Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cake with Caramelized Banana and Almond Topping - Online

Link to Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cake 
1 c. flour
TBL. baking powder 
1/4 c. cocoa powder 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/2 c. dry sweetener (I used organic sugar or cane juice) 
1/3 c. oil 
1/2 c. soymilk 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
3/4 c. dry sweetener 
1/4 c. cocoa powder 
2 c. boiling water

What to do:
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl stir together the first 4 ingredients (flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt).
2) Add in the 1/2 c. sugar, oil, soy milk and vanilla. Mix gently until just combined (don't overmix). 3) The mixture will resemble cookie dough more than cake batter.  Spread it into a lightly oiled casserole dish or loaf pan and set aside.  (My batter was fluid-like cake batter.  Also, I used either a 8 X 8  inch pan)
4) Clean and dry out your bowl then mix together the 3/4 c. of sugar and the other 1/4 c. of cocoa. Sprinkle this evenly on top of the cake mixture.
5) Carefully pour the boiling water over top of everything - and DO NOT MIX! it really does do it's own thing in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes and enjoy!

Not going to lie, this one made me nervous!  Since the recipe didn't specific what size pan to use, I pulled out the first reasonably sized pan from the cabinet.  The recipe is fairly straightforward and then throws a complete curve ball - pour 2 cups of boiling water over top of everything, really?!  Fortunately, the water did not spill over the top of the 8 X 8 inch pan but it certainly came close.

Now, folks, on to the Caramelized Banana and Almond Topping... 
1/4 c. unsalted butter Earth Balance
4 small bananas (approx 1 pound) (I only had three 'nonnies lying around so I just used scant measurements of all the other ingredients)
1/2 c. sugar brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
TBL. banana liqueur (optional) or 2 tablespoons syrup (optional) Disaronno Amaretto
1 tsp. vanilla extract almond extract

What to do:
1) Melt the Earth Balance in a large saucepan.
2) Slice the bananas and heat in the butter until they soften.  Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
3) Add the Amaretto and the almond extract
4) Serve warm or at room temperature

First of all, I am really liking the "strike-through" font as you can see vegan substitutions for the ingredients.  Quite possibly my new favorite font.

MM enjoyed this dessert recipe enough to have a large serving before embarking on a 7 mile run.

NMcL was a little turned off by the banana topping.

Try it for yourself and YOU decide!

Caramelized Onion Tart with Sweet Potato Sage Crust - 500 Vegan Recipes - p.182

For the crust:
1/2 c. sweet potato puree, at room temperature (For this, I nuked a sweet potato in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes, then let it cool for a bit before tossing it into the magic bullet and blending)
1/4 c. water heated to 100 degrees
2 TBL. canola oil, plus more for coating the bowl
1 TBL. agave nectar
1 c. white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour (I used regular whole wheat flour because I am not racist)
3/4 c. light spelt flour (versus dark spelt flour?  what the hay?)
1 tsp. dried sage
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. fine salt
1 tsp. bread machine yeast (and yes folks, there is a difference between bread machine yeast and regular yeast)

For the caramelized onions:
3 TBL. peanut oil
2 softball sized red onions, cut into rings first, then into half moons
2 large shallots
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt

For the Parmesan-like sprinkles:
2 TBL. roasted, salted sunflower seeds (since my were raw and unsalted, I just roasted them on the stove top for a few minutes until they became brown and fragrant.  I refrained from adding salt)
2 TBL. sesame seeds
2 TBL. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. dried sage

1)  To make the crust:  In a medium bowl, combine the sweet potato puree, water, oil, and sage.
2) In a large bowl, combine the flours, sage, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, and yeast.
3) Stir the flour into the sweet potato mixture.
4) Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliable, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky.  Shape dough into a ball.
5) Lightly coat a large bowl with oil, add the dough, and turn the dough to coat.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, for 60-90 minutes.  While the dough is rising, prepare the caramelized onions and Parmesan-like sprinkles.
6) To make the onions, place all the onion ingredients in a large saucepan.  Cook for about 20 minutes over medium low heat, or until the onions are caramelized and brown.  Set aside.
7)  To make the Parmesan-like sprinkles:  Place all sprinkle ingredients into a coffee grinder or food processor (or Bullet).  Blend until pulverized into a fine powder.  Set aside.
8) Twenty or thirty minutes before the dough is done rising, pre-heat the oven to 400.  Roll out the dough into an 8 x 10 inch rectangle on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
9) Spread the caramelized onions and Parmesan-like sprinkles on the dough.
10) Bake the Tart for 18 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.
11) Serve with mixed greens!

This was a fairly labor intensive meal - though it was well worth it.  The caramelized onions took about 2 hours to caramelize fully - but boy were they delicious and was the wait worth it.  (Watching Hulu + a bout of insomnia helped to pass the time!)  Next time, I'll set the heat a little higher to speed up the process. 

The juxtaposition of the salty from the onions and the Parmesan-like crumbles and the sweet from the sweet potato was delightful.  The sweet potato tart was almost like a sweet potato pizza crust.  There were some nice hunks of sweet potato spread throughout the dough that gave the tart an interesting texture.

The Parmesan-like crumbles made quite a few crumbles.  And they were plenty salty enough using the unsalted sunflower seeds.  

MH and DH, especially MH, enjoyed this recipe.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Banana Nut Waffles - Veganomicon - p. 75-76


1 and 3/4 c. soy milk
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 average sized bananas
3 TBL canola oil
3 TBL pure maple syrup or agave syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 and 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 c. walnuts, finely chopped (I substituted pecans)
non-stick cooking spray

What to do:
1) Pre-heat the waffle iron.  Pour the soy milk, water, and vinegar into a measuring cup and set aside to curdle (um, eww)
2) Mash the bananas very well in a large mixing bowl.  Add the soy milk mixture, oil, syrup, vanilla, and stir.
3) Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.  Use a fork to combine, but do not overmix.  Fold in the chopped nuts.
4) Spray the cooking spray on the waffle iron and cook the waffle according to the iron's directions.  I found that using a 1/3 c. of batter per waffle was the right amount and the waffles took about 4 minutes to cook to perfection.  Serve with sliced strawberries and plenty of maple syrup.

