Good News!

Ferris is home safe and healthy :)  He had several complications but he has pulled through and is now sleeping on my bed.  He is so cute with his bald shaved little belly….poor baby boy.  They say he won’t be totally out of the woods for 2 weeks, so we will be keeping a close eye on him.  Thank you for all the good thoughts and prayers you all put out there- it worked! Thank Heaven for my dearest little angel pulling through :)

The sweet boy - So tired!

The sweet boy - So tired!

Not the bets pic- but you can see his poor little belly :( Still sore but getting better! All shaved and nekkid!

You can see his poor little belly :( Still sore but getting better! All shaved and nekkid!

You can see his two shaved arms (from the IVs) and his Fentanyl (pain) patch on his shoulder

You can see his two shaved arms (from the IVs) and his Fentanyl (pain) patch on his shoulder

My sweet little angel...Thank God he is alright :)

My sweet little angel...Thank God he is alright :)

Needing your thoughts and prayers

Last week when I posted, “When it rains, it pours” I really meant “When it pours it turns into a deluge”

I am writing this from the night shift at work.  I just received some very upsetting news about Ferris, my cat.  Apparently my husband noticed some string coming out of his bottom…long story short he ended up taking him to the emergency vet and my cat just underwent emergency exploratory surgery.  They ended up removing over 7 FEET of string from his intestines.  He is on a lot of pain meds now and they are keeping him for at least 2 more nights.  My heart is broken and I am in complete shock.  It is so hard to be here when I want to be there with him.  He is such a crazy cat he LOVES to eat string- we try so hard to keep it away from him.  Sean said he didn’t even know where this string could have come from.  I am praying so hard for him right now, that he isn’t in pain, isn’t scared.  And I am praying for Phoebe, his sister, who has never been separated from him ever.  These cats have been through so much already and here he is having exploratory surgery…I feel so guilty but I don’t know what I could have done.  We try so hard to keep stringy things away from him.  I also feel guilty because I am freaking out that they estimated the cost to be at least 2K, which we do not have.  Not that it isn’t worth it- we would go into the poor house for them…but still.

Please send your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery for my little boy.  Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

Vegan Mofo: The White Sweet Potato…Two Ways…(Sort of)

The White Sweet Potato...AKA boniato, tropical sweet potato, Cuban sweet potato, white-fleshed sweet potato, batiste, batata, batata dulce, camote *

The White Sweet Potato...AKA boniato, tropical sweet potato, Cuban sweet potato, white-fleshed sweet potato, batiste, batata, batata dulce, camote *

*From http://www.foodsubs.com/Sweetpotatoes.html

Yes it IS real! Pretty nifty, huh? Well, I, at least have never heard of them.  That’s why a few days ago, while on my billionth trip to Whole Foods for the week (for shame!), I snatched a bag of these buggers up the second I saw them.  And they were from a local farm, too! What more could you ask for?

Per foodsubs.com, the white sweet potato is slightly less sweet but considerably more fluffy than the more traditional, commonly found yams.  Because of this, I decided to experiment with this new veggie by cooking it two different ways.  The first being my usual favorite with the yams: Dicing and roasting with crispy kale.  As you may have read, I am crazy about this delicious, albeit simple, dish- it truly is my go-to dinner.  Can the White sweet pots compare???

Second, I wanted to see if I could create a mashed potato, a white sweet potato puree, if you will.  Would it be a taste similar to mashed baked potatoes or more like yam puree? Let’s find out!!

**SPOILER: Only one of these ways turns out yummy…but which one??**

I only had 4 of these guys, so I diced and baked 2 and baked and pureed 2.  I don’t know, it just sounded fair.  I started just peeling them and cutting out the eyes.  Normally I like skin, but this time I thought it might be better to start with a skinless potato.

Post Skinning...

Post Skinning...

I then took the two potatoes I was going to puree, wrapped them in wet paper towels and placed them in the microwave…yes, the microwave.  I am very tired today and didn’t have time for the purity of baking.  Honestly, they turned out just fine so just go with whichever way moves you. I cooked them on 100% for 8 minutes.  Again, this can depend on your microwave so adjust accordingly.

