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I replaced the egg with some flaxseed and added chopped thai chili and diced red onions, and they came out just barely sweet and nutty tasting! This isn’t a big-ol sopping up chili with a hunk of hefty corncake kinda cornbread, but light and refined kind of puff of mais-muffin that’ got a crisp crust and is pretty low fat too. Almost alarmingly charming. ^.^
And then I had leftover crepes with sauteed peaches, coarse raw sugar, cranberry jam, and some malted soy drink mixed with enough water to make a sweet cream. Oh, frugal AND delicious, and even maybe healthy, how ’bout that? I love dinners that revolve around fructose.
Speaking of which, I made a tiny sweet potato cashew cream pie with a lone spud, because it’s just been so damned cold it seems not very weird to make food like this. Plus, it has a pumpkin seed crust a la Extraveganza, which in my weird mind makes it kinda summery. And when you pop it in the freezer and eat slices of it cold like spiced ice cream…… *drooooolz*. Also gives me a chance to use the tiniest fork ever imaginable that I picked up at a garage sale for specific things just like this. Fairy pie technique!
From now on I make my own thai green curry paste. Has anyone tried the yellow variety? I almost did but then I chickened out and returned it for a jar of the classic green, and while it resulted in a slurpily good skillet of hyper-spice, well… I’m still curious about the other variety. Maybe next time I’ll get the yellow (which boasts coriander and white pepper, yum) and just grind up lots of green chiles into it myself. I ended up throwing like, 3-4 extra thai peppers into this one anyway, cause I kind of like my thai curries to practically send off sparks into the atmosphere. Anything less and why bother, I say!
I don’t particularly feel like sorting my pictures right now, there is just TOO MANY of them. So, yes, here is the first, what a delight of puffy strawberry muffs in a basket! Hannah’s recipe is perfect for basic muffins, in fact I memorized it and freestyled a batch of chocolate-raspberry versions later while I was groggy and in my dad’s kitchen at some ungodly hour of the night after breaking in un-announced and he didn’t even know I was in town! I raided the cupboards (after cleaning the place spotless, of course) and managed to at least find enough basic baking supplies to make them, lurvly brunette muffins, which will have a photo later in this post, because (of course) as I said – completely out of order. Why not, right?
This is a pancake I made at my sister’s house, using her mystery bag of mystery organic flour (we believe it was likely spelt), as well as some honey-like natural sugar, lots of coconut, some cashews wedged in there… maple syrup. Other things. It was so very very punk, as their larder was BARE and we still managed to have a sizzling merry breakfast on the hob in time for a decent 11 am-ish kind of hour. I’d just read this book —
I usually feel funny posting about salads, since it’s like, well, vegetables. With oil and salt and things. But this one was like a bomb of happy went off in my mouth, so here it is. I think there was berries, daikon, carrot, goji, ume vinegar and mirin involved, maybe some tamari. Good stuff!! I think this is when I began to taste spring, a little bit.
And if I wasn’t careful, Satchmo was gonna taste my peanut butter banana oat muffins!! These are soooo perfect if you don’t want anything even remotely evil in a baked good, and I really didn’t at the time. It’s just every ingredient listed in the title, plus some baking powder, cinnamon, and raisins for sweetness and that’s it. I mean, admittedly I added some salt and allspice, but that’s still earnest. And they made perfect desserts for anything, since I made them mini I could celebrate putting my clothes in the dryer with a muffin if I wanted. Oh yeah! And gluten free, too! Like the loaf, completely subconscious on my part, but neat. Oh, and recipe is from aTxVegan!
And I ought to open Vegan Fire & Spice WAY more often, because it’s just crammed full of launching-pads for creative dinners. I was way too lazy to cook up brown rice one night, so I riffed off the Persian Orange Rice with Pistachios, using couscous and walnuts instead. Really good!!! Totally orangey and warmly spiced and great with zataar-spiced vegetables to mix into it (especially zucchinis!)
You know what? I like when muffins sink in the middle. It kinda makes you want to lean your head in right up to the pan and wonder… is it berry? Is it chocolate? Some other wondrous dark goo from the deep of the muffin? Okay, in this case I’ll fess that it’s blueberry, and I think you can even see the lavender flowers under it’s chewy crust. I totally bombed making these muffins correctly; they had sunken middles, gooey middles, “over-done” edges, and the aforementioned mysterious depths – BUT I called them blondies and just let the yummy work itself out. Actually these are fantastic, my baking skills notwithstanding. (lemon blueberry lavender muffins from Extraveganza, for the record)
I’ve also been greatly enjoying an open can of coconut milk. Why didn’t anyone tell me coconut milk was made of bliss? Man… it made teaching my little brother how to make tofu very very easy. And honestly, I think he may be better at it than I am! Those tofus in that thai coconut curry are succulent tofus – properly breaded and evenly browned. And I know that I’m not alone in considering the ability to make bean curd taste awesome is a necessary life skill to anyone, vegan or otherwise. I kinda felt like I had the ‘good sister’ hat firmly on.
MUFFIN VISION! SEE THROUGH!
I am horribly amused. :)
Entry number #2 in the gallery: Vietnamese spring rolls, which I’ve decided to live off of from now on.
Mostly because I can’t imagine anything that sits better in my stomach. I haven’t figured out why a handful of lettuce and noodles is so gosh darned filling, but there you go. It also could be that they’re a thinly veiled excuse to eat loads of peanut sauce, which might be indeed why they are so filling. But seriously… favourite food ever? Rolls are close.
Reality though? This is what I eat every day. Practically these days. Hummus and salad, basically. And can you even believe I’d never made tabouli before, ever? I’m a VEGAN, I’m not sure how that’s at all possible, but I managed to make it taste right, or better than right, because I put raisins and toasted walnuts on top and bulgur > couscous in my mind.
All right. I am obviously scattered today! I could blame the light food! I could blame Valentine’s day! I might be in love. But that’s another story! :D
I came home to this sight the other day. It was kind of funny, actually – I’d just trudged home through a blizzard with visions of hot stew in my head and what do I find but the storm decided to join me in my kitchen!
Ha, it was okay. I managed not to step in any of the puddles and was very very thankful for the crockpot stew I had put on the night before. Yeah, I actually used my crockpot! *shock* my mom would be proud. I had actually been so busy that I acted the great cliche and took it down off the highest shelf I have to put some veganomicon cholent-style ingredients together the night before.
I’m actually not sure if I’m sold on the tarragon + caraway thing… but it was warm and hearty and perfect at the time. (ie: full of potatoes). I added tabasco and corn, too.
Earlier than that (or later? oh I don’t remember. sometime!) I made vcon lemon & pea risotto with roasted red peppers.
I don’t know why people complain about leftover risotto! I actually thought this was tastiest cold out of the fridge, slurped up like cold lemony pudding. I’m weird, yes. I tried Risotto al Salto too, to try it (basically fried up like a fritter), which was fine. But nothing on the ice-cold stuff!
I posted about hoecakes before, so there isn’t much to say about the big yellow thing on the plate – except maybe to amend my recipe to stress than fine cornmeal should be used in a hoecake. This one was coarse which did NOT work anywhere near as well, but ah you learn. The interesting bit, at least to me, is that grayish dip-like blob in the corner. It was very tasty! It’s black bean & orange dip from ED&BV, and it’s a little sweeter than a regular b.bean dip and really great on wraps and things.
In the midst of being busy I made some muffins to take to school. I wonder why I decided to make jammy muffins to put in my bag? Ha ha, anyway, they’re hearty jam-dot muffins from Fran Costigan’s second book. They’re okay… I like that there’s lots of toasted oats and sesame in them, and my mom’s homemade plum jelly. A wee bit heavy, but I subbed some stuff so it could have been my bad.
Over christmas my dad bought me some veggie burgers for christmas eve Burger Night (woohoo!), which happened to be Amy’s California Burgers. They’re soooooo good! They don’t taste a blessed thing like fakey meatstuff, but they DO taste like toasted bulger and mushrooms and loads of other great all-natural things. I had some on buns, and some on salad with tahini dressing and both ways were awesome. I had the last one today though, and I don’t know what to do because I never buy pre-packaged food for myself but I think I’ve fallen in love!
And finally… we call this an economic birthday, or a belated one, or whatever. It’s a full moon tonight and though it’s neither of these boys’ birthdays (although it’s close), it’s definitely always a good time for a chocolate jalapeno cake with ganache topping and strawberries inside. Yeah, I know!! It’s another Extraveganza cake recipe and holy schlamoli, it’s SO tender and delicious and soft peppery perfect, I tried a whole bunch of it that stuck to the cake tin. ^_^;
Word to the wise: the recipe mentions nothing about de-panning this cake, and in fact implies that it shouldn‘t be, I think, at least when you read the icing recipe along with it. I did anyway and it was a total headache cause it was so fluffy and sticky (and criminally delicious. did I mention that?), but I think it came through the operation 97% intact. Minus the chunks I ate. (I’m starting to think that being able to fix cake disasters is as useful as baking one that tastes good… :P)
Anyone else notice how the stuff on top kinda looks like a crab? Not planned! But I like it.
Once upon a time there was an more innocent time in my life where I had no ethical qualms about eating as much Habitant pea soup as my little tummy desired. It was creamy, and dreamy, and came in gigantic tins and sometimes I ate it cold right out of the fridge, sometimes heated up to make it extra silky, and usually with loads of black pepper. It was pretty good stuff, even though it didn’t take me long to scan the ingredients list once becoming vegan and there the shocking news was that even the “vegetarian” version had a whole bunch of lard in it! Super gross!! But I love that stuff, so I’ve been trying here and there to recreate it. The trick is to think simple and this is the closest I’ve come so far, this may have even been better! :O
(Oh, and it’s certainly that time of the season. I’m not the only one to sing the peas praises!)
On the soup front we’ve still been raring to go this week. After split pea came that rich, gravy-like black bean soup from the Veganomicon that I love so much. Pretty much made identically as before, but with a bit of red pepper added this time. That veg gets itself invited to anything that needs some ruby sparkle and a bite of sweet! Definitely a welcome addition here, and it’s cheap and healthy yet luxurious soups like this that make me feel like a queen that should have made a double batch because aaaaaaaaaah it’s soooooo goooooooooooooood.
For Hallowe’en this year I could not sleep on the eve of the Hallow’s Eve, so I made pudding at three in the morning. Have I mentioned that I adore the excuse to cook at all hours of the night when I have the place to myself? Lovely fun to make a big recipe of extra almondy pudding with a layer of toasted oats and almond crust surprise hiding at the bottom! I don’t think I’ll go the “crust” route with my pudding again, somehow gritty isn’t something I enjoyed on the tongue, but if you eat the creamy first and then the almost macaroon-like cookie bottom, well, that was pretty nice. We conveniently forgot to mention to the guys that there were seven of these in the fridge, and have been diving into pud at our leisure.
I’m not totally greedy, though, and ended up releasing 11 of 12 of these VwaV perfect pumpkin muffins out into the wild to get devoured by costumed friends. It was almost funny how the conversation went every time, though:
Me: here, do want a pumpkin muffin?
Them: ehhhh. nah, is okay.
Me: they are like cake!
Them: all right then (*pause for chewing*) WOW THESE ARE GOOD.
hahaha. fools that they do not know the wonder of gourd cake! Oh, yeah, and actually I made them with a Calabaza squash, which was remarkably smooth and sweet, and just a bit floral – worked beautifully here.
Finally, I am back onto my mission to finish the Vcon. One needs a past-time challenge, right? Eased back into the crusade with a quicky little baby bok shoy with crispy shallots recipe (read: onions, we is poor), enjoyed with my new obsession, black forbidden sticky rice, pineapple pieces and some goji berries for that painterly touch on the dinner plate. Delicious!
In honour of all the genetically designed dogs out there, and mostly because I wanted to bake with cranberries, I present my entry for Urban Vegan’s designer muffin challenge — Chocolate Cranberry Kamutflake Muffins! With a hint of orange and cinnamon for the season, and a bit of delicate crunch from the flakes, I do think I’ve done okay here… I draw the line at encouraging vanity pets – but I couldn’t resist throwing some of my own namesake kamut into a baked good for the fun of it. So good!
Kamut’s Chocolate Cranberry Kamutflake Muffins (makes 6)
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup rolled kamutflakes
2 tbsp margarine
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sugar (I might use 1/4 cup next time)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange extract or 1 tsp orange zest (optional)
2 tbsp silken tofu
2 tbsp soymilk
1 cup cranberries
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate bar pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 6-hole muffin pan (and I actually recommend using liners for these guys, which I didn’t do this time, but will next time).
2. Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the kamutflakes and give it a stir.
3. Cream together the margarine, applesauce and sugar until smooth. Add the extracts, tofu and soymilk, then pour all the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and chocolate.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or so (I’m actually not 100% on the time, and my oven is weird), or until the middles are firm when pressed and the tops are golden brown. Pop out when they’re cool and enjoy!
Curiously enough, I have a habit when drinking to RUN NOT WALK to the kitchen and see if I can’t whip up something edible with blurry vision. And I usually can! Maybe it’s the challenge… and it’s certainly better than singing off-key, I should think.
My most classic preparation is some sort of seitan barfood after stumbling home. I guess 3 am and soused isn’t the best time to attempt to recreate a vegan hotdog, but I tried! It wasn’t hotdogg-y, but it was delicious, even if J was passed out like a rock by the time I set down a warm fresh chapati with a seitan-dog and all the fixins in front of him. (It made a perfect breakfast the next day, though!)
A week or two later some crepes were made, and turned out more perfectly than any sobre pancake I’ve ever attempted. The Vcon recipe is lightning-fast, delicious, and got rave vegetarian reviews (“these are even better than the kind with eggs! more flavourful and chewy!”). I did add a bit of extra oat flour, too, which gave them a nice homey touch.
And then last night (we all get off work on wednesday. we call it “fake saturday”), some whiskey prompted a mini-muffin adventure. What kind? Uhhhh…. banana! With blueberries! (we are also blueberry fiends, oh my yes). Use a recipe? Bah! That takes time and reading. Better to just throw some whole wheat pastry flour in a bowl with some ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, soymilk, brown rice syrup, oil and vanilla. And they TOTALLY turned out. Not too sweet, loaded with berries and banana, and perfect for munching on while playing with plastic dinosaurs and discussing 37 ways the world is an unfathomably weird place. Rarr brontasaurus rex!
Smashed Vegan’s Warning: please please please do not attempt to drink and bake at home, unless you’re of legal age and are prepared to find a huge mess waiting for you in the morning. I don’t want to be a bad influence… :o