Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Portobello Pot Pie Turnovers with Roasted Radishes and Carrots

Watching the Food Network is dangerous. There's always something on there that looks so delicious that it just begs to be transformed into vegany goodness; this is one of those recipes. It may not be the healthiest of choices, but it sure is yummy - and who doesn't need some comfort food every once in a while?

Portobello Pot Pie Turnovers 
(Makes about 6 turnovers)

2 tbsp Butter (plus, a little extra, melted, to brush over the top of the pastry)
1 Onion, chopped
1 - 16 oz bag Baby Carrots, chopped (only chop 1/2 the bag)
2 Stalks of Celery, chopped
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp Garlic, minced
1 tsp Dried Thyme
3 tbsp Flour
1/2 cup Dry White Wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 Cup Stock (I used 1 Cup warm Water mixed with 1 tbsp Osem Chicken Style Consomme)
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
5 oz Baby Bella (Portobello) Mushrooms (about 1/2 a container)
1 1/2 Sheets Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed (I used Pepperidge Farm puff pasty)

Monday, March 28, 2011

The World’s Largest Bake Sale (in NYC)

If you're in the New York City area tomorrow, March 29th, head over to Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal for "The World’s Largest Bake Sale", hosted by Sandra Lee (from the Food Network) with appearances by Emeril Lagasse, Rosanna Scotto (Goody Day NY) and Duff Goldman!

This fundraising event will benefit The Food Bank of New York and will feature sweet and savory baked goods from 30 of New York's most well-respected chefs and restaurants!

According to what Sandra said on Good Day New York this morning, each item is only $1 and every dollar you spend turns into $4 of food at the food bank! So head over there at lunch time (or after work) and load up on some yummy stuff! The event runs from 11:30am-7pm.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spicy Tofu Bean Patty

Last night, I was in the mood for something spicy so I came up with this recipe. It has a little kick but it's not overpowering. It would work well as a burger, without a bun or even for breakfast (like a sausage).

Spicy Tofu Bean Patty

1 pkg Firm Tofu (frozen, then thawed)
1 Can of Dark Red Kidney Beans (15.5 oz)
1 tbsp Flax Seed

1 Onion
1 Stalk Celery
3 Medium Mushrooms
1 tbsp garlic

4 tbsp Medium Salsa
1 1/2 tbsp Hot Sauce

Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Cinnamon (only a dash)

1 1/2 Cups Quick Oats

Saute onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil until onions become translucent.

In a food processor, mix tofu, dark kidney beans and flax seed until well blended. Add onion, celery, mushroom and garlic mixture, blend some more.

Add a light layer of each spice (except cinnamon), covering the top of the mixture - one by one, pulsing in between each then add about 2 shakes of cinnamon.

Move the mixture to a bowl and then add quick oats and mash everything together with your hands.

Form mixture into balls and flatten (about the size of your palm). Spray the pan with cooking spray and cook over low-medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side until lightly browned.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meatout 2011 / Super Simple Vegan French Toast

Happy Meatout 2011, everyone!

What is Meatout, you ask? Meatout is an international event where people pledge to give up animal products for the day. That's it! It's really easy and anyone can participate. Yes, even you. Be sure to check out the Meatout site for more information and click here to check out the blogs of all the other vegan bloggers, who are participating today and who will be offering some great tips and meal suggestions.

You can also head over to VegWeb for some great recipe ideas! Here's a simple and yummy, vegan breakfast idea to help get you started :)

I'm all about simplicity. I love cooking food that tastes great but is really easy to make. So when I went vegan, I was on a mission to hunt down a super simple french toast recipe - after all, the 'real' version only uses eggs, milk and bread - but it seemed that every one that I found called for so many 'fancy' ingredients that I figured that there had to be a simpler way which used things that I already had. And there is!

Vegan French Toast
(Servings: 1)

1/2 Cup Soy Milk
2 tbsp Flour
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 slices of Bread

Whisk together soy milk, flour, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a shallow bowl. Dredge bread through mixture, cook in a pan over medium heat until slightly browned. Flip over and cook on the other side until browned.

Instead of soy milk use coconut milk, rice milk, hazelnut milk or even soy nog to make 'egg nog' french toast during the holidays.
Instead of cinnamon, use other spices (ex. pumpkin pie spice mix)
Use other flavored extracts such as strawberry, coconut, orange, etc.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Once you realize how easy it is to make tortillas at home, you'll never buy those packaged ones again!

There have been many times that I bought an entire package of tortillas, only used 1 or 2 and had the rest of the package go to waste. With this recipe, you can adjust it to make more or less and it uses ingredients that most people already have handy around the house.

And just think of all the different variations you can make - garlic & herb, oregano & basil, cinnamon & sugar, etc. Let your imagination go wild!

Homemade Flour Tortillas
(Servings: About 2 Tortillas)

1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Vegan Butter or Vegetable Shortening
1/4 tsp Salt* (optional)
2 tbsp of Water

In a bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add butter (shortening) and cut it in with a fork. Add water and mix. If you need more water, add only a little at a time. Add enough water so that the dough sticks together but isn't sticky to the touch.

