New Favorite Things

I want to post more often here, but am finding it hard right now to find time to create my own recipes due to a busy summer full of classes, volunteering, and other events.

So, I figure I might as well post some other vegan food related stuff, as I’ve always done, and not beat myself up for not creating new recipes as frequently.

I actually have a recipe I created awhile ago that I’ve been saving in hopes that I could use it for my youtube channel I want to start eventually. It was a cupcake recipe, that was not gluten free at the time, and now since I cannot eat it, it doesn’t make sense to hold onto for the video. So, keep an eye out for that.

For now, I want to make a post about some of my new favorite vegan food things.

Rice Paper Bacun:

Ohemgee, this is a life changer, and completely gluten free (although some brands of rice paper are not, so read the ingredients carefully!) If you follow vegan food trends at all, I’m sure you’ve heard of this somewhere. If not, here is the scoop: You cut rice paper (the stuff you use to make summer rolls) into strips, soak it quickly in warm water, dip it in a marinade (this is the marinade I use–warning, there are a lot of spelling errors but don’t let those annoy you too much, it’s delicious despite a bit of confusion), and then fry it in a pan with some coconut oil until crispy. You can apparently bake them too, but I don’t think the results would be as good.

Here are two pictures of it, one for breakfast and one used in a salad.

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Red Pepper Jelly:

Somewhere on the vast corners of the (vegan) internet, I got the idea to try red pepper jelly on gluten free toast with Kite Hill plain almond cream cheese.

It is too good for my own good.

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It’s the perfect ratio of spicy to sweet.

Fakemeats.com:

I discovered some amazing new products at fakemeats.com. You can get discounts when you order a certain amount of certain products, like Louisville Jerky. Including their limited edition pepperoni flavor!

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I have tried all but that sausage looking thing so far. All delicious. I proceeded to make a gluten free pepperoni cashew cheeze vegan pizza with the jerky. So good! (This picture is also missing the 6 bags of soy curls I purchased with free shipping at a really good price).

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Best for last:

Finally, and this is definitely a case of saving the best for last…*drumroll please* THERE NOW EXISTS A VEGAN PEANUT M&M ALTERNATIVE!!

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Yes, this is a picture of an empty package. Yes, my mom (who hasn’t had peanut M&Ms for over 20 years because she is lactose intolerant…longer than I can say…) and I ate these all in the car ride home from the grocery. They are that amazing. They taste best when you eat them one after the other…;)

Anyways, there’s the vegan food stuff I’ve been most excited about lately. Let me know if there’s something else I should investigate like these that would be up my alley!

Take care and have a fun week!

 

 

 

Adventures in Ethiopian Cooking

Over the holidays, I got a vegan Ethiopian cookbook, Teff Love, by Kittee Berns, for a present.

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I have loved Ethiopian cuisine since I lived in the Boston area, where I used to go to a restaurant in Cambridge, MA called Addi’s Red Sea. It is a very vegan friendly cuisine. Vegnews recently shared a story that has more about Ethiopian culture and their food and why it’s so vegan-friendly. Check it out here.

At first I only had the time and energy to try the Ethiopian style tofu scramble recipe. I’m pretty sure I could eat that almost every day for the rest of my life and not get sick of it. What really makes it is the berbere spice, the signature spice mix for the cuisine…although I’m a baby when it comes to spice and so I reduce it by quite a bit.

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You can get it in the international section of Whole Foods, among other places, I am sure.

One of the best parts of the food is the Injera, the spongy, crepe-like sourdough bread that you eat everything with. It can be used instead of utensils. It’s naturally gluten free (made from teff flour–which inspired the name of Bern’s cookbook). However, it takes up to a week to fully make, which is a bit complicated…but worth it if you can figure it out. If you are pressed for time though, the book has a teff crepe recipe which is really awesome as well.

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Another great aspect of Ethiopian food is that it makes a lot of food, and it lends itself to making multiple dishes and feeding lots of people.

For example, the first time I made it, I gave some to my friend who had just had a baby as part of a meal train.

Here’s a picture she took of her plate:

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And here is one of my favorite pictures of my own plate (one of many):

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Also, my dad happens to work with someone from Ethiopia, who ended up giving me a huge jar of Teff flour! It was very exciting as it’s like hitting the teff jackpot!