Pre- Nuke

Pre- Nuke

After the potatoes are done cooking, remove them from microwave and place into high speed blender or bowl.  I, again, was lazy and used my blender, but these guys are so tender you could just mush them right up with a potato masher.

I then added approximately 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk, cracked black pepper and celtic sea salt to taste.  Then I pureed again to mix well.  I didn’t obliterate the thing, but definitely made sure everything was properly combined.   I then prepared myself a nice ramekin full of mashed white sweet pots, with a little pat of earth balance of course, and the result…..

WIN – WIN – WIN!!

(Please excuse this continued reference to The Office if you are not a fan…but if you do “get it” then… you are awesome)

Two Words: YUM-MY

Two Words: YUM-MY

This is buttery (even without the EB!), fluffy, smooth and yes a little sweet.  It is absolutely delicious! A winner! I would make this again! A perfect combo of comforting, yummy, buttery mashed potatoes with the sweetness and added depth in flavor of sweet potatoes.  YUM!

Part 2

Well, maybe it is obvious now that, surprisingly, the roasted white sweet potatoes did NOT turn out well for me.  I baked them exactly as I bake my traditional yams (see recipe)….but they did NOT turn out well.  I am now wondering if I did something wrong?  But how could anyone roast potatoes, of any color, WRONG? It’s usually pretty straightforward.  It was odd… while baking, they developed several small black spots all over them.  These black spots were definitely not there before baking.  My husband thinks they may be oxidation spots…? Any other opinions would be appreciated.  I tasted one of the spot-free cubes, and it was O…K…  Certainly nothing to write home about.  So I decided NOT to waste my precious kale on this batch *sniff*

Lose - Lose

FAIL

So there you have it! Go forth and enjoy some Mashed Batatas!

Against Meat by Jonathan Safran Foer

Well, as you may have guessed it, things have remained a little crazy around here and blogging has had to be put on the back burner.  However! I have just gone to the grocery store and picked up some verrry interesting sweet potatoey items, including *brace yourself* WHITE sweet potatoes! Yes, I plan an expose about these in the very near future (tonight? hopefully!!).  But for today, please enjoy this wonderful article written in the NYT by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Beautifully written, really just a pleasure to read.  This is not a radical plea against meat…rather a well told narrative about his family, his roots and the decisions that have shaped his life.

Against Meat by Jonathan Safran Foer

Also, if you haven’t read or seen Everything is Illuminated….well go do it.  You won’t be disappointed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On another note, here is a video that I know many of you will enjoy…however, please get your handkerchiefs out…you will need them.  I have heard of this story before, but this video is so beautiful and touched my heart….so I am passing it onto yours.

When it rains it pours…

Sorry to disappoint anyone…I know my Vegan Mofo has been put on hold recently.  There have just been a couple other family health issues recently so I have been concentrating on matters other than the blog.  However, things are much improved as of today.  So while it may not be the EPIC Month of the Sweet Potato as I had planned…stay tuned for more fun, yummy and VEGAN Sweet Pot recipes – at least 2 coming up before the end of the week :)

Vegan MoFo: Sweet Potato + Whoopie Pies = Swoopie Pies!

swoopiepiesfinalsmall

Why not, I ask? Behold – the versatility of the sweet potato!  Not only can it be savory, but it can be sweet and delicious as well! These are really fun to make and truly taste amazing.  The recipe is a combo of several different recipes –  including a veganized family recipe for the traditional chocolate whoopie pies.  I’m actually quite impressed by how well this came out considering I had to use my old, uneven, cold oven to bake the pies in and the fact that I was figuring out the recipe in my head as it went along.

Recipe makes approximately 20 Swoopie Pies :)

Wet Mixture
1 cup Vegan Cane Sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup Organic Non Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening
2 tbs Molasses
2 tbs Vanilla Extract
1 (15oz) can organic sweet potato puree (I used Farmers Market brand)

Dry Mixture
3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbs Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom

Cream Cheese Icing
1 container of FYH (Follow Your Heart) cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbs earth balance
1 tsp vanilla extract

