Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VeganMoFo and Mango-Blueberry Upside Down Shortcakes


Ingredients (makes 1 dozen)

1 mango, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 cup of fresh blueberries (I am sure frozen would work too)
1/2 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp arrowroot
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

6 oz non dairy yogurt
4 oz applesauce
1/4 cup non dairy milk
1/4 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you have a really good non-stick muffin pan, use it. I don't like to use paper cups for these, but you can if you want to. In a bowl, mix the fruit and sugar. Set aside. In a seperate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet, seperately and mix into the dry. Divide the fruit into all twelve cups.

Spoon the batter atop the fruit.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Invert onto another cookie sheet, and allow the shortcakes to naturally fall out of the pan.

Top with a simple icing of powdered sugar and soymilk, if desired.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

VeganMoFo and a New Knife!

Today I bought a new Chef's Knife. I felt I deserved it. It's a J.A. Henckles. It's THIS one. Not expensive, but very nice. Not too heavy, although I do appreciate a sturdy heavy knife, and it has a very fine/thin blade. I like it. Affordable and utilitarian.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Easy, and semi-homade and yummy. Crescent rolls stuffed with anything. These ones were filled with THIS.

But then I found out...crescent rolls are not vegan! WTF? PETA says THIS. But then I found THIS. So what? I dug further. Apparently any ingredient that contains "stear" in it is not vegan. BIG FAT BUMMER! So this will be my last farewell to the crescent roll. They are so full of wacky, horrible for you, ingredients anyway, it's probably best.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

VeganMoFo and Steaz

I admit just isn't enough anymore. My hectic days require MORE energy. Unfortunately, most energy drinks have some pretty nasty stuff in there. Thank goodness for Steaz. An organic, tasty buzz.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

VeganMofo and Straight-Up-Thanksgiving Burgers

This here burger was the brainchild of my bestest friend, Jen. She said if I could pack an entire Thanksgiving dinner into a burger, she would be in heaven. So, I gave it a shot. Invited her over and had her test it out. She said it was crack. So, there you have it. If you're in the mood for Thanksgiving, make it. It's also a good way to use up "real" Thanksgiving leftovers.

Openface on a grilled sourdough dinner roll, with plain brown gravy.

Straight-Up-Thanksgiving Burgers
Ingredients (makes 8 big burgers)
4 cups prepared mashed potatoes (I used the Garlic Smashed potatoes from Cozy Inside, but any mashed potatoes will work. Skin on adds more texture to the burgers)
4 cups prepared stuffing/dressing (I used McCubbins Herb flavor, but I think any bread based stuffing would work fine...In fact, a few slices of stale bread, cut into cubes and mixed with margarine and veggie broth, then baked amkes a prettay darn good stuffing.)
1, 14oz can of cut green beans, drained
1 cup French's french fried onions (Seriously, would it be Thanksgiving without them?)
1 cup diced onions
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp margarine for sauteing onions
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare mashed potatoes and stuffing, set aside. In a pan, on medium high heat, melt margarine and add onions and garlic and saute until just beginning to brown. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and form into patties. Pan fry, in oil, about 3-5 minutes per side or bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Everything is already cooked, you just need to heat 'em up!

Friday, October 17, 2008

VeganMoFo and Back in the Kitchen (Pumpkin Cheezecake Pie)

I have been pretty lazy this week when it comes to cooking. I had so many leftover burgers and stuff in the fridge, I felt guilty making something new without using up the "old" first. I can officially say that it's time to get cooking again.

I'll start with dessert!

