vegansaurus!

07/12/2011

East Coast-style Fourth of July!  »

Vegans are amazing! Check out this spread from Aimee’s Fourth of July BBQ near Annapolis, Md. Fourth of July veganism, coast to coast!
Featured: pesto pasta salad with tomatoes, potato salad with Torfurky Smoky Maple Bacon Tempeh, Gardein beefless burgers, Perfect Grilled Portobellos, Tofurky veggie dogs, organic corn, assorted dips and guacamole from Roots Market, plus Aimee’s new favorite condiment, Spicy Red Pepper Miso Mayo. Dessert included fresh peach ice cream and Sticky Fingers brownies and Cowvin cookies.

This looks delicious! I can’t wait to invite myself come to your next party! Thanks for the submission!

12/14/2010

You guys! It’s not too late to throw together a vegan nog for the nog-in contest at Fabric8 this Saturday! They only have one vegan entry so far and they want more!!

If you’re interested, email Fabric8 and let them know you’re coming! And you plan to win! Oh, and did you see Isa’s new nog recipe? Looks INSANE, are you insane enough to enter it!? DO IT ENTER DO IT!!! And here’s more vegan egg nogs if you need even more ideas! Yes, it’s just a google search but still, VERY HELPFUL.
That sign above is from our entry last year. We did not win but we think it was rigged because we are poor losers!

You guys! It’s not too late to throw together a vegan nog for the nog-in contest at Fabric8 this Saturday! They only have one vegan entry so far and they want more!!

If you’re interested, email Fabric8 and let them know you’re coming! And you plan to win! Oh, and did you see Isa’s new nog recipe? Looks INSANE, are you insane enough to enter it!? DO IT ENTER DO IT!!! And here’s more vegan egg nogs if you need even more ideas! Yes, it’s just a google search but still, VERY HELPFUL.

That sign above is from our entry last year. We did not win but we think it was rigged because we are poor losers!

11/15/2010

Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Week nine: VEGAN Battleship Chocolate Bundt Cake with Sour Cherry Compote!  »

Does our ninth guest chef really need another introduction? You guys, it’s TERRY HOPE ROMERO! She is a PROFESSIONAL. She wrote her own post! She commented on the episode! She veganized AND personalized the original recipe so you will want to and be able to make it yourself. Did she time her recipe to sync up with National Bundt Pan Day? Possibly, the woman is magic. And here she is!

When Vegansaurus asked me to participate in the veganization of the most recent winning recipe of Just Desserts it was my perfect excuse to pull away from the computer and open up a fresh bag of vegan sugar. And of course vicariously live through the pain and triumph of the contestants, but at home and without the fuss of wearing pants. Who knows, maybe you’re not even wearing pants while reading this post. But I know you like dessert; either way I now salute you with cake.

However, last week’s show was a nightmare of confectionery request: teetering towers of anniversary sponge layers, buckets of fondant and food coloring (oh, Zac), all smothered in mounds of buttercream. Where are the glistening crèmes, chocolate ganache or decadent tortes, Just Desserts? How mean a challenge was that? And don’t get me started on decorating: after baking thousands of cupcakes by now, with a pastry bag full of frosting I don’t often go beyond a swirl or a dollop. Who has precious time to spare when honest, tasty vegan cake is what the world needs right now?

This to-the-point recipe stars a fluffy chocolate cake brushed with brandy syrup. Syrup-brushed cakes stay fresh longer, plus you have the thrill of soaking dessert with booze. I love the easygoing joy of serving cake with ice cream: pair it either with homemade Greek-style frozen soy yogurt, or your favorite vanilla soy or coconut-based ice cream. Chocolate and cherries is a favorite combo of mine too, so the sour cherry compote (also kinda Greeky) stays. It’s the ideal compliment to the sweet cake and tart, gently sweetened soy froyo.

I do like cake, even if I sound a little curmudgeonly, and my preferred way to enjoy it is pure and with a modest touch of creamy or fruity, like in this recipe. The buttercream may be gone, but I’ve kept the “battleship” name in honor of the awesomely strange and bold choice of chef Danielle’s serious grey tint for the frosting of her winning monument to octogenarian love. An unfrosted Bundt cake embodies that certain something—massive, tall, and ready for both love and war. Seriously chocolatey dessert warfare, that is.

Battleship Chocolate Bundt Cake with Sour Cherry Compote
makes one cake; serves 1 cake monster or 12 others
Time: 45 minutes bake, about 10 to mix

A Bundt pan adds a badass sculpted look to this tender, fluffy chocolate cake that gets additional depth from modern-day chocolate soy milk and old-fashioned strongly brewed coffee. Serve naked as-is, or tastefully dress it up with a brushing of brandy syrup and swoosh of sweet & sour cherry compote.