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After making a large batch of food for myself and my friend and her family, I made a dish by itself. It is called ye’zelbo gomen be’karot, which is kale with carrots, onions and mild spices. It’s seriously the best kale dish I’ve ever eaten, and that is saying a lot (I love kale) and my whole family loves it.

Speaking of which: yesterday (Wednesday April 7), after spending the weekend in my kitchen making a big feast for Monday, only to have snow (!!!) cancel the class, I served the small college program, College Unbound, who helped me get my bachelor’s degree, the feast as well! I kept raving about the kale dish to everyone, and one student said she doesn’t like kale, but I got her to try it anyways, and she really liked it! Her cousin who was also there, was claiming she might need to contact the local news channel because I had her trying foods she’d never tried before, and she’s usually so picky…which was a big compliment for myself and the author of the cookbook! Here are a few pictures of some of the other students posing with their plates:

Also, the majority of the students had never had Ethiopian food before when we asked. Most people who tried it were not put off by the fact that there wasn’t meat in the dishes, which can happen sometimes when I am feeding large groups (or at least they didn’t say it to my face! haha). I had one person comment to me that the split peas in mild sauce (called ye’ater kik alicha in the book) had a meatlike texture. My friend Domingo, who is pictured in the first picture above, was excited also that I made the vegan Ethiopian style mac and cheesie, because he’s lactose intolerant.

It was a really positive experience for myself and all involved. Especially because I could effortlessly share my love of another culture’s food and share that vegan food doesn’t have to be bland, boring, or leave you craving protein (in fact, the red lentils in spicy sauce, in a dish called ye’misser wot, have 15g of protein per serving, according to Teff Love!). I hope to do it again soon.

And I can’t recommend the cookbook Teff Love, enough!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Vegan Month of Food (MoFo)! Post #1 My favorite Breakfasts!

Hi everyone! I’m very excited to be participating in Vegan MoFo 2015!

Though I’m in the last few weeks leading up to finishing my undergraduate degree and things are pretty intense over here, I’m going to try to post as much as I can. In case you are not aware, the prompts provided by MoFo this year are as follows:

THE LIST:

1 Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.
2 Recreate a meal from your childhood.
3 Quick, easy and delicious.
4 Tell us about a weird food combo that you love.
5 Best sandwich ever.
6 Re-create a restaurant meal.
7 Make / eat some thing inspired by a book or film.
8 Reach out! Make a new vegan friend & tell us about it.
9 Most retro recipe.
10 Something blue.
11 Focus on a nutrient
12 Tell us about your favourite cookbook!
13 It’s kitchen tour time!
14 Share something vegan (and delicious, duh!) with a non-vegan.
15 OMG, Barack Obama is coming over because he knows you make awesome vegan food! What are you going to make?
16 What’s your favorite late summer food?
17 Make (or eat!) a traditional local dish.
18 Honor a human or non human animal who inspires your veganism.
19 Lunch on the go.
20 Veganize an old family recipe.
21 Autumn equinox eats.
22 Make a dish using all seasonal produce.
23 Fusion Challenge!
24 What [insert well known personwould eat if they were vegan.
25 Share your favorite cuisine.
26 It’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift outside your door! What are you going to make using the ingredients you have?
27 Favorite herb or spice?
28 Tacos VS Burritos. Where do you stand on this important issue?
29 What would you bring on a vegan road trip?
30 What three endless food supplies would you take if you were going to be stranded on an island? (Imagine your nutritional needs have been met, these are a bonus!)

This year I am planning a mix of educational posts about different ingredients, creating new recipes, sharing others’ recipes and products, making cute drawings and writing about food, etc.

If you want to know more about the Vegan Month of Food, click here. Also, check out my Instagram @Laurahasheart for some additional posts.

Anyhow! I want to highlight three breakfasts I’ve really been digging lately.

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The first is this this oatmeal with mango mousse and raspberries. This is surprising because I’ve always been grossed out by oatmeal. But, in this recipe, you cook off most of the liquid and it becomes chewy and not as mushy and gross-to-me texture-wise. The mousse is seriously amazing! The full recipe can be found in the Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier. Here is the link to the book on amazon. Note: I actually live in a state (RI) where making money off of referring people to Amazon is not allowed. I am just linking to Amazon because it’s the easiest source to link people to when showcasing books. (What book isn’t on Amazon, anyways?) I get no benefits from doing so.

