Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cookbook Recommendation: Babycakes NYC Cookbook!

First order of business: it' Vegan MoFo again! For you non blog nerds, that stands for the Vegan Month of Food, in which vegan bloggers get really jazzed on blogging and try to blog as much as they possibly can within the month of November. It technically started yesterday, but I was out of town (lame excuse, I know!) but I'm back and ready to blog!

For this year's MoFo, I am going to try to do a few cookbook recommendations per week since I love/collect/readthemliketheyareactualbooks vegan cookbooks. For the first selection, I want to talk about the Babycakes NYC Cookbook, written by Erin McKenna, the owner of the Babycakes NYC bakery. Last time I was in New York, I went there at least once a day for a whole week. This place is serious about vegan baked goods, and it is a huge blessing that Erin was kind enough to give us some of her secrets in this cute and fun-to-read cookbook. Babycakes is totally vegan, but that's not even the best part (well, it really is I guess)...they are extremely health-conscious, too! Babycakes is almost exclusively gluten-free, except a few recipes that use spelt flour; they also use mostly agave nectar to sweeten they're treats, with only a few desserts that have organic evaporated cane juice used; and...yes, there is more....they bake with coconut oil as their oil of choice, instead of refined oils. Could this get any better? Well, yes, they have frosting shots at the bakery...but we're talking about the book here! :)I have made a few of the recipes from the book so far, and they've all turned out great! The ingredients are more expensive, but oh so worth it when you taste the baked goods and when you think about how much better they are for you! And they people you share them with (yeah, right)!

Here's the Cornbread..... And the Spelt Biscuits (coconut oil makes them all buttery and stuff. mmm.)....
I have also made a modified version of the Pumpkin Muffins, turned into Pumpkin Bread, which I blogged about in my previous post.
All in all, I would say anyone who is vegan, health-conscious or gluten intolerant, or who loves to bake should get this book! Bonus, there is a picture and a little blurb about the adorable Jason Schwartzman in the book! He's vegan! And a hottie!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Healthy Pumpkin Bread!

Fall in Missouri is beautiful...changing leaves, clear blue skies, crisp breezes....and that means it's definitely that time of year again: time for pumpkin-y baked goods!! I modified this recipe from a Babycakes NYC recipe for banana bread, since I wanted to make a pumpkin bread that was free of refined sugars, refined oils, and refined flours. I think I succeeded--it tastes amazing! Especially slathered with homemade apple butter and/or almond butter!

I processed my own pumpkin that I got at the farmers' market (see how to do it yourself here!) but you can use canned pumpkin if you like...try to get organic if possible, though!Super Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Bread (gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free)
Modified from Babycakes NYC recipe

2 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour if you like)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp xantham gum (use tapioca or arrowroot if unavailable)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 c coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup agave nectar
2/3 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs ground flaxseed + 2 Tbs warm water
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly oil a loaf pan.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour through cloves). Create a well in the center of the bowl and add in the wet ingredients. Whisk the wet ingredients together and incorporate into the dry ingredients, until completely mixed. Fold in the walnuts.
Pour into the oiled loaf pan; the batter is thick, so use a spoon to press the batter all the way down into the pan and ensure all air bubbles are pushed out. Smooth the top and sprinkle with extra cinnamon and walnuts if desired.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotate pan 180 degrees in the oven, and bake 20 more minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the bread springs back slightly when touched.
Let cool in the pan at least 30 minutes before removing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Maple Apple Scones

I went apple picking this week and thought scones would be the perfect outlet for my abundance of sweet and juicy apples! These are lovely for an autumn afternoon with tea, slathered with plenty of Earth Balance, of course. They would probably lend themselves well to a nice helping of homemade apple butter as well! I wanted to make a scone recipe that was sweetened only with maple syrup, and it is made with whole grain flour, so they're pretty good for you, too! Maple Apple Scones (makes 12 scones)
5 cups whole spelt flour (or gluten free baking flour)
1 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 cup vegan margarine, cold
1/2 cup vegan non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, cold

3 cups apples, diced small

1 cup soymilk + whisked with 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs oil or melted margarine

