Posts Tagged baking

VeganMoFo: Celebrations

This is my 300th post!  To celebrate, I figured I’d show you some celebration food.

St. Patrick’s Day – corned beef seitan, spinach potato patties, soda bread, a shamrock shake made with avocado and mint, and Guinness Extra Stout.  Guinness Extra Stout distributed in the US is vegan!

Cinco de Mayo – ground “beef” tacos with guacamole, rice and beans.

Valentine’s Day – Chocolate Covered Katie’s Snickerdoodle Blondies cut into cute little heart shapes.

Easter – homemade peanut butter cups.  I was going to make eggs but Michael’s was out of egg-shaped molds, so hearts it was!  The filling was 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter mixed with 2 teaspoons melted Earth Balance and 1/2 cup powdered sugar.  The coating was a 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips melted with 1 Tablespoon coconut oil.  The cups had a really good texture, but you could taste the coconut oil a bit, so I’d reduce it next time.

all packed up for shipping

I made the Ultimate Vegan Brownies from veganbaking.net to send to my mom for her birthday.  There are a few steps to the recipe, but it’s so worth it – they are by far the best vegan brownies I’ve ever had.  They’re the perfect mixture of fudgey and cakey and crumbly, and even have the desirable crunchy top.

We went to a San Francisco Giants tailgate for Dave’s cousin’s birthday, so I brought cupcakes – yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting and white and orange sprinkles for the Giants fans.

I’m not a horseracing fan, but Dave and some of our friends are, so we had a little gathering for the Kentucky Derby.  I made Wolffie’s Derby Pie from La Dolce Vegan.  The filling starts as something like a dough, with flour, margarine, sugar and flax seeds, which you then combine with chocolate chips and walnuts.  It’s probably one of the richest things I’ve ever made, and so delicious.

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VeganMoFo: What I Ate Wednesday

Since I missed blogging yesterday, you get a twofer today!  I follow many blogs that participate in What I Ate Wednesday but have never done it myself, and since most of my MoFo posts are reaching into the past as far back as a year ago, here is something current!

I got up at 5:30 this morning to do 30 Day Shred, a routine I began recently.  I am not a fan of getting up that early, nor of working out first thing in the morning, but I’m already feeling positive changes after one week so hopefully it’s worth it.

After a quick shower, I had a post-workout snack (first breakfast, if you will) – an Oat Snackle.  Snackle is a very cute word I think.  The recipe is from Let Them Eat Vegan, but I found it online here.  It’s kind of a mix between a cookie and a muffin, and it feels very healthy but not too healthy.  It sits in your tummy all happy, giving you nutrients from all the wholesome ingredients.  I’ve been struggling with finding a good post-workout snack since starting the workout program, and these are a great solution – just slightly sweet from the applesauce and raisins, and easy to grab and eat in three or four bites.

My “real” breakfast was enjoyed in the car on the way to work.  This smoothie had almond milk, canned pumpkin, banana, Vega One natural flavor, kale, blackstrap molasses (for the calcium and iron), cinnamon, and ginger.  I’m not ready for the “everything pumpkin” bandwagon yet since it’s been hot around here lately, but I ran out of frozen fruit and resorted to the pantry.

Mid-morning snack of strawberries (I ate half the container) and a few walnuts.  Yes, I am like a baby and have to eat every few hours.  I find that it’s better for me to eat smaller amounts of good foods throughout the day in order to maintain energy levels.  I also tuck my vitamins in the small container, which has backfired on me once.  A small iron pill got caught in the crevices of a walnut half and I bit into it.  In case you are ever wondering, iron pills do not taste good!

packed up for lunch

looking a little prettier for dinner last night

Lunch!  I found the recipe for this Limnian Style Imam Bayildi (eggplant and zucchini stew) on pinterest.  Mine wasn’t quite as nice; I skipped the steps of salting and sauteing the veggies first, and while they were cooked through and tasted good, there was a lot of liquid on the bottom of the pan and not nearly enough sauce.  It was delicious though, so I would definitely try the recipe again when I have time to follow all the steps and double the sauce.  Also shown is whole wheat spaghetti and chickpeas with lemon and red pepper flakes.

