Vegan “Cheesy” Black Bean Tofu Scramble

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I’M BACK!!!

(Cue the hysterical screaming!)

I have had quite the little break. If you recall, this whole time away thing started because my doctor put me on a really strict diet for weight loss in an attempt to get my chronic illnesses (mostly female-related issues) under control. Well, as it turned out, that really strict diet was basically controlled starvation and, just so we’re clear, my doctor told me upfront that it would be a challenging diet for a vegan to follow but asked me to give it a try -and try I did. I gave it almost 2 weeks of honest effort but, at that point, I just couldn’t keep up with it any longer so I made an appointment with a vegan nutritionist to remedy the diet to better suit a vegan. Ever since then, I’ve been able to maintain my diet, without starving, and have lost nearly 10 lbs., 4 inches off my hips, and 5 inches off my waistline! And now I’m back in the hot seat and ready to share some new recipes with y’all!

This weeks recipe is a classic vegan breakfast (tofu scramble) made “cheesy.” And black bean-y. (But mostly “cheesy.”) You can find basic tofu scramble recipes all over teh interwebs, and loads of recipes which jazz up said basic recipe too, but I hadn’t come across any like this so I think I’m actually filling 2 voids with this recipe -the 1st void being your empty stomach. #YoureWelcome

It all starts with the star of the show: tofu (although some might argue that the “cheese” is the true star but play along with me here). When it comes to making almost anything with tofu, you must drain and press out as much water from the tofu as you can. Why? Because if you don’t then whatever flavors you’re adding to your tofu won’t really get into the tofu. When people tell me that they didn’t enjoy tofu, I ask if they drained it and pressed out the water before they used it. Their answer 9 times out of 10 is, “No… is that something you’re supposed to do?” Yes, people, this is something that you’re supposed to do if you want your food to come out tasty and also not watery.

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Once you’ve drained and pressed your tofu, it’s time to get cookin’. In a pan over low-med. heat, with a little oil in it to help prevent sticking, you’re going to combine your tofu with the seasonings and the vegetable broth. Stirring occasionally, cook for 10 minutes.

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After 10 minutes has passed, it’s time to add it the black beans (a whole can of ’em) and a little onion. Give that a good stir to combine then continue to cook the mixture for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If your tofu is sticking a little feel free to add a little more oil to the pan.

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Now would be a good time to prep the spinach which will be added in a moment. All you need to do is wash it and then tear the pieces into smaller pieces making sure to toss any bothersome stems. I used baby spinach because that’s what was in my fridge but if you have… grownup? Adult? Big spinach? Whatever. You can use that. Or kale would work too. And fresh either way -frozen just can’t compare in this particular dish.

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When your timer dings, it’s spinach time. Add those little pieces of green goodness right on in there and then get excited because it’s time to get your “cheese” on!

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Top the spinach off with about a generous cup of your favorite vegan “cheddar cheese” shreds along with a splash of water. Pop a lid on your pan and cook for just 5 minutes more or until spinach is wilted and the “cheese” is gooey.

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Serve with a side of fresh fruit, potatoes, or toast, or stuff the mixture into a burrito with a little hot sauce or salsa for breakfast to-go! Either way, enjoy the “cheesy” goodness!

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Vegan 'Cheesy' Black Bean Tofu Scramble

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons oil + more if needed to prevent sticking as tofu cooks
  • 1 (14 ounce) package of firm tofu, drained and pressed to remove excess water
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 of an onion, finely diced
  • 1-2 cups of fresh spinach, torn into smaller pieces and stems removed
  • 1 generous cup of your favorite vegan “cheddar cheese” shreds
  • water

Directions

  1. In a pan over low-med. heat combine oil, drained and pressed tofu, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, salt, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, cumin, and garlic powder together. Stir and then cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  2. After 10 minutes, add in the drained and rinsed black beans and the finely diced onion. Stir to combine then cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a little more oil as needed should your tofu be sticking.
  3. Prep spinach if you haven’t done so already then add it and the “cheese” to the mixture along with just a splash of water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted and “cheese” is gooey. Stir before serving. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up 4 days.

