VVP Edition: Mini Jackfruit and Kimchi BLT Slider Bites

Peppered Maple Jackfruit Bacon

Yeah, I invented a new vegan bacon, especially for the Virtual Vegan Potluck 3.0. It might just be the meatiest and most versatile vegan bacon yet… You’re welcome.


Since I can’t just serve you bacon, (I mean, I could, but this is supposed to be the appetizer course). I’m sharing my take on some special bite sized BLT’s. For size reference, the plate I’m using in these photos only has a 3 inch diameter.

Collage 2

To assemble these little cuties, you’ll need the following: Mini Caraway, Onion and Rye Pretzel Rolls (recipe follows), Kimchi, store bought or homemade, Peppered Maple Jackfruit Bacon (recipe follows), sliced tiny grape and or sun sugar tomatoes, and Vegan Wasabi Ranch Dressing (1/4 c. vegan ranch dressing + 1 t. wasabi paste, stirred til combined)

Vegan BLT Sliders

Peppered Maple Jackfruit Bacon

  • 1 can young green jackfruit in brine (unsweetened) I bought mine from a local Asian Market
  • 1-2 T. liquid smoke (mine is concentrated, so I only used 1 T.)
  • 1 T. Bragg’s liquid aminos or coconut aminos for those with soy allergies
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil or melted unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1 t. – 1 T. ground black pepper (depending on how peppery you want your bacon)
  • 1 t. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t. unsulphered molasses
  • 1/2 t. sea salt (optional)

Method: Rinse and drain the jackfruit. Press lightly onto clean kitchen towels to drain any excess moisture. Slice jackfruit into very thin strips with a filet knife, it’s okay if some of it shreds. Jackfruit is kinda shreddy like that. Press sliced jackfruit on the clean kitchen towels again to remove additional moisture. Place jackfruit slices in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together all the other ingredients to form the marinade. Pour marinade over the sliced jackfruit and gently toss to coat with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the jackfruit absorb the flavors. Preheat your oven to 425°. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet and arrange the jackfruit slices on it so they don’t overlap. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring a time or two and watching to make sure the jackfruit bacon doesn’t burn and that it gets nice and crispy (a fine line). Remove from oven and spread onto paper towels and let cool a bit before use.


Mini Caraway, Onion and Rye Pretzel Rolls

  • 1 1/2 C. unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C. dark rye flour
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 C. warm water
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 t. active dry yeast
  • 1 T. caraway seeds
  • 1 T. cocoa powder
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 T. unsulphered molasses
  • 1 T. dried chopped onion or 1 t. onion powder
  • caraway seeds, sesame seeds and flaked sea salt for sprinkling on the rolls

Method: in a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (including yeast). Add the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon til combined. If mixture seems to dry, add warm water, a tablespoon at a time. knead dough for 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and Let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled. Punch dough down, divide into 32 mini pretzel roll bites or 16 slider sized rolls. Lightly press each piece of dough down with your fingertips. Arrange rolls on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat (otherwise they’ll stick like crazy). Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes until doubled in size. In the meantime, bring to a boil: 2 quarts (8 cups) water with 1 T. kosher salt and 4 T. baking soda.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, Poach 4 rolls at a time, if doing bite sized, poach for 20-30 seconds, for slider sized 30-40 seconds, turning over halfway through poaching time. See photos of this method hereRemove rolls with a slotted spoon. Slash each roll a couple of times across the top with a sharp knife. Quickly sprinkle with caraway seeds, sesame seeds and flaked sea salt. Repeat until all buns are poached. Let rest while oven preheats to 400 degreesBake for 10-15 minutes for bite sized or 15-20 minutes for slider rolls. Please use parchment paper or a silpat to bake on, otherwise you will need a chisel and a hammer and quite possibly ruin your favorite baking sheet.


To start at the beginning of the potluck, click here:

vvpIf you run into any broken links along the way, (some bloggers show up a little late to the party) here’s a list of the bloggers in the potluck to help you get back on track. Pretty cool to see over 169 bloggers from all around the world flaunting their vegan awesome! Use the buttons below to Go Back to visit the lovely Bex (Sparkles) at Vegan Sparkles in Australia. Go Forward to see what The Singing Vegan brought to the party.



Celebrating 100 Posts!

It’s a good day all around, this post marks my 100th post since I started this blog in September 2012. I’m feeling all kinds of love and support! Thanks to all of you. Today I got twitter follows from Forks Over Knives, Dr. McDougall and a Hospital!?! I also got featured on the brand new site, Choose Veg. Feeling happy and blessed. Here’s a look back at 99 posts, in no particular order.

