Vegan Air Fried Chickun and Waffles

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Hey, so I wanted to make a fried chickun and waffles recipe using my air fryer. I based the recipe off of this and this, but made several big tweaks to them. For the chickun, I used Gardein chick’n scallopini, and I didn’t have the Follow Your Heart vegan egg so I used Ener-g and added more ingredients to make it taste better, among some other changes, such as using beer and changing the spices to suit my tastes better. For the waffles, I used less (not gluten free) flour, almond milk yogurt, avocado oil, and changed the method a bit.

It was SO AMAZINGLY GOOD! OMG.

I’m hoping to be back on my blog a lot more now that I’m in a good place with my humane education master’s degree program, so keep a look out for new posts! I know I often say I’ll be posting more frequently and then never end up doing so, but this time I think I mean it!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the chickun:

  • 1 package of Gardein Chick’n Scallopini, slightly defrosted, just enough to be able to cut in half, not enough to be mushy.

Dry mix

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Wet Mix

  • 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer + 4 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp Kala Namak (Indian Black Salt)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegan beer

For the waffles:

  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar added
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 small container Kite Hill almond vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings:

  • Maple syrup and vegan butter, as desired

Directions:

  1. Start by making the chickun first. In one bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix together the egg replacer, water, black salt, nutritional yeast, and turmeric.
  3. In another bowl, add the egg replacer mixture into the rest of the ingredients for the wet mix.
  4. Slice each piece of scallopini in half vertically.
  5. Coat the scallopini pieces in the dry mix first, until each piece is coated. Place on a plate or tray.
  6. Add 3 tbsp of the liquid mix into the dry mix. Coat the floury scallopini pieces in the liquid, then place them into the wetted dry mix until covered. Put them back on the tray or plate and place in the fridge while you start preparing the waffles.
  7. Preheat your waffle iron.
  8. Add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients.
  10. When the almond milk and vinegar is done, pour the mixture into the dry mix, along with the oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir well. The mixture will look clumpy, that’s totally okay.
  11. Place the coated chick’n scallopini into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Heat at 400 degrees 4, for a total of 10 minutes. Check on them and shake the basket after five minutes of cooking. You may need to cook in batches if your air fryer is small like mine is.
  12. While the chickun is cooking, place a good amount (depending on your waffle iron) of batter after spraying the iron with coconut oil. Cook according to the instructions for your waffle iron.
  13. Keep waffles in a pouch of aluminum foil until ready to serve.
  14. Serve with the chickun atop the waffles with maple syrup and vegan butter if you like.

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Bon Appetit, don’t eat your feet!

 

 

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Gluten Free and Vegan Boneless Spare-no-ribs

I recently bought four bags of Butler soy curls from Veganessentials.com because they are my favorite gluten free vegan meat substitute. I use this recipe I love for Sweet and Sour Soy Curls, and while I was making it, I realized that soy curls are the perfect shape, size, and texture for trying to replicate Chinese boneless spare ribs. It’s mostly a coincidence that I happen to have perfected the recipe and am posting it on Chinese New Year, although once I realized the coincidence it pushed me to post this faster than I normally would.

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Today starts the year of the Red Monkey according to Chinese astrology. I was born under the year of the rat. When I looked up my Chinese horoscope for the new year for fun, it said I might have a good year, with some luck in career stuff, education, and romance. I hope so!

Gluten Free and Vegan Boneless Spare-no-ribs

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Butler Soy Curls
  • Enough water to cover dry soy curls in a bowl
  • ¼ cup mirin wine

Marinade:

  • 1 tbsp gluten free hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp cherry jam or preserves
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp five spice powder
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp egg replacer powder without water added
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp cherry jam or preserves
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup gluten free soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Reconstitute the soy curls in the liquid for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Drain and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. You can use a clean dish towel to help with this process. Place in a ziplock type bag or bowl.
  3. Prepare the marinade in a food processor or whisk vigorously until smooth.
  4. Pour into the ziplock bag or bowl with the soy curls.
  5. Shake or stir the soy curls so that they are fully coated with the marinade. Allow to marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
  6. Before frying the ribs, make the sauce. Stir all ingredients in a small saucepan together and heat over medium heat until warm.
  7. Add in the cornstarch and water and continuously whisk until it thickens and bubbles.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Toss 2 tbsp cornstarch, potato starch, and powdered egg replacer into the bag/bowl and again coat the marinated soy curls.
  10. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Allow it to get hot. Place the soy curls into the pan (they should sizzle if the oil is hot enough), and stir until coated and brown. The coconut oil should have fully absorbed. Don’t stir too long or they might start to stick together too much.
  11. Turn the heat to low and stir in the sauce.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

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What the sauce looks like when done.

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Dig in!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! 😀

Asparagus and Saffron and Garlic Aioli

When I was younger, my mom used to make a non vegan version of this that I loved. Every time she’d make it, she would say “Saffron and Garlic Aioliiiiii” all long and drawn out in a funny voice and it made me have fonder memories of it. It leaves you with horrible garlic breath, but is worth it.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • Olive oil or spray oil
  • 1 cup Just Mayo (vegan mayo brand…I do not recommend trying this with other brands of veganaise, they will get too thin and the taste won’t be the same)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch saffron threads

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Trim the ends of the asparagus off. Place in a baking pan with oil spread or sprayed on the bottom. Spray the tops of the asparagus with oil as well or use a couple teaspoons of oil if you don’t spray.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. To prepare the aioli, place the vinegar, agave, and saffron in a saucepan and bring it to a boil on medium heat.
  5. Allow the vinegar to cool in the refrigerator.
  6. Stir the garlic together with the Just Mayo.
  7. When the vinegar mixture is cool, mix together with the mayo and garlic.
  8. Dollop the aioli over the asparagus. Enjoy! It also makes a yummy dip for other veggies and such.

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Vegan Mofo Day #20, Post #15: Old family recipe veganized: Nana’s sugar cookies

This recipe can be found in my zine, Childhood Favorites Veganized that you can buy on Etsy and see more recipes I veganized from my childhood and the stories behind them.

According to my mom, this was my great grandmother’s “signature” cookie.

PS: In the zine on the page this recipe is on there is a picture of me with a face covered in chocolate frosting as a child (pictures of me with my food covered face are a common theme in my childhood photo albums). Awhile ago, as part of the zine, I decided to recreate these types of pictures but with a twist–I’m not a kid anymore…

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and because I wanted literal banana curls:

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Doesn’t quite have the same effect as the childhood photos, haha!

On to the cookie recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine such as Earth Balance
  • 1 cup vegan white sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ener-g egg replacer, 2 tbsp water whisked together
  • Extra sugar set aside in a shallow bowl for finishing the cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix ingredients together.
  3. Roll into balls.
  4. Dip a fork in the sugar in the bowl. Press down with the fork onto the ball of dough, making an imprint. Repeat in a criss-cross pattern.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Vegan MoFo Day #17, Post #13: Make (or eat) a traditional local dish: RI clam cakes veganized!

Apparently vegan seafood is my specialty. And why wouldn’t it be living in New England? I’ve made vegan shrimp bao, lobstah salad, vegan scallops wrapped in tempeh bacon (that was actually featured on the Bake and Destroy Blog for Superbowl recipes), papaya lox, and probably more that I am forgetting! I’ve fantasized about making a vegan New England Beach food truck more than once…

Today I decided to veganize a Rhode Island (my home state) favorite seafood snack, the clam cake. According to Wikipedia, “Clam cakes, which can also be called clam fritters, are a New England food, most commonly found in Rhode Island.” I didn’t really eat these before going vegan, but from what I know, these are not a “cake” in the way you’d think of a crab cake or whatever (which can also be veganized–check out this recipe I love). They are more like a fritter or even a weird type of fried donut.

I made these with dried reconstituted shiitake mushrooms in place of the clams. They were pretty darn good!