Afternoon snack of Trader Joe’s Eggplant Hummus and Persian cucumbers.  I have veggies and dip almost every afternoon, and I particularly like this hummus.  It’s lower in calories than other hummi (plural for hummus), and tastes great.  I take the container to work to eat straight out of it and just cut fresh vegetables every morning.

After work I went for a run, and after that run I ate a banana.  No picture, you know what a banana looks like.  I wasn’t planning to have another snack but I was famished after running and it was going to be a while before dinner.

And what a dinner it was!  Buffalo soy curl wraps with sauteed onion, Daiya swiss, a salad of shredded cabbage, celery, carrot, tomato and dill pickle, and Sanctuary Dressing from Appetite for Reduction.  Sauteed mushrooms with soy sauce in the back.  I’ve had buffalo on the mind since seeing SpaBettie’s Buffalo Jack Sliders earlier this week and this was a great way to satisfy the craving while keeping it light.  Frank’s RedHot Sauce is pretty awesome and I plan to henceforth use it on as many things as possible.

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Thanksgiving 2012 – Main Course

My goal this year was to post about Thanksgiving dinner earlier than I did last year, which was in January.  That obviously did not happen!  Still, it was a great meal that I want to show you.  You can read about the appetizers here.

We don’t normally get too crazy with decorating the mantle, but I got inspired by Pinterest to make a wreath, with a lot of help from this felt flower tutorial.  I think it turned out really cute!

For the side dishes we stayed pretty traditional, changing things up just a bit from the year before.

We like our smashed potatoes chunky with the skins on, and add garlic, Earth Balance and almond milk.  I sprinkled on some minced chives before serving.

Dave made his most excellent stuffing with sourdough bread, shiitake broth, fresh portobello, and lots of herbs.

As a light counterpoint, I made this Green Cabbage and Red Apple Slaw.  I used kale instead of the brussels sprouts called for, and soaked the red onion to cut some of the rawness.  I really liked this salad but don’t know that everyone else loved it.  I think the raw greens and vinegar might be a little too bitter if you’re not used to them, even though the apple was nicely sweet.

Dave wanted something a little different than the usual green bean casserole, so I chose Lemony Green Beans with Almond Breadcrumbs.  This was really tasty, even though I tripled the recipe and the beans didn’t cook evenly since there were so many in the pot.

To our usual canned corn, I added minced sauteed shallot, red bell pepper, and fresh oregano.  I cooked it gently to keep the flavors mellow and buttery.

The recipe that took by far the most effort and time, but was so, so worth it, was Herbed Focaccia from veganbaking.net.

Look at those air pockets!  This was easily the best bread I’ve ever baked, but boy does it take a long time to make.  You make the herbed olive oil, mix the dough, shape, stretch, fold and rest three times (at 30 minutes each), rise for one hour, refrigerate twelve hours, rest three hours, rise three hours, and FINALLY, you bake!  Good things come to those who wait with this bread, and the flavor and texture were perfect.  If I can make this without screwing up, so can you!

I served the bread with caramelized onion butter, which was just Earth Balance blended with caramelized Cipollini onions.  It was delicious and sweet, but it melted everywhere by the end of dinner since the room was warm…

My entree was Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Stuffed Roast with Gravy.  I had bought the roast a few weeks before on a whim ($9.99 is a great price) and didn’t necessarily plan to have it for Thanksgiving dinner, but that’s how it worked out.  Luckily, I really liked the roast!  It’s similar to the Tofurky roast but maybe a bit more tender.  The gravy was a little sweet for my tastes, but still went nicely with the smashed potatoes.

The second best part about Thanksgiving?  Leftovers!  You better believe I had almost this exact same plate a few more times.  I also made great sandwiches with the focaccia, roast, cranberry sauce, and Vegenaise.

Next up, desserts.  Hopefully I’ll post before three months from now!

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