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Posts Tagged ‘Veganomicon’

“A girl cannot live  on sweets alone.” – a vegan cook from Portland 😉

Honestly, I love cooking. And actually I cook savory food more often than bake sweet food, but I’m typically always really hungry so the photo snapping time is generally neglected. But I was super excited about this dish so I managed to spare a few precious minutes to take some pictures before devouring it.

I know some would say, “Why make mexican crepes when you already have tortillas?” And perhaps this is a valid argument. But crepes are fun to make, and I might argue more fun than tortillas. Plus I just got a new crepe pan as a graduation present (thank you anonymous Tigard resident). And, well, the idea just randomly came to me one afternoon and I couldn’t get it out of my head and it called for soft, delicate crepes, not rough, durable tortillas. But the best, and most applicable, reason for using crepes instead of tortillas – I wanted to. Enough. Said.

This dish is all prep time. Once you slice and dice everything, and puree your crepe batter, there’s only about 20 minutes of cooking time left, depending on how many crepes you are making or how many crepe pans you have.

The nice thing about crepes is that, a) you can hold the batter in the fridge for a few days and, b) you can hold prepared crepes in the fridge for about a week or so. Yep, just stack em one on top of the other and plop em in a plastic bag or container. And what makes vegan crepes far superior to their eggy predecessor (aside from the obvious) is that they don’t stick to each other. Eggy crepes like to hold onto one another for dear life, especially after you chill them down in the fridge. These chicken friendly guys come right apart, no hassle or oven heating required.

Savory Mexican Crepes

Crepe Batter, adapted from Veganomicon

  • 1 1/2 C soy milk
  • 1/2 C water, plus more if too thick
  • 3/4 C AP flour
  • 1/4 C Garbanzo & Fava Flour
  • 1 T Tapioca starch
  • 1/2 t salt

This recipe is barely altered from Isa’s original version. I wasn’t sure if I should post it or not but then I found that you could view it on Google books so…

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a tub of some sort and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. The batter will thicken a bit as it sits. Make sure to stir it well before you make the crepes.

You may end up needing more water. The half cup is already double what the original recipe calls for, but I just think thinner is better.

To make the crepes, heat a crepe pan or other non-stick pan on med/ high to high heat. Brush vegan butter or oil onto the pan with a heat tempered brush (or you’ll singe the little guy’s hair). Pour 1 – 2 oz of batter (2 – 4 tablespoons) onto the pan and swirl the pan to move the batter all around. This might take some practice and you’ll probably lose a crepe or two but don’t fret, it gets easier.

And you have options here. You can cook the crepes all the way and immediately fill and eat them. Or you can par-cook them, fill them, and warm them up in the oven later when you’re ready for them. Either way, the level of doneness is entirely up to you. You can cook them until there is just barely some color on the crepe, or get some nice brown splotches all over it. You can also cook both sides of the crepe in the pan (by flipping or using a spatula) or just cook one side and finish cooking the rest of it in the oven. It’s all up to you!

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

  • 12 – 13 oz tomatillos (about 6 or so, average size)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small jalapeño, brunoise dice (1/8 in cut)
  • 1/2 small yellow chile, brunoise dice
  • 1/4 red onion, small dice (1/4 in cut)
  • Juice from one lime
  • 2 T minced cilantro
  • Salt, to taste
  • White pepper, to taste

The quantities listed above are basically approximate. If you like things hotter, add more diced peppers. Not on onion fan? Leave it out. Absolutely love cilantro? Pile it on! Recipes aren’t meant to be followed like they are set in stone. Use it as a guide and follow your taste buds.

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash them. Roughly chop them and place them in a food processor and pulse several times until they’re at the consistency you want. I had mine roughly pureed but chunky is fine too.

Transfer the tomatillos to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Let it sit in the fridge for awhile before deciding if it’s salty enough for you.

