Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin and Cat Halloween Cake Pops

Recently I heard a rumor about preparing "accidentally" vegan cake mixes using pumpkin puree in lieu of oil and eggs. Since it sounded interesting, I gave it a whirl. It worked pretty well, and I decided to make Halloween cake pops using the cake.

It was an extremely moist cake and the result is rather tasty and fun to decorate. Next time I would probably make the crazy cake recipe for cake pops and save the pumpkin recipe for cake or cupcakes. My sister came over and we came up with a couple design ideas and below is the result.

Pretty cute huh?

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Pops

1 package of vegan chocolate cake mix
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
amount of water called for in recipe
 3/4 to 1 1/4 cup chocolate frosting (see below for recipe) or use vegan Duncan Hines Chocolate Frosting

Preheat oven to recommended temperature on box. I used the Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix. Combine water and can of pumpkin puree to cake mix. Follow instructions on box for preparation.

Once baked, allow to cool and flip cake into a mixing bowl. Break apart cake into crumbs, and add chocolate frosting (see recipe below). Mix until it looks like the picture below. Start with less frosting first since you can't go back once it is added.

Roll it into balls, and add paper sticks. Place in freezer for 3-4 hours. Start to prepare the chocolate coating (see instructions below), add the ears onto the cake pop by dabbing a bit of melted chocolate onto a chocolate chip to make the ears stick. Put them back into the freezer until you are ready to coat them.

It is important to lay out your decorating materials before starting the coating, because the chocolate will dry pretty quickly. Once ready, roll pop in melted chocolate, decorate, and stick into a Styrofoam base to allow it to harden.

Chocolate Coating 

1 package of E. Guittard semi-sweet wafers
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
1 Tbsp. Coconut oil

Melting the chocolate, margarine, and coconut oil in a double broiler. You could experiment and probably eliminate the margarine by adjusting the amount of coconut oil.

Here is the chocolate I used, which I found at Williams Sonoma:

Chocolate Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 - 1/3 cup coconut milk beverage
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup powdered cocoa

First cream together the shortening and margarine, and then add in the vanilla and cocoa powder. Next add the powdered sugar and coconut milk by alternating between the two and mixing in between additions. Do this until it is all added.

Then beat the frosting for 10 minutes, it will give it the light fluffiness. Don't skimp on the time, trust me on this one. If it doesn't seem creamy enough after everything is added, you can put in a little extra coconut milk beverage.

Happy Halloween!

In the meantime, don't forget to go enter the giveaway this week for a chance to win vegan butterscotch chips or a copy of The 30 Day Vegan Challenge.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Liebster Awards: Feeling the Love

Liebster Award!

What? Huh? I tried to track down the origin of this Liebster Award, but alas tired quickly. It appears to be the blog form of a "chain letter." Regardless, I think it is an excellent opportunity to share my new favorite blogs.

Thanks to Dawn from VeganAm and Kelly fromThree and a Half Vegans for each awarding me a Liebster award. It really made my day to have that acknowledgement! Below is the spiel that is circulating about it.

“Liebster” is German and means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea behind this award is to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers and show your support during Vegan Mofo!

The rules of winning this award are as follows:
1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the www!

My top five new blogs I've been so lucky to find, thanks to Vegan Mofo are:

How about you? Have any new favorites?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pecan Butter Truffle Pumpkins

Lately I can't seem to get enough pecan butter, so these delectable chocolate confections were born. It is coated in white chocolate colored orange. Since pecan butter has a thinner consistency, it was necessary to freeze them to keep the filling from melting into the chocolate.

The recipe still requires a little tweaking, but they are definitely worth making. Once I get it perfected, I'll post the revisions. I wish these weren't still in my kitchen tempting me to snack way too late at night.

Pecan Butter Truffles "Pumpkins"

1 bag of vegan white chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. canola oil
orange food coloring

1 cup pecan butter
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker or cookie crumbs
1/4 cup softened Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
2-3 cups powdered sugar

In mix together the pecan butter, graham cracker/cookie crumbs, softened margarine (not melted), and powdered sugar. Start with 2 cups of powdered sugar and add more if it is hard to roll into balls. I made it in the food processor, but you don't need to. Roll into balls and store in freezer overnight.

