October 30, 2012

Mummified Corn Dawgs

Aren't these too cute?! I can't take credit for the idea. There are actually dozens of versions of this recipe floating around the internet. This one is from the gorgeous blog, Fork and Beans.

Here's the original post: 

As you can see, her mummy-bandage work is much more sophisticated than mine, but in my defense this was my first try. And, when it comes to mummies, I can work miracles with a roll of toilet paper and some tape! Just ask my kid.

Here's her recipe:

1/2 c. corn meal
1/2 c. gluten-free all purpose flour mix
1 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup non-dairy milk + 1/2 Tb apple cider vinegar
2 Tb oil
3 Tb. cornstarch (for coating)
4 gf/vegan tofu pups
4 lollipop sticks
Vegetable oil for frying (approx 2 quarts)
1/2 c. Veganaise “mayo” (placed in a squeeze bottle)
Mustard (for the Mummies’ eyes)
  • Heat up oil in a deep fryer or in a pot until it reaches 350 degrees (takes 5-7 minutes to heat up approx).
  • Roll each hot dog into the cornstarch, creating a thin layer to coat prior to dipping into batter.
  • Place a stick into each of the hot dogs and set on a plate.
  • Combine the corn meal, flour, salt, baking soda and powder together.
  • Add milk + vinegar mix, and oil into dry ingredients mix.
  • Dip each hot dog on a stick into the batter. Place into hot oil and cook 3 minutes or until nicely browned.
  • Place on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up the excess oil.
  • Using the squeeze bottle filled with Veganaise, create lines on the corn dog like mummy bandages.
  • Squirt mustard for the eyes.
  • I used black sesame seeds for the irises in my mummies' eyes.
  • This recipe definitely tasted good, but the batter was thick and crumbly. In the future I think I may try this with Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Beer Batter. It holds together well, and it tastes amazing. Also, I'm addicted to it, so yeah...
  • I may also try to make "bloody bandages" with ketchup the next time I do this. I think the taste would be complimentary.
Before you run off to make these mummified treats, please pay a visit to my new geek blog, JEN THE GEEK! It's brand-spankin' new so the posts are limited. But I'll be working on it regularly, when I'm not cookin' up the vegan grub.

October 29, 2012

Southwestern Black Bean Soup

I have my usual Autumn head-and-chest cold. I'll get another one sometime in January or February. It happens every single year, like clockwork. If the world ever goes to hell, and we lose our calendars, we can always tell the general month by when I get sick. Just remember that.
Needless to say, I haven't posted in a while. It's also needless to say "needless to say" but I like to say it. And I'm sick. So there.
The past few days have been a whirlwind of Tofurkey pizza, Amy's No-Chicken Noodle Soup with a side of vegan-buttered baguette, and hummus with chips and a side of kalamata olives. All of my favorite vegan comfort foods. The only thing missing is tabbouleh, dolmas, and candy. I need some sweets, people! And I'm too sick, and way too snotty and phlemmy and gross, to go anywhere near the kitchen and bake.
Can someone please send me a bucket of GoMaxGo bars??? I will put up a picture of you in my kitchen and pay homage to it daily. No, seriously, I will. *nods emphatically*

Needless to say (ha!), I didn't actually make this soup recently. I made it several days ago, when I was just starting to feel the ache in my sinuses. And I took one crappy picture (see photo above for evidence of craptastisity), then called it a day. But now I sure wish I had another big bowl of this stuff. It's so yummy! Very hearty, a bit spicy, with a stick-to-your-ribs quality that would really perk me up right now.

Go forth and make. Think of me while you're cooking. Think of where, in your city, you can purchase GoMaxGo bars at a decent price. Think of poor, sick, snotty Jen and how much she would enjoy some sweets. Email Jen for her mailing address. Stamp and send. Don't forget to include your picture! A drawing will suffice. Really, anything that I can pay daily homage to will suffice.
Oh wait! I can sweeten the deal. (I really, REALLY need some candy, dammit!) Any vegan bloggers who send me a GoMaxGo bar (or two or three...) will have a special feature right here on Bankrupt Vegan about their blog. I might even make a recipe or two and post the photos. You got it? Candy bars equal blog-love.

