Springtime Ingredients and Curried Chicken Salad Recipe

Today is the first day of spring and with so many new ingredients hitting the produce and farm stands, my mouth is already watering. I am thinking of warm pasta dishes with sprinkles of green veggies and herbs. It is almost too much for my little brain to handle!

The weather is warming up over here in the Northeast and with a gray, rainy day today with a mild 37 degree temperature this morning, one cannot help but dream of the plants pushing their stems through the ground and smell the steaming artichokes, peas, and asparagus that will be waiting on our Easter Tables. So lets talk about what is in season and drop some ideas on how to prepare it for a spring brunch or even Easter!

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What is Fresh?

pumpkin soup 5

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  • Apricots
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Fava Beans
  • Fennel
  • Green Garlic
  • Green Onions
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Lettuces and Greens
  • Mint
  • Morels
  • New Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Ramps
  • Rhubarb
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Onions
  • Turnips

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What are some awesome vegan spring recipes in which to prepare these fresh spring ingredients?

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Apricots: Make a Curried Vegan Chicken Salad with sliced almonds and diced dried apricots (recipe below), or a Moroccan Grain Salad, or roast the apricot and serve it as a dessert just like I did with peaches here!

Artichokes: I am a HUGE fan of artichokes! I roast, steam, or just plain old toss them into so many dishes. Add them to a marinara or a cashew cream sauce with sum sundried tomatoes and they are amaxing. Or go all out for a party and make this awesome Spinach Artichoke Dip!

Asparagus: I rarely eat asparagus but when I do they have to be fresh and either steamed and then drizzled with oil, balsamic and salt (served cold) or roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Keep it simple!

Beets: Beets are an amazing food. Try golden beets steamed or roasted with a balsamic vinegar drizzle. Heaven on earth!

Carrots: Everyone loves carrots. They are in cans, fresh, and come in every color. Purple is the original color of a carrot though. Try something new with this spiced carrot spread recipe from Martha Stewart!

Cherries: Cherries are such a wonderful ingredient that can be made savory or sweet. Try making a traditional cherry pie or some cherry chocolate brownie cupcakes to indulge!

Fava Beans: Try a twist on the average soup or standard fava bean salad with this Sopa de Habas from Saveur!

Fennel: I love roasting fennel with other veggies and making it almost herbaceous to the dish. Check out my roasted veggies from the holidays here!

Green Garlic: Green Garlic is similar in use to Green onions. I support this unusually garlic by dicing it thin and tossing it in a salad with asian dressing, dried fruits, and sliced almonds. You can even rub the oils from it around the inside of the bowl to help bring out the taste.

Green Onions: I love green onions in two particular dishes (1) is the Dragon Potatoes at the Cantina in San Diego’s Pacific Beach (you can get the recipe and cookbook here), and (2) when sprinkled over a peanut satay noodle dish like this recipe which includes lots of the other items on here. Mix it up and enjoy!

Leeks: Leeks are similar to onions. I like them for soups. Try making a simple traditional potato leek soup at Easter.

Lemons: When I was a little girl we lived in the San Jose area of California. I would sit on the railing of the back deck overlooking our pool and eat lemons with my brother. When I met my husband one of the first things I found out is he still eats lemons and LOVES them. There are a million lemon recipes out there both savory and sweet. My favorites are Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bundt Cake and Lemon Meringue Pie though.

Lettuces/Greens: We all know how to use lettuce to make a salad but what else can you do with it? Try seasoning it and grilling it. Not sure what kind of lettuce to use. Get a free trial to Cook’s Online Cooking School and learn with videos and recipe lessons how to make them perfectly! I just did the lettuces version this past week and learned quite a bit about what flavors are in each type and when to use them and how to use them! I pay $20/ a month but more serious folks can do the $40 a month program and get feedback from America’s Test Kitchen Chefs!

Mint: I like mint in dessert but I am not much of a fan in savory dishes although it is used heavily in the Mediterranean and middle eastern cooking recipes. So try something totally different and make a mint tea with mint, sugar, and water!

Morels: These mushrooms are so rich and can be made into almost anything! Check out this website and recipe guide that is dedicated to them and start experimenting! Also look at Martha Stewart’s Morels 101 !

New Potatoes: Roasted New Potatoes tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs are a staple. The only spring change I would make… add some edible flowers and Herbs de Provence!

