I've spent many a Thanksgiving wondering what to bake for a savory side to soak up excess mushroom gravy. I always make something different every year. I usually rotate between biscuits, cornbread, rolls, or mini croissants. This year I decided to make a bit of it all (well, maybe not including the croissant part! ^_^').
These muffins that I made are more like a biscuit-muffin hybrid with a little bit of scone mixed in... That makes sense, right?
They are savory with a buttery sweetness and a slight yet not over=powdering olive oil flavor. I added butternut squash for a light sweetness to round out the flavors. I also threw some dried and fresh sage into the batter for a festive herbaceous aroma. I rarely cook with sage so these were such a treat!
Serve them piping hot from the oven! They only take 15 minutes to cook and they would probably do wonderfully slathered in a savory jam or vegan butter. Go wild and enjoy your muffin-biscuit-scones...Bisconfits? I don't know.
Butternut & Sage Olive Oil Muffins
Yield: 24 muffins
Free from: Soy, Gluten, Refined Sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
This recipe is a doozy!
I've attempted to recreate the most NOT VEGAN recipe I've ever eaten!
This casserole/dip/frittata/breakfast bake/brunch thing (I honestly don't know what to call it!) is a recipe from my great Aunt. I remember my mom asking for this recipe after Christmas day brunch at her house. I was young...too young to have even thought about being a vegetarian at the time.
The recipe is titled "Texas Fudge". It's literally everything that isn't vegan all mashed into a baking dish and baked until bubbly. It's absolutely artery-clogging but I remember it being sinfully delicious.
It's not something I would ever be able to stomach now. The thought of meat and cheese together alone grosses me out let alone adding eggs into the mix. I thought, though, what about a vegan version?
Scrambled tofu is one of my favorite things on this earth. Why not?!
This version of Texas Fudge is much healthier. It's not the healthiest thing for a vegan to eat, but it's not bad, relatively speaking. It's high in protein, low in fat and is all homemade. The only thing in this recipe I didn't make was the vegan cheese. Although, if you'd like to substitute the vegan cheese for your own homemade vegan cheese or cheese sauce, I'm sure it would be delicious!
I also added in some onion and spinach to give the dish flavor, color and nutrition! Feel free, again, to substitute the veggies or add more! I bet this would be amazing with a ton of vegetables added in. The combinations are endless. Use this recipe as a base for whatever you're feeling!
This is a great brunch dish for a get together with family and friends. You can serve it any way you want to. It's great with crackers, toast, on a plate, in ramekins, whatever you fancy!
Enjoy and don't feel bad! ^_^
Vegan Texas Fudge
The only way I can describe their texture is by saying that it is between that of a plum and a tomato, but without seeds in the center. They have a similar "slippery" feel to them. They are light and delicate and have a deliciously sweet flavor. They aren't acidic hardly at all, which is why I like to pair them with citrus. This tart that I've created does just that!
I got the idea to create a frangipane filling for these wonderful persimmon slices to nestle into. I wanted to try to make the tart nut-free, though. I've always wanted to try to substitute almond meal for chickpea flour. I love the flavor of chickpeas in desserts. They provide an earthy savory flavor that I love when it's slightly sweet.
This tart can easily be made into a pie if you wish. I included a recipe for the tart shell that I made. It's a cornmeal-based crust. If you'd rather a more traditional tart shell, head over to the Post Punk Kitchen's blog. I adapted the frangipane filling recipe from Isa's in Vegan Pie in the Sky. I wanted to keep my tart nut-free, so I opted for the cornmeal crust.
All this baking is getting me pumped for Thanksgiving! I wanted to provide a recipe for everyone to enjoy that was simple yet elegant. It's also a little lighter than a pie, so feel free to compensate by smothering it in vegan ice cream! ;D
Orange Persimmon Frangipane Tart
Yield: 1 - 1o inch tart/ 9" pie
Free from: Gluten, Nuts, Soy
Cornmeal Crust (OR prepared crust of your choice)
Preheat oven 345 F.
Tart Filling & Assembly
Preheat oven to 350 F.
