REAL Veg, REAL simple !

I dedicate this blog to all those who ask us all the time "What does a vegan/vegetarian eat?" ....
This is it, the food on my plate !

It's not weird, it's not impossible and YES, it is TASTY! .... can't you tell?

Monday, July 26, 2010

E-Cakes version 2.0

Can anyone honestly state that after looking at the pictures above you don't want to run to your kitchen in search of your whisk??? C'mon!!!

Back story:
Andria, fellow mom, unconditional friend and also on the eternal search of ways to feed healthy food to her two kids, helped me develop this recipe. She was initially inspired by a non-chocolate "muffin" recipe in one of her sneaky cooking for kids cookbooks. She then tweaked the recipe and turned it into a chocolate muffin and later into a chocolate cupcake. After several tweaks she had make the healthiest covert chocolate cupcake on earth. Perhaps, according to her kids taste, a little too healthy and not covert enough, HA HA! My kids loved every time she baked them and ate them up readily and full heartedly. But her kids were starting to change the name to "Prehistoric Muffins" (she's gonna kill me for that one!) because they were a little "bumpy". This is when I begged for the recipe because I also wanted to have on hand a recipe that would feed my kids veggies and fruits and they would be non the wiser. I took it and AGAIN tweaked it and AGAIN renamed it. They will now be known as .... E-cakes 2.0! (e-cakes got their name from the kids who thought the loops on top look like cursive "e"s) These cupcakes are light, moist and not too sweet. They are only sweetened with the natural sweetness of the fruits and some maple syrup, but if you want more decadence you can always sub the maple syrup with some white sugar.

Finally, the recipe:

Ingredients:                                                                                   Yields 1 dozen
1/4 cup frozen, thawed, pureed spinach
1/4 cup frozen, thawed, pureed blueberries
1/4 cup steamed and pureed sweet potato OR butternut squash
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup/agave nectar (or 1 cup white sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. flax meal
1 cup white whole wheat flour (King Arthur Brand is best)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (King Arthur Brand, again)
1/4 cup almond meal/flour (Trader Joe's brand best, Bob's Red Mill second best)
1/3 cup cocoa powder (Penzey's Natural Cocoa best, Ghirardelli's second best)
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F.
1. In a measuring cup measure milk and add apple cider vinegar and flax meal.
2. Peel, dice and steam sweet potato. Thaw frozen spinach and set aside. I cut with sharp knife what looked like plus or minus to be about right amount, then measured it to make sure, then thawed in small bowl in microwave. Thaw blueberries and set aside. Once sweet potato is ready measure and put in blender together with spinach, blueberries, apple sauce and 2 tablespoons of water and blend until you get baby food type consistency puree.
3. To milk mixture add canola oil and extracts. Pour into large bowl and add pureed veggies/fruit mixture. Mix to incorporate.
4. In separate bowl SIFT, SIFT, SIFT, can't stress enough, SIFT all other ingredients: flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In two batches add dry ingredients to wet.
5. Pour into lined cupcake tin and bake for 18-19 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on rack. Assembling direction after ganache and white icing recipes.

1 cup vegan chocolate chips (Ghirardelli's Semi-sweet is best)
1/2 cup nondairy milk

1. Put both ingredients in a metal or glass bowl and place over pot of boiling water. Don't allow boiling water to tough bottom of bowl. This is called "Bain Marie". Or if you own a double boiler, you could just use that.

White icing for "E"s:
4 TB confectioner's sugar
1 tsp of nondairy milk

1. Whisk in a small bowl and add more sugar or water as needed to get think but still runny consistency. Pour into snack size baggie and snip of just barely the tip of the baggie to pipe out the "e"s on top.

Assembly directions continued:
1. Once cupcakes are cooled and ganache is ready, dip top of cupcakes into ganache and set aside. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes and take out of fridge to pipe out "e"s. Store in covered container in dry place. Although I wouldn't worry about that too much, they won't last long enough for you to worry about where or how to store them.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Everything Yummy Ultimate American cookie

Again inspired by Isa Chandra's "Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar" I came up with this recipe to make a more healthful but yet quite indulgent tasting cookie ... Let's Celebrate!

Ingredients:                                                               Yields 30-40 cookies
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour ( I suggest King Arthur brand)
1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup canola oil (when measuring, do oil first then agave nectar and it will pour out without sticking)
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup almond or soy milk
1 TB ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup vegan chocolate chips (Ghirardelli semi sweet)
1 cup chopped toasted pecan pieces (Trader Joe's sells them ready to use)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In one bowl combine oats, flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3. In a second bowl, beat oil, sugar, agave nectar, milk, flax seeds, and extracts. Fold in half of dry ingredients into wet ingredients, once mostly incorporated add second half of dry ingredients. Fold in coconut, chocolate chips and pecans.
4. Drop tablespoons size amount of dough per cookie about 1 1/2" apart. Press down slightly. I fill one cookie sheet with about 20 cookies and bake those for 15 min. Take out and leave on baking sheet until cool.
5.The other half of the dough, roughly another 15 - 20 cookies I drop on a medium baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, do not press down. Place in the freezer overnight and then store in zip lock in freezer. Those will be available for immediate access in case of emergency like your best friend has bad case of PMS or you need to suck up to your neighbor to babysit your kids. Whatever works!


A week of dinners

Grilled unchicken sandwich with caramelized mushrooms, soy cheese mozzarella style, arugula and pesto spread with side of chips ...

Quorn chicken patty topped with marinara sauce, melted soy mozzarella and caramelized mushrooms, sides of broccoli and whole wheat thin spaghetti dressed with olive oil, Parma raw and chopped fresh parsley ...

Quorn chicken pieces in stir fry with baby corn, broccoli, yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, hearts of palm slices and water chestnuts with side of brown rice (not pictured) ...

Veggie burger with classic condiments, side of steamed beets dressed with lime juice and salt and side of brown rice with mushrooms, green beans and pine nuts with drizzle of olive oil and salt ...

Hard shell tacos using soy crumbles prepared for "Picadillo" (see recipe), with Mexican red rice, shredded romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, chipotle salsa, Tofutti sour cream, sliced black olives and sliced avocados ...

Club sandwich with Tofurky oven roasted slices, lettuce, tomato, spinach, onion, vegenaise and mustard on Ezequiel burger buns with side of pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes ...

Nachos (Americanized) using Trader Joe's Long Board tortilla chips, blended a can of pinto beans and cooked with some soyrizo, topped chips with it as first layer, then layer of seasoned soy crumbles prepared "Picadillo" style (see recipe), diced tomato, diced onion, shredded soy cheese and salsa ... dollop of Tofutti sour cream optional =-)