Showcase #1

The final group project of the Natural Chef Program at Bauman College is what’s called the “showcase”.  Basically, we host a catered dinner for invited guests in our classroom, and it involved a whole lot of work and planning, including decorating the classroom!  To come up with recipes, the class was divided into groups and assigned a course – I was assigned appetizers and beverages.  To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with being assigned appetizers, but in the end I was happy with what I came up with.  We were kind of going in the direction of upscale, reinvented American classics, so that is what I went for.

Coming up with beverages other than just tea wasn’t very easy, since we were focusing on natural, whole foods.

Green Ginger Ale

Orange Coconut Creamsicle.  A picture cannot describe how good this one was.  We ended up using both of these on the menu, so I’ll share the recipes in my next post.

I tried to make tempeh wings with a homemade sugar-free buffalo sauce and cashew ranch.  Neither attempt was particularly successful, but it was fun trying!  In the second picture I went with a carrot and celery slaw rather than veggie sticks, which I thought was a neat spin on tradition.

Barbecue tempeh meatballs, which we also ended up using on the menu, so I will post the recipe next time.  These are super delicious!

Lastly, my vegan and gluten-free take on Bagel Bites.  The class liked these but thought they might be a bit too heavy for a first bite, so they didn’t end up on the menu.  I fed some to a group of football-watching boys, and they also approved.  I only tested them twice, with varied results, so I don’t guarantee the texture of the gluten-free mini bagels.  The taste, however, is great.  The “portobello pepperoni” is awesome, if I do say so myself.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Bagel Bites

Bagels
1 3/4 cups warm water (115-120°F)
1 Tbs sucanat
1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1 Tbs flax meal
3 Tbs warm water
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup quinoa flour
2 Tbs arrowroot powder
2 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Portobello Pepperoni
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp mustard seed
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 pinch sea salt
2 portobello mushrooms, gilled removed, cut into 1/4″ dice
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp wheat-free tamari

Pizza Sauce
14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, juice reserved
1 date, chopped
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

Mozzarella Sauce
5 Tbs water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup gluten-free oats
1/4 cup tahini
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp xantham gum

1. Mix the 1 3/4 cups warm water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and 3 Tbs warm water and whisk vigorously for 30 seconds.  Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the tapioca flour, brown rice flour, quinoa flour, arrowroot, xantham gum and salt.  Whisk to incorporate.

4. Check that the yeast has proofed – it should be slightly foamy.  If the yeast has not proofed, the water was too hot or the yeast was not alive.

5. Add the flax mixture and apple cider vinegar to the bowl with the yeast.  Add the dry mixture 1/2 cup at a time and mix well.  Incorporate as much of the dry mixture as possible working the dough with a wooden spoon, then use your hands if needed to form the dough into a ball.

6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

7. Meanwhile, prepare the other components.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  To make the portobello pepperoni, grind the fennel seed, mustard seed, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a spice grinder.  Place the diced portobello in a medium bowl, add the ground spices and all remaining ingredients (smoked paprika through tamari) and mix well.

8. Transfer the portobello mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once.  Set aside and let cool.  Leave the oven on at 400.

9. To prepare the sauce, place all sauce ingredients (tomatoes through black pepper) in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add the reserved tomato juice 1 Tbs at a time to thin the sauce to desired consistency.  Pour into a bowl or jar and set aside.

10. Rinse the blender.  Place the 5 Tbs water, nutritional yeast, oats, tahini, lemon juice, onion powder and 1 tsp sea salt in the blender and blend until smooth.  Place the olive oil in a small bowl and whisk in the xantham gum.  Add the oil to the blender and blend together.  The mixture will thicken very quickly.  Transfer to a squeeze bottle and set aside.

11. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Check on the bagel dough – it won’t have risen very much, but it should be slightly springy when touched.  Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.  The dough will be tacky but shouldn’t stick to your hands too much.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Shape each piece into a ball and flatten slightly.  Once the water is boiling, use a slotted spoon to place three bagels at a time in the water.  Boil for 1 minutes, flipping the bagels after 30 seconds.  Remove the bagels to the baking sheet and repeat until all bagels have been boiled.

12. Bake the bagels for 20 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes, until the tops are starting to brown.  Remove from the oven and cool for at least 30 minutes.  Keep the oven on.

13. Carefully slice each bagel in half with a serrated knife.  Spoon some of the tomato sauce on each half.  Top with the portobello pepperoni and squeeze the cheese sauce on top.  Bake for 10 minutes and serve immediately.

Servings: 8
Yield: 24 bagel bites

Amount Per Serving
Calories 335.64
Calories From Fat (30%) 101.18
% Daily Value
Total Fat 11.72g 18%
Saturated Fat 1.43g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 750.59mg 31%
Potassium 469.7mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 47.75g 16%
Fiber 7.87g 31%
Sugar 5.53g
Protein 12.79g 26%

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15 Comments »

  1. Carrie said

    All of that looks so good!!!

    The creamsicle drink sounds right up my alley. 🙂

  2. Julia said

    I’m so jealous of you. This program sounds amazing! So exciting that you’re almost done.

    I love the portobello pepperoni !

  3. When you said “beverages,” I thought Erin would be great at that! I was thinking more along the lines of cocktails. But looks like you pulled non-alcoholic beverages beautifully … especially that coconut creamsicle. I like the sound of that! The wings also look delicious. I don’t believe you that they weren’t quite right. They look perfect to me!

    • veganhomemade said

      Haha yeah, beverages of that sort would’ve made the night more fun, for sure!

  4. mihl said

    I would have loved to come to your showcase!

  5. I think I’m going to be dreaming about coconut creamsicles tonight… That sounds positively heavenly- and it looks so thick and rich in your photo!

  6. chow vegan said

    Orange Coconut Creamsicle! can’t wait for the recipe! It looks so good. 🙂

  7. I must have that Orange Coconut Creamsicle immediately! I won’t be able to stop thinking about it… Orange Julius used to be my favorite mall treat – it doesn’t get any less vegan than that, and I haven’t had one in years. This creamsicle deliciousness looks like the answer to my dreams!

    Everything else looks delish, too. Are those tempeh wings GF or are they breaded or battered in wheaty goodness?

    • veganhomemade said

      We were trying to make everything gf for the showcase, so I breaded the wings with crumbs ground from toasted rice bread. Seemed to work just fine! The part that I didn’t get down to my liking was the homemade sauce.

  8. Melisser said

    Dude, I want bagel bites!!!

  9. Portobello pepperoni sounds so so good, and the coconut creamsicle smoothie looks great!

  10. Cassie said

    Mmm..everything sounds and looks delicious! That program seems pretty amazing. I would really like to hear about it (maybe I should check out past entries?). I’ve been looking at some of your past lunchbox meals and am very impressed. Your skills at preparing a varied and exciting lunch is very inspiring 🙂

  11. […] Showcase #1 […]

  12. Mandee said

    I think you did a fantastic job on appetisers and would be happy to eat all of them!

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