Food Friday: Delicious Vegan No-Knead Bread

 

FINALLY!

We finally found a homemade vegan bread recipe that turns out beautifully with minimal effort. Recently, we had a Pampered Chef party at our house (seriously considering being a consultant) and we got a ton of stuff. One of my most dreamed about purchases is the Deep Covered Baker. Not only does it come in a beautiful deep cranberry color, but you can do tons of different things with it – including making bread!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker
  • KitchenAid (or similar) stand mixer
  • Patience

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (use Wholesome Sweeteners – it’s vegan!)
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees F)

 

Recipe:

  • Lightly oil Deep Covered Baker (I use an oil sprayer, but a light brushing with a pastry brush works too)
  • In KitchenAid stand mixer (or large 11+ cup food processor), combine dry ingredients in large bowl
  • While machine is running on low, add hot water slowly until dough forms into a ball and starts to thump around
  • Once the dough ball starts thumping, let it spin 20 times in the bowl.
  • Place dough into greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel (not washcloth – don’t want fibers getting on the dough)
  • Let rise 15 minutes
  • Punch down 1-3 times and shape into a large loaf
  • Place loaf in Deep Covered Baker
  • Cut a slit in top of loaf (long ways) with a flour-tipped knife (so the dough won’t stick). Create diagonal slits from the center line so you have a branch/leaf look on the top of your bread (this helps it rise – it’s not for decoration)
  • Put the lid on the Deep Covered Baker and place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 400 degrees and bake for 50 minutes
  • NO PEEKING!! The bread is rising beautifully – I promise!
  • After 50 minutes, remove from oven and turn bread out onto cooling rack.

 

vegan bread

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vegan, no knead bread

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2015?! Already?

Well, we did not see this coming. Actually, we did it coming, but wow! 2015 just snuck up on us. As you might imagine, the days between Thanksgiving and New Years are a bit of a blur. Between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday (still haven’t gotten that one down), and then Holiday Shopping madness, we woke up on New Years Day only to realize it was time to do our yearly inventory!

 

But here’s the good news: then we took a vacation!

 

True story. We packed our bags and headed to the Azores off the coast of Portugal for a week. We’ll have some pictures soon.

 

While climbing volcanic mountains on vacations, we made some resolutions for 2015. Here’s to sticking to writing more blogs – one of the many resolutions we made!

Food Friday: Gluten Free, Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

Growing up in the south, I’m pretty familiar with good ole country food – grits, sweet tea, chicken-fried meats, and anything made with bacon, lard, and butter. Biscuits and gravy are no exception. I’m not so much a fan of biscuits and gravy, but occasionally, the craving hits me.  As it should happen, a recipe found its way into my inbox and with a little vegan magic (and a lot of googling), here’s a recipe for gluten-free biscuits & gravy.

 

Biscuits

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cold Earth Balance buttery spread

Gravy

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 Tablespoon tamari
  • fresh black pepper to taste

 

PREPARATION

Biscuits:

  1. Place butter in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°
  3. Lightly oil a baking sheet or place a piece of parchment paper over the baking sheet.
  4. Combine coconut milk, water and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. In a medium size bowl, add rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dried basil and dried dill. Gently stir to combine.
  6. Add cold buttery spread to flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or two knives to incorporate. Don’t overmix, it will lead to hard biscuits.
  7. Pour in the coconut milk/apple cider mixture and stir until just combined.
  8. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of batter at a time on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes.

Gravy:

  1. Melt vegan butter in a large skillet and saute the onions and garlic for 5 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms, herbs, and salt and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally so that mushrooms don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. In a small mixing bowl add the water and the rice flour and whisk to combine.
  4. Slowly add water mixture to the mushrooms and stir to combine.
  5. Add tamari and cook on low for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until gravy thickens.
  6. Pour warm gravy over warm biscuits.

 

Veganly Yours,

 

Megan

Food Friday: Vegan Chai Frappucino

I became addicted to Starbucks chai lattes years and years ago. The sweet & spicy flavors blended so well with mellow soy milk that I couldn’t get enough. Eventually, I quit Starbucks cold turkey. Only occasionally do I pop in  – mostly because we’ve found a great little indie coffee place in downtown Raleigh called The Morning Times (more on them another day).

 

Earlier this week, an email from Amy’s Healthy Baking appeared in my inbox and sure enough, she had a recipe for a frozen chai treat. After whipping up Amy’s recipe, I made a few modifications and came up with another great version. Head over to Amy’s Healthy Baking – she’s got tons of great recipes: some are vegan & some are veganizable!!

 

Vegan Chai Frappucino

1 c super strong chai tea, chilled
½ c almond milk
1 tsp organic cane sugar (I use wholesome sweeteners)
2 c ice cubes
  1. Steep the chai for 30-45 minutes (the longer, the stronger) in freshly boiled water
  2. Put chai in fridge to chill it (about 20 minutes)
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a blender, and pulse until smooth.

Note: I’d be willing to bet you could make a bunch of chai at once, keep in a airtight container in the fridge and make a frappucino as often as you like. I may have to try this… 

 

Food Friday: Inspiralized Vegan Lemongrass Thai Green Curry Soup with Zucchini Noodles

By Megan Vick

 

When I got this recipe in my feed the other day, I am fairly certain I actually drooled. At my desk.

