Hi! A recipe for the best vegan mashed potatoes ever and some soy curls.

Okay, so I’ve been meaning to make mashed potatoes out of cashew cream, and finally did. The results are amazing. I need to share it with you, alongside an air fryer soy curl recipe. Put these two with some green veggies and maybe some cornbread if you want, and you have a whole meal!

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Mashed potato recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 large potatoes of choice, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews, either soaked in water overnight or boiled with water covering them for 15 minutes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp dried or fresh chives
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil the cashews if necessary. Allow to cool.
  2. Boil the potatoes in a pot of water (just enough to cover them). I start a timer once the water boils for 15 minutes, and they’re almost always ready for me after that. If you’re not sure, test to make sure a fork can smoothly go into them before you stop boiling them.
  3. Blend the cashews, water, and salt in a blender while the potatoes are cooking. Set aside. You want the cream to be smooth, not chunky, so make sure you blend for long enough to achieve this. I do think it works better when you boil the cashews as opposed to soaking them.
  4. When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water.
  5. Place back in the pan. Mash together with the vegan margarine and cashew cream.
  6. Fold in the nutritional yeast, chives, and salt and pepper as desired.

Enjoy the delicious creaminess. They taste even better when you reheat them the next day.

For the air fried soy curls, here is what I did:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soy curls soaked in water with vegan chickun broth or veggie broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten free tamari, added to the soaking broth
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke, also added to the soaking broth
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup gluten free Bisquick mix
  • Seasoning as desired, I sprinkled some cajun seasoning on top before placing them in the air fryer

Directions:

  1. Soak the soy curls for 15 minutes.
  2. Drain (but don’t rinse!)
  3. Coat the soy curls in the oil, then sprinkle on the Bisquick mix.
  4. Stir around a bit until the soy curls are completely coated.
  5. Place in the air fryer for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  6. Enjoy along side the mashed potatoes with your favorite dipping sauces.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful February so far!

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Vegan and Gluten Free Pizza Waffles!

This latest invention was so good! It kind of reminded me how I remember Domino’s Pizza’s Cheesy bread used to taste, in terms of its texture. I might need to try duplicating that flavor profile as well…

But here are the pizza waffles.

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And here is the recipe for them!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust mix
  • 1 package yeast (included in the pizza crust mix bag)
  • 2 eggs worth of set egg replacer (I used Ener-g)
  • 1 tbsp salt-free Italian herb blend
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water plus 2 tbsp
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, preferably without citric acid in the ingredient list
  • 3 tbsp vegan white sugar
  • 1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Vegan cheese (I used a mix of Daiya mozzarella and Follow your heart cheddar)
  • Other toppings (such as onions, vegan pepperoni, sliced olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, etc)

Directions:

  1. Pour the gluten free pizza dough flour mix into a large bowl. Mix in the Italian herb blend.
  2. In another large bowl, mix together the yeast and warm water in a large bowl and set aside for five minutes until the yeast dissolves.
  3. Prepare the egg replacer, also let sit while the yeast is dissolving.
  4. Place the oil and egg replacer into the yeast and water and whisk.
  5. Pour the flour mixture into the yeast mixture and stir until well combined and a dough forms.
  6. Cover and let sit for twenty minutes to rise.
  7. Warm up your waffle oven and turn your oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. When the dough is ready, spray the waffle iron with oil and place some dough into the iron…pat down and don’t use too much dough, as I had trouble sometimes flipping over my iron. If that happens, it’s okay, you can still make them, just keep it upright and let it cook inside at a medium temperature for about 4-5 minutes before taking out.
  9. Place your waffles on a greased oven tray.
  10. Make the sauce by mixing together the crushed tomatoes, sugar, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper.
  11. Place some sauce on top of each waffle.
  12. Cove with cheese and desired toppings.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes.
  14. Enjoy the deliciousness!

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!

 

Gluten Free Shiitake “bacon” vegan quiche recipe

Gluten free Shiitake “Bacon” Vegan Quiche

Well, I am finally back with a new recipe. My previous few recipes received a lot of attention, and I felt a little frozen to try and top them! This may not top the rainbow cookies, but I am excited that I made it. This recipe is adapted from my jalapeño popper quiche I made awhile ago here.

