Hey guys. I started my first year of college back in the fall so needless to say, I’ve been slacking on updates. That’s because I have no kitchen! I’ll post a few recipes that I’ve cooked up over the holidays/weekend home visits as soon as I can. Might start posting more about the local cuisine in Santa Cruz as well.
My mom brought home mint the other night and I wanted to cook with it. I thought of doing pasta sauce so I went with it. I put in a can of chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce to start with then just dumped in a ton of spices. Dried oregano, dried basil, herbs de provence, salt, pepper, kelp salt, nutritional yeast, and of course mint. I let my sauce simmer for awhile to get it really thick. I don’t like watery sauces. I also flavored to my own taste but all the spices went really well together. The mint was a great little aftertaste and made the sauce mouthwatering. Even my picking 13 year old carnivore brother was wanting seconds.
An actual food post! Again, I apologize for posting non vegan food related items on here. Anyways, Amy’s is hands down one of my favorite frozen food companies, and their Mac and Cheese is my favorite. It’s really easy to add frozen dark greens like kale to give it a more “healthy” vibe but even plain, this dish is soul satisfying.
I just realized how many personal posts I made on here. Ooops! I was wondering why photos weren’t appearing on my personal blog…cleaning this up now!
I made these back in the fall, and making these lovely pancakes definitely brought the fall feeling into my kitchen. Cinnamon and apples is one of my favorite combos, and PPK has it right! I personally would cut the amount of apples down because I ended up with a ton of leftovers, but otherwise it’s a straight forward recipe with wonderful results. Enjoy!
For Apple Topping:
4 apples, peeled, diced into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon organic cornstarch or arrowroot
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 cup plain almond milk (or preferred non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (sold as flax meal)
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour, but not regular whole wheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg pinch ground allspice pinch ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2/3 cup apple juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Prepare the topping: Toss all topping ingredients in a medium (4 quart) pot, sprinkle on the cinnamon. Mix it up so that the corn starch dissolves. Use an angled wooden spoon to do the mixing since it reaches the bottom corners of the pot.
Cover pot and bring to a boil, keeping a close eye. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Once apples are nice and tender, smash a few of them to thicken sauce. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
Prepare the pancakes: Pour almond milk into a measuring cup. Mix in apple cider vinegar and ground flax seeds with a fork. Set aside; mixture will thicken.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, spices and salt. Create a well in the center and add the milk mixture and the apple sauce, apple juice, vanilla and maple syrup. Use a fork to mix until relatively smooth, a few lumps are okay. Let the batter rest, and preheat a large, non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat.
When pan is hot, spray with a thin layer of cooking spray and use an ice cream scooper or scant 1/4 cup measure to pour batter and form pancakes. If you can fit three at a time that’d be great. The pancake should start to form little air bubbles, but not as much as pancakes with oil do, so don’t worry if they don’t bubble too much. Cook until the edges are dry and the tops of the pancakes are only slightly wet, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Keep warm on a plate covered with tin foil until all pancakes are ready to serve.
I made these awhile ago for a school bake sale. I love the vanilla bean recipe I get off of PPK, but I didn’t feel like doing measurements of the same recipe for cake portions. I found the cake recipe here, from The Tolerant Vegan. I didn’t make vanilla buttercream frosting. I used the chocolate ganache recipe from the cupcakes to put on the cake. I hope you enjoy these recipes and make your own colorful cakes/cupcakes!
- 2.5 cups flour
- 2 cups vegan refined sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups plain soy milk
- 2/3 cups vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons almond extract (note: if you are going for a more vanilla taste instead of almond, only use 1/2 tbsp)
This cake is very moist, so if you want to stack more than a couple of layers, you might want to search for another recipe. I think that this cake would also be great as a pineapple upside down cake, but we’ll save that one for another time.
To bake the cake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease two round 8″ pans.
Mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then combine and stir by hand until all lumps are gone.
Now is the time for the fun part! Are you ready?
Divide your batter evenly into smaller bowls. Grab up to seven of your favorite bottles of gel food coloring and get excited because we’re going to rainbow swirl this baby!
In one of your pans, pour the colors in one by one, using the most batter (about 3/4 of the total dish of that particular color) for your first pour and lessening the amount with each color you add.
Place both pans in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until done.
