When I first became a vegan, I couldn’t find a non-dairy whipped cream anywhere. Now you can buy it pretty much anywhere, but it costs a small fortune, and my last two cans quick working with half of the cream still in the can. While making the sugar whipped aquafaba for my cornbread recipe, it occurred to me that if I added cream of tartar, vanilla extract for sweetness, that I would have a vegan whipped cream!
If you’re looking for an easy whipped cream recipe for a yummy Thanksgiving pie, I’ve got you covered! Be sure to add this to your dish right before serving. The whipped cream will deflate after a few hours, but you can re-whip it again and again and it will come back to peaks in 2-3 minutes.
Looking for an easy and inexpensive whipped cream? If the answer is yes, this recipe is for you!
1 can garbanzo beans, drained, reserve liquid
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
Drain garbanzo beans and keep the liquid (aquafaba). Set beans aside for another use. Add aquafaba (I use all of what was in the can) to a mixing bowl (I used a stand mixer). Mix on high for 5 minutes, or until mixture begins to foam. Add cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Mix for a few minutes more until soft peaks begin to form, about 3-5 minutes. Taste for sweetness and adjust to preference. Do not overmix, or the whipped cream will fall and flatten out.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Mostly because I get to see family, eat until my heart’s content, and then lay around like a slug watching football until it’s time to go to bed. But being a vegan means I always have to bring my own food! Every year I tell myself I’m going to make something different, and every year I come back to this same recipe! I LOVE this dish for Thanksgiving. It is not only delicious, but it’s also a show stopper! Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” And I get enough compliments on this dish to last me until Valentine’s Day!
The basmati mixed with the sweet cranberries and spicy vegan sausage is simply delicious! If you don’t want to use the Field Roast Farms sausage, you can use Crimini mushrooms instead. The vegan goat cheese is super simple to make, and I usually double the batch. I use half the cheese for this recipe (I also use it in my Mushroom Wellington recipe). And I use the other half of the cheese rolled in herbs as my holiday appetizer. You will need to make the cheese a day in advance. But if you don’t want to make your cheese, Miyoko Schinner makes a Classic Chive Double Cream Cheese that is divine and you could easily substitute.
Usually, I avoid using vegan “meats” from the grocery store. Typically they are highly processed and contain ingredients that I can’t pronounce. But this Field Roast Farms sausage is made 100% from fresh fruit and vegetables! Crafted from apples, Yukon gold potatoes, onions, garlic, sage, and ginger, it is the perfect “meat” for my vegan meal! If you wish to avoid the sausage, you can easily use diced crimini mushrooms instead! Do be aware this sausage is not gluten free.
For the roasted acorn squash:
2 large acorn squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and black pepper
Pinch of thyme
For the filling:
1 tablespoons olive oil (can use vegetable stock, if oil free)
2 Field Roast Smoked Apple & Sage Sausage links, cases removed and diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 1/2 cup prepared rice (I used white basmati)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 cup herbed vegan goat cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
½ cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup vegan parmesan (I use Follow Your Heart)
Preheat oven to 425° degrees. Wash and dry squash. Slice squash in half from tip to stem and scoop out seeds.
Place the squash halves flesh side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and pinch of thyme. Roast flesh side down until almost done, about 25-30 minutes. Remove squash from oven and set aside.
While squash is cooking heat medium size skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or stock, if oil free) to pan. Once the oil begins to shimmer add diced onion, sausage, and dried cranberries. Add 1 tsp each thyme, oregano, garlic powder, and parsley. Sauté until onions are translucent and sausage has browned about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add prepared rice. Stir until rice is warmed through.
Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the vegan goat cheese. Season with salt and black pepper.
When done, remove squash from oven and reduce heat to 350°.
Divide mixture between squash halves. Top each squash with vegan parmesan cheese and return to oven. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve warm.
The sausage mixture can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.
