Today's prompt is totally awesome, I must say! A weird food combo that you love!
I actually had a tough time thinking of what to make for this. Then, it hit me. I love kombucha.
Liking kombucha as a vegan/healthy eater isn't that weird, but I love it as a replacement for soda.
I like to take it to the movies. Kombucha and popcorn? Oh yes. Or, anything salty and kombucha is my jam. I had yet to use it in a dessert dish...until now! =D
I was perusing the bulk section at my favorite natural foods store one day with my mom and I gave one particular product some more attention than I normally would: chocolate covered ginger.
I like ginger. I'm not the biggest fan of sweetened ginger, but I love it in savory cooking. I usually think of East Asian and Indian cuisine when I think of ginger. The chocolate and ginger struck me as slightly out of the ordinary, but possibly delicious. I moved on.
Then, it dawned on me. If I use kombucha for a soda replacement and I am ginger dessert-curious, shouldn't I just figure out how to combine the two into a wonderful treat? Well, yes...and I did!
Thus, the kombucha float was created. I'm sure I'm not the first one to think of this idea, but I certainly hope I'm the first one to make this flavor combo: ginger kombucha (I used G.T. Dave's...it's my favorite brand!), homemade salted caramel ice cream (made with coconut milk!), and topped with tasty chocolate ginger nuggets. What a concept. When I assembled the whole drink, my mind was blown. I was never a fan of floats until now. Although, I still like everything inside of a float separately just fine. I don't think a float is something I ever crave on its own. But, I must say, this is pretty damn good. ;)
I hope this isn't too weird for you all. Try different flavor combos...I'm sure the possibilities are endless!
Salted Caramel Ginger Kombucha Floats
Yield: about 2 large floats (16 oz each)
Adapted from Chocolate Mousse Ice Cream
Ice Cream Ingredients
Stuffed french toast may sound fancy, but it really isn't if you have some basic things on hand.
This is MoFo Day 2: Quick, Easy & Delicious!!!
I wouldn't dupe you, I promise.
You may recall ::erhem:: from what I posted yesterday that I recently baked some gluten-free bread. I posted the recipe here!
But, for those of you who either do not require homemade gluten-free bread or would rather not be bothered (usually me), store-bought vegan bread will do! I always splurge on bread because I don't buy it very often. I like to get a mostly whole grain loaf that was made from scratch somewhere. For making french toast the way I like it, I like to have a dense and firm slice of bread to work with. There's nothing that I dislike more than a soggy slice of french toast. =(
If you have a loaf of bread, I recommend leaving it out overnight or leaving a couple slices out overnight. The slices will hold up better to frying if they are a tad stale.
I got this idea from a recipe made by the amazing food blogger Richa of Vegan Richa. I absolutely love her blog. She seems to never run out of ideas for new recipes. Her dishes are usually very accessible but infused with different flavors than what you would expect. She made this samosa stuffed french toast that I had to try one day and "my goodness gracious" is all I have to say.
It was outrageous.
I love to make savory breakfasts and brunches when I don't feel like eating anything sweet. However, I felt that today I wanted a touch of sweetness and I looked around my kitchen to find some friends to help me on my quest.
All you need for this recipe is a small banana, 2 slices of bread, jam/jelly/compote/another fruit of choice, and a simple chickpea batter. You can always make a different batter if you don't have chickpea flour on hand, but I really love how smooth and crispy it turns the outside of the french toast. It also has a lovely flavor.
Also, you can make this french toast when you are absolutely starving because it only takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare. Not too shabby. ;)
Fry away, friends!
Banana Stuffed French Toast For One
Yield: 1 serving (1 double french toast)
Inspiration: Vegan Richa's Samosa Stuffed French Toast
* I recommend either making your own powdered sugar in a blender or buying a good quality brand like Wholesome Sweeteners. They make awesome products that you can feel good about buying. I don't use powdered sugar often, but when I do I like to make sure it's vegan and non-GMO.
Go ahead and dig in. It's all yours!
MoFo Day 2: recreate a meal from childhood
So, this prompt was pretty easy for me to figure out. I was a very picky eater as a kid, which I'm sure many people can sympathize with. I was very wary of new flavors and new foods. I had a huge sweet tooth. I also loved carbs.
