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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vegan Rice Pudding

I thought I've posted this recipe before with pictures.  I make this most often with left over rice but it's easy enough to make fresh as well.

2 cups of water
1 cup of white/brown rice

1 1/4 cups of Vanilla Almond milk
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 
Cooking rice on a stove top isn't as tricky as most make it out to be. Simply throw the rice and water into the pot and set to high heat and bring to a boil.  Once boiling set the heat to low and cover.  Keep an eye on it until all the water has been absorbed into the rice and/or boiled off.  Finally add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine them. Continue to cook on low heat until all of the new ingredients are absorbed into the rice.  Once done, turn off the heat and place all of the mixture into a bowl to cool. All that's left is to nom!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Kale Salad

Everyone say YUM...



...then eat it!


Ingredients:
KALE (duh)
Strawberries
Almonds (Crushed)
Orange Pepper
Three carrots
Purple Onion
Avacado
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing



What to do:

1. Chop, chop, chop.
2. Drip the dressing
3. Take it for a spin in the bowl.
4. NOM.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vegan Naan

My friend Terra shared this really great sounding recipe with me recently. I haven't made it yet but plan to over the next couple days. While her blog isn't all vegan, she has some great vegan recipe's up and more to come. Here's a direct link to the recipe she told me I could share here: Vegan Naan

Naan

 This bread is quite easy to make at home and is the perfect addition to an exotic Indian meal.
Adapted from a recipe by chattanoogavegan on VegWeb.

Servings: 16
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1/4 c sugar
3 T unsweetened soy milk
1 egg or egg replacer, beaten (1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 T warm water is a good substitute)
2 tsp salt
3 c bread flour
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray, as needed
 
Directions:
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar, milk, egg, and salt.

Add the flour 1/2 c at a time until doughy (you may need slightly more or less than 4 1/2 c). Knead thoroughly, roll into a ball, then let rise for 1 hour.

Flatten out the ball and sprinkle half of the garlic on top. Knead in the garlic completely then repeat with the rest of the garlic, making sure it is spread evenly throughout.

Preheat a skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat. Divide the dough into 16 balls, about 2" in diameter. Use a rolling pin to flatten each of the dough balls into thin ovals, between 1/8" and 1/4" thick.

Spray the bottom side of the naan with cooking spray before placing in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until it is golden brown and bubbly on top. Spray the top with cooking spray and flip over to cook for another 2 minutes.


    

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vegan Apple-Raspberry Bat Shaped Mini Pie!




The Challenge:

A mini apple pie shaped like a bat.

I'm throwing a batman movie marathon that will include about 24 hours of pure batman movies. Starting with the 1943 black and white Batman Serials, the 1953 Batman and and Robin and moving into classics like the 1966 Adam West Batman until ending on the more recent renditions.

Every minute of such epic-ness needs some kind of food or at least treats to get the sitters through this daunting task (trust me, not all of the Batman movies are very watchable). What would be more appropriate than bat shaped pies?

I found this wicked copper cookie cutter that allowed me to shape the dough and pre-cook the crust enough to provide filling. I thought it might
be possible to use it to make a small pie by filling it with dough, mushing around the corners, cutting a top and pre baking the main crust for about five minutes and the top for two at 400 degrees. Filling with cut up apples, agave and raspberry preserves...baking at 300 for another five minutes and BAM...bat shaped vegan pie!

The pie crust I use is the same I posted on this post.

Chop up enough apple to fill each individual bat.

If you want to make a few bats with the same cookie cutter... pre-bake the crusts, fill, and then assemble and bake them all at once.

So for when it's time to turn off the bat signal...dig in...NOM.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vegan Sugar Cookies




VEGAN SOY FREE SUGAR COOKIES!

Makes: 2 dozen cookies
Time: Twenty Minutes (Not counting fridge time)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of applesauce
1/2 cup of earth balance soy free vegan butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3/4 of a cup of sugar
1 and 3/4 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

Add the applesauce and vanilla then mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Finally, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined its all combined together into a sticky pile of dough. Cover the bowl and throw it (and I do mean THROW it...okay not really) into the fridge for about an hour and go play around on www.MindTapped.com or order my book on Mind Control techniques at www.lulu.com. Once an hour has passed, preheat oven to 350.

Roll the dough out into walnut size balls and flatten in the hands. Bake a sheet of twelve cookies for about 10 minutes.



Frosting

Makes just enough for about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
6-8 teaspoons of almond milk
4 teaspoons of agave nectar or maple syrup
a touch of the food coloring of your choice!

Directions

In medium bowl, mix together powdered sugar and milk until smooth.

Beat in sweetener and extract until icing is a smooth glossy texture. If it seems too thick add a bit more agave or maple syrup until its the consistency you wish.

Add a drop or two of food coloring for color and BAM - vegan icing ready to be squeezed or spread onto your cookies. Ice cookies and allow to dry overnight.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Soy Free VEGAN Pumpkin Pie for the WIN, WIN, WIN!


(a perfect pumpkin pie)



(before I mastered the smooth)

It's the time of year where pumpkins are fruitful and my wee vegan stomach is craving the tastes and joys of being filled with Pumpkin Pie! My dear friend Heather B. shared this recipe with me. I've been in search of a great soy-free vegan pumpkin pie. The tofu pies never seem to cook up well for me. The original recipe called for a bit of Molasses for flavor but I've omitted it. Also the pie takes a bit to set so give it plenty of time to cool. I set mine in the fridge for a couple hours before eating and it turned out nummy!

The Pie Crust:

3 Cups of Flour
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
1 Cup of water
1 & 3/4 tsp of salt

This pie crust recipe actually makes both a top and bottom crust. Make two and freeze the other half so you have it ready to go the next time your craving pie! Sift the flour and salt together (just mix it up well with a whisk). Add in the olive oil and mix with a spatula until everything comes to a sandy texture. Add in a half of cup of water and mix well then add the additional half cup. Need the dough well. Roll out the dough and fix it into a pie pan. Oh, don't forget to talk nice to it!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pre-cook the pie crust for about ten minutes. Cover the edges with a bit of foil to prevent the crust form burning or browning and remove after ten minutes have passed.

The Filling:

Blend in blender:

2 Cups of Canned Pumpkin
1 Cup of Vanilla almond milk
3/4 Cup of Sucanat (you can use brown sugar if you'd like, but I prefer Sucanat)
1/4 Cup of Cornstarch
1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice or cloves

Blend the heck out of the ingredients until it's all mixed to a nice smooth. Pour the filling into your ready pie crust and smooth over the top with a spatula. This is a real art form! The smoother the pie the less cracks you'll have once it's baked up and cooled for eating.

Once you have it nice and smooth, bake for an hour at 350. After it comes out of the oven, let it cool for a bit then stick in the fridge for a couple hours before you serve it.

If you give this one a try, report back and let me know how it turned out for you! Again, thanks to Heather for the recipe!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pita Bread!

Pita Bread
Makes about 8 pitas

  • 3 cups flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or agave nectar
  • 1 packet yeast (2 teaspoons yeast)
  • 1 and 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Follow the instructions on the packet of yeast to activate it.

Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir everything together.

All of the ingredients mix and form a doughy ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add a little more water as needed.

Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. I've been told that the secret to great pita bread is in the kneading. So don't skip out on this step and knead it well (fold over, press down, repeat).

Roll the dough into a ball and place it back into the bowl and coat with a light coat of oil. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for an hour and a half.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel again and let them rest for another 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. I don't have a baking stone so I simply turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. I use the bottom of the pan to bake my pitas!

After the dough has chilled out for about 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough.

Next take the flattened pita and place it in the oven on top of your baking stone/cookie sheet. Let cook for about five minutes or until it has puffed/poofed up. Leave the oven cracked during this process. Depending on your baking surface, you may be able to cook multiple pitas at a time. The first time through, cook just one to figure out how long it needs to stay in.


Let cool, Nom, Enjoy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Secret to Perfect Soy-Free Vegan Mash Potatos

Vegan Mash Potatoes

A lot of folks have told me that they find good vegan mash potatoes hard to master, but you might be surprised at how easy it is. This recipe is not only full of a blast of garlic flavor, has the perfect consistency, but is also soy free!

Ingredients

4 lbs. potatoes
5 cloves of Garlic
1/4 cup of Almond Milk
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes and boil in a large covered pot until tender (Occasionally check with a fork). Drain the potatoes but save the water! The potato water is one of the secrets to making this deliciously nom! Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork.

  • Peel* the garlic cloves and use a micro plain grater and grate the garlic into the potatoes. Add soy milk and a little salt and pepper and mix until creamy.

  • The secret to getting the perfect consistency is in the saved potato water. Add a *little bit* of the warm potato water to the mixture to and mix in. When I say a little, I really mean a little! Do this until you obtain the perfect mash!

*To REALLY bring out the garlic flavor, and if you'd like to go that extra step you can roast the unpeeled garlic in tin foil in the oven at 450 degrees for 25 minute (or until soft). Once done, squeeze it out of it's peel into a bowl and mash it up with a fork before adding it to the potato mash.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Last Minute Vegan Veggie Burgers in 15 minutes!





I'm sitting at my new apartment after a long day working a festival here in Michigan. I haven't had much time lately to settle in so my kitchen doesn't have much in it food wise yet. I stormed the pantry to see what I had on hand and found a can of mixed veggies, a can of chick peas (or Garbanzo beans if you'd like...besides Garbanzo is much more fun to say! Say it with me... Gar-ban-zo. Roll it off the tongue. Delicious.), a left over Avocado from when I made Sushi for a potluck the other evening and some burger buns from (an impulse buy at the grocery store when I picked up some Sweet & Sara Marshmallows the other night).

Conclusion? I decided to throw together some, make-it-up-as-I-go veggie burgers.

This particular recipe is really inexpensive and super easy to throw together last minute. If you don't want to use canned veggies smashed up in a mixing bowl, use fresh veggies and grate them into the bowl before mashing everything together!

In terms of an offering at a potluck, I'd keep the recipe the same but serve with each burger cut into quarters so it could be eaten as finger food!

Ingredients

Makes 6ish!

  • 15.5 Oz can of chick peas
  • 15 oz can of mixed vegetables (Mine has carrots, potatoes, peas, corn, green beans, celery, lima beans, salt, and onions )
  • 1 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 3/4 of a cup of Vital Wheat Gluten
  • A Splash of soy sauce
  • Some Olive Oil


The Fixings and After Ingredients:
  • a couple of "eating ready" avacados
  • Sesame seed buns
  • Fresh tomatoes for slicing and whatever other topping you enjoy.

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl mash the chic peas and can of mixed veggies with a potato masher. If you don't have a potato masher, a fork works just as well!

Grate the two cloves of garlic into the mix and then throw in the rest of the spices with a splash of soy sauce to taste (and this is also very tasty raw).

I find that I don't have to add any water to the mix as canned chic peas and veggies tend to be very moist even after being drained of their canned liquid. If you find your mix too dry, add a 1/4 cup of water in slowly until it's a good consistency that sticks together without being too watered down.

Divide the mix into 6 equal sizable pieces by rolling them into balls with your hands.


Start up a fry pan with the bottom coated lightly with olive oil over medium heat. Throw in a couple patties and flatten them out with a spatula (click it). Let cook until brown and then flip; be sure to give it a good coating of olive oil before flipping. Let the other side cook before removing it from the heat.

For the bun, and trust me on this, throw each side of a bun into the residue of olive oil left in the pan and fry it for a couple seconds before throwing the freshly cooked patty on it. It's worth it!

How to cut, de-core, and skin An Avocado!

It's simple, though a lot of people I've met have no idea how to approach it. This surely isn't the only technique and may not even be the best, but it works well for me! Take a large knife and cut around the pit of an avocado and split it in half as pictured. Then, take the half with the pit in it and chop the knife into it with one steady blow. Twist the knife left or write and lift. Voila!






To remove the skin, I cut my pieces to whatever size I wish to eat them with and gently peel the skin back in one piece with my fingers. Done right, it should remove easily and in one piece.





Put a couple pieces of avocado on your burger and Nom away!

Action Shot:


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Majadra

My good friend Paul claims that Majadra has everything you need in one meal to get you through the day. I'd question the validity of that, but it is pretty great. Considered to be "Peasant Food", Majadra is inexpensive, full of nutrients, filling, and (most importantly) tasty!

I love middle eastern food. There's a fantastic little place down the street called Haifa Falafel that I go to often. They're a friendly bunch and make amazing food. That said, I love to cook... and because Majadra is great warm or cold, it certainly makes for a great potluck contribution.

Here's the basic recipe I tend to throw together. If you scour the internet, you'll find many different variations on this theme that call themselves "Majadra" but there's no right or wrong. Alter it to your liking!

Serves 12
  • 1.5 cup of whole rice (not white)
  • 1.5 cup of green lentils
  • 2 large onions, cut into thin slices or diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika (optional)
  • 2 medium sized roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup of choped parsly
  • (salt to tast if you really want to)
1. Cook rice adding twice the amount of water than rice. When the water & rice begins to boil, lower the heat and cover. You'll want to keep an eye on the rice to make sure it doesn't get too dry and doesn't spill over. This technique results in some lovely moist rice.

2. Cook lentils in another pot. The amount of water here doesn't need to be as exact but you want to have about half water and half lentils in your pot. Cook the lentils until they're soft but not too mushy. Keep an eye on this as well.

3. While the lentils and rice are cooking, make yourself useful! Dice up the onions and tomatoes and chop the parsely. Next grab a large pan or wolk and fry the onions slowly with a little bit of oil oil until they start to brown.

4. Once the rice and lentils are done, drain the water. Add the rice and lentils to the large pan along with all of the spices. Fry evenly for around 3 minutes.

5. Remove from heat, and add parsely and tomatoes, serve, NOM!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vegan French Toast!
Serves Six People (two slices each)

Growing up my family had a french toast tradition waking up after that one eve a year that the scary man shoots down the chimney and drops strange objects in the house. We'd all eagerly sit around the table waiting for my father to finish cooking up the in house favorite: eggnog french toast. The eggnog is what made it a killer seasonal delicacy. The strange thing is, I can't stand eggnog! It's never been a favorite, but makes for a tasty secret ingredient in french toast. Now days it's possible to purchase Vegan eggnog (which I swear tastes better than the real thing), but it's also only out seasonally.

This particular recipe trades eggs for a few bananas, giving it an even sweeter taste, and spices up some almond milk to give it an "eggnoggish" taste. If you've ever attempted to skillet up a vegan french toast recipe you've probably found that it tends to stick more to the pan. The secret fix is being sure keep a slick pan by applying some vegan margarine (I prefer Earth Balance) between each grilling to keep the bread from sticking. Also keeping the pan at a even low-medium heat does wonders.

Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (Or add your own vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of real maple syrup
  • 1 loaf of vegan Cinnamon Raisin bread (12 pieces)


The Bread:

The bread can make or break any french toast recipe. You want a loaf that's cut into thick slices. While cinnamon raisin bread isn't necessary to making these delicious, it certainly helps! No matter what bread you choose, you want it to have some density to it so that it doesn't overly soggy too quickly.

The Prep:

  • Grab the blender and add in all your ingredients. What could be easier?
  • Pour a little bit of the mixture into a small bowl. You'll want just enough to cover one side of whatever bread you've chosen but not enough to drowned each piece. Coat one side of the bread and then flip it over to coat the other side. I use a fork to scrape off any excess batter. The idea is to allow the bread to soak up the flavor and leave each surface relatively batter free.
  • Heat-up your pan on medium heat with a bit of Vegan margarine and make sure it's covered evenly.
  • Fry each piece of bread until it reaches a golden brown color and then flip and repeat. You want to cook it long enough so that it is toasty to the core but not burnt.
  • Once you've fried up your complete batch, serve. You may think these are going to need more maple syrup... but trust me, they're good enough by themselves!
  • Finally NOM!
When the right season comes around, try using Vegan eggnog instead of almond/soy/rice milk. The difference is delicious. Please write me and let me know if you've given this recipe a try!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Potato, Tomato, Avocado Curry over Rice


To prove that I don't bake sweets all the time and nothing else, I've decided to share this lovely Potato, Tomato, Avocado curry recipe. Admittedly, the spice measurements are estimates and one could just as easily buy pre-made curry and throw that in instead. If you do happen to cop out and buy pre-made curry spice, you're doing yourself a grave disservice. Honestly I generally just throw these things together. Sometimes I scream "BAM!" when no one is around and pretend to be Emeril (You know that crazy guy on the cooking channel? Oh come on... I haven't owned a television in 8+ years and even I know who he is....You won't tell anyone, will you?)

This particular dish is being made mainly because I had some potatoes that need to be cooked and some avocados that werne't going to last much longer. The tomatoes add a nice color contrast and a cool taste to contrast the spice of the curry.

Makes 6-8 Servings.

Ingredients:

6 Potatoes sliced thinly

1-2 Avocados

2 Roma Tomatoes

1 can of Coconut Milk
1 Teaspoon of corn starch

1 Teaspoon of Turmeric
1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon of Coriander
1 Teaspoon of Cumin

1 1/2 cups of rice

3 cups of water

a slice of lemon

The Skinny:

  • Start a pan/pot of water and boil the sliced potatoes. When they're almost soft (10-15 minutes), drain the water completely and add a can of coconut milk to the potatoes. Mix in and return to low heat. Add in spices (Chili Powder, Coriander, Cumin, and Turmeric) and stir in well. Cover and let cook for a few minutes longer.
  • To thicken the curry sauce up a bit, I like to take a teaspoon of corn starch and mix it in a small cup with a bit of warm water and then add it to the potatoes. Only 3 to 4 teaspoons of water is needed. This helps give a better consistency to the mixture.
  • Let the spices cook in under cover of a lid until potatoes are done to your preferred consistency.
  • While the potatoes finish, add a cup and a half or rice into another pan with 3 cups of water and cook over high heat until it boils. Once the bubbly starts bubbling, lower the heat and cover until the water cooks away and poof(!) your rice will be done (keep an eye on it).
  • While that's all going you have a few minutes to dice your tomatoes and avocados. So do that!
  • Transfer the finished rice to another bowl and zest it with a bit of lemon
  • Once everything is done, take a few spoon fulls of rice to a plate, spoon some curried potatoes on top and garnish the top with the diced tomato and avocados!
  • Nom!
If you'd like, throw in some Nutritional Yeast to taste to give it a bit of a cheesiness that's to NOM for.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Flour Tortillas & hummus-carrot-almond spread





See that? That's me attempting to look bad-ass with a freshly made tortilla. I know, it's not working.

It's a beautiful 79 degree day outside. Perfect for bike riding and a picnic. So I pulled my schwinn (Don't get too excited, I bought it used and it's technically a girls bike. Easier on and off I say!) out of the living room closet for the first time this season and found that my tires needed pumping. So I ran to the store, bought a new bike pump (as mine has some how found its way into the lost world of lost things) and pumped up the tires only to discover that there was rip in the valve of the tube. I'd like to say I was all pumped up for the day, but today that pun falls short on multiple levels.
Luckily, I also picked up a few odds and ends at the grocery while I was out so instead of going out I'm staying in with the windows open and cooking up some homemade flour tortillas. I have yet to decide what to put in them but I'm sure the inspiration will come eventually.

Here's the recipe I'm playing around with:

Flour Tortillas


Makes about 10-12 flour tortillas.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons of salt
  • 4-6 Tablespoons of vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups of warm water

  • Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Mix vegetable shortening or oil with a cup and a quarter of warm water in a separate bowl. Make sure everything is mixed well.
  • Add the wet to the dry a little a time until the dough is soft and not sticky.
  • Knead the dough with your hands for a few minutes.
  • Now you will pull off pieces of dough to form about 12 small dough balls. Let them
  • rest for at least 10 minutes, longer if you like.
  • Heat up a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. You don't want the pan to be too hot or the tortillas will cook too quickly.
  • Now you can roll out the dough with your tortilla rolling pin. As I've never owned a rolling pin I use a heavy duty drinking glass. It works well! It helps to dust each ball with a little flour before rolling them out. Also putting a little flour on the rolling pin helps too. Roll out the dough on one side, flip it over and roll again. The goal is to get a nice circular and thin end product.
  • Gently pull the freshly pressed tortilla up from your working surface and lay into the dry frying pan. It's only going to take 30 seconds or less to cook. Heat it for 30 seconds on one side and flip the whole thing over and let cook for another 20 seconds before pulling off.
  • A good tortilla will be slightly brown with speckles.
  • That's it! You're ready for some "om nomming!" (If you're new to my blog that means they're ready to eat!)
So I have a stack of flour tortillas, waiting to be consumed by my famished self, but I have yet to make anything to go in the tortillas. Yes, I'm doing this backwards.

The last potluck I went to my friend Liz brought a delicious hummus dip. I decided I'd attempt to duplicate it and use it inside my tortillas. This wasn't your usual boring hummus either, it was full of shredded carrots, almonds, and other surprises!

So I pulled out my food processor and went to work.

Hummus-Carrot-Almond Spread


Ingredients

  • 1 cup of garbanzo beans
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tomato
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon Juice to taste
  • Olive Oil to taste
  • Franks Hot Sauce to taste
Throw it all into the food processor, lock it up and turn it on.
You may want to add a bit more of the 'to taste' items afterward until everything is to the liking of your taste buds. What could be simpler?



Okay - now I'm off to eat.

Cheers.

** EDIT ** The next morning:


That's a homemade tortilla spread with the hummus concoction and some freshly fried up homemade black bean burger mess!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cupcake Party!


Alright, so I've said this before, but I really don't have that much of a sweet tooth! I swear.

I do like cooking things, but eating them (while delciously tasty) is another story. For a potluck, cupcakes are a fun thing to bring. They're individually wrapped, they don't take up too much room leaving the stomach open for other goodies, and they're customizable.

The customizable attribute is really the best part. Cupcakes are empty canvas' ready to be brought into the world to be quickly vanished in to the bowels of...well never mind that. It's fun and I find that no two people like their cupcakes quite the same way...though some people just like ANY kind of cupcake.

I made two dozen "rainbow" cupcakes...here's how:

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes!

  • 2 cup of soy/rice/almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2/3 of a cup of canola oil
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or silicone liners (I prefer the awesome silicon re-usable liners!)
  2. Whisk together the milk (vegan of your choice) and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes. It's always good to let the vinegar and milk talk a bit to each other a little bit. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and wisk until it gets foamy.
  3. In another mixing bowl, sift/whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in the wet ingredients to dry, beat until no large lumps remain, and WHAM you're ready to go!
  4. Split your batter evenly into three bowls. Ad a few drops of different colored food coloring to each bowl and mix in well.
  5. Use a ladle to pour any color of your choosing into the bottom of each liner. You're going to make three layers of batter in each liner so leave room! Choose another color to add on top of the first and fill in the rest of the paper with the last color. You only want to fill each paper about 3/4ths of the way full.
  6. Bake these rainbow gooey babies for 15 to 20 minutes and pool them out and let them cool on a cooling rack.

It's All About the Filling...oh and Toppings

Frosting is generally considered the most important part of the cupcake. I disagree. I think the proof is in the filling. I like to inject my cupcakes with some kind of preserve filling. I take a syringe, fill it with my choice of preserve (raspberry, blackberry plum, etc) and slowly squeeze a bit into the center of each cupcake through the top side. Only then do I add a topping; a light brushing of powdered sugar, dark chocolate fudge whipped topping, soy whip cream, sprinkles, whatever!

Variations: If you want to make chocolate cupcakes add in a cup and a half of cocoa powder to the mix and skip the whole rainbow option. Not as fun, but tasty.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Chocolate-Apple-Cake-Pie!

I've always preferred pie over cake with one exception....

While I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, it does have its limits. If given the choice between eating cake and eating pie, I'll almost always choose the pie! For some people It's a hard decision. So why not have both at the same time? You saw some pictures of one version of this project and now some folks asked for step-by-step instructions. Here it is!

Enter the cake-pie! My good friend Brian (of twelve years+) is a bit of a comic book reading math geek (and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that). As a result, he comes up with some zany ideas. This particular project was originally seen at a Pi (you know 3.1459....) celebration. Having no idea on how it was accomplished, we both decided to attempt a vegan version of our own creation. The challenge was to cook an apple pie inside a chocolate cake. It's ridiculously easy and the ingredients simple.

For the cake I've chosen a delicious, yet simple, chocolate-blueberry concoction with a coconut almond frosting topped off with sprinkles. The pie inside is a macintosh apple-pie with a hint of cinnamon and agave nectar. Mmmmm, mmmm, Nom!

The pie and the cake are mixed separately and partially cooked separately before being assembled together to finishing baking. The Pie recipe I'm going to share with you by itself makes a very delicious and healthy concoction. The crust of a pie can make or break its success (both in shear functionality AND flavor).

Ideally you'll need three mixing bowls, but may easily squeek by with two. You'll also need two cake pans to make two halves of the cake that will be later assembled into one and a pie tin that fits inside your cake tins. We used two sized pans for the cakes.

I don't recall where I picked up the pie crust recipe and it's changed here and there. The cake recipe is based on a delicious black-out cake from Veganomicon without the ganche and without the raspberries and doubled.

Ingredients Needed For Entire Project

For the 2-Crust Pie (Base and lid):

2 Cups of Unbleached Flour
1 teaspoon of Salt
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil or Canola Oil if you must
3 Tablespoon of Cold Water

The Pie Filling:

As many Macantosh Apples as you'd care to slice up!
A dash of cinnamon
Agave

Making the Pie Crust:

In a Large Mixing Bowl, mix/sift the flour and salt together. To be honest, I generally just take a wisk and give everything a good mix.

Add oil and mix well.

Sprinkle a little bit (3 Tablespoons worth) of cold water over it all and mix well.

Mix the dough with your hands into a smooth ball adding more oil if it is too dry and divide the ball in half.

Next, roll out one ball of dough to the size of the pan you're using and place into pie pan. I prefer to cook in glass as I find it sticks less and doesn't require greasing.

Cut-Up a bunch of apples in slices and fill the pie. As a personal choice, I don't bother skinning the apples but you may wish to. Next dribble some agave over the apples and sprinkle as much cinnamon as you'd like.

Next roll out the top.

So now you have the two pieces of wax paper crisscrossed on your countertop. Now lay down a ball of pie dough and flatten it somewhat with your hands. Now take the next two pieces of wax paper and crisscross them on top of the pie dough. Now roll out the dough with your rolling pin. I find that I tend to start in the middle of the dough and roll it toward me - then I turn the dough (easily done since it is between wax paper) and roll it toward me on that side, etc. - continuing until you have rolled out the entire dough.

Now carefully peel away the top two layers - then turn the dough upside down (with remaining wax paper on top facing you) onto a clean and empty pie pan. Put your filling in and then do the same procedure to place the top crust on top of the pie. (Remember to put some water on the rim of the bottom crust before adding the top crust.)

Now you can trim the excess crust (maybe leaving 1/2” beyond the edge of the pie pan) and then fold the edges of the two crusts under and form into the edge that you mold into shape.





video

To be finished soon!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288



It's Pi day! Geeks all around the world celebrate Pi day enthusiastically.

If you're unfamiliar with this spiffy celebration, it's traditional to hang out at 1:59 PM and eat pie. Yes Pie. In honor of Pi day, I've decided to tackle a rather interesting conundrum.


It's a pie inside a cake.

Or is it a pie pretending to be a cake?

Either way, the pie-cake has candy that's pretending to be fruit that tops an apple pie inside a chocolate cake spelling out a confused new years message.

All around it's a very confused pie & the perfect food to bring to a pi-day vegan potluck!

So just how do you make a pie INSIDE a cake?



The secret lies in baking two halves of a basic vegan chocolate cake, taking the bottom of a pit tin and gently indenting the two halfs of the cake, carefully insert a cooked apply pie, assemble the top half of the cake onto the pie and bottom half, frost the pieces together and serve!









Happy Pi Day Everyone!


p.s. Geeks - please note the time of this post ;)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Braided Flaxseed Bread

I decided I would pop in a movie tonight and make some braided flaxseed whole wheat bread. Movie of choice: From Hell. The local rental house is going out of business and all DVD's are $4.00. It took me a while to get around to checking out the inventory so there wasn't much left. From Hell is a wicked little film staring Johnny Depp and examines a possible theory on who Jack the Ripper really was. The movie itself is based on Alan Moore's graphic novel by the same name. I couldn't think of a better way to get my hands dirty than to do it while watching a wonderful blood fest of murder and romance.


Most people might think that bread is an incredibly complicated and time consuming task. It really isn't. Most of the time it takes to make bread is waiting around while the dough rises. That's what the movie is for. There's absolutely no reason you have to stick around and wait for the dough to rise, you could step out and run some errands and come back and continue the process. It's really up to you! Control your time, don't let the bread control it on your behalf!

Any-who, this is a very healthy recipe that's easy to make and quite tasty. It's pretty basic and uses few ingredients and doesn't require any fancy kitchen gadgets. If you've never used flaxseed before, you'll either want to purchase flaxseed meal or grind down the seeds yourself using a coffee grinder/spice grinder.

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 3/4 cups of warm water

2 Tablespoons of sugar or maple syrup

1 tablespoon of canola oil

3/4 teaspoon of salt

1 cup flaxseed meal

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour for kneading

If you've never made bread before, it's quite easy and a very satisfying experience.

1. Dissolve your yeast in the warm water until the liquid becomes frosty looking. Letting it dissolve for about five minutes will do the trick.

2. Next, it's time to feed the yeast! Add the two tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon of oil, salt, one cup of flaxseed meal and one cup of whole wheat flour. Mix this with a spoon or fork.

3. Once things are mixed well, add another cup of whole wheat flour and mix. Then add in your one cup of all-purpose flour. Mix till it all holds together. This should only take a couple minutes. It will be a bit sticky, but once you begin to add in one cup of all purpose flour (see step 4) for kneading it will all come together.

4. Here comes the fun part. It's time to get your hands dirty and knead the dough by hand on a floured countertop for about 10 - 15 minutes. This is where that cup of flour comes into play. Sprinkle it onto the dough and knead it in with your hands. If you find that the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour in.

5. Run a bit of oil around the mixing bowl to keep the dough from sticking and place your freshly kneaded dough inside and cover to let rise. You'll also want to add a tad bit of oil to the top of the dough.

6. Let the dough rise till it has about doubled in size. I generally let the bowl sit ontop of a warm radiator to help accelerate this process. I will take an hour or two to rise so take this time to clean up the dirty dishes, read a bit of a book, and relax a bit. Keep an eye on the dough and when it's doubled you're ready to rock!

7. Braiding the Dough is the next fun fun part of this whole charade. It's not necessary, but it gives a beautiful look to the final product.

While a three strand braid is certainly easy, a four strand braid is prettier and offers a more substantial final product!

Separate the dough into four equal balls and roll them out into long ropes. Lay these out on a lightly floured surface and smoosh one end of all four ropes together and place a weight on end to keep everything in place. Label each rope left-to-right 1-2-3-4. To braid simply cross 1 over 2 and three back over 1 and 2. Do this to the other side as well...4 over 3 then 2 over 3

and four. Each time you complete a braid, relable the end of each rope left to right 1-2-3-4 and repeat.

Once you get to the very end and there isn't anymore room to continue the braid, tuck the ends under the bread.


9. Place bread on top of a tin foil layed cookie sheet, cover and let rise until its doubled its size.


11. While waiting, preheat the oven to 350F. Once the dough has doubled, pop it in the oven and bake it for about 40 - 45 minutes. Once it's done, put it on your counter to cool for five to ten minutes.

12. Remove the bread from the cookie sheet and let cool on a cooling rack to room temperature. Letting it cool is key to getting a nice cut. If you cut it too soon it will simply flatten out.

13. Slice and OM NOM your freshly baked bread!

Vegan Cinnamon Buns! NOM!

Makes 12-16 (only 8 pictures as the other 8 were nommified straight away)





Time (Not Including Time for Dough To Rise): About an Hour
Total Time: about 2 hours.

Ingredients:

For The Rolls

2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1/2 Cup of unbleached sugar
1 Cup of Ricemilk, warmed (This is important)
2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseeds whisked together with 6 Tablespoons of hot water
(You could use 2 'eggs' worth of egg re-placer but flaxseed is much much much better)
1/3 Cup of Vegan Earth Balance Soy-Free margarine, melted
4½ Cups of unbleached flour
1 teaspoon of salt

1 Cup of brown sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon
1/3 Cup Vegan Earth Balance Soy-Free margarine, liquefied for brushing on dough

The Fro-Fro-Frosting


Originally this recipe called for 3oz (3/8ish of a container) of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese but in an attempt to make this Vegan AND soy free....
At the end you'll find a soy-free substitute of a cream cheese spread.

Ingredients :

3/8ths of a cup of Soy-free Vegan Cream Cheese
1/4 Cups Earth Balance soy-free margarine, softened/liquidized
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar


Instructions:

Mix the yeast, sugar, and milk in a mixing bowl and let stand until it get a bit bubbly.

Add flaxseed, melted margarine, flour, and salt. Mix well and knead for 5-10 minutes. The dough should be firm and smooth. Set the dough aside in a covered bowl and let rise and double in size.

After the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured work surface, cover, and let rest for 10 more minutes.

While waiting for the dough to double, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Roll the dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle.
Spread dough with margarine and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Roll up dough and cut into 12-16 sections with a sharp knife.

Place rolls into a lightly greased muffin baking pan. (A cookie sheet also works fine.)
Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, for about 10-15 minutes.

While rolls are baking, beat together vegan cream cheese, margarine, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

As a finishing touch, crush some almonds and sprinkle on top!

and the following recipe isn't mine nor have I tried it but it should work as a Vegan-Soy-Free Cream Cheese!

Vegan Soy-Free Cream Cheese:
Makes One Cup

1 Cup of plain rice or almond milk
1/4 Cup of raw cashew pieces
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoon. cornstarch (or wheatstarch or 3 T. white rice flour)
2 Tablespoon. oil
1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup

Using a blender or food processor, blend the rice milk and cashews until smooth.

Add the remaining ingredients and continue to blend.

Pour blended mixture into a small saucepan and stir constantly over medium-high heat until it thickens and begins to boils. Lower the heat and cook 1 minute while constantly stirring.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Finally, whisk with beater until it's smooth. Cover and refrigerate. Before using, you'll want to mix it again with a whisk. If you find that it's too thick, it may be thinned with a little rice or almond milk.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First Snow - with Summer food

Tonight was a lovely small group. I made a RAW Vegan Avocado Soup. It's a delicious little number I made from scratch with a tomato base, 5 cloves of garlic, 2 zucchinis, 3 avocado, a jalapeno , corn, and a bit of onion etcs. It's easy to make, tastes amazing, and did I mention that it's delicious?

Brian made a spelt grain bread from scratch and we also had Vegan gingerbread, a lovely salad, and a few other surprises.

The highlight of the evening was throwing myself down the hill that the house sits on in the snow. Of course, the snow saucer did help the throwing process to be a bit more fun than what would have been a cold snowy ouch.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Now Appearing at Ypsilanti's Corner Brewery!

Introducing George's Vegan Hoagie! (A.K.A. In private circles...The Mind Tapped).



So it has been brought to my attention that I have a sandwich named after me at the Corner Brewery. It's currently on the Specials menu through August 31st but will soon become a permanent menu item!

It's called George's Vegan Hoagie. It's on vegan sub style bread with tempeh, mustard, tomato, onion, and sauerkraut. It's a bit bland the way it is, but will soon be altered to include black olives and banana peppers.

It was created after attending VegAnnArbor regular get together at the Corner Brewery on Mondays. Not only is their beer Vegan, but my friend Heather is the kitchen manager and has been working on a expanded kick-ass menu. There are plenty of vegge options, but weren't really anything that was vegan in the form of sandwich. Solution? I put together a sandwich made-to-order. Upon sitting down we worked out something that tastes pretty decent and after a taste test I was told it would be added to the menu. What's cool is that it was named after me too! So folks, here's to my 15 seconds of fame.

It's quite nummy as illustrated below: