Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas baking, risotto, peanut pasta, oatmeal muffins and lentil-rice burgers

Chistmas Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookies (adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar)
1 cup vegan butter
2/3 cup sugar
pinc of salt
2 t vanilla
3/4 t almond extract
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup almond milk
Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheet and set aside. Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and almond extracts and beat to combine. In separate bowl, mix flour and cornstarch. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to form soft dough. Mix food coloring into dough if desired. Use dough in spritzer according to spritzer instructions. Bake 3-5 min (may take more time depending on size of spritzer).
Pumpkin Risotto - I was running low on faux chicken broth and veg broth and I happened to come across this recipe for risotto in an old issue of Cooking Light. It used beef broth which I subbed with faux beef. A few weeks back, I got 4 free small jack-0-lantern pumpkins from Whole Foods and after making roasted pumpkin seeds, I really didn't want to waste the rest of the pumpkins. I researched it a bit and most of the artcles I read said they are completely edible - just a bit stringy and watery. These were pretty small so they weren't really all that stringy. The pumpkin worked great in this recipe. The recipe called to use parmesan which I subbed with vegan parm. I wouldn't recommend doing that. I loved the risotto except for the strong flavor of vegan parm. Just a bit much. I would make this again but without the parm. Very creamy and flavorful!
Peanut Penne - A very tasty dish. I made egg rolls to go with it - I use any excuse I can to make egg rolls!

Penne-Wise Peanutty Pasta (adapted from Vegan on the Cheap)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 green onions chopped
2 t grated fresh ginger
4 oz silken tofu, drained
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 T sesame oil
1 T ketchup
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t crushed red pepper (we actually sprinkled this on top and used a lot more than 1/2 t!)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
12 oz penne
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 cups small broccoli florets

In a food processor, combine garlic, green onions and ginger until well minced. Add tofu, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, kechup, sugar, and soy milk. Blend until smooth and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Halfway through cooking time, add carrots and broccoli to pasta and water. Cook until veggies and pasta are al dente. Drain.

Pour sauce over pasta and veggies and heat thoroughly. Serve.
Oatmeal Muffins - this was a recipe I made years ago and I decided to veganize it. Yummy, slightly sweet, and filling.

Oatmeal Muffins
1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t baking soda
egg substitute for 1 egg
5/8 cup soy milk plus 2 t apple cider vinegar - mix to curdle
6 T canola oil
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Fold wet into dry. Divide evenly among 12 greased muffin cups. Bake at 400 for 20 min.
Lentil-Rice Burgers - A very simple recipe with few ingredients. Quite delish on a toasted bun with tomato and bbq sauce.

Brown Rice and Lentil Burgers (adapted from Candle Cafe Cookbook)
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup brown rice
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 chopped onion
1 t sea salt
1 t chipotle chili powder

In saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil. Add lentils, reduce heat, cook until soft. About 15 min. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boil, add rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender. About 40 min. Set aside. In a saute pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onion until browned. Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine rice, lentils, onion mixture, salt and chipotle powder. Mash slightly to help hold mixture together. Make burger-sized patties and place them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake 15 min. Serve on buns with tomato and bbq sauce.
Chewy Ginger Cookies - A recipe I have made before but this time I veganized it. Fabulous results!

Chewy Ginger Cookies (adapted from Taste of Home)
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
egg subsitute for 1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 t vanilla
2 cups flour
1 t each cinnamon, ginger, baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cloves
Cream oil and 1 cup sugar until smooth and creamy. Add egg substitute, molasses and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to creamed mixture. Roll into 1-in balls; roll in remaining sugar. Place 1 1/2 in apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 375 for 8-10 min or until lightly browned.


  1. This all looks so gooood! Yum :) I need to get back on the blog track. I plan on filling the vegan pantry again after the holidays. I need to try some of these recipes for sure!

  2. I can't wait for you to get back to blogging!! I miss your fabulous blog!


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.