vegansaurus!

11/21/2012

Meagen of Vegan Food Addict made these glorious Thanksgiving pierogis because she is brilliant and knows everyone’s secret favorite food is side dishes you can eat with your hands. To wit: Inside these babies are mashed potatoes AND stuffing, and they are topped with gravy. Make these with your Thanksgiving leftovers, or combine three dishes into one master plate and serve these alongside your UnTurkey and sweet potato pie. You can’t lose!

Meagen of Vegan Food Addict made these glorious Thanksgiving pierogis because she is brilliant and knows everyone’s secret favorite food is side dishes you can eat with your hands. To wit: Inside these babies are mashed potatoes AND stuffing, and they are topped with gravy. Make these with your Thanksgiving leftovers, or combine three dishes into one master plate and serve these alongside your UnTurkey and sweet potato pie. You can’t lose!

12/22/2011

Recipe: The best cornbread ever, with gluten-free option!  »


Homemade cornbread and chili, together? The best!

Not that long ago, when I was living in Chicago (and walking home, two miles from work, in the snow) I came across this cornbread recipe on the internet. You see, back then I was not rolling in dough (I could not afford a bus ride home), and I needed meals that would sustain me for days, while allowing me to spend the least amount of money possible. Chili it was! And what goes magnificently with chili? Cornbread! I have not only made a couple of changes to the original recipe, but added a gluten-free option as well. (Can we talk about how the recipe was created by an 11-year-old? Brava, Dana, brava!)

Ingredients
2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
1/4 cup + 2TBS hot water
1 cup all purpose unbleached flour*
1 cup cornmeal
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 cup soy milk or water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
 1/2 bag frozen corn + 1 small red and 1 small green bell pepper sauteed together (optional)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 F.

The ground flax seeds and hot water act as “eggs” in this recipe. You will need very hot water for this, so you can boil it, but I just use water from my tap, as it’s hot enough. I put the ground flax and hot water in a mug, whisk them together with a fork for a couple beats, and let it sit while I get the rest of my stuff together. It should make a gelatinous substance.

Whisk all dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients, including flax seed mixture. Mix until smooth, being careful not to overdo it. Basically, just whisk until your dry is incorporated into the wet. Fold in sauteed veggies.

Grease a baking pan. Find one that the batter will fill about halfway. It rises quite a bit, and you don’t want the outside to burn while the inside is still raw! Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. The top should be ever so slightly golden brown.

Gluten-free option
You can make the gluten-free version SO EASILY! Instead of unbleached flour, I use 1/3 cup corn flour, 1/3 garfava flour, 1/3 cup rice flour, and 1 tsp. xantham gum! I add a little more salt, about 1 1/2 tsp., and 1/3 cup agave nectar. Also, I notice gluten-free baked goods have a shorter baking time, so check it out around the 15 minute mark.

I think it would be a wonderful idea to make gluten free stuffing with this cornbread (minus the sauteed veggies). Bake it, then let it cool over night. The next day, cut into cubes and bake until sides are crispy. Use it in place of croutons!

For a sweet cornbread (or muffins!) I take out the sauteed veggies and instead add nutmeg and cinnamon! I usually do this with the gluten-free version, making myself healthy breakfast muffins!


Hello, breakfast!

11/23/2011

Recipe: The Absolute Greatest Stuffing For Every Holiday!  »

This recipe is the family heirloom in my clan. I’m not totally sure it’s OK to give it away, but I fancy myself a rule breaker. No, that’s a lie, I hate getting in trouble. In the paraphrased words of Taylor Swift, “I am scared of the principal’s office of life.” Mom, don’t be mad that I’m giving away our family recipe! It’s too amazing to keep a secret!
That being said, is best stuffing recipe you will find, I’m sure of it. Plus, it features all my most very favorite ingredients — spinach, mushrooms, onions, and garlic!

Ingredients:
     1 package croutons (make sure they’re vegan) 
     2 or 3 packages of frozen, chopped spinach*
     3 or 4 short cans of sliced mushrooms*
     1 tsp. Bell’s Seasoning
     Between 3 - 6 white onions (obviously your discretion. I’m an onion girl. 6 it is!)
     4 - 5 ribs celery, chopped
     1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
     3 - 4 cloves garlic (Or, if you’re me, 8)      
     Olive oil!
     Salt and pepper, to taste 

Instructions:
Chop your onions, your celery, your garlic. Drizzle yo’ pan with olive oil (a couple tablespoons olive oil, if you’re into measuring stuff out). Turn it on medium/medium high.  Saute onion until transparent (I caramelize, bitches!), add celery, cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic. DON’T LET YOUR GARLIC BROWN. That’s why you add it last. Cook the flavor in, but it gets bitter when it browns. If you’ve had it on medium high, turn down to medium at this point. Add Italian herbs, salt, pepper and Bell’s, too. Let the spices cook in. 

