Hi! I'm taking a little break and it might take me a few days to reply to comments and emails. I'll be back soon! :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Whole Wheat Cranberry-Orange Muffins

My mother in law, Her Ladyship, likes to eat one of these Whole Wheat Cranberry-Orange Muffins for breakfast every morning. I have been baking a batch of these muffins for her once a week since 2008. Before that, I used to bake her a weekly batch of chocolate chip breakfast muffins, but ever since Her Ladyship's little pup came into her life she switched to cranberries in case puppy wants to steal a bite. Lord Pookie McCuteFace is always stealing bites of things. Mostly food, sometimes socks.

Whole Wheat Cranberry-Orange Muffins

These were initially a hybrid of the Cranberry Orange Nut Muffins from Vegan Brunch and the Zesty Cranberry Crumb Muffins from My Sweet Vegan. They have gone through many changes since I first started to bake these for Her Ladyship. They have been tailored to her personal taste and nutritional wants, so you may need to make some changes to keep your taste buds happy. These have a truckload of cranberries! A double semi-trailer truck full of cranberries! They don't have a whole lot of sugar because the cranberries are already sweetened, and they are made with mostly whole wheat flour, but you can go with half whole wheat and half white if you want. These are no fluffy things. These muffins mean bidness.

Personally, I don't care for cranberries. Or raisins. I don't understand them. "Oh hey, here's a tasty little fruit! Let's dry it up and turn it into a shriveled up bit of blergh!"

No, thanks! Give me chocolate chips. Chocolate chips I understand.

Whole Wheat Cranberry-Orange Muffins

Her Ladyship's Whole Wheat Cranberry-Orange Muffins

Recipe Type: Muffins

Cuisine: Vegan

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 12 muffins


Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cup orange juice

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup applesauce

  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp orange extract

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp sugar for sprinkling


What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and prepare a muffin tin with muffin liners. Spray a little bit of cooking spray inside each liner.

  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the orange juice, sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Whisk thoroughly for at least 30 seconds.

  3. Stir in the cranberries.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flours and baking powder. Add salt whisk or stir well.

  5. Pour the liquids on top of the dry ingredients and fold everything together until just combined. We don't want to overmix this one or it will be tough and chewy. Your batter should be fairly thin. It shouldn't be so thick that you could scoop it out neatly.

  6. Fill each muffin well with the muffin batter and sprinkle the extra two teaspoons of sugar evenly over the tops.

  7. Lower the oven temperature to 350 F (175 C) and bake for 20-22 minutes.

  8. Turn the oven to broil at 375 and broil for two or three minutes or until the sugar on top is nice and browned. Keep an eye on it because they will go from lovely to burnt in seconds!

Notes:

These are made with store-bought orange juice. If you're using fresh OJ and your oranges aren't very sweet, you may want to increase the sugar.
Her Ladyship likes a lot of cranberry with a little bit of muffin, which is a cup and a half of cranberries. Go with one cup if you want a lot of muffin with a little bit of cranberry.
The whole wheat that I use for these is super fine. It's King Arthur brand, but any super finely ground whole wheat flour will do. You can also use whole wheat pastry flour.



I don't think you understand the obscene amount of cranberries that go into these. Let me find another shot...

Whole Wheat Cranberry-Orange Muffins

You  may be thinking that it's very kind of me to bake a weekly batch of muffins for my mother in law. Not really. I collect payment each time. The only acceptable methods of payment are puppy cuddles or crazy run-around-the-couch-like-maniacs puppy time. That's a steal! Look at this face!

His LordshipLord Pookie McCuteFace wants to steal your socks.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lemon Meringue Truffles Out of Failed Whoopie Pies

Well, that went well.

Lemon Meringue Truffles Out of Failed Whoopie Pies

Son of a batch! You may have already seen that photo if you subscribe to my Facebook page. Those were supposed to be lemon meringue whoopie pies. That was the third test batch, actually. The first two mini test batches were absolutely perfect, but the official batch was a disaster. Isn't that how it usually goes though? The practice batches are spot on and the official batch is almost like a culinary mockery?

I refuse to eat flat cookies/cakies! NO! What do we want? Lemon Meringue Whoopie pies! When do we want them? Now!

But we can't have them now because I have the attention span of a gnat and I ruined them. That's OK. We can pull a Wing It, Don't Fling It trick and turn them into Lemon Meringue Truffles instead!

Lemon Meringue Truffles Out of Failed Whoopie Pies

These are made with those ruined lemon-flavored cookies/cakies and Mihl's Vegan Marshmallow Fluff... that is made from chickpeas! Have you heard of this stuff? Chickpea brine meringue? It's amazing! You basically whip the liquid that comes in a can of chickpeas with sugar and flavoring and you end up with a meringue-like fluff. Sorcery! Mihl's marshmallow fluff calls for guar gum, but I used xanthan gum because it's what I had. The chickpea meringue has been very popular on Facebook lately and people have made amazing things with it. Check out the Facebook group that is all about this magical food.

Lemon Meringue Truffles Out of Failed Whoopie Pies

Sorcery!

Let's say you've ruined your cake or cookies and you want to turn them into truffles too because throwing away food makes you want to punch yourself in the stomach. First things first: your cake or cookies shouldn't taste like butt. If your cake or cookies taste like butt, your truffles will likely taste like butt as well. But if your cake or cookies taste fine and the only problem is that they look disgraceful, then keep your chin up and truffle on!




Here is a general formula to turn a ruined (or leftover) cake or a bad batch of cookies into truffles using marshmallow fluff.

Lemon Meringue Truffles

Recipe Type: Dessert

Cuisine: Vegan

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Total time:

Serves: 8-10 truffles


Ingredients:

  • 2 parts disaster cake or cookies (unfrosted)

  • 1 part marshmallow fluff

  • lemon extract

  • finely shredded coconut or ground nuts for rolling


What To Do:

  1. Weigh your cake or cookies. Let's say you have 100 grams total.

  2. Weigh your marshmallow fluff. If you have 100 grams of cake, you want half of that, so 50 grams of fluff. My brain! The math! Well done!

  3. If your cake or cookies are already lemon-flavored you're good to go. If not, for 100 grams of cake, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of lemon extract to your marshmallow fluff and stir well. I like mine quite lemony, so I went wit one full teaspoon.

  4. In a food processor, grind the cake or cookies until it resembles breadcrumbs. It's best to pulse to from over-processing your cake.

  5. Transfer the ground up cake or cookies to a mixing bowl and throw in the marshmallow fluff. Fold everything together with a large spoon or a spatula. Mixing vigorously will make your fluff defloof too much, so it's best to do this slowly and gently. Leave a few bits of fluff unmixed just for fun.

  6. Now you should have a nice truffle "dough" ready to go.

  7. Take a small piece of truffle dough and roll it into a ball.

  8. Roll the ball on your shredded coconut or ground nuts to coat it thoroughly.

  9. Repeat until all your truffles are done.

  10. Stand back and rejoice in your handiwork.

Lemon Meringue Truffles Out of Failed Whoopie PiesLemon Meringue Truffles Out of Failed Whoopie Pies
Lemon Meringue Truffles Out of Failed Whoopie PiesLemon Meringue Truffles Out of Failed Whoopie Pies




PS: No, really! Vegan meringue from CHICKPEA WATER. Sorcery!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Steamed Potato Salad with Savory Roasted Chickpeas

"Po-tay-toes! Boil'em, mash'em, stick'em in a stew." Don't you love 'taters?

I'm not a religious person, but if there is a god that created all things, then I would like to take a moment to thank him/her/them for the Yukon gold potato, the cocoa bean, and corgi butts. Well done!

Steamed Potato Salad with Savory Roasted Chickpeas

This is a very simple potato salad. It's not adventurous or flashy. It's a "supporting actor", with your barbecue veggie burgers, or vegan ribs, or dogs being the leading role. Buttery Yukon gold potatoes and dill go so well together that I don't want to ruin their bromance by throwing in stronger third-wheel flavors. If Yukon golds aren't available in your area, then any waxy, buttery potato will do. As long as it's not a russet or another starchier potato variety you'll be all set.



Steamed Potato Salad with Savory Roasted Chickpeas

Recipe Type: Sides

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 2 servings


Ingredients:

For the chickpeas:
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained and patted dry with a paper towel
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
For the rest of the salad:
2 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes or other buttery potato, cubed
1 large carrot, sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas
3-5 tbsp vegan mayo
1-2 tbsp warm chicken-free broth or water
1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped or 1 tsp dry dill
salt and black pepper to taste


What To Do:

For the chickpeas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Drizzle a small, rimmed metal baking sheet with the olive oil, transfer the chickpeas to it and give them a good shake to coat them with the oil. If you're doubling the recipe go for a large baking sheet to keep the chickpeas from crowding and steaming instead of roasting.

  3. Lightly sprinkle the chickpeas with salt and black pepper and bake for 15 minutes. Give them a good shake and roast for an extra ten minutes.

  4. When the chickpeas are nearly done, evenly sprinkle the onion powder and garlic powder all over them and give them a good shake.

  5. Bake them for an extra two or three minutes, remove from the oven and give one a taste after they've cooled down for a moment. Adjust the salt and pepper and try not to eat them all before the rest of the salad is done. Good luck!

