Sunday, November 25, 2018

Turkeyless Roast And Veggie Casserole

It's Shepard's pie, but not.
Tofurky sandwiches and salads are popular around this time- simple, convenient ways to utilize leftover central.

Leftover mac and walnut cheese overloaded with yummy broccoli.
I had much to work with. A little less than half a turkeyless roast coated in gravy, a slew of undercooked potatoes and carrots, and unused Trader Joe's Vegan Mozzarella screamed, "bake together!" After boiling the hardened potatoes and carrots, I slightly mashed and mixed with the "roast."
Whilst warming spirits inside with blended memories of the Friendsgiving meal, this delicious casserole is a hearty dish perfect for the cold.

Turkeyless Roast And Veggie Casserole Ingredients and Preparation

2 1/2 cup cooked potatoes
1 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup carrots, cooked until soft and tender
1 cup chopped turkeyless roast (or any holiday "meat" substitute)
1 cup vegan mozzarella
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, and turkeyless roast, mashing it together.

Smooth mixture into a baking dish. 

Top with vegan mozzarella and nutritional yeast. Bake for 30 minutes. 

Rosemary leaf decoration. 

The first scoop-- imperfect yet very delicious. 

More leftovers? Of course! 

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Coconut Reddi Whip tops an easy, scrumptious pumpkin pie packed with warm, flavorful notes on a thick flaky crust. 
I'm still learning new vegan things daily.
In fact, I have a whole list of future recipes to tackle. Chocolate croissants are an ultimate fantasy. Mushroom Wellington would be superb. Raviolis from scratch is a close reality. My current refrigerator situation is cashew cheese wrapped in a cheesecloth for a baked "cheese" wedge. I pray that it comes out just as good as an artisan Miyoko's Kitchen spread.
My memories, however, are humbled and delighted by my first attempt at making pie-- a yummy pumpkin pie for our introductive Friendsgiving. It is a combination of The Spruce Eats' crust recipe and Loving It Vegan's eight ingredient pumpkin pie. Although not aesthetically beautiful in this inception (partly due to Trader Joe's coconut milk having a separation issue), the impact of light pumpkin melding on a crust with Reddi Whip on top mirrored a childhood past-- my preference for pumpkin over sweet potato coming on strong and sincere. Most importantly, sharing this dessert among new friends made this year, at this imperative stage of my life, was a fated takeaway. I needed not only to bake pumpkin pie, I needed to share this effort with these specific people, blessing our home with respect, tenderness, and joy.
My heart and soul goes into cooking and baking. A guest taking in a slice of pie receives that love and warmth inside.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ingredients and Preparation

2 cup flour
2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon cold vegan butter (used Miyoko's Kitchen)
3 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of cinnamon

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar (or maple syrup)
1/4 cup arrowroot or cornstarch
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

If making crust, combine flour, sugar, salt, and cold butter cubes until mixture is crumbly.
Mix cold water and olive oil and add to the flour.
Knead and cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out dough and carefully transfer into a pie pan, pressing it in along the way.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine pumpkin, coconut milk, brown sugar, sugar, arrowroot/cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt together.
Pour into prepped or store bought crust.

Homemade uncooked crust.

Bake for 50-60 minutes-- filling should be slightly firm. The center will wobble. Chill in the refrigerator for four hours.


Pumpkin pie and fresh lemonade-- homemade is the best made.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Highlights From The First Friendsgiving

Roasted vegetables.
I hope that everyone had a pleasant holiday-- whether with family, friends, lovers, and pets.
We hosted a lovely Friendsgiving potluck gathering at our house yesterday. Around the table, guests indulged in a meal cooked all afternoon: Trader Joe's turkeyless roast, walnut macaroni and cheese, baked rice, Brussels sprouts, spicy tofu, and purple yams. Miyoko's Kitchen Partywheel Chive Cheese paired with grapes and crackers fooled many, creamy soft cashew based cheese delightfully bursting with sprinkled chives. Chuao Chocolatier added a sweet, decadent luxury to the tray alongside positive messages on every little delicious square.
For dessert, we shared pumpkin pie and ice cream over homemade mint lemonade, Califia Farms Holiday Nog, and alcoholic beverages.

Turkeyless roast turned out good. Unfortunately, the potatoes and carrots were hard (a tragic disaster).
I enjoyed Trader Joe's tender, succulent roast.



Pouring the walnut cheese on the Mac. 

The meal plate.

The cheese, grapes, crackers, and chocolate platter: a huge hit. Some guests admitted to not liking chocolate, but Chuao Chocolatier has won them over. 

Crackers spread with love.

Homemade pumpkin pie topped with Coconut Milk Reddi Whip (much better than the almond in my opinion). Originally, I sought So Delicious Coco Whip-- everyone was out. Reddi Whip was a nice consolation.
Real gold playing cards that my housemate bought in Abu Dhabi. 

