Kimchi & Coconut Bacon Grilled Cheese
I love fermented foods. Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi- you get the gist. My most common grilled cheese to munch is with a bit of thousand island, grilled onions, and sauerkraut, kind of like a tempeh reuben without the tempeh. Something about the way those savory, salty favors mingle makes my mouth water and I can't get enough. In order to fulfill my latest craving but mix it up a bit, I came up with this humdinger. The sour, salty, crunchiness will leave you satisfied and is a fun way to add more probiotic foods to your lunch! They help with digestion, and I know many of us with food allergies suffer from tummy troubles- sometimes explained, sometimes not. Increasing the amount of fermented foods you eat can help your gut's pH and good bacteria increase, and can help you ingest food better. Anyway, try this one- I think you're gonna love it...and your tummy will too!
2 slices of crusty bread (we prefer sourdough)
about 1/4 cup vegan cheese
about 1/4 cup coconut bacon
kimchi (your amount will vary based on preference)
vegan butter or coconut oil, for frying
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat until warm. While heating, spread both slices of bread with your favorite vegan cheese (or top with slices. We used Blode kuh Sriracha Cheddar.) Sprinkle with coconut bacon, then assemble sandwich by placing the other slice of bread on top of the first. Spread both outer sides of bread with a thin layer of vegan butter or coconut oil, then place on the heated skillet. Fry until bread becomes golden and crispy, then flip and toast the other side. When sandwich is finished, remove from skillet and open it up. Layer kimchi inside, sprinkle with a bit more coconut bacon, and replace bread. Slice into two melty, crunchy halves and eat immediately. Enjoy!
Magic Vegan Bacon Greens
When Alex first told me he had seen a product online called 'Magic Vegan Bacon Grease', I laughed. He has crazy awesome ideas sometimes, and I thought maybe this was just one of them in the making. But NOPE! Its a real thing. A delicious, heavent sent, better-than-any-oil-for-frying I've ever tried thing. When I first opened the jar, I remember asking Alex "Would it be weird if I bathed in this? Can we get more?!" Apparently, it would be. But man oh man, would I smell delicious!
Because if there's one thing I love (and you may already know this), its COCONUT BACON. Our recipe, the one I still consider best above all the rest, the one featured on Post Punk Kitchen's Best of 2014 (#14!!), is a staple in this house. Lucky for us, Magic Vegan Bacon Grease HAS chunks of homemade bacon- just made out of TVP, instead. Which frankly, holds up much better when you're frying it. Plus, this magic grease is virtually guilt-free: coconut oil based and free of hydrogenated oils & GMOs, its consistency when hardened (unlike below- damn So Cal heat wave) is that of REAL lard...only its 100% vegan. It can be used for cooking, frying, or baking, and is made with 11 very pronounceable ingredients (Coconut oil, soy protein (TVP), sea salt, demerara sugar, black pepper, onion, garlic, torula yeast, natural hickory flavor, & maple extract). We loved it to spice up these simple greens. It added all the flavor and richness they needed, and gave them a great 'meaty' flavor. Check 'em out on their website for more info. In the meantime, lets get our grease on!
2 tablespoons Magic Vegan Bacon Grease
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small heads of bok choy, ends removed & roughly chopped
3 small zucchinis, halved and sliced
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt & pepper (to taste)
In a large skillet, heat the Magic Vegan Bacon Grease over medium heat. Sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes. Don't let it brown- burnt garlic tastes very bitter. Add in chopped bok choy and zucchini and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes- or until the veggies are softened but not soggy. Season with smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper & cook a minute more. Remove veggies from heat and serve immediately. Garnish with a sprinkle of Homemade Coconut Bacon. Saves well in the fridge for several days, but is best enjoyed immediately. Dig in!
Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins with Coconut Bacon
Life is short, eat chocolate. That's the saying, right? I feel like I could whole-heartedly adopt that mantra from here on out. Anything that gives me an excuse to eat more chocolate is a a good thing. I woke up two mornings ago and just needed these muffins. I was feeling a little foggy and couldn't seem to get going. This past week has held a lot of changes (updates soon!) and carried a ton of stress. I'm finally sleeping again at night but still waking up a little out of it. But, I may have found the cure. Somewhere between these rich, fudgy muffins and the crispy & salty coconut bacon on top, I found pure happiness. Seriously, I got LOST in eating these little guys for almost a half hour. The combo is unbeatable and reminds me (sans bananas) of the Elvis sandwich we had back when Phoney Baloney's was just a sandwich shop here in Southern CA. They may be my new favorite stress-relieving breakfast. Oh, and you know, one more reason to eat chocolate for breakfast.
Oh and one more thing- I'm happy to announce that our Cheezy Polenta Fries recipe is being featured over on Chocolate Covered Katie today. Thanks Katie- we think these muffins may be right up your alley, girl.
