Monday, February 21, 2011

Caramel Pecan Chocolate Torte - DENIED!

I was going to make a Caramel Pecan Chocolate Torte from a recipe I found on VegWeb. I spent an hour or so making the crust, then the caramel filling and put it out on the breezeway to cool down and to let the caramel set.

Then the dog got out there and licked half of the caramel away.

So... this will have to be attempted at some other time when I have the patience to try it again (and another tub of Earth Balance).

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I had a desire for pierogies and too often the store brands have milk in them. I can understand that if they have potato and cheese filling, but why do they have milk when they have just potato and onion? I looked for a recipe, found one online and made some modifications to it. The original was on So... here is the recipe:

2 Cups of flour
5/8 cup of warm water (or 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients together (I used the Kitchenaide)

Let sit in a covered bowl for thirty minutes.

Roll out to 1/8 of an inch (if you can).

Cut out circles (I used a pint glass). Put a spoon of filling (see below) into the middle each circle, pull the dough over and use a fork to crimp the edges together.

Once they are all made, put them into boiling water until they float, then move them to a pan over medium heat that has some oil in it and cook until golden brown on each side. Serve with some vegan sour cream for extra yumminess.

Filling: I peeled and boiled some potatoes, while that was happening I took one finely diced onion and 2 cloves of finely diced garlic and cooked those with a little olive oil. I then added about 1tsp salt and some pepper to the onions and garlic. Drain and mash the potatoes once tender and add the onion/garlic mixture to it.


I got this recipe from You Won't Believe It's Vegan! I was looking through it today, came across the recipe and after the recently making some pierogies that turned out well I thought... why not try this.

The recipe calls for 4 large potatoes to be peeled and boiled, I instead peeled and boiled about 10 or so medium to small red potatoes. (I know, what a rebel!)

Boil the potatoes, when done, drain (keep the water) and then mash, setting aside covered to stay warm.

In a medium drying pan add some olive oil and over medium heat add:
5 or 6 cloves of garlic finely diced
cook these until golden brown then add
1 can of seitan chopped into 1/4 or so inch squares (I get my seitan this way at the Asian grocery store). Cook until heated and then add
1 1/2 heads of broccoli. I took each floret and quartered it.
The recipe said to just cook for 2 minutes but I didn't want really crunchy broccoli in my knish so I left it on medium, added a little of the reserved potato water and then put a lid on it until the broccoli was just starting to get tender, then turn off the heat.
Mix in half of the mashed potatoes and add 1/2 tsp salt (recipe calls for salt and tamari but that's a lot of sodium) and then I also added some ground pepper.

Meanwhile... to the other half of the mashed potatoes (I put them in my kitchenaide mixer at this point) add:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Spike seasoning
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 cup of potato water and start the mixer
You will need to add more water to get a soft, dough but it depends on how wet your potatoes are. I probably ended up around 3/5 of a cup but I wasn't really tracking it.

On a well floured surface roll the dough out to roughly 1/4" thickness and cut into 4-5 inch squares. Take a 1/2 cup measure and place that much filling in the center of one of the squares. Fold the corners into the middle pinching the edges together and place seam down on a baking sheet. Recipe says it will make 12, I got 7 though they were a little larger.

Recipe suggests spreading 1/4 cup of oil across them and then baking for 20-25 minutes. I wanted to avoid extra fat so I just used cooking spray. If you go longer than 25, the dough will start to get tough.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lentils, Buckwheat and veggies

I wanted to make a nice stick to your ribs kind of dish and I had both lentils and roasted buckwheat, so here is what I put together:

1 large onion largely diced
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks diced
5 cloves of garlic diced

put all of this in a little olive oil in a pot until the celery and onions start to get tender.

Add 5 cups of water and 1 tbsp of mushroom bouillion powder (don't have that - use veggie boullion)
Add 1 1/2 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup of red lentils
1/2 cup of lentils
1 cup of roasted buckwheat
1 can of diced tomatoes undrained

Heat over a medium heat until it starts to bubble and then lower to a simmer, cook until the lentils and buckwheat are tender.

Then add 2-3 pinches of salt and 4-5 grinds of black pepper

This was yummy

Sunday, February 13, 2011


When I heard that Chloe Coscarelli (a vegan baker/chef) had won Cupcake Wars and that she had shared her award winning recipe with VegNews, I knew I had to try it. The first time I tried these I followed them exactly. This time I put my own spin on them - so here you have my modified version of her recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup - 1 cup chocolate soy milk (start with 3/4)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350

Sift the dry ingredients together, whisk the wet ingredients together and then whisk them all together. IF the mix seems too dry, slowly add more soy milk (up to 1/4 cup)

Place into paper cupcake liners inside a 12 slot cupcake pan. Fill each liner 3/4 full and bake for 17-20 minutes - until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are baking you can work on the filling.

1 Can of coconut milk (chilled)
1/2 bag vegan chocolate chips.

In a double boiler melt the chocolate chips.
Open the can of chilled coconut milk (dont' shake it). The coconut cream (the fat) will be solid on top. Scoop this out and put into a large bowl. If you get some of the coconut milk as well, that's fine.
To this add 1/4 cup agave nectar. Use a whisk and whip until small peaks start to form. Stir in the melted chocolate and continue to whisk until the chocolate cools. This then needs to be put in a cool pace until it starts to firm up (you won't want it hard, just firmer (more like a mousse or pudding).

Once the cupcakes are cool, use a pastry bag with a small tip and squirt the filling into each cupcake.

You can now make the chocolate glaze for the top.

the other 1/2 bag of vegan chocolate chips along with 1 tsp coconut oil in a double boiler until melted.

Using a spoon carefully pour this on the top of each cupcake. I then garnished with a little bit of sweetened shredded coconut.

Spring Rolls

The key to these are the spring roll wrappers. I got mine at a local Asian grocery store. While you are there get some cellophane noodles. Mine were made from sweet potato.

You'll need about 5-6 of the wrappers.

I used some Napa Cabbage, Bok Choi, carrots, scallions and some tofu.

Press the tofu block (you won't use all of it.
Peel two carrots and cut into matchsticks
Wash and dry the Bok Choi/Napa Cabbage and starting from the bottom of the stem make thin slices. You will end up with a pile of hard white stem pieces, then some with the leafy green and then thin slices of the leafy part.
Slice the scallions into very thin strips

Heat some olive oil in a pan, bring it to a medium high heat and start cooking the white parts of the cabbage and bok choi along with the carrots. As these start cook, at the other parts of the bok choi and cabbage that are half white/half green and as all of that is almost tender, add the remaining green parts.

While all that is cooking, boil some water and throw in the cellophane noodles. When they are done, drain them, and toss them in the same pan with the veggies.

Pour some tamari (use soy sauce if you don't have any) - maybe 1-2 tsp into the pan, along with 1 tsp mirin and 1 tsp hoison sauce. Stir this all together and then take the pan off the heat.

Take a cutting board and lightly spray with some non-stick cooking spray. Cut four pieces of tofu that are twice the size of the carrot matchsticks.

Soak one of the spring roll wrappers in water (it starts as a firm sheet). In the water it will become very soft. Carefully lift this out of the water and lay on the cutting board in a diamond. Take maybe 1/2 cup of the filling out of the pan and lay this across the middle of the diamond (between points). Add the four pieces of tofu on top of the filling. Told the two side points as far in the middle as you can. Lift the bottom point of the diamond up over the middle filling and then roll it completely up.

Cut the roll in half and put it on a plate. Continue this process until you are out of filling.

I then plated mine with some kim chi and a little bit of chili sauce (vietnamese). You can also serve this soy sauce.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Months and months

so am I still vegan - hell yeah. Am I still cooking? hell yeah. Why aren't I posting recipes on here? Good question. So to any and all people reading this, I'm going to work on posting more recipes and pictures of the yummy things I make.

Later today I'm making some spring rolls and some kind of dessert to bring to a party. I will post pictures and recipes for both later