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Baked Vegan Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

13 Dec

Cheesecake.

Rich, creamy, luscious, thick cheesecake. On top of a salty pretzel crust and drizzled with blueberry sauce.

Baked Vegan Cheesecake

Another one of those recipes that I have never even attempted before going vegan, yet worked out perfectly. I’ve been intrigued with New York style cheesecake for a while now, but most recipes call for a massive amount of eggs to set the texture. Before now, I would have never been able to replicate them. But yet again, VeganEgg to the rescue! Since VeganEgg sets at higher heats, it works perfectly in this custard-style application.

Baked Vegan Cheesecake

This recipe is so ridiculously easy that I’m considering making another cheesecake tomorrow. Two cheesecakes is not a problem, right? Not in this household.

 

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Perfect, Fudgey, Crispy Vegan Brownies

8 Dec Perfect, Fudgey, Crispy Vegan Brownies

When I first discovered aquafaba, I made several attempts at creating a perfect brownie. 5 to be exact, within the span of a week.  Unfortunately, aquafaba doesn’t set like eggs do in baking, so it wasn’t a perfect replacer.  I did find adding a little tofu to set worked pretty well and ended up with dense gooey brownies, but I knew I could improve.

Perfect, Fudgey, Crispy Vegan Brownies

And then came the VeganEgg. That’s right, this recipe is going to require a hard to find ingredient. In fact, you may have to order it online (Amazon and Vegan Essentials carry it.) Sorry about that, but I promise you it’s worth finding! The VeganEgg will perform that crucial task of ‘setting’ during baking, while aquafaba helps create that desirable shiny, crispy crust. You can read my review of VeganEgg here.

One of the keys to brownie perfection is cooling time before cutting. You can even speed this up by tossing them in the freezer. If you cut them too early, that nice crackly crust will tear, leaving you with jagged edges and crumbles. If that doesn’t matter to you, feel free to eat them up while they’re still hot.

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Aquafaba Ranch and Tartar Sauce

2 Dec

So apparently I’m a little late to this party, because people have been making mayo with aquafaba since April. Can you believe it’s only been in the past year that aquafaba has been discovered? It seems like I read about it everywhere now!

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While I’m a big fan of Just Mayo by Hampton Creek, I also love to be able to make things from scratch. Tonight we’re having a fish fry with Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Shrimp and Gardein Fishless Filets, so tartar sauce was a must. The ranch? Well, I’m saving it for pizza Friday. I know I’m not the only person who dips pizza in ranch, so stop giving me that weird look. Continue reading

Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

28 Nov Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

I’m still enjoying experimenting with the Follow Your Heart VeganEgg because as I’ve admitted before, I tend to get “committed” (read: obsessed.) It’s been sold out by most retailers, but it should be coming from back to Amazon and Vegan Essentials soon! I’ll be checking regularly with the rest of you, because I know I’m going to run out!
Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

The carton of VeganEgg contains a recipe for quiche florentine, but I wanted to put my own twist on it by using a hashbrown crust and vegan sour cream. This came out even better than my previous tofu quiche texture, and I usually never admit to improvement. I think I could eat this daily for breakfast and never get sick of it. Like a proper Midwesterner, we ate this with ketchup for dipping, because in the Midwest we put ketchup on everything. Or maybe that’s just me and I’m using my location as an excuse. I guess we’ll never know.

Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

I would highly suggest prepping this early by getting your cold water ready, or even preparing your filling and crust the night before if you want to serve it for breakfast.

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Review: Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg

24 Nov

Long before the ages of the new vegan cheeses, there was Follow Your Heart. Their vegan cheeses were some of the first I tried when my husband had gone vegan and I was vegetarian. I’ll be honest, as a vegetarian, I wasn’t impressed.

And then they went and revamped their cheeses.  Holy cow…Have you tried them yet? They are my new favorite cheese on the market. Seriously, put down your phone/computer/tablet and go buy some or order it online.

So naturally when I heard Follow Your Heart was coming out with a Vegan egg, I was intrigued. Anyone who has been vegan for a certain period of time has tried the tofu scramble or chickpea flour omelettes, but there’s just something intrinsically different about scrambled eggs that neither can emulate.

And that’s where VeganEgg comes in.

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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

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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Potato Cheese

13 Nov Potato Cheese

A recipe for cheese, made with potatoes. You may have seen my previous post on the infamous potato-carrot cheese. I’ve also used agar to make that same recipe into slices. Well, it was an obvious jump to try to make a mozzarella version. This version does use kappa carrageenan as a binder, but you can easily omit it if you want a melt. I haven’t tested it with agar powder, but I’m sure it would work if you activated the agar in water before pouring the rest of the mixture in.

