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Chipotle BLPT Dip, and a Giveaway!

BLPT Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

Like many vegans, I often find myself staring at random food items and wondering “Can I make this into bacon?” Well, spoiler alert… when the food item in question is the new Nasoya TofuBaked, the answer is a resounding Yes!

They sent me a few packages of their newest flavor, Chipotle, and asked me to create an appetizer recipe. (If you’re more into the teriyaki flavor, check out my Teriyaki Tofu n’ Butternut Bowls!) If you’re not yet familiar with TofuBaked, it’s cubed tofu that has already been marinated and baked, and is ready to eat! You can heat it and include it in a bowl or stir-fry, and you can slice it cold and put it on a sandwich. Very versatile! And since I really want you to try it, one lucky reader is going to receive FIVE free product coupons from Nasoya!

BLPT Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

Not having been a really active cook lately, I’ll admit that I hit a small mental roadblock. I couldn’t come up with anything, until the bacon idea surfaced. I decided to slice the tofu really thinly, then fry it. Like bacon. At first I was planning to recreate my BLPTs using the chipotle “bacon”, but then my mom (who is visiting) mentioned that she would really prefer a dip… and since I like to make my mom happy, Chipotle BLPT Dip it was! 

With or without spicy bbq sauce… 

BLPT Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

This dip has all the flavor of a BLT with pickles, but better because of the smoky, chipotle tofu bacon. It’s delicious perfection, really.

BLPT Dip | www.thatwasvegan.com

I served it with crispy, salty pita chips, but any hearty dipper would work. I can’t help but point out how perfect this would be for that upcoming football game everyone is talking about… Oh, and in case you need more appetizer ideas… Enjoy!


The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win FIVE Nasoya free product coupons! To enter, leave a comment below answering the question of the day:  Which meal of your day is most likely to include tofu? Tofu scrambles for breakfast? A tofu stir-fry for lunch? Lasagna with tofu ricotta for dinner? Be sure and log your comment into Rafflecopter to make sure it counts! Contest ends February 9th at midnight, mountain time. One winner will be chosen at random and announced the following day. Open to residents of the US only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was provided free product to review, but the opinions are 100% mine!


Chipotle BLPT Dip
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package Nasoya Chipotle TofuBaked
  2. Sea salt (applewood smoked, if you have it!)
  3. Non-stick oil for frying
  4. ~20 hamburger pickle chips, roughly diced
  5. -15 grape tomatoes, sliced in half or thirds
  6. 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  7. 1/4 cup vegan sour cream
  8. BBQ sauce, if desired
  9. Salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Slice the tofu lengthwise into thirds. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat, and cook the tofu for 5-6 minutes on each side or until crispy like bacon. Before flipping, give it another spritz with the spray and sprinkle with the salt.
  2. Roughly dice the tofu and allow to cool while combining the rest of the ingredients. Stir in the tofu and refrigerate for about an hour. Top with a little extra salt and pepper, and drizzle with the bbq sauce if you're using. Serve with a hearty chip, and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Makes 2+ cups of dip!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 26 comments }

A Little Trip to Iceland…

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

If you had asked me 4 years ago what my favorite city was, I’d have said Toronto. In 2013 Toronto was replaced by Chiang Mai, Thailand. Ask me today… and I’d probably have to say Reykjavik.

My girl Chelsea and I just returned from a week in Iceland, and it was amazing. Breathtaking. Eye-opening. Wonderful. So many new adventures and experiences and tastes and smells, I hardly know where to begin! The people were open and kind. They all spoke English very well. The weather wasn’t nearly as cold as I expected. It was around freezing most of the time, but coming from Colorado I’m used to that. In fact, many days it was actually more temperate in Reykjavik than it was back home!

Our first day there was a bit mind-boggling. We landed at 7am to pitch blackness, which didn’t let up till the sun rose around 10. That was a difficult adjustment. We checked into our Airbnb apartment (right at the beginning of Austurstræti, the street with all the bars and restaurants and shops you’ll want to be near!), had a quick breakfast, then visited Vesturbaejarlaug, a public pool/spa right near downtown. It was maybe a 15 minute walk from our apartment, and completely worth it. The pools are all naturally heated with the geothermic water, and SO relaxing. Exactly what we needed after an overnight flight. 

