vegansaurus!

11/30/2010

Be still my heart: Love Bar vegan chocolate!  »

You know I’m the resident Philadelphian around here—well I live in New York but I’m still a Philadelphian at heart—so I was super-excited when I saw this chocolate! Love Bar chocolate and I are basically the same person! Just look at the stats: Love Bar, like me, is vegan, from Philadelphia, artsy, and full of fair-trade chocolate. OMG twinsies! I thought Mast Brothers chocolate had some nice wrappers but hot damn, Love Bar is on some next-level sheezy. And now all their wrappers are being printed at Space 1026, the ultra-cool screen-printing collective/studio. They also say they’ll do custom wrappers—is a Vegansaurus series in order?!

From their blog:
We Love: food, community, art, youth, Philly. You’ll find a little of all of those flavors in our chocolate—Love Bar is a community-supported chocolate project believing in the possibilities of business nourishing communities as opposed to exploiting them.

They have two chocolate bars that are both vegan and gluten-free (I know we have some gluten-free peeps in the crowd—I’m always looking out for you! Jeez, I’m the best). To top it off, “10 percent of profits go back to programs that support urban agriculture and/or youth development in Philadelphia.” Um, color me impressed!

I haven’t tried the chocolate yet but trust that I will be picking some up when I’m home for Thanksgiving. They are available at the Fair Food farm stand in the Reading terminal market. Oh, if you go to the Reading terminal market, make sure you stop by Basic Four, the vegetarian spot. Tell them Megan Rascal sent you! Just kidding, don’t really do that.

[Photo of wrapper designed by Joshua Mays via Love Bar blog]

Happy Thanksgiving from reader Megan M.! On her plate you can see bread with Earth Balance, Thanksgiving cutlets, fancy olives, two kinds of cranberry sauce, German-style red cabbage, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, brandied yams, apple-sage wild rice, and roasted brussels sprouts. She says that it was an all vegan Thanksgiving attended by three vegans and six omnivores, all of whom were very pleased with the dinner. Happy Thanksgiving, Megan!

Happy Thanksgiving from reader Megan M.! On her plate you can see bread with Earth Balance, Thanksgiving cutlets, fancy olives, two kinds of cranberry sauce, German-style red cabbage, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, brandied yams, apple-sage wild rice, and roasted brussels sprouts. She says that it was an all vegan Thanksgiving attended by three vegans and six omnivores, all of whom were very pleased with the dinner. Happy Thanksgiving, Megan!

Lord knows I hate a pear. Not as much as I hate grapes in their un-juiced forms, but I really, really hate pears. They’re so mealy and cloyingly sweet, and if they’re not crunching raw, they’re bruised to mush. Ugh.

But it’s pear season, and they’re all over the place, so what do you do when they appear (zing), as they inevitably do, in your kitchen? You can make pear preserves, like the adorable and earnest Patti Moreno the Garden Girl teaches you how to make here in this video. To veganize the recipe, replace the honey with agave or simple syrup, and voilà. It seems an easy way to make something tasty out of all those icky fruits weighing down your CSA boxes and grocery bags.

Really, jars are the solution to any item of produce you otherwise hate: pickle the vegetables, preserve the fruits. Then if nothing else you can make sandwiches and bloody marys.

Recipe: Ashley’s sweet potato bread and pistachio stuffing!  »

Ashley Arnerich sent us a photo of her Thanksgiving dinner, which included a delicata squash full of unique and really tasty (seeming!) stuffing. Greedily, I wanted the recipe for myself, but because this is your Vegansaurus, how could I ask her for it and not share it with everyone? Even better, you can make the sweet potato bread separately, so even if you don’t want stuffing, now you’ve got a recipe for seasonal quick bread.

Note that she offered to take extra time out of her schedule to figure out the measurements more precisely, but I said, if winging it worked for you and every other cook before Fannie Farmer came along, then let’s just post the recipe the way you came up with it, and let our clever readers be creative as well. So thank you, Ashley!

The sweet potato bread and pistachio stuffing was as good as is sounds. But I don’t actually have a recipe, and since I never measure this might frustrate you!

Sweet potato bread
Ingredients
1 tsp. vanilla
½ to ¾ cup soy creamer
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
½ cup beet sugar syrup (from Ikea— seriously tastes like a See’s caramel lollipop), but I’m sure any other sweetener would do
2 cups whole wheat flour
dash of cinnamon
baking powder
salt
1½ Tbsp. Earth Balance
1½ Tbsp. vegan shortening
½ to ⅔ cup sweet potato butter (puree, sugar and water)*

Instructions
In one bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, vanilla through beet sugar syrup. In a second bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; then mash in the Earth Balance and shortening with a fork. At this point I wasn’t even sure what I was making, muffins? biscuits? Then fold the sweet potato butter into the dry ingredients, and add the entire mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients. It looked like cake batter, so that’s how I treated it, baking it at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, but the recipe is going to depend on how you make it, i.e., it’s a little unpredictable.