Parsley: I re-blogged a great recipe that had a wonderful use of parsley the other day here with Roasted Potatoes and Avocado. Or try a Parsley Walnut Pesto for a hot or cold salad (swap the parm for Galaxy Foods Vegan Parmesan) or fun bruschetta!

Peas: My father hates peas but I grew up with them on my plate at least a few times a week. From the can with butter and salt. Yum. However with them so fresh try a variety of types and ways to make them! Steam some fresh snow peas or sugar snaps and toss in a stir fry with some tofu. Or perhaps make a minty pea dip or Pea Guacomole!

Radishes: Radishes are inherently a mexican topping. You add them raw and sliced to the top of any taco and it is instant heaven.

Ramps: ramps are a food that many are not familiar with but are part of that green onion/scallion style of food. But here on the east coast they are more common so we pickle them, put them in bread, and even toss them in the fryer! Check out some recipes here.

Rhubarb: My husband is a sucker for a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from the baked section of our Grocery Store. My mom buys them for him all the time. But when i was little my grandfather used to recite a rhyme to me every so often asking me if the “rain would hurt the rhubarb” and I thought that rhubarb was the same as rebar that was on the cement pillars of the ski lift so I would be rolling my eyes like “No they are always covered in snow”. I laugh at my 4 year old logic. However does the rain hurt the rhubarb?  The answer is apparently no, but it is obviously a common question! That being said eat some of its sweet and sour flesh in a pie (just sub the dairy for non-dairy items)!

Scallions: Scallions grew like weeds in the backyard of my childhood home. I hated the smell but now it is nostalgic. They are great on almost everything so I wanted to find an out of the box recipe for you guys. This is what I found: Avocado, Celery, and Scallion Bruscetta with Mache! Also take a look at Martha Stewart for more inspiration on Ramps, Scallions, and Green Onions!

Spinach: I use spinach mainly in salads or steamed with vinegar on them. How do you cook spinach? Also there is always the Spinach Artichoke Dip above!

Strawberries: I love strawberries. Doesn’t everyone? But its actually not a berry. Although, Pineapples and Bananas are. Make a strawberry chocolate pie for Easter by tossing strawberries with tapioca pearls and sugar and then putting them in a vegan pie crust and pouring chocolate chips in the crevices. It is really that easy. check out Magnolia Bakery’s recipe! Also I love my chocolate dipped strawberry cupcakes. They are fun and easy for kids to make too!

Sweet Onions: I could use sweet onions all day. Onion rings, purree, or in a bread. Yummy Yummy! Try my onion bread recipe!

Turnips: I have never cooked turnips. Ever. So I will rely on some experts on some interesting recipes. Here they are: RECIPES . I must say the Maple Carrot Turnip Mash and the Turnip Slaw look awesome! Some of that slaw over my BBQ Seitan Pretzel Sandwich Recipe sounds devine!

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Curried Vegan Chicken Salad with Apricots and Sliced Almonds (Made for 1 person)

 Ingredients:

  • 6 pieces of Beyond Meat Chicken Lightly Seasoned
  • (1-2) tbsp of Vegan Mayonnaise like Just Mayo by Hampton Foods
  • 2 tbsp of Balti Curry Spice from Penzey’s
  • 1 dried apricot
  • 2 tbsp of sliced almonds
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: Sliced Bread, green salad

Dice chicken strips into tiny pieces. Toss with mayo, then season, and stir until combined. Dice the dried apricot and toss into mixture with almonds, toss lightly, and serve cold immediately. You can put it on a salad or in a sandwich as well! Enjoy!

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The great thing you may have noticed is that many of the recipes use multiples of these ingredients together. That is the beauty of cooking seasonly. The flavors always jive well together. Plus you are helping save the planet by not getting your produce shipped in from a million miles away. Try buying seasonally and locally. It is pretty delicious! Happy First Day of Spring everyone!

Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

My Vegan and Omnivore Family Thanksgiving Menu

I am going to officially post my Thanksgiving Day menu here for all to see. I know there will be questions and recipes wanted and over the next week I will try to post those too. I truly delight in the Holiday cooking I get to do. Making food for my family and friends is fun because not only do you get the joy of the cooking process but you get the joy of watching others feel happy and healthy and nourished and maybe a little stuffed on something you created. I also find it amazing how we extract things from the earth to make our bodies fuel. One would say if something is on the ground not to eat it but Thanksgiving is the holiday of root vegetables. Of course they get a heavy rinsing but its kind of a strange concept how we shun some things afoot but not others if prepared properly.

