Lemon Poppy Seed and Cranberry Bread/Cake

Vegan MoFo, Day 30!!

Lemon Poppy Seed and Cranberry Bread/Cake -- Epicurean VeganWell, it’s the final day of Vegan MoFo! I can’t believe I blogged everyday this month except for one stinkin’ day! Oh well—it was definitely a fun challenge, but I’m a little relieved at the same time.
This cakey bread is not overly sweet since I just used agave as a sweetener, so icing it will definitely give it more of a sweet punch. You can also make this in a 9×5 loaf pan, or two smaller loaf pans, making it more of a bread than a cake. I like having options. :)

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 C almond milk
1/3 C poppy seeds
3/4 C agave nectar
3/4 C Earth Balance, softened
3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 4 Tbs water
2 Tbs lemon juice
1-1/2 C flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C dried cranberries

Icing:
About a cup of Confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tsp lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325. Grease a bundt pan. Whisk together egg replacer powder and water; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the milk. Once it begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the poppy seeds; set side. In a large bowl, cream together butter and honey until smooth, then add egg replacer. In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Take half of the flour mixture and add it to the butter mixture and combine well. Add milk mixture, then the rest of dry ingredients. Stir in the cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Lemon Poppy Seed and Cranberry Bread/Cake -- Epicurean VeganTurn oven down to 300 and bake another 7-8 minutes, or until it is golden brown.

Lemon Poppy Seed and Cranberry Bread/Cake -- Epicurean VeganLet it cool slightly on a rack, then transfer to a large plate.

Lemon Poppy Seed and Cranberry Bread/Cake -- Epicurean VeganTo make the icing, combine sugar and lemon juice, add more of either ingredient to reach desired consistency. Once bread is cool, or just slightly warm, drizzle with icing. Enjoy!

Recipe: Adapted from Beyond the Moon Cookbook

Porcini Mushroom Pasta with a Cream Cheese Sauce

Vegan MoFo, Day 29

Porcini Mushroom Pasta with a Cream Cheese Sauce -- Epicurean VeganI can’t believe I went this far into Vegn MoFo and missed yesterday! It was a busy day of Christmas shopping then an evening of margaritas and a taco bar at the neighbor’s. We made tacos with Boca crumbles, Tofutti sour cream, Daiya cheese, vegetarian refries . . .it was great! So tonight, I went with something easy and quick. The recipe came with the Pappardelle’s pasta, but I made some alterations.

INGREDIENTS:
8 oz porcini mushroom fettucini
2 C mushrooms, sliced
1/2 C green onions, sliced or 1 large leek or 1/c C yellow onion (I used green onions since I had a ton left over from last night’s taco bar)
3 oz Tofutti sour cream
3 Tbs Earth Balance
1/3 C almond milk
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbs minced onion or 2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Porcini Mushroom Pasta with a Cream Cheese Sauce -- Epicurean VeganCook pasta according to instructions. In a medium saucepan heat Earth Balance and garlic. Add mushrooms and saute 5 minutes; add green onions. Saute another 3-4 minutes. Stir in cream cheese and mix until thoroughly melted and combined.

Porcini Mushroom Pasta with a Cream Cheese Sauce -- Epicurean VeganAdd almond milk and combine well. Season with minced onion, salt, and pepper.

Porcini Mushroom Pasta with a Cream Cheese Sauce -- Epicurean VeganLadle over individual servings of pasta and enjoy!

Cabbage Rolls

Vegan MoFo, Day 27

Cabbage Rolls -- Epicurean VeganI had such high hopes for this dish, but frankly it was a disaster. Well, the journey to the end result, that is. The first red flag was that the cabbage had been sliced, so the leaves weren’t very usable. So I opted for romaine leaves and the second red flag was that they had gotten frozen in the fridge, so some of them were damaged. Did that stop me? Of course not, but it wasn’t without some colorful language. It was like a horror movie. I knew I should have turned around from the ominous signs in the  kitchen and got the hell out of there. But I stayed. I fought. And crawled out from the carnage a hour later. There had to be a easier way. Iceberg lettuce. I think that would have worked so much better. No horror movie re-enactments necessary. They may not be pretty, but the taste is incredible!

