Collecting the currage to tackle curry (yes, I meant to spell that wrong)

For the last four years, I’ve been afraid to tackle anything curry, Thai or Indian related. While I absolutely adore the food, I was pretty sure that I couldn’t even begin to understand the mysterious ways of all those spices, coconut milk and curry.

So for the last four years of my vegan life (because I didn’t know Thai or Indian existed before then), I’ve been quenching my thirst for spicy and flavorful food by ordering out. A lot.

I’m lucky to have a few pretty kick-butt Thai and Indian places around my city, but since I’ve been trying to slim our food budget down, our take out consumption has as well.

So finally, with some inspiration from my friend, The Tofu Princess, I decided to tackle a delicious Thai dish of my own.

Disclaimer: I do in fact know there is a considerable difference in Thai and Indian food (particularly their curries). But because the ingredients I had on hand were more Thai-like, we went ahead and rolled with it.

This is shown with some tangy vegan coleslaw, tune in tomorrow for this recipe!

Curry currage wraps
(Serves 4-6)
Ingredients:
1 onion diced up
1 lb bag of frozen vegetables, I used the typical broccoli, carrot and cauliflower concoction (you can of course use fresh, but we’re on vacation and I’m lazy)
15 oz can chickpeas (because seriously, they make everything better)
2 tsp tumeric
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp corriander
1 TBS curry powder
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup minced garlic
15 oz can coconut milk
2 TBS sugar
2 cups cooked brown rice
6-8 pita wraps (tortilla would work too)

Directions:
Boil the frozen veggies and carrots for about 5 minutes (we want to start the cooking process, but we don’t want to complete it).
Throw them in a wide saucepan and mix in coconut milk, curry, corriander, tumeric, cumin, ginger, garlic, sugar, salt and chickpeas.
Cook for 10-15 minutes on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Let cool for 5 minutes and then toss some brown rice and curried veggies in a pita and you’re done!

This is a seriously simple curry dish for those who are fearful of all it’s powers (like me). Don’t be afraid to give it a try!

The perfect side for your perfect picnic

About a month ago my husband and I decided to step out of our boring rut we’d found ourselves in and started going on more picnics. On Mondays and Tuesdays — days when my husband and I both get out early enough to enjoy the day still — we found ourselves packing the same boring things: lunch «meat» sandwiches, fruit and carrot sticks. Seriously, we were one milk box shy of being in fourth grade all over again.

So finally I started recreating picnic favorites from our past, things like macaroni and fruit salad and chocolate chip cookies.

We definitely spiced up our picnics with things from our past, so here’s a macaroni salad to take you WAY back.

Pasta from your past

(Makes a WHOLE bunch)

Ingredients:

1lb cooked pasta of your choice (elbow macaroni if you’re really throwing back)

2 cups Vegenaise

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

4 roma tomatoes diced up

1 large onion diced up

2 cucumbers diced up

1 can chickpeas

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tsps mustard powder

Directions:

Boil the pasta (al dente) and then fold in vegenaise. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and mustard powder. Dice up veggies and add tomatoes, onion, cucumbers and chickpeas. Refrigerate for an hour and then enjoy! 

Apple Pie a la Muffin

Let me tell you how my morning went.

For starters, I went to bed way too late. Why is it that I decide at 11 p.m. that all the dishes in the sink need to be washed, the overflowing pile of laundry laundered and the war-zone of Pearyn’s toys tamed? Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment (or I just suffer from serious micromanagement, whichever).

So I get up and stumble into the bathroom to try and conquer my morning breath, which, is pretty normal, except while picking fuzz (dear God I hope it was just fuzz) out of my hair I drop a giant blob of bling-blinging white toothpaste on my favorite, cozy, wear-every-single-night-if-it’s-not-dirty tank top. Ladies, you know which one I’m talking about. It’s worn in (but not so worn in that it looks sloppy), it’s comfortable and it makes you look good. This is essential for me in the mornings. And now, I’m going to have to wait a good two-three days to wash said heavenly tank top because as I said earlier, I already tackled our mountain of cloth diapers, hubby’s work uniforms and my random items of casual business attire.

I know, it’s another one of Chubby Vegan Mom’s drawn out, has-no-point stories.

Except I do.

So while I absolutely detest, seriously detest breakfast and all things morning food, I decided the only way to turn my day around was to start it off with some super scrumptious, dessert-disguised-as-breakfast, snack. That’s right, friends. I ate dessert for breakfast two (count them), two days in a row (oh no she didn’t!)

And while your sweet tooth probably doesn’t rival mine, I guarantee you’re going to want to save this recipe for one of your rainy days (or you know, one of those «drop a giant glob of toothpaste on your favorite tank top» days).

