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Friday, March 31, 2017

Vegan Month of Food March 2017: Mini MoFo.... STUFFED!

Hi there. These Mini MoFo themes are great. Not only do they keep hope alive that I'll come back to more frequent publishing, but I am enjoying the prompts. This month we were tasked with "stuffed!" I planned on making breakfast items for you, but as you'll see in the video I changed my mind. After the video there are the links to what I used, as well as the main recipe for the pirogi, which I veganized of course.

Let's go to the videotape!


Now that we've got that under our belt, let's see what we actually used:

Caramelized Onions:

Vegan Black Metal Chef method. If you don't have his "Seitanic Spellbook" cookbook, you're nuts, go and get it. For the onions, pull out your crockpot, slice your onions thin, cover with some olive oil, put the cover on the unit, set to low and go to bed. Stir when you wake up, and stir again before they finish. Give them a good solid 12 hours to caramelize. You'll want to kiss Chef for this, trust me. You can make these ahead. Make more than you need, and put them on everything else you make!!

Vegan Farmer's Cheese:

As I mention, I didn't even know what this was, so I googled it. This link provides the recipe I used. I would reduce the lemon juice by half. If you have a nut allergy, I don't see why you can't use sunflower or pumpkin seeds to replace the nuts. I have no suggestions for substituting the tofu on this recipe if you have soy issues. Make this at least 1 day ahead, it becomes more tangy as it sits.  http://anunrefinedvegan.com/2012/10/16/veganmofo-khatchapuri-day-1-tofu-farmer-cheez/

Pirogi
Recipe adapted from The Essential Root Vegetable Cookbook by Sally & Martin Stone

"Russian Potato & Farmer Cheese-filled Pirogi in Sour Cream Dough" VEGAN STYLE FOR SURE!
Yield 70-80 3" cut pirogi

Pastry Dough:
3.5 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup vegan butter
6 tablespoons aquafaba
1 cup vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti brand)
extra aquafaba for sealing/wash

Filling:

1.5 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled/quartered
3T olive oil
1 med/large onion minced (NOTE: I CARAMELIZED THE ONIONS AHEAD OF TIME USING VEGAN BLACK METAL CHEF METHOD)
3/4 pound vegan Farmer's cheeze (see link from An Unrefined Vegan above!)
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 cup vegan butter (for the topping if desired, this is not for the filling!)

Vegan Farmer's Cheeze:

Use the link above, you need to make this 1 day ahead or more.... I did mine 4 days ahead of time, it was still great!

Make the pirogi as follows:

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder & 1 tsp salt. With your fingers or a pastry cutter work quickly and rub in 1/2 cup vegan butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl mix the 6 T aquafaba (I did this part in a stand mixer and whipped the AF for about 4 minutes, you don't have to, just use it straight), then mix in the vegan sour cream until well combined; add this to the flour mixture, and gently combine with your hands til mixed.

When well combined, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and either knead with your hands til smooth or do this in your stand mixer using a dough hook til it's smooth and pliable, adding flour if you need just a bit at a time to prevent sticking (I didn't add any flour). Divide dough in half, make into discs and wrap with cello wrap, chill about 30 minutes or til needed.

To prepare your filling, place your potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water (salt if you want, I didn't). Bring to a boil, reduce to medium and cook til tender. Drain and cool. When potatoes are cool,  mince your already caramelized onions, measure out your Farmer's Cheeze and combine those ingredients in a bowl, with about 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp black pepper (I used a little more pepper). Combine well.

On a floured surface, roll your dough out thin (it will act very elasticy the more you work it, work fast and keep the dough cool) Roll thin! About 1/8" at most. Using a 3" biscuit cutter (use a glass if you don't have one) cut out rounds til your dough is done, I got about 75 of them! Measure out about 1 tsp of filling for each pirogi and place onto each round. Fold the rounds in half, pinch very well closed, and then press with a fork to make a decorate edge (this seals them even better). Place the pirogi on a floured towel. If you're not going to cook them right away, place them on baking trays in a single layer, freeze, then when frozen store them in containers in your freezer.

To cook, bring a large pot of water (salt if desired, I do not) to boil. Add a few pirogi at a time to the water, when they float, cook about 3 minutes, remove with slotted spoon to a platter. Keep warm as you cook the rest. When ready to serve, either use vegan butter, brown gravy, red sauce, or whatever. The original recipe said to saute more onions ... seriously? Plenty here for me, no more onions.

I used the Yup It's Vegan rice paper bac'n recipe, and made some bak'n bits, which I sprinkled over the top with cracked pepper and a little vegan butter.

This recipe is worth making! Here's a few pictures:

As you can see, not all were perfectly round as I worked.
Using a 3" biscuit cutter on the dough works perfectly,
however the dough is quite elastic. This works against us when cutting
but works in our favor when shaping after filling! 
Look at all these beauties!
After ya pinch them, press the edges gently with a fork.
Makes a pretty pirogi and keeps the filling in nicely.

Divine perfection.


Vegan Hand Pies as shown in video:

Recipe adapted from puffpastry.com (Pepperidge Farms, can you believe it?)

3T aquafaba
2T flour
1 package (17.3 oz) puff pastry sheets, thawed
4 ounces vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti brand yellow label) softened
2T sugar (I use organic vegan sugar)
1/2 cup chopped vegan chocolate of choice
6 oz minced strawberries (or fruit of choice... wait til mango season!!!!)
3T coarse sugar for sprinkling on top, and more aquafaba
Not bad for first time on a whim! 

Sprinkle work surface with flour, and roll out 1 sheet of pastry. Either using a 3" round cutter, or just cut square to save dough, make 12 individual pieces, equally. Repeat with other sheet.

