Vegan Spiked Maple-Molasses Mug | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Seventeen

VeganMoFo 2017

Week Three: Ingredient Challenges
Let’s get boozy! Food involving booze, like beer brats, Welsh rarebit or a boozy dessert. Feel free to make a non-alcoholic version if you prefer.

It is perhaps not in the spirit of this prompt to offer up a recipe for a drink. But I made this delightful hot beverage the other night and knew I had to share, so I’m flouting the rules.

You might recall the hot molasses mug I shared during VeganMoFo 2014. It remains one of my favorite cold-weather beverages, a surprisingly nutritious and warming drink that’s superbly easy to prepare. Not satisfied leaving well enough alone, however, I took it a step further this weekend and added a healthy pour of my favorite maple liqueur. Holy smokes! It’s delicious, and just in time for the cooler weather. Forget hot toddies; this spiked hot maple-molasses mug is my new favorite boozy drink for the cold months.

Vegan spiked maple-molasses mug For added deliciousness, I topped my mug with aquafaba whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Additions like those are optional but delicious. ;)

(As a side note… did you know that you can make a single (well, single-ish) serving of aquafaba whipped cream with a  powerful immersion blender?! Game changer! I didn’t even bother with the cream of tartar and it worked fine.)

A caveat: If you’re not fortunate enough to have maple liqueur in your liquor cabinet, you can most likely substitute about 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup and a scant shot of bourbon or something similar. I haven’t played with alternatives like that, so let me know if you try it! Or go buy some maple liqueur. It’s worth it.

Spiked Maple-Molasses Mug

Serves one

  • 1 cup almond milk (or other nondairy milk of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • 1 shot (or more?!) maple liqueur
  • Dash pure vanilla extract

In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, warm the almond milk until it begins steaming. (You can also microwave it if you’d like.) Transfer to a mug and add the molasses, maple liqueur, and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously until combined. Enjoy.

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Vegan spiked maple-molasses mug // govegga.com

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Roasted Broccoli Galette with an Almond Meal Crust | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Fourteen

VeganMoFo 2017

Week Two: Behind the Scenes
Repurposing food: Show us what you do with mushroom stems, stale end bits of bread, carrot tops, etc.

If I were to take this prompt literally and to show you what I do with leftover bits of food, I would be sharing a picture of the compost bin at work, where all my vegetal leftovers wind up. Not a pretty sight, but perhaps a reminder to try a little harder to use all the bits and bobs leftover after cooking.

One remnant I do use up, every time, is the almond pulp left over after making almond milk. Although you can certainly use it right away as a wet ingredient in crackersfeta, and even coconut Bounty Bars (!), I prefer to dry mine to create almond meal or flour. To do so, I spread the clumps onto a baking sheet and put it in the oven at a low temperature (~250˚F) until it’s dried and crackly on top. Then I turn off the heat and let it continue to dry out, sometimes overnight. I then use the dry container of my Vitamix to process it into meal. It’s a relatively hands-off process, and I’m left with quite a lot of almond meal each time.

That being said… when I checked my almond meal stores in the pantry before embarking on the recipe I’m about to share, here’s what I found:

Nearly empty almond meal canisterThat is a sadly depleted store of almond meal, alas! So, for this recipe — which, by the way, makes a pair of sweet toasty galettes — I’m using less almond meal than I would have liked. Next time, I’ll increase the almond meal and decrease the flour accordingly.

So, with that out of the way… with what shall I fill my only-slightly-almondy crust, you ask? Another oft-discarded ingredient: broccoli stems!

Well, not just broccoli stems, but the whole broccoli stalk. In this simple galette, crispy roasted broccoli adds a flavorful crunch and lots of nutrition to a cheesy filling. As I mentioned in last week’s cheese-centric MoFo post, I don’t actually purchase premade vegan cheese all that often, opting instead to make my own. And although it’d be relatively simple to spread a nice cashew cream (or my tofu-walnut ricotta) on this galette, truthfully, I didn’t feel like making one! I wanted a sharper, deeper flavor and more meltiness, and I wanted the simplicity of using something pre-made. Use your favorite cheddar or go for the gold and make your own cheese. It’ll be tasty either way.

