Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Down Home South Pecan Pie

As a southern gal, this recipe means a lot to me. Yes, I normally only eat pecan pie at the holidays, but it elicits childhood memories with each and every bite. It literally took me over a decade to get this one right. No sloppy drippy filling here. The secret is the tapioca starch. Let the nostalgia commence.

Down Home Pecan Pie

1 cup firm silken tofu
3/4 cup dark karo syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
5 Tbsp. tapioca starch
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup whole pecans
1 graham cracker crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a blender/food processor all ingredients with the exception of the pecans until it is creamy. Remove about 1/2-3/4 cup of the filling, then add the rest to the crust. In a small bowl toss the whole pecans in the leftover filling. Lastly, layer them onto the top of the filling.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until pecans begin to turn golden brown, then cover with foil. Bake another 35-40 minutes until the pie is set. It should not be jiggly anymore. Slice and serve warm, or cover and reheat slices in microwave before serving. Vanilla coy/coconut ice cream pair well with pecan pie.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Glam Doll Donuts at Twin Cities Veg Fest

I joined the committee to help plan Twin Cities Veg Fest this year. If you're in town, you don't want to miss it! My favorite part of the festival are the vegan food samples and vendors. There are many new ones this year. I'll write more on this later.

My all-time, hands down favorite is Glam Doll Donuts. I've got a real sweet spot for donuts. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I picked up an entire dozen, so now we've got to eat them all. Challenge accepted.

Chocolate Icing & Sprinkles

Peanut Butter & Sriracha

Coconut Maple

Orange, Ginger & Cinnamon infused Glaze

 Peanut Butter Chocolate

Vanilla Icing & Sprinkles

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

5 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Pancakes and Tofu Avocado Scramble

Some days you just need something quick and easy. You know, days where half the family has a stomach bug. Pancakes are gentle on your stomach when not feeling well, and it is all the better to have a veggie in there too.

The tofu scramble can be varied to include whatever veggies you have on hand, just make sure they are mostly cooked before starting the tofu scramble portion. Here is the starter recipe we use. Avocados add a delicious creaminess.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

2 cups flour
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 cups non-dairy milk
1 can of pumpkin pie mix

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until batter is smooth (small lumps are fine). Heat a skillet or griddle to 350 degrees/medium high heat. Pour a ladle's worth of batter to make the pancakes. Once it begins to bubble, flip and allow to cook until done. Serve hot.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Easy, Egg-free Libby Pumpkin Bread Mix Veganized

Baking is a favorite activity of mine, but even I get lazy. This is a delectable treat for those days you just don't feel like getting out more than a couple ingredients. Every fall, Libby's Pumpkin Bread starts to appear on shelves. It is my quick, go-to fall treat.

Here is the veganized, dairy-free, egg-free version of Libby's pumpkin bread

To substitute for the eggs, whisk:
2 Tbsp. Flax
6 Tbsp. Water

Let sit for 3-4 minutes then whisk again. It should be ready.

To promote rising of the bread, I add:

1 Tbsp. vinegar

Follow the remainder of the directions as listed on the box. The worst part is having to wait while the spicy aroma of fall fills the air. Once it cools, ice the bread and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School Breakfast: Banana Split Parfait

This is "the big one" for me. My youngest is off to full day Kindergarten, and after seven years of usually having a little one around, I'll be primarily on my own.

Many parents cheer the start of school, but it is always bittersweet for me. I cherish those slow summer days, where we can spend all day at the pool, on a nature walk, at a museum, running through the sprinkler or being lazy at home. Memories are made on those days, pictures and feelings shelved in my head.

I've never cried at the start of school, as my daughter has always been there to hold my hand while the bus pulls away. She would look up, smile at me, and we'd start our day together. Today I'm lucky, as she'll be with me two more mornings, my hand won't be empty. Kindergartners don't start until Thursday. I've no doubt there will be tears this Thursday, and not my daughters.

Enough with the mushy, wistful mommy business, and on to banana split parfaits. Since the start of school is eagerly anticipated with nervous excitement, I like to start it off with something a little special.