My next holiday baking post is one that could be enjoyed all year round, either as a breakfast accompaniment, a snack or a simple dessert.
I absolutely love coffee cake. When I grew up, I only knew what coffee cake was because of Entenmann's crumb cake. This isn't vegan, of course. It's also highly processed and loaded with stuff I would never eat now.
It did taste good, though!
When I began to bake for myself, I made crumb cakes a few times. They were always delicious, but they got a little ho-hum. So, I tried to spice up my recipes with berries, chocolate and other types of ingredients. I realize now that I haven't made a "special" crumb cake in a long time. I'm well overdue. When I began to think of a cool combination of flavors, I stumbled upon the idea of a carrot coffee cake. Not that unique, right?
Then, I thought, what if I put peanut butter with it?!
I know, it seems like a strange combination. But, if you think about it, eating carrots and peanut butter for a snack is kinda delicious. I actually love peanut butter and carrots together! Why not bake with them and make it interesting?
This coffee cake is moist, slightly sweet, warm and spicy with cinnamon, bright and earthy with carrots and super nutty! It's great as a snack or a quick breakfast. It's also great with...you guessed it. Coffee.
You can also feel good about snacking on this cake because it is made with mostly whole grain flours. Feel free to substitute your own flour blends, but be aware that the texture may change. You may also need to alter the amount of non-dairy milk you add.
I'm definitely suggesting you make this either as a full cake or as individual cupcakes for any holiday breakfasts you might be having. This recipe is quick enough to whip up on the weekend and save for the rest of the week too. Grab 'em and go. Sit and stay. Whatever you want to do, these guys will be there for you. Enjoy! <3
Carrot Coffee Cake with Peanut Butter Streusel
Yield: 10 individual cupcakes or 1 - 9x9 cake
Free from: Soy, Gluten, Nuts*
Preheat oven to 345 F.
It's a perfect autumn day. I've got a pumpkin candle burning, hot coffee and a turtleneck. What could be more perfect?
Oh, pie? Yeah, that would be cool.
I'm going to begin my long string of posts leading up to Thanksgiving with a pie recipe. This pie isn't your typical holiday fruit or squash custard pie. Nope. It's actually a recipe that seems more like something you could bring to a Fourth of July barbecue. This is a cold refrigerated pie that only requires baking if you are making your crust from scratch. What a weird thing to feature for the holidays, you may think.
My reasoning behind this recipe was to feature something that could be as quick and easy as you need it to be. The recipe is great because it can be made totally from scratch the day before you need it or only as "scratch" as you have time for. Many elements of this pie can be store-bought and thrown together with all the other components when you assemble everything. Another great thing about this pie is that it's light and simple as it features classic flavors such as raspberry and vanilla. There is definitely room for tinkering if you'd like to make the pie more custom. I wanted to keep mine simple, though.
The base recipe I've written for you is something that most will enjoy. The coconut filling is basically a vegan stove top pudding that tastes like vanilla bean ice cream. Wonderful. I've also included a sugar-free option.
The flavor of jam and/or pie crusts you use are totally up to you. I used a basic gluten-free pie crust and I've included the recipe if you are ever in need of it. It's a great thing to have a basic single pie crust recipe on hand for anything you may need to make. This recipe is simple and can be made quickly. If you'd like to up the flavor, try substituting some of the flour (maybe 1/4 cup) for cocoa powder. Chocolate raspberry pie? Sign me up.
The raspberry jam recipe I've included is also homemade. If you find that you would rather save time (I don't blame you!), definitely substitute your favorite store bought jam or fruit preserves.
So, if you're looking for a dessert that will surely please a crowd, need something quick and simple, and are aiming to please herbivores and gluten-freers alike, give this recipe a try. It is almost Thanksgiving, after all. Who doesn't want a pie? ;D
Raspberry Coconut Cream Pie
Yield: 1 - 9 inch pie
Free from: Gluten, Soy
Preheat oven 345 F.
Coconut Cream Filling
This is my first entry into the Earth Balance Holiday Bake-Off contest!