*You MAY have leftover icing…is that a bad thing?*


1. Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 baking sheets with sil-pats or parchment.
2. Beat together both sugars and the shortening. This will not ‘cream’, rather it will still be a bit crumbly- that is ok! You can use a standing mixer if you wish to, however I was just fine using my hand mixer.
3. Add in the molasses and the vanilla.  Beat and combine well.
4. Add the can of sweet potatoes and mix well. Set aside.
5. In a separate large mixing bowl, either sift all of the remaining dry ingredients together or combine them in the bowl and combine evenly with a whisk (if you don’t have all of the spices, just use what you have, no big deal).
6. Gradually add the dry mix to the wet mix in small batches.  Thoroughly combining after each time.  The batter will be quite thick- this is ok!
7. Scoop out 1.5 to 2 tbs amounts of batter at a time. Just overfill a tbs measure or a spoon. Roll batter into a ball with your hands, place on cookie sheet and then gently pat down to form small discs (See picture below). I try to make them the same size as they will be paired with each other to make the sandwiched pies. You should be able to fit 12 ‘discs’ per cookie sheet.
8. Place in oven, bake for 15-18 minutes depending on your oven.  They will be ready when the tops bounce back when you push on them or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
9. Allow cakes to cool.  While cooling, assemble ingredients for cream cheese icing.  Beat together all ingredients with hand mixer, adding more powdered sugar if you want it to be more stiff.
10. Once cakes are cool, place 1tbs of icing directly in the middle of a cake and place another cake on top.  Gently press down. Repeat with remaining cakes. Place finished “swoopies” in the refrigerator, as the icing needs to set and firm up, and they are even better cold.  Trust me.  They are divine!

After being "patted down"

After being "patted down"

About to go into the oven!

About to go into the oven!

yummm finished Swoopie Cakes!

yummm finished Swoopie Cakes!

...and done! Enjoy!

...and done! Enjoy!

Vegan MoFo: Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Turnips with Kale

*Vegan MoFo Day 3*

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for their well wishes.  My husband is actually doing very well in recovering.  We are very grateful.  So, thank you again for your thoughts and prayers- he actually wanted me to add that this dish if one of his favorites :)

So this is pretty much my go-to dish.  If I am starving, happy, sad, whatever…this is the dish that always seems to satisfy my every craving.  It is SO comforting and so simple.  Even if you don’t like sweet potatoes or turnips or kale….or all three maybe, give this dish a try- it is so amazingly delicious I think it could win over the most skeptical of palates.

INGREDIENTS
3-4 small/med sweet potatoes
2-3 turnips
2 bunches of kale
olive oil
sea salt
Balsamic Vinegar (Optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Dice sweet potatoes and turnips into 1/2 to 3/4″ cubes
3. In a large mixing bowl, lightly coat the cubes with olive oil and place into baking dish
4. Try and spread cubes out as much as possible so most of them will get crunchy (ie delicious)
5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until as caramelized and as crunchy as you desire
6. While roasting the root veggies, chop kale as small as possible.  Remove the large inner spine and pile the leaves on top of each other.  Then chiffonade finely and, if desired, chop further until you reach your desired microscopic size.
7. The kale can be made two ways:

  • The first would be to place in large open pan with a small amount of water to steam cook. The kale won’t be as crispy this way, but towards the end, when the pan is more dry, the kale can pick up some crispiness with some dry frying.
  • The second would be to lightly spritz with oil and bake in oven for less than 10 minutes.   This can make the kale extra crispy.

8. Mix together kale and root veggies
9. You can season this dish with simple sea salt, however, my personal way of eating this dish is to lightly dribble some balsamic vinegar on the finished product right before I eat it.  Not too much, a little can go a long way, but the taste of the balsamic and the sweet potatoes and the kale …YUM

Note:  You don’t have to have the turnips but they add a wonderful additional flavor to the dish that I think really rounds it out.  The kale, too, makes this dish even healthier and more yummy.  But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been completely satisfied with some sweet potatoes with a splash of sea salt and Balsamic if that’s all I had on hand.

The kale... steaming away!

The kale... steaming away!

Sweet Potatoes + Turnips + Kale = A Threesome Made in Heaven!

Sweet Potatoes + Turnips + Kale = A Threesome Made in Heaven!

Yum! Really, such a comforting dish :)

Yum! Really, such a comforting dish :)

COMING UP NEXT….

Vegan Sweet Potato Whoopie Pies!