Monday, January 24, 2011

Ginger Madness! Muffins and Biscotti

I've not been a fan of candied ginger in the past, but last week I decided to try something new when I made scones in the I made a batch of Orange-Ginger scones - I simply added about 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger and the zest of one orange to 1/2 batch of the best.scone.recipe.ever (I'm afraid to post it here, because A) it's not mine, and B) it is chock-full of dairy, especially BUTTER and I'm trying to keep my blog recipes vegan and low-fat...). And oh my goodness, I think I've discovered my new favorite scone - and I thought nothing would top the pineapple scones in my book!

So...being on a ginger jag, I made two vegan treats in the cafe today with candied ginger - Raspberry Triple-Ginger Muffins and Gingerbread Biscotti.

Raspberry Triple-Ginger Muffins

2 c. unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 tsp. ener-g egg replacer powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup oil (I've experimented with none, and with less...all good muffins - just changes the texture somewhat)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. chopped candied ginger
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2/3 cup frozen raspberries (I smashed a few into bits)

Whisk-sift flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger. In a small bowl, whisk egg replacer with two tablespoons water until smooth (and a little frothy) and set aside. Whisk sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and ginger pieces. Add egg replacer, then fold wet ingredients into dry, add raspberries, and stir just until mixed. Fill muffin cups 80% full, and bake at 400° for 25 minutes! YUM!

Real Gingerbread Biscotti (from "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar")

  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces candied ginger, finely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together molasses, sugar, flax seeds, oil, non-dairy milk, and vanilla with a wire whisk until smooth.
  3. Sift in the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to form a smooth dough, then knead in the chopped candied ginger, pushing any bits that pop out back into the dough.
  4. For a log about 11 inches long by 4 inches wide, using a rubber spatula to even the edges and flatten the end sides of the log. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes until the log is puffed and firm but not too brown. It will spread a little, and some cracking is okay. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack, turn off the oven, and allow the log to cool for at least 45 minutes. If any edges of the log are too browned, gently trim them off with a sharp, heavy knife.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Very carefully, slide the log off the baking sheet and onto a cutting board. With a sharp, heavy knife, cut log into ½-inch-thick slices, using one quick and firm motion, pressing down into the log. Very gently move slices to the baking sheet, standing them of their bottom edge if possible. Rebake the slices for 22 to 24 minutes. The slices should appear dry and slightly toasted, but do not allow them to get too browned. Allow the biscotti to cool 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully move them to the wire racks to complete cooling (warm biscotti may be fragile). Store in a loosely covered container.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cha cha cha, Chilequiles!

Ever since I posted the recipe for Tricky Black Beans, I've been craving this dish. So I finally pulled out the ol' crockpot and made a batch of beans on Friday (I put them in Thursday night and let them cook on low until Friday afternoon). I'm pretty sure that chilequiles are the "everything but the kitchen sink" casserole with a Mexican flair - I've put all kinds of things in there and it tastes yummy. I noticed at Red Iguana that the chilequiles on their menu are made with scrambled eggs, which makes me think of some new directions to take the dish. (Some items I have used in the past that don't show up in this standard recipe include cheese, mushrooms, green peppers, and seitan.)

Liz' Chilequiles

3 cups crushed tortilla chips
3 cups black beans
4 potatoes, boiled and cooled, then sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly into rounds
1/2 lb. spinach leaves
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 batch red chili sauce (see below, you can eat the other half like salsa)

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread tortilla chips on bottom of 9 x 13 casserole dish. Arrange potatoes, spinach, black beans, corn, and zucchini in layers atop the tortilla layer. Once you've used up everything, pour red chili sauce on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Top with thin slices of avocado, sour cream or cheese.

Red Chili Sauce

3 dried ancho chilies
1 dried chipotle chili
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves (you used the stems in Tricky Black Beans, right?)
2 tsp. salt
3 tblspn. red wine vinegar
3 15-oz. cans of diced tomatoes

Soak chilies in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain. Using food processor or blender, puree all ingredients to a smooth sauce. (Remove as many seeds as possible before you use the chilies if you don't want it to be spicy.)

This is the final product, vegan-style with faux sour cream. I am liking vegan sour cream much more than faux cheese - it really adds the right mouth-feel, unlike the faux cheeses I've tried. The moisture from the veggies helps to bind the tortilla crumbs into a nice crust!

Monday, January 10, 2011

You're a Star! Vegan "Chickie" Noodle Soup

This soup is one of my favorite comfort foods when it gets all cold and grey also reminds me of my grandma, who used to feed me Chicken-and-Stars Campbell's Soup when I was little and had a sore throat. I remember even slurping it through a straw! This version is a bit too chunky for that, but it still makes me feel well-taken-care-of...

16 cups water
4 tblspn. Frontier Vegetarian Chicken Broth powder (available in the bulk spices at Whole Foods or Smith's Marketplace)
3  Edward & Sons Brand "Not Chick'n" bouillon cubes
6 minced garlic cloves
3 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green cabbage
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes (about 10 oz.), cubed (I like red or Yukon, but any works)
2/3 cup small pasta stars (or other shape, if you cannot find stars!)
1 16-oz. package White Wave Seitan or other wheat-meat chicken substitute, shredded or cubed
pinch tumeric (mostly for color, not flavor)
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

Put the water, bouillon, and garlic cloves in a pot and bring to a boil. Add onions, and simmer while you prepare the other veggies - at least until the onions are tender, but the longer the better. Add cabbage, celery, carrots, and potatoes, and simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, boil water and cook pasta stars according to package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water. When veggies are tender, add shredded seitan and seasonings. Simmer for five more minutes, adjust salt and pepper, and add pasta stars. This is one of those soups that can be on the table in less than an hour, and the ingredients can be kept on hand pretty easily...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup, Vegan Version

This recipe is constantly evolving at my house. It started its life as a dairy-laden cheese-fest from a cookbook that I received when I got married twenty years ago...the funny thing is, no matter how far I swing away from the original, it is always good! The only caveat I have is that the food you make can only be as good as the ingredients, which is why I try to use beautiful potatoes only - preferably local organic Yukons from Cali's (the best price on the best taters in SLC!)

1 whole head + 6 cloves minced garlic
2 tblspn. olive oil
4 c. yellow onion, diced
6 stalks celery, diced
2 veggie bouillon cubes (current fave: Rapunzel Herb and Sea Salt)
10 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
3 c. plain soymilk
2 tblspn. dried basil
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt + more to taste
1 tsp. pepper + more to taste

Trim the top of one head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and put in 350° oven to roast.

Saute minced garlic, onion, and celery until onions are soft. Add potatoes and bouillon, and enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft enough to start to break down. Retrieve the roasted garlic from the oven, squish out of peel and add to soup. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to desired level (alternately, use a food processor or blender to puree at least half of the soup). Add soymilk, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Simmer to let flavors blend, and adjust salt and pepper.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Black Bean Chili

I am usually a snob about black beans - they have to be soaked and slow-cooked, none of that canned stuff (see my recipe for Tricky Black Beans)! And while this is a good way to live most of the time, sometimes you need a quicker fix...So, I give you my quicker Black Bean Chili:

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped onion
8 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups frozen Hatch Chile Peppers*
4 14.5-oz. cans diced tomatoes
4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 5 cups homemade, not rinsed or drained)
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions and garlic in oil until translucent. Add spices and saute for two minutes more, stirring constantly. Add frozen chile peppers, tomatoes, and beans. (I like to pulverize the tomatoes with my immersion blender a bit before adding them. I'm not fond of giant chunks of tomato in my chili...) Cover with water (just enough to cover everything) and bring to a boil. Add carrot, celery, and bell pepper. Simmer for 25 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add frozen corn. Simmer for two more minutes, then add cilantro, salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla strips or avocado slices on top. Or both! Enjoy!

*Frozen Hatch Chile Peppers are the best way I've found to get yummy roasted chilies year-round. You can buy them at Rico's/Frida Bistro here in SLC. If you cannot get them, I recommend using two small cans of Hatch diced chilies plus four fresh anaheims, chopped and maybe one jalepeno in there too.

Tricky Black Beans

This is a great Crock-Pot and Fat-Free recipe that ends up being very versatile....I usually use about half of the beans in Black Bean Soup, then put the rest in the fridge to use in burritos, chilequiles, seven-layer dip...One of the "tricks" of this recipe is using the cilantro stems in the slow-cooking process. They break down and leave just a citrus-y hint of cilantro goodness!

Boil 1 lb. of black beans in 12 cups of water in a large soup pot for three minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let sit for one hour.

Drain beans and rinse them very thoroughly. (This helps reduce the gas factor, I'm told.) Put beans in 4 qt. crockpot with:

10 cups water
1 tablespoon ground Cumin
1 tablespoon ground Coriander
2 cups chopped onion
6 minced garlic cloves
2 chipotle peppers (canned or dried - dried ones vary a LOT in spiciness, so beware! You may just need one - or maybe you'll need three...They do tend to give a smokier flavor than canned though, which is nice.)
1 1/2 cup minced cilantro stems (save leaves for later, for the soup or salsa or whatever)

Then turn on the crockpot and go have fun for 6 (on "high) or more (on "low") hours! After 6 hours or so, add 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook until the beans are your desired tenderness. I usually prefer them beyond mushy! Enjoy!