Last Meal (Vegan MoFo #21)

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I decided to end Vegan MoFo with an entire book-based meal. Main dish, sides, drinks, and dessert are all mentioned in the book, so I cooked it all! I’ll miss the challenge this month has been, but it will also be nice to be able to not worrying about blogging five days a week. I’m already planning my theme (*cough* Disney movies *cough*) for next year.
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The genre of vampire fiction has grown rapidly these last few years. But the first vampire series I remember getting truly invested in (before all the Twilight hubub took over)  was Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan. The first book in the series is A Living Nightmare, in which the main character is a young boy, Darren. Darren’s obsession with the supernatural and outlandish prompts him and his friend, Steve, to visit a traveling freak show that has just rolled into town. Due to their encounters at the show, Darren and Steve end up over their heads and thrown from their mundane everyday lives into being involved in the dangerous vampire world. Now Darren must choose between saving Steve’s life and sacrificing his own human future.

In the same vein as Goosebumps, but with much better writing, A Living Nightmare (and the rest of the Cirque Du Freak books) tells a harrowing story involving vampire mythos, a dash of sarcastic humor, and good old fashioned gore. Great for anyone wanting to read a vampire story that does not involve romance or sparkles.

This would be my last meal with them and I wanted it to be special. When I was looking back on it in later years, I wanted to be able to remember us together, at home, a happy family.

Mom cooked my favorite food: chicken, roast potatoes, corn on the cob. Annie and me had freshly squeezed orange juice to drink. Mom and Dad shared a bottle of wine. We had strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Everybody was in a good mood.” – Cirque Du Freak (A Living Nightmare) (paperback) page 225

I won’t tell why (I hate spoilers), but Darren is having his last meal with his family. Because of this it’s a very important dinner and I wanted to make sure I captured that in my last Vegan MoFo meal. For the chicken I used PETA’s cruelty free Chick-fil-a recipe, the potatoes were just thinly sliced and baked with Lawry’s seasoning salt and pepper, and then some fresh corn on the cob. I served it with barbecue sauce and orange juice.

cirque du freak mealThe best part of this meal though was the dessert. I decided to adapt my lemon-berry cheesecake recipe and make it into strawberry cheesecake. I wish I’d done this recipe earlier in the month when strawberries were more in season, but it still turned out well with the mediocre selection that was available.

strawberry cheezcake

Strawberry Cheesecake

Serves 8

Ingredients:

One graham cracker crust (store-bought or home-made)

1 cup silken tofu

2 cups fresh strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor blend together all the ingredients (except the pie crust) until smooth.

Pour the strawberry mix into the crust, place on a cookie sheet, and bake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chill for at least 5 hours and then slice and serve! This is also great garnished with strawberry sauce or vegan whipped cream.

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Not So Sharky “Shark Cutlets” (Vegan MoFo #14)

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Storm Thief by Chris Wooding focuses on two young thieves, Moa and Rail, whose story begins in a chaotic city afflicted by storms that rearrange reality. These mysterious “probability storms” cause changes, big or small, and the citizens of Orokos live in fear of them. One of those citizens who knows the reality of that fear is Rail, who lost the use of his lungs during a storm years ago, and now must wear a respirator. He and Moa are, quite literally, partners in crime. They retrieve (aka, steal) items for a crime boss in the ghetto they live in.

While working on one of these missions, Rail and Moa stumble upon a map that holds the key to the mysterious heart of Orokos. With this, they might be disable the ancient machine that causes the probability storms, escape the island without being killed by the sea guardians, or just use it to buy their way out of segregation and the ghetto. Either way, these two face a journey full of hardships and uncertainty.

Inside was a low, circular room, hot and heavy with the scent of aromatic smoke. In the centre was a square bar where cooks took orders from the clientele. Rail ordered each of them a heaping plate of shark cutlets and pumpkin mash. The food arrived with complimentary mugs of cold tuzel, a spicy drink that Moa loved when she could get it.

They took their plates to a small booth and sat opposite each other. Moa attacked the food with an indecent appetite. Rail was forced to eat much more slowly, lifting his respirator between bites. He hated eating in public, but they both needed a rest and a good meal. It had been an exhausting journey.” – Storm Thief (hardback) page 70

I’ve never had shark before, so this was a harder recipe for me to come up with. I’m assuming it’s fishy tasting, but that’s just about all I know. I tried looking up vegetarian/vegan recipes, but to no avail. So the following recipe is probably nothing like shark, but it sure is tasty!

shark cutlets and pumpkin

Tofu Shark Cutlets

Ingredients

3/4 cup yellow onion, minced (about 1 small onion)

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 4.5 oz. can of chopped green chiles

1 14 oz. package of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed extremely well, then cubed

1.5 cups of water

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon seaweed powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

8 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup margarine

1.5 tablespoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons salt

Black pepper, to taste

2 cups panko bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large pot add water, ginger, garlic, seaweed, turmeric, chili powder, salt, and cumin. Bring to a boil and then add the tofu cubes. Turn down to medium heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes, then drain and place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, boil water in a large pot and add potatoes. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until soft then drain. In a pan saute the onion in oil until they are golden brown and fragrant. Add the onions and canned chiles to the bowl with tofu. Gently mix everything together.

