Monday, December 31, 2012

Pan Fried Leftover "Turkey" Salad W/ Warm Cranberry Compote

Putting the leftover Trader Joe's turkeyless roast to good use. Okay the Roma tomatoes & spinach had to be used too.
Leftover central.
What to do with the little extra Trader Joe's turkeyless roast?
A salad.
Not a cold run of the mill salad.
A warm inviting one that presents succulent crisp "turkey" on a bed of wilted spinach greens touched by explosive, tantalizing cranberries celebrating the end of an otherwise enticing first vegan year.
That's how the holiday season closes, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Pan Fried Leftover "Turkey" Salad

2 tablespoon almond oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic
1/4 Trader Joe's Turkeyless Roast cut into strips (Tofurky or homemade is good too!)
2 cups fresh spinach
1 diced Roma tomato
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Scoop the stuffing off of the leftovers.
Toss the strips onto hot skillet and cover.
Flip over every 4-5 minutes, making sure it's a lovely brown on each side.
Once every side has achieved desired color, add in the spinach and some extra almond oil (about another tablespoon or so) to massage into the leafy green yumminess, and turn off heat.

Cranberry Compote

1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Once cranberries are bursting, turn off heat and drain.*

* Feel free to rescue the juice and use it for another day.

Served warm, this dish is tart meeting savory on the taste bud dance floor.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vegan White Chocolate Wonderful Pumpkin Milkshake

A healthier alternative to Pumpkin Spice Milkshake.
Since gifting my brother Peanut Butter And Company's White Chocolate Wonderful for Christmas, I decided that it was high time to actually try this flavor.
Everyone knows that Dark Chocolate Dreams is my absolute favorite of their unique line of peanut butters.
The white chocolate flavor's light presence seemed appropriate for an after dinner milkshake.
Pumpkin still being present on the menu, I wanted to craft a delightful, albeit somewhat healthy combination that signified the end of this joyous season and knew that this special peanut butter wouldn't overwhelm possibilities.
The end result- a thick, delicious shake with all kinds of exciting flavors blended together for the greater good of taste bud humanity- cold bananas, velvety smooth peanut butter touched by white chocolate, yummy pumpkin, and spices.
The perfect holiday yum.

Vegan White Chocolate Wonderful Pumpkin Milkshake

2 medium ripened bananas, frozen
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoon Peanut Butter & Company's White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon nondairy creamer
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
sprinkling of unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Blend ingredients and voila!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Vegan Cheese Sauce

Piping hot cheese sauce brings a dish to its knees.
My younger brother, who has returned home for a month long vacation from Florida, being my special guest at the lunch table on this snowed in afternoon deserved a delicious meal to swing him to the vegan side of life.
Why not tempt him with plump and juicy black bean burgers?
The occasion didn't call for ketchup.
It called out for a warm, inviting "cheese" sauce.
Rich, creamy, and a little spicy, this is perfect for not just burgers, fries, and macaroni & cheese (yes, this was placed in the holiday Christmas dish), highly recommended for nachos and "fountain" snacking.
Quick and simple to make, no one will ever realize that it's not the real thing.
That is unless, they already know they're going to be entertained by a vegan.

The Vegan Cheese Sauce Ingredients

1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of paprika
1/4 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
1 ounce Daiya Jalapeño Garlic Havarti chunks

In a medium heated skillet, combine almond milk, nutritional yeast, and garlic.
As it begins to bubble add in the Daiya and stir.
Sauce is ready when all of the "cheese" melts.

Oh Mademoiselle, where shall I be poured?
Smothered on top of brown rice, broccoli, & black bean burger with a side of Roma tomatoes & fresh spinach.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Veganizing The Holidays!

Happy holidays retro afro style!
I loved being quite the crafty little persuasive vixen today.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies!
Each gift (sans one) contains gingerbread cookies and my favorite products.
I hope that they too see that such delicious treasures are meant to be savored.
Along with original art, here are just some insertion examples.

