Bonus MoFo Round 2.

Just a quick lil’ bonus post to tell everyone to go buy Heather Goldberg and Jenny Engel’s (aka the Spork Sisters) new book, Spork-Fed. I am lucky enough to know these ladies personally as I have taken a ton of their vegan cooking classes here in Los Angeles and they are totally badical. Their book is perfect for anyone really, not just vegans which is great. Oftentimes there are more omnivores in class than vegans or vegetarians. They ALWAYS end up loving the food. I have also met so many amazing vegan friends through the classes.

I have tried several of the recipes included in the book and I can tell you they are awesome. Mouthgasm spectacular. Heather and Jenny also offer cool online cooking classes too. Watching their videos is just like being in class with them. They’re the best. 🙂

And please go check out these amazing blogs from some of the cool ladies I have met in class:

I Dream Of Greenie

OMGosh I’m Vegan

Your Vegan Girlfriend

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Cloudy. With A Chance Of Turkish Meatballs.

Yesterday it was awesomely rainy here in Los Angeles. Due to our very special mediterranean climate, we have warm to hot and typically very dry summers and winter is when we get our rain. Of course, weather isn’t entirely predictable, so we do have some rainy overlap into fall or spring certain years….and we do get the very occasional summer sprinkle or scattered shower. Weather is actually really cool. Whenever you hear weather people on the news talking about highs and lows, they’re referring to air pressure systems. When you have a low pressure system, the air is rising and you can expect cloudy/stormy weather. High pressure is exactly the opposite and in areas of high pressure, you can expect it to be a clear day. Changes in pressure gradient is what causes wind. I could go on about how clouds are formed and how it is that rain falls, but then I would never get to talk about what I really want to….meatballs. Or vegan meatballs, rather.

Yesterday, I decided to make the Vegan Turkish Pomegranate Meatball Soup from one of my favorite cookbooks, Veganize This! by Jenn Shagrin. I didn’t intend to make this soup on a rainy day, so the fact that it was cloudy with a chance of meatballs was entirely serendipitous. What I didn’t realize was that making this soup would turn into a 4 hr meal. If you have Jenn’s book and intend to make this soup one day, I suggest you prep for a day or two ahead of time, as this soup is a handful. I don’t mean to say anything negative about Jenn or her recipes, because I adore her and her food, but just warning everyone that this particular recipe is very time consuming if you choose to do it all at once.

When all was said and done though, the soup was very good and I do have significant amount of soup and meatballs to eat whenever I want for the next few days.

Pomegranate Mint Meatballs straight from the oven
Turkish Pomegranate Meatball Soup

Again the soup was rather tasty, so I don’t mind that it sort of took forever. If I make it again, I will prep the seitan meatballs and all of the veggies beforehand. Actually, making the seitan and then forming that into the meatballs the day before would save a tremendous amount of time. I’d say the meatballs were more reminiscent of falafel even though they had no chickpeas. They were still super good though and def. worth making at some point.

I have made vegan meatballs twice before, the beanballs from Veganomicon and the Swedish Meatballs from The Vegan Table. I have to say that the Swedish meatballs were the most like real meatballs, albeit Swedish rather than Italian. The reason is that Colleen’s recipe uses Lightlife’s Gimme Lean Ground Beef, which is very meat-like. The beanballs were good too and worked well for a meatball beanball sub. I probably prefer the beanballs to eat regularly, as they are the least processed and most healthy out of the three, but the others certainly make good treats and creative meals, so give them a chance too.

Beanball Sub. Homemade Sauce.
Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes & Lingonberry Preserves

 

Homemade Applejack. Or Brandy. Or Brandywine.

I was looking at a recipe a while ago that called for Applejack or Apple Brandy–which I thought were the same thing. Turns out applejack is a type of brandy, but the definitions are a little confusing. Information about applejack will tell you that it was originally made by distilling concentrated apple cider. And if you look up brandy, you will find that it is made by distilling wine. The word brandy comes from brandywine, which comes from a Dutch word. You will also find some information on different types of brandy and on the list you will typically find applejack, the American apple brandy and calvados, the French apple brandy distilled from apples….Not sure if they are actually different or just the country is different. So, I figure that applejack, calvados, and apple brandy can be used interchangeably.

