Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo Day 22: Time of the Season

I’m a farmers’ market junkie, so eating in season is my default, but I did want to stick with my “try new things” MoFo plan and highlight the good stuff we get here in August.

Above: What’s in season?

Tomatoes are key this time of year. I could’ve made a whole tomato THING, really, but I didn’t. Eggplant is also in season, and squash–and squash blossoms. Basil and other herbs are beautiful; I’m getting avocado and sweet fancy lettuce varieties too. So why not make an eggplant BLT–I haven’t made eggplant bacon before–and stuffed squash blossoms?

Above: Baked eggplant bacon, simply marinated with soy sauce, liquid smoke, and olive oil.

For the BLT, only the eggplant required a little extra prep. Everything else was wash ‘n’ slice.

Above: Dry-farmed early girl tomatoes are the star of this show, let’s be honest.

A side of stuffed squash blossoms takes a little more effort, but it’s worth it.

Above: Squash blossoms mid-stuffing with basil leaves and a mix of almond ricotta and Miyoko’s mozzarella.

I’ve done stuffed squash blossoms before, but these had a slightly different filling and batter. In the past, I’ve done more of a cornmeal crust; this was white flour and club soda (OK, well, homemade herbed sparkling water). And I made the almond ricotta myself with blanched almond flour, lemon juice, and water.

Above: Fry, fry, my pretties!
Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo Day 16: The Passions of Jane

I opted to go very specific with my “event TV” food: I made grilled cheese in honor of the Jane the Virgin series finale, which aired at the end of July. Jane’s passions since childhood included her family, God, and…grilled cheese sandwiches. (Hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to say this trait was noted even in the finale. A lovely callback, if not a critical plot point.) So I gathered some good sandwich bread, Violife cheddar slices, and Miyoko’s cultured vegan butter, and blammo: grilled cheese. Grilled cheese and tears.

Above: Pre-grilled cheese.

If I’m being completely honest, Jane would probably turn her nose up at this sandwich, given that time her and Rafael got trapped in an apartment they were viewing and, out of desperation, raided the fridge and ended up with some very bad vegan cheese.

Above: This…is not bad vegan cheese.

While I have to admit to missing the perfectly tangy, melty dairy cheeses of my childhood when it comes to things like this, it was a satisfying bite all the same. A little ooey-gooey. A little crispy. Not too shabby.

Thanks for five lovely seasons, Jane.

Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo Day 11: A world-class selection of international cuisine

If you were on a first date you didn’t know was a date with the person who turned out to be the love of your–GOD!!, obviously you’d cheers with mozzarella sticks that had lost a lot of shape coming from the kitchen but your waitress managed to scrape off most of the freezer burn so that’s not too bad, right?

Look, I named my pet rabbit after David Rose: of course I’m going to make my “make something for your favorite character day” about him. But dude’s tastes do not run toward the vegan, I suspect–I dare not try to make a pizza for him, say. But I suspect my actual homemade mozzarella sticks, no matter how imperfect (and how vegan the cheese–don’t tell him), might beat the ones from Cafe Tropical.

Above: OK, maybe not, since mine are served only with homemade marinara and not true love.

They do sizzle and melt nicely, though. Send some home with Stevie.

Food Blog Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 6: I’m Nuts for Vegan Cheese


Yeah. OK. So finally, there’s vegan cheese that doesn’t gross me out, and it’s made out of nuts. But it’s also super expensive, so I usually just make some vegan cheese. Cashew ricotta is quick and easy for a creamy filling/topping; nutty nooch is just nuts/seeds of my choice–usually almonds or walnuts and hemp seeds–whizzed in the spice grinder with nutritional yeast for a parmesan sub. But the best ones are cultured.

I’ve made the herbaceous cultured cashew spread from Vegan Eats World a whole bunch of times, and it’s a dang winner. Well, I do not bother with sauteeing any garlic or shallots; I just add raw garlic (BOOM) and lemon zest along with the herbs. It is awesome on bread. It is excellent as pasta sauce. It’s not bad in a salad dressing.

But really, a simple presentation is the best one. Something carby. A little tomato. Delicious.