Broccoli-cheese galette with an almond meal crust

Roasted Broccoli Galette with an Almond Meal Crust

Makes two single-serve galettes or one large galette

For the filling
  • Two heads broccoli
  • 3 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Dash sea salt, optional
  • ~1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup vegan cheddar shreds
For the crust
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup ice-cold water
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Roughly chop the broccoli, including the stems, into bite-sized pieces. I like to shave the rough edges off the stems but that’s not necessary. Toss with olive oil, salt, and garlic, then transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.

While the broccoli is roasting, make the crust dough. Combine dry ingredients (flour, almond meal, salt, and garlic powder), then use your hands or a pastry cutter to cut in the vegan butter until it forms sandy crumbs. Drizzle in the cold water and stir to combine, using your hands to knead if necessary.  Start with 1/3 cup and add more by the tablespoon if necessary. Work it gently until it comes together into a soft but not sticky dough; do not overwork. Form into a ball and place in the refrigerator while the broccoli finishes roasting.

When the broccoli is starting to crisp up and blacken just a little, remove from the oven. (It might take more than 15 minutes.) Turn the oven off to let it cool to 350˚F while you prepare the galette crusts.

Divide the dough into two equal balls. On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rough circle or oval about 1/8″ thick. Transfer to a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper. Leaving a 1 1/2″ border, divide most of the cheese between each crust, reserving about 1/4 cup. Pile the roasted broccoli on top of the cheese, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Optionally, dust with nutritional yeast as well. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, overlapping with each fold.

Bake at 375˚F for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown.

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Broccoli-cheese galette with an almond meal crust

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Vegan Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Ten

VeganMoFo 2017

Week Two: Behind the Scenes
 Secret ingredient: Is there an unconventional ingredient or product you use to make a certain dish that no one would suspect?

The idea of “hidden” or “secret” ingredients in my food has always weirded me out a bit, perhaps because I grew up with a younger sister who has some pretty severe nut allergies. “Hidden” nuts in food sent her to the hospital or to her emergency Benadryl/EpiPen stash more than once, so I’m all for transparency in labeling and serving.

That said, I appreciate the idea that sometimes an ingredient might put someone off a food if they knew what was in it. (Hey, kinda like those dumb-dumbs who don’t want to try vegan dishes even though they contain nothing weirder than vegetables, grains, and not-animal-based proteins!) I also appreciate the recipe developers who have found immensely creative ways to add nutrients to apparent junk food in an effort to healthify treats. (Though, to be honest, I personally want my junk food to be junk food and my treats to be treats!) Chocolate-Covered Katie in particular has a whole arsenal of ONE WEIRD TRICK-esque recipes, which rely on surprise ingredients to add moisture and flavor to (and reduce fat and sugar in) her baked goods. (See: a chocolate cake featuring cauliflower!)

So perhaps my issue is with semantics: Call it an “unexpected” ingredient and I have no quarrel with the notion. I even have a few recipes featuring unexpected ingredients of my own (black bean brownies, anyone?).

"Pumpkin" streusel muffins But one of my favorite ways to subvert expectations — while offering superior flavor — is a relatively simple one: using mashed roasted sweet potato instead of pumpkin. Much of the flavors we associate with “pumpkin” are actually the warming spices that typically accompany it, the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice that just scream “autumn!” to most Americans. In reality, pumpkin by itself is quite bland; it really needs the augmentation of said spices (and some sweetness) to shine.

I offer up in its place sweet potato, which plays just as well with those lovely spices yet has an inherent mellow sweetness of its own. Cup for cup, it also boasts more fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and C. Baked into a muffin and topped with a crumbly, oaty streusel, you get a treat that could easily pass for pumpkin. So, next time you fire up the oven to make muffins, pass over the pumpkin and pass me the sweet potato! (Just be on the watch for folks with sweet potato allergies.)

