Vegan Holiday Cooking: Poached Pear Chai Bread

I recently received a copy of Vegan Holiday Cooking: 60 Meatless, Dairy-Free Recipes Full of Festive Flavors – just in time for the holidays! Kirsten Kaminski’s book offers veganized versions of classics like a Chocolate Yule Log, along with modern holiday flavors like a Creamy Pumpkin Latte. Holiday meals with the family can be stressful for vegans – so being able to easily make and bring your own stuffing, a lentil loaf, and dessert is a pretty sweet option to have.

vegan poached pear chai bread

Today I’m sharing Kirsten’s recipe for Poached Pear Chai Bread. Not only does it feature some of my favorite winter flavors, but it just looks so fancy when you cut into it! I can’t help but do my best Mary Berry voice, “Oh that does look splendid, doesn’t it?”

To get things started, you’ll need to poach some pears. You can substitute the white wine in the poaching with white grape juice, or apple juice with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to cut the sweetness.

You’ll need:

  • 2 medium pears (any variety)
  • 2 1⁄2 cups (600 ml) water
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine (or whatever sub you’re using)

Then you:

Slice the bottoms off the pears and peel them, leaving the stems
attached. In a medium pot over high heat, bring the water, maple syrup, ginger and wine (if
using) to a boil. Place the pears in the pot so that they stand upright and reduce the heat to
medium-low. Simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, until the pears are just tender, then carefully remove
them from the pot and set aside.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I may earn a commission. That being said, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Vegan Poached Pear Chai Bread

By BakeandDestroy Published: December 11, 2019

    Reprinted with permission from Vegan Holiday Cooking by Kirsten Kaminski, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Kirsten Kaminski

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Once the pears are poached, get to work on the bread. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a 9 x 5–inch (23 x 13–cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
    2. Make a flax egg by combining the flaxseed with the water in a small bowl. Set the mixture aside and let it thicken.
    3. In a large bowl, combine the milk with the vinegar and let the milk curdle for 5 minutes to create vegan buttermilk. Add the oil, date syrup, pumpkin puree and flax egg and combine.
    4. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and salt. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer
on low speed until just combined (don’t overmix). Pour the batter into
the prepared loaf pan and gently place the pears inside so that they are standing upright, surrounded by the batter. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover the loaf pan and bake for another 10 minutes. Let the bread cool slightly before transferring it to a wire rack to finish cooling.
    5. To make an orange glaze, combine the of one orange and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl and mix until smooth and pourable. (Add more or less orange juice depending on the desired consistency.) Drizzle the glaze on top of the bread and serve while it’s still warm.

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      Friday Five: Random Reviews

      Please don’t take this as a weird flex, but I get a lot of product pitches and offers to receive free stuff in exchange for promotion and I say no to most of them. I’m not here to trick you into buying flat belly tea. But if I’m genuinely interested and think you will be too I’ll say yes. And I always post when the items arrive… but sometimes I forget to update you on what I actually thought. So I asked my Instagram followers which products they wanted a follow up review on and here are the ones they chose!

      1. Myro Deodorant

      The gist: You’ve probably seen their ads, which feature their really cute, colorful, reusable containers. The concept is, natural deodorant – you choose the scent or lack thereof – that’s refillable so you ultimately use less plastic (the plastic on the refill is recyclable). I couldn’t find much about the shipping on their website – I can only assume the packaging is recycled and recyclable. And you can argue that shipping a refill has an environmental cost, but there are studies that support online shopping vs everyone driving a car to the store because ultimately online shopping means fewer vehicles on the road.

      The review: I received the starter kit, which costs $10 and includes the case and one deodorant pod. My first impression was that the red case I chose was really cute, and the scent was nice. I received this in the hottest part of the summer, so I really put it to the test. I used Myro for a few weeks, and I did think it did a good job preventing B.O. and it lasted a long time. However, the formula is very wet and sticky and in the summer when I don’t have the buffer of a sleeve between my pits and arms it just felt gross. Maybe if I only wore t-shirts it wouldn’t have bothered me.

