Archive for Vegan with a Vengeance

Apple Crumbcake Muffin

Delicious!

How could anyone not love the fall? The weather is perfect, the trees are colorful, and all of the best fruits and vegetables are in season. Everything about the season practically begs you to sit around in your most comfortable jeans (or pajama pants) and sweatshirt, drinking coffee and eating muffins. Perhaps these apple crumb cake muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance perhaps?\

I ended up making these because it was a particularly chilly night, which of course immediately puts me in the mood to bake, and because I wanted something already made for the next morning’s breakfast before work. I had everything I needed for this recipe already on hand, including a handful of delicious organic Gala apples. They were very simple to make and turn out to be very rewarding.

I love these muffins because they rise high and look super appealing. You really just want to take a bite out of them the second you see them, and the crumb topping on top only fuels the fire. I normally am not a fan of crumb toppings because I think they make the muffin too sugary, especially for the mornings, but this one complimented the muffin very well.  In addition to looking great, the make the house smell fantastic as well, since there is nothing better than warm apples, nutmeg and cinnamon. They have the perfect amount of spice, and there definitely is that distinct apple flavor, enhanced not only by the grated apple but by the apple chunks as well. The muffin is outrageously soft and moist, and finished with a nice crunch from the brown sugar topping.

I would love to make this again soon, before the fall is over and apples are out of season. They only lasted ONE day in my house. Everyone seemed to agree that they were one of the best muffins I have made. I think I would have to agree.

perfection

Fronch Toast. Oh, do I love breakfast

Fronch Toast and Scrambled Tofu, the real breakfast of champions

Yeah, I know, the couple of days of Vegan MoFo I am spending talking about breakfast foods. Is that any surprise??

Well, I have found the french toast recipe that I will be sticking with from now on. It’s the “fronch” toast recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. It is breakfast food and dessert all rolled into one. Really though, this french toast has the perfect texture and taste, is not too soggy and doesn’t burn easily. The bread crisps up very nicely, and it even has a faint taste of fried dough. I am in love with this recipe. While it may not be the most healthy thing ever, who really cares sometimes?

  • Loaf of French or Italian bag, baguette shaped, stale (I couldn’t find a baguette to my liking so bought a loaf of thin, regular french bread, and then toasted it prior to making the french toast)
  • 1/2 cup soy creamer (or rice or soy milk) I used Silk’s vanilla soy creamer
  • 1/2 cup plain rice or soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • several tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Begin by slicing the bread into 1-inch thick slices, and then toast them if they are not already stale (I will say though, Vegan with a Vengeance says NOT to toast them, but instead to place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 3-4 minutes. I did toast them, however, and they turned out fine).

Put the soy creamer and milk into a wide, shallow bowl (you will dipping the bread into this). Add in the corn starch and stir until it is completely dissolved. At this point, I added some cinnamon to the mixture as well, I really love it on my french toast (and in general). Then, add the chickpea flour and mix until it is all absorbed.

Heat up your skillet and add enough oil to create a layer on the bottom. This should take about a tablespoon of oil. Then, soak the bread in the mixture and place on the skillet. Cook each side for 2 minutes (resist flipping them before this!!), and then flip. They should be golden brown and gorgeous.

These were great without the maple syrup even

I served it with some leftover scrambled tofu and they went perfectly together. It is one of the best breakfasts ever. While I made half of the loaf all at one time, I really had to restrain myself from eating all the pieces. In total I had 4 slices in one sitting which is kind of ridiculous, but what can I say, it is so good. Plus, think of all the cholesterol I’m saving myself from!

Maple Mustard String Beans and Potatoes

I’ve been wanting to make this dish for awhile now, but it requires a lot of cooking time so I had steered away from it. But behold, I picked a day when I would get out of work early and have time to cook this! If you are put off by the cooking time, just know that it is worth it in the end.

I got this all ready the night before, cutting the beans and potatoes, as well as pouring the glaze over it, put foil over the top and left it in the refrigerator for the next day. Right upon getting home I preheated the oven and popped them in when it finished heating up, so all of the major work was already done (so I made chickpea cutlets while the potatoes and beans were baking).

I really liked how this dish turned out. The taste and smell kind of reminded me of Snyder’s Honey Mustard Pretzel Bites. Maple syrup,  mustard and soy sauce definitely play well together, being both sweet yet slightly sour and tart at the same time. I would even consider making a batch of the glaze and marinating tofu in it.

By the end of the cooking time, the potatoes were perfectly soft, and the green beans had the nice, soft bite of a green bean casserole. French’s Fried Onions probably wouldn’t be a bad addition to this either. It made a ton, so I ended up having a lot of leftovers that fed me throughout the week.

I would love to make this dish again, that is, if time allows. Between all the good recipes from Vegan with a Vengeance and the Veganomicon that have potatoes in them, I will have to pick and choose however!

