Mother's Market and Kitchen is roughly 50% of the reason Kyle and I struggle with the idea of moving away from Orange County. That is not an exaggeration*. Between being able to find nearly every vegan product out there and having an excellent cafe menu**, we think they're the perfect independent grocery store. 

We love that by supporting Mother's, we're supporting a local business who doesn't try to upcharge you for choosing an ethical lifestyle. The employees at Mother's are always friendly and helpful, and they'll even refill my iced coffee without having to ask (that's true love). They're the kind of employees who share their Tofurky Thanksgiving roast recipe with you, or tell you how much raw EatPastry dough they've eaten.  Best of all, Mother's makes eating vegan and vegetarian more accessible to the masses with their hot bar, to-go meals, and cafe- have you ever been to the Irvine location during the business crowd lunch rush!? We have, and it's packed.***

Thank you, Mother's, for all that you do to provide vegans with a million options, both in groceries and at your cafe! And for putting mashed potatoes in tortillas and calling them tacos. You're perfect.

*Proof: http://instagram.com/p/u3egY9NP9c/?modal=true
**Pro-tip: Always get the breakfast potatoes. The breakfast melt is my go-to order. Sometimes, I get it on a vegan biscuit... hallelujah.
***If you go, don't sit at the first table-top for two on your right, because that's my favorite table and I don't like not sitting there.

Note from Kyle:
Andrea wrote this post... she's only been going to Mother's for the last year and a half and this is how much she loves Mother's. Me personally... well, my love for Mother's spans more than a decade. As a vegan of about 13 years, Mother's was an invaluable resource to me back in the day (Andrea and Jared, save your "You mean when the dinosaurs roamed?" jokes for another time) and continues to be one of my favorite businesses to support. For anyone who has grown up in OC and transitioned to some form of vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, you know Mother's is an institution. They're also the first chain to give us a shot when we started selling Coconut Bacon, and we couldn't be more grateful. So let's raise a (reasonably priced, organic) green juice to Mother's and have a toast... or better yet, let's just have some of their signature Ma's toast with boysenberry jam.

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AuthorPhoney Baloney's

About a year ago, Kyle and I were in the car when a friend who works at PETA posted about vegan donuts. Naturally, I freaked out and was like WE NEED TO GO EAT VEGAN DONUTS.

While Kyle drove, I read Donut Friend's menu out loud to him with extreme detail so that he could understand just how much we needed to stop what we were doing (probably en route to USC, this was while I was still in grad school) and eat donuts. When we saw they had a bacon option that wasn't vegan, we knew they needed to hook up the throngs of vegans that would pilgrimage to Highland Park for donuts with some bacon. We sent them samples, they bought Coconut Bacon, and the rest is a beautiful love story- because we get to deliver to them and eat lots of donuts.

In the year since Donut Friend has been in business, they've quickly become one of the most vegan friendly donutteries. They started with some basic options, like vegan glazes, and now offer vegan Nutella, marshmallows, even vegan cheese! They've gone from raised donuts to amazing cake donuts and they even offer gluten free options. We can all thank the owner for being a vegan ally and for being all together both friendly and awesome, who just happens to be a multi-platinum music producer. Did you know Mark Trombino has a musical background? All of the colorful names on their menu are no coincidence- Mark has worked with Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182, Finch and even All Time Low.

I'll keep this blog post short and sweet by ending it here but here's some pictures of glorious vegan donut creations. Really, the pictures themselves are all you need to see to know why you should check out Donut Friend in Highland Park.

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AuthorPhoney Baloney's

I don't even want to call this a recipe. Here's an IDEA that we had and it tastes delicious and takes no time! You can easily make a batch with coconut bacon, or sprinkles, or Oreo crumbles, get as creative as you want. They're an easy treat for a Valentine's Day party or even to give to the bacon lover in your family- they'll NEVER know it's vegan!

