Tag Archives: cinnamon

Easy Vegan Breakfast on the CHEAP!

I get up kind of early… okay not that early. I mostly get up to watch the bunnies bounce around and have coffee with Brent before I head off to the laboratory. For the record, my older sister turned me on to this and THANK-YOU! I keep the ingredients for my breakfast in my desk. by the time I get to work I’m starting to get hungry so it’s the perfect time while I wait for my experiments to get going.
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This is all you need:
1/2 cup rolled oats (my Bag of Bob’s Red Mill cost me just shy of $4)
pumpkin pie seasoning or cinnamon (this little jar cost me $.99)
1 tsp rice nectar (the jar cost me $5)
1-2 tbsp raisins (the tub cost me $5)
1 cup of water
a pinch of salt

I microwave the oats, water, spice, salt and nectar at 30 second intervals until it starts to bubble up and get thick and creamy. Sometimes I add a touch of almond milk but it isn’t necessary. Then I throw in the raisins and know I’m getting some awesome heart healthy oats in a delicious breakfast that takes moments to make even when your brain is on auto-pilot.

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The other beauty of this breakfast is that it contains about 280 calories, has a low-glycemic index and a heap of filling fiber for a very low cost. I like the texture of Bob’s Red Mill oats best but the generic store brand costs a mere $2 for a large tub. Each bag of oats lasts at least 3 weeks and tub of raisins lasts me at least 6 weeks. Try doing that with bacon and eggs and still having money leftover for your Lipitor!

This is Christie, signing off.

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Virtual Vegan Potluck: Guava Cheesecake!

Today is a special one because you’re visiting a page that’s part of the Virtual Vegan Potluck! This is the second one that Turning Veganese has been fortunate enough to participate in and it’s a great way to look at lots of vegan food blogs and even some non-vegan blogs that are participating by presenting a vegan dish. I definitely recommend exploring. Use the “go forward” and “go back” buttons at the bottom of the page to participate.

I wanted to be sure that Florida culture came out in my Virtual Vegan Potluck contribution so I decided to include some local flare. Guava pastries are a staple in our Cuban heritage, coconut and lime are ubiquitous in Caribbean cuisine so I wanted to include them in this recipe, and pecans are here to represent the Southern elements in South Florida culture. This is an incredibly easy recipe and shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes to prepare. All you need is a good spring form pan and the ingredients.

First prepare the crust by combining the following in a bowl:

1 cup of medjool dates, soaked overnight in water, drained and blended until smooth

1 cup of shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened

1 cup of crushed pecans

1 cup of almond meal

1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

a pinch of cinnamon

Mix these until uniform, adding extra water if it’s dry. It should be crumbly and a little sticky.

Once you like the texture, moosh it into the bottom of your spring form pan.

Now that you’ve got your crust, we’ve got to make the ‘cheese’cake part. It’s simple too:

1 carton of silken tofu

1 tsp starch (we used arrowroot) dissolved in 1 tbsp of lime juice

7 ounces of guava paste

Put all of that into your blender and blend until smooth. Pour it over the crust and put it into your freezer.

I sprinkled mine with some additional coconut to make it extra pretty. It’ll be ready in 4 hours.

Remove the wall of your spring form pan and serve. It will get gooey as it melts so put your spring form base on a wide plate to catch anything that falls off the edge.

This concludes my part in the Virtual Vegan Potluck event and I hope you’ll visit all the other posts in the chain. If you’re new to Turning Veganese, I hope you’ll visit again. Click on the “go forward” or “go back” button below to see what else the Virtual Vegan Potluck has in store for you!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off to head to the Potluck!

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Lazy Vegan: Vegan French Toast

For a lazy Saturday with friends, there’s nothing like French toast. Our local baker, Karin, makes spelt müseli bread that’s got almost as much fruit in it as whole grain and that’s basically a dog whistle for vegans like me. I used a product called Mom’s Vegan Kitchen French toast mix along with some almond coconut mix.

I found this product straightforward and easy to prepare. I combined the mix with almond milk and grapeseed oil as recommended on the package and soaked sliced bread in it.

In the pan it created an egg-like film on the surface of the bread and had a beautiful toasted look and smelled DIVINE. It didn’t have the bitterness of dairy milk or the sulfur flavor and odor of egg but all the other delightful flavors you’ll find in French toast.