The two things that haven't changed about my tastes from childhood are my love for carbs and my distaste/indifference towards meat. I was never a big meat-eater. I merely ate meat because it was served to me. It was the only real option for a sit-down meal.
I always preferred carb-heavy options, however. I loved baked goods, rice, pasta, crackers, pretzels, etc. I also loved cinnamon on everything. Okay, so that hasn't changed either... Put cinnamon on it, and I'll probably approve.
The one thing that my grandma would make for my dad, his siblings, and my sister and I for breakfast was something she called "Ichiban Cinnamon Toast". My grandma is from Japan, and she never really ate bread growing up. Bread in Japan is very rich, buttery, and flaky like a pastry. Japanese bread, like most of their baked goods, has an abundance of egg and dairy in it to give it a very airy texture with a rich, buttery flavor that is pretty much to-die-for.
My grandma would take a slice of white bread, toast it lightly, and spread some butter on top while it was still warm. Then, she would lightly sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar over the toast. This is a very common thing to do, I'm sure...but, when she made it, it was so much better than anything I'd ever had! The bread was crispy, light, savory and lightly sweet with a hint of warmth from the cinnamon. It's the most amazing breakfast I've ever had. I make it to this day when I'm feeling under the weather or down in the dumps. It's wonderful with hot tea or coffee.
Ever since I pretty much stopped buying bread on a regular basis due to my growing bread snobbery, I haven't eaten cinnamon toast often at all. I reserve the pleasures of cinnamon toast for times when I have an excellent bread to toast. I decided, since I made my very first successful gluten-free and vegan bread last year, that I would make a loaf of bread and make an excellent slice of cinnamon toast from it. So, I've revisited the bread recipe that I used from Cara Reed's blog Fork & Beans and I've altered it to be more buttery and airy than my last loaf. I used the same ratios from Cara's recipe, but changed some ingredients around a bit. I snuck in some aquafaba, non-dairy butter, and Ener-G egg replacement powder among other things to yield a gluten-free bread that rises like a champ and is tough enough to knead like regular gluten-filled dough. Thanks to Cara, this bread recipe is gum-free for anyone who doesn't like to use xanthan or guar gums. I usually don't mind using these products, but it's nice for those who don't feel like buying them for just one recipe or who cannot eat them for dietary or health reasons.
Here is my bread recipe and below that are instructions for my favorite cinnamon toast! Have fun! B)
Gluten-Free Vegan Bread
Yield: 1- 8x4 loaf
Gluten & Gum-free/Can be: Soy & Nut-free
Source/Adapted from: Fork & Beans
All you need for this (it isn't really a recipe) is some non-dairy buttery spread (like Earth Balance or Melt) or coconut oil + sea salt for a less processed option. If you use coconut oil and salt, I'll suggest on adding a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on your toast as well. I find this combination together gives a slight buttery taste. It's pretty delicious!
After you spread as much of your "butter" of choice as you would like on your sliced, toasted homemade bread (OMG I'm hungry!), sprinkle on some dry sweetener of choice. I used coconut sugar because I'm obsessed with it and I love its flavor. You can always substitute sugar with stevia or any other natural vegan sweetener you like.
Then, the kicker: add a dash of organic cinnamon on top. I always try to buy organic spices and dried herbs so I can control the quality of my dishes. I also like to get the best quality that I can for ingredients that will last me a long time.
Enjoy your ichiban cinnamon toast with a piping hot cup of something and relax. You've earned it after all that effort it took to bake bread from scratch. ;)
Good morning, Everyone!
I'm so excited to be participating in Vegan MoFo for my second year! Last year was a bit of a loose participation since I didn't have any prompts. I liked picking my own theme, but I definitely could have posted more. It's tough to make yourself post every day when you run out of recipes. =I
This year is different, though and I'm so stoked about it! I loved all the prompts that were thrown at us this year, even if some were a bit difficult. This first one was a gift, though. Breakfast? Endless possibilities. I chose to recreate a delicious on-the-go version of biscuits, gravy and sausage. I used to love fast food sausage biscuits when I was a little kid.
