So long, vegan mofo, and thanks for all the black beans!

Well vegans and vegan- friendly folks, thanks for all the delish tasty treats over the last month! I’ve enjoyed reading some new blogs, extending my baking repertoire, and trying some new recipes.  For those of you who found me during vegan mofo, please consider that not all my bento lunches are vegan, as I’m just lacto-ovo.  But I hope you stick around, as I frequently make and enjoy vegan bentos. Stay awesome, everyone!

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Aloo gobi, chana masala, basmati rice

002I can’t get enough Indian food at the moment. There’s something about Autumn coming, and wanting spicy comforting goodness!

I made Aloo gobi, under the alias of “Promila Kapoor’s Punjabi-Style Cauliflower and Potatoes with Ginger” in my very favourite Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. I made a few substitutions in parentheses.

Peanut or canola oil for shallow frying (safflower)
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into thick fries (sweet potatoes)
1 3/4 lb cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
3/4 to 1 tsp. salt (1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander seed
2-3 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (forgot to pick this up at the store today)

-heat oil in frying pan over medium heat, shallow fry the potatoes for around 10 mins (if making this again, I would probably parboil them a bit first – a few of the ‘fries’ are a little undercooked)
-remove the potato, and shallow fry the cauliflower for 3-4 mins
-remove the cauliflower, and adjust the oil level in the pan to 2 tbsp.
-cook the ginger for about 10 seconds
-return the potatoes and cauliflower to the pot, add the spices and 3 tbsp. water. Cover the pot, simmer gently for 4 minutes, serve.

I added some leftover chana masala (curried chickpeas, but I just improvised that recipe, so probably shouldn’t share it here until I’ve measured things and made it easier to follow) and some turmeric-coloured rice. The octopus spork belongs with an octopus-themed bento box which I can’t find. Either my hubs left it at work or my son put it away somewhere it doesn’t belong. I wanted to use that box, too!

Vegan Baking Friday!

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These are were so gooey and good!

I was recently in Vancouver (did I mention it’s one of my favourite cities in the whole wide world? Probably only about 1000 times already!), where I picked up a package of vegan marshmallows, and I had to find a way to make something chocolatey with them. I settled on some brownies, and used the Veganomicon recipe. Seriously, if you’re vegan or vegan-curious and live in North America, get the book! The only adaptation I made to the recipe was to use my very favourite Cloud 9 gf baking mix instead of wheat flour, and pour in the bag of marshmallows (minus two, someone had to taste-test them!) instead of the blueberries.

I took the tray, minus the big spoonful I tried when they were still warm, to my staffroom. They were devoured. Awesome!

Hummus and tomato sandwich, pickles, pear

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Not feeling 100% inspired, and certainly don’t feel like trying new recipes, but it’s still vegan (hi vegan mofo friends!), still technically a bento, and still gluten-free. I just foraged and snacked for dinner, so didn’t really even have leftovers (hubs is feeling carnivorous so will make himself dinner after his meeting) to play with.

Hummus and grape tomatoes on gf bread with some pickled beets in a cup. Dessert is some sliced pear slices. Simple, healthy, what’s not to love?

Vegan baking Friday!

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I made a delicious eggless, dairyless spice cake, from my latest favourite bedtime reading find (y’all know I’m not the only one who reads them in bed!), The Complete Tassajara Cookbook by Edward Espe Brown. The only adaptation I made was to use a gluten free flour rather than wheat. I used quinoa flour, and it turned out very nicely. I added some dried cherries on top to pretty it up a bit, but didn’t really need to!

Quick Vegan Spice Cake

Preheat oven to 350’F.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together:

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
(3/4 tsp. xanthan gum if using a gf flour that doesn’t include it in the ingredients)

Melt:

1/3 cup coconut oil

Add to the oil:

1 tbsp. balsamic or raspberry vinegar (I would imagine apple cider vinegar would work nicely here too)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup cold water

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and be careful not to overmix. Pour the mixture into a greased pan (loaf or 8″ cake pan) and bake for 35-40 minutes or so.

Just really super-quick

I’m failing a bit at this whole blogging thing this week.  I got a lunch provided during an all-day meeting I attended today, and I think lunch tomorrow will be a sandwich.  I’m currently single-parent-familying it as hubs is away at a conference while getting a movie watched and reviewed for our local newspaper and the laundry finished up so I can pack for me and my son, and I join him tomorrow night for my own conference.  I have a Vegan Baking Friday! scheduled, but other than that, see y’all next week!  To make up for no new bentos this week (although if you’re new, there are over 250 of them by now, so scroll down and read through – there’s plenty to see), I will be hosting a giveaway when I get back.