Tag Archives: baking

Recipe: Vegan Bourbon BBQ “Pork” ‘n’ Beans & Cornbread

29 Mar

When the weather gets warm, one thing that I always crave is BBQ. Sadly, I wasn’t brought up in a place where BBQ reigns supreme, so I don’t really know the difference between Texas, Carolina, Low Country, etc. All I know is that if it’s smoked and covered in sauce, bring it on. With my foray into weekday veganism, you might think that BBQ is a flavor that I’d not be able to integrate into a Tuesday evening. Guess again!

If you’ve ever had seitan, you know that this faux meat product, made from wheat gluten and water, REALLY TASTES LIKE MEAT. Texturally, I wouldn’t take any bets on deciphering the difference between seitan and chicken. If you’ve ever had Whole Foods’ Vegan General Tso’s Chicken, you know what I’m talking about.

With some pantry staples, and a few extras (like the vegan God-send — Liquid Smoke) I created my Bourbon BBQ “Pork” ‘n’ Beans. The measurements are a little bit off because, when it comes down to it, it’s up to your taste buds how much smoke you want, how much Worcestershire you want, etc. I also used sucanat, which is the most natural of all sugars (dehydrated, evaporated pressed cane juice). After some research, I knew that agave nectar was OFF THE TABLE. Apparently, it is as bad for you as high fructose corn syrup. And unless you have diabetes and need to pay attention to your glycemic index, I would suggest staying away. Just say no to chemicals!

With an adventurous spirit, I decided to try millet (from my local organic market’s bulk section) to accompany my meal. Not a Smooth Move, Ferguson. The millet had a very strange taste. I think I will try it again, but cook in veggie broth instead of water.

Bourbon BBQ “Pork” ‘n’ Beans

  • 2 cans of tomato paste
  • 1 can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cans no-salt-added pinto beans
  • package of seitan strips, sliced (or make your own)
  • EVOO

And here are the ingredients to play with:

  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (conveniently left over from my bread baking)
  • 1.5 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 3 tbsp sucanat
  • 1/4 cup of Jim Bean bourbon
  • 1.5 tbsp Liquid Smoke
  • 2 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (note, this is not vegan because it contains anchovies — but it is pesco-vegan 🙂 )
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • pinch red pepper flakes

In a large saucepan, heat a couple of tbsp. of EVOO over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute until translucent. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir and simmer. Add in all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

What better way to accompany my vegan BBQ than some warm cornbread. I found this recipe and made a few tweaks and it was INCREDIBLE. The ground flax seed takes the place of an egg, and I cannot WAIT to use that substitution in other recipes.

Yummy Vegan Cornbread (adapted from Dana Sly’s Blue Ribbon Cornbread)

  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed

    see all the yummy flax seeds floating around

  • 6 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup of sucanat
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1 cup of soy milk with 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar mixed in for 5 minutes
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (not extra virgin — taste might be too strong)

Bring water to a boil in small saucepan. Add flax seed and simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Let cool for a couple of minutes while assembling other ingredients

In a large bowl mix together all of the remaining ingredients and add in the flax and water mixture. Pour into a lightly sprayed 9×9 baking dish. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

Hope you have fun with this meaty meal!

the happenstance gourmande


Recipe: Tasting the Fruits of My Labor (Roasted Veg Sandwich with Homemade Vegan “Mayo”)

26 Mar

This weekend, I decided to undertake the seemingly impossible task of baking bread. As I slowly started to reintroduce foods into my diet post-cleanse, I figured the best way to introduce a complex carb was to make my own bread. I woke up on Saturday morning, met my college advisor who happened to be in town with one of her classes, and toured the Royalists to Romantics exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Combining one of my favorite professors with one of my favorite artists (Élisabeth Vigée-LeBrun) was a beautiful way to start a bread-making Saturday.

After a few errands to Whole Foods and Bed, Bath and Beyond, to pick up the last essentials for my baking adventure, I was ready to begin. With my Spotify playlist plugged into my speakers, a bread recipe open on my computer screen, and my kitchen counters cleaned, I was all set. I decided to try the Multigrain Wholegrain Bread recipe from the Holy Cow Vegan blog.

After attempting to bloom yeast that was a non-starter, I had to run back out to the market to buy another package of yeast. FINALLY, it worked on my second try. Here is the recipe:

Vegan Multigrain Wholegrain Bread

Mix in a bowl:
4 tsp active dry yeast and 1/2 cup warm (not hot!) water. Set aside about 5 minutes or until the yeast starts to bloom.

Mix in another bowl:

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm soymilk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil

Add the soymilk mixture to the yeast. Then add:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten flour

Mix by hand or in a stand mixer until combined. Add:

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup rye flour

Knead for 10 minutes on low speed or by hand. Keep about 1/2 to 1 cup of whole-wheat flour on hand to add in case the dough is too sticky. You want a smooth, elastic dough that does not break easily.
Oil a bowl and place the dough in it, turning it around once to ensure it is coated all over with oil.
Set aside in a warm place to rise for an hour. Punch down the dough and set aside and let rise again for another hour.
Here are pictures of the bread before and after rising.

Remove the dough from the bowl, punch it down, shape. If you’d like to make it in loaf pans, divide the dough into two halves, tuck the edges under for a smooth top, and place in oiled loaf pans coated with some cornmeal.

Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 10 minutes. Then turn down the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 more minutes.

Remove the loaf to a rack and allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before unmolding.

The bread came out looking gorgeous and I just couldn’t wait to dig in.

Now, I had the ends of my sandwich ready…but still needed to create the insides. Back when I was juice-fasting, I had the idea of creating a vegan mayonnaise, because what kind of sandwich would we have without that creamy glue holding it together? Here is my recipe:

Healthy Homemade Vegan “Mayonnaise”

  • 1 cup raw (unsalted, not roasted) cashews, soaked in 1.5 cups warm water
  • 1 package of silken tofu
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup of good extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

In a food processor, puree the cashews with 1/4 cup of the cashew water until smooth. Add the tofu and blend. Add the mustards and vinegar and blend together. While the processor is running, drizzle in the EVOO. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

The mayo is super creamy and really does taste like mayo. The good EVOO makes it taste rich and creamy. I promise you won’t miss the eggs!

I roasted off some veggies (sprayed them with EVOO and sprinkled salt and pepper and placed under the broiler).


Finally, it was time to assemble my sandwich. With the help of Gordy’s Pickle Jar’s Sweet Pepper Relish,  and Maille L’Ancienne grainy dijon mustard, I spread my mayo on my freshly cut bread and laid the veggies on top.

It is SUCH an amazing feeling to eat something that you made from scratch completely. It is so rewarding and completely worth the effort that I put in to dig into a sandwich and know exactly where every morsel came from.

That has got to be the epitome of clean eating. YUM.

Here are a couple pictures of my masterpiece!  

the happenstance gourmande