Vegan MoFo Day #23, Post #16: Autumn Equinox Eats and GF/V COOKIE BUTTER!

Today’s MoFo Prompt is Autumn Equinox Eats. Lately I’ve become aware of a lot of people hating on everything pumpkin. Honestly, I will eat pumpkin all year round if I feel like it (from a can when it’s not in season). I think apples may not get quite as much credit these days though.

To make up for it, I’ve been quite enthralled by juicing 2 apples and shaking the juice together with 1/4 tsp. It is seriously amazing.

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If you’re like me and actually enjoy pumpkin for Fall (and the occasional apple, squash, and sweet potato recipe), then take a look at all these delicious vegan fall recipes I have compiled on my Pinterest board for this purpose. And I know some people also loathe the idea of Pinterest as well…but what’s with all the negativity? It’s where I find the best online vegan/gluten free recipes from blogs and such actually, aside from MoFo.

Also TODAY I MADE HOMEMADE VEGAN GLUTEN FREE SPECULOOS COOKIE BUTTER! I cannot contain myself in not sharing it. The recipe is from Allyson Kramer. Here’s some pictures of the process.

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Before they were baked

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After baking

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After being made into cookie butter!

Yay! I’m sorry, I’ve been slacking a bit with MoFo, but I’m so close to being done with my bachelor of science degree it is ridiculous! So I’m focusing more on that.

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Happy Vegan Month of Food (MoFo)! Post #1 My favorite Breakfasts!

Hi everyone! I’m very excited to be participating in Vegan MoFo 2015!

Though I’m in the last few weeks leading up to finishing my undergraduate degree and things are pretty intense over here, I’m going to try to post as much as I can. In case you are not aware, the prompts provided by MoFo this year are as follows:

THE LIST:

1 Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.
2 Recreate a meal from your childhood.
3 Quick, easy and delicious.
4 Tell us about a weird food combo that you love.
5 Best sandwich ever.
6 Re-create a restaurant meal.
7 Make / eat some thing inspired by a book or film.
8 Reach out! Make a new vegan friend & tell us about it.
9 Most retro recipe.
10 Something blue.
11 Focus on a nutrient
12 Tell us about your favourite cookbook!
13 It’s kitchen tour time!
14 Share something vegan (and delicious, duh!) with a non-vegan.
15 OMG, Barack Obama is coming over because he knows you make awesome vegan food! What are you going to make?
16 What’s your favorite late summer food?
17 Make (or eat!) a traditional local dish.
18 Honor a human or non human animal who inspires your veganism.
19 Lunch on the go.
20 Veganize an old family recipe.
21 Autumn equinox eats.
22 Make a dish using all seasonal produce.
23 Fusion Challenge!
24 What [insert well known personwould eat if they were vegan.
25 Share your favorite cuisine.
26 It’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift outside your door! What are you going to make using the ingredients you have?
27 Favorite herb or spice?
28 Tacos VS Burritos. Where do you stand on this important issue?
29 What would you bring on a vegan road trip?
30 What three endless food supplies would you take if you were going to be stranded on an island? (Imagine your nutritional needs have been met, these are a bonus!)

This year I am planning a mix of educational posts about different ingredients, creating new recipes, sharing others’ recipes and products, making cute drawings and writing about food, etc.

If you want to know more about the Vegan Month of Food, click here. Also, check out my Instagram @Laurahasheart for some additional posts.

Anyhow! I want to highlight three breakfasts I’ve really been digging lately.

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The first is this this oatmeal with mango mousse and raspberries. This is surprising because I’ve always been grossed out by oatmeal. But, in this recipe, you cook off most of the liquid and it becomes chewy and not as mushy and gross-to-me texture-wise. The mousse is seriously amazing! The full recipe can be found in the Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier. Here is the link to the book on amazon. Note: I actually live in a state (RI) where making money off of referring people to Amazon is not allowed. I am just linking to Amazon because it’s the easiest source to link people to when showcasing books. (What book isn’t on Amazon, anyways?) I get no benefits from doing so.

