Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chickpea and White Bean Cakes

Over the weekend I made Chickpea and White Bean Ravioli. I made enough to have several meals during the week. As is often the case I made far more filling than I needed. Instead of wasting it or making more pasta I decided to put it in the fridge and figure out what to do with it later.



When I did get back to the filling, I decided to keep it simple and just turn it into an small h'ors d'oeuvresize bean cake.  The best part is I did nothing to it whatsoever- just created the patties, lightly greased a griddle and cooked them on that.

I did make a quick sauce to dip them in.  Quite good!

Chickpea and White Bean Cakes

For the cakes:
Chickpea and White Bean Ravioli Filling (recipe here)
Cooking oil spray

For the sauce:
Equal parts vegan mayonnaise and vegan sour cream
Smoked paprika, to taste
Salt to taste
Chopped cucumber

Spray a griddle or skillet with cooking oil spray. Turn heat to medium.  Form chickpea and bean mixture into patties and place on the griddle or skillet.  Heat a few minutes on each side until nicely browned.

For the dipping sauce simply mix all ingredients together.

Serve together.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Ice Cream" For Breakfast

Ice cream for breakfast? You bet!  While I did not set out to have ice cream for breakfast, I am still learning to use my Vitamix blender. I have wanted one for what feels like forever and I finally got one and I am loving it!   While I did not set out to make ice cream, it was actually better than what I had anticipated making!



I thought I was making a smoothie. I usually use frozen banana and fresh fruit in my smoothies. When I went to grab some fresh strawberries and blueberries I realized we did not have any. I always keep frozen on hand to use in a pinch and so I threw a handful of each into the VitaMix along with the banana.

After adding a cup or so of So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage and blending I ended up with ice cream!  SCORE!

I did not add any additional sweetener but if you prefer yours sweetened you can add some agave or sweetener of your choice.

I can't wait to make this for the kids- how cool a Mom will I be giving them ice cream for breakfast!?!

Strawberry Blueberry "Ice Cream"

1 frozen banana
2 handfuls frozen strawberries
2 handfuls frozen blueberries
~1 cup non dairy milk
Drizzle of agave syrup (optional)

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender such as a VitaMix.  Blend,  quickly increasing blender speed while tamping the ingredients until ice cream consistency.

Enjoy!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew with Israeli Couscous and Cranberries

Remember I recently told you how I was going to try to cook enough healthy food during the weekend to have enough to easily eat lunches and dinners during the week? I do believe I have done a pretty good job!



I started the weekend by making a (rockin') White Bean and Kale Soup and made enough to have it a few times during the week for either lunch or dinner. I cranked out some Chickpea and White Bean Ravioli and made enough that there is at least another couple of meals worth.  I also made a Butternut Squash, Chickpea Stew with Israeli Couscous and Cranberries and have enough to us this a few times during the week. And might I say, it is rockin', too!

I had some butternut squash in the refrigerator that needed to be cooked. As typical when looking for inspiration I turn to food blogs. A quick search for butternut squash stew produced several recipes, particularly this one, which served as my inspiration.  I changed up what I saw a bit, most notably adding cranberries becaue, along with the butternut squash in the refrigerator I also had some fresh cranberries that I wanted to use.  The cranberries provide a  tart aspect to this dish that is a bit different.  I really enjoyed it.

Oh, and I also told you why I need a pressure cooker and guess what? I bought one! I expect it to arrive sometime mid week and plan to put it to work next weekend!

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew with Israeli Cous Cous and Cranberries

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1//2 tsp ground coriander
3 Roma tomatoes, blanched, skins removed and chopped (canned will work if you don't have fresh)
Zest and juice of one lemon
1/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 pound peeled butternut squash cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (if you use canned drain and rinse well)
1/2 cup Israeli Cous Cous
4 cups vegetable stock
1/4- 1/2 tsp tspcinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat add the olive oil and onions.  Saute until the onion is tender and starts to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper.  Add the garlic, cumin and coriander. Give a quick stir and add the rest of the ingredients except the cilantro.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve garnished with Cilantro, if desired.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chickpea and White Bean Ravioli with Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce

I have never made fresh pasta before.  Well, that is not totally true. I did used to help my Mother make fresh pasta as a kid. And when I say "help" my role was  just to take the freshly made pasta and find a place for it to dry- laid out on a flat surface, hanging over a kitchen cabinet door or wherever else seemed suitable.  God, how I hated that job. But, I did it and often with whatever friends of mine my Mother could recruit to help, too.



