Posts filed under ‘Family’

Finally!! Pecan Sandies!!

This is a holiday favorite of mine! I would eat these every Christmas Eve from, ironically, my aunt Sandy! I’ve never given them a go, but I thought, since this was my first Christmas being vegan, I should bring something to the party!

This recipe I found on the Whole Foods Market website in the recipe section.  I did a few modifications.

Vegan Pecan Crumblies

Yields 48

1 cup Earth Balance butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup pecans, finely processed

3/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

Cream the Earth Balance butter and the powdered sugar until light and fluffed, then add the vanilla; meanwhile, process the pecans in a food prrocessor until finely processed, yielding 1 cup.

In a separate bowl, combine the pecans, flours and salt.

Stir the pecan mixture into the creamed butter and sugar until incorporated.  Dump out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly.  Refrigerate overnight.

one…

And two!! I just had to double this recipe!

DAY TWO:

Take out of the refrigerator and dump out onto a clean surface.  Use a teaspoon, or any scoop, to portion out the cookies.  Roll them each in powdered sugar and place on a baking sheet an inch apart.

Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 9-10 minutes; let them cool for 4-5 minutes then dredge a second time in powdered sugar.  Set onto a drying rack and cool completely.

I hope everyone had a great holiday, got spoiled by Santa, and enjoyed many cookies.  I’m stuffed and it’s time for bed.  See you next year Santa – these cookies are for you!

December 25, 2010 at 11:55 pm 3 comments

Pancake Breakfast!!

Today Ryan and I woke up (slowly) and decided to have a nice Christmas pancake breakfast.  No, no, I know it’s not Christmas yet… but it’s 2 days away!!! I guess you could call this the pre-pre-Christmas breakfast  We like to be prepared for the real thing. Time to prep our stomachs for stretch!!

Choco. Chip Banana Pancakes!

serves 4

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened original

2 Tbsp. oil

1 tsp. vanilla

2 mashed, very ripe, bananas

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat a nonstick skillet on medium-low with a little bit of oil; once preheated wipe out the oil lightly with a napkin or paper towel.

Mix the flours, baking powder, salt and brown sugar together in a bowl with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana up well with a fork; add the oil, vanilla and milk and mix well to combine.

(I purchased some new measuring cups from Urban Outfitters… they all go together into one big cupcake! SO presh *stole Kelly’s word* (-: )

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together lightly.  I like to follow America’s Test Kitchen’s technique on combining pancake ingredients by letting the batter fall through the whisk gently a few times.

 

 

Fold in the walnuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a tablespoon, or any scoop you’d like, to portion out the batter into the hot skillet.

Let cook a few minutes, until the sides bubble and the pancake is set, then flip and do the same on the second side.

Set the pancakes aside on a plate, or set your oven to low and set the pancakes onto a baking sheet to be kept warm.  Enjoy with maple syrup and/or a big slab of Earth Balance butter atop!

Mmm!! 1 serving of fruit… CHECK!

 

December 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

Warming Winter Soup

Snow fell throughout Massachusetts today! It is so beautiful!! Aunt Sue is here from California and snow is just what she needed!

Warming soup was also needed… so Ryan made some kale and sweet potato soup to get us through the night.

Sweet Potato, Kale and Carrot Soup

Serves 4-6 (4 meal portions; 6 smaller portions)

3 bunches of kale, washed, de-ribbed and roughly chopped or torn (we used a mixture of varieties: 1 dino/lacinato, 1 scots/curly, and 1 purple kale bunch)

10 garlic cloves (don’t be afraid…)

4 cups of vegetable broth, divided

1 large sweet potato

6 carrots, chopped or diced to your liking

6 celery stalks, chopped or diced to your liking

2 bay leaves

1 cup white wine mixed with 1 cup of water

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 tsp. olive oil

Directions:

In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the carrots and celery; cook for a few minutes to soften them.  Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add 2 cups of liquid and a small pinch of salt and pepper; bring to a simmer to infuse.

Add in the kale, a small pinch of salt and pepper, and 2 more cups of liquid.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the kale has wilted.

Add the rest of the liquid, the wine, bay leaves, garlic and another pinch of salt and pepper.  Cover the pot and let this simmer for 20-30 minutes until everything is tender.  Don’t forget to serve this with some hearty grain bread smothered in Earth Balance butter!! 🙂

This is an extremely easy, warming soup that is packed with nutrients!! Hopefully this will keep sickness away…

Betty was quite jealous!!

December 21, 2010 at 12:00 am 1 comment

Spicy Sweet Potato Home Fries

I love the holidays!!!


And there’s nothing like Christmas morning breakfast! Home fries are definitely on my vegan food pyramid… But I thought I was up for a little change to the original… Sweet potato!  Hopefully your family, and mine, will be enjoying these in just 15 days!!!! (scary thought right?)

 

Sweet Potato Baked Home Fries

Serves 4

2 large sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp. olive oil or canola oil

Dash of paprika (or more if your morning can handle it…)

Ample sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Scrub the potatoes well; slice first into rings by cutting end to end then cut each circle into triangles by slicing it in half twice.  I just love this method because I always get pieces that are the same size.

Place all the chunks into a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients; toss to coat.

Spread onto a baking sheet, being sure that they are in a single layer, and bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 8 minutes; flip after the 8 minutes and bake 8 more.  Since the cubes are small they won’t take long at all.

Carefully remove each one and put in to a dish for serving; serve hot!

Now here’s something that is sweet and spicy and will satisfy just as good as a cookie 😉 maybe…

December 10, 2010 at 9:33 am 1 comment

Vegan Thanksgiving! Friendsgiving!!

Finally… the night has come for everyone to get together and eat delicious food!  Vegan Thanksgiving! Cravings have been fulfilled.

The vegan feast included:

Homemade hummus from Noelle (with some sliced peppers, cucumbers, celery and carrots)

Sweet potato casserole from Julie (a definite hit… it barely lasted the first 5 minutes)

Quinoa salad, roasted brussels sprouts, and cutie cupcakes with frosting turkeys from Staci (she has outdone herself!!)

Roasted butternut squash and apple soup from Meg (complete with toppings: toasted coconut, toasted cashews, and sliced green onions)

Green Bean casserole and pumpkin pie from my mom!

Gingerbread biscotti from Betsy

Spinach salad(s) – one with tofu, barley, cherry tomatoes and corn plus another with slivered almonds, strawberries and mandarin oranges from my sister Nichole and her lovely vegan friendly boyfriend Jarod 😉

Vegan Shepard’s Pie and stuffing

 

The vegan shepard’s pie came out much better than I imagined!  A great comfort food that was much heartier and healthier than the original!  It was adapted from the recent Veg News magazine and also The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook

 

Root Vegetable Shepard’s Pie

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

12 oz. mushrooms (any kind, I used baby bellas)

2 1/4 cup gravy (recipe follows)

3/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

3/4 cup dried green lentils


Root vegetables:

3 medium Macomber white turnips

2 medium rutabagas

4 medium parsnips

4 medium yukon gold/yellow potatoes

 

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet; add the onion, carrot, peas and mushrooms, cook until softened.


Add the lentils and gravy and let simmer until the lentils are somewhat softened; they will finish cooking in the oven. Put in to a large casserole dish (or two large pie dishes like I did).

Directions for root vegetables:


Wash turnips well and chop into evenly large chunks.  Be careful with this, the turnips are very tough to chop!

Boil the turnip cubes in enough water to fully cover; cook until fork tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Drain, let cool slightly, then peel the cubes of their skin with either a knife or your hands.

*follow this same method for the rutabagas and parsnips

*peel the potatoes, then follow this boiling method

each time using the same water (just keep it boiling and have the next product ready) and then place the all the cubes in the same bowl with an added 2 Tbsp. or Earth Balance butter and 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast.

Lightly spoon-mash the root vegetables so that the cubes are still defined, yet mashed.

Top with the root vegetables, spray lightly with canola spray and bake at 350 F for 40-50 minutes until heated through, bubbling and slightly browned on top (if it starts to brown too early cover with tin foil).


 


Vegan Gravy

Makes about 2 -2 1/4 cups

2 cups vegetable broth or water (I used vegetable broth)

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder dissolved in 3 Tbsp. water

1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened original

 

Directions:

Bring the vegetable broth (or water) to a boil with the soy sauce, thyme, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper; turn heat to low.

Dissolve the arrowroot into the 1/4 cup water;

add, whisking constantly, to the lightly simmering vegetable broth mixture.  Cook, still on low, until thickened.

Whisk in the almond milk and heat until thickened.

*Always taste before serving!

 

SAVE SOME ROOM IN THAT HUNGRY STOMACH FOR MORE!!!