I had a leftover bottle of brandy from when I made Brandied Cranberry & “Beef” Stew. With all of my new found information on applejack and apple brandy, I decided to make something along those lines. I combined some organic white wine, brandy, cinnamon sticks, a touch of sugar and a bunch of apples that I picked last week with a friend.

Brandy, Organic White Wine, Cinnamon Sticks, Apples
Apples, cinnamon sticks, sugar & a touch of water

I needed a big bottle to store my apple/wine/brandy mixture in and I decided to use one of my empty beer growlers. If you don’t know what growler is…omg…you need to know. Right now. When you visit a microbrewery, not only can you get beer by the taste and by the pint, but you can also buy a giant bottle full of beer called a growler. A growler is  typically about a half gallon of beer. Yessss! One of the disadvantages of the growler though is that you have to buy a new one for every brewery you visit. You also have to drink the beer in a day or so, but you know, that can be done. 😉 Anyhow, my Eagle Rock Brewery growler was calling for me to fill it with alcohol again, so I obliged and poured my mix in. Now it has to ferment for a while and will not be ready until early to mid November. I will, of course, update the blog with results and recipe/method if it turns out well.

But I Have Trimps….

Mofo in the morning.

Ahhh, Agador Spartacus…one of the greatest characters in any movie. Ever.

There is a moment in the movie “The Birdcage”, at the dinner party where the soup or something ridiculous is going out to be served and Agador says with a handful of shrimp, “but I have trimps!”. Great line. Greaaaat line.

Now every time I eat vegan shrimp I think of Agador. Vegan shrimp you say? Yes. Vegan shrimp. They’re pretty weird because they look an awful lot like real shrimp and they do a pretty great job at maintaining some of that shrimp texture. It probably seems like I eat a lot of fake meats and vegan cheeses, but I really don’t. There are a handful of products though, that I really love and these bizarro fake shrimp are one of them.

Vegetarian Plus Vegan Shrimp

The ingredients in these are not too scary, but, you know, they’re still processed so they’re not an everyday or really every week kind of food. I eat them once every other month or so. Plus, I don’t want to ever get tired of them because I love them, so it works as only thinking of them as a “treat”. Wait, have I already said how much I love them?!? Hey, funny story real quick: my beloved Whole Foods stopped carrying these guys and I was a very sad fox for a while. I looked in some other stores, but couldn’t find them. So, like any sane, rational person would do, I got online and found the manufacturer’s phone number and called them to harass them. They told me where I could get them, but kept naming places in Orange County and Ventura….I told them I was looking for a place closer to LA when the woman on the phone said that they’re made in Monrovia. Monrovia?!? Hey, that’s not that far. She told me that if I was willing to buy them in bulk, that I should drive to the headquarters in Monrovia where they have this little shop underneath their offices. I asked how much “bulk” meant, as I have limited freezer space and she told me 3 lbs. SOLD. I immediately drove to Monrovia for my 3 lbs of vegan shrimp and left the happiest person ever.

As of now, I have seen them in Nature Mart and the Follow Your Heart store, but I think I’m good for a while with the 3 lbs….which I will totes buy again once they run out.

Anywhooo, they’re pretty versatile in the way where you can use them anywhere you would have used real shrimp.

Like in this Risotto with Pesto & “Shrimp”

Risotto with Pesto & "Shrimp"

or in these super amazing delicious “Shrimp”/Field Roast/Mushrooms/Shallots & GRITS”. Mmm….grits.

"Shrimp", Field Roast, Shallots & Cremini Mushrooms over "Parmesan" Grits.

If you’d like a less involved way of trying these vegan shrimp for the first time, well then, please enjoy this very easy, very simple recipe for a “shrimp” & “bacon” quesadilla. 🙂

Vegan Shrimp & Tempeh Bacon Quesadilla

Ingredients

1 bag Daiya Pepperjack Shreds–I keep telling Daiya they need to make this one in block form.

