You guys! I’m kinda sad that Vegan MoFo is coming to an end. The creativity shown by so many bloggers this month has been mind-blowing and I know that I only scratched the surface, as far as what I read. Bloggers are awesome people, not referring to myself (ha ha!), and watching them put all of their effort into their theme or what-have-you this month is just so cool. I feel like I’m straying a little from the pack by not posting a round-up today, but I may do it tomorrow. Who knows?
What I’ve done here is saved one of my favorites of this month for last. When I was thinking about the execution, look and recipe of this dish I knew that it’d be crazy, and probably pretty tasty. But, I had NO idea how much I was going to love it. I mean, I LOVE the Buffalo Chickpea Mac, but I think this may be tied with it. (Gasp!)
I was really stoked to have finally used a trick that I learned about last year, from a friend that was a Chef at Mohawk Bend. He had made this amazing-looking vegan French Onion Soup and I remember the picture of the bowl and its cheese topper looking impeccable. So, I had to ask, “Mike, what was that?!” and he proceeded to tell me that if you blend cashews with Daiya it totally changes the texture and takes away some of the starchy-ness.
I don’t know why the hell it took me so long to try this out, but I’ve done it, and will damn sure do it again. It was a total success and was a key player in the pizza! Oh yeah, this was also my first time making a deep dish pizza, so that should tell you how easy it was. There’s not too many ingredients and really, letting the dough rise takes the most time; even then, compared to most doughs, it’s pretty short.
Here is my warning to you: This dip in insanely addictive and not for the faint of heart. This is not a healthy dip, although it could be much worse; but it is absolutely perfect for parties, get-togethers and any other occasion in which you would need an awesome appetizer. I know first hand that this dip pairs well with Mexican lagers and margaritas!
I will say, this was not a completely original idea from myself. This started with my mother and her crazy bean dip that she’s made for at least the past 10 years. Ever since I went vegan, I was smell the dip and get a tad bitter that I didn’t want to eat any. This past week, I figured it was time for my own (vegan) version, and my parents and I agree that this is definitely a good match! Not to mention it was gone within a night between 4 people. Oops.
Melted Daiya Pepperjack shreds paired with the salty, well-seasoned soyrizo and an added kick from some pickled jalapeños means that this filling dip packs a punch when it comes to flavor. The TVP and black beans add some texture and protein to the mix, and (vegetarian) refried beans make up another part of the base. This dip is super easy to make, so it’s great for a last-minute dish to bring to a party; maybe one of the Super Bowl variety, since that’s tomorrow??
It has been raining, well sprinkling really, all day today and the weather is nice and cool. No gusty winds or downpours, just enough rain drops to cover everything in a thin layer of water. It’s days like today that remind me of when I was in grade school; whenever it rained, it always meant that it was time for grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. Now, whenever it rains, I feel that I am obligated to make some version of this, like a grilled cheese sandwich made with focaccia dipped in tomato basil soup.
Today was a day to do things a little differently, though. I’ve had some bread bowl loaves hanging out in my freezer, and I was just waiting for the perfect recipe to use them. What I thought of was an amalgamation of things that I love! One being tomato soup (with spinach in this case), another being sourdough bread bowls, and lastly, some cheddar shreds. All of the ingredients came together beautifully, with the browned bread bowl with its flavorful soupy filling and cheesy topping; it is definitely the epitome of comfort food.
Of course, the only problem with tomato soup when it’s nearly December is that tomatoes are not in season (but, don’t tell my tomato plant that), so I have resorted to using canned sauces and tomatoes. Which I have to say, feels a lot like cheating considering that I’m used to roasting tomatoes and making soup from scratch. But, this makes it a super easy recipe to make, that your family can enjoy in no time.
After editing entirely too many photos, I’m already overwhelmed by what I’m about to show you in this post! I’m going to try and be brief about each company that I cover; I’m only highlighting a few of the brands that either stuck out to me or that had new products to show. And of course, as you can see by the title, there’s a giveaway at the end filled with tons of goodies that are all vegan!
As some of you may know, I went to the Expo with Jill of Vegan Cuts; if I had gone by myself I think I would have been completely overwhelmed! There was a breakfast sponsored by Earth Balance and Glutino the first day, but it was rather pathetic for anyone that is vegan. There was a smoothie bar where you could get a soy yogurt/milk/blueberry smoothie (not a whole lot of fruit :(), some soggy tofu and some fried potatoes that I put salsa on. Earth Balance’s new peanut butters were there, but all of the bread wasn’t vegan! Urgh. I just spooned some onto my plate (as seen above), thankfully there would be tons of samples coming our way.
One of the first booths we stopped by was Big Tree Farms. Their raw chocolate was creamy and rich; but the product that we were most interesting in was their powdered coconut water. Coco Hydro is a powdered coconut mixture (some with different natural flavors) that you combine with water when you want to have coconut water on the go. It tasted good and was very interesting, plus the new packaging looks very clean.
Wean Green, a company hailing from Canada, has taken the old concept of Pyrex containers and revamped them to have a secure lid and unbreakable container. Even though their products are targeted toward families/parents with babies and young children they can appeal to a broader audience than that. The colorful lids that snap securely onto the container are brilliant and heavy-duty.
I quickly stopped by the So Delicious booth to check out their new line of almond products, plus pick up some tickets for the Vegucated screening that was going to be happening that night. The new flavors of the almond Greek-style yogurt that I tried were chocolate, vanilla, and blueberry (the also have original flavor); the blueberry was definitely my favorite. Their line of almond milks have added protein in them and taste great, but what really stole the show for me was the new almond ice creams they had. Mocha Almond? Yes, please!