Ingredients
Cake
3 Tbsp. finely ground flax seed
1 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
1¼  chocolate soy or almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup canola oil
1 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
(tip: Brew extra-strong coffee, stronger than you could actually drink, for a fully flavored cake)

Brandy Syrup
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup water
2 Tbsp. brandy (Metaxa is Greek brandy if you want to keep the theme going)

Sour Cherry Compote
8 oz. dried cherries
2 ⅓ cups pomegranate juice drink
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
fresh lemon juice

Instructions
Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Spray a 12-cup Bundt cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large measure cup combine hot coffee and ground flax seed and set aside for 5 minutes, then stir in chocolate soy milk. In a microwave-safe, large bowl melt chocolate at 50 percent power (or melt chocolate over a double boiler, whatever works for you) for 45 seconds to 1 minute, then stir chocolate with a rubber spatula until melted. Stir in canola oil and sugar and mix to thoroughly combine.

In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Form a well in the center, scrape in the chocolate mixture and then pour in about half of the coffee mixture. Mix just enough to moisten ingredients then add remaining coffee mixture, stirring to combine. Do not over mix, only make sure no remaining dry flour mixture remains. Pour batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to get every last drop from the bowl to the pan. Bake undisturbed (no peeking!) for 45 minutes then test center of cake with a wooden toothpick: toothpick should come out clean—a few crumbs are OK. Do not over-bake cake. Remove cake from oven and cook in pan for 15 minutes. Place a serving plate on top of cake and invert pan, lightly tap top of pan before removing. Allow cake to cool another 10 minutes then brush with brandy syrup. Brush with syrup several times, making sure to cover both outside and insides of Bundt cake.

Brandy Syrup
In a small saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, cool for 2 minutes and stir in brandy.

Cherry Compote
Heat pomegranate drink in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming and simmering. Add cherries, turn off heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. In a food processor puree cherries into a chunky mixture with agave nectar and wine vinegar. Taste and adjust sweet/sour flavor with lemon juice and more agave if desired. Compote will thicken slightly as it cools.

Frozen soy yogurt with orange flower water
Serves 4 to 6

In homage to Danielle’s intriguing Greek yogurt ice cream here’s a simple frozen soy yogurt lightly sweetened with agave and flavored with orange flower water. Remember that orange flower water does not taste like oranges: it has a light floral flavor commonly found in Mediterranean sweets. Can’t find it? Omit it and add more vanilla extract (or a little almond extract).

This soy frozen yogurt should be served immediately after freezing in the ice cream maker. If packed and frozen for more than an hour it will get overly hard and require thawing. Either way, this froyo is tart and light; add more agave for a sweeter yogurt or use sweetened plain soy or coconut yogurt.

Ingredients
24 oz. plain soy or coconut yogurt, unsweetened or sweetened
½ cup or more to taste light agave nectar
2 tsp. orange flower water (not orange extract!)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions
In a mixing bowl beat yogurt until smooth, then stir in agave nectar, flower water and vanilla. Taste and adjust sweetness by adding more agave if desired. Freeze according to ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions, about 25 minutes should suffice for a firm frozen yogurt. Serve immediately with cake and warm compote.

To serve, use a very sharp, think knife to slice cake into thick slices and serve with 2 or 3 generous tablespoons of warm cherry compote and a scoop of frozen yogurt/ice cream. Serve immediately! Great with dark roast drip coffee or strong Greek-style coffee.

Terry Hope Romero bakes her cake, eats it too and likes to pretend she’s cooking on a pirate ship when in her home kitchen base in Queens, NYC. She is co-author of Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and her most recent book is also her first solo, Viva Vegan! 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers. Visit her at veganlatina.com.

11/10/2010

Top Chef: Just Desserts, episode nine airs tonight, and our ninth chef is revealed!  »

The ninth episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts airs on Bravo tonight (10 Eastern/Pacific), which means that we’re ready to unveil our ninth guest chef who will veganize the episode’s winning dessert! See the first eight here: Chocolate mousse! Mini cheesecakes! Margarita bombes! Toffee brownies! Chocolate cake! Fried pie and ice cream! White chocolate mousse! Panna cotta! Rice Krispy bars coated with chocolate and hazelnut butter! Red hot macarons! DO IT. Our next chef needs no introduction but you know we’re verbose, so:

Terry Hope Romero is fucking amazing! Seriously, she’s already co-authored your favorite vegan cookbooks (That’d be Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar), but she also recently published VegNews' 2010 Book of the Year, Viva Vegan! Seriously, every single one of her cookbooks is The Best Ever. I’d probably bet my life on the fact that you own at least one of her cookbooks. Not only that, her twitter is hilarious and adorable, and everything about her is totally rad. Also, we’ve heard a rumor that her partner in delicious crime, Isa Chandra Moskowitz (OMG the new PPK is beauuutiful!), might be teaming up with her on this one? We are seriously jumping up and down over here, and you know what cynical assholes we are so this is kind of a big deal.

We’re thrilled to see what Terry does with the crazy challenges that Top Chef: Just Desserts throws her way tonight. Luckily, the bon bon challenge below is the Quickfire, so you know we won’t be torturing her with making something that normally takes two days in five minutes. 


[can’t see the video? watch it on vegansaurus.com!]

