Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Cooking Demonstration with Compassion Over Killing

For all you that live in LA or will be here this Saturday (the 4th)
I will be doing a Holiday Feast Cooking Demonstration for
Compassion Over Killing.

This demo will help those who are already great vegan cooks,
beginners or those who are interested in veganism or just a healthy
holiday. I will show you how to make two appetizers, two side dishes,
one main dish and one dessert including a Pumpkin Risotto with
Seitan and Wintry Chocolate Truffles!

This demo is really affordable compared to others out in this area--
The $20 admission fee includes the cooking demo, food samples,
and a goody bag containing recipes, COK note cards, coupons, and
product samples. Plus, all the proceeds benefit COK!

Buy your tickets today!

The demo goes from 12-2 and you will have a chance to mingle,
throw some questions at me, and enjoy the wonderful spread you
see made.

It is located at Arjay Plaza 23211 Hawthorne Blvd., 3rd Floor Ste 200
in Torrance on the corner of Hawthorne and Lomita.

Compassion Over Killing is a nonprofit animal protection organization
based in Washington, D.C. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the
abuse of animals in agriculture and encourage vegetarian eating
as a way to build a kinder world for all of us, both human and nonhuman.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Part Seven: Hogwarts Pumpkin Juice

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1 has been out now for one
week. We went and saw it opening day with all the 16-year old girls
dressed in their Gryffindor best. As big Harry Potter fans, we had a
good time and it was actually one of the first times we didn't go to
the midnight showing the night before...

But to tie up the pumpkin patch series and as an homage to Harry
Potter I made some Hogwarts Pumpkin Juice.

I've never had raw pumpkin juice and it reminded me of carrot juice in
a way. First I tried peeling the pumpkin before shoving it through my
juicer, but it didn't seem to make a difference so I just cut the stem
parts off, scooped the seeds out and pushed it through.

It is not something you can drink straight-- well, at least I cannot.
Instead I made it a juice blend. You can either juice these with it or
add them in after.

I used a smaller pumpkin or about 3-4 cups chopped raw pumpkin
1 cup of fresh apple juice or apple cider
1/2 cup fresh orange juice or 2 table spoons of orange juice concentrate

Over my Christmas break I am going to try to re-read all the books
because I nearly forgot everything that happened!

If pumpkin juice really isn't your thing, no fears I'll be working
on a butter beer recipe soon!

P.S. I hope you had a beautiful, loving, and compassionate Holiday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Part Six: Pumpkin Gingerbread Fluffkins

I have to confess I am more of a cookie dough person than a
cookie person-- that is with the exception of gingerbread.
During the holidays I can practically live off of gingerbread
I almost did when I was a teenager.

I used to work in retail and during the holidays we would have
to start work at 3:30 in the morning. So I certainly wasn't
hungry enough for breakfast, but I had to eat something for
some energy... So, I'd eat a gingerbread man. Then another one
on my break. By then I was off at noon and I could go home and
eat some real food, but I was so wiped I wasn't really hungry.
Yeah, so I'd eat another gingerbread.

Bad of me, I know.

But combining pumpkin and gingerbread was such a natural idea
to me. Two of my all time favorite things combined into one
delicious morsel. I've seen a lot of pumpkin gingerbread
before, but in loaves-- not cookies. I like the rolled gingerbread
more, but these are still pretty tasty.

The rolled gingerbread comes out with either a little crunch or
snap or kinda chewy. I like the chewy kind. Drop gingerbread
comes out soft and fluffy-- like these! That is why I called them

Pumpkin Gingerbread Fluffkins (about 2 batches)

1 cup cooked pumpkin, pure├ęd
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup earth balance
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp fresh grated
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder

Cream together the pumpkin, sugar, and earthbalance. Next add
the molasses and vanilla and set aside.

Sift together the flour and other dry ingredients. Add this
slowly to the wet and mix until just combined.

On a greased cookie sheet drop a large tablespoon of dough.
These don't spread that much, so an inch and a half apart is fine.