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I served them with some vegan Tartar sauce (relish and Just Mayo), and my favorite new thing: Broccoli Fries, They’re french fries with broccoli in them. I threw out the bag and the trash went out so I can’t tell you the name of the brand that makes them currently…I’ll try to remember to share this some other time.

Here is the recipe!

Vegan/Gluten Free New England “Clam” (Shiitake) Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz package dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp kelp granules
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • Cold Veggie Broth and boiling water mixed together, enough to soak the dried mushrooms in
  • 1 cup yellow corn flour (not cornmeal!)
  • 1/2 cup superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds with 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Reconstitute the dried mushrooms by placing in a medium sized bowl. Pour the water and broth over them. Stir in the kelp granules and Old Bay. Let sit for thirty minutes.
  2. In the meantime, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Prepare the chia seeds and water mix, whisking several times, and let it sit until the mushrooms are done.
  4. When the mushrooms are moist after 30 minutes, drain in a strainer. Don’t rinse them off or anything, you want the seasonings to remain (I almost did that out of habit).
  5. Cut each mushroom into thin strip. You probably want to cut those in half as well, but that’s up to you.
  6. Add the chia water mixture, lemon juice, and light coconut milk to the dry ingredients.
  7. Pour about an inch of peanut oil into a frying pan/skillet with tall sides. Begin to heat the oil on high.
  8. Fold in the chopped shiitakes to the batter mix.
  9. The oil is hot enough when a drop of the batter immediately sizzles when placed in the oil.
  10. Set aside a plate or platter lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil and cool the cakes when done.
  11. Before frying the batter, turn the heat to medium, you will need to adjust this occasionally as you continue to fry them.
  12. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the oil.You will most likely need to cook them in two batches. Don’t get tempted to overcrowd the pan.
  13. Flip them over when the side facing the bottom of the pan is golden brown. They are ready when they are golden brown on both sides.
  14. Take each cake out with a slotted spoon so that you don’t get hot oil all over the place. Gently transfer to the plate with the paper towel, and allow to cool before serving.

Here are some more pictures of the process:

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After the Shiitake are reconstituted and drained

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The batter minus the shiitake

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The shiitake all chopped up

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Some finished cakes.

I haven’t gotten a chance really to look at many other people’s MoFos because of my workload lately 😦 But I hope to be looking a bit more this weekend *fingers crossed* If you’ve been participating with your blog, and you want me to check it out, be sure to comment on this post (and/or tomorrow’s) so I remember to look!

Also, don’t forget to “Like” me on Facebook if you haven’t already! Or follow me on Twitter. And Instagram.

Vegan MoFo Day 15, Post #11: Obama hypothetically coming to a vegan dinner cooked by me

I saw this prompt (OMG, Barack Obama is coming over because he knows you make awesome vegan food! What are you going to make?) and was really upset that I couldn’t think of anything I make that I truly feel is worthy of serving a president.

I have made things that are really impressively tasty by my standards, like for example, this moussaka. I just have trouble thinking of things to pair it with that I would also make. It’s an extremely agonizing decision.

However, I started to think, and I remembered that when Obama came to Rhode Island, he apparently got advised by people to go to a really gross restaurant in RI that’s pretty famous here, called Gregg’s. When I could eat there, the few times we went there I was really disappointed by my meals. The only thing I really liked from there were their cakes. Here is an example picture of one of their cakes, the death by chocolate cake, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Since I didn’t have enough time to try and create vegan recipes inspired by Gregg’s menu, I looked at the menu, which is huge, and tried to find a few recipes or ideas for veganizing some of the items. This can give you an idea of what Obama may have actually eaten when he went there, but vegan…of course.

I’m going to start with the desserts, since I’m pretty sure some people only go to the restaurant for that thing. After doing some research on their website, it is 6 layers worth of cake, and covered in mini chocolate chips (good luck with placing the mini chocolate chips all over a cake that size! probably better to randomly decorate it with some bigger sized vegan chocolate chips). So, here’s a recipe that looks good for this (and probably won’t put you into a dessert-induced coma after eating a slice). Vegan Death By Chocolate Cake. I haven’t actually made this one yet, and won’t be because it’s not gluten free, but let me know if you try it and it’s good.

