Vegan MOFO

Layered Plum Tart with Apricot Crumble

Would you be compelled to make this if I told you that it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast?

Layered Plum Tart with Apricot Crumble

Inspiration comes from this other fabulous dessert of mine

Ingredients: 1 C. Whole wheat pastry flour OR for gluten free option 1 C. certified gluten free oat flour, 1/3 C. Cashews, 10 pitted dates, 10 dried apricots, 1 t. vanilla, 2 T. raw sugar, 2 T. coconut oil, 1/2 t. sea salt, 1 t. cinnamon, 4-6 large plums, pitted and thinly sliced (with skins on)

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cashews, dates, apricots, vanilla, raw sugar, coconut oil, salt and cinnamon in a food processor or high powered blender. Process until fine and crumbly. Press 1/2 of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan, mixture will be a bit dry, but the juices from the fruit will moisten it while baking.

Top with sliced a layer of sliced plums

follow the pattern shown in above photos. Sprinkle with only 1/2 of the remaining crumble 

Place another layer of plums over the crumble.

Add 1 T. water to last bit of crumble and put the moistened remaining crumble over the plums.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until fragrant and crumble is golden. Remove from springform pan and let cool slightly before serving. If you’re feeling naughty (I was), you can drizzle yours with a vegan powdered sugar and water glaze.

This tart would also be good made with peaches, apples, pears, etc. Use your imagination!

Sage’s Cafe, Salt Lake City, Utah

I’d never been to an all vegan restaurant until last week (I know, what’s wrong with me?) It’s not that I don’t have  local options, Veg News declared Salt Lake City as “America’s Next Great Vegan City.” I don’t have any excuses for myself other than I just don’t go out to eat that often. That same article in Veg News states: [referring to Salt Lake City] Today, there is a vegan grocery store, two vegan bakeries, two vegan food carts, four vegan restaurants, and 50 vegan friendly restaurants with specific vegan options on their menus. Radical. Sage’s Cafe offers an entirely plant-based menu and specializes in local and organic food, it is one of four totally vedged out locations owned by Utah native, Chef Ian Brandt/Elevated Cuisine Group.

Want to know the best part? I met Annie from An Unrefined Vegan there for my belated birthday lunch (no applause please, it was last month). 😉  Photos of the lunch are courtesy of Annie’s Phone.

I had the Guac-n-Roll Sandwich, which is an amazing nut burger, made with cashews, almonds and garbanzo beans served on a locally made seven grain baguette with guac. Everything about it was delicious. The baguette was perfectly toasted, the pesto had just the right verve and the nut burger was beautifully seasoned. It tasted a little like a milder and yummier version of falafel. The only thing left on my plate after a few minutes of bliss was a sliver of red onion. Did I mention the freedom I felt at being able to order anything on the menu? Totally awesome!

Annie had the Magical Wok Entrée, since we’re doing dual reviews today, head on over to her site to see what she thought about it. As you can see, from the photo below, it’s presentation was fantastic.

We had a lot of catch up to do since we hadn’t seen each other for a while. We sat in the lovely sun room, where our waiter kindly kept refilling our drinks for over 2 hours while we dined and chatted. He must have noticed the giant bag full of awesome birthday gifts she had for me because when we declined dessert, he said he would offer a birthday dessert on the house. We asked for his suggestion and both said YES when he mentioned the tiramisu.

Although I couldn’t detect even a hint of espresso, I have to say it was one of the most delicious tiramisu(s?) that I have ever eaten. If I wasn’t in a vegan joint, I would have never guessed this culinary confection was completely dairy free. In short, it was incredible. We finished every last bite and it was only out of politeness that I didn’t lick the plate.

The food, the company and the warm ambiance of the sun room made for one of the best afternoons I’ve had in a while. My only complaint about Sage’s is that despite driving up and down the street multiple times, I couldn’t easily identify it from the road. I finally parked and walked and then texted Annie to guide me there beneath the grape vines. I will tell you that I went home feeling happy, light, refreshed and ready to conquer the world (usually when I leave a restaurant I feel bloated, tired and uncomfortable). While Annie and I aren’t eloping any time soon, there’s not a lot of time left to sign up for our baby (project), the Virtual Vegan Potluck. If you’ve wanted to join and haven’t done so, DO IT! There’s literally less than 5 slots 2 slots left. It closes when it reaches 100 participants.

Oh, you’re still here and want to know what I got for my birthday loot?

The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, let’s just say upon returning home I couldn’t put this book down for several hours and have all ready made 4 things 6 things out of it since Friday. I really (really) wish I had this book when I first went vegan. It would have made my transition SO much easier. If you don’t own it, BUY IT RIGHT NOW!

Blog Photo Plates – Annie knows my kids me so well, these babies are made of unbreakable melamine.

Forks Over Knives the Cookbook – Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating all Through the Year. The name says it all! In LOVE! Thank you so much Annie!!! xoxo!

Sriracha and Olive Salsa Fresca

I hate to admit it, but some of the best salsa I’ve ever made has come from canned tomatoes. Now that I’ve been making my salsa this way for a while I’m pretty much convinced that this is the same method that my favorite Mexican restaurants use to make their salsa as well. Oh, and the best part: no endless chopping, the blender does most of the work for you, allowing you to have nearly a quart of salsa ready in about a minute.

Whole Grain Black Bean & Rice Burrito topped w/ Sriracha & Olive Salsa Fresca

Sriracha and Olive Salsa Fresca

1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can drained black olives, 1 small can diced green chiles, 1/4 of an onion roughly chopped, 1/2 bunch cilantro roughly chopped, 2 T. fresh or bottled lemon juice, garlic salt to taste, few grinds black pepper, squirt (or 4) of sriracha or other favorite hot sauce.

Dump all ingredients in your blender. Pulse a few times until chopped to bits and everything is well combined. You’re done! We like to eat ours with baked tortilla chips. You can also make this without the olives if you prefer.

Have you joined the Virtual Vegan Potluck yet? What are you waiting for? The Party will be on November 1st, World Vegan Day.

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?

Not Beef Stew

Sometimes you just need some Heavy Duty Comfort Food

The kind that sticks to your ribs and makes you pleasantly stuffed.

Not Beef Stew

Seasoned Soy Curls:

  • 1/2 package Butler Soy Curls (I’m trying out some new vegan products for MOFO) prepared according to package directions and drained, these are GMO free, organic and use the whole soy bean. If you can’t source these or if you prefer, you can use 16 oz of cubed baby portobellos instead.
  • 1/4 C. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 1/2 t. ground pepper
  • 1 t. sea salt

Using a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, combine all ingredients above and brown the soy curls on all sides until nicely golden and crispy. You may need to use a bit of pan spray. Remove soy curls from dutch oven and set aside.

Add to dutch oven with a bit of water to saute the veggies in:

The Stew Veggies:

  • 1 diced onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 3 russet potatoes or big red potatoes diced with skins on
  • 1/2 t. ground pepper
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 1 t. ground black pepper
  • couple dashes of hot sauce.

Cook over medium heat until onions are slightly soft, and water has evaporated. Add 2 T. white whole wheat flour and cook and stir til everything is really nice and browned, stirring and scraping up browned bits on bottom as you go.

Quickly add:

The Good Stuff:

  • 6 C. quality vegetable stock
  • 1/3 C. tomato paste
  • 4 T. soy sauce
  • 4 T. vegan worcestershire
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. dry sherry
  • 2 T. cocoa powder (for color)
  • cooked and seasoned soy curls (from above)

Simmer with the lid on over medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until veggies are fork tender

Add:

  • 1 C. cashew cream (from 1/2 C. soaked cashews and 1 C. filtered water blended until thick)
  • 1 C. frozen baby peas.


Serve in mutant bread bowls

Vegan French Toast

I thought it was an Urban Myth, but it’s true, french toast can be made WITHOUT EGGS.  It’s so easy, I’m freaking out! (Hence the food porn photo assault)

Vegan French Toast

Ingredients: 6 thick slices of stale whole wheat or other tasty bread (to stale it up, you can lightly toast the slices or put them in the oven on the lowest heat for 10 or more minutes), 1 C. unsweetened soymilk, 3 T. garbanzo (or chickpea) flour, 1 T. cornstarch or arrowroot, 1 T. pure maple syrup, couple dashes of cinnamon.