This was a good recipe.  Interestingly enough, the banana flavor was very subtle, if discernible at all, the first day.  Honestly, they just tasted like "original-flavored" waffles the first day - the banana-flavor was much more pronounced the second day.

Leftover wise, these re-heated very well the next day in the toaster oven.  They were crispy, and quite delicious left over.  Yes, I did freeze the remaining waffles - first I wrapped each waffle duo in tinfoil, then threw all of the wrapped waffles in a large Ziplock bag in the freezer.  Each night, I would remove a duo from the freezer and transport  them to the fridge, to thaw out.  Essentially, the waffles were a healthier and heartier version of Eggo Waffles!  I'd highly recommend reheating the waffles in the toaster oven, directly on the rack, for best results.  The Earth Balance marg. smears and dusting of powder sugar were key, though maple syrup, as the authors suggest, would probably be good too!

One thing I noticed was a slightly bitter taste.  This was due to the pecans.  It has been suggested that "Pecan nuts are covered with a layer of tannins, which causes a bitter taste. The bitter taste can be removed by washing the nuts and soaking them in lukewarm water will enhance their sweetness. Allow the pecans to dry for 15 minutes on a paper towel."  From: Iowa State U's Take on Pecans.  This is something I might experiment with in the future.  But I will note that the slight bitter taste really wasn't THAT offensive.  Overall, this is a solid waffle recipe that I would recommend to anyone! 

Sticky Pecan Squares- 125 Best Vegan Recipes By Maxine Effenson Chuck & Beth Gurney - p. 166

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 c. soy margarine

1/3 c. soy margarine
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1.5 TBL. soy creamer
1/4 c. pure maple syrup (author recommends dark, rich Grade B type)
pinch of salt
1 and 1/3 c. coarsely chopped pecans

What to do:
1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Grease a 8-inch square cake pan
3) Crust:  In a bowl, mix flour with sugar.  Cut in soy margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Press evenly into a prepared pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden and firm.  Don't worry if the dough doesn't stick together when you are mixing it because it will meld as it bakes.
4) Topping: Meanwhile, in a pot, melt soy margarine over medium heat.  Add brown sugar and soy creamer and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.  Reduce heat to low.  Add maple syrup and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add pecans and stir until evenly coated.  Remove from heat.
5)  Spread the pecan mixture over the hot crust.  Bake entire dish for an additional 20 to 23 minutes, until the topping is set and the pecans are fragrant.  Let cool to room temperature in pan on wire rack.  Using a serrated knife dipped in water, cut into neat squares.

Homemade Pesto on Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Tomato

This pesto sauce was thrown together in the magic bullet.

It consisted of:
  • pinenuts
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil
  • lemon juice
Exact measurements were not computed (tee hee on word choice) but rather eyeballed and measured to taste.

In the past, I had baked my spaghetti squash.  However, MM taught me how to nuke the bad boy in the microwave.  We cut the squash in half lengthwise, scooped out the seeds then put one-half, flat-side down, in a microwave-safe dish.  Then we placed about an inch of water in the dish and microwaved for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, we sauted the spinach in olive oil and chopped up a large plum tomato.  After the squash had cooked and cooled a little, we plated the everything together and doused the dish in the pesto sauce.

The pesto sauce was absolutely delicious on its own, but we realized that it became much more mild with the addition of the squash, spinach and tomatoes.  In the future, the dish would be much more enjoyable with (at least) double the quantity of the pesto.  Regardless, this dish was enjoyed and also it is worth mentioning that in addition to being vegan, the dish is paleo, for those of you experimenting with various diets.

Another exciting vegan chocolate chip option!

Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips  

Ingredients: semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla)



Vegan Pizza with Homemade Vegan Pizza Dough

Who needs cheese with a recipe like this?!  This is the recipe that I used for the vegan pizza dough:  Slow Rise Pizza Dough.  I opted to use the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer option; the dough hook made making this dough a breeze!

Our pizza toppings included:
  • Mushroom Red Wine Tomato Sauce (from a jar - a brand that was purchase on impulse, and will be purchased again in the future with intent: Bove's)
  • minced garlic
  • diced shallots
  • diced onion
  • fresh organic white mushrooms
  • spinach
  • roasted red peppers
  • dried oregano 
The picture should speak for itself!  I was very pleased with this recipe, which we just kind of made up as we went along.  The mushroom red wine sauce flavor was greatly enhanced with the addition of the garlic, shallots, onion and of course, the mushrooms.

The dough recipe yielded extra dough.  The author suggests to split the dough evenly among 6 pieces for 6 individual pizzas.  I split mine into 3 separate pieces; I froze the other two pieces in Ziplock bags for a rainy day.  NMcL commented on my pizza and said "Whoa, how did you get your crust so thin?!"  She also enjoyed a nibble of my leftover pizza at lunch the following afternoon.  The other night, DP and I were talking pizza dough and we both commented on how whole grain pizza dough, albeit healthier, is just not the same as traditional white crust pizza dough.  Playing with the proportions, say 3/4 white flour and 1/4 whole wheat, or 50-50 may or may not be something I experiment with the future.  Emphasis on maybe not...

I am wondering why the author suggested that the all-purpose flour be chilled.  I skipped this minor detail and used room-temperature flour, which did not seem to negatively affect the outcome of the recipe.

No big deal or anything but in terms of assembly, it might make more sense to lay the fresh spinach  down prior to the other toppings, or saute the spinach in a little olive oil beforehand.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vegan Leek Quiche - Online

Vegan Leek Quiche Recipe Available Here

The recipe, courtesy of above referenced website:

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. pine nuts
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. plain, unsweetened soy milk
2 TBL. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt

4 TBL. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and green parts chopped (approximately 3 cups)
1 lb. light-firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1.5 inch cubes
2 TBL. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced (approximately 1 tsp.)
2 tsp. miso paste (I used red miso)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1/4 c. chopped, reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes, drained

1)  To make the crust:  Preheat oven to 350.  Coat 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray.  (I used a 9-inch, glass pie pan, since the bottom of our spring form pan went M.I.A.  Also, I used Smart Balance Omega cooking spray.)  Pulse the flour, pinenuts, and baking powder in a food processor (I used the Magic Bullet, duhh) until finely ground.  Whisk together the soy milk, olive oil and salt in a bowl.  Stir in the flour mixture.  Press into the pan.  Bake for 5 minutes, then cool dish.

