Pan Amasado {Chilean Biscuits}

Today is the LAST day for Vegan Month of Food and I believe it was very successful! Even though I did not get a chance to read close to 800 blogs I did get introduced to MANY new blogs. I have added them to bloglines for easier reading so I am looking forward continuing reading them.

I do not know about anyone else, but I do not plan on NOT blogging any less than I have because it has been inspiring to keep creating new dishes and working on new recipes featured by other bloggers. Why stop now? I know that others feel the same so stay tuned for continuous posts here!

November hit another point for me in my life. When the holidays usually come around I seem to focus on family. Well, duh, you might say, but I am talking about family no longer living or family not living near. When I got married I knew I was preparing to go on a journey with my husband and I have been REALLY happy sharing an adventure together. I guess what I am saying that I did not realize HOW much would change.

Somehow I imagined things being a little different. I did not grow up in a big family. It always was just 4 of us and then it was 3, which meant that one side of the family no longer existed for us. Can I be any more vague? Well, noone said divorce was easy but when my parents split, it continued splitting the divide between my father's family (Chileans) with my mother and my sister and I. It meant no more family gatherings and no more laughter. That was the hardest thing for me. I enjoyed them but it could not be helped no matter how much I even tried. (Believe me, I tried, and with repercussions)

Anyway, I did not mean for this post to have any low points, I just meant to explain the reasons for certain recipes. During this month I have felt inspired to cook in memory of my Chilean grandmother. Even though she did not teach me many of her recipes I remember the flavors and the dishes.

One of the things we did often was have tea time like the British do. On Sunday evenings my grandmother would make Chilean biscuits and serve them with deli, cheese, homemade caramel, pate', and black tea with milk. This past weekend I felt like making them and introducing them to Ryan.

The biscuits require a bit of rising and kneading but when they are ready they bake quickly and are perfect for consuming. Ryan loved them and expressed that this recipe was a keeper. Looks like I will be keeping on a tradition. :-D

These biscuits are completely vegan using all-vegetable shortening with no trans fats. (I use Spectrum) You then slice them in half and spread a bit of Earth Balance and your choice of preserves. Mine have always been peach or apricot preserves when it comes to these biscuits. I then enjoyed it with 2 cups of warm Earl Grey Tea with a bit of almond milk. A perfect weekend night meal.

You know what ended up being great about the leftovers? You can toast them and eat them for breakfast or make a quick dinner to make vegan pizzas. This is what I did on Sunday evening. This girl has learned to keep the creativity going. Ryan looked up from his reading and said, "I smell something I like. Pizza!" H e was right. Here it is with a bit of marinara, Tofurky sausage and Daiya cheese. Delicious!

Pan Amasado {Chilean Biscuits}

original recipe on Family Cookbook Project

makes 10 biscuits

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup shortening, softened
1 1/2 packages yeast

 Mix flour and salt for 15 seconds and scrape walls of bowl. Add softened shortening and knead slowly for one minute

Dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cups of warm water (110º F or 45º C) and add it to the bowl. Knead for another two minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. Adjust water or flour, as necessary

Allow the dough to rest and rise in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap, for 1 hour in a warm place (85º F) until it doubles in volume.

Preheat oven to 375º F. Punch down and knead dough until soft and smooth. Form small rolls about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch tall. Place on a non-stick baking sheet, prick tops with fork, and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Bake rolls about 20 minutes


Seitan Corn Tortilla Soup

Hi everyone! Hope that everyone had a restful holiday weekend and that you are ready to get back to the grind.

Ryan and I took advantage of putting up or Christmas decorations since it is tradition to do it after Thanksgiving. Well, not only that, but it is when we have the most time to do it too. We finally decided that this will be our LAST time to purchase a tree that is prelit because if there is a row of lights in the tree that do not turn on, then it is a PAIN to figure out. Ryan finally did a wonderful job of figuring it out.

While he decorated the tree, I decorated our living room and kitchen with limited decorations. I thank God for the place we live in, but I can't wait to be in a place that has a mantel and plenty of shelving, ya know?

