Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Party!

Yesterday was a very important day in the universe. On that day, twenty one years ago, the littlest VegBerger was born. So over the weekend, KT came home from school to celebrate with the family!
When asked what the baby VegBerger wanted for her family birthday feast, she responded, "Pumpkin, pumpkin, and MORE PUMPKIN."
Luckily, Mama VegBerger was happy to oblige.

You may remember our first Mac and Cheese recipe, and how utterly obsessed with it KT is. Therefore, it was only appropriate that the main course of the Pumpkin Party was a different take on an amazing idea.

Harvest Cheddar Mac and Cheese
(Adapted from this recipe)
1 lb. short cut pasta, such as rigatoni or penne
4 Tbsp vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup beer (it was her twenty first birthday, after all)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 cups soy milk
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper
A few grates nutmeg
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 14-ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese (Daiya)
Sweet paprika, to garnish
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and cook pasta al dente. Drain and reserve. Preheat broiler.
2. Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook for 1 minute, then raise the heat slightly and add the beer. Allow to evaporate a bit.
3. Reduce the heat to medium, and whisk in maple syrup and milk. Season with allspice, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Continue whisking until thickened.
4. Stir in pumpkin, followed by the "cheese" until melted.
5. Combine the pasta with the sauce and arrange in a casserole dish. Garnish with paprika.
6. Broil until slightly browned and bubbly.

This macaroni was unreal! It tasted like everything we love about autumn! The birthday celebrations continued with presents...

...and the most important part of the night...DESSERT!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Blondies
For the blondie layer:
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1. Line an 8x8 inch square pan with aluminium foil and spray with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, brown sugar, soy milk, and vanilla until smooth.
3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Mix them just enough to moisten, then fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Pour mixture into pan.

For the cheesecake layer:
8 ounces plain vegan cream cheese (Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1 Tbsp flour
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the arrowroot powder, flour, and vanilla. Beat again until smooth.
3. Stir in walnuts.
4. Using a rubber spatula or spoonula, smooth the topping over unbaked blondie batter.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. If the topping is browning too much in the last 10 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees. Check for doneness with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out mostly clean, the blondies should be done!
6. Watch your skin slowly turn orange as you eat the entire batch. Proceed to not care.
I mean...just LOOK at these babies! No explanation necessary.

And because we just couldn't decide which would be better...we made a cupcake version as well. Pumpkin spice chocolate chip cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting to be exact. Sorry we're not sorry!

Needless to say, KT got her birthday meal wish and then some.
Happy Fall!

Peace, Love, and (what else?) PUMPKIN!
Pam and KT

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Meet me at the VegBergers Drive-In!

Nothing beats driving up to a huge menu, pushing a magic button, and being hand delivered a piping hot breakfast burrito from a rollerskating car-hop. Whether you're eating this concoction as fuel for your morning or fuel for your hangover is your decision (hey, we're not judging!). All we know is that Sonic's Super Sonic Breakfast Burrito was screaming to be veganized.
Sonic's version of this savory breakfast creation includes "a medley of scrambled eggs, melty cheese, tater tots, diced onions, ripe tomatoes, and spicy jalapeno peppers all wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla." Sounds easy enough, right?

Super Vegan Breakfast Burrito
Rollerskates not included

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Onion
2 Cubanelle Peppers (but any pepper will do!)
1 Package Extra Firm Tofu, well drained
2 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup grated Vegan Cheddar Cheese (Daiya works best!)
Salsa of your choice
Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
Baked Tater Tots
Burrito sized Flour Tortillas

1. Heat olive oil in skillet over Medium-High heat. Add sliced onions and peppers and sautee for 2-3 minutes.
2. Mix cumin, thyme, turmeric, and salt together in a small dish. Add water and blend.
3. Crumble tofu into skillet with onions and peppers. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly until tofu begins to brown.
4. Mix in spice blend and stir. Add nutritional yeast and black pepper. Continue to cook for about 1 minute.
5. Stir in vegan cheddar cheese until melted. Remove skillet from heat.
6. Assemble Burrito -- Layer tofu scramble on a warmed tortilla with baked tater tots, salsa, and jalapeno peppers. Roll it on up!
7. Tip your car-hop and enjoy!

It's not just good...It's VegBergers good!

Peace, Love, and Tots,

Pam and KT