Friday, December 28, 2012

Earl Grey Tea Glazed Mini Donuts

Among my vast array of baking pans (translation: clutter), is a mini donut pan that I've never used until now.  I won't lie:  I like my donuts fried.  Baked donuts are just mini bundt cakes to me.  Now that doesn't mean that I won't shovel them into my mouth, because I will at a pace that will shock you.  So, I decided to throw my hat into the baked donut ring with the help of my favorite tea...Earl Grey! 
Makes 2 dozen mini donuts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup almond (or soy milk)
2 tablespoons strongly brewed Earl Grey Tea
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons strongly brewed Earl Grey Tea
1/2 teaspoon (or more) finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves (this is just for presentation; I used Twinings tea bags, which comes finely ground)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a mini donut pan.
  2. Brew your tea. Between the donuts and the glaze, you'll need a total of 4 tablespoons of brewed tea.  Double up on the tea bags or use less water for a strong Earl Grey flavor.  
  3. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, milk, 2 tablespoons of brewed tea, oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir, but don't over-mix.
  6. Fill each donut well about 1/2 full and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes and than transfer to a on a wire rack to cool further.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of brewed tea, and ground tea leaves. Add more tea if the glaze seems too thick.
  9. Dip the top of each donut in the glaze and lift up with a twisting motion.  Spoon more glaze over any 'naked' spots.
  10. Allow the glaze to set before devouring. 
In full disclosure, this is just a muffin recipe that I adapted a bit and finagled into donuts.  That said, I decided to use half the batter for 12 mini donuts and the rest to make muffins, topped with sliced almonds and the Earl Grey tea glaze.

To prevent a mini-donut overdose on my part, I packaged some up to give to co-workers as a little New Year's gift.  These cute little bags and the muffin paper above are courtesy of a Japanese dollar store in the Bay Area (Daiso).

I thought they turned out great in donut and muffin form. At first, I thought the glaze would be terribly sweet and dominant over the Earl Grey flavor. But the tea flavor did come through.  And look, no frying involved!  Yum.  I guess I'll be using this little donut pan more often.  :)

Happy New Year...enjoy!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Steamed Tofu and Kale Dumplings

If there's one food I can't resist, it's dumplings a.k.a. pot stickers/gyozas/wontons.  They certainly require extra effort in the kitchen vs. a noodle stir-fry, but sometimes it's all about texture and presentation with food...and taste, of course!  You can conjure up any filling and these will turn out fabulous.  Trust me.  Anything wrapped in dough is awesome in my book. 

Makes about 25 dumplings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 block tofu, finely chopped or crumbled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup kale, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 package of vegan wonton/gyoza wrappers (or enough to make 25 dumplings)
Bamboo steamer (or other type of steamer)
Parchment paper
  1. Sauté the tofu in olive oil until nicely browned on all sides.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and kale and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Have a small bowl of water handy, along with an empty plate for your finished dumplings.
  5. Place a small spoonful of the tofu mixture onto each wrapper.  Using your finger, moisten the edges of the wrapper with water, then fold in half and press to seal. Or you can pinch and twist the edges together to create tiny 'bags' (as pictured).  You can also go for the the traditional pleated fan potsticker shape.
  6. Using a bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper, steam the dumplings on medium/high heat for about about 10 minutes. 
  7. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
Note that if you shape these into tiny bags like I did, there will be a thick chunk of wrapper on top, which may require extra steaming time to fully soften.  It will also affect your desired filling-to-wrapper-chewing-ratio (if you have one!).  For the traditional pleated fan-shaped dumplings, check out this great instructional video.

You can also pan-fry these to your heart's content.  Or serve them with veggies and broth for wonton soup.  Or smother them with your favorite chili oil sauce.  Yup, dumplings can do it all.

Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tried & True Vegan Holiday Cookie Recipes

As I'm sure you've all noticed, it's peak cookie season!  I've pretty much spent the last month baking cookies to give away for the holidays, so I thought I'd write up a short post on two simple, yet fabulously delicious recipes that have never failed me. 

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies
The homestyle chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Vive le Vegan cookbook (also posted on the Everyday Dish TV website) is always in high demand with family and friends.  The ingredients are basic, but together they yield the quintessential chocolate chip cookie.  I never like messing with perfection, but I thought I'd add in some finely ground earl grey tea leaves just for fun.  One tablespoon of tea leaves (from two tea bags; I used Twinings) added to the batter resulted in a subtle, yet lovely chocolate-earl grey combo. 

Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies
Of course, the holidays wouldn't be complete without gingerbread cookies, cakes, lattes, etc.  The gingerbread cut-out cookie recipe from the Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar cookbook (also posted on the PPK website) is another recipe with ordinary ingredients, but extraordinary results.  The cookies have a great chewy texture and aren't too heavy on the ginger.  Like all the cookies in this cookbook, these cookies totally awesome.

Here they are all wrapped up and ready for distribution!

