Archive | 8:22 pm

Baked Goods Friday

12 Nov

I’ve probably mentioned before that I don’t work on Fridays. It’s a source of joy in my life. Usually I spend them lazing about and/or running errands, but ever since November began, you MoFos have been keeping me in the kitchen.

I told my taller half that I would be making Blueberry Spice Crumb Bars from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Check out the book for the recipe, but here are the steps.

First you mix together the shortbread dough and the blueberry stuff. This involves a pastry cutter.

Then you press three cups’ worth of dough into a baking pan.

Spread the blueberry mixture on top.

Crumble the rest of the dough on top and bake.

Eat and enjoy.

These are tasty, though they won’t change your life. They could use a thicker fruit layer next time around. I’m not a big blueberry fan, in all honesty, so I decided to whip up a batch of my much-beloved Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

  • 2 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cups unbleached white and 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour this time)
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease or line two baking sheets and set them aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sugars, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients in batches, folding to combine.

Add the chocolate chips, folding to combine. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets about one inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes, longer if you want a firmer cookie. Let cool on a wire rack. Makes about 30 cookies.

I’ve had about a million today. They’re awesome!

What do you call a quesadilla with no cheese?

12 Nov

No, seriously, what do you call it? A veggidilla? A frijolidilla? A soft taco?

This week, we just called it dinner.

The recipe is from 1,000 Vegan Recipes.

First, gaze upon the insane amount of greens you and your taller half will consume in two dinners:

Now, mash up half a can of black beans and set them aside. Now, saute half a minced red onion, two garlic cloves, and a cup of chopped mushrooms in some olive oil. Cook until softened.

You digging these action shots? Add two cups of squeaky-clean spinach and watch it wilt, about three minutes.

Add the mashed beans and stir around until it’s incorporated and warm. It’ll look like this but less blurry in person:

Stuff the filling inside two 10-inch flour (or whole-wheat) tortillas. Fold in half and place them in a large skillet that has been prepared with a little canola oil.

Cook on both sides until all is warmed and slightly crisped. Serves two. I topped mine with a little salsa and several drizzles of Chipotle Tabasco. We ate ours with Apple Arugula Salad, also from 1,000 Vegan Recipes.

For it, all you do is chop half an apple (we used a Fuji) and combine with two cups of arugula, two cups of mixed greens, and half a small red onion, sliced. Top it all with a dressing made of 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (we used champagne vinegar), 1 tablespoon Dijon, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 1/3 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. The dressing makes enough for four servings.

I officially declare the dinner a delicious, quick, easy, vegan success. Two thumbs up for the Cookbook of the Week!

Fennel Salad with Orange and Dill

12 Nov

Let’s talk about salad. I like salad. I know that’s what everyone thinks we vegetarians eat at every meal, and while that isn’t true – unless you’re the Vegan Epicurean 😉 – I do try to get as many leafy greens as possible into my week. They are some of the greatest stuff you can eat. Throw in some other veggies and/or proteins, top with a delicious dressing, and what’s not to love?

I’m still feeling culinarily inspired from my trip to Italy (which I will finish recapping soon, I promise!), so when I saw fennel at the store on Sunday, I grabbed it up. My former roommate, Alice, loves raw fennel. The night we ate like beasts at her apartment, she and I snacked on it raw while we were cooking. I loved it! So this week, I decided to combine it with some delicious, local greens to make a tasty salad alongside my Autumn Rice.

Fennel Salad with Orange and Dill

(dressing recipe inspired by 1,000 Vegan Recipes, but mine is oil-free)

  • 2 cups salad mix (pick your favorite, but something with a little bite – such as arugula or radicchio – is nice)
  • 1/2 a fennel bulb
  • Juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Clean your greens and put ‘em on a plate or in a bowl. That’s up to you.

Slice the fennel into bite-sized pieces, and add it to the top of the greens.

In a separate bowl, combine the orange juice, mustard, dill seeds, and pepper to taste. Mix quickly with a fork to combine.

Pour dressing over the salad, and then top with the chopped parsley.

Serve with something hearty and delicious, such as my rice dish.

I normally prefer lemon or lime as the acid in a salad dressing, but the orange is excellent with the fennel. Also, I had a bald orange to use up following last week’s baking extravaganza.

Dill is a great complement to the licorice flavor of the fennel, but if you aren’t a fan, you can just leave it out or sub in tarragon or thyme for a different flavor. I would also like to point out that this recipe contains no garlic. Did you know that was possible? I’m not saying the dressing wouldn’t be good with garlic, but I’m trying to expand my horizons a little. I guess I should do my coworkers a favor once in a while, though.

Have you ever tried fennel? If so, what’s your favorite way to eat it?