An Announcement Plus Vegan Quick & Easy Italian Dressing

I have a little announcement for y’all but first a little background.

Ever since I was a teenager, long before I ever went vegan, I’ve had to deal with a multitude of chronic medical issues. The main concern being severe female issues. Over the years I’ve tried a variety of treatment methods, meds, etc., but found little to no relief. In recent years especially, my medical issues have really been causing havoc in my life. Tired of it all, I decided to check in with my doctor once more and see what, if anything at this point, could possibly be done or changed to help remedy these issues once and for all. I knew that I needed something new, something we (my doctor and myself) hadn’t thought to try before, and that’s exactly what I got.

There’s an old saying, “let food be thy medicine,” and my doctor and myself have decided to put this old saying into immediate action. For an undetermined amount of time I will be on a very strict, yet still vegan, diet which my doctor believes will do wonders for my chronic medical issues. With that said, I’ve decided to take a little time off from my blog to get my new diet kickstarted -and to figure out some new recipes that work with my dietary restrictions and are still so damn delicious and worthy of sharing with y’all! I will be returning to my little ol’ blog on May 31st and I hope you’ll be as excited for my return as I will be!

 


 

And now, a recipe…

A few weeks ago I promised to share 2 recipes because I missed a week. Well, I never did that. #SadFace

Earlier this week I made the statement that this would be the week that I would share 2 recipes and that they would both be sweets of some kind. Well… about that… the 1st one was indeed sweet but in between that one and this one I had that doctor’s appointment I spoke of in my announcement above. With new dietary restrictions in place I had no choice but to scrap the 2nd recipe that I had planned for this week as I couldn’t eat it and therefore couldn’t make sure the flavors were spot on before sharing it with y’all. So I had to reach deep within my recipe box to figure out what I could make that would be in line with my new diet yet good to share, and that brings me to the subject of salad dressings.

I love me a good salad and I’m not necessarily talking about a salad that’s loaded with toppings or anything like that. Sometimes all I need is a plate full of crisp greens and a fantastic dressing. My favorite dressing is ranch and I’ve shared my recipe for d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s ranch dressing with y’all in the past but every now and then I want something else. One such “something else” is Italian dressing.

Of course, just like with ranch dressing, you can go to any store and buy yourself a bottle of the stuff, but homemade is always going to be the better option. So today I’m sharing my recipe for quick and easy Italian dressing. This recipe is great because it uses things that I, and probably you, always have in stock -unlike the ingredients needed to make my ranch dressing which very rarely do I ever just happen to have in stock.

To get started on my Italian dressing, you’re going to grab a jar (or other seal-able container) and pour in some oil, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice.

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Next you’re going to add in a little spicy brown mustard and the generously measured seasonings -Italian seasoning blend, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.

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Screw the lid on tight and then shake the mixture vigorously for 1 minute to create an emulsion. What’s an emulsion? An emulsion is the bringing together of 2 liquids, who don’t normally like to be together, into one fine little mixture. In this case, we’re bringing together oil and vinegar. #FromFormerFoesToBestHoes

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You can use this dressing immediately or put it in the fridge and let the flavors meld until you’re ready to use it. The longer it sits, the bolder the flavors will be. If the mixture separates while sitting in the fridge just give it another good shake before you use it.

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Vegan Quick & Easy Italian Dressing

  • Servings: makes a little less than 2/3 cup
  • Time: 5 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oil (not olive oil but rather canola or vegetable)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend (I like the kind which also has salt and pepper in it but if yours doesn’t have salt and pepper then you’ll need to add a little salt and pepper, to taste, to your dressing.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions

  1. In a jar or other seal-able container, combine all ingredients.
  2. Close jar or container and then shake mixture vigorously for 1 minute. Serve immediately or keep in fridge for up to 1 week. Flavor will develop (intensify) the longer it sits in the fridge for. If mixture separates while sitting in fridge simply shake again before serving.

Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits & Gravy

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About a month and a half ago I shared with y’all my recipe for Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits and my-oh-my did they become beloved in a hurry. Now of course they’re delicious all by themselves but there is one particular way that I enjoy eating them and that’s under generous amounts of glorious gravy -can I get an Amen?! In making my gravy I like to use a little something special to boost the flavor. What is that little something special you ask? Magic!

(Hilarious side note speaking of magic: I once had a dream that me and David Blaine were set to be married but he wanted to bail on me so we went to the Dr. Phil show to have him help us with our premarital problems. Dr. Phil got David to admit the reason why he didn’t want to marry me and that was because he felt that I wasn’t “magic enough.” #OhTheCrazyShitIDreamAbout #MrsDavidBlaine #OrNot)

Okay… now back to the real magic. Magic in the form of Bragg Organic Sprinkle, that is! This stuff has literally everything in it, 24 herbs and spices in total, and it’s really good. It takes what could have been just a basic gravy and transforms it into anything but basic. Now even though the Sprinkle makes this gravy pretty flavorful for a white gravy, it’s not overpowering so you’ll still be able to taste those big beautiful biscuits underneath.

As for said biscuits, you’ll need to click on over to that using the link above. There you’ll find pictures of the process, and of course the recipe, so that you can whip up the 1st part of this 2 part dish. The 2nd part, the gravy, is right here…

To get started on the gravy, put 1 stick (yes, you read that right) of vegan butter into a large saucepan, or large cast-iron skillet should you want to get really southern with it, and let it melt down over medium heat. Once melted, add some flour (exact measurements are in the recipe below) and then whisk the mixture until bubbling and kind of foamy looking. (If you’ve seen some of my recipes thus far then you’re more than familiar with this process!)

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The next step is to add the almond milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for just about a minute or so and then reduce the heat to simmer.

You should be whisking or stirring the mixture the whole way through this process, just so you know. A gravy should never be left unsupervised or it’s likely to act out or burn. It’s naughty like that.

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As the mixture begins to thicken, add in the seasonings being sure to crush the Sprinkle good in the palm of your hand, or in a mortar and pestle, before adding it.

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Cook the mixture a little longer and that’s pretty much it -you’ve got gravy! Plop it over some biscuits and enjoy!

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Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits & Gravy

  • Servings: 7 biscuits & about 4 cups of gravy (that's a little over a half of a cup of gravy for each biscuit)
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt vegan butter. Once melted, add flour and whisk mixture until bubbling and kind of foamy in appearance, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in almond milk and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, boil for about a minute whisking or stirring frequently. Reduce heat to simmer and add crushed Bragg Organic Sprinkle, black pepper, and salt. Continue to cook mixture, stirring occasionally, on low-med. heat for another 10-15 minutes.
  3. When gravy is done, serve over biscuits. Gravy will keep in an airtight container in fridge for up to 4 days, biscuits will keep in an airtight container on counter for up to 3 days.

Vegan Mac-N-“Cheese”

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I grew up, like most children of the 90s, eating that blue box macaroni and cheese sold by a dinosaur -you know the one I’m talking about. I loved that shit but it was indeed shit. Thankfully, I realized this (albeit it took me a little while) and I began to seek out better, tastier, more “grown-up” versions of this comfort food classic. Then, at some point along the way, I got it into my head to start making my very own mac-n-cheese from scratch and, after that, my love for noddley-cheesey goodness knew no bounds. Naturally then, when I went vegan, vegan mac-n-cheese was at the top of my list of foods to try and try I did. I tried the mac-n-cheese at a local vegan restaurant, I tried some frozen varieties, and I even tried the vegan version of the blue box kind but I found that nothing could compare to the homemade stuff that I was enjoying before I went vegan.

