Blue Ribbon Pound Cake

Pound cake used to be one of my favorite desserts. Influential people like my grandmother and my 5th grade teacher had killer pound cake recipes. In fact, my grandmother won multiple blue ribbons at the Minnesota State Fair.

After receiving Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Veganomicon for Christmas I was pleased to see a recipe for Vanilla Yogurt Pound Cake. I could hardly wait for it to come out of the oven! It tastes amazing. Although, I am not sure if I can say it tops my grandma’s, but certainly a close second 🙂

I slightly modified a few things from Isa’s recipe…

  • 1/2 c Amande plain yogurt
  • 1/2 c silken tofu, blended
  • 3/4 c vanilla flax milk
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c canola
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 c flour
  • 3 tbls arrowroot
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Mix wet, sift dry into wet. Stir together. Then mix with a mixer until the lumps are gone (about a minute). Pour into a greased 8×4 pan. Bake at 325 for 70 minutes.

Topped with my homemade strawberry jam, but it’s absolutely perfect plain, too!

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Fresh Squeezed Simplicity

Today was the first day I made juice from scratch. I don’t think I will ever be able to have it any other way ever again. I recently purchased a juicer after falling in love with a fresh juice from The Wedge in Minneapolis. The juice at the Wedge was some $7 and I thought to myself, that’s a third of what I spend in a week on groceries, there is no way I can continue to purchase $7 juices. Lightbulb! “Buy a juicer!” After doing some quick researching via polling friends on facebook, I purchased a Hamilton Beach juicer from Amazon, $50+ with free shipping, I was sold.

I’ve only used it once, so I can’t fully judge the machine just yet. Although, I must say, this sucker is LOUD. Like holy moly. However it created a beautifully tasting product, which outweighs the noise.

Today I made carrot/orange/apple juice. Tomorrow I hope to make something with my greens (kale/collards). Yum, yum!

The perfect breakfast…

350 Degrees of Holiday Fun

As a participant of Christmas, it’s hard to believe the holiday is only four days away. Yeesh. Luckily I finished the majority of my holiday shopping weeks before Thanksgiving. I don’t have anything left, unless it’s random ideas (which I’d name, but my dad is a reader of my blog and I can’t give any hints away yet!)

I have a work holiday party tonight and wanted to make some festive treats. Since I work at a coffee shop, I chose to make Isa’s Chai Latte cupcakes. I also made Isa’s Chocolate Crinkles, but renamed them Mint Mocha Crinkles to fit the theme.

Enjoy!

I got creative for the cupcakes and cut out stencils. I used a 4×4 piece of paper, traced an oversized outline of the cupcake and cut this out…

Then with the circle, I drew a shape and cut the shape out…

After sprinkling with powdered sugar, here is what I got:

I also did Christmas tree shapes

And now, to clean up…bleh

Pretty in Pink Rice

Pink rice is so much fun, way to go Mother Nature! I don’t cook with it very often because it’s so special. I wanted to cook with it today for my reunion with my old food club crew. I haven’t been able to attend as I’ve had night class on Mondays, but today I can, yahoo! I found this awesome recipe for pink rice with roasted veggies on the blog Choosing Raw.

You basically roast some veggies, in this case it was butternut squash, onion and apple (which, yes, is a fruit).

While the veggies/fruit are roasting, cook the rice. When the rice is done, add in some frozen peas…

After everything is roasted and cooked, add the veggies/fruit in with the rice and peas. The dressing mentioned is on the site, but it’s pretty nice just like this!

Baked Polenta with Sautéed Kale

I got to make dinner for some of my favorite people last night. I wanted to use up my polenta tube so I decided to make baked polenta/polenta lasagna. I don’t know if it can technically be a lasagna since there was only one layer of each ingredient, but oh well. It was very simple. I sliced the polenta into 1/2 inch thick rounds and placed them in an 8×8 dish. I then poured tomato sauce over and layered with vegan mozzarella. I baked it at 350 F for about 30 minutes (covered) and then broiled (uncovered) for about 5-10 minutes.

I actually started the kale before the polenta because it takes awhile for it to cook. I rinsed and destemmed two bunches of kale. Then I added them to a big pot, filled just with enough water to cover. Once the kale came to a boil, I reduced the temp and let it simmer. While simmering I sautéed some yellow onion in olive oil. When the kale appeared very tender, I transferred the kale from the pot to the pan with onions. Let this cook down and when most of the water has dissolved, add more oil, bean of choice (butter-beans and chickpeas are always nice) and sprinkle with fresh, minced garlic. Let this cook down a little more, then hit it with a few dashes of salt and pepper.

I served this along with some great onion rosemary bread from Diamond City Bread in Elk River…

Dutch Love

Holland isn’t just windmills and pot brownies…They’re also the creator of Speculoos (spay-cue-loose). I tried this wondrous spread a few years ago when my Dutch friend brought a jar back. It only took nanoseconds and I was hooked. The spread has a consistency that is similar to peanut butter but the taste is like a graham/ginger cookie. Added bonus: it’s VEGAN!

Unfortunately I couldn’t find it in any US stores. So, I was only treated to the spread on rare occasions when my friend had it. However, that was then. Now I can thank Trader Joe’s for offering this new treat for all to try. It’s a bit spendy, $3.70 a jar, but it’s worth every penny. Seriously this is one staple that I would bring with me on a deserted island; I will eat this on my death-bed; it is not to be overlooked.

Very Merry Greens

Red chard is the new holiday vegetable…

 

 

I mean, seriously, could this dish get any more Christmasy? I simply sautéed some shallots in oil then added the chard stems. While that was cooking, I roasted a head of garlic.

 

 

By the time the garlic was done I was able to throw in the leafy greens. After the greens cooked down I added the roasted garlic. I topped the dish off with some toasted pine nuts and served with warm olive bread.

 

(Cooking tip, next time I’d cook the stems even longer. 30 minutes left them soft, but with a bit of a crunch yet.)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

It’s been awhile since I’ve baked anything. Technically I really should be working on my take home final, I couldn’t resist to make this “healthy” chocolate chip banana bread courtesy of Chocolate Covered Katie. This will be the perfect meal on the go tomorrow when I drive to get my nieces. And, I’ll make sure to slice them a few pieces as well.

Happy baking 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tempeh and Greens

It’s always fun exposing people to new foods. Even while I was at the store buying the ingredients for the tempeh and greens stew, it stirred up quite the conversation. The cashier asked why I was buying rhubarb in December. I explained to him that it’s not rhubarb, that it’s actually red chard. His response was a blank stare. I told him that red chard is a dark leafy green, like kale or collards. This was followed by, “Oh yeah, collards. We do need some good soul food here in St. Cloud.” Then when the tempeh was scanned through, I caught him wincing. I agreed with him that tempeh looks pretty weird, but it tastes really great. Both him and the bagger had reached a point of perplexity. I had definitely been labeled as a weird customer, and judging by their looks it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume they thought I was from another planet.

I understand that there are some foods that are totally weird, I too am still learning about new foods and testing my palate. I think we could all stand to browse through the produce aisle a bit more and pick something up we aren’t familiar with.

The tempeh and greens I married together resulted in a thick stew. The recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction. BUY the book! 🙂