Ingredients
Large pretzel rods (we bought ours at Target!)
1 1/2 cups of vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut bacon, food processed into crumbs
Sprinkles, Oreo crumbs, potato chip crumbs?! (Whatever else you'd like to use!)

Instructions

  1. Melt your chocolate. Some people like to do this in the microwave. If you're going that route, use a microwave safe bowl and microwave your chips for 30 seconds. Take the chips out, stir, and microwave in 30 second intervals until the chips are melted. If you microwave chocolate for too long, it will seize up and become a ROCK of chocolate which is delicious but not what we're going for today! If you are going to melt the chocolate on a stove top, put some water in a sauce pot, and put a heat-safe bowl on top of the sauce pot. Put your chocolate into the heat safe bowl and let it melt in there, stirring occasionally. I almost always skip the heat safe bowl and put the chips right into a pot, keep the temperature low, and stir until I get a smooth consistency. Just keep your heat low! This was a very long paragraph for melting chocolate!
  2. While the chocolate is melting, food process your coconut bacon until it's the size of sprinkles. This is also a really good recipe to use up the little pieces left at the bottom of a coconut bacon bag! Don't let any go to waste!
  3. Use a butter knife or a spoonula to spread chocolate on the pretzel rod, leaving a few inches on the bottom uncovered so you can hold your pretzel and not get too messy while eating. 
  4. Sprinkle coconut bacon on to the wet chocolate. As much or as little as you'd like.
  5. You can put the rods down onto a silicone mat or wax paper to dry. I took a ball jar and covered it with aluminum foil, then poked a hole in it and put the uncovered part of the pretzel into the jar so it could dry vertically. It's not really necessary to do it that way though.
  6. Let them set! If you're in a hurry, stick them in the fridge or freezer and the chocolate will dry up a lot faster.
  7. Put them in a jar, in a treat bag, wrap them with a bow, or just eat them. Whatever!
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AuthorPhoney Baloney's

You'll definitely be the most popular person at your game day party when you bring this with you!

Or, you can eat it for lunch because you need to take a picture of the recipe. The things we do for you! ;P

This pull apart bread is SUPER easy to make. It requires no technique- other than cutting bread. Use a serrated knife and you've done the hardest part of the recipe!

Ingredients:
1 loaf round bread (we used Italian, sour dough would work too!)
1 stick Earth Balance butter
5 slices Daiya cheddar
1/8 cup Daiya cheddar shreds
1/2 cup Phoney Baloney's coconut bacon
Vegan Ranch Dressing
Green onions for garnish

Instructions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Cut the loaf of bread width-wise and length-wise but don't cut all the way through to the bottom. You want about 1 inch squares. 
3. Cut thin pats of the Earth Balance butter and stuff it into all of the crevices. Leave a tiny bit of butter to rub onto the top of the bread. You don't want to stuff it too far down so that the squares break apart, and you want to leave room for the cheese.
4. Cut Daiya slice circles in half and stuff them into the crevices. We had to break some of the slices into smaller pieces to get the entire thing full of cheese. 
5. Use that little bit of Earth Balance left to put onto the top of the bread squares, then sprinkle Daiya cheddar on top. I guess this is optional but we like how the shreds get crispy.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you find that the cheese isn't get melty enough, you can turn your broiler on. The high heat will get everything melted in about a minute so keep a close eye on it!
7. Once it's done baking, throw coconut bacon into the crevices.
8. Drizzle vegan ranch, more bacon, and green onions on top.
9. Fight for who gets the middle piece and ENJOY! :) 

Anything you can eat, I can eat vegan. Bacon cheese balls are NO exception.

This cheese ball is perfect for a fancy schmancy wine & cheese night, or if you're a bearded man [read:Kyle], paired with a hearty porter or stout. 