Prepare coating by melting white chocolate chips in a double broiler. Add in the food coloring and oil to thin out the chocolate. You could try using margarine too. Once chocolate is melted, remove pecan balls from the freezer and roll in chocolate until coated well. Place them on wax paper to harden. Add a pretzel rod split into  thirds for the pumpkin stem.

Vegan Camping!

Recently we took the plunge and went on our first family camping trip. In order to test the waters, we stuck close to home in case the whole thing blew up in our face. Luckily it didn't and fun was had by all.

Any vegan camping trip would not be complete without veggie dogs and roasted veggies. As evidenced by the photo above and below, they REALLY enjoyed roasting the veggie dogs. To prevent them from blistering, lightly spray with canola oil before roasting. We used baskets to roast the veggies, and it worked best when they were wrapped in foil.

You can see my son eating his without a bun, and man does he ever have a tight grip on it. This vegan kiddo loves himself a veggie dog.

While on our trip we made scrumptious vegan s'mores. We even bastardized them a bit, by using candy  bars on a couple instead of chocolate. Unfortunately, they didn't last long enough to photograph, but I made some s'mores with peanut butter cups at home later.

We couldn't leave our "dooger" Polly behind, our affectionate nickname for the sweetest Beagle in the whole wide world. She loved being outside and snuggling up in the tent.

If we didn't have little kids, I probably would've tried a more challenging breakfast, but for our first time bagels worked quite nicely.

All in all, we had a super time, and the kids are already asking to go again. Mission camping with two small children was a success!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vegan Vegkins Halloween Party Part Deux

The second annual vegan Vegkins Halloween party was a success. Twin cities represent! To keep it simple for food, we did a potluck again. I can't think of a more perfect way to learn new family friendly recipes, than having parents make their favorites at a potluck. If you are looking for other party ideas, check out my previous posts on Easy Vegan Halloween Food, White Chocolate Ghosts, and Homemade Halloween Candy.

There were a few Halloween themed goodies I just have to share with you. The first was a mom's first time baking vegan, and boy did it turn out delicious and festive! She told me that the recipe came from Veg News, which was linked up to Chef Chloe's recipe for Witches Fingers, you know the one that won Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. Yep, a vegan cupcake took the cake so to speak!

The next thematic dish was spaghetti worms with veggie meat eyeballs. Not only was it eye-catching (get it, eye catching), but it was a festive dish for our event. This was made by Betsy, who also shared her technique for peanut butter blossoms. She has some mad talent!

Not only did she make the kid-friendly spaghetti dish, she also carved this awesome brain watermelon. It looked fabulous!

I could go on and on about the other food, but lets get on to the fun had all around, with a craft, games, and a costume contest. Here is Anna from These Little Piggies have Tofu working on a Halloween mobile.

Between meal time and games, the kids all created a kid "mosh pit" type of game inside at folded up gymnastic floor mat. Kids really can have fun with just about anything!

Al and his wife Jen from These Little Piggies Had Tofu, planned the games for the party. They did not disappoint! The first was a musical shapes game. The kid's danced to music, when it stopped they needed to find an animal to stand on. Everyone played until they all had a chance to win.

The kid's loved Pin the Tail on the Cat, and some wanted multiple turns. Look how cute the kitty cat blind fold glasses were for the game!

At the end, we announced winners of the costume contest and then everyone got a treat bag full of vegan goodies to take home.

Do you attend or throw a vegan Halloween party for your kiddos? If not, you can always start up your own group. A fine place to start is online. There are vegan meet up groups all over the country on there, a perfect place to meet other parents. Our group is linked in with the Animal Rights Coalition, which send prospective families our way as well. Happy Party Planning

Don't forget to enter the contest to win either some butterscotch chips or a copy of 30 Day Vegan Challenge.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vegan Mofo Giveaway Number 4: 30 Day Vegan Challenge, Butterscotch Chips

For newbie vegans or those of you are interested in trying it out, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge, is the perfect book. If you haven't looked out any of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's books, please do. I use The Joy of Vegan Baking frequently. The gingerbread scones are my favorite holiday treat. For a chance to win this book, or some delicious butterscotch chips from Vegan Essentials, please see details below. 

