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Tuscany Stew from VVP2

Yesterday was such an exciting day, being the 2nd Virtual Vegan Potluck. I made my way from Appetizers to second helpings of the Desserts and loved every blog along the way. Today felt kind of dull, kind of a let down. Then I thought, “Why should it end?” Silly me, all of those recipes were waiting to be made. I shopped for a few recipes and, for our lunch, made the very first one that came to mind, Tuscany Stew.

Do go out Cheerfully Vegan‘s blog for the whole recipe. I will note that I added a couple of small potatoes since Mom shared that the soup she enjoys at Olive Garden has those in it. I also chose to use 4 cups of veggie broth.

I love kale like it is a member of my family and it got nice and tender after I simmered the soup for about an hour. It’s mellow flavors felt so wholesome on this chilly and gray day. I have to say that it was only gray outside and life was no longer dull as I cooked and listened to my Marathon Training Academy podcast. I could then slurp my soup and look through even more Virtual Vegan Potluck recipes to brighten the days ahead.

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Pennsyltucky Griddle Crêpes

Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck’s dessert tray! My vegan Pennsyltucky Griddle Crêpes are filled with regional goodness that represent what my blog is all about, exploring vegetarianism in central Pennsylvania of the United States of America. For another helping of Lou’s Creamy Beetroot & Coconut Tart with Chai Spices and Fresh Mint on her fridge scrapings blog, press the “go back” button.

If my recipe and demonstration video don’t demystify vegan crêpes, nothing will.

I haven’t made anything that has required a lot of cooking skill in months with all of my energy having gone into marathon training. The race is over but the big hungry appetite lingers on. I awoke early one Sunday morning with the hopes of trying out the new restaurant downtown that offers vegan crêpes. They don’t open until 11 AM and I got the crazy notion to just use what I have in my pantry and cupboard to make my own.

Taking on vegan crêpes seemed like a huge deal when I read all of the other recipes that highly suggested the use of special non-stick crêpe pans, thin round tipped metal spatulas or wooden crêpe turners and spreaders.

I only have cast iron griddles/skillets so vegan crêpe success seemed highly unlikely. Let me share the ingredients I had and *the advice I used that lead to a complete success.*

Pennsyltucky Crêpes
yields six 9″ vegan crêpes

Ingredients
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/4 Cup tapioca starch (got mine at a local Asian market)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 Cup plant-based milk (I used coconut)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
spray oil for griddle
1/2 Cup plant-based whipped topping (I used MimicCream’s Healthy Top that I got from Spencer’s Market)
1/2 Cup apple butter
ground cinnamon for topping

Directions
Sift first the 4 dry ingredients together. Add them as well as the milk and maple syrup to a blender. *Blend together for about 30 seconds and scrape sides down to make sure all ingredients are smooth. Refrigerate batter for 1 – 2 hours.*

Pre-heat skillet over medium-high heat until a light sprinkle of water sizzles and dances away. Pour one serving of the chilled batter into 1/3 Cup measuring cup and allow the rest to remain in the refrigerator. Give the griddle a very light spray of oil (my cast iron is well seasoned) and pour the 1/3 C batter into the center of the hot skillet. Immediately tip the skillet in a gentle circular motion so that the batter spreads into an ever increasingly large and thin round crêpe (see video clip below). You can see the outer edges will be wafer thin as you set it back onto the heat.

Small bubbles will form on the surface over the next minute or so as the top starts to dry out. You will notice it will lose its glossy wet look and you can actually touch it without leaving a fingerprint. The crêpe will be close to being ready to be flipped when the papery edges are lifting away from the skillet. Use a spatula to lift an edge, or as I did gently with my fingers, and peek to see if the center is golden. The crêpe may even start to shift on its own and can be flipped with a spatula or by hand. A dear Pennsyltucky grandfather I knew, Pup Pup Deihl, said flipping pancakes more than once makes them go sour. Stick with his advice and allow about 30 second for the finishing touches on the second side your crêpe.

Crêpes should be moist with just a slight crispiness on the outside and I liked serving them before they lost that crisp exterior. I made a couple at a time and filled them to serve before I went back to the griddle. Use a couple tablespoons of plant-based whipped topping and the same amount of good old dutchy apple butter as a filling and roll them up. Garnish with a dollop of whipped topping, apple butter and/or cinnamon.

This was the first time I have ever made crêpes and they ALL turned out. They made for a really special brunch but will also make a great dessert for our Virtual Vegan Potluck. Be glad you saved room for them, they are delicious!
Don’t stop now, hold on to your fork and head on over to K-bobo’s Gormandize with Us for a big helping of creativity and flavor and some Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Pie. Just click on the “go forward” button to continue to enjoy the Virtual Vegan Potluck.

Virtual Vegan Potluck

If you missed the first one in May 2012, you will want to make sure to mark November 1, 2012 to catch the second Virtual Vegan Potluck!
Bring your appetite and get ready to enjoy dozens of creative dishes prepared just for this all vegan event. If you can’t wait, here is a great sample of what to expect from the Virtual Vegan Potluck in May, 2012. It is where I shared my recipe for Apple Distelfink. It is a great season to make some so check out that recipe for certain.

Good Things to Come

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I encourage you to check out the Virtual Vegan Potluck to which I will be contributing this Saturday. This logo was designed for me by my husband Jim to spruce up the beverage I will be contributing. Read all about it, the recipe and links to the dozens of other vegan food bloggers that are contributing this Saturday, May 12.

Not that the potluck post will be a Swan Song for this blog but it will mark a noticeable decrease until late Autumn. I find myself with time and energy more limited by my training for the Wineglass Marathon this fall.

Some of my energies will still be focused on this blog but many of the results will not be seen until later this year when the Pennsyltucky Veggie Awards for 2012 will be announced.

Pennsyltucky Veggie Award Hex Sign

Pennsyltucky Veggie Awards recognize region’s best of the year. Congratulations to those who, in 2011, were been awarded for their Portobello, Veggie Burger, Soup, Salad, Appetizer, Specials, Menu, Ethnic Restaurant, Vegetarian Restaurant and Best Restaurant. This year’s awards will have most of the same categories but will also include vegan/vegetarian Chili.

Do you know of a Pennsyltucky restaurant or menu item that you think I should consider in 2012? If it’s in central PA (see map below) and is a regular vegetarian menu item, let me know as soon as possible and I will include it in the for this year! Drop me, Pennsyltucky Veggie, a line or feel free to leave a comment on any of the awards pages.

Virtual Vegan Potluck

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Can you imagine the most inspired vegan food bloggers getting together and sharing their very best at a potluck dinner? Just the conversation alone would be thrilling and satisfying but add to that the great vegan food and it sounds like potluck heaven! Exciting news is that you and I can be a part of it!

Check out the link from the image below to read what you need to do by April 30 to be a part of the Virtual Vegan Potluck. It is hosted by Annie and her blog An Unrefined Vegan who posted the first featured ‘Coming a Veg’ story this past January.

Anyone wanting to join in will be asked to post vegan recipes on May 12th in the course they have chosen: Beverages, Appetizers/Starters, Savory Breads, Sweet Breads, Soups/Stews, Salads, Sides, Main Course, Desserts. Like a progressive dinner, the posts will link to each participating blog as we much our way through the courses and blogs!

Don’t delay! Sign up for your Virtual Vegan Potluck course by sending Annie an email today!

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