I was recently introduced to the concept of chickpea ravioli by my cousin Lois. Wow, what a great idea! Why had I not thought of that before?  The wheels were set in motion and the decision to give it a try was made.  The filling didn't seem a particularly daunting task but the pasta? Definitely. So, I did what any sane person who had never made pasta before did- went straight to Amazon and purchased the pasta making attachments for my Kitchen Aid Mixer!

Unfortunately, when pasta making day rolled around, they had not yet arrived.  Fortunately, I live in a great community and a neighbor volunteered his hand crank version.

The pasta came out great.  I used Vegan Dad's recipe and it was easy, not nearly as messy as I remember and took no time at all. Since I did not have a ravioli cutter or one of those ravioli molds I used a pair of my daughters plastic pinking sheers to cut the ravioli. Worked like a charm.

The only snafu in the whole process was when my dog stole a sheet of freshly made pasta from where it was hanging over a cabinet door.  Note to self- keep the dog out of the kitchen while making pasta.

I will do it again, for sure.  But, I am definitely waiting until the KitchenAid attachments arrive!


Chickpea and White Bean Ravioli in Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce

For the ravioli:
6 fresh pasta sheets (the recipe I used stated it made a pound of pasta, you could use store bought)
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans such as navy
3 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 tbsp tahini
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp cumin
Olive oil for drizzling (optional)
4 oz chopped pimento (can be found in a jar in the grocery store)
2 tbsp green onions, chopped plus some for garnish (green part only)
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

For the filling:
1 1/2 roasted red peppers
1 roasted yellow pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup non dairy creamer (I used So Delicious Original)
1 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor blend the chickpeas, white beans, garlic, lemon juice, tahini and cumin until blended and smooth. If the mixture seems dry drizzle some olive oil and continue to blend until smooth but not runny.  Remove from the processor and transfer to a large bowl.  Add th pimento, green onion, parsley, salt and pepper and stir to incorporate.

Lay out a pasta sheet on a flat, lightly floured surface.  If you have one of those ravioli makers, now is the time to use it! Otherwise, place filling in teaspoonfuls on the dough leaving enough room between them to cut the ravioli.  Lay another sheet on top and lightly press sheets together (don't press so hard that they are sealed). Cut into ravioli shapes.  Once cut, lift the top sheet, rub the edges of the bottom sheet with a little water and then press the two together ensuring air bubbles are forced out.

Prepare the sauce by putting the roasted peppers, garlic, vegetable stock and non dairy creamer into a blender.  Blend until very smooth.  Transfer to a sauté pan and heat over medium heat.  Add the flour, salt and pepper and stir until heated through and thickened. This may take up to ten minutes.

While sauce is heating a large pot of water until it reaches a rolling boil.  Add the ravioli and allow to cook until the ravioli float to the top - about five minutes or so.

Drain ravioli, serve with the roasted pepper sauce garnished with the rest of the green onion.

Note:  I made 12 ravioli and had a fair amount of filling left over, which I am going to use in another recipe (post forthcoming).

Saturday, February 25, 2012

White Bean and Kale Soup (and Why I Need a Pressure Cooker)

I need to get better organized. My friend JL, of  JL Goes Vegan, is a master at spending just one day in the kitchen to prepare food for a week! I am trying to take a page out of her book and better prepare over the weekend for the work week.  She's a big fan of her pressure cooker and cranks out beans and grains like nobody's business!



This weekend I decided to make enough food to be able to eat well and easily prepare meals during the week. I made enough White Bean and Kale Soup on Saturday for several lunches and have enough beans leftover to use in a few other dishes.



As I put my beans on to cook this morning it finally hit me why JL loves her pressure cooker so much! Instead of the hour or so my beans would take to cook using the traditional method hers are done in just a few minutes!  I don't know why it took so long but if finally clicked-- there really is something to this pressure cooker thing.  This weekend's mission- to find and purchase a pressure cooker! If you have any recommendations for me, please share!

Now, on to the soup.  For so little work and so few ingredients you will not believe how hearty and flavorful this is. Packed with nutrition, this is a real winner!  I am looking forward to eating this all week long!

Now, back to the kitchen to use up the rest of those white beans.

White Bean and Kale Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
8-10 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups chopped curly kale, chopped into small pieces
2 cups chopped Tuscan kale, chopped into small pieces
4 cups cooked white beans* (I used Navy)
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped parsley

In a large pot over medium heat add the olive oil, garlic and onion.  Saute for a few minutes until onion starts to become translucent.  Add the kale and continue to saute until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.  Once the kale is wilted, add 3 cups of beans, 3 1/2 cups of vegetable stock and the Italian seasoning. Simmer for about fifteen minutes.

While the soup is simmering, in a blender mix the remaining cup of beans and stock until very smooth.  Add to the soup along with the chopped tomoatoes and continue to simmer for at least another five minutes or so.  Re-season with salt and pepper if desired/needed. Add the parsley, stir and serve.

*If using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse the beans well.  The amount is about equivalent to 2 1/2 15 oz cans. 

Recipe adapted from this Bean Soup With Kale recipe.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Potato Mushroom Napoleons

Other than a failed cupcake attempt, Saturday was a perfect day of cooking.  I was up before five, tested my hand at some polenta which eventually turned into polenta fries and pizza. I made a Cauliflower, Potato and Cabbage Fritter with leftover pierogi filling, chocolate covered frozen kiwis and bananas and a Potato Mushroom Napoleon.



Since I was going to be away for Valentines Day (not a big deal- you can get my take on Valentine's Day here)  I tried to make a sort of "fancy" dinner. Calling something a "Napoleon" automatically classifies it as fancy, right?

This was simple to make, full of flavor, and if you ask me, has some of that presentation "wow factor" you get in a fancy restaurant.

Fancy or not, most importantly these are really tasty!

Potato Mushroom Napoleons

3 russet potatoes, peeled
2.5 oz thinly sliced shitake mushrooms (stems removed)
5 oz thinly sliced baby bella mushrooms (stems removed)
1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced (white and light green part only)
2 frozen artichoke hearts (thawed and sliced)
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1 tbsp vegan Butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
¼ cup dry  red wine
1 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking oil spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Trim the potatoes on each side until they are a basic rectangle shape.  Using a very sharp knife or mandolin slice the potatoes lengthwise. Place the potato slices on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Spray with cooking oil spray and then season with salt and pepper.  Place in the oven for about 12 minutes, until the potatoes become translucent and start to soften but are not browned.

 While the potatoes are cooking place a large skillet on the stove over medium heat.  Add the olive oil, mushrooms, leek and artichoke hearts.  Sauté a few minutes until the mushrooms start to release their liquid. Add the garlic powder and season with salt and pepper.  Add the vegetable stock and allow to cook until most of the liquid evaporates.  Add the red wine, non dairy milk, parsley, and oregano.  Stir to incorporate and then add the butter and flour, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.

Assemble the Napoleons by placing a potato on a plate, topping it with a spoonful of the mushroom mixture, another potato and more mixture. Repeat until you have used three potato slices. Top the last slice with some more of the mushroom mixture.

Serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day and Some Sweet Cupcakes

I have got to admit I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. Other than when I was a kid, and Valentine's Day meant boxes of candy, I never really have been. It just seems so silly- a manufactured holiday grounded in nothing other than the candy and greeting card industry's desire to generate revenue.



I know, I know, that sounds so cynical! In all seriousness, why do we need a single day to tell those in our lives that we love them and they are special to us?  Shouldn't we do that every day?  Does that require candy, greeting cards and roses? Nah...

Anyway, I  have been thinking a lot lately about those that are really special in my life. Of course there are my husband, kids, friends and family.  That is a given.  But there is also you- the members of the awesome vegan community that I have found myself immersed in! I am talking about all of the caring, compassionate individuals who really want to make a difference in the world. Some of you, like JL, Fran, Leah, Christina, Sharon,  Susan and Robin I have met in person.  And others like Gail and Brian, to name a couple, that I really hope to meet soon!

