Everyone Sucks But Us: 96 Vegan Recipes for Couples Who Don’t Suck

It’s been four years since my first book came out, and ten years since I started Bake and Destroy. I’ve had six jobs, three major hair style changes and more pet fish than I can possibly count in that time – but the one thing that’s been a constant is my husband, Tony Slater.

Not only is he one of the few people I can tolerate for more than the span of a lunch meeting, but he’s also an excellent cook and a supportive partner. A few of his recipes made it into Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans, and many more have made it onto the blog and my social media over the years.

There is truly no one on this entire floating rock I’d rather share a pizza, much less my life with than this guy and so it only made sense that we do a book together.

Most of these vegan recipes are meant to serve two – so shout out to single people, share with your bestie or give two servings to the person you love most – you. These are inspired by the dishes we make at home for the two of us while Teno eats his third veggie burger of the day because he’s eleven years old and completely impossible. Kids book coming next? Doubt it.

Recipes such as:

  • We Make Quite a Pear Pancake(s)
  • Barack and Michelle-o Salad
  • Bonnie and Fried Chick’n
  • Your Name is Tattooed on My Tart
  • Sinking Ship: Rosewater and Jackfruit Cocktails

If you’re excited for this book you’ll definitely want to check out my other books, Bake and Destroy:Good Food For Bad Vegans, Wide Mouth Strikes Again: 96 Moz-Inspired Mason Jar RecipesKale and Kill96 Vegan Recipes Inspired by the Speaker-Blowing Music of Manowar, Caught in a Nosh: 125 Vegan Kosher Recipes and Eat Shit and Die: 101 Killer Recipes from Bake and Destroy!

Happy April Fool’s Day! Thanks to Ken from Everyone Sucks But Us for help with the book cover design. Keep your eyes peeled for a line of t-shirts and other things featuring his designs!

The New Vegan: Gluten-free Orange Polenta Cake Recipe

A few years back I shared a recipe from Aine Carlin’s first cookbook, Keep It Vegan and remarked that had our cookbooks gone to highschool together, they wouldn’t have run in the same crowd, but they’d probably meet and become friends later in life. Carlin’s second book The New Vegan: Great Recipes, No-Nonsense Advice, and Simple Tips is every bit as preppy-perfect as her first, but once again, I found myself sucked into the luscious photos and descriptions of her dishes – allowing me to temporarily abandon my preference for the unpolished.

This book is intended to support new vegans’ quest for easy, flavorful dishes but even a seasoned vegan will find new ideas and inspiration. Such was the case for me with this recipe. I’ve been eating polenta my entire life, but never for dessert. (Once for breakfast, at my grandmas, we collectively decided as a family to never do that again.)

You’ll want to make the cashew frosting for this cake first, and stash it in the fridge while you work on the rest. Be sure to let the cake cool completely before frosting it.

gluten free vegan orange polenta cakeFor the cashew frosting:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours
  • ½  cup agave nectar 
  • juice and zest of ½ orange
  • ½ tsp orange extract
  • 1 heaping tsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 Tbs water

Drain and rinse the cashews and blend in a food processor or high-speed blender with the agave, orange juice and zest, orange extract, coconut oil, and 2 tablespoons of the water. Scrape down the sides frequently until it becomes completely smooth, adding a little more water if necessary. The frosting will go through several stages; nutty,coarse, and eventually silky smooth. You really do have to persevere to achieve the perfect frosting consistency, but don’t take a shortcut by adding too much liquid. Keep blending and it will eventually become a shadow of its former cashew self. Refrigerate until needed.

Please note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click & make a purchase I might earn a small amount of money. I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher, but the opinions expressed here are my own. Recipe and photos reprinted with permission.

