Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This coffee cake comes from a recipe I got from The Joy of Vegan Baking.  I specified some of the unspecific ingredients that I choose to use and added a few extra spices that I like.  I make this coffee cake a lot.  Especially on Christmas morning! It fills the house with the spicy smells of cinnamon and ginger and is the perfect sweet treat to have while enjoying a cup of coffee and watching everyone open their presents.  Have family in town?  This is a great breakfast that everyone can enjoy without people knowing that it’s vegan. 

Why is it that whenever you tell someone who isn’t vegan that they food you made is vegan they FREAK OUT?!  I typically just go the sneaky route: make it vegan, call it something generic (Cinnamon Coffee Cake), watch people dig in, then serve myself.  IF they realize that the only vegan in the room is eating it too, they may say something along the lines of, “wait, you can eat this??” to which I respond, “Ohhh yeah, did I forget to mention that this is vegan?”  Then they respond, “BUT this is so good…” SURPRISE YA WHACKOS, VEGAN FOOD IS DELICIOUS!!! It just comes with a weird stigma that omnivores have so sweetly labeled all things vegan with.  Thanks, but I’ll just continue to impress you with vegan food until you decide to stop being stupid… Sorry crazy rant over… here’s the recipe:


1 cup unsweetened almond milk (can substitute other unsweetened non dairy milk)

1/3 cup canola oil

1 TBS white distilled vinegar

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp salt


3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1-2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger
a pinch of nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1/3 cup Earth Balance Coconut spread, melted  (can sub other non-dairy butter or canola oil)

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Grease a 9-inch square baking dish/cake pan.

For the cake: Combine milk, oil and vinegar in a bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add the milk mixture and stir until just combined.  Pour into the prepared baking dish.

Crumble Topping: in a small bowl combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and walnuts.  Add the butter/oil and use your hands to thoroughly work it into the dry ingredients.  Spoon crumble on top of the batter, covering the entire area.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Let it cool slightly, and serve warm or at room temperature.

So yummy!  Definitely put this in your recipe book. Good for breakfast, brunch, or after dinner coffee.  Covered tightly with foil, it'll last about a week... If you can keep your hands off it that long!

(FINALLY GOT A PIC OF THIS!!!! You're welcome) 

My Vegan Favorites

I wrote this post for a friend of mine (Shout out to @whosthatcurl ) who was trying a vegan diet for at least a week.  I was trying to decide what the best way to help her venture out into vegan food when she lives back in KY and I'm now in DC.  Well, what better way than to post a list of my favorite products that I use almost every day!?  This is helpful not only to her but to anyone who wants to make some changes in their diet whether it be temporary or permanent!  I know when I became vegan I felt like it was really hard to find a source that suggested products to try/use in my new lifestyle, hopefully I can be that resource for anyone who is new to vegan eating! :-)

Some of these products are becoming more widely available in stores other than Whole Foods, some can be found at natural food stores, but if you can't find something at your store of choice, ask the store manager or submit a product request.  The worst they can say is no and you may have to shop at 2 different stores.  Most of my stuff I do get at Whole Foods just because they tend to have a bigger variety than our regular grocery store.  Okay here it goes, and I HAVE LINKED MOST OF THE PRODUCTS TO AMAZON WHERE THEY ARE AVAILABLE IN BULK!!!!!!:  (I update this list a often to make it as thorough as possible! So keep checking back!)

Milks:  I tend to stay away from soy milk.  I use Silk vanilla flavored almond milk mainly for cereal but protein shakes as well. I like to have individual SoDelicious chocolate coconut milks on hand for a sweet treat (esp tasty in a pb banana smoothie!). Lastly most of my cooking is done with the whole foods brand rice milk. Another cool product is MimiCreme (find it on the shelf with shelf stable vegan milks) made from different kinds of nuts. This really does "mimic cream" and can be used in coffee, creamy soups, mashed potatoes or whipped into whipped cream*.  *not yet tested in my kitchen but read somewhere that it was possible!

Cheese: My favorite product that I have found is Daiya cheese. They currently make 3 flavors that are available at many stores: Mozzarella, Cheddar, and Pepperjack. They also have cheese "wedges": blocks of cheese available in Jack, Sharp Cheddar and Jalapeno Garlc Havarti, they also have slices in Provolone, Cheddar, and Swiss, I LOVE THESE FOR GRILLED CHEESE or really any kind of sandwich.  Galaxy Nutritional Foods makes "American cheese" style vegan cheese.  But make sure you get the one marked vegan as some of their cheeses contain milk or casein.  They also make a vegan Parmesan cheese (find it on the shelf not the fridge section).  But again, check the label to make sure it's vegan if it doesn't say on the front label.  For "cream cheese" and sourcream I suggest Daiya and Tofutti brands, respectively.  The sour cream is definitely good in dips like onion dip.

Yogurt:  Again I suggest SoDelicious as they make soy-free kinds that are made from coconut or almond milk!  They have a ton of varieties and have a Greek style!!!

