Tag Archives: vegan meal ideas

Guest Blogger: Chickpea and Dumpling Soup, A.K.A. Guaranteed Food Coma – The Vegan Hostess

22 Jan

Always exciting to meet more vegan bloggers. Jocelyn from The Vegan Hostess is new to the VBU! family and we welcome her with open arms. Here she is in her own words, “I’m Jocelyn and I’ve been vegan for about six years, but I was a vegetarian for the decade prior. That means I haven’t had meat in well over half my life. I recently started my blog, The Vegan Hostess. I’m a lawyer/ non-profit professional by day, and cat snuggle/ vegan blogger by night. I’m hoping that I can inspire others to find joy in vegan cooking, as well as, learn some awesome recipes to use for potlucks to win over the omnivores among us!”

Love that attitude and I’m sure we’ll see many inspirational posts from Jocelyn. Please connect with her on Twitter and Instagram. Welcome Jocelyn!

I recently bought a new cookbook called “Thug Kitchen” at the recommendation of my friend Alicia (check out her blog). Now at first glance I thought – alright it’s supposed to be a funny cookbook that might have a few good recipes…let’s give it a try. I was wrong! This book is FULL of amazing recipes!

One of the first things I attempted to make was certainly not the easiest recipe, nor the one with the shortest prep/cook time. No, certainly not. However, it was an amazing, hearty dish that will serve as my work lunch this entire week. Since I haven’t had meat in as many years as it takes to be able to drive a car, I can’t say I’ve ever eaten chicken and dumplings. But I can say that I think this chickpea and dumpling soup hits all of the highlights – and it might even be better. Make it and see for yourself!

The first thing you need is to take a hearty shopping trip. This recipe uses the ‘trinity’ – onions, carrots, and celery. It also requires some basic vegan household staples like almond milk, flour, kale, and chickpeas. You can see my cluttered table of ingredients below.

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The first thing you do is make the dough which honestly was kind of fun, although time consuming. This involves the basics – flour, baking powder, spices, and enough almond milk to get the right dough-like texture. Oh, and lots and LOTS of chives!

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I spent the next hour or so chopping and cooking veggies and getting the ‘soup’ going. This recipe certainly isn’t for those who already don’t like to cook. I enjoyed this because I love prep work, and I love an excuse to use my big soup pot! The recipe calls for the cook to make a ‘roux’ though it doesn’t call it that. A roux is a soup base which is a staple for many southern dishes. It’s a simple mixture of extra virgin olive oil and flour, stirring on low heat, while slowly adding in some other liquids – white wine, vegetable broth, etc. The great thing about making roux the soup base is that it will give your soup a thick, creamy feel without dairy or butter! All of that stirring and simmering is worth it! Trust me!

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Eventually, the soup began to look like a soup and I have to admit – I was shocked at how fast the homemade noodles cooked and how great they tasted! (Can you believe I had never made dumplings before…or even my own pasta – and I’m Italian!)

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This soup is so good, I had to get seconds! It was like a warm blanket for my stomach. It has some kick due to using cayenne, but the flavors were all very well-balanced. This is certainly the perfect meal for a cold January evening.

Overall, I give this recipe, and the end result, an A+. It’s time consuming, but it turns out an excellent product. I’m going to be very sad when my leftovers runout.

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So do you have a favorite ‘comfort food’ recipe? Please share!

Guest Blogger: The Food Duo – The Pot(Luck) of the Vegan

11 Apr

New bloggers who blog as a couple! Meet – The Food Duo! Here they are in their own words, “We’re a couple of quirky vegan kids in NYC who play with their food! Just don’t tell our moms! Recipes, reviews, news you can use and fun stuff…all from a vegan point of view! The Food Duo is written by Macaroon (girl) and Artichoke (guy).” Keep in touch with the Food Duo on all their social media links: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Welcome Macaroon and Artichoke!

Sunday Potluck! Can we do this every weekend…PLEASE?