Put cooked potatoes in a bowl and mash with margarine, parsley, salt, and black pepper.

On a non-stick surface, place 1/4 cup of the potato mixture. Pat it out into a circle (about the size of a veggie burger) then place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the tofu mixture in the middle. Put another 1/4 cup of potato on top, and pat into a covered mound (similar in size to a small fist).

Roll in bread crumbs and place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the potato mixture and tofu.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

shark cutlets inside

Pumpkin Mash

Based on a recipe by Steamy Kitchen

Ingredients:

2 medium russet potatoes, cubed

1/2 cup plain pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon margarine

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoon original soymilk

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Boil a pot of water and add the potatoes. Boil for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain potatoes and coarsely mash with the remaining ingredients. Then transfer to a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.

Plethora of Pie (Vegan MoFo #10)

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Thief of Always was the first book I read that was written by Clive Barker, so it holds a special place in my heart (and personal library). It is an enchanting story of a regular ten-year-old boy, bored from school and a dull home life, being swept away to a magical place called the Holiday House where he can have fun all day long.

Harvey loves this new place and enjoys the special treatment. Mrs. Griffin, the House’s care taker, explains that this is a get-away for unique children like him. There are only two other kids there with him, Lulu and Wendell. Wendell is near Harvey’s age and gives him a big tour of the House and explains that every day is full of holidays. Every morning is spring (which usually consists of playing in the tree fort), followed by afternoon summertime (full of naps and exploring), fall in the evening (Halloween and trick-or-treating), and lastly Christmas (with any toys you desire magically appearing under the tree). Other than Mrs. Griffin, there are other strange adults there who don’t seem to be normal humans. But Harvey is willing to look past this oddity since the Holiday House is so wonderful.

Harvey would like to spend the rest of forever here, until things start becoming weird. Lulu, though never particularly friendly, starts acting oddly secretive. And when Mrs. Griffin and the other adults refuse to answer his questions, he becomes suspicious. Then any attempts to leave the House are thwarted by mysterious powers. Now all Harvey wants is his dull life back, but he might not survive another attempt at escaping the Holiday House.

Harvey set himself down at the kitchen table, and within sixty seconds Mrs. Griffin had set a dozen plates of food in front of him: hamburgers, hot dogs and fried chicken; mounds of buttered potatoes; apple, cherry and mud pies, ice cream and whipped cream; grapes, tangerines and a plate of fruits he couldn’t even name.” – Thief of Always (paperback) page 20

I always imagined Mrs. Griffin being the perfect grandmother prototype with her elderly age and love of cooking pies. I didn’t want to choose a more ordinary pie (like the aforementioned apple or cherry), so the recipe below is for a rich and creamy mud pie!

mudpie

Mud Pie

Ingredients:

2 cups chocolate pudding (homemade or Jell-O brand is accidentally vegan)

1 graham cracker crust (either store-bought or homemade)

1/2 cup Smuckers marshmallow topping (it’s accidentally vegan and is found in the ice cream topping area)

1 cup vegan cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons original soymilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup raw pecans

Directions:

Set oven to 375 degrees. Bake the graham cracker crust for 3-5 minutes, just enough to let it brown and bake together (especially for looser homemade recipes). After baking, set the crust aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the marshmallow topping, cream cheese, soymilk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar.

Next layer the pudding and cream cheese mixture into the pie crust. Put down a layer of pudding, then cream cheese mix, rest of the pudding, then drizzle the last of the cream cheese on top. Sprinkle with pecans and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then slice and serve! It’s quite messy, but very delicious.

ESSENTIAL Biscuits (Vegan MoFo #8)

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5-27-2010-lord-sunday-by-garth-nixSince Lord Sunday (the book which inspired the below recipe), is the last book of seven in the Keys to the Kingdom series, I’ll be reviewing the first book, Mister Monday by Garth Nix, to avoid spoilers.

Keys to the Kingdom is a series about Arthur Penhaligon, a twelve year old boy who through a seemingly random accident is chosen to become the Rightful Heir of the House (the center of the universe). Controlling the House are the corrupt Morrow Days, who are each afflicted by one of the deadly sins. The Morrow Days are: Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior Saturday, and Lord Sunday.

