Posts filed under ‘Holidays’

Finally!! Pecan Sandies!!

This is a holiday favorite of mine! I would eat these every Christmas Eve from, ironically, my aunt Sandy! I’ve never given them a go, but I thought, since this was my first Christmas being vegan, I should bring something to the party!

This recipe I found on the Whole Foods Market website in the recipe section.  I did a few modifications.

Vegan Pecan Crumblies

Yields 48

1 cup Earth Balance butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup pecans, finely processed

3/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

Cream the Earth Balance butter and the powdered sugar until light and fluffed, then add the vanilla; meanwhile, process the pecans in a food prrocessor until finely processed, yielding 1 cup.

In a separate bowl, combine the pecans, flours and salt.

Stir the pecan mixture into the creamed butter and sugar until incorporated.  Dump out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly.  Refrigerate overnight.

one…

And two!! I just had to double this recipe!

DAY TWO:

Take out of the refrigerator and dump out onto a clean surface.  Use a teaspoon, or any scoop, to portion out the cookies.  Roll them each in powdered sugar and place on a baking sheet an inch apart.

Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 9-10 minutes; let them cool for 4-5 minutes then dredge a second time in powdered sugar.  Set onto a drying rack and cool completely.

I hope everyone had a great holiday, got spoiled by Santa, and enjoyed many cookies.  I’m stuffed and it’s time for bed.  See you next year Santa – these cookies are for you!

Advertisements

December 25, 2010 at 11:55 pm 3 comments

Pancake Breakfast!!

Today Ryan and I woke up (slowly) and decided to have a nice Christmas pancake breakfast.  No, no, I know it’s not Christmas yet… but it’s 2 days away!!! I guess you could call this the pre-pre-Christmas breakfast  We like to be prepared for the real thing. Time to prep our stomachs for stretch!!

Choco. Chip Banana Pancakes!

serves 4

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened original

2 Tbsp. oil

1 tsp. vanilla

2 mashed, very ripe, bananas

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat a nonstick skillet on medium-low with a little bit of oil; once preheated wipe out the oil lightly with a napkin or paper towel.

Mix the flours, baking powder, salt and brown sugar together in a bowl with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana up well with a fork; add the oil, vanilla and milk and mix well to combine.

(I purchased some new measuring cups from Urban Outfitters… they all go together into one big cupcake! SO presh *stole Kelly’s word* (-: )

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together lightly.  I like to follow America’s Test Kitchen’s technique on combining pancake ingredients by letting the batter fall through the whisk gently a few times.

 

 

Fold in the walnuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a tablespoon, or any scoop you’d like, to portion out the batter into the hot skillet.

Let cook a few minutes, until the sides bubble and the pancake is set, then flip and do the same on the second side.

Set the pancakes aside on a plate, or set your oven to low and set the pancakes onto a baking sheet to be kept warm.  Enjoy with maple syrup and/or a big slab of Earth Balance butter atop!

Mmm!! 1 serving of fruit… CHECK!

 

December 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

Warming Winter Soup

Snow fell throughout Massachusetts today! It is so beautiful!! Aunt Sue is here from California and snow is just what she needed!

Warming soup was also needed… so Ryan made some kale and sweet potato soup to get us through the night.

Sweet Potato, Kale and Carrot Soup

Serves 4-6 (4 meal portions; 6 smaller portions)

3 bunches of kale, washed, de-ribbed and roughly chopped or torn (we used a mixture of varieties: 1 dino/lacinato, 1 scots/curly, and 1 purple kale bunch)

10 garlic cloves (don’t be afraid…)

4 cups of vegetable broth, divided

1 large sweet potato

6 carrots, chopped or diced to your liking

6 celery stalks, chopped or diced to your liking

2 bay leaves

1 cup white wine mixed with 1 cup of water

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 tsp. olive oil

Directions:

In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the carrots and celery; cook for a few minutes to soften them.  Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add 2 cups of liquid and a small pinch of salt and pepper; bring to a simmer to infuse.

Add in the kale, a small pinch of salt and pepper, and 2 more cups of liquid.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the kale has wilted.

Add the rest of the liquid, the wine, bay leaves, garlic and another pinch of salt and pepper.  Cover the pot and let this simmer for 20-30 minutes until everything is tender.  Don’t forget to serve this with some hearty grain bread smothered in Earth Balance butter!! 🙂

This is an extremely easy, warming soup that is packed with nutrients!! Hopefully this will keep sickness away…

Betty was quite jealous!!

December 21, 2010 at 12:00 am 1 comment

Vegan Chickpea Marsala

Dinner has been becoming semi-boring lately.  We’ve been so busy there hasn’t been much time for some delicious gourmet vegan food! Since finals are over and we’re finally free for the winter break… it seems appropriate to make something special!  Meg came over and we made chickpea cutlets from PPK and a nice Marsala sauce that was adopted from Martha Stewart‘s website.  Then for dessert we made peanut butter thumbprint cookies that we got from my fav. recipe book The Vegan Table.

 

Marsala Wine Sauce

Yields about 1 cup sauce

4 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter, divided

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 package mushrooms (we used crimini)

2 cups Marsala wine

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. chopped fresh sage

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Directions:

Heat the olive oil and 2 Tbsp. of Earth Balance in a saute pan on medium.  Add the mushrooms and cook until deep golden brown.  Dissolve the flour into the marsala wine; add the wine mixture, lemon juice, the remaining 2 Tbsp. of Earth Balance and the sage to the pan and let simmer until thickened.

We made the chickpea cutlets first, then the sauce.   When the sauce was thickened we added the cutlets to the pan and simmered just a few minutes to infuse the flavors together.  If you fry the cutlets the texture is a bit chewier than if you bake it (it’ll be a little more meaty if you bake it).

We ate the Chickpea Marsala by itself, but next time I will definitely pair it with some steamed veggies (like kale or collards) and some bow tie pasta (or rice).  It was very, very satisfying!

For dessert we had some peanut butter thumbprint cookies.

Peanut butter Thumbprint Cookies

Makes 18-20 cookies

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup Earth Balance butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. vanilla unsweetened almond milk

Jam, as needed

Directions:

Combine the flour and baking powder; set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the Earth Balance and the brown sugar; beat until light in color and fluffy.  Add the peanut butter, milk and vanilla; mix to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir, by hand, until incorporated.  Using your hands (the dough should be dry enough to handle), portion out 18-20 dough balls, then flatten with the back of a damp, metal spoon or your fingers.  Make a well in the middle of each and add your jam.  We used mixed berry in half and blueberry in the other half.

Bake in a 375 F preheated oven for 12 minuts, until golden brown.  Let cool then transfer to a metal cooling rack to finish cooling  This will harden them up a little to make them easier to eat.

I really don’t know which I liked better… they were all gobbled up before we could say done!

 

December 19, 2010 at 8:59 pm 2 comments

Holiday Toffee Bars

‘Tis the season to get baking!  Vegan toffee bars we shall bake!

This recipe was adopted from the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur’s English Toffee Squares

Toffee Choco Nut Squares

Makes 24 bars (aprox.)

1 cup Earth Balance butter

1/2 cup pack brown sugar

1/2 cup vegan cane sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup chocolate chips

3/4 cup mixed chopped nuts (we used peanuts, almonds, pecans, and pine nuts)

Directions:

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Once fluffy and light, add the vanilla.  Sift and then stir in the flours until incorporated.  The batter will be moist and somewhat crumbly.

Prepare an 8X8 baking dish by covering the bottom and sides with parchment paper, letting the paper hang a little above the sides of the pan to make removal easier; press the batter in firmly.

(we doubled the recipe so this is a 9X11 in. baking dish pictured here)

Bake in a 350 F preheated oven for 15 minutes (we baked it for a few minutes more – 17 min. – each oven will vary); check to make sure the crust is golden and firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, prepare the nut topping by placing the nuts into a food processor and process to your liking.

When the crust is done, remove it from the oven (I love this part) sprinkle on the chocolate chips and return it to the oven for a minute longer to melt the chips; spread the chocolate evenly over the crust.

Sprinkle on the nut mixture and let rest for 2-3 hours at room temperature (or in the fridge/freezer for a shorter time span) so the chocolate can set; do not leave them at rest for too long if they’re not cut, the chocolate gets very hard and may crack unevenly.  Remove from the pan gently using the parchment paper for support.  Place onto a cutting board and cut into the desired amount of bars.  Let these rest anther hour or so at room temperature before wrapping or transporting (but eating can definitely be done at this point 😉 ).