From there it was just a few more minutes down to the water’s edge… 

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

I don’t remember what time it was exactly, maybe around 2:00, so right around what passes for mid-day in winter Iceland. As you can see, the sun doesn’t get very high up in the sky this time of year. 

It was only around 4pm by the time we got back to the apartment, and the only thing we knew for sure what that we needed to stay up at least until 8 or 9, otherwise we wouldn’t adjust to the time difference (7 hours ahead of Colorado), and we’d end up jet-lagged and miserable. We decided to head out for a happy hour drink and some dinner. We were gross and unshowered and there wasn’t a speck of make-up in sight, but we didn’t care. We just wanted to stay awake. 

A lot of the bars in Reykjavik do offer happy hour specials, but they seem to be just for tourists, and were all pretty empty. Icelanders don’t go out until midnight, and the bars there stay open until 4am on weekends. But we didn’t care! We found some local lager… 

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

Some delicious vegan options (for me, Chels is omni)…

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

And best of all, a new friend!

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

Meet Jesse. He’s American, super nice, and was the best tour guide we could’ve hoped for. The three of us were fast friends and spent a lot of the next week together. 

Chelsea and I woke up early the next morning to go snorkeling at Silfra, something I highly recommend you do if you make it to Iceland! We used Dive.is, and they were great. Picked us up outside our apartment and made the whole day enjoyable. But, of course, they couldn’t change the temperature of the water, which as you can see below, was more than a tad chilly…

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

Silfra is a tectonic fissure between the European and North American continents (and in the picture above, the ledge you see to the far top right is actually the edge of North America!). It’s all lava rock and clear water, and it’s truly a once in a lifetime experience. Totally worth being cold for. And for all you GoT nerds, part of it was filmed here.

This was us, getting ready to go out the second night:

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

Reykjavik is a beautiful city. Very European and old-world, but with modern touches. 

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

Two of our best days were when the three of us took off in our rental car to explore the countryside. 

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

We saw so many Icelandic horses, and even got to pet a few! This one was my favorite, he looked rather like a baby moose I think. 

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

We did most of the Golden Circle (which I think is much better to experience by car on your own timetable, rather than as part of a huge group, if you don’t mind driving in a foreign country), including Geysir and Gullfoss WaterfallA Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

The most amazing night was Monday night, which we spent at an IcelandAir hotel in Flúðir, soaking in gorgeous outdoor hot tubs and watching the northern lights. Words cannot even describe. Nor can iPhone pictures, which is why I didn’t even try. While it is possible to see the lights from the city, you’re much more likely to see them from the countryside, and this hotel was perfect for that. Chelsea and I knew nothing of this, so a million and one thanks yous to Jesse for taking us there. If it wasn’t for him, we would’ve come and gone and never seen the lights, and that would’ve been such a loss. 

Oh, and because this IS still a vegan food blog, here’s a few shots of my munchies. I’ll be the first to say that Iceland isn’t the most vegan-friendly country on the planet and I ate more than my share of fries, but that’s okay! I wasn’t there for the food. I was there for the experience, and the delicious food finds were just the icing on the proverbial cake! 

Pasta Olio Aglio with fresh tomatoes (I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, but it was Italian and right on Austurstræti):

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

Vegan Veggie Burger at The Laundromat Cafe: (Just make sure you ask for no creme fraiche!)

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

A totally kickass salad at a little spot across from our hotel in Flúðir:

A Little Trip to Iceland... | www.thatwasvegan.com

And although I don’t have food pics, I have to give serious shout-outs for two other places. The first is Shalimar, and amazing Pakistani restaurant right on Austurstræti that I wish I could’ve visited again. If you ever get the chance to go, politely convince them to let you sit upstairs. You wont be sorry. The second was Bryggjan Brugghus Bistro & Brewery. They had 3 or 4 options with “vegan” in the title, and you know how awesome that is!

Okay. That was my trip to Iceland. No clue where my next trip will be, but I’m already looking forward to it. Where are you planning to go next? 

{ 7 comments }

The Best Baked Mac n’ Cheese. Easy & Vegan!

