Tag Archives: contest

Vegan MoFo Contest Announcement for Week #4

22 Nov

Alright, friends, it’s time for my final contest announcement, and I hope a lot of you will participate. It’s going to be fun!

This week, I’m challenging you to create a vegan version of one of your favorite dishes. The announcement is just in time for American Thanksgiving, so if you’re already going to veganize stuffing or mashed potatoes or another favorite, send me the details for a chance to win! You choose the dish. Feel free to share something you’ve made before or something totally new to you.

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 28. 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. Important: If you do not receive a confirmation email from me within 24 hours, please leave a comment on my blog!

2. All submissions should be vegan versions of something you’ve eaten and enjoyed with meat and/or dairy. If you’re a lifelong vegan or vegetarian, it’s fine to share a dish that is usually made with meat and/or dairy. Stumped on what to make? Pick a regional favorite, a family recipe, or something you just haven’t eaten since giving up animal products. The sky’s the limit!

I hope this goes without saying, but again, 3. All entries must be vegan.

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. To sweeten the pot, on this final contest, the winner can expect a double-sized package. For reference, past winners have received a few baked goods, some Justin’s Nut Butter, and tea bags. Precise goodies have yet to be determined, but I promise you’ll be happy! 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 for reading, and happy cooking!

Weekly Contest #3 Results and Winner

22 Nov

Yep, it’s time again to talk about my most recent contest, so let’s get right to it.

As a reminder, the challenge was to make something raw – an uncooking challenge, if you will. I decided to make raw, taller-half-killing soup. The poor thing is allergic to avocados, so it was all for me. Darn. 😉

I looked at a few recipes from around the blog world and combined them to make Raw Avocado Salsa Soup.

All you do is combine in a blender:

  • Flesh from 1/2 an avocado
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • Juice from 1/4 to 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • About 1/2 a cup of homemade almond milk (start with 1/4 cup and add more to obtain desired consistency)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro

Blend until smooth and creamy. I have to be honest: I didn’t love this soup. I think I made it too creamy. The flavor was good, but it just wasn’t my taste preferences. I would be willing to try raw soup again, but I need a different – maybe chunkier? – texture and flavor. It would have been a good salad dressing or dip.

And now, what did my readers come up with?

First is Little Momo, who submitted not one, but two entries. The first are Sunshine Bars, based on this recipe at Gone Raw.

Don’t they look gorgeous? She also shared Nanaimo Bars using an original recipe:

I had to Google the term. Basically, Nanaimo Bars are no-bake squares featuring layers of cookie, icing, and chocolate. Yum! Sign me up. Here is her recipe for our enjoyment:

Base
1 cups coconut, shredded
2 cups mixed nuts(I used pecans and cashews)
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup raisins
3 tbsps. cacao powder
coconut water

Middle
1 8oz. jar of Artisana Goji Bliss

Topping
1 cup coconut oil(warmed)
2 tbsps cacao powder
agave to taste(you want a bittersweet top since the rest is so sweet)

You will need:
large mixing bowl
food processor
one small baking pan(8×11)
saran wrap or wax paper
refrigerator

First, put your coconut oil in a bowl of warm water to thaw and set aside. Do this with the Goji Bliss aswell. Then, combine dates and raisins in your food processor and pulse until finely chopped, put aside in large mixing bowl. Process your nuts until fine and mix in with dates, raisins, now add the shredded coconut and cacao powder. Add a very small amount of coconut water and mix together until it is a sticky consistency(if you use soaked dates/rasisins, you will not need the coconut water). Line your pan with saran or wax paper, press in mixture evenly, set aside. Now pour the Goji Bliss over this mixture and press in to even out. Now, mix together the coconut oil, cacao powder, agave, a wee bit of coconut water (this will make the top layer more of a fudgy texture) for your topping and pour into pan. Set in fridge or freezer. Ready in 30 mins. Enjoy!!!

Once again, Kate of Fat Ass to Fit Ass, shared her lemon recipe, Raw Lemon Pudding:

She gets major props for being able to cut through an avocado pit.

Superwoman much? Like me, she embraced the avocado and lemon in her creation.

Edit to add: Vegan of the Great White North submitted her recipe on time, but it hightailed it to my spam folder. Darn it! Here is what she shared, however, Raw Vegan Cheezecake.

Ain’t it gorgeous? Head to her post to see all the progress pictures.

And the winner is . . . Little Momo! I liked the double effort, and her presentation on both is just gorgeous, but the Nanaimo Bars won me over all by themselves. I can’t get behind the consumption of raisins, but I can let that slide. 😉 I will contact you about your prize, darlin’.

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!

Vegan MoFo Contest Announcement for Week #2

9 Nov

Thanks again to everyone who submitted entries into my first contest. Congratulations again to meansoybean for her winning recipe! Everyone go check it out.

Now, my fellow food-loving friends, it’s time for the second contest. We are taking a side-step away from the sugar-and-fat-laden sphere of baking to the wide-open world of global cuisine. Your challenge: choose a style of cuisine you’ve never made before and take a stab at it. Have you already conquered international cooking? Then pick a style you like and try another facet of it. For example, my plan is to make gnocchi from scratch for the first time.

Want some inspiration? Check out Madhur Jaffrey’s absolutely wonderful World Vegetarian cookbook or fellow Tulsan Sasha’s Global Table blog.

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 14. Feel free to include pictures of the process as well as the final version. One photo of your finished product is OK, too. Conversely, if you have a blog of your own, feel free to do a post about your global cooking adventure in lieu 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 ya.

2. All submissions must be from a culture separate from your own. There’s a world (tee hee!) of possibilities, so take your pick. And yes, that does mean non-Americans are free to try their hands at our decidedly fried and corn-fed cuisine.

