Monthly Archives: November 2014

Flaky Breakfast Biscuits with Beyond Meat Herbed Gravy

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Growing up in Tennessee, biscuits and gravy were a staple for the Dirty Hippie. Early into our relationship, I mastered a biscuit recipe he loved, but have been experimenting with gravies for years. This one strikes the ideal balance – the herbs and tamari make it salty and savory, and the Beyond Meat Crumbles are the perfect hearty bite to satisfy your morning appetite.

Serve this to any southerner – or southerner at heart – with a side of steamed greens and tempeh bacon for an amazing breakfast! Also a great option for brunches if you have company staying with you over the upcoming holiday season.

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Flaky Breakfast Biscuits

1/3 cup warm water (not boiling!)

2/3 cup plain almond milk, room temperature

1 packet active yeast

1 Tbl. sugar

2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 Tbl. baking powder

1/2 cup cold vegan margarine (we used Earth Balance)

Combine water and almond milk in non-reactive dish (like glass or plastic). Add sugar and yeast packet, stir gently and allow to bloom in a warm area for 10-15 minutes. Mixture will be foamy and bubbly.

In a large non-reactive bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the cold vegan margarine into the flour until you achieve the texture of course sand – it will be like a crumb topping. Don’t overmix the margarine, a few chunks are fine and will give the biscuits a delicious taste and texture.

When yeast has bloomed, gently stir it into the flour/margarine combo until just combined. Don’t overwork, or the biscuits will be tough. Allow to rise in the mixing bowl for 30-40 minutes. This step is crucial to getting a light, airy biscuit!

After rising, preheat oven to 400. Turn biscuit dough onto a floured surface and press down to about one-inch flat. There’s no need to use a rolling pin, the rustic look of doing things by hand is perfect for biscuits! Use a ball jar, drinking glass or cookie cutter to make round biscuit shapes. Cut into 12 to 15 round biscuits and repeat with any leftover dough until it’s all used up.

Transfer biscuits to a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 400. When done, the biscuits will have doubled in size and turned a golden brown color. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

These biscuits can also be made a day or two ahead and re-warmed in the oven or toaster oven to make serving easy! Just store in a container or bag in the fridge until ready to serve. Also, if you like jams and jellies, these biscuits go well with sweet breakfasts, too – or even work as dinner rolls!

 

Beyond Meat Herbed Gravy

Cooks’ Note: Before you start this recipe, you need to know about kuzu root starch. It’s our favorite thickener and will show up flour roux, arrowroot and cornstarch any old day of the week in gravies, pies and other recipes. But, it’s not easy to find. Eden foods makes it, and you can buy it on Amazon or at most Whole Foods locations. It’s important to follow the directions, though. If you don’t dissolve it in cold water first, it won’t work!  Can’t get your hands on kuzu root starch? No worries. You can still make this with cornstarch or arrowroot, which are widely available at any grocer. Just mix  3 Tbl. cornstarch or arrowroot with 4 Tbl. water instead and follow the directions below.

1 Tlb. whole fennel seeds

1 Tbl. tamari or soy sauce (we use San-J brand)

1 tsp. powdered dry sage

1 tsp. marjoram

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried tarragon

1/2 tsp. white pepper

pinch cayenne, optional

pinch nutmeg, optional

1 package Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles, thawed

4 cups vegetable stock

3 Tbl. kuzu root starch, dissolved in 4 Tbl. cold water

Over medium-low heat, add fennel seeds to a large pot. Toast fennel seeds about 1 to 2 minutes, until just fragrant; do not brown or burn seeds. You can skip this step if you are in a hurry, however, toasting will really change and maximize the flavor.

Add tamari sauce,  sage, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, white pepper, cayenne and nutmeg to the pan with entire pack of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles. Over low heat, allow herbs to flavor Beyond Meat for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine kuzu root starch with cold water. Stir briskly to dissolve and set aside.

Add vegetable stock to the pot with herbs and Beyond Meat. Simmer about 2 to 3 minutes, until broth is warmed through, then add the kuzu root starch in water. Bring gravy to a low boil, stirring frequently. It will thicken up in about 3 to 5 minutes. When it reaches your desired thickness, take it off the heat and serve over warm biscuits!

This gravy is also delicious over mashed potatoes!

 

To try Beyond Meat, check out their latest coupon at this link!