For my bff, Sweet Jels in Australia, she gets an array of Larabars, Clif Bars, Peanut Butter & Company's Dark Chocolate Dreams, Fine & Raw Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bar, Befine samples, a miniature sterling silver cat pin, and mini bottles of Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Wash and Body Butter.
A gift bag for my friend, Gaile, owner of Cachet G contains Daiya cheese & Love Street Living Food's 100% Raw Organic Vegan Dominican Chocolate Coconut Spread (from Peace On Fifth).

 Witchblade Origins trade paperbacks for my younger brother.
Mommy's haul.
My mom loves books. Inside of her recycled Holly Robinson-Peete gift bag contains Whoopi Goldberg's autobiography- Is It Just Me Or Is Nuts Out There?, a short story compilation called This Is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories By America's Best Women Authors, a floral bookmark that says, "you are all the words you speak so make them sweet,"a pair of beautiful earrings (from Cachet G!), and Luna bars.

Actually reusing a holiday bag, I placed my older brother's gifts inside. A mini King Tut bust statue (also another Cachet G treasure), Bolthouse carrot juice (yes, he loves this stuff), Peanut Butter & Company's White Chocolate Wonderful, & Bonne Mason's Cherry Preserves.

We all have a special someone who deserves a uniquely crafted gift that celebrates the meaning they bring into life. So I found this tiny tiger's eye carved roaring lion & thought it embodied this person in every last etch.
Holiday gifts to me & frugal personal splurging.
What's the holidays without a little spoilage? 
My very generous friend gave me a Yankee Candle's Christmas At The Beach, Strathmore sketchbooks, a set of Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paints, and colored pencils. With a recent commission order, I bought turquoise Apt. 1 tights and Mudd earrings from Kohl's ($5.99 steal!), a journal from T.J. Maxx ($4.99), & two books from Half Price Books- African Americans In Art: Selections Form The Art Institute Of Chicago (Actually saw this wonderfully curated show in person & had to buy it at $3!) and Lee Krashner's Paintings ($2!)
But spending time with the family over a vegan meal (somewhat) was the greatest joy of all.

Trader Joe's Turkeyless Pot Roast, Macaroni & Cheese, Couscous, Mashed Potatoes & gravy. I know. I know. Missing vegetables & cranberry sauce for sure.
Yes. Christmas was amazing this year.
I loved every minute of it. <3>

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies!

Mmmmhmmmm cookies!
Merry Christmas gingerbread cookies!!!
Hoped that everyone had a lovely, merry blessed holiday.
Today I'm sharing the perfect dessert to end a festive dinner- that is if you had one.
It's my first time making vegan cookies and it had to be an old familiar classic.
No one can say no to cookies, especially during this spectacular season (Santa?) and next to snickerdoodles, sweet, spice, and everything nice, gingerbread is a wonderful addition to any spirited cookie jar.
I've been meaning to make a gingerbread cookie for a while and kept putting off the search.
Inspired by this recipe here: Stress Free Vegan Gingerbread Cookies it excited me to finally make these babies and - my other blog isn't called Sugarygingersnap for nothing! ;)
Mmmmmhmmmm. Very, very enjoyable.
My family loved these accompaniments to their Christmas gifts.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

2 2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix dry ingredients.
Whisk the wet.
Combine together.
Knead for a bit & make into a ball.
Wrap ball & refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. (I did the overnight method)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees & prepare a baking sheet with oil or parchment paper.
Make cookie shapes (will definitely get cookie cutters for next time, I want men/women shapes).
Bake for 8 minutes.
Enjoy with nog or dairy free milk with family and friends.

About to serve up the 1st batch of vegan gingerbread cookies.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Milkshake (Unhealthy Version)

The best pick me up after a holiday snafu! 
Bah humbug.
Well, the planned Vegan Cranberry Orange Muffins didn't turn out appropriately tonight.
Foolishly thinking that using fresh cranberries would be a great addition to the batter and trying one out after they were baked, I was disgusted by the overall taste.