So with all of you in mind I baked these Valentine's Day cupcakes. I hope you enjoy them!

Oh, and, yes, of course I bought my kids candy for Valentine's Day :)

Sweet Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe ClassicYellow Cake Mix
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 2/3 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For the frosting (adapted from this recipe):
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/ 4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (1/2 stick), softened
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the Duncan Hines cake mix, applesauce, water and vegetable oil in the bowl of a stand mixer.  If you do not  have a stand mixer you can use a large bowl and a hand mixer.  Beat slowly for about 30 seconds and then increase the speed to medium and beat for two minutes.

Place cupcake liners into a muffin tin and fill each until about 3/4 full. This should make 24 cupcakes.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and remove cupcakes from pan.

To make the frosting add the confectioners sugar and Earth Balance to a clean stand mixer bowl. If you do not have a stand mixer, this may be done with a hand mixer.  Slowly beat until the sugar and butter are combined, it will be a crumbly mixture.  Add the 1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Slowly add the cocoa powder and beat until very smooth.

Either spread or pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Phyllo Wrapped Beefless Burgers and a Giveaway

I recently posted a made over childhood favorite Crunchy Chick'n recipe and it seems the nice folks at Gardein took a shine to it as they featured it as a Meatless Monday meal suggestion and kindly sent me some coupons for free Gardein! I thought it would be great to give those freebies to some of my readers. sok eep reading to find out how to be entered to win some free Gardein!



This recipe was dinner a few nights ago- a bit of a different way to prepare a burger. If you are a regular reader of The Vegan Version you probably know how I feel about phyllo dough -- everything tastes better wrapped in it! These burgers are no exception.

Now, about that free Gardein! You can enter to win by simply do any or all of the following:
  • Leave a comment on this post (with an email address by which I can contact you)
  • Like Vegan Version on Facebook (please let me know you did so) 
  • Tweet "@VeganVersion I would like some free @Gardein http://www.theveganversion.com/2012/02/phyllo-wrapped-beefless-burgers-and.html" (please let me know you did so)
[Update: Congratulations to Jordan! You are the winner of the free Gardein! Please check your email!]


Do all of these things and be entered three times! I will announce a winner on Monday February 21st, 2012. Good luck and stay tuned for some upcoming additional Gardein giveaways soon.

Phyllo Wrapped Beefless Burgers

2 Gardein Beefless Burgers ( still frozen)
6 sheets phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (I used Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds)
2 tbsp chopped scallions (green part only)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and non dairy milk.

Cut the stack of six phyllo sheets in half and trim each half into square large enough to fully wrap the entire burger.  Place 1/8 cup of the vegan cheese in the center of one stack of phyllo squares and add 1/2 tbsp scallion on top of the cheese.  Place one frozen burger on top of the cheese and scallion. Top with another 1/8 cup of the vegan cheese and 1/2 tbsp of scallion.

Starting with one corner of the phyllo fold a sheet or two over the burger and work your way around pulling each corner in using one or two phyllo sheets.  After you complete the fourth corner lightly brush the top with the olive oil and non dairy milk mixture.  Repeat the process until all sheets are wrapped around the burger.  Flip over onto a lightly greased baking sheet and brush the top with some more of the olive oil and non dairy milk mixture.  Repeat for the second burger.

Bake at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the phyllo is nicely browned.

Serve.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cook Once Eat Twice (or More)

Yesterday I shared with you the Potato,  Cauliflower and Cabbage Pierogis I made.  Not only was that our dinner, I froze a bunch of them for another day, and put a couple in my daughters lunch for tomorrow.  You may recall I miscalculated on the amount of filling needed based on the amount of dough I made.



Well, today I took all of the leftover filling, threw in some breadcrumbs and created Potato, Cabbage and Cauliflower fritters. They were terrific! I left a couple in the fridge and froze a couple for another day.

I would love to know your secret for making a single dish extend to multiple meals! Please share!

