» recipes Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk!

Poor Man’s Cashew Cream/Sauce

It’s been a long time since I posted a half-assed recipe.

I first made this years ago, before we had a ton of fake cheeses and I needed to use up half a pack of silken tofu. It came out great and was what won Brian over to the side of vegan pizza so we don’t have to make two. But then all of the vegan cheeses came and we got lazy. Since Isa is being paid off by the cashew lobbyists and cashew cream is everywhere right now, I made it the other night for the first time in a long time so I could pass it along because cashews are expensive and raw cashews can be hard to find, so make those suckers stretch!

One thing to keep in mind is that you kind of need the nooch to cover the silken tofu flavor – I don’t really like the taste of silken tofu so I can’t imagine using this without nooch in it, so if you don’t like nooch or want something that’s just like blended cashews + water only, take a pass. But it makes a great alfredo-y type sauce and is really good on pizza!

3/4-1 c soaked and drained cashews (I was using up leftover soaked cashews and I had slightly over 3/4ths)
1/4th a cup almond milk, or enough to blend the cashews up
1 pack of silken tofu, the shelf stable size
2-3 tablespoons of nooch
salt to taste
optional for you, but always for me: half a ton of black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder (or more if you want), a couple of shakes of thyme (cumin and red pepper flakes if you want something spicy)

Blend the cashews and the almond milk, then add the rest and blend. Heat in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. I should thicken up in 5-10 minutes. Taste for your desired level of saltiness. Use it how you will. If you use it for pizza, the top will get yellow-ish and dry out a little, but underneath it will be creamy goodness. When I put it on pizza I just use a silicone spatula spoon to plop down blobs and then gently spread it.

The amount made will thickly cover one large pizza with leftover sauce, so i’d say you could easily cover two medium sized pizzas.

This is how it looks on the spatula after it’s cooked, it will still drip but as you can tell, it’s pretty thick:

P.S. If you are like me, in a small town without a bulk bin in sight, raw cashews are probably impossible to find. I order this five pound bag from amazon, it’s a good price and you can freeze them. Or go on a cashew binge, whichever.

posted: December 20, 2013
under: food, pictures, recipes

VeganMoFo: Clueless

Do you love Paul Rudd like I love Paul Rudd?  He has fantastic taste in movie roles.  For the most part.  Halloween 6 came out the same year as Clueless, i’m just saying.

 

How do we even talk about Clueless?  I feel like trying to describe it is like trying to describe a unicorn sliding down a rainbow while playing a sweet guitar riff.  I also feel like you’ve all seen it so you know, but anyway:  high school!  Rich kids!  Crazy fashions and made up slang!  Finding yourself and realizing that you have depth and a big crush on your ex-stepbrother!  The best soundtrack of any 90′s movie (tied with Empire Records)!

As a teen in the 90′s, I found Clueless totally unrelatable.  I lived in the midwest and dressed (and acted) more like Travis Birkenstock than any of the girls.  Shoes and shopping and parties was not my thing at all, but I was still totally obsessed with the movie and watched it not sporadically.  Because it’s not about being an accurate depiction of teen life, or teaching us a social lesson.  It’s about breaking in your purple clogs.

Beyond the superficial surface, Clueless smartly takes Cher from an almost cartoonish spoiled rich girl to a normal human being.  When the movie is starting and she says, “She’s my friend because we both know what it’s like for people to be jealous of us.” you kind of want to choke her.  And then after a short while you realize that she’s a lot nicer than most popular girls and by the end you want to be her BFF and let her dye your hair in her jet powered bathtub.

The most important thing that Clueless gave us was the sickest burn of all time that I still use, “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.”

If you love cast reunions as much as I do, check out this one:

This movie launched many careers, including Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer, and Jeremy Sisto, and I guess you could say Brittany Murphy if you weren’t a fan of the amazing The Torklesons/Almost Home. Girl was, is, and will always be a star.

Onto the menu!

Entree:  If there was a readily available vegan McMuffin available, I would always be tardy for it.  There are so many ways you can make one, if you want to make your own English Muffins there’s a recipe in Vegan Brunch or the Ezekiel ones are readily available even where I live.  You can make the tofu omelets from the PPK or the fried egg from Betty Goes Vegan,  Top with Upton’s seitan bacon or maybe some Tofurkey slices or just the ‘egg’.  Normally I am down for homemade cheeses but I think in this case it’s some sliced Tofutti/Go Veggie slices or go home (those Daiya slices are awful, sorry).  Be sure to squeeze your VegMuffin while declaring that your buns, they don’t feel nothin’ like steel.

Side:  A plateful of popcorn fries (recipe below) is way better than a handful of popcorn and some bacon and peanut butter m&ms and whatever else is in that quote, and they will go great with your VegMuffin!

Dessert?  Craving an herbal refreshment, you friggin’ pothead?  That’s cool, I support legalizing marijuana and wish that medical marijuana was more widely available.  But in the meantime, make some Chocolate Chip Mint Leaf Icebox Cookies (recipe below) instead. Please don’t drop the entire roll of dough into the oven to impress a guy.

 

And finally the connection to Kevin Bacon from this film is our favorite fashionable vegan herself, Alicia Silverstone.  They were in Beauty Shop together!  Tune in Monday for a new set of movies.

 

Popcorn Fries, from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, posted with permission by Dreena Burton

2 1/2 T coconut oil

2 1/2-2/34 lb Russet or white potatoes, washed

1/2 t sea salt

1/2-1/2 t ground turmeric (optional, for color)

2-3 T nutritional yeast (the recipe says optional, but in my opinion nooch is always a must)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut potatoes (peeling optional) into strips 1/2-in think.  Add coconut oil to baking sheet and place in oven for 2-3 minutes until oil is just melted, then remove from oven and add potatoes, salt and turmeric and carefully toss to combine.  Bake for 60-70 minutes, until potatoes are golden in spots and fully cooked.  If desired, toss in nutritional yeast five minutes before end of baking.

——————————————-

Chocolate Chip Mint Leaf Icebox Cookies, from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, posted with permission by Terry Romero

(As a side note, I want to say that these are some of my favorite cookies ever and a great use of an overactive mint plant, so if you’ve never tried them, please do!)

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, lightly packed

1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, softened

1/2 cup nonhydrogentated shortening

1 cup plus 2 T sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup non-dairy milk

1 2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 t salt

1/2 t baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips (lightly chop chips if they are very large, this will make slicing through the dough much easier)

 

1.  Wash the mint leaves and pat them dry with a towel or spin them in a salad spinner.  Remove any stems and with a heavy knife mince the leaves very fine.

2.  In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream together the margarine, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Scrape down the sides often.  Beat in the vanilla and mint extracts.  Add non-dairy milk and beat until creamy.  Sift in the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda and mix to form a soft dough.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the finely chopped mint and chocolate chips.  Dough will be slightly sticky.

3.  Scrape the dough, with a rubber spatula, onto a large sheet of wax paper.  Form a log about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long, taking hold of the ends of the wax paper and gently tugging to create a rounder log of dough.  Wrap and tuck in the ends of the wax paper and chill the dough till very firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Slice the dough into 1/2 inch thick slices, place them at least 2 inches apart on the sheets (cookies will spread), and bake 12 to 14 minutes till the edges start to brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cook 5 minutes before carefully lifting them with a spatula onto wire racks to cool.  Store in a loosely covered container.

 

 

posted: September 7, 2013
under: recipes, veganmofo

Whole Grain Vegan Baking: Blog Tour/Review and Giveaway!

The giveaway is over, congratulations Tofu Cat!

Are you ready to bake up some whole grains like a mug*?