2)  To make the filling:  Heat 1 TBL. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute the chopped leeks for about 8 minutes, or until softened.  Set aside.

3)  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add tofu and simmer for 5 minutes.  (Here I will note that I just plunked the entire brick of tofu into the boiling water since I inadvertently forgot to cube the tofu before-hand, as the recipe suggests.  Nothing to cry over, everything turned out just mighty fine.)  Simmer the tofu for 5 minutes.  Drain then pat dry with paper towels.

4) Whisk together the remaining 3 TBL. of olive oil, lemon juice, miso, minced garlic and salt in a large bowl.  Mash in tofu, using a fork.  Stir in breadcrumbs, basil, sun-dried tomatoes and leeks.

5)  Spoon the filling into the crust.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is browned.  Cool for 5 minutes, then cut and serve.

This is quite possibly my favorite vegan quiche recipe!  I really enjoyed the pine nut crust, and would definitely use this crust recipe for other quiche recipes in the future.    The sun-dried tomatoes were 365 Whole Foods Generic brand - they were packed in olive oil.  I did not rinse or pat the oil off, I just shook most of the oil off.   It seems a little weird, but Craisins actually made a delicious complementary topping.  The dish had such a nice fall flavor and is definitely worth repeating.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Veganized Potato Leek Soup from M.O.C.

This is a recipe was given to me by M.O.C.  I went ahead and took the liberty of veganizing the recipe. 

Potato Leek Soup:
2.5 pounds potatoes (I used about half red potatoes and half white potatoes)
3 cups chicken broth (I substituted veggie broth)
2 cups milk (I substituted soy milk)
3 leeks
2 Tbs butter (I substituted Earth Balance and olive oil)
Boil potatoes until soft (which took approximately 20 minutes).  While potatoes are boiling, chop leeks and saute in butter until translucent. Puree potatoes, and leeks with chicken (or veggie!) stock in blender. Place back in pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer. Stir in (non-dairy!) milk and remove from heat. Voila.
M,O.C.'s Tip: "My soup was on the thicker side. If you would like yours thinner, I would say use maybe just under 2 pounds of potato or add another cup or so of chicken (or veggie) broth (it usually comes 4 cups to a box of stock anyway)."
M.O.C.'s Afterthought: "Also, another potato leek recipe I saw suggested adding about 1/4 cup white wine. If you have any open already and want to try, that's something else you could add."  This is something that I did not do.  The only open white I had lying around was a sweet, sweet white, and that would not be appropriate for this recipe.
Commentary:  This soup was very mild tasting.  The flavor definitely improved with a generous addition of sea salt.  M.O.C. said her soup was also mild.  I didn't care for the soup at first, but the soup grew on me the second day, after the flavors had melded a bit better.

There were many types of potatoes to choose from at the supermarket.  For the next potato soup I experiment with, I will use Yukon Gold Potatoes.  From a site called Wise Geek: Yukon Gold potatoes "are usually waxy, and highly delicious in soups."

Here is another link that describes the different types of potatoes: OChef.  "Now, there are some potatoes that fall in the middle, in the "all-purpose" category, such as the Yukon Gold, Peruvian Blue, Superior, Kennebec, and Katahdin. They are moister than baking potatoes and will hold together in boiling water. They are particularly well-suited to roasting, pan frying, and using in soups, stews, and gratins."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Seitan Piccata With Olives and Green Beans - Veganomicon (174)

1 pound seitan
about 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
1 scant cup thinly sliced shallots (about 3 to 5 shallots, depending on size)
4 cloves chopped garlic
1/3 c. dry white wine
2. c. veggie broth
1/4 tsp. salt
several pinched of freshly ground black pepper
small pinch of dried thyme (I subbed dried rosemary since there was no time to run to the store to buy thyme)
1/4 c. capers with a little brine
1/2 c. pitted kalamata or black olives, cut in half
juice of one lemon (omitted as I didn't have one)
2 TBL. fresh parsley
1/2 lb. green beans, ends trimmed
What to do:
1) Preheat a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat.
2) Cut the seitan into long, thin pieces.  The seitan I purchased was pre-cut into slices (they were more like small, think chunks)
3) Coat the bottom of the skillet with oil and let it get hot.  Dredge the seitan in the flour, add to the pan and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side.
4) After cooking all of the seitan, saute the shallots and garlic, adding more olive oil if necessary.  Saute for about 5 minutes, taking care not to let burn.
5) Add the white wine, raise the heat to bring to a rolling boil.  Add vegetable broth, salt, black pepper, and thyme (or rosemary).  Again, bring the sauce to a boil, let reduce by half.  The author suggests the reduction should take about 7 to 10 minutes...I found the sauce took much longer to reduce.
6) Add the capers and olives to heat through (about 3 minutes).  Add parsley and lemon (if you have one!) to the sauce. 
7) Boil the green beans for about 2 minutes, then strain.
8) Mix the green beans and seitan together (over mashed potatoes, if you are so inclined as the author suggests - I used white rice) then douse everything in plenty of sauce.

This dish was interesting.  It is very good for the olive lover.  I think the best thing about this dish was learning how to prepare the seitan.  Dredging the flour in the seitan then pan frying it tasted delicious.  Breaded (/bread-crumbed) seitan cooked in the same manner would also probably be delicious.  Cooking with seitan is not as scary as it used to be, though the seitan still looks not very appealing...  Next up is actually making my own seitan from scratch, using vital wheat gluten!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sauteed Spinach and Tomatoes - Veganomicon - p. 106

Ingredients for the Italian version:
1 bunch spinach, roots discarded, washed well (about 6 loosely-packed cups)
2 TBL. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into a little less than a 1/2 inch dice
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
toasted pine nuts

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and salt.  Saute for another 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes and saute for anouther 2 minutes.  Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted, adding water, which allows the spinach to cook faster without burning.  Toss in the toasted pine nuts, sprinkle with lemon juice, and serve!

The Indian version of this recipe includes substituting the olive oil with peanut oil, omitting the toasted pine nuts, and including in 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger.

