Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Goodies

Happy Christmas, everyone!  No recipes today, but here are some pictures of the food I've been enjoying for the holidays.

Tamales are the traditional Christmas Eve dinner in my household.  This year I filled them with a mixture of sweet potatoes, black beans, kale, and peppers.  They were a hit for sure.

We ate them while sitting on the floor by fireplace enjoying a cozy little fire.

After opening presents and calling our families this morning, we made a big brunch: soysage patties, cinnamon rolls, and hash browns with kale and red peppers.

There have, of course, been plenty of sweets to see us through: coconut-chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, molasses cookies, and chocolate-peppermint fudge.

And yes, the dog and cats enjoyed plenty of Christmas cheer, too.  Syann and Maya went crazy for their compressed catnip ball.

Jasper enjoyed unpacking his stocking himself, and laying his new toys one by one on his bed.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

I'm starting to cook big batches of food to stock the freezer for after my baby arrives.  My frozen meals were looking pretty pasta-heavy, though, so today I decided to add some enchiladas to the mix.  I froze them unbaked, but I couldn't resist making an extra batch to eat right away.

The Ingredients:
12 corn tortillas
1 c enchilada sauce (I used canned tomatillo-based sauce)
3 oz vegan sour cream
3/4 lb sweet potatoes, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c cooked black beans
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 t oregano
1/2 t cumin

The Process:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Steam sweet potatoes until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, saute onions, garlic, oregano, and cumin in a dash of oil over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add jalapeno and cook an additional minute.  Add beans and sweet potato and remove from heat.
  4. Whisk together enchilada sauce and sour cream.  Spread a little less than half of this mixture in the bottom of an oiled 9"x13" pan.
  5. To assemble enchiladas, heat each tortilla for about 30 seconds on a hot griddle or skillet until it is pliable.  Place a tortilla in the prepared pan, spread about 1/3 c of filling in the tortilla, and roll up.  Place with the seam-side down so it stays rolled.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  6. Spread remaining sauce on top of enchiladas.
  7. Bake covered for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  8. Serve hot with additional enchilada sauce, sour cream, guacamole, or what have you. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Funfetti Cake Waffles

I expect I'll always have a soft spot for funfetti cake, because one of the first evenings I ever spent with my husband, before we were even dating, involved baking funfetti cupcakes from a box mix with my husband and one of his best friends. I haven't had a funfetti cupcake since becoming vegan, but when the idea of cake batter waffles crossed my mind, funfetti seemed like the obvious flavor choice.  The waffles  turned out fun and festive, though I'd reserve them for dessert and not serve them for breakfast unless you have a mouthful of sweet teeth.

Makes about 5 waffles.

The Ingredients:
1 1/2 c flour
2/3 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t arrowroot
1/2 t salt
1 1/3 c almond milk
1/2 c oil
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 T confetti-style sprinkles, plus more for serving

The Process:

  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, arrowroot, and salt.
  2. Whisk in almond milk, oil, and vanilla until just combined.
  3. Stir in 2 T of sprinkles.
  4. Cook on a hot, unoiled waffle iron until done.
  5. Serve topped with ice cream and more sprinkles.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Product Review: Tofu Xpress, Plus: Simple Golden Tofu

Simple Golden Tofu
Ever since I first saw reviews of the Tofu Xpress popping up in my blog reader a year or so ago, I've been wondering whether this little contraption could possibly be worth it's price tag or the hype it gets.  A few weeks ago, I contacted the company to see if they would be willing to send me a press to review, and they were kind enough to oblige.  I got my tofu press in the mail a little over a week ago, and I've been happily pressing and chowing down on tofu ever since.
before pressing

The Tofu Xpress is simply designed, being basically a plastic box with a spring-loaded lid, but the device definitely removes more water from tofu than I've ever been able to remove using the high-tech heavy-cans-stacked-on-a-plate method.  Essentially, after a few hours in the Tofu Xpress, water-packed tofu is transformed into compact, dry bean curd.  My experience has been that the dry, pressed tofu is less crumbly and also browns faster than unpressed or plate-pressed tofu.  I've been baking and frying big batches of pressed tofu to toss with salads and stir-fries, and expect that the Tofu Xpress will continue to see heavy use in my kitchen.
after 3 hours of pressing
Here's my favorite simple way to pan-fry pressed tofu.  These golden tofu cubes are good for snacking on as-is, or for tossing in salads or stir-fries.  I enjoy them hot or cold.
  1. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil or margarine in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add cubed, pressed tofu.
  3. Sprinkle with soy sauce, garlic powder, and a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
  4. Cook, tossing occasionally, for a few minutes, until the cubes are golden-brown. Enjoy hot or chill and save for later.