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!

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Foodie (Photo) Friday is back! (sorry it was absent for a bit…I was still cooking though!)

Hey there!

I am still recovering from the weekend where I was very busy…I cannot believe it’s been a week already since the start of the Ladies Rock Camp. It went really well, especially the food, from my standpoint.  Well of course everything went well, but I was focused most on making sure the food was great, and I think it was.

Anyhow! I think I am going to play catch up a bit.

This week I made some Hawaiian Toast (Page 44) for breakfast and Texas Beefless Skewers with Chipotle Peach Glaze (Page 140) from Betty Goes Vegan, pizza english muffins and easy monkey bread (from the Vegan Stoner Cookbook, haha) with a friend, a really good salad several times, and a jackfruit/northern beans “tuna” melt. I don’t have pictures of the monkey bread and pizza English Muffins, sadly…

In weeks prior where I did not get to post, I also made:

  • a Cheezburger Pie from Betty Goes Vegan
  • Cupcakes for my birthday (on October 29) from Chloe’s Kitchen–the spice ones

and other stuff too, but that I apparently did not take pictures of or remember. Ooops.

Here are the details and evidence:

Northern bean/Jackfruit un’tuna melt…
photo (73)recipe here 

Bye bye, chickpea untuna sandwiches! This combination beats chickpea faux tuna sandwiches by a landslide! So good and a close flavor from what I remember! I didn’t add any salt and it was recommended to me to not use a whole lemon. I did not use the frying step as listed because it seemed fairly redundant. I just broiled some bread with spinach, tomatoes, and daiya cheddar on it and then put the still hot sandwich mixture inside. The un’tuna salad tastes good when cold the next day, too. Also, I don’t know how this makes just two sandwiches! It makes about 4 for me. If I piled the amount it’d take to halve the recipe on the bread, it wouldn’t hold it all. But this is probably one of my favorite recipes using jackfruit I’ve tried so far.

I rate this recipe:

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Hawaiian French Toast from Betty Goes Vegan Cookbook

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This cookbook has so many amazing sounding recipes, especially for breakfasts. This one immediately caught my eye when I read it. It has both a tropical and cheesy flavor to it, and works out really well when you follow the directions as instructed. I would not change anything about it! It’s so yummy. My non-vegan brother gobbled it up, and I don’t even think he likes French Toast type things much, but no complaints…This definitely deserves a 5 good banana rating!

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Texas Beefless Skewers with Chipotle Peach Glaze from Betty Goes Vegan

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I used Gardein Beefless tips as directed for this recipe. It looks almost too real, which is slightly scary for me. They were oh so tasty, though! I made some cilantro lime rice with corn in it (a frozen prepared bag, haha) to go along with it and it was delicious! When I shared this picture on facebook, it seemed to get more “likes” than usual…I do not know if maybe it is because it looks so convincing as a fake meat, or what, but yeah…It was also pretty quick and easy to make. I am finding that most of the recipes I have tried so far in this cookbook are, which is great and a huge plus for me. The only thing I would recommend with this particular recipe that wasn’t mentioned in the book is to have a baking pan on the rack underneath in case the juices drip out…it was needed and I thankfully thought of it before it was too late…

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Cheezburger Pie from Betty Goes Vegan

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 Well, this was amazing. I used Whole Foods Brand burgers and did not defrost them and they worked fine. The Bisquick and the ener-g egg replacer make this almost quiche-like…which I was very impressed with. I have not been too keen on ener-g egg replacer powder until I used this cookbook and particularly this recipe. I ate it with ketchup, dill relish, and yellow mustard. It was comforting. Amazingly, when I calculated the nutrition facts  it was fairly decent  (at least calorie wise, I was thinking this would be really intense). Visually it is appealing too as you can see, haha!

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Finally, I amnot going to review them because I’m mostly tired now, but I will leave you with some pictures of the cupcakes for my birthday on October 29 which I neglected to blog about. They were from Chloe’s Kitchen.

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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…

I actually veganized it! My Family’s favorite. Tarragon Grape Unchicken (soy curls) Salad!

First of all, most of the credit for this recipe’s delicious flavors go to my mother, who makes the non-vegan version. I just basically veganized it.

Second, I want to rave about how awesome soy curls are. I don’t know if any other companies make them besides the Butler brand, and whether I can find them locally (I usually buy them online when I make a veganessentials purchase) but they are the best. They have the best texture, taste, and are so versatile to work with.

I’ve made them breaded and broiled, in buffalo tarts, and probably other things I can’t remember prior to this. All were delicious.

This time I thought, hmm, I bet they’d make a good faux chicken salad!

