Feb 28, 2009

Daring Baker's: Vegan Chocolate Flourless Torte & Coconut Rum Raisin Ice Cream

A rich, dense, nutty, dark chocolate torte served with a drizzling of chocolate syrup and cool creamy coconut rum raisin ice cream- vegan decadence for the Daring Baker's Challenge!

Here's a description of the challenge:

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of
WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

It was an extra challenge for us vegan bakers, due to the fact that a traditional torte has a lot of eggs and very little or no flour. My recipe was adapted from this one by Vegan Visitor (awesome blog, btw), and The coconut ice cream was slightly adapted from this recipe by Vegan Ice Cream (another kick-ass site).

The upside- a ridiculously indulgent dessert with much less fat and cholesterol than the original.
The downside- yet another heart-shaped food... but I promise, it's the last one... er... at least until next year ;)

Here are the recipes:

Vegan Chocolate Flourless Torte:

Makes about 8-10 servings

3/4 C. ground almonds
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 package extra firm silken tofu (Mori-Nu)
6 oz. semi sweet baker's chocolate
2 T. N-ergy Egg Replacer
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
powdered sugar (optional)


In a food processor, spin together the almonds, sugar, vanilla, salt, and silken tofu until smooth and well combined. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and mix in. In a high-powered blender, whiz the egg replacer, water, cream of tartar, baking powder, and baking soda until you get a nice foam. I wouldn't recommend a food processor or magic bullet for this, as the resulting pressure could cause it to explode! If you don't have a regular mixer, you can try a stick blender. Fold in the foam gently into the chocolate mixture and pour into an 8X8 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Mine did crack a little in the middle, so I would recommend baking in a water bath. I also baked for 35 minutes, turned off the heat and let it sit in the oven for an additional 10. Let cool completely before turning out. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional)

Coconut Rum Raisin Ice Cream:
(the only thing different from the original recipe is that I subbed coconut rum for dark rum)

makes about 1 quart of ice cream

3 1/2 C. coconut milk
3/4 C. sugar
2 T. arrowroot
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C. raisins
3/4 C. coconut rum


Soak raisins in the rum, set aside. In a sauce pan, add coconut milk (reserving 1/4 C.), sugar, and vanilla and heat. Add the 1/4 C. reserved coconut milk to the arrowroot and dissolve. When the mixture in the sauce pan comes to a simmer, add the arrowroot mixture and whisk until thickened. Take off heat and let cool to room temp. Put into ice cream maker as directed by the manufacturer. Add in raisins and 1/4 C. of the rum at the last 5 minutes. Transfer to an air-tight container and freeze until solid.

Feb 26, 2009

Recipes Chosen for My FoodBuzz 24 Event!

These recipes are sure to be a big hit! If you haven't checked them out, be sure to do so! Thanks, Tami & Hannah for the inspiration!!

Tami's Curry Lime Wings
from Vegan Appetite

Hannah's Whoopie Pies
from Bittersweet Blog

Also be sure to stop by on Sunday, March 1st to see ALL the glorious vegan food we made! Currently on the menu (other than the above):
  • Candied Popcorn & Cheezy Popcorn
  • Giant Seitan Potstickers
  • Pepper "Chicken" Lettuce Wraps
  • "Sausage" Pigs in Puff Pastry Blankets
  • Twice Baked Potato Chips
  • Phyllo Cheeze Straws
  • Fresh Veggie Platter with Dipping Sauce Buffet
  • Mini Cheezecake Tartlets
This is what we have planned so far... however, things may get changed up a bit, 'cause we're just crazy like that!

Feb 22, 2009

Curry Pot Pie in a Hurry!

A creamy, spicy, veggie curry with chunks of faux meat, blanketed with a warm comforting crust- ready in a hurry!

When you're stomach's growling and you've realized that you've spent far too long on the computer blogging- this is an easy and delicious go-to dish. Using a little help from the microwave, some pre-made crust, and curry paste, you'll be able to pull this together in a snap, and feed a lot of people (or have some great leftovers).