      What other people said: I have friends who also tried Myro, and a couple of them reported having really bad skin reactions. I’m not sure which ingredient caused them, but pit rash is the worst. Another friend had a hard time clicking the pod into place, and found it to be annoyingly loose and wiggly.

      Final word: So, the concept is cute, but there’s some work to be done. I didn’t subscribe. And I also think there’s room for me to do a whole post about natural deodorants because I get a LOT of questions about them.

      2. Epic Protein – New Flavors

      The gist: I already proclaimed my love for Sprout Living’s Epic Protein Chocolate Maca in a previous post about Vegan Protein Powders That Don’t Suck. So when they reached out with an offer to try their new flavors I accepted. They just introduced Pro Collagen, Real Sport and Coffee Mushroom varieties – all vegan.

      The review: I received samples of the Pro Collagen and Coffee Mushroom, along with some other flavors I’ve already tried – like Chocolate Maca, Green Kingdom and Vanilla Lucuma. I tried the Pro Collagen first because raspberry, pomegranate and beet sounded interesting to me. The flavor was very subtle, and would probably pair well with frozen berries if you’re a fruit-in-your-smoothie person. But in the world of protein powders, as you might know, “subtle” is preferable to “gross,” which many of them are. The Coffee Mushroom ended up being my favorite, despite me still not fully understanding what the health benefits of mushroom powder are. Either way, I’d order that one again – whenever I get sick of Chocolate Maca. Given that I received two servings of each flavor, I can’t speak to any long term results, but I do drink a protein shake each morning and neither of these made me angry.

      What other people said: As soon as I posted an unboxing video I got hit with DMs from several nutritionists, alerting me to the possible “woo” behind the whole collagen craze. I think it’s fair to be skeptical about whether or not ingesting collagen (plant-based or not) has any effect on your health and appearance, but given that it is a trend right now I’m glad there’s a vegan option. Same goes for mushrooms – although no one’s “woo” alarms sounded over that one so maybe it’s more accepted as scientific than collagen.

      Final word: I really like Epic Protein, and I spend nearly $50 on it every month, so I don’t really know what better endorsement I could give. The ingredients are simple, most of them taste good, and if you’re a person who gets excited by collagen and mushroom supplements, now they have some things for you.

      GIVEAWAY: Because this is a product I can fully back, I’m hosting a giveaway! One US-based recipient will receive a full-size bag of Epic Protein, plus a variety pack of single-serves. To enter, use the widget below – you can also enter on Instagram.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      3. Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Gummies

      The gist: A couple months ago, my grandma was telling me that she drinks apple cider vinegar every day to support her immune system. I told her that sounded gross, and that I would rather get sick. The literal day after that conversation, Goli Nutrition reached out about their vegan apple cider gummies – claiming to be just as beneficial as drinking the stuff, but less gross. So I said yep – send ’em my way.

      The review: I made Tony stand by when I first tasted these, in case I died of barfing. But I was pleasantly surprised to find them not only not-disgusting, but actually kind of tasty. The ingredients are very similar to a vegan fruit snack, but with the addition of apple cider vinegar and some B vitamins. They recommend eating 2-6 per day, so I faithfully ate two every morning until I ran out. Did I reorder? No. While I didn’t have any negative experiences, I didn’t really notice any benefits that would justify putting another product into my already product-heavy morning routine.

      What other people said: I have friends who are regular ACV consumers who have told me they didn’t find these gummies to be as potent as swigging the real thing. To which I say, be my guest.

      The verdict: Given that these were not disgusting, I would consider buying them for my grandma. I didn’t personally notice any benefits, but they do have some scientific research on their site that makes me believe it’s not total nonsense.

      4. Completeats Cookies

      The gist: Lauren, the owner of this SF-based company, was nice enough to reach out and offer me some samples of her chia-and-date-based cookies. I work at Upton’s Naturals, in an office full of ferociously snacky vegans, so I had her ship them to the office so everyone could try them.