I encourage everyone else who loves to bake to enter. The prizes seem pretty awesome and it's a great way to spark some creative juices for others who are wondering what to make this holiday season!
Click on the image below and it will bring you to a page with more information about how to enter!
Happy Baking! <3
With all the running around of the holiday season, comes stress, lack of sleep, and in my case, heart palpitations. (I'm actually not joking about that one!) It's difficult to find a way to relax sometimes. I usually have a cup of something hot to relax in the winter, either tea or soup or...hot chocolate! I also like to indulge in delicious baked goods around the holidays. It's sort of a family tradition. I'm a baker at heart and the only exposure to scratch baking I had when I was little was Christmas baking. That was the one time of year my mom would let my sister and I mess up the kitchen to make cookies. I loved it. I loved it so much that I made a living out of it! (I bake at work AND at home. It's a little insane.)
Since I spend all my time baking and cake decorating, I find that I have lost a taste for sugary baked goods. As I get older, the weaker my sweet tooth becomes. My mom experienced this too. When she was my age, she also decorated cakes at a mom and pop owned bakery. She liked it. A lot. She said she taste tested a little too much. =P After that, it seems that her sweet tooth has decayed away. She doesn't like anything to taste sweet, minus things like fruit. I fear that the same thing is happening to me.
Although my childhood sugar addiction is waning, I still love to eat baked goods. I think it's a texture thing. I love the dense, crumby softness of muffins and quickbreads. I also am in love with spices!!! I'm automatically drawn to anything spiced be it curry, gingerbread, chai, or carrot cake! Carrot cake is my all time favorite thing to have in December. My birthday is right after Christmas and every year (for the most part) I have a carrot cake. These past few years since turning vegan, I've made my own cake. I think the first year I got one from Whole Foods. It was delicious, but again, a little too sweet for me.
Since I have been so busy lately and unable to ground myself, I decided to jump the gun and make something carrot cake-esque for noshing during the busy weeks before Christmas. I had some bags of pre-shredded carrots on hand and I thought, I can make carrot bread...WITHOUT SHREDDING! If anyone has ever had to finely shred root vegetables by hand, they know how exciting this notion is. Shredding is like the most repetitive one-armed workout in the world. And it takes FOREVER. Luckily, my carrots decided to work with me this time. It's like I was meant to have carrot bread!
Since I am on a gluten free baking quest, this recipe is modified to be free of wheat flour as well as lower in fat and cane sugar free. Like I said, I have really lost my taste for sugar. I do, however, love coconut sugar. It's much more mild of a sweetener and has more flavor. It's very aromatic and makes my whole kitchen smell like earthy caramel. Mmmmm! This is a bread that I do not feel guilty about eating whatsoever. Of course, that doesn't mean you can eat the whole loaf. Though I have been tempted... ^_^ If you need some more sweetness, you can add a 1/4 c vegan sugar to the batter and sprinkle the top with more sugar. It will form a lovely crust on top that looks like ice crystals! So festive! <3
For optimum enjoyment, serve with your favorite hot beverage! I've included a quick little recipe for Chia Protein Hot Cocoa. If you pair this cocoa with the carrot breat for breakfast, you are going to have the best day ever. Merry Carrotmas!
Ginger Carrot Bread with Walnuts
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Yield: 1 9x5 Loaf (Can also make muffins)
Here's a great morning drink when it's too cold to down a smoothie for breakfast. I love hot breakfasts and this can act as a meal on its own. This hot cocoa is packed with protein and is quite filling. The taste will depend on what protein powder you use and if it is sweetened or not. Mine has some stevia in it but it is not overly sweet. I upped the cocoa flavor by adding in some cocao powder. I also added a pinch more stevia to make this taste more indulgent. You can also add maple syrup, agave, or sugar to taste. If you really want to take this to the next level, melt some chocolate chips into the non-dairy milk on the stove and prepare for an amazing chocolate experience!
This is very easy to prepare if you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix. If you don't have one, and you know your chia seeds will not blend into the liquid completely, you can always leave them out so you preserve this drink's creamy texture. If you can blend them all the way though, it makes this recipe unbelievably thick and rich!
Chia Protein Hot Cocoa
Yield: 1 serving
This comes out almost like a chocolate banana milkshake in texture, minus the banana flavor. If you want banana in your hot chocolate, that would be a great substitution for the chia! I would probably add 1 small or 1/2 a medium banana to the blender.
If all goes well, I will update this weekend as my baking frenzy begins! I will also throw in some non-Christmas recipes to force myself away from eating cookies for dinner! Until next time! ^_^
I feel like Thanksgiving took forever to get here. I thought about what I was going to make during the summer months, pining away for fall foods. Now, I feel like Christmas is sneaking up on me. I'm still in my post-pumpkin reverie and eggnog is being forced down my throat.
Don't get me wrong; I love the holidays. But, I wish that our consumer culture would let these holidays speak for themselves instead of using them as a marketing tool. That is, however, a discussion for another post! =)
This post is about Thanksgiving food. It is also about an eclectic selection of finger foods that I just served up at a little potluck party the other night. After my binge-cook-a-thon before Thanksgiving (16 hour stretches of food prep will make you hear things), I decided to take it easy for this potluck. I made hors d'oeuvres and small bite desserts along with some easy kettle corn for munching. I always adore small bite foods because you can eat more of them! I also like to eat a different variety of foods when I'm socializing. It makes the night interesting and gives people something to talk about (with their mouths full)!
Before I get into what I made for the potluck, I'll go over my Thanksgiving menu. Recipes will be posted at a later time. This is due to the lack of photos that I took since I was running around like a maniac trying to prepare everything. Also, I would like to try the recipes a second time =D. You know, to ensure quality and accuracy... I mean, who's going to say "no" to stuffing in December? Not I!
Here is what the menu looked like for the big day:
I also made a loaf each of Pumpkin Nut Bread and Parsnip Spice Bread as gifts for friends. Originally, I also had a salad planned but never got around to making it. Way too much other food! I was a little bummed because I like to have at least one raw dish during Thanksgiving to balance all the other heavily cooked and baked foods. Luckily, I'm making up for it now! One way to get through a holiday food hangover is to eat as many greens as possible!
Moving on to the potluck, I had a more simplified menu with easy-to-eat foods that were lighter yet still flavorful. I made a bunch of dishes that weren't exactly tied to any theme or ethnic background. All the dishes had in common was that i liked to eat them! Like the Thanksgiving recipes, I will shed these out to you over time as well. Today I give you the hummus recipe to hold you over! It's absolutely wonderful. It will alleviate any pizza craving you may have.
I knew I wanted to make a type of hummus or dip for people to try. So often, dips are a vegan's worst nightmare: cream cheese, sour cream, some other type of dairy product, mixed with delicious things that you can eat! Take spinach and artichoke dip for instance; it could so easily be vegan. But, alas, it isn't.
Pizza flavors are synonymous with parties. I figured that infusing hummus with pizza would only lead to approval by omnivorous taste buds. I used white beans instead of chickpeas for a more creamy and mild backdrop. The marinara sauce and garlic really shine this way.
Italian "Pizza" Hummus
Serves: A crowd; About 10 people (You will probably have leftovers. Hide them!)
Take everything except the olive oil and place in blender/food processor. This is much easier if you have a food processor or a high speed blender. I used a Vitamix to puree everything until very smooth. Once the mixture is combined as much as you can get it, steam the olive oil into the machine while processing. Mix with a tamper and/or scrape down the sides often to ensure everything gets incorporated. Once the hummus is smooth and silky to your taste, you can plate it and enjoy. You can use as much or as little oil as you like. This hummus is still delicious without the oil. But, after all, it's the holidays. Treat yourself. ;)
So, Vegetarian Times and Arrowhead Mills are hosting a gluten free holiday re-do contest. When I saw this, I screamed like a little fangirl and automatically reached out to my mom for a family recipe to enter. She and my grandma unearthed a recipe from my great-grandmother: Steamed Pudding. Not having grown up eating this recipe, I immediately envisioned a steaming jell-o mold. This is definitely not what steamed pudding is (thank God)! This specific recipe is technically a steamed date nut bread, which my mom grew up eating each Christmas. I was excited once I saw the ingredients. It's was simple to make and it wasn't hard to convert to a vegan and gluten free delight!