Bake at 375F for about 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool briefly and
then remove. Enjoy with some rice or soynog! Yum!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Part Five: Pumpkin Tomato Soup

Whenever it starts getting a little chilly or if I start getting sick,
I insist on tomato soup for dinner. Thankfully I am not ill, but we
have had some crisp autumn evenings as of late.

Tomato soup has to be one of the easiest soups you can just about
make... Actually, now that I think of it-- it IS the easiest soup
you could make.

We'd get tomato soup and saltines as children when we were sick.
I don't know if my Mom made it or bought it, but it made me feel
better. If Dad was home we got miso, which I was not a fan of at the
time. When I got older and my Mom got sick, I made some tomato soup
for her. Except she is so picky I couldn't use garlic or onions and
she wanted it to taste just like traditional canned soup.

Well, I snuck some onions in anyway and managed to skip the heavy
cream with soymilk and she didn't complain. Yet, I found that it
did lose some of the richness it had before. The way to gain that
real creaminess is with cashews!

And adding Pumpkin is such an amazing twist. You get a lovely
orange colour instead of the light redish-pink and a very slight
tinge of squash. I hope you like it!

Pumpkin Tomato Soup

4 cups chopped, skinned tomatoes
1 cup chopped pumpkin, I used cooked but you can start with raw
1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bouillon cube
1/2 tsp sage
1/3-1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
1 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions and garlic in a stock pot in a few tbsp of
water or mild oil until the onions appear translucent and the
garlic is fragrant.

Add the tomatoes, bouillon, sage, and pumpkin (if raw only).
Add some water if you are using fresh tomatoes.
Cook covered for about 15-20 minutes on med-low heat, adding water
if it appears to need it. Add the pumpkin and heat through for
about five minutes. Add the cashews, sugar, and seasonings.

Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Blend in small
batches, minding the heat. Move back to the stockpot over the
heat until ready to serve. If the soup appears too thick, you
can thin it out a bit with some veg broth or non-dairy milk.
Make sure the seasoning is adjusted and enjoy!

Monkey-man whipped up some garlicy pumpkin seed crackers, which
we sprinkled on top!

I then heated some soymilk in smallpan, just for a minute or so
and frothed it in my french press. I've got to get the hang of
soup designs with cream...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Part Four: Pumpkin Chili

I'm pretty bummed that last week I made an awesome pumpkin curry
for a potluck and totally forgot to take a picture for you all.

That's why there was a gap of a couple days. However, last night
we made a version of Monkey-man's favorite meal ever-- or one of
them anyway! Chili with roasted potatoes and the best-est cheese

Usually I like summer squash or zucchini in my chili, but instead
I used pumpkin. And we got these amazing vitelotte potatoes at our
local grocer. The skins were almost black, but the inside was a
rich, beautiful violet. At first I thought they were going to
taste like the purple sweet potatoes that I used to get in Hawaii,
but these were wonderful. They had the same texture as your run
of the mill potatoes, but had a deeper, earthier, rustic flavour.
Apparently they are native to Peru and Bolivia. Usually I think
of Europe and Ireland when I think of potatoes, but supposedly
Peru is the birthplace of more than 90% of potato varieties we
eat and love today.

I'm sorry, this wasn't meant to be a post about potatoes!
This is a post about pumpkin in Chili! So here you go!

Pumpkin Chili

2-3 cups fresh pumpkin, chopped largely
1 can or 4 large diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup of corn
2 cups of beans, cooked (any kind you like)
1 small pepper
1/2 cup TSP or TVP (opt)
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 vegetable bouillon cube
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions and garlic for about five minutes in a large
pot over medium heat in a few tablespoons of water or oil.

Add the pumpkin and a little bit more water an cover, cook for a
few minutes then add the tomato and seasonings. Cover and cook,
adding water if needed and cook until the pumpkin is starting to
get a little bit tender, but is not completely cooked-- about 10
minutes max.