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Next up, is a perfect Fall breakfast sandwich recipe, which you can find the recipe to here! It’s called the Jack-O-Pumpkin breakfast sandwich. I take a gluten free/vegan English muffin and toast it. While that is happening, I mix up the pumpkin butter and fry the vegan/gluten free sausage (Sol brand is my favorite right now), and make the easy pumpkin butter. When the muffins are toasted, I turn the toaster oven to broil and stick a slice of Daiya Cheddar on one slice of the muffin and put it in for a few minutes until it melts. When the sausage is cooked, I fry up a few mushroom slices. Then I assemble everything together with some fresh baby spinach. It requires a bit of dancing around the kitchen and being mindful of where things are in the cooking process at all times or else it could end in a slight disaster! For those less experienced, I recommend making the pumpkin butter in advance before you start it all!

IMG_4975Finally, I need to rave about FitQuick waffle mix, which can be bought at veganproteins.com! When I had to go gluten free, I was really sad at first because I didn’t know if I’d ever have a vegan waffle as good as I had before. When I decided I needed more protein in my breakfasts to fuel Crossfit, and I actually had some money to spend (being a broke college student sucks sometimes!) I had to try this. I decided to go with the vanilla flavor, but there are lots of other options, even a savory pizza one! They cook in my waffle iron so perfectly and are quite tasty! I love them pretty plain with a tablespoon of Olivio Coconut Spread (an amazing accidentally vegan product I found recently!) and a tablespoon of maple syrup. I pair it with a side of Sol vegan/gluten free sausage.

That’s it for today! Enjoy, and let me know some of your gluten free/vegan breakfast recipes! Also let me know if you try any of this food and let me know how you like it!

Vegan Mofo 2014: Thirsty Thursday: Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie

First of all, my blog’s graphics got revamped! I love it. Thank you to my brother Chad Kaplan for that! You can check out more of his work on his facebook page. And here’s one of my favorite pieces that he did last year for Thanksgiving. That turkey is really getting some revenge:

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It’s another edition of Vegan MoFo 2014, and in my theme today is Thirsty Thursday! I have prepared a Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie recipe.

When I gave up coffee for the first time awhile ago, my boyfriend bought me some instant chicory from France. If you are unfamiliar with this ingredient, chicory is a coffee substitute (from a plant) without caffeine that tastes somewhat like coffee, among other things. It is believed to be able to help people fight intestinal parasites. Thankfully, I do not believe I have any of those. It’s just a good tasting drink that sort of tastes like coffee but to me has a sort of gingerbread flavor to it too.

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This smoothie was great for me because I used blackstrap molasses in it, which contains a high amount of dietary iron. I tend to lose a lot of iron when it’s that time of the month, so it can be really good for women to use as a sweetener or in other recipes where it’ll taste good. However, the full tablespoon ended up making it taste a little weird to me. I’d recommend depending on your needs that you put less molasses into it unless you’re not like me and really love the taste of molasses.

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Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp instant chicory
  • 1 tsp-1 tbsp (depending on preference, see above description) blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 pinches allspice
  • 2 pinches ground nutmeg
  • 2 pinches ground cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • scoop or two protein powder
  • greens

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Vegan New England Style “Lobstah” salad made from hearts of palm and 7 days of new smoothie recipes to share!

Hello everybody, 

I did this thing this past week that I was going to blog about. Unfortunately I got a new laptop and when I transferred all the pictures I had  from my phone to my laptop, (including the ones I needed to make the blog entry) some of them got lost in the shuffle. I tried a new smoothie recipe every day of the week, and wanted to talk about them. Instead, lacking pictures, I will post the links to the recipes I used at the end of this entry.

I do however have a picture for the recipe I am about to share!

Growing up in the New England area of the East Coast United States, lobster salads have always been a thing. They’re also usually kind of a big treat. Today I was inspired by that, and wanted to make a vegan version. This is truly “lobstah” as Bostonians and Rhode Islanders would say, but is free from any cruelty towards the real sea creatures.

I used hearts of palm as the main “meat,” and some sun-dried tomatoes as well to give color, flavor, and texture. There is a mix of seafood-y spices, lemon juice, and other seasonings, and the mix of vegenaise and vegan sour cream makes a delightfully creamy dressing for it.