The two winners will be chosen next Saturday, October the 29th. One for the 30 Day Vegan Challenge and one for butterscotch chips.

The winners are: Kala (Vegan Craftastic) won butterscotch chips and Ashley F. won a copy of 30 Day Vegan Challenge. Congratulations!

Here is how you enter:

1) First subscribe to my blog. If you are already a follower, skip to step 2
2) Write in the comments what you would make with vegan butterscotch chips
3) For extra entries into the contest, like Growing Up Veg on FB, follow me on tumblr (, and twitter (@Vegan_Momma).
4) You can get an extra entry for tweeting or reblogging this contest too!

Please note shipping to domestic addressees only.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Easy Vegan Halloween Party Food

Halloween themed food need not be complicated. As parents of young children, it is more of a challenge to get things done while trying to keep an eye on your kids. Some of these options are fun for them to help out preparing, which is a double win - getting stuff done and the kids are involved.

Above is a simple plate with crackers and pumpkin cheese using your favorite vegan cheese. The other crackers have cream cheese on them with veggie ham bats. The kids liked to help cut out the shapes, as well as eating the scraps.

These are Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting, hands down my favorite Halloween treat. If you want to use a boxed cake mix, follow the instructions on the mix substituting 1/3 apple sauce for each egg, and add a Tablespoon of vinegar. I've done that with a Duncan Hines spice cake, and it worked perfectly.

Not into spice cake (really?) or maybe you just prefer chocolate. You really can't go wrong with chocolate, can't argue with that. Make some owl cupcakes using vegan creme filled cookies for the owl eyes, a runt for beaks, and chocolate chops for pupils.

If you'd rather use a pre-made mix to save time, I've got instructions on how to veganize this Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix. You could try rolling them out and cutting them into shapes.

These white chocolate ghost pops are a cute treat to serve. If you need help getting started with home candy making, check out my post on homemade Halloween chocolates.

Don't feel like baking? Trader Joe's Halloween Joes Joes have got you covered. They are chocolate pumpkin cookies with vanilla creme filling. There are a variety of pumpkin faces, which are really cute.

I hope this helps get your party rocking. More Halloween themed posts coming up too!

In the meantime, don't forget to go enter the giveaway this week for a chance to win Go Max Go candy bars or a copy of Appetite for Reduction.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

I always love this time of year, particularly for the squash and pumpkin dishes. Roasted butternut squash is a household favorite with second, third, and forth helpings requested.

Wait don't throw those seeds away! Oh my, these are so nummy! There were a couple squabbles over this treat, since there aren't as many seeds as a good size pumpkin would have inside it.

They are so divine just roasted in the oven until golden brown. All you need to do is: lightly spray a pan, spread out rinsed seeds on pan, lightly spray tops with oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast in oven on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as they cook faster than pumpkin seeds.

It would make a tasty treat for a small Halloween party, but if there are a lot of people coming they'll disappear too fast for everyone to get some. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Easy Vegan Cream Cheese Wontons

What is that you say, there is vegan cream cheese? Of course there is, but most people count it out without even trying it. In fact, there are multiple brands to choose from including: Galaxy Foods Cream Cheese, Better Than Cream Cheese by Tofutti, Follow Your Heart Cream Cheese, Creamy Sheese, and Dr. Cow's Cashew Nut Cream Cheese. Which is your favorite?

Every person I know who've tried it says the EXACT same thing: "this tastes just like cream cheese," to which I laugh, because it IS cream cheese - just not from cow's milk.

These were so simple to prepare, and my hubby would make "the last batch" only to determine another round needed to be fried up. He is a lucky man, in that he has an extraordinary metabolism of which I am extremely envious. He could.not.stop.eating.them!

