Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Super Simple Banana Cake

This recipe is so ridiculously simple it really is not fair to call it a recipe.  With five ingredients (two of them optional) it is about the easiest thing to pull together.   I used bananas for this cake, but I think you could use any fruit you want.

Yes, there is A LOT of 'butter' in this recipe. Yes, it is very rich and sweet. Yes, is delicious. And yes, a little goes a long way in satisfying a craving for sweets.  Topped with a bit of So Delicious No Sugar Added Butter Pecan ice cream this was divine.

In fact, my ten year old daughter proclaimed it to be "the best cake you ever made".  She does not have to know it is the cake that requires the least amount of work :)

Enjoy if you decide to try this.  If you use a different fruit please let me know how it comes out!

Four Ingredient Banana Cake

2 bananas, sliced
3/4 package Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix (yes, it is vegan out of the box!)
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted (I used Earth Balance)
~1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)
Cinnamon for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the sliced bananas in the bottom of a lightly greased 8x8 glass pan.

Pour about 3/4 of the cake mix over top of the bananas.  Top with the melted butter and then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon (if desired).

Place in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly.

Allow to cool before serving.

Note: I used this recipe to serve as the inspiration for my cake, though there are many similar ones out there.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mango Slaw, Wasabi Mustard and an Asian Inspired Veggie Burger

I had not really planned on publishing these recipes as well, they are not much in terms of recipes, but I had a couple of Twitter/Facebook requests for them so why not?  The Wasabi Mustard alone is worth a post- delicious.

I will admit that this dinner was inspired by an episode of Rachel's Kitchen. I am not a big Rachel Ray fan, but her tuna burgers caught my eye- mostly because of the wasabi mustard and pickled ginger she garnished the burgers with. And she used black sesame seeds, something I really like.

The mango slaw was inspired by something I often get in my work cafeteria (yes, work cafeteria!). It came together really well and was also really simple to put together.

I had a premade Wildwood SprouTofu Veggie Burger in the fridge (have you tried them? They are quite good). I fried it up in a little sesame oil which added to the Asian flair to this dish.

I pretty much took the easy way out for dinner tonight. But it was oh, so good.

Mango Slaw
8 oz slaw mix (mine had shredded green and red cabbage as well as carrot)
1/4 cup black sesame seeds
1 mango peeled and chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
1/3 cup white balsamic or rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and serve.

Wasabi Mustard
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tsp wasabi paste
1 tbsp agave nectar

Whisk all ingredients together and serve as a condiment instead of regular mustard.

Top your favorite veggie burger (heated over medium heat with a splash of sesame oil) with some of the mustard, some pickled ginger and black sesame seeds.  Serve a side of the mango slaw and enjoy a delicious meal!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mushroom Pot Pie

While most people don't realize it that blogging is a lot of work (it is) it certainly does has its perks!  I was recently sent some goodies from two very generous companies.  The Beyond Meat company sent me some of their Chicken Free Strips and So Delicious sent me samples of their new Cashew Milk (and some delectable ice cream treats, too). How cool is that?

Even though it was 100+ degrees today, I had a craving for pot pie. Go figure. I guess sometimes a girl just wants what a girl wants!  So, when I got home from work I set to  work to create a simple mushroom pot pie and figured it was as good a time as any to try out the Beyond Meat and Cashew Milk.

The beyond meat is a perfectly acceptable chicken substitute. It has a great texture- not rubbery, not too soft, not too chewy.  I liked it.  I used the lightly seasoned ones in this recipe. I do have some others seasoned differently to try and am looking forward to cooking with them.

The cashew milk was great to cook with.  It does not have an overpowering flavor, cooks up beautifully and is another great alternative to soy (or cowmilk). I can tell you that I will not ever drink it out of the glass (you can see how I feel about any and all milk here) but I will definitely cook with it again, in both savory and sweet dishes.

Bravo Beyond Meat and So Delicious! Two wining products!

Mushroom Pot Pie

For the filling:
2 tbsp olive oil
8 strips Beyond Meat Lightly Seasoned Chicken Free Strips, cut into chunks
5 oz shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Cashew Milk
4 tbsp water
3 tsp EnerG Egg Replacer
Paprika (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a skillet, over medium heat add one tablespoon of olive oil. Once heated add the Beyond Meat No Chicken Strips and cook until golden brown and heated through. Set aside.

In a sauce pot over medium heat add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, thyme, onion powder, salt and pepper. Saute until tender, a few minutes.   Add the flour and stir for about 30 seconds to incorporate.  Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.

Whisk the EnerG Egg Replacer and water together in a small bowl until there are no lumps. In a large bowl mix the Bisquick, So Delicious Cashew Milk and the egg replacer mix.  Stir together. The mix will be the consistency of pancake batter.

In either four small ramekins or an 8" square baking dish place a layer of the Beyond Meat Chicken Free Strips and then pour the mushroom mixture on top.  Top that with the Bisquick mixture. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Note: I based my pot pie filling loosely on this recipe.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Pie

Every once in a while you see a recipe that just grabs you. This is one of those times  Though I do not have a sweet tooth sometimes sweet things just look to good not to make.  This one jumped out at me mostly because it looked like something my family would enjoy. Though I don't eat them, cinnamon rolls are sometimes a Sunday morning treat in our house (yes, I admit, the kid from the can).

I showed Mr. Meat and Potatoes the recipe and his response was "get crackin'!" So I did! I shamelessly admit I pretty much lifted this recipe as is. The only changes I made were to use So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk with a little vanilla extract instead of vanilla soy milk and to reduce the amount of pecans (I did not have enough on hand,and my son is not crazy about nuts in his cinnamon rolls).  The rest I followed to a tee because I really could not find any reason to alter any of it.

This was enjoyed as an afternoon snack, and I suspect will be part of a breakfast or two over the coming days. Who says pie can't be for breakfast?!?

Cinnamon Roll Pie

For the dough:

3/4 cup non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp organic cane sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp vegan butter, melted (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 cup maple syrup

For the filling:
1 cup organic brown sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
6 tbsp vegan butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans

For the glaze:
1 oz vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti brand)
1 tbsp non dairy milk
1//2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl mix 3/4 cup non dairy milk, apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp vanilla. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the sugar and stir to combine.

Add the non dairy milk mixture, 6 tbsp melted vegan butter, and maple syrup to the dry mixture.  Stir until a dough forms.  Knead dough until all ingredients are well incorporated (about two minutes).

In a medium sized bowl combine the brown sugar, five tablespoons flour, cinnamon and the rest of the melted vegan butter. Stir to combine and then fold in the pecans.

Roll out 2/3 of the dough in a round and place into a nine inch pie pan.  Press the up the sides of the pan slightly.  Spread 2/3 of the filling over the dough.  Roll the rest of the dough into a round large enough to cover the interior of the pie pan. Place on top of the filling.  Add the rest of the filling to the top.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees or until the dough is golden brown.

While the pie is baking prepare the glaze by mixing the vegan cream cheese, non dairy milk, vanilla and confectioners sugar until smooth. I find using a whisk works well.

When pie is finished, remove from the oven, allow to cool somewhat and then drizzle on the glaze.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter (Cup) Bars

I have not had a Reese's peanut butter cup in a LONG time.  When I saw several recipes posted on the Internet for Peanut Butter Bars I realized they could easily be made vegan.  And if the promise of tasting like Reese's Peanut Butter cups was true it would certainly be worth the effort, right?

Right!  They do taste like what I remember a Reese's Cup tasting like.  And this is my kind of "baking"... no oven needed!

They were a hit with everyone who has tried them thus far-- this recipe is a keeper!

Reese's Peanut Butter (Cup) Bars

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup plus 4 tbsp organic peanut butter
1 cup vegan butter, melted (I used Earth Balance)
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup of peanut butter, melted butter and confectioners sugar.  Mix until well incorporated and spread mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

Melt chocolate chips and the rest of the peanut butter over a double boiler until very smooth.  Pour over top of peanut butter mixture and spread evenly over the top with an icing spreader or knife.  Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chocolate is fully cooled, at least an hour.

Cut with a knife into bars and serve.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Crispy Tofu over Thai Peanut Udon Noodles

A while back a neighbor had shared a recipe for Panko Crusted Tofu over Spicy Peanut Udon Noodles.  It was good, but for some reason I never made it again.  I am not sure why but we do not eat much Thai at home.

Last night I was looking for a simple meal that my extended family could enjoy, and the peanut sauce sounded like a good idea.  Of course, when I went to make it I did not have everything I needed for the recipe. Instead of running to the store I decided to improvise and use what I had on hand, and the result was  quite good.

This is a simple yet flavorful meal to put together and for us a nice departure from my day to day cooking.  If you try it I hope you enjoy it.

Crispy Tofu over Thai Peanut Udon Noodles

4 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
4 tbsp organic peanut butter
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp sesame oil
Juice of half a lime
1/2 tsp dried ginger
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
1 6 oz package baked tofu (I used Sprotofu Savory) cubed
1/2 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
3 green onions (green part) chopped, for garnish
9 oz udon noodles
1-2 tbsp each Sesame oil and vegetable oil

In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, peanut butter, vegetable stock, garlic, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger and cayenne until well incorporated.  Set aside.

In a shallow dish place the Panko and season with salt and pepper.  In a second shallow dish pour the coconut milk.

Dip each tofu cube into the coconut milk and then roll in the Panko.  When all cubes are coated put into a saute pan over medium heat with the sesame and vegetable oil.  Allow to brown on all sides. If the Panko does not adhere that is OK- it will form a nice crumb that will be used to top the udon noodles.

As the tofu is cooking place the udon noodles in a pot of water and cook according to package directions.  When done, drain noodles and place in a bowl.  Add the peanut sauce and mix well.

To assemble place noodles on a dish, top with the crispy tofu and any crumbs from the pan.  Top with green onion.