Tag Archives: vegan mofo

Friendsgiving 2010 – Part One

As I’ve gotten older, Thanksgiving has become a problematic holiday. When I was a kid, the holiday meal rotated through the families annually, meaning one year at Aunt Nancy’s, one year at Aunt Patty’s, one year at Aunt Connie’s, etc. This tradition started to come apart late in my college years, as my generation of the family got older and started their own traditions, and the various jobs I had kept me tethered to the city for both work on Thanksgiving and its evil sister, Black Friday. So most of the family still gathered in one way or another, but I was mostly with one or two members of my little corner of the immediate family.

It’s not that it’s been bad times. Far from it. But I’ve missed the big sit-down dinners from Thanksgivings of my youth. Last year at Aunt Nancy’s, half the guests didn’t even eat because they were going to my cousin’s dinner a few hours later in the day. I hate to deride a family get together because everyone didn’t eat together… but come on, it’s freaking Thanksgiving. We can’t all sit down and eat? What’s the point of having a big meal then? Why not just everyone agree to show up already having eaten dinner and just enjoy some pie together?

Scheduling-wise, it just can’t seem to work out smoothly with family. Leading up to Thanksgiving, a thought occurred to me: the best sit-down big dinners I’ve been a part of this year have not been family gatherings (sad to say) but get togethers among friends. Keeping that in mind, myself and a bunch of friends decided to plan our own dinner, a few days before Thanksgiving, and dubbed it Friendsgiving. Having the nicest dining room (as those who looked at her Harry Potter setup can see), Jackie agreed to host, as well as tackle the key elements of the Thankgiving dinner: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and carrots. It would be an almost formal potluck. Everyone invited was asked to bring something, whether it was an entrée or side dish, dessert or beverage.

I admit, I was excited. Continue reading

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Good Morning, Further Adventures of Polenta!


After the delicious results of Molly Katzen’s polenta pie, I’ve been hellbent on attempting a jonnycake-like recipe for fried polenta cakes. I started off fully intending on posting the recipe, but the Kitchen Fates had other things in mind. One hour, much frustration, and a ton of improvisation later, I managed to make a pretty decent meal. But… it was a trial. Continue reading

Introducing: Vegan, A to Z

Like many active bloggers, I’m a nut for challenges. In my experience, I have found that restriction does lead to the greatest surge of ingenuity. Inspired by the variety of amazing offerings by the VeganMoFo bloggers, I’ve decided to take on a little project. Starting this week and continuing on for the next (you guessed it) 26 weeks, I’ll be doing a weekly feature entitled, Vegan A to Z, where I cook and bake a vegan recipe for every letter of the alphabet. Not exactly complicated, I understand, but whatever. We like to start simple here at Forked!

First up, a few weeks ago Sarah over at I’m So Hungry I Could Blog shared a terrific recipe for Spiced apple drop cookies that looked so good, I couldn’t wait to try them.

Veganizing Sarah’s recipe was exceptionally easy. I swapped out the butter for vegan margarine. The one egg became three tablespoons of apple sauce. Otherwise, everything stayed the same. I used a big Gala apple for my apple chunks and local apple cider as well.

The only other change is simply an omission: Sarah’s delicious looking cookies are topped by an apple cider vanilla frosting, which sounded terrific. Alas, I ran both short of supplies and time and decided to keep my cookies naked. They’re still delicious, with a crunch from the walnuts and little pockets of soft sweetness courtesy the baked apple chunks. And the recipe yielded nearly forty cookies, which means, even for this Cookie Monster, enough to share!

Woohoo, one down, 25 to go! Next up, ba-ba-ba- B!

(Make sure to check out Sarah and Caitlin’s excellent blog for this and other recipes!)

Good Morning, Cranberries!

The time is now to embrace the cranberry! Thanks to its harvest in late September, early October, the cranberry is in abundance this time of year in this region. Stock up, cause in addition to being a terrific addition to baked goods and an important traditional element to any Thanksgiving meal (vegan or otherwise), cranberries are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and boast moderate levels of Vitamin C and fiber. Especially helpful in this cold and flu season.

I’ve gotten tired of the same old nut roll my family always brings to holiday gatherings. This year, I’m offering up a vegan baked concoction of my own (shhh, don’t tell the family!):

Halfway to Fruitcake
Cranberry Nut Bread

Ingredients:
– 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 cup orange juice
– 1/4 cup apple juice
– 1 tbsp orange zest
– 2 tbsp vegetable shortening
– Half a banana, mashed
– 1 1/2 fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
– 1/2 cup chopped nuts (more if desired for topping)

– Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
– Mix together dry ingredients. Stir in orange juice, apple juice, zest, shortening and banana. Mix until blended well. Stir in cranberries and nuts.
– Pour mixture into a well-greased loaf pan. Top with extra nuts if so desired. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. – Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

Vegan MoFo Polenta Casserole!