Baked mac n' cheese. Easy, vegan and sooo delicious! | www.thatwasvegan.com

Where have I been? Living life and having fun. Where have YOU been? Hopefully doing the same. 

Here’s a brief synopsis of what I’ve been up to lately: 

Painting my ceilings, backsplash-ing my kitchen, painting my walls, painting my exposed wood beams, flirting with guys, painting my exposed brick walls, planning a super awesome trip with my super awesome friend Chelsea, playing with Sally, flirting with some other guys, building a team of super fierce women who help each other DIY (I’m up to 3, wanna join!?), and actively avoiding the whole cooking/blogging thing. 

What’s that? You wanna hear more about my upcoming trip? Can you say… ICELAND!? That’s right, we’re taking ourselves to Iceland for a week to see the sights and experience all they have to offer- hot springs, waterfalls, snorkeling between tectonic plates, glaciers, and (fingers crossed) the northern lights. Oh, and Thor. I’m pretty freaking excited! 

But that’s still a few weeks away, and in the meantime I still need to eat mac n’ cheese. This baked version is based on one from To Live and Eat in LA, and it’s the recipe my friend Lauren made for Thanksgiving waaaaay back in 2011. It’s the mac n’ cheese that broke my dry spell, which then led to my Chili Mac, Butternut Mac, and – the very best- Mac Stuffed in Bread Bowls

I made my version a bit spicier, and I added Daiya shreds to the top and they got all crispy. It was totally an accident but I absolutely LOVED how it turned out!

Baked mac n' cheese. Easy, vegan and sooo delicious! | www.thatwasvegan.com

I think baked mac n’ cheese is the perfect comfort food for fall/winter. Especially days like yesterday, when we just got 10″ of snow in Denver, yikes! 

So go ahead and whip some up. I’ll be back soon with kitchen pics and updates on the trip! Muah!

Baked mac n' cheese. Easy, vegan and sooo delicious! | www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Baked Mac n' Cheese
Serves 6
Easy and delicious comfort food!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 16oz box shells
  2. 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  3. 3 tablespoons flour
  4. 2 1/2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
  5. 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (plus more for sprinkling)
  6. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (plus more for sprinkling)
  7. 1 1/2 bags Daiya cheddar shreds
  8. 1+ cups panko bread crumbs
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease or non-stick spray an 11x7 baking dish.
  2. Bring 3-4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the pasta, stirring, and allow to boil uncovered for 4-5 minutes. Drain immediately and set aside, making sure to give it a good stir so it doesn't clump.
  3. In the same pot over medium heat, melt the butter then stir in the flour. Keep stirring 2-3 minutes until it's a nice thick paste - this is your roux. Slowly add the milk and seasonings, while stirring continuously. Let it bubble and it'll thicken nicely in a minute or two. Add the cheese, keeping a handful or so aside for sprinkling on the top, if desired. Pour the pasta back into the cheese sauce and stir until coated, then pour into the baking dish. Cover with the remaining cheese shreds and the panko crumbs, along with an extra sprinkling of the seasonings.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until you can see the sides bubbling, and serve hot!
Notes
  1. Serves 4-6, depending on appetite
Adapted from To Live and Eat in LA
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 5 comments }

Maple Bacon Morning Millet

Maple Bacon Morning Millet Porridge | www.thatwasvegan.com

Cold weather calls for a hearty breakfast. Cold holiday weather calls for something even more special. Something filling, yet a little bit sweet perhaps… Something like my Vegan Maple Bacon Morning Millet!

 Yes, yes. More millet

Maple Bacon Morning Millet Porridge | www.thatwasvegan.com

Being from New Hampshire, a love of maple syrup is deep in my bones. I remember cold spring afternoons when I was little, sneaking through the woods, dipping my finger into the large buckets of sap the farmers down the road were collecting. Although never as sweet and thick as the syrup it would later become, the sap was still delicious- just a hint of the sweetness I craved. They had a sugaring shack at the end of the road, a tiny little cabin leaking steam all day long while they made the syrup. I’d hang around outside, equal parts trying not to be seen and hoping to be be invited in (yes, I was a creepy child). Once inside, it was like a sugary heaven. I remember being given small cups of the syrup to sip, and bits of candy. 

