Pumpkin Saag

Saag is a spinach based dish that is supposed to be rather creamy and have some sort of indian spices mixed into it. I had never heard of this dish before, let alone made it. So here goes nothing!

The Pumpkin Saag (pg. 184) was not exactly my favorite thing in the world. It had way too much pumpkin and took longer than it should have. I like the idea of roasting a whole pumpkin and all and I loved getting the experience of it but it was just not worth it here. A can of the stuff would have suited me much better and cut off about half the time.

Now this dish is usually made with lamb or something, but thats not exactly vegan. But maybe texturally, some tempeh or crunchy vegetables would be a nice addition to it. But even with the indian spices and served over rice, this was just too much pumpkin for me.

What is your favorite savory pumpkin dish?

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Pumpkin-Spiced Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

 

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Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry

Stir-frys are some of the simplest dishes out their. You just saute a few random ingredients, and ta-da. You got a dish of totally different flavors that have melded together to create awesomeness. In this case, cashews, pineapples, edamame, and quinoa.

The Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry(pg. 175-176) is one of my favorites so far. Its very easy to make and takes maybe an hour and a half but most of that is just cooling the quinoa that you cooked in pineapple juice. But prep that the night before and you should be good to go!

It says to use fresh pineapple and a cup of pineapple juice so i bought a can of it and just used the juice from that and replaced the fresh. I know i was probably missing that firmer texture, but i don’t think the flavor was compromised. I also waisted less pineapple!

Now the flavors in this dish are not at all what i would have thought to put together. Mint, garlic, ginger, basil, and red chile? But somehow it works. So this dish is a definite keeper. But maybe that’s just because i like cashews and edamame.

What are your favorite stir-fry ingredients?

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Stir-frying Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Vegan Food Pyramid

Now everyone is aware of that classic food pyramid. You know. The one the USDA seems to change every 10 or so years as they try to tell us what to eat. Maybe they’re trying to fit with what our culture needs as each generation stuffs more and more grease and fat into their mouths. Or maybe they themselves has no idea how to make up their minds, so they change the rules to what they think is right at the time.

Who knows?

But we all remember that bland black and white pyramid that they showed us in health class. Remember? You learned about it right after the reproductive system.

Food Pyramid

 

Yeah. Um….black and white and completely BORING!!! Plus, are they really showing a donut in the bread section?(lower right corner). And ice cream as your dairy? Dude…what the heck?

Alright, so this thing changes every couple of years, but they keep it pretty consistent besides a few minor things.

Here’s their 2010 version.

https://i0.wp.com/foodpyramid.org.uk/food_pyramid_pics/food_pyramid_7.jpg

A little better, but still a lot of things in there i wouldn’t touch. And though i can kind of guess what the thin yellow strip is, they didn’t really label it. And what about water? Don’t i need that too?

But recently i found a food pyramid i actually agree with! Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you….*drumroll*

The Vegan Food Pyramid!!

Vegan Food Pyramid

This thing has apparently been floating around on the internet  for some time, but i found out about it recently through a post on Earth Balance’s blog. Well, i can’t exactly sum up what they have to say about it so click the picture to be sent to their post.

But i absolutley agree with this new and improved pyramid. I know cupcakes and cookies take up a large part of my diet and coffee is my main liquid source, so maybe I should start listening to this thing. After all. I won’t have this teenage metabolism forever!

What are your thoughts on the food pyramid?

Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

 

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Lower Fat Banana Bread

I have to admit, i have tried many banana bread recipes in my life. Some where soft and sweet and delicious. Others were rubbery, bland, and terrible. I’ve tried it with nutmeg, cinnamon, nuts, chocolate, fruit, and even flakes of coconut. But i think i have found my new favorite!

The Lower-Fat Banana Bread (pg 228) was very basic and very easy to make. Just mash some bananas, mix it with your liquid ingredients and sugar, add the flour and leavening stuff, and bake it for about 45 minutes. Let it cool, and tada! Banana bread.

I added some chocolate chips and walnuts into mine. The book gave them each as an option, but i went ahead and added a 1/4 cup of chocolate and 1/2 cup of walnuts. It didn’t label it as an option in the ingredients which i found weird, because it did say to fold them in as an option in the recipe itself. But my measurements worked out perfectly. And not to mention i switched the oil for applesauce. Who needs lower fat when you can have fat-free?!

The bread was soft and very bananaey (yes. Its a word). It wasn’t overly sweet, but didn’t taste bland and i liked the nutmeg touch. I added the walnuts for a bit of extra texture and i stand by my decision. This is probably the best recipe i have ever used.

Next time i’ll probably throw it in some muffin pans and bake it to make my favorite food: Peanut Butter topped Banana-nut Muffins

Do you have a favorite Banana Bread Recipe?

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Banana-Muffin Making Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Cauliflower and Mushroom Potpie

Cold air brings about the want and craving for that ultimate comfort food. That warm and filling food with a creamy  sauce, and maybe a crust on top that is destined to just fill you up and put a big grin on your face. In this case, a Veganomicon Potpie….

The Cauliflower and Mushroom Potpie with Black Olive Crust (pg. 161) is actually the first time i’ve ever made a potpie. I had a pound of cauliflower in the fridge just waiting to be used, and i thought this would be the perfect recipe for it. It took about an hour and the prep was a bit much, but it was absolutley worth it.

There was a lot of steps in it, but it was kind of fun to tell you the truth. And though it took a bit over an hour to make, i guarantee you the taste was worth it! The cauliflower and mushrooms were nice and soft inside and the sauce was creamy and delicious! Very well seasoned, i might add, by tarragon, thyme, and marjoram.

