Since we came home from Nashville, I’ve been on a crazy kitchen kick. All day long, I daydream of making fabulous vegan creations and scheme ways to:
- Blow off everything else that I’m obligated to do so that I can get home and put on my apron
- Recruit willing participants who will eat the food from the test kitchen
- Afford such an expensive hobby on a low-level rock star’s budget (Organics? Fresh Produce? Weird stuff like truffle oil and harissa? Yeah, it all starts adding up…)
When Claire eats dinner, she eats all of the like things on her plate before she moves on to the next item. Last night when we had Band Goes Green family dinner, she had to eat all of her broccoli before she started on her eggplant.
I’m the opposite. When I attack a plate (and almost inevitably turn it into a “happy plate” as my Grandma Beulah called it when you eat everything), I like to take a little piece of this and a little piece of that, sometimes even putting them on the fork together so that I can experience the flavors together. But, when it comes to a food blog, I have “CLAIRE” tattooed all over me.
Once I find a food blog, I am like a teenaged boy in front of a video game. I stay there fixated for hours and then return the next day for hours. I will make ten recipes from that blog before I lose interest and move on to find another one. And even when I find another one, I’ll circle back around in three or four months and get fixated again.
Driving home from Nashville, with my appetite whet for new adventurous vegan recipes, I was searching the world wide web on my fancy internet telephone, I found my new best friend: Spabettie!
She makes tons of vegan, gluten free food AND she loves wiener dogs!!
This is my dog Milo. He left me and had Mister Elwood adopt him when my job prevented me from using my guitar arm to throw tennis balls.
These are Baby Bear’s dogs: Jasper and Ruby. They hold the Guinness Book Record for “wiener dogs with the most clothes.”
[Side note: The Mac family is quite fond of dachshunds and are now in our fourth generation of wiener dogs.]
In the past week, from Spabettie’s blog, I’ve made the Tomato and Cheese Stuffed Waffles, the Crispy Sweet Potato Chipotle Enchiladas, and then inspired by her Edamame Flatbread and her Spinach Pancakes, I whipped up some Kale Flatbread over the weekend and stuffed it with homemade vegan macaroni and cheese.
Then today, I tried a recipe from a different source. I wasn’t cheating on Spabettie—I’m still monogamously fixated on her blog. This recipe was actually part of my VegNews email recipe club. So technically, it came to me and I didn’t go out looking for it, thus NOT breaking my Spabettie streak.
I made for the first time in my life (which interestingly, was also the first time in my life that I had ever tasted as well), Apple Dumplings.
The recipe made six apple dumplings, which I have decided are pretty much personal pan-less apple pies. That made exactly enough for the three people in my house, with three more left over to give to the three people living in Mama Bear and Mister Elwood’s house. I called Mama Bear to arrange a time for the handoff. Mama Bear and Mister Elwood are soon to take a trip up North to watch Autumn change the landscape’s color palate, so they’re training for walking in the leaves by doing some urban hiking around Tallahassee. It just so happened that this afternoon, they were urban hiking in a location convenient to my house, so I headed to the library to rendezvous with them in the parking lot—at this point getting a little frantic because I was running out of time to ensure that the kitchen was both clean and vacant before people began to arrive this evening.
It was a very brief interlude. They said hello, took a whiff of the dumplings (which did smell quite tantalizing), and then gave me their keys so that I could put the food in their car. After giving them very explicit instructions about how to reheat, plate, and serve, I tried to play a little catch-up with them, “So, how was your day?”
Mister Elwood interrupted me, “Love to chat, but we have to get going again before we cool down and get stiff. We’re old, you remember.”
“Okay, guys. No worries, I’ll see you later,” I said as I handed them back their keys and headed towards my car. But not before my mom yelled out, “Hey, did you know that you’re trouncing around the library parking lot still wrapped in your Virgin de Guadalupe apron?”
Hmmm… suddenly it makes sense why the weird guy with the rat tail down the middle of his back was waving at me and smiling all goofy (I kid you not!!). “Yay, a kindred spirit in weirdness!!” And to think that the whole time, I was convinced that it was because he knew that I was a vegan kitchen magician and he was super impressed by the sweet scents wafting from my apple dumplings!
Crispy Sweet Potato Chipotle Enchiladas
Mama Bear grew up on a farm in South Georgia. I have memories of sitting at her mother’s house and sitting around with everyone all day long, shucking and silking corn. But until this recipe, I hadn’t touched a corn with the husk still on in probably 20 years.
I detoured a bit from Spabettie’s recipe by adding shredded kale to the enchiladas because 1) I love kale and 2) green is my favorite color so I feel like everything should have a little bit, even if it’s just an accent.
Don’t judge me for how ugly this looks. It still tasted fabuloso! This is another place that I strayed a little bit from Spabettie’s recipe. She did not call for it to be baked after it is assembled. I drowned my enchiladas in the Chipotle sauce and then backed them for 15 minutes at 400 to let it all soak in and combine.
Amazing, beautiful, vibrant kale flatbread batter!
I said above that I ate these stuffed with vegan mac ‘n’ cheese. I loved them so much the first night that I made another batch the next day and stuffed them with hummus, carrots, peppers, cucumber and arugula. Then I had them today for lunch stuffed with leftover black beans and rice and QDJ’s tofu scramble, topped with broccoli sprouts. I feel like with these, the only limit is your imagination!
Vegan Apple Dumplings
Vegan GF Apple Dumplings– good enough to attract even the rat tail guy at the public library!