1 package vegan shrimp, thawed—I love this brand, Vegetarian Plus….but I hear lots of asian grocers carry different brands and there is a company called Sophie’s Kitchen that also makes them, but I’ve never tried those

half package Lightlife tempeh bacon or homemade tempeh bacon, cut into little pieces

tortillas–I generally eat quesadillas on whole wheat flour tortillas, but I want to try these delish sounding brown rice ones that I heard about on Your Vegan Girlfriend

guacamole–use your fav. I have an excellent recipe that I will share in the future.

pico de Gallo

Method

So, firstly, you’ll want to saute your tempeh bacon and vegan shrimp in a tiny amount of oil, really you don’t need much. Then, assemble your dilla. Layer your tortilla of choice with the cheeze, then layer your shrimp and tempeh….and if you’re a weirdo like me….put your guac into the quesadilla as well. I know, I know….you’d think you’d top a quesadilla with guac after it’s already cooked, but I like it inside with the melty cheeze and other goodies. Once you are done assembling, throw your quesadilla on the stove top and melt away, or you can do this in the microwave as well.

Melted open face so you can see the goods!

Apple Rosemary Pie with Vanilla Hazelnut Crust.

What can I say? I love making pies. I probably enjoy making pies more than anything else…. and for a person who loves to cook, well, that’s sayin’ somethin’.

You know what else I love? Putting an interesting twist on old classics. I have mentioned on this blog before how much I love fruit and cheeze and throwing different herbs into desserts. Baking fresh herbs into your pie, whether they be rolled into the dough for the crust or mixed with the actual filling have the ability to bring your pie or baked good to the next level.

Apple Rosemary Scones

The Apple Rosemary Scones above marked the first time I decided to put apples and rosemary together….with a little idea/recipe help from vegan goddess Isa in Vegan Brunch. From that moment on, I knew there would be another future recipe where I would have to marry apples and rosemary again. So, now comes the Apple Rosemary Pie with Vanilla Hazelnut Crust! I have to say that I am very proud of this pie and truly hope that others are just as into as I am. It’s weird when you make something that you think is really good and want to tell people how good it is….but at the same time it’s not your intention to brag or be obnoxious… I just want people to know that pie never….ever….has to be bad. Especially vegan pie. It can always be the best pie you ever ate. Promise.

Apple Rosemary Pie with Vanilla Hazelnut Crust

Apple Rosemary Pie with Vanilla Hazelnut Crust

Crust Ingredients: This crust recipe will yield one bottom crust, plus extra for some lattice or cutout shapes. It may not yield enough for you to completely cover the pie with a top crust, so go ahead and bump up the ingredients if you’d like two full crusts.

1 c + 2 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 c + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour

1/4 c + 2 tbsp hazelnut meal/flour–just really finely processed hazelnuts. Ilike Bob’s Red Mill

2 tbsp vanilla sugar–VERY easy to make at home or available at The Spice Station–for homemade, just pour some of your unbleached pure cane sugar into a jar or container and add some vanilla bean pods. I use pods where I have already scraped and used the beans and just the hull or shell is left. You can also use your empty vanilla bean pods to make homemade vanilla extract with bourbon or vodka. Two great reasons to keep those little pods instead of tossing them in the trash.

9 tbsp refined coconut oil–refined just means that this type of oil doesn’t have a coconut taste. If you want to get the coconut taste, get the unrefined or virgin oil. Always make sure that your coconut oil is the non-hydrogenated stuff. Whole Foods 365 Brand now makes virgin and refined coconut oils that are never hydrogenated and a decent price. Spectrum also makes great quality coconut oil. Alternatively, you can also use an equal amount of Earth Balance Coconut Spread

1 vanilla bean–split down the middle and scraped with the back of your knife

1/4 salt

6-8 tbsp ice water

Pie Filling Ingredients:

5-6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2/3 c vanilla cane sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds scraped from one additional pod

2 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped very finely or minced

1/4 tsp salt

Method:

Prepare the crust. For the crust, combine the flours, hazelnut meal, sugar, salt and vanilla bean seeds. Cut in your solid coconut oil or Earthy B Coconut Spread using a pastry whisk. Combine until your mixture starts to have that famous “wet sand” consistency. Now, you may not need all of your ice water, so don’t dump it all into your dough at once. Add about 2 tbsp at a time until you hit 4 tbsp. You don’t want your dough to be wet, you just want to use the cold water to bring it together. If you need more water after 4 tbsp, add very little at a time until the dough sticks together. Flatten your dough into a disk and refrigerate for about 30 min.

