Carbs & Rec: Sex Bites

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Carbs & Rec - Sex Bites (0003b)

Quick! When I say “Parks & Rec,” which foods pop into your head?

Waffles? Check.

Eggs and bacon? You betcha.

Mac & cheese pizza? Hells yeah!

Bananas? Say what now!?!

Believe it or not, the unassuming banana has a long and storied history on Parks & Rec. From that one time Leslie demonstrated safe sex practices for Pawnee’s seniors with the assistance of a ginormous yellow banana,

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to Ron Swanson’s somewhat epic aversion to this healthy fruit,

bananas have made multiple appearances on Parks and Recreation.

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Waffle Wednesday: Banana Split Waffle Sundaes!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Waffle Wednesday - Banana Split Waffle Sundaes (0002)

Leslie Knope likes her waffles like she likes her Ben*: served in a short stack and smothered in whipped cream.

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For this year’s MoFo, I really wanted to recreate the gorgeous tower of whipped cream that always seems to find its way onto Leslie’s waffles. Unfortunately, none of the alternative food stores in my area carry the cans of SoyaToo whipped topping that would help me pull it off. (Or any vegan whipped cream, for that matter. Boo!) Instead I opted for the next best thing – making my own using coconut cream.

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Carbs & Rec: Better-than-Chicky Catch

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

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“Fried chicken is fri-fri chicky-chick. Chicken parm is chicky chicky parm parm. Chicken cacciatore? Chicky catch. I call eggs pre-birds, or future birds.”
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Tom Haverford’s ability to play fast and loose with the English language is legendary. I can only wonder whether Tom knew, way back in season three, that his Haverfoods would one day become a reality with the opening of Tom’s Bistro. Or Tom’s Bi, as the unfinished signage read on opening night.

Since Tom’s Bistro is an upscale Italian joint, you best bet that his Chicky Catch is on the menu. Here I’ve veganized the dish, with a little help from ethnic vegan and gardein meatless chicken strips.

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Mac & Cheese Monday: Five-Cheese Baked Pete-aroni and Cheese

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Carbs & Rec - Five-Cheese Baked Petezaroni and Cheese (0009)

This is a VeganMoFo special straight from the kitchen of Pete Oglini (of Pete’s Petezaria fame!), Pawnee’s own 3-star, Yelp-rated chef. The very best in “ethnic dining,” at least according to Leslie Knope’s definite guide, Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America.

Carbs & Rec - Pete's Petezaria (0001)

Because the residents of Pawnee love their cheese, this epic mac & cheese dish contains (count ’em!) one-two-three-four-five (five!) kinds of cheese:

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Carbs & Rec: Epic Breakfast Bowl

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

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When it comes to Ron Swanson, there’s only one way to do breakfast: epically. Preferably with ALL THE BACON AND EGGS you have. (Don’t worry, WE ARE SO DOING THIS! Just not today.)

Waffle Wednesdays may be dedicated to Leslie Knope and her BFF J.J. (don’t cry, Ann; waffles may own Leslie’s stomach, but you will always have her ovaries!), but Sundays are all about Ron and his undying love of meaty, cheesy, eggy breakfast foods. Just don’t call it brunch, else he might pop you one in your smart, fancy, foreign mouth.

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In this vein, this morning I present to you the Hearty Breakfast Bowl from Home-Cooked Vegan Comfort Food – with a few extras, that is. What’s in the ginormous cast iron skillet (Ron Swanson speak for “bowl), you ask?

Carbs & Rec - Epic Breakfast Bowl (0015)

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Carbs & Rec: Insanely Good Messy Brownie Bites

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

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I would like to be president someday, so no, I’ve not smoked marijuana. I ate a brownie once at a party in college. It was intense. It was kind of indescribable, actually. I felt like I was floating. Turns out there wasn’t any pot in the brownie.
It was just an insanely good brownie.
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I won’t lie: for a second or two (or sixty), I was super-tempted to recycle my not-pot brownies (of VeganMoFo 2012 fame) for this post. I mean, they’re kind of perfect, right? The thyme looks like marijuana, but it totally isn’t! But because I’m not a cheater and (perhaps more to the point) those brownies didn’t photograph particularly well, I decided to make an all-new recipe instead.

I kind of wish I’d went with option A, y’all.