Now, go make this soup. It's totally bad ass.

1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning
4 cups vegetable broth
1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can of whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 package Tofurkey Italian Sausage links, sliced and cooked (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
First, chop your vegetables and have them ready to go.
  • Preheat a large pot or Dutch oven. Add oil and allow it to heat up for a minute or so. 
  • Add vegetables and gently saute until they are cooked through. 
  • Add taco seasoning and stir to coat vegetables. 
  • Add broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir well. Add bay leaf and stir again. 
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour.
  • Add cilantro leaves and allow to simmer a few more minutes.
  • If you're using the Italian Sausage, go ahead and slice it and cook it while you're soup is simmering. I just cook the slices in a little oil on a cast iron skillet until the edges are brown. Add it into the soup at the same time you add your cilantro.
  • Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Enjoy with a side of warmed and buttered corn tortillas.

October 21, 2012

Cranberry-Almond Kale Salad

I am always searching for more ways to cram kale into my diet. I love the stuff! And I always feel so great after I eat it - energized and... uh.. well, you know... "rollin' in the colon" and stuff. Hey, I just made up a new phrase! Rollin' in the colon. I like that.

1 bunch fresh kale, stalks removed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup, agave nectar, or sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, very finely grated (I use the little frozen squares)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • First, whisk together the following items in a large bowl: orange juice, apple cider vinegar, sweetener of your choice, soy sauce, and sesame oil. 
  • Add the ginger and whisk again, until very well incorporated.
  • Add the kale and use salad tongs or hands, or whatever you've got, to gently toss the kale in the dressing until every leaf if covered and dripping with good stuff.
  • Now add your almonds and cranberries. Toss again.
  • Enjoy!
And now I have a strange request for my readers...

I have a mystery tree growing my backyard. We've only lived here for a year, and all year long I've watched these weird little pink balls growing on the tree behind my bedroom window. Now they are falling off and I'm like, "Should I be roasting these or what?" I have no clue what they are. The little black thing on top reminds me of a persimmon, but I saw some persimmons at the grocery story recently and they were way bigger than what I have. So, I am flummoxed. Can anybody shed some light on this??

And, if you know what it is, can you also throw a recipe or two my way? The Bankrupt Vegan title is not just a clever moniker. If I have food growing in my backyard, I need to eat it!

October 17, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Nirvana Smoothie

You know what's hard to take a good picture of? Smoothies!
That said, this was by far the most delicious and decadent smoothie I have ever tasted. I got the recipe from my pal, Katherine Lawrence, at her sister site Delectable Planet.

Here's the original recipe:  

It's just four simple ingredients, it's packed with vitamins, and it is truly so rich and chocolatey that you feel like you're somehow "cheating," but you're not! My daughter and I knocked it back in a minute flat. Delicious!

2 cups unsweetened frozen cherries
1 banana
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
  • Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and serve.
  • Makes 2 servings.

October 16, 2012

Cinnamon Whole Wheat Cupcake with Orange Buttercream Frosting

We were invited to some friends' house for dinner last Sunday and I really wanted to bring something nice as a thank you. But I didn't have a lot of stuff on hand, so I culled this little number together based on my limited pantry offerings and, you know what? It turned out great! It's whole wheat, with a hint of cinnamon flavor in the cake, then topped with a rich orange buttercream frosting. I gave a couple of them to our sweet neighbors across the street and here's the message they posted on my Facebook timeline this morning: "Those vegan cupcakes were AMAZING!!! They were gone in about 2 seconds."

Yep. My work here is done...

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or coffee liqueur)
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour, or whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.
  • Put the teaspoon apple cider vinegar into a 1C measuring cup. Then pour the milk on top of it to fill the cup. Stir it gently and set it aside for a few minutes to allow it to curdle. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together all wet ingredients, including milk, as well as sugar.
  • Gently dump all dry ingredients on top of your wet mixture. Do not stir until all dry ingredients are added. Then stir or mix gently, until just mixed. Do not overmix.
  • Fill each baking cup 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until cupcake springs back when lightly touched.
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
2 tablespoons soy milk
Orange food dye, just a few drops (optional)
  • Cream together butter and shortening until well mixed, and light and fluffy.
  • Add 1 and a half cups of powdered sugar, and the orange extract, and mix well.
  • Add the remaining powdered sugar, along with the milk and mix again.
  • Add dye, a couple of drops at a time, if using.
  • Only frost cupcakes when they are completely cooled.
  • Enjoy!

