I'll spare you the anecdotes and get right to the Thanksgiving food porn. I've listed everything I made for my first Thanksgiving dinner here. I will be seeing my immediate family this weekend where a second feast will take place. I'm blessed to have amazing family and friends who allow my boyfriend and I to bring our own food. I'm also grateful for my mom and dad who make sure that all our sides are vegan so that I can eat everything I want!
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and a festive weekend. I hope for those that work, you take a moment for yourself in any way you can. You deserve it.
Now, feast your eyes...😳😍🍂🍃🦃🍁🌳💝
Purple Sweet Potato Pie Bars
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
No recipe for this...I literally threw it together. But, if you want a good homemade recipe recommendation, see The Minimalist Baker. We made this version last year and it was delicious. This year, i just approximated everything. It's a very forgiving dish. Also, we used an entire container of fried onions because it's time to feast.
Rustic Mashed Red Bliss Potatoes
Again, no real recipe. I can tell you roughly how I did this:
About two years ago, I made three different types of cake doughnuts to celebrate the fall season. Now, I'm back to make a new incarnation of one of them. I'm taking my pumpkin doughnut and throwing some fun Halloween flavors on top of it! Pumpkin and s'mores always seemed like two things that could be good together. I finally figured out how to successfully integrate them: pumpkin spice vegan marshmallows. 😮🎃
Once i found these precious gems, I knew I had to grab them. I was overcome by the pumpkin spice spell once more. The base recipe of these doughnuts is formulated from Erin McKenna's Babycakes Covers the Classics, which was one of the first all gluten-free vegan baking books I ever bought. It opened my eyes to what would ultimately become my fabulous vegan cake recipe, which I am very proud of! Its origins stemmed from how McKenna bakes at her bakeries. Although it isn't exactly the same, it's similar in the types of flours that I combine together.
I love these doughnuts because they are light and spongey but also moist. I used to be a huge fiend of cake doughnuts growing up. Unfortunately, I only ever had Dunkin's until I was older and discovered wonderful places like Voodoo Doughnut, Dottie's Donuts, The Cinnamon Snail, and Dunwell Doughnuts. Now, I am a doughnut explorer. I try all varieties as long as the flavor suits me. I'm also a fan of fritters. 😜
These doughnuts are safe for those who do not wish to worry about gluten or sugar overload while enjoying a delicious fall treat. The fixins on this doughnut do contain sugar, but the batter itself only calls for coconut sugar. You can also substitute an appropriate amount of stevia at your own risk. I recommend enjoying these with your friends/family/cat/dog and a nice hot cup of something. Enjoy and have a spooky weekend.
Pumpkin S'mores Doughnuts
Free from: Soy*, Gluten, Nuts*
You only need a small amount of ganache to drizzle onto the doughnuts so your marshallow and cookie crumbs will stick. If you have leftover, you can always use it to top ice cream later. 😏
Adjust the amount of milk/chocolate as needed for a thicker or thinner consistency. You can use a thick ganache to dip the doughnuts in for more of a glaze effect or drizzle a thinner ganache on top for a fun texture!
Today's post was originally supposed to be a cookie recipe.
Although, since I've been a little cookie-happy lately, I decided to mix it up and make my cookie into a doughnut. It's been awhile since I made doughnuts.
I love baked cake doughnuts. Don't get me wrong, I love (and eat) my fair share of fried yeast and cake doughnuts and I absolutely love it. However, I love to bake (if you couldn't tell!). Baking doughnuts gives them a toasty quality that I secretly miss when I eat a fried doughnut. The two ways of making doughnuts yield such vastly different eating experiences. What I wanted today was a doughnut that really wants to be a cookie, but can't quite figure it out. I think I succeeded.
These doughnuts are faintly pumpkin flavored but I did not put pumpkin pie spice in the batter. I wanted the granola that I sprinkled on top of the doughnuts to be the focus, and it most certainly is! Biting into one is a wonderful experience of soft and crunchy textures working together to delight you.
Did I sell them? ;)
Hearty Granola Doughnuts
Yield: about 5 doughnuts (I used a Wilton pan)
Free of: Gluten, Soy*, Refined Sugar*
*Depends on non-dairy milk and optional powdered sugar garnish
Adapted from: Sweet Freedom Bakery's Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Recipe
Oven 350 F.
