Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bean and Bac'n Soup

Right off the bat, I apologize for the terrible picture.....just as I was about to snap a photo and serve dinner the camera battery went dead, so I had to use my iPhone to take the picture. Hence, the bac'n turned out as a large brown blob in the center of a soup bowl.....less than appetizing, I know, but the soup was worth sharing. I'll be making it again, hopefully with a better photo to share.

With that out of the way, time for a confession. When I was an omnivore I loved Campbell's Bean and Bacon soup, LOVED it! This was my attempt at mimicking that. While this soup isn't exactly like Campbell's, it is really good. Because this recipe calls for such a large amount of beans I recommend using dried beans and cooking them in advance.

Bean and Bac'n Soup

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and cubed

1 bay leaf

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp liquid smoke

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp celery seed

1 tsp tamari

4 cups good quality veg. stock (I use home made)

4 cups water

8 cups white beans, cooked (Great Norther, Cannellini, or Navy)

2 tsp salt

1 package Fakin' Bacon

In a large soup pot, heat oil. Add onions, carrots and bay leaf and begin to saute. Once veggies are beginning to soften add garlic and saute a few minutes more. Add liquid smoke, celery seed, oregano, and tamari. Stir to combine. Add stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, add beans and salt and continue to simmer while you cook the "bacon" according to package directions. When bacon has cooked and cooled, cut or crumble into small pieces and add to soup. Stir to combine.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who wants a giveaway??? (Winner Announced)

*****October 23, Winner Announced*****

Each entry was assigned a number based on order of comment, and for those of you that blogged or tweeted this contest you were given a double entry.....leaving me a total of 22 entries. Using lucky number 18 was chosen.......

Sarah (aka @seesaraheat) - Congratulations!!!

How about a giveaway.......everyone likes a giveaway, right?!? I know I do.

I know it's Vegan MoFo, the vegan month of food, but let's face it, veganism is about more than just the food. Veganism is a lifestyle. Cruelty free extends beyond our diet into every aspect of our lives. Food aside, one of the most prevalent places for animal ingredients is in our skin care products.

Today I'm giving away a care package of Sacred Herb Creations vegan skin care products (1 tube of Lip Balm, a bottle of Hand and Body Lotion, and a bar of Handmade Soap). You can read all about Sacred Herb Creations, and their lovely creator Jen here. All you have to do to win a few of these incredible products is just leave a comment here and tell me your favorite vegan skin care products. For a second chance to win, tweet about this contest using @veganyogini so I know, or post about it on your blog and let me know (maximum number of entries 2 per person).

The contest will run from today until next Thursday, October 22. Winner will be announced on Friday October 23. With the weather turning cold the Lip Balm and Lotion will be quite handy, so get commenting and sharing, and win these awesome products today!!

Maple Baked Lentils

This is just a variation of my Sweet and Savory lentils, using maple syrup instead of agave to sweeten. I also left the nutmeg out of this recipe, because my kidlets don't seem to like the flavor of nutmeg in dishes. I love this recipe, because it's warm and comforting, and because all of these ingredients are things I always have on hand, so I can throw it together whenever I am at a loss for what to cook. It also requires dirtying only 2 dishes, and is a meal that comes together largely unattended.

Maple Baked Lentil

1 1/2 cups Puy lentils
3 c. water
1 bouillon cube
1 Bay leaf
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Add lentils, water, bouillon cube, and bay leaf to cooking pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook until lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Remove lentils from heat, drain, remove bay leaf, and set aside. Combine veggies, lentils, syrup and salt and pepper to taste in a casserole dish. Stir to combine. Cover with foil and cook 30 minutes covered. Remove foil and continue to bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. Cool and serve.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spaghetti Soup

As soon as I saw this on Happy Herbivore I knew I had to make it. First, I love spaghetti squash. Second, this is exactly how I eat my spaghetti......a lot of sauce, a little spaghetti. This recipe is such a fantastic idea, and such a creative way to use spaghetti squash.