I have a feeling that Whole Grain Vegan Baking is the kind of book that people will be afraid to pick up, and needlessly so! I found this book easy to use, despite having only a half stocked kitchen. I went to make my first recipe and realized I didn’t have any dry measuring cups, for pete’s sake. I also don’t currently own any pretty plates or linens so you’ll have to excuse my washcloth-chic food styling. So! Let’s address some fears you might have:

It’s expensive/inaccessible: It doesn’t have to be! Please check out the post I made a few days ago about how people from small towns can easily get what they need. Internet shopping is a gift from Al Gore, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t use it. If you happen to live in a place with a health food store, you can hit up their bulk bins and get a lot of the flours, or if you’re lucky, all of them. Bulk bins are cheaper and you can get the exact amount you need. And while WGVB does use a few items that are pricey, Celine and Tami made a conscious effort to use more affordable ingredients. Overall, of course while grain flours and natural sweeteners are going to cost more than white flour and sugar, but I guarantee that there is something in here for every budget and lifestyle.

Also, someone noted that there seems to be a lot of vegan yogurt in this book, obviously ordering yogurt off of the internet requires purchasing a cold pack and isn’t something most people are willing to do. You can substitute any yogurt in the book with blended silken tofu. Or if all you can get is a fruity yogurt, say the gross new Silk soy ones, you can diligently pick the fruit out and adjust the sweetener a little bit. And maybe your finished product will come out blueberry tinted, but whatever.

I have to buy a million flours and i’ll never use them all: Hey, you don’t need to buy anything you don’t want to! I didn’t make a count, but it seems to me like barley, spelt, wheat/whole wheat pastry flour, and oat are the most commonly used. What I did was mark up a bunch of recipes to try, then I went through and wrote down the common flours/sweeteners in them. I just checked the index and each flour used has a section, and the only flour I got that doesn’t have multiple uses is graham flour. Also, Bob’s Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills come in much smaller bags than standard flours, so you’ll use them up much faster than a standard sized bag of wheat flour. If you have the room, you can store extra flours in your fridge or freezer, in an airtight container.

It’s boring: Absolutely not. Celine and Tami aren’t the kind of people who will put out a book of plain loaves and bran muffins. The basic recipes are there, but they are far outweighed by things like Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies (the surprise is Sriracha) and Baked Speculoos Donuts. If you think you’ve got whole grain baking figured out because you know how to swap whole wheat for white flour, you are in for a punch to the gut of your tastebuds.

It’s too healthy tasting/god damned hippie crap: Everything I made has passed The Brian Test, and he kept saying that he couldn’t tell that they were supposed to be healthier alternatives. The last thing I made were the Savory Barley and Potato Scones (I made the suggested walnut swap for the raisins), and I warned him that they were totally savory and the most ‘whole grain’ tasting thing I had made, and he still liked them. Using such a wide variety of flours, and combining them, helps the recipes avoid that dry, crunchy, sadness you might expect.

I hate oil/soy/gluten/nuts/joy: Okay, ya’ll are going to be disappointed with this book if you are expecting this book to be free of anything besides refined flours and sugars, and soy (which is an easy swap for milks and yogurt). I don’t think any of my xgfx friends will be shocked to hear that this book isn’t for them, since it’s a baking book that isn’t specifically gluten free. But if you are feeling adventurous and want to try and de-gluten some of the recipes, here’s a good guide to gluten-free flour swaps and when to use them.

And as always, Fair Winds puts out some of the most attractive vegan cookbooks ever.  The design of the book is beautiful, as are Celine’s photos.  I would guess about 1/3rd of the recipes have an accompanying photo.  I found the book very easy to use and despite the fact that I had to improvise a lot based on my kitchen equipment (seriously, how did I forget measuring cups?!), I got great results with everything I made.

Pictures! Followed by words about the pictures!

Wholesome Vanilla Pound Cake, I ate most of this straight up with a glass of almond milk, but I spread these pieces with Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful and cherry fruit spread.  Definitely one of the easier recipes in the book, if you’re looking for the shallow end to dip your toes into.

Double Cranberry Scones, I had to use raspberries in lieu of fresh/frozen cranberries, so for me these were Cranberry Raspberry Scones.  Another super easy recipe, which Brian enthusiastically wolfed down.

