Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mmm... Dinner.

X-mas dinner for The Vegan: spanikopita and ginger-roasted winter vegetables from VWAV and green beans amandine. The spanikopita was again a big hit with the entire family: from my cousins' elderly southern grandma whose jaw dropped when I finally dropped the tofu-bomb to my younger sister who is admittedly a very picky eater, especially around vegetables and tofu. Phyllo dough is truly the stuff of wonders. The roasted veggies were popular too, though next time I think I'll just make them with sweet potato and squash since they cook faster and I like them better anyhow.

Grilled zucchini and eggplant on a baguette schmeared with homemade sundried tomato and white bean spread (with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, basil).

The x-mas baking post!

It's been so much fun looking at everyone's holiday baking, sorry my post is a bit after the fact but I was still baking pretty late on Christmas Eve.

Here is the big Christmas dessert platter: pine nute & anise cookies, sugar cookies and lemon bars from Joy of Vegan Baking plus peppermint-chocolate cupcakes inspired by Vegan Dad (chocolate cupcakes recipe from VCTOTW and buttercream from JOVB with peppermint candies and peppermint extract.) Everything was yummy, though the sugar cookie dough was a little difficult to work with. Using a little bit of water did help though.

Banana chocolate chip muffins from JOVB: totally perfect and fluffy!

Pumpkin bread from JOVB again, this time with walnuts and cranberries.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pearberry Smoothie

I'm not going to lie: this smoothie was inspired by a lotion fragrance several years ago. It's still one of my favorites though; pears are the real underdog of the smoothie world. They rival frozen bananas for their addition of interesting textural elements and their delicate flavor works well with a wide range of other ingredients: berries and vanilla are great, but chocolate non-dairy milks, ginger, apple juice, almond butter and strawberries all also work well with pears. Also champagne and pear juice makes a good (weekend) A.M. beverage with your french toast, tofu scramble and what have you...

Pearberry Smoothie:
*Chilled canned pears, preferably in their natural juice and not in syrup.
*Vanilla soymilk
*Frozen mixed berries

Whiz together and enjoy!

Maple madness!

Roomie and I made some spicy maple candied nuts (cashews, pecans and hazelnuts) inspired by Bazu's recipe on Where's the Revolution?

Mini gingerbread cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting are the perfect reward for the friends who trekked out in the sleet (!) for our housewarming party this weekend. These are insanely addictive. I used the cake recipe from VCTOTW and the JOVB buttercream using 1 tsp. of maple extract and 1/2 tsp vanilla. I actually made the gingerbread cuppers about a year ago with the original lemon frosting and I messed them up pretty good--how I was able to get a vegan cake to dry out or Isa's frosting to go runny I do not know, but lets all be glad my vegan baking skills have improved so very, very much. Oh, and if you can find it near you, use the Reed's brand candied ginger, and add a little extra to the batter. Also, don't even *think* about tasting the batter, because you may not actually make the cupcakes when you end up eating half the bowl...

French Toast and the Magic of Flax

So, Roommate got me the Teany Book which doesn't have a *ton* of recipes, but is very cute. I made the french toast which I think was way better than non-vegan french toast since the flaxseeds make the toast just a little nutty (and much healthier!), and there is a ton of cinnamon and vanilla in the soaking liquid. Moby and Kelly offer a yummy looking plum syrup recipe to go with it, but I just used maple. Another big plus: this recipe takes just a few minutes to make-- easy peasy and no omnivore would ever be the wiser...

Yuca tortilla

My friend Heather and I made the yuca tortillas from Veganomicon. The combination of soft mashed yuca, bell peppers, garlic and olive oil give the dish a slighty cheesy flavor and I also added spinach and mushrooms because I had them. We agreed this would be even better with cilantro if you have it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Fancified Food

Dessert first: vanilla ice cream sundae with mango and mixed berry compotes, vanilla cookies and toasted cashews.

Roommate made the kabotcha-udon winter stew from Veganomicon. The broth is awesome, and you could totally just put whatever veggies and noodles you had on hand in this. It also tastes good with some gomaiso on top. Yum.

Roasted veggies (yukon gold potato, cauliflower, eggplant, red pepper, onion with canola and italian herbs) on brown rice pasta with earth balance, white wine, pignoli, lemon and black pepper.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Vegan MoFo Survey

Ok, I feel weird posting this... 'cause I don't know if you all really care, but it's part of the Vegan MoFo fun, so here goes!

1. Favourite non-dairy milk?

Vitasoy Organic Unsweetened Original and Blue Diamond Chocolate Almond Breeze.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?

A fancy millecrepe of yet to be determined filling/s, lasagne, pumpkin chocolate chip bars.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?

I usually buy the kind with sea salt and olive oil already on it.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?

Forgot baking soda in a batch of sweet potato biscuits. Eek.

5. Favourite pickled item?

Not really a fan of pickles of any kind...

6. How do you organize your recipes?

They're in book, or on scraps of paper in books or cut and pasted into a computer file, or in my brain.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?


8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

Avocado, chickpeas, cranberries.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

Inventing my own cookies: peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip!

10. Favourite vegan ice cream?

Double Rainbow bran something or other: I had it once and now I can't find it again! Barring that, carrot cake flavored Rice Dream.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?

Immersion blender, hand down.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

Red chile flakes.

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?

I think the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook has been around the longest.

14. Favourite flavor of jam/jelly?


15. Favourite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

Green tea cupcakes from VCTOTW.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

Tofu; it's so versatile!

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

I love baking in the afternoon, but making a fancy dinner w/ multiple dishes and dessert is the best.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?

Brown rice pasta, a cookie rack, a huge comntainer of dried dates, dried pears, dried figs, bananas, a lime, a lemon, garlic, onions, a shallot, apples.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Bah, just 3? Ok, broccoli florets, taro dumplings, flax seed... I am a freezer queen though-- there is A LOT.

20. What’s on your grocery list?

I just went today but we're always getting organic chickpeas, canned fire roasted tomatoes, vitasoy, sweet potatoes, onions, whole wheat bread, frozen berries, frozen fake chicken, pita chips, organic firm tofu, newman's own ginger o's and whatever fruit is in season.

21. Favourite grocery store?

Gorgeous indie health food store near my apt. or when I lived closer to one, Trader Joe's.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.

Millecrepe. Also those italian tri-color cookies. Nom nom.

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?

Urban Vegan, Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, Eat Air.

24. Favourite vegan candy/chocolate?

Terra Nostra Rice Milk Choco. Or anything chocolate + orange or raspberry.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

Organic raw almond butter. Like $14 I think. Oy. I really wanna make this date-almond butter-banana smootie though you see...

Fried Cauliflower

Not usually a huge fan of cauliflower, but I had some to use up. This would make an awesome appetizer, though I of course ate it for dinner.

Cauliflower w/ rice flour, salt and pepper fried in safflower/peanut oil and served with some leftover marinara. Yum.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stuff a squash not a turkey!

Mom and Jill take Thanksgiving very, very seriously:

Pomegranate champagne punch with rum and mint.

Artichoke stuffed with breadcrumbs, olive oil and garlic.

Roasted butternut squash, onion and apple soup with pecan cilantro pesto.

Roasted sweet and blue potatoes with fried shallots.

Stuffed sweet dumpling squash with wild and basmati rice, apricot, cranberry, pecan and cardamom from Compassionate Cooks.

Stuffed mushrooms from Veganomicon were a big hit.

Veggie platter with glazed baby carrots, roasted brussels sprouts and cippolinis, steamed broccoli and green beans almondine.

A very full plate with all the aforementioned plus vegan mashed potatoes (no omnivore was the wiser...), some freehanded cornbread and soy sausage stuffing and a rosemary drop biscuit from The Joy of Vegan Baking (easy, delicious). Oh and no, I couldn't finish it all, though I tried my best.

