Yup, it’s Vegan has moved!

It’s a little sooner than expected, but Yup, it’s Vegan has moved!

You can now find me at http://yupitsvegan.com.

Here’s how to keep in touch:

If you subscribe via email, no action is needed. You will receive email notifications of posts on my new website.

If you subscribe via WordPress.com, no action is needed. However, you will only see my new posts in your WordPress reader. If you’d like to get them via email, then just submit your email address into the sidebar on the new site (link above).

If you subscribe via RSS, unfortunately you will need to add my new RSS feed to your reader. Here is the link to my new feed: http://yupitsvegan.com/feed/

If you have any of my pages/posts bookmarked, pinned, or otherwise saved, no action is needed. They will still work.

I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused to you by these changes. In the long run, this will allow me to make my site much more user-friendly and awesome, and I’m extremely excited about that.

Wishing you & your family a very happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for being a reader!

~Shannon

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Bars {no-bake}

If you like that sweet pumpkin flavor but you’re looking for something a little quirkier than a pie crust, these pumpkin pie rice krispie bars are your answer. As a bonus, they’re a good bit healthier, too! Optional dark chocolate layer. Use up that half of a can of pumpkin leftover from your pie!

Vegan pumpkin pie rice krispie bars

Who’s tired of seeing pumpkin recipes yet? I feel like after Thanksgiving all of us (in the US anyway) are going to be crying orange tears of pumpkin pie guilt. I happen to still have quite the butternut squash collection in my cupboard at this time, so the fun won’t end after Thanksgiving for me. But I’ll try to stay on the savory side of things after this.

Speaking of future recipes, the next time I post a recipe, it will be on my new site – yupitsvegan.com. I’m planning to work out the details next Friday/Saturday/Sunday so that the week after Thanksgiving she is up and running. I will be redirecting all yupitsvegan.wordpress.com links to my new site, so any pins, favorites, or galleries on websites like Foodgawker will continue to work, just as before. If you follow my blog on WordPress, you should also be able to have a seamless transition. If you get my posts in some other way through the RSS feed, I do not have a definitive answer yet, but I will write a short post through the old feed to let you know what action, if any, you ought to take to stay connected.

I’m wishing to everyone in the US a loving and bountiful Thanksgiving holiday, and to anyone else around the world, a happy end to November!

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Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Bars

Rice Krispie Treat Base: I followed this recipe from Healthful Pursuit, substituting raw almond butter for the sunbutter and crushed graham crackers for the ground flaxseed. Her recipe worked perfectly for me. In fact, I’ve never tried a recipe from that website that didn’t work great!

Dark Chocolate Ganache Center (Optional): I let the rice krispie treat layer cool overnight, and then loosely followed the ganache outlined in Isa’s chocolate cake recipe and spread it over the top once it came back down to room temperature. I only had 4 squares of chocolate and I would use more next time if I was going to make a full, thick chocolate layer. You can see in the photos that only some squares have much chocolate on them. Delicious either way!

Pumpkin Pie Layer:

1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree (or substitute butternut squash puree)
2 tb maple syrup (up to 4 tb, to taste – add a shake more agar powder)
1 tb blackstrap molasses
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp oat flour (or other absorbent flour)
1/4 tsp agar powder

Prepare the rice krispie and (optional) chocolate layers according to the recipes I provided. Cool before proceeding to the pumpkin pie layer.

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat, whisking steadily to incorporate the oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes until emulsified. Spread over the rice krispie treat & chocolate base. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing & eating.

Vegan pumpkin pie rice krispie bars

Pre-scoring the rice krispie layer where you want the squares to be, before adding the other layers, will make your life a lot easier come time to serve them up. But if you didn’t do that step, then letting it come to room temperature before slicing will certainly help.

Other absorbent flours to use in place of the oat flour could include coconut flour or maybe flaxseed meal. I think that quick oats might work, too, but I haven’t tried it. These will last for about 3 days in the fridge if you, like me, are a complete slob and don’t even put them in a closed container. If you cover them well, I would imagine they would last even longer, but probably no more than a week.

