Monday, November 8, 2010

It's Pancake Time!

Finally!!! Some cold weather for us Floridians, but I wasn't as prepared as I thought I'd be and I ended up spending the weekend in doors freezing my buttocks off. You may think that would make for the perfect setting to cook up all kinds of yummy stuff to blog about, but sorry to say I didn't do that or anything else interesting for that matter, which hopefully excuses me from my weekend absence.

I'm fully prepared to make up for it today with some out of this world, mouth watering, ooey goey Apple Walnut Pancakes!!! So without further delay...

It's Pancake Time!!! =D

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Apple Walnut Pancakes

Apple Walnut Filling and Topping

2 apples, pealed and cut into chunks
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup maple syrup

Combine apples, walnuts, and rolled oats in a small pan over medium heat until walnuts and oats look and smell nice and toasty. Add maple syrup to coat mixture. Turn heat off. Leave mixture in pan until ready to use.

Basic Pancake Recipe
from The Joy Of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, with just a few minor adjustments.

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup nondairy milk
2 tbsp canola oil or non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter, melted
3 tbsp liquid sweetener, pure maple syrup or apple juice concentrate
1 1/2 cup, more or less as desired of Apple Walnut Filling from above
Additional oil or butter for cooking (optional)

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil, and sweetener.

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix just until moistened; a few lumps are okay. Gently fold in the Apple Walnut Mixture. Don’t overmix, or the pancakes will be tough.

Heat a nonstick griddle or pan on medium high. Add a little bit of cooking spray or oil.

Pour the batter onto the hot pan or griddle to form the size of pancakes you desire. Cook the pancakes for a couple of minutes on one side until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip. Cook the pancakes on the other side for another 2 minutes or so. Continue until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes in all.

Top with remaining Apple Walnut mixture. Serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Can you tell I like BISCUITS?!?

I LOVE Biscuits, or any kind of bread for that matter.  I just can't seem to get enough of those yummy yummy carbs. Is that a bad thing? 

This mornings breakfast was fast and super easy. I made Drop Biscuits from The Joy Of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, with just a few minor adjustments.

Drop Biscuits
makes 9-12 biscuits
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup nondairy milk
⅓ cup canola oil or melted non-dairy non-hydrogenated butter

To Prepare
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add the milk and oil and stir JUST until the dry ingredients are moistened. It will be sticky and thick. Scoop out medium sized portions of batter and roll in hands slightly. Put on baking sheet.

Bake until the bottoms are golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Serve hot. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fun with Flat Breads!

Vegan Mofo Day 3!

Every one loves a good Italian Restaurant with their pastas, pizzas, and fresh baked breads, but finding vegan friendly items can be a challenge. I often choose to forgo the restaurant and come up with my own creations at home so that I know exactly what's going in them. I recently experimented with making some savory flat breads and thought it would be the perfect thing to share with you and all the VeganMoFo followers.

Start with the first few basic steps, then get creative and add your favorite toppings, or make a variety of them and invite some friends over.

Grilled "Chick'n" Flat Bread

1 can refrigerated Pillsbury Thin Pizza Crust
2 pieces of Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
2 Roma tomatoes
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
1 batch of cashew ricotta (recipe below)
olive oil
Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
*optional: shredded vegan cheese of your choice

Cashew Ricotta
As seen in Veganomicon by Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero. Makes about 1 cup, enough to make 2-3 flat breads, so buy two crusts and get creative or store leftovers in a air tight container and refrigerate for later.

Combine below ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth.
1/4 cup raw cashews
the juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt

To Prepare Flat Bread
Prepare cashew ricotta and set aside. (see above recipe)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet and set aside.

Chop onion and garlic. Slice tomatoes into thin round slices. Brown the two pieces of Gardein Chick'n Scallopini in a small skillet on medium heat with olive oil until golden brown. Do not over cook. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and salt and pepper on the chick'n while its cooking. cut the chick'n into bite size pieces with a spatula while it is in the skillet. Remove chick'n from the skillet and set aside. Add chopped onions and garlic to the pan and saute' until onions are clear and lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

Roll out the pizza crust onto the greased baking sheet and brush it with olive oil. Poke holes in dough with fork so it wont bubble up while baking. Put the crust into the oven and pre-bake until brown, ab out 5 minutes. Remove crust from oven.

Spread a thin layer of cashew ricotta onto the crust. Add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chick'n pieces. Spread out evenly.

*Top with shredded vegan cheese. (optional)

Put back in oven until browned to your liking or until the top cheese is melted. Do not over cook if you are using vegan cheese on top.

Remove from oven. Let cool. Enjoy!

Grilled "Chick'n" Flat Bread

Bruschetta Flatbread

Vampires Beware... Garlic Biscuits!

Vegan MoFo Day 2!

My goal with this new blog is motivate myself to commit at least one creative act a day. This can be any form of art including cooking, because yes, cooking is an art. Todays creative act might be a small one, but it sure is a tasty one and it qualifies as my VeganMoFo for the day. The inspiration came from the garlic biscuit I had at Central Florida Veg Fest. This was my first experience roasting garlic in the oven, but it won't be my last.

Roasted Garlic Biscuits

2 medium heads of garlic
olive oil
1 2/3 cups of all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup non dairy milk of your choice
1/3 cup canola oil or melted non dairy butter
Dry Italian seasoning to sprinkle on top (Optional)

To Prepare
First roast the garlic bulbs and set aside to cool.

How to Roast Garlic
Peel off the outer white covering of the garlic bulb, leaving the individual coverings on the cloves and leaving the cloves attached to the bottom of the root. Cut the tops off of the cloves to expose the inside of each clove. Place the head of garlic on a piece of tin foil. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the garlic bulb. Wrap the garlic bulb tight with the foil. Place on a baking sheet or set inside the cup of a muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, until garlic is soft. Remove from oven and let cool.

After you have roasted the garlic, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease or add parchment paper to a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork until combined. Add the milk and oil and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be sticky. Remove the soft inner garlic cloves from the bulb. Add the soft garlic to the batter and mix in with your hands. Don't over mix or the biscuits will be tough. Scoop batter out in about 1/4 cup amounts and roll slightly in hands. Place on the baking sheet. This recipe makes 9 medium sized biscuits.

Bake until the bottoms are golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Enjoy, but resist the urge to kiss loved ones for the rest of the night. :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog?

That is the question...

I've been extremely unsuccessful at my attempts to blog in the past. I either just forget to blog or conclude that my life isn't interesting enough to share with the world. Despite my past blogging failures I've decided to give it another shot. The difference is that this time I have made a personal commitment to myself to take part in VeganMoFo 2010 (The Vegan Month of Food). What better day to start than today, World Vegan Day!

VeganMoFo was originally created on the Post Punk Kitchen website with the idea of blogging as much as possible about vegans foods for a whole month. This is the Forth Annual VeganMoFo Challenge and there are already about 560 blogs signed up to take part in the fun with the official deadline tomorrow. I got in right under the deadline and have already completed my first "MoFo" act. A super fast and easy vegetable pasta that my boyfriend loves and begs for on a weekly basis.

VeganMoFo Day 1!

Easy Peasy Garlic Veggies and Shells

8 oz shells or other fun pasta
16 oz frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli)
1 small head of garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup vegan butter/margarine of choice (add more or less if needed)
1/4 tsp ground black peeper
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Original Blend (or other seasoning blend of your choice)

To Prepare
In a medium saucepan with lid, boil noodles for about 5 minutes (just under al dente). Drain noodles and pour into another bowl. Set aside.

Rinse out saucepan and add the butter, garlic, and onions over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onions until aromatic and lightly browned. Add the frozen veggies, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Pour in the noodles. Stir well to coat the noodles with the garlic butter veggie mixture. Put lid on the pot and let marinate over heat for about 5 more minutes.

Stir and serve. Enjoy.