Little did I know how absolutely disgusting they were! I haven't had one since. Although, I have had vegan sausage and gravy dishes from places like Lamplighter Espresso and I absolutely fell in love. I feel much better about eating this version of this dish, even if it isn't the healthiest thing in the world.
I've tried to make this as wholesome as possible in my own kitchen. I took the gluten out of the biscuits, replaced the regular white flour with my own blend of flours and used good fats. I also made my own meat-free sausage using tempeh, which is one of my favorite soy products. I try to eat fermented soy more often than not. Tofu is always an easy option, but it definitely doesn't give much texture to a dish unless it's drained properly.
This tempeh came together wonderfully after I par-cooked it in a saucepan with some water and salt. After that, I mashed it into a wonderful mixture of spices and formed it into sausage patties. Well, here's what I did in picture/recipe form. Please try this out if you have the time. It's not a very long process and you will have sausages and biscuits for a few days! Oh, the possibilities! <3
Happy MoFo, Bloggers and Vegans! Let's kill it! ^_^/
Gluten-Free & Vegan Sausage Biscuits
Yield: 5-6 biscuits
Adapted from: Better Homes & Gardens
*If using coconut oil, add 1/4 tsp more salt
Servings: About 4
Eating breakfast is a bit of a treat for me. Since I'm a cake decorator, I work very early hours and I have little to no time to myself before I head off to work for the day. I envy my past self who had to wake up for an 8 am class in college or a 10 am arrival at my old job sometimes. That is SO much time! You could run, shower, make pancakes and still have time to spare! That is, if you get up as early as I do now...
I usually make myself a protein shake for breakfast. It's fast, easy, neutral in taste and easy to digest. I also love that it's so transportable. Sometimes, it is nice to chew something for breakfast. I do like chewing.
One day recently I was craving blueberry muffins something fierce. I haven't had one in so long. I used to love them as a kid. I didn't know how horrible the ones at the grocery store were for you, nor did I really care. I mean, they were sweet, moist and vanilla/blueberry flavor bombs. How could I NOT love them?
Now, since I'm much more conscious about what I eat, I do not get to enjoy muffins often. I love to make and eat them, though...I'd go as far as to say that muffins are one of my favorite food groups. Next to the noodle/rice group. ;D
I modified this recipe from my gluten-free cake recipe that I published last year for Vegan MoFo (which is coming up soon, everybody!). I wanted the muffin to be a little more nutrient-dense, so I added flax and some whole grain amaranth flour for extra fiber and healthy omega-3 fats. The resulting muffin is still light, fluffy and moist with a delicate buttery sweetness. It's quite wonderful in the morning, I must say. Now, on to the good stuff...
Jumbo Blueberry Muffins
Yield: 6 jumbo/12 regular muffins
Gluten & refined sugar free; can be soy and nut free
Oven preheat to 325 F.
Yes, I am that lunatic who uses the oven in the summer.
I love everything that the oven does for my food for the most part (unless I'm having an unlucky day). I tend to use it less as the weather gets warmer for the sake of my well being. However, when I found myself with an abundance of red potatoes that needed to be cooked, I decided to take one for the team and fire up the oven. Because, fries.
I do love a deep fried potato every once and a while, but usually not at home. I would always rather bake something than fry it at home because of a couple of reasons. I don't like to add any more excess oil than I need for cooking purposes. I do like oil, but I cannot eat anything that is too oily. It ruins the texture and mouth feel of the food you are eating. Also, I hate cleaning oil. When you deep fry, there's always that smelly left-over oil in your pan that you've got to dispose of and then wash off. Not for me, thanks! The last time I did all of that craziness I made it worth my while:
Yeah, an oozing mountain of doughnuts is definitely worth the clean up. ;)
But, for now, I think I'll stick to my trusty oven to crisp my food for me!
I sliced my potatoes into wedges and doused them with flavorful spices to give them an amazing aroma. Man, they were delicious.
These curry fries are easy to make, easy to customize, and super easy to pop in your mouth hole. They're great as a snack or with a wonderful main dish for dinner (veggie burger, anyone? Check Hilary's out! She's got great ones).
Summer's not over just yet, so make your picnic foods while they're still trendy! =P
Curry Oven Fries
Yield: 4-6 servings
Oven: 375 F
Happy end of summer, everyone! Maybe make some of these babies for Labor Day? ^_^
I am so happy that summer fruit is in full swing right now!