(Yes, I’m so old that I grew up in a time where it was actually safe for a child to take candy from adults she didn’t really know.) Often times they’d even give me a ride back up the hill to my house, either on the back of a horse or sometimes a tractor. (Yes, I’m really from the country!)

Maple Bacon Morning Millet Porridge | www.thatwasvegan.com

This breakfast is pretty quick to make, and reheats very well. I made it one Sunday morning and enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast at work the next few days. The bacon is cooked in a little bit of syrup, giving it a crispy, almost “candied” texture. And the fruit makes the whole dish. Don’t skip the fruit!

Maple Bacon Morning Millet Porridge | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Maple Bacon Morning Millet Porridge | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Maple Bacon Morning Millet Porridge | www.thatwasvegan.com

 


Maple Bacon Morning Millet
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups non dairy milk
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup maple syrup
  4. 1 cup millet
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  7. 5-6 pieces of vegan bacon (I prefer smart bacon for this)
  8. Non-stick spray
  9. Extra maple syrup and salt for cooking the bacon
  10. Fresh fruit, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine milk, water, and syrup in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the millet and seasonings. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Stir every few minutes. You want a porridge consistency, so add more milk or water if the grains aren't soft yet, and continue to simmer.
  2. Heat a pan over medium, and coat with non-stick spray. Lay out the bacon strips and drizzle with just a touch of the maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes, then flip. Add a touch more syrup and salt. Cook a few more minutes, until crisp. Remove and place on paper towels, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
  3. When the millet is done, top with bacon and fresh fruit, and serve hot!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 0 comments }

Coconut White Bean Soup & Texas-Sized Fun

Coconut White Bean Soup | www.thatwasvegan.com

Although Texas may seem like a whole other country, it’s also where my three favorite kiddos live. So last weekend I packed up and flew there. 

I had a blast. There was plenty of time with the kids, and plenty of time at the local pub.

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There was even plenty of time with the kids AT the local pub. Now that’s what I call multi-tasking! 

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There was tailgating fun before the U of H football game…

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Sunday morning cartoons…

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An epic sleepover…

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Things only Pats fans would understand…

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And glorious, glorious food… including these vegan cream cheese wontons and pad thai my SIL Kathy made… YUM!

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I had the best time, and I’m thankful that H-town is just a short flight from Denver, and that they have a guest room ready for me :)

Coconut White Bean Soup | www.thatwasvegan.com

And of course, after a weekend of sunny Texas weather, I landed back in Colorado and was welcomed by a blizzard. Hence the soup. This Coconut White Bean soup is a variation of the much adored Coconut, Corn, and Black Bean soup created by the now defunct Vegan Yum Yum.  I posted about it here a long time ago, and had linked to her blog for the recipe… but she’s recently pulled it off the interwebs, so I went ahead and added her recipe. Because, seriously. That soup is too good to just disappear! 

This version is wonderful too. I used white beans… and diced tomatoes instead of stewed for a chunkier base. Oh, and I added millet. Because why not!? I also really recommend the chopped avocado on top. Takes it to a whole new level of flavor. Delish! 


 

White Bean Coconut Soup
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cans white beans, with their liquid (I like great northern, but any will work)
  2. 1 cup diced tomatoes
  3. 1 cup light coconut milk (the culinary kind)
  4. 1 veggie bouillon cube
  5. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 cup cooked millet
  8. 1 cup frozen corn
  9. 1 avocado, diced
Instructions
  1. Combine the beans, tomatoes, milk and seasonings in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add the millet and corn a few minutes before you're ready to serve. Top with avocado at the last minute.
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 3 comments }

Vegan-Ease by Laura Theodore

Everyone knows the Jazzy Vegetarian, right? Her cookbooks are gorgeous and her recipes are delicious. Her latest offering, Vegan-ease, is no exception!

It’s full of fantastic recipes with tons (tons!) of beautiful pictures. She offers hints and tips to make vegan eating easier, and she’s even put together some fool-proof menus perfect for nearly any occasion. Appetizers, soups, pastas, desserts… they’re all in here. 

And speaking of desserts… 

4 ingredient cookies RI5A9723

Four Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yes please!

So bookmark, pin, or print this recipe, then scroll on down to enter the giveaway! 

