Very Berry Pancakes

dscf0068

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).

dscf0065

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

Prep Time: about 15 minutes

Advertisements

Quick and Delish

Well, as per usual, despite my best intentions, I have not posted as much as I want to. HOWEVER, this post and the next few willl be somewhat catch-uppy, in order to chronicle all the loveliness of the past few days.

While home in S-Lake last weekend, I decided to make Veganomicon‘s Pasta Della California. It has a white wine-based garlic sauce, and is filled with delicious greens: broccoli, spinach, and avocados. We served it with grilled asparagus, and boy was it delicious. I think, however, that in the future I should a) use fresh broccoli (instead of leftover/already cooked broccoli) and b) I should NOT put in all the avocados the first night because (duh) they do not keep well over night. Thus, for a first night only, no leftovers meal, it was delicious and fresh and new and lovely. For leftovers, however, it is really not so good. I highly recommend it to everyone though. Yum yum yum.

I also discovered vegan raviolis at Central Market the other day. They have artichoke hearts and other deliciousness in them, and I served them with my classic red sauce from last post. I used the rest of the sauce to make Spirals and White Beans, one of my favorite, super easy snacks. I like to prepare Great Northern and Navy beans in my pressure cooker, and then use them throughout the week. They are especially delicious with pasta, and they kind of even out the meal to make it healthier/more filling. Plus, the meal is super easy:

Spirals and White Beans

1 lb. spiral noodle pasta

Classic Tomato Sauce (recipe at the bottom of this post).

1 cup dry white beans (either Great Northern or Navy).

How to?
Before work, or the night before, soak the beans in water. THIS IS MUST. They need to be in there at least 6 hours, preferably 8. Put the beans in the pressure cooker (only fill the pressure cooker halfway with water, or else it will blow up! or something equally bad). Cook beans for necessary time (I consult this chart every time, it is so helpful. Each bean is different, so I slightly adjust the time every time I cook them).

While beans are de-pressuring, prepare pasta. Or, if beans are already ready, just prepare the pasta.

Toss 1/4 cup cooked beans with pasta and lots of sauce (to preference). Delicious, quick, and easy!

Coming Next: Banana Bread with Walnuts and my variation on Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World’s Carrot Cake Cupcakes! Also: stories and pictures regarding The Vagina Monologues.

Individual Flatbread Pizza

I’ve been wanting to make pizza for a few weeks now, and I keep waiting to see if Spiral will have Mozzeralla-style Teese in stock, but alas, they have been sold out for the past week or so. Finally, I decided to make the pizza sans Teese, and it was absolutely delicious.

While at Target the other day, I found these wonderful little flatbread crusts that I thought were vegan. Alas, upon looking at the wrapping a few minutes ago, I realized that I had misread one of the lines, and they are not–or at least the Italian Herb one I purchased was not. According to the website, other types are, so I’ll just have to continue the search for future pizza endeavors.

The end results!

The end results!

now, for the Recipe

Mushroom, Spinach, and Tomato Flatbread Pizza

Ingredients

one 6-8 inch pizza crust (preferably seasoned)

1/2 cup (or slightly less) Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

4-5 sliced mushrooms

1/2 can Canned Artichokes (3-4 artichokes), sliced

two handfuls spinach

6-8 cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)

1/4 cup white wine (I use Yellowtail Pinto Grigio for cooking)

Herbs de Provence (estimate: 1/2 teaspoon)

Garlic Powder (estimate: 1/2 teaspoon)

pinch nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. If you are using a pizza stone, get it out. If you are using a plain old baking sheet, get that out. If you are, like me, using a cake pan because while not paying attention one night, you and your roommate managed to melt the baking sheet on the stove while trying to simultaneously make tea and chocolate chip cookies, get that out. Place pizza crust (or dough, if you want to be fancy and make it from scratch), on the baking receptacle.

2. In a pan, heat some olive oil on medium heat. Sautee mushrooms 3 min, add artichokes and spices. Cook another 5-6 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine, and add spinach. Let it begin to wilt, and then immediately remove from heat.

3. Brush pizza crust with olive oil (preferably flavored, like Garlic Expressions), and put Tomato Sauce on crust. If you have/want/need vegan cheese, add it now. Place vegetables on top, dribble a little Tomato Sauce around , and set tomato halves on pizza.

4. Reduce oven heat to 425 F, and bake 8-12 minutes (I did mine about 9, but forgot to lower the heat immediately, so longer is probably better).

Before

Before

After! (and partically eaten, yum!)

After! (and partically eaten, yum!)

And now for the Tomato Sauce recipe promised above. I have a bunch of this left over because I made it to go with Vegan Raviolis I found at Central Market the other day (Artichoke, Lemon and Parsley) in the frozen pasta section. I made a larger batch than usual since I knew I was going to be making pizza soon. This is my basic, standby tomato sauce recipe. I think it is delicious.

Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatos

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed/minced (if smaller garlic cloves, increase number to 5 or 6)

1 t. rosemary

1.5 t. sugar

freshly ground black pepper

salt

Heat 1 T. olive oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Cook garlic until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Try not to burn it; once brown, immediately add crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add spices and sugar, and let simmer at least 20 minutes. If you have time, 40 minutes is preferable.

Prep Time:
Pizza: 15 minutes prep (plus baking time)
Tomato Sauce: 20-40 minutes

Finally!

So I have been gone for awhile. Long story, involving thesis-writing, graduating, grad school applying, vacationing, and being an uninspired cook. But now I am back!

Also, I finally procured a camera, so I can take pictures of all the yummy food I make! Which will make this blog much more interesting to read, I am sure.

Hopefully, future posts will include:

– Pinto Bean Tacos

– Gnochhi with Tomato Pesto Sauce

– Chocolate Chip Cookies

– a variety of cupcakes

-Vegan Sausages

-Tofu Scramble and Hashbrowns

-Grilled Tofu Sandwiches

-White Bean and Rice Tomat

– Soup (adapted from Veganomicon)

I also hope to post  a response to The Fat Free Vegan’s Valentine’s Challenge.

Tofu Cacciatore and a BEER rec.

So tonight, as planned, I made tofu cacciatore, and since my paper is coming along faster than I thought it would, I decided to post this because it is relatively easy and REALLY good.

Also, if you like beer, you should try Full Moon Winter Ale, because it is AWESOME.

delish

delish

Tofu Cacciatore
1 pound firm tofu in “slabs”

White Wine

½ onion, sliced

½ red bell pepper, sliced/diced

½ green bell pepper, sliced/diced

¼ cup red wine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t. dried basil

1 t. dried oregano

½ t. rosemary

Pinch nutmeg

1 14 oz. Can stewed tomatoes, drained

Small can tomato sauce (8 oz?)

Preheat oven to 350. Press Tofu, then space it out in an baking dish (8 x 12 ish). I proceeded to pour some white wine around the tofu, so there was a thin layer in the bottom of the dish, and then coated it with garlic-olive oil. It just needs something to give it a little flavor and moisture.

Bake 15 minutes. Flip, and bake 10 more minutes. Coat with sauce and bake 15 minutes.

Sauce: Sautee onions and bell peppers, 5 min. Add garlic, white wine, and spices (2 min.) Add tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer 15 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans. I only had green beans, because I forgot to buy potatoes today, but it WOULD be good.

Smlove pie!

So I made this pie like a month ago, and began writing this post out, but then got distracted by life, and forgot to publish it. Obviously, I’ve been neglecting this blog, partially because I’ve been busy but primarily because I haven’t made a lot of new stuff.  I’ve been living on spaghetti and tofu balls and Veganomicon recipes that I can’t really repost lately, plus lots of Spiral. This week I’m going to try to post more, mainly because I’m super swamped with papers, reading, and graduate school applications, and cooking is always a good stress reliever.

So, for now, the Smlove Pie recipe. Later posts possibly include chocolate chip cookies, tofu cacciatore, and chickpea cutlets. Yay!

Re: the Smlove Pie,  Isa posted the recipe on her LJ, so that’s the actual recipe. As per usual, I made a few changes, so I’m posting what I did.

For the graham cracker crust:
12 graham crackers (or 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs)
1/4 cup canola oil

For the chocolate pie filling:
1 lb silken tofu, drained
1/4 cup chocolate liquor
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons arrowroot
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted

For the caramel peanut butter:
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (I used smooth), at room temperature
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
splash soymilk

For the maple candied pecans:
1 cup pecans
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the chocolate drizzle:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 1/4 cup chocolate chips)
1/4 cup soy or rice milk

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare the crust:
Put the graham crackers into the food processor until they are tiny little crumbs. Then put them in a bowl with the oil and mix around with your hands.

Spray a 10 inch pie pan with cooking spray. Put the crumbs into the pie pan and firmly press them to the bottom and sides of plate. Set aside.

Prepare the filling:
First melt your chocolate. Crumble the tofu into a blender or food processor. Add the liquer, vanilla and arrow root and blend until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides to make sure you get everything. Add the chocolate and blend again until completely combined.

Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. The center may still be jiggly, but that’s fine. Let cool on a counter top for 10 minutes then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, the top of the pie should be firm to the touch.

Meanwhile . . .

Prepare your candied pecans:
Mix oil, maple syrup, and pecan pieces together in a bowl. Spread onto a non-stick baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is boiling. Let cool, then place in the fridge on a plate, or on parchment paper if you have it.

Once the pie has been chilling for at least 3 hours, prepare the peanut butter caramel and chocolate drizzle. Have your pie out and ready to be assembled.

To prepare the peanut butter caramel:
Stir all the ingredients together in a small sauce pan. Gently heat everything over low heat, stirring constantly with a fork, just until smooth and heated through. Isa says, “It should fall from your fork in ribbons.” I had to add a bunch of soymilk to the peanut butter to keep it from sticking and getting messed up. Like 1/3 of a cup? My peanut butter was really dry; if your peanut butter is not, skip the soymilk. Or you can add brown rice syrup, which I did/do not own. Be careful not to over dry/cook/heat/burn the peanut butter.

Pour the mixture over the center of the pie. Get your pecans and place them on top of the caramel, pressing them in firmly. You may have to break the pecans apart from each other if they were touching.

Prepare chocolate drizzle:
In a small sauce pan, heat the soy milk. Once hot, add the chocolate and lower heat. Whisk until completely combined. Turn the heat off and let cool.

Drizzle the chocolate with a spoon. Chill for 10 minutes. CUT. SERVE. EAT. ENJOY.

YUM.

Test Day (barf)

While browsing various blogs and cookbooks last night, I decided to experiment with BBQ tofu. And yes, I think I may be the last vegan on the earth to finally purchase Veganomicon, but I was broke for so long, and then I was into the whole ‘find-all-my-recipes-via-blogging’ thing, and yadayadayadayada, I ended up buying it yesterday. It rules, btw. Anyway, I decided to make mashed potatoes and BBQ tofu for lunch today. The recipes/methods were inspired by Veganomincon‘s recipes, and my friends Ericka and Gillis. Plus the fact that I have to take my GRE in 4 hours, and I figured a good dose of protein would be best.

MASHED POTATOES (this is for 1 person; increase as necessary)

4 small Yukon Gold potatoes (washed and chopped into small 1-2 inch chunks)

2 T. Vegan Sour Cream (Tofutti)

1 T. Vegan Margarine

3 T. vegetable broth, or to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes, until soft. Put in bowl, and mash with other ingredients. To make them REALLY creamy, used a hand-held blender, or put in the food processor.

BBQ TOFU

1 lb. Firm Tofu (pressed)

BBQ Sauce (Stubb’s is vegan/has no worchestire sauce)

Oil for marinade (I always use this wonderful garlic dressing to marinade tofu)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat Oven to 350. Cut tofu into nine rectangle slabs (or less, if you misjudge the width)

Coat with oil/marinade, and bake for 15 minutes. Turn over, and bake for another 15 minutes. Coat with BBQ sauce, and bake 15 more minutes.

Prep Time: The whole thing takes about an hour. The key is to make the mashed potatoes WHILE baking the tofu, because they take about half the time.