Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vegan Pot Pie

I normally don't make this kind of "comfort food" type thing, but I saw this recipe on this lovely blog Earth Vegan, Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes so I thought I'd give it a try. The webmistress Vaishali has a page which is devoted to laying out vegan substitutes for non-vegan items. It's seems like it would be extremely helpful, especially for someone who is borderline human/chimpanzee like me. However, I often just guess and then whine and tear up when my recipes don't work.

I haven't been reading her blog very long, but she seems genuinely talented and not nearly as clumsy and clueless as I am - so go visit her site! (But don't abandon me, I have abandonment issues).

Anywho,...the recipe. I changed a few of the ingredients, and I also used Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour instead of regular white flour. I've been dying to use it for something and it's a really good substitue for white flour - it cooks relatively the same and has a light, invisible flavor.

Invisible flavor. Yeah, no sense.

Garbanzo beans are also known as chickpeas and they are one of my favorite foods of all time.

Vegan Pot Pie
courtesy of the lovely Vaishali here

2 cups garbanzo bean flour or whole wheat flour
5 tbsp vegan margarine
1/2 tsp salt
rosemary/thyme to taste

1 lb red potatoes, cut up small
1 medium onion diced
4 cloves minced garlic
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut up small
1 package of tofu (next time I will use tempeh rather than tofu)
1/2 cup green peas
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup chardonnay wine
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp garbanzo bean or whole wheat flour (to thicken gravy)
2 tbsp vegan margarine
1 tbsp olive oil

-Next time I make this, I will definitely use tempeh instead of tofu. It will hold its shape better in the pie. Also, I think chardonnay is the best wine to give this sauce a kick. The nutritional yeast and vinegar I added give a kick too.

-First things first: make the crust. I used Earth Balance instead of shortening because I just dislike shortening immensely. Combine all the crust ingredients in a bowl and cut in the margarine. Split the dough into two sections and wrap them in plastic wrap and stick 'em in the fridge til later.

-Now get to the filling: after all the bitch work of cutting things up is done, which will take 30 years but is sort of strangely relaxing, you can start the fun part. On the stovetop cook the onions and the garlic in the olive oil until they brown. Toss in the red potatoes, rosemary, sweet potato, peas and tofu/tempeh and cook for five minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Go easy on the rosemary. A little of that shit goes a long way.

(Lovvveeee grows where my rosemary goesssss, and nobody knowwwwssssssss....but meeeee)

-Nexxxxxt: Add in the almond milk, tofu/tempeh, nutritional yeast, chardonnay, 2 tbsp of flour (to thicken gravy), apple cider vinegar, and 2 tbsp of vegan margarine. Allow this to sit with the cover over the pan for 10-12 minutes.

-Of course being the impatient 4 year old that I am, I had to check and stir this about 800 times. I feel it's better to just let it sit, if you can manage. Take it off the heat after its done, and let it sit until you're done with the crust.

-Take the crust from the fridge, or you ex-wife's vagina, whatever cold appliance you were storing it in, and roll one of the dough sections out carefully. Cover the rolling pin and counter with flour so it doesn't break (it probably will anyways if you used margarine and not shortening, like me). Line the bottom of your pie pan. Pour the contents of the filling over it.

-Next, use the other dough section to cover the filling. And it'll look like a pie, holllaaaaaa.

-I pinched the edges of the pie with a fork to make it look all fancy and professional. I like to lie to myself.

-Cook in the oven for about an hour (or a little less) and eat. Potatoes are my least favorite vegetable, so I was surprised when I really enjoyed this. It's good for a rainy day.

Or whatever you want! Sorry, jeez, I'm watching Tropic Thunder and my emotions are all confused right now. Tom Cruise is fat and bald and dancing and it's just so... hairy and fit/unfit, and greasy. Just try to forget I said that and eat the food.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vegan Banana Bread

I had a bunch of rotting bananas on my counter and I knew if I didn't do something with them, it would be a waste and that would make me sad. So I was looking up recipes for vegan banana bread and I found this awesome recipe on The Post-Punk Kitchen website. This is honestly the best banana bread I have ever had. This was my reaction after tasting it:

I changed a couple things to suit my tastes, but you can find the original here by Isa. It's just effing excellent. It's driving me ... crazy. Hahaha, see what I did there? I was leading on like I was going to type "bananas."

...but I didn't.


Vegan Banana Bread
adapted from Isa

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup of vegan margarine
4 ripe bananas
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cacao nibs
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
walnuts, to taste

-In my opinion, it was the allspice and walnuts that made this whole recipe. I added maple syrup instead of white sugar, so that means you'll have to cook it for a little bit longer. Also, I opted for almond extract - it gives a cool flavor to this light, fluffy, cake-like bread. I choose to put in cacao nibs, because bananas and chocolate = win.

-First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow to sit for 5 mins to curd.

-Next, mix all ingredients, including almond milk mixture, EXCEPT the walnuts, in a large bowl, mashing up the bananas well so there are no large pieces.

-Grease a 8x5 bread pan with margarine and sprinkle walnuts over the top of the batter.

-Leave in the oven for approx 70 minutes, and then eat that mofo.

Black Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is stumble out of my room in a half-hungover, half-delusional haze. Then, I sit on my computer for an unhealthy amount of time while I try to recount my disjointed, nonsensical dreams. After I debate over whether I should wash my hair or not, I go downstairs to get something for breakfast.

Breakfast is my least favorite meal, so needless to say I'm really not a "breakfast food" type person. I don't like eating sweet things when I first get up, so I normally go for plainer flavors like hummus (which I just made for a snack now, nom nom) and bread, or nut cheese (hahaha nut cheese) and bread, or leftover vegan pizza.

The point of all this rambling nonsense is really to point out the fact that I don't like cereal very much. I usually eat the Kashi kinds for a snack if I get hungry during the day but in the morning sometimes I haveeee: quinoa or brown rice with almond milk and fruits/nut.

It's packed with vitamins/good calories/healthy shit to start your inevitably boring day off right! Here are some suggestions:

Black Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

1 cup quinoa/rice (protein, fiber)
1 1/2 cup water (cooked before hand)

-strawberries/blueberries (vitamin C, antioxidants -immune system boost)
-bananas (they slow digestion, Potassium)
-wolfberries/goji berries (antioxidants, Potassium)
-cashews/pecans/walnuts (good fats, brain food, protein)
-1 tbsp agave/maple syrup
-soy/rice/almond milk (protein)

-Black quinoa's nuttier flavor and crunchy texture has the perfect breakfast cereal consistency. You can heat it up or eat it cold. I've been meaning to try this with bulgur and hemp milk, but haven't gotten around to buying it yet.

-Bananas have a looooooooot more Potassium than apples, so they'll keep your brain awake/more alive longer in the morning. This whole "recipe" seems pretty obvious, but I never even thought of making my own cereal until my good friend, who is a celiac, pointed it out to me.

-I think fruit adds just the right amount of sweetness, without being overly saccharine. But if you want more, add the maple or agave.

-I usually add maple syrup so I think of Wolverine right away after I wake up.

Roasted Corn with Basil-Shallot Vinaigrette

So today was a massive cooking day. I set out to make one thing and actually made four. But no one really cares about that, or me, so let's just move straight on then, shall we:

I got this recipe from the fantabulous Eating Well website. I used up all my fresh basil on the Scalloped Tomatoes from the other day, so I substituted in dried basil. Straight up I think that and the lemon juice are the biggest things I changed, but this recipe was really light and tasted a lot like sour cream and onion chips (random).

Roasted Corn with Basil-Shallot Vinaigrette
barely adapted from original

3 1/2 cups sweet yellow corn (about 2 cans)
2 tbsp olive oil
dried basil to taste
2 tbsp chopped shallots (green onions)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Basically, all you do is preheat the oven to 450. Toss the 3 1/2 cups corn with the olive oil and spread it on a baking ban. Bake for 25 mins, stirring once or twice, until the corn browns a bit. It'll smell soooo much like popcorn. Nomnomnommm.

I was just reflecting on how much I ate today. Fail. Okay next: chop/dice the shallots. Whatever. Dicing is way too involved for me, plus my cutting knife is about as sharp as my wit. That is to say... not very sharp.

-Now homie, mix the vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and basil in a dish.

-When the corn comes out of the oven, first be careful because 450 degrees is one hot motherfucker, and I burnt my hand even through my oven mit. Like I said, real sharp. Toss the corn and vinegar mix all together and eat it hot or coooold. Done!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Death By Chocolate Raw Vegan Cheesecake

THIS. IS. sogood. It's so assaultingly chocolately it should come with a warning label.

It's okay, Wolverine. I can handle it this time.

Death By Chocolate Raw Vegan Cheesecake

1/2 cup pecans (soaked 1 hour)
1/2 cup walnuts (soaked 1 hour)
2 tbsp cacao nibs
2-3 tbsp agave
dash salt

3 1/2 cups cashews (soaked 1-4 hours)
4 dates
3/4 cup agave
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground coffee
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
dash salt

-Notice how I gave the recipe a clever name this time? Yeah, I thought it was awesome and cute. Shut the fuck up. Now that we've exchanged pleasantries:

-First: soak all the nuts 1-4 hours before cooking. Raw cheesecake really is worth all the waiting on the nuts, ahahaha everytime I type nuts I think of testicles. Anyhow, it is SO good, the raw cheesecake, not the testicles. In my opinion, actually far better than real cheesecake. And howwwwdy, better for ya.

-Next, combine all the ingredients for the crust in the food processor and press "ON." Yeah, I think I'm just a witty little fuck, you know. Cacao nibs are basically like the best thing ever: they're the unsweetened cocoa bean, and they are packed with mood/cognition enhancing Theobromine.. blah blah science. They're small and crunchy and the Aztecs used to chew on them. That makes them awesome.

-Next, put the soaked cashews, agave, maple (Canada!), coconut oil, cocoa powders, dates, salt, vanilla and water in the food processor. I know I always go on and on about how awesome Canada is, but in reality, it's New Zealand. I was listening to different countries' national anthems last night at around 1 AM (I have no life, it's accepted), and NZ has the most amazing fucking national anthem I've ever heard. The instrumental sounds like the intro to a game show. HAHAHA Behind dooooorrrr number one we have: the entire country of New Zealand!!!

Needless to say, it is AWESOME. You should definitely listen to it here on Youtube while you cook. You won't be disappointed. The first verse is, I think, the aboriginal version.

-Anyways, other than New Zealand's success at life, you should empty the contents of the food processor into the pan right now (that's what she said) and be a success yourself!

-om nom nom nom, soooo chocolatey!!

-Voila! Store in the freezer for 2 hours, and then "defrost" 1/2 a half hour in the fridge before serving.

-Wow, you did it!

PS. I had to look up how to spell "success" like 8 times.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Scalloped Tomatoes and Croutons

Gooooooooooooooooooood golly Miss Molly, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Maybelline, Lucille, Michelle ma belle, Dear Prudence, Alejandro and every other song title there is with a name. This recipe is hella good.

Like,... really, really good. It gets the Superman seal of approval. Superbland has always seemed like kind of a meathead to me. I honestly wouldn't touch him with yours, but, not the point.

I found this recipe on the amazing site Smitten Kitchen. Of course, I've vegan-ized it, which wasn't difficult, even for me and my remaining 6 brain cells.

Scalloped Tomatoes and Croutons
adapted from original

3 1/2 cups whole wheat baguette
3 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 pounds of plum tomato
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Light agave (or 2 tbsp vegan sugar)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut thin
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Lots of sugars use "bone char" made from the bones of cows, to bleach their grains' color to white, but with some research, there are a bunch of sugars that don't use it. Agave to me is easier, the word "research" already making me tired, but whatever. I know Domino sugar does use bone char and Pillsbury doesn't.

-First, preheat oven to 350. Now chop up the baguette into little cubes. A baguette works greeeaaaat for this if you get one with a really crunchy crust. It plays well against the cooked softness of the tomatoes.

-Dice the plum tomatoes really small. Plum tomatoes are perfect for cutting because they have way fewer seeds than other kinds of tomatoes. And seeds are little bitches. 

-After you dice all the tomatoes (I almost cut myself 90 times because there were so many of them and I'm a flake, and I started spacing out, thinking of the new BBC show called Sherlock, which owns so hard) throw them in a large bowl with the salt, the agave/sugar, pepper, garlic and mix it up.

-Next, toss the bread cubes into a large pan with 3 tbsp olive oil. We already talked about lipid peroxidation and polyunsaturated fatty acids (we're so cool!), so we know why I cook olive oil on medium heat. Cook for about 5 mins until the bread is crunchy. Holla.

-OH MY GOD I am watching the show Air Jaws II. Firstly, I'm really upset with myself that I didn't even know there was an Air Jaws I. AIR Jaws? Enough said. Secondly, these sharks are like the Sean Connerys of the ocean. Awesome.

-Next: After about 5 mins of the bread cooking, throw the tomato mixture into the pan as well, and let that cook for another five minutes. Mix well and often.

