Friday, August 29, 2008

White Chocolate Chips!!!

Now I've seen it all (ok, maybe not "all," but a lot)! I recently received a box of goodies in the mail that I ordered off of the Pangaea Vegan Superstore. In this happy little box was: a bag of VEGAN WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS! It has been almost 3 years since I have had white chocolate, folks!! Too long. I have only found these on one other website, but the ingredients in the kind I bought on Pangaea seemed much better. But if you like another brand, holla at me so I can try them! When I was younger, my favorite kind of cookie was white chocolate chip macadamia nut, because it has a perfect balance of salty and sweet and rich and chewy...and because it has a ridiculously long name! So, this bag of yumminess went straight into a batch of Vegan White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies. I took the recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Joy of Vegan Baking, but swapped out white chocolate for regular chocolate chips, and added roasted macadamia nuts. These might be the best cookies I have ever made. ever. They were so chewy and moist, but not too soft so they could fully support the insane amount of chips and nuts in the dough! And they were so buttery...God, they are so buttery and salty and good!! They just scream for a glass of soymilk :) Here's the original recipe and the pretty bag o' chips (empty bag...yeah, I snatched a few before putting them in the cookies. can you blame me?)
And here they are all baked up and huggin on each other, waiting to be consumed by my hungry vegan belly!
White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies (makes 12 big fat cookies)
4 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer
6 Tbs water
1 cup Earth Balance vegan margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I use sucanant)
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups vegan white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
Whip the Egg Replacer and water together in a small bowl or with your food processor, until all combined and foamy.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla together. Add the "egg" mixture from above and combine thoroughly. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the wet mixture until it forms a dough. When almost completely combined, fold in the chips and nuts and stir to distribute evenly. Roll into 12 evenly-sized balls and place about an inch or two apart on greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown (or until you can't stand it anymore and HAVE TO eat these freakin cookies!!!) Let stand for 2 minutes after removing from oven. Transfer to wire rack to let cool completely. Pig out.
(Adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau)
No, seriously. Make these.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Vegan's Hundred!

After reading Hannah's post about the Vegan Hundred on Bittersweet ( ) I was excited to see that I had tried so many, and even more psyched on the challenge of having so many more to try! So, to jump on the vegan blogging bandwagon (yay for that even existing!), here is my go at the Vegan's you do it too! :)

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

1. Natto ( i can't find it!!)
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble

4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich (and AB&J, CB&J, MNB&J, SFB&J, PB&H, PB&B, PB&P, etc.etc.)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper (only in things, not alone. my tongue burns just thinkin about it!)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly (never heard of it, but ooooh!)
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (i won't cross this out, but i am broke as a joke.)
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi (in vinegar form)
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. PiƱa colada (in the non-alcoholic form.)
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls (i just got a package in the mail a few days ago, though!!!)
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain (i also just purchased some plantains...)
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake (unfortunately, i have only had the icky real versions when i was little)
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes (only sweet. darn!)
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79 (omg. omg. omg.)
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk (i had never heard of it before this list! what a shame!)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough

There is nothing on this list that I wouldn't try...I'm not picky and I love food-ventures! I had even made some of the items at home pretty recently, so I felt good about that, too. A few of the items I have had in their non-vegan versions, but I guess that still counts. if not, i will try their superior vegan counterparts asap! Some of the items might be hard for me to get here in mid-missouri, but I am willing to hunt. and travel. I WILL conquer this list!! you should too!

Monday, August 25, 2008

(Hemp) Milk and Cookies

First off, a brief product review/comparison of one of my favorite "vegan-y" things: Hemp Milk!
No offense to our dear friend soy, but hemp milk and hemp in general, is such an awesome thing to have in a vegan diet! Great protein, fatty acids, calcium, fiber, etc. etc.
There are two kinds of hemp milk that are really popular out there and I will quickly address them both: one is like heaven in an aseptic package, and the other is, I hate to say, almost vile.

First, Living Harvest Hemp Milk (original flavor)....
This is my favorite thing to put on granola, cereal, in smoothies and ice cream, or just have a huge glass of with cookies or a big, fat PB and J sandwich. It is so thick and creamy and not too sweet, and it has a distinctive flavor, but no bad aftertaste or funk. Pure yum. I'm not sure how they milk a hemp, though :)

Then, there's Manitoba Harvest Hemp Milk (also original flavor)...
I was really excited about this product because it is made with whole hemp seeds and is certified organic and the nutrition is wonderful. Unfortunately, I could barely finish a glass. I was nearly gagging because of the taste. I am NOT picky normally and I can find good things about most foods, but I could not drink this. I feel really bad, because I'm sure this is a wonderful company, and, besides the taste it is a good product. But I must be honest and this is honestly undrinkable.
Now for the good stuff!! I was in a baking mood this week and that copy of My Sweet Vegan keeps staring at me in my apartment, so what else was I to do?!

First, I made a batch of scones to have for breakfast this week before going to classes!
I was inspired by Hannah's use of peanut butter as a butter or shortening substitute in the Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter Scone recipe in My Sweet Vegan. But I decided to mix it up a bit and swapped almond butter for the peanut butter and nixxed the chocolate glaze...instead, I added a big handful of dried cherries to create these Cherry-Almond Scones!

These were SO wonderful! They were dense and flaky like a good scone should be, but not bran-muffiny or anything. They are a little sweet, but also have a nice savory quality from the nut butter! Perfect for slathering with Earth Balance or some cherry preserves...and definitely delicious with a big 'ol glass of Hemp Milk (Living Harvest, of course)!!

Cherry-Almond Scones (makes 4)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 Tbs turbinado sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 T margarine...Earth Balance, baby!!

1/4 cup almond butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup soymilk

1 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or just spray it with non-stick spray like I did. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the margarine into small pieces an use a fork or pastry cutter to cut in the margarine and almond butter into the flour mixture. When the mixture is coarse and crumbly, add in the vanilla. Slowly drizzle in the soymilk, one Tbs at a time until the dough becomes cohesive...but don't overwork it. Work in the dried cherries just a little bit so they are evenly dispersed. Drop the ball of dough onto a floured surface and shape into a circle, about an inch thick or so. Cut into four wedges and space evenly on cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Then, let them cool slightly, and slap on some Earth Balance and jam, then enjoy for a guaranteed great morning! (Adapted from Hannah Kaminsky's My Sweet Vegan)

To celebrate the ending of summer and satisfy my sweet tooth, I also made cookie sundaes! The peanut butter-banana-chocolate trifecta is my favorite combination in the world, so I made peanut butter-banana ice cream from A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise. For the sundaes, I put a big scoop of the ice cream.... (here she is in my ice cream maker, gettin all pretty and creamy)

Then, I baked a batch of Chocolate-Chocolate Chip (sans walnuts) Cookies from Veganomicon. I put two yummy cookies in the bowl with the ice cream... (here they are on the cooling rack, lookin all chocolatey and naughty)

And voila! A yummy ice cream-cookie sundae! Perfect for a summer treat, or anytime you want to be happy :) If I had some in my cupboard, I would have topped these with some vegan whipped cream, chopped nuts, or chocolate sprinkles...but I'm broke. And these were still great!

(They were even better because we enjoyed them while watching Sailor Moon on DVD!!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mochi and Yogurt...not together, though.

So my post today isn't really about anything I created or made, but these were some good treats, nonetheless!
First, a product review: So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt! I know several people have blogged about this stuff already, so I may just be reiterating what they have already said. Anyway, I love this stuff! As far as vegan yogurts go, I still like the So Delicious soy yogurt better in terms of texture and creaminess, but this coconut version has a wonderful flavor and is surprisingly light and refreshing. I also like the nutritional aspect, as it is made with very few ingredients and has the great fatty acids that coconut provides. And it's soy-free if you are sensitive AND it has probiotics! yay! I would eat this everyday if it weren't so pricey :)
Out of the few flavors I have tried, I like this plain (which I guess would be coconut then...) and the Passionate Mango flavors. If you have a place near you that sells these, give them a try!
Another new-to-me treat that I tried last night was this Mochi that Steve brought me back from his trip to Colorado last week! I have had mochi once before, a few years ago, but this particular brand is different than what I have previously eaten. This is Harvest Moon brand, made and sold in Boulder, CO, so it was a local product when he was visiting there! He picked up two different varieties: the one we tried last night was the Sesame and he also got a cinnamon raisin, which will get eaten soon, I'm sure!
Here it is in the package, pre-baked (the label was foil, so it would NOT photograph well! ah!!)

And here it is all baked and puffed up. The directions say to cut it into strips so it would puff up properly, so I sliced it into french fry-like shapes, and it worked great!
I served them with some almond butter for our dipping pleasure...yuuuuuum city, u.s.a, population: me!!
I will tell you how the cinnamon raisin variety is soon! I'm sure it won't disappoint...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I swear, I will never get sick of all this wonderful local summer produce! This week, I picked up some local organic carrots at the market...and they were so freakin good, I knew exactly what to do with them: carrot cake cupcakes! I used the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but I added about 1/2 cup of chopped crystallized ginger to the batter with the raisins and walnuts. These were so tasty! Perfectly moist and full of carrot-y goodness! And of course, they were even more awesome with cream cheeze icing and a lovely toasted walnut half on top!
If you can get your hands on some nice local carrots, give these a try! (oh, p.s. sorry about the blurry crappy picture! my apt has awful lighting...i'm workin' on it)

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes (makes 12)
(the ingredients with a * are my additions to the recipe)
2/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
*pinch of nutmeg
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup plaiin soy yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated carrots
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
*1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the walnuts, raisins, and ginger pieces.
Spray the liners with non-stick spray. Fill each liner with batter to 2/3 full. Bake for 26 to 28 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Then stuff your face.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (ok, Earth Balance. let's be honest.)
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Cream together the softened margarine and cream cheese until smooth and fully combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and whip until fluffy and creamy. Stir in the vanilla and whip for a few more minutes. Smear onto fully cooled cupcakes and place toasted walnuts on top to make them all pretty like.
**Adapted from Isa and Terry's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World**

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Like I have said before, I love dips. I think it's such a shame that many vegans seem to be confined to plain old hummus (not that it's not incredible!!) when it comes to creating an amazing mezze platter! So, when I first tried muhammara at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Kansas City, I was hooked! Then, the most recent issue of Vegetarian Times had a recipe for it in their "easy entertaining" section! yay!

Luckily, summer has blessed me with lots of red bell peppers and our local Middle Eastern foods store had a great selection of pomegranate this recipe was really a breeze! Try it next time you want to have a mezze platter for dinner with friends or just a good dip for snacking!

Muhammara (makes 2 cups or so)

2 cups walnuts

3 large red bell peppers

4 Tbs olive oil

4 cloves garlic

2 tsp salt

2 Tbs pomegranate molasses

**pinch each of cumin and crushed red pepper (my addition!)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spread walnuts on baking sheet and toast until light brown and you can smell them...about 10 minutes. Place peppers on greased baking seperate baking sheet and bake at the same time as the walnuts, for about an hour, until the skins are blackened and super soft. (The recipe calls for you to peel the peppers after you bake them, but I left the skins on, cuz that's how I like it, and it was still rockin'). Saute the garlic in 2 Tbs of the olive oil for about a minute until fragrant and caramelized. Puree all of the ingredients in food processor until smooth and creamy, then season with salt and pepper to taste. **I served mine with veggies and toasted pita bread and it was awesome! It also tastes good with a little Sriracha sauce...if you like it hot :)

Recipe from July/August 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jerk Seitan and Tofu Crab Cakes

This week has been waaaaaay less busy than last week, so I have actually had the time and energy to cook! Real meals, too, not my typical sandwich or salad! I was pretty proud :) I was feeling pretty creative and I had a lot of resources with all of the great summer produce about, so here are a couple dishes that I made this week (oh, and Steve enjoyed them too!)...

Tofu "Crab" Cakes

I took this idea from when I went with my mom to the Chicago Diner a few months ago, and it seriously turned out to be one of the best things I have ever made. seriously. I just kind of made up the recipe as I went, so the measurements may not be exact, but you can play around with amounts and make things to your taste....but if they turn out how I made them, they should be tasty, plump little cakes of yum with crispy outsides and soft insides and taste like heaven. So go for that when you are making them! I also made a vegan tartar sauce to dip them in, and I served them with some brown rice and a nice summer-y vegetable salad. My new favorite I think.

Tofu "Crab" Cakes (makes enough for about 6 or so people)
1 lb. tofu
3 cups bread crumbs
zest and juice of one lemon
2 stalks celery, finely minced
1 red bell pepper, finely minced
1 small yellow onion, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup pickle relish
1/2 cup hijiki, soaked in warm water for 20 min. and drained
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbs Old Bay seasoning
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup Vegenaise...or more if you are me :)
2 Tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp hot sauce (I use Frank's)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a cookie sheet and set aside.
In a large bowl, mash the tofu until all crumbled up. Add in the Vegenaise, mustard, seasonings, and breadcrumbs, then use your hands to blend everything together. Then add in all the veggies and the oil and mash everything together until completely combined and homogeneous.
Divide into 12 or so uniformly-sized balls and space evenly apart on greased cookie sheet. Lightly flatten the tops of each ball with the palm of your hand. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip each patty, and bake for 15 more minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside and the patties can stay together when moved. Serve with tartar sauce and make the world jealous that you are a vegan master!

**Vegan Tartar Sauce**
1 cup Vegenaise
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/3 cup pickle relish
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill for 15 to 20 minutes before serving with your kick-ass faux crab cakes!

Jamaican Jerk Seitan

I made this dish because I was feeling something spicy and I had some seitan in my fridge that I needed to use up. I had also not really ever tried to make jerk before and I had always wanted to, so I guess this was a logical choice for dinner! It is pretty spicy and has just the perfect hint of sweetness to cool it off. This is just the recipe for the seitan itself, but I served it over some rice that I cooked with some coconut milk, then put it with a stir-fry of onions, carrots, broccoli, greens, steamed sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. For a pretty garnish, top it with some fruit's sooooo good!

Jamican Jerk Seitan
(adapted from the Jamican Jerk Tempeh recipe at
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 small habanero chili, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
3/4 cup lime juice (can substitute apple juice, pineapple juice, etc.)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 lb. seitan, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 F. Put all of the ingredients, except the seitan, into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over sliced seitan in a glass casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until sauce has reduced and it all starts smelling really good :)
Remove from oven and serve over rice, sweet potatoes, veggies, etc.

ah! I'm sooooo glad I decided that I like cooking again!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Baba Ghanouj

Because summer in mid-Missouri is hot and wet and awesome, we get some killer produce in at our Columbia Farmer's lucky could I be?!
Last week, I got a butt-load of veggies from the market (yay) and my bounty included a couple beautiful EGGPLANT! (double yay) I only wish I had pictured these babies before turning them into something delish :( oh well, onto the yum....

I often crave creamy dips, such as hummus, like a freakin preganant woman or something, so I knew that using my new eggplant for a smooth, rich baba ghanouj! I just kind of winged the recipe, and made it to my liking, but you can make adjustments if you have a different palate.

Baba Ghanouj
(makes 2 cups)
2 small to medium fresh eggplant, sliced into rounds
2 Tablespoons plus 1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup tahini
4-6 cloves of garlic
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika, or cayenne if you like it hotter
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Toss eggplant rounds in 1 tsp olive oil and spread in single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until browned and soft and gooey. mmmm
2. After eggplant has cooled so you can handle it, place it along with all the other ingredients in your food processor.
3. Blend until smooth, but leave some chunks, cuz chunks are good. seriously. But if you like it super-smooth and creamy, you dirty thing, blend it will still be goooood!
I dipped mine in veggies and pita bread and for dinner, but you can stuff it in wraps, sandwiches, or eat it out of the bowl with your fingers, cuz there's no shame in that either :)
oh, p.s. no farmers, no food! support your local agriculture, please and thank you!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Sweet Vegan!!

I had told myself last week that I was going to do a better job of keeping up with posting...but I guess that was a lie! I worked like a mad woman everyday this week and ate most of my meals at work! I barely had enough time for sleep, so I didn't put blogging as my top priority. sorry.
But, I did have a wee bit of time to here's what my cray-cray week consisted of, besides cooking ALL DAY at work:

My biggest news this week is that I finally received my copy of the one, the only My Sweet Vegan by the young miss Hannah Kaminsky in the mail!!! I read it immediately, cover-to-cover. It was fantastic! I admire her talent sooooo I HAD to make something from it that day! of course.I chose my first recipe to be the Almond Avalanche Bars. omigod!!
It may be hard for common folk to believe that a treat like this can be sooooo dang delicious and vegan and gluten-free and soy-free and incredibly tasty and even full of protein and, that's a lot of ands...but these things are freakin gooooooood! Luckily, people like us know the truth: our healthy, vegan, "hippie" desserts most often ARE BETTER in general than your run-of-the-mill baked good. period! Anyhoo...I slightly modified the recipe by adding 1/2 cup of dried cherries in with the chocolate chips, and the tanginess and chewiness of the dried fruit was perfect with the rest of the bar's richness and sweetness--I highly recommend this recipe, with or without cherries!
Last week, I decided to take a cue from the summer season and make a batch of strawberry shortcakes!!! It sounded so refreshing and summer-y and tasty, that it was a no-brainer when I was in the mood to bake!
I used the Strawberry Shortcake recipe (including the shortcakes themselves, the whipped "cream," and the strawberry goodness parts) from Bryanna's Vegan Feast's on her website, so you should do this:
1. go to your farmer's market and buy some fresh strawberries
2. go to Bryanna's website and get this freakin recipe, quick!
3. make these Strawberry Shortcakes
4. eat these Strawberry Shortcakes while watching old episodes of the old Strawberry Shortcake cartoon
5. smile. a lot. :)