While your dough is in the fridge, prep the filling. Peel core your and your apples. Place your apples in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and give them a good stir to make sure the ingredients are as evenly distributed as they can be and all of the apples are coated. If you feel like adding a splash of fresh lemon juice for good measure, I won’t stop you. Go for it. 😉

Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove your crust from the fridge and roll that bad boy out into a big circle to fit your 8-9″ pie plate. You should have LOTS of over hanging crust. Take a pair of kitchen shears and trim off the extra. Now quickly roll the scraps out and cut some lattice strips or use a cookie cutter to cut out fun shapes. Place your decorations on the top of your pie and stick it in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, then decrease the heat to 350°F and continue baking for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before you dig in. Would go perfect with vanilla coconut milk ice cream.

*Just a note, when you do a very open lattice or elect to use cookie cutout shapes on the top of your pie, it can give the illusion that your pie is drying out or that the fruit on top will be dry. The reason for this is just that a lot more steam is escaping from the pie than if it had a traditional top crust, crumb topping or tightly woven lattice. My pie was not dry at all, but if you’re freaking out a little, just cover the top with a bit of foil.

Bonus MoFo Post.

MoFo Bonus Round!

Head on over to my very awesome and beautiful friend’s blog, I Dream of Greenie to check out my guest post for this Osso Buco Style Seitan w/ Saffron Risotto. And check out the rest of her very amazing blog as well. 🙂

Osso Buco Style Seitan atop Saffron Risotto

Brandied Cranberry & “Beef” Stew.

Second day of Vegan Mofo is a go! Just as a note, I really like how Jamie Oliver refers to all of his recipes as “lovely”. I use the word yummy a lot I guess. But I think today I’m bringing you a lovely recipe for Brandied Cranberry & “Beef” Stew.

Cranberries are native to North America and extremely seasonal. They grow in acidic bogs throughout the North, most notably (for us Americans) in the great state of Wisconsin. When cranberries are ready for harvest, beds are flooded, they are removed from the vines and then corralled into a corner and removed. Then they go off to be cleaned, sorted and packaged. 95% of cranberries are made into juice drinks, sauces, jams, sweetened dried berries etc. Only 5% of cranberry harvests are sold fresh in stores. Only 5%!

Dudes harvesting cranberries!

Cranberries also have some pretty amazing health properties as well as being beautiful and delicious. Cranberries contain certain phytochemicals and flavonoids that are currently being researched for “possible benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system, and as anti-cancer agents…” Cranberries also have anti-clotting properties and the ability to treat and prevent recurring urinary tract infections, especially in women. Cranberries contain this amazing anti-adhesion property that prevents nasty bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder or urethra–oddly enough, they are also known to aid in the prevention of plaque formation on teeth. And here, for you lucky readers, is some TMI: I know firsthand that cranberries are what you want if you even have the tiniest suspicion that you have a UTI. I always have cranberry supplements on hand that I take for preventative measures and have used them to treat UTI’s in the past, without antibiotics*. They always work wonders for me and I love them. I buy freeze dried cranberries in vegetarian gel-tabs, so I know I’m getting straight up cranberry and not a bunch of other junk.

Cranberries also have notable levels of vitamin C, fiber, and manganese as well as lots of other essential nutrients.

But on to what is really important, how delicious cranberries can be!

Cranberries have a very tart taste and flavor, so eating them raw can be a challenge. Here, they are used in this delicious fall stew and while cooked, they are not cooked down nearly as much as they are for something like homemade cranberry sauce or relish–so you will still get a hint of that tartness when you bite into them, but they go perfectly with the richness and warmth of this stew.

Brandied Cranberry & “Beef” Stew

Veganized from Sunset Magazine

Ingredients:

4 packages Gardein Beefless Tips ( I know that is a lot of Gardein, but this recipe makes a ton of stew!–Alternatively, you can make a big batch of beef style seitan to use instead)

3 tbsp safflower oil, divided

3lbs kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks. To peel and seed a kabocha, I typically cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds (which you can save, roast and eat if you want) and then I slice the kabocha into wedges. I then use a very sharp knife (be careful!!!) to peel away the skin from each wedge. This is my preferred method, but there are less complicated ways of doing this. You can also heat your kabocha for a few minutes in the microwave to soften it, which makes the skin easier to peel

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped

1/3 c unbleached all-purpose flour

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tbsp dutch processed cocoa

5 c No Beef Broth– I use 2 heaping tsp of Better Than Bouillon’s No Beef Base dissolved in 5 c of hot water. The package indicates to use 1 tsp for every 8 oz of water, but I find that much too salty. I typically always cut the amount I’m using by at least half.