Potato, Cauliflower and Cabbage Fritters

Potato, Cauliflower and Cabbage Pierogi filling ( recipe here)
Breadcrumbs (enough to bind the mixture)
Olive oli for pan frying

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Form mixture and breadcrumbs into patties and pan fry a few minutes on each side until golden brown. That's it!

Note: Mr. Meat and Potatoes ate his with some Tabasco sauce. I have to say it was a good idea!  Yum.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Potato Cauliflower and Cabbage Pierogi

Hannah over at Bitter Sweet got me thinking about pierogis. Hers looked fabulous and she gave me the inspiration to try my hand at making my own.  I don't think I have had them since going vegan and I did used to like them quite a bit.



I did not cook from a recipe for these, they just sort of came together as I went along. After I made the filling I started to worry that tit would be gone before I even got to make the pierogis. Luckily, I miscalculated the dough to filling ratio so I had  a bunch of filling leftover for us to enjoy on its own. I have adjusted the recipe to account for my miscalculation but if you want extra filling just double the recipe!

As an added bonus, I discovered another great vegan product from the folks at So Delicious. If yo have not tried the Cultured Coconut Yogurt I would absolutely recommend it. Tasty on its own and great in this recipe. The wheels are already turning on other uses for it.

Potato Cauliflower and Cabbage Pierogi

For the dough:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
6 oz So Delicous Plain Greek Style Yogurt
1 cup So Delicious Original Culutured Coconut Milk
1 tbsp olive oil

For the filling
2 medium size russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 head cauliflower, cored and cut into large chunks
1 leek, white and light green part, cleaned and sliced thin
1/2 cup red cabbage
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened)
1 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegan sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the dough by adding the flour, nutritional yeast, parsley, thyme and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can do this by hand.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then add the Greek style yogurt, cultured coconut milk and olive oil.  Mix on a low speed until a dough starts to form.   Using either the dough hook of your mixer or your hands knead the mixture for about five minutes.  Remove from the bowl, form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the potato and cauliflower.  Boil for about 15 minutes or until fork tender.

While potatoes are boiling heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan.  Add the garlic, leeks and red cabbage. Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

When potatoes and cauliflower are fork tender remove them from the boiling water and drain in a colander.  Transfer to a large bowl, add the non dairy milk and vegan butter, salt and pepper.  Mash until relatively smooth.  Add the leek and cabbage mixture and stir.

When the mixture has cooled, and the dough has refrigerated for an hour remove the dough and turn it out onto a lighly floured surface.  Roll the dough to about 1/4-1/8" thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or round cutter cut dough into circles. Place a teaspoonful of the potato and cauliflower mixture in the center of each round and fold in half taking care to seal the edges so that the filling is contained inside.  Crimp the edges with a fork.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Whisk the remaining olive oil and non dairy milk in a small bowl and brush on top of each pierogi.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the tops are starting to brown, the dough is cooked through and the filling warmed.

Servie with vegan sour cream if desired.

Note: if you want to prepare these more traditionally you could boil them for a few minutes and then transfer them to a pan of olive oil and quickly pan fry.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Veggie Chili Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Work has been incredibly busy. Between marathon meetings and business travel I have not had the time to cook as much as I would like.  As a result I have had to resort "shopping" in my own freezer. Thankfully, when I do cook I tend to make enough for an army so I found some goodies in there I had forgotten all about.



While looking through the freezer yesterday I found a Vegetable Barley Soup that made a lovely lunch today. I found a nice Butternut Squash Soup that will make a nice lunch another day this week and I also found a huge vat of Veggie Chili which I defrosted for dinner tonight.  The chili,  along with some poblano peppers I had purchased over the weekend made for a quick, easy and flavorful dinner. And, I have enough chili leftover for lunch another day this week (score!).   

Veggie Chili Stuffed Poblano Peppers

3 poblano peppers
1 cup Veggie Chili (recipe here
1/4-1/2 cup vegan cheese (I used Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds)
~8 crackers (I used Ritz Garlic Butter)
1/2 tbsp Vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and put the whole poblano peppers on the sheet. Place in the oven and allow to roast about 15 minutes or until just starting to soften.