October 15, 2012

Divine Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I know there are about eight billion banana bread recipes floating around the interwebs, but I have an entire tropical forest of overripe bananas sitting in my freezer and I need to use them!
I swear, I've never made the same banana bread recipe twice. I am always changing up my recipe, trying new ones, different flavors, exotic add-ins. Today I just wanted something simple. I went with what I had in my pantry, which explains the use of brown sugar and coffee liqueur (which I've discovered is a great substitute for vanilla). It turned out very moist and not-too-sweet, and we all really enjoyed it. This might be the one banana bread recipe I actually make more than once. I hope you like it too! 

2 tablespoons golden flax meal
1/4 cup warm water
4 medium to large overripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a standard loaf pan.
  • Mix the flax meal and water together, and let stand for several minutes. Stir again before adding to recipe.
  • In a large bowl, mix together bananas and oil. 
  • Add flax mixture, and mix again.
  • On top of your wet mixture, gently dump all of the dry stuff. Do not start mixing until all of the dry ingredients are in the bowl.
  • Gently mix or stir until everything is well-incorporated. Be careful not to overmix. Batter will be slightly lumpy, and that's okay!
  • Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for at least half an hour before digging in. Slice, butter, and enjoy!

October 13, 2012

"Cheesy" Corn Grits with Yellow Squash

Sorry I haven't been posting much this week. My husband and daughter both have sinus infections (and so does everyone else in town, it seems) thanks to the massive influx of ragweed blowing in the air. Lo and behold, although I too have been struggling with allergies to the ragweed, I have managed to stave off the sinus infection via use of the magical Neti Pot. If you have seasonal allergies, get one! It totally works. It feels gross when you're pouring salt water into your schnoz, but it's totally worth it. And now I'm the only human in town who doesn't have a sinus infection. I wonder if the Neti Pot also works for zombie outbreaks? Better keep it handy, just in case...

So, today the family seems to be perking up a bit. My husband even cleaned the family room and the kitchen while I took an amazing nap with my two fat kitty cats, Paddy and Putter Jack! It was a magical Saturday afternoon for Jen, y'sir. And when I woke up, feeling totally renewed, I blew into the kitchen to concoct this grits recipe. I had some leftover squash after frying up squash and zucchini in fabulous beer-batter (yes, those are beer-battered zucchini sandwiches you see in the photo) and I didn't want it to go to waste, so here's how I used it:

3 cups water
1 cup white corn grits
1 tablespoon olive oil (or water)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup yellow squash, finely chopped
1/2 cup vegan cheddar, shredded
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan.
  • Add the grits while gently stirring.
  • Reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed.
  • While grits are cooking, saute squash and garlic with oil (or water) in a smaller pan or skillet, until soft.
  • When grits are finished cooking, add squash and garlic, along with all remaining ingredients to your grits and stir until the vegan cheese is melted.
  • Salt and pepper on the plate after serving. 
  • Enjoy!

October 9, 2012

Beer-Battered Onion Rings

These onion rings were a happy accident. And now I'm certain I'm going to make them every weekend as a special treat!
What happened was this... I was making the Beer-Battered Tofu recipe in Isa Chandra Mosokowitz's fabulous cookbook, Vegan Brunch*, and I just happened to have some batter left over. So, my husband suggested that I "pick any vegetable and fry it up in the batter." I had an organic onion sitting on my counter about to go smushy, and the rest is history! This was, of course, my first attempt at onion rings. I think I will cut them a lot thicker next time. But thick or thin, it doesn't really matter, they were great!