New England Vegan Hearts of Palm “Lobstah” Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans salad chopped hearts of palm, drained, placed in a food processor and pulsed a few times to further chop them
  • 1/2 cup julienned cut sun dried tomatoes (the kind that comes in a bag, not packed in oil. I’d actually recommend soaking these in warm water for an hour or until a bit softer prior to including them in the salad because I didn’t and some were chewier and a bit tough when I ate them…soaking would solve that problem, but is probably optional)
  • 1 tsp kelp granules
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (use less if placing on top of greens instead of on bread)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegenaise
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream (I used tofutti)

Directions:

  1. Place chopped, drained, and processed hearts of palm in a mixing bowl or other large container.
  2. Add sun-dried tomatoes and stir.
  3. Add spices and take a spoon to mix them into the chopped hearts of palm and sun-dried tomatoes. Make sure they are evenly coated.
  4. Add lemon juice, vegenaise, and sour cream and stir. 
  5. Serve in a bun with some crunchy lettuce, or on top of salad greens with whatever other toppings you desire.
  6. Enjoy!

 

So there is that! Now as promised, here is the list and links to the smoothies I made each day last week:

  1. Raspberry Lime Zinger from Oh She Glows *Second place in my favorites!
  2. Pumpkin Chai from The Sweet Life
  3. Key Lime Pie Green Smoothie from Healthful Pursuit
  4. Pina Colada Smoothie from Foodie with Family
  5. Orange Creamsicle Smoothie (also from The Sweet Life) *My favorite one I tried!
  6. Chocolate Strawberry Almond Protein Smoothie from The Healthy Family and Home
  7. Chamomile Strawberry Quinoa Smoothie from Apron and Sneakers *Runner up for favorite 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

First of all, I have a confession to make. You know my original brownie recipe I made awhile ago? When I wrote it down and published it on the blog, I forgot to include the amount of flour I used! I just updated my error now in that blog entry. So if you don’t want something as fancy as these delectable treats, or are not a big fan of pumpkin (like my parents…I do not understand them…but oh well) try those.

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Here is the recipe:

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Ingredients:

for the Brownie layer:

  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegan white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) Earth Balance Vegan margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup non dairy milk (I use almond milk)

for the cheesecake layer:

  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (I used canned)
  • 1/2 container (4 oz) vegan cream cheesed (I used daiya cream cheese-I feel it’s the best vegan cream cheese brand out there)
  • 1 tsp ener-g egg replacer powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients (except flaxmeal) in a bowl together.
  3. Make 2 flaxmeal “eggs” by whisking the flaxmeal with the water. Let sit until it’s thick.
  4. Mix in the flaxmeal “eggs” and the rest of the wet ingredients into the dry ones.
  5. Place all the batter, minus 1/2 cup into a greased square baking pan (mine was probably 9″ x 9″?)
  6. Now make the pumpkin cheesecake mix by blending in a food processor the pumpkin and cream cheese. Set aside for a moment.
  7. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg replacer and water until frothy.
  8. Add corn flour, maple syrup, and spice and whisk again.
  9. Add this mixture into the cream cheese and pumpkin and pulse the food processor a bit until fully incorporated.
  10. Cover the brownie layer with the cheesecake layer.
  11. Take the half cup of brownie batter you reserved, and spoon little dollops set apart from each other on top of the cheesecake layer.
  12. Take a fork and swirl the brownie batter and cheesecake to make a pretty design.
  13. Put into your oven for at least 30 minutes, you want a toothpick to be inserted and come up mostly clean with a bit of the wet cheesecake layer. It took my oven about 48 minutes, so I’d say a good range of baking time depending on your oven would be 40-50 minutes, but please be aware of what’s going on in your kitchen and start checking it when you start to smell it cooking occasionally.
  14. Take out of the oven and allow to cool fully, slice, and enjoy!

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Foodie (Photo) Friday, Thanksgiving Edition!

I’m still kind of super tired, I guess my cold is not totally gone and it’s upsetting to me a bit.

So I apologize, but I’m going to try to get through posting this fairly quickly so I can go to bed early, haha.

