I can’t believe we are already 20 days into Vegan MoFo!
I finished out the second week of MoFo with more picnic snacks and sides and moved into week three, where I made drinks to carry along to your next picnic.
The Maple Hickory Roasted Almonds were by far one of the best snacks I have made! The maple syrup caramelized in the oven while Bragg's Liquid Aminos and hickory liquid smoke gave them a deep and smoky flavor. The became better each day. Sadly they didn’t last very long!
Twelve days into Vegan MoFo 2019 already!
It has been fun thinking up ideas for picnics and posting about them every day. I started the month off with Picnic Mains for the first week and then moved into side dishes and snacks.
A few of my highlights, including this delectable Cranberry Bliss Bar, have been - gluten-free cuban sandwich, snack mix with homemade cheesy crackers, BBQ chickpea salad, and pesto pasta salad.
I am going to start the month of Vegan MoFo with main dishes, and then work my way through the main meals, sides & snacks, and then desserts.
I will also talk about a few drink ideas, as well as picnic success equipment (hint - nothing special is needed!).
For the first picnic main, and day 2 of Vegan MoFo, here is a BBQ Chickpea Kale Salad! BBQ and picnics go hand-in-hand, and I love the extra punch of flavor the chickpeas give to this salad.
This is my third-year Mofo’ing, and I couldn’t be more excited that it is back already for 2019! This year I will be posting under Vegan Picnics on Instagram because I will be posting about all things picnicking! I've had a love of picnics my entire life, and have been amping up my picnic game in the past few years.
I even posted about Vegan Picnicking a few months ago, after coming back from a trip to Victoria, British Columbia, where my husband and I had picnics the entire week. We even had one to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.
I can’t believe another Vegan Month of Food has come and gone! It was a heck of a month full of great daily and weekly themes, delicious food from all of the MoFo participants, and new cooking challenges for me. I enjoy using the daily idea prompts to plan my month, and also to see if I can create new recipes for my family and ones to share! I think my running theme became refried beans though! I found a way to post them with several prompts, but it shows just how much I love them :) Here is a rundown of my daily posts on Instagram. The blogging part kind of got away from me this month...but Instagram food pictures are fun to look at too!
1st - Introduction to me!
2nd - Cauliflower and Black Bean Tacos
3rd - Mini lemon meringue tart
4th - Sushi Stack
5th - Fall inspired bowl
6th - Beyond Meat burger
7th - Tropical overnight oats
8th - Low sodium Chinese brown sauce over veggies, tofu, and glass noodles
9th - Cauliflower mushroom country gravy and homemade biscuits
10th - Pina colada cookie sandwich
11th - Mini key lime cheesecake
12th - Peanut sauce over rice/salad bowl
13th - Homemade hummus for a package free snack
14th - Homemade refried beans (they made several appearances this month!)
15th - Save the day tofu scramble
16th - Chocolate ganache torte
17th - Magic chocolate mousse
18th - Another use for the cauliflower mushroom country gravy
19th - Leftover veggies turned into a skillet meal
20th - Chili
21st - Blueberry smoothie
22nd - Butternut squash mac and cheese with a homemade black-eyed pea burger
23rd - Goulash
24th - Cheesy cauliflower and peas
25th - Birthday tacos
26th - Steak-style soy curl tacos
27th - Low-stress skillet meal
28th - All of the picnics
29th - No huevos rancheros
30th - My laboratory, I mean, my kitchen
Here are some highlights!
You can check out all of the post on Instagram!
What was your favorite Vegan MoFo moment?
I am a little late posting day 14. One of my cats had to have emergency surgery and I spent most of the end of last week worrying about him or following him around the house after he came home. Hopefully, he will be better in a few days!
This week's theme is Free-from - meaning free from nuts, gluten, or any food that should be avoided in your meal planning. My husband, Steve, has a sensitive to gluten, so I am starting to learn the ways of gluten-free baking. I made this cookie especially for him! He loves nuts in cookies and LOVES white chocolate chips, so I thought this would be a winning combo!
Click here for the recipes!
The first week of Vegan MoFo is almost gone, but not before we talk about the "Anti-Vegan." Today's theme is all about the "where do you get your protein" or "I could never give up cheese" comments. My first thought, well that is easy....I can just pop a Beyond Meat burger on the grill and melt some Follow Your Heart American cheese over it.
But then I started to think, why do I instantly just go to finding an animal meat substitute?
I didn't give animal meat because I stopped like the taste. I did it because there are more compassionate ways of eating and living. I am writing a guide to more conscious living, and I even talk about changing the food mindset. Yet, I instantly went directly to a meat substitute because it is so ingrained in our culture that you have to have meat for every meal.
Not eating certain foods can be a challenge if you limit your mindset with thinking about what you are “giving up.” In reality if you transition to a vegan diet, you only stop eating four things - animal meat, eggs, dairy, and honey. When changing your diet, you can start by replacing your favorite meals with a vegan alternative. But there are so many more ways in which you can get all of the protein and nutrients you need. I usually use some type of vegetable, nut, tofu, or tempeh to highlight the hardiness I am craving. Beans and lentils can become burgers, tofu and tempeh can create bacon, chickpeas can be turned in a tuna-less salad, and cashews and cauliflower can make a creamy cheese sauce. There are so many creative ways in which you can highlight the flavor of vegetables and make them the star of the dish!
Even I have to be mindful about stepping outside of my comfort zone and not just going with the normal flow of thinking.
Today is day 5 of the Vegan Month of Food! I strayed from the daily themes for today's post.
The theme was to cook from your favorite vegan cookbook. How do you choose just one??
I have so many vegan cookbooks, and new ones seem to be coming out each week.
Plus I tend to use cookbooks as inspiration and not always follow the recipes. I like to learn about different techniques and flavor profiles. So, for today's post, here is my favorite meal that I have made in the past week. It is bowl packed full of flavor and protein that I made for Steve as a celebration and recovery meal after his 20-mile race event around Mt. Saint Helens.
Isn't it pretty?! Under all of the veggie goodness is brown rice. The veggies are roasted butternut squash, roasted zucchini, roasted carrots, roasted Brussels sprouts, and kale. I also sliced and cooked some of the new Beyond Meat Sweet Italian Sausage for extra protein (and because they taste incredible!).
I topped it with a dijon sauce that pulled together using sunflower seeds, dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic powder, a little bit of olive oil, and water - it was so good over all of the veggies! And the sauce complemented the sausage (I was first afraid it was going to clash with the sweet Italian flavor) perfectly. It was actually the second sauce I made that day. The first sauce, which was supposed to have been a miso gravy, didn't turn out so well. But that is OK because it gave me a chance to make the delicious dijon sauce. I am still playing around with the exact measurements (because I never measure anything) and then I will share the recipe!
Don't forget to check out what others are posting for Vegan MoFo using the hashtags #veganmofo2018 and #veganmofo18 on Instagram and Twitter. Plus you can follow along on Vegan MoFo's account!
It is Day 3 of Vegan MoFo! Today's theme is to make something for an inspirational leader or world leader. Several people came to mind including Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Jane Goodall, and even Cory Booker! I would love to cook and share a meal with any one of them.
Jane Goodall's work and activism have always been a huge inspiration to me. She recognized, early on in her work, about animal emotions, feelings, and empathy. I would love to sit down to share a meal and talk to her for hours.
With that in mind, I think this Mini Lemon Cookie Tart would be a perfect way to end the meal. I didn't create this recipe, but I took different recipes and combined them into one fabulous dessert!
Recipes I used:
I made the cookies in a small muffin/tart that has removable disc bottoms. The cookies were a little tricky since they are they fluff up, but I was able to press them back into the mold halfway through the baking time. I pressed them into a little cup shape before baking and then pressed them back down halfway through the bake. I wish I would have used parchment paper or sprayed the pan because most of them stuck!
After the cookies cooled, I filled them with about 1 teaspoon of lemon filling and piped on the meringue using a pastry bag. Then, I pulled out my little kitchen torch and browned the meringue.
They were sweet, tart, and a little sassy...kind of like me!