Back in the day, I used to do everything in my power not to cook.
Bagged iceburg lettuce with dried out carrot shreds? I can learn to love it.
Microwave dinners with rubber chicken? A bit time consuming (4-5 mins!), but doable.
Skillet Sensations? Gourmet, romantic meal for two (Eric would make these for me in university! swoon)
Grilled cheese? Eric’s fav. ‘meal’ that I made. I’m not sure what this means.
There was a lot of love in those meals, but not much…quality. I feared the unknown with cooking, so I never really ventured out of my comfort zone.
Plus, I had crap to do. Always crap to do. Books to read. Classes to skip. MSN to chat on. Bars to hop. Heels to break in. Thanks to my sweet tooth I always enjoyed baking, but cooking never called out to me like the Betty Crocker Cake Mix in the pantry.
I was the girl who used to mix cake mix with milk and eat the raw batter straight up out of a mug. I wouldn’t make this stuff up. It was awesome.
It’s funny though, when I’m really challenged, a fire is lit inside me! Eating a vegan diet forced me to learn how to cook, enjoy the process (not just end result), and use my creativity whenever possible. When I first stopped eating animal products I lived off fake meat like veggie dogs, but that got old quickly and left me yearning for unprocessed meals made from scratch. Vegan cuisine opened my eyes to many different types of foods and ingredients and ignited a passion for cooking, dare I say, as much as baking.
If I can go from eating Lean Cuisines and bagged salad to cooking meals made from scratch, I think there is hope for every fearful cook out there! The more I cook, the less intimidated I feel; especially when it comes to cooking for others.
Which brings me to our family gathering on Sunday celebrating Eric’s birthday!
Mary (left) and Brendon are visiting us from Ireland. Brendon is my mother-in-law Margaret’s brother (one of her 10 brothers!)
Every time Brendon curses he says, “Pardon my Irish”
Love this crazy man. heheh.
Let’s see, I made…Vegan Cheeze Burgers.
I made a spin-off of Our Perfect Veggie Burger using Daiya cheese.
Changes I made to the original recipe:
- I used one entire 15-oz can black beans instead of 1 cup of beans
- I used 1.5 cups Daiya cheese instead of 1 cup grated carrot
- I used 1/4 cup chopped almonds instead of 1/3 cup
The Vegan Cheeze Burgers turned out just how I was hoping! Cheezy and delish.
I pre-baked the burgers for about 20 minutes in the oven and when Eric BBQ’d the meat, he added the veggie burgers on for the last 5-10 minutes of grilling.
I also sautéed some Crimini mushrooms to go with the burgers…my all-time fav burger topping! With a sprinkle of Herbamare of course.
Next, I made an old favourite- Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts! Oh yes, I broke out a can of pumpkin. I can’t be tamed.
Do any of you remember when I went through a vegan doughnut baking phase back in 2009? I was obsessed with making these things!
I fell off the wagon for a couple years, but it was fun to make them again and use those doughnut pans that have been collecting dust. The mini and regular pans are from Golda’s Kitchen.
A pumpkin doughnut isn’t a pumpkin doughnut until you cover it in melted Earth Balance and cinnamon sugar! True fact.
I tested them again with icing sugar glaze, but the Earth Balance and cinnamon sugar mixture was by far the best! The Earth Balance added a bit of a savoury, buttery quality which was a nice contrast with the sugar.
Drooling inevitable. Eating inevitable. Breakfast? Obviously.
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Adapted from Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Glonuts and Cuisine at Home via Pastry Brush.
Yield: 24 mini or 12 regular-sized doughnuts
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar may work)
- 6 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup fresh or canned pureed pumpkin
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar (or white)
- 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter substitute), melted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ginger, + 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or 1.75 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other butter sub), melted (approx estimate only)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two mini doughnut pans or two regular sized doughnut pans with Earth Balance (or other butter substitute).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, milk, pumpkin, sugar, applesauce, brown sugar (sift if clumpy), and melted Earth Balance (or other butter sub).
3. Sift in in the dry ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, and flours). Mix until just combined. I didn’t sift as I was lazy.
4. Using a ‘zip-lock’ baggie or pastry bag, spoon the batter into the bag and then secure it with the zip lock or rubber band. Twist the bag slightly and then cut off a hole at the corner to ‘pipe’ out the batter. Pipe the dough around the circle and gently flatten down with slightly wet fingers to smooth. Repeat.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F or until they gently spring back when touched. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully using a butter knife to remove. Place on cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.
6. Cinnamon Sugar: Melt Earth Balance in a small bowl and dip the cooled doughnuts into butter one at a time. Transfer the dipped doughnut into a bag with the cinnamon sugar and shake until coated thoroughly. Doughnuts keep for 2-3 days.
These doughnuts were a hit at the party! Everyone seemed to love them.
Of course, you can leave the cinnamon sugar off, but I highly recommend it. ;)
This is the post that never ends…
Next up, my all-time favourite vegan chocolate cupcake recipe made another appearance! Everyone always requests these when we have a family get together. I added a little POM juice and almond extract instead of almond milk and vanilla to give the frosting a bit of fruity flavour. It was decent, but I definitely prefer my Spiced Buttercream over this one.
Then I made my go-to Pico de Gallo and Guacamole. Went fast!
Appetizers (with a cheese plate from Ewa and Dave)
Finally, I made baked potato CHIPS!
Rosemary, Olive oil, and sea salt flavour. I was going to make my favourite Salt and Vinegar chips, but I wasn’t sure if everyone else enjoyed S&V, so I opted for the safe flavour. If I was making them for just myself, I would have made the salt & vinegar by a landslide! They really do taste like salt & vinegar chips.
The rosemary-olive oil-sea salt chips were the biggest hit of the night and there was not a chip to be found after we made our round.
Rosemary Olive Oil Sea Salt Chips
- 10 medium potatoes (estimate only)
- 4-5 tbsp minced rosemary
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt (I used Herbamare) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Slice potatoes into thin 1/8-1/4 inch rounds (I did not peel first).
3. In a large bowl, coat sliced potatoes in 2 tbsp olive oil, 4-5 tbsp minced fresh rosemary, and salt & pepper.
4. Bake for 30 minutes at 400F. After 30 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10-20 minutes (watch closely) until crispy and golden. Season to taste (they were better with even more Herbamare, don’t be shy!).
For my Salt and Vinegar chips, see this post.
My mother-in-law made her famous chicken pasta (with a vegan one for me), Dave & Ewa brought appetizers, and Mary and Gerry brought a salad. We had so much great food.
My plate: Vegan Cheeze burger with tomato, cuke, avocado, rosemary chips, sautéed mushrooms, salad, and I went back for some vegan pasta after I cleared my plate.
For dessert, I had a doughnut, half a cupcake, and lots of fresh cherries.
Our niece Gabriela helped with Eric’s birthday candles. :)
After gifts, we Skyped with some family in Ireland!
And then Brendon broke out the shots! and more shots. and more shots. ;) I could not partake as the Baby Guinness shots weren’t vegan. I was a bit bummed about that because I love doing shots (I’m weird)…so I drank my wine like a champ instead.
Eric and I currently have an invitation to go to Ireland and stay with Mary and Brendon for as long as we want. They even said they’d give us a key to their house!
(I doubled checked this statement Monday morning after the alcohol wore off and it still stands.) Whew.
Ireland, here we come?
Found your blog after I was diagnosed with High Cholesterol/anemic/pernicious and otherwise..?. ugh. so..i have been eating clean for 2 months. what a novel idea. so, i am a newbie.. my question. IS cane sugar/brown sugar…healthy for you? on a clean diet? What is the best sugar or is there such a thing? thanks for your blog. (and those doughnuts are looking good…) I am of Irish decent..went to Scotland/wales/england..Hubby had to go to hospital and get his knee drained (and then went home and got a total knee)..missed Ireland..must go back! We went on the Med. cruise last Nov. and LOVEd VENICE! we want to go back. I need to feel better so we can travel again.
The rosemary chips look divine. I’m completely addicted to Herbamare and Trocomare. :)
I have been wanting to do something a little different with my potatoes…can’t believe I haven’t made potato chips yet! Weekend snack, here I come!
Yum…what a delicious looking meal (and desserts)! Ok, my must try are the potato chips and the doughnuts (those look oh so yummy)!!
That food looks amazing- you are so talented!
Yes, come to Ireland! Its hard to be a vegan here but I’m sure we’ll make you welcome anyway ;)
Love the blog!
First thing on my to-buy list? A donut pan :)
You guys should seriously go to Ireland if you can! Then blog and/or video the experience! Going to Ireland sounds great ^^
Now, after I get the donut pan, time to make these cinnamon sugar pumpkin donuts, chocolate cupcakes, and w/e else on this post!
-Kathy from http://cupcakes-music-fashion.blogspot.com/ :)
I’ve seen doughnuts on a couple blogs now and I always tell myself I need a doughnut pan. Yours look so good, I placed my order on amazon right after reading your post ;).
I love Daiya cheese…we just tried it for the first time last week! Took us a little while, right!
Starting a little early on the pumpkin…it’s only August!!:) Funny, I have been using cinnamon a lot more the last couple weeks…fall is in the air! :)
Wow Angela, Really great recipes here. I still need to try Daiya myself and I need to buy a doughnut holder too. I love your twist on the cinnamon and sugar topping and using Pumpkin is so brilliant.
Go to Ireland!! It’s the best country!! So beautiful and the people are so nice. :-)
Oh my everything you cook looks delicious. I will be trying one or all of the above recipes :)
Thank you for sharing.
What a fantastic blog post! Damn you are good! I recently became “raw” (about 85%) and I have become extremely passionate about raw food. So much that I enrolled to be a certified Raw Food Chef. Now- I’m serious. I AM/WAS the WORST cook ever… I could make NOTHING. Now I am so passionate about it and I’m going to teach “uncooking” classes at my local REC center:)
Time to dust off the donut pans!!! If I can find them, that is.
What a feast! looks amazing! great pics :)
These sound so tasty! Love the look too. Great photos!
Oh dear. How in the world am I going to justify bringing a donut pan to college!?!?
Where there’s a will, there’s a way….right? ;)
I love that you put the shredded “cheese” into the burgers!
And those donuts looked killer! Glad they were a hit. I need to find me a donut pan :)
I tried the original veggie burger recipe and loved it! I’ll have to give the cheesy version a try!
Reading this post made me want to throw a dinner party just so I could cook and bake and share it with people.. I may even do it! Thanks Angela!
Can’t wait to try the pumpkin donuts…I’m SOOO ready for Fall!!
AMAZING post! Made me drool, made me chuckle, made me get all warm and fuzzy for my own family! Your family is beautiful, and your food looks fantastically delicious! You had me at pumpkin donuts, haha :) Thanks for brightening my Wednesday!
Reading that you’re breaking out the pumpkin made me so excited! I love fall and can’t wait to start making pumpkin everything! <3
Definitely go to Ireland if you have the chance! I just moved home after studying abroad there for two years and I miss it like crazy. It’s a truly magical place.
Looks like all had an amazing time together and the food looked delish!!!!
wooow! everything looks amazing!! Im drooling in front of my laptop right now.
P.s.: two days ago I was at Moes at Universal Orlando because you mentioned it in one of your posts and I remembered hehehe…it was surprisingly delicious!! loved it to be honest. maybe it was because I was starving and so exhausted after such a long day walking around and standing in line lol. a post about our food at Moes will be up soon on my site :D
make it to Greystones and eat at The Happy Pear (in county Wicklow)! I’m currently there doing an internship in prep for opening a vegan bakery back in the States. This place is a café, bakery, organic and local grocery, and juice bar. amazing place with some damn healthy food. you must check it out!
omg! you don´t have a brother whom I could marry to be part of your wonderful family?? I even used to live in Ireland and I LOOK Irish, so maybe that helps? Your family seems awesome and you look so happy. Must be the good food ;)
where in Ireland do they live? If the two of you make it there, make sure to visit West-Cork, the most beautiful part in Eire. Palm trees, sandy beaches… Looks AND feels like you are in the Carribbean!
the donuts are in the oven ;) can’t wait to try them!
Just wanted to let you know I made these last night but used real milk and butter instead of almond milk and earth balance, and they were awesome, even without the cinnamon sugar glaze. I was too tired to do that last night but maybe some of the leftovers will get special treatment.
any idea on how to make these doughnuts gluten free? i would love to make them for an upcoming family trip! they look delicious :)
I want to come to your party! lol the food looks delicious — and I love cake donuts and cinnamon sugar used to be my favorite but since I found out what terrible ingredients most donut shops use I’ve stayed clear… will definitely try whipping up some of your donuts as soon as it feels more like fall here in TX!
I can’t wait to try the donut recipe!! Anxiously awaiting my donut pan delivery!
Ha ha, once the shots come out all bets are off! *hic*. Think you’d enjoy a trip to Ireland – especially with Eric having such hospitable relatives – but eating out as a vegan would be more a challenge I’m thinking. I don’t eat out a lot but then I am just TERRIBLE for questioning the waiting staff about what’s in the food.
I am never happier than when I’m just pottering around my kitchen trying out one (or five!) new recipes. Which is kind of bad sometimes because I have a history of eating disorders. Then again, people with EDs often tend to be foodies at heart anyway :/ I wish I had more time to cook and appreciate good food because I usually end up in a rush and it can be a challenge to make sure I’m eating the right things.
oh glory be – i’m in the middle of a cleanse/fast but when appropriate i’m so going to make a labor day dinner of this. everything and i mean everything, looks positively divine!
Maybe you’ve answered this before, but what is herbamare ?
I absolutely <3 this post!!!!! I need to try all these recipes!!!!!
I know I’m late to the party, but the piping in a ziplock bag to get the batter in the mini doughnut pans is genius. I will definitely be doing this, as I am going through my own mini doughnut obsession. :-D
Made your Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts last weekend for a dinner party….they were a huge hit with everybody!! Of course I waited until they were devoured to mention they were vegan…they couldn’t believe it! Thanks so much.
thats great Jenn!
Just found your website a few days ago and I am totally impressed. I have booked mark several things and made a few already. Tonight I made these donuts……amazing! The recipe was very simple and quick to put everything together. They are so moist and bursting with flavor. Thank you so much for these delicious recipes. Your story, lifestyle and cooking is such an inspiration to me :)
Thank you Jamie, I’m happy you enjoyed the doughnuts!
Hey Angela– I was just reading through several of your older posts today and wanted to say how impressed I am with all the food you always prepare for your family and friends! I recently switched to a vegetarian, mostly plant-based diet (some dairy and eggs occasionally), and have had a lot of resistance from family and some friends when it comes to trying new foods. I LOVE to cook and bake, and enjoy hosting company, but I no longer want to prepare meat-based meals.
I’m curious about how your family and friends typically respond to your foods (particularly things like veggie burgers, or veganized “traditional” meals), and how you deal with those picky unhealthy eaters? I’m having a hard time not taking offense when even my husband isn’t a huge fan of some of my vegan meals that I enjoy (I use LOTS of your recipes! Love them!). Thanks!
I just made the pumpkin doughnuts, and my first thought was “you can’t imagine how good these are!” I thought I had prepared myself, but these doughnuts are a direct slice of pumpkin/cinnamon heaven
The pumpkin donuts were ridiculously good. Awesome recipe.
These are AMAZING!! I made them yesterday and gave them away at work. Everyone said “Just quit, this needs to be your career!”. Thanks for providing amazing vegan recipes, I’ve loved all of them!
These look yummy. My husband and I recently started a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle and I’m so happy to have found your site. I thought my foodie days were over, but your story and web-site is like a ray of hope. I’ve already made two batches of your chocolate chip cookies and tried your vegan mac and cheese and love them both. Can’t wait to try some doughnuts.
Aw thank you so much! Enjoy the recipes :)
Made the doughnuts today – so so good! I tried them both sugared, and with a caramel glaze. Amazing both ways!
My littleone & I just made the pumpkin donuts….THEY ARE PERFECT!!!! So easy & yummy! They are great with powdered sugar and cinnamon too. Thanks for the great recipe… love them all!
Oh my… I’m not really a donut fan but these donuts are AMAZING!!! I just made them this morning for halloween and now I’m addicted, it turned out to be the best vegan recipe I have ever tried. No one in my family could even tell they were vegan and everyone loved them! Thank you so much, definitely a keep. By the way I didn’t use the cinnamon sugar because they were already really sweet and delicious :)
Just found your awesome blog while I was looking for a vegan donut recipes. I tried the pumpkin and the plain vanilla ones dipped in sugar and they both turned out great! Cant wait to try the rest of your recipes:)
I also want to say that I really admire you for sharing your story and creating this blog. I can sincerely relate to everything that you have discussed. Diagnosed with anorexia and obsessive exercise when I was 19 yrs old and it has been a constant battle ever since. Learning to cook healthy foods and becoming a vegetarian has gotten me through the never ending struggle and brought me to a more peaceful and healthy state of mind. Keep up the great work!! I will be reading!!!!!
Thank you Katie, that means a lot to me! All the best to you.
I am making 150 of the pumpkin donuts using mini muffin pans for a friend’s wedding! What is the best way to store them without them getting soggy, losing shape, losing cinnamon sugar? Refrigerator?
Hey Joanna, Wow that sounds like quite the baking endeavor! Good for you. I am not sure how these store. Our batch didn’t last long as we had a bunch of family over to enjoy them. I think the longer the cinnamon sugar sits, the more it melts into the doughnut so Im not sure how you would prepare it in advance? Maybe bake the doughnuts and then coat in cinnamon sugar just before serving?
Made these today and they disappeared fast! Brought some over for my in-laws and they loved them, too. I’ve been making vegan baked goods every weekend for a few months now, and everyone is surprised and amazed at how delicious this way of baking can be. :)
This awesome recipe is a family staple. Today I replaced all the flours w/ oat flour (just oats blended in my food processor) and it turned out beautifully. Everyone gobbled them up w/o glaze or powdered sugar.