Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vegan Beef Stroganoff

Vegan Beef Stroganoff

A comforting favorite that I know people grew up on homemade or packet mix was Beef Stroganoff. I thought, why can't we have this luscious hearty recipe? No reason came to mind and I have been making it for my family ever sense. With the hearty ingredients and a creamy vegan sauce it makes you wonder if the recipe is vegan or not. Tons of flavor and plenty of left overs...if your family doesn't eat it all before it gets put away. Enjoy!

Vegan Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
-1/2 teaspoon Salt
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-1 Tablespoon Extra-virgin olive oil
-1 bay leaf
-4 teaspoons fresh thyme, leaves removed and minced
-1/2 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
-1 package vegan beef strips
-2 cups cremini mushrooms
-1/2 cup chopped onions
-2 cups coconut milk
-1/2 cup water
-1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
-1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
-1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
-2 Tablespoons vegan butter
-1 Tablespoons freshly parsley, minced

To Serve

-Toss Stroganoff with 4 cups of cooked pasta.
-2 tablespoons freshly chopped green onions and fresh parsley, to garnish

Directions

Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add olive oil and vegan butter. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes until brown. Add onions, minced garlic, Dijon, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, parsley, and thyme, Mix to combine. Once the mushrooms are brown, season with salt and pepper.

Cook for a further 2 minutes until garlic and onion become fragrant. Add your vegan beef strips and cook until lightly brown. Then Add 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, nutritional yeast, and bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced. Season with more salt (if needed) and plenty of freshly ground black pepper,

Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to directions on package. Drain and toss with the Stroganoff while still hot and toss in the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut milk. To serve, pile the pasta and Stroganoff high on a plate, top with a garnish of fresh parsley and green onions. Enjoy!

-Amy 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vegan Fried Chicken

Vegan Fried Chicken
Whether we like it or not fried food is a comfort food and in moderation it is a nice thing to have from time to time. Being vegan doesn't mean we don't indulge in fried items and like to have that same homey feel with our meals as well. This recipe is a classic that we all know and crave from time to time and this classic will help indulge that craving for a fried delight. This recipe has classic simple flavors that you can change up and a perfect "egg" wash. Which makes for an extra crispy vegan chicken that you can serve with your favorite sides and enjoy any night. Enjoy!

Vegan Fried Chicken

Ingredients

Egg Wash
The Veggs (2 tsp & 1/2 cup hot water)
1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (Frank's) 

Flour Dredge
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cups flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Frying
Frying oil
4 vegan chicken cutlets/scallopinis, thawed (Gardein)

Directions
In a food processor mix The Veggs and water together until it is combines and no lumps, add hot sauce and process to combine. Remove from the processor onto a plate and set "egg" wash aside. Combine the flour dredge on another large plate and set aside.

Heat oil that comes just 1/3-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Heat it on  medium/high heat to 350 degrees. Use a deep frying thermometer to check temperature. The oil should pop loudly when a sprinkle a little water over the top.

Dip each of the 4 cutlets in the flour dredge, then dip them into the "egg" wash, and back into the flour. Press down and around the sides of the cutlet to work the flour over The Vegg and coat the cutlet. Gently place 1 to 2 at a time into the hot oil. BE VERY CAREFUL with the oil. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until breading is set and golden brown. Gently turn them with tongs and frying spider. 




Carefully remove them from the skillet and drain on a platter lined with paper towels. Sprinkle each cutlet with a little salt and continue cooking each cutlet. Let oil reheat and repeat process for each.
Once cutlets are all done, serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!




-Amy

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vegan Whoopie Pies

Vegan Whoopie Pies

A decadent dessert can be nothing but comforting. With this recipe you combine decadents and comfort with a huge delish dessert. Most kids growing up at some point have a whoopie pie and when we see them it sparks a memory. If you haven't had one you will realize in just one bite, you have a new favorite. It will make you wonder why you haven't had one and you will never turn your back on it again. The recipe makes enough pies to have one each day of the week or you can share with your family and friends, but if you don't want to share that will be our little secret. Enjoy!

Ingredients
(Makes: 7 Completed Whoopie Pies)

Whoppie Cookies-1 cups sugar
-4 or 5 eggs with The Vegg (1 1/1tsp & 1/3 cup hot water)
-3/4 cup vegetable, coconut, or Crisco butter flavored shortening
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1 cup soy milk
-1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
-1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling
-1 cups shortening
-3 cups confectioners' sugar
-1 container marshmallow spread (rice mallow)
-Dash salt
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
-Vegan Milk, if needed to thin out (optional)

Directions
Heat the oven to 350 degrees to make the cookie halves. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the vegan milk and vinegar and allow to sit for five minutes to curdle. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large measuring cup and set aside. Then, using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar until  fluffy, 2 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for one more minute.

In a food processor, process The Vegg and water (1 1/2 tsp & 1/4 cup water). Add this to the sugar mixture and blend. Then slowly add the dry ingredients and the curdled vegan milk to the wet ingredients one at a time, ending with the rest of the flour mixture.

Whoppie Pie Cookie Dough

Scoop mounds of dough about 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Then bake the pie halves, switching racks half way through during the baking, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean, 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the pans before transferring to rack or wax paper for final cooling.

Raw Whoopie Pie Cookie Dough Arranged

Raw Whoopie Pie Cookie Dough Arranged















Baked Whoppie Cookies


























Filling

While the pie halves are cooling, make the filling. Using a stand or hand mixer, mix together the shortening and vanilla until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl during mixing as needed. Then, while mixing on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar. Finally, add the marshmallow creme and mix on low until a smooth and spreadable filling is formed.