Stir the Tofutti and sugar in a bowl, stir in chopped chocolate chips or whatever you're using. Brush the edges of the bottom pieces of pastry with the aquafaba, put about 1T of Tofutti mixture in center of each pie, top with about 1 T of diced berries, cover with top piece of pastry, seal tight. Either make a decorative boarder or use a fork and seal again. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with more aquafaba, cut small vent holes in top of each pie, sprinkle with decorative sugar. Bake in preheated oven (I baked at 325 for convection) about 20 minutes, use 350 if non-convection. Bake til golden.

Whew!

That's a lot of typing.

There it is. Get stuffed, vegan style!




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mini MoFo February 2017 - SOMETHING RED!

Hello dear ones. We are in the throes of high season over here, so no video this time. We got a nice Mini MoFo prompt to post "something red." Easy peasy once again.

Valentines Day has come and gone, but I made this as the entree for our guests:




So, those are double chocolate waffles done strawberry shortcake style. I used So Delicious CocoWhip, with organic berries, organic fair trade shaved chocolate; everything about those waffles is organic and fair trade. You can do this too.... choose your own recipe and toppings and get to it.

It's hard to see, but that tiny red bowl is the CUTEST thing going.... I got it at the local thrift, it's hand painted with tiny hearts all through the inside, even signed by the artist on the bottom, from Italy! Fifty cents!

I also made gobs of these:




These are mini bundt cakes using a recipe I think from Minimalist Baker, I used organic ginger ale instead of stout. I dipped each one in my own ganache and sprinkled with red vegan sprinkles. I made the cutest toppers for each cake, but was (as usual) very pressed for time so the best I could do was slap these bad boys into boxes and call it a day. We had a beautiful Valentines breakfast for our guests with heart shaped white chocolate strawberry muffins, Love Potion #9 beverages, pink smoothies, fresh fruit, Valentine cookies for all, and mini cakes. I learned the hard way that these larger sprinkles have a relative low melt point, so never again will I coat my sugar cookies before baking if using the large sprinkles. I'm pretty new to this line of sprinkles (Sweetopolita, on Etsy, she has an entire vegan section). They are really great variety and brightness, but they are no good for the baking situation which is why no pictures of the sugar cookies.

There it is, short and sweet... something red. Vegan for the win as always!

See you soon!

xo

Saturday, January 28, 2017

MiniMoFo "NEW!" .... come on baby, light my fire (cider)

Yay! We have a prompt for January and it's "NEW!" Anything new! We have free reign to do any vegan topic, as long as it's something new to us. Easy peasy!

This time of year keeps us hopping around here. How have you been? We've been doing great, the weather is glorious, the animals are healthy, and overall we are feeling pretty good too. For those participating in "MiniMoFo" themes this year (you know my plans are to hit up every single theme....  so far I've not missed any!) When  I saw the theme "NEW!" I thought about so many possibilities. When push came to shove, I decided on taking a little road trip to our perfect health food store on our tiny island which is called Good Food Conspiracy. You already know all about them because we've done videos, photos, stories, and had so many laughs here together courtesy of Good Food. You also might remember the fact that one of the top 3 reasons I agreed to move to Big Pine "for a year" (ahahhahahahah, a YEAR!) was because of that little store. Good Food has been on the island, in the same location, for well over 30 years at this point. I'm not really sure everyone can grasp how epic that fact is (over 30 years) unless you've spent some time living in the Keys. So many people come and go so quickly down here, and the same can be said for businesses. There's an ebb and flow to living and working in a resort destination such as the Keys, and some people clearly are not cut out for that. For those of us that ARE cut out for that, we have the backbone of our community.... small businesses like Good Food.

About 3 years ago (give or take) sometime after Superstorm Sandy destroyed so much of the East Coast (especially Jersey), and then the fire on the Shore boardwalk (again.... Jersey), a woman named Debbie Quinn came to the Keys to heal from the disaster at the behest of a friend. Debbie is an herbalist, a REAL herbalist. She's also an aromatherapist (her company is Blue Moon Herbals), a REAL aromatherapist. I've never met anyone like Debbie before. I remember the first time I met her too... it was in the garden at Good Food at a New Year's event. There were healers, vendors, merchants, food, music and fun. And Debbie was there with her booth selling some of the most beautiful essential oils I'd ever been privileged to experience. We chatted, I bought things from her for a friend in need of healing, and called it a day. Then I began to see more and more of Debbie at the store. Now she's essentially the resident herbalist at Good Food. Between Debbie and Marney (we've spoken at length about Marney, she's a miracle) we have 2 of the best healers I've ever EVER met in my life, right here practically in my backyard.

One of the most wonderful things that Debbie has brought to Good Food is her recipe for fire cider. Fire cider is a folk remedy for many ails including inflammation, which is my personal nemesis. One day not too long ago, I walked into Good Food on a day they were making many jars of fire cider. I wasn't sure what it was, but as soon as I heard it was made with apple cider vinegar as the base, I was all in.

"Set me up with a shot of that fire cider!"  BOOM, down the hatch!

Ooooo.... little warm tingles all over in just moments!

So, today for "NEW!" we are at the Good Food Conspiracy with Debbie and Meghan (who makes the cider, she's absolutely adorable). Fire cider is no longer new to me, but it probably will be to you, and I honestly can say if you come to the Keys you MUST stop into Good Food and add a shot of fire cider to your order, you will not regret it.

Come, watch and learn.


There ya have it.... my friends from the Good Food Conspiracy making fire cider. That's our "NEW!" for January, and of course we'll be back right here in February for whatever comes next, along with a few random other posts from yours truly in between.

Until next time, get your fire cider on. Now go forth and let your epic vegan side shine!

xo