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This was one of my better Vegan Thanksgivings though. I ended up making a Tofurky roast feast in the crockpot with this recipe. I also cooked up the gravy that came with it. My grandmother brought some jarred pearl onions and we cooked them with some pepper, paprika and earth balance. I don’t know why, but I always liked that, it’s simple and really good. Probably the most elaborate thing I made, besides the pumpkin pie I ended up making, was the green bean casserole. It was well worth it though, it was quite tasty. Actually, I had been worried about it because I thought it might taste too parsnip-y, but it balanced really well. I only put 1/2 tsp salt in it total, though, and it was fine. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp! No way. I’ll definitely be making it next year, though (well, if I decide to make a green bean casserole…and other factors…heh).

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Additionally, I made potato latkes for Thanksgivukkah. I also made Baba Ganoush for an appetizer. I don’t think I can link the recipe to it though, I found the recipe that I had printed out awhile ago and have no idea where I got it from now. But it’s quite tasty. You roast 2 eggplants with some garlic (you put the garlic on it halfway through cooking the eggplants). Then you use the roasted garlic, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, salt, etc and make a paste in a food processor, then add the eggplant and combine.

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I know I had said I was making pumpkin pie graham cracker squares for dessert, but I ended up getting the Eat To Live Cookbook I had ordered and they had a fantastic sounding pumpkin pie that I decided to make instead. So I did. It’s sugar and flour free, which is awesome. It’s sweetened with dates instead. Aside from the fact that the crust is made from almonds, I couldn’t tell any other aspect was done differently than the traditional recipe. It was soooo good and I liked the cashew cream to put on top but I should have made a little less since I ended up giving a lot of the pie away without it so that I wouldn’t end up eating the whole thing myself (my family is not big on pumpkin desserts for some reason, but I am…)

My meals leading up to Thanksgiving basically just consisted of two things:

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Pumpkin Echiladas from the Vegan Stoner Cookbook, and Green Bean Casserole Pizza from Bake and Destroy.

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I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving, or Thanksgivukkah (Hanukkah…although it’s still happening…) if that’s your thing too. I was very glad to have a cruelty free and vegan Thanksgiving for myself once again, so I’m going to leave you this picture of me in my majestic Compassion Company Thanskgiving t-shirt.

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My “Thanksgivukkah” Menu- a bit early but at least I’m prepared!

So this year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving happen to occur at the same time. Hanukkah starts at sundown on Wednesday the 27th, and since it goes on for 8 nights, Thanksgiving will co-occur. My family doesn’t really celebrate Hanukkah as much as we used to (I think my dad, who is Jewish but not really religious married my mom so he could celebrate Christmas at times, hehe, although we don’t really celebrate Christmas that much either…)

Anyways, my family has some traditions around holiday time that are difficult to break, despite being a vegan and/or not really being into the actual holidays themselves. One is that we try to have Potato latkes the first night of Hanukkah. But since everyone ends up eating a lot on Thanksgiving, and we’ll be doing tons of cooking on the first night in preparation for Thanksgiving, it kind of makes more sense to have potato latkes with Thanksgiving food. Someone on my facebook called it Thanksgivukkah, and I thought that was funny, so I decided to call this post that.

I end up making a lot of separate foods that I make for myself and feast off of for the rest of the week, since my family is not vegan along with me sadly. So for the past three years I have been making my own Thanksigiving menu that people can eat from if they want to, or not.

This year I am making:

Baked Potato Latkes from the Happy Herbivore Blog

A healthy green bean casserole (I may need to put some vegan fried onions on top too, we’ll see…)

Tofurky  (I think I am getting a coupon from purchasing a limited edition thanksgiving shirt from Compassion Co., so I really want to do this this year!)

and for dessert:

*edit* I was going to make some pumpkin pie squares but ended up choosing to make the Eat To Live Cookbook’s pumpkin pie because it seemed like a healthier choice–Eat To Live Cookbook is my newest (and healthiest) cookbook I own.

Look out for my reviews of these recipes, hopefully on Thanksgiving day or the day after! Let me know if you decide to make any of these as well, and then let me know what you thought!

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…

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