Just as I was starting to question if I’d ever find a vegan mac-n-cheese as good as the non-vegan ones, a thought popped into my head: Why am I not trying to make it from scratch? I mean, I had been making it from scratch before I went vegan but then, for some odd reason, when I went vegan I simply wrote off making it from scratch altogether. (Hence my efforts to find one that I liked at a restaurant or grocery store.) I thought about it some more and realized that there was no reason why it couldn’t be done so I decided to give it a go. And now here I am, sharing with all of y’all my recipe for what I’m deeming the best mac-n-cheese I’ve ever had. Why is it the best? Because it is everything a great mac-n-cheese should be. It’s thick, rich, creamy, gooey, cheesy, and flavorful. It’s also super quick (as in just 15 minutes quick) and insanely easy to make despite it being made in a very old-school, traditional way by first making a roux and then transforming said roux into a b├ęchamel sauce. But we’ll get into all of that in a minute.

First, let’s talk pasta. While “mac” (as in macaroni) is in the title of this dish, we’re going to be using cavatappi or cellentani pasta. I find these noodles to be more substantial and easier to eat than traditional macaroni pasta. I also find that they hold more of the “cheese” sauce than traditional macaroni pasta -and who wouldn’t want their noodles to do that?!

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I cook my pasta in accordance with the instructions on the pasta packaging but I make sure to add a little oil and a whole lot of salt to my pasta water. The oil is added to help the pasta not stick together and the salt is added so that the pasta gets a little flavor cooked into it. While the pasta is cooking you can go ahead and make the “cheese” sauce.

For the “cheese” part of my mac-n-“cheese” we are going to first make a roux (a mixture of butter and flour used to thicken gravies and sauces). I toss some vegan butter into my dutch oven and let that melt down. When it’s fully melted I then toss in an equal amount of flour and stir to combine. That mixture gets cooked for a minute or two until it is foamy and very light brown in color.

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Next, some unsweetened almond milk gets added and the heat gets turned up. The addition of almond milk is what transforms our roux into a b├ęchamel sauce (a white sauce base that is one of the “mother sauces”). We want to boil our sauce base for a few minutes to help it thicken slightly. You’ll want to stir fairly frequently while the mixture is boiling to ensure that the roux is incorporating nicely.

Once the mixture has thickened a little it’s time to reduce the heat and add the “cheese,” or rather the “cheeses,” since we’re using two different kinds. The first kind that you’ll be adding is Daiya’s cheddar-style sheds which will give us that classic “cheese” flavor that we’re looking for. The other kind being added is Follow Your Heart’s parmesan-style shreds which will help to elevate the flavor profile a little.

Now, I feel like I should just take a moment here to say something to you haters of vegan “cheese” out there. Please, please, please trust me and don’t run from this recipe just yet. I served this recipe to not 1 but 4 non-vegan people who are vegan “cheese” haters (2 were self-proclaimed Daiya haters) and, I kid you not, each one of them said how amazing this mac-n-cheese was. Give it a try using the “cheeses” I recommend and I’m sure you too will be a convert.

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After the “cheeses” are all melted in, in goes the seasonings. We’re adding nutritional yeast (aka nooch) to help boost the cheesy goodness (cause it tastes like cheese in case you didn’t know), and we are also adding salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.

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Toss those in and then give the whole mixture a good stir.

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The final step is to add in your cooked and drained pasta. Gently fold the pasta into the sauce to help the two become best friends and that’s it -it’s ready to serve!