 

Hearty Vegetable Stuffing

Serves about 15

2 french baguettes, either diced or roughly chopped

1 (or more) cup cornbread, either diced or roughly chopped

7 Tbsp. Earth Balance (I know… 7 is a lot… but so isn’t 15 servings!! Of course you can use less.)

1 large onion, chopped

3 medium carrots, chopped

4 large celery stalks, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh chopped sage

1/4 tsp. of each the following:

basil

thyme

garlic powder

rosemary

parsley

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 cups (or more, I needed more…) vegetable broth

 

Directions:

Place the prepared bread onto a baking sheet and place into a preheated 400 F oven; cook until dried out and golden.  Set aside.

In a large skillet heat the Earth Balance and add the onion, carrots, celery, herbs, and salt and pepper; cook until softened and slightly browned.

Add the bread to the skillet (or as much fits).

Place any dried bread that didn’t fit in the skillet into a buttered baking dish; then add the bread and carrot/celery mixture to the top.

Pour in the broth until the bread is moistened, the more moist the better.

Bake the stuffing, covered with tin foil, in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes; remove the foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until the color deepens.

This is the greatest stuffing I’ve had in a while! And no turkey was harmed in the making!

 

Great success!  It definitely was an awesome time! I’ll hopefully get some updated recipes soon for the Sweet Potato Casserole and the Gingerbread Vegan Biscotti!! I’m so thankful to everyone who came to hangout, eat and bring their own creations of amazing vegan food!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

November 24, 2010 at 8:43 pm 4 comments

Thanksgiving (take one)

So excited to start trying out some Thanksgiving recipes! Julie ad I are hosting a little Thanksgiving-Friendsgiving shindig and we need our recipes to be perfection! Last night I tried out a vegan green bean casserole recipe that I found on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen (love this blog)!

I’m stubborn in life and also stubborn with cooking so I am never a great follower of recipes… but I will try to re-write the recipe the best I can!!

Homestyle Green Bean Casserole

Prepare the Beans:

2 quarts water 
(enough to fully cover the beans)

1 tablespoon table salt

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and snapped in half

Bring the water to boil in a large pot. While it’s heating, snap the beans. Add the salt and beans to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes (No more, no less for the perfect al dente crunch).

Drain beans in a colander, and then submerge under cold water for a minute to stop the cooking. Let them drain in the colander, shaking every now and then to get off all the water. Set aside.

For the Mushroom Cream Sauce:

10 ounces mushrooms (I bought an 8 oz. precut package of shitake and the same for white; I used all of the shitake and about half of the white)

5 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch cayenne pepper (I wasn’t sure what to expect with this being added, but it was definitely a delightful surprise… don’t add if you don’t like heat!)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons flour

3/4 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon dry sherry

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Chop the mushrooms into tiny cubes. Drizzle in about 2 tsp. of olive oil in to a large stainless steel sauté pan; heat over medium heat.

Add the mushrooms, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are slightly soft and darker in color.

In a separate, small mixing bowl, whisk the flour into the vegetable broth until completely dissolved; add to the mushrooms along with the sherry.

Simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens. Add the unsweetened almond milk and simmer until thick, about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the beans.

For the Onion Topping:

2 slices whole grain bread

1 tablespoon Earth Balance

Sprinkle of salt and pepper

1 4-oz. container of crispy onions (I used an all-natural brand from Whole Foods that may be on the expensive side, but you definitely get what you pay for: Lars Own; Imported Crispy Onions)

Put the bread, Earth Balance, salt, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until crumbly.

Now put it all together:

Put the green beans into a casserole dish (any shape or size as long as it fits) and top with the bread mixture and the crispy onions, making sure to spread them out evenly so there will be no fighting over the topping!!


Bake, covered with a piece of tin foil, at 425 F for about 8 minutes, uncover and continue cooking for 7 minutes more, or until the top is a darker shade of brown and the entire dish is bubbling like mad!

Now, let sit for a few minutes to thicken… I know this is hard with that terrific smell and all… but trust me it will make it worth your while to wait a tad bit longer… Now ENJOY!!!

(Note from Fatfreekitchen.com: “If you are not serving this right away, refrigerate the topping separately; bring to room temperature before sprinkling the topping on the casserole and baking for about 20 minutes or until hot throughout.”)

I do declare… this VEGAN green bean casserole was a hit with the fam! Meat Eaters and Veg’s UNITE!!! Thanksgiving is almost here!!!!! ❤

 

AHmazing fall time side note: Treat Cupcake Bar in Needham, MA (yes, that’s right… I said cupcakeBAR!) has an incredible seasonal cupcake right now…


Pumpkin Spice (vegan and gluten free) everyone must try!!

November 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm 3 comments


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