You will need...
1 to 2 large white or yellow onions, sliced and rings separated

And here's the recipe for the batter, from the cookbook Vegan Brunch:

Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold dark beer
1/2 cup cold water
Salt, for sprinkling
  • Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Pour in about a half inch of oil. Proceed to make the batter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to combine the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the beer and water. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Test the oil by dropping in a drop of the batter; if rapid bubbles form around it then the oil is not hot enough. If you have a thermometer then it should read between 325 - 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Okay that's the batter from the cookbook.
The rest is up to me. Here it goes...
  • Dump as many onion rings as you think will fit into your frying oil into your batter and coat them thoroughly. Your hand are going to get messy!
  • Gently slip the rings, one at a time, into the oil and try to keep them from being too crowded. Drop medium sized rings into the larger ones, and so forth, but don't pile them all on top of one another. 
  • After a minute or so, flip the rings over and allow to fry on the other side. It won't take as long this time, just somewhere between thirty seconds and a minute.
  • Allow cooked rings to drain on several paper towels. 
  • If you're going to salt them, it's best to do it immediately after removing them from the oil, to help it stick. 
  • Repeat with remaining rings.
  • Then dip in ketchup and enjoy!
*If it seems like I'm yapping about Vegan Brunch a lot, it's because I've only had this cookbook in my possession for a couple of weeks. I know it's been around for several years, but it's new to me. And I am excitedly discovering all that it has to offer, which is a whole lot of yum!

October 8, 2012

Chocolate No-Milk Shake Redux

I've been reading a fantastic book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman called Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right. I have underlined, starred, and dog-eared at least 80% of what I've read so far. Tons of great information!
I'm bringing this up because when I was reading this morning, I was particularly struck (stricken?) by the following passage:

"Raw nuts, seeds, and avocados are also foods rich in fat, but they contain healthy fats, important for normal growth and development, and they are rich in nutrients as well. Consumption of these foods has been shown to have powerful protective effects against disease. The results are so striking that in one study men who ate raw nuts had half the heart attack rate compared to men who did not eat nuts. Furthermore, eating raw nuts and seeds has been shown to decrease the death rate from all causes, extending life-span... Eating nuts and seeds makes us live a lot longer and prevents both heart disease and cancer. Eating walnuts, almonds, pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and many more varieties is the best way for us and especially our children, to get the healthy fats we need from nature's tasty and unpolluted source...
When children obtain most of their essential fats from raw nuts and seeds, they not only get the healthier fats, but they also receive lots of beneficial minerals and antioxidants in the process."

This got me thinking about the amount of nuts and seeds I eat. Not many! Nuts and seeds are expensive, and I can only get them when they are on sale or I find them at the salvage store, which happens but is rare. So, basically, I'll just have to give up something less essential (perhaps chocolate chips, for example) so that I can afford the dang nuts. And, even more importantly, I need to find ways for my daughter (who hates nuts) to do it too. And that reminded me of a no-milk shake recipe that I posted on here almost two years ago.

Here's the link to the original post: Chocolate No-Milk Shake

This no-milk "milkshake" is comprised primarily of raw cashews, and it truly does taste like a bona fide chocolate milkshake. I remember in the summer of 2010, right after I discovered how to make these, my daughter and I drank them daily. She had no idea she was chug-a-luggin' a bunch of raw nuts. So, it made me feel great because I was giving her something healthy, and she felt great because she thought she was having chocolate. Win-win! I'm definitely going to start making these again.

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 tray of ice cubes (about 3 cups)
1/8 cup powdered unsweetened cocoa
1 cup soy or nut milk
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Toss all ingredients, except the ice, into a strong blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Add ice cubes through the hole in the lid one at a time, and continue to blend until nice and creamy.
  • Try substituting maple or mint flavoring for the vanilla sometime. Both are equally yummy!
  • Makes two large servings, or four small ones.
  • Enjoy!

October 6, 2012

The Leaning Tower of Pancakes

I wasn't planning to post today, but I just had to share the hilariously ginormous stack of pancakes I cooked up this morning. Lila and I were making, "Whoa, whooooaaaaaaaaa" noises as I carried the wobbling stack to the table for a photo. It reminded me of the poem "Pancake?" by Shel Silverstein.

by Shel Silverstein (from the book Where the Sidewalk Ends

Who wants a pancake,
Sweet and piping hot?
Good little Grace looks up and says,
"I'll take the one on top."
Who else wants a pancake,
Fresh off the griddle?
Terrible Theresa smiles and says,
"I'll take the one in the middle."