We topped it with Rivermede farm maple syrup (above) alone and with frozen wild blueberries (below).

It was all delicious. I would definitely buy this product again. I don’t know any carnists that would turn this down either. This is a perfect comfort food for when you’re feeling a little lazy but want something decadent. We bought this for just under $6 which I thought was very reasonable for what you get at Vegan Essentials. This website was instrumental when I first became vegan and I totally recommend them. They research all of their products so you know it’s vegan and they are independently owned. I’m about to mow down some more French toast.

This is Melissa, Brent and Christie, signing off!

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The Good Bean!

I love discovering vegan snacks! They are usually products that I would have never taken a second look at before going vegan. I found this particular product while I was in Toronto:

The Good Bean is based in Berkeley, CA, so it’s funny that I discovered them in another country. (There is only one store near me that sells their products and it’s a store that I have never been to.) The packaging tells you everything you need to know about their snacks: lots of protein, high in fiber, gluten free, and non-GMO.

I tried the sweet cinnamon flavor. It has a very subtle cinnamon flavor that is well balanced with vanilla as well as a nice hint of salt. The beans themselves are as hearty as you would think, which means that you’re not likely to eat the whole bag in one sitting. Yum!

Check these out if you get a chance. They’re simply a fun and healthy snack! –Melissa

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Rice Cooker Cuisine: Persian-Inspired Rice & Lentils

This dish was my attempt to recreate the dish I had at Noon-O-Kabab a few weeks ago. As you’ll see, my creation doesn’t look anything like adas polo, but it was easy to make, made my kitchen wonderfully fragrant, and was a pretty good replication in terms of flavor.

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice
1 cup lentils (I used red)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

I put the brown rice and lentils in my rice cooker pot, rinsed them, and then added water to fill up to the 2 cup line. I did measure out the water this time around for those of you who don’t have a rice cooker: it was just under two cups of water. I also want to note that the rice was slightly undercooked, so I will go with 2 and a half to 3 cups of water next time. I put the pot in the cooker and then turned it on.

Immediately after pushing the “on” button, I prepared the garlic, onion, and dates. I then heated some olive oil in a pan and browned the garlic, onion, and dates along with the spices. When the onions were nearly translucent, I removed it from heat and then added it to the rice cooker pot, stirring it in to the rice and lentils. Tip: use a wooden spoon or spatula when mixing stuff around in a rice cooker! Anything metal can scratch the pot and that is no bueno.

I stirred the mixture every 5-10 minutes to keep it from sticking. It stuck a bit anyway. Sigh. The above photo how it looked when the rice cooker first thought it was finished. I gave it a quick stir and pushed the “on” button again, and it cooked for at least another 5 minutes.

Finished! I had a moment of panic at first (uhhh… where did my lentils go! I need my protein and iron!) but the lentils had gotten mushed in with the rice pretty quickly.

I sprinkled some salt and pepper on tomato, onion, and bell pepper and broiled it in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes. They were a great accompaniment to the rice and lentils.

Mmmmm… cinnamon…. –Melissa

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Ginger Squash Soup FTW!

Sometimes when it’s raining sideways and the sky is grey (which happens often in South Florida during the summer) you just want comfort food. We decided that squash soup with ginger and grilled cheese would fit the bill for a pair of hungry martial artists so this is what we gathered:

1 piece of ginger, (this will make it spicy and fragrant, add as little or as much as you like. Our piece was a little smaller than my palm)

1 carton of silken tofu

20 ounces of squash puree

1 tbsp Thai chili paste

1 tbsp syrup or sugar

1 cube of bouillon

1 pinch of cinnamon

1 pinch of nutmeg

salt to taste

I blended up the tofu (I used a box of Mori-Nu soft silken tofu) and ginger until it was creamy and combined it with the squash in a large pan. I used 2 boxes of Cascadian farms frozen winter squash puree.

I added all of the seasonings, adjusted them as needed and stirred until it was thoroughly mixed and heated through. I also happened to pick up some vegan gluten-free olive bread at a local market and melted some Follow Your Heart mozzarella in the oven. It took about 7 minutes at 350F/180C to get bubbly and melty.

