I was hoping to post this a little sooner, but better late then never, amiright? We hosted our third Calgary Vegan Brunch event during the long weekend and it was the biggest we’ve had yet! Every time I checked the event page, more people were confirmed, 10 people turned into 20 people, which turned into 30 people, and before we knew what was happening, we had over 50 people confirmed! Luckily for us the actual number ended up being “only” 37. If this keeps up, I see a new location in our future, that is, unless one of us decides to move into a mansion in the next few weeks….which I’m pretty sure, ain’t gonna happen. Considering how worried we were about feeding all these people, the food actually turned into a non-issue. We were so worried that we were going to run out that we made more then we needed, and I’ve been happily eating the leftovers ever since.
We had a variety of tasty food for everyone to choose from. Tanya brought multiple pans of Lasagne and Cinnamon Buns, along with a super yummy Gallo Pinto. She even brought a big slow cooker filled to the brim with hot apple cider, mmm.
Connie also brought some fab food to the table and made multiple Broccoli Quiches using the recipe from Vegan Brunch (so good!), a lot (and I mean a LOT) of a Sweet Potato Salad that had lots of raisins and pecans in it and Pina Colada Quinoa. If you want to check out more photos from the brunch, visit my Flickr page!
My contribution was a Smoky Potato Casserole that was based on a recipe I found on The Vegan Version. The original recipe is baked in a pie crust, but since I wanted to make it gluten-free and didn’t feel like messing around with a gluten-free pie crust, I just left it out. Instead I layered the potatoes in a casserole dish, subbed full fat coconut milk for the cream, fresh rosemary for the thyme, threw in some coconut bacon and Daiya and topped it off with the Pine Nut Crema from Viva Vegan. It might not be the prettiest thing to look at but it was mighty tasty.
Along with the casserole, I also made muffins! Lots and lots of muffins! 4 dozen Almond Apricot Muffins to be exact. When I was making this recipe, I pretty much had my fingers crossed the entire time, with all the subs I had to make I was convinced that it was going to literally blow up in my face. I’m happy to say that there was nor an exploding muffin to be seen and the little buggers actually turned out! Yay for avoiding muffin failure!
I have hoards of almonds in my freezer, so lately I’m jumping at any chance to use them up…as you may notice in my next few posts. Plus almonds just make baked goods taste so good…unless you’re allergic to them, then…ah…sorry. The recipe calls for apricots but I ran out halfway and found out that dried peaches are a good sub. To get the those big muffin tops, you’ve really gotta pile up the batter, so don’t be afraid when you’re muffin tin is filled with towering amounts of batter, just ignore all those things you’ve been taught about only filling the tins 2/3 full and solider on, truuusst me, you won’t regret it. The muffins turned out nicely moistened and lightly sweetened, I decreased the sugar in these a bit, as I figured the dried fruit would balance out the decrease, which seemed to be the perfect amount for me.
Almond Apricot Muffins
Yields 1 dozen muffins
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup soy yogurt, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup applesauce, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup coarsely dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking oil or line with paper or foil baking cups.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, soy yogurt, applesauce and almond extract until well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold gently with a rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are mostly moistened (the batter will be lumpy)–there should still be quite a few streaks of dry flour.
Sprinkle the apricots and almonds onto the batter, and fold them in until just combined. Do not overmix.
Use an ice cream scoop if you have one with a “sweeper” in it; otherwise, use two spoons to spoon the batter into the muffin cups, distributing all of the batter evenly. The batter should mound higher than the rim of the cups by about 3/4 inch.
Bake the muffins for 10 minutes, then turn temperature down to 350°F and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Muffins should be golden brown and spring back lightly when you press the middle. (The muffin tops will probably meld together.) Let the tin cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes, then use a table knife to separate the tops, and then invert the pan and pop out the muffins.
Adapted from Fine Cooking