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Vegan Mac-N-'Cheese'

  • Servings: 6-9
  • Time: 15 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cavatappi or cellentani pasta
  • Oil and salt for pasta water
  • 3 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup Daiya cheddar-style shreds (about half the bag)
  • 3/4 cup Follow Your Heart parmesan-style shreds (about half the tub)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions

  1. In a pasta pot, or other large pot, start pasta cooking in accordance with the instructions on the pasta’s packaging for al dente pasta. Be sure to add a little oil to the pasta water (1-2 tablespoons) to help prevent the pasta from sticking together as it cooks and also add a decent amount of salt (2-4 tablespoons) to infuse the pasta with a little flavor as it cooks.
  2. While pasta is cooking make the “cheese” sauce. In a dutch oven, or other large pot, melt vegan butter over medium heat. Once melted, add flour and stir to combine. Continue stirring until mixture is foamy and very light brown in color -about 2 minutes. Add almond milk and turn the heat up to bring to boil. Boil, while stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes to thicken sauce base a little. After 2-3 minutes, reduce heat to low and add in the two “cheeses.” Stir until they have fully melted into the sauce base -about 1 minute. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and paprika and stir to combine. Continue to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until pasta is done and ready to be added to the sauce.
  3. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and then add it to the sauce. Gently fold the pasta into the sauce to coat each noodle then serve. Mac-N-“Cheese” will keep fresh in an airtight container in fridge for 3-4 days.

 

Vegan Italian “Chicken” Panini

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While there are some vegans out there who don’t care to eat even fake meats and cheeses, I am not one of them. I appreciate the flavors and textures fake meats and cheeses bring to the table. I also appreciate how these things can make transforming a non-vegan recipe to a vegan one an even easier task. Now, every vegan I know who enjoys these cruelty-free substitutes has their own opinion on which ones are the best -and there are so many options to choose from now! I too have some favorites and for these sandwiches I will be using one of my favorite chicken substitutes and one of my favorite cheese substitutes. (I’ll also be using another favorite vegan cheese o’ mine in the pesto needed for these sandwiches!)

Say hello to one of my favorite chicken substitutes, Tofurky’s Slow Roasted Chick’n, and one of my favorite cheese substitutes, Field Roast’s Chao slices in creamy original flavor -which to me tastes similar to like provolone cheese blended perhaps with white American cheese. (But of course this cheese is 100% vegan which means it’s automatically 100% better than either one of those other cheeses I just mentioned!)

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Those are only 2 of the 5 components that make up these delicious, and insanely easy to make, sandwiches though. The other components are a pesto that is made from scratch, tomatoes, and, of course, the bread -I used ciabatta rolls.

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I find that the ciabatta rolls squish down nicely in your panini pan or panini maker without falling apart, and they get good and crisp on the outside (without the need for oil) which is how the perfect panino (sing. form of panini) should be. #IfItAintCrispyItAintRight

So I mentioned that this recipe is insanely easy but one might prefer to call it shamefully easy. Seriously, I feel silly even calling it a recipe because the only real recipe part is making the pesto -which sounds a whole lot more difficult than it is.

To make the pesto all you have to do is put all of the pesto ingredients (except the olive oil) into a small (mine is called a “mini”) food processor and start processing them. As they are being broken down and combined you are simply going to drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil to help the pesto come together and get to the right consistency.

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The right consistency being kind of liquidy but not runny, and not smoothed out into nothing but rather it should have a little texture still -sort of like grainy mustard.

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Next, you’re going to get the fixin’s ready (laid out) so that you can easily assemble the sandwiches. Here all you’re really doing is taking the “chicken” and the cheese out of their respective packages and then slicing up 2 tomatoes.

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To assemble, first load up one side of the bread (the bottom half preferably) with the “chicken,” a couple slices of cheese, and a couple slices of tomatoes. Smear the opposite side of the bread with a generous bit of pesto and then put the two sides together. Huzzah! We have a sandwich! Repeat this process with the remaining rolls (3 more to go for a total of 4 sandwiches) and then it’s time to cook ’em up.

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To cook my sandwiches I used a cast iron panini pan but if you have a panini maker you can use that if you wish.

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I was able to fit 2 sandwiches in my pan at once. You’ll want to preheat your pan or panini maker before you put the sandwiches in and when cooking them you’ll want to do it low (as in low or low-med. heat) and slow -don’t rush these beauties or the cheese wont have time to get soft. And I know you want soft cheese.

