Tag Archives: VeganMofo

Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

19 Oct


Ah, there’s nothing like carrot cake. Especially in the Fall! Carrot cake is one of my favorite comfort food desserts and so naturally, a cookie version that I could eat more frequently with somewhat less guilt, seems appropriate! I’ve been meaning to put this recipe up for a year now, but what better time to do it than VeganMoFo?

I’ve been making this recipe for about 3 years now and it’s always been a big hit! In fact, I’ve baked these for every event I’ve had in the past few years — even once making an enormous batch of 350 for a fundraiser at Maple Farm Sanctuary. I remember that many people took cookies home with them and that they were much more popular than the three tiered, professionally made vegan cake that was brought! All thanks to one very insane night of baking. Thankfully, I had help. And even more thankfully, I had Martha Stewart’s help. This is a vegan modification of her carrot cake sandwich cookies. In the original recipe, the frosting is spread between two cookies — and so the batter makes about 40+ cookies. I feel like this is sugar overload and people end up eating just one sandwich. So, I cut Martha’s recipe in half so as not to make so many cookies this time.

A really important step in this process is to squeeze as much moisture out of the grated carrots as you can with your hands (and don’t throw the juice away — drink it or give it to your dog!). Not taking this extra step will result in dough that has too much moisture. When measuring the grated carrots, be sure to “fluff” them up with your fingers, you don’t want 3/4 cup of packed carrots.

This recipe calls for the use of an electric mixer for the dough and a food processor to grate the carrots. I’ve made these without the mixer and with a hand grater. It’s more labor intensive and time consuming, but the cookies turn out just the same.

Also remember, since it’s vegan, you can eat the dough without worry! It’s really, really, yummy and keeps well in the fridge for snacking on later!

Alright, I just made a batch of these for my co-workers because they’d been begging to eat them again. I better get there soon before I convince myself to keep the cookies at home. ‘Til tomorrow, foodie friends!
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Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

18 Oct


I’m still here, still alive, still in MoFo mode. But, it’s been a tremendously busy few weeks. Moving and working full time and MoFo-ing? What was I thinking?! I think I’m still in this. I think I can, I think I can! Anyhow, I finally finished packing and after a 13 hour move out of state, I’m finally settled in and in my new kitchen. So of course after all the cleaning and organizing and attempts to find the perfect lighting for photographing food, I put myself to work on one of my favorite recipes.

My roommate’s boyfriend who works on a farm, graciously bestowed us with a bounty of winter squash. Among them, my favorite — the acorn squash. If you haven’t noticed already, I really like stuffing food into more food (stuffed peppers, stuffed pasta, stuffed apples, stuffed summer squash).  Maybe someday I’ll invent a vegan version of TurDuckEn. So of course, seeing the squash, I felt the need to stuff it. It just had to happen.

This is a recipe I first tried out last year at thanksgiving time and really enjoyed. It went over really well with my family too. It’s very easy to make, has a lot of fall flavor to it, and is very comforting. You can adjust the spices as you wish. If you want it to be more spicy, add more chili powder; more cinnamon-y, add more cinnamon. There’s really no way to make this “the wrong way.” Also, I like to play around with other ingredients. Sometimes I use raisins or dried apricots, this time, I used dates and cranberries. Usually, I like to make this with red quinoa because it looks really beautiful against the orange squash, but I had only white quinoa on hand and that worked well too. If you’re all about presentation come vegan harvest (thanksgiving), then I’d definitely go with the red!

‘Til tomorrow! Continue reading

Apple Walnut Breakfast Cake

13 Oct

Holy week from Hell! I’ve been away for far too long, friends! I’m really very sorry to have left the MoFo world hangin’, but I’m in the process of packing, moving out of state, not cooking in my own kitchen, working two jobs, and as if that wasn’t enough, I was sick with a high fever for two days. But now that everything’s calm — if only for one a day before the big move — I have some lovely recipes to share!

This recipe is just a simple old thing I put together in the spirit if Autumn and with a need to have something quick to wrap up in a napkin and take along with me for my long commute to work. The best part is that if I did have time, this would still be a great mate for a sit-down-coffee! This cake is easy to put together and will only take about 10 minutes to prep. It’s a bit dense because of the whole wheat flour, but if that’s not your thing try regular all purpose flour instead. It’s also very mildly flavored — that’s not to say it’s bland — it’s just to say that the focus is mainly on the natural flavors of apple and cinnamon. And so, it’s light on the sugar. You may want to add more if you like sugary foods to go along with your coffee or tea. I don’t so, I kept the sugar light and then just drizzled a little maple syrup on top of my cake to add a touch more sweetness and a flavor reminiscent of spending Autumn in New England. I like this cake a lot because there’s nothing flashy about it and because it’s so easy to put together. If you like simple, wholesome, hearty, healthy, lightly sugared sweets — this cake is for you.

Hopefully, my next post will feature me in my new kitchen! Until then, happy MoFo-ing!

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Chickpea Chick’n Patties

9 Oct

As featured on veganfoodshare’s Instagram.

I have no idea how I’m making it happen, but somehow, I’m actually still participating in VeganMoFo.

This has been an overwhelmingly busy week full of high emotions (the good and the bad kind — but mostly the good kind), epiphanies, and one near death experience. The fact that I’m awake right now writing this, let alone cooking and not just eating prepackaged junk is, literally, a miracle. I should be dead. Or asleep. Or just dead asleep. I feel like I’ve been participating in a version of Iron Chef where the challenge is to create something meaningful of high stressful situations and the secret ingredient/challenge is to do it all without sleeping and without falling apart and still staying positive.

And so, of course, when I saw the first VeganMoFo Iron Chef Challenge, I had to take it! There are no rewards in this challenge except the reward of having created something new and delicious and then sharing it with the rest of the world. That’s plenty rewarding if you ask me. Unfortunately for my theme this month, there are no “Autumn” flavors in this recipe, but the other half of my theme — the “New England” part — is fully satisfied. In classic New England fashion, in the midst of a cold season, we had a warm, summer day. And that to me, means burgers and beer for dinner.

The challenge was to create something using chickpeas. I’ve been wanting to make something light and flavorful and reminiscent of a chicken patty, but without the not-so-good breaded/fried/animal element typical of chicken patties. So basically, something not at all like a chicken patty. I mostly just wanted to use the flavors typically used in dishes with poultry. So, I reworked an older recipe for black bean burgers into one that fits the bill a little more, for people who like lighter flavors. New ingredients, new seasonings, and this time, you don’t need a food processor. These are so easy to make, especially after a long day or week, and they are so tasty you’ll have no excuse not to try them sometime!

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Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies

8 Oct

Hi friends! Would you all like a recipe for soft, sticky, gooey, delicious pumpkin cookies? Yes? I thought so. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a recipe inspired by, yet again, the almighty pumpkin. But I’ve taken it to a whole new level of deliciousness. I heard that Chicago Soy Dairy was doing a Dandies giveaway for VeganMoFo and I thought, well hey, I should make something with marshmallows! And so this recipe is partly inspired by that and partly inspired by wanting to make something with adult flavor — that is, something big on pumpkin spice flavors — but that also appeals to kids. And since no one is ever too old to enjoy marshmallows and chocolate, I thought this would be the perfect time to bake some cookies!

I’ll have to admit, at first, I was a little scared of trying this one out because I knew the marshmallows would basically become “fluff” (which is a popular non-vegan brand name for marshmallow creme). And although I like marshmallows, I’ve never liked them in spreadable form. Also, I knew that the cookies might break apart or flatten out because the marshmallows, under high heat, would dissolve. And so…they did. What came of it was an explosion of wonderful, gooey, sugary heaven. Some of the cookies “popped” like volcanoes and so weren’t as pretty, but once you put one in your mouth, it doesn’t matter what a cookie looks like, right? Nonetheless, many of the cookies were “presentable” and many of them were hard to resist on appearance alone — who can resist something that’s basically oozing with marshmallowy sugary goodness? Obviously, only a crazy person can. And none of us are  that sort of crazy now, are we?

I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as my family and I did. To give you fair warning: when you take them out of the oven they will be a gooey mess. So make sure to space them properly on the baking sheet so that they don’t stick to one another. Also, I decided to store these in the refrigerator so that they wouldn’t become too soft if left out for a long time (I made so many, I couldn’t possibly eat them all myself, and I live alone). If you’re just going to devour them all right away, then there’s no need to refrigerate them.

Be sure to check out my other marshmallow treat that uses Dandies Vegan Marshmallows: S’mores Pops! Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Pumpkin Vegan Dog Treats

6 Oct

Dog tested, dog mom approved!

Good day, MoFos and friends! Here’s one for the dog lovers out there! I’ve been meaning to take on vegan dog treats for a time and I figured, well the Vegan Month of Food is as good a time as any. My little vegan superhero pooch, Chicken — yes that’s his real name, named after the bird in it’s living state — really likes pumpkin and the only thing he likes more than pumpkin is peanut butter so, I thought: why not give the little man the best of both worlds?

This may not be human comfort food, but in the spirit of veganism — here’s to the desires and comfort of my favorite little nonhuman friend! These treats are so easy to make and Chicken absolutely loves them! Hopefully, you know of a four-legged, bushy tailed someone who will love them too!

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Three Bean Slow Cooker Chili

5 Oct

Hello MoFo’ers, after a lovely day off for cooking and baking, I’ve returned with a new comforting recipe for the season! Besides my toaster (I really love toast), there is no other kitchen appliance I love more than my slow cooker. I think it’s because both of these appliances make the kitchen smell great when they’re doing their job right. Also, they make tasty things to put in my mouth. But slow cookers are particularly awesome because they’re the only necessary kitchen tool for making great food if you’re someone who is often too busy to be home or stand over a stove.

Years ago, my mom gave me her cool, ugly, orange slow cooker manufactured and purchased in the 1970s. When I was growing up, I remember it always being kept in our basement and never in our kitchen. Every time we moved, it came with us for some reason, but it wasn’t because it was being used. I didn’t know what it was until I was older and it’s not because my mom decided to bring it upstairs and make something incredible. It’s because I saw one of the potpourri slow cookers and I put two and two together (it equals four, by the way). I’m not sure if it’s something my mom had ever used, to be honest. I don’t think she grasps the concept of how awesome it is to have an entire meal cooking slowly while you do something else. I keep telling her, it’s multi-tasking at it’s finest, but I think she’s scared of cooking in a way she’s not used to.

Anyway, when I moved to NH last year, I finally made use of it because I’d be gone for long hours at a time for class or work. I wanted to come home to something hot and ready to eat. And this is one of the recipes I would often put together because it’s simple and easy, and lasts a long time if you’re only one person. Oh, and of course, it’s delicious! I know, it’s not really “chili” if there isn’t a ground up dead animal in it, but I didn’t even want to take the steps to fake it. This is just a really vegan, product free, easy to make meal. Anyone with a crockpot can make it. I know it doesn’t look like much, but I swear, if you have a slow cooker, it’ll be one of your basic go-to’s too. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

3 Oct

Alright, MoFo‘ers, recipe number three features the all-time Fall favorite: pumpkin. I went through hell and high water to get my hands on canned pumpkin just to make this. It begs the question, is there a shortage of pumpkin this year? The stores were wiped clean! I had to seek out this golden gem from a small, relatively unfrequented natural foods store. I know what you’re thinking. “Buy a pumpkin and make your own damned puree!” I would, but I just don’t have the patience to cut and especially peel my own pumpkin. I’m going to have to get over it if I’m going to want to make use of this fabulous gourd.

Ok, so let’s talk quickbreads! We only need to say that they’re like cake without the frosting. And for me, that’s pretty much heaven. Up until I had pumpkin bread, I didn’t think I’d ever love anything more than banana bread. I think it has to do with the fact that pumpkin spices are just crazy delicious and, at least for me, they evoke a certain sort of longing for and comfort from Autumn. I think that’s why a lot of places exploit ‘pumpkin spice this’ and ‘pumpkin spice that’ around this time of year. Doesn’t it just make you want to throw on a flannel and go for a foliage hike? Is that just a New England thing? Maybe.

Anyway, this quickbread is all sorts of fabulous. It’s easy to make, it’s moist, but not too soft and cake-like, as a quickbread should be. And it’s heavy on the pumpkin flavor (just like I like it). It also features the almighty chocolate chip, which only heightens its awesomeness by giving it a sweet chocolate crunch. I like the way the orange color and chocolate chips contrast one another — it’s very Halloween-y. This bread went over so well with my family that there was barely any left for me. My only regret is not having made two loaves!

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Tofu Pot Pie with Dill Biscuit Topping

2 Oct

Friends! Here’s recipe number 2 in the VeganMoFo 2011 series. Adhering to my “Autumn in New England” theme, here’s a recipe that reminds me all about the coziness and heartiness of Fall and comfort. It goes without saying, but there is no other comforting food quite like pie. Even just the word “pie” evokes a sense of satisfaction, bliss, and belly-fullness. And pot pies are no strangers to those feelings! I remember the first time I ever had a pot pie. It was a frozen Amy’s dinner, some sort of sodium and fat laden vegetarian tofu pot pie. Never again, friends. Never again.

It’s not so surprising that I’d never had a homemade pot pie before — chicken or otherwise — they’re not really common in the Caribbean cuisine I grew up on. Nonetheless, I’ve been harboring a curiosity and obsession for them for quite some time. Like with lasagnas, it seems I just can’t keep my mouth from eating them. Mostly, I’ve been making them in my slow cooker because it just seems a lot easier to let things cook slowly while I do something else, but I decided to try the drop biscuit technique I use in the slow cooker version on the stovetop and in the oven.

There isn’t much I can say for this recipe except that it’s typical of pot pie flavor and thus, totally delicious. There are no potatoes in this recipe, but it’s ok — you’ll get full, trust me. I recently had a surplus of dill and had to come up with a million and one ways to use it up. Bread seemed fitting. The biscuits in this recipe are savory and perfect for wiping up the last of the filling at the end! Cheers to a belly full of comfort food!

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Baked Apples with Oatmeal Cookie Stuffing

1 Oct

Hello, friends! After a long, unintentional hiatus, I’m back in action. In the time I’ve been away, I’ve been keeping busy with work, losing sleep, driving back and forth between states, moving back to Boston, and doing some animal rights advocacy. I recently had an article of mine published in Vegan:UK’s online  magazine, “The Abolitionist.” Check it out!

I’ve also been coming up with recipes for the fifth annual VeganMoFo and  as a result, for the entire month of October, I’ll be keeping to a theme (as best as I can). The theme is “Autumn in New England.” Basically, what this means is that if you like comfort food, pumpkins, squash, apples, and food that pleases just about anybody — you’ve come to the right place. The folks over at The Vegan Month of Food require that a blogger post at least 20 entries for the entire month of October in order to remain on the blogroll. So, as you can imagine, this means I have at least 20 ideas for recipes for the month of October. So, roll up your sleeves, get your flax-egg whipping arm ready, get in the kitchen and start feeding the masses! Here we go!

Ok, so here’s the first MoFo recipe. It’s a little funny that I should start with this given my widely known distaste for apples. The only way I can eat an apple is 1) baked and loaded with sugar or 2) there is no 2. That being said, please don’t judge my apple cooking/baking skills on the fact that I don’t like apples. I know how to make them taste good because I work hard to make their flavor acceptable to me.

Here’s a very easy, very satisfying recipe that I love, fully centered around apples and my favorite kind of cookie. Nothing says “Autumn in New England” more than apple picking, warm oatmeal, and maple syrup. I especially love these because the oatmeal takes on a crunchy cookie-like texture at the top, but as soon as you cut into the soft, warm apple, it’s like eating a gooey, chewy oatmeal cookie. These are sure to please any age at any level of apple enthusiasm. Serve them for breakfast, brunch, or with a side of vegan vanilla ice cream for dessert!

Note: You can use any type of apple you want. I chose Cortland apples because they’re good for baking and not too sweet or too tart. Roma apples would be good in this recipe, as well as Granny Smiths, if you want something a little more tart. Continue reading

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