      The review: These got eaten so fast I think I only got to personally try two flavors – the Mocha Chip and Banana Bread. These are definitely date-and-chia cookies, so if you go into it expecting grandma’s chocolate chips you’ll be disappointed. But if you think of them more along the lines of an energy bar – which, at 250 calories and 7g protein, they kind of are, they’re better than most.

      What other people said: Everyone in my office is vegan, so we’re definitely a niche test market. While a couple people did say they weren’t really cookies, they all agreed that they tasted good. The only flavors that didn’t get rave reviews were the ones containing natural extracts – like Banana Bread and Cherry Almond. There were still fans of those among us, but a couple of people felt that those extracts were artificial-tasting, despite being naturally derived.

      The verdict: Because I’m not a “health vegan” and I’m not gluten-free, if I want a cookie, I’m just going to eat a cookie. But I can see where someone looking for a convenient option without refined sugar or gluten would reach for these “superfood” cookies – and, honestly, if I could grab these at my local coffee shop I would buy the Mocha Chip one a couple times a week.

      5. Seed Probiotics

      OK, Whereas I have spent the majority of this post being like, “I dunno about the science behind this, but…” probiotics are one area where I do understand the science, and the benefits. Longtime readers may recall (and new readers may be horrified by the fact that) I worked for one of the largest and most successful dairy-based probiotic brands in the country many years ago. While I am not proud to have been part of the dairy industry, I am proud that during my time there I worked on a vegan, probiotic water product (that never came to market) and advocated for the retail locations to serve a vegan probiotic in their cold-pressed juices (which did happen).

      The gist: Because I worked in this industry, for a brand who could afford to lab-test their competitors, I know how many ineffective probiotic products are out there making false claims. Which is a bummer, because a real-deal probiotic has so many health benefits from the obvious “it’ll make you poop” to a stronger immune system, healthy skin, and all kinds of other things the FDA would come for me over. So I scrutinized the science behind Seed. Despite their website being really obnoxious, and their use of the word “brainforest,” which I hate so much, the science is solid – the testing and clinical work are impressive, and I felt comfortable saying yes to taking these random pills every day.

      The review: I posted a lot of stories about the unboxing on Instagram because every part of the package was impressive. The kit arrives nested in a mycelium form – that’s the root structure of a mushroom, for those of you whose little sisters are not horticulturists. Whereas most companies would ship glass in plastic bubble wrap or even those compostable Cheeto things, this compostable form was truly organic, and really fun to poke. (The shipping box is of course recycled and recyclable.) The jar is glass, and meant to be refilled – the refills come in a home-compostable pouch. It also came with a smaller glass vial meant for travel, that holds a full week’s supply.

      Seed suggests taking a half dose for the first three days (one pill, with water, on an empty stomach) so your body can adjust. On the first day, I chased that with an anti-gas pill because probiotics can sometimes cause gas as you get used to them, and I don’t have time to sit around a fart all day. I did notice a little bloat that first day, but by the second and third it was gone. On the fourth day I started the full dose and that’s when I knew this probiotic was working. How do I put this? I am typically a once-a-day pooper – right after the first coffee of the morning, know what I’m saying? Now I am a 2-3 times a day pooper, and loving it. (Now would be a good time to space out if you don’t like poop-talk. Or maybe it’s too late, in which case – sorry?) These are good poops. Complete poops. Real poops, not like a desperate coffee poop. These are poops America can be proud of.

      What other people say: I honestly don’t know a single person who has tried these yet, but I know tons of people who take a daily probiotic. If you’re one of them, and you’re jealous of my review, maybe give Seed a shot?

      The verdict: At $50/month, Seed is slightly cheaper than a kombucha a day, and I would argue more complete, if you’re just in it for the probiotics. (Plus I think kombucha is so, so gross.) It might not be a necessity to everyone, but if you have digestive issues, or are concerned about your gut health, it’s a small price to pay for something that I do believe works.

      Please note: This is NOT a sponsored post, I purchased and used these products and this is my honest opinion of them. Some of these links are affiliate links, which means if you click and purchase I might earn the smallest amount of money imaginable.