My Foot is a Desert, my brother Abe McCowan’s final MFA Thesis Exhibit + Vedged Out Catering Menu and Recipes

All photos in this post courtesy of Chelle McCall

Menu for the Show

For all the recipes for the show, please click here


  • Curried Brown Rice Salad with celery, cranberries, green onion and cashews
  • Ultimate French Green Lentil Salad with radishes, red onion and capers
  • Stacy’s Pita Chips and Homemade Hummus
  • Organic Corn Tortilla Chips and homemade Fire Roasted Salsa
Vegan Cheese & Cracker Platter:
  • Pepperjack Cashew Cheese & Wheat Thins/Gluten Free Cracker option
  • Macadamia Nut Brie
Snack Cups:
  • Filled with Sesame Sticks, Coconut Shreds, mini vegan chocolate chips, tamari pepitas, pistachios, golden raisins, wasabi peas and amazing corn snack
Vegetable Tray:
  • Assorted Olives, Cucumber, Grape Tomatoes, Broccoli, Celery Sticks, Baby Carrots, with Cashew Vegan Ranch Dressing
Fruit Tray:
  • Strawberries, Watermelon, Grapes, Pineapples, Blueberries, Kiwi & Pears
  • Gluten Free  & Regular Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  • Gluten Free & Regular Vegan Lemon Bars
  • Iced Water
  • Homemade Ginger Ale Lemonade

Food Bloggers Against Hunger: Simplest Chickpea Salad

Simplest Chickpea Salad1Simplest Chickpea Salad

I’m joining today with more than 200 other food bloggers to fight against hunger, an issue that millions of Americans and even more millions around the world face on a daily basis.

I was struck more than a month ago when I was asked by a blog follower how she would be able to do my Green Smoothie Challenge on a budget of $50 for her family for the week. I had to reply: “You can’t” Of course my reply was more heartfelt and helpful than that, but it made me realize how lucky I am to be able to afford all the fresh produce and healthy foods that I want. When you do the math, this person, with a family of four had a budget of $7.14 per day, or $1.78 per person for food for her family. Those figures broke my heart.

Many impoverished Americans are forced to eat poorly. When boxes of generic macaroni and cheese can be found for .33 cents and a packet of ramen noodles can be bought for less than a quarter, it’s no wonder that some of the nations poorest families eat the most nutritionally devoid foods. It’s a bit disturbing that An apple costs more than a cheeseburger on the dollar menu at a drive thru because the government subsidizes beef the beef, dairy and corn that go into making that hamburger, but it doesn’t subsidize apples. 

My goal today was to create a healthy meal for less than a dollar. One that would take less time to create then going through the drive thru and one that would trump that fast food cheeseburger and provide more nutrients.

Simplest Chickpea Salad

Simplest Chickpea Salad

  • One can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used one that my mom canned for me, so it was free, but you can find a generic can of chickpeas at Walmart for .68 cents or less
  • 1-2 diced tomatoes, (1/4 lb, bought at .99 cents a pound)
  • drizzle of olive oil (pantry item)
  • drizzle of red wine or balsamic vinegar (pantry item)
  • dash of garlic powder (pantry item)
  • 1/2 t. of dried basil (pantry item)
  • salt and pepper to taste (pantry items)

Method: Combine all in a bowl. Serves 2 for less than .50 cents per serving

Nutrition Stats for the Drive thru Cheeseburger

Calories 300 Calories from Fat  110

% Daily Value Total Fat 12 g 18%,  Saturated Fat 6 g 30%,   Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 40 mg 13%, Sodium 750 mg 31%, Total Carbohydrate 33 g 11%,   Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%,   Sugars 6 g, Protein 15 g 30%, Vitamin A (IU) 300 6%, Vitamin C 1.2 mg 2%, Calcium 200 mg 20%, Iron 2.7 mg 15%

Nutrition Stats for the Chickpea Salad

Calories 289.3 Calories from Fat  45

% Daily Value Total Fat 4.88 g 8%,  Saturated Fat 0.6 g 3%,   Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg 0%, Sodium 636.5 mg 27%, Total Carbohydrate 51.32 g 17%,   Dietary Fiber 10.01 g 40%   , Sugars 10.89 g, Protein 11.05 g 22%, Vitamin A (IU) 566.99 11%, Vitamin C 15.9 mg 26%, Calcium 75.16 mg 8%, Iron 3.07 mg 17%

I’m certainly NOT the expert on affordable healthful eating. So, for healthy eating on a budget, I invite you to look at my friend Nick’s Blog, Frugal Feeding. His whole agenda is how to eat well and eat affordably. For those wanting to eat cheaply on a vegan diet, I recommend a book by Ellen Jaffe JonesEat Vegan on $4 a day.



VISIT: Share Our Strength

WATCH: the A Place at the Table, via Amazon or iTunes

GIVE THANKS: to The Giving Table, for creating this event

DO: Take action! click here and take a minute to send a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. Doing so will protect nutrition programs that help fight hunger in the US.