Here is our finished product:

I got this Capt Kirk ornament for Ryan as a b-day gift

Our chili pepper ornament from New Mexico

Our Tree topper from a friend in Longview, Texas

Chicago Bears ornament in the background

Decorations on the entertainment center

Angels from my mom and a great candle!

Huge red candle with Ryan's elves
I love this time of year! I am glad we got these up too becasue I will only have 2 1/2 weeks to enjoy them.

This weekend I continued using my seitan roast leftovers and decided to continue with creating new dishes with it. I decided to shred seitan and put in my recipe for tortilla soup.

Before I went vegan I created a Chicken Tortilla Soup that was really delicious. When Ryan requested it this weekend, I wondered what I was going to eat. I decided that I should have the same thing but with seitan instead!

Ryan had a bite and thought it was good even though he enjoyed his version much better (sigh...since I was using turkey leftovers).

I only made 4 servings worth but I regretted not making more because this soup was SO DELICIOUS! Believe me, you have to try this because it was thick and warm and perfect for this cold weather. It is great with some vegan cheese melted on top or just slices of avocado and crushed tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Seitan Corn Tortilla Soup

print recipe

serves 4

1 cup seitan, shredded (or substitute any other vegan meat)
4 cups water
2 vegan bouillon cube 
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup frozen corn kernels
1 carrot, diced
1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 poblano or red pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp Cajun seasoning (or salt)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1 tsp cumin
6 corn tortillas, cut in 8

Heat olive oil in medium soup pot and sauté onions, garlic, carrots, pepper for 5 minutes. Add shredded seitan and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients except tortillas and boil for 15 minutes. Add tortillas and boil for 10 to 15 more minutes until the tortillas break up and the soup has thickened.

Serve with Tofutti sour cream and avocado slices. Crushed corn chips are optional.


Persimmon Margaritas

After a SUPER long day shopping, walking and people watching we came to a warm dish of tortilla soup and cocktails.

Yes, Ryan and I went out at 6am and really took out time shopping. We are all about bargain shopping but we had mostly done ours online already. I almost felt like we went out more for tradition EVEN though we did find a few things.

We got home about 4:30pm and took a long nap, which felt really great! I was inspired then to make great soup using seitan leftovers, which I will later share with you.

I also felt like making persimmon margaritas. Yes. I told you I was going to be posting more persimmon recipes so here we go.

Check out Muy Bueno Cookbook's website for a delicious recipe and FAB pictures, because mine were taken quickly. I used lemon juice since that is all I had in the fridge, but I believe the recipes will taste almost the same.

Make sure you use the non-astrigent persimmons or else you are going to have a weird tasking drink. Ryan and I both thought it was a different but delicious drink.

I love trying new recipes and so should you! Go out and purchase those cheap persimmons and make one or two drinks and have fun!

Hope you are having a great holiday weekend. I hope to do Zumba tomorrow so I can keep the legs moving! Have a great night!


Seitan Salad Sandwich {Happy Thanksgiving!}

It has been a quiet day here in our home. It feels kind of strange not being with family and celebrating over mountains of food, but I am still thankful.

I am glad that I can still say Happy Thanksgiving because it is all about being thankful. Even though I can be thankful every day of my life, I am specifically thankful for:
  • the hope I have in God who gives me strength to live each day
  • my husband
  • my mother
  • my sister
  • my father
  • my in-laws
  • my sis-in-laws
  • health
  • joy
  • marriage
  • zumba
  • my job
  • provisions
  • singing
As you can see, I can be thankful for these things every day but I have chosen to really remember the wonderful things in my life.

I hope that you all are able to take a second and be thankful for the wonderful blessings in your life.

I leave you with a simple recipe that can be prepared tomorrow after all your leftovers.

Seitan Salad Sandwich

serves 2

4 slices of Ezekiel bread, toasted

1 cup seitan roast, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons Vegenaise
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, place chopped seitan roast and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Toast Ezekiel bread and divide mixture between two plates and 4 slices of bread. Enjoy!


