Hi! I'm taking a little break and it might take me a few days to reply to comments and emails. I'll be back soon! :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Final MoFo - Five Faves!

This post was supposed to go up last Friday, but I broke up with the internet for a few days so here it goes today instead. The idea for this post was stolen entirely from Jojo's Five Fave's post, and then I saw that Mandee and Sal joined in as well, so as the good copycat that I am I decided to do a Five Fave post with my top five vegan ingredients. It was not easy to choose five, and a few of my essentials are missing here: broccoli, lentils, chickpea flour, and chocolate. Chocolate! But I figured that probably 99% of my blogposts contain some sort of chocolate so you probably already figured I'm a big fan of the stuff.

My Top Five Ingredients

1) Nutritional Yeast. Of course! I have a big container in the fridge that I use for recipes that call for lots of nooch, and I also keep a small jar for easy access for those times when I just want to sprinkle a bit on some pasta or soup or whatnot. Hell yea, B12!

2) Peanut Butter. OK, the picture shows peanuts and peanut butter, but that's because I never buy the stuff pre-made. I learned how to make peanut butter a couple of years ago and now make my own once a week or two. Ingredients: peanuts!

3) Coconut Milk. I use coconut milk to make ice cream, curries, frostings, truffles, and even cheese! I cannot imagine my life without it. If Cleopatra had known about the smooth lusciousness of coconut milk, she would have been bathing in it instead of, you know, yuck. 

4) Cashews. Because they are magical nuts that can turn any sauce into a creamy loveliness. Soak them for a couple of hours, blend them with some sort of milk and voilà, la crème!

5) Flax seeds. I eat lots of flax seeds. They make excellent crackers, they work as an egg replacer, and they come in two handy colors to suit your baking needs! Also, without losing my ladylike decorum, let's just say that flax seeds help keep things moving, if you know what I'm saying. No? They help eliminate excess baggage, if you catch my drift. No? OK, they help you poop.

Now it's time to say goodbye to Vegan MoFo until next year. A massive thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat or to simply read my posts, and thank you to everyone who participated for all the inspiration and endless recipe bookmarks! As a token of my appreciation, here is a picture of Curly doing... some sort of duck activity...

Curly doing something duckish

Vegan MoFo

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lazy MoFo Enchiladas

This a post I had been saving in case I ran out of mofoness. That day has come, so here is a lame post featuring what a typical dinner looks like around here. Mr. Wing-It and I have quite disparate tastes when it comes to food, so it's not unusual for me to end up making two dishes for dinner, or one dish but with different components for each of us. These enchiladas are a perfect example of one of our dinners:

Enchiladas for Two

Mr. Wing-It's flour tortilla enchiladas are filled with faux beef crumbles, refried beans, and salsa. My corn tortilla enchiladas are filled with sautéed onion and zucchini, salsa, and coconut milk cheddar. I like my refried beans on the side. Homemade enchilada sauce is the best, but when I already need to make two different enchilada fillings I usually turn to Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce.

Frontera Enchilada Sauce 

Frontera Enchilada Sauce 

Frontera Enchilada Sauce

It's delicious and extremely convenient for those nights when I don't feel like making my own sauce. It's not super hot, just mildly spicy, but it is pretty salty so I always undersalt the rest of the ingredients to balance things out. I do wish there was a bit more sauce in there because I like a very saucy enchilada and this pouch doesn't really have enough product to achieve super sauciness. Check out my plate all dressed up with gooey cheesy goodness, guacamole, and my beans on the side!

Cheesy Enchiladas

Today's daily dose of cute is this excited pup who is obviously over the moon about the arrival of fall! (unfortunately this is not my pup)

Vegan MoFo

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oops! I screwed up the truffles!

It's another episode of Wing It, Don't Fling It! Today's episode is brought to you by my own airheadedness. See, I usually make truffles with four ounces of chocolate, but I only had three ounces this time. I made the math in a little piece of paper and calculated how much milk, sugar, and vanilla I needed for only three ounces of chocolate. The little piece of paper remained forgotten on my desk while I proceeded to make the truffles in the kitchen, as if I was using the full four ounces of chocolate. Needless to say, the chocolate was too soft and it never fully set - not even after spending the night in the fridge... 

But I managed to wing it by adding a little bit of coconut flour...

Oops! I screwed up the truffles!

Oops! I screwed up the truffles!

... and in the end they were delicious in a cake-ball kind of way.

Chocolate Truffles
Some rolled in coconut flour, some in ground peanuts, and some in ground chocolate chips.

All's well that ends well! Now let's check in with Mr. Cardinal who has just seen something very shocking...

What the flock?!

