Sunday, June 30, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake with Homemade Coconut Whip Cream

 Summer is here with a vengeance!  It is crazy hot here in NY and across the US I've been hearing.  Being in the kitchen at this point is torture! My work environment is crazy hot, I bike home and cook every night for my Hubby and test tons of recipes for my cafe.  But it's so hot now, so I try to minimize recipes that involve baking and boiling.  I know this recipe goes against what I'm trying to do to survive the heat, but I've been craving the delicious sauce that goes with these shortcakes.  And this really hit the spot, especially with the homemade vegan whip cream.  Yum.  So turn on the oven and enjoy this awesome dessert!

Strawberry Shortcake with Homemade Coconut Whip Cream:

Fluffy biscuit topped with sweet but tart
strawberries and vegan whipped cream!

Serves: 4

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup soy free earth balance
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil

Strawberry Sauce:
8 oz. strawberries (fresh or frozen), roughly chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
agave to taste
pinch sea salt
drizzle of vanilla extract

1.  Preheat the oven the 375 degrees.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside until ready to use.
2.  In a medium bowl, add the unbleached flour, baking powder and sea salt.  Whisk together until combined.  Add the earth balance and work into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or your hands (my choice). 
3.  Once the earth balance in mixed in, add the remaining wet ingredients: almond milk, cider vinegar and canola oil.  Using a rubber spatula, fold ingredients together until a soft batter forms.
4.  Using a portion scoop, portion out the biscuit batter onto the prepared baking sheet.  (You can also place the dough onto a floured surface, roll it out and use a biscuit cutter, but this is by far the easier way to do it.)  Gently flatten each ball of dough with the palm of your hand and place in the oven.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until baked all the way through, and golden on top.
5.  Prepare the strawberry sauce.  Place the roughly chopped strawberries in a medium bowl and using your hands, squish the berries until they begin to release their juices.
6.  Add the remaining ingredients: the lemon juice, agave, sea salt and vanilla.  Stir well to coat.  Season to taste with additional agave if necessary.  Store in the refrigerator while the biscuits are cooking and cooling.  This mixture should cool for at least an hour before serving - it is much better slightly chilled.
7.  To serve, split open a biscuit and place in a bowl.  Place a spoon of the strawberry sauce, topped with the other half of the biscuit.  Top with additional strawberry sauce and the vegan whipped cream.  I don't use the store-bought vegan whipped cream-I think it's disgusting!  I always make my own out of coconut milk. Much tastier!



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gluten Free Testing: Cinnamon Rolls #8

I've been working on a gf recipe for cinnamon rolls for a couple years now.  On and off mind you.  The first, oh five batches or so, were pretty terrible I would honestly say, but I never quit.  Every subsequent recipe has gotten better and better.  This is test #8 and is the best so far.  I'm not going to post the recipe because I'm already on test #9 and the changes were somehow lost.  I should have written out each recipe individually and labeled them all, but hindsight is 20/20, right?  Next time I'll be sure to do it.  Once this recipe is perfected, I'll be sure to post it.  Until then, enjoy these pretty pictures!

Gluten Free Testing: Cinnamon Rolls #8:

After Rolling and Proofing - Unbaked

After Being Baked - Hot Out of the Oven

Drizzled in Icing!

Don't I Look Delicious!

Enjoy the pics!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Monday, Not Sunday Brunch

It's Brunch Time!  This was from the Brunch I made for Hubbs and I on Monday - the only day I don't have to be to work at 5 am. 

I mentioned in the last post that I still want to keep this blog going even though I have not had a ton of time to work on it lately.  What I had intended when I first started it was to take pictures of everything I cook and bake, write and post the corresponding recipe.  Most of the time I do take all of the pictures and write all of the recipes down.  Sometimes, somehow, I do not write down the recipe due to timing issues, or Hubbs inadvertently throwing it away, or some other mishap, but I still have all the pictures that I would like to share.  It makes me sad going through the thousands of food pictures I have taken over the last couple years and think of not being able to share them, simply because it would not follow the initial purpose I had of creating this blog, by not also posting a recipe.  So perhaps from now on, I may be posting some/more blog posts without recipes, but with more pictures.  Besides, food pictures are always fun to look at right?  So, here are all the lovely pics of the brunch we had, which was delicious!  I could barely get the pictures taken because the Hubbs was standing over my shoulder with his fork, declaring how "starving" he was.  So they were taken pretty quickly.

