Saturday, October 29, 2011

Refreshing Kale and White Bean Soup with Lemon

I whipped up this soup quickly this afternoon and I'm quite pleased with the flavor. The lemon and herbes de provence are quite refreshing.

Ingredients (serves 6 or so):
Olive oil
6 cups water
3 veggie bullion cubes
1 medium onion
2 carrots
1 stalk celery
1 small zucchini
1 bunch kale 
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans (white beans)
1 lemon
herbes de provence
1 small ripe avocado for garnish


1. Dice the onion, carrots, and celery and saute in about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot. Once these ingredients are softened, add 6 cups of water and the vegetable bullion (or just use six cups vegetable stock). Turn the heat down and let the stock simmer.

2. Strip the kale leaves from the stalks and discard the stalks. Rinse the kale well in a colander and rip the leaves into bite sized pieces. Add to the soup.

3. Rinse the beans and add to the soup.

4. Cut the zucchini into bit sized pieces (I typically cut them in half, then half again, and then chop them). Add to the soup.

5. Add herbes de provence to taste. I used about 3 teaspoons or so.

6. Zest a lemon into the soup and then squeeze half a lemons worth of juice in as well.

7. Simmer on medium heat until the kale is soft and the zucchini is cooked.

8. Serve with a few slices of avocado and a squirt of lemon.

Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple "Buttercream" Frosting and Toasted Walnuts

I'm going to a Halloween party tonight and wanted to bring something festive for autumn. These are very pumpkin-y, which I love, and they were quick since I used bisquick as the base for the cupcakes. Hopefully everyone will enjoy them as much as I have!


Cake (makes about 24 cupcakes):
3 cups original Bisquick
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup soymilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
egg replacer for two eggs

1 package (16 ounces) vegan confectioners sugar (such as Hain Organic Powdered Sugar)
3-4 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
brown sugar


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 24 medium muffin cups or line with foil or paper baking cups.

2. Beat all cake ingredients together with an electric mixer or stand mixer on low speed until combined, then on medium speed for about four minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Fill muffin cups about halfway.

3. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (it may take a bit longer, but start checking for done-ness at around the 15 minute mark. Cooking time varies by oven and altitude). They are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean/when the cake is starting to pull away from the edges of the pan/when you can press the top of the cakes lightly with your finger and they feel springy. Immediately remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

4. To make the frosting, put the confectioners sugar in your mixing bowl and add the margarine (which should be room temperature or slightly softened). Begin beating the sugar and margarine together on low speed at first so the sugar doesn't make a huge mess. Once its crumbly, increase the beater speed. Gradually add the maple syrup until you reach a fairly stiff and creamy consistency. You may need to adjust the measurements--making frosting isn't always an exact science, and you need to adjust it to meet your own taste and consistency requirements. Add more confectioners sugar if it's too thin. Add more margarine (or shortening) if you want it fluffier. Add more syrup if it's too thick. If the frosting isn't "maple-y" enough, you can add maple flavoring too. I don't like an overpowering maple flavor, so the syrup alone worked for me.

5. Frost the cupcakes, generously. Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon on top.

6. Preheat the oven to about 450 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake about 5 minutes, then turn, sprinkle on more cinnamon and sugar and bake another 5 minutes, until toasted. Keep a close watch on these, they burn very easily. Like everything else, cooking time varies by oven and altitude. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

7. Once the walnuts have cooled, sprinkle a few pieces (5-7 or so) on top of the cupcake for garnish. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Battered Seitan Nuggets

I'm not sure exactly why, but I was seriously craving some battered, fried food today. I happened to have a package of seitan in the fridge, so I whipped up a quick batter and ended up with the most spectacular, sinful-tasting seitan nuggets known to man.

Seitan (homemade or packaged) cut into 1-2" chunks
2/3 cup Bisquick
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Egg replacer for 2 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup soymilk
Oil for frying


1. Heat up your deep fryer (or, alternately, fill a small saucepan with a few inches of vegetable oil and heat it until it reaches between 350 and 375 degrees F).

2. In a shallow bowl, mix together the Bisquick, spices, egg replacer, and soymilk. The batter should be the consistency of cake or pancake batter (not too thick but not runny either).

3. Dredge the seitan chunks through the batter to cover them, and drop in the oil. Allow to cook until golden brown.

4. Drain on a paper towel or brown paper bag, and blot if necessary.

5. Savor the awesomeness.