Hey ladies and gentlemen-
Sorry for the long hiatus but life has been crazy lately! Long story short, since I last posted I have published my thesis, graduated with my MFA, found a job, and am now in the process of moving. Yikes.
While I’ve been away I’ve been giving the blog a lot of thought and I think I’d like to go in a new direction with it. I love posting recipes but I’m finding that there are weeks in which I just don’t have the time to try out a new recipe, or to perfect an old one. I’m considering adding a focus on vegan product reviews (soy cheese v. rice cheese, frozen dinners, etc) or about partnering with a friend of mine to do a website which would be more focused on ways to pack healthy, affordable, and fast lunches for vegetarians/vegans. Not entirely sure but I do think that focused is the operative word. Any ideas out there for something you’d like to see? Let me know!
I’m really excited about this one because I’ve never made blueberry muffins from scratch before! I know it sounds like something everyone should have done by now but I was always a “muffins-straight-from-the-packet” girl before I went vegan! This was my first attempt at the mighty blueberry muffin and, if how quickly they were consumed means anything, it was a smashing success!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached, flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup rice milk (or soy milk if you’d prefer)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup blueberries (I used a combination of fresh and re-hydrated dried blueberries)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Pour the dried blueberries (if you’re using them) into a heat-safe bowl and top them with hot water. Set aside to re-hydrate while you move on to the rest of the recipe.
Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, making a well in the middle. Add the wet ingredients into the well and mix until everything is combined (there can be a few lumps so don’t go crazy!). Gently fold in the blueberries
Oil your muffin pans or, if you’re a little lazy like I am, add cupcake liners. Fill each liner three-thirds full with muffin mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes and enjoy with a nice hot beverage.
In light of the continued snow showers, I decided to try my hand at lentil soup. This turned out beautifully! Hope you enjoy!!
Red Lentil Soup
Serves 4 to 6
2 small onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 white potatoes, cubed
1 cup red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth (or water, if you prefer)
1 cup kale or spinach
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
Add olive oil to your stockpot. Heat oil and add onions. Cook onions for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic to the onions and cook about 1-2 minutes, just until fragrant. Add the potatoes to the onions and garlic and stir together. Add the tomatoes and vegetable broth to the mixture and continue simmering. Mix in lentils, cumin, coriander and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add kale or spinach and continue cooking another 10 minutes. Before serving, add salt or pepper (because I used vegetable bouillon I didn’t add any additional salt) and enjoy!
Feel free to experiment with using different vegetables, pasta, etc. Minestrone is wonderful for using up whatever you have on hand!
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can stewed tomatoes (15 oz.), blended with liquid from the can
1 large carrot, sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
6 cups of vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup of small pasta (tubetti or macaroni are perfect)
2 cups of greens (I love using kale or spinach)
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup frozen corn
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add olive oil to the bottom of your stock pot. Heat oil and add your onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions begin to get translucent. The longer you cook the onion (without burning it, of course) the sweeter they will become and the more flavor they’ll add to the soup. When your onions are ready, add your garlic. Cook the garlic for roughly a minute and then add your tomatoes into the mix (you can blend the tomatoes ahead of time if you’d like a smoother soup, or just smash them a bit as they cook for a chunkier texture). Saute for 4-5 minutes and then add your carrot, onion, and vegetable broth. Bring everything to a boil and add the tomato paste and bay leaf. Cook until the carrots begin to get tender. Add your pasta to the soup and give it a good stir to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add your kale or spinach. This is a good time to add any salt or pepper you might like. Since I tend to use vegetable bouillon, I don’t tend to add salt, but I do love a healthy dose of freshly cracked pepper. Let the soup simmer until the pasta is cooked and then add the frozen vegetables (they’ll thaw in seconds). Turn off the heats and add any fresh herbs you’d like (rosemary is pretty amazing) or just enjoy it as is!
I was craving breakfast foods this morning and I was inspired to make cranberry-orange pancakes (tomorrow is shopping day so that happens to be the only fruit left in the house). With a little improvisation, and a whole lot of love, this is what I came up with!
Orange-Infused Maple Syrup
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup chopped orange (or small orange segments left whole)
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
Add all the ingredients together in a small saucepan and stir together over low heat. Keep warm.
Makes about 8 to 10 pancakes
1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
1/3 cup water (reserve the water from re-hydrated cranberries)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola oil)
1 cup plain rice milk (or soy milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup)
Pour the dried cranberries into a bowl and fill with hot water. Set aside to re-hydrate for about 10 minutes.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl. In a separate bowl, combine rice milk, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil. After the cranberries have finished re-hydrating (you’ll know when they plump up), drain them, reserving 1/3 cup of the water to add to the rest of the wet ingredients.
Adding wet ingredients to dry, mix until just combined (a few lumps are okay). Fold the cranberries into the mixture and you’re ready to go!
Cook pancakes until they’re slightly browned on the bottom and bubbles have formed on the top (about 3 to 4 minutes should do). Turn the pancakes over and cook for about 1 minute longer. Transfer to warm plates and top with orange-infused maple syrup.
Where do I start? One day I came home from work and announced to my husband of approximately 2 months that I had been thinking and I’d decided to go vegetarian. His response was “I guess that means we should throw out all the meat in our freezer.” Which we promptly did. (Isn’t he amazing?) We had both been going back and forth on the vegetarian thing for a long time but this time the decision stuck for both of us.
From that day forward we’ve been on a mission to live a life according to our values. When my husband came home one day, about 2 years later, and announced he was going vegan I decided it was only fair to go along for the ride (though I have to admit I did drag my feet a bit at the beginning). Going vegan has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’m addicted to cookbooks, and cooking, which I devote myself to when I’m not drowning in graduate school work. This is an insight into my world and my passion for food.
Let the eating begin.