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
Cut in the margarine and shortening with a strong fork or pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and the margarine/shortening are in tiny pieces.
Fold in the diced apples, stirring to coat with the flour.
Add in the soymilk-cornstarch mixture, maple syrup, extracts, and vinegar. Stir until just combined, being careful to not overmix.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Form dough into 2 separate rounds, about 2 inches tall and 6 inches across. Slice each round into 6 wedges. Place wedges onto prepared sheet pans, allowing for about 1" between scones. Using a pastry brush, brush tops of scones with oil or margarine. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, checking halfway through to ensure they are rising properly and not burning, etc.
Remove from oven when tops are golden and scones are firm to the touch. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling, or serve warm. Store uneaten scones in an airtight container until ready to use.
*If you don't necessarily want to keep these sugar-free, feel free to sprinkle each scone top with some turbinado (or other unrefined) sugar after brushing with oil, before baking.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Summer Projects and Such

So I haven't blogged in a while. A long while! I decided to kinda take the summer off of blogging (I think I posted, like, twice!) and just cook stuff and eat stuff and relax and whatnot. Ha. But now summer has turned into fall and I'm ready to start blogging again! I'm excited to get back into the groove of blogging and updating and taking pictures and all that jazz!

A lot of my cooking over the summer was done for cookbook testing, for Carla (of The Vegan Year blog) for her upcoming One Dish Vegan cookbook, and for Bianca (Vegan Crunk blog) for her Cookin' Crunk cookbook.

Here's some pics!
First, from Cookin' Crunk (I only remembered to take pics of one thing! boo!):
PB Oatmeal Cream Pies
Then, from One Dish Vegan:
Banana Spelt WafflesRaspberry Balsamic Glazed Seitan, Cabbage and Pistachio Rice
Peanut Potato Salad, Mango Orange Tempeh with Ginger

Gringa's Tacu Tacu

Fennel and Rosemary Polenta

Tofu with Olives and Basil

Mojito-Inspired Tofu

Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Hummus

Lemon Sour Cream Dressing, on greensCorn Slaw
Sweet Chipotle Tempeh with Berry Glaze

Ok, cool! Now I'm all ready to go for the awesomeness of fall food blogging! See you on the flipside!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lemony Lima Bean Spread and Zucchini Sandwich. Heavenly.

First off, sorry for the long absence!! My camera has been broken, so I have a lot of blogging to make up for!

If you're like most people around this time in the summer, you have zucchini basically coming out of your ears by now. I know I do, and I won't complain one little bit! Especially when there is this sandwich to be made. I dreamt of making this sandwich for a while, and I am so so so glad it finally came to fruition! One, because sandwiches are the best. Two, because zucchini just screams summer to me, and I scream back, I love you!!Lima Bean Spread and Zucchini Sandwich
Lemony Lima Bean Spread (below)
Toasted whole grain bread
Grilled or sauteed zucchini, in half moon slices
Thinly sliced red onion
Greens (arugula or spinach would work nicely)
Garlic-Dill Aioli (below)

This sandwich is best served open-faced, because there are so many goodies on it, they are likely to fall out if eaten all together! So start off by slathering the lima bean spread on one side of each slice of bread. Lay down the greens, then the grilled/sauteed zucchini, and then the red onion slices. Drizzle with the dill aioli and serve.

Lemony Lima Bean Spread (makes about 4 cups)
3 cups baby lima beans, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw to room temperature)
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tahini
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
2 Tbs water, or more as needed

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse to break up large pieces, and then puree until smooth, adding more water as needed 1 Tbs at a time. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Garlic-Dill Aioli (makes about 2 cups)
1 block soft silken tofu
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs dill seeds
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

Place all ingredients together in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

A tasty summertime meal deserves to be ended with a tasty summertime treat: Local Blackberry-Peach Pie!! I didn't really use any recipe, but it turned out great...what a delightful combination!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Holy Muffuletta!

How in the world had I never made and/or eaten a muffuletta sandwich before???? Sandwiches are my favorite food ever! Well, I'm glad I finally did it, whatever the hold up was. I made the Muffuletta Sandwich recipe from the Veganomicon cookbook, but modified it by adding Tofurkey brand Italian Deli Slices and subbed some herb-marinated tempeh for the eggplant, since it's not yet available at the farmers' market. When it is, I'll be sure to make it again!!! Olives are just wonderful, and a showstopping sandwich like this is a perfect way to let them shine! This awesome recipe was made even better by using a delicious locally-baked crusty bread, from KC-based Farm to Market bread company. Yum City, USA!! ps this went perfectly with a side of tasty vegan potato salad! duh!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rhubarb All Day Long: Big Crumb Rhubarb Coffee Cake!

Because rhubarb is still in season and even breakfast deserves dessert: Big Crumb Rhubarb Coffee Cake!!
I veganized the recipe from the Smitten Kitchen blog, using Earth Balance for the butter, Tofutti for the sour cream, flaxseed for the yolks, and Ener-G Egg Replacer for the egg. It turned out perfectly! The cake itself is buttery and rich, but still light enough, like a good coffee cake should be. The rhubarb, which came from my friend's garden, was delicious!!! Obviously. And the BIG crumbs were simply perfect. Dry in a good way, crumbly, and amazing. I could have eaten the whole pan!!This wonderful coffee cake was preceded by an equally wonderful brunch: my Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Sandwiches and Herb-Roasted Local Potatoes. The sandwiches were made up of baked tofu "eggs, " my breakfast sausage patties, fresh spinach, melted Daiya cheddar, and a maple cream cheeze spread I whipped up. All on locally-baked multi-grain toast. It was brunch perfection!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rustic Rhubarb Crisp

Dessert in a cast iron skillet? Yes, please!I seriously cannot get enough rhubarb!!! Here's an awesome rhubarb crisp, made in a cast iron skillet, and the only utensils you need are a knife and mixing spoon. It's sooooo good!!
Rustic Rhubarb Crisp (serves 8-10)
4-5 cups rhubarb, diced into 1" pieces
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 400 F. Thoroughly oil a 9" or 10" cast iron skillet. You may also use a 9" square or round baking dish for this if cast iron is unavailable.
In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt. Let sit while you make the crust.
In a separate bowl, toss together the oats, pecans, flour, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar. Add in the vanilla and oil, and stir until fully incorporated.
Pour rhubarb mixture into greased skillet in an even layer. Then pour the crisp mixture over the top of the rhubarb, spreading evenly. Lightly pat dough to create a flat surface.
Place skillet in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the topping is browned and the rhubarb begins to bubble out of the sides. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Best served with vanilla vegan ice cream!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Recent Tester Goodies

Being a tester for cookbooks is soooo much fun!!! And tasty, too!

Almond Lime Cake with Rosemary Lime Frosting, from the upcoming Vegan Girl's Guide to Life by The Urban Housewife. One of the best cakes ever!!! And the most beautiful! Sweet Potato Pie, from the upcoming Vegan Bakesale by Carla of The Vegan Year blog! I loooooove me some pie, and anything sweet potatoes, too. Perfect combo!

And finally, Chocolate Cereal Squares, also from the Vegan Bakesale cookbook. So much crispiness and chocolatiness all in one!!! Yummmm!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vegan Hushpuppies!!

You read it right: Vegan Hushpuppies! One of those foods I never thought I would eat again after going vegan...thank goodness I was wrong! I kind of just winged this recipe, and it turned out awesome; it is very similar to a cornbread batter, but with slight differences for frying. They are dense yet light, chewy yet crispy, sweet yet savory and salty. Pretty much the perfect food! They go really well with tartar sauce or ketchup, too! Vegan Hushpuppies (makes ~25 puppies)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups soymilk, unsweetened
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs sugar
2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup corn kernels (from about 2 ears fresh corn)
Optional add-ins: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, hot sauce to taste, 1 minced jalapeno, or 1/4 cup diced bell pepper

Heat oil in deep fryer or on stove top in a heavy-bottomed pan. Heat to approx. 350 F.
Whisk together flaxseed and water in a large bowl. Whisk in the rest of the wet ingredients, stirring vigorously to combine. Gently add in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the corn kernels and other optional add-ins.
After testing oil for temperature, drop batter by 1 Tablespoon amounts into heated oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook 2-3 more minutes, until crisped and golden brown. Set on paper towel or newspaper to absorb excess oil, and serve hot. Be careful not to overcrowd the fryer to prevent improper cooking; try to only fry 2 or 3 at a time for best results.

*haha you can also use a Corn Baller machine to make these, too :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Roasted Beet Sandwiches and Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie....aaaah spring!

