VegFest 2016! A Big Success!

Big crowds came out to enjoy great food, cruelty-free shopping, and informative presentations!  

Attendees browse the many unique vendors

The Best Mac and Cheese in Michigan from Detroit Vegan Soul

The Best Mac and Cheese in Michigan from Detroit Vegan Soul

John Salley talks about living a better life.

John Salley talks about living a better life.

Let them eat cake!

Free cake samples! Yum!

The Carnival Room was fun for the kids!

The Carnival Room was fun for the kids!

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VEGAN VANILLA CAKE

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· 1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
· 1/2 cup vegan butter spread
· 1 Tab. baking powder
· 3/4 tsp. salt
· 2 cups vanilla almond milk
· 1 Tab. vanilla extract
· 1 tsp. almond extract
· 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
 
Place the sugar and vegan butter into a mixing bowl; cream together using a hand-held mixer until light and fluffy.
 
Add the baking powder, salt, almond milk, vanilla and almond extracts.  Beat again until all ingredients are mixed well.
 
Stir in the flour by hand until just combined.  Pour into an oiled 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
 
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  If making cupcakes – bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched.

PEPPERS AND CORN SALAD

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PEPPERS AND CORN SALAD 

· 1 tsp. olive oil
· 1 ½ cups diced red onion
· 1 ½ cups diced red bell pepper
· 1 ½ cups diced green bell pepper
· 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen organic corn (or 2 cups fresh)
· ½ cup chopped green olives
· ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
 
Dressing:
· 3/4 cup Vegenaise
· 1 ½ tsp. curry powder
· 1 tsp. dried oregano
· ½ tsp. turmeric
· ½ tsp. salt
· ½ tsp. black pepper
 
Prepare dressing by placing ingredients into a small bowl and stirring vigorously until smooth.
 
Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Sauté the onion and peppers until they are tender crisp.
 
Pour into a mixing bowl along with the rest of ingredients and dressing.  Stir together until all is well coated and combined well.
 
Best if chilled and served the following day.

CHILI “CHEEZ” MACARONI BAKE

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CHILI “CHEEZ” MACARONI BAKE 

· 1 Tab. olive oil
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
· 3 cloves garlic, minced
· 2 Tabs. flour
· 1 tsp. salt
· 2 cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
· 1 tsp. chili powder
· 1 tsp. cumin
· 2 (14.7-ounces each) cans vegetarian chili, medium spice
· 1 ½ cups shredded vegan cheddar cheez
· 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (optional)
 
Spread cooked macaroni into the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and set aside.
 
In a large skillet, sauté onion and green pepper in the olive oil until onion is translucent.  Add garlic, flour and salt; continue to stir and cook another 30 seconds. 
 
Add in the plant milk, chili powder, and cumin; stir and cook until mixture begins to thicken.  Add the two cans of vegetarian chili and shredded vegan cheez.  Pour over the macaroni in the baking dish; stir to combine well.
 
Sprinkle panko bread crumbs evenly over the top, if you are using them.  Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

DECADENT BLACK BEAN AND QUINOA BROWNIE FUDGE

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DECADENT BLACK BEAN AND QUINOA BROWNIE FUDGE 

(Yes the ingredients might sound odd for brownie fudge, but the finished dessert is surprisingly delicious!)

  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 Tabs. ground flaxseed mixed with 2 Tabs. water
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa  (ground into flour with a coffee grinder or blender)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tab. raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

1. Place black beans, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla in a blender.  Blend until smooth and pour into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

2. Pour into an oiled 8″ x 8″ baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until top is firm.

IMPORTANT:  Refrigerate overnight to chill thoroughly before cutting into squares and serving.

BAKED POTATO FRIES WITH HERBS

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  • 1 1/2 pounds organic Russet potatoes (8 cups of spears)
  • 1 – 2 Tabs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  1. Scrub potatoes until clean.  Cut each potato in half and then cut each half into spears.

  2. Place spears into a large mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil.  Add the rest of ingredients and toss to coat each spear evenly with all of the herbs.

  3. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes, turning once in the middle of cook time.

Meatless Monday: Celebrating a Vegan Thanksgiving

Capture

Meatless Monday: Celebrating a Vegan Thanksgiving

CaptureYou don’t need to consume animal products to capture the flavor and spirit of Thanksgiving. These delicious recipes will please the palate, giving everyone, including animals, something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Chutney Salad

  • 1 12-ounce back fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 118-ounce jar orange marmalade
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with liquid
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar

Place cranberries and marmalade into a food processor and pulse until you get a course texture. Do not over-process into a sauce. Pour into a bowl and stir in the pineapple and sugar. Cover the bowl and allow to chill a day or two before serving. (Do not serve right away after preparing it – the flavors need time to develop).

Thanks-Living Stuffing Casserole

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup cashews, finely chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 2 cups seasoning dry stuffing (Pepperidge Farm brand is fine)
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute’ celery and onion until softened. Pour into a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Spread evenly into an oiled 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Baked Acorn Squash Wedges

  • 2 medium acorn squashes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 tsps. vegan butter spread

Using a sharp knife, cut each squash lengthwise in half and remove seeds and stringly membrane. Cut these in half for a total of 8 wedges. Sprinkle flesh side lightly with salt and pepper. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place squash wedges, flesh side up, in a large roasting pan. Spoon a tablespoon of the brown sugar mixture, followed by 1/2 teaspoon of vegan butter into the cavities of each. Cover the roasting pan with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil and serve.

SPICED PUMPKIN SOUP

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Spiced Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric 
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can organic pumpkin puree
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups coconut milk
 
1. Heat the oil in a large pot, and then add the onion and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until onion is soft, about five minutes.  Add the turmeric, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and salt.  Cook over medium heat for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Add salt as needed.
 
2. Whisk in the vegetable stock, pumpkin, maple syrup, and lemon juice.  Simmer 15 minutes.
 
3. Stir in the milk, and then puree the soup in a blender in two or three batches until very smooth.  You may also use an immersion blender to achieve the same results. DO NOT ALLOW SOUP TO BOIL!

Om Cafe

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An Interview with Om Cafe

By Renee Ratliff

DSC_0098Anyone who thinks vegan food consists of only granola and salad has never been to Om Café. Nestled in the heart of Ferndale, the restaurant was started in 1985 with the idea and hopes of bringing healthy tasting food to the community, healing from the inside out. Om Café offers many vegan menu items, including beloved standards like the el mexicano entrée salad with tofu and option of seitan, and ever-changing specials like vegan mac-n-cheese.

DSC_0113Right now we are witnessing a transition period in which people are becoming more aware of the benifits of good nutrition. Om Café believes in the importance of continuing to push the envelope to offer cuisine that is both nutritious and delicious. They believe that it is a blessing to be able to serve meals based on whole natural foods, minimizing processed foods so that customers are able to know the exact ingredients that were put into their order.  Om Café has also been offering macrobiotic menu selections from the start.

The key to their delicious menu is to knowing every ingredient, and its source.

“It’s about the people; if nobody here cared then no one would come.” Said Jessica Norwood, General Manager  “We are here and waiting for people to try the delicious food, answer any questions, and meet any dietary concerns.”

DSC_0117For the employees it’s more than just a job. Everyone that works there has the inspiration and fire in them, it is part of their life and they want to share that. The manager also acts as the hostess when you enter the restaurant, thrilled to answer any question that you might have.  Any of the employees are happy to stop what they are doing to connect with someone in a special way. Even if that person never comes back, they just want to share that energy with them. 

DSC_0152Much of the food is organic, from markets including Westborn and Eastern Market. Specials are seasonal, focusing on salads and fruits in the summer, and soups and stews in the fall and winter. The buddhist priest stir fry is a menu favorite that has been around for 30 years, with rice or noodles sautéed with with a colorful assortment of six fresh vegetables, topped with basil, tamari and scallions. The Nori Rolls have been on the menu since the beginning, and are the perfect start to a meal or filling enough for the main feature. A more recent favorite is the house made cremini mushroom burger, a blend of mushrooms, walnuts and brown rice.   The soups are excellent, with one or two offerings that change daily. Finish off any meal with a selection of desserts, made special in house and practically impossible to pass on. New to the restaurant are the vegan pancakes which are featured on the Saturday breakfast menu. With so many options it is hard to choose.

Baked Acorn Squash Wedges

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Baked Acorn Squash Wedges

  • 2 medium acorn squashes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 tsps. vegan butter spread

Using a sharp knife, cut each squash lengthwise in half and remove seeds and stringly membrane. Cut these in half for a total of 8 wedges. Sprinkle flesh side lightly with salt and pepper. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place squash wedges, flesh side up, in a large roasting pan. Spoon a tablespoon of the brown sugar mixture, followed by 1/2 teaspoon of vegan butter into the cavities of each. Cover the roasting pan with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil and serve.

Thanks-Living Stuffing Casserole

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Thanks-Living Stuffing Casserole

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup cashews, finely chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 2 cups seasoning dry stuffing (Pepperidge Farm brand is fine)
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute’ celery and onion until softened. Pour into a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Spread evenly into an oiled 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

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