Apple Pie a la Muffin
(Makes 24 mini-muffins, because everything is better mini)
Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (lets get a little goodness in there)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup almond milk (with a tablespoon of lemon extract added to it, let it sit for 5 minutes)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups diced apple (I used pink ladies because their super sweet and crisp)
2 tsp vanilla
1 TBS cinnamon (plus some to sprinkle)
Hazelnuts (to sprinkle on top)
Raw, big, fat crystal sugar (to sprinkle on top)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Take one large or two medium apples and dice them up super tiny.
Throw them into a pan with 1 stick of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. (You’re essentially creating the «apple pie» filling here.
In a bowl, mix flour, white sugar, almond milk, apple juice, applesauce, vanilla and 1 TBS cinnamon.

Fold in gooey, buttery, baked apple mixture. Spoon into greased mini-muffin tins. Top with crunchy sugar and hazelnuts to taste (or whatever nut your heart desires).
Bake for 12-15 minutes (or until golden brown on the outside and springy in the middle.

Now, what was I complaining about?

Fab Five Friday: VeganMofo Week Three

Can you believe we’re already ending our third week of VeganMofo? Even though it’s demanded my attention a little more than I could handle at times, I can honestly say I’m going to be sad to see it end. Not only has it been amazing to expand and test my cooking abilities, I’ve gotten interested in so many new and exciting vegan blogs throughout the month of October (and hopefully a few of you have found mine!)

Speaking of new and exciting bloggers, this week’s Fab Five Friday will take a closer look at some of the kick-butt recipes VeganMofo has seen over the last few days.

Settle in and get ready to be seriously hungry, here are my fab five picks for this week (in no particular order): 

No. 1) Vegangela’s blog about homemade vegan cheese left me literally drooling. While her transition to a vegan diet may not have revolved around cheese, mine definitely did and still does, so I can’t wait to give this baked wheel a whirl. I need to get me some agar on the giddy up.

No. 2) Veggie Terrain’s chickpea salad sammies look like the perfect vessel to melt some of the prior-mentioned cheese on. Chickpea melts anyone? My husband and I have toyed around with chickpea spreads, but we haven’t seen the results Veggie Terrain did. Pair a quick and yummy recipe with stunning photos and you’ve got a seriously winning blog.

No. 3) The Tofu Cottage’s recipe for acorn squash risotto looks like the perfect dish for this dreary, chilly fall day we’re facing in Ohio. Not to mention I’m a complete sucker for risottos — who isn’t? They sound so grown up and fancy, but their ingredients are usually clean and delicious. Plus, who can resist a creamy full-of-fall-flavor dish?

No. 4) Just do yourself a HUGE favor and wander on over to the Fork and Bean blog. I can’t even pick between all the crazy amazing homemade vegan candies this woman is churning out. You can’t go wrong with any of the posts at Fork and Bean. This blog appeals to my curiosity in the vegan candy making process and my incredible sweet tooth.

No.5) Different Shades of Green is cooking up some pumpkin and black bean enchiladas. I’m a big fan of pumpkin in my desserts and baked goods, but I’ve been a little hesitant to incorporate them into my savory dishes. These enchiladas might just be the transition I need. And let’s just give her photography a little shout out, because I’m convinced she could make anything on a plate look good.

Think you have a recipe that I’m absolutely crazy not to try? Email me at Amanda@chubbyveganmom.com and you just might see your dish featured next Friday!

Don’t forget to tune into Week Four of VeganMofo here at Chubby Vegan Mom, we’ll be going out in style, with desserts and a super awesome giveaway! 

Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls mom would NOT approve of

Let’s face it. There’s absolutely no point in eating cinnamon rolls if they’re not ooey, gooey, sticky and so full of sugar you feel like they’re giving you a cavity right there on the spot.

And not only are the dry, low-fat, «healthy» versions of these bad boys fail to excite the taste buds, cinnamon rolls are a pain in the butt to make.

I get a craving for cinnamon rolls at least once a month, but because they require so much effort I usually settle for toast with butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it. It’s not so much that they’re hard to make, there’s just a real process to doing it right and I usually don’t start making them early enough to qualify as «breakfast.»

But for the special occasion when I make these sugar-filled, doughy, rolls of perfection, (for visitors, Saturday coffee with the women folk), they come out flawlessly.

A little more high maintenance of a breakfast, but so worth the effort when you’ve got an insatiable craving.

Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls
(Makes 12-14 rolls)
Ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1 Flaxseed egg (1 TBS flaxseed to 1 1/2 TBS warm water, let it sit for 5 minutes)

Filling Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Icing Ingredients:
4 TBS butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup almond milk (you want this icing to be a sort of glaze.)

