Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Pancakes, Baked Goods, and Polenta Lasagna

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Pancakes, Baked Goods, and Polenta Lasagna

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable weekend. I know I have been.

Yesterday, I ended up spending a bit of time in the kitchen. But probably not nearly as much as it looks from these pictures. I also listened to music, watched a film with Brett, and listened to a couple of the Compassionate Cooks podcasts.

For brunch yesterday, I made Lizzy's Raspberry Apple Pear Pancakes. I figured these would be a winner, as they are fruit stuffed pancakes and I'm a fruitaholic. These are delicious! So far the best pancakes I have had actually. I haven't made pancakes too awful much, but these are simple and delicious. It was also my first experience using agave. The flavor of the stuff is wonderful, and I can definitely see how it could be used in place of honey. So thank you so much for providing the recipe Lizzy, these are excellent!

I made a light Raspberry Sauce to go with these, as I mentioned before I'm a fruitaholic and neither Brett or I are huge fans of topping things with maple syrup.

Simple Raspberry Sauce

1-1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 tsp arrowroot starch/flour

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan on the stove. Once fruit has began to cook down, add arrowroot and let boil, stirring frequently, until to desired thickness.

I had all sorts of peppers around so I went ahead and roasted them for meals later this week. You will probably notice one thing on top of my being a fruitaholic and that is, I really like peppers, spicy, sweet, whatever, I like 'em. During the summer, I always grow peppers on my porch, and this year, I am going to try my hand at a Community Garden plot, and dedicate all sorts of containers on my porch to different types of peppers: anaheim, serrano, thai chili, habanera, jalapeno, banana, poblano, bell, wax, caribbean, etc. I can't wait!

Anyways, this time I roasted Anaheim's, jalapenos, poblanos, bell peppers and a shallot.

I decided to bake Brett a couple of chocolaty goodies, 'cause it gives him yummy treats, which he loves, and gives me a good excuse to bake. This week I tried out Nava Atlas' Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake and the Mocha Chip Muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance.

You can find the recipe for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake here.

Brett adores chocolate and thought these were very good, I expect they won't last too long around here. Both Brett and I agreed that you probably didn't need to put in as many chocolate chips as the recipe called for though, it was very chocolaty.

Next were the Mocha Chip Muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance. I understand that Lizzy was also planning on making these this week sometime. Ha! I beat you to it! Just kidding, but do tell me what you thought of them, and anybody who reads this blog should stop by hers for what is likely to be a much better picture of the muffins, as she has a really nice camera and is good at taking pictures.

The only modifications to this recipe I made was using whole wheat pastry flour in place of the all-purpose and using applesauce instead of oil. I think these were already pretty 'cakey' muffins to begin with, and replacing the applesauce with oil resulted in their being even 'cakier'. I prefer to do the whole 'lower fat baking thing' whenever I can.

While I was in the kitchen I was thinking about my co-workers a bit. I'm an Institutional Research Analyst, which essentially means when people want data about the University of Missouri, they often come to us. Our office also does reports for the government, etc. Well we have been having some issues with our data, and as a result many of the my co-workers have been working essentially around the clock to meet a deadline. I am lucky in that I am more of an 'underling' of the office as I haven't had to take part in any of this; I'm just waiting for the data they are working on. Needless to say, they have all been working so hard, they deserve some treats, so I made some Sunny Blueberry Corn Muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance for them, and I might make up a batch of cookies today as well.

These muffins are pretty good and easy to make too. I used frozen blueberries, so my muffins ended up being a bit blue, but this doesn't really bother me too much. One thing I noticed about this recipe, and I'm not sure if this is a result of an error on my part, but the batter was much thicker than any other muffin batter I have worked with. The muffins turned out alright, but I worried due to the consistency of the batter.

And finally, for dinner I made SusanV's Polenta Lasagna with Portabellas and Kale. This was my first time working with polenta, and I purchased the premade stuff in a tube, so I had a hard time making nice uniform slices out of it. But I understand that making your own polenta isn't very hard, so I might do that next time. Brett also had an idea about how to get the premade polenta into more even slices, so we might try that as well. Suffice to say, my first experience with polenta was a good one. It was very delicious. I will definitely make it again. The 'cheese' sauce was very easy to make, and both Brett and I thought it was wonderful - though I'm not sure if it really tasted like cheese or not. Brett said it reminded him of potato soup - it was really good though, not too heavy or salty. This is a slightly more involved recipe than many of the others I blog about, so I would save it for a weekend or when you can dedicate some time to being in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, this is the only picture I got of it. Once we got it plated up, both of us just dug in, and forgot to take a picture. Another testament to the tastiness of the dish.

Well, it is 'Superbowl Sunday' here in the US, and oddly enough, I am a bit of a football fan. So I'm off to prepare brunch, a football snack and get ready to watch the game. Go Giants!

'Til next time.


the pleasantly plump vegan said...

i love fruity pancakes. these look divine. oh, and those blueberry muffins . . . YUM!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

Those pancakes are going on my "must try" list. Pink pancakes get an A in my book! Thanks for the links to the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake and Polenta Lasagna recipes! Both look delicious. Looks like you've done well the last couple of days! And if you liked that cake, I bet you'd also like the Maple-Pecan Sticky Blondies in Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

Lizzy said...

Can I say WOW!!? I am impressed what you managed to create this weekend. The lasagna looks wonderful. If I ever feel like cooking something a little more extravagant I think I'll go with this.
And I know what you mean with forgetting to take pictures before the dish is gone. Happened to me with my first mashed cauliflower, I totally inhaled it =p

Aww, I'm so glad you guys liked the pancakes. All the praise... I feel so honored *blushes* I should thank my canadian relatives. They whipped me up with the original recipe, I just made a healthier vegan version ;)
I prefer fruity sauces over maple syrup, too.

The chocolate peanut butter cake looks fantastic! And it's the perfect treat for my best friend. I'll definitely have to make it for him!

I would love to plant my own bell-peppers! Sadly the only space availabe are my window sills. And they are already taken up by my herbs. I'm sure your porch will look gorgeous!

Good, I see you replaced the ingredients I would have replaced, too: whole wheat flour and applesauce(I prefer low-fat baking aswell). Even better, now that I read they came out good and cake-y (I'm all for that!) I'm so excited to try these out =D
I also marked the recipe of the blueberry corn muffins... Wow, I really have lots of baking to do ;)

Monika K said...

OK, these pancakes and I have a date with destiny for next weekend - can't wait to give them a try!

P.S. Great blog!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Ugh, you and Lizzy are driving me crazy with those amazing-looking pancakes! I want some!

And the peanut butter chocolate chip cake-- wow!

Yay for the Giants!!!

Jennifer said...

Pleasantly - Anything with fruit in it is pretty much alright in my book. :-)

Ruby Red - You should try the pancakes, they were good, AND got the omni seal of approval.

Thanks for the idea for the recipe from ED&BV, I hope it arrives soon!

Lizzy - Thank YOU and the Canadians for the delish pancakes. I think I will make these often.

And sometimes food is too good to wait for pictures!

Pssss....I bet the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake would be something you could feed to your omni bf too and he'd never be the wiser. ;-)

No porch at all? I don't have much of one, but enough that I can fit a few pots on it. I have tried tomatoes in the past, but they really just grow better in the ground. I would love to grow herbs inside, but have a couple of pesky cats that would probably end that pretty quick, though I understand if you plant wheatgrass or catnip, they'll just mess with that.

Ha! You know whats funny? I decided to make the Sunny Blueberry Corn Muffins because the recipe was on the opposite page. :-)

Monika - Thanks about the blog. I bet you'll like those pancakes, can't go wrong with fruity goodness.

Chocolate Covered - Call it Pancake Psychological Warfare! It's our way of telling you to eat more pancakes.

Yay for the Giants is right!

primaryconsumer said...

Mmm, I love that PB chocolate cake!
Everything else is lookin' good as well!