"Pumpkin" streusel muffins

“Pumpkin” Streusel Muffins

Makes 12

Muffin ingredients
  • 1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup roasted and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Streusel topping ingredients
  • 3 T softened butter
  • 3 T flour
  • 3 T rolled oats
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Dash salt
Method

In a small bowl, mix together the streusel topping with a fork until crumbly and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Prepare a muffin tin by adding silicone or paper liners or spraying it lightly with oil.

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour through salt) and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the wet ingredients (almond milk through vanilla extract, whisking to combine. Add the sugar and thoroughly mix.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Use a plastic spatula or wooden spoon to mix just until combined; do not over-mix. (If it’s too wet, add a tablespoon or two of flour. Some sweet potatoes seem dryer than others!) Scoop batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each well about 2/3 full. Add a spoonful of streusel to the top of each muffin.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or just until a toothpick or other testing mechanism comes out clean. Enjoy! You’re not eating pumpkin!

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"Pumpkin" streusel muffins

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Template for an Enticing Salad | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Eight

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
You do make friends with salad: A salad to win anyone’s heart.

Colorful rainbow saladEarlier this summer, I had a bit of a salad revelation. It is, perhaps, a bit embarrassing that it took nearly eight years of veganism for me to realize that you can make a salad with LITERALLY ANYTHING YOU WANT. Limiting yourself to raw vegetables only? How provincial. Throw in some roasted veg, some beans, some crispy chickpeas… there are no rules! Limiting yourself to a particular set of flavors is also unnecessary — you can mix and match flavors with abandon. Make every bite a surprise!

So today I present to you an extremely loose template for creating a salad that both empties your fridge and leaves you full. Customize it according to your tastes and available veggies (or… fruits?! Get crazy!) and munch away. Salads aren’t just for bunnies anymore.

Template for a Super-Filling Salad

Serves 2

  • Greens (a few large handfuls): baby spinach, arugula, baby kale, romaine, mesclun… heck, even iceberg if you’re desperate!
  • Raw veggies (choose 2-4): sliced carrots, chopped tomatoes, shredded cabbage, sliced mushrooms, chopped peppers, thinly sliced radishes, diced avocado, edamame, sliced cucumber, chopped celery (not recommended, but acceptable if you’re desperate to get rid of it)
  • Roasted veggies (choose 1-2; optional but recommended): squash (delicata would be lovely), eggplant (I used cute Turkish eggplants in the salad shown above), cauliflower, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, corn kernels, diced beets
  • Protein (choose 1-2): cubed and marinated tofu, crispy roasted/sauteed chickpeas, crumbled veggie burger, Beyond Meat (or other) chicken shreds, crumbled tempeh, beans
  • Something sweet (choose 1; optional): dried cranberries, dried cherries, candied pecans/walnuts/other nuts, thinly sliced peaches/apples/pears, fresh berries
  • Crunchy topping (choose 1): hemp/sunflower/pumpkin seeds, croutons, extra-crispy roasted chickpeas, chopped nuts
  • Dressing (choose 1): classic olive oil + vinegar/lemon, Green Goddess, spicy almond (or peanut) butterCaesar, lemon-tahini, turmeric-ginger

Basically, do whatever the heck you want when it comes to salad. And let me know your favorite combinations — I’m looking for inspiration!

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Roasted Harissa-Tahini Cauliflower Wrap with Peppers and Lime Slaw | VeganMoFo 2017 Day One

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
Re-inventing the veggie option: Think of a boring, bog-standard veggie option like nut roast or risotto and give it a makeover.

It is, perhaps, one of the most dispiriting events to experience while dining out as a vegan. You’re at a restaurant that touts itself as vegan-friendly. The menu arrives, and your eye runs down the page, looking for that familiar V or a little leaf-shaped icon. Finally, towards the end of the list, you find the mark… only to see it paired with an abysmally un-creative item. It’s a portobello mushroom wrap or penne with red sauce or, alas, a roasted veggie wrap. You sigh and order it anyway.