4 ingredient cookies best DSC00360


Four-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Yields 16
Oh yeah! These delectable little cuties are so simple to make, you just may want to make a double batch. With only four ingredients, you can’t go wrong with this easy twist on a classic cookie.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large, ripe bananas
  2. 1¼ cups rolled oats
  3. 1⁄3 cup raisins
  4. 1⁄3 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Put the bananas in a medium-sized bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until smooth. Add the oats, raisins and chocolate chips; stir to combine.
  3. Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, drop a heaping tablespoonful of the cookie batter onto the lined baking sheet, gently flattening it with a rubber spatula or clean fingertips. Continue in this manner with the remaining cookie dough.
  4. Bake for 13 to 17 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and cookies are almost set. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, cookies will keep for about 3 days.
Notes
  1. Amount per serving, based on 1 cookie: 59 Calories; 2g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 1g Protein; 1mg Sodium; 11g Total Carbohydrate; 4g Sugars; 2g Fiber
  2. Recipe from Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet © Laura Theodore (Jazzy Vegetarian, LLC 2015), reprinted by permission. Photo by David Kaplan.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/

 

The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a copy of Vegan-ease by Laura Theodore! To enter, leave a comment telling us how often you cook from a cookbook. Contest ends November 18th at midnight (mountain time). One winner will be chosen at random and announced the following day. Be sure and log your comment into the Rafflecopter to make it count! Open to residents of US only, good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{ 17 comments }

Almond Dream v. Coconut Dream

Almond dream yogurt

That’s right – the people who brought you Almond Dream non-dairy yogurt have now expanded their line to include Coconut Dream non-dairy yogurt! And they sent me a bunch to taste-test, along with little cups and spoons, so I copied my girl Bianca and had a taste-testing party at the office.

Here’s what we were tasting:

Almond Dream yogurt in plain, vanilla, strawberry, mixed berry, and coconut … and … Coconut Dream yogurt in blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, vanilla and plain.

Almond dream yogurt

While some people did prefer the almond version, most seemed to enjoy the creaminess of the coconut yogurt the best. And it really IS creamy! Much thicker in consistency than the Almond Dream. My favorite flavor was definitely the strawberry, although the blueberry also ranked pretty high in this completely un-scientific experiment.

I definitely recommend you pick up a few containers of the new Coconut Dream. In addition to being delicious and creamy, it’s also low sodium, gluten, dairy, lactose, and soy-free, non GMO, and full of calcium. Learn more about all their products here or on their facebook page!

{ 0 comments }

Everyday Vegetarian

Another day, another dollar cookbook giveaway! And yes, this one is vegetarian, not vegan, but we all know how easily most recipes can be veganized, right?

Everyday Vegetarian by Jane Hughes is a beautiful book with tons of great recipes, many of which are already vegan. It’s separated by season, each with a selection of starters, mains, sides, drinks, and sweets! 

The publishers, in addition to letting me share a free copy with on you lucky readers, also allowed me to choose a recipe to share – and I chose Rice Noodles with Shallots and Garlic, because I love noodles.

And shallots. And garlic. (And bourbon, but that’s another story!)

Everyday Vegetarian


 The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a copy of Everyday Vegetarian: 365 Days of Healthy Seasonal Recipes by Jane Hughes! To enter, leave a comment below sharing which season best represents your cooking or eating style. Are you like me and prefer hearty, squash-based autumnal dishes? Or are you hopelessly devoted to light, springy dishes? Contest ends November 10th at midnight (mountain time). One winner will be chosen at random and announced the following day. Be sure and log your comment into the Rafflecopter to make it count! Open to residents of US only, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Rice Noodles with Shallots and Garlic
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. ½ pound dried fine rice noodles
  2. 4 shallots
  3. 4 cloves garlic
  4. ½ teaspoon sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  6. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  7. Freshly ground black pepper
  8. 2 tablespoons canola oil
Instructions
  1. Soak the noodles in cold water for 20 minutes, then transfer to a colander to drain. Peel and slice the shallots and the garlic. Mix the sugar, mirin and soy sauce together in a small bowl with a tablespoon of water.
  2. Warm the oil in a wok and sauté the shallots and garlic for a minutes, stirring constantly. Add the soy sauce mixture and the noodles, and stir-fry for about three minutes, until the dish is heated through. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Notes
  1. Rice noodles are popular in the cuisine of Eastern and South-Eastern Asia and are generally only lightly cooked to retain a slightly chewy texture. However, all sorts of noodles are used in East Asian cookery, and although some varieties contain egg and are not suitable for vegans, most are perfect for vegetarian dishes. Mirin has a distinctive sweet-sour flavor and is easy to fine in supermarkets and specialty food stores but you can achieve good results with a splash of sweet sherry, or cider vinegar that has been sweetened with a little sugar
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 14 comments }