Guess I know what to make for his birthday dinner coming up. At the store, I didn't see wonton wraps, and just picked up pot sticker wraps. They worked out perfectly.

Vegan Fried Cream Cheese Wontons

1 package of wonton wraps or pot sticks wraps
1 package of vegan cream cheese
1 bunch of green onions chopped
Canola or vegetable oil for frying.

First chop up the green onions. Pre-heat oil in small frying pan or deep fryer if you so choose on between medium-low and medium heat. A 1/4" layer of oil in the frying pan worked well for us.

Assemble wontons by adding 1/2 tsp. green onions to each and 3/4 tsp. vegan cream cheese. wet the edges of the wrapper by dipping your fingers in a bowl of water. Pinch together and add to frying pan.

Cook until brown on one side, and flip to brown other sides. Warning: they cook fast, but that is a good thing right?

Remove from oil and let cool on a towel to soak up excess oil. Serve hot, and just try to keep them around for longer than a few minutes. They won't last I promise you!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vegan White Chocolate Halloween Ghosts

Every year for Halloween I make some homemade vegan chocolates. A couple autumns ago, I posted about making pumpkin peanut butter cups, chocolate bats, white and dark chocolate acorns with maple filling, and white chocolate ghosts.

The past couple years I've always been involved in planning Halloween parties for the kids. Last fall was the first Vegkins Halloween party. It is a group of vegan/vegetarian families that meet monthly. My friend Al, over at These Little Piggies have Tofu also posted about last year's party.

We are keeping the tradition going with the second annual Vegkins Halloween party this coming weekend. It should be a hoot for the kids. They will be noshing on an all vegan potluck meal and treats, working on a Halloween craft, and playing a couple games.

In celebration of the upcoming holiday, most of this week's posts will be Halloween related.

In the meantime, don't forget to go enter the giveaway this week for a chance to win Go Max Go candy bars or a copy of Appetite for Reduction.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vegan Mofo Giveaway Number 3: Go Max Go Candy Bars & Appetite for Reduction


Go Max Go was so generous as to offer up 6 candy bars to give away for vegan mofo. If you miss candy bars from your childhood, these are the answer. In fact, I think these versions are actually much better. They are so fresh and delicious. They've got Jokerz like a Snickers, Twilight a Milky Way, Buccaneer a 3 Muskateers, Mahalo an Almond Joy, Cleo's a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and Snap is like a Krackel or Nestle Crunch. If you haven't tried these, do yourself a favor and get yourself one or two or three.

Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the second book I'm giving away for Mofo. If you are unfamiliar with her books, you REALLY need to check them out. From Veganomicon, to Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Brunch, to the new Vegan Pie in the Sky (of how I want this so bad!), she has solidified her name as a vegan chef to be reckoned with so many marvelous cookbooks under her belt. If you aren't able to buy one, please go to your library (after entering this contest), and also check out the Post Punk Kitchen

The winners will be choosen next Thursday, October 20th. Two winners of 3 Go Max Go each, and one winner of Appetite for Destruction. Three chances to win!

Contest closed, and the winners are: Appetite For Reduction: Oliver Danni, aka “choirqueer” and winners of 3 Go Max Go candy bars each: SillyKittyGirl and Lizzie Bordello. Congratulations to the lucky winners!

Here is how you enter:

1) First subscribe to my blog (i.e. must be a blog follower to win). If you are already a follower, skip to step 2.
2) Write in the comments which candy bar you'd like to try most from Go Max Go.
3) For an extra entry into the contest, like Growing Up Veg on FB, follow me on tumblr (, and twitter (@Vegan_Momma).
4) You can get an extra entry for tweeting or reblogging this contest too!

Please note shipping to domestic addressees only.

Vegan Spaghettios with Veggie Dogs (Gluten free option)

Back in college, my boyfriend (now hubby) and I went on a month long road trip out east. There was a lot of camping, or sleeping in the bed of my truck to keep costs down. One of our easy go to meals was vegan spaghettios. When you are just using a small camping stove for each meal, it is all about simplicity.