(Revised) Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto – Vegan Yum Yum – p. 139

1 c. pearled barley (I revised the recipe and used Arborio Rice)
1 TBL. olive oil
½ tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 c. fresh or canned diced tomatoes, mashed a bit [I used fresh plum tomatoes]
1 c. soy milk [I used rice milk]
½ c. water
¼ c. nutritional yeast
3 TBL. miso mixed with 3 TBL. water [The recipe says to use mellow or white miso, I used red miso]
¼ to ½ tsp. salt [I omitted]


1) Put the barley, olive oil, oregano, and basil into your Le Cresuet. Turn heat to medium high and stir until barley is coated in oil.
2) One the barley begins sizzling (about a minute), add the garlic. Cook for another minute.
3) Add the tomatoes, non-dairy milk, water, nutritional yeast, miso, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is creamy, but not soupy, and the grains are cooked through but not mushy.


This was delicious! The substitutions I used worked beautifully. Also, from my Williams Sonoma Technique classes, I learned that when making risotto, it helps if the liquid that you add in (in this case, the non-dairy milk and water) is heated rather than cold. The heated liquid penetrates the grains better, which in turn, leads to a decreased cooking time length. This is such a delicious dish, it gets a 5-star rating.

Raw Vegan Cilantro Pesto Recipe - Online

I had quite a bit of fresh cilantro that I wanted to use before it wilted, so I was happy to stumble across this recipe for Raw Vegan Cilantro Pesto.

Heads up - the recipe was quite garlicy, which may or may not be a good thing.  I used the pesto to dress some whole wheat penne, though a pesto-covered linguine might also be nice.  Also, tossing in some halved cherry tomatoes might have added a nice complementary flavor as well as dash of color to the dish.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quiche Du Jour – The Urban Vegan – p. 33

Flaky pie crust dough (see below)
1 – 14 oz. aseptic box of extra-firm silken tofu (do not use refrigerated tofu; it is not creamy enough)
3 TBL. fresh parsley, chopped
5 TBL. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. salt [I omitted this]
2 TBL. soy cream or soy milk [I used soy cream]

Filling Ingredient Du Jour:
1 c. sliced tomato [I used plum tomatoes]
1 c. fresh basil [It’s time to start my own herb garden at home!]

1) Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a 10- or 11-inch quiche pan.
2) Roll out dough and press into quiche pan. Set aside.
3) In a food processor, blend together tofu, parsley, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, salt, and milk or cream until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
4) Pour the tofu mixture into the pie crust. Gently arrange filling (i.e. tomatoes and basil) on top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the tofu is set.
If your filling is browning too quickly, simply cover the quiche with aluminum foil.
5) Cool on a wire rack and let sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Filling Ingredients Pour Les Jours Autres:
-Mushrooms sauteed in sherry or marsala
-1 package of tempeh bacon, steamed for 10 minutes, drained, and crumbled (Quiche Lorraine)
- roasted red pepper & marinated artichoke hearts, drained very well before using
-sun dried tomatoes
-1/2 c. vegan cheese

Flaky Pie Crust – p. 160

¾ c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 + 1/8 c. flour
Scant 3/8 tsp. salt
3/8 c. (equivalent to 6 TBL.) non-hydrogenated shortening
3/8 c. (equivalent to 6 TBL.) Earth Balance
3-6 TBL. ice water


1) Mix dry ingredients.
2) Cut in shortening and Earth Balance. Don’t overmix!
3) Add enough ice water to make the dough stick together when you squeeze it. Let the dough chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
4) Roll into one disk on a lightly floured surface.


After an extensive search for Mori-Nu brand tofu in my area, I finally was able to locate some in nearby Hoboken! There is a health food store, right on Washington Ave., that carries Mori-Nu. Mori-Nu tofu is different because it is packed in an aseptic, cardboard package whereas “traditional” tofu, such as the Nasoya brand, is packed in water in a vacuum-sealed plastic container. The texture of Mori-Nu is much creamier and less grainy than traditional tofu and lends itself nicely for a quiche recipe. I could imagine using the creamy Mori-Nu in vegan cheesecake recipes, delicious! As for the quantity of Mori-Nu, I used a full box, which is 12.3 oz., plus a guesstimate of a second box to total 14 oz., as required by the recipe.

My neurotic nitpicking: My quiche pan was only 9 inches (not 10 inches or 11-inches as the recipe suggests) but the smaller pan size had no discernible negative affect on the outcome. Also, although I did not grease the quiche pan as the recipe suggests, I did not have any problems seamlessly cutting out the slices. Eliminating the extra grease was a good way to save calories – there was plenty of fat within the dough recipe itself!

After assembling the quiche, I liberally sprinkled some vegan parmesan cheese on top, which added to the complexity of flavors in the quiche.

I baked the quiche for 15 minutes uncovered and then noticed that the basil was getting a little too toasty, so for the remaining time, I loosely covered the dish with tin. The tinfoil trick worked wonders – the basil did not end up burning at all. On a tangent – is the word “tinfoil” no longer P.C.? Is the proper terminology “aluminum foil”? Haha. It took 35 minutes for the crust to brown and the tofu mixture to set.

After about 10 minutes of cooling time, I couldn’t resist any longer and had to cut myself a slice!  While I enjoyed the quiche, it seemed to be lacking in the flavor department.  In a future experimentation, I might double the quantity of the tomatoes and basil and create layers, or add some more spices or herbs to the tofu mixture.  The crust though, was deliciously flaky and perfect.  The next two quiches I’d like to experiment with is the Quiche Lorraine (with the tempeh bacon crumbles) and then also, broccoli and vegan cheddar in honor of my co-worker, MT’s quiche, which was absolutely phenomenal, albeit non-vegan friendly.

Lemon Poppy Seed Tempeh - The Urban Vegan - p. 138

1 pound tempeh [I used Lightlife Flax]
Juice of 4 lemons
Zest of 4 lemons
6 TBL. olive oil
4 TBL. poppy seeds
2 TBL. brown rice syrup or agave nectar or maple syrup
2 TBL. cornstarch
3 scallions, chopped finely
Healthy pinch of sea salt (versus an unhealthy pinch?)

1) Cut the tempeh into 4 triangles. Steam for 10 minutes, to, as the author states, “chase away the tempeh’s inherent bitterness”.
2) In a baking pan, mix the remaining ingredients, making sure that the cornstarch and sweetener are completely dissolved. Coat the tempeh with the marinade and let sit for at least an hour, preferably for 24 hours. Be sure to baste the tempeh from time to time.
3) Preheat oven to 400F. Re-baste the tempeh once more, and bake for 15-20 minutes, re-basting every 5 minutes.
4) Serve over your grain of choice with pan drippings.