      Friday Five: Vegan Beauty Products to Splurge On

      It’s been a while since I wrote a #FridayFive! I’ve written tons of them in my head, but this is the only one that made it all the way to “sitting at the computer” status so it must be good. Some of these are new-new while others are new-to-me, but either way, here are five vegan-friendly personal care items I’ve been into lately.

      1. Tarte Pearly Girl Vegan Teeth Whitening Pen

      A few months ago I signed up for Sephora’s Free Flash Shipping program ($15/year for free 2-day shipping, kinda like Amazon Prime but cheaper, and for makeup). So, when I’m bored sometimes I just search “vegan” on Sephora and see if there’s anything new. On a recent search I found Tarte’s Pearly Girl Vegan Teeth Whitening Pen. At $22 it was definitely a splurge, but I use Rakuten so I get 4% cash back when I buy stuff – at least that’s how I justified it to myself.

      Anyway, I saw a difference on the first day. I know that sounds like some influencer horseshit written by a skinny blonde with a blue light contraption hanging out of her mouth but legit, it works. And, unlike whitening strips I’ve used before it doesn’t fill my mouth with bleach-spit that makes me want to barf. I brush it on after I brush my teeth in the morning and just go about my business for 15 minutes. It’s really not necessary to rinse it off, but I usually do just out of habit.

      2. Pacifica Glow Baby Booster Serum

      At under $20, Pacifica Glow Baby Booster Serum isn’t necessarily a splurge, but considering how many lotions and potions I already own, adding another one felt a bit indulgent. But, I apply a few drops right out of the shower in the morning, before I moisturize or put my makeup on, and I’ve noticed a brightness and glow I didn’t see before. Use my link for 10% off your order, or grab this the next time you’re in Target.

      3. Noto Multi-Benne Stain Stick

      I received this product a few years ago in a sample box and it literally lasted until earlier this summer. I immediately loved it as a lip balm – it’s made with jojoba, coconut oil and olive oil so it’s super hydrating. But the addition of peppermint oil for a slight tingle, and a sheer red tint (I use the shade Oscillate) is what sold me. I’ve only ever used it as a tinted lip balm, but it’s a multi-use stick, so you can use it as a cheek color, or even on your eyelids for a wash of color or as a base for powder shadow. At $18.50 it’s the most expensive lip balm I own, but considering I wear it instead of lipstick most of the time it’s not that extravagant.

      4. Lush Rose Jam Body Spray

      We found ourselves at the mall one day this summer, so I went to Lush looking for toothy tabs because they’re great for travel. There was a display of body sprays near the check out and I was drawn to their all-black, utilitarian packaging. I sprayed myself with Rose Jam while I waited, but walked out without buying it. A few hours later when the candy-rose scent was still lingering, I stopped at a different Lush on my way home and bought a bottle. Depending on your body chemistry, two sprays will last for hours, so $39.95 for just under 7oz. isn’t wild, but as someone who doesn’t own any other perfume, it was a splurge.

      5. Oway Glossy Nectar

      OK, I know I keep saying “but for this reason this isn’t really a splurge…” but this one is a splurge. For real. This is a $60 hair serum. I’m not going to pretend like that isn’t totally wild. I spent two years growing out an undercut and when it was time to make the big chop – a short bob – I went to a kind of fancy salon to do it. My stylist used a serum that smelled amazing, and also made my hair softer and shinier than I’d ever seen it. She also mentioned that it helped reduce drying time, which is great because I am very lazy about drying my hair. So why it is so expensive? The company grows a lot of their own organic ingredients, the packaging is glass, and the formula is concentrated (shipping a lot of water or filler ingredients around is wasteful) so, pardon me while I say this again, but this bottle is going to last me for years.

      I hope you found something new to splurge on in this post – you deserve it! Have you discovered a vegan beauty product I should try? Let me know in the comments!

      Please note: This is NOT a sponsored post, I purchased and used these products and this is my honest opinion of them. Some of these links are affiliate links, which means if you click and purchase I might earn the smallest amount of money imaginable.