You can add other things like cumin and cayenne if you like. I wanted the flavors of the vegetables to shine through so I left the spices out.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

  • Lime juice (1 – 2 limes)
  • Olive oil (1 – 2 T)
  • Finely minced cilantro (2 – 3 t)
  • 1 small clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

The amount of oil versus lime juice versus cilantro is entirely up to you; the measurements in parentheses are about what I did. Salad dressings are typically loaded with oil, but I always cut it back quite a bit so mine was a bit on the acidic side. If you find your dressing is too acidic, try adding some sugar or agave to balance it out a little bit, or more olive oil.

Mix all ingredients vigorously with a small whisk or in a dressing emulsifier (love this thing). Set aside.

  • 1/4 head of red (purple) cabbage
  • 2 average sized carrots, peeled

Shred the cabbage and carrots in a food processor and toss them together in a bowl. If you let them sit for awhile, the carrots will turn this beautiful dark orange color from taking on the pigment in the cabbage. Toss with the vinaigrette when you’re ready to serve.

Kale Filling

  • 1/2 bunch curly kale, stemmed and roughly sliced
  • 2 large cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 – 3 T sliced leeks (about an inch of the stalk)
  • Salt, pepper, cumin, to taste
  • Minced cilantro, about 2 T

This is enough filling for about 6 small (7 in) crepes. Double it if you need to.

Heat a saute pan with a smidge of oil. Saute the leeks first for a couple minutes and then add the mushrooms and cook for another couple minutes. Add the kale and seasonings and toss everything. Add water or stock if you need more liquid in the pan. Once the kale brightens and begins to wilt (soften), it’s done. Add the cilantro and set aside until you’re ready to assemble your crepes.

Finishing Touches

I added some pepitas (pumpkin seeds – look in the bulk section if you’ve no pumpkins lying around) to my kale filling and placed some sliced avocado on the crepes right before serving. You could do guacamole if you want, but I didn’t think it was necessary.

All the natural flavors of the vegetables come together quite nicely in this dish. My husband, who typically pours hot sauce on all his Mexican food, didn’t even bring the Valentinas to the table. It’s fresh, flavorful and filling, but light and just perfect for eating on the porch on a warm day.

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It seems Portland has forgotten that it’s almost June. Mother Nature keeps teasing us with days of sunshine speckled here and there, but then it decides to rain for like 6 days straight. The first summer I was here for I remember summer coming quite quickly, but every year after that it takes longer and longer to get here… =(

So what do you do when it’s all gloomy outside? Create some sunshine! In the shape of a muffin, of course.

I really like muffins. It’s like eating a cupcake but without the guilt. But I don’t make them nearly as often as I should; I guess cupcakes are just so much more fun to make (oh well…).

These muffins are based off a recipe in Veganomicon, though I kind of turned it upside down and made it almost unrecognizable. That’s one thing I love about baking. There are sooooo many possibilities in every recipe that allow you to use your creative energies in any way you see fit. The only downside being, of course, that the finished product isn’t, well, edible, but you’ve got to learn somehow!

This photo reminds me of the Hawaiin Islands.

Strawberry Banana Muffins (vegan)

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners, or don’t and just spray with non-stick spray.

  • 1 C bread flour (AP flour will work too)
  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Sift together the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

  • 3 average size bananas (very ripe)
  • Strawberries

Peel the bananas and place them in a large mixing bowl. Mash them to smithereens. Hull and dice enough strawberries to make a cup, plus have a few extra pieces to put on top of the muffins. Set them aside for now.

  • 1/2 C soy yogurt, I used peach
  • 1/4 C agave
  • 1/4 C organic sugar
  • 2 T soy milk
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Extra sugar for sprinkling (raw, large granule preferably)

Add the wet ingredients to the smashed bananas and mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate. Fold in the cup of strawberries.

Transfer the batter to the lined muffin pan. Top each cup of batter with a few of the strawberries pieces, and sprinkle some raw sugar over each cupcake. Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack about 5 minutes after removing them from the oven.

I think the combination of strawberry, banana and peach (from the yogurt) give these muffins an almost tropical-summery feel. Like you can imagine sitting on a beach with the sunshine gleaming down on you while drinking a Mai Tai and listening to the waves rolling in. Or maybe they just taste good and I’m really ready for summer (probably the latter).

