Pumpkin Tofu Scramble

Back in my early days of having this blog, I tried a recipe that a friend invented for a pumpkin tofu scramble. I even posted about it right here, with a link to the original recipe. At the time, I planned to continue playing around with the recipe and eventually post my version. Then a long time went by! I still make this fairly often, I’ve pretty much settled on a favorite way to do it, and recently a friend asked me for a tofu scramble recipe for a new vegan, so I decided it was time to finally get this post up. Here it is! It’s really the unique combination of spices that make this recipe a favorite of mine, but in your kitchen you should try spice combos that make you happy!

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 block (12-14oz) extra firm tofu
10-12 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sage
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp thyme
1/2 – 1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
tiny pinch of cloves
1 can pumpkin puree
several handfuls of chopped kale or other leafy greens
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar + more as needed
1/4 – 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
soy sauce, hot sauce, etc to taste

Heat the oil over medium heat in a pot or large pan. Saute the garlic for about a minute. Crumble the tofu with your hands (or mash it up in a bowl first if you’re not into that) and stir it in with the garlic. I usually try to cook the tofu till it’s slightly browned, but that can take a long time and/or lead to burnt tofu, so if it doesn’t quite get to the point…it’s okay, you tried. While the tofu is cooking, you can combine all your spices and then add them all at once when ready. Now add the entire can of pumpkin puree, kale, and apple cider vinegar. Stir this all together. Turn the heat down a bit and let it continue cooking till the kale reaches the texture you’ll want in your mouth. Add more apple cider vinegar if it seems to be getting too dry (or add some soy sauce now if you like). Stir in the nutritional yeast. Add soy sauce and/or hot sauce to taste.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Black Bean Soup with Roasted Butternut Squash

I made a tasty new fall soup tonight!

1 butternut squashed, cubed
pinch of salt + pepper
1-2 Tbsp olive oil plus some to drizzle on the squash
1 medium onion, diced
12-15 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 heaping Tbsp sage powder or equivalent in fresh sage
1 tsp chipotle powder (just leave it out or use sweet smoked paprika if you’re not into heat)
6 cups veg broth
1 can beans
splash of apple cider vinegar
nutritional yeast to taste

Preheat the oven to 425F. Drizzle some olive oil on the cubed squash and add a little salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30min, stirring occasionally.

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Saute onions for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cilantro. Add sage and chipotle. Pour in the veg broth and add the roasted squash cubes. Bring the heat down to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Add black beans and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar and nutritional yeast. I served it with quinoa, use whatever you like!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Purple Pasta!

Hi, I’m Danni and I really really like purple.

I saw a video on Facebook that was like, hey, get all these purple vegetables and make purple pasta!

So I got all these purple vegetables
[image: from left to right – purple cabbage, purple cauliflower, purple kale, several beets (roots and greens), jar of kalamata olive tapenade, purple carrots bunched together in a purple rubber band, red onion, eggplant]

and made purple pasta!

I chopped the eggplant, beet roots, 3 of the carrots and 1/2 of the onion, coated them in olive oil (about 2 Tbsp), added salt (a pinch), pepper (about a Tbsp) and Vulcan Fire Salt (1 tsp – use whatever you like to use to make things hot, or don’t if you’re not into that!) about 16 cloves of minced garlic, and roasted them at 400F for 30 minutes, stirring about halfway through the roast time.
[image: chopped veggies on a baking tray]

While they were roasting, I boiled the water and cooked the spaghetti (about 1lb uncooked).

Once the roasted veggies were done, I let them cool for a little while so they wouldn’t explode my blender. I chopped the other veggies while the roasting ones were cooling — the other 1/2 onion, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale — and started sauteing the onion, followed by the cauliflower and cabbage, in some olive oil.

I put the slightly-cooled veggies in the blender with about 1 cup of veg broth and 1/2 cup lemon juice (I started with 1/2 cup broth and 1/4 cup lemon juice, but it really needed more). You might find a food processor is better for this step — I have a REALLY good blender and it took a fair amount of effort to get everything blended (though ultimately it did work!)
[image: blender full of bright purple sauce]

Then I mixed everything together — sauteed veggies, kale, spaghetti, and sauce!
[image: bowl of spaghetti with purple sauce, with specks of green which are the kale leaves]

I thought about adding black beans too, and probably will do that next time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cream of Arugula Soup

I had an abundance of arugula and I wanted do something new with it, so this creamy soup idea was born. I don’t usually put carrots in soup because I dislike the texture of cooked carrots, but I had some I needed to use up and once they’re pureed I’m happy to eat them (I like the taste, it’s just a texture thing!). It came out pretty yummy, though I was surprised the color didn’t end up greener! I served it with quinoa.

3/4 cup cashews, soaked for a couple hours, then rinsed/drained
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice + more to taste
2 Tbsp soy butter or olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
3 large carrots or equivalent in baby carrots
9-12 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb arugula
1 bunch parsley (chop it if that’s easier on your blender)
any other greens you might have lying around
4 cups veg broth
Kidney Beans, Smoked-Ham Style
black pepper and nutritional yeast as desired

Combine the soaked cashews, water, and lemon juice in the blender. Blend till creamy. Set aside. Don’t worry about it if there are still some cashew chunks — it’s going back in the blender once more before you’ll serve it!