This meal was an absolutely perfect way to show off all of the beautiful spring produce that Missouri has to offer right now!

This Roasted Beet and Brazil Nut Goat "Cheeze" Sandwich is something I have been working on and dreaming about for quite a while...I'm so glad I finally got to make it! It consists of roasted beets and the Brazil Nut "Cheese" from the Vegetarian Times magazine, and it is seriously my new favorite sandwich! WOW.Roasted Beet and Brazil Nut "Goat Cheese" Sandwich (serves 6)
12 slices sourdough bread
1 recipe Garlic and Herb Brazil Nut "Cheese" from Vegetarian Times--can be found online here.
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 medium red onion, sliced

1 recipe Pesto Mayo, below

2 medium beets, sliced
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup fresh thyme, minced
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 Tbs red wine vinegar

To prepare beets: Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. Add the sliced beets, olive oil, brown sugar, vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan and toss to coat. Spread out beets to make an even layer. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.

To assemble the sandwiches: On one slice of bread, spread a generous helping of pesto mayo. Spread Brazil nut cheeze on another slice of bread. Layer the roasted beets, red onion, and spinach on the cheeze. Top with mayo slice of bread. Slice and serve. Repeat to make 6 sandwiches.

Vegan Pesto Mayo (makes about 3 cups)
1 cup vegan mayo
1 box silken tofu
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs dried oregano
1/2 Tbs dried rosemary
1 bunch fresh basil

Combine all ingredients in a blender or bowl if using an immersion blender. Puree together until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Such an amazing sandwich deserves an even more amazing dessert! The strawberries and rhubarb are so perfectly in season right it's obvious I needed to make a pie!
The pie is the Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumb Topped Pie from the Candle Cafe Cookbook. Crumb topping, folks!!! This is definitely up there as one of my new favorite desserts.
And since pie demands ice cream, I made some Maple Nut Ice Cream. Logical. It is heaven in frozen form!! Your spring will probably not be complete without this dessert, so go make it! Maple Nut Ice Cream (makes 1 qt)
1 box silken tofu--not lite
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp maple extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbs canola oil
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients, except the pecans, in a blender. Puree until completely smooth. Chill for 1-2 hours in the blender. Pour into ice cream maker (already frozen if necessary to machine) and prepare according to manufacturer's directions. Add in the pecans during the last 5 minutes, to allow to be fully incorporated. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving. Best served with warm pie, of course.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Homemade Breakfast "Sausage" Patties

I love anything to do with breakfast or brunch...or second breakfast or even elevensies for that matter! Luckily, I now don't have to miss out on the admittedly delicious flavors of breakfast sausage just because of eating vegan!! I present to you Homemade Vegan Breakfast Sausage Patties! Below, they are pictured served with scrambled tofu and roasted potatoes!! And of course some Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls from RRF's blog!!
Breakfast "Sausage" Patties (serves ~12)
6 cups ground seitan
1 can black eyed peas, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs arrowroot powder whisked with 2 Tbs water
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 Tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 Tbs paprika
2 Tbs dried sage
1 Tbs fennel seeds
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 Tbs dried basil
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 Tbs cumin
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup tahini

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 2 sheet pans.
In a large bowl, add together all of the ingredients and mix well--works best to mix with your hands--until well combined. Form dough into patties using 1/2 cup scoops. Shape patties about 3" in diameter and 1/2" thickness. Place onto oiled sheet pans and bake for 30 minutes. Let rest on pans for at least 15-20 minutes.
If using later, place into airtight containers and freeze until later use.
When ready to serve or if serving immediately, heat about 1 Tbs oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place pre-baked patties onto heated skillet and pan fry about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and warmed through. Serve hot and enjoy!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pretty in Pink: Lemon Rhubarb Preserves

Local rhubarb is abundant this time of year at the farmers' market and preserves just seems like the perfect way to make it stand out! Of course, it pairs oh so well with strawberry, but sometimes the rhubarb just needs to be able to shine on its own! I especially love this on biscuits or scones with a little Earth Balance for a springtime morning treat! Lemon Rhubarb Preserves (makes approx. 3 cups)
1 lb fresh rhubarb, diced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs arrowroot powder (or tapioca starch) dissolved in 2 Tbs cold water

In a large pot, bring rhubarb, lemon zest and juice, sugar, water, and salt to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low; let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add in the arrowroot slurry and bring back to a boil, stirring vigorously. Reduce heat back to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. If using relatively soon, store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. (Otherwise, this is now ready to be canned in glass jars and stored for later use. )

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tasty Tester Roundup

I had a few days off this week, so I recipe tested my butt off!

