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!

April 25, 2008

it lasts forever n’ ever

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 8:58 pm
Tags: , ,

That’s right, soy has eternal life. This stuff was originally dumpstered by some Food Not Bombs folks; they found an entire crate of it. It was a month past the expiration date, but when we opened it up and smelled/tasted it, it was pure and sweet and perfect, so we made a vat of cream of broccoli soup!

There was a bunch left over, so they kindly gave me a lil carton. I didn’t open it up for a couple more weeks, bringing the grand “expiration” total up to a month and a half past date, but when I tested the stuff it was exactly the same: perfect. I searched for a dessert recipe that involved soy creamer, and I came up with…

double chocolate muffins. (Low-fat, too!)

1 c. whole wheat flour [not pastry]
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 c. powdered sugar (didn’t have it, so I used 3/4 c. sugar)
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/3 c. dairy free chocolate chips (go for more!)

5 T. applesauce
1 T. balsamic white vinegar (used apple cider vinegar)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. Silk plain soy creamer

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a muffin pan.
Mix the dry ingredients (flour through choco chips) in a bowl.
In a separate, smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Pour those into the dry’s and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix, because that makes fat-free goods tough. Fill your muffin cups full so you have nice big muffins, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a rack.
(Made 8 muffins for me.)

Zombie creamer freaks me out some…

April 20, 2008

me? tagged?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 4:24 pm
Tags: ,

Sorry for the whole not-posting-in-forever thing. I have made things, it’s true: cupcakes, muffins, even an amaaaazing cheezecake (which was absolutely my favorite food pre-vegan, so the fact that I enjoyed it means it kicks tofutti). But I have been busy lately, mostly trying to read actual printed books as opposed to blogs (and regular books, not cookbooks). Have you read Off the Map? You really should; it will make you think and make you happy. How many books do that at once? If you know of any, you should recommend.

In being all busy and such, I forgot to check my blog, thinking that no one would visit because of no new postage. Apparently I was wrong, because one of the several hits I got was from Liz of kamutflake girl, who tagged me to share 5 random things about myself with my “readers.” (BAHAHAHAHA like those even exist)

But that’s far too vague a question! I couldn’t stand those first few days in middle school and high school, when your teacher would give you all those forms to fill out about yourself, monotonously listing your birthday and address, for every teacher. And one of them would be personal enough to ask you to tell him a few things about yourself, but I always had no idea what to say. I am too complex a person to be able to draw out of my depths the 5 most interesting points of my life, that I would most definitely care to have others know about me, on the spot. My head doesn’t work that way: my essence flows, it isn’t extracted and distilled like vanilla! So with me, you get some boring parts for sure, some repeats, but the beauty is steeped in there too, murky and milky with the rest of the it. You know?

That used to mildly stress me out, but whatev’s. Five things, as they come to me:

  • There a greenway near my school, and it’s rather green and lush, with the exception of all the middle-aged business people and their kids, in gym shorts and t-shirts. But running beside the span of this greenway is a creek, and by the creek is this official looking metal sign that says, “AVOID PHYSICAL CONTACT: BIOLOGICAL HAZARD” and lists stuff that it’s contaminated with, like septic waste. So no swimming in that river. Yes, there is a nuclear power plant (supposedly where the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was made??) a few miles from my school. No, I do not have cancer (yet).
  • Speaking of school, I’m studying abroad next semester in Guayaquil, Ecuador! I’ve always wanted to travel in Latin America, but Ecuador wouldn’t have been my first pick: I would have chosen Nicaragua or Guatemala, which have more prominent revolutionary histories. But the program that I’ll be enrolled in is focused on social justice, and I’ve heard that Ecuador has one of the most revolutionary histories of all the countries in South America. Obviously, I have a lot of learning to do.
  • I don’t shave my legs or my armpits, and I’m proud. It took a few shy (winter) months of hiding my legs from my boyfriend and wearing pants and long skirts, but I rock the shorts these days, because a month or two ago I was just like, “Know what? I love me!” I had said that kind of thing to myself before, but never meant it so strongly. And my boyfriend is so down with it. Oh, and on that “I love me” day, I kind of stood in front of the mirror and pulled up my shirt, and rubbed my belly and smiled at myself. Do you think that’s weird?
  • I miss my mom’s broccoli-cheese-rice casserole so bad, and I wanna veganize it soon.
  • I was gonna live in my own apartment over the summer (woo no curfew! woo biking to everywhere I need to go!), but the girl whose lease I was gonna take gave it away to another girl. Without telling me. After she had agreed with me first to give me the lease. Lame?

I know that I’m supposed to tag 5 other people, but I’m not going to continue the tag chain-of-fools, so I hope you enjoy my random factoids.

March 20, 2008

gingerbread apple pie

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 11:20 pm

Delish. It’s from Vegan with a Vengeance, and since I’m not in the habit of posting recipes from published cookbooks, I shan’t post it here. But if you know me holla at me and I’ll hook you up!

It came out really great, especially considering the fact that I subbed half of the margarine in the crust with applesauce and completely ommitted the oil from the filling part. However, I put some applesauce in to compensate for the oil, then I felt like the filling mixture was still too dry, so I put in some water. I didn’t have the tapioca starch or arrowroot powder called for, so I used cornstarch (which is considerably weaker, or at least I think so…). So too much liquid plus not enough thickener made the filling slighty soupy. Oh me…

But the spicy-apple-cookie thing it had going on was pretty cool, and it all worked out once the pie was fully chilled anyway. So next time, less liquid, a bit more cornstarch.

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