New Blog – Vegan Student Grub

Sorry for being lame and not writing, guys. I have a new blog that I find more interesting to write! Check it out if you’re interested. :)

http://universityofvegan.tumblr.com/

March

Not many photos here to share after an entire month, I know, but here are some of the things I made last month.
One of the easiest meals I can make, ever, is porridge, and if you didn’t already know, it is just as awesome made savoury as it is sweet. I like to make it with some kind of vegetable stock or soup powders (like some miso soup packages I had in the pantry) and whatever else I want to put in it; I think this one had blocks of smoked tofu, broccoli and peas. Also, as always, ridiculous amounts of sriracha and some vegan parmesan.

That cookbook my brother gave me last year for my birthday has been put to seriously good use (thanks bro). Here is “Broiled Blackened Tofu” from the book, a totally basic recipe for tofu that comes out tasting simple and delicious (also weirdly chicken-flavoured).Since it was my best friend’s 18th birthday I wanted to make him a serious cake. And by serious I mean something insanely decadent (and chocolatey). Therefore I concluded the only course of action I could take was to make him a chocolate layer cake with a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle and vanilla buttercream frosting (yes, all vegan, of course!). Everybody knows the best part about baking cookies isn’t the cookie itself, it’s the raw cookie dough. At least, that’s how I always figured it was!To end on a ~healthier~ note, again from the cookbook my brother gave me last year, Appetite for Reduction, came this recipe for “Forty-Clove Chickpeas & Broccoli” (which, no, doesn’t literally use forty cloves of chickpeas(!)). I used some brussels sprouts in it as well because we didn’t have enough broccoli. 100% smart. I’ll share it here after the picture, because it’s just so simple, anyone can make it, and this is really quick to make as well.

Forty-Clove Chickpeas & Broccoli – Serves 4

  • 1 pound (454 grams) broccoli, cut into large spears, stems chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 cloves of garlic, smashed (break into individual cloves and then smash them with the flat side of your knife, peel off the skin, and the clove will be relatively whole still)
  • 1 (15-ounce)(425g) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C). Place the broccoli, garlic, and chickpeas in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan, or something of similar size. Drizzle them with oil, spray with a little nonstick cooking spray, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the salt, several pinches of pepper, and the lemon zest and oregano. Once again, toss to coat. Spray a bit more for good measure, then pop it in the oven.

Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping once. Remove from the oven, flip again, and add the vegetable broth. Use a spatula to scrape up any crisp bits of flavor from the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the garlic cloves are nice and tender and the broccoli is browned in some places.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know a lot of people spend Valentine’s Day being grumpy and sad about the fact that they are single, but why waste energy hating the day when you can bake brownies for your Dad to take to work? ;) I love to bake and people love to eat brownies! A win-win situation.
If anyone from the office is reading this, thank you for trying these, and the recipe is available right here (but I’ll post it at the end as well just to make it that much easier… :]).

Also, thanks Mom & Dad, for those sweet little reminders you guys gave me. I love you both!

Raspberry Truffle Brownies (reposted from The PPK)

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (approx. 120g)

1/2 cup raspberry fruit spread
1/2 cup sugar or other dry sweetener (see note at the bottom)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 F // 175 C. Line an 8 inch pan with parchment paper and lightly mist with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the chocolate in either a double boiler or the microwave. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, vigorously mix together the jam, sweetener, and apple sauce. Stir in the extracts and the melted chocolate.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix very well until a stiff dough forms. Fold in the raspberries. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. It will be very thick, you’ll probably need to use your hands to evenly spread the batter.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, they should still be soft and gooey. If a tester toothpick comes out clean, they’re overbaked. Remove from oven and let cool completely. These taste especially good and fudgy after being refrigerated for a few hours.

A few recipe notes:
~This is one of those rare occasions where frozen fruit actually works better than fresh, so don’t worry about raspberries being out of season. The batter is very thick and I’m pretty sure that fresh raspberries would get crushed as you tried to knead them in.
~Use a naturally sweetened fruit spread if you can find one.
~For the dry sweetener, I use Sucanat, but any sugar will do.
~To get brownies as fudgy as possible, be careful not to overbake. These really benefit from chilling in the fridge for a few hours.
~To slice brownies, use a blunt knife (a butter knife or a plastic knife) and dip in water after each slice.

Momma’s Chili and Delicious, Drinkable Swamps

My mother makes the best chili in the world. She made this one vegan for me with red beans and Sojasun’s ‘ground beef’. I immediately wanted to write down the ‘recipe’ for this to save for the future, when I’ll be really fending for myself at university…now I know why her chili is so good! Thanks, Mom.
Baked sweet potatoes go great with leftover chili.

