Friday, February 4, 2011

I don't eat anymore... Smoothie!

I don't really eat anymore, because I've got the dreaded Crohn's Disease.

Smoothies are my new best friend. This one in particular:

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk
1 frozen banana cut into 1" pieces
1 Tbl sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter or whatever)
little bit of honey

Blend it up. Drink it up. Yum.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chai Infused Rolled Oats with Apples

This is kind of a long post, but, honestly, this is a *quick* breakfast. Once you've got it down, you can make it in less than ten minutes flat.

You know that whole thing about necessity being the Mother of Invention and all? Yeah, that IS how it works.

So, I'm up in Northern California, at my friend's cabin in the woods. The grocery store is literally 45 minutes away from the house, so it's not like I can pop over to the store for a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. Plus, my friend is not a cook, so the options in her pantry are not very option-y. *And* there's an electric 2-burner hotplate and a toaster oven. It's not quite camping, because, you know, I'm in a house, but it's probably as close to camping as one can be in a house.

And I'm sick of plain oatmeal with bananas... What's a girl to do? Well, this girl came up with this hearty, tasty, warming Chai Infused Oatmeal with Apples.

Did I already mention that there are no measuring cups in this "I'm almost camping" scenario? Yeah... No measuring cups, so I use a little glass ramekin which is a little more than cupcake sized. You know those cute little pyrex things? They hold about 3/4 of a cup.

An Apple
Chai Tea
Sweetener of choice
Rolled Oats
Earth Balance, if you'd like

So... The ratio for oatmeal is 2 parts water to one part oatmeal, but you're going to be cooking the apples first and some evaporation is going to occur while you're cooking them. You're going to want to start with 3 parts liquid (We're working with a single, albeit large, serving. If you're going to go all crazy and make this oatmeal for your entire neighborhood or whatever, you may need to change the water ratio a bit. That's on you. I would suggest making it for yourself, first, to see how things go.).

Okay, in a pot in the stove, put 2 parts water and 1 part chai.

Add your sweetener (Oh, come on, you know how sweet you like your oatmeal! Put that amount in! I like to use brown sugar, but Agave is tasty, too. If your chai is sweetened, take that into consideration).

Now, put your heat up high and get your liquid to boiling.

While your liquid is headed towards a boil, peel, core and chop up your apple. I like mine fairly small. Larger than a pea, but not by much. Smaller than a grape. Maybe the size of half a grape?

Whenever you're done chopping up your apple, add it to your liquid and boil it until your apple is soft. (This is when most of your evaporation is occurring.) I like to use a fork to poke at my apple pieces until they're exactly the way that I like them. I'm a little impatient. The whole poking it with a fork thing makes it go faster, kind of like hitting the elevator button a lot. If you appreciate a more al dente apple, you should note that you may not need as much liquid... In that case, use 2.5 parts of liquid and try to make about a third of that chai.

Stir your apple while it's cooking so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot---remember, you've got some kind of sweetener in there and sweetener *likes* to make things stick. If you stir it with a fork, you can randomly poke the apples at the same time, making everything cook faster. (Seriously, if you push the buttons on the elevator a lot, it makes the elevator go faster.)

When your apple is soft, which kind of takes a while, add a liberal pinch of salt.. The salt helps make your oatmeal better. The starches of your oatmeal won't release as much if there's salt in there and it won't be some horrible version of some glutenous porridge from your Oliver Twist nightmares.

Now it's time to add your oats. Do not use the quick oats. They're not as good for you and they don't taste right. I can't eat Steal Cut oats, so I don't know what they'd taste like, and I'm not sure of the ratio of liquid, but, hey, what's the fun in cooking if you can't experiment a bit, right?

Now, you have two options.

You can either turn down the heat to really, really low, if you have a gas range, and go do something else--like take a shower or check your email or whatever you like to do in the morning. When you come back, your oatmeal will be done and you can put it into a bowl, add some Earth Balance and eat it up.

Or, if you have an electric stove or are as impatient as I am, you can keep things at a serious boil and stir the heck out of that oatmeal to make sure that it doesn't stick for about 5 minutes. Then put it into a bowl, add some Earth Balance and eat it up.

Then say, "Yum!" because it's totally tasty!