Assembly

For assembling the whoopie pies. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a circle tip (or use a ziplock bag with the corner cut off) or with a butter knife. Dollop the filling onto half of the pie halves and spread light to the sides. Top the filled pie with the remaining other pie half and press down slightly. Store in an air tight container and Enjoy!

-Amy

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Vegan Egg Salad

Vegan Egg Salad
On a busy week at work its nice to know that you can make something that is quick and taste you can enjoy when you are home or take with you to work for lunch or even a picnic with your family. This recipe is a quick "egg" salad that you can whip up quick any day and have plenty of leftovers to eat over and over again. This tasty sandwich can be served by itself or with as many toppings as you can handle. Also great with crackers for a nice appetizer meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients
-1 pkg. firm tofu, drained
-1/2 cup homemade vegan mayonnaise (Recipe listed in Blog)
-1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
-1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional amount, less of more if you want it spicey)
-1/2 teaspoon turmeric
-2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
-1/4 sweet red bell pepper, diced small
-1/2 stalk celery, diced
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1  to 2 Tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar (taste at 1 Tbsp and add more if desired)
-Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste 
-1 Tablespoon green olive brine from the jar (juice)
-Green olives, sliced (optional)

To Serve
-Serve on your favorite bread or in a wrap 
-Serve with Fresh sliced Tomatoes, Romaine Lettuce, and sliced Cucumbers.
-Avocado, sliced (Optional)

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl, mash the tofu with a fork or with your hands. Add remaining ingredients and stir together until well combined. Serve on bread or wrap with toppings for an "egg" salad sandwich, or spread on crackers for an hors d'ouerves. Store in the refrigerator at least half an hour before serving. Enjoy!

-Amy

Vegan Ranch Dressing

Vegan Ranch Dressing
Ranch dressings are one of those favorite salad toppings and it makes anything taste yummy. If you are looking for a premade bottled dressings, you won't find many. Not all taste very good either and you don't know if everything is it is the best for your body. Natural ingredients make this recipe fresh and delicious. Makes plenty for continued uses, so you will have plenty of dressing to enjoy on salads or as a dip. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, chunked
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 cup vegan mayonnaise (Recipe listed in Blog)
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1/4 cup parsley leaves, lightly minced
1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh dill, lightly minced
1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives or scallions
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, more if desired to taste
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Directions
Place the scallions (or chive), parsley, dill, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree for 15 to 20 seconds to make a smooth mixture. Add the vegan mayonnaise, vegan sour cream, vinegar, and remaining seasonings blend until smooth. Transfer the dressing to a container, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to develop.

Arrange a salad and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. Enjoy!

-Amy

Friday, February 22, 2013

Vegan Toasted Pecan Toffee

Vegan Toasted Pecan Toffee
I don't think there is one person who doesn't think candy, in some form, isn't comforting. Whether you like it sweet or savory candy can make you happy and in turn, not stop eating it. This recipe consists of both sweet and savory with the sweet melted chocolate and the savory and salty caramel. You top it with extra pecans and you are one step away from heaven. This recipe makes not only a delicious treat for yourself but would also make a great gift for someone special in your life. Pack it up in a cellophane bagging a little bow and/or ribbon and your labor of love is someones special surprise...just try not to eat it all on them! Enjoy!


Vegan Toasted Pecan Toffee

Ingredients

1 cup vegan butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
3 Tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 or 2 1/2 cups pecans, chopped (depends on how much pecans you want)
8 ounces vegan chocolate, chunked or chocolate chips


Directions

Heat oven to 350 Degrees

In a small bowl toss the raw pecans lightly with butter or spray with cooking spray until evenly coated. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a non-stick cookie sheet or a lined baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 5-7 minutes until aromatic, you have to watch them carefully as they are easily scorched. Remove from oven when toasted and allow to completely cool before using in recipe.

On medium heat, in a medium sauce pan add your vegan butter or margarine and melt it. Wait two minutes until the butter is completely melted. Stir in sugar, salt, corn syrup, and water. Cook the mixture, stirring continuously until the mixture bubbles and a thermometer reaches 300 degrees. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of pecans.

*BE VERY CAREFUL, HOT!*
Pour the hot toffee out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread out the mixture onto the sheet in a semi-round form and to the desired thickness you want. Set aside and cool when formed.

Shaped Tofee 

When the toffee is cool,  you can start on the chocolate. In a microwave safe bowl add 4 ounces chocolate and heat the chocolate for 20 to 30 second intervals, stirring after each 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is melts and is completely smooth. Take your melted chocolate and spread it over the cooled toffee and then immediately sprinkle with the 1/2 cup pecans. Take your toffee and let firm up and cool completely until you can carefully flip it over and repeat the same chocolate and pecan process finishing with the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and 1/2 cup of pecans. And let it cool completely again.


Flipped Toffee

Once your finished toffee is completely cooled, you can break it into pieces. Either break into big pieces or smaller with a hammer or knife. Serve or package as gift to someone special. Enjoy!


-Amy 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vegan Shepard's Pie

Vegan Shepard's Pie

Comfort foods during the winter involve gravies for sure. They are hearty dishes or casseroles that are designed to be filling, provide plenty of leftovers, and warm you up on a cold night. Shepard's Pie is definitely the champion of classic casseroles and wins any award in the hearty department. With lots of veggies, luscious gravy, and lots of vegan meat...you will wonder if it will be okay to have seconds...or thirds! Guaranteed to warm you up, serve along side a nice salad and bread or by itself and you are all set for a cozy night in with a plate of love. Enjoy!


