Veggie Guy: Vegan 'Month Of Food'

In the vegan world, we're in what's known as "VeganMoFo."

No, not what you think--it's a global event that stands for "Vegan Month of Food." We celebrate VeganMoFo to encourage our omnivorous friends to try animal-free eats for an entire month. Not an easy feat here in Dallas--you know, considering...

But October also marks the beginning of baking season for most people, and many of those recipes that have been handed down through generations usually call for milk, eggs, butter, and other animal-based ingredients. Sure, you can veganize them by using nut milks in place of animal milk, flax meal instead of eggs, and vegan margarine for butter, but let's get real--Aunt Betty's Pumpkin Pie just wouldn't be the same without all that sweetened condensed milk, would it?

My suggestion: toss out all those old and tired recipes, and start fresh by picking up a couple of these great vegan bake books:

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero.
Creators of the internet phenomenon The Post Punk Kitchen, Moskowitz and Romero are two of the most influential voices in the vegan [f-word] world. Hell--they were the ones that started VeganMoFo. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World is a compilation of "dairy-free recipes for cupcakes that rule." The wittily-written book is loaded with gorgeous photos, decorating tips for those with all thumbs and some of the most unique recipes that really do inspire world domination! Some interesting variations include Dulce Sin Leche, Pistachio Rosewater, Mucho Margarita Cupcakes (yeah, you're gonna need to bust out the tequila for these), and Chocolate Stout (mmhm--beer, too!). $15.95.

BabyCakes by Erin McKenna. The book is also the name of New York's "Most Talked-About Bakery," which boasts a large fan base including vegan actors Natalie Portman, Jason Schwartzman, Zooey Deschanel, and Weeds MILF Mary-Louise Parker. With a forward by Tom Colicchio, BabyCakes contains only vegan, gluten-free, and (mostly) sugar-free recipes. Try the Pumpkin-Spice Muffins or Chocolate Shortbread Scones to go with your morning cup o' joe. Or maybe give the Triple-Chocolate Fat Pants Cake a whirl. This rich, layered, hot-selling mess consists of frosting, cookies, and doubt why people can't stop talking about BabyCakes! $24.00.

Sinfully Vegan by Lois Dieterly. My first successful vegan baking effort was made possible by this book. It includes 140 simple dessert recipes that don't require a whole lot of experience with the oven. The book includes over a dozen cheesecake recipes like Caramel Apple Streusel Cheesecake, New York-Style, Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake (my fave) and Inside-Out Peanut Butter Cup. Also included are a number of cream pies, wheat-free cakes, and a nice collection of vegan frosting recipes. $16.95.

Ani's Raw Food Desserts by Ani Phyo. How 'bout nixing the oven altogether? Celebrity raw vegan chef Ani Phyo's collection of raw vegan desserts makes un-baking super easy! The recipes are all wheat-, gluten-, dairy-, and processed-sugar free. No-bake recipes include Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Tiramisu, Acai Cheezecake, and Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Kream Cheeze Frosting. You'll also get the scoop on how to sun-bake treats like Banana Bread Biscuits, and Strawberry Macaroons. For a truly decadent treat, go for the Raspberry Ganache Fudge! Though, you might wanna nuke it for a minute, then top it with some vanilla rice cream...just don't tell your raw food friends. $17.95.

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Eddie Garza