Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vegan Blueberry Sauced Cinnamon Buns

I doubt a certain mall cinnamon scented dessert stand has a flavor like this one!
Goodbye June!
We say sayonara in an "mmmmhmmmmm" style.
With ooey gooey sticky buns and pecan swirls served alongside clear sugary icing, Cinnabon was easily my favorite place in the mall and I went to this sweet haven quite frequently in my vegetarian days. Even when not eating (which back in the day took sheer willpower), the whole entire mall smelled of fragrant cinnamon magic, singing to nostrils and watering taste buds "come and spend $4 on my goodness. You know you want to."
Lo and behold- my first cinnamon buns! Covered in homemade thick, delicious blueberry syrup (perfect for pancakes and made with REAL blueberries), these yummy cinnamon rolls will have tongues dripping with salivated anticipation! Literally, your company will pant and scream bloody murder when they see you carrying out a tray of these babies. They'll probably ask, "what's a Cinnabon?" after wiping their fingers and lips clean of blueberry stained madness and reaching for another.
This simple recipe is inspired by Urban Vegan's Weekend Cinnamon Buns.It may take two hours plus baking time, but it's all worth it in the blueberry covered end.

Vegan Blueberry Sauced Cinnamon Buns Ingredients and Preparation

1 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blueberry Sauce

2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
pinch vanilla
pinch of lemon juice

Mix yeast, sugar, and water. Set aside for five minutes.
Blend flour, coconut milk, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt.
Add yeast mixture to dough.
Form into a ball and cover for an hour.
In another bowl- make the cinnamon and brown sugar filling. Set this aside.
Once an hour passes, flour surface and knead dough- which will be a bit sticky.

Spread cinnamon brown sugar mixture in the center of both, roll, and cut them into four thick slices.
Layer them into desired pan and cover in a warm place for another hour. I actually have a warm setting on my oven so I foil covered the pan & kept them in there.
A little rising action. Turn oven up to 350 degrees &  bake them for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Coconut oil skillet and add sugar, blueberries, & lemon. Stir for 5 minutes on medium heat & pour this mixture into a blender & slightly puree. Don't make it too smooth!
Cinnamon rolls are ready!
Pour over a generous heaping of warm blueberry sauce over the rolls and serve.
That first bite is always the most special.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy Vegan Pizza Day: Vegan Broccoli & Mushroom Calzones With Avocado Cauliflower Cream

Folded over pizza pocket stuffed & topped with yumminess!
Happy Vegan Pizza Day!
Just in time for year two of being a pizza loving vegan, I have created deliciously unique combinations inside my experimental kitchen studio. There's fun making and rolling out homemade dough and conjuring up sauces/topping ideas!
There have been some good, bad, and ugly recipes, but at least pizza can never be boring because there are too many flavors competing over each bite.
Well, unless you've burnt the crust.
No joy in that.
Here are five personal favorite blog experiments that definitely came out above all right! Haha! :D

1. Vegan Pesto Mozzarella Pizza

Mushrooms are smothered front and back by delicious pine nut & hazelnut blended pesto & Daiya mozzarella.
2. Vegan Cashew & Cheddar Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Pizza

Daiya cheddar covers balsamic coated Brussels sprouts.
3. Vegan Green Pea & Spinach Not So Pesto Sauce & Portobello Mushroom, & Chive On Buckwheat Crust Pizza

Spinach pesto & mushrooms cover this gluten free crust.
4. Vegan Miniature Broccoli & Cashew Cream Pizzas

5. Vegan Falafel Pizza Pie

It's an inside out falafel with the Middle Eastern dough balls acting as crust topped with traditional ingredients.
Ah, but today's delightful calzone (basically pizza crust folded over some good stuff) may be my new numero uno! Mushroom and broccoli may sound unexciting and less adventurous than other innovations (that of which were inspired by great vegan bloggers), but these two vegetables make awesome magic together. Topped with an incredibly tasty avocado cauliflower, happy taste buds give thanks on this great occasion!

Vegan Broccoli & Mushroom Calzones With Avocado Cauliflower Cream Ingredients and Preparation

store bought or homemade dough cut into four


2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1 cup mushrooms
2 cup broccoli, steamed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika


1 1/2 cup cauliflower, steamed
1 ripened avocado
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup cilantro
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon almond milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prep a baking sheet with oil or parchment paper.
Puree cream and set aside.

After cooking mushrooms for about five minutes, stir in steamed broccoli and set aside.
Cut dough into four equal sections.
Add filling and fold over.
Pinch corners with a fork, add vent holes at the top, & bake for 20-23 minutes.
Brush extra olive oil on top for a beautiful glow.
Top with Avocado Cauliflower Cream.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lemon Coconut Mushroom & Tofu Curry

Curry with citrus flare.
I haven't eaten out in such a long while and sometimes it's missed, but not when it comes to restaurants that can't substitute dairy products. One has to make their own way around the kitchen and not have their eyes water just because a hostess cannot make trademark curry without beloved cow/goat milk and heavy cream.
Just preposterous right?
In fact, just last week I caught an episode of Hell's Kitchen and for one of the challenges teams had to make vegan lasagna. An upset contestant actually said something along the lines of, "it's impossible to make a cream sauce for a vegan without milk, butter, and cheese!"
I guess for a so called professional cook he doesn't know much about the endless dairy alternatives of now or how vegetables/fruits are also capable of mimicking smooth consistencies.
Anyways back to curry and it's deliciousness.
Lemon marinated tofu cubes join chunky mushrooms for an out of this world experience and tastes so lick-the-plate addicting that it may take hours of advanced yoga, a thousand jumping jacks, and a gazillion crunches to take the edge off from consuming an enticingly rich meal.
Of course it helps if you share with three other curry fans.

Lemon Coconut Mushroom & Tofu Curry Ingredients and Preparation

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
quarter of a large red onion, diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces extra firm tofu, cubed (used Simple Truth Organic)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper (used Mrs. Dash Salt Free version)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
cilantro (optional)

Saute garlic, red onions, & mushrooms in olive oil for approximately three to five minutes.
Hand mix tofu cubes with lemon juice, curry powder, lemon pepper, turmeric, & cumin.
Hand tossed tofu ready to party!
Marry tofu with mushrooms & cover. Turn over every three to five minutes.
After about fifteen minutes, stir in coconut milk & be amazed as white cream turns golden. Cover and let simmer for three to five additional minutes.
Perfect companion to homemade naan or...
The chunkiest, creamiest, most flavorful gravy a plate of plain brown rice ever drowned in!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vegan Lemon Lime Banana Bread Cake

Someone has acquired more than a handful of ripening bananas.
With over a dozen bananas burning a hole on the counter (freezing most of them for ice cream/smoothie purposes), it only made sense to make a delicious bread.
Or in this instance- banana bread cake. 
Banana bread is usually a fall time enjoyment for me, but today heavy abundance called for creative need.
Sweet, citrus flared treat is deliciously sweetened with utmost signature unpeeled yellow flesh, crunchy walnuts, and kissed with real lemon and lime juices while creamy, smooth banana coconut cream lovingly drapes cooled cake.

Vegan Lemon Lime Banana Bread Cake Ingredients and Preparation

3 small ripened bananas
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 cup bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
juice from lime
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup chopped walnuts
zest from one lemon
unsweetened coconut (optional)

Banana Cream Drizzle

2 small ripened bananas
1/4 cup lite coconut milk
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare either 2 loaf pans or 9" cake pan (which is being used here).
Puree bananas, almond milk, agave nectar, vanilla, and melted coconut oil into a blender of food processor.
Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Add banana puree, lime and lemon juices, and apple cider vinegar.
Fold in walnuts. Pour into cake and bake for 30 minutes. For loaf pans, it will be an additional 10-20 minutes of baking time. Also mix up the banana cream drizzle ingredients!
After cake has cooled, top with banana cream drizzle, coconut, & lemon zest.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bouquet Of Three Award and Other Blogging News

One of my summer reads.
Hello all!
I wanted to first and foremost share Sistah Vegan's latest call which sounds like an interesting opportunity for me and other female African descent females:

"We are having our first annual Sistah Vegan Conference this fall, on September 14, 2013. It will be an online interactive conference, through the service of Cisco WebEx. This means presenters can use webcams, audio, and PowerPoint which will be fully experienced by the audience. At the end of each talk, audience members will be able to engage in Q&A with the presenter. The entire conference talks will be video recorded and accessible after the event, to ensure that this valuable information will not be lost; it also ensures that those with internet access who could not attend will be able to access this information.
We are specifically looking for critical perspectives on veganism, animal compassion work, and self-care from the epistemological standpoint/embodied experiences of people identified women of African descent. We seek presentation that address these topics:

* sizeism
* ableism
* lgbtq experience and challenges in heteronormative spaces
* intersecting antiracism and animal compassion
* how racist micro aggressions in predominantly white spaces affect our health, and why self care is a needed aspect of ‘social justice’ for Black women and girls
* critical perspectives on Afrocentric or Afrikan holistic health movement
* parenting as a black vegan
Topics need not be limited to these above, however, the above are more of a priority, due to their near invisibility in most vegan and animal compassion spaces. This is open to all women and girls of African descent regardless of ‘formal’ education background or writing/artistic style. We encourage academic and non academic presentations."

For further details read more here.
A Breeze Harper is author to a book of essays, poetry, and criticism called- Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak.

A few weeks ago, Poppy of Poppy's Patisserie | Bunny Kitchen nominated AfroVeganChick for the Bouquet of Three Award. I'm honored to decorate the blog with these lovely sentiments of appreciation.
Thank you Poppy and sorry for the horrid delay! :D

The Best Moment Award from;
Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered -
Savoring the experience of quality time.

The Versatile Blogger Award is awarded based on quality of writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words and quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity & creativity inspires others.
Here are the rules.
  1. Display the award picture.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you.
  3. Pass the nomination along to 15 blogs you have recently discovered.
  4. Contact the nominees.
  5. Share seven things about yourself.

Seven Tidbits About Me

1. Currently enjoying writing feminist criticism on film/television Bitch Flicks ("the radical notion that women like good movies!") and can be "seen" on Friday afternoons after the soap operas go off. Latest post reviews one of my favorite films- Mermaids.
2. Almost geared up and ready to move to Philadelphia to attend Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in the fall whilst raising funds on GoFundMe. This will be an expensive journey and I would be beyond appreciative for any assistance brought forth in aiding continuation of my artistic journey.
3. Still writing feature novel about a spiritual young artist and her connection to a bus driver. Funnily enough protagonist strongly resembles Mermaids' Charlotte character though she is an African American woman also dealing with society's critical hair issues.
4. I keep procrastinating! There are too many posts in the AfroVeganChick draft right now. As you can also see site banner is in progress.
5. My hair isn't getting as big as I wished it to be. I think I might shave it again and start over.
6. Working hard on sketches of AfroVeganChick t-shirts and it's difficult to make them asexual.
7.  I will be adding new art to my etsy shop soon. Yes, that procrastination is a serious, SERIOUS disease. Chocolate covered cherries are definitely a good cure so far.

Top 15 Recently Discovered Blogs

Gazing In
Almost Raw Vegan
Turning Veganese
Bite Me, I'm Vegan
Luminous Vegans
Barefoot Essence
In Pursuit of More
Cauldrons and Cupcakes
Quinoa, Kale, & Exhale
Fo Real's Life'
The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado
The Little Green House
Sugar Coated Vegan

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chocolate Covered Avocado, Cherry, & Blueberry Super Chill Smoothie

A delicious smoothie filled with fruity deliciousness.
Happy first day of summer everyone!
With the start of summer finally here (though the weather certainly beat solstice to a sweltering punch!), it is time to make ice creams and popsicles and smoothies galore!
This featured blended chilly treat combines bananas, Rainer and sweet dark cherries with divine cocoa, enticing Medjool dates, and creamy avocado for a thick, sinfully ice cold treat that trickles down sun parched throat as a much needed elixir and temporary reprieve from ninety degree humidity.
Stored inside of an empty Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil container and not classic mason jar, I have truly enjoyed becoming an economical spendthrift recycle savvy vegan by reusing these to house homemade beauty products and beverages. Their fourteen ounce size seems to be the ideal weight and thankfully sticky label peels away without fuss.
However, with sexy plump cherries on top, yummy smoothie still tastes just as blissful in a good ole tall glass straight from the kitchen cabinet (or dishwasher!). 

Chocolate Covered Avocado, Cherry, & Blueberry Smoothie Ingredients and Preparation

2 frozen bananas
10 pitted cherries
1/3 cup blueberries
1?2 cup almond milk
1/3 cup cocoa
4 Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
1 ripened avocado
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of cinnamon

Grind bananas inside blender or food processor.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and slightly chunky.
Pour into a glass, top with desired fruit, and enjoy outside with the sun rays. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Vegan Chickpea Cherry Salad Sandwich