3. Remember: Try out something new. The point is to challenge ourselves and expand our horizons.

I hope this goes without being said, but, of course, 4. All entries must be vegan. Feel free to veganize a popular dish or choose a style – such as Indian or Vientamese – that has a lot of meat- and dairy-free options already available.

5. 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 expect some homemade baked goods and some of my favorite vegan products. 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. As before, please spread the word!

Thanks again, and I can’t wait to see what you make!

Weekly Contest #1 Results and Winner

9 Nov

Hey folks,

I’m excited that five people participated in the baking challenge. I also heard from a few others who wanted to but had a stumbling block for one reason or another. I totally understand and encourage you all to participate in my next food challenge, which I will announce after this post goes up.

So, without further ado, here’s a round-up of my participants. I will start with my own entry (which, of course, can’t win the prize).

My reasons for choosing this challenge were partly selfish. A coworker now has a beautiful one-month-old daughter, and since I’m obsessed with babies, I’m always looking for excuses to go see mom and little one. On a recent visit, I told my friend to let me know if she needed anything, and recalling a batch of Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles I brought to the office for my birthday, she quickly responded, “Cookies.” The catch is that her new arrival cannot have chocolate – it’s too much of a stimulant for her. A catch for most bakers is also that the baby has a dairy allergy, but that one was easy for me. So I began to brainstorm what to bake instead of my usuals, which made me interested to see what all of you would do. Here’s what I made for her:

Citrus Glitters (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats) and Cinnamon Coffee Cake (from The Joy of Vegan Baking)

Not a bad little care package, eh?

For the Citrus Glitters, I used a mix of mostly orange and lemon zest with a bit of lime, too. It was the first time I made this recipe, and they totally rocked. The citrus packed a punch without being overwhelming. Next time, I will amp up the lime so the flavors are a little better balanced, but I highly recommend this recipe. You get to use your hands, which is always fun.

The coffee cake is one of my faves. It’s full of fall spices, and it’s great on its own or with a nice hot beverage. The only deviation I make from the recipe is in the crumb topping. I don’t use the nuts (I don’t like the way they overpower the ginger), and I add just enough oil to give it a good texture. If you skip the nuts and don’t reduce the oil, then the topping is basically impossible to spread. I never measure the oil – just drizzle it in and stop when the flour-spice mix is wet bit still sprinkle-able.

And now, let’s see what all of you came up with. These are in order of when I received them:

Up first is meansoybean’s (LOVE that name!) pan-fried butternut squash cake.Her entry is an inventive use of leftover cake (I’m trying to imagine that happening in my home) that is getting a little past its prime. I’m pressed to think of something more indulgent than fried cake. It sounds absolutely delicious!

Next, we have Czech Vegan in America’s Cranberry Pumpkin Bread.I love how gorgeous the cranberries look in that deep orange bread. It just screams fall. I also love how simple the recipe is. I bet mini loaves of this would be a great holiday gift.

Our third submission is Tofu Cheesecake from the blog My Brand New Life.

It’s like a regular cheesecake, only vegan and huge! I haven’t tried any vegan desserts with tofu, so this one definitely caught my attention.

Up next, Phoenix Dreaming brings us Jack (the Pumpkin King) Pie.

The name alone is definitely a winner, and I love pumpkin. For others unfamiliar with Speculoos, they are a kind of shortbread cookie. Tasty!

And finally, my real-life homegirl Kate of Fat Ass to Fit Ass (sorry, Mom!) brings us Vegan Apple Crisp.

Kate is not a vegan nor does she have much vegan baking experience, so she gets props for taking on the challenge, even if she apparently hates cinnamon. I also love that she took the challenge in a slightly healthier direction. Also, yum, apples!

And now folks, the winner is . . .

meansoybean!

Congratulations! The judges (i.e. my taller half and I) applauded your presentation, creativity, and the effort that went into sharing your recipe with us. I can’t wait to try it! I will email you to get your address so I can send some goodies. Please let me know if you have any food allergies.

Thanks again to everyone who entered! It was a really tough choice, which is why I had to ask for help from my taller half. You’re all awesome!

Which entry are you the most excited to bake? Also, look for the week #2 contest announcement in just a bit.

Macaroon Monday

5 Nov

Yes, I’m aware that today is not Monday and that this post contains no macaroons. However, I decided to heed Heather’s call and take part in Hangry Pants‘s Macaroon Monday challenge. The link has the full deets, but the nut-shell version is that she is challenging bloggers to try making a new-to-them food item. For her, the item is macaroons. I chose something a little less sweet:

Focaccia!

I’ve had a goal of learning to make yeast breads in mind for a while, and this challenge afforded me a perfect opportunity.

To be fair, I did make yeast bread once before, but it was not a success. This time, I chose a totally different recipe and technique and dove right in. The instructions are care of the divine Miss Pea. First, you let the hungry yeast bathe in some water and brown sugar:

Yep, smells like yeast. Once it’s all dissolved, you add the other ingredients and knead. Try not to sing “I knead you now, woh oh oh, more than words can say.” Or go ahead. In the end, it should form a nice ball:

Let it rise for a bit. I left it alone for just over an hour.

It’s like magic! No, really, it is. From here, you make it into a round shape, drizzle on some olive oil, and pat on some chopped fresh rosemary and some salt. Plop it in the oven:

The directions say it’ll take about 15, but mine took longer. I baked it for 15, and it looked done on the outside, but it was still doughy on the inside. It may well be my temperamental oven or my crappy baking sheet. I ended up adding 10 or so more minutes to get the lovely end result.

Fluffy on the inside, crusty on the outside.

This was such a fun experience that I can’t wait to try out more yeast breads. Pretzels and cinnamon rolls are both on my radar now, as well as a more traditional French bread.