Today I am excited to share with you guys something very special to me… a sampling of the type of recipes as found in my first book, ‘Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats‘!
New Year, New You.
This sentiment seems to be how many people approach the 1st of each calendar year. Some of us even wait until after the 1st to talk about what we need to work on to become a better . . . fill in the blank. A few of us reject the concept entirely, constantly reminding ourselves to strive to be our best every single day.
Tis the season for nog!
I’ve been holding onto a fierce craving for coconut as of late. I think it’s because the lovely white flakes remind me of snow… which we haven’t actually seen much of in Philly. It’s been 50-60 + degrees almost every day. With sunny skies.
Don’t get me wrong, I prefer flaked coconut snow over the real stuff any ol’ day– but there is something so magical about watching snow fall slowly against the glow of a streetlight. I am really looking forward to seeing some white stuff this year–which is a bold statement coming from a self proclaimed snow loather. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and since by now in Ohio I’m positive my family and I would have been pummeled by at least some atrocious freezing rain with me cursing up a storm about how we need to move to Tahiti, I guess it’s true. I think I’m really ready to brace the cold this year, armed with cute scarves and warm toasty beverages. If it ever actually gets here, that is. If not, I’ll happily play along in 60 degree temps.
Whether it’s snowy and cold or sunny and warm wherever you may be in the world, these cookies will fit the bill. Chewy and full of texture like an oatmeal cookie, these are best served completely cooled rather than warm from the oven.
There are few things I look forward to each year more than the month of November. With its arrival comes two of my most favorite days meant especially for eating great food and celebrating: my birthday and Thanksgiving.
I generally get a full week to stuff myself by extending the two occasions–which are usually only separated by a few days– into one massive foodfest. This Sunday, I will be celebrating my 30th year of life… and I am pretty darned thrilled about it. I’m usually a fan of birthdays, but I’m not one to want to go “all out”. But, this year is extra special for me as I have been looking forward to turning 30 since I was about 10 years old. I always thought I would have my shit pretty much together by then and would officially be an adult. Funny how your perspective on age can change when 30 smacks you right in the face. It’s not so far away anymore! Plus, I’m pretty sure I’ve officially been an adult for a while now–for a couple of years, anyways. And, as far as having everything together… ehh, I may have a little more work to do, but I’m not complaining. Life is very good and I feel super lucky to be living it. I have a great job I adore, a loving family, and amazing friends. I also have loyal readers like you that make me love what I do every single day that much more. And for all that I have, I am extra grateful.
I am starting my birthday/Thanksgiving bonanza tonight with this pumpkin pie. Bourbon makes it all the better, and I highly recommend serving it with a big dollop of sweetened whipped coconut cream. I’ll be toasting myself into the next decade of my life this evening with a hot mug of nog and a cold slice of pie.
Around my circle of friends and family, it’s no secret that I am a complete junkie for some chili garlic sauce. I put it on everything. Anything. Sometimes I eat it straight from a teeny tiny spoon. I have absolutely no shame when it comes to this addictive condiment.
Whatever I put chili garlic sauce on only becomes that much better. It’s sort of like salt… except spicy, and garlicky. Two of my favorite tastes. Works in this example too. Pumpkin, during Autumn months, pretty much makes everything–including hummus–better. So, it only makes sense that adding a little chili garlic sauce would have to make that already better hummus, even better. Ya know?
Plus, it’s orange, so serving with purple cauliflower makes for a show stopping Halloween party tray addition.
The key to making this dip’s texture smooth and creamy and not so much like pumpkin pie filling is to blend it in your food processor (or blender if you prefer) for a long time. At least 5 minutes, and I’d shoot for 7 to be safe. Also, be sure to start with just a little water and add as needed, since some varieties of canned pumpkin seem to have more liquid than others.
Yes, it’s another orange soup. There may be more this month, so fair warning! But this one is a pretty awesome recipe, if I do say so myself.
This soup has a pleasant depth and is slightly sweet from the addition of those pretty orange potatoes and roasted cauliflower. The sweetness is delicately enhanced with a light sprinkle of garam masala. And, the chunky veggies and thick and creamy broth make it good choice for lunch or a light dinner.
Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup
yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 large head cauliflower (the one I used was at least 7″ in diameter
- olive oil for drizzling
- Few dashes garam masala (optional)
- 3 medium to large sized peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 7 cups filtered water
First, preheat your oven to 400 °F and cut up your cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle cauliflower lightly with garam masala. Place cauliflower onto ungreased cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven and let roast until golden brown on the tops and tender, but not mushy, about 20-30 minutes. There’s no need to flip ‘em. Just remove from oven and let cool while you cook the rest of the soup.
