Favorite Vegan Cookbooks!

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Week Four: Memories and Traditions

Today’s prompt is “Cookbooks – Show us your favourite cookbooks!”  During a similar prompt last year, I talked about Miyoko Schinner’s The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples.  

Schinner Pantry TOC

This book is still one of my favorites, though I’ll admit that I haven’t tried too many new-to-me recipes from it recently. The biscuit mix is a great staple to have on hand, though!

I’m also still dreaming about Meera Sodha’s Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen, which I reviewed a few months back.

made in india -- cookbook review

Made in India stands out in my stack of library books.

Not only is this book beautiful (just look how colorful!), but it makes Indian cooking accessible and achievable. I took it out from the library, renewed it as many times as I could, and am still thinking of adding it to my collection.

Those two books stand out right now, but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Vegan with a Vengeance — it was my first vegan cookbook, and the updated 10th anniversary edition looks beautiful. The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out is a new favorite too; I love the fresh, healthful, creative recipes. But really, I rarely meet a vegan cookbook I don’t enjoy! How about you?

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, 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. :)

Vegan Memories

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Week Four: Memories and Traditions

Today’s prompt is “vegan memories” — which is remarkably appropriate for this blog, since I’ve been keeping it on and off since becoming vegan. Here are a few posts and foods that bring back particularly strong vegan-newbie memories for me:

  • This post, regarding Isa’s ancho lentil soup. A friend made the soup back in my early flirting-with-veganism days, so it holds a particularly strong spot in my taste-memories.
  • The Mucho Margarita cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.I made them for my college graduation party, and I remember my little cousin (not so little now) eagerly helping. Everyone was surprised that the cupcakes were — gasp! — vegan. Little did they know that in a few years, nearly all shared food items at family gatherings would be vegan.
  • Banana soft serve, eaten any old way. Banana soft serve exploded onto the blogosphere in summer 2009, right before I went vegan — and it was one of the first “raw foods” (hah!) I tried.
Similar photo to the previous one, but this one is taken from a bit further away.

A sundae on Sunday.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, 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. :)

Thanksgiving Feast!

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Week Four: Memories and Traditions

I’m sneaking this post in just under the wire — it’s Thanksgiving; can you blame me? Nothing big to share, just a photo of our Thanksgiving feast.

Noms. #whatveganseat #thanksgiving #fieldroast

A post shared by Kelly (@kelmishka) on

Field Roast Celebration roast, mashed taters, gravy, stuffing, and veggies galore! If you celebrated, hope you had a great day!

Easy Vegan Apple Crisp

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Week Four: Memories and Traditions

It was perhaps inevitable that apple crisp would make an appearance during this tradition-based week. I’ve reminisced about the spicy, buttery dessert before, I’ve got a recipe for a quick unbaked version, and I’ve made the classic recipe countless times — including a few nights ago.

Easy vegan apple crisp // govegga.com

Truth be told, I just follow the Betty Crocker recipe, subbing Earth Balance for butter. So simple. Don’t get cute like I did and increase the number of apples without also increasing the pan size and the topping amount, or you’ll end up with a sub-optimal apple-to-topping ratio. You want a thin layer of apple slices so they cook through and absorb all that buttery, sugary goodness, resulting in a gooey, pie-like filling. Bake it longer than you think you need to, till your apples are on the verge of disintegrating into a mushy mess. Don’t worry about appearances — this dish is all about taste.

What’s your favorite apple crisp recipe?

Veganized Pepper Steak

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Week Four: Memories and Traditions

One of last year’s MoFo prompts was to veganize a family recipe. Pressed for time, I didn’t actually make the recipe I chose: pepper steak. It’s been on my to-make list for literally a year, but somehow I’ve never gotten around to it — till now.

Original pepper steak recipe

A frequent fixture at family dinners, pepper steak reads to me like a retro ’70s throwback: not very fancy, maybe a little odd (ketchup + soy sauce), but total comfort food. We always served it over mashed potatoes, where the brown sauce could shine.

It’s been more than 10 years since I’ve eaten meat, and at least that long since I had pepper steak. I was curious whether the vegan version would bring me back to those childhood meals in my grandparents’ dark wood paneled kitchen. It did, 100%. And Steven — who’d never tried this retro delicacy — enjoyed it too.

Vegan pepper steak // govegga.com

As you can see by comparing the recipe card and my recipe, I had to modify the method a bit to accommodate vegan beef strips, which don’t exactly stand up to an hour in a pan of hot liquid. But that just means this recipe comes together much quicker than the original — you’ll get it on the table in less than 30 minutes. (If serving over mashed potatoes, you can easily make them in this amount of time — just get the potatoes boiling before you start the pepper steak.)

Vegan Pepper Steak

Serves 2-3

  • 1 T neutral oil, like canola
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 package vegan beef strips (Gardein, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans)
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 C ketchup
  • 1/2 T cornstarch whisked with 1 T cold water
  • Mashed potatoes to serve

Method

In a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium. Sauté onions for about 3 minutes, then add peppers. Sauté for another 5 minutes, then add the beef strips. (Pour in a little vegetable broth if the pan gets dry.) Cook for another 5 minutes, then add the wet ingredients and simmer for ~7 minutes. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce to thicken, then turn heat to low. Once the sauce has thickened slightly, serve over mashed potatoes.