Vegan GF Orange Polenta Cake

By BakeandDestroy Published: March 20, 2017

  • Yield: 8-10 Servings

A few years back I shared a recipe from Aine Carlin's first cookbook, Keep It Vegan and remarked that had our cookbooks gone to …

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease and line a 6-inch cake pan.
  2. Make the frosting as directed above.
  3. Mix the polenta, ground almonds, chickpea flour, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Stir through the blood orange zest to ensure it is evenly distributed.
  4. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the oil, blood orange juice, agave, orange extract, and yogurt.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the orange and olive oil mixture. Fold gently and transfer to the prepared cake pan.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Check whether the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer to see if it comes out clean.
  7. Once baked, let cool briefly on a wire rack before removing it from the pan. Set aside until completely cool.
  8. Slather with the chilled cashew frosting, smoothing it around the sides with a spatula. Finally, decorate with crushed pistachios. The cake is best eaten fresh, but will keep for up to 3 days.

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    Veganized: Maraschino Cherry Bread

    Before we get started, I need you to know that I already know the following two things:

    1. This recipe is adapted from Taste of Lizzy T’s recipe. You may have seen her video of this recipe making its rounds on Facebook. So did I. Which is why I decided to veganize it.
    2. Maraschino cherries are an abomination and should really not be consumed by humans. But sometimes it’s fun to test fate. More on this later.

    Ok, so now that those are out of the way I will also add:

    3. This recipe is so, so bad for you. But I am the person who birthed Doritos-Crusted Tofu into this world, and I’m not going to apologize for that. If you want overflowing mason jars of green smoothie you are reading the wrong blog. Yes, I did just make an overflowing mason jar of smoothie joke in the last post I did. They’re just really, really stupid and I hate them.

    Maraschino cherries, as stated earlier, are disgusting. But they are also delicious. It’s a real conundrum. If you are repulsed by their ingredients, which consist mainly of fake sugar and artificial coloring, you can modify this recipe by making your own maraschino cherries, or you can buy all natural maraschino cherries. Either of these options will taste good, but won’t get you the bright pink color pictured here. To recreate that naturally, you could use a few drops of beet juice.

    There are also other subs you could make if you want to make these slightly less trashy – like swapping in coconut oil for canola, using a high-protein gluten-free flour blend and cutting back on the sugar somehow that I am not aware of and do not care about.

    But I did none of those things. I fed my family a loaf of sugary, artificially-colored, gluten-full cherry loaf and god damn it we were happy. I used Ener-G Egg Replacer in my version, but a flax egg would also work well.

    P.S. Some of these links are affiliate links which means if you click and make a purchase I will earn a laughably small amount of money.

    Vegan Maraschino Cherry Bread

    By BakeandDestroy Published: March 20, 2017

      It's real bad for you. I've said it enough times now that you really don't need to email me or leave comments about it. K thx.

      Ingredients

      Instructions

      1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F and grease a 9"x5" loaf pan.
      2. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, non-dairy milk, oil, egg substitute, and vanilla.
      3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
      4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir. Be careful not to over-mix, some lumps are OK.
      5. Gently fold the chopped cherries into the mixture. Transfer mixture to baking pan and bake 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
      6. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove from pan and cool completely. (About another 30-40 minutes.)
      7. Top with glaze made from the following: 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup reserved cherry liquid, 2 Tbs melted margarine (or coconut oil) and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Mix all of the ingredients together and pour over the top of the cooled bread. Allow the glaze to set up and then slice.

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        Recipe: Raw Vegan Blueberry Muffin Bites

        I bet you never in a million years expected to see the words “raw vegan” on this site. Bake and Destroy – a celebration of refined sugars and white flour. Have I gone health vegan on you? Are overflowing mason jar smoothies just around the corner?

        Nah, don’t worry about me, I’m still dedicated fully to being gross – and part of that dedication means eating raw batter and dough every chance I get. Now you could go through the trouble of making actual blueberry muffin batter just to lick the mixing spoon, or you could just make these bites, which take about 5 minutes to come together.

