Roasted Butternut Garlic Bisque with Grilled 3-Cheese Sandwich Sticks

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring… Well, you get the idea. It’s finally raining in Southern California and we all know that means it’s grilled cheese weather! But, I couldn’t make just any ol’ grilled cheese, these tasty grilled cheese sticks have three different vegan cheeses in them and are cut to a size perfect for dipping in some creamy bisque. 

The bisque is made up of roasted butternut squash, sweet potatoes and garlic, plus some rich coconut milk and subtle spice from cayenne and white pepper. Mmm! If you need an easy recipe for bisque that’s tasty and kinda fancy, I recommend trying this one out. All you have to do is roast the veggies, blend them up and warm the soup on the stove before serving. Not that the soup needs any help in the taste department, but dipping crispy sandwich sticks in it kicks it up a few notches.

Aside from this awesome soup/sandwich combo, there has been a lot of stuff going on in my world. Mostly freelance photography projects, including work for Chicago Vegan Foods, Vegan Cuts (as always) and some Happy Herbivore stuff. After speaking with a few people, it already seems like 2015 is going to be crazy, in the best way possible. So, apologies for leaving y’all hanging for most of the month of November, but believe that I’m making it up to you this month with a FEW giveaways.

You read that right. I’m thinking at least FOUR giveaways! Some food, maybe an appliance, and definitely a cookbook or two. One is instagram-exclusive, even. ;) Keep your eyes peeled for those so you can celebrate the holidays early.

 

Before I forget, I must mention that I used Massel’s No Salt-Added Vegetable Bouillon Granules for this recipe! I love this product because you can adjust the sodium content of the recipe to your liking, easily, and it comes in a cute paint can-like package. Not to mention, it dissolves really easily, unlike more commonly found bouillon cubes. I definitely recommend it!

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Squash & Scramble Breakfast Tacos

I know that this will not come as a shock to anyone else, but fall is here! Seriously though, Southern California is (finally) getting some cool, cloudy weather and it’s a magical thing. Now, to just get some rain and I’ll be happy! I’ve even been inspired to take some photos of plant’s reactions to the changes, as seen below.

The weather has brought on more cravings for comforting, filling food and I am certainly not mad about it. I’ve had soups, casseroles, pies and tacos (?!) on the mind – that last one must be a California thing –  and I can’t wait to make them all! Oh, and before I forget, I may or may not have completed a cookbook proposal to turn in to a couple of publishers that had contacted me. Keep your fingers crossed for some good news! :)

Back to tacos. I’ve had breakfast tacos on my recipe to-do list for quite some time, but it wasn’t until I saw my friend post some awesome hash brown Gardien tacos the other day that I decided it was about damn time that I got in on such a delightful meal. These tacos are filled with a squash/potato hash and a tasty tofu/spinach scramble. You should absolutely top these bad boys with fresh cilantro, salsa and maybe some vegan cheese shreds. I suppose avocado wouldn’t hurt either. ;)

There’s another recipe that I want to make before Thanksgiving that I’ve had on my mind for over a year, that I think you will either absolutely love, or be like, “Jackie, you are crazy”. We’ll see what happens!

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast

French toast, as a homemade dish, used to intimidate me. I only made it a few times in my pre-vegan days, and the first vegan go at it was a freaking disaster; a tasty disaster, but a disaster no less. The bread could end up too soggy, you could have goo stuck all over the pan, which means that you won’t get that crispy outside and soft inside. But, I’ve experimented a few time since then and I think I finally have the hang of it!

Part of the solution is this waffle-maker/griddle that I found in my cabinet. On one side, the plates make thin, ornate waffles; on the other side are griddle plates for pressing sandwiches, making pancakes or in this case, making some seriously awesome french toast. I used it on its “waffle/low” setting, which was still pretty damn hot.

I had made a deluxe french toast like this once before, for Vegan Cuts Fall Harvest eBook, with a fig spread that was oh-so-delectable. You could shortcut the pumpkin spread by using premade pumpkin or apple butter, in this recipe. I did a shortcut myself, by using store-bought vegan cream cheese, but you could make a cashew cream for that instead!

So, if you need a Fall brunch item, you should definitely try this Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast out. Topped with crunchy, roasted hazelnuts and sweet maple syrup, it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser for all of your guests! I think it would be super easy to turn this into a french toast casserole as well, to save prep time and feed a larger group.

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Peanut Butter Apple-Lanterns

Halloween is just around the corner, which means that themed parties are in full swing and fun food ideas are everywhere! This cute appetizer/dessert came to me after staring at some adorable crab apples for about a half hour trying to figure out just what the heck to do with them. Should I cut them up and use them in pies? Maybe I should poach them in wine… or what if I cut them into eyeballs? Nope, little apple-lanterns it is!

Of course I had to stuff them with peanut butter and raisins, although a vegan caramel filling would be great, as well. Now, you don’t have to carve the little faces into each one if you’re making a lot for a party, but it really does make them that much more awesome. You could also cut the face all of the way through to have a slightly oozy, creepy apple-lantern.

If you need another Halloween appetizer idea, check out my Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs!

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Filed under Healthy Recipes, Holidays, Sweet Recipes