Monthly Archives: September 2013

Vegan Baking: Blondies

When I finished off the brownies , I decided they weren’t enough. I needed to make the other brownie: The Blondie. Now I know what you’re thinking that they aren’t the same thing. Well, I’m here to tell you that they are. Aside from a couple of ingredient switches, these are the same thing. Just Blonde. And cakey. And awesome.

So seeing as I had just made the brownies, I had enough of everything to make brownie’s sister.

See! Not much different then brownies!

See! Not much different then brownies! Exchange the cocoa for brown sugar and you’re pretty much good to go.

Anyway, you follow the same procedure; preheat your oven to 325 degrees F, mix your wet ingredients in one bowl and then sift your dry together in another, then throw it all into a large mixing bowl to have a party.

You want to mix everything together but just enough to get it mixed. Don’t over mix it because that makes for a stiff blondie and nobody wants that.

Hey pie bird, this is still not your party!

Hey pie bird, this is still not your party!

Next, gently fold in your chocolate chips and pour everything into your prepared 8×8 pan and slide them suckers into the oven for about 30 minutes. Now during these 30 minutes you could clean up your kitchen, catch up on your Facebook, ahem, read my blog… Do anything you want. When these are a golden brown on top you’ll know it’s time. Pull them out of the oven and let them cool in the pan for another 30 minutes. Afterwards, please proceed to slice them and shove them in your face. They go nice with a nice glass of chilled almond milk or maybe a coffee or tea. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Nom nom nom nom

Nom nom nom nom

*Full recipe can be found in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie JarIsa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. If you don’t have this book, you should probably get it. You won’t regret it, I know I didn’t.

Advertisements

Vegan Baking: Awesome Vegan Brownies.

You ever have one of those days? I mean the ones where nothing goes right? I know I do. I come home from a long day and one of the only things that helps me unwind is baking. Let’s get this straight, most days eating is not a form of therapy for me but the whole creative process, the science experiment, and the mystery outcome produces a zen like state in my brain. “Krystle, why don’t you cook instead? It’s kind of the same thing.” Shut up, no it’s not. I like baking better. I’m not as skilled in cooking yet and if anyone has ever seen me in the kitchen it takes me hours to prepare simple things. Baking is also easier to share with others, especially non-vegans, since you can pretty much trick them into trying just about any type of baked delight.

So, brownies. They’re not too difficult and there are a wide variety of recipes. The one that is featured here is fairly simple and takes no time to make. It’s from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s and Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. This is an ok recipe, I found my finished product to be a little dry but that could also be due to baker error and not the recipe. So check it out and bake it, see what you think.

First you need your brownie team (You’ll notice the pie birds in the background waiting to join in the fun but they just need to chill the fuck out and sit this one out):

Look! Here are all of the ingredients.

Look! Here are all of the ingredients.

First pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F. Then you mix all that shit together. Just slow down a minute there’s a procedure. Mix the wet stuff together first, your “milk”, oil, silken tofu, sugar, and vanilla extract. Then sift the dry stuff together- flour, cornstarch, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Then combine everything together like here:

Mmmmmm looks good enough to eat out of the bowl. (Yeah I might have had a taste or two....)

Mmmmmm looks good enough to eat out of the bowl. (Yeah I might have had a taste or two….or ten)

Once mixed all the way through, pour that shit into a 8×8 square pan and smooth out the top.

Look at that. It's gonna be goooooooood...

Throw this your oven and let it chill for about 30 minutes

And then we play the waiting game…

Wait for about 30 minutes. You can do it.

Wait for about 30 minutes. You can do it.

As you are basking in the glow of comforting chocolate aroma and dreaming of the brownie delight to come, you will begin to day dream of a better tomorrow and feel like just maybe you can try to conquer the world again. Then ding! The timer goes off. Test the middle of your treats with a knife and if it comes out clean, you are good to go. Let it cool, then slice it up and shove it in your face. Nom nom nom nom nom….

Deluxe Cocoa Brownies

Deluxe Cocoa Brownies

Vegan Dinner: Spaghetti Squash is My Hero

So what do you do when you come home in the mood for pasta and all you have is spaghetti squash? Make awesome pasta! Spaghetti squash is awesome in that when it’s cooked, you can scrape out the insides and they look like noodles. This is a great option for people who are looking for some type of carb substitute. This is better than conventional noodles in that you get an amazing amount of nutrients in comparison to everyday pasta. Of course, I’m not advocating a pasta free life, that’s food heresy. I would be one crabby bitch if I didn’t get pasta. All I’m saying is sometimes change is good to spice things up a bit. Any who, here’s the lowdown on spaghetti squash.

  • It tends to have yellow skin and is oblong in shape.Spaghetti Squash Ranging from about 3 to 5 pounds.
  • The flesh can vary but is usually a pale yellow.
  • It can be baked, steamed, boiled, or microwaved. (I prefer baking 375-400 degrees F for about 35-45 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork).
  • The seeds can be roasted like pumpkin seeds and eaten as a tasty snack.
  • They grow easily in gardens or containers and can be cross pollinated with zucchini. (So that patio garden you’ve always dreamed of, try throwing a couple of seeds in a container and see what happens).
  • Oh yeah, the nutrition: Vitamin A, B6, C, E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc an 1cup equals about 42 calories. Bottom line: there’s a butt load so check it out.
  • Interesting side note: Squash is actually a fruit not a vegetable. Weird, huh?
Basic Tomato Sauce

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, 5oz can tomato paste, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 2+ cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp sugar(or other sweetener).

Since I received this beautiful spaghetti squash in my Chow Box , I decided to whip up some homemade Marinara sauce and make a simple, satisfying dinner. I wanted to use fresh tomatoes because I feel you get better flavor from them but unfortunately all I had at my disposal was a 14.05oz can of diced tomatoes and a 5oz can of tomato paste.

Fun add ins: Italian basil and onion. Other ideas: red pepper flakes, mushrooms (I prefer portabello), and tofu.

Fun add ins: Italian basil and onion. Other ideas: red pepper flakes, mushrooms (I prefer Portobello), and tofu.

Personally, I think Marinara is one of those things that is so easy to adapt and make unique that it’s kind of hard to fuck up. So today I began by sauteing an onion on medium high heat and when it was translucent I threw everything else into my pot and let the ingredients have a party while I relaxed for 15-20 minutes. In the end, I threw in fresh Italian basil just for some added oomph and sprinkled some red pepper flakes for some sass. I topped this dish with vegan almond mozzarella and vegan Parmesan and proceeded to stuff my face with nutritious deliciousness.

Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Marinara

You can also make your own garlic toast with Ciabatta bread and roasted garlic. It’s quite tasty and can add flavor and excitement to your dinner!

*Marinara recipe is based on Sarah Kramer‘s “Quick All-Purpose Garlic Tomato Sauce” in La Dolce Vegan