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Tag: vegetarian (page 1 of 80)

Vegan Hummingbird Cake Recipe

vegan hummingbird cake

There’s still a huge pile of pictures from our trip to Playa del Carmen to go through. I looked at it earlier and it hurt my brain trying to think about how to divide up the posts so I decided to break things up a bit by posting my vegan hummingbird cake recipe.

Yep, this is the vegan hummingbird cake we had at Dough. It was one of our most popular items. It was not possible to make enough of these. They just flew out of the case.

Personally, I’m more of a chocolate fan, but there’s definitely something alluring about the banana, walnut and pineapple mixture. And it’s a perfect flavor mix for Summer gatherings. Just keep it refrigerated until you serve it. The frosting does not hold up in the heat very well.

Vegan Hummingbird Cake Recipe

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
3 flax eggs (3 tablespoons of ground flax seed mixed with 6 tablespoons of warm water)
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 banana, mashed
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with oil and line with parchment if you have it. In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients through the sugar.

Mix together the remaining ingredients except the nuts in a medium bowl and then combine with the dry.

Mix thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.

Divide the batter between the two cake pans.

Bake approximately 30 minutes at 350F or until center of each cake is done. Let cool completely before frosting. It’ll frost better if you wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight before you frost it.

Vegan Hummingbird Cake Frosting

1 pound vegan cream cheese (we used Tofutti)
1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
4 teaspoons arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons instant clearjel (optional, but helps firm up frosting)
1 cup or so of walnuts or pecans, chopped fine

Whisk arrowroot powder and instant clearjel (if using) into powdered sugar.

Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth in a stand mixer.

Add remaining ingredients except nuts and continue mixing until blended.

To finish cake

If cakes domed in the center, level with a serrated knife. Then eat those tasty snax.

Place a cake layer on a cake plate, cut side down if leveled. Spread frosting on top of layer. Sprinkle with nuts if you like.

Put second layer on top of first, again, cut side down. Spread frosting over top of cake then sides. Top should be thicker than sides. On the sides, don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Press chopped nuts all around the sides. Refrigerate until served.

Protip: there’s no reason to suffer crappy bakeware. We used Fat Daddio’s cake pans at the bakery. They don’t really cost more than the crappy ones usually sold to home bakers, they just last longer and work better.

If you have a restaurant supply that sells to the public, that’s where you want to go locally to get bakeware. We have one called Atlanta Fixture here. Seriously, professional quality tools that cost less. Check it out.

Would you have any interest in an ebook of vegan baking recipes? Drop your email below and I’ll contact you if I do one!

Note, I do use affiliate links on the site occasionally. The coinage goes towards B12 and vegan protein powder. Because vegans will go extinct without protein powder.

Paradisus Playa del Carmen, Day 3

See Day 1 & Day 2

Normally we’d use this free day to go diving, but our attempts at arrangements failed. We did end up diving on Monday though.

I completely failed to get a picture of breakfast from the buffet at Paradisus this trip. Breakfast usually ends up being one of the easiest and most satisfying meals. There’s always lots of fresh fruit, cereals, bread, and peanut butter. There was a smoothie station, but I just stuck with the fresh green juice they had. There wasn’t any out, but the server brought us soy milk for our coffee and cereal.This is usually how it works at resorts and on cruise ships.

daiquiri on the beach

beach playa del carmen

We spent the morning at the beach and the afternoon at the pool. I may have had this daiquiri before noon. Sue me. In between, we grabbed a light lunch from the buffet. As I’ve probably said before, the buffets are often your best bet.

vegan salad guacamole chips

We had dinner with the company the last night. We were greeted with trays of margaritas. I had a standard one or two but then the guy somehow pawned off this electric green one on me. It was green apple, I think. It was too sweet but I drank it anyway.

electric green margarita

Like the first night, we went up to the buffet to get salad. They had jicama this time, yay! Also, Guacamole. Every. Meal.

vegan salad, jicama, guacamole

And then they brought us a “special” vegan main dish. A vegetable lasagna. It was .. okay. It’s just disappointing when you know they have a nice array of ingredients to choose from and yet they choose a pretty boring dish to make.

vegan lasagna

In general, I’m just glad there was enough food we could eat. But these resorts aren’t cheap. A quick search of the resort’s site quoted me $340/night. Who knows how much Kevin’s company is paying. Unless we were both heavy drinkers, it just isn’t worth that much for us to ever consider staying at one of these resorts on our own dime. Especially when you see in upcoming posts what we got for less than a third of that.

Anyway, the bottom line is that as a vegan if your company takes you to one of these resorts, you will be fine, but the vegan food is generally not at the same level as what they serve everyone else.

 

 

Vegan Meal at Molé at Paradisus Playa del Carmen

Near the main lobby and all the bars, there are pools filled with Koi and turtles. Little Koi and huge Koi. Apparently they get fed a lot of scraps by guests. If you stood on the edge the water would roil with them. I’m not pro keeping fish, but I did enjoy their antics.

koi fish

koi fish

The second day at Paradisus, we had a breakfast “meeting” then the group activity. It was a crazy long day. We took a bus ride for about 45 minutes. We were outfitted with snorkels and masks and then we headed to Akumal Beach where we got to snorkel with big ol’ sea turtles and rays. It’s a protected area for the turtles. The people are roped into an area, but the turtles are free to come and go. So there’s no danger of them being harassed; they can just leave.

We went back the jungle area, changed clothes, and ate lunch. Sadly, the beans weren’t vegan so we ate tortillas and guacamole with some steamed vegetables. Not too bad.

Then we climbed up a huge, rickety tower and repelled off the side of it. You know who went first? The ladies. The first four down were all women. Yeah.  After that we climbed more rickety towers and zip-lined around. It was my first time repelling or zip lining. Honestly climbing the tower is the worst part.

After that we cooled off in a cenote, a fresh water river under ground in a cave. The cave was full of bats. I love bats. The tour we took last year was a much longer tour of a cenote. We wore wet suits then. We did not have on wet suits this time and it was cold! But refreshing after the day’s activities.

Oh yeah, no pictures of all this. But the company got pictures from the tour company, so maybe I’ll get my mitts on those at some point.

One of the reasons why people book resorts like Paradisus, other than the all-you-can-drink plan, is the food. The resorts usually have an assortment of specialty restaurants serving all kinds of different fare. If you’re lucky, one of them might actually have the cuisine of the country you are in.

Eating at Molé

Friday evening, after all the activities, the company people split up into groups and had reservations at the various restaurants. Our group went to Molé, which specialized in contemporary Mexican cuisine. Woohoo! This was the only time we went to one of these restaurants this trip, but they went out of their way to take care of the vegans.

In addition to guacamole, that was prepared at the table, the kitchen sent out this off-menu appetizer for us. It was beans and maybe a squash pureé on tortillas, I think. It was tasty whatever it was.

vegan appetizer at mole paradisus

guacamole at mole paradisus

Oh, and margaritas. Cucumber margaritas.

cucumber margarita

Next, this gorgeous salad with an agave dressing.

vegan salad at mole paradisus

Our main dish was black bean enchiladas. Sadly, the molé contained chicken stock so they substituted this red sauce. It was delicious, but I’d hoped to have an authentic molé. That’s okay, I got it later after leaving the resort.

vegan enchiladas

Before dessert, I think, we got a little dry ice show. It was pretty dramatic.

dry ice show

dry ice show

At first, our server thought that mango sorbet would be our only vegan dessert option. But the chef whipped up something for us so we got two desserts! It was a sweet nut mixture wrapped in phyllo dough. Pretty much a Mexican baklava. And it was awesome.

mango sorbet

vegan phyllo dessert

The vegan meal at Molé was the best we’ve had at a resort, so I highly recommend it. Even though that’s a pretty low bar to clear.

And thus ends day two. For me at least. Kevin went back out to hang out with work people and a bunch of crazy shit went down. Because alcohol. But you’ll have to ask him about that.

Vegan at Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla, Day 1

soy vegano - i am vegan

Kevin got to go on the company club trip again this year, which means I got to go, which is pretty cool. They decided to go back to Playa del Carmen this year, but booked a different resort, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla. There are actually two sides to this resort and La Perla is the adults only side. Thankfully.