My only tips for a tasty cheese ball are:

  • Taste as you go! Adjust your spices accordingly.
  • Lemon adds to the tangy-cheesy flavor, but be careful not to add too much!
  • If you're finding your cheese ball to be too crumbly, add a bit of olive oil to smooth it all out

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw or roasted cashews (I prefer roasted)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 block of tofu (I used extra firm, just don't use silken)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (remember, you're adding smokey bacon to it, so don't over do it!)
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 3 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbps onion powder
  • Coconut Bacon (around 1/3 of a cup)

Directions:

  1. Add the nuts to a food processor and let it run on high until the nuts look like bread crumbs.
  2. Add the tofu, lemon juice, liquid smoke, and yellow mustard to the nut mixture.
  3. Add nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic, and onion. Let the food processor run until everything comes together in a dough.
  4. If your dough is too dry, add some olive oil.
  5. Pour coconut bacon into a bowl.
  6. Take the mixture out of the food processor and form into a ball. Roll the ball around in the bacon until the bacon is wedged into the surface.
  7. Cover the cheese ball, and place it in the fridge. This will let all the flavors settle and come together. It will firm up and become sliceable after a few hours. If you want a softer cheese, leave it in the fridge for less time.
  8. Eat with crackers or bread or with a spoon or a fork. Whatever floats your boat. 

 

 

We've been making this recipe at home for awhile and we thought it was time to share our secret with everyone else. First things first, ALL of the best gravies start with a roux. For those that don't know, a roux is a French technique using butter and flour as the base for any thick sauce. There's a lot of vegans doing some "interesting" low/no fat recipes that they're calling "gravy," and while these might be tasty, let's just not call them gravy. To have a gravy, you have to start with fat aka butter aka Earth Balance. So here's our take on a classic, Phoney Baloney's style!

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AuthorPhoney Baloney's

We've caught Halloween fever! This coconut caramel pairs perfectly with our salty coconut bacon. It's a grown-up caramel apple, sort of ;)

Don't be scared of making caramel- we swear this might be the easiest recipe we ever post!

Coconut Caramel:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut cream*
1/8 tsp salt

*You can buy coconut cream (like the kind from Trader Joe's) or you can buy full fat coconut milk. Put the full fat coconut milk into the refrigerator and the cream will rise to the top and solidify. Skim the coconut cream from the top and use it to make your caramel.

Directions:
1. Add sugar, vanilla, coconut cream and salt into a pot over very high heat. I used a much bigger pot then I needed because the mixture will get very hot and bubble a lot.

2. Stir all of the ingredients together until completely combined.

3. Continue to stir the ingredients together until the mixture is bubbling and rising.  This should only take one to two minutes.

4. Once it's bubbling, continue to stir for about a minute longer.

5. Reduce to low heat- I almost turned my stove off at this point but we have a wonky stove! Stir for another minute over low heat.

6. Take off the heat and let sit for two minutes. It'll firm up and get sticky fast!

7. Dip your apples in!

8. Coat in whatever you'd like- we recommend coconut bacon ;)

9. Devour!

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AuthorPhoney Baloney's

We're a house full of pig lovers.

Okay, so maybe it's just Kyle & I in our household (and behind Phoney Baloney's), but that doesn't change that we both squeal and giggle at pictures of pigs. The way most people react to baby pups (or human babies!) is how we react to pigs. The comparison between pigs and pups doesn't stop there- pigs are smart, emotional, silly creatures that are full of life and love.

While we hope our coconut bacon can one day completely replace the torture-ridden bacon most grocery stores carry, we wanted to find a way to help our pig pals out now. We decided to have a sale on Bacon Day and use proceeds to adopt a pig and celebrate pigs the right way! Places like Farm Sanctuary open their doors to farm animals who were former victims of today's agricultural production and food system. We couldn't think of a better way to spend "bacon" money than by becoming piggie parents (SO.CUTE!).

We'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the Phoney Baloney's family...ALICIA! She was rescued from the Future Farmers of America project, after a student in the project decided to find her pig-projects homes instead of auctioning them off. Alicia, like other pigs in the FFA project, would have been sent off for slaughter at the end of the project! Most pigs involved in these projects are kept in concrete pens without any bedding. They develop sores and can become infected from flies who are attracted to the open wounds. Alicia was subjected to ear-notching, a procedure where the farmer cuts pieces of a pig's ear off, without anesthetic, for identification purposes.

