Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Vegan Buttery Arepas With Cheese

One of the best things about Dayton, Ohio is the big World A'Fair held every May. For three days inside of the downtown Dayton Convention Center, people were set up in compartmentalized booths celebrating different parts of the globe. A Latin was infamous for frying up street fare favorite arepas (little golden corn cakes with thick melted cheese sandwiched between).
However, even if I still lived in Dayton, I couldn't come to eat at the fair. Maybe buy jewelry, books, and clothes. Most of the food is not plant based friendly (or things might have changed since my last visit nearly one hundred years ago). Still, in an old trip to Toronto, I had hot and spectacular vegan arepas for the first time. I will always be grateful to my friend. She always knows the best places in the T!
In a craving mood, having bought a package of corn meal last week, I found a recipe on Latin PETA (I know, I know) and decided to test it out today. They turned out fairly good-- light, fluffy, and sweet. The Daiya Cheddar cheese (Jalapeno Garlic might be best) melted just way I wanted.
I vow to continue further explorations (pureed sweet corn for the batter and different vegan cheese blends for the interior).

Vegan Buttery Arepas With Cheese Ingredients and Preparation

2 cup cornmeal
5 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 hot water
1/2 cup almond milk (or any other dairy free alternative)
Mikoyo's Kitchen Butter (or any other dairy free butter or oil)
Daiya Cheddar Cheese Slices

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add in water and milk. Whisk well.
Heat up a pan with butter and pour a bit of batter. Press cheese atop and cover the cheese with additional batter. Cook each side for about 3-5 minutes, until they reach desired brownness. Repeat steps.

The recipe does say this makes ten. Mine are thicker due to the added cheese and only created three. Plus, I skipped kneading altogether because the batter was super liquidy-- pancake liquidy. 

A delicious snack or lunchtime meal that is like a sweet grilled cheese. 

I'm looking forward to making more.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Tofu Quiche With Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms

The first tofu quiche.
I finally accomplished quiche. Well, in a small satisfactory way. The presentation isn't as dreamily imagined, but the flavors were outright delicious. I pan seared the Brussels sprouts and mushrooms with red onions before mixing into tofu (extra firm tofu pureed in the blender). It would have been better to slice the Brussels sprouts too-- aesthetic wise. The seasoned olive oil crust (found here at C & Z) is the perfect bottom for a creamy indulgent dish topped with crushed macadamia nuts and nooch. Another hilarious thing-- I made the quiche in a rectangular Pyrex dish as opposed to the traditional tart or pie pan.
It took a lot of time, so much that a hungry me ate a few of the Brussels sprouts and mushrooms out of the skillet. Well, worth the effort though.
I also saved a few tablespoons of the tofu cream for potential dessert-- maybe blueberry cake? Not sure. Still, if one wants to use silken tofu that might be a better option for the quiche.

Tofu Quiche With Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms Ingredients and Preparation


2 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water

1 package extra firm tofu (or silken tofu)
2 cup Brussel Sprouts
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/4 cup red onion
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup macadamia nuts
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Prepare crust first.
Mix dried ingredients together. Add olive oil and water. Stir with a fork,
Onto a lightly floured surface, knead the dough with your hands.
Toll out the dough and transfer onto desired pan. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press a fork all over the crust. Blind bake for 20 minutes.

Pureed tofu and set aside.
Bring Bruseels sprouts to a boil and drain.
In a skillet combine red onions, mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts with a smidgeon of oil.

Mix tofu cream with pan seared vegetables, nooch, olive oil, turmeric, garlic, salt, black pepper, and turmeric.

Pour tofu mixture onto crust.

Smooth over.

Mix crushed macadamia nuts with nooch abd black pepper. Sprinkle atop of the tofu quiche. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Readied quiche.

A slice with orange juice is worth all the effort.