After Mexican food, Thai food, and Indian food vie for second as my most favorite food. A few weeks ago my husband ordered a Veg Manchurian from our favorite Indian restaurant. It was delicious, but it was waaaaay too SPICY. I got the hiccups and couldn’t feel my tongue after 7 bites. Maybe it’s just my western palate, but I would have enjoyed it so much more if it lost some of its heat. So I decided to dive headfirst into Indian cooking! The ingredients sound complex, but it really is ALL about the spices. After perusing many a dozen recipes (both North and South Indian) I realized that most of the spices in this recipe are universally Indian/Middle Eastern, and by adding them to my pantry, I opened up a whole new world (or at least a dozen countries worth) of food!
Aloo Gobi is a simple dish made from cauliflower and potatoes. There are generally two kinds of Aloo Gobi, one made with onions and tomatoes, and one without. I love both, but this one is my favorite…mostly because I envisioned eating it over creamy coconut curried lentils! I added chickpeas or “chana” to bump the protein and it was delicious!
•1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
•1 14 oz. can chickpeas (chana)
•2 Tbsp Olive Oil
•2 tsp. ground cumin
•2 tsp. ground turmeric
•1 tsp. ground coriander
•¾ tsp garam masala
•¾ tsp dried fenugreek leaves
•¾ tsp amchur (dry mango powder)
•1 Tbsp. minced ginger
•1 Tbsp. minced garlic
•Pinch of asafetida (optional, but really great)
•Pinch of cayenne (adjust according to preference)
•1 tsp. (or more) kosher salt
•1 Tbsp. (or more) fresh lime juice
•½ cup chopped cilantro
1. Chop the cauliflower into small florets and put in large bowl.
2. Chop the potatoes into 1” cubes and add to the bowl.Add drained, rinsed chickpeas.
3. Mix spices until well combined. Remove Add spices to the vegetable mix; toss to coat.
4. Add olive oil, minced ginger, and garlic, to the bowl and toss well.
5. Let the vegetable mix sit for a minute or two.
6.Spread mixture in a large stoneware or 3” ceramic baking dish.
7. Bake at 400° F (204 C) for 20 mins, then cover with parchment and bake for another 15 mins or until tender. Taste and adjust salt and spices accordingly. Garnish with fresh cilantro, a dash of turmeric, and lime juice. And serve hot with any Indian bread.
To quote the late, great Erma Bombeck, “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.” In fact, I can still remember waking up as a child in my Grandma’s house to the intoxicating smells emanating from her kitchen. Sunday breakfast usually consisted of bacon and eggs, hand-cut hash browns, and Lord Almighty, her sausage gravy. Gravy so thick and full of flavor, it could have been a meal by itself. The recollection of her pan gravy slathered over fried pork chops and buttered mashed potatoes, still leaves me weak in the knees. Truth is, I get a bit misty eyed when I think back on those meals.
My romance with food and cooking began in her kitchen. My maternal Grandmother was my muse, and I her sous chef. Beginning in the middle 1970’s, around the age of four, I got my first job cutting homemade biscuits with a “Sure Fine” orange juice can. I rolled and cut the dough, while Grandma made the sausage gravy out of a slurry of flour and a few tablespoons of rendered pork fat. My Grandpa made me a little wooden step stool, (which I still have) so I could reach the countertop and take part in her creations. I also had the job of setting the table for all of my aunts, uncles, or cousins who came to feast on Friday or Saturday nights. I felt useful, loved, and proud.
It’s not that my Grandma loved to cook, in fact she hated it. Back then it was too expensive to eat out, there were no microwave ovens, and no pre-packaged meals ready in 30 minutes or less. Meals required effort and getting your hands dirty. What she did love was having her family around her. She had the satisfaction of feeding those hungry souls who gathered together, nourished by her food, sharing their memories and laughter.
In the early 90’s, I left for college and was one of the rare few (besides my friend Amy) who knew how to do more than boil water for mac-n-cheese. For Thanksgiving, my junior year, my roommates and I decided to stay at school and have our own “Friendsgiving.” With a guest list of twenty-two, it was certainly the biggest crowd I had ever cooked for. While it was mostly a potluck, I was in charge of the essentials: the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, (of course) and a sausage stuffing that was commensurate with my friend’s mothers and grandmothers.
