Side Dishes

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.

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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

Salads:

  • Curried Brown Rice Salad with celery, cranberries, green onion and cashews
  • Ultimate French Green Lentil Salad with radishes, red onion and capers
Appetizers: 
  • 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
Desserts: 
  • Gluten Free  & Regular Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  • Gluten Free & Regular Vegan Lemon Bars
Beverages:
  • Iced Water
  • Homemade Ginger Ale Lemonade

Featuring Frugal

Cake Side ViewHave you ever seen a cake that made your knickers get all in a bunch?

This post started out a long time ago, with this cake, however it was a dare last week that made me pull it out of the draft archives. Nick at Frugal Feeding made a fantastic Mushroom Orzotto, and in his post, taunted me thus: “If you are food revellers of vegan ilk, it may prove a little tricky to create a genuinely satisfying orzotto – without the presence of starch or dairy fat thickening without altering the flavour entirely could prove tricky.

Mushroom OrzottoMushroom Orzotto

Tricky? Um, I simply subbed 1/2 C. cashews blended with 1 C. water and 1 T. nutritional yeast (cashew cream) and used a “knob” of homemade vegan butter instead of the dairy variety. Oh and I used whole wheat Orzo. Pretty sure I wasn’t missing anything flavor-wise. In fact, these are the sort of dishes that makes my husband ask if we’ve gone off the vegan diet. Fantastic recipe Nick! Next time I’ll be doubling it.

Hasselback PotatoesNick’s Hasselback Potatoes.

The first time I ever saw Hasselback potatoes was on Frugal Feeding. Lets just say, I was more than impressed with the sexy rendition of my favorite root vegetable and have made these several times since.

Sweet Potato & Parsnip SoupRoasted Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup

Then there was the time that I arm wrestled Frugal into participating in the Virtual Vegan Potluck. I don’t think he or his readers ended up disappointed, especially since Nick ended up taking home the prize for best soup with the lovely Roasted Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup. I knew you had it in you my friend 🙂 Besides, how can you not win everyone over with all those lovely roasted veg? Even the PPK thought the Virtual Vegan Potluck was cool enough to put it at #28 on their top 100 list for 2012! I hope you’ll join us again in May.

Roasted VeggiesLovely Roasted Veg!

Now back to that cake. As I said before, this is exactly the type of cake that makes me swoon.

Cake Side & Top ViewFrugal’s Apple and Walnut Cake with Black Treacle (Molasses) Icing

I made a double layer 9 inch cake instead of using the 20cm cake tins. I didn’t have any batter leftover for cupcakes like Nick did in his recipe.

Demystifying Metric Measures & Vegan Substitutions: If you don’t have a kitchen scale, I’ve weighed the ingredients on my kitchen scale and then measured them to take the guesswork out of it for you. Normally I wouldn’t include a blogger’s full recipe, but the online measure substitution tools weren’t entirely accurate and caused me to make a mess out of my first cake. I don’t want the same to happen to you. (Don’t worry, I asked Nick for permission). Go to his recipe for the method, but do preheat your oven to 150° celcius (302° farenheit) before starting and give your 9 inch tins an extra five minutes in the oven.

Apple and Walnut Cake with Black Treacle (Molasses) Icing

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 300 grams organic all purpose flour = 2 cups + scant 1/2 cup (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 140 grams dark brown sugar = scant 2/3 cup
  • 50 grams golden caster sugar (I used organic unrefined sugar) = scant 1/4 cup
  • 250 ml sunflower oil = 1 cup + 3 tablespoons (I used half the amount and subbed 1/2 C. applesauce for the rest, because, as my daughter said when I was measuring it out “mom, you don’t use that much oil in a whole year’s worth of cooking”)
  • To substitute for the 4 eggs in the recipe: use 1 cup silken tofu, 2 t. apple cider vinegar and 1 t. baking powder blended all together in a blender, (vinegar and baking powder mimics the rise that eggs give in baking)
  • 3 grated apples (leave skins on)
  • 100 grams chopped walnuts = 1 cup
  • 2 t. Mexican vanilla (addition) because I simply have to put it in everything I bake at the moment

Cake top view

Ingredients for the Icing:

  • 100 grams homemade vegan butter or earth balance = about 1/2 cup
  • 50 grams dark brown soft sugar = about 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon black treacle (molasses)
  • 1 t. Mexican vanilla
  • 200 grams vegan cream cheese = about one 8 ounce container of vegan cream cheese OR or 2/3 block extra firm tofu, pressed overnight to remove extra liquid. If you are using the pressed tofu (like I did) instead of store bought vegan cream cheese, add 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to the recipe.

Combine all in food processor until silky smooth. To the tofu haters: if you make the icing in advance and let it sit for a few hours in the fridge before icing the cake, the tofu flavor in the icing becomes completely indistinguishable as it absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients. I swear it tastes just like I used real cream cheese.

Cake Slice

Do you follow Frugal?

Truck Stop Jo Jo Potatoes

Truck Stop Jo Jo Potatoes

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the vacations I had with my family. Camping, river running, Redwood Forest, trips down to Mexico, California and then up the coast. We always had a good time and never missed out on great adventures. Somehow, we often left my little brother Morgan behind and had to turn around (sometimes a half an hour or more later) to go back and get him. As an adult, Morgan chose a career in the Marine Corps (No man gets left behind).

