When I cook at home I always have to do at least 3 recipes and they usually have to be the first time I have made them. In fact hardly ever make the same thing more than once, this is something I need to work on, maybe tomorrow…
Today I decided to try a new cookie recipe which you can read about here. I am not unhappy with the results, but I am also not jumping up and down about it either.
I also decided to try two recipes from Vegan Planet (Blog) that I haven’t done: Black Bean with Butternut Squash Chili and a Potato salad. I have made some of the other potato salads from VP in the past and enjoyed them. This one uses Soy Mayo and is delicious as well. VP also has a recipe for making your own Soy Mayo and its so easy I always do that too. So I actually made 4 dishes today but I will stop rubbing your face in it, maybe tomorrow…
Got a new cookbook today from @changinghands today: The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. It was pointing right at me as I walked through the store and I flipped through a few of the recipes and was impressed. the layout is easy to understand, the ingredients do not require exotic expensive trips to Whole Paycheck, and the intro had some great pointers about vegan baking that I was unclear about. At $12 it was a no brainer.
“But Roger”, you may ask (and if you don’t I just went and did for you anyway sucka) “if the book is so good then why are you making Yet Another Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie? Don’t you have 3 recipes already?” Well you caught me but the answer is simple, my sister asked me to make her Chocolate Chip Cookies, and when it comes down to it I prefer to cook for someone else anytime, anyday.
This recipe diverges from my usual recipe from Vegan Planet, mainly because it uses Margarine instead of Oil. Other differences are that it does not use Agave or Flaxseeds. My overall impression is that the cookies are good, but a little too surgery, meaning that the sugar crystals are very predominate. They also drop a bit more than I like but maybe that was my fault by over mixing. In the end I give them 3 stars out of 5. I will be making a lot more stuff from this book so be ready!
Made it to @gangplank for Katie Charlands Brown Bag on Social Media and Non-Profits, which absolutely rocked the house. I put up a number of posts about it and asked a few questions. Anyway got a message from Kammie to say hey to Stephanie and introduce her to Phoenix. It turns out Stephanie is a serious foodie and has a blog network:
Being new to Phoenix I suggested lunch at Pita Jungle since its healthy and was close. Her post on our lunch is titled: Relishing One Thousand Beans on Pita and gives an excellent bit of background on yours truly and how I came to being Vegan. Great food and good conversation is the only way to roll in my book.
This one has been on my hitlist for a few months now: Vegan Mushroom Pate. It’s one of those recipies that you read and go “damn that’s gonna be a pain in the a**.”. So you just put it off. Until you get hit over the head with the rediculous notion that it will be a cake walk.
The biggest pain of this recipie is really just the buying of all the mushrooms. White and Cremini are pretty widely available but Shitake and Porcini require a trip to whole paycheck which I dot best to limit exposure. Mainly cause it’s laid out like a candy store and I always end up buying 4 things I didn’t really need.
Anyway once the ingredients are procured it’s a pretty straight forward operation: soak the Porcinis for 20 min and sautee up some onion and garlic. Add all the mushrooms, wine, thyme, salt, and cayenne and let it reduce. Grind up some pecans in a processor add flour and parsley and then all the cooked stuff. Process till a little texture remains and then put in a bread pan and cook for 45 min at 350. Let cool and voilÃ !
I added a miraculous melon salad and citrus pasta salad to the mix and that’s lunch folks! Vegan doesn’t suck.
Went a little crazy at Sprouts last night and just started grabbing various melons: Papaya, cantaloupe, kiwi, and another one whose name fails me at the moment (it tastes like honeydew but looks like an alien egg from alpha centauri). So I chopped em up sprinkled a bit of salt and lemon juice on em and have enough for a couple days eating.
Second to final batch of yoga treats for my fellow yoga teacher trainers. It’s been a wonderful summer and I have enjoyed every bit of it!
This batch was a modification of another recipie. 2 cups garbonzo flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt mixed in one bowl. In second bowl 1 cup packed brn sugar , 1/4 cup agave syrup, 1/2 cup canola oil, 2 tablespoons flax seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and mix. Add the dry ingredients and mix. Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts and mix.
Good old Vegan Planet comes up big yet again! My Yoga Teacher Training class has a slight alteration to my Began cooking in that I need to strive for gluten free as well. That way everyone can enjoy. After scouring the Internets for a new recipie I went to old trust VP and found gold:
Chocolate Macadamia Clusters
1.5 cups pitted organic dates softened in warm water
1.5 cups macadamia nuts chopped
0.25 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut flakes
I went a bit off recipie with the nuts. VP calls for only making 0.5 cups into a powder and keeping 1 cup chopped set aside. Well I am too lazy to chop nuts by hand. I much prefer to put all my nuts into the food processor and just grind… Oh boy that didn’t sound good. Well you get my point.
Add drained soft dates to powdered nuts and continue to mix. Add cocoa and vanilla and mix well.
In you palm roll out 1 inch balls and press on the coconut in a plate to coat.
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. Will last up to 2 weeks in fridge.
I was amazed at how much better these are than store bought pre made clusters.
One of my goals is to make a vegan meal that my brother in law, Brian, will eat. Like a lot of people I know he is not interested in most of the stuff I make. The other week I decided to try to conquor this difficult task and with some recommendation from my sister went with a Strawberry Cheesecake – vegan style.
1 1/2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs – watch out most have honey in them. Also I had to get crackers and then break them up.
1/3 cup soy margarine, melted
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar or natural sweetener
Two 12 oz packages firm tofu, drained
One 8 oz package vegan cream cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 tablespoon water
2 to 3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced
1. Preheat over to 350 F. Oil 9-inch springform pan.
2. In food processor blend crackers till they are crumbs with soy margarine and the 1 tablespoon of sugar. transfer to pan and press to bottom of pan. Bake 5 min the set aside.
3. In food processor add tofu and cream cheese till smooth. Add 1 cup of sugar and vanilla and process again till smooth. Pour onto the crust in the pan and bake till firm, about 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and let it sit inside for another 30 minutes.
4. Remove, let cool. and then refrigerate for a few hours.
5. While cake is cooling off combine the jam and water in a saucepan over medium heat till smooth, set aside.
6. Once cake is chilled place the strawberries on top and then apply the glaze.