I love these cookie recipes so much that I make them all year long. The holidays are definitely a time for massive baking, but in my humble opinion, cookie season never ends. :)


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gingersnap Cashew Cheesecake Bars

I'm on a cheesecake rampage this holiday season.  There are so many possible flavor combinations, I just can't stop.  Raw cashew cheesecakes are amazing, but I've always wanted one that came on a traditional cookie crust instead of a nut/date crust.  So, this is a semi-raw cheesecake recipe.  I also wanted to make cheesecake bars instead of a round cheesecake, but I pretty much botched that plan by using my mini tart pans.  I overdid it with the crust, so there was only a little bit of room left for the filling since the pans are so tiny.  Oh well!  That's what I get for trying to make things look overly cute.  :)  In the end, they were delicious and I got the crunchy cookie crust that I was after.
2 cups vegan gingersnap cookie crumbs (I used MI-DEL)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
3 cups raw cashews (soaked for at least an hour, rinsed, and drained)
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh fruit, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil.
  2. Crush the cookies in a food processor or place cookies in a freezer bag and smash with a rolling pin (or other heavy object) until finely ground.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and melted coconut oil together. Gently press the mixture down to cover the entire bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until the crust is set. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely. 
  5. In a high speed blender or food processor, blend together all of the filling ingredients until very smooth.
  6. Pour the filling over the crust. Level the top, cover the pan with foil, and place in the freezer to set overnight.
  7. Once set, remove the cheesecake from the pan by lifting up the foil edges. Top with your favorite fruit or sauce and slice. (I used sliced persimmons mixed with maple syrup)
Wouldn't it be nice to serve these at your holiday party?  Hell yes.  Alternatively, you could also make these in a muffin pan with paper liners.  The cheesecake possibilities are endless...and I'm determined to try them all.  :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Black Rice Tofu Cakes

I love used book stores.  It's like a treasure hunt.  Every time I pick up a used book, I wonder whose hands have held it and whose eyes have studied it. I usually head straight to the cookbook section and love seeing all the wrinkled pages and hand written recipe notes in the margins.  Last week, I scored big time at Aardvark Books with Louise Hagler's classic Tofu Cookery cookbook for only five bucks!  The first recipe that drew me in was her sweet and sour tofu balls.  I ended up adapting the recipe a little to create these savory little tofu cakes.

Makes about 16 small cakes
1 lb. firm tofu 
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup black rice, cooked (or brown rice)
2 tablespoons peanut butter 
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Oil for frying
  1. Using your hands, mash the tofu in large bowl. 
  2. Finely chop the onions and bell pepper. Add them to the mashed tofu.
  3. Add in the cooked black rice, peanut butter, tamari, and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (if it feels dry and crumbly, add more peanut butter and sesame oil)
  4. Form into 1½ inch balls and flatten a little. (see photo)
  5. Fry in a thin layer of oil until browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels. 
  6. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
I got lazy and left out the homemade sweet and sour sauce.  Instead, I turned to my favorite Korean gochujang sauce for dipping.  You can also make larger burger patties with this recipe.  I added the black rice for contrast, but these would also be fabulous with cooked quinoa instead of rice.  Yum!  I can't wait to try out more recipes from this cookbook.  It's truly a recipe gold mine and a pioneer resource for plant-based cooking.

Also, if you're in San Francisco or are ever in San Francisco, check out Aardvark Books.  They have an adorable resident cat that wanders the store and sleeps on their boxes of books.  :)


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

BBQ Kale Empanadas

I bought some Gardein BBQ Pulled Shreds a while ago and totally forgot I had them.  My fridge is packed, it's true.  But I'm not a hoarder...I just have a small fridge. :)  I didn't have any buns to pair with the BBQ shreds, so when in doubt, make a quick and dirty crust and fill it with everything under the sun!  I used the same dough recipe from my Filipino Empanada post, but left out the sugar.  It won't be a flaky crust, but it's easy and only involves flour, oil, and water.  Done. 

Makes 6 empanadas
 For the filling:
1 package of Gardein BBQ Shreds (their BBQ riblets would also work too)
1 cup of chopped kale (or your favorite veggies)
  1. Mix the BBQ shreds with the chopped kale in a bowl. Set aside.
For the dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
Soy or almond milk, for brushing
  1. In a bowl, mix the flour, water, and oil together until a dough forms (the dough will feel very oily-- that's ok).
  2. Divide the dough into 6 even balls.
  3. Using your hands, flatten each ball into into circles about 1/4 inch in thickness and place on a baking sheet. (You can also roll each dough ball out using a rolling pin, but the dough is pretty soft and pliable, so this isn't really necessary) 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place 1-2 spoonfuls of the BBQ-kale filling on each dough circle.
  3. Fold dough over to form a semi-circle, leaving a small lip on the bottom layer.
  4. Using your index finger, fold the bottom layer over your other index finger to form a rope crimp (or just press the edge down with a fork to seal).
  5. Brush empanadas with soy or almond milk.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Admittedly, hamburger buns would've been waaaaaaaaaay easier.  But look how pretty these are!  Plus, everyone loves empanadas...they're the perfect on-the-go meal.  You can basically make up any filling combo.  How about some food fusion:  samosa empandas?  Emposas?  Ok, now I'm just rambling...

