Posts Tagged pudding

VeganMoFo: OBR Week – Choosing Raw

My last (but not least) stop for OBR week is Gena of Choosing Raw.  Gena eats and blogs about what some might consider a “high raw” diet, with lots of raw foods and a good measure of cooked, healthy, whole foods.  I really like Gena’s approach to nutrition and health – In fact, just today she expounded on her personal balance between raw and cooked foods.  She is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, and she really knows her stuff.  While most of Gena’s posts are about food, she’s not afraid to write in-depth about her thoughts on vegan lifestyle, ethics and nutrition.

For my meal to really reflect the Choosing Raw philosophy, of course it had to be mostly raw!  I chose two recipes from Gena’s Autumn Dinner Party post, her Kale Salad with Red Cabbage and Carrots, and Beet “Ravioli” Stuffed with Sweet Root Vegetable Mash.  For dessert, I whipped up Basic Chia Seed Pudding.

First, the kale salad.  I would happily eat kale massaged with only olive oil and salt, so this was a step up in the world of kale salad for me.  The shredded carrot and red cabbage gave the salad a great crunch, while the smooshed up avocado made it all creamy and wonderful.  My only very minor complaint might be that it was a little too lemony for me, so next time I would 3 Tbs of lemon juice instead of 1/4 cup.  Surprisingly, this salad kept really well in the fridge for a few days.

Bad picture of good beet ravioli.  I was concerned that the filling would turn out too sweet, with sweet potato, agave nectar and cinnamon, but the turnip, coconut oil and dijon mustard kept the puree firmly in the savory world.  I had to add a bit of vegetable broth to get the mixture smooth, and it was still thick enough to sandwich between the beet slices.  While these ravioli were a little sloppy to eat, they were really delicious.  I ate some of the filling this way, some by itself, and some mixed in with oat bran for breakfast.

Raw-ish lunch, gettin’ cozy by the fire.

I was feeling very lazy the day I made this, so I ate the chia seed pudding out of the measuring cup I mixed it in.  I already loved chia seeds, so Gena didn’t need to convince me!  The pudding is easy to make; you just mix it all together and whisk every once in a while so that the seeds don’t clump.  My pudding tasted a little bitter, possibly due to the combination of stevia and vanilla extract, but it was still good.  Next time I would use agave nectar or maple syrup instead of the stevia, and maybe add some cocoa or pumpkin or something else extra.

Next week is Vegetarian Times week!  I’m hard at work preparing recipes from the last five years of Vegetarian Times.  Have a good weekend!

Comments (8)

My Final Presentation: Cooking For Vegan Children

For my individual final project at Bauman College, I was required to choose a specific health conditions on which to write a report and give a cooking demonstration.  My report was supposed to include a “brief” description of the condition, a 5-day menu plan, a few recipes and recipe costs.  Then, we were to give a 45 minute demonstration, preparing two recipes and showing cooking techniques and presentation abilities, as well as providing nutritional information.  There weren’t any health conditions I was really interested in reporting on, so I asked the program coordinator if I could choose cooking for vegan children, and she approved.  I chose this topic because it’s something I really knew nothing about, and at the time there wasn’t much good, consolidated literature on it.  Of course, this was before The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Eating For Kids came out.  I haven’t read the book, but I imagine it holds a lot of the same information I came across in my research.  I can also recommend Raising Vegetarian Children as an excellent resource.  While the title says vegetarian, the book is really vegan and generally against dairy and eggs.

Because I really didn’t know anything about cooking for children, I dove into the research, using vegan, vegetarian, and non-vegetarian resources.  My report ended up being not-so-brief; it’s 22 pages including biography.  For how long I’ve been out of school and away from writing in an academic manner, I was pleased with how it turned out.  I feel that it was comprehensive enough to be a good basic guide including solid nutrition information, but not overly detailed.  I am still in no way an expert, but here is a link to my report if you would like to read it:  Cooking For Vegan Children

Edited to add:  A reader pointed out that the nutritional yeast is missing from the ingredients list of the soup recipe in the report.  If you make the soup, be sure to add about 3/4 cup nutritional yeast when you blend it! The recipe listed below is correct.

(Explaining to visitors that the stack of books on my desk about raising and feeding kids was just for research was interesting for a while!  I got some funny looks.)

My demonstration also went well.  My audience (my classmates) felt a little cold to the topic at first, as none of them were vegan and they probably don’t agree with the idea of raising a child on a vegan diet, but as I started to cook they asked some questions and opened up as I answered and offered my opinions.  Once I made sure that they knew I wasn’t trying to tell them that children should be vegan, but instead that they could, everyone was cool with the topic.  We were only required to prepare two recipes, but I chose simple recipe and went for three, just because I enjoy challenging myself.  I came in at 45 minutes exactly, including plenty of time for discussion.

It was fun choosing the menu plan and recipes for my report.  I think sometimes as chefs and foodies, we get so caught up with fancy stuff like reductions, infusions, ethnic cuisines, garnishes, etc., so it was fun to step back and think of food like a kid would.

Chocolate-Avocado-Chia Pudding
by Erin Weldon

2 Tbs chia seeds
1 Haas avocado
2 Tbs cocoa powder
1 cup unsweetened, fortified non-dairy milk
2 Tbs agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt

1. In a spice grinder, grind the chia seeds into a fine powder.
2. Place all other ingredients (avocado flesh through salt) in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.  Add the ground chia seeds and pulse a few times to combine.
3. Transfer the mixture into four ramekins or small serving dishes.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and serve cold.

Servings: 4
Yield: 2 cups

Amount Per Serving
Calories 160.09
Calories From Fat (49%) 77.78
Total Fat 9.19g 14%
Saturated Fat 1.37g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 108.4mg 5%
Potassium 338.57mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 18.64g 6%
Fiber 5.54g 22%
Sugar 10.67g
Protein 3.92g 8%
Vitamin A 65.4IU 1%
Vitamin C 3.81mg 6%
|Calcium 46.73mg 5%
Iron 1.03mg 6%

picture from an old post

Full Meal Muffins
Adapted from Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann

1 cup spelt flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 ripe bananas, peeled
3 Tbs blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup apple juice, plus more as  needed
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs ground flax seed
1-2 carrots, shredded, to make 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped or ground
1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly oil a muffin tin and set aside.
2. Combine flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
3. Place the bananas, blackstrap molasses, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and flax seed in a blender and blend until smooth.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then fold in the shredded carrot, walnuts, and raisins.  Add a bit more apple juice if needed to wet all of the dough.
4. Divide the mixture evenly into the muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes or until the top springs back to the touch.  Remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
5. Store in an airtight container or freeze in individual freezer bags to eat as needed.

Yield: 12 muffins
Serving size: 1 muffin

Amount Per Serving
Calories 164.6
Calories From Fat (23%) 37.6
Total Fat 4.41g 7%
Saturated Fat 0.4g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 276.77mg 12%
Potassium 350.17mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 29.08g 10%
Fiber 3.51g 14%
Sugar 8.1g
Protein 4.06g 8%
Vitamin A 1140.22IU 23%
Vitamin C 6.64mg 11%
Calcium 111.54mg 11%
Iron 1.84mg 10%

Broccoli Cheez Soup
Adapted from The Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak

1 large potato, diced
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth or water
2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15.5 oz can
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 cup unsweetened, fortified non-dairy milk

1. Place the potato, carrot, onion, and vegetable broth in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place the broccoli florets in a steamer basket and line a pot with water.  Cover, bring to a boil and steam for about 5 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
3. Place the remaining ingredients (chickpeas through milk) in a blender and add the cooked vegetable mixture along with any remaining broth or water.  Puree until completely smooth.  Pour the blended mixture into a clean soup pot.  Stir in the steamed broccoli florets and warm the soup over low heat until hot.  Do not boil.  If the soup is too thick, add some additional milk or broth to achieve the desired consistency.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Serve warm.

Servings: 5
Serving size: 1 cup

Amount Per Serving
Calories 260.13
Calories From Fat (27%) 70.13
Total Fat 8.08g 12%
Saturated Fat 0.87g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 742.84mg 31%
Potassium 505.68mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 36.53g 12%
Fiber 9.35g 37%
Sugar 2.27g
Protein 14.36g 29%
Vitamin A 3673.92IU 73%
Vitamin C 42.05mg 70%
Calcium 92.64mg 9%
Iron 2.48mg 14%

The feedback on the recipes was generally good – the class LOVED the muffins.  Some people thought the soup was a little too nutritional yeasty, but what can I say?  I love me some nutritional yeast.