INGREDIENTS:
Olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 C rice, uncooked
1 C vegetable broth
1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 small onion, diced small
1-1/2 C shiitake mushrooms, diced
1 Apple-Sage Field Roast sausages, torn into small pieces
1/3 C walnuts, chopped
8-10 large iceberg lettuce leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce:
1/2 tsp dried marjornam
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 green onions, or 1 large leek, chopped
4 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
1/2 C vegetable broth
1/2 C sherry
2-4 Tbs flour

DIRECTIONS:

Cabbage Rolls -- Epicurean VeganPreheat oven to 300–just to keep stuff warm. In a medium skillet, cook the rice in the vegetable broth. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic. Add bell pepper and onion. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the Field Roast and shiitake mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms soften, then stir in the cooked rice.

Cabbage Rolls -- Epicurean VeganSo here is where the Wes Craven-esque stuff started to happen. I couldn’t get the cabbage leaves apart in one nice piece. I was able to get a few unscathed leaves, so I steamed them for just a couple of minutes to soften them a little. I didn’t have enough, so I pull out some (half-frozen) romaine lettuce which wouldn’t cooperate and roll up well.

I did the best I could . . .

Cabbage Rolls -- Epicurean VeganI placed each roll in a 9×13″ pan, covered with foil, then placed them in the warm oven. To prepare the sauce, heat the margarine in a small saucepan, add the leeks or green onions. I had about 3 shiitake mushrooms leftover, so I diced them up and added them then, too. Combine the flour, marjoram, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then whisk into the saucepan. Immediately add the broth and sherry and whisk thoroughly. Add more flour, if needed, to reach a desired consistency. Serve with rolls with sauce ladled over them.

So the end result was good, but the process was so much more painful than it needed to be. Have you ever tried a similar recipe?  Have any suggestions?

Pineapple Salsa

Vegan MoFo, Day 26

Pineapple Salsa -- Epicurean VeganHappy Black Friday. As for me, I’m staying far away from the maddening crowds; safe at home.

My mom made this salsa—the recipe is actually from a friend and it won first place in a recent salsa contest. One bite and you’ll see why!

INGREDIENTS:
1 can pineapple rings, drained
1 medium red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 of a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 chili pepper of choice, such as an anaheim

DIRECTIONS:
Grill the pineapple rings about 5 minutes on each side. Chop up and combine with the other ingredients. So easy! Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.

Vegan Thanksgiving Brunch

Vegan MoFo, Day 25

Happy Thanksgiving!

Vegan Thanksgiving Brunch -- Epicurean Vegan

About a week and a half ago, we had our first vegan Thanksgiving dinner, so today, we had our first vegan Thanksgiving brunch. As much as I love vegan food, particularly breakfast foods, today wasn’t all about the food. The last few months for us have given us many reasons to be thankful for what we have. Earlier this month we lost a friend to cancer. She left behind a husband and two young daughters. Another friend is battling leukemia, while a blogging friend shared her own family’s tragedy of nearly losing her nephew to drowning. Unfortunately, it often takes these situations to make us appreciate what we have, one of which, is our health. So it was a day of thanks and remembrance—served with delicious vegan food!

The star of the show was Stuffed French Toast:

Vegan Stuffed French Toast -- Epicurean Vegan

INGREDIENTS:

1 loaf French bread, sliced 3/4″ thick
8-oz Tofutti cream cheese
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 C walnuts, chopped

Batter:

3 tsp Ener-G Egg replacer + 4 Tbs water
1/2 pkg of Silken Tofu (which worked perfectly since I used the other half to make the hash brown casserole)
1 C almond milk
1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:
Cream together the cream cheese and pineapple. Stir in the walnuts. If making this step the night before (like I did), add the walnuts the next day, just before using. Otherwise, they’ll get too soft. To make the batter, combine the egg replacer powder and water in the food processor and process until fluffy. Add tofu, milk and vanilla; combine well and transfer to a shallow bowl. Basically, create sandwiches with the French bread and the cream cheese filling.

