Thursday, August 30, 2007


Nothing new, but I had a fun time making them.

Chai Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:
Chai Cupcakes with Chocolate from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:
Chocolate Mint Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:These are my absolute favorite!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Raw Dinner

As much as I love cooking, sometimes I like not cooking just as much.

This salad was inspired by SusanV, who, probably a year ago, posted about eating corn on the cob by rubbing it with lime and sprinkling with salt.

Spicy Corn Salad:
2 ears of corn
1/4 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1/8 teaspoon (or to taste) chili flakes
Couples of shakes of salt to taste

Cut the kernels off the cob, mix with the spices and serve cold with a side of lime and dill.

I was going with raw lasagna, inspired by Nutshell, but I was missing a few ingredients so this is:

Tomatoes and Garlic Cream:
1 heirloom tomato cut into thirds
3 sprigs oregano
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup soaked cashews
1/4 cup water or oil
Chives to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the cream sauce first by pureeing the soaked cashews and 1/2 the clove of garlic, add enough water or olive oil to make it a smooth, creamy consistency.
Make an oregano pesto with the oregano, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper

Layer: 1/3 tomato, 1/2 of the cream sauce, 1/3 tomato, oregano pesto, 1/3 tomato, remaining cream sauce. Garnish with chives and cracked pepper.

My First Risotto

I think I've only ever had risotto once (I grew up in a Tex-Mex house give me a break!) I went about making it awhile ago but I bought orzo instead of risotto rice so my cooking was stopped at the grocery store.
Below is my story with risotto.

I started with this recipe. I added rosemary and sun dried tomatoes as a base flavor, then stirred in spinach later.

Started by sauteing some onion. When it was translucent I added some rosemary, chopped sun dried tomatoes and three cloves of chopped garlic.
I added the rice and dry cooked it for three minutes.
Then went the "wine." My wine was mostly water with a splash of apple juice. Next time I will just use more broth.I slowly added more veggie broth, while stirring continuously.When all the both was incorporated I added the spinach.
I added the fresh herbs of oregano and basil and bit more chopped garlic. Also a pat of Earth Balance and covered the rice and let it sit for 5 more minutes.Served with fresh oregano, black salt and some figs on the side because they are just so beautiful.
The risotto was good, but it was a lot of work to sit there and constantly stir it. Next time I will try the lazy approach where you add the water all at once and just let it cook, stirring when I remember.

Summer Time Porch Dinner

Bean and Corn Salad:
Black beans

Mix together. It doesn't get much easier than that.

BBQ Tempeh and Onions:
Grilled on the panini ad brushes with BBQ sauce.

Fruit Salad with Lime and Salt:
Apples, yellow watermelon and peaches mixed with lime juice and sprinkled with black salt.

The black salt really helped bring out the flavors of the fruit. I love my black sea salt.

This meal was a great outside dinner. I'll have to remind myself of this time of year come January.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Corn Chowder

I love Corn Chowder and I love to make it for other people. With corn season on the cusp I celebrated.
Here's my recipe.
The only thing I tweaked this time was using coconut oil instead of olive oil. I also ignored the potatoes since we didn't have any. It made it more soup-like without the potatoes.

How It All Vegan Breakfasts

Last weekend I ended up using two recipes from a cookbook, and from a cookbook I don't use often - How It All Vegan.

I have my own crepe recipe but I decided to branch out and try something new with one of my new toys - a crepe maker!

Strawberries and Cream Crepes:
1 crepe recipe, cooked into crepes
Fill the crepes with cashew cream
Spread with strawberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar

Breakfast Couscous Porridge:
This recipe was simple with a 1:2 ratio of grain to water. Blueberries and pecans were added to the mix. Next time I would make it a 1:4 ratio to make it creamier.
This wasn't as porridgey as I wanted it to be but it was alright.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Simple Meals

This one wasn't as great as I wanted, but it was good enough to fill me up.
Green Bean Sandwich:
Steamed green beans tossed with a bit of garlic aioli. Placed on bread with a thick slice of tomato.

What to do with a bunch of broken chips?
Baked Tofu:
Tofu crusted with ground tortilla chips, flour and a bit of spices, then baked for 20 minutes.
Served with a side of salad.

Fried tofu and greens

Every time I am in Austin my aunt takes me to NuAge Cafe. Last time I was there, last year, I got a dish called sizzeling setain, or something like that. It was fried pieces of setain with a glazed sauce on top of a big pile of greens. It was so fantastic. Not just the taste, but the combination of healthy and fried food. I decided this was the best was to feel okay about eating fried food - on top of a big pile of greens.

I attempted to make something similar but with BBQ tofu.

BBQ Tofu and Greens:
1 block of firm tofu
1/4 cup corn starch
1 bunch of greens
1/4 bottle BBQ sauce
oil for frying

Drain and press the tofu. Cube and coat with corn starch so it looks like a marshmellow. Fry tofu in oil until it becomes a light yellow color. Place on a drain board to absorb some of the oil
Steam the bunch of greens as normal.
Place the tofu carefully into a bowl and coat with your favorite BBQ sauce. Be careful not to smooth the tofu too much.
Layer a place with greens and top with BBQ tofu.

Enjoy your fried food!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Peach Pie

Just to tempt you:
Peach Pie!

I was honored to test for Julie Hasson's upcoming pie book. I hope I can test more.
This pie was quick and easy, even for someone who dislikes making pie crust.
I cut out bats for the weep holes.

