February 26, 2011

Tofu Scramble with Red Pepper and Sausage

I found the most gorgeous organic red bell peppers at the grocery store yesterday! They were picture-perfect, and even though I love roasting red peppers, these were just too pretty to blacken over a flame. So, what did I do? I chopped 'em to bits and threw 'em in a scramble! Seems like a reasonable compromise, right?

1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 cup water, plus more if needed
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced (if you can't afford red, green will work too!)
14 ounces extra firm tofu, cubed
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons paprika, to taste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
5 small to medium-sized links/patties of vegan sausage, cooked and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Shredded vegan cheddar, for garnish (optional)
Vegan sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Corn tortillas, for use as a vehicle to get the scramble to your mouth (optional)
  • Place 1/2 cup of water, onions, and garlic into a large skillet and saute over medium heat until onions are translucent.
  • Add peppers and continue to saute for a couple of minutes, until they begin to soften. Add more water, if needed, to prevent sticking.
  • Add tofu and continue to saute until all ingredients are soft and heated through. Continue to add water, if needed.
  • Add soy sauce, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Stir until well-blended. 
  • Add the sausage. 
  • Cover and simmer on low heat for just a few minutes. You can use this time to heat up your tortillas, if you're using them.
  • Load the scramble onto a tortilla. Top with cheese and sour cream, then munch! High in protein, this scramble is a fantastic and delicious way to start your day. You will be zooming with energy for hours!
  • Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

February 18, 2011

Bankrupt Bitchtastic Brownies

Today's brownies are actually a cheapified version of the Bitchtastic Brownie recipe from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. I cannot afford fancy ingredients like Sucanat, so I just used plain ol' sugar (although I did go organic). Instead of safflower oil, I rocked the canola. You get the idea.
Ever since I went vegan, I've been looking for a great brownie recipe, and this is a good one. These brownies are fudgy, chewy and deeply intoned with rich chocolate flavor. Yummy!

Make these for your loved one, make them for your "girly time," make them for parties, share 'em or don't. Just promise to give them a try. They are delicious!

Here's my version of the recipe:

5 ounces unsweetened vegan baking chocolate 
1 1/4 cups sugar 
3/4 cups silken tofu
1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Lightly oil an 8x8" baking pan; set aside.
  • In the top of a double boiler, or in a medium metal bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring just until smooth.
  • Transfer the chocolate to a food processor. Add the sugar, tofu, oil, and vanilla. Process until smooth.
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt, pulsing until just combined.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Thoroughly cool on a cooling rack before cutting into 9 or 12 squares.
  • Enjoy!

February 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

It's cold and crappy outside. What else is there to do but bake, drink coffee, and watch old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and That 70's Show? Seriously, what else???

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (the natural kind, not the hydrogenated crud)
1/2 cup vegan shortening, softened (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 white sugar (organic preferred)
1/2 cup brown sugar (organic preferred)
1/4 cup soy or nut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cream together peanut butter, shortening, and both sugars until fluffy and pale. It will take several minutes to reach the right consistency.
  • Add vanilla and milk. Mix until well-blended.
  • Add baking soda and salt. Continue to mix.
  • Gently add flour, a half cup at a time, until mixed in well (be careful not to over-mix). Scrape the sides of the bowl regularly with a rubber spatula.
  • Chill the dough in the refrigerator while you prepare your filling... (see filling recipe below)
  • After you have prepared the filling, and your dough is nicely chilled, go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  • You'll need a big, flat area to roll out your dough. I used my kitchen table. Sprinkle your table with flour (use more as needed) and rub your rolling pin with flour too. Roll out the dough in batches (I did a third of the dough at a time). Make each batch about a quarter of an inch thick and use a circular cookie cutter or a glass (which is what I used) to cut nice, uniform circles into your dough. Gently place each piece of dough, two inches apart, onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, using a thin spatula.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. 
  • When you take the cookies out of the oven, leave them to sit on the cookie sheet until they are cool. They will break very easily if you don't. But, once they have cooled, they will be very sturdy.
  • Once they have cooled, stack them and set them at the work station where you intend to cram them with filling.
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (ditto what I said above about the natural stuff)
1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar (organic preferred)
2 tablespoons soy creamer
  • Cream together the peanut butter and Earth Balance until fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and continue mixing. 
  • Add the sugar and continue mixing. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • Add the soy creamer a tablespoon at a time, mixing well each time. 
  • Place about a tablespoon of filling in between two cookies and gently squeeze until it reaches the outside edges. 
  • Give one to your kid and another to your husband to shut them up so you can finish the rest!
  • Repeat. Eat!
  • Makes between 12 and 16 cookie sandwiches, depending on how big you cut your cookies.
  • Enjoy! 
Just for funsies, I used the new Star Wars pancake molds I got for my birthday on some of the cookie dough. They turned out great! It inspired talk with my husband about a Star Wars-themed Christmas party...