This was a decent dish.  I am becoming more familiar and comfortable with cooking tempeh and am excited to experiment with the different versions (i.e. flax, three grain, etc.).  I found that the flax version used in this recipe crumbled a little more after it was steamed, as compared to the version ET and I used in the Lemon-Ginger Tempeh.

Coconut-Lime Bars – The Urban Vegan – p. 16


½ c. flour
(additionally) 3 TBL. flour
1/3 c. sugar
(additionally) 2/3 c. sugar
Pinch of salt [I omitted]
¼ c. coconut oil
1/3 c. nuts, ground to a flour using a food processor [Although the recipe doesn’t specify which type of nut, NMcL and I decided that pecans would be our best bet]
2 tsp. lime zest (from about 2 limes)
3.5-4 TBL. lime juice (from about 2 limes) [I used 3.5 TBL]
1 TBL. soy or rice milk
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 c. shredded coconut


1) Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9-inch pan.
2) In a medium bowl, cut together ½ c. flour, 1/3 c. sugar, salt, and coconut until crumbly. Stir in ground nuts, then press into prepared pan.
3) Bake crust for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
4) In a medium bowl, using a fork, still together 2/3 c. sugar, lime zest, lime juice, milk, 3 TBL. flour, and coconut extract until smooth. Mix in shredded coconut.
5) Spread over baked crust and bake for 20 to 27 minutes or until set and just starting to turn golden.
6) Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes before cutting into bars.

These were a zesty, refreshing, light dessert, perfect for summer.  My bars turned out a little on the thin side - in the future, to plumpen them up, I'd probably look to use a smaller pan so that the finished product would be thicker.  This would be delicious with KeKe Liqueur + vanilla soy milk over ice.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quoting Myra Kornfield

"Cooking is one of the most basic forms of nurturing – a deeply grounding experience, an active, meditative immersion in nature."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Revisiting Cookbooks

I love skimming through cookbooks and marking recipes that catch my eye.  Then, after some period of time passing, I love going through cookbooks a second, (third, fourth...) time and discovering new recipes that were intially overlooked.  It seems to show how different one's tastes and the level at which one is willing to experiment with food changes over time, perhaps depending on one's mood, salient influences, and life experiences.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tempeh With Lemon Ginger Glaze - Everyday Vegan - p.252

1 package of tempeh
½ c. lemon juice
¼ c. brown rice syrup
¼ c. veggie broth
2 TBL. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
½ tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. lemon peel, grated
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1-2 TBL. oil [We used olive oil]
3 garlic cloves, miced
2 TBL. arrowroot
2 TBL. water

1) Steam tempeh for 10 minutes. Cool. Slice into strips or ¼ inch cubes.
2) Place lemon juice, brown rice syrup, veggie stock, Bragg’s, salt, lemon peel, and ginger in a small saucepan. Set aside.
3) Saute garlic and tempeh in oil until tempeh is golden brown.
4) Simmer sauce for 5 minutes. Dissolve arrowroot in water, then stir into the sauce until a thick glaze is achieved. Stir sauce into tempeh and serve immediately.

ET and I cooked a romantical, delicious vegan meal the other night to celebrate her return to the East Coast for the upcoming summer months. The final product of our cooking experimentation was a delicious vegan tempeh dish, topped with a citrus-flavored glaze plus "greens". Our greens were zucchinis, (courtesy of Mama and Papa T's kitchen - thank you!), sauteed in olive oil and a little garlic. I'm just thinking about how this is when a grill pan would have come into handy - grilled zucchini, yum! A grill pan, in red obviously, is quite possibly the next item to purchase on my growing kitchen wishlist... The other high-priority purchase is a funnel, haha.

We first steamed our tempeh for a total of 10 mintues, or approximately 5 minutes on each side.  The recipe says that after cooling, the tempeh should be cut into either strips or cubes...after considerable discussion of the pros and cons of each cut, ET and I ultimately agreed upon tempeh strips, haha.

Since we ran out of lemon juice (the one smallish/medium lemon yielded a little less than a quarter-cup) and lemon zest (the same lemon yielded about 1 tsp. of lemon zest), we needed to keep our cool and improvise. We substituted in fresh-squeezed orange juice and fresh-zested orange zest in place of the lemon juice and lemon zest. ET and I both agree that the substition was acceptable and the resulting citrus glaze was a success.

Thanks to ET and her food arrangement skills, which she had honed with a foodie friend out west, this photo is, by far, one of the nicest pics on the blog.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Drizzling Observation

My "drizzles" are always so goopy looking.  Usually I just pour the sauce directly out of the pan on top of the dish, hoping for an attractive looking-end result, but usually not getting one, ha.  In the future, for completely aesthetic purposes, I need to figure out a better technique for "drizzling"...  I am thinking of using a squeeze-bottle... Or maybe a piping bag...Hmmm...

Oriental Quinoa Pilaf - Everyday Vegan: 300 Recipes for Heathful Living By Jeani-Rose Atchison - p. 174


2 c. veggie stock
2 TBL. Braggs Liquid Aminos
2 tsp. grated orange peel
pinch red pepper flakes
2 TBL. oil [I used olive]
2-3 garlic cloves [I used 3]
1/2 onion, diced [I used a full, small yellow onion]
1 c. quinoa
1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
1/2 c. green onions a.k.a. scallions
1/2 c. red bell pepper
1/4 c. chopped raisins [optional - I opted in]
3 TBL. cilantro


1) Combine veggie stock, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, orange peel, and pepper flakes.  Set aside.
2) Saute garlic and onion in oil.  Add in quinoa.
3) Pour in sauce.  Cover.  Simmer until all liquid is absorbed.
4) Add in sesame seeds, green onions, red pepper, raisins, and cilantro to quinoa.  Serve immediately.


Quinoa! - the wonder grain!

This was my first time cooking with Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  I found this dish to be very salty - and I think the Bragg's may be the culprit.  Although the recipe says to serve this dish immediately, I thought it was better cold, the next day, after allowing the flavors to meld.  Also, the saltiness was less pronounced the second day as well.

