Friday, November 30, 2012

Giveaway Results!




Please stay tuned, I will be posting a few more giveaways this holiday season!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Holiday Gift Giving Season is in Full Swing! (Plus a Giveaway)

Thanksgiving has passed and that means this holiday season is in full swing, and I couldn't be more excited!  If you know me, you know I love the holidays.  All of them.  Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus (for the rest of us!) and any other winter celebratory day you can think of.  I love the music, the food, the drink, the tacky sweaters, the decorations, the hustle and the bustle, the cold winter nights, the lights on the houses, and the gift giving.

My family has done away with the giving of gifts in the traditional sense.  We no longer buy presents for each other.  We have everything we need.  One half of my family donates the money we would have spent on presents to a charitable organization instead, and the other half has decided it's okay to give each other a little something, as long as it's home made, and if you can eat it, even better. WOOHOO!  Home made food presents are my favorite!

Hearty Pasta Soup with Chik'n Mix in a jar ready for gifting.  Photo by Celine Steen.  Recipe from Vegan Food Gifts 
I love making vegan food gifts so much, I even wrote a book about it...Vegan Food Gifts.  Haha.  And to get you all in the vegan food gifting spirit I am going to not only provide you with a super fun recipe for gift giving this holiday season, but I am also going to give away a signed copy of the book to one of you.  Simply leave a comment telling me your favorite (or not so favorite) thing about the holiday season and I will choose one at random on Friday, November 30. 2012 at 9:00 am PST.




Hearty Pasta Soup with Chik'n from Vegan Food Gifts (page 97)
Now on to the recipe!  This recipe not only makes a great gift, but it is also a great mix to make up ahead of time, and store in the cabinet for quick and easy weeknight suppers.  And what better way to warm up on a cold winter night than with a hearty bowl of soup?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving is when? OMG.

There has been so much going on lately, that Thanksgiving has completely snuck up on me!  I fear I have no time to experiment with new recipes this year, so I will be depending on some of my tried and true favorites to get me through this holiday.

Going way back, I will make a double batch of Greek Stuffing.  It is adapted from a recipe my cousin Jerry made for us on Thanksgiving many moons ago, that was full of fatty ground beef and lots of dairy butter.  When I recreated it as a vegan dish and submitted the recipe to Better Homes and Gardens recipe contest, guess what?  It won.  Haha.  If I have time, I will make a Seitan en Croute, if not, I will rely on a classic Tofurkey Roast to center my plate.  And for dessert I will most likely enjoy a slice of my super easy, and super tasty Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie.

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Veganized Family Favorite!  Greek Stuffing made with seitan instead of ground beef.

Greek Stuffing
2 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice blend
500 grams vegetable bouillon (2 cubes)
24 ounces prepared seitan (about 3 cups) chopped into tiny little pieces 
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup pine nuts
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Prepare rice, according to package instructions adding bouillon cubes to the water. 

Sauté seitan, or other meat substitute, in a separate pan in a smidge of olive oil, until browned. 
Use about half of the olive oil in a large pan (I use a wok) and sauté the onions and garlic on medium high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. 
Reduce heat, add the seitan, then all other ingredients to the pan, mix well and remove from heat. 
After rice is fully cooked, add to the sautéed ingredients along with the remaining olive oil and mix it all together.

Yield: 8 servings

Seitan en Croute
Seiten en Croute:  A savory moist seitan roast wrapped in flaky puff pastry.
Seitan en Croute
Seitan en Croute: Inside Shot
Seitan en Croute
2 cups (288 g) vital wheat gluten flour
1 cup (120 g) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (235 ml) beef flavored vegetable broth (or plain veggie broth)
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce or tamari
3 tablespoons (50 g) tomato paste
1 tablespoon (45 g) prepared stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 sheets vegan frozen puff pastry

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
Have ready a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat such as Silpat.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together, gluten flour, wheat flour, nutritional yeast, parsley, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper.
In a separate bowl, mix together broth, oil, soy sauce, tomato paste, mustard, and liquid smoke.
Add wet to dry and knead together until well incorporated and until moist dough forms.
Let rest 20 minutes.
Thaw puff pastry according to package instructions.
Form into a loaf (similar to a meat loaf shape) and place in the center of the baking sheet.
Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).
Cover the loaf entirely with one of the pastry sheets, tucking the edges underneath the loaf.
Slice the other sheet into 10 even strips for weaving. Weave the strips, on the diagonal across the top of the loaf. Tuck loose ends under the loaf.
Sprinkle a little paprika and parsley on top for color.
Return to the oven and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until pastry is fluffy and golden brown.
Allow to rest about 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: About 8 servings

Pumpkin Cheezecake Pie
1 (9-inch) pie crust (you can make your own, but I went with a premade graham crust for this one)
2 (8 ounce) containers of vegan cream cheese
1 (15 ounce) can of pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 
350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
Beat all ingredients together using an electric mixer until smooth. 
Pour into pie crust. 
Place a pan of water (about 1-inch 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.

Yield: One 9-inch pie

*This step helps keep the moisture in the oven and prevents the pie from cracking on the top!


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