Posts Tagged ‘baking’

What We Eat: Thanksgiving Menu

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I’ll save the sentimental gratitudes for later–right now, we’re talking food.  After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is really about, right (I kid.  But, seriously.)?  Here is our menu for today.  I included a lunch menu this year.  Why?  Well, because most of us don’t eat our holiday meal until 4pm or so.  It isn’t exactly wise to fast all day just to gorge yourself on one meal, yet, we don’t want to be slaving away all day in the kitchen to make two holiday meals either.  What I’ve done is created an easy meal that can be cooking up while you’re getting the real deal going.  I stuck my cheesecake in the oven, got the cranberry sauce going on the stove, and cooked up lunch while I was waiting.  It’s filling enough that you won’t be tempted to overeat at dinner, yet light enough that you won’t still be full when the next meal is ready.

Lunch

Red Lentil Stew with peas

Oven Roasted “B” Potatoes

Apple cider

Dinner

Celebration Field Roast

Cranberry Wild Rice Stuffing with Pepitas

Curried Puree of Sweet Potato

Cranberry Sauce

Vegetable Medley (peas, broccoli, carrots, corn)

Dinner Rolls

Sparkling Pear Juice

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Breakfast Bites

March 25, 2010

Craving a Danish but just don’t have the energy to make frosting and cream cheese filling?  These dandy little treats will satisfy without taking all morning.  Best part?  They only take one pan!

Breakfast Bites

1 package refrigerated crescent roll dough

1/4 cup apricot preserves (I used Bonne Maman)

sprinklings of cinnamon sugar, cardamom, and ginger

3 Tb unsweetened dried coconut

slivered almonds, optional

Butter-flavored spray or vegetable oil spray

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly spray a cookie sheet.  Separate crescent roll dough into the preformed triangles.  Roll each triangle into a ball and mush it, then flatten it into a disk shape about 1/4″ thick (thinner is fine).  Spread fruit preserves over each disk.  Sprinkle with cardamom (go easy!), ginger, and cinnamon-sugar.  Sprinkle coconut (and slivered almonds, if using) on top.  Bake until golden and puffy.  Serve warm with tea, milk, or coffee!

1000 Vegan Recipes: Cherry Hazelnut Scones

March 9, 2010

This evening I made Cherry Hazelnut Scones, meaning I’ve now done about 12 of the 1000 recipes in the book.  These scones are awesome.  I’m not typically one for scones unless they are un-sconelike (you know, the ones with chocolate in them), but cherries and hazelnuts make for a pretty tasty combination.

All I changed about the recipe was adding a tablespoon more soymilk than required (the dough seemed too dry to hold together), and using evaporated cane juice in place of regular sugar.  Otherwise, everything in the recipe worked as it should, and it produced great results!

Sweet and Sour Tofu

November 4, 2009

I’ve been craving some good fake Chinese food lately.  I say fake as in the kind of “Chinese” you get at mall food courts and the buffets that inexplicably also serve french fries and mini corn dogs.  Not authentic, not even really Chinese, just sort of… Asian-esque enough to pass.  Usually I prefer to find quality stuff, but sometimes some junky food is just what hits the spot.

I recently decided to take matters in to my own hands.  I’ve done chow mein and lo mein before, so this time I ventured into the world of sweet and sour “chik’n”.  It doesn’t come out tasting chicken-y (which I view as a good thing), but in terms of satisfying a craving, it does the trick.  The best part?  It’s simple!

Sweet and Sour Tofu

1 block tofu

1 cup Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)

turmeric, cayenne, black pepper, sage, and garlic powder to taste (I used a generous dash of each)

House of Tsang Sweet and Sour Sauce (yep, I’m too lazy to make my own)

Remove the tofu from its packaging, squeeze as much water out of it as possible, and wrap it in plastic.  Be sure all areas of the tofu are well-covered.  Freeze overnight.