Tropical Persimmon Muffins with Coconut Spice Creme

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As everyone has started traveling, we have stayed put this year due to the little time off we have but Christmas will be here before we know it!

Since Ryan and I celebrated our Thanksgiving with the graduate students on Sunday we decided to dwell with leftovers. The original plan was for me to preapre a new meal for Ryan for his birthday on Thanksgiving instead on Monday, but little did he know what I was planning. Every person should have their birthday dinner on their ACTUAL birthday so I quickly made him a Chilean meal that he requested and after coming home from a nice game of racquetball, he sat down to his birthday dinner all surprised. Yes. I like that face.

I made a Gaucho Steak for him and I heated up my Seitan roast and sliced it and served it with my secret Chilean chimichurri sauce that I introduced to him back in March. Ryan was practically salivating because it IS the best sauce! I think it went really well with my leftover seitan roast.

I also made my Grandma's recipe for Papa Rusa, or Russian Potato that is super unique. Ryan let me know that this was his favorite. I had to take a break from making tamales the last 2 years. It is HARD work. All in all, Ryan was VERY happy with his birthday dinner. :)


This morning I decided to revisit a new recipe. Can you tell that persimmons are in-season?? I love seeing the 2 kinds at the store. When I was purchasing some, the grocer stocking the fruit asked me how I used the Hachiya persimmons. I told him I loved baking with them since they seemed too uncomfortable raw. He completely agreed with me. He then proceeded to ask me how I liked the Fuyu persimmons and I realized I had not tasted that kind yet. He took one and washed and sliced it for me and let me eat in the produce section. How about that? He definitely sold it to me.

Fuyu persimmons are delicious to eat and resemble the tomato than the Hachiya persimmon. What I realized is that I had been eating the Hachiya when it was still unripe. When it is SUPER ripe and very soft to the touch it is perfect for eating. I am planning on making several recipes with my Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons. If is one thing I will not have to worry that this fruit will get overripe. It will be perfect!

I revisited my Tropical Persimmon Muffin recipe I created back in December 2009 and decided to tweak it a little using different natural sweetners and flours. I also decided to add a coconut whipped creme to make this more of a brunch item. I was very much happy with results.

I used spelt instead of whole wheat and coconut raw crystals instead of agave and vanilla extract instead of the lime extract. It was all together a BETTER muffin. The addition of the coconut creme was divine. Forget butter or Earth Balance (sorry) but this spiced creme was so delicious.

Make these for the holidays and have your family raving!

Tropical Persimmon Muffins

print recipe

makes a dozen muffins

1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut flakes
1 teaspoon baking SODA
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup Hachiya persimmon pulp (2 pieces of ripe fruit)-reserve 2 Tbsp for creme
1/2 cup Coconut Secret coconut crystals (or agave nectar)
3 Tablespoons Tropical Traditions coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin cups with liners.

Mix first 7 ingredients (dry) in a small bowl. Remove softened persimmon pulp from each fruit and discard the peel. Add the coconut oil, crystals and vanilla and mix well.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix. Pour mix into each muffin liner.

Bake for 25 minutes and cool for 10 minutes.

Coconut Spice Creme

prepare the night before

1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice seasonings
or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon & 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg)
2/3 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons persimmon pulp

Mix all ingredients in a mixer and whip until smooth. Place in a covered bowl and refirgerate the night before or early in the morning. Let it set. Brings all the flavors together.

Use 1-2 Tablespoons of creme for each muffin. Enjoy!


So Delicious Coconut Winners!!!

I am so excited that there were over 300 comments for this wonderful giveaway. Thank you everyone who entered. I hope to have a similar contest again in the future. Random.org was wonderful enough to help me pick the 10 winners of 4 coupons for free So Delicious products.

Please email me your full name and address by Saturday, November 27th. If I do not hear from you I will pick another winner. Thanks everyone!!

Comment #2  Elle said...
Oh my gosh, I SO love their stuff! I think I'd get ice cream first because it's such an amazing treat. But their creamer is so versatile and delicious!

[DSC00637.JPG]Comment #47 ---Cherloo said...

