Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vegan Maple Salted Caramel Popcorn

Vegan Maple Salted Caramel Popcorn

Caramel is always a comfort food when induldging and mixing with your favorite movie snack, you can't go wrong. But what if you added to that already amazing flavor. This recipe shows you how to take caramel popcorn and not only make it vegan, but seasonal. This seasonal flavor of maple will give you a hint of awesome and make you crave this treat everyday. Serve by itself or add pecans or walnuts to bulk it up even more with a nice crunch. Your family will love that they are partacking in this homemade treat and forget that they have eaten half the bowl. Always a bonus to save money on the non-vegan version too...try NOT to sneak this into your next movie trip. Enjoy!

Vegan Maple Salted Caramel Popcorn


-7 Quarts or 28 cups plain air popped popcorn, favorite brand or grain
-2 cups organic brown sugar
-1/2 cups organic maple syrup
-1 teaspoons salt
-1 cup vegan butter or margarine, 2 sticks
-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-1 to 2 teaspoon maple syrup extract

-2 cups pecans or walnuts, if desired (or other nuts of your choosing) 


Heat oven to 250 Degrees

In batches pop the air popped popcorn into a VERY large bowl or 2 large bowls (enough to have room to toss popcorn with caramel later). Combine peanuts (if adding them) after all the popcorn is popped at this point.

Place a medium sauce pan, on medium heat. Combine brown sugar, maple syrup, maragrine, maple syrup, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring enough to mix all ingredients together. Once the mixture begins to boil, cook for 5 minutes, while stirring constantly. 

Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in baking soda and extract. The caramel with be light and foamy, don't get nervous about the violant foam.

Next CAREFULLY (very hot) pour caramel over your popped popcorn & peanuts and stir to coat all the popcorn pieces. 

Once mixed completely, carefully devide the caramel corn to 2 lightly greased cookie sheets and bake for 1 hour, remove and give the caramel popcorn a good stirring every 15 minutes. 

While the caramel corn is baking, line your stove or counter with wax paper. When the caramel popcorn is done, dump it onto the wax paper and allow to cool down completely (if you can resist). This stores well in plastic resealable zip-locks or an air tight container. Enjoy! 


Bloody Vegan Witches Finger Cookies

Bloody Vegan Witches Finger Cookies

Halloween is that one time a year where the skies the limit. You can go completely over the top with everything from costumes, decorations, pranks, and even our food. While planning those fun and special items, its great to be creative and turn our everyday treats into enjoyable Halloween themed sweets. Witches are one of the ultimate Halloween characters and a lot of fun to play around with and create treats around them. This recipe shows you how to take your everyday sugar cookie and turn it into a vegan witch themed dessert. With these "bloody" cookies, you will be sure to make anyone (young or old) smile with the magic that is Halloween. A great after dinner dessert before going trick or treating, perfect for Halloween parties, and even great to send into school for a fun Halloween dessert. Make the experience even more fun by including the family in making and decorating the cookies. Nothing will make your Halloween more enjoyable than the fun that comes with creating festive dishes to go along with it. Store the cookies in a cold location in Tupperware or plastic bags, they can also be frozen for later use. Serve with your Halloween punch or a big glass of vegan milk for that comforting and spooky treat. Enjoy!

Bloody Vegan Witches Finger Cookies
(Yields: 45-50 Cookies)

*For a smaller batch, half the recipe to suit your needs.


1 cup vegan butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon The Vegg with 1/2 cup got water
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (other extracts can be used)
5 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

-Green Food Coloring, to desired color (Optional)

1/2 cup almond slices (Decoration)

Frosting Recipe Below


Using a stand mixer, cream the vegan butter and the powdered sugar together. Add the extract and The Vegg to the butter mixture and whisk in to combine.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Once your butter mixture is combined, Add the food coloring (optional) and then the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until smooth.

Remove the now cookie dough and place into 2 Ziplock Bags or plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerate for 30 minutes. This helps the dough hold together and firm for later molding. You also don't want your butter to melt in your hands when working, cold butter in the dough makes for a perfect cookie. 

*At this point you can store the dough in the fridge over night or for later use, place in the freezer. Great to make ahead for parties or treats later on. 

When you dough has chilled and your ready to bake, heat your oven to 325 Degrees


When you are ready to bake, you will need to mold the cookies. (You can either free style the mold by hand or find a mold to help the process. I was able to find molds at the Dollar Store or local party supply stores. Great find, sometimes comes in silicone for easier molding.)

With your hands, roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a finger shape or press into the molds (for each cookie) to create a finger-like shape.

Mold I found & used for the Cookies
Shape and thicken the middle of the cookie to form a knuckle. You can also add lines and a divot for the nails to the cookie to show more detail in the cookie.

*Keep cookie dough fingers a little on the medium-thin side as the cookie will puff and grow slightly while baking. You can use your own finger as a guide, same length and thickness (obviously a easy way...get it finger/finger cookies)

If dough gets sticky or warm and hard to work with, place back in the refrigerator for a little while. I took one bag out at a time and left the other in the fridge while I molded the dough. Again, you don't want the dough to get warm.

Place fingers on a baking sheet, either plain or lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. 

Bake 20-25 minutes, until fingers are slightly golden on the bottom and its edges. When the cookies are cooked, remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack or lined table for 8 to 10 minutes to cool slightly.

When cookies have completely cooled. You can go the edge step and decorate the cookies by adding a "nail". Do this by either placing jam or frosting underneath an almond and applying to the tip of the finger. As seen in the recipe, I created a severed edge or "blood" by using red frosting and sprinkling with red crystal sprinkles. Once done decorating, place on cooling rack to dry. The frosting will harden over time. 

Vegan Red Sprinkles (Crystal)
Homemade Red Frosting (Recipe Below)
Dip "severed" edges & Sprinkle with Crystals
*The almonds are optional, if nut allergies are a problem, leave out. You could always use another item to sub in for the "nail". Fruit leathers (cut into small triangles) is a great substitute as well. 

Once the cookies are decorated and the frosting has hardened, serve. These cookies are great for Halloween, parties, events, or just a fun treat for the kids. A great recipe for them to help with and be creative, a great use of family time. Enjoy!
"Bloody" Vegan Frosting


1/3 cup vegan butter or vegan shortening at room temperature
2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons vegan milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract\
Red Food Coloring, to desired color


In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the vegan butter and the extract on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Turn the mixer to low (stir setting), add the powdered sugar, mix until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy while adding in the vegan milk, about 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Once the frosting has combined, switch the mixer to low, gradually add in the food coloring. You can add as much or as little to get to the desired color that you want. Beat on on medium high until the frosting is airy and thoroughly mixed (stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed). Once the frosting is mixed, you are ready to decorate. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Homemade 'Breaking Bad' Themed Hard Candy

Homemade 'Breaking Bad' Themed Hard Candy
Halloween is almost here and what is more fun than a theme. When you have a theme, you can make a lot of treats geared around it and make it a lot of fun. Candy is a great way to show your creativity and make it delish all in the same recipe. 'Breaking Bad' is a well known show today and a familiar theme is threw the show, if you've ever seen it. This recipe shows you how to not only make hard candy but also follow a theme to the very popular show 'Breaking Bad'. These candies play into the show and it makes your Halloween party a little more fun. Perfect for a last minute idea, only takes you a small amount of time to make. You could also make it fancier by making lollipops for the kids. Don't forget to take aggression out later when you get to smash it. Halloween is all in fun and make it more fun with these candies. Enjoy!

'Breaking Bad' Themed Hard Candy


1 cup organic raw vegan sugar
1/2 cup organic light corn syrup (brown rice syrup, agave, maple syrup, etc can be used)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry extract or your choice (vanilla, mint, cinnamon, coconut, etc)
Light Blue Food coloring (optional)

*Lollipop molds and sticks (Optional) 

Prepare your baking sheet by greasing them. You could also do molds for parties or easier eating.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Once boiling, insert a candy thermometer. Allow to boil, without stirring, until candy reaches 295 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the candy reaches 295 Degrees, remove it from heat. Allow it to sit until it stops bubbling completely. Stir in the extract of your choice and food coloring.

Pour the candy liquid out onto the greased cookie sheet. As thin as you want, not too thin, you want to have pieces. After pouring, allow it cool completely and remove once hardened.

*At this point you could pour into mold instead and insert sticks for hand held version.

When the candy hardens completely, use a mallet or hammer to break into pieces. Store the candy in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to a month. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Comforting Vegan Etsy Shop

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Pomodoro Sauce

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Pomodoro Sauce
In those cold month when squashes are so abundant, we seem to do the same old, same old with them. You see a lot of soups, mashed sides, and the occasion pastry or dessert. But why not transform it into something really healthy yet hearty. When you are working with spaghetti squash, you may think it is boring. But this squash can be incredible when you put your mind to it, with the right sauce and plenty of TLC, you are all set for a fulfilling meal ahead. The beauty is, its an easy recipe that will taste like you spent all day making it, but only you and I know the truth. No guilt involved either, that always makes seconds easier going down as well.

This recipe shows you how to take that seasonal gourd and turn it into a light yet filling meal that will leave you satisfied and asking for seconds. And the beauty part is, you can! A nice take on a traditional sauce and paired with this seasonal squash. I assure you, you won't be missing the pasta in this recipe. Serve it with your favorite bread and a fresh garden salad. Pair it with your favorite vegan wine and serve it up with a smile. Remember, they won't know how easy it was, make sure you guilt them into doing dishes. ;) ...Enjoy!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Pomodoro Sauce


2 spaghetti squash (about 1 1/2 lb)
1 to 2 Tablespoons oil or vegan butter
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, chunked
2 medium carrots, peeled and chunked
1 medium red bell pepper, cored and chunked
1 or 2 large portabello mushroom, degiled and minced
2 cans (15oz) diced plum tomatoes with basil, onion, & garlic (fire roasted is a great addition)
1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons parsley and/basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoons salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
Fresh basil and/or parsley. for serving



Heat oven to 375 Degrees.

Halve squashes lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cover each cleaned half in tin foil with a little salt and pepper. Lay halves on sheet. Bake 35 minutes or until you can easily pierce shell.

When the squash is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, remove from foil and with a fork scrap out the inside. It will resemble angel hair spaghetti.


While squash bakes, take your prepped veggies (except the mushrooms) and 1 can of the tomatoes and place it all in the food processor. Pulse to blend it until smooth.

In a medium to large pot, add oil and herbs over medium-high heat. You want to wake up your dried herbs a little, it helps release the flavor. If using fresh, do this as well, only for 1 minute. You don't want these herbs to burn.

Add the pureed mixture and the last can of tomatoes to the heated pan and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Add the remaining ingredients except fresh basil for garnish and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes with the lid on. Lower heat if sauce begins to boil. The longer the sauce cooks, the deeper the flavor gets. And if you want the sauce thicker, remove the lid for the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking to help thicken it. 

*When preparing the mushrooms, I like to  scrap out the gills. It just turns your recipe dark, I scrap them out with a spoon and then cut up. 

Once your sauce has cooked threw, all the veggies are blended. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning. Take your spaghetti squash and arrange on plates, pour sauce over squash and garnish with the fresh basil. Serve along side your favorite bread and a fresh garden salad. Store leftover sauce in the fridge or freezer for later meals. Enjoy!

Ready to Serve Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Pomodoro Sauce