Archive for October, 2010

Oatmeal Banana Raisin Waffles

Breakfast! My all time favorite. The Brunch section of Vegan with a Vengeance really is spectacular. The Oatmeal Banana Raisin waffles are so good they should be sinful. They seriously are one of the best breakfast foods I have ever made. They are super full of flavor, have one of the best consistencies ever, and smell so good.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking (rolled) oats
  • 1 very ripe medium-size banana
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • Extra sliced bananas (and/or strawberries) for the top
You will first want to preheat the waffle iron. Then, mix together the flour, baking powder and soda, nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon. Once this is combined, add in the oats. Separate from this, mash the banana very well so there are no chunks left over. Then, add the soy milk, maple syrup and oil. Add the wet and dry ingredients together, and fold in the raisins. Let the waffle batter sit for about 2 minutes to let the oatmeal get moist and soft. Then – the fun part – make the waffles!
You will fall in love with these right away. They have a slightly chewy texture from the oats and the raisins, and are very filling. They taste awesome even without extra maple syrup on top, especially if you add bananas and strawberries for topping. I tried it with and without syrup, and I honestly think it was better without – they are just that good!
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Borscht

So much cabbage....

and so many beets!

The farm share has provided us with a TON of cabbage and beets. While we baked a good amount of beets in an orange glaze and ate them on their own, we still had more than you can imagine left, as well as cabbage, since we don’t cook with it all too often. Due to this, I decided to get in touch with European heritage (and surely the boyfriend’s Ukrainian one as well, as it is a traditional Ukrainian dish) and make borscht. And I made a ton at that, knowing the fall and winter days are ahead, and having soup in the freezer is always a good thing.

Here is the recipe:

  • 3 Large beets (or 6 medium/small)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 small/medium green peppers
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (you can used canned, I used some from the farm share)
  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of dill
  • hot sauce to taste

First, you see that large dark green pepper in the foreground there? I don’t know what I was thinking but that sucker was HOT. As in, not realizing it, I cut it up and my hands BURNED for hours after. My cuticles were on fire and nothing would make it better. The burning of my hands cued me on to the intensity of it, so shortly after throwing them into the cooking borscht I was fishing them out, as I didn’t want a soup that would be so ungodly spicy. But hey, we all make mistakes.

Anyhow, you want to begin by baking the beets for an hour (or until soft), wrapped in tin foil at 35o degrees. While the temptation may be there to eat them, because who can deny the goodness of warm beets, don’t do it, and instead peel and chop them for the soup.

Then, in a large pot – seriously large though, this makes A LOT – heat the vegetable oil and saute the garlic, followed by the celery, carrots and onion, until they are tender. Then add the beets and saute for another minute.

Following this, you will add the broth, water and tomatoes, followed by the cabbage, vinegar, salt and spices. If you’d like, you could also add a can of beans, but I think the borscht is hearty enough without them. Let the pot simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. It will smell fantastic.

I love the color!

I’ll admit, at first I didn’t really think I would be a fan of borscht. Something about cabbage and beets together in a soup seemed to turn me off. That was before I smelled and tasted this soup. The carrots and celery are perfectly soft, right along with the beets, and even the stock of the soup as well is delicious. As I was placing containers of soup in the freezer for another day, I had warm thoughts of sitting down with this soup, wrapped in a bathrobe after just coming inside from the cold, and it all seemed too right.

Carrot-Raisin Muffins

Gooooood morning

Vegan with a Vengeance really knows how to do breakfast/brunch. In flipping through my recipe books (I do this way too often), I saw this recipe and knew I had all the ingredients. Plus, the spices and carrots have a good autumn feeling to them. I recently bought a huge canister of raisins since they were on sale, so this was a good chance to use them.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I added a little more, as said, I like cinnamon)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrot

Grated carrots are a gorgeous thing

Begin by preheating the over to 400 degrees, and prepare your muffin tin. After this, get out a bowl of hot water to soak your raisins in. This will let them plump up, so they will be juicy and chewy in your muffins. I did this with the dried cranberries in the Zesty Cranberry Crumb Muffins from My Sweet Vegan and it makes the dried fruit so much better.

Then, mix together the baking powder and soda, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt. After this is thoroughly mixed, add the milk, oil and vanilla. Mix this until it is just fully combined. Drain the water from the raisins and gently fold them into the mixture.

Fill the muffin tins to be about three-quarters full (you’ll get about a dozen muffins). These will rise (and look) nicely for you! Let them bake for 18 to 22 minutes, cool, and enjoy!

mmm!

I love these! They are so addicting though. Whenever I even set foot in the kitchen I thought about eating them, so needless to say they didn’t last long at all. They were perfectly moist (especially with the plump raisins) and you could really taste the carrot, yet without it being very overwhelming, which combined with the cinnamon and nutmeg was glorious. It was not over-the-top sugarly like some muffins, which is never something I want in the morning, or out of muffins in general. I know the quality of the pictures isn’t that stunning since the lighting was down right terrible in my kitchen at the time, but these muffins really do have a gorgeous color as well, very golden brown, with shreds of carrots  I can’t wait for there to be more carrots around the house so I can make these again.

Taco Day

 

Soft-shell or hard, still awesome

 

Taco night is always a big deal. It’s not like it’s any particular day of the month or week night, but whenever it is agreed upon, it often results in the boyfriend and I gorging ourselves on two huge tacos and then wondering why we would ever possibly eat so much food. They are way easy to make, variable, and filling. Lately they have been reflective of whatever CSA veggies we have been getting, so that means lots of zucchini, peppers, yellow squash, and even the occasional green bean.

Our previous batch consisted of:

  • Burrito wraps from Wegman’s (the regular white ones, for some reason the whole wheat ones do not hold up as well)
  • ‘Meat’ Mixture: TVP (bought in bulk from the local coop) cooked with a packet of vegan taco seasoning
  • A packet of Wegman’s Spanish Rice (this stuff is just too delicious)
  • Zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, diced grape tomatoes – all from the farm share, sauteed until soft
  • The salsa – 1 can each of pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas and corn, mixed with one can of Wegman’s medium salsa. This makes enough to feed an army and there will be a TON left over. That’s okay though because tacos are always good, and any of the leftovers are perfect for eating with Fritos scoops.

 

The overwhelming amount of salsa.

 

See, super easy and extremely rewarding. Sometimes we will mix it up, add different beans and veggies, throw in some Daiya cheese, or in the most recent case, add leftover chili into the mix.  I love this based on the amount of leftovers alone. You can be eating tacos for days off of this if you understood portion control (I clearly don’t). Also, these are way cheap to make, especially since Goya beans never fail to be only a few cents (thank you Goya, I love you), and canned corn at Wegman’s is 39 cents all the time.  I would be highly skeptical of any person who doesn’t like tacos.

An interruption

I wanted to take a break from my normal blogging ventures and spread the word about the Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey program going on. It’s fantastic and has received a lot of publicity lately, especially as Ellen DeGeneres has signed on to be the spokeswoman (and she’s awesome too). Everyone should check it out and spread the word – Thanksgiving really should be for the turkeys!

I don’t think many people stop to consider the horror behind Thanksgiving – the mass amount of turkeys sent to their death in ‘honor’ of a holiday, but not after being forced to live in horrible conditions for the duration of their severely shortened life. This doesn’t even begin to touch upon the hormones they are fed and how they are purposely bred/killed to create a larger turkey, so much so that they cannot even support their own body weight.

Turkeys are typical amazingly social animals and caring parents. Chicks will stay with their protective mothers for up to five months, where they are babied and learn necessary habits for grooming, feeding, and more. They are naturally super inquisitive, and are able to recognize the faces of humans. So if you can’t sponsor a turkey this year, at least be conscious of your choices and the food on your plate!

Whole wheat apple pancakes!

 

 

Nonconformist pancakes

 

It’s fall and all the apples I see everywhere look absolutely gorgeous. After a streak of having only cereal for breakfast for about a week and a half (how boring), I decided to make a batch of pancake batter the night before a long day at work, so I could wake up and throw the pancakes right onto the griddle, and then be on my way. I made a batch of whole wheat pancakes (the same one I used for my blueberry one as well), and altered it slightly to have an apple spice flavor, including small chunks of apple.

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp applesauce
  • 1  cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 apple, diced

 

Good morning!

 

I love these! The warm chunks of real apple, combined with the extra apple flavor from the applesauce in the mix is so good, especially with a good kick of cinnamon. They are super filling and dense from the whole wheat flour, and they aren’t terrible for you, so you don’t have to feel bad about eating them. It was a great way to start the day!

Stuffed Shells staring tofu ricotta

 

An extremely convincing fake ricotta

 

I’ve wanted stuffed shells for a really long time. Being vegan for almost a year now, I haven’t had any since before I made the transition. In my mind, I never thought that there would be a good substitute for ricotta cheese. This was before I bought the Veganomicon and made the tofu ricotta recipe, which is fast and ridiculously easy.

Tofu Ricotta:

  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

The first thing you want to do is break apart the tofu until it’s crumbly. Then, add the garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and lemon juice. Mush the tofu again until it reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese (it really will look like it too!). Then add in the olive oil and nutritional yeast.

After I made up the tofu ricotta, which took maybe ten minutes at the longest, I cooked up half a package of Gimmie Lean sausage, crumbled it up, and mixed it into the tofu ricotta. As it turns out, this was an awesome decision because it tasted fantastic in the stuffed shells. While the sausage was cooking, I prepared my pasta (a prepared a whole box – I wanted a lot of leftovers so I didn’t have to cook after long work days if I didn’t feel like it), and when it had cooled I stuffed them with the tofu ricotta/sausage filling.

 

Even naked, they look tasty

 

I placed them in a casserole pan with a very thin layer of water on the bottom (to prevent drying out/hardening of the pasta) and covered them in spaghetti sauce. I placed them in the oven at 350 degrees and let them bake for around 25 minutes.

 

All lined up!