 

Peanut Butter Bourbon Buckeyes w/ Crispy Millet | www.thatwasvegan.com

I’ve done it. I’ve combined the two great loves of my life: bourbon and dessert. And I threw in some millet too, just for good measure.

I have a friend who is a millet farmer (true story!) and he was kind enough to share some of his latest harvest with me. Very farm to table, and thankfully it turned out much better than my previous farm-fresh adventures, which is to say, much more delicious and I didn’t break a single law in the process.  

All this farm talk reminds me that, in an alternate universe, I totally live on a farm. Not a farm farm, where I’d be covered in cow poop and lose my fingers in a horrific combine accident, but like a hobby farm. You know… The kind where I’d have a fantastic garden and at least twelve dogs plus rescued chickens and goats and little pigs running around all over. I’d have barn cats, but they’d be vegan and would just sit the mice down for a little chat about how they need to stop making so many damn babies, rather than eating them. I’d wear a red checked shirt tied up around my midriff and my hair would be in pigtails and I’d do fabulous things like bake apple pie for dessert every single day and also I’d have a horse that I’d ride into town when I needed supplies, but only if the horse felt like it because obviously I would respect her feelings. I’d also bake a lot of bread, and then eat it all myself, because everyone knows that farmers need to eat carbs to keep their strength up. Right? Right. 

Okay, sorry, my mind wandered there a little bit.

I can’t take total credit for these Peanut Butter Bourbon Buckeyes with Crispy Millet. The original recipe comes from Thug Kitchen which I borrowed from my girlfriend Denise and kept for a year, without ever making a single thing. But then the magical millet came into my life and I was all like “these would be amazing if only there was some bourbon in there…

And so this happened.

Peanut Butter Bourbon Buckeyes w/ Crispy Millet | www.thatwasvegan.com

I spent quite a while on Sunday in the kitchen, dancing  like no one was watching (Sally was), sipping bourbon, and rolling up balls of peanut butter, sugar, butter, and toasted millet. The lesson I learned is that if you’re going to make so many buckeyes, you need to invite a friend over to help you. Or have kids. If I had planned this out better, I would have had kids who could’ve helped me make these. Oh well. And yes, this recipe does make quite a few buckeyes, but with all the labor involved (rolling balls, dipping in chocolate), you might as well make a bunch at once. Keep them in your freezer for when you’re craving that amazing peanut butter-chocolate colabo. Or be sweet like me, and take them to the office to share with your co-workers!

But whatever you do, don’t skip the millet. The little crispy bits mixed in with the sweetened, creamy peanut butter are crazy good. And healthy!

If you’re not familiar with millet, it’s one of the healthiest grains out there. Tons of fiber, B-6, iron and magnesium, and did you know that one cup of millet has 22 grams of protein? I like to use it instead of rice when I stir-fry. It has a toasty flavor and is very versatile. It’s also alkaline and very easy for your body to digest. And did I mention it’s cheap? A big bag of Bob’s Red Mill brand at my local grocery is less than $3, much cheaper than quinoa!  