1 large onion, chopped
3 C. cubed potatoes
3 C. cubed carrots
3 C. cubed zucchini
1 C. cubed faux meat
2-3 T. Patak's Hot Curry Paste
1 13.5oz. can coconut milk
salt to taste
1 pkg. your favorite pre-made pie crust
(2 round crusts)

The picture of the curry paste says "extra hot," but I've only tried the "hot," which is pretty hot for me. It also comes in "mild" for those who don't like the heat but want to stay in the kitchen! It adds a great Indian curry flavor without going to your spice rack.


Put the cubed potatoes and carrots in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic (poke a couple holes) and microwave for 8-10 minutes, shaking it up halfway through. Meanwhile, saute the onions until nice and carmelized, then add the zucchini and saute for a few minutes. Add the cooked potatoes and carrots and faux meat, mix in the curry paste, and add the coconut milk. Stir to combine and reduce slightly (only a few minutes). Do not over cook, as the coconut milk will turn chunky. Transfer everything to a big casserole dish, place the pie crusts on top- you may cut them to fit and just arrange them together on top. cut a few slits to allow venting, and place in the oven for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for a few, and serve warm.

This makes 10 good servings, so if you want- scale down, or save for great leftovers- better the next day!

Note: If you are on a fat-free diet, you can substitute vegetable broth thickened with a little cornstarch for the coconut milk/ saute onions, garlic, and zucchini in a little water instead of oil/ and season with dry curry seasonings instead of paste. The crust can be made lower in fat by using a recipe for samosas, typically 3 T. oil per 1 C. of flour and a little water, or eat over steamed rice. .. this preparation may take a bit longer though!

Feb 19, 2009

Enter Your Recipe to Be Featured on the First Vegan FoodBuzz International Event!

Vegans under-represented? We're gonna work on that! Enter your favorite finger-food recipe, and get featured on the FIRST (I believe) vegan 24-24-24 FoodBuzz international event! It's 24 meals in 24 hours on 24 blogs around the world. Here's a little promo video:

I was thrilled to be selected as one of the participants this month, and got to thinking about all of the fantastic vegan blogs out there that have both inspired me and taught me a thing or two! So, why not feature a recipe or two from other vegans and further expose our wonderful community to the world! I apologize for the late notice, but figured most of you foodies have some outstanding recipes already posted on your blogs to submit!

The theme for my event incorporates my main business- the Video DJ company, and is entitled "Movie Night... Remixed." It is a celebration for my DJ's and crew for their hard work in the production studio, creating some fantastic custom videos for our shows. We do a lot of movie mash-ups with music videos, and will be doing a special screening that night- thus the name.

I will be selecting one or two recipes to add to the menu for this event. They must be finger-foods (no utensils required), savory or sweet. I will include a picture of your recipe on the post, along with your name, blog name, and link in the description.

Please comment below with your idea, and link to your recipe by midnight on Wednesday, February 25th and I will post the winner(s) on the following day. The actual event will occur on February 28th and posted here on March 1st. I'm specifically looking for recipes that non-vegans will wonder, "how is that vegan?" ...Love doing that!

Feb 17, 2009

Crispy Wonton Soup

Rich, gingery miso vegetable soup, slightly thickened, served with crispy chewy seitan filled wontons- top with a drizzling of Siracha sauce to make it spicy!

I made a big cauldron of vegetable miso soup with wontons for Mom, who was under the weather. When I came back, the large portion that was left was delicious, but the veggies were overcooked and mushy, as were the few remaining wontons. I decided to do another remix, and puree the veggies in the soup to make a thicker base. What I discovered was that I forgot to remove the slices of ginger that I had put in there for flavoring before pureeing, and it gave the soup a distinct gingery flavor. I added a little brown sugar to offset the slight bitterness, and the outcome was a wonderful complex flavor and comforting texture. The wontons were filled with last night's leftover seitan cutlets, and prepared like potstickers in a skillet, steamed, then allowed to get crispy- the perfect accompanyment to this rich delicious soup!