I made the soup according to the recipe, only I left the red pepper flakes out of the cooking process to make this soup more kid friendly. Instead, I added them to the individual bowls for Rob and myself. This soup was definitely a hit, happily consumed by by both parents and kids! The soup was perfect served with some crusty homemade baguette. We had plenty left over for the next day, and I think I liked it even better the second day (as is the case with most soups). I highly recommend this soup, especially if you've got spaghetti lovers in your house.

An added bonus of this soup is that it's quick, easy and cheap to make. With the exception of the squash it was made with all things that I already had on hand.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Donuts

It's been raining, and raining, and raining. All of the rain led to some flooding, and due to the flooding the kidlets had an unexpected day off of school. I promised the smallest kidlet earlier this week that I'd make some donuts for breakfast this weekend. Since we were rained in, today seemed like the perfect day to do that. I had some pumpkin puree lurking in my refrigerator that needed to get used up, so decided I'd throw it into the donuts and see what happened.

What happened was the best homemade donuts I've made. They were so good I was declared the "bestest mom in the World".

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Donuts
with Pumpkin Cinnamon Drizzle
makes 10

2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2/3 cup raw sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 Tbs melted Earth Balance

3 generous Tbs pumpkin puree
1 c. soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 Tbs powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil donut pan and set aside. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients, including chocolate chips. Whisk to combine well. In a small bowl combine all wet ingredients, plus cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine, then mix into dry ingredients. Spoon batter into donut molds about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes, until toothpick inserted in donuts comes out clean. Remove from pan to cooling rack and cool completely before adding drizzle.

Once donuts are completely cool, in a small bowl combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree. Stir briskly with a fork until mixture thickens. Adding up to 1/4 tsp soy milk if necessary. Drizzle over cool donuts.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 3: Apple-Sage "faux"sages

I am sure most of you have seen or heard of the gourmet sausages that they are selling at some of the stores these days. They've got everything from Thai Curry sausage to Mexican Chipotle and everything in between. Back in the day, sausage used to be one of my husbands favorite food, so upon going veg, sausage was one of the first things I learned to recreate. Keeping with my thing of "Go Veg, you won't miss a thing", today I present you with sausage (the original from Isa's blog and my gourmet apple-sage variation).

I've been making these Italian sausages from VeganDad (via Isa) for awhile now. They are always a big hit. I get 6 sausages from the recipe and it only costs me about $2.00 to make them. A good deal compared to the nearly $6.00 I'd pay for a package of 4 Field Roast Italian sausages. And to be completely honest, I think the homemade version beats the store bought version any day. Field Roast are good, and convenient for when you are short on time, but these sausages will have you quickly finding the time to steam some up. They take only minutes to throw together, then you just pop them in the steamer for about 45 minutes. Once they've steamed they can be eaten right away. They are good sliced into pasta sauces, lasagna, or on pizza. Our favorite way to eat them is thrown on a heated grill just long enough to impart some of that delicious smoky grill flavor.

The awesome thing about this recipe is you can take the basic idea and turn it into whatever gourmet variation you desire. With fall coming I decided to use the basic recipe for sausages and change the seasonings to make an apple-sage variation:

Apple Sage Fauxsages

1/2 cup pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cold vegetable broth
1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 small apple, diced very small
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

Before you get started, get your steaming apparatus ready, this recipe comes together quickly. Have 6 squares of aluminum foil ready as well.

In a large bowl mash the beans until no whole beans are left. Add all of the other ingredients, and mix well with a fork. I finish off by squishing it all around good with my hands. Then divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Place one part on each square of foil and mold into about a 5 inch log (don't worry about making it too perfect, they expand into perfect sausage shapes as they steam). Roll the log up in the foil, twisting the ends to seal (like a Tootsie Roll). Place in steamer and steam for about 45 minutes, until they feel firm to the touch. Remove from steamer, and unwrap to cool.

For a perfect autumnal meal I served these with roasted butternut squash and roasted beets, with a side of sauteed red chard and caramelized onions. Veggies roast up largely unattended and the chard cooks up in minutes. With a little planning, and a little hands on time you too can enjoy this delicious meal.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Apple Chip Winners Announced.....

Congratulations ladies.............You are now the proud owners of a month's supply of Yogavive Apple Chips!! Just send your names and mailling addresses to veganyogini01 at gmail dot com, and the Apple Chips will be on their way!!

