Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pancake Nirvana!

These are truly awesome pancakes. The tofu fluffs it up and the lemon adds a nice counterpoint to pure maple syrup. This is a variation of a recipe I discovered online. Satisfying and delicious!

Fluffy Whole Grain Pancakes

Mix together in bowl:
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

In another bowl, mix together:
1 cup silken tofu
1/3 cup soy milk
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients together until just mixed. The batter should be lumpy, not smooth. It is rather stiff. Next time I make this I'll try 1/2 cup of soy milk.

Pour 1/4 cup of the batter on a hot non-stick or cast-iron griddle coated with oil. This is a very thick batter, so mash it a bit with your spatula to flatten.

Cook until bottom is golden-brown. Flip over and cook until golden on the other side.

Serve hot with maple syrup.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Two for One

You know the drill - the recipe just calls for a portion of something and then you have leftover... well in this case, silken tofu.

Vegan Mayonaise
I've been buying Veganaise (most stores in the health food section) to replace mayonaise. In all honesty, I have to say that it is pricey, use by date is just weeks away and I'm not all that wild about the taste. Making your own mayo is quite simple and the internet & vegan cookbooks abound with recipes for it. Here's the one I made with a portion of the 12 ounce box of tofu.

Tofu Mayonaise
7 ounces extra firm silken tofu
1/4 cup raw cashews, finely ground (I have a dedicated coffee grinder just for spices and nuts)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1-1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons (or less) olive oil or oil of your choice

Place everything but the oil in blender or food processor. Blend together. Slowly drizzle in the oil until you like the consistency. I only used about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and it came out great. Full disclosure: keep tightly covered in refrigerator and use in 2 weeks.


Alright! What to do with the leftover 5 ounces of tofu?! I just got a new cookbook "American Vegan Kitchen" by Tamasin Noyes. It's a perfect cookbook for folks who love diner food and are not satisfied unless they get their "meat." I am so looking forward to cooking more stuff from this book - so much of it looks really tasty. Lots of ingredients but hey, that's what raises the flavor threshold. She's got a recipe for a Western Omelet that I totally bastardized in my quest to use up 5 ounces of tofu. Since this was going to be an "omelet for one" I just cut the recipe (serves four) to a quarter. An interesting twist to the recipe is garbanzo beans. I just happened to be cooking garbanzos for my weekly hummus sandwiches. I think the garbanzos really help to elevate this recipe.

Spinach Avocado Omelet for One
5 ounces extra firm silken tofu
2 tablespoons cooked garbanzos
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Dash of all your favorite spices* (cumin, cayenne, onion powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, ground coriander, salt, dried parsley, black pepper, dried mustard, red pepper flakes)
2 teaspoons dry white wine

Filling & Toppings
chopped fresh spinach
chopped jalapenos
sliced avocados
vegan cheese

Combine all of the ingredients and blend in a mini prep or something similar. I used the "processor" attachment that came with my Cusinart Immersion Blender. This is what it should look like:

Next, spread it in the pan just like this:
When it starts to set and get brown around the edges, place under broiler to cook it a bit more. If you're adding vegan cheese do it now so it can melt. When you like the way it looks (I've never liked my omelets "wet") take it out and add the rest of your fillings, fold, garnish and enjoy!

*The author uses a teaspoon of her "All-American Spice Blend" in the four serving recipe. I was pressed for time so I just used dashes of the spices.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies - vegan style!

I really get off on making cookies. It's a quick treat that always pleases no matter how weird the recipe. And believe me, there are a few strange recipes out there. In accordance with my cook book addiction, a new addition for my collection is "More great good dairy-free desserts - Naturally." It's by Fran Costigan. I made my first recipe today for Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are actually quite adult, thin, and slightly gooey from the chocolate chips, and ever so tasty! It didn't make very many cookies and I was surprised at how little flour was used. The only substitutions I made was white whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour, walnut oil instead of canola, and chocolate extract instead of almond extract. I just don't care for almond extract. But if you're not quite the chocolate hound I am, go for the almond extract!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
7 tablespoons light natural cane sugar plus a bit extra for rolling dough in
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached white flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1 tablespoon dark whole cane sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon soymilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract
1/3 heaping cup of dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together and whisk to mix. In small bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until smooth. Mix in chocolate chips (use your hands, it's easier).

Sprinkle a piece of plastic wrap with 1 tablespoon or so of sugar and place dough on top, form into log, using plastic to help form the log. Pinch off a small 1-inch piece, roll in sugar in desired, and flatten a bit on cookie sheet.
Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. My cookies were on the small side so 7 minutes worked out fine.