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Vegan Kniffles (Spaetzle)

17 Nov

No, that is not a plate full of maggots. That is a plate full of delicious little German dumplings that taste like a mixture of comfort and happiness. At my house, we call them kniffles but they also are known as spaetzle.

Do you ever just wake up in the middle of the night inspired? And then you spend an hour researching your idea to come to absolutely no conclusions? Well, that’s what happened to me last night. I had a sudden craving for my mom’s kniffles. The main ingredient in her kniffles are eggs, but I wondered if I could substitute ground flax seeds. She’s been making them for me since I was kid, using the recipe she learned from her German grandmother. We usually eat them coated in butter with either salt or sugar, but you can also put them in soup or use gravy over top.

Since we make them by hand, the dumplings are misshapen and lumpy, but feel free to use a spaetzle press or press the dough through a colander with the back of a spoon.

Note: In retrospect, I should have made this photo more visually appealing. Forgive me, I was hungry.

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Japanese Pan Noodles

16 Nov

A while ago I worked right next to a Noodles and Company-it was less than a two minute walk away. I was such a regular there they had my order memorized-Japanese Pan Noodles with extra sauce and extra extra extra cilantro.

Yes, I really do like cilantro that much. Unfortunately, my local market didn’t have any fresh cilantro today, so I had to do without.

The original recipe calls for udon noodles, which you can find fresh at some Asian markets. I’ve also found some in soup packages at my local grocery store-they look a bit like this. I substituted rice noodles, but if you can find udon noodles, feel free to use them.

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Creamy Avocado Pasta

14 Nov

If you hadn’t guessed by the name of my blog, I’m a pretty big fan of avocados.

I try to keep 2-3 around at all times, because I never know when an avocado craving is going to hit me. And when it does hit, I like to be prepared. There’s nothing more disappointing than craving a creamy avocado, going to the grocery store and finding nothing but rock hard, days-from-being-ripe avocados.

Prior to going vegan, I LOVED alfredo sauce. It’s something I’ve tried to replicate with vegan ingredients, but so far my success rate is pretty low. Feel free to leave me links below if you have a good alfredo recipe! This recipe mimics the creaminess of alfredo, but with much less saturated fat (if you pay attention to those kinds of things.)

One note: This sauce does not keep well. Serve it immediately, otherwise you’ll end up with a brown, albeit tasty, mess.

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Vegan Pad See Ew

11 Nov Vegan Pad See ew

There’s a period of time every week where I get a craving for Thai food. However, most Thai restaurants cook with oyster sauce and fish sauce, which makes trying to order vegan complicated. I realize it’s hard on the wait staff and sometimes they don’t know if the sauces are premixed or added during cooking, so it’s easier to cook it myself. It’s also much cheaper!

I’ve found an Asian grocery store in Springfield that orders all the fresh noodles for the Thai restaurants in the area. However, if I don’t go on Friday, they’re usually already gone. I like to use these for Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) as well. If you can’t find them, extra large rice noodles will work just as well.

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Gnocchi in Ratatouille Sauce

8 Nov

A few months ago, we wandered into a dark, artsy bar in New Orleans. We meant to go across the street for a tofu po’ boy, but the music coming from the place drew me in. We sat at a high top table for two and perused the menu for something we could eat. There was an interesting gnocchi dish with a ratatouille sauce topped with feta. After we ate the entire appetizer-sized portion, I realized the gnocchi was probably housemade with eggs, so I decided eventually I would make it at home for assured veganness.

After searching on the internet, I discovered the name of the place was The Three Muses. Their menu seems to change regularly, so the dish we had is no longer on the menu, but I think I did a good job recreating it. Feel free to top with feta, if that’s your thing.

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Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

1 Nov Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

In honor of World Vegan Day, I’m making my favorite vegan macaroni and cheese. If you liked my previous recipe, pumpkin mac and cheese, then you’ll probably enjoy this recipe. This recipe is more unhealthy, as I use Daiya, but the protein from the tofu and nutrients from the nutritional yeast make me feel a little less bad about it (only a little.)

I adapted this recipe from the Vegan Mac Daddy recipe from Veganomicon. If you don’t own that book, you should. Also, anyone interested in purchasing Christmas presents for me, I’m sure my sister would like her copy back.

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Roasted Tomato and Basil Marinara

31 Oct

About 4 months ago, Ken and I spent 10 days in New Orleans for a vacation/work conference. After the first few days of exploring antique shops and restaurants in the French Quarter and the Warehouse District, I relaxed in our hotel and watched about 8 1/2 consecutive hours of Food network.

Between meeting Ken for lunch and going out for dinner, I watched an old Ina Garten episode that featured a vodka sauce recipe. I wanted to try it as soon as we got home. The original recipe called for cream, which I substituted with Tofutti sour cream. However, if you have a cashew cream or even some leftover pine nut cream from my previous post it would be even better. I’ve also made it without the cream entirely and it’s still extremely delicious.

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Pad Thai

23 Oct

Story time guys!

When I was young and innocent (read: 18 years old) I ran off to Washington in pursuit of love and an education. I lived outside of Seattle for over a year and had a lot of new and exciting experiences. Riding a city bus for the first time (which became a daily routine), getting my first real job (Thanks Nintendo!), and catching a shark (it was a small shark.)

Some of my best memories from Washington came from tasting new dishes-I ate oysters straight off the beach, had a first date at a pho place when I didn’t even know what the pho-ck it was, tried my first yellow curry, ate soto ayam that I helped prepare with an old Indonesian man and hated it. One of my favorite memories is sitting on a hillside near the Pacific Science Center and eating pad thai during my first music festival. I’d heard of pad thai, of course, and there was a tent serving it there-It was amazing. I ate my own plate and someone’s leftovers. The combination of sweet and sour and cilantro and bean sprouts is something I crave.

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

21 Oct

Confession time: I constantly crave comfort food. For me, comfort food is my mom’s homemade Velveeta mac and cheese. There’s nothing that compares when I’m having a bad day…especially if you add peas.

Unfortunately, since I’ve gone vegan, I’ll never get to have Velveeta mac and cheese again (although, Daiya cheddar wedges come scarily close to Velveeta.) For a while when I lived on my own, I’d make a nutritional yeast sauce for over my macaroni, but it always ended up tasting a bit like garlic and curry.

I found a recipe for pumpkin mac and cheese at Oh She Glows and wanted to try it. If nothing else, it gives me a chance to use up that can of pumpkin puree I won at Peoria’s Pumpkin Festival. Continue reading

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