Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weekends = Lots of Cooking, Pictures, and A Long Post

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekends = Lots of Cooking, Pictures, and A Long Post

Well, it's the weekend, which means that I have more time to cook.

Let's start off with Friday. I ended up making some nachos to use up the ingredients I still had on hand. This was a nice, tasty, quick meal, which was much appreciated after a long week at work and lugging home a mighty heavy load from the grocery store. I simply sautéed diced leftover marinated seitan (see the fajita post) in olive oil with some chopped up onion. I heated up the leftover black bean puree (see the flatbread post). I seasoned up some leftover brown rice I had. Then I got out some blue corn chips, spread 'em out on a plate, and topped them with the above stated ingredients. I popped it in the oven (set at 300 degrees) for a few minutes for everything to get nice and warm. Then I topped the nachos with some tofu sour cream, chopped up green onions, sliced black olives, and some salsa (not shown in the picture). It was good.

Yesterday, for breakfast I made some cinnamon raisin oatmeal. It was hearty, sweet and delicious. Oatmeal is very filling, which is something I forgot, since it has been awhile since I've had it. Neither one of us could eat more than about half the amount pictured. I over estimated our oatmeal appetites a bit, but hey, you live and learn, right?

Sweet Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal
2/3 cup regular rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/3 cups plain or vanilla soymilk (or rice, oat, etc)
raisins (as much as you like)
dash nutmeg
pinch salt
cinnamon (to taste)
brown sugar (to taste, but I used lots)
sliced almonds (optional)

Bring oats and soy milk to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Stir in the rest of the ingredients except the almonds. Let boil for five minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, let stand five more minutes. Top with almonds before serving.

I spent the rest of the morning doing a bit of baking, but before I get to that, I just wanted to give a big thanks to Happy Herbivore for so kindly fielding my questions about vegan and healthful baking, it was a big help!

First, I made a vegan apple coffee cake, per Brett's request. Well, he didn't really request it, he won't do that, but he said he thought apple coffee cake would be good, I thought it could be easily veganized, and that someone out there had probably already done it. With a few short minutes of web searching, I happened upon Julie Hasson's recipe for Crumble Coffee Cake. I made only slight modifications to the recipe. For the cake, I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose white flour. And I also added up a peeled, diced up apple. This is a delicious recipe, it's not too sweet, and it truly does go well with a nice, warm cup of coffee.

Notice I have small versions of that really cool plate too.

I have been getting tired of having granola bars for breakfast at work, so I decided to try my hand at muffin making. You know, I'm not sure why anyone would make muffins from a box or package, they are really easy to make from scratch! I made plain 'ol blueberry muffins, and topped a few with some sliced almonds. These turned out so good, I'm not sure they will last long enough to make more than a couple of breakfasts for work. These could also double as a dessert, snack, meal, etc. - hehe. I modified this recipe from Recipe Zaar.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins
1/4 cup Earth Balance (melted)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup soymilk (plain or vanilla)
fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed if frozen)
sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

Combine wet ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Slowly stir the wet ingredients with the dry in the bigger bowl. Fold in the blueberries.

Fill paper muffin cups (or greased muffin pan) 2/3 of the way full with batter. Top with sliced almonds if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.

And for dinner, something completely different. I made a tofu-veggie stir-fry with peanut sauce and served it over rice noodles. I had heard or read somewhere that the reason home made stir-fries never tasted like what you get at the restaurants is because people don't use peanut oil at home. Well I think they were right, I used peanut oil for my stir-fry last night and it turned out much better than anything I've made in the past.

Tofu Peanut Stir-Fry over Rice Noodles

Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter (no salt added if possible)
1/2 cup hot water
4-6 tbsp shoyu (or other soy sauce)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp lime juice (start with one and add more if desired)
4 tbsp brown rice vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar
a bit of regular sugar if you like it sweeter
pinch of cayenne

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan on the stove. The peanut butter will melt and ingredients will then blend easily. Keep over low heat, stirring occasionally, adding a bit more water here and there if it starts to get too thick.

Tofu Peanut Stir-Fry:
Peanut Sauce
1/2 block firm tofu cut into small pieces
bell pepper, chopped
onion, chopped
broccoli, cooked
cauliflower, cooked
crushed peanuts
bean sprouts (optional)
green onions (optional)
peanut oil
Hot, cooked rice noodles

Cook rice noodles according to package directions.

Sautee tofu in peanut oil until browned. Add to peanut sauce and simmer while preparing the veggies.

Sautee onion and bell pepper in peanut oil until they begin to caramelize. Add broccoli and cauliflower. Cook a few more minutes.
Layer veggies and tofu with peanut sauce over the rice noodles. Top with bean sprouts, green onions, and crushed peanuts.

That's all for now.


Ruby Red Vegan said...

Your coffee cake looks FABULOUS! Especially with the added apple... What a great, great, great breakfast treat.

You know, I'll bet you're right about the peanut oil/stir-fry issue. Now I need me some peanut oil :)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Wow, so many delicious-sounding recipes! My head is spinning haha. I'll definitely be making that Sweet Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal, since I love oatmeal *almost* as much as I love chocolate (maybe even more... but don't tell anyone! I do have a reputation as a chocolate-covered vegan to keep intact!).

Veggie said...

yum, that coffee cake looks great.

Jennifer said...

Ruby Red - Thanks about the cake. You really should try your stir fry with peanut oil, I think it made the difference in having an "eh" homemade stir-fry and an a realy good meal.

Chocolate Covered Vegan - Thanks, you have some yummy looking treats on your blog as well. I was drooling over your baked berry toast the other day. I recommend the oatmeal, but perhaps don't make as much for each person as I did, unless you have a mega appetitie.

Veggie - Thanks, I'm glad to see that others are enjoying this!

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