Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chocolate-Zucchini Cake

Chocolate-Zucchini Cake
Food Network Magazine

               Unsalted vegan butter, for the pan

1 1/2       cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1/2          cup plus 1/3 cub semisweet chocolate chips
1/4          cup unsweetened cocoa powder  (not Dutch process)
1/2          teaspoon kosher salt
1/2          teaspoon baking soda
1/4          teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice
1 & 1/4   cups sugar  **I used less and served with raspberries
1/2          cup plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
               egg replacer for 2 eggs.
1/2          teaspoon vanilla extract
1             medium zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
1             teaspoon agave

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bottom and sides of 9” square cake pan wit vegan butter.  Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

Toss 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl.  Whisk the remaining flour, the cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

Beat the sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil, the “egg replacement” and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and pale about 3 minutes.  Add the flour-cocoa mixture; beat on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes (the batter will be thick).  Add the zucchini and beat until combines, about 2 more minutes.  Fold in the flour-coated chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.  Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

Make the glaze:  Combine the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon olive oil and the agave in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on medium power in 30 second intervals, stirring until the chocolate is melted.  Spread over the cake, then cut into pieces.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Oatmeal Burgers

My mom has been making these for YEARS.  She sometimes substitutes the mushroom soup with a sweet tomato soup base which I actually like better.  I haven't perfected the mixture yet due to the egg substitution.  The patties didn't seem to hold together as well as the original egg version so I'm definitely up for suggestions!  Kevin loved the burgers ....... so I may try Flax seed and water vs. "Ener G" egg replacer on the next batch.

Oatmeal Burgers

1            cup oatmeal , can be quick oats
1            teaspoon salt
1            teaspoon sage
1            medium onion, diced
              Substitute for 3 eggs
1            can vegan cream of mushroom soup (I used Natural Imagine Creamy
              Portobello Mushroom Soup)
1            can mushrooms or fresh sautéed mushrooms
              olive oil for frying

In medium bowl, mix oats, salt, sage and diced onion together.  Add “egg” substitute and mix together.  Form mixture into patties (as small or large as you like). 

In frying pan, fry burgers till brown on both sides.  In a baking dish, add some of the vegan cream of mushroom soup and some of the mushrooms to the bottom of the dish.  Place the burgers on top then add the remaining soup and mushrooms over patties.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lentils with Fried Tofu

This match up is such a good combination of flavors.  The lentils have a rich, spicy and slightly sweet flavor and the fried tofu compliments it perfectly.  The original recipe calls for fried eggs so I replaced the eggs with fried tofu and cheese sauce.  

Lentils with Fried Tofu
Modified Food Network magazine recipe

3            tablespoons unsalted butter
4            large shallots, finely chopped
3            stalks celery, finely chopped
3            sprigs thyme  (or good pinch dried thyme)
              Kosher salt
1/4         red wine vinegar
1 & 1/2   teaspoons sugar
1            14 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1            15 oz. can brown lentils
2            teaspoons Dijon mustard
              ground pepper
2            tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4            1/4 - 1/2 “ sliced Firm Tofu  (not silken)
              flour for dusting tofu (optional)
              oil for frying tofu
            ***Cheese sauce for top of tofu

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, celery, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar, 1/4 cup water and the sugar and cook until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes

Add the tomatoes and increase the heat to high; cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add the lentils and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the lentils are soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mustard and cook 5 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, discard the thyme and stir in half of the parsley.  Cover to keep warm.

**Make cheese sauce if using.

Pat Tofu dry then gently slice into 1/4 – 1/2” thick pieces.  Dust tofu with a little flour then fry till brown and crispy.

Serve tofu over bed of lentils and top with cheese sauce and remaining parsley.

Cheese Sauce  - makes 6-8 servings  modified from Betty Goes Vegan cookbook
(I made half the portion, but you can make full portion and save the extra sauce to put over veggies or potatoes)

1/2            cup margarine
3 1/2         cups boiling water
1/2            cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2         teaspoon crushed pink Himalayan salt***I used Black Salt to taste which
                                                      gives an egg flavor.
2               tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
1-1/2         teaspoons garlic powder
1               teaspoon onion powder
                 a few dashes of liquid smoke
                pinch of turmeric
                Paprika and crushed black peppercorns to taste
1-1/2        cup nutritional yeast

Friday, October 11, 2013

Spinach Dip

There are all sorts of spinach dip recipes out there and I love to experiment.  The addition of water chestnuts gives this dip a great crunchy surprise in every bite!

Spinach Dip

1            6 oz. bag spinach
1            carrot, small dice
2            green onions, small dice
1            small can water chestnuts, diced
1            cup vegan sour cream
1/3-1/2  cup vegan mayo
              dash onion powder
             garlic powder to taste
             squirt of lemon juice
             salt and pepper

In a sauce pan with a touch of water or oil, cook down the spinach.  Should only take a few minutes.  Set aside in medium bowl.

Dice the carrot, green onions and water chestnuts.  Add to the bowl with spinach.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together and chill.  Tastes even better the second day.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tempeh Pot Pie

The photo shows an individual pot pie but we actually made one big pot pie, it just didn't photograph as well.  I must admit, we polished this off in two days.  That's a lot of pot pie for two people!

Tempeh and Vegetable Pot Pie
Inspired by Spork-Fed cookbook recipe

1/4         cup non-dairy butter
1/4         cup all purpose flour
1            medium onion, finely chopped
3            cloves garlic, finely chopped
              oil for sauté
1            pkg. Tempeh
1            small red potato
1/2         small bag of mixed vegetables (corn/carrot/green beans/peas)
2            carrots, diced
1/2         cup frozen peas
1&1/2 cups vegetable broth
1            teaspoon dried oregano
1            teaspoon dried basil
2            tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4         teaspoon sea salt
1/2         teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Biscuit Topping Ingredients

1 & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2                  teaspoons baking powder
1/2               teaspoon baking soda
1/2               teaspoon dried oregano
1/2              teaspoon sea salt
1/4              teaspoon finely ground black pepper
3                 tablespoons non-dairy butter
3/4             cub unsweetened almond or soymilk curdled with 1 teaspoon apple cider
2                 teaspoons agave nectar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Grease an 8-inch round baking dish and set aside.


In a large skillet over medium heat, whisk to combine butter and flour, creating a roux.  Add onion, potato and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.

Cut Tempeh into small dices, sauté in oil until browned.  Set aside.

In the pot with the roux, add the veggies, broth, oregano, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Stir continuously over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Add Tempeh and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.


In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, oregano, sea salt and black pepper, and whisk until uniform.  Cut the butter into flour with pastry whisk until mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add curdled almond or soymilk and agave to the flour mixture and knead just until mixture holds together.

Place the Tempeh/Veggie mixture into prepared baking dish.  Top with biscuit topping.  Topping will be sticky, so use damp hands to drop on the biscuit dough.

Place on baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, approximately 30 minutes.  Serves 6 people.  **You can also use this recipe to serve individual pot pies.  Place 1/4 cup of the mixture into 6 ramekins and top with approximately 3 tablespoons biscuit topping.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chili Baked Potatoes

There are SEVERAL ways to bake a potato but I have to say this version by Alton Brown is my new favorite.  This really isn't a recipe just something we put together for a weekday dinner. Just add a big salad and your set!

Chili Baked Potatoes

2          large russet potatoes
            Canola oil to coat
            Kosher salt

1          can prepared chili (Trader Joe’s vegetarian or Amy’s Vegetarian chili)
3          slices vegan bacon (optional), fried and diced
2          green onions, diced
            vegan sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees and position racks in top and bottom thirds.  Wash potatoes thoroughly with a stiff brush and cold running water. Dry, then using a standard fork, poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the spud so that moisture can escape during cooking. Place in a bowl and coat lightly with oil.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and place potato directly on rack in the middle of oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings.

Bake 1 hour or until skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft.  Serve by creating a dotted line from end to end with your fork, then crack the spud open by squeezing the ends towards one another.  It will pop right open.

Scoop out some of the cooked potato to make room for the chili, and put in separate bowl, mix with cooked vegan bacon, some vegan sour cream and onions. 

Stuff potatoes with hot chili then top with the scooped out potato mixture