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Cream Cheese

31 Jul

Since making Nina’s vegan butter a few days ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen if I added cashew cream to the mixture. When I get ideas like this in my head, they tend to stick there until I actually make them. Some might call it “obsessive”, I call it “dedicated.”

I never think to plan ahead to soak my cashews, so I boiled them for 15 minutes to soften them for blending. This recipe will be much easier for you if you have a high powered blender – I only have a Ninja and it worked well.
I also added a few more ingredients to increase the “tang” for the cream cheese. It might seem really tangy originally but it will mellow a bit in the fridge. There isn’t a great substitute for the vegan lactic acid powder, but it’s not that expensive to purchase on Amazon or Modernist Pantry and it will really kick up your vegan mac and cheese! You can try 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for a similar acidic flavor.
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Blueberry Muffins

16 Dec

When Ken and I first started dating, we took a trip to a blueberry farm in Illinois. We spent hours picking (and mostly eating) berries, until I got tired and lost our group. I ended up trying to call him multiple times from a stranger’s cell phone and surprisingly there’s very little cell reception on a blueberry farm in the middle of nowhere. After waiting awkwardly on a bench for an hour, we finally found each other, and we left that farm with a cooler full of blueberries. Most were frozen and eventually made their way into loaves of banana bread, but some turned into these excellent muffins.

I made a huge batch of these  to freeze before having my baby, so feel free to do the same. You can even substitute chocolate chips for the blueberries and pretend like it’s a healthy breakfast. I promise not to tell.

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Ham Style Seitan

26 Nov

One of the things I miss most from my meat eating days is ham. Not the cruelty and death that comes with it, or even the texture, but the smokey, sweet flavor that’s perfect on pizzas, in salads, or with Sunday dinner. I’ve been on the lookout for a ham seitan recipe for a while, and this recipe seemed to combine all the good flavors of ham in one place.

We ate this sliced into rounds on pizza, but I think this would be a great alternative to Tofurky at a thanksgiving dinner. It would be perfect baked with a glaze and slices of pineapple.  This seitan is a bit soft as is, but if you bake it in the foil for 30 minutes at 350° F it comes out perfect for snacking and slicing.

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Vegan Banana Bread

10 Nov

We always buy bananas at the beginning of the week for packed lunches, so inevitably at the end of the week we have a few very ripe bananas leftover. Because of this, I’ve been baking this banana bread almost every week for months. We always have a loaf on the counter to snack on after dinner or with coffee. The recipe is originally by Isa at Post Punk Kitchen, and it’s become our favorite.  I love adding chocolate chips, blueberries, or topping it with struesel topping.

A trick I’ve learned recently is that if your bananas are not quite banana bread ripe, but too ripe for normal eating, you can toss them in a 350°F oven until they are black and mushy.

If you love your family, make this bread. I promise they will love you back.

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Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1/2 cup coconut oil
• 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
• 2 cups flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Cream together the coconut oil and sugars. Add bananas, almond milk, and vanilla.
2. Mix in flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
3. Pour batter into greased 8×4 pan.  Bake for an hour to an hour 10 minutes at 350 ˚ F.

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White Seitan

20 Oct

I tried pre made seitan a number of times before I realized how easy it was to make myself.  We’ve cut back on our soy consumption so seitan has been a good protein source for many of our favorite recipes. The first recipe I tried was chicken seitan by PPK, but despite following the instructions perfectly, I ended up with the dreaded “brain” texture. I made it multiple times, with only one success.

Then I learned about steaming seitan and I’ll never go back to boiling. I haven’t had one bad batch since! So if you’ve had terrible seitan before, there’s hope!

This seitan is a perfect stand in for chicken in most recipes and I’ve even ground it to use in chili and “meat” sauce. Always cook it before use in any recipe, otherwise you may end up with mush. I always season it during the second cook, so the seasoning you use before steaming isn’t hugely important.

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I make using the dough hook on my Ninja blender, but if you don’t have that, just stir and knead by hand for 5 minutes. I also use my pressure cooker to steam this, so I only steam it for about 20 minutes.

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