So I put a vegan spin on one of the rest of my family’s all time non-vegan favorite recipes, so now I can eat it too!

tarragon grape unchicken salad

 

This makes a lot, you can half it pretty easily I bet.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • Water
  • Whole package Butler Soy Curls
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning (the one I found is various spices and herbs and some salt and pepper in it–completely vegan)
  • 21 grams (a small package at my grocery store in the produce section) of fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup vegenaise
  • 3 medium stalks raw celery, chopped
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes cut into halves

Directions:

  1. First, re-hydrate the soy curls. Basically what I did was pour the whole package of those weird looking things into a medium sized mixing bowl, and then poured in the vegetable broth. The vegetable broth didn’t cover them completely, so I added enough water after that to cover them. I think you could use just water for the whole thing, but the soy curls absorb some of the flavor of the broth which makes it extra tasty.
  2. Let the soy curls sit in the bowl and broth/water mixture for 10-15 mins until soft.
  3. Drain most of the liquid out with a strainer. You still want them wet but you don’t want a lot of extra liquid, maybe only like 3 tbsp extra at most.
  4. Take out your food processor. Pour the soy curls into it.
  5. Add the poultry seasoning.
  6. Pulse several times until the soy curls are chopped and the seasoning is combined into them. You do not want them mushy or pureed-like at all. Just kind of flaky and still a little rough.  Keep your food processor out because you’ll need it again.
  7. Place the soy curls back in the mixing bowl.
  8. Add vegenaise and combine.
  9. Remove the stems from the tarragon, and place into the food processor.
  10. Chop them finely but leave them still slightly whole.
  11. With a spatula, fold into the soy curls and vegenaise mixture.
  12. Add chopped celery and grapes, fold.
  13. And voila! It’s done! Gobble it up and tell me how it is!

I’m going to place this unchicken salad over lettuce and add some raw almonds and eat this for my salad this week, so this is essentially my salad of the week post.

 unchicken salad

 

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!

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!

World Peas Wasabi Crusted Tofu with Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce

Okay, so I was eating some Wasabi peas I got from Trader Joe’s and was thinking “hmm, this would make an awesome type of bread crumb!” So after I continued to eat them, I started to become obsessed with the idea of making tofu recipe with them.

I wasn’t sure if I actually liked it at first…the heat of the wasabi wanes considerably when cooked this way. I also didn’t get a chance to try it until it was cool. However, after seeing my adult brother devour the rest of the batch, and tell me he loved it, I figured it was worth sharing.

For the Avocado Ginger cream sauce,  I was inspired by sushi. Avocado sushi is my favorite, and I guess I’m weird but I love to eat the ginger slices along with it in the same mouthful. I also got the idea of using vegan cream cheese because non-vegan sushi uses cream cheese sometimes, and thought it’d be good veganized. The added vegan mayo was mostly to make it a better consistency, but I was also thinking of the spicy mayo I’ve seen on sushi before as well.

I ate it with cooked brown rice, but it might be cool to form into onigiri and place the tofu on top, or put it in a hand roll (the rice, tofu, avocado sauce wrapped in a nori sheet).

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Wasabi Crusted Tofu with Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce

Recipe

Ingredients:

For the tofu:

1/2 cup wasabi peas

2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot

1 cup water

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour (more as needed)

1 1 lb container of extra firm tofu (I used firm black tofu plus by nasoya and it didn’t hold together all that great, so I think extra firm tofu would work MUCH better) sliced into 8 equally sized slices width wise

canola oil, enough to cover a large frying pan/skillet and a little extra

For the Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce

1/2 an avocado

2 1/2 tbsp vegan cream cheese (I used Trader Joe’s brand)

2 tbsp vegan mayo (I used Nasoya Nayonaise but Vegenaise would be better)

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp grated fresh ginger root

1/2 tsp vegan sugar

Directions:

To make the tofu:

  1. In a food processor or blender, crush wasabi peas until mostly into a powder but with some pieces of peas still partially in tact.
  2. Place wasabi pea powder in a bowl and mix with 2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot.
  3. Place water in a separate bowl, and flour in another.
  4. Drain the the tofu and lightly pat dry. Cut width wise into 8 evenly sized (as close as you can) pieces.
  5. Heat oil in pan at medium heat. You’ll know when it’s ready to put the tofu in it when you place a smidge of the pea mixture in the oil and it sizzles and fries up instantly.
  6. In the meantime, begin to prepare the tofu. Dip each slice in the flour on both sides, then place in water, and then coat into the pea-cornstarch mixture. Place on a plate until oil is ready.
  7. Prepare a plate with a paper towel next to the frying pan to absorb the oil of the tofu once they’re done cooking.
  8. When the oil is heated enough, place each tofu slice in the oil. Cook on each side until golden brown and crispy.
  9. Take out carefully with a spatula or tongs and place on prepared paper towel plate.
  10. Let cool until an edible temperature, and then eat along with the Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce and rice or whatever you like.

To make the Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy but not too thin.

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My results! If you make it, lemme know what you think, yeah?

Thanks for reading as always! Like my facebook page if you are enjoying the blog so you can keep in the loop of new entries, or follow me on twitter! I also have a board on pinterest devoted to the blog if that’s your thing, as well!