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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Sweet Potato Marshmallow Mini Pies with Swedish Ginger Cookie Crust or Speculoos crust (either works!)

Hey everyone!

I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving. It seems like just the other day I was writing about last Thanksgivukkah. Too bad this year hanukkah is later.

I haven’t gotten a chance to post about it but I had this really great Vegan Thanksgiving Food Demo along with Rhode Island Vegan Awareness and Urban Greens Co-op in Providence, RI. I taught a large (being that only 13 people were supposed to be there based on sign ups) group of 23 people, mostly all vegan or vegetarian how to make my butternut squash and sage ravioli. It was a really fun time, and the first time I’ve ever done something like that. I’d say it went really well. I am looking forward to doing more events like that in the future.

I had pre-cooked the Gardein holiday roast and brought it to my family’s thanksgiving gathering. I had also made sage cashew cheese for an appetizer. My mom brought a vegan green bean casserole. My great aunt had made vegan mashed potatoes with oil, almond milk, and chives. I was most excited about this one recipe I created for us to eat for dessert, which I will now share here.

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Mini Pies with Cookie Crust (Speculoos or Ginger)

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Ingredients:

For the crusts:

  • 1 1/2 cup cookie crumbs made in a food processor (Speculoos or Swedish Ginger cookies–I used some cookies called Anna’s Ginger Swedish Thins instead of the Speculoos)
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted Earth Balance

For the pies:

  • 3 cups worth baked sweet potatoes without skin
  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp melted Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 12 Large sized vegan marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease a cupcake tin with either a generous amount of cooking spray or melt some extra earth balance, put some on a paper towel, and spread around the cavities of the pan until well coated. This is very important because otherwise you will have a really hard time getting them out.
  3. In a food processor, mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and Earth Balance.
  4. Scoop out an even amount (use spoons to measure, about 1 1/2 table spoonfuls) into each cupcake cavity. Press up the sides as much as you can while still keeping the bottom crust in tact. I did not have the crust going totally up the sides and it came out fine.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. It may be a little bubbly but it will crisp up a bit as it sits while you make the rest.
  6. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the sweet potatoes until smooth.
  7. When the crusts are baked, turn the heat of the oven up to 350 degrees.
  8. Whisk together the flaxmeal and water until goopy.
  9. Pour the flaxmeal and water into the pureed sweet potatoes in the processor, along with the Earth Balance, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. Blend until fully combined and smooth. Taste for sweetness. You can add more sugar if desired.
  10. Place 2 full tablespoons of the mixture on top of the crusts.
  11. Stick a marshmallow in the center of each.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes.
  13. Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely. When cooled, take a butter knife and loosen the edges by circling the pie and breaking up the crust’s edges if stuck to the tin.
  14. Take out with a metal spoon and place on a serving tray or whatever else. They can be refrigerated if they are not being served immediately.

Vegan “shrimp” Bao

So before I went vegan I was obsessed with the non-vegan version of these that I would buy at Trader Joe’s. Recently I was longing to eat something like it again, but wanted it to be vegan of course.

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I did not want to attempt on my own to create a recipe for the Chinese Bao (steamed bun) dough myself, as I have never tried to make these before…so I referenced this recipe for that. I also had found the perfect vegan “shrimp” seitan recipe  online long ago, so I decided to make that instead of coming up with something entirely original. The part that was all my own was how I cooked the shrimp seitan to fill the bao with.

Also, I recommend a using a large steamer if you want to make this recipe. If you do not have one, I do not know what to recommend in order for them to come out right. I imagined trying to steam on the stove in a saucepan sized steamer, all 24 bao, and it just seemed impossible. Luckily, I remembered that I had found an electric steamer for free from the Providence Really, Really Free Market awhile ago (that I had never used since picking it up, of course, haha) and used that and it worked smashingly well.

Here is what I did:

I made the recipe for the “shrimp” seitan the night before. I had baked some sweet potatoes and just pureed them with a small amount of water in the food processor beforehand. Also, because it’s slightly unclear, the “gluten flour” they reference is actually vital wheat gluten flour. I used kelp granules instead of dulse.

The next day (you need quite a bit of inactive time to make these, so do not try to make these if you need to be out of the house or an hour before dinner! Read the directions carefully so you know how much time to allot) you make the dough from the recipe. Towards the end of the time that the dough is sitting for 2 hours, you will want to make the filling with the “shrimp” seitan according to my recipe:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, mince
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 batch of “shrimp” seitan 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a saute pan.
  2. Add garlic and ginger stir in the oil until fragrant.
  3. Add the “shrimp” seitan
  4. Cook until the seitan starts to become shiny and turns a slight golden brown color
  5. Add soy sauce and sriracha, mix until thoroughly coated
  6. Add chives and stir to disperse throughout the seitan shrimp batch

Then get back to the bun recipe. I did not follow the recipe exactly as it said. I basically did not care about making them super pretty, so I did not roll out the dough I had sectioned into 24 pieces. I just smooshed them down with my hands, worked them into a circle with my fingers, placed a small amount of the shrimp filling inside, and then pinched the dough closed around the filling. Then resumed the rest of the recipe’s instructions.

I used two layers in my steamer, and the first layer that was closest to the steam was done probably in 15-20 minutes. I took that basket out, so it would stop cooking, and moved the top one down. That took another 15 minutes at least. You just want them to start looking less like dough, and more like a very soft bread.

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That’s it, enjoy them! I wish I could have figured out a way for them to have more sauce in them, but I think it would have been too difficult to pull off when steaming them, anyhow. Overall, quite yummy!

 

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!