Sadly, they no longer make those tasty spaghettios, which is too bad for vegan kiddos everywhere. For that reason, I decided to try making some at home. It is a pretty simple meal, but had the kids asking for seconds.

It would be very simple to make this recipe gluten free, by simply using quinoa or rice pasta. This version is much healthier than what you'd find in a can. It has carrots and nutritional yeast, along with whole wheat pasta.

Vegan Spaghettios

1 large 24 oz. jar of tomato sauce with no salt
1 1/4 cup whole wheat alphabet pasta
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt (optional, only if your tomato sauce is no salt)
1/2 cup pureed carrots or 1 jar of pureed carrot baby food
3-4 veggie dogs sliced into chunks (Soy Boy makes a gluten free veggie dog)

First bring a large sauce pan half full of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package. While the pasta is cooking, heat the tomato sauce with the remaining ingredients (except veggie dog slices) until it just starts to bubble.

Turn down the heat to a simmer. You will need to wisk the sauce intermittently to incorporate all the seasonings. Add veggie dogs a couple minutes before the pasta is cooked. Drain the pasta and mix with sauce. Yum!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Chunkamole" or Chunky Avocado Chip Dip

Honestly this recipe is so simple I'm almost embarrassed to post it, but decided to after being asked for the recipe a few times. Sometimes simplicity is just perfect when it comes to food.

My hubby was out of town, which is why I've been flagging on my blogging. Two little kids, two cats, and a dog require a lot of time when there is only one person to do everything. Now it is back on, well after this simple recipe that is.....

Chunky Avocado Chip Dip

3 medium avocados
1 small onion or 1/2 a medium sized ones
1 small tomato
1 Tbsp. lime juice (option)
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Monday, October 10, 2011

Classic Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

As I've said before, I veganized a few recipes while transitioning to being vegan many years ago. This was the first one I converted. It is a recipe I've got memorized in my head and isn't written down anywhere. Now it finally will be.

The new addition to the recipe are the peanut butter chips I recently developed a simple recipe for last spring.  These are so delicious, and I hope you enjoy them!

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 egg replacer equivalents or 1/2 cup applesauce
2 1/4 flour
1 bag of vegan chocolate chips

First pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl cream together the sugars and non-hydrogenated margarine. Next add vanilla and egg replacer and mix well. Then add the flour and mix until fully combined. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips by hand. 

Scoop out 1-2 tbsp. of cookie dough and space 1-2 inches apart, depending on the size of the cookies you are making. Bake for 9 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before removing them to eat.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores

Recently our family went camping for the first time. The idea for peanut butter cup s'mores was born on that trip. I've been slightly obsessed with creating them since, and feel sated now I've gotten my fix. And yes, it is as good as it looks.

There is no complicated baking or instructions here, sometimes simple is all you need for a scrumptious outcome.

Today I was at Ethique Nouveau, our lovely twin cities vegan store, and picked up some Go Max Go Cleo Peanut Butter Cups. Oh man, are they ever good!

You can also grab some Dandies vegan marshmallows there too, or at Whole Foods. All I did was roast up some marshmallows, and toss the peanut butter cup on some graham crackers, and sandwich in the warm marshmallows. Melty, ooey, gooey deliciousness followed.

Honestly it was a challenge to stop and photograph it. I wanted to eat it RIGHT AWAY. The second I was done, this was polished off in no time!

Below is a s'mores bar I made in last fall, so I'd have a good recipe to enjoy s'mores when the snow flies. It is more work than pb cup s'moes, but I promise it won't disappoint! Just an idea to file away for a later date.

Don't forget to enter the two Mofo giveaways I've got going now. The first is for a $25 gift certificate at Vegan Essentials (ends today, Saturday October 8th). The second is for 18 Eli's Earth Bars (2 winners) and a copy of Vegan Lunch Box (1 winner), which ends next Wednesday, October 12th.