4 C. water
1/4 C. white miso paste
1/4 C. unsalted broth powder
2-3 C. veggies ( I used onion, cauliflower, carrots, and nappa cabbage)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 C. frozen corn
1-2 slices fresh ginger, skinned
1 T. brown sugar
soy sauce to taste
Siracha (hot red pepper sauce) to taste (optional)

Bring water to boil. Scoop out about 1 cup of the water into a bowl and whisk in the miso paste. Return miso mixture into the boiling water. Add unsalted broth powder, veggies, ginger. Let simmer until veggies are soft. Add sugar and puree with a stick blender. Turn off heat and add frozen corn, stiring until combined. Add soy sauce and Siracha sauce to taste.


  • store-made wonton skins (make sure they don't have eggs!)

Wet the edges of the skin and place a small 1/2 - 1 tsp filling. Close to form triangles. Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and add 1 T. canola oil. Turn on high heat, and arrange wontons (single layer) in the skillet. Add about 1 cup of water and cover. Let it steam until the water is gone (listen for sizzling!). Bottoms should be golden brown and tops will be soft and chewy. Serve warm.

Feb 16, 2009

Lighting Fast Seitan Cutlets With Amaranth and Miso Almond Gravy

Crispy, tender, but not too chewy seitan cutlets that literally take 15 minutes to make! Serve with a side of onion and garlic amaranth and miso almond gravy.

Amaranth was the original focus of cooking tonight, because I had never tried it and was eager to test it out. It's a fine grain that looks like fish roe and tastes like a fine couscous when cooked. It has a nutty, faintly bitter taste, and has a sticky overall texture, yet pops with the grains intact. Please let me know if I cooked this the wrong way, as I'm not sure if I used too much water in the cooking process. I'm sure there are MANY different ways to prepare this.

The seitan was a secondary thought, as I wanted to make a complete meal and not be lazy! As it turns out, I WAS being lazy, and wanted to make it up quick. I know from experience that wheat gluten turns out chewy and, well, GROSS if you don't take the time to cook it right. So I added in both firm tofu and black mushrooms to help with the texture.

Verdict? The partially omni household all gave it a thumbs up, with a few "maybe's" concerning the amaranth and its unusual texture. Mark, my resident omni chef and most scrutinizing critic, said the cutlets and gravy were "pretty damn good!" and even liked the amaranth.

Seitan Cutlets:
(makes about 8-10 thin cutlets)

2 C. vital wheat gluten
1/2 block extra firm tofu
6 fresh black mushrooms (about 1 1/2 C.)
1 tsp. grated ginger
2-3 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
salt (optional)
1 medium carrot


Place wheat gluten in a large bowl. In a food processor, blend all remaining ingredients, except for the carrots, until smooth. Add carrots and process until small but still chuncky. Add wet mixture to the gluten and mix until a smooth dough forms (no need to knead).

Form into a log shape, and cut 1/2-3/4" slices. Put a slice on a flat surface (no flour needed), and push from the center outward to flatten as thinly as possible, which is very quick and easy!

Fry in a skillet for a few minutes on each side, until their golden and crispy.

Miso Almond Gravy:

1 C. almonds
2-3 T. white miso paste
1- 1 1/2C. water (depends on desired thickness)


Grind up almonds to a fine meal. Add miso paste and water and puree until well combined. Heat on the stove for a few minutes until heated through. Add more water if a thinner gravy is desired. Add chopped green onions and turn off heat. Serve warm.

Onion & Garlic Amaranth:

Saute 1/2 chopped onion until tender and brown, add a few cloves of minced garlic and stir fry for a few minutes. Add 2 cups amaranth and toss until mixed and coated with the oil. Add 3 cups of water and cover. Check and stir often so as not to burn the bottom. The grain will turn a darker brown when done. In hindsight, using a rice cooker could save a lot of effort! Season with salt to taste.

Another useful tip: I pulled out my good 'ol Foreman Grill to grill my veggies - just cut them and tossed them in there for about 6-8 minutes.

Feb 14, 2009

White Chocolate Walnut Truffles

A creamy white chocolate center with walnut chunks, surrounded by crunchy rich dark chocolate.

Yes, WHITE chocolate and vegan. I know, I know... it's sinful. But it wouldn't be Valentine's without some chocolate. At least I didn't make them into hearts this time!