Arthur soon learns that the Architect (creator of the House and “secondary realms”) left a Will which was unfulfilled. Not long afterwards, a mysterious virus begins sweeping through his town in the secondary realm. Knowing that this is the work of the Morrow Days, Arthur must go into the House to search for a cure. There he learns that to save his town, and the House itself, he must defeat the Morrow Days and release the imprisoned pieces of the Will . Through his journey, Arthur meets Suzy Turquoise Blue, a clever and capable girl who, along with all the other “Piper’s children”, was drawn to the House by the Pied Piper. Suzy holds a current piece of the Will, which has manifested itself as a talking frog. With his two odd allies in tow, Arthur must work to defeat the torpid Mister Monday and stop the spreading virus before it’s too late.

” “Have a biscuit, General,” said one of the children, reaching into the barrel, which was stuffed to the brim with biscuits. Since neither Denizens nor Piper’s children needed to eat, but liked to do so anyway, it was surprising that the barrel was marked ESSENTIAL GOODS FOR EVACUATION.

Suzy took the raisin-filled biscuit with glee and, between mouthfuls, introduced everyone.” – Lord Sunday (hardcover) page 145

I’ve never actually had a sweet biscuit (only savory), but these were amaaaazing.

raisin biscuit

Essential Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

Based on a recipe from Food.com

Ingredients

1 cup raisins

1 cup water

2 cups soymilk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 cups self rising flour, or 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons baking powder mixed together

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup shortening

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar

3 and 1/2 teaspoons soymilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Set oven to 400 degrees.

Boil water and pour over raisins, then cover and set aside. Mix the 2 cups of soymilk with lemon juice, set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Cut shortening into the flour mixture (either using a fork or pastry blender) until crumbly and fine.

Mix in soymilk and drained raisins, then stir in cinnamon.

With a large greased spoon dollop out the biscuit dough onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

While the biscuits cool, mix together the powdered sugar with vanilla and 3 and 1/2 teaspoons of soymilk until a glaze is formed. Drizzle over cooled biscuits and let sit until the glaze hardens.

Twig’s Sausage Soup (Vegan MoFo #7)

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The story for today focuses on Twig, who is written about in The Edge Chronicles: Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. Twig is a young human who lives among a tribe of Woodtrolls. He’s always known he was different, due to his lack of fur and inability to work well with wood (the usual Woodtroll occupation), but it wasn’t until now he desired to know where he came from.

Soon a group of Sky Pirates are coming to trade for wood from his local village. Twig’s adoptive mother fears the Pirates will attempt to kidnap him and force him to join the crew. At his mother’s request, Twig decides to stay at a nearby Woodtroll village until the Pirates leave. While traveling to the village,  Twig breaks the one rule he’s always been told: Never leave the path. Even though it was kind of an accident, those fateful steps off the path send Twig on a fantastic journey.

While traveling on a journey to find a home and his true identity, Twig encounters many strange creatures. Including the Slaughterers, human eating trees, Sky Pirates, rot-suckers, and even the gentle giants of the forest, Banderbears. As he continues onward, Twig will learn the answers to some very pressing questions. Who his true parents are, who has been secretly guiding him in this dangerous quest, and what is life like off the path?

The tilder sausage soup tasted as delicious as it had smelled. Simmered until the sausages were soft, in stock seasoned with nibblick and orangegrass, the soup was rich and spicy. It was also just the start. Juicy hammelhorn steaks, rolled in seasoned knotroot flour and deep-fried in tilder oil came next, accompanied by earthapples and a tangy blue salad. And this was followed by honey trifle and delberry blancmange and small wafer biscuits drenched in treacle. Twig had never eaten so well – nor drunk so much. A large jug full of woodapple cider stood in the centre of each of the four tables, and Twig’s mug was never allowed to empty.” – Beyond the Deepwoods (hardcover) page 56

I had to sit and imagine what I thought nibblick and orangegrass would taste like. I chose fennel seeds for nibblick and orange bell pepper for orangegrass. Everything else was just kind of thrown into the pot willy-nilly and it turned out great! Spicy and rich, just like the book described.

tilder sausage soup

Tilder Sausage Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

10 cups of vegan “chicken” broth or vegetable broth

5 jumbo veggie dogs or 8 regular size veggie dogs, sliced (I used Smart Dogs)

1 large potato, cubed

3 medium carrots, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sriracha

3/4 cup orzo

Directions:

Saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the olive oil. While that cooks, begin heating your vegetable broth to a boil. Cook the onions and bell peppers until they’re soft and fragrant.

Once the broth is boiling, add all the remaining the ingredients except for the orzo. Boil for 10-15 minutes, then add the orzo and boil for another 10 minutes. Then you’re finished!

There’s No Butter in My Beer (Vegan MoFo #4)

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hp3I know everyone who is reading this has at least heard of the Harry Potter series. If not, you’ve been living under a rock. And how exactly are you accessing the internet and my blog from under said rock? Anyway, I’ll spare everyone having to read an extensive review of such a well-known book. Just know that Harry is an orphaned boy who, upon his 11th birthday, finds out he’s a wizard. Harry is then swept away to the magical school Hogwarts, where he makes friends and fights evil Lord Voldemort (who murdered his parents).

