Since it is New Year’s Eve, I find it necessary to offer up a nice black-eyed pea recipe. Black eyed peas are traditionally eaten in the United States on New Year’s Day to bring prosperity for the upcoming new year. This recipe is similar to a traditional Hoppin’ John recipe but, it has a few extra goodies. I left out the tomatoes on this one, and of course, there are no animal ingredients.
This is a simple, filling, one dish meal that can be whipped up relatively fast, provided you have many different pots and pans handy. I like to start cooking all the other stuff while the rice and beans are cooking. This saves lots of time, but creates a quite bit of stove top clutter. The ingredients can be subbed out based on what you have on hand. Feel free to use brown rice or quinoa instead of basmati, add or subtract whichever veggies you’d like, and season to taste. Just don’t leave out those black eyed peas!
Here in the United States, there seems to be some debate over the magnificent praline’s basic ingredients and texture. Not having a clue what a praline from the southern United States tastes like, I can’t fairly cast my vote for the best praline. Nor can I advise you on how to pronounce it… (praw-leen or pray-leen?) But I will provide one yummy version, and let you settle on the rest. I think these are fantastic… whether they are authentic or not.
These pralines will take you over the top with sweetness. So, prepare for a toothache if you over-indulge. They are creamy and dissolve upon bite, with a touch of sugary grainy texture to finish them off.
When I was a kid, I had a bad habit of eating brown sugar straight from the bag. These remind me of that, but with a nice touch of pecan mixed in. Simply irresistible.
Ever since I first tasted a springerle, (which honestly was less than ten years ago) I fell in loooove with anise flavored cookies. There is something about the whole “flavor explosion” thing that happens –from just a touch of anise oil– that really drives me over the edge.
With these, I tried out a flour mix by Namaste Foods: Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend… and had great success making them turn out as if I had used all purpose flour. This made me quite happy.
If you adore anise flavor, and are looking for a quick fragrant bite of awesomeness… then these are the cookies for you. Try them without the glaze for a more sophisticated “dipping” cookie.
Yum… don’t you just love cookies that don’t need “cooked”? Like most raw cookies, these little gems are ridiculously easy to make and good for you… holiday bonus! They are not overly sweet, like many of the awesome raw cookies that contain dates. They are actually a little bit tart. But, they are oh so scrumptious. Definitely a nice change of pace for the ol’ holiday cookie tray.
Hot cocoa is the perfect drink for me when I’m feeling cold… and just plain wintery. The hint of peppermint certainly will light up your spirits and add a touch of holiday cheer to any day. This stuff is simple and fast to prepare, and very warming for these chilly winter nights. Add a touch of your favorite liquor for a great drink to unwind to… or some whipped soy cream for an extra special treat for the kiddies.
Vegan Peppermint Hot Cocoa
- 1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar, depending on your sweet tooth
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 candy cane, crushed into pretty small pieces
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, or your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
Whisk together all ingredients in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir gently until all candy cane particles are dissolved, and it is the perfect temperature for you to enjoy.
Pour evenly into two mugs.
Top with whipped- soy cream or drop in a whole candy cane.
Yay for caramels! I love love love caramels, but this is pretty much the only time of year I ever really make them. They are so ridiculously easy, though, that I think I should start making these all year long.
And so should you! These are ooey and gooey and have the perfect hint of cardamom… guaranteed to please.
With any candy-making, it helps to have a candy-thermometer… but for caramels, one really comes in handy. There is about a 20 minute (don’t quote me on that, because I have never actually timed it) cooking time where you don’t stir. During that time you just wait for the candy to reach the proper temperature or the proper “firm-ball” stage. So, making the caramels is easy. But, there is a lot of standing at the stove… and waiting.
If it has been a while since you have had a good caramel, or the vegan versions are just too inconvenient to purchase… just make your own! It is totally worth it. I honestly prefer these caramels to any of the store bought, non-vegan versions I remember as a kid. These are actually a veganized version of the caramels I made pre-vegan days…. and guess what? They taste exactly the same.
They are the perfect silky, but sticky, texture. And they have a nice, shall I say, “Earth Balance-y” flavor. These things are absolutely divine….
Cupcakes are an essential part of one’s diet… so, it is entirely necessary for me to figure out a few good gluten-free versions. This cupcake is a good start, its tangy and sweet, with a generous amount of spice (because I still can’t get into the way “wheat-less” batter tastes). I used a flour mix that seemed to be quite prevalent on the internet, except I replaced some of the brown rice flour with quinoa flour. I would have replaced more, but I spilled all those little buggers right down my sink before grinding.
These cupcakes can be made just as nicely with regular flour too. I was pretty pleased with the results… but the basic flour mix needs some tweaking. Looks like I will continue grinding my entire pantry into various flours as I search for the perfect replacement.
It is a super good thing that frosting is gluten-free!
Okay, I have officially called off the cookie posts for now… they’ll be back… I just need a moment or two to figure out the chemistry of baking all over again.
But here’s a good treat to take your mind (and my mind) off of cookies for a while: chocolate covered dates! These are made with Medjool dates… which I find absolutely irresistible… but any date could probably be used. This is so simple, you may have already tried this- but if you haven’t yet -now is the time. I think this may be my new preferred way to enjoy chocolate. Actually, dates are my favorite thing next to chocolate and avocados… so, yeah, I LOVE these things. Try stuffing some other things in there too while you’re at it… almonds, more chocolate, whatever you want… the dates make a cozy little nook for all your bite sized goodies.
Seitan is Evil?!
This is a slightly different type of post- and I apologize in advance for the lack of redundancy. But, there will be a few changes with Manifest Vegan. Nothing huge, but I thought I should let everyone know. My intention for the site will still be the same: to show people that their old favorite foods will not be compromised when switching to a vegan diet… and to share a few good recipes with fellow vegans.
Gingersnaps are such a great holiday cookie. They keep well, they are ginger-y, they make your kitchen smell festive… what more could you ask for? These are the snappy kind of gingersnaps… crunchy and spicy, rather than the softer types that better describe a gingerbread cookie. The trick is to get the dough dry enough to handle, but no too dry, by adding a touch more whole wheat flour than is called for in the recipe after the dough has been mixed. I have had great success baking them for exactly 14 minutes in my oven… they will look weird when they first come out of the oven, just warning you- kinda bubbly or some other quality that is difficult to describe. But in time they harden to gingersnap perfection. Make sure that your Earth Balance and sugar/molasses is mixed well…but don’t mix too long. This is easy to achieve if the margarine is slightly soft… just a touch softer than straight from the fridge.
Okay, with all that said… these are incredibly easy and delicious cookies.
Happy gingersnap making!
Banana anything is always great in my book, and these cookies are certainly no exception. Soft and chewy and authentically banana flavored…I am pretty sure you could win many people over with these. They couldn’t be easier, and chances are, you will have most ( if not all) of the ingredients on hand.
I didn’t add any spices to these, but you can. These cookies are like tiny little banana breads, just a tad chewier. And, I prefer my banana bread boring and banana-y. But if you like a little spice.. add away!
They really remind me a lot of these “mini” banana nut muffins I would get as a kid. Except these taste waaay better… of course.