vegansaurus!

12/21/2009

Recipe: Veggie fries!  »

Recipe review spoiler alert: these were a huge hit for dinner last night. Both Jordan,14, and Jon Alex, eight, gave the veggie fries two thumbs up and the okay sign while chewing with their mouths full. (They are presented here as tofu crisps, but no way in hell would they have tried anything called “tofu crisps”) Eight-month-old Ehren, full from his lunch of macaroni and applesauce, did not participate this time.

Ingredients
•    16 ounces extra-firm tofu or super-firm tofu
•    1 Tbsp curry powder
•    1 to 2 tsps coarse sea salt
•    1 tsp dried basil
•    1 Tbsp agave nectar
•    2 Tbsps peanut oil

Directions
My grocery store did not carry extra-firm or super-firm tofu, and my travels to Hong Kong Market didn’t begin until after a two-hour search for seaweed for an upcoming Vegansaurus recipe, and by the time I made it to Hong Kong Market, I was looking only for seaweed and lotus root and was totally like fuck the super-firm tofu, it’s cold and rainy, and as soon as I started slicing the hard tofu, I knew I should have looked for the super-firm. You’ll need super-firm tofu for this recipe, even in icy-cold weather.

Slice tofu as you would cut potatoes for French fries. Lightly grease baking sheet with spray oil. Mix marinade ingredients in a small bowl. If you decide to double the marinade amount, double all ingredients but the sea salt.

The marinade got a “smells good” from eight-year-old Jon Alex as I was shielding his view of the tofu with my body. I wasn’t sure if I’d made enough to cover 16 oz, so I made more after covering half the slices on the baking sheet. If I’d had the super firm, I would have dipped each slice into the marinade bowl. The hard tofu was too mushy to handle with my fingers more than once. So it stayed on the baking sheet as I spread the marinade with my fingers.

Dip each slice into marinade, covering both sides. Or, you can try pouring the marinade onto the slices and spreading it with your fingers.

Broil in oven about 15 to 20 minutes, turning over slices about halfway through. This is when you’ll especially appreciate the super firm tofu.

With the raw baby carrots and chilled lotus root slices, this was our dinner. We—one adult, a teenage girl and a growing boy—were all full and even had a few leftover tofu slices. Of course, the veggie fries can always be served with soup or veggie burgers. Once I’m released from the hospital after what I’m sure is double pneumonia, we’ll make these for dinner or afternoon snacks. Great recipe.

This is another guest post from Erica Mullenix from Houston, Texas. While not vegan, she and her family are transitioning to more healthful food choices (like vegan cookies!). Erica blogs at Free Fringes and tweets as @hmx5.

12/04/2009

Recipe review: Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles!  »

[Ed.: This is a recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s and Terri Hope Romero’s new cookbook, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Isa posted the recipe on the PPK blog in September.]

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles
Ingredients
Topping
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Cookies
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 Tbs. almond milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract (or more vanilla extract if you have no chocolate)
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne

Cocktail
1 part Firefly sweet tea vodka
1 part sweet tea
[for sipping over ice while preparing cookie dough and carrying 20-lb. baby strapped to your boobies]

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the topping ingredients together on a flat plate. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together oil, sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix in extracts.
Sift in remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all ingredients are added, mix until you’ve got pliable dough.
Roll dough into walnut-sized balls. Pat into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly two-inch discs. Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up, at least two inches apart (they do spread). This should be easy. The bottom of the cookies should just stick to your fingers so you can just flip them over onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. They should be a bit spread and crackly on top.
Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

I always lay out all the ingredients beforehand because I am notoriously forgetful. If I can look at each one and see it’s been touched, I know it’s in there somewhere.

I forgot to set out the non-dairy milk for the group photo. It was in the fridge sleeping with the enemy.

The dough should never look pureed. Stop mixing when ingredients are simply folded into each other.

I was slightly disturbed by the uneven number. I tried to ignore it. Don’t judge me.

Looks nothing like the pictures in the book, but seriously, when does that ever happen?

Ehren, eight months. He seemed to like them, but he also eats paper, cardboard and Chapstick.

Jordan, 14, liked them, even with the unusual cayenne pepper, but she is not my pickiest consumer. She tends to eat what is placed before her without complaint.However, she did pack the leftovers to share with her English class.

Jon Alex, eight, my semi-foodie who considers the Breakfast Jack the zenith of gourmet living. He did not like the cayenne pepper and voted nay when the cookies were presented for an up or down vote.

There was no need to announce these were vegan cookies or to explain what a vegan is; I introduce new foods to the kids without much fanfare, which lessens their suspicions. I didn’t find these cookies super-rich or creamy, but I think that’s more the fault of the unsweetened chocolate powder and missing, unfriended butter than the non-dairy milk.

Verdict: we probably won’t make these again, but Jordan likes the almond milk, so she’ll drink it over the next few days. I’ll also need to find another use for the pure maple syrup that cost me six bucks for that little bottle, like the Maple Family doesn’t care we’re in a recession or anything. Mr. Maple can be a dick.

This guest post has been brought to you by Erica Mullenix (and her unbearably adorable children) from Houston, Texas. While not vegan, she and her family are transitioning to more healthful food choices (like vegan cookies!). Erica blogs at Free Fringes and tweets as @hmx5.

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