Looking for more ways to use it? Stay tuned… because I happen to have my very own supply and will be cooking with it a lot this fall…

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Peanut Butter Bourbon Buckeyes with Crispy Millet
Yields 70
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Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  2. 2/3 cup millet, rinsed
  3. 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  4. 1 cup vegan butter (room temperature)
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 5 cups powdered sugar
  7. 1/4 cup bourbon
  8. 2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips
  9. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Heat a pan over medium heat, and melt the coconut oil. Add the millet and stir until it turns golden and smells all wonderfully toasty- 4-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and beat on low with a hand mixer, until completely mixed. Add the bourbon and the powdered sugar (slowly!), continuing to mix until combined. Fold in the millet.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper. Scoop the peanut butter mixture into 1-1.5" balls and place on the sheet. Put the whole shebang into the freezer for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. When the balls are pretty solid, dip them into the chocolate using toothpicks and return to the baking sheet. Keep frozen (or at least refrigerated) until you're ready to serve. They actually don't freeze solid, so it's okay to serve directly from the freezer.
Notes
  1. For toasting the millet, any oil will do- I just like coconut since you're also using it in the chocolate!
  2. These cooking times are for store-bought millet. If you have a super awesome millet hookup like I do, cooking times will very. Not sure why, it just seems to take longer, so make sure you toast until you can eat it without breaking a tooth, haha!
  3. Yes, I know these have a lot of sugar. I needed it to soak up the bourbon. #sorrynotsorry
Adapted from Thug Kitchen
Adapted from Thug Kitchen
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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$1 Appetizers from Chef Ernesto

chef ernesto

A lot of companies contact me about trying their products. Sometimes it’s a heck yah! kind of no brainer, and sometimes what they’re offering is something so obviously not vegan that I don’t even bother responding to tell them no. And then, a lot of times, it’s somewhere in the middle. I’ll admit that I was on the fence when I was contacted to try Chef Ernesto, a new line of vegan (and vegetarian) frozen foods sold at The Dollar Tree.  On the one hand, I was very curious, but on the other… I’m a bit of a skeptic and I wondered how good something that only cost $1 could actually taste.  As it turns out, I’m really glad I said yes!

Chef Ernesto is a 100% vegetarian company, but three of their products are also vegan: Vegetable Samosas, Battered Mushrooms, and Veggie Burgers. They’re only available at Dollar Tree stores, but it does appear that you can find them nationwide. 

My absolute, hands-down favorite were the Vegetable Samosas! The first time I had them, I served them plain with no dipping sauce to my friend Lauren and her baby, and we couldn’t stop talking about how much we loved them. We both agreed, they’re just as good as something you’d find in the freezer section of Trader Joe’s, but for much less money. They cook perfectly on a baking sheet in the oven, the outsides get crispy while the inside stays soft and so flavorful. I love that when you bite into them you can actually SEE the ingredients. They seem very well made. I’ve had them two more times, once with a sweet tamarind sauce, and then with a Sriracha peanut sauce…

$1 Appetizers from Chef Ernesto | www.thatwasvegan.com

My second favorite was the Veggie Burgers, and unfortunately I don’t have a picture. I ate the first package right away, and when I went back to buy more, the store was out. Sadz. This review has a picture so you can see what I mean, but these patties are amazing- you can see all the veggies they’re made with! You’re literally see the corn, peas, carrots and other veggies that make up the patties. And the flavor was great. Not like a lot of the other frozen patties that attempt to taste like meat… this one was definitely all veggie flavor. 

Lastly I tried the Battered Mushrooms. They were good, but I probably wouldn’t buy them again. I wasn’t wild about the flavor or the texture of the mushrooms, but that could just be my personal preference. And I do have to give them props for their breading- it was delicious AND it actually stayed on the mushrooms! Honestly, if you’re heading to the dollar store to try the burgers and samosas (which you absolutely should!), grab a box of these too. I mean, they’re just a dollar, and you might love them! I served mine with a spicy aioli made of Vegenaise and Sriracha…

$1 Appetizers from Chef Ernesto | www.thatwasvegan.com

On a related note, I’ve been seeing a lot about affordable vegan options in the blogosphere lately, and I feel like Chef Ernesto dovetails perfectly with it. Happy Herbivore recently had a piece about Plant-Based Finds at the Dollar Store, and so did ChooseVeg.com – which, by the way, has inspired me to stop on the way home and find some of those egg-free egg noodles! How many times have I wished I could use a wide noodle like that in a recipe!? But, I digress. My point was simply that, although many critics decry veganism as a hobby for the wealthy, it’s really only as expensive as you want to make it. 

*I was provided free product to review but the opinions are 100% mine!

 

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