Ingredients

Pie Mixture

-Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
-1 packet of vegan ground beef (I used Tofurky), around 2 cups
-Salt & Pepper, to taste
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch diced pieces
-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch diced pieces
-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
-1 Tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire
-1/2 to 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced (use the amount you like) 
-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves or dried
-2 cups vegan beef stock
-2 cups vegan pork stock
-2 bay leaves
-1 bundle fresh thyme, remove leaves and mince
-1 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted

Gravy Roux 
-1/2 cup flour
-4 to 5 Tablespoons vegan butter

Potatoes
-1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled quartered
-2 teaspoons kosher salt, more if need to taste
-3 Tablespoons vegan sour cream or vegan softened cream cheese (I used cream cheese in this recipe)
-6 Tablespoons vegan butter
-2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (Sprinkle on top as well, if desired)
-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast (1 Tbsp inside, 1 Tbsp sprinkled on top)
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-1/2 cup Daiya vegan cheese, you favorite flavor (this one was Jack)
-Vegan Milk, use as needed to loosen to your desired texture 

Directions

Coat a wide pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots to the pan. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme, stirring frequently until the vegetables are translucent and aromatic, about 8 minutes. Add the vegan ground beef and mushrooms to the back to the pan and stir to combine.

Add the vegan stocks to cover the mixture. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Toss in the bay leaves and bring the stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the veggies are completely tender.

To Make Potatoes

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover by 1-inch with tap water. Season the water liberally with salt and bring the water to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the water from the potatoes and pass them while they are still hot through a food mill or smash with a masher until lump free. Beat the vegan butter, cream cheese (or sour cream), 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast, and vegan cheese into the pureed potatoes, add parsley and combine. Taste and season with salt, if needed. The potatoes should be creamy and very flavorful.

How to make the Gravy

In a small frying pan or saucepan, add 4 to 5 Tbsps vegan butter and melt over medium/high heat. Once melted and add flour and whisk to combine. Cook until light brown and the flour is cooked off. Remove from heat and its ready to use in the pie mixture.

Remove the lid from the pie mixture and add the roux. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more to allow the stock level to reduce and the mixture to thicken into a gravy. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. When done, the pie mixture should be thick and stew-like. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

Assembly

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees

Transfer the pie mixture to a wide, flat baking dish or casserole dish. Add your peas on top of the pie mixture and evenly spread. Next, spread the mashed potatoes over the pie mixture in an even layer, sprinkle the top with parsley, nutritional yeast, and a little oil to help brown. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the gravy is bubbly around the edges. Once bubbly, switch oven to broil and broil until the potatoes are golden brown on top. Serve with a salad and be prepared for leftovers. Enjoy!


Pre-Baked Shepard's Pie







Hot out of the Oven






-Amy 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vegan Frostings

Vegan Frostings

What is cake without frosting? Well it would just be wrong that's what that is! Frosting is the perfect last touch on your favorite cupcakes, cake, cookies, etc. These recipes listed are 3 different ones that are popular and can be changed up from time to time with a few additions of different extracts, zest, etc. They are rich and the perfect texture, so try and not lick the spatula...its tough but worth it! Enjoy!

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting


(Makes around 3 cups)

Ingredients
-1/2 cup vegan butter, coconut oil or vegan shortening at room temperature
-1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened (Tofutti)
-3 cup powdered sugar
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the Crisco, vanilla, and room temperature vegan cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low (stir setting), add the sugar slowly (a little at a time, 1/2 cup increments), mix until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Serve with a great vegan red velvet (listed in the blog). Enjoy!

Vegan Vanilla Frosting






(Makes around 4 to 5 cups)

Ingredients
-1 cup vegan butter, coconut oil, or vegan shortening at room temperature
-6 cups powdered sugar
-1/3 cup vegan milk
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the Crisco on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low (stir setting), add the sugar and salt, mix until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the 1/3 cup vegan milk and vanilla. Beat on low until incorporated, then beat on medium high until the frosting is airy and thoroughly mixed, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Serve with a great holiday cookie (just add holiday colors) and decorate, or with a delish cake. Enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Frosting


(Makes about 2 cups)

Ingredients
-1/2 cup vegan butter, coconut oil, or vegan shortening at room temperature
-2/3 cup cocoa powder
-3 cups powdered sugar
-6 Tablespoons vegan milk
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the Crisco on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low (stir setting), add the sugar, salt, and cocoa powder and mix until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the vegan milk and vanilla. Beat on low until incorporated, then beat on medium high until the frosting is airy and thoroughly mixed, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. If you want more frosting for the cake make more, its all up to you and your tastes. Serve on a chocolate cake to really make yourself a chocoholic or great on half moons. Enjoy!

*TIP* 

-You can easily add flavors, zest, and other favorite ingredients to the frost to make a whole new frosting for whatever delish desert you decide to put it on. 

-Amy 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Vegan Half Moon Cookies

Vegan Half Moon Cookies



I get an overwhelmingly response about favorite cookies from people growing up and the one cookie on that top 10 list would have to be Half Moons. They seem to be a comforting item not only for the simply fact that they are delish but also because it sparks that memory for people. Growing up comfort foods are the strongest and I don't think being vegan means giving that up .This recipe will satisfy that craving that you have been looking for and not only make you and your family happy but possibly that inner child that has one thing on the mind...COOKIES! Enjoy!


Vegan Half Moon Cookies
(Makes 12 Cookies)

Ingredients

Cookies
-1 cup vegan milk (your favorite)
-1 teaspoons vinegar
-1/2 Vegan Butter (your favorite)
-1 1/4 cups organic granulated sugar
-1 Tablespoon organic vanilla extract (frontier co op is great)
-2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-3/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Frosting
-1 cup Vegan Butter
-6 cups organic powdered sugar
-1/3 cup vegan milk (your favorite)
-1 Tablespoon organic vanilla extract (frontier co op is great)

*Once one side is frosted, add these to the already made frosting to get the chocolate frosting side.
-1/2 cup cocoa powder 
-2 Tablespoon extra vegan milk

Directions

Heat oven to 350 Degrees

Lightly grease two baking sheets and set side to use later.

