Monday, July 16, 2012

Six Minute Vegan Chocolate Cake

I don't know if this really only takes six minutes, but it is fast. I also don't remember where I got it from. The Moosewood cookbook? Maybe. For best results, make a few hours ahead or the night before, store in the fridge. I don't have a recipe for my frosting, I just wing it, so use your favorite chocolate frosting recipe.

Also makes amazing cupcakes!

1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/3 C cocoa *
1 tsp baking soda (3/4 tsp if using dutch cocoa)
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/2 C vegetable or canola oil
1 C cold water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp vinegar (white or acv)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil an 8x8 baking dish. Mix all dry ingredients together. Add oil and water, mix. Then add vanilla and vinegar and mix until just incorporated. Pour into pan and bake 25-30 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

*Dutch is best. It has a deeper, more intense chocolate aroma and flavor. I get mine from an Amish community, but it's not labeled as 'dutch' there.

Here is a picture of the recipe being enjoyed on Pixie's 4th birthday. I topped it with a very rich chocolate frosting and pink pig sprinkles!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Strawberry Trifle

I don't have a picture of this, because I made it up for a friend's family last minute. They asked for the recipe, so here it is, exactly the way I did it.

2 boxes sugar-free vanilla pudding mix (can totally use whatever pudding you like; I used sugar-free because of diabetes. These boxes were from Aldi, if anyone would like the specifics. You can use homemade pudding, too. You'll need about 4-5 cups, depending on how much pudding. My family would probably prefer about 10, hee, hee)

1 (7 oz, I think, the smaller one) carton whipped topping (also from Aldi)

3 1/2 c. 1% milk  (You could probably use 2% or whole and make it 4 cups; I knew it would be thicker being 1% if I cut back on the milk a little. I didn't want the finished product to be too runny.)

1 angel food cake (loaf)

1-2 lbs of strawberries (depending on how much you like strawberries, I used a little over one carton)

Mix the pudding mixes with the milk according to directions. When set, gently fold in the whipped topping. Tear the angel food cake into thinner pieces, and divide into three equal amounts. Slice the strawberries.

In a large glass bowl or trifle bowl, put down a layer of angel food cake. Top with a layer of strawberries, then a layer of pudding/whipped topping mix. Repeat two more times, saving enough pudding mixture to spread on the top, then decorate with a layer of sliced strawberries. Refrigerate until serving.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Down Home Country Chicken Fried Seitan

For anyone that knows me, country style cookin' is not my style at all! However, having a husband who is celebrating one year of being a complete vegetarian this month (after eating mostly vegetarian food for 4 years), and who loves all things gravy, I decided to surprise him and make this for lunch today.
I pretty much got the most-awesome-wife award. :)
Scott said he thought he'd never eat chicken fried steak again. Which I thought was quite the compliment in itself. Even though I don't know what he's missing. 

This is what it looked like right out of the frying pan. The only thing I did differently was use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. They were pretty darn big cutlets. You could either smash them out thinner, or I think I'll go with 8 instead of 5 cutlets next time. Especially if they will be put on a sandwich.

Added some homemade mashed potatoes, collard greens, and white country gravy. 

Definitely a comfort food, especially for those who have gone vegetarian/vegan in the recent past. 
The seitan you get after it's boiled is probably the best flavored boiled seitan I've had. For sure something I can make and use for stir fry, soups, curries, pot pies, etc. Seitan freezes well too!
Find the recipe here!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Homemade Vegan Sausage- Where Have You Been All My Life!?

It wasn't until a few summers ago that I found the lure of the grill. Grilling wasn't something that happened growing up and I often found myself left out when I attended BBQs. It wasn't until I got married and started grilling at parties with my in-laws that I realized there was a grilling world for me! Since then I have craved veggie hot dogs from time to time. Not that they tasted super great, but the smoke and sauerkraut made them delicious. I love sauerkraut and found myself pining for a veggie dog last week. The local grocery stores in my town have stopped carrying my preferred brand of dog and the rest are inedible or very expensive. I came across Vegan Dad's blog and about died when I saw the recipes. After being on a very strict diet for a weight loss competition the last 12 weeks, I'm ready to again delve into my passion for veggie cookin'. 
Vegan Dad got this recipe from Isa Moskowitz. I did borrow her book "Vegan with a Vengeance" from the library and I have a document of the recipes I want to try, floating somewhere in my files. After trying this amazing recipe, I am devoted to Isa! She is a vegan goddess.
Now, this is not a tradition hot dog, but is a sausage. It makes it taste that much better to me!
I couldn't believe how simple this recipe was. Some mashing, crushing, stirring, folding into foil, then steaming. No baking! No crusted pans! No kneading! And the taste is amazing! I can't wait to try it out on the grill.
It is time for the homemade sausage

I am now going to savor my last few bites.