If you are using packaged spinach, boil according to directions. Open your cans of mushrooms. 

In a PRETTY LARGE BOWL, pour in croutons, cooked onions/celery/spices/garlic, canned mushrooms and cooked spinach! Mixed together! Let sit overnight. Stuff a vegetarian something or other. If you aren’t stuffing anything, you just want delicious stuffing, bake covered at 350 til heated through and through. Take off covering (foil?) and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes until top is lightly browned.

Stuffing atop the tofurkey I made from scratch, Christmas 2009.


Stuffing baked alone for Easter 2011, with fresh ingredients including sourdough bread!

As always, if you make this, let me know of any modifications you make. I want to know everything!

*This stuffing is so good with the canned stuff. I remember telling my mom, “if it’s not broke, why fix it?” — which she agreed with, wholeheartedly. I mean, we were raised on this stuff! However, I use fresh ingredients these days. I’ve slowly ventured to using a bag of fresh spinach and about a pound of fresh mushrooms. If using fresh spinach and mushrooms, saute your chopped, fresh mushrooms until browned, then add spinach. Saute ‘til spinach is cooked down. Put aside, and continue on in the recipe! Oh, and as for croutons, I made my own for Easter** last year. I’ll do that again and get back to you about how it turns out.

**Last Easter, I took a loaf of sourdough bread, chopped it up, drizzled it with olive oil, and baked until toasty. I called that croutons. Turns out, I don’t know how to chop bread into small pieces. But! My friend Evan described my ‘stuffing’ as a savory bread pudding. I LOVE bread pudding. Score!

11/28/2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp of Blonderland! She and her husband are Californians living in Toronto, and were pleased not to have to fight the pre-Thanksgiving grocery store crowds this year. Lisa writes, “I made buttercup squash gnocchi with caramelized onions, fresh herbs, and sun-dried tomatoes, green beans, a dish of roasted beets, butternut squash, onions, and apple, a vegan tofu turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and baked yams. For dessert I made date squares and pumpkin cheese-pie, and also served a fruit tart from a local vegan-friendly bakery called LPK’s Culinary Groove.” Read more about it on her blog. Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa!

Happy Thanksgiving from Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp of Blonderland! She and her husband are Californians living in Toronto, and were pleased not to have to fight the pre-Thanksgiving grocery store crowds this year. Lisa writes, “I made buttercup squash gnocchi with caramelized onions, fresh herbs, and sun-dried tomatoes, green beans, a dish of roasted beets, butternut squash, onions, and apple, a vegan tofu turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and baked yams. For dessert I made date squares and pumpkin cheese-pie, and also served a fruit tart from a local vegan-friendly bakery called LPK’s Culinary Groove.” Read more about it on her blog. Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa!

Happy Thanksgiving from reader Aimee in Maryland, who arranged on her plate, clockwise from the bottom: mashed potatoes, with butternut squash gravy by Roots Market in Clarksville; green bean and mushroom casserole from a PPK recipe; stuffing by Roots Market in Clarksville; Tal Ronnen’s sweet potato biscuits; roasted brussel sprouts; and Field Roast en croute. Butternut squash gravy! As delicious as it sounds?
She also turned 25 the day before Thanksgiving, so from all of us at Vegansaurus, happy birthday, Aimee! And Happy Thanksgiving, too!

Happy Thanksgiving from reader Aimee in Maryland, who arranged on her plate, clockwise from the bottom: mashed potatoes, with butternut squash gravy by Roots Market in Clarksville; green bean and mushroom casserole from a PPK recipe; stuffing by Roots Market in Clarksville; Tal Ronnen’s sweet potato biscuits; roasted brussel sprouts; and Field Roast en croute. Butternut squash gravy! As delicious as it sounds?

She also turned 25 the day before Thanksgiving, so from all of us at Vegansaurus, happy birthday, Aimee! And Happy Thanksgiving, too!