Crepes with Almond Sauce and Fresh Raspberries - The Urban Vegan - p. 6


Almond Sauce:
1/2 c. soy creamer
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 TBL. sugar
1 tsp. Earth Balance
1 tsp. cornstarch

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. plain soy milk [We used vanilla soy milk...REBELS!]
1/2 c. water
2 TBL. soy flour
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract [We used almond extract]
2 TBL. Earth Balance, melted
cooking spray
fresh raspberries [Why limit yourself to only raspberries?  MM and I used blackberries, blueberries, bananas, and strawberries - delicious!]
toasted slivered almonds, as garnish


Almond Sauce:
1) Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Turn down heat and cook until thickened, again whisking constantly.  Remove from heat.

1) Whisk flour, soy milk, water, soy flour, extract, and Earth Balance together in a medium bowl until no lumps remain.  Batter should be thin - add a bit more soy milk if necessary.
2) Heat pan over medium high and spray with cooking spray.  Pour about 2 TBL. of batter and immediately twist the pan in one direction so that a thin layer of batter evenly coats the pan.  Cook until the bottom is golden.  Set aside on a plate while you make the rest of the crepes.
3) Fold each crepe into quarters, drizzle almond sauce, top with berries, garnish with almonds and serve!

The almond flavor in both the crepes and sauce was delicious!  Fresh summer berries make me smile! Overall the recipe was a solid dish.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Granada Paella - The Urban Vegan By Dynise Balcavage - p. 78

After much muffin making, it was time to do some real cookin, Spanish-style! The above referenced recipe is from: The Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes from Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine (Ch-ch-Check It Out!)


2 TBL olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c. chopped red pepper
1 large vegan chorizo link (The author recommends, and I use, Trader Joe's brand)
2 c. Arborio rice
1/2 c. frozen peas
2 tomatoes, cubed
1 tsp. saffron
4-5 c. veggie stock
sea salt, to taste
lemon wedges for garnish


1) In a large pot (Finally making use of NMcL's new(ish) Le Creuset!), heat the oil over medium low heat and saute garlic.
2) Raise heat to medium and add the peppers.  Saute for 2. (minutes, duhh)
3) Add the crumbled chorizo.  Saute for 10.
4) Add the rice.  Stir well and cook for 1.
5) Add peas, tomatoes, saffron, and veggie stock.  Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cover pan.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.  It should be slighlty wetter than risotto.
6) Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve hot!

The author suggests that in lieu of the chorizo, you can use 1) 1 c. white beans + 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes or 2) 1 c. chopped seitan.  Since, I am trying to reduce my intake of soy products, I would definitely consider trying out these protein-rich alternatives.  Though I would imagine I would need to add some additional spices, since I think that the vegan chorizo added a lot of the spiciness and flavor to the dish.  Also, to add complexity to the dish, the author suggests adding in 1 tsp. fennel seeds while adding the veggie stock.

Monday, April 12, 2010

So True...

“Learning to cook and developing your own style in the kitchen does not mean following recipes religiously. Cooking should be fun and creative” – Dynise Balcavage

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Strawberry Bread - Edible Jersey Spring 2010 - p. 20

Picked up a copy of Edible Jersey while at DePiero's the other day.  The lady at the register suggested the above referenced recipe, so I went ahead and veganized it, which worked beautifully.


2.25 c. sliced fresh strawberries
2 large eggs (I substituted ground flax seeds...please see: Post Punk Kitchen's Guide to Egg Replacement for the proportions)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. veggie oil (I substituted safflower oil, again, flawless substitution)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1.5 c. unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powpow
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts (The recipe suggests almonds - in lieu of almonds, I used walnuts)


1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a loaf pan and set it aside.  Place berries in a blender and puree.  Blend in egg replacer, sugar, oil, and vanilla.

2) In a separate bowl, sift all dry ingredients, save the nuts, and then fold into the wet mixture.  Next, fold in nuts then transfer to loaf pan.  Bake bread for 50-60 minutes.  Cool for about 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.  Serve! (As per my M.O., I went the muffin route and baked these bad boys for about 15-20 minutes at 400F.)


These are phenomenal muffins.  Again, NMcL commented on how delicious the aroma in the apartment was.  The muffins were pretty incredible, not gunna lie, and tasted phenomenal with a little schmear of Better Than Cream Cheese.

Grammy Cooks Banana Bread - Online

ANOTHER muffin recipe?!  Here's a hilarious Muffins Video for your viewing pleasure.

Here is the Recipe for Grammy's Banana Bread.


1.5 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBL. flax seed meal (ground in the blender)
2 TBL. corn meal
1/4 c. oil [I used canola]
1/2 c. cane juice crystal or sucanat or combination [I used 100 % sucanat]
1 c. mashed bananas [My two small, overripe bananas yielded a scant 1 c.]
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans, optional [I used walnuts]
[I also felt the urge to sprinkle in 2 tsp. cinnamon]

1) Mix first 6 ingredients well.
2) Mix next 4 ingredients well.
3) Mix both together and stir in nuts if you want.

Pour into sprayed loaf pan and bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes. [Since I was short on time (hey, a girl has to find time for the gym!), I poured my batter into a lined muffin tin, and baked at 400F for 10-20 minutes instead.]

Wow, the aroma of these muffins baking in the oven made the entire apartment smell bakery-fresh! These muffins were not too sweet and not overwhelmingly banana-flavored. They appeared and tasted “very healthy”.

From the glowing reviews that followed the recipe on vegweb, I expected a "5-star recipe" yield from this recipe.  I thought the muffins were ever-so-slightly dry and would have preferred a moister finished product.

Since the muffins were not too sweet, the addition of chocolate chips (in lieu of the walnuts) might be nice in the event I replicate the experimentation again.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vegan Yum-Yum - Lemon Cranberry Muffins - p. 22


1/2 rounded cup dried cranberries in 1/2 c. water
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 TBL. cornstarch or arrowroot [I used cornstarch]
zest from 1 lemon
1 c. unsweetened almond milk [I substituted vanilla soy milk]
juice from 1 lemon [my lemon yielded just under 1/4 c. juice]
1/3 c. veggie oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract [I subbed vanilla extract]

What to do:

1) Preheat oven to 400F.
2) Place the cranberries and water in a small saucepan and heat until simmering.  Simmer for 3 minutes then remove from heat.
3) In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cornstarch, and lemon zest.
4) In a separate bowl, mix together the non-dairy milk, lemon juice, veggie oil, vanilla, and almond extracts.
5) Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry until almost combined.  Drain the cranberries and fold into the batter, mixing until just combined.
6) Fill a lined muffin tin with batter, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes.  Allow muffys to cool then serve.

