Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vegan Mofo 2012

Just a quick post to announce that I'll be participating in this year's Vegan MoFo - a month long event where bloggers post at least 20 days all about vegan food! I normally post 2 times a week here on Vegan Fling, so this is going to be both challenging and exciting for me.

I had too many themes in mind, so instead of narrowing it down to one, I decided to do them all!
I have a different theme assigned to each day of the week for the month of October. I hope you'll like what I have planned. See you back here on Monday for the reveal of my first theme!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vegan Food Swap: September 2012

It's time for the September vegan food swap reveal!

The vegan food swap is a wonderful idea created and organized by The Verdant Life.
You get matched up with a person and send them a box full of your favorite vegan foods. It's a great chance to try new things and meet other bloggers!

This month I sent a box to Theresa over at Zesty Vegan. I hope you enjoyed your treats!

I received my box from Livvy at 86Lemons. Check out what she sent me:

• True North Almond Pecan Cashew Clusters
• Bob's Red Mill Natural Granola
• "Let Them Eat Vegan" by Dreena Burton

Wow, of course my favorite thing was the "Let Them Eat Vegan" cookbook! There are so many recipes that sound amazing and I can't wait to start trying them out. You can see the Raisinet cookies from the book in Livvy's post here. Yum!!

Thank you so much for the great vegan swap box, Livvy!

If you want to join in on the vegan food swap fun next month, you can sign up right here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pear and Golden Raisin Cookies

Today I am sharing my recipe for Pear and Golden Raisin Cookies over at The Fig Tree Blog.

Courtney has an amazing space where she shares her recipes and photography, and I'm a long time admirer of everything Fig Tree! I'm so happy we've connected and become friends through the magic of the internet. She recently introduced a new feature on her blog called Vegan Tuesdays where she shares some delicious looking vegan recipes. So far her Vegan Tuesday recipes have been amazing, and I am honored she asked me to contribute something to the new series.

So if you are in the mood for some cookies today, you can go check out the recipe over on The Fig Tree Blog. Make sure to check out the rest of the Vegan Tuesdays series too! Happy Baking!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Squares

Most of the time I don't need an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast. Obviously. 
These little oatmeal squares are perfect though. They are filling, with a bit of chocolate, but are not overly sweet. More like a soft granola bar than a cookie. 

 Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Squares
makes 16 squares, adapted from good clean food

2 C flour
1 C rolled oats
1/2 C sugar
1 Tbsp ground flax
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C almond milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 C maple syrup or agave
1/2 C applesauce
1/2 C vegan chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 F.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, flax, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add in the almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup, applesauce and the chocolate chip and stir to combine.
Spread evenly into an 8 by 8" pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely then cut into squares.

I enjoyed these squares for breakfast and snacks throughout the week. They are perfect for packing in lunchboxes, too. Hope you enjoy them!

I'm in the middle of planning what I will post during Vegan MoFo, and I have a few ideas in the works on several different themes. Is there anything specific you'd like to see posts about? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Purple Cabbage & Carrot Sweet Slaw

I made this colorful slaw for a family get together. I loved the crunchy vegetables in a slightly sweet dressing.

Purple Cabbage & Carrot Sweet Slaw 
 serves 6-8, adapted from amee's savory dish

1/2 head purple cabbage, shredded
1/3 C scallions, chopped
1/3 C pine nuts
3 carrots, julienned
2 10-oz cans mandarin oranges (save the juice)
2 handfuls dried cranberries 
4 Tbsp brown sugar 
1/2 tsp pepper 
1/4 tsp salt 
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 
1 Tbsp mandarin orange juice 
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine the shredded cabbage, chopped carrots, pine nuts, scallions, cranberries, and mandarin oranges in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl combine the brown sugar, pepper, salt, vinegar, mandarin orange juice, vegetable oil, vegetable bouillon cube and garlic powder. Whisk until well combined.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

This is a great dish to bring to an event because it makes A LOT! I had more cabbage slaw than I knew what to do with. Good thing it was tasty!

I just signed up for Vegan MoFo! Anyone else participating and do you have any tips for me? This is my first year and I feel like I might be a little in over my head... :) 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Black Beans & Rice with Green Apple Salsa

This is a great easy weeknight meal with a little something extra. It's the traditional beans and rice, but taken up a notch with some citrusy tart apple salsa.

Black Beans & Rice with Green Apple Salsa
serves 4, adapted from our best bites

Green Apple Salsa
2 granny smith apples, diced
1/3 red onion, diced
Juice of one line
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Black Beans and Rice
4 cups cooked rice
1 green pepper, diced
2/3 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, mined
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1 and 2/3 C vegetable broth
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

Cook rice according to package directions.

Mix together the diced apples, 1/3 of the diced red onion, cilantro, and the juice from one lime.
Toss with some salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Cook the bell pepper and the rest of the red onion until soft. Add in the garlic, chili powder, coriander and cumin and stir.
Add the vegetable broth and beans and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes. Continue to stir and mash some of the beans with a fork. Season with salt and pepper and extra lime juice if desired.
Divide the rice among the plates and top with the bean mixture and then the apple salsa. Garnish with extra cilantro.

I will definitely be making this dish again this fall! What are you favorite easy weeknight meals?

Just had to include a photo of my favorite cooking budding. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of the first things I remember learning how to bake. My family loved it, and I remember my Mom showing me how to mash the bananas with a fork. At some point I became overly confident in my skills, and I would challenge my Dad to banana bread baking contests to see whose came out better. I always thought mine was the winner, because my dad liked his a little more cooked than I did, but I guess to each their own!

