Saturday, February 9, 2013

Oatmeal Coconut Ube (Purple Yam) Cookies

I previously posted a recipe for ube cupcakes and now I'm back again with ube cookies. Well, this is actually a recipe for ube sandwiched between two cookies.  :)  Ube flavor isn't overwhelmingly strong, but I just love its vibrant purple color.  It's hard to believe that there's no artificial food coloring here!  This ube cream would go great with chocolate or shortbread cookies, but I wanted a tropical theme, so I went with coconut.  The cookie recipe is from my previous coconut oatmeal cookie post.  They're moist, chewy, and easy to whip up in no time.


Makes 6 sandwich cookies (12 single cookies)

3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Into a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the oats and coconut and stir until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and oil.
  4. Add the wet mixture to dry and stir until just combined.
  5. Place tablespoon-sized spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and slightly flatten.
  6. Bake for 11 minutes until lightly golden.
  7. Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
Ube Cream Filling:

Makes 1 cup
1 cup ube, peeled, boiled, and puréed
2 tablespoons raw cashew butter (I used Artisana)
1/4 cup agave nectar (plus 1-2 tablespoons more, if you want it sweeter)
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Peel and chop the ube.  Boil in water until they feel soft when poked with a fork.
  2. Drain and transfer the ube to a medium bowl and mash well by hand or puree in a food processor. 
  3. Combine the pureed ube, cashew butter, agave nectar, almond milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.  Adjust with more sweetener, if you'd like, but note that the cookies are sweet too.
  4. Refrigerate the ube cream for an hour. (This isn't absolutely necessary, but it does help the filling firm up a bit)
  5. Spread the cream between 2 cookies and enjoy! 
I've been using raw cashew butter in a lot of creams and frostings lately, but feel free to use Earth Balance vegan butter or coconut oil instead.  You may also want to double the cookie recipe so that you can use up all the ube cream.  I ended up eating the cream like it was pudding, so I didn't have any left over.  :)


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Maple Sriracha Tempeh Balls

When I first tried Sriracha sauce I absolutely hated it. I thought it was vile, offensive, and that it ruined everything it touched. Fast forward 10 years, and I can’t live without it!  I put it on almost everything. Oh my, how my palate has changed.  I always find myself reaching for that green-tipped bottle while cooking.  Sriracha can be mixed with Vegenaise or silken tofu for a creamy hot sauce, added to a savory bread batter, or sautéed with tofu and vegetables. The possibilities are endless. So, I was overjoyed to come across the Sriracha Cookbook. The recipes are super creative and beautifully photographed.  Although it's not a vegan cookbook, most of the recipes are easily veganizable.  And even better, a follow-up vegan Sriracha cookbook is due out in July!  Awesomesauce.  In the meantime, I veganized these tempeh balls based on the maple Sriracha sausage patties from the original cookbook. Maple + Sriracha? Yes, please!

Makes about a dozen
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
3 tablespoons water
1 8 oz. package of tempeh (I used Lightlife)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Oil, for frying 
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax seeds and water.  Set aside.
  2. Mash the tempeh in a medium bowl with a fork.
  3. Add the flax seed mixture, bread crumbs, maple syrup, Sriracha sauce, green onions, and thyme. Combine well.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Using your hands, form the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and set aside.
  5. Frying Option: Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the tempeh balls, gently turning every few minutes, until crispy and browned on all sides. Baking Option: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Place the tempeh balls on a parchment-lined baking pan and mist them with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes or so, until well browned on all sides.
You can omit the bread crumbs if you'd like to make these gluten-free (and don't have any gluten-free bread crumbs).  And of course, you can increase or decrease the amount of Sriracha sauce to your liking.  It’s not in the picture above, but I actually ended up eating these with more Sriracha sauce on top. They’re fabulous on their own, but I’ll take all the heat I can get!  :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Quinoa and Kale Tofu Bites

The Super Bowl is tomorrow and my home team, the 49ers, are in it!  I've seen a lot of red and gold floating around town over the last few days and tonight almost feels like Christmas Eve.  In addition to all the buzz about the game itself, my mind has been focused on endless game day menu possibilities.  Now I'm sure when people think of game day food, they're not thinking of quinoa and kale.  :)  In any case, I thought these would be a fantastic Super Bowl snack.  They're easy to make, healthy, and super tasty.  Touchdown!

Adapted from Simply Gluten Free Magazine

Makes 2 dozen mini muffin-sized bites

3 cups cooked quinoa (for cooking instructions, go here)
1 cup Mori Nu firm silken tofu
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup nutritional yeast (or your favorite vegan shredded cheese)
2 tablespoons cashew butter (I used Artisana raw cashew butter)
1 teaspoon tamari
1 cup finely chopped kale
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Make sure your quinoa is cooked and cooled.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan.
  3. Blend the tofu, almond milk, nutritional yeast (or vegan cheese), cashew butter, and tamari in a blender or food processor.  Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the chopped kale and cooked quinoa to the tofu mixture and combine well.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Fill each muffin well with the tofu mixture and smooth out the tops with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
  7. Let them cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.  
  8. Serve with your favorite sauce.  (I went with Sriracha!)
These are pretty similar to crustless vegan mini quiches.  If you don't have any cashew butter,  you can use another nut butter, tahini, or leave it out completely.  I added it to get more of a cheesy flavor.  They were great with Sriracha sauce, but I can also see these with some type of avocado topping or salsa.  Yesssssss.  I suppose you could also form the mixture into balls and deep-fry them if you really wanted to stay in line with some traditional Super Bowl delicacies.  But why mess with a good thing?  :)

Enjoy!  And go Niners!