Thursday, November 29, 2012

Knock, knock :)

It's raining in Southern California!! Drivers quickly forget how to drive, there's water falling from the sky! People quickly purchase your cold weather gear, it's finally happened, winter is here! Yes, those of you reading this in parts of the country where cold weather actually means cold weather, we here in Southern California have absolutely no idea what to do with ourselves when the weather turns less than delightful. I am 100% part of this sad group of individuals who can't handle anything below 45 degrees (I start to think my feet and hands have frostbite). I was born and raised in a land where winter means scattered showers, and the occasional down pour that is always followed by sunshine. Sigh... one day I will really have to learn what to do when the weather is frightful.

Maybe the rain inspired me to whip up some warm and tasty French toast? Who knows, but that is what we are munching on right now at our house, and I thought, "Hey self, let's tell everyone how to make this breakfast treat. That way you won't have to feel so guilty complaining about a brief dusting of rain drops while others snow plow their driveways." Fast forward to this present moment, and here I am typing out this little ditty. The pictures are a little less than great as it is raining outside and that's where I normally take the foodie pictures... Sorry, last gripe about rain, lol! Now onto better things!

Orange Vanilla French Toast!
makes about 6-8 pieces
can be gluten free if you use a GF bread you like

1 cup vanilla soy or coconut yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice (its best if fresh squeezed)
1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
6-8 pieces of bread (we used sourdough this morning)

This might be the easiest recipe out there, so there is no excuse for you not to try it. In a bowl mix the yogurt, OJ, and cinnamon. Once it is all blended dip one piece of bread in at a time. I opted to mix it in a bowl and then pour it into a baking pan so that I had more room to dip my bread, but that is up to you.  I would suggest you cook 1 or 2 pieces at a time so you can best monitor the bread. Be sure you use coat the pan with a little oil before cooking to avoid sticking. (I used coconut oil)

You want your stove heat on medium so you don't burn the yogurt. Flip the bread ever so often to ensure an even cooking. Then dress them up with vegan butter, syrup, powdered sugar, fruit, whatever your heart desires!

Knock, knock....Who's there?....Orange....Orange who?...Orange you glad you made this toast! <-Haha that was horrifying to type, but well worth the cheesy factor. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Raccoons Oh My!

Holy moly, who ate way too much food this weekend? If you aren't raising your hand you are either lying to me or don't partake in Thanksgiving (the latter being absolutely fine, the former being a no-no liars don't make friends). I feel like I am still stuffed to the brim with the amazing delicious vegan food that was at our Thanksgiving meal. It was a delightful medley of winter squash, potatoes, dark greens, fall fruit, mushroom gravy, and pumpkin everything!

Hello Thanksgiving!
As you can see there was a lot to eat (scary part is that isn't even all of the food!!). What could be missing from that table... well the Pumpkin Pie Donuts for starters! These donuts were a hit and a half at the table, and I know I promised a while ago to share this recipe with you so today is the day!

But first, I am going to tell you a tale of the vicious raccoon gang that runs the Montana De Oro State Park in the Central Coast area of California. Oh yes that's right you heard me, VICIOUS raccoons. Disney paints a pretty picture with that Mico guy (shhh thats him right there acting all cute), but the truth is these furry friends are not to be trifled with.

Disney's Mico

My family is up in Northern California (north of San Francisco northern), and the manfriend and I thought it would be fun to drive up for the holiday and then drive slowly down the coast and camp along the way. Our last stop was in beautiful Montana De Oro. We set up camp, we made friends with the neighboring campers, and hunkered down for the night. The weather was perfect, and it seemed like the night was going to be smooth sailing. WRONG! At 4am in the morning we were awoken by a gang of unruly raccoons ransacking our campsite. The little fluffy tailed demons had figured out a way to get into our cooler, and they were wrecking havoc. Manfriend got out of the tent and tried to scare them off, but no amount of flashlight blinking, rock tossing, or foot stomping was going to prevent this massacre. There was 7 of them down there, and they did not take kindly to human intervention....So we did what anyone else would do, we hid in our tent and cursed the masked fuzzy bandits for stealing the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers.

The next morning the ranger rolled through the campgrounds to warn people of the "overly aggressive" raccoons (too late bud). He tells us this as we are cleaning up the remains of our once glorious campsite, and so we shared our tale of woe. The response from him was, and I quote, "good thing you didn't approach them as they have been cornering people for food handouts and not letting them go." I swear this is not an exaggeration, as I am prone to do from time to time, this is the truth verbatim! So next time you are camping in the Central Coast of California do not fear the bear or the mountain lion, instead fear the mighty raccoon!

Raccoon gangs, who knew! The saddest part of this tale is that the pumpkin donuts fell victim to the puffy tailed beasts of the forest. Luckily for you and me that means its time to share this recipe and make a million more!

Pumpkin Pie Donuts!
Makes about 10
(adapted from the sweet life online)

1/3 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (and ginger optional) 
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flours, starch, baking powder & soda, spices and xanthan gum). Mix all the dry ingredients together. 

In a separate bowl combine your pumpkin puree, syrup, agave, oil and vanilla. Stir everything until it has blended together. Then pour your wet ingredients into the dry and stir until everything is blended and you have a nice pumpkin donut batter. 

Now bust out your donut pan. Trust me you will want one as donuts make the world go round. Even if your pan is non-stick I would advise putting something on it to prevent sticking. Pour the batter into the donut moulds (about 3/4 of the way full). And then bake for 15-17 minutes. The result is delicious gluten free donuts! 