While they’re cooking I do keep the lid on them and I also press firmly straight down on the lid every now and then to help them squish down.

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After 3-5 minutes they should be ready to flip. In the photo below, I have flipped one over and am about to flip the next one over. When flipping them I use flat tongs so that I can get a good grip on the sandwiches and hold them together tightly as I flip them. After they’ve been flipped I then put the lid back on them, press it down firmly, and cook for 3-5 more minutes. When done, remove the sandwiches from the pan (or panini maker) and let them rest for 5-7 minutes before you cut them in half and serve them.

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Vegan Italian 'Chicken' Panini

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

    For the pesto:
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup vegan shredded Parmesan cheese (I used Follow Your Heart brand)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • For the panini:
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 (8-ounce) box of Tofurky Slow Roasted Chick’n
  • 1 package of Field Roast Chao slices in creamy original flavor
  • 2 tomatoes, washed and cut into slices
  • Pesto

Directions

    For the pesto:
  1. Combine everything but the olive oil in a small (aka mini) food processor and slowly start to combine them. (You may need to scrape the sides down a couple times throughout this process.) As they combine, slowly drizzle in olive oil until you have reached the desired consistency which is wet but not runny. Set aside when done.
  2. For the panini:
  3. Get your panini pan (or panini maker) preheated to low or low-med. heat and lay out the panini ingredients so that assembly is quick and easy.
  4. Cut a ciabatta roll in half and on the bottom half load on a layer of “chicken,” a couple slices of cheese, and a couple slices of tomato. On the top half, smear on a generous amount of pesto. Flip the top half over onto the bottom half then set aside. Repeat this step until you have all 4 sandwiches made and ready to be grilled.
  5. Place as many sandwiches as you can fit, without crowding them in, into your preheated panini pan (or panini maker). Cover and press down firmly on the cover to squish sandwiches down. Cook for 3-5 minutes then flip each sandwich over and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Continue to press down every so often on the lid to flatten the sandwiches as much as possible. If sandwiches are browning too fast, as in before the cheese has had time to get soft, be sure to turn the heat down a little lower. When sandwiches are done let them rest 5-7 minutes before cutting in half and serving. Best enjoyed right away but can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days.

Vegan “Buttermilk” Pancakes

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Why do I love going to sleep at the end of a long day? Of course it’s so rejuvenating but it’s more than that, it’s a fast pass to breakfast and I love me some breakfast! I’m that person who, if given the chance, would eat breakfast foods all day, every day. And while I am partial to bigger breakfasts (it is the most important meal of the day after all) sometimes I desire something simpler, something a little less heavy but still just as filling. Something like pancakes.

Pancakes can obviously be jazzed up with fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chips, vegan bacon or sausage, or pretty much anything else you want, but below all of the extras you need to start with a good base recipe. Some people choose a whole wheat pancake recipe as their base, others choose a plain, classic pancake as their base, and then there are the people like me who prefer buttermilk pancakes as their base. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a whole wheat or plain base recipe, I simply prefer a base recipe that has a little extra oomph of flavor. And the extra oomph of flavor that buttermilk pancakes bring to the table happens to work very well with fruit or any of the other things I listed previously should you wish to jazz up your pancakes -naked pancakes are a-okay, too.

Now allow me to state the very obvious… buttermilk is not vegan. With this said however, if you’ve been following along with the recipes I post each week then you have probably seen me using/calling for buttermilk substitute. This super easy to make mixture is simply a combination of unsweetened almond milk and a little vinegar. When added to pancakes or any other recipe it mimics the flavor of buttermilk really nicely and in my recipe it just so happens to be the star of the show. #SomebodyGetThisAwesomeShitAnOscar

To get started with my recipe we are going to prepare the liquids we will need including the buttermilk substitute, melted vegan butter, and Ener-G egg substitute. Set these bad boys aside until we’re ready for them.