More Vegan Chocolate Chips/ Chunks

365 Everyday Value Vegan Chocolate Chips

365 Everyday Value Organic Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Soft, Spicy, Heavenly Ginger Cookies - Online

This RecipeZaar Recipe for Ginger Cookies is absolutely phenomenal.  RecipeZaar is quickly becoming my favorite resource for finding recipes online for several reasons.  First, the user ratings are helpful in determining which recipes are worth experimenting with - obviously the better the rating by the larger number of users is a pretty good tip-off that, unless I royally screw up, the recipe will be decent.  And secondly, the user reviews are worth reading for additional experimentation suggestions such as ingredient substitutions.

3/4 c. margarine, softened (I used Earth Balance)
1 c. white sugar
1/4 c. molasses
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg....[I ended up using pumpkin pie spice as a substitute for all of the powdered spices because I was too lazy to fish out each individual spice since my spices are so unorganized - note to self: purchase spice rack.]
1 TBS. fresh ginger, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. raisins (optional - I opted out)
2 TBL. white sugar - I accidentally omitted this, but didn't miss it!

What To Do:
1) In a large bowl, cream together the vegan marg. and 1 c. sugar until light and fluffy.  Stir in the molasses.  Finally, mix in the water and baking soda. [I used my sexy KitchenAid Stand Mixer]

2) Sift together the flour, salt, and dry spices; add gradually to the wet mixture.  Fold in the minced ginger and raisins. [Again, I omitted the raisins, but think that chocolate chips might be a nice addition when I make these cookies in the future.  Also, my dough was on the wet side, so I let it sit for overnight in the fridge - worked like a charm!].

3) (The next day,) shape the dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 TBS of sugar.  [I used a TBS. measuring spoon to create perfectly uniform cookies.  And, I did not roll the dough into the additional sugar, and really, the extra sugar wasn't missed.]

4) Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly. [I lined the cookie sheet with parchment paper, and forgot to "flatten slightly" but again, the cookies turned out damn delicious.]  Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. [I baked the cookies for the full 12 minutes and they came out wonderfully golden brown.]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Collard Greens With Panfried Walnuts - Online

Here is a link to the RECIPE.  In short, I used this recipe from as a guideline, and toyed with the proportions of the ingredients to taste.

Be mindful of your nuts (no, perv. not those).  My walnuts got a little on the well-done side (suppose thats my euphemism for saying "burnt")  since I left them unattended as I chifonnaded my collard greens.  I de-stemmed the collard greens, stacked up a few, then cut them into little ribbons.

I described to NMcL the texture of collard greens as being thick, tough spinach.  They were chewier greens than what I was used to.  Because of their thickness, I'd recommend boiling them first to make them tender (love me tender), as the recipe suggests.  I want to experiment with all types of greens (kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, etc.) because they really pack a nutritional punch!

Caramelized Onion, Walnut, and Sage Pizza - Students Go Vegan Cookbook – p.187 & 191

Pizza Dough Recipe
½ c. warm water (110 F)
½ tsp. pure maple syrup
1 TBS. active dry baking yeast (1 package)
2 TBL. olive oil
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
½ c. whole wheat flour
½ c. to ¾ c. unbleached white flour
1 to 4 tsp. white flour for rolling out the dough

1) In a large bowl, combine the warm water and maple syrup. Stir in the yeast. Set it aside to proof (bubble and foam) for 10-12 minutes. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and whole-wheat flour. Mix well, gradually adding the ½ c. white flour. Use the other ¼ c. white flour if needed, until the product is a soft, workable dough that can be handled easily and does not stick to your hands.

2) Turn out the dough until a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth, springy, and pliant. Take care not to over dust your work surface with flour, as too much flour will make the crust tough.

3) Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and turn once so the entire surface is coated. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes, until the ball doubles in bulk.

4) Preheat oven to 450F. When the dough is ready, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle or rectangle, using a rolling pin or your hands, sprinkling the surface with flour to prevent sticking as you go. Lightly oil the crust, add your chosen topping, and bake.

Caramelized Onion, Walnut, and Sage Topping

1 TBL. olive oil, plus more for brushing on top of dough
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
½ tsp. salt
Ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1-2 TBL. water
1 recipe of pizza dough, ready to roll out
1/3 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. dried sage leaves

1) Warm 1 TBL. olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onion slices, salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Saute over medium/ medium-low heat, gently stirring to prevent the onions from sticking as they caramelize. After about 35 minutes, the onions should be golden and very sweet. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Add 1-2 TBL. water to help scrape the flavors left on the bottom of the pan. Set the onions aside to cool.

2) Preheat the oven to 450F. Roll out the dough and brush lightly with olive oil. Spread the caramelized onions and walnuts on top of the dough. Bake the pizza for 8 to 10 minutes, until the crust is golden. Remove the pizza from the onion and crumble the sage leaves on top.

Crib Notes:  The pizza crust is delicious.  It made enough for a 12 inch pie, which was 2 servings for me, though in the future, if making dough for a larger crowd (or an individual with a larger appetite) it might be nice to double the recipe.  The dough recipe is definitely a keeper.  The topping was pretty good too, though I noticed that the flavors seemed to meld better a day later.  The dried sage I used was a little weird - the texture was bizarre, very earthy and natural...I might try using another was weird man, weird.  Anyhoo, it is fun making vegan pizzas, and this recipe is decent.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pumpkin Scones - Students Go Vegan Cookbook by Carole Raymond - p. 92

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dried cranberries or raisins (or, for all you fellow chocoholics, chocolate chips!)
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
3/4 c. soy milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Combine dry ingredients well.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and maple syrup.  Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just to combine.  Do not overmix or the scones will be tough.  Drop the batter by 1/4 c. onto baking sheet, 1-inch apart.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned on top.

Crib notes:  The scones were not too sweet and not too pumpkiny.  The scones were not a disaster nor incredibly delicious...they were tasty, just not a memorable experimentation - they were simply take-it-or-leave it.

Extreme Dream Cheesecake - The PETA Celebrity Cookbook - p. 110

2 - 8 oz. containers plain nondairy cream cheese (While the book recommended Tofutti brand, my rebellious streak kicked in and I used Follow Your Heart brand)
1 c. sugar
Juice of one whole lemon (I used a Meyer Lemon)
1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. vegan graham cracker or cookie crumbs
1/8 c. sugar
1/4 c. margarine, softened

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and margarine and mix well.  Transfer to an 8 inch pie pan, and press the dough firmly against the sides and bottom of the pan.  Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350.  Blend the nondairy cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Pour into the graham cracker crust.  Place the entire cheesecake in the oven and bake for 60 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Crib Notes:
When making the crust as per the recipe, the crust was much too dry.  I added quite a bit of extra vegan margarine, perhaps too much.  Oh well!  Overall, the taste of the vegan cheesecake was good, but the texture was whack.  The cheesecake never set properly - when I pulled it from the oven, the cheesecake was still a bubbling, gloopy mess.  The crust was on the well-done side, so I had no choice but to remove the cake from the oven, and I had hoped that when it cooled it would congeal (the word "congeal" may or not be an appropriate culinary term, haha), but it never did.

MH enjoyed the taste a lot - it was quite citrusy, as far as cheesecakes go.  In the future, if I were to retry this recipe, I would
a) try using Tofutti brand cream "cheese and/or
b) use less lemon juice
The recipe called for 2 TBL. of lemon juice or the juice of one lemon.  As I squeezed my lemon, it definitely seemed like much more than 2 TBL. of juice was produced.  So maybe too much liquid was the reason why the cake never set this time.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What Veganism Means To Me - Some Thoughts

To some, its a way to protect the animals, save the earth.  Personally, veganism is a way for me to organize the world, to help make sense of the world, to reduce some of the endless possibilities in our crazy lives.  It represents guidelines for my actions, my choices in everyday life.  Maybe its just a phase, a hobby, maybe I'm a freak - regardless, I am enjoying the challenge of eating a vegan diet, which is both restricting, for obvious reasons, but also extremely eye-opening in terms of discovering new foods and having different culinary experiences.

You've Got (Vegan) Options - Chocolate Chips/ Chunks (3rd Time...and More to Come!)

I am falling in love with a generic brand - 365 Everyday Value - from Whole Foods Market.  I think I'll buy stock in Whole Foods :)

Dark Chocolate Mini Chunks, contain 70 % Cacao Content (time to load up on those antioxidants!).  Listed ingredients are as follows: Chocolate Liquor, Sugar, Dextrose, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract.

See the other options:
Edition 2
Wait! There's More - First Edition

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Meatloaf" With Mashed Potatoes and Gravy - Skinny Bitch (118)

“Meatloaf” Recipe (All Recipes are Courtesy of Above Referenced Book)

1 TBL. refined coconut oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onion, diced
3 oz. cremini, shiitake, or portobello mushrooms, diced (about 2 cups) [I used a combination of baby bellas and white mushrooms]
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 slices vegan whole wheat bread [Be on the lookout for a “You’ve Got Options” post on Vegan-Friendly Breads]
1 c. toasted walnuts [Mine were raw, so I just toasted them in a pan over the stovetop for a bit]
2 14-oz. packages of Gimme Lean Ground Beef
½ c. rolled oats
½ c. ketchup
2 TBL. chopped fresh Italian parsley

1) Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 10 x 4 x 3 in. loaf pan and set aside.
2) In an 8 to 10 in. skillet, heat the oil on medium heat. Saute carrot and celery for about 2 minutes. Add onion, sauté for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper, sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a little.
3) In a food processor, process bread and toasted walnuts to form a coarse meal. Transfer the coarse meal to a large bowl, add the “beef,” oats, ketchup, parsley, and veggie mixture. Use your hands to mix well. Transfer mixture to the loaf pan, spread it in an even layer, then bake for 45 minutes. The bitches (ahem, the skinny ones) recommend letting the loaf sit for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Boil water and a bit o’ salt in a large pot over high heat. Add approximately 2.25 pounds of peeled and cubed russet potatoes [I guesstimated the weight using approximately a little less than half of a five pound bag of potatoes.] Cook the potatoes for about 15 or 20 minutes, or until they are very tender. Drain the water, add the soy milk, a scoop of vegan butter, and salt and pepper to your hearts desire, then mash ‘em up, using a whisk. Or, if you have fancy (uni-tasking) kitchen gadgets a la Williams Sonoma, you can press the potatoes through a potato ricer.

Brown Gravy Recipe

¼ c. refined coconut oil
½ c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 c. veggie broth
4 TBL. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or 8 tsp. tamari or soy sauce

1) Heat the coconut oil in a 2 to 3 (small) quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook and stir constantly, until the mixture is browned and smells nutty (about 5 minutes). Add in the veggie broth, a little at a time, continuing to stir. Remove from heat, and whisk in the Bragg’s/ soy/ tamari.


This was an excellent recipe, I'd say that my fellow B+ vegans (or C vegans), haha, agree.  Cooking with the coconut oil imparted a slightly sweet taste to both the meatloaf and the brown gravy, which was unique but pleasant.  MO brought a nice Merlot which went well with the "meatloaf" and MD prepared a delicious vegan broccoli rabe dish.   The meal was finished with a tasty sweet treat - Newman-O's, which, in my opinion are 110 % better than its non-vegan counterpart, i.e. Oreo brand cookies.

As far as the blogging format, there are some exciting changes on the horizon.  JL suggested that I make use of these so-called jump breaks for my blog posts.  I couldn't agree more - now its just a matter of sitting down and figuring out how to properly insert them.  Ultimately, I envision each post containing just photos, then the readers (all 3 of you, haha) will click the pictures, which will contain a live link that redirects you to a new page that shows the recipe.  If anyone has any suggestions on how to do this (ahem, SW!) please, comments are appreciated.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

You've Got (Vegan) Options - Chocolate Chips/Chunks Edition 2

ShopRite Real Chocolate Chips (Semi-Sweet), which contain: Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla

(See other vegan chocolate chip/chunk possibilities:) The Original Post