The pie held up very nicely, even after being cut. The sugar topping was beautiful and didn't burn like I thought it would.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dessert Pizza

We had a pizza party a few night ago and I never thought it was odd for it to be an adult pizza party, but apparently some people think it's odd for adults to throw one. Who cares - it's pizza!

Dessert Pizza:
Pizza dough (below)
Cashew Sauce (below)
1-2 apples
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Slice the apples, thin, about 1/4" and toss with lemon juice and melted coconut oil. Set aside.
Mix the sugar and spices and sprinkle over the apples, mix.
Spread cashew sauce on pizza and arrange apples as desired.
Bake at 500F until nicely browned on top.

Pizza Dough:
3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast

2 cups (or more) flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball.
Transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if the dough is sticky.
In a large bowl drop about 1 Tablespoon olive oil in the bottom and use the dough ball to to spread the olive oil around the bowl and the dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough. Store in airtight container in refrigerator until use.
Roll out dough to your liking or flatten a ball of dough and start at center of dough, working outward toward edges until you have the desired shape. Pinch the edges to form a crust.

Cashew Sauce:

1 cup raw, soaked cashews
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
3-4 Tablespoons soy milk (or as needed to make the sauce creamy)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a blender or food processor blend the soft cashews and 3 Tablespoons soy milk until smooth. Add the sugar and extract and more soy milk if needed to make it creamy. It should be the consistency of hummus.
Feel free to add more sugar or spice as desired.

Pesto Based Pizza in the background with Follow Your Heart cheese and Dessert Pizza in the foreground:

Cut pieces of pizza:

Friday, August 10, 2007

Low-fat Potato Dinner

This dish is very filling and is pretty low in calories and fat but high in flavor.

Baked Potato with Salsa:
1/2 cup corn
2/3 cup black beans
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1 Tablespoon Wildwood Aioli or a vegan mayo
Salsa to taste

Mix the ingredients and serve over a warm baked with a side of salsa.

This dish was served with a side of yellow watermelon sprinkled with lime juice.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Carnival Cruise and Vegan Food

After our wedding and ceremony, Mr. Bolsh and I dashed through the sparklers to our pedi-cab where we were taken through the city in a bike powered cab. We arrived at our hotel room very late, took a three hour nap before catching our 6am flight to Houston, Texas. Luckily, our baker, Sweetpea Bakery, supplied us with breakfast treats. We then took an hour and half bus ride to Galveston, Texas where we waited in line for over 2 hours before entering our beautiful balcony room to start our 7 day Caribbean cruise on Carnival's Conquest.

This is what our cabin looked like:
The View:

Of course, this is about food and not our trip. We had a great time on every island we visited. Now onto the food.

I had contacted Carnival prior to our departure to make sure we had vegan food. They tried to assure me there would be vegan food for us and that we should just speak with our wait-staff when we got on board. I wasn't very happy with that solution and was preparing to eat pasta with condiments and lots of fruit.

We packed an entire suitcase of junk food. Mr. Bolsh and I have sweet tooths so most of our food was cookies and candy. We must have been the only people who brought food on a cruise!

The first night of food was a salad and a baked potato. The hostist introduced herself and asked about our needs and showed us a prepared vegan menu. We approved our breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next day, all of which had more hope for the boring salad and dry baked potato of the evening.

Breakfast was boring oatmeal and fruit, but it was good enough. Later it was blueberry pancakes once they found out that's one of my favorite breakfasts.
Lunch was grilled onion and peppers on a hot dog bun.

Food photos in no particular order:

"Burrito" with a side of Salsa and Guacamole:
Simple, but good.
Tomato Soup:
Salad with Italian Dressing:
Pasta with peas and plain tofu:
We thought this soft, plain tofu was microwaved. They only served us tofu one other time, covered in BBQ sauce. It was no better.
Black Bean Burger:
Coconut Rice Pudding with Berries:
This won my favorite dessert award
Breakfast was often Blueberry pancakes and fruit:
Vegetable Soup:
Black Bean Soup:
Fruit Struddle:
Soggy and not my favorite.
Dinner Salad:
Herbed Polenta:
This dish could have been terrible, but it was fantastic and served with a side of sauted mushrooms and another of spinach.
Dinner Salad:
I must say that some of the saddest salads I've ever had have been on this cruise.
Corn Chowder:
I forgot what this was called but it seemed like left over veggies rolled in tortillas, deep fried, cut into pieces. Then, served with a side of pureed peas:
Creamy Pasta:The Chef and Webly:
I don't think he really wanted his photo taken with me, or anyone else.
Non Main Dining Room Food:

We checked out the sushi bar:
We found the coffee shop with soy milk:

Left over polenta with herbs, glass noodles and vegetables, and watermelon:
What do you call an alcohol-free, dairy-free drink? I don't know but it seems like the begining of a joke.We found the 24 hour Pizzaria!
The food was hit and miss. Most of it was good, if not great. I give them a lot of credit for trying. I would encourage other vegans to travel Carnival without fear. There's no need for an entire suitcase full of junk food, but it sure was nice to have some vegan baked goods! We're headed up to Alaska next year for a family cruise. We will be taking more Sweetpea cookies for sure and those little cartons of soy milk came in great for quick breakfasts with their boxed cereal.

Mr. and Mrs. Bolsh
(Tulum, Mexico; 125 F)