That was good, and I had a lot left over this morning and I’m all about using shit up, and since it was just me I was cooking for I decided to make stuffing. The cake was nice and moist the night before and thats no good for stuffing so I cut it into chunks and toasted it on low while I did all my mise en place for lunch.

Sweet potato bread and pistachio stuffing
Instructions
Saute onions and garlic with rosemary, sage, and thyme; deglaze with red wine. I also added some warm mushroom stock, nutmeg, and black pepper.
Pour all this onto the sweet potato bread chunks and some toasted pistachios, stirring gently because the bread is fragile. Stuff into the already roasted delicata squash halves and bake for about five minutes.

Yum! I’d share but I’m in Austin. Hope this works for ya, I really should measure but it’s annoying when you’re hungry!

*or make your own!

[Ikea-sourced beet sugar syrup by tracy van cort]

11/29/2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Manna in London! I had a chance to nosh on this delicious apple pie with a side of vanilla ice cream (though the ice cream was so rich and flavorful I think it’s more of a vanilla buttercream ice cream… positively the best scoop of my life!).

Happy Thanksgiving from Manna in London! I had a chance to nosh on this delicious apple pie with a side of vanilla ice cream (though the ice cream was so rich and flavorful I think it’s more of a vanilla buttercream ice cream… positively the best scoop of my life!).

When I put out a call last week for a vegan cherpumple, little did I know, Megan at Down Home Vegan had already made it! It looks like the most awesome pain-in-the-ass EVER and I want it. Megan, you are a mad genius and I want to give you so many high fives, you have no idea. CHERPUMPLE!

When I put out a call last week for a vegan cherpumple, little did I know, Megan at Down Home Vegan had already made it! It looks like the most awesome pain-in-the-ass EVER and I want it. Megan, you are a mad genius and I want to give you so many high fives, you have no idea. CHERPUMPLE!

Once more: Happy Thanksgiving from Cara of Hipster Food! These are her apple spice cupcakes with molasses frosting and candied walnuts, one of three vegan desserts she brought to an omnivorous dinner. She says that “not only could no one tell the difference between our desserts and the other ones brought, but ours were gone FIRST.” Everybody loves a vegan baked good! Happy Thanksgiving, Cara!

Once more: Happy Thanksgiving from Cara of Hipster Food! These are her apple spice cupcakes with molasses frosting and candied walnuts, one of three vegan desserts she brought to an omnivorous dinner. She says that “not only could no one tell the difference between our desserts and the other ones brought, but ours were gone FIRST.” Everybody loves a vegan baked good! Happy Thanksgiving, Cara!

Another vegan meat cake! This one is a meat bundt cake from That Pain in the Ass Vegan. It looks freaking amazing and I want to wear it around my neck as a necklace. A new one every day! It’s fashion AND a meal, that’s THE FUTURE.
AND WAIT! There’s one more! BAM:My other new hero over at A Fresh New Stomach made the meat cake BUT WITH RICEMELLOW CREME TOPPING. Hello, you are so smart, our babies would surely be in MENSA. Or at least smart enough to be in MENSA but too cool to be in MENSA, you know?

Another vegan meat cake! This one is a meat bundt cake from That Pain in the Ass Vegan. It looks freaking amazing and I want to wear it around my neck as a necklace. A new one every day! It’s fashion AND a meal, that’s THE FUTURE.

AND WAIT! There’s one more! BAM:

My other new hero over at A Fresh New Stomach made the meat cake BUT WITH RICEMELLOW CREME TOPPING. Hello, you are so smart, our babies would surely be in MENSA. Or at least smart enough to be in MENSA but too cool to be in MENSA, you know?

Recipe: Roasted root vegetables with rosemary biscuits!  »


Hey pals, once again my mother did a lovely vegan spread alongside the lame turkey and stuff. The vegan mashed potatoes and vegan stuffing were delish but this was the special center of the vegan Thanksgiving at my house! It’s a roasted-root-veggie cobbler-type thing. We made it once many moons ago from a Martha Stewart recipe but I couldn’t find it anywhere! We found some approximations online but we just sort of did it the way I remembered in the end. Well, a very simple version of it.

You just chop up a bunch of root vegetables (and brussels sprouts because I love them!) like parsnips (I’m so into parsnips now), beets, sweet potatoes and all those good things. Mix them up with salt and olive oil, and then roast them in the oven! Once they are all roasted and you know, tasty, add from a half to a whole cup of vegetable broth, depending on the size of your dish. Then you put the biscuit topping on and bake. Use any biscuit recipe you want; I really really love Bisquick so I just did their basic recipe and added rosemary. Boooom! Roasted root vegetables with rosemary biscuits!

[second picture is of the “vegan” leftovers section in the fridge—how cute is my mom?]

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!

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