Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oreo truffles

This is a quickly step-wise guide to oreo truffles. Yes, you can find this recipe on vegweb, kraft recipes, and otherwise. However, I like my version, which is why I share it with you.
This is a discovery of an amazingly easy vegan truffle that ANYONE can make. Also, anyone who tasted these loved them, and yes...100% vegan.

The oreo truffle - the recipe is found all over the internet, but this is what I did:
1. Buy the following: 8oz tofutti better than cream cheese, 16ish oz package of oreos or newman O's, 1 bag of semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips (I use either Sunspire or Ghirardelli)

2. Set out the cream cheese to soften while you do step number 3 - you will thank me later. Okay, so this is where I tell you the modification that I made. I had already used 1/4 of the tub of tofutti better than cream cheese to make a half batch of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World cream cheese frosting. I ONLY USED 6 OZ of cream cheese. Did it make a difference? I don't know. My recommendation: make cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting AND these oreo truffles. Problem solved.

3. Use a food processor and chop up the oreos - the whole cookie, the whole package. We did this in 3 batches to make it easier.

4. Stir in the cream cheese with the chopped up cookies - we stirred by hand, but you could probably use the food processor.

5. Make about 4 dozen balls of the cookie mixture. The balls will be about the size of a ping pong ball or slightly smaller. This step is completely up to you. Do you want bigger truffles? Do you like bite-size truffles? We went the smaller, bite-size route. We got 47 might get more or less. This would be a great stopping point if you need to do something else. You can refrigerate these little balls for awhile, and I would see that they would hold up to be drowned in the melted chocolate a little better. However, if you have the time, move on to step 5 right away.

5. Melt the chocolate chips - I put the whole bag in a glass bowl and microwaved it, stirring every so often until the chips were completely melted. You could do the double-boiler style melting. It is up to you!

6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, clear space in your refrigerator for the said cookie sheet, and get ready to make a mess.

7. Dunk the balls in the chocolate and land them on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. My tip: use spoons or forks to help you coat the truffle balls and transport them from the bowl to the cookie sheet.

8. Refrigerate until they are hardened. We let the truffles refrigerate over night. I've seen that you can freeze these for awhile, but you should really share them with friends, family, and/or co-workers, so you don't eat the whole batch yourself.

9. Try not to eat three in a row. (Good luck with that!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Musical coincidence?

In this household, we make pancakes every Sunday morning. My standby is blueberry pancakes, but I've been wanting to get rid of use some very ripe bananas for the last week (without freezing them or just tossing them in the garbage. It is definitely still too cold to walk my butt to the compost bin in the corner of the backyard).
My original intentions for these overly ripe bananas was banana bread, but I still have two bananas could still happen!

Pure coincidence happened this morning: "Banana Pancakes" (by Jack Johnson) filled the air as I was dancing and flipping banana pecan pancakes this morning. Yes, I dance while making food. It is a totally common thing to do. Try it yourself! Recipe found in Vegan with a Vengeance.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Actually, less tofu now than ever

I want to re-title this blog. Mainly, I find myself not posting because the items we make at home don't contain tofu (or soy) anymore, and the title of this blog was: more tofu please!

You can see the contradiction, right?

How are we reducing our soy intake? and why?
- We eat less tofu and more seitan; seitan has a firmer texture most of the time, so El enjoys this more than tofu.

- Most of the time, we incorporate beans into our meals instead of faux meat. I love most faux meat as much as the next vegan, but El really doesn't enjoy the fauxness. This is probably because he still eats meat. However, beans add flavor and a different texture to meals. Our favorites: black beans and canellini beans.

- We drink (or use) almond milk now instead of soy milk. I enjoy soy milk, especially the holiday flavors (Pumpkin Spice is my favorite). However, I LOVE hemp milk. And really enjoy almond milk. And then there's rice milk. For people who enjoyed skim milk in their pre-vegan lives, then I highly recommend rice milk. I just can't drink it. Because the price of hemp milk is sky high, we drink almond milk. From our experience, it subs really well in pancake, waffle, and baked-goods recipes. Our product recommendation: Blue Diamond unsweetened original. Next would probably be Trader Joe's almond milk, then Silk's variety.

- When it comes to yogurt, I eat the soy version. While I'm waiting for a commercially available almond milk yogurt, I stick with Whole Soy's vanilla flavored yogurt.

- This leads to: why the reduction? I have felt a noticeable difference in how I feel (physically and emotionally) since I've cut most of the soy out of my diet. That's enough for me! El might say something like: "Moobs"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Secret family recipe, veganized: cough syrup

In the same few days, I managed to catch a cold while the temperature plummeted from beautiful 50F to 10F. Oh my.

My family was big on making cough syrup from scratch. And it always worked like a charm! The only problem: honey is the base.

Searching through my cupboards for relief, I stumbled upon my cure: brown rice syrup! Here's my family's cough syrup, veganized:

3 parts brown rice syrup (replaces honey, volume for volume)
2 parts lemon juice (yes, go ahead and use concentrate if you don't have lemons)
1 part whiskey (the cheap shit that you don't really drink is fine)

I use 1/8 cup as a "part," but feel free to use any unit of measurement that fits your fancy! Combine all ingredients in a small, resealable bowl. Mix with a spoon until completely homogeneous. Take 2 tablespoons of cough syrup every 4-6 hours until you feel better.

