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.

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

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!

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.

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

The Jazzy Vegetarian’s Vegan Miso-Parsley Hummus

Yield: 4 servings

Laura Theodore, aka the Jazzy Vegetarian, is hitting all the high notes and winning awards and accolades in the process. From her latest vegan cookbook, to the Jazzy Vegetarian on public television, to her podcast radio show, to her pop-up restaurant, this vibrant recording artist never misses a beat. She is everywhere: from Netflix to CBS to HBO, just to mention a few forums where she has been featured.

Her recipes are simple and straightforward; the resulting dishes colorful and flavorful. In fact, I gifted good foodie friends with one of her cookbooks, Vegan-ease this Christmas. Like me, they like to use recipes as a starting point for their own iterations, and no better place to start than with Laura’s, though her recipes are perfectly balanced as is.

When her latest cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan hit the stands, I had promised to participate in a “blog tour,” but life got in the way. So, better late than never. Today, I finally had an opportunity to return the favor to this energetic and supportive member of the vegan community, for years ago, she interviewed me on the Jazzy Vegetarian Radio when my cookbook, The Blooming Platter: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes was published.

Says Laura of her quick and easy recipe featured here, “Miso provides texture and taste to this hummus without adding any oil, keeping it a light and low-fat option for a satisfying snack.”

True confession, I added a tablespoon of oil because I love the mouthfeel of a hint of oil, but I also love Laura’s idea of using good ‘ole tap water for most of the moisture. Also, though I know the prevailing wisdom is to make a recipe as printed the first time and then adjust, I didn’t have any chickpeas on hand, it is pouring rain here, and I didn’t want to run into the grocery store. So, I made it with the edamame which I had in the fridge. Yum. And I used my food processor rather than blender.

Also, because my hummus was leaning in an Asian direction–and because I have been cooking and developing award-winning recipes for a very long time–I made a couple of other alterations: I added 2 large cloves of garlic, minced, and, over the top, I drizzled about a tablespoon of my Blooming Platter Mayo (basically, a white tangy “sauce”) and another of Asian Sweet Chili Sauce for color and zing. I think Laura would approve of my “jazzing up” my version just a little.

But, I guarantee that her unadulterated Miso-Parsley Hummus would be delicious as is:

1 can (15 to 16 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 to 3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (see note)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon mellow white miso
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Chef’s Note: For a more lemony taste, add 1 more tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Add a bit more water, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency.

Recipe by Laura Theodore, from Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan. Published by Scribe Publishing, ©2018, reprinted by permission.

Vegan Edamame Buddha Bowl (only 25O calories per huge serving)

Yield: 1 large serving; easily multiplies

Dinner on Friday night was delicious, nutritious, beautiful, and almost more than I could eat…but only 25O calories.

We had considered Chinese takeout, but I didn’t want to get back out after walking the dogs. So with Asian cuisine on my mind, I did a mental scan if what was in the fridge and created this satisfying and beautiful bowl.

Be sure to enjoy it with chopsticks; it is so much more fun that way.

1/2 cup shredded cabbage and carrot slaw mix (12.5 calories)

4 green onions, sliced

1 cup frozen, shelled edamane, thawed (110 calories)

1-8 ounce package Shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained (20 calories)

2 tablespoons vegan Fish Sauce (sold as vegetarian in Asian markets–20 calories)

1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Blooming Platter Mayo (20 calories)

2 tablespoons Asian Sweet Chili Sauce (60 calories)

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro + 1 spring for garnish

Barely cover the bottom of a large skillet with water. Saute cabbage and green onion, just until slightly tender, but still bright in color. Add edamame and do the same. Add all remaining ingredients in order and heat through, stirring until hot and well-combined. Serve immediately in a bowl garnished with a sprig of cilantro.

Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

For the 18th (!) Annual Christmas, Chanukkah, Curry, and Cakes Party & Swap for some 25 of my girl tribe, I kept the menu simple, healthful, beautiful, and delicious.

This one time buffet dinner morphed into a cocktail party-swap a few years back and then, last year, into a moveable feast and swap featuring curried pumpkin soup.  Soup is self-serve from the stove, but I make it festive with a buffet of toppings.  This year’s tasty accompaniments were vegan blue cheese-chutney cole slaw, quartered persimmons, and vegan sugar cookies.  Oh, and wine. Lots of wine.

This year’s soup creation was superior to last and I am pleased to share it with you, as I wouldn’t change a thing.

Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

Yield: 10 cups

1- 29 ounce can pureed pumpkin

1-15.5 ounce can lite coconut milk

1-30 gram package Jaswant’s Kitchen Chana Masala seasoning packet or the equivalent (you may prefer less–it is spicy)

4 cups vegetable stock or broth

Toppings bar: grated coconut, sliced green onions, roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries or cherries, etc.

Whisk together all ingredients except toppings in a large soup pan or Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through.  Serve topped as desired.


Vegan Middle Eastern Roasted Parsnip, Carrot, and Walnut Spread

Vegan Middle Eastern Roasted Parsnip, Carrot, and Walnut Spread

My first recipe of 2019 is beautiful, bursting with flavor, nutritious, low in calories and fat, and a textural sensation. Happy Healthy New Year’s to all!

1 pound carrot chunks, peeled and roasted (I purchased already roasted at Whole Foods)

1 pound parsnips, peeled and roasted (I purchased already roasted at Whole Foods)

1/3 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup orange juice (app. one-half an orange)

2 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander or 1 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds (the latter lends little bursts of flavor)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 large garlic clove, quartered

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Water to reach desired consistency

Garnish: walnut pieces (duh…I grabbed cashews for photo not thinking)

Process all but garnish in food processor until a coarse paste forms. Garnish as desired and serve with pita points (we like the decadence of frying them because the dip is so low calorie).

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #veganappetizers #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn



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