Now, Alicia lives in Farm Sanctuary's Southern California Shelter and she even has a best friend named Sophie who was also a FFA survivor! We want to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone that purchased bacon on Bacon Day- you made Alicia part of our family! We're looking forward to visiting Farm Sanctuary and meeting Alicia soon and hope to adopt more pigs in the future.

Cheers,
Andrea & Kyle
Phoney Baloney's

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AuthorPhoney Baloney's

So we have a friend named Barb out in New York, and Barb happens to make amazing vegan, gluten free baked goods under the Gone Pie brand. She does some pretty stellar things with brownies, cashew caramel, pecan pie and more... and unlike most gluten free desserts, you'll never miss the flour! However, this one... this one we never saw coming.

At the now near-famous Vegan Shop-up in Brooklyn last Saturday, Gone Pie introduced a creation so cool, it had to be a hashtag: the #PBCRRBNBB. That stands for Peanut Butter Caramel Rocky Road Beer Nut and Bacon Brownies, and not only are they vegan and gluten free, they're also tree nut free. Oh yeah, they feature our Coconut Bacon too!

Check out Barb's blog post about this crazy concoction, or just save yourself some time and go straight to the order page, she'll ship them anywhere in the US.

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AuthorPhoney Baloney's

Image courtesy of The Post Punk KitchenThis is a big day for us here at Phoney Baloney's. Isa Chandra Moskowitz, quite possibly the world's most read vegan cookbook author, just posted a stellar recipe for Butterscotch Bacon Cupcakes using our Coconut Bacon. Please visit the PPK site to check it out!

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AuthorPhoney Baloney's

Photo courtesy of Amber at FettleVeganMost people know that Elvis really liked peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and who can blame him? It is a far less known fact that he often added bacon to this sandwich, which throws people off a bit. When I first started making coconut bacon many years ago and read about Elvis' culinary oddities, I made a vegan version. Much to my surprise, this was one of the craziest, and tastiest sandwiches I have ever made. I knew that when I opened a sandwich shop, this had to be on the menu. In fact if it weren't on the opening menu of the old shop in Irvine, our Coconut Bacon might have never been put into production. Thanks Elvis!

The proper way to make a Vegan Elvis is simple. Take 2 slices of high quality bread, toast them to perfection, and then slather both sides with natural peanut butter. Add 1/4 cup of PB's Coconut Bacon to each peanut-buttered side. Peel a ripe banana, slice it in half and then slice each half down the middle longwise and lay slices parallel on one side of bacon'd toast. Top with the other slice of bacon'd toast, slice diagonally and enjoy.

If you want to really step it up a notch, use a slightly underripe banana and grill it first, just until the outside starts to carmelize a little. That makes the Ultimate Vegan Elvis!

The Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon is available for purchase online at www.rationsfoods.com.

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AuthorPhoney Baloney's

BLTA Sliders from our catering menuSince we just shipped our first production batch of Coconut Bacon, we figured it would only be right to tell you how we make our signature BLTA, the way we do in sliders for catering, and the way we did at the old shop in Irvine.

You have to start with two pieces of high quality bread, toasted to perfection and slathered with the right amount of Vegenaise on both pieces. (The right amount of Vegenaise is relative to your particular liking for the product, so we'll leave that up to you.) Take a 1/2 cup of PB's Coconut Bacon and spread it evenly on the bottom slice of bread. Next, layer 2-3 leaves of romaine lettuce followed by 4-6 slices of roma tomatoes. Lastly, slice 1/4 or a 1/2 of an avocado and place on top of the tomatoes. Finish with the top slice of toast, give the whole sandwich a diagonal cut and devour with pleasure!

Now that's a stellar BLTA. The Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon is available for purchase online at www.rationsfoods.com.

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AuthorPhoney Baloney's