I know there will be confusion as some of these items are not vegan but I do have an all omnivore family so I pepper in a few items that are not vegan (*denoted with an asterisk* ). Prosciutto Pear Cups are not vegan. They are a Martha Stewart recipe that I used to make pre-vegan and my family still asks for and I make in mini muffin pans chopping the pears into tiny pieces and tossing with shreds of fresh Parmesan. The cheese will be a mix of vegan and vegetarian. I eat honey but I know many vegans do not so I denoted it with an asterisk (and you can always use agave!). The turkey and gravy is not vegan (obviously) but there is a mushroom alternative and my own vegan Field Roast Turkey. Everything else is vegan. The potato au gratin is one of my favorite things to make and the cranberry upside down cake has become a requested staple from my husband and was of my late grandmother. Enjoy!

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MY THANKSGIVING MENU
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”  ― Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Appetizers:

Stuffed Mushrooms with Sundried Tomato Béchamel

Prosciutto Pear Cups with Parmesan Cheese Garnish*

Spinach Artichoke Dip in Bread Bowl with Carrot Sticks

Crackers (vegan)/Cheese Tray*

Sliced Bosc Pears

Honey to Drizzle Cheese and Pears*

Assorted Nuts

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Dinner:

Turkey & Gravy ( For the Omnivores, organic, and locally sourced)*

Field Roast En Croute

Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes Au Gratin

Mushroom Gravy

Maple Roasted Veggies: Carrots, Sweet Potato, Shallots, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Fennel

Roasted Beet Salad: Beets, Olive Oil, S&P, Balsamic Vinegar

Butternut Squash Macaroni Casserole

Butternut Squash: Steamed and Pureed with Earth Balance on top

Homemade Cranberry Sauce: Sugar and Cranberries!

Jellied Cranberry Sauce: Most likely Ocean Spray Canned

Rolls

Picture 575   scalloped potatoes   

 

 

Dessert:

Pumpkin Pie: Whole Foods

Cranberry Upside Down Cake: Homemade

Caramel Apple Pie

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Homemade

Coffee

Tea: Yogi Kava and Yogi Detox are always in my house.

cookies on silpat

 

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FOOD IS LOVE.

The Hippie Gypsy

 

 

Meatless Monday Meal Menus and Recipes

At my office there are quite a few folks trying to do Meatless Mondays for environmental and health reasons. We have a fabulous Wellness Committee that I am honored to be a part of that organizes everything from 15minute chair massages to bootcamps to a Wellness Day once a year where everything that helps us be healthy comes together. This year there was healthy food, healthy activities, mindfulness activities, ecofriendly ideas for the year, carpooling incentives, etc. It’s amazing! I am very blessed to be here. I held the Meatless Mondays booth feeding the masses vegan and vegetarian foods and giving them the ecofriendly reasons to try Meatless Mondays as well as health benefits and of course the history behind it all. It was fun. But now is the hard part. Months have passed and my coworkers and others around the world participating in Meatless Mondays have to scour the fridge, the internet, and the grocery for menu ideas for the family when Monday comes around. So here are some collections of my recipes formed into “menus” to help my coworkers and fellow Meatless Monday participants out. Enjoy!

(1) Homestyle Comfort Meal

(2) Fresh and Quick

(3) Guy’s Night

(4) Ladies Night

(5) Kids Night

(6) Holiday Meal

XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

My Vegan Easter Dinner Menu

Being Vegan at Easter is a strange situation. Easter is about honoring a man who died for our sins and the celebrations of compassion, faith, rebirth and yet we kill animals to celebrate. Does that mean the ham is supposed to be Jesus and we are just reenacting this whole mess, like at church how we eat the bread and call it the body of Christ? Kinda odd how us humans do things isn’t it? At least the Eucharist is vegan. I think.