Crispy Seitan Bites and Rainbow Chard Mushroom Stir Fry

I wish that I could take credit for these, but this meal was completely prepared by my hubby while I baked 5 dozens cupcakes. It was so darn good, I wish there was more left. None of it lasted long.

Since I'm pretty sure most people can handle grapes and rolls, the recipes for the crispy seitan bites and rainbow chard mushroom stir fry is bekow.

Crispy Seitan Bites

1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup  corn meal
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 c water (approx.)
canola oil (1/4-1/3 cup for frying)
1 package (8 oz) seitan

Add the oil to a small pan to a depth of 1/4-1/2" and heat on medium.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl then whisk in the water, adding more as necessary to make a thick batter.

Cut the seitan into small strips or cubes, then dip in the batter and place in the heated oil. Fry for a few minutes until golden brown, then flip and cook a few more minutes on the other side. Remove the seitan from the oil and dry on a paper towel-lined plate and serve hot.

If  you have any batter left over, slice up some dill pickles and fry them the same way.

Rainbow Chard Mushroom Stir Fry

1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
2 medium onions, diced
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp. oil

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat, then add all ingredients. Cook covered for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft. Remove the cover and cook a few more minutes until most of the liquid has cooked off. Salt to taste and serve hot.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vegan Black Bean Juicy Lucy

Yep, I dared to bastardize the carnivore version of a juicy lucy. Guess what, it was pretty darn tasty too. The thing is I didn't stop eating meat, dairy, and eggs because it tasted bad. On the contrary, it tastes good, but I refuse to accept all that comes with it for the simple pleasure of my taste buds.

That being said, when I saw an advertisement for a juicy lucy, I knew there needed to be a vegan version of it. Sometimes a thing so wrong, is just oh so right. It wasn't my first foray in re-creating an healthier version of a animal product laden food. Just check out the Vegan Sausage Bacon Tofu Biscuit with Cheese.

Below you'll find a recipe for a much healthier version of the standard juicy lucy without sacrificing the taste.

Vegan Black Bean Juicy Lucy Buger

1 meduim size onion
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup carrots
2 cans of black beans drain and rinsed well
1 package of seitan ( I used West Soy 8 oz. pkg)
3 tsp. garlic powder or 5-6 minced cloves of garlic
2 tsp. sage
2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. liquid hickory smoke
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup corn meal
1 bag Daiya cheese or package of Cheddar Cheezly

Burger Toppings: 
tomato, onion and lettuce

Preheat oil in skillet while chopping the onion, then add and saute. While that is cooking, chop up the seitan and add it to the pan.

In a food processor add remaining ingredients with the exception of the Daiya cheese and toppings. Run until all the components are mixed and combined well.

Remove onions and seitan and allow it to cool (in the meantime prepare your tomato, lettuce or any other toppings). Add the onions and seitan and process until smooth.

Heat 2-3 Tbsp. of oil in pan to fry up black bean patty. While it is warming up, line a 4 1/2" glass bowl with saran wrap and lightly spray with oil. Add a bottom layer to shape patty, then add 2-3 Tbsp. of Daiya or Cheezly cheese.

Press cheese into patty, then cover with more black bean patty, and press down firmly on the top.

Flip out patty into your hand, and then into the pan.

Here is what a black bean patty looks like after it is flipped out.

Cook until golden on one side, and then flip and repeat on the other one. Don't forget to lightly spray the glass bowl between patties, or then won't flip out as easily. Here is what they look like done:

We also added other condiments like ketchup, vegenaise, mustard, or hot sauce. My hubby puts hot sauce on EVERYTHING! Then voila' 

Don't forget to enter the two Mofo giveaways I've got going now. The first is for a $25 gift certificate at Vegan Essentials (ends Saturday October 8th). The second is for 18 Eli's Earth Bars (2 winners) and a copy of Vegan Lunch Box (1 winner), which ends next Wednesday, October 12th.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vegan Mofo Giveaway Number Two: Eli's Earth Bars and Vegan Lunch Box

Time to get started on giving away goodies. This giveaway is for 9 Eli's Earth bars, 3 of each kind to be exact. The best news is there will be two winners! That is right, two lucky winners will get to partake in 9 Eli's Earth Bars (18 bars given away total). Just in time for Halloween!