Pumpkin Cheezecake Pie
Ingredients (one 9" pie)
1, 9" pie crust (you can make you own, but I went with a premade graham crust for this one)
2, 8oz containers of vegan cream cheese
1, 15 oz can of pure pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp cinnamon (ground)
1/2 tsp ginger (ground)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (ground)
1/4 tsp cloves (ground)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat all ingredients together using an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Place a pan of water (about 1" deep) on the bottom shelf of the oven. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Place the pie on the foil lined sheet and place in the oven on the top rack. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool, place in refrigerator until ready to serve, and to set even more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

VeganMoFo and The Veggie Grill

I've posted about The Veggie Grill in the past. When the place first opened I was very apprehensive. But, it has certainly grown on me over the last year. Since the beginning, the food has been great. I just wasn't sure about the business model: Good for you Fast Food.

I made the trek to Irvine today, to cash in on my "free birthday entree" they sent to me in the mail. The place was PACKED! Almost every table was full and there was a line to place your order. Normally, that would be a bad thing...but I was so stoked to see so many people opting for a cruelty free lunch, when there was a pizza joint, an ice-cream shop and many other omni choices in the University Town Center within steps.

I ordered the "Carne Asada" sandwich with Sweet Potato fries. Actually I ordered 2. One for my free lunch, and another to bring home for dinner later. Let me tell you...this seitan is AMAZING. Even heated up several hours later...DELISH. The chipotle mayo is the perfect finishing touch to this delicious sandwich.

If you live anywhere near one of these "fast food" establishments...I suggest you stop in for a bite. You won't be dissapointed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

VeganMoFo and Porn Plates

I admit it, I am addicted to plates. Yep, plates. I cannot go to a garage sale, flea market, discount store, anywhere, without looking for or buying a plate.

These are a few of my favorites.

I also admit, that I am not much of a food photographer. But I don't care, I like to take the pictures. I like to put the food on those pretty plates, and take the picture. My food porn is usually very similar. When possible, I use a black background. I try to get extreme close ups, and I usually only photograph half of the plate or bowl. It's a simple formula that works for me and my cheap camera.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VeganMoFo and Vegenaise

Did I ever mention that I met the co-founder of Follow Your Heart, and I nearly peed my pants with wonderment as I graciously shook the hand of the man who invented my most-favoritist condiment ever? Well I did.

The delicious Vegenaise. I feel no guilt buying it, and although, yes, I can make my own tofu mayo, this stuff beats ho'made hands down.

Creamy and delicious. Thick and spreadable. Tastes good on just about everything. It even turns leftovers into incredible edibles.

Case in point, burger roll-ups from a few days ago, are now "burger roll-up salad."

EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS to burger tester r.add-ist for giving me the idea to mash up left over burger patties into sandwich fillings! It has made my life so much better!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

VeganMoFo and Sweet Potato Buns

I am the first to admit that I am not much of a baker. Sure I can make cupcakes, and my birthday cakes are passable, but when it came to making up some tasty bun recipes for the burger book, man, oh man, was it tough. Literally, this was the hardest part of the whole book!

Yesterday, I posted about my roll up burgers. I served them up on home made sweet potato buns. Oh so soft and buttery, and just a touch of sweetness. Nummers.

Sweet Potato Buns
Ingredients (makes 12 buns)
1 sweet potato or yam (yielding 2 cups mashed)
1/4 cup margarine
1 cup soymilk
2 tbsp agave nectar
2, 1/4 oz envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (about 100 degrees)
2 tspn sugar
4-5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
additional melted margarine for brushing

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Peel and cut your sweet potato into chunks and boil until mushy.

While the potatoes are boiling, mix yeast into warm water until foamy, add in sugar and mix. Let stand 10 minutes, to double in size. Drain potatoes. Place back into the pot, and mash. Add in margarine, soymilk and agave nectar. Mash until very, very smooth, with as few lumps as possible.

In a seperate, large mixing bowl, mix together salt and 4 cups of the flour. Add risen yeast to the flour and salt and mix together. Add in the potato mixture and knead for about 8-10 minutes, adding additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Knead until a nice, soft elastic dough ball forms. (I knead it right in the bowl.) Cover bowl loosely with a dish towl, and let rise for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets, by either lightly greasing, or placing a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat on the sheet (parchment or a baking mat works better, and prevents burnt bottoms!) After the hour has passed, punch down the dough and knead about another 2 minutes. Add a little more flour if it's too sticky.