Usually when I try to veganize and de-glutenize an old family recipe, things go wrong for the first few attempts. I've learned over the years to have very low expectations! It's just the nature of gluten free baking, I suppose. Vegan baking has become second nature to me now, so that I'm not too scared of. The gluten free flours that I've experimented with don't even scratch the surface of their vastness. There are so many flours to choose from and so little patience I have! If you do venture out of the prepared gluten free flour blends (which can be awesome!), you will have to prepare yourself for a little trial and error work. After using grain flours like sorghum, teff, millet and rice in baking, I now have a (somewhat) better understanding of their properties. Sorghum is fattier and makes very moist but crumbly cakes. Teff is similar in texture, but I find it to me more crumbly and have a more pronounced flavor. Millet and brown rice flours are my favorite to use because of their mild flavors and their lighter texture. Rice flour is lighter than millet, so I usually use more of it in my ratio.
In the beginning, I was very irritated with xanthan gum. This is used to replace the bounciness of gluten in gluten free recipes. One time, I used way too much in a cookie recipe and my cookies had the consistency of glue. Gross. After omitting xanthan gum from my recipes after that, I learned my lesson. Xanthan, like all fine things, needs to be used in moderation (most of the time, sparingly!). I have begun to use it again because my baked goods would come out to be too crumbly and fell apart. The xanthan gum, when mixed with flax seed "eggs", helps to bind batters together and give them a sturdiness that gluten would normally do. I use only a quarter teaspoon here, but it makes all the difference.
I kept the flavors the same in this recipe. Although, if you would like to experiment with different nuts and/or dried fruits, feel free! I used hazelnuts for this batch, but I would definitely like to use pecans or walnuts to see how the texture changes. Also, you do not have to use the sea salt as a garnish, but I highly recommend it! It's a simple yet extraordinary experience to taste sweet and salty together. Mmmm...
So, without further a-do, my 4th generation vegan, gluten free steamed pudding!
Date Nut Steamed Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
Yield: 6-8 servings
*Note: You will need a steamer to make this recipe the traditional way. However, I've tried it in the oven and it comes out pretty good that way. I'll include those instructions too!
In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add the dates and oil/Earth Balance. Lower heat to medium-low and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes. Turn heat off and add sugar, flax, vanilla, and vinegar to the date mixture. Let it cool while you prepare the dry ingredients.
Sift together the flours, spices, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine with a sturdy spoon. Fold in the nuts, if using.
Prepare a stove top steamer by filling the bottom with water, making sure to leave some room between the water and the pot. Pour the batter into the pot and steam for about 2 hours or until a cake tester comes out clean. Check the water level periodically to make sure there is some still in there.
Let the pudding cool thoroughly before turning it out onto a plate or platter. Serve with the caramel sauce and perhaps a sprinkling of course sea salt (if you wanna). Sing Christmas carols.
If you want to bake the pudding instead, grease a loaf pan or line a muffin tin with liners and pour/scoop the batter in. Bake at 350 F for about 25-30 mins for muffins and about 35-40 for a loaf. Make sure to test the pudding with a cake tester or toothpick before removing it. The batter is quite moist and it can be hard to tell when it's finished.
Salted Caramel Sauce
In a small saucepan, bring sugar and oil/Earth Balance to a boil. Let boil and thicken, stirring to make sure it does not burn. Once thickened, lower heat and add salt, vanilla, and milk of choice. Turn heat up to medium-low and stir until thickened and glossy. Pour on top of pudding and devour!
P.S. If you'd like more information about the Vegetarian Times contest, visit this link. I'm excited to see what everyone makes (so I can take their ideas! =P)!
This is my very first food blog! I post revised conventional recipes of foods that I hold near and dear to my heart. My cooking here is all gluten-free and cruelty-free, but full of flavor and comfort.