50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Maine ginger blueberry pie

July 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Strawberry season has filtered out, and now it is time for blueberries!

It also is time for Wonder Vegan to go on a diet, and so that meant it was a baking bonanza at my apartment.

One of these items was blueberry pie.

I didn’t think blueberry pie was a Maine thing; I figured seafood would be a bigger contender. Visiting Maine, the state’s tourism website, has a recipe.

According to Wikipedia, the earlier settlers ate it and using wild Maine blueberries truly makes the dish. It IS the state dessert for Maine after all!

While I didn’t have wild Maine blueberries, I used Dynise Balcavage‘s recipe for blueberry pie with a slight modification in her filling: ginger. I once before baked Balcavage’s recipe when I was taste-testing for “Celebrate Vegan.” I wanted to put a summer twist on it, and everyone at the CSA agreed that it was delicious. They said they never thought to add ginger and it was a bit of spunk that fit well.

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Maine ginger blueberry pie…

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Idaho vegan Idaho nachos

June 29, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

This recipe has been a long time coming. I made this dish MONTHS ago, maybe even before I moved to my new apartment.

Then, life got busy, I started Meatout Mondays, and then I never wrote this blog post.

Well, here it is. IDAHO NACHOS!

What are these exactly? Well, Idaho is known for its potatoes, as it grows one-third of the crop for the U.S. I am surprised that Idaho only grows one-third, as potato is the first word you think of when someone says Idaho.

So, the nachos are regular nachos, just with potatoes instead of tortilla chips. How creative, right?

And, because this is a vegan blog, I made the recipe I found on the Food Network site vegan!

Vegan Idaho Nachos

Ingredients:

  • Oil, for frying
  • 4 Idaho potatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced green peppers
  • 1/4 cup sliced onions
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese, Mexican variety 
  • Salsa, for garnish
  • vegan sour cream, for garnish

Recipe:

  1. In a pan, put a few inches of oil. Heat oil on the stove over medium for a few minutes.
  2. Place potato slices in the pan, and then fry until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.
  3. Prepare other ingredients.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Place potatoes in a layer in a dish, and then top with remaining ingredients except salsa and vegan sour cream. The cheese should be on the top.
  6. Place dish in oven, and let cook for 5 to 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the dish.
  7. Once the cheese is mostly melted, turn on the broil.
  8. Again, keep an eye on the dish, and only broil for a few moments until the top is brown.
  9. Take it out and let it cool for about 2 minutes. Top with salsa and sour cream.

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Texas vegan chile con queso

June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

The heat might have us feeling like we are really residents of Texas rather than Pennsylvania.

I know, Texas probably has a dry heat, unlike our latest humidity bubble, but Texas is where I drew inspiration from to make chile con queso.

I chose Texas for my next culinary experiment for 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes because I have spicy food on the brain. After Cinco de Mayo and the Mission burritos, I realized I have grown to love spicy, Mexican food. This is funny to me, as I never experimented with these flavors before I went vegan and my struggles with IBS prevented my culinary explorations.

But now, bring on the spice!

Chile con queso is popular at Tex-Mex restaurants as an appetizer or side dish, served with tortilla chips. It is usually just spicy, melted cheese, but you can add black beans to the cheese and serve a bowl of guacamole on the side.

I found this super simple recipe by The Food Network and substituted vegan ingredients. I also went with canned chilies and jalapenos because I figured that was the safest bet for me, though fresh can be subbed instead. I also took a tip from the comments and sauteed the veggies before creating the cheese masterpiece.

Wanting to take it to another level of spicy, I used Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti. This blows the dish away. And even though it seems like this dip would be bad for you, one serving is 80 calories.

Get ready for some fondue fun!

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Texas vegan chile con queso…

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: North Carolina vegan hummingbird muffins

June 1, 2013 at 11:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 1 Comment
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(This post first appeared in the No Sweat, York, blog for the York Daily Record/Sunday News.)

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger. Left: pre-baked muffin; Right: baked muffin.

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger. Left: pre-baked muffin; Right: baked muffin.

