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.

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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.

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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!

 

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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Kittens, final classes, vegfest, oh my!

Hi! I’ve been slacking a bit with my posts, but with good reason!

First, I adopted a kitten!

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He’s the best. He was already named when we got him. His name is Sam (his litter mates were all named after Lord of the Rings characters), but we like to call him Sammy. He’s so playful and cuddly but also a little skittish.

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(oh, and as you can see I am rocking a new colorful hair style!!) I’ve been spending a lot of time with him, bonding and such. He was really scared at first and was skeptical of sleeping in my bed, but now he likes to cuddle with me in it, especially in the mornings. He’s keeping me on a better sleep-wake routine which is awesome. He is 13 weeks old, and we got him when he was 12 weeks. He really loves people too, lots of people have met him so far, and he isn’t afraid or timid of any of us.

Next up on my big news, I finished all the work for my degree! As part of one of my classes, I made a new website too and got business cards! You can check it out at veg-edu-ables.com! I’m hoping to start mentoring people who want to be vegan near me, and doing other things like cooking classes, food demos, providing food for different organizations, helping with people’s writing (which can be for anything, vegan or otherwise, but most of my writing has something to do with veganism, so that’s why it’s there too!), and more! I finished all my work for my Bachelor of Science degree on October 18, 2015! I will have that paper in my hand some time after December 31st! (My college has 8 week terms, where you take 2 classes each term for a total of 4 classes per semester). I’m so happy to be done early and have some time to really start working on some of my awesome projects!

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This calls for some celebration!

Part of that celebration was going to the Boston Vegfest! I went there today with my mom…my mom was really excited because she’s lactose intolerant and could have cheese and chocolates and all kinds of stuff! She’s never actually been somewhere that she can have so much stuff at! I got a lot of cool stuff, some for my birthday coming up this Thursday the 29th…

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I couldn’t decide what stickers to get at Herbivore so I got a ton…also some pins from Compassion Co.

I also got this gluten free magic bar from FoMu:

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I also got a vegan bacon chocolate bar from Rescue Chocolate, a t-shirt with a cow on it that says “Create Kindness” from Herbivore, some (vegan of course) sour cream and chive cashews, some Pulsin protein bars (it’s really hard to find good gluten free AND vegan protein bars), and tons of free samples. My mom was especially excited that So Delicious was giving away free full size mocha ice cream pops, her fave! (I was surprisingly not very hungry and so I didn’t eat that much stuff until I had a vegan hot dog that came in a gluten free wrap and had a delicious kale salad, coconut bacon, and chipotle mayo on it!! yum!) It was a really great day and my mom actually loved it, which I was a little worried she wouldn’t like it as much as she did! 🙂

I came home and made some pizza with Schar’s gluten free crust which makes pizza so much easier for me. It was a buffalo chicken ranch pizza.

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I made it by spreading the buffalo sauce on the crust, putting a mix of Follow Your Heart (hand-shredded) mozzarella and cheddar on top, cooking up Beyond Meat vegan chicken strips and then cutting them into pieces and putting them on top…then I baked the pizza. When it was done I drizzled this amazing vegan ranch dressing I found at my local grocery store!

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It’s so good, it has a coconut milk base. I love it! And they have other varieties that are both gluten free and vegan that I want to try too! 🙂

So yeah, it’s a really easy pizza to make. I also made a similar one not too long ago with bbq sauce…

Anyways, that’s the update, hope you’re having as much fun as I am lately!!

Vegan MoFo Day #18, Post # 14: Memorial for my cat Franz

Hello. Today’s prompt makes me sad because the animal that helped inspire my veganism has been missing from my home since early Summer. He was an indoor-outdoor cat named Franz who loved to frolic outdoors and make new friends with other humans and animals alike. Our neighbors referred to him as “cat dog” because he would go on walks with us around or neighborhood, and sometimes even go on walks with the neighbors if he liked them. We don’t know exactly what happened to him since we never found him (believe me we tried!), but I suspect his friendliness and innocence towards other animals might have contributed to his absence, as there have been coyotes in our neighborhood.  That’s all I want to say about that. It’s been hard to grieve him because there’s no evidence of what happened.  I still have hope that maybe he’s alive and well bringing joy to other humans who have taken him in.

But I believe it’s time to openly share how much I love him and what a great, funny, fluffy, and loving cat he was for me.

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Blurry picture, but this is one of a few pictures of him with me as a baby. He was often very cuddly, but could also make a disaster area out of my old apartment! He had both a mischievous side and a very loving side as a baby.

As a kitten he took a liking to my baby blanket, and continued to be enamored with it until he disappeared. You can see it in many of my photographs.

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Eventually I moved out of the apartment, and took him home to my parent’s house. My parents were upset at first when they realized he had been snuck in, but they quickly realized how great a cat he was. I don’t want to post the photos of my parents with him, because I think they’d get annoyed by me posting them on my blog, but there were several I considered posting anyhow. Franz liked to groom my dad’s hair and beard almost every night. He loved my mom, she was the only one who was allowed to pick him up and cuddle him that way.

He was my best friend and I could always count on him to make me feel better when I felt bad. I had never had a cat that would let me put my arms around him and go to sleep, or who would curl up right beside me.

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He really did act like a dog sometimes.