Potato Cheese-Vegan | Avocados and Ales

Without further ado…

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Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

4 Nov Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

Once upon a time, a long time ago (read: before I had a baby) Gardein sent me a few coupons so I could review their products. Well, those coupons came and went, and I never posted a review.  At the time, I intended to do a review of the new Fish Filets, but they’re old news now. With the new Crabless Cakes and Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites, they have plenty of new offerings that there aren’t hundreds of reviews on already. (Or maybe there are, I haven’t read them!)

But, the fishless filets hold a special place in my heart and my freezer.  I grew up eating fish filets on Fridays during Lent and I loved seafood before I discovered how awful the seafood industry really is.Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

One thing I really appreciate about Gardein is that they don’t cut corners when it comes to “short on time” options. We all know that’s code for “too dang busy chasing a toddler to cook.” I usually bake these if I get a chance to, but there’s been many a day where nap time happens and I use the microwave method. True story-you can microwave them for 2 minutes and get away with eating it floppy.

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

 

I obviously had to showcase my new cheddar cheese recipe and the classic veganized McDonald’s filet-o-fish was an imperative. Have I told you guys we have a view of McDonald’s from our living room window? It’s pretty classy and definitely adds to our real estate value.

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

The filets themselves are extremely reminiscent to their omnivore counterpart. There’s a vaguely fish-y flavor to them that isn’t strong as nori, but definitely makes you think “I’m eating fish.” I’ve had a few “tofu fish” sandwiches and there’s just some things that aren’t perfectly replicated with nori and deep frying. I believe it’s the algal oil that contributes to the fish-flavor, but they probably have some other awesome secrets to the taste. The breading and texture are spot on, they even “flake” apart while you’re biting into them (assuming you don’t swallow them whole.)

I made a simple tartar sauce for the sandwich with vegan mayo (I like Just Mayo, but you can also make your own), pickle relish, dill, parsley, and a splash of vinegar.

 

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

 

If I had a rating system, I’d give these a 9/10. The only reason they aren’t a 10/10 is due to the lack of a family-size package. We can easily polish off a bag of these in one meal and I’d love to have a package that lasts two meals instead of just one.

Aquafaba Cheddar

3 Nov Aquafaba Cheddar

“But how do you live without cheese!”

If you’re vegan (or lactose intolerant) you’ve probably heard that at least once, or a thousand times. Thankfully, there’s been some really amazing vegan chefs who have made our cheeseless existence quite tolerable. Miyoko Schinner, Jay Astafa, Somer McGowan, and Skye Michael Conroy, have all taught me some valuable tips on vegan-cheese making. I actually took the inspiration from this from Richa Hingle at Vegan Richa.  Her vegan cheddar cheese ball came across my feed around Halloween and I knew the flavors would be perfect for an adaptation of my mozzerella aquafaba cheese. The original recipe that I drew inspiration from for the cashew mozzarella was developed by Jay Astafa. You can watch the YouTube video here. I noticed he uses soy lecithin as an emulsifier, which aquafaba has been shown to do in recipes like Nina’s butter and Peanut Butter and Vegan’s mayo. This inspired me to make the cashew mozzarella using aquafaba as the emulsifier.
Aquafaba Cheddar

Vegan cheese doesn’t create casein protein strands like dairy cheeses do, which is why we use tapioca starch to create that stretchy texture. Some places may have it labeled at tapioca flour, but they should be interchangeable. I find mine at an international market for a cheaper price. I use vegan lactic acid powder to create that dairy-like tang in this recipe. It’s definitely worth the purchase, but if you cannot buy it, substitute a tablespoon of lemon juice instead. Since cheddar has a significant tang to it, I include apple cider vinegar as well as miso paste. Nutritional yeast also adds to the cheesy flavor. Refined coconut oil helps with firmness upon refrigeration and improves the mouthfeel and melt.

Most vegan cheeses use either agar or kappa carrageenan as a binder to be sliceable and shreddable. I choose to use kappa carrageenan, as I prefer the melt and mouthfeel it imparts. I am well aware that many people choose not to consume it and I completely respect that; this recipe may be possible with agar powder, but I have not tested it. If you do test it, please contact me with your results!

Aquafaba Cheddar

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out these other vegan cheese recipes:
Cheddar Cheese Ball
Another Cheddar Cheese Ball
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Cultured Cheddar

The Vegan Meringue group on is a great place for more aquafaba recipes as well.

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