We’ve all been there, right? We’ve all put on a smile when facing the waiter or our omnivorous dining companions, pretending we’re totally fine with the laziest and most boring vegan option imaginable. But inside, WE ARE NOT FINE. Is it too much to ask for a creative, thoughtfully prepared and executed vegan dish?! When the internet and hundreds of vegan cookbooks are bursting with inspiration, it’s disappointing that chefs and restaurant owners rely on tired veg staples from the ’90s.

Perhaps that’s why I love today’s prompt: It gives us all the chance to take one of those tired staples and breathe new life (and deliciousness!) into it! I opted for that hated roasted veggie wrap, an option particularly despised by my partner Steven. In lieu of bland roasted veggies, a tasteless tortilla, and — god forbid — hummus, my vegan roasted vegetable wrap relies on a battery of flavor-packed elements. I start with a homemade garlic-cumin flatbread, spread with a little harissa mayo. In it, you’ll find:

  • Harissa-tahini roasted cauliflower with lime (inspired by the charred cauliflower starter at True Food Kitchen in Bethesda, Maryland)
  • Simple but flavor-packed roasted banana peppers
  • A clean, crisp, simple lime cabbage slaw

Vegan Harissa-Tahini Cauliflower Wraps // govegga.com

Now, let’s be clear: This does require a bit more work than dumping some hummus on a tortilla, stuffing it with quick roasted veggies and calling it a day. But each element is relatively simple to pull together, and you can make any of them ahead of time to assemble on the fly. (The flatbread wraps are best fresh, however!) Eat it hot, warm, cold, or anywhere in between, and up the harissa content to meet your personal spice threshold.

Roasted Harissa-Tahini Cauliflower Wrap with Peppers and Lime Slaw

Makes 6

For the lime slaw

  • Half head green cabbage, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the harissa-tahini cauliflower
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
For the roasted peppers
  • 3-4 banana peppers or other peppers of your choice, sliced into thin strips
  • Drizzle olive oil
For the garlic-cumin flatbread wraps
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba
  • 1/4 cup nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
For the harissa mayo

Method

Preheat the oven to 425˚F.

First, make the slaw. Mix the shredded cabbage with the salt, sugar, and lime juice, and use your hands to coat thoroughly. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Next, prepare the veggies. Put the sliced peppers on a baking sheet, then drizzle them lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt. Whisk the tahini, harissa, and lime juice in a small bowl, and then toss this mixture with the cauliflower in a larger bowl. Pour onto a prepared baking sheet (either lightly sprayed with oil or lined with parchment). Put both pans or trays of veggies into the oven and roast for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the veggies are cooking, prepare the flatbread. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour to salt). Whisk together the aquafaba, milk, and oil in a smaller bowl, then add to the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix the wet into the dry until combined, adding extra flour if the mixture is sticky. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Divide the dough into six balls. Pour a little oil into a nonstick or cast-iron pan and heat it to medium-low.

(At some point while you’re working on this, the veggies will be done. I like them soft and a little blackened, but you can cook to taste. Remove from the oven and set aside. You want them warm but not hot when you eat.)

While the pan is heating, use your hands or a rolling pin to roll one dough ball into a rough circle or oval, about 4 inches in diameter. (I like to roll them out one at a time; I’ll roll one while the other is cooking. If your pan can accommodate more than one flatbread at a time or you prefer to roll them all out in advance, that’s fine too.)

When the pan is heated, add the first flatbread and cover the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the pan is steamy and the bread has a few bubbles. Remove the cover and flip, cooking the other side for another 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Repeat for the remaining flatbreads.

When all flatbreads are cooked, mix up mayo and harissa to taste and assemble your flatbread sandwiches. Start with a layer of harissa mayo, then top with the lime slaw. Add roasted peppers and cauliflower, gently fold the flatbread, and eat!