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In theory, the Mini-Rocky Road Brownie Bites from Betty Goes Vegan sound epically awesome: individual, mini-cupcake-shaped brownie bites stuffed with mini Dandies marshmallows, chocolate chips, and roasted peanuts, each with its own crispy round edges and delightful muffin tops.

Carbs & Rec - Insanely Messy Brownie Bites (0002)

Artfully arranged with the least scrappy of the bunch on top.
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In practice? They made me cry. And not in a good way.

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Carbs & Rec: J.J.’s French Toast Dipsticks

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Hay rides. Dunking booths. Corn mazes and concerts under the starlight. Giant pumpkins and even gianter pumpkin pies. The scent of fried foods wafting through the air, mingling with animal poop, and clinging to your hair, your skin, and your clothing…long after the fourth wash. Ahhhh. The Pawnee Harvest Festival. That’s the stuff.

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(Just be glad that computer monitors don’t come with scratch & sniff capabilities. NOT YET.)

Staples of the Pawenee foodie community Sweetums and J.J.’s Diner each have booths at the festival, along with with (much-loathed) Sue’s Salads, (somewhat obscure) Happy Harriet’s House of Heaven, and one-two-twelve different sandwich shops. But wait! There’s more!

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As if J.J.’s breakfast foods aren’t enough to satisfy your yearly quota of saturated fats, there’s a whole boulevard which consists of nothing but deep fried foods. It’s called – wait for it! – Deep Fried Boulevard: “Eight full blocks of Howell Drive (from Racine to Tellenson St.) will feature nothing but fried foods! Fried dough, fried meats and cheeses, fried sandwiches, fried fruit, fried foods that have themselves been fried again – if you want to eat it, we’ll fry it!”

Carbs & Rec - J.J.'s French Toast Dipsticks (0014)

Though the show itself is light on the details, I like to think that J.J.’s maintains a second booth on Deep Fried Boulevard, where it sells these deep fried French Toast Dipsticks…among other things. (Deep-fried vegan mac & cheese, can I get a holla?!?)

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Carbs & Rec: Happy Cauliflower Day! (Belated, but still.)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

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Technically Cauliflower Day was yesterday, but I would have had to preempt the very first Waffle Wednesday in order to make it work, and that simply would not do! As much as I love cauliflower, sweet breakfast food trumps it every. single. time.

Also a technicality: Cauliflower Day celebrates the first AND LAST time that Leslie and Ben ate cauliflower together. Leslie did not care for it. So really, this dish should feature broccoli, pizza, ice cream, or some other food that isn’t cauliflower.

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But wait! Stay with me here.

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Waffle Wednesday: Chocolate Beer Waffles with a Sweet Cashew Cream & Chocolate Drizzle

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

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“We have to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. But work has to come in third.”
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It’s no secret that Our Lady of Breakfast Food Leslie Knope has an especially ooey, gooey spot for waffles. And why not? Crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside, waffles kinda sorta rock.

Consider the evidence:

– They’re a breakfast food – and why would anyone ever want to eat anything other than a breakfast food? (Idiots.)

– Roll them up, stuff them with your favorite tofu scramble, tempeh bacon, and hash browns, and voila! Breakfast tacos!

– The teeny weeny squares make the perfect tiny traps for your syrup, margarine, whipped cream, and/or icing. Take that, pancakes!

– Who needs bread when you’ve got waffles? Open-faced Tofurky and gravy sammie, anyone?

– Breakfast food for dinner is objectively the best.

– After you’ve finished your waffle dinner, chase it with a waffle sundae. Vanilla ice cream, coconut whipped cream, dried cherries, chopped walnuts, sliced bananas, maybe an insanely good brownie or two – go crazy. Knope you can!

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In honor of the lady who puts the “carbs” in Carbs & Rec, I’m dedicating each and every Wednesday to waffles. Maybe with a bonus day thrown in here and there because WAFFLES! Seriously, I found so many amazing waffle recipes that it was hard to whittle it down to just four. Plus Shane is on waffle duty, so a dinner of waffles means a night off for me. Score!

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Carbs & Rec: Jailbird Scones

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Let’s take a moment to celebrate one of the most epic friendships in sitcom history: Ann Perkins and Leslie Knope.

