Happy VeganMoFo! This year, at Vida Vegan Con, there was a wonderful VeganMoFo workshop run by Kittee, Amey, and Mo. We got a ton of great tips and decided on some daily themes for this year’s VeganMoFo. The themes are:
Mac-and-Cheese Monday – Eat mac and cheese. On Monday. (who needs another excuse?)
TV Tuesday – Eat and Watch, cook a meal featured in your favourite movie or TV show.
Work With it Wednesday – Work with a food you don’t like
Thankful Thursday – Giving to others and focusing on the positive
Freaky Friday – Trade with a fellow blogger for the day.
Retro Saturday – Veganise your favourite retro dishes
Sleepy Sundays – Your favourite breakfast or brunch dishes
I won’t be using all the themes daily, but I do want to try to use all of them at least once this month. Because I’m working during MoFo this year, I’m also not sure if I’ll be able to post daily, but I’m definitely going to shoot for 3x a week.
A list of all the themes from the workshop can be found on this VeganMoFo post. For the blogroll, weekend challenges, daily round-ups, and giveaways, stay tuned to the VeganMoFo homepage. If you’re totally overwhelmed by the number of bloggers, and want to randomly stumble upon some new blogs, try Random MoFo. Happy MoFo-ing, everyone! I can’t wait to see what everyone has cooked up this month!
This year, I’m working with bread. Until pretty recently, bread was something that I was totally intimidated by, and there are still some breads out there that I haven’t tackled, so I thought I’d take this month to give them a shot. Besides, who doesn’t want their house to smell like fresh baked bread all month?
Over the last week, I’ve been working on my very first, from-scratch, sourdough starter. I’m happy to say, I’ve got a healthy, growing starter in my fridge. Today, I made two loaves of rustic, relatively quick, sourdough bread. Because it was such a fast bread, it isn’t as sour as the traditional sourdough I grew up eating, but, it is a fantastic recipe.
I have heard from many people that one of the best resources for all things bread is King Arthur Flour – not only are there some amazing tips on their community, but, they’ve got live chat AND a baking hotline. So, I obsessed over their recipes and tips for the last month before making their “Start Your Own Sourdough Starter” recipe. I was successful (hooray!).
Today was my first day off since making my starter, so I tackled King Arthur Flour’s Rustic Sourdough. It was so easy. In only 4 hours, I went from this:
This bread is going to be perfect for everything from toast, to sandwiches, to panzanella. Tonight, it was perfect for mac and cheese topping.
For the Sourdough Mac:
8oz noodles – I used pipe regate, it’s my favourite for mac & cheese
Mix them up, and top with torn up bits of sliced sourdough. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes, or until your bread starts getting nice and browned.
Tonight was the first time I ever made Dreena’s Vegveeta dip. It’s awesome. I tasted it raw, before putting it in the saucepan, and again before putting it in the oven, and both times, I thought the tahini was a little strong, but, mixed with the noodles and the sourdough, it was perfect. I think it’s my new favourite mac & cheese sauce.
Fermented hot sauce is my new favourite thing to make. It is so, so, so good. And it gives me something to do with my excess peppers. And my pepper plants are out of control. I have never seen such tall pepper plants, so full of fruit.
Last night’s hot sauce mixture consisted of garlic, habenero, Serrano, and jalapeno chilies. It’s super easy, and, the recipe isn’t actually mine. It comes from Well Preserved, one of my favourite online resources for preserving (though not everything they post is vegan). The recipe can easily be customised, as it’s more suggestions for great hot sauce, and can be played with according to your tastes. This is their most recent post on fermenting hot sauce, however they have three or four I recommend checking out. Because I ferment in a mason jar, I use this post.
After about a week, the peppers are ready to be pureed. You have the option of then straining your puree or leaving it as is. I like it chunky, so I don’t strain it.
