Monthly Archives: June 2008

Brownies By Request

Brownies

I am blessed to have class and two jobs. Why, you ask? Because it gives me the excuse to bake a batch of brownies and I don’t feel guilty for eating the whole pan. I can take goodies to either job or to my class itself, and I come home with a pan like this. Which is the way I like it, as long as I am sure to get a piece right away too.

I’ve made these brownies before for my classmates, so when I was looking for ideas of what to bring to this particular class, they requested these brownies.

To make them, I use Bob’s Red Mill Brownie Mix, with vegetable oil in place of the butter and Ener-G egg replacer in place of the eggs, of course. The package recommends adding 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I prefer to add at least 1/2 cup, making these brownies extra-moist and gooey (I always make sure to buy the non-dairy, fair trade chocolate chips in the natural section!). I bake them for 20-25 minutes at 350, and they are perfect. And apparently others agree.

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Chili Spaghetti

Chili Spaghetti

That’s right, you heard me. I was feeling a bit bold the other night and said, “You know what? Why does spaghetti always have to be Italian? Why not top it with something other than spaghetti sauce? Hey, chili is tomato-based too! Why not top spaghetti with chili?”

Ok, actually I got the idea from somewhere on this here Internets, and I thought it sounded tasty. Another amazingly simple recipe that really doesn’t even need to be a recipe.

Chili Spaghetti
6 to 8 servings

1 carton tomato soup (I use Pacific Foods – no milk!)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes and peppers, drained
1 package of spaghetti pasta
Whatever amount of seasonings you want (I used cilantro, cumin, and a bit of cayenne)

Prepare the spaghetti according to package directions; drain. In a pan (and you want a big one), combine soup, beans, corn, tomatoes/peppers, and seasonings. Heat through and simmer for about 20 minutes. Leave on heat; add in prepared spaghetti. Stir together thoroughly, then remove from heat and serve.

I really liked this with guacamole and sour cream, but that’s what I like with any Mexican-type dish. It was even better leftover the next day!

Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcakes

Last week, I went to a party at a friend’s house and wanted to bring something in addition to my typical chips and dip (which I haven’t featured here yet, but I will!). I decided that desserts are always good, and since I had strawberries on hand, I chose the strawberry cupcake recipe from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s wonderful cookbook, The Joy of Vegan Baking. I followed the recipe perfectly, but they didn’t quite come out looking like the perfect little cupcakes I expected. I used the recipe for buttercream frosting from the same cookbook, and they looked even less like perfect little cupcakes. Even topped with the strawberries – still not. But you know what? They tasted delicious, and people liked them, which is what really matters. And hey, they are kind of cute.

Lentils and Rice

Lentils and RiceThis is a bit of a hodgepodge type of meal, but still delicious and satisfying. I won’t even bother giving a recipe, just basic instructions and what I included. I used brown basmati rice, brown lentils (apparently the only kind of lentils my grocery store carries), baby carrots, tomatoes, green bell pepper, corn, and walnuts. I prepared the rice and lentils, steamed the veggies, then combined and added in the walnuts. I also added a couple spoonfuls of roasted red pepper hummus that I had on hand – that really completed the meal. It also held everything together enough to make eating with chopsticks that much easier!

Chili Potato Casserole

Chili Potato CasseroleI actually can’t remember where this recipe came from. It is most likely a customized version of something I found in Vegan Planet, actually. It’s extremely simple though, and I think it is different enough from the original for me to go ahead and post it. It’s a very satisfying meal. I meant for it to come out more like a casserole than actual chili, and I think it would have been that way had I had more potatoes.

Remember: super-easy recipe!

Chili Potato Casserole
6 to 8 servings

1 carton tomato soup (I use Pacific Foods kind – no milk!)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes and peppers, drained
1 can corn, drained
2 lbs potatoes (or more if you want it a bit thicker), cut up, boiled and drained
Sprinklings of cayenne and cumin, whatever amounts you prefer
Guacamole, sour cream, other toppings as desired

Be sure you use a big cooking pot for this meal! Add the tomato soup, beans, tomatoes/peppers, corn, and seasonings to your prepared potatoes. Simmer on stovetop for 20-30 minutes, until heated through. Put into bowls (or onto dishes, if yours is more casserole-y than mine) and top with guacamole and sour cream.

I told you it was easy!

Tofu Sandwich

Tofu Sandwich I decided to branch out a bit from tofu stir-fries, and I came up with this faux-chicken-esque sandwich. All I did to create this was freeze/drain/press the firm tofu (my typical preparation) then cut the block of tofu so that it forms two patties (basically, stand it on end and cut it down the middle). I then breaded it with my breading recipe and fried it for a bit in a frying pan with a bit of oil. It turned out really tasty, although my frying method was not the best – it smoked up the kitchen a little too much for my taste. Also, it was difficult to get the breading to stick to the tofu, since it had been pressed, but pressing really is necessary to get the right texture. So I’m at a bit of a loss there. I will probably try this again. This top picture isn’t the greatest, so here is another shot of the meal itself (sandwich, asparagus, zucchini):

Tofu Sandwich

Better Tofu Stir Fry

Another attempt at a tofu stir fry!

Stir Fry

(linked from Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marleah/2567631995/)

This time I didn’t marinate the tofu in anything, just prepped it like I usually do (freeze it overnight, thaw it, and press it). Then I breaded it and baked it before I added it to the stir fry, and it was pretty tasty! It was much plainer than the over-salted Bragg’s tofu, but I liked it more. Besides the tofu, I used zucchini, peas, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, carrot, and rice noodles in the stir fry. And I made it in my new electric wok I found for $3 at a garage sale!

Extremely Vague Breading Recipe:

1/4 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
a couple dashes of cayenne (maybe 1/4 tsp?)
a couple dashes of salt
a couple dashes of pepper

Be sure your tofu still has some moisture so that it can hold onto the breading!