Veggiesgiving, yay!

Hello all! I’m still here, alive and cooking! (sorry) Turns out I’m not so good a the blog upkeep, but these Thanksgiving dishes were just too yummy not to share, and of course I have to post something for my biggest cooking day of the year! Here are some of the highlights.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping (thanks Susan!)

Spelt Stuffing with Tempeh Sausage Crumbles

Green Bean Casserole (thanks to Susan again, but left out the french fried onions)

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My plate!

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!

Chocolate-Chocolate-Chip Walnut Cookies

So I just discovered that you can check out digital books from the Brooklyn Public Library. This is totally amazing to me, and I’ve been checking out cookbooks like crazy lately. One of those is Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, by the Post Punk Kitchen girls. I’ve been wanting this cookbook for a while but I’m such a cheapo, I’ve just been hoping someone would give it to me as a gift. But no need for that now that online books are the new thing!

I’ve wanted to get more into baking, and after spending a traumatic Saturday cleaning the oven (seriously, it sucks), the kitchen was prime for some cookie making!

I adapted the recipe a little and improvised according to what I had in the kitchen. The original recipe calls for soy milk, but I used almond instead. I didn’t have any unsweetened cocoa powder, so I used some spicy hot chocolate mix I had (which gave them a little kick!), and just sifted out the sugar from it. Finally, instead of regular sugar, I used date sugar, just cause I was curious about it and bought some recently at the store. It turned out good, but you generally have to use 2/3 cup for every 1 cup of sugar the recipe calls for because it’s sweeter. It is expensive though, so I won’t be using it too often.

Chocolate-Chocolate-Chip Walnut Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies
  • 2 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (spicy kind optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup date sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, flax seeds, and vanilla. Slowly mix in the wet ingredients with the dry until the dough is nice and stiff, then add the walnuts and the chocolate chips. Roll the dough into small 1-inch balls, flattened to about 2 inches, and put onto an oiled baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool completely before eating.

Roasted Eggplant Cilantro Spread

Hello lovely readers! I know it’s been forever since my last post. Life is busy! When I don’t have a lot of time for experimenting in the kitchen, there a few vegan blogs that I know I can rely on for something quick and yummy. One of those that I’ve loved for a while is Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  This is a recipe of Susan’s that I tweaked to accommodate what I had on hand in the house, and it turned out delicious. I had a lot of cilantro in the fridge that needed to be used so I used that instead of basil, and walnuts instead of almonds, which I prefer in pesto anyway.  This is much lower fat than traditional pesto too, since the creaminess of the eggplant replaces the need for any oil. And the best part is that it can be used as a dip, sandwich spread, or as an addition to pasta, and all busy vegans can appreciate foods with multiple uses!

More recipes to come soon. My spring CSA share starts next month so I’ll soon have more veggies than I know what to do with!

Enjoy!

Schwarzwald Cake Memories: Vegan life in the Black Forest

This month is the 2 year anniversary since the first time I made a vegan Black Forest cake, back when I was living in Mulhouse, France just across the border from the mythical Schwarzwald region, right next door to Hansel and Gretel. Me and my best buddies there made this cake for our friend’s birthday (sans boozy Kirsch, though, since we were totally poor at the time, although this wouldn’t pass in Germany, where it’s a mandatory ingredient!) and it was such a blast and turned out so yummy that I’ve been itching to make it again. I credit this recipe to veghealthyrecipe. It’s super simple, even for a dum dum baker like me, and low in sugar. The molasses give it a smokey taste which I like, but maple syrup can also be used as a substitute.

I miss my Sunday veggie brunches and baking days with my France buddies, so this one’s for you guys!

Herby Roasted Veggies

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Sometimes I forget I have an oven and how easy it is to roast veggies. If you’re ever stumped as to what to do with your veggies, and you’re feeling lazy (as I usually am), all you need is some olive oil, herbs, garlic, and salt and pepper, and you have a super tasty, easy, and healthy meal. I liked the combination of sage, oregano, rosemary, and scallions, but you can mix and match whatever other herbs you want. Thyme and parsley would be good also. I threw some Daiya cheese on top to add some creaminess. The result: deliciousness, with minimal ingredients.

Veggies (use more or less, depending on what you like)

  • 2 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets

Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped sage
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of Daiya mozzarella (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss the veggies with the seasoning, making sure to coat them all, and place in a roasting dish. Bake for 20 minutes, then add Daiya mozzarella cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Good as a side dish or over some quinoa or your preferred grain.

Falafel Arepas

Arepas take two. I’ve been experimenting with this yummy Venezuelan staple food for a while. After a few initial failed attempts, I finally have them down pat. You HAVE TO use pre-cooked white cornmeal (I used the wrong kind of corn flour in an earlier post.) There are several brands of arepa flour out there, but the most common one I’ve seen around is Harina PAN. It can probably be found in the ethnic food section in the grocery store. They’re super easy to make and go well with anything, and can be used in place of pita (if gluten-free is your thing.) I decided to fill them with falafel to make a savory East-meets-West kind of pocket with a Latin twist. Topped with a creamy cashew nut sauce, these little guys were really flavorful!

Baked falafel balls (makes about 9 balls)

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 1 can)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375º. Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until a thick paste is formed. Roll into 1-inch balls and put onto an oiled baking dish, slightly flattening them. Cook for 30 minutes, turning them over halfway through. They should be crispy and browned.

Arepa pockets (makes about 6)

  • 1 cup Harina PAN flour
  • 1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix the flour with your hands until all the water is absorbed. Roll into 2-inch balls and flatten between your palms. Grill until golden brown on both sides (I use a George Foreman grill for convenience.) Allow to cool, then cut a slit halfway through to make a pocket.

Cashew cream sauce (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 3 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt, black pepper, paprika, and a pinch of nutmeg

Process everything up until smooth.

Serve with sliced red cabbage and chopped tomato.

¡Buen Provecho!

Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Collards Stew

Winter’s made me super lazy about cooking lately and I’ve been stuck in a rut of making my favorite staples over and over again. But having recently joined a new food coop in the neighborhood, I have all this yummy produce and was inspired by the fresh herbs I saw yesterday and decided to get off my lazy butt and make a stew! This is a variation on my good old black bean recipe, but made a little heartier with sweet potatoes and greens, and with an herby kick. Perfect for a cold wintery night!

Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Collards Stew (serves about 8)

  • usual black beans recipe, minus the dry oregano and adding to the pot 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed, and 1 more cup of water

Plus

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rubbed sage
  • 3-4 leaves collard greens, chopped

When the beans are soft, add the red wine vinegar, sage, oregano, and collards, and let simmer another 4 minutes until the collards are wilted. Garnish with some fresh oregano and serve with brown rice.

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