Last year we skipped the normal brunch with my family because of some internal issues with the family and my wedding was about to happen. It was a crazy time. This year we are doing a dinner at the parents house. My husband lives for these events because he can feast on meat and cheese (even though he is lactose intolerant) until he passes out in a food coma. I however know that at these events it is a time to cook the night before or analyze menus of possible “brunch” spots for weeks so that I can call and preorder my veganized entrée. I preorder now in most cases because certain parts of my family get very irritated with my vegan ordering and the fact I always end up explaining “why” I am vegan. I don’t mind telling the story (because it was a health issue and not some factory farm scary story) but I have learned that it makes a very sensitive issue (food) a more sensitive issue to those that may already be hyper aware of poor eating habits and their own choices that they are silently sensitive of.

So this year is good because I am bringing my own food to my parents and that is the easiest way to guarantee I eat well on a holiday. Although I must note my mother has become quite the vegan friendly chef and is constantly finding new vegan foods and recipes for me. Once I got the green light, I then fell into a confused panic. What do I substitute for the traditional Ham dinner? I could’ve made a killer brunch but a ham dinner? That is hard.

So I inventoried several traditional Easter Dinner “Menus” and picked items that were the most common:

  • Glazed Ham
  • Parker House Rolls
  • Scalloped Potatoes
  • Cooked Asparagus
  • Cooked Carrots
  • Salad

When I took a look at this menu I thought this is easy to veganize except for the ham (and I am not much for Asparagus but whatever), and the ham is always a staple. Which was my original debacle. Some serve Lamb instead but I was hard pressed to find a faux lamb roast on a few days notice either. So I decided I will recreate every item on this menu with a vegan option recipe and I will have to figure out something for that rich sweet and salty ham. I could be simple and just throw in a roast of any sort. A field roast from the refrigerated section or a Gardein Holiday Roast but no, no, no… I am going to master this with an option that will be just as filling and tasty and will harmonize with this spring Easter theme without being too Hippie/Crunchy/Healthy since it is an indulgent feast we are having, no?

Let us start with our cooked veggies.

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Maple Glazed Carrots

Ingredients:

1 package Peeled Baby Carrots

3 tbsp olive oil or an olive oil sprayer

1/4 cup maple syrup whisked with 2-3tbs of water

Kosher Salt

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Preheat Oven at 425degrees. Spray carrots with olive oil or toss in olive oil and place in a roasting pan or in a cake pan if you don’t have one. Sprinkle with salt and then use a basting blush to baste carrots with syrup/water mixture. Once all are basted drizzle any excess over the whole pan of carrots. Roast until brown and soft.

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Braised Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh asparagus

3 tbsp olive oil or olive oil sprayer

kosher salt

ground black pepper

1/8 cup dehydrated minced onions

1/8 cup water

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Preheat oven to 425degrees.

In a pan bring brown onions by heating water and oil and a pinch of salt together on medium low. Once the onions are lightly browned toss in asparagus salt and some ground pepper to taste. Once the asparagus is lightly seared on one side transfer to the oven in an oven safe dish until tender.

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Chopped Tomato Basil Salad

Ingredients:

1/4  Bunch of Fresh Basil

2 tbsp Dehydrated Minced Onions

4 Tomatoes (freshly diced)

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1tbsp Kosher Salt

1-2 tbsp Granulated Garlic or Minced Frozen Garlic

2 tbsp Agave Nectar

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Toss shredded basil, diced tomatoes, and onions in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl whisk together all other contents until combined. Then drizzle over the tomatoes until covered and toss. I rebalance the vinegar oil combo each time I make this so please feel free to play with it or just by a simple balsamic dressing and add garlic and agave after! After everything is combined place in fridge to marinate for at least 30minutes. Serve cold.

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Scalloped Potatoes

scalloped potatoes 2

Ingredients:

1 small bag of white, red, or purple potatoes (about 2 lbs)

1/2 Earth Balance Buttery Stick

1 cup Soy or Almond Milk

1 block Daiya Havarti Cheese

1 bag Daiya Mozzarella Cheese

Kosher Salt

Ground Pepper

Thyme

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Preheat the oven to 350degrees.

Gather a casserole or Pyrex dish that is decorative enough that you would serve this in. I use a circular Pyrex dish that looks similar to a pie plate. So you can see the layers.

Next you need a large mixing bowl, potato peeler, knife, chopping board/mat, and mandoline.

First grease the casserole ban using the earth balance and take the rest and place it in a microwave safe container with the milk. This will be microwaved until the butter is melted and then whisked until combined right before you place the contents in the oven.

