Friday, August 25, 2017

Pressure Cooker Vegan Beef Stroganoff

Pressure Cooker 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. I've made stove top versions and sometimes I don't have all the time in the world to get it all done with 3 kiddos running around, so the pressure cooker is my best friends in the kitchen. I can do to 1 dish what it takes hours to do in the kitchen, with even more favor. 

This recipe will show you how to easily make a classic comforting favorite in a fraction of the time so you have time to enjoy your day and your family in the process. 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!

Pressure Cooker Vegan Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

2 cups vegan beef broth + 1 teaspoon vegan chicken bouillon (adds a great flavor together)
2 Tablespoons vegan butter or oil preferred
1 (16oz) bottle Ripple Half & Half or your favorite thick vegan milk (combo vegan cashew & full fat coconut cream works great also)
1 packet Hans Vegetarian Brown Gravy Mix (if you don't have it, sub in 2-3TBSP cornstarch in your liquid mixture instead)
1 Tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire Sauce 
1 teaspoon liquid aminos
1 Tablespoons fresh or dry Parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular is fine also)
12 oz egg-free egg noodles (Walmart brand)
1 bag frozen vegan meatballs
3-4 cups chopped mushrooms (I used creminis)
1-2 Tablespoons minced onion (or dried onion flakes)
8 oz vegan cream cheese, softened (I used tofutti brand)
Seasoned Salt, to taste (if you don't have seasoned salt, use whatever you have)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Directions

*I use an Electric Pressure Cooker for this, time will vary for a stove top version.*

First, Add vegan beef broth, vegan milk, vegan cream cheese, onion, mushrooms, vegan Worcestershire, spices, herbs, packet mix or cornstarch and water into the Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot). Whisk enough to break down the vegan cream cheese, but it doesn't have to be perfect because it will be melted when you finally stir it up in the end. 

Next, Add in the package of egg-free egg noodles into the Pressure Cooker. Stir the liquid mixture and noodles to combine.






Layer the meatballs on top of the egg noodles in a single layer. (DO NOT STIR)

Manually set the Instant Pot to cook for 6 minutes, sealed. When your pressure cooker is done and goes off, release the steam valve to venting. Once the steam has completely released, carefully open the lid of pressure cooker away from you. Your last step is to stir and mix thoroughly. Pair it with a garden salad and fresh bread. Serve & enjoy!

-Amy 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The BEST Vegan Banana Cake

The BEST Vegan Banana Cake

Some food means more then others. If you're curious what I mean, sometimes food evokes emotion when we eat it. It takes us back to a special time in our lives, whether that's a memory of a loved one that used to make it for us, one that has passed away. It's something that will last forever in our memory. Those foods to me are the best and why I cook comfort foods, people seem to emotional connect to those more and I love when that memory pops up when they're eating what you make. This cake evokes a very special memory for me and my husband. We had banana cake at our wedding, for my husbands grooms cake. I surprised him with it when we went to cut our cake, they rolled it out and it was a big batman logo (because he's a giant batman fanatic). He was so excited and I think ate his weight in banana cake for a week. Which I think is adorable because my twins are now in love with this cake as well, just like their dad.

This recipe shows you how to make in my opinion, the BEST banana cake ever. Now that's a mighty big statement to make but I think it will hold up to its name. With its moist spongy cake, perfectly sweetened interior, paired with the luscious frosting...you can't go wrong! Enjoy this cake for any occasion, but perfect for birthdays. I know my kids love it and give it a thumbs up for approval. Pairs great by itself or along side a tall glass of vegan milk or better yet, vegan ice cream of your choosing...may I suggest, chocolate or peanut butter. You'll thank me later, Enjoy!

The BEST Vegan Banana Cake

Ingredients


CAKE

1 1/3 cup mashed bananas (3-5, depending on the size of your bananas)
2 1/2 Tablespoons organic lemon juice, divided
1 1/2 cups vegan milk, I used Ripple half & half (it's a thicker/richer milk, if you don't have it try cashew or soy)
3 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegan butter, softened
1 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
Egg substitute equal to = 3 eggs (I used The Vegg, but Follow Your Heart The Vegan Egg works well too)
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

FROSTING
(Makes: 3 cups)

-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


Additional Info
(Links provided below for Different Frosting Recipe, they may have to be reduced by half to accommodate this recipe or if you like frosting in mass quantities, go crazy!)

This recipe is great with a variety of different frostings, you can do a traditional Vegan White Frosting. Go more decadent with a luscious Peanut Butter Frosting OR go crazy delicious with Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Directions 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.

Start by smashing your bananas. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place the bananas in and turn the mixer on medium-high to mash the bananas. This is a very simply way to mash the bananas without making another bowl dirty and no effort on your part...best part!

Mashed Bananas
Next, add in 1 tablespoon lemon juice, set aside as well.

Place 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice in a measuring cup. Top to 1 1/2 cups with vegan milk and set aside for when you need it later. This will look curdled, that's what you want.


Beat together the softened vegan butter, brown and white sugar until combined. Add in vegan egg substitute and vanilla next. Mix on high until light and fluffy (almost the texture of frosting, this is called creaming)

Once the mixture is creamed together, add in your bananas and mix to combine. 

In a separate medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.


You'll start combining everything now. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the vegan milk to creamed mixture stirring just until combined. (Do not overmix).

Banana Cake Batter
Put into the oven and Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If it's still soft in the middle, give the cake another 5 mins and check, recheck until done. (do not over bake). When the cake it done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the vegan butter/coconut oil, 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. 


When the cake is complete, keep its on your counter or better yet in your fridge, I love the texture it gets in the fridge when it solidifies a bit. Pair it with vegan milk or even better, vegan ice cream. Enjoy! 

-Amy