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Vegan Harissa-Tahini Cauliflower Wraps // govegga.com

Editor’s note: This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

Make-Ahead Vegan Breakfasts to Save Time and Keep You Full!

Moment Cafe PragueBreakfast: allegedly the most important meal of the day, and almost definitely the most easily skippable. As a reformed chronic breakfast-skipper, I can sympathize with anyone who just isn’t hungry enough to eat in the morning. (And don’t let the breakfast evangelists get you down — it turns out that the science behind breakfast’s importance has been over-stated and misinterpreted.)

These days, I nearly always eat something within an hour or two of waking up. On weekdays, that means I’m eating at my desk; I’m just not hungry enough to eat before I leave for work. (And, to be honest, I simply don’t want to get up early enough to make and eat breakfast at the house!) So I’ve come to rely on to-go options that will give me a burst of energy and keep me full.

If you, too, are in search of vegan breakfasts that you can make ahead of time and take with you, I have you covered! Here are some of my favorite ways to eat breakfast without digging into that stash of Clif bars you keep in your desk. (Save those for afternoon slumps!)

Top-down view of a metal baking dish filled with a casserole-like baked oatmeal studded with blueberries. To the right is a tan baking mitt, and across the top of the dish is a wooden spoon.

Make-ahead oatmeal breakfasts

There’s a reason overnight oat recipes are still popular: they’re awesome! Overnight oats are portable, dead easy to make in advance, and quite healthy. (As long as you don’t sweeten them into oblivion.) Put together your jar of ingredients before bedtime and by morning, you’ll have breakfast ready to go. You can even make a large amount and parcel it out for a few days’ worth of breakfasts!

Here are my favorite easy overnight oat recipes:

If cold oats don’t appeal (especially during the winter), you can always heat up your overnight oats. Or you can make fresh hot oatmeal in the morning, provided you have access to a microwave at work. I do this frequently — before I leave for work, I’ll fill a jar with a big scoop of quick oats and a handful of frozen berries. When I get to work, I’ll pour everything into a bowl and add some soy milk and hot water, then cook it in the microwave. The berries add flavor and a little extra nutrition; I don’t need to sweeten my oats when I use them. No, quick oats aren’t as nutritious as rolled or steel-cut oats, but they’re certainly better than no oats at all!

Baked oatmeal is another oat-based breakfast favorite of mine. You’ll need to prepare the baked oats in advance, but then you can reheat portions for a hot, oat-y breakfast that’s not quite oatmeal and not quite a breakfast bar. My banana bread baked oatmeal or baked blueberry oatmeal would both work here!

(Semi-)healthy breakfast bars or cookies

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal BarsIf you’ve overdosed on oats or just want something a little more indulgent, a batch of breakfast bars or cookies might fit the bill. (They could also be a great option if you’re used to eating sugary muffins or pastries for breakfast and want to transition to a slightly healthier baked good.) What moves a bar or cookie into breakfast territory? Well, my completely unscientific definition is that if it contains less sugar than a normal recipe and has other redeeming factors (whole grains; extra protein to keep you full), it counts! Perhaps best of all, you can make a batch on the weekend and it’ll sustain you for the entire week.

Here are a few options to get you started. I’d pair one of these bars or cookies with a piece of fruit for a rounder meal.

Easy vegan pudla

My love for pudla (savory chickpea-flour omelettes) never wanes! Although I typically enjoy pudla for dinner, you could make a double batch and save one for breakfast. Just reheat and serve with your favorite toppings. My basic recipe is here, but you can also make them smaller and thinner, like crepes. Play around with flavor profiles and mix-ins for infinite pudla fun!

Leftovers for breakfast!

Greens & Grains Bowl // govegga.comWhat? Last night’s dinner for today’s breakfast? Why not?! Plenty of folks enjoy savory food for breakfast, and you can too. If last night’s kale and grain bowl was particularly tasty but didn’t leave enough leftovers for a full lunch, why not just eat it for breakfast? There are worse ways to start the day than with veggies. You could even purposefully make extra roasted or pan-fried potatoes and call them home fries the next day. Now that’s thinking ahead!