      Friday Five: Five Must-Haves for Law and Order: SVU Fans

      People have asked me why I love this show so much. I suppose if you’re just some guy and you tune into a random episode filled with bad New York accents and cops whispering, “bastard” and “sonofabitch” under their breath you might not get it either. But to me, and lots of other women I know, SVU represents a fantasy land in which rape and other crimes of a sexual nature are taken seriously. So seriously that New York City dedicates an elite squad of detectives to advocate for victims and to solve cases. What a beautiful fantasy indeed.

      So here are five amazing things for you, or the Law and Order: SVU fanatic in your life.

      1. Adam Was Allergic to Bananas Coffee Mug

      Allergic to Bananas coffee mug from PopPastiche

      Allergic to Bananas Coffee Mug – Inspired by an episode titled Russian Love Poem that aired in 2000, this mug is double-sided, featuring the most famous quote in series history:

      “Do you think there was a reason that the killer sodomized your husband with a banana?”

      “Adam was allergic to bananas.”

      2. Begin at the Beginning

      Season One DVD – My favorite thing about SVU is that you can literally just start watching any episode from any season, possibly from 20-minutes in, with no context, and figure out who everyone is and what’s going on. But it’s fun to go back to the very beginning, and owning the first season on DVD is the perfect way to do it. (Also, note to whoever makes the official merch… the phrase “spirit animal” is cultural appropriation and I was sad to see it on so many Olivia Benson-related items. I feel like Olivia would know better.)

      3. Especially Heinous, Apparently

      Hopefully still available LOL

      Benson in the Streets, Stabler in the Sheets – I had the idea to make this shirt forever, and as soon as I finally did it, I found myself getting kicked off of every t-shirt platform on earth. C’mon guys, it’s just a joke! Olivia Benson would think it was funny… I think.

      4. Dramatic Reenactments

      Autographed Scripts – Hot tip for nerds of all types: you can find autographed scripts for just about anything on eBay. I can’t guarantee they’re authentic, but I can guarantee reading through an SVU script over dinner is a guaranteed night of fun.

      5. What About Fin?

      It works on two levels if you’re both an SVU fan and a Body Count fan

      Ice T Embroidery – Olivia Benson is a goddess, no doubt. But there’s another SVU character near and dear to my heart, and that’s Fin Tutuloa, played by Ice T. His banter with Munch is some of my favorite, and he’s honestly one of the best-developed characters on the show. So why not celebrate him with this embroidered portrait?

      If you spot any great SVU stuff floating around on the internet be sure to tag me @bakeanddestroy so I can check it out!

      Nut-Free Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe

      Vegan tacos made with nut-free cheese sauce bake and destroy
      Please don’t ask me how carrots got on there.

      Last night I was in a pinch – Tony had purchased fresh corn tortillas for tacos, and I had Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan, avocado, and other taco stuff… but no cheese. No problem – I can just whip up a batch of Nacho Chee-Zee Sauce from my book, right? Well guess what, Natalie? You’re out of cashews and you already have all the other ingredients in the blender, what are you going to do? I’m gonna add sesame seeds, that’s what.

      Yep, it’s a simple swap, made with an inexpensive (and allergy-friendly) ingredient I already have on hand thanks to seed cycling. If you just want a cheddar-y sauce, omit the pepper and add a squirt of yellow mustard or a dash of apple cider vinegar. For a spicier sauce, add some of your favorite hot sauce.

      Nut-Free Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

      By BakeandDestroy Published: September 5, 2019

      • Yield: 3 cups
      • Prep: 5 mins
      • Cook: 10 mins
      • Ready In: 15 mins

      Literally the same recipe as my Nacho Chee-Zee Sauce but with sesame seeds instead of cashews. But y'all asked for this. If you don't have raw sesame seeds on hand you could also use tahini.

      Ingredients

      Instructions

      1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Visible specks of pepper are fine.
      2. Transfer to a saucepan and cook over high heat, whisking constantly, until the cheese starts to bubble.
      3. Reduce heat to medium, and keep whisking until thickened (usually 3-4 minutes - but keep an eye on it because it might take less than that).
      4. Remove from heat and serve. If you're making it ahead of time, let it cool before storing it in the fridge in an airtight container. Store up to one week.