Last year when we went, I made a few posts about vegan food in Playa del Carmen. This year’s visit will also generate a few posts. Especially since we were there for two weeks. Let’s get back to the resort though.

At check-in, we got these nifty cards to show wait staff. “I am vegan.” And I will say that unlike last year, the staff generally seemed to understand what that meant. So that was awesome!

paradisus playa del carmen la perla room

Since I’m really terrible at getting good pictures of the room, I just took one. There you go. It’s huge and ridiculous with a sitting area, a tub you could host a party in and a two-sided shower that’s about the size of my current whole bathroom. If you want pretty pics, check out their site.

After we got checked in, we got on our bathing suits and headed to the little grill next to the pool. Or, a pool. The one nearest our room. The pickings were a little slim on the menu but we weren’t starving so we were okay with chips and guac, fries and fruit. The fruit was super fresh and tasted amazing. I hadn’t had it served with lime and chili powder since I visited Mexico back in 2006 and had forgotten how amazing that is. I recall it being standard on the breakfast menu at the Mexican hotels we stayed in that trip.

french fries

fresh fruit with lime and chili powder

vegan chips and guacamole

The next big decision was what was going to be my drink this trip. The resort is all-inclusive as they are pretty much every year, so that’s a situation I like to take advantage of, just not to the point of illness or verbal diarrhea. So I started with a gin and tonic. It went down okay, but I switched to frozen lime daiquiris. I can make a gin and tonic at home, but I’m way too lazy to make a frozen daiquiri.

gin and tonic

After spending all afternoon at the pool, it was time to go get dressed for the opening reception. The theme was blue. Everybody wear blue. Blue isn’t a color I generally wear, so I found the cheapest thing I could at Old Navy that looked reasonable, a dress for about $12. Score! To be extra ridiculous, Kevin raided their promotional items for a racing shirt with the company logo on it. There’s a picture. If I get a digital copy, I’ll add it to this post.

The company dinners are usually buffet style. We eat salads from the buffet and then they bring us a vegan main dish. Here’s what we ended up with the first night.

The salad assortment. The dressing was really nice for the green salad, a hibiscus vinaigrette, I think.

vegan salads and bread

And this is a vegan ratatouille, I think. I’m not a big fan of eggplant, so this was pretty meh for me. It tasted fine, I just hate when you come to another country and you get some random dish like this. But that seems to be a running theme in these resorts.

vegan ratatouille

Oh dang, the drink of the night was some blue drank. I have no idea what was in it, but I drank a couple. Sadly, no picture.

Thus ends day 1. I got sun burned a little. And didn’t get drunk. So it was a good day. I’m probably going to post day by day at the resort and then maybe two more posts. That should be plenty.

 

 

Cocozia Coconut Oil Review

A while back, I reviewed Cocozia’s coconut water. It turns out they also have organic, non-GMO coconut oil AND they were kind enough to send me a jar to try out.

cocozia coconut oil

The Cocozia Coconut Oil is pure white in the jar. When I popped it open the light coconut scent made my mouth water a little. This oil seems to have more of a scent than other coconut oils I’ve used, but it dissipates when you cook with it.

Now, I’m already a fan of coconut oil, so there was no learning curve here. I already cooked with it regularly. So to take it to the next level, I tried to use it as much as possible, and for dishes that normally call for different oils.

This is my standard quick tofu recipe.

fried tofu

Next, I made some BBQ Soy Curls, around 6PM on this plate.

bbq soy curls

Being a typical vegan,  of course there was a tofu scramble.

tofu scramble

We have this Cosmic Kale and Chickpeas regularly, but I admit I always use a little oil.

cosmic kale and chickpeas

This coconut oil performed spectacularly in every one of these dishes and the ones I forgot to take pictures of. I used this oil nearly exclusively until it was gone. If you’re looking for an oil that is USDA Certified 100% Organic, NON-GMO Project Verified, NON Hexane and free of bleach or deodorizers, you should look into Cocozia Coconut Oil.

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