Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spumoni Cupcakes

When I recently saw some Neopolitan vegan ice cream in the freezer, it made me realize how much I used to love spumoni ice cream. Then it hit me: we had pistachio butter we’d bought in Portland, and I could make spumoni cupcakes instead.
Spumoni Cupcakes!
The basic concept was to make three kinds of cupcake batter (a 1/3 recipe of each) then layer them into the cupcake pan (note that the original colors were actually green and red as they should be, despite what they turned into after baking):
Spumoni Cupcake Batter
The recipes we used were the basic chocolate cupcake from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (unmodified), a modified version of Peanut Butter Cupcakes from the same book (but we substituted the pistachio butter for the peanut butter, and agave for molasses), and a modified version of Strawberry Cupcakes form the Joy of Vegan Baking (but instead of strawberries, we took about 2/3 cup of frozen cherries, thawed and pureed).

Since in the end the chocolate was the strongest flavor, we decided to make pistachio and cherry buttercream. I thought they were pretty good, but not worth the effort (and the cherry flavor was never really strong enough). Sarah thought they were just mediocre. It was fun to change it up though!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thai Lasagna

Thai Lasagna
I’d been craving lasagna, so had just bought the supplies I needed. But when I was at the Thai grocery store recently to restock on curry paste (after a dinner plan of cooking up eggplant and greens with curry paste and some soy sauce was derailed but the lack of both curry paste and soy sauce) I saw these:
Fresh Rice Noodles
and realized that I could make Thai lasagna. The basic concept was to use the rice noodles as lasagna noodles, coconut milk with one kind of curry paste in place of tomato sauce, and the layers of toppings would be seitan, tofu, and broccoli, each with a different type of curry paste. In the end, I realized that would be silly since I’d end up with several open cans of curry paste, so I just went with green curry for the seitan, and Kaeng Par for the tofu and coconut milk “sauce” that I put on each layer of noodles.

This came out really well, although very spicy and salty, so I ended up taking the leftover rice noodles and broccoli and cooking them up “plain” so we could mix that with the lasagna for a more normal tasting meal.

For ingredients, there were 3 packs of seitan (cooked in a bit of peanut oil, 1/6 can of coconut milk, and most of a can of green curry), 1 pound of tofu (cooked in the same amount of peanut oil and coconut milk, and a bit of Kaneg Par curry instead of green curry), 1 bunch of broccoli (just sautéed in a little bit of peanut oil), and a pack of rice noodles (I used the other 2/3 of the can of coconut milk, mixed with the rest of the Kaeng Par curry to go on each layer of rice noodles). Here's a "side view" showing the layering:
Thai Lasagna

Monday, November 14, 2011

Arugula Salad w/ Tempeh, Seared Apples & Onions, Candied Nuts, and Pear Cider Dressing

Normally we have a pretty strict policy of having Sarah as the household Salad Director, but with her being so busy with class I’ve been doing most of the cooking and shopping. When I got a great deal on arugula at the farmer’s market, I couldn’t resist trying my own.
The starting point was arugula (4 small bunches) and a medium bag of broccoli micro greens from the farmer’s market). For toppings, I bought 2 gold rush apples (sliced and chopped and cooked in a nonstick skillet), one onion (caramelized in a skillet with a bit of olive oil and some pear cider), a package of tempeh (seared in the nonstick skillet with a bit of soy and more pear cider), and some walnuts and pecans that I cooked with maple syrup, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper until crystallized and dry. The dressing was olive oil, pear cider, Dijon mustard, and sage. I made the toppings the night before, so assembling the salad ended up being pretty easy!