Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tiger Balls

One of the gals who I used to cook with for Food Not Bombs gave me this recipe. These are quite possibly the most decadent dessert I can imagine, and they're super easy. If I weren't trying to keep my figure, I'd eat the entire batch by myself.


2 cups vegan cookie crumbs or crushed up graham crackers
3/4 cup peanut butter
3.5 cups confectioners sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) of vegan margarine
1 cup vegan chocolate chips


Line a cookie sheet with tin foil. In a large mixing bowl, combine crumbs/graham crackers, peanut butter, sugar and margarine. Mix well. Roll the mixture into 1" balls, place on the cookie sheet, and chill in the fridge. Melt the chocolate chips in a plastic bag in the microwave; When the chocolates cools a little, cut a small slit in the edge of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the balls. Chill for another 30 minutes, then sit on your couch and glory in the surely sinful delight of Tiger Balls.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Maple-Glazed Tempeh with Pineapple

I love tempeh, maple syrup, and pineapple individually, and figured, why not combine them into one delightful dish?

1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 package of tempeh
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks or 1 can of canned pineapple
1 jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups cooked rice

Slice the tempeh in half, and then slice each half again lengthwise (to produce 4 thin, square pieces that are half the thickness of the unsliced tempeh, not four thick rectangular chunks). Steam for several minutes and then remove from the heat.

In a saucepan, whisk together the maple syrup and mustard on medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Place the tempeh into a baking pan lined with tinfoil. Arrange the pineapple chunks and jalapenos on and around the tempeh, and then pour the syrup mixture on top, covering each piece. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Serve with rice.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sara's Super Scalloped Potatoes

Imagine my delighted surprise when I went home for Thanksgiving to find that my sister had come up with a vegan recipe for scalloped potatoes! I don't think I've had them in years, and this recipe was really delicious.

1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
6 tablespoons flour
6 medium potatoes, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup soy sour cream
optional: 1/2 cup shredded soy cheese (follow your heart good!)

Grease a heavy baking pan with Crisco. Stir the salt and pepper into the flour and whisk together with the melted margarine, soy sour cream and soy milk. Layer the potatoes and onions into the pan, then pour the mixture over them. Bake at 350 degrees F for 90 to 120 minutes. If you are adding the shredded soy cheese, sprinkle this on the top during the last 15 minutes of baking so it doesn't burn. So good!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chana Masala

I absolutely love Indian food, and while I am lucky to have a great Indian restaurant right down the road from me, its fun to prepare a dish on my own sometimes.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1.5 cups crushed tomatoes
2 cans of chick peas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 jalapeƱo pepper (seeded and diced)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (if you like it...I dont and usually leave it off, but that's me)

Heat the oil in a large pan on high. Fry the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds until they start popping in the pan. Add the onions and cook until they begin to caramelize, then add the garlic and cook for about another minute.

Add all of the other ingredients save for the cilantro and cook on medium-low to low heat for about 10 minutes. If you like cilantro, stir this in last. Delightful!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Vegan Raised Donuts and Crullers

This is a slightly different take on vegan donuts (I have a bit of a sweet tooth, eh?). This dough is raised, so these are a bit more like the crullers or glazed donuts you might get at a pastry shop nowadays.

1/2 cup lukewarm soy milk
1/4 cup cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 packages of yeast (plus 1/4 cup lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon sugar)
Egg replacer for 1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3 to 3.5 cups flour

Stir together the soy milk, sugar, and salt.

Prepare the yeast, adding the packet to lukewarm water (100 to 110 degrees F) with some sugar to get the yeast all bubbled up and excited. Once you're sure the yeast is alive and well, stir it into the above mixture until all the yeast is dissolved.

Add in the egg replacer and vegetable shortening.

Add in the flour slowly, a half cup or so at a time so your mixer doesnt kick a ton of flour up into the air and make a mess.

After the flour is all mixed in, remove the dough from your mixer and knead it. Place it into a greased bowl in a warm spot and cover with a warm, damp (clean) kitchen towel. Allow it to rise until it has doubled in size (about an hour to an hour and a half). Punch the dough down and turn completely over in the bowl. Let rise again until almost double (30 to 45 minutes this time), then remove from the bowl and roll out to about 1/3" thick.

You can now either cut the donuts with a donut cutter as in the recipe below or you can make crullers.

To make crullers, roll the dough into tubes, twist, and then shape into donut shapes. With a pair of scissors, make snips ever 1/2 inch or so to get a spiky shape going.

After you've shaped your donuts, allow them to rise on your counter or a board until theyre light and have a slight crust on the dough (about 30 minutes).

While they're rising, fill deep sauce pot with several inches of canola or other vegetable oil (enough for a doughnut to drop to the bottom then rise to the top) or get your deep fryer going. Once the oil has reached 370 to 380 degrees, drop a few donuts in at a time and fry until both sides are golden brown (you will have to flip them with a slotted spoon to get both sides). Monitor the oil temperature carefully.