Once your cakes are done, place them on a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before frosting.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache
For the cupcakes:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
For the ganache:
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Bake the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
Whisk the almond milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside for a few minutes to get good and curdled.
Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix.
Beat together the almond milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until no large lumps remain.
Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
In the meantime, prepare the ganache.
In a small sauce pan, bring the milk to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and add the chocolate and syrup. Mix with a rubber spatula for about 30 seconds. Turn heat off, continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted and the icing is smooth.
Let ganache cool for about 10 minutes. Dip the top of the cupcake in the ganache and then set them on a cooling rack. Spoon the remainder of the ganache over cupcakes. Let set in a cool room for an hour or so, or place in the fridge to set. Serve to happy people!
Back in August I attempted to make vegan croissants. Making croissants is hard in general but I think they turned out fine for my first time. I found the recipe here, but I’ll post it below :) There are images on the site for how to fold and how the dough should look if you don’t understand. I certainly had trouble, so I highly suggest going to the site. I made the pain au chocolat version because I love dark chocolate.
3 sticks (3/4 pound) of Earth Balance (I highly recommend the sticks over the tub), equally divided and softened at room temperature
4 cups all purpose flour, approximately
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
4 1/2 tsp (2 packages) dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1-3/4 cups soy milk, plus 1/4 cup Mimic Cream, warmed to 80°F to 90°F
For Pain Au Chocolat
Dark chocolate chips, or batons, or bars cut into sticks (don’t go too dark here, since the pastry isn’t really sweet. I like somewhere around 60-75% cacao content)
For Croissant Aux Amandes
8 oz package or can almond paste (not marzipan)
Liberally flour a cutting board and work together the Earth Balance into a solid mass. Place on a piece of foil and form into a 6” square. Wrap in foil and chill in refrigerator.
Disolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups flour, salt and sugar. Add yeast to the warmed soy milk mixture (make sure neither the milk mixture or the water is too hot, otherwise it will kill the yeast) and mix with the flour. Stir with a paddle attachment for a few min until well mixed. Add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until you have a soft, but not sticky, dough (you may not use exactly 4 cups of flour). Switch to a dough hook and kneed for about 5 min. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
Ensure that the Earth Balance is at a workable temperature. It should be soft enough to bend slightly, but should not crack (too cold) or be oily (too warm). You may have to take the Earth Balance out of the fridge before the dough. Place the dough on a floured surface and pat into a 10” square. Unwrap the Earth Balance and place on top of the dough diagonally. Fold each corner of the dough to the center, overlapping the dough and sealing into a package (see photo). Roll the dough in to a rectangle, about 8”x18” (the exact size is not critical).
Fold the dough in thirds, like a letter. Turn the dough so that the open ends are facing towards and away from you. Roll the dough again into a rectangle. Fold each end to the center and close, like a book, so you have four layers. Place the dough on a parchment lined sheet pan and cover with a damp towel (rinse a clean tea towel in cold water and wring dry). Let rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Unwrap the dough and roll again into a rectangle. Fold in thirds (like a letter). Place back on the sheet pan and wrap with a damp towel and plastic wrap. Chill 4-6 hours or overnight.
Flour a large surface (you will need a good amount of room for this) and roll the dough into a rectangle about 12” on the short side. The overall dimensions are not important, but it is important that the dough is rolled 1/8”-1/4” thick. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into two 6” strips. Cut each strip into triangles, about 6” across the base (you can change the size and go bigger or smaller if you like). Roll each triangle starting from the wide end toward the point. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and form into a crescent shape (the point should facing the inside of the crescent and should be tucked under the croissant). Place remaining croissants at least 2” apart and let rise on the counter for 1-2 hours, or until about doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 425°. Brush each croissant with soy milk or MimicCream and bake 20-25 min, rotating pans half way through, until browned. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
One of my favorite places to eat (my friend also works at the one in Larkspur) is Avatar’s Punjabi Burritos. Indian food is my best friend, and this place has Indian burritos, rice plates, and both “American style” breakfast and Indian style breakfast. Their soup is always vegan and is delicious. I’m beginning to become friends with everyone at the Larkspur location because I go almost every Sunday while my friend is working. I might even go today.
Their rice plates are also really good. I think I got the pumpkin rice plate in this photo. I think they come with yogurt but just remember to ask for no yogurt.