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Inherited veggies

July 9, 2009

So what do you do with:

thanks thera!

thanks thera!

In this case, two things.

1. Zucchini muffins, and

2. Dal Bhaji.

Both  are super cheap and tasty, courtesy of FatFree Vegan. The tiny tomatoes and green beans went into the latter, though if you wanted to try them in your muffins I wouldn’t stop you.

When I was a kid my mom used to grow unfortunately huge zucchini in our garden and subject my sister and I to recipes like “upside down zucchini pizza” all summer long. I’m glad I’ve since discovered Indian spices and reclaimed my enthusiasm for this abundant summer vegetable. Another super easy squash trick if you’re grilling is to chop zucchini and/or yellow summer squash up into half-inch slices and enclose it in a little aluminum, foil envelope with sliced onion, a few tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper. Grill for about 20 minutes & happy summer! <3, Carrie


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here bagel, bagel.

June 11, 2009

bagels

Vegan Brunch and I are becoming quite the good friends already. The English Muffin recipe was great (even if they were slightly miniature) and this bagel recipe came out pretty good too. I’m lucky they came out decent at all, however, since Carrie’s oven is just a tad moody and ill-tempered. Sometimes it does what it’s told and sometimes it likes to blast up to 530 degrees on a whim. That’s what happened this time. Alas, we’re moving in a few weeks and will hopefully have a better oven and baking situation.

Even with the difficulty of a crappy oven causing them to be a little flat and extra crispy on the bottom while not amber brown enough on top they still came out pretty tasty.

Just a few notes for ya’ll to keep in mind— the recipe calls for 3 tbsp of sugar – one is used for the yeast/water combo while the other 2 are mixed into the flour/wheat gluten/salt mixture. Also, the book tells you to pat your seeds of choice onto the bagels before boiling but I found that all the seeds just fall off once dropped in the water. Wait until you take them out of the water and then sprinkle whatever seeds (I used poppy/sesame on some and some rubbed sage on the others) on the bagels before popping them in a (hopefully for you more reliable) oven.

Here’s the recipe from Vegan Brunch:

Bagel Ingredients

3 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/4 oz packet dry active yeast

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp vital wheat gluten

2 tsp salt

poppy/sesame seeds

veg oil for rising bowl

salt for boiling water

In a small bowl dissolve 1 tbsp of sugar in the water, then mix in the yeast. Set aside. Mix the other ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Once the yeast has risen to the top of the water drop and mix into the flour mixture. Knead the dough for a solid 10 minutes, patting occasionally with more flour if it’s sticking to your hands. Oil the bottom and sides of another (or the same, cleaned) mixing bowl and drop the dough in, place a damp towel on top of the bowl and set aside for an hour.

Preheat the oven at 425 degrees.

Start boiling some water – when it starts boiling turn the heat down so that the water is gently simmering.

While the water is simmering punch down the dough, then cut up into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and poke a hole in the middle the size of a half-dollar. Drop the bagels in the water 3 at a time, for a minute on each side. Once you drop them in they should float to the top instantly. After cooking each side for a minute use some tongs to take them out and place them on a baking sheet (I used cornmeal on the sheet). If you want take the time now to sprinkle on some poppy or sesame seeds or whatever you think might be good! Bake them for 20-22 minutes and cool for a half hour.

Here are mine all dressed up. Good luck with yours!

bagels 2 001

Cheers! To this english muffin recipe!

June 6, 2009
english muffins

english muffins

One of Carrie’s birthday presents arrived yesterday, one day late – Isa’s new book Vegan Brunch. The book looks gorgeous if only a little more mainstream and Rachel Ray than her others. Overall though we’re both very excited to try a lot of the recipes.  While Carrie eats some wholly nutritious oatmeal with walnuts and dried fruits every morning I’m currently hooked on Everything bagels dripping with Earth Balance, yeah, not the healthiest but oh well (I always like to see the “10 grams of protein with every bagel!” sticker). Needless to say I was very excited to see recipes for both bagels and their steamrolled-looking cousins, english muffins. Since the bagels look a little more involved than I had time for (as well as having a ton of store-bought ones already) I opted to try the english muffin recipe instead. Sure they turned out a little miniature but, hell, they are scrum-diddly-umptious! (BFG reference anyone?)

The recipe is easy so I’m going to attempt to write it down for you from memory. We’ll see how long I go before fetching the book…

English Muffins (from Vegan Brunch)

1 tsp dry active yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 1/4 cups flour

3 tbsp earth balance

1 1/4 tsp salt

earth balance for hot skillet

couple tbsp of cornmeal

Combine the water, yeast and sugar until yeast dissolves (takes about 5 minutes so just set aside). Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl then make a well in the middle with your finger. The book doesn’t specify this but I made sure to soften the EB a little bit before pouring it into the flour/salt mixture. Pour the yeast mixture and the EB into the flour, mix together until a dough forms.

