Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sloppy Joe Mac 'n Cheese Pizza



Did your jaw just drop a little bit? I think my husband laughed out loud when I first told him what I was making for dinner. Sloppy Joes plus Mac 'n Cheese all on top of a pizza? I will admit I was a little skeptical myself, but I just had a hunch it would turn out pretty awesome.


I was inspired by Richa and her month of pizza recipes where she had both a sloppy joe pizza and a mac 'n cheese pizza. I thought both ideas were so unique! I decided to add them together and see what would happen.


Sloppy Joe Mac 'n Cheese Pizza
4 small pitas or other flat bread
1 recipe of lentil sloppy joes
1 recipe pumpkin mac 'n cheese (made without the chard and pine nuts)
panko breadcrumbs

*note: I had lots of both the sloppy joe mix and the mac 'n cheese leftover, so if you don't want extra I'd half both recipes to make the pizzas.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Brush a little olive oil over the pitas.
Spread the sloppy joe mixture on the pitas, then top with some of the mac 'n cheese.
Sprinkle some panko crumbs over the whole thing then bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges of your pitas are golden brown.


I was pleasantly surprised by this pizza combo! It reminded me a little of eating baked ziti, but on a pizza. If you are feeling a little crazy I would totally recommend it. What is the weirdest pizza combination you've ever had?


Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tangerine French Toast



Even in my pre-vegan days, I wasn't really a huge fan of french toast. I would never choose it over say, waffles or cinnamon rolls. I tried to make it at home a few times, but it always came out not quite right. My husband is a much bigger french toast fan than I am, so when I was given a sample of the Vegg to review, my first thought was to whip up some vegan french toast and see what happened.



The Vegg is a vegan product that is made to resemble egg yolks. It comes in a powder form, and you need to mix it in a blender with some water to get the correct consistency. Conveniently there was even a recipe for french toast included on the package! I decided to use this as my base recipe, and added some other flavors in for fun.


Tangerine French Toast
 makes 3-4 servings

2 tsp Vegg powder
3/4 C water
3/4 C almond milk
1 tangerine, juiced (about 1/4 C juice)
few drops vanilla
4-6 pieces bread - cut into thirds
vegan butter
for garnish: powdered sugar, maple syrup, tangerine slices

Mix together the Vegg powder, water, and almond milk together in a blender.
Pour this into a shallow dish. Stir in the tangerine juice and a few drops of vanilla.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and melt some vegan butter.
Slice your bread into strips and dip both sides into the liquid mixture. Fry the bread in the heated skillet, adding more vegan butter as needed. Flip to cook both sides until golden brown.
Top with powdered sugar, maple syrup and tangerine segments.


When I was mixing the Vegg powder in the blender I was surprised by how much it actually smelled like eggs. It's not a smell I'm used to anymore, so it was a little weird! I was worried the french toast might taste too much like an egg, but actually the end product was delicious! I think with all the other flavors going on and the fact that I covered the french toast with a nice layer of powdered sugar and maple sugar it was hard to go wrong. The tangerines were so perfect too!


I do think that you could easily make this recipe without the Vegg in there, but if you are really missing eggs in your dishes or for someone who is still transitioning to a vegan diet, I think this product could be very useful. I was happy to test it out, and I think I'll make this french toast again!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Mini Bundts

Mini bundts have a special place in my heart. We served mini bundts at our wedding reception instead of cake, and they were awesome. Recently Heather featured some amazing looking mini bundts over at Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes, and it prompted me to go on a mission to find my own mini bundt pan. After finally securing one, I set about to test my first batch.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Mini Bundt Cakes
makes 12 mini bundts, adapted from peas and thank you

1 C old fashioned oats
1 1/4 C boiling water
1/4 C coconut oil
1/4 C almond butter
2/3 C applesauce
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C flour
1/2 C. coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C vegan chocolate chips
optional: powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Boil the water in a pot, stir in the oats and remove from heat. Set aside to allow oats to absorb the liquid.

In a medium bowl blend the coconut oil, almond butter, applesauce, sugars and vanilla together with an electric mixer.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir in the cooked oats. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Grease the mini bundt pan and fill with the batter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into cake.
Let cool then top with sifted powdered sugar.