        While I did receive the Bob’s Red Mill dried blueberries and I Heart Keenwah Toasted Quinoa Hot Cereal in this recipe for free, I was not compensated for this post.

        Raw Vegan Blueberry Muffin Bites

        By BakeandDestroy Published: March 12, 2017

        • Yield: 2 dozen

        For this recipe, I used dried blueberries, rehydrated in water for 15 mins because they're less messy than fresh or frozen, and toasted quinoa flakes, which have a more mellow, nutty flavor than other quinoa flakes.

        Ingredients

        Instructions

        1. I recommend using a food processor as opposed to a blender to make these as the dough is quite sticky.
        2. In a food processor, pulse together the cashews, quinoa flakes, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until it forms a fine meal texture. Be careful not to pulse it into cashew butter.
        3. Add the lemon zest, maple syrup and vanilla and pulse until smooth. It will form a ball. Scrape down the sides and pulse until everything is blended.
        4. Scrape the dough into a bowl, and stir in the blueberries. You might need to get in there with your hands.
        5. Scoop out 1 tsp sized balls of dough, and roll smooth between your palms. I place mine directly into a resealable container so I can store them in the fridge. You can eat them right away, or refrigerate them until they're a little more firm. Store them in a covered container.

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          Smith & Daughters Cookbook: Sopa Seca Peruvian Pasta Bake Recipe

          I received an advanced copy of the highly anticipated Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (That Happens To Be Vegan) and, as a combo chubby vegan and bibliophile, have been drooling over the gorgeous photos and black-edges pages of this hardcover cookbook ever since.

          I’ve yet to make it to Smith & Daughters’ restaurant, partially because it’s in Australia and I’m in Chicago. But, with this collection of 80+ vegan recipes with a Spanish twist, I can experience at least the food, tattoos and inverted cross parts of the eatery in my home.

          I’m sharing this recipe for Sopa Speca because I would honestly rather die than give up carbs. Enjoy.

          Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking them I could earn the tiniest amount of money imaginable. 

          Sopa Seca - Peruvian Pasta Bake

          By BakeandDestroy Published: March 5, 2017

          • Yield: 4-6 Servings

          Recipe excerpted with permission from Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (that happens to be vegan) by Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse, published by Hardie Grant Books March 2017, RRP $35.00 hardcover.

          Ingredients

          Instructions

          1. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
          2. Add the pasta and fry for 2–3 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
          3. Place the onion, garlic, chipotles, tomatoes, ground coriander and oregano in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a pan with the bay leaves and cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened.
          4. Stir in the stock, fried pasta and beans, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
          5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, breaking up the pasta with a spoon, for about 5 minutes.
          6. Remove the bay leaves, then transfer the mixture to the prepared ovenproof dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
          7. Serve, drizzled with cashew cream and coriander leaves scattered over the top.

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            Recipe: Nacho Chee-zee Toasted Quinoa Casserole

            In the Midwest we call ’em casseroles, other parts of the country know them as “hot dish.” No matter what you call it, the concept of a handful of nutritious ingredients, smothered in some kind of sauce, and baked until bubbling hot is universally comforting. My husband and I have fully committed to Lame Old People status, making a casserole on Sunday nights and excitedly bringing leftovers to work for the next two days.

            Chicken and rice is probably the most classic casserole combo – it has just enough broccoli to pretend like it’s healthy, but the 3 cups of cheese inside says otherwise. Here I’ve cleaned it up, swapping the dairy for a vegan nacho cheese made with cashews and Bob’s Red Mill nutritional yeast, (recipe here) and using Toasted Quinoa instead of rice – thereby upping the protein and lowering the overall glycemic index without sacrificing a bit of flavor.

            While I did receive the Bob’s Red Mill nutritional yeast and I Heart Keenwah Toasted Quinoa in this recipe for free, I was not compensated for this post.

