Vegan Meyer Lemon Cake

Last week, my friend Emily generously gifted me 3 gorgeous Meyer lemons from her CSA box.  I was looking to procrastinate so I baked this cake. 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Meyer lemon juice (or any citrus; if using orange or grapefruit, also add 1 Tbsp vinegar)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉
  2. Grease and flour an 8- or 9-in square or round cake pan.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Make two holes in the dry ingredients.  Add vanilla to one and the oil to the other.
  5. Pour lemon juice all over everything.
  6. Mix quickly with a fork until there are no clumps.
  7. Pour into the cake pan.
  8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.
  9. Cool in the pan.
  10. Enjoy!

One Pot Veggie Stuffed Peppers

I first started making this recipe from CookingLight back when I ate meat.  I eventually adopted it to my vegetarianism, and adopted it again, until I was left with a lean mean super easy and delicious stuffed pepper recipe.

This is a leftover use up recipe for me: I always have something with rice and something with pasta sauce before I make it and make extra to use in the peppers.

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers (color doesn’t matter)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1.25 cups veggie ground beef crumbles OR chopped pinto beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan OR combination of 1/8 cup nutritional yeast + 1/8 cup Daiya mozzarella for vegans
  • 1 cup tomato pasta sauce, divided 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup (jarred is fine!)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

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Elsie’s Molasses Cookies

Recently, I had to stop eating chocolate: doctor’s orders to keep my migraines in check.

My friend Emily felt my pain (most desert is off limits!) and baked me her Grandma Elsie’s Molasses Cookies.  They are incredibly delicious, and she even included a vegan variation in the recipe.  So here you go.

Ingredients

Wet

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 egg (substitute additional 1/4 cup vegetable shortening to make vegan)

1/3 cup molasses

Dry

2 cups + 2 Tbsps sifted flour

2 tsps baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/3 tsp salt

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Blend wet ingredients thoroughly and then fold in dry ingredients.

Form 1.5″ balls from the dough.

Dust balls in 1/4 cup granulated sugar.  Bake 15-18 minutes until set. 

 

Mom’s Oatmeal Potato Soup with “Meat”balls

When I was a little kid, my Mom didn’t really make chicken noodle soup.  My Mom made the good old Russian standby: oatmeal potato soup with tiny little pork meatballs.  I love the fluff out of that stuff, in the way that you love only your Mom’s cooking.

With the weather turning cold, I’ve been in the mood for soup.  So I decided to make a quick Americanized veggie version of my Mom’s Russian classic.

Ingredients:

Makes 3 entree-sized servings

3 small potatoes, diced

3 carrots, diced

2 shallots, sliced (I ran out of onions, you can use anything from that family)

1 32 oz. box of veggie stock

2 handfuls of oatmeal (I used Irish but just about anything will be great.  I think Scottish will be awesome)

2 Italian fauxsages, broken up into chunks (I bought Trader Joe’s brand in a hurry and didn’t notice they aren’t actually vegan, they have egg whites in them… ugh!  but you can totally find a vegan version of them!)

How I Made It:

Heat a couple of tablespoons of EVOO in your soup pot on medium high heat.  Saute the shallots a couple of minutes, until they start getting golden.  Add the carrots, saute for a minute.  Add the chunks of meatless sausage.  Saute according to package directions, until they get some color on them. Throw in the oatmeal.  Stir to coat with oil.  Throw in the potatoes and immediately pour in the stock.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender.  Enjoy with a little bit of parsley garnish.

If You Hate Meatless Meats:

I know some people prefer not to consume these things.  Totally understand.  You can obviously make this without, but then you’ll need to throw in some spices that are usually found in Italian “fauxsage”: fennel, anise and black peppercorns.  I’d actually use fresh fennel and saute it along with the onion/shallot/leek you’re using and throw in the other spices at the same time as your oatmeal, giving them a chance to develop before you drown them in stock.

