Saturday, September 13, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 Day 13: Easy Peasy

Scroll down for video, and recipe.

I like to stay in bed and breakfasts as much as possible when I travel. Being that I'll be traveling, I reached out to a few inns to see if they would be able to accommodate vegans. I was exceptionally disappointed with the responses I received; they were so bad that so far we haven't found ANY conventional bed and breakfasts that we're willing to stay in. As a fellow hotelier, I feel food is part of the experience. I've been at this game a while now, and I've accommodated hundreds, if not thousands, of people with special needs. And, quite frankly I do NOT consider "vegan" a special need.

Today I was aggravated enough to google a few key words and see what came up on the internet for easy vegan items. To really prove my point, I picked one of the very first muffin recipes that popped up and decided to make it exactly as written, and see how it came out. I chose this recipe (given below) because other than a muffin pan, measuring spoons and the ingredients, the only other thing I needed to make the recipe was 1 fork and 1 bowl. The recipe had enough options to substitute that other than chia as maybe an "odd" ingredient (which really isn't that odd an ingredient, but regardless the comments had enough substitutions noted for chia if someone didn't have if, you could use applesauce for crap's sake) the stuff was probably things that most people would have lurking in their pantry. The muffins puffed up nicely, have a decent crumb, and aren't too cloying sweet. Totally do-able!

To put it bluntly: innkeepers if you cannot spend 5 minutes googling a recipe, and then another 10 minutes mixing ingredients you don't deserve my business.

I'll be staying in places that either have small kitchens or are located within striking distance for vegan cafes and restaurants. It's really a shame, and pretty pathetic in the hospitality industry, that this is where things stand as of right now on the vegan food issue.

Once I stayed at a bed and breakfast on the Jersey shore that was conventional. The innkeeper knew I was vegan, and said she could accommodate me. She completely blew me away with her grace and hospitality. She thought outside the box and served foods that were more "brunch" style, including Mediterranean plates. Things like tabbouleh, hummus, red peppers (that she roasted herself!), were plated with nuts, seeds and fruits alongside non-dairy milk. She also bought some of the most divine sugared olive oil Italian crispy flatbreads I've EVER had in my life. The effort she made has earned her MANY referrals from me since then.

How dare someone in the hospitality industry who is about to charge me several hundred dollars a night to stay in their beautiful inn think that unwrapping a banana and opening a box of orange juice will be acceptable. It's not, it's REALLY not. One of the points of Vegan MoFo (in my opinion) is to share with vegans and non-vegans the joy of vegan food. The joy of vegan living. The joy of living with compassion for our fellow creatures… unwrapping a banana and opening a box of juice is something I got used to at the hospital…. but I will not pay for that on vacation as part of an alleged upscale lodging experience.

Here's a video that all conventional innkeepers should watch. It's also pretty good if you're not vegan because you get a simple recipe, AND you find quite a nice assortment of things you can serve for breakfast when vegans (oh the horror!) stay with you. And, trust me, someday someway you WILL find yourself with a vegan in the house. Bake these muffins, and toast up a sprouted English muffin with a (non-dairy) schmear.  Kiss kiss, hug hug…. we'll love you forever darling!

Easy Peasy Banana Muffins
(recipe credit:

2 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup BREWED black coffee (yup)
3 tablespoons chia seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons water
1/2 cup vegan "butter" (i.e.: Earth Balance) OR 1/2 cup MINUS 1 TABLESPOON vegetable oil of choice (i.e.: canola, coconut, safflower, blah blah…)
1/2 cup maple syrup OR 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white flour
1 cup wholemeal flour (or do as I did just use all white flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp each cinnamon and allspice (I didn't have allspice)

You can also add in mix-ins of choice: nuts, coconut flakes, vegan chocolate chips, blueberries, shredded apple, chopped pumpkin seeds, whatever rocks your world…)

Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin tin with liners OR spray with non-stick spray (don't use butter flavor, likely NOT VEGAN). You can use a stand mixer, but I used a fork and a bowl: mash vegan butter/oil with sugar til combined. Add in the chia mixture. Stir in the coffee and bananas. Add in the dry ingredients, and mix til combined. Add your mix-ins if using. Spoon into prepared tin, and bake about 25 minutes.

The original author used this recipe as a banana bread recipe. You can do that, obviously, simply prepare a loaf pan, spoon the batter in, and double the baking time. I'm partial to muffins, so much quicker!


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