I wasn't going to do another pumpkin post, but I feel kind of obligated to. I should get it out of my system while it's still autumn, right?!
Truth be told, I hate the amount of things that are pumpkin spice "flavored" these days. It's a bit over-kill. The problem is, I have always loved pumpkin! When I was younger, the only things I could get pumpkin flavored were cookies and pie during the holidays. It was such a treat. Now, you can get pumpkin spice coffee literally everywhere from about August to January. It's pumpkin everything.
I still have a love for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies. I think spiced baked goods with the earthy sweetness of pumpkin are irresistible. I don't like to get these things out, though. I love baking them so much more. The smell of the spices wafting throughout the house is almost as enjoyable as eating whatever is cooking.
If you're like me and love pumpkin but want it quicker than 15-20 minutes, make this recipe! I knew I wanted to make griddle cakes for my next post, but I wasn't sure what flavors to go with. I just knew I wanted something delicious and spicy quickly.
These griddle cakes are minimally sweet so the whipped cream gives a nice sweetness to the entire dish. If you don't want or don't have coconut cream on hand, try maple syrup, agave, vegan honee, coconut sugar or any other sweet thing to drizzle/shake on top. If you prefer nothing on top, that's fine too! You may want to up the amount of coconut sugar you add to the batter, though. Like i said, these are minimally sweet (but still delicious!).
* The batter itself is also oil-free. I did, however, cook mine in extra virgin coconut oil. If you are avoiding oil, I would suggest baking these in the oven on some parchment paper. They may turn out like whoopie pies. I don't know...I didn't try it. But maybe they do? That would be cool. ;)
Pumpkin Espresso Griddle Cakes
Recipe Adapted from: Vegan Dorayaki
Yield: about 5 griddle cakes (double recipe for more than 1-2 people
Free from: gluten, soy, nuts
*Oil-free option (see above)
Whipped coconut cream recipe is here. I simply added some vegan powdered sugar and cinnamon to taste. It was so divine! <3 Save a little extra for topping dessert later. ;)
I also sprinkled some more espresso powder and cinnamon on top. =P
This vegan royal icing is easy to pipe, sets quickly and isn't too sweet. It's everything I've ever wanted out of an icing. It's also egg-free, soy-free and fat-free. What else could you want?
The cookies themselves are very simple to make. They are an adaption of a simple rolled sugar cookie recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks (non-veg). The fact that they are gluten-free is great because they never change in consistency no matter how many times you roll them out. It's pretty wonderful. =)
I love that the cookies are aromatic without being too sweet. You can easily add up to 1/4 cup more coconut sugar (or regular sugar) if you want them sweeter. I prefer them more buttery because I don't like cookies to be too sweet after they are iced. That is entirely up to you, though!
Feel free to play around with the design/cookie cutter you choose. I made mine look like skeletons and used a gingerbread man cutter. These would also be great as pumpkin shapes (of course) and even circles (ghosts? skulls?). Since the cookies are pumpkin flavored, you could easily make these for Thanksgiving and change up your cutter/design for that too! The possibilities are (almost) endless!
Happy cutting, everyone! ;D
Pumpkin Cutout Cookies
Yield: Approx. 24-36 cookies (depending on the shape)
Free of: Gluten, Soy, Nuts
Adapted from The Blenderist's Recipe
Royal Icing Instructions
This dessert has bold flavor but is very light and easy on the stomach. Since it's grain free, it doesn't take a lot for your body to digest. The mousse is light yet creamy and the filling is crisp and fruity. I really love that these parfaits are as healthy as you want to make them. If you're feeling more indulgent, throwing some cookie crumbs or pie crust crumbs in there would be absolutely amazing!
Bring these for your next fall get together or make them for date night (by yourself definitely counts!). Cheers to fall and pumpkin everything!
Sugar Free Apple & Pumpkin Parfaits
1-5 servings, depending on the size of serving vessel
Free of: Gluten, Refined Sugar, Soy
So, to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, I've decided to go full throttle Halloween-Thanksgiving theme. Not only is my dish black, orange and green, but it's hearty and savory enough for a celebratory entree. I'd love to serve this at Thanksgiving...what a departure from my normal formula of making a bunch of vegan side dishes. I mean, I don't mind making a meal out of salad, stuffing, potatoes and pie. Not at all!