I made some peach crumble bars about a week ago for a graduation party. I love coming up with desserts for this particular group of friends because it's quite a challenge to make something that everyone can eat. I love a challenge. ;)
I am vegan, of course. My friends who hosted the party are unable to eat: dairy, soy and nuts. Most people who talk to me about accommodating friends with specific dietary needs have a certain venom in their voices. It must be tough for those who have to purchase expensive allergen-free desserts from the store. More often than not, if you're unable to get them fresh, you have to splurge on frozen products. I don't know about anyone else, but I only enjoy frozen things if they happen to be ice cream. Or smoothies. Or milkshakes. Or chocolate. Honestly, some chocolate tastes really good frozen.
So, I made these crumble bars because they seem to fit the bill perfectly. I had some perfectly ripe peaches, oats, gluten-free flour, and all the other ingredients just lying around in my kitchen wasting away. I decided to give them all a purpose.
I love peaches in the summer. They're juicy, sweet, tangy, and soft. Nothing better in a salad, on pancakes, in my smoothies, and just, generally, around and in my mouth. They also cook down very nicely into jam or compote. I made the latter for these crumble bars and it was the easiest process in the world.
I would definitely recommend a Vitamix/food processor/stick blender for the compote. It's not necessary, of course. I've also made the compote without blending the peaches beforehand and it came out just as delicious. The amount of time and texture does change when you blend the fruit, though. I found that it comes out more consistently and is easier for slicing the finished bars. Chunky or smooth, it's up to you. Now, if you would care to indulge (but not too much because this is kind of healthy), go grab some ripe peaches and crumble them! ^_^
Peach Crumble Bars
Yield: approx 9-12 servings
(1-8x8 square pan)
Soy, Nut, & Gluten Free
For the compote
For the crumble
Oven 350 F.
So, with some free time on my hands, some spare cans of chickpeas in my pantry, and a big craving for chocolate left me no choice but to make some delicious ice cream mousse.
I made a homemade ice cream cake around this time last year. The result was sweet, creamy, dense and satisfying. There is something to be said for that type of ice cream and usually it's "mmmmm!". But, today, I wanted to try something different. I wanted to create a light, fluffy yet richly flavored ice cream that would stand up to any dairy-filled gelato or frozen custard. I turned once again to my new-found friend aquafaba!
I recently made a sponge cake using aquafaba (chickpea brine) and I was quite pleased with the results. I wasn't quite prepared, however, to witness how wonderful aquafaba is on its own.
This time, instead of making my vegan meringue in the food processor, I used my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer! I absolutely love my mixer. It was my grandmother's first and now it's mine. It helps me make sweet and beautiful creations that I otherwise wouldn't on my own. I was so surprised to see how quickly the meringue whipped up and also how stiff (!) it got with the whip attachment! It behaved just like a traditional egg white meringue would. It also didn't deflate on me! ;)
I ended up with an entire batch of meringue that I didn't have a use for. So, in order to test its pipe-a-bility (?) I made little meringue cookies with my pastry bag. I've also never, even with eggs, attempted to make meringue cookies. They were never something I actually liked, so I never felt compelled to make them. My grandma loves meringue so I'm hoping I can make these for her one day and just not tell her that they're vegan. ;D
I was pleased with the meringue's consistency and its ability to hold up to piping. I made well-defined rosettes with ease and they never collapsed, even after baking them. I think I may have over-baked my cookies a tad, but they seemed to have the correct consistency inside. I still don't think I think them though...too sweet for me. ^_^' At least they look cute!
Here is the recipe for my meringue. It's absolutely amazing if done in a mixer with a whip attachment. I can't vouch for any other method except the food processor one, and I wouldn't recommend that method for this recipe.
Yield: about 4-5 cups of finished meringue
Chocolate Mousse Ice Cream
Adapted from: Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream from Vegan Chocolate by Chef Fran Costigan
Yield: a little more than a pint
Soy, Dairy, Gluten, and Nut free!
Sometimes, you just want a specific cake.
Ever since I've had delicious Japanese-style strawberry shortcake, I've been on a mission to recreate it in my own kitchen.
Although it's been a while since I've had a traditional cake made with eggs, I can still remember the springy and light texture that I enjoyed so much. I loved how the cake was not too heavy. This type of cake is a variety called castella cake, which is of a Portuguese origin. Sponge cakes are difficult to recreate into a vegan and gluten-free variety because they usually call for a lot of eggs or egg whites for volume. But, somehow, some way, I've formulated a recipe that yields a light and springy (but more delicate) sponge cake that is free of egg, dairy and gluten! This recipe was a bit of a work in progress so I made it a few times. I'll share the cupcake version as well as the full-on cake version!
I decided to share this recipe as a matcha (green tea) flavor since I wanted to drive home the Japanese theme. The cake can be made into a vanilla flavor by omitting the matcha powder and adding in some vanilla extract. Easy, right? =)
The strawberry shortcake that I loved so much was made with heavy whipped cream. I used to love and hate whipped cream before I became vegan. I loved the way it tasted and I loved how it was less sweet than buttercream, but I hated how I felt after I ate it. I felt borderline sick after consuming whipped cream. I also felt this way after eating eggs sometimes...you can see why I've chosen to eat the way I do!
If coconuts didn't exist, I don't know what I would do. Coconuts have allowed me to enjoy whipped cream again without the sick feeling (or the guilty feeling for that matter!). I'm sure it is now almost common knowledge that coconut cream can be a wonderful substitute for whipped cream in any situation (unless it's super hot out). If you aren't familiar with how to make coconut whipped cream, please head on over to this page and read all about it! It's the easiest thing in the world...and it tastes way better than traditional heavy cream, at least I think so. ;)
I recommend using ripe organic strawberries for this recipe. It's the end of the summer season, so the strawberries are still beautiful by me! If you want to make this cake in the winter and eat seasonally, maybe use some fruit preserves or serve with a custard filling instead. This is a great cake base for all types of flavors and ingredients, so play around!
(I just realized that these cakes look really Christmas-y because of the green, red, and white...whoops!) ^_^'
Green Tea Strawberry Shortcake
* coconut sugar will change the flavor of the cake a little to something more reminiscent of caramel; I wanted a neutral sweetness so I used Florida Crystals
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
**Sifting the flours will ensure your batter will be smoother. If you skip this step, you will have to work extra hard to get the lumps out when you stir everything!
Here is a picture of how I made the cake look for it's 6" size. I used a strawberry buttercream on this one instead of whipped cream. Although, if you make your whipped cream stiff enough, you can certainly use it for icing. I would add some confectioner's sugar and/or Ener-G egg powder to it for stability.
Happy baking, fellow MoFo'ers! =P
This post for VeganMoFo is a bit more simple. Ever since I decided to create Japanese-inspired recipes, I've been on a matcha kick. I have another recipe including matcha for later this week that I hope will be a hit!
Matcha is a powdered green tea for anyone who isn't familiar. It's very concentrated and can be quite bitter. The traditional way to prepare matcha is quite a long and specific process. There is an entire tea ceremony culture tied to the preparation and serving of matcha tea. I've had very good quality matcha before and it's absolutely delicious. It comes out almost like a frothy latte without anything added to it but hot water.
I've tried to obtain a frothy and thick texture with this matcha smoothie recipe. Matcha tastes much different when it is cold to me. I taste more bitter notes and less grassy ones. I feel as though matcha needs some sort of sweetness to balance out its bold flavor. I kept this smoothie (or shake, if you prefer) simple but with balanced ingredients that also offer substantial nutritional benefits. The spinach offers awesome amounts of vitamins and minerals while also being full of phytochemicals. The matcha is packed with antioxidants and is an essential ingredient to a long and healthy life. I've added some soft and sweet banana to the mix to give flavor, a creamy texture, and a bunch of fiber.
This smoothie is best served cold, but you could try it warmed up if you'd like. I wanted to keep the spinach and banana raw since it's still summer. I love this as a dessert, breakfast or light snack. It's also your best friend when you find yourself craving green tea ice cream!
Matcha Green Smoothie
*Try frozen for a delicious icy treat that will definitely remind you of green tea ice cream! ^_^
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.