Sorry, I’m a few days late with my “Kiss Me, I’m Irish (for 24 hours)” line! Then again, if my mom’s correct, we may have some Irish blood somewhere on her side of the family, but who knows? LOL

St. Patrick’s Day certainly has its religious roots, but I’ve always grown up with it being a celebratory day with friends (old, new and those lasting a single pint). The camaraderie that comes about truly makes the day fun and festive more so than just wearing green (which I did) or watching the parade (this year, the day before). This year was no different, except the parade on Saturday the 16th, rather than Sunday the 17th. Nevertheless, we enjoyed a lovely Sunday evening at a pot luck, meeting new folks, eating good food and sharing a common bond being VEGANISM!Organized through the NYC Vegan EatUp group on Meetup.com, our evening was entitled VEGANPOTLUCKAPALOOZA! So, you know anything ending in “PALOOZA” is certain not to disappoint. The pot luck was held at Harmony Kitchen Cafe in the East Village (NYC), which is a great vegan cafe and art space, which is part of the Yippie Museum, a venue of expression and activism. It was the perfect, cozy setting, and a big thanks to David Hall, the owner, for having us! BTW, Harmony Kitchen has some of the best iced tea I’ve ever had, and Artie is in love with their coffee.

The gathering included some home chefs and professional eaters (some being one in the same…like ME). We shared dishes of hearty comfort goodness. The menu was full of deliciousness: delightful rainbow salad, perfect stuffed mushrooms with daikon, two kinds of yummy mac ‘n cheese (one gluten-free), stuffed shells with a flavorful cashew ricotta and garlic mashed potatoes with green cauliflower. The meal was topped off beautiful raw mint pie for dessert. I think we all did a bang up job!

So, you may be wondering what Artie and I made for the evening. Well, our contributions were the stuffed shells and mashed potatoes. Since we made our dishes without following a set recipe, we’ll need to work them out in written form, and share them soon, but they were pretty simple to make.

A sampling of a shell and skin-on mashed potatoes “aerial” shot
 
There isn’t much more I can say except it was great spending time with our fellow vegans, learning a little something about them and about ourselves. It was a wonderful experience and I hope we get to do this again really soon!
Oh and I’m in total love with the mint pie!
AMAZING! So happy Sarah shared the recipe. Will be making this soon for Momma Mac!

Guest Blogger: Gormandize with A-dizzle and K-bobo – Vegan Bean and Mushroom Jambalaya

21 Jan

Our friend Keely from the blog Gormandize with A-dizzle and K-bobo. Keely has contributed before with a recipe for Chai Banana Loaf. You can follow her Blog, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account. Welcome back Keely!

A month of American food wouldn’t be complete without my favourite American dish – jambalaya, a Louisiana speciality. Discovering this delicious dish essentially made me want to go to Louisiana! This jambalaya uses field mushrooms and vegetarian sausages instead of the traditional meat. Traditional jambalaya is also laden with green capsicum, however, I’ve left this out because it makes me sick – but if you are partial to a bit of green capsicum feel free to add it in, although I don’t think it needs it!!
I’ve also made this recipe using brown rice instead of white, it was also fantastic. You just need to increase the amount of water by about 2 cups and increase the cooking time by at least 20 minutes.
Ingredients
5 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 field mushrooms, washed and chopped in large chunks
3 vegetarian sausages, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1/2 cup dry sherry
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups basmati rice
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tin diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tin cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tin Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
(More hot water, as required)
To Make
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot. Sauté the onions and celery for 2-3 mins. Add the mushrooms and veggie sausages and sauté until the veggies are cooked.
2. At this stage you’ll notice the bottom of the pan is getting all brownish from frying the veggies. So – deglaze the pan by adding the sherry (you’ll notice all the browny bits come right off the bottom and make your dish a lovely rich colour). Add the tomato paste as well and heat through.
3. Add the uncooked rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes, bay leaves and all herbs and spices. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring very frequently for about 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through, you may need to add more water as you are going to stop the rice sticking onto the bottom depending on how thirsty your rice is.
4. When the rice is almost cooked stir the tinned beans through. When the rice is fully cooked serve.
Serves 4.
This month I’m featuring lots of delicious food from
Southern USA!
Check out my other recipe posts:
 

Vegan Bloggers Unite! ConFest Planning

21 Nov

Hello everyone! As you know, Mat and I are working on the ConFest, (October 12-13, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario – SAVE THE DATE) we’re going to update the VBU! site, plus we’re location scouting, it’s amazing how hard it is to find venues that won’t allow food to be brought in.

Speaking of food – we’re trying to get an idea of what people would like to eat. If you could comment below this would help us out greatly.

Thank you!

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