Vegan MoFo “Other” Week – Recipe Roundup


I can’t believe the month is already drawing to a close.  At some point I’ll stop waxing poetic about how incredibly glad I am that I chose to participate, but that time has not yet arrived.  I have discovered so many new blogs that are now permanently in my Feedly, which means I can continue to follow them going forward.  Plus, I have added at least 100 new recipes to my Gmail folder for future cooking inspiration and guidance.  It’s just friggin awesome!

Anyway, this will be my last recipe roundup for Vegan MoFo 2013.  Blue, purple, white, brown, and black foods.  Maybe a weird spectrum, but definitely great.

Today’s recipes come from other participating MoFo bloggers and happen to fit in with my color theme.  🙂 [Note: all of the images belong to the individual bloggers unless otherwise noted.  They are works of art and I’m posting them to encourage YOU to click through and check out the recipes!]

Easy Plum Applesauce in the Slow Cooker by Fo Reals Life (one of my new absolute fave blogs!) (click for recipe)

Appleberry Pie with Olive Oil Crust from the ever-amazing Post Punk Kitchen (click for recipe)
Vanilla Fig Cake by Vegan Yack Attack (click for recipe).  I’m calling the figs purple.  Sorry I’m not sorry.
Coconut Crusted Tofu from Fried Dandelions (click for recipe)
Cauliflower Steaks with Mushroom Gravy by Vegan Richa (click for recipe).
Cauli steaks 3

The photos are from when I made this recipe.  I adored this recipe! My new favorite way to eat cauliflower.
Cauli steaks 2

Vegan Bacon Lentil Crunchies, also by Fo Reals Life (click for recipe). Like seriously…what a brilliant idea.


Homemade Vegan Heath Bars by Fork ‘n’ Beans (click for recipe).  Cara’s candy-themed posts this month blew me away!

Thyme and Apple Beany Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy, Cabbage and Peas from Veg Hot Pot (click for recipe). I can’t wait to make this one!

Smoky Black Beans Parsley Chimichurri Spinach Wraps also by Vegan Richa (click for recipe)

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Feel free to share any new favorite blogs or particular recipes from MoFo 2013 in the comments!


Most people who read this blog probably already know this, but H and I first met while playing softball (on opposing teams) in our law school intramural league. For the past several years, we have continued to play together in the summer in an adult recreational league of greater Boston.  Dorn’s has become a staple of our summer schedule and a centerpiece of our social life as a couple.

Dorn’s 2012

H and me decked out in red

Since H is the captain and I am the captain’s wife, we hosted our team’s post-season barbecue at our home way out in the burbs this year.

I should first say that I really love hosting parties.  H and I have lived in our house for just under 2 years and we have now had 5 great get-togethers in it (2 holiday parties, 2 barbecues, and a Superbowl party).  But holy hell is it a lot of work.

This isn’t really anyone’s fault but my own.  You see, it really wouldn’t be that big of a faux pas to just buy a bunch of pre-made platters and stuff to serve to a crowd (and frankly I’d probably end up spending about the same amount of money).  But no, I have this compulsion to make everything myself.

So as soon as H and I set a date for this year’s Dorn’s barbecue, I started planning a menu.  Our team consists solely of wings-loving omnivores and me, plus one vegetarian (who unfortunately wasn’t going to make it).  I decided to do my traditional taco bar, with meat, yes, but also with the option of Ancho Lentils from Post Punk Kitchen (click for recipe).  This way I can have a taco (never mind that these lentils are a total crowd-pleaser, delicious to everyone, regardless of dietary preference).  Plus hamburgers and hot dogs (which I wouldn’t have to look at…grilling is H’s job).  Everything else I served, I decided, would be vegan.

I don’t have a picture of the Ancho Lentils from my taco bar, but here’s an old one of the same recipe that I ate on a sandwich with dijon mustard.  Yes, they are versatile!

I was all freaked out because I realized we were going to have between 20 and 25 people and I’ve never made food for that many before.  So I pulled a bunch of recipes and then doubled or tripled them to make enough.  Let’s just say I overestimated.

But no matter.  For appetizers, I decided to make Olive-Rosemary Tapenade from this PureWow recipe (minus the anchovy) that had caught my eye a few months ago.  The recipe requires some intensive chopping (especially when using non-pitted olives…ugh).  I did most of it on Wednesday night and waited until Friday night (the night before the barbecue) to mix in the chopped parsley and orange zest.

Here are the prepped ingredients, packed up and ready to go on Wednesday night.
Olive Tapenade Prep
Kalamata and castelvetrano olives, red bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic

Oh, and when I was chopping the red pepper, I found this devilish little piece inside…
Devil Tail
H: “That picture just proves that vegetables are evil.”