Vegan MoFo

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Potato and Brussels Sprouts Omelette

Remember the Wing It Don't Fling It Challenge? There were some leftover oven-baked potato wedges and roasted Brussels sprouts in the fridge and I decided to whip up a quickie omelette/pancake to use them both up. Yes, I did burn the Brussels sprouts again.

I used my old basic Spanish Tortilla recipe to make this, but instead of cooking a potato I just threw the leftover baked potato wedges and sprouts in there for a quick and easy meal. This is a dish I never get tired of eating because it can be made different every single time! This time I threw in a few saffron threads, but unfortunately they are hiding at the bottom of the tortilla. They're in there somewhere!

Potato and Brussels Sprout Omelet
Charred sprout!

Today's cute creature is a little barn swallow that is getting ready for takeoff. Clear the runway!

Barn swallow taking off

Vegan MoFo

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mushroom and Lentil Cottage Pie with a Root Vegetable Topping

Oh, no! It's the last week of Vegan MoFo! I felt so overwhelmed during the first week but now I don't want it to end. That makes me sad. You know what I do when I'm sad? I eat comfort food, like Becky's Mushroom and Lentil Cottage Pie with a Root Vegetable Topping!

Mushroom and Lentil Cottage Pie with a Root Vegetable Topping

Cottage pie is my favorite comfort food, no doubt about it, but I had never had one with mashed potatoes and parsnips before. It was absolutely delicious! Becky said to add some seasoning to the mash, so I went with a couple of big pinches of mace and a little bit of ground white pepper.  I didn't have any dried mushrooms, so I used fresh ones instead. My mushroom-lentil filling was a little soupy because I added too much water to the pot, but I have nothing against a soupy cottage pie.You wanna see it? 

I miss it already! Becky has been veganizing British dishes during Vegan MoFo, which has been one of my favorite themes of the month. Thank you for sharing this recipe (and so many others!), Becky!

Today's cuteness is brought to you by a random wet duck. 

Raindrops keep falling on my duck
Raindrops keep falling on my duck!

Vegan MoFo

Friday, September 20, 2013

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Blondies

Only one more week of Vegan MoFo to go! It seems like we just got started! Today I really wanted to make some sort of blondies, so I ended up making Andrea's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cake. To make it blondiesque (somebody add that word to the dictionary ASAP!) I halved the recipe and made the dough quite firm. I baked it at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. You want one? Or five, because I made them really petite...

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Blondies 

If you want to make the recipe as blondies too but you like a thicker blondie, then just make a full recipe and bake it a little longer. I haven't bought any sorghum flour in a long time so I used coconut flour instead. My jar of applesauce was almost empty, so I ended up using about half applesauce and half peanut butter. They were excellent! They are fudgy on the inside,crispy edges, and bursting with gooey chocolate chips. Oh, did I not mention that they are made with BEANS?! I can't believe I am a total bean-in-baked-goods convert! Thank you, Andrea for sharing the recipe!

Now for today's daily dose of cute, let's take a look at Mrs. Hummingbird. She doesn't have those bright red feathers like the mister does, but she's fabulous in her own way.

Mrs. Hummingbird

And just in case you thought I only took good hummingbird pictures, here is a sample of what 90% of my hummingbird shots look like:

90 % of my hummingbird photos look like this
They are just too fast for my slowpokeness!

Vegan MoFo

Thursday, September 19, 2013

BBQ Jackfruit Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Last week I ate something I'd never had before but I'd been really curious about for a long time - jackfruit! I found a can of jackfruit in a little health food store in Joplin, Missouri a few months ago, but for months I couldn't decide what to make with it. That problem was solved as soon as I saw Ketty's BBQ Jackfruit Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. Looky here!

BBQ Jackfruit Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Poorly framed and taken photo. My belly was getting impatient!

It looks so much like some sort of pulled pork it's scary! When I first took a bite of the jackfruit by itself I thought I wasn't going to like it because it was a little too tangy, but that's when the sweet potato came to the rescue and balanced out the tanginess with its carby sweetness. Jackfruit definitely has a meaty thing going on. The barbecue sauce brings the whole dish together beautifully, and I must confess I did not eat it in the most ladylike fashion. Usually I am a slow eater and I like to take dainty bites with a fork, but I was having a hard time resisting the urge to pick up the whole thing like a corn on the cob and going to town on it. I didn't do that, but I did pretty much inhale it in a matter of seconds! Thank you for sharing the recipe, Ketty!

Today's cuteness is brought to you by my mother in law's pup, who is a big fan of Phoebus...