Speaking of leftovers, sometimes I like to get a little creative and end up making something a little different; who knew how good a spicy potato and celery root bake would be in a wrap? Like this one, with hummus, red pepper and tomato sauce:Okay, as for this one…I promise I didn’t just go outside with a bucket to the nearest pond, fill it up, come back home, pour its contents into a bowl and call it breakfast. This is a ‘Green Pear Smoothie’, a recipe I got from ‘Scatter Vegan Sweets‘ (which is actually available in PDF format, completely free, right here, so check it out! This recipe is on page 66). This one’s made with frozen pear and banana, dried dates (instead of dried figs, because *someone* had eaten them…;]), some water to thin it out, and, of course, spinach.

Wait, what?
I swear on my life this is a 100% yummy smoothie. And it goes great in a bowl with some cereal on top as well, because it’s thick and spoon-able. Here I topped it with some spelt flakes I bought at the health food store in town. Yum.I’m lucky that both my Mom and my Dad are both great cooks; my Dad is also a curious and adventurous one. He’s always brought me an interesting cookbook or some kind of vegan memento from his trips, and he’s subscribed to vegan blogs where he gets recipes from, such as this one, from a lovely Danish blog which also features some cool vegan versions of typical Danish foods, like this ‘Fredsfiske’ (kind of like a breaded fish fillet, only…made with parsnip!?). It works. It actually does resemble breaded fish fillet, particularly when eaten cold in a sandwich. (Thanks, Dad!)Gotta say though, nowadays, I’ll take roasted parsnips over fish anyday!

Cereal & Soygurt Picturebook

Lately I’ve been reverting back to cereal-and-(soy)yogurt-eating habits that probably have stuck with me since my Mom would snack on Kix and yogurt back when we lived in Belgium (which lives on in my memories as ‘the one with the shark’).

This is nothing too special, but one of the ways I like to mix up my cereal in the mornings; here, with Chocapic (because I am still a little girl, after all), banana, walnuts, strawberry soy yogurt, and some cinnamon (probably my favourite spice ever).
Despite forever being a little girl, I still want a nice morning coffee.

Besides Cookies…

Recently I’ve been loving raw carrots (I guess I do eat like a rabbit sometimes!).This sandwich was made with some flavoured tofu (miso/seaweed flavour), celery (including the leaves, because I love them), tomato, lettuce, carrot, mustard, ketchup, tomate frito, red onion, salt ‘n’ pepper, and some vegan Worcestershire sauce (which is totally dripping out onto the plate. Not a clean sandwich, but definitely delicious).This was a little ‘burger’ I made using some leftover sliced seitan I had in the fridge, which I pan-fried with some onion, spinach, mushrooms and sweetcorn. Good stuff.
I am loving this “Keep Calm And Carry On” mug I bought from TJ Maxx in Puerto Rico. It’s very English and also reminds me to just chill out sometimes. Although I can work well under pressure, pressure and stress don’t go hand in hand for me and I do far better without the latter.Besides the mug, I also love these chocolate & mint flavoured candy canes from Hershey’s. They’re vegan and definitely have a chocolate-y taste, so they’re a lovely little treat with a cup of Candy Cane Lane.

Making Sugar Cookies

I remember the last time I tried making sugar cookies; it was Christmas, and there were a couple of issues with the cookies themselves. First, I managed to overbake them, and second, the icing was pretty messy. But I had to try making sugar cookies again.I suppose it’s clear that I’m still an amateur cookie decorator! I realised that I should have added more water to my icing mixture, as it wasn’t liquid enough, plus I tried icing them with a knife which would have been okay had the stuff been liquid enough, but being the perfectionist that I am I couldn’t deal with the un-smoothness of it.So instead I decided to mix all the coloured icings I had made and added some cocoa powder to make a sort of ‘ganache’ to pipe little faces with on my cookies. I was a little worried that the powder would be too bitter but considering the icing is basically confectioner’s sugar it turned out to be nice and sweet.When I make baked goods like these that need to dry, I inevitably need to make fortresses like these to protect them from my dog, who is keen on just about anything she can get off the counter when people aren’t looking…And because I am just so incredibly cute I write things like this. I actually made these cookies for a bake sale and decided not to sell the blue and pink ones since I gave up making the coloured ones after I made four of them…

…which ended up happily ever after in me and my friends bellies.

Good cookies, they were. Next time, however, I will use the tips in this video to decorate my cookies.

The recipe (including the icing recipe, which -I- mistakenly did not add enough water to because I, like I said, am an inexperienced cookie decorator) can be found in ‘Quick & Easy Vegan Bake Sale‘ which I also made those delicious zucchini muffins out of.