Vegan Caramel Turtles

22 Dec Vegan Caramel Turtles

 
I made these turtles as a present for my family last year on Christmas and they requested I make them again this year. And by requested, I mean demanded. But I was happy to oblige because these are delicious and I get to opportunity to taste test them before the big day.
I’m a huge fan of rich, chewy caramel, but it’s hard to find a vegan version that compares to the non-vegan kind. Cocomels are the only ones I’m aware of, although there could be more. I used this same caramel recipe in my birthday dacquoise, but it’s originally from Fork and Beans. If you’ve never made homemade caramel before, here’s a disclaimer: it’s easy to screw up. Trust me, I’ve screwed it up multiple times and I have made this recipe a LOT.

Vegan Caramel Turtles

A few tips for your success include:

  • low and slow is the way to go. Don’t try to heat it too fast, because it will burn to the bottom of your pan and ruin it forever. Not like I’ve had experience with that.
  • use parchment paper in the pan. Aluminum foil and wax paper will not work. You’ll end up peeling them off the caramel while trying to salvage any bits of caramel and it’s just really messy. Seriously, I haven’t done this a few times either.
  • don’t try to use an immersion blender if the emulsion breaks. Caramel is hot. Like over boiling temperature hot. If you stick a blender in it, it’s going to splash onto your arm and burn you. Definitely don’t try this. See the first tip on how to avoid the emulsion breaking.
  • don’t expect it to be as firm as non-vegan caramel. Unless you have a candy thermometer, it might get firmer. I haven’t been able to successfully get it that firm. Let me know if you do.

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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.

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