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        Epic Vegan: Crab Rangoon Pizza Recipe

        Perhaps you read my previous post featuring a recipe from The Vegan Roadie, (Dustin Harder – @theveganroadie) for vegan Crab Rangoon and thought, “That’s well and good, but I want pizza!” Well, in his new book, Epic Vegan: Wild and Over-the-Top Plant-Based Recipes, Dustin solves this problem for you, while solving food problems you didn’t even know you had. Here’s his recipe Crab Rangoon Pizza to kick off your weekend – if you like it, you should go grab a copy of his book during the pre-sale!

        To make this recipe, you will also need these recipes (or, you can grab your favorite store-bought versions!):

        Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I could earn a commission. However, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed here are my own. Photo and recipe by Dustin Harder. Shared with permission from Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group.

        Vegan Crab Rangoon Pizza

        By BakeandDestroy Published: May 31, 2019

          We all have Dustin's husband David to thank for the inspiration for this recipe. So thank you, David!

          Ingredients

          Instructions

          1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C, or gas mark 8). Lightly dust a 12-inch (30-cm) pizza pan with all-purpose flour.
          2. On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll out the dough to 12 inches (30 cm). Transfer to the prepared pizza pan, and brush the olive oil over the entire dough. Bake for 6 minutes, and remove from the oven.
          3. Spread the rangoon filling in an even layer over the crust and top with the mozzarella. Bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is browned on the edges and bottom.
          4. While the pizza is baking, line a small plate with paper towels.
          5. Heat the canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the wonton strips and fry for 5 to 15 seconds, or until crisped and golden; transfer to the paper towel–lined plate. When cool to the touch, crush into smaller pieces.
          6. Drizzle the finished pizza with the Thai chili sauce, then sprinkle with the crushed wontons, scallions, and sesame seeds. Cut into 8 slices, and serve hot.

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            Epic Vegan: Crab Rangoon Recipe

            You guys, The Vegan Roadie, (Dustin Harder – @theveganroadie) made vegan Crab Rangoon and you can too! In his new book, Epic Vegan: Wild and Over-the-Top Plant-Based Recipes, you’ll find all kinds of recipes for things you thought you said goodbye to forever when you went vegan. Pro-tip: Once you’ve mastered these, level up with the Crab Rangoon Pizza!

            For this recipe you will also need these recipes:

            Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I could earn a commission. However, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed here are my own. Photo and recipe by Dustin Harder. Shared with permission from Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group.

            Vegan Crab Rangoon

            By BakeandDestroy Published: May 31, 2019

            • Yield: 16 rangoons

            Tip from Dustin: Can’t wrap your brain around creating the “parcel” fold for the crab rangoon? This is what YouTube is made for! Find a YouTube tutorial and you’ll be an expert in no time! If you’re working with a round dumpling wrapper, you can achieve the same results; you’ll just be folding in the four sides of the round to the center for the parcel, and the triangle shape will be a half moon—either will be delicious!

            Ingredients

            Instructions

            1. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, hearts of palm water, lemon juice, Old Bay, and salt until well combined. Stir in the heartsof palm until evenly dispersed.
            2. Prepare a small bowl with water for sealing the edges of the wontons.
            3. Set a wonton wrapper on a work surface. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into the center of the wrapper. Create a basic triangle wonton or get epic with a “parcel” fold, as pictured (see Tip above).
            4. To make triangle rangoons: Moisten the edges of the wonton with a wet fingertip, then fold it in half over the filling to create a triangle, carefully pressing out excess air before you press down and seal the wonton—be sure to seal the edges tightly to avoid the filling from falling out.
            5. Set aside on parchment paper as you work through them so the bottoms don’t stick to the work surface.
            6. To make “parcel” fold rangoons: Moisten the edges of the wonton with a wet fingertip. Lift and press two opposing corners of the wonton together in the center over the filling. Lift the remaining two opposing corners to the middle and press all corners together, forming a small parcel. Gently press the edges of the seams together to form a solid seal. Be careful not to allow any air to remain inside as you seal them. Set aside on parchment.
            7. In a wok or large saucepan, pour 3 inches (8 cm) of canola oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C), or until a small piece of wonton crisps up within seconds when set in the oil. Line a plate with paper towels.
            8. Carefully transfer 2 or 3 wontons to the oil and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper towel–lined plate. Repeat with the remaining rangoons.
            9. Serve with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, if desired.