Dip each “sandwich” in the batter to cover each side. Preheat a flat griddle on the stove and  use some cooking spray. Brown each side as if making a grilled cheese. I then transferred them to a plate in a warm oven until ready to eat. Top with some Earth Balance and syrup.

I also made my favorite hash brown casserole:

Vegan Hash Brown Casserole -- Epicurean Vegan

I also made vegan cheese danishes that I made before, but this time, used cranberries for the filling.

Vegan Cheese Danishes -- Epicurean Vegan

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz Tofutti cream cheese
1/2 can cranberry sauce with whole berries
1 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs Earth Balance, melted and cooled

DIRECTIONS:
Cream everything together. I used the food processor, but I recommend using a mixer—I pureed it a bit too much.

Vegan Cheese Danishes -- Epicurean Vegan

Click HERE for the danish recipe.

We also had a great fruit salad with an agave-lime dressing. (I’ll get the recipe posted soon)

For dessert, my mom made Vegetarian Times’ Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Pie -- Epicurean VeganIsn’t it gorgeous?! My mom has always made beautiful and delicious pies. The taste and consistency was outstanding and sure tasted like pumpkin pie to everyone. It was the perfect ending to a perfect brunch.

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving has been filled with thanks, love and amazing food!

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos

Vegan MoFo, Day 24

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean VeganI have been dying to make these for a while now. They did not disappoint. I used about 2 cups of cooked wild rice for five mushrooms, but the recipe makes enough for six. Also, I recommend using vegetable broth when making the rice—keep in mind, the rice will take about 45 minutes to cook. Typically, I steam or slightly saute the mushroom caps before stuffing them, but this time I decided not to—and I’m glad. They came out perfect; not soggy or too soft. When looking for portobellos for this dish, try to pick out ones that are very bowl-shaped. They’ll flatten a little as they bake, so the curvier, the better. (I like that, curves are good)!

INGREDIENTS:
6 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and de-gilled
2 C wild rice, cooked
1 red bell pepper, diced small
3 large green onion, diced
1/2 a can of artichoke hearts, diced small
1 Tbs Earth Balance
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 C vegan mozzarella, shredded
1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil; set aside. In a large skillet, heat the margarine and garlic until hot. Add bell pepper, green onions, and artichokes. Saute 3-5 minutes and add rosemary, salt and pepper.

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean VeganSaute another 5-7 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Add the cooked rice to the bowl and combine the two mixtures.

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean VeganPlace the portobello caps on the baking sheet—upside down. Sprinkle some vegan mozzarella inside the caps, then spoon the rice mixture into each cap evenly.You can season with some more salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean VeganTop with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean Vegan

Vegan MoFo, Day 23

No, those are not edible switch plates. This may be the most boring post ever, but I had an extremely busy day and didn’t have time to get a post together for the 23rd day of Vegan MoFo. Instead, my friend, Kerrie (who also happens to be my crafting sole mate) came over and we were in craft-haven, getting ready for a Holiday/Craft Mart coming up (benefiting a local writer’s studio. . .)

We did, however, munch on vegan fare as we worked: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers, and my famous, quick lunch of a vegan chick patty with a Tofutti cheese slice and Vegenaise on a toasted English Muffin. Also good on it are tomato, lettuce and vegan ranch dressing.

Kerrie was adventurous to try it (and I think she liked it), but wasn’t too keen on the almond milk in her tea or latte. :(   Hey. . . she was open to trying it all and that’s a big step!

So I apologize for the lame post, but being the competitive person I am, I had to post something and not have ONE day—this far into Vegan MoFo—that I don’t post. (Yes, I will sleep better tonight). I know, so lame. Until tomorrow, enjoy our decoupaged delights:

Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers

Vegan MoFo, Day 22

Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers -- Epicurean VeganMonet, at Anecdotes and Apples Cores, made some cheddar and rosemary biscuits that had me salivating! They also reminded me of an old recipe for crackers that I made a million years ago. I will however, try her recipe (and veganize it), but for now, enjoy some amazing crackers!