Ice Cream: Back to SoDelicious!  I can't get over how wonderful their products are! They truly satisfy any of my "dairy" cravings.  Look for their coconut milk ice creams! They are sweeter than the soy milk based ones, and a little creamier.  I love the chocolate with peanut butter swirl, mocha almond fudge, and cookie dough flavors.  They also have mini fudge bars and ice cream sandwiches!! Who says you can't have ice cream treats when you are vegan!? (Check out what they make and where to get em: Here)

"Meat":  I SWEAR by gardein!  They have so many meat replacements that I don't miss meat at all.  They really focused on texture as well as taste so it's not mushy like tofu can be!  I worked with their products in so many ways you can really just sub it in wherever you would put meat!  Check their website for their full line (THEY STARTED SELLING VEGAN FISH STICKS WHICH ARE AMAZING!!!!) but I'll let you in on what I almost always have on hand:
Frozen products- ultimate beefless burger (best frozen burger on the market), chick'n scallopiniseven grain crispy tenders, beefless tips, buffalo wings, barbecue wings, barbeque riblets, sliders (chick'n and beefless), crispy chick'n patty, mandarin orange crispy chick'n / sizzling Szechuan beefless strips (for when I don't feel like Chinese take-out/when I'm making fake-out), and stuff'd turk'y breasts/holiday roast (only available during the holidays though so STOCK UP!) I also love their Breakfast Patties and Meatless Meatballs!
New Products- New products from gardein that I haven't tried yet: Veggie Burger (different from the beefless burger), Meatless Meatloaf, or the Ultimate Beefless Ground.

Condiments/Miscellaneous:  I use Earth Balance soy-free natural buttery spread in place of all of my butter needs.  But on top of that, I also get their coconut spread.  Made from coconut oil it's a little sweeter so it is great on sweet things like pancakes, cinnamon toast, and anything else that can needs to be slightly sweetened.  They also make "vegan buttery sticks" which are great for baking because they are easier to measure.  
Earth Balance's Mindful Mayo  and Hampton Creek's Just Mayo are my picks for my mayo fix. 

Vegans only eat salads right?  WRONG but when I do, I love Annie's Natural Goddess Dressing on my salads. And recently I've been OBSESSED with Organicville's Vegan Ranch Dressing. 
Nutritional Yeast.  It looks and smells weird, at first...  But trust me if you're going to eat a plant based diet, you should definitely have this in your kitchen.  Its a great source of B-12 and can be used to make sauces taste cheesy.  (see my Mac-No-Cheese recipe)
Baking something and need to use eggs?  Have no fear, there's a replacement for that too!  I use Ener-G egg substitute that is a powder, made from potato starch, that when you mix with water, provides to your baked good what an egg would.  However it cannot be used in recipes like scrambled eggs, for that you should use tofu. (I have a recipe for a breakfast scramble that I need to upload to this blog!)

Other items I always have on hand:  Zico Coconut water (natural and chocolate flavors), pasta (check the labels as some may contain egg), rice (white, brown, sushi), quinoa, couscous, cans of beans like: chickpeas/garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans (light and dark), and black eyed peas, pretzels, a cornucopia of spices, Braggs' Liquid Aminos, mustard (pretty sure I have like 8 varieties in the fridge right now), big cans of diced tomatoes, canned tomato sauce, jars of pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce (check the labels to make sure there is no cheese or meats in the sauces), peanut butter (big jar and to-go packs), popcorn, vegetable broth, jars of Better Than Bouillon (vegan chicken broth) oatmeal, dried lentils, tortilla chips, red curry paste, cans of baby corn/water chestnuts/bamboo shoots.

Veggies/Fruits I always have: potatoes, onions, cucumber, lettuce, kale, leeks, butternut squash, corn (frozen),  peas (frozen), edemame (frozen), Portobello mushrooms (grill for a tasty sandwich or use in place of meat in other recipes), bell peppers, celery, carrots, garlic-fresh, minced, and powdered (SO IMPORTANT!), eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage (red, green, savoy), apples, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, bananas (I put most of them in the freezer for smoothies), fresh basil, and zucchini (try cutting in half lengthwise brushed with oil salt and pepper then grilled until soft--AMAZING!).

I'm pretty sure I've just told you everything that is or has ever been in my kitchen... I'm still trying new things and will try to remember to update this if I find anything else I like.  As always if you have question about anything, or you're not sure what to do, just ask! :-)  I will answer you questions to the best of my ability.  

I hope this helps anyone trying to switch to a vegan/plant based diet or if you just want to add some vegan eats to your menu.  Be sure to browse the site for recipes to try.  I am trying to get better about posting more often.  Seems as though when I do post, I post a few in a row then nothing for a while.  Here's my challenge to you:  get an item (vegetable, fruit, meat substitute) that you aren't used to or don't typically like.  When cooked in a new way you may find a different taste/texture about it that you didn't know was possible and could end up liking it! 

