Once Upon A Time, There Was A Vegan Blogger…

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Our story begins on a crisp autumn morning, when a young vegan decided that she needed to expand her blog’s readership.

She thought and thought about how to do this, when suddenly, while reading about Virginia’s upcoming elections, it came to her.

Bribery.

She knew that a couple of fat stacks would be just what she needed to persuade some neighbors to hop on the computer and take a look.

So she piled them high,

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and topped them with liquid gold.

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The warm, gooey morsels of apple, plum and streusel were better than currency.

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So with full bellies and sticky fingers, they all lived happily ever after.

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Bon appetit.

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Ingredients

3 apples

3 plums

Caramel sauce

Streusel filling

Caramel Sauce

1/4 C. light corn syrup

1/2 C. water

2 C. white sugar

1/2 C. coconut milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. vegan butter or margarine

Streusel 

4 Tbsp. vegan butter or margarine

1/2 C. flour

1/4 C. brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon
the dessert tower

Method

Core and slice the plums and apples (firmer plumbs will work best for this)

Layer apples, streusel, plums, streusel, and apples again until you have 5 layers

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until the apples are just soft, not mushy

Remove from heat and allow to cool

Top with caramel sauce, and chopped walnuts

Caramel Sauce

Bring sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and water to a boil

Continue cooking on a strong simmer until the mixture turns a deep golden-brown color, about 30 mins depending on your stove (once it begins to brown it goes fast, so watch it)

Remove from heat and carefully add the coconut milk and vegan butter (this will bubble up quite a bit; always be careful with melted sugar)

Allow to cool and thicken for 10 minutes before drizzling on apple-plum stacks

Streusel filling

Blend vegan butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor

Roasted Apple and Carrot Salad with No-Carb Deep Dish Veggie Lasagna

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Today’s dinner was good exercise for my cutting board. Embracing the cooler weather, I was craving something hearty, warm and included the fresh local apples my mom recently brought back from the orchard. I was also not particularly picky about how much prep time went into this, because it was basically all chopping. Not that I mind, I find it therapeutic (interestingly, although I’ve been chopping my own vegetables since about first grade [I know!] I’ve only cut myself once, and that was last year). This was a two birds, one stone scenario. What a delicious way to blow off steam.

The resulting dish was a delicious warm roasted carrot and apple salad with dried cherries & cranberries, walnuts, and a horseradish & apple cider dressing.

roast salad

Basically take baby carrots, three apples, and 2 oz each dried cherries and cranberries and toss them in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste.

Then mix in 2 Tbsp. horseradish, 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, and 4 Tbsp. olive oil.

Next roast in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes.

Finally add in some walnuts (you may toast them separately if you like, I didn’t want them to burn in the oven) sprinkle with garnish of choice, and promptly consume. Or wait until a deep-dish vegetable lasagna is finished getting all hot for ya.

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A cheese-less, noodle-less vegetable lasagna is constructed by layering eggplant, orange bell peppers, tomatoes, pesto and “tofu cream” in a deep pan. After alternating a sufficient number of layers to fill the pan, top it with some vegan mozzarella, bread crumbs, italian seasoning, and a drizzle of olive oil.

lasagna

Bake at 450 for 40 mins to achieve the following:

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I livened up the visuals of mine and added another layer of flavor with some fresh basil on top (to make it more italian?).

Altogether, I’m not sure I’ve ever consumed such a wide variety of vegetables in one dinner before. The flavors were so vibrant, fresh, unique and perfect for the season.

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The only way to follow up such a dinner of course, was with some apple crisp lovingly prepared by mom last night. She even specifically looked for a vegan recipe!

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We’re starting to understand each other.

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Bon appetit.

P.S. Tofu cream is made by food-processing some firm tofu with a 1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, some salt and pepper, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 Tbsp. sugar or sweetener and 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast. This is a delicious ricotta alternative, but can also be used as an excellent dip.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

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Let’s talk about cake, baby.

As a vegan, the number one thing I have difficulty with is dessert. (Most) dark chocolate is thankfully a-ok, but when it comes to grab and go options, pretty much every pre-made dessert on the planet includes dairy. As more of a cook than a baker, this saddens me deeply.

However, necessity is the mother of invention so naturally I took to google and found me a recipe.¬†Posted by aliciak on instructables.com, it might be the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. And I like my cake like I like my men – rich, dark, and freakin delicious.

This is the third time I’ve made this cake, and they’ve all turned out fantastic (even the second one, when still drunk from the night before I forgot to add the flour and turned it into a “torte”).

It’s moist, decadent, rich, and she even includes a glaze recipe that knocks it outta the park. Or, you can be like me and skip it all together because like I said, I’m lazy like that.

The best part – we’re vegan, which means we can eat the batter.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar

Method

Put it all in a mixer, and mix. That’s literally how I did it.

Serving suggestion: in your mouth, all at once.

Bon appetit.