Besides the mushrooms, my favorite part of it might have to be the crust though. It had the texture kind of like the top of a biscuit and the olives in it worked oddly enough. Its time consuming and a bit of a mess to clean up, but if you have the time on a cold evening then i would definatley recommend making this!

What is your favorite vegan comfort food?

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Olive-Crusted Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Rosemary Foccacia

I can honestly say i’ve never made, or even tried Foccacia before. I know. And I call myself a foodie? But this was a very pleasant surprise.

The Fresh Rosemary Foccacia (pg. 220) was an awesome! It tasted very much like rosemary, which in my book was good. But besides that, it didn’t have much flavor, so i would recommend either dipping it in something or adding some oregano or olives to the dough. Or both!

It took a lot of rising time, but that was kind of easy for me. I made the dough, then let is sit in a warm spot as i went to the grocery store. Came back, and it was good to go. Then i kneaded it and let it do the second rise as i read for a bit. So yeah it requires time, but trust me…it’s worth it.

It has a texture similar to breadsticks. I put a but of garlic powder on it and dipped it in some pasta sauce. It was delicious! If i have the time, i will probably make it again very soon.

 

Have you ever tried foccacia? What do you do with it?

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Foccacia-Loving Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Basil-Cilantro Pesto

Herbs are some of my favorite things to work with, for the simple fact that they seem to be able to make any bland dish flavorful. So something herby and creamy like pesto seems to be right up my ally!

The Basil-Cilantro Pesto (pg. 214) was something i really wanted to like, but just couldn’t bring myself to. It smelled delicious and fragrant, but the cilantro taste was just too strong. And there was a bit too much lemon juice in it. It was too citrusey for my taste.

But it was very quick and simple, so i may add some touches to it like less lemon juice and more basil. I loved the almonds in it though. They added a sort of creaminess that i have never gotten in any of my pine nut pesto. It also seemed to somehow brighten it up a bit. Not to mention it was a lot cheaper! I will absolutley add my own touches to this and throw it on my next naan or pizza!

What is your favorite thing to do with pesto?

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Green & Creamy Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Chocolate-Chip Brownie Waffles

Ever wake up first thing in the mornings and just really need a quick chocolate fix ? Yeah. Me too. Well, i think this might just be the recipe that finally satisfies that early morning craving.

The Chocolate-Chip Brownie Waffles (pg. 74) are absolutely delicious! They don’t taste much like brownies,  but they do taste like chocolate. They were  easy to make and came out with a moist inside, but crunchy outside.

I”m not the type to drown my breakfast in maple syrup. I prefer to taste the waffle itself. But this recipe wasn’t very sweet, so maybe 1/3 cup of maple in the batter itself wouldn’t hurt.

The recipe makes quite a few of them (about 15), so it could be a relatively easy Sunday brunch idea for feeding a crowd. It can also be easily doubled or cut in half without much difficulty.

I actually ended up with a lot of leftovers, so the next day I topped them with Vanilla Ice Cream! This and a cup of coffee made an awesome dessert!

What are your favorite waffle toppings?

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Seitan-Experimenting Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Horseradish-Dill Sour Cream

Horseradish is one of my favorite things to add to sauces. It just gives you that kick that wakes up in a taste-buds in a whole new way. But this recipe…well…just didn’t do it for me.

I tried the Horseradish Dill Sour Cream (pg. 208) with the Autumn Latkes and i really wanted to like it. I really did. But this stuff tasted like straight up dill. It adds a whole cup of it and just kind of over powers everything.

I did like the horseradish taste, but it just wasn’t enough. It also should be named “sauce”, not “sour cream”. It says it firms up after 30 minutes in the fridge, but mine sat in there for 2 hours and didn’t do much. I will admit it was a bit thicker, but not enough to be called sour cream.

Sorry guys, but this was just a bit too much effort for an unwanted taste. Maybe a bit more tofu and horseradish and a little less dill. Or you could throw in some garlic and onion powder and turn this into a not-so-bad vegan ranch dressing.

Have you had any dishes where one ingredient overpowered the whole thing?

I will put most of my posts on my Twitter or Facebook, so go follow me for updates!

Yuca-Loving Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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Autumn Latkes

I’ve heard of latkes before described as a fried potato pancake that is very popular in the Jewish community, especially during passover. I’m not Jewish, but i am always willing to try something new. But this recipe is that tradition, with a spin on it.

The Autumn Latkes (pg. 53) is a fried pancake made of beets, sweet potato, and carrots. I am not the biggest beet person, but this recipe is actually really good. I kind of cheated by throwing my ingredients in the food processor so it will mix better and the vegetables would be shredded finer. Plus it was an easier clean up than getting out the grater.

As far as latkes, i wasn’t a big fan. It didn’t have enough seasoning to it, and i don’t really care for fried foods. The point of eating your vegetables is to feel healthy, right? Frying them kind of counters that. But i did try it with the Horseradish Dill Sour Cream and applesauce as the book recommended.

If i were to make this again, i would probably just keep everything raw, press it down, and let it chill to set so it wouldn’t take away from the sweetness or healthiness of my vegetables. My dad seemed to like it though so if you do plan to make this dish, definably go the applesauce route. It tasted much better as far as dipping goes.

What is your favorite use for beets?

I will put most of my posts on my Twitter or Facebook, so go follow me for updates!

Yuca-Loving Health Freax Unite!

-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-

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