The earthy buttery savory flavors in the grilled cheese perfectly complimented the spicy floral sweet squash soup. Brent isn’t a big fan of squash but when I mentioned making a similar soup with carrots, he got excited. This particular dish is remarkably low in calories for how rich and creamy it is. The whole pot has about 320 calories and easily feeds 2 hungry people. It’s loaded with fiber, vitamin A and protein in addition to antioxidants and trace nutrients from squash, soy, chili, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger that are of particular interest to scientists.

This is Christie, signing off!

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Channa Masala

Brent and I love Indian food so we’re trying to reproduce favorites like tofu and peas makhani and veggie pakora. This post is about my personal favorite, chickpeas masala. I’ve been working on this for a while and it’s still not quite right but it’s definitely good enough to share.
You’ll need the following.
2 cups of dry chickpeas, soaked OR 1 28 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained
 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 large onion chopped into long thin strips
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks (or other vegetables; mushrooms, kale, etc. We’re adding broccoli and mushrooms.)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup tamarind or equal volume of reconstituted soup base (juice from a lime and the zest also works but I recommend tamarind)
1 tbsp chopped hot pepper (more if you want, we used jalapeño)
1 heaping tablespoon cumin powder
2 heaping tablespoons coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of crushed fennel seeds
1 pinch cumin seeds
1 pinch fenugreek seeds ( optional)
corn or safflower oil
salt, pepper
In a very large pot, add 2 or 3 teaspoons of corn or safflower oil. Once the oil is hot, add the seeds and stir lightly for half a minute, until they begin to sputter. Add the onion and stir until they’re lightly browned, add ginger, garlic and pepper.
Mix well and add the tomato, tamarind and paste. Stir over heat until the oil starts to separate from the mixture and form a sheen of bubbles on he surface. If you’ve got a hand blender, now is the time to use it. Blend until the larger chunks have been broken down. This step isn’t necessary but I like my channa sauce smooth. Then add the spices and stir them into the sauce, adjusting as necessary. If you don’t feel like adding all those spices individually, you can use your favorite curry powder and salt to taste but I can’t guarantee you it’ll taste like you might expect.
Once the sauce tastes like you want it to, stir in the chickpeas. Depending on your vegetables, stir them in so they’ll be tender but not overcooked when you serve them. Alternatively, you can steam or saute them and stir them into the chickpeas and sauce before serving.
Fresh mint and/or cilantro make a great garnish. We served this over quinoa but jasmine rice also makes a great starch to eat all this deliciousness with. It’s also awesome stuffed into a pita and will make a mess all over your face. This recipe is getting closer to what I expect from an Indian restaurant but it’s not quite there yet. I suspect it might be mint and lemon zest. If you figure out what we’re missing, let me know!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
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Saag with Sweet Potato

Brent and I really love Indian food. We make several versions of Americanized favorites including saag. Typically saag is a spinach based sauce flavored with cilantro, chili and turmeric and usually includes chunks of potato, mushroom, and/or paneer. Paneer is a bland home-made cheese so we use tofu that we’ve marinated in lime juice instead. Today, however, we’re using cubes of sweet potato because we had a random sweet potato floating around the apartment (I just had a funny mental image). We put the following into the blender for a creamy base:

1 box of MoriNu soft silken tofu (If you’ve got a soy allergy, soak 1/2 cup of cashews overnight, drain them and add to your blender. This actually tastes marginally better but adds a lot of fat)

1 thumb sized piece of turmeric or 1 tsp powdered turmeric

5-7 cloves of garlic

a generous pinch of cinnamon

1 onion, diced

1 jalapeño pepper or generous spoon of chili paste

1 tablespoon of coconut sugar

This mixture was blended until creamy. Then I added the following greens in the following order, blending thoroughly between:

1 bunch cilantro (stems and leaves)

1 bunch of Swiss chard or mustard greens

1 bunch of spinach

The cilantro goes in first because the stems need to get cut finely. The stems have a lot of flavor. Swiss chard will make a milder saag, mustard greens will make it spicier. Spinach is just a wondrous vegetable. EAT IT!!! Frozen greens work fine for this recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I transferred the contents of the blender to my big pan and rinsed out the blender with almond milk (use soy if you’ve got a nut allergy) and put the milk into the pan. I started to heat it and added 1 sweet potato cut into bite sized pieces. A carton of water packed tofu or a few handfuls of mushrooms are great veggies to add to your saag.