1/2 c brandy

1/2 dried cranberries–use ones that have been sweetened with fruit juice if you can find them

2 tbsp crystallized ginger, minced

1 tbsp orange zest

1 1/2 c fresh cranberries– You can use frozen berries if you can’t find fresh yet. DO NOT use the stuff that comes in a can. For frozen berries, I like Stahlbush Island Farms Sustainable Cranberries

salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute your beefless tips until they start to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 500°F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat. Toss or brush your kabocha with a tbsp of safflower oil and place on the lined baking sheet. Roast for about 10-12 min and then turn off the oven.

Heat 2 tbsp safflower oil in a heavy bottomed pot (Le Creuset  or cast iron dutch oven would be perfect) over med-high heat. Add onions and about a tsp of salt and cook for about 3 minutes until onions have softened. Add the flour and cook a minute or two more, until the flour starts to turn golden. Stir in the garlic and cocoa and cook for just a minute. Now stir in the broth, brandy, dried cranberries, ginger, orange zest and fresh cranberries. Bring to a boil and cook about 20 minutes. Now stir in your kabocha chunks and beefless tips. Let the stew simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes–you just want your kabocha and beefless tips to absorb some of that warm, delicious fall stew flavor because they were both cooked separately. You also want to make sure that your fresh cranberries have cooked down just a bit, to counteract some of the tartness and bring out a little sweetness. Taste your stew and add freshly cracked salt and pepper to taste. It’s going to be really hot for a bit, so let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Snuggle up with your doggies, kitties or loved ones and enjoy this stew on cold day. In front of a fire would be nice too. 🙂

Brandied Cranberry & "Beef" Stew

Sorry for the crummy picture. It’s a travesty because this stew is awesome. If the picture looks unappetizing, please just trust me that this stew is magnificent!

*I don’t mean for anyone to take my advice over a medical doctor, but sometimes docs forget about things like…well, healthy foods likes fruits, vegetables and whole grains and how those things can be very healing to your body when its sick. While I have been able to cure UTI’s in the past with nothing but cranberries, that doesn’t mean everyone’s body will react the same way as mine. So, if you feel like you may have a UTI that persists longer than a day or two after taking the correct dosage of cranberries, go to your doctor because you may very well need the antibiotics. 🙂

Vegan MoFo is upon us.

This is my first year participating in Vegan MoFo as I just started my blog in July. But boy, am I excited! I didn’t pick an official theme because well, I don’t really know what I’m in for yet? For anyone who doesn’t know about Vegan MoFo, it’s basically an entire month dedicated to vegan food bloggers who will try to post as much as possible within the Vegan MoFo. Some bloggers pick themes….like last year I’m pretty sure someone had a vegan gravy theme, gravy! Isn’t that amazing?

Anyhow, I have some yummy fall recipes and posts lined up that I am excited to tell everyone about. Yay. Here are some of the fall goodies I’ve been cookin’ up so far. 🙂

Vanilla Bean Butternut Squash Risotto
Red Wine Braised "Brisket" w/ Veggies
Apple-Cheddar Buckle

Inspired by a recipe I found over at Swapmeat.

Close up of Apple Cheddar Buckle
Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Black Cumin Crepe w/ Pumpkin Apple Filling
Chocolate Chipotle Sweet Potato Pie

Pear, Apple & Cheeze Tart w/ Buckwheat Crust

This is a gluten free recipe from Manifest Vegan. The crust was especially good.

Fig Galette

Another galette! Fresh farmer’s market figs and frangipane filling.

Inspired by Oh, Ladycakes.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with a few delicious recipes for stew and another for pie and even some yummy quesadillas. So be sure to check back here all month long for my crazy mofo posts! 🙂

Vegan Lobster Rolls.

Lobster Mushrooms

Lobster mushrooms everyone. Aren’t they beautiful? Their beauty comes from some funky parasitic fungus that actually grows on other mushrooms. Fungus on fungus action is what I’m sayin. That’s why they have this gorgeous reddish-orange hue, which matches the color of cooked lobster, hence the name. Unfortunately, most of us know that the most popular way to cook a real lobster is to drop them into boiling water whilst they are still alive. I have always found this disturbing, so I will stick with cruelty free lobster mushrooms thank you very much!

