vegan recipe

Vegan Peanut Butter Bacon Fudge Recipe

My aunt owns her own hair salon in Berwyn, Illinois, where I grew up. It's down the street from where my parents live, and during the summer my friends and I would use it as a marker for how far we could before we  were "too far" and we'd turn right back around after waving a hello at my aunt. Her clients are friendly, many of them in their 70s and 80s, and they love my aunt's "crazy" accent. If I were to compare her to a character people have heard of, it would be the aunt from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. 

Every year, she makes dozens and dozens of traditional Greek cookies as Christmas treats for her clients. And I really mean dozens and dozens- she does not let that cookie tray run out ever during the holiday season. Over the years, clients started bringing in cookies and treats to share with her. And this, is where this story starts to have a point.

We always had traditional powdered sugar cookies and honey cookies, but I remember being most excited by the things my aunt would bring home from her clients. Namely, fudge. One client always made giant slabs of different kinds of fudge. I looked forward to them every year and after going vegan, I remember my aunt saying there was no one to eat it now that I couldn't have any!

Fast forward to years later, an Internet friend posted a picture of peanut butter fudge that looked amazing. And even better, she was a VEGAN Internet friend! I don't know why I had never thought of making fudge before, it seems like one of those special things that just shows up and blesses you with deliciousness?

These were her instructions:

It's a super easy recipe to follow and adapt (1 part pb to 1 part butter) and I think a great addition to a Christmas cookie platter. It's rich but the bacon adds some much needed salt when you're in a sugar cookie coma.

Here's how I made our peanut butter bacon fudge:

Ingredients & Supplies:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup Earth Balance butter
1 tsp of vanilla
2 cups of powdered sugar (you may or may not use the entire 2 cups)
1/3 cup Coconut Bacon
Plastic wrap or Parchment Paper

Instructions:

  1. Over low-medium heat, melt your Earth Balance and peanut butter together. If you are like me, you may be tempted to up the temperature on this and be done faster, so you can eat faster. Don't be like me. Let it melt slowly.
  2. Whisk in a teaspoon of vanilla and whisk everything together as it melts down, until you've basically got a sauce of peanut butter. Your kitchen will smell amazing.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and start adding powdered sugar to the mixture. I do this in 1/2 cup increments and whisk in between, so that I don't get any lumps.
  4. The OG recipe calls for 1/2 a pound of powdered sugar, which is about 1 and 7/8th cups of sugar. If you've nearly added all the sugar and the mixture is solid and hard to combine, you don't need the last bit of sugar. 
  5. I free-form the fudge in plastic wrap or parchment paper, whatever we have available. I usually scoop the mixture out into the middle of the wrap and then use the wrap to form a square of even thickness. 
  6.  While it's still warm, sprinkle Coconut Bacon over the top of the fudge square. I take the parchment paper and press down into the fudge lightly so the bacon gets nice and stuck in there.
  7. At this point, you can refrigerate your fudge so that it will set faster. Or you can let it dry naturally. I refrigerate because PEANUT BUTTER.
     

Eggless Easter: Deviled Potatoes

Honesty hour.

I (Andrea) have never eaten a "real" deviled egg. But if you mention those suckers to Kyle? He'll tell you how much he used to love them and how many he could eat in a sitting. The idea of an egg yolk mixed with mayonnaise never appealed to me- I didn't even eat mayo until I went vegan and was schooled on the glory that is Vegenaise! But these Devilish Potatoes that Isa posted on the Post Punk Kitchen blog caught my eye and I've wanted to make them ever since. There's pretty much no potato recipe that I'll turn away from!

Our recipe uses ingredients that you've probably already got in your kitchen, and comes together pretty quickly once you've roasted your potatoes.

There's a ton of variations you could try on these, we'll list some of ours at the end of the recipe!

