Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Perfect Dip for Potlucks

This is absolutely not related to Halloween at all, but I do have another recipe to share. I have again been sick, otherwise I would have loved to share some fun Halloween themed treat. I do have a tip though! A friend of mine decided to make my Vegan Joys recipe and used mashed sweet potato instead of regular potato and it made the insides a little orange!

Cannellini Herb Spread

2 - 15 oz cans Cannellini Beans
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 Tb Lemon Juice
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Rosemary
½ tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper

Pour the beans into a collander and rinse and drain them. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Great for dipping crackers, chips, vegetables, to use in sandwiches and more.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Time for Sugar Cookies!

This recipe is very versatile since it can be made for any holiday or occasion. You can dress them up however you like; frost them, sprinkle them, cut them in multiple shapes and sizes or just eat them plain. Luckily this cut-out sugar cookie does not need to be refrigerated before rolling out and cutting as many other recipes direct you to do. So you will go from craving the cookies to enjoying them in no time!

Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup Soy Margarine
1 cup Unrefined Cane Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Tb Cornstarch
2 Tb Water
2 cups Unbleached White Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder

Cream together the margarine and sugar. Mix together the cornstarch and water. Add this along with the vanilla to the sugar mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Slowly mix in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, careful not to over mix. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350ºF for about 10 minutes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A different type of Pumpkin Pie

Here is another recipe I sampled for a baking class. I describe pies made with silken tofu as "silk" pies since they are so rich and creamy. There is also a lot of options when baking this type of pie. You can use chocolate, coconut or any type of fruit to make this type of pie, although the amount of tofu you use does depend on what you are making.

Pumpkin Silk Pie

15 oz. can Pumpkin Puree
1 pkg Mori-Nu Silken Tofu (firm)
¾ cup Agave Nectar
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Ginger
½ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Allspice

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Can be eaten be itself or poured into a prepared pie shell and refrigerated overnight.
Almond Crust

2 cups Almond Meal Flour
1 Tb Cornstarch
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
3 Tb Organic Cane Sugar
1/4 cup Soy Margarine
1 Tb Soy milk

Mix together almond meal, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Pour melted margarine and soy milk into mixture and use a fork to combine. Pat almond mixture into 9-inch pie pan. Pour blended pie filling on top of crust, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baking Class at NW Veg Potluck

On Sunday I will be teaching a vegan baking class at the NW Veg Westside Potluck.  These potlucks are a lot of fun and a great way to taste the variety of cooking styles in the vegan world.  The first half is potluck style, and the second half is a presentation, which is where I come in.  So if you live or around portland, check it out!  Fun starts at 5pm.

West Hills Unitarian Fellowship
8470 SW Oleson Road
Portland, OR 97223

Here is one recipe I will be demonstrating and discussing.

Blueberry Bundt Cake

3 Tb Flaxseed Meal
1/2 cup Water
1 cup Soymilk (or another milk replacement)
1 Tb Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Unrefined Cane Sugar
1/2 cup Oil
2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Unbleached White Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Blueberries

Mix together the flaxseed meal and water; set aside.  Mix together the soymilk and lemon juice to create a "buttermilk" and let sit a few minutes.  Combine the sugar, oil and vanilla.  Add the flax and water mixture, as well as the "buttermilk" and mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

In a separate bowl, combine the salt, baking soda and flour.  This step allows the dry ingredients to blend better into the wet ingredients, but I do often skip it for convenience.  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until half combined; then add the blueberries.  With a long circular motion, continue mixing the batter until the ingredients are all combined, but be careful not to over mix.  

Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan and bake at 350ºF for 50-55 minutes.  Tap the top of the cake to see if it has finished baking.  When done, the top of the cake should spring back.  

You can then add a simple glaze to the top of the cake, although this is not necessary.  Combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 4-6 tsp of lemon juice.  Whisk in the lemon juice until you reached the desired consistency.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Halloween Goo

I signed up late to be a part of VEGANMOFO.  There are so many vegan bloggers involved it's exciting!