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Miso Maple Dressing

I love salads, but I rarely (ok, never) make homemade dressings.  It's probably one of the easiest things to make from scratch, but it's also just as easy to buy a ready-made bottle from the store. :)  In any case, I decided that it was time to try out a dressing recipe (and also use up my white miso paste, which is close to its expiration date). 

(Adapted from the miso-sesame dressing recipe by The Food Network)

Makes about 1 cup of dressing

1/2 cup white miso paste
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other vegetable or nut oil)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together well.  (or place ingredients in a large bottle or jar and shake, shake, shake)

How easy was that?  I had the dressing over a chopped kale, bell pepper, and tempeh salad.  It was utterly delightful.  I guess the hard part here is just making sure you have all the ingredients.  If you want a creamier version of this, you can add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of silken tofu and mix everything well in a blender.  I didn't want to wash more dishes, so I passed on the silken tofu this time around.  But next time, it's on.

Enjoy! :)

Gluten-Free Hazelnut Quinoa Brownies

Another day, another brownie recipe.  I've been baking up a storm for my office mates this holiday season, but have neglected the needs of some of my gluten intolerant colleagues. Oopsie. I've had some mixed results with vegan gluten-free baking.  I'm not sure if it's because I pick gluten-free recipes that rely heavily on eggs for binding or if I'm just picking bad recipes.  The last vegan gluten-free cake I made had the texture of chewing gum!  Nevertheless, I have a huge assortment of gluten-free flours that I try to use every chance I can get. 

This recipe is adapted from the quinoa brownie recipe in Bob's Red Mill Baking Book.  I just love the wide array of flours from Bob's Red Mill.  I hope to visit their Whole Grain Store and Visitor’s Center the next time I'm in Portland.  Sounds like a baker's paradise!

Makes 16 small squares

1/2 cup canola oil
4 1/2 oz. vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 egg replacements (I used 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds whisked with 6 tablespoons water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup quinoa flour
3 tablespoons brown or white rice flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (or your favorite nut)
1/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life (or just use regular-sized chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.
  2. Stir the oil with the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler or a glass bowl set over simmering water, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the egg replacements to the chocolate mixture, whisking vigorously. Stir in the vanilla and let the mixture cool until it's warm.
  4. In another bowl, mix the quinoa flour, rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and sugar.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture to form a dough and spread into the prepared pan. 
  6. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips evenly over the dough and press down using your fingers or a spoon.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the center doesn't look raw anymore.
  8. Allow to cool then cut into squares.
I'm happy to report that these were nothing close to chewing gum.  I was worried that the quinoa flour would leave a slightly bitter taste, but in the end the sugar and chocolate trumped any hint of bitterness.  (Isn't that true in a lot of situations in life?)

Enjoy!  :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pecan Brownie-Oatmeal Cookie Squares

I've always wanted to make brownies with a crust.  They just look so darn pretty and let's face it, crusts are delicious!  This is pretty much a hybrid pecan bar/brownie/oatmeal cookie. Triple threat!  The recipe is based on Taste of Home's Triple Layer Brownies, which was pretty straightforward to veganize.  As you can see, I left out the third layer, which is chocolate frosting.  That would've sent me into a sugar coma.  Check out the original recipe and try out all three layers if you want total decadence.  Either way, you'll end up with a wonderful crowd pleaser...or you can just keep them all for yourself too.  :)
Makes 16 squares 
1 cup quick-cooking oats 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted 
Brownie Layer:
3/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted 
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted 
1 egg replacement (I used 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt; stir in the 1/2 cup melted Earth Balance. 
  3. Pat this mixture into a greased 11 x 7-inch baking pan and bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes. 
  4. In one bowl, mix the sugar, 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance, and melted chocolate. Add in the egg replacement and vanilla extract. 
  5. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, alternating with the almond milk. Mix well after each addition. 
  7. Stir in the pecans.
  8. Spread the batter over the oatmeal crust and bake for 25 minutes. 
  9. Let cool and then cut into 16 squares (or more, depending on how small you cut them).
I don't have an 11 x 7 inch baking pan, so I used my 13 x 9 inch pan.  That's why these ended up so thin.  The results were still awesome!  I brought some to work and people loved them (or so they said).  But based on my own discerning palate, they were delish.  Just fantastic. The oatmeal crust was totally worth the extra effort.  I may frost the next batch that I make, but these were pretty decadent sans frosting.  I may even go crazy and use walnuts or almonds instead of pecans.  Ooooh, watch out world!  :)