These will be better tomorrow. I promise!
Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!
I tossed out the garbage and plan on reworking these tomorrow night using dried fruit.
Other than that, with the kitchen an absolute pigsty on Christmas Eve Eve, I desired a little pumpkin flavored drink to get me through the messy clean up duties. A nonalcoholic, super sweet version that would hype up lackluster energy and make the scatterbrained mind temporarily forget all about that little muffin catastrophe.
After all, making muffins tomorrow night on top of the macaroni & cheese, turkey-less roast, & cranberry sauce was not something I wanted to dwell on.
Anyways this milkshake was delicious!
Mmmmhmmmm, I love me some pumpkin dessert! Spiced just the way I needed it, this was the guilty party in the mug treat.
But don't worry, a much healthier version of this delicious milkshake will be posted at another date and time.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Milkshake

1 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
pinch of shredded coconut (optional)

Just mix all ingredients into a blender and enjoy in a glass or mug.
I kept mine reasonably thick and ate it with a spoon.
Just what the good vegan doctor ordered!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Vegan Apple Cheddar Oatmeal W/ Tempeh Crisps

Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or lunch, this comforting bowl of creamy apple cheddar oatmeal with a side of sweet, crisp tempeh is just a darling bowl of heaven.
Baby, it's cold outside.
I came inside fresh from a grocery store run (actually, a frigid cold, icy walk) and raced into the kitchen starving for something especially warm and quick.
Oatmeal sounded marvelous.
But what kind of flavored oatmeal?
Well, I decided upon the unique combinations of apple and cheddar, for there's a heartiness that tastes so inviting. It reminded me of those apple cheddar pies in the old vegetarian days. That is one recipe I would love to make in the future.
Also, I had half a package of tempeh left and always wanted to try my hand at tempeh facon, but these that are complementing the apple cheddar oatmeal are slightly thicker, but the recipe is inspired by Lunch Box Bunch.
The oatmeal is rich and creamy with cheesy apple flavor in every bite and the tempeh is crispy and delightful! It's so good one might have 2 bowls. Or 3....

Apple Cheddar Oatmeal

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tablespoon nondairy creamer (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk brand here)
1 cup quick rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 small apple, sliced
1/4 cup Daiya Cheddar Shreds

In a pan, on medium heat temperature bring the applesauce, milk, and creamer to a boil.
Add the oats and seasonings, and stir for 2-3 minutes.
Turn off heat and melt in some of the cheese.
Apple slices and remainder of cheese go on top.

Tempeh Crisps

2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Simply Asian Sweet Garlic Ginger seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika

After slicing the tempeh, soak them in the mixture for a minute or two.

In a skillet of hot olive oil (1 or 2 teaspoons please!),  toss in tempeh slices & their juices. Don't be afraid of the heat! ;)
When turning them over 2 minutes later, they should be golden brown. Also recommend covering. No one wants hot grease jumping onto their clothes or bare skin!
Once the tempeh is done, rest it for a bit & then add the lovely additions to the ready & waiting apple cheddar oatmeal.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Vegan So Delicious Mint Chocolate Banana Milkshake

A cool, minty dessert with a splash of chocolate & banana goodness.
Organic mint leaves were on sale at the grocery and that inspired an idea.
I enjoy the limited edition holiday flavor that So Delicious puts out- Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk which has a strong peppermint accent coordinating well with the combined sweetness of chocolate and coconut milk.
Why not make a refreshing little pick me up dessert using those taste bud profiles?
With an added banana paying homage to vegan ice cream making and superbly thickening up the milkshake, this cool treat is a perfect way to settle the nerves while checking lists twice, planning dinner menus, wrapping gifts, and all that other holiday madness.
This shake tastes like an Andes mint with a banana twist!

Vegan So Delicious Mint Chocolate Banana Milkshake

1 cup vegan vanilla ice cream (I used Trader Joe's Soy Creamy Vanilla)
1/2 cup So Delicious Special Edition Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk
1 ripened banana
1/2 teaspoon mint flavor (add more if desired)
sprinkle of ginger (optional)
mint leaf for garnish (optional)

Leave ice cream out to soften for a bit.
Scoop it out into a blender and mix with the coconut milk, banana, and mint flavoring.
Pour into cup or mug and sprinkle with ginger.
Add the mint leaf garnish.

The pinch of ginger spiced it up! In a good way.