I’ve got one more post up my sleeve relating to Bauman, and then you won’t hear me talk about it any more!

Comments (10)

Vegan Weekends (or, The Post of Many Pictures)

Against my predictions, June was just as crazy for me as May, if not a bit crazier.  Almost every day of every weekend was booked, and then some.  So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to for the last five weekends…

The first weekend of June we had some friends join in on our tailgating for an A’s game and bf and I kind of went all out.  BF has been interested lately in making our own buns for hamburgers, which translates into ME making our own buns for hamburgers.  I had seen some loaves of Easy French Bread from La Dolce Vegan floating around the blog world, so I made some buns using that recipe.

I forgot to add the sesame seeds until after the second rise, and in adding them and trying to make sure they didn’t fall off I basically pressed all the rise out of the buns, so they were a little flatter then I wanted.  They tasted good though, and were definitely sturdy enough to stand up to burgers.

I don’t know what got in to me, but I had a mad desire to make Ramen Slaw, which is a dish commonly found at southern pot lucks and the like.  I found and followed a recipe online, but for the life of me I can’t find it again.  I’ll post up the link when I get home.

Ramen slaw, up close and personal.

Post-almond topping.

Here’s my plate:  veggie burger on homemade bun, grilled corn that I accidentally set on fire (like for real, flaming husks and all) and ramen slaw.  I went back for seconds on the slaw, so good.

It was bf’s cousin’s birthday, so I made dessert too.  I had a hard time deciding but in the end wound up trying the Black Bottom Blondies from My Sweet Vegan.

The look innocent enough from the top…

Bonus chocolate layer!  These were tasty enough, but honestly I didn’t like the texture.  It was kind of gummy and dense.  I’m thinking I may have overbeaten the batter, but the instructions say to beat it!

The next Saturday I was invited to a picnic at Tilden Park to celebrate the marriage of my friends Becca and Steve.  They got married in New York, so this was a nice was for us to get together.  I was completely blanking on a good picnic food to bring, so I asked Becca and she suggested the ranch dressing that she had at my house once.  Easy enough!

The food was good and simple, perfect for a picnic.  First plate:  veggie burger, chips & hummus, veggies & ranch.

Second plate:  fruit salad, pasta salad, tofu and tomatoes and more cucumbers.

Third plate, just because the roasted red peppers and grilled zucchini were done.

Lucky for all of us, Melisser of Sugar Beet Sweets made cupcakes!

Gluten free strawberry shortcake and peanut butter cup.

La la lemon and chocoate chocoalte.  I had a lemon and a pb cup.  Oink oink!  You can’t only have one of Melisser’s cupcakes.

Tilden Park is kind of amazing in an it’s-huge-and-you-will-get-lost kind of way.  There is a great old style carousel, and after lunch a group of us decided to act like children and go on it.  There are all sorts of beautiful, detailed animals.

Deer, zebra and kitty.

Lion, rooster, frog and horse.  There was also a dog and a panda and lord knows what else.  I chose the frog.  Becca didn’t want to ride because of motion sickness, so she tried to snap pictures of us.

My head is on the left above the rooster head.  Good times!

The next day I drove down to Santa Cruz to meet the NorCal PPK crew at Amey’s house for a potluck.  This was a vegan potluck of a magnitude never achieved before, and quite possibly never matched again.  Here’s the table when I got there, and food seemed to flow in continuously afterwards too.

Overflow area:

My contributions were a layered salad bar-style salad with iceberg, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, red and green bell peppers, carrots, peas, red onions, seitan pepperoni, bacos, sunflower seeds, croutons and choice of ranch or balsamic vinaigrette.

And Fatfree Vegan’s Southern-Style Banana Pudding.  This was a big hit – really delicious and very easy to make.  I used EcoPlanet vanilla cookies because they were all I could find, and it worked well.

Obviously, I had to try a little of everything.  Plate 1:  empanada, mini bagel with herb spread, pirogi with caramelized onions, crackers with walnut miso dip, bread with yellow pepper dip, a spring roll with garlic scapes and mandarins and other crazy stuff, and grilled tofu on baguette with some sort of delicious spread.

Plate 2: pasta salad, salad with ranch, chips and guacamole,

I was stuffed at this point and put off dessert as long as I could stand, but it all looked so good!  Some more non-dessert arrived in the meantime, so that’s why there’s green on my mostly-dessert plate:  brussels sprouts with pistachios, braised peach and fig salad, swedish cinnamon roll, raspberries, key lime pie with white chocolate mousse, rice krispy treat, apple coffee cake and banana pudding.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Melisser made a ridiculous dessert.  If I remember correctly it was pie crust, cookie dough, cake AND meringue.  Here she is torching the meringue.

Inside shot.

Group shot!

There were SEVEN doggies at the potluck (three of which were Amey’s), and surprisingly enough I liked them all!  All the doggie owners tried to wrangle them in for a picture.

Here’s the ever-popular Strummer, sunning herself on Megan’s lap.

Our gracious host Amey with Snoopy the cutie-pie.

And my favorite pittbull, Fiona.

After pigging out we all sat around and chatted for a while, then Megan, Melisser, her husband Ryan and I went to downtown Santa Cruz to walk around and check out some shops, so at least I worked off a FEW calories.  Check out Amey’s blog post here, she has more detailed pictures of most of the food.

The next weekend we went to Vegas!  BF’s sister is graduating from her master’s program and wanted to get together to celebrate so a group of 13 of us went, mostly bf’s family and his sister’s boyfriend’s family.  Whew.  We scored an amazing rate at Paris, and really enjoyed staying there.  It’s a comfortable hotel, and the kind of place you wouldn’t really have to leave the whole weekend if you didn’t want to.

We got in late afternoon on Friday, settled in, and ate at a cafe in Paris that really isn’t worth writing about, except for the fact that I got a whole bottle of wine for $8 when most of their single glasses are more than that.

HERE is what Vegas means to me.

Ronald’s Donuts, my friends.  The donuts are out of this world good, they have soy milk for coffee, and I will happily make myself sick eating their apple fritters.  Here I am, slightly hungover and unshowered, in apple fritter heaven.

We had plans for dinner but needed to have a late lunch somewhere, because one cannot exist on apple fritters alone.  Enter Le Burger Brasserie in Paris.  I took a chance that this place would have something I could eat, and I won!  Upon inquiring of the waiter if their veggie burger had any dairy or eggs, he cringed and said “Yeah, I think it does…it has mushrooms, grains, vegan cheese…Wait!  Vegan cheese has no dairy!” and checked with the kitchen to be completely sure.

This was a good, good veggie burger.  The patties are made in-house, and are at least an inch thick and very tasty.  It comes with two topping, but I added one and chose portobello, avocado and caramelized onions.  Seriously, this was one of the best veggie burgers I have ever had and I’d recommend Le Burger Brasserie over the meal I had at Burger Bar easily.

The one caveat about this place is that it’s not cheap.  The burgers don’t come with fries, you have to order them separately.  But I would recommend that you do.

Because their fries are really good, despite the blurry image.  They have steak fries, shoestring fries AND waffle fries and you can get a three fry sampler if you want.

Sometimes when the waiter forgets to ask whether you want an orange or lemon slice with your Widmer and they bring you both, you put them both in.  It’s Vegas, you gotta get a little crazy!

Dinner that night was at The Wynn Buffet, where the lighting apparently does horrible things to my pictures.  Like last time I visited, I didn’t get to check that anything was vegan, but when in doubt went the cautious route.  So don’t take my word for it on this stuff…

Plate 1:  salad with vinaigrette, asparagus and pea salad, strawberries, dried fruit, marinated artichoke, pickles and a little piece of bread.

Plate 2:  pita with hummus and baba ganoush, rice pilaf, curried chickpeas.

Plate 3:  Asian slaw, spicy cucumbers with citrus, sushi, seaweed salad, and the most amazing miso udon which I tried to replicate after the last time I had it but didn’t really come close.

I also had a few bites of sorbet for dessert, but it was nothing picture worthy.  For the life of me I can’t remember where or if we had lunch the next day.  Maybe I just ate a bunch of donuts?

For dinner, we had a date with Hoffbrauhaus, a full-on German-style restaurant like in Beer Fest.  You sit at a long table with other parties, there is a band with an accordion on stage, and the waitresses can carry multiple mugs of beer in one hand.  Look at this perfect pour!

The menu includes two vegetarian entrees, but they’re both laden with cheese or cream, so I asked about a few side dishes and ended up getting three.

Yummy pretzel with sweet mustard.

Cucumber salad, which was good but not worth the $7 it costed.

Red cabbage.  The flavor was good, but they somehow managed to make the cabbage HEAVY.  I couldn’t even finish this small bowl.

I would recommend the Hoffbrauhaus if you’re into that sort of thing, but warn that it is not really within walking distance of the strip.  It may look like it is on a map, but please take a cab!

After dinner we went to Cirque du Soleil Mystere at TI.  It was quite a show, but overall I think I liked La Nouba in Orlando better.  Not that Mystere was bad, it just wasn’t better than La Nouba.  It was also really expensive; our discount tickets were more than I really wanted to pay, but I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity.

That was it for us in Vegas, but on the way out of town we stopped off at Ronald’s again.  I had asked around in the Bay Area to see if anyone wanted donuts brought back and had a large response.  So I bought ten half dozens, which didn’t include the donuts I bought for the ride home, or the donuts that the sweet people at Ronald’s GAVE to me!  Here are the donuts I distributed, with my pepper grinder for size reference (and bonus grease spots).

The next weekend, in addition to going to two baseball games, I baked a donation for the San Francisco Worldwide Vegan Bakesale.

These are Chocolate Chip-Raspberry Blondies from Vegan With A Vengeance, but made with Blackberries instead.  They are super-duper good and I can’t believe I waited this long to try them!  I did have a tricky time getting the blackberry filling to work, it kind of seized up and got stringy.  The recipe calls for tapioca powder and I used tapioca flour because I thought they were the same thing.  Anyone know if they’re the same thing?  I added some extra water to the filling and despite being really sticky, it worked out.

Seeing as SF is not a short trip exactly, and I had a hard time getting going that morning, I was a few hours late for the bakesale.  They had already sold out of a lot of items, but had enough to keep going.

We did really well with foot traffic due to our fantasitc location in front of Ike’s.  Ike’s has pretty much the best sandwiches ever (with extensive vegan options), so of course I had to get one.  I really wanted the Paul Reubens special but they had run out of Tofurkey, so I had a “Not So Sloppy” – meatballs and bbq sauce.

So friggin’ good!  And if you order a vegan sandwich they give you a vegan lollipop.

The bakesale was a HUGE success.  Between the two days and locations they raised $3,000 dollars.  Three thousand!  The proceeds were split between Animal Place and East Bay Animal Advocates.  I feel proud to have been a small part of such a great event.  Thanks to Melisser and Laura for organizing!

That brings us to this past weekend, which was the Fourth of July.  We kept it small and just went to a friend’s house to grill, hang out and play board games.  I decided to make a fancy grilled portobello sandwich, and started by marinating some big mushrooms according to this recipe.

During the veggie grilling session (after the grill had been cleaned of any remaining meats) we cooked the portobellos along with pattypan squash and corn.

I served the mushrooms on storebought ciabatta with lettuce, caramelized onions and avocado-horseradish sauce.  Delightful!  The portobellos weren’t the best I’ve ever made, but I think that had more to do with me cooking them over high heat for a few minutes too long than it did with the recipe.

In keeping with my one year tradition of making a red, white and blue dessert, I put together a trifle.  The layers are lemon pound cake from Veganomicon, strawberries, blueberries and coconut whipped cream.  I was going to do a simple silken tofu whipped cream but couldn’t find silken tofu anywhere, so I bought two cans of coconut milk, remembering that I had read somewhere that you could whip it into cream.  I followed the technique of this recipe, using all the cream from the tops of both cans (about 1 1/2 cups), 6 Tbs powdered sugar, 4 Tbs soy milk powder, 1 tsp almond extract, and a pinch of salt.  It did whip up and turned out nicely.

While I was carefully layering the trifle, bf asked me “Why are you arranging it so carefully if you’re just going to cover it up?”.  Well, this is why:

Trifle’s are supposed to look pretty from the side!

And from the top.  It tasted really good too.  There were lots of flavors going on between the vanilla and lemon in the pound cake, the coconut and almond in the cream and the berries, but it came together well and the pound cake had the perfect squishy consistency.

Lastly, here is how Jake likes to spend his time while I’m out galavanting and running around.

Comments (16)