Thursday, December 19, 2013

There's still time! Last minute DIY Vegan Food Gifts.

Peppermint Balls 
 First we'll start with the treat, then I'll give you a fool proof way to pack 'em up to guarantee smiles.  These Peppermint Balls are a perfect, easy to make holiday treat.  The recipe is more of a list of instructions so that you can make as many or as few as you would like.

What you will need:
Powdered Sugar
Vanilla Extract
Peppermint Extract
Non Dairy Milk
Crushed Peppermint Candy (like candy canes)
Vegan Chocolate Chips or Chunks

To make these yummy little balls, first make the peppermint dough.  Simply add powdered sugar to a bowl.  Add equal amounts of vanilla and peppermint extract to taste.  Mix together with your hands until well incorporated and crumbly.  Add in non dairy milk, a half teaspoon at a time and work into the sugar mixture until a workable dough (like the consistency of playdough) is formed.  Fold in crushed candy to taste.

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment.  Grab a little piece of dough and roll it into a ball.  Place on the cookie sheet and repeat until all dough is used.  Place a toothpick into the center of each ball and place into the freezer to harden.  While balls are freezing, place chocolate in a double boiler to melt.

Once balls are hard, take each one and dip it into the melted chocolate to coat.  Return to the cookie sheet and remove the toothpicks.

Using a spoon, fill the holes created by the toothpicks in with melted chocolate.

Sprinkle the tops with more crushed candy.  Allow to harden completely and place in candy cups for packaging.

Now onto the packaging.  This cute little Truffle Gift Box is from Vegan Food Gifts (page 14).  You can use any pattern paper for these, of course there are so many cool Christmas papers available this time of year.

Photo by Celine Steen.
This little box is super-duper easy to make and super cute, too! You can use any kind of craft paper. I like the thicker scrapbook papers because they are often double sided, are already measured to 12 x 12 and come in so many awesome patterns. Just think of the way you can customize these with different holiday papers. Anyhow, this one does require an adhesive, and I like to use a glue stick but you can use tape or even a stapler if you choose.

What you will need:
1 piece of 12x12 paper
glue or tape

Start with a 12" x 12" piece of paper.
1. Measure 1.5" from the bottom and fold up. Crease. Repeat at the top of the page.
2. Bring crease of bottom folded edge up to meet the open end of the top folded edge. Fold to create a crease just shy of the center of the page. Unfold. Repeat with the top of the page. This will create a 1.5" space between the creases in the center of the page. Unfold everything so the page is flat.
3. Now fold in the right edges 1.5" and crease. Repeat with the left edge. Unfold both edges.
4. Using scissors, cut each of the "dotted" lines up to the crease. 8 cuts total.
5. Fold in the small tabs and apply a bit of glue to each tab.
6. Glue each tab to the inside of the flaps. 4 to form the box and 2 to form the lid.

Diagram by Kurt Halsey.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fee Fi Faux Pho! Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen is out now!

Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen is finally out! (I think Barnes and Noble already has it in stock and is able to ship in time for Christmas.) I am so excited.  I am so in love with this book.  I hope all of you love it just as much.  You will be blown away with the photos, and the recipes aren't too shabby either.  I really think this book has more of "me" in it than just about anything else I've ever done.

My friend, and fabulous photographer on this project, Wade Hammond, is sponsoring a giveaway on his blog as we speak.  Here is a peak at one of Wade's amazing photos and the recipe that accompanies it in the book.

Sloppy Joe Pho from Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen (page 73).  Photo by Wade Hammond 

Faux Pho Broth
This broth is very flavorful. You can use it in the Sloppy Joe Pho, below, or make your own combination of ingredients to create a noodle bowl. I used to eat Pho almost everyday when I worked in Venice Beach, and I did it off of a Pho Bar, where there were about 30 different veggies and other toppings so I could create my own bowl every time! Wouldn't it be fun to have a Pho party? I think it would be, so I think I just might plan that soon...

6 cups (1410 ml) low sodium vegetable broth
1/3 cup (80 ml) soy sauce or Tamari
1/4 cup (40 g)  diced white or yellow onion
1 tablespoon (6 g) fresh minced ginger
1 tablespoon (10 g) minced garlic
1 whole cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon aniseed

Add all ingredients to a pot, stir and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain out solids and keep hot over low heat until ready to serve.

Yield: 6 cups (1.5 L)

Sloppy Joe Pho
This is a pretty loose interpretation of a Sloppy Joe and of Pho! But the end result is a savory soup that warms your insides! I call for rice vermicelli (aka Rice Sticks) noodles, but you can use any kind of noodles that you like. (And, yes, I know it is pronounced fuh.)

1 recipe Faux Pho Broth, divided
1 (10 ounce) package Rice Vermicelli noodles, prepared
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 medium bell pepper (any color), diced
1 cup (160 g) diced white or yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons (34 g) tomato ketchup
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup (72 g) TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), small granules (or finely chopped seitan)
1/4 cup (25 g) chopped green onion, for garnish
1/4 cup (4 g) chopped cilantro, for garnish
1 fresh jalapeno, sliced, for garnish, optional
Sriratcha sauce, optional

In a pan, heat oil over medium heat.
Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Sauté until fragrant and onions are translucent, about five minutes.
Stir in ketchup, paprika, and black pepper.
Add in one cup of the prepared broth.
Stir in TVP. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 10 minutes.
Assemble soup.
Divide noodles evenly between four large soup bowls.
Top with a generous helping of the Sloppy Joe mixture
Add in broth.
Sprinkle the top with green onion, cilantro and jalapeno slices if using.
Squirt in a smidge of Sriratcha, if desired.

Yield: 4 main dish servings
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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, or 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