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Jamaican Jerk Cranberry-Blackberry Sauce

Sweet and tangy cranberries and blackberries pair perfectly with the warm profile of Jamaican jerk spice.

Jamaican Jerk Cranberry Blackberry Sauce

Want to hear a painfully funny story?

This one year for Christmas, my parents got a wonderful gift from my dad’s sister – a gorgeous Spanish paella pan, Spanish cookbook, and assortment of spices used in Spanish cooking. Most notably, it came with a big jar of saffron threads. My ma knew she couldn’t possibly use up all of that saffron herself, since so little is needed in a recipe to impart its flavor, so she sent me back to Baltimore with a little bag of it.

I had just run out of dried oregano, so I used the empty oregano jar to store the saffron, since the bag it came in wasn’t airtight.

A few months later, I was hanging out in the kitchen with my roommate at the time while he cooked his dinner. He knew how to cook one thing, and one thing only: rice and beans. I saw him reach for the jar of saffron. I expected him to pluck a strand or two of saffron out of the jar and put it back on the shelf. Instead, I watched in horror as he used the shaker cap to repeatedly shake saffron into his beans.

Me: “Umm… why are you putting so much saffron in that?”

Roommate: “……………..isn’t this oregano?”

Um. Oregano is green, buddy.

Me: “So… you’ve been putting that much saffron in your rice and beans… every time you make them?”

Roommate: (sheepish) “Yeah…”

The moral of this story? Sometimes the fact that two ingredients look completely different from each other, is not enough. Ever since that fateful saffron incident, I have NEVER neglected to label every random item in my pantry. That includes the jar of Jamaican jerk seasoning that I keep around. It looks a little bit like nutmeg. And someone who was trying to use nutmeg and ended up using a savory blend of spices including allspice, cilantro, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper might not be so stoked about the mixup.

This cranberry sauce was no mixup, though. I absolutely wanted all of those flavors mixed in with my berries, along with a generous helping of rum. And since there’s no refined sugar and the rum cooks off (mostly.. I think?), feel free to pile this sauce onto your seitan roast.

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Jamaican Jerk & Rum Cranberry-Blackberry Sauce
The warm profile of Jamaican jerk seasoning makes for a subtle and delicious twist on traditional cranberry sauce.

8 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
4 oz. fresh or frozen blackberries
1/3 cup dark rum
1.5 to 2 tb Jamaican jerk seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup (sweeten to taste)

It doesn’t get much easier than this: Combine the first 4 ingredients as well as a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring every minute or two, until berries are cooked down, about 20 minutes. Stir in more maple syrup to taste.

Jamaican Jerk Blackberry Cranberry Sauce

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Yeah. So who else has a spice mixup nightmare story? I took pity on my roommate and didn’t make him pay me back for the at least $20 worth of saffron that he had eaten. That was sure nice of me 🙂

Delicata Puttanesca Stuffed Italian Sausage Seitan Roast

This Italian sausage-inspired seitan roast is stuffed with a tangy, briney, and sweet filling of delicata squash, tomatoes, capers, olives, and fresh basil. Making a stuffed seitan roast is nowhere near as hard as it looks, so what are you waiting for?

Delicata puttanesca stuffed Italian sausage seitan roast

First, Some Business.

1) Voting is underway for the Vegan Virtual Potluck, and runs until 12/2. If you haven’t checked out my beet rye bread, you can find it here. If you like it, then I’d appreciate you going to the voting website and giving Yup, it’s Vegan your vote in the Breads category. Just so you know, you can only vote once. Thanks for your support! Vote

2) It’s been on the side bar for a couple of days, but I’ve jumped on the Twitter and Pinterest bandwagons. I currently have 1 Twitter follower and something like 5 Pinterest followers, hah. To celebrate news item number 3 (see below), I’m offering 2 cookbook giveaways in December (the anticipation!!), so why not get a head start on your entries by following me today? I promise I’ll only tweet about stuff that’s at least obliquely related to vegan food 🙂

3) Yup, it’s Vegan is moving to yupitsvegan.com. It will be at least another week from today (11/22/13) before the new site goes live, so sit tight. I will do everything in my power to make the transition easy for you wonderful readers! So more information is on the way in the coming days. Just a heads up!