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and yeast. Fold in almond milk, butter, applesauce, flaxseed egg and oil into try ingredients. Form into a ball and let it sit in bowl, covered with a towel, for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Once dough has settled, roll into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Mix together filling ingredients and baste rolled rectangle dough with sugary, cinnamon mixture. Roll long side to long side, pinch ends and then cut into 12-14 slices. Place in greased cake pan (so the dough can soak up the gooey inside) and bake for 15-20 minutes. Mix up icing/glaze and pour over hot rolls to create an ooey, gooey, perfectly moist cinnamon bun. Top with pecan pieces if you’re feeling wild.

Now this my friends, is the RIGHT way to end week one of VeganMofo.

Vegan S’mores … sans campfire

Marshmallows.

They’re this rare and elusive vegan item. I can say without a doubt that they don’t have any in-store vegan marshmallows within a 100-mile radius of my home (possibly even further, I’m just being lazy and not doing the math here).

I had my first vegan marshmallow last Valentine’s Day. My husband was sweet enough to order some of the Sweet and Sara variety and let me tell you, they were oh so magical. Are they going to turn a marshmallow nonbeliever into a believer? Maybe not. Are they going to soothe your craving for sugary, puffy goodness? Definitely.

And now that we have vegan marshmallows, there’s nothing we can’t do!

Including s’mores, a campfire favorite.

Only, I was campfireless, so we melted these bad boys down instead. And they turned out as ooey and gooey as you could imagine.

S’mores sans campfire
(Serves 10-12)
Ingredients:
6 ounce package of marshmallows (we wanted the traditional s’more flavor so we went with vanilla)
1/2 stick butter
1 cup chocolate chunks (Enjoy Life makes a super awesome «chunk» variety)
4 cups graham cracker cereal (we found a non-honey variety at our local health food store)

Directions:
In a saucepan on low-mediumish heat (we’re talking like a 3 or 4 on a stove that goes to 9), melt butter and marshmallows.
Once a delicious, sugary goop, remove from heat and stir in cereal and chocolate chunks. Feel free to add chocolate chunks if you’re a chocohalic.
Line a casserole dish or round cake pan with parchment paper (DO NOT skip the parchment paper. It will be a seriously sticky mess you don’t want to deal with) and pour s’mores into it, pack down. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then serve.

The lemon chickpea patty that could …

I apologize friends, but I’m probably going to neglect my personal anecdotes when it comes to week two of VeganMofo. The Chubby Vegan Clan packed up, hauled off and is spending a week-long vacation in Hilton Head.

So far we’ve gotten wild and crazy strolling on the boardwalk and chilling by the pool (the indoor one because it hasn’t stopped raining since we got here, figures).

But fear not friends, I happened to cook up a few things before we left the Buckeye State and will be entertaining you with delicious lunches all week. And who knows, considering how anti-vegan this island is, we just might cook up some Chubby Vegan lunch, vacation-style.

Stay tuned.

Lemon Chickpea Patties (that can … and do)
Serves (4-6)
Ingredients:
2 15 oz cans chickpeas
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 TBS olive oil
Juice of one lemon & zest (use two lemons if you REALLY dig citrus)
Half a bunch of cilantro, diced
1/2 cup Tofutti sour cream
2 flaxseed eggs (2 TBS flaxseed and 3 TBS warm water, LET IT SIT)
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Smash up chickpeas (I don’t like to blend or purify them, you want a lumpy, gritty texture), stir in sour cream, lemon juice, zest, olive oil, flaxseed eggs, cilantro, salt and pepper. Fold in panko bread crumbs and cornmeal.
Roll into a ball and squish down, forming smallish-sized patties.
In a skillet, warm a thin coating of oil on medium heat.
Once hot, cook each patty for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Let rest on a paper town for five minutes, then enjoy on a sandwich, in a pita or by itself!

You also might like:

Your five-minute pumpkin pie fix

It’s day six of VeganMofo and I’m already sleep deprived.

Don’t worry faithful readers and fellow vegheads, I’m not complaining, I absolutely adore everything VeganMofo stands for. 


I do not, however, absolutely adore my decision to make my first week of my first Veganmofo dedicated to breakfast. Do you know how much earlier you have to get up in the morning to make breakfast?


Things in our house are hectic. Chubby Vegan Hubby is away on a business trip, I’m busy wrapping up three different projects at work (not to mention starting like eight new ones) and somewhere in between all this chaos we’re supposed to be raising a functional future member of society AND packing for our week-long getaway to Hilton Head. 


