Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Larry's Birthday Soup

So I took a walk to one of my favorite haunts, Barnes and Noble to look at all the pretty books in the store. I love books and i love to read, but i digress. I was in the magazine section, browsing through the cooking section and came across a recipe that caught my attention, the title was pretty intriguing too: Larry's Birthday Soup.

As I read through the ingredients I thought that it was pretty easy to convert into a vegan/vegetarian recipe, so I omitted the turkey and cheese. Otherwise, the soup was a hit with everyone who sampled it! Yeah!!!

I don't know who Larry is but I am thankful for his birthday and may he continue to enjoy this soup for many years to come!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LARRY and thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!!

Servings: 2 quarts or 6-8

1 qt. low-sodium vegetable broth (I used Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with sea salt & herbs)
1 10-oz. can Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies
2 cups shredded vegetarian protein or for omnivores use cooked turkey or chicken (I omitted this, but you can use BLACK BEANS or other vegetable based protein source)
2 cups frozen or fresh corn
1 1/2 cup water, divided
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 lb. Velvetta light cheese, cubed (I omitted this, but you can use Vegan cheese or any other vegetarian cheese alternative that melts!)
pepper to taste

In soup pot, combine broth, tomatoes, corn, 1 cup water, onions and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until corn is tender. Combine the flour with 1/2 cup cold water until smooth; stir into the soup. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened; stir in turkey, chicken or vegetarian protein product. Reduce heat to low and add cheese cubes; stir until just melted.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Orange Chocolate Muffins or Cake, in my case!

My second venture in the kitchen was okay. The recipe for  Orange Chocolate  muffins sounded wonderful in theory, but the cupcakes were once again, a complete miss and ended up in the garbage bin. 

The good part, is that I didn't use all of the batter to make cupcakes and decided to use the vast quantity I saved to make a vegan orange cake with vegan chocolate frosting. In order to save myself and my waistline from enjoying all of this glorious cake, I enlisted the help of my BFF and her husband. They came over yesterday and took the cake from my fridge! Yeah... no more temptation... I anxiously awaited for their verdict and I got a text message from her saying: "Joe ate a piece. I finished the rest. Do you need more info. Darn!!! Boston creme pie like!!!" 

So I assume they really liked it. So here is the recipe for 

Vegan Orange Chocolate Muffins 

2 1/4 cups flour (I use unbleached, all purpose flour)
3/4 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1 2/3 cups milk  (I use vanilla flavored Rice milk)
1/3 cup oil  (I use canola oil)
zest of one large orange
juice of one large orange
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips  (I use vegan chocolate chips)- You can find them at Whole Food's or  at your local natural food store.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 regular or 6 jumbo muffin cups, or line with paper liners. 

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, combine milk, oil, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two batches until just mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. 

Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each cup until almost full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes for regular muffins or 25 to 30 minutes for jumbo, until muffins are lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing from the tin. Store leftover muffins covered at room temperature. 

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 12 Regular of 6 Jumbo Muffins 


2 ounces bitter or semi-sweet chocolate 
1/2 cup margarine (I used Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks instead)
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk (I used Rice milk)

In a glass bowl over a pot filled with water, or very carefully and slowly in the microwave, melt the chocolate. (I used the traditional double boiler method, since i don't own a microwave).
Let sit to cool slightly.  In a large bowl, with an electric hand mixer (I used a whisk) on low speed, cream together chocolate and margarine. Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar until mixture is a little crumble. Add just enough milk to make frosting smooth to desired consistency. 
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes 


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why Vegan Desserts? Pineapple Cake Recipe

So here I go, delving into the depths of vegan cooking. I have been a vegetarian for half of my 30-something life, but decided to go vegan in December of 2008. It lasted for about 8 months and at times it was difficult to find something to consume that wasn't previously alive, that was derived or came from an animal source (i.e. honey) at the grocery store or restaurants. 

So I fell off the vegan bandwagon somewhere between store bought chocolate cookies in a Christmas tin and a decadent key lime pie. Falling off wasn't so hard, it's the getting up and realizing that I want to live a healthy lifestyle. I exercise, I eat right (although my BFF just sent me an article published in the NY Times which states that plants have feelings too! What am i supposed to eat then???) but after all this time, I still love sweet treats. So I can live with myself if I can make a treat that is vegan and healthy and tastes just as good or better than mass produced bakery goods and cakes. 

So my first experiment was a vegan pineapple cake which was simply smashing! Being born in Central America afforded me easy access to all of the mouth-watering and delectable tropical fruits, I know lack in my current place of residence.  Lucky for me, pineapple comes canned now. 

Here is a photo of my pineapple cake and you can find the recipe below:

2 cups All purpose flour
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Canola oil
1cup Pineapple Juice
1tbsp Vinegar
1tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Vanilla extract
1cup Pineapple pieces
2tbsp Powdered sugar

Whisk sugar, canola oil, pineapple juice together until the sugar gets dissolved, mix together all purpose flour, baking soda n keep add the vinegar, vanilla extract to the whisked oil n sugar mixture, mix everything together, gradually add the flour with baking soda and beat everything until they turns a smooth batter, add the pineapple pieces i used the canned one, can also use fresh pineapple pieces...mix again everything n keep aside...Preheat the oven at 350F..

Grease a cake mould, pour the cake batter n bake them in middle rack for 30 minutes..Let them get cooled, before serving springle few powdered sugar over the cake..

My test tasters told me that the cake was delicious! It must have been since I ate 90% of it on my own. 

Happy Baking from