Saturday, October 31, 2009

german chocolate sandwich cookies

i don't make a ton of sweet treats, but it's halloween and about time i posted one! this recipe was inspired by two of my long-time blogger friends: megan at megan's munchies gave me the idea for the german chocolate chip cookies, and mandy at eat repeat has recently been making sandwich cookies for her guilty vegan cookie business. the two came together for me, and voilà - a german chocolate chip sandwich cookie was born. it may not be a halloween spooktacular recipe, but it sure tastes good!

for the cookies*:
  • 1 box vegan german chocolate cake mix
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut shreds
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon non-hydrogenated coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut shreds (for topping)
  • *note: i made a few changes to megan's cookie recipe - see the original here.
for the icing:
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1/3 cup organic vegan sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vegan margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons ener-g egg replacer
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 cup coconut shreds
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

in a large mixing bowl, combine all the cookie ingredients and mix by hand. the dough will seem a little dry at first, but after mixing for at least 30 seconds, the dough should start to have a uniform moisture. if it's still too dry, add another tablespoon or two of applesauce, but note that the dough should remain fairly stiff. drop tablespoon-sized balls and on greased cookie sheet and press press a pinch of coconut in the top of each ball. bake at 360°f for 11 minutes. the cookies will be a little puffy when they come out, but will flatten out nicely. let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes before placing on wax paper or cookie rack to cool completely. even after they have cooled, the cookies will remain soft and flexible. match up two cookies of approximately the same size.

the german chocolate icing is pretty standard. i used walnuts because that is what i had, but pecans work as well. heat all ingredients but the coconut and nuts in a small saucepan, stirring constantly. once it starts to bubble and thicken, remove from heat, and stir in the the walnuts and coconut shreds. let the icing cool considerably - i put it in the freezer for 10-12 minutes.

spoon 1-2 teaspoons of icing on top of one cookie, and gently press a second cookie on top. repeat for all cookies, keeping the icing fairly thin in between each one. put the cookies to chill for at least an hour before serving - they are much better when served slightly chilled. optionally, you can freeze them, thawing 1 hour before serving.

makes approximately 30 cookies, or 15 sandwich cookies.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

smoked chicken & spicy red pepper pasta

i wish i could give my mom an award for being such a great vegan supporter, and i know a lot of my fellow bloggers feel the same about their moms. she brought me hot mustard from ireland, buys vegan mozzarella when we make our xmas lasagna every year, and also bought me pappardelle's mild spice red pepper pasta for my birthday this year. pappardelle's is all natural, small-batch pasta and it makes me one happy vegan italian!

  • 1/2 pound pappardelle's mild spice red pepper pasta
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers
  • 4 slices of jalapenos
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup of veggie broth
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon hickory smoke
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy
  • 1 batch seitan cutlets from vcon
after prepping your seitan cutlets, place them on a pre-heated cast iron grill pan. baste one side with 1 tablespoon liquid smoke mixed with 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce. grill on low or bake at 375 for 5 minutes on each side. when flipping, baste other side with smoky mixture.

while cutlets are cooking, combine red peppers, jalapenos, garlic and veggie broth in a food processor. if using jarred roasted red peppers, be sure and drain oil/water before adding. once everything is well blended, transfer to a large deep skillet (or a sauce pan will work in a pinch). cut up the cooked cutlets into strips and place in the skillet as well. simmer the cutlets on low to medium for approximately 15 , stirring often- turn heat down if the mixture starts to boil.

after sauce is thoroughly heated, add soymilk and cornstarch to thicken. continue heating for another minute or so, then remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. serve cutlets and sauce over pasta. i know the picture isn't all that glamorous, but trust me, this is one tasty dish.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

roasted garlic mashed potatoes

recently i was making the delicious chickpea cutlets from veganomicon for a little down home dinner. i was trying to come up with good comfy side, and i thought mashed potatoes sounded super comforting. to make them a little more sexy, i decided to add in some roasted garlic. if you have never had the pleasure of roasting your own garlic (and then eating it), you are missing out on something dreamy.

  • 8 baby red potatoes
  • 1 bulb roasted garlic (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for garlic roasting)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened soymilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • gravy (optional)
first you will need to roast the garlic. peel off the outer layer of papery skin and then cut approximately 1/4 inch off the top. you should be able to see the exposed cloves all packed neatly in the bulb. place on a 6'x6' piece of foil, and pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the exposed cloves. using your fingers, massage the oil into the crevices and on the outside. wrap the foil up around the garlic into a closed pouch and put on a baking sheet. bake at 400°f for approximately 35 minutes. once cooked, the individual cloves will slide out of the remaining skin. wait for it to cool a bit before you remove the cloves. :)

while the garlic is baking, chop and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes. drain, and combine all ingredients including the garlic cloves (skins removed). using a potato masher, mash them until they are chunky and no whole cloves of garlic remain. if you don't like your mashed pots chunky, you could add in a little more soy milk and margarine and whip them until they are creamy.

if you want to top with gravy, try jessy and dan's white bean gravy. i kid you not, this is my go-to gravy going forward. it is so tasty and has a nice little bite from the miso. the only thing i did different was to mash the white beans up a little before adding them. this would also rock with some vegan mock meatloaf.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

chipotle tabasco thick burgers

as i have blogged about before, i am a huge heat-freak. i love spicy food and usually have at least three or four different kinds of hot sauces around. recently, tabasco has come out with a couple new sauces, and i'm totally addicted to the chipotle one. it's not as spicy as the original, but it lends fantastic flavour to these veggie burgers. also, be sure and use short grain brown rice, as it is much stickier - i'm not sure how well these would hold up with the regular long-grain.

  • 1 can black beans (15oz)
  • 2 tablespoons hickory bbq sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle tabasco sauce
  • 3/4 tablespoon vegan hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons beets, minced
  • 2 teaspoons beet juice
  • 1 tablespoon jalapenos, minced
  • 1/3 cup oat bran or ground flax
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
in a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cups uncooked brown rice and 1¾ cups water to a boil. stir once, cover, and turn the heat to low. simmer for approximately 35-40 minuets, keeping an eye on the water level. when finished, pull the rice off the stove and uncover. *note: this will make just a little over 2 cups. i actually measure out 2 cups for the recipe, but you could add it all in, with maybe a dash more liquid.

while rice is cooling, drain black beans and put in a large mixing bowl. mash the beans with a fork or potato masher - they should be mashed well enough to stick together. add rest of ingredients except the rice and wheat gluten. mix thoroughly, and then add the rice and wheat gluten. mix once or twice more, just enough so it's incorporated.

spray a 8x11 casserole dish with non-stick spay. using the mixture, form individual patties and place in dish. the mixture will be wet and may seem like it won't stick together well. if you can't get patties formed, you may need to add some more bread crumbs. try to keep the mixture fairly moist for cooking though.

preferably, place the patties in the refrigerator to set up. you can baste them with bbq sauce or more tabasco if you'd like. it's best to let them chill for at least a half an hour before you bake or grill these.

to grill: if patties are chilled (preferable), first bake patties in casserole dish at 350°f for 10 minutes. then grill on top rack of grill for 15 minutes on medium grill heat. if patties are at room temperature, you can move straight to grilling.

to bake: place casserole dish in the oven and bake at 400°f for 35 minutes, flipping once.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

spicy ambercup squash soup

a friend at work gave me a ginormous ambercup squash. the first half was devoured in a mash, but for the second half, i decided to challenge myself to make a savory dish yet still let the natural sweetness shine through. the result is a creamy spicy soup with surprise bites of chili beans. a great fall recipe.

  • 1/2 large ambercup squash (~4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1¼ cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon bragg's aminos
  • 1/4 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/8 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 can chili beans in sauce
preheat oven to 400°f. scoop out the seeds and peel the skin. the skin is edible, but i don't prefer it in this recipe. dice squash up into large cubes and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. drizzle olive oil on top and use a basting brush or clean hands to coat each piece evenly. bake for 45 minutes, flipping once halfway.

after squash has cooled considerably, chop into several smaller pieces and put in a food processor with the vegetable broth. pulse until the squash becomes thick and creamy, much like the consistency of mashed potatoes. be sure there aren't any large pieces remaining. use a spatula and pour mixture in to a 2-quart sauce pan. add in all the spices, aminos and soymilk, and turn heat to medium temperature. stir often. drain your chili beans, reserving the liquid. after 2-3 minutes, add in 1½ cups of chili beans and 3/4 cup of the reserved chili sauce. continue stirring until small bubbles begin to appear on the surface. serve warm. for presentation, drizzle a little of remaining chili sauce on the surface.

makes 3-4 hearty bowls.