Keepin’ It Kind’s Tofu Chèvre recipe is a vegan cheesy grand-slam! »
Chèvre, olive oil, balsamic reduction*, fresh chopped tomatoes and julienned basil on toasted slices of sourdough baguette.
I am quite the vegan cheese connoisseur, and by that I mean I enjoy all of it**, especially the most expensive varieties! Right now, however, I am living in a place where the only vegan food I can trust comes from my own kitchen, fancy cheese included. There’s no Kite Hill for miles in these parts. I can’t complain too much though, as the olive oil and wine produced here are pretty fab!
Last week I wanted to treat myself, with as little work and ingredients as possible. Fortunately for me, I had bookmarked Keepin’ It Kind’s tofu chèvre, saving the recipe for a rainy day! Just kidding, I live in SoCal now, which means it was most definitely not raining the morning I made this! It was however, reigning Breaking Amish on Netfilx in my kitchen all day, that’s for sure! Man, I loved watching those four Amish and one Mennonite, making their way through the big apple. Oh, how I miss city life!
Alright, enough TV talk (we can use Twitter for that), let’s get to the cheese. I was stoked at just how easy this recipe was to follow, and that the results following were spectacular! I did change it a little, because tahini is not something I ever have on hand, nor was I willing to buy it for a half tablespoon. I substituted a little more miso (which means I should’ve cut back on the salt) and lemon. When this baby came out of the oven it took everything I had not to just eat it by the spoonful. By the time it cooled I had only about half a log left, which I used to make the most delectable bruschetta of my life!
Chèvre, olive oil, balsamic reduction, avocado and julienned basil.
I can’t recommend this recipe enough, as it’s both scrumptious and elegant! I’m making it for every party I host or attend in the future, because the world needs to know about this vegan cheese! My fave part was that not only did I make an artisanal cheese at home, it was a fraction of the cost of most vegan items on the market. I can’t wait to make this pesto and chèvre grilled cheese sammie and then this pizza! Who’s coming for dinner? I heard a rumor that Kristy Turner, of Keepin’ It Kind, may be working on a cookbook and so you better believe I’ll be
ordering online from the seat I’m in right now first in line for that hard copy!
*You don’t have bother looking up a recipe for balsamic reduction, unless you like things exact. I simmered about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar for approximately 20 minutes. It hardens as it cools, so don’t worry if it doesn’t seem syrupy enough when it’s warm. Don’t use a whole bottle of vinegar for a glaze you’ll use twice. Or do whatever you want, it’s your fridge space!
**Never the FYH vegan cheddar though. NEVER THE CHEDDAR.
How to make kale chips! Spoiler: It’s easy! »
Many of you are prob like duh, I been making kale chips longer than you’ve been out of rehab! But I had never made them until a few weeks ago and now I’m addicted. It did take some trial and error though so I thought I’d share my methods for the first-timers in the crowd.
I also want to add that I wasn’t that into kale. I don’t like it raw and I don’t really like it steamed. But I love kale chips! So if you aren’t that into kale either, you should definitely give chips a try if you want to find a way to like this uber-nutritious green.
Ok so set your oven to 300 degrees.
I like curly leaf kale best so that is what I would go with. First, wash your kale! Get it all clean. And then I lay the leaves out on paper towel to dry. You want them dry! Then I take each leaf, pat it a bit more, and place it on a cutting board.
Now, here is where my special method kicks in. My problem the first time making kale chips was too much olive oil! Too much olive oil means they will be soggy and won’t crisp up or will take forever to crisp up. That’s bad. But I couldn’t figure out how to put some oil on, but not too much. Then I had a genius idea! I took paper towel and doused it with olive oil, then I rubbed the paper towel over the full leaf. PERFECTO!
So take some paper towel and get it wet with oil. Rub over both sides of the leaf, dabbing a bit at the edges to make sure they get some oil. Then you take a knife and slice out the stem. I hear the stem is very bitter. Bleh. Then you cut or rip the rest of the leaf into about two inch pieces.
Now place them on a big ol’ cookie sheet (or lasagna pan if you are me and lost your cookie sheet). Arrange them in a single layer. Then sprinkle with salt and Nutritional Yeast, if you want to (you totally want to!)). If you have more kale pieces than fit in a single layer, you will have to do the chips in batches. Unless you have like one kale leaf, you will be doing this in batches.