Filling breakfast smoothies

Although I prefer to make my smoothies right before eating them, some recipes handle overnight refrigeration just fine. I personally wouldn’t do it with a banana-based smoothie (because I find that the banana flavor and texture get a bit odd), but any other fruit and nondairy milk smoothie should work OK! Add protein powder for even more staying power.

PB granola and vegan yogurt // govegga.com

Other easy vegan breakfast options

Let me know if I’ve missed any other great make-ahead vegan breakfast recipes!

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Make-ahead vegan breakfasts // govegga.com Make-ahead vegan breakfasts // govegga.com

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The Open-Faced Sandwich I Didn’t Know I Was Missing

I’ve never been a fan of mayonnaise. I’ve never been one to slather it thickly on a sandwich or sneak a spoonful of it or use it, heaven forbid, as a dip. Blech! Even recipes that rely on large amounts of it for creaminess (potato salad; slaw) make me nervous. I don’t want to taste it, I just want to use it as a glue on a sandwich or as the otherwise unnoticeable base of a salad or slaw.

But then I discovered the tomato-mayo open-faced sandwich. I could ask where it’s been all my life, but I already have the answer: in the American South, served up on a hot day, probably alongside a pitcher of sweet tea.

That’s why I — Yankee by birth, Midwesterner by college/first-job choice, Mid-Atlantic…er… by current situation — was unfamiliar with it. But man, I was missing out. Because when you take delicious, quality bread, toast it gently, spread it with mayo, heap on freshly sliced tomatoes, and sprinkle a little salt on top, you get a transcendent summer sandwich.

The return of warm-weather lunches. 🌱🍅😍 #whatveganseat

A post shared by Kelly (@kelmishka) on

Now, tomato-mayo sandwich purists might balk at my usage of anything but grocery store white bread, but come on, that’s not my style. I used a white sourdough here and it was perfection. I recommend something neutral in flavor; this isn’t the place for your seven-grain swirled rye masterpiece.

In case you’ve never made one before, here is my take on this summer delight. I can’t wait till I have my own garden-fresh tomatoes to use in it. Come on, summer!

Vegan Tomato-Mayo Sandwich

Serves 1

  • 2 pieces neutral-flavored bread
  • 1-2 TB vegan mayonnaise (I like Just Mayo)
  • 1 tomato, thickly sliced
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper flakes (optional; I like piment d’espelette)
  • Sprouts (optional)

Method

Lightly toast bread. You want it just a bit crispy, but not at all blackened. Spread mayo on one side of each slice to taste, then layer on the tomato slices and sprouts (if using). Sprinkle sea salt and pepper flakes (if using) on top. Eat and enjoy.

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Vegan open-faced tomato-mayo sandwich // govegga.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my links, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

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Five Vegan Pancake Recipes for Shrove Tuesday

Although my pancake recipes are predictably and unimaginatively housed on my breakfast recipes page, I am a firm believer in the occasional pancake dinner. Pancakes are quick, they’re relatively filling, and they’re practically dessert! And I am all for the occasional dessert-y dinner.

If you’re feeling lazy and in need of a carbolicious meal tonight, might I suggest you make pancakes and say it’s all in the name of celebrating Shrove Tuesday? Here are a few recipes to get you started, both from me and from some of my fellow bloggers. (For more vegan breakfast recipes, check out my Pinterest board!)

Vegan pancake recipes for any time of day (or night)!

Vegan Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce // govegga.com

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce (pictured above)

Spicy pillows of puffy goodness topped with a buttery apple pie-inspired sauce—what’s not to love? Check out my recipe here.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with Cinnamon Swirls

This recipe from Minimalist Baker is the stuff of my breakfast-for-dinner dreams! Note that it’s a yeasted batter, so you’ll need to allow an hour for the batter to rise.

Puffy Pillow Pancakes

For classic melt-in-your mouth straightforward pancake goodness, look no further than the queen of all things vegan brunch-y, Isa Chandra.