Add the pepper, corn tvp and beans and cook/heat through. You may
need to add a little extra water or veg broth for the tvp. By the
time the tvp is plumped the pumpkin should be cooked through, but
not mushy.

Serve over roasted potatoes and topped with your favorite cheese or
cheese sauce. Monkey-man added daiya moz just for good measure.
If this isn't hot enough for you, throw in a diced hot pepper like
a habenero or some hot sauce if you're kinda lazy and don't want
to deal with chopping hot peppers...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Part Three: Pumpkin Tacos

At the same time that we're trying pop pumpkin into meals you
wouldn't normally find it, we are also trying to cut back on how
much bread we're scarfing. Well, at least I am, I can't speak for

Just to mix it up a little I picked up some of the blue-corn
tortillas from TJ's. Plus, I thought they'd look striking against
some nice orange pumpkin. And oh my gosh were these ever delish!
And Oh so simple!

Pumpkin Taco Filling

2-2 1/2 cups chopped pumpkin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder (mild)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Hot chili powder to taste
dash of cinnamon

saute the onion and garlic in a little bit of water or a tablespoon
of oil until a little tender and fragrant.

Add the pumpkin and seasonings and cover. Continue to cook for about
10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft, but still
firm and held together. Overcooking the pumpkin will turn it to mush.

We topped them with fresh lettuce, tomato, raw sweet corn, sliced
black olives, and some cheddar daiya. I also like using soygurt
instead of sour cream, but they were wonderful without. Or can even
add a little bit of cilantro on top for an extra bite!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Part Two: Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte

During Autumn Pumpkin flavored items are abound, even at chain
restaurants. I saw posters for Jamba Juice's Pumpkin smoothie
and Starbucks has it's ever popular Pumpkin Latte out again.

Why waste the +$5.00 when you can make it at home?
Not nearly as sickly sweet as the commercial versions you
can buy, but you can always add more sweetener if you like.
Plus, it's vegan, unlike the Starbucks version which supposedly
Has condensed milk or some such nonsense in it.

Pumpkin Spice Latte


2 tbsp agave or maple agave blend
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup vegan sugar

1/2-1 cup nondairy milk

Coffee drink of your choice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely
smooth! No lumps allowed!

Transfer into a small saucepan and cook for a few minutes on high.
This will cook off some of the extra liquid and also start to cook
and start to caramelize the sugar. Remove when it starts to thicken

Go ahead and brew a strong bit of coffee, espresso, or (my new
favorite) Teeccino!

Heat about 1/2-1 cup of soymilk just until warmish-hot. It will
start to form a little bit of foam on the edge of the pan. To
froth you can either use a french press like me, the steamer on
an espresso machine, or use one of those little battery operated
frothers that look like tiny metal whisks.

I've even seen it done by shaking a jar with the soymilk inside
or by being really good with a hand whisk.

Once you've got the soymilk to a thick enough level, pour your
coffee into your mugs and add 1-2 tbsp of your pumpkin spice mix
and stir. Pour in the soymilk and enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Part One: Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

In honor of my favorite time of year I've decided to do a series of
the most famous autumn fare (and my personal favorite): Pumpkin!

I love squash because of the wonderful colours, shapes, variety and
simple versatility. It is amazing in savory and sweet dishes alike.
Therefore, I thought I'd start off with something you might do a
double take at... Pumpkin Pasta Sauce!

Also because I wanted to use the adorable animal shaped pasta I
recently got. I bought it for mac and cheese, but I had a lot leftover.
The shaped pasta like this really captures the sauce well.

We ate it with some sauteed zucchini and some garlic bread--
But now I have a craving for spiced apple cider!

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

2 cups of cooked pumpkin
1 cup soymilk or cashew cream
1 vegetable bouillon
5 fresh sage leaves, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp salt
black and white pepper to taste
nutmeg to taste

1/2 tvp
1 tsp oil
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable broth

nutritional yeast

Brown the tvp in a pan over medium heat in the oil. Once the tvp
begins to reach a golden brown and start to toast, turn down and
continually add vegetable broth, while cooking. Once the tvp has
plumped up, is no longer dry on the inside and any excess liquid
is cooked off remove it from the heat. Set aside.