2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour (we used the all purpose GF mix from Fork & Beans- with great results!)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xantham gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 - 2 cups non-dairy milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut bacon
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour with cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, xantham gum, & salt. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl or mixer, mix together milk, oil & sugar. Once combined, add sugar and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients one cupful at a time until completely mixed. Dough should be a little closer to cookie dough than cake batter in texture. Pour in chocolate chips and stir it all together. Spoon batter into lined or greased muffin tins and sprinkle each muffin with about a teaspoon of coconut bacon. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If coconut bacon smells like its burning, watch it closely. We didn't have ANY bacon burn, but oven temps and hot spots vary, so be careful. (If your prefer your coconut bacon lightly cooked or are worried about it burning, wait until muffins are about halfway done before sprinkling with coconut bacon.) Once finished, remove from oven and move muffins to a cooling rack. Makes 12 large, full muffins or 24 smaller, half-filled ones (which is the route we took. I have no will power or portion control on my own...) Muffins keep well in the fridge or on a cool counter for up to a week. Can freeze indefinitely, but coconut bacon may get soggy when defrosting. If you plan on freezing 'em, I recommend adding the bacon as needed later. Enjoy!
There's almost nothing I love more than breakfast. Especially savory breakfasts- they're kinda my thing. In fact, I have such a distaste for sweets in the morning that if I have any before noon, I usually get sick. But back to breakfast- I like it. A lot. Breakfast is the first (and supposedly most important) meal of the day, so I usually try to make it hearty and delicious, and adding a side of tempeh bacon does just that. A little smokey, a little crunchy, and two ways to cook it up! It's great by itself, but even better in a breakfast sandwich or crumbled into a bowl of creamy polenta. And why go out and buy it when you can make it at home? More rewarding and more delicious! Need a few things to pair it with? Try our Rye & Vegg French Toast or South of the Border Scramble!
1- 8 ounce block of tempeh
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 tablespoon Braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
In a shallow dish or bowl, whisk together everything but the tempeh. (This is your marinade.) Set aside.
Remove tempeh from wrapper. Slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick 'bacon' slices. Gently place tempeh into marinade, using a spoon to scoop excess marinade over the tempeh slices to coat completely. Cover and place in the fridge at least 3 hours, but as long as overnight if you can. Try to flip the tempeh slices or use the spoon trick several more times while marinating to ensure even flavor. The longer it marinates, the more bacon flavor it will have!
Once tempeh is ready, pour off excess marinade. At this point you can choose to bake or fry the bacon;
To bake it, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place strips onto a greased pan and bake for 30 minutes, flipping half-way through. Remove, let cool for several minutes, and eat up!
To fry it, simply heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan and add slices, cooking until golden and crisp before flipping. Remove from heat when strips are uniformly golden and crisp and blot on paper towels to remove excess oil (or don't). Serve immediately.
Bacon saves well in a resealable bag or container for about a week. Great on salads & sammies, too!
Coconut Bacon & Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Yep. Yesterday, this happened. We couldn't decide what to have for breakfast and we were out of the usual- beans and rice and potato breakfast bowls, covered in cumin and avocado. So we got creative; and by we, I mean Alex. Sometimes he pushes food boundaries justttt far enough, into deliciousness. I always underestimate his food imagination. This time though, it led us straight to rich, smoky, chocolatey pancakes- and that was before we added maple syrup to the equation. As they were cooking, we were drooling. Perfectly golden pancakes with melty chocolate and sprinkled with salty coconut bacon? Yeah, okay, Alex won this one. Maybe I'll start trusting his food cravings more often.
We always keep a jar of coconut bacon handy. Its one of the most popular recipes on our site, and we use it on everything- sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and now pancakes. We're hooked! Its the perfect substitute for anything 'bacon'-y, saves real baby piglets AND is totally cholesterol free- what's not to love? Plus, if you make a whole batch of coconut bacon and use only enough for this recipe, you can save your un-used coconut bacon in an airtight container indefinitely in the fridge or pantry. If it gets a bit soft overtime, simply bake it for a few minutes in the oven to re-crisp it, and GO! Now, let's eat!
1 1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour OR whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons organic sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum (only if using GF flour)
1 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/4 cup chocolate chips OR chopped bar chocolate
1/4- 1/2 cup coconut bacon
First, if necessary, prepare a batch (or 1/2 batch) of coconut bacon. (You can buy it online, but you save TONS of money making it yourself and you'll have leftovers!). Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and xantham, if using. Stir together, then use the spoon or whisk to form a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pushing the flour mixture to the outsides of the bowl. Pour in the water and oil and whisk together completely. (If batter seems a bit thin, add a little flour. If batter seems a bit thick, add a little more water.) Once batter is ready, mix in chocolate chips.
Heat a greased skillet over medium. Pour 1/4 cups of batter onto the skillet, and sprinkle with coconut bacon. Gently pour a little bit more batter (about a tablespoon) over the coconut bacon layer, and let cook until bubbles form and edged begin to crisp. Flip pancakes once, allowing the bottom side to cook until golden before removing from the skillet and serving. Makes about 6 medium sized pancakes. Serve with maple syrup (the real stuff!) and a little vegan butter, and enjoy!
SAVORY RYE & VEGG FRENCH TOAST