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Green Chile Hummus

I *heart* hummus.. and I *heart* green chiles from New Mexico. After Jo’s inspiring Jalapeño & Cilantro hummus, and after not finding any green chile hummus in the Co-Op in Santa Fe on my trip home from Lake Tahoe.. I decided to make my own green chile hummus using green chiles from El Patio de Albuquerque (the source of our green chiles in such recipes as Green Chile Potatoes and Green Chile Rice). I think at this recipe, it’s a good medium heat — mellow enough for dad, but enough to tell there’s some heat present. If I were making it solely for myself (or Jo), I’d probably add another 2 TBSP of green chile sauce. If that’s the case, you’d probably also have to add in more chickpeas so it doesn’t get too runny of a consistency. Without further ado.. here’s Green Chile Hummus! 🙂

Ingredients:

2 C cooked chickpeas

3 small (or 1 medium-large) garlic clove

4 TBSP Green Chile Sauce – I used El Patio de Albuquerque’s house-made sauce..but you may use any green chile sauce of choice

3 TBSP fresh lime juice

3 TBSP olive or safflower oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C fresh cilantro

Instructions:

1.  Put chickpeas, garlic, green chile sauce, salt, olive oil and lime juice in food processor and blend until very smooth (1-2 minutes).

2.  Add cilantro and pulse the food processor a few times, until cilantro is mixed in.

3.  Remove from food processor and serve, or store in refrigerator for up to a couple of days.

Happy Blending!

On this day in History: Blueberries & Cream Ice Cream

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This blog has been on the back-burner, but I wanted to post it because there’s another new blog – Plant-Based On a Budget – so maybe “thrifty vegan” is a trending topic.

I thought it might be good to track a week’s worth of groceries. I did this partly because the groceries look delicious. I’m not sure my pictures do them justice, but feel free to feast your eyes. I also just had no idea how much things cost. It can be enlightening to simply track expenses. This seems to be an average week, but this isn’t intended to be scientific. Also note that there are two of us, about average-sized, both active with maybe two meals eaten out weekly. So what we find is a pretty solid distribution with about $150 total for the week’s groceries.

Beautiful vegan spreads for each day - click to bigify.

Does $150 make sense? The Census reports the cost of a “nutritious diet” on thrifty, low-cast, moderate, and liberal level. the “liberal” cost for “nutritious diet” for a family of two is just over $150 for 2009 and 2010. The “thirfty” plan for a…

Click to see weekly cost

family of two is only $80. Just with a quick adjustment, removing ProBars first, pre-made Whole Foods Lentil Soup, deluxe chips, deluxe orange juice, and hummus, the total plummets to just $83.07. Obviously one might swap some hummus with sprouts and add some lower-cost staples (beens, split peas, etc) to replace the calories from the ProBars (which is on the order of 6 days of calories). However, we also compare this diet with nearly no effort to reduce costs.

Jo notes that the census data indicate that a male and female living together spend about $25 more in food living together versus separately. “I guess married people do put on weight…”, she says. The census also reports average food costs. Oddly, they provide three kinds of meats and dairy, but nothing for lentils and beans, thus acknowledging no vegan alternative for protein intake.

In any case, this is a small sample size. A vegan diet, at least for us, is no budget-breaker, but it doesn’t seem super-cheap either.

Brussels sprouts, barbarian style, for maximum yum

Double Dip Chocolate Cuppies“Did you just double-dip that cupcake?”

I did, Timmy.. I dipped, then I dipped AGAIN! I made the Redux: Red Velvet Cake cuppies (mini-sized), and then dipped into a chocolate glaze. When making the cuppies, fill the cups a little more than normal so they have a little peak over the edge of the cup. I let the cuppies and single dip chill in the fridge for about 10 min..then I dipped again! 🙂

Chocolate Glaze:
scant 1/3 C So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage or other milk alternative
heaping 1/3 C chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, but I bet a dark chip would also be nice. You could also chop up your favorite chocolate bar into 1/3 C.)

Heat milk over medium heat until steaming, but not simmering or boiling. Pour over chocolate and let sit a few moments (I hand-washed the pot that I steamed the milk in, then went to whisk). Whisk to create a glossy emulsion. Let chocolate cool on the counter about 10 min. If you’re in a colder ambient temperature location, it may not take as long. Once both cuppies and chocolate are cooled, dip cuppies in the chocolate gloss. Let chill in the fridge about 10 min, then dip again.. feel free to dip as many times as you like, letting them chill in the fridge between each dip. This recipe will make more than is needed for the cupcake recipe, so you can double the cupcake recipe..say for a potluck or party situation. And I’ve never heard of anyone complaining because there is extra chocolate glaze.. glaze pancakes, scones, or sundaes the next morning, or skip the middleman and just glaze your tongue. 😉

Happy Baking!

Double Dipped Chocolate CuppiesConfectioner’s note: If you want a sturdier chocolate – i.e. one that doesn’t soften at the touch – then simply melt the chocolate in a double-boiler and omit the milk step.

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I had the pleasure of some Simply Sprouted, Way Better Snacks, specifically the Sweet Chili Chips. They were quite tasty. Very sweet and moderately spicy at the same time provided a combination of flavors much lighter than most snack chips. The snacks were, in fact, way better than most.

