Thursday, October 27, 2011

No-Chicken & Dumplings

No-Chicken & Dumplings


For the broth:
1-2 cups Celery, chopped
1/2 cup Sweet Onion, chopped (can sub onion powder and/or dried onions ~1 Tbs)
(You can also use a whole onion if Organic (usually smaller) or if they
come small around you-- ours are huge)
2 cups Carrots, chopped

Saute these in 3 Tbs. Olive Oil or a mix of oil and vegan margarine. You can also
use all margarine, but it may have a tendency to burn on the bottom later in the
cooking process to be careful.

While the vegetables are softening, prepare the dumplings.

For the dumplings:
2 cups flour, any kind though you can most definitely taste the healthy
wheaty-ness of whole grain flours here.
1/4 cup(+/-) vegan shortening
1/4 cup (+/-) plant milk, preferably of the unsweetened variety
1/2 tsp Rubbed Sage
1/2 tsp Onion Powder (opt.)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder (opt.)

Mix the spices with the flour in a large bowl. The spices are optional but they lend more flavor and can turn a doughy dumpling disaster into something that at least tastes good. I like to implement self preservation when I cook, but that's just me.

In the same bowl, cut the shortening into the flour with a fork. You want tiny
little balls of flour covered shortening basically. If won't be perfect but you
don't want a bunch of dry flour at the bottom so just keep cutting in more if you
need to.

Add the plant milk a little at a time until the dough comes together. You don't
want it wet and it shouldn't stick to your hands. You're going to pinch pieces off
and flatten them between your thumb and forefinger.

Let your dough sit while you finish the broth:

You can use any type of broth you want, but I consider this indispensable: Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken. This broth base tastes amazing despite its slightly too yellow coloring. I use it in a ton of dishes and they also offer Vegetable and No-Beef bases.

Finish the soup:

To your softened *but not done* vegetables, add 8 cups of water mixed with 2 Tbs. No-Chicken base. If you're using pre-made broth skip any added bases/powders. If you're using a different broth base, adjust the seasoning accordingly-- No-Chicken is on the stronger flavored side so you may need more. You may even need more of the No-Chicken, I personally like to add more.

Here you can add any other spices you like. Some may like rosemary but I'm partial to sage. I add about a Tablespoon of Rubbed Sage here but tasting sometimes prompts me to add more.

I also add 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen green peas at this point. 

Bring the mixture up to a boil.

Pinch off pieces of your dough ball and flatten them between your fingers. You can make them as big or as small as you want though big ones take longer to cook. Also note that whole grain flours take longer as well.

Once the dumplings are all in, they'll need anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes to cook. I just keep testing them as many people like varying degrees of dumpling doneness anyway. In the meantime the soup will get thicker from the dumplings. Be careful to stir every once in a while so that the soup doesn't get too thick and burn on the bottom.

You can always add more broth if it gets overwhelming. I like to wait until the dumplings are mostly done and add a touch more plant milk to make it extra creamy, but this is optional.

Also optional is the "Chicken." If you prefer your dumplings with some sort of faux chicken, prepare it in a separate pan and add at the last minute. Faux meats don't stand up well to boiling or sitting in liquid because they tend to absorb it. I'd also advise keeping the faux chicken completely separate and only adding it to individual portions, saving the leftover chicken in a separate container from the leftover soup, thereby preserving the texture of the chicken.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lower Fat Tofu Balls

This is a recipe from the PPK, here: Tofu Balls

Isa's picture:

I just changed a few ingredients to make it lower in fat

1 lb. extra firm (or firm) tofu, squeezed well
1 Tbs dried onion flakes
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs peanut butter
2 tsp Better than Bullion No-Beef flavor (If you don't have this use a good veggie seasoning, anything you like)
1 tsp flax meal + 2 tsp water
1/2 matzoh meal
oregano, Italian seasoning to taste

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. It's easiest to mix the spices with the wet things, then add the tofu, and then the matzoh. Use your hands to squish it!
Use a tablespoon to roll into tablespoon sized balls.

Place in the fridge to chill.

You may fry in a skillet but these babies absorb a lot of oil so you have to watch them-- they might burn. Cook until lightly browned on all sides though some spots will get darker (my favorite).

You can also bake these but I have not. I also freeze and thaw my tofu before squeezing the water out.

I honestly do not know how many balls I got out of this recipe. I know, horrible. But you if you get 25 the balls are 33 cal per ball, not including the oil if pan frying.

You could even try using less peanut butter.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Crappy Blogger

I'm so bad at keeping up with this!

Anyway, I've graduated college so I've been job hunting as of late. Also wondering when and if I'd like to move to St. Louis.

I've been cooking and baking, but there isn't much in the way of respectable photographs.