I half peel the potatoes so then have some skin. You can fully peel if this is your preference. I then slice them on the mandoline at a varied size between paper-thin and the 2nd thinnest setting. Placing the discs of potato in a mixing bowl and sprinkling them with salt from time to time.

Next, begin layering the potato discs into the casserole. I overlap them on the edges and work around the edge and in a circular motion spiraling to the center. When I get to the center I sprinkle the layer very lightly with salt, pepper, and mozzarella cheese and then do another layer spiraling outward with potatoes again. The next payer I alternate the sprinkling to simple the havarti cheese which I pinch small amounts of and sprinkle on and do a layer of thyme. No salt or pepper this time. Then another layer and we alternate back to the salt, pepper, and mozzarella. This goes on until you reach the top layer which gets a little of each sprinkle topping and then the warm milk mixture is poured on top.

Place in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Let sit 2minutes. Serve hot.

scalloped potatoes

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Parker House Rolls

So I rarely suggest a recipe I have not tried or invented myself but my mother seems to be able to buy Parker House Rolls in Charlestown so I never make them (oh and Charlestown is a Boston Neighborhood known for bank robbers where my family lives but they don’t rob banks, see the movie “The Town” with Ben Affleck, it is not the same as Charleston in South Carolina; different accent, different tea). So I looked through the web and found one recipe I found trusty and delicious and that looked like what my mother so successfully procures for the holidays.

Here is Veganize Everything’s blog recipe on Parker House Rolls: http://veganizeeverything.blogspot.com/2012/01/vegan-parker-house-rolls.html

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Now for the ham. This has literally taken days for me to figure out. I am not going to lie, I probably should’ve given out some silly note to just go buy a Field Roast. I also found a Vegan Ham Roll along my journeys so those that love ham feel free to find it online or at your local Natural Foods store. I however was continuing my journey until I stumbled upon this site: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2009/11/definitive-vegan-stuffing-post-recipe.html . It made me realize that I could do a lot with a vegan dish I just learned to make: Seitan! Or as my husband likes to joke “that Satan stuff”.

I buy the West Soy Seitan Cubes to make Seitan Marsala. So why not make a smoky, sweet ham version? I think we will. You will need the Seitan cubes, maple syrup, pineapple, and maybe some liquid smoke I imagine.  So I looked through some recipes and this is my version of Easter Dinner’s Main course.

Smoky, Sweet Easter Seitan Dinner

Ingredients:

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Ground Black Pepper

1 Package West Soy Seitan Cubes

1 can crushed pineapple (optional)

1 tbsp Maple Syrup

1tsp liquid smoke

In a deeper frying pan place olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Toss in Seitan Cubes once the skillet is warm. Next sprinkle the seitan with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the seitan in oil with a spatula until lightly browned avoiding splashing the oil, then add liquid smoke and maple syrup. Allow to reduce slightly and carmelize, stirring constantly to avoid sticking. Then toss in crushed pineapple right before serving for a ham and pineapple vibe if you feel so inclined.

Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Cake Recipes

So Monday will be my birthday. This weekend I will be removing wallpaper from my new house. As you can see I am a party animal. I cannot wait to make a birthday cake for myself however. Cakes are very important in my family. A few reasons have dictated this importance. 1.) My mother never got birthday cakes as a child due to a mixture of it being an extravagance to a single mom with six kids and also the fact that my mom was born on the second anniversary of her sister’s death. 2.) My birthday is the same week as 4 other family members. My cousin was born the 22nd, my grandmother the 24th, I on the 25th, my aunt on the 26th, and my great-grandfather on the 27th. So that week was pretty party ridden. 3.) My birthday tends to fall during blizzards. So we always had to prepare in advance for the cake in case we could not leave the house for ingredients. In High School once, I discovered that I loved cooking when caught in a blizzard on my birthday. I not only figured out how to get myself Chinese food but I also made myself an apple caramel drizzle cake out of things in the pantry and a very weathered version of the Joy of Cooking and a church cookbook were analyzed and ingredients were questioned like “is baking soda and powder different and is there a substitute for canola oil?”

So this year I am going to give you my favorite low ingredient birthday cake recipe that my husband adores despite it being vegan. I will also post links to some of the most delicious looking cakes out there and tell you where I would buy my cake if I wasn’t going to make it this year.

Enjoy my birthday cake extravaganza!

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My Favorite Birthday Cake Recipe:

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Guava Filling

CAKE:
1 Box of Dark Chocolate Cake Mix (most mixes are vegan just look)
3/4 bag of vegan chocolate chips
1 can of pumpkin
Cinnamon
Earth Balance to butter the cake pans
Parchment to line the bottom of the cake pans

Filling:
1/4 bag of vegan chocolate chips
1 thin large can of guava paste (I like Goya)
Cinnamon
Vanilla Sugar (I like Penzey’s)

Topping:
Chocolate Frosting (You can make it or buy it, I like to make a ganache style frosting)
Vanilla Sugar
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Take all cake ingredients place in a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Add Cinnamon to taste. I always add 1-3 tbsp so that I can taste the cinnamon over the chocolate flavor. I test as I add it. Place in two round cake pans evenly lining the bottoms with parchment and buttering them with Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.

Bake according to the box directions. Take out when you can remove a toothpick cleanly.

Next in a medium mixing bowl warm your guava paste so you can spread it in between the cake layers. On top of the cake you will sprinkle cinnamon, spread the guava paste, and then sprinkle chocolate chips and vanilla sugar. Top with warm second cake layer.

Next, warm the frosting so you can drizzle it over the top of the cake. Wait until the cake is cooled. THen drizzle the frosting over the top. Sprinkle liberally with vanilla sugar.

Serve with homemade ice cream.

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LINKS TO DELICIOUS LOOKING CAKE RECIPES FOR BIRTHDAYS!

Banana Split Cake: This looks and sounds amazing.

Lemon Birthday Cake: THis sounds so light and delicious. I would even use this cake as a base for my July 4th Trifle!

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake: Chef Chloe is always a no brainer when it comes to cooking. Her cookbook also has a birthday cake recipe that looks divine! I had a banana cake layer at my wedding by Red Velvet Cafe in Las Vegas, NV and I am a convert!

Strawberry Vanilla Cake: This recipe has quite a few ingredients but I have all of them in my home so I figure so will most vegans. This looks and sounds fresh and delicious and looks amazing like a giant strawberry shortcake. Yum!

Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake: Something more decadent and raw for my raw fans! This looks so sinful I can feel a toothache coming on and the drool pooling on the side of my mouth!

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Top Places to buy a Vegan Cake in New England:

1. Veggie Planet in Cambridge, MA: I cannot say enough about the restaurant or the all vegan bakery. It is amazing. Get the cheesecake with strawberries or the Coconut Lemon Passionfruit Layer Cake. I live for these two cakes and served the Coconut at my Bridal Shower last February.

2. Cafe Indigo in Concord, NH and MA Whole Foods: You can get their cakes onsite or at local Whole Foods throughout Massachusetts. The Carrot Cake changes lives. You will never want another carrot cake ever again. I served that cake at my engagement party and I buy slices of it at Whole Foods more than I probably should. My omni husband does as well and sometimes eats mine.

3. Moo-Cluck Corp. : You can buy these at various whole foods and natural foods stores in the cold section. I have bought all of their items at some point but truly love the vanilla strawberry cake when I need to buy something to run to a party in a pinch. It is yummy and the strawberries are fresh and not just some syrup.

Thanksgiving Vegan Recipe Testing!

So I spent the weekend doing two things:

1. Testing delcious recipes for Thanksgiving, and

2. Going to PumpkinFest in Keene, NH with my beautifully carved pumpkin that says “Vegan”. Because pumpkins are vegan and I am vegan and pumpkinfest should be too! (And yes I wore shorts in 40-50 degree weather, I am from New England)

So with that cool Autumn Air for inspiration and the smell of fried dough I can’t eat in the air (and a line a mile long that made me grateful I couldn’t) I will give you three of my recipe testing reviews. I made biscuits, butternut squash macaroni, and pumpkin chocolate chip bars. I would also like to note that I had to order some of the stuff online that I needed for these masterpieces (and more that I plan on making) from various sources which is partially why I have been offline. RESTOCKING! My favorite is always www.veganessentials.com because they have almost everything.

BISCUITS!

Let’s start with Mom’s Vegan Kitchen All Purpose Bisquits (http://store.veganessentials.com/vegan-all-purpose-biscuit-mix-by-moms-vegan-kitchen-p3330.aspx).

This is an investment of time. You will need to roll these out twice folding in between and cut that cold soy butter (earth balance) quickly and into small pieces keeping in mind the whole bag is not the serving size directed on the back of the bag for isntructions. They do it based on 2 cups and there are five in the bag.

Next issue, you need to make them as high as possible as they do not rise much. I would also advise adding extra plain soymilk. After they get cool they dry out a little.

Last issue, my husband said they were too salty once you add butter and applied marmalade instead to contract with sweetness. They were delcious but had to stay warm or they got dry and a little hard. I added homemade hash browns for him (diced russet potatoes, earth balance, bell peppers, onions, and salt/pepper) and he was happy.

What about you folks? Too salty? Better way to make them moist? How about a different brand? Should I try the Joy of Vegan Baking recipe next time?

NEXT….

Butternut Squash Macaroni

Recipe from Whole Foods: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2349?utm_source=email&utm_medium=Grocery&utm_term=Vegan&utm_content=Recipe&utm_campaign=2012_10_03_Recipes

I got this recipe in my inbox and the picture looked amazing so I was in! This makes your whole house smell like thanksgiving and is relatively simple to make. I call it a dump and go. You dump most of the ingredients into your cooking pots and pans and heat. There is chopping of the squash involved but I am sure there is a way to buy it pre-chopped. However, I happened to have a whole squash from a friend’s CSA that she got too many of. Score for me!

My suggestions: Use any nut you want. I used pecans because that is what I had in the house. Nest, don’t use panko breadcrumbs. Go for a hearty breadcrumb or even a stuffing on top. It needs the saltyness. Mine was way undersalted despite salting everything individually. I swear coconut milk eats up salt magically!

Overall: This came out delicious. If I weren’t vegan I would still eat it. You can make it into a casserole and add faux chicken and other veggies and top it with stuffing and make it the yummiest Thanksgiving side dish ever. I love this recipe with my whole heart!

TELL ME HOW YOU MAKE OUT WITH A DIFFERENT BREADCRUMB!

NEXT…..

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Recipe: www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com

First if you haven’t heard of Mavis and her goal to only spend $100 a month on groceries while growing the rest in her 1 acre yard in the great Northwest, well you need to! I look forward to her blog and its insights, hilarity, coupons, and guidance each night. She posts recipes for all types omnis to vegans. She has her own chickens, gardens, bartering neighbors, and nicknames for all. I love to read about how her life is and what it is like to be an urban farmer in essence while being green and thrifty. But I love it most when she shares her vegan recipes from her garden of goodies!

This week was pumpkin chocolate chip bars.

The good: They are sweet and yummy and you can portion them out in muffin tins.

The bad: My husband ate almost all the chocolate chips (365 vegan semi-sweet) so I had to sub 2/3 of them for pecans.

The ugly: I am on Weight Watchers and I can’t eat them all! However the hubby has eaten three (3) in less than 12 hours and we were sleeping for most of that.

Tricks? If you don’t ave pumpkin pie spice, use the canned pumpkin pie mix instead of pure pumpkin because it is literally the pure pumpkin with the spice. Time saver!

TOO SWEET? TOO PUMPKIN-Y? RECIPES CHANGES YOU SUGGEST?

————————————————————————————————-

So… I will be back at the end of this week with some more recipes for your holiday needs. I keep promising to post my spinach artichoke recipe and I WILL! I finally found where I wrote it our for a friend so it will go up on here as well. I also made a fabulous everyday sundried tomato cream sauce last night and I may have to post that as well. It was super quick to make and I loved it. My husband however just broke the news to me last night that he prefers marinara so I won’t have an omnivore take on this one! He does love my apple caramel pies though so I will place that up with it.

Happy Herbivore Eating Everyone! Keep it hip and take it with you!

XOXOX, The Hippie Gypsy

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20121022-224719.jpg

Thanksgiving Vegan Recipe Testing!

So I spent the weekend doing two things:

1. Testing delcious recipes for Thanksgiving, and

2. Going to PumpkinFest in Keene, NH with my beautifully carved pumpkin that says “Vegan”. Because pumpkins are vegan and I am vegan and pumpkinfest should be too! (And yes I wore shorts in 40-50 degree weather, I am from New England)

So with that cool Autumn Air for inspiration and the smell of fried dough I can’t eat in the air (and a line a mile long that made me grateful I couldn’t) I will give you three of my recipe testing reviews. I made biscuits, butternut squash macaroni, and pumpkin chocolate chip bars. I would also like to note that I had to order some of the stuff online that I needed for these masterpieces (and more that I plan on making) from various sources which is partially why I have been offline. RESTOCKING! My favorite is always www.veganessentials.com because they have almost everything.

