Sunday, 20 November 2011

Will Run For Holly Nog


The clouds parted, the sun shone down and it's possible that angels were singing (or maybe that was just the Santa Clause parade that I heard).  There it was.  In all of its glory. Holly Nog.  

I had 5 dozen cookies to bake.  I'm fairly confident that I must have been drinking and possibly eating ice-cream cake when I thought that a cookie exchange would be a good idea.  Cookie exchanges don't always turn out well.

Dear Friends,

A cookie exchange is not a great time to experiment with vegan, no fat, no sugar, no taste cookies.

Love,
T.

With that advice in mind I decided on Coconut Holly Nog Sugar Cookies.  These cookies look pretty plain but they are packed with flavour and are excellent for dipping!  I also decided on chocolate ginger chunk but I'll save that for another day.

Coconut Holly Nog Sugar Cookies
(36 cookies)

ingredients
1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1C wholewheat pastry flour
2 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp cardamom 
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C +2 Tblsp Earth Balance (butter or margarine work as well)
1/3 cup turbino sugar
1/4 C Holly Nog (Vitasoy brand)
1/2C grated unsweetened coconut
4 Tbsp turbino sugar ( optional for rolling cookies)
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Place baking stone in the oven so that it can preheat as well.
In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, spices and coconut and set aside.  In a medium bowl cream Earth Balance , sugar & Holly Nog (it will look a little curdled).  Add flour mixture to wet ingredients.
I opted not to roll the cookies in sugar but if you wanted them to look a little less plain I would suggest doing so.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.   Place several inches apart on baking sheet.  Use the tines of a fork or the bottom of a glass to flatten cookies.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden.  Allow cookies to sit for about 5 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.

Too much nog!


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Will Run For Tofu & Noodles


I blame A.  I blame her for a lot of things: hair in the bathroom, chocolate bar wrappers in the garbage, drinking the last glass of soy milk, etc.  I especially blame her for my newfound love for tofu.  She claims that it tastes just like bacon.  I agree.  Well, sort of.  It tastes just like bacon if you haven't eaten bacon in 13 years or maybe it tastes like bacon if just don't have any taste buds left.  I ate tofu (cold) for breakfast today.  I ate tofu for lunch.  Oh, and I ate some more tofu for supper.  It may not taste like bacon but it is salty, smoky and delicious.  It might almost be time for an intervention.

Here is one variation of tofu and noodles (there are about 3 weeks worth of variations)

Marinated Tofu

ingredients 

1 350g block of extra firm tofu 
1/2 C of Bragg
2 Tbsp Tamari 
1/8-1/4 tsp chipotle powder

Thinly slice tofu.  This is key unless of course you likely your tofu to jiggle. 


It gets better I swear!

In a shallow baking dish combine Bragg, Tamari & chipotle powder.  Let your tofu sit for approximately 5 minutes of each side.  Drain marinade and reserve for the noodles.  Warm 1 tsp of olive oil in a skillet.  Fry tofu until dark to golden brown on each side.  This takes about 10 minutes in total.  The technical term for this stage is "cooking the snot out of your tofu".  This will ensure that your tofu is crispy on the outside and firm on the inside.

The noodle dish is really a throw all of your favourite vegetables into a skillet with reserved tofu marinade and wait for good things to happen. 

Noodles

ingredients

bok choi (or baby book choi) (2-4 cups)
purple cabbage (1/2-1 cup)
carrots (1-2 medium)
broccoli (2-3 cups)
reserved tofu marinade
udon noodles (a package)
olive oil (1 tsp)

Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in large skillet.  Stir fry vegetables according to their cooking times.  Eg. purple cabbage, broccoli & carrots first (mushroom & onions if using). 

vegetables that take the longest to cook
Use reserved tofu marinade to steam vegetables.  You want the vegetables to be slightly crunchy or at least I do.  Add udon noodles.  Cook until noodles are sticking to the bottom of the pan and smell slightly burnt (about 5 minutes).  Add bok choi or other greens.  Cook until green are slightly softened.   Serve with tofu and a sweet dipping sauce (e.g. maple syrup, plum sauce, etc.).

add your greens


* I also love to use brussel sprouts that are finely chopped, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, & kale.  Rice noodles and soba noodles are also really delicious.

party in a bowl


Yum.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Will Run For Mushroom Soup



As a child I loved Campbell's condensed mushroom soup.  It was an especially good day if your pork chops were baked in the oven with mushroom soup as opposed to the usual salt & pepper in the cast iron frying pan.  Things have changed a little since then.  Now, I don't eat anything with a face or a mother even if it is slathered with mushroom soup.

Mixed Mushroom Soup
(serves 4-6)

ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 portabella mushrooms thinly sliced soaked in 5 cups of warm water (reserve water for soup)
2 cups of crimini mushrooms thinly sliced
0.5 ounces of dried mixed mushrooms (I used a prepackaged mix of porcini, chanterelle, shiitake, portabella & oyster)
2 cooking onions chopped
3 cloves of local garlic roughly chopped
1/6-1/4 C of Bragg liquid soy seasoning (don't substitute soy sauce)
1/4 tsp chipotle chili pepper powder

Place dried mushrooms in 5 cups of warm water.  Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.  Drain, reserving liquid.

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add fresh rosemary and thyme.  Heat until herbs are fragrant (1-2 minutes).  Add two chopped cooking onions.  Cook until onions are lightly golden.  Add thinly sliced crimini and portabella mushrooms and cook for 5-10 minutes or until mushrooms are soft.  Add dried mushrooms.

Add 3 Tbsp unbleached flour and stir for approximately 1 minute.  Stir in 1/4 C of Bragg (or less depending on the level of saltiness you prefer), water and chipotle chilli pepper powder.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until soup has thickened.  You can either  serve with a sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme or blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached.



Will Run For Snog (or Soy Nog) Lattes

snog


Christmas (or Winter Solstice) is coming,
the goose is getting fat,
stick a feather in the old man's hat...

There will be no goose at Christmas dinner but that doesn't stop me from singing the song for weeks before and after the holiday.  Those birds are scary!  Especially when PB quacks at them as we waddle by and they decide that they want to hiss and waddle towards us.

Christmas is coming which means that Soy Nog is also coming!  If you aren't into raw eggs in a carton but you love nutmeg, cinnamon & cloves (and rum) you just might like a snog latte or a cup o' snog or maybe just some snogging. 

Snog Latte
(serves 2)

ingredients

1 cup of unsweetened soy milk (use coconut milk if you are looking for a more decadent drink)
1 cup strong coffee
1/8 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8-1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
buckwheat honey (optional)
turbinado sugar (optional)
spiced rum (optional)

Place milk and spices in a large mason jar and heat in the microwave until the mixture is hot and steamy (alternatively heat on the stove top ensuring that the mixture does not come to a boil).  After ensuring that the lid is on securely (hot and steamy disaster otherwise!) shake your mason jar until your milk is frothy.

  Alternatively, you can place hot and steamy milk in a blender assuming of course that you didn't forget a spoon in your blender the last time you used it fusing both pieces of your blender together so that it is no longer functional.

Divide coffee between two medium sized mason jars or two regular mugs.  Divide milk and foam.

coffee + soynog


  Top with buckwheat honey and cinnamon and/or nutmeg.  Alternatively, you can coat the rim of your jars or mugs with a mixture of turbinado sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Enjoy.

cofee + soynog= snog



sugar + spice rim




If you are really lucky (and I am) your Granny will make you a cup sleeve cup sleeve for your jar. 

* freshy grated spices can be a little gritty so you may want to strain your drinks if you aren't into that.