INGREDIENTS:
1 C vegan cheddar, shredded
3-ox Tofutti cream cheese
1/2 C Earth Balance margarine
1 tsp sweet red chili sauce
1-3/4 C flour
2 Tbs sesame seeds
4 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt, optional

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325.  In a food processor (with the dough blade) combine the cheeses. Add the butter.

Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers -- Epicurean VeganAdd the chili sauce, then flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Once combined, add sesame seeds and rosemary.

Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers -- Epicurean VeganDivide dough in half and roll out. Now, you can decide how big you want to roll them out. I wanted to make tiny nibblers, but you’re welcome to make larger crackers. Once you made that big decision, wrap in plastic wrap and chill. I stuck mine in the freezer for about 20-25 minutes, but if you have extra time, go ahead and just refrigerate them. Slice them as thick or as thin as you want. I find that somewhere between 1/8″ and 1/4″ is best.

Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers -- Epicurean VeganPlace on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a smidge of salt, if desired.

Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers -- Epicurean VeganBake for about 10 minutes—just don’t let them get too browned. The bottoms will a little, but taken them out before the edges brown. Enjoy! (Thanks for the inspiration, Monet)!

Chipotle-Lime Pasta with a Cream Sauce and Avocado

Vegan MoFo, Day 21

Chipotle-Lime Pasta with a Cream Sauce and Avocado -- Epicurean VeganI picked up some Pappardelle’s Whole Wheat Chipotle Lime pasta and since it has a bit of kick, I figured a cream sauce would be ideal to go with it. I also had an avocado on-the-verge of being tossed, so it all came together beautifully!

INGREDIENTS:
8-oz Chipotle Lime pasta
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
2 Tbs flour
1 C almond milk
2 Tbs Vegan Parmesan cheese
1 tsp lime juice, plus a little more for thinning, if needed
1/2 C Tofutti sour cream
2 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped
5-6 mushrooms, diced
1 avocado, diced

DIRECTIONS:
Cook pasta 10-12 minutes, or until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat margarine and garlic. Whisk in the flour. Once the flour is thoroughly combined, whisk in the almond milk, then the sour cream and Parmesan. Stir in the lime juice, mushrooms, cilantro, and green onions. Add more lime juice, if needed.

Chipotle-Lime Pasta with a Cream Sauce and Avocado -- Epicurean Vegan

Ladle the sauce over single servings of pasta and top with the diced avocado. Enjoy!

Vegan Jambalaya

Vegan MoFo, Day 20

Vegan Jambalaya -- Epicurean VeganThis has always been a favorite with the fam and so when I looked at the Tofurky Kielbasa sausages in the fridge, I knew it was meant to be. I usually make biscuits to serve under the jambalaya, but I forgot, so I used some rosemary and sesame seed saltines. If you don’t have a lot of time, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are vegan and a quick option.

INGREDIENTS:
1-14 0z pkg (4 sausages), diced
2-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with juices
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion, but any variety is fine)
1-1/2 C vegetable broth
1/2 C white wine
1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped
2 C white rice, cooked
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
Cajun seasoning (1 tsp is fairly mild. For more of a kick, add more, a 1/4 tsp at a time)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp pepper, or to taste
Crackers or biscuits

Vegan Jambalaya -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:
In a large skillet, heat the oil and garlic. Add the bell pepper, onion and sausage. Saute about 10 minutes, or until the sausage begins to brown and the peppers and onion soften.

Vegan Jambalaya -- Epicurean VeganMeanwhile, in a large soup pot, combine the tomatoes and broth; bring to a simmer. Transfer the sausage mixture to the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the seasonings, parsley, and wine; simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Vegan Jambalaya -- Epicurean VeganJust before serving, stir in the rice and enjoy!

Vegan Jambalaya -- Epicurean Vegan