Vegan MoFo 2017 Week 2, Day 9: Behind the Scenes: Unicorn Must-Haves

Hello, Fluffy the Vegan Unicorn is here!

This week’s MoFo theme is “Behind the Scenes.” This means you’ll be getting tips, tricks, tools, and must-haves, as well as some sneak peeks at the idea for the book Laura is writing with me.

Today we are looking at some of the must-haves for a magical unicorn-inspired kitchen. Some of these things we will be going into more detail later in the week. Those items will be starred.

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Here’s a photo of my “unicorn poop” sugar cookies…

Natural vegan food coloring. Whether it is the from the powders and recipes I talk about here, or storebought colors such as India Tree, Color Kitchen, or TruColor.

Cocoa Butter. This is used to make various vegan white chocolate recipes, some of which will be shared at a later date through this MoFo. I will only buy cocoa butter by brands recommended by Food Empowerment Project, or are fair trade and sourced outside Africa, since F.E.P. seems to be more about ready-to-eat chocolate rather than raw ingredients like Cocoa Butter. I do need to research this topic a bit more to be more clear on the matter.

Marshmallows. Let’s all take a moment of silence for Sweet and Sara Vegan Marshmallows getting ready to close…………..Okay. So, unfortunately, we won’t have dried rainbow-colored cereal marshmallows for much longer 😦 but we will have Dandies and Trader Joe’s vegan marshmallows. Dandies make special edition flavors sometimes which are really good and has good mini marshmallows that you can use for lots of Unicorn-friendly recipes. If you can only find the large pillowy vegan mallows near you, you can always cut them smaller for certain recipes that need mini mallows.

Vegan Sprinkles.* More on this in its own post, due Wednesday, October 11. All different kinds. And colored sanding sugar.

Unicorn shaped cookie cutters.* How else will you make unicorn shapes? More on these tomorrow.

Lots of sugar. This is self-explanatory. Make sure it’s always organic/vegan.

There’s probably a lot more I should mention, but this is a good start of the basics for now.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

vegan bao

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:

vegan shrimp

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.

bao

 

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!

 

Pumpkin Ice Cream with the secret vegan “cream” ingredient that makes it amazing!

Okay, so pumpkin ice cream recipes may not be too original or anything, but the taste of this one I just made certainly is.

It basically tastes like pumpkin flavored frozen whipped cream.

The secret ingredient? A can of this:

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It requires an ice cream maker. I used the kind where the base of the machine gets frozen and then you pull it out of the freezer right before you’re about to put the ice cream liquid inside, turn it on, and let it mix itself until it turns into ice cream. I don’t know much about ice cream maker varieties but I love this one, and think it works quite well. Mine is a Hamilton Beach brand maker.

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The Creamiest Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream Ever

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 14 oz can coconut cream (I’m really not sure where you can find this otherwise besides Trader Joe’s so let me know if you find one elsewhere? Regular coconut milk in a can will NOT yield the same results but you could try it with some sort of thickener maybe? hmmm)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp liquid stevia

1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pulse until combined.
  3. Prep ice cream maker.
  4. Pour ice cream base into ice cream maker according to your machine’s directions.
  5. The time it will take to turn into ice cream will vary according to many different factors, so when it looks like ice cream or your preferred ice cream consistency, stop it. It sometimes helps to pour into a container and freeze for a bit if it’s still somewhat soupy and not turning into ice cream after awhile (at least let it run for a half hour before you do this, but then again, read your machine’s directions and gauge it by those).