Blend or process your cooked pumpkin with the ‘milk’/cream until
smooth. Over medium heat saute the onion in a few tablespoons of
water. After about two minutes, add the garlic and then the sage.
Cook, adding more water if needed, until the onion appears
translucent and tender.

Add the bouillon, pumpkin mix, tvp, 1/4 cup water/broth and
remaining seasonings. Turn down to medium-low heat and cook for
about more 15 minutes.

Serve over your favorite cooked pasta and top with some nutritional
yeast or mix about a 1/4 cup in right before serving.

Makes enough sauce for 3-4 servings.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Taste of Aloha Part Seven: SCAM Musubi

This is the reason this series took me so darn long. I've been working
on this recipe for two freakin' weeks. Every time I was going to post it,
it didn't work out quite right or I didn't have time-- so I put up a
different recipe.

The idea to do a vegan spam was a reader request, but it is also one of
the true stereotypes about Hawaii. Yes they love their SPAM. I guess
some people do make the SPAM and eggs thing, but even more
popular is SPAM Musubi. It is basically SPAM wrapped with white
rice and nori. Yup that's it. The rice is not flavoured either.

Sound tasty right?

Well, I had no idea what SPAM even tasted like so I started googling
for a description of the taste. According to the majority of people on
q&a sites SPAM tastes like salty dog food. OK, so I needed to veganize
salty dog food.

Dude, how am I supposed to know what dog food tastes like?

So, I'm sticking with the salty part. Apparently, it is not just a little
salty--- but veeery salty. I'm thinking a really salty lunch meat.
Now if you've had SPAM in the past, you can try this and tell me
what you think. My main goal was to not make something unpleasant,
but make something that is comparable. It doesn't need to be
blindfold test the same, but just be a good substitute for people
craving salty dog food.

I started with vegan dad's original process of making lunch meat.
Here they talk about making vegan SPAM, but they really had no
intention of it tasting, ect like SPAM. I tried using soybeans, but
it wasn't that great. I instead switched to red beans and tomato paste.

Here is what I came up with...

Vegan SCAM (Salted Canned Artificial Meat)

1 can of red kidney beans
1 can of tomato paste
1 cup of cooked oatmeal
2 cups of vegetable broth
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soy sauce/braggs/miso (opt can add more salt instead)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 1/2-3 cups vital wheat gluten

Blend all ingredients (except the gluten) until smooth.
Pour into a bowl and slowly add just enough 'flour' to form
a wet sticky lump. You want it to still be moist so your end
product isn't completely dry.

Form into two thick logs and wrap with foil. Steam for 40 minutes.
Remove from steamer and check to make sure that all parts of the
scam are still covered with foil.

Place in a dish or on a pan and bake for 40-50 minutes at 350F.
Remove and allow to cool completely. No matter what shape you may
have formed it in pre-steaming, it will have swollen into a
roundish log. I tried making it into a rectangle, but it doesn't work.

Cut the edges to make into a rectangle and then slice into 1/4" slices
like a loaf of bread.

Sushi Rice

White/Med Grain rice cooked (1 cup rice to 2 cups water)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Fold the rice, as opposed to mixing it or else you will squish it
and end up with a bunch of mush.

Slice a sheet of nori into desired widths.
Wet your hands and shape about a 1/4-1/2 sized scoop of rice into a
rectangle to fit onto your slices of SCAM. Set the SCAM and rice onto
the end of a piece of cut nori. Roll up and allow to rest on the side
where the nori ends. The moisture of the sushi will seal the nori.

Love it or hate- You just made vegan spam musubi.
There are no wrong or right ways to shape your musubi, so google it
and check out some other pictures. Some use twice as much rice,
so it is on both sides of the spam, but I didn't want that much.

That concludes the Taste of Aloha series, I hope you enjoy it!