Deviled Potatoes

Ingredients:
9 small potatoes, we used baby gold potatoes (approx. 2" diameter)
1/4 cup Vegenaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 single serve Rations Tofu Scramble Seasoning
Smoked paprika, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. While your oven is heating up, scrub your potatoes. Pierce your potatoes with a fork, make sure to do this a few times around the potato to let the steam out of it as it cooks. We lightly coated our potatoes with oil and salt, since we'll be eating the skin!
  2. Bake the potatoes for about 30-35 minutes. 
  3. Once your potatoes are out of the oven, let them cool completely. Cut the potatoes in half, lengthwise. Use a melon baller or spoon to scoop out the centers of the potato. Collect the inside of the potato in a bowl as you scoop it out! Set aside your potato "eggs".
  4. Take the bowl with the potato that you scooped out and make your filling. We used our small food processor for this, but you can use a fork or a potato masher if your potatoes are very tender. Mix the potato, Vegenaise, lemon juice, mustard and Rations Tofu Scramble Seasoning together until smooth.
  5. You can use a spoon to fill your potatoes, or you can use a pastry tip! Fill your potatoes and sprinkle them with paprika.
  6. Stuff in your mouth. Or feed your guests... if you have to. ;)

Pepperoncini Variation: Sub out the lemon juice for 1 whole chopped pepperoncini, you can also add a splash of the brine from the jar into your mixture.

Coconut Bacon Variation: Try it topped with coconut bacon, or even throw coconut bacon into the mixture, especially if you're using a food processor.


Eggless Easter: Vegan Strata (Egg Casserole)

I first started making this for us after my mom asked for an 'egg casserole' recipe. She works at a school, and she said the kids had egg casserole on the menu for breakfast. I had never heard of it, so I kept asking her if she was going to make a crust or buy a crust... I assumed she was making a quiche! After some Googling, I found her an egg casserole recipe but I knew that this could be easily made vegan. Kyle and I eat tofu scramble at least once a week... we'll have a whole breakfast for dinner night with scrambs, toast and potatoes. This is a nice way to use the same ingredients we always have in our house but go in a slightly different direction with it.

This strata, or egg casserole, can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake and serve. For this version, I let cubes of leftover baguette sit out for about a day, until they were dry. Then, I cooked the sausage patties and onions, and tossed the dry bread in so it could soak up some of the oil. If you wanted to, you could pack away the cooked mix-ins and leave them in the fridge until you're ready to assemble and bake. You can also make the egg portion in the blender, put it in a ball jar and pour it over the mix-ins before baking.

This version has sausage, onions, asparagus and tomatoes but the possibilities are endless! You can use breakfast links, zucchini, red peppers. Or even try to mix up the kind of bread you use. We've tried sourdough before and even the end pieces of whole wheat bread that we don't like to use for sandwiches. 

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Vegan Strata (Egg Casserole)

*For a 9" Cast Iron - can serve up to 8 slices!

Ingredients:

For the egg mixture:
2 blocks extra firm tofu
2 single use packs of Rations Tofu Scramble Seasoning
3/4 tsp corn starch

Mix-ins (endless possibilites here, but this is what we used):
4 Meatless Sausage Patties, we used Gardein
1/4 white onion, sliced
Bread, leftover or dried, cut into cubes
5 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
6 asparagus spears, chopped in half

Directions:

  1. Cut up cubes of bread- if it's old bread, you're ready to use it. If it's fresh bread, you might want to do this step in advance and let it dry out a bit. 
  2. Prepare your mix-ins! I cooked the sausage patties and onion in our cast iron skillet, then threw the bread in to soak up a little of the cooking oil. If you're cooking with vegetables that carry more water, you'll want to make sure you cook them all the way through. You don't want extra moisture later!
  3. At this point, you could package up your mix-ins and set them aside for when you're ready to assemble and bake. If you're making everything at once, just pull your pan off of the burner and allow these to cool. We baked our strata right in the cast iron pan, so we left them in there for baking. If you're using a regular pan, spray it lightly with cooking spray and then spread the mix-ins along the entire pan. You can set your oven to pre-heat to 400 degrees now! 
  4. Start your egg mixture by emptying the contents of two packages of tofu into your blender- including the tofu water! Add both packets of Tofu Scramble Seasoning and the corn starch. Blend on high until completely smooth. This will be thick but it shouldn't have any chunks! It will turn a light yellow color. If you want it to be more yellow, you can add turmeric.
  5. If you're making this for later, pour your egg mixture into a ball jar and set aside until you're ready. If you're making this now, pour right over your mix-ins and use a spoon to smooth out the top.
  6. I added the tomatoes to the top so they would get roasted and because Kyle likes the taste and texture of them. Just slightly press them into the top of your casserole. I did the same with asparagus.
  7. Bake at 400 for 1 hour. It will get cracked and will look jiggly but I promise it's baking!
  8. Allow to cool! Don't try and mess with this until it has had a good amount of time to cool. I would say at least 20 to 30 minutes. I used a spreader to run along the edges and make sure they were detached from the pan.
  9. Slice and serve! You can serve this with Hollandaise sauce, greens, hash browns... anything! 

Eggless Easter: Vegan Hollandaise

"It's like egg butter sauce!" - That's what Kyle yelled from the kitchen while he was working on this recipe, so you have to know it's going to be tasty!

Asparagus and Hollandaise is a match made in heaven.... and since we live in California, we already get to use our grill in March!

Asparagus and Hollandaise is a match made in heaven.... and since we live in California, we already get to use our grill in March!

Hollandaise is definitely something we love to order when we're out, but we've never made the "perfect" version at home before this. One of our favorite places to get Hollandaise is from Blossom in New York, where Kyle and I had a Sunday brunch date when we were visiting my favorite city together for the first time.

When Mother's had a Tofu Benedict as a special, we hurried over so we could get our Hollandaise fix. A lot of people say that Mother's goes light on the seasoning- these people have never tried their Hollandaise. What the menu doesn't say about this special is that it's a spicy version of this sauce. I took one bite and passed my plate over to Kyle- I couldn't handle the heat! Of course, that means Kyle ate two servings and loved every bite of the spicy special.

Our version starts with soaked raw macadamia nuts, but also includes butter and lemon, which are classic non-vegan Hollandaise ingredients. Our Tofu Scramble Seasoning gives this sauce an eggy richness without all of the cholesterol of the real thing.

Try the sauce on a Bacon Benedict- with English muffins, asparagus and coconut bacon. Or try a Florentine- with sauteed spinach and oven roasted tomatoes on top of an English muffin.

Vegan Hollandaise

Ingredients:
1 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked
1 stick Earth Balance, melted
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp paprika
1 pack Tofu Scramble Seasoning
Turmeric for color, optional

Directions:

  1. Soak macadamia nuts. We soaked hours for a few hours, but if you soaked them over night, you might need to use less water. You can try this with cashews too!
  2. Blend everything together until smooth.
  3. Put it all over everything! Asparagus, potatoes, English muffins, vegan ham, baked tofu. Whatever you can think of!

Eggless Easter: Classic Tofu Egg Salad

If you're looking for a quick and delicious sandwich that's packed with protein but also the creaminess of something more decadent, tofu egg salad is a classic choice. You're likely to have everything on hand to make this and it's really easy to throw together at the beginning of the week, making packing a lunch later completely painless.

When Phoney Baloney's operated as a sandwich shop, it was located inside of a small gym. This tofu egg salad recipe was once a special on the menu and managed to win over a group of protein-lifting-bro types who couldn't believe that they weren't eating eggs. If you're looking to fool a friend or loved one with an egg recipe, here's your ticket! Just tell them you used leftover Easter eggs and then watch the amazement when you let them know they're eating VEGAN brotein in the form of tofu!

We're big fans of the way M Cafe in Los Angeles serves their own tofu egg salad: extra mayo on toasted bread and a generous serving of avocado on top. Obviously, this is not for those people who have a fear of healthy fats, but it sure is a tasty treat for us level-headed vegans!

Perfect finger food for an Eggless Easter party: mini tofu egg salad sandwich sliders.

Perfect finger food for an Eggless Easter party: mini tofu egg salad sandwich sliders.