Garlicky Kale and Tahini Dressing

Beautiful bunches of kale

I probably don’t need to say it again, but farm shares are the best thing ever. Nearly all of the veggie dishes I have on here so far have vegetables from the farm share. We have been getting some awesome bunches of kale (and swiss chard), and while I would like to take all the kale and make kale chips, sometimes it is good to switch it up.  Don’t get me wrong, kale chips are still one of the best things on/from earth, but every now and then sauteed kale is the way to go. It lets the kale retain it’s “earthy” flavor, as the boyfriend would say. So returning once more to Vegan with a Vengeance (one of the best investments ever, I would say), I made the garlicky kale and tahini dressing as a side one day. Honestly, I don’t remember what the main dish was because these really stole the show. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, I wanted the kale itself to be less garlicky since there would be garlic in the dressing as well. I used 2 cloves of garlic, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to saute the garlic and kale, adding some water to the pot to give the kale something to cook in (for about5-8 minutes). Also, I left the stems right in the kale. I know some people like to remove them, but they are edible and a little extra fiber never hurt anyone.

You will love this!

Onto the dressing. This stuff is so great. It makes a good amount (but I ended up using the rest later, as you shall one day read about I’m sure). Combined with kale, it has to be one of the best side dishes ever, it would really steal the show from whatever else you’d serve with it. It is fairly garlickly though, so if you do not like TOO much garlic I would recommend adding less, particularly if you are going to be cooking the kale in garlic as well. With the leftover dressing I had it later on a salad (delicious!), served over broiled tofu and roasted red peppers (super delicious!) and also as a dressing for Morningstar BBQ Riblets. It can’t imagine anyone not loving this stuff.

the perfect couple

Scrambled Tofu

One of my favorite meals...

November has finally come upon us, and that can only mean one thing: Vegan MoFo. Well, that and a bunch of great vegetables are in season (squash, broccoli!), the leaves still have some leaves, and it hasn’t started snowing yet here in Buffalo. I figured I would kick off the month with a recipe probably everyone knows & loves, just for safe-keeping. I have tofu scramble at least two times a week, weather it be slapping it onto a plate or wrapping it into burrito-form. Either way, it is delicious and good for you!

Tofu scramble is one of the best things ever. It’s simple, delicious, and easy to turn to at any given moment. It’s warm, filling, smells great, and is highly adaptable as to whatever veggies you want to cook in it, or with whatever other food you feel like serving it with. It is even awesome as a stand alone dish. That being said, this was one of the first dishes I made out of Vegan with a Vengeance, and I have made it multiple times since. The spices are right on, and it is a fabulous recipe.

And here is the recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (I used 2)
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sprinkling of Daiya cheddar cheese

Spices:

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt

The first thing you want to do is heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onions for 3 minutes. Then add the garlic, saute a little longer, then whatever veggies you choose to use, and then add the spice blend, cooking for about 15 seconds longer. It will smell great by this point. To deglaze the pan and get all the good stuff off the bottom, add 1/4 cup of water and scrape away.

Then you want to crumble the tofu into the skillet. The key here is to crumble it and not mush it. Bigger chunks have more of an egg-like consistency and feel to them, but also taste better. I have made tofu scramble a number of other times with mushy tofu and it doesn’t even compare. Then, let the tofu cook for 15 minutes, adding water if you need to get the tofu to stop sticking to the pan. Add the lemon juice and nutritional yeast. When you are about to be done cooking, sprinkle some Daiya over the tofu and mix.

I added in peppers (green and red) and sliced cherry tomatoes that I had from our farm share, along with a good handful or two of spinach. The cherry tomatoes were an amazing addition because they become just the right amount of soft while cooking, and add a hint of sweetness to the dish. Towards the end of cooking the tofu I sprinkled some Daiya shredded cheddar cheese over the pan and let it melt, incorporating it’s gooey, salty, cheesy greatness all over the entire thing. Because of it, I added slightly less nutritional yeast to the mixture while cooking. Also, another great plus of this dish is that it ended up being three meals for me.

I love scrambled tofu so much. The spice mixture is spot on. I was never really a fan of real scrambled eggs, but this stuff is amazing – and healthy!

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!

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.

Curry and Cajun Fries

When first flipping through Vegan with a Vengeance after it came in the mail, the recipe for Chickpea Spinach Curry really stood out. I love curry (and curry powder, for that matter). There are very few dishes that can pack a powerful punch with spices, fill you up and warm your insides. Plus, look at this dish, it is gorgeous! I also love spinach and chickpeas, so this clearly was a match made in heaven.

More flavorful than you can imagine

Making the curry was fairly simply and quick. The boyfriend and I followed the recipe, except for the fact that we threw in some beets and string beans from our farm share. It turns out that they worked really well with the curry (the beets, however, could have been cooked a little longer before hand so they may have been softer). The best part of cooking this recipe was watching/listening to the mustard seeds pop while in the oil. I never knew they did that – and they smelled similar to popcorn too.