If anyone would like to keep in touch, maybe catch an iPhone photo or two, here are some things I actually frequent:

Twitter: caitds
instagram: caitds

I'll try and post recipes soon. Bananas Foster cupcakes, for one. And even a simple tortilla soup!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vegan Rocky Road Cookies

I really love this recipe for chocolate-chocolate chip cookies: Awesome Recipe

They are literally the best vegan cookies I've ever made. The dough is not finicky and they never come out tasting like flour or cornstarch (as there's no cornstarch in the recipe). I do add less salt though.

This is an old picture from when I made these before with walnuts, but I made a batch last night with almonds. They're both good, though I prefer walnuts.

I've added a few things to the recipe to make it a Rocky Road cookie:
1/2 bag Vegan Marshmellows (I use Dandies)
1/4 to 1/2 cup walnuts, almonds, or nut of choice
And I add a few less chocolate chips.

Follow the directions but add the nuts when you add the chocolate chips. I like to do this with the last little bit of flour so that they mix better.

You can chop the marshmellows but they'll be sticky and hard to mix. I like to roll each cookie by hand with a marshmellow or two in the center. For the baking directions as well. DON'T overbake, so watch your oven.

They turn out fudgey and awesome!

Dandies have been something I've wanted for a while and my Whole Foods now sells them! Check yours, health food shops, or order them online.

Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Once again I've failed to follow through. Today's the last day of my Spring Half-assed-Bake, and I've got no intentions to bake anything today.

Today's a wonderful day of homework. I've read The Subtle Knife for my Young Adult Literature class and need to write a short paper on it. I'm reading through a terrible Art History article and need to write a short paper on that as well. Really. Terrible.

But I encourage everyone to read the His Dark Materials trilogy. Philip Pullman is brilliant.

Here are three lazy recipes to get you through your "moments." For me, their more like common place meals.

Baked Potato Soup:
Olive Oil
Your favorite plant milk
Vegan Ranch powder packet
Nutritional yeast
An onion, if you're feeling fancy
Vegan cheddar cheese, if you want it
Salt & Pepper

Optional toppings:
Vegan bacon
Vegan sour cream
Vegan cheese
chopped scallions

If using an onion, sautee it in some oil. Once they're soft, make a roux. You may want to add more oil.
If you're not using an onion, make a roux with the flour and oil. How much you use depends on how thick you want your soup. I don't measure this. Cook it until it's fragrant and coloring.

Add milk and let it cook. Don't let it boil or it will burn on the bottom. If it's too thick or too thin, adjust accordingly.

Pierce your potatoes with a fork and microwave them until tender. Let them cool while you adjust the seasonings of the base.

Add salt, some nutritional yeast, and a lot of pepper. Add the Vegan Ranch packet and any other seasonings you'd like. I don't recommend garlic powder.

Chop the potatoes and add them. Add the vegan cheese if you want and stir it until it's mixed. If it isn't thick enough for you by now, stir some cornstarch into cold water and mix it in.

Serve with plain or with toppings. Vegan King's Hawaiian bread is good with it, though I wouldn't recommend the whole wheat version for it. It's a thick soup.

Lazy "Beef" Stew:
Olive oil
frozen mixed vegetables (or just peas)
Vegan "beef" (I use Gardein)
Dried Marjoram
Dried Thyme
No-Beef Broth

Sautee the carrots and celery until soft
Make a roux (may need more oil)
Add the broth and spices
Cook until thick and tender
Microwave the potatoes, chop, and add
Add the frozen veggies
Panfry the "beef" and mix into the stew

It's amazing. Make sure you use a good No-beef broth. I like the Better than Boullion. I like to serve it with biscuits.

Cabbage & Noodles

Small-Medium sized pasta (bowties, macaroni...)
Earth Balance
Olive Oil
Optional: onion

Shred the cabbage and sautee in olive oil until tender. Can also cook unti lit's browning and super soft.
Boil the noodles and add when the cabbage is done
Add a little Earth Balance and stir.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No-recipe Strawberry Bread Pudding

This bread pudding can be made with any sort of bread, muffins or otherwise. If your bread is dry, you can skip the toasting step or not. It's always good to toast the pieces up with some Earth Balance. Toasting will also help dry out non-stale breads.

Mix together corn starch, coconut milk or plant milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut "beverage."

Also add vanilla and sugar. You don't need to measure, though I used about 3 Tbs of cornstarch. I also added a good scoop of vegan cream cheese.

Whisk until it's thick

Preheat the oven to 400 and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly. Mine came out pretty ugly, but it tastes awesome. Serve with toasted crispy coconut!

Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap

Dr. Bronner's liquid soap really is magical.

Here is the product page: Dr. Bronner's

It cuts oil from food on pans as well as car grease, and the peppermint scent is great. It's also fair trade, organic, and cruelty free!