First, the sweet stuff from Carla's Vegan Bakesale testing:

Rich Brownies...the egg replacer is pureed raw cashews! So decadent and genius! Gently spiced with hints of cinnamon and ancho chili powder. So nice! Malva Bundt Cake...a super moist, sweet, and comforting apricot bundt cake! It even got an Apricot Jam Glaze for extra sweet and stickiness!
Pineapple Mango Mint Upside Down Cake...something sunny and flavorful to make watching LOST even MORE enjoyable!! Mint and pineapple? Yes, yes, and yes!!!

Now for some savory stuff from Melisser's upcoming The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life!

Chipotle Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes....spicy, smoky, and just all around amazing!! Perfectly paired with some homemade veggie burgers. Also, holla for the great local sweet potatoes!
And then there's Austrian Potato Salad! How can you not loooooove potato salad?! I even got these yummy local new potatoes and chives for it! Similar to a German potato salad, served warm with tons of onions and dill pickles in it. Mayo free too! Potatoes are the bomb, and so is Melliser!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Smoky Onion Marmalade

This Smoky Onion Marmalade is THE perfect condiment: it combines salty, savory, sweet, and smoky, you can make it easily at home, and it can go on just about anything! It's almost got a bacon jam flavor to it, but with lots of delicious, sweet onions instead of fatty, greasy bacon! My favorite way to use this marmalade is on veggie burgers, but I'm sure you can find lots of tasty and creative uses for it! Smoky Onion Marmalade (makes approx. 1 qt)
5 large yellow onions, sliced in half moon shapes
2 Tbs canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs liquid smoke
1/4 cup soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 cup real maple syrup
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
4 Tbs arrowroot or tapioca starch
4 cups + 1 cup water

In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 Tbs of the oil over medium heat. Saute half of the onions until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set aside and repeat with the other half of the oil and onions--this is done in two batches to prevent overcrowding the pan, which would just steam the onions and would prevent caramelization.
In a large stock pot, whisk together the 4 cups of water, maple syrup and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the other 1 cup of water, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and the arrowroot or tapioca starch. Add to the pot, whisking vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken and darken, showing that the starch is cooked.
Add in the caramelized onions, garlic, and spices. Let simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.
You can now transfer this to an airtight container and refrigerate if going to use soon, or canned in glass jars if to be used later.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tofu Krab Cakes with Vegan Tartar Sauce...New and Improved!!!

So I've been tweaking my Tofu Krab Cake recipe for a couple of years was good before, but with a few improvements, I think it is now PERFECT!!! I have even improved the Vegan Tartar Sauce recipe! I like the serve these with rice, as the texture and flavor combination just works really well together; so I came up with this flavorful and light Lemon Tarragon Rice side dish. Add some coleslaw, and you've got a pretty awesome meal!! I think you'll love this as much as I do. New and Improved Tofu Krab Cakes (serves 12, with 2 cakes per person)
2 cups breadcrumbs, preferably homemade
3 blocks extra firm tofu (3 lbs)
2 Tbs dried hijiki seaweed, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes and drained
1/2 cup red onion, minced
1 large celery stalk, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kelp granules
2 Tbs ground flaxseeds
1 1/2 Tbs Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 Tbs hot sauce
1/3 cup vegenaise
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 Tbs olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbs canola oil, divided into 3 tsp

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 2 sheet pans.
In a large bowl combine the breadcrumbs, tofu, flaxseeds, vegenaise, and dijon mustard. Use your hands to crumble the tofu into chunks and incorporate the ingredients together. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine; this works best with your hands. Mix together until everything is well incorporated, but not too mushy. You still want some good sized chunks of tofu. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup or scoop, form into 24 patties, approximately 3 inches in diameter. When forming, pack each patty tightly to ensure they stay together while cooking.
Place on prepared sheet pans and sprinkle with a little extra Old Bay seasoning over the tops for texture and color. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes; this helps them bind and stay together much better. Heat about 1 tsp canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add cooled krab cakes to the pan, and brown lightly on both sides. Repeat until all the patties are browned. Serve with Vegan Tartar Sauce and garnish with scallions.
Note: These freeze extremely well! Place leftover patties in an airtight container, before the browning steps, and freeze until ready to use. Brown in oil after thawing.