Ok place the sheet in the oven. It will only take about 9 or 10 minutes for the chips to be ready! They should be crispy like leaves on the ground in the fall and a little shriveled. You can check on them at 7 or 8 minutes to see how they are doing. You can flip them too if you want, but I don’t think it’s necessary with the curly. If you use Lacinato kale, you should prob flip them half way through (I just flip them with my bare hands, the chips themselves aren’t very hot).
And then you have kale chips! THEY ARE THE BEST I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL THE TIME.
Recipe: fried tempeh tacos! »
I love fried food! I try not to eat it very often, because it can be quite decadent and I don’t know how to stop myself, but man-oh-man it’s fun! I get jealous of my friends’ fish tacos when we go out for Mexican food. Not the fish part obviously, it’s the fact they get to eat tacos with deep-fried protein and I don’t! This always seems to happen at the joints with a less-than-par vegetarian menu, so I’m left crying over my margarita. I’m just kidding, I never cry when margaritas are involved!
I got the idea to make my own “fish” tacos after one of these debacles. You can use any protein you like, but I like the tenderness of steamed tempeh in this recipe. There’s also no “fish” taste, but please, we’re just getting too technical. They’re delicious! Now pass the margaritas!
1 8oz package of tempeh
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 Tbs chili powder
3/4 Tbs cumin
1/2 Tbs salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup + 1 Tbs rice flour
3/4 cup water
Chop your tempeh in to strips, widthwise. I usually get about 12 even strips. I always steam my tempeh first. It’s not a necessary step, but I like the tenderness it gives the tempeh. As that’s steaming, I toast all of my spices, from the chili powder to black pepper. I then pour them into a small mixing bowl with the corn starch. Mix the spices and the cornstarch together well! In another bowl, whisk the water and rice flour. This mixture will be watery, don’t worry about it!
Heat up oil in a medium to large sauce pan. I usually put in enough oil to fill 1/4 of the pan. You will know your oil is hot enough to start frying when, if you splatter the tiniest bit of water in the pan, it sizzles. Once my oil is hot enough, I like to keep the heat right in between medium and medium high. Too hot and your food will burn, too low and your food will be overly greasy.
Take your steamed tempeh strips, and one at a time, first dip them in the cornstarch and spice mixture, being sure to cover all sides. Then dip your cornstarched strip in the flour-water mixture. Quickly set your tempeh strip in your pan to start frying! Each side takes only about two minutes. The batter doesn’t necessarily brown, but it hardens up, so that helps to tell when it’s done. Put only about four strips into the pan at once because you’ll need room to flip them over.
As the tempeh strips are done frying, take them out of the pan and set onto a plate covered with a couple paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
That’s everything! It was hard to save any tempeh strips to actually make tacos out of! I topped mine with a homemade guacamole, only to realize afterwards that I should have also picked up some cabbage at the store. Next time! The fish tacos at California Pizza Kitchen come with zesty ranch, and I think that flavor combination sounds delicious. I just so happen to have a vegan ranch recipe in my repertoire for you!
Sliced tempeh, about to be steamed.
Toasting my spices! It only takes about two minutes in a dry pan on medium heat.
Tempeh covered in the cornstarch and spices mixture.
Fry tempeh, fry!
My recipe just so happens to be gluten-free, but you can easily make a gluten-full batter with 1/2 cup flour to 1/2 cup water.
Recipe: Vegan Cream Puffs featuring the Vegg Baking Mix! »
Hey everyone! I recently developed a vegan cream puff recipe, using The Vegg Baking Mix, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you! We here at Vegansaurus love The Vegg, so of course we wanted the lowdown on this new product! Rocky of Vegg sent me a sample of his new product; Since I am a vegan baker by trade, I asked him if there was anything special he’d like to see done with it. When he said “vegan cream puffs” my first thought was “OH NO, THE HARDEST THING EVER!!!” But after 17 attempts and a very full trash can, I had a success! These delectables are a little cakey, yet still airy, with a flavor that reminds me of the cream puffs from my past omni life. I was determined not to quit until I got them right. My mom and my sister, two very discerning eaters who are not always impressed by my creations or choice of restaurants, request these puffs on a regular basis! That is how I know I’ve succeeded. The pops enjoys them too, but like me, he’s a much easier-to-please and adventurous eater.
