Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cheese Maker's Daughter: An Introduction to Laurel's Crown

SO, I fully admit this is FAR off the vegan beaten path that I've been strolling along for the last few weeks.
Cheese is definitely NOT vegan (this much I know).
However in this case it seems that I am extremely biased and felt I simply had to voice my extreme excitement over my lovely parents' success of living what they love.
And so, the truth comes out.

I am the daughter of  cheese makers. (GASP!)

But, it didn't start with cheese.  When the can opened, more than worms spilled out, the whole worm farm came with it (literally...go see the one in our backyard!).  In addition to mini hop farms in various areas of the property, there is always plenty of fresh veggies & herbs, though growing up we were regularly limited on green peppers (Thank you Murphy-the-German Shepard-Pepper-Stealer).

Since my departure to the east side of the state five years ago to start a home of my own, things have only flourished.  A miniature vineyard (four giant rows) has taken over the backyard & the dining room became a collection of wine carboys, corking supplies, cheese fridges, mocha jack cheese, spicy mocha jack, Leidin, Badge Mountain Blue, smoky jack, smoky chipolte jack, cabs, merlots &...WHEW!!!  

...And Laurel's Crown was born.

Now, 5 years down the road, Laurel's Crown is almost ready to go public!!!  Sometime in the near future, Laurel's Crown will soon be spreading their cheesy love to the masses :)  Congrats Mommy&Daddy!

Coming Soon...

Perhaps, Soy Cheese is in their future? :)

Other Foodies I Love to LOVE.

Other Foodies I Love to LOVE.

Bake and Destroy

She has a whole selection of recipes, not just vegan.

Also, Food Puncher...her six-year-old son video blogs his mom's healthy recipe reviews.


Post Punk Kitchen

2 punk rock, political girls in the kitchen making vegan food.  Basically that's all there is.

And it's also Awesome.

I'm currently addicted to Isa Chandra Moskowitz&Terry Hope Romeros' cookbooks...found here.

Olives for Dinner

This chick has what you're looking for whether its making a sophisticated dinner for 2, vegan Rubens for a grown-up lunch meal, biscuits n' gravy for breakfast with the fam, or a dessert for a girly get-together. A wonderful collective of classic meals & WONDERFUL looking yummys, & gorgeous pics of her food that leave you starving.  

Plus,  she has a list of everything in her case you need help with your grocery list. (here)

And you guessed's Awesome. :)

Heathy. Happy. Life. 100% Vegan,

Hundreds upon hundreds of 100% vegan goodness...including millons of recipes catering to my notorious sweet tooth.  Yum YUM!!!

Plus, she has a list of her favorite vegan blogs of her own...just go HERE.

Cooking Light Magazine

I just started subscribing to Cooking Light and it has some of the tastiest looking recipes for vegan & non-vegans alike.  Most of the recipes I can't eat, I can convert or make something similar, so far, so good!  Their website has an abundance of delish recipes right on the computer in case you don't love getting mail as much as I do!!

Oh She Glows.

Sigh...I'm a sucker for good food photography.  Her pictures look wonderful & her recipes sound even better!!!

She has just about every category under the sun packed with recipe options, including a whole allergy section with recipes for low sugar, gluten-free, nut/soy allergic peeps out there.

Allergic people need to eat too, and can do it healthfully. :)


Monday, February 18, 2013

Homemade Teriyaki Take-Out

Craving of the day happens to be: Chinese.  Bonus, because there are a million things in the Chinese food 'genre' that are vegan-happy.  Yay!  Tonight's choice was a borrowed recipe from the 'Vegan with a Vengeance' cookbook.  Her cookbooks rock, but it's definitely not one of the prettiest things I've made: Wasabi mashed potatoes, sticky rice with blackened teriyaki tofu & a small cabbage side salad.

Pair with:
Vegan with a Vengeance Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
Salt n' Peppa Green Beans

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
5 Tbsp raw sugar
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
Other Cooking Stuffs:
1 pkg extra-firm tofu, drained& pressed

In a small pan, combine soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic powder (I used fresh garlic, finely chopped), and raw sugar.  In a small bowl or cup combine water and corn starch and mix briskly until thoroughly mixed.  Stir into the mixture in the pan.  Bring to a slow boil until thick, and set to simmer until served.

For the rest of the dish:
Cook rice in a pot, or in a rice cooker.  Prepare the mashed potatoes in advance.  I always add peas and corn to mine.  Chop and rinse cabbage for side salad. 


Monday, February 11, 2013

Kid-Approved Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

Of all the things I remember from my childhood, the ones I remember most are breakfasts on Saturdays.  My dad (who is actually a very good cook!) would whip up some delicious bacon, eggs, & pancakes for us and we'd drown them in syrup like all kids do. 

Since Jake and I have been together, big Saturday breakfasts seem to have made their way into being a tradition of our own.  Of course, it all got more complicated when we decided to make our eating changes and cut out half of our "normal" foods.   

My 7-year-old stepson isn't a huge fan of our new eating (so far he likes the cookies!), so as a result, we still have a non-vegan/milk drinker/hot dog eater/hamburger lover in the house.  I can't say that I'm upset.  I have countless memories of camping trips and swim meets eating all sorts of junk food.  Somehow I think my fond memories would have been different if we would have sat around roasting tofurkey dogs and noshing on vegan mac n' cheese.  

So alas, Kids must be kids.  And I have found a recipe that works for the both of us! Thank goodness.  I can eat them & he ate 2, so of course I'm ecstatic!

Vegan Blueberry Pancakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5-6 minutes

Cooking stuffs:

1 flax egg (Directions)
1 Tbsp Earth Balance butter substitute
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup (NO HONEY)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup blueberries
2 Tbsp raw sugar

In a medium sized bowl mix all your ingredients listed above, and mix thoroughly.  They should create a pancake-like thickness batter.  If it is too thick, add a bit of water or little more coconut milk.  Scoop 1/2 cup measuring onto a preheated 300 degree flat griddle.  Allow to brown on one side before flipping, approximately 2-3 minutes.  Top with maple syrup and sliced strawberries or blueberries.  Serve!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday Date Night: Homemade Vegan Pizza

Wednesday Night.  It's the best night of the week everywhere because it officially starts the countdown to Friday, which let's face it.

Everyone loves a weekend.

At our house, Wednesdays are the most calm, so I can actually meander through the kitchen while cooking instead of trying to outrun a tornado in Kansas.  Guilty as charged, I am never especially motivated to accomplish much on Wednesdays. Since Jake and I both worked all day, he has school for a few hours after, and the chores are typically done, more often than not  it becomes the classic pizza & movie night.    

I have made the same pizza crust for at least 3 years now, and it hasn't failed me yet.  This is the first time however, that I've made it vegan, and I have to say I was pleased at the result.

Two things about this particular dough recipe:
  • A) It is extremely forgiving.  You can't screw it up and trust me, I've tried.  If you have a dough hook for your mixer, I completely recommend it for simplicity, but rolling by hand works just as well.  
  • B) This particular recipe is actually a no-yeast cinnamon roll dough recipe, but its light & fluffy and absolutely a breeze to make. The original recipe is listed HERE.  I have made the recipe to spec before as it's intended cinnamon rolls, but the sugar/butter mixture does tend to make a huge mess because the dough doesn't expand.      
The ingredients I have listed are suggestions/preferences only.  I wasn't quite prepared to make the "Burnin'-Down-The-House Supreme", but it was delicious nonetheless.  Enjoy!

Vegan Classic Pizza
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook time: 10 Minutes to Set Crust + 20 Minutes for Full Pizza

Cooking Stuffs:


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance Butter Substitute
  • 3/4 cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 Cups Raw Spinach
  • 1 Bag Shredded Go Veggie! Vegan Cheese, or something similar
  • Spaghetti or Pizza sauce, (I didn't make my own tonight, but for an awesome recipe go HERE.  Amazing.)
  • 1 quarter of a white or yellow onion
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup spicy sprouts
  • Sprinkling of Flax Seeds
Crust:  Using your Kitchen Aid dough hook (or in a big bowl with your hands) mix all crust ingredients together thoroughly.  Kneed out all air pockets, but being mindful not to over-kneed, making the dough tough.  Using a rolling pin, roll into a large circle on a well floured pizza stone or cookie sheet.  I use Pampered Chef Pizza Stones found HERE.  
Best $33.00 dollars spent ever.  
Bake the crust for approximately 10 minutes, or until slightly crispy.  This will help the pizza to avoid getting soggy from the toppings.  

While the crust is drying in the oven, start preparing all veggies/toppings that require preparation.  Make sure onions are thoroughly chopped and caramelized if preferred.   
When the crust is dry, remove from the oven and top with pizza sauce, vegan cheese, garlic, and remaining toppings.  

Return to the oven for 15-20 Minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.  Serve immediately!