If there was a contest of cheesy blog post titles, you bet I would win first place! But before I start, I just recently noticed a rather large surge in followers, subscribers from all sources (Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, etc.) and I would be lying if I said it didn’t bring a few tears in my eyes. Even though this is not a job that brings me a paycheck, but it is nice to know that I am doing what I love and other people are enjoying it in the process. Not many blogs I have read even talk about the increase in their audience but I felt I needed to because it’s all of you who keep me going and inspire me to talk about more topics. My dream is to one day be able to travel and talk to other people, especially families about making the transition into the vegan lifestyle. So for all of this, I want to thank each and every one of you!
|Spaghetti Squash done two ways…This is a teaser coming up on another post!|
I know I am a day late in getting this blog out…Between catering a moving party (Welcome to Charlottesville Michael, Jolene, and Ben!) and social networking to get a decent buzz going on my blog, it’s been a busy past few days. It was so busy in fact, that it was pretty nice to take a break from blogging and catch up with cooking new recipes (in hopes to share the recipes very soon!) and also reading Sweetness Without Sugar so I can give it the review it definitely deserves. I have had a few people ask me here and there if I would ever come out with my own cookbook, and my answer is “Probably not”. There are so many great vegan cookbooks out there that for me to put one out there would be like “peeing in the ocean”. I personally feel that my strong point is cooking another author’s recipe and possibly modifying it to make it healthier or maybe cooking something as a homage to my favorite vegan cookbook authors, Sarah Kramer and Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I had the opportunity to meet Sarah Kramer a couple years ago in DC (she’s seriously a down to earth sweetheart!) and hopefully in September, I will be able to meet Isa at the DC Veg Fest and hopefully snag an autograph for my collection. With the way this summer has been, I feel that I’m checking things off my vegan bucket list and one of them was to make a healthier Mousakka that I am more than happy to share with all of you. The other is a modified Frozen Coconut Cream Pie that I saw online that may not be low fat but it is free of refined sugars.
Now on to the Mousakka…The original recipe I used called for a ton of Olive Oil which doesn’t quite sound healthy. But my local Farmer’s Market is filled with zucchinis and eggplant that it’s hard to not think about making a Mousakka especially when you can get everything so local and cheap! This casserole dish is great for the whole family or when you want to serve dinner to a few guests without the fuss. This recipe came from researching over 5 separate cookbooks so it’s too hard to give credit where credit is due so as a result, I am calling this my own 😉 The preparation of this dish takes some time but it is TOTALLY worth it! What I normally do is make everything except for the topping a day in advance and then keep in the fridge until showtime 🙂 This version actually tastes a lot like the one I had in a Turkish Restuarant called Temel in Fairfax, VA a few years ago….
28-oz. can low sodium crushed tomatoes (if not low sodium, omit the salt from recipe!)
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
|Looks like lasagna but tastes like heaven!|
|The final product….Time consuming but sooooo worth it!!!|
|Perfect for a hot day!!!|
Set your oven to 350. Spread 3/4 cup of Raw Shredded Coconut evenly over a cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove when the Coconut is lightly browned and toasted. (keep an eye on your coconut during this step as ovens vary!)
In your food processor puree 1/4 cup Raw Shredded Coconut. Then add Sugar, Coconut Butter (or vegan butter), Coconut Extract, Coconut Milk, Cornstarch, Sea Salt, Agave Nectar and Silken Tofu to your food processor, blend until it is smooth and creamy. Pour into your Pie Crust and evenly sprinkle toasted Coconut over the top. Put in the freezer for 8 hours.
The result should look something like this once it is finished…
|Just a bit of fair warning…After slicing, you may want to wait a few minutes to allow the pie to soften slightly 😉|
Hope you guys enjoyed my recipe post and I look forward to sharing more with you soon!!! Any reviews of my recipe (both good and bad!) are also most appreciated. If there’s anything you want me to veganize or anything that is already vegan that you would like for me to make healthier, please feel free to email me or drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter…Until then “Bon Appetit!” 🙂