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Hey everyone!  This weekend was really fun in terms of cooking!  So here is what I cooked/baked this past weekend.  After looking at so many blogs especially Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust, I was really craving some cake.  These two amazing foodies are so fun to read, they go to various vegan restaurants and blog about them.  I spent so much time reading these blogs as I am obsessed about going to Candle Cafe.  Hopefully I can go this month!  I really want to go there and Erica of Sweet Eats and Nicole of Another One Bites the Crust both went to Candle and write countless posts about Candle and many more vegan restaurants!  They have posted so much cake that they eaten so I decided to make a cake of my own.  I saw that they had eaten a Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake which looked really good.  I set out to make my own version which sadly I didn’t complete more on that later. 
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
I doubled the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World chocolate cupcake recipe and made two round cakes.  I then also used the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes to make a tasty Peanut  Buttercream Frosting which was really good!  I baked my cakes for about 23 minutes and I took them out when the knife came out clean.  I let them cool and then when I lifted them they were so fragile!  This has never happened to me and I blame myself for not baking them a couple minutes more.  It was slightly under-baked so this stopped me from completing my mission for creating an amazing cake that I had seen on those two amazing blogs!  I just frosted my cake with the Peanut Buttercream and wasn’t in the mood to make the Ganche.  The cake was so fragile in fact one of it fell apart but lucky I was able to fix it with frosting.  The cake was also lacking in the flavor dept.  which I think is because of my cocoa powder.  I bought a big bag of Hershey’s Cocoa powder from Restaurant Depot and it has been living in my freezer for one year and has not been producing quality chocolate desserts.  The flavor does come out strong, I think it has went stale.  The best part of the cake was the frosting!  It was so Peanut Buttery and Awesome!  Hopefully one day I will be able to create that amazing cake from Vegan Treats that was featured on Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust. 

Moving on to Saturday.  On Saturday my dad’s cousin came so I wanted to make some brunch!  I made her some Banana-Nut Waffles from Veganomicon.
Banana Nut Waffles
I have been eating a lot of waffles this best month which I think is awesome because I love them so much!  These waffles were sweet and tasty and very banana tasting, it was like eating dessert because I decided to add some brown sugar along with the recipe’s maple syrup.  I tasted the batter and the first waffle and it didn’t seem sweet so I just added the brown sugar but I think it was two much.  Next time I will add the brown sugar and leave out the maple syrup.  I had these waffles with just some maple syrup, these waffles really didn’t need any syrup since I already made them sweet enough.  I also served them with some blueberries and bananas and put a nice healthy shake of powdered sugar!  These were amazing!

Seitan Picatta
That same day I was craving seitan!  Thanksgiving was the last time I had seitan!  I don’t know how I lived so long without seitan!  I had an extreme craving for seitan where I though about it for about half a period in school!  After looking at so many pictures of seitan on Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust I had to make it again!  Me and Seitan have had a couple of bumpy roads but we are finally learning to accept each other!  Sometimes I make seitan and it comes out rubbery, one time I made it and it was so so so chewy!  I had a couple of nice times with seitan but Saturday was the best experience  that I had with seitan!  I used the Veganiomicon recipe for the Simple Seitan.  My only addition was chickpea flour.  I find that chickpea flour makes seitan nice and tender.  I divided the seitan dough into two equal pieces.  I then set up the broth and put the raw seitan in there.  I made sure to stay right there and make sure it didn’t boil.  As soon as it started to boil I turned the heat to simmer.  I simmered it for one hour and the result was amazing.  The texture and flavor was the best yet.  It was slightly chewy, tender, dense in the middle and very meatlike.  I looked at a lot of Candle Cafe pictures and I really like how they cut their seitan.  It looks really nice to the eye.  So I took the two even pieces and cut them into slightly thin slices.  It was as close as I get to Candle Cafe.  I have been wanting to make Picatta for so long so I made it from the recipe from V’con.  The recipe was really tasty but I though it had a too many shallots.  The only changes I did was use a non alcoholic wine in place of the wine and I finished the sauce with some Earth Balance and lemon slices.  I also made some awesome mashed potatoes with lots of Earth Balance of course and some awesome Kale!  The sauteed kale came out really good better than ever.  I did this my accident but I let my pan get really hot and added the oil.  When I put the kale in it charred slighty at the bottom so I kept turning it so it wouldn’t burn.  The result was some delicious Kale with a nice slightly charred taste. I really felt like I was eating at some fancy restaurant it was so good!  The seitan flavor was the best that I have ever had yet.  I really want to get more experimental with seitan and try to create some interesting recipes!

Lastly after looking at another amazing blog, Vegan Yum Yum I saw the pancakes that she blogged about a while back. 
Pancakes
These pancakes looked so good so I gave the recipe a shot.  I normally use the VWAV recipe which is very similar.  The Vegan Yum Yum just has one teaspoon less baking powder which made flatter pancakes.  These pancakes were really good! I was really bad at making pancakes but now I am getting the hang of them.  I really want to get a griddle so I can get perfect browned pancakes like on the boxes that you see.   Does anyone know if a griddle will get the job done?  What do you use for your pancakes? 

Alright everyone, I guess that’s it.

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Hey  everyone!  It’s been a couple of days since I last blogged. 

Last week I made a very tasty and healthy Lentil & Escarole Soup from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook. 

Lentil and Escarole Soup
 I have been wanting to try this soup for so long and I am glad I did.  It had a very nice taste to it and the lentils created a nice thick broth which I loved.   I don’t usually cook with lentils that much but this soup inspired me to use more lentils in my cooking!  I recently got these awesome vegetable broth concentrated packets from Trader Joe’s and I must say they rock!  They will definitely be used a lot in my kitchen!  They made this soup taste really good without the trouble of making a vegetable broth from scracth.  

On Saturday, I made another awesome dish that I have been wanting to make for so long!  I made the awesome Tofu Florentine from Veganomicon!
Tofu Flourentine
I though this was very fancy in my option from what I normally eat for breakfast/brunch.  The cheesy sauce rocks, I made mine with extra lemon.  I just love lemon, I always find my self using more than the recipe says.  I like how it gives food a nice light taste.  The broiled tofu used for the Florentine was really good, next time I would probably reduce the water for the basting liquid so the tofu is more concentrated with the soy sauce-lemon flavor.  I am so glad I found vegan English muffins!  I looked for them in my regular supermarket and they had milk in them, but when I went to Trader Joe’s I found some awesome ones.  This is definitely going to be a brunch regular! 

Here are some tester blondies from Isa and Terry’s upcoming cookie book!   These were really tasty! 
Blondies

Here’s my awesome and healthy green smoothie that I made tonight!
Green Smoothie
I have just gotten into the whole green smoothie thing.  The first one I made was awful, as I was low on fruit. Then I started experimenting and made a great tasting green smoothie!  This one was really good!  For this one I used some leftover Escarole from the lentil soup that I made earlier, spinach leaves, a carrot, a banana, a couple of strawberries and blueberries, celery, parsley, pears, orange juice, and flax seeds.  This blend makes a great tasting green smoothie and it is super healthy and makes you energized! Some of them may not look that good but the amount of vitamins you get from these is worth it! My family thinks it weird drinking green smoothies but I just tell them that you don’t know what your missing!  It’s so good as long as you have a perfect balance of fruit and vegetables.  I suggest everyone try a green smoothie, you’ll like it.  Just try different combinations and see which one you like.   Your body will thank you for sure!   

Alright everyone, blog to you soon in a few days!

Hey everyone!  How have you all been?  It’s a bit late to say this but Happy New Year to everyone!  I have been out for so long.  I missed a lot!  I took a whole lot of time off from blogging, I don’t know how it happened.  I took many pictures of food that I cooked I guess to lazy to blog about them.   couldn’t take it any more, I just had to start blogging again!  Hopefully I will not stop blogging again from now on, I really hope I don’t!