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Carbs & Rec: Cold Puppies

Monday, September 1st, 2014

“Zerts are what I call desserts. Tray-trays are entrées. I call sandwiches ‘sammies,’ ‘sandoozles,’ or ‘Adam Sandlers.’ Air conditioners are ‘cool blasterz.’ I call cakes ‘big ol’ cookies.’ I call noodles ‘long-ass rice.’ Fried chicken is ‘fry-fry chicky-chick.’ Chicken parm is ‘chicky-chicky-parm-parm.’ Chicken cacciatore? ‘Chicky-cach.’ I call eggs ‘pre-birds,’ or ‘future birds.’ Root beer is ‘super water.’ Tortillas are ‘bean blankets.’ And I call forks ‘food rakes.’” – Episode 3.10, “Soulmates”
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Old-ass grapes. Bear Drool. Brit Bagels.* If you can stuff it in your face, odds are that Tom Haverford has a Tom Haverfood-ism for it. In fact, Tom’s fly food wordplay is such a hit with fans that it’s spawned a website (tomhaverfoods.com), a tumblr (tomhaverfoods.tumblr.com), and a twitter account (@TomHaverfoods), all of which proved instrumental to me meeting my 30-post quota for the month. Chances are, if it’s not a breakfast food, then it’s probably a Tom Haverfood.

To kick of VeganMoFo 2014 – and the week! – I come bearing Chili Dogs. Or Cold Puppies, as Tom would say.

Carbs & Rec - Cold Puppies (0002)

The chili recipe is an old one from Vegan Dad, which I’ve been meaning to try for forever. You guys, I don’t think I’ve ever had a chili dog before! Sad but true, and as of today, rectified. So the chili is a pretty delicious mix of chocolate, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cumin, and vegan Worcestershire sauce, for a smoky and savory flavor. I also like that it uses TVP instead of beans, because the latter upsets my tummy. (Stomach: Calorie Cannibalizer.)

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Carbs & Recreation: Veganizing Pawnee, one plate at a time!

Monday, September 1st, 2014

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This year’s VeganMoFo theme was kind of a no-brainer. With the upcoming season of Parks and Recreation slated to be the last, this is the perfect time to celebrate one of my favorite shows in menu form. Plus, THE FOOD!

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From Leslie Knope’s well-documented waffle obsession to Ron Swanson’s meaty masculine manly man-meals; to Ben’s disastrous attempts to sell his adopted town on the merits of calzones, and Leslie’s efforts to distract him from the pig in their living room with the promise of pancakes, food is arguably a minor character in Parks & Rec. Along with Donna Meagle (everyone’s favorite office manager), I hope J.J.’s Diner gets a spinoff. On the food channel. With music by Andy. (Someone please make this happen!)

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B is for Best of: My Favorite Posts of Vegan MoFo VII!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013 Mosaic

With Google Reader dead and buried, I was wondering how I’d manage to navigate the hundreds (thousands?) of Vegan MoFo posts this year. As it turns out? Not very well. Haphazardly at best. I tried using randommofo at first, but it seemed to run rather slow for me. (Though my own internet connection could very well be to blame; dog knows it’s seen better days.) Instead I used the blogroll at VeganMoFo to hop from blog to blog. Functional but not very efficient. Hopefully Shane can come up with something better for next year. (If you’re reading, Shane, get on it!)

So anyway, this list is as sad and scrappy as my Vegan MoFo travels – so feel free to add to it in the comments! Is there a recipe you’re itching to try? A blog whose theme had you loling? A post so epic that you just have to share? Do it! I’m afraid I missed out on way too much this year.

Even so, it was fun. Let’s do it again in ten months, shall we?
 

Recipes (aka, Kelly’s To-Do List)