Now, the Roast.

I don’t do a whole lot of the fake meat stuff, I guess I just prefer other foods most of the time. But I don’t think any vegetarians should be left out from having a piece de resistance of their own at Thanksgiving, and there is nothing so gorgeous, and that holds together so well despite being large in size, as a seitan roast. I actually made this and ate it by myself, because I’m not hosting Thanksgiving and I’m just bringing a side dish to the party, but I have no doubts that it would please all palates at a holiday celebration.

It’s delicious if not just for the stuffing itself! I sauteed cubed delicata squash with tomatoes, capers, olives, and jalapeno peppers, and then used the juice from the tomatoes as part of the liquid in the roast to give it that distinctively Italian flair. I served it up with some homemade caramelized shallot gravy (swoon, I’m gonna share the recipe sooner or later) and homemade cranberry sauce.

Don’t let the turkey eaters have all of the fun! Make yourself a delicious and beautiful seitan roast this year 🙂

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Delicata Puttanesca Stuffed Italian Sausage Seitan Roast
Seitan sausage adapted from the PPK

Delicata Squash Puttanesca Filling (makes extra)
olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 delicata squash, scrubbed, seeded and cubed (skin intact)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added), drained, liquid reserved
3 tb capers, without liquid
8-10 large olives, pitted, chopped, without liquid
white wine or vegetable broth
about 1/4 cup breadcrumbs or quick oats
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Italian Sausage Seitan
2-3 cloves garlic
3/4 c. cooked white beans (I used drained and rinsed canned beans)
reserved tomato liquid + enough vegetable broth to add up to 1 and 1/2 cups total liquid
2 tb miso paste (any color, I used chickpea miso)
2 tb olive oil
1/2 tb fennel seeds
2 c. vital wheat gluten flour
1/3 c. nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tb smoked paprika
1/2 tb dried thyme
1 tb dried oregano
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tb wheat bran

Make the filling. Heat olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, with just enough liquid to cover the bottom of the pan, except for the basil and the oats or breadcrumbs, and stir to combine. Partially cover the pan and cook, stirring every few minutes, for about 15 minutes or until squash is fork tender. Uncover and add the oats or breadcrumbs and continue to cook until liquid is gone. Add the fresh basil and set aside to cool.

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Make the seitan. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and add the mixture from the food processor. Mix together until a dough is formed.

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Assemble the roast. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a rolling pin (or in my case, an empty glass soda bottle, or even your hands) to thin out the dough and form a rectangular shape, at least the size of a standard piece of paper, hopefully bigger. Pretend you’re filling a burrito and add the filling on one side, then roll it up and pinch together. I was able to fit a little more than a cup of filling inside.

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Transfer the roll to a large piece of aluminum foil and roll it up as tightly as possible. Twist the ends as hard as you can to hold the roll tightly inside. Place the roll on a baking sheet and bake for 60 minutes, rotating it a 1/4 turn every 15 minutes (very important). Remove the foil and brush with a little bit of extra vegetable broth, then return to the oven and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes or until the roast is firm and feels springy. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing open.

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Delicata puttanesca stuffed Italian sausage seitan roastDelicata puttanesca stuffed Italian sausage seitan roast

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PS. I know I never posted that muffin recipe that I promised. Blame the short winter days!

Looking for other last-minute Thanksgiving ideas? I’m actually not that into Thanksgiving food and have hardly cooked any of it, but here are a few recipes from my site that might be delicious at your table:
Samosa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Beet Rye Bread
Maple Beer Bread
Lentil & Apple Shepherd’s Pie (please… forgive the blurry photos :))

Autumn’s Bounty: Butternut & Potato Masala Stuffed Peppers

Who knew that stuffed peppers could be so easy?

Butternut Squash & Potato Masala Stuffed Peppers

My family is Eastern European, and stuffed cabbage rolls have been a staple of our holiday celebrations for my entire sentient life. And I’ve tried not once, not twice, but three times to make a vegan version. I’ve got the filling and the sauce down. But I can’t for the life of me get the cabbage as tender as my grandma does. And when you need a knife to eat a cabbage roll, it’s less than ideal.