This was an experiment, drawing from a couple different sources and my own weird methods. Notably, from the white chocolate recipe from Bittersweet... thank you!! I am in the process of begging my local co-op to carry vegan white chocolate chips soon.

These tasted great- not as rich and fatty tasting as the originals, but a very good substitute. I added a soy milk-cashew puree to the organic cocoa butter, and the water content made it more liquidy. We've been eating them straight out of the freezer and it has the consistency of a very rich nutty sorbet in the middle. We like!

1 C. Vegan white chocolate (Bittersweet's recipe)
1/2 C. soy milk
2 T. ground raw cashews
1 T. vanilla extract
1 C. ground walnuts
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
dark chocolate of choice ( I used candy melts)


Process the cashews until finely ground. Add the soy milk and puree until creamy (should be the consistency of unwhipped whipping cream). Melt the white chocolate by zapping it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes (watch carefully by checking every 30 seconds after the 1st minute to avoid over cooking). Mix in the cashew milk, vanilla, and walnuts until well combined. Put the mixture in the freezer to set up. When ready, melt the dark chocolate and dip compact balls of your white chocolate mixture to coat and place onto parchment paper. Put back into the freezer to cool and harden.

I also made these chocolate peanut butter cups using this recipe. Sorry about the hearts! This cheesy month is almost over :)

Feb 13, 2009

Pad Thai Remix

Spicy, sweet, tangy, savory rice noodles with non-traditional veggies, i.e. rainbow chard, and marinated pan fried tofu, onions, garlic, ginger, toasted cashews, and a squeeze of lime.

That time of the day never ceases to stump me- "What to make for dinner...?" Others aren't usually much help around here, with replies like, "I dunno. Whatever is fine..." (ugh!) So my usual routine is to stick my head into the fridge and/or pantry and just stare. Sometimes I stare for so long my mind wanders and I forget what I'm staring for!

Luckily, I spotted a package of rice noodles and immediately thought of pad thai. That rich, spicy, flavorful noodle- a one dish wonder. It's nice when inspiration hits you like that! So I looked around for some complimentary ingredients, and found most everything except bean sprouts, which is one of the traditional veggies. I did, however have a lovely bunch of rainbow Swiss chard. If you haven't tried chard before, please do- it's delicious and gives a great vibrant color!

8-10oz. package dry rice stick noodles
1 white onion, sliced into thin strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package extra firm tofu, drained and patted with a towel
sprinkling of nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, white pepper, and salt
1/2 C. raw cashews (or roasted)
1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
3 slices of ginger
soy sauce
vegetarian fish sauce
Asian sweet garlic red chili sauce (it looks like a thick clear sauce with red chili flakes and specks of garlic- not the one in oil or the one that looks completely red)
rice vinegar
lime juice
veg oil for stir frying (about 3 T.)

First, soak your rice noodles until they're pliable (about 15 minutes). Drain noodles and set aside. Next, prepare everything for quick stir frying. Drain the tofu and cut into small chunks- pat dry to remove excess water. Sprinkle with some salt, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, and white pepper (set aside). Wash and cut up the chard, onions, garlic, and ginger. The trick here is to quick fry everything separately in a hot wok. I start with a little vegetable oil, and fry the onions until slightly tender, then add the garlic for a couple more minutes- constantly tossing. Remove this into a bowl, and toast the cashews-turning constantly until toasty. Remove and add a little more oil to fry the tofu. Cook on each side until slightly crispy. Remove and add the last batch of oil and add the ginger slices and the chard. Stir fry until wilted, then remove and dispose of the ginger. Remove the chard and start making the sauce by adding about a cup and a half of the sweet garlic chili sauce. Add a splash of vinegar, splash of veg fish sauce, and splash of soy sauce. Taste and adjust. Add soaked and drained noodles, toss and cook for 5 minutes or until just tender. Add all the other ingredients. Squeeze some lime juice over the top, and serve hot.

Garnish with: lime wedges, chopped green onions, and cilantro

Feb 12, 2009

Don't Need No Parm on My Eggplant & Cauliflower Garlic Bread

I read Tofu 666's "tweet" on Twitter that eggplant parmesan was on the menu tonight, and when I saw some beautiful eggplant at the market, I couldn't resist! When I got home, Mark (my housemate) proclaimed that he was going to make some cheezy garlic bread and wanted to incorporate cauliflower (a pretty sneaky thing!). And when I mentioned the eggplant parmesan, it all came together. We also had a package of gourmet basil infused dry pasta- a bargain purchase from of all places, the Grocery Outlet, that was screaming to be included... so we ran with it and came up with the following:

We made A LOT of food, so you may want to scale down.

The Star: Crispy Baked Eggplant and Red Sauce

2 eggplants, sliced 1/2" thick
Vegenaise + a little water
bread crumbs

Spinz: Thin out the Vegennaise with a little water so it resembles a thin salad dressing. Dip the slices into this, then into the bread crumbs. Bake on a prepared sheet at 400 degrees for about 30-35 minutes or until tender and crisp.

1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 jars of chunky veggie marinara sauce
splash of red wine
splash of balsamic vinegar
few tablespoons sugar
dried herbs: basil, oregano, thyme
black pepper

Spinz: Saute the onion until tender, add the garlic and saute for a few minutes. Stir in the herbs, then add the sauce and remaining ingredients- taste and adjust as desired.

The Supporting Actor: Basil Pasta with Capers, Tomatoes, Garlic, and Toasted Almonds

1 8 oz. package pasta
1 C. fresh basil, ribboned
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. capers
1 C. tomatoes, chopped
sliced almonds, toasted
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Spinz: Prepare pasta to al dente mode. Add a little olive oil to the pan and add garlic, tomatoes, and capers. Stir for a few minutes and turn off heat. Toss in the basil and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil as needed, salt and pepper to taste, and top with toasted almonds.

The Surprise Guest: Cauliflower Garlic Bread

1/2 C. raw cauliflower (tops only- no stem)
4 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 C. margarine
1/4 C. Vegennaise
1/4 block of Follow Your Heart mozararella
green onions, thinly chopped

Spinz: puree the cauliflower, garlic, and vegan cheese. Mix together with margarine and vegenaise and salt. Spread thick layers onto sliced french bread. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions.

I really wanted to make ravioli for the "It's A Vegan World (Italian)" event, hosted by my girl, Vaishali over at Holy Cow!... but I may just send this one over!

Feb 11, 2009

I Heart Potatoes

I stumbled upon this pic of a heart-shaped potato- a natural mutation that was made into a cute little postcard (bottom). So, I got to thinking... for those of us who aren't so lucky to actually find a potato shaped like a heart, why not make one?

Well, it was an easy concept in my mind, but it took a few tries to keep the sucker from falling apart. But once I figured it out, it turned out to be a really simple side dish to make!

Step 1: Pick out your spud- use a waxy potato (not russet), and look for one that's evenly shaped and more on the tubular side if possible.

Step 2: Wash it and put it straight into your microwave, zapping it on high for 7-9 minutes, turning it over half way through. Test with a light squeeze to make sure it's soft, if not, zap if for a bit longer (times may vary).

Step 3: While it's still warm, gently make an indentation with a chopstick lengthwise, shimmying it back and forth, being careful not to break the skin.

Step 4: Turn it over and gently pinch to make it pointy. Then let it cool down to room temp.

Last steps: Slice into 1/2" thick pieces (using a wet knife helps), sprinkle with smoky paprika and ground sea salt, and fry in a skillet with a little margarine or oil. Serve with vegan sour cream and chopped chives.

Note: This would be great with red skinned potatoes if you want to be extra Valentine-y!

Feb 7, 2009

Heart Shaped Spanakopita for Veggie Love

This recipe was created for the Veggie Love Challenge from Susan V's blog, Fat Free Vegan. It's a large flakey pastry, encasing a rich combination of veggies, using spinach, cashews, cauliflower, onions, and hearts of palm. Ok, now first, I must post a WARNING: this recipe is NOT for those lacking patience, nor is it for those who had scarring childhood experiences with paper mache. After a few failed attempts at weaving the phyllo dough, I gave up and decided to use my clever little silicone hearts.

Now, I must say that I always loathed Valentine's Day, simply because I felt somewhat excluded when I was single, and because it seemed like such a commercial holiday with all those icky neon pink and red hearts everywhere... doily anyone? But when I think of it as a holiday that celebrates love in all its forms, it takes on a much more acceptable quality- love for my family and friends, love for my pets, love for my health, my shoes, toaster, and all that I take for granted every day... and of course, love for vegetables! And come on, the certified vegan symbol is a heart with a "v" in it. Gotta love that!


1/2 C. raw cashews
1/2 C. cooked cauliflower
1 C. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed until very dry
1/2 C. hearts of palm (or artichoke hearts), chopped
1/2 C. grilled onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt to taste
1 package of frozen phyllo dough, thawed in the refrigerator

Tools needed:

-pastry brush
-cooking spray (like Pam)
-kitchen scissors
-baking sheet
-dampened kitchen towel


First, prepare the filling by processing the cashews until grainy, then adding the cooked cauliflower (I did this in the microwave for about 3 minutes) and garlic, and pulse until combined. Add salt to season, then transfer to a bowl and mix in the spinach, grilled onions, and hearts of palm.

If you've never worked with phyllo dough, there's two things to remember: keep it from drying out, and work quickly! When these thin sheets are exposed to air for a small length of time, they become very brittle.

Spray your silicone hearts with oil (I use the spray because it's quicker than constantly dipping a brush and brushing it on). Make sure you get the sides too. Next, roll out your phyllo sheets onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. When you're not messing with the dough, keep it covered with your damp towel.

Gather a bunch of the sheets together and cut 1/2 inch strips- fairly long, about 12 inches or so.
Arrange strips in a radial pattern from the center of the heart. After laying a few strips, spray a shot of oil to the center and the rims to keep them soft. Continue to place strips until the rim is completely covered.

Next, fold a few phyllo sheets and cut out hearts that will fit in the silicon mold. Layer these hearts in the bottom, spraying oil between layers, and pressing into the corners gently with your brush.

Spoon some filling into the form, spreading evenly. Then, lift up the leftover sides (as shown), and fold it over towards the top center. Brush oil onto the tops.
Fold over the excess strips towards the center of the tops, spray with oil, then layer a few more layers of phyllo hearts in the same way as before.

Remove from molds by turning the molds upside down onto the baking sheet, and bake them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden. Then, broil on low for about 2 minutes or until golden on top. I attached a "V" to one of them by placing a few layers of small strips, brushing on oil between layers. You could use this method to attach someone's initials if you're ambitious!

Serve warm.

Note: you could make quite a few of these hearts, but I stopped at two because of I was getting tired!

Feb 5, 2009

Hope for the Veg Cause in Mainstream Media!

I'm a TV potato- was raised on it, babysat by it, and as an adult, have a serious relationship with it. Usually, I'm multi-tasking in front of it (cooking, reading, blogging, petting the dogs, etc.)- so naturally I tune a lot of it out. But a few things recently have caught my attention in a good way! Thank God for Tivo, otherwise I may not have believed it.

First, some old episode of Star Trek NG came on while I was surfing on my laptop. All of a sudden I hear, "We humans no longer enslave animals for our food sources..." (!) Imagine my double-take! It was Commander Riker who said it, and was referring to their futuristic "replicators" that simulated meat, making most everyone on the ship a vegan. But for him to say it in that way really surprised me (and elated me, being that I AM a closet nerd, and the coolness of the sci-fi future just got cooler).

Second, I was somewhat watching Alton Brown on Good Eats, talking about how to cook peas, when I realized that the recipe for Pea Burgers was completely vegan- no meat or eggs or nothin'!! How often does that happen on his show, let alone the Food Network??

Third, Good 'ol perky Rachel Ray came on, and the first thing she announced was that she was cooking a Vegetarian Feast! AND... the reason for the show, was because so many viewers had requested more vegetarian recipes (NICE). Ok, well we haven't gotten to the point where vegan is the norm, but one step closer is a good thing!