 

They were so good! There was enough to feed a small army, and I ended up having six meals from it, which is great, seeing as how it was quick, easy, and fairly cheap to make. The sausage really played well into the filling and added a great flavor to the stuffed shells. I really, really adore this recipe and would make it again (except not too soon – I don’t want to wear myself out on them!).

 

Devourment.

 

Apple Crisp Pie

More delicious than you could possibly imagine

Saturday night it was beyond cold in the apartment. After sealing all the storm windows and investing in thicker curtains, it was still chilly (putting plastic on the windows is a job lined up already for next weekend), and we are attempting to hold out turning on the heat until at least the start of November.  In an effort to warm the place up, I was in quite a baking mood. With a bag of apples sitting around, I knew I wanted to incorporate them into some kind of dessert, and after seeing the Apple Crisp on my cousin Beth’s blog, I knew instantly that I wanted to make that  as well. It just looked so great, and clearly easy to make vegan by replacing the butter with margarine/Earth Balance. I had my heart set on making apple pie from then on. I had a mental struggle for about two hours as to whether or not I really felt like I had it in me to make a crust that night. After much debate, and recalling the last time I tried to make a while wheat crust (which turned out horrible, dry, and frustrating), I decided to walk to the near by coop and by a pre-made one. I know that it is cheating, but I really wanted to pie and did not want all of the anger of crust-making that night. So after picking up a whole wheat vegan crust, I continued onward.

The first thing I did was slice up the apples and started to make the filling, and preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

  • 6 medium apples (I used Gala apples), peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp apple cider
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of maple syrup (depending on how sweet you would like your filling, I only used 1/4)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 – 2 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat)

After the apples were peeled and sliced, I boiled them and the 1/2 cup of raisins for about ten minutes, until the apples had just become soft, which also allowed the raisins to plump up a bit. I then drained them both, saving 1/4 of the cup of apple water for the pie mixture.

I then added the 1/4 cup of water, apple cider, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. After mixing this, I then added the cornstarch and flour to thicken up the mixture. When it was all thoroughly combined, I poured it into the pie crust and spread it out evenly.

Then, I started making the topping for the pie, following Beth’s recipe:

  • 2/3 to 2/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour (I ended up using whole wheat flour yet again)
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup of butter/margarine, softened

I mixed all of the ingredients together, and then began to slowly add in the butter (I used Wegman’s brand spread/margarine) until the mixture was crumbly (in the end I used slightly less than 1/3 of cup). I placed the topping on the apple pie filling, drizzled the smallest amount of maple syrup over the top, and put the pie in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top was golden brown.

First of all, the pie made the apartment smell fantastic. Between the boiled and baking apples, cinnamon and nutmeg, the place smelled like the embodiment of fall. Even after it was done baking, the mere presence of the pie on the kitchen island was fragrant enough to make you want to continuously eat it.

The topping was probably just as good as the pie itself. It was sweet, crunchy, and the sugar in it played well with the apple filling, which on its own was not too sweet. The raisins were delicious in the filling, adding a bit of a chew and sweetness to every bite. The filling turned out perfect: not too dry and not too moist. The crust, while I cannot take credit for it, was great as well.

The ever-tempting pie

If I really wanted to, I could have ate this pie in one sitting. After the first piece, while it was still room, I had to remove myself from the apartment so I would not eat any more. The smell of the pie from our room was so strong that we had to cover it with a plate as to not see or get a delicious scent of it after brushing our teeth before bed. I would say it was one of the better things I have baked in a long time.

Kale and Tempeh – an awesome lunch

Kale chips - why did I wait so long to make you??

In trying to figure out what to make for lunch the other day, the boyfriend and I opened the refrigerator and stared longingly inside. It was overflowing with farm share veggies (see: tons and tons of cabbage, beets, peppers and swiss chard), so we knew we had to find some way to use at least some of them before we ran the risk of them spoiling before we got to them. So from the most gorgeous bunch of kale we decided that we were going to make kale chips, a modified version from Kittee’s blog:

  • 1 bunch of kale, cleaned and de-stemmed if you wish, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 4-5 tablespoons of warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminoes
  • pinch of chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon of hot sauce (we like thinks spicy)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

You will first want to pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and then measure out your peanut butter, and then add the warm water to it until it has a creamy, dressing-like texture. Then add your Bragg’s, chile powder, hot sauce, and 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Once this is thoroughly mixed, toss your kale in and ensure that all the pieces get coated in the tasty goodness. Then, place the kale on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with the remaining nutritional yeast. Bake for fifteen minutes or until the kale is crispy.

You will be amazed at how delicious this is. I guarantee it. Who ever thought of making kale chips first, kudos to them because they are one of my favorite things right now. Kittee’s dressing makes them even more awesome too, and I would consider making this dressing to put on other things as well. While peanut butter and hot sauce might initially sound strange together, I promise it is a match made in heaven.

So, after we decided on the kale chips, we decided we needed more protein (other than from the peanut butter and the kale), and settled on frying up a package of tempeh.

Spicy, sesame goodness

We pan-fried a package of tempeh (cut into 1/4 inch strips) with sesame seeds, Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue sauce and hot sauce. Simple, yet amazingly delicious!