Alright, enough story-telling, let’s get to the recipe section of this post! One last thing before takeoff: I didn’t have the chance to experiment with anything else besides the cream puffs with The Vegg Baking Mix. If you are curious about it, here is a review by one of our fave vegan bloggers, Bianca of Cooking Crunk! I can’t wait to try that quiche. I haven’t been able to focus on anything except getting my cream puff recipe right! Did I mention I finally watched all the last episodes of Breaking Bad while doing it? That was a trip!
4 tsp The Vegg Baking Mix
1 cup water
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup Organic* Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk or water
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Adjust cooking racks to the bottom half of the oven. Preheat oven to
Blend The Vegg, tsp baking soda and 1 cup water until completely smooth. Set aside. This is the equivalent of about four large eggs.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, whisk butter, sugar, soy milk and salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and add flour. With a wooden spoon, stir mixture until it forms one cohesive ball, which should take about 2 - 3 minutes. Turn heat off, remove dough from sauce pan and place in to a large bowl. With a hand mixer, using beater attachments, mix dough on a medium to medium high speed (always start at the lowest and work your way up) just to the point dough isn’t flying everywhere! Slowly add Vegg mixture and beat until fully incorporated. This is the kind of dough that warrants a strong gluten structure, so don’t worry about over-mixing. Turn off mixer, add vinegar, and let sit for a few seconds while it sizzles. On a low speed, mix in vinegar until incorporated. You can also use a food processor fitted with an S-blade for the mixing process, just keep in mind that the dough is sticky and therefore leads to a tedious cleanup.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper, using cooking spray directly on the baking sheet to keep parchment in place. Place 12 rounded tablespoons dough on baking sheet. For uniform puffs, wet a finger and smooth the tops of the dough. Place in oven at 400F for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, lower oven temperature to 375F and bake for another 10 -15 minutes, keeping a close eye on the puffs between the 10 and 15 minute marks. The tops should be golden brown, but you want to keep the bottoms from becoming too dark.
Let puffs cool completely and decorate! You can poke a hole through the bottom and fill them with a pastry bag, but I prefer to cut mine in half. My
favorite way to fill them is with a coconut whip cream (if you use the Trader Joe’s canned coconut cream, refrigerated for a few hours, you don’t need to worry about discarding any liquid. Just open the can and go!) You can also use Jello Brand Instant vanilla pudding for the filling!
Cream puff assembly is pretty straightforward: I cut the puffs in half,
scoop a dollop of whip cream on the bottom layer, place the top back on,
and generously spoon chocolate atop (see ganache recipe below)! As a final option, you can sparingly dust on powdered sugar as garnish!
Makes about 24 puffs.
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp non-dairy milk or soy creamer
1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
I like to make a homemade double boiler for my ganache. I bring a small to medium sauce pan filled halfway up with water to a boil. I then place a metal bowl atop, lower heat to medium low, then add my chocolate chips and milk. I let the steam melt the two ingredients together, whisking
occasionally. If you do not have a metal bowl, gently warm milk in a sauce pan, being careful not to scald or boil it. Once it is heated, I remove from heat, and add my chips, gently whisking to melt down.
Full disclosure: Rocky sent me The Vegg Baking Mix free of charge to review for Vegansaurus, but I have purchased The Vegg in the past and I plan to do so in the future as well.
*If you’re concerned about palm oil in Earth Balance products and aren’t satisfied with the RSPO certification of their palm oil sources, you may prefer to use their organic Buttery Spread. All of the organic palm oil Earth Balance uses comes from Brazil, an orangutan-less country.
Recipe review: Vegan Hollandaise from the Comforting Vegan! »
I am living in a place where I don’t think vegan brunches are served; probably not the vegan-friendly ones I’m accustomed to. I don’t think granola and a fruit plate is much fun, but I do get a kick out of making food at home! Breakfast is served!*
I love breakfast food, it is my favorite kind of meal! It has always felt special to me to go out to breakfast with friends or prepare an elegant one at home (move over, fancy dinners, breakfast is back). I have come to really enjoy going out to brunch because that’s when restaurants make the most splendid of morning food! The array of beverages is fantastic: juices, coffee and sometimes bubbly! I, however, am my father’s child in that I’ll do anything to avoid a crowd, and sadly, weekend brunches on the town are no exception. That’s okay though, because thanks to both The Vegg, and a new-to-me hollandaise sauce from The Comforting Vegan, breakfast at home is now both chill and exciting! Friends, we’re doing brunch at my place this weekend!