Remove the peppers from the oven and set aise.  

In a food processor blend the crackers and Earth balance. (Alternatively you can crush the crackers, melt the Earth Balance and mix the two.

Once the peppers are cool enough to touch, cut in half long ways and remove the seeds and veins. Place cut side up on the baking sheet.  Place a layer of the vegan cheese in the bottom of each, add a layer of veggie chili and then top with the cracker crumb mixture.  Return to the oven and bake another 15-20 minutes until the topping is nicely browned.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Nutter Butter Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I recently saw a recipe for Nutter Butter Cupcakes.  Upon seeing the recipe I immediately Googled "are Nutter Butters vegan". Guess what?  They are! I used to love Nutter Butters as a kid and I can honestly say that before yesterday I had not had one in many years!  They are as good as I remember them!



I decided to try a vegan version of the original recipe. I used a boxed cake mix like the recipe suggested  substituting apple sauce for the eggs. They turned out great! Do be sure to check the ingredients on the cake mix you use- not all are vegan.

I iced twelve of them and froze the other twelve for another day, so if you are going to ice all 24 of yours you may want to double the icing you make (or not frost them as much as I frosted mine).



Nutter Butter Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

For the cake:
1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake)
Applesauce (1/4 cup for each egg you are replacing)
6 Nutter Butter cookies chopped  
12 Nutter Butter cookies cut in half  
2 tbsp chopped vegan chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli Semi Sweet)

For the icing:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 tbsp vegan butter, softened (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup confectioners sugar
4 tbsp non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven according to cake directions.

Prepare the cake batter as directed substituting 1/4 cup of applesauce for each egg you are replacing. Mix in the chopped Nutter Butter cookies.

Place cupcake liners into a muffin or cupcake pan.  Place 1/2 of a Nutter Butter on the bottom of each.  Fill with the cupcake batter until about 3/4 full. Bake according to cake package directions or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

As the cupcakes are baking prepare the icing by creaming the peanut butter and butter together.  I did this in a KitchenAid stand mixer. If you do not have a stand mixer you can use a hand mixer.  Slowly add the confectioners sugar and beat until incorporated.  Add the non dairy milk and vanilla and continue to mix until incorporated.

Pipe or spread the icing on the cupcakes and sprinkle with chopped chocolate.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Crispy Potato Roast

I know it is Superbowl Sunday and perhaps this isn't the most typical Superbowl food but I suppose I will get to cooking some more traditional Superbowl stuff later today. Or not. We shall see.



I have seen a lot of recipes for Potato Roasts that look similar to this one floating out there on the Internet. They all look good but all seemed (to me anyway) to be somewhat lacking from a flavor perspective. This one in particular caught my eye.



Most called for just potatoes and little to no seasoning so I thought I would make this one my own and add an additional layer of flavor by adding some roasted garlic. I like the way it came out.

The great thing about this is you can serve it at a fancy pants dinner or just have it for breakfast like we did!

Crispy Potato Roast

6 similarly sized Russet potatoes sliced very thin (I used a mandolin)
1 bulb roasted garlic
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 large shallots sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/2 tsp or more cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  If you have not already roasted your garlic start by slicing the top off of a garlic bulb to reveal the top of the garlic cloves inside.  Place on foil, drizzle with olive oil and salt and put into the oven for about 30 minutes or until the garlic is nicely browned and easily squeezed out of the bulb.  It will be very soft.

Melt the Earth Balance into the olive oil over medium heat on the stove (or in the microwave).  Brush the bottom of a baking dish with some of butter and olive oil mixture.

Assemble the sliced potatoes into the dish vertically until you have covered the perimeter. Any empty space in the middle can be filled in with some more potatoes.

Place the slices of shallots and roasted garlic (removed from the bulb once cool enough to handle) randomly between the potato slices. The roasted garlic should be quite spreadable so you may want to spread some across the tops of the potatoes, too.  Add the thyme. salt, pepper and cayenne (if desired) being sure to get the spices down into the potato layers.  Brush the top with the butter/olive oil mixture and then gently pour the rest over the potatoes.

Bake at 375 for an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half, until the potatoes are browned and crispy on the edges.