Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Favorites: Vegan Caramel Corn

Tonight some friends and I are getting together to see a scary movie at the drive-in. Despite the decidedly not-autumn weather here, I figured I would try to get in the spirit. This recipe for vegan caramel corn is easy to follow and takes only minutes to complete. It is guaranteed to help you get in the mood for fall festivities.


1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. cold water
1 tbsp. non-dairy butter
1 tbsp. dark corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 bag popcorn

To Make

Pop your popcorn in the microwave per box directions. Let cool and pour into a large bowl. Separate out any kernels and discard.

In a small saucepan, melt sugar, water, butter and corn syrup. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until it is well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and add your vanilla. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens slightly.

Pour your sugar mixture over the popcorn and mix well. Once your popcorn is evenly coated, let chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Baked Grits Stuffed Squash

I'm finally back in New Orleans after several months away on the road. I've been anxious to return to our kitchen and get to work. Unfortunately, the cupboards were pretty bare so we had to be inventive for tonight's meal. We ended up going to the store to buy a butternut squash as the main ingredient ('tis the season for gourds of all kind) and improvised from there. We had a jar of grits still stored in the pantry, as well as gluten to make homemade vegan sausages. The result was a very hearty autumnal meal that is easy to share with your omni friends.

Baked Grits Stuffed Squash

1 large butternut squash
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup instant grits
1 tbsp. non-dairy butter
1 3/4 cup water
Handful of fresh spinach, chopped
Vegan sausages, homemade or store-bought
Spices such as salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne and garlic

To Make

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp and seeds (you can reserve these for toasting, pies, whatever your imagination allows). Place the squash cut side down on a plate. Pour 1/4 inch of water onto the plate and cook in a microwave for 5-10 minutes.

Prepare your instant grits according to instructions. Because some moisture will be absorbed as it bakes in the oven, you might need to add more water until it reaches a soupier texture. Mix in your chopped sausage, spinach, non-dairy butter and favorite seasonings.

Once your squash is fork tender and the rind turns slightly clear, your squash is ready. Place the squash cut side up in a greased cake pan or baking sheet. Spread the oil over the top of the squash and into the cavity. Sprinkle your desired seasonings over the top of your squash. Stuff your squash with the grits mixture and bake for 20 minutes. When your squash is ready, both the squash and grits will develop a slight toughness--think pudding skin. Let it cool before serving and dig in!