I was so happy (and kind of surprised) that they came out so well. Only one broke apart when taking them out of the pan! I think the key is greasing the pan well. These cakes had a great consistency and flavor, but were not overly sweet. Perfect for dessert or even breakfast. I can't wait to try out many more recipes with my new mini bundt pan!

What type of bundt cakes would you like to try?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Caramelized Tofu with Brussels Spouts and Saffron Rice

Back in my middle school days, at least once a week I'd be over at my best friend's house and her family would invite me to stay for dinner. Her Dad would make this really delicious yellow rice, and I always loved when it was on the menu. Last month when I was visiting my friend in Philadelphia, I asked her if she had her Dad's recipe for the rice. She did, and so we made some. It was just how I remembered it (I probably hadn't eaten it in 8 years). I knew I had to get the recipe from her and share it with all of you!

This yellow rice was delicious as always, and went with the brussels and tofu dish perfectly. The tofu has a crispy and sweet coating and the brussels have a nice crunch. A great easy dinner!

Caramelized Tofu with Brussels Spouts
serves 3-4, adapted from 101cookbooks

1 block extra-firm tofu, cut into 1" strips
sea salt
sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, cut into thin ribbons

 Press your tofu to drain excess water. Cut into 1 inch strips. Heat a skillet with a splash of sesame oil, and cook the tofu strips until golden on both sides. Add the minced garlic and the walnuts and saute for another minute. Add the brown sugar and stir. Cook for another minute to allow the sugar to caramelize. Remove tofu from the pan and set to side.

Add another splash of sesame oil, and a pinch of sea salt to the pan. Add the brussel sprouts ribbons and cook over medium high heat. Saute for a couple minutes until the brussels are cooked through but not entirely wilted. Serve topped with the tofu pieces.

Yellow Saffron Rice
1 and 1/4 C rice, rinsed
1/2 inch diameter handful of vermicelli or angel hair pasta (break into small pieces)
2.5 C vegetable broth
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
4-6 strings of saffron
1 Tbsp oil

Add all ingredients to a pot. Stir while bringing to boil. 
Lower heat, cover and stir every 10 minutes, and toward the end every 5 minutes until done - about 30 minutes total.
(If rice seems dry, add more vegetable broth or water as needed).

I have finally achieved tofu success! Every attempt before this (besides in a scramble) has been kind of a flop, but this tofu recipe turned out great. The outside got crispy and had a delicious sweet flavor. I was so excited that I even did a celebratory fist pump in the air. True story - my husband witnessed it.

He is also now as equally obsessed with the yellow rice as I am. I see a lot of yellow rice in our future. Thanks for sharing the recipe, D. As your Dad would say... it was yum yum. :)

What is your favorite recipe success story?

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Roasted Squash with Couscous

Is everyone else enjoying the slower post-mofo pace of November? I loved cooking up so many fun things, but it's nice to be able to have a little more time to plan my recipes and to also catch up on my blog reading! I feel like I've missed some great posts from some of my friends... don't worry, I will get caught up soon, I promise!

Last month, Kristy from Keepin' It Kind posted this amazing looking recipe for quinoa stuffed squash, and I was inspired to buy some squash. I loved her idea of creating a filling for the squash, so I did just that with ingredients I had on hand. It ended up being a really easy dinner, and one I would happily eat anytime!

Roasted Squash with Couscous
2 small to medium carnival squash
1 Tbsp vegan butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper
3 C vegetable broth
1.5 C Israeli couscous
1/4 C pine nuts
1/4 C dried cranberries
Few handfuls fresh spinach

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut the squash in half using a strong knife, and scoop out the seeds and stringy center.
Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of a baking dish, and place the squash halves in the pan, cut side up. Coat the insides of the squash with the vegan butter, and sprinkle 1/2 Tbsp of brown sugar and a sprinkle of salt and pepper over each half.
Bake for 1 hour, or until the tops of the squash are lightly browned. 

When the squash is about halfway done, you can get started on the filling. Combine the vegetable broth of the couscous in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

Lightly toast the pine nuts in a pan until golden brown. Careful not to burn.
Mix the pine nuts, cranberries and spinach into the couscous. Let sit until the spinach wilts.
Scoop some of the couscous filling into each half of your squash, then serve.