Form into 2 balls and - one at a time, on a lightly floured surface - flatten with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a circle until very thin.

Pre-heat a dry skillet for about a minute over medium heat and then place tortilla on the skillet. Heat for 30-45 seconds or until bubbles start to form and the edges start to pull up a bit. Flip tortilla over and cook for another 20-30 seconds.

*For a less salty tortilla, salt can be left out of the recipe.

Modified from the recipe found on Sprinkled with Flour.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oatmeal Patties

I eat a lot of oatmeal, so sometimes it's nice to change thing up a bit. These oatmeal patties have such a nice crunch and texture that you feel like you're eating something 'bad' when really it's just as healthy as the stuff you eat in a bowl! It takes a little longer to make, but it's well worth it.

Oatmeal Patties
(servings: 1)

1/2 C Quick Oats
1 Cup Coconut Milk
3-4 tbsp Health Mix (nuts, grains, berries, etc.)
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
Non-Stick Spray

In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients and heat on medium heat until liquid is absorbed and oatmeal is lumpy.

Spray a frying pan with non-stick spray. Spoon oatmeal onto the pan and flatten out the lumps a bit with the back of the spoon. (you should get about 2 1/2 patties)

Cook on medium heat until golden brown. Plate, and then drizzle some more maple syrup on top.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Vegan Donuts Invade Your Tummy

When I have free time at work, I like to scour the internet for new recipes to try or draw inspiration from.

Lately, my focus has been on vegan baked goods (cupcakes, brownies, etc) because I'm hoping to pay my way through culinary school by selling them at local flea markets and farmers markets. I'm also looking to donate vegan baked goods to fund-raising events, in the Northern NJ, so if you know of any please let me know or have them contact me!

So yesterday, I came across this recipe for vegan donuts and it seemed so easy to make that I just had to give it a try! And then I had a thought; in my area, vegan donuts are nearly impossible to find - so adding donuts to the baked goods line up would be great.

I slightly modified the recipe from the original and I think that next time I might try using half whole wheat/ half all-purpose flour to make them a little healthier :)

Baked Vegan Donuts
(Makes 6 Large Donuts)

Dry Ingredients:
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 tiny pinch or shake Cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Plain Soymilk
1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Egg Replacer for 1 egg (I used 2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 tbsp warm water)
4 tbsp Vegan Butter

Preheat oven to 350º F

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients, with a whisk, and mix thoroughly.

Melt the butter (but try to keep it from getting too hot) and then in another bowl stir together all of the wet ingredients (including the melted butter). Add the wet ingrediants to the dry ingrediants and stir until just combined.

Using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture into an un-greased, nonstick donut pan - fill to just below the rim - and then smooth out the top of the dough with your fingers or the back of a small spoon.

Bake for 12 minutes.

You don't want the donuts to be browned on top but when inserted, a toothpick should come out clean.

Remove donuts from the pan by inverting them onto a cooling rack (or cutting board) and then let them cool before you decorate or fill them.

I made 3 donuts with holes and 3 donuts without holes: topped the holed donuts and one (1) of the non-holed donuts with confectioners icing and sprinkles. The other two (2) non-holed donuts I rolled in confectioners sugar and filled with chocolate buttercream icing

Your imagination is the limit when it comes to decorating, but for my testing purposes this is what I used. These recipes can also be modified for different flavors!

Confectioners' Icing
1 Cup Confectionser Sugar (sifted)
1-3 tsp Soy Milk (depending on how thick you like it, use more or less)

Mix together with a fork until it starts to form a paste.

Wilton's Buttercream Icing - Slightly modified and veganized.
(Makes about 3 cups of icing)

1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening
1/2 Cup Vegan Butter
4 Cups Confectioners Sugar (sifted)
1 tsp vanilla extract (they specify clear, but I've used the regular stuff and it really doesn't effect the color all that much)
1 tbsp soy milk* (optional)

Beat together the shortening and the butter until well blended. Add in the confectioners' sugar and beat until fluffy. Then add the vanilla extract, beat until mixed, and then slowly drizzle in the soy milk*.

*The recipe calls for soy milk, but I find myself using very little of it or omitting it altogether.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pineapple Raisin Coconut Rice

Looking for a way to spice up some plain old brown rice? Give this a try!

Pineapple Raisin Coconut Rice

1 small to medium onion (diced)
2 cups brown rice (uncooked)
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 can (20 oz) Pineapple Chunks
1 1/2 cups Water
4 tbsp Raisins
1 tbsp curry
1 tsp turmeric
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive Oil (for sautéing)
2 1/2 tbsp of toasted coconut flakes*

Saute onions in a pan until clear.

Add brown rice, coconut milk, can of pineapple chunks (pineapple and juice), raisins, curry, tumeric, salt and pepper, water

Stir, bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes (or until the rice is cooked and there is no more liquid)

Add toasted coconut* and stir. Sprinkle some of top as a garnish if you like.

*To make toasted coconut - preheat over to 375 degrees and spread coconut flakes on a foil covered cookie sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 5-7 minutes - or until coconut flakes are lightly browned.