Saturday, June 19, 2010

Garlic Scape and Strawberry Mint Lemonade

So its summer, which means its herb season! I bought myself a few herb plants from the farmers market and I'm super excited.
Basil, Lemon Thyme and Mint!

In celebration of summer and mint I made strawberry mint lemonade, which is pretty much the most refreshing thing I've ever tasted.


1 cup water
1/4 cup raw sugar or maple syrup

2 cups cold water
The juice from 3 or 4 lemons
1 cup strawberries
a handful of mint

Put the sugar and 1 cup of water into a pot and heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.

In a blender, pulse everything until there are no strawberry chunks left. Be careful not to overload your blender or you'll end up with lemonade on your ceiling and your floor. I started by only putting in 1 cup of water and mixing in the rest once everything was blended, just to thin it out.

This makes about 4 cups of lemonade, maybe a bit more.

I also picked up some garlic scape, which is one of my personal favorites. Garlic scape is the plant from the garlic bulb. It looks and feels a bit like asparagus but it tastes like garlic.
If you slow roast them, they get sweet and soft like roasted garlic. I like the garlic bite so I just quickly sauteed them.


3 or 4 garlic scape
1 teaspoon oil or margarine
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Cut the scape into 2" or 3" pieces.
Heat the oil in a pan on medium high.
lay the scape in the pan in an even layer and sautee for 3-5 minutes or until they start to take on a little color, but are still firm and crisp.
Add the balsamic vinegar and let it reduce slightly.
Remove from heat.

This would be really good with roasted potatoes and tempeh or maybe over a salad. I just ate it alone and barely shared with my gentleman. Poor him...oops.

I'm working on getting this whole thing regular and updated.
Until next time!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spelt Chocolate Chip Walnut Scones

Oh Hai there internuts...
so yeah in June I may or may not have said something about it being a week until I posted again but uh...clearly that didn't happen.
BUT now I have a brand spankin new computer, a real internet connection and a kitchen to cook in so maybe I can get this together.

Anyhoodles, lately I've been experimenting with alternate flours and the Gentleman brought me home some spelt flour and coconut flour to play with. Spelt has less gluten than regular wheat flour and some people with wheat allergies can eat it.

Now, normally I am a cookie freak but this week I've made these scones 3 times and they are an excellent cookie alternative as they use less earth balance and you just drop them onto the cookie sheet instead of having to shape them. Plus they're so easy I memorized the recipe after the first time. Honestly I have been trying to get this recipe up here for a week, but we keep eating all the scones before I get pictures.

If you can't get coconut flour you can just grind up some unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor or coffee grinder.

Chocolate Walnut Scones with Spelt and Coconut flours
-1 3/4 cups spelt flour
-3 teaspoons baking powder
-5 Tablespoons cold margarine, cut into small chunks (I use Earth Balance soy-free)
-1 Tablespoon raw or brown sugar (I use florida crystals)
-1 Tablespoon flax meal
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
-1 cup almond milk (you could use soy milk, but rice milk might be too thin)
-1/4 cup coconut flour
-1/3 cup chopped walnuts
-1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Dry bowl:
-Sift together the spelt flour and baking powder.
-Using a fork, cut the cold margarine into the spelt flour until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Be careful not to over work the spelt flour or it will get tough. Using cold butter helps keep the flour from getting overworked.

Wet bowl:
-mix coconut flour, sugar, flax meal and almond milk together.

Add chocolate chips, walnuts and the Wet bowl to the Dry bowl. Using a spatula or a spoon, fold the wet into the dry. Be careful not to over mix.

You can either make 6 big scones or 10 medium size.
Bake until the outside is slightly firm and a toothpick comes out clean. This usually takes between 10-20 minutes depending on how large your scones are.

You can choose to omit all the sweetness and maybe add caramelized onions or rosemary or vegan cheese or spinach or garlic or you can top a pot pie or take over the world...really the possibilities are endless.

The point is that these are an excellent base for your sconey imagination.
Let me know what you come up with!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dear Blogoverse,

I have not forgotten you, I just work so much I never cook anymore. Its driving me crazy but soon I will start this back up again. Gimmie like, a week.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lemon Garlic Brussel Sprouts

Recently I had a very intense craving for brussel sprouts. I had only had them once before, but I remembered them being delicious. After about a week of constant sprout contemplation I finally got my hands on some and set to work.


-Roughly 1 lb of Brussel Sprouts
-the juice of 1 Lemon
-1 or 2 Garlic Cloves, grated or minced fine
-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp mustard (optional. It helps emulsify the dressing so it doesn't seperate and stays on a little better.)

Set your oven for 400 degrees.

In a large bowl mix the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously while drizzling in the olive oil.

After washing your brussel sprouts and pulling off any bruised or otherwise icky outer leaves, cut them into quarters.

Toss the sprouts in the dressing until well coated and then transfer them to a baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until they're a nice crunchy brown.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Sesame Tofu

Sesame Tofu is my OTHER favorite Chinese food. This was actually my first time making it and I'm impressed with how accurate it was, considering I was winging it.