If I had known about this Chocolate chocolate chip banana bread recipe I'm not sure there would have been much of a contest. 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
makes one loaf, adapted from joy the baker

2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flax + 6 Tbsp water)
3/4 C almond milk
3/4 tsp lemon juice
2 C flour
1 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick (8 Tbsp) vegan butter
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C light brown sugar, packed
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Grease and flour a 9 by 5" loaf pan, then set it on top of a baking sheet. (Extra insulation so the bottom of the bread won't burn!)

In a small bowl combine the almond milk and the lemon juice, and set aside to let curdle.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until soft. Add in the sugars and beat for another minute. Add the flax eggs and mix again. Add the mashed bananas and mix on low until fully combined.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry mixture into the wet ingredients a little at a time, mixing to combine.

Add the almond milk/lemon juice mixture into the bowl and mix in.

Lastly, add in the chopped chocolate and stir.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes. Then loosly cover the top of the bread with tin foil to keep the top from burning, and bake for an additional 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. 
Let cool for about 20 minutes and then transfer out of the pan. 

This is some intense chocolatey bread! I would say it's almost more like a chocolate pound cake actually. I totally recommend this for either breakfast OR dessert.  
It's really tasty with a glass of almond milk, and probably would go well with some coffee or tea if that's your thing. I actually don't like any hot beverages - is that weird? :) 

Did you have any famous recipes in your family that spurred cooking contests over the years?

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Flashback

1. I finally bought some new vegan makeup - Ecco Bella
2. I found cocomels!
3. A dinner my husband made me - pasta with zucchini and yellow squash. :)
4. Smashed kidney bean tacos
5. Baked mango tofu
6. Kitty nap time

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monkey Bread Muffins

When I was growing up, having monkey bread for breakfast was reserved for special occasions and holidays only. Probably because it took awhile to make, and maybe because my Mom didn't want us having all that sugar! It just made the times we did eat monkey bread so much more fun.

I had made these muffins versions awhile ago, but I needed to upgrade them to vegan status. I have to say that this way may even become my new favorite. I will warn you that it's really hard not to eat the whole batch in one sitting!


Monkey Bread Muffins
makes 12 muffins, adapted from the pioneer woman and the cheeky kitchen

3 Tbsp vegan butter
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 C almond milk
juice of 1 lemon

vegan butter

1 C of powdered sugar
3 Tbsp of almond milk

Heat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl combine the vegan butter, flour, baking soda, and salt with a fork until you get a crumbly mixture.
In another bowl, whisk together the almond milk and lemon juice and let sit for a few minutes to curdle. Add the maple syrup and whisk.
Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet ingredients into the center. Stir with a fork in one direction until the dough is fully combined and moist, then knead it a few times on a floured surface.
Separate and roll the dough into 1" balls.

Place about 1/2 tsp of vegan butter in the bottom of each opening in your muffin tin. Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on top of this. Add 3-4 small dough balls into each muffin space. Top with another round of the butter, sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for 8-12 minutes, or just until the edges of the biscuits are light golden brown.

Whisk together 1 C powdered sugar and 3 T almond milk to make the glaze.
Drizzle over the top of the muffins and serve!

Pull-apart goodness!

A huge THANK YOU to Heather from Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes for passing the One Lovely Blog award on to me. My first ever blog award - I feel so fancy!

Part of this award is to list seven random facts about yourself, so here are mine:
1. I love all things vintage.
2. Our current kitchen is really tiny. In the next place I would love a huge open kitchen.
3. I couldn't last one day without a cat in the house. My parents moved with their 2 cats and an hour after they drove away I went and adopted Minnie.
4. I have a very large and almost complete collection of vintage 1980's Care Bears.
5. I love disco music.
6. One time I met Rue McClanahan.
7. Even though my husband is not vegan, he is amazing and very supportive of my cooking efforts. He taste tests everything you see here on the blog!

I am so happy that starting this blog has allowed me to meet some amazing people and I'm excited to pass this award along to some bloggers that inspire me everyday!

Kristy at Keepin' It Kind
Caitlin at The Vegan Chickpea
Courtney at The Fig Tree Blog
Richa at Vegan Richa
Lysa at Cooking with Lysa

(If you've already gotten this award before you can just have another one because you are so awesome!) :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pumpkin "Mac 'n Cheese" with Swiss Chard and Pine Nuts

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Ours was busy but I did get some time to cook and bake, so I'll have some fun things to share in the next couple weeks. After last week's epic cake of chocolate amazingness, I felt like a filling main dish pasta recipe was in order.

 Pumpkin "Mac 'n Cheese" with Swiss Chard and Pine Nuts
serves 4-6, adapted from oh she glows
1 lb penne or spiral pasta
1 Tbsp vegan butter
3/4 C unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1/4 tsp garlic powder
6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 C canned pumpkin puree
salt and pepper to taste
3-5 leaves swiss chard, chopped
1/2 C pine nuts
optional: red pepper flakes for some spice

Cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Melt the vegan butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
In a separate bowl whisk the milk, arrowroot, and garlic powder and then add this into the pan.
Add the nutritional yeast, dijon, and salt & pepper. Continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened.
Add in the canned pumpkin and whisk until heated.

In a small pan toast the pine nuts on medium heat until slightly browned.

Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce, and add in the chopped swiss chard. Stir until combined and let sit for a few minutes to let the chard wilt a little.

Serve topped with the toasted pine nuts.

This was my first attempt at making a "cheese" pasta and I think it came together really well! There is a lot of healthy stuff hiding in that sauce so I felt good after eating it - not weighed down like usually happens after eating a really rich and creamy dish. Paired with a side salad, this was a delicious meal!

I think I may try some alfredo sauce next. Do you have a favorite creamy pasta recipe?

Thanks for stopping by!
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