Bright blue cloth with a white plate and a stack of seven thin, orange pumpkin pancakes. Scattered around them are a few mini chocolate chips.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Pancakes (pictured above)

This recipe is an oldie, but definitely a goodie! If you’re into towering stacks of wafer-thin pancakes studded with little chocolate bites, this is the recipe for you.

A stack of five pancakes, covered in maple syrup, sit on a blue plate. To the left are three slices of apples. In the background is a bowl of chocolate chia pudding and a bottle of ginger syrup.

Whole-Wheat Ginger-Apple Pancakes (pictured above)

Another one of my older recipes, go for this recipe if you’d like to convince yourself you’re eating a healthy dinner: It uses whole wheat (pastry) flour, after all!

What’s your favorite vegan pancake recipe?

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Five vegan pancake recipes for Shrove Tuesday -- or any day!

Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara

Though I have no clue why, a few days ago I was seized with the idea of cooking a vegan carbonara—despite never having eaten carbonara in my life, vegan or otherwise. Perhaps I saw a recipe while perusing Pinterest and it lodged in my unconscious? Or maybe I’m just nostalgic for the Sims 2 and preparing a Goopy Carbonara for my hapless Sims? Who knows. But I had to try it.

I fully intended to follow an existing recipe for this pasta dish. I had no frame of reference for how it should taste, and I only vaguely understood the premise: add uncooked eggs (and maybe cheese?) to hot pasta; wait for eggs to cook through (but not scramble!) and create a rich “sauce” that clings to the pasta. Top with bacon? So I began researching how to make vegan carbonara.

But as I opened up tab after tab of vegan carbonara recipes, nothing seemed quite right. One recipe relied solely on silken tofu, which seemed like it would give a decent texture but would risk the end result tasting overpoweringly of soy. Another recipe used an entire half cup of Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg—a product I appreciate in theory but am frequently disappointed with in practice—to get that clingy, eggy texture, which made sense, but I didn’t have a whole package of the product on hand. And a third recipe employed that ubiquitous vegan favorite, cashews, to add a nice rich mouthfeel, but that method seemed like it would create a more generic cream sauce, not carbonara. All these elements seemed useful in the end goal of creating a true carbonara, but not by themselves. I had to mix them.

Vegan pasta carbonara
And thus, my very own vegan carbonara. A small addition of the VeganEgg provides that clingy texture, cashews offer a creamy and slightly cheesy flavor, and a small amount of silken tofu adds bulk. I included black salt to approximate eggy flavor and threw in a few scoops of nutritional yeast for cheesiness. Topped with crispy bacon, my carbonara was a surprising and delicious success. It’s quite filling, too—I had leftovers for lunch the next day. Now that’s the measure of a true winner.

Vegan Carbonara

Serves 3-4

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/3 cup cashews, soaked for as long as your blender requires it
  • 2 T VeganEgg + 1/2 cup cold water
  • 7 oz soft silken tofu (half a vacuum-sealed block)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp kala namak (black salt; if you don’t have it, just use regular salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 pieces your favorite vegan bacon, chopped into small pieces (1/2″ or so)
  • 12 oz pasta
  • Parsley for serving (optional)

Method

Set your cashews soaking. If you have a high-powered blender, you can soak them briefly (I soaked mine while prepping the rest of the sauce); if not, be sure to start ahead of time as required by your blender.

In a small bowl, add the VeganEgg and the cold water and whisk forcefully until the powder is incorporated. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for another 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Turn off the heat and set aside, but keep the pan on the stove for later.

At this point, start boiling a pot of water for your pasta.

Drain the cashews and add them to your blender, along with the VeganEgg mixture, silken tofu, cooked onions and garlic, almond milk, lemon juice, black salt, nooch, and a few grinds of pepper. Blend on high until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings as necessary. Set sauce aside.

Heat a small amount of oil in the pan you used for the onion and garlic and add the chopped bacon.

