Thursday, December 15, 2011

Peanut Butter Blondies

by IsaChandra

3/4 cup no stir peanut butter
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 unsweetened almond milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup peanuts

Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly grease a metal 8 x 8-inch baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together peanut butter, oil and sugar. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder. Once you get the flour somewhat mixed in, its easier to just use your hands to knead the dough until soft. It will be very very thick and wont spread on its own. Transfer dough to the baking pan and press it into place. Sprinkle on the peanuts and lightly press them into the top.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, the Blondie edges should be just barely darkened. The top will appear soft, and thats okay. Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing into 12 squares.

*If you can't find No Stir Peanut Butter you can use normal just make sure to stir the peanut butter a lot to get the oil incorporated in.

I also added about a handful of chocolate chips into the batter and pressed some on top, to make it more like a PB cup

Sunday, December 4, 2011

{Salted} Caramel Pecan Bars

Makes 16 big, gooey bars


For the Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
A big pinch of salt
3/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, slightly softened

For the Pecan Topping
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup nondairy milk
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons melted non-hydrogenated margarine
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/ 4 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13x2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure the foil completely covers the sides of the pan, with about 2 inches folded outside over the edges. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan generously with nonstick cooking spray.

Prepare the Crust
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry cutter or two knives held together to cut in the margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into the prepared baking pan and press down evenly and very firmly, making sure to press the mixture all the way to the edges of the pan. Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes until firm and very lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside.

Prepare the Topping
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and nondairy milk until foamy. Stir in the dark brown sugar, brown rice syrup, melted margarine, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Fold in the pecans and pour the mixture onto the crust, using a spatula to spread the topping evenly.

4. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until the filling is rapidly bubbling. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, then move it to the refrigerator to finish cooling and setting. Chill for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight.

5. To slice completely cooled bars, grab a hold of the foil and carefully lift the whole thing out of the pan and onto a heavy cutting board. Peel away the foil and cut bars with a heavy, sharp knife.


Salted Caramel Pecan Bars: Right after the bars are out of the oven and the topping is still hot, sprinkle the surface very sparingly with your favorite coarse-grained gourmet salt. Cool and slice as directed.

From the book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar

2/3 cup well mashed banana
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/4 cup non dairy milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry floor
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) or rolled oats
1 cup pecan or walnut halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine banana, flax seeds and almond milk and mix until smooth. Mix in the oil, brown rice syrup, agave nectar and vanilla. Sift in flours, xanthan gum, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and mix to form a moist batter. Fold in the oats, pecans and dried cranberries. The dough will be moist yet thick and sticky.

3. Drop scant ¼ cups of dough onto baking sheets. Use the back of a large measuring cup to press down cookies to about a one-inch thickness.

4. Bake the cookies for 14 to 16 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Store loosely covered as these cookies get rather soft if stored tightly covered.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vegan at the Cheesecake Factory

Dear Ms. Perlman:

Thank you for your interest in The Cheesecake Factory. On our new SkinnyLicious menu we have our Fresh Vegetable Platter which is vegan. Also, many of our dishes can be modified to be made without animal products. Here are some suggestions:

· Evelyn’s Favorite Pasta with no cheese

· Thai Lettuce Wraps with no chicken

· Veggie Burger – no bun (there is dairy in the bun), cheese or sauces

· Portabella Burger on a Bun – no bun (there is dairy in the bun)

· All salads can be modified to be made without meat, cheese etc and you can get oil & vinegar on the side

· The following dressings do not contain eggs: Chinese, Cilantro, Citrus Vinaigrette, Honey-Mustard, Japanese Vinaigrette, Lime Vinaigrette, Peanut Vinaigrette, Shallot Vinaigrette, Asian Vinaigrette, Sheila’s Vinaigrette.

Special Notes:

· Some of our pastas contain an egg base, including Linguine, Fettucini and Wide. Our Spaghetti, Farfalle, Rigatoni, Capellini, Penne and Angel Hair do not contain an egg base.

· All our bread items contain eggs except the complimentary wheat baguette that we serve at the beginning of your meal.

Please be sure to ask your server or a manager to tour guide you to menu items that meet your dietary needs. All of our servers and managers are very knowledgeable about our menu items. We hope to serve you soon!


Craig Gumm
Guest Services Coordinator

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tamale This Tamale That

Recently my local Borders closed, and I went and picked up a ton of vegan cook books one of them being Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero. She also co-wrote the booksVeganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats. So I was very excited to get this book.
The first thing that my mom and I decided to make were tamales because it ahd been so long since we've had them.
We settles on her Black Bean-Sweet Potato Tamales.
Recipe as followed:

* 24 large dried husks, plus 6 to 8 more for tying the tamales and lining the steamer basket
* 1 pound sweet potatoes ( 2 small to medium-size are better than a large one )
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1/4 tsp salt
* Freshly ground pepper
* 2 Tb olive or peanut oil
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 pound yellow onion, diced
* 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, minced, plus 2 Tb sauce or more to taste
* 1/4 cup vegetable broth or white wine
* 2 cups cooked black beans
* 1 recipe Savory Vegan Masa Dough ( See Below )

1. Soak the corn husks in warm water. When you're ready to assemble the tamales, tear two or three long husks into 1/4 inch wide strips. Keep the strips in water until ready to use.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork, wrap in foil, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to be easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, unwrap, slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, and let cool.
When cool enough to handle, remove the skins, place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl, add the ground cumin, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Use a fork, or potato masher to mash the potatoes to a chunky puree.

3. Prepare the black beans; In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, combine the olive oil and garlic. Allow the garlic to sizzle for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and fry until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chipotles and their sauce and the vegetable broth , stir and simmer for 1 minute. Add the black beans, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed but beans are still moist, about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow beans to cool.

4. For each tamale; Spread a generous 1/4 cup of dough down the center of a pliable soaked corn husk, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches on either end. This will form an oblong shape 4 to 5 inches wide and 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick. Spoon 1 generous Tb of sweet potato down the center of the tamale dough, then top with 1 Tb of black beans.

5. Now grab both edges of the corn husk that are not covered with dough. Bring the edges toward each other and push the sides of the masa dough together to encase the filling. Gently press the tamale to form a firm, solid tube shape. Tightly twist each end of the tamale wrapper ( so it looks a little like a wrapped piece of candy ) and tightly tie each end with a soaked corn-husk strip. Some sauce may leak out of the dough into the interior of the corn husk wrap, but it will not have any effect on the steamed tamales. Repeat with the remaining dough, filling, and husks. When you're finally tired of making tamales, it's time to get the steamer basket ready.

6. To steam the tamales; Remove the steamer basket from the pot. Fill the pot with 2 to 3 inches of water, or whatever level will stay below the steamer basket. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, line the bottom of the steamer basket with some soaked corn husks. Set the tamales, unwrapped end upright, into the steamer basket, first layering them around the sides of the basket and working inward. Top the tamales with any leftover soaked husks, if you have them, place the steamer basket in the pot, and cover.

7. Steam the tamales for at least 55 minutes, up to 1 hour 5 minutes. Check the pot occasionally to make sure the water has not evaporated; add more hot water as needed. Test to see if the tamales are ready by removing a tamale and peeling back some corn husk. Fully cooked tamale dough will be tender but solid, not wet. Remove the entire basket from the pot, place in a dinner plate, and let stand, covered, for at least 15 minutes to cool. Handle the tamales carefully ( tongs are handy ) as they will be hot and steaming.

** Serve these tamales hot with any chile sauce plus beans, rice, or salad, if desired. To serve tamales, you can unwrap them for your guests or let them do the honors.

Savory Vegan Masa Dough

Makes 2 dozen tamales

* 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shorting
* 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
* 3 1/2 cups Mexican masa harina
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 3 cups warm light-colored vegetable stock or "chicken" flavored vegetable stock

1. In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer to cream together the shortening and margarine until creamy and light. If using a stand mixer, be sure to frequently scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Sift in the masa harina, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt then continue to beat for about 3 minutes, until a sandy-looking mixture forms. Pour the vegetable stock into the masa mixture and continue to beat until all the liquid is absorbed and a fluffy dough forms, about 5 minutes.

2. The tamale dough should have a moist but not overly wet consistency, similar to mashed potatoes, and be easily spread with a rubber spatula. If the mixture seems too wet, sprinkle in another Tb or two of masa harina. If too dry, drizzle a Tb of vegetable broth until the desired consistency is reached. Use this dough right away for making tamales.

We only made 9 tamales because of out steamer size.
Because of this we had tons of Masa Dough and Filling left over, so what I did the next day was mix the dough and filling together, added some corn and Daiya vegan cheese mixed it up again and made them into Muffins.
Yes folks I made tamale muffins.
After I mixed all the ingredients I filled muffin tins and baked for 30 minutes at 350F.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I suck

At updating this. I apologize.

Well about a month or so ago, i was wondering around my friends job at B&N when I was on break from my job.
And saw that Isa Chandra Moskowitz had a book called Appetite for Reduction.
I flipped through it and decided I wanted it.
I love her recipes.
So a few days later I went and bought it.

One of the first things I made from it was Chickpea Piccata and OMG it was so good.
So here is the recipe.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 scant cup thinly sliced shallots
6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cur dry white wine
A few pinches freshly ground black pepper
a generous pinch of dried thyme
1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup capers with a little brine
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon
4 cups arugula.

Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Saute the shallotes and garlic for about 5 minutes, util golden. Add the bread crumbs and toast them by stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. The should turn a few shades darker.
Add the vegetable broth, wine, salt, pepper and thyme. Turn up the heat and bring mixture to a rolling boil, and let the sauce reduce by half; it should take about 7 minutes.
Add the Chickpeas and capers and let heat through, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and turn off heat.
Place arugula on the plate and pour the picatta over it. The heat will wilt the arugula.

I made this with a side of mashed cauliflower, broccoli and potato.
So I layered it Arugula, mashed Root Veggies, Picatta

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This recipe came with my pressure cooker when I bought it.
It's one of my favorites.
The flavors are amazing.

1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup diced (1/2 inch) carrot
1/2 cup sliced celery
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp Italian Herb blend divided
6 cups water
1 pound dry white beans, rinsed and picked over ( I used a combination of
navy beans, white and red kidney beans)
1 bay leaf
4 cuts vegetable broth or stock
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 tsp sea salt
1-1/2 cups small macaroni ( used brown rice elbows)

Select Saute and add oil to the cooking pot, heat oil for 3-4 minutes.
When oil is hot add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic and 1 tsp of
the Italian herb blend. Saute stirring for 4-5 minutes, until the onions
are softened and translucent. Add the water, dried beans and bay leaf.
Cover and lock lid in place. Select High pressure and set timer for 35
minutes. allow pressure to release naturally, about 20 minutes.

When the float valve drops turn off. Remove lid. Stir in broth/stock,
tomatoes and there juices, salt and the remaining tsp of Italian herb blend.
Select brown setting, when liquids boil add pasta and cook according to
package directions.
Discard bay leaf before serving.

You can garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Eat and enjoy

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thanksgiving meal

Ok so this is really late but this was my thanksgiving meal.

First roasted vegetables, you can use any you like.
I used:
  1. Broccoli
  2. Carrots.
I roasted the veggies for about an hour with just a little oil and balsamic vinegar.

I made mashed potatoes, celery root, and cauliflower in the pressure cooker with about a half cup to a cup of veggie broth, took about 8 minutes total. After the pressuring is done, I added about a quarter cup of toffuti cream cheese and some plain soy milk to make it creamy. The I seasoned with Salt and Pepper. You can use how ever much of the potatoes, celery root, and cauliflower, you can also add other root veggies to the mix.

Next the roast, the roast I used was the Celebration Roast Field Roast.
What I did was defrost vegan puff pastry, and carmalized onion and garlic.
Then I put the carmalized onion and garlic on the puff pastry then put the roast on it, and wrapped the puff pastry around it.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the puff pastry isn't doughy looking.

The last thing is the stuffing.
I bought a pack of stuffing mix bread crumb, with no flavor.
I mixed that with celery, onion and garlic, cooked down with some veggie broth until soft, then season how you like it.
Plate it all up and eat.

It's been a while

Yea it's been a while since I last updated, but with in the next few days I'll be adding quite a few recipes and a few food reviews, so bear with me