Monday, August 9, 2010

Very Berry Plus Cherry Pie!










I made this pie up last night and I could not be any prouder of it. The flavors are insane!
I bought a bunch of organic fruit from the grocery store this week. The bad thing about organic (maybe this a myth?) is that I feel like it goes bad sooner. Maybe they aren't sprayed with special preservatives that other non-organics are sprayed with? I don't know. I opened my fridge, and there were my sad little organic blueberries gone bad. I called my mom to gripe (yes, I call my mom to gripe about *every* single thing in my day), and since she's omnipotent, she says, "I froze little bags of organic blueberries for you and they are in your freezer." I was so happy!

So, I prepared my filling first... why? I don't know why. I just did.

Filling:

First, get your pie pan. Figure out how many cups of fruit you will need to put a layer on it. I have a tart pan... so it's pretty big, but not tall. You should use a 9" round if you have one. I used about 3 cups of fruit. I easily could have done 4.

Fruit I used:
6 oz container of fresh raspberries
10 oz baggie of frozen blueberries
couple handfuls of fresh cherries (these suckers were HARD to pit!)
Add 3/4 cup of sugar ( used dememara sugar)
Add 2 Tbsp of cornstarch
Add 1-2 Tbsp of lemon juice

Crust:

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of veggie butter (like Smart Balance)
Few Tbsps of cold water

Here are the directions for the dough....  note that their ingredients for the dough are different.

It's pretty simple, the premise being that you need to make sure you don't handle the dough too much, and that it is kept cold at all times. I probably didn't follow the directions perfectly (I'm impatient!), but the crust came out fine.



Sunday, August 8, 2010

Heavenly Vegan Doughnuts!

These doughnuts (or donuts) are absolutely amazing. I like that there are two ways to spell it, of course I pick the more pretentious looking one, right?
I cannot bring myself to even ponder how many calories are in these babies, but that is mostly because I eat at least four after I make them. I usually end up doubling the recipe because they won't last with all of my indulging!












Here's the recipe: Baked Doughnuts

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vegan Pan Dulce - Conchas












At first I thought, "this may be the first post where I don't need words, only pictures." But then I realized that only (I should say mostly) Mexicans would know what pan dulce is. It's so delicious, everyone should know about it!

Pan dulce translates into "sweet bread". The pictures above show "conchas" or shells.They are little loaves of bread with a sweet flavored topping. Growing up, they were not very common in our house, because many of the panaderias (Mexican bakeries) were not close by. When we did have them, they were gone super fast. I have a couple good memories of enjoying a warm concha in the morning for breakfast.

 Since then, there is now a bakery really close to where I grew up, but alas... since becoming vegan I couldn't eat them without cheating. That's where my good friend the Internet comes in! 

I found a great recipe, and they turned out absolutely perfect. Check out the recipe, and report back!



I made a little heart design on some of them for the kids : ) They were fighting over them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quinoa, the simple way





The best thing about becoming vegan (I thought) would be that I would immediately try tons of different foods. It wasn't immediate, but I am slowly trying things I'd never heard of. My kids are used to the "it's great to try new foods!" speech, and they all happily ate quinoa today, which made me squint with suspicion... are they really not asking what it is? I think that it looked a lot like some other tiny pasta I've made before.

Quinoa has a very interesting story. It is not a grain, or a grass, but its very grain-like seeds have been very important to people in the Andes mountains of Chile for thousands of years. It is very high in protein, making it a wonderful staple for vegans. Also, it is high in fiber, and gluten free!

Since this was my first time trying it, I cooked it according to the package directions and used veggie broth instead of water. I laid a bed of spinach, tossed some quinoa on top, cut up some vine-ripe tomatoes, added salt and pepper to taste, and voila.  


Simplicity at its best, right?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zucchini Bread or Muffins




Since I had nooooo clue how to make zucchini bread (or how to even spell zucchini, thanks spellcheck), I went searching for recipes online of course! I finally stumbled upon one that does not use egg replacer. It's not that I have an issue with egg replacer, I just prefer to use ground flaxseed if at all possible. I also reduced the sugar and eliminated the fat. I can't imagine it tasting better than it did, so I'm glad I made the changes!

I made MANY changes to the recipe, but here is the original

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Delicious Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 loaves or 12 muffins
Dry:
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cinnamon
1 cup raisins
.
Wet:
5 tbsp ground flaxseed and 9 tbsp water
1 heaping cup sugar
8 oz applesauce (I used strawberry applesauce)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini (3 small/medium zucchini)

Add wet to dry, but do it slowly and be careful not to OVERMIX.
Divide the batter into two pans, or you can do what I did and use a loaf pan and a muffin pan.
Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The muffins will be ready in about 40-50 minutes and the loaf will take longer about 60-70.
Cool and slide a knife around the edges of the loaf pan. Enjoy!




Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm with COCO!



I've been obsessed with hot cocoa this winter and consequently, I have also been obsessed with Coco (Conan O'Brien!) this winter too. Last night was his last Tonight Show, and I was on the brink of tears when he spoke about how touched he was at all the outreach and support his fans have shown. What a humble and gracious man! I had a revelation when I realized I was drinking cocoa while watching Coco... : )

I wanted to make my own hot cocoa instead of buying those packages of cocoa with 90 ingredients on the label. Please don't take my word for it, this is BETTER than the package, AND more importantly, EASIER (not to mention cheaper and probably healthier).

Here's the "recipe" - can it really be a recipe with 3 ingredients?

HOT COCO


1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp (to taste) sugar
1 cup soy, rice, or whatever milk you love : )

Add the cocoa and sugar to the cup. Heat the milk on the stovetop (or microwave) and add in half the milk to the cup. Stir till cocoa dissolves then add in the rest and top with marshies (what my kids call marshmallows!)

Enjoy! You'll have to wait till September to drink whilst watching Coco though : (


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just Peachy Cheesecake




I have made this 4 times in the last month.

I will start off warning everyone that this is obviously *not* a "healthy" food. Although it is vegan (no cholesterol, no animal fat or products) it is still high in fat and sugar.

I was extremely shocked at how good this dessert was, and how easy it was to prepare. I made it for the holidays, per my brother's request. He said he had a craving for something with peaches in it, and I simply didn't have time to make an extravagant buche de noel this year.

All of the vegan and non-vegans alike absolutely devoured it and I keep getting requests to make it again! So, in honor or my daughter's third birthday, I made it for the fourth time in the last month!

Just Peach Vegan Cheesecake

2 vegan cream cheese containers

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Vanilla Wafers (20 - 25 wafers)

1 to 2 cups frozen peaches

2 1/2 tablespoons egg replacer mixed with 1 tbsp water

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and mix well with fork.
Microwave the frozen peaches for 2 minutes, then puree in blender.
Add the pureed peaches to the mixture.
Mix egg replacer with water and add to mixture.

Using a 9 inch Springform pan (you can use a different pan, but the temp and time will change) coat the bottom of the pan with crumbled vanilla wafers so that you can't see the bottom of the pan. Slowly pour the cheese mixture on top of the wafers.

Bake on 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. This will vary depending on the type and size of your pan.

It is done when it starts to look slightly brown on top. Refrigerate.
You can make a "topping" mixture by just warming up peaches, adding a little sugar and water on the stove top.

Enjoy!


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