Chocolate pumpkin pie from Dreena Burton's Eat Drink and Be Vegan, and apple strudel from The Joy of Vegan Baking. Both were excellent and will be made again soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Food

A out-of-town guest stays for brunch, and I make snacks for a night in with the girls...

Tofu scramble with baked sweet potato home fries: local tofu, soy sausage, spinach, chickpeas, mushrooms, earth balance, onions, garlic, tahini, tamari, red chile flakes, rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme. Sweet potato, olive oil, sea salt. Obviously, this was all covered in ketchup the second after I took the photo.

Brownies from Joy of Vegan Baking were moist and fluffy-- more of the cake-y variety-- and nearly fat-free. Still looking for the elusive fudge-type brownie veganized...

Sundried Tomato Dip from Veganomicon is simple and delicious if not super photogenic.

Sometimes I don't cook...

So Roommate was inspired to cook by our lovely new kitchen and promises to make it a weekly occurance. I hope so! She made the Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Carmelized Onions and Sage Crumb Topping from Veganomicon which was awesome. It's really mellow and creamy and a crowd-pleaser I'm sure. This would be a great Thanksgiving dish as its not too complicated or time consuming, it's made with familiar ingredients and best of all it can be made in advance and baked later.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lentil soup and curry plantain patty on bok choy

Lentil soup: red lentils, vegetable stock, spinach, mushrooms, onions, garlic, red chile flakes, oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, black pepper, sea salt.

Plantain patty: boiled, mashed plaintain, brown rice, panko, curry, cinnamon, salt.

Bok choy: with tamari, orange juice and sesame

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Ahh, I can't believe I missed November is Vegan MoFo! Well, there is still half a month left-- get ready!


Veganomicon is out, and you just know I have a copy... I may have been distracted by the siren song of The Joy of Vegan Baking for a bit, but I suppose at some point I need to eat dinner before dessert. So I started testing some recipes for my very first vegan Thanksgiving and they all went over well with my little veg*n dinner party last night.

Here's the chickpea cutlet with mushroom gravy from Veganomicon served with some mashed potatoes (yukon gold, new potatoes, earth balance, vitasoy, salt, pepper) and some asparagus (with sesame, tamari, earth balance and lemon juice.) The cutlet was fun to make since I am usually too intimidated to make seitan-y fake meat-y stuff myself, and this was pretty easy. The flavorings were thyme and sage but you could always switch them up too. I think I'll make them again and use in sandwiches since they are so way better than any pre-made sliced "meat" stuff. Also, I'm realizing that I eat *a lot* of chickpeas. They're just so cute and versatile. Do all vegans do this? Am I going to turn into a chickpea? Do I sound crazy? Crazy for chickpeas?! Heh. Oh and the gravy? So good. I added a bit of chile to it which is obviously non-traditional but pretty much mandatory around here. I think next time I will add some rosemary too and maybe use earth balance instead of oil. Also, now that I've bought a big bottle of sherry you can expect that to show up more often since I don't plan on drinking that stuff, ew.

Chewy oatmeal cookies from Veganomicon. They say to use raisins, which are literally the only (vegan) food I don't much like, so I made them with chocolate chips instead. These are awesome, but make sure not to overbake them! Also note that this may be the most delicious cookie dough you will ever eat. I have half a mind to not bake the rest of the dough chillin' in the fridge and just eat it with some vanilla Soy Delicious. Yum...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Just for you...

Sorry about being such a lazy blogger lately. Can I make it up to you, please?

Here' s some spiced chickpeas, pumpkin puree, fire-roasted tomatoes and spinach (canola oil, sesame seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, coriander powder, tamari, turmeric, red chile flakes, black pepper, fresh garlic and onions) on brown rice...

And for dessert I have truffles: three kinds! There's espresso, coconut and cinnamon-chile. (semi-sweet chocolate chips, soy milk, maple syrup, chile powder, cinnamon, ground espresso. coconut extract, sweetened coconut shreds.)

