Sweet Potato Chowder w/ Smoked Cheeze.

Even though it’s been rather hot here for a while, I decided to make soup anyway. It just sounded good to me. I think I just like anything that’s been smoked. Wayfare’s We Can’t Say It’s Cheese in the hickory smoked spread is so delicious and I never thought about incorporating into a “cheese” soup before. Add tempeh bacon for extra smokey goodness. SO GOOD and super easy.

Ingredients:

6 slices tempeh bacon, store bought or homemade

1 1/2 tbsp safflower oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 large orange fleshed sweet potatoes cubed

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1 fresh bay leaf

2 1/2 c low sodium vegetable stock

1 c So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer

1/2 package WayFare We Can’t Say It’s Cheese in smoked hickory

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

In a large dutch oven heat the safflower oil, cook the tempeh bacon until browned. Add in the onions and the mushrooms and saute until the moisture from the mushrooms is released and the veggies start to golden, about 10-15 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and garlic, stir to combine. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Using an immersion blender, blend a bit of the soup. I like soups chunky, so I don’t puree mine too much. Add the So Delicious creamer and the WayFare cheese. Simmer for a few more minutes, incorporating the WayFare. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Biscuits.

So. Who out there loves Smitten Kitchen? I do. It’s far from vegan, but I still can’t help but love it….just like Food Network. Even though I eat vegan, I still like to follow certain non-vegan blogs, shows and magazines. I find there is a still a lot you can learn, but really, I follow these things as they spark ideas in me. I’ll be reading a non-vegan recipe and think to myself, “oh my, well now that just sounds delicious. I want that. How do I get that? Oh yeah, yeah I make that vegan”. Sometimes that can be really challenging and sometimes it’s as easy as making equal substitutions of vegan products like almond milk or tofu.

Thank goodness it was easy veganizing these amazing Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Biscuits from Smitten Kitchen because…dear universe, they are freakin’ delicious. When I first went to SK and saw these, I think my mouth may have watered a little bit. I LOVE things with marshmallow. I don’t know why because there is also a part of me that thinks they are just a little gross, but I loooovvveeee them. My favorite non-vegan ice creams were the s’more flavor of Ben & Jerry’s (long since discontinued) and then Phish Food, really just for the marshmallow swirl. Man, I never even really liked Rocky Road all that much but would eat it just for those little white pillows of sugary weirdness.

Melty Marshmallowy Goodness.

So, these little goodies were supposed to be a play on that marshmallow/yam sweet potato casserole. You know, the one with candied sweet potatoes and melted marshmallow topping? For being a marshmallow lover, I actually never ate said casserole in my life until last year. I took a class with the Sporkies and they showed me the light. Anyhow, while the casserole was good, these little biscuits are seriously good. So good.

Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Biscuits

Adapted and Veganized from Smitten Kitchen 

Ingredients:

3/4 c sweet potato puree

1/3 c vegan buttermilk (1/3 c almond milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)

2 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

3 tbsp unbleached cane sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp unbleached sea salt

5 tbsp cold Earth Balance Buttery Spread

about 1 c of Dandies (Sweet & Sara are my favorite mallow, but I think Dandies work better for these biscuits)

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with silpat and set aside. Mix the almond milk with the tsp of apple cider vinegar and set aside for a few minutes to let it curdle. After the milk has curdled, whisk in the 3/4 c sweet potato puree and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, spices and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the Earth Balance. Unless your Earth Balance has been in the freezer, no need to try and get it in small chunks. Just scoop it out with a tbsp measuring spoon and drop it in the flour. Cut in the Earth Balance with the pastry cutter until you have that sandy looking mixture going on. In this case, I don’t think it necessarily looks like wet sand, but you know what I mean. Just cut the Earth Balance in until it’s in tiny pieces.