01/13/2010

Help Haiti: Bakesales forming in NY, LA, SF, Portland. Join in!  »

Veganites,

Yesterday morning a 7.0 earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti—it was the area’s worst earthquake in 200 years. It literally  pulled everything to pieces. Here’s the New York Times' coverage.

How can you help? In several ways! You could most definitely donate directly to Doctors Without Borders, The International Rescue Committee, or check out our friend Brant’s list of charities based on their charity navigator score.

OR, you could also help organize a vegan bake sale!

If you’re in San Francisco, a bakesale is being organized for Saturday, Jan. 23 in Patricia’s Green (on Hayes Street at Octavia Street), from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you’re interested in participating, please email Jen ASAP! Let’s DO THIS, SF VEGANS!!!

RAINY DAY ALERT FOR SAN FRANCISCO: If it rains the day of the sale, head down the street to Mercury Cafe at on Octavia and Page st. We’ll be inside with our delicious goods!

Other cities that are making it happen: @IsaChandra is organizing the Portland one; the user @miharu is taking on the Los Angeles one; @DaynaR in New York is looking for other people.

Isa put up a list of the bake sales on the Post-Punk Kitchen site—of course, there aren’t lots of details yet, but they’ll get filled in as we make them happen.

If you’re in a city that’s not represented, let us know! Join the PPK thread and get one started! NOW, GO!

12/18/2009

Vegansaurus Last-Minute (totally selfless!) Holiday Gift-O-Rama!  »

It’s down to the wire, folks. If you’re anything like me, you’ve left your holiday stuff to the last minute (though, to be fair, you had the best of intentions and meant to get started in September), and now you’re faced with the seven-day holiday insanity challenge. Well, friends, I am here to help. Here it is, the Vegansaurus Last-Minute Holiday Gift-O-Rama!

1. Signed cookbooks! Famous vegan cookbook author and all-around great person, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, is selling off signed copies of all her cookbooks! The best part? 100 percent of the proceeds are going to Out to Pasture sanctuary in Oregon. Time is of the essence on this one so order quickly if you want it in time for Christmas! Shipping included, prices are $28 for Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar; $32 for Vegan Brunch; and $42 for Veganomicon.

To get your signed book, send a paypal to ppkshop@gmail.com and include the book(s) that you would like. If it’s a gift, remember to include the recipient’s address! And please let them know who Isa should sign it to.

Perennial favorite Farm Sanctuary is offering holiday gift adoptions again this year! Sponsorship/adoptions range from $10 per month for a rabbit or chicken up to $50 per month for a cow, which pays for all that animal’s needs throughout the year. With your adoption, you’ll receive your adopted buddy’s photo and biography, and best of all, a VIP tour to meet them! 

3. For the salty dog in all of us, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is offering gift memberships for the holidays. You pay $25 or more in your recipient’s name, and they get a certificate acknowledging the donation, a copy of the Sea Shepherd Log, and a sticker with the Sea Shepherd logo (which is, if I may say so, badass). Your membership dollars go toward helping the Sea Shepherd keep saving those whales! There are also options for making recurring donations as well as Sea Shepherd shirts, bags, water bottles, and other goodies on the site if that’s more your thing. However you give them money, it’s going to a good cause, so spend away!

4. If you’re planning on plying someone with vegan cheese (or vegan shoes! or vegan acne medication! what! asshole!) over the holidays, why not order from Vegan Essentials and save 10 percent on any order (including sale items!) with coupon code “holiday10”? OR orders shipping within the continental USA (sorry Hawaii and Alaska! You always get screwed! Oh and every other country, sucks to be you! USA! USA!), you can get a free upgrade from UPS Ground to UPS 2nd Day Air on orders over $50 (total cost excluding shipping). Make sure to choose UPS ground as your shipping option when you check out and you’ll be upgraded at no extra charge. Both offers expire at midnight on Dec. 19 (that’s tomorrow!) SO GET ON IT. If you’re looking for more delicious vegan treats, VegNews* has a store up and running that includes some damn cute holiday cards & VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS (plus lots more awesome stuff!). Also, giving a subscription (available in tree-free form too for all you people who care about the Environment GOD) to the magazine is only $20 and spreads the vegan love all year long! Finally, Herbivore put out a gorgeous coffee table book of their art. It’s a super classy present.

5. Finally finally, just about every animal rescue takes a beating around the holidays. Whether it’s a farm animal sanctuary that experiences an influx of turkeys or a cat rescue that overflows with discarded holiday kittens, all animal charities accept donations and are grateful as hell for the help. Is that curmudgeonly aunt of yours a secret rabbit person? Donate to Save A Bunny in her name! Bam! Done! Have a friend who loves cats but can’t reasonably take in another one? Donate to Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue, and they’ll do the taking in for her. Oh, and there’s always the Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine,* The Humane Society, Rocket Dog Rescue,* Grey2K USA, Animal Place, Compassion Over Killing, Mercy For Animals, Animal Acres, Home At Last, and many, many others. All you need is a credit card or paypal account, and your holiday shopping is just minutes away from being done.

Happy holidays!

*Members of Vegansaurus are presently employed by/volunteer for these organizations.

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