The following spring, my roommate told me about a cooking position at a hip new brew pub in town and encouraged me to apply. I went the next day and was hired as a prep cook. I was in heaven! Aside from keeping the front line stocked with their essentials, I became a ninja with a knife. I learned the difference between a Béchamel and Beurre Blanc, and became an alchemist of all things soup and salad. Within a few months I requested to move up front and become a line cook. Chef agreed, and I became the only female line cook in the restaurant.
A few years later I left the fast paced, high stress restaurant business, and went to work at an awesome, happy hippie health food store. Suddenly, I was learning about antioxidants, micro-nutrients and the healing power of herbs. I stocked my kitchen with Seiten, TVP and Acidophilus. I ate things like Keifer cheese, Spirulina, and rocked me some tofu burritos. I learned that I didn’t need to eat dead animals for protein and iron. I became a vegetarian, and was reborn.
But as they often do, all good things must end. After college, I headed home to start grad school and moved back in with my folks. My dad, swearing that I was “too thin,” took me to eat REAL food at a favorite barbecue restaurant. Begrudgingly, I gagged down a few ribs, and suffered through stomach pains for hours afterward. I tried to eat healthy foods when I could, but working full-time and going to grad school full-time, I found it easier to run through a drive-thru and worry about healthy eating later.
So why am I telling you all of this? Well, until my late 20’s, I was a perfect bill of health. I could eat McDonald’s, drink beer, and have a midnight snack whenever I wanted. I never gained a pound. And then at 29, I got married. After two years of eating cheese and sausage for dinner, drinking boxed wines, and sucking down a many microbrew with my new hubby, I had gained 16 pounds! Two kids later, I had gained another 15 pounds. But it was baby number three at 41 that was the game changer. Suddenly the weight would not come off, and I began to get sick… Really sick.
After lots of Google searches, I discovered that I had “silent reflux” in my last pregnancy. In other words, I had GERD, but didn’t know it was GERD, because the typical burning associated with it was conspicuously absent. The silent reflux (likely caused from a hiatal hernia) triggered my bronchial nerve, setting off severe asthma attacks. I was put on an inhaled steroid and albuterol for the last few months of pregnancy. I had my own nebulizer, and more than one trip to the emergency room because I couldn’t breathe. But because it was undiagnosed “reflux” and not true asthma, nothing the doctors prescribed helped. In fact, they made things worse. The steroids caused my blood sugar to skyrocket, leaving me with gestational diabetes and insulin shots. I became a high risk pregnancy and had to be seen twice a week by a Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) physician, with weekly ultrasounds. In the end I delivered a healthy, 6 lb. 11 oz. beautiful baby girl. But my list of chronic ills only began to pile up.
I suffered with a post nasal drip cough, and multiple bouts of sinusitis due to chronic sinus congestion. I was often up for hours in the middle of the night (every night) drinking water just to clear my throat, leaving me tired and lethargic during the day. That first year after the baby was born, my doctor had prescribed me antibiotics four times. The horrible joint pain I had in both knees, actually led me to have a medical procedure called PRP. And the pain in my hands was so bad I could scarcely bend my fingers without recoiling in agony. I was told that I was likely on the precipice of having either Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or Lupus. My menstrual cycles were a crime scene. In fact, I was afraid to leave the house the first day because of such extreme bleeding. I soon developed a severe iron deficiency. My nails were cracked and brittle, my hair had stopped growing, and I could hardly catch my breath when walking up the stairs. I was miserable and had become a shadow of the person I once was.
Then one day while at my Chiropractor’s office office, I began coughing. I apologized and explained to Dr. Bryan Joseph that I was constantly stuffed up and the drainage was worse when I was on my back. Dr. Bryan asked me if I had ever been tested for a dairy allergy and encouraged me to meet with his wife Dr. Olivia Joseph, a fellow chiropractor and nutritionist. On my way out, I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Olivia, and another appointment to have my blood drawn for a comprehensive food allergy test. Little did I know how that brief conversation with Dr. Joseph would change my life forever.
Next time on “All Shook Up”… The IgG blood test and my unexpected results.