Vegan Mushroom ‘Quiche’

This would also be absolutely delicious with a crust, like a real quiche, but I didn’t go there this time.  I might have to do so, because pie crust is my mother’s favorite food group.

VEGAN ‘QUICHE’

– 1 package firm tofu

– 1 tablespoon cornstarch

– 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

-1/4 cup plain almond milk

– 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional, mostly for color)

– 2 tablespoons hummus (optional; I used plain here, but other flavors would probably be delicious)

– salt and pepper to taste

– 1 shallot, chopped

– vegetables of choice: I used mushrooms here, but almost anything would work.  Eggplant, zucchini, kale (mmm), potatoes, and so on.

(preheat oven to 400)

1. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except for vegetables and shallot; blend until smooth.  Taste mixture and adjust seasoning to your liking

2. Saute shallot over medium-high until translucent.  Add other vegetables and cook until almost tender

3. Combine tofu mixture and vegetables in a bowl; transfer to a shallow greased pan or springform

4. Bake about 30 minutes, until the “quiche” is set.

5. Allow to cool before cutting

Vegan Triple Almond Scones

I used to bake all the time, but was more inspired when decorating cupcakes than trying to develop a recipe for a delicious treat.

Exhibit A:

It was fun and all, but who really wants to eat cupcakes that look like a Swanson dinner? No one in my household, that’s who.  Those sat on the counter to be looked at for a good four days, as if they were on display in the Museum of Edible Things That Look Like Other Edible Things That No One Really Wants to Eat (That’s a legit museum, right?).  After a while that got really boring and cooking replaced baking as my hobby of choice.  I’ve fallen back in love with baking, but in a whole new way.  Now, I’m much more concerned with what’s going flavor-wise and am, obviously, getting into vegan baking.

For the base recipe, I adapted these.  I love anything and everything almond flavored or scented, but baked goods with little pillows of almond paste in them are my absolute heaven.  So, I picked up a log of almond paste to supplement the almond extract and sliced almonds waiting in my pantry for a full-on almond-packed bakefest.

VEGAN TRIPLE ALMOND SCONES

For Scones:

  • 1 + 3/4 cups flour (whole wheat or otherwise)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth balance or coconut oil (I usually use half of each)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (wait, does that make it Quadruple Almond Scones?)
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 6 Tbsp almond paste, cut into small chunks

For Glaze:

  • 1 c. organic powdered sugar
  • 3 T. almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Garnish

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

(step zero: preheat oven to 350 F; ignore the awful photos that make it blatantly apparent that I was baking at midnight)

1. Cut butter into small cubes and place in freezer for a few minutes

2. Combine flours, baking powder, and salt in mixing bowl

3. Add butter into flour mixture and mix together with (clean!) fingertips (my favorite mixing tool) until crumbly

4. Combine sugar, almond milk, and 1 tsp. almond extract in a bowl; stir until incorporated

5. Add chunks of almond paste to flour mixture until evenly distributed

6. Add sugar/milk mixture to flour/butter bowl and stir until dough forms

7. Roll dough out to about 1 inch and cut into equally sized triangles (I made two circles, each yielding 6 scones); Place scones on baking sheet

8. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until slightly golden; let cool

9. Mix powdered sugar, 3 T. milk, 1/2 tsp. extract, and pinch of sea salt.

10.  Drizzle glaze over cooled scones and sprinkle with almond slices! (or add slices almonds to the glaze and drizzle all at one to simplify.) If you’re feelin’ it, sprinkle a little more sea salt over the top of the glazed scones.



MMM Almond paste


I can’t post a picture of those cat oven mitts without referencing this:

Popped Quinoa a la Spabettie

When I saw this on recipe on Kristina‘s blog, I wanted to try it immediately.  I’m not usually an egg lover, but this looked abso-flippin-lutely delicious.  I’ve made the recipe a couple of times since, and it is irresistible.   I love the rustic presentation, and there are few things more savory than a perfectly runny yolk.

The method is pretty simple:

1. Take cooked quinoa, place in a pan over medium-high heat cook for a few minutes

2. Make one or two wells in the quinoa “disk” and drop in an egg or two

3. Cover and let it sit for about 4 minutes, until the egg white is set.

4. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and cook until cheese is melted.

ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT, WOMAN.

I made this for my parents the other night and finally got around to taking decent pictures of the meal, which truly deserves to be properly photographed.

With mozzarella, parmesan, and pepper

For the parents: A salad with tomatoes and olives (the wrinkly tomatoes ^ are my mother’s favorite)

For me: Quinoa+ Egg with vegan parmesan; salad with perfectly ripe, juicy peach slices

The quinoa is absolutely delicious prepared this way, as it gets crispy and delicious on the bottom.

VEGAN ALTERNATIVE:

Top with sauteed or roasted tempeh or tofu and use daiya or your favorite vegan cheese (The original version used Soy Kaas, actually.)

Vegan Care Package

One of my best friends, Angel(l)a, goes to school up north, about an hour and a half away.  We went to high school together but rarely get to see each other now that life is so busy :(.  A month ago, my lovely friend ventured down to Berkeley/Oakland so that we could go to a Fleet Foxes show together.  The concert was nothing short of amazing, but even more wonderful was getting to see her again and bringing her to my foodie Mecca, where we wandered, ogled delicious foods, and spent a good 25 minutes trying to decide what to buy from the deli for lunch.  We spent less than 24 hours together, but I think I managed to talk about food for five solid hours of that time.  It’s a talent.

When she left, I immediately started thinking about what I could put into a little care package to send to Angella.  My mind wandered to a bunch of my favorite products, all of which happened to be vegan, so I decided to roll with that trend.  When I put the package together, I was in the middle of a vegan craze which consumed me for a good three months.  I’m not vegan, but at this point my diet consists of about ninety five percent vegan foodstuffs, with a bit of yogurt or cheese thrown in on occasion.The package contained:

  • Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
  • Local Kale Chips
  • Chili Chocolate
  • Vegan “Parmesan” (Which I recently made at home and is just as good as this overpriced crack-in-a-jar; recipe soon)
  • Homemade Vegan Cheez Its
  • Trader Joe’s chocolate covered cocoa nibs
  • Unpictured peanut flour; it was already bubble wrapped at this point.

FOR THE CRACKERS:

– 1 cup AP flour

– 4 tablespoons Earth Balance or olive oil

– 1 tsp salt

– 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

– Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

– 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

1. Pulse flour, “butter,” salt, and nutritional yeast in food processor until fully incorporated and crumbly.

2. Add enough water to form a dough.

3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

4. Roll out thinly and cut into desired shape

5. Sprinkle with a bit of salt

6. Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, until edges begin to turn golden brown

In order to make them more uniform in shape, I rolled the dough in large ziploc bags, froze it for a few minutes, and cut it while very cold to maintain the shape. A good trick to see if your dough is rolled evenly: Hold up the ziplock bag to a bright light and you’ll be able to see which areas are thinner/thicker.

NOM!

Vegan Tollhouse Cookies

I have had the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe memorized since I was ten or so.  I’ve tried other recipes, and I really don’t think any one of them makes a cookie that compares to this classic.

One year at summer camp, we had a competition with another cabin to make the better chocolate chip cookie without a recipe.  I was entirely confident in my ability to bring my team to victory because I knew exactly how much flour, sugar, butter, etc. to use.  My certainty waned when we were told there were no measuring cups at our disposal.  It turned out to be a narrow victory, after the counselors told us that ours was slightly more “edible” than the other team’s cookie.  Oops. I guess I’m not as good at eyeballing measurements as I am at memorizing the numbers.

I wanted to bake something to bring to my coworkers tomorrow, and I didn’t feel like making it complicated or running out for special ingredients.  I had a tub of Earth Balance in the fridge and decided to just veganize the whole recipe instead of adding eggs.  The cookies turned out absolutely beautiful, and they’re equally as delicious.

VEGAN ‘TOLLHOUSE’ CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE (Makes 36 cookies)

– 1 cup Earth Balance or other butter substitute, room temperature

– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

– 3/4 cup organic (vegan) white sugar

– 3/4 cup brown sugar

– 2 flax “eggs” (2 tablespoons ground flax + 5-6 tablespoons warm water; let sit for 5 minutes to thicken/gelatinize; fresh ground flax works best)

– 1 tsp. salt

– 1 tsp. baking soda

– 2 1/4 cups flour

– 1 package dairy free chocolate chips (I used this brand, from Whole Foods)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F

2. Cream butter, sugars, and vanilla together until incorporated

3. Add flax “eggs” to butter mixture and beat together

4. Combine four, baking soda, and salt; stir together

5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture about 1/4 cup at a time

6. Drop cookies by spoonful or roll and place onto baking sheets lined with parchment.  I used about 1.5 tablespoons of cough per cookie

7. bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until golden brown

Flax “Eggs”



Along with the gorgeous bay area weather today, these cookies took me right back to summer camp, though they’re far beyond just “edible”.

WIAW

After a couple weeks of less-than-interesting food that, for the most part, went unphotographed, I’m ready to jump back into my blog.  What better way to do so than another edition of What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by the wonderful Jenn.

Breakfast was a beautiful combination of plain Siggi’s yogurt, strawberries, cherries, and Banana Nut Cheerios.  Plus a homemade chai latte! MMM chai foam.

For lunch I threw together a plateful of everything that looked good in my fridge.

– carrots + cucumber

– my favorite hummus: TJ’s tomato basil

– toasted pita topped with pesto, homemade vegan ‘parmesan,’ and tempeh

– artichoke hearts

I made a tempeh melt for my mama with pan-toasted tempeh, cheddar, and cherry tomatoes.


I didn’t photograph dinner, as it was boring and ugly.  I ate the remnants of the vegetarian salad nicoise that my dad plated up so beautifully for himself and my mother (I told him not to worry about me for dinner, only to rave about how delicious the salad was).  I meant to take a picture of the gorgeous salad, but forgot.  Next time!  Alongside that I had an apple and a small pesto + ‘parmesan’ wrap.