an unreasonable amount of baking

March 2, 2010 at 3:44 am (desserts, recipe, vegan)


in an even more unreasonable amount of time. for the past few days, that’s all I’ve been doing. and here are the fruits of my labors:

heavenly biscuits from Flavor Vegan. on their own I thought they were a tad bland, but a nice buttery spread really complimented them.


chocolate chocolate chip walnut cookies from Veganomicon. they might look ugly, but they sure did taste amazing!


peanut butter, chocolate chip, and banana coconut cookies I made on a whim one night to bring in to work the next day. the unanimous favorite amongst pretty much everyone were the banana coconut, and I’m going to try and experiment with turning them into muffins sometime soon.


satanic sugar cookies from The Gluttonous Vegan for my beloved friend Danny.


peanut butter chocolate brownies I made today to use up the rest of the peanut butter I bought (since I’m not a big fan of it in general). I modified this recipe, here’s what mine consisted of:
ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 oz melted semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup soymilk

directions:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees. lightly crease a 9×13 baking pan.
  • in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
  • in a large bowl, mix bananas and sugar until smooth. add peanut butter and melted chocolate and cream together.
  • mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients and milk gradually.
  • bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into mixture comes out clean.
  • let cool and decorate with either homemade or store bought frosting (I used Funfetti).

nutritional information:
makes about 16 decent-sized servings

  • calories: 232
  • fat: 10g
  • sodium: 83mg
  • carbs: 32g
  • fiber: 2g
  • sugar: 11g
  • protein: 6g

not bad for brownies! and they’re very rich tasting, so you really wouldn’t be able to tell that they’re fairly low-calorie. thank goodness for bananas. :>

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rainbow cupcakes with avocado buttercream frosting

February 24, 2010 at 6:56 pm (desserts, recipe, vegan)


my friend Christine’s 21st birthday is today, and if you knew her, you would know immediately why these cupcakes epitomize her to a T. I used a couple different recipes and made a few alterations, so I’ll just re-post everything here.

Rainbow Cupcakes
ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup + 1 – 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • food coloring of choice

directions:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees and line your cupcake pan with liners or grease with non-stick spray.
  • combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  • in a separate (small) bowl, combine water, canola oil, and vanilla.
  • add the ingredients in the small bowl to the dry ingredients in the big bowl gradually, whisking everything together while doing so.
  • once combined, add lemon juice and stir together well.
  • separate batter into different bowls, one for each color you plan on using. I had five colors, and the batter makes about five cups so I put a cup in each bowl.
  • squeeze about 1 – 2 teaspoons of food coloring into each bowl and whisk together until combined.
  • pour the batter into the cupcake pan, one color at a time. I used a tablespoon to measure it out.
  • bake for about 20 minutes, then let cool on a wire rack.
  • makes 12 generously-sized cupcakes.

Avocado Buttercream Frosting
from Alton Brown (aka my hero)

ingredients:

  • 2 pitted and peeled avocados
  • 1 pound powdered confectioner’s sugar (yeah.. I know. it pains me to write this, and pained me even more to make it. but it tastes damn good.)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon OR vanilla extract

directions:

  • chop and mash avocados in a large bowl so they’re easier to mix. I used a potato masher.
  • add lemon juice and whisk together until smooth and light green.
  • gradually add sugar, about 1/2 a cup at a time and mix until you reach a light and smooth consistency.
  • add extract and combine until mixed together.
  • the frosting is going to be a lot more like an icing, it was kind of difficult for me to frost the cupcakes without it melting all over the place. so I would suggest putting it in the refrigerator until it’s a little more solid to make it easier to decorate.

now, I’m not even going to bother with the nutritional information for these because it’s not pretty. these are so not even close to being good for you, but they’re delicious and perfectly acceptable for a special occasion like someone’s birthday. all you have to know is that there’s over 600 calories per cupcake. yup. these WILL give you a sugar high like no other. I ate two and went out dancing later and they fueled my whole night. good times!

patiently awaiting the birthday girl's arrival.

also, in unrelated news this morning I was surprised with a couple fantastic packages on my doorstep!!

Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen and Vegan Express were bought from a member on the Post Punk Kitchen forums and Supermarket Vegan and Veganomicon were bought from Amazon. these are my first completely vegan cookbooks and I am stoooooked to use them. :>

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the vegan hundred

February 23, 2010 at 11:16 pm (me, vegan)

I’m a big fan of lists. and I like a challenge. and I’m newly vegan. so the vegan hundred is perfect for me! and I’ve already got a head start because I eat weird food all the time.

1. Molasses
2. Cactus/Nopales
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepa
8. Vegan Cole Slaw
9. Ginger Carrot Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic
12. Umeboshi
13. Almond Butter Toast
14. Aloe Vera
15. H and H Bagel NYC
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash
17. White truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Freshly ground wasabi
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream (not store bought)
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple cider
23. Organic California Mango (in season Sept-Oct only)
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet (habanero) pepper
27. Goji Berry Tea
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread
31. Starfruit
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices
34. Sauerkraut
35. Acai Smoothie
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes NYC
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo
39. Falafel
40. Spelt Crust Pizza
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms
42. Jicama Slaw
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings
44. Hemp Milk
45. Rose Champagne
46. Fuyu
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. Tofu Pesto Sandwich
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice
50. Grilled Seitan
51. Prickly pear
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk
53. Concord Grapes off the vine
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. Organic Arugula
57. Vidalia Onion
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores
62. Grape seed Oil
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus
65. Chestnut Snack Packs
66. Fresh Guava
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
68. Raw Mallomar from One Lucky Duck, NYC
69. Fried plantains
70. Mache
71. Golden Beets
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles
73. Liquid Smoke
74. Meyer Lemon
75. Veggie Paella
76. Vegan Lasagna
77. Kombucha
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Lychee Bellini
81. Tempeh Bacon
82. Sprouted Grain Bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh (my favorite kind!)
84. Vanilla Bean
85. Watercress
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself
87. Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. Harissa
94. Coconut Oil
95. Jackfruit
96. Homemade Risotto
97. Spirulina
98. Seedless ‘Pixie’ Tangerine
99. Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas

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first ever vegan cupcakes

February 22, 2010 at 5:10 am (desserts, russian, vegan)

it seems like baking cupcakes is a rite of passage for vegans. and I wasn’t going to pass that up. all I ever do is cook things that are healthy and low-fat and I felt like I needed to give myself a break, so I went all out and decided to make these. oh man, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. 4.5 cups of sugar in JUST the frosting, aaahhhhh! but it was so worth it. they were DELICIOUS. better than any non-vegan cupcake I’ve had, that’s for sure. and honestly, after putting them through a recipe calculator, they were not as ridiculously bad as I expected:

per serving with frosting (makes about 20 cupcakes):

  • calories: 364
  • fat: 15g
  • cholesterol: 15mg
  • sodium: 233mg
  • potassium: 141mg
  • carbs: 57g
  • sugar: 16g
  • protein: 4g

three definitely gave me a pretty good sugar rush. and I’m sure I’ll be regretting eating so many tomorrow when I wake up all gross and bloated. but in my defense, the rest of my day was spent eating fairly well. I had dinner with my grandparents and much to my surprise they catered to my new vegan ways and gave me tons of delicious Russian food to choose from! they made baked potatoes, a cucumber and tomato salad, peppers in a really interested vinaigrette, a pickle and squash medley, and pumpernickel bread. not pictured were potato dumplings and a spicy eggplant spread. I’ll be asking for recipes for everything so I’ll be posting more about all that later. I was pretty surprised how easy it is to veganize Russian food!

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venturing into veganism

February 21, 2010 at 5:21 am (eating out, vegan)


first and foremost I apologize for the cellphone-quality photos, but my camera is out of commission for the moment since my memory card has mysteriously disappeared and I have yet to retrieve or replace it. :<

anywho! about a week ago I decided to go vegan. I could go on for days about why, but here's a comment I made to a friend that summarized it in a somewhat short and sweet rant:

it’s not about animal ethics at all. I’ve been looking more into the meat industry in America and it’s disgusting. knowing how poorly taken care of factory farms are, how much messed-up practices go on with hiring illegal immigrants, how the FDA has practically no power and grounds on regulating safety and health, how many genetically modified chemicals are put into everything with no limitations, and the kind of politicians that are in charge of all of that really just makes me sick to the point that I don’t feel comfortable putting animal products in my body and supporting such corrupt business anymore.

I had a ton of non-vegan food at home and I didn’t want to just throw it out or let it go to waste, so I told myself I was going to finish eating it and start going vegan as soon as it was all gone.

steamed vegetables, bbq tofu, tempeh, barley/couscous salad, and some kind of Indian chickpea curry type of deal.

well, I ate my last piece of a poppyseed roulette on Friday, so Saturday was the big start for me. luckily I’m visiting my family this weekend, so I had the extreme privilege of getting an all-expenses paid Whole Foods shopping spree courtesy of my mom, who reluctantly accepted my new lifestyle (after initially getting furious and flipping out). and I also had my first meal as a vegan there, which was pretty good, but not good enough for the price ($15!). if anything, it gave me ideas of things I could start making myself at home.. for much much cheaper. however, their vegan chocolate chip cookies were the best I’ve ever had, so at least they have that going for them.

my initial goal for the weekend was to spend it cooking and baking my ass off trying to show my parents that a vegan diet is not only healthy and reasonable, but also totally delicious. so far, I made these banana nut muffins. they turned out slightly less sweet than expected, but for something that’s ‘healthy’ and has no sugar whatsoever, I think the recipe does a pretty decent job of making it as sweet as reasonably possible. I still liked them a lot, and my mom did too, which means they were a success! next time I might add some agave syrup, though.

tomorrow I will be exploring the wild world of chocolate chip cookies, tofu pot pies, and if I’m feeling really adventurous, vanilla cupcakes. wish me luck!

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spicy indian cabbage soup

January 29, 2010 at 4:43 am (recipe, vegan)

ooh first recipe! how exciting! it’s a simple one, but one of my favorites.

Spicy Indian Cabbage Soup
low-fat and vegan

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cabbage, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • dash hot sauce, to taste (for me, it’s more like ten dashes)

directions:

  • combine cabbage, garlic, carrots, broth, and all spices in a pot. bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • transfer about two cups of the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • recombine with the soup in the pot and reheat if needed. stir in alfalfa sprouts and hot sauce. serve!

nutritional information (per serving):

  • makes five servings
  • calories: 70
  • fat: 1.5g
  • sodium: 788mg
  • carbs: 7.9g
  • fiber: 2.6g
  • sugars: 4.2g
  • protein: 6.2g

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