Now, I’m going to try and find at least one recipe from almost all the rest of the categories of the menu (except for drinks, breakfasts, Monday and Tuesday special, daily features, seasonal selections, healthy choices, kids, and platters to go–yes, this menu is huge, I’m taking on a lot work for this and the day to post this is almost over, woops!)

Soups and Chowders:

French onion soup is on the menu. I actually almost forgot I made an amazing french onion soup last year for MoFo. Here it is! 

I feel the need to also include a chowder. This is the one I’d choose to make, though I haven’t tried it personally.

Appetizers:

Rhode Island actually has an official state appetizer. Sadly, it is fried calamari. Yes, it’s on Gregg’s menu. Usually this is done here in an Italian kind of style, tossed with a buttery, lemony, garlic sauce with banana peppers or sliced peperoncino. To make this, I’d actually recommend you buy Sophie’s Kitchen breaded vegan calamari, cook it according to directions, and then melt some earth balance and combine that with at least 2 cloves of minced garlic, pour on top and mix together, then fold in the peppers and dip in marinara sauce. It’ll be a pretty accurate RI vegan rendition of this dish, I believe. I’m not sure if the Sophie’s Kitchen vegan calamari is gluten free, so I probably won’t be trying this and perfecting it myself. Let me know if you try it and how it goes. I did have the vegan calamari awhile ago, but didn’t do much with it. I feel that product needs something fancier done to it, so this should be perfect!

There is also Spinach and Cheese dip on the appetizer menu. I highly recommend this vegweb recipe if that’s what you want. I recommend shredding the Follow Your Heart cheese with a grater instead of the way it’s pictured in the recipe, though.

Sensational Salads

Groan…there’s also a  “Calamari Mediterranean” salad here. Basically, based on their description, it is the same recipe as the appetizer I listed above but on a salad with roasted red peppers and sliced black olives. Add some vegan parmesan cheese to make it fancier.

The salads they list are so easy to make vegan that looking up recipes isn’t actually required. I’m running out of time to post this before midnight, so I’ll do one more:

To veganize the Tuscan salad, grill a portobello mushroom, add some roasted red peppers and greek olives, make some vegan feta out of tofu, and place over greens.

Sandwiches with Style

Tuna Melt- I highly recommend this jackfruit version.

Thanksgiving Sandwich. This recipe from Beyond Meat seems pretty authentic. To make it more like we do in RI, I’d also spread some Just Mayo on the bread.

Traditional Club Sandwiches

There’s actually a veggie burger club on the menu (without the bacon, it even says!) Make it better with your favorite brand of vegan bacon or make your own. Their menu says it’s a black bean and corn burger, which many vegan brands have similar versions of, and I bet you can find a recipe to make as well (in the interest of time I’ll leave that up to you).

Since I bet Obama wouldn’t be too impressed with that as a choice, may I suggest veganizing their Buffalo Chicken Club. Fry up some buffalo cauliflower or tofu (my fave recipe can be found here), put on bread with your favorite vegan bacon brand, maybe add some vegan ranch or bleu cheese dressing (this cauliflower recipe has a sauce that to me is pretty close to bleu cheese dressing!)

Gregg’s Favorite Sandwiches

Apparently all their favorite sandwiches are all on Focaccia bread. There are two on the menu that are easily veganized. The Portobello and Eggplant ones. First, find or make some vegan focaccia bread. I have found some good vegan focaccia at wholesale clubs, such as BJ’s in the bakery section believe it or not. Then, slice it into sandwich bread size pieces and either grill a portobello and top it with roasted red peppers, fresh sliced tomatoes, and greens or make a vegan eggplant parmesan and put it in between the bread. I recommend you melt some Follow Your Heart Provolone sliced cheese on top of the eggplant in the latter.

Burgers and “Steaks” Sandwiches

To veganize the Steak Sandwich, I recommend you make this from a fellow MoFo-er.

