Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that y’all are doing okay now that the holidays are over and most people are returning to work and school. After all of that blogging/giveaway mayhem, I had to take a break and I’m so glad that I did. The holidays were crazy! Working at Whole Foods during the holidays is a special type of hell, so balancing that with visiting friends and family was a bit tiring. I guess when I say break, it was really just from blogging and nothing else. Ha!
Here are some of my highlights from the past couple of weeks:
#TristanLAfoodtour: Where one of my best friends, Tristan, came home from the Army for a bit and we ate many awesome vegan things in LA. Plus, went to the Griffith Observatory and MooShoes!
Anyhow, it’s a little too late for a round-up of 2014’s most popular recipes, so I’ve decided to show everyone some awesome, healthy recipes to start off the year. Here are some of my favorites, including some from awesome guest bloggers! Check them out and be amazed at all of the deliciousness. <3 (Click on the picture to go to the recipe!)
Quinoa Cauliflower Bowl with Almond Sriracha Sauce by Vegan Richa
Banana Cacao Recovery Smoothie
Southwestern Kale Salad
Cream of Asparagus Soup – Keepin’ It Kind
Deconstructed Falafel Bowl – The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado
Now, let me say a little bit about my experience with this pressure cooker. I actually bought a different model from Fagor almost a year ago and have used it once. So, I’m not experienced with these AT ALL. But, was I excited to get another pressure cooker? Hell yeah! Once the Clipso showed up on my doorstep I excitedly opened it and was impressed with the quality of construction. This thing is heavy-duty. Not to mention, the awesome one-handed, latching system that really is a push of a button and that lid is locked on. I flipped through the instructions to make sure I had the basics down as far as cleaning and operating went. Then I started plotting what I was going to make in it.
I was chatting with my good friend Joni about all of the pressure cooker possibilities and how my mind was pretty stuck on grains and beans or maybe winter vegetables and squash. Then she suggested pressure cooker seitan. Say what? That’s brilliant! I went on to look at some tips from The Blissful Chef and Vegan Epicurean on times, and used my Stuffed Seitan Roast recipe with some minor changes. Naturally, I wanted to make it a wow-worthy dish for the holidays, so I thought that a simple and fancy red wine mushroom sauce would be perfect to top it off.
Honestly, I love making seitan because it is so damn easy. The only problem with big roasts is that they can take up to an hour or so to fully cook, and then you may have a slightly drier end result. After making this roast in the pressure cooker in just about 30 minutes, I’m SOLD. Unless I’m making sausages or something smaller, I can see this being the only way I make it from now on. The roast turned out flavorful with a great texture and an even cooking throughout, maybe just a little softer in the center but I liked that about it.
I can’t wait to try out different seitan flavors and applications in my pressure cooker, now! I must mention that there was quite a bit of cooking broth mixture left over in the pressure cooker so I saved it in a container to add to soup bases for more flavor. Wins all over the place!
Check out the recipe below and definitely keep it in mind for your upcoming Christmas dinners. Like I said, a beautiful seitan roast in 30 minutes! Plus, roasting some fingerling potatoes and making the wine sauce while the roast is cooking, works for reducing time spent in the kitchen and it’s all ready at the same time. Speaking of reducing time, the Zabada Kitchen handy is an awesome tool! Reusable, easy to clean and no harsh chemicals needed to aid in washing your dishes and kitchen when you have this thing in your hand. I’ll definitely be buying more of these in the future!
Boo-yah! Can you believe all of the blogging that’s been going on around here this month? I barely can, especially with the holidays going on; but I’m stoked to host the third, but not last, giveaway on the blog for the month. This time I’m giving you the chance to when an assortment of vegan/gluten-free Massel Bouillon products! Yes, the ones that I’ve used for vegan beefy tacos, skewers and butternut garlic bisque. Plus, I even have another recipe to show you what you can do with them.
I’ve played around with frittatas before, but I’m SUPER happy with how these adorable frittata bites turned out! Plus, they are low in oil, gluten-free, soy-free and obviously, vegan. I guess the fact that they are full of tasty veggies is a selling point, as well. These mini-frittatas are great for serving at potluck brunches, and are kid-friendly!
I used chickpea/garbanzo bean flour as the base for this recipe, along with some cornstarch to thicken a little more, Massel’s salt-reduced vegetable bouillon granules (my favorite!), Black Indian Salt (Kala Namak) for eggy flavor and nutritional yeast. You could add a little ground turmeric for a more yellow color, but it is not necessary.
As far as the veggie stir-ins go, the possibilities are endless! To be honest, I went with what was in my fridge that I knew would go well together, but you can use your favorite diced veggies however you’d like to combine them. Keep the measurements the same and you’re good to go. Easy recipe, easy execution, easily found ingredients and easily eaten. Eating them is obviously the best part.
Before I get to the fantastic recipe, I’d just like to mention that I can’t believe that there is still another giveaway (THIS WEEK, EVEN)! You guys are damn lucky, if I do say so myself. I don’t know how January is going to fare compared to all of the fun happening on the blog this month.
This book is more than a colorful and eye-catching cookbook, it is a thorough guide to gluten-free, plant-based eating. Heather starts out with explaining WHY you should try out a plant-based diet, listing off the benefits (there are many!) then spends a while teaching you HOW to achieve it talking about pantry staples, prep, appliances and social situations.
After all of that comes the stuff that I’m into, beautiful breakfasts (banana pancakes!), baked goods, toppings/sauces/spreads, entrees (fig & caramelized onion tart!), desserts (Mexican unfried ice cream!), and more. You may want to grab a napkin or bib before looking through this book, because I’m pretty sure that you’re going to drool on it.
I do have to point out that there are a few recipes where she uses honey, and I’m sure that’s why they call this book “plant-based” instead of “vegan”, just make sure to use agave nectar or maple syrup instead!
Now, you lucky readers get to see one of the tasty recipes that I made from the book, the Super-Veggie Pot Pies! I made these into larger containers than listed in the recipe and they came out to a perfect 4, filling, servings. Making gluten-free crust was fun and I’ll definitely have to try it out again. After the recipe, you’ll find where to enter the giveaway for a copy of YumUniverse! (US residents only, sorry!)
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!