            Nacho Chee-zee Toasted Quinoa Casserole

            By BakeandDestroy Published: February 27, 2017

              If you're not into spice, just omit the chipotle pepper in the Nacho Chee-Zee Sauce recipe, or swap in your favorite vegan cheese sauce.

              Ingredients

              Instructions

              1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8" square baking dish.
              2. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, quinoa, chee-zee sauce and chicken substitute until everything is coated in sauce.
              3. Steam broccoli for 3-5 minutes - until tender. Then chop.
              4. Transfer mixture into baking pan, and bake 20-30 minutes until hot, and the top has formed a crust. Salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

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                Q & A With Pie, Pie My Darling – Chicago’s First Vegan Bakery

                16113424_1431076886926308_458800203724323077_oEarlier this week I had the honor of breaking the story about Chicago’s first 100% vegan bakery opening this summer – Pie, Pie My Darling will be taking over Kitchen 17′s space in Lakeview possibly by August 2017. I got the scoop because I happen to be friends with owner and head baker Heather Bodine-Lederman – our adventures together range from wild nights sexually harassing and Elvis impersonator at the tiki bar to more recently attending a Dita Von Teese show. So yeah, we’re basically sisters.

                All kidding aside, I am absolutely Heather’s biggest fan. I’ve loved her pies and cakes since I first got my hands on them at the now-defunct #VeganVortex market, and once I got to know what a sweet, humble, secretly-snarky girl she is I loved her even more. I’m super stoked for her bakery opening and have already promised to fight anyone who leaves her a bad Yelp review.

                15995084_1427514173949246_2470745809548629499_oSo here it is, a little Q&A with the owner of Chicago’s first 100% vegan bakeshop, coming to Lakeview this summer!

                What’s your earliest memory of baking?

                My mom was a health food nut so I remember baking carob fudge and sugar free apple crisp and things like that. I think that’s where my obsession with nostalgic childhood sweets came from. I felt like I’d missed out (sorry mom!) and wanted to re-create those devilish desserts I’d always craved.

                What is your first cake (or pie)-related memory?

                Hostess cupcakes! I wasn’t allowed to eat them in our household so every time I went over to my friends house I’d raid the cabinets and eat all the cupcakes. I grew up on store-bought pies so I always thought pie was crappy until I started baking them from scratch. Then I got obsessed.

                Did you always love baking before you were vegan?

                15230781_1372976276069703_5326565153154585862_nBaking has always been very therapeutic for me. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety forever and it always seemed to calm me down. I think becoming vegan really pushed my love of baking to new levels, though. I craved lots of things and at the time 8 years ago there were very limited options, so I took matters into my own hands. Gotta have my sweets!

                What made you decide to go vegan?

                I was in an airport and grabbed a book called Slaughterhouse (ad link) by Gail Eisnitz to read on my trip. It was kind of a behind the scenes look at what goes on behind closed doors at slaughterhouses, not just the mistreatment of the animals but to the employees as well. When we landed I was in tears. It’s sounds cheesy but for real–that day I went vegan and never looked back.

                A lot of people don’t pick up on the punk rock reference in your business name – can you explain where Pie, Pie My Darling came from?

                I’m always so excited when someone notices! I was baking pies one day and listening to the Misfits’ song “Die, Die, My Darling” and it was just like a no brainer. Like how have I not thought of this before?

                13882248_1260362687331063_6672908927664926859_nSpeaking of The Misfits, I heard Doyle is a Pie, Pie fan. Can you talk about how that came about?

                My lovely friend Melisser bumped into him backstage at the Chicago misfits reunion and gave me a shoutout! Him & his lady will be ordering pies as soon as I am figure out how the hell to ship a pie…

                Have you baked for any other celebrities or people who made you fangirl out?

                I’ve baked for Dan Smith a couple of times but honestly was more excited when he took one of my cookies home to his wife Skully. I crush soooooo hard on that girl and I pretty much died. I also died when Henry Rollins talked about my Black Flag pie on his podcast, but I haven’t fed him yet.

