Archive | February, 2012

Recipe: Creamy Potato and Broccoli Casserole

19 Feb

I’ve noticed that most recipes that include broccoli, involve it being smothered in some kind of cheesy, creamy sauce. This is one of those times. Lets get cooking.

  • 5 medium size potatoes, washed and peeled
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1/4c earth balance
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 c soy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast to top

Preheat oven to 350. Start the sauce first, by melting butter on medium heat, and whisking in the flour. Whisk until combined, then add milk and S+P. Whisk the sauce frequently until it boils, then remove from heat.

Slice potatoes thin, I used a mandolin to get them to all be uniform in size. Spray a casserole dish down with cooking spray, and line the bottom with a layer of potatoes. Top with broccoli florets, sprinkle in the garlic, and ladle on some sauce. Repeat until out of potatoes, and top with the rest of the sauce. Coat the top of the dish with breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.

This will satisfy that creamy craving in a flash. You’d never know there is no real cream in this dish! Feed it to your unsuspecting omni friends and laugh behind their backs, fun times!

Recipe: The Take Five Carrot Cake Cupcake

13 Feb

I hate to put one of Isa’s recipes down, but the carrot cake from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is just plain impossible. How do I know? I made it FOUR TIMES before just giving up and alternating the measurements to make sense. There is too much leavening agents in the original to the very small amount of flour, and way too much oil. Here is my revised version of the recipe:

The Dry

  • 3/4 c all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt

The Wet

  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1/3 c vanilla soy yogurt
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

The Weird

  • 1 c grated carrots
  • 1/4 c raisins
  • 1/4 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350, and set up your cupcake liners. The book calls to spray the liners with baking spray, which I tried. The papers STILL would stick to the cupcakes, I think this had to do with the very long baking time the recipe required. With this recipe, I wouldn’t spray the liners. Mix all the wet ingredients together with a spoon until combined. Put a mesh strainer over the bowl and sift in all the dry ingredients, and mix. The batter won’t look like much but it will bulk up from the fillings. Fold in the carrots, raisins and walnuts gently. Spray a ice cream scoop with a spring release with cooking spray, and use to scoop even amounts of batter into the liners, they will only fill up about half way. This recipe says it makes for 12 cupcakes, and they mean it. No more, no less! Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

On the left, my new and improved cupcakes. On the right, two different sets of cupcakes with the original recipe. You really can see the difference! It’s sick!! Now for the frosting! The recipe for cream cheese frosting in the book, honestly does not make enough for me. Here’s my take

  • 8 oz earth balance
  • 8 oz Tofutti cream cheese
  • a ton of powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

I say a ton of powdered sugar because I feel like the measurements for powdered sugar in frosting recipes are never correct. It is always still super gloopy to me. Cream the earth balance and cream cheese together, I prefer the soy free EB. Mix in powdered sugar a half a cup at a time, this may take a while. I used probably 7-8 cups in my recipe. Add the vanilla and beat until thick. You can dye it orange to make cute carrots, or leave it as is and put it in the fridge to stiffen up a bit.This does make a lot of frosting but having some left over to use for next time never hurt anyone. Or make super high mounds of frosting on your cakes! This recipe would probably cover a 2 layer carrot cake pretty well. Happy Baking!! I mean, happier than I was trying to get this recipe correct!!

Recipe: Sesame Tofu

11 Feb

When you’re too broke to even order Chinese, make it at home. At least then you know every thing that is going inside the food, where it came from, and how clean the kitchen is! You will need one block of extra firm tofu, pressed, and cut into 1 inch cubes.

Marinade/Batter

  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos or Braggs
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine
  • 3 drops pure sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and toss your tofu cubes in it, lightly so not to break up the tofu. Let it sit while you work on the sauce.

Sesame Sauce

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/8 cup rice wine vinegar or white vinegar if you don’t have rice wine
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat on medium until boiling. Stir often, until it begins to boil and has come to a thick sauce. Once it has thickened and boiled, remove from heat until ready to serve.

Get out your frying pan, and add enough vegetable oil just to coat the bottom of the pan with a very thin layer. Heat on medium-high, and when ready, place the tofu cubes in the pan in an even layer. You’ll notice them start to brown, turn them with tongs on each side so they brown evenly and get nice and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

While I was fryin’ away, I put some steam-able Asian vegetables into the microwave. You can serve with veggies, or the traditional rice and steamed broccoli. Heat your sauce for a minute to get it warmed back up. Place tofu cubes over vegetables, and then pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. This dish is very filling and will serve two. No MSG added!