So, I saw some of these really great mushrooms while I was at the farmer’s market over the weekend and I had the idea that I wanted to make a delicious lobster roll, only with mushrooms instead of crustacean. I have never eaten a lobster roll, I’ve only seen other people eat them, so I decided to start with a very un-vegan recipe and veganize it. I decided to go with one by Bobby Flay, who I love to hate. I’ll throwdown with that homeboy any day! The lobster mushroom rolls were grand and I’m pretty sure they would please any lobster lover, even the Flay.

Lobster Mushroom Roll

Lobster Mushroom Roll

Ingredients

1/4 lb to 1/2 lb lobster mushrooms, chopped into chunks–or thereabouts. I can’t remember how much I had exactly, but at least 2-3 handfuls.

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 yellow onion, sliced

2 tbsp Earth Balance

3-4 ribs celery, diced

1/4 c red onion, diced

1/4 c cilantro, chopped

3/4 scant cup Vegenaise (I like the reduced fat variety)

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1 long french baguette, sliced into 3 rolls

Method:

Heat a saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Melt your Earthy B and add the onions. Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the garlic. Saute for no longer than a minute, as we don’t want to garlic to burn. Add the mushrooms. If your pan is looking the slightest but dry, add another tbsp or so of Earthy B. Saute your mushrooms, onions and garlic until tender and until the mushrooms have a released some liquid. Remove pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Next mix your Vegenaise, with the remaining ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. If you like a lot of Vegenaise, feel free to add more. If you want less, just use 1/2 c or so. Season with salt and pepper to taste. After your mushrooms, onions and garlic have cooled a bit, add them to your Vegenaise mixture. It’s okay if they’re still a little warm. Now, you can toast your rolls with olive oil or more Earthy B, or just scoop in the filling and have them untoasted. Your preference of course!

Blue Lobster. He's so misunderstood.

A Post For Tiffany.

Tiffany (on right) & I at Comic-Con a few years ago 🙂

A lovely and dear friend of mine, the Tiffany, asked me a while back to do a blog post with some panini ideas. So, Tiffmeow, this one is for you. Here are some of the past paninis I have made and nommed upon in glorious nommage. May they inspire you to make delicious paninis for every meal. 🙂

Just as a note, I use a stovetop panini pan, but you can use two skillets, a George Foreman Grill, or an electric panini press or griddle thing.

"Ham" & "Brie" Panini w/ Homemade Whole Grain Cognac Mustard

Sometimes, I am feeling a “ham” & cheeze sandwich….the fancy way. I use this recipe for spreadable baked “brie” and this recipe for ham style seitan. This batch turned out a little purple nurple sort of. If you play with the beet powder and natural red coloring you can get it to look more pink. You can also pick up some brown and yellow mustard seeds to make your own mustard at home. You can add anything you want like beer or fresh herbs. You let the seeds soak with vinegar and some other goodies for a few days and then blend. Then, you have amazing, gourmet homemade mustard. I used part vinegar and cognac to make this mustard I used for this sandwich. Top with some arugula or mesclun. I always make sure to spread a good layer of Earth Balance on my bread for the most delicious panini, or brush some oil on it….although I prefer the Earthy B method.

Homemade Whole Grain Mustard with Cognac

Tiffany and her husband Eric often times have made their own bread in the past. This is always a good idea when you want the most delicious panini.

I made some Tomato Bread with bits of sun-dried tomato baked in. I can’t find the recipe, but you can just add tomato paste and bits of sun dried tomato to another bread recipe you have on hand to come up with something pretty similar. I then used that bread to make an avocado panini, with onions, spinach, vegan cheeze and a layer of homemade hummus.

Sun Dried Tomato Bread
Avocado & Spinach Panini

There was an issue of Vegetarian Times a few months back that had some panini ideas. One of them was for a panini made with chickpea salad, golden beets and apples among other goodies. I loved it so much that I felt compelled to share it on the Vegetarian Times facebook page and guess what? They printed my comment in the following magazine. Yay. So, basically, this probably has to be my signature panini from now on and I will make it for whoever wants to try it 🙂 UPDATE: VT Posted the panini recipe here.