Add the sweet potato and milk mixture and start combining it to make dough. You’ll have to fold it over a few times, but don’t knead it too much. Once your dough has formed, lightly flour a work station and lay the dough out. Roll the dough out into about 1/2″ thickness. Now take your Dandies and arrange them on half of the dough. Now fold the other half of the dough over the side you just laid the marshmallows on. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as possible. Try not to twist the biscuit cutter– Place biscuits on the baking sheet lined with silpat. Now, as Deb put it and I agree, this dough isn’t the easiest for rolling out scraps, but just do the best you can. Feel free to squeeze in a couple of more marshmallows if needed. Bake in preheated oven for 13-15 and enjoy!

Okinawa Sweet Potato Pie.

A while back, I was browsing one of my favorite food blogs, Eat the Love. While the blog isn’t vegan, it does have a couple of vegan recipes and Irvin’s creations are some of my favorite things to veganize. Whilst aforementioned browsing, I happened upon an interesting recipe for sweet potato pie. Irvin had primarily used an interesting variety of sweet potato that I had never seen or heard of; the Okinawa sweet potato.

Okinawa Sweet Potatoes

So, this sweet potato is in the same family as the other types found at the farmer’s market or grocery store, including those that are always labeled as “yams”. Yes, most of you already know, but some of you may not….a yam is not a yam at all, it’s a sweet potato. They all have the same basic shape and come in different colors, for whatever suits your fancy and nutritional needs. But, what I found especially fancy and amazing about this particular variety of sweet potato is that, are you ready for this? They are bright PURPLE on the inside. Yes! Unassuming beige colored outsides and velvety purple sweet potato insides. Ahh, purple vegetables please me to no end.

yesss.....

So, basically I had to make this pie that Irvin posted. It was an American Orange Yam Sweet Potato & Okinawa Sweet Potato Pie w/ Macadamia Nut Topping. I was headed to Woori Market  located in the Little Tokyo area of downtown to pick up some sweet rice flour, coincidentally for another recipe of Irvin’s I am planning to make vegan. I searched around and found my flour for an amazing price. Then I wandered the produce area for a bit and ran into a bin of these amazing potatoes. I hadn’t planned on making this pie that day, but I knew that since I had run into this bin full of potatoes that I knew were purple on the inside, well, something just had to be done. After picking up my goodies I was super happy. I only got two bags of flour and a few sweet potatoes, but I felt so satisfied and excited. I went home and immediately began prepping the pie crust. I have linked to Irvin’s blog above where you can find the original recipe. Here are my vegan notes:

Vegan Notes for American Orange & Okinawa Sweet Potato Pie:

American Orange & Okinawa Sweet Potato Pie

1. Regarding the crust: Pastry crust is typically easy to veganize. Just replace the fat. I used Earth Balance for this recipe and my dough was VERY soft, even after 2 hours of refrigeration. It was still workable for me and I used it. It baked up perfectly well and tasted great, but I think any one of these options will be easier to work with: combination of solid coconut oil and cold Earth Balance, combination of cold shortening and Earth Balance, cold Earth Balance Coconut Spread, or just plain coconut oil or shortening on their own.

2. For the filling: Replace full fat yogurt with equal parts So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt. I used vanilla.

Replace 3 larges egg yolks with 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer. Do NOT whip with water. Add it to your filling dry.

Replace 1 large egg with 1 flax egg: 1 tbsp ground flax whipped with 1 tbsp water

Replace honey with agave nectar, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup or a bit of maple syrup. ***I eat honey and have been fortunate enough to have taken home some  macadamia nut blossom honey from Hawaii from ethical bee keepers on Maui, so I did use my macadamia blossom honey where it is called for in the recipe. I also brought home macadamia nuts, red salt and lots of other fabulous Hawaiian goodies. I think we should all go to Hawaii right now.

With the notes above, prepare the rest of the pie according to Irvin’s instructions, just swapping out the above ingredients and you will have a gorgeous and unforgettable sweet potato pie with a touch of Maui. 🙂