Keeping up with this mofo-ing has been kooky. I haven’t really made much of anything exciting this week…but I did manage this Pumpkin French Toast.
Omg. I want more. I made this for a friend and I after our brains had been melting all day in the filthy 100° heat that we had the past couple of days. Way to make October gross California, I hope you’re proud of yourself. Anyhow, I opened the maple syrup and poured waaayyy too much on mine, but I still wanted to just eat this for the rest of my life. I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I guess what I mean to say is that everyone should have Pumpkin French Toast in their life. So, you know, get on it.
I also made this Spiced Banana-Pear Crumble. I don’t have a recipe for this, but if you want to make it, spice up 5-7 pears with 3 or so bananas with cinnamon and goodness. Make a crumble topping out of sugar and hazelnuts and Earthy B and then bake that sucker up.
I’m thinking now that it wasn’t the best idea to begin blogging about treats when I am hungry with nothing but Luna bars and have to work, like right now. Well, after I talk about these hand pies. Hand Pies!!!
A few months back, I did a version of my larger, very delicious apple cheddar pie into a tiny hand held version. And this tiny version, I bring to chu! Who doesn’t love a pie that you can hold, oozing with hot delicious apple filling? Did I mention get in my mouth, I’m starving?
Apple Cheddar Hand Pies (I, far too often, hit the the T instead of the R and write “cheddat”)
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup golden brown mascobado sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
2 tbsp Earth Balance
2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 recipe flaky pie crust OR 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed–if using Puff Pastry, I like Aussie brand
1 c shredded vegan cheddar, Daiya preferred
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with Silpat.
In a bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and toss to combine.
In a saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance. Cook apple mixture for about 7 to 10 minutes until the apples release some of their juices and are slightly softened. Sprinkle flour over the apple mixture and remove it from the heat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie crust or puff pastry sheet. I made my hand pies into apple shaped mini-pies, but feel free to cut the pastry into squares, circles or whatever shape you want. Add the Daiya to the cooled apple mixture. Divide the apple mixture in the center of each circle square or shape you have. Make sure to leave a border, around an inch or so. Carefully fold into desired shape and crimp the edges to make sure each little pie is sealed. Place them on the prepped baking sheet. Make sure to cut a vent in each pie using a paring knife or fork. Bake about 20-25 minutes and eat ’til your heart’s content. 🙂
Greetings and Salutations long lost blog. And by long lost, I mean, clearly I took a little break from mofo-ing. I had a nice adventure, family time, a gorgeous tank top from Anthropologie that cost $7 and some fine looking dinner plates. I’ve been having so much fun that my body said…hey….hey you…slow down the fun. On Sunday night I started to feel pretty crummy and last night I developed a fever. Fever! What?!?! The funny thing is, I’m not sick. I had no symptoms of a cold or what have you, I just had the chills, sore muscles and a filthy fever. Anyhow, due to said shenanigans I abstained from mofo-ing. I feel much better this morning, though, so you know whatever it was, I think it went away. Hopefully.
So, I’m going to bring you another recipe using the famous Match Meat. I decided I wanted to make a burger stuffed with blue/bleu cheeze. I’ve already mentioned this before, but Figgy Produce sells Match by the pound. I didn’t want a whole pound, that sounded like too much so I went with 1/2 lb of the ground “beef”. Anyhow, I then proceeded to throw a bunch of spices into the “beef”, formed into a patty and then cut the patty in half. When I had originally envisioned this idea, I thought I was going to use Sunergia Bleu Cheeze for the stuffing. Then, I remembered I had a small supply of precious Cheezly. Precious, precious Cheezly. So, I busted out the blue cheeze style Cheezly and cut off some small chunks. I stuffed the Cheezly into the center of the burger and cooked it. It was pretty, pretty, pretty good.
I wish I had a shot of the inside of the burgers so you could see the cheeze stuffing, but I couldn’t get an appetizing slash decent picture. I also made some green peppercorn mayo for these and just went with traditional burger incidentals.
I don’t really have an exact recipe and I’m still a little wonky from that fever, so Im just going to tell you what spices I added to the Match and if you want to make these, you can add the same spices to taste.
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
For the Green Peppercorn Mayo, I just took about 1/4 c Vegenaise, and mixed that with some crushed green peppercorns, a little bit of dijon mustard and small amount of salt.
Alright, next post I will have my wits about me.
I was reading a magazine or something a few months back and saw a very un-vegan recipe for braised endive with prosciutto. Something about that sounded pretty good to me….a vegan version anyway. So last night I decided to braise some endive and make some tofu prosciutto. There is a great prosciutto and pancetta recipe in Veganize This! I went ahead and used that because it’s super delicious. Like with most of the homemade seitan and mock meats from the book, you create a marinade of lots of spices and yummy flavors. Fennel, whole star anise, liquid smoke etc. To cut the tofu paper thin, I use a cheese cutter. There was something telling me not to give it up when I went vegan and I’m so glad i didn’t. Not only do I use it to cut the thinnest, most perfect tofu slices, but I also use it to cut Daiya (in block form) and Follow Your Heart cheese.
After the tofu slices have sat in the marinade for a while, you put them in the oven to get crispy.
After that’s done, now you can prep whatever else you’re eating, in my case, get the endive ready for braising.
Braised Endive with Vegan Prosciutto
1 ½ lbs Belgian endive
3 tbsp Earth Balance
¼ c plain non-dairy creamer–I like So Delicious
Vegan Prosciutto, tempeh bacon or Smart Bacon
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Rinse the endive, pat them dry and remove the outer most leaves. Trim the end ad cut them in half lengthwise. Warm the Earthy B in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the endive, cut side down, into the skillet and saute until browned. Do in multiple batches if you don’t have a skillet big enough to fit all of the endive. Place endive cut side up in a 9×13 baking dish or one of about equal size (all of the endive should fit in a single layer on the bottom of the dish). Take your vegan prosciutto or substitute and lay the strips across the endives, tucking the ends. Whatever extra pieces you may have, you can save for later or lay them on top. Add the no chicken broth and the creamer. Cover your dish with foil and braise for about 35 min. After 35 min, remove foil and test the endive with a paring knife. It should be able to cut through quite easily. Braise for about another 6 minutes. There should be no liquid in the bottom of the dish. If your dish becomes dry during braising, just add a few tbsp of water. Season with smoked salt and freshly cracked pepper.
For my dessert, I decided to make up a batch of yummy chai cookies. I added a combination of black and white pepper (among other spices), but a fun thing to do is play around with a chai blend to get it just the way you like it 🙂
This MoFoing urvry-day is crayzay. I have to say, I’m sorta enjoying it though. Before I started this blog, I used to just post pictures on Facebook of what I was cookin’ up. I admit I kinda miss doing that, but I think a food blog is a much more appropriate forum. Plus, these WordPress posts link to my Facebook, so if there were people out there who enjoyed the slideshow, well, now they can enjoy it here? I’m Ron Burgundy?
So, for today’s MoFo post I bring to you another glorious pie. So many pies to make a so little time I say. I was originally doing this radical spiced pumpkin pie with black cumin and things, but I didn’t like the way it turned out. It was inspired by a cookbook recipe, but meh…. The taste of the filling was delish, but it left something to be desired….which….unfortunately, I think most vegan pumpkin pies do. I’ve made several different versions throughout the years and I haven’t been in love with any of them. They generally come out tasting good. But just good. And for pie, just “good” is not acceptable to me. I have, on the other hand, made ridiculous vegan pumpkin cheesecake. I think what I’m going to do is just make pumpkin cheesecake from now on and call it pie. Unless anyone out there wants to point me in the direction of a delicious vegan pumpkin pie recipe? Maybe there will be a crazy delicious one in Isa’s new book.
So, hopefully before MoFo ends, I will bring you a delicious recipe for a black cumin spiced pumpkin cheesecake pie. Like the one above, but better! But better.
For now, I bring you this delicious Apple-Cranberry Pie with a hint of Orange.
Apple Cranberry Pie
2/3 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp unbleached pure cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp Earth Balance
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp ice water–reserve at least 4-5 tbsp in the fridge in case you need more
Juice of 1 orange
zest of 1 orange
5 medium apples, peeled and sliced–you want about 5 c
1/2 c unbleached pure cane sugar
1/2 c fresh cranberries—you can use frozen too, but don’t thaw them if you use frozen
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 c golden brown mascobado sugar
2 tbsp oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
First, make the crust. Combine both flours, sugar & salt. Add your Earthy B in tablespoons or chunks. Use a pastry whisk to cut in the Earthy B and mix until you have that wet sand consistency. Add the cider vinegar and water. Mix until your dough comes together. Roll your dough out and shape into a flat disk or place in your pie plate and stick it in the fridge.
To make the filling, core-peel and slice the apples if you haven’t done so already. Then combine all of the other ingredients (including the apples) in a large bowl.
For the topping, melt your Earthy B in the microwave for a few seconds. Combine the Earthy B with the remaining ingredients in small bowl.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out your dough and fit it into a pie plate if you haven’t done so already. Pour your filling into the prepared crust. Scatter the topping all over your filling. Bake the pie at 400°F for about 30 to 40 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and continue to bake an additional 20 minutes or so. If you have a pie crust ring, use it. If you don’t have one, check on your pie after 25-30 min–if the crust or topping is browning too quickly, place some foil over the pie loosely. You want the juice in the center of the pie to be bubbling. If you’re worried about burning, just keep your eye on the pie and it will turn out great. 🙂
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
or in these super amazing delicious “Shrimp”/Field Roast/Mushrooms/Shallots & GRITS”. Mmm….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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.