Monday, March 1, 2010
Being a patisserie student, I know my way around the kitchen, and would prefer to bake my own vegan cookies, all the time. But I'm busy, and lazy. More lazy than busy, if that's possible. So it's good to know that there are two kick ass companies out there offering cookies for us vegans!
Alternative Baking Co and Nana's are two of my favorite companies that offer vegan cookies. I both proud and embarrassed to say I've tried every single flavor of both nana's and ABC's, and they are all simply delicious. I used to literally buy cases of nana's, to ensure I'd never run out. I mean, what if I got a craving in the middle of the night and all health food stores were closed? Or what if a natural disaster hit, and all stores were out of stock? Not gonna happen to me, I'll never have to let a vegan cookie craving go hungry.
My favorite Alternative Baking CO flavors are Lemon Poppy Seed, and good ol' chocolate chip, but they are all good. Trust me. Pop one in the microwave while you poor yourself a glass of ice cold soy milk, and you've got yourself one yummy treat.
Nana's, my two favorites are peanut butter and oatmeal raisin, but again, they are all delish...except the cranberry and lemon flavors- they taste like perfume, not cool.
You cant find these cookies at Whole Foods, most health food stores, and even sometimes in Ralphs and other grocery stores (in the specialty food section, just ask, they are always hidden and hard to find) I'm broke right now, so if someone could please drop a case of these lovelies outside my door, that would be great!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Gardein, I love you! *tears* Vegan Chef Tal Ronnen helped create this AMAZING product...who...ahem, I was able to meet :-) I should seriously be their spokesperson, I'm passionate about this product on a borderline unhealthy level.
There are many different products available now (whole foods, or even Ralphs, most grocery stores now), but I'd have to say my two favorite are the soy chicken strips and the scallopini. The chicken strips bring me back to my childhood of feasting on mystery nuggets and strips...I'm sure glad I didn't know then what I know now... I enjoy these much more knowing exactly what's in them, no chicken! These are great served with sweet potato fries (brand below available at trader joes, but ralphs and all other grocery stores carry them too) and a honey mustard dip.
The scallopini is great, because it can be used in recipes that call for chicken breast. You treat it and cook it just like regular chicken. You can make a faux chicken parm by breading and frying the scallopini, topping it with soy mozzerella, and serving pasta and marinara sauce. There's also a great recipe for pine nut crusted scallopini in Tal Ronnen's Conscious Cook Cookbook.
Fantastic World Foods is an awesome brand of mixes and seasonings (available at whole foods). Me being a lazy vegan, they're my new best friends. For lunch yesterday I made falafel from their dried mix (just add water according to the directions on box). Attempting to be a little healthy, I baked them. I will admit my taste buds missed the familiar crunchy fried taste that is associated with falafel, but baking it (or broiling) is so much healthier. You can definitely fry them, in vegetable oil if you're feeling up to it. I know myself all too well, and was afraid I'd set fire to the kitchen (at work), and that would be bad...
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Salt and sugar, a wonderful combo. Have you ever had a salted caramel or salted chocolate ice cream? It's delicious, I had some from scoops (they offer 4 rotating vegan flavors) and it was delicious, and inspired this cookie recipe. Don't worry, they aren't incredibly salty! It's just that extra little kick of salt that really brings out the flavors, and tastes delicious.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegan margarine (earth balance is best)
1/2 cup granulated sugar sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Cream "butter" and sugar, add molasses. Sift dry ingredients and combine with the wet ingredients. Let dough chill in the fridge 15 mins, then form and bake. Make sure to take these out of the oven when they are still very soft, don't worry, they set up when they cool.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Petit Chou Fleur, what could be better? An endearing term for a loved one in france; a delicious raw or cooked veggie in the states, cauliflower is delicious, whatever you call it.
A few days ago I took advantage of the fully equipped kitchen at work and made a cauliflower casserole.
Boil (chopped and washed) cauliflower until tender. Drain, and stir in tomato sauce (there are tons of vegan varieties, I like the plain brands that don't have any added sugar. Why get your sugar from your tomato sauce? Lets save that sugar for yummy vegan brownies :)
Back to the recipe: add tomato sauce, vegan meatballs (I love the brand sold at trader joes, I add one serving, which is 6 small, but I'm a hungry girl!) fresh basil (about a tablespoon chopped), pinch of salt to taste, pepper, 1 tbs chopped onion, 1 tsp olive oil, pinch of chili flakes, stir, and transfer to a baking dish. Cook in oven until bubbly and slightly crisp on top. Call me crazy, but this dish is so delicious, and really healthy!
Also, here is some foccacia and french bread I made in school the other day, it's vegan! I love the french bread with smart balance "butter" and the foccocia turned into a beautiful panini (to come later when I have the time...). I'm loving the bread class I'm currently in at school...I cant take my aggression out kneading and punching my dough, and create (almost exclusively) vegan friendly yummy vegan bread, even pitas, begging to be smothered in roasted pepper hummus!
Peace y'all, I'm going to enjoy my wine, and my only evening off from work, and the craziness school. Bon Nuit.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I have yet another favorite meal. I've been experimenting with tofu lately...basically learning to cook with it for the first time (which is sad seeing as I've been vegetarian for 8 years and vegan for 1).
Whole foods has an amazing spice created specifically to mash into tofu to flavor it for "eggz". Listen to me: it is flippin' amazing!! It's called "Fantastic World Foods Tofu Scrambler"
Simply mash 1 tbs or so into your tofu, cook in a skillet (in smart balance, mmm!) add desired ingredients. I threw in some soy pepperoni, soy cheese, and served it with a toasted rice flour tortilla (trader joes, where else?). Delicious!
Oh, and some banana bread I made at work. Turned out fantastic.