Vegan MoFo 2010: Day Eight

Day Eight: "Bugs" on a Log

Onward we march, armed only with our santoku kitchen knives and wooden chopping blocks, bracing ourselves for the violently scrumptious storm that is Week Two of Vegan MoFo 2010! Many warriors bloggers braved through week one of MoFo with inventive edibles, considerable amounts of confections, and goodies galore! Even The PPK had been subjected to a profusion of food porn and other MoFo excitment. Today marks our entrance into the depths of MoFo territory. Week two will be grand, and the internet will rumple with an abundance of vegan grub!

This week I'll be working from a menu that is geared towards children! Several childhood favorites and kid-friendly recipes (or atleast what I think kids will like) will make an appearance on the blog. In addition to the menu below, Matt will be lending his snacking expertise and offer several tips, tricks and recipes for deliciously easy and convenient snacks. Don't be fooled, this menu will be creative enough for children AND satiating enough for adults (and adults that think they are still kids, like me!).

The Five Course Vegan
Kooking for Kids, or A Way to Revive the Child in You!
A Bunch of "Bugs" on Logs
Broccoli and Pumpkin Cheese Soup
Peanut Butter, Banana and Mixed-Berry Salad
Spaghetti and Bean Balls
Banana Split Cupcakes

Exciting, right!? I love incorporating "kid" foods into my diet because they are usually easy and fast to make while still packing a lot of nutrition; plus, kids always pack the best snacks in town! When I was young, my mom used to make us open-faced Ritz cracker sandwiches. She would mix and match peanut butter, jelly (usually grape), butter and American cheese to create a bunch of different combinations - peanut butter and cheese, butter and jelly, jelly and cheese, etc. The combinations were infinite, at least in my undeveloped brain. Another favorite snack of mine was ants on a log. Peanut butter was my favorite "food" for most of my childhood (and still ranks high on my list!), so I naturally enjoyed the sweet and salty snacks. In the spirit of my juvenility, I've recreated this childhood staple into a few different "bugs" on logs.*

Bugs on Logs

Ok, here is the breakdown:

1. Ants on a Log - peanut butter and raisins
2. Beetles Stuck in Mud - almond butter and chopped Medjool dates
3. Spiders on a Snowy Branch - Garlicky Cilantro hummus and chopped Kalamata olives
4. Fire Ants in the Sand - Pumpkin-Cashew Cheese dip and dried cranberries

The pumpkin-cashew cheese was inspired by Kathy over at Healthy. Happy. Life. I didn't reserve enough time to follow her instructions for her Pumpkin Spice Cashew Cheese Dip, but I've definitely saved the recipe for future use. For this cheeze, I roasted fresh pumpkin (olive oil, salt and pepper @ 400 degrees for about 30 minutes) until very soft. I still had some leftover cashew cream from the Tomato-Fennel soup, so I mixed the two together with more nutritional yeast and salt. Voila!

Upfront: Pumpkin Cashew Cheese with Dried Cranberries. Festive!

*These bugs are definitely vegan!