I honestly wasn’t very impressed with these the moment they came out of the oven, I thought they needed more sugar or less salt. But the next day they were delicious – likely because all the flavors had time to meld. I think they’d also be good with a little pineapple and some orange zest.

Are you a muffin fan? What’s your favorite muffin recipe?

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I love mushrooms.  They’re right up there next to my friends the eggplant and butternut squash.  I think I might even prefer them over chocolate sometimes… sometimes.  I really like expensive mushrooms that I never get to eat because Freddy’s charges over $12 a lb for the little guys.  I must be in the mushrooms gods’ favor however as I received a whole bunch of them in my CSA share this week.

Well, color me happy! There’s shiitakes in here for two!

I’ve only used a handful of them so far as I had some cremini in the fridge to get rid of, but last night we made pizza and I made a shroom pie.  I used a variation of this crust (less cornmeal, more flour, no pepper, and Earth Balance instead of oil), a half order of this sauce (all crushed toms), the Cashew Ricotta from Veganomicon, and a whole bunch of shroomers.  It was quite tasty.

Also in my share this week was some kale (supposedly, though I think it’s chard), new potatoes, scallions and fava beans. I don’t recall ever having fava beans before.  I’ve definitely never shelled fresh ones so I think I have some learning to do.  I hear you have to shell them not once but twice.  Fun, fun.  Hopefully the taste will be worth the effort.  Anyone have any favorite fava recipes?

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Last Sunday when I received my first CSA share I was almost in panic mode – I had no idea how I was going to use so much cabbage, and then two bags of salad and braising greens.  Now, one week later, I’m happy to report that the only thing that got wasted were the radishes, and that’s only because they were hidden under my housemate’s cheese and I totally forgot they were there.

I picked up week two today, which seems to be a smaller portion than what I received last week (though I’m not really complaining about that).  I think it’s highly likely that the schizophrenic weather we had here in Portland this past week did some damage to the crop production.  Anyway, I’m the proud owner of some tasty rapini (pasta recipe in Veganomicon – check it out), kale, radishes (to redeem myself with), purple/ green onion thingys, and some more salad greens.  See for yourself.

Also, I went scavenging for some radish recipes – last Friday when I realized I had completely forgotten their existence in my overcrowded fridge – and came across the radish toast idea, which calls for French bread.  I was just about to go buy some bread when I thought, “What the hell, I’ll just make my own.”  I won’t be buying anymore French bread in the future.  It was extremely easy to make, and it tastes superb.  I followed this recipe.  Mine didn’t look as pretty as his because I’m lacking a decent oven and also a baking stone, but I’m not complaining about the results.

I did end up making a piece of radish toast, but I didn’t photograph it.  What I did photograph was Gary’s cucumber bruschetta (cucumber because we didn’t have any tomatoes on hand).  It might seem odd to make bruschetta out of cucumber, but garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar are a fairly safe combination for just about anything.

And here’s me being harassed while I try to clean up the mess we made in the kitchen.

Have a good week.

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you just have to veganize them.

In all my random perusal of food blogs and various food sites on this big ole web, I somehow managed to never stumble upon .  Until I saw a coworker looking at it.  Now I’m addicted to it.  The site constantly streams all sorts of food pictures from blogs and websites all over the internet.  It’s a superb way to procrastinate, or find something to cook for dinner.  Or dessert.

One of the many pics I “gawked” at was from The Sweet Spot blog.  I don’t think anything on this blog is even close to being vegan, but the woman knows how to bake, evidently.  What caught my eye was this chocolatey, creamy, peanut buttery goodness all wrapped into one scrumptious looking dessert.  I was in love.  But not with all the dairy that’s in it.  I had been thinking about making an ice cream cake lately so I thought this a lovely opportunity to try it out.  I subbed the “cream” layer with some homemade vegan ice cream from Veganomicon.  For the peanut butter layer I made vegan peanut butter pie.  I used the chocolate cupcake recipe from VCTOTW, and the rest was an easy sub.

The result…..