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Now, in a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, and salt together and whisk until smooth.

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Next, we are going to add the wet ingredients to the dry. Besides adding in the 3 liquids we made prepared just a minute ago we are also adding in a little sugar and a dash of vanilla. Then whisk to combine and, as with most pancake batters, you’re not going to want to over mix the batter but you are going to want to make sure all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated.

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To cook the pancakes you’re going to heat up a pan (preferably a non-stick pan) or griddle to low-med. heat. Before you pour the batter for each pancake you’re going to want to put a little oil in the pan. Add the batter to the pan for each pancake using a 1/3 cup measuring cup to ensure that each comes out the same size (about 5 inches across). Each pancake will be ready to flip when one or more of the following occurs: A) the bottom edges are browning, B) bubbles are popping near the center of the pancake, and/or C) the top edges are becoming matte and puffed.

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With the amount of batter this recipe makes you should be able to make 6 pancakes -enough for 2-3 people. Of course you can double the recipe, should you need more, and should you desire something added to your pancakes you can jazz them up as you see fit. The possibilities are truly endless when you have a good base pancake recipe like this one!

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Vegan 'Buttermilk' Pancakes

  • Servings: 6 pancakes (enough for 2-3 people)
  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Print


Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk + 3/4 tablespoon vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • Ener-G egg substitute for 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Dash of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Prepare the buttermilk substitute by combining the almond milk with the vinegar. Stir to combine. Prepare the vegan butter by melting it and then prepare the egg substitute as per the instructions on the box for 1 egg. Set all of these aside for a moment.
  2. In a med. bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together and whisk until smooth. Add the buttermilk substitute, melted vegan butter, egg substitute, sugar, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Be sure to not over work the batter but make sure you get the dry ingredients fully incorporated.
  3. Heat up a pan or griddle to low-med. heat. Before you pour the batter for each pancake you’re going to want to put a little oil in the pan. Add the batter to the pan for each pancake using a 1/3 cup measuring cup to ensure that each comes out the same size (about 5 inches across). Each pancake will be ready to flip after just a minute or two, or when one or more of the following occurs: A) the bottom edges are browning, B) bubbles are popping near the center of the pancake, and/or C) the top edges are becoming matte and puffed. Pancakes will keep fresh for 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits

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In case you weren’t aware, honey, I’m from the south. Albeit the southwest but still, the south. I’ve always wished that I was from the actual south where me saying “y’all” all the time wouldn’t garner funny looks but that just wasn’t the case -I was born in Phoenix. Despite this, I’d like to think that I’ve still got a little southern blood in me because some lucky ducks who lived long before I ever came along did actually live in the south. #FamilyTreeForTheWin

With my love for nearly all things southern and my desire to have been born a southern belle, surely I had to perfect the art of biscuit making because ain’t no southerner a proud one unless they can make a biscuit worth a damn. At least, that’s my belief anyway. So I set out to make the best vegan southern-style biscuits ever and you know what? After numerous attempts, recipe tweaks, and botched batches I think I have indeed come up with the best recipe for southern-style biscuits.

My biscuits are so good they’ll make you wanna slap yo’ mama -but please don’t be slappin’ yo’ mama. They’ll make you wanna sit on a front porch. Don’t have a front porch? Borrow your neighbors. These biscuits will make you say, “Lord, have mercy,” as you reach for another. And why will they make you do all of this?? Because they’re that good. They’re lightly flavored which means that they are perfect all by themselves or paired with say, gravy, or a jam, or vegan fried “chicken.” They’re not dry and crumbly like some biscuits can be and best of all they’re pretty easy to make, too.

To get started, first we are going to prepare the 2 liquid ingredients so that when we are ready to use them they are ready to be used. To prepare the ice cold water you’ll simply add ice to water -I mean, did I even need to explain that? To prepare our “buttermilk” you’re going to combine unsweetened almond milk with a little bit of vinegar and then give it a stir.

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The next step is to get the dry ingredients whisked together.

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Once the dry ingredients have been thoroughly combined you’re going to add in the “buttermilk” mixture, vegan butter, a little coconut oil, and some sugar. Using either 2 knives or what I have, a pastry cutter, you’re going to bring the biscuit dough together. As you’re doing this you’re going to add in a few tablespoons of the ice cold water we prepared earlier to help with this process.

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When the dough has come together it should look a little like the picture below. If you have some flour that didn’t quite work in don’t worry about it -just get the dough as combined as possible without A) overworking it, and B) adding too much water.

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You should be able to grab the dough, pinch it or press it, and see it hold together nicely.

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Turn out your biscuit dough onto a very lightly floured surface and work it a little, gently pressing the dough flat then folding it over onto itself and repeating the process. In doing this we’re creating layers in our biscuits and we are working in just a little more of the loose flour. Be sure to only do this for about a minute and no more than that because we don’t want to melt the butter and warm the dough with our hands.

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Press the dough out into a circle a little over an inch thick (I go for about an inch and a third or an inch and a half) then, using a round 3″ cookie cutter, cut out your biscuits. Be sure to not twist your cookie cutter as you press down because this action might result in biscuits that don’t rise as much as they should. You’ll likely need to re-form the dough once or twice in order to cut out all of your biscuits and that’s okay.

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Place your biscuits (you should have 7 of them) on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake ’em for 9 minutes.

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After they’ve baked for 9 minutes, take them out of the oven, flip each one over, and then brush them generously with some melted vegan butter. Now slide them back in the oven for a final 9 minutes.

At this point, you’re so close to having some south in your mouth that you’ll probably be drooling but try to contain yourself, darlin’, cause they’re almost done!

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When they’re done they’ll have tops that are the softest shade of golden brown. Enjoy ’em while they’re still warm or enjoy ’em a day or two later -either way you will enjoy ’em.

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Vegan Southern-Style Biscuits

  • Servings: about 7 biscuits
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print


Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

  • Ice water
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups self-rising flour, plus a little extra for your board
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, slightly room temperature just to make it a little easier to work with, plus 2 additional separate tablespoons, melted, for brushing on the biscuits
  • 1 teaspoon refined coconut oil, solid
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper. Prepare the liquids needed by adding ice to water in one dish or cup, and by adding the vinegar to the almond milk to create a “buttermilk” substitute in another dish or cup. Stir the “buttermilk” mixture to combine then set aside both it and the ice water until needed.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder, and whisk to break apart any lumps that you may have. Add in the “buttermilk” mixture, slightly room temperature vegan butter, coconut oil, and sugar. Using 2 knives or a pastry cutter, start to blend the dough together. As you’re bringing the dough together, add in about 4 tablespoons of ice water. If you have some flour that doesn’t quite work in don’t worry about it -just get the dough as combined as possible without overworking it or adding too much water. You’ll know the dough is ready when you can grab the dough, pinch it or press it, and see it hold together nicely.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and work it a little, gently pressing the dough flat then folding it over onto itself and repeating the process to create layers in our biscuits and to work in just a little more of any loose flour you may have. Be sure to only do this for about a minute so that you don’t melt the butter and warm the dough with your hands.
  4. Press the dough out into a circle a little over an inch thick then, using a round 3″ cookie cutter, cut out your biscuits. Be sure to not twist your cookie cutter as you press down because this action might result in biscuits that don’t rise as much as they should. You’ll likely need to re-form the dough once or twice in order to cut out all of your biscuits and that’s okay. Place the biscuits onto your prepared sheet pan and bake them for 9 minutes.
  5. Remove the biscuits from the oven, flip each one over, then brush each generously with melted vegan butter. Put them back in the oven for an additional 9 minutes. When done, biscuits will keep on the counter in an airtight container for about 2-3 days.