Vegan Maple Tempeh Sausage & Cheeseburger Stuffed Calzones

You wouldn't believe what I topped these with!
Pizza pockets?
Anyone miss those crazy things?
Well, I did and had many months of trial/errors when it came to making a successful calzone- having undercooked dough (for yes, I used my usual pizza dough recipe), a lackluster amount of filling (meaning there was more dough than the stuffing), and so on.
Now finally here comes a successful product to boast about!
Thanks to Vegan Happy Hour's Vegan Calzones I can now create any sort of fillings without the above catastrophes happening ever again and look forward to making more in the future.
All it takes is time and patience.
Funnily enough, the calzone dough ingredients are very similar for my pizzas.

Vegan Maple Tempeh Sausage & Cheeseburger Stuffed Calzones

The Dough

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons olive oil

The Filling

1 package tempeh
2 1/2 tablespoon fennel seed
2 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 package soy ground (I used Trader Joe's Beefless Ground)
1/2 cup Daiya Shreds (used mozzarella)
a few slices of Daiya Cheddar Style Wedges (optional)

To make the dough, combine yeast and sugar into the warm water. Let sit for ten minutes.
Stir in the spices and flour, adding more if the flour is still too sticky.
Start kneading and massaging olive oil into every crevice of the dough, making sure to have a moist, sticky free consistency.
Place dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover for an hour. Yes, an hour. Feel free to eat carrots Bugs Bunny style while waiting. Not that I did or anything....
Ten minutes prior to revealing the dough,  preheat oven to 425 degrees, oil or parchment paper up a baking sheet, & prepare the filling.
Crumble tempeh & mix it with all required ingredients.
Cook for 5 minutes.
Add in the beefless soy ground for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Mix in the cheese, turn off stove, & set filling aside.
Wow! Dough should be arisen! 
First, split dough into four sections, take one piece at a time, & roll it onto greased baking sheet.
Place a generous amount of filling in the center.
Add a few pieces of "cheddar!"
Seal over using fingertips or even a fork for the edges & make 3-4 inch vent holes at the top. Also bruch with a smidgen of extra olive oil & bake for 25 minutes.
All done! The "cheese" just bursts out with pride & joy!
Now what to top these with....
Leftover Cucumber Yogurt Sauce! Mmmmhmmmmmm!!!! Who needs traditional tomato sauce with this pizazz still in the frig?
And speaking of leftovers- potential sneak in movie snack for tomorrow's $5 showing of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey anyone? 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Baked Vegan Falafel With Creamy Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

A chunky yet creamy cucumber yogurt sauce drenches baked falafel on top of couscous.
Personally, I detest cucumbers.
They are far from my favorite anything.
When seeing those green circular shapes of wrath, I cringe and pick them out of sandwiches, wraps, and salads, wondering why on earth anyone would like such nastiness.
Even the smell and the thought of having them on my eyelids drives me insane!
Then a couple of years ago, my little sister turned me into the falafel craze and this amazing special yogurt sauce gave "beefy" Mediterranean patty a sweet, tantalizing kick.
"What is this called?" I had asked, wiping that white magic from my lips, awed by the fantastic creation.
"Cucumber yogurt sauce," she replied.
Well, I didn't die on the spot of lie for that matter.
It was pretty damn good stuff.
I learned a valuable lesson with my falafel wrap- cucumbers are not so villainous when chopped and diced into a tangy cream with a zip that cannot be beat.
Thus, easily veganized, I prepared baked falafel and crafted a smooth sauce that reminded me of old times.

A simple sauce just made for falafel!
Creamy Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

1 6 oz container plain So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt
1/4 cup non-dairy creamer (I used So Delicious brand)
1 small diced cucumber
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of paprika

Whip all ingredients together and chill.

This recipe was inspired by a cute designed blog called Tasty Yummies by Beth.
Baked Falafel Bites

1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup flour

Mix the chickpeas with all sans baking powder & flour.
Pulse into a food processor or blender. Add baking powder & flour. Make into dough (add more flour if it's too wet) & refrigerate covered for 30-45 minutes.
While making the dough balls, preheat oven to 400 degrees. I ran out of parchment paper so I had to grease my cookie sheet with olive oil. Boo. Bake for 20-25, flipping over at halfway point.
Serve falafel in any way desired- in a pita, on top of  rice or couscous. Just don't ever forget to scoop that cool cucumber yogurt sauce atop generously.