Since I am officially one week into my vegan challenge (yay!!!), I thought this would be a good time to share a few of my favourite recipes so far. As I don’t feel terribly comfortable in my vegan cooking abilities just yet, I have been relying heavily on recipes for anything more difficult than a soup or a salad. Here are a few of my recently discovered gems!
This Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip from 86 Lemons is absolutely amazing! It’s pretty incredible that a healthy vegan version of the popular appetizer is able to mimic the original without any cheese, mayo, cream cheese, sour cream, dairy substitute or oil. It was super easy to make and was a big hit with my friends. I followed the recipe exactly and served it with cut-up veggies and crackers. This dip was so well received that I am making another batch to bring home with me to my parents house tomorrow. We are celebrating MY birthday and I am going to take the opportunity to start introducing my family to unexpectedly delicious vegan delights!
It was my boyfriend’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and I decided I wanted to make his favourite cupcakes for his special day. So I endeavored to find a vegan recipe for Black Forest Cupcakes. Although I wasn’t “officially” eating vegan at this point, I had been giving it a lot of serious consideration and thought this occasion might be a good time to experiment (why I thought experimenting with vegan food at a party where people would be actually eating my “experiments” is beyond me). But really, I had nothing to worry about because these cupcakes were DELISH!! They had all the familiar characteristics of the original version and were very tasty. So tasty, in fact, that I actually told people they were vegan because I was so proud of the result!
My biggest vegan surprise came from one of my favourite vegan blog sites, Post Punk Kitchen. For dinner yesterday I was making mashed potatoes and oven-roasted leeks. The thought of making mashed potatoes without butter, sour cream or milk didn’t seem that exciting to me and I wondered how I was going to achieve the creamy texture I was so used to without those ingredients. I managed to impart great flavor and creaminess by using almond milk and a teaspoon of olive oil in the potatoes. After an initial taste test, I still felt like they were missing a certain something. Enter Savory Mushroom Gravy! Luckily, I had all the ingredients handy so I set to work. The gravy turned out nice and thick and very flavorful. It added everything I was looking for in my mashed potatoes! I had left overs for lunch today and the gravy tasted even better the next day.
After being so successful with my first few attempts at vegan cooking/baking, I am really looking forward to finding, and trying out, more delicious recipes!