No-Yeast Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: a baker’s dozen + 1 (approximately 14 rolls)

For some of us, it is always pumpkin spice season. But if you are more of a traditionalist, it is November, so ’tis the season to start your morning on a roll, a Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll.

These glistening golden spirals boast ideal proportions of spicy pumpkin filling, rich caramel-y glaze, and dough made tender and a hint tangy with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream to balance the sweetness.

Our no-yeast cinnamon rolls are ready in a flash for weekend or holiday breakfasts that everyone will gobble up.  In fact, they are so easy and quick to prepare, you might find yourself rolling them out on a chilly weekday morning.

Visit Tofutti at the link above for this recipe–and many more–which is also included here, in case the link becomes broken.

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

4 tablespoons vegan butter

1/3 cup pureed pumpkin (not pie filling)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or substitute mostly cinnamon plus a pinch ginger, nutmeg, and allspice)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Pumpkin Spice Glaze (recipe follows)

Optional Garnish: toasted pecan halves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch round baking dish, preferably ceramic or glass, and set aside.  In a small cup, whisk together non-dairy milk and vinegar; set aside to curdle.  Place flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl of food processor and pulse a couple times to combine.  Or mix dough by hand in large mixing bowl.  Add curdled milk and Better Than Sour Cream and pulse until it comes together as a ball.  If mixing my hand, stir with a fork until a uniform dough is formed.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead a couple times, and roll into a 10 x 14” rectangle with a floured rolling pin.  (This size creates the best ratio of dough to filling.)  In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, both sugars, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and almond extract if using.  Reserve 1/4 cup to make glaze and spoon the rest down the center of dough rectangle.  Spread to within 1/2-inch of border.  Roll up, jellyroll, fashion, staring at one long side.  If filling squeezes out as you roll, just scoop up excess with a spoon and add to the reserved mixture.  With a serrated knife, cut roll into 14 one-inch-thick slices and place, spiral up, in concentric circles in prepared dish, leaving a little space in between.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden.  Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack 10 minutes.  Pour and spread glaze over top, garnish if desired with pecan halves, and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Glaze

¼ cup reserved pumpkin spice filling

3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1 or more tablespoons non-dairy milk, as needed

Whisk together reserved pumpkin spice filling, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and optional almond extract, adding additional powdered sugar and non-dairy milk, as needed, to reach desired consistency.  It should be thick, but pourable.

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Eggnog Pancakes–For Tasty, Toasty Holidays & Weekdays (vegan/plant-based)

Yield: 4 to 6 servings (16 medium pancakes)

Thanksgiving is scarcely over and I am already making Christmasy-breakfasts!

The independent school where I have been joyfully employed as the upper school art teacher since 2020 includes the post-Thanksgiving Monday as part of our holiday–what?! So that left me with a little extra time this morning to have more than a cup of chai. With Chobani Oat Nog in the fridge and a nip in the air, I knew what I wanted to whip up after a couple miles of dog walking and before my longer hike at the Norfolk Botanical Garden: Eggnog Pancakes, or “Eggnot” Pancakes, as a silly play on words.

The distinctive noggy taste of Chobani’s welcome addition to the seasonal array of commercially-prepared products plus a little tang from my go-to, Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, not to mention the addition of freshly-grated nutmeg–oh, and a little bourbon in the syrup–yielded a twist on a Christmas classic as delicious as its namesake.

1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

1 1/2 cups Chobani Oatmilk Oat Nog

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

Garnishes: additional Better Than Sour Cream, maple of bourbon-maple syrup, powdered sugar, freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and star anise

Preheat oven to low or warm, approximately 170 degrees. In medium bowl, whisk together Better Than Sour Cream and a little Oat Nog until smooth and creamy. Then slowly whisk in remaining Oat Nog. Add all remaining ingredients except garnishes and whisk just until smooth. Spray large skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium. Make pancakes, 3 or 4 at a time, using 2 generous tablespoons batter each. Cook a couple minutes and, when a few bubbles start to appear, flip and cook 2 to 3 more minutes or until center is completely set. Adjust heat as necessary. Remove pancakes to cookie sheet and keep warm in oven. Continue with remaining batter. Serve pancakes warm topped as desired with additional Better Than Sour Cream, maple or bourbon-maple syrup, a dusting of powdered sugar, freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.