So along with it being my birthday week, I have been gifted with the evidence of hope for a vegan friendly world. I'm not an extremist, and not looking for world domination- just a lift in consciousness and a little less sarcasm and jokes.

Sorry, no recipes today... my husband informed me that I am not to cook since it's my birthday week and should take it easy (yes, I'm a lucky girl!)... but I plan to sneak some fun cooking in there pretty soon!

Feb 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me Cake!

Yes, it's my birthday today- a celebration of the 38 years of being alive in this world. But for my blog, I'd like to call this my 5th birthday, as it is a celebration of 5 years being vegan! 5 years of having a clear conscience, better health, and a worthy cause that inspires me to share.

My life in a nutshell? ... a nearly (nearly?) middle-aged DJ, who stays "hip" by scratchin' and playing the top "hits" but secretly loves the 80's (Hall & Oates, The Go-Go's- yeah!), loves her doggies like children because let's face it, they ARE- has a crazy obsession with cooking and blogging about it, constantly looking to make some good "food porn" with a dinky digital camera- loves the fact that her husband went almost vegan for her (couldn't give up the sushi though), and appreciates her best friend, housemates, and DJ crew for doing the same without complaints of meat deprivation- and is hopeful for her mother who has had cancer for 5 years, which was the trigger that led her to veganism... and this blog.

So... what does a person like this want to do on her birthday? Well, besides writing run-on sentences and talking about herself in the third-person... EAT CAKE, of course!

There are no vegan bakeries here in Davis (boo!), so I had to make this one myself- although I have been assured that there are one or more cakes to come this week, made by my family & friends. Yes, I'm a lucky, lucky girl!

After a little thought, I decided to make a coconut cake- because I LOVE coconut and we just bought a batch of coconut milk. And, I made a rich coconut frosting to go with it. It was a bit rich for me, but I got complements like "perfect" and "da bomb!" from everyone else. I only frosted between the layers before running out (but that was enough frosting for me). If you want to frost the whole thing inside and out, I would double it - but be prepared to take a long nap afterwards! zzzzz

Makes one four-layer cake (2 round cake pans)


1 C. soy milk
1 C. coconut milk
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2/3 C. canola oil
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/4 C. corn starch
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 C. vegan margarine (I used Earth balance buttery sticks)
1/4 C. coconut butter
1/2 package of Mori-Nu firm silken tofu
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 C. powdered sugar
1 C. reduced fat unsweetened coconut flakes (regular is ok too)


Prepare the frosting first by throwing everything except the coconut into a blender or processor until smooth. Add the coconut flakes and pulse a few times to combine. Note: if you're using the regular (not reduced fat) coconut, it would be a great idea to toast it a little first. Unfortunately, the reduced fat one does not toast well and gets overly tough and chewy. Put the mixture into the fridge to cool.

Pour the soy & coconut milk into a large bowl and add the vinegar. Let stand a few minutes. Add the oil, vanilla, almond extract, and sugar and mix well. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until lumps are gone (I used an electric mixer). Pour into two greased round cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool down before carefully popping them out onto plates and slicing each into halves. Spread the cooled frosting between the layers and chill in the fridge until ready to eat.

Feb 1, 2009

Blueberry and Cheeze Stuffed French Toast

My best friend, Cee whipped these up, and keeping my blog in mind, did something creative with them! Using a batch of Texas Toast, which is extra thick-cut bread and usually vegan, she made careful incisions - not to cut through the bread completely, to fill these suckers with luscious tofu cream cheese and blueberry preserves.

She used the fabulous "Fronch Bread" recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance to make these into warm, crispy, sweet, gooey goodness!

Topped with zingy fresh blueberries and a little maple syrup made these even more spectacular!
The cream cheese filling consisted of these ingredients:

-1 package Tofutti Cream Cheese
-1 package firm tofu
- sugar (1/2-3/4 cup)
- vanilla extract (about 1 Tbsp)

My thoughts: adding some lemon zest would've been great with the sweetness of the blueberry preserves.