Place tofu in a bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes, pausing after each minute to flip or turn the tofu.  Continue until defrosted (press on the tofu–if it’s not hard anymore, it’s thawed) but be careful not to cook it.  Squeeze all the water out of the tofu; press hard, there’ll be a lot!  Then cut the tofu into 1″ cubes.

Meanwhile, mix the bread crumbs and seasonings.

Dip the tofu in lukewarm water, shake off the excess, then roll in the bread crumb mixture.  Place on to a well-greased pan (I sprayed generously with canola oil).  When all the tofu is in the pan, spray lightly with oil.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until breading begins to turn golden and tofu is firm and crispy.  Turn once or twice during baking time for best results.

Coat tofu in sweet and sour sauce and serve warm.  Enjoy!

Bonus recipe: For sesame tofu, mix sweet and sour sauce with honey (you naughty vegan!) about 3:1 (more sauce than honey), toss the baked tofu in the sauce, coat with sesame seeds, and place back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until sauce has dried a bit.

Bonus FLOP: I also tried to modify this to make coconut fried tofu (you know, like coconut shrimp).  I froze the tofu and thawed it.  Then I rolled it in a mixture of panko, unsweetened coconut, a little sugar, and ginger.  Then I fried it in Earth Balance.  It tasted pretty good but a lot of the breading came off during frying–I think it would work better with a deep fryer.  I ended up pressing a little extra breading mixture onto the tofu after I fried it.  If you have a deep fryer and try this, let me know how it goes!

Ginger Crinkles and Lemon Sugar Cookies

September 20, 2009

Vegans are not particularly famous for cookie-making.  Cupcakes yes.  Cookies, not so much.  Vegan cookies are finicky and have a tendency to turn to crunchy little bricks if they are baked even 10 degrees too high, or 45 seconds too long.  I exaggerate, but you get it.  A dessert that’s child’s play in the omnivore world takes a little more work for vegans.  Instead of trying to find just the right recipe, I sometimes give in and just buy an ABC or a Liz Lovely (can I get an amen, vegans?).

I do love a good cookie, though, and miss the memory of helping my mom roll the dough into balls and put them in little rows on the cookie sheets.  The kitchen made warm by the oven, the scent of ginger filling the house, sneaking bites of cookie dough out of the mixing bowl…those were the days.  These are two recipes that live up to my (and my mom’s!) standards for homey goodness.

Ginger Crinkles

Ginger Crinkles

I started with this recipe on Eating Well and made a few changes to make it vegan and a little more to my tastes.  First, I used granulated sugar for the cookies themselves, then rolled them in the raw Turbinado sugar as the recipe states.  I substituted 1/4 cup applesauce (natural, unsweetened) for the egg.  And instead of the wheat pastry flour, I used a 50-50 mix of white unbleached all-purpose flour and wheat flour.  They are a versatile cookie; you can under-bake them just a smidge for the folks who like a softer, moist cookie, or you can over-bake them by a minute or so to make them a little thinner and crispier, more like a gingersnap.  They travel well and stay soft for a day even when not in an airtight container.  I brought them to a potluck nestled in a cake box with some tissue and they were almost as good as they were right out of the oven.

Which is another point I should mention:  these cookies smelled so good that I could not stand the anticipation and actually ate a few right out of the oven.  Literally.  Despite burning my mouth a little (it was totally worth it).

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

These cookies are scrumptious, and I turn to this recipe often when I want a way to sneak vegan food onto non-vegans’ plates.  As with most vegan sugar cookies, they do harden rather quickly if not placed in an airtight container, so as soon as they are cool, put them away (this is also a good technique for stopping yourself from eating them all).  The recipe is from the amazing food blog Crepes of Wrath (if you haven’t seen it yet, go now!  And join a gym because you will soon be cooking and eating way too many of the recipes.  You’ll thank me later).

My only substitutions:  use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks instead of butter, and use 1/4 cup applesauce in place of the egg.  Please, please, please, do not omit the lemon extract…it’s the secret key to success!