By now, the pasta water should be boiling. Add pasta and set a timer for al dente pasta, following the package’s instructions. As the pasta cooks, monitor the bacon. It should heat through and become somewhat crispy. When the bacon is done (about 7 minutes), you can either leave it in the pan (so that it mixes in with the pasta and sauce) or scoop it into a small bowl (so you can top the pasta with it). Either way, turn the heat off but leave the pan on the burner.

When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and immediately add it to the hot pan. Pour the sauce over it and cook for about 4-5 minutes on low heat, using a spatula to coat all the pasta. When the sauce starts clinging to the pasta and darkening a bit in color, it’s ready. Serve topped with bacon and parsley (if using) and a few more grinds of fresh pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

  • I used Sweet Earth Natural Foods‘ Benevolent Bacon, but you can go with any brand you prefer. You could also make your own crumbles from tofu or tempeh, although a fattier product works best here—the fat released in cooking helps everything cling together at the end.
  • If you don’t have the VeganEgg on hand, I think you can forgo it. You’ll just lose some of that clingy, eggy texture. Feel free to experiment with other ingredients in its place!
  • I used linguine for my pasta, but spaghetti and rigatoni are also common choices.
  • A quality vegan parmesan would be a perfect addition here. If you have it, swap it for the nutritional yeast and use as much as you need to get a nice cheesy flavor.
  • Timing is important here; you want the spaghetti to be nice and hot when you add the sauce. For that reason, make sure to follow the steps as written.

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Vegan pasta carbonara // govegga.com

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

Smoky Vegan Black Bean Chili

This is a recipe that truly surprised me. After a whirlwind long weekend with family in town (my mom, my sister, and my two adorable—but energetic!—little nephews), I wanted to make something quick and easy for dinner last Monday night after our houseguests rolled out. Chili seemed like just the ticket. Without much fanfare and without trying to fancy it up, I quickly whipped up a batch of black bean chili. And it turned out to be one of the best chilis I’ve made in a while, despite having minimal ingredients. Smoky, hearty, richly flavored and beautifully textured, this chili is going to become a mainstay in my dinner repertoire.

Smoky, Spicy Vegan Black Bean Chili // govegga.com

The secret? Two simple techniques:

  • Use fewer spices, but more of them—lots of cumin and coriander provide rich flavor.
  • Don’t rinse the beans! Instead, leave them in their aquafabulous coating. This makes for a gorgeously thick sauce that holds everything together and binds the flavor.

My only regret? That I didn’t have enough ingredients on hand to make even more chili! This is a small batch, so feel free to double it. (I’d recommend not immediately doubling the serrano pepper and chili powder; instead, taste for spice and go from there.) You could also omit the mushrooms if you’re not a fan, but I really enjoyed how their soft texture played against the beans.

Smoky Vegan Black Bean Chili

Makes about 4 servings

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8-10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, minced
  • 1 heaping tsp cumin
  • 1 heaping tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoky chili powder
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 15 oz fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 32-oz can black beans (Drain (and save!) the aquafaba, but do not rinse the beans themselves; you’ll add them directly from the can with whatever aquafaba remains)

Method

In a large stockpot, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion softens and becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and let cook for another 3 minutes, then add the garlic and serrano chili. Sauté for another 3 minutes, then add the spices (cumin, coriander, oregano, and chili powder) and stir to coat. Cook for another 30 seconds, then add the tomato sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, and black beans. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste for spice and salt, then serve with your favorite chili toppings!

Notes

  • I used piment d’espelette, a really lovely chili powder my brother and his girlfriend got me for Christmas from a Seattle spice shop they frequent. You can find piment d’espelette on Amazon or just use whatever chili powder you have on hand.
  • I didn’t add extra salt because the tomato sauce and fire-roasted tomatoes I used contained salt. Your mileage may vary; check your brand of tomatoes and adjust salt accordingly.

PIN IT

Smoky, Spicy Vegan Black Bean Chili // govegga.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my links, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

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