Ice Cream first than their Soy Creamer would come in 2nd!

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Comment #17 -Lauren  I'd buy ice cream - yum :)

Comment #296----psufroggirl said...

definitely the Vanilla Bean coconut milk ice cream!!! ...which is AhMAZing and also which will just happen to taste great with the homemade vegan peppermint patties I just made!

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Comment #162-----HiHoRosie said...

what i'd buy first - well, that's easy! Vanilla coconut milk! 2nd would be Peanut Butter ZigZag (my fave!)

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Comment #59----The Vegan Kitchen said...

I would buy their German Chocolate coconut milk ice cream first (if I can find it anywhere - so elusive!).

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Comment #254---Brandi said...

I'd buy 4 coconut milk yogurts. They are my favorite thing right now! They are so silk smooth! Maybe I might get a coconut milk ice cream, for my dad though.

Comment #60---Bethany S. said...
I would buy some ice cream first--for my sons who have severe food allergies. They love the coconut-milk ones!

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Comment #97----Marianna said...

I would buy the french vanilla creamer first. It travels with me to Starbucks. :)

Comment #151----Abby Bean said...

I would unabashedly buy 3 pints of ice cream (peanut butter zig zag, blueberry cheesecake, and cookie dough) and one container of coconut milk yogurt for use in my lemon coconut cake.


My First Vegan Thanksgiving {Four recipes}

Good morning! I think I am finally back into my groove here in MI. I have adjusted to the time change and am sleeping and waking up fully rested. Such a good thing too! I feel like ever since I came back from Colorado that it has been hard just getting back into the swing of things and that means drinking my GREEN smoothies and eating normally.

My eating was a little off for 5 days but I am also back to eating at my time. This morning I was glad to be back at my 6am workout with my weights and cardio class. Even though I got to hike just ONCE in Colorado, I felt like my body totally liked being on an exercise rest. I seriously saw a difference in my pants and in the way I felt. Is this supposed to happen especially when not working out? I embraced it though.

I came straight home, makde Ryan his birthday breakfast, and then focused on my green smoothie of the day. SO delicious. Before I left last week I froze my greens because I knew Ryan would not touch them. I froze kale and spinach, so I removed the spinach and added it to my smoothie this morning. Lovely combination too. I went for the whole Tropical theme.

Tropical Green Smoothie

serves 2

1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango
1 1/2 cups frozen spinach or 3 cups loosely packed
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 Tablespoon flaxseed oil
1 Tablespoon agave nectar
1 scoop protein powder

Blend well and serve. Drink immediately and envision yourself at a beach. :)

So when I mention that this was my FIRST vegan Thanksgiving, I meant it was my first one cooking and hosting. Ryan and I talked about having the graduate students come over for a Thanksgiving feast and gathering. Everyone was in charge of bringing a side and a bottle of wine. I was in charge of making the turkey.

Yes, you read it right. I made a turkey for the first time. I was very nervous but I knew that I was the only vegan in the group and Ryan requested I make it so I complied. I thank my mother-in-law for signing me up for Bon Appétit as my early Christmas gift, because when I received the Thanksgiving issue, I was all over it. You should see the magazine now. It is covered in food markings and splotches. I mean, it is a sign of good cooking, don't you think? The turkey was a Salt-Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Oregano from this month's issue.

I did have a bit of a hard time preparing the turkey but I knew I was going to be making something for myself and anyone else willing to try my first time at also preparing a Seitan Roast.

This recipe was VERY easy to prepare and a new experience for me. It roasts in the oven for nearly an hour in broth and then I made the gravy from leftover broth and drizzled and heated up the next day. Half the tray was eaten by the grad students and I had people ask what it was made of. They ate it up! Good thing I made it too because I had some protein to enjoy. I thought this was a good way to expose non-vegans to their proteins. Here is the Seitan Holiday Roast recipe from VegWeb.

I made a new cranberry sauce recipe I saw in Foodbuzz posts and decided to try it. Cake Duchess has a nice site and I loved her picture and additions to the cranberry sauce (like oranges and ginger) so I told her I would make it. I made a double recipe and made it with 1/2 vegan sugar and 1/2 agave nectar. I was asked SEVERAL times if the sauce was homemade because they liked it alot! Here is the recipe Gingery Orange Cranberry Sauce.

