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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Wow!  Time really flew this last week.  I fully intended to post a follow up to Appliance Excitement much sooner, but I got caught in playing with my new friend and trying a bunch of raw food recipes.  The great thing about all that experimenting is that I have a new found love for raw desserts.

The little blender-that-could has served me well for the past several years.  Especially when it came to what is now being refered to as the Great Pumpkin Incident of ’09.  My new little friend, however, has the kind of chopping and blending power that I have only dreamed of.  I put that power to good use this weekend by making a melange of raw desserts including, chocolate pudding (chocomole), cashew whipped cream and cranberry kremecakes. 

My new friend.

The chocomole is going to be the focus today along with the cashew whipped cream.  Both of these taste wonderful on their own but together they are an unstoppable force of tastiness.

Chocomole (a.k.a. Raw Chocolate Pudding)

Chocomole
1 Avocado (pitted and peeled)
4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1-4 dates (optional but excellent for a little additional sweetness)
1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup water
 
Place avocado, cocoa powder, agave nectar, dates (if using) and 1/4 cup of the water into your food processor.  Pulse until thick and smooth.  Continue to pulse while slowly adding the rest of the water and until the consistency is pudding-esque.    The texture is everything with this recipe.  The first time I made this I didn’t blend it as well as I should have.  While it still tasted rich a dark chocolatey, the bits of avocado and date threw me a bit.  So remember to blend thoroughly.
 
Cashew  Whipped Cream (pictured above as the topping for the Chocomole)

1-1/3 cup Raw Cashews (soaked 2 hours)
1/2 cup Water
3 tablespoon Agave Nectar 
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Blend all ingredients in your blender until smooth and fluffy.  If making  in a food processor, start by blending all ingredients, minus 1/4 cup water.  Stop often to scrape the bowl.  Once it is quite smooth, drizzle in the last 1/4 cup water and blend till fluffy.  This is so good that is could be dessert all by itself!

If you are looking for more dessert inspiration you should stop by Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog.  Not only does she have great recipes for all things chocolate, but she is also doing a charity drive called Operation Chocolate Covered Kindness.  Just by checking out her blog you will be helping her earn money that will go to those in need.  While your are there  be sure to enter the her Big, Fat Chocolate Covered Giveaway.

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I have always been more of a baker than a chef.  Certain things in cooking tend to elude me.  I know that I like my food to have a lot of flavor but I don’t always know that right way to achieve the flavors that I am looking for.  This has never proven more true than when I cook tofu.  So, with the help of several cook books and internet resources I am beginning my own personal Tofu Experiment. 

For the Tofu Experiment I will be making at least one meal a week using tofu in different ways.  Tofu tends to take on the flavors of whatever you season it with and can be prepared in a variety of ways.  I figure that this will encourage me to flex my culinary muscles a bit before they atrophy.  Hopefully the end result will be scrumptious and add a few new recipes to my repertoire.

For the first installment of the Tofu Experiment I took a simple tofu scramble and (in the words of Emeril) kicked it up a notch.  I love spicy food so I decided to do a South of the Border inspired tofu scramble.  It ended up being a big enough that I will be eating for lunch for the next couple of days.  But I don’t mind, it’s really tasty.

Salsa Verde Tofu Scramble

1/2 medium Onion  (diced)

3 cloves Garlic (minced)

1 Red or Green Bell Pepper (diced)

2 tsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Chili Powder

2 tsp. Cumin

1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1-1/2 cups Salsa Verde

12 oz. Extra Firm Tofu

2 cups Frozen or Canned Corn

1- 15 oz. can Black Beans

Before you get started cooking you are going to want to press the excess water out of your tofu.  My technique for this is really simple.  Place your tofu on a plate and cover it with another plate.  Place several heavy books on th top plate and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When the oil is ready add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes.  Continuing at medium heat, saute this mixture for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.  Add the pressed tofu to the skillet and break it apart using your spatula.  Add the salsa verde and mix well.  Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring frequently.  Add the black beans and corn and continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed and the beans and corn have been thoroughly heated.  You can serve this on its own or roll it up in a tortilla with some guacamole.

The Verdict: This tofu experiment is a resounding YUM.  The first night I ate it all by itself with some era salsa and triscuits.  Yesterday I had it as a burrito for lunch and it was completely satisfying.

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I have definitely been keeping busy the last few days and I fully intend to fill everyone in on several tasty creations that I have come across.  Tonight however, I took a bit of a break from the usual to hang out with some friends for a potluck style dinner.

It was a wonderful night.  The conversation was plentiful and entertaining, the atmosphere cozy and welcoming, but the real magic happened when I had my first bite of the main dish.  It was a warm, creamy heaping fork full of Mac n’ Yeese. 

