rocket ship go!

May 25, 2008

pumpkin white bean bars

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 4:28 pm
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I was inspired by Celine’s blondies, and immediately after making black bean brownies I got the idea for these tasty morsels. I didn’t like the way that the banana overwhelmed the chocolate flavor in the blackies, so I was thinking of what to replace it with… and pumpkin came to mind. Then you modify the spices, use white beans (cannellinis) instead of black… and you got yerself a really delicious, pumpkin-pie-tastin’ treat!

1 (19-oz.) can white beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 c. turbinado sugar
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c. oat flour (rolled oats ground to a coarse flour with a coffee mill or food processor)
1/4 c. buckwheat flour
2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Lighly oil an 8×8-inch baking pan.
If you haven’t prepared the oat flour, do that now. Once you have the 1/4 c. oat flour you need, put that and all the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until uniform and very smooth. (It’ll be kinda thick, and that’s okay.)
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top appears dry and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.
Let cool. Cut into squares with a knife, and place pan in the fridge to cool completely before removing.

May 23, 2008

gigantoid peanut butter oatmeal cookies

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 1:23 am
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With big beautiful organic chocolate chips, of course.
From Vegan with a Vengeance.

I made these for my boyfriend’s roommate, who had the most craptastic week ever.

In the span of five days he got fired from his job; hit by a car, so hard that he rolled over the windshield but not hard enough to go to the hospital (the driver didn’t stop); mugged by four guys (when they couldn’t find his wallet in his pockets they scratched his face with a knife); and had his bike tire slashed randomly.

How horrific is that? It’s like Murphey’s Law, but if it were speedballing.

He needed some sugary love. Some gigantoid love. And these cookies will deliver. Chewy, crunchy (if you let them sit out for a couple our like I did), peanut-buttery, glorious, huge-ass cookies. I wish I had one with me right now.

May 21, 2008

eats update

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 3:59 pm
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Green smoothie of frozen strawberries, a banana, romaine leaves, a handful of blueberries, and just enough water to make it blend properly. Alright, but not sweet enough.

Lovely green smoothie (really?) of frozen strawberries, a big heart of romaine, a huge chunk of fresh pineapple and the remaining juice in the container, and a little plain soymilk. It tasted great; however, the romaine used in it was of a pale variety, which I think means it has less nutrients (boo). Pretty, though.

Not pictured:

  • Tempeh bacon from Vegan Vittles; I baked it in the oven. I thought is was too salty, but my sister and bf liked it.
  • Baked tofu with another marinade from Vegan Vittles. It had balsamic vinegar, ketchup, garlic, and olive oil in it. The final product had a subtle flavor that I think would be really delish in sandwiches. My friend Kate said it tasted like straight-up fish– ew. Not to me.
  • Cheezy crackers for my youngest brother’s birthday.

May 11, 2008

black bean… brownies?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 4:27 pm
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I do love me some black beans (they make them perfectly at my local haunt Calypso), but in baked goods? That’s just weird yo.

However, I did have all the ingredients (including some deathly-black bananas in the fridge in danger of gettin’ smashed) to try out Celine’s particular variation. The recipe is really fantastic for the healthy way that I’ve been trying to eat lately: it’s wheat-free and gluten-free*, has a bit of healty fat from the coconut and extra virgin olive oil that I used, it uses turbinado sugar to sweeten (and not too much of it at that), and it even has a little protein from the beans.

How’d they come out? Different, to be sure. I thought they were on the mushy side, even after they had cooled for a couple of hours, but after I stuck them in the fridge I thought the texture was better. The texture is actually pretty similar to some kind of cheesecake, smooth and kinda fudgey, though not cakey at all. If you’ve ever had perfectly cooked black beans that are soft and almost creamy, you’ll get a sense of that in this recipe, though in a sweet rather than savory context. I liked the flavor a lot: the chocolate and banana and coconut work well together. I just don’t know if I would call this particular baked good “brownies.” I would call them delicious, though. :]

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 T. extra virgin olive oil (the flavor didn’t come through at all)
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. turbinado sugar (“sugar in the raw”)
2 overripe bananas
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c. oat flour (throw some oats in a food processor or coffee grinder, and process until it’s like a coarse flour)
2 T. buckwheat flour (I think you can use any flour here, but I had buckwheat and it’s gluten-free)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 square pan.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into the pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, or until brownies appear set and firm on top and no longer look moist.
Let cool completely before serving. The texture is better once they’ve chilled out in the fridge.

I almost never bake anything for the suggested length of time: it’s always 5 or 10 minutes shorter. But these babies did need to cook for the full 30 minutes.

When I was pouring the batter into the pan (and sampling some of the batter), I noticed that it tasted slightly of… coffee? Why would black beans taste like coffee? So a little espresso powder or instant coffee granules might be a nice addition to this. When baked, the banana flavor overwhelmed any coffee-ness, so I’m thinking of this recipe sans bananas, hmmmm. Sweets with beans have so many possibilities.

(*The oats in the recipe aren’t gluten-free. Most oats are processed on shared equipment with wheat, which means there is generally contamination, but I don’t have to be that meticulous because I’m not allergic or anything. I’m just a gluten cheater!)

May 10, 2008

dinner tonight

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 8:16 pm
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Baked sesame-ginger tofu, with the creamy sesame rice that I mentioned at the bottom of this post and a salad.

So it’s day two of my previously mentioned health kick, and how’s it been going? Great! :]

I soaked the tofu overnight in this marinade from Vegan Vittles, and it roooooocked:

2 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 T. maple syrup
1 T. rice vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 T. fresh ginger, grated or minced
1 T. toasted sesame oil
2 pressed cloves of garlic

(*I tagged this post as gluten-free, even though the soy sauce in the marinade has some wheat in it. But that’s pretty minimal gluten presence. However, you can find wheat-free soy sauce if you want the meal to be truly gf.)

May 9, 2008

being better

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 3:27 pm
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The air is clear and warm, the trees outside my window are tremendously, almost surrealistically green: it’s spring, and a testament to that is the transition from eating heavy foods to more nutritious, vitamin-filled ones. I’ve noticed different bloggers doing this, which is pretty cool, but for the most part I thought, “Meh, everything in moderation.” Right? I can stick to my carbolicious, refined-flour-and-sugar kick that I’ve been on lately, just so long as I don’t overdo it. Cuz high fructose corn syrup and white flour are low in fat, ya know?

Well I suck at moderation. I’ve been gorging on soooo much sugar lately (mostly in the form of granola and other processed crap) and consuming little to zero protein and iron. I haven’t been eating actual meals off a plate either, but just sampling a little bit of everything until I don’t want to eat anymore. This style of eating definitely results in more prepackaged nastiness rather than wholesome foods. So yesterday, after an excess of pumpkin-flaxseed-granola (mmmm) and frozen cinnamon rolls, I decided to take a bike ride. But about halfway down my street I started feeling really gross, like the food I had eaten was rising up in my throat. I pulled to the side of the road, leaned over the frame of my bike, and really thought I was going to spew. I didn’t, but I rode back home and laid in bed for a while and thought about things.

So it’s time for me to jump back on the healthy train. I was all about that kind of thing last summer, when I did a lot of raw foods stuff. However, I have come to believe that eating 100% raw foods relies too heavily on non-local foods from completely different continents and that it is classist, because you can’t stick to it unless you have a crapton of money to spend. I know I wanna eat better and be better, though. General guidelines:

  • A lot less wheat/gluten- This is hard because I love baking, but I’ll try to quickly give the food away?
  • Less sugar, no HFCS
  • More healthy fats- I went through a phase, that I’ve seen other teens do, of total fat-phobia. I thought it was healthy and “slimming” to eat starchy, low-fat foods all the time and to try and completely exclude fat. That always left me hungry, though, and I thought since what I ate was low-fat it was cool to just eat more and more. Now I believe there is such a thing as “good fat” (I didn’t feel that way two years ago) like nuts, nut butters, and extra virgin olive oil, that satisfies you and nourishes you.
  • Lots of rooibos teawhich I already love.
  • More fresh vegetables (especially raw)
  • More protein (beans, tofu, tempeh) and whole foods in general

When I woke up at noon today I made some creamy sesame rice: brown rice, 2 t. tahini, roasted garlic and onions (which came out of the oven smoky and sweet and so much better than I remembered), a few drops of toasted sesame oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. It turned out really really good (no pic though), and I think a big batch of it would be great for a potluck or as a side dish at a dinner with friends. Since I boiled the rice and roasted the veggies last night, it came together really quick. I also had an orange, and some tea sweetened with turbinado sugar (that I jacked from the cafeteria before leaving school). It was nice.

May 3, 2008

VwaV choco chips: emissaries of veganism

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 8:46 pm
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So this past Wednesday, one of my little bros turned 17, and I wanted to make him something nice that I had all the ingredients for: cookies! I asked what kind (I threw gigantoid peanut butter oatmeal ones out there first, hoping he’d jump on that bait because I really wanna try those, also suggesting double chocolate chip and regular chocolate chip). Since he’s not a big pb fan (I am now doubting if we are blood sibs), he selected the double chocs. Not a bad choice, though.

In the end, I still decided to make a half-batch of double chocolate and of regular choco chip, simply because I’ve wanted to make (and eat) the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. Boy I’m glad I did, cuz the recipe I used for the double chocs from the PPK yielded massively spread cookies the thickness of credit cards. This is probably all my fault, because I:

  • halved the recipe, which can lead to mistakes.
  • subbed 2 t. cornstarch whisked with 1/4 c. water, where 2 t. flax meal whisked with 1/4 c. soymilk should have been, and hoped for the best.

Feeling glad that I didn’t use all of what little sugar and chocolate chips I had on these crumbly, rinky-dink (but still delicious) cookies, I set about whipping up the chocolate chip cookies, which came out like a dream. They tasted just like my mommy used to make: buttery, chewy, loaded with chocolate, and really rich and satisfying. So, carefully lining the bottom of a cookie tin with the tasty unleavened double chocolate cookies, I placed the homestyle choco chips, heavenly little clouds, on top. When I brought them to my brother’s school*, he loved both of them. I think he’s kinda new to the vegan lifestyle, so I was happy to give him a good intro to it. Really good cookies (and cakes and other sweet things) are the way to bring someone to veganism, for sure.

The recipe for the wonderful VwaV chocolate chip cookies:

1 c. vegan margarine, at room temp
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 T. molasses
2 t. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil a couple baking sheets.
Cream the margarine and sugar (I did it with a whisk) until fluffy. Add the molasses and vanilla and incorporate.
Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir in choco chips.
Add this to the sugar-marg mixture and mix until a dough forms.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on the baking sheets, about an inch apart. Flatten slightly; they don’t spread much.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until mildly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then transfer to cooling racks.

(Originally from Vegan with a Vengeance, reposted at Yeah, That Vegan Shit.)

*Side note: When I went to see my bro at school, I waited for something like 15 minutes in the office trying to get a visitor’s pass. I came early to the school, but this kid’s lunch only lasts 30 minutes and I didn’t really want to deal with the hierarchical bs, so I went on to the cafeteria and found him. Nobody gave me a hard time, but apparently after I left he got called to the office, where the teachers told him I was “no longer welcome” at his school. I felt like such a bad-ass!

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