Monday, May 30, 2011

Pizza Night!


We have a weekly pizza night at our house. I use my bread machine to make the dough and then make two pizzas: one cheese for the kids (and usually Mark) and one vegan for me. I love pizza night because even though I have to cook dinner, it is a meal I don't have to think about and the kids like. I have tried a variety of different vegan pizzas, but made one recently that turned out really great. It is another one from Vegan with a Vengence.

Potato, Fennel, and Tempeh Bacon Pizza

Roll out pizza dough. Top with thin layer of tomato sauce of your choice. On top of the sauce, lay down a layer of THINLY sliced potatoes. Sprinkle sliced fennel on top of the potatoes and crumble a piece of tempeh bacon that everyone has in their fridge. Bake until potatoes are done.

Notes: The way that I usually make my pizza is I cook the dough by itself at 400-425for 5 minutes, then top, then bake again. The key are the potatoes. They need to be in the oven for at least 15 minutes at this temp. You may need to play around with the temp/time to get one that works for you.

Note2: The orginaly recipe calls for tempeh sausage, but I didn't have that in my fridge, I had bacon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

Okay, so its not vegan, but at least its vegetarian. I have express permission from Kerri to post this - its a good one. I wanted to use our beets from our CSA box and I think this recipe is hugely successful. I always thought beets tasted like dirt, but mixed with the goat cheese and candied walnuts, I thought they were very palatable. And I thought the ones we got in our CSA box were sweet and very tender, quite unlike my beet experiences in the past.

I strongly suggest making a special trip to Split Creek Farm and getting their goat cheese for this recipe. Their product is worth the trip. Although the recipe calls for crumbles, which Split Creek does not have, I just warmed a couple slices off the goat cheese log in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes with a little olive oil. Warming it makes the cheese very creamy. But you could also use it the salad cold. Serve it with a baguette - makes a terrific meal.

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

4 medium beets - scrubbed, trimmed and cut in half
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (I've used pecans with success)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 (10 ounce) package mixed baby salad greens
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces goat cheese

Place beets into a saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool, then cut in to cubes.

While the beets are cooking, place the walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat until warm and starting to toast, then stir in the maple syrup. Cook and stir until evenly coated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing.

Place a large helping of baby greens onto each of four salad plates, divide candied walnuts equally and sprinkle over the greens. Place equal amounts of beets over the greens, and top with dabs of goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with some of the dressing.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Mason had his Second Birthday last week - He's a big boy now! We celebrated with vegan cupcakes. His sister helped him pick out which ones we had at his party - Cookies and Cream! This recipe was simple to make, and best of all, doesn't make too much - only 12 (I don't like having alot of this kind of stuff around because then I eat it).

We loved them.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
From Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World
Moskowitz and Romero

1 C Soy Milk
1 t apple cider vinegar
3/4 C canola oil
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond, chocolate or more vanilla extract
1 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C cocoa powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 C chopped chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Newman-O's as suggested)

Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with cupcake papers.
Whisk together soy milk and vinegar and set aside for a few mins to curdle.
Add the sugar, oil, extracts to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in two batches to the wet ingredients and beat till no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are okay). Stir in 1 C chopped cookies.

Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of way. Bake for 18-20 mins until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Ice with buttercream icing recipe below and garnish with a half of cookie on top:

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Icing

1/2 C nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 C nonhydrogenated margarine (I use Earth Balance Sticks)
3 1/2 C confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 C plain soy milk or creamer (I used vanilla soy milk, because thats what I had)
1/2 C mashed chocolate sandwich cookies.

Beat shorthing and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soy milk, beat for another 5-7 mins until fluffy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Three bean salad

This is another Rachel Ray recipe. I made this one time when haven't Amy W et al over for dinner. It is one of those that is so simple, yet so versitle and easy to make. I whipped this up after teaching all afternoon last week at 8:30pm to go with some leftover chickpea cutlets. I then ate the rest for lunch later. I can see this in a wrap or as a yummy side for a BBQ. I like to use leftover green beans for this or if you just get a few in your garden, put em in here!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Granny Cooper's Braised Greens

With our CSA pickup this week we had lots of greens and turnips. That meant it was time to break out one of my favorite (read you can make it during naptime and it's good to go for dinner) greens recipes. This recipe works well even if you are light or heavy on the greens - but try to include most of the onions and turnips - they really absorb the flavor and are super yummy! You can also mix different types of greens together in one batch - collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, etc. I don't usually use this recipe with other types of greens like kale, chard, or bok choy.

Hint for chopping greens: I started to "chiffonade" my greens just like I do basil. I stack up 2-3 leaves on top of each other; then roll them tightly length-wise. I make 1 cut down the middle lengthwise and then chop them into about 1 inch widths. It's easier then tearing.

3 tbsp canola oil (I used water instead)
3 cups onions, sliced (2-3 onions)
3 turnips, sliced thin (no need to peel and I always use all the turnips I have)
8 cloves garlic
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp black pepper
4 cups water
1 - 12 oz beer
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp molasses
5 lbs fresh greens, stems mostly removed (or whatever amount you have)
5-6 drops liquid smoke (optional, to taste)

1) Heat oil in large pot over med heat
2) Add onions, turnips, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper and cook until onions are clear
3) Add water, beer, vinegar, and molasses and bring to a boil over high heat
4) Add greens in batches, mixing to wilt and submerge them all
5) Once all greens are added, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1 - 1 1/2 hours partially covered
6) Add liquid smoke if desired

There will still be plenty of liquid in the pot, it won't all be absorbed or cooked off, so make sure you serve these greens in a bowl. You can add extra white vinegar to taste when serving.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Marinara Sauce

This is one of those that duh! yes it is vegan! But I thought that some of you were trying to find a good recipe, so here is the one I use. The key ingredient of this sauce is the caramelized onions. That just means you cook onions until they are browned and sweet. Now, I am a foodie and I can do many things. I can make homemade chewy granola bars, fig newtons, souffles, cream brulees, liquors, but I can't caramelized an onion to save my life. So, I do them in a crock pot. Just slice a bunch of onions and put them in your crock pot with a stick of butter or margarine and cook on low for 24 hours.


You may want to cook them outside. It is a little smelly.


After draining, I freeze extras for another use.

The recipe turns out really thick, so I only use have of the tomato paste it calls for, and I use all crushed tomatoes. Also, stick with the dried herbs for this one, they hold up the long cooking time more than fresh would.



So here is Mark stealing the kids mozzerella to put on his pasta. Bad vegan, bad vegan!


This recipe does make extra to freeze, but it goes fast. In my pre-vegan days I would usually double it to make sure I would have enough. I only made a single recipe this time and that should be fine for the summer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chocolate Smoothie

Here's a good protein smoothie that tastes just like a chocolate milkshake. The original is from Super Smoothies by Sara Corpening Barber and Mary Corpening Whiteford. I've adapted it so its totally vegan. Its a good one if you're PMS'ing.

1/2 C soft silken tofu
3/4 C chilled chocolate rice milk (or use chocolate soy if you prefer)
1/2 C Chocolate Almond Dream ice cream
1 frozen banana, sliced
1/4 C toasted pecans or almonds (optional)

Combine tofu and rice milk in a blender. Add the Almond Dream and banana and blend until smooth. Add the nuts if you like, saving a little for garnish on top.

Makes 2 1/2 cups; serves 2

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Moroccan Couscous

Amy H. inspired me to post this yummy and pretty recipe! I gave this one to Alicia Silverstone to add to her book "thekinddiet";)

2 cups butternut squash, cut into cubes small cubes (1/4"-1/2")

2 cups yellow onion, large dice

1 1/2 cups carrots, small cubes

1 1/2 cups zucchini, cut into 3/4" cubes

2 tbls EVOO--extra virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt

1 1/2 tsps freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups veggie broth

2 tbls Earth Balance butter

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous

2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

1/2 tsp saffron threads

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place squash, onion, carrots, and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with EVOO, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper.

Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once with a spatula about midway through.

While roasting, bring veggie broth to a boil in a saucepan. Remove the pan from heat and, stir in butter, remaining 1/2 tsp pepper, cumin, saffron, and salt to taste. Cover the pan and steep for 15 mins.

Scrape the roasted veggies and juices into a large bowl, and add the couscous. Bring veggie broth back to a boil, and pour over the couscous mixture all at once. Cover tightly with a plate and allow to stand for 15 mins. Add scallions, toss the couscous and veggies with a fork, and serve.

I have to be honest...I didn't use the saffron threads and it turned out great! We loved it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Black Bean Burgers

I haven't tried these on the grill yet, but will soon. We thougt these were great - much better than the frozen ones. I only made half of the recipe, and it still made 4 burgers. We topped them with home made corn salsa. They went together quickly. Could be an easy weeknight meal. My only thought was that they could be a little dry. Maybe next time I will reduce the corn muffin mix a little.

Tip: Cut off the top rim of a 32 oz yogurt container (Zoiks! Do we vegans have yogurt in our homes anymore?) and use that as a form for make your patties. This way, they come out to be the perfect size to fit on a bun.

Black Bean Burgers

1/2 C salsa
1 jalepeno
2 15 oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8.5 oz pkg of corn muffin mix
2 1/2 t chili powder
2 T olive oil

Mash the beans in a large bowl with a potato masher or fork. Drain the salsa. Chop half of the jalepeno finely, and slice the other half thinly (this will be a garnish). Add the chopped jalepeno, drained salsa, muffin mix and chili powder.

Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Form you patties and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until well browned. Add more olive oil as needed.

Top with salsa, guacamole, vegan sour cream and garnish with jalepeno slices.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A few to share

This blog is a little difficult for me to keep up with because literally everything I cook lately is vegan. Here are some things I have made in the last week.

Black bean soup.


Soup was a big thing for me during the colder months and I am getting away from it now that it is older. I think I had a package of dried beans and found this recipe. It was actually a crock pot recipe that claimed to only need 3 hours to cook. Lies. All lies. I soaked mine and cooked all day and they were just done in time. Also with this recipe was a cumin crema. I did try it with the vegan sour cream. Wish I hadn't. Not really a fan of vegan sour cream...

White bean tortilla bake with green salsa.


It is divided in half because half is with real cheese and half with vegan cheese. It does use sour cream and I used all vegan sour cream. This actually worked out just fine. I really liked this, and I think Mark did too. A nice little casserole for the vegans! Didn't take all that long to put together and if any of you have a baby this might be what you get!

Peanutty Noodles.


I have made several versions of these and love them all. This one was actually very easy. Mark doesn't like them because he thinks the peanut butter is "wierd", but it is actually quite delicious. Thought I could get James to eat them, but he really doesn't like sauce.