Monday, January 24, 2011

Carrot Sunflower Oat Cookies

It's hard enough to say no to a cookie. When I bake, I do everything possible to make it so you have no reason to pass. I'm sorry, but that whole "eat to taste" thing just doesn't cut it for me. I don't eat sweets as a rebellion, or to test my willpower. I'm here to help destroy their bad rep. These are packed with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, and taste. Not to mention the warming power of ginger! I swear my widget read 1 degree F this morning! I need all the warmth I can get.

This is adapted from these Carrot Oatmeal Cookies. I used sunflower seeds instead of walnuts to give them a more sunny glow, swapped the coconut oil for applesauce to give a crunchy outside, gooey inside. One more thing, I didn't grate the ginger too thin, I like the powerful burst in the unsuspecting bite.
I secretly call these Yes U Can Have Cookies.

Carrot Sunflower Oatmeal Cookies

Yields about 2 dozen

1 c whole wheat flour
1 c rolled oats
1 t baking powder
scant 1/2 t sea salt
1 c shredded carrot (I processed 1 and 1/2 large carrots)
2/3 c raw sunflower seeds
1/2 c maple syrup
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
1 t freshly chopped ginger

Heat oven to 375F, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, oats, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in carrot and seeds. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour into large bowl with dry ingredients, mixing well. Use a tablespoon to measure out each cookie, placing them 2 inches apart on the sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until tops and bottoms are golden brown.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mac-Un-Cheese 2.0

Finally, a natural neon-orange glow.
As I mentioned before, my sister made Chef Chloe's The BEST Vegan Mac N' Cheese for Thanksgiving, and needless to say it has become a staple in our house. However, our budgets don't allow for enough nutritional yeast to make this as often as we like. Plus, odd as this may sound, I'm actually not a big fan of the stuff. In order to make it work, I found I could make a few adjustments to cook a delicious yeast-free version that still hits the spot.

My original yeast-free Macaroni Un-Cheese has an earthier taste and texture; visually, it really screams "HEY I'M VEGAN" but this new 2.0 version has a much more omni-friendly appearance. Also, the 2.0 is free of Tofutti, which may be expensive and is certainly no nutritional superstar (although pretty tasty).

And of course I encourage you to add some veggies in, stir them in when the sauce is on the stove, over low heat.

Mac-Un-Cheese 2.0

1 box whole wheat penne rigate (13.25 oz)
2 T tomato paste
2 T miso paste
1 T tahini
3 T unshelled pistachios, finely ground
1/4 c silken tofu
1 c almond milk
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c whole wheat flour
dash of sea salt
dash of black pepper

Prepare penne as box's instructions.

While water/pasta is boiling, combine tomato and miso pastes, tahini, ground pistachios, tofu, and almond milk in high speed blender. Blend until completely smooth.

Add oil and flour into a shallow pan over low heat, stirring until a roux is formed. Pour in mix from the blender, stir and turn off heat. Set aside until pasta is ready.

After draining pasta (when appropiate), return pasta to the pot and pour cheeselike-sauce in. Stir until well-mixed, adding a dash of salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lemon Poppy Muffins

 Muffins are not "ugly cupcakes". Disregard what anyone else says. Unfortunately, many recipes seem to believe this and fill their "muffins" with white flour and white sugar. These Lemon Poppy Muffins are bringing muffin back, with whole wheat flour, flax seed, and no white sugar. For a pleasant, anti-cupcake breakfast, snack, or, for the health-nuts, dessert.

I use these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins as my base, and then made some vegAnn changes. The result is a (nearly) fat-free, ugly-free, super moist muffin that will become your new go-to.

Lemon Poppy Muffins

 Yields 1 dozen

2 T ground flaxseed
6 T water
2 c whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/3 c applesauce (or 1/2 c veg. oil)
1/2 c maple syrup or agave nectar
3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or any vegan 'ilk
1/4 c lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
2 T poppy seeds
2 t lemon zest
Oil for greasing pan (I used safflower)

Heat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tin with oil.

Whisk flaxseed and water in small bowl, set aside until gelatinous.

Sift first four ingredients into a large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients (including flax mix) into a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir until just mixed. 

Fill muffin tin with batter so that each section is equally full, about 3/4 of the way up. I used a 1/3 cup to fill each. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until slightly browned and a inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before removing.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gluten Free Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

Never too early in the year for pumpkin and cranberry.
Oh how quickly "holiday desserts" are replaced by the word "detox" in our lives. Packed with flax, brown rice, oat bran, and pumpkin, these vegan, gluten-free bars allow us to add a bit of fun to our cleansing and a little cleansing to our fun.

As part of the fresh start to '11, I reorganized all of the flours in the pantry and found I had a lot of various flours from Bob's Red Mill. I tend to avoid gluten-free baking because I haven't invested in some xantham gum (yet). Thankfully, I found this recipe for Bob's Red Mill Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars. It's a very mild flavor, so next time I may add more spices. If strong pumpkin isn't your thing, these bars just might be. I replaced the raisins with cranberries, it seemed like the right thing to do.

PS. Check out my hot new recipe notebook! The bars were the first entry so I had to honor that by including the book in the photos. It was a Christmas gift from the wonderful I Laugh A Little Too Loud chick. You can see more info here. I got her a sunny, frilly apron that's not in stock anymore. Leave it to us to get each other domestic gifts from Anthropologie.

1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup safflower oil, or other vegetable oil
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups oats
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a deep baking sheet.

In a medium bowl mix brown rice flour, oat bran, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. In a large bowl blend sugar, brown sugar, molasses, flax, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add flour mix into sugar mix, stir in oats and raisins.

Drop and spread dough evenly into the baking sheet, baking until golden, about 20 minutes. Cut bars in pan before cooling, letting them cool in the pan.