Cookies

In a measuring cup, combine the vegan milk and vinegar and let sit for a minute until the mixture starts to curdle. 

Add the Vegan Butter, sugar, and vanilla in the mixer (I used my Kitchen-id), mix well blended.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Once sifted to combine, slowly add the flour mixture and pour in the vegan milk mixture one at a time alternating (ending with flour). Mix to combine until the dough is smooth and a very thick batter forms, will be sticky still.

With a 1/4-cup measuring cup or a ice cream scoop, scoop the batter onto the baking sheets, leaving 3 inches of space between cookies (about 6 per sheet, depending on sheet size). The cookies will spread out a bit, so leave enough room between them. 


Measured Cookie Dough 

Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges/bottom just start to turn golden and the cookies spring back nicely without soft spots. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then carefully remove them from the pan. Flip the cookies upside down onto the rounded side, place them on wire rack or foil to complete cooling. When they are completely cooled, you will be ready to frost them. Prepare you frosting before hand so everything is ready.


Cooked Cookies out of the Oven









Flipped over and cooled Cookies

























Frosting

Vanilla
In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the Crisco on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low (stir setting), add the sugar and salt, mix until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the 1/3 cup vegan milk and vanilla. Beat on low until incorporated, then beat on medium high until the frosting is airy and thoroughly mixed, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once you have made the vanilla use it to decorate and then when you are done you will make the chocolate out of the remaining frosting. 

Chocolate
In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment again, beat the already made vanilla frosting cocoa powder and mix until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the remaining 2 Tbsps vegan milk. Beat on low until incorporated, then beat on medium high until the frosting is airy and thoroughly mixed, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Assembly
Take each cookie and dust off any stray crumbs. With a frosting spatula or butter knife, scoop some icing onto half of the flat side of each cookie, and spread an even layer. Use the edge of the spatula to scrap away any extra icing dripping off the sides. Return cookie to the cooling rack to allow the icing to dry.

While the white icing is drying, return your remaining frosting to the mixer to make the chocolate frosting. Once made use chocolate next to decorate. With the frosting spatula, ice the other half of each cookie with the other icing. Return to the cooling rack to let the frosting set. The cookies are best served the same day, but they can be stored in an container in a single layer for a couple days...if they last that long! Enjoy!

-Amy

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vegan Quiche

Vegan Quiche

What's comforting on a Sunday is something light but filling and packs a delish punch, Quiche is that perfect recipe. They are fairly quick, tasty, and it makes everyone think you worked even harder. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, quiches are easy and crowd-pleasing. Take this quiche for a spin with a recipes that includes Spinach, Baby Portobello Mushrooms, Bacon and Vegan Cheese. Quiches can be easily changed up, you can make a different one with your favorite ingredients and enjoy them over and over again. Serve with a fresh green salad or serve by itself, you will enjoy it morning, noon, or night. Enjoy!

Ingredients

"Egg" Mixture
1 1/2  Tablespoons The Vegg
1 cup hot water
1 cup Tofu, I used extra firm
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
Salt and pepper, to taste


Veggies
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Spinach, uncooked
2 green onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup Mushrooms, chunked into small piece (I used baby portobellos)
4 slices of your favorite vegan bacon, cubed small
1/4 cup vegan Daiya cheese, grated (Any flavor you like, I used Jack)
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pastry
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Crisco, cold
5 to 6 tbsp Water, cold

Optional
You can add extra Nutritional yeast, parsley, and salt & pepper sprinkled on top of the Quiche as well for extra cheesy flavor and decoration.


Directions

Heat the oven to 400 Degrees

Pastry

To make the pastry, combine the flour into a mixing bowl or kitchen aid mixer and add your salt. Slowly add in your chilled Crisco. Add the water gradually, bringing the dough together to incorporate the ingredients. The dough may be sticky but that is fine. Chill dough for 30 minutes


Flour a rolling pin and your worktop and roll out the pastry into a large thin round. Grease a 11 or 12 inch dish (tart pan) and lay the pastry into it. Press it gently round the edge and sides so it fits then trim off any excess dough. Lightly pierce the dough with a fork all around the bottom to prevent bubbles.


Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes in the oven, so it won't be soggy when the filling is added. Remove from the oven and set aside for the filling to be added later.

Filling

Veggies
In a medium/large saute pan add your 2 Tbsp oil and heat to medium/medium high. Add green onions and garlic and saute until slightly translucent and fragrant, 8 minutes or so. Add your mushrooms and bacon, saute for for another 5 minutes. Once mushrooms are cooked season with red pepper flakes and parsley and mix. Add in spinach and cook until wilted, taste and add salt & pepper to taste.

"Egg" Mixture
In a blender add Tofu with the water, The Vegg, cornstarch, and Nutritional Yeast, blend to combine the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To Assemble
Arrange the veggie mixture in the pastry case, spoon/pour in the "Egg" mixture over the top and smooth to evenly cover. Sprinkle more nutritional yeast, parsley, and salt & pepper (if desired).

Bake the quiche for around 45 minutes, until it is cooked and the filling has set, you will see it bubble and brown. The quiche will get less jiggly over time. Once cooked, remove from the oven and top with cheese and a light drizzle of oil and put back into the oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve hot or cold, goes great with fresh green salad or just by itself. When it sits overnight it firms up even more, so it only gets better with time. Enjoy!