Dinner Favorites

Maybe Obama would be cool and choose the French Meat Pie, which is amazingly veganized here (it’s even gluten free, so I can still eat it! And one of my favorites of all time).

Pasta

Keeping with the vegan calamari idea (since they have a Crispy Calamari Pasta), do pretty much what you did with the appetizer and salad recipe, but instead of salad, toss everything (including the roasted red peppers in the salad) with thin spaghetti and some olive oil.

Everyday

Chicken Pot Pie is on this menu. I was surprised to see Trisha Yearwood has veganized this and it looks really good.

Voila! There you have a sampling of the menu of the restaurant Obama visited when he was in my small state of Rhode Island and some tips on how to make it all vegan! 

Although, as an after thought, if we are talking classic RI stuff and he specifically came to me for vegan food, I’d make him my RI Vegan Pizza Strips, serve some lemonade or coffee almond milk, a nice salad (we’ve made this one more times than we can count), and my raspberry lime rickey cupcakes I can’t stop linking to and talking about and making.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, friends! I’m done just in the knick of time…and didn’t want to steal anyone else’s photos…knowing me, if Obama actually came to visit me I’d attempt to make a ton of these items to impress him and stress over it so much, haha.

Vegan Mofo Day 12: Post #9. Betty’s Sandwiches Destroy the Kitchenicon

Okay, so I have a vegan cookbook problem.

As evidenced by:

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Some of my friends have long been asking me to share my cookbook library’s contents here, with reviews and stuff. As you can see, that’s a bit of an overwhelming task. Maybe after MoFo I will continue to write posts about a cookbook from the collection on a semi regular routine. Many of these books are somewhat irrelevant to me now that I’ve gone gluten free, although I will try to adapt them at some point once I find a good gluten free flour blend and figure out my idea for gluten free seitan…

Anyways, today’s MoFo prompt is to write about our favorite vegan cookbook. As you can see, it is a bit hard for me to pick just one. So, I’ve decided to highlight 5 of them.

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They are:

Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes

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I used to love sandwiches before I went gluten free (now I can’t seem to enjoy bread without gluten in it really), so this was the perfect fit for me at the time. To me, sandwiches were a specific food group. Even now that I don’t eat sandwiches (sobs!) there are still some favorite recipes in here that I can make without needing bread. These include the Chickpea Bacon from the Peanut Butter Banana Bacon Sandwiches and the Shh-ocolate Spread (part of a panini), that is basically a healthier, nut free nutella. There are also symbols in the book that signify when something is “potentially gluten free,” among other things. In my mind though they mostly require bread, which makes it a bit of a challenge. Before going gluten free, I made the Sushi Soy Wraps, Retro KFC-Style sandwiches (their recipe for no cluck cutlets are amazing!), From Russia with Love, Chazwhich, and brioche bread. It has a great beef-style seitan recipe, and two recipes for making alternatives to Tofurky slices at home! This cookbook contains all the vegan sandwiches of your dreams, basically.

Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater

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I have to say, that when I got this cookbook, I was on a big health kick, and was groaning when I saw some of these recipes. However, Natalie Slater is a girl after my own heart, having created some of them most ridiculously amazing and inventive recipes which include a falafel waffle (which I didn’t have luck with unfortunately in my waffle maker, bummer!), nacho cupcakes (sounds gross but was soooo good),  and a green bean casserole pizza (my favorite, and her green bean casserole alone is the best vegan version of this holiday staple food I have tried). It’s a beautifully designed, colorful, fun cookbook. Natalie also puts the dessert recipes first, which I think we can all appreciate in some way or another. Without this book I wouldn’t have found out that Chick-o-Sticks are basically vegan Butterfingers that you can find at Dollar stores. I also bought a twinkie pan because of this, which was a worthy investment. Not sure what to do with your cans of green jackfruit? There are two really amazing recipes that use this versatile vegan ingredient: You Don’t Know Jack Hash, and Cannibal Corpse Crockpot (which is basically pulled jackfruit tangy bbq), which is used in the BBQ salad, which is the perfect combination of health foods and tasty stuff like ranch dressing. If you’re looking for fun, kid friendly recipes with names that make you chuckle, get this book!

Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli

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Chef Chloe is my favorite vegan celebrity chef, hands down. I always say she can do no wrong, although I do disagree with the amount of salt most of her recipes call for. In her first cookbook of three (she’s also written a dessert book and Chloe’s Vegan Italian–which I have and is also amazing and packed with even more recipes than you’d expect in a book of that size), there is something for everyone. I especially loved the Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers with Whipped Maple Butter, Easy Peasy Pasta Salad, Double Drive Through Burgers, LA-Style Chimichurri Tacos, Moo Shu Vegetables with Homemade Chinese Pancakes, Avocado Pesto Pasta, Indian Buffet Trio, Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice, Southern Skillet Black-eyed Peas with Quick Buttery Biscuits, and Tempeh Piccata. Many of these recipes are easily adapted to a gluten free vegan diet. I have to remember to try making the Chinese Takeout Chow Mein very soon, as I’ve been craving a dish like this for awhile! I love the section on The Basics, which includes an amazing homemade version of Sour Cream which I once taught a group of non vegan kids at a camp how to make and they enjoyed it! I can’t wait until I can make the trek to NYC to eat at her newly opened restaurant!

Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon

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This is probably the most ultimate vegan cookbook I own (Sorry Veganomicon! I’ll get to the reasons why I love you after I talk about this one). There are 500 recipes in it! The categories cover every kind of food you may ever crave to be veganized. The dinners have the most comprehensive section, which include meaty dishes ranging from chicken wings, Vegan Venison, Jalapeno Corn Dogs, and more. My favorite casserole is the Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie, which I think I can improvise and make gluten free still (I don’t really recommend this book if you are strictly gluten free, but since I recently went gluten free, I still have a great appreciation for it as a vegan in general.) The section for Baked Treats could be its own cookbook in itself! They include both savory and sweet items. I haven’t tried many of them at all, but they sound amazing. I always forget there is an appetizer and snack chapter, because it’s in the back of the book, but this section includes two different recipes for Faux Fondue! It even has a Kale Chip Party Mix and instructions on how to make your own potato chips. I love the holiday section, which includes some unique gourmet ways to spice up that Tofurky instead of eating it as is from the box. The recipe I have made the most of any recipe is the Baked Chicken and Easy Waffles. It was often my big reward for surviving hectic exam periods at school.  My only gripe with this book is that so many of the recipes require (and no good substitutes have yet to be found on my end) a Gardein Product that I can no longer find in stores anywhere near me, which is the Chick’n Scallopini. Overall, this book is like the bible of delicious, easy and fun vegan recipes.

Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

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Though this book is known as the “Ultimate Vegan Cookbook” I would slightly disagree. It’s definitely the first really comprehensive and large vegan cookbook of it’s kind, so credit is deserved there. But in terms of cookbooks that have been released afterwards, I find this one a bit more catered to people who are experienced vegan cooks or who want to challenge themselves and make really nice, fancy, refined dishes. Thankfully, I really like this aspect of the book! My all time favorite recipe, Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream, is housed here. I also love the Lemony Roasted Potatoes, Spicy Peanut and Eggplant Soup, and Smlove Pie. Looking at this cookbook, I am reminded that although I tout it as one of my favorites, I haven’t gotten too adventurous with it as of late. This book was also one of my first vegan cookbooks I ever owned when I first went vegan 7 years ago. It led me to do what I now realize was some pretty brave things as a baby chef who didn’t know how to cook for herself and suddenly needed to now that it was harder and more expensive to find prepared vegan foods to eat. I tried making seitan from scratch without even really knowing what it was at the time because of this book. It’s great for someone who wants a lot of really nice, quality recipes that will impress people all in one book!

So check out these cookbooks if you haven’t already!

And don’t forget to like my facebook page for updates and follow me on Instagram over @laurahasheart. My twitter is also @laurahasheart. 

Making vegan Macarons for the first time!