The syrup/honey coats and soothes your throat. The lemon starts to cut through the junk in your throat. And the whiskey cuts through the rest of the crap and makes your feel better!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving compromise

I've accepted that my close friends, family, and husband can enjoy vegan food but will never be vegan. To some, this may seem impossible. To others, you totally understand where I'm coming from. I'm not pushy and I'm patient. When asked, I explain why I'm vegan; I never tell my story without being asked.

Over the years, my family and I have had growing pains about my veganism. However, I'd say it is at its best right now!

This Thanksgiving I will be celebrating with my mom, sister, a co-worker from India, and an aunt and uncle (one pair out of four). We finally discussed what will be served, and I'm proud to present that more than 75% of it is vegan, some from Appetite For Reduction and some from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog, which I love dearly. Here's the list:

Chickpea Cutlets
Caulipots (mashed potatoes and cauliflower, AfR)
Chickpea Gravy (AfR)
Green Bean Casserole (FFVK)
Coconut Butternut Squash (AfR)
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake (FFVK)
Dressing aka Stuffing (veganizing my grandmother's recipe)
Pecan Pie (Oey, we're going to try to veganize my mom's recipe this year)
A "relish tray" - this is what my mom calls a veggie tray with dip (We'll be making the dip with Tofutti's sour cream!)
Dinner rolls that are accidentally vegan
A couple of turkey breasts (I feel defeated, but it is not a whole turkey!)
My aunt is going to a side dish, but I'm not sure what it is

I talked my mom out of creamed corn (my least favorite vegetable), Jell-o, Jell-o with fruit in it salad, a regular salad (come on! it is Thanksgiving! I eat salads almost everyday), and candied yams.

Overall, this is a success this year for me. Compared to the first Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, this is amazing. At the first one, I could only eat the pie and side dish I brought.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? If you have omni friends or family that you're celebrating with, how are you compromising with them (or do you not compromise)?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Product review: Gardien Seven Grain Crispy Tenders

I've tried a few different kinds of Gardien, but these are the one I like the best: Seven Grain Crispy Tenders. I use the traditional method of the conventional oven, so they do take a bit longer to make. My thoughts: yeah, they're good. I can eat the whole bag in one sitting. However, I can't eat them without some kind of bar-b-que sauce (more calories).
When I eat the whole bag, it is a guilty pleasure that comes back to bite me in the butt. literary. One bag is what? 5 servings? omg. Okay, so about 450 calories. When I pair them with baked tater tots or tater triangles, then eat the whole bag with bbq sauce, that's about a 1000 calories. A girl needs to know her limits, and I don't. And can't resist.
My rating:
Taste (with bbq sauce): 9/10
Taste (without bbq sauce): 2/10
Nutritional profile: 8/10 (they are decent for you)
Texture: 7/10
Convenience: 10/10
Works well with weight-loss diet: 0/10 (no restraint, remember?)
Overall: 5/10

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 14: Cookbook Challenge

Two posts, one day? Yes, I was inspired to cook again! I love the ideas that spew from Vegan MoFo. I'm taking on a challenge, initialized by I too have a lot of cookbooks that I've barely touched. To make me feel like I use all of my cookbooks, the rest of MoFo, I'll be doing this challenge (optimally it will be every other day, but I'm shooting for everyday)!

A piece of paper for every cookbook that I want to use more goes into hat. I draw a piece of paper, then use to generate 2 numbers (sorry, I just can't do three like Jojo!) I make the recipes on the corresponding pages, and post 'em. Also, I'm just going to use one cookbook instead of a couple. Since I plan on doing this for the remaining half of MoFo, I don't feel too bad about only using one cookbook at a time.

Here we go! Today's cookbook is The Kind Diet (don't judge me, I really like Alicia Silverstone!) and the random numbers generated were 151 and 208. Tonight's menu consists of Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Basil, and Tomato along with Egg Salad Sandwiches.

The hot rice dish is a nice side dish. I definitely was tempted to open a can of beans to go with it! It is a simple dish to make, especially with my rice cooker. The ingredients are easy to obtain, which is a plus in my book. The recipe is easy to remember too! It reminds me of risotto that I make in my rice cooker, except I like my risotto better. In a pinch, it is a really quick and easy way to spice up rice. Since I eat rice a lot, this actually might make it back in the rotation.

The second recipe is Egg Salad Sandwiches made with tofu (not eggs). I halved the recipe, but there's enough tofu mixture to make at least 4 sandwiches, so I don't understand how many sandwiches equals a serving. After adding the ingredients and tasted it, I ended up doubling the spices; it was really bland. I also ended up adding some garlic powder, and then I liked the mixture.

Random side note: due to its name in health food stores (apparently), Alicia calls soy sauce by its other name: shoyu. This is really annoying to me. I've never seen soy sauce called shoyu.

The best part of this challenge: the leftovers. I've been trying to reduce the number of containers I take to work. Here, I've packed the rice and tofu-salad sandwich into one container - Bento Box Style!

I'm glad that I did this challenge. I don't think I would have made this dishes due to the "shoyu" - it just sounded complicated! I really enjoy how easy it was to put these two recipes together. However, I don't think I'll be turning to The Kind Diet anytime soon (unless chosen out of the hat!)