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vegan Lion King Sushi Roll

Have you ever been at a sushi restaurant enjoying your miso soup, avocado/cucumber roll, and inari, but secretly eyeing the warm, gooey Lion King roll that someone else is eating? I have! So I decided to take matters into my own hands. A Lion King sushi roll is typically a California roll topped with salmon and covered in a creamy Kewpie mayo-based sauce, broiled in the oven or with a blow torch. This is my attempt at veganizing it. I never actually tasted one during my pre-vegan days, so I have no clue how close this comes to the real thing.  But I do know that this turned out insanely good due to the special savory/sweet Lion King sauce. Holy smokes. Warm sushi is some good stuff.
Makes 2 sushi rolls
For the spicy tofu roll:
1 cup sushi rice, cooked 
6 oz. firm tofu (I used 1 package of Hodo Soy Beanery firm tofu)
2 tablespoons vegan mayo
½ teaspoon (or more) chili oil, to taste
½ teaspoon (or more) shichimi togarashi, to taste (optional; if you don’t have this you can just increase the amount of chili oil)
½ of an avocado, sliced into strips 
2 sheets sushi nori 
Sushi mat
  1. Cut about 1/3 of the tofu block off and cut that piece into 12 thin slices, about 1/8" thick and 1” wide (to place on top of each piece of sushi). Set aside.
  2. Mash the remaining 2/3 of tofu in a bowl and then add the vegan mayo, chili oil, and shichimi togarashi (if using). Mix well and set aside.
  3. Lay a sheet of nori on your sushi mat (shiny side down).
  4. Place a layer of sushi rice on top (about 1/4 inch thick), leaving a ½ inch gap on each edge.
  5. Place a line of the spicy tofu mixture on the rice, followed by a line of avocado strips.
  6. Roll the sheet as tightly as possible using the sushi mat.
  7. Moisten the edge with water and seal. Set aside and make the second roll. 
For the Lion King sauce:    
2 tablespoons vegan mayo
1½ teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin 
1½ teaspoons sugar
  1. Mix the vegan mayo, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a small bowl.  
  2. Adjust the amounts accordingly, based on how salty or sweet you want the sauce to be. Set aside.
  1. Turn your oven on to broil.
  2. Using a wet, sharp knife slice each roll into 6 ½-inch thick slices. (remove the not so pretty ends and eat them!) 
  3. Place the cut sushi rolls on a sheet of foil and fold the edges up to prevent sauce from spilling out. Place on a baking sheet.
  4. Top each sushi piece with one thinly sliced piece of tofu. 
  5. Pour half of the Lion King sauce over your rolls, covering all of the tofu.
  6. Place the sushi directly under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes until the sauce begins to brown. 
  7. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls and continue to broil for 2-3 more minutes until it starts to bubble.  
  8. Most of the sauce will have dripped down to the foil, so before serving, spoon some of the sauce back on top of the sushi rolls.  
  9. Optional: Top with black sesame seeds, shichimi togarashi, or sliced scallions for garnish.
  10. Serve warm.
This is definitely one of those dishes that requires some serious ‘mis en place’ action. I didn’t prep things in advance and ended up with a huge mess in my tiny kitchen! I’m also a novice sushi maker, so I probably would’ve benefited from studying a YouTube video on sushi rolling beforehand. If you’d like to save time, you can just fill the sushi with plain tofu strips or tempeh instead of the mashed spicy tofu. With all the yummy Lion King sauce on top, I don’t think the filling really matters.  Enjoy! 
P.S. I have no clue why this is called a Lion King roll. Do you? :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tofu with Korean Gochujang Mayo

I’m kind of obsessed with Korean gochujang sauce right now. I just love its sweet and spicy flavor. It's so delicious with tofu and veggies. I picked up a bottle of Annie Chun's gochujang sauce at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and now it’s all gone. Time to re-stock! Last night, I mixed some gochujang sauce with Vegenaise…wow, it was like a spicy, creamy aioli sauce with sweet undertones. I served it over some pan-fried tofu. What a fabulously simple dinner!
For the tofu:
  • I used a block of extra firm tofu, sliced, and fried in a little bit of olive oil.  
  • While frying, I drizzled the tofu with a some soy sauce and then sprinkled each side with nutritional yeast.
For the gochujang mayo:
  • I didn’t measure; you can use varying amounts of gochujang sauce and Vegenaise depending on how spicy you like your food.  
  • Those are just chopped chives for contrast. :)
For the green beans:
  • The green beans were sautéed in some olive oil and gochujang sauce. As I said, I just love this stuff!
If you’d like to make the gochujang sauce from scratch, there’s a simple recipe here.  Also, this cute little plate is from the new Muji store that recently opened in San Francisco. I love the little bento-box-like compartments...reminds me of TV dinners. 
Enjoy! :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Green Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies

I recently visited Seoul and Tokyo and was intrigued by all the green tea flavored baked goods.  You can find green tea mochi, tarts, sweet buns, pound cakes, cookies, etc. everywhere.  You have to look harder to find vegan versions, but they do exist!  I saw these green tea cookies at Eat More Greens in Tokyo.

(black honey, or kuromitsu, is similar to's vegan)
Now that I'm back, all I want to do is bake green tea flavored goodies.  It can be a little tricky because too much matcha green tea powder can yield a bitter taste.  Alternatively, you can't really taste any green tea flavor if there's too little green tea powder in the recipe.  Also, if you leave the cookies/muffins/cake in the oven for too long, they'll turn brown and you'll lose that vibrant green color. 

This recipe is adapted from the fantastic Alien's Day Out blog.  I only made a few substitutions:
  • Used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour.
  • Increased the amount of vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon and left out the almond extract completely.
  • I love the green tea and chocolate combo, so I used vegan chocolate chips instead of dried figs and sunflower seeds.   
They were delicious!  I'll probably add a little more green tea powder next time because the green tea flavor was faint.  I used Maeda En "culinary quality" matcha green tea powder.  I'm not well-versed when it comes to green tea powder, so perhaps this brand is weak in flavor?  I dunno.  Nevertheless, the cookies were yummy and had a nice chewy texture.  Here's a photo that shows a little more of the natural green food coloring, yay!

Another dessert combo I saw in Japan was green tea and adzuki beans.  I think I'll try that next!  :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 23: Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Ube (or purple yam) is used in several Filipino sweets ranging from cakes to pastries to ice cream to candy.  A quick  Google Image search for "ube" will yield vibrant photos of all the tasty ube treats I grew up eating.  The ube flavor is more subtle than sweet potato or pumpkin, but once you've tasted it, you'll certainly recognize it if you come across it in a dessert (and not just because of its purple color). 
Fresh ube can be a difficult thing to find. I've only had luck finding it at Asian supermarkets. If you can't find it fresh, it also comes frozen or powdered. You can even get it as jam! I've heard stories about ube cakes turning green during the baking process, so I was happy to see that these cupcakes stayed somewhat purple. :)
Makes 1 dozen cupcakes
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 scant cup of almond milk (or soy milk)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1¼  cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup ube, peeled, boiled and mashed
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
  2. Place the vinegar in a measuring cup and fill the cup with almond milk so that it equals 1 cup. Stir well and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another mixing bowl, stir together the almond milk mixture, canola oil, vanilla extract, and mashed ube. 
  5. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth using a hand mixer.
  6. Fill each muffin cup about ¾ full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  7. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
1 container of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted (for garnish)
  1. Cream together the cream cheese, Earth Balance, and powdered sugar.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and ½ cup of coconut flakes and mix until combined.
  3. Toast the remaining ¼ cup of coconut flakes by oven or stove (instructions here)

These cupcakes are moist and not too sweet.  Feel free to add more sugar to the batter if you like things on the sweeter side.  And if you really want to achieve a bright purple color, you can try adding a few drops of red and blue food coloring, such as India Tree, which is vegetable based. 

This is the last day of VeganMoFo, but I hope you'll continue to check out this blog.  Thanks for a great month...and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 22: Avocado, Hummus, and Kale Toast

We’re in the VeganMoFo homestretch. It’s been awesome seeing so many creative and delicious vegan recipes shared from around the world. Admittedly, it’s also been exhausting coming up with daily blog posts…and I even took weekends off!  So, I'm taking a little breather today.  This recipe is a quick and simple one:   bread + hummus + veggies. It was an impromptu breakfast that was so pretty, I had to take photos for my food porn library. 

No precise measurements are needed.  Just bust out the following ingredients and have at it!
Your favorite bread
Your favorite hummus
An avocado, sliced
Your favorite greens, chopped
Olive Oil
  1. Toast bread and top with hummus, sliced avocado, and chopped greens.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and paprika.
  3. Eat ravenously.
I used Acme Bread Company’s herb slab, Hummus Heaven’s black bean and chipotle harissa hummus, kale, and Trader Joe’s garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil.  
Hummus Heaven is a food stand found at many Bay Area farmers’ markets. They offer an insane number of delicious hummus varieties, but their black bean and chipotle harissa hummus is my favorite by far. If you’d like to make it from scratch, there's a recipe posted here.
Tomorrow is the last day of VeganMoFo and also Halloween!  I’ll have to post something good [insert The Simpsons’ evil Mr. Burns face here].
Stay tuned!

Monday, October 29, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 21: Tofu and Kale Croquettes

This recipe is based on a tofu burger that I once had.  I've been experimenting more with dishes that require breading and frying (don't judge), and this tofu burger seemed like the perfect candidate for that.  If you're avoiding fried foods, I've included baking instructions below.  You can also easily swap out the veggies (edamame? zucchini? corn?), but I thought the kale and carrots worked fabulously here. 

Makes about 8 croquettes
Some vegetable oil for sautéing the vegetables and some for frying the croquettes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced or grated 
½ cup onion, finely chopped
½ cup carrots, finely chopped or grated
1 cup kale, finely chopped 
1 block of firm tofu, pressed and drained
1/4 cup light miso (I used white miso)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Egg replacer for 2 eggs (I used Ener-G powder mixed with water)
1 cup breadcrumbs (regular or panko)
  1. Sauté the garlic, ginger, onion, carrots, and kale in the oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the tofu using your hands.
  3. Add the cooked vegetables, miso, and sesame oil and mix well.
  4. Use about 1/3 cup of the mixture to form patties.  Set aside.
Frying the croquettes:
  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Divide flour, egg replacer, and breadcrumbs into 3 shallow bowls.
  3. Dredge each patty in the flour, dip it into egg replacer liquid, and then coat with breadcrumbs.
  4. Fry each patty on both sides until lightly browned. 

Depending on the firmness of the that tofu you use, you may find that the patties are crumbly and don't stick together well.  In this case, you can try adding an egg replacement to the tofu mixture (Ener-G or maybe ground chia seeds mixed with water).  I had to continue to squeeze the patties together throughout the entire dredging process, but once I got them in the oil, they retained their shape just fine.