My husband really dislikes squash, so I was the only one eating these - but I'm not complaining! I will definetly be making this again. I had never tried these little carnival squash before but they were really good. I think next time I will add in some chickpeas like Kristy had in her recipe!

What is your favorite type of squash right now? What other types of filling would you add to your roasted squash?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vegan Food Swap: October 2012

It's time for the October 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! Plus it is really fun to get a surprise box of food in the mail. :)

This month I sent a box to Jannifer, who doesn't yet have a blog. I hope you enjoyed your treats!

I received an awesome food swap box from Mary!

Here's a list of what was in my box:

• Can of Pumpkin
• Imagine Mushroom Gravy
• Dried Sour Cherries
• The Essential Bite Banana chip oat
• Blueberry Muffin Larabar
• Justin's Nut Butter: Vanilla Almond and Chocolate Hazelnut - my 2 favorite flavors!
• Fearless Chocolate Bar
• Adorable halloween cupcake liners

I loved the halloween theme, such a cute idea! She also included this fun card with a recipe for pumpkin mac n cheese which I will be trying soon.

Thank you so much for the great vegan swap box, Mary!
If you want to join in on the vegan food swap fun, you can sign up right here.
There will not be any swaps in November or December, but you can join in for January!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Flashback - Philadelphia

I just got back from my trip to Philadelphia! I got to visit with 2 of my best friends and it was quite the adventure since we were not sure if we would be affected by Hurricane Sandy or not. We ended up still being able to go out and explore quite a bit before the weather turned bad, and we were lucky and didn't loose power. We tried out a few of the places on my list, and found some other great places as well!
Miss Rachel's Pantry offers catering and lunch delivery, and is open for brunch on the weekends. They also do a farmhouse dinner on Saturdays with a fixed menu for up to 12 people. We were able to go for brunch on Saturday, and everything we tried was great! I'm lucky my friends like to share food! We tried the wheatball hoagie, butternut squash soup, and maple-walnut french toast casserole. Everything was delicious but I think the french toast was my favorite. We also tried some of the coconut bacon (awesome) and grabbed a gooey brownie for the road! Definitely worth a stop in if you are near by!
On Tuesday after the storm had passed over and everyone was venturing out again, we walked to Rittenhouse and tried out Hip City Veg for lunch. If I lived there, I would be going to this place ALL the time! It is a small place with a focus on fast-food inspired fresh vegan food, and everything we tried was awesome. Pictured above is the Crispy Hipcity Ranch sandwich and the Jerk Caesar Salad. We also split some sweet potato fries which are great. I highly recommend trying this place out! It's perfect for a quick lunch while out sight seeing or wandering around.
Here are a few more random photos and food stops on my trip.
1. Vegan Brunch Wrap from Sabrina's Cafe with grilled seitan and mushrooms.
2. Black Bean Burger from Local 44 in West Philly. Fun place!
3. Risotto with Squash - homemade when we were camping out inside.
4. The Thinker - in front of the Rodin Museum.
5. Delicious sushi from Dasiwa in Fairmount.
Alright people. We now have to talk about Vedge. This restaurant was the #1 stop on my list, and one of my friends had been there for happy hour and was so excited to take me there. First of all, the inside decor is cozy and classy, which was perfect for the rainy night we went. Second of all, it's similar to tapas with the food coming in small plates sizes, which is great for sharing. Most importantly - every single thing we tried was AMAZING. I know there are already tons of rave reviews about Vedge, but I can't help but add mine. Pictured above is the autumn squash pierogies, fresh hearts of palm in a garbanzo crepe, grilled seitan with creamy parsnips and english peas, smoked eggplant & cauliflower, crispy brussels sprouts and spicy cauliflower from their "dirt list" (appetizers) and the dessert is the cheesecake with figs and pistachios. I can't even tell you which was my favorite because I couldn't decide. I kept declaring each new dish was the best yet. I think most of us at the table all agreed the pierogies were extra delicious. The cheesecake was probably the best I've ever tried too. It's a little pricey so it would be a great spot for special occasions, but if you are just in Philly for a trip, do not miss Vedge! Trust me!

Overall it was a great trip! I love visiting Philly and found some new favorite restaurants this time around too. Have you been to any of these places? Any other Philly faves I should try next time?

Thanks for stopping by!

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