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A plate of fall goodness…

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This collection of harvest-themed recipes are all easy, vegan, gluten-free and tasty! Over the past few weeks, we have crossed-posted these original dishes on the Sister Eden blog, sharing plant-based eating with her eco-conscious readers.  But of course, we want to let YOU have the chance to try them all, too!

First, Apple Cider Slush. This drink is true nostalgia for us. One of our first dates was at a pick-your-own-apples orchard when we were in college. After roaming the orchards and pumpkin fields, we got apple cider slush to drink, and left the farm with jarred apple butter as a souvenir. For us, this was the beginning of a perfect romance.

The recipe is fun for everyone, though. You don’t have to be on a date to enjoy Apple Cider Slush! In fact, it’s crazy easy to make. All you need is apple cider, lemon juice, water and some spices, to taste. This is a fun recipe for sharing and an great, fun drink. Want to try it “grown up”? Add a splash of rum or whiskey.

DHCiderSlush_lrSlow cooker meals are an ideal fit for fall. So are acorn squash. Every market and grocery store in the mid-Atlantic seems to be over run with acorn squash this fall! And that’s fine, because they’re delicious and work like magic in this Acorn Squash Chili.  You could easily make up a batch of this chili before bed and have lunch for the next day all ready to pack.

Did you know – you don’t need to skin acorn squash?! That’s right. All you need to do is wash it, seed it and cube it up. To pull this Acorn Squash Chili together, first you’ll saute onions, garlic celery and carrots. Next, toss the sauted veggies, cubed squash and other ingredients into the slow cooker. And that’s it! The chili pretty much cooks itself.

AcornChili_lrHaving a meal ready to go during the busy fall season is like holding a hand full of aces at a poker game. These Freezer-Friendly Stuffed Peppers are just what you need. You can make them ahead of time and pop them in the freezer – then whenever you need a supper ready in a flash, just warm up some peppers.

These beauties are stuffed with onions, garlic, portabellos, kale, brown rice, chickpeas, spices and cashews! Freezer-Friendly Stuffed Peppers are a meal-in-one, great for families and anyone who is busy – but wants a nutritious, homemade meal.

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In the world of veggies, Brussels Sprouts get a bad rap. It’s not their fault! The problem is that most folks don’t know how to cook them. Brussels Sprouts can actually be quite delicious. You might even find you crave them once you have them prepared properly. The good news is that making them is simple. Try these Balsamic Brussels Sprouts.

With only five ingredients, this is a side dish you can actually get on the table any night of the week. The key is paying attention to your cooking time. Balsamic Brussels Sprouts cook in only 8 to 12 minutes. Seriously! And the thing is, it’s SO yummy! Give these poor, misunderstood veggies a chance. You can spare ten minutes to get reacquainted.

brusselsside_lrOur Corn and Mango Salad with Citrusy Mint-Maple Dressing is a crowd-pleaser, so consider this recipe for parties and potlucks in the coming weeks. The roasted corn mingles with raw zucchini, red pepper, mango, minced red onions and edamame. The combination is bright and surprising with smokiness and fresh crunch in the mix. Again, it’s easy to pull together. You just all all the veggies to a large bowl and toss with the dressing.

Corn and Mango Salad with Citrusy Mint-Maple Dressing could work with another dressing if you are in a rush, however, the tart lime, savory basil, refreshing mint and sweet maple really do meld beautifully and highlight the contrasting textures and flavors in this salad.

cornsalad_dhbg_lrFor adventurous eaters, we have Spicy Swiss Chard Rolls. These fun wrap-ups will warm you up from the inside.; they’re are savory, hearty and bring some heat! The unique flavor profile was inspired by African peanut stew and mimicks the tasty combination of that traditional dish.

We used a fun peanut butter in our Spicy Swiss Chard Rolls that is pre-seasoned with cayenne pepper and chili powder. It’s Peanut Butter & Co.’s “The Heat is On.” But if you can’t find it in your local grocer and don’t want to buy a jar online, you can replicate the effect of spicy peanut butter by adding some cayenne, red pepper flakes and/or chili powder to your favorite peanut butter. Don’t care for too much spice? Just use regular peanut butter.  No worries if you have a peanut allergy, try using almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter or soy nut butter instead – just add spice to your taste to replicate the effect. And of course, skip garnishing with peanuts, too – to add that crunchy pop, try pepitas, slivered almonds, soynuts or toasted chickpeas.