Heat the saag through and stir frequently until the potato is cooked. It should be thick and make giant messy bubbles if unattended (hence the stirring).

This will take about half an hour. Add water, salt, spices, and pepper as needed. I also use a garam masala spice mix  that an Indian colleague brought me from his home Hyderabad instead of pepper. Cracked black pepper is better for most tastes. It looks like sewage but tastes like awesome!

We served this with quinoa that we prepared in the microwave with several green cardamom pods. I love saag and know it’s not for everyone. It’s very herbal and spicy and is too vegetal for some. That being said, We ate the whole pan and all the quinoa too… I’ve got a blood donation coming up and I need the iron and vitamin K!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Virtual Vegan Potluck!

In case you’re wondering, this particular post is part of a blog circle called the Virtual Vegan Potluck. This post is one in a series and we here at Turning Veganese encourage you to check out the other bloggers participating in the fun!

For the preceding delicious beverage in the Virtual Vegan Potluck go to Lorna’s Tearoom Delights.

For the next delicious salad in the Virtual Vegan Potluck check out Along Comes Mary….

Now for the submission part of the post: submit to our delicious bevergage!!!

Brent and I used to enjoy an Irish Car Bomb from time to time in our pre-vegan days. This is not an improvised explosive device but rather a 2 part drink meant to be mixed immediately before consumption and enjoyed as a party drink. Much to our vegan dismay, none of the ingredients (save for the whiskey) are vegan!
Irish cream and Guinness are 2 things that I miss but we’ve managed to replace Guinness with Boddington’s and the Irish cream and whiskey with a mix of almond milk and creme de cacao. If you want to get technical, Guinness’ stout is vegan but I’m not a fan of glass bottles: aluminum is cheaper to recycle.
To prepare this drink you’ll need 2 cups and 2 shot glasses. We use plastic because I’m incredibly clumsy and I have a secret fear of a heavy shot glass knocking out all my front teeth. Split the beer between the two glasses. Fill each shot glass halfway with creme de cacao and top off with almond milk. We add a little cinnamon to the top of the shot. Drop the shot into the cup immediately before drinking. We call this animal friendly drink a “Kaboo flower”.
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
Keep Potlucking!

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Tropical Spring Rolls!

It’s raw night again in the Alldestroyers’ household and tonight we’ll be preparing vegan spring rolls. You’ll need the following:

2 medium zucchini, shredded
5 average sized carrots, shredded
1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut (sweetened is fine)
1 tbsp ponzu sauce
1/2 tsp lime juice (optional)
1/2 tsp flaked red pepper
a pinch of salt
8-10 rice paper sheets (mine are bahn-trang)
greens or spinach, washed and dried

Start by combining all the vegetables (except for the greens), liquids and seasonings in a bowl. Substitute shredded parsnips if you have a coconut allergy. Mix well and set aside.

Add 1 to 2 cups warm water in a deep plate or shallow bowl. Place a rice paper sheet into the water making sure to dampen both sides thoroughly and remove before it loses it’s stiffness.

Take it out and place it on a clean plate. Don’t worry if it’s still stiff; it’ll soften as it absorbs the water.

Place a handful of greens on one end of the paper closest to you. Add 3-4 heaping spoonfulls of filling onto the greens (if it’s particularly wet, let it drain, squeezing it out between your hands – your kids might like this job).

Dry your hands and start rolling the filled end of the sheet away from you using the greens to control the filling, folding in the sides. Rest it on that edge after closing it until you’re ready to eat it.Try not to place them so close that they’re touching because they’ll stick together and might tear when handled.

This takes some practice but it doesn’t really matter what they look like, right? You should end up with some lovely light, nutritions, filling and delicious spring rolls.

We made a dipping sauce out of basically the same ingredients as in our pakora with some minor changes which complemented the coconut in the spring rolls brilliantly. The proportions were about like this:
1/4 cup of tamarind (we used frozen)
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp cinnamon
chili paste to taste

When mango comes into season, we’ll probably make this sauce with pureed mango. I’m monitoring the little baby mango growing on the trees between my train stop and apartment closely. Soon, my friends… very soon.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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