If I were to do it all over again I’d go with ganache on top instead of butter-cream icing.  I’d also wait a wee bit longer before putting the cake together as my ice cream was a tad too soft and therefore didn’t stay put quite as well as I had hoped.  The flavors go well together though.  I’d give it a 9.2 on the Pretty Damn Tasty scale.

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So I’ve been doing a fair amount of baking lately… ok, maybe fair isn’t quite accurate.  I’ve been doing a somewhat excessive amount of baking lately, at least compared to the rate of what normally goes in and out of my oven.  School starts next Monday and I think I’m feeling my freedom slipping away.  Soon I’ll have no time to bake, or blog, or breath.  I’ll merely be struggling every day to absorb more Italian (which has definitely slipped my mind of late) and read all the other 15 books I’ve been assigned this term.  **sigh**

IMG_2085Anyway, while we were visiting family in WI I happened to see a recipe in a magazine for parsnip bread, my interest was piqued.  Of course it wasn’t vegan, but never mind that.  I awoke one morning shortly after we returned and decided to take a go at my own version, which included pumpkin and cranberries, but a sudden whim caused me to be desirous of a gluten-free version.  So, I hopped on over to the Gluten-Free Goddess to borrow a flour concoction that would hopefully do for the autumn muffins dancing around in my head.  I think they turned out quite well.  They’re dark because of the buckwheat but one should not judge a muffin by its cover.  I didn’t really follow her recipe to a T, or really much at all, but if you would like to know what I did holler at me and I’ll relay it to you.  I’d type it out now but I’m feeling a bit lazy.

chocochipcookies

On my next endeavor I made these chocolate chip cookies, which I thought were quite superb even in spite of their cake-like consistency, which was entirely my fault.  In my ever going battle to make bad things not so bad for you I shucked half the oil and added applesauce and subbed in some wheat flour, which is likely the reason for their fluffy demeanor.

I also made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which turned out much OatmealChocChipbetter then their cakey predecessor (I didn’t use the applesauce).  The recipe for these came out of none other than one of the most superb cookbooks of all time, ok maybe not all time but at least in my time – Veganomicon.  Isa and Terry are actually at it again by the way.  Soon your cookie jar will be invaded by what I’m entirely positive will be some splendifferous cookies.

Recently I became the owner of an ice cream maker (I ❤ Craigslist)!!!  My life is now complete…  My first batch of ice cream was chocolate, with some strawberries mixed in towards the end.  I kind of wanted to make something vanilla-ie but since I bought chocolate soy milk on a whim I had to figure out something with which I could do ChoIceCreamwith it.  I think it turned out very well, I just have 2 pints of it to eat now.  The recipe also came out of Veganomicon but if you google around you’re sure to finds tons of free vegan ice cream recipes.  This one was comprised of coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, tofu, etc.  If for some reason you aren’t satisfied with the free recipes there’s quite a few ice cream cookbooks running amuck out there, buy one.

Though I’m told the following item resembles a cow pattie I’m still quite proud of it.  I guess a parent can’t tell IceCreamSandwichwhen their child is ugly… same goes for cooking.  The oatmeal cookie and the chocolate ice cream happened to come to fruition on the same day, so I thought it best to combine them.  If you’ve never compiled an ice cream sandwich before it’s actually a bit harder then you would imagine to make it look “pretty.”  My version obviously needs a makeover judging from the supposed “cow pattie” resemblance.  Practice makes perfect I guess.

And last, but by no means least, I made cinnamon rolls last night (because I thought I needed to cram one last sweet and fattening goodie into my less than accommodating fridge).  So how do vegan cinnamon rolls taste anyway?  Freaking awesome!  These cinnamonrolls2were so damn good.  Non-vegans would never have an inkling of suspicion that these were of the animal friendly variety.  Novel Eats also has a chocolate version, which I didn’t make but judging by how delicious the cinnamon ones were they are most definitely heavenly.  I’m thinking next of making them with a strawberry compote and chocolate shavings.  Oh, note to self: let rolls cool prior to applying icing.

Alrighty then.  As you can see, I have a fair amount of sugary calories to burn off, I must to the pavement (which means running in case that was in some way unclear).  Tootles!

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