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

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

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

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

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

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Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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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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Post Halloween Recipe by me: Vegan Ranch Seasoned Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Hope you all had a very vegan Happy Halloween! Sorry I am slightly late in posting this recipe I created. I hope you haven’t had the chance to roast the pumpkin seeds you were drying out from carving your jack-o-lantern yet so you can try these!

Vegan Ranch Seasoned Roasted Pumpkin SeedsImage(I ate some of these before I took the picture, oops)

Recipe:

Ingredients:

About 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed and set to dry overnight

  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4, 1/2 tsp salt, separated

Directions:

  1. It may seem counter-intuitive to dry the seeds out and then boil them the next day, but supposedly it helps to make them easier to digest. So, take your dried pumpkin seeds, place in a pot of water with 1/2 tsp salt, and put on a high heat stove until they begin to boil.
  2. When boiling, turn the heat down so the water and seeds are simmering.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  5. Strain water from pumpkin seeds.
  6. Dry with a paper towel (I just dabbed them a bit in the strainer).
  7. Place seeds in a plastic Ziploc bag and put the oil and spices in the bag.
  8. Shake until coated.
  9. Place on a baking sheet (you may want to spray the baking sheet with oil to prevent further sticking but it may not be necessary really, but I did.)
  10. Place into oven. Cook for 10 minutes then check them. According to this blog I referenced, check them frequently and make sure they’re not browning on the inside by snapping them in half. I checked them 3 minutes after the initial 10 minutes (since my oven is wonky) and had to keep going for a while, checking every 2-3 minutes. I think this is a good idea, ovens vary and such…Unfortunately I lost track of the total time it took.
  11. When they are crunchy and not browned on the inside, they are done.
  12. Let cool a bit, and then eat!

Enjoy! Let me know if you try them what you think! I found them to taste sort of like a peppery ranch flavor. I may play around with the seasoning in the future to get a better ranch flavor…

Foodie (Photo) Friday #5: Eating out, Pumpkin/Chocolate muffins, Tofu Satay

Hello hello! It’s foodie (photo) Friday! Annnd… I did not make much food this week because I ended up going out to eat quite a bit.  I’ll talk about my dining experiences first before going on to the food pictures and recipe reviews:

I went to a burrito place that had seitan as a filling option (which I was very excited about) in Amherst, Massachusetts,  an Asian restaurant in Providence, RI  (the menu had mostly Thai and Chinese dishes but also some Cambodian I believe) where I got orange crispy tofu, garlic eggplant, and sticky white rice, and then tonight to The Grange in Providence where I got a pretzel bun po’ boy with fried oyster mushrooms, vegan remoulade, pickles, lettuce, and cole slaw.

It’s a big toss up between whether I liked The Grange or the Asian food better. I want to say I liked the Grange more. I was so excited when I was eating that sandwich. The flavors in it are amazing. And all the textures together worked really well. A mix of 3 crunchy elements (the pickles, lettuce, and mushrooms) and two soft/creamy (the bread and the remoulade). I was worried that the restaurant might not live up to the hype I’ve heard about it, but I was impressed by the food at least. The only complaint I may have but am undecided about is that I found the atmosphere kind of weird, it was noisy and too dark (I don’t really like dark restaurants, but maybe that is because my vision is not great in the dark? I honestly do not know!

The Asian restaurant (called Gourmet House) had a lot of options for tofu which is always a sign of a good Asian restaurant for me. Almost all the dishes you could choose tofu or tofu and vegetables with. The orange tofu was so good. I was not expecting it to come the way it was though. This tofu was more like what I remember the sauces being when I was an omnivore and had ordered lemon chicken. It was a thick, citrus-y orange flavored sauce, with no hint of soy sauce or anything that I was expecting. I liked it so much I may have gone a bit overboard by eating the whole plate of it. Oops. And the eggplant and rice were also very yummy. I liked the stickiness of the rice, I don’t think I’ve actually ever had sticky rice before. It’s kind of sweet. The eggplant was savory but also had a sweet flavor to it at the time. The eggplant itself melted in my mouth.

Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of my food at the restaurants, I was embarrassed to do so, heh.

Anyways, on to what I made from some tasty recipes this week.

The first:

venus chocolate pumpkin muffinsVenus Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins from Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater. These are half and half pumpkin/chocolate muffins with a streusal topping. They’re difficult to make half and half so they look good, but they do taste pretty good. Next time I might omit the walnuts in the pumpkin, because I’d like a stronger pumpkin flavor. I think the walnuts might overpower it.

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Also I had a hard time with my oven getting them cooked well enough. Even with the max time listed with the recipe they were still totally liquid in the middle when I put a toothpick in the center, I think I cooked them for 5-10 minutes more. I honestly cannot remember, sometimes my oven is a bit weird lately.

