Vegan MoFo Day 9 – Laziest Apple Pie

The other night, I was at my mom’s for sad reasons. She already had a get-together planned and didn’t want to back out of it. A distracted mind is a content mind! She decided to make a pie out of a bunch of apples that were starting to go soft. When she asked me to get the pre-made crusts out of the freezer, I noticed that they were shortening-based and. . . . “accidentally vegan!” I got excited and my mom decided to make her crumble topping with Nucoa*, not butter. Yay for me!

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Look at that accidentally-vegan goodness.

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I’m not one to buy pre-made pie crusts, but when it’s already being made and I am asked to chip in, I sure as hell won’t say no. Another benefit of using a pre-made crust is that baking, which is usually a precise science, becomes a more “wing it” type activity like traditional cooking. In pie, the crust is the only thing that’s really finicky. With that out of the way, the rest comes easy!

My mom cut the apples up and tossed them in some brown sugar, cinnamon, corn starch, and the juice of one lemon.

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She made a crumble-topping out of rolled oats, brown sugar, and margarine.

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We then baked that shiz per the package instructions and it was pretty darn tasty! I didn’t even miss the “mode” from a la mode, which I used to consider necessary for apple pie. I wouldn’t enter it to a fair or anything, but it’s not a bad way to use up excess apples in one hour. 

*I can’t, for the life of me, find any evidence of Nucoa’s new formula. When Smart Balance bought them out, it became the poor man’s Earth Balance. Similar process but less authentic buttery taste for half the price. I use this stuff all the time but I can’t! Find! Proof! Online! That! It’s! Okay! Looks like I already have a new post idea. . . 

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Buffalo Chick Bowl “Recipe”

This is so simple, it feels silly to call this a recipe. But, if you’re like me and ate your fair share of “buffalo” style chicken in your meat eating days, sometimes you need a healthier alternative to a buffalo chick’n sammie.

Funny thing is, this didn’t start with a buffalo craving. I was in the kitchen with only an avocado as a fresh ingredient, wondering what I could make myself for dinner. This is what I came up with.

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Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of dry  brown rice (+ 2 cups of water)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (or 1.5 cups cooked)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp buffalo sauce (plus more to taste)
  • Black pepper and cilantro, to taste

Method

  1. Press and mince the garlic, then sautee in oil until fragrant, but not burnt.
  2. Add rice, water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and cover. image
  3. While rice cooks, prepare the topping: mash whole avocado with tsp of buffalo sauce. image
  4. If you have a well-stocked fridge, throw in some greens just before the rice is done. Otherwise, wait until fully cooked and add the chickpeas.image
  5. Add the spices until sufficiently flavored.
  6. Scoop into two bowls and top with avocado sauce, and additional buffalo sauce, to taste.
  7. EAT!

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This makes two decent size bowls and is both delicious and simple! Perfect for a work-night dinner.

VeganMoFo Day 4 – Whole Grain Flax Pancakes

So. . . Apparently, when I added the photos to this shortly after making the food, my dumb mobile app went and published it as a post, rather than saving it as a draft as I clearly requested.  So to anyone that actually follows me and saw this as a bunch of pictures with no text or title, I do apologize.

Anyway. . . I’ve been on a bit of a pancake kick lately. We can largely blame the fact my fridge if somewhat empty, and this is the only breakfast I can really make with what I have in the pantry. Over the weekend, I was dog-sitting again, and I made lots of pancakes more in the restaurant style – fatty, with white flour, etc. They were what I could pull together with my parents’ pantry. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed them. I even concocted them myself! Next time I decide to make them as a treat, I’ll take care with measurements and post the recipe.

Today, I found myself with lots of time to make breakfast, but with a desire to at least eat something filling, with its fair share of protein and fiber.

So I present to you my first recipe!