A guest brought special tea. You pour hot boiling water over them, steep, and drink. It tastes warm and refreshing. 
Every Indigenous Day/Friendsgiving celebration ends in a passionate game of spades. 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Hot Mulled Cider

Simple flavors bring out the best in seasonal apple cider served hot. 
Who knew that a Crock-Pot could save the hot cider for the opening? I thought a boiling pot might be ideal, but the Crock-Pot keeps mulled cider warm and perfect during a four hour event. Plus, the presentation is much better-- slotted spoon and all.
This is the All That We Had on Hand Version of hot mulled cider. My grocery shopping failed to provide kitchen twine, satchets/cheesecloth, and star anise. With the satchets, cheesecloth, and string, I planned whole black peppercorns, cloves, and nutmeg.
Alas, we were provided adequate enough ingredients for a successful hot beverage. A huge thank you to Trader Joe's for having pure apple cider-- this last minute woman is gracious and humbled.  I definitely aim to make more delicious cider regardless if we find star anise and company or not.

Hot Mulled Cider Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 gallon apple cider
8 cinnamon sticks
1/2 small ginger root
4 Mandarin oranges, thinly sliced

In a Crock-Pot set on low temperature, pour apple cider. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger root, and orange slices. Let simmer for hours (four at the most). It should smell so good, your kitchen feels blessed.

The Best Damn Vegan Banana Walnut Bread

Homemade vegan sweet breads in pumpkin and banana walnut.
It was a great honor to bestow catering duties during last night's second opening at The B(A)LM (Black Artists Liberation Movement) Studio. For someone who has attended countless art receptions for years and years, an eclectic menu is as wonderful as viewing an artist's latest work. Originally, I planned to make cookies and a fig and walnut flatbread, but time and weather were not on the side of justice. Still, we had fruit, mulled cider in a Crock-Pot, crackers, Tortilla Chips, salsa, Cava's Caramelized Onion Hummus (the very best), and two fine baked vegan breads by yours truly.

I loved the glorious photographs of the Baking Fairy's beautiful banana bread and modeled Valentina's recipe with Equal Exchange bananas and copious amounts of cinnamon. Unfortunately, the high cinnamon usage was due to the accidental cumin. Thanks to the heavens and goddesses above and beyond, the cumin flavor disengaged itself from the banana bread-- a surprise hit for the night.
Banana Walnut Bread Ingredients and Preparation

4 medium ripe bananas
1/4 cup almond or soy milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (or molasses/maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1 tablespoon vinegar

sliced banana for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mash bananas in a medium bowl. Add in almond or soy milk, preferred sweeteners, and vanilla extract. Separately, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Blend wet and dry together-- include vinegar and walnuts.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.

Before baking, added banana slices, extra walnut pieces, and cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or so-- until the fork is clean.

A generous slice-- moist and light.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Decadent Chocolate Birthday Cake

Chocolate fantasies come true with this exceptional cake. 
On Sunday, a few minor things went wrong. Firstly, I was originally making a round cake, but the spring form pan wasn't secured and a bit of batter leaked on the counter (thankfully, most of the batter was saved). The pumpkin frosting, however, turned to a cottage cheese consistency and couldn't be rescued.
As I prepared Nora's recipe for the best vegan chocolate cake, mild skepticism rose a bit at such a watery batter-- a first for me. She had put a warning disclaimer in her post. Plus, the in-use oven was set at 270 degrees stood in the way of making a successful dessert.
The cake is rich and moist, perfect for chocolate fanatics. One bite transformed a bad day to heavenly delight.

Decadent Chocolate Birthday Cake Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (or unsweetened applesauce)
1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup chocolate (used Chauo Chocolatier Sea Salt Bar)
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine almond milk and vinegar together. Set aside.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Mix in almond milk, vinegar, coconut oil, and pumpkin puree. Add boiling water.
Pour batter into greased baking pan.
Bake for 23-25 minutes. Let cool.
Whisk together chocolate and coconut oil.
Assemble the cake, pouring some icing on the first, putting the second layer on top, and pouring the remaining icing. Chill covered in the refrigerator.

Scenes of a chocolate affair. Is there no greater indulgent love?

The best treat is one topped with Reddi Whip Almond Whipped Cream and Chauo Chocolatier messages.

After the first taste.....

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Berbere Spiced Tempeh with Mushroom Couscous


On Birthday Eve, I made a nice simple meal for the end of this age. It hasn't been the best year, but hopefully tomorrow is a significant start of something new and fulfilling-- as fulfilling as delicious berbere spiced tempeh and mushroom couscous.

Berbere Spiced Tempeh with Mushroom Couscous Ingredients and Preparation

1 box Near East Mushrooms and Herb Couscous
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms
1/2 8oz tempeh
1 teaspoon berbere spice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of parsley

While preparing couscous to package directions, caramelize onions in olive oil for five to seven minutes. Add mushrooms.
Rub tempeh with berbere spice, salt, and black pepper on both sides and pan sear alongside onions and mushrooms.
Serve with couscous and sprinkle dry pasrsley atop.