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To call kale a fall veggie isn’t quite right. Kale is an all the time vegetable, really. With a little care, kale plants will live even through the snowy months. So in theory, you can enjoy Fiesta Kale Salad all year long.

Kale is simple to prepare, but there are a few things you should know to make it even yummier. First, you’ve got to remove those woody stems if you plan to eat it raw, like in this salad. The stems are edible and in cooked dishes, they’re fine. But in raw salads, it’s like chewing on a stick. Next, you need to massage the kale. Not kidding! Once you’ve added the dressing, get in there with your hands – yes, it’s messy – and really rub those kale leaves down. It will make them soft and fluffy, and your family and friends will think you’re a culinary master.

To serve Fiesta Kale Salad to full effect, we suggest making the baked tortilla bowls. It’s not difficult and they’re so much fun to eat. Plus, they’re baked, so you can use any tortilla you like (whole wheat, spinach, tomato, gluten-free, etc.) and really customize the dish.

kaleMexi_dhbg_lrEnjoy your fall cooking and visit Sister Eden on Fridays for the “Let’s Eat” coulmun – we have a vegan, gluten free recipe posted there each week!

Baltimore Vegan Drinks @ Toss, November 12th

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Ready for vegan pizza? Yes, we are too! On Wed. November 12th Baltimore Vegan Drinks will meet at Toss Pizzeria, 5716 York Rd, Baltimore, MD 21212, from 7pm to 9pm. Toss offers A-MAZ-ING vegan pizza, with fresh, house-made crusts and sauces. Our personal favorite is Voodoo’s Roasted Eggplant – with Daiya cheese, roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, black olives and herb-garlic sauce. Get a large, you will want leftovers!

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Toss is located in Baltimore City, near the Belvedere Square Market. There is free parking in the back, and on-street parking is free after 6pm.

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But Toss isn’t just yummy pizzas. They also have calzones, pasta dishes, appetizers, huge salads and delectable veggie sandwiches with house-made foccacia rolls.

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Come on down. We’ll be there, as well as a few dozen of your other vegan Bmore pals. We will save you a seat. But, um, no promises on the pizza. I can’t promise to save you a slice of heaven. Sorry!

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In case you needed a little more temptation… how about  the ‘shroom pizza, all loaded with Daiya and spinach and red peppers?  Eurkea! Toss also has vegan, gluten-free crust available and this event is BYOB, so bring your favorite. The restaurant carries Honest Tea, Simply Juices, Odwalla juices and soda, so mixers are ready to go.

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Toss Pizzeria, 7pm to 9pm on November 12th. Baltimore Vegan Drinks. Be there… or be seriously bummed out because you missed it.

ExpoFinds: Vegan Smart Shakes

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When Vega came out on the market a few years ago, the world of vegan protein shakes was changed forever. Before that, you had limited options and most of them tasted  like sand mixed into your almond milk.

Meeting the folks from Naturade VeganSmart at EXPO, we wondered if their shake mix would hold up to Vega. And it DID! They even had a large chart on display, comparing their product to other various vegan protein companies, and VeganSmart was equal or better in nutrition, and better on price. Affordability goes a long way, too, especially since many folks have tight budgets and these kinds of products can be just too much to purchase. vegansmart_lrAround here, it’s a rare occasion when we actually drink vegan protein/nutrition shakes by themselves. We at least make a smoothie as a quick meal, and often, we use these mixes in recipes. And the folks at VeganSmart must feel the same way, since they have great recipes online like Oatmeal Chai Smoothies and No-Bake Chocolate Pie.

You know what else we like about VeganSmart? It’s **really easy to find** – like available at Vitamin Shoppes nationwide and at local grocers, like Safeway. That scores big points in our book. Of course, you can also buy it online, right on the VeganSmart website, too. These shakes come in Chai, Vanilla and Chocolate flavors. They are gluten free, soy free, trans-fat free, have fiber, are non-GMO and contain omega-3s and digestive enzymes.

We love this find from the Natural Products Expo East – and highly recommend it. We’ve used  Vegan Smart in several recipes (muffins, homemade energy bars, even raw no-bake cookies) and it’s wonderful! It’s also tasty just mixed into your almond milk, too, by the way. Nothing at all like sand.