1 block tofu, pressed.
enough vegetable oil for 1/4" deep in your pan.
1-2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp sliced scallions (optional)

2 Tbsp ground flax seed
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 c water

1/3 c maple syrup
4 T soysauce or braggs. I used half and half.
2 Tbsp ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 c water
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Step 1:
Mix your batter. It should be like thin pancake batter.
While your vegetable oil is heating up over medium high, slice your tofu into squares.
Dunk them in the batter and lay them in the hot oil. Remember to lay them away from you, so you don't splash yourself with hot oil.
The batter wont turn golden brown, it will just get crispy. Fry the tofu for about a minute and a half per side.
I apologize for the lack of pictures, but expensive camera + batter + hot oil = disaster so...

Step 2:
In a tablespoon of reserved fry oil, fry the ginger and garlic. Careful not to burn the garlic or it will get bitter.
When they are soft, add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and maple syrup.
Stir water and cornstarch into a slurry and add to sauce.
Bring to a boil and allow to thicken.

Toss the tofu with the sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with scallions. Serve over rice and broccoli.


Broccoli and Tofu with Brown Sauce

I love Chinese food. Its greasy, delicious and you eat it with sticks. Broccoli with brown sauce has always been a favorite of mine, but sadly a lot of places make it with oyster sauce which is not vegan. Super sad face, I know!

BUT there is a bright side! Its actually really easy to make at home, plus no MSG headache!

4 cups broccoli
1 block tofu, pressed.
vegetable oil

2 c broth or water
3 cloves garlic, minced (feel free to use less garlic, but I'm a fiend. I even have a garlic tattoo. Yes really.)
1 Tbsp ginger
1/4 c soy sauce or braggs
1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 c sugar


Step 1:
If you are using a steel pan, sprinkle salt into your dry pan and heat on medium high. This will stop your tofu from sticking and causing a disaster. It also seasons the tofu, which is a nice bonus.
If you're using teflon, pour in your oil before you start heating your pan. You never want to heat a teflon pan when its dry. Chemicals and whatnot. blegh.

Step 2:
Heat up enough vegetable oil so that its 1/4" deep.
Fry your tofu for about 3 minutes per side, or until they're crispy. Unless you like gooey fu, in which case, don't cook it as long. I'm a crispy kind of gal so I like to make it golden. Remember that if your oil isn't hot enough, or if you crowd the pan, you'll get greasy tofu which is no fun.
When both sides are cooked, place them on a paper bag or a draining rack with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
I took a bite for um...demonstration reasons. It was delicious.

Now is a good time to break up your broccoli.

Step 3:
mix your soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar.

Step 4:
Drain off the remaining oil**, leaving a little to fry the garlic and ginger on medium heat. Careful not to burn the garlic or it will get bitter. I burned the garlic because I was taking pictures. oops.
Once the garlic and ginger are soft, add the broth and soysauce mix.

**I'd suggest doing so into an empty coffee can or another metal pan. Don't pour it into anything that will melt or explode.

Depending on how cooked you like your broccoli, you may blanch or steam your broccoli before adding it to the sauce. If you do blanch your veg, make sure you drain it really well or the sauce will get watery. I found that out the hard way.
I steamed my broccoli this time but I found that it ended up overcooked. I usually prefer my broccoli practically raw though, so its all up to you.


Serve over rice, or in my case, rice noodles.
This could serve 3 normal people or 2 really hungry people and a Squidgy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chocolate Filled Scones

These were supposed to be chocolate chip scones, but somewhere along the line I forgot about the chocolate and ended up looking at chocolateless scone dough and a pile of chocolate chunks. The solution was clear and huzzah happy mistakes! The scones themselves are slightly less sweet than traditional scones, which blends really nicely with the sweetness of the chocolate.


2 c flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp vegan margarine (I use earth balance brand)
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
1/3 c "milk" (I used soymilk but any milk alternative will work)
2 flax eggs: 2 Tbsp ground flax, 6 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 1:

mix flour, baking soda and salt in a big bowl. I sift them together but its not vital.

Step 2:
Mix together your flax eggs, milk and sugar

Step 3:
cut in* your "butter". You want the mix to be the texture of breadcrumbs.
If you're making chocolate chip scones instead of chocolate filled scones, now would be a good time to throw in your chocolate chips.

*you're essentially cutting the butter into teeny teeny pieces so that little tiny balls of butter are surrounded by flour. This means when it bakes, all those tiny balls of butter melt and make it all flaky and delicious. I just use a fork to mash up the butter with the flour. Try and keep your butter cold or it will just make a gooey mess instead of cutting in properly.

Step 4:
Mix till it forms a dough, then turn out onto a floured surface.
Knead it for 15 seconds and roll it into a 2" thick circle.

Step 5:Photobucket
Use a pizza cutter to cut the circle into 8 triangles.

Step 6:
pile your chocolate on the biggest part of the triangle then fold the little corner up...
then pinch the seams closed. You want to make sure there are no holes or else the chocolate will leak out and be messy.
If you're into that kind of thing, feel free to sprinkle some sugar on top before baking.

Squidgy reigns over his scone kingdom.

Step 7: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Don't let them get too brown or they'll be hard and dry, which is no fun.

Let them cool for a few minutes before you eat them because that chocolate is nuclear straight out of the oven and you will burn your face off. I've seen it happen.