Today I was talking with some co-workers and started to think back about my trick-or-treating days.  A woman up the street from us would always offer popcorn balls and they were my favorite.  It is too bad we no loner live in a society where such offerings would be accepted, or kids would be eating vegan cookies around my neighborhood on Halloween.

Halloween was almost my favorite holiday growing up.  It was definitely the holiday I was most involved in.  My mom is a very creative person and made me and my sisters our costumes when we were young.  Then I reached an age I could make my own and my favorite material to use was cardboard.  I was a haunted house, a mailbox, a carousel (which was impossible to walk in) and when I was a flower pot with flowers in it, I won first prize in a costume contest for the "Most Creative".  Luckily they also offered a "Most Imaginative" category which my little sister entered and won as a monster vacuum cleaner, a creation my mom put together.

All the Halloween talk made me want popcorn balls.  Although I plan to make some from scratch before Halloween and posting about it, I couldn't wait that long.  I am about to leave to go to a friends for dinner and I volunteered to bring dessert.  Then I realized I didn't have any ingredient or much time.  But I did have some of the Suzanne's Ricemellow Creme.  And that started my fast track to popcorn balls, except the gooey popcorn was pressed into a casserole dish.

Popcorn Gooey Delight

1 container Rice mellow
1 Tb Vanilla 
2 Tb Agave nectar
6 oz. bag Popcorn (or about 15 cups)
1 Tb. Caramel Syrup (optional)

I heated up the rice mellow very briefly and added the vanilla, agave nectar and caramel syrup if you have it.  Add the popcorn and stir it in unto all the yummy goo has been properly distributed.  Spread into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Soyrizo Empanadas for a Week

I made this recipe once before and really enjoyed them. It is a perfect recipe since you can make enough for a dinner and a week's worth of lunches. Although they are best right out of the oven, they do warm up nicely in a microwave if needed.

I really like to integrate whole grains into my cooking, so I used half corn flour for the shell. Not all corn flour is whole grain, so if you would like more nutrition, make sure you are buying the whole grain variety. In general, using half whole grain flour in a recipe works really well since you get the nutrition from the grains yet the white flour allows the lighter texture often desired. For breads I would recommend using Whole Wheat Flour. For pastries, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour works great. There is also a Hard White Whole Wheat Flour which I use for my pancakes, biscuits and much more. I love this flour! Spelt, Barley and Kamut flours can also be used in this way.

Soyrizo Empanadas

2 cups Unbleached White Flour
2 cups Corn Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 cup Oil (I used Walnut)
1 cup warm Water

1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Anaheim Pepper, chopped
1 cup Mushrooms, chopped
1 Tb. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Garlic granules
1/2 tsp. onion granules
1 tsp. Cumin
2 Tb. Nutritional Yeast
1 pkg. Soyrizo

For the insides, sauté the onion, peppers and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until everything is soft. Add the Soyrizo and seasoning and cook it all until warm.

For the shell, combine the flours, salt and baking powder. Make a hole in the middle and add the oil and then the water on top of that. Mix with a spoon or spatula until all combined. Sprinkle the counter with some of the white flour and place dough on top. Start kneading the dough, adding more flour as needed. About 1/4 - 1/2 cup more of flour will be used for this process. After kneading the dough about 2 minutes, separate it into 6 pieces. Knead each piece of dough separately about 30 seconds each. Let this dough sit for about 10 minutes so it can relax.

When the dough is ready, take a piece at a time and spread the dough with your fingers to make a circular shape disk slightly bigger than your hand. With the dough over one hand, use the other to fill the middle with the Soyrizo insides. Fold the dough over and press the sides together. Place the prepared empanada on a greased baking sheet. Repeat this step with the rest of the dough to use all the Soyrizo to fill the shell dough.

Bake the empanadas at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until just beginning to brown. Makes 6 empanadas.