Whole Grain Flax Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup “milk” (I used Almond Breeze almond/coconut)
  • splash of vinegar (optional)
  • 2 flax eggs (for each “egg” whisk 1 tbsp ground flax seed with 3 tbsp warm water and let rest for at least three minutes)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Prepare the “eggs” – I simply scooped the flax and water into a coffee mug and whisked with a fork, then set aside.
  2. (Optional) “Curdle” the milk – this works best with soy (or even hemp!), but I found some results with my milk blend, as well. Simply add the milk to a large mixing bowl and add a splash of vinegar. Blend and let rest while you gather your other ingredients (or take pictures like a wannabe photographer). This is an optional step, but it creates more of a “buttermilk” feel to your pancakes.
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  3. Add “eggs” and oil, then stir.
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  4. Fold in the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-mix – lumps are good, mmkay.
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  5. Grease a pan with oil for richer pancakes, or spray for lighter pancakes. Heat on medium heat until hot enough to sizzle one drop of batter.
  6. Scoop batter with a measuring cup to ensure even circles (1/2 cup for larger pancakes, 1/3 cup for medium, 1/4 for “silver dollar” style, etc. – I went with 1/3 cup.) Cook until bubbles form, about three minutes.
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  7. Flip! Now, I feel somewhat ashamed to be posting a pancake recipe when I can’t master the art of the perfect Denny’s pancake, but in my experience, it’s between you, your stove, and your pan. I only managed to get those perfect pancakes when working with like-new electric stoves, and my personal stove is an ancient gas-powered number from the seventies, yielding what you see below. So if it’s blotchy looking, don’t stress. As long as it’s cooked evenly inside, you’re fine.
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  8. Flatten with your spatula to ensure even cooking and let reverse side cook until browned, about three additional minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and serve with choice of toppings! I used Smart Balance light with pure maple syrup.

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Five vegan foods you cannot live without.

  1. Sourdough bread. Be still my beating heart. It’s always been my favorite bread, and the fact it’s almost always vegan makes it even better!
  2. Boca chick’n patties. I know this is pure junk and a vegan shouldn’t be dependent on fake meats, but man do I love these! They’re perfect for those lazy days where I want something quick before bed. I top them on some sourdough bread with some veggies, Vegenaise, and buffalo sauce and just go to town.
  3. Qdoba’s tortilla soup. . .  I’m addicted to their “Mexican Gumbo” which I order as tortilla soup + black beans + white rice + green salsa + guacamole + tortilla strips. Delicious!
  4. Avocados. Great with all of the above and so much more.
  5. Chocolate!! All things chocolate!

Father’s Day & Dump Pasta Salad

Father’s Day is a great day to break out the grill. For many dads, this is an exciting day of burgers, ribs, or steak. What’s a vegan daughter to do?

Control the dinner and make the brother cook the steaks!

I decided to make a pasta salad, since that’s something I could easily make into a meal for myself, but would satisfy the omnivores as a side dish. This was my first time making a pasta salad from scratch: I always made the boxed kind with the disturbing chunks of what smell like dehydrated vegetables, but taste like rubber. But I’d be lying outright if I said I don’t enjoy these. In fact, my salad would probably have been courtesy of Betty Crocker with an olive or two thrown in, if not for the fact my go-to flavor apparently has cheese!

So I got creative. My original idea was to toss the grilled veggies with the salad, but I ended up making a big enough salad with the cold ingredients that I could keep two distinct dishes. For the salad, I layered about one package of Wacky Mac with spinach, grape tomatoes, olives,  Annie’s Goddess dressing, homemade vinaigrette, and half of a sliced avocado.

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The vinaigrette was equal parts Annie’s garlic olive oil with balsamic vinegar, and a bit of lemon zest.  The original intent was to toss the salad with the entire bottle of Goddess dressing, but my mom took one finger lick of the dressing and protested to having any of the dressing on her portion. I took a sample too and found it to be a bit strong for my taste. I found that mixing the two really helped balance things out, and taste less like hummus with a chickpea-ectomy.

The veggies included a head of brocolli with a red onion, a red bell pepper, and a zucchini. My mom helped with this too, and made a marinade of lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic oil. We also grilled four rounds of pineapple with brushed on generic Asian sesame dressing.

These dishes with a bean burger for me and meat for the rest, with a simple seasonal fruit salad.

My brother grilling up the veggies. . .

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The fruit salad. . . Can you tell pineapple was on sale this weekend?
(Sidenote: if anyone knows how to take pictures of food in bowls without it looking like complete crap, I’d love to hear your secrets.)

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The finished veggies with my black bean burger (pre-made last week, adapted from Veganomicon).

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More veggie porn. . .

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My finished plate, which was so big I couldn’t finish!

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More bean burger goodness. . .

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The guest of honor with two of his babies!

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They didn’t need to make him food or buy a card. They make him happier than the human kids ever could just by being their cute little selves!

Speaking of these puppies, my parents are leaving town for a wedding this week. Guess who gets to play with the dogs, mooch off the satellite TV, and use the gigantic kitchen for a week?

Do you really have to guess?

I’m just hoping when I get there tonight, Annie (bichon frise, left) hasn’t left me any angry presents, and that Sparky (King Charles Spaniel/chihuahua/???????, right) isn’t borderline-suicidal without his daddy.