Monday Brunch!

The plate all loaded with delicious food: homemade vegan
sausage, diner potatoes, tofu scramble, pancakes.

Tofu Scramble.


Diner-Style Potatoes.
The whole spread before it was dished up.  Beautiful!



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Back from a few weeks break.  Things have been crazy busy over here like usual, but the type of busy is different than usual.  My husband and I are moving out of NY in about 7 weeks.  We are somewhat preparing, but mostly doing a lot of thinking.  We're going to have to get rid of about half of our stuff and I'll drive a giant moving truck all the way to Michigan - the same way I got here over 6 years ago.  I have been doing so much thinking lately, wondering if I am making the right decision for the right reasons.  Hubby and I want to open our vegan cafe, which we want to do in MI, since there really isn't anything there right now.  And of course we want to be close to my family since his family is all the way back in the Dominican Republic.  Three of my siblings now have children and I'm assuming Hubbs and I will be next (although still not happening for a couple years - at least that's the plan).  And I would like our kids to be raised with their family nearby.  I am doing well in my career here and now, making good money.  And until we open our cafe, we will have to work jobs there, which I am sure will not be close in payment as I am making now.  See - selfish reasons. 

This is ultimately for the best and I really do miss my family.  It's also that I have spent my whole adult life here and am used to the convenience it offers.  And don't even get me started on how easy it is to get great vegan food here!  I have to eat as much as possible before I leave!  The funny thing is that I literally cook almost every day, all the time, so what am I really worried about?  Hubbs and I rarely eat takeout or delivery.  It's most likely just that it is there if we "need" it and tasty and easy.  So you see  - this is just a fraction of everything I have been thinking of, taking away from my time on this blog.  I am also really trying to finish the business plan for our cafe and testing and re-testing all the recipes, making sure they are perfect.  It takes a lot of time and money, let me tell you.  But I still also cook almost everyday and still take a ton of pictures and record the recipes, so it makes sense to continue with this blog, even if it is just a record of all the fun tasty things I have made.  So, this is one I made a few weeks ago that I got off of fatfreevegan.  I changed some things and it turned out tasty, but I will make some changes the next time - like adding some tasty vegan cheese on top.  But overall it was a tasty, hearty dinner.  And gf to boot!

Black Bean Tortilla Casserole:

Giant mixed green salad with homemade ranch dressing,
roasted broccoli & cauliflower & the casserole.

Serves: 6

Sauteed Veggies:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, diced
1 large jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
sea salt and black pepper

2 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons superfine brown rice flour
1 teaspoon unchicken boullion
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 oz. can diced green chiles
15 oz. fire roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

15 corn tortillas, or as needed
2-3 cups cooked black beans
enchilada sauce - store bought or homemade
sliced black olives
shredded vegan cheese (definitely going to use this next time)

1.  Prepare the sauteed veggies: in a large saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and allow it to become hot.  Add the onions, jalapeno, garlic, red pepper and cilantro. Saute for several minutes until softened.  Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.  Set aside to cool.
2.  Prepare the sauce: in a medium saucepan add the almond milk, superfine brown rice flour, boullion and black pepper.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring periodically.  Once the mixture begins to simmer, stir more frequently as it begins to thicken. 
3.  Once the mixture is quite thick, reduce the heat and add the can of green chiles, can of fire roasted tomatoes and chopped cilantro.  Stir together well and season to taste.
4. Prepare the casserole:  spray nonstick spray oil onto the bottom and sides of a 9x13" baking pan.  Place a ladle of the enchilada sauce on the bottom, then layer the tortillas on the bottom.  Spread half of the onion mixture, black beans and 1/3 of the sauce.  If you want to use the vegan cheese, add some now.  Add some enchilada sauce.  Add another layer of the tortillas, followed by the remaining 1/2 onion mixture, black beans, 1/3 sauce, some cheese perhaps and enchilada sauce. 
5.  Finish the casserole with the last layer of tortillas and enchilada sauce.  Add the black olives (and cheese if you would like - but add it before the olives).
6.  Place the casserole in a 375 degree oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbly and cooked through.
7.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.