Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 13: Sell Yourself (your book)

Hi, it’s Laura.

I did not post here yesterday, as I posted a video on my Instagram account instead. If you missed it, check me out there at @bananacurlvegangirl

Today I’m sticking with the daily prompt. Sell yourself. And since everything I’ve done so far is about the book I’m writing featuring Fluffy the Vegan Unicorn for my thesis project for my master’s degree in Humane Education, I figured I’d write a bit of a pitch of the idea and where I hope to go with it beyond publishing it in my school’s thesis database or whatever.

I am actually planning on sending it to vegan-friendly publishing companies after I have a manuscript so that everyone can access it. I have no idea how that would go, but if I am rejected by everyone, then I may look into self-publishing, although that seems really hard and expensive for me right now. I’d rather turn it into a zine if formal publishing does not work out. Please send positive vibes for me that someone will want to take it on to publish!

This book is designed to bring humane education to the masses in a wholly positive, compassionate, and loving way. It will make learning about hidden cruelties that affect humans, animals, and the earth in food and craft supplies less overwhelming because alternatives and resourced to avoid products free of the suffering will be recommended at every point and Fluffy’s voice will be comforting and pleasant. Fluffy also brings their sense of pizzaz and humor to each recipe, so that it makes reading them a bit more magical.

unicorn parfait 4 of 5

It is designed to appeal “grownups and not-so-grownups who never stopped believing in magic.” Really, it’s for everyone, with special attention to kids and their parents. The cookbook portion will go beyond recipes for rainbow tinted cakes and desserts. There will be savory dishes, unicorn-inspired lunch box bento ideas, and more! However, the concept of the book is more than just cooking fun food once in awhile. There is an emphasis on planning a party. So, there is also a chapter on craft projects that are fun to make for presents, decorations, party activities, goodie bags, and beyond. Then everything is tied together to culminate in the epic unicorn party! There are suggestions on unicorn themed books, movies, products, etc. too that I love as well.

While I am trying to maintain a good balance between secrecy and sharing so I don’t spoil all the surprises awaiting you in the book, I do want to share a few of the recipes I’ve created so far that I am most proud of:

An amazing white cake that can be colored any color of the rainbow

All natural food coloring dye

Unicorn Poop Sugar Cookies

Rainbow Cloud Cupcakes

Energy Bars

Dessert pizza

Parfaits

& more (plus others in progress)

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a behind the scenes look at the test run of my birthday cake (for the end of October).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 11: Talkin’ ’bout sprinkles!

Did you know unicorns get clean by bathing in bathtubs full of vegan sprinkles? Must be nice, huh?

Sprinkles are an important element in making unicorn-worthy desserts. They make everything so pretty, crunchy, and colorful. What makes most sprinkles not vegan? Confectioner’s glaze, which is made of insects. Usually, if you’re looking for non-specified vegan sprinkles (as in their not labeled as such),

What makes most sprinkles not vegan? Confectioner’s glaze, which is made of insects. Usually, if you’re looking for non-specified vegan sprinkles (as in they’re not labeled as such), you will find carnauba wax instead.

However, those mindful of environmental, health, and animal testing issues should note that most vegan sprinkles are still problematic in different ways. For example, carnauba wax is made of palm and artificial colors are tested on animals and harmful to our health (especially for children). If you want to fully avoid these concerns (I tend to lapse my ethics when it comes to sprinkles because they’re usually used in small amounts and I don’t have kids which I’d be more concerned if they were eating them too). However, I plan to try to look for more vegan sprinkles once I use up my current stash that uses natural coloring instead.

For example, Let’s Do…Organic makes non-pareil “sprinkelz” but their color retention is really poor. A promising company that makes vegan dye-free sprinkles is the seller NakedSprinkles on Etsy. I have yet to try them, but I am going to try them very soon.

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So, now that I’ve shared the dye free sprinkle options, here are some options if you aren’t as concerned about that. As I said earlier in the post, you can read the ingredients in any sprinkle bottle you may encounter out in the world, and if it’s free of confectioner’s glaze or other non-vegan ingredients, they’re vegan! I’ve had good luck at places like Home Goods, Marshall’s, and TJ Maxx finding vegan colored sugars and such.

My favorite source for awesome vegan sprinkles, however, is Sweetapolita. They make regular and vegan kinds of sprinkles, so make sure to verify before you put them in your cart that they really are the vegan kind. They sell a pretty sweet vegan sampler which is a variety of their most popular vegan sprinkles.

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Here is most of my collection of Sweetapolita sprinkles. My favorites are the ones with the stars.

Now I can take a bath in my sprinkles while you sprinkle them over all your baked goods! ❤

Remember to follow us on Instagram @bananacurlvegangirl and @unicornseatvegan.

 

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!