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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 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.)

February 10, 2008

OCF dinner

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 1:20 am
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I made dinner for all my people in the OCF on Thursday. I made mini polenta pizzas and a fruit salad, but I have no pictures of them. The pizzas were from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen, and they were delicious (and gluten-free! Always a plus), even if they required a lot more baking time than the recipe stated. I should have made more, though: I only made a double batch (which is technically meant to serve four). I know my poor friends must have been hungry when they got back home, because I sure was! Note to self: amass more filling casserole recipes. The fruit salad was made in the style I learned from my mom:

*fresh fruit (I nicked what was sitting in the cafeteria: apples, oranges, and bananas)
*lemon juice (I actually asked the people in the back for a lemon, and they gave me one! Ask and you shall receive.)
*agave nectar (my mom uses honey)
*generous dashes of cinnamon

I love it so much; it tastes like home.

I did get pictures of the gingerbread cookies that I made for OCF. The recipe is really great: if you don’t overbake them, they’re nice and soft, and the spicing is just perfect. I made an orange icing to go with them: 1 c. powdered sugar, 1 t. orange zest, and just enough orange juice to make it gooey enough to pipe from a plastic baggy.

1/3 c. canola oil
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. plain soymilk

2 c. whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (or a mix of both)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

spice blend:
1/2 t. each ground nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
1 1/2 t. ground ginger

In a large bowl beat together oil and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add molasses and soymilk. The molasses and soymilk won’t really blend with the oil but that’s ok.
In a sepearte bowl, sift together all the other ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches. Mix together with a firm spoon or spatula until well combined. You should have a pretty stiff dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or up to 3 days in advance. (If you chill longer than an hour you may want to let it sit for 10 minutes to loosen up a bit before proceeding).

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease your cookie sheets.
On a floured surface roll you dough out to a little less than 1/4 inch thick. You can do this in 2 batches if you don’t have the space. Cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters and gently place on cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and let them cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then move to a cooling rack. Wait until they are completely cool before icing.

November 27, 2007

pumpkin cornmeal cookies

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 5:50 pm
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Sorry for the lack of postage, flipping out over life has been getting in the way.

These cookies are adapted from this recipe for pumpkin oatmeal cookies, but I used cornmeal instead of oatmeal. One meal for another, right? It gives the cookies an intersting texture: very different from oatmeal cookies, but I like it. The cornmeal adds a distinct kind of chewiness to the mix. I also added cloves equal to the amount of nutmeg in the recipe, because it’s not autumn without cloves.

They’re nice n’ moist the next day, when you give them time to sit. Oh, and I made these with a gluten-free baking mix, so they’re completely GF.

November 25, 2007

snobby joe(s) with polenta

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 2:15 am
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It’s 1 AM. I’m gonna get today’s post over with.

Here you have the Snobby Joes filling from Veganomicon (coincidentally, this is one of the free recipes offered on the PPK website, hmm…) atop some plain, salted polenta. I feel like I can’t really call this snobby joes (plural), because it’s just the filling, no individual sandwiches involved. Right.

I would definitely recommend this recipe. Low fat, gluten free, and really high in protein, fiber, and iron (thanks to the lentils), this dish has a lot to be snobby about. Of course, you should ignore all the afore-mentioned wholesomeness and eat it because it’s thick and spicy and tastes so good. It has a notable 3 tablespoons of chili powder in it, and while I never thought chili powder to have that much heat, the large amount of it in the joes definitely gives the recipe a smokiness and subtle spiciness that lingers in the back of your throat. I think I also loved it because, paired with polenta, it makes my ideal comfort food: thick, mushy, spicy, and filling. I would also suggest drinking a glass of soy nog after you finish eating this, that would make everything better. If you have lentils, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and oregano somewhere in your kitchen, chances are you have the rest of the stuff to make this dish. (Psst! I used molasses instead of maple syrup, and it worked great!) You should totally go make some.

I also made some tasty chocolate chocolate chip cookies (gluten-free) before I went to see friends, but the pictures were ugly so I’ll spare you.

November 8, 2007

pineapple coconut coffee cake

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 12:02 am
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Browned much?

I used a copper-colored pan (that I bought at a thrift store for 79 cents. Screw you, Williams-Sonoma), which I think is why it burned a bit on the bottom. Also, this recipe called for an 8×8 pan, and for a while I forgot to lower the oven temp, which was a necessary step because the heart pan I used was tall and thick. What you can’t see is the crispy, sweet, cinnamon-and-coconut underbelly, that was ironically supposed to be the topping. We do things backwards around here. Overall, I definitely think this recipe was a success. The first time making a recipe can cause some trepidation, and it can be even more worrisome if you’re making a lot of substitutions like I did. This recipe was originally from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen, but it got completely warped due to my lack of ingredients. Warped in a coconutty, gluten-free way of course. (I used a gluten-free flour for the first time and was realy pleased. The texture is just like cake!)

Pineapple Coconut Coffeecake
1 5/6 (1 1/2 + 1/3) c. flour (I used gluten-free)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c. turbinado sugar*

1 T. ground flaxseeds + 3 T. warm water
1 T. vinegar*
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple in its juice, undrained
1/3 c. applesauce

2 T. turbinado sugar*
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. unsweetened shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 inch square baking dish. Mix flaxseeds and warm water, and let sit for a few.
Sift together first 4 ingredients, then add the other dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
Immediately pour into your pan. Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
Let it rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.

This cake is uber-healthy. Gluten-free, no added oils, no refined sugar, and vegan! Ooh-la-la.
*I gleaned these ingredients from the cafeteria! I was especially nervous about the vinegar: the recipe called for white or cider, but I had to use red wine because that’s all I could get my hands on. I was afraid the flavor would be funky, but it was great. And the sugar came frm 50 individual serving packets.

November 4, 2007

first vegan potluck

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 10:29 pm
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I've been craving Mexican.

I knew the Vegetarian Student Alliance was going to a vegetarian/vegan potluck, so I bought all the tasty little ingredients for Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen’s Mexican Lasagna. I subbed corn for the black beans, because I was already using refried black beans. I left out the olives, too.

I had my first experience with the communal kitchen downstairs (not bad, nobody got all up in my business and everybody kept saying “It smells great around here!” Only one girl asked what I was making, though. I wanted to wave my arms and run around the lobby, shouting “Vegan vegan vegan vegan!!!”). Got it all cooked, got cute in my mod little grey dress and turquoise tights, and went to meet up with others from the VSA at the designated place.

But they never showed. There was a parked blue Volkswagen bug sitting around, but I didn’t assume that the people in it were going to the potluck (of course they were. What was I even thinking). Fifteen minutes pass; I decide to drive myself. Except that my car keys are in the dorm, so I walk up there with the casserole, then back down to my car. Then I get on the road. Okay, now I’m in business.

When I got there, I saw the two people that were in the blue bug. I knew they recognized me, but I gave them the cold shoulder cuz that’s how I do (and it’s not nice of me at all). I put the casserole, which by now was quasi-warm, near the other food and labelled it vegan. I eventually met the two blue-bug people (Sara and Patrick), and they’re really nice. They complemented my food, too. 🙂 I feel bad for shafting them in the first place, and we’re all going to dinner together on Tuesday. There was this really enthusiastic 50-something hardcore vegan man who, when I told him that I had only been vegan for a week, was like, “Well, what eggs are, they’re [*whispers*] the chicken’s menstrual cycle.” I was like, “Yes. I know, sir.”

I meant to take pictures of the casserole once it was cut up and such, but I forgot all about it. Everybody apparently enjoyed it though, because all that was left over was scraps, and those disappeared in, like, the first 10 minutes after I got back to my dorm. Weirdly enough, someone accidentally dropped some raisins in the dish when they were serving themselves, and it was delicious. Salty spicy enchilada sauce and earthy raisins… oh yes. Despite my failure to keep the food hot, I liked it a lot, and I think I’ll take it to my dad’s family’s house for Thanksgiving. I gotta find a way to add more enchilada sauce in there, though. I want to take a hot bath in that stuff. I would taste so amazing.

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