There is no fancy recipe for this.

Vegan Banana Split Parfait  (makes two)

1 chopped banana
1 large vanilla coconut yogurt (our favorite is So Delicious)
1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips (Enjoy Life's semi-sweet chips)
coconut whipped cream
1/4 cup peanuts or your favorite nut
1/4 cup sliced strawberries
cherry for the top

In a clear glass start with a layer of strawberries, then yogurt, peanuts, yogurt, banana, yogurt, coconut whipped cream. Then sprinkle with chocolate chips and top with a cherry. Voila, first day of school treat!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Vegan Mofo 2014

Pffft, blowing the dust off of my blog. Vegan Mofo is perfect motivator to finally get back to it!

I'm not busy or anything now. My youngest is going off to full day Kindergarten *tears*, helping plan a Twin Cities Veg Fest, networking to find a job, volunteering at my local nature center, and signing up as a room mom, but hey why not?

Even though I've been MIA, my ideas have been percolating for some time. Hopefully I can actually retrieve said ideas.

For now, here is a top notch dinner my other half and I had this weekend, on an actual adult date to celebrate our 11th anniversary. We went to Evergreen Chinese Restaurant, where we always go. It is delicious and you just can't go wrong there. Without further adieu:

Appetizer Fried Tofu

 Vegan Wonton Soup

Sesame Noodles

 Kung Pao Tofu

For Mofo I chose the theme of "Back to School/Fall," but for my family this time of year always starts out with our anniversary. Fall quickly follows, and the delicious recipes with apples, pumpkin, and cinnamon. Mmmmm, Happy Mofoing!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Vegan Donut Test Kitchen

Over this weekend, I turned our kitchen upside down testing out a few variations of baked cake donuts. I've made them with Earth Balance before, and wanted to try out coconut oil and shortening for fats.

My family were the eager taste testers, and the coconut oil won by a landslide. Next in line was the Earth Balance, and the least favorite across the board was shortening.

Along with tweaking the donut recipe, I tried out a few new types of frosting: maple, white chocolate, pecan butter, and chocolate. Both types of chocolate were the favorites, but the maple was pretty delicious too. The pecan butter was more subtle in flavor, but a sprinkling with coconut chips finished it off nicely.
Classic Chocolate Frosted Donut
 Chocolate Frosting

5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance or coconut oil melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup non-dairy milk

  1. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, heating in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted.
  2. Whisk in Earth Balance or coconut oil and milk until fully incorporated.
  3. Last whisk in the powdered sugar, adding a little at a time. 
  4. Add extra non-dairy milk to thin frosting if desired, and powdered sugar if it is too runny. It should be the consistency of thick syrup pouring.
Frosts 6 donuts

Maple Frosted Donut
Maple Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. maple extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1-2 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
  1. Add maple syrup and extract to a bowl.
  2. Whisk in powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, adding a little of each until all the frosting is smooth without lumps.
  3. Add extra maple syrup to thin frosting if desired, and powdered sugar if it is too runny. It should be the consistency of thick syrup pouring.
Frosts 6 donuts
Pecan butter topped with Coconut Chips
Pecan Butter Frosting

2 Tbsp. pecan butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
coconut chips chopped (optional) 
  1. Add pecan butter to a bowl and whisk in powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, adding a little of each until all the frosting is smooth without lumps.
  2. Add extra non-dairy milk to thin frosting if desired, and powdered sugar if it is too runny. It should be the consistency of thick syrup pouring.
  3. Frost donut and sprinkle with pieces of coconut chips.
Frosts 6 donuts
White Chocolate Frosted Donut
 White Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup white chocolate
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. non-dairy milk

  1. First melt white chocolate in microwave safe bowl, heating in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted.
  2. Whisk in powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, adding a little of eat until all is well combined. 
  3. Frost and sprinkle immediately for easiest spreading. Heat in microwave 20 seconds if it thickens up too much.

Frosts 6 donuts