Melt the butter / heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion and carrots for a few minutes, then add the garlic and keep it going a few more minutes. Add arugula, parsley, any other greens you’ve got, and veg broth. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the greens are tender. Stir in the cashew cream. Remove from the heat and let cool for a bit so your blender doesn’t go KABLOOPF (unless you’re using an immersion blender, in which case, have at it). Blend in batches, then return to the pot. Stir in the kidney beans. Add lemon juice, pepper, and nutritional yeast to your heart’s content!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kidney Beans, Smoked-Ham Style

I’ve been experimenting with adding this to soups and all kinds of things that are improved by a “smoked ham” flavor and texture. It’s my new favorite food magic trick!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can kidney beans, rinsed/drained
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
pinch of black pepper

Heat olive oil in a pan, over medium heat. Saute the beans for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once they’re starting to get a little crispy, add paprika and pepper. Continue sauteing until they’re the texture you want. If I’m adding them to soup, I like to cook them so they’re a little crisper than I want them, since they will lose some texture once added to the soup.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Review: Tofurky Deli Slices

When I find a food I really like, I tend to stick with it. Years ago, I discovered that I really like Tofurky brand Peppered Deli Slices, and that’s what I always put on my sandwiches. Last week when I went to the store to buy them, there were none on the shelf. Rather than despairing, I decided to take the opportunity to try some new flavors and review them for the blog.

Oven Roasted: This one is the “plain” flavor. It really is quite plain. It is very salty though, and there’s just not much other flavor besides the salt. It’s not bad, perfectly suitable for some low-intensity meaty sandwich slices.

Hickory Smoked: I almost couldn’t tell the difference between this flavor and the Oven Roasted. It’s maybe a little bit smokier, but not dramatically. The ingredients list is identical to the Oven Roasted.

Italian: The texture of the sun-dried tomatoes in the slices was so off-putting for me that I couldn’t really tell whether I otherwise enjoyed the flavor, unfortunately.

Bologna: These actually taste better than they smell, which was a relief once I put one in my mouth. I’d only ever eaten bologna a couple of times before I went vegan, and only vaguely remember what it tasted like, but this seems like a pretty close match to what I remember. I don’t love it and probably wouldn’t buy it again, but I wouldn’t turn down a sandwich with this on it if someone handed it to me.

Roast Beef: This one was probably the best of the bunch. It doesn’t really resemble what I remember of roast beef, but the flavor is still pretty tasty. I also probably wouldn’t buy this again, but I’d pick this over the bologna for sure.

Smoked Ham: This one was nearly inedible. I had to force myself to finish a single slice. I think it might actually taste like ham, which may have been why it was off-putting to me, but I can’t say for sure as I don’t actually remember having ever eaten ham in my life. If you like(d) ham and want to try this, let me know what you think!

In conclusion, the Peppered slices are still by far my favorite, and I hope they’re back in stock soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Review: Louisville Vegan Jerky

A little over a year ago, I learned about a new vegan jerky company called Louisville Vegan Jerky. I went to their website to see where I could buy some. At the time, the product was only available in physical stores, not for online sale, and the locations were nowhere near me. However, there was an intriguing note: vegan food bloggers could email the company and receive a free sample pack in exchange for writing a review of their product.

“Oho!” said I. “I am a vegan food blogger! This applies to me!” I emailed them, received my package, devoured the jerky, and then…didn’t write that blog post. Whoops. I was in the middle of moving, my life got very chaotic, I just didn’t get a chance to do it. And by the time I finally did have time, I didn’t remember enough about the products to write a review. Uh-oh. So I’ve been stricken with guilt ever since.

A few weeks ago, I saw an ad for this product which made me think, hmm, I wonder if they’re selling it online now. Sure enough, I was able to purchase a sample pack through their website. The price was a little steep; I probably would not have bought this at that price if it weren’t for the free-pack/write-a-review agreement that I had failed at previously. That said, I enjoyed the product enough that I would consider purchasing it again at that price — infrequently, but certainly as an “occasional treat” item.

The flavors in the pack I originally received were a little different from the flavors in the new pack. The original pack contained 4 flavors: Sriracha Maple, Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper, Bourbon Smoked Chipotle, and Sesame Teriyaki. The new pack contained 5 flavors: Sriracha Maple, Smoked Black Pepper, Smoked Chipotle, Maple Bacon, and Smokey Carolina BBQ. The ingredients lists for the “Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper” and the “Bourbon Smoked Chipotle” are identical to the ingredients lists for the “Smoked Black Pepper” and “Smoked Chipotle” respectively — none of them contain bourbon.

Overall, I definitely recommend this jerky. I prefer the texture over any other gluten-based vegan jerky I’ve tried.

Here are my reviews for each flavor, which I tasted in random order.

Smoked Black Pepper: This one is very tasty. It’s not particularly spicy, and has no unusual stand-out flavors. It is delicious, a solid jerky flavor, but it doesn’t taste especially smoky or peppery. Just plain ol’ tasty vegan jerky.

Smoked Chipotle: This one has a good smell to it which I enjoyed even before putting it in my mouth. The smokiness comes through nicely. The heat is pretty mild and doesn’t really come through until after I’ve finished chewing; as a spicy food lover I would have preferred that kick to happen right away and for the chipotle flavor to really come through. But the taste is great. This is definitely one of my favorites.

Maple Bacon: This one surprised me by being a slightly different texture than the others. It’s a little tougher, bit of a denser mouth-feel. The flavor is very nice, the smokiness and sweetness balance each other well (a little heavier on the sweet than the smoky). It is also very tasty.

Smokey Carolina BBQ: I’m not that into this one. The Dijon mustard overpowers all the other flavors in an unpleasant way, and the only other flavor I can make out is just “too sweet”. This is the only one I really disliked.

Sriracha Maple: This one is my favorite. The heat hits the minute I put it in my mouth and lingers after I’ve finished chewing. The savory and sweet flavors balance perfectly. YUM.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment