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Vegan MoFo Contest Announcement for Week #3

15 Nov

Hello my food babies! I’m back from ballet and ready to share the next contest. Thanks and congrats again to the two winners of my second contest, Tara and Kate. Both your submissions sound fabulous!

It’s Monday evening, so it’s time for the third contest. So far, we’ve baked chocolate-free desserts and explored the world. This week, I’m challenging you (and me) to create something raw. It can be a dessert, a salad, or a main dish. You can use a dehydrator if you have one, a low oven setting, or just chop and serve. Whatever it is, just make sure it or its components aren’t cooked.

Need help figuring out where to start? Gena of Choosing Raw is full of fun ideas. Kristen’s Raw has some great resources, too. And there’s also Tara’s mouthwatering salad from Week #2.

Here are the rules:

1. To enter, email me photos of your entry plus a recipe by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Sunday, November 21. Feel free to include pictures of the process as well as the final version. One photo of your finished product is OK, too. If you have a blog of your own, feel free to do a post about your submission instead of sending me the details. Just make sure to email me a link instead. Also, let me know if you have any food allergies in case you’re the winner so I don’t send you a package of things that’ll kill you.

2. All submissions must be raw. I know it’s getting cold out there, but incorporating some fresh, uncooked fruits and veggies is good for us even when all we want to do is swim in chili. (Or maybe that’s just me.) Even a simple salad fits the bill. If you’re feeling very adventurous, whip up a raw dessert, spiralize some zucchini, or try something else outside your usual comfort zone. Just make sure to use raw ingredients.

I hope this goes without saying, but again, 3. All entries must be vegan. Feel free to veganize something already in your repertoire, find an already-vegan recipe, or try out something totally new.

4. If your recipe was not made up by you, please cite your source. No one will lose points for using a preexisting recipe, but please just let me know where you found it.

One winner will receive a surprise package from me. Precise goodies have yet to be determined, but feel free to check out what I sent the first contest winner for an idea. Winners will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Creativity of the submission
  • Presentation
  • Effort

Do you plan to participate? Let me know in the comments! You can also pop over to the Vegging out in T-Town Facebook page to let me know. Please, please help spread the word! The more submissions, the more great ideas we’ll all have to share.

Thanks so much, friends, and I can’t wait to see what you make!

Weekly Contest #2 Results and Winner

15 Nov

Hello friends!

The response was smaller for the Week #2 contest, but I’m still excited about the two entries I received. Let’s get right to it.

As a refresher, the challenge was to choose a cuisine with which you are familiar and create something. On the flip side, you could make something within another cuisine that you’ve just never tried before. I took that tack for my own creation.

I present to you Homemade Gnocchi with Arrabbiata Sauce.

Both recipes are from 1,000 Vegan Recipes, though I slightly tweaked the sauce.

You need:

  • 1 medium baking potato
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomato (I like the Muir Glen ones with no added salt)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Dash of red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

First up: bake the potato. I stab mine several times and cook it in a 450° F oven for about 45 minutes. Let it cool until you won’t burn your beautiful fingers off handling it. Cut it in half and run the innards through a potato ricer. I don’t have one, so I just scraped the insides stuff out with a fork and then fluffed it up. Put them aside in a small bowl.

In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and parsley. Add the potato until a dough forms that isn’t too sticky. Add bits of flour if necessary. Prepare a work surface with flour. Pull the dough apart into two to four pieces. Using your hands, roll one piece at a time into a long snake, about half an inch thick. Cut the snake into 3/4-inch chunks. I then rolled mine slightly into misshapen ovals with floured hands. Repeat until you have a bowl full of gnocchi.

Set aside, making sure the pieces are well floured. I chilled them in the fridge while I waited for dinner time.

Now you get to multitask. Heat water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. While the water warms up, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper for about 30 seconds, then dump in the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, and wine or vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. While the sauce is cooking and once the water boils, throw in the gnocchi. Supposedly they float when they’re done, but it doesn’t always happen. If they are still hanging out at the bottom of the pot after three minutes, give the water a quick swirl. They should start to rise. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain. When the sauce is done, just serve it atop the gnocchi.

It’s not polite to brag, but oh my freaking goodness, this meal was incredible. I expected homemade gnocchi to be much more difficult, but it was actually pretty easy and a whole lot of fun. It totally melted in my mouth, too. My taller half – wisely – declared it the best gnocchi he’s ever had. Good boy. I loved the sauce as well. It’s very spicy, as it should be, but if that’s not your thing, halve the crushed red pepper and the garlic. The only thing I would do differently next time is use less oil. I love olive oil, but the dish would have been just as good with less fat.

And now let’s see what you came up with.

First up is Tara, my crafting buddy and all-around cool chick. She shared a Spicy Thai Jicama Salad that is making my mouth water.

How delicious does that sound? I love the presentation, too.

Next up is Kate of Fat Ass to Fit Ass, who shared a delicious apple crisp recipe with us last week. This week she showcases a Falafel-Millet Burger recipe.

Her submission is both vegan and macrobiotic-friendly. Plus, it’s falafel. Yum. I love that she shared her whole meal, which included hummus, carrots, and spinach salad.

Once again, I’m incredibly thrilled and impressed that I received submissions from non-vegans. Neither Tara nor Kate are even vegetarian, so big bonus points for them.

Because I only received two submissions, and both are from local gals, I’ve decided to name them both winners. Ladies, I’ll work out a way to get some goodies to you. How’s about Friday?

I’m off to ballet, but expect the Week #3 contest announcement later on tonight. Thanks again to Kate and Tara!

Homemade almond milk and Sunday Night Scramble

15 Nov

So what was with that bowl full of wet almonds I posted over the weekend?

I decided to try making my own almond milk. I’m not a big soy milk fan. In fact, it’s probably my least favorite vegan dairy alternative. It mimics the real stuff well in appearance, nutrition, and texture, but the flavor is not my thang. Almond has a much better flavor, but all the packaged stuff is full of fillers and preservatives. Blech. It makes me think of a line from my favorite movie: “There’s no food in your food.” (Can you name the film?)

How do you make almond milk? It’s so flippin’ easy I’m almost embarrassed to call this a recipe.

Step 1: Soak one cup of almonds in enough water to cover overnight. (See above.) Mine stayed in for about 18 hours.

Step 2: Drain the almonds and throw them into the blender with two cups of water.

Step 3: Blend until smooth.

Step 4: Add two more cups of water. Blend until smooth.

Step 5: Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Or be super-cheap and ghetto and line with a paper towel instead. I will use the good stuff next time.

Step 6: Store in an airtight container.

That’s it. It took about three minutes in the blender. With a container full of freshly milked almond liquid, I had to make something, right? I decided to transform some leftovers with it. I ended up not with some dignified rice dish or soup. No no, friends, meet my new BFF the Pumpkin Cookie Shake.

This does not contain ice cream. However, I don’t feel as though I can sully the word “smoothie” by slapping the moniker on this definite dessert.

In a blender, combine:

  • 1 frozen banana, in chunks
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1 Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie (or other cookie)
  • 3/4 cup fresh almond milk
  • Sprinkling of cinnamon

Blend until smooth.

Drink and marvel at how amazing you are for creating this luscious dessert. The result is incredibly rich and creamy and wonderful. Not that there is such a thing as a leftover cookie, but it’s a fun way to transform a cookie you just haven’t eaten yet. ‘Twould also be good with vanilla added and really any other cookie you have already made.