 

I’ll be honest, I haven’t had a chance to make this yet because we’ve been getting some big orders and making soap like crazy (more on that later). But this looks seriously delicious and further cements my girl-crush on Miss Inspiralized (aka Ali). Check this amazing-ness out: Vegan Lemongrass Thai Green Curry Soup with Zucchini

 

Yummy!!!!

 

Photo respectfully borrowed from Inspiralized.com courtesy of Ali Maffucci

Photo respectfully borrowed from Inspiralized.com courtesy of Ali Maffucci

 

 

 

Family Vacation: Vegas Baby! Cirque du Soleil

By Megan Vick

 

Las Vegas at Night

 

Las Vegas – there are no words. It has something (lots of things) for just about every person under the sun. When we are not on vacation, we spend a lot of time planning our next Cirque du Soleil show. (True story… Can you be a Cirque groupie? I want to be that when I grow up.) Since my mom and I are dancers by nature (with the training to back it up), we completely geek out over every show. For years, we’ve day dreamed about taking a trip to Vegas just to see Cirque shows. We figured, since we’re going to Vegas – better make it count!

Now, some of you may scoff at the idea of seeing so many Cirque shows due to ticket price – and I will admit that good seats don’t come cheap. However, I know you all know that person who lost $400 at blackjack in 10 minutes. When you consider that you could spend an hour and a half at a Cirque show with some friends for the same price – well… I’ll let you choose your priority.

 

Unfortunately, I don’t have many photos, because, well, they get REALLY mad at you if you take photos during the performance. So in fear of having my phone taken from me by the clowns of Cirque, I sacrificed having pictures.

 

The Cirque Shows:

  • KA – MGM Grand
  • Zumanity – New York, New York
  • O – Bellagio
  • Love – The Mirage

 

KA is an indescribably beautiful show with visuals that make it hard to believe it’s a live show. KA features a moving stage on which the performers dance, battle each other, and spend quite a bit of time flirting with the edge. The story is incredibly strong – the strongest story I’ve seen in a Cirque show – and very easy to follow and enjoy. With wonderful acrobatics, acting, and character development, everyone will love KA for sure.

 

Zumanity was my personal favorite, but I’ve been antsy to see it since it opened 10 years ago. Zumanity claims to be “The Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil” and they do not disappoint. There are tons of laughs, tons of boobies, and performances for straights, gays, and some fetish people too. While this was my favorite, I don’t recommend for those uncomfortable with swearing, nudity, or anyone who errs on the conservative side. Zumanity was my favorite because at the end – nothing about you matters – it’s all about enjoying life and accepting those around you. A very good message regardless of personal beliefs.

 

O was a curious show for me. It was the most anticipated because it’s the original “water show.” There was a large pool with a floor that moved over it in different ways and patterns for a visual effect that is unparalleled.  The colors and costuming are incredible, but I found it lacked a solid story to keep my interest. If you go to this show, sit mid-way back and think of it as an array of acrobatic acts that are individual instead of thinking there will be a link throughout the performances.

 

Love is the show inspired by Beatles music. My parents being HUGE Beatles fans (Mom saw them in concert twice – that’s right… twice!), were giddy with excitement to see Love. While they thoroughly enjoyed it, they both agreed it was similar to O as it lacked a strong story line. The colors and effects were incredible – including an exploding VW Bug.

 

There is also an entire post dedicate to Criss Angel: BeLIEve. It’s totally worth your time.

 

 

Over all, the Cirque du Soleil shows were phenomenal. Mystere was on a one-week vacation for the exact week we visited, so I guess we’ll just have to go back to Vegas again. Oh shucks…

Fun Fact: Mystere is the show Paul Rudd & Seth Rogen see on psychedelic mushrooms in the move, Knocked Up.

 

Stay tuned for more fun-filled vacation posts, Food Fridays, and other Shorganics Shenanigans.

 

 

Food Friday: Vegan, No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake

By Megan Vick

 

Holy vegan dessert, Batman! This vegan peanut butter chocolate cheesecake will KNOCK your socks off. It’s easy to make and can be eaten right away – that’s correct! No line, no waiting! The original recipe can be found here and let me tell you – this is just as mouth-watering as it sounds!

 

VEGAN PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

 

INGREDIENTS

For the crust

  • 1 ¼ cup gluten-free pretzels
  • 6-8 tbsp. vegan butter, melted
  • ¼ cup raw turbinado sugar

For the pie

  • ½ cup vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup raw sugar
  • ½ cup vegan whipped cream
  • 2 cup vegan chocolate whipped cream

PREPARATION

For the crust

  1. Put the pretzels in a food processor and grind them into crumbs.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pretzel crumbs, the raw sugar and the melted vegan butter.
  3. Mix with your hands until it is all combined and sticking together. If it doesn’t feel sticky, add more melted butter. Press the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate including the sides.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For the pie

  1. In a bowl, combine the vegan cream cheese, the peanut butter and the raw sugar. Beat with the electric hand mixer until it is smooth. Fold in the whipped cream gently. Spoon the filling into the pie shell, cover and return to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  2. When the pie and filling have chilled, cover the pie with the chocolate whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings, pretzels or your favorite topping. You can refrigerate the pie longer to let it set more or you can serve it right away.

 

Enjoy!!