In large stockpot, bring sweet potato, onion, garlic and water to a boil. Salt (abt 3/4 tsp) and stir. Reduce heat and allow to remain at a constant simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. Add in cooked cauliflower and divide soup into 2 parts.
Let soup cool and then blend one part soup in blender until very smooth. Combine with second part soup and stir. Salt to taste and warm up over stovetop if needed.
These lovelies are somewhere in between cookies and cakes… and some may say they even have a little muffin action going on! Not overly pumpkiny, these soft and scrumptious cookies are a perfect snack with hot chocolate on a brisk autumn night.
I have no clue where I originally saw this idea years ago–but in today’s blogging world, apple nachos have become just about as ubiquitous as raw ballz…
But, there may still be a few folks remaining who aren’t tuned into all the apple nacho hoopla.
If you’ve never tried them, give ‘em a whirl! They are ridiculously easy and taste much more awesome than they sound. Plus, my kids LOVE them as a midday snack. And did I mention how silly easy these are to toss together? Almost as easy as raw ballz. ;)
One of my favorite things to do at night is make a batch of cookies from whatever the hell I have in my pantry. Usually I go for a basic cookie of sorts, like a variation of sugar cookie, Italian wedding cake, or peanut butter… but every once in a while I get a hankerin’ for something over the top. Last night I wanted a cookie with a little bit of everything thrown in. Enter the Ranger Cookie.
It’s been years since I’ve indulged in a delicious Ranger Cookie, but I remember that these guys normally have oats in them (and apparently flaked cereal, but my memory must have confused that with nuts yesterday. But isn’t that what good improvisation is all about? Surprises?). For me, oats are out. I’m one of those extra lucky celiacs who also is affected in very bad ways by oats, gluten-free or not. But, honestly, there are so many great things jam packed in these cookies, I’m not sure where the oats would even fit in!
Luckily, I made these early enough in the evening to remember to write down what I ended up putting in them. It goes a little like this:
Tonight’s Dinner. It’s also my favorite dish to order at pretty much any Indian restaurant I end up at. I love the variations I’ve had of this dish, which simply translates to spiced okra. Although, I’m admitting right now, this doesn’t taste exactly like authentic Indian cuisine–because, ya know, I’m much better at Polish/German/Irish/American cooking.
But! It’s delicious, and pretty spicy in a mild kinda way. Feel free to add more chili powder to jazz it up. Before attempting to make my own Bhindi Masala, I learned some important tips from Manjula about okra cooking that I never knew the hundred other times I’ve made it. First, after you rinse your okra, be sure to pat them very dry, lest your okra get slimy while cooking. Also, you don’t have to cut your okra into cute little ferris wheels to make this dish. Hers looked pretty kickin’ with the pods cut lengthwise.
Let the pumpkin mayhem begin on MV.
I admit, I created this recipe purely because of a selfish craving I was having for something sticky sweet and pumpkiny. I was going to try and pass it off as a treat my kids would enjoy for breakfast, but I became pretty possessive over it once it came out of the oven. The kids still got some, but I ended up having more than my fair share. :\
I’m not usually one to fall head over heels for a simple quick loaf, but the spicy cinnamon trail that runs through this sweet pumpkin bread is enough to make my heart sing a different tune.
It’s even more delectable with a slather of your favorite vegan cream cheese on top!
Happy Monday, Friends! Today is my very first day posting for veganMoFo 5!
This year is my third year in, and I’ll be posting each weekday in October… starting today! I don’t know about you all, but I am psyched! And since it’s MoFo time and I’ve noticed a nice influx of new readers (hi, new readers!) I went ahead and updated my “about page”. Have a looksy if you’re curious about why I write this blog. ♥
I’m really looking forward to this month, because a whole slew of amazingly dedicated bloggers will be posting their hearts out almost every single day. Talk about inspiration! It’s definitely one of my favorite times of the year. You guys, I hit up Wegman’s HARD this weekend in preparation for this big event. A grocery store so glamorous, it would make me seriously consider moving a wee bit outside of Philly. Okay maybe it’s not quite that glamorous (have I mentioned how much I adore living in Philly?! So many bicycles, so many shops, so many hellos, so much good FOOD!), but it is definitely worth the 20 mile drive to get there.
This MoFo I’m doing the same thing I do every year: posting lotsa recipes, and I’ll be highlighting a few of my favorite author’s cookbooks, and maybe some other random funstuff strewn about. And you can absolutely count on tons of pumpkin showing up around here. I love October MoFos!
Also, my macadamia coconut blondies were posted on One Green Planet today… worth a gander if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth.
See you all tomorrow!