-Amy 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Recommended Website


Recommended Website


"At Vegan Cuts, our goal is to make it fun and easy for our members to discover new vegan products and shop vegan."

"Vegan Cuts is run by a vegan couple, John and Jill, who really want to see more people shopping with vegan ethics. A commitment to buying vegan food is a great start, but you can also make a positive difference by choosing vegan options when purchasing clothing, shoes, accessories, body care products and everyday household items. This is why Vegan Cuts features a range of vegan products and encourages members to shop vegan by promoting opportunities to save money while eschewing animal cruelty."

They have a variety of products and categories, the products switch around a lot and the prices are much less than some other sites I have been on. They have specials from time to time, so sign up with your email and you can get those exclusive offers when they appear. Act quickly because the site is great and the prices even better, products tend to sell. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Vegan Open Faced Roast Beef & Gravy

Vegan Open Faced Roast Beef & Gravy
Diners are the mecca for comfort food. Its perfect, there is everything and anything that you can think of that you could want or crave. Most are not the healthiest options but we all love to have these from time to time but not a lot of options for vegans. I make a lot of  recipes and the majority I love to make are diner inspired recipes. This recipe is a vegan version of a diner favorite. You see hot roast beef sandwiches with sides all the time and its always comforting and inviting and this is no different. With its hearty layers and luscious gravy, it will leave you asking "Was that vegan?!". Serve with a side of mashed potatoes or french fries to help sop up that gravy and you have a diner classic turned vegan for your next diner craving. Enjoy!


Ingredients

3 Tablespoons oil or vegan butter/margarine
1/2 pack of Tofurky roast beef deli slices
1/4 red pepper, sliced
1/4 green pepper, sliced
1/4 of a medium onion or half a small onion, thinly sliced
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
2 cups water
2 teaspoon vegan pork bouillon 
1 to 2 teaspoons vegan better than beef bouillon (or any you have)
1/4 cups flour

For Serving

Sliced White (Vegan) 1 to 2 slices for each serving
Prepared Mashed Potatoes on the side as a side dish or French fries (Mashed are pictured)

Directions

In a cast iron skillet or medium to large saute pan, place your oil with sliced onions and peppers with your seasonings and salt and pepper to taste and cook on medium until the veggies are sauteed and tender. Once the veggies are tender mix/whisk in flour, mix and saute to cook out the raw flour taste. Once slightly golden add your water mixed with your bouillons and mix or whisk to combine together for gravy until smooth and leave to wait for vegan beef. 

When your gravy and veggies are done, remove your vegan roast beef and place into the gravy and heat the roast beef through. Once heated, remove and arrange pieces between one to two slices (open faced or as a sandwich) of bread and serve with mashed potatoes or french fries. Smother the sandwich (and mashed or french fries) with gravy and enjoy!

-Amy 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Finger Lickin' Vegan BBQ Sauce




With spring creeping around the corner it makes us think of BBQ's, cook outs, and that good old 4th Of July celebrations where the temperature is high and the amount of food is even higher. This BBQ sauce recipe will have your guests or just you and your family licking their fingers and asking for more. Easy to prepare and with lots of flavor, it will go great with any meat alternative you want to put it on. Pair with a refreshing beverage and you have yourself a warm weather meal that will comfort anyone on a long day. Enjoy!


Vegan BBQ Sauce



Ingredients

-1 cup ketchup
-1 large garlic clove, chunked up
-1 Tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire sauce
-1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-3/4 teaspoon onion powder
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
-2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
-1/4 cup molasses
-2 Tablespoons agave
-2 Tablespoons maple syrup
-1/2 cup soy sauce
-1/2 Tablespoon liquid smoke
-2 teaspoons freshly ginger, finley minced
-1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
-1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
-1 teaspoon dried cilantro
-1 long stem of green onion, chunked up



Directions

Put all ingredients in a medium/large sauce pan, Cook on low to medium heat for 1 hours, whisking every 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, with a slotted spoon (or mesh strainer) strain out the garlic and green onion pieces. Pour into a large container and chill for dinner. Serve with vegan chicken, ribs, pork, tofu, and/or use for dipping or topping. Enjoy!

*TIP*

-If you don't have brown sugar, you can sub in regular sugar or up the other sweeteners.
-Liquid smoke is usually found in the BBQ sauce aisle and is minimal in price.

-Amy 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm a sucker for Valentine's Day, it happens to be my favorite holiday and not the reasons most people think of. I love the prettiness of it all! Its bright, cheery, and the food really does take a turn for the more dramatic and elegance. You have a more upbeat and romantic aspect to everything and its not about the money we spend on each other but the thought we put into what we are giving that matters. As cheesy as it sounds, a gift from the heart is a great way to show someone that you care. With this cupcake recipe along with a dinner at home snuggled up with your sweetheart it will redefine what you think Valentine's Day can mean for the two of you. You don't have to spend a ton on each other to make a loving point but stuffing your faces with these cupcakes will definitely make your night all the more sweeter. Enjoy!


IngredientsMakes Around 18 to 20 cupcakes

Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups plain vegan milk
1/2 cup Softened vegan butter , at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder 
2 to 3 teaspoons red food coloring gel (more or less depending on if you are using gel or coloring/want it darker or lighter)

Frosting

1/2 cup softened vegan butter or coconut oil, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened (Tofutti)
3 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Cake

Heat Oven to 350 Degrees

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the Crisco and sugars on high speed until light, approximately 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, mix well. Measure out the vegan milk and vinegar (don't worry if it separates at all). On low speed, add the flour mixture and the vegan milk mixture alternately one at a time, beginning with the vegan milk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix the batter only until blended. Scrap sides as needed through the process.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake baking pans with cupcake wrapper, 3/4 filled, smooth the top with the batter with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and cake springs back (Check at 20 minutes to gauge your cupcakes firmness and consistency). Cool to room temperature before frosting.

*TIP*

When putting batter into cupcake wrappers or pans I always use a ice cream scoop (hinged), these scooped devices are the perfect device for cupcakes, cookies, and your ice cream as well and gives you even amount every time.

Frosting

In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the Crisco, vanilla, and room temperature vegan cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low (stir setting), add the sugar slowly (a little at a time, 1/2 cup increments), mix until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Assembly

When cupcakes are cooled completely, place on a clean decorating surface and frost the cupcakes with whatever design your desire. In my case I piped them with a decorating safe piping bake and star tip fitted in place and piped a good amount on each. Either way with a piping bag or knife they will turn out fantastic. Sprinkle with your favorite vegan friendly sprinkles, candies, chopped pecans or strawberries, and serve to your sweetheart. Enjoy!


-Amy








Monday, February 11, 2013

Vegan Asian BBQ Spare Ribs

Vegan Asian BBQ Ribs
Chinese food is my ultimate comfort food and I think a lot of people feel the same way. Even if it is a late night craving, treat, or quick dinner decision...we love it and sometime wonder why we don't make it for ourselves from time to time. The problem is a lot of places don't have vegan friendly meat items on the menu. And WAY back in the day I have to admit one of my favorites was this very dish. So I thought to myself...why not make it?! So that's just what I did! With a little day project and a few tricks, I concocted a lovely rendition of a familiar but vegan friendly favorite that will satisfy anyone's craving for a Chinese night. Plus plenty of leftovers to boot but you won't have to call anyone or tip a delivery guy with this recipe! Enjoy!

Ingredients

BBQ Sauce (Makes extra)
1 cup ketchup
1 large garlic clove, chunked up
1 Tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tablespoons agave
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 Tablespoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoons freshly ginger
1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 long stem of green onion chunked up

Asian BBQ Spice Rub (Makes extra)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon cilantro leaves
1 Tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 Tablespoon dried parsley

Seitan Spare Ribs
2 cups vital wheat gluten
3 Tbs. dried onion powder
3 Tbs. dried garlic powder
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups water (Hot)
¼ cup hummus (plain)
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. liquid smoke

For Baking & Serving
1/4 cup Asian BBQ Sauce to spread on ribs for baking
1/2 to 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds for sprinkling on top of ribs
2 Tbsp chopped green onions for garnish after the ribs come out of the oven

Directions

BBQ Sauce

Put all ingredients, and cook on low to medium heat for 1 hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, with a slotted spoon strain out the garlic and green onion pieces. Pour into a large enough container and chill for dinner.




For the Asian Rub

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the spice rub. Mix well and set aside.

Seitan Spare Ribs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a Kitchen-Aid Mixture, combine all the Ingredients (except the water) for the seitan and mix well lightly for 1 to 2 minutes. After the light mixing, add in the water slowly. Knead the dough lightly until everything is combined and the dough feels elastic (scrap down and around as needed). This could take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes.

Grease or spray a baking dish. Add the dough to the baking dish, flattening it and stretching it out to fit the dish. Cut the dough into 8 strips and then in half to make 16 ribs. (if you want the ribs thin, this is enough dough to fill baking sheets. If you want them thick, than there it enough for that as well).




Top the dough with the spice rub and rub it is to coat it around (as much as you want). Bake the seitan for 40 to 50 minutes or until the seitan has a sturdy texture to it but not over baked and too crunchy on thick on top (thinner ribs will cook faster and get crispy quicker). Remove the dish from the oven, re-cut the strips and carefully remove them from the baking dish. Remove from the baking dish and transfer to a cookie sheet.

Increase the oven to 400 degrees

Slather the ribs with you Homemade Asian BBQ sauce and lay them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a bit of toasted sesame seeds. Put the ribs back in the oven for just about 10 minutes so the sauce can get a bit sticky and glazed. Remove from the oven and place on a platter and serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!

-Amy






Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vegan Key Lime Cheesecake

Vegan Key Lime Cheesecake 

Hands down cheesecake has got to be a MEGA comfort food...with a capital C! The thought of it alone makes you think of the extra gym time you will have to do and the guilt sets in but who can really resist and who wants to?! It is by far the most sampled item on any restaurant menu and holidays are just not holidays without them. But I love to switch up the flavors and make them different from time to time and this one definitely makes the winter time more summery with the refreshing citrus flavors. Pair this with nice summery dinner recipes and you have a great menu to spice up any cold winter you may be having. Enjoy!

Vegan Key Lime Cheesecake
Ingredients
2 tubs of Tofutti cream cheese
Juice of two to four key limes or one lime (want 2 to 3 Tbsps juice)
Zest from both key limes or 1 lime
1 box vegan graham crackers or your favorite cookies (I use vegan vanilla)
½ cup vegan butter
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla extract
2 Tablespoon corn starch

Directions

Heat Oven to 350 Degrees

Completely crush the graham crackers or cookies in a food processor until finely combined. After crumbs are done, melt ½ cup vegan butter and add it to the processed crumbs slowly and mix with a fork to combine so that each crumb is coated with vegan butter. Press into a spring form pie pan evenly around the edges and slightly up the sides and set aside for the filling to be added. 

Combine Tofutti cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and mix to combine while scrapping down sides as needed. In a side bowl combine juice and corn starch and whisk, add to cream cheese mixture and mix to combine and scrapping the sides as needed. Pour mixture into prepared pie shell and smooth around.