Roasted Funky Color Vegetables

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It’s sad that summer is finally over, but at least we get to enjoy all the amazing things that fall has to offer, vegetable wise. As you can see from the picture above, I picked up some very interesting vegetables at the market recently.  If that cauliflower looks odd to you, don’t blame my photography skills.  It’s actually Satur Farms Citrus Yellow Cauliflower which has this gorgeous butter yellow color, and a much more subtle, understated flavor.  I paired it with some Purple Baby and Gold Creamer Potatoes.

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These vegetables were so gorgeous that there wasn’t much to do other than chop ‘em up, toss them with some good olive oil, making sure each bit was covered, adding some thinly sliced garlic on top and letting them roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes.  That’s it!  I added some Satur Mesculin Mix with homemade vinaigrette (I don’t know WHY I ever bought salad dressing before!) and we had a delicious, filling, healthy dinner.  True, we had some chocolate chip cookies later, but you know, that’s a whole another story!

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Simplicy at its finest: Penne with Tomato Sauce, Two Ways

penne

Sorry for being gone for so long:  I had the distinct pleasure of contracting the plague of our times, the H1N1 flu.  Also known as the swine flu, developed by our porcine friends as a result of being stuffed chuck full of antibiotics in order to survive the horrible conditions of their death row incarceration.  But I digress.  I’m all better and back in the kitchen!

However, getting back in the cooking saddle isn’t that easy when you have all this work to catch up on.  But sometimes, simple dishes really hit the spot.  The other night, we were just craving pasta with plain ol’ tomato sauce.  I know how to make sauce, but the sake of this projected, I decided to drag out Mark’s book and see how he does it. Sometimes, even old trusted staples need a little pick-me-up.

Mark’s Fast Tomato Sauce (p. 445) contains nothing more than olive oil, onions, canned tomatoes, salt and pepper.  I’m a slightly more complicated girl.  First of all, I have to have garlic.  In fact, I will throw in any aromatic vegetable I have in the house, which that day happened to includes carrots and shallots.

ingredients

I poured the oil into a big skillet, sauteed all my chopped vegetables and then added the tomatoes.  Covered, it simmened for about 15 minutes while I cooked the pasta.  Once the pasta was a minute away from being done, I drained it, dumped it in the still simmering sauce, cooked for another minute and dinner was served.

However, we could not eat a whole pound of pasta with sauce between the two of us (I mean, we could, if we tried, but we weren’t super hungry that night).  And I had some fresh mozzarella hanging around in the fridge.  So the next night, I mixed the leftover pasta with about half a ball of grated cheese, grated more cheese on top and baked it.  Basically, it was Mark’s Baked Ziti (p. 458).  Two easy dinner, probably $10 worth of ingredients.  Who says we aren’t thrifty over here in Gone Veg land?!

bakedpenne

Vegan Rice Pudding with Broiled Plums

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This recipe is actually a combination of two:  Joe Bastianich’s Rice Pudding recipe from this month’s Food & Wine and this broiled plum topping from a rice pudding recipe on Chow.  I wanted to make Joe’s pudding because it was vegan (or nearly so) but I didn’t want to top it with figs because a) I don’t like figs that much and b) I didn’t have figs.  So I opted for these plums.

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The ingredients are pretty simple.  The only substitution I made into Joe’s recipe was agave instead of honey to keep my pudding completely vegan, and not just beegan.  I liked his technique:  basically, this is a sweet, rather than savory risotto.  First, you boil the rice in some water and then start gradually adding the soy milk.  Once all the milk is absorbed, stir in some agave and vanilla and you’re done with the pudding.  I was nervous about substituting in the agave for the honey because I wasn’t sure how the sweetness would work out but it did just fine.  In fact, the pudding came out much more subtly flavored than regular rice pudding which was a pleasant surprised.

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The plums were fairly simple as well.  Above you can see that I simply chopped them up, added some sugar and vanilla and broiled them for 10 minutes.  Above is before and below is the after.

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This recipe was fantastic and delicious.  I usually hesitate to try a vegan version of a familiar dish, particularly when I really like the original (and I looooove rice pudding).  But this was divine: I didn’t miss anything from the original version at all.  In fact, I think the plums complemented the soy milk flavors in the pudding much better than figs would have.

P.S.  See, I can be a proper food blogger and take pictures!

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