Monday, May 30, 2011

Empanada Hash

After last night's empanadas were made I had a healthy amount of filling left over.  I put it in a container and put it into the fridge.

This morning it was calling me... so with a light spray of cooking oil in the skillet over medium high heat I made myself some nice hash for breakfast.  Now ideally it would have had some potatoes in it, but I wasn't going to cook potatoes just for this and I didn't have any already made.  So the next time I make empanadas, I need to also cook up a couple of potatoes.

Cook on medium heat scraping the pan occasionally to get all the good crispy bits up off the bottom of the pan.

Dark Chocolate Truffles!

I was looking for some new recipes to try and I found myself at  When I first entered the word vegan, one of the first recipes to come up was chocolate truffles.  With only four ingredients, this just seemed far too interesting to ignore. 

I'm already thinking of tinkering with this.. a different coating... adding mint extract to it or possibly even something more potent.

3/4 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup cold water
1 lb semisweet chocolate
cocoa powder

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. 
While that is happening, place the cashews and water in a blender and blend on high for two minutes.  Stop the blender, scrape it down and then blend again for another minute.  This will result in a heavy cream like liquid.

Once the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and let it cool a bit.  While still stirrable, gently mix in the cashew cream.

Once it is all combined, chill for at least two hours.

Using a spoon, scoop out some of the chocolate mixture, roll into a ball and drop into a bowl with cocoa powder.  Roll around in the powder and then plate.  Keep chilled once made.

Decadent and yummy!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Refriend beans

No picture on this one (see the Empanada recipe). 

1 yellow onion (diced)
1 29oz can Pinto beans (drained)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup or more of water

Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook onions until lighly golden.
Add the pintos and use a masher to mash them (I still had some chunks in mine).  Add the water and seasonings

Continue to cook over medium heat stirring.  I used my stainless pan which allows me to use the stainless spatula and scrape the pan.  If it starts to dry out, just add extra water. 

These were far superior to what you can find already made in a can.


I've been sleeping fitfully recently and so I was up quite early yesterday.  There was nothing on the television and I ended up on Planet Green watching an episode of Emeril Green.  What hooked me was that he was cooking vegetarian.  So I watched, took some notes and then veganized his recipe along with my own twist.  So I present to you, my take on Emeril's vegetarian empanadas.  I served this with garlic green beans and home made refried beans.  I'll post the refried beans on their own recipe.

The salsa:
1 mango peeled and diced
3/4 of a seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
1 red onion finely diced
juice of one lime
1/8 tsp Hawaiian red salt
Mix all of these in a bowl and place in the fridge and let chill for 24 hours.

The dough:
You're going to need two 8oz containers of vegan cream cheese, 12 tbsp of Earth Balance, 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp of salt.

Have the cream cheese and Earth Balance at room temperature and using the paddle blade of a stand mixer combine at medium high speed until well blended.  Then reduce to slow speed and slowly add the flour and salt.  Once the four ingredients are combined, divide in half and turn each half out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead gently and then flatten each into a disc and wrap individually in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 3 hours.

The filling:
1 pound of shitake mushrooms with the stems removed
1 vidalia onion sliced
1 serrano pepper, seeds removed
1/4 cup golden raisens
1/2 bottle of stuffed green olives
1 Tbsp drained capers
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
3 Tbsp orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put all of these ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well minced.  This may take two or three batches.  While doing this, heat some olive oil in a large skillet.  Once heated, add all of the filling and cook for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Take the dough from the fridge after it has chilled 3+ hours, flour a surface and roll out to a 1/8" thickness.  Then cut circles from the dough (I used a margarita glass).  Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of each circle, use some olive oil to moisten half the circle and then fold in half, keeping the filling inside.  Press the edges together and then use a fork to press the edge together.  Transfer to a baking sheet and continue until all of the dough has been rolled out and filled.  (I ended up with a little extra filling).

Lightly brush each empanada with olive oil and bake at 450 for 15 minutes

Plate 2 or 3 at a time and place a dollop of salsa across them.

I ended up with about 35 empanadas and they were delicious!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pad Kao Saparod - Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

This recipe originally came from via Facebook.  I took the recipe and modified it a bit.  No picture unfortunately as I had to rush to get it to the table.

4 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions chopped (small)
12 baby carrots cut into small rounds
1 block of firm tofu drained and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup frozen green beans cut into 3rds
1 can chunk pineapple drained
3-4 cups cooked rice
1 tsp salt
12 chives finely minced
soy sauce as needed

Heat the vegetable oil in a stainless steel skillet over high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until golden brown.
Add the carrots and green beans, stirring often until cooked.
Add the tofu and cook another 7-8 minutes.
Add the pineapple, salt,  and rice, stirring often for 8-10 minutes
Add a splash or two of soy sauce and stir together before serving
Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of chives

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies

A friend of a friend mentioned "no-bake cookies" in a recent Facebook comment.

After asking about them, I got a recipe which turned out to be amazingly easy to veganize.

This recipe made 21 fairly large sized cookies.

2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup chocolate soy milk
1/4 cup vegan butter
a pinch of salt
3 Tbsp baking cocoa
3 cups oats
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter.

Place the sugar, soy milk, butter, salt and cocoa all in a pot, still well and bring to a boil.

After a minute, remove from heat, stir in the peanut butter until melted.  Then add the vanilla and oats.  Stir to combine and then drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Once cool, enjoy.