Vegan MoFo

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Banana-Oat Blender Waffles (Gluten Free)

Before we dig in today I'd like to ask if you could do me a favor. You see the little "pin it" button right above this sentence? I just added it today, but I'm not sure how it's going to work for those of you who subscribe via email. Does it freeze up your inbox? If it does, then please let me know so I can try to fix it somehow. My inbox and my computer don't have a problem with it, but I just want to be sure my emails are not being annoying. The last thing I want to do is anger your computer! Thanks!

Now let's dig in! A couple of weeks ago I saw that Jes had made some awesome looking blender waffles from VegWeb that called for three main ingredients plus a little bit of sugar, salt, and vanilla. The main ingredients were only oats, banana, and water! Oh, yes, yes I want!

No flour! No oil or margarine! My first batch did not work out very well because I don't think I had added enough water to the batter, but I nailed the second batch and they were really nice. If you try these, you must prepare your mind for a different kind of waffle, because the lack of flour and fat makes these a little unconventional. They have a gentle crispiness on the outside when warm and they are moist inside. The leftovers are even better warmed up in a toaster oven (or a good ol' toaster!) I'm always looking for ways to eat oatmeal without having to actually eat oatmeal because I don't like it, and these are an excellent way to trick myself into eating the stuff! Awesome find, Jes! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

UPDATE: I just popped a couple of these in the toaster that were leftover from yesterday's batch and they were phenomenal! The toaster made the second-day waffles super crispy!

And now because this post features raspberries, here's Mr. Grumpy McGrumpersons blowing you one...

Captain Long Tongue!

Vegan MoFo

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yeasted Pudding Buns (Hefeschnecken mit Pudding)

Milh over at Seitan Is My Motor is doing a whole month of German desserts for Vegan MoFo - that's dedication! You are being given fair warning to wear a bib before you visit Mihl's blog, for you shall drool uncontrollably as you browse around her recipes. Last week I was a severe victim of the droolies myself when I saw Mihl's Yeasted Pudding Buns, AKA Hefeschnecken mit Pudding.

Slightly underbaked because I'm still scarred from last week's cookie-burning fiasco.

Oh man. This type of baked good is my favorite! It's a sweet bread roll filled with a thick vanilla pudding and sprinkled with raisins. I abhor raisins, so I only sprinkled half of the buns with the evil little things because Mr. Wing-It does like them. The combination of bread and pudding is so addictive for me. This is the kind of baked good that I would like to eat every single day for breakfast. And then later as a snack. And later as another snack. I halved the recipe because I knew I wouldn't be able to control myself around them, and indeed all self-control was lost as soon as they came out of the oven. My three raisin-free rolls were devoured almost instantly, and then I stole one of Mr. Wing-It's raisin-full rolls, picked out the raisins and had it for breakfast today. Yep. Thanks for sharing the recipe Mihl!

Today's daily cuteness is brought to you once more by Yellowstone National Park! This lady raven was really hamming it up for the camera. I dared not ask her if she could say "nevermore".

UPDATE: Jennifer @ Vegan Dance if You Want To is giving away an Official-Unofficial Vida Vegan Con 2013 Cookbooklette! Check it out!

Yellowstone Raven

Vegan MoFo

Monday, September 16, 2013

Chipotle Mac & Cheese With Roasted Brussels Sprouts

It's Mac-and-Cheese Monday! Today I'm sharing two recipes for the price of one: it's a PPK recipe mash-up! I wanted to make the Chipotle Mac & Cheese With Roasted Brussels Sprouts but with the sauce from the Sunflower Mac recipe, so I started off with the Chipotle Mac & Cheese With Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and once the sprouts were roasted I switched to the Sunflower Mac recipe and blended a chipotle pepper into the sunflower sauce. Only one, because I'm a wimp.

Oh yeah. It's good stuff. The sauce is so yummy and smooth and creamy (thanks, Blendtec!), and the Brussels sprouts go so well with the sauce. Cashew based sauces are nice, but I'm not made of monies here. The chipotle adds a nice kick and a "grown-up" flavor to the dish, even though I only dared throw one very small pepper in there. I tell ya, I could skip the pasta and just have the spicy sauce and the roasted Brussels sprouts and be a happy camper! I had quinoa elbows, in case you were wondering. I mean in the dish - my elbows are fairly normal human elbows. As you can see, my sprouts are a bit charred. Apparently I'm going through a burning phase.

Hey! Have you ever seen a blinking hummingbird? Here's one!

Blinky McBlinkerson
His feathers look brighter and more colorful depending on where the sunlight hits them
(see my previous post)

Vegan MoFo

Friday, September 13, 2013

Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies (and the grumpiest hummingbird!)

