Zucchini Latkes

2 med or large zucchinis
2 scallions, or 1 med onion, coarsely chopped. ( I used dried onion flakes here because I wanted as much crunch as possible in the finished product, but use what you will)
1/4 C silken tofu, processed or blended smooth
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
Olive oil for frying

top with tofu sour cream (silken tofu, lemon, vinegar, all processed smooth – recipe to follow)
or top with apple sauce

Peel and grate your zucchinis (I like to call then ground bananas, you’ll see when I post a zucchini bread recipe) in a large bowl

Once you have grated your zukes, you will have to squeeze as much water out of them as you can. I just pressed them hard through a strainer but if you have cheesecloth this would work to twist ‘em up real good. Stir in onions, tofu and some freshly ground black pepper. In a separate dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
1/8-1/4C portions work well here, flatten them out with the spatula and cook until nice and crispy on each side.
You can keep these warm on a cookie sheet in the over while you cook or not, your choice.
Reheat easily in a toaster oven, or freeze and thaw before reheating, if you have any leftovers that is.

 

 

 

100% pure delicious breakfast (or dinner in a pinch) cereal

1 C rolled oats , not the quick cooking variety, the thicker the better
1/4 C bran oat or wheat, I prefer wheat to balance the oats
1 T coarsely ground flax seeds
1/2 C whole or chopped nuts, I usually use walnuts, but use your own taste buds, mine are weird.
1/4 C sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or any that you like to eat, mix ‘em up
2 T  flaked coconut
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t pinch nutmeg
1/4 t pinch salt
3 T agave syrup
3 T applesauce
1 T brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup assorted dried fruit, chopped or whole, raisins, cranberries, dates, etc

Heat oven to 300°F.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

In another bowl, combine the not-dry ingredients also known as wet ingredients.

Hey, water is wet, everything else is just sticky.
Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix well. Scoop onto a baking sheet and spread in a 1/4-in.-thick layer.

***IMPORTANT***

All ovens are strange demonic hell furnaces that can cook food perfect every time if you pay close attention.

That being said, stir every 15 minutes with a spatula, just move the cereal around to bake evenly.

I usually go 45 minutes. The cereal should not brown, but a slight amber, bronze, well whatever you call it, it is done after 45 minutes, a bit longer if crunchy is absolutely important to you.  The cereal will seem a bit wet, there’s that word again, but will dry as it cools.  Keep in an air tight container and eat as you normally, don’t get me started on normally, do. I double my recipe so I have more that 2-3 servings at a time but start small.

Po-tay-toe!

This “salad” can be a meal with bread added or fine as a side dish.

Sorry, it involves math

 

Potatoes any color, size, and/or shape (see below for quantity suggestion)

1 medium radish per potato

1 chopped clove garlic for every 2 potatoes

1 chopped onion per every 2-4 potatoes

6oz silken tofu per every 2-4 potatoes

1T prepared mustard per every 2-4 potatoes.

1 chopped carrot per every 2-4 potatoes

1/4C sweet green peas for every 2-4 potatoes

————————————————————————————–

Boil several potatoes skin on, skin off, red, white or blue, yes there are blue potatoes, well they might be purple but same diff.

I figure 1 serving per potato, so 4 people = 4 potatoes, or more if you want leftovers, which you probably do.

Blanch radishes (ok, its a fancy cooking term, put the radishes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. As soon as they boil, Whalla! they are blanched)

Saute onions, garlic and carrots until they are softened

process your silken tofu in a processor (where else, right?)

Cut the cooked potatoes and radishes into bite sized pieces, 1/2-3/4 inch is good here.

In a bowl mix all ingredients until there is a creamy base with chunky bits all around.

Don’t over mix or you get mashed potato salad.

***DISCLAIMER***

This was a fast post using a brain recipe, meaning I just made this the frak up on the spot. It works great but please make it your own. I’d love comments with variations you try.

 

Gluten-Free E-Or-Or-E-O’s

for the cookie

3/4C shortening at room temperature (earth balance or whatever you like)

1C sugar

2t vanilla

1/2C soy milk

11/2C coconut flour (rice flour, or any other flour will work, you will probably need to add more liquid, milk, to get dough to form a ball, the finer the flour, the more liquid it absorbs)

3/4C cocoa powder (any variety or mixture, the darker the better)

2t potato starch (corn starch is ok too)

1/2t salt

1/4t baking soda

for the filling

1/2 cup of shortening

2-3C powdered sugar

1t vanilla

preheat oven to 325 ( No Hotter!)

Cream shortening and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy

Add vanilla milk and mix until smooth

Add remaining cookie ingredients and mix until dough holds together

***important safety tip***

keep all unused dough in a covered bowl while you are cutting cookies out, it dries out quickly

divide dough into 4 pieces, roll out dough on pastry parchment to about 1/8 inch thick.

cut out 11/2-2 inch rounds leaving only about 1/4 inch between each circle.

remove excess dough and put in covered bowl.

the cookies don’t spread, but can overcook easily.

leave cookies on the parchment paper and cook in the oven on a cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes

if the dough sticks to the parchment paper, just place them in the fridge for 5 minutes, the shortening makes the dough stick if it is too warm in your kitchen

cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transfering to a wire rack.

repeat, repeat, repeat.  use all of the dough scraps and re-roll until you have made all of your rounds

you will have a lot of cookie halves. this is a good thing.

for the filling, make sure your shortening is soft, room temperature, or a low power micro-flash, then add the powdered sugar in small amounts, and the vanilla until it is all good, creamy, fluffy, stuff like that

 

spoon as much filling as you like and smush the two halves together.

if they break easily, just gently spread filling on one side, carefully cover with the other half.

 

keep tightly covered and enjoy often.

these cookies can be filled with whatever you like between two chocolate circles, use your imagination and enjoy.

 

 

 

Molasses with no asses, B’Day Cake

Simply an awesome chocolatey sweet cake with dark deep flavors.

1C molasses
1/2C soy milk
2C chocolate chips
6T soy margarine
1t vanilla
4T potato starch (or corn starch)
2C flour
1t baking soda
1/2C soy milk.

Yes, there are two lines of soy milk, you use them at different times in the recipe.
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave oven, a good size pyrex bowl is needed here. Then add molasses and milk to melted chocolate, stirring until well combined. You can re-heat this mixture whenever you need more temp to melt the mixture together.
Add the margarine and stir until mixed in.
Add vanilla starch, mix well.
Now add the flour, baking soda, and the rest of the soy milk, mix until very smooth, without overmixing, yeah whatever that means.
Mixed means there are no lumps visible, but stop as soon as you reach this nirvanic moment.

Coat two 9″ round pans with coconut oil and flour, or margarine and corn meal, or crisco and old graham cracker crumbs, just make sure your cake wont stick to your pans, this actively bums out the process.
Put half of the batter in each pan and bake  for 25-30 minutes, until the center of the cakes don’t stick to a stick thing being stuck in the middle.
I use a meat fork, imagine that.
Cool completely and remove cakes from pans.
Generous amounts of frosting are in order now.
This time I used peanut butter creamy frosting.marjarine softened, peanut butter and powdered sugar. But go with your heart, since it is inside near your stomach and knows whats what.
Enjoy.

Hot Dogs, Sausages, and Bears, Oh My!

I have always been a fan of soy dogs, not-dogs or whatever they are called.  We also have a special pizza-treat every other weekend when we go to the Wedge Co-op. We had been using processed vegan cheese and vegan pepperoni. They barely have any flavor and have too many ingredients to count. Then I found a vegan cheese recipe and the fantastic book Vegan Brunch has sausages to die for. Except you won’t die from them, they are too good for you.

Sausages

1/2 C cooked pinto beans

1C vegetable broth (the leftover water from cooking seitan is perfect for these but any old veggie broth will do)

1T olive oil

2T soy sauce

2 minced garlic cloves or 1T garlic powder (adjust to taste of course)

1 1/4C vital wheat gluten (this is the magic ingredient)

1/4C nutritional yeast

1T oregano

1t red pepper flakes

1t paprika

a pinch of black pepper

either dump all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the beans are mushed and you have a nice wet doughy mix   –OR– mash the beans in a mixing bowl, add all of the other ingredients and mix well.

Now you will need several squares of aluminum foil. They should be about 8-10 inches long and as wide as the roll.

Place about a 1/4C of mix on the foil (more if you want bigger sausages) and roll up the sausages then twist the ends like a tootsie roll. If it seems like overkill on the foil, you don’t want them to explode while they are cooking. Twist the ends good and place all of the sausages in a pot of boiling water. I use my biggest pot for these.

Boil/simmer (well it should bubble) for 1 hour. They will plump up and amaze you.

Serve em as is, slice ‘em for your pizza, chop  and add to anything.

HotDogs

1/4C cooked pinto beans

1C vegetable broth

1T olive oil

2T soy sauce

2T tomato paste

2t lemon zest, juice, etc.

2 minced garlic cloves or 1T dried garlic

1 1/4C vital wheat gluten

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1T curry powder (not the hottest kind, just curry flavor)

1T smoked paprika

1/4t cayenne – optional, just makes your mouth interesting

Follow the recipe the same way as the sausages, but of you use a processor, run it until the beans are smooth, hot dogs aren’t supposed to have any recognizable ingredients.

Pumpkin Muffins

loosely adapted from the Vegan with a Vengeance, but I change everything, mostly just added brown sugar, apple sauce, chocolate chips and left out allspice.

1 3/4 C flour

1/2 C brown sugar

3/4 C white sugar

1T baking powder

pinch ‘o’ salt

1t cinnamon

1/2t nutmeg

1/4t cloves

1/2t ginger

1 C pumpkin, fresh pureed or canned if you must, absolutely no pumpkin pie mix

1/2 C soy milk

1/4 C oil

1/4 C apple sauce

2T molasses

1/2 C – 3/4 C – 1,000,000 C chocolate chips. Don’t use too many or you will have to go buy more ASAP ’cause you can never, ever be out of chocolate chips.  What would the pancakes think?

Preheat your oven to 400F, remember, you lose heat when you open the oven and your ingredients are cool, so start at 425, then lower to 400 after you put the muffins in.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl.

Add wet to dry, mix well but don’t over mix. As soon as there are no dry ingredients visible. STOP!

I am a notorious overmixer. Then your baked goods are dense. Not good.

Fill greased muffin pan 2/3 full, or more if you like tops. These rise so you might get connected tops. Err on the side of caution until you get used to how much they rise.

Mine took 25 minutes before they passed the insert something into the middle and it comes out clean test.

Try 20 minutes, then 3-5 more until they are just right.

Cool completely in the pans, or eat as soon as you can get them out. It’s all good

Tamarind Lentils

This, of course, is adapted from the Veganomicon.

even though you cook, always read the recipe through before you start, no surprises :)

Oil, 2-3 T for sauteing (I use olive oil, any oil will do in a pinch)

2 cloves garlic, minced  (1T dry)

1/2 inch cube fresh ginger, minced (1/2t dry)

1 onion, diced (medium, large, extra large, the size of your fist is always the best kitchen measure for root measures)

1 potato, diced

1 t garam masala (sweet and smoky, paprika is ok to substitute here, increase to 2 t)

1/2 t cumin

cayenne, a pinch if you don’t like much heat, up to 1/2 t if you do

1 C dried lentils, the smaller the lentils, the faster they cook, so check them as soon as the liquid is absorbed. if they are still not soft enough, add more water a few tablespoons at a time until desired lentil softness is achieved.

1 C vegetable broth. (remember the leftover broth from the seitan?)

2 T tamarind sauce or paste (this could be hard to find, if you have no luck whatsoever, adding barbeque sauce instead will make these into lentil sloppy joe’s, no harm no foul)

1 T maple syrup

2 T tomato paste (ok, I have been known to substitute ketchup if I am out of paste, I’m that kind of guy)

salt to taste (a pinch or two)

 

in a saucepan, saute the onion, potato, garlic, and ginger.

if you are using dry garlic and ginger, add them next.

measure out all of the dry ingredients into a small bowl so you can add them all together

when the onion and potatoes are softened (not browned) add all of the dry ingredients and stir for 30 seconds

add lentils and broth

bring to boil and lower heat to simmer until most of the water is absorbed.

remember to add more water if its too thick or the lentils aren’t soft enough.

add tamarind, tomato paste, syrup and salt

mix well and cover but turn off the heat.

serve warm over rice with a soft tortilla on the side for eatsy wipeys.

