Tag: vegan

12 (Vegan) Days of Christmas Recipes

Plant-based recipes inspired by the popular holiday song

Search for “12 Days of Christmas recipes” on the interwebs, and you’ll find countless blog posts featuring loads of animal products: actual cooked hens for Day 3, egg-based dishes for Day 6, milky desserts for Day 8, and so on.

There’s absolutely no evidence that the song pays homage to the consumption of different birds on different days during the 12 Days of Christmas; rather, it was most likely a memory game played on Twelfth Night, the 12th and final night of the 12 Days of Christmas, which begins on December 25th and ends on January 6th, otherwise known as Epiphany.

Still, you will find no animals harmed in the crafting of these dishes. It was so much fun crafting this menu — making literal interpretations as well as taking creative license. You’ll see all the whys and wherefores and details about why I chose the dishes I did once you purchase!

Obviously, you can cook from this menu anytime of the year, but I was very mindful about making sure you have what you need for a single holiday dinner (appetizers, starters, mains, and desserts) or for featuring one recipe per day during the 12 days of Christmas. Enjoy!

Our inspired musical menu!

Poached Pears — A Partridge in a Pear Tree (December 25)
Chocolate Pecan Turtles — Two Turtle Doves (December 26)
Fabulous French Toast — Three French Hens (December 27)
Better-than-Chicken Vegetable Pot Pie — Four Calling Birds (December 28)
Monkey Bread — Five Golden Rings (December 29)
Eggless Egg Salad Crostini — Six Geese a Laying (December 30)
Swan Cut-out Sugar Cookies — Seven Swans a Swimming (December 31)
Potato Leek Soup — Eight Maids a Milking (January 1)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pink Lady Apples and Onions — Nine Ladies Dancing (January 2)
Wassail — Ten Lords-a-Leaping (January 3)
Polenta Fries + Eggless Meringue Cookies — Eleven Pipers Piping (January 4)
Butternut Squash Timbales — Twelve Drummers Drumming (January 5)

(If you’d like to understand more about why — historically — The 12 Days of Christmas started on December 25th and ended on January 6th (otherwise known as the epiphany), check out the Food for Thought podcast episodes Forbidden Meat as well Food and Feasting.)

Food and Feasting: The 12 (Vegan) Days of Christmas

First comes fasting, then comes feasting!

Whereas the period BEFORE Christmas has historically been about fasting, contemplation, and self-reflection, the period starting AT Christmas and going for 12 days thereafter is all about feasting, revelry, merriment!

In today’s episode, I argue that feasting and festivities are a lot more meaningful when they follow a period of deprivation.

12 Days of (Vegan) Christmas Recipe Bundle

WHAT’S MORE: Inspired by the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” I have a brand-new recipe bundle that features recipes that can be served at a single holiday party OR as inspiration for each day of the holiday season. 🎵 On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…🎵

Forbidden Meat: Fasting and Abstinence During Advent

Abstaining from meat, dairy, and eggs during religious holidays has been a tradition for centuries in many religions. In Christianity, for example, during Lent (40 days prior to Easter) and Advent (40 days prior to Christmas), parishioners were forbidden to consume animal flesh as well as as dairy, cheese, and eggs. 

In today’s episode, we explore this history and demonstrate that not eating animal products was more common than not, especially during the period of contemplation and contrition leading up to the holy days of Easter and Christmas. I share my own experience growing up Catholic, my memories of Fish Fridays, and the meaning of a common English word whose origins are steeped in religious abstinence.

   

Vegan Hanukkah Menu

The bad news is The Vegan Table is officially out of print. (Once the remaining copies are sold, it is not being reprinted). 14 years is a good run, I suppose.

The good news is the copyright to my own recipes have been reverted back to me, so I can create recipe bundles such as my new VEGAN HANUKKAH MENU. I plan on making lots of such bundles, including one for Thanksgiving and one for the winter holidays — and many more.

The delicious, traditional recipes in the VEGAN HANUKKAH MENU bundle were specially chosen to create the perfect Hanukkah menu for you, your family, and your loved ones. 

*Potato Latkes
*Cashew Sour Cream
*Matzoh Ball Soup
*Old-Fashioned Lentil Loaf
*Noodle Kugel
*Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Apples
*Hanukkah Cut-Out Cookies
*Royal Icing
*Rugelach
*Challah

CLICK FOR HANUKKAH RECIPES

 

Apple Cake

This delectable — and not overly sweet — cake is the first thing I make when fall arrives, and it’s perfect to serve at the end of a Rosh Hashanah meal. {Modified and reprinted from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau}

Ingredients—Cake
3 apples, peeled and cut into slices (Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Crispin)
1/2 cup nondairy butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons nondairy milk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Ingredients—Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.

Cook the apples in a little bit of water on the stove or in the microwave (for no more than 2 minutes) until they’re just a little soft but not mushy. Set aside. 

With an electric hand mixer or by hand using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the applesauce and milk. Finally, add the flour and baking powder, and stir until just combined. 

Add the batter to the prepared pan, and arrange the apple slices in a circle on top of the cake. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, and sprinkle over the apples, covering the top of the cake.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before un-molding from cake pan.

Yield: 8–10 slices

For more on living and cooking vegan (i.e. compassionately and healthfully), my books and cooking classes are here to help:

The Joy of Vegan Baking 

The 30-Day Vegan Challenge

The Joyful Vegan

My Favorite Juicer! (+Discount Code)

Today, I said goodbye to my old juicer — one that served me for 15 years but which resulted in a mini-workout every time I used it! While it was functional — i.e. I was able to enjoy juice from it — it wasn’t very efficient or effective as far as juicers go. (Still, I was happy to pass it on to a happy recipient in my Buy Nothing group.)

I did a ton of research to find a better juicer, and my search is over. No doubt about it: the Nama Juicer is THE BEST!

(And no, this post is not sponsored by them.)

  • Not only does it extract more juice
  • It’s incredibly easy to use
  • It’s extremely easy to clean
  • It’s shockingly well-priced for the value it provides
  • And it’s light enough to be portable! (Yes, this crazy lady takes her juicer on road trips.)

I’ll be making a video to demonstrate all the reasons I love it, but I didn’t want to delay any longer and keep dangling BEET PULP BURGERS and CARROT GINGER JUICE in your face without sharing the love with you.

To receive yours (in plastic-free packaging!), get free shipping, and save $40 (10% off!),

1. USE this link 
2. Enter this coupon code at checkout: COLLEEN10

–> Do you have a favorite homemade (or store-bought) juice combo? Tell me below, or ask me any question you have! (For instance, I love to EAT celery, but don’t get it anywhere near my juice!)

Tools for Making Homemade Tofu (Zero Waste + Vegan)

Mastering tofu (well, as much as a little grasshopper can master a 2,000-year-old practice) has been my highlight of 2020. It’s all the more exciting because I failed so many times, and when I realized what was hindering my success, it was like a dam breaking. I’ve never looked back and now make tofu successfully a couple times a week. 

Is it worth making tofu at home? ABSOLUTELY! 

  • Homemade tofu is so much less expensive than store-bought
  • Homemade tofu eliminates plastic packaging (i.e. zero waste / low waste)
  • Homemade tofu tastes absolutely scrumptious!

Now that my live Homemade Tofu cooking class is available as an On-Demand class (full video and recipe/instructions), I thought it would be helpful to share the basic “equipment” needed to make your own tofu at home. As you’ll see, I mention a couple things you probably already have on hand, but there are some things that will be new to you. 

Tofu Mold: As for the tofu mold, I prefer a wooden tofu mold, which I’ve had for years, but when I looked for one to refer you to, I found it difficult to find one that wasn’t part of a tofu-making kit. However, considering the fact that the kits provide you with everything you need, it may be worth it in the end. The two kits I recommend are:

  1. SoyaJoy Tofu Kit with Wooden Mold, Nigari, and Cheesecloth 
  2. Yamako Tofu Kit with Wooden Mold, Nigari, and Cheesecloth 

Because I wanted to ease you into the homemade tofu-making process, I also wanted to find an option for you to use a mold you may already have on hand without having to buy one just yet. While a “colander” would work (as some blogs suggest), you need more than just a colander…you need a colander/strainer that will also act as a mold (usually square but any shape will do). So, two options to consider:

  1. A plastic tupperware container you punch / drill holes into the bottom of.
  2. A small plastic basket — like those that strawberries come in. The fruit basket is actually the perfect size, and it creates / presses a pretty little design into the tofu block once it’s finished pressing. 

Cheese Cloth: Whatever mold you use, you still need a cheesecloth, though, so just purchase some at a store near you, or buy some online; here’s one I like — it’s unbleached, you can cut it into whatever size you need, and you can wash it and use it again and again and again. And I do.

