Sunday, April 24, 2011

Vegan Creamsicle and Root Beer Float cupcakes! Oh MY!!!!!

This has been the best invention yet, I believe. Who doesn't like creamsicles or Root Beer floats? They are the epitome of summertime deliciousness! BUT....when you go vegan, you choose not to eat the standard brand ice creams or desserts that are on the market. Of course there are awesome vegan brand ice creams out there, but I just don't happen to buy them.....but I LOVE baking cupcakes, which lead to trying some new flavors.

The basic vanilla cake mix recipe is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, again, by Isa and Terry. Love these recipes. They are excellent and bake up perfectly.

The only difference between the two, is the two flavorings used. Both have plain frosting filling in the cupcakes too. I think I do that on most of my cupcakes just adds an additional surprise to the eater~

Vegan creamsicle cupcakes

vegan rootbeer float cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe:

1 cup of non dairy milk and I use soy milk
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups of flour
2 T of cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup of canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract *** (see options below)
1/4 tsp almond, caramel or more vanilla ***

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in pan. Measure soy milk in a liquid measuring cup, add cider vinegar and mix. Let sit for a few minutes to curdle, then add sugar and oil and extracts, and whisk together. In a large bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder soda, and salt together. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, and mix till thoroughly combined and no large lumps remain. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and bake for 20-22 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and frost when completely cool.

***** Creamsicle cupcakes: Use 1 1/2 tsp of pure Orange extract (I used McCormicks)in the batter, and another 3/4 tsp to 1/3-1/2 of frosting recipe- kind of a taste as you go. I like tasting the orange personally (See below). I added orange Wilton food coloring to the batter with the orange extract, and the white frosting has no added flavoring in it.

In a pastry bag with it folded outward, place the colored frosting in half the bag, and the white in the other half, and using a 1M large decorating tip, start around the outer edge, and pipe around, and inward to make it twist-like.  See Wilton's page here to see how to hold the bag.

***For the rootbeer floats, I used 2 tsp of McCormick's Root Beer Concentrate in the batter, and then another 1+ tsp in half the frosting....Again, use your own judgement in how strong or weak you like the flavor. This amt worked for me. Be aware that the concentrate will make a brown frosting, and was piped with just the open end of a pastry decorating bag, then smoothed, before the small balls of white frosting were applied. For the small icing balls, I used the small end of a melon baller. Small scoops with a spoon could work too.  Then cut colored straws down, taking about 2 1/2- 3 inches off the bottom, and bend the straw, as if it were in a soda, and place strategically!

Standard buttercream frosting

1/2 cup Earth Balance non hydrogenated margarine (or reg marg)
1/2 cup non hydrogenated vegetable shortening
4 1/2-5 cups of confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla (or other extracts as desired)

This makes a moderately stiff frosting, thin or stiffen as you see fit.  Cream with margarine and shortening with an electric mixer, add powdered sugar, milk, and extract and continue to mix till nice, light and fluffy, for several minutes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Quinoa Burgers made with chickpeas and served with a lemon dill sauce.

I am a self proclaimed (vegan) cookbook lover! I read them like others read novels. I get immersed in the pictures (no wonder!), and I love to see how others combine ingredients, spices, and herbs. I can follow directions to a "T", and according to a patient of mine, he says I'm a good German girl, because of it. I usually don't deviate from recipes too far, unless I actually don't have an ingredient, or I know I want to make some changes.

Which leads into my recommendation of a fairly new cookbook that is out now, by the name of Vegan Diner- classic comfort food for the soul, by Julie Hasson, who is well known on her Everyday Dish TV.
Can I tell you how much I L-O-V-E this cookbook??? Simple down home cooking that tastes great!

The quinoa burger recipe comes from that cookbook, and I only changed the spice blend I used, which she encourages the reader to do, to fit their taste.  Quinoa is naturally gluten free, which is a plus for so many too!

quinoa burger


The adapted recipe for

Quinoa Burgers from Vegan Diner, by Julie Hasson

1/2 cup diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
12 oz chickpeas, (about 1 1/2 cups canned and drained, or homemade)
1/2 cup quick oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa ***
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tsp of poultry seasoning or favorite spice blend (I used a local blend called Symeon's Seasoning from a local restaurant)
1 tsp of smoked paprika
2 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Amino or soy sauce
2 Tbsp of chickpea flour
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
additional chickpea flour for dusting the burgers
olive oil for cooking
Burger buns
Lettuce or greens
sliced tomato and onion for serving

Makes 6 burgers. Add the onion and garlic to a food processor bowl, and pulse till finely chopped. Add the chickpeas and oats, and pulse until well mixed, but not pureed. Remove to a large bowl, and stir in the quinoa, parsley, poultry seasoning or spice mix, smoked paprika, Braggs, and chickpea flour. Stir in 1-2 Tbsp of water if necessary to help the burger mixture stick together, but you don't want it too moist. Add salt and pepper to taste. Thoroughly mix the ingredients well, cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Form the burger mixture into 6 balls, and press into 3 1/2-4 inch patties.

quinoa burger patties

Heat a large cast iron skillet or heavy duty fry pan over medium high heat. And lightly coat or spray with olive oil. Place the chickpea flour on a small plate and dust the burgers on all sides with the flour. Add the burgers to the hot skillet. Cook the patties for about 5 minutes, or until nicely browned and crispy. Reduce the heat to medium if necessary, to continue cooking without burning. Add more olive oil if needed, to keep the burgers from sticking. Flip the burgers over and cook on the other side. Repeat with the remaining burgers.

Remove from the skillet and let sit for minutes before serving. Letting the burgers rest will give them a better texture. Serve on a roll with all of the fixings you like, or serve or a salad as shown.

*** to cook quinoa, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a pan on the stove, rinse 3/4 of a cup of quinoa in a mesh strainer under running water. Once water is boiling, add the quinoa, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes till the quinoa appears spiraled, and the water is absorbed. ( I like to add vegetable stock powder to the water for a little extra taste, and then reducing the amt of salt added to the recipe)

Lemon Dill sauce

1/4 cup Vegenaise (or mayo)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp dried dill
1/2-1 tsp of garlic powder
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix in a small bowl and add as a topping to your burger. If you like a lot of sauce, you may want to double the recipe. (I only used a small amt to keep the calories down)