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!

Monday, September 17, 2007

7th Street Fashion Show and Block Party

Ok, I'm a bit late on this mega-post, I know.

Two Sundays ago my friend Kate Goldwater of AuH20 Designs, Amarcord Vintage Fashion and some local entertainers held a fashion show and block party event. Refreshments were provided by Abraco (the cafe next to AuH20 and Amarcord) and Bitchin' Vegan Kitchen of course! I would've gotten my name on the flier above, but my contribution was the stuff of some very last minute inspiration. In any case, it was a lot of fun and a great way to wrap up my summer before I started Serious Grown-Up Job the next morning. I set up shop on an ironing board (of course!) and passed out all the free vegan goodies to the way hotter-than-Fashion Week crowd.

Here are some lemon bars and peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate ganache from VCToTW. Even though the cupcakes and cookies went faster, the lemon bars were my favorite. They're a brilliant ppk recipe thickened with agar and even though I overbaked the crust a scotch they were still ridiculously good. A must-make-again favorite. The ganache was awesome too. I saved the leftovers and some truffles rolled in espresso powder for Roommate and I.

Chocolate thumbprint cookies from VWaV with raspberry jam filling. I make them all the time because in addition to be simple delicious, they are always gorgeous.

Dan Kitrosser as Patti Lupone MCing the event with some very special, very bitchy and very er-- graphic tunes as everyone's favorite Tony winning lady entertainer. Seriously, check out Dan's Myspace and his show "Hour of Love;" it's gonna be "more famous that John Stamos" for sure kids.

Eli Maniscalco, the clever singer songwriter.

This is Ian Sciotti with some mellow acoustic Spanish guitar...

...and my lovely Kate (on the right) with some of her models. It's all recycled and handmade, and she'll customize and tailor anything in the store for you too, on the spot.

Malorie Leogrande sang some Stevie Wonder. I assure you she's even more adorable in person.

Finally here is a gorgeous outfit from Amarcord, Kate's next door neighbor. Support small businesses and local artists-- go now !

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Japanese Eggplant "Parm"

Served here with sauteed mushrooms and spinach and whole wheat penne. Garnished with fresh basil and Italian flat-leaf parsley.

*3 Japanese Eggplant
*1 recipe veg web vegan tempura prepared as in my sushi post, with 1/2 AP flour and 1/2 rice flour
*1-2 cups panko breadcups, seasoned with dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, red pepper powder)
*Oil for frying (I used a peanut and safflower mix)
*1 26 oz. jar marinara sauce
*handful of shredded vegan cheese

Heat oil in a deep pot to frying temp and prepare a deep pie pan with a layer of marinara. Cup eggplant on a bias, in 3/4 inch slices. Toss slices in bowl of tempura batter. Next, roll individual slices in the seasoned panko, and fry in batches until golden (flip halfway through frying with a chopstick). Place one layer of fried eggplant in the prepared pan, season with kosher salt and black pepper, top with more marinara and another layer of eggplant, season with more salt and pepper, then cover with another layer of sauce. Top with vegan cheese and bake at 375 on the top rack of oven until bubbly, about ten minutes. If cheese doesn't melt, broil briefly. Fyh vegan cheese can be temperamental though, so don't worry too much either way, it will taste good anyway. Alternately melt the cheese in a saucepan and pour on top of baked dish before serving.

I've always made killer eggplant parm, at least according to many a well-fed roommate. This vegan variation is my favorite yet, and trust me, I've done a lot of eggplant troubleshooting. Getting rid of the dairy fat allows you to taste the eggplant and tomato much better, and the Asian-ized eggplant component fries up fluffier and crisper than the traditional Italian application. I added some follow your heart monterrey jack and cheddar I already had shredded, but it's plenty good without it. I've also made batches with silken tofu + raw cashew + nutritional yeast cheezes, and that's quite good as well, though if you do that, I suggest that you add a dollop of the cheez on each serving after you bake it. I think baking the tofu-nut mixes tends to take away from their texture in this case.

