Monday, May 23, 2011

Deep Fried Strawberries

Recently my friend Phyllis posted a photo of a deep fried strawberry. In a million years I would never have thought of the words deep, fried and strawberry together.  But it looked so pretty and elegant and in today's day and age where we are deep frying pickles and candy bars, why not?

So, I got to thinking about a vegan batter to dip and fry some strawberries. As I didn't start this process until about 8 PM I will admit I took the lazy route and tried to do this with as few ingredients as possible.  It was super easy to do, and when my daughter tried them her exact words were "Mom, I don't like these, I love these!"

While not particularly healthy, these were a fun dessert to make and eat.

Deep Fried Strawberries

1 cup Bisquick pancake mix (yes it is vegan!)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp non dairy vanilla milk (I used So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk)
1 quart strawberries
Vegetable oil for frying (I used canola)
Powdered Sugar
Chocolate syrup

Preheat oil to 375 degrees (these are best done in a deep fryer).

Mix the Bisquick and vanilla non dairy milk in a bowl. This will form a very thick batter.  Dip strawberries into the batter.  You may need to spread it with a spoon or knife to coat the strawberry well.  Drop the strawberries into the heated oil and fry until batter is golden brown (note, if you have strawberries with a long stem you can just hold the battered part in the oil to fry). Remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve with chocolate sauce and powdered sugar.

Friday, May 6, 2011

So Delicious Vanilla Cupcakes

Every once in a while a miracle product comes along.  It doesn't happen often.  If you look back through history, every so often something that was a real game changer is introduced.  Things like Betty Crocker, TV dinners and microwave ovens.

For me, the discovery of So Delicious products has been a game changer. I have never been a fan of cows milk. I spent many evenings as a kid sitting at the dinner table long after everyone else was gone and the kitchen cleaned up. Just me and my full glass of milk: "You may be excused from the table when your milk is finished."  As an adult, I never drank milk, but I did cook with it.  Upon becoming vegan I experimented with soy, rice, almond and hemp milk but for whatever reason I do not like the way they cook and each has a distinctive taste that just is not pleasing to me.

I had pretty much stopped cooking anything that required any sort of non dairy milk product. Then, while at the grocery store one day I saw the So Delicious Coconut milk and decided I would give it a try.  I really did not hold out much hope for this product and I was so pleasantly surprised by the results when I used it in cooking.  A milk substitute that I could use!  YAY!

Now, to be clear. I do not drink the stuff straight.  There is still something about drinking milk that just doesn't bode well with me.  Although, I will admit I bought the Vanilla flavor for this recipe (which by the way is not my own- I found it here but modified it to use the So Delicious Milk) and tasted some out of a glass- WOW- kind of like a vanilla milkshake.

And, as long as I am on this So Delicious roll-- the coconut milk ice cream is terrific too!

Thanks So Delicous! I am so happy to have found this product and encourage you to give it a try if you have not already!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, I am not an employee of the company nor I am not paid to say this stuff!

So Delicious Vanilla Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
3/4 cup organic turbinado sugar
2 1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Whisk the Vanilla coconut milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside few minutes until curdled.  Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl and mix.

In a large bowl using a handheld mixture combine the Earth Balance, and sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy (not more than two minutes).  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Alternate beating in the Vanilla Coconut mixture and the dry ingredients. Be sure to stop and scrape the side of the bowl occasionally.  Beat until smooth.

Fill the cupcake liners until 2/3 full.  Place in the oven and bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool before frosting.

For the frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (softened)
1/4 cup So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk
1 1/2 tsp  vanilla extract

Put Earth balance, sugar and coconut milk in a bowl and beat on medium speed until combined.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until very creamy. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. 

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and decorate as you would like.

Note: this recipe made six regular sized cupcakes and two over sized ones.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches

It is finally springtime in the North East.  And, with spring comes the notion of backyard barbeques, grilling and easy, simple, satisfying food you don't even need a fork or knife to eat.

Tonight, I really wanted that first taste of  the impending summer seasons backyard picnic sort of food so I decided to go the BBQ route with a sandwich that would be welcome at any summer gathering. I would liken this to either a sloppy Joe or pulled pork or chicken sandwich.  Mind you , I did not cook this on the grill (though you could easily do that in a small saute pan).  Served with some slaw and an ear of corn... ahhh... heaven!

BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches

1 8 oz package tempeh, crumbled
4 Kaiser rolls (I used sesame seed ones)
1 cup BBQ sauce (I used a jarred Memphis style sauce)
1/2 green pepper chopped fine
1/2 yellow pepper chopped fine
1 small red onion chopped fine
2 tbsp vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cole slaw for topping (optional)

Mix the BBQ sauce into the tempeh and let marinate for a short time, about ten minutes.

In  a saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the peppers, onion, salt and pepper and saute until very soft. Add the tempeh and BBQ sauce mixture.  When just about heated through add the vegetable stock and allow to cook until the vegetable stock is absorbed by the mixture.

Spoon onto a kaiser roll and top with some cole slaw, if desired.