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French macarons (not to be confused with coconut macaroons) are a meringue based sandwich cookie with almond flour. They are quite popular and come in all different kinds of flavor combinations. They are supposedly difficult to make even when not vegan. Vegan macarons were once believed to be impossible to make, because there was no good vegan alternative to meringues. But now there is!

You may recall my post about magical bean juice (also referred to as aquafaba in vegan circles) for making meringue cookies. You can do the same thing with these! I didn’t make up my own recipe since I’ve never made these before, but I still want to share the recipe I used and my results.

This is the recipe I used but I changed the flavors, colors, and frosting recipe. It worked perfectly for me, even on my first try. I personally feel like it it might have had a lot to do with the weather, it was a great sunny day. I found this recipe from a group all all about making vegan meringue and using aquafaba.

I chose to make lavender agave frosting and used a super fruit jelly in the middle from Trader Joe’s.

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The texture came out so great. The frosting I made was a little runny, so the recipe I am including here is changed to account for it to be better.

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The recipe for the frosting is as follows:

  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lavender extract
  • 3 tbsp almond milk

You just need to mix everything together.

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in the oven almost done

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out of the oven

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close up of the feet

I absolutely loved these, and the best part is they are automatically gluten free!

I’m deep in the midst of making food for volunteers at Girls Rock RI this week, stay tuned for a post about that soon!

Magic Bean juice for lavender vegan meringues

Okay, so I had been aware that vegans all over the internet had discovered that it was possible to make meringue out of the juice inside a can of chickpeas (drained from the chickpeas). However, I was a bit skeptical. I didn’t think it was easy. But I finally got the courage to try. It was a beautiful day out, and though I’m not sure it’s the same for vegan meringue, I remember as a kid when my mom would make my grandmother’s famous real meringues, they wouldn’t come out well if it was rainy or humid. Apparently that’s an actual thing. So, thinking to myself that it was the perfect day, I decided to make them.

Meringue was seriously one thing I never thought would be successfully veganized, but I was so wrong. To me, this just proves “anything you can eat I can eat vegan!” It’s like the last frontier of veganizing…

So behold! the magical vegan bean juice. I can’t wait to try to veganize my mom’s meringue frosting, macarons, and more, never mind explore other flavors for these ones. I think I will try some peppermint chocolate chip ones next…

I took a bit of artistic license to this recipe. That recipe uses white beans instead of chickpeas and doesn’t have a flavor. I personally cannot taste the chickpeas in the recipe I created, but it’s probably because I added stuff to it.

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Ingredients:

  • The strained juice of a 15 oz can of chickpeas minus one tablespoon. 
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp vegan sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemonade (I used organic bottled strawberry lemonade)
  • 1 tbsp blueberry juice (I took the juice of some frozen blueberries that I microwaved for a bit)–this doesn’t add flavor, it’s just for the effect of the color, so this is essentially optional
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp lavender extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, pour the bean juice, sugar, lemonade, and blueberry juice.
  3. With an electric handheld mixer or whisk attachment on a stand mixer, begin to whisk together the ingredients in circles around the sides of the mixing bowl.
  4. Continue to mix until thick and fluffy. The time varies a lot. It took mine 10 minutes to get to the perfect point, but I had my handheld mixer on the highest setting (5) and I’m not sure how other brand mixers may work. See picture for reference.
  5. When thick yet fluffy with peaks, add in the extracts and give it about 2 minutes of remixing again.
  6. Lay some parchment paper on several baking sheets. Take a spoon and add dollops of the meringue onto the sheet, like cookies only with a more liquid batter. They will come out looking prettiest if you try to make them look like chocolate kisses. You know what I mean I hope…I can’t describe it any other way, haha.
  7. Place in the oven for an hour. After an hour, check them. The baking sheet that was on the bottom rack was done at this point. If you poke them with your finger they should be stiff and not make a print.
  8. It took about an hour and 15 minutes for the rest of my meringues to be done. If they’re not done after an hour and 15, check in another ten minutes, and then more frequently after that if they’re still not ready.
  9. Allow to cool on the sheets for at least 15 minutes. You’ll want to eat them, and you can enjoy almost as many as you want, I calculated that they are only about 10 calories each…depending on how big you make them (I made 34).
  10. Store them (if you have any left) in a sealed container to try to prevent them from getting too moist. I personally like them a bit soggier and chewy, though!
what it should look like when ready

what it should look like when ready

before going into the oven

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Meringues were big in my family growing up, as I mentioned above. Check out more childhood favorite recipes that I veganized in my zine, on etsy! 