My theme this year is Preserving the Harvest. I know many of you around the country are winding down on their local summer harvests, but, mine still seems to be in full swing. Our pepper plants are a little out of control (There will be pepper jelly!), we still have tomato-heavy plants, and I finally got my first zucchini of the year. While we’ve still got loads of summer food left to preserve, our fall harvest is starting to come in. Our peach tree is so heavy with fruit, a huge branch broke off it. For all those peaches, we only got a few apples on three trees. Luckily, there’s a great local orchard who grows the best apples I’ve ever eaten.
I don’t know if I’ll get a post in daily this year, but, I’m shooting for 3-4 posts per week, with at least one recipe per week.
Is there anything you want to see preserved? Any preservation techniques you want me to write about? Let me know!
[updated 10/30; 1:16pm]
This week, SnarkyVegan sent a handful of bloggers two martini recipes to customize. The other bloggers include:
SnarkyVegan (of course)
Little Things Big Things (check out her MummyDogs below the martini recipe!)
2T pumpkin pure
1T thick plant milk or creamer (I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Beverage)
1tsp pumpkin pie spice
Mix in shaker (filled with ice) with –
1 1/4 ounces (shots) vanilla vodka
1/4 ounce buttershots (butterscotch schnapps)
Rim martini glass with crushed graham crackers (blend graham cracker crumbs with pumpkin pie spice and sugar)
Decorate with creepy eyeballs, graham crackers, or ginger cookies.
Line the rim of a martini glass with crushed chocolate cookies – to get the cookies to stick, dip the glass on a plate covered with Kahlua (use what’s left on the plate in your martini, if you don’t want to waste).
Drizzle a bit of chocolate syrup inside the glass, let it run down a bit.
In a shaker, mix:
1 1/2 ounce Chocolate Liquer
1 1/2 ounce Vanilla Vodka
1 ounce Kahlua
splash of thick plant milk (I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Beverage – it’s thicker than So Delicious Coconut milk, but not as thick as plant based creamers)
Shake well. Top with spooky marshmallow ghost and some crushed chocolate cookies.
I made the ghost out of my last two Sweet and Sara plain marshmallows – I just cut them with a knife to give them a ghostly shape (they were stuck together).
I promise I haven’t given up on VeganMoFo or the slow cooker. I just needed a break.
This morning, I made myself a pumpkin latte. The original recipe was from my friend K, who got it from the Crock Pot Girls on Facebook.
3T instant espresso
6C plant milk
7T pureed pumpkin
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Sugar – to taste. (My milk was unsweetened, and I used oat milk, which I’m not a huge fan of, so I used a bit more sugar than I would have if I had used sweetened)
3T vanilla (less if your milk is vanilla)
Whipped topping – I still have some Rich’s leftover, but if you can find Soyatoo & like it, use it! (If you can find a place to get Rich’s and you’re not a restaurant – please let me know!)
Mix all of these in the crock pot. Cook on high for twoish hours. Top with whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon
This weekend’s secret ingredient – coconut.
I think coconut is my favourite ingredient. If I see a recipe that includes it, or a (vegan) product that includes it, I can’t say no.
Today, I made coconut brittle (or, German Chocolate Cake Brittle). It was terrible. I’m pretty sure I know exactly what went wrong, and I will be re-making it. Unfortunately, I used up the last of my coconut shreds when making it, so, it’s going to have to wait until I make it to the grocery store (an hour away) to buy more.
So, I’m going to try the coconut challenge one more time today with a coconut cream pie (with meringue topping — Many, many thanks to Hannah Kaminsky for showing that meringue can actually be done vegan!)
I promise to update this by the end of the day with gorgeous (well, you know, standard) pictures, a delicious recipe, and lots of love for coconut.
8:02pm – Update
I made it tiny, because I’m a sucker for tiny food.
I used my favourite pie crust for this recipe.
Then, make tiny pie crusts in a large muffin pan (large muffins, not large pan ^_^). Bake at 415 for about 20 minutes. Set aside.
I also changed up my go-to pudding recipe.