For the rest of the salad:

  1. Prepare a steamer and arrange the cubed potatoes and sliced carrots on it so that they aren't touching. The carrots can turn the potatoes orange if they steam together. Sprinkle a little bit of salt all over the potatoes and carrots.

  2. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how big or small you cubed your potatoes and sliced your carrots.

  3. Ten minutes into the steaming time, throw in the peas and steam for five more minutes.

  4. Use a sharp knife to check for doneness. The potatoes and the carrots should be tender and the peas should be heated through, but they should be steamed until they are JUST done because we don't want those lovely potatoes to disintegrate when we're tossing them in the mayo dressing. Keep an eye on them!

  5. Transfer the potatoes, carrots, and peas to a serving bowl, throw in most of the roasted chickpeas, and prepare the mayo.*

  6. In a small mixing bowl combine the mayo, broth or water, and dill. Mix well and give it a taste. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

  7. Pour the mayo dressing all over the salad and gently toss with a serving spoon until everything is evenly coated. Throw the remaining chickpeas on top of the salad for prettiness.

  8. Serve warm or let it cool down to room temperature.

Notes:

If you're serving it warm, you can mix in the chickpeas right away. If you're going to let it cool down, stir in the chickpeas just before serving the salad so the chickpeas keep their crunchiness.[br][br]I prefer my carrots super tender, but if you like a good carrot crunch you can check them a few minutes into the steaming time and remove them from the steamer when you're happy with them.[br][br]The amount of liquid that you will need to make the mayo workable depends on the brand of mayo that you use. I use Just Mayo which is quite thick, but if you have a runny mayo you may only need to add a splash of liquid or maybe even none at all.


Steamed Potato Salad with Savory Roasted ChickpeasOpen up! Here comes the... massive freight aircraft!

Spring is slowly springing here and our plants are starting to show some signs of life again. Here are a few photos as evidence. I will spare you any graphic photos of our ducks who are also "getting ready for spring," if you catch my drift. The ducks have been "busy." Let's just say that we're going to have lots of baby ducks running around soon, hmm? Wink wink!

SpringSpring
SpringSpring

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Quinoa Paella with Roasted Artichoke Hearts

It's been over two weeks since I last shared a quinoa recipe. That's long enough, don't you think? I have a hard time calling these dishes "recipes", because simmering quinoa in broth for fifteen minutes and adding some sort of vegetable to it hardly counts as a recipe. But I also know that there are some of you who are just starting to cook your own meals and I can't just tell you to "make the quinoa and add some goodies to it."

This one is inspired by a Spanish paella. It's not going to win any authenticity awards or earn me the keys to the city of Valencia, but I want to call it a quinoa paella and you just can't stop me.

Fine, I'll call it "paella-style" quinoa. Happy? *frowns*

Quinoa Paella with Roasted Artichoke Hearts

This recipe calls for saffron, which is impossibly expensive, and I have a little jar that Mr. Wing-It bought me two Christmases ago that I keep saving "for a special occasion." I'm not sure for what sort of special occasion I think I need to save it. The Queen of Spain coming to visit? Yes, we want to make sure Her Majesty has a 100% satisfactory visit when she comes to visit.

Here's a tip for those of you who have a TJ Maxx nearby - they usually sell saffron and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, it only costs two phalanges of your choice! Score! You can also use a pinch of turmeric if you don't have saffron. Just a little bit for color, we're not making a curry.

If you want to make this a whole meal you can throw in a vegan sausage. Vegan chorizo would be ideal if you can find it or make it yourself, but really any sausage would work. If you want to stick a kielbasa sausage in there no one can to stop you. Not even Her Royal Highness.

Finally, if you have a paella pan, that will earn you some nice brownie points with the queen too. Or flan points. Sadly, I don't have a paella pan so a regular eight-inch frying pan with a lid was my inappropriate cooking vessel, but you can use a saucepan or a small pot too.

To sum up, I have totally violated the integrity of the authentic Spanish paella.



Paella-Style Quinoa With Roasted Artichoke Hearts

Recipe Type: Main

Cuisine: Vegan

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 2 servings


Ingredients:

8oz / 225g frozen artichoke hearts
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 purple onion, sliced or chopped
1/2 medium sized green bell pepper
1/2 medium sized red and/or yellow bell pepper, sliced or chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup chicken-style broth or vegetable broth
1 generous pinch of saffron threads


What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you want to save yourself a dirty dish, use the saucepan or frying pan that you're going to use to make the quinoa to toss the artichoke hearts in about a tablespoon of olive oil. If you don't care about dirty dishes, you can do this in a mixing bowl.

  