  • Mo Betta Vegan represents with the bacon cheddar cheeseburger to end all bacon cheddar cheeseburgers (vegan or not!), lustily dedicated to the one, the only (well except for when he was cloned by a shapeshifter!), Dean Winchester. Mine looks like health food in comparison.
  • AfroVeganChick gave me a new way to use up some garden-fresh tomatoes (no small feat, considering how many years I’ve been growing them!): Warm Roasted Tomato & Spinach Pasta Salad. Now that I’m done with my Vegan MoFo cooking, this one is moving to the front of the queue!
  • Speaking of tomatoes, this Roasted Tomato Soup from Vegan Urbanite looks tasty as heck.
  • These Apple Butter Donut Holes sure would make history class more interesting.
  • File this one under “Why didn’t I think of that!?!”: Sweetcorn Ice Cream, courtesy of Hasta La Vegan. (I’m not gonna lie, I’m slightly in love with zher’s choice of graphics.)
  • Someone make me these One-Bite Salted Brownie Cookies & Caramel Frosting Sandwiches? Pretty pretty pleeeease?
  • Irish Coffee Whoopie Pies & Whiskey Frosting, aw yis.
  • I pretty much love everything Tuxedo Cat ate this month (we have the same taste in junk food!), but I’m especially intrigued by the No Mayo Potato Salad. So healthy I can eat it by the gallon!
  • Purple Yam Buns, what!
  • Cooking from Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans (another one for the wishlist!), Jess at Get Sconed! put Shepherd’s Pie on a pizza. Yup, I’m definitely doing that.
  • I usually prefer cookies over cake, but I’d make an exception for this Double-Layer Chocolate Cake with Coffee Buttercream from hell yeah it’s vegan!.

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  • Mac-and-Cheese Monday: Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage

    Monday, September 30th, 2013

    Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage (0009)

    Well, this is it. We’ve reached the end of Vegan MoFo VII, my friends. It’s been fun, it’s been hectic, it’s been waistline-expanding. And I can’t wait to do it all again in August! (I’m already brainstorming next year’s theme. True story!) Luckily, September 30th just so happens to fall on a Monday – and what better note to end on than one final Mac & Cheese Monday?

    This recipe’s courtesy of Shane, who wanted to veganize a macaroni and cheese recipe from his childhood. What he came up with is a kind of mashup of our favorite stovetop recipe, various oven-baked dishes, and a few of our go-to alfredo sauces. The result is a rich and creamy, twice-baked dish with two cheeses (cheddar AND mozzarella; three if you sprinkle a little vegan parm on top!), pan-fried sausage, and a generous helping of breadcrumbs to garnish.

    Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage (0004)

    We used Tofurky brand sundried-tomato sausage, which are mildly spicy. I would’ve liked to have played up the sun-dried tomato angle – may be with the addition of some dry (not oil-packed) sun-dried tomatoes, tomato flakes, or even fresh cherry tomatoes – but Shane decided to take it in another direction. Ah well. Next time maybe?

    The sauce also contains cashews and nutritional yeast (and no margarine!), making it slightly healthier than our Creamy Mac & Cheese. Which, if you couldn’t tell by now, if the bar by which we judge all other macaroni and cheese recipes!

    Shane’s newest concoction measures up rather well: it’s flavorful, rich, and creamy – and the breadcrumbs give it a nice crunch. Baked mac & cheese dishes can sometimes be a little dry, but this one’s almost (so close!) as moist and saucy as the stovetop version. Definitely one of my favorite experiments.

    Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage (0019)

    Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage

    Ingredients

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    4 vegan sausage links (we went with Tofurky, but you can use your own favorite)
    16 ounces (4 cups) elbow macaroni (or similarly sized pasta)
    3 cups soy milk
    1/2 cup cashews
    1/2 cup nutritional yeast
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 teaspoons corn starch
    12 ounces vegan mozzarella shreds (we used Daiya)
    8 ounces vegan cheddar shreds (we used Follow Your Heart)
    enough breadcrumbs to cover a 9×13 pan
    vegan parmesan to garnish (optional)

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

    2. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium. Slice the sausage links into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pan; fry until golden brown. Set aside.

    3. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

    4. In a blender, mix the soy milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, soy sauce, and corn starch until well blended. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat om medium-high until it starts bubbling. Add the cheese shreds and stir until the cheese is mostly melted and blended. A few lumps are fine.

    5. Mix the macaroni, sausage, and cheese sauce in a pot until the sausage and macaroni is well coated. Put the mixture into 9×13 pan and cover with a thin coating of bread crumbs and optional parmesan.

    6. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. If the breadcrumbs are slow to brown, you can set the oven to broil for the last minute or two – but keep a close eye on the breadcrumbs, as they can burn quickly!

    7. Serve warm and gooey!

    And lick the plate clean in Kaylee’s memory, okay?

    Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage (0007)

     
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    FIN.

    Mac-and-Cheese Monday, I’ll miss you most of all.

    Z is for Ziti All’amatriciana

    Sunday, September 29th, 2013

    Z if for Ziti All'amatriciana [Betty Goes Vegan] (0005)

    You guys! Can you believe that VeganMoFo ’13 is nearly over? We did it!

