Monday, November 29, 2010

VeganMoFo: Mom's Banana Bread

Recipe: Banana Bread
Family Member: Mom by way of Grandma Jane

Brief Description: We always had fruit in my house growing up. Bananas *ahem* ripening faster than they were eaten was a common occurrence. My mom would peel them when their peel was pretty much black, toss them in a zip lock baggie and keep them in the freezer until she was moved to make a huge batch of banana bread. Then, she’d encase the beautiful finished loaves in plastic baggies, and keep them in the freezer until it was their turn to be defrosted on the counter and devoured. A perfect process, me thinks, especially when the results are so tasty.

We don't seem to have the problem of bananas ripening too fast in our household. However, after returning from Florida following a delightful Thanksgiving at my mom's, we were left with a quite brown banana and a quite brown pear. Banana bread! Er. Banana Pear bread! Ohhhh my! This bread is goo-ood!

Original Ingredients:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
3 tbsp sour milk (2 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp lemon juice)
1 cup mashed banana (~2 bananas)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

Original Directions:
1. Combine sugar, shortening, eggs, sour milk, and bananas.
2. In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Incorporate into other mixture.
3. Fill two greased bread pans ¾ full and bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes.

Vegan Notes: I find sweet breads like this easy-peasy to veganize. Just sub non-dairy milk for milk and applesauce for the eggs (about 1/4 cup per egg). Voila! For ease and thrift, I often just use vegetable oil in place of the shortening as well.
(Note: This particular incarnation of my mom's recipe is more aptly titled "Gluten-Free Banana Pear Bread with Pecans!" I used oat flour this time and a combination of brown sugar and evaporated cane juice for the sugar. This is just how things are done in my kitchen. There's rarely any getting around substituting ingredients! Waste not, want not, and all that. You'll also notice I made four mini pans instead of two regular sized ones. I cut the baking time down to 30 minutes.)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

VeganMoFo: Dovetail Bakery

Okay. So I sort of fail at Vegan MoFo. I was pooped and jet-lagged and frankly, a little tired of cooking, so just before midnight (the night before a series of flights beginning at 6 a.m.) on Thanksgiving I realized I hadn't posted, and oh well. Then I didn't post my travel day. Then I didn't post the day after my travel day. Oy!

With only a few days of Vegan MoFo 2010 left, it's silly to not come in with a strong finish on my family food theme, but it appears I'll be doing so.

At least I have some wonderfully delicious baked goods from Dovetail Bakery, my local vegan shop of goodness, to soften my disappointment in myself!

I'm pretty sure this is my favorite bakery in the whole world. How could it not be with goodies like this cinnamon bun, maple pecan scone, mixed berry bun, and lemon poppy seed muffin? Their scones, including their strawberry darling, are soooo delightful. I love them because they're not overly sweet.
Oh! Oh! I also picked up some Lady Gray tea. My favorite!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

VeganMofo: Mom's Brisket

Guest Post by DocDufresne
Growing up in my household, we didn't have a lot of creative foods. My dad came up with some crazy stuff now and then (spaghetti soup! wtf?)

One of the special occasion staples was brisket. My mom made this every once and a while.

I called her up to get the recipe from her (keep in mind that my family doesn't eat meat any more, although my mom is not quite veg) and the exchange went something like this:

Me: Hey Mom, what's the recipe for brisket that you used to make?
Mom: You want to make brisket?
Me: Well, for MoFo, Amanda is veganizing family recipes.
Mom: Hmm, this seems a little difficult.
Me: Well, I'll come up with something.
Mom: Okay, well, I marinated the brisket with a sauce made of onion soup, ketchup, mustard, and a carbonated beverage.
Me: Carbonated beverage? Like beer?
Mom: Yeah, beer, coke, whatever.
Me: ?????@!@#!? coke?

Since this was my family's recipe, I made this. To make the seitan, I based the recipe on this. Keep in mind that I'm terrible at following recipes, so I didn't quite stick to it. For the water, I substituted beer. I made up a sauce of beer, ketchup and mustard. It wasn't bad.
I served that with steamed sweet potatoes and leftover beet/cabbage/carrot salad.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

VeganMoFo: Mom's Lasagna

In my opinion, my mom makes the best lasagna ever. It seems that whenever I make it, I use the same method, and pretty much the same ingredients (this component of her lasagna changes based on what she has on hand), but I can never duplicate her results. Maybe the secret ingredient really is love. I think someone who loves you, spending the time to create something really tasty creates the best food.

My mom's lasagna usually contains cottage cheese and cow's milk mozzarella, but when we're together she makes a mean vegan lasagna for everyone to enjoy. Last night's version contained black olives, artichoke hearts, and hearts of palm, plus a lovely tofu ricotta based on the recipe found in Vegan with a Vengeance, two jars of sauce, lasagna noodles (of course,) and it was topped with Daiya.

Sorry for the crappy nighttime photos.

Monday, November 22, 2010

VeganMoFo: Spiced Apple Cupcakes

Oy! Another break from my Family Recipe theme. Sorry! I have a good excuse though...I'm actually spending time with my family!

The day before we left on our trip, I made these lovely cupcakes for...uh...breakfast... I saw the original recipe at Wasabi Peas, for Spiced Apple Bundt Cake with Tofutti Cinnamon Glaze and had to try it! It would have been cuter if I had mini bundt pans, but these cupcakes won where it really counted- taste! Yums!

PS- I used canola oil in place of the shortening. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

VeganMoFo: Bubbie's Oatmeal Cake

Recipe: Oatmeal Cake
Family Member: Bubbie

Brief Description:
I have to admit, I don’t recall eating this growing up, but my dad told me that this Oatmeal Cake is amazing, so I decided to try it. It’s a very dense, not overly-sweet cinnamon-flavored cake with a ganache-type icing mixed with nuts and coconut. Very tasty. Doc was super impressed with this cake. I thought it would have been lovely with some sliced apples baked into it, upside down style, and a glaze on top. Just a thought.

Original Ingredients:
Margarine - 1/2 lb (2 sticks)
Oatmeal - 2 cups
Boiling Water - 2 1/2 cups
Sugar - 2 cups
Brown Sugar - 2 cups
Eggs - 4
Flour - 2 2/3 cups
Baking Soda - 2 tsps
Cinnamon - 2 tsps
Vanilla - 2 tsps

Original Directions:
1. Pour boiling water over margarine & oatmeal. Stir and let stand 20 minutes. Stir again.
2. In separate bowl beat sugar and eggs together. Add to Oatmeal mixture.
3. Combine last 4 ingredients and add to oatmeal mixture. Place in buttered and floured pan.
4. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
5. While cake is still warm frost with following frosting.


Original Ingredients:
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Butter - 6 tbsp
Milk - 1/3 cup
Walnuts - 1 cup
Cocoa - 1/2 cup
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup

Original Directions: Bring brown sugar, butter, and mild to a boil and remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and frost cake.

Vegan Notes: I used Earth Balance as the margarine/butter, 1 cup applesauce instead of the eggs, and soy milk as the milk.

Other Notes: It would have been good to double the frosting recipe since I used two round cake pans instead of a rectangular one. I also put some of the frosting between the layers.
(Sorry again for the horrendous nighttime photo)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

VeganMoFo: Let's Make Applesauce!

I'm taking a quick break from my family recipe adventure to bring you APPLESAUCE!

I had a gazillion (37) apples from my farm share this week. Doc has been taking one to work every day, and I've used a couple here and there. I use applesauce a lot in baking, so I decided to preserve some of my own to use throughout the year (or until it runs out...)
Here's how to make and preserve your own apple sauce!

1. Sterilize your jars. See directions below.

2. Start off with beautiful Oregon apples.
I used a lovely mix of tart, sweet, fruity, earthy- tasting apples, including this crazy-colored one. Anyone know what type it is? It was a little mealy, but tasted as you would imagine, with almost a hint of strawberry!3. Chop 'em up! Discard seed part of the core. (Peel them first if you'd like.)
Save the butt and top part of core for your doggle friends. They'll give you lots of kisses.

4. Blend the apples in batches (I fit about 3 apples at once), using a little apple juice to get the sauce a mixin'. You can actually skip this part if you want, and just cook the apples longer.
Plop it into a big pot.
5. Cook your applesauce for 30-50 minutes, until it's as soft as you want it, and HOT! Add sugar if needed (mine didn't), cinnamon, and whatever else tickles your fancy. I left mine somewhere between chunky and smooth.

6. Fill your hot, sterilized jars with applesauce. Here's where the canning funnel comes in really handy. Place a dry lid on each jar.

7. See "Step 3" in "How to sterilize jars" below.

8. After the boiling, I took the rings off so they wouldn't rust from the moisture. I'm going to put them back on after they've dried.

How to sterilize jars
1. Wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse with hot water and set aside to dry.
2. Sterilize them in the oven, in a pot of boiling water, or by using another method. I opted to put them on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350*, but according to this website, I didn't need to since I later boiled the filled jars. I've used the boiling method before, but it's tricky without the proper tongs!
3. Once sterilized, fill jars with apple sauce and then boil in a pot for 15 minutes.

My 23 remaining apples turned into 17 half pints and 1 quart of applesauce. I'll leave the math up to you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

VeganMoFo: Mom's Hamantaschen

Yum yum yummmmm!

Recipe: Hamantaschen
Family Member: Mom

Brief Description:
Probably one of my all time favorite cookies, my mom’s Hamantaschen are not overly-sweet. Hamantaschen are a traditional Jewish dessert made for Purim. I’d imagine that the sugar cookie-like pocket containing fruit filling would very much appeal to pro-pie folks. Make a big batch and share them with friends!

Original Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
4 cups flour
½ tsp salt
Fruit filling (my mom always used Baker Fine Dessert Filling in poppy, apricot, prune, almond, and cherry)

Original Directions:
1. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add flour and salt. Mix well until a stiff dough has formed.
2. Roll flat and use a round cookie-cutter to cut circles. Fill the center with fruit filling. (Not too much!) Pinch corners to achieve a triangle shape.
3. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350* for 20 minutes.

Vegan Notes: I used 4 1/2 tsp EnerG Egg Replacer and 6 tbsp warm water for the eggs and Earth Balance for the butter.

Other Notes: I don't have a round cookie cutter, so I used the rim of a large glass, dipped in flour. Make sure you're working on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. The consistency of my dough wasn't wet enough, so I added a splash of water. Make sure you fill and form the cookies quickly, or else the dough will dry out and it will be more difficult to get them in the right shape. You also want to make sure to pinch the corners really well so that the fruit filling doesn't ooze out during baking. Also, I couldn't find the fruit filling that my mom uses, so I used some apricot preserves and some cranberry/apple butter. Both came out deliciously! I baked my cookies about 25 minutes. It all depends on what kind of cookie sheet you use. Mine is lighter in color, so it takes longer for things to bake. I got over two dozen cookies out of my batch.



Thursday, November 18, 2010

VeganMoFo: Dad's Taco Pizza

Recipe: Taco Pizza
Family Member: Doc's Dad

Brief Description: Dining at Doc's parents' home is quite the culinary experience. His dad is often the one doing the cooking and he's a big fan of imaginative one pot "kitchen sink" meals like vegetable stir fry with cherries and the rice mixed in. Doc recalls many such imaginative meals from his childhood, including Taco Pizza. It's pretty good! It's like a burrito (more than a taco, I have to say!) in pizza form, but a fork is pretty much necessary. As referenced in my last post, I used this pizza dough recipe with minor changes.

Original Ingredients:
pizza dough
1 can refried beans
enchilada and/or taco sauce
shredded cheese
taco toppings (shredded lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, onions, sour cream...)

Original Directions:
1. Spread refried beans and sauce on top of the pizza dough. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and dough is finished.
2. Cut into individuals slices and top according to each persons tastes!

Vegan Notes: Make sure the refried beans are vegetarian. I used Follow Your Heart mozzarella for the cheese.

Taco pizza in the oven, before the toppings!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

VeganMoFo: Pizza and Pomegranate Bejeweled Quinoa Stuffing with Walnuts

Last night I decided to get to work on another family recipe, Taco Pizza, but realized I didn't have the right sauce on hand. What I did have was some pasta sauce, Follow Your Heart mozzarella, and black olives. I whipped up a batch of pizza dough, deciding I really wanted to try a new recipe. Unfortunately, I didn't realize to get a great dough-y crust, you need to let the dough chill in the fridge for 24 hours (among many other steps). I tried to speed up the process by adding double the active yeast called for. I also didn't have bread flour on hand, so I added 1/4 cup gluten to 3/4 cup all purpose flour. I let it rest for about three hours. I love the way the dough felt. I had never used a high-gluten flour for pizza dough before. It makes all the difference!

The verdict? It wasn't perfect, but it was good! I think I could have let it bake for a tad longer (mine was in at 500* for 15 minutes) to achieve a bit of charring, which I love. The FYH was nice and bubbly...ahh what a beautiful sight!

The other dish I prepared for dinner was totally a recipe I threw together to use up ingredients I had on hand. I know. It's a strange combination with pizza, but the flavors in this stuffing are so nice together. You get hit with fresh parsley, then a the tangy-sweet of pomegranate jewels, the earthy flavor of the walnuts and quinoa, the sweet of the apple... So yummy!

This is basically what I did...

Pomegranate Bejeweled Quinoa Stuffing with Walnuts (and lots o' other stuff!)

1 butternut squash
1/4 white onion, minced
3 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 cups vegetable stock
2 apples, cubed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
fresh parsley to taste, roughly chopped
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
pomegranate jewels from one pomegranate*
salt and black pepper to taste
a dash or two of ground thyme
a few tablespoons of light olive oil

1. Slice the butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Cut the top of each half so that you're left with a "bowl." Keep the tops. Place the two "bowls" in a covered baking dish in a 400* oven and bake until soft (about 20-30 minutes, maybe?)

2. While the squash is baking, prepare the stuffing. Cut the rind off the two squash tops. Cube the squash tops.

3. Dry sautee the onion in a pan on medium heat. Add the cubed squash and carrots. Sautee for five minutes, stirring often. Add vegetable stock, and cook covered on medium-low heat for about ten minutes. Stir! Add apples, walnuts, parsley, and quinoa. Continue to cook covered for another 5-10 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is soft. Add pomegranate jewels, salt and pepper, thyme, and olive oil.

4. Fill squash bowls with stuffing. (There will be a lot left over.)

*This is Pom Wonderful's suggestion for obtaining the pomegranate jewels. "Score fresh pomegranates and place in a bowl of water. Break open the pomegranates under water to free the arils (seed sacs). The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

VeganMoFo: Grandma's Wacky Cake

(Sorry for the icky nighttime photo!)
Recipe: Wacky Cake
Family Member: Grandma Jane

Brief Description: An already-vegan recipe, developed as a result of rationing during WWII, Wacky Cake is a chocolate cake made with vinegar (wacky!) and no eggs or milk. The recipe that my Grandma and mom use is a great one for kids to help with. If making this cake with kids, be sure not to skip the “wells” step! I don't have a rectangular pan, so I used two round pans. I also made a chocolate ganache-like icing for the top. So so good! My go-to chocolate cake recipe.

Original Ingredients:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups cold water
2 tsp vanilla extract

Original Directions: Mix dry ingredients directly in rectangular cake pan. Create six wells in the dry mixture. Add different wet ingredients to each well before mixing. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Vegan Notes: None!

For the ganache icing I just mixed the following ingredients until I had the consistency I wanted:

melted Earth Balance
Powdered sugar
vanilla extract
soy milk

Monday, November 15, 2010

VeganMoFo: Bubbie's Split Pea Soup

Recipe: Split Pea Soup
Family Member: Bubbie

Brief Description: I saw my Bubbie, who lived in Pennsylvania, about once a year growing up. Coincidentally, upon my graduation, I moved to Pennsylvania several months after she passed away. While certainly no vegetarian herself, my Bubbie always made accommodations for my vegetarian aunt, and later me, taking it upon herself to veg*nize favorite dishes to be enjoyed by all. One such dish is her Split Pea Soup. Simple, filling, and tasty. It might be a little plain to your taste, so feel free, as I do, to use veggie stock instead of plain water, and add a few splashes of hot sauce to taste. I used a combo of yellow and green split peas this time.

Original Ingredients:
Olive oil
1 lb dried split peas
2 qts water
1 small onion, diced
Grated carrots (it appears she never told me how many…)
¼ cup barley
Bay leaves
½ tsp liquid smoke

Original Directions:
1. Sautee peas in pot with oil. Add onion and carrots. Add water and the remaining ingredients and stir so that nothing sticks.
2. Simmer for 45 minutes with a lid partially covering the pot, until the peas melt down.

Vegan Notes: None!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

VeganMoFo: Grandma's French Breakfast Puffs

Recipe: French Breakfast Puffs
Family Member: Grandma Jane

Brief Description: These calorie-dense sugary treats were saved for special weekend breakfasts in my family. They really should be enjoyed right out of the oven. Sugar. Cinnamon. Butter-like substance. You can’t go wrong. This time I made mini puffs (15 min at 350*) and halved the recipe.

Original Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg

6 tbsp butter
½ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Original Directions:
1. Beat together 1/3 cup butter, sugar, and egg. Add milk.
2. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Add this mixture to the butter mixture. Combine.
3. Fill greased muffin tins ¾ full and bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes.
4. While the puffs are baking, melt 6 tbsp butter in a heat-safe bowl. In another bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
5. When the puffs are finished baking, dip each one in the melted butter completely, then coat each in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Eat!

Vegan Notes: I did what I often do in baking recipes and subbed canola oil for the butter in the first mixture. For the butter needed the second time in the recipe, I used Earth Balance. I used EnerG Egg Replacer for the egg, and since I just finished up the last of the almond milk in the fridge, I used soy creamer for the milk.
Open up!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

VeganMoFo: Dad's Pumpkin Pie

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie
Family Member: Dad

Brief Description: This is so not an original family recipe. My dad loves pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie. His preferred recipe is the one found on the label of Libby’s pumpkin puree. It’s a good balance of spices. I haven’t found a vegan pumpkin pie recipe that I really like, so I’ve decided to tweak this one. It’s still not perfect to my taste. (See the notes below about coconut.) It also wasn’t quite the perfect consistency. I think it would have done well to go in the oven a bit longer, but the crust started to burn. I’m going to try a half cup of silken tofu next time, in place of the eggs. Still, REALLY yummy! Also, it should be noted, that I used the tried-and-true Libby's canned pumpkin. The organic stuff I usually get just isn't quite as smooth.

Original Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

Original Directions:
MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Vegan Notes: For the eggs I planned on using silken tofu (1/2 cup), but forgot to pick some up. Instead I used 3 ½ tsps of EnerG Egg Replacer plus 4 tbsp warm water. For the evaporated milk substitution, I used 6 oz coconut milk* (not lite!) and 6 oz of vegan non-dairy creamer. I used the pie dough recipe found in Veganomicon with good results. I didn’t top mine with whipped cream, but could have whipped something up easily with pre-soaked and blended raw cashews and sugar.

*I love coconut, but not in everything. For instance, I really don’t like the coconut-based ice creams, yogurts, or milks. For my tastes, this was a little too much coconut flavor. Next time I’d use somewhere around 3 oz coconut milk to 9 oz creamer, or just all creamer. It was still really tasty. I just didn’t totally care for the hint of coconut.