PIN IT

Vegan pepper steak // govegga.com

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Gratin

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Week Four: Memories and Traditions

Memories and traditions! An appropriate theme this week. Today I bring you a recipe that’s not quite a tradition, but does hearken back to a dish my family served pretty frequently at holidays: scalloped potatoes. But this version features squash instead of potatoes, and a creamy cashew-based sauce instead of cheese.

Sometimes I think that squash varieties don’t quite match their names. With gorgeous, ethereal names like butternut, delicata, and pattypan, you expect something light and, well, delicate. Instead, you get an oddly thick, bulbous, often warty fruit that is decidedly not delicate. But it’s what’s inside that counts, and squashes lend themselves so well to dozens of applications.

Creamy vegan butternut squash gratin // govegga.com

This savory butternut squash recipe would not be out of place doubled and served as a side for Thanksgiving dinner. Roasting squash brings out its inherent sweetness, and seasonal herbs (sage, thyme) add a complementary savory note. A beautifully simple yet complexly flavorful cashew cream sauce elevates the dish, and a sprinkling of toasted panko adds just a little crunch. Thanks to the coconut milk and cashews in the sauce, this dish is surprisingly filling and nutrient-rich; you might be surprised that you’re full after a small helping! Eat straight out of the oven for optimal deliciousness.

Creamy Butternut Squash Gratin

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish

For the squash

1 butternut squash
5-7 fresh sage leaves, rolled and sliced into ribbons
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
fresh black pepper
1.5 – 2 T olive oil (start with less and add more if needed for a larger squash)
2-3 T panko

For the cashew cream sauce

1/2 cup whole raw cashews, either soaked for 6 hours ahead of time or boiled for 15 minutes
1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 large clove garlic
2 T nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)

Method

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Using a sharp knife, cut each end off the squash, then cut it half both vertically and horizontally. Stand each piece on end and use your knife to cut off the peel, then scoop out the seeds with a fork. Slice the squash into half-moon shapes about 3/4″ thick.

Combine the olive oil, sliced sage, thyme, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper to a large mixing bowl, then add the squash slices. Stir to coat evenly, then add the squash to a 9 x 13″ glass casserole dish.

Bake for 20 minutes while you prepare the cream sauce.

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend/process until you have a smooth, creamy sauce. It will be fairly thin — that’s okay. Taste and adjust for salt. Set cream aside while the squash bakes.

At the 20 minutes mark, use a fork to check whether the squash is done. You want it just about tender. Remove from the oven and pour the sauce over the squash; aim to drizzle it and don’t worry about coating each piece.

Return the dish to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and starts to bubble. Remove it from the oven and sprinkle the panko on top; you want a nice layer. Broil the casserole for 2-3 minutes and remove just as the panko begins to turn golden brown.

Let sit for about 3 minutes, then serve.

 

Going Green — Green Tomato Galette

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Week Three: Rainbow Week

Today’s prompt (“It’s Easy Being Green – Look after the environment, or just eat green veg – go green today!”) immediately made me think of a recipe I shared exactly a month ago (!) for this gorgeous green tomato galette.

Roasted Green Tomato Galette with Tofu-Walnut Ricotta / #vegan / govegga.com

Why? Well, not just because it features the color green, but also because it represents one of my personal attempts at going green in the metaphorical sense. By growing my own food — even just a little — I’m  reducing my carbon footprint (no trips to the store; no food driven or flown thousands of miles) and providing flowers for pollinators. (I’m also feeding local wildlife, though not totally by choice — we’ve got some industrious little creatures in my neighborhood!) Plus, it feels great to get my hands in the dirt and to eventually be so richly rewarded for my labors. :)

Vegan Brownies Galore!

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week Three: Rainbow Week

Today’s prompt is “Goth Day – Blues, purples, blacks? Let your dark side shine.” So because it’s the weekend and I had to get up at 5 am to pick up Steven from the airport and I’m sleepy, I’m going to share a simple roundup of brownie recipes. Brownies: dark and delicious. (Plus, many of these are from MoFos past — it’s like a trip down memory lane!)

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

First up, these black bean brownies I developed a few years back, when I was sharing nutrient-rich recipes for Vegan MoFo 2014. Although I still think putting beans in dessert is a bit of a precious foodie trend, these were surprisingly fudgy and tasty. Plus, you get 7 grams of protein in each square. Win!

Next, how about the brownie recipe showdown from Vegan Mofo 2011? Yeesh, that was five years ago. The world of vegan baking has evolved pretty substantially since then, with the introduction of new commercial egg substitutes, lots of new plant milks, and the discovery of aquafaba (praise be unto you, bean juice!).

In fact, my current favorite brownie recipe takes advantage of black bean aquafaba and is incredibly rich and delicious — you can find it here. I’ve subbed out other neutral oils in place of the coconut oil to no ill effect. This recipe is particularly great if you want a crackly top. Mmm.