Thanks to everyone who entered. For everyone who didn't win, visit Everything Flows Onward for another chance to win!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 2: The MoFo Meme

You knew it was coming right? Another meme. It had to happen, it's VeganMoFo and we all have to have something to post every weekday for a month......what better way to fill some of those posts than a meme so we can get to know each other a little better. All the MoFo'ers are doing it, and you should too!!

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?

Pacific Vanilla Oat Milk and Tempt Vanilla Hemp Milk

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?

Plans?? I'm supposed to have plans?? I don't have a plan for lunch, let alone the whole month.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?

Popped on the stove in olive oil sprinkled with a little sugar and a little salt

4.Most disastrous recipe/meal failure

My first attempt at seitan can't even be described as a disaster. It was the.most.disgusting.thing.EVER!!

5. Favorite pickled item?

Cucumbers and peppers

6. How do you organize your recipes?

I throw them all in a drawer in my kitchen and dig through them when I need them

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?

Traash and recylce, garbage disposal too!!

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

Larabars, avocados, dinosaur kale

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

Nothing really stands out, I guess eating cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning, a tradition I carried on with my kids

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?

There are many, but I really love Chicago Soy Dairy's Temptation, chocolate. I love it because it's made in a dedicated nut free facility so my allergic daughter can eat it too.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?

My juicer, hands down

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

Red pepper flakes

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?

The cookbook I've owned longest is Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. The vegan cookbook I've had longest is Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?


15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

Oh, there are lots, it depends on the friend. Chili is pretty universal, thai curries always go over well,

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?


17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

I don't have a favorite, I just like to the evening

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?

Blender, platters and a gravy boat.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Fruit, vital wheat gluten, corn

20. What’s on your grocery list?

You don't want to know....tomorrow is shopping day, so the list is LONG

21. Favorite grocery store?

Whole Foods Market, and Rainbow Blossom

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.

There's nothing really, like I said, not a lot of food memories (my mom didn't cook) and I've veganized my grandma's famous macaroni sala

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?

Happy Herbivore, Vegan Dad, The Urban Vegan

24.Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

Not a huge candy fan, but I love any dark chocolate

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

I don't usually purchase extravagant food items

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?

I'm scared of nothing.........especially if I have a good recipe

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 1: Pizza

Ok, so here's the deal, I'm one busy MoFo'er and I'm just now getting around to my first MoFo post. Almost 24 hours into day one, and I'm just now posting. And yes, for my first post, that is a pizza you are seeing. So, now you're thinking to yourself "damn, she's one lazy MoFo'er too" aren't ya? Call it what you will, lazy, ordinary, yada, yada, matter what you say about it all I know is it was damn good!!

So, VeganMoFo, write about veganism every week day for one month. Quite a challenge. Made even more of a challenge by my fellow MoFo'ers who will go out of their way to create some of the most incredible food you've ever put in your mouth. Now not only do I have to remember to blog daily, but I have to get creative in the kitchen again too, sheesh.

I promise, I will create, I will post exotic, or at least not ordinary dishes, yes, I'll do all of that stuff.......but, I have a theme for MoFo this year and it's "Go Vegan: You won't miss a thing". Let's be honest, it's not hard to get a veggie lover to try out vegan, but what about those people that are just so attached to their meat and dairy. You know the one's......"I could never give up cheese", or "I could never stop eating hamburgers", or "but, I need my protein". Yes, we all know those people. So, this year for MoFo, I've set out to show them that they can eat EVERYTHING they used to eat, only minus the icky animal ingredients. Ok, so maybe not everything, steak lovers will have to say good-bye to that addiction. I mean, I can fake a lot of meals, but there's really no way to fake a still bloody piece of flesh on your plate, know what I mean?

I'm kicking MoFo off with pizza, because almost everyone loves pizza, and when you tell someone you are vegan they almost always ask, "but don't you miss eating pizza". Um, no I don't miss eating pizza, because, well, I still eat it. And I still eat it with "sausage" and "pepperoni" and "cheese".........and you know what else? It's good, it's very good, it's damn good.