#vegan #veganism #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansofig #veganinvirginia #goveg #veganforlife #govegan #doitfortheanimals #doitfortheenvironment #dotiforyourhealth #animalsarefriendsnotfood #herbivore #crueltyfree #thebloomingplatter #foodstylist #recipedeveloper #foodphotography #eggnog #pancakes #holidayrecipes

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Blooming Platter Update and Promise of Tons of New Recipes

Betsy Hosting Her Annual Julia Child Birthday Bash, September 2022

Why am I smiling so big? And where have I been? Well, that’s a long story with much to smile about. But here is the short version:

After a 16-year art/art history teaching career with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, I was asked to join the faculty at Norfolk Academy in Norfolk, VA, where I have been happily ensconced as the Upper School art teacher and Perrel Gallery curator since August 2020.

I married Bob Friesen in a gorgeous love-filled micro-wedding for 48 at the rustic Southern Shores Marina in the Outer Banks of NC on May 15, 2021.

Bob and I designed and had built our mid-century/industrial modern weekend dream home just down the road on a forested dune.

And in spring 2022, Tofutti Foods –“First in Dairy Free”–invited me to join forces with their team as a contract recipe developer and food stylist.

Since then, I have created more than 50 new sweet and savory recipes using my favorite brand of cream cheese, sour cream, ricotta, and more. What a tasty joy and a creative stretch. I have received so much pleasure and fulfillment broadening my repertoire and upping my photo staging game–with my dog Urban looking on from just a few feet away in every. single. photo. session. He is such a good boy.

I can only post recipes here that my friends at Tofutti have shared on their website and social media. But I haven’t even taken enough time away from my kitchen lab to do that. I apologize and vow to do better! I hope you will enjoy these new recipes as I begin to share them here with a photo and a link to Tofutti. In the meantime, you can visit the Tofutti website Recipes tab.

Incidentally, if you are unable to purchase the creamy, well-balanced, tasty, and versatile Tofutti line of products, try online shopping through Vegan Essentials.

Cheers!

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Beer Cheese Soup + Review of Spero Foods “The Cheddar” (vegan & plant-based)

Beer Cheese Soup (Vegan & Plant-Based)

Spero Foods recently gifted me with a generous supply of their vegan, plant-based, and eco-conscious sunflower seed-based cheese spreads to sample, and I am happy to share both the results of my in-home taste-test of The Cheddar along with my recipe for vegan and plant-based Beer Cheese Soup. You can find my mini-review of Spero’s The Goat and my recipe for a lovely fall butternut squash-based dip or spread made with it here.

Packaged in 6.5 ounce tubs with a fresh, modern look, I have found the ever-so-slightly grainy texture of these products to be appealing. I don’t necessarily need for my spreads to be unnaturally smooth in most dishes. However, though taste is a highly subjective sense, I find that they tend to be over-salted. This was true of The Cheddar, which was also a bit too tangy for me, though my recollection of earthy cheddar from my pre-vegan days includes a pleasant tang.

So, unlikely to eat this spread by itself, I would be more apt to serve it with a sweet chutney or pepper jelly. However, not in need of party food, but in need of a mid-week dinner, I wondered if it would be tasty in a soup sweetened with coconut milk to offset both the salt and the potent tang. It was luscious, delicious, and satisfying, and I hope you enjoy!

Beer Cheese Soup (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon vegan butter

3 stalks celery, diced

1 small onion, diced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup vegetable stock

1/4 cup vegan beer or non-alcoholic beer

1-15 ounce can coconut milk, lite or regular (I used lite)

6 ounces Spero Foods The Cheddar spread

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon yellow or stone ground mustard

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha

Recommended garnishes: thinly sliced green onion, halved tri-color grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped smoked almonds, shredded vegan cheddar cheese, vegan croutons, etc.

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add celery, onion, a pinch of salt and pepper, turmeric, and garlic powder. Sauté, stirring frequently, until very soft, but not brown; adjusting heat as necessary. Stir in flour until well-combined, followed by vegetable stock, beer, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until smooth and creamy. Stir in The Cheddar spread, apple cider vinegar, mustard, nutritional yeast and Sriracha. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are completely combined and heated through. Serve in bowls, garnished as desired, accompanied by salad and chunks of vegan biscuits or a crusty bread, like maybe pretzel bread nuggets.

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Vegan & Plant-Based Spero Vegan GOAT Cheese More of a BLUE (Review + Recipe)

Roasted Butternut Spread (recipe at bottom)

Recently, Spero Foods generously shared some of their sunflower-based products with me after I happily agreed to review their goat cheese alternative, The Goat.

I was excited to sample it–the fresh, modern packahing is appealing–but I wouldn’t say it is the “greatest of all time,” though It certainly has some merit.

I wanted to try it first without reading any reviews. My taste test revealed a creamy, but textured, product. However, I did not find that it tasted like the goat cheese that I recall from my pre-vegan days. Rather it tasted strongly–very strongly–of blue cheese.

Some of the reviews I later read raved about it’s exact match with goat cheese. Others shared my view that it tasted like blue cheese, and still others were much less kind about the flavor, the texture, and the aroma.

I tasted it plain and enjoyed it as a blue cheese-flavored spread, but then I made a Butternut Squash Spread with it. It was a little bit too robust in its flavor for the roasted butternut squash, so it would probably better complement something equally assertive, say a piquant Buffalo sauce.

I would buy the product, but I would buy it intending to use it more like a blue cheese. And I encourage you to see what you think.

Think above that comes broken, try this:

The Goat (Plant-Based Goat Cheese)

Roasted Butternut Spread

2 cups diced roasted butternut squash
1/4 cup vegan goat cheese, blue cheese, ricotta, or cream cheese
Leaves from 1-4 inch piece fresh rosemary
2 large fresh sage leaves, torn in half
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Garnish: fresh herbs and nuts, plain or candied

Process all ingredients together, except 1 tablespoon olive oil, in bowl of food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Transfer to serving dish, make a swirl in center, drizzle with remaining olive oil, garrnish with fresh herbs and nuts as desired, and serve with crackers, toasts, or fresh vegetables.

#sperofoods #veganappetizer #plantbasedappetizer #vegancheese #veganspread #plantbasedspread

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Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Indian Spices (vegan & plant-based)

Whole Roasted Cauliflower is my new favorite dinner: nutritious, delicious, gorgeous, and so low in calories and fat! This photo is from Tuesday night dinner with friends, but it is impressive enough for the centerpiece of a holiday feast.

Yet, it is also quick and easy. Though it bakes quite a while at 65 minutes, that is all hands-free time.

After removing the stem from the whole head of cauliflower–but not so much that the florets detatch–I blend 6 tablespoons hummus with sea salt and the spices of my choice.

This one was Indian so I used about 1/2 teaspoon each cardamom, coriander, curry powder, and turmeric. Then I rub the paste all over and under, place the cauliflower stem down in an oiled 8-inch gratin dish or metal baking pan for better browning, bake at 400 for 45 minutes covered, uncover, and bake for 20 minutes more.

Lastly, I top in a variety of ways. For this one, I heated together purchased onion jam (a “Burger Topper” I found at Kroger) with mango chutney I had on hand and sprinkled with finely chopped nuts, chives, and Everything Bagel Seasoning. I have also made a “yumtious” Middle Eastern iteration (see previous post).

I was a little late to the whole roasted cauliflower party, but I am making up for lost time!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #cauliflowerrecipes

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Middle Eastern Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream Sauce (vegan/plant-based)

Middle Eastern Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Simple enough for a weeknight, and special enough for a holiday meal, this Middle Eastern-inspired twist on whole roasted cauliflower is a nutritious showstopper.  Though quite low in calories, the flavor is high octane and the Better Than Sour Cream Sauce contrasts beautifully with the roast’s rich golden color.  

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

1 whole medium cauliflower, rinsed, and leaves and stem removed without detaching florets

6 tablespoons garlic hummus (or whatever flavor you like)

2 teaspoons Everything Bagel Seasoning 

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Topping:

Note: you may substitute seasoned breadcrumbs, but this nut mixture is special.