UPDATE: I think I've improved this further. I make it often enough, right? I had about a block's worth of leftover fyh cheeses, 1/3 cheddar and 2/3 mozzerella. So I melted them fully in a saucepan, whisking away al the while, and then drizzled some directly on top on each layer of fried goodness then covered each with the marinara. A bit of melted cheese was on top for prettiness. This was pretty unbelieveable. I really don't think people would know this was fake cheese. At all.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What happens when you google "vegan sweet potato biscuit"?

These magically appear.

Used rice flour instead of cake flour, added salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to the original recipe. Oh, and I used a fork as a pastry blender and an empty can as a biscuit cutter 'cause I don't know if you noticed, but it isn't exactly Williams-Sonoma around here...nope.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Avocado salad

Tomato and basil from Mom's garden, avocado, walnuts, lemon, juice, grey salt and fresh black pepper.

Margarita cupcakes

I thought the green tea cupcakes were my favorite-- until I made these. Wow.

My cousin Emily helped me make these too! She is turning out to be an awesome chef. She's helped me make appetizers, pizza and cupcakes before, and this week she made the pesto recipe from VWaV with walnuts solo. It was delicious.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Perfect summer pasta

Make it while you still can!

*Whole wheat fettucine for two.
*2 medium tomatoes (or 4-6 plum tomatoes), diced
*1 can artichokes, drained, rinsed and quartered
*1/3 cup white wine
*1 tsp tomato paste
*2-3 cloves garlic, minced
*1/2 tbs olive oil
*1/2 tbs margarine
*handful of walnuts, lightly crushed or rough chopped
*two handfuls fresh spinach rough chopped
*1/2 tsp. oregano (dried, more if fresh)
*1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
*squeeze of fresh lemon
*kosher/sea salt and black pepper to taste

-Boil pasta in salted water
-In large skillet, melt margarine and olive oil together
-Toss garlic in the pan first, letting it flavor the oil just a few seconds before adding the next ingredients
-Add tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, artichokes, lemon, oregano, pinch of salt and red pepper flakes and cook until tomatoes have given up some juice and a light sauce has come together in the pan, moving vegetables around the pan gently
-Add the spinach, basil and walnuts, remove from heat when spinach is just wilted
-Grind on lots of fresh black pepper, add more salt if needed
-Toss with cooked pasta

Vegan Japanese...ish

Vegan sushi: spicy chickpea roll (mashed chickpeas, veganaise, sriracha, scallions, tamari, cucumber), mango nigiri with cilantro, and an "elephant roll" (peanuts, avocado and red pepper, black and white sesame seeds sprinkled on top). Use toasted nori sheets, keep your hands very wet when working with the sticky stuff, and don't forget to to prep that rice with rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt, it makes a BIG difference. Oh, and I just rolled these guys using a big ziplock freezer bag since I didn't have a bamboo mat-- and it worked out pretty well. Still need some help? These nice ladies explain it all. It's actually really fun and pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Will certainly be making again soon.

Perfect vegan tempura: Used this recipe from veg web except I used half AP flour and half rice flour. I battered my veggies (1 sweet potato, 1/2 bunch broccolini and 1 onion) and then dredged them in panko bread crumbs. Fried in some veg. oil (peanut might be even better next time) and served with a simple dipping sauce (tamari, mirin, scallions, sesame seeds).

Fun Fact: shojin ryori is the name of a traditional vegan Buddhist cuisine . While the above especially bastardized meal is in no way an example of it, it's interesting to read about. As Buddhism affected Japanese culture, vegetarian cooking in major cities and temples influenced Japanese cuisine. Not hard too imagine when you think about all the soy and gluten preparations made famous there. (Agedashi tofu!)

For more Japanese food check out The Vegan Ronin's blog with some seriously yummy looking pictures.