veganmofo2013

Pumpkin Scuffins

Sometimes I have no idea where my cooking or baking is going to lead me when I start. It can start as an experiment with a new technique or ingredient.  It can start with veganizing a recipe.  A lot of times it’s just me cleaning out the fridge. Today it was a mixture of these things.  

I woke up and I wanted a muffin. But muffins are boring, and I just made them last week. So scones. They are basically muffins just smaller, right?

Sort of. When mixing the batter for muffins the wet and dry ingredients are mixed separately and then together.  When you make scones the fat (usually butter) is cut into the dry ingredients before the rest of the wet ingredients are added.  The muffin method yields a more cakey texture, while the scone (biscuit) method yields a more bready texture. The clumps of fat that are left in the finished scone dough melt in the oven leaving a cavity with crispy edges aka flakiness. 

I started with Alton Brown’s basic scone recipe, did some veganizing, and then opened the fridge to see what to dump in it. I had an open can of pumpkin and went for it.  The result is somewhere between a scone and a muffin.  Although I used the scone method for mixing (mentioned above) the resulting texture is very light and fluffy like a cake. The taste is more like a scone, not quite as sweet as a muffin, and the pumpkin flavor really comes through.  

  • 2 c flour
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ¾ t salt
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 4 T butter, very cold
  • 2 T shortening
  • ½ c nondairy milk
  • ½ T egg replacer plus 2 T warm water
  • 1 c pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 375F.  

In a small bowl whisk together the egg replacer and water until foamy. Add the half cup of milk and pumpkin puree. Whisk until combined.  Set aside. 

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and sugar.  I like to use my food processor because it aerates the ingredients and removes clumps like a sifter would.  It is also a great tool to use when you’re making dough.  

Add the cold butter and shortening to the dry ingredients. Pulse a few times until the flour mixture is very crumbly looking and pea-size chunks are visible. Remember you’re not done mixing yet, so don’t over do it. You want to have chunks of butter and shortening in the final dough.

Add the wet ingredients you set aside at the beginning. Pulse until the dough just comes together.  

My dough was too soft to roll out and cut rounds of so I just dropped batter onto a greased cookie sheet and baked for about 15 minutes. 

If your dough is thick enough to roll out, transfer it to a clean, floured surface and roll it out about ½ inch thick.  Use a biscuit round to cut the scones (you can use a cup too).  Bake for 15 minutes.  

Yields:15 scuffins Prep time: 10 minutes Bake time: 15 minutes 

Day 5: Taco Pie

Sorry - no fritos. I promise this still retains that wholesome & delicious taco taste. Corn is the belle of the ball in this dish, so I still consider this dinner All-American.

 

I used leftover crust from my blooming flora pie to make this tonight. I changed the crust up just a bit. I added 1/3 cup pinto beans and an extra 1/3 cup of corn meal and pulsed it all together. I baked it for 45 minutes at 350 without any ingredients on top. 

Once the crust is in the oven start getting everything else together.
What you will need:

3 chopped heirloom tomatoes
1 cup pinto beans (soak the pinto beans or black beans in water overnight — cook in a large amount of water until bean is soft.)
2 corn cobs (shucked)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 avocado (optional — but if you don’t like avocado then I would recommend a MRI)
3 green onions 
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup chopped red onion
Salt & Pepper

—> I know this looking like a long list of ingredients but it is actually VERY cheap; especially for someone who does not cook often. The only spice you need is cumin and the rest of the ingredients are around 8 dollars and this makes a TON of pie.



1.) Shuck the corn and cut it off the cob.




2.) Place the corn on a roasting pan with two cloves of chopped garlic, 2 Tbs cumin, and 2 Tbs olive oil. Place in the oven with the crust and let roast until corn turns bright yellow.




3.) While the corn is roasting, mix together chopped heirloom tomatoes, chopped parsley, chopped green onion, chopped red onion, juice of one lemon, salt, and pepper. Once the corn is done roasting, take out of the oven — let it cool a bit and then mix in with salsa.



4.) In the food processor, pulse together the cooked beans until they form a paste. Season with a little cumin, salt and pepper.

5.) When the crust is ready (it should look a bit cracked and unbendable) take it out of the oven and spread about a 1 inch layer of beans on top of the crust; next, a layer of salsa; finally, chopped avocado. Easy breezy. 



Serve! Oh, and don’t forget the layer of Sriracha… 



 
 

Apple Cheesecake

I figured that since I teased you all with a cheesecake earlier this week I should actually give you one.  Before this weekend I had only ever made one other cheesecake.  It was a pumpkin cheesecake and it was huge. Delicious too. The problem was that making cheesecake was expensive because it required 4 of those vegan cream cheese tubs that cost $4 each.  Plus they were always so good on the first bite but ended up being too rich to finish.

But the cheesecake recipes in Vegan Pie in the Sky are cashew based. It’s true that raw cashews are expensive too, but you need a lot less of them compared to the cream cheese.  I used their basic recipe and changed up some ingredients and the topping.  

I had never heard of an apple cheesecake before, so I understand if the concept is a little weird, but apple and cheese are known to go together well! And they do!

Crust: 

  • 1 sleeve of graham crackers
  • ¼ c raw cashews, soaked 
  • 1 T sugar
  • 4 T melted margarine 

Filling: 

  • ½ c raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 12-14 oz package of silken tofu, drained
  • ½ c brown sugar, packed 
  • 3 T coconut oil, room temperature (solid)
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 banana
  • 1 large apple - peeled and cubed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Topping: 

  • 3 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • 1 T cornstarch 

Preheat the oven to 350F.  

Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers, sugar and cashews until fine.  While the motor is running, pour the melted margarine in.  Transfer the crust mixture to a greased springform pan.  Using your hands or a spatula (hands works best, just make sure they’re clean) to press the crust evenly in the pan. The crust should be firmly pressed.  Bake for 10 minutes and set aside. Leave the oven on. 

While the crust is in the oven blend all the ingredients for the filling together.  I just wipe out my food processor with a paper towel and then start throwing all the ingredients together in that bowl. You want the mixture to be smooth so let the food processor run for a good 5 minutes or so.  

Pour the cheesecake filling onto the pre-baked crust that just came out of the oven. Bake for 1 hour.  The edges should be golden brown and have slightly pulled away from the pan.  The center might be a little shaky (think jello) but as long as it’s not soupy or liquidy it will set up as it cools.  

Prepare the topping while the cheesecake is baking.  Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally.  Once the sugar melts and the apples cook down a little the mixture will start to boil.  Turn the heat down to low and let the topping cook for 5 more minutes.  Pour over the cheesecake when it is done baking and gently spread evenly over the top.  

Let the cheesecake cool on the counter for a good half hour or so and then cover and place in the fridge at least 2 hours to set.  

Yield: 12 slices Time: 1 hour 20 minutes (plus 2 hours set time)

Pumpkin Waffles

Although today was a 90+ degree day in CNY, the parts of it in which I saw the outdoors still seemed fall-like. Josh and I went on a little hike the other day and noticed some of the trees are already changing colors. Fall is my favorite season.  Despite suffering from debilitating allergies, I love the combo of a crisp breeze and warm sun. The air is somehow more refreshing and smells better.  It’s just beautiful, especially in CNY.  So of course there has to be at least one pumpkin recipe. And why not waffles? 

(I recently read a blog post by someone who blogs about blogging - I know, right? - and it said that every blogger has one or two things that they tend to over blog about. Mine is obviously waffles and pancakes, but can you really over do waffles and pancakes?)

  • 2 ½ c flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • ¼ t ground cloves 
  • 2 T egg replacer plus ½ c water
  • 2 ½ c soymilk plus 2 ½ t apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c margarine, melted
  • 1 t vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.  Set aside.  

Combine the egg replacer and water in a medium bowl and whisk thoroughly. 

Measure out the soymilk and add the vinegar.  Whisk together and let sit. This will make the soymilk sour, like buttermilk.  

Add the pumpkin, sugar, margarine and vanilla to the “egg” mixture.  Add the soymilk mixture.  

Create a well (push everything against the sides of the bowl, leaving a “canyon” of sorts of flour) and pour the wet ingredients in.  Gently mix the batter together until just combined. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes. A few lumps are okay, they will dissolve and settle as the batter sits.  

Preheat your waffle iron while you wait for the batter.  When it’s ready spray with a canola oil spray and pour just enough batter to cover the waffle iron.  Bake according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  

Serve with a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar and pure maple syrup.  

Yield: 6-8 waffles Prep Time: 20 minutes 

Lemon Cupcakes

I woke up this morning with itchy eyes, a runny nose, and a sore, overworked body.  I put in somewhere between 50 and 60 work hours last week and will again this week. I’ve been training for a crazy relay race and ran 4 times last week. And my allergies are insane right now. Yet I can’t help but feel like there are so many reasons to celebrate today. 

  1. The end of summer
  2. The beginning of September
  3. I don’t have to work today!!!
  4. Hanging out with some friends I rarely see
  5. Being home with Josh, who graciously ignores my cranky tiredness
  6. I spent the day baking 
  7. The start of vegan MOFO!!!

So I made cupcakes. We are going over to a friend’s house tonight for dinner, and I’m always the DD - designated desserter (pretty corny, I made that up on the spot). This recipe is a new favorite, and perfect for today (any day really).  

The Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ t baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ c margarine, room temperature
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 1 T egg replacer plus ¼ c water
  • 1 T lemon zest (1 or 2 lemons)
  • 1 t vanilla extract 
  • ½ c canned coconut milk 

Preheat your oven to 350F. 

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. 

Using an electric mixer, cream together the sugar and margarine. Add the egg replacer mixture, lemon zest and vanilla extract.  

Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with 3 additions of the coconut milk (add ½ c of flour mixture then a splash of coconut milk, and repeat 2 times until all of the ingredients are mixed in). Mix until just combined, you don’t want to over mix.  

Pour the batter into lined or greased cupcake tins, about ¼ cup of batter for each cupcake. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool.  

The Frosting: 

  • ½ c margarine
  • ½ c shortening
  • 2 to 2 ½ c confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 T lemon zest (run a knife through it quickly if you plan to pipe it so it doesn’t clog your tip)
  • 1 to 1 ½ T lemon juice 
  • pinch of salt 

Using an electric mixer, beat together the margarine and shortening.

Add the sugar about 1 cup at a time. Beat for about 2 minutes.  

Add the zest, juice and salt.  Beat for about 2 more minutes. 

Taste the frosting. If it’s really thick add some more juice. If it’s not lemony enough add some more zest. If it’s not sweet enough add some more sugar, etc.  Since the flavor of this depends so much on the lemons, it varies from batch to batch.  

Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost them! Sprinkle with some turbinado sugar (coarse raw sugar) for some pizazz. 

Yield: a dozen  Prep time: 25 minutes Bake time: 20 minutes

Banana Pancakes

I think that I speak for my entire team when I say that we are going through Ragnar withdrawal right now. It sounds crazy that we would miss running ourselves into the ground on little to no sleep, sustained by sports gels and clif bars, with no showers and lots of sweat. When you put 12 crazy people in two small vans together and make them perform grueling acts of physical activity they are bound to bond together. I am so thankful for the bond that I formed over the last weekend and all of the great new friends that I made! If you ever have the opportunity to run a Ragnar, don’t hesitate. 

Since I was feeling depressed when I finally got myself out of bed on Sunday morning, I decided that I deserved some pancakes. It helped a little. Especially when I turned on Jack Johnson on repeat. 

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ c sugar
  • ¼ c coconut oil
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ½ T egg replacer plus 2 T water
  • 2 ¾ c nondairy milk
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t nutmeg

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Set aside. 

In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Be sure to mix the egg replacer with the water separately before adding it to the rest of the wet ingredients.  

Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Gently combine the ingredients.  It’s okay to have some lumps, you don’t want to over mix it. 

Preheat a pan or a griddle to 375-400 degrees (approximately). It’s good to let your pancake mix sit for about 10 minutes right after making it, so don’t worry about heating up a griddle right at the beginning. When the pancake mix sits the clumps of flour start to “dissolve” into the rest of the batter.  

Cook the pancakes like normal, about 3-5 minutes on each side.  Serve with powdered sugar, margarine and syrup.  

Yield: 16 pancakes (about 5 servings) Time: 25-45 minutes

*You can use this as waffles too.

*Leftover batter will keep in the fridge in a sealed tupperware for about 1 week.  You can also cook the rest of the batter off and freeze the pancakes or waffles and reheat them using a toaster oven. 

Oatmeal - The Perfect Breakfast

There are a lot of reasons to love oatmeal.

It’s good for you.

Easy to make. 

Versatile - change up the toppings so you never get bored. 

High in fiber - good for digestion and it fills you up. 

You are full for a long time (tides me over from breakfast until dinner on busy work days). 

It makes a damn good cookie. And pancake. And granola.

Do you get what I’m saying? 

Below are some of my favorite oatmeal “recipes” (quotations because I can’t morally call something a recipe if it is entirely cooked in the microwave).  

Pumpkin Oatmeal:

  • ½ c quick oats 
  • ¼ c pumpkin puree
  • 2 T raisins 
  • 1 T brown sugar 
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • 1 c almond milk

Banana Bread: 

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ½ c quick oats
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T chopped walnuts
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • sprinkle nutmeg
  • 1 c almond milk

Peanut Butter and Jelly

  • ½ c quick oats 
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 1 T jelly
  • 1 c almond milk

Basic Maple Raisin

  • ½ c quick oats
  • 2 T maple syrup 
  • 2 T raisins
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • 1 c almond milk 
  • Pinch of salt 

The procedure is always the same: combine all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and let sit for a couple minutes before eating.  All the recipes are for 1 serving.  

Banana Bread

I made this banana bread on Sunday morning as a gift for my parents and my aunt and uncle to take home after breakfast. I also made one for myself. I have been eating the loaf for breakfast all week and it’s so delicious. And easy to make too. 

Banana bread is one of the classics as far as baking goes (you didn’t know there were baking classics?  Chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, brownies, banana bread).  Bananas are always on my grocery lists but somehow I’m always scrambling to use them before they get too ripe.  At this point I usually just cut them up and throw them in a freezer bag and one day I make an insane amount of banana bread.  Needless to say, a good banana bread recipe is a good thing to have around.  

I started with the recipe for banana muffins in Joy of Vegan Baking and made a few changes and additions.  

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 cups mashed banana (about 3-4 bananas)
  • ½ c sugar (regular white stuff)
  • ¼ c packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c coconut oil (or canola)
  • ¼ c nondairy milk or water
  • 1 t vanilla 
  • ¾ c chocolate chips 
  • ½ c slivered almonds 

Preheat oven to 350F.  

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  

In a medium bowl mash up the bananas with a fork.  Add the sugars and oil. Mix well with a whisk. 

Add the milk and vanilla.  Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients.  Gently mix until the ingredients are just combined.  

Fold in the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into greased loaf pans.  I used 3 small ones, but it will work just as well in one large one. 

Lightly toast the almonds in a dry pan.  They will continue to toast a little in the oven so you don’t want to overdo it.  Pour them on top of the batter and press down a little so they stick.  

Bake for 45-50 minutes for smaller loaf pans and 60 minutes for a larger loaf.  

Carrot Apple Muffins

One of the reasons that I moved back to Syracuse was so that I could spend more time with my grandparents.  They are extremely important people in my life and I have learned so much from them both.  Simple things like crochet, how to hard boil an egg (which I no longer do), and riding a bike. But also much more meaningful things like the importance of family, selflessness, and how to love. I know everyone says their grandparents are amazing, but believe me, they are.

I try to get out there for lunch whenever I can. A can of soup and a tomato and lettuce sandwich only tastes good at Grandma’s house. Since I don’t have a lot of money I like to bring fresh baked goods with me. Grandma always appreciates it, as it is getting harder and harder for her to bake, and Grandpa loves to eat so it’s a win win. 

  • 3 ¾ c flour
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 1 t salt 
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ¼ t nutmeg
  • ¼ t ginger 
  • 1 ½ c nondairy milk
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 T egg replacer plus ½ c water
  • 1 c sugar
  • ½ c canola oil 
  • 1 T vanilla extract 
  • 2 apples 
  • 2 carrots 
  • ½ c raisins 
  • sugar to sprinkle on top (I used my sassy lemon sugar!)

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a muffin tin (makes 12 large or 24 small).

Prepare the apples and carrots so they are ready to go as soon as the batter is.  Peel and grate them. I like to grate apples, rather than dice them, for baking because they add a lot more moisture to the final product that way. It’s easier to incorporate them evenly too. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.  Create a well in the center where you’ll pour the wet ingredients and set aside.  

Measure the milk in a liquid measuring cup and add  the lemon juice to it. The acid helps curdle the milk so it’s foamy and thicker.  Set aside.  

In a medium bowl whisk together the egg replacer and water.  Add the sugar, vanilla and oil.  Add the milk/lemon juice mixture and whisk together. 

Add all the wet ingredients to the well you created in the dry ingredients. Gently fold the ingredients together until they are just combined. Do not over mix.  Add the grated carrots and apples as well as the raisins and fold in.  

Pour/scoop batter into the muffin tins and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes.  

I only have one large muffin tin and have no idea what I’d do with 2 dozen small muffins (you can freeze them), so I made a loaf of bread to drop at my parents as a little surprise. The bread took about 45-50 minutes to bake through. 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I get bored easily.  I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.  On the plus side, it has led me to be more creative.  Whenever I make cookies I like to blend two or three flavors into one cookie.  Sometimes so many different flavors end up in one cookie that I just call them “cupboard cookies”.  They are my favorite though. It usually consists of a chocolate cookie with chocolate chips, some type of nut, raisins, shredded coconut, peanut butter and whatever else I can get my hands on. I kept it simple today though, just peanut butter meets oatmeal raisin. The recipe is based off one of Kelly Peloza’s with a few modifications.

 

  • ¼ c margarine, room temperature
  • ¼ c shortening
  • ½ c peanut butter, I like using crunchy to add a little texture
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • ½ c brown sugar, packed
  • 2 T nondairy milk
  • ½ T vanilla extract
  • ¾ c flour
  • 2/3 c quick oats 
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ½ t salt 
  • ½ t cinnamon 
  • ½ c raisins 
  • chocolate chips, peanuts - optional 

Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside. 

Cream together the margarine, shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Add the milk and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients in batches until all incorporated.  Fold in the raisins and chocolate chips if you’re using them.  

Roll into tablespoon sized balls and roll in a bowl of sugar. I like using turbinado (coarse grain raw) sugar because it makes the cookies extra crunchy on the outside. Place the ball on a cookie sheet and flatten it out.  Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes.  

They will look a little on the soft side when they come out, but they will firm up as they cool. Just leave them be for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. 

Yields: 2 dozen Prep time: 15 minutes Bake time: 10 minutes each

Curried Tempeh and Kale Bowl

If you’re attempting to eat healthy but don’t have a lot of time this is the dish for you! Plus you don’t have to sacrifice flavor.  Besides kale and possibly tempeh, this recipe uses common pantry ingredients - making it the perfect lazy night dinner (one you can feel good about!).  There are a ton of substitutions you can do with this recipe to make it better suite your taste buds/cravings. Be creative! 

For the Tempeh: 

  • one package tempeh
  • 1 T curry paste (can substitute curry powder instead but use ½ T)
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 t apple cider vinegar (rice vinegar would be good too)
  • ½ t cumin
  • ½ t oregano
  • ¼ t garlic salt
  • hot water

Heat a small pot of water to a light boil.  Cut the tempeh into the desired size and shape. I cut mine in 8 pieces (4 per serving).  Add the tempeh to the water and cook for 10-15 minutes.  

While the tempeh is cooking, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.  Start by adding only ¾-1 cup of water.  You can add more once the tempeh is in the mix if you need to.  

Transfer the tempeh directly from the boiling water to the marinade. Arrange so that all of the pieces are covered as much as possibly.  Add water if necessary to barely cover the tempeh.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes, but ideally an hour or two.  

The veggies: 

  • 6 stalks/leaves of kale
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 red potatoes, quartered (I pre-boiled mine so they would cook faster - you can use the water you had going for the tempeh!)
  • small can diced tomatoes

Heat up some oil and a pinch of salt in a saute pan.  Brown both sides of the tempeh so they are a little crispy.  Remove from pan. 

Saute the onions for about 3 minutes. Add the kale and the garlic. Toss so everything is evenly coated in oil and cook for another minute or so.  Add a splash of the curry marinade.  Add the potatoes and tomatoes. Let the mixture steam a little and cook down.  Throw in a splash of wine if you feel like it - the acid helps bring out the flavors and break down the bitterness of the kale. 

Throw the tempeh back into the pan (just on top of the veggies is fine).  Cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook for another 3 minutes or so. Add a small pinch of salt to finish it off and you’re done!

Yields: 2 entree servings Prep time: 45 min  - 1 hour

Maple-Dijon Kale Salad

I told myself that those “twix” (it’s just easier, okay?) would be the only treat I make this week. Everything else is going to be (vegan) power food to fuel up for the race.  What’s healthier than a kale salad? 

Not only is this healthy but it tastes amazing. Josh, Jerod and I each had 2 servings. When’s the last time you made a salad and everyone wanted seconds of that and not your entree? 

Whenever I eat raw kale I need to pair it with a sweet dressing. It helps break down the kale a little and balance out the bitterness. 

Salad: 

  • ½ bunch of kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 2 green apples, diced
  • ½ c slivered almonds
  • ¼ raisins

Dressings: 

  • ¼ c vegenaise
  • 1 T dijon
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 t canola oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • pinch of salt 

Whisk all the ingredients together and pour over the salad. Using your hands (for real) and massage (rub the dressing into the kale leaves) the kale. 

The salad will be good for 1-2 days refrigerated, even with the dressing on it.  But I doubt it will be around for that long. 

Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Today is the first Sunday of the NFL season. I’m not a football fan at all, though I try to pretend interested to humor Josh. I see it as a 3 hour uninterrupted opportunity for me to unwind in the kitchen and share my goodies with you. It also gives me an excuse to whip up some unhealthy football game treats.  So yeah, I’m excited about football season.  

These treats only take 15 minutes from start to finish, only dirties one pot and one spoon, and they are guaranteed to satisfy. 

  • ¼ c margarine (earth balance)
  • 1- 10 oz bag of dandies (vegan marshmallows) 
  • 4 cups chocolate rice crispies or cereal of your choice (be creative!) 

Melt the margarine over medium heat. Measure out 4 cups of cereal and set aside.  Add the marshmallows to the margarine. 

Stir, stir, stir. It will take a few minutes to melt the marshmallows. Just continue stirring so that they don’t burn. Breaking them into smaller pieces with your spoon will help speed it along. 

Once the marshmallows and margarine are melted into one big blog, turn off the heat and pour in the cereal.  Stir quickly to incorporate all the cereal in the marshmallow. Don’t worry about breaking the cereal up, it will all glue together with the marshmallow.  

When all of the cereal is mixed in, pour the mixture onto a sheet of wax paper.  Using another piece of wax paper flatten out the mess of marshmallow and let it cool (you don’t have to let it cool, you can certainly chow down right away).

Yield: 9 large treats Time: 15 minutes 

Lemon Garlic Tempeh

I figured after a few days of dessert I should throw in something savory.  I don’t typically eat a lot of processed fake meats.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, they just don’t appeal to me very often (every now and then I’ll buy some sausage crumbles or chicken strips, but that’s rare). When I do use them I like to get them in their most unprocessed state.  By this I mean plain, unflavored tempeh or tofu. Buying the plain tempeh and tofu allows you to get more out of one package, because you can use a little or a lot and flavor it differently with each use.  Below is my recipe for making flavorful and delicious lemon garlic marinated tempeh that is good in a sandwich or wrap, a top a salad, in a stir fry, and many more things. 

I am slowly teaching myself photoshop, so don’t judge the amateur editing!

  • 8 oz package of tempeh (pictured above)
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 1 t vegetable bouillon paste or powder (without the water)
  • salt and pepper to taste (taste before adding salt and pepper since a lot of bouillons are high in salt content)

The best way to prepare tempeh is to steam it for 10-15 minutes before marinating it.  This removes a lot of the bitterness that people complain about.  It also helps the tempeh suck in more of the marinade.  Prepare a pot of water on the stove while you cut the tempeh.  

To cut the tempeh: 

Remove the tempeh from the packaging, keeping it in one piece.  Lay it on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise (see the photo above marked 1.).  

Next you are going to cut each piece in half to obtain 4 pieces, except you will cut them widthwise (see picture marked 2.).  

Lastly cut each quarter into strips, as seen in picture marked 3.  

Steaming: 

Place your tempeh pieces in a steaming basket (or rigged steaming mechanism like mine) and place over the boiling water.  Cover so the steam is trapped with the tempeh.  Set a timer for 15 minutes.

Marinade:

While the tempeh is steaming, throw together the marinade. I like to do it in the dish that I will be storing it in, that way I have less dishes.  Roughly chop and smash (with the side of the knife blade onto the cutting board) the garlic.  Big pieces are okay, the smashing helps release the oils in the garlic which add a lot of flavor to the marinade.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  

When the tempeh is done it can be transferred directly to the marinade.  Stir to coat all of the pieces, be careful because the tempeh is going to be hot.  The longer you let the tempeh sit, the more flavor it will acquire.  I recommend at least one hour.  

When you’re ready to eat it, simply saute the strips with a little bit of the marinade until the sides are browned. It only takes about 6-10 minutes. 

I like to make the whole block of tempeh and marinate it, and then saute off only what I need for each meal.  That way the rest of the tempeh continues to soak up the marinade and each meal is better than the last! 

I paired mine with sauteed mushrooms and fresh spinach wrapped in a tomato basil shell.