Tofurky Chowder

Corn is a food I don’t cook with very often. Why? It’s in everything. I really don’t see the need to add more of it into my diet. However, when making a chowder, it is necessary. And a chowder sounded awfully good today. I used up the last of my tofurky slices and everything came together great. I made use of the corns natural ability to thicken and didn’t add any flours or butter rich roux. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! (rhyme intended)

Tofurky Chowder

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • oil/water for sautéing
  • 1/2 bag frozen corn
  • 2 “not-chicken” broth cubes
  • 4 c of water (you could really boost this up to 5 c, I found it a little salty with just 4 c)
  • 4 slices of tofurky roast, cubed (approx. 1 1/2 c)
  1. Saute the onion and carrot in a little oil, add water as oil wears off
  2. Once the veggies are tender, add the corn
  3. Next, add the broth cubes and water, bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat and use an immersion blender to bend half of the soup (I like some chunks for texture)
  5. After you’ve reached a desired consistency, add tofurky
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 10 minutes to bring the flavors together

Oatmeal Banana Peanut Butter Pancakes

I’m usually not a picky eater in the morning. For the most part, a banana with toast or cereal does just fine. However, today, my stomach was in the mood for something very particular – oatmeal pancakes. I found the perfect recipe on the Healthy Happy Life blog. The only tips I’d give for this recipe: make sure your pan isn’t insanely hot and use a metal spatula. You’ll see why these are important later. Happy morning to you all!

Oatmeal Banana Peanut Butter Pancakes

  • 3-4 Tbls peanut butter
  • 3 Tbls rolled oats
  • 3 Tbls agave syrup
  • 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c non-dairy milk (I used flax milk)
  • 1 tsp flax seeds (I used chia)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • sliced banana

 

1. Mix the chia and milk together, let thicken

2. Combine dry ingredients

3. Add the agave, vanilla, peanut butter into the chia/milk mixture. Stir well

4. Pour wet into dry, mix, and then fold in the apple cider vinegar

5. Scoop 1/4 c amounts onto a medium hot skillet. Add sliced bananas. Flip. Plate…Eat!

plastic spatula did not fulfill its duty!

Daiya Mac and Cheese

I love mac and cheese so much. Every time I make it, it seems to come out a little different, and I’m ok with that. This time I used the rest of my Daiya cheddar block. It was awesome, but it made way too much. I’d suggest halving the recipe, unless you have a huge party to feed.

Daiya Mac N Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb box of macaroni noodles
  • 3 Tbls vegan butter
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 c plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 3-4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 block Daiya cheddar, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the pasta according to box
  2. Melt butter in a small sauce pan, add in paprika and nutritional yeast
  3. Next, add in garlic, onion and mustard powder, and milk, bring to a boil
  4. When boiling, add cheddar. If the consistency isn’t thick enough, add in the cornstarch
  5. Once you have the desired consistency, pour over noodles. I topped mine with leftover Tofurky. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip (cold)

I don’t know why I buy vegan cream cheese. I eat a bagel or two and then I am tired of the stuff. Spinach artichoke dip sounded good, so I threw the proceeding ingredients together. It would have worked better in a food processor, my blender somewhat pureed most of it. Instead of looking like spinach dip, it looks a little bit like spinach guacamole. Also, one pointer, have some self restraint. I ate it right away and the flavors fell flat. After letting it sit overnight, it really came alive!

Ingredients

  • 2 c fresh spinach
  • 8 oz vegan cream cheese
  • 1 c drained artichoke hearts
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 Tbls minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Combined everything in a food processor. Blend until you reach a desired consistency. Let chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with crackers

Thanksmas 2012

This year my family combined Thanksgiving and Christmas, creating Thanksmas. After presents, I made a scramble with some awesome toast from Great Harvest Bread.

Around 2p, I got started on the pie. I remade a pecan streusel pumpkin that I made in previous years. It is too delicious not to!

Later, I got started on the stuffing. Then, I put the Tofurky in the oven and my mom made a savory gravy.

All in all, it was a pretty amazing meal. Next year, I’ll be in Africa…but when I get back, I hope to make a homemade unturkey!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing

When I think of Thanksgiving, I have an array of ambiguous feelings. I think of things from the Europeans slaughtering the Natives to all of the fond family memories I have which includes great food and an awesome family to the poor turkeys that are on their way to the slaughter-house. Those turkeys painstakingly awaiting their death only to sit at the head of a table this Thursday, stuffed, dressed and baked, roasted, and/or fried.

I have to admit, it’s hard at times to be with my family during this holiday. To see the once beautiful bird’s cooked body on the table and keep my mouth shut about the suffering it went through is not an easy task. The reason I’ve chosen to not speak out at every holiday meal is because I know my audience. My family is deeply rooted in tradition and yet, they have come a long way in accepting my vegan lifestyle. So, in return, I will honor the tradition they see in the day, just as I’d like them to honor mine. When I have a fancy house of my own, my family will be the first to be invited to an amazing vegan Thanksgiving feast. Until then, we will compromise and make the day work the best we can together, as a family.

With that being said, there is an amazing vegan Thanksgiving gathering taking place tomorrow in Minneapolis. It’s hosted by Compassionate Action for Animals and has the best vegan food I will eat all year. I decided to make Isa’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing. They turned out alright. I made a double batch and I feel like every time I do this, they turn out funky. The batter got sticky and was difficult to work with (probably because I over stirred). Then, all of the pans didn’t fit on one rack, so I had to rotate, and I’m worried a few may be undercooked. I have all year to work on my skill and these somewhat flopped on me!….I’m sure they’ll be devoured nonetheless.

If you’re interested in the recipe, pick up Isa’s book!

Roasted Curry Cauliflower

The Vegan Dad has some great recipes, and his roasted curry cauliflower is one of them. I was inspired by it, but decided to make my own version of it. It’s pretty good!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  1. Cut the cauliflower into large pieces and coat with oil
  2. Mix the spices together and sprinkle over the cauliflower. Toss to get the spices on each cauliflower
  3. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, stir, bake for another 15 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply Split Pea

There’s nothing like a satisfying bowl of soup for those of us living up in the frozen tundra. I spent the weekend up north, cooking up a storm, while temps dropped to the low 10s at night. I know, I know, that’s Minnesoooota. Split pea has been sounding rather sultry to me, so I ran to the store and grabbed a few necessities. I based this recipe off the one in the Moosewood cookbook, however, I jazzed it up by adding some smoky flavors to the mix. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Ingredients

  • 3 c dried split peas
  • 2 c vegetable stock + 5 c water (or all water, whatever your fancy)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, roasted, chopped
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • pepper to taste
  1. Add the peas, water/broth, bay leaf, salt, and mustard powder to a big soup pot. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes
  2. Next add the carrots, onion, and garlic. Continue to cook for 30 minutes. Add more water if necessary

3. For the last 10 minutes, add the roasted red pepper and liquid smoke

 

Not Quite Vegan, Chow Mein Noodle Cookies

I rarely post recipes that I haven’t been able to veganize, but this is one. I’ve chosen to post it because it is one of those recipes that are near and dear to my heart. When I think of the holiday foods and treats, they are not complete without my mom’s chow mein noodle cookies. The reason I haven’t been able to veganize is because the stores around me don’t carry dairy free butterscotch chips. I’ve found vegan chocolate chips just fine, but not butterscotch. And I don’t have the funds to purchase these from Vegan Essentials. Until I do, they will remain vegetarian.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of butterscotch chips
  • 1 bag of chow mein noodles
  1. Heat the chips in the microwave, or over a double boiler. Stir every so often until everything is melted together
  2. Break up the noodles by elbowing the bag on a countertop
  3. Add the broken noodles to the melted chocolate-butterscotch. Stir. Scoop onto wax paper and let harden

Not a very photogenic cookie, but they taste terrific!

Mushroom Bourguignon

When I hear Bourguignon, I think of Julia Child. Unfortunately the recipe from her contains beef (or Boeuf). Luckily, there are some creative vegetarians and vegans out there and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see this Mushroom Bourguignon recipe from Deb Perelman. I don’t know how it serves four though. It served myself and two guests and I have at least two or three meals left over. I didn’t modify much, it’s a great recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • 2 Tbls Earth Balance butter, softened
  • 16oz portobello mushrooms, 16 oz white mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c red wine
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbls tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 Tbls all-purpose flour
  • 1 c pearl onions

Steps for Bourguignon:

  • Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in big pot over high heat. In small batches, sear the mushrooms and pearl onions until they begin to take on a little color, but the mushrooms do not yet release any liquid — about three or four minutes. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
  • Lower the flame to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, a few good pinches of salt and a several grinds of black pepper into the pan and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.
  • Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms and pearl onions with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender.
  • Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes

Ingredients and Steps for potatoes:

  • 9 baby red potatoes
  • 1 Tbls Earth Balance Butter
  • 1/4 c plain soy milk
  1. Quarter potatoes and boil until fork tender
  2. Drain the liquid, return to pot, begin to mash
  3. Heat the butter and liquid in a sauce pan. Add to mashed potatoes
  4. Salt and pepper to taste