Monday, February 21, 2011
A Very Vegan Birthday
Calico Dragon bag that boldly states "Vegan for Life" on one side and has cute cartoon animals labeled "Not for Human Consumption" on the other. I checked out the website and a portion of all proceeds go to animal charities, and the bags are made by a woman in China who is able to support herself and her son through her business. On Saturday morning, my mom and I set out to use up my big box of Hodgson's Mill Buckwheat Pancake Mix to make a few batches of vegan waffles. In my house we probably make pancakes or waffles only once a year, so we had to dig deep in the garage to find the dusty waffle maker. For the most part, I followed the recipe on the box to a tee (replacing the dairy milk with coconut milk and the egg with 1/2 of a mashed banana). I don't like plain pancakes or waffles though, so I had to throw in some frozen blueberries, chopped walnuts, and a dash of cinnamon. The batter wasn't runny like I remember Bisquick batter to be, so we literally had to spread it on the oiled waffle maker with a spoon. The first set of waffles was so thick that they split when we opened the waffle maker, and we could have stuffed them to make a waffle sandwich. The next few came out a bit lighter and crispier. In the end, they were tasty and we topped them with Earth Balance, organic Vermont maple syrup, almond butter, and raw cinnamon honey. Yesterday was my real birthday, so my mom, Danny, and I went to 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe for dinner. Danny and I have been going there nearly once a week recently, and we wanted my mom to try it for the first time. We started with eggplant rollantini, which was stuffed with tofu-cashew ricotta and topped with Daiya mozzarella cheese and nut parmesan. The dish was so fresh and delicious, and my mom was really impressed with the resemblance to real cheese. We then shared our favorite custom pie: whole wheat crust, tomato sauce, tofu-cashew ricotta, broccoli rabe, grilled portobello, and grilled eggplant. We even brought a few slices home for my dad to try and he had no idea he was eating vegan ricotta cheese. Last night, my aunt, uncle, and cousins came over for birthday cake. I baked a Mocha Fudge Pudding Cake from Jae Steele's Get it Ripe cookbook. Danny and I baked it the day before: it was a really quick and easy recipe, but its ability to hold its shape was questionable. The cake batter consisted of spelt flour, cocoa powder, ground espresso, agave nectar, coconut oil, soy milk, and vanilla extract. Once the batter is transferred to a baking dish, you pour 2 cups of hot coffee over the batter. The batter was pure liquid, and even after baking for an hour the cake came out bubbling like molten lava. Once I refrigerated it overnight, the cake settled and formed a nice thick pudding on the bottom. I served it over vanilla soy ice cream, and it was a big hit.