Baking the patties (without breading):
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Oil a baking sheet.
  2. Place the patties on the baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden.
Baked version without breading

If you have some of the unfried/unbaked tofu mixture left over, I think it would be great in a sandwich, wrapped up in some nori seaweed, or used as the filling in potstickers.  You can never go wrong with tofu and kale!  That's my new motto.  :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 20: Spanish Meatball and Kale Stew

I skim through a lot of food magazines looking for recipes to veganize.  Some are pretty difficult and some are easy peasy, like this one that I saw in Rachael Ray's magazine.  This dish is pretty quick to whip up with the help of store-bought vegan meatballs.  I added some green olives for more Spanish flair.  I also added kale because I think it's good practice to add kale to everything...except maybe ice cream. 
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch of kale, chopped
½ cup green olives, pitted
Homemade or store-bought vegan meatballs, pre-cooked (I used Nate's)
Salt and pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the smoked paprika and carrots and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
  4. Add the kale, olives, and meatballs and cook for another 3 minutes.  
  5. Season with salt and pepper, as needed.
If you're in a meatball-making mood, here's a round-up of some homemade vegan meatball recipes that look fabulous:
Brown Rice & Lentil Meatballs (from My Vegan Cookbook website)
Gluten-Free Meatballs (from The Gluten Free Vegan website)
Soy Meatballs (from the PETA website)
Grain & Nut Meatballs (from the VegNews website)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 19: Earl Grey Guava Jam Thumbprints

My brother just came back from Hawaii and got me tons of Honomu guava jam!  Their jams are free of preservatives, artificial food coloring, and high fructose corn syrup.  Awesome.  I love guava jam on toast, but I’m also always looking for ways to incorporate it into baking because the flavor is so unique. Earl grey tea is another flavor that I love seeing in baked goods. So why not combine the two in the form of lovely little cookies? 
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon earl grey tea leaves (from 2 tea bags)
Some guava jam (or your favorite jam)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt, and tea leaves. Stir until just combined.
  4. Using your hands, roll pieces of dough into teaspoon sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (the dough will feel oily)
  5. Make an indentation in the center of each ball. (the end of a wooden spoon is great for this; remember to dip the handle in flour so that it doesn’t stick to the dough)
  6. Fill each indentation with jam.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.

Some notes:
  • These spread a bit while baking, so I found that rolling small teaspoon (vs. tablespoon) sized balls results in nicely shaped cookies.
  • I also made a small batch using quince jam, but I didn’t think it was as flavorful as the guava version.  Try it out and let me know how it works for you!
  • If you use loose leaf tea, you may have to grind the leaves first...unless you like chewing on big pieces of tea leaves. 

The holidays are fast approaching and these will definitely be on my cookie giveaway list. What's on yours?  :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 18: Pumpkin Madeleines

I bought a madeleine pan years ago and have only used it twice.  The first time: years ago.  The 2nd time: this week. I once attempted to veganize a madeleine recipe by simply replacing Ener-G powder+water for the eggs and Earth Balance for the butter. It didn’t work out so well. They looked pretty, but instead of cakey, they were rubbery. I was about to leave my madeleine pan on the sidewalk with a “free” sign taped to it, but then I came across the new cookbook We Love Madeleines. It includes a vegan madeleine recipe involving coconut milk that looked promising. I modified the recipe a bit and made pumpkin madeleines in the spirit of fall, and because I love pumpkin baked goods so darn much.

Makes 2 dozen madeleines

¼ canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened MimicCreme*
1 ½ teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a madeleine pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the MimicCreme with the vinegar and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract to the MimicCreme mixture and mix well.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.
  6. Fill each mold about 2/3 full. (I used a small cookie scoop to do this)
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are browned.
  8. Let the madeleines cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.
*MimicCreme is an awesome vegan heavy cream substitute made of cashews and almonds. If you can’t find it, you can stick with coconut milk, but I’m not sure how it will balance with the pumpkin flavor.

I brought these to work and everyone seemed to love them (free food!), but I think I’ll continue to tweak this recipe by maybe reducing the amount of liquid or pumpkin puree. I thought they were a little on the moist side...which I guess is better than being too dry.
If anyone out there has a good vegan madeleine recipe, please share!   I’d like to use my madeleine pan more often than every few years. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 17: Rustic Tomato Tart

I love anything that involves pie crust.  Baking cookies and cake is fulfilling in its own way, but there's something deeply satisfying about getting your hands dirty with a pastry blender and rolling pin.  It's like Play Doh, minus the toxic neon colors.   If pie crust making isn't your thing, you can enlist the help of some store-bought puffed pastry for this recipe.  You can call this tart a galette if you'd like to be fancy...or even a delicate pizza. I call it delicious.