I found a bit of heavenly bliss in every mouthful of this cheese replacement dish that I have been dreaming of for the last 4 weeks. And while I am tempted to horde the recipe and keep it all to myself, it just wouldn’t be right not to share this divine bit of vegan food paradise.  So here it is, the recipe for Heidi’s Mac n’ Yeese.

Heidi’s Mac n’ Yeese

  • 1/2 Cup Margarine
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 3 1/2 Cup Boiling Water
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 Pinch of Turmeric
  • 1 Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • about 1 Tbsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. Mustard

Making It

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add salt to taste, and add macaroni.
  2. Melt the margarine over low heat.  Beat in flour with a wire whisk.  Continue to beat over medium heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
  3. Whip in boiling water.  Add salt, garlic powder, turmeric, cayenne, pepper flakes, soy sauce and mustard to the liquid.
  4. Let the sauce cook until it thickens and bubbles.  When that happens, beat in nutritional yeast.  If the sauce is too thick, add more water.
  5. When the macaroni is cooked, drain and add the sauce.  Serve immediately.

If you want to get the story behind this fabulous recipe and what inspired it check out Heidi’s blog at http://rootielicious.com.  You can also see some of her amazing jewelry there as well.

That is all for tonight but stay tuned.  In the next 2 days you will get to hear all about an amazing tofu scramble, fauxtess cupcakes and an adventure with pumpkin roasting.

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I love Halloween and I love baking.  Do you what happens when those two loves become one?  Bloody Eyeball Cupcakes are created!

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and Bloody Feet…..

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And don’t forget the occasional Bloody Finger.

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Oh yes, it looked like Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory in my kitchen this morning. 

As gross as these guys look they taste fantastic.  The cupcakes are made with the recipe from the chocolate cake recipe on Cake Maker to the Stars  recipe page.  The frosting is Vanilla Un-Buttercream and the “blood” is strawberry puree that has been sweetened with agave nectar and thickened with cornstarch.  I had a ton of fun making and decorating these spooktacular nibbles.

Vanilla Un-Buttercream Frosting

2 cups Powdered Sugar

1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread

1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening

1/2 Tbsp. Vanilla

1-2 Tbsp. Water

All ingredients should be room temperature.  Blend together the buttery spread and shortening until completely combined.  Blend powdered sugar into the buttery spread/shortening mixture.  Once the powered sugar is completely incorporated, add in the vanilla.  Continue to blend the frosting together while slowly adding water 1/2 tablespoon at a time until it has reach the perfect fluffy consistency.

 

 

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I got a wonderful surprise at the office this afternoon in the form of tasty, organic apples.  My co-worker brought in a bag full of lovely Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apples that she had picked from apple trees in her backyard.  My head is whirling with all of the yummy goodies that I will be able to cook up with them. 

When I got home tonight my first order of business was to make a big pot of applesauce with the Goldens.  Applesauce is so easy to make and requires just a bit of effort.  The effort is well worth it too.  Not only do you get a scrumptious treat, but your whole house smells wonderfully and distinctively like autumn.

 

I keep things really simple and basic when making applesauce.  First peel, core and chop the apples.  Then place the apples in your pot and pour in a combination of half water, half apple juice so that the liquid comes to just below the top of your apples. 

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Boil the apples until they are very tender, then add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove or any other seasonings that appeal to you and mash until it is as smooth or chunky as you like.  I like my applesauce pretty thick so I will continue to cook it down a bit after it has been mashed.  The best thing about applesauce is that you can adjust it to meet your tastes very easily.

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I also whipped up an Apple-Cinnamon Upside Down Cake.  I found the recipe today on the Veg Cooking blog and just had to try it.  As usual, I did make a few adjustments to the recipe.  I used Fuji apples instead of Gala, did 2 layers of apples instead of one and dusted my pan with cinnamon instead of flour.  I also didn’t use parchment paper to line my pan and it didn’t seem to make much difference.  The cake came out perfectly and tastes divine.

With apple season in full swing I hope everyone is getting a chance to enjoy them.  I would love to know what your favorite apple recipes are and what variety of apples you like best.

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I am finally back on my feet, and after a course of antibiotics and lots of sleep I am ready to start cooking again.  While I was down for the count most of my meals consisted of canned soup, fruit and whatever else was lying around.  So, needless to say, I have been itching to get in the kitchen and cook some real food.  This weekend provided the perfect opportunity to whip up some of my favorite comfort foods. 

For me comfort food is seasonal.  Something that hits the spot in winter or fall, may not do the trick in spring or summer.  Since we are in the midst of fall (with occasional winter tendencies) comfort food favorites include potatoes, homemade applesauce, cornbread and muffins.  Yum!  Just thinking about them gives me the warm fuzzies. 

For this adventure in comfort I made use of one new recipe and one old favorite.  The new recipe is for Sizzlin’ Home Fries.  It takes the classic goodness of pan fried potatoes and kicks it up a notch with some spicy goodness.  The old favorite is my Struselicious Banana Mini Muffin recipe, which has all of the flavor of banana bread packed into tasty little bite-sized morsels.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Sizzlin’ Home Fries

2-3 potatoes (I like Reds or Yukon Golds)

2 tsp. Olive Oil

1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced

1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Diced

1/2 Medium onion, chopped (I use sweet or Vidalia onions)

1/4-1/2 cup Water

1/2 tbsp. Garlic, minced

1 tsp. Chili Powder

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Wash potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch  cubes.  Put the olive oil and potatoes in a large skillet and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the bell peppers, onion and water to the skillet then cover and cook for 5-10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.  (You may need to add a bit more water as the vegetables cook.)  Removed the lid from the skillet and add the garlic and seasonings.  Cook uncovered for about 5 more minutes.  Serve just as they are or with your favorite hot sauce.

If you like a bit more heat you can add a diced jalapeno chile or for a different flavor add a diced chipotle chili.  If you want a more mild version just switch up the seasonings.  Keep it simple by using just salt and pepper or be as creative as you want. 

Struselicious Banana Mini MuffinsStrucelicious Banana Nut Muffins

1 cup Unbleached White flour

1 cup Whole Wheat pastry  flour

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread

1 cup mashed Banana

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

3 tbsp. Your favorite Non-Dairy milk or Water

1 tsp. Vanilla

In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda then set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance Buttery spread and brown sugar.  Beat the mashed banana into the sugar mixture.  Add the non-dairy milk or water and vanilla into the banana mixture then add the flour mixture.  Stir until well combined.  If you like you can fold in 1/2 cup of chopped nuts. (I like pecans but I know a lot of people like walnuts.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spoon batter into a well-oiled mini muffin tin so that each cup is about 3/4 full.  Then mix strusel as follows:

1/3 cup Unbleached White or Whole Wheat Flour

1/3 cup Brown Sugar

1/3 cup White Sugar

3-4 tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/8 tsp. Nutmeg

A generous dash of Clove

Using a fork, combine the above ingredients in a small bowl until it forms small pea-sized clumps.  Spoon strusel mix over the muffin batter so that it fills the rest of each cup.

Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.  Cooking times may vary depending on your oven so keep a close eye on you muffins while they are baking.  If you want full-sized muffins prepare them the same way as the minis but use a regular-sized muffin tin and increase baking time to 25-30 minutes.

Now that I have shared some of my vegan comfort food favorites I would love to know what your favorite comfort foods are.

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Okay, I know I have been on a bit of a smoothie kick lately but bare with me.  Fall is rapidly descending in my neck of the woods and will bring many soup, stew and bread recipes to the blog.  At the moment though, the speed and ease of smoothies have taken over my world.  Or at least my breakfasts.

With that said, I feel the need to share my new and improved chocolate-strawberry concoction.  Yesterday’s post included a very basic smoothie involving chocolate green super food powder and strawberries.  While that was good, I saw fit to kick things up a notch this morning.  And so, the following smoothie was born.

Chocolate Sunshine Smoothie

2 scoops Amazing Grass Chocolate Green Super Food

5 Strawberry juice cubes

½ cup frozen Strawberries

½  a Banana (fresh or frozen)

1 Orange (juiced)

¾ cup Water

Put all of the ingredients in the blender, hit puree and enjoy!  As with my other smoothies I don’t add any sweetener but you can always use a bit of agave nectar if you like.  Also, feel free to up the amount of water if you want a thinner smoothie.

All I can say about this smoothie is… YUMMM!  It was so tasty and it kept me going all morning.  What more could you want from a breakfast on the go?

The rest of my meals were pretty run of the mill.  Peanut butter and raspberry jam rollups in whole wheat tortillas with cucumbers and humus for lunch.  Dinner was a mixed green salad with lemon, tater tots and a great veggie patty I found at Andy’s Market called Oregon Harvest Veggi Patti.  These veggie patties are made by Chez Gourmet from Marie and are delicious.  I was really excited to find them and have them as a ready made replacement to my usual black bean burger.

The Oregon Harvest Veggi Patties have all kind of tasty ingredients.  Organic Forbidden Rice, sweet potato, Anasazi beans, carrots, mushrooms, pecans, onions, roasted corn, broccoli and celery just to name a few.  Are you drooling yet?  I am and I just finished eating one.  All of that is available in your freezer section without any animal by products to speak of.  Three cheers for quick and easy dinner solutions!

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