Here is the finished product, served with crostini that I made according to this method by Chloe Coscarelli:
Tapenade with crostiniI also made the Summer Orchard Bruschetta from Happy. Healthy. Life. (click for recipe):
Summer Orchard Bruschetta 1Also served with crostini:
Bruschetta with crostini
I love, love, LOVE this bruschetta and am going to make it again and again!

Appetizers not pictured: hummus platter (Cedar’s original with carrots and celery); Utz honey barbecue chips; tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole (thankfully I didn’t make these by hand…I used Whole Foods medium chunky salsa and Trader Joe’s spicy guacamole autentico [which is incredible btw]).  Oh, and loaded tater tots (which weren’t vegan, so I guess ALMOST everything else I made was vegan).

So that there would be stuff to drink besides beer, I made Stoli Dolis (2 pineapples, cored and cut into rings, with vodka poured over them, which sat for 5-6 days and was WAY too strong…in the future I would soak the pineapple at least 2 weeks before serving) and Strawberry-Mint Water:

Strawberry Mint Water

I got the idea back in May, when H and I went to a wedding on Nantucket.  In the hotel lobby, they had a water cooler with strawberries floating in it and it was so incredibly delicious.  My own version did not disappoint either.

Drink Station

For dishes to serve on the side of the entrees, I did my favorite Vegan Caesar Salad with Avocado and Chickpeas from Post Punk Kitchen (click for recipe).  I didn’t take a picture of the trough of salad that I served at this barbecue, but here is a pic from when I made the recipe once before:
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I also made Creamy Avocado Potato Salad from Post Punk Kitchen (click for recipe).  I like that blog, a little.

First of all, look at these stunning avocados:

Next, here is a picture of the “dressing” all creamy and beautiful in the food processor:
Potato Salad Dressing

Finally, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  But it looked like fingerling potatoes with green stuff on them.

Also on the side, and not pictured (I suck) was a pesto pasta salad, which was just cooked elbow macaroni tossed with Classic Pesto from Vegan With a Vengeance and chopped cherry tomatoes.  And the corn and black bean salad that I talked about in my last post.  Oh, and corn on the cob.  I was going to also serve collard greens but there was too much food and so I didn’t.

Finally, dessert!  I served a fruit salad in a watermelon bowl, which I didn’t photograph because the watermelon shell looked kinda wonky, plus it was dark by the time we got to dessert.  The fruit salad contained watermelon (obviously), pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi.  I was able to prep the fruit salad ingredients well in advance of the party.  Here are the latter three ingredients packed up in a very large container:
Fruit Salad prep

Because our team’s color is red, I wanted to make an appropriately colored dessert.  I chose Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting from Made Just Right by Earth Balance (click for recipe).  These came out great! I mean, they’re pink, but strawberries are red, so it works, right?  [One note: I noticed while making this that the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of baking powder and I was like…no.  That is most definitely a typo.  So I used 2 tsp. and the cupcakes turned out great, so if you make this recipe do NOT use 2 tbsp.!]

Cupcake Platter 2

They looked so pretty on my cupcake platter!

Cupcake Platter 1

Bonus: M (an honorary Dorn) came up to visit and hang out at the barbecue.

Obligatory sisters shot

And late Sunday afternoon, after two softball games and lots of house cleanup, I used leftover watermelon (which I had frozen) and leftover Summer Orchard Bruschetta (which was already getting soggy) to make this incredible concoction for the three of us to enjoy.Watermelon Frosty 1

Watermelon Frosties for all!

All in all, the party was a ton of fun, everyone was completely stuffed and happy, and no one seemed to even notice or care that the usual cheese platter/mayo-heavy potato and pasta salad/creamy veggie dip were missing.  I think the key to this lies in choosing recipes that utilize “normal” things that everyone loves (like avocado and chickpeas).  I call these “crowd-pleasers.”

The other thing is not to broadcast that everything is vegan.  I know some would disagree with me, but I really do believe that it’s important to let the food speak for itself.  Most people think that it must be very difficult to be vegan.  Frankly, I used to be one of them.  That was before I learned how to be creative and think outside the box and really understand and appreciate all of the things that can be done with plant foods.

Obviously, if people ask me questions, I am happy to answer.  But actually, at this barbecue, the only dish I got questions about was the Caesar Salad, (i.e., “How is the dressing vegan?” Answer: “It’s made with tahini.”  I didn’t mention the nooch though.)  Usually it’d be the cupcakes (“How did you make the frosting?” “How can you bake cake without eggs?”), but not this time.

Well. Hopefully this post was long enough.