These make the perfect holiday gift! Even your non-vegan friends will be begging for more! Next time (which will be in just a few days…) I’m going to get creative with the toppings i.e. crushed candy cane, chopped dried cranberries, or maybe I’ll spread the bars with some raspberry jam and then drizzle on some chocolate… Oh I’m brainstorming now!!

Now go get creative!!!

December 18, 2010 at 12:42 am 1 comment

Spicy Sweet Potato Home Fries

I love the holidays!!!


And there’s nothing like Christmas morning breakfast! Home fries are definitely on my vegan food pyramid… But I thought I was up for a little change to the original… Sweet potato!  Hopefully your family, and mine, will be enjoying these in just 15 days!!!! (scary thought right?)

 

Sweet Potato Baked Home Fries

Serves 4

2 large sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp. olive oil or canola oil

Dash of paprika (or more if your morning can handle it…)

Ample sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Scrub the potatoes well; slice first into rings by cutting end to end then cut each circle into triangles by slicing it in half twice.  I just love this method because I always get pieces that are the same size.

Place all the chunks into a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients; toss to coat.

Spread onto a baking sheet, being sure that they are in a single layer, and bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 8 minutes; flip after the 8 minutes and bake 8 more.  Since the cubes are small they won’t take long at all.

Carefully remove each one and put in to a dish for serving; serve hot!

Now here’s something that is sweet and spicy and will satisfy just as good as a cookie 😉 maybe…

December 10, 2010 at 9:33 am 1 comment

Black Friday Meals!

Couldn’t wake up for the black Friday deals today, so instead I decided to make some black friday meals! I know what you’re thinking… yesterday was Thanksgiving, how can I be making more food?! There’s always time.

First let me explain to you what I had for my vegan Thanksgiving dinner at the family’s house:

Lentil Loaf smothered in vegan gravy (recipe follows)

Stuffing

Baked chickpeas

Steamed green beans

Earth Balance buttered mashed taters

Salad with balsamic vinaigrette and black olives

and for dessert warm apple crisp literally from oven to plate!

The vegan lentil loaf was a creation from many different recipes: The Vegan Table’s Old Fashioned Lentil Loaf, The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook’s Lentil loaf, and Whole Foods Market’s Celebration Lentil Loaf

Thanksgiving Lentil Loaf

Serves 10-12

2 cups lentils, dry

2 cups quinoa, cooked

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

8 garlic cloves

10 oz. mushrooms (we used white)

1/4 cup (unfortunately a little less) red onion

2/3 – 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

2 tsp. fresh sage

1/4 tsp. each of thyme, paprika, and onion powder

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

Put the lentils in a saucepan with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer, covered, until all the water has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, saute all the vegetables with the oil in a skillet until crisp tender, they will cook the rest of the way through in the oven.


Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Press firmly into a large (16X9) baking dish…

and bake in a 350 F oven for 35-40 minutes or until set and darkened on the top.

Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy!

… I want to tweak this recipe, it was very filling and great tasting, but it needed moisture.  I wanted to add some onion, but we were all out, and that would have definitely added some great moisture.  Also, a half cup of vegetable broth added along with bread crumbs may add the needed moisture to counter the dry breadcrumbs.  All in all though I gave this a thumbs up!!

And…

Today we made a great apple cake!! This was based on another recipe I saw in The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook.

Applebutter Cake

Serves 6

1/2 cup oil

1 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups apple butter

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. each nutmeg and ginger

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup raisins, rehydrated

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


Directions:

Mix the oil and the sugar in a bowl until well incorporated;

add the applebutter and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together with a whisk, all the dry ingredients.


Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat/mix until smooth.


Pour into a lightly oiled and floured 9X13 pan (or a loaf pan)…

and bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool on a drying rack then enjoy plain or with a little bit of vegan buttercream on top!!

Another black Friday meal we had today was leftover kale soup…

What a great start to the day 🙂

Now it’s time to join all the shoppin’ crazies out there and get our shop on! The runners high from yesterday’s Volvo 5K is still with me!!  Here we go…

November 26, 2010 at 10:48 pm 1 comment

Older Posts


Recent Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3 other followers