This recipe is quite nutritious. 1/6 serving has about 15g of protein, 325g potassium. It also contains 19% zinc (which I have a hard time getting in my diet), 14% iron, 122% b-12, 20% calcium (depending on the vegan milk you use), and is also a good source of folate, B-6, Riboflavin and Thiamin because of the nutritional yeast.

The Shiitake bacon:

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I am now quite smitten! In fact, I think it is the closest us vegans have come to replicating the texture of actual bacon. I have adapted my recipe from Chloe Coscarelli…her recipe requires a pound of shiitake (which would cost me at least $10, probably more) and I can only seem to find 3.5 oz containers of sliced shiitake near me. It is so good though. And it is not even fried! I like it by itself, in her Carbonara recipe (http://chefchloe.com/entrees/pasta-carbonara-with-shiitake-bacon.html), and now in this quiche, which is the perfect place for it!

Ingredients:

  • 3.5-4 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place mushrooms in a ziplock bag. Add in the oil and salt and pepper.
  3. Seal bag and shake until mushrooms are coated.
  4. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Flip over.
  6. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Voila! They should be simultaneously crispy and chewy (the smaller, thinner pieces will be more crispy, and the thicker bigger pieces chewier)
  8. Use for whatever reason or in the quiche recipe below.

 

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust

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I am back to eating gluten free after majorly slipping up during the holidays. I have been using this packaged pie crust dry blend for awhile, and I have adapted the rest of the ingredients and directions more to my liking. I do love this product and it makes gluten free pies much easier but the method for using it could use some improvement. In the past when I followed their directions, I often found myself working with a very crumbly crust that was almost impossible to roll out and use without it cracking or worse. I have been thinking of ways to make it better and more like an actual pastry pie crust, and this seems to have worked.

Ingredients:

  • A bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Dry Mix
  • 12 tbsp Earth Balance Sticks (1.5 sticks total)
  • 8 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Pour the dry mix into a food processor.
  2. Cut up the Earth Balance into small pieces and place into the food processor. Do not process yet!
  3. Place the coconut oil into the processor by each tablespoon at a time.
  4. Process until a smooth somewhat cohesive mixture is formed.
  5. Take out and place in a large bowl.
  6. Sprinkle the water over it.
  7. Use your hands to combine everything together and make it moldable.
  8. Separate in half. If making the quiche, keep one half out and wrap the other in a disk shape in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer, defrosting before ready to use for another quiche or pie of some type later. If making a double crust pie instead, place the disk in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.

BEHOLD! THE QUICHE!!

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Ingredients:

  • ½ recipe Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust as prepared above
  • 1 lb firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer (do not add water to it!)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup plain almond milk or another favorite vegan milk substitute
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp Indian Black Salt (optional, it makes it have an eggier flavor. When searching for this, please note it is actually a pink color and not black) If you can’t find it, place ¼ tsp of your favorite salt instead
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 1 3.5 oz batch of shiitake bacon as provided above

Directions:

  1. Spread half the prepared pie crust into a deep dish pie pan with your fingers. Try your best to make it even across the pan and up the sides.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Place pie crust with several fork stabs to the bottom in the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. Prepare the filling by placing the tofu, egg replacer, nutritional yeast, and plain vegan milk in a food processor. Blend together until smooth.
  6. Add the onion powder, turmeric, and black salt, and process until combined, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula a few times to really incorporate everything.
  7. Scoop out into a large bowl and fold in the Daiya cheese and shiitake bacon until they are evenly dispersed throughout.
  8. Spread into the prepared pan with the pie crust in it.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a bit (10-15 minutes…although it is easier to cut when you wait longer) before digging in! Enjoy!

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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?

Vegan Bacon Flavored Kale Chip Recipe

I love anything faux bacon for some reason. I love the smoky and savory flavors with a hint of sweetness, I guess.

So last night I made my own recipe for another one of my favorite things; kale chips.

This recipe, though it works best in the dehydrator (I have never had success making kale chips in the oven, no matter how low I put the temperature, they always become burnt and have a strange overly cooked greens taste), is not truly a “raw” recipe, because it uses maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika, and maybe a few other things that I’m not sure if they are raw or not. So if you care about being 100% raw, this recipe is probably not for you.

Otherwise, I definitely advise trying these if you are a fan of vegan bacon and kale chips!