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Next up, is a perfect Fall breakfast sandwich recipe, which you can find the recipe to here! It’s called the Jack-O-Pumpkin breakfast sandwich. I take a gluten free/vegan English muffin and toast it. While that is happening, I mix up the pumpkin butter and fry the vegan/gluten free sausage (Sol brand is my favorite right now), and make the easy pumpkin butter. When the muffins are toasted, I turn the toaster oven to broil and stick a slice of Daiya Cheddar on one slice of the muffin and put it in for a few minutes until it melts. When the sausage is cooked, I fry up a few mushroom slices. Then I assemble everything together with some fresh baby spinach. It requires a bit of dancing around the kitchen and being mindful of where things are in the cooking process at all times or else it could end in a slight disaster! For those less experienced, I recommend making the pumpkin butter in advance before you start it all!

IMG_4975Finally, I need to rave about FitQuick waffle mix, which can be bought at veganproteins.com! When I had to go gluten free, I was really sad at first because I didn’t know if I’d ever have a vegan waffle as good as I had before. When I decided I needed more protein in my breakfasts to fuel Crossfit, and I actually had some money to spend (being a broke college student sucks sometimes!) I had to try this. I decided to go with the vanilla flavor, but there are lots of other options, even a savory pizza one! They cook in my waffle iron so perfectly and are quite tasty! I love them pretty plain with a tablespoon of Olivio Coconut Spread (an amazing accidentally vegan product I found recently!) and a tablespoon of maple syrup. I pair it with a side of Sol vegan/gluten free sausage.

That’s it for today! Enjoy, and let me know some of your gluten free/vegan breakfast recipes! Also let me know if you try any of this food and let me know how you like it!

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!

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!

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.

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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

Foodie (Photo) Friday #4

Well, this week was rather slow as far as my cooking was concerned. Oh well.

Aside from making my Caesar salad several times this week (see my post before this one for details), the other two meals I cooked this week were jackfruit “carnitas” tacos and quick “buttery” biscuits and a southern black eyed peas skillet.

While I cannot share the recipes as they’re both in published cookbooks, I can share what they the pictures, and a review of them!

jackfruit carnitas tacos

These were from the book The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life by Melisser Elliott. I halved the recipe because I had only one can of jackfruit and it came out fine and made a good amount, still. I used store bought blue corn hard taco shells, put some lettuce inside, the “carnitas” and a cheese sauce I invented which was basically the easiest thing in the world: a 2:1 ratio of tofutti sour cream to nutritional yeast.

As far as the recipe goes,  I was a little concerned at first that it might be too spicy for the likes of me. I can handle spicy, but not straight up full jalapeno flavor. Luckily, after being reassured my Melisser herself on twitter after I announced I was making these, it seemed like my mouth would not be on fire after eating these. The main ingredients are various spices appropriate to tacos, salsa verde (the one I used came in a can, made by a brand called Embasa, and the first ingredient is tomatillos, not jalapenos, phew!) and the jackfruit of course. There’s some other stuff in there too, but I don’t want to give it all away. The book can be found on Amazon and it is a really helpful guide to a lot of vegan girl stuff, not just about food.

This was a better jackfruit experience than my first one which had more of a sweet and overly acidic barbecue flavor that did not go so well with the jackfruit’s flavor.

I liked this one because the spices and sauce really complemented and contrasted the sweetness of the jackfruit. Also, it is the perfect texture for going in the taco. I liked my addition of lettuce and cheese sauce though, as this recipe definitely goes great with various yummy taco fixings.

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yay a 5 good banana rating!

The Southern Skillet Black-eyed Peas with Quick Buttery Biscuits recipe from my (probably favorite) cookbook Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli is one of my favorite recipes I’ve found as a vegan cookbook connoisseur.  It is an extremely comforting dish, and the biscuits don’t hurt that factor one bit. black eyed peas and biscuits

It has cauliflower, black eyed peas, tomato sauce, maple syrup, sweet and savory spices, onions, etc in it. It ends up cooking pretty thick when I make it. I love that because I’m not a big soup eater, but it’s probably possible to leave it more brothy if that is more your style. Either way, it’s delicious.