BISCUITS!

Let’s start with Mom’s Vegan Kitchen All Purpose Bisquits (http://store.veganessentials.com/vegan-all-purpose-biscuit-mix-by-moms-vegan-kitchen-p3330.aspx).

This is an investment of time. You will need to roll these out twice folding in between and cut that cold soy butter (earth balance) quickly and into small pieces keeping in mind the whole bag is not the serving size directed on the back of the bag for isntructions. They do it based on 2 cups and there are five in the bag.

Next issue, you need to make them as high as possible as they do not rise much. I would also advise adding extra plain soymilk. After they get cool they dry out a little.

Last issue, my husband said they were too salty once you add butter and applied marmalade instead to contract with sweetness. They were delcious but had to stay warm or they got dry and a little hard. I added homemade hash browns for him (diced russet potatoes, earth balance, bell peppers, onions, and salt/pepper) and he was happy.

What about you folks? Too salty? Better way to make them moist? How about a different brand? Should I try the Joy of Vegan Baking recipe next time?

NEXT….

Butternut Squash Macaroni

Recipe from Whole Foods: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2349?utm_source=email&utm_medium=Grocery&utm_term=Vegan&utm_content=Recipe&utm_campaign=2012_10_03_Recipes

I got this recipe in my inbox and the picture looked amazing so I was in! This makes your whole house smell like thanksgiving and is relatively simple to make. I call it a dump and go. You dump most of the ingredients into your cooking pots and pans and heat. There is chopping of the squash involved but I am sure there is a way to buy it pre-chopped. However, I happened to have a whole squash from a friend’s CSA that she got too many of. Score for me!

My suggestions: Use any nut you want. I used pecans because that is what I had in the house. Nest, don’t use panko breadcrumbs. Go for a hearty breadcrumb or even a stuffing on top. It needs the saltyness. Mine was way undersalted despite salting everything individually. I swear coconut milk eats up salt magically!

Overall: This came out delicious. If I weren’t vegan I would still eat it. You can make it into a casserole and add faux chicken and other veggies and top it with stuffing and make it the yummiest Thanksgiving side dish ever. I love this recipe with my whole heart!

TELL ME HOW YOU MAKE OUT WITH A DIFFERENT BREADCRUMB!

NEXT…..

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Recipe: www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com

First if you haven’t heard of Mavis and her goal to only spend $100 a month on groceries while growing the rest in her 1 acre yard in the great Northwest, well you need to! I look forward to her blog and its insights, hilarity, coupons, and guidance each night. She posts recipes for all types omnis to vegans. She has her own chickens, gardens, bartering neighbors, and nicknames for all. I love to read about how her life is and what it is like to be an urban farmer in essence while being green and thrifty. But I love it most when she shares her vegan recipes from her garden of goodies!

This week was pumpkin chocolate chip bars.

The good: They are sweet and yummy and you can portion them out in muffin tins.

The bad: My husband ate almost all the chocolate chips (365 vegan semi-sweet) so I had to sub 2/3 of them for pecans.

The ugly: I am on Weight Watchers and I can’t eat them all! However the hubby has eaten three (3) in less than 12 hours and we were sleeping for most of that.

Tricks? If you don’t ave pumpkin pie spice, use the canned pumpkin pie mix instead of pure pumpkin because it is literally the pure pumpkin with the spice. Time saver!

TOO SWEET? TOO PUMPKIN-Y? RECIPES CHANGES YOU SUGGEST?

————————————————————————————————-

So… I will be back at the end of this week with some more recipes for your holiday needs. I keep promising to post my spinach artichoke recipe and I WILL! I finally found where I wrote it our for a friend so it will go up on here as well. I also made a fabulous everyday sundried tomato cream sauce last night and I may have to post that as well. It was super quick to make and I loved it. My husband however just broke the news to me last night that he prefers marinara so I won’t have an omnivore take on this one! He does love my apple caramel pies though so I will place that up with it.

Happy Herbivore Eating Everyone! Keep it hip and take it with you!

XOXOX, The Hippie Gypsy

20121022-224521.jpg

20121022-224719.jpg