This is the Perfect Pancakes recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's fabulous cookbook, Vegan Brunch (published by the Perseus Books Group).

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 to 1 1/4 cups plain rice milk or soy milk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cooking spray
  • Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for at least 2 minutes (and up to 5 minutes).
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Make a well in the center and add the oil, water, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix just until ingredients are combined. A few lumps in the batter are just fine.
  • Spray the pan with a light coat of cooking spray (or a very light coat of oil). Pour pancakes one at a time and cook until bubbles form and the top looks somewhat dry (about 3 minutes). Flip over and cook for another minute.
  • Serve!
My Notes:
I substituted white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour and it worked great.
I also substituted coffee liqueur for the vanilla extract and that was divine.

If you haven't already purchased every cookbook available from 
Isa Chandra Moskowitz, I suggest you do so a.s.a.p.
I have yet to be disappointed by a single one of her recipes.

Cookbooks by Isa Chandra Moskowitz:
Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook

Lastly, I just want to applaud Nickelodeon for turning off
the shows on all of their channels and, instead, posting this...
Click to learn more about the Worldwide Day of Play!

October 5, 2012

Easiest-Ever Hummus Quesadillas

My allergies are really buggin' me today, so I was looking for something quick and easy to whip up that would still qualify as healthy. Well, thanks to yesterday's Hep Halloween Hummus post, I have an abundance of yummy hummus to smear on any thing that will hold it. Today that thing was a whole wheat tortilla. I was going to stop there, but I suddenly got inspired! I sprinkled on some Daiya Cheddar, then some salsa. Then I grilled it all up on a cast-iron griddle and topped with a blob of Tofutti Sour Cream. It was fantastic! Don't you just love it when that happens?

Here's what the construction-in-progress version of my quesadilla looked like...

And here's Lila, all dolled up in her Dorothy-from-Kansas Halloween costume (she's gonna have that thing worn out before Halloween even gets here), chowing down on her quesadilla...

And, listen folks, I apologize if you get tired of seeing pictures of my kid. I just feel the need to prove to skeptical parents that children will actually eat this stuff and really enjoy it! I can't tell you how many times I've heard parents say stuff like, "My so-and-so will only eat french fries," and "I can't get so-and-so to eat a vegetable to save my life." Lila loves french fries too, but she eats plenty of other, really healthy stuff to balance the occasional intake of fries. Kids will eat vegetables, and they don't even need to be drowned in Ranch dressing. I promise! Sometimes you just have to get creative. Boy, riding this high horse really makes my butt hurt...
Anyway, here's how to piece that bad boy quesadilla together:

2 whole wheat tortillas (or whatever your favorite is)
3 tablespoons your favorite hummus, or more to taste
2 tablespoons your favororite salsa, or more to taste
A generous sprinkling of shredded vegan cheddar cheese
A dollop of vegan sour cream
  • Start your griddle heating up! I put mine on medium heat.
  • Smear the hummus on one tortilla.
  • Pile on cheese and salsa. You might want to use a spoon to spread the salsa around a bit.
  • Place the other tortilla on top.
  • Grill gently on a cast iron griddle or skillet. It doesn't take long, maybe just a minute on each side.
  • Cut with a pizza cutter while still on the griddle.
  • Place on a plate and top with vegan sour cream.
  • Enjoy!

October 4, 2012

Hep Halloween Hummus

What makes this hummus special for Halloween, you ask? There's a rubber finger in the bottom of the bowl! Mwa-hah-hahhhhh!!!

Can you tell we are big fans of Halloween at my house? Uhhh, yeah. That's an understatement. We *lurve* Halloween super hard! It's always been my favorite holiday, and I think that's partially because it comes at the advent of my favorite season, autumn. I just love everything about autumn! The colors, the pumpkin pastries, the smells, the lowering temperatures after another ass-hot Texas summer. It's great! Behold my current fireplace mantel decorations, a shrine to all things autumn.

Make this hummus for your next Halloween party, and don't forget the rubber finger!

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1/4 cup tahini paste
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, minced
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce or liquid aminos
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Throw everything into a food processor and whirl until smooth and creamy. 
  • Enjoy!
P.S. For an even cheaper version of classic hummus, click HERE.