Amp up picnics with this easy to make salad sandwich.
On a lovely sun shining day, scheduled rainy, thunderous day is placed on hold (thank you, Mother Nature). Perfect for an outing, small wicker picnic basket desired a unique flare next to sliced fruits, carrot sticks, and bottled water. I knew something special had to nestle between bread slices- a quick and easy something to whip up.
My new summer motto came to mind- for a yummy sandwich idea always look no further than the grand chickpea. While this versatile little golden bulb of enticing possibility makes for a tender, meaty base- tahini and lemon juice bring creamy acidity, celery adds crunch, and dried cherries make for a sweet, chewy delight. In a savory, textured salad that mimics egg or tuna, it can be eaten with or without bread. 
However, I made the mistake of not chopping spinach. That would be a splendid idea- if to keep from gobbling big spinach leaves in front of random people and possibly having green catastrophe stuck between each tooth.
One must retain modesty when eating flavorful sandwiches such as this. :)

Vegan Chickpea Cherry Salad Ingredients and Preparation

1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 cup spinach
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of paprika

Chop and grind chickpeas in a blender.
Stir in tahini.
Don't make this too smooth- leave in chunks before it turns to hummus!

Bring mixture into a bowl- add celery, spinach, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.
Stir in dried cherries.
And here it is- spread between two slices of bread!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Vegan Cherry Walnut Cream French Toast With Sparkling Cherry Syrup

Cherries are the star fruit of this delicious breakfast.
I'm becoming big on soaking raw walnuts and have primarily used them for savory dishes like pesto sauces and cheesy deliciousness. Well, like the cashew, walnuts can too be on the sweet occasion scope of recipes.
So on another grocery store trip outing, Rainer cherries caught my eye- a new item for the season lying next to usual dark sweet cherries- which I also buy frozen. Now these Rainer cherries are a lighter shade of red with pink and peach golden hue at the top of their round plump exteriors. In one experimental bite, they are less sugary than dark sweet variety and that I liked.
In combination with creamed walnuts, Rainer cherry pieces add yummy component and sparkling cherry juice gives further flavor to crispy toast while thick syrup of chunky, bubbled goodness smothers rich, fulfilling breakfast in a refreshing uniqueness that would cause any big time cherry lover to wipe plate clean.
Feel free to substitute dark sweet cherries for Rainer or combine both (like I will in the future).

R.W. Knudsen's Sparkling Cherry Juice & Rainer Cherries are surprise ingredients.
Vegan Cherry Walnut Cream French Toast With Sparkling Cherry Syrup Ingredients and Preparation

Cherry Walnut Cream

1 cup walnuts, soaked
1/2 cup sparkling cherry beverage
8 cherries, pitted
2 tablespoon almond milk, unsweetened
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

bread slices, crusty
2 tablespoon coconut oil

Sparkling Cherry Syrup

1/4 cup sparkling cherry beverage
10 cherries, pitted
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder

After pureeing all ingredients in a blender/food processor, evenly coat bread slice- one at a time.
In a sizzling hot, coconut oiled skillet, place bread and cover. Cook each side for 5-7 minutes. Afterwards time will lessen for next toast.
Bring cherries, sparkling cherry juice, arrowroot powder, lemon juice, and almond extract to a boil. Simmer down and allow time to thicken. Should take 5-7 minutes.
Top prepared toast with extra cherry walnut cream and warm sparkling cherry syrup. Dig in!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vegan Raw Walnut Meat Atop Brown Rice, Broccoli, & Avocado

Raw walnut meat easily heats up with a meal of brown rice, broccoli, & avocado covered in tahini!
I heard through the grapevine about this easy peasy creation called walnut meat- used aplenty in many raw vegan taco recipes.
My avid walnut lover radar went off, screaming, "this is right up your alley!"
Thanks to the Damy's site, it became reality with Italian seasonings and paprika adding flavorful depth to this deliciously unique "meat." Served on top of brown rice and broccoli, surrounded by a side of chopped avocado and drenched in tahini, when all mixed together, the savory creaminess of incredibly appealing components delivers mouthwatering satisfaction.
Every bite is heaven. 
This dish can easily serve two starving people.

Raw Walnut Meat Atop Brown Rice, Broccoli, & Avocado Ingredients and Preparation

Raw Walnut Meat

1 1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 tablespoon Liquid Braggs
pinch of paprika

1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 cup broccoli, steamed
1 ripened avocado
1/3 cup tahini
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings

First grind walnuts, but keep them slightly chunky. Add remainder of ingredients & blend them together until they make a nice "meaty" texture.
Walnut meat scooped atop brown rice, broccoli, & avocado.
Pure tahini goes on last & a smidgeon of Italian seasonings for a splendid fulfilling meal.