1/3 cup broken or small nuts (regular or smoked almonds, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, or a combination)

1 tablespoon fresh minced chives, cilantro, or parsley

1 tablespoon Everything Bagel Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line an 8-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray or vegetable oil.  Whisk together all ingredients, except cauliflower and Topping, and rub and pat generously over entire surface of cauliflower, including the bottom.  Place, stem down, in prepared pan and roast, covered with foil shiny side down, for 45 minutes.  While cauliflower roasts, place topping ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times until nuts are finely chopped and ingredients are well combined.  After 45 minutes, carefully remove foil—avoid escaping steam—spritz top lightly with oil, and roast, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Open oven door, slide rack out, sprinkle cauliflower with topping, and roast, uncovered, for 10 more minutes.  Test for tenderness with a sharp knife at base and bake a couple more minutes if necessary.  Serve on a platter of mixed greens and pass a bowl of Better Than Sour Cream Sauce (recipe follows).

Better Than Sour Cream Sauce:

1/2 cup Tofutti (www.Tofutti.com) Better Than Sour Cream

2 tablespoons garlic hummus (or same flavor used for cauliflower rub)

Optional: pinch sea salt

Zest of 1/2 medium lemon

In small bowl, whisk together Better Than Sour Cream, hummus, and optional sea salt.  Whisk in half the zest and use the remainder as a garnish on top.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #plantbasedbuffaloholiday #veganholiday #plantbasedcauliflower #vegancauliflower

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Red Bell Not-chos (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1 serving

Crunchy red bell slices replace tortilla chips in this decadent-but-not version of the classic, complete with melty cheese, and you won’t miss them.

I had planned to make Apple Not-chos, but Bob thought I asked him for a red and a green bell pepper instead of apples. They sound a lot alike don’t they? At any rate, the mistake turned out to be one happy and tasty accident.

Slice 1 red bell pepper 1/4″ thick and microwave for about 30 seconds.

What happens next is up to you!

I layered on the following in a shallow bowl and microwaved for another 30-60 seconds:

-2 slices Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda (https://followyourheart.com/)

-4 ounces cubed Tofurky Sesame-Garlic Chick’n (https://tofurky.com/what-we-make/chickn/sesame-garlic/)

1 medium yellow onion, slivered and caramelized in 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon Luquid Aminos, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup

-1 tablespoon Herbs & Chive Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (https://www.tofutti.com/)

Top with:

-1/4 cup pico de gallo

-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

Serve immediately with a fork!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodpornvegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #vegannachos #plantbasednachos #Tofutti #followyourheart #tofurky

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Grilled Cheese Sandwiches w/ Caramelized Onions & Green Apple (vegan & plant-based)

Stack it High!!

Today I share no real recipe, just a suggestion for combining components in the most luscious of grilled cheese sandwiches built on colors and flavors that complement and contrast.

“Sandwiched” between 2 pieces of a rosemary olive oil bread are slices of Tofutti’s American style cheese, griddled green apple (sliced about 1/4 inch thick), caramelized onions, and a harissa cream cheese made with about 2 or so tablespoons of Tofutti Garlic-Herb Better-Than-Ceam Cheese and about 2 teaspoons of prepared harissa. I gently heated them together for a few seconds in the microwave and whisked until smooth.

The tangy cheese slices, tart apple, sweet onions, and spicy cream cheese are the perfect foils for each other.

If you are unable to get Tofutti products where you live, their website Includes a product locator.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #tofutti #grilledcheese #vegangrilledcheese #plantbasedgrilledcheese

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Chocolate-Pear Loaf with Chai-Sour Cream Glaze–A Valentine’s Pear-ing (vegan & plant-based)

This moist and fudgy cake is winter incarnate thanks to pear puree in the batter and chai tea spices in the glaze. It is also deliciously vegan and plant-based.

Gild this lily with dried edible flowers and cinnamon sticks and it becomes Valentine’s Day incarnate, sweet-but-not-too. For every day, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and a few chopped nuts would be just right.

Find my recipe at https://www.tofutti.com/recipe-blog/tofutti-dairy-free-vegan-chocolate-loaf with a big thanks to Tofutti, who commissioned this beauty.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #plantbasedchocolate #veganchocolate #plantbasedcake #vegancake #plantbasevalentines #veganValentines

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