Dough for 1 single-crust pie (see recipe from previous post)
1/2 container of non-dairy Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 tablespoon almond milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
A handful of fresh basil, cut into ribbons
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced into strips
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tomatoes (different colors and sizes), sliced
For the crust:
  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pie dough out into a circle or oval.
  2. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F.
For the filling:
  1. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, almond milk, salt, and pepper. Stir in basil ribbons. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic for about 20-30 minutes until the onions are caramelized. Set aside.
  1. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the rolled out dough, leaving a small border.
  2. Add a layer of caramelized onions, followed by a layer of sliced tomatoes.
  3. Fold the edges of the dough over (as pictured above).
  4. Brush the dough with some olive oil or almond milk.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Some notes:
  • Since this kinda resembles a pizza, why not add some vegan sausage or seasoned tempeh?
  • If you're not a fan of store-bought vegan cream cheese, you can try using some homemade cashew cheese or tofu pine nut cream
  • If you'd like to serve this as an appetizer, just cut out small circles of dough and use one tomato slice per galettes!
  • This is best eaten fresh out of the oven when the crust is still nice and flaky.  I had some for lunch the next day and it was good, but not as good as it was the night before.  :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 16: Dark Chocolate Chip Almond Sea Salt Cookies

Grocery stores can be one big trap. I should know better than to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach because that usually means a full cart. And then when you make it to the checkout line, you’re surrounded by candy, chocolate, magazines, and other things you don’t really need (sometimes I really do need chocolate though…). The other day, a bar of Chocolove’s almond-sea-salt-dark-chocolate-bar was staring me down while I waited to pay for my goods. So, I did what anyone would do: I bought it, chopped it up, and made cookies!

For the cookie part, I used Dreena Burton’s tried and true vegan Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it. It’s the best cookie recipe in the world.  Hands down. 

Some notes:
  • One bar of chocolate is enough to make a dozen cookies.
  • I didn’t really taste any sea salt after trying a piece of the chocolate. So, to ensure that these cookies had that salty/sweet combo, I sprinkled them with some sea salt before baking.  
I once made cookies using a chopped up green earl grey tea flavored dark chocolate bar made by The Tea Room and the results were amazing. In this case, it would’ve been much more cost-effective to use good old chocolate chips and chopped almonds. Don’t get me wrong, these cookies were crazy delicious. I’ll just use a more exotic flavored chocolate bar next time to get more bang for my buck.

The cool thing about Chocolove bars is that each one comes with a love poem on the wrapper (awwwww). I don’t think I’ve ever actually stopped to read the poem before because I was too busy devouring the chocolate. So, for your viewing pleasure and mine, here’s the poem that came with the chocolate bar:
Sweet. :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 15: Tofu and Green Beans in Black Bean Garlic Sauce

Whenever I'm at a restaurant and see tofu and green beans on the menu, I immediately know that’s what I’ll order. Oddly enough, it’s something that I never cook at home. Weird! So, this week I decided to go for it. This is a combination of a bunch of different tofu and green bean recipes that I saw online. It’s such a simple dish that you probably don’t even need a recipe to follow.

 The one ingredient worth trying is the pre-made black bean garlic sauce. You can find it in Asian supermarkets or in the Asian section of most grocery stores.  It can be used in any stir-fry, so a small jar of it will go quickly (depending on how often you stir-fry, natch).  I think it's pretty salty on its own, so I didn’t include any additional salt or soy sauce in this recipe.  Also, if you can't find Chinese cooking wine, you can use dry sherry or any of the substitutes listed here.  You could also probably leave it out completely and just use water instead. 

Makes 2-3 servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of fresh ginger, minced
1 package of firm tofu, cubed
½ pound of green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (or dry sherry)
1 teaspoon red hot chili flakes
  1. In a wok or large skillet, fry the garlic and ginger in oil over high heat until fragrant.
  2. Add the tofu and stir fry until golden brown on all sides.
  3. Add the green beans and stir fry for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. Add the black bean garlic sauce, cooking wine, and chili flakes. Toss everything together well and fry for 1-2 minutes more.
  5. Serve with brown rice or your noodle of choice.
How easy was that?  There are numerous ways to play around with this recipe...add mushrooms?  Bell peppers?  Use tempeh?  Seitan? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.  Even though the store-bought black bean garlic sauce is doing most of the work here, this is still a comforting homemade meal that you can whip up in no time.  No green beans?  Broccoli time!  No broccoli?  Use frozen peas!  I could go on and on, but you wouldn't want that.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 14: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a spectacularly effortless pumpkin muffin recipe. I’ve made tons of pumpkin baked goods that require measuring out four to five different spices or having pumpkin pie spice on hand. I always thought that depth of flavor was needed to complement the splendid autumnal pumpkin essence that we all know and love. However, this recipe only requires one spice (cinnamon) and I think the finished product tastes absolutely fantastic. The muffins are moist and the pumpkin flavor really comes through.  

I found this recipe on VegWeb, which is an online gold mine filled with over 13,000 user-rated vegan recipes. They also have an awesome iPhone app that I often peruse during my commute home when I have to figure out what to make for dinner. It’s much more fun than playing the Scrabble computer when you’re stuck in a tunnel due to the frequent delays in San Francisco’s dreadful transit system!

Makes 12 muffins (original recipe posted here)

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 egg substitutes (I used Ener-G powder mixed with water)*
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, mix the sugar, oil, and egg substitutes. Add pumpkin and water.
  3. In separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with batter and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
*If you don’t have Ener-G powder, there’s a nice list of egg substitute options here.
These muffins have a light texture, so they can also serve as cupcakes for your upcoming Halloween or Thanksgiving bash. I wouldn’t alter this recipe at all…the muffins are wonderful as is. Thank you, VegWeb!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 13: Sausage and Kale Stromboli

I’m calling this a stromboli because I just like the sound of it. It makes people think you slaved over a hot stove all evening while humming ‘That’s Amore’. You also can call this a pizza dog, a pizza pocket, a stuffed breadstick, etc. If you live in San Francisco, this is pretty close to the Vegan Pig in a Blanket that’s sold at the Whole Foods in the Haight. I wouldn’t really call this’s more like 'assembling'.  But it’s another vegan creation to add to my repertoire, so I hereby present to you, the lazy person’s stromboli:
Makes 4 pieces
  • Pre-made pizza dough (I used Whole Foods' refrigerated whole wheat dough…you can also make your own
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped
  • 4 vegan sausages (I used Tofurky Italian Sausages)
  • Vegan pesto, store-bought or homemade (optional)
  • Some tomato or marinara sauce
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Olive oil, for sautéing 
  1. Chop kale into small pieces and sauté in olive oil (or steam) until wilted. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. (or whatever the instructions on the package say)
  3. Divide pizza dough into 4 pieces. 
  4. On a lightly floured surface, stretch each piece into flat rectangles.
  5. Spread a layer of pesto on each piece, followed by a layer of tomato or marinara sauce, a layer of kale, and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.
  6. Place one sausage in the center of each piece.
  7. Bring the dough over the filling and seal edges. (It’s ok if they don’t seal completely…they’ll look rustic that way!)
  8. Transfer each piece (with the sealed side faced down) to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Some notes:
  • I guess for a fancier look, I’ll chop the sausages into small pieces next time.  
  • This would also be great with vegan burger crumbles, Gimme Lean, seasoned tofu, tempeh, etc.
  • If you’re a fan of vegan cheese, you can add some in for a more authentic Italian feeling.
This was pretty delicious. Lazy + hungry can sometimes be a dangerous combination for your wallet. A little bit of effort was required here, but everything came together in no time. Score 1 for the lazy person’s stromboli. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 12: Maple Pecan Cookies

Maple syrup does wonders in baked goods. It isn’t cheap, but consider it an investment for your health and taste buds. It brings a natural subtle sweetness and chewy texture to cookies. In general, you can substitute maple syrup for granulated sugar in baking by following the rules listed here, but it may take some experimentation to get the texture you seek.

Here’s a maple cookie recipe in celebration of fall. If you happen to have maple extract on hand (who doesn’t?), it’ll make these cookies undeniably maple-y. If you don’t have any, no worries, these cookies will still be delicious.

Recipe adapted from the Nigella Lawson website 

Makes about 2 dozen cookies
¼ cup of canola oil
½ cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons applesauce
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
24 pecan halves
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the canola oil with the brown sugar.
  3. Add the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract.  Mix well. 
  4. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Form balls of dough with your hands (or use a cookie scoop to save time) and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Place a pecan half on each cookie and press down lightly.  (Try not to flatten the dough too much)
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes and then let cool on a wire rack.

I rounded up some other mouth-watering vegan maple cookie recipes that I saw online. I still have yet to try these, but they’re on my to-do list!

Maple Oat Cookies
Maple Spice Cookies
Banana Maple Oatmeal Cookies
Chocolate Maple Cookies

And if you’re having a massive maple snack attack, but aren't in the mood to bake, the Trader Joe's Maple Leaf Cookies are vegan.  :)


Monday, October 15, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 11: Squash Boats

I saw the cutest little yellow, golf ball-sized globe squash at the farmers’ market yesterday. If you’re like me, you go to the farmers’ market for the ambiance, admire nature’s bounty...and then proceed to buy everything in sight without a recipe in mind. That’s how I got suckered into buying these little babies…I can never say no to miniature vegetables. (Can you?)  I ended up making little squash boats. You can serve them as an appetizer, but I had them as the main course with brown rice. Yum!
Recipe adapted from the Cooking with PETA cookbook
3 medium globe squash or zucchini (or 6 tiny ones)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup of crumbled tofu, tempeh, or vegan ground round (I used Gimme Lean Sausage)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
¼ cup tomato sauce or marinara sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Slice squash in half and scoop out the pulp. Transfer the empty boats to a greased baking dish. 
  2. Chop the squash pulp and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  4. Add onion and brown for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add vegan ground round, chopped squash pulp, nutritional yeast, oregano, red chili pepper flakes, and tomato sauce. Sauté for 2-3 minutes more.
  6. Season with some salt and pepper.
  7. Add 1-2 spoonfuls of filling to each boat.
  8. Cover with with foil and bake for 30 minutes in a 375°F oven.
  9. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Some notes:
  • Next time, I’ll try sprinkling some breadcrumbs over the filling for an added crunch.
  • I might add some finely chopped walnuts or pecans to the filling too.
  • I guess I could’ve easily skipped the boat part and just sautéed all the ingredients together as a stir-fry, but where’s the fun in that?  :)