Monday, September 22, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Epic Stuffed Mushrooms

Okay okay.  I promise this is my last party post.  I just had to get this recipe up because people were raving about these.  It's kinda a typical recipe.  Normally, I wouldn't use so much processed stuff, but I'll drop some money for parties.  I went with Daiya mozzarella and Trader Joe's cream cheese, but you can do whatever.  You can also substitute the Beyond Beef for well seasoned tempeh.  This recipe is more of a template that can be easily tweaked.

super delicious fungi!
Epic Stuffed Mushrooms
(makes about 30)
soy free option: use soy free cheeses
gluten free option: use gf breadcrumbs

30 cremini mushrooms, stems removed
1 Tbsp oil
2 cups Beyond Beef Feisty Crumbles
1 cup cream cheese
½ cup parsley
½ cup chives
½ cup shredded Daiya (or whatever your jam is)
1 cup panko
2 tsp garlic pepper (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with oil, and evenly distribute the mushrooms on it. Heat the 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet. Cook the crumbles until heated. Meanwhile, add the cream cheese, parsley, chives, mozzarella, panko, and garlic pepper to a mixing bowl. Mix in the cooked crumbles until thoroughly combined.

Transfer mixture to a piping (or freezer bag) and pipe into the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is nice and golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Garlic Pepper
(makes ½ cup)
gluten free
soy free

¼ cup granulated garlic
2 Tbsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp granulated onion
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp fine sea salt

Pour the ingredients into a small plastic or glass container.  Shake thoroughly.  Store in the pantry.

VeganMoFo VIII: Banana Split Gel Shots

As promised in yesterday's party post, I have a fabulous recipe for jello shots.  These are pretty damn tasty and effective.  I was shocked how fast these went down.  For this recipe, I opted for boxed vegan gelatin which is readily available to me.  If you don't have access to that, stay tuned because I've been working on a recipe that involves agar.  Here we go...

another pic taken by Gina.  must remember to photograph everything before the party.  haha.
Banana Split Gel Shots
(makes about 20)

Marashino cherries w/ stems
3 ounce box vegan cherry jel dessert (like Gefen)
1 cup water
½ cup chocolate whipped flavored vodka
½ cup banana liqueur
vegan whipped cream (store bought or homemade)

Take 20 souffle cups and place one cherry in each one.  In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Add alcohol and let come to a simmer.  Remove from heat into a glass measuring cup, and add the vegan gelatin.  Stir until thoroughly combined.  Pour into the souffle cups and let chill until set.

Right before serving, pipe on a small dollop of whipped cream and add sprinkles.  Enjoy responsibly!

All right y'all.  For the remainder of MoFo, I'm challenging myself to post multiple times a day because I missed last week.  Party on!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: How to Throw a Party Like a BOSS

In seven years of MoFo, an entry has never left me exhausted...until now.

In case you haven't heard, I loves to throw me a party!  My ultimate goal with any party is to ensure my guests have a great time and know how much I appreciate them.  So, when my roommate and I decided to finally have a housewarming celebration, we went all out.  The theme: Stuffed!  Stuffed foods and all that jazz.  It was predominantly vegan (only two non-vegan dishes which are NOT featured here), and I'm the only vegan.  Haha.  And you bet your booties the food was devoured!  Check it:
my favorite dish of the night...stuffed mushrooms!
Chips and homemade salsas

Veggie tray w/ hummus

Mini Tomatoes Stuffed w/ Kale Pesto Orzo
Pakoras and Samosas w/ Tamarind Chutney
Homemade Bean Gorditas w/ Cabbage and Salsas
Epic Stuffed Mushrooms
Deviled Cukes
Parmela Creamery Kalamata Spread w/ Crackers
Vegan Cocktail Meatballs

Cupcake. Filling. Station.

