Aug 31, 2010

Cashew Ricotta Cheese (No Tofu Needed, No Milk Needed)

Ricotta made of 100% Curdled Cashew Protein
It's light.  It's fluffy.  It's creamy.  It's ricotta cheese.  Nope.  It's a result from a wierd science project- a molecular process that my unscientific mind does not understand.  It involves the curdling of proteins when the conditions are right - what those specific conditions are, I do not know.  Maybe someone out there can shed some light?

This product came out of my new soymilk maker.  Here's what went down:  First, I was in a hurry so I threw in about 3/4 cup of frozen raw cashews into the mill chamber.  The machine itself heats up water, then churns and grinds up the nuts as it steams them.  The fine particles seep through the chamber through small holes and permeate the water to make milk.  When the process was done, I opened it up and found that the milk had curdled, a rather large percentage of it- I would say 75%.  This didn't happen before, when I made cashew milk with a 1/2 cup of soaked cashews.  I only got a little curdling.

Well, regardless of how this happened, I'm happy to have made this discovery!  Another reason to love my soymilk maker!  The texture is amazing- light and melts in your mouth.  Slightly sweet and nutty like cashews, but takes on new flavors easily.  And, this is 100% cashews- no tofu or dairy added!

Aug 30, 2010

Split Pea and Zucchini Soup, and a Winner

Velvety-smooth and fat free!  Served chilled or piping hot, with crispy tempeh bacon and vegan Texas toast.  20 minutes in the pressure cooker was all it took.

1 C. dried split peas, rinsed
1 large zucchini (2-3 cups, cut into chunks)
1 medium onion (1 cup, cut into chunks)
1/3 C. nutritional yeast
water (enough to cover)
salt & pepper to taste

Put all ingredients except salt into the pressure cooker and cook for 20-30 minutes.  If you don't have a pressure cooker, just cook in a covered pot until split peas are tender.  Let cool for a bit, then taste and add salt as desired.  Then blend with a stick blender or transfer to blender to make smooth.  If it's too thick, add a little water.  This soup will thicken as it cools down.

Tempeh Bacon Marinade:

1 3/4 C. water
1/4 C. soy sauce
3 T. nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
3 T. ketchup
2 T. agave nectar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)

Slice your tempeh into thin strips.  Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl you'll be using for marinating.  Add the tempeh, making sure that they are well submerged.  Place in the refrigerator for about an hour before grilling on a flat pan with a little oil.  Brown on both sides and serve.  The longer you marinate, the more flavor- keep for about a week in the fridge- I like to make a big batch and use as needed throughout the week.

...Still finding ways to use our giant zucchini, but I'm sort of glad the season is winding down!

As for the WINNER of the Whip-Ittm Whipped Cream Dispenser from The Webstaurant Store (drums, please.)...

Congratulations to:  Tiffany of 
Bread Without Butter blog.  
Looking forward to your Thai-Style Lemongrass Foam!
(doesn't that sound good?)

Thank you everyone for participating!  I'll be doing another give-away soon.

Aug 25, 2010

Coconut Cream in a Can, Win a Whipped Cream Dispenser!

Make your own healthier whipped cream in a can.  Am I dreaming?  Gone are the days of searching high and low for a good vegan store-bought version that didn't either taste funny or cost more than I ever wanted to pay for cream in a can.

Granted, my recipe produced a slightly softer cream than the regular kind, but it has no hydrogenated fat and tastes incredibly good.  Unfortunately (and fortunately), I'll have to finish the cream in my dispenser before starting another recipe, but I'm so looking forward to trying other flavors, ingredients, etc.

Whip-Ittm Whipped Cream Dispenser

So... do you want one of these? 

Excellent.  I just happen to have one to give away, courtesy of The WEBstaurant Store.  I found a plethora of different recipes for sweet and savory creams and foams online, so leave me a comment telling me what you'd like to make with the Whip-It, and I'll choose the most creative one. 

As for vegan versions, sadly there aren't very many to find.  The Whip-It website suggests using coconut cream (separating from the milk), but I wanted to skip that step and use the whole can (hate when I have a partial can of whatever sitting around).  AND, I've been itching to use my guar gum, which I found in the bulk section of my local natural food store.  Now in order to make whipped cream in a can, the liquid has to have at least 30% fat -yikes!  Guar gum, made from guar seeds, is a natural thickener, emulsifier, and often used in ice creams to inhibit ice crystals from forming.  Since I needed to up the fat content of the coconut milk (normally about 17% fat), I needed this ingredient to keep the added oil and coconut milk from separating.

Coconut Cream (for whipped cream dispensers)
1 can regular coconut milk (almost 2 cups)
1/3 C. canola oil
1/2 C. confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp. guar gum
1 tsp. vanilla extract

*You may need to reduce the quantities depending on the size of the dispenser- mine has a max of 1/2 liter, and this recipe worked out fine with one charger.

Blend in a blender until completely smooth (no lumps).  If it has lumps, this will clog the dispenser.  Pour mixture into clean dispenser, cap, insert nitrous oxide charger, and chill dispenser in the fridge until nice and cold before using.  Shake a few times, then hold can upside down when dispensing.

Aug 14, 2010

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Zucchini overload!! My garden is supplying more zucchinis than I know what to do with. They were cute in the beginning- little baby newborns attached to bright yellow blossoms. But then...

before I knew it, the garden was overrun by Giant Zucchini Overlords -ready to do battle with the Eggplants and the Cucumbers. No, that isn't a picture of a child's hand -it's mine!

Anyway, I've been making zucchini bread like crazy and everyone seems to gobble it up, so I thought- why not make zucchini bread pancakes for breakfast this morning?

2 C. all purpose flour (you can sub 1 C. whole wheat)
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. cinnamon
2 C. zucchini puree
1/2 C. unprocessed sugar
2 T. ground flaxseed
1 1/2 C. water (more or less to get the right consistency)
3 T. canola oil
(Optional additions)
3/4 C. raisins
3/4 C. chopped walnuts- add to batter or sprinkle on top

Sift the flour and mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients until well combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined. Add raisins and walnuts if desired. Cook pancakes as usual.

Thank you to all my testers! I will be posting the new burger recipe soon, as well as sending out new recipes. Thanks for being patient and giving me some great feedback!

Aug 10, 2010

Basmati Rice Milk, Quinoa Milk, and More Made at Home!

 Quinoa Milk (left), Basmati Rice Milk (Right)

Our family has this relationship with vanilla soy milk.  It's been the standard in our house, and since we gave up dairy, we buy at least 3 gallons or more at a time for our cereal-eating frenzies... seriously. 

For the longest time, I've been telling myself to look into making it myself- duh!  It's not like I gotta have a farm for soy cows, get up early and up-close-and-personal between a soy animal's legs to squeeze out some soy milk.  Do you think a soy animal would look like this?  Anyway...

No- all I gotta do is soak some beans.
Soyabella Soymilk Maker

Oh, and have a Soyabella Soymilk Maker (shameless plug)!

Yes, and in 15 minutes, you too could have a full quart of delicious unadulterated beautiful soy milk, exactly as the instructions describe.

But of course, that's not all it can do.  I had to experiment with it, at least to make this post more interesting!  It already gives instructions on making fresh brewed coffee, rice porridge, rice paste, and nut milks.  But there was nothing on rice milks, which is a popular staple in a lot of vegan households.  So after experimenting, I found that it makes a gorgeously smooth and delicious basmati rice milk, again in 15 minutes.  Just put in 3/4 cup of cooked rice, fill the pitcher with water, and turn it on!  I loved the lovely fragrant aroma of the basmati rice.

But my favorite so far is a rich delicious Quinoa Milk with a hint of roasted sesame.  So easy to make!
 Blend of Quinoa and Sesame Seeds

Just put in 1/2 cup of quinoa plus 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, fill the pitcher with water, and run for 15 minutes.  The resulting milk tasted smooth, but had little flecks of quinoa, so to make it look smooth (optional) I blended it and added a splash of vanilla extract and a squeeze of agave nectar.  If you like the taste of quinoa, you'll love this rich, nutty milk!

Here's how it goes:  Remove the top, and snap on the above grinding chamber.  Then put in water, and put the whole thing back together.   Push a button and wait for it to beep.

 Quinoa Pulp

The left-over soy bean pulp (called okara), can be used in a variety of different recipes.  The quinoa pulp resembled cream of wheat, so I added some brown sugar and a little quinoa milk, and it was delicious!
My Review:
The Soybella Maker is fairly easy to clean (just have to make sure not to get the electronics wet), and it works fast.  It can get pretty noisy,  but that only lasts a few minutes.  The possibilities and combinations of what you can make are endless.  And, it's so much cheaper to make your own milks, it'll soon pay for itself.  Overall, I think I'm in love with this machine!

If you purchase one of these babies from my friends at, enter the word, "Karma" in the discount code and get $10 off purchase.  This offer expires October 31, 2010 and is good towards the SB-130 or SB-132 (has tofu kit!) models.