-After 5 mins, remove the pan from the stove and stir in the basil leaves.

-Now, put everything in a shallow baking pan, and throw into the oven for 35 mins. Don't ACTUALLY throw it. Also, sprinkle the 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar over the top.

Then be like Air Jaws II and eat.

Vegan Cashew Nut 'Cheese'

I was on the Whole Foods website (loser) and I found their recipe section, and in it, voila, this recipe.

I have read about a ga-zillion recipes for raw vegan cheese, which calls for the soaking of nuts, and a long process of letting it sit for days and days and years, and wrapping it in cheesecloth and about a million other things I am FAR too lazy to achieve. If I were an animal, I would ALWAYS be the roadkill on the highway, probably because I was walking too slow.

Anyway, now that we're talking about road kill, let's make some food:

This is like an easy version of raw vegan cheese, using cashew (bless you) butter instead of soaked nuts. I had no nutritional yeast, (different from baking yeast, infused with B vitamins and gives a really 'cheesy' flavor to vegan/vegetarian dishes), so I dicked around with the recipe a little to make it work regardless.

Now you don't need to ask the grocery store worker if they have "nutrional yeast," and get pointed to the feminine hygiene aisle, if you don't want to.

Vegan Cashew Nut 'Cheese'
adaption of Whole Foods recipe

1 cup of cashew butter
1/4 cup unsweetend almond milk
2 tablespoons of tahini
4 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

-All you have to do is throw everything into a food processor and you're done. Yay!

-The downside to all of this is that in their pure forms, all the ingredients look startlingly close to catfood. I honestly might have thrown up if I looked at it too long. This is the least cat-food looking shot of the bunch. See? I do care about you.

-Thankfully I didn't have to look at it too long. I think this is awesome to put on bagels or whatever.

-My little dog Taz fell asleep in my arms when I was singing to him Complainte du la Butte. I think he's sick today. What does this have to do with cooking? Well, nothing, you heartless bastard.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vegan Lemon Poppy Cake

This cake has a really summery flavor.

I've been sitting here for 10 minutes and that's all I can think of writing. My brain is on E today (what else is new). If brains were petrol I probably couldn't power a fly's motorcycle around the circumference of a penny.

Also, when I just reread the title of this post I thought it said "Vagina Lemon Poppy Cake." VAGINA. Vagina is NOT a cake flavor. Even that sentence makes me dry heave a little. Sigh. I think it's time for a nap.

I'm so tired I'm starting to see Wolverine in the dry wall on my ceiling. That's when you know it's bad. Also, now that I'm thinking, why would a fly need a motorcyle? It would just, assumedly, fly. Unless it was as lazy as I am. If I were a fly, I'd need a motorcycle. Please step right ahead and stop reading this.

Vegan Lemon Poppy Cake

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/3 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup apple juice
2/3 cup maple syrup - Grade B, pure.
3 lemon rinds

-Okay first, you're going to want to mix the flour, baking soda/powder, salt, and poppy seeds all together, as the dry mix.

-Next: Add the apple juice, lemon juice, 3 tsp of vanilla, and maple syrup. (From Canada!). You can use store bought lemon juice, or just wait until you grate the lemons and then juice them.


-Take a food grater/shredder (I just used the grating tool on my food processor) and grate the rind of 3 lemons. If fruit could think, honestly, it would be like SHIIIIIIIIIITTTTT in the food processor. I always think of that whenever I use it.

-Now that you have all your lemon rinds (nom nom nom), mix them into the batter! I'm sure you got that, but I'm a little comatose right now, maybe you are too.

I just thought this picture was pretty and I wanted to show off.

-Now, put the cake in a 9 inch pan on 350 for 30-35 mins. Remember to grease the pan because I forgot again you don't want sad sticky cake, yo.

-In a little less than 3/4 of an hour, you'll be the proud owner of a brand-new cake, only pay S+H! Call 555-5555, that's 555-5555, that's 555-5555!!!

-If you want to make the icing I made (I just thought blueberries go well with lemon, if you don't well then, excuuuuuuuuuuuse me, Your Majesty) just throw in the food processor:

1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup vegan margarine
 3 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp strawberry extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

If you buy a pint of blueberries, you can use what's left to decorate, or you can just stare at them. I don't know. The apple cider vinegar gives frosting a really good, "cream cheese" like flavor.

Holla, brosef!