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
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!