Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vegan Rice Flour Thumbrint Cookies!

This is a slightly adapted, well-loved jam cookie recipe. As I prepare to move, I try to eat up everything in the pantry so I don't have to move it.  This is how I ended up with rice flour cookies.
These cookies are dead easy to make.  They're made of just under 1 cup of rice flour which is combined with just under 1/2 cup of margarine that's been creamed with 1/4 cup of sugar and a tsp of vanilla.
They're allowed to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes, then rolled into 15-20 small balls and pressed flat, with a small dollop of jam in a thumbprint in the middle.
Bake these beauties at 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes (they're done when they start to go slightly brown, and how long it takes depends on how large you made them).  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vegan Millionaire's Shortbread!

Caution: chopped chocolate is dangerously delicious!
Keep stirring!

Almost there!
Here we go!

This dessert was a delicious pain in the butt.
Okay, I exaggerate.  It wasn't so bad, but I am certain that it's not very good for you.  It's full of sugar and Earth Balance margarine, and Soy Creamer (which I will never buy again because it is terrifying).
Still, if you want to make an oldschool dessert, or get that 'you're frigging kidding it's vegan?!' reaction, this is a great dessert to make.
I have no pictures of the final product because, frankly, I'm embarrassed at how it looked.  The thick, set chocolate got hard in the refrigerator and shattered when I tried to cut into it, leading to broken, dusty shapes a co-worker called 'parallelograms'.  If I were to make this again, I'd probably them just after they'd set in the refrigerator instead of waiting until the next day.
The process is basically this:  make shortbread by combining 1/2 cup of Earth Balance or other vegan margarine, 1/4 cup of sugar, and just under two cups of flour (I mixed regular flour with 1/4 cup of rice flour). Press this stuff into a small baking pan lined with wax paper.
Bake at 400 degrees until golden (just keep an eye on it, it could be 15 minutes or closer to 40, depending on the thickness and your oven).  Take it out and let it cool. 
Combine another 1/2 cup of Earth Balance with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1.5 cups of vegan cream in a heavy-bottomed pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium and allow the mixture to thicken and get dark.  It will take awhile, and you have to stir vigilantly the entire time.  My friend Edie and I took shifts on this one.
When it's thick, amber coloured and greatly reduced, remove it from the heat and continue to stir for a minute or so.  Then pour the guk over the shortbread and gently spread it. 
Refrigerate until set.
Melt just under 2 cups (about 20g) of chopped chocolate in a double boiler.  When it's melted, pour it over the set cookie and caramel, and spread evenly.
Let them shits cool again.
When it appears fully set, gently lift it out of the container by the edges of the wax paper and try to cut it into squares.  This is where I failed, so I wish you better luck.
Also: you'd better share this or you and your tight-ass jeans will be sorry!

Doenjang Jjiggae - Korean Soybean Tofu Stew!

Spent another portion of the week cooking with youtube.  This week I spent trying to get over a flu-type sickness that hit me over thanksgiving. When I started feeling a little better, I thought that a spicy, bubbling Korean stew would be a good way to get a load of nutrients and feel comforted.  
This stew is about as easy as they come.  
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, quartered
1 tsp chili flakes
1 medium potato, chopped into large chunks
Roughly 1 cup of coarsely chopped vegetables (I used a combination of zucchini, Broccoli, Red pepper and a small amount of Brussels Sprouts)

Everything is thrown into a pot (a Korean stone pot, if you have one) and just covered with water.  Turn them shits up to med-high, and when it starts boiling, add 1-2 tsp fish or vegetable stock powder and 2-3 tsp Korean Soybean paste or Miso.  If you like it hotter, at this point you can add some hot pepper paste to the mix.
Simmer until bean paste dissolves.  Then add about a half package of medium firm or soft tofu, chopped into 1 inch cubes.  Gently submerge them and allow them to heat.
Once they're hot, you're done! Garnish with sesame oil if you like and serve over rice, quinoa, or by itself with a lovely salad.

Om nom nom nom...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vegan Sauerkraut and Mushroom Pierogi!


I was cat-sitting recently, and thought: 'Why don't I cook something wonderful in the kitchen while I spend time with the little kitty?' I gathered the gear to make vegan pierogi for the first time and headed to Edie's place to spend the afternoon with Poppers. These Pierogi were easy to make (although they took quite some time to assemble) and tasted delicious!  I got the recipe from this site, and was pleased to find a 'traditional' pierogi recipe that happened to also be vegan.  It was worth all the work!