You can also eat this with bananas, which is really good, if you haven't been eating oatmeal with bananas for breakfast for two straight weeks. Just change the liquid ration to 2:1, don't do the apple part and while your oats are cooking, take a few breaks from the stirring to cut up a banaba into your bowl. I know. I know. I thought the same thing! Bananas and oatmeal? That's not a good mix, but it is. It really, really is. Then, add your cooked oatmeal to the bowl with your chopped bananas, add some Earth Balance, eat it up and say, "Yum!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coffee Cupcakes with Whiskey Frosting!

This is pretty much the same as the Lemon-blah-blah-blah cupcakes... A few differences.

First, pre-heat your oven to 350. Then set up your cupcake tin with the foil cupcake liners. For some reason, the paper ones really, really, really stick. Don't waste your cupcakes on paper liners.

1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream,
2/3 cup vanilla soy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar

Then sift these things together and put into the wet mixture.
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Mix it all up and add some Instant Coffee. I like about 3 Tablespoons. You may not. I don't know. Just add until it tastes right. There are no dangerous raw ingredients, like eggs, so just taste it.

Fill your cupcake liners just about 2/3 of the way and bake your cupcakes 20 to 22 minutes and then, transfer 'em to a cooling rack to let cool.

For the frosting, I mix up like 1/4 cup of vegan shortening, a 1/4 cup of vegan cream cheese, and a bit of Earth Balance with a ton of powdered sugar---really all the powdered sugar I can fit into the yummy fats. Then add about a Tablespoon of Jack Daniels. Then add a bit more powdered sugar. Beat the heck out of it.

I cool the cupcakes and the frosting overnight in the fridge, but you may not be able to wait that long. You'll have to let the cupcakes cool a bit, otherwise your frosting will melt and you don't want that.


Eat 'em up.

Next time I make them, I'm going to shave some tasty vegan carob and pretend that it's tabacco sprinkles.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vegan Creamy Cheesy Ham & Peas Pasta

I made something like this years and years ago with prosciutto and actual cream... I can't remember what the recipe was called and my google-fu is failing me, so... Well... Yeah... There's that, then... (Nice intro, right?)

This morning, I was remembering how it tasted and thought I could probably make up a vegan version with the fake ham ( that I had left over from my Vegan McMuffins that I made earlier this week (Yum!).

So, I put some pasta on to cook and started prepping my ingredients. I used the same pot to cook up my sauce while my pasta drained in the sink.

I took some finely chopped green onions out of the freezer, then finely minced a clove of garlic and thinly sliced a few slices of that faux ham and sautéed those three things in a mess of Earth Balance butter.

When they were heated through and yummy (really, heat it through so that any sharpness from your garlic is gone), I added some soymilk (I buy those lunch soy milks to cook with, since I do not like drinking the plain kind.), the nutritional yeast, and two slices of fake cheddar cheese (also leftover from the Tasty Vegan McMuffins).

Truth be told, I had to keep adding soymilk to keep the sauce from really firming up... I used about a box and a half total, but started with just the one box.

Then, I tossed in a bag of frozen petite peas. I was going to just use half the bag, but those peas looked so darn tasty that I threw caution to the wind and put 'em all in.

When the peas were done, I put the pasta back in the pot and just stirred it all up.

I served that tastiness up with some ground pepper. White pepper would have been nice. As would have freshly ground pepper, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I froze several servings in single serve Ziploc plastic bags to take to RockIt, because she just had a baby and needs food for her freezer!

1 box of sulfite-free orecchiette pasta
1/4 cup fake butter
1/2 cup green onions, (about 1/2 cup)
1 small bag of frozen petite peas
4 slices fake ham, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 - 2 lunch sized boxes of plain soymilk
3/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
2 slices of vegan cheddar/American cheese
pepper to taste (really, you're not going to need *any* salt here)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spaghetti Made of Awesome and TVP

I love the food processor. So very much. And I don't think that I could attempt this sauce without it. Or, if I did, the carrots would show and then my Mom wouldn't eat it. Tee hee hee...

Throw an onion in the food processor. Chop it up. Put it in a big pot on the stove with some olive oil and brown the onion. This is a crucial step, as it will provide the sauce with a flavor of heartiness.

Throw a bag of baby carrots into the food processor. Grind them up fine. When your onion is browned, add the carrots.

