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…

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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: 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?

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