Thursday, January 14, 2010

Long Time, No Test....New Tester Treats!!

Not that you were keeping up, but I have been slacking on one of my tester projects, Bianca's (of the Vegan Crunk blog) Cookin' Crunk cookbook! It's all vegan Southern food, all the time! So goooood! With the holidays and some new cookbooks and my supper club, I have not been on the ball with testing out some of the recipes. But, I'm making up for it now with cookies! Yay! Specifically, Chocolate-Chocolate Chip-Praline Cookies! They are chocolate cookies with chocolate chips and pralined pecans (which you make yourself)...a delicious combination of salty and sweet, crunch and chewy, nutty and chocolaty! I'm in!

Can't wait to do some more crunk testing!

And btw, I just became a tester for another cookbook, Vegan Bakesale, by QueenV (of The Vegan Year blog)! I have a lot of cooking to do!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Week's Worth of Deliciousness

This week has been packed with events featuring some darn tasty food!
To start things of last Sunday, Dane hosted his weekly Sustainability Sunday meal as part of the KC Vegan Crawl! We ate some good food and discussed closed loop systems, and how to apply those principles to small businesses. So good!!
He made Pomegranate Marinara over Penne Pasta and Fresh Spinach And Tomato-Basil Bruschetta on locally-made Farm to Market Baguette
For dessert, there were Chocolate Biscuits! Yes, two of the best foods ever, combined into one! Topped with Chocolate Sauce, Pomegranate Seeds, and Blackberries. Absolutely divine!!Our friends Kevin and Janae brought the appetizer, Kalamata Olive, Sun-dried Tomato, Artichoke, and Pine Nut Tapanade, with Organic Blue Corn was so tasty that I truly could have eaten all of it!!! Monday night was our sewing circle! Of course, there had to be a potluck beforehand...can't sew on an empty stomach!
I made a Local Tempeh-Adzuki Bean Chili....Other vegan offerings were: Citrus-Mint Quinoa Salad, Coconut Curried Sweet Potatoes, and Salad with Carrots, Avocado, Berries, and Vinaigrette Dressing.....
There was even a vegan dessert! Our friend Megan brought Chocoalte-Chocolate Chip Muffins!! Perfect with coffee before stitchin' and bitchin'!And then yesterday, for my weekly vegan brunch at my place!! Lots of people came out despite the bitter, nasty cold and snowy streets! Yay community!
I made Tofu Benedict: Homemade English Muffins (a la Isa's Vegan Brunch), topped with Homemade Seitan Canadian Bacon (recipe to come soon!), Tofu Eggs, Sauteed Organic Kale, and Hollandaise (also from VB). And, since it was brunch, there had to be potatoes!! Homefries with Caramelized Onions! Yes!!
I had never made Benedict before, even in my omni days, and I was sooooooo happy with how this turned out!!!! Everyone else was, too!
And for one more nod to Isa's Vegan Brunch cookbook, East Coast Coffee Cake, with a Cardamom-Date variation! I am in looooooooove with this cake!! Heavenly! I was so blessed with so much great food and great friends this week....let's hope this next week is just as wonderful! :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Southwest Sweet Potato Corn Cakes with Chipotle-Baked Black Beans

Yesterday's installment of my weekly vegan brunch at my house was full of flavor and full of fun! I made some Southwest-inspired food, for a little spice to warm us up from in the inside out...because it is really flippin cold here in Kansas City!!!
Everyone seemed to really enjoy the food, and I thought it was pretty good, too! So I'll share my recipes with you...really easy and tasty, a great combination!!!
Southwest Sweet Potato-Corn Cakes
with Chipotle-Baked Black Beans and Avocado-Cumin Aioli(serves 8-10)
For the Black Beans:
1 lb dried black beans, soaked overnight in cool water
1- 4 oz. can tomato paste
1 3 or 4 oz. can chipotles in adobo sauce, diced
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs hot sauce of choice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chipotle powder or chili powder

In a large pot filled with water, cook black beans for 1 hour, until tender. Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, chipotles with their sauce, molasses, vinegar, hot sauce, garlic, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and chipotle powder. Stir until well combined. Add the cooked black beans to the prepared sauce and stir to coat completely. Pour beans into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring halfway through. While the beans bake, prepare the Sweet Potato Cakes (below).

For the Sweet Potato Cakes
3 lbs sweet potatoes, diced:
2 cups corn kernels
2 cups masa harina
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/4 cup olive oil or melted margarine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs baking powder
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp Adobo seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook sweet potatoes for 10-12 minutes, until cooked throughout and fork-tender. Drain and return to the pot. Mash well, a few chunks remaining is fine.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the masa harina, baking powder, and spices. Stir to mix well. Fold in the corn and garlic, and then stir to coat with dry ingredients. Add in the mashed sweet potatoes, soymilk, and oil or margarine. Mix together ingredients until completely combined.
Heat a griddle or skillet or medium-high heat. When pan is hot, lightly oil to prevent cakes from sticking. Scoop 1/4 cup of the sweet potato batter and place onto the hot pan. Spread the batter out to approximately 3-4 inches in diameter, 3" if you want a thicker cake and 4" if you want thinner. Allow to cook for 5 minutes and then flip and cook the other side for 5 more minutes, until both sides are browned and the cakes have become firm. Place cooked cakes onto a baking sheet and let finish cooking in preheated oven for 1o minutes, which will allow them to become firm and cooked completely. Remove and serve immediately, topped with Chipotle-Baked Black Beans and Avocado-Cumin Aioli.

For the Avocado-Cumin Aioli:
2 ripe avocados
4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup soymilk
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt

In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use; this is even better if made a day in advance.

And, to finish of such a wonderful meal, there had to be a wonderful dessert: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa and Terry!! These are some of my favorite cupcakes in that cookbook!! I double the amount of Cinnamon Buttercream, because I'm a frosting kind of girl, and I use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose, because I'm also a whole grains kind of girl! I love these soooo much....and everyone else did, too!!
Here's a few pics of people enjoying some tasty food on a lovely, cold Saturday afternoon! Thanks to everyone who braved the weather for vegan food and supporting sustainability!!

I can't wait til next Saturday!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! I'm Celebrating with Pancakes!!

Well Happy 2010 to you! I have been on a blogging break since just before Christmas, as I have been icky sick and have not really felt like eating, let alone blogging! But I am feeling much better now, btw, and am ready to be in the blog world again!! I am still not ready to put up xmas pics yet, as I got sick on Christmas and barfed up that whole meal. Sad, but true. And looking at the pictures makes me want to ralph again. So there ya go.

Anyway, after a long night of New Year's Eve celebrating last night, my friends and I went out to brunch at Succotash, a local Kansas City brunch place/diner, to ring in the new year right...with delicious food!!

I got the Vegan Pancakes...which are HUGE as you can see in the pic below!! Bigger than that plate, so it's at least 12 or 13 inches in diameter. I mean daaaaaang that's one big pancake! Luckily, I brought home about half of it to have for dinner tonight! Yay leftovers!! And I got some fresh fruit and coffee, just to make it a well-rounded brunch! Yum!! ps the vegan pancakes aren't on the menu, you have to ask for them specially, so do that! Thanks to Succotash for great vegan pancakes, even at an omni restaurant. Props!!