My veggie contribution to the Thanksgiving potluck was this fantastic recipe from Bon Appétit called Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried-Cherry Vinaigrette. It was super easy to prepare and perfect to preapre in advance. I just steamed the beans and blanched them and placed them in a ziplock until the day of the dinner. The picture above is the dressing on top of the beans. Once I added the toasted walnuts I mix it up and this is what it looked like:

 My last contribution to the dinner was my own recipe for stuffing. I made it completely vegan and really liked the results. I had asked several people on Twitter for advice when it comes to stuffing. Should it be sweet, or sweet and salty or just salty? I finally added 2 apples to the stuffing to add a little sweetness but nothing more. It was a perfect addition. Thanks Brian!

Savory Whole Wheat Bread Stuffing

serves 12-15 people

10 cups whole wheat bread, cut 1-inch cubes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons Earth Balance
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
4 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 small onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 Tablespoons Herbes de Provence
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth ( I use Rapunzel bouillon cubes w/ salt)

Preheat oven to 350degrees Fahrenheit. Cut up all your bread and place in a deep 9x13 dish and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Bread is to become a little browned and dry.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large saucepan and add onions, carrots, and celery and cook for 10 minutes or until onions and celery become translucent. Add garlic, salt, pepper and herbs. Add the Earth Balance and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Add mixture into bread cubes and mix well. Add apples and vegetable broth and cover and chill overnight or bake for 40-45 minutes on 350 dgrees.

We all had a great time and laughed a lot. Hope your holidays are wonderful and full of thanks for the provisions God has given you!


Double Chocolate Cherry Walnut Cookies {Gluten-free} and Cookbook Winner

Happy Friday! Some of you already have a lot of your Thanksgiving planning done. I got busy last night and brainstormed on ideas and finally headed out to the store before the mayhem begins early at 7:30am this morning! I beat the crowds and I hope I did not forget anything.

I am so excited to see nearly 250 comments on the So Delicious Coupon Giveaway. I cannot express to you how much I like this product and how it has made my vegan journey a lot easier. I hope you get to enter since TEN people have a chance to win four free products!

Before  post a recipe I also thank everyone interested in the Cookbook Giveaway. Here is the winner:

Marty said...

"Tortuga, what a great concept and then waiting in anticipation for ... sour cream. Yeah, you do have to be so so specific. I usually start out with, "Hi, I'm a vegan, do you know what that means?" and then go into minute detail after that.

My go to meals are all processed. Lightlife meats, boca burgers, or premade vegan chicken salads, on vegan bread toasted, daiya cheese melted, some mixed greens and I'm golden. Nice flavors, crunchy and something you can sink your teeth into."

Hi Marty! Please email me your full name and address so I can get that info to the publishers. Thanks!!

As I looked through my pictures and recipes I totally forgot to post a gluten-free and vegan cookie recipe I found as I was perusing vegan mofo posts 2 weeks ago! How could I?? The recipe, after being tweaked a bit, came out super delicious and moist. I love discovering that gluten-free AND vegan means delicious and not lacking in flavor. A common misconception! At least to me.

Double Chocolate Cherry Walnut Cookies

makes 18-20 cookies / Print Recipe

adapted from Lettuce Free Vegan

1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed
1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened (vegan margarine)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 chia egg or flaxseed (1 Tablespoon ground chia seed mixed in small bowl with 3 Tbsp warm water)
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon So Delicious Coconut Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchament paper.

In large bowl, cream brown sugar and Earth Balance together until light and fluffy. Prepare chia / flaxseed egg and set aside for 3-5 minutes until it becomes thick. Add the extracts and chia / flaxseed egg and mix well.

Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and mix well. Stir in the coconut milk until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts, and cherries.

Drop by 2 tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until set. Cool for one minute on the pan and then move to wire cookie rack.

These are DELICIOUS warm! Enjoy!
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