So what is a Chubby Vegan Mom supposed to cook for breakfast when she has no time (or patience, sense and focus)?


Make coffee. Big, giant pots of coffee. 


But in the spirit of VeganMofo and my favorite season in the entire world, I’m going to bless you with this super yummy, super simple pumpkin pie flavored coffee syrup recipe.

A five-minute pumpkin pie fix
(Makes 2 cups)
Ingredients:
4 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream (yes, this is crucial! We use So Delicious Coconut Vanilla Bean)
1/2 cup water
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves

Directions:
In a saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a simmer over low heat. Whisk to keep from sticking/burning.
Cook until the sugar and pumpkin is completely dissolved into the syrup. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then pour into an airtight container. Refrigerate and use within 10 days.

And the VeganMofo winner is …

First off, tens of thousands of thanks to everyone that entered! Dessert is one of my favorite things to veganize, so it’s wonderful to see that so many others enjoy it too!

Enough with the blabbering.

The winner of a cookbook of their choosing is … 

VeggieJead!

VeggieJead tweeted and left a comment on the blog asking for «the Joy of Vegan Baking! I’m trying to transition to an egg free and dairy free diet, so I think this book would be a great jumping off point!»

Congratulations! I will email you shortly for details!

Again, thanks to everyone for entering and for sticking around with Chubby Vegan Mom this whole VeganMofo.

I promise to give away something uber fun next month too!

Fab Five Friday — the VeganMofo edition

I couldn’t sleep very well last night.

It could have been the thousand cups of coffee I’d had with my super yummy homemade pumpkin pie coffee syrup, but I think it was because I was conflicted about my Fab Five Friday posts during VeganMofo. I’m already blogging like 435% more than I normally do, so was I really going to do TWO full-fledged Friday posts?

I’m dedicated to my blog routines, however, so I decided the best and fairest way to represent both Chubby Vegan Mom AND VeganMofo would be to marry the two posts. 

So for the month of October (aka the month of kick-ass vegan food), I’ve decided to dedicate my Fab Five Friday posts to some of the scrumptious and amazing things my fellow vegans are cooking up. Every Friday you’ll find me perusing the blogroll on VeganMofo and picking out some of the crazy delicious things I want to try. And then, I’ll highlight them here! 

Without further ado, here are my five picks (in no particular order) for the first week of VeganMofo:

No. 1) The Vegan Version’s recipe for Black bean and corn pie. This is something that I need to eat, like now. It started out as a hodge podge of treats from the garden and ended up a super savory pie! Dinner pies totally appeal to this Chubby Vegan Mom, mainly because I’m lazy and it allows me to throw our protein, grains and veggies all into one tasty circle!

No. 2) A,B,C Vegan’s recipe for veganizing a pecan pie. I know, you’re thinking «But Chubby Vegan Mom, it’s just a pecan pie, what’s so special about that?» I’ll tell you what I find so miraculous and special about a pecan pie. It’s basically the one dessert I refuse to make. A few years ago I was determined to make one as delicious as my aunt and sister-in-law’s nonvegan versions were and I failed. We’re talking super, mondo, EPIC failure. Since then I’ve reserved my pecans for muffins and nonsugar-goo based pies. So seeing this pie reminds me of what all my terrible veganed out pecan pies could have been.

No. 3) The Tofu Princess’ homemade recipe for Baingan Bharta has me ready to whip up a batch of naan and call it a night. I’ve been incredibly scared to make Indian food from scratch (except for the naan), mainly because it’s full of curries I can’t make taste right and spices I don’t know how to use. But this recipe is far more intriguing than scary … although, it could just be the «baingan» photos she has to go with it, ha, I’m hilarious.

No. 4) Down Home Vegan’s recipe for Not chicken enchilada soup makes me crave a chilly fall night and a vegan churro (anyone got a recipe for one of those?). Or maybe I just need to get some Mexican food in me ASAP, who knows. But I’ve been wanting to try this «reconstructed» enchilada turned soup for a long time, and Down Home Vegan does an excellent job of detailing exactly how I should go about doing that.

No. 5) While Little House on the Vegan Prairie has a ton of recipes that I’m drooling over, I couldn’t resist the chance to recognize the peanut butter pumpkin dog treats she wrote about yesterday. Not only do they include pumpkin and peanut butter (some of my favorite fall flavors), but they celebrate a very large put of our veganism — the animals. Why not show our companion animals a little love this VeganMofo and cook them up a batch of Little House on the Vegan Prairie’s dog treats?

Think you have a recipe that I’m absolutely crazy not to try? Email me at Amanda@chubbyveganmom.com and you just might see your dish featured next Friday!