The hollandaise sauce calls for The Vegg, which we’ve discussed here before, but I hadn’t tried myself until very recently. I’m super stoked by it. I had forgotten how much I loved the taste of “yolks” and ketchup together! The Vegg atop fried tofu is delicious, but I was feeling adventurous in the kitchen. I’ve been curious about vegan hollandaise, yet unsure about how it could be pulled off. This in turn lead to concerns about complete and utter disappointment as home cooking experiments failing to meet personal expectations can be so frustrating! Now, I’m going to admit to you that I was at first resistant to this recipe, possibly because I initially judge recipes by the amount of ingredients they call for. I was hesitant about the Vegenaise factor, yet something kept bringing me back. It was the comments section! How could I not give it a shot when everyone had great things to say and I, for once, had everything on hand?
The result? HOT DANG! My parents used to make hollandaise sauce once a year, on Christmas day for the family, and this recipe brought me right back there! I don’t think Amy could’ve picked a better name for her blog.
The most important meal of the day!
*Pro-tip: Hollandaise and Daiya together is a bit much, so you can totally nix the vegan cheese! I think vegan bacon (in whatever form: bits, seitan, coconut) and sautéed spinach go together splendidly; believe me when I say that it is an absolute dream pairing with this recipe!
It’s been a pretty chilly 67 degrees in SoCal, so I needed a little something to warm up! AHAHAHAHA, just kidding, I wear tank tops everywhere, only to be met with a concerned, “Aren’t you cold?” NO WAY! I JUST MOVED HERE FROM SAN FRANCISCO! (And before that Chicago! And before that, Humboldt County! This is the eternal summer phase of my life! But yeah, actually, I could’ve used a light sweater, I just didn’t bring one, me having so many assumptions about southern California and everything.)
The truth is, I’ve been eating out with my family at a bunch of restaurants that serve clam chowder and it’s left me with a hankering for a vegan version. So thank you, Isa! This Glam Chowder, as with all of your recipes, is awesome. Plus, I’m super into it being soy and gluten-free to boot! My pal Amanda texted me awhile back, letting me know this recipe was bomb; I just want to say “Thanks, girl! You were right! Hey, can you send me some of your future-award-winning jalapeño mac’n cheese? It would be so greatly appreciated! XoXo.”
Well, hello there Crispy Coconut Cauliflower Bites! I would very much like to enjoy you this afternoon with a delicious cocktail. Nothing wrong with celebrating happy hour in the luxury of my
parent’s own home, with gluten-free, vegan and fried (or baked option) snacks! I will see you come 5pm, cauliflower bites! Thank you Fork and Beans, for this delectable-looking recipe!
Check it out: an easy-to-follow, three ingredient recipe for coconut whipped cream, by Laura Friendly! Not only is it vegan, it’s gluten-free too! And don’t you worry about using the the rest of the can of coconut milk, that’s easy! You could make ganache, or curry, or use it for the liquid in a cake (just add water if you don’t have enough, it’s fine). While not all of Laura’s recipes available on Hello Giggles and her website are vegan, a bunch of them are, and they’re all gluten-free! Check it: TRUFFLES! You could dip the truffles in the whipped cream! Or this chocolate pie! Or make a vegan whipped cream bikini, it’s all the rage!
Photo via laurafriendly.com
DEAR. LORD. IN. HEAVEN. ABOVE. I don’t believe in much, but I believe in these spring rolls. I want to eat them until that my DNA is made entirely of mint and bean sprouts.
tofu quinoa fresh rolls with easy peanut sauce / recipe
Check out these baked jalapeño poppers from The Vegan Pact! These look like the perfect addition to any Super Bowl spread. I’m getting so excited for Sunday because the Super Bowl means calories don’t count and Bruno Mars is playing the halftime show! I am his biggest fan! More things I am a fan of: vegan jalapeño poppers and baking my food at home instead of frying it, as my frying skills leave everything overly greasy. This leaves me with no qualms about ordering every fried item on the menu at restaurants because I eat so healthy at home!
Photo of oooey gooey goodneess via theveganpact.com