Vegan Tartar Sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 box silken tofu
2 cups vegenaise
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
2 Tbs capers
1/2 cup dill pickle relish, or chopped pickles
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbs olive oil

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients. Puree until smooth; a few chunks of capers or pickles is fine. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Lemon Tarragon Rice (serves ~12)
2 1/2 cups brown rice
5 cups cold water
1/2 tsp salt

Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 bunch fresh tarragon, minced

In a large pot, bring rice, water, and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low; allow to simmer for 45 minutes. Do not lift the lid during this time
After rice is done, gently stir in the lemon juice, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder, olive oil, and tarragon, using a fork; fluff rice as you stir. Serve hot.

Serve meal with coleslaw and garnish with lemon wedges and scallions....Enjoy your faux seaside feast!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Round of Springy Tester Recipes! Urban Housewife and Vegan Bakesale!

Savory, from upcoming Vegan Girl's Guide to Life, ala Melisser (the Urban Housewife): Asparagus Almondine! Truly, spring has sprung! The Sweet, from Carla's (of The Vegan Year blog) upcoming Vegan Bakesale Cookbook:
Sunny Sunflower Bread. I am a quick bread fanatic, and sunflower seeds are one of the best flavors ever....what a perfect pairing!! Orange marmalade and Earth Balance made this the most wonderful breakfast!!
Also from Carla: Lavender Shortbread! Buttery, crispy, rich shortbread, infused with bright, floral lavender. Phenomenal with Earl Grey tea, and on its own, too!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Best Ever Berry Cobbler and Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream!

One of the best things about spring? The berries, of course!!!! I picked up some beautiful strawberries at the farmers' market this weekend, and they went straight into this awesome Best Ever Berry Cobbler. There's nothing better!! And you can't have a beautiful, warm cobbler without some cool Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream. You just can't. This recipe includes canola oil, which helps prevent an overly icy texture and adds a bit of creaminess as well. This may be my new favorite comfort food! Best Ever Berry Cobbler (serves 12-16)
2 qts fresh or frozen organic strawberries, sliced
1 6 oz. bag frozen (or fresh) organic blackberries
2 cups frozen or fresh organic blueberries
1 cup frozen or fresh organic raspberries
**I say to use organic berries here because of the large amount of pesticides used on conventionally-grown berries. Check out the EWG's website for more information.

1 cup sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs baking powder
1/4 cup cold vegan margarine
1/4 cup cold non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1/2 cup soy milk (or 1-2 Tbs more as needed)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large pot, combine the berries, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, until reduced about halfway. Stir in the flour and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the cold margarine and shortening with a pastry cutter or strong fork, until the dough becomes crumbly. Drizzle in the soy milk, adding more or less as needed to form a soft, but solid, dough.

Pour the berry mixture into a 9x13 glass baking dish. Take pieces of dough and flatten; spread out in patches over the berry mixture, covering most of the berries, but also leaving some showing in between crust pieces. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs sugar over the top and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool and set for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Serve warm with Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream.

Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream (makes 1 qt)
1 box silken tofu-- not lite
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup soy milk or almond milk
1 1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
2 Tbs canola oil
Pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup sugar
Optional: scraping from 1/2 a vanilla bean

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients. Puree until completely smooth and chill for an hour in the refrigerator. Pour into ice cream maker and make/freeze according to manufacturer's directions.
Allow to chill in freezer at least 1-2 hours before serving.

You now have everything you need for the perfect springtime dessert!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bake and No-Bake Testers

I've been doing lots and lots of Vegan Bakesale cookbook testing recently, for Carla of The Vegan Year blog! And I'm loving every since minute (and morsel!) of it!!! Here's some goodies....
Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

Agave Crackle Cakes....
like crazy awesome Rice Krispie Treats! With Sweet and Sara's mini marshallows!! Whoa!

Strawberry-Infused Cupcakes

Much more to come!!!