We cool now?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Joy of The Joy of Vegan Baking

Buy this cookbook now-- there are no excuses. Observe:

Pumpkin cheesecake. Perfect for the Thanksgiving, duh! This is a more "cheesy" cheesecake, so add more brown sugar if you want to cut that tartness a bit.

Strawberry cupcakes really do have a subtle strawberry flavor so please use organic fruit in there. Topped with vanilla buttercream (best vegan buttercream I've had so far.)

Pumpkin bread (canola oil variation with chocolate chips.) I forgot to take a picture of them, but the loaves rise beautifully. This was really popular with everyone, and I'll be making it again soon and probably adding some nuts and dried cranberries to the mix.

Chocolate peanut-butter no-bake pie...tastes like a giant truffle and is insanely easy.

Lemon bars. Perhaps my favorite of all: pretty, not too complicated, no crazy-sounding ingredients.

Cocoa spice muffins. You *must* make these with the cayenne!

I really can't say enough good things about this cookbook, or Colleen. I met her at the Boston Veg Fest and she is so sweet in person. If you haven't already you should totally check out her Vegetarian Food For Thought Podcast (link to your left) and her cooking DVD which is really well done. Everything I've made so far from JOVB has been gorgeous and delicious. You may want to add a little extra sugar to a few of the recipes (I'd say the cheesecake and muffins benefit from just a little extra) but that is subject to taste. Just test the batter before it goes it the oven.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

All the cool vegans...

are posting Mac n' Yeast lately... *Warning: delicious peer pressure to follow* I served some of the good stuff here with some Italian spiced veggies: eggplant, artichokes and spinach. I usually just mix in some broccoli with the noodles and top it all with cornflakes or breadcrumbs though.

I can't believe it's not even cold out and we're already in comfort food mode. Not that I'm complaining anything ('cept maybe about the impending doom posed by global warming since c'mon, it's almost November)... This was actually one of the first dishes I veganized (before I went vegan) just to make sure I could do it-- between this stuff and the cupcakes I definitely don't miss a (pus-filled) thing. I don't have a recipe for Mac n' Yeast since I just make it up every time. Essentially it's whole wheat macaroni topped with a roux based yeast flavored sauce. (White flour, canola oil, salt, nutritional yeast, soy milk, pepper, paprika, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, red chile powder, turmeric.)

If you've never used nutritional yeast before you might want to go easy on it at first, it's a different flavoring than what you might be used to-- it seems strange, I know, but you'll grow to love that bulk-sized tub in time; I promise. Just be sure to buy the "vegetarian support formula" since I've actually seen non-vegan varieties, ew. Plus the vegetarian support kind has *tons* of vitamin B-12: the only vitamin us vegans gotta watch out for.

Check out the yummy vegan groupthink here:
*A recipe by the lovely Lolo whom I met this week-- what a cutie! Her cookbook will coming out soon, remember to pre-order from Amazon soon!
*And another one from the truly prolific Susan at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.
*Lindyloo the delightfully profane has a version too of course!
*Here's Jess of Get Sconed fame with a updated New Farm Cookbook recipe
* Plus, Lori of Pleasantly Plump Vegan with a nice lookin' plate
*And I know someone posted a pic with the Mac plated with eggplant and spinach which is where I got the idea for my dinner-- but I forget who it was. Will this yummy vegan blogger please stand up?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Boston Cream Pi-- I mean Cupcakes

See, it's apt since I'm going to be here this weekend. Yay!

From VCTOTW... Sorry it's a crappy pic; there is yummy custard inside the cupcakes but the ganache on top sorta seeped in there too. A bit of extra time is required for these babies, but anything for Beloved Roommate's birthday. We also went Vegetarian Dim Sum House and had one of the best meals in recent memory: cheap, adorable and 100% delicious. Please go there and enjoy red bean, sesame paste, vegetarian char siu bao, taro and assorted other dumplings, spring rolls and such. I don't really know what's involved in the famous "treasure balls" either-- except it's like mashed potatoes but crunchy and oh geez just go there, ok? No really, now!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Vegan Lunchables

A carbtastic dinner tonight + lots of leftovers for lunches this week: roasted delicata squash with spinach, basil and artichoke pesto (with pignoli, olive oil, vegetable broth, oregano, black pepper), roasted sweet potatoes, mashed parsnips and potatoes (with olive oil, rosemary, black pepper and soy milk), brown rice and some store-bought cranberry sauce, inspired by vegan yum yum's latest post. I don't care how hot out it is outside-- I want fall food!

Peanut ginger tofu salad w/ carrot and cucumber sticks and toasted whole wheat pita triangles inspired by an Everyday Dish show with Julie Hasson, but taken in a more Thai direction by yours truly. In the salad: extra firm tofu, peanut butter, sriracha, scallions, grated carrot, cilantro, cucumber, ginger, garlic, tamari, white pepper.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

More cookies!

So I went to a vegan baby shower this weekend. It was awesome; I met so many vegans and had a great time. There was a ton of dessert, so I don't know how many people ate these at the party ate cookies when there was a midblowingly cute tower of vegan cupcakes, the gold standard of vegan baked goods: the peanut butter bomb cake from Vegan Treats as well as some sort of yummy homemade chocolate pie with a cookie crust. A plethora of vegan desserts is always a-ok by me though. Anyway, here are almond apricot tea cookies from How it all Vegan, some chocolate chip cookies revamped from a Compassionate Cooks recipe and some raspberry jam thumbprints from a veg web recipe I think I'm going to work on a bit. Oh, and the food was catered by Red Bamboo in Brooklyn (including mango "chicken" salad, yum) and there was much Yeungling for all. Burp.

Congrats vegan parents; that's one very lucky baby, thanks so much for inviting me!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies

A recipe so simple you could memorize it... And really-- you should.

Adapted from a Williams Sonoma Recipe

1 c. all purpose flour
1. c. quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c. earth balance margarine
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed lightly
1 ener-g egg replacer, prepared
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbs. soy milk

Preheat oven to 375.
Stir together dry ingredients (up to and including cinnamon) in a medium bowl
With a mixer on medium speed beat wet ingredients (everything else) in a large bowl until combined
Add dry ingredients into wet in two batches until combined
Roll dough into little teaspoon sized balls
bake 9-10 minutes.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Cornbread from The Joy of Vegan Baking (sample recipe online!) made with whole spelt and served with a schmear of homemade red onion vegan cream cheese and red pepper jelly I concocted from some gorgeous farmers market peppers and chiles.

Fall food is hands-down my favorite: kabotcha squash and green beans from the farmers market with Japanese curry roux, mushrooms, walnuts, dried cranberries, safflower oil, soymilk and black pepper.

And yet more cupcakes...

Sorry I've been lazy about posting lately, I've been busy you know, working. I know, I know, weird huh?

Aaanyway, I have TWO vegan co-workers at my new job. Yay! When I found out one of them had a birthday coming up I offered up my baking services pretty much automatically. One night o'baking and a very careful subway commute later I had forty some odd vegan cupcakes at the office. Some were skeptical at first, but these were certainly a hit. After all, who wouldn't be won over? There were green tea with almond flowers, chocolate cupcakes filled with raspberry jam and covered in ganache, peanut butter covered in ganache, and coconut lime with an agave lime glaze and shredded coconut.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I can haz bakin "egg" burger?

Another tester for Joni Marie over at Just The Food, a breakfast burger recipe I've smothered in the classiest of sauces, ketchup. This is really quite egg-like, studded with faux bacon bits and perfect with some OJ and toast. Don't you love how vegan "junk food" is still made out of tofu? You'll have to wait for the book for this one I'm afraid, but I won't, muahaha!