Good luck and remember, Just Ask! I'm always here to answer any questions I can!
Happy Vegan Eating!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kung Pao Chick'n

Thanks to @gardein for their wonderful vegan meat substitutes for making this recipe and most of my others beyond possible!

As you may know, I have recently added a facebook page specifically for this blog where I post pictures of food that I have made for myself but haven't blogged about.  This allows followers of the page to request (by "liking" or commenting on the photos) a recipe.  Well, this recipe is a result of that.  4 people liked this photo just minutes after I posted it, so I knew I had to get to blogging the recipe!  **You can thank them for this :-)

1 pkg gardein Chick'n Scallopini, thawed & cut into chunks (or 2pkg mandarin crispy chick'n)
1/4 cup roasted cashew pieces (can replace with 3 TBS roasted peanuts)
8-12 dried red chilies, seeded and cut into halves

3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
5 slices peeled fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 stalk scallion (chopped)
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (rice wine cooking wine)
1 teaspoon oil

1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vegan Worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon corn starch

Marinate chick'n chunks (or chick'n pieces) with the ingredients above for 30 minutes.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat up a wok with one tablespoon cooking oil and stir-fry the marinated chick'n until they are almost fully cooked.  Remove from wok and set aside

Clean the wok and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until it smokes.

Add in the ginger, garlic, onion and bell pepper and do a quick stir before adding in the dried red chilies.  Stir fry the dried red chilies until aromatic and they smell spicy, then add back in the chick'n chunks.

Do a quick stir before adding in the roasted cashews and continue to stir a few times. Add in the sauce and stir continuously until the chick'n is evenly coated with the sauce. Add in the scallions and stir to combine then serve.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Note From the Blogger

WOW! I want to thank everyone for all the support!  Last night before I went to bed, this blog had been viewed 9,076 times!!!  THAT'S SO AWESOME!!! 

To keep up with the excitement, I've created a Tasty Kaiti's Facebook page which can be accessed through the blog (see the facebook badge on the right >>) or via !  On the page you can communicate with me easier, ask questions (with asap responses), see pictures of other creations that haven't made it to this blog yet, as well as request recipes for those pictures or of things you'd like to see.

ALSO, there was a request (Hi Kayce) for easier ability to share this blog.  Well, now, if you hover over an image with you mouse/cursor, you will see a "Pin It!" button in the top left corner so you can share it on your pinterest.

I really have to thank you all again.  Without your shares I don't think that I would've made it to this point!  I have a few ideas that I am exploring and will work harder on/announce when I hit 13,000 views.  So GET SHARING!! :-)

Y'all ROCK!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stuffed Squash

It's is the most wonderful time of the year!  Well, in my book it is.  I love everything about fall.  Endless apple/pumpkin flavored things, leaves changing colors, cooler temperatures, sweaters, boots, and of course football!  One of my favorite foods is also found in greater quantity in the fall as they are harvested now and as it continues to get cooler.  Winter Squash!  Winter squash can be anything: Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti (Squash not the pasta made of dough), Kabocha, Calabaza, etc.  and it can be made into so many things (right now I'm working on a squash mac no cheese).  Squash is one thing that many may find on their Thanksgiving tables and that was one of my inspirations behind this recipe.

This stuffed squash play with flavors that are sweet, sour, and salty, as well as textures that are both crunchy and creamy.  It's sure to delight your taste buds, stuff you as full as it comes stuffed, and provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals!

2 Acorn Squash, halved and seeded
1 box 365 Long Grain & Wild Rice, Naturally Flavored Mix
1 3/4 cup prepared Better than Bouillon No-Chicken Broth
3/4-1 cup diced carrots
3/4-1 cup diced celery
1 onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
2 TBS Earth Balance margarine
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Thyme, to taste
Pinch of Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle.  Drizzle the acorn squash halves with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place cut side up onto a pan.  Roast in oven for 30min-1hr, until the flesh is fork tender.  Remove from oven and stuff.

Meanwhile, in a medium pot over med-hi heat, melt the Earth Balance and add in the wild rice mix.  Stirring occasionally, toast the rice until it starts to smell nutty.  Add in No Chicken Broth, rice seasoning packet, and suggested amount of olive oil.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Cook for time based on packaging instructions.  The last 2 minutes of cook time, add in the dried cranberries. (This will help them to plump back up and not be so chewy.)

While the rice is cooking: Saute the celery, carrots, and onion in a large pan with few TBSP of olive oil and salt and pepper.  Add in a few shakes of thyme.  When the rice is finished, add it to the veggies, mixing well for equal distribution.  Finish with a pinch of nutmeg.

TO ASSEMBLE:  There are really 2 ways to do this.  You can scoop out the flesh of the acorn squash, give it a rough chop, and add it to the rice/veggie mixture before stuffing the shell or you can just stuff the squash without adding the flesh to the rice mix.  Make sure to really pack the squash with stuffing and you can even mound it up on top with an ice cream scoop.  To heat up the squash and rice to eat you can toss them back in the oven for a few min, covered.  Or just sprinkle the rice mix with a few tsp of water and pop them into the microwave for a min or two.

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