GURU PALACE – VEGAN INDIAN FOOD IN ORANGE COUNTY

Guru Palace - Vegan Indian Food in Orange County Guru Palace - Vegan Indian Food in Orange County VeganMofo Day 24:

Share your favorite cuisine.

I have always loved Indian food because this cuisine offers so many flavors, smells, and spices or vegetarians and vegans!  One of the things on my bucket list is to go to India and EAT! :)  Although I don’t think I will be able to check that off in the near future (but hopefully someday), I am feeding my Indian food craving from dinner nights with my boyfriend’s family (it’s such a treat to have homemade Indian food!) and Guru Palace.

Justin and I have been on a mission to find vegan Indian food in Orange County–that isn’t crazy spicy–since the day we moved to the area, about a year ago! We are both weak sauce when it comes to hot foods and have a low tolerance.  We like something in the mild range, but I have come to realize that “mild” is very subjective.  I discovered someone else’s mild could be my spicy hot, which happened quite a bit.  We have tried several Indian restaurants in the Orange County area and have asked for mild–sometimes very mild– and ended our meals with our mouths on fire!  We discovered Guru Palace through Yelp and decided to give it a shot.  We ordered take out, got home to eat it, and braced ourselves…we took our first bite and it was amazing!  FINALLY someone who could give us the mild Indian food we wanted! YAY!  It seriously made us super happy!

Guru Palace is not entirely vegetarian / vegan but they do have a section of vegetable dishes on their menu that offers a good variety.  We usually stick to our favorites which is the aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower with tomatoes and spices) and daal mahkani (lentils–this dish is really good) along with basmati rice and roti (whole wheat Indian bread, kind of like a tortilla). We like to get take out and eat at home which my dogs apparently love too!  One time I saw my roti magically and slowly moving to the right side of my plate and Bernard was on the other end trying to take the whole thing (which was much bigger than his head) to eat it!  Even though that was a no-no, it was hilarious and I couldn’t get mad at him for trying!

Guru Palace - Vegan Indian Food in Orange County Guru Palace - Vegan Indian Food in Orange County I highly recommend you check this place out, especially if you have been in search of mild Indian food like we had been!  Heads up that we have only gotten take out here and the restaurant itself is a little old school looking.  But the food is good so I hope you will give it a try if you are in the area!

Guru Palace 
Cuisine of India
17292 McFadden Avenue #A
Tustin, CA 92680
(714) 832 – 9988
http://www.tustingurupalace.com/

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THE ULTIMATE CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by VeganChowDown.com VeganMofo Day 24:

What would [insert famous person here] eat if they were vegan?

I think any famous person would love to have some chewy gooey chocolate chip cookies! :) This is my go-to cookie recipe and it’s been a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike.  I call this “the ultimate chewy chocolate chip cookies” recipe because I have not found one that is as good as this one in both texture and taste.  I originally came across it on Compassion Over Killing but I can’t find it there anymore so I am glad I wrote it down and can share it  because it’s too good not to!  The cookies are perfect while still warm with a cold glass of almond milk or as an ice cream cookie sandwich.  It’s super easy and in less than half an hour your home can be filled with the smell of freshly baked cookies!

The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by VeganChowDown.com All of the ingredients are basic items which is another reason why I like this recipe–I don’t have to go out to the store to get any ingredients when I have a craving or cookies.  I prefer to make these cookies with Canoleo Soft Margarine because I like the taste better than Earth Balance.  I also find Earth Balance to be salty so I usually omit the salt when I bake with it.  I used to be able to get Canoleo at Whole Foods but I haven’t seen it there lately which is a bummer! I have been using Earth Balance and it might just be me with the flavor thing but it works for now.  What type of vegan butter / margarine do you like baking with?  Let me know if you have any recommendations!

The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by VeganChowDown.com After adding the liquids to the creamed mixture / After adding flour / After adding chocolate chips

The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by VeganChowDown.com The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by VeganChowDown.com I was able to make 50 cookies using a tablespoon as a scoop.  You can make them a bigger if you’d like or if you just want a few, transfer the dough onto plastic wrap, roll into a log, wrap again, and freeze it for future use.  I hope you like these as much as I do!

Tools Needed: electric hand mixer, medium or large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, baking half sheet, parchment paper, wire rack for cooling

Recipe Notes:
I omit the salt if using Earth Balance as I feel it is already very salty.

Please use BAKING SODA and NOT baking powder.

