Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cheesy Vegan Penne Pasta

Cheesy Vegan Penne Pasta
As a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I am discovering a lot of creative new ways to cook some of those timeless dishes without the carnivore classic in them. Kind of like the bun without the hot dog, only with a veggie dog in between the bun. As there are so many alternatives to meat (which you can find here) there are alternatives to those dishes that possess them too. And although I am a vegetarian, where I enjoy dairy, eggs and honey, I find myself really intrigued by vegan eating. In fact, there are times where I will go on what I refer to as 'vegan binges' and I will eat vegan for months. Is it hard to be a vegan? Absolutely not. It is just a matter of not worrying about what you eat, but only finding good food to enjoy that is not only meat-free, but free of dairy, eggs and honey.
 
Recently, in the kitchen I decided to create a very creamy yet cheesy vegan penne pasta. Most penne is vegetarian; however, not all of it is vegan. A good vegan penne can be homemade and rustic, as it can be found in a lot of grocery stores. Whole Foods for instance. So, how do you make cheesy vegan penne pasta?
 
First and foremost, you are going to want to add water into your pan followed by your favorite herbs and spices. The secret to any amazing pasta is to season the water in the pan before actually cooking the pasta. Of course adding more herbs and spices is an option later. I have been doing this for years and will continue for the rest of my life.
 
For this particular dish, I favor simplicity. What I added to the water only consists of salt, pepper and oil. That's it. No more, no less. You can add whatever you would like. If you are searching for that epic heat, you can add a little cayenne pepper and jalapeno. If you are looking to transform your cheesy vegan penne into a classic Italian dish, you can add some basil and oregano. You can do a lot, but for this dish I decided to keep it simple.
 
In a separate bowl, you want to create a base. This is where the magic happens. You are going to want to add one cup of unsweetened Silk Coconut Milk followed by two tablespoons of Earth Balance's vegan butter. You are also going to want to add some Sari Foods Nutritional Yeast Flakes followed by a little more salt. In my quest in making an outstanding cheesy vegan penne pasta, I added some vegan protein powder by Purely Inspired. This added a great balance of taste, creating a fusion of flavor. Blend everything together and sit the bowl aside.
 
Keeping an eye on your pasta, continue letting it cook until you have reached your desired texture. If you love your pasta al dente, it is key to test the pasta every few minutes. Once finished, strain the penne and place it directly into a separate bowl. Add the ingredients from the bowl. Mix generously.

Take a plastic or styrofoam plate, add some aluminum foil and place the penne on to it so it. Why? Because doing this will keep it's heat locked into place, so it won't get cold.
 
For more nutrition, you can add more of the nutritional yeast flakes. I will say this, adding more to the dish sort of dries it out, but is great for vegan athletes who are looking for more nutrients in their cheesy hot bite. Although the dish will lose it's creamy texture, the taste will remain the same.
 
Enjoy!
 


Friday, October 31, 2014

National Caramel Apple Day: Green Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Frosting


Although today is officially Halloween, it is also a day to honor both candy and caramel apples. I decided that today, for "National Caramel Apple Day" I would share my Green Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Frosting recipe. It is very important that you have the following ingredients…
 
4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour (you can use Almond Flour)
2 cups Granulated Sugar (you can use Stevia)
3 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt
2 cups Silk’s Very Vanilla Soy Milk (if you are allergic, just use Silk’s Vanilla Almond Milk)
1 cup Coconut Oil
2-3 tablespoons Green Food Coloring

3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
 
For the frosting, you want to make sure you have the following ingredients…

cups non-dairy, non-hydrogenated butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup Silk’s Vanilla Coconut Milk
3 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract 
 
Let’s Bake!
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your batter by combining flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. As you continue you want to  fold in the remaining ingredients. So you want to add oil, milk, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined. 
 
Once you continue, it is important to get a cupcake pan ready. Whether you want to make mini cupcakes or large cupcakes. Bake for about 15-17 minutes. 
 
Once you have accomplished this, let the cake cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
As you can continue, let the cupcakes set for 5 to 10 minutes before transporting it onto a plate and then, onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Set it aside.
 
Let’s Frost!
 
I used my KitchenAid mixer to make the frosting.  It is important to combine all of the ingredients, except the confectioners’ sugar (or powdered sugar), vanilla, and soy milk into the mixer and mix until it is smooth and begins to fluff. With the mixer on low speed, add confectioners’ sugar and fluff for another few minutes. Add vanilla followed by the milk. 
 
Once all ingredients are well-combined, beat on high until frosting is light and fluffy for about 5 minutes. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons more milk to achieve the consistency are you hoping to achieve. 
 
Take your cupcakes and start to apply the vegan frosting. You an pipe this because of the consistency of it. Decorate the cupcakes however you choose. Keep them simple or add various toppers and/or fondants. 
 
Guess what?! You’re done! Congratulations! You have just made the Green Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Frosting.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Vegetarian Recipes: Vegan Lamb (Vamb)

Vegan Lamb (Vamb)
Vegetarianism is simply the philosophy and lifestyle where one refrains from eating meat, poultry, and fish. Sometimes vegetarians will include dairy, eggs, and honey (lacto-ovo). Some vegetarians may exclude eggs, but include dairy and honey (lacto) or exclude dairy, but include eggs and honey (ovo). Then, of course you have those that refrain from consuming not only meat, poultry, and fish; but eggs, dairy, and honey (vegan).

Recently, in the kitchen I found myself experimenting with an array of ingredients, as well as, herbs and spices. In my quest to make something "unique" that not only tasted great, but was different than my usual creations. And in my quest of doing this, I discovered how mimic the flavor of lamb using quite a few ingredients, which include:

2 oz. Lightlife's Gimme Lean Beef (or one pack)

2 cups of Almond Milk (unsweetened)

1 cup of Green Onions
8 tbsp. (or 1/2 cup) of Lemon Juice (Natural)

5 tbsp. (or 1/3 cup) of Olive Oil (Extra Virgin, i.e.)

4 tbsp. (or 1/4 cup) of Black Pepper

4 tbsp. (or 1/4 cup) of Kosher Salt

4 tbsp. (or 1/4 cup) of Cardamom

3 tbsp. (or 1/8 cup) of Nutmeg

3 tbsp. (or 1/8 cup) of Cinnamon

1 tbsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tbsp. of Mint

1 tbsp. of Ginger

2 tsp. of Golpar

2 tsp. of Clove

1 tsp. of Dill

1 tsp. of Turmeric

1 tsp. of Sumac
Although it is easy to make your own protein base, I chose to use Lightlife's Gimme Lean Beef because it is not only vegan, but GMO-free, as well. It is also naturally cholesterol-free and possesses an unique flavor that isn't robust or overpowering with spice. If you are allergic to soy or are following a gluten-free diet, I recommend making your own protein base using almonds, coconut, or peas substitutions. Also, keep in mind that every ingredient used in this recipe can be substituted in case you suffer from any allergy.

First and foremost, you want to prepare your vegetarian protein source. In this recipe, I am using Lightlife's Gimme Lean Beef. Whether you want to make burgers or balls is entirely up to you, however; you want to make sure that you have all of the right flavor fusions or your "vamb" will not turn out.

In a small pan, you want to add your almond milk. If you suffer from any nut allergies, I recommend soy, coconut, rice, or hemp milk. You want to add both cups followed by your lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then, as you continue, I want you to add your cardamom, oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vinegar. Do not add the green onions. It is key to cook this on medium heat.

Add the burgers and/or balls. In this recipe, I am going to make simple vamb meatballs, simply because they are fun to execute in terms of simplicity. Add the rest of your ingredients and remove from heat. As it cools, you want to cover up the pan and place it into the refrigerator overnight.

After the vegetarian meat has soaked in those spices, you want to create add them to a new pan. When you look at the vamb, do you notice that it is dark in color and rich in texture? If so, you are ready to go. If not, you should repeat the above in moderation. Now when it comes to cooking the vamb, whether you want to season the pan is entirely up to you, however; I really enjoy using vegan butter such as Earth Balance or olive oil to fry the vamb on the stove top. I highly recommend cooking on medium-to-high heat for the first few minutes before removing the high heat and cooking solely on medium.

As you continue, you want to add your green onions or any other vegetable you choose. I chose green onions because they are subtle in flavor and balance this dish out. When you are frying your vamb, it is key that the edges look relatively dark, but not burnt nor black. If you are making balls, do not hesitate to cut into one as you are cooking and taste it, just to see if the flavors used were executed.

Congratulations you have just made vegan lamb aka vamb!

Source: www.sarahafshar.com

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Smoothie Recipes: Silk Blueberry Smoothie

 
Fresh Blueberries, Flaxseed Oil, Silk's Blueberry Yogurt, Silk's Vanilla Soy Milk, Stevia, and Ice. Combine ingredients, blend, and serve. Simplicity at it's finest.