The curry itself was great! Having a tomato base rather than a traditional coconut milk base worked really well and made the curry less dense (and less in fat and calories too, if you worry about such a thing). I actually liked having chunks of tomatoes in my curry, this could be because I really love tomatoes though. It had that distinct curry taste and the chickpeas, spinach and beans were just the right amount of soft and filling. The only negative comment I have about the recipe is that it seemed like there was too much coriander in it. Next time I would put slightly less in as so that it is less over powering.

Leftovers spiced up with some french fries

For dinner the following day I had another bowl of the left over curry (it made a lot!), along with the Cajun baked french fries from Vegan with a Vengeance. They are great! I added a little too much oil by accident (I was surprised at how fast it came out, oops!) but other than that they were fantastic. They seems like a strange combination with the curry, but trust me, it really worked out, particularly given their crunchiness.  I loved the seasoning on them and how they crisped up in the oven – I like my fries well done and crunchy. I don’t understand why anyone would want McDonald’s fried when you could just have these.

Back to school… with cupcakes!

Back to school!

Every year for the first day of school my mom would have a whole batch of warm, home-made chocolate chip cookies waiting for me when I got off the bus. Being tired and usually exceedingly crabby, cookies made the day a little bit better for me AND everyone else around. Since I knew my mom was not going to be making cookies for my brother and sister (they’re twins), I knew they deserved to have the same treat and decided to make them the Lemon Gem cupcakes from Vegan with a Vengeance. Granted, I didn’t make cookies, but who wouldn’t be cheered up by a dozen bright and glowing cupcakes?!

When the batter smells good, you know the cupcakes will rock!

As said before, the cupcakes I made were from the ever-amazing Vegan with a Vengeance. I don’t know how any vegan cannot love Isa or Terry. I will admit, making these was just a little self-serving. I had been eye-balling the recipe for a while, had all the ingredients laying around, and I love citrus-y cupcakes so much. I won’t re-post the recipe because it’s not my place to do so, but I do have a lot of pictures!

First of all, when making the batter the first thing you notice is that it smells amazing. How could it not though, with lemon zest and juice? It was such a pretty color as well!

Enough to make you smile

They looked like little round suns when I pulled them out of the oven! They were fragrant enough that my brother, sister, and dad all individually descended from their rooms (no small feat!), into the kitchen, to comment on how they were making the house smell great. As the nights were just starting to get cooler, having a warm, comforting and lemony-scented house is a thing to be cherished. Just like the recipe said, they really do not rise a ton, so filling the tins pretty full is necessary. However, given that the recommended frosting is more like an icing and slightly runny, I would have filled them even less had I known. Something about these cupcakes make them appealing without rising a ton anyhow.

All dressed

I made the lemon frosting, which as said was more like an glaze/icing than a frosting. I should have known though, given the picture of these located in the center of the book. The glaze was still great and was packed with lemon flavor, perfect for the cupcake, and would even be great on a regular vanilla cupcake as well. It was simple and perfect for these cupcakes. I think it would even be fantastic drizzled over a bundt (perhaps the pina colada ones from My Sweet Vegan??) or pound cake.

Great on their own even!

Then, to put the finishing touches on the cupcakes, I look lemon peels and candied them to place on top, following this recipe that I found on epicurious:

  • 1 organic lemon, washed well
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • First, I cut pieces of the peel away from the lemon in long strips, trying to cut as close to the peel as possible, to avoid the pith. After this, I added the peels with 2 cups of water to a saucepan, and brought it to a boil. You then drain this, add another 1 cups of water, and repeat. You do this once more after this. This functions to remove any of the bitterness from the peel, soften it, and allow it to later absorb the sugar. Then, you add your 2 cups of sugar to the pan along with another cup of water, whisking until the sugar is fully dissolved. Adding the peels, you bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, allowing the peels to simmer until they are translucent and soft. This will take around 15-20 minutes. You then drain the peels and let them cool, coating them with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar.

    I will admit, I was munching on these before they even made it onto the cupcakes, they were so tasty. Despite being slightly time consuming, they were definitely worth it and made the cupcakes look that more fancy.

    I loved these cupcakes, and so did my sister in particular. They were extremely full in flavor, and besides the glaze, they were not TOO sugary. It is something different from your traditional chocolate or vanilla cupcake with chocolate or vanilla frosting, and I think they are far more cheery and elegant – a cupcake I would bring to cocktail party. They were perfectly moist and were not overly lemon-y. I had one to round out my breakfast, and they were even awesome in the morning alongside coffee. I would make them again in a heartbeat, even the candied lemon peels as well. If I was looking for a thicker frosting, that could easily be done as well while still making it lemony, or simply vanilla as the cupcakes themselves have quite a flavor. I would turn to this recipe again, and am even interested in trying it with different frosting combinations!