Monday, September 26, 2011

Vegan MOFO is coming

One week until Vegan MOFO commences.  I'm aiming to post every weekday during October, with daily themes as follows:
Mondays: muffins & quick breads
Tuesdays: tips/techniques
Wednesdays: one-dish meals
Thursdays: stir-fries
Fridays: cakes

I'll be inventing all-new recipes for MOFO, so there are bound to be some surprises and misadventures, but that's all part of the fun.  I'm looking forward to seeing the internet bombarded with vegan recipes; tune in next Monday to watch the good times begin!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tempeh and Green Beans in Spicy Garlic Sauce

This was a spur of the moment invention because I had tempeh and green beans in the fridge that I needed to use up, but it turned out awesome—I'll definitely be making it again.

The Ingredients
2 8-oz. packages tempeh, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut in half if large
1 head garlic, minced or crushed
olive oil for frying

1/2 c + 2 T vegetable broth
2 T hoisin sauce
2 T sweet chili sauce (the pink kind with red flecks of chili peppers in it)
1 T rice vinegar
1 1/4 t cornstarch

The Process
  1. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer, immerse the tempeh in it, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. While tempeh is simmering, whisk together all sauce ingredients.
  2. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a wok over low heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove tempeh from water.  Add tempeh and green beans to garlic, raise heat to medium-high, and continue to cook for 9-10 minutes, stirring, adding olive oil if it starts to stick.
  4. Add sauce, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 2 more minutes.  Serve with noodles or rice.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cherry Cheesecake Cake

This is not really a cheesecake, but rather a cake dressed up in a cheesecake costume.  It added some decadence to my husband's 30th birthday celebration (actually, the cake pretty much WAS the celebration, and a good one at that).  Happy birthday, babe.

The Ingredients:
8 oz "cream cheese" (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
1/3 c margarine, room temperature
4 1/3 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
3/4 t lemon zest

2 1/4 c flour
1 T + 1 t cornstarch
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1 1/4 c sugar
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c margarine
1 T vanilla
1 T lemon juice
1 1/2 c almond milk

1 1/2 21-oz. cans cherry pie filling (or an equivalent amount of homemade filling would be even better)
8 graham cracker sheets, crushed

The Process:

For the icing:

  1. Beat together cream cheese, margarine, lemon zest, and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Add powdered sugar in batches and beat at high speed until very smooth.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together sugar, cream cheese, margarine, vanilla, and lemon juice until very smooth, then add the almond milk and beat until just combined. 
  4. Add the flour mixture to the cream cheese mixture in batches and beat until incorporated.
  5. Divide batter between 2 well-greased 9-inch round cake pans, and bake for about 40 minutes or until the edges of the cake start to pull away from the pans.
  6. Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pans, then continue to cool on a baking rack.  Don't assemble until the cake is completely cool.
To assemble:
  1. Place the bottom cake layer on a plate or serving tray.  Spread a thin layer of icing on top to keep the cherry filling from bleeding into the cake, then pipe some icing around the perimeter of this area to keep the cherries from oozing out the sides.  Add about 3/4 can of pie filling within the icing perimeter.  Top with 2nd layer of cake.
  2. Ice the edges of the cake.
  3. Ice the top of the cake, again piping an icing perimeter to hold in the cherries. Spread on the remaining 3/4 can of cherries.
  4. Press the graham cracker crumbs into the sides of the cake.  My method for this was basically to smash them in by the handful, which proved messy but effective.
  5. Store in the refrigerator unless your kitchen is very cool—the icing will melt in warm temperatures (as I learned trying to ice the cake in a 95 degree kitchen, thus the droopiness evidenced in the photo).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lemon Poppyseed Smoothie

I adore lemon poppyseed muffins, but I almost never make them.  This smoothie hits the major flavor points of the muffins but is healthier and only takes about 2 minutes to make.

The Ingredients:
2 c almond milk
1 banana
1 scoop protein powder
3-4 T rolled oats
1 T peanut butter
2 t ground flax
1/2 t lemon extract (or substitute about 1/2 T lemon zest)
2 1/2 t poppyseeds
1 pinch cinnamon

The Process:
Toss it all in a blender & blend until smooth.  I make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge in a mason jar overnight.