Close-up of a blue plate piled high with three thick, fudgy brownies. They have noticeable bits of raspberry, and there are a few raspberries surrounding them on the plate.

Undeniably fudgy.

Or perhaps you want something with a little fruit. How about Isa Chandra’s raspberry truffle brownies? Somewhere between fudgy and cake-y, these brownies are oil-free as written… but I cheated and used an oil/applesauce blend when I blogged about them during Vegan MoFo 2012.

So… what’s your favorite brownie recipe?

 

Easy Greens and Grains Bowl

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Week Three: Rainbow Week

This is a bit of a cheat post. I haven’t really got a new recipe for you, just a template for making a filling, healthy greens ‘n grains bowl. Mine featured steamed kale from the garden (hoorah for cold-weather produce!), lots of quinoa, five-spice toasted tamari almonds, and a miso-maple sauce to pull everything together.

Greens & Grains Bowl // govegga.com

This pretty, colorful bowl was delicious, and it took me 50 minutes to eat because I’m the world’s slowest chomper. (I know it was 50 minutes because I watched an entire episode of The Fall while eating dinner. Normally I’m not a fan of eating in front of the screen (iPad, in my case), but Steven’s out of town and hey, you gotta live it up when you’ve got the house to yourself.)

I don’t eat bowls like this often enough. I do love simple meals, like a giant plate of roasted veggies and baked tofu, but bowls haven’t made it onto my dinner rotation — and that’s a shame. They’re endlessly versatile and eminently healthful, and I’d love to hear your favorite combinations. This template provides the perfect balance of greens, grains, and a crunchy topping.

Greens & Grains Bowl Template

Serves 1; easily doubled

  • Large handful hearty greens, like kale or chard
  • ~1/2 cup uncooked grains, like quinoa, bulgur wheat, or millet
  • 1/3 cup your favorite sauce, like maple-miso
  • 1/3 cup toasted nuts, like tamari almonds

Method

Start cooking grains according to package (or internet!) instructions. While they cook, make toasted nuts according to the recipe you’re using.

Wash and tear the greens into bite-sized pieces. When your grains are about 10 minutes away from being cooked, put a pot of water on to boil. Steam greens for about 5 minutes or until desired level of tenderness. Whisk together the sauce while the greens are steaming.

To serve, layer the greens at the bottom of a large bowl and scoop in the grains. Pour on sauce, top with nuts, and enjoy.

PIN IT

Greens & Grains Bowl // govegga.com

Hearty, Protein-Rich Veggie Stew

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Week Three: Rainbow Week

A coworker recently asked for suggestions of bulk lunch ideas — things she could make and freeze and have ready. I’ll admit I was stumped for a minute. What do I even eat for lunch!?  Sure, I have a few sandwich recipes, but my typical workday lunches are much simpler, usually a cobbled-together assortment of snacks or leftovers. But then my brain jump-started itself and I realized that most of my lunches are exactly what she was looking for: recipes made in bulk(ish), often for dinner, then saved and eaten as leftovers for lunch. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Hearty, protein-rich vegan veggie stew // govegga.com

Take, for example, this hearty veggie stew (that just happens to be bright red — perfect for rainbow week). I grabbed a few fridge and pantry items and combined them to make a super-filling, protein-rich stew that keeps you surprisingly satiated, thanks in part to bulgur wheat and TVP. It’s a versatile recipe you can adjust based on what’s in the house, though I highly recommend adding the whole cherry tomatoes if you have them — they add a beautiful pop of acidic flavor. (My tomato plants soldiered on well into this unusually warm fall, and I’ve still got some sitting on my counter!) It’s a disarmingly simple stew, but the addition of sharp paprika gives it a nice little kick.

This is one of those simple meals that I tend to overlook when planning dinner (and its resultant leftover lunches).  After all, it’s “just” a vegetable stew. But it’s also incredibly nutritious and immensely flavorful. Just the ticket as we move in to the winter and start craving warmth.

Hearty Veggie Stew

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced roughly
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Half a cabbage, sliced into ribbons about 2″ long
  • 5-6 cremini mushrooms, sliced or chopped into chunks (optional)
  • 3 large carrots, sliced into half-moon rounds
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup TVP
  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat (or additional TVP)
  • 1 cup veg broth (I use Better Than Bouillon Reduced-Sodium Vegetable Base)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (depending on the saltiness of your veg broth)

Method

Heat oil in a large stock pot over low-medium heat, then add the garlic. Sauté for a minute but do not let burn. Add the spices and stir to coat the garlic, then add the cabbage and carrots. Turn the heat up to medium and sauté for another 5 minutes before adding the crushed tomatoes and white beans. Cook for another 3 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper. Simmer the stew for at least 15 minutes, but ideally longer, until all ingredients are soft. Salt and pepper to taste, then eat.

Notes

  • Feel free to sub other veggies for the carrots and cabbage — this is just what I had on hand. You could also add some leafy greens at the end if you’d like.
  • For a spicier stew, add a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • To stretch this recipe and bulk it up even further, add 1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked small pasta to the finished stew. Ditalini works great!

PIN IT

Hearty, protein-rich vegan veggie stew // govegga.com