Donuts need a glaze, so if you aren't worried about a little extra sugar here's the glaze recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 teaspoons coconut creamer (or non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Stir everything together until you have a nice thick glaze (you may need more creamer/milk as you go). Once the donuts have cooled put a little glaze on top and devour before the raccoons come find you. ;)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Another letter.

Dear Christmas Marketing Team,

Would you be so kind as to give it a rest already? We get it Christmas is around the corner, but let's not forget what that corner is...Thanksgiving! I love this poor holiday that is forever being steamrolled by your sparkly lights, bedazzled gift wrap, fat bearded men in red suits, holiday sales, sales on top of the holiday sales, and the ever frightening Black Friday.

Thanksgiving is a sweet time to come together, eat yummy food, and just enjoy people's company without the grand consumerism hoopla that has become the driving force of many holidays. I love eating food, and the only thing I love more that eating food is getting to eat as much food as my body can physically hold without any judgement from anyone else in the room as everyone else has done the same. So my not-so-friends on the marketing team if you could cool your freaking jets till at least the Monday after Thanksgiving that would be devine.


P.S. If you could also wait until at least December 1st to play your music that would more than ideal. I feel like a weird fish out of water listing to "The Little Drummer Boy" while shopping for my Halloween costume. <- Yes that is a frightening real story.

I saw this on Pinterest and you best believe I'm doing this on Thursday!
Happy almost Thanksgiving guys!! It is less than a week away!! How fast has this year flown by? I mean really??? It seems like only yesterday I was complaining that Hallmark makes to much money off of Valentines Day and here I am ranting about Christmas music. (I swear guys I really am a happy go lucky kind of gal, lol!)

In the spirit of all food Thanksgiving I pieced together an amazing Meal Plan for the day filled with vegan gluten-free recipes. And I wanted to take a moment to talk about it a little more in detail before we all go out food shopping this weekend!

  • 10 Amazing recipes that are sure to make everyones mouth water
    • Keep them Eating Greens, Brussels Sprouts
    • Coconut Butternut Squash Soup
    • Tahitian Squash Bites
    • Spaghetti Squash Pesto Wraps
    • Rosemary Red Potatoes
    • Mashed Cauliflower w/ Miso Mushroom Gravy
    • Easy Breezy Roasted Veggies
    • Acorn Squash stuffed with Sweet Potato/Leek/Quinoa Stuffing
    • Pumpkin Pie Churros
    • Candy Caramel Apples
  • Winter Squash health facts
  • Pre-made shopping list
Here's some photos of the food!

Tahitian Squash Bites (as seen in last post)

Spaghetti Squash Pesto Wraps
Sweet Potato Stuffing topped with Mashed Cauliflower Smothered in Miso Mushroom Gravy!!

Stuffed Acorn Squash (cut in half so you can see the YUMMY inside!)

Pumpkin Pie Churros. Need I say more?

So my dear friends, if you are looking for some recipes to add to this years Thanksgiving Day table I have some options for you! Click on the "Thanksgiving Day Meal Plan" tab here on the blog and get one! I'm pretty darn sure you won't regret it! I mean, what's $5really... a coffee at an over priced cafe, or an entire Thanksgiving meal plan! :)

Happy happy happy happy Thanksgiving to you! Eat, drink, be merry, and try not to stress about Great Aunt Hilda's bad breath at the dinner table! :) Xoxo!

Monday, November 12, 2012

We Started Singing....

In my head right now I am singing that one song "The day the music died... they started singing bye bye Miss American Pie..."and I have no idea why, but I'm sure you will have it stuck in your head soon too. Just wait, its like a silent killer.... "Drove the chevy to the levy but the levy was dry..."

Perhaps it is stuck in my head as this has been the longest in between posts, and I feel like this song almost applies to me and the blog! But don't worry the reason I have seemed to be singing "bye bye" is because I have been working on TONS of recipes! So many that I have created a collection for this fine holiday we have coming up that is centered all around gratitude and food!!!! Check this out:

Its a mini cookbook all in honor of Thanksgiving!
So there are side, appetizer, soup, entree, and dessert recipes all rolled into this one awesome creation! I'm super happy with it, and it comes with some nutritional information and a shopping list. I hope hope hope you like it too!! As a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this (*side note, what an odd saying*) I am going to be selling it online for $5. So if you are in the mood this holiday season to eat right, and go about it the easy way then let me help you out! Click on the "Thanksgiving Day Meal Plan" tab and get yours today! It is 100% vegan, gluten-free, and delicious!

To entice you to check out the meal plan, here is a free-bee! 

Tahitian Squash Bites (or Butternut Squash)
serves 6-10 as an appetizer
gluten free

1 large Tahitian squash (or butternut squash)*
½ cup green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons tamari (gluten free)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the squash into rounds (about and inch thick). Rub the pieces of squash with a little bit of oil and place in a large baking dish. Cook the squash for 40-45 minutes.

While the squash is cooking mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.

Once the squash is finished and has cooled to a handling temperature peel the squash, and cut into shapes (I opted to make little circles); then plate on your serving tray. Using a pastry brush dip the brush into the sauce you made, and brush a little of the sauce on each piece of squash. Then using a fork or slotted spoon scoop out the green onion and place on top of each squash piece.

*Tahitian Squash looks very similar to a butternut squash but has a darker coloring on the outside, and has a sweeter taste. Making it ideal for these little bites.