January 20, 2024 – Veganuary

Saturday, January 20, 2024
VBC Meeting #131: Veganuary
Hosts of the Month: Lauren and Billy
Location: Ponder, TX

For January we learned from Slynn about how it is a thing of recent years to call January “Veganuary” to promote veganism for the month, and I suppose hope it sticks to people for the rest of the year. In support, our January theme was “Veganuary”.

This is what we made:

large and small plate of vegan food

Alaric: Quinoa Crusted Tofu Parm

Alaric began preparing his Quinoa Crusted Tofu Parm by slicing super firm tofu into rectangles. Into one bowl he put almond milk, into a second he put a blend of flour, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and in a third bowl he put quinoa that he had cooked with less water than for normal quinoa eating use. He then dipped the slabs of tofu first into the flour blend, then the almond milk, then the quinoa, packing the quinoa onto the tofu with a spoon. While he baked the tofu at 425°F for 40 minutes, he made a vegan cheese sauce by blending a cup of soaked cashews, 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 a cup of water, a garlic clove, salt, and the juice of half a lemon. When the tofu slabs were done with their initial bake, he spread tomato sauce on each one, sprinkled each with vegan Parmesan cheese, then spread on the vegan cheese sauce and fresh basil and broiled the tofu for a minute to finish it off.

vegan tofu parm

Minji: Vegan Tres Leches Cake

Minji made the Nora Cooks Tres Leches cake with a vanilla cake base consisting of: all purpose flour, cornstarch, soy milk, apple cider vinegar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, canola oil, and vanilla extract. As she does not make a habit of baking cakes, she made a test cake before the version she brought to the Vegan Bake Club eat-up but was concerned that it didn’t rise well. She realized she had swapped the baking powder and baking soda, so in the next iteration of the cake, she sorted that out, made a point not to over mix the batter, and also processed the larger crystal sugar she had to a finer granule. With these modifications,https://www.noracooks.com/vegan-fudge/ she happily ended up with a cake that was reportedly twice as tall and fluffier. She poked holes in the cake and poured over a vegan milk mixture of full-fat coconut milk, vegan sweetened condensed milk, and oat milk. She topped the cake with coconut whipped cream, cinnamon, and sliced strawberries.

piece of vegan tres leches cake

For a healthful addition to our meal, Minji also brought some salad greens to share along with a homemade tahini dressing and a homemade vinaigrette.

salad and dressing

Kori: Lentil Dahl

For her first time making a lentil dahl, Kori made a recipe from Bianca Zapatka. To start, she sauteed three diced yellow onions in two tablespoons of coconut oil for three minutes until translucent, then added minced garlic and ginger and cooked for another minute. Then she added spices: turmeric, cumin, paprika, and garam masala (she doubled the garam masala because she didn’t have coriander). After cooking with the spices in the pot for another minute she added red and green lentils and vegetable broth. Because her pot was full, she reduced the vegetable broth to fit. She brought the dahl to a simmer then covered it and cooked it for ten minutes. After adding coconut milk, and a can of drained diced tomatoes, she simmered the lentils for another ten minutes before adding brown sugar and lemon juice. She served brown rice as an accompaniment.

lentil dahl over rice on plate

Mehgann: Braised Winter Vegetables with Coconut Curry

Mehgann made a braised kale and butternut squash dish with the flavors of coconut curry. In a Dutch oven she cooked finely diced onion until translucent, then added cubed butternut squash and cooked until slightly brown. She removed this from the Dutch oven then cooked a ton of garlic, ginger, and bloomed curry powder for thirty seconds. In four bunches, she added kale until wilted (since it wouldn’t all fit into the pot at once) then added vegetable broth and coconut milk, cooking for another fifteen minutes before adding back the butternut squash and onion along with lime juice. Mehgann served basmati rice on the side along with toasted pepitas for a crunchy pop.

winter vegetable coconut curry

Drew: Fluffing and Toasting

Drew planned to make vegetable biryani, but after thinking the VBC meeting would be cancelled (it was originally scheduled to happen at Slynn and Ramon’s house but was relocated due to circumstances), he was feeling lazy, so instead he just fluffed Mehgann’s rice, toasted the pepitas, and did the dishes.

Johnny: Melon Tray

Johnny visited with his dog Ajax and kindly brought along a tray of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.

Billy: Vegetable Pakora

Billy doubled this pakora chickpea batter recipe seasoned with chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, garlic, and salt, but he modified it somewhat by adding cumin, using garlic powder instead of garlic cloves, and substituting Deep Ellum IPA for the water. He battered vegetables including spinach, bell pepper, jalapeño, onion, and carrot and deep fried them until golden brown. He mixed up a sauce of vegan soy yogurt and store bought coriander chutney for dipping the vegetable pakora.

veggie pakora

Lauren: Vegan Walnut Fudge

Lauren mostly followed the Nora Cooks recipe for vegan fudge, mixing a bag of powdered sugar, a cup of cocoa powder, 2 sticks of vegan butter, 1/4 cup of unsweetened soy milk, 1/4 cup of coconut milk, and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt (not in the recipe) in a large pot on the stove stirring until the vegan butter melted and the mixture became smooth. Then she added a tablespoon of vanilla and a cup of walnuts and poured it into a 13×9″ pan to firm up in the refrigerator for an hour before slicing the candy into cubes.

vegan fudge with walnuts on a plate

It was a good Veganuary.

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