I like making the biscuits in the food processor because it’s unbelievably easy that way! At least for me, they’re basically fool proof.  Like my conversation on twitter with Melisser Elliott, I also told Chloe Coscarelli on twitter a week ago or so that I wanted to make this again. It’s really pretty rare that I’ll repeat recipes often, but for some reason Chloe’s recipes make me want to make them much more. She was so nice to me and grateful for me sharing how much I love this and the Matzo Brei, and further confirmed why she’s one of my favorite vegan cooking “celebrities,” of sorts. I’m a vegan cooking nerd, deal with it 😛

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Two 5 good banana ratings in one post? Um, yes please!

So that’s basically it for this Food Porn Friday. But before you go, I wanted to tell you that I’m going to be in the midst of trying to perfect and veganizing a really amazing Danish Pastry that you all should get excited about and hope I can figure out! So while I’m working on that there may not be as many original recipes posted, but I may have some other exciting things up my sleeve to share with you! (Like the next salad of the week!)

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!

Foodie (Photo) Friday-Vegan “crab” cakes, jalapeno popper wrap, swedish meatballs, cauliflower

(I just realized I need to make an illustration to go along with Foodie (Photo) Friday but I have no ideas and no energy at the moment. Maybe I’ll come up with something later and use it regularly, maybe not.)

Yay it’s Friday! And you know what that means? I share all the recipes I made this week (besides my own) and review them and show the evidence.

First I made Tempeh Scramble, Jalapeno Popper Dip, Broccoli wraps from Vegan Richa.

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Basically, I’ve got no complaints about this recipe. It was really good. I used lavash bread for the wrap. It tasted good when I had just made everything hot, and also when I brought it to school for lunch cold. It tastes really good with extra pickled jalapeno slices put into the wrap though, because the popper dip isn’t quite enough. (I didn’t want to use too much of it because it’s sort of high calorie).

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Here’s the popper wrap open with all the goodies inside!

I give these wraps the best rating of all. So,

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Next were the vegan hearts of palm crab cakes from Olives for Dinner which I’ve been seeing posted online everywhere basically.

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These were a bit of a challenge to make like most kinds of pan fried cake type things, except these really didn’t have any binding material whatsoever. However, they totally make up for them in taste. I don’t know what it is about hearts of palm that makes me think it’s like seafood, but yeah. The old bay seasoning probably doesn’t hurt either to give it that kind of a taste. And the scallions and corn pair really well together and make it that much more delicious. The scallions get crispy. The corn flour on the edges gives it an amazing cake-y texture and a sort of tangy buttery flavor? I don’t know but all I know is that I loved the taste of these.

Even my mom who is not a vegan (but is allergic to all sorts of products, some vegan, some not) loved them, and couldn’t believe they were fake. The good thing (for her) is that these are pretty allergy friendly (although I don’t know if they make gluten free panko?) All I know is that I was happy my mom could try them because they didn’t have soy protein, vinegar, regular onions, etc in them.

Also, I didn’t try to make the sauce, and I really don’t think they need any. They’re that tasty without it. I think the sauce would over power some of the amazing flavors.

One banana is lost because of the lack of binding. All but one of these were able to stay fully in tact when cooked. Most of them were more like crab cake crumbles 😦

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That same night I made some curried cauliflower recipe I found on pinterest. I don’t want to post the recipe, because I was not impressed whatsoever. It had way too much pepper in it (which I should have realized and adjusted, I’ll give them that), but otherwise it was nothing like it was described. It used light coconut milk which I thought might get thick and creamy like in the picture I saw of it, but it never did. Here’s a picture of it, but I’m not going to bother rating it because I’m not sharing the recipe (and I feel bad linking to something with a 4 bad banana rating haha).

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Finally, tonight I made Swedish Meatballs from the Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick Goudreau. They looked and tasted pretty authentic from what I remember. I used lightlife gimme lean sausage style as suggested for the “meat” in the ball (teehee). I didn’t have any ground allspice, only whole, so I went outside and basically hammered all the whole allspice I had in a ziplock bag and voila! there was my ground allspice! It worked out pretty well.

I served it over egg free ribbon noodles.

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Yum! This gets a perfect rating yay:

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Well, that’s all for tonight’s edition of Food Porn Friday! Hope you enjoyed this edition, and also I hope you enjoyed my other recipes I posted this week. I’ll be finishing my pumpkin ice cream later on, and I think my brother’s belly is still happy from all the wasabi pea crusted tofu he ate! Check out those recipes below if you haven’t already!