The food item I ended up picking was, what a surprise, butterbeer. This delicious drink, which is served at the Three Broomsticks and the Hog’s Head, was first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Ron came back five minutes later, carrying three foaming tankards of hot butterbeer.

“Merry Christmas!” he said happily, raising his tankard.

Harry drank deeply. It was the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside.” – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (paperback) page 201

Back in the summer, my boyfriend and I went with a school group on a trip to Orlando. While there, we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Of course, the butterbeer there is not vegan (I made due with some yummy pumpkin juice), but vegetarian Peter drank the stuff like it was going out of style. After four mugs throughout the day a very sad, and visibly plumper, Peter left the park vowing to recreate their butterbeer.

1001820_720018410760_975967721_nPosing outside of Honeydukes, butterbeer in hand.

Since that day, he has been on me to find a good recipe that matches the Wizarding World’s drink. Peter said the recipe below is extremely close to the Universal version, but with a hint of coconut flavor (due to the cream). I really enjoyed it, and I hope you do too!

butterbeer

Butterbeer

Based on a recipe from Bakingdom

Ingredients:

For the butterbeer:

6 – 12 oz. cream sodas

3 teaspoons imitation butter extract (the McCormick version is vegan)

For the vegan foam:

1 & 1/3 cups of coconut cream (put 2 cans of coconut milk in the fridge, once they’re cold scrape off the top layer of thick cream)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon imitation butter extract

Directions:

With a mixer blend all the foam ingredients. Blend until thoroughly mixed and slightly fluffy.

In a glass (or stein if you’re really cool) put 1/2 teaspoon of butter extract, then pour on top a bottle of cream soda. Top with a few spoonfuls of the foam mixture, and then drink up!

hayley with butter beerpeter with butter beer

The Vegg – a Review and a Recipe

The lovely people over at the Vegg sent me a sample of their product, the world’s first vegan egg yolk, to review. I was super excited because I had seen some of the dishes made with their product and it all looked yummy, plus the company seems to have a good heart since 10% of their net sales are donated to Compassion Over Killing.

Once it arrived in the mail, I made the one eggy thing I had really been missing since going vegan, scrambled eggs. Sure, tofu scramble is good and all, but still not the same thing. I followed the Vegetarian Recipe Club’s recipe for the scramble, using only 3/4 cup of water and minus the green onions, and then to make it similar to my pre-vegan dishes I threw in a sprinkle of Daiya cheddar and chopped Light Life “bacon”.

It was SO GOOD. I cannot emphasis how delicious this was and creepily similar to eggs. The texture of the tofu was eggy, but the flavor of the Vegg was what made it all stand apart from a traditional tofu scramble. After making this, I decided that even if every other dish I made was a failure, this made it worth buying.

I know that the Vegg boasts many uses to replace egg yolk and even has a spherification method, but since I never liked egg yolks in my omnivore days, I will not be reviewing that use of the product.

But the next way I used the product was to make a Vegg patty, which I made by mixing 3 tbsps of Vegg powder, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of flour. I then cooked them like pancakes, using a oiled skillet and flipping them over once bubbles began to rise on the surface. The patties were then put onto an open faced English muffin with some Vegenaise, tomato slices, and chives. These were very yummy and reminded me of a good version of the uber-processed egg patties that are used in sandwiches at fast-food joints. These patties would be fantastic in a biscuit with a little margarine.

And the last thing I made with the Vegg was my own recipe! The recipe is for Vegg breakfast bites, kinda like a quick thing to grab in the morning if you don’t have time to sit down and eat. Plus since these babies pack 6 grams of protein per muffin, it’s a filling way to start off your day.

Vegg Breakfast Bites

Makes 10 muffin sized “bites”

Ingredients:

14 oz. firm tofu

1 cup cooked quinoa

3 tbsps Vegg powder

3/4 cup water

2 tsps minced garlic

1/2 tsp of each: onion powder, black pepper, and salt

1/2 cup chopped vegan bacon (I used Light Life bacon style strips)

1/4 cup loosely packed chopped basil

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400º.

In a food processor, blend the Vegg and water, then slowly add in pieces of the tofu until a smooth texture is achieved.

Put the tofu/Vegg mixture into a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Grease a muffin tin and pour the mix into the pan, and it should make about 10 breakfast bites.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking for done-ness by an inserted toothpick coming out clean.

Let them cool, then enjoy! These are surprisingly good with dipping sauces, I enjoyed mine this afternoon with some ketchup and “honey mustard” dip.

So all in all, I would definitely recommend trying the Vegg. It is fantastic scrambled, fried, baked, or cooked many other ways. Check out the Vegg’s website for information on where to it is available in your area.