To soften my vegan butter when using Earth Balance sticks, I heat in the microwave for 20 seconds then an additional 5 seconds. I have found this makes perfect room temperature butter. Note that microwave power settings may be different, you may want to start at 10 seconds and go from there.

I bake my TBS sized cookies in the oven for 8 minutes, remove and let it sit on the baking sheet for an additional 30 seconds before removing the entire sheet of parchment paper onto a wire rack to cool. I find this keeps the cookies from over baking. As each oven is different, I would keep an eye on the first batch and check at 8 minutes. If the edges are not yet brown, bake for another minute. Once the edges begin to turn golden brown, remove from the oven and off the hot baking sheet.

THE ULTIMATE CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 50 Tablespoon Sized Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 oz or 2 sticks) of softened vegan butter (my favorite is Canoleo Margarine or Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I usually use soy or almond)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (see notes)
  • 1 tsp baking SODA
  • 12 oz dairy-free chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the over to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened vegan butter and both sugars with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the non-dairy milk and vanilla. Mix well. Scrape the bowl and mix for a few more seconds.
  4. Add the flour, salt (if using), and baking SODA. Mix until most of the flour is gone and the dough has formed. Switching to a wooden spoon or spatula, scrap the bowl and mix the dough until all the flour is incorporated.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a tablespoon. Make sure each scoop has enough chocolate chips and flatten slightly.
  7. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. (See notes.)
  8. Remove the parchment paper from the baking sheet and onto a wire rack to cool.
  9. Once the cookies have cooled, remove from parchment paper and serve.
http://veganchowdown.com/ultimate-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies/

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OVEN-ROASTED SWEET POTATO & KALE BOWL

Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Bowl By VeganChowDown.com VeganMofo Day 23:

Autumn equinox eats.

Happy Autumnal Equinox!  Even though it is somewhere in the high 80s today in Southern California, I am going to cross my fingers and hope that sweater and hot chocolate weather is on its way very soon.  I did spot some rust colored leaves during my morning walk with the dogs but it’s just not the same with all this heat!

I chose this oven-roasted sweet potato and kale bowl for today’s Vegan Mofo prompt because it reminds me of Autumn with its beautiful bright orange and rich deep green colors!  Roasting the sweet potatoes is such an easy way to cook them and its natural .  This is a great bowl for lunch or dinner and also takes well as leftovers for lunch the next day.

Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Bowl By VeganChowDown.com Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Bowl By VeganChowDown.com Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Bowl by VeganChowDown.com I started making this dish when my friend Archna shared this recipe with me after having something similar at a restaurant and recreating it.  She originally used yams and quinoa but I could only find sweet potatoes at the grocery store today and already had a opened box of couscous in the cupboard so am making use of what I have!  Feel free to try yams or sweet potatoes or both and to experiment with the grains to see what you like best.

Tools Needed: baking half sheet, parchment paper, small 2 or 3 quart saucepan, 10-12″ medium frying pan, tongs or wooden spoon

Recipe notes: I have listed the ingredients so they are grouped with each element (sweet potatoes, couscous, kale) and in the same order as they are used in the procedures.

OVEN-ROASTED SWEET POTATO & KALE BOWL

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes (I used 1 medium sweet potato)
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a scant 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup dried couscous
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of low sodium vegetable broth (or you can use water if you don't have any on hand)
  • 1/4 tsp vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup leeks, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 1/2 cups of kale, washed, dried, and tightly packed into cup
  • 1/8 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS flax seed
  • Olive oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Wash, peel and cut the sweet potato into 1/2" cubes. Place cubes into a small bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine and transfer onto baking sheet. Make sure they are laid out in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the cubes using tongs or a wooden spoon, and continue baking for another 10 minutes. (I recommend setting a timer so you can continue to the next steps and not forget about the oven!)
  5. While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, prepare the couscous. In the saucepan place the 1/2 cup of water, broth, and vegan butter. Combine and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling remove from heat and stir in the couscous. Mix well and let sit covered.
  6. To a heated frying pan add a few teaspoons of oil to coat the bottom. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the leeks start to become translucent. Add half the kale and stir. Add 1/8 cup of water and stir. The kale should be slightly wilted now allowing for more room in the pan. Add the remaining kale and salt. Mix well and cook for about a minute. Cover the pan and let it cook for another 30 seconds. Uncover and stir well. Cook for another minute if needed and remove from heat.
  7. The sweet potatoes should be finishing up by now. Add the sweet potatoes and flax seed to the pan of kale. Mix well.
  8. Uncover the pot of couscous and fluff with a form.
  9. Divide the couscous between two bowls. Top with the kale, sweet potato, and flax seed mixture.
http://veganchowdown.com/oven-roasted-sweet-potato-kale-bowl/

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LENTIL, BASIL, & TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

Lentil, Basil, and Tomato Bruschetta by VeganChowDown.com Lentil, Basil, and Tomato Bruschetta by VeganChowDown.com VeganMofo Day 19:

Lunch on the go.