When I picked the dishes for “50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes,” I didn’t realize at first that I chose so many cakes and baked goods.

Now, as I am re-assessing my diet, the dreaded sweet treats are at every turn. So, when my weekly Runner’s World nutrition email popped into my inbox, a new, healthy recipe fell into my lap. It fit perfectly within my “50 Dishes” parameters — Hummingbird Muffins.

Let’s take a step back: Hummingbird Cake was first submitted by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina in the February 1978 issue of “Southern Living.” It called for 2 cups of sugar in the cake, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of “salad oil” and a cream cheese frosting that added even more butter and sugar. Even the updated “lightened” version isn’t so light. The pecans make it even more southern, as they are grown in the South.

So, why is it named “hummingbird”? There isn’t a definitive answer, butsome theories include the idea that eating the cake makes you hum with happiness; it is sugary rich, just like the nectar hummingbirds love to feast on; people love this cake so much they hover over it, just like hummingbirds do to their food; and/or the cake originated in Jamaica where the national bird is a breed of hummingbird.

Let’s get back to the food. A rich and sugary cake won’t fit in my diet, so the hummingbird muffins seemed promising. I will say that this original recipe also calls for way too much sugar, but I didn’t want to experiment too much on my first try. I think that less sugar can be added to the honey, and the brown sugar taken out of the crumble topping.

I also took out the eggs to veganize the dish, as the bananas and applesauce already in the recipe are usual substitutions for eggs in vegan baked goods. I think the eggs are added by Runner’s World for added protein, but are totally not needed. There are a few other things I veganized, using Nutiva hemp protein powder and Earth Balance; and I used Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour and old-fashioned oats.

This isn’t a “true” vegan muffin, as it contains more than a 1/3 of a cup of honey. There is the great honey debate, but I personally eat it if it is local (yeah, York Central Market!) and it helps my persistent seasonal allergies.

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: North Carolina vegan hummingbird muffins…

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: California vegan Mission burritos

May 25, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

(This recipe was first featured for Meatout Mondays on the No Sweat, York, blog.)

I love burritos.

With Roburrito’sChipotle and Qdoba in the community, you can’t go wrong finding a burrito that is both vegan and hearty.

I eat Roburrito’s so often, some of the workers probably know me by name or by my order (“A vegan potato meal with ginger ale, please.”) I mix it up by going to different locations, so my addiction isn’t pronounced. (Though my favorite to-go is the East Market Street location, and my favorite sit-down place is the one in the New Eastern Market.)

Both places offer a style of burrito called a Mission burrito or San Francisco burrito — so named because it first became popular in the 1960s in the Mission district of San Francisco.

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

My square burrito. Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

The greatest part of this burrito? It is customizable. A few items are considered staples: a large, flour tortilla, rice, beans and salsa. There also can be a filling, such as a meat, fish, soy meat or potato, and then other add-ins such as sour cream, cheese, avocado or guacamole. Obviously, because I am vegan, there is no animal products or by-products. The burrito is still yummy and filling.

Traditionally it is wrapped in tinfoil and eaten right from there, peeling the layer back as you eat. However, since the homemade burritos are fresh, cut the foil and begin the feast! Plus, I seriously can’t fold a burrito correctly, so I just scarfed these up quickly.

A can of black beans and a cup of brown rice can probably make up to 5 Mission burritos.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of boil-in-a-bag brown rice
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 container of guacamole
  • 1 jar of salsa, mild
  • 1 package of Daiya cheese, cheddar or mozzarella
  • 1 package of large, burrito-style white tortillas

Recipe

  1. Cook the rice according to the package. It took me 10 minutes to boil the water, and 10 minutes to cook the rice.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans. Place them in a bowl and heat in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  3. Set up your station: Rice in one bowl, beans in another; guacamole, cheese and salsa opened and ready.
  4. Put one tortilla on a plate and place in the microwave for 15 seconds. It makes the tortilla softer and easier to work with. If you have a tortilla steamer, use that instead.
  5. Place close to 1/3 cup of rice in the middle of the tortilla. Place 1/4 cup of beans on top, then 1 heaping tablespoon of guacamole and salsa. Add about 1/8 cup of cheese.
  6. Roll: Fold one side over the center until the filling is two-thirds covered. Tuck in the left and right sides. Roll the covered filling toward the last open side until the burrito is completely covered and rolled.
  7. Enjoy! It might be a little messy, but worth it.

