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Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

You guys, the internet has been flooding with Buffalo recipes for the past week or so and it is making me crave everything spicy. Of course, I kind of did it to myself by sharing my Buffalo Chickpea Nacho recipe and Olives for Dinner’s Sriracha Habanero Buffalo Seitan. Mmm.. To be honest, I’ve had this idea for a long time. My mom got a recipe from one of her friends years ago that was called “Buffalo Chicken Dip”. Basically, this thing was heavy, spicy, creamy and outright addictive.

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

It has been a long, long time since I’ve had this dip, but I knew that I’d eventually have to veganize it. I even put it in my recipe idea note on my phone! What had immediately come to mind as far as subbing stuff out was to use jackfruit in place of shredded chicken, and for convenience-sake I used some vegan, non-dairy products. The spinach was my attempt to make this dip slightly less overindulgent. Ha!

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

Of course, if you don’t want to use pre-made products you can make your own vegan cream cheese, vegan ranch and vegan cheddar, just know that the measurements may be different. The reason this dip is so perfect for game day is that it takes about 5 minutes of prep and then 30 minutes of baking. Easy-peasy!

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

So, if you are into spicy, creamy, Buffalo foods, you should definitely try out this Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip!

Vegan Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

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Cinnamon Knots with Glaze Dip

Vegan Cinnamon Knots

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had garlic knots? If you have you know that they are delectable morsels of chewy dough, baked with garlic and either butter or oil and salt (non-vegan ones are topped with parmesan). Sounds awesome, right? Well, I’ve been making them at work lately and I had the idea — which I’m sure has been done a million times before — to make a sweet cinnamon version. I was drooling just thinking about it.

Sifting Flour

Honestly, these knots are pretty easy to make. I just took one of my recipes for pizza dough and altered it a bit, then rolled it out, brushed it, cut/folded it the brushed and baked. And maybe brushed again. Now, my cinnamon knots are not super sweet, so they are best served with the glaze dip that I have in the recipe. This way whoever is enjoying these incredible, little treats can adjust the sweetness to their liking.

Yeast Rising

Cinnamon Knot Dough Raising

What I love most about these is the ribbon of cinnamon and maple running through them, twisted around and baked to a golden hue. You can just tell by looking at them that they are going to taste awesome. Plus, you can enjoy these for breakfast, a snack, as an appetizer, or dessert! They’re pretty versatile and go great with a hot cup of coffee. 

And look! I made a handy-dandy, step-by-step image that you can pin for later!

How to make vegan cinnamon knots

I’d love to try some different flavors for these, like a herbed savory one, maybe apple raisin, or cranberries? There are so many possibilities! What is your idea for a new twist (pun-intended) on these knots?

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Say (Vegan) Cheese!

Are you all ready for a super informative excerpt from The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, by Karen Page? Today is National Cheese day, so it’s only appropriate that we delve into vegan cheeses! Read all of the way to the end so that you can enter to win a copy of this AWESOME book!

Say (Vegan) Cheese!
by Karen Page
(based on an excerpt from THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE)
Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page

Cheese addiction is one of the last things standing in the way of would-be vegans. Indeed, as my husband Andrew Dornenburg and I sought to reduce our consumption of eggs and dairy, we easily stopped buying eggs and butter and yogurt. A wedge of Parmesan cheese was long the last bit of dairy to be found in our refrigerator, however. And it took us months to evolve our regular order for our favorite neighborhood pie – a large ‘Shroomtown pizza on organic multigrain crust with roasted garlic from Vezzo in Manhattan’s Murray Hill – to evolve from “light cheese” to “half-cheese” to “NO cheese,” which is how we’ve been ordering it for the past several months even prior to our participation in “Veganuary.”

