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Archive for May, 2008

So I just sampled a bit of the “fudgy chocolate chip with cacao nibs cookie” from Liz Lovely: Chocolate Moose Dragons…and I must say..they are pretty damn tasty! I am a sugar cookie gal (sharing the top spot in my heart and belly with PB cookies), but this is a chocolate cookie that will definitely be in the cookie ordering rotation!! It satisfies every craving, well, cookie craving! You have the chocolate, the softness, the chips, the sugary sprinkle on top! Perhaps a slathering of PB on top, or a scoop of Vegan Ice Cream topped with nuts or some vegan dulce de leche – and you’ve got a wicked sundae, but I’m also known for going overboard with desserts at times! It’s not overpowering with chocolate causing you to only eat a few bites at a time, but not lacking in it either! I could easily put away a full cookie and be fine, but perhaps not both in one sitting like I could with the Snicker Dudes. Let’s be honest here, I could eat an entire CASE of the Snicker Dudes and be fine with it…but that perhaps would not be the smartest thing to do, on many levels.

So, if you’re needing a chocolate fix and don’t want to make your own, keep these cookies handy! Bonus: having a limited supply in the house is an easier way to have willpower against eating an entire batch of cookie dough/cookies that you make at home.

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Ok, as much as I love cookies, I typically like my homemade cookies, more accurately my sister’s cookies – mine typically don’t make it to the ‘baked phase’ before being devoured at the ‘dough phase.’ And I like store-bought cookies, especially Uncle Eddie’s Chocolate Chip-Walnut, or CC-Peanut butter. And I’ve recently discovered Alternative Baking Company’s Peanut Butter cookie..SO GOOD! But I have just tasted perhaps the BEST store-bought cookie I’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming. The Liz Lovely Snicker Dudes, which is a new flavor that just came out, so I had to place an order from Cosmos (click to order, or see “Links” page). It is, hands-down, the best sugar cookie (even challenging my own) I have ever eaten! Vegan or not! They have that slightly-underdone appeal that I love cookies to have – yet, I’m sure they are properly cooked 🙂

I have the Chocolate Moose Dragon’s at home, and now I can’t wait to get home to taste them..stay tuned for the next taste test!

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Per the request of a friend, I have found a wonderful vegetable curry! Now technically she requested Aloo Gobi, however since I’m not a fan of cauliflower, I improvised with broccoli. I did leave the recipe as is with the cauliflower, but if you are like me and don’t care for the vegetable see my notes at the end… And don’t be afraid of coconut milk if you’ve never cooked with it before…it’s not going to make the dish taste like a Pina Colada, but hmm..that might make a nice accompaniment for the dish on a hot summer day. It will just give the dish a creamy goodness with a hint of the exotic..

Ingredients:

1 2/3 C coconut milk (store-bought or homemade)
1/4 C tomato paste
3 TBSP safflower or canola oil
1 large onion, minced
1 TBSP minced fresh ginger (or 1-2 tsp ground)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp tumeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 TBSP ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (next time I’m going to up the heat factor to at least 1 or 2 tsp, it just wasn’t spicy enough for me)
2-4 medium red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-in dice
4 C very small cauliflower florets (from 1 small cauliflower, or broccoli)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C frozen peas
1 1/2 TBSP minced cilantro
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Directions:

1. Place the tomato paste in a small bowl and stir in about 1/2 C coconut milk to dilute the tomato paste and make a smooth mixture. Pour this into the remaining coconut milk and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a deep-sided saute pan, or stockpot, over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, fresh ginger (if using), and saute, stirring often until the onions are golden brown, about 10 min.
3. Stir in tumeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, ground ginger (if using), and cayenne, and continue saute for about 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the coconut milk mix and bring to a boil.
4. Stir in the potatoes, tightly cover and cook about 10 minutes. Carefully mix in cauliflower and carrots, and stir to coat the vegetables evenly.
5. Cover the pan tightly again and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Occasionally remove the cover and stir the vegetables for even cooking. (The curry can be made in advance to this point..reheat before proceeding).
6. Stir in the peas and cilantro, salt. Cover again and cook 5 minutes or just until the peas are heated through.

Notes: Ok, for those who are picky eaters like myself…here are some adjustments to the recipe. Prepare the recipe through step 3. At step 4, add the potatoes, but cook for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes become soft. Add the broccoli and carrots (I like a crisper carrot, more than a soft mushy one), stir to coat the veg. Cook 3-5 minutes. Add the frozen peas and fresh cilantro. Cook another 5 minutes.

Serve over saffron brown rice or go nuts with a saffron millet!

Happy Cooking!

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These enchiladas are so good, I could eat them for days and days. Of course, they usually don’t last that long. If you’re new to tomatillos, they look kind of like green tomatoes in a papery husk. You can find them in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets during the summer. The best ones haven’t started to wrinkle and have filled up or burst free of their husks. If you’re growing them yourself, pick them before they turn purple.  After you have the filling made up, give it a taste, but beware, you may end up eating the whole pan before the enchiladas even get assembled. In fact, the filling could be used as a dip for parties!

Ingredients:

Tomatillos
2 lbs tomatillos – chopped
1 large onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 large bag spinach – chopped
1.5 C cooked black beans
1/2 jar New Mexico Green Chili (optional)
1 bunch cilantro
1 package corn tortillas (blue or yellow), torn into quarters
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
2 tsp salt, or to taste

Instructions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Green_Enchiladas

2.  Saute onion and garlic in canola oil until slightly brown.

3.  Add tomatillos, salt,cumin, coriander and green chili (for medium heat, use 1/2 jar, for hot use whole jar, or leave out if you’re wimpy about spiciness). Cook covered for 5-7 minutes.

4.  Add spinach and beans. Cook uncovered until most of the spinach is wilted.

5.  Add cilantro just before assembling the enchiladas in the pan.

6.  In some kind of oven pan (rectangular brownie pan, or whatever you have), put down one layer of tortillas, followed by a layer of tomatillo mixture. Keep alternating layers until pan is almost full, ending with the sauce on top.

7.  Bake at 350 for ~30 minutes.
Variations:
Experiment with throwing just about anything into the green sauce, like yellow squash, mushrooms, or potatoes. If you’re feeling ambitious, or want to impress people, roll the enchiladas instead of layering.

Green_Enchiladas2

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Ok, so as a kick-off recipe, we’ll start easy! This banana bread recipe has gone through several permutations from the original, which I believe was not vegan…but I have successfully transformed it into the wonderful vegan recipe it is today.

Ingredients:

1 C unbleached flour (increase to at least 1.5 C if using spelt, be your own moisture judge)
1/2 C bran (I sometimes use wheatgerm)
2/3 C sugar (I like 1/3 brown 1/3 turbinado sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C finely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans, whatever’s on hand) *optional
2 tbsp ground flaxseed in 1/2 C warm water
3 ripe bananas, mashed
6 tbsp vegan butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat to 400°F (**with AP flour, keep temp at 350°F). Line a loaf pan with parchment.
2. Place 2 tbsp flaxseed in warm water, stir and let sit while mixing the rest [~ 5 min].
3. In large bowl, combo the flour, bran, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and nuts. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and stir in flaxseed/water, along with the melted butter.
4. Scrape banana mixture into flour mixture. Stir until just evenly moistened and pour into prepared pan.
5. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.
6. Cool in pan, 10 min. Pop out onto cooling rack, and let cool 2 hrs before slicing [hahahaaa…, yeah right!]

banana bread

Happy Baking!

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Hello world!

This is the maiden voyage into the world of blogging for two innocent primates, Sara and Jo! We’re just getting it up and running, so more posts to come!

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