Overall, these tasted pretty good and the recipe was pretty straight forward and easy despite having to make 3 separate parts so I give it a 4 good banana, one bad banana. It lost one good banana because it just didn’t have that “wow” factor when I tasted it. But they’re good otherwise.

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Second, was Tofu Satay from The 30 Minute Vegan cookbook.

tofu satay

I made it into a bowl with some quinoa and added extra peanut satay sauce on top. The satay sauce was perfect, it tasted exactly like the kind of peanut satay sauce I like, that I remember getting from the Thai restaurants I have been to. Sometimes people and companies make a type of peanut satay that doesn’t taste this good, maybe without coconut milk and less of a peanut buttery taste, but this was amazing. The tofu came out pretty good, but I wish I had baked it longer until it got a little more crispy, except I was hungry and impatient so oh well. The addition of raw scallions and red pepper made it a complete and tasty meal all together with the quinoa. So yay! I think this probably deserves a 5 good banana rating!

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That’s all, folks! I have some couple neat ideas for a few different kinds of posts this week, hopefully I’ll get some time to post them, but I do have some exams coming up as well, so I don’t know! But I hope so!

Until next time!

In deliciousness,

Laura

Random post and a delicious autumn flavor breakfast sandwich recipe

Hello there!

I completely spaced out writing this past week’s Food Porn Friday entry. I was planning to write it but then things got in the way. My uncle from Georgia was in town and we went to get Thai food fairly late. By the time we got home and were done visiting, along with my stressful week (I had 2 exams in one day last week! blah) I just crashed without going on to the computer to update. Similarly, I did not have the time or energy to create any original recipes to post here. I’m really hoping this doesn’t become a regular thing, and I hate that I am writing this entry with my excuses for why I didn’t update, but basically, I need to find a good way to juggle being in college. staying healthy, and trying to be creative with this blog (and keep it going and inventive and inspired and promote it, etc). 

That being said, this past week saw me making baked apple cider donuts (recipe here), matzo brei again (recipe here), roasted brussels sprouts with maple syrup and chestnuts (my own recipe attempt that was just “meh” overall so I am not going to post it), apple pie  chia breakfast parfait (recipe here), vegan “chicken caesar salad (my own concoction with this dressing recipe), and a tempeh reuben casserole (recipe here).

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Clockwise from top left: Parfait, Donut, Caesar Salad, Reuben Casserole, and Matzo Brei.

This morning I made the tastiest breakfast sandwich I’ve had in as long as I can remember. It’s very much in touch with seasonal autumn flavors. The recipe is here. I used whole food’s prepared meatless sausage patty, raw baby spinach, and a daiya cheddar slice though instead of what was suggested in the recipe.

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The fake cheddar and pumpkin butter create an amazing taste. The mushrooms meld together with all the flavors and make it even more of a meatier texture. I savored every bite of it until it was gone 😦

I give this recipe 5 good bananas!

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That pretty much wraps everything up that I wanted to say in this entry today.

But before I finish, I wanted to give a glimpse on something I’m working on/worried about: vegan art supplies I can use for making illustrations. It has come to my attention that it’s somewhat difficult to determine whether markers and pens and the whole gamut of arts and craft supplies are vegan or not, and many are not (even down to paper and stuff). For now I want to post a link to this resource that helped me figure out how to do some research on this topic and also made me feel a bit less overwhelmed by that task. Eventually I think a post with various arts and craft brands and their status would be good for me or someone else to compile and share around as a resource, we’ll see what ends up happening.

That’s all for now! Hopefully this new week won’t leave me as busy or stressed and I can blog more!

Pumpkin Ice Cream with the secret vegan “cream” ingredient that makes it amazing!

Okay, so pumpkin ice cream recipes may not be too original or anything, but the taste of this one I just made certainly is.

It basically tastes like pumpkin flavored frozen whipped cream.

The secret ingredient? A can of this:

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It requires an ice cream maker. I used the kind where the base of the machine gets frozen and then you pull it out of the freezer right before you’re about to put the ice cream liquid inside, turn it on, and let it mix itself until it turns into ice cream. I don’t know much about ice cream maker varieties but I love this one, and think it works quite well. Mine is a Hamilton Beach brand maker.

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The Creamiest Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream Ever

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 14 oz can coconut cream (I’m really not sure where you can find this otherwise besides Trader Joe’s so let me know if you find one elsewhere? Regular coconut milk in a can will NOT yield the same results but you could try it with some sort of thickener maybe? hmmm)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp liquid stevia

1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pulse until combined.
  3. Prep ice cream maker.
  4. Pour ice cream base into ice cream maker according to your machine’s directions.
  5. The time it will take to turn into ice cream will vary according to many different factors, so when it looks like ice cream or your preferred ice cream consistency, stop it. It sometimes helps to pour into a container and freeze for a bit if it’s still somewhat soupy and not turning into ice cream after awhile (at least let it run for a half hour before you do this, but then again, read your machine’s directions and gauge it by those).