I have started testing recipes for Isa and Terry’s upcoming Cookie Book.  So far I have made the Brownies from the new book.   These brownies tasted really really good.   This is just how a brownie is supposed to taste like!  The next following weeks I am going to be testing the last of cookies that are left to test.  I am really excited! 

Brownies Tester
Here are the brownies from the Isa and Terry’s upcoming Cookie Book. This book is going to be amazing!

Earlier this week, for the first time I made burgers!  I made the Veganomicon Black Bean Burgers.  The black bean burgers were really tasty!  I used a fry and bake method for them because I wasn’t sure they would firm up from frying.  I think it was because I put to much water.  Next time I would probably reduce the amount of water for these.  So anyway after I fried them until they were golden about 3 minutes per side, I baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes until they were nice and firm to the touch.  To accompany the burgers I made some sweet potato fries which I spiked up with some chili powder.  The fries were really good…this was my first time I made sweet potato fries so I was really excited about them!  These black-bean burgers have inspired me to make more burgers from now on! 
Blackbean Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
These burgers are awesome!
Here are some Ginger Pear Waffles from vwav that I made earlier today.   These waffles were really tasty and had nice spice from them which I enjoyed.  I wish there was a little more pear flavor in the waffles but I used apple cider instead of the pear juice as I didn’t have pear juice.  Next time I think I will take Isa’s tip and fold in crystallized ginger in the waffles.  Imagine how good that would be!
Ginger Pear Waffles

Wow..It’s been really fun writing this post!  I am really trilled to be apart of this awesome blogging community once again!

Hey everyone!  On Sunday Morning I made the best waffles I have made in my entire life.  I made the awesome Pumpkin Waffles from VwAv.  These waffles are so good, perfect for the fall time!  I made them so I can serve to my family at the same time but my waffle iron only makes 2 waffles and they took forever, so my dad and brothers couldn’t wait so they made some else.  I was a bit disappointed at my waffle iron,  but I think I want to  buy another one that makes 4 at a time and then I can make 6 waffles at a time!  That would be awesome!  The recipe makes a lot of waffles so I ended up freezing them so I can have them as breakfast before school.   

pumpkin waffles

Today for dinner, I made the most awesome Tofu I have ever made besides the Chile Cornmeal Tofu which was also awesome.  I made Pistachio Crusted Tofu which I was dying to make for so so long.  I am glad I finally got to it and created a recipe for it.  I was so happy at the result, my brother (a.k.a. my toughest food critic) liked them, he said they were really good.  The only thing I would change is add just a bit more pistachios to the breading mixture.  By the way pistachios are extremely addictive, I love them so much.  I also had some Garlicky Kale and Lemon Provicenal Rice from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook.   I served the tofu with a Mustard Cashew Cream Sauce which complicated the tofu so well.  I finally figured out an awesome to replace heavy cream in sauces, its really simple, just combine some cashews and soy milk together and then just put it in whatever recipe you are making.  The cashews add a great richness to the soy milk.  Here’s the recipe for the Pistachio Crusted Tofu and Mustard Cashew Cream Sauce.

Pistachio Crusted Tofu With A Creamy Cashew Mustard Cream Sauce

Pistachio Crusted Tofu With A Creamy Cashew Mustard Cream Sauce

Pistachio Crusted Tofu

Ingredients:
For the Basic Tofu Marinade
2-3 tablespoons Soy Sauce
half a lemon squeezed
Splash of White Wine ( I use Ariel Non  Alcoholic Wine)
1 pound of Extra-Firm Tofu cut into 8 picuies lengthwide pressed and drained

For the Breading Mixture
1/2 cup of pistachios shelled finely chopped (This is what I put originally but I would increase by 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup Panko or Breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
A pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper

4-5 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

Mix the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl. Then brush on to the tofu and marinade it for about 15-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Grind the pistachios in a food processor until crumbs form. Mix the breading ingredients together.

In a small bowl add the Dijon mustard. Brush the tofu with the Dijon mustard and then bread it in the breading mixture.

Bake it for about 15 minutes until golden, if you want put it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes for extra chewiness.

Meanwhile make the sauce (recipe follows)

Cashew Mustard Cream Sauce

Ingredients
1 cup Plain Soy milk
2/4 cups preferably raw cashews
4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard or more if you like
1 Tablespoon Whole Grain mustard
1 shallot minced
1 garlic clove minced
2 Tablespoons Chopped parsley
A Splash of White Wine (Optional)
Half a tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a food processor, blend the cashews and soy milk until very smooth.

Heat a sauce pan to medium heat, and add the garlic and shallot. Saute for 2 minutes. Then add the cashew cream and the two types of mustard and blend together. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 4 minutes. This thickens up fairly quick. Season with Salt and Pepper. Add the lemon and parsley and that’s it. Now you can use this to top any protein dish like tofu, seitan, tempeh, and even the great chickpea cutlets!!!

Sorry about yesterday for not posting.  I started posting a survey late at night but then it got deleted.  I was too tired plus I was busy making some for the Iron Chef Challenge.  The two ingredients were apples and ginger.  I came up with some interesting dishes.  I made two recipes a savory one and a sweeter one.  For the savory I made something very that was very unusual to my taste buds.  I made a savory apple and ginger sauce to go over some pan fried tofu.  The tofu was awesome but the sauce was just okay.  I think what didn’t make it the best was the garlic, shallots and overcooking the apples.  You see I made the dish at my dad’s pizzeria and I took my camera there too.  When I was ready to take a picture I found out that the battery died.  So I packaged the food and waited until I got home to reheat it which is where the apples probably got a little overcooked.  I’m not really a big fan of sweet and savory together but I think the dish turned out well but could use a few changes.  I’ll give you an idea of what I did  

Pan Fried Tofu With Savory Ginger-Aplple Sauce

Pan Fried Tofu with a Savory Ginger-Apple Sauce
Ingredients:
For the Tofu Marinade
1 pound of Tofu cut into 6-8 slices drained and pressed

2/4 cups soy sauce
2 Tablespoon Apple Cider vinager
1/2 cup apple cider
1 garlic clove minced finely

Cut the Tofu into about 6-8 slices. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Add the tofu and mariante for about an hour.

Heat up a pan oer medium high heat. Add some oil and pan fry the tofu. When fried remove the tofu and the oil. Add some of the mariade to the pan and then add the tofu. Cook until the tofu absorbs the mariade about 1 minute.

For the Sauce
2 apples
1.5 tablesppons of ginger
1 shallot
2 garlic clove ( I orignally put this in but I think it would be best to omitt it)
3-4 cups of apple cider
1 tablespoon of apple cider vigear.
Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a pan to medium heat. Add some oil. Add the shallot and ginger and saute for about 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the apple cider and vinegar. Cook for about 7-10 minutes. Add the apples and cook for 1-2 minutes. I overcooked by reheating them but I think its best for them to remain with a little bite.

I wanted to make one more thing because one dish is not enough for me,  so this morning I made some waffles!  I made some Apple-Ginger Waffles which were inspired by the Ginger-Pear waffles from vwav.  I served the waffles with a Sweet Gingered Apples.  The waffles were really good!  I enjoyed them alot!

apple-ginger waffles with an gingered apples

Apple-Ginger Waffles with Gingered Apples
Adapted from Vwav Ginger-Pear Waffles

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup apple juice
3/4 cup soy milk
2 Tablespoons oil
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 granny-smith apple grated

Preheat Waffle Iron
Sift the dry ingriendents in a large bowl. In another bowl mix the juice, soy milk, sugar, oil and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingriendents and add the wet mixture. Mix until combined and add the grated apples.
Make the waffles according to the manufacturer’s directions.

For the Gingered Apples
2 Granny Smith Apples sliced
A couple of tablespoons of Earth Balance
1/4 cup brown sugar
half a tablespoon of ginger
A couple of tablespoons of apple cider depending on thickness of the sauce

Heat a pan over medium high heat. Melt the Earth Balance. Add the ginger and sautee for about a minute. Add the brown sugar and mix it in. Add some apple cider if you wish. Then add the apples and cook for about 2 minutes. That’s it, now you can serve it over the waffles

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