Friday, October 29, 2010

Give the Delivery Guy the Night Off

General Tso's Tofu

This is probably the most complex recipe that I make and I only make it once every couple of years.  It's not low fat or low carb but I'm sure it's a lot better for you than any General Tso's Tofu/Chicken you would get at a Chinese food restaurant. You control how much oil and corn starch you want to use. If you don't mind the tofu being less crispy you can cut back on the corn starch. I like this dish with wild or brown rice.

To make the Tofu
1 package of Lite Firm Tofu (any kind of firm tofu will do)
1 egg replacer (Ener-G (preferred) or flax powder)
Canola Oil for pan frying (any kind of oil that doesn't have a strong flavor will do)
3/4 cup corn starch
  • Drain the tofu. To make tofu "meatier" you can drain the package of tofu and leave it in your refrigerator uncovered overnight. 
  • Mix the egg replacer powder with approximately 1/4 cup of water in a medium bowl.
  • Cut the tofu into chunks and toss it in the egg replacer mix. 
  • Coat the tofu (covered in the egg replacer mix) with the corn starch.
  • Heat up some oil in a pan and fry the tofu until it is golden brown.
  • Set aside…

To make the Sauce
3 tbsp Canola Oil (again, any kind of oil that doesn't have a strong flavor will do)
3 cups of chopped onions
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp powdered ginger
½ vegetable bullion cube
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white/apple cider/rice vinegar
1 tbsp corn starch
Optional: add in some peppers if you like it a little spicier

  • Heat oil in a large pan and add onions, garlic, and ginger.
  • Saute for a few minutes and then add in soy sauce, bullion cube, brown sugar, and vinegar.
  • In a small bowl thoroughly mix the corn starch with a tablespoon of water then add to the pan.
  • Keep stirring the sauce mixture until you get a thicker consistency.
  • Add the tofu that you fried up earlier to the sauce and mix thoroughly.
Serve it up and Enjoy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ZOMG!!!1! Chocolate Chip Cookies

Seriously, who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies? I mean really. Every day in my brain chocolate chip cookies go head to head with chocolate covered berries for the title of My Favorite Dessert.

Over the course of about 5 years and many hours in the kitchen I am at the point where I can make a chocolate chip cookie that I think is 95% perfect. They are one of the handful of desserts that I make best. Now, I don't know if that 100% perfect cookie is really a unicorn but I will always look for it.

Enough bragging about my mad chocolate chip cookie baking skills. How do you make an awesome vegan chocolate chip cookie? In my opinion, eggs are completely superfluous in 99% of baked goods. Again, instead of butter you can use oil to make a very dense rich cookie, vegan margarine for a more traditional taste, or applesauce for a more cake like cookie. I use oil for the most part but when I'm making low fat cookies I substitute a good part of the oil with applesauce. Some people actually prefer this version.

As for vegan chocolate chips, my personal favorite are the Whole Foods Vegan Chocolate Chips. Enjoy Life also has great chocolate chips. The debate rages on as to whether processed sugar is vegan or not. (For those who don't know, animal bone char is used to process sugar.) If you're on the side of the debate that says processed sugar is vegan, Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips have no dairy but they do have processed sugar. I have also found some store brand semi-sweet chocolate chips that are made with processed sugar but no dairy. If you want to make chocolate chunk cookies, there are so many options for vegan chocolate, just check your local store and you will find one for sure.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Vegan brownies are just as easy as non-vegan brownies. Take your favorite brownie recipe and simply replace your eggs with approximately 2 tablespoons of water per egg and your butter with oil or applesauce (or vegan margarine). Oil will make your brownies more dense and chewy while applesauce will make your brownies more cake-like. You can also mix some combination of oil and applesauce. Conversion amounts are direct, ie. if your recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter, use half a cup of oil, applesauce, or margarine.

I <3 raspberries and chocolate so I added just raspberry syrup to my brownie.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Laughing:Sketches AS Snicker:doodles

How many things say Fall more than Cinnamon? Not many. So what a perfect time to make Snickerdoodles!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Breakfast Wrap

This is one of my favorite quick breakfast meals and it's incredibly easy to make.

Wrap or whole grain bread (I use Flax Roll-ups)
Soy/rice/tofu cheese or cream cheese
Almond or walnut pieces/slivers

Salt and Pepper
Nutritional Yeast (optional)
Flax seeds (optional)

Lay your wrap out flat. If you are using "cheese", place the cheese on the wrap and either microwave or lightly toast until cheese is melted. If you use "cream cheese" I think it tastes nicer as a cold wrap. Slice up some avocado, I usually put about 1/5 or 1/4 of a medium avocado sliced in my wraps. Sprinkle some nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast and salt/pepper to taste. Roll up your wrap like you would a burrito and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nutty Mac

I've been working on making this recipe low fat but high on nutrition for about a year now. I think I finally got it.

1 1/2 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
1/2 cup light soy milk
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp tahini
1 tsp tomato paste
2/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp flour (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

The ingredients in the order that they should be added to the pot which should be on low heat. Stir each ingredient in until it is well incorporated. Stir until the sauce thickens and then add in whole wheat or quinoa pasta for a nutritious delicious dish.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Creamy Avocado Dip

This is a quick and easy avocado dip that can be paired with a toasted whole wheat pita as a healthy snack or as a sandwich/wrap spread.

1 Ripe Avocado, peeled
2 oz Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put the avocado in a food processor if you have one, if not you can mash by hand. Mix in vegan cheese. Then mix in garlic, salt and pepper. Place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Mix and eat!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fat Free Low Sugar Brownies

From what I understand I'm not the only vegan with a sweet tooth. I also have a dysfunctional thyroid and have to watch what I eat really carefully. If you like stevia then you're set for life, but I don't. So, from time to time I try to come up with a recipe that satisfies my sweet tooth/chocolate cravings that won't break the calorie bank.

Fat Free Low Sugar Brownies
1 cup of unbleached flour
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of agave nectar* (add more if desired)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbesp soy yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

This makes a very cakey brownie. If you like more dense brownies, try adding another 1/4 cup of applesauce. Another option is to add the full container of soy yogurt, but keep in mind that even soy yogurts are chocked full of sugar.
*Option: If you don't have Agave, replace with your vegan sugar but add a little bit of liquid. Soy milk, water, or more applesauce will work.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt). Mix wet ingredients in another bowl (agave nectar, applesauce, soy yogurt, vanilla extract, and almond extract). Combine the mixtures.

3. Pour batter into a pan (I used a 9" x 9" dark pan).

4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how fudgy or cakey you like your brownies.

The ENTIRE batch has somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 calories so it should be about 80 calories per brownie depending on how you cut them.

Please note, these definitely do not taste like full fat, full sugar brownies but they take care of that chocolate cakey fix you're craving. You could even eat two and not blow your diet!

Makes: 12 to 16 servings, Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 10 to 15 minutes

Friday, October 1, 2010

Totally Sweet Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

Desserts don't come easier than this. Every time that I've made this I've gotten rave reviews. You can't go wrong. Note: Prep time is minimal but it needs to sit in the fridge for a while. 

Also, I don't have pictures of the mousse in pie format but I do have a picture of the same mousse on top of a chocolate cake. I haven't included the cake recipe because is long and complicated. You need a springform pan and the mousse has to stand on top of the cake without the confines of a shell.

12oz of silken tofu
12 oz natural peanut butter (If you use sugary pb you might want to cut back on the powdered sugar)
6 oz vegan powdered sugar
1 ½  tsp vanilla
1 pre-cooked pie crust (store bought is easiest)

If you have a large blender, combine tofu, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla right into the blender and puree. If your blender is small you might want to mix it in a big bowl before pouring it slowly into the blender.

This is a good point to taste the mousse and add more peanut butter or sugar if you like. Pour the mousse in the pre-made pie crust and refrigerate for as long as possible.

Yep, that’s it!

*Easiest: Scatter chocolate chips on the top.
*Not that hard: Shave baking chocolate or a dark chocolate bar on the top with a potato peeler or grater.
*Takes a little more effort: Melt chocolate and pour a layer in the pie crust. Refrigerate until hard and then pour mousse on top.

Vegan Pizza

Having grown up in the suburbs of NYC, giving up pizza was hands down the toughest part of becoming vegan. Now that Daiya cheese has hit the market and is growing more widespread every day, I no longer miss pizza cause I make my own...and it's super easy. Here's my totally sweet vegan pizza recipe...

(note: the crust has a long standing time. ie. start early)

Pizza Crust
1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated vegan sugar
2 tbsp warm water
2 tsp olive oil
1 c flour (I use 1/2 c whole wheat or quinoa and 1/2 all purpose unbleached)
(optional: corn meal)

In a big bowl mix the yeast with the 1/4 cup warm water. Set aside for a few minutes. In a small bowl mix the salt, sugar, and 2 tbsp warm water. Add the salt/sugar mixture and olive oil into the big bowl. Stir to combine as well as possible. Add in flour and knead. If all of the flour isn't sticking you may need to add more water. A little water goes a long way. Cover the bowl with a wet dish towel or piece of saran wrap. Let stand for about an hour.

Once dough has risen, roll out on a flat surface. Turn up the edges to make a crust.
*Best option: Use a rolling pin on a rolling mat or pizza paddle. Sprinkle corn meal on the mat before rolling. 
*GTFOH, I don't have fancy schmancy equipment option: Use your counter (clean it first), cover the dough with wax paper or saran wrap and roll with a bottle or can of anything (non-toxic) in your kitchen. Sprinkle extra flour on the counter before rolling.

Now the easy part...
*Optional: brush the crust with olive oil.
*Spread some of your favorite tomato sauce onto the rolled out dough.
*Cover the sauce with your favorite soy or rice cheese. IMHO, Daiya (see below) makes the best cheese for pizza.
 *Add your favorite topping. I like fresh basil personally.

I have a pizza stone which I cook my pizza on, however, I'm sure you can put it on a cookie sheet or maybe even directly into your oven.  Set your oven to 375 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes. Watch it after a few minutes the first time you make it as every oven cooks differently.

Slide it out of the oven carefully and cut. A pizza cutter (pictured below) is best but a sharp knife will do the trick in a pinch.

On Daiya: You can buy it online or in stores at Whole Foods or Wild by Nature. There are probably other local supermarkets or health food stores that you can buy Daiya at.