August 28, 2010

Vegan Feasting: Recipes Galore!

Whenever my boyfriend Sarah and I get together we usually end up at Chicago Diner, the best restaurant for vegan fare in Chicago.  (She's one of those people).  And as you can see from the picture below, we know how to pack it away!  Nachos, mashed potatoes, chocolate peanut butter 'milkshakes', and then this other sandwich thing we get with these fried onion rings on the top.  Oh! And I can't forget about the hot wings.  We call them 'hot logs' or 'chicken logs' or 'log wings' because they're shaped in little logs that taste like chicken wings.  Crazy. Crazy little logs of deliciousness is what they are...

Anyway, rather than hit our favorite haunt, BF came over after a long day of exploring the city.  Knowing she was coming over, I decided I was going to take care of her the best way I knew how! I was gonna stuff her face until she made a food baby!!

So here it is!!  The most amazing vegan feast I could conjure up!!!

One of my favorite appetizers in the world is Spinach Artichoke Dip so I hunted down a recipe for a vegan 'Creamy Artichoke Dip.'  The exact same thing?  No.  But trust me... See that pan below?  We DEMOLISHED it.  Little hoover vegan vacuums were we! 


I also made some homemade pita chips for dipping.  Super easy to make!  Cut a package of pitas into triangles, mix with a few tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkles with salt, pepper, garlic powder and pop them in the oven at 400 for 10-12 minutes. 

And as a greasy potato chip lover that will go for Ruffles & Lipton's French Onion Dip faster than you can say 'What's for dinner?,' I can assure you homemade pita chips are surprisingly wonderful! Super easy, fast and a healthier option than chips.  Because as I'm sure you can piece together, I was reeeeal concerned-like about calories last night. Totally.

Then for dinner!  Oh, I just get sooo excited!  My friend Robyn (aka:  Robynski) wrote a blog about a potato bread recipe and I just HAD to try it.  (This is where I'm going to interject 12,000 pictures of this delicious bread because how can I just choose one!!??  Mmmm....)

I've always been scared of making bread with the whole 'if your yeast doesn't rise' thing but that's crazy! I finally made some pretzel bread this year that changed my life.  Bread is delicious and the scare-shackles have come off.  Give me flour, give me yeast and I will feed the nations! 

And there's something very 'Little House On the Prairie' about making your own bread, dontcha think?  I need to find me a lumberjack that will appreciate the magic in these fingers, baby... I'll stop there.


This bread tastes like garlic mashed potatoes.


Garlic mashed potatoes, people.

Then I made a healthy and lite vegetable option.  Bahahahaha.  Yeah, no.  I made a Cashew Nut Alfredo.  It really tastes nothing like alfredo but it is pretty delicious. And the cool thing is that the sauce can be put over anything really.  You can add whatever you want!   

All this made for some mighty enticing leftovers today.  Oh, hello, Salmon! Vegan boyfriend Sarah eats fish and I forgot this was his first appearance.  (He says 'glub, glub, glub' which is fish-speak for hello).

But who cares about dinner, right?  Let's get to why we came here.

Awwwww, SH*T.

For reals... I think this was the best blueberry pie I've ever made.  I always make my crusts a bit too thick & this came out perfectly.  The berries were just bursting... I could cry.  I did cry.  My blue teeth are still crying!!

The pie is doing a little 'over the shoulder' pose...

And now a bit to the right...


Folks... It tastes as delicious as it looks.  Weep with me now...

Eight years later...

So that's how you feast like vegan champs, folks.  I swore to never eat again but I woke up the next day with leftovers in my fridge and well... well...


That about says it all.

Vegan butter and chives,


1 1/4 cup warm water
5 tsp yeast
4-6 cups of flour
1 c warm mashed potatoes
1/4 c soymilk
2 T vegan butter (Earth Balance is a good brand)
1 T sugar  (if you're a strict vegan, use raw brown sugar)
1 T salt
1/2 c minced chives or scallions or garlic scapes or shallots

Make the mashed potatoes and let them cool to room temperature completely.  (To make mashed potatoes skin and boil the potatoes on high for about 20 minutes.  Poke them with a fork until they are soft.  Remove from water and crush with a fork or pie cutter).

Combine warm water and yeast. Let stand for five minutes.

In a large bowl put the water, yeast, potatoes, 2 c flour, milk, butter, sugar, salt. Mix together then add in the chives.

Add enough flour to make a soft dough and knead. Let rise for 45 minutes in a floured bowl. Shape into five loaves and put on a baking sheet. Let loaves rise for another 45 minutes. Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top. Robynski says you know they're done when you tap on the top and the bread sounds hollow.  :)

(I found all of these ingredients at Whole Foods)

2  8-oz packages of soy cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup soy sour cream
1/4 cup veganaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
18 ounces of canned artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
1 cup grated soy mozzarella cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons jalapeno chilies, minced

Using electric mixer, beat first 8 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Stir in artichokes, soy mozzarella cheese, green onions and jalapeno. Transfer to 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake dip until bubbling and brown on top, about 20-30 minutes. Serve hot dip with pita or tortilla chips.


1 Cup Soymilk

1/3 Cup Raw, Unsalted Cashews
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
3 Tbs Low-Sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce
2 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine
1 Tbs Tahini
1 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Paprika (smoked is awesome)
1 Pinch Nutmeg
2-4 Cloves of Garlic
Black Pepper, to taste
Steamed Broccoli
Steamed Red Pepper
Handful of Grated Soy Mozzarella

Throw all of these ingredients in a blender.  Make some pasta and steam your veggies.  Mix together the hot pasta, steamed veggies, mozzarella and sauce.  The hot pasta should heat the sauce but you can always reheat.  It's great cold the next day, too!


Anonymous said...

Wowwwwwww, that looks fabulous! Excited for any bread that tastes like garlic mashed potatoes!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you've got me on the potato bread (though I'd probably fail to make the bread and just eat the potatoes out of the pan). I'm afraid of yeast (as you were previously) although having a mom who makes such incredible bread I might never come close could have something to do with it. We should have some bread making experiments when the weather gets colder. Even if I fail at bread I do make some damn good soup. -Dr. Beth

MandiCrocker said...

Dr. Beth, that sounds like a delicious plan! :)