I interviewed bestselling author Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) about the phenomenon for The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, and he shared that some people’s addiction to cheese is physical. “Nutritionally, [cheese] is awful – with a very high content of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium…It’s not just taste, it’s not just mouthfeel – dairy producets are unique in that they release casomorphins, and cheese has a much higher concentration of them than milk or ice cream,” he told me. “If I stuck a needle in your arm a half-hour after you ate cheese, there would be opiates in your bloodstream and attaching to your brain. While it’s not enough to make you drive dangerously or rob a convenience store, it’s enough to make you say the next day, ‘I think I’d like a little more cheese.’”

A cottage industry of vegan cheeses has sprung up. Vancouver-based Daiya cheese debuted in 2008, supported by a strong marketing campaign, and launched a retail line in 2010. Vegenaise makers Follow Your Heart debuted their line of Vegan Gourmet shredded vegan cheeses in 2013.

Portobello Trattoria PDX Vegan Restaurant

Many vegans enjoy branded vegan cheeses, which come in various flavors (e.g., cheddar, mozzarella) and often melt and stretch much as dairy cheese does. Just last week, Andrew and I enjoyed a vegan slice at The Slice of Life in Sebastopol, California, which we were told was made with shredded Follow Your Heart mozzarella-style cheese. We were impressed with its very mild flavor and melting texture – which is sometimes lacking in other brands.

I have to admit that I’ve been even more impressed with the flavor of some of the artisanal vegan cheeses I’ve tasted. In addition to serving cashew cheese on its vegan pizza, Portobello Vegan Trattoria in Portland, Oregon, serves an artisanal vegan cheese plate that has showcased cheeses from cheese makers across the country, including Field Roast, Seattle-based producer of Chao Cheese (herb-crusted, tofu-based cheeses), Door 86 (Nashville), Heidi Ho (Portland, OR), Kite Hill (Hayward, CA), Punk Rawk Labs (Minneapolis), and Treeline Treenut Cheese (Kingston, NY).

Vegan Cheese Rounds

The very best artisanal vegan cheese I’ve ever tasted was made by a woman named Lori Robin (above right) — who goes by Cheezehound – based in Fleischmanns, New York. Last July, we were houseguests of our omnivore actress friend Susan Dey, who couldn’t remember if we were eating vegetarian or vegan at the time, and bought some of Lori’s vegan cheese at a local farmers market for us. When we tried Lori’s peppercorn-flavored Brie-style vegan cheese (made with a combination of hemp seed milk and macadamia nut milk), we were truly floored. It turned out to be the first-ever vegan cheese we ever truly loved. (Thank you, Susan!)

Miyoko Schinner Artisan Vegan Cheese

Interested in trying to make your own? You’ll want to pick up a copy of Miyoko Schinner’s 2012 book Artisan Vegan Cheese, which is developing a cult following among vegan chefs and foodies.

And the next time you or your friends are trying to kick your dairy cheese habit, look to the handy chart in Chapter 2 (pp. 76-80) of THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE excerpted here for other ways to tame the crave:

 

IF YOU ARE CRAVING….

 

This                                                    Try This Instead

 

cheese                                                  cashew or other nut-based cheese

 

cheese, cream                                      soy cream cheese

 

cheese, Parmesan                                Parma brand vegan “Parmesan”

 

cheese, ricotta                                     ground almond, cashew, macadamia or pine nut “ricotta” half nondairy cream cheese + half  firm tofu, mashed tofu “ricotta,” made from crumbled tofu

 

cheese, smoked                                   smoked tofu (e.g,. on sandwiches, in salads)

 

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Pressure Cooker Seitan with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Can I get a drumroll, please? (Drumroll) It’s here! The last giveaway of the year. This time, you all have a chance at winning a T-Fal Clipso Pressure Cooker and the useful Zabada Kitchen Handy! If that doesn’t get you excited, I’m not sure what will. And if you’ve been out of the loop because of holiday craziness, make sure to check out the THREE other giveaways that I’m hosting right now! 1: #vyatreatyoself, 2: YumUniverse cookbook giveaway, and 3: Massel Bouillon Prize Pack.

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!

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