Divide into 12 equal pieces, roll into balls and flatten slightly. Place 6 on each baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush with melted margarine, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Until golden brown on the top.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

VeganMoFo and Burger Roll-ups

Otherwise known as a roulade. I made these to be sliced and eaten as BURGERS! One roll yields about 10 or 12 burgers, so there's plenty leftover for work lunches and quick weeknight heat ups.

On a home made sweet potato bun with vegenaise and steamed broccoli.

2 cups vital wheat gluten
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp veggie broth powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups water
1/2 cup olive oil

In a mixing bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Add water and oil and knead for about 5 minutes. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile make the filling...

1 14 oz block of extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup ground cashews
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 14 oz can (about 2 cups) diced tomatoes, drained
1 14 oz can (about 2 cups) spinach, drained
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp minced garlic

Mush all ingredients together in a bowl, set aside until ready to use...

After the dough has set for 20 minutes, roll it out into a large rectangle. I use a cookie sheet to do this. After you get a nice, large, flat rectangle, spread out the filling leaving about an inch around the edges. Roll up tightly and place seam down on a large sheet of aluminum foil, wrap and twist the edges tight. Place seam side down on a baking sheet, and bake for 90 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool enough to handle. Unwrap, and slice about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick and serve on your favorite bun!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

VeganMoFo and Native Foods

So, Last night we went to the newest location of Native Foods in Aliso Viejo. It's a pretty unassuming storefront in a huge stripmall. Not exactly what I am used to from a Native Foods. After all, their Costa Mesa Location is in a permanent round tent, with animal rights posters, literature and an overall communal feeling...there is even a firepit in the patio.

Nonetheless, we were there, and we walked in through the very normal front doors and walked up to the very normal counter to order the daily special, which on Saturdays is "Chicken Fried Seitan with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Kale" we also ordered a plate of chili cheese fries, to share. We took our number and found a very normal table to sit down in this very normal, almost fast-food like establishment. There were a few posters on the wall, but they were mounted all professional like, no message, just ad-like posters of a couple of dishes on the menu. The place was very, very clean. Almost too clean. No atmosphere. It was kind of bumming me out. I mean, I ABSOLUTLEY LOVE Chef Tanya's food, and our meal was no dissapointment, but if I am gonna spend $40 on dinner, I want to enjoy the atmosphere. Kick back, relax, enjoy the vibe of the joint. There should be an energy that reflects the message of the food, you know?

I can only chalk up the way she set up this new location to the "expectations" of the fine folks in South Orange County. Everything there is "perfect" and "clean." For the most part, South OC is full of gated communities, HOAs and lots of strip malls. I am then to assume that Chef Tanya wanted to fit in with the crowd. To entice the soccer moms, and "Real Housewives of OC" into the joint which serves up the latest in trendy foods...California Vegan.

I won't be going back. Unless I phone in a to-go order. I will make the extra 30 minute drive to Costa Mesa, where, unlike the Aliso Viejo location, like minded vegans join together to enjoy great food in a WARM and GROOVY environment. If that means I can't order soft serve, then oh well.

Maybe I can talk Dan into another birthday dinner, that won't be such a bummer.

Friday, October 10, 2008

VeganMoFo and Speaking of Kahlua...

Last Friday I posted of Kahlua and soymilk (and Tings!) This Friday I thought I'd share my Gramma Nan's Secret recipe for mome made Kahlua. It is a pretty simple recipe, and the results are quite tasty. If you make up and bottle a few batches within the next few weeks...they make WONDERFUL holiday gifts.

"Mix 4 cups sugar and 2 oz instant coffee crystals together. Add 2 cups boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Cool thouroughly. Add one pint vodka and pour into bottles. Add 1/2 of one vanilla bean into each bottle. Cap, date and use after standing for at least 30 days. DO NOT OPEN FOR 30 DAYS!"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

VeganMoFo and Cookbooks, Spices and Small Spaces

Y'all know we moved out to the boondocks a few months ago. When we did that, we downsized pretty much to one fourth of the space we had before. Yep, Dan, Me, Maxine, Lily, Annie and Michael are all residing in a cozy 495 square foot cabin in the country. The one thing I did make sure of, though, was that there be ample room for my spices and cookbooks. I was more than willing to pack my shoes, clothes and most of my furniture into storage tubs and keep them outside in the barn...but my cookbooks? My spices? They needed to be near to me at all times.

So, my office that used to be in one of the spare bedrooms of our old house, has been condensed into one bookshelf, which sits in the corner of the dining/kitchen/living room of the new house. This has it's perks. The computer is now only 3 steps from the stove, so I don't have to print out recipes off the internet anymore, I can literally see them from the counter! But even with such limited office space, I dedicated the top shelf to cookbooks, and they are creeping onto the second shelf now too!

Not all of them are vegan, but one can really gain some great cooking knowledge from traditional cookbooks, you know? Especially that red & white checkered fella.

And the spices got their space on the wall AND there own drawer!

It's all been worth it, 'cause when we walk out our back gate, we see this...

and this...

I am still trying to figure out if those are edible cactus leaves...hmmm.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

VeganMoFo and Tricks or Treats?

Okay, I admit that I am a HUGE fan of Rachael Ray. Her constant babbling and overuse of the acronym EVOO* is just icing on the cake for me. I will watch her shows (all of them, not just 30 Minute Meals) over and over again. I want to BE the vegan version of her...

...Anyhow, I picked up the October issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray and tucked inside on page 108 was an article on Halloween costumes! Like cupcakes that were actually meatcakes that had mashed potato frosting, and a pizza which was actually a strawberry tart with mascarpone cheese. GENIUS!

I probably won't be having a Halloween party this year, but I probably will be attending one, so I think bringing a beautiful plate of TVP meetloaf "cupcakes" with sweet potato frosting, or a gorgeous lattice topped pie filled with savory tomatoes and spice, might just trick a few partygoers!

*Abbreviations that use the first letter of each word in a phrase are sometimes referred to as initialisms. Initialisms can be but are not always acronyms. AT&T, BT, CBS, CNN, IBM, and NBC are initialisms that are not acronyms. Many acronym lists you'll see are really lists of acronyms and initialisms or just lists of abbreviations. (Note that abbreviations include shortened words like "esp" for "especially" as well as shortened phrases.) So, yes, I called EVOO an acronym when really it is an initialism, I know.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

VeganMoFo and Birthday Dinners

Nope. It's not my birthday. My birthday isn't until next week. But, I thought I would take this opportunity to say how much I love birthday dinners. Birthday dinners are always dinners that I WANT TO HAVE. No one argues about the menu or where I want to go out to eat. You know why? 'Cause it's MY BIRTHDAY!

I'm sure I've mentioned before, that my husband is not a vegan. He's not even a vegetrarian. Although he has become more and more open minded over the years, he's still light years away from ordering tofu at a restaraunt if there is steak or chicken on the menu. Unless, of course, it's MY BIRTHDAY! This weekend we will be dining at the new Aliso Viejo location of Native Foods.

Sorry, babe, there's no chicken or steak on the menu.

Even if I cook dinner for myself on my birthday (Which I am more than happy to do, afterall, I love to cook) anyone and everyone around on MY BIRTHDAY, has to eat what I want to make.

Two of my favorite birthday dinners of year's past:

Turning the Newman backyard into a Beer Garden and having our own Oktoberfest. We made our own Seitan Brat's complete with kraut. Read more about it here.

This was the month after we got married. I couldn't wait to show off all of our grown up stuff. I mean seriously, we had a full set of matching silverware! I wasn't so into food porn back then, but I always remembered my mom taking pictures of the set table and the cake on special occasions. The menu was VWAV Seitan & Portobello Stroganoff, green salad, french bread, and yellow cake with chocolate frosting for dessert. We also had wine and beer and kava-kava tea that we brought home from our honeymoon. That stuff tastes awful, but sure makes for interesting conversation!

So there you have it. I love birthday dinners. Next week, I will be sure to report on my next one...

Monday, October 6, 2008

VeganMoFo and Pulled "Pork" Sammiches

Watching Diners Drive-ins and Dives always makes me hungry. Always. The episode I watched yesterday was all about barbecue. Smoky, slow cooked sweet and tangy barbecue.

I can do that.

Yeah, it's a messy photo. But it was a messy sammy! Gooey and spicy and sweet and delicious piled high on a French roll on a big pile of bbq slaw.

I don't have the recipe quite refined enough to share yet, but here's the recipe for the slaw. It's cool and creamy and super simple to toss together.

BBQ Slaw
1 head of cabbage, cored and shredded
1 cup vegan mayo
1/3 cup barbecue sauce of choice
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk all of the ingredients, except the cabbage, together in a large bowl. Add in the cabbage and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
1/3 cup

Sunday, October 5, 2008

VeganMoFo and Caramel Ginger Apple Compote over Pancakes

So I have decided to take the Vegan Iron Chef Challenge. The 2 "secret ingredients" are ginger and apples. I have an unexpected Sunday morning off of work, so I decided to make pancakes!

Yet, there are no apples or ginger in pancakes. In comes the Caramel Ginger Apple Compote!

3 apples, cored, peeled and cubed
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup soy creamer (vanilla or plain)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water

In a sauce pan, add the apples, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Toss to coat. Bring to a simmer on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. As the sugar melts and the apples release their juices, a soupy delicious smelling mixture will form. Reduce heat to low and simmer until apples are nice and tender...about 15 minutes. Add in the margarine ans creamer. Stir to melt, allow to come back to a simmer. Mix together the cornstarch and water to create a slurry and slowly add to the mixture, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat, and continue to stir until a nice caramelly sauce consistency is reached. Pour over pancakes or waffles or french toast or ice cream and enjoy this sweet, slightly salty treat!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

VeganMoFo and "Ham & Eggs"

I'm a little late on the scrambled 'fu bandwagon. Oh well.

Mostly I make all my scrambles starting out the the same way. Extra firm tofu, drained and pressed. A preheated cast iron skillet with about 2 tbsp of oil in the pan. I crumble the tofu straight into the pan. Then I add some turmeric, for that eggy color, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. From there, I can make it any way I want to. This morning I made "Ham & Eggs" with chopped up pieces of the "Ham" from the Split Pea and "Ham"burger recipe.

Other ways I enjoy my 'fu?
  • With grilled onions and mushrooms
  • With sundried tomatoes and spinach
  • With NOOCH!
  • With imitation bakin bits
  • In a breakfast burrito...

Friday, October 3, 2008

VeganMoFo and Kahlua, Soymilk and Tings!

Sometimes a girl just wants to get her Tings on!

Dare I say that Tings+Kahlua+Soymilk+YouTube doth a good Friday night make?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

VeganMofo and Roasted Butternut Squash with Fennel, Onions and Garlic

So, it seems as though October has brought out the squash in all of us! So many folks have already posted about their yummy roasted squashes...I shall simply add to the rest!

1 butternut squash, Skinned, cored and cubed
2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
1 full head of garlic, peeled and each clove cut in half
1 bulb of fennel, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil to drizzle

Preheat oven to 350. Prep all produce and toss together in a baking dish or pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about an hour, or until fork tender, tossing half way through.

Here they are ready to go into the oven:

2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni