Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Brownies!!!! (and they're kinda good for ya)

When I was a kid, I actually really disliked brownies (and goldfish, graham crackers, animal cookies and peanut butter)-I know!
However, the reason I hated brownies was because they were always too dry- especially if you didn't eat them a nanosecond after they came out of the oven. This of course ensured maximum tongue and hand burning.
When I started cooking on my own, I added chocolate chips to my brownies and loved them.
This recipe is an adapted version of a totally bad for you recipe that throws in some zucchini. Now, eating zucchini seems rather silly to me when you're going to eat 3 cups of sugar and a pound of fat. So, I fixed the recipe and think they're quite delish (as do the unsuspecting people who've raved about them and not mentioned the zucchini!) The chocolate chips and frosting are both optional, but I recommend doing one or the other,

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetnened applesauce
1 cup natural sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 FINELY cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup semi-sweet choc chips

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 cup earth balance
1 cups confectioners' sugar
1/8 cup rice milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch pan
Mix the applesauce, sugar and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, blend the flour, powder, soda and salt.
Add the wet into the dry ingredients, then add the zucchini and chocolate chips. (If the batter seems to dry, add a bit more apple sauce. This dough is thicker than most brownie batters). Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

(IF DESIRED) While the brownies are baking, melt the cocoa powder and earth balance over the stove. In a bowl, blend the sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Stir in the melted chocolate and serve over cooled, but slightly warm brownies.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Baked Potatoes

I'm back from vacation, so there will be a few posts this week.
Poor potatoes, I always underestimate your power to make a delicious meal. They're cheap, healthy, easy to top with anything, thus making it a winner for all tastebuds!

This potato is topped with homemade chili, steamed broccoli, peach/mango salsa and some vegan cheese.
I don't really have a recipe for the chili, but I kinda threw one together, see below. Top these taters with anything you like- Tofu sour cream, soy butter or even a smattering of sauted veggies!

1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can chili beans
1 pkg soyrizo
1 small can tomato paste
1 can crushed tomatoes
Tabasco or other hot sauce/powder to your liking

Saute onion and garlic in pot. Add soyrizo, cook until broken into bits, add all other ingredients. Simmer until hot, serve over potato.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stir Fry

In the mood for stir fry? This is an easy recipe for a quick weekday meal.
It started with me realizing we had Basmati rice in the cabinet, some left over red pepper and carrots and then deciding to buy the supplies I need for stir fry!
You can add whatever veggies you have on hand, not to mention tofu, "chicken" or "beef". I tried the beef for the first time last night and although I don't think I'll buy it again, at least I don't have to be curious anymore! Beef was never my thing and the alternative isn't either... maybe that means it actually resembles beef...
Of course, I tried to be ambitious and make egg rolls, but I literally bought EGG roll wrappers- momentary lapse in vegan judgement.
I pulled the wrappers out of the fridge and it dawned on me that egg rolls are, duh, made of egg. So, at 6:20, I made a quick call and we made a hasty run to the local Thai restaurant for some salad rolls and they were delish! I also served this meal with steamed edamame.
Stayed tuned for blackberry pie tonight or tomorrow!

Serves 4-6
Basmati rice (follow directions and amounts for 4-6 ppl)
1 tablespoon oil or water
1 red pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 bag shredded carrots
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. chili paste (add more for spicy tastebuds)
1/2 cup teryaki or soy sauce
1/4 cup crushed peanuts (optional)
1 bundle green onion, chopped (optional)
1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
1 pkg "chicken" or "beef" strips

In a large pan, saute red pepper and succhini until slightly tender, add mushrooms and carrots and cook until veggies are soft, but not mushy. Add meat, if desired.
In a large bowl, stir chili paste and sauce.
Mix cooked rice and veggies into the bowl of sauce.

Place stir fry on platter and top with peanuts, onions and bean sprouts. Serve with sald rolls and edamame, if desired.