Pepita Maple Butter Salad Dressing with Carrot Ribbon Salad

Carrot Ribbon SaladCarrot Ribbon Salad with Pepita Maple Butter Salad Dressing

My mom brought me nearly a gallon of roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) last time she came to visit. I’ve been using them in everything, but this post is all about the best salad dressing EVER. You’ll pretty much want to drink it from the jar once you’ve made it. You can serve it over any type of salad. Last night we had it over baby greens, artichoke hearts and white beans. However the carrot ribbons are cute and whimsical, plus this dish reminds me of an unusual (but tasty) salad my mom used to make when I was little: shredded carrot, mayo, sugar, raisins, salt and pepper. I like to think of this as my grown up version. Thanks mom for all the lovely pepitas!

Pepita ButterPepita Butter

Salad Dressing

Pepita Maple Butter Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 C. pepita butter (I made the pepita butter in my blendtec: 3 C. roasted salted pepitas, processed and scraped down, over and over until smooth, this took just a couple minutes) OR you could use 1/2 C. pepitas
  • 1/4 C. pure maple syrup (if desired, halve this amount for a more savory dressing)
  • 2 T. bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 3 T. plant milk of choice, I used soy
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 clove minced garlic

Method: In a power blender, blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Dressing will be a bit thin, but thickens nicely in the fridge. If you don’t have a power blender, or a food processor to make the pepita butter, soak the pepitas for a few hours before blending the dressing.

Carrot Ribbons

For the Carrot Ribbon Salad:

  • 2-3 Carrots per person, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • Roasted and Salted Pepitas for sprinkling over salad
  • Cranberries or Raisins for sprinkling over salad
  • A few tablespoons of the above dressing, per person

Carrot Ribbon Salad 2

This recipe is featured on the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck


Vedged Out Thanksgiving Menu

A Vegan Thanksgiving for 21 Guests including the Ladies at

Good Clean Food and An Unrefined Vegan

Bloggers, If I’ve included a link to your post and you’d like a photo of your recipe to be included here, please give me permission to share your photo in the comments below. I would have loved to make and photograph everything in advance, but I’m not that cool. xx -Somer


Vedged Out’s Macadamia Nut Brie En Croute

Vegetable Platter with Hummus


Sunday Morning Banana Pancake’s Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Pecans and a Maple Basalmic Vinaigrette (she uses cherries in hers, we’re going to use dried cranberries)

photo used with permission 


Vegan Monologue’s Buttery Pan Rolls

Amanda’s Whole Grain Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

(this is what we slathered the Brie En Croute all over! They were made for each other!)

sourdough bread


Lemon Seltzer Water

Cranberry Fizzy


Mains and Sides

In Pursuit of More’s Cashew Loaf

Dad’s Wild Rice, Cranberry and Pine Nut Stuffing

Dad’s Pine Nut and Glazed Onion Mashed Potatoes

Vedged Out’s Sauteed Green Beans, Red Onions and Radishes

Butternut Squash Puree with Orange and Ginger

Fruited Cranberry Compote

photo used with permission

Post Punk Kitchen’s traditional Green Bean Casserole

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Keepin it Kind’s Miso Mushroom Gravy



An Unrefined Vegan’s Apple Pie


photos used with permission

Razzleberry Pie

Gabby’s No Bake Pumpkin Mousse Cake

An Unrefined Vegan’s Hazelnut Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Chocolate-Hazelnut Topping

Hazelnut cheesecake

Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream

Vegan Pumpkin Pies

and Vegan Ice Cream

Simplest Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

I love tabbouleh. It’s light and refreshing. A while ago my friend Amanda (it’s her amazing and florescent carrot butter on that little whole grain toast in the background) introduced me to a pre-made quinoa tabbouleh salad at Costco, it had extra bells and whistles, like mung beans and brown rice, but it was lacking something so I decided to re-create it at home. I like my simple version better and think it’s more flavorful.

Simplest Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

4 C. cooked and cooled quinoa

2 english cucumbers, finely diced

2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced (sounds weird on a vegan blog, eh?)

1 bunch parsley, finely minced

1 t. sea salt (adjust to taste)

1/3 – 1/2 C. fresh lemon juice and zest of one lemon (start with 1/3 and add more lemon juice as desired)

Method: Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. Can also be dished over a bed of greens. Serves 4 hungry people.

My friend Shira at IPOM posted a different amazing quinoa salad recipe yesterday. In her post, she included a link to this New York Times article about how increased consumption of quinoa worldwide is decreasing it’s consumption in Bolivia where it’s grown, and the ramifications of that to the health of the people there. Be mindful and grateful when you eat quinoa.