What do you know? It’s another Vegan Tuesday.

tomatoey spiced chickpeas

I went out Monday night after work for a celebration at a pub. It was a blast, of course, but I got home much too late to make my Vegan Tuesday food. Luckily, the recipe I chose to make this week was very quick and easy. It’s from the March 2009 issue of Gourmet magazine–Tomatoey Spiced Chickpeas.

I made it before I went to work on Tuesday and packed it up for lunch and then had it again for dinner. I served it with bulgur because it takes no time to make. Just pour boiling water and let sit. I also roasted some asparagus and cashews, which lately seems to be my go-to veggie side. YUM. Once again, all before work and I wasn’t late.

For dessert I made the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies out of Veganomicon. Although this recipe is also quick and easy, I baked them earlier in the week. I can’t make two quick and easy recipes before work and still make it on time. :P I subbed  1/2 cup of the oatmeal with 9-grain cereal and 1/2 cup of the raisins with dried cranberries. Very delicious.

Vegan Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Recipes

Tomatoey Spiced Chickpeas

Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Pasta with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes (and Cookies!)

vegantues

Okay, I know it doesn’t look like much. It’s actually a little too green, with the roasted asparagus on the side. The original recipe calls for spinach linguine which would have significantly upped the green-ness factor of this dish. However, the only spinach pasta for sale at Trader Joes was not vegan, so I ended up with sprouted wheat pappardalle. Linguine or spaghetti would have been a better shape but it doesn’t matter because this dish was delicious.

And it’s not just cooked pasta with pesto sauce thrown on it. You sauté a thinly sliced onion and some garlic. Add a bit of wine, salt, and lots of pepper. Pour a glass of wine for yourself. Throw in the cooked pasta and pesto, mix it all up , and add in some artichoke hearts. Even if you don’t make the pesto ahead of time, the whole thing can be done in less than 30 minutes. This is my kind of dinner.

Pasta with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes

Adapted from Veganomicon
  • 1/2 pound of pasta (spaghetti or linguine would be best, but use whatever you have on hand. Make sure it is vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine (or vegetable broth or water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Several pinches of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 recipe Basil-Cilantro Pesto (see below)
  • 1 15-ounce can of arthichoke hearts, drained and sliced in half
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. When done, reserve a bit of the pasta water and drain. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Throw in the garlic and sauté for another minute. Toss in the wine, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute or two. Turn down the heat to low.
  3. Alternating, add in a bit of the cooked pasta and a bit of the pesto, sautéing all the while until you’ve added it all in. If  it seems dry at any point, add in some pasta water.
  4. Gently mix-in the artichoke hearts and cook for approximately 3 minutes until they are heated.

Serves 4 to 6.

Basil-Cilantro Pesto

  • 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/3 cup of sliced almonds
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

Put everything except the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process until pasty, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until smooth.

wheatfree-chocolate-chip

Something else that was really quick were these vegan wheat-free chocolate chip cookies. I made these in the morning before work. You’ve read about my busy Vegan Tuesdays. Add-in making cookies this week and the miracle is that I made it in to work on-time. I wasn’t even late. That’s how quick vegan baking is. These cookies should convince you try your hand at it. I brought them in the same day for a co-worker’s birthday.

An example of the praise these cookies are getting:

>>>  3/24/2009 9:32 AM >>>
The cookies are scrumptious!  Thanks for bringing them in for DJ’s birthday.  Is the recipe on Pink Stripes?  I think Michael and R would love them.

Cheers,
D

Vegan Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Veganomicon

Note: If you don’t have oat flour, you can grind your own using rolled oats and your food processor. I used rice milk instead of the soy milk called for in the original recipe, use whatever you have on hand. Also, I added in chocolate extract which upped the chocolate flavoring of the cookies.

  • 1 3/4 cups of oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon chocolate extract (optional)
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven with rack in center to 375 F.
  2. Sift the oat flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium-sized bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the rice milk and ground flaxseeds.  Add in the sugars and stir. Add in the canola oil and extracts. Whisk vigorously until mixture is emulsified, about a minute.
  4. Add the  wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop dough by the tablespoon onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing each approximately 1 1/2 inches apart from each other.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Place cookies on cooling rack and cool completely.

Makes 18 cookies.

my typical vegan tuesday

Corn & Edamame-Sesame Salad

Now that I’ve been doing Vegan Tuesdays for awhile, it has become a bit of a routine. I figure out what I ‘m going to make by looking through my cookbooks or searching through recipes I’ve ripped out of magazines. I make the dish or dishes on Monday night. Sometimes I eat some then, but most of the time I box up a portion for work lunch and plate a portion for pictures the next day.Yes, pictures for the blog.

It’s become a little bit funny this new hobby of mine. My days start off as usual. I get up at 5 am and rush to the gym, eating a homemade powerbar on the way. I do my workout and stop off at Coffee Bean on the way home.  They know me at the Coffee Bean. They have my nonfat milk ready to dump into my coffee before I’m done paying. And on Tuesdays they know I get soy milk.

I get home about 7 am, jump in the shower, and get dressed for work. All the while I’m looking out the window hoping for the sun to come out so I can take some semi-decent food pictures. Once dressed, I run downstairs finish packing my lunch. Grab the picture food and run back upstairs. Yes, the room with the best natural light for pictures is upstairs in my office, or what I now call my “studio”.  I take a few pictures, hoping I get a good one. I need a better camera. Because I’m usually rushing, I don’t have time to set-up a good shot.

Once I’m done taking pictures, I run back downstairs and put the plate back in the refrigerator for dinner that night. I’m out the door on the way to work by 8 am or 8:15 am. I start work at 9 am  and leave work at 6 pm. Home by 7 pm, rinse and repeat. Weekends are a bit different obviously, but with errands and things to do the days (and daylight) can and do slip away.

Now that I’ve said all that, here are these week’s selections.

I made a Corn & Edamame-Sesame Salad with a recipe from Veganomicon. The recipe calls for frozen shelled edamame. I only had the kind still in its shell. I tried to peel them while still frozen, which was nearly impossible. I steamed them as usual and then peeled them. Much better.  Once I got past the whole peeling thing, the recipe was quick and easy. It’s so light and fresh tasting. I can see myself eating it all summer long. I can’t wait to make it again using kernels from summer fresh corn.

I also made a Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf, also from Veganomicon. You can find the recipe here. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe. It’s warmly spiced and reminds me of chili–it’s got cumin and coriander and tomato paste. It’s very satisfying.

It was especially great because I had all the ingredients on-hand to make both of these dishes. Everything was either in my pantry or in my freezer.

Corn & Edamame-Sesame Salad

Adapted from Veganomicon

Note: The original recipe calls for tamari or soy sauce. I’ve been loving shoyu, which is an unpastuerized soy sauce that is very delicious. Feel free to sub if you don’t have it.

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons shoyu
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice, to taste
  • 2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
  • 1 cup fresh corn, or partially-thawed frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Generous pinch of salt

Add edamame to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add the corn and boil for another 2 minutes. Strain into a colander and run under cold water until cool enough to touch. Set aside.

Whisk together seasame oil, rice vinegar, shoyu, and lime juice in a medium size bowl. Mix in edamame and corn and then stir in toasted sesame seeds. Salt to taste. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow flavors to meld.

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A Tale of Two Scones

On one side we have the Maple-Walnut Scones from Baked…New Frontiers in Baking. These are large, light and fluffy scones intensely flavored with maple.  The general tip to make a great scone is use super-cold butter, break up the butter into small (but not too small) bits, and don’t work the dough too much. These scones are also flavored with natural maple extract, which took me forever to find (found it at Surfas, naturally). This stuff is liquid gold. If you run into it, snatch it up.

