Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cafe Berlin and Coconut Chip Cookies

Yesterday was a fantastic food day...
First of all, I baked for the first time in about two weeks--which is way too long of a baking fast for me! luckily, classes are over now, so I will have tons more time to bake whenever i want!
I made coconut chocolate chip cookies for the first time and they turned out perfectly! I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking and modified it by adding coconut flakes. Very tropical and fitting to bring to our Lost watching party tonight :)

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 1 dozen)

4 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer

6 T coconut milk

1 cup Earth Balance

1 1/2 c turbinado sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray two cookie sheets with non-stick spray. In a bowl or food processor, whip egg replacer with coconut milk until dissolved and thickened. In a large bowl, cream the earth Balance, sugar, and vanilla together. Add the egg replacer mix and combine. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then add gradually into the wet mixture to form a dough. when just mixed, fold in the chocolate chips and coconut. Form into twelve even balls of dough (they will be pretty big) and place on cookie sheets. Slightly flatten each cookie with your hand or floured glass. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown, then let cool. Then eat your heart out :) ** Modified from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau**

Steve left town for a week today, so we went out for a nice dinner last night at an awesome restaurant in Columbia called Cafe Berlin. No, this is not a German restaurant...that's just its name! It is not all vegetarian, but they use all local, free-range meat and eggs and organic dairy, local organic produce, etc. Plus there are tons of veg options! I must say, they have the best breakfasts in town!! But on to dinner...
I had the TLT: wasabi- marinated tempeh with local organic greens and organic tomatoes, smeared with their homemade hummus on toasted rye bread....yuuuuum! For my side, I got their amazing roasted potatoes- a blend of red and sweet potatoes with tons of spices and garlic-this was so great!
Steve got the Ultimate Nachos, sans cheese and sour cream, of course! This was an enormous plate of blue corn chips topped with seasoned black beans, tofu, grilled onions, peppers, squash, and spices, with homemade salsa. The best part of having a vegan boyfriend is getting to try all of his food at restaurants :) yum!

If you are ever traveling through Missouri, I HIGHLY recommend Cafe Berlin (they have a myspace if you want to look at their menu!) will love it. promise!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Black and Blue Burgers!

I found another wonderful way to use my Sheese blue cheese: put it on a burger! I put it on the top bun and put them in the oven (upside down, of course) to melt the didn't get too melty, but it got pretty soft and creamy! Good enough for me! I paired the blue cheese with a blackened (coated with spices like cayenne, pepper, paprika, etc. and pan-seared) Amy's brand burger with red onion and lettuce...

Then we had some spicy sweet potato "fries" (I always bake my fries...) and some steamed was awesome! Man, it's too bad being vegan is so hard....ha!

Spicy Sweet Potato "Fries"

(serves 2)

1 large sweet potato

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

pinch salt and pepper

1 tsp oil

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut sweet potato into julienne strips/ fry-type shapes. In a bowl, toss the strips of sweet potato with the oil and spices, then spread fries in an even layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the fries and bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, until browned and slightly crispy. Then enjoy...a lot!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Burritos, Stew, and Brats...oh my...

I haven't been baking much over the last week, because of busy schedules and such, but I have been doing some good cooking! I really want to hone some of my cooking skills, so I have been focusing on that a bit more lately than the baking side of life! As wonderful as it is, though, my heart will always belong to the wonderful world of baked goods :)
A few nights ago, I made tempeh burritos for me and Steve, with a medley of steamed vegetables on the side. These burritos are one of our favorite things to eat...they are really savory and unique and totally hit the spot!

Tempeh Burritos
(serves 2)

6 to 8 oz of tempeh
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T Braggs (tamari or shoyu will work, too)
2 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 an avocado
1/2 c cucumber, sliced
1/2 c tomato, diced
6 kalamata olives
1/2 c red onion, diced
1 cup spinach, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 T tahini

Dice the tempeh into cubes and mix with minced garlic and Bragg's. Place onto a lightly oiled sheet pan and bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes, until nice and browned.
Warm the tortillas in a skillet until soft and pliable. Mash 1/4 of an avocado on each tortilla and spread evenly around. Add the baked tempeh, diced veggies, and spinach. Drizzle 1 T of tahini over the vegetables and wrap the tortilla shut. Place closed tortilla fold side down on a skillet over medium heat to toast, then flip burrito and toast on the other side to golden brown.
Serve warm...goes really well with some steamed broccoli! :)

The next night for dinner, I made one of my favorite recipes. This is the Indonesian Tempeh Stew from the Students' Vegan Cookbook. I am not sure if the sweet and spicy flavors and the awesome use of the sweet potato (one of my favorite foods!) makes this one of my favorite recipes, or the fact that it comes from my first all-vegan cookbook...either way it is awesome and I could eat it every single day! Especially when I serve it all nice and hot over a bed of doesn't get much better!!

Tonight's dinner was similar to something I made a few weeks ago: Tofurky Beer Brats! This time, I had them with braised red cabbage with onions, garlic, apples, and fennel seeds...and tons of saurkraut on top! Fermented foods will save the world. Paired with some oven-roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli, this meal was hearty and satisfying. If you haven't tried the Beer Brats yet, I highly recommend it...not too scary meat-like or anything! Check 'em out!

I am planning on doing some awesome baking this week...
I hope I can remember to post about it !