Layered Chocolate and Banana Mini Cakes, I used a 6 cup bundt pan because I only have one mini cake pan.  This is the recipe to go for if you have some overripe bananas that you need to use up, and again, super easy.  It’s like a desserty banana bread with a brownie on the bottom (or top, depending on the kind of pan you use).

Savory Barley and Potato Scones, which I decided to make after I realized that I hadn’t made anything that wasn’t at least a little sweet.  These are definitely different, and since I used the recipe note suggestion to use walnuts in lieu of raisins, they would be excellent paired with a soup or stew.  They come out a little dry looking (I brushed a little vegan margarine on top of the ones in the photo), but the inside is incredibly moist.

My final picture is below with the recipe, and I can’t wait to bake more!  For funsies, I asked the authors what their favorite recipes from the book were, if you need some more jumping off points.

Tami:  English Muffin Bread, Cracked Wheat Pan Rolls, and the Strawberry Sweet Biscuits

Celine:  the hazelnut shortbreads, the lemon curd tartlets, and the banana berry breakfast bake

Giveaway!  Fair Winds Press has agreed to send one lucky person (US or Canada only, sorry) their own copy of Whole Grain Vegan Baking.  To enter, simply comment on this entry telling me what your favorite kind of baked good is!  Be as generic or specific as you like.  I’m partial to cake and anything yeasty, myself.  I will pick a winner at random on Friday, May 31st.  Make sure to comment with a valid email address!  Enjoy the recipe, and check out Denise’s post tomorrow on The Urban Vegan, which is the last stop on the book tour.

*mug is slang from days gone by that only I still use, it means mother somethingsomething.

 

Braided Almond Oat Bread

This was an instant favorite when I made it, so it was the recipe I wanted to share. It’s small town living friendly: you can grind oats and almonds in a food processor to make those flours and sub the yogurt with blended silken tofu if you have trouble finding those things. I recommend brushing with maple syrup instead of agave, because it tastes like a loaf of french toast! The only change I made to the recipe was to just use some extra almond meal for the sprinkling at the end.

3/4 cup (180 ml) lukewarm plain or vanilla flavored almond milk, divided
1/4 cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup, divided
330 g (2 3/4 cups) white whole wheat flour, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
90 g (1 cup) oat flour
120 g (1 cup) almond meal
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
120 g (1/2 cup) plain or vanilla flavored vegan yogurt, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 ml) melted coconut oil or neutral flavored oil
Pure maple syrup or raw agave nectar, for brushing
Chopped roasted almonds, for sprinkling

Combine 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the milk with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup, 60 g (1/2 cup) of the wheat flour, and the yeast. Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes, until bubbly.

In a large bowl, combine 240 g (2 cups) of the wheat flour and the oat flour, almond meal, and salt.

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk, remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) maple syrup, yogurt, and oil. Pour the wet ingredients onto the and mix, adding the remaining 1/4 cup (30 g) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time, if needed, until the dough is smooth and pliable, about six minutes.

Alternatively, knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for about eight minutes, adding extra whole wheat flour if needed, until smooth and pliable.

Shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Punch down the dough, and place it on a clean surface. Divide it into 2 equal portions. Divide each portion into 3 equal portions. Roll each portion out into a 12-inch (30 cm) strand. Place 3 strands side by side, pinch them together at the top to seal, and tuck the top under slightly. Braid the strands. Pinch together and tuck the bottom of the braid as well, gently grabbing both ends of the braid and pushing together to make a neat and tight braid. Repeat with the remaining three strands. (Katie’s note: I found it easier to start the braid not quite in the middle, so I could braid towards each end and ensure maximum braidage before tucking. If that makes any sense.)

Place the breads on the prepared sheet. Cover the breads with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, until puffed.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C or gas mark 5).

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top and dark brown on the bottom. Turn the baking sheet once halfway through to ensure an even coloring and even baking of the braids.

Lightly brush the tops with maple syrup or agave nectar once out of the oven. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds. Let cool on a wire rack. The breads taste even better the next day.

posted: May 27, 2013
under: books, pictures, recipes, review

« Older |