Monthly Archives: April 2009

Smörgåsbord Catch-Up Post

So I recently moved back to my parent’s house to save money before graduate school this fall. Suburbia isn’t really my favorite place, but I’ve been cooking up a storm here (and alternating between my Netflix queue and watching a million reruns of House and NCIS). Sadly, I keep forgetting to post, or sometimes take pictures, and thus delicious recipes like the Mushroom and Artichoke Lasagna, Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes, Vegan Sloppy Joes, and a variety of Chinese Noodle stir-fries and soups have fallen through the cracks, along with my more spectacular failures, including the Practically-Too-Dense-To-Eat Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins (whoever thinks using three cups of flour in muffins is a good idea,  they are wrong) and VwaV‘s peanut butter cookies (you may think non-natural peanut butter works as a substitute, but it really just results in cookies with the consistency of the melted insides of a Reeses–great on ice cream, terrible as an actual cookie).

However, below I have some pictures and recipes for some recent favorites, including my Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms and Italian-Style Scrambled Tofu and Hash Browns.

Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

Wowowowowow these are amazing.

8-10 large white mushrooms, rinsed/dried with stems removed (chop them for later)

6-7 artichokes (either canned or in oil)

8-9 sun dried tomatoes, cut into large chunky pieces (either in oil or dry)

2 cloves garlic, smashed and then pressed (you don’t want large chunks)

2-4 T. Balsamic vinegar (depends on your affinity for vinegar–I like tangy)

A small chunk of tofu (like, 3 T. worth of either firm, extra firm, or silken; scraps or a chunk of a leftover block works well; you can adjust the amount as well–it just makes more filling)

Black Pepper

Pinch of salt

Preheat the over (or a toaster oven) to 450 F. Put mushroom caps, tomatoes, artichokes, tofu, garlic, vinegar, and seasonings into the food processor. Pulse until you reach a chunky yet creamy consistency. Add a little water if too dry. Spoon filling into mushrooms. Bake at 450 F for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms release juice. Spoon mushroom juice on top just before serving.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Isa's Banana Bread from The PPK Forums

Isa's Banana Bread from The PPK Recipe Forums

Perfectly sweet and great served warm with some Tofutti Cream Cheese. I like to make it on Sunday and munch it for breakfast throughout the week.  Recipe can be found here.

Italian Style Tofu Scramble with Hash Browns

Italian Style Tofu Scramble with Hash Browns

I used an onion and some grape tomatoes and seasoned with oregano, basil, thyme, a pinch of Herbs de Provence, and a little turmeric for the color. Firm or extra firm tofu both work really well here (just don’t forget to press first).

For the hash browns, some coarse kosher salt and a few dashes of fresh black pepper work well as seasoning, and cooked them with a little olive oil in a cast iron pan (about 12 minutes on each side). My favorite way to do Sunday Brunch.

Carrot Cake CupeCakes from "Vegan Cupcakes Tak Over the World"--AMAZING!

Carrot Cake CupeCakes from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World"--AMAZING!

These are kind of the best cup cakes I have ever had in my life. I recommend you buy the book and make them immediately if not sooner. If you don’t have the soy yogurt called for in the recipe, you can mix some applesauce and molasses together to bind, moisturize, and add delicious flavor (slightly decrease sugar and oil/fat if you do this). Yumyumyum.

Very Berry Pancakes

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Sundays are brunch day, and when half the family consists of herbivores and the other half consists of omni- and carnivores, pancakes provided a delightful middle ground. I used to just make VWaV‘s  banana pancakes, but unlike me, my parents don’t keep a dozen frozen bananas on hand at all times, so I had to change things up a bit. My initial version of this recipe uses only a flax egg and no banana, but I like banana pancakes, and thus today I added the banana back in. I alternate between using a flax “egg” to bind the pancakes and a mushed banana. Either work very well– but not both. When I use the banana, I still add some flax for fun and health, but the recipe works just fine without it.

We like to use a mix of frozen berries: blueberries, blackberries, and marionberries (they come together), but I’ve found that strawberries also work very well. Additionally, if you have lots of fresh fruit that needs to be used, it works well in place of the frozen berries.

Very Berry Pancakes
(serves 3-4, depending on hunger level)

1 c. all purpose flour (unbleached)

3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour

3 t. sugar

3 t. baking powder

1 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

1 T. flax

1 c. plain soy milk + 1 T. vinegar

3/4 c. orange juice

2 t. vegetable oil

1 t. vanilla extract

1 mushed banana (needs to either be previously frozen or very ripe)

1 cup frozen (or fresh) berries

In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and flax. In a smaller bowl (or large measuring cup), stir together the soy milk, orange juice, oil, and vanilla. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together with a strong fork. In the leftover bowl or measuring cup, mush/mash the banana with a fork until is it relatively not-lumpy. Mix into the pancake batter. Try not to over mix or the batter will be very thick (which is not necessarily a bad thing). Fold in the frozen berries.

Meanwhile, preheat a large frying pan or a griddle with 1-2 t. vegetable oil or margarine on medium heat. Also, preheat the oven to 170 F so that you can keep your plates and pancakes warm while cooking the rest. Heating the griddle now allows the batter time to rest and properly thicken to a good consistency.

Spoon batter onto griddle/pan and cook about 4 minutes on each side. Watch for air bubbles and be careful not to overcook (these pancakes cook relatively slowly, so it may be a little longer than 4 minutes on each side; however, they cook quite evenly on medium heat, despite being a little thick).

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Serve with sliced fresh fruit and hot maple syrup. Mmmmm.

Prep Time: about 15 minutes