One particular trip our big ol’ Chevy Suburban broke down and we ended up spending the weekend in some po-dunk town in Southern Utah instead of our Lehman Cave destination. We still made it fun however, we ate at the local diner, did some skateboarding at the local park and razzed each other. Inevitably during our road trips we would stop and get gasoline at the Truck Stops, where we would almost always get Jo Jo potatoes and dip them in ranch dressing. This version tastes a lot like the original, without any nasty deep frying.

Truck Stop Jo Jo Potatoes

  • 8 red potatoes (small-ish) sliced into 8 wedges each
  • 2 T. safflower or other neutral tasting oil
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 t. liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C. arrowroot, cornstarch or tapioca starch (I’ve tried all 3 with only slightly different results)
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 1/2 t. celery salt or 1 t. sea salt and 1/2 t. celery seeds
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. mustard powder

Method: Get out your rimmed baking sheet and Preheat oven to 425 degrees with the baking sheet heating up in there too. Slice the potatoes into wedges (as described above). Toss the potatoes in the liquid ingredients, then add the dry ingredients and spices. Toss until evenly distributed. The potatoes may stick together so pull them apart if they do. Carefully remove hot baking sheet and dump the seasoned potatoes onto it in a single layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning potatoes halfway through the cook time until golden and cooked through. Serve with Vegan Ranch. You can also use russet (brown) potatoes for this recipe, but they’ll take 15 minutes longer to bake.

I dipped these in a homemade low-fat vegan ranch dressing

Vegan Ranch

Dip it!

Update: 12/16/12 Another Happy Herbivore Abroad Cookbook Giveaway is going on over at An Unrefined Vegan today. Go over there and enter for another chance to win! Today is also the last day to enter my contest.

HHA_31DaysofGiveaways_badge.

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

Appetizers

Vedged Out’s Macadamia Nut Brie En Croute

Vegetable Platter with Hummus

 Salad

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 

Bread

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

Drinks

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

 

Desserts

An Unrefined Vegan’s Apple Pie

applepie3

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

Maple Dijon Baked Baby Lima Beans

Lima beans have a bad reputation, I don’t know what they did to deserve it! They are buttery, delicious and generally inoffensive. Especially when baked in a secret sauce… Plus how can you resist the baby ones?

Baked Maple Dijon Baby Lima Beans

Ingredients: 2 C. dried baby lima beans (soaked overnight or with the quick soak method and rinsed), if you have an aversion to lima beans, any white bean will do, 1 small can tomato paste, 2 diced onions, 1/4 C. pure maple syrup, 3 T. dijon mustard, a bit of sea salt, 4 C. vegetable broth, 1 t. baking soda (reduces cook time and gas).

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, on the stove top using a large lidded pot, water sauté onions until translucent, add all other ingredients except for salt and bring to a boil. Put lid on pot and put in the oven. Bake for 2-3 hours until sauce is thick and beans are cooked, add salt at this point to taste. I served these with sautéed collard greens and these fabulous marinated portobello strips.

why does the photo of my dinner look like it was taken in the 70’s?

Dad’s Cowboy Beans

My Dad, despite being a self-confessed carnivore, is one of the biggest supporters of my new vegan lifestyle. He's seen me go through hell and back so I know it truly makes him happy to see how healthy my diet has made me.

Last week he emailed me and asked me to share a recipe with you that he specifically adapted for us "Veg Heads."

Edward Abbey, Milo, Ken Sleight

To give you a little background on Milo (my dad), he's an animal lover, an environmentalist, a real estate developer and rare book collector. Though some of these things may sound contradictory, he worked hard to make his real estate projects environmentally friendly and when I was a child I remember him going to Washington D.C. on a mission to protect the endangered desert tortoises in the Southern Utah area.

He may best be known for his ability to clear a room with a belch.

Growing up we were always vacationing, going river running or camping. Since there were 9 of us kids, we had to travel in a big vehicle, a giant Chevy Suburban that was aptly named "The Tackle Box."

Dad's Man Cave

Our home was always open to strangers and friends, at any given time there was at least 1 or 2 strays staying with us. We always had plenty of good food. My dad really knows his way around the kitchen and he gave me my unrequited love for mashed potatoes.

The real men of Lydia's Canyon, Dad is second to the right

When it comes to food, I have a 4 day leftover rule. After 4 days it gets chucked out. My dad has closer to a 2 week rule.   Because everyone in the family knows his food rule, one holiday family gathering while we were all at my parents house, we were all afraid to eat Dad's Cowboy Beans because we didn't know how long they'd been incubating the fridge. So while dad made a trip to the store, someone secretly dumped the Cowboy Beans and buried them in the woods. When dad came back in, we pretended we had eaten them. It was at that point he told us he had just made them the day before in anticipation of us all coming to stay. Sorry dad….

Dad's Cowboy Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Kidney beans
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can stewed spiced tomatoes
  • 2 white or yellow onions diced
  • 1 small can green chopped chilies
  • 3 shots (vegan) Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 shots Soy sauce
  • 1 big squirt table mustard and another of Dijon
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ C. to 1 full C. brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper as desired

Method: Cook chilies and chopped onions till well done, throw the rest of it in after draining off about ½ of the bean juice and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat anywhere from ½ hour to 2 days until the flavor and consistency are superb. Eat with big bowl and large spoon. Leave the house and walk 4 miles or one hour after consuming to protect the family and neighbors. 10 servings

Thanks dad for taking these photographs.