Nigari: As for the nigari, as I mentioned, it can be purchased in crystal or liquid form and can be found at most Japanese or Asian grocery stores, or you can order online here (in crystal form) or here (in liquid form). FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve used only the crystalized nigari that I dilute in water, and while it comes in a plastic bag, the amount of plastic waste you avoid using by making your own tofu makes up for it a hundred fold. (For instance, 1 pound of crystallized nigari makes about 240 pounds of tofu!) HOWEVER, I *am* curious about using liquid nigari, and since the one I recommend comes in a glass bottle, it would be even less plastic waste. I just haven’t tried it yet. What I use at the present time is nigari salts that I dissolve in water. 

Kitchen / Candy Thermometer: I mention below that this is not required, but I like to know I’m at the right temperature when adding my coagulant, so I use a simple thermometer to do so. Here is the one I have

The main thing I learned in terms of successfully making tofu was that the soy milk has to be made … from scratch. I mean…you definitely can’t use store-bought commercial soy milk and try to make tofu, but my failed attempts at making tofu also came from using soy milk I made in my favorite soy milk maker. I still use that soy milk maker just for making soy milk for daily use, but for making tofu, you have to do it without a machine.

If you missed the live class, fear not! You can get the video with full instructions and demo by purchasing the On-Demand class for only $9.99!

Zero Waste, Plastic-Free Tips for Living with Cats

I get so many questions about what I feed my kitties from a vegan point of view as well as how to care for them from an ecological point of view, whether we’re talking about toys, litter, or food. 

Check out this video, as well as my podcast episodes for answers. 

As for the resources I mention, here they are below:

▸CAT ENRICHMENT & TOYS
*Make your own toys if you can
– Cat Scratcher Lounge Collapsible: https://amzn.to/2yK3MZ6
– Cat Scratcher Lounge: https://amzn.to/2KkyTiw (best thing I ever bought!)
– Plastic-free lint brush https://amzn.to/2MqsOyu

▸ CAT LITTER
-okocat https://amzn.to/2KlmKJT

▸ PLASTIC-FREE LITTER BOX
https://amzn.to/2yEl0ad

▸PLASTIC-FREE LITTER SCOOP
https://amzn.to/2KaSG4q

▸HOW TO COMPOST YOUR CAT’S LITTER
http://bit.ly/2IsnQOZ

▸ CAT FOOD
-Natural Balance Cat Food https://amzn.to/2IyzZSS
-Tiki Cat (for when the kitties just want a little extra) https://amzn.to/2KrXNJT

▸ Cornell University on flushing cat poop
http://bit.ly/2N1evRI

Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything. 

Black Olive Bruschetta with Cashew Cream

Can you tell Italian cuisine is on my mind? Between our trips to Italy and my Italian cuisine podcast series, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes.

Traditionally, bruschetta features tomatoes and basil, but bruschetta itself just means “burnt / toasted bread,” so really, we can do whatever we want.

BUT, you can’t say broo-SHET-a. The “ch” sound in Italian is a hard “k” sound (like Chianti or Gnocchi), so it’s pronounced broo-SKET_a.

Ingredients

🌱2 tablespoons olive oil
🌱3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
🌱2 shallots, finely minced
🌱Salt and pepper, to taste
🌱1/4 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
🌱1/2 cup pitted black (or kalamata) olives, finely minced
🌱1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
🌱1 whole grain baguette, sliced
🌱Olive oil for brushing
🌱Basil Cashew Cream (see below)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400, and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

2. Add the oil to a large sauté pan, along with the garlic, shallots, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Cook over medium heat until the shallots begin to glisten, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and olives, and sauté for 3 minutes more.

4. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and turn off heat.

5. Lightly brush both sides of the bread slices with oil.

6. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until about 5 to 7 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Spread a generous amount of cashew cream on each bread slice, and carefully spoon the olive mixture on top.

8. Sprinkle with some minced basil.

MANGIA!

BASIL CASHEW CREAM

Because the cashews have to soak for at least an hour, you will want to factor that in to your total prep time.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (300 g) raw cashews soaked in 3 cups (720 ml) of water for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced basil
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water

Directions

Once the cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them in a strainer.

Place them in a food processor, along with the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil. Turn on the machine, and let it run for a few seconds to start combining the ingredients.

Add most of the water, and process until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 to 4 minutes, turning the machine off periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Before adding all of the water, I like first seeing what the consistency is; it’s always easier to add more than it is to take any out!

Salt, to taste. The consistency should be thick but spreadable.

For Your Modification

*Instead of basil, add chives, dill, parsley, or any combination you desire.

*Add finely chopped sundried tomatoes and/or olives instead of or along with the fresh herbs.

For Your Information

It will keep well in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.

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