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Vegan Bacon Flavored Kale Chip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • one bunch kale, or at least 6 cups chopped kale
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked in water (for at least two hours)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Prepare the kale by washing it and breaking it into chunks if not already chopped. Make sure there are no large stems in any of the pieces. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Place the cashews (after being soaked, drained, and rinsed) into a food processor and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Pulse until thoroughly combined and into a thick sauce like consistency.
  4. Pour over kale and coat the kale thoroughly with your hands.
  5. Place on the sheets of your dehydrator, at about 115 degrees Fahrenheit, overnight (about 10-12 hours, maybe more if still moist).
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Savory Veganloaf Cupcakes

Okay, so I remember meatloaf cupcakes being a trend a few years ago or so, but I did not have a vegan food blog back then. Now that I do, this has been on my mental to-do recipe list for awhile, and I finally did it.

These are definitely to be filed under the kid-friendly category. It kind of made me feel like a kid again! For another vegan kid friendly recipe, see here.

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The cupcakes feature lots of healthy ingredients like carrots and onions, pinto beans, raisins, quinoa, and pinto beans, among other things. To top it off, there is a mashed potato “frosting” with nutritional yeast and garlic powder. I added some ketchup on top instead of a cherry, and vegan bac’uns as sprinkles.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the cupcake loaves:

  • Gimme lean ground beef style or other vegan ground faux meat of choice, 14 oz
  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (Annie’s Organics makes a good vegan version, check your labels because this often contains non vegan ingredients…or you can use a vegan steak sauce if that is easier to find)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flaxmeal, 6 tbsp water whisked together and let to sit for about 5 minutes)
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup grated carrots

For the mashed potato “frosting”:

  • 6 medium white potatoes
  • 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk or other vegan milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

For the cupcake loaves:

  1. Cook quinoa before preparing the cupcake loaves. When it’s cooked, let sit to cool while you prepare the rest.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In a food processor, put the gimme lean faux beef, pinto beans, raisins, chopped onions, almond milk, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, oregano, and salt in pepper and pulse until as combined as possible. If your food processor is like mine, you’ll need a rubber spatula to push it around to get it mixed together well and scraped down the sides.
  4. Add the flax eggs to the mix and pulse until combined.
  5. Transfer this mixture into a large bowl.
  6. Add quinoa and carrots, fold in with a spoon or rubber spatula until dispersed throughout.
  7. Spray cupcake tray with oil and place about 1/2 cup of this loaf mixture into each cup.
  8. Heat in oven for about 15 minutes until lightly browned. While cooking, prepare the mashed potato “frosting.”

For the mashed potato “frosting”:

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes.
  2. I steamed the potatoes in a steamer pot, but you could also boil them. I just put water in the bottom pot and the potatoes in the basket, kept on high heat at first and eventually turned down to medium. It took about 20 minutes for them to be ready to be mashed. You know when a fork can easily go through them and they are soft.
  3. Pour the water out of the bottom of the steamer pot, and place the potatoes into it.
  4. Add Earth Balance, Almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder, and mash.

To assemble:

I wanted to pipe the mashed potatoes onto the cupcakes but I was too impatient to wait for the mashed potatoes to cool enough so I could stick it in a large ziploc bag, snip the corner, and make it look pretty with piping it like real cupcakes. So, I just scooped some on with a spoon, and put some ketchup on top, with a little bit of vegan bac’un sprinkled on top–those are definitely recommended if you can find them because they added a really great crunch factor to the dish. These are quite healthy, eat more than one! Probably best to eat with a fork, unfortunately, though…

Baked Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese Bun Sliders–I am sharing the recipe!

I have so much I want to say about what went into creating this recipe. I have broken them up into sections so that if you do not want to read a ton of text before you get to the recipe, but some of my ideas and advice may be of interest to you, you will be more apt to read the pertinent ones.

My Inspiration

First of all, this was an attempt to recreate and veganize this recipe that I was originally alerted to on Pinterest. I had been saving it for a long time, waiting for the right moment in time to do it, and I decided the other day to try.

Nutrition Information

I was recently doing poorly with my B-12 intake food-wise (I take a vegan B complex vitamin but typically also try to get enough from nutritional yeast added to my food as well. As vegans the food we eat does not naturally have this essential vitamin in it, so it is crucial that we take a supplement and/or eat fortified foods in order to be able to do the awesome work we vegans do for our health, animals, the environment, etc. Not doing so can cause many health issues, such as Anemia.) and my nutrient tracking showed me I needed to improve on that (I use sparkpeople.com to track my food and other health/wellness/goal related things). So I decided to make this, because I knew it’d have a lot of nutritional yeast in it, and it definitely does. It helps me meet that goal exceedingly well!

I also did not want to further bread with flour and breadcrumbs and then deep fry the mac and cheese buns for my recipe. If you want to, go ahead! But I feel this fits with more with what I wanted and that step is unnecessary. It is still sinfully delicious (albeit maybe a bit less crispy and might not stay together as well).

The calories (if that concerns you) can vary a lot. I definitely don’t recommend attempting to fry the mac and cheese buns if you are concerned about them. I used a calculator to determine and tweak the amount of servings and such, but it will vary a lot most likely for everyone depending on how big you choose to make the burgers, the mac and cheese buns, etc. The way I made it, though, It comes out to be approximately 465 calories.

Making it gluten free

It has the potential to be gluten free if you use certain substitutions. I think a whole grain gluten free elbow pasta would work fantastically, as I think it might lend itself to being a bit more thick and sticky which will be pretty helpful in the long run for getting the buns to stay together more. Use a gluten free flour instead of the whole wheat pastry flour that I used. I think the rest of the ingredients I used should be gluten free, but please make sure you check further with people more knowledgeable than I am about gluten free ingredients if making it for yourself or others who have sensitivities or allergies.

This recipe is really kid friendly (not just because of the taste!)

I had a lot of fun making this recipe, not just to create conceptually, but also to prepare. When I was setting up the mac and cheese buns, and making the burgers, I felt like a kid again. It is ooey and gooey in certain parts, you can use your hands a lot to touch slimy and fun textures, can make some funny noises, and get dirty. When I was a kid, these were all qualities that made me interested in helping my mom with cooking, as well as the characteristics of a task that made me want to do it (my earliest “culinary” experience involved me making “mud cookies,” putting them in my outdoors “oven” and then proceeding to convince my younger brother they were actually edible…) so you may really want to have your kids help at certain parts of the preparation! I would recommend having them help you especially while making the mac and cheese and laying it out in the pan, and also making the burger mix! Unless they’re much older, I would say that setting up the mac and cheese buns after they have set and need to be shaped into the buns will be much safer, and less frustrating and wasteful if an adult does that part. It takes a bit of finagling, craftiness, dexterity, and a lot of patience to do that part.

Some other helpful tips:

Do not make this at the last minute. You will need to make the macaroni and cheese at least the night before so it sits for awhile and sets really well in order for the buns to stay together. I probably let it sit in the fridge for more than 24 hours though.

Adjust the burger servings to the amount of buns you make. This may require making the burgers bigger or reducing the ingredients, or just plan to have lots of leftover burgers!

Making them into the buns requires a bit of patience and skill, don’t get frustrated, it will still taste just as delicious with falling apart buns or even just as a side to the burgers with some ketchup on it.

My non-vegan brother was a bit thrown off by the taste of the Mac ‘N Cheese. If this is something you want to make for someone who is not vegan, and is unfamiliar with vegan cheesy tastes, it may not go over so well. I thought it was delicious because I love vegan Mac ‘N Cheese, and I haven’t had real cheese in ages.

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The recipe!!!!

(Makes anywhere from 5-10 complete burgers, depending on how large you want to make the veggie burger piece, you will have leftovers. I made 18 veggie burgers for a small slider size and it worked really well. I recommend saving the leftovers, maybe even freezing them for later, and putting them in other types of buns, or doing this again! Or you could just half the recipe for the burgers…)

Ingredients:

For the Mac ‘N Cheese (it’s great as a stand-a-lone or typical baked Mac ‘N Cheese if you want to eat it by itself and not make it into the buns!)

  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute gluten free flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
  • 2 slices Daiya cheddar cheese (what I used) or 1/4 cup Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 box elbow macaroni (you can substitute it with gluten free or whole wheat elbows if desired)

For the Burger sliders:

  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unflavored veggie-based protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke (if you can’t find a gluten free brand, maybe use extra smoked paprika and use gluten free tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead)
  • 1 tbsp ketchup or chili sauce (the kind that’s sort of like ketchup, I used it and think it tastes a bit better than ketchup)
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular if not available…I buy my smoked paprika at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tsp salt-free italian herb blend
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, to taste (optional…I try to cook with no added salt lately)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat (or gluten free) bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (can omit if necessary)

Directions:

For the Mac ‘N Cheese buns:

  1. Prepare the elbow macaroni according to the directions on the package. Note: I would suggest you don’t drain it immediately, and let it sit a bit to get a bit stickier, but don’t wait horribly long. You can definitely start the cheese sauce while you are cooking the pasta, and then let it sit until you are almost done with the sauce.
  2. Prepare the cheese sauce by pouring the almond milk into a large sauce pan.
  3. Place the margarine  into the pan, and turn the heat to medium.
  4. Stir somewhat frequently until the margarine is melted, and the almond milk is hot but not fully boiling.
  5. Add in the flour, and stir with a whisk until smooth.
  6. Stir the nutritional yeast until combined.
  7. Add the cheese, stir until melted.
  8. Continue to stir if possible, and fold in the salt, onion powder, paprika, turmeric, and mustard.
  9. Pour the drained elbow macaroni into the sauce, mix until every bit of pasta is completely covered.
  10. Spray a large casserole dish or baking sheet (it needs to have sides, though…) with a small amount of oil.
  11. Place the mac and cheese on top. If you are working with kids (see my note about kid friendliness up top) I would say it would be really  fun to use your bare (clean) hands. But if you do not like making funny squishy noises and getting your hands really messy, then take a piece of plastic wrap that covers the pan completely, and squish down, making it as compact as you can.
  12. Place in the fridge to set, at least 6 hours, preferably overnight or longer.
  13. When set, preferably after you have cooked the burgers (see below for instructions), preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  14. There are several ways to make the bun shape. I used a drinking glass. But you could also use a biscuit cutter, or a ramekin, or whatever else you think may work like that.
  15. In my case with the drinking glass, I pressed the opening lip into the mac and cheese, wiggled it in a circular motion a bit, and pulled up. It might (and did for me) get stuck inside the glass (that is actually a good thing for the final product, I believe!) What I did to correct this is to take a knife and un-wedge the pasta circle by sliding the knife around the edge between the glass lip. Work slowly and carefully, and be ready to place it down onto another baking sheet sprayed with a small amount of oil before you get it unstuck.
  16. Repeat until you are out of Mac ‘N Cheese to make into buns. Or you can save some of it to eat on it’s own, along with the potential mangled reject mac buns which are very likely to end up existing.
  17. Place in the oven until crispy. This takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your buns and also your oven.

For the slider burgers:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil along with the chopped veggies until soft, somewhere around 5 minutes in a large frying pan. Let sit for a bit to cool before placing into a food processor. Do not discard the pan as it will be used for cooking the burgers.
  2. In the food processor, blend the beans along with the condiments, spices (except for mustard seeds), and protein powder until they are no longer resembling whole beans, and the other ingredients are uniformly mixed.
  3. Add in the veggies, blend until combined, but not to the point where they are complete mush.
  4. Take out the mixture and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add the bread crumbs and brown rice, and combine with a spoon or (better yet) use your hands to mix it really well.
  6. Add the mustard seeds and follow the same procedure as the last step, making sure they’re spread evenly throughout.
  7. Spray the frying pan with a lot of oil so it is heavily coated. Heat on medium.
  8. Place the burgers into the pan carefully, in batches if necessary.
  9. Heat each side about 3 minutes, or until completely cooked and lightly browned.

To assemble the whole burger:

  1. Take one Mac ‘N Cheese bun, place the smooth side up.
  2. Place the burger on that side.
  3. Add any desired condiments, it tastes delicious with just some chili sauce or ketchup on top, and some salad on the side.
  4. Carefully place the other bun on top,  smooth side down. You may want to use a toothpick in the middle to help it stick together.
  5. It’s going to be a bit difficult to eat the whole way through in tact, but definitely take a few bites out of the Mac ‘N Cheese Bun burger before it falls apart!
  6. Eat, enjoy, and have fun!

 

 

 

 

Foodie (Photo) Friday! I made a lot! Especially from the cookbook Isa Does It!

This week was a big week for my cooking. Not only did I create my own original recipe for a favorite, typically very non vegan appetizer, but I also tested tons of other people’s recipes.

I mostly tried a bunch of recipes from the Isa Does It cookbook though, which I have not found a single recipe that wasn’t amazing or really yummy yet. My only complaint is that the recipe names are not easy to remember because they are usually named after the ingredients and not that creative/specific so I feel like I sometimes write about them and name them different than what is in the cookbook. So apologies if I am not using the actual recipe names to a T, I am currently too tired and somewhat lazy to go get the book and double check! Woops. How unprofessional of me…

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/ Brussels Sprouts and Tarragon Cashew Cream Sauce

The most impressive recipe  I have tried  so far was definitely the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Tarragon Cashew Cream and Brussels Sprouts. I have made my own gnocchi from recipes before, but it seemed so difficult and was such a long process. Maybe my cooking skills have drastically improved over time and I just do things faster and in a more organized time saving manner, but I still think this recipe is by far an easier and simple way of making you own vegan gnocchi from scratch than the previous recipe I tried. It only really takes awhile because you have to bake the sweet potato (or potatoes…but I found a 1 lb sweet potato that worked out very well). The sauce is also simplistic yet has a very fancy flavor/touch to it with the tarragon. And a cashew based sauce makes almost any pasta recipe rich and luxurious. The Brussels Sprouts were the perfect finishing touch, and add to the dish to make it a complete healthful meal.

I love the bowls so far in this cookbook. I think I forgot to post about the cucumber ranch tofu bowl I made New Year’s Eve? Well that was pretty good. Even better was the pizza bowl, though.

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Not the prettiest looking pizza bowls

I used tofurky italian sausages (Which, to my delight, do not contain soy protein isolate in them which I am really trying to avoid as much as possible now.  My nutritionist said she believes that it is that form of soy that causes the most problems for our hormone balance, and it is very highly processed (and typically g.m.o I think?) so it is good to avoid or eat irregularly. Tofu is fine unless you have digestive/other sensitivities to it, whIch I do not.

Anyways, this was absolutely delicious and comforting. The sauce is really, really good. It reminds me of pink (or vodka cream) sauce, which was one of my favorite sauces before I went vegan and I have found difficult to replicate as a vegan despite trying . Actually now this gives me an idea to try and make an even more authentic version of it! Yay!

Paired with the kale (which I actually seemed to cook right for the first time ever…I typically only eat it raw), rice, sausage, garlic, red onions, olives, etc it is just so wonderfully filling and tasty!

My pictures of it are not the prettiest, but believe me, it is so yummy!

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edamame hummus tofu wraps…before I wrapped them 🙂

I also made the tofu wraps with edamame hummus. It somehow tastes kind of like a Japanese-inspired egg salad wrap to me which I thought was pretty cool. I will definitely be making the edamame based (instead of chickpea) hummus on it’s own again multiple times. The tofu was really good too though! I love anything with sesame oil in it, and it crisps the tofu perfectly. Isa Chandra Moscowitz doesa really good job through writing her recipes teaching people the proper methods of cooking her dishes without having them fail horribly. Hopefully I can get there myself too!

I did not use sprouts because when I buy them they seem to go bad too fast, instead I used greens. When I use up the leftovers tomorrow though, I am probably going to use baby arugula. Yum!

Aside from cooking from Isa Does It, I found this recipe on a facebook group I belong to and was intrigued so I gave it a try. Behold, Green Pancakes!

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not the prettiest again but behold green pancakes!

They look kinda gross, but I felt really good about eating them for my breakfast and do not taste too different from unhealthy versions of pancakes…especially when you add some maple syrup, ha, ha. I kept thinking of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and thinking this would make a good vegan story like that, especially for kids while eating these. So it was fun, healthy, and fed my belly all at once.

Finally, I made a really delicious salad today.

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my delicious salad with chickpea “bacon”

The centerpiece of the salad was the Chickpea Bacon recipe from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! Gosh do I love that book!

I put 2 cups chopped romaine, 1/2 cup baby arugula, 1/3 cup sliced cucumber, 1/3 cup chopped hearts of palm, 1/4 of the chickpea recipe, a slice of red onion that I chopped into smaller bits, 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 2 tbsp Organicville Non Dairy Ranch! I made a similar version for my dad and he really liked it too! He was trying to refuse eating it because of the non-dairy ranch, but now he says I have to make him a salad every day! (Though fat chance…but I will make an extra for him when I have one from now on!)

Ta da! And now you know what I cooked up this week!

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can follow me on these social media outlets where I post related (and unrelated) things to my blog.

Banana Curl, Vegan Girl’s Facebook Page

Follow me on Pinterest (the blog has it’s own board if you just want to follow that)

Twitter

And I think that’s everything for now! I will be adding these to the end of my blog every so often for new people to click on and explore. Also, I love comments and feedback and love it when people spread and share my work I am doing here, so do not be shy about that!

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!