I always like first to dig back into the company. What I found was that Way Better is a brand new (Sep 2011) competitor to Garden of Eatin which is a larger line of brands you’ve likely heard of (if not, see below). Jim Breen is the CEO and Founder and comes most recently from Hain Celestial, the parent company of Garden. Breen, in Way Better, has founded a new startup (on Facebook) that is impressive in its commitment to organic nutrition. All products are:

*All Natural * Vegan * Certified Gluten Free * Non GMO * Certified Kosher * Excellent Source of Whole Grains * Low Sodium * Never contain: Trans Fat, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Authors note: Healthy, organic, vegan, and tasty. These are good chips from a good company despite the skepticism I am prone to. Continue Reading »

I read a fantastical assertion that vegetables have more protein than a burger. It wasn’t a reliable source, but it got me thinking and I did some research. Obviously it’s not so hard to get a healthy diet of protein, but is a vegetable diet really that much different than a meat diet for protein intake? Maybe there are some new perspectives to present to those hard-case protein lovers out there.

Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine (PCRM) are a reputable group of doctors who have such publications as the Power Plate for overal diet and the Protein Myth to educate the public.  They were my first stop. The Protein Myth site provides the two most important piece of information: it’s not that hard to get a good diet of protein and protein overload is dangerous for a variety of reasons. Given this understanding of our nutritional needs, we should understand that protein-loading is intrinsically problematic.

But the purpose here is to compare protein content for meat vs vegetable products. The PCRM site and many others list only protein for a certain serving, like 15.2g of protein for 1 cup of black beans. That allows for serving-size comparisons, but it would be interesting to see what this great protein deficiency is. To find a good answer to this question, I turned to nutritiondata.com, a relatively reliable and unbiased site with a lot of great information.

protein content for selected foods - click for larger view

Continue Reading »

I made this recipe twice – the first time as a full cake for our Cherry Blossom Yoga vegan holiday potluck, the second time (after a little recipe tweaking) as mini-muffins for the Breakfast Yoga Club in The Woodlands. Both came out delicious, but I think after the recipe tweaking it’s now a supreme recipe! The original recipe was veganized from Food & Wine, plus I added in a Chai-spice upgrade. 😉 This recipe makes 1 10-inch crumb cake or 42-46 mini-muffins. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Spiced Cake
2 TBSP ground flaxseed in 4 TBSP warm water
1/2 C almond or hemp milk + 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 C + 2 TBSP AP (sifted) or Cake flour
1 C turbinado/sucanat sugar (or 1/2 C granulated + 1/2 C brown sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp mace
1/2 tsp each Cardamom, Cloves
1/4 tsp each Ginger, Allspice, Black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C canola oil

Crumb Topping
3/4 C AP flour
1/4 + 1/8 C turbinado/sucanat sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 C canola oil

Directions:

1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine ground flax and water; set aside. In a small measuring cup, mix together the milk and apple cider vinegar; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and spices.
3. Add in canola oil, ground flax combo, milk mixture, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine; set aside.
4. Make the crumb topping: Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Pour in canola oil, and massage together with your fingers until it becomes crumb-like.
5. Spoon the batter (it’ll be a little thicker, not so much pourable as scoopable – like a really soft cookie dough) to a greased/floured 10′ springform pan or lined mini-muffin tin (about half-full each mini-muffin). Top with crumb topping.
6. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 min (for the full cake) or 12-14 min (for mini-muffins).

Happy baking!

On this day in History: Chai Granola

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Redux: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet CupcakesThe first time I posted about Red Velvet Cuppies, I did mini’s and the frosting didn’t turn out as well as could be expected, so the post was lacking in standard Primate verve.. So here’s the redux post. This time I made full-size, since I didn’t have enough liners for minis.. and sometimes it doesn’t hurt to go standard-sizing – I’m just a gnome deep down, and love all things mini or gnome-size. 🙂 But who’s really going to turn down a cupcake, regardless of size.. honestly. This recipe makes 12 regulars, or about 24-32 minis. I old-school frosted with standard vegan Buttercream Frosting. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Red Velvet Cuppies:

1 C hemp or almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 C turbinado sugar
1/3 C canola oil
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 C oat flour
1/4 C AP flour
1/3 C cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
red food coloring, as needed (or omit for a basic chocolate cupcake)

Buttercream Frosting: [this will make enough for piping the frosting, if frosting old-school style freehand..HALF the recipe]

1 C Earth Balance Vegan Butter, lightly softened
4.5-5 C sifted powdered sugar (I put in 3 C as the original recipe called for, but then added about 1.5-2 C more..didn’t measure it, but added until it was the right consistency)
2 TBSP Coconut Milk Beverage or Almond Milk
1 TBSP vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-muffin tin with cupcake liners (or opt for minis). In a large measuring cup, combine milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, stir together sugar and oil. Pour into milk mixture. Set aside.

3. In same mixing bowl, sift (or whisk) together flours, cocoa powder, baking soda & powder, and salt. Add liquid mixture. Stir to combine. Add red food coloring to desired color.

4. Allocate around 1/4 C per cupcake for regulars (about 1 TBSP or so for minis). Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes for regulars, 12-15 minutes for minis.

5. Let cool while you make the UnButtercream Frosting in a stand mixer. Frost. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Happy Baking!

On this day in History: New Years Eve @ 1323 Menu

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