Week two of Vegan MoFo - survived and enjoyed! Today I'm finishing off the week with an oldie but a goodie. It's a simplified variation of my trusty old Mutant Flourless Chocolate Cookies. These days I don't even bother with the flax/water goo, and instead of coconut I've been using almond meal. Not even that powdery fancy almond flour, but just finely ground almonds that can be homemade or store-bought, like Bob's Red Mill almond meal. These little cookies are chewy and crispy (depending on how long you bake them) and they have lots of gooey chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts!

Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies

1/2 cup almond meal, homemade or storebought
2/3 cup coconut sugar OR 1/2 cup white, turbinado, or brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup nut butter
4 to 6 tbsp coconut milk (not coconut "beverage")
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine all ingredients except for the chocolate chips and walnuts.

4. Beat with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds or until a smooth dough forms. Start on low to keep the cocoa powder from exploding all over your face and then crank it up higher. The dough will look chunky at first but keep mixing and it will become smooth. Your dough should be stiff but not crumbly. If it's crumbly just add a little bit more coconut milk until you're happy with it.

5. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

6. Roll the dough into 24 or so one-inch balls and place them on the baking sheet leaving about an inch of space in between the cookies. Flatten each cookie slightly.

7. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a minute or two on the baking sheet before you transfer them to a cooling rack.

They look nice, yes? Let me show you the bottom though (not my bottom - cheeky!)

Honey, I burnt the cookies

I burnt them! I was distracted by our macho hummingbird that was posing right outside our window and next thing I knew the bottoms were burnt. Burning cookies makes me grumpy. And you know who else was grumpy? This guy... 

Fluffy hummingbird is fluffy... also grumpy
Grumpy hummingbird is grumpy.

Vegan MoFo

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mini Beetloaves with Memphis Style BBQ Sauce

If this feels like déjà vu to some of you, that's because last year during Vegan MoFo I couldn't stop blogging about Isa's beet burgers. Obsessed? A little. This time I made little beetloaves and paired them with Bianca's Memphis Style BBQ Sauce. What a beautiful couple they make!

Isa and Bianca sitting in a tree, C-O-O-K-I-N-G!

Instead of shaping the burger mix into patties, I just shaped them into tiny loaves and baked them at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, then I brushed a generous amount of BBQ sauce all over the tops and baked them for 10 more minutes at 400 degrees F.

Inside shot?

Beetloaves with BBQ Sauce

So good! The earthy beetloaves are soft, but not mushy like so many veggie loaves tend to be. They are made with lentils, brown rice, obviously beets, and the perfect combination of spices and flavorings. Perfect, I tell you! They can be gluten-free if you can get a hold of gluten-free breadcrumbs. Paired with the smokey and tangy BBQ sauce, and with some mashed potatoes and green beans on the side, it was a delicious, colorful and wholesome meal. Thanks for sharing, Isa and Bianca!

I think my dinner was still missing something though... maybe some... corn?

I has a corm!
I has a corm!

Vegan MoFo

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Devil's Food Cupcakes (Practically Raw)

Week two of Vegan MoFo has been more relaxed for me than week one was! Phew! How are you holding up, if you're participating? Keeping the cooking quick and simple instead of trying to make very complex dishes sure helps a lot. Today I'm bringing you something I didn't have to "cook" at all - it's Chef Amber Shea's (Practically Raw) Devil's Food Cupcakes!

(Practically Raw) Devil’s Food Cupcakes

How cute are these little devils?! I love them! These are from Amber's latest cookbook, Practically Raw Desserts, but fear not if you don't own a copy yet, because you can find the recipe here. I halved the recipe and ended up with twelve mini cupcakes. The ingredients are super simple and the instructions are very easy to follow! The "cake" consists basically of cocoa/cacao powder and almond and coconut flours, mixed with applesauce, sweetener, and flavorings, and the avocado-based frosting calls for little more than sweetener and cocoa. My cupcakes and frosting were flavored with almond extract because, well, it's me and I put almond extract in everything. My frosting didn't want to be very firm, so I added a couple of big pinches of coconut flour to show it who's the boss around here. That did it.

My taste buds were not sure about these at first. They thought "oh no, I can taste the applesauce", but after the third or fourth bite they thought "hey, I can taste the applesauce and it's yummy!" I've eaten four today already, so my taste buds are now officially fans of the applesauce + chocolate combo. The texture of the cake is really nice, and the frosting is smooth and creamy. If I had to describe the texture in a sentence, I would tell you that they are like naked cake truffles that are wearing nothing but a chocolate frosting hat. Let me take a bite and show you what they look like in there...

(Practically Raw) Devil’s Food Cupcakes

They are fabulous! Thank you for sharing the recipe, Amber! Today's cute creature is an elk we saw at Yellowstone National Park earlier this year. Just chilling in the water, doing elk stuff.

Elk at Yellowstone National Park

Vegan MoFo