Classic Tofu Egg Salad

Ingredients:
1 block extra firm tofu, preferably pressed
2 tsp relish
1/4 cup Vegenaise, the original OG vegan mayo
3 tbsp mustard
1/4 tsp dill
1/4 small red onion
2 celery stalks
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
One single use pack Rations Tofu Scramble Seasoning

Directions:

  1. While your tofu is pressing, make the "dressing" by combining the relish, Vegenaise, mustard, dill, lemon juice and Rations Tofu Scramble Seasoning.
  2. Chop the celery into thin slivers. This will add crunch but won't be too bulky.
  3. Dice your onion, we like ours diced pretty small. Again, this adds crunch. Andrea is not a red onion fan so we generally keep it pretty small.
  4. Crumble the tofu by hand right into the dressing. Mix it together until it's fully covered. Kyle does all of this by hand because he likes to make messes.
  5. Once the tofu is well covered in the dressing, add the chopped celery and onion in. Get your hands messy once more and combine everything together well.
  6. Chill and then eat up whenever you're ready to go at it! The longer this sits, the longer the flavors meld together.

RECIPE: Tomato Coconut Bacon Relish

Coconut Bacon Relish on Rosemary Crostini

Coconut Bacon Relish on Rosemary Crostini

Somehow, SoCal went from a wintery freeze to a heatwave in just a matter of days. I swear, it was like 50 degrees when the week started... that's chilly for around these parts! ;) By the weekend, we were hanging out and Kyle was wearing seersucker in the sun. The good weather meant two things: GRILLING TIME and ICE CREAM TIME!

It just so happens that grilling time coincides with an amazing time to be vegan. Not only did we have the new Beyond Meat Beast Burgers to try, but also a brand new pack of the Follow Your Heart American Cheese Slices. Alright, so maybe the pack of slices wasn't brand new and a mouse named Andrea had already eaten a few pieces cold BUT... I mean, how far has vegan cheese come in just a few short years?! 

You could try both of these new items and throw coconut bacon on top and call it a day, but if you really want to up your burger game, try our Tomato Coconut Bacon Relish recipe. You get the smoke from the coconut bacon and the seared red pepper, and a really nice acid kick from the tomatoes. Kyle says this is an "umami bomb", but I refuse to use the word umami. (Ok that was me, Kyle, typing that sentence. I just like to give Andrea a little grief here and there. Back to my soon-to-be-wife's blog post!)

We loved this relish- we ate it on crackers and have been coming up with new ideas for it ever since we had it on these burgers. Try it on a BRAT sandwich... that's just some mayo, this coconut bacon relish, and some arugula for an amazing simple sandwich. Or, mix it into some mayo for an awesome aioli! 

Is it vegan or is it meat? BEAST BURGER!

Is it vegan or is it meat? BEAST BURGER!

Tomato Coconut Bacon Relish

Ingredients:
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup  coconut bacon
1 tbsp oil (we use canola)
1/2 tsp tamari
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic

Directions:

  1. Add the oil to your pan and turn your stove top burner to high. You want a really hot pan to start off with!
  2. Add the onion and red pepper to the pan. Add the salt. Because you're working with high heat, you want to baby sit your pan and stir often. Everything should cook down but not burn or get too browned. This step should take 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes. Let this cook down for another 2-3 minutes, until they have a little bit of a sear on them and are beginning to blister.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients: apple cider vinegar, tamari, black pepper and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and let cook for another 2 minutes. 
  5. Add the coconut bacon and stir to make sure everything is coated in the reduced relish you've created.
  6. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until you reach a jam-like consistency.
  7. Remove from burner and allow to cool. I usually put something like EAT IT as the last step, but this is much better when it's cooled down and you get all of the different flavor notes married, from the smoke to the acid to the unexpected sweetness. 

As for the ICE CREAM TIME portion of this blog post, I bring you..drumroll please....the new So Delicious Cashew Milk ice cream. It is so creamy and rich and delicious. We found this along with a bunch of other flavors at Sprouts- can't wait to go back for the Dark Chocolate Truffle! 


Vegan Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Bread

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

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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!

Vegan Cheddar Coconut Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Bread

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

  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! :)