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Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash

21 Nov Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash| Avocados and Ales

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and traditionally we have a “post-thanksgiving thanksgiving.” This year I decided to cook early, since we won’t be picking up any discounted Tofurky’s after Thanksgiving.Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash| Avocados and Ales

I’ve seen the recipe for vegducken circulating around Facebook for a few weeks, but for me, Thanksgiving is mostly about the sides. I thought “screw Vegducken, I just want potatoes and stuffing!” And that’s how this dish was born.

Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash | Avocados and Ales

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Doughy Pizza Pizza Dough

20 Nov Doughy Pizza Dough

If you met me four years ago, I would’ve told you about all the pizza places I’ve worked at-I’m up to 4 now. Making a giant batch of dough used to be a daily routine to me. You’d think by now I’d be sick of pizza-Ken would tell you otherwise. I could probably eat pizza for dinner every day for the rest of my life and be happy. As long as I had sushi for lunch. 🙂

There’s a million recipes for pizza dough online, so why would you care about this one? It’s not even a no-knead, 30 minutes and it’s ready dough. You actually have to give it time to proof and wait for the yeast to bubble. So I don’t know why you’d ever pick this specific dough recipe to pin, but I’ve been making it every Friday for years.  It’s a pretty solid recipe, especially if you like thick crust.

I usually start making my dough a few hours before I make the pizza to give it plenty of time to rise, but you could probably start this an hour before and be fine. I used to make mine by hand; now I use a dough hook on my food processor. It’s much faster, but making it by hand is still the most basic and effective method.

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Aquafaba Buns

19 Oct DSC_2730

Last week we celebrated my husband’s birthday. He’s a pretty neat guy, but one of his few flaws is his favorite foods-burgers. I have a particular dislike for most vegan burgers on the market these days. I’d take a black bean burger over a Boca Burger any day.

But, being the wonderful wife I am, I indulge his burger cravings occasionally, especially on his birthday. These homemade buns were perfect for burgers and actually made them palatable for me. We’ve been enjoying these buns for other sandwiches recently too!

Aquafaba Buns

Aquafaba works great as a binder in this recipe. Be sure to check out the Facebook page for more aquafaba recipes!

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Sweet and Sour Seitan

3 Jan

One of my favorite meal growing up was sweet and sour meatballs. My mom used a recipe from the original orange Betty Crocker (you know the one, your mom had it too.) I love adapting old recipes, so here’s my version.

I use seitan instead of meatballs, but you could easily substitute tofu. Feel free to add different veggies, but the pineapple is essential.

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Mushroom and Onion Risotto

13 Dec

A while ago I challenged The Friendly Fig to face her fear of making risotto, and I would do the same. It’s been over a month now, and I finally figured it was time to attempt a recipe. I’m so glad I did!

This was delicious and creamy and wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I discovered the trick to making risotto is not leaving the stove for very long, but it didn’t require the constant stirring that I had been previously afraid of. I added a little almond milk and nutritional yeast to give it a flavor boost that dairy would normally give. I served this with a batch of chickpea cutlets, another Post Punk Kitchen recipe.

Mushroom and Onion Risotto

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Alfredo with Sausage, Caramelized Onions, and Tomatoes

25 Nov

I just tried the recipe for seitan sausage from Post Punk Kitchen and I couldn’t wait to make something with it. The recipe for the sausages is linked below-I didn’t make any changes and they turned out perfect. I love the smell of fennel and these have the perfect amount of spice in them. If you can’t go through the effort of making them feel free to use pre made sausages.

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Orzo with Sausage and Zucchini

13 Nov

One of my favorite side dishes to make is orzo with basil and nutritional yeast.  It’s cooked slowly in broth which achieves a creamy texture, similar to risotto.  Nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy taste and tang, like grown up mac and cheese. I’ve always liked small pastas like orzo and ditalini, they’re much more fun to eat to me.

The sausage and sage make this dish a fantastic fall meal, great for lunch or dinner. It’s hearty and rich enough to be an entrée but could easily be a side for a larger meal.

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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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Fried Rice

1 Nov wpid-20141016_103952_richtonehdr.jpg

I’ve previously talked about my employment at a popular Asian restaurant that shall remain nameless (hint:you find it in most rest areas across the country and it features a bear in its name.) I spent my first few weeks there solely making fried rice, which is a lot more complicated in large amounts than it seems. I never tried their fried rice, because it contained chicken broth, but I started replicating the recipe at home with great success.

The key to good fried rice is old rice, high heat and a well seasoned wok. It’s going to be really hard to achieve the latter two on a home stovetop, because most people don’t have restaurant style burners. Bearing that in mind, you can still make some pretty tasty rice. I use dark soy sauce because it gives the rice that rich, dark brown color. Feel free to use regular soy sauce, just increase the amount you use.

I love having a big bowl of this in my fridge, I sneak bites of cold rice throughout the day. It’s one of my ultimate comfort foods, especially with chili sauce or teriyaki sauce on the side.

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Buffalo Seitan

26 Oct

Football on Sundays is a tradition in my house. I usually serve nachos, but some weeks I want something different.  We love spicy foods and finger foods:buffalo wings are an easy answer. Obviously we don’t eat wings, but seitan is an easy substitute. I’d love to try wrapping the seitan around skewers so you get the “handle” for eating. Something like this from Meet the Shannons would work great.

I was curious as to why they are called buffalo wings, and Wikipedia gave me this answer “One of the more prevalent claims is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, by Teressa Bellissimo.” One more question I will no longer have to wonder about.

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(Hopefully you think ahead before you make these and don’t run out of hot sauce like I did.)
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