Saturday, January 23, 2016

Italian Style Mashed Potato Muffins

When I made these I had no idea how big a hit they would be.  They were given high praise by all who tried them.  I promised I would try to document the recipe and publish it as those who tried them asked as did few asked when I put some pictures on social media.

What is written below is my best attempt to write down the recipe; I am going from memory as I did not write anything down as I was making them, so as you are making this feel free to adjust as necessary.

When I go to make these again I will follow the recipe as written, and adjust as necessary. In the meantime, enjoy!

Italian Style Mashed Potato Muffins

7 Russet Baking Potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled until fork tender
2 tbsp vegan butter
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk creamer (I used So Delicious brand)
4 stalks broccoli rRabe, chopped fine
1/2 medium red onion chopped fine
1 4 oz. jar pimento, drained and patted dry
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup parsley, minced
2 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
3 tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (recipe here)
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp hot water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease two (24) mini muffin tins with some cooking oil spray.

Place the boiled potato chunks, vegan butter, almond milk, salt and pepper in a bowl. Roughly mash with a potato masher.  Set aside. Add the olive oil to saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5-7minutes.  Add he broccoli rabe, garlic, pimento, parsley, oregano and Italian seasoning and vegan parm.   Reseason with salt and pepper. Continue to saute another couple of minutes until the broccoli rabe is nicely wilted and the mixture is fragrant. Add to the potato mixture and stir to incorporate. Lastly, place the ground chia seed in the two tablespoons of hot water. When the water is all but absorbed add to the potato mixture and stir again.

Using a small cookie scoop or large melon baller scoop the potato mixture into the mini muffin tins filling each spot to the top or slightly over.

Place in a 400-degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Sugar Cookies

So Delicious Dairy Free has done it again! They are so good to me! This time, they sent me an assortment of their improved coffee creamers. Some almond milk, some coconut milk, some flavored and some plain.  This makes me so happy!

With most of my Christmas shopping and wrapping complete, I finally found some time to get into the kitchen to make some treats.  I made the Peppermint Patties I have made the last couple of years and also made some sugar cookies.

I followed this sugar cookie recipe, though I replaced the coconut oil with Earth Balance only because I did not have enough coconut oil on hand. I used my KitchenAid stand mixer and the dough came together really nicely and was great to work with.

The cookies are awesome! Even before being iced they were delicious.  Crispy yet soft, a cookie yet not too sweet.

This recipe is a really great basic cookie that should be a staple in every vegan (and non-vegan) kitchen.

Sugar Cookies

For the cookies:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup vegan butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened non dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

For the icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 tbsp So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer
Sugar or sprinkles for decorating

Make the dough by  creamig the sugar, salt, vegan butter, non dairy milk and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer (if you do not have a stand mixer you could use a hand mixer).  Slowly add in the flour, cornstartch, baking soda and cream of tartar until combined.  Remove the dough from the stand mixer, cover and place in refrigerator for at least two hours.

When you are ready to make the cookies preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray (I really like to use coconut oil spray). Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide in half.  Roll each half out on a smooth surface dusted with a little bit of flour.  Roll to about 1/4" thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut the cookies. Place on the greased baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown.

Cool cookies on a wire rack.

When the cookies are fully cooled and you are ready to ice them mix the powdered sugar in a bowl with the coconut milk creamer. Whisk until smooth. Pipe or spread the icing on the cookies and decorate with sprinkles or sugar (if desired).

Monday, December 7, 2015

Mexican Egg Rolls

I have had some egg roll wrappers in the freezer for quite some time. I don't remember what I had bought them for originally. I decided to use them last night but since I did not have anything a traditional egg roll is filled with I decided to wing it and go with what I had in the house.

In order to keep these on the lighter, healthful side I decided against frying in favor of baking. Using Reynolds Pan Lining Paper they came out super crispy!  If you have not tried the Reynolds Pan Lining Paper I would strongly recommend it; I love the stuff. It really does a great job getting things very crisp in the oven, so there is no real need to fry.

These were very simple to put together- total prep time was probably no more than 15 minutes, less than an hour from start to finish.

I still have some egg roll wrappers left. I am interested in experimenting with some other non-traditional fillings; if you have ideas please let me know by commenting below.

Mexican Egg Rolls

Egg roll wrappers - about 6
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup refried beans (I used canned)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped, plus some for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Taco sauce for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 425.

In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil. When heated add bell pepper and onion.  Saute until they start to soften- a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the corn and saute another minute or so. Add the refried beans, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, cilantro and salt and pepper. Allow to cook until warmed through.

