The Easiest Monkey Bread Recipe Ever with @earth_balance and @Pillsbury Crescent Rolls #vegan

Every Christmas my mother would make cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we would snack on their sugary, gooeyness while opening gifts on the living room floor. Recently I have either have to make my own from scratch which can be a two day process or buy some that are vegan. This year my mom bought some online from someplace and they were actually pretty awesome. Some company she saw on Shark Tank I guess. However, I was looking for an easier option that I didn’t need to ship in for $100 or make for days. I am a lazy mom of a new infant and all my time is taken up either cooking, cleaning, burping, feeding, changing, or working. I barely sleep. So when I came across a Pillsbury recipe for monkey bread I thought oooooh I can veganize this. AND. I. DID. Bam!

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It was amazing, the whole thing was eaten by 4 people in a gluttonous feast that lasted less than an hour. We were gross I know, but it was that good. Enjoy!

 

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Vegan Monkey Bread

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INGREDIENTS:

  • (4) Tubes of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Soy Creamer
  • Pam Canola Cooking Spray
  • (1) Earth Balance Buttery Stick
  • Optional: Nuts

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bundt cake pan, spray with cooking spray and then start pulling apart crescent roll dough and balling it up and dropping it into the pan.
  3. After each tube sprinkle a layer of brown sugar and cinnamon very lightly over the dough balls, then continue balling up the next tube worth of dough. The balls should be small about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. I also sprinkled in walnuts at this point but any nut will do like pecans, walnuts, etc.
  4. After all dough is in the pan and everything is sprinkled, get a sauce pan and place the stick of earth balance butter in it to melt down over medium heat.
  5. Once melted add 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of creamer. Stir until combined into a soupy caramel sauce. I sometimes add a pinch of salt as well.
  6. Pour sauce evenly over the entire bundt pan of dough balls. I try going around the circle from the outside in to make sure I get some on everything.
  7. Note that the bundt pan will not be filled completely but will bake all the way tot he top once the dough rises in the oven.                monkey bread 6
  8. Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  9. When it comes out i used a plastic spatula around the edges of the bundt cake pan first before I tipped it over onto the plate in order to serve it. Otherwise the caramel sticks and it won’t come out of the pan.
  10. Serve hot. Pick apart and enjoy!

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Serves 8-16. Or 4 if you are my family ;)

 

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

My Aunt’s Taco Salad – Veganized with @BeyondMeat

I love love love my Aunt Linda’s Taco Salad. Everytime we would have a family event at my Dad’s parents home in southern Massachusetts she would seem to bring this very simple Taco Salad with her despite the fact she is a trained chef. You would think a trained chef would bring something more severe and fancy but nope, Taco Salad. Here is something I can tell you though, this is the best Taco Salad in the universe and if you are a trained chef and you want the masses to eat salad, this is the salad you bring! It is salty, sweet, hearty, and healthy all mixed together and thanks to Beyond Meat I can now make it VEGAN! (Insert personal dance party moves here). So grab this for the next potluck, Meatless Monday, or Taco Tuesday. You won’t be sorry.

Bravado aside here is the recipe. Enjoy!

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Aunty Linda’s Veganized Taco Salad

 

Ingredients:

2 bags frozen Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles

2 tbs Olive Oil

2 heads of Iceberg Lettuce Shredded

2 tomatoes diced

1 snack size bag of Fritos (2-4 servings like you’d get at a convenience store)

Catalina Dressing (I use Kraft)

 

Cooking:

Heat Oil and crumbles in frying pan until cooked. Set aside

 

Finishing Preparation:

Chop and shred lettuce and place 1/2 in a bowl.

Chop tomatoes and place 1/2 in a bowl.

Add 1/2 of the crumbles to that bowl and mix. Then add remaining crumbles, lettuce, tomatoes, and toss until well combined.

Add Catalina dressing until covered like a Caesar salad.

Crush Fritos and add at the last minute and toss.

Serve immediately.

 

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Happy New Year. Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

New Year’s Resolutions!

Every New Year people traditionally make there New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get fit. Although after having a baby this is an obvious need for me it isn’t my New Year’s Resolution. I like to make a few guide posts for my year but I never get too disappointed if things go awry… there is always next year right?!?! Puns aside here is my list of things I would like to accomplish in the next 52 weeks:

  1. Take a vacation with my daughter.
  2. Go to church more and really find a spiritual center than I can pass on to my daughter, whatever that is.
  3. Meditate more. I find peace and rest in this but hardly do it enough.
  4. Use more whole foods and whole grains in my meals and recipes.
  5. Bake my own bread more often.
  6. Go to sleep earlier.
  7. Read to my daughter more. My favorite book right now to read to her is “My Mom Eats Tofu”. It makes me smile and laugh.
  8. Organize my kitchen and my spices.
  9. Declutter everything in my house.
  10. Join a CSA.
  11. Practice yoga more regularly.
  12. Start running again. That jogging stroller isn’t going to jog my daughter around on its own!
  13. Learn to use my paddleboard.
  14. Learn to let go of things.
  15. Read more books for joy after work rather than watch tv.
  16. Teach my stepkids to surf.