Today’s Vegan Mofo prompt is lunch on the go and I picked this lentil, basil, and tomato bruschetta recipe because it’s a very easy dish to take to picnics, potlucks, concerts and movies under the stars.  The first time I had this dish was at a potluck and I really loved how fresh and vibrant all the ingredients tasted.  I got the recipe and have been making it ever since!

This lentil mixture can be made or prepped the night before making it really fast to toss together the day of.  I actually think it’s better to make it a day in advance so all the flavors get to mingle and meld together, making for a really bright and filling topping on chunky pieces of toasty bread. The ready-to-eat lentils from Trader Joe’s definitely helps with making this recipe a quick one so I highly recommend using those but feel free to use lentils cooked from scratch and experiment with different colors!

Lentil, Tomato, & Basil Bruschetta By Vegan Chow Down Lentil, Basil, and Tomato Bruschetta by VeganChowDown.com I hope you enjoy this take on bruschetta and try it at your next summer get together!

LENTIL, BASIL, & TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4 generous servings or 6 moderate servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg of steamed lentils (17.6 oz) or about 2 1/4 cups of steamed lentils, cooled
  • 1 cup of basil, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup of tomatoes, chopped (I used about 4-5 smaller vine ripened tomatoes)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped (use more if you'd like!)
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 loaf of artisanal bread / baguette, cut into thick slices and toasted or crackers

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, empty the bag of steamed lentils. Using a wooden spoon, gently separate any large chunks of lentils. Skip this step if using your own lentils.
  2. To the lentils add the basil, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir gently to incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Drizzle the oil and vinegar on top and stir gently, making sure to mix well and that all the lentils are coated.
  4. Add the salt and pepper, stir gently and mix well. Taste and add more oil, vinegar, salt, or pepper as needed.
  5. Serve with toasted slices of artisanal bread or your favorite crackers.

Notes

Store in an air tight container or a bowl covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

http://veganchowdown.com/lentil-basil-tomato-bruschetta/

  Lentil, Basil, & Tomato Bruschetta - Such an easy, quick, and vibrant dish! It's perfect to make for potlucks, picnics, and gatherings. Serve with chunky pieces of bread or on crackers.

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WHO INSPIRES YOUR VEGANISM?

Animal Place Sponsorship

VeganMofo day 18:

Honor a human or non human animal who inspires your veganism.

I recently realized that there was one animal who truly inspired me and is behind my journey of becoming both vegetarian and vegan–the lovely chicken.

I became vegetarian in 2000 after thinking it was sad that chickens were killed to make chicken nuggets and in 2009 I became vegan after reading this passage from The Face On Your Plate:

“Konrad Lorenz, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on animals, understood the plight of farmed chickens.  He wrote that ‘the worst torture to which a battery hen is exposed is the inability to retire somewhere for the laying act. For the person who knows something about animals it is truly heart-rending to watch how a chicken tried again and again to crawl beneath her fellow cage mates to search there in vain for cover.’ “

I could not stop crying after reading this.  I could imagine all these chickens desperately trying to find a safe place to lay their eggs but that place just did not exist for them.  How could we do this to other living beings?  I did not want to be a part of that or of any of the many ways we harm animals by farming them.

Chickens, along with all the other animals we co-exist with, inspire me everyday to continue living a compassionate plant-based lifestyle.  I am not going to lie, there had been times where I felt being vegan was a struggle (at social gatherings and parties, when you go somewhere and there is nothing you can order, when people question you and your protein intake, etc.) but I always would think back to those chickens.  How can I contribute to their suffering as well as the suffering of all the other animals providing food for humans?  It would make me stop whining immediately and renewed my beliefs in being vegan.

My hope is that one day humans can come to respect every animal, no matter how big or small, and realize that they are put on this Earth for their own reasons, not to be exploited and used as our food.

The photo above is of Tiny Comb, a hen rescued by Animal Place from an egg farm where 50,000 caged hens were let without food and water for 2 weeks.  Tiny Comb is not in a safe place and loves napping beneath the perches in the barn.  I was able to raise funds to help feed Tiny Comb and the other hens at Animal Place through Easter cards from my paper goods line, Atiliay, last March.

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FAVORITE VEGAN COOKBOOK // THE VEGAN TABLE

The Vegan Table VeganMofo Day 12:

Tell us about your favorite cookbook!

The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau was a gift from my mom when I first became vegan–I loved it then and love it now all these years later!  I have to admit that I get really excited about buying cookbooks but sometimes they end up sitting on the bookshelf when I bring them home :T.  But not this one.  I have tried many recipes from The Vegan Table and several of them have become favorites.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in trying plant-based recipes!

Here are the reasons why The Vegan Table has become one of my most loved and used cookbooks:

The Vegan Table 1)  First and foremost the food is good!  The recipes are delicious and totally user friendly.  The directions are easy to follow and not intimidating at all.  Nutritional facts (calories, fat, protein, carbs, dietary fiber, cholesterol, and sodium) are available below each recipe as well.

2) This book includes “200 unforgettable recipes for entertaining every guest at every occasion” and is split up into 6 chapters which includes: romantic dinners for 2, casual meals for 4-6, formal dining or 6-10, menus for special occasions, feasts for the holidays, and a section for buffets, heavy appetizers, and finger foods.  Each section includes seasonal menus which I love–use them as is or as inspirational.  Although this book is made to help you entertain, there are plenty of recipes that work for everyday if you are normally cooking for only yourself.

3) It includes some of my favorite recipes– Faux “tuna” salad using chickpeas, a Moroccan-inspired stew spiked with saffron (it’s perfect for chilly nights over couscous), stuffed bell peppers (these are very pretty and have a nice “wow” factor so it’s great when you want to impress), and balsamic strawberries.

5) Sprinkled throughout the book are cooking and entertaining tips, facts about the ingredients being used, and fun food lore.  Learn a few extra things in addition to the recipes!

6) In addition to the tips and fun facts, this book includes honest and thoughtful text about living a compassionate lifestyle.  As a vegan, I really resonated with everything that was written and it’s nice to not feel alone in this journey (especially if you are the only vegan in your circle of friends or family.)  There’s also a helpful tip sheet for friends and family of vegans as well.

 7) Photos!  No cookbook is complete without photos in my opinion and it’s one of my favorite parts.  Not only are the pictures great for recipe reference and entertaining ideas, the color scheme on each page and the patterns are lovely as well.

A Look Inside The Vegan Table

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VEGAN FRENCH TOAST FOR AMEY

Vegan French Toast by VeganChowDown.com It’s VeganMofo day 8:

Reach out! Make a new vegan friend & tell us about it.

I have loved checking out what everyone has been making for Vegan Mofo on Instagram and have discovered so many great new vegan bloggers and recipes!  I feel like I have found a community of like-minded people who are passionate about both animals and food.  It is through Vegan Mofo and Instagram that I came to know Amey of Vegan Eats and Treats.  I reached out to Amey to get to know her better because we had been commenting on one another’s posts, I really liked her IG profile, and I was interested in the cute sketches she was posting along with food, cat, and dog picture posts (how cute are they??)!

Amey's Instagram It’s been great getting to know Amey outside of IG and we actually have a lot in common! Besides being vegan, we both have 5 furry family members who are rescues (Amey’s are 3 dogs and 2 cats: Snoopy Snoopy, Dottie Bonkers, Stevie Wonder, Francisco Foot-Foot, and my favorite, YUMMERS POTATOES, and I have 2 dogs and 3 cats: Bernard, Valentine, Makani, Jefrey, and Samone :)), create art (she paints wonderful portraits, take a look!), and live in California.  I absolutely LOVE this sketch she made of us :D —

New Vegan Friends- Yay!

Amey’s blog features delicious vegan foods, recipes, reviews, and giveaways!  If you love to travel, you must check out her posts on eating vegan while visiting different states and countries in the Traveling Fool section (she has been to New Orleans, China, India, and Morocco just to name a few).  The Around The World section is also super fun–it started as a theme for Vegan Mofo 2010 to make a different meal from a different country in 30 days.  After Vegan Mofo ended, Amey decided to continue the theme.  You will find a list of places where she has cooked a meal from as well as places she’d like to make something from in the future.  Even if you can’t travel right now, you can be transported to another place through food and there is so much inspiration here!

Everyone’s vegan journey is a little bit different and I wanted to learn more about when and why Amey became vegan.  She wrote, “I went vegan 16 years ago, and I had already been vegetarian for a really long time. In fact, somehow I had never really even heard of veganism until I met two really cool people at work who were vegan. That got me thinking, and I started experimenting with more and more vegan foods. I switched to soy milk and vegan butter (back then it was Willow Run brand), but still was a hold out for occassional cheese pizza. In the next year, there were a few influences, but eventually it was actually a brochure from Vegan Outreach that tipped me over the edge. Until that point, I had never really understood WHY anyone was vegan, and that booklet taught me about the connect between eggs / dairy/ and animal cruelty, and from that point on, I was 100% vegan. No regrets! Day 18 of Mofo is about honoring someone who inspired my veganism, and I might honor Vegan Outreach… or the person who gave me that brochure.”

What she wrote really resonated with me and I think a lot of us can relate.  I was also a sucker for cheese and was one of those people who said, “I could never give this up!” until I read The Face On Your Plate and learned about the egg and dairy industry.  After obtaining this new knowledge, like Amey, there was no turning back!  I also think it’s awesome that something as simple as handing out a flier can really change someone’s life forever.

I wanted to include vegan food in this post since that is what brought us together in the first place, so I asked Amey what some of her favorite dishes are so I could re-create one of them.  She wrote that she liked, “french toast, minestrone soup, lasagna, dosas…” and I immediately wanted to make vegan french toast! I actually haven’t had it in years so I was excited to try it.  I’ve seen and pinned many a vegan french toast recipes on Pinterest yet have not tried it so this was the perfect opportunity!

 I decided to do a banana based batter as I had ripe bananas that really needed to be used! I added nutritional yeast for an egg-y flavor and cinnamon and cloves and the liquids I used were almond milk and a bit of vanilla extract.  I put everything in a food processor and blended until smooth.  Then you just dip the bread in and onto the griddle or pan it goes!

Vegan French Toast Batter by VeganChowDown.com My first 2 french toasts did not come out well because the bread I was using was too thin and fresh and it was just coming out soggy and breaking apart!  I then switched to some bread I had in the fridge and that worked–yay!  I really recommend using stale, thick pieces of bread for the best outcome.  I put banana slices in between each layer, drizzled with syrup, and sifted powdered sugar on top.  The first bite I took really reminded me of french toast!  The texture was right and although it is not as egg-y as the real thing, (I may try to add more nutritional yeast next time) I really enjoyed it and may even prefer it less egg-y!

A big thank you to Amey for sharing her story with me as well as motivating me to finally make some french toast and cheers to new vegan friends! :)

Tools you will need: a food processor or blender (if you don’t have one you can also mix the batter by hand), 10-12″ frying pan or griddle

VEGAN FRENCH TOAST FOR AMEY

VEGAN FRENCH TOAST FOR AMEY

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup of non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 3-4 slices of bread (stale and thicker slices of bread works the best)
  • vegan butter for cooking
  • maple syrup or agave nectar
  • organic powdered sugar (for dusting, optional)

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the banana, non-dairy milk, vanilla extract, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, and clove until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a shallow bowl or dish. If you don't have a food processor on hand, place the banana in a medium bowl and mash well. Add the other ingredients to the mashed banana and mix well.
  2. Warm up a non-stick frying pan or griddle. Add the vegan butter and coat pan with it.
  3. Take each slice of bread and dip into the batter, covering each side completely.
  4. Place each slice on the pan / griddle. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Serve french toast with a dusting of powdered sugar and syrup drizzled on top.
http://veganchowdown.com/vegan-french-toast-amey/

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THE GOONIES & VEGAN ROCKY ROAD ICE CREAM

Rocky Road Ice Cream - VeganChowDown.com Hey, you guyyysss!!!!

It’s VeganMofo day 7:

Make / eat some thing inspired by a book or film.

Do you already know what movie I am inspired by from just the photo and first sentence alone?

It’s one of my all time favorites as an 80’s kid!  Directed by Steven Spielberg, this movie was made in 1985 and celebrated its 30th anniversary this year!  I loved it then and I love it now.  I am talking about the cult classic, The Goonies!

