Saturday, October 24, 2009

Apple Pie Cookies

One of my favorite desserts of all time is apple pie. However, apple pie can be a very labor intensive dessert. Sometimes I just don't have the time or the patience. So what do I do? I make apple pie cookies, inspired by the recipe I found on the Post Punk Kitchen. Oh yeah, they're vegan too.

Apple Pie Cookies
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 crushed up ice cream cones
  • 1 apple, chopped into small pieces (granny smith works best)
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 dash of salt
Preheat oven to 350. Melt apple sauce, soymilk, and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Pour in a mixing bowl and add apple and ice cream cones. Slowly pour in flour as you mix nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Shape into heaping cookies and bake for 15 minutes until nice a crunchy brown. Makes about 10 cookies.

Puff Pastry with Lentil Filling

Ok, again, I kinda stole this recipe. But, again, I changed it to make it my own. The original recipe calls for crescent roles, but I didn't have any. What I did have was puff pastry. So here you have it.

Puff Pastry with Lentil Filling
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 cup lentils, cooked
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • Olive oil
Preheat oven to 375. In a pan, saute onion, garlic, and peas with the olive oil until soft. In a bowl, mix onion, garlic, peas, lentils, oregano, and marinara sauce. Cut puff pastry sheet into about 6 squares. Spoon lentil filling into the middle of the square. If you have room, fold the pastry over the filling. If you don't have room, don't sweat it. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Some tips about this recipe:
  • When I made this recipe I had leftover filling. Not sure when I would get to the grocery store again to buy more puff pastry, I threw the extra filling into a vegetable soup I was making. But honestly, I could have eaten this filling with a fork, no pastry needed.
  • You can use whatever vegetables or beans you like in the filling. Again (a recurring theme in my cooking) I just used what I had on hand.

Cinnamon Pears and Grahams

So I got this idea of the back of a box of graham crackers. I changed it up a little bit and this recipe is super easy to vegan-ize. Just make sure the grahams you buy are vegan and use vegan cream cheese.

Cinnamon Pears and Grahams
  • 2 unpeeled pears, thinly sliced (you could also use apples)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • 4 graham cracker, each broken into 4 small rectangles
  • Cinnamon sugar (optional)
Mix cream cheese, syrup, and cinnamon. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the graham rectangles. Top with sliced pears. Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon sugar. Super simple and a tasty snack or light dessert.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mushroom Burgers

This is a pretty tasty burger that I think vegetarians and meat eaters will both love. Sorry vegans, this burger isn't for you. But both of the sides, green beans and baked sweet potato fries, are.

Mushroom Burger:
  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Olive oil
Saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt to draw out the moisture in the mushrooms. Add the oregano. Saute until all the moisture is gone. Then in a bowl add the mushrooms, oats, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, cheese, and eggs. Mix. Let it sit for about fifteen minutes. This will make 4-6 burgers. Form the patties and saute them in some olive oil until browned on both sides.

These burgers are super easy and pretty tasty. On the side I served some green beans and sweet potato fries.

For the green beans:
  • 1 can of green beans
  • Olive oil
  • Complete seasoning/garlic powder/whatever seasoning you like
Set a small pan and medium eat. Add the olive oil, green beans, and seasonings. Saute until the green beans become charred. Also works well with frozen green beans, just defrost first.

For the sweet potatoes:
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Complete seasoning
Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the potatoes into thick cut fry shape. Coat with olive oil, garlic, and complete seasoning. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, turning them half way.

A few tips about this recipe:
  • Flip the burgers as little as possible to prevent them from falling apart.
  • The sweet potatoes will not get really crispy like regular fries in the oven. But they will be really tasty.
  • I use "complete seasoning" on just about every thing I make that's not a dessert. I don't know exactly what's in it. I use the Badia brand. Trust me, it's awesome.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pan Fried Tofu with Spinach and Noodles

So, a few weeks ago my good friend/roommate Sammi introduced me to VeganYumYum. That website is some serious food porn. Any way, I was hungry and needed to go to the grocery store when I saw a recipe for pan fried tofu with kale and stir-fried noodles. The pictures looked amazing and I was really hungry so I headed out to Publix to pick up a few things I needed. Now, I couldn't find kale or the wide rice noodles that the original recipe called for, so I improvised. Here is my slightly different version. And yes, it's vegan!

Pan Fried Tofu with Spinach and Noodles
  • 1 package extra/super firm tofu
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1/2 box of whole wheat spaghetti (or whatever kind of noodle you have on hand)
  • Sugar
  • Soy Sauce
Tofu Marinade
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (I used ground, because that's what I had)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Black pepper, to taste
Begin by pressing the tofu. I wrapped mine in a paper towel and then in a bar towel and weighted it down. The original recipe says to weight it down with a cast iron pan, but a pan with a big can of soup or tomatoes works fine too. Do this for about 15 minutes to drain the water. While the tofu is pressing whisk together the marinade. Cut the tofu into 8 equal sized rectangles and let it sit in the marinade for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly oil the pan. Add the tofu once the pan is really hot. Brown the tofu on side, then flip and brown on the other side. Spoon extra marinade over the tofu and flip every few minutes. In total, the tofu should cook for about ten minutes until it looks like it'll be burnt if it cooks for any longer. Remove the tofu and let it rest. Heat a little more oil in the pan and add the spinach. Once softened add the noodles and toss. Flavor the noodles with a touch of soy sauce and a pinch of sugar. Plate the noodles and spinach and place the tofu on top.

A few tips about this recipe:
  • The pan will spit oil at you when you add the tofu, so just be careful. I'm a really big baby when it comes to hot things, so I wore an oven mitt. But trust me, if I survived it, you most certainly will.
  • Soy sauce is like using salt. When you put soy sauce on the noodles at the end, a little goes along way, especially since the tofu was already marinaded in it.
  • It's ok to use the leftover marinade. The reason you were always told to toss extra marinade is because of cross contamination with raw meat. You won't get e coli or salmonella from tofu, so don't let that tasty marinade go to waste.