So those are them. I may find that some aren’t feasible this year, or all are and add more, or even tweak the ones I posted, but here is to another wonderful. hope-filled year ahead of us. I hope everyone’s dreams begin coming true with the drop of that crystal ball in Times Square.

Happy New Year. Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

Being Vegan Doesn’t Always Mean I Eat Healthy

During my pregnancy and the past month or so of holidays, I have had to explain to folks that just because I am vegan does not always mean I am healthy. I still eat macaroni and cheese and french fries and candy. I just eat it prepared in a different way. Now yes, I am much healthier in what I consume because there are much more veggies involved but at the same time I gained weight when I became vegan because before everything I ate made me ill for the most part. The thing is though, cake is still cake. Vegan cake is still fat and sugars and flour. It is just vegan sugars, plant based fats, and organic flour. All of which still hit you right on those hips.

So when I went to the grocery store with my younger step daughter I thought, we need to clean our menu up just a little more. No more white and wheat bread from the store, we need whole grain bread. No more refined white pasta, lets try some new grains that the kids aren’t used to like quinoa and blends of brown rice and amaranth etc. We need to change this up and make more “whole foods” come in. My husband had just complained the week before that he had been on a business trip and was so sick from the garbage food he ate while away that he couldn’t wait to come home. He even asked if we had something to detox him so he could feel better faster. I gave him some Detox tea by Yogi and a salad. I think that should start the healing. The idea though was a profound one, we had adjusted our lifestyle just enough the last 3 years that we couldn’t be an “average” American eating out and having subs anymore. I took a little pride in this but also was kinda shocked that these little changes I had made for myself had truly affected my whole family. Even my Midwestern, meat eating, cheese loving, butter dipping, corn fed husband.

So last night I tried a new vegan product and figured this would be one more step to eating better but still not completely compromising. I tried “Vegg” eqq yolk replacer for cooking (not the baking kind, although I tried that the other day and it worked great on cookies) and tried to make a quiche with broccoli and Daiya Jack cheese. I failed at the recipe miserably and I still am not sure why. I think it was a sign that maybe even this was too processed and rich. It smelled amazing but just would not come together and set. It kept turning to liquid. So I finally gave up after almost 2 hours of baking and made vegan “chicken” and a side of couscous and spinach for the kids and sulked in my room. When I came down 2 hours later the quiche had set while it was on the table! I tried it and it was tasty but I had heartburn straight through this morning from it. So for lunch I made a sandwich with Whole Grain bread some curried chicken salad with Beyond Meat, Just Mayo, Cranberries, and sliced almonds. I have realized that my combo of healthier vegan meat/egg options mixed with whole grains, veggies, fruits, and nuts is what is going to work for our family. The kids love the fake meats and the whole grains so its easy to integrate in veggies they like. I think this will be our “recipe” moving forward this year.

 

So here is to a not so unhealthy 2015 that is filled with good whole food and hope and not so much refinement :)

 

Much Love. Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

So I had a baby. Now I have no time. So I use MANY vegan life hacks (5 recipes included)!

I had a baby a few weeks back. I was very ill before that causing a HUGE lull in my blogging and quite honestly my eating as well. I developed preeclampsia and could barely eat anything or walk, before that I got C-Diff… again no eating mostly doing the opposite of eating. I was the worst pregnant lady ever. If I was glowing it was strictly from swelling and fever. Thank goodness that is over. And let us welcome my vegan baby Solana Bray!

 

Solana

 

That all aside… I am getting back into my kitchen. Cooking when I can. Thinking of new recipes and enjoying my short moments of quiet when they come. The baby is out of the NICU (newborn intensive care unit, she was only 3lbs at birth but look at those cheeks now!) and at home so these moments are rare nowadays and my two stepchildren came to live with us in August. I think it is easy to tell that things have been hectic. So today I wanted to share some of my yummy vegan life hacks that I have been using to get through meal and snack times after work and on the weekends.

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VEGAN HACK RECIPES:

 

Peanut Butter Cookies: Use Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix and then sub out eggs with Egg Replacer. They come out perfect. I also use a silpat instead of cooking them directly on a cookie sheet because they are a little more crumbly. Let them sit for a few minutes before serving or else they fall apart.

 

Cinnamon Rolls: Use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and don’t separate them at the triangle perforations or buy the dough itself if you can find it. They spread with Earth Balance Buttery Spread and sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar, and Penzey’s Vanilla Sugar. Roll up and then cut into 8-10 mini rolls. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until browned. Again, I use a silpat because they get sticky :).