Oh, cornmeal. In every corner of the world, cornmeal is used in abundance, from the Makki di roti in South Asia to kachamak in Bulgaria to the intriguing national dish of Barbados, Cou-cou and the Flying Fish.

In my kitchen it is mostly used as breading, cornbread and the occasional johnnycake craving. I love working with cornmeal because it is versatile and flavorful, but I haven’t done much with polenta, or boiled cornmeal, despite its terrific heritage and various uses.

[Among my favorite, from the Wikipedia entry on polenta: “In southern Austria, polenta is also eaten for breakfast (sweet polenta); the polenta pieces are either dipped in café au lait or served in a bowl with the café au lait poured on top of it (this is a favourite of children).”]

Vegan Polenta Pizza Casserole! Continue reading

Good Morning, French Toast!

It’s not often I find myself craving a big breakfast midweek. Weekends are perfect for breakfast productions – you can wake up later, spend more time in the kitchen, and thusly, spend more time enjoying what you’ve made. Weekdays, at least for me, are the kind of get out and go mornings that make a thoughtful, hearty breakfast much more difficult to manage.

The other problem I usually have with breakfast is, unlike many lunches and dinners, you’re less likely to have breakfast leftovers that can be enjoyed the next morning when you don’t have as much time to stop and make something to eat.

Not that any of this should stop one from eating a hearty breakfast. If a bowl of instant oatmeal and an apple is your breakfast, that’s probably enough (add in a glass of orange juice and some nuts for added protein, and that’s a fairly balanced breakfast). But if you’re craving something a bit more decadent, a bit more… special for your weekday breakfast, I suggest preparing the following recipe in advance the night before, then putting it in the oven the minute you get out of bed.

I’ll Wake Up Early for This
Apples & Cream French Toast Casserole
 

From post-gazette.com

 

Ingredients
– 2 1/2 cups silken tofu
– 1 cup packed brown sugar
– 1/2 cup vegan margarine
– 2 tbsp corn syrup (can substitute maple)
– 4-6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced.
– 1 loaf French Bread, day old, cubed
– 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
– 1 1/2 cups soymilk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (opt.)

– In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and margarine. Keep stirring until sugar is dissolved, then pour into a greased 13X9-inch baking dish.

– Place apple slices in baking dish. Put half the bread on top of the apples, then add the cream cheese (don’t be worried about a smooth layer, you can just dot it all over), then the rest of the bread on top. Process the tofu, soymilk, and vanilla, then pour on top of the baking dish.

– If you want to stop here, go ahead and tightly wrap the baking dish in foil and refrigerate overnight. Try to remove 15 to 30 minutes before baking.

– For baking: set oven at 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, for 50 – 60 minutes.

My suggestion: set alarm early, get up, remove casserole from fridge, pre-heat oven. Go back to bed for fifteen to thirty minutes. Come back, put dish in oven, set timer for 50 minutes, then go about your morning routine. By the time you’re showered, dressed, and ready to go… well, you might still have a while to wait. Hence the getting up early part which, I admit, sucks.

(recipe veganized and adapted from Taste of Home)

Happy Vegan MOFO!

 

From VeganMofo.wordpress.com:

VeganMoFo was originally created on the Post Punk Kitchen, as an homage to NaNoWriMo. Because we do want to write novels, but sometimes cooking gets in the way. So why not combine them!

The idea is to write as much as you can all month, about vegan food. The blog entries can be about anything food related – your love of tongs, your top secret tofu pressing techniques, the first time your mom cooked vegan for you, vegan options in Timbuktu – you get the idea, right? If not, browse around on some of our round-ups and you’ll catch on fast!

There aren’t strict guidelines for how often to write, but the idea is to shoot for every weekday, or about 20 times in the month. If you’d like inspiration or would just like to whine about how hard it is, check out the MoFo forum on the PPK message boards.

As the world catches on that vegan food really is the best choice for animals (suck it, humane meat!), the planet (bite me, melting ice caps!) and people (piss off, heart disease!) let’s show them what vegan eating is all about.

In honor of Vegan MoFo, I will be periodically featuring some of the nearly 600 blogs taking part in this year’s vegan food writing fest. If you’re vegan, vegetarian, or maybe just looking for an excuse to add a few more vegetables to your weekly diet, check back for some great recipes offered from this year’s participants.

Happy writing, vegan bloggers!