Prepare a sheet pan with some pan lining paper.  Fill each egg roll wrapper with about a quarter cup or so of filling (do not overfill or the wrapper wll tear).  Fold the left and right sides inward and then roll the wrapper to form what looks like an egg roll.  Place on the lined sheet pan seam side down.

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes or until the egg rolls become nicely browned and crispy.

Allow to cool for about ten minutes. Drizzle with taco sauce and garnish with cilantro if desired.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Edamame Kale Potstickers

A couple of weekends ago we had friends over for dinner. While the guys were watching TV, my friend Deana and I spent some nice time in the kitchen cooking. It all started when Deana posting a recipe for Edamame Kale dumplings to my Facebook page and my subsequent comment that we should make them. So we planned a date to cook dinner. It was fun!

They turned out well and I loved the flavor of the edamame and kale together, but for me, were a little heavy on the garlic.  So, I decided to do them again tonight and changed up the original recipe a bit; most notably by reducing the amount of garlic and the addition of ginger.  I liked them quite a bit as did Mr. Meat and Potatoes; he actually ate kale and edamame and liked it!

This recipe made about 20 or so potstickers, I think (I did not actually count them; they were eaten too fast).

I served them with a tamari dipping sauce that included some maple syrup, sesame oil, cayenne, and ginger.  I think these are versatile enough to go with a variety of dipping sauces; I do like the saltiness of the tamari with these.

Thanks, Deana for the original recipe. I am sure I will make these again, though who knows how they may be changed up a bit next time!

Edamame and Kale Potstickers

1 cup shelled edamame
1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and torn into pieces
1 tbsp tahini sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 green onion cut into pieces
1 clove garlic, rough chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, rough chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Potsticker wrappers
2 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup water
Black sesame seeds (optional)

Place the edamame, kale, tahini, maple syrup, green onion, garlic, ginger and salt and pepper into a food processor.  Pulse until smooth.

Fill each potsticker wrapper with a heaping teaspoon of the filling. Wet the edges of the potsticker slightly with water and fold them in half pressing the air out of the potsticker and ensuring they are sealed.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat add the olive and sesame oils. Once heated add the potstickers. When browned on one side, flip them and allow them to begin to brown on the other side.  Add 1/2 cup water to the pan, cover and turn the heat down to medium.  Allow to steam until the water is evaporated.  Remove from the pot, place on a serving tray and sprinkle with black sesame seeds (if using) before serving.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Crispy Orange Cauliflower

I am literally obsessed with dressing cauliflower up in different ways.  My absolute favorite is to recreate a version of Chinese take-out Orange Chicken.  I have blogged about this and posted a recipe in the past.  Over the years, I have made this (a lot) of different ways, each time getting just a little bit better (honestly, I make this at least once a week).

I have found that the absolute best way to achieve that crispy coating on the cauliflower is to batter and roast it and then deep fry it (yes, deep fry).  I enjoy cauliflower so much prepared this way that I batter it and roast up a whole head of it and then keep it in the fridge during the week so I can grab it and fry it up whenever I like.  The little chunks of cauliflower are so versatile, they go great with all sorts of sauces, not just orange.  I sometimes do buffalo, sesame or sweet and sour.

I usually serve it with sliced green onion, on the day I took the photo I did not have any so I used some chopped cilantro for garnish. Either work equally well.

Crispy Orange Cauliflower

For the orange sauce:
1 cup vegetable stock
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
1/2 cup organic, unbleached sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup tamari sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water

 For the cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup non-dairy milk (I use So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1 tsp garlic powder
Oil for frying
Sesame seeds for garnish
Cilantro, chopped for garnish

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the flour and non-dairy milk together and add the garlic powder.  Stir until a thick batter is formed.  Dredge the cauliflower in the batter and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment or pan lining paper.  Roast at 450 degrees for 18 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.

While the cauliflower is roasting prepare the sauce by mixing together the vegetable stock, orange zest and juice, sugar, apple cider vinegar, tamari sauce, garlic, sriracha and pepper in a bowl.

Whisk the cornstarch and water into a slurry.

Add the sauce to a saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes until warmed.  Add the cornstarch slurry, and continue to cook the sauce, stirring frequently until the desired consistency is reached.

As the sauce is cooking  place the oil in a deep sauce pot or deep fryer.  Heat over medium-high heat. When oil is hot drop the roasted cauliflower florets in and allow to fry until a deep golden brown- no more than a couple of minutes.

Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel.

To serve, place the cauliflower on a plate, top with sauce and garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro.

This can be served over rice (as pictured).

Note: the sauce recipe is a minor variation of this one that I found online.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Savory Chickpea Flour Muffins

These beautiful little muffins are great as an on the go breakfast or snack.  They can be made ahead, frozen or refrigerated and grabbed as your running out the door for a quick  meal. They are fiber and protein rich, filling, healthy and most importantly, delicious.

There are similar recipes online for similar muffins (including one of mine), most of them referred to as vegan "quiche".  While there is certainly a similarity to quiche, I am trying to steer clear of recipe titles that indicate a "fake" version of something else. The fact is, these are delicious in their own right and really don't need a comparison to an egg based dish. They stand up on their own quite well.

There are endless flavor combinations that can be done with these; just by choosing different vegetables to mix into your muffins. I chose spinach and red pepper this time. I think asparagus would be amazing as well.  I find it preferable to use cooked vegetables from a texture perspective, making this a great way to use leftovers to create unique flavor combinations.

Savory Chickpea Flour Muffins

2 1/2 cups chickpea flour (besan)
3 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package frozen spinach (10 oz. box), thawed with water removed
1/2 red pepper (I used the kind from a jar), chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl mix the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir until smooth (you may use a whisk to ensure the flour and water is well incorporated).  Add the garlic, spinach, thyme, and parsley and stir again.

Prepare a twelve cup muffin pan with cooking oil spray. Ladle the batter into the muffin cups filling them nearly to the top. The batter will seem quite watery; this is how it should be.

Place the filled muffin tin in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Open the oven, allowing steam to escape.  Close the oven door and continue to cook another 15 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.   Run a butter knife around each muffin prior to removing from the tin to ensure easy removal.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Quinoa and Cauliflower Cakes

I recently ran across a post which contained a recipe for Quinoa Cauliflower "Meat" Balls. They looked and sounded great, but the day I went to make them I was not really in the mood for an Italian style "meat" ball.

As the rest of the family was having crab cakes for dinner, I decided to morph the recipe into a cake that was reminiscent of the flavor of crab cakes. Hence, this recipe was born.

The cakes are nice and crispy on the outside, while tender and soft on the inside.  They would do well on a roll or between two slices of bread. I decided to dress them up with a remoulade containing just a hint of sriracha sauce. A perfect compliment.

The base recipe is pretty versatile; you could certainly adjust the seasoning to create any flavor profile you are craving.

Quinoa Cauliflower Cakes

For the cake:
1 cup quinoa
4 cups vegetable stock
1 head cauliflower, cut into peices
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 cup whole grain bread crumb
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise)
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tbsp oregano, minced
1 tbsp parsley, minced
1 green onion, minced
1/2 tsp Hungarian smoked paprika*
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
Chopped green onion for garnish (optional)

For the remoulade:
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sweet relish
1/4 tsp prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp vegan worstechire sauce
A couple of squeezes of lemon juice
A couple dashes sriracha sauce

Prepare the quinoa by adding it to a sauce pot with two cups of the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for about twenty minutes or until all of the vegetable stock is absorbed and the quiona tender.

While the quinoa is cooking put the cauliflower into another sauce pan and and add the rest of the vegetable stock. The cauliflower is not covered, ad some  to cover. If the cauliflower is not covered, add some additional vegetable stock or water to cover and then turn heat to high. Allow the cauliflower to boil until tender, about fifteen minutes or so.  Test with a fork for doneness; the cauliflower should be tender and break apart easily.

Once the quinoa and cauliflower are done, add both to a food processor with the two cloves of garlic and puree until very smooth (note: depending on the size of the processor you have  you may need to do this in batches).

Once everything is combined add to a large bowl with the vegan mayonnaise, bread crumb, chopped celery, parsley and green onion.  Add the Hungarian paprika and salt and pepper. Hand mix until all is well incorporated.  Place bowl in the refrigerator for about fifteen minutes to allow the mixture to firm up.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

When the mixture is firm, remove from the refrigerator. Form into patties. The toal quantity of patties will be dependent on how big you make them. I got about twelve out of the batch I made.

To make the remoulade simply whisk all ingredients together.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. When heated, add cakes to the pan and brown about two or three minutes per side.  Transfer the browned patties to a baking sheet lined with non stick foil or parchment paper.  Heat in 375 degree oven for about fifteen minutes. If the patties are getting too brown they can be finished in the oven covered with foil.

Serve garnished with remoulade and green onion (if desired).

*Note: Hungarian smoked paprika has a stong flavor. Adjust amount according to your liking or substitute with another seasoning. For a crabcake like flavor you could substitute with Old Bay, just increase the amount according to what tastes good to you.