Monday, October 24, 2011

All things I love about Fall: Comfort food edition

Its hard to believe that winter is just around the corner. The days are getting chilly. Its staying darker in the morning, and getting darker earlier in the evening. As the season is changing, so are my food cravings. Its time for comfort food season! I have already been busy with my pumpkin spice inspired baking. Now its time to focus on food. I am a big fan of food. And I have been getting better at cooking (thanks to a lot of help from my boyfriend). The other day I was thinking about Shepherds Pie. I have never actually had shepherds pie, but while working in an Irish restaurant I served a lot of it. The thought of veganizing it got stuck in my head all day. So I looked up a few simple recipes online and went from there. I found a recipe from Rachel Ray: . I also looked up a few mushroom gravy recipes on Vegweb and gathered some ingredients. Here is the gravy recipe: My boyfriend actually knew how to make gravy already, so we just used this recipe as a guideline. It turned out sooo good, I almost felt guilty eating it. Making shepherds pie is actually really easy. I will just list the ingredients I used, any variations would be delicious.

Cruelty Free Shepherds Pie:
1 Bag Meatless Crumbles (prepared as instructions say)
1 Can Sweet Peas
Chopped baby carrots (steamed)
3 Chopped celery sticks (steamed)
3 Russet Potatoes (boil peeled, cubed potatoes for about 12-15 min. Mash in a bowl. I added Tofutti sour cream and 1 Cup plain almond milk. You could use vegan butter or Tofutti better than cream cheese too.)
Mushroom Gravy
-I mixed the carrots, celery and peas together in the bottom of my casserole dish.
-Then layered the meatless crumbles.
-Then poured the gravy over the top
-Last I layered the mashed potatoes and covered with foil.
-We baked it at 350 for about 15 min, then removed the foil, sprinkled with parsley and baked uncovered for another 15 min. Let it cool, it will be super hot. Then enjoy!
-I also bought a small loaf of Italian bread to serve with it.

Another fun comfort food dish we have made this month came to us after going to Denver’s Octoberfest. We bought some Tofurkey Beer Brats, hot dog buns and ingredients for Potatoes Au Gratin. Prepared the brats as the package instructed. Made the potatoes au gratin just from looking up a few regular recipes online and substituting vegan ingredients for the dairy and we added some Bac’O bits on top. Don’t forget the yellow mustard for your brats! Another dish that tasted so good it almost makes you feel guilty eating it.
(As you can see I had a little problem with the picture below, I just can't get it to upload. Tease)

Lastly, I have made yet another pumpkin spice inspired dessert. My favorite pumpkin-y dessert I’ve made so far.
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake:
1 slice pumpkin pie, or ½ Cup pumpkin pie filling (I used the pie filling and also added a leftover pumpkin cookie to serve as the crust)
1 ½- 2 Cups Vanilla ice cream (I used Rice Dream organic vanilla, so good)
1 ½ - 2 Cups vegan milk

-Blend until creamy. No matter how much of any of the ingredients you use I guarantee you will love this milkshake! It is very filling, I had half on mine and then froze the rest for another day.
It feels like it took me forever to actually get this post uploaded. I am looking forward to finishing my Owl costume for Halloween this week. I will share the finished product. Hoot hoot!
Peace, love and veggies,

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