Leftovers for tomorrow's breakfast.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

New Products : Miyoko's Kitchen Butter, Chuao Sea Salt Surf Chocolate Bar, Parmela's Creamery Black Pepper Nutcheese, and So Delicious Toasted Coconut Key Lime Ice Cream

Breakfast time got a little better.
Vegan companies are pulling out glorious stops to bring incredible products to the kitchen table. 
This summer was no exception. 
I continue embarking on purchasing chocolate off the Food Empowerment Chocolate List and buying foods that do not contain palm oil. It has been a rough road with the sudden deletion of certain things. I am still dismayed over the Blue Diamond Almond Milk recall-- what a heartbreak. At the same time, life feels more pleasant, more natural these days. I hope these companies continue delivering their best to consumers and besting the dairy/meat industry one great product at a time. 

Miyoko's Kitchen European Style Cultured Vegan Butter is my vegan butter dream brought to life. Cheapest at Trader Joe's, I was fortunate to find a spread that contains no palm oil like the rest on the market. It melts beautifully, has a wonderful replicated flavor, and can be used in baking recipes.

Baked sweet potatoes smothered in butter with a side of Brussels sprouts.

Also great in pastry treats like Baked Apple Hand Pies.
Chuao Chocolate is amazing! This Venezuelan imported chocolate has an incredibly rich flavor-- smooth and decadent. The Sea Salt Surf contains the right balance, playing on textural qualities whilst retaining sweetness.

The individual words on each square adds a nice, playful touch. I also love that this is sold at most CVS stores. With my ExtraCare bonuses, I often get these bars for either $2 off or 30%-40% off. It's a steal considering that this is a premium chocolate bar.

When I came into Mom's Organic Market for my usual Field Roast Chao, I spied a row of new nut cheeses from Parmela's Creamery-- shreds, slices, and spreads. I picked up this Creamy Black Pepper Nutcheese and enjoyed this in everything such as macaroni and cheese, tacos, etc. 

Yes, even cinnamon raisin bagels lapped up the mild flavors of black pepper nutcheese.

Run don't walk for this yummy So Delicious Toasted Coconut Key Lime Ice Cream. I found this last pint at Whole Foods Market, during a summer sale. This coconut milk based ice cream is light and airy with citrus key lime swirled into creamy vanilla and coconut flavor. Definitely a new favorite and the best summer vibes dessert hands down. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Orange Cupcakes With Orange Icing

Yummy orange on orange cupcakes.
As summer winds down, fruit is a great way to quench neverending thirst. Water is the best way of course, but fresh pineapple, juicy grapes, and plump strawberries revitalize the system with sweet pleasure and aide in that beautiful, radiant glow to skin. Whilst drinking a tall glass of orange juice, I suddenly craved cupcakes with that delicious citrus flavor and found this recipe on Kelly's The Pretty Bee Blog.
The icing has a funny story. I blended my ingredients together. First it became whipped cream. I was so excited-- over the moon. Yes! I made orange whipped cream! Unfortunately, due to the room temperature and other random science, the cream turned clear, thick liquid. After the cupcakes cooled, I ate them with that icing. Funnily enough, in the refrigerator, the icing thickened and turned snowy white and suddenly I fell in love with this accidental orange tasting sweetness on top of orange tasting sweetness.

Orange Cupcakes With Orange Icing Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dairy free milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoon orange juice (used Tropicana)


1 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoon dairy free milk

Preheat oven to 359 degrees.
Mix all cupcake ingredients together.

Batter is completely mixed.

Fill baking cups and bake for 20-25 minutes. Prepare the icing: blend sugar, coconut oil, orange juice, and dairy free milk together. 

The clear icing version....

It's like orange syrup.

Refrigerated frosting, however, is the best.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Donuts and Other Good News

The exhibition catalogue is here!!!
I have good news to discuss.
First of all, I am now a contributor of The Artblog-- Philly's top source for arts and culture around the city and beyond. Here is a link to my first article, a Q&A with local artist Makeba Rainey. At Little Baby's Ice Cream, we discussed her digital media collages, the impact of gentrification, and the importance of collaboration/community.
I signed AfroVeganChick up for Vegan Mofo 2018, which begins next month. Recipes will be veganized versions of various dishes from all over Africa. The last day to be included is August 24th.
The "Hole History: Origins of the American-Style Donut" is out and looks amazing. It is a small, thick volume that fits easily in my purse. I had went down to Maine last year to see the exhibit (and brought along Dottie's apple fritters). Now the whole show (which had two locations) has been compiled rather impressively. Curator Alexis Iammarino received a Kindling Grant in order for this book to be a reality. Her efforts are worth noting. Plus, I cannot thank her enough for this generous gift. Please read more about the Hole History project-- her baby.

Dottie's Donuts was the perfect place to celebrate. After all, their elberberry and vanilla glazed are the stars of the watercolor painting, "Dear Doughnuts, A Love Letter on the Kente Cloth." 
I'm on page 78. The reproduction is beautiful, very high quality.
The whole layout.
These adorable donuts are in the front and end covers. Overall, it is a well designed book. I am absolutely honored and delighted to have been a part of this. I never thought that making art about something as delicious as donuts would pay off in such a profoundly amazing way. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Blueberry Cardamom Pancakes With Date Syrup and Coco Whip

Pancake heaven.
There is something blissful about pancakes in the summer.....
I usually prefer them over the weekend alongside a mug of fragrant tea and a cozy library book. Pancakes has that lazy Saturday and Sunday morning tease. Yet a slumbering person would put forth great time and energy into making a perfect breakfast-- morning guests or not. When that rare, stolen moment coated in sweet craving comes along, a person succumbs.
As a child, my siblings and I enjoyed pancakes from the box. I remember eating bellyfuls, the thin golden cakes piled high and drizzled with artificial syrup. Things have changed for the better. Pancakes from scratch are the absolute best and date syrup remains a constant pleasure.
With blueberries and cardamom, these light, fluffy pancakes are flavorfully packed underneath sumptuous date syrup and tasty So Delicious Coco Whip. It's the wonderful start to any day-- weekends or not.

Blueberry Cardamom Pancakes With Date Syrup and Coco Whip Ingredients and Preparation

olive oil
1 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup dairy free milk
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon white vinegar (or lemon juice)
So Delicious Coco Whip
vegan butter (optional)

Date Syrup

4-5 medjool dates
1 cup water

Oil the skillet and keep the heat low.
Sift flour, baking powder, cardamom, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together.
Add dairy free alternative, coconut oil, and blueberries. Mix in vinegar.
Pour into skillet and wait until edges bubbled before flipping. Repeat.
For the syrup-- just pulse the dates and water. Simple as that!

Merry breakfast. Spread on vegan butter, extra blueberries, date syrup, and a dollop of Coco Whip.

Pretty presentations....

Bathed in the sweet summer sunlight.

A little goes a long way.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Stuffed Bell Peppers

You know how you've had an idea stuck in your head for weeks, but you're too busy to make time? That was me. I wanted to make stuffed bell peppers for a while now.
Unfortunately, I got around it a little too late, having to discard a yellow bell pepper thanks to my cooking procrastinating.
I salvaged the two left (red and green) with a yummy blend of black rice, tempeh, and walnut cream sauce. And not only did I accomplish my original thought, I filmed parts of my process (rather comically). Please watch the YouTube video here and laugh at my mistakes.

Stuffed Bell Peppers Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup black rice
olive oil
tempeh, chopped
red onion
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Walnut Cream Sauce

1 cup walnuts
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of lemon juice or white vinegar (optional)

large bell peppers, remove tops and seeds

*Make walnut cream sauce ahead of time. Soaked walnuts are drained and blended with nutritional yeast, turmeric, garlic, salt, black pepper, and lemon juice or vinegar.

Prepare black rice to package directions.
In a skillet, combine tempeh with olive oil, red onion, garlic, cumin, turmeric, salt, coriander, and black pepper. Pan seared on all sides.
Mix tempeh with black rice. Add walnut cream sauce.
Pour filling inside opened bell peppers.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.