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cup Pie

5 Feb

Inspired by my boyfriend exclaiming that my new tart pan looked like “a huge Reese’s cup”, this pie is a sinfully fatty way to get your protein on. It’s loaded with Peanut Butter and Co‘s White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter, and a super rich dark chocolate creme.

For the Crust

  • Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, 1/3 cup melted
  • 1 package Nabisco Chocolate Wafers

For the Filling

  • 1 package Silken Tofu
  • 8-10 oz vegan dark chocolate,finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 whole jar of peanut butter, preferably Peanut Butter and Co‘s White Chocolate Wonderful

Preheat your oven to 375. Start off with getting one of those big zip lock bags, and putting all of the wafers into it, and seal. Smash it with a hammer, meat pounder, baseball bat, whatever you have!! Just make sure all the cookies are smushed into crumbs, leaving no big chunks behind. Dump the bag into a bowl, and add the melted earth balance. Mix together until all the cookie crumbs are wet and start to stick. Pour the mixture into a 9 inch tart pan, covering the entire bottom and bringing it up the sides. Put it in the oven for 8-10 minutes, and allow it plenty of time to cool.

In case you don’t know what I mean when I say chocolate wafers, there they are. They are kind of hard to find outside of Christmas time, and they’re usually by the frozen foods/ice creams, NOT the cookie aisle.

While the crust is cooling, get your chocolate melted. Boil some water on medium, and and when it starts to bubble, put a metal bowl on top and dump in the chopped up chocolate pieces. Lower the heat a bit so the water is just steaming, and it isn’t bubbling onto the dish. Stir stir stir the chocolate, until it is completely melted and velvety. Set aside to cool for about ten minutes. Your crust should be cooled down by now, so lets bust out the peanut butter. You will use the whooole jar. Scrape it out into a bowl and whip with an electric hand mixer, to make it easier to spread. Use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly into the pie crust. If you get a few loose crumbs, that’s alright. This stuff is sticky, and hard to spread! When done put the crust to the side, and start on your chocolate creme

Add half a package of silken tofu, about 8 oz, to the chocolate, along with the soy milk and maple syrup. Mix with a bit with a fork, then blend it with your hand mixer. This will take some time to get it to the right consistency and to hide the tofu. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go, as you can see in the photo, it gets a little crusty looking. Give it about 7-10 minutes of whipping, and you’ll have a super thick pudding. Pour it over the peanut butter, and smooth it with a rubber spatula.

Let it chill in the fridge for 2 hours before cutting into it. This pie was for a work function the next day so I just covered it with foil. Don’t let the size of this pie fool you, it is so rich, you only need to cut a small slice to satisfy.

Recipe: Underdog Brussel Sprouts

2 Feb

For the entire month of February, I challenged myself to eat a green veggie a day. This is supposed to open me up to different vegetables that I’ve never tried. For the first day, I went with the Brussel Sprout. I have honestly NEVER eaten them because they have always been touted as smelly and nasty by groaning children at dinner tables across the country. Not this way! I followed Nadia G’s recipe from her Underdog Vegetables clip on Youtube. These are some sweet roasted Brussels, coated in garlic and salty goodness.

  • 7-10 Brussel Sprouts
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • coarse salt
  • olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the sprouts in half length wise, and throw ’em in a casserole dish. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt. Mix it well and shake the dish so the sprouts are in an even ish layer. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Toss it in the oven for ten minutes.

*tip: To get them extra tender and caramelized, cook for 25 minutes, then an additional 10 once garlic is added. Will look burnt but the insides will be perfection!

In the meantime, chop your garlic. I bought this garlic chopping gadget, that you roll on the counter and it chops it all up. It works great BUT you still get garlic-y hands trying to get the garlic out of the crevices of the roller. Once it’s all chopped up and the sprouts are out of the oven, mix in the garlic and put it back in the oven for five more minutes.

And that’s it! They’re done! The leaves on the outside should be crispy, the insides tender and sweet. The taste almost reminds me of Broccoli. I had this along side one of my curry tofu pot pies. I wasn’t even able to finish them all, they were pretty filling! Enjoy!!