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11.30.2004

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies



I made these cookies last night because I really needed a chocolate fix. And the best part is: they are made with Flax seeds as the egg replacement which are really high in omega -3 fatty acids which are really only found in fish and walnuts and flax seeds and hemp seeds and are really important for brain functioning. The flax seed oil tastes like shit so I can't get myself to take it like medicine as john does. So, what better way to get my omega-3's than in my favorite food:cookies. The recipe comes from my favorite vegan cooking site: The Post Punk Kitchen

11.27.2004

Jewel Yams with Kale and Dried Cranberries


I made this for thanksgiving and it was one of the most delicious dishes I've ever had. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 medium yam
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
dash cinnamon
dash allspice
dash mustard powder
1/3 cup vegetable broth
4 large kale leaves, washed, stems cut out and cut into thin strips or pieces

Directions:
Peel and cut the yam into a large dice and place in a baking dish with a dribble of olive oil. Cover with foil and baked at 350 for about 30 minutes. Put the onion, garlic and ginger into a saute or frying pan with a little olive oil. Saute on low-med until translucent. Add a TBSP of vegetable broth and cook until liquid evaporates. Repeat process once more. Mix the spices together and dump them into the onion mixture. Add a bit more broth the kale and cranberries. Toss the mixture and cover. Cook covered for a few minutes until the kale is bright green and very tender. Add the yams and toss. Heat through and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

11.21.2004

Roasted Beet and Avocado Tower



This is a salad that I loved at the restaurant I worked at. It's so beautiful too. Its not that hard to create either. Here is the recipe:

1 large organic beets, cut in 1/4 inch thick slices
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
pinch of cumin
1/2 avocado, cut into medium-sized dice
1 large organic tomatoes, chopped

To prepare, Cook slices in oven with vegetable stock and extra virgin olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper covered for 40 minutes at about 400 F, or until beet slices are cooked all the way through. This may take longer than 40 min. Remove beets, cool to room temperature and then place in refrigerator. Reduce stock until 3/4 cup is left, set aside. Add a little more vegetable stock to the pan with a splash of dry white wine and a pinch of cumin. Reduce this down to a similar consistency as the beet jus. When beet slices are cold, mix avocados and tomatoes together in a bowl; add salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of beet jus.

To present, alternate a layer of beet followed by a layer of avocado mixture, repeating until you end up with three layers of this mixture. Three slices of beets should be used for each tower. Spoon 1 TB beet sauce over each tower and on the plate. Garnish the plate with little drops of the other jus for color. Sprinkle with Italian parsley. Serve immediately.

Vegan Pie Crust

This pie crust recipe came from my sister who makes the best apple pie ever. I veganized the crust recipe and made it healthier by using whole wheat pastry flour. Sometimes, I use half unbleached flour and half whole wheat pastry and that makes it really good.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or half unbleached, half WW pastry)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine
3 TBSP ICE water.

Directions:
Stir together the flour and salt. Cut in the Earth Balance using a pastry blender tool or my favorite method, the Cuisinart food processor Mini Prep. I just throw my flour/salt mixture in the food processor with cut up Earth Balace that has JUST come out of the refridgerator (so it is as cold as possible.) Pulse a few times until the margarine lumps are pretty uniform but don't over pulse. Add the ice water and mix until it forms a ball. Knead a few times and form into a disc.

Now, I suggest rolling out between two sheets of parchment paper or wax paper instead of chilling it first. This will make it easier to roll out and get into the pie pan. Roll out a circle and lay it in the pie plate. Make sure to gently press it down so there are no air pockets. Trim the excess so there is a little over an inch hanging off the plate all around. Tuck this under so that there is a nice smooth thicker edge all around the pie plate. Now you can pinch or do whatever you are going to do with the edge if it is a pie that has only a bottom crust. NOW, put it in the refridgerator for about 30 min before baking.

If it has two crusts (which would require making double of this recipe) you would leave the bottom crust edge untouched until you filled it and have laid the top crust over the filling. Now fold BOTH the top and bottom crust overhang under as one unit. Gently press around the outside with the tines of a fork to seal or use one of the various pinching methods. I googled to find these pinching methods and for pictorals of "making a good pie crust - how to"

Bake as directed in which ever pie recipe you choose.

Mushroom Gravy

My mom and sister are requesting that I give them this gravy recipe so they have have some gravy for their mashed potatoes. My sis doesn't eat meat but she eats fish so there really isn't a salmon gravy to douse your mashed potatoes in. Thank god. This is a great mushroom gravy recipe for anyone who eats dairy. I use a nutritional yeast one without dairy myself, if anyone is interested I can post it.

Mushroom Gravy

2 1/2 TBSP butter, divided
2 TBSP minced onion
1 cup minced mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 TBSP flour
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Melt 1 TBSP of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in onion. Saute 3-5 minutes or until softened. Stir in mushrooms. Saute 3-4 minutes longer, or until almost dry. Add wine. Cook until liquid has evaporated. Remove mushroom mixture from pan; set aside. Melt remaining butter in pain; stir in flour. Cook and stir over medium heat about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Whish in vegetable broth. Simmer, while whisking, 3-4 minutes longer or until thickened. Strain, if necessary and return to skillet. Whisk in poultry seasoning and milk, continuing to cook until heated through. Stir in reserved mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

**Update Pecan Pie**



I made the pecan pie last night as a test run for thanksgiving. I found out a couple of things. I have reposted the recipe here.


Looks like it needs to cool completely before eating to set up so probably best to make it the night before thanksgiving, then stick it in the oven for lten minutes to get it a little warm around the edges if you like.

MAPLE PECAN PIE

Makes one 9” pie

1-2 c. lightly toasted, unsalted pecan halves

FILLING:
1 and 1/2 c. maple syrup
3/4 c. water
pinch salt
1/4 c. cornstarch
mixed with 4 and 1/2 T. cold water OR rum or bourbon
2 T. Earth Balance
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Poke the pie crust all over with the tines of a fork and pre-bake for 3 minutes. Remove from oven to a rack.
In a medium saucepan combine either the water and sugar mixture OR the maple syrup with the second 3/4 c. water. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add the salt and the dissolved cornstarch, whisking vigorously. Stir and cook over high heat just until the mixture thickens and is clear. Remove from heat and stir in the margarine and vanilla—stir til the margarine is melted. The mixture will still be fairly liquid.
Pour this into the pre-baked pie shell. Arrange the pecan halves on top, pressing them all the way down to the bottom crust, or as far as you want. Do more layers of pecans arranged in a nice pattern. Place the pie in the middle of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Bake 30 minutes. The filling will still be “jiggly”—don’t worry; it will set as it cools. Cool on a rack for about 1 and 1/2 hours, then refrigerate until thoroughly cooled and set. Serve with vanilla non-dairy “ice cream” such as Tofutti, Soy Delicious, Soy Dream, Rice Dream or my new favorite Freezees.

11.18.2004

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Until a few years ago I didn't even like pumpkin. Or at least I thought I didn't. Not sure which one it was. At any rate, I can't get enough freakin' pumpkin these days and the holidays only make it worse. I made up these muffins from a few other muffin recipes I liked. Make them without the chocolate chips for a good breakfast (make them the night before though and split them open and reheat in a toaster oven or regular oven.)Otherwise they are great for dessert. In fact we just had them! I'll try to retro-add a picture to this but Johnny was too tired to take one for me tonight.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


Ingredients
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup unrefined cane sugar
¼ cup unrefined cane and brown sugar mixed
¼ cup (or just under) canola oil
3/4 cup pumkin (tiny bit less)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ tsp baking soda
1/8 cup vanilla soy milk, mixed with ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
¼ cup chocolate chips (no hydro)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil muffin tins. (A regular size 6 muffin tin)

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.

Stir together pumpkin, oil, sugars, vanilla, and soymilk mixture very well. Add a LITTLE water so that it is liquidy enough.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix lightly, leaving some lumps. Pour batter into muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 min.

11.07.2004

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Garlic


This is a recipe I made up the other day and was delighted with the results. The roasted squash and garlic give the soup a much better flavor than if they had been cooked another way. And whats better, it's easier since you just throw the squash and garlic in oven and forget about it for 40 min. Once it's cooked the soup making part is incrediblty easy and fast. Excellent for the cold weather. And yes, we do have a little cold weather in LA!

Butternut Squash and Corn Soup with Roasted Garlic
Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon - extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 small butternut squash
2 cups of veggie stock
1 cup corn
pinch of dried thyme
salt and pepper

Directions:
Place four cloves of garlic still in their paper peels on a sheet of aluminum foil, add half a teaspoon or so of olive oil, and wrap the foil around it. To do the squash, cut it lengthwise and place face down on a pan. Bake together on a cookie sheet for about 40 minutes on 375 degrees F. Let both cool a bit, and then you can squeeze the garlic cloves out of their individual peels. Scoop the flesh out of the butternut squash skin and place with the garlic in a saucepan. Add the broth and corn and bring to a boil. Once the corn has cooked (or thawed if you are using frozen corn) turn the heat off. Toss in the blender and blend until smooth or use a blending wand and do it right in the pan. Blend until smooth. Return soup to pan and heat through on low. Stir in the pinch of thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.

11.06.2004

Pancakes


Although I don't do it every weekend, I like to have a little pancake fiesta sometimes. I make them with whole wheat pastry flour so I can feel good about eating a super-carb breakfast and not really having any protein. I do love to have vegetarian sausage with it when I have some of that on hand. Tasty brands are Morningstar (although owned by Kellog and not recommended as I think they use GMO) and Yves brand. I make HALF of this recipe for John and I and its about 3 sizable pancakes each, which is quite a lot if you ask me! Use real Grade A amber maple syrup. Expensive but WAY healthier than that log cabin crap. That stuff is pure high fructose corn syrup which screws with your blood sugar. A little of the real stuff goes a long way.

Pancakes
Ingredients (use vegan versions):
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (my fav)
2 tablespoon vegan sugar
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups vegan soymilk or water
(optional: dash of cinnamon)

Directions:
Lightly mix all ingredients in a fairly large bowl; leave 5-10 minutes to rise. It's important only to mix the batter enough to moisten, as overmixing will make the pancakes tough. Gently fold down; leave again for 5-10 minutes if you have the time, and gently fold down again. Cook medium to medium- high on an canola oiled skillet until golden, carefully breaking apart any large lumps with the spatula. Serve immediately.