*Disclaimer: I have never before eaten a real sausage. It is my belief that most sane people will like this as much as I do! If you do not like a lot of spice, reduce the red pepper flakes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Peanut Fruit Dip

Tonight was Family Night and my children were desperate for a treat. What to do in a pinch that won't ruin my healthy eating streak?

Here's what I did.  Combine the following:

Natural peanut butter (I used the last few spoonfuls I had of Smucker's, use your favorite natural peanut butter)
Agave Nectar (you can use honey or I bet maple syrup would work too, just add to taste)
Few dashes cinnamon  (I used enough to add a different dimension to the flavor, but it doesn't overpower the pb and agave)
Warm water (add a tablespoon at a time, stir well, repeat until desired dipping consistency)

Serve with cut-up fruit.  We used Pink Lady apples, delicious!  My kiddos are currently watching an episode of Avatar, the Last Airbender while devouring this healthy dessert!  They're happy, and I'm happy they're eating fresh fruit and no corn syrup or white sugar. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lentil Zucchini Mushroom Soup

I threw this together the other day when I made split pea soup for my husband.  He loves plain split peas, water and salt.  That's it.  The kids don't like it, so I took my chance to make a soup that James wouldn't like but I would!

I don't measure much when cooking, so this is more of a loose guide to a soup rather than a recipe.

Put 2 or 3 tsps olive oil into a large pot.

Sauteed one diced onion and 3 med garlic cloves.

Add 3 small zucchini, diced. Could use more.

Throw in 4 large mushrooms, sliced (more--like 12--would be even better!)

Rinse 1- 2 cups french lentils, add to pot.  I love these kind, the green lentils.  They don't have them in the regular grocery store.  You can use any kind in this soup, but the green ones hold their shape and don't disintegrate like the brown do.

Add a bunch of water or broth.  (I threw in a veggie bouillon cube)

Let boil for a while until the lentils are getting soft, then throw in two cans diced tomatoes. 

When it's close to being done, salt and pepper if desired.  By waiting to salt a dish towards the end you use less since it all doesn't get absorbed deep into the veggies.

Then, I added frozen corn to each bowl of soup to cool it down.  It was SO GOOD with the corn just thawed, I highly recommend the flavor of the fresh corn with the rest of the soup instead of just cooking it all together.

That's it!  It made a huge stockpot full.  Vary the veggie amounts to what you prefer.

Edited to add:  I think I added some oregano, basil and thyme to this.  Thyme is good with lentils!  Add whatever herbs you like that sound tasty.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Ronis" - A Nut-Based Cream Sauce

Call it vegan, call it plant-based, call it healthy! Whatever you call it, this recipe is really yummy.
It has been in our family for years and adapted from a recipe my mom found. It was lovingly called "Ronis" when my brother was little and this was his way of saying "macaroni".

  • 12-16oz of prepared pasta or spaghetti squash
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (Update! I have use whole raw almonds to replace all or part of these. Amazing! For best results soak them for an hour, or at least 5 min in hot water.)
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup real lemon juice -many times I up this to 1/3 to make it even tastier!
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • black pepper to taste
Prepare your pasta or spaghetti squash.
In a blender, combine the water and nuts, blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend.

You have a few options at this point.
  • You can put the noodles and sauce in a baking dish, cover with bread crumbs (opt. butter) and bake until thickened and bubbly.
  • You can combine the sauce and pasta in a pot on the stove top and heat until the sauce thickens a little. It will thicken when cooled even more.
  • Or you can put the sauce in a saucepan and heat it on the stove top to a simmer, until it is thickened. Then serve it over your pasta or squash.

We love this recipe and many guest have as well. I hope you will too!