    To celebrate, I give you this big, steaming plate of Z-is-for-Ziti Ziti All’amatriciana. Only I used penne in place of ziti, on account of we have just about every type of pasta in the pantry save for ziti. That and I’m a big old cheater. Surely you can forgive me, this being the last letter of the alphabet and all?

    So this recipe, like many of the others I blogged this month, is from Betty Goes Vegan. The sauce is a mix of diced tomatoes, mashed tofu, and some other goodies. I also threw in some tomato powder and tomato flakes to help add extra flavor to the tofu, but I bet tomato paste would work just as well. (I just didn’t feel like breaking open a whole new can.)

    I’m a little fussy when it comes to tofu (in fact, for the letter T I briefly toyed with the idea of writing a Fussy Vegan’s Guide to Hiding Tofu in Your Favorite Dishes, but scrapped it in favor of Tuscan Bread Soup; but, seeing as it’s a question I’m asked with some frequency, I might just write that article anyway) and prefer my tomato sauce without it. Even so, it turned out tasty enough and I licked my plate clean.

    The recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of ziti, which even now seems so small as to be a typo. I multipled it by eight and cooked four cups (dried) of penne, figuring that I could set the extra aside if I made too much. I didn’t need to – the sauce coated the pasta just fine. I think three cups might be the sweet spot though. Or maybe I just don’t know my pasta All’amatriciana – is it a dish that’s supposed to be awash in sauce?

    Served with a few hearty slices of Easy Olive Oil Garlic Toast, also from Betty Goes Vegan. If enjoying bread with pasta is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

     
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    Y is for Yoga Cookies

    Saturday, September 28th, 2013

    Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0017)

    Rolling the dough for these cookies, I was reminded of the scene in Firefly when, upon trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully to sneak a bite of her Ice Planet, River Tam infamously complains: “My food is problematic.”

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    So named because Chloe frequently enjoys them as a post-workout snack, the Yoga Cookies from Chloe’s Kitchen are as tasty as they are a pain in the ass to make. The components can be separated into two parts: the dough proper, and all the extra add-ins (rolled oats, walnuts, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and raisins – replaced here with dried cranberries because yum), which the dough is supposed to bind together.

    Problem is, there wasn’t nearly enough dough to properly perform this most important task. Assembling all these delicious bits into cohesive cookies was difficult at best, and progressively more so the further I got into the process. The last two cookies were so unstable that I dared not try to flatten them, lest they crumble back into their individual parts. And at the end of the day, I was left with enough bits to form one more cookie, but not nearly enough dough to hold it all together.

    Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0001)

    Instead, I sprinkled the leftovers – which resembled uncooked granola – onto a bowl of strawberries. Spoiler alert: it was ridiculously good. So much so that I’m thinking about turning this into a granola recipe!

    The cookies stabilized a bit once they were cooked, but not enough that I could easily handle them without pieces of walnuts and flakes of coconut breaking free left and right. Still, they’re damn good cookies, and I think I’d like to give this recipe another go. Next time I plan on either increasing the dough by 50% or cutting down on the rolled oats by a like amount – I think that ought to do the trick.

    Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0020)

    Since these are a yoga-themed snack, I really wanted to photograph them with my “downward dog” (really play bow) rat terrier figurine, but he was a little too big for this project. Instead I used one of my many (many many many) dachshund trinkets, who conveniently comes equipped with baskets to carry all your vegan goodies. He’s not performing any yoga pose that I know of – in fact, that arched back looks so unnatural that I suspect a real dachshund back might snap if stretched that way! – but he’ll have to do.

    Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0025)

    Incidentally, my ratio of dachshund to rat terrier figurines is so skewed that it’s actually a little comical, considering I’ve only been owned by one dachshund in my life – compared to six rat terriers.* Rat terrier nicknacks just aren’t that common, whereas dachshunds might be the single most popular breed for collectibles. Wiener dogs are hilarious, yo! Everyone loves a sausage doggeh.

    * Now that Ralphie’s gone we really look like breed snobs, but really it’s just because terriers are so common (and thus commonly abandoned) in the Midwest. You can’t throw a homemade biscuit in the pound without being trampled by a pack of ’em, I tell you what. Mags and Finnick are the only two who we adopted specifically because of their looks – and that was because of Mags’s resemblance to dear Kaylee, not her “charming” rat terrier personality per se.