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              Epic Vegan: Sweet Thai Chili Sauce Recipe

              One of my all-time favorite cookbook authors, The Vegan Roadie, (Dustin Harder – @theveganroadie) has a new book! Epic Vegan: Wild and Over-the-Top Plant-Based Recipes is coming your way soon – you should pre-order! In it, you’ll find his Crab Rangoon Pizza recipe and this Sweet Thai Chili Sauce is a must.

              Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I could earn a commission. However, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed here are my own. Photo and recipe by Dustin Harder. Shared with permission from Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group.

              Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

              By BakeandDestroy Published: May 31, 2019

              • Yield: 1 cup

              For more epic vegan recipes, check out Epic Vegan by Dustin Harder!

              Ingredients

              Instructions

              1. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, ¼ cup (60 ml) of the water, rice vinegar, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved.
              2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) water to create a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the saucepan until well combined. Simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, until thickened. Whisk in the ketchup and transfer to a serving dish or use as needed in a recipe. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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                Epic Vegan: Saucy Mozzarella

                Today I’m sharing a recipe from my brother from another mother, The Vegan Roadie Dustin Harder’s (@theveganroadie) new book, Epic Vegan: Wild and Over-the-Top Plant-Based Recipes. His Crab Rangoon Pizza features this homemade vegan mozzarella, but if you aren’t ready to venture into cheesemaking you can grab your favorite store-bought version instead.

                Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I could earn a commission. However, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed here are my own. Photo and recipe by Dustin Harder. Shared with permission from Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group.

                Saucy Vegan Mozzarella

                By BakeandDestroy Published: May 31, 2019

                • Yield: 1½ cups

                Tip from Dustin: To make fresh mozzarella, prepare a quart container with cold water and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add the finished cashew mixture to a saucepan along with 1 tablespoon (24 g) agar agar powder and 2 tablespoons (15 g) tapioca starch or tapioca flour. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Use a melon baller or ice cream scoop to scoop out balls and add them to the salted water; let sit overnight in the fridge to solidify. Fresh mozz will keep up to 5 days in the brine, and it goes great on salads and sandwiches!

                Ingredients

                Instructions

                1. In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, sauerkraut, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Blend until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Use as directed in recipes. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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                  Epic Vegan: Dreamy Creamy Cream Cheese Recipe

                  I can’t wait for The Vegan Roadie Dustin Harder’s (@theveganroadie) new book, Epic Vegan: Wild and Over-the-Top Plant-Based Recipes. I’m sharing his recipe for Crab Rangoon Pizza, which includes homemade vegan cream cheese. But if you’re pressed for time, or just hungry, you can swap in your favorite store-bought!

                  Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I could earn a commission. However, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed here are my own. Photo and recipe by Dustin Harder. Shared with permission from Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group.

                  Dreamy Creamy (Vegan) Cream Cheese

                  By BakeandDestroy Published: May 31, 2019

                  • Yield: 1½ cups

                  Tip from Dustin: The thickness and tanginess of the cream cheese increases slightly when refrigerated overnight or over a couple days, but it is delicious when eaten straight away too!

                  Ingredients

                  Instructions

                  1. Add the cashews, milk, lemon juice, sauerkraut, miso, onion powder, and salt to a high-speed blender. Start blending on low speed and gradually increase the speed as more of the ingredients break down. This will take some time to get a nice smooth texture, but I promise you, it’s worth it!
                  2. Periodically stop and scrape down the sides of the blender to make sure all of the ingredients are being incorporated. Be patient, and blend until smooth and creamy—it will take several minutes and some stopping and going.
                  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the scallions, if using, until well incorporated. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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