                Do you have any help in the kitchen, or are you a one-woman show?

                I’m a lone wolf. I desperately need to hire someone, but I’m such an insane introvert – it’s been hard. I just like to be alone. I enjoy other people in small doses, which is why I love Instagram because I can be affectionate and reach out to people without actual contact. But obviously if I want to own a bakery it needs to happen. Cute, smart baker girls, come at me!

                What is your vision for your soon-to-open bakery? Do you have a vibe you’re going for?

                I want it to be cute, but not barf-cute. Punky, but not tacky – and really cozy. I have no idea how I’m going to go about making that happen but that’s the plan.

                16463769_1448364368530893_4339633459486766330_oFor all the aspiring bakeshop owners out there – can you talk about how you got from Point A to Point B? Where did you make your first sales? Was there something in particular that really launched you?

                I started at this cute little market in Logan Square called Vegan Vortex! [Editor’s note: Heather is being coy. I co-founded this market. See what I mean about how cute she is?] I had no idea what I was doing. I had no business plan, no goal or agenda. I just showed up and sold some little mini pies. The response was nuts! I sold out and received a whole bunch of emails and orders and I thought huh, this could really be something. I was approached by Don, the owner of Kitchen 17, and he asked if I’d ever want to do a popup in his restaurant. We started doing “Pie Sunday” popups every few months and things really blew up from there. I’m eternally grateful to him for that.

                What is your best-selling or most-requested offering?

                Funfetti Cake, hands down. I’m so glad because it proves to me that other people are just as nostalgic and into sprinkles as I am.

                I fucking suck at making brownies no matter what I do. Is there a dessert that still eludes you?

                Hahaha oh I feel you. I suck at fancy desserts. Like anything plated with some kind of drizzle shit on it. It’s way over my head. I’m into stuff your grandma would have baked you.

                14729318_1327569117277086_8009842504348137606_nWhat are some of your favorite vegan eats in Chicago?

                Vegan Deep Dish at Kitchen 17 of course! The Chicago Diner was probably the first vegan restaurant I ever went to and I get the reuben every time. Soooo good. Oh and the country-fried portabella at Handlebar. And the po boy at Ground Control. We have so many thiiiiinnnggs!!!

                A couple of final notes:

                • You can read more about the bakery opening on VegNews, DNA Info and Chicago Eater
                • Check out Heather’s recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie on I Heart Keenwah
                • I pointed out to Heather that the last person I interviewed before her was the Iron Sheik, and that’s fucking cool
                • All photos in this post belong to Pie, Pie My Darling

                Unloveable: A 2017 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Morrissey Fans

                unlovable

                Created with a vector image by warungkopi

                “The dark nights are drawing in
                And your humor is as black as them
                I look at yours, you laugh at mine
                And ‘love’ is just a miserable lie”

                The Unloveable Morrissey Gift Guide is back just in time for another miserable Valentine’s Day. Yes, I am aware that I have left you with very little time to receive your items by Valentine’s Day, to which I say: If you were a real Morrissey fan, you would be alone and shopping for yourself anyway. Squander your cash, be rash.

                If you missed my guide last year definitely check it out, I made a special effort not to duplicate any products this year. A few of last year’s picks are sadly no longer available, but there are still plenty of ways to be a charming man (or woman, or whatever you want to be – just be a charming one).

                tumblr_oh2pkypIyN1ukrzvgo1_1280Daisy and Aster not only has tons of cute ready-to-ship mugs, pins and other things in their shop (I am particularly a fan of their UFO “hop in dork” design,) but they also take custom orders which means for a mean $30 you can get your favorite Morrissey or Smiths lyrics (or anything else) hand-painted onto a coffee mug. They’ve done tons of Moz-inspired designs – follow them on Instagram to see more!