    Y is for Yoga Cookies [Chloe's Kitchen] (0022)

     
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    X is for Xaver Suppe (Xavier Soup)

    Friday, September 27th, 2013

    X is for Xavier Soup (0010)

    And so we have arrived at the letter X! X, which is the bane of every blogger who attempts an alphabet theme, vegan or otherwise. X, which usually results in baked goods bound together with Xanthan gum. X, which is a pretty badass letter and really should have some equally badass desserts to go along with it. Someone get on this, okay?

    My only real option for this dish was, ironically, a Catholic soup that’s traditionally served on St. Francis Xavier’s Day. (Ironic because I’m not just an atheist, but an apostate to boot. And yeah, that’s probably not the correct use of the word “ironic,” but wev. I live by my own rules!) It’s a pretty plain dish, just dumplings in clear chicken broth. Yawn, right? I added some veggies to make things a bit more interesting, but it’s still rather understated. Also less canon, but whaddya gonna do?

    I based the veganized version on this recipe from Catholic Cuisine, using flax eggs as a substitute in the dumplings. Since I halved the dumpling recipe, there’s a rather odd amount of eggs: one egg and one egg yolk, the latter which the internet tells me is equivalent to one half of an egg. The quantities are a little weird, but it works.

    My only other experience with dumplings being the Seitan and Herb Dumplings from American Vegan Kitchen, I wasn’t quite sure how the dough would – or should – turn out. Tami Noyes’s dough is dry enough that you can roll it out on the countertop, but this batch proved much stickier. At first I tried making marble-sized balls with an (improvised) piping bag, as suggested in the original recipe, but quickly gave up and did it by hand. If you go this route, grease your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to them. It’s far from foolproof, but works much better than flour!

    The finished product is…okay. Kind of like chicken noodle soup, but with dumplings in place of noodles, and a little plainer all around. Me, I think I’ll stick to vegan chicken noodle soup in the future – it’s heartier, and hella easier to make.

    Served with a freshly made loaf of Kalamata Olive Bread. I doubt that this pairing is in keeping with tradition, but so what? KALAMATA OLIVE BREAD!

    X is for Xavier Soup (0012)

    Xaver Suppe

    Ingredients

    …for the dumplings

    1.5 tablespoons ground flax seed + 4.5 tablespoons water (or an egg substitute equivalent to one egg + one egg yolk)
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour (plus extra as needed)
    1/4 cup margarine
    1/4 cup soy milk
    1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (less?)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon white pepper
    a pinch of nutmeg
    1 1/2 teaspoons parsley

    …for the soup

    8 cups vegan chicken broth
    1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
    1 large carrot, diced (optional)
    1 celery stalk, diced (optional)
    2 dried bay leaves
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 tablespoon parsley

    Directions

    1. First, prepare your egg substitute. In a blender, combine 1.5 tablespoon ground flax seed + 4.5 tablespoons water. Pulse for about a minute, or until fully blended. Set aside.

    2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the flour, margarine, soy milk, and parmesan cheese. As the margarine melts, stir until the flour forms a solid dough. Work in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, parsley, and egg substitute.

    3. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a big nozzle and pipe marble-sized balls onto a greased tray. Alternately, you can do this by hand, rolling pieces of dough into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

    4. Next, make the soup. In a large stockpot, bring the veggie broth to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Whip in the arrowroot powder and then add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, and onion powder. Simmer for about ten minutes, or until the carrots start to become tender. Remove the bay leaves and add the dough balls. Cook for five to ten minutes (cook time will vary depending on the size of the dough balls), or until cooked all the way through. Add the parsley and serve hot.

     
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    W is for White Bean Pizza

    Thursday, September 26th, 2013

    W is for White Bean Pizza [Vegan on the Cheap] (0005)

    Tuscan White Bean Pizza, that is! This recipe’s courtesy of Robin Robertson’s Vegan on the Cheap, which I’ve owned forever but haven’t had much occasion to use yet. (Seriously, I’ve accumulated enough cookbooks at this point that I could cook from them once a day for the rest of my life and never run out of new recipes. It’s a wonderful problem to have, anyway.)