Check out these other 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes posts. 

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Delaware vegan crab puffs

May 18, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 1 Comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

(This recipe was first featured for Meatout Mondays on the No Sweat, York, blog.)

Delaware has a special place in my heart.

My family would vacation in Delaware (Bethany Beach!) often when I was growing up. We stayed in Ocean City, Md., quite a few times, but I remember the first time we stayed at Bethany Beach at a condo complex. It was pure bliss for me. I miss going down there, and I am hopefully planning a trip for this summer.

Delaware, like any coastal city, is known for its seafood. This is why I chose crab puffs for this state.

When I made this dish, it was for a Thirty-One party I had in January.

I didn’t have a lot of time to create these crab puffs, and if you wanted them to look more like hushpuppies, that wouldn’t fly. (Hushpuppies remind me of Long John Silver’s!) Then I stumbled upon this recipe by Pillsbury and rejoiced. Many of Pillsbury’s products are vegan friendly, which is helpful for making a last-minute pizza or finger food for a party.

These cute little puffs can be a great dish for dinner, paired with a fresh salad or sauteed veggies. It only dirtied two bowls and a cookie tray, and took about 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet or (1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls, plain variety)
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • A dash of hot sauce or chili powder
  • 1/2 cup of Vegenaise (vegan mayonaise alternative)
  • 1 fake egg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kelp or other seaweed powder (optional)
  • 3/4 cup of shredded vegan cheddar cheese (Daiya brand used)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped plum/Roma tomato
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine (Earth Balance used)

Recipe:

  1. In a medium bowl, pour in drained chickpeas and mash until desired consistency.  Add garlic and hot sauce or chili powder and stir. (If you have kelp powder or another seaweed powder and want a more sea-like taste, add a generous teaspoon.)
  2. If using fake egg, follow directions on the container and make one egg. (I usedVegg, which gave the dish an eggy flavor. But it is not needed to keep the filling together.) Add Vegenaise to the bowl and mix.
  3. Pour egg/mayo mixture into chickpea mixture. Stir.
  4. Add chopped tomato, green onions and vegan cheddar cheese. Stir until incorporated. Set the bowl aside.
  5. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix melted butter. Wipe your cookie pan with oil or use a vegan nonstick cooking spray.
  6. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough on sheet; press into 12×8-inch rectangle. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough on sheet; press into 12×8-inch rectangle, firmly press perforations to seal.
  7. Cut into 2-inch squares. Brush with butter.
  8. Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until puffed. Take out and let cool for 1 minute.
  9. Spoon a generous tablespoon of chickpea mixture on each square.
  10. Bake 10 to 12 minutes longer or until golden brown and tops are set. Serve warm.

See other 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes recipes.

2012 was a year full of surprises; hello, 2013!

December 31, 2012 at 11:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yup, this was quite an event for 2012.

Yup, this was quite an event for 2012.

Wow. I can’t believe it has been a full year already. 2012 went by so quickly, and many things have happened.

January – March: The weather wasn’t so frightful here, and the warmer winter helped my seasonal depression and running. I went out on the trail a lot. I didn’t get stuck at the bottom of the hill near our apartment. I also tried to give up technology on Sundays. That eventually failed.

April: I tried 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes. It was my 26th birthday.

May: Three years with Batman. We went to Virginia. What a trip.

Summer: I trained and raced a 10-miler. I loved it, most of the time. I decided to run a half marathon next. I also switched jobs in my office, moving to days and finally having weekends and nights off for the first time in five years. Also, I had my first yard sale. My dad almost had a second heart attack.

Fall: The new schedule made working on the farm that much more difficult. Earlier in the summer, I decided to take a break from blogging, but came back for Vegan MoFo. That didn’t go as successfully as I would have hoped. Plus, I burnt apple butter. We moved into a new apartment, and realized it wasn’t the best decision we ever made; it was quite possibly the worst of the year.