The Goonies Movie Poster If you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to give too much away except that it has everything you could ask for in a film: adventure, lost treasure, mystery, a great cast (young Sean Astin pre-Lord of The Rings, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Sloth), murder, “booty” traps, a little bit of romance, pirates, epic quotes, Cyndi Lauper, and…rocky road ice cream!

The Goonies There is this famous rocky road ice cream scene which is what inspired me to make my own vegan rocky road ice cream at home.  I recently noticed that although there are tons of non-dairy ice cream flavors, I have never seen rocky road!  I’m not sure why, my guess is that maybe the vegan marshmallows somehow makes it tricky to mass produce? But that’s OK because it’s super simple to make since it consists of just 3 things: chocolate ice cream, marshmallows, and almonds.

Rocky Road Ice Cream - VeganChowDown.com Here’s a run down of the ingredients I used:

Chocolate Ice Cream: You can make the chocolate ice cream from scratch or you can take a short cut and just buy it (which is what I did). There are tons of different brands to choose from that are almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, or coconut milk based.  I tried Almond Dream‘s chocolate ice cream.  I thought the flavor was awesome!  Right out of the fridge it’s pretty hard, so I would suggest letting it melt a little so that you can easily incorporate the ingredients.

I am hoping to try a chocolate ice cream recipe from scratch for my next batch of rocky road ice cream– does anyone have any good recipe recommendations?  If so, please let me know in the comments, I am looking forward to trying one out!

Marshmallows: The only place I know of to purchase vegan marshmallows in stores is at Whole Foods as they carry Dandies.  I have seen other vegan marshmallows elsewhere but they are made more to eat alone because they are flavored or dipped in chocolate, etc.  Dandies vegan marshmallows come in regular or mini size and are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO certified, and made in a vegan facility. I got a bag of the miniature ones and cut each in half to be mixed into the ice cream.  I love the flavor and feel it is very, very close to a non-vegan marshmallow!  (My boyfriend did comment that it is a little bit stickier than regular marshmallows, but he is super sensitive to sticky foods where I love anything gummy/sticky/makes your dentist cringe! I don’t mind it at all and didn’t even notice.)

Dandies Marshmallows - VeganChowDown.com Almonds: I got raw bulk almonds from Whole Foods and only needed a very small scoop. I like going to the bulk section for nuts so I can get what I want and use it all up instead of having lots of half empty bags lying around everywhere.  Almonds can be pretty expensive but keep in mind you will be chopping it up into smaller pieces so you actually don’t need a huge bag of it!

Once you have the ingredients, just cut the mini marshmallows in half, roughly chop the almonds, and mix it into your chocolate ice cream for some delicious vegan rocky road ice cream!

Rocky Road Ice Cream - VeganChowDown.com And remember, Goonies, never say die! :)

PS: For those of you who are fans, here’s a fun where are they now post as well as a Bon Appetit post on all the things Chunk ate!

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VEGAN MOFO DAY 6 // RE-CREATE THE SOUL BOWL AT HOME

DIY Soul Bowl by Vegan Chow Down

VeganMofo day 6 prompt:

Re-create a restaurant meal.

My dish for today’s Vegan Mofo prompt is Native Food’s Soul Bowl.  It’s one of my boyfriend’s favorite dishes there but is actually something that you can easily recreate at home.  The bowl basically consists of rice, beans, steamed veggies, “chicken” nuggets, with a side of BBQ sauce and ranch.  Find the recipe for the Soul Bowl here so you can DIY!

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VEGAN MOFO DAY 5 // BEST SANDWICH EVER // VEGAN BANH MI

Vegan Banh Mi Sandwich By VeganChowDown.com

VeganMofo day 5 prompt:

Best sandwich ever.

One of my favorite sandwiches is this vegan banh mi sandwich!  It’s layered with lots of flavorful elements: savory baked tofu slices, tangy pickled carrots and daikon (my favorite part), crunchy red onions, fresh cucumbers, jalapenos for a kick (optional, especially if you are weak sauce like me when it comes to spice), all in between a chewy baguette smothered with creamy vegan mayo.

I think I only had a banh mi once before in my life when I was in middle school before my vegetarian days.  Then within the past few years, my friend took me to Mendocino Farms and they had a vegan version on their menu!  I was so excited and it definitely didn’t disappoint!  I do like making it at home though because I can control the spice level on it since as noted above, I am weak sauce when it comes to that.

If you’ve never tried this Vietnamese style sandwich, I highly recommend it and let me know how you like it if you give it a try!

Vegan Banh Mi Sandwich By VeganChowDown.com

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