Once the donuts are fried, lay them out on a paper bag to drain. You can either shake these in a bag with some granulated sugar or you can prepare and easy glaze by boiling a cup of water with a cup of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla until somewhat thickened. Coat each donut in this glaze. Best thing ever.

Classic Vegan Doughnuts

When I was a wee one, there was a great classic diner in my town that hadn't changed even a bit since the 1940s. They made the most amazing donuts ever...warm, with cinnamon and sugar or dipped in chocolate--the sort of donuts that you just can't find anymore. This is a recipe from that era, adapted for an ethical lifestyle.

Egg replacer for 2 eggs (I use Ener-G egg replacer)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3/4 cup soy milk
1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
3.5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
OR 2 teaspoons vanilla


Beat the egg replacer, sugar, and shortening.

Combine the 1/2 tablespoon of white wine vinegar or lemon juice with the 3/4 cup soy milk to approximate sour milk and stir this into the above mixture.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, then add this to the mixture slowly. You can use vanilla in lieu of the nutmeg and cinnamon if you prefer.

Chill the dough for two hours (its worth the wait, seriously). After two hours, begin heating a deep sauce pot filled with several inches of canola or other vegetable oil (enough for a doughnut to drop to the bottom then rise to the top) or better yet, fire up your deep fryer if you're lucky enough to have one. While the oil is heating, roll out your doughnut dough and cut with a donut cutter (if you don't have one a biscuit cutter will do...just cut the middle hole out with a knife).

Once the oil has reached 370 to 380 degrees, drop a few donuts in at a time and fry until both sides are brown (you will have to flip them with a slotted spoon to get both sides). Monitor the oil temperature carefully--if it gets too hot the donuts will burn on the outside and be uncooked on the inside. no fun.

When the donuts are a nice golden brown, remove them from the oil and place on a brown paper bag to drain off any excess oil.

Extra credit:
The coat the donuts with cinnamon and sugar, mix a generous amount of sugar with cinnamon and dump into a smallish paper bag. place a donut into the bag and shake well to cover them all over with the mixture. This can also be done with powdered sugar.

To make chocolate covered donuts, melt some vegan chocolate chips or a vegan candy bar in your microwave and dip one side of each donut in the chocolate. allow to dry.

These donuts are naturally most exciting when served warm, but theyre delightful at any time.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Great Broccoli Rabe and Orzo side

I absolutely adore broccoli rabe (or rapini), though if not prepared well it can be somewhat bitter. I whip up this easy side dish at least a few times a month because I enjoy it so much. This recipe makes enough for two people, though I could happily eat the entire thing myself.

One bunch broccoli rabe
1 vegetable bullion cube
several cloves of garlic, chopped
olive oil (1-2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup orzo
salt to taste

First, wilt the broccoli rabe in about 1/4 cup of water with some salt to taste. Cook until tender. While the broccoli rabe is wilting, bring a cup of water to boil, then add the bullion cube and stir. After the cube has dissolved add the 1/3 cup of orzo and cook as recommended.

In a large fry pan, sautee the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat. Add the broccoli rabe and the orzo (with the vegetable stock) and cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated. If desired, salt a little more to taste.

This is a great side; Broccoli rabe is so good for you--1/5 of a bunch has 50% of your vitamin C, 20% of your vitamin A, 15% of your calcium, and 6% of your iron for the day! Only 1/5 of the bunch! It also has some protein and fiber, almost no carbs, and is extremely low in calories. All in all a great food.

Vegan Pecan Pie

After much experimentation, I have finally found success in making vegan pecan pie for the holidays.

Pie Crust:
You can either use a store bought pie crust (there are some out there that are vegan) or make your own from scratch.

Mix together:
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt

Cut in:
2/3 cup vegetable shortening

Sprinkle with:
4 tablespoons ice cold water

Gather the dough into a ball, cut in half, then roll out into a circle 1" larger than your pie pan. Lay pastry into pie pan, gently patting it into place (do not stretch it out though). Trim any excess, and then crimp the edges gently with your finger tips or a fork. There is probably enough dough in this dough recipe for two pies, so you can just freeze it for later.

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup melted vegan margarine
1 cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons agar powder
2/3 cup boiling water
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

First, combine the first four ingredients in your mixing bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl or measuring cup, add the boiled water to the agar powder and whisk vigorously until it thickens a bit. Add this mixture to the other ingredients and mix thoroughly with a rotary beater.

After the above ingredients are mixed, add in the cup of pecans and stir until they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Pour the mixture into your pie crust. Cover the pie with tinfoil to prevent the crust from burning and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and bake until the crust is lightly browned (about 5 more minutes).

Remove the pie from the oven. It will still be soupy at this point, but do not fear! Place the pie in your refrigerator and allow it to chill for about 2 hours or so. The agar powder will work its gelatinous magic and your pie will set up beautifully. Voila!