Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vegans in Vegas

So the last week has been insane! Jason and I attended the Vegans in Vegas conference. It was so much fun! We met some great people, and heard some great talks. I will admit that I heard fewer talks than Jason because I had some late nights (but won a bit of money) and he does not need a boost of make-up and coffee to be human in the morning, but I do. But if you want an idea of what it was like check out . The Vegan Culinary Experience was one of the main sponsors and Jason did a great demo of tacos and guacamole. His food was awesome.

The same could not be said of all the food at the conference. The sad truth is that sometimes, a good vegan meal can be hard to come by. If you are a raw foodist, road food might means fruit and nuts. Those are fine and healthy, but sometimes you just want something a bit decadent. We drove for 4.5 hours at night to get to Las Vegas and I wanted us to have something hearty, so I made up a quick sandwich. It was filling, a little decadent, and it made a great start to the whole experience. Make your own favorite sandwich, but this is what I used,

The Vegas Special

1 loaf of French bread or Trader Joes Ciabatta Loaf (the big one)
1 package of Tofurkey sandwich slices
3 slices of vegan cheese slices
Roasted red bell pepper
Dijon Mustard
Yellow Mustard

Slice the loaf in half length wise. Spread both sides with the veganaise. Add the Dijon mustard to one side and the yellow mustard to the other. Add the tofurkey and cheese slices, the bell pepper, the lettuce and whatever else you want. Attempt to close sandwich. Wince while you think about how you are going to eat this in the car. Slice it into smaller parts. Wrap it and hope for the best. Then start driving.

So that is the secret recipe. We had a great time and I am looking forward to next year. When we go, I will be making this again!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly time!

Now that song will be stuck in your head for days, if you’ve heard it. :> These bars are awesome. I veganized a recipe that I found in the latest Penzey spice catalog. That is a great tip – look for recipes that inspire you wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. I looked up and saw this and I knew that it would be great. I did add in the peanut flour for extra ‘peanut taste’. If you can’t find peanut flour, you can add that amount of ‘regular’ flour and some chopped peanuts. The bars were a big hit, and everyone in the group, even the pickiest eaters had at least 1… most of us had more. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup vegan shortening
¼ cup vegan butter
4 ½ teaspoons of Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons of water
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup peanut flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder (double acting)
¼-1/3 cup of vegan milk
3 tablespoons jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8X8 baking dish with parchment paper or use vegan butter to grease it well. In clean bowl, mix the sugar, salt, peanut butter, shortening, and butter until creamed together (light and fluffy). In a separate bowl, whisk the ener-G with the water until combined then add that to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the extracts. Combine the peanut flour and the all purpose flour with the baking powder. Add that to the wet mixture and combine. Add ¼ cup vegan milk, and then a little more if needed to make the mixture slightly viscous. Add it to the baking dish and swirl the jam on top of the bars. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until a sewer comes out clean (jam will be on it, but no peanut butter bar). Cool for at least 15 minutes before trying to slice. Lift out using the parchment paper and cut into squares. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sometimes you feel like sugar shock...

And sometimes you don’t. I love baking, but the day I was serving my all Amerian cupcakes to my friends I knew they would not want anything heavy for dinner. My husband especially would want the rest of the meal to be light and tasty. Whipping up a great spring soup is easy! I had everything I needed in my fridge but the rest of you might need to do some shopping. This makes a ton, but it lasts all week… or feeds your gaming group, either way. If you want extra points with your friends, serve this with your favorite good crusty bread, such as Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic and Thyme Sourdough bread. That stuff is so delicious an addictive that it really should be illegal.

Spring Vegetable Soup
1 ½ medium onions, or one huge yellow onion
6-7 stalks of celery
5-7 carrots
1 package of tofurkey Italian sausage links
5-8 garlic cloves
1 large heaping tablespoon of Better Than Bullion No Beef Base or other bullion
About 7 potatoes, small Yukon gold potatoes
1 bunch of grilled asparagus or 1 12 oz package of Trader Joe’s Grilled Asparagus
5-7 roma tomatoes
1 large bunch of kale
½ a 12 oz package of cooked green beans
2 cans of black beans, 15 oz each, organic preferred

Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Dice the onions, celery, and carrots. Slice the tofurkey rounds. Add all these to the pot and allow to cook until the onions begin to sweat. Add the water and bullion. Mince and add the garlic. Dice the potatoes and add those. While they are cooking, dice the potatoes, slice the kale, slice he asparagus and cooked green beans. Once the potatoes are slightly tender add the rest of the prepared veggies. Wash and drain the black beans, add those. You are done.

Chef’s Notes
This soup is light and delicious with an intoxicating amount of antioxidants. You can add any extra veggies you have, too. This soup can take them all! If you do not have the Better Than Bullion No Beef Base, add any veggie bullion you have and like.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All American Cupcakes!!

Wow! I am super inspired and excited to start baking again. Baking is really an art form to me, and I never quite know how it will turn out, since I like making traditional recipes vegan. I recently got a really great idea to make a cupcake that is based on some of the flavors of apple pie. This was inspired by a trip to Penzey’s Spices. I love that store. A lot. If you have one in your area, go. They let you smell all the spices, and they have some great ones, including the apple pie spice that I used in this recipe. If you don’t have one in your area, you can’t smell the spices, but you can still window shop at I served these cupcakes to one other vegan and a lot of omnivores who ate them like there was no tomorrow! They are moist and not very sweet. In other words, they are damn good.

All American Cupcakes

1 large granny smith apple
½ teaspoon of apple pie spice

Wet ingredients
¼ cup of vegan shortening
¼ cup of vegan butter
¾ cups of granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 ¼ cups vegan milk
4 ½ teaspoons of Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons of water

Dry ingredients
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon apple pie spice (or a mix of cinnamon, etc to your taste)
2 teaspoons of baking soda

2 cups powdered sugar
½ heaping teaspoon apple pie spice
About 2 tablespoons soy creamer

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dice the granny smith apple. You want a very fine dice, about ¼ inch cubes or smaller. Dust with the apple pie spice and set to the side. Line a 12 cavity muffin pan with cupcake papers. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the shortening, butter, and granulated sugar until light and creamy. Add the salt and milk. In a separate bowl, whisk the Ener-G and water until combined. I use a whisk to do this. Add that to the wet mixture. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet, a bit at a time, mixing until combined. Spoon a large tablespoon into each cupcake paper. Sprinkle some of the cubed apple into each. Top with another large tablespoon of batter. This should fill the paper. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, whisk the powdered sugar with the apple pie spice, and soy creamer. Dip each cupcake in the frosting and allow this to harden/be absorbed.

Chef’s notes

This cupcake looks like it has a lot of text, but it took me only 15 minutes of prep and then the baking time. I made my frosting while the cupcakes were in the oven to save time. I think this is a great way to make an enjoy cupcakes because they are not overly sweet and doing a simple glaze as the frosting keeps the calories low. They taste more elegant than they look, so give these cupcakes a try.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Celebrate Cinco with Mexidoodles!

Happy Cinco De Mayo! I was born in Phoenix and I live here, so it is kind of a big deal in Arizona. These cookies are perfect for a Cinco celebration. I actually created them as a present for a friend from Easter, but they work for this celebration, too. Now I did create these just because I wanted to use the mango butter that I found at Trader Joes, but if you can’t find that, feel free to use another vegan fruit butter or spread. An apple butter with lemon zest instead of lime would be amazing. A little less Cinco appropriate, but very delicious. Never be limited by the recipe and always feel free to explore. Quickly, this recipe takes a lot of dishes, but they clean easily and these cookies are very worth it. Enjoy!


Type: Cookie Makes: about 30 cookies
Time to Prepare: 10-15 minutes mixing, 30-40 minutes baking time

2 1/3 cups flour (all purpose or gluten free)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum ONLY IF USING GULTEN FREE FLOUR
2 tablespoons of lime zest

½ cup vegan butter
½ cup vegan shortening
1 cup granulated sugar (organic such as Florida Crystals preferred)
1 tablespoon of Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons of water

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
¼ tablespoon of chipotle powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Mango butter or other fruit spread

Parchment Paper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Don’t panic! I know there are lots of steps and ingredients but this is very simple. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, place the butter, shortening, and granulated sugar. Whisk together until fluffy and thoroughly combined. In another bowl all together whisk together the Ener-G egg replacer and water. Add to the butter sugar mixture and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Form into 1 inch balls, about the size of a walnut. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, chipotle powder and cinnamon. Cry about all the dishes. Roll the dough balls in the sugar mixture. Place on a cookie sheet that has been treated with parchment paper. Make a small indentation in each ball with your finger or the top of a wooden spoon and fill with a bit of the mango butter. Bake on 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes each, until lightly golden brown. Let cool slightly and remove from cookie sheet. Enjoy and realize that all the dishes are worth it!