Christmas Re-cap

Oi. So the school semester finished Sunday the 21st and I was a bit of a mess. After that, I barely stopped. It was a whir of wrapping presents, menu planning, grocery shopping (multiple times, ugh), spending time with family, cooking, etc. Since then I haven’t really stopped either, until today…Thank Goodness.

Remember my menu? I stuck to it pretty closely with a few adjustments.

My mom actually made the salad and the eggplant Christmas Eve which was great. She actually helped so much with the cooking which was a big relief because even as I write this now, I still feel like I am recovering from being so stressed during school.

First, we had the greek salad:

Isa Does It Greek Diner Salad

Isa Does It Greek Diner Salad

Then we had the main course, which for me was a piece of Spanakopita pot pie and the eggplant parm.

Spinach Pot Pie

Spinach Pot Pie

Spinach Pot Pie-Inside

Spinach Pot Pie-Inside

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

The dessert I was making for Christmas Day got screwed up because my mom was trying to teach me a trick with the roll cake but forgot how to do it the correct way and it fell apart 😦 So we decided to save the mud pie for Christmas day, and instead would have the vegan peppermint stick ice cream I had made…The frosting for the cake was already made, so we ended up making some of the crumbled up cake, ice cream, frosting, crushed peppermint candies, and chocolate syrup into sundaes. Everyone was obsessed with the peppermint stick ice cream, and I really don’t blame them! It was so good. It’s been requested that I make it again.

Vegan xmas Ice Cream Sundae

Vegan xmas Ice Cream Sundae

Then on Christmas morning we had my famous pretzel bread pudding for breakfast:

Pretzel Bread Pudding

Pretzel Bread Pudding

For an appetizer I made the Hummus Pomodoro with Warm Pizza Crust from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen which was so good. Everyone really loved it, and my grandmother was telling me I selected some really good tomatoes, haha.

Festive hummus, pizza bread slices not pictured

Festive hummus, pizza crust slices not pictured

For dinner, here was my plate:

Clockwise from top left: Caramelized onion mashed potatoes, Gardein Holiday Roast, creamed spinach, and glazed carrots

Clockwise from top left:
Caramelized onion mashed potatoes, Gardein Holiday Roast, creamed spinach, and glazed carrots

And for dessert? Well, my grandmother decided to leave before we had it, so while I was waiting for my mom to take her home, I ended up whipping up a surprise. I had so much frosting leftover from the botched cake that I decided to make whoopie pies:

Whoops, I made Whoopie Pies

Whoops, I made Whoopie Pies

And we ate them along with the mud pie! (two gross but delicious sounding “pies,” haha)

Mud Pie!

Mud Pie!

This was also the first year I barely got any cooking related gifts.  Believe it or not, I’m okay with that. This is because:

A) I have way too many cookbooks and am now trying to make my own cookbook zine so I’m mostly eating my own creations.

B) I have pretty much everything I need in the way of utensils, though I did get a new measuring cup set and a cool little frosting thingy for decorating cakes and stuff in my stocking.

C) I am trying to also eat a bit healthier, so candy and junk food isn’t wise. Although, I did get a package of peppermint Bark Thins and Supercandy (they are vegan and basically gum drops with tons of B vitamins in them) in my stocking.

D) Apparently my love of working out has almost overtaken my love of cooking, at least, gift wise. I got some cool workout gear this year!

I do hope to use the two Whole Foods gift cards I got for presents for some food-related goodies/healthy foods! Yay.

Happy holidays everyone! I will probably not be posting until after the New Year, so I hope you all have a happy one!