Luckily, bell peppers don’t have that same challenge. You can get them perfectly crisp-tender, and cut right through them with a fork. This recipe is like a samosa that’s wrapped in a luscious pepper instead of in fried dough! As for the butternut squash, well, it adds a velvety texture and a subtle sweetness without crowding out the flavor of the potato. I kind of have to put butternut squash in everything I make right now, because they’re starting to crowd us out of our apartment. See two of them looming ominously in the background of the pictures?

Before we eat peppers – you might have noticed that Yup, it’s Vegan is looking a little more… well, aesthetically pleasing these days! I did my best to lighten and open up the site, and I also made my tagline a bit less sassy, though I will personally continue to be very sassy. Coming soon, there will also be a slightly more creative looking header that I think is gonna be really cool!

I played in my high school orchestra, but that’s about as far as my artistic talent extents, so I hope you can understand why it has taken me months to make some of these changes. Feel free to let me know what you think of Yup, it’s Vegan’s updated look, and thanks so much for being a reader! It means so much to me that my message of delicious, {95%} healthy, home-cooked vegan food is starting to reach so many lovely people.

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We served these peppers alongside collard greens that were braised with cumin seeds, onions, and coconut milk. Nothing fancy. But they can certainly stand alone, too :). As always, tweak the spices to your liking.

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Butternut & Potato Masala Stuffed Peppers

5-6 large green bell peppers (feel free to use other colors – this is what we had from the CSA & green peppers are also the cheapest at the supermarket)
1/2 of a butternut squash, cooked (see notes)
5-6 medium potatoes, skins on, cubed
1 green chili pepper, diced
1 tb ground cumin
1/2 tb ground coriander
(optional) 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tb white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
Pomegranate seeds and more cilantro, for serving, optional
Tamarind chutney, for serving, optional (we get ours from the neighborhood Indian restaurant)

Prep and cook the peppers. Use a paring knife to cut a wide circle around the top of the pepper and the stem, and pull out the seeds and ribs by pulling on the stem. You may need to use your finger, or shake the pepper gently, to remove the last few seeds. For smaller peppers, instead of cutting the circle it’s sometimes easier to just slice off the entire top of the pepper. Bring about three inches of water to a boil in a saucepan, and put all of the peppers inside (it’s OK if not all of them are touching the water). Keep the water at a boil, cover the saucepan, and let the peppers cook for 5-7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Turn off the heat and remove them with a slotted spoon (or VERY GENTLY with tongs), and set them somewhere to cool.

Make the filling. Put the cubed potatoes, and the cubed squash if you are cooking it by this method (see the notes below), in a saucepan and add enough tap water to cover. Bring to a boil and let continue boiling for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and squash are both soft. Drain and add to a mixing bowl; add the cooked squash now if you cooked it some other way. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit; add the rest of the ingredients except the garnishes (chopped chili peppers through salt). Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Use a spoon to gently scoop filling into the hollowed out, cooked peppers and line them up in a roasting pan (helps to keep them upright; but if you don’t have a roasting pan a baking sheet works fine). Bake for about 15 minutes or until hot all of the way through. Serve with cilantro, pomegranate, and chutney if using.

Notes: We had a half of a squash in the fridge that was already peeled, so I just cubed it up and cooked it with the potatoes. But peeling squash sucks. You could also cut it in half, remove the seeds, and dry roast it at 400 degrees or so until cooked through, then use it mashed in the filling instead of cubed. If you are alright with microwaving things, that’s actually another great way to cook butternut squash: cut it in half, put it in a microwave-safe dish with a shallow layer of water, and cook for 5 minutes at a time until it’s done (usually 10 minutes). It’ll come right out of the peel. I’m not sure if canned pumpkin would work – it might be too soft.

Linked up on: Nourishing Joy, Jam Hands, Buns in my Oven, Thank Your Body Thursdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays
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Happy Sunday. Have a bountiful week!