The Mighty Mango

I freakin’ love mangoes.
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A good mango is one of the sweetest, creamiest things there is to eat. Period. A bad one is…bad.  Mealy, stringy, too flavorless or too tart, any or all of the above.  Fortunately I have long since learned the art of picking out a good mango. There is no science to this, just my own personal experience.  First, the color of the skin matters less than you’d think.  I used to think I wanted ones that were more red, or had a nice balance or red and green, but my experience has been that even mangoes with a uniform green or slightly yellow color to the skin can be good.  Second, the fruit should be relatively firm; not rock-hard, but definitely not soft.  Third, and most importantly, the smell of the mango should be, well, mango-ey.  Test the smell by inhaling near the stem end.  You can’t miss that sweet, citrusy mango smell.  If you don’t pick up on it, then you have a crappy mango.

My new job is conveniently located in a shopping complex that includes a Stop & Shop (as well as an A.C. Moore, an Applebee’s, and a liquor store, because why not?).  S&S recently has had crazy insane sales on mangoes so I’ve been stocking up bigtime.  Obviously many have been enjoyed as is, for breakfast or a snack, but I have also turned out some stellar recipes with them.

First is Mango BBQ Baked Beans, from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  This is the first recipe that really jumped out at me when I got this book a couple of weeks ago.
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Served with Jerk Asparagus, also from AFRIt was even better than I had hoped!  Sweet, smoky, complex barbecue flavor in a hearty, warming dish perfect for a winter evening (though I can also envision it as a kickass addition to a summer barbecue!).  H loved it.  He has added it to the list of vegan meals he will eat “anytime.”   As an additional matter, I know I am totally late to the party on AFR but better late than never, right?  This book is SO awesome.  I have like 56 stickies indicating the other recipes that I can’t wait to make.

Another gem from Ms. Moskowitz is Mango Fried Rice from her blog, Post Punk Kitchen.  Click through for the recipe.
Mango Fried Rice (PPK) photo 332.jpg

I ate mine with Asian Baked Tofu from Veganomicon (my go-to baked tofu, in case anyone was wondering).
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I also separately cooked up a little bit of chicken for the man (tofu remains on the Do Not Call list for my H) and was shocked when he told me he actually preferred the rice as it was, without the addition of meat!
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This incredible recipe does require a little extra work in the kitchen (the rice has to be cold before being added to the skillet, for example), but the beautiful, exotic and flavorful results are worth it!  It’s also easy enough to cook rice the day before and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
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Bonus: makes lots of leftovers for next-day lunch!

Now to be truthful, I actually made this many months ago but never got around to posting the pics until now.  But the recent bumper crop of mangoes has me thinking of whipping some up again this week…

So, I am currently training for a relay race in May, and the combination of Sunday cross-training and Monday running had me feeling super-sore, so yesterday was a rest day.  With my amazing new job getting me home around 5:30 every night, and no gym time scheduled, I realized that I’d have extra time to spend in the kitchen.  And so, last night I went for broke and attempted the Mango Masala Panini from Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli.

When I say “went for broke” what I really mean is that I chose a recipe that has multiple components that I knew would take me a significant amount of time to prepare.  Basically, making this Panini recipe requires making three mini-recipes: Mango Tamarind Chutney, Cauliflower Curry, and Chickpea Masala.
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Three bowls, Three Recipes (sorry for the dark [and, actually, kinda gross] picture)

While the final result was undeniably tasty, I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that it took me a total of 2.5 hours to get it all done, and by the time it was over, I was too tired to flatten it into a “panini” using my grill pan and a weight, so I just toasted the ciabatta and ate it that way.
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When I say “ate it that way” what I really mean is I cut it in half and then opened each half up, leaving me with four open-faced “sandwiches”, because it was way too messy otherwise.

To be fair, part of the reason that it took so long to get this together is that I was washing dishes before, during, and after cooking.  Starting with a clean kitchen obviously would speed the process.  But even so, the food processor is required for all three of the mini-recipes and needs to be cleaned in between.  Let’s just say I cleaned A LOT of dishes last night.  And actually, since I’m big on honesty, I will admit that I used my immersion blender for the Chana Masala.  I just couldn’t clean that processor again.

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Mango Tamarind Chutney
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Cauliflower Curry
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Chana Masala

Final verdict: I liked this recipe, and I liked all of the components.  I am not sure that the final result is worth the aggregate time/effort, but if in the future I had time to do some ahead-of-time/day-before prep, I would make it again.  Plus, there is now a ton of leftovers in my fridge, which I always welcome during the work week.  I am even thinking about making the leftover Cauliflower Curry into samosas tomorrow, using another recipe from Chloe’s Kitchen.

Anyone else have any great recipes that use mangoes?