Banana Split Cupcakes

For my wonderful wife’s B’day, she requested a special treat. After culling through Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, Banana Split Cupcakes became the birthday treat.

They look difficult but are very easy for any baker.
Here is the recipe from the same cookbook, slightly modified of course.

1/2 C pineapple preserves (I couldn’t find these, I used crushed pineapple and sugar, cooked until a bit jellied)
1/2 C very ripe banana (We had two hanging out with the newer ones, black skins, very ripe insides)
1 1/4 C flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 C sugar
1/3 canola oil
2/3 C rice milk (I used vanilla soy milk)
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond
1/4 C finely chopped dark chocolate

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
Quick Melty Ganache

1/4 C chopped Walnuts
Chocolate or rainbow sprinkles (chocolate, duh!)
6 candied cherries, cut in half (I used whole maraschinos but I will try to candy some next time)

350F oven and paper cupcake liners. (I usually forgo liners but you will want to use them here because you are mixing the batter up a bit in the pan and they would stick not matter what, trust me on this one.)
Heat your pineapple preserves so they are easy to spoon onto the 2/3 full cupcake liners. This comes later
Mash, crush, bash, smash (You might need the Incredible Hulk here) your bananas until they are lump free, like baby food, if not it will still come out fine. I pressed mine through a sieve.
Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk (or fork) oil, soy milk, vanilla, almond, and banana until smooth.
Fold wet into dry, don’t over mix. (This means if there are some visible clumps in the batter, leave ‘em. The next swirl through the bowl counts as over mixing and your cakes with be less light and airy, more dense and muffiny, same great taste though.)
Fill each liner 2/3 full. (The ice cream scoop is still your friend here but only fill it 2/3 full before you transfer to the liners)
Put 1 t pineapple and 1 t chocolate on top of each cupcake. Swirl though the batter a bit to break up the pineapple. Again, less is more here. It all tastes the same.
Bake 20 minutes until a knife, fork, meat fork, toothpick, spear of destiny, whatever, comes out cleanly when inserted.
Cool completely before frosting.

Drizzle melty ganache on top then sprinkle the walnuts and sprinkles, and add that cherry on top.

*Frosting*This is the Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting ingredient list from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World.  I prepare it differently, of course.

1/2 C shortening

1/2 C margarine

3 1/2 C powdered sugar

1 1/2 t vanilla

1/4 C soy milk.

Creme shortenings together, best if at room temperature first.

Add powdered sugar vanilla and about 1/2 of the soy milk, beat until fluffy, adding more soy milk only if necessary. 1/4 C usually seems like too much to start but you probably will use it all. I use a fork myself but electric beaters or whatever you choose to use is fine. I halved this recipe for the cupcakes and it made plenty. Just keep the extra chilled, you will find something else to eat it with. A spoon most likely.

Ganache. Again I start with Rich Chocolaty Ganache Topping recipe from VCTOTW. No matter how you mix it it comes out fine.

1/4 C soy milk

1/4 C melted chocolate

2T maple syrup.

Mix it up until smooth and shiny.

 

Some easy ingredients

If you are not ready to make 100% of all your vegan choices.

Here are some good substitutes.

Vegan Gourmet “cheeses”. These melt and taste good too. You can find them at your local Co-op or Whole Foods markets.

Yves Veggie “meats”. I like the veggie dogs and the deli slices too.

There aren’t many vegan cheese or meat options at major chains except for whole foods.

Here are two great lists of items that are vegan that you can buy anywhere, more or less.

PETA. (love these people, they don’t just “fur is murder”)

About.com – Veggie food list.

I’ll keep up on this list and keep trying to make easy recipes.