 

Cheese Quesadilla: Grab some tostadas from the Mexican section of your grocery. I prefer Maizada. Top with crumbled Daiya Jalapeno Havarti. Microwave for about 30-45 seconds and top with another tostada and microwave 10 more seconds. Enjoy!

 

Taco Salad: I eat this for lunch almost everyday lately. Chop up 1 head of iceberg lettuce. Add shredded carrots. Toss with Catalina dressing. Then mix in cooked Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles (I make 2 packages) and crushed Fritos. It will be your favorite lunch, I promise. My step kids adore it as a quick dinner as well!

 

Chocolate Chip Pancakes: 4 cups Bisquick, 3 1/2 cups Silk soy creamer, 1/2 tablespooon of Penzey’s almond extract, 1 cup of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips. Mix and cook on a skillet sprayed with Pam Canola Oil Spray. These are amazing. As a quick trick sprinkle some Penzey’s Vanilla Sugar on the raw side before you flip it and they are amazing! What a treat! Makes enough for 4-6 hungry people.

 

And there is always this very easily veganized “cronut” recipe to indulge in if these weren’t enough to make your holiday happier!

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Happy Holidays! Much Love! Food is Love!

 

Enjoy!

The Hippie Gypsy.

Blackberry & Apple Compote

thehippiegypsy:

This is just a perfect recipe to convert the sweets of summer fruit to the warmths of a fall recipe. Emily does such a wonderful job narrating her recipes also so I always love reading her entries. I am looking forward to this on top of some of my homemade vegan vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Originally posted on Emily Cooks Vegan:

Okay, so I have a small confession. I don’t like summer. I burn really easily and I don’t like hot temperatures, and aside from the brilliant day-drinking opportunities and balmy evenings, it’s my least favourite season. So obviously I’m really excited that it’s hit September now and I can delve into my Autumn recipes and start wearing the outfits I like to wear rather than just T-shirts and factor 50. I just love the crisp air, and the food, bonfires and fireworks. So here’s a recipe that I came up with to symbolise the start of Autumn, and it’s healthy for a change, which is great as I have quite an impressive hangover currently, so the fruit is a welcome change from my usual indulgent recipes!

I hope you like it, and I hope you’re all looking forward to the season change as much as I am (sorry if you’re…

View original 181 more words

3 Ingredient Vegan Biscuits

Yup, I said it three ingredient biscuits in just 20 minutes. No this is not heaven but according to my omnivore husband it sure does taste like it! He has deemed these biscuits his favorite vegan item I have ever made and that he would not know they are vegan because they are so buttery and fluffy. He also demanded I make them as a birthday cake in the future covered in gravy. So I guess I am going to have to start work on a white country gravy recipe! In the meantime he was happy with drizzled local wildflower honey. Yes we are those vegans that eat honey (See the Great Vegan Honey Debate Here). However, if you are not…. You can always try that vegan honey that is out since it is actually pretty identical in flavor or maybe some agave, maple syrup, jam, or brown rice syrup.

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I have been super sick throughout the last few months being pregnant and am finally starting to turn the corner into my third trimester. I can cook more and the smell of the refrigerator does not make me run to the bathroom to heave up my lunch of water fruits and veggies anymore. So this is definitely a good thing. I hope to start testing recipes again (with the taste test help of Lola my angel of a Dog) and getting more out to you all and I want to thank you all for your patience!

 

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Enjoy this cook hack of a recipe I saw online and veganized. I wish I knew the original source of the base recipe but I don’t so if you do please share!!!

 

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3 Ingredient Vegan Biscuits

(1) cup Lemon Lime Soda (Sprite, 7UP, etc.)
(1) Cup Tofutti Brand Sour Cream
(4) Cups Bisquick

*1/2 to 1 cup of melted Earth Balance Buttery Spread is required to pour in bottom of pan but is not a biscuit ingredient for the dough

 

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PREPARE:

Pour melted Earth Balance into bottom of baking pan. I used Pyrex pans as they are easier to see the baking through and to keep evenly heated.

Take 3 ingredients and mix until very sticky in medium to large mixing bowl with a fork. My little trick is to put 2 cups of Bisquick in the bowl and then wet ingredients and then the other 2 cups of dry to mix easier.

Form biscuits with your hands and pat down into buttered pan so that each biscuit is slightly separate from it’s neighbor. This allows for the butter spread to cook in between each.

 

BAKE!

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

The bottom will be a golden crust and any peaks on top will have browned.

Makes about 6 very large biscuits. Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

 

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FOOD IS LOVE!