                                                    

Filling in Spring Form Pan with Crust



Bake for 50 minutes to hour, the cheesecake will spring back a bit and be less giggly over time. Remove from the oven and let cool until you are able to put into the fridge. Leave it in the fridge to set over night and serve with vegan whipped cream or by itself for dinner the next night for best results. Enjoy! 



Whole Vegan Key Lime Cheesecake 


-Amy

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Vegan Bucatini Bolognese

Vegan Bucatini Bolognese

I can't think of anything more comforting than a big plate of pasta. Now if you make that tomato sauce a vegan meat sauce than you really have something not only comforting, but also hearty as well. Young or old, men or women, vegan or non-vegan...we love pasta and nothing satisfies your tummy on a late night more than pasta. Its great to serve to crowds, for a quick dinner for you or the family, and great for dates...I think we all know Lady and the Tramp well enough to know why. This recipe will have you satisfied if you are serving for a party of one or more, great for any date served with salad and garlic bread. Your sure to snag anyone's heart with this recipe, just remember two garlic eaters make a right. Enjoy!


Spaghetti Bolognese


Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoons vegan butter
4 sliced vegan bacon, diced small
1/4 red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 a large yellow onions, diced small
1 large carrot, diced small
2 small celery stalks, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 Tablespoon Nutrional Yeast
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 package Tofurky Ground Beef (6 ounces)
1/2 cup red wine OR 1 Tbsp grey poupon dijon mustard 
4 cups of your favorite vegan tomato sauce (I used non-cheese Prego)
1 cup vegan pork broth (1 cup of water + 1 tsp vegan pork bouillon)
1 Tablespoons dried Parsley
1 Tablespoon dried Basil 
1 pound Bucatini Pasta or Spaghetti (if you don't have Bucatini)
1/2 cup grated Daiya vegan cheese (Mozzarella or Jack: White preferable) 
1 Tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese
Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the vegan bacon and cook, stirring, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and peppers, cook, stirring, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, pepper flakes, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beef , and cook, stirring about 5 minutes. Add the wine (or mustard) and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, and until half of the liquid is evaporated.

Add the tomato sauce, pork broth, bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 1/2 hours to 1 hour. When sauce is done, discard the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning, to taste.  Add 1/2 cup of the vegan cheese and 1 Tbsp parmesan and stir to blend. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Bolognese Finished

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and return the water to a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, until al dente, 7 to 10 minutes (according to package instructions). Drain in a colander (do not rinse, the starch that still on the pasta help the sauce stick).






Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat. Divide among pasta bowls and serve with more vegan parmesan cheese on top and fresh parsley or basil on top. Enjoy!

-Amy

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ultimate Vegan BLT

Ultimate BLT
Most people going to a diner for lunch like to indulge in a BLT from time to time. This classic treat has been consumed for ages and is always a crowd pleaser. I don't see why this has to change for vegans either but why just have a plain old BLT when you can have the ultimate BLT. With these fresh ingredients and homemade touches, this sandwich goes from ordinary to extraordinary. The homemade vegan mayo gives you that classic touch and you will be shocked on how amazing this mayo is compared to the expensive store brands. Put it all on some homemade bread and you really have something special. Enjoy with your favorite chips and/or cup of soup and I don't think you will want to get back to work after indulging in this ultimate treat. Enjoy!


Ingredients

8 slices vegan bacon (seitan or tempeh work great)
4 slices good white bread, cut 1/2-inch thick (Homemade Recipe is listed on Blog)
4 tablespoons good vegan mayo (Homemade Recipe is listed on Blog)
4 to 8 tender green lettuce leaves, washed and spun very dry (I used Romaine, but use your favorite)
1 ripe Hass avocado, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 large ripe tomato, sliced 1/2 to 1/4-inch thick (how you like them)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place vegan bacon in a lightly oiled medium frying pan and arrange in a single layer. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until the bacon is browned and crisp. When cooked, set aside for assembly

Place the bread slices on a sheet pan and toast them for 5 minutes or in toaster for desired brown. If oven, turn the slices and toast for 1 more minute, until all the bread is evenly browned. Place 2 slices on a cutting board. Spread each slice with about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Place 4 slices of bacon on top of each sandwich and then add a layer of tomato slices on top of the bacon. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Peel the avocado and slice it 1/2-inch thick. ( You can toss the avocado slices gently with the lemon juice, if desired to slow browning: 1/2 lemon will do) And finally, cover the slices with a layer of lettuce. 

Spread each of the remaining 2 slices of toasted bread with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and place, mayonnaise side down, on the sandwiches. Cut in half or serve whole with a side of your favorite vegan chips or even a cup of soup. Enjoy!

TIP

-For the Ultimate sandwich try the recipe with the homemade ingredients and you will be truly amazed on how fresh and delish this BLT can be for you and your family.

-Mix your homemade with fresh herbs of your choice and it changes your BLT up to something different. Suggest: Basil or Tarragon for a fresh taste. 




-Amy

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vegan Mayo

Vegan Mayo
I would say that mayo is my top favorite condiments and when I went vegan a long time ago I thought I wouldn't be able to have it anymore. But with exploring, you can find mayo alternatives and I happen to be a big fan of them. What I'm not a fan of is the price and the amount  that you get. I would love to improve upon that and the only obvious answer...make your own silly! This recipe will make you think twice about spending your money on the small expensive vegan mayo's. Great with your favorite sandwiches like a BLT (listed recipe) or mixed to make dips and/or spreads. With a few inexpensive investments on a reusable ingredients you will be able to make this mayo over and over again. Enjoy!