Winter: I tried NaNoWriMo and realized that I can’t write on a timeline. I prefer reading on a timeline. My Pop wasn’t doing so well and he went into a nursing home. I got ENGAGED!

YES, Batman is marrying Wonder Woman. Watch out, world.

2012 was quite an eventful year, with a few changes. I am hoping 2013 will be even better, with a wedding to plan (not until 2014, so hold off, people), pounds to lose, races to race, books to read, posts to write and trips to take. Also, I hope to check things off my bucket list.

Happy 2013, everyone!

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Arkansas vegan green beans

November 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes, VeganMoFo | 1 Comment
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I love green beans. I have come to love them more fresh from the organic farm. They can be a pain to pick, as they like to hide and blend in. But they are so easy to cook and so yummy, too!

When I started by 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes challenge, I chose this recipe because it was quick, simple and included green beans.

Since I have more green beans than I know what to do with them, I figured I would do this recipe for a Vegan MoFo challenge.

Traditional Arkansas green beans call for sugar and bacon. Bacon isn’t very vegan-friendly, but there are great alternatives now. This might not be as low in calories because it still uses sugar and the Earth Balance can get fatty, but it is definitely a good alternative. I cut back on the sugar and made it quicker by pan sauteing instead of putting it in the oven. I guess that’s the perks of no meat. I also used fresh beans instead of the canned.

It wasn’t hard for me to put this together, so whip it up as a side dish for dinner!

Ingredients:

  • A bag full of fresh green beans, probably about three cups if cut in half
  • 5 to 6 slices of LightLife Smart bacon, ripped into pieces
  • 3 tbsps of white sugar
  • 2 tbsps of Earth Balance or other vegan spread
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Recipe:

  1. Pluck the ends off the green beans, and cut in half if you want an easier way to eat them. (I kept them long.)
  2. Boil the green beans in a little water for about 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt a tablespoon in a skillet, and add the crumbled Smart Bacon to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the green beans and add to the skillet with the Smart Bacon. Add the garlic powder, tamari and the other tablespoon of Earth Balance. Saute for a few minutes to let flavors meld.
  5. Serve!

How do you like to eat green beans?

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: New Jersey vegan disco fries

June 5, 2012 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 1 Comment
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Oh, Jersey. You don’t represent yourself well. Look at the MTV show Jersey Shore.

I hate that show. It is most offensive because I am Italian, born and raised. My great-grandfather Silvio immigrated in the early 1900s to pave a better life. And then these … people (for lack of a better word) disgrace the ethnicity.

I also grew up with the joke, “Let’s bomb Jersey and give Pa. a beach.” LOL. (Sorry to all those from New Jersey.)

I will say this, though, they know how to do french fries (and apparently tanning and clubbing.)

When I saw the words “disco fries” on my list, I was intrigued. I LOVE fries. No, I L-O-V-E fries. I loved getting cheese fries when I was younger, and I bet I would still love them now. And I have never had gravy fries, let alone CHEESE, gravy fries!

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: New Jersey vegan disco fries…

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Virginia vegan Brunswick Stew

May 21, 2012 at 9:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Projects get out of hand, time slips away. This has been my life since I posted the original 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes post!

I have started farming again, thinking about decluttering my apartment, hosting a yard sale, among so many other things.

The finished Brunswick Stew, in my crockpot

But I DID start the project, and it was with Virginia: Brunswick Stew.

This was in honor of my three-year anniversary trip to Damascus, Virginia, at the beginning of May. You can read all about that adventure here.

When I did an online search for recipes to veganize, I was confronted with a problem: Both Virginia and Georgia claim they were the creators of the stew. You can read about the history at this Wikipedia page.

The main difference I concluded was the Virginia variety was more tomato-based and was more soup-like. Also, they prefer chicken (also rabbit. ew. ) Also, there are a variety of vegetables each person says to put in, weather it is succotash, lima beans, okra, potatoes and corn, to name a few.

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Virginia vegan Brunswick Stew…

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