The Hippie Gypsy

Veganized Bisquick Pancakes

I grew up in the 80’s and I grew up on Bisquick pancakes. When my Dad would go away on business trips my mom would make huge batches of these for dinner with butter and lots of pancake syrup and cold milk. The Aunt Jemima stuff just wasn’t as good and I remember dreading church pancake breakfasts because it was always AJ instead of Bisquick thus making the pancakes grainy and flat for whatever reason and not fluffy. Well I was pleased as pie when I went vegan and found out Bisquick was also vegan! The only problem… ummm… whole milk and eggs are the additional ingredients. For the past few years I have used flax eggs, mashed bananas, and soy milk to sub but this weekend I tested something else out and it came out exactly how I wanted. So please take a look below and get ready for a delicious weekend breakfast because these pancakes are fast and unforgettable!

 

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Veganized Simple Bisquick Pancakes

2cups Bisquick

1 cup Silk Soy Creamer

1-2 tbsp Vanilla Extract (I use Penzey’s Mexican Vanilla)

2 Energ-G Egg Replacer Eggs

 

Making the Batter!

Make two Ener-G egg replacer eggs in a mug. Mix all other ingredients together and add egg substitute mixture last. Mixing all in well.

 

Cooking!

Heat a skillet to medium or medium high heat spraying with cooking spray or buttering with Earth Balance.

Cook until golden on each side.

Serve with Earth Balance and Maple Syrup. Enjoy!

 

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Food is Love. The Hippie Gypsy.

 

Vegan Spaghetti and “Beyond Meat (R)” Sauce

When I was a kid one of my favorite things was watching my mom make meat sauce. I couldn’t see in the pot but I did get to taste test with pieces of white bread. I think I would eat about a half of a loaf of white Wonder bread by the time my mom was done cooking down the sauce. I would wash it all down with some good ol’ vitamin D “red” milk and a big orangey smile. Now that I am a grown up and a vegan… well… this isn’t on my list of things I can do. But I can try to recreate that taste. The only change to my moms sauce is really the meat. The rest was already vegan. So with that, I began my attempt with the use of the new Beyond Meat Crumbles. The only reason I attempted this recipe is because of these crumbles. They have the right flavor and texture and cook the same as regular hamburger would. This was always a problem with other crumbles; they either dried out or got mushy. Not Beyond Meat! So I was so confident making it I made it for dinner without even testing. Just to let you know… they didn’t let me down it, came out perfecto! I love Beyond Meat so so much. You should too. Also, this recipe is super duper simple and low ingredient. It is virtually error proof! Eat up!

 

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Spaghetti with “Beyond Meat” Sauce

 

  • 1 Extra large can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Extra Large Can of Tomato Puree
  • 2 mini cans of Tomato Paste
  • 1 package of Beyond Meat Crumbles
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Dried or Fresh Basil
  • Granulated Garlic

 

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Cooking the Meat!

  1. Add a small amount of olive oil to an extra large sauce pot and when warm toss in Beyond Meat crumbles and a few pinches of kosher salt.
  2. Cook until heated and ready to eat.

 

Making the Sauce!

  1. Add all canned tomato products to meat.
  2. Sprinkle in Granulated Garlic, Basil, and Seasoned salt to taste.
  3. Add a little olive oil if you want now.
  4. Cook down stirring frequently over medium heat until slightly dense. Takes about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Keep the top on to avoid splatter!
  6. Serve over pasta of your choice. I prefer ziti with lines or angel hair. Enjoy!

 

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Food is Love. The Hippie Gypsy.

 

Pregnancy Nausea and Cooking

One of the things I have disliked most about being pregnant is the nausea and smell issues. I am completely avoiding the kitchen and the refrigerator and sometimes meals all together. This is probably not the best thing for Baby but it is just what happens. As I am ending the first trimester and beginning my second the nausea and smell issues are waning but the want to head back in the kitchen isn’t quite back. I use to find peace and happiness in my kitchen. At one point I am pretty sure I could have cuddled up next to my stand mixer I loved it so much. But these days the microwave and maybe some boiled water are all I can handle doing. Last night I wanted pancakes so I quickly poured the ingredients in a bowl and mixed them but made my husband cook. I was too exhausted to even think about cooking them and I knew we would end up with pancake bricks not fluffy yummy circles of goodness. So as thing progress I will add more recipes but without me doing too much in the kitchen I apologize for the lull. Please check out the old recipes and start to experiment with some of the great new products out there. Beyond Meat is doing some amazing things and I hear there is a cookbook and there are always recipes worth trying out at Chef Chloe’s website. I will post my vegan spaghetti with meat sauce in the next day or two though. I will slowly be getting back to cooking. It just feels like such a long road there! I will probably post my Bisquick pancakes recipes also since it is a few simple swaps outs. Keep reading! Things will rev up soon. And for all you pregnant Mama’s out there… I started reading Alicia’s new book “The Kind Mama”. I will have a review on that coming up too! Until then remember… food is love.

 

The Hippie Gypsy.