As you can sort of see here, I got some cooking and workout stuff! I got the new Isa Does It cookbook which I immediately opened and started to drool over. I was surprised with Canoe pans and a way to insert the cream filling so I can make vegan twinkie like desserts! A spiralizer device for making all kinds of interesting raw veggie pastas, and such! I also got headphones I can run with without them falling out of my ears, an iPod sport armband for the same purposes. 2 pairs of leggings, the Hyperbole and a Half comic book, and some stocking items, like Urban Decay eyeliner, 2 canisters of my favorite nutritional yeast (Red Star), super cute socks, a magazine, and other things I now forget, oops! 😉 I feel spoiled.

Oh, I also got a gift card to Amazon! I got some cool things already ordered, including No Meat Athlete which I’ll be really excited to share my thoughts and reviews on it once I read it!

Okay, I’ll be writing a bit more next week! Enjoy!