Vegan Mayo

Ingredients

Dressing Mixture

-1 cup vegan milk (original or unsweetened), I used Almond Milk (whiter)
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar, or lemon juice
-1/2 to 1 teaspoons salt (to taste)
-1 teaspoon The Vegg
-1/4 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard or dry mustard (I was out of dry and used prepared)

Thickening Mixture

-1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons cold water
-3 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
-1/2 teaspoon Agar Agar Powder)

Directions

Place all of the Dressing Mixture ingredients into your blender and set aside and lightly blend for 30 seconds.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, mix together the water and agar agar from Thickening Mixture and let sit for a few of minutes. Add the cornstarch and whisk well. Take the measuring cup and microwave on HI for 1 & 1/2 minutes. Whisk every 30 seconds, until thick and translucent (it will look funny, thick, and gloppy). Make sure to scrape the bottom of the measuring cup with the whisk, so that no cornstarch gets left at the bottom.

Scrape the cooked Thickening Mixture into the blender containing Dressing Mixture. Once the ingredients are all mixed, blend until the mixture is frothy and emulsified (you can't see any chunks from thickening mixture).

This mayo doesn't get thick as you blend it, like regular mayonnaise. It will thicken in a few hours or you can store over night in the refrigerator as well. Pour into a clean pint jar, cover and refrigerate. You will know its done because it should be firm enough like regular mayo.

Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

-Amy 

Vegan White Bread

Vegan White Bread

I think most comfort foods are either served on bread or on the side with a dish. Bread is an indulgent treat and a favorite for anyone that brown bagged it in school. With this recipe you get two big loaves of white bread that can be served with your favorite stews or made into a delish sandwich of your choice. The beauty of making your own bread is insuring that it is fresh, completely vegan, and you know there are no preservatives. It is a labor of love but the results don't lie. When you know what goes into scratch made items, you feel better about what is going into you body. Enjoy with the vegan BLT listed and you have a perfect lunch or dinner.

Vegan White Bread

Ingredients
2 cups warm water, careful not to get it too hot or cold or the yeast won't activate
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour, I had reg and used that

Directions

Microwave 1/4 cup of water for about 1 minute in a microwave measuring cup. Put yeast into the measuring cup, add about 1 teaspoon of the sugar to the yeast into the warm water. Whisk and let sit for about 10 minutes, the yeast foams up and double.

Attach the dough hook to your Kitchen Aid mixer and add 4 cups of the flour, salt, and the remaining sugar to the mixing bowl; turn the mixer on stir speed speed and mix together. Add the remaining warm water, the yeast mixture, and the oil and incorporate the mix.

After Rising 1 Hour
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn to speed 2 and begin to add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough cleans the sides of the mixer bowl and clings to the hook. Continue kneading on speed 2 for about 2 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic but still slightly sticky.

Spray top of dough and sides of mixing bowl with a light coat of non-stick spray or oil, turn the dough over and spray the top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place into a warm, draft free spot for about 1 hour or until doubled. I used my oven that is not on.

After the hour has passed, punch down and turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Separate into two pieces, cover with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Flatten into a rectangle and roll up,pinch the seams together and tucking in the ends.

Flattened Out

Spray two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray or grease with oil and place the shaped loaves into the pans. Put in a warm spot and allow to rise for 30 minutes more. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest in baking dishes until cool enough to handle and eat. Serve with your favorite bread dishes, perfect for a vegan BLT (recipe listed) or just with butter and jam. Enjoy!

Last Rising as Loaves

-Amy

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Meatloaf

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Meatloaf

Comfort can be cheesy, it could be sweet, or it could be savory but either way all around it is satisfying and all you want after enjoying it, is to have it over and over again. This recipe combines the cheesy, sweet, and savory combination with a meatloaf that will knock your socks off. Quick and easy as well, your family will be asking for more and wondering why they haven't tried this before. I hope you and/or your family likes this next dish. Enjoy!

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Meatloaf

Ingredients

Meatloaf

1 Gimme Lean Vegan Beef Log
2/3 cups grated vegan cheese (I used Daiya Jack)
1 Tablespoon barbecue sauce
2 Tablespoon ketchup
Salt to taste, depending on what vegan meat you use
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon vegan bacon bits
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
1 Tablespoon Parsley, dried or fresh (finely minced if fresh)
4 teaspoon plain prepared hummus (I use Sabra brand)
1 Tablespoon oil, I used olive

Optional

-Add veggies to the meatloaf that you like and mix in. I like 1/4 red pepper, 1/4 cup green pepper, and 1/2 cup of onions sauteed in a pan with a little oil until caramelized and soft and added to the meatloaf after sauteed. It bulks it up and makes it heartier. Add what you like or leave the meatloaf without and either way its delish!

Topping

1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 cup barbecue sauce
Parsley to sprinkle on top (optional)

Directions

Heat the oven to 375 degrees 

Grease a loaf pan or small baking dish and set aside for meatloaf.

*Make sure you have everything ready before the mixing because your hands will be too messy to do anything else...so hold your calls. 

Pour vegan meat log into a large bowl. Add all your ingredients but the vegan cheese (save) and mix with your hands until just combined. Once meat mixture is together, now you can add the vegan cheese and mix to combine.

Place the meat mixture into the greased dish and spread around until it meets the sides and is 1/2 inch thick. Be prepare to wash your hands after, you get a little messy. 

Bake for 40 minutes. Half way through the baking (20 minutes in), place the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup and 1/8 cup barbecue sauce topping on top of the meat. Sprinkle with parsley (optional) and continue cooking for the remaining 20 minutes. When done with the cooking I turned off the oven and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes in the oven before serving . Once set and out of oven arrange on a serving platter and serve with mashed potatoes, homemade vegan mac and cheese (recipe listed as well) and a green salad, or your favorite sides. Serves even better as a leftover meatloaf sandwich the next day. Enjoy!


Meatloaf after Baking


-Amy