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He and I had a routine every night, and if I broke the routine, he’d get upset. Every night around the same time he would wait until I was ready to go upstairs for bed, run up the stairs with me, wait in the bathroom while I brushed my teeth (sometimes he’d like to go into the tub), and then prance into my bedroom, where he’d cuddle with me until I really wanted to go to sleep, in which case I usually rolled over and let him have more room. Sometimes there would be times where I wouldn’t want to go to bed when he wanted to, and so either I’d settle him into bed until he fell asleep like an actual baby and then go do what other things I needed to do elsewhere, or he would wait for me and get a little frustrated and meow or get my attention by knocking as many things he could find in the room around me down.

In looking for the best pictures of him on my phone, I found this picture that to me seems to capture the sometimes funny side of our cat-human relationship.

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One time, he had gotten out of the house earlier in the morning than he was supposed to, and my window had been open which was unusual, and I wasn’t aware of this. Suddenly I was awoken to him meowing and scratching at something. Thinking he was being his usual pain as he sometimes was in the morning, I finally got out of bed to get him at least out of my room. However, he wasn’t in the room! He was actually outside, having climbed onto the roof in front of my bedroom window, and was trying to get in! We called him the cat burglar.

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(This picture was taken on another occasion)
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This was taken on the morning of the incident before we got him inside

Though he was only in my life for a short amount of time, I will never forget this cat. Rest in peace, wherever you are, Franz. I miss you…

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Easy Baked Seitan Recipe for Vegan Homemade Hibachi!

Hi all, it’s been awhile since I have posted anything. I’ve taken a sort of unofficial break to work on some other stuff.

Things like my running blog, actually training for a half marathon, and my Banana Curl, Vegan Girl cookbook zine that’s all my favorite recipes from my childhood. I hope to complete it and start selling it by March. I’ve also started a new website, but haven’t done much work on it yet. It’s not ready to share yet, but I plan to have it be an informational website for vegans of all levels interested in various topics around veganism for social justice and support for people who want to become new vegans. I’m really excited about it, but I have to be patient and keep it secret for now while I’m working on it.

In the next few months or so I will be trying to post new recipes more often as I’ve gotten a bit out of habit with it. I will be sharing recipes I’ve created for the zine too to get you all excited about buying it when it comes out…(It’ll be cheap, like 2-5 dollars I think).

One of those recipes I’d like to share is my recipe for Vegan Hibachi. I loved hibachi and other Japanese foods so much growing up as a kid. We had this restaurant in Providence called Fuji when I was very young in Providence that we would always go to. We went there so often that we got to know the family who owned it really well. Their daughter even came with us on a trip to San Francisco. Unfortunately, it went out of business years ago, but I still have fond memories of it. They always gave us Botan Rice candies as a treat when we left, which I still love (and they are vegan too!) It wasn’t a hibachi restaurant. It was more traditional.  After it went out of business we often went to Hibachi restaurants. I feel like trying to recreate a dish from Fuji I would never get right, and would not do justice to. So, I have settled on making yummy vegan hibachi.

This recipe consists of 4 major steps, but with some planning I am sure you can pull it off! Make the Yum Yum dipping sauce and baked seitan the day before, then prepare the veggies and seitan and mushroom hibachi right before serving.

vegan hibachi!

vegan hibachi!

Recipe for Yum Yum Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup Just Mayo (a commercial vegan mayo that can be found at Target and Whole Foods, among others)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp melted Earth Balance
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • dash cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Stir together all ingredients.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Use as a dip for the hibachi.

Recipe for Seitan:

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp organic brown sugar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. If you have an electric stand mixer, place them in the bowl for that.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into another bowl or large measuring cup. Stir together well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir until there is no loose powder.
  6. When cohesively stirred together, use the dough hook attachment on your mixer, or knead the dough by hand on a clean surface for 10 minutes.
  7. Place into a loaf pan, stretching it to fit the length of the pan.
  8. Heat for 30 minutes, flip over, reduce heat of oven to 350 degrees, and heat for another 20 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then take out of the loaf pan and place on a plate to cool.
  10. Slice up into pieces as desired.

Recipe for Seitan w/ Mushrooms and Veggie Hibachi

Ingredients for seitan hibachi:

  • 8 oz whole white mushrooms, sliced in halves
  • 1 batch Seitan (in the basics chapter)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and Pepper

Ingredients for hibachi veggies:

  • 2 cups chopped zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp earth balance
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper

Directions for Hibachi:

  1. Place a tablespoon of oil in two separate skillets. Heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Melt Earth Balance in the skillet in which you will cook the veggies in.
  3. In the other, add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the mushrooms.
  4. Cook mushrooms until their juices are released.
  5. Melt the Earth Balance with the mushrooms and 2 more tablespoons soy sauce.
  6. Add seitan to the mushrooms, cook until heated, stirring frequently.
  7. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  8. In the other pan, place the veggies into the oil and melted Earth Balance, add 4 tablespoons soy sauce, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  9. Stir frequently, until everything is fully cooked.
  10. Serve with Yum Yum sauce to dip in.

If you like or dislike this recipe, please tell me why in the comments. And keep an eye out for the zine that will have this recipe inside!! 🙂

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Ps: here is a beautiful picture of my cat, Franz, that I took recently and wanted to share. Isn’t he cute?