Happy Thanksgiving from author Deborah Underwood! Check it out, you can see the steam still rising off her meal! It included Tofurky, wild rice and mushrooms, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pear and cranberry sauce. Deborah notes that she’s thankful for the fact that her 75-year-old dad is vegetarian, which we agree is absolutely wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving, Deborah!

Happy Thanksgiving from author Deborah Underwood! Check it out, you can see the steam still rising off her meal! It included Tofurky, wild rice and mushrooms, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pear and cranberry sauce. Deborah notes that she’s thankful for the fact that her 75-year-old dad is vegetarian, which we agree is absolutely wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving, Deborah!

Happy Thanksgiving from reader Sonni! She threw a post-Thanksgiving dinner party for her friends, because, as she puts it, “most of our families aren’t very vegan/veggie friendly (or are just plain crazy).” On the table here is mac ‘n’ cheez, Tofurky with gravy, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, veggies, and cranberry sauce, plus another friend’s candied yams. Those are good friends to have. Happy post-Thanksgiving, Sonni!

Happy Thanksgiving from reader Sonni! She threw a post-Thanksgiving dinner party for her friends, because, as she puts it, “most of our families aren’t very vegan/veggie friendly (or are just plain crazy).” On the table here is mac ‘n’ cheez, Tofurky with gravy, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, veggies, and cranberry sauce, plus another friend’s candied yams. Those are good friends to have. Happy post-Thanksgiving, Sonni!

Happy Thanksgiving from reader Amber in Seattle! She and her roommates Lola and Remi (with the glamourous names!) made what sounds like a literal ton of food; pictured on this plate are Tofurky cooked with butternut squash, apples, mushroom, onion, potato, and carrot; stuffing with heaps of mushroom gravy; biscuits; green bean casserole; baked mashed potatoes with Daiya; cooked kale and chard; roasted sunchokes and parsnips with sesame oil; and baby greens salad with cucumbers and beets. She says that this was her “first time having sunchokes EVER and they are [her] favorite new TASTY discovery.” Happy Thanksgiving, Amber!

Happy Thanksgiving from reader Amber in Seattle! She and her roommates Lola and Remi (with the glamourous names!) made what sounds like a literal ton of food; pictured on this plate are Tofurky cooked with butternut squash, apples, mushroom, onion, potato, and carrot; stuffing with heaps of mushroom gravy; biscuits; green bean casserole; baked mashed potatoes with Daiya; cooked kale and chard; roasted sunchokes and parsnips with sesame oil; and baby greens salad with cucumbers and beets. She says that this was her “first time having sunchokes EVER and they are [her] favorite new TASTY discovery.” Happy Thanksgiving, Amber!

Happy Thanksgiving from EveeDream of A Fresh New Stomach and her omnivorous husband, whose feast was all-vegan this year! On this pretty green plate, clockwise from the top, are Hazelnut Cranberry Field Roast, dumplings, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing (in the middle), cranberry sauce, greens with garlic and vegan bacon bits, “some more cranberry sauce for good measure,” and Tofurky. See here for more photos of their dinner, their s’mores pie dessert, and their feline dining companions. Happy Thanksgiving, Evee!

Happy Thanksgiving from EveeDream of A Fresh New Stomach and her omnivorous husband, whose feast was all-vegan this year! On this pretty green plate, clockwise from the top, are Hazelnut Cranberry Field Roast, dumplings, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing (in the middle), cranberry sauce, greens with garlic and vegan bacon bits, “some more cranberry sauce for good measure,” and Tofurky. See here for more photos of their dinner, their s’mores pie dessert, and their feline dining companions. Happy Thanksgiving, Evee!

Happy Thanksgiving from Lauren and Eric in Philadelphia! Displayed on one of their plates here are, clockwise from the top, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac ‘n’ cheese, brussels sprouts and garlic-sauteed green beans, a seitan cutlet, and a dinner roll in the center—and everything was homemade by the two of them. Can you stand it? Their adorable blog about their adorable life being adorably vegan together is almost too much, I mean honestly. Happy Thanksgiving, Lauren and Eric!

Happy Thanksgiving from Lauren and Eric in Philadelphia! Displayed on one of their plates here are, clockwise from the top, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac ‘n’ cheese, brussels sprouts and garlic-sauteed green beans, a seitan cutlet, and a dinner roll in the center—and everything was homemade by the two of them. Can you stand it? Their adorable blog about their adorable life being adorably vegan together is almost too much, I mean honestly. Happy Thanksgiving, Lauren and Eric!

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