Monthly Archives: June 2012

Postpartum Freezer Food Project of Doom: Macaroni and “Cheese”

The macaroni and cheese recipe from “Of These Ye May Freely Eat” is easily the best vegan mac and cheeze recipe I have tried. Today I made two pans of it for the freezer: one all pasta, and one part pasta and part rehydrated potato because I ran out of pasta.

I’ve adapted from the original recipe. It calls for pimentos, which I never have and therefore always leave out; I always reduce the salt by a tad; and today I accidentally left out the lemon juice and I’m realising I actually like it better without the lemon juice.

So, here’s my modified version:

In a saucepan, stir together
2/3 c white flour
1/2 c nutritional yeast
4 tsp onion powder
1 T salt

Add:
6 T oil

Stir into dry ingredients as much as possible.

Gradually whisk in:
8 c water

Cook until thickened. Add 8 cups cooked pasta and stir together in a sprayed 13×9″ pan. You can garnish with breadcrumbs and paprika if desired.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so. Snarf down with blissful abandon.

Categories: entrees, freezer meals, lunch, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: | 1 Comment

Cookbook Review: Vegan Pie in the Sky

This is the most recent installment in the dessert trilogy by Isa Chandra Moskowitz of Post Punk Kitchen and Terry Hope Romero. I have all three books, but I have to say that this one has been used the most by me. I guess that I like pie. Also, there are more recipes in this book that call for things I usually have on hand or easy access to. Plus, my husband is far more likely to eat things from this book; he’s not into cookies or cake much at all.

There is LOTS of information in the book about how to succeed at making pies, with lots of tips, answering questions about thickeners like agar and cornstarch, how to use frozen fruit successfully in a pie, what kind of equipment you need, and more.

You might be saying to yourself, “But isn’t pie always vegan?” Generally, yes (unless you’re using lard in your crusts). But this book encompasses other desserts too – fruit buckles, pandowdies, hand pies, crisps, cobblers, and tarts – things that didn’t fit into either the cupcake or cookie realm.

So, without further ado, I’ll share my thoughts about all the recipes I’ve tried so far.

Double Butter Crust: This was an EXCELLENT crust and I was pleased with both flavour and texture. It was a little challenging to make without a pastry cutter (mine is in storage, boo!) and I did a double batch, but I somehow managed with a fork to get it all worked together. I used this crust for the following two pies:

Blackberry Bramble Pie

Blackberry Bramble Pie

Because we have blackberries growing profusely on our property and they are Free, this was a natural first choice for me to make out of this book. We had loads in the freezer! I blithely ignored Isa’s cautions about adding extra cornstarch to frozen fruit, however, and later regretted not heeding her voice of experience, because it was runny. But that was my own fault. It still tasted fantastic. (I also left out the liqueur, because I didn’t have any, just for the record.)

Appleberry Pie

Appleberry Pie

I did this with our own apples and blackberries, and again it was amazingly good. Both this pie and the Blackberry Bramble Pie got rave reviews from our Friday night small group.

*

Maple-Kissed Blueberry Pie (Blueberry Thrill Pie not pictured)

I did the double buttery crust with 1.5 cups white flour/1 cup spelt flour for these two blueberry variations. I could really NOT tell much difference between these two pies, most likely because I didn’t have maple extract and the maple syrup wasn’t enough on its own to give the maple flavour. I also couldn’t put in the lemon zest because my coffee grinder has given up the ghost and I was unable to grind up my frozen lemon peelings, which made me sad. Also, despite upping the cornstarch as recommended this time for frozen fruit, it was still a tad runny. HOWEVER, they were still a big hit. My friend made the cocoanut milk ice cream you see pictured below to eat with the pie:

Amazingness on a paper plate.

*

Summer Fruit Buckle: I did this for my birthday cake this year, and it was so, so delicious! I didn’t get a picture of it, unfortunately. It was best eaten the day of baking: fluffy, light, and doughnut-like (I think the cardamom is what makes it so delectably perfect!); afterwards it got kind of gooey from the fruit. It still tasted okay but the texture was just not the same. So I recommend making only a single recipe at a time unless you’re planning to feed quite a crowd.

(What is a buckle, you might ask? It’s cake batter with fruit dumped, er, carefully arranged on top. The cake part rises up around the fruit and it all… buckles.)