Vegetarian Times Chickpea, Apple, Beet Panini

I realize it looks like a regular sandwich and not a panini, but I did grill it. The ciabatta I used was really hard to press down on though.

Paninis don’t always have to be savory either. You can wake up with a deliciously sweet panini breakfast sandwich. Color Me Vegan has a really yum recipe for a Nectarine-Agave Panini. I made one using cinnamon raisin bread. If you’re feeling a savory breakfast panini, make up some fresh waffles and load them with vegan sausage, vegan cheddar and maybe some tofu scramble and make that into a crazy panini waffle breakfast sandwich!

Nectarine-Agave Panini on Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Leek, Mushroom, Pesto, Artichoke Panini

I also really like the recipe for Leek-Pesto etc crostini in The Kind Diet. Although, instead of using the recipe for crostini, I make it into a panini. It involves a really good artichoke spread, sauteed leeks and mushrooms, plus homemade pesto. Up above is pre-grilling, but this sammie is super good. The Kind Diet is a great book for some lower calorie, healthier options. There are some really good recipes in there!

Vegano Cubano Panini Sandwich

Sorry for the blurry picture. This sandwich did not want to cooperate for photos because it wanted to jump into my mouth and just wasn’t being patient. And….I know I am going to sound like a commercial for vegan cookbooks, but this really….reeeaallllyyy good sandwich recipe is from Viva Vegan. It’s called the Vegano Cubano Sandwich and it is awe-some. It consists of homemade seitan, plus vegan ham, plus bread and butter pickles and everything good in the world. It’s one of the most delicious paninis I’ve ever eaten fo sho. Fo. Sho.

And, you know….there is always the classic grilled cheeze (Daiya is my homeboy), which you are always free to shove full of juicy tomatoes and basil pesto 😉

Take a bite out of crime. I mean panini. Take a bite out of panini.

Apple-Cheddar Scones. Because Apples + Cheeze = WIN.

Hello glorious blog! Just letting you know I almost typed bog instead of blog and that wouldn’t be nearly as glorious.

So. Apples are in season and have been inspiring me everywhere I go. I am going to take an apple-picking trip sometime soon to pick my own, but until then I have been buying all sorts of apples and going bananas over them. Ha. See what I did there? Okay, I’ll stop. 😉

There is a lot of information out there about this delicious fruit, as apples are pretty famous, a-listers of fruit so-to-speak. But, I won’t bore you with that just yet. I’m saving that for the future apple posts to come. For now, please just enjoy this recipe for Apple-Cheddar Scones. I love the combination of savory and sweet, as well as fresh herbs  and vegan cheeze with fruit. Pears, peaches and apples are among those that go especially well with vegan cheezes.

Apple Cheddar Scones

Apple Cheddar Scones

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 tart apples, peeled or not–cored, sliced and diced. I use Granny Smith because I love them!

1 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface

1/4 c unbleached cane sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp Earth Balance, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes or separated into tbsps

1/2  heaping cup Daiya Cheddar, shredded

1/4 c coconut creamer— I love So Delicious brand

1 tbsp ground flax seed

3 tbsp water

Method:

Preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium to large mixing bowl. Add the Earth Balance to the flour mixture and use a pastry whisk to cut in the Earthy B until it starts to look something like wet sand. Combine your flax seed and water in small cup or small bowl and whisk to make a flax egg. Now toss that flax egg in with the flour and Earthy B and add the coconut creamer now as well. Lastly add the apples and cheddar and work your mixture into a dough.

Flour a work surface and roll your dough out to about 1 1/4 inch thick. I like to roll my dough into a circle and cut pie shaped wedges out for these scones, but you can use a biscuit cutter to do round ones if you please. Bake for about 25-30 min. Let the scones cool for a few minutes after removing them from the oven, but these are best enjoyed warm. They do reheat wonderfully in the oven, so if they can’t be eaten all at once, seal them in a container and refrigerate until you can enjoy the rest of them. 🙂

One of the many gorgeous Gravensteins I picked last year 🙂

Update: Apple Pie with Honey & Thyme Recipe

This post https://thejollyfox.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/apple-pie-w-honey-thyme/ has been updated to include the recipe. 🙂 Hope you enjoy.