Along with the candy bars, you will be entered to win a copy of "Vegan Lunch Box," by Jennifer McCann. I don't have a child in elementary school to pack lunches for yet, but after getting this book, I can't wait to start next year! A winner will be choosen next Wednesday, October 12th.

There is still time to enter the contest to win a $25 gift certificate to Vegan Essentials, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already (ends October 8th).

Here is how you enter:

1) First subscribe to this blog, i.e. must be a blog follower to win.
2) Write in the comments what your favorite candy bar was when you were a kid.
3) For an extra entry into the contest, like Growing Up Veg on FB, follow me on tumblr (, and twitter (@Vegan_Momma).
4) You can get an extra entry for tweeting or reblogging this contest too!

Please note shipping to domestic addressees only.

And the winners are:

Jenny from Vegan and So Forth won Vegan Lunch Box
Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) won 9 Eli's Earth Bars
Jen from Lita's World won 9 Eli's Earth Bars

Congratulations to the winners!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

French Toast Sandwich with "Cheezly" Hashbrowns and Spinach Chips

Awhile back my son randomly threw out a comment about making a french toast sandwich. It sounded interesting, so I shelved it in my brain to revisit at a later date. Today became that day.

Our "go to" recipe for french toast is in a past post, so I'll focus on how we made the tofu and "cheezly" hash browns in this one. Once I made homemade hash browns, we were struck with how simple it is to do. Really it is not hard.  For the record, we worked on preparing everything all at the same time, so the food would finish approximately at the same time.

Vegan "Cheesy" Hash Browns

4-10 red baby potatoes, washed and unpeeled
1/2-1 cups vegan cheese (we use Cheezly)
2-4 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil

Prepare 2 potatoes per person you plan to serve. Wash the potatoes, then start to heat the oil in the frying pan using 1 tablespoon per 2 to 3 potatoes.

Shred the potatoes in a food processor leaving the skins on (there is great vitamins in there). Remove the shredded potatoes and dry with a paper towels, and put into hot pan with shredded cheese added on top of the potatoes.

Cook on medium heat until browned on one side, flip, and repeat for the second side. Remove when fully browned and eat hot!

Now onto this french toast sandwich recipe. As state above a great french toast recipe can be found in a previous post. The same process for kale chips I made before can be used to make spinach chips. Unfortunately my kids would eat the spinach cooked in the hash browns, so feel free to try that out. For now, they'll eat the spinach chips, and I'll take what we can get.!

Maple Fried Tofu

1 lb. firm tofu
1/4 maple syrup
spray of vegetable oil

To prepare the tofu, we pressed it between two plates (still wishing for a tofu press). Marinate in maple syrup for 10 minutes after pressing it, making sure to brush the tops with it. Lightly spray and heat a non-stick skillet or griddle on medium.

Add tofu and cook on one side until brown. Before flipping, lightly spray uncooked side, flip it and cook until brown. Place between two slices of french toast and enjoy. If you want a stronger maple flavor then add a little to the top of the tofu.

Don't forget to go and enter the Mofo contest this week for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Vegan Essentials.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vegan About Town: Caramel Pecan Buns from Breadsmith

Sometimes a momma just wants to be able to pick up delicious vegan treats. If you are in the midwest and looking for a simple yet tasty way to show off vegan baked goods, stop in at Breadsmith. They've got locations in AZ, IL, IN, MD, MI, MN, MO.

These amazing caramel pecan buns are available at some locations on Saturday (see stores for bread schedules). It is an ooey-gooey fresh treat that melts in your mouth when warm. If we're ever in the area we simply have to stop in to pick some up.

Another family favorite is the chocolate babka loaf or rolls. You will not be disappointed, I promise! This is just another example of the ever increasing availability of vegan fare. What is your favorite go to place for vegan goodies?

Don't forget to enter the Vegan Mofo contest this week for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Vegan Essentials!