However, it is nice to sit down to a special and festive entree that will satisfy any stomach. This pumpkin is just that. Not only is it totally adorable and seasonally festive, it's delicious and nutritious. It adds wonderful soft and creamy texture to the toothsome pasta filling. It's quite wonderful, if I do say so.
I may have eaten an entire half by myself.
This pumpkin looks huge in my photo, but it wasn't much larger than my hand (and I have small hands, I swear). I would recommend a 3 pound pumpkin for this recipe. It will serve 2-4 people.
Roasting the pumpkin was actually a breeze. I cut my pumpkin in half length-wise like any other winter squash being used for stuffing, rather than cutting a hole in the top like you would for carving. The pumpkin cooked in only a little over a half hour and was perfectly caramelized and fork tender. Mmmm! ^_^
I decided to stuff my pumpkin with a sautee of shiitake mushrooms, garlic, shallots and baby spinach, all dressed simply in olive oil, salt and pepper. Nothing too crazy here. I didn't want to overwhelm the delicate sweetness of the pumpkin. Also, I decided to use black bean penne pasta because it has a gorgeous black color and it's a great gluten-free and protein-rich product that I had never used before. It cooked very well and didn't disappoint in texture!
Oh, and for a toasty, crunchy treat, I topped it all with toasted sliced almonds. Delicious.
Welcome, Fall. It's been a year and I've missed you so! <3 (Please last longer this year before you give way to the bitter cold, plz & thnx.)
Pasta Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin
Yield: 2-4 servings (2 stuffed halves of the pumpkin)
Free of: Soy, Gluten, *Nuts, optional
Preheat oven 350 F.
Oh, and for dessert, I indulged in a tiny piece of chocolate heaven that I happened upon this afternoon. It was a Fall miracle and I'm so happy I know about this wonderful company that makes amazing vegan chocolate.
Yes, that's vegan rice milk chocolate surrounding pumpkin spice caramel on the inside.
You're welcome. ;D
First of all,
Happy World Vegan Day!!!! =D
What better way to celebrate being vegan than with cruelty-free, delicious doughnuts!!!! <3
It's hard to believe that I (an avid baker) haven't tried to make actual doughnuts before. I've made doughnut recipes in muffin tins before, yes, but that doesn't really count...
This fall, after seeing many an apple cider doughnut picture on Instagram, I decided it was time to make my own homemade doughnuts. I've always loved the allure of a warm doughnut in the chilly fall months. There's something wonderful about it. There also must be a hot mug of something to go with said doughnut. The two cannot be separate. It's impossible.
About a year ago, I got my hands on this wonderful book:
Babycakes NYC is a famous bakery in (you guessed it) New York City. There are two other locations in California and Orlando, Florida. I, unfortunately, have never had the privilege to visit any of the bakeries (...yet!). However, I've admired their baking and cake decorating from afar for years now. I've had my eye on their recipes, too. Being able to transform every day baked goods (like, doughnuts, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, madelienes, etc.) into vegan and gluten-free treats is something miraculous when done correctly. I give Erin McKenna major props for creating all that she has. Her recipes yield accurate and effective results, which is important. I never feel good about trying a new recipe only for it to fail and become garbage. =(
What I also love about Erin's recipes are the fact that they are all made using real ingredients. For fats, she mostly uses coconut oil or some other neutral oil. She shies away from using any processed vegan substitutes. These products have their places in baking, sure...However, to use them all the time is kind of cheating in my book! I love to be able to taste food in the most pure form I can. There is nothing to hide in these desserts. Each baked good you will make from this book will taste pure (and sweet! I'll get to that in a minute...).
The only alterations I've made to Erin's basic cake doughnut recipe (my favorite!) are the key flavor ingredients (pumpkin, apple, banana...) and the type of sugar. She uses vegan sugar, which is fine, of course. I have this thing with sugar...I don't particularly like it in large quantities. It's extremely sweet, and I'll admit, I like to use it for certain things that must be just that (frosting, dusting sugar, etc.). But, again, using sugar in large quantities I find overpowers other ingredients in a recipe. I always try to strive for balance in everything I cook, even desserts. Desserts don't have to feel like their socking you over the head with sweetness...they can be complex and satisfying at the same time! (I promise...) ;)
For the batter itself, I used coconut sugar. For anyone who has read my other recipes, you probably know by now that coconut sugar is my go-to sweetener. Well, that and maple syrup! But, for the sake of these autumnal flavored doughnuts, I wanted the deep caramel-like complexity of coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is also wonderful because it's less sweet and also low-GI for anyone who is sugar conscious.
However, to kick these doughnuts up a notch, top them with glaze and real sugar. Since the cake itself is only mildly sweet and a little spicy (thanks to cinnamon and friends), the sweetness on top balances and pulls the whole thing together!
I try to think about these things. ;)
So, without further introduction, here are Babycakes NYC doughnuts three ways. Enjoy and have fun with other flavors!
Oven 325 F
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Doughnuts
Source: see above
Yield: 12 doughnuts (same)
Oven 325 F.
Same as above.
Dip each doughnut in the glaze once completely cooled.
Whisk together all ingredients until desired consistency is achieved. Thin out with more maple syrup if needed.
Banana Doughnuts with Peanut Butter Glaze
Source: see above
Yield: 12 doughnuts
Oven 325 F.
Same as above.
Dip each doughnut in peanut butter glaze after they have cooled completely.
Peanut Butter Glaze
Whisk together until thick but still liquid. Add more coconut oil if needed to thin out.
Enjoy and make a little extra for the ones you love. Show them that vegans can (and do) eat more than kale and grass and stuff. =P
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. ;)
Welcome to Ichiban Vegan!
This is my blog that covers all kinds of seasonal vegan recipes that I create and/or adapt. Since I decided two years ago to cut all animal products from my diet and spending budget (no more leather and cheese sandwiches!), I have been on a mission to sharpen my culinary skills and master the use of all plant based ingredients. All the while, I try to make food that I would want to eat even if I wasn't vegan. I've found that by thinking this way, I can sell my food to non-vegans fairly easily. I mean, let's face it. If you hand someone a plate of delicious pumpkin snickerdoodles, you don't really need to tell them that you didn't use eggs or butter, right? Until, after they've eaten 10 of them, you say, "Oh, so those are actually vegan!", will they look at you in astonishment and/or horror.
Luckily, throughout the past two years, my family and friends have been very supportive of my lifestyle. I was hesitant at first to attempt to cook things from scratch with the idea that my skills were not as honed as they should be. In order to produce palatable vegan food for those who aren't too keen on vegetables can be a bit of a challenge. Most people when they hear the term "vegan" automatically think of a block of tofu and a big question mark. They also like to throw you pity parties whenever they mention meat. "Oh, but you can't eat that...", they say with a false sense of remorse. I just want to say that I really find this funny; I don't find it offensive at all. I always laugh along with people when they make fun of my diet. I realize it seems extreme to many people, but I also realize that everything is relative.
In case you didn't notice, I'm taking this opportunity to tell my vegan origin story. I know no one wants to hear it every single blog post, but they may be curious later on. Many people ask why I live and eat the way I do, so now they have a convenient place to go read about it (and I can get on with my day...just kidding =P). Going back to when I was a senior in high school, I decided to give up meat for New Year's because one of my best friends was a vegetarian and she had introduced me to classic veg foods like falafel and hummus. These are staples in my diet now, but back then they were strange and exotic treats that I was in awe of. (WTF are chickpeas?!) Since I found new foods that were meat-free, I thought I could give up meat and be totally satisfied. Well, I was right. My diet then consisted of lots of pretzels, grilled cheese, and frozen veggie burgers made from GMO soy. YUM. Well, at least no cows were harmed in the process. (Or so I thought!)
The funny thing is, I still ate fish for years after I gave up meat. I became what I found to be a "pescetarian". I loved the diet. I ate all the sushi I wanted and didn't feel guilty. Because, let's face it, fish don't have souls, right? That was my thinking. Or rather, I didn't think of it at all. Inside, I knew I was contributing to the death of a living thing, but I let my taste buds run the show. To this very day, I still remember how delicious fresh fish tasted. It is the one thing I miss the most. I often tell people that so they understand that I'm actually a former person (I'm being sarcastic, I hope you realize! ^_^). I also wanted to stay true to the way I grew up. My all-time favorite comfort meal was broiled fish and gohan, Japanese white rice.
My heritage is definitely something that has inspired me to cook the way I do. I am a cluster of ethnicities, one of which is Japanese. My paternal grandmother (Ba-chan!) is from Japan. On both sides of my family, I come from WASP ancestors who hail from Ireland, England, Wales, Poland, and Germany. There's also a teeny bit of Spanish and Italian Catholics in there. (That and the Japanese really throw people off.) I've always loved learning about peoples' ancestry. It's one of the great characteristics of America. You never know who will show up (or what food they'll bring)! I always try to mix things up by taking inspiration from other cultures in my cooking. I think that is one of the best ways to connect with others apart from language.
Sometimes, vegan diets can be boring (just like any diet!). One of the ways I make food interesting is to use different ingredients. The word ichiban means "number one" in Japanese. I used this term in my blog name because I hope to create the best possible vegan food that I can with all types of ingredients. Most of my food will be free of gluten, if not all of it. Gluten-freedom comes from my other side of the family that carries celiac disease. I've grown up with my grandmother being gluten free and eating that way when I visited her. She always struggled to find good packaged foods to eat. My mom was diagnosed later in life once her symptoms became too unbearable. I haven't been diagnosed, but I decided recently to try gluten free cooking and baking just to force myself to become more creative. I realize that, like anything else, variety is the spice of life! So, using wheat for everything is probably not ideal.
As far as why I'm vegan, I direct you to Food, Inc. and The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life. Those books peaked my interest in the diet and also in the ethics surrounding said diet. My decision was an "experiment", just like my decision in high school to be a pescetarian. As for the first few weeks, I was upset I couldn't eat sushi. Other than that, giving up dairy and eggs was easy. I was already drinking almond milk all the time, so that wasn't an issue. In a culinary sense, eggs are only useful to bake with in my opinion. Otherwise, they often made me sick when I ate them anyway. Not an issue there, either. After two years, I barely think about cheese or eggs as food. I don't crave them at all. (Plus, there are some REALLY good ways to substitute them. I'll just say, thank God I'm not allergic to nuts or seeds!).
So, here I am: a vegan in her early twenties with a food obsession. What else is there to do but blog about it? =) Now, with all the origin story crap out of the way, I'd like to get to the fun part: COOKIES! These snickerdoodles are a fall celebration in your mouth. Snickerdoodles are traditionally a Christmas cookie in my family. My grandma would make them with us every year and I couldn't get enough of them. Once I started baking on my own, I made sure to make them for Christmas whether anyone else wanted them or not. (More for me!)
I decided that I didn't want to wait to eat my beloved snickerdoodles this year. As soon as October rolled around, I switched into Fall Mode. That means cinnamon on EVERYTHING! Cinnamon toast, cinnamon oatmeal, cinnamon tofu...it's all fair game. Naturally, I think of snickerdoodles when I think of cinnamon. But, in order to appease the retail gods who tell us that we should put pumpkin into everything once September comes, I decided to alter my recipe. Pumpkin-doodles, it is! I used pumpkin pie spices to coat these cookies for a little dimension. Really, this recipe isn't that original. But, these are mine! I adapted them from my family's go-to recipe for every Christmas.
I love snickerdoodles for their airy and crumbly texture. These are a little bit more moist in texture from the pumpkin. This is definitely not a bad thing. They almost resemble a cross between a cookie and a quick bread. You will find out sooner or later that I am a bit obsessed with quick bread, my favorite baked good in the universe (along with it's portable alter-ego, the muffin). Please feel free to enjoy these cookies with friends and family, the way they should be (ie, a batch for you and a batch for them!).
Here's to a new blog and new beginnings! I hope after this rant you will still follow me on my vegan journey to achieve deliciousness! Kanpai (Cheers)!
Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Yield: approx. 25 cookies
* I find that the cookies appeal to those who aren't used to coconut sugar's mild sweetness with the addition of the cane sugar or sucanat. If you prefer your cookies more subtly sweet, omit this.
** You can also use a silpat. Otherwise, lightly grease your cookie sheet to avoid a catastrophe. =)
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.