*

Berry Cobbler: I used about 1.5 cups of blueberries, 2 slices of strawberry from my freezer (don’t ask why there were 2 slices in a bag in my freezer) and the remainder of the berries were fresh blackberries we picked. The only thing I didn’t do was use the chocolate chips because, tragically, I had none.

It was a bit runny when we ate it right out of the oven at lunchtime, but it set up by suppertime. The biscuit topping is really tasty – my new favourite, I think.

Next time, I think I might either decrease the amount of fruit or do one-and-a-half times the topping. I like my cobblers more bready, but that’s a personal thing, I think (I always increase the amount of crisp topping when I make fruit crisp, too). I should also add that through the second day the bread was still very nice (some cobblers get pretty soggy quickly).

*

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

I cheated and used a premade graham cracker crust when I did the Key Lime Pie (and just plain limes). It was amazingly good. I could have eaten it all the first day if my husband didn’t stop me! My daughter, who is two, also loved it. It stayed nice for about two days; after that the crust started to get a little soggy. And then I had to hurry and finish eating it before it got any worse.

Grasshopper Pie: I haven’t made this one myself but my friend did, and it was delicious!

If you’d like to try a couple recipes out of this book, Isa has shared a few on her site. Or buy yourself a copy for Kindle or in paperback.

Categories: Cookbook Review, dessert, vegan | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Postpartum Freezer Food Project of Doom: Pizza Crusts

For my first freezer project, I chose to do my pizza crusts, because bread keeps so well in the freezer. I need 4 but only had enough oil for 2, so I’ll have to make the others later.

Pizza Crust

Single Basic Pizza Dough Crust recipe (adapted from an old Betty Crocker cookbook)

1 T yeast
1 T sugar
1 c warm water
1 tsp salt
2 T veggie oil
2.5 cups flour (I use varying combinations of white/whole wheat)

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add in salt, oil, and flour. Knead until incorporated, adding flour if necessary. I don’t usually knead it for more than a minute. Let it sit there for 5 or so minutes before rolling out to fit your pan.

In this particular batch of 2 crusts, I added in with the salt/oil:
1 T sesame seeds
1 T pizza seasoning

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.* Let cool completely. Freeze on trays before wrapping/bagging.

This recipe will do a variety of sizes, depending on thickness. I have stretched it over an 18″ circular pan (thinner crust) and these ones I did a bit thicker in an 15×9-ish rectangular pan (the biggest that fits in my trailer oven). You can also do small rounds for mini pizzas.

—-

*If I’m making this to eat right away, I bake it at 425 for about 5 minutes, add my sauce and toppings, and return it to the oven for 8 minutes or so. Since I’m going to be thawing and reheating this time, my theory is that baking it a little less will keep it from being too dry. I’ll let you know how that works out.

Categories: bread, freezer meals, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Garlicky Garbanzo Enchiladas

So, I didn’t really grow up eating enchiladas much, but since I’ve been married I’ve made them a few times, and I really like them. I found this recipe some time back, made some adaptations, and it’s my favourite one that I’ve tried. So I’m going to share with you what I’ve changed about it so you can enjoy it too!

Start with:
1 16-oz jar of green salsa (I like Herdez brand because it has no vinegar, since vinegar is a real irritant for me!)

Spread half of the salsa (1 cup) into the bottom of a 13×9″ pan.

Green salsa

How is it that something so tasty looks so much like pond slime?

Saute in a little oil:
1/2 c chopped onion
4-8 large crushed garlic cloves (depending on how much you love it! I prefer 5-6 cloves myself)

Onions and garlic

Turn off heat and stir in:
2 cups smushed garbanzos
1/3 c vegetable broth of your choice – I usually just throw a little Vegeta in water for mine.
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp mock chicken seasoning

Garbanzo filling

Optionally add in:

extra salsa
onion powder
garlic powder

Roll filling into:
10-12 tortillas (the package I used in this batch had 11 tortillas)

Roll about 3tbsp of the filling into each tortilla. This appeared like not much to me as I was doing it this last time, but it seemed like plenty once the stuff was actually baked. You could totally double the filling recipe if you want to have more.

Place your rolled-up tortillas into the pan. Cover with remaining salsa. Bake 35 minutes or so at 350.

More green salsa

You can add cheese to the top (real if you’re not vegan, cashew or soy substitute if you are). I poured a (rather liquidy) bean-based cheese sauce on top of this batch.

And then when it came out of the oven, I ate it.

Yum.

Categories: entrees, nut-free, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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