Saturday, August 14, 2010

Breakfast of Champions and much more! (recipes to come - I promise!)

I haven't been as brave as I would like in the area of reconstructing non-vegan favorites into vegan favorites as I am still in the learning stages of vegan cooking! However, I decided to try my hand at making this delicious berry cream cheese coffee cake into a vegan version. Yay - I was successful! It turned out perfectly wonderful and gave me a little confidence in the area of transforming old favorites into acceptable new favorites.

Blueberries and Cream Coffee Cake
2 T butter
3/4 cup sugar
egg substitute for 2 eggs
1/4 cup soy yogurt (if you don't have yogurt, substitute apple sauce)
2 T canola oil
1 t grated lemon peel
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour, divided
1 1/4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 cup soured almond milk (place 1 T vinegar in 1 cup measure and fill the rest with almond milk)
2 cups mixed frozen or fresh berries
8 oz vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti)

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar. beat in the egg substitute, yogurt, oil and lemon peel. Combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. ix dry ingredients alernately with the soured milk. In a separate bowl, toss berries with remaining 1/4 cup flour. Fold into batter. Pour into 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top batter with spoonfuls of cream cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until inserted toothpick comes out clean - about 30-35 min.

Ok so my parents were in town and my mom brought some fabulous focaccia to share. This focaccia was another recipe she was known for during our Zambia days and I was so excited to have it again! My mom mentioned this might be a good pizza substitute for us and once I tasted it again (it's been probably 13+ years since I've had it), I have decided she is sooo right! It is so flavorful and yummy and has that comfort taste of pizza without any dairy. Wow - I think this might be the new Friday night pizza night stand-in - at least for me!!

Focaccia (this makes a ton! be prepared for leftovers!)
Dipping oil:
3/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic
3/4 t crushed red pepper
Combine ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Heat until garlic is golden. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hr.

2 cups warm water
5 cups flour
1 T yeast
2 t salt
8 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 T coarse sea salt
2 T each fresh chopped basil and rosemary
Pour water in measuring cup and sprinkle with yeast. Wait until dissolved. Wisk in 3 T garlic oil. Combine 2 cups flour with 2 t salt. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture and beat. Add 1 cup flour at a time to make a soft dough. Beat 3 minutes (I used the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid). Brush bowl with 1 T oil. Transfer dough to oiled bowl and cover. Let rise 1 hr. Place chopped tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle with 1 T salt. Let stand 15 min. Rinse with cold water. Drain on paper towels. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush baking sheet (I used a large jelly roll pan) with 1 T garlic oil. Punch dough down and briefly knead. Transfer to pan and stretch to fit pan. Sprinkle with rosemary and tomatoes, pressing into dough. Sprinkle with basil and remaining 1 T salt. Bake about 30 min or until golden. Serve with dipping oil.

I modified this Vegan Yum Yum (Baked Macaroni and Cheese) recipe a tad but stuck with the recipe mostly! It turned out fabulously creamy and flavorful. I used spaghetti instead of macaroni as it was the pasta I had on hand. This was also my first go at using miso - I bought a white miso at Whole Foods as I have heard that the lighter the color, the milder the flavor. Worked great in this recipe! Mmmmm! Find the recipe at Vegan Yum Yum - called Mac and Cheeze (only things I changed were: I used A1 sauce in place of tomato paste as I didn't have paste and for some odd reason, this makes a good substitute and I seasoned my panko crumbs with italian herbs and garlic salt and added about 2 T earth balance to them to crisp them up during cooking).


  1. Zambia, wow...
    All of this looks delicious. You make me wanna cook from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook. I have it, but I admit I hardly ever use's almost more of a just-food-porn book for me than a book I USE, hehe. But clearly I need to give those recipes another, closer look.
    I <3 focaccia too! From reading about your food tastes, I think you should check out the Urban Vegan cookbook, I think you'd like hers.

    Amber Shea

  2. Yay - I love new cookbook ideas! When I first looked through Vegan Yum Yum, I thought the pictures were pretty but didn't think most of the recipes would suit us - but alas I was wrong! Have enjoyed several! I will have to look for the Urban Vegan Cookbook! Thanks for the suggestion!


Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.