    Both the dough and pizza recipes are super-simple: the white sauce is all of five ingredients (salt and pepper excluded) and the dough, even less. My only modification was to double the sauce; one batch hardly seemed sufficient to cover a pizza. I figured that, if I got stuck with any leftovers, I could always use ’em as a dip. Also, I ran the mashed white beans through a food processor for an ultra-creamy sauce; the hand masher just wasn’t doing the job.

    On another note: there are just a few days – and letters – left. Any bets on what I’m making tomorrow?

     
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    V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie

    Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

    V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0008)

    WOW. Like I’ve seriously been sitting here at my keyboard for five minutes, trying to think of something, anything, to say about this Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie from Betty Goes Vegan, and this is all I can come up with. Just, wow.

    I mean, talk about yer vegan comfort foods. This is basically just a giant plate of junk food. And I mean that in the best way possible!

    The “crust” is a blend of vegan ground beef (Lightlife, in my case), bread crumbs, A1 steak sauce (A rather common ingredient in Betty Goes Vegan! I bought a bottle just for this cookbook!), red onions, and some other goodies.

    V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0001)

    Press it into a pie plate, bake until golden brown (the directions say five minutes, but I easily tripled that), and then add the potato “filling.”

    V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0002)

    Baked potatoes, mashed into creamy goodness (skins and all!), and seasoned with garlic, nutritional yeast, and veggie broth, then mixed with bacon bits and cheddar cheese.

    V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0006)

    Top with more cheddar, bake until gooey, and dinner is served!

    Garnish with tomatoes, pickles, french friend onions, or legit onion rings. (That last is my idea. I tried it with the leftovers and it was hnnng!)

    V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0021)

    Totally worth the twenty dishes it generated. Okay, I’m exaggerating. We’ll call it a baker’s dozen.

    And now for the obligatory Dean Winchester gif. BECAUSE PIE!

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    Updated to add: Vegan MoFo central is giving away a copy of Betty Goes Vegan to five lucky readers as we speak! Talk about serendipity. Go enter here.

     
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    Mac-and-Cheese Monday: Slow Cooked Mac and Cheesy

    Monday, September 23rd, 2013

    Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Mac and Cheesy [Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker] (0006)

    This week’s mac & cheese is a bit of a departure from the norm, since it’s slow cooked. The afternoon that I made it the thermometer topped 90F, so it was rather refreshing not to have to stand over the stove for an hour plus. Just ten minutes to cook the broth and taters and that was it. Shiny!

    Aside from last year’s Christmas pizza, we really haven’t had a ton of luck with our slow cooker. To be fair, we haven’t done very much experimenting with it, either. Can you say “vicious circle”? I even own a copy of Robin Robertson’s Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker – it was a x-mas present to myself, actually! – but it hasn’t provided the motivation I’d banked on. Slow cookers require so much advance planning, yo! So not my forte.

    Luckily, the Mac and Cheesy recipe is easy peasy, at least as far as crockpot dishes go. It takes maybe a half hour to set up, and then just 2 1/2 hours to cook. Technically you’re supposed to soak the cashews overnight – ugh, there go the preparations, getting away from me again! – but I let them sit for a mere hour and it worked well enough.

    Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Mac and Cheesy [Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker] (0001)

    Veggie broth, cashews, and boiled potatoes form the base of the cheese sauce, which is further seasoned with nooch, mustard, miso, lemon juice, onions, garlic powder, and pimientos (or roasted red peppers! I used a combo and it was mmm, mmm good!). Additional Daiya (or whatever) cheese shreds are optional, but after two hours of cooking, the cheese sauce was so thick and creamy that I didn’t think them necessary. (Ugh I know, what’s wrong with me!? Someone rush me to the doctor stat!)

    The finished dish is tasty, but of course not as deliciously junky as one made with 100% procressed vegan cheeses. I used gemelli in place of the traditional elbows or (for me) shells, on accounta I wanted to add some variety to the pictures. As it turns out, the sauce is so thick than you can barely see the shape of the pasta under all the saucy goodness. Shane thought it was fusilli! Ah well.

    The recipe only makes eight ounces of pasta, but I was able to double it without trouble. (Though I did have to process the cheese sauce in two batches. My slow cooker may be big enough to handle a double batch; my blender, not so much.) Don’t try this at home unless you have at least an 8-quart slow cooker, as the original recipe calls for a minimum of four!

    Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Mac and Cheesy [Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker] (0003)

     
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