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Maple-Walnut Scones

On the other side we have vegan Banana-Date Scones from Veganomicon. Oh, yes, an unfair competition. If butter is the secret to a a great scone, how can one made without butter compare? The vegan scones are made with a combination of all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flour. They are sweetened with a little bit of brown rice syrup, a bunch of chopped up dates, and mushed bananas.  This really isn’t a side-by-side comparison because they are two completely different recipes and flavor combos. The only similarity is chopped up walnuts.

Vegan Banana-Date Scones

Vegan Banana-Date Scones

The results?

The Baked Maple-Walnut Scones are the scones of the gods. Everything about them was wonderful. The texture, the flavor, the butter. :P

The vegan Banana-Date Scones tasted wonderful, but they weren’t scones. They had a more cake-like texture. They were moist and chewy, not scone-like at all. P actually liked them a lot. When he tasted one, the first thing he said was “these aren’t scones!”–he is not a big fan of scones–and proceeded to eat two more. We’ve been calling them sconecakes.

Sconecake--See the cakelike texture?

Sconecake--See the cakelike texture?

Banana-Date Sconecakes

Recipe from Veganomicon

Notes: I made these smaller than indicated in the recipe.  I used my 20 ice cream scoop and got 15. Because they were smaller, I baked them for less time. They were done ~30 minutes.

Ingredients

1 dates (8 oz.)
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/3 cup rice milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease two medium-size baking dishes.
  2. FInely chop the dates, place in a small bowl, and sprinkle with 1 T. flour. Toss the dates to thoroughly coat with flour, breaking apart any clumps. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flaxseeds and rice milk. Whisk in the mashed banana, canola oil, and brown rice syrup. In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir into the banana mixture until the ingredients are just moistened; the dough will be thick yet sticky. Fold in the chopped dates and walnuts.
  4. Lightly oil a 1/2 cup measuring cup and scoop generous half-cupfuls of dough onto a baking sheet, leaving about three inches of space between scones. Gently pat down the tops of the scones and dab with rice milk if desired. Bake for 32-34 minutes, until browned and firm. Transfer from the baking sheets to a cooling rack to complete cooling.

Kugel & Tzimmes

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For this week’s Vegan Tuesday, I made a Spinach Kugel and served it with Sweet Potato-Pear Tzimmes with Pecans and Raisins both recipes out of Veganomicon. Both are Jewish in origin. Unbeknownst to me, Tuesday was also Purim a Jewish holiday. Is this kismet or what? :P Okay, from my limited  knowledge neither are the traditional foods of the holiday. Although on the other hand, Purim celebrates the story of Esther who was captured  and ate vegetarian to keep kosher.

Traditionally kugels are noodle casseroles either sweet or savory. Most kugel recipes are full of dairy and eggs. I’m sure traditional kugels are very delicious–I’ve never tasted one. As this was vegan, the recipe uses silken tofu and crushed matzo to bind the noodles and spinach. The casserole is flavored with fresh dill and lemon.

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As for the noodles, I found some in the Jewish section of the grocery store. Because I’m new to vegan cooking/baking and I wasn’t really thinking, I bought a package that said in big letters “EGG” which I didn’t notice until I was getting ready to make this dish. Duh. I ended up using regular made without eggs Italian pasta I had in the pantry.

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Tzimmes is another type of Jewish casserole. It tends to the sweeter side  and is traditionally–although just like a kugel there are a ton of variations–made with fruit and carrots and sweetened with honey and sometimes with meat. As this was vegan, no honey and no meat. This dish is made by roasting sweet potatoes, pears, pecans and raisins flavored with maple syrup, mirin, and cinnamon. Of course, I love anything made with sweet potatoes but the flavor combination was outstanding. This dish was very easy to make and I could see making it for Thanksgiving.

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I also made vegan Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies. These are made using canola oil, cocoa powder,  & raspberry preserves. Although the recipe didn’t call for it, I added raspberry extract to up the flavor and topped each with raw sugar. I didn’t really like them, but the husband did (well with vanilla ice cream, he wasn’t getting the vegan theme) and so did the co-workers.

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Recipes