                Last year my friend Melisser’s shop Sabretooth Dream made the top of the list with their Nobody’s Nothing pin and this year they’re back, not only with an amazing chenille patch of the same design, but also a collection of Moz-themed pins and patches. If you’re in Chicago make sure to stop by Melisser’s new shop, Flair (2354 N St. Louis Avenue).

                If at least part of your Morrissey fandom is based on his herbivorous nature, this It Takes Strength to Be Gentle and Kind goat necklace is the one for you, fatty. I also feel the need to make a “Moz is the GOAT joke here. There, I did it and now we’re both embarrassed. You can also get this quote on a t-shirt from me!

                Screen_Shot_2016-10-17_at_2.38.52_PM_largeLast year I featured another Chicago company, LastCraft – I have two of their Morrissey prayer candles on my personal shrine. You can grab those, along with several other Moz-themed pins and patches. I use my Big Mouth Strikes Again tote bag almost every single day, and don’t even get me started about the Higher the Hair the Closer to Moz patch. (P.S. Even though they’ve spent the past few decades slinging wonderfully British insults like “whingebag” at each other, I also have lots of love for Robert Smith, and LastCraft has lots of odes to him, too!)

                One of my favorite previous finds were elaborately decorated Smiths cookies on Etsy – vegan, of course. That baker doesn’t seem to be around anymore, so I figure the next best thing is to make my own damn cookies (and other food) using the Defensive Eating with Morrissey: Vegan Recipes from the One You Left Behind Vegan Cookbook. This book features a ton of weirdly wonderful fever dream illustrations of Moz mashed up with pop culture icons like Garfield and even Freddy Krueger.

                615vyh+LDrLThis year a good friend got me this Morrissey tea towel (along with a Robert Smith one…shhhhhh) for my birthday and my gift to you is telling you about it. This same shop also has a pretty stellar set of Oasis towels as well. Hm, do I need to make an Oasis fan gift guide? What’s a good holiday for two people who hate each other but make beautiful music together? Oh, I guess this one.

                There are some bad people on the rise, and there are some bad Morrissey shirts on the Internet. But these are my picks for the good ones:

                14553188_1786034691616398_3852830447583100928_nAnd finally, because you can never have too many… here are some of my favorite Morrissey/Smiths pins and patches:

                Did I miss any of your favorites? Tell me in the comments!

                The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot: Smoky Pecan Brussels Sprouts Recipe

                I do not understand how Kathy Hester does it, but it seems like every couple of months she’s announcing a new beautiful cookbook focused around a favorite vegan ingredient or household appliance. She’s covered beans, oats, crockpots, and now she’s tackling what had to have been one of the top vegan holiday gifts of 2016 – the Instant Pot.

                Kathy’s latest, The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot: 80 Easy and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes That You Can Make in Half the Time, takes full advantage of the versatility of the Instant Pot – featuring recipes for soups, sides, main dishes and even desserts.

                I chose this recipe to share because I’m a Brussels sprout devotee, and when I share my photos online I’m always met with, “I want to like them, but I don’t know how to cook them.” So now, I can just be like, “read my blog, dummy!”

                This blog post contains affiliate links, which means if you click them and buy stuff, I might make the tiniest amount of money ever – whee! 

                Smoky Pecan Brussels Sprouts

                By BakeandDestroy Published: January 7, 2017

                • Yield: 4 Servings

                I do not understand how Kathy Hester does it, but it seems like every couple of months she's announcing a new beautiful cookbook …

                Ingredients

                Instructions

                1. For the pressure cooker, add the Brussels sprouts, water and liquid smoke to your Instant Pot and mix well. Put the lid on and close the pressure valve. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. (Note: If you have very large Brussels sprouts, you may need to double the cooking time.)
                2. Once the cooking time is up, carefully move the pressure release valve to release the pressure manually.
                3. For the sauté, switch to the sauté function and add in the pecans and maple syrup and reduce the liquid as you finish cooking the sprouts. Remove from the heat once tender and add salt to taste.

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