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

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

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

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

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BIRTHDAY Cake Vegan Waffles

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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The batter

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

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

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

Vegan MoFo 2014: Sunday Brunch: Bagel Casserole

During Girls Rock Camp this Summer, we had an influx of day old bagels being donated to us daily.It was awesome and fed a lot of hungry campers and volunteers. However, I ended up with most of the leftover, slightly stale bagels that we had cut in half for ease of serving. What was I to do with all these? Well, considering I was already thinking about recipes for Vegan MoFo (in the very early stages, however) I thought: VEGAN BAGEL BREAKFAST CASSEROLE!

And so, this beauty was born.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large somewhat stale everything bagels, cut in half and then into chunks
  • Oil cooking spray
  • Vegan chive and garlic (or onion) cream cheese (I used Go Veggie vegan brand by Galaxy Foods, Daiya makes one too)-the whole container
  • 3 daiya cheddar slices, broken into bits
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1 cup unsweetened hemp milk
  • 1/4 tsp (or less) Indian Black Salt (the kind that smells like eggs)—this is somewhat optional to your preferences and availability of this ingredient
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt, to taste (I used none)

Directions:

  1. Spray a 13”x9” casserole dish with cooking oil spray
  2. Place bagel chunks into the dish, and spray the oil again over the bagels
  3. Take a butter knife and place chunks of the chive cream cheese around the bagel chunks
  4. Do the same with the pieces of Daiya cheddar slice bits (refer to picture)
  5. Drain and break up the tofu into a food processor, and add the hemp milk, blending until smooth
  6. Add the remaining ingredients into the processor and blend until combined
  7. Pour this mixture over the casserole you have assembled so far (picture)
  8. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator over night.
  9. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place in the oven for 45 minutes, uncover, and heat for another 5 minutes.
  10. Voila! Dig in!

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Reference picture for step #4

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Reference step 7

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A photo of the finished product!

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Vegan MoFo 2014: Day 14: Sunday Brunch: French Toast, Seitan Ham, and Homemade Cheese

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After making my ham seitan recipe, I decided to make a breakfast sandwich out of it. This sandwich utilized one of my earlier recipes, Simple Vegan French Toast, and another recipe I love for vegan Muenster Cheese (not my own). There won’t be a specific recipe this time, as all you do is make the french toast, cheese, and ham and then slice the ham and cheese and put it into a sandwich. There will be, however more pictures. And also, a question I need you all to help me with.

Whether you are vegan or not and reading my blog, I need your help. After I am done with Vegan Mofo 2014 I want to start posting (at least once a week) a common reason people say they can’t become vegan and tackle the solutions to it.

Some of the reasons I’ve thought of so far are:

  • It’s too expensive.
  • I like cheese too much.
  • Bacon.

I’d like to hear from you, the readers of my blog about what other reasons you have or have heard to avoid going vegan and would like to see me address in my own unique way. Please comment on this post to share. Thanks!!

Oh, and here are some more food pics, as promised:

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The vegan muenster cheese

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Vegan MoFo Day 7: Sunday Brunch: Vegan Griddlecake Sandwich

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

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

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

Here is the recipe for it all:

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

YUM!

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VEGANMOFO.COM

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

 

Sharing my breakfast today with my readers!

I made a delicious breakfast this morning.

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

 

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

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

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

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

Here is what  I’ve been cooking up!

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

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

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

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

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

My Xmas Menu!

Well, this holiday is coming way too fast for me.

I was going to submit a second recipe to Earth Balance’s Holiday Bake-Off Contest but ended up forgetting today was the last day! Woops. Oh well, that just means when I make the recipe I was planning on making that it can be posted here with no issues. The recipe I did submit was a gingerbread whoopie pie…unfortunately I can’t share the recipe because of the contest rules (plus I haven’t quite perfected the texture yet…hmmm…oops, probably not going to win…)

My family usually has a pretty low key Christmas. I will probably be making some waffles for everyone for breakfast (the non-vegan family members are actually excited about something I make, and apparently it’s the waffles!).

Then I will be making a vegan cheese ball with veggies and crackers for an appetizer. Recipe I’m using: here 

For my dinner I will make Thanksgiving Burgers from theppk.

My grandmother requested I make her some brussels sprouts so I am making a recipe from the Student’s Go Vegan cookbook (the recipe has maple syrup, toasted pecans and carrots) which you can check out on Amazon

For dessert (since I don’t want to eat too much for dessert haha) I am making chocolate coffee truffles. The recipe is here.

So if you celebrate Christmas, this is probably my last post until then! So Merry Christmas in advance (I may actually post the day of with actual pictures of my food!).

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I asked for a lot of food related gift items too so hopefully I can post about those then too! Yay!

Simple Vegan French Toast Recipe

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French Toast!

To be completely honest I really don’t like any of the vegan French Toast recipes that I have tried. They all call for chickpea (garbanzo) flour which can be difficult to get (never mind expensive!) and are kind of a pain in the but to make. 

Instead of chickpea flour, I have my own secret french toast ingredient. It’s arrowroot. Long ago when I was starting out as a vegan, I read in one of the punk rock diy cookbooks I had (It was either Soy! Not Oi! or Please Don’t Feed the Bears…if you are familiar with them both you might see why I get confused about which one’s which sometimes) that arrowroot was a great vegan pantry staple ingredient to always have on hand. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be tricky to find in large quantities. However, I buy it in a big bag from Bob’s Red Mill online. Arrowroot is a cornstarch substitute, but unlike cornstarch, supposedly it is more easily digested. Plus, thinking about the cornstarch and water mixture I used to love to play with as a kid going into my body scares me…that being said, if you want to make this delicious French Toast recipe right away and do not have arrowroot on hand, go ahead and use cornstarch. It’s a fairly small amount, and works exactly the same.

The recipe:

Delicious, Simple Vegan French Toast Recipe

Makes about 6 slices of bread (could be more or less depending on bread thickness and other factors)

Ingredients:

9 tbsp flour

2 tbsp arrowroot (or cornstarch)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp maple syrup

1 cup almond milk or other vegan milk of choice (I used sweetened vanilla almond breeze)

2 tbsp Vegan Margarine 

Vegan bread of choice (I used Trader Joe’s Texas Toast slices–they taste kind of like sweet bread and are really thick and delicious)

Directions:

  1. In a medium but shallow bowl or container, mix the powders together. 
  2. Add the liquid ingredients.
  3. Whisk together until it’s no longer clumpy. The thickness should be that of a typical french toast batter, but if you’ve never made french toast before, I’m not sure what to compare it to. You want it to be thick, but not the thickness of a pancake batter, but not too watery either. If the thickness doesn’t seem right, add 1/2 tbsp flour until you get the right texture.
  4. Heat a griddle or large frying pan on the stove on medium heat.
  5. Melt the vegan margarine.
  6. Once the margarine is melted, dip both sides of the bread in the batter and place on the griddle. Repeat until all the batter is used up or do like I did and save the batter for later by covering it and placing it in the fridge (you will need way less margarine if you only do 1 or a few slices).
  7. Cook on each side, at least two minutes each, but go by the way it looks, you want it to be crispy and golden with some brown spots.
  8. Voila! You can nom on it now! I put some maple syrup on top. Powdered sugar would also taste delicious!