Bowl Fever

I’m still obsessing over my food from Aux Vivres. My project over the last couple weeks has been trying to replicate some of their bowls! Oh boy, their bowls are awesome and make you feel like Popeye after you’ve eaten one.

Here’s my Dragon Bol dupe!

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Shredded carrots, beets, red cabbage, rice, greens, grilled tofu, and “dragon” sauce.  For the sauce, I used this recipe, which is tasty but didn’t quite hit the mark on authenticity.  Still, absolutely worth making.  Here’s the translation, as the recipe in the link is en Français:

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbsp tablespoons olive oil
2 tbsp tablespoons maple syrup
2 tbsp tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tbsp water
2 cloves garlic, crushed

And here’s Trevor’s dupe of the Bouddha Bol…

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Steamed broccoli, lots o’ greens, rice, shredded carrots, grilled tofu, sesame seeds, and absent pumpkin seeds and sauce.  For the sauce, we used the ninja carrot ginger dressing from Vegan Eats World, which the author has kindly posted on her blog.

We ate these for DAYS.  The good thing about bowls is you basically just do prep for them and then assemble as needed.  So yum.  And an easy way to pack a ton of veg into your life!

We’ve been enjoying barbecuing tofu lately, too, and Trevor did some up in the ginger beer tofu marinade from the new cookbook Salad Samurai.  Man, Terry Hope Romero is killin’ it with this one.  It’s so full of deliciousness, and everything we’ve made so far has come together really quickly, which is great for week nights.  Served with some Caribbean-inspired red beans and rice, this was mighty filling and protein-rich.

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Also, cake happened this week!

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I had an itch for cake soooo badly.  Work has been crazy stressful and I just wanted some damn cake so badly at 8:30 at night on a Tuesday.  But no dang flour in the house!  Then I remember I read about this flourless chocolate cake recipe and it sounded pretty good.  I’m usually pretty skeptical of gluten-free stuff, but this was so good and fudgy.  A tiny piece is all you need.

I got the recipe from here, and topped it with a simple chocolate glaze (icing sugar, a bit of cocoa powder, soy milk) and of course sprinkles because I just love them.

Birthday Cake Ice Cream

It’s my birthday a week from now, but due to some travel plans we are doing some celebrating now in lieu of next week.  I got an ice cream maker last year for my birthday, so what’s a better way to use it than to make birthday cake ice cream?

Also, I can confirm that it is delicious to dress up a pre-birthday cupcake a la mode.  I was surprised with said cupcakes this weekend from Organic Works.  I have to say, I’m super impressed!  They do a lot of gluten-free stuff and I’ve been turned off from there for doing so before (think cinnamon buns as hard as rocks), but I was pleased that these were fluffy, gluten-full and super tasty.

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Birthday Cake Ice Cream
6 oz silken tofu
1/2 cup cream from the top of a can of full fat coconut milk
1 cup almond milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional but adds a nice butter yellow colour)
1 batch Birthday Cake Batter
2 tbsp vegan multi-coloured sprinkles

In a blender, add the coconut milk, tofu, almond milk, sugar, vanilla and turmeric. Blend until creamy and smooth. Add the “batter” dry ingredients and pulse until mixed together. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. In the last minute of churning, add the sprinkles. Adding them too much before will make all the colours melt and blend together!
Pop in the freezer and let fully harden before eating.

Cake Batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp earth balance
pinch salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix dry ingredients together, then add the earth balance and vanilla. With a fork or your fingers, crumble the earth balance and vanilla into the dry ingredients until mixture is sandy and well incorporated.

 

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Sanctuary Potluck / Dad’s 50th Birthday Cake

We volunteer at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary as often as we can.  The primary reason is it’s such an amazing place for animals and we want to help out in any way we can, but the bonus is the fact that there’s a vegan potluck for all the volunteers at the end of each work day!  And these potlucks never disappoint.  I didn’t even capture half the food, since it was sprawling over several tables and stuff just kept being added even after I finished taking photos.  There was more desserts and a big pot of carrot soup, too.

Maple-walnut cupcakes (which were SO GOOD), chocolate loaf, lemon cranberry loaf, fudgy brownies.
Watermelon, Brooklyn Deli Mac salad (from Veganomicon)

A bean and chickpea salad, dips, pita triangles

Raw “egg” salad, pita pockets

Pita pockets and an awesome Moroccan grain salad

My plate

My dessert plate.  Also with a peach pie and ice cream!

Later that day (it was a busy day), we had a surprise party for my dad’s 50th birthday.  I made him a peanut butter and jelly cake!  I used the simple vanilla cake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World but doubled the recipe and split between two cake pans, and increased the baking time to 40 minutes.  Then I made a double batch of the peanut butter buttercream frosting from the same book.  The filling was a seedless strawberry jelly!  It was a hit and I’ll be making it again.

It got devoured pretty quickly.  

– Crystal

Jamaican Coconut Collards & Black Eyed Peas, Carrot Cake

Trevor was out for the evening and all I wanted to do was just stay in and read.  I decided to make a carrot cake with cream cheeze frosting since I haven’t had that in years, probably not since being vegan.  I used the recipe from 500 Vegan Recipes (but I use the cream cheese frosting recipe from the pumpkin cupcake recipe from the same book)  It was easy and delicious.

So, then I woke up and ate it for breakfast.  And, er…lunch, too.  What?!  It was really good.  So, anyway, by day’s end I was feeling much like someone who had eaten nothing but cake all day; that is, to say, like shit.  I had to remedy that with something that was chock full of vegetable matter.

I’m so inspired by the little takeout place called One Love Vegetarian in Toronto.  I first discovered what ital was when I ate there and have since grown to have a huge appreciation for the food of Rastafarians, and really, of the Caribbean in general.  Especially when I’m feeling under the weather or have been eating poorly, I reach for greens and peas, lots of spices, ginger, garlic, yams and more, and always feel better for it.  This is real food, yum.

We made some brown rice, steamed cubed sweet potatoes and layered this all together, bowl-style.  I feel better already.

Coconut Collards

1 bunch of collards, hard stems removed and torn into pieces
1/4 cup vegetable broth, or more as needed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 19 oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the vegetable broth over medium heat.  Add the collards, place the lid on and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and adding more vegetable broth as needed.  Once the collards are wilted, soft and bright green, remove from the pot and set aside.  Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onion, ginger, garlic, bell pepper and jalapeno and sautee until softened and onions are translucent.  Add all the spices and salt and cook the spices for 30 seconds before reintroducing the wilted collards back into the pot.  Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.  Add the black eyed peas and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently (the black eyed peas may break up a bit, which is good).  Turn heat down to low, add the coconut milk and stir, coating everything.  Cook for another minute or so, tasting for salt and pepper.

– Crystal

Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cake

It was my dad’s birthday on Thursday.  I love to gift people with baked goods – as people get older and don’t need as much stuff anymore, I think home-baked goods make lovely gifts.  My dad always puts oreos in our stockings at Christmas because they are vegan.  So, a little payback – a cookies ‘n’ cream cake made with oreos.  Yum.

I kind of did the piping in a rush – don’t judge!

This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe.  I’ve made it so many times and it’s never failed me.  For this cake, I did two layers so I could have cookies ‘n’ cream buttercream and more cookie crumbs between the layers.
Really Moist Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white or brown sugar
3 tablespoons sifted good quality cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Make three deep holes in the dry mixture. Into one hole, pour the oil, into the next hole, pour the vinegar, and into the final hole, pour the vanilla.

2. Pour the water into the bowl, over all. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until there aren’t any more lumps and pour into an ungreased 9×9 baking pan, 2 inches deep.

3. Bake for about 30 minutes, test with a fork.

I always use the Vegan Fluffy Buttercream recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World (which I found online for you here).  I added crushed up oreos.  Pick up that book, by the way; each recipe is phenomenal and will “fool” even the most discerning of my-cake-needs-to-have-eggs-dammit people.  
It’s Trevor’s dad’s birthday on Tuesday, so next up – peanut butter chocolate cake!
– Crystal

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake

Sorry for the delay!  Between a busier-than-usual schedule for both of us, and me having a lovely bout of seasonal blues, it’s been hard to muster up the motivation to update ye olde blog.  But we certainly haven’t stopped making food in the meantime!

It was my baby brother’s 21st birthday last week, and to mark the event I made him a cake.  It was chocolate, with a peanut butter buttercream filling and topped with chocolate buttercream.  It was awesome.  The peanut butter and chocolate buttercream recipes were from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World – if you don’t have it, buy it.  Along with lots of pairs of stretchy waist pants.

The recipe for the cake is originally from VegWeb.

Super Moist Chocolate Cake

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup white or brown sugar
    3 tablespoons sifted good quality cocoa
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
    5 tablespoons canola oil
    1 tablespoon white vinegar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup cold water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Make three deep holes in the dry mixture. Into one hole, pour the oil, into the next hole, pour the vinegar, and into the final hole, pour the vanilla.

2. Pour the water into the bowl, over all. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until there aren’t any more lumps and pour into an ungreased 9×9 baking pan, 2 inches deep.

3. Bake for about 30 minutes, test with a fork.

Makes: 1 – 9″ x 9″ cake, Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes

This was the first time I attempted to write a message on a cake…squiggly!

– Crystal