Tag Archives: coconut bacon

Spaghetti alla Carbonara: A Very Non-Vegan Dish Goes Vegan

According to Wikipedia, spaghetti alla carbonara is an Italian dish based on eggs, cheese and bacon (usually cooked in lard). Ha! That just describes everything I won’t eat. And therefore, it must be made. Vegan style. Because—“anything you can eat, I can eat vegan!”.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara- Luminous Vegans

Perhaps it was the very non-vegan-ness of this dish that I was drawn to. That and I was also looking for a way to use up my Vegg sample. I’d already used it for a fried egg and for french toast and I was looking for something non-breakfasty.

Having never made this before, I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a wonderfully savory spaghetti with a lush and slightly creamy “eggy” sauce that clung to every pasta strand. Sweet and spicy, slightly crunchy coconut bacon took it to that eat-it-in-sweatpants-and-slippers cozy level. While fresh parsley adds a touch of brightness and freshness to it.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara- Luminous Vegans

If I didn’t have the Vegg, I think subbing in a mix of vegan parmesan and plain nutritional yeast would work nicely too. And if was really craving a little of that “eggy” aroma, I would even throw in a little black salt (kala namak).

Vegan Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Adapted from Bitter Sweet Blog and Windy City Vegan.

serves 2, print recipe here

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of spaghetti noodles
  • 1/2 cup vegan stock
  • 2 tsp of powdered Vegg
  • 1/2 cup of soy milk (or any nondairy milk)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup of coconut bacon pieces (or vegan bacon of choice)
  • salt and pepper

Spaghetti alla Carbonara- Luminous Vegans

 Directions

Cook and drain the pasta according to the package and set aside. In a small blender or food processor, blend the vegan stock, Vegg powder and soy milk together. Salt and pepper to taste and blend again. Set aside.

Now in a large pan heat the garlic in olive oil on medium heat until the garlic starts releasing a little aroma. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the blended sauce to the pan. Heat the sauce for about 4 minutes. It will get a little bubbly. Then add the pasta to the pan. Add the vegan butter and parsley and mix well making sure each noodle is coated with sauce and the butter is completely melted. Salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara- Luminous Vegans

You can either mix in the vegan bacon or top each serving with some. I like doing it both ways. Mixing it in infuses that smoky bacon taste into every bite. And topping it with some vegan bacon gives a nice subtle crunch to some bites.

What’s your favorite vegan “eggy” dish?

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Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

Have you heard that phrase–anything you can eat, I can eat vegan–? I can’t remember where I saw it. On a t-shirt maybe. Perhaps on someone’s blog or instagram photo. But it really resonated with me because it’s true. There are so many tasty vegan dishes and recipes out there that do an excellent job of replicating non-vegan flavors. So much so, that I wonder why animals are even still used for food.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

Take these twice baked butternut squash for example. It’s a beautifully creamy butternut squash topped with a smokey “bacon”. But no cows or pigs were harmed to create it. Cashew cheese was used for the creaminess. And coconut flakes baked with liquid smoke were used for the bacon.

Vegan Coconut Bacon

The coconut bacon I used is Cobi’s from Veggietorials. This is the first coconut bacon that I’ve ever made. And it will probably be the only recipe I ever use because it is the perfect combination of smokey, sweet, salty and spicy. Since the first time I made it (mentioned in my “picture an hour” post), I have made it several times.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon

adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 4 butternut squash (about 4.5-5 pounds)
  • 5 large kale leaves washed, tough cores removed and torn into smaller pieces
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup cashew cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbs chopped chives
  • 3-4 tbs panko crumbs
  • olive oil
  • garlic and onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • enough coconut bacon (or any vegan bacon) to top each squash half to your liking.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 F. Wash the butternut squash and microwave them for about 3 minutes to make them easier to cut. Halve all the squash and sprinkle each half with a little salt and pepper. Place the squash halves (open sides up) in a pan (I ended up using two pans) with about 1/4 inch of water and bake covered for about 25-35 minutes (squash should be tender when pierced with a fork). While the squash is baking, steam or saute the kale leaves with the garlic and set aside.

Take the squash out when done baking and turn oven down to 425 F. When the squash are cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl leaving a small border of butternut squash in each half to help it keep its shape. Mash up the flesh with a fork. Then thoroughly mix in the cashew cheese, chives, kale and salt and pepper to taste. Fill the emptied butternut squash halves with this mixture. In a small bowl, mix the panko crumbs with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. I used my hands to mix everything well to make sure all the panko was seasoned.

Sprinkle the panko mixture on the stuffed butternut squash and bake uncovered at 425F for about 20-25 minutes until warmed through. Finally, top with as much coconut bacon as you desire!

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

This dish is a combination of so many flavors that I love. Subtle sweet squashiness from the butternut squash. A slight cheesiness from the cashew cheese. And a touch of smokey saltiness from the “bacon”. It also has wonderful contrasty textures. From the creaminess of the butternut squash filling to the crispy panko and chewy coconut bacon.

This is one of those meals that I try really hard to eat slowly otherwise I might inhale it all at once. So with each bite, I close my eyes and let all the contrasting flavors and textures mingle awhile before I dive in for another. I may or may not make audible moans of pleasure while eating this dish.

What are some ways you like to cook/eat butternut squash?

A Picture an Hour

My Saturday. A picture (or a few) an hour.

8am-Shut off my alarm on the nightstand. It was hard to get up because I stayed up late reading this photography book. (I went back to sleep and actually got up at 8:30am).picture-an-hour-luminous-vegans-2464-1

9am-Stayed in bed to read.

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10am-Had coffee and an apple and caught up on internets stuff.

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11am-Made a very late breakfast with Neal.

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12pm-French toast (using the Vegg) with a strawberry sauce.

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1pm-Read more. A different book. I am a multi-book reader.

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2pm-Started a hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park.

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3pm-More hiking.

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4pm-Traveled back down the trail. The dogs were pooped after climbing rocks and wading in the creek.

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5pm-Headed home.

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6pm-Made stuff and snacked on stuff. I made a batch of coconut bacon (from Veggietorials), roasted chickpeas and cashew cheese for the week.

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7pmCoconut bacon finished baking. This was my first time making it. I think my coconut flakes were thicker than Cobi’s on Veggietorials, but they came out DEE-licious either way! They were slightly crispy in some places and chewier in others (much like real bacon). I will definitely make these again.

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8pm-A little relaxing and reading after a shower.

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9pm-Neal prepared our late dinner of sushi rolls. He made a variety of rolls with cucumber, avocado, coconut bacon, shiitake mushroom, carrots and tofu.

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10pm-Watched the end of a silly “Ghost Adventures” show before watching “48 hours”.

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This picture an hour post was inspired by a recent post by Sayward at Bonzai Aphrodite. The goal was to photograph life as it happened rather than make life happen in order to photograph it.

I had an alarm set on my phone to go off every hour and when it went off, I snapped a pic (or a few) of whatever I was looking at at that moment. I had to estimate the hours during the hike based on when we left the car and got back though because I did not have my phone with me. I really enjoy documenting the world in pictures and I’m trying to improve my photography of things other than food, so I might revisit this picture an hour project again.

How was your Saturday?