1/3 Cup Sugar
a shake of salt
1 can light coconut milk
a splash of vanilla
about 1/2C shredded coconut (mine was sweetened, but, generally, I avoid sweetened dried fruit)
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a smallish pot. Slowly whisk in coconut milk (add it too fast and you’ll have lumpy pudding – sick). Add vanilla. Heat on low until thickened. Stir in coconut.
Pour into your tiny pie crusts. Top with whipped topping (I had some Rich’s, but you can use Soyatoo if you can get it). I didn’t top it with meringue because I got lazy. I may top the remaining 11 with it tomorrow. I promise to let you know!
I’ve been posting VeganMoFo pins on Pinerest, and there are a handful of others doing the same! Check out http://pinterest.com/brontosaurkelly/veganmofo/ to follow along!
Seitan Pot Roast – Serves 2
1/2 recipe Cracked Coriander Seed & Chai Tea-Rubbed Vegan Steak (by Jenn Shagrin, from The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life by Melisser Elliot) — or, your favourite seitan recipe. Enough for 2 people.
1/2 large sweet potato
1/2 very large parsnip
3 garlic cloves, cut in thirds
1/2C no beef broth
Add all ingredients to 2qt crock pot. Cook on low 4-6 hours, or until seitan is cooked and veggies are tender.
Homemade vegetable broth is just about the easiest thing in the world to make. Especially if you have a slow-cooker. You can leave out any veggies you hate (celery, for me!), and add lots of those you love.
Save potato skins, carrot skins, pepper tops, ends of green onions, or any other veggie bits you cut up and aren’t going to use. I also use cleaning out my veggie drawer as an excuse to make broth – any vegetables that are going bad or are past their prime. I like to throw in some thyme, bay leaves, and any fresh herbs I have on hand.
Fill your 6qt crock pot to the top with vegetables. Then fill it with water. Cook on low all day long (or overnight). Store in canning jars in the fridge or the freezer.
You read right. Slow cooked bread. Like, the kind of bread I can make delicious sandwiches with.
When I read about making bread in a crock pot, I was a little dubious, but had to try it. I decided that, instead of experimenting with a new bread recipe cooked in a new way, I’d use my favourite, tried-and-true, never-fail bread recipe. It’s the Outrageously Easy BIG Bread from VegWeb.
I use this recipe for everything from cinnamon pull-apart bread to dinner rolls (perfect for Thanksgiving!).
Anyway, I didn’t make any changes to it this time. I just threw it in the slow-cooker and let it rise (first rise) for about an hour, then punched it down, and turned the slow-cooker on low – it rose the second time while the crock pot was warming up.
The bread was a little more dense than it is when you cook it in the oven. I may let it rise a little longer the second time when I make it again? I have no idea if that would actually make it less dense. Either way, I’m not super concerned – it was awesome.
It’s the weekend, and it’s VeganMoFo, which means, it’s IRON CHEF WEEKEND! I missed the last one because I was camping, but, this is my favourite VeganMoFo event. I love a good food challenge.
This weekend’s ingredients – coffee and bananas.
My dish – Mocha Banana Bread Pudding
Happily, this dish has enough coffee in it to please coffee lovers, but not so much that it’ll scare away coffee haters. If you want it to taste more like coffee, it’ll taste great with more added.
1Loaf Sweet French bread
2 cups of your favourite vegan creamer (I actually used some Rich’s vegan whipped topping, un-whipped. If you like Soyatoo or can get your hands on Rich’s use it)
2 of your favourite plant milk
1/4C Earth Balance, melted
2T EnerG + 1/2C water (mixed)
3tsp instant espresso, dissolved in 1/2C water
2 bananas, sliced into coins
1 scant cup of vegan chocolate chips
Cut french bread into cubes. Put them into a bowl and keep overnight to get a bit stale.
The next day – put bread into 6qt crock pot.
In a separate bowl, mix creamer, milk, sugar, Earth Balance, EnerG mix, and espresso. Pour over bread and let sit for about 15 minutes. Gently mix in bananas and chocolate chips.
Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Low for 4-6.
Try not to sneak too much of the bread while it cooks. 🙂