Method: Combine soy milk, garbanzo bean flour, cornstarch, maple syrup and cinnamon in a shallow dish (like a pie tin) with a wire whisk. Preheat a non-stick skillet to medium heat and use a little pan spray or coconut oil for additional sticking prevention (these babies are sticky). Quickly dip and coat both sides of the bread and fry two pieces (or however many you can fit in your skillet) at a time, cooking for about 2 minutes on each side over medium heat. Keep cooked french toast in a warm oven while finishing off the rest of the batch in the skillet.

Butter with An Unrefined Vegan’s insanely addictive Cocoa Coconut Buttera drizzle of pure maple syrup, some sliced banana and some vegan powdered sugar.

Freak out.

Tip: if you make a double or triple batch, you can freeze the extras and toast the slices in the toaster for a super quick delicious breakfast on the fly!

If you haven’t all ready joined the Virtual Vegan Potluck, head on over there now. The potluck is November 1st (World Vegan Day) and is open to all bloggers who will prepare a vegan dish to ‘share’. Not only is it super fun, but it’s a great way to drive traffic  to your site and make new blogging buddies 🙂

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.

Healthied up Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I make these bars two different ways depending on the company I’m serving. I make the first version for my family, it’s oil free and uses less sweetener so it tastes a bit healthier and results in a more cake-like cookie but is still delicious!

The second version is good for convincing company that being vegan doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor! It has a small amount of oil and more (unrefined) sweetness and tastes and crunches more like traditional cookie bars, but is still relatively healthy compared to regular vegan cookies. Try both recipes to see which one is your favorite! Enjoy!

Healthied Up Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Oil-Free & Less Sweet Version:

  • 2 C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (for Gluten Free option substitute Cara’s all purpose GF mix)
  • 1/2 C. Rolled Oats (use certified Gluten Free for GF version)
  • 1/2 C.  raw agave
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 1 T. Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 C. Almond Milk
  • 2 t. Vanilla
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 C. Vegan Chocolate Chips

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, ground flax, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with a wire whisk. Add agave, apple sauce, almond milk, vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir til just combined. Pour into an 8×8 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Do not over bake, that’s the secret to the awesomeness of these babies. Let cool for 10-15 minutes then cut into 16 squares.

Tiny Bit Naughty Version:

  • 2 C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (for Gluten Free option substitute Cara’s all purpose GF mix)
  • 1 C. Rolled Oats (use certified Gluten Free for GF version)
  • 1/2 C.  raw agave or pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 C. raw sugar
  • 1/4 C. Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 C. Almond Butter
  • 1 T. Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 C. Almond Milk
  • 2 t. Vanilla
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 to 1 full C. Vegan Chocolate Chips (depending on your chocolate meter)

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, raw sugar, ground flax, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with a wire whisk. Cut the coconut oil and almond butter into the flour mixture. Add agave, almond milk, vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir til just combined. Press into an 8×8 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes then cut into 16 squares. 

Try to eat just one.

Whole Grain Pretzel Buns or Rolls

After all the ogling over that veggie burger yesterday, are you ready to check out these pretzel buns?

They are super simple to make and are oh-so-worth the time.

Whole Grain Pretzel Buns or Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 C. organic unbleached flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 C. warm water
  • 1 T. active dry yeast
  • 2 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 t. raw agave
  • 1 t. soy lecithin or extra virgin olive oil (softens the bread a bit)
  • sesame seeds or kosher salt for sprinkling.

Method: In a bread maker or other kneading apparatus (possibly your hands) knead all of the above ingredients for 10 minutes. Let rise for 30 minutes. Punch dough down, divide into 8 hamburger buns or 12 rolls. If making hamburger buns, smash each piece of dough down firmly with your hands, making 3 or 4 inch rounds.

 Let dough rise for 15 more minutes. 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 2 buns at a time for one minute, turning over halfway through.

Remove buns with a slotted spoon. Slash each roll 3 times across the top with a sharp knife. Quickly Sprinkle with a bit of sesame seeds or kosher salt. 

Repeat until all buns are poached. Let rest while oven preheats to 400 degrees.

Bake for 20-25 minutes for hamburger buns or 15-20 minutes for rolls. Please use parchment paper to bake on, otherwise you will need a chisel and a hammer and quite possibly ruin your favorite baking sheet.

Pretzel Buns/Rolls are best eaten the day they are made.

This recipe is shared at VVP6 here