Throw a big ol' bunch of basil and 4-6 cloves of garlic into the food processor. Chop this up finely, as well. Add to the pot on the stove.

Add some oregano and a few bay leaves. I like to buy my spices as I need them in bulk, because it's less expensive and the dried herbs are more potent when they haven't been sitting in my cupboard for ten zillion years.

Open up 3 big cans of tomato sauce and one can of tomato paste. Empty them into the pot.

Cut up several (3 large) zucchini and add them to the pot. I like to cut them in quarters lengthwise and then chop 'em into little bits. The food processor does not do this one well. Use your knife skills.

Add a lot of fresh spinach and cook until the zucchini and the spinach are done.

Pour in about a cup or so of TVP.

You can also add some nutritional yeast. This makes for a cheesy-tomato sauce, which I enjoy, but you may not. You might. Go for it.

I like this over shells or orichette or fusilli or something like that, instead of spaghetti noodles, but, hey, make your own choices…

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Myer Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes

So tasty. So very tasty...

First, pre-heat your oven to 350. Then set up your cupcake tin with the foil cupcake liners. For some reason, the paper ones really, really, really stick. Don't waste your cupcakes on paper liners.

1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream,
2/3 cup vanilla soy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
the zest from one myer lemon
the juice from one myer lemon

Then sift these things together and put into the wet mixture.
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Mix it all up and add some poppyseeds. I like a lot of poppyseeds. You may not. I don't know. Just add until it looks right.

Fill your cupcake liners just about halfway. If you put too much batter in, then when it's time to glaze your cupcakes, you'll spill the glaze all over the counter... Wasting precious tasty glaze...

Bake your cupcakes 20 to 22 minutes and then, transfer 'em to a cooling rack to let cool.

While they are cooling, juice another Myer Lemon. Then add powdered sugar to the juice until it's all glaze-like.

Now, POKE your cupcakes with a stick!!! Okay, a toothpick. Poke 'em a lot. Not so much that they are reduced to crumbles, but enough that they get glaze through and through when you pour a little more than a teaspoon on top of each cupcake.


Eat 'em up.

Oh! They are tasty when cold.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Vegan Carob Brownies Tonight!

Okay... So you try finding a Vegan Carob Brownie recipe that I can eat... Yeah... Not happening.

Vegan Chocolate Brownie? Sure. Vegan Carob with Deadly Whole Grains? Sure. Vegan Carob with Deadly Nuts? Vegan Carob with Applesauce? Yup. None of these work for me.

I found this recipe, but it, of course, called for chocolate. I've spent some time in the kitchen and think I know how to make substitutions that make Carob things better and I'm going to test that out tonight. Here's my proposed recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup carob powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Mix wet ingredients
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cold coffee
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, melted
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix up the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together. If I have any vegan carob chips left over, I'll throw those into the mix, too.

Grease a 9x13 baking pan with Earth Balance and dust with Carob Powder.

Install Vegan Carob Brownie mix into baking pan and bake for 23 minutes.

Okay, I'm totally guessing on the time. I think somewhere between 20 and 35 minutes will do perfectly, but I have no idea. I'll have to wait and see... Just like you!)


As I am wont to do, I even read my instructions wrong! Goodness... No worries, though. Secret Vegan Carob Brownies now have 1/2 the sugar!

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Also, my banana wasn't a 1/2 cups worth! So, I added some coconut milk solids to make 1/2 cup.

Additionally, I couldn't find the vegan shortening, but I did find an extra tub of Earth Balance hidden in the back of the fridge, so I used that and melting it seemed kind of ridiculous, at the time. I don't know why... Perhaps because I would have had to measure it in the copper measuring cup-thing and then put it in glass and then put it in the microwave and then push buttons... Or, I could just put it in with the liquids. I chose the second option! :-)

Moreover, I couldn't be bothered to find the 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, so the vanilla was nearly a full 2 teaspoons...

Gosh! Secret Vegan!!!! If you can't follow a recipe, do you really expect others to?

In the oven baking now! How exciting!!!


Yummy and cake-y. :-) Needs more sugar. More brown sugar. Coconut milk works. No banana next time. Also, needs chopped up Vegan Carob Chips mixed into the batter. Additionally, needs Carob Powder to be mixed with something hot and melted, before adding to mixture. Then, should be made of Awesome.