NOTE! I had to add nearly another 1/2 cup, possibly even 3/4 cup of flour to get the dough just right without sticking to all my fingers. I panicked at first because I’m not much of a baker (not yet) but just keep adding a little flour until it stops sticking. Crisis controlled.

Then, knead the dough on a floured surface for 6-8 minutes before throwing it back in the bowl and tossing a damp rag over the top. Since the dough should sit in a warm area for about an hour (and double in size!) it helps a lot if you warm your oven for a few minutes before tossing the bowl inside. Make sure not to let it get too hot!

After an hour punch dough down and knead for a couple minutes. Roll out on a floured surface until the dough is about 1/2 inch thick. You can use a cookie cutter if you want but I used a large juice glass to cut out circles. Press each side into the cornmeal and throw on a skillet (on medium heat with EB coating the surface) and fry each side until golden brown. I cooked about 6 of these at a time on the skillet and then popped them in the oven at 350 for 8 minutes. The turnover should work out so that when the first batch is coming out of the oven you’re ready to throw the next right in. Let them cool for 20 minutes or so!

This morning we had a bunch of the little things toasted with even more Earth Balance (I can’t get enough of it, really, I can’t, help me.) and some Blackberry Jam made by one of Carrie’s aunts. As a side-note, try your coffee with some coconut milk instead sometime, it’s awesome!

Next to conquer – Bagels!

.25 century and roy.g.biv

June 5, 2009

rainbow cake and queer theory together 4evr

rainbow cake and queer theory together 4evr

Michael made this badass cake for my birthday. It is possibly my favorite thing ever. The cake part is the Golden Vanilla Cupcakes recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and I will shamelessly post it here:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease cake pans.

Whisk 1 c. soy milk with 1 t. apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle.

Sift 1.25 c. flour, 2 T cornstarch, 3/4 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, and 1/4 t. salt into large bowl.

In a separate bowl, cream 1/2 c. softened margarine and 3/4 c. sugar until fluffy, but not more than 2 min. Beat in 2.25 t. vanilla extract, then add soy milk mixture and dry ingredients.

To make the fancypants rainbow pattern, divide the batter evenly into however many colors you want, add a few drops of food coloring to each, then pour the batter into the pan to create concentric circles.

Bake for 26 – 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

If you want a whole layer cake, double the cupcake recipe. 12 cupcakes = 1 layer.

Vegan icing is super easy to eat and make, and if anyone tells you differently they are lying. All you do is cream equal amounts softened margarine and shortening (use Crisco or something fancier and nonhydrogenated) and about 3x whatever that amount is of confectioners’ sugar. So if you have a half cup of margarineshortening, blend in 1.5 cups sugar. Add a tiny bit of vanilla and a tiny bit of whatever type of milk you like (soy, rice, coconut, whatev). The only trick is to not add too much liquid, because then your icing will be runny and sad.

So go make some cake with/for someone you love! For bonus points, incorporate food coloring and anything by Judith Butler.

<3, Carrie

So Black Bean Burgers are First eh?

June 1, 2009

black bean burgers

Yep, as the first post of this new blog let me introduce to you some simple yet tasty black bean burgers, homemade sweet potato fries, and roasted brussel sprouts. As neither one of us has been to a grocery store in a couple weeks due to road trips, camping trips, sibling dance recitals in VA, concerts in Carrboro and all sorts of other shenanigans we are down to a few items of produce.

As for the burgers I used the recipe from Veganomicon. I’d only ever used the recipe from How It All Vegan  before. Each one’s tasty but for different reasons. This recipe includes vital wheat gluten which allows the mashed beans, breadcrumbs and spices to properly stick together. However, it is a tad bit goopy and smooshy. The HIAV recipe on the other hand tends to fall apart but avoids the smooshy phenomenon. Take your pick. I tend to prefer the stuff that sticks together better but I was also eating burgers made of meat all but 5 months ago too.

brussel sproutsRoasted brussel sprouts are a delicious and trusty side dish. Hopefully brussel sprouts are cheaper where you live because they’re a little expensive here in Greensboro, NC oddly enough. Preparation is pretty easy: Toss the sprouts chopped in half in a little olive oil and salt, pop em in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, add a couple cloves of garlic and toss some more. Roast for another 10 minutes or so until they’re browned.

I’d never made my own sweet potato fries (I believe Carrie had before) and I still haven’t because she prepared them. Again, preparation is real easy: Peel and thinly slice the sweet potatos (we only had one but I’d suggest 2 or 3 if you want more fries!), toss in olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Bake at 450 degrees for about 20-25 minutes making sure to flip occasionally so they don’t stick. These came out crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside. Delicious!

sweet potato friesI personally love my black bean burgers with guacamole ontop and maybe some mango or pineapple salsa but, alas, none was to be had this go. I used a little vegannaise, ketchup, and chipotle mustard with sliced onions while Carrie used ketchup and brown mustard. Oh, I also threw a few fries on top too. BUT, I highly recommend you make some guac from scratch and add them as your main condiment for these. You will not be sorry you listened to vegan makeouts.

Happy Monday and happy first blog post!

~Michael