Rum-Soaked Vegan Gummi Bears
Watermelon Tequila Shots
Eden (Gin, St. Germain, Cucumber Simple Syrup, Lime, Club Soda)

my friend made this flyer.  best thing ever.
deviled cukes. used my deviled tofu recipe but replaced the tofu with mostly hollowed out English cucumber.
The biggest surprise of the night was how much these omnivores were loving some vegan food.  My deviled cucumbers went super fast.  And they were insane over those stuffed mushrooms (recipe in a later entry).  I always tell people that if you give people really good food that doesn't claim to replace anything, they will be receptive to it.  Example: Instead of making deviled tofu, I simply stuffed some cucumbers with my deviled tofu spread.  People are more receptive to seeing something they normally eat served in a different way.

yes.  i have pig-shaped everything.  orzo stuffed tomatoes.
My roommate was making homemade salsas, corn tortillas, beans, and throwing together the gorditas. She also brought the delightful samosas and pakoras AND fresh dates, y'all!  We were rocking out in that kitchen.

Now, the cupcake station was my friend's idea!  They were in the dessert room (  We were originally just doing cookies n cream cupcakes, but I LOVED the idea of having people stuff their own cupcakes.  I don't have any pictures because my cupcake tower broke so the presentation was lacking.  Sniffle.  There was frosting, pecans, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and sprinkles.  Devoured.

watermelon tequila shots, sucka!
please excuse the paint under my nails.  it refuses to move.  oh, and hey gurl...boozy gummies!
Every good party has to up that booze game.  First and foremost, have PLENTY of non-alcoholic drinks for the designated drivers and people who don't drink.  Second...don't bore people.  Responsible drinking can be fun and even delightful.  The tequila shots were found online.  The premise: soak watermelon, salt limes, skewer.  The gummi bears were suggested by a friend.  I recommend soaking in something like Malibu.  As for the jello shots...they are a recipe I came up with and they FORKING RULE!  Recipe coming tomorrow because I'm still recovering from this party and all the dancing.

I'll leave with some pictures of friends I drunkenly took after demanding that people start dancing.  Haha.

not pictured (the ten people standing beside me, the people in the living room, the people in the dessert room, the people outside).  like a boss.
my kinda party guest!
Special thanks to Isabel (my roommate), Roy (our fantabulous deejay for the night), and Gina for being the first house guest, kitchen helper, and providing me with so many photos!  Woo!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Upping That Pizza Casserole Game

Dudes.  My very first year of MoFo, I made this pizza casserole that changed my freaking life.  And, of course, I didn't write a single note down.  This was originally meant for redemption Wednesday, but...what evs.  I'm just rolling with it.  This is some good stuff.  Like...seriously.  Check it.

Pizza Casserole
(serves 8-10)
gluten free option: use gluten free pasta and sausage
soy free option: use soy free vegan cheese

1 lb penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz cremini or button mushrooms, sliced, reserve ½ cup
½ lb eggplant, peeled and cubed
½ cup sliced black olives, divided
1 tsp salt, more or less to taste
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 ½ cups shredded vegan mozzarella
½ cup Nutty or Seasoned Parm (recipe below)
½ cup vegan sausage, optional
2 Tbsp fresh minced parsley or basil
crushed red pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper.  Cook for about 10 minutes until the onion is browned.  Add all of the mushroom (except for ½ cup), eggplant, half of the olives, and salt.  Cook until the eggplant is tender, about 8 minutes.  Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, lemon juice, sugar, and Italian seasoning.  Stir, cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes until heated.

When the sauce is finished, mix it with the cooked pasta and pour into a 9x13 pan.  Cover with mozzarella, Nutty Parm, the remaining mushrooms and olives, and vegan sausage (if using).  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle parsley or basil and crushed red pepper on top.

pizza, pizza casserole!
Nutty Parm
(makes about 2 ½ cups)
gluten free
soy free

¾ cup nutritional yeast
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup cashews
½ cup sunflower seeds
⅓ cup almonds
⅓ cup walnuts
1 ½ tsp fine sea salt

Add everything to a food processor and blend into a powder.  Keeps in the freezer for several months.

Seasoned Parm: Add 2 tsp garlic pepper or granulated garlic, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, and 1 tsp crushed red before processing everything into a powder.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Kitchen Tour!

Too tired.  Kitchen tour.  Missed yesterday.  Double posting tomorrow.  Alls I have to say about this kitchen is that I spent two years barely cooking because I previously lived in a small apartment with about 1.5 square feet of counter space and it was a galley.

looking into the kitchen
hate this fridge, but can you see Fusilli Jerry?
makeshift bakers rack dining room table
coffee and tea bar
pigs everywhere!
My roommate and I are planning on getting a buffet and turning a side hallway into a bar.  So excited about the future of my kitchen.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Sloppy Breakfast Sandwich

If you've been reading my blog long enough, then you just know I love nothing more than breakfast.  I don't care the time of day as long as it involves pancakes or scrambles or coconut bacon greatness.  Today is all about the sandwich I used to eat as a kid.  It's basically a fried egg sandwich veganized.  And because I love you, I'm giving you two recipes today.

holler at that sesame seed bagel
White Bean Sausage
(Makes 8 patties)

15 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz tempeh, steamed and crumbled
2 tsp rubbed sage
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp garlic pepper or granulated garlic
1 tsp liquid smoke
½ tsp red pepper flakes
⅛ tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp fresh minced parsley
½ tsp salt, more or less to taste
pepper to taste
½ cup vital wheat gluten
olive oil

Combine the beans and tempeh in a mixing bowl and mash until there is a uniform consistency.  Add the spices and adjust the salt and pepper accordingly.  Stir in the vital wheat gluten and knead for about a minute.  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet on medium and add the oil.  Form the sausages into thin patties and fry for about three minutes on each side, until cooked through.

the carnage!
Sloppy Breakfast Sandwich
(Serves 4)
GF Option: Use gluten free English muffins or bagels.  Use gluten free sausage.
Class this baby up a bit by adding sautéed greens and fresh tomato and replacing the jam with chipotle mayo or garlic aioli.
14-16 oz firm tofu, drained
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Black salt (kala namak) to taste
Pepper to taste
Olive oil

4 bagels or English muffins
Vegan cheddar, optional
White Bean Sausage or your favorite sausage
4 Tbsp jam

Squeeze the tofu of excess water and cut into 8 slices.  Combine the nutritional yeast and salt in a small bowl.  Sprinkle half of the mixture on one side of the tofu.  Sprinkle on the pepper.  In a large skillet over medium high, heat the olive oil.  Add the tofu seasoned side down and fry for about three minutes.  Sprinkle the unseasoned side of the tofu with the remaining nutritional yeast mixture and pepper to taste.  Flip the tofu and fry for an additional three minutes and remove from heat.

Toast the bagels or muffins.  Melt the cheddar on the bottom half of the sandwich.  Place two pieces of fried tofu and a sausage patty on the sandwich.  Spread jam on the top half of the sandwich and enjoy.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Celebrating Rainbows, Mothertrucker!

There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that my first Celebration Saturday was going to be about Pride.  My early twenties were a blur of gay clubs, drag queens, white parties, and so much greatness that I am truly thankful for the friends who opened my eyes to such an embracing LBGTQ community.  In fact, I began to own the term pansexual in my late twenties because I just do not feel gender or sexuality falls on a binary spectrum.  The point I'm trying to make is that I freaking love Pride.  So, here is how I would throw the best Pride party of all time.  Baby, baby!

super easy and really delicious
Red Course: Bruschetta and Garlic-Rubbed Baguette
Orange Course: Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup (see notes below)
Yellow Course: Lemon Sorbet palate cleanser
Green Course: Caesar Salad w/ Polenta Croutons (see notes below)
Blue/Indigo/Violet Course: Blue Potato Gnocchi


Unicorn Poop Cookies

But I'm a Cheerleader, Trick, Death at a Funeral, Wizard of Oz (cuz...rainbows)

"Ice Cream Truck" by Cazwell, Flintstones theme song, "Work Bitch" by Brit Brit

polenta croutons are the best croutons!
Okay.  So a few notes.  I halved the soup recipe and used homemade seitan sausage to replace the meat.  Additionally, I subbed vegetable chicken-flavored broth for the chicken broth.  The soup is delicious and super easy.  As for the salad, I recommend using one of  Isa's caesar dressing recipes (here, here, or the one in Appetite for Reduction).  Plus, I think the croutons would be better baked.  Either good on salads.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna dream of unicorn turds while singing "Como Te Gusta Mi Pinga?" all day.

Friday, September 5, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Moment of Bliss

Not gonna lie.  After two years of completely failing at MoFo, I am so excited that I haven't missed a day yet and I'm prepared for the next week and a half and the full month is planned out.  I have so much organization that it would drive Kittee crazy!  I love that woman.

So Fridays are all about using cookbooks I've been too overwhelmed by or haven't had a chance to try.  I've had Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan for a long while now, but I never really could decide what to make.  However, I always find myself ooing and aahing over the chapter dedicated to sea vegetables so I opted for the Land and Sea Soba Salad.

styling noodles?  ain't nobody got time for that
This thing is so good!  It's gingery (YES!), salty, smoky, sweet, and bitter from the cruciferous veg.  The only thing I had to do different was substitute red cabbage for the napa because the state of napa cabbage in my grocery store was frigging disgusting.  I actually got really angry at my grocery store because their entire produce section was a joke when I went shopping.  I'm talking dried out, wilted green onions.  I've worked in grocery for years and we would NEVER get away with that.


Go ahead and try this dish.  Your mouth will thank you!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Haters Gon' Hate

In case you haven't heard, I'm a mothatrucking hater.  I hate fresh mint.  I hate rum.  So, naturally, I be spittin' haterade all up in the face of mojitos...until now.  Slightly inspired by the refreshing drinks I seek out at my local bars ("desert facial" from Ace Hotel and "eden" from Bar), I opted to replace the grody mint with something fresh and enticing...cilantro!  I just feel that cilantro is a bit brighter than mint.  It works well here.

cilantro makes all the difference
Cilantro Mojito
(serves 1)
gluten free (with gluten free vodka)
soy free

¼ cup loosely packed cilantro
1 small lime, quartered
3 tsp sugar
¼ cup white rum
½ cup club soda

In a medium tumbler, muddle cilantro, half of the lime, and 2 teaspoons sugar together.  Feel free to strain out the cilantro at this point.  Add another lime wedge and the last teaspoon of sugar.  Muddle everything again.  Add ice to the top of the glass.  Mix in the rum and top off with club soda.  Enjoy!

Of course, if you're a cilantro hater, you can just do all of this with mint.  Just...don't tell me.  I will never look at you the same for the betrayal.  The horror.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Kaiserschmarrn

The thing I love most about Wednesdays is that I get to redeem myself.  I originally made this recipe in 2011 when I was trying to veganize meals from Best Thing I Ever Ate.  Wolfgang Puck was describing this Austrian pancake dish, and I decided to try it.  However, I mostly just kept making mistakes and getting enraged that I couldn't conquer some pancakes.

This time, I just used this fancy recipe that includes blackberries and peaches.  I substituted in my own pancake recipe (halved and with slight modification).  It made one large pancake and went really well with everything!  Recipe included below.

Fruity, pancakey goodness
Giant Pancake for Kaiserschmarrn

¾ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
¾ cups non-dairy milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup or agave
1 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1 Tbsp oil
½ tsp vanilla

Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl and stir everything until just mixed. Pour pancake batter into greased large skillet heated over medium high. Flip when bubbles are seen throughout and the edges look dry. Proceed with the linked recipe.

Without a doubt, I'd say this redemption challenge was a huge success! Plus, it was way less stressful than my first attempt three years ago. Haha.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Aw, Kale Naw!

Timeline Tuesday is here!  When I first went vegan, I knew jack about cooking.  My meals predominantly consisted of ramen, salad, fries, and this tofu scampi dish I made pretty regularly.  However, my mom hooked me up with How It All Vegan.  That was the first cookbook I ever owned and I remember making so much from it.

The one recipe I use regularly until this day is Barnard's Brown Rice Breakfast.  Truth be told, I was really hesitant to try the recipe initially.  It was this weird breakfast concoction involving toast, vegan mayo, ketchup, and a brown rice stirfry.  It made no sense to me...until I tasted it!  It's delightful really.  The key is to keep things simple.

I've been making this so long that I've made it into my own.  I upped the health factor a bit by adding tons of kale and using a good grainy toast.  This is easily made soy free (sub beans for tofu and use soy free mayo) and gluten free (use gf bread).  The recipe doesn't call for aromatics or seasonings but you can tweak it to your likes.  I like it just the way it is, though.

Word up!  Hey!

Mo's Brown Rice Breakfast

(a very loose adaptation from How It All Vegan)
Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil
14-16 oz extra firm tofu, squeezed of liquid and cubed
2 cups cooked brown rice
5 leaves of kale, de-stemmed and shredded
4 slices bread
4 Tbsp vegan mayo
Bragg's Liquid Aminos (to taste)
4 tsp flax oil, optional

In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium high heat.  Add the tofu and cook until slightly golden.  Add the brown rice and cook for about 3 minutes, until the tofu/rice mixture loses some moisture.  Stir in the kale and cook until wilted.  Remove from the heat.

Toast the bread.  Spread mayo on each slice of bread.  Load each serving with a quarter of the brown rice mixture.  Add liquid aminos to taste, 1 tsp of flax oil, and a drizzle of ketchup.  Devour.

Eureka! grainiac bread...super delicious
This meal is perfect for after an epic workout or if you need a breakfast to sustain you for hours.  Plus, the simplicity makes it super easy for variation.  Examples:

Want Mexican?  Sub chipotle mayo, black beans instead of tofu, avocado instead of flax, and salsa for ketchup.

Italian: Pesto mayo, broccoli rabe instead of kale, and arrabiata instead of ketchup.

Mediterranean: roasted garlic mayo, chickpeas instead of tofu, olives for flax, romesco.

Asian: adzuki beans for tofu, savoy cabbage, toasted sesame oil for flax, and sriracha for ketchup.

Monday, September 1, 2014

VeganMoFo VIII: Ginger or Death!

Welcome to Mo Betta Mondays!  I thought I'd kick off MoFo by sharing my favorite ingredient with you...ginger.  For realsies.  Anybody who knows me, knows that I have an obsession with ginger.  If I read that anything has ginger as an ingredient, I'm trying it.  I regularly keep ginger candies in the house for the occasional bout of nausea caused by my chronic pain medication.

Not only is ginger an amazing flavor, it also happens to be an ancient homeopathic remedy.  It's perfect for nausea, helps with vertigo, soothes digestion, boosts immunity, and battles inflammation.  If I feel a cold starting up, I always load some soup with tons of garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper.  It really does make the difference.

Ginger ice cream and ginger candy all day, son!
Last night, I had a hankering for something super gingery, so I flipped through Isa Does It and became enamored with the Omaha Yakisoba.  Sho nuff...that ish is legit!  I love the pops of sweet corn.  You need to try it, like, NOW!

This picture does not do it justice.  Seriously...make this now.
Dudes.  I am so obsessed with ginger that I plan to get it tattooed on my person (and my mother will dislike my decision for the rest of my life).  Haha.  But there is no other ingredient that I enjoy more.  No other ingredient takes me to a happy place with a mere hint of its awesomeness.  No other ingredient can feel fiery and sweet, warming and exciting..all at the same time.  All hail ginger!

VeganMoFo VIII: MoFo Intro

Awww yeah.  Just like a 90s r&b mixtape, I've decided to do a little intro to this year's MoFo!  I am officially feeling better than ever, so I figured I'd do something I enjoy and do daily themes.  So, here it is, my lovelies!  Vegan Month of Food 2014:

Mo Betta Mondays: I showcase things I absolutely adore.  These days will range from products to ingredients...even things that inspire me.

Timeline Tuesdays: This will be a walk through my vegan journey through food.  This will be a nostalgic trip for me.

Redemption Wednesdays: Not gonna lie.  I look most forward to these days.  With ambition, comes failure at times.  Plus, last year my spinal injury basically killed my drive to finish.  Wednesdays will be my day for sweet, sweet justice!

Thirsty Thursdays: Booze.  In all forms.

Cookbook Fridays: A couple years ago I vowed not to buy anymore cookbooks.  So, Fridays will be about using cookbooks that I've made less than 5 recipes from.  YAY!

Celebration Saturdays: About three years ago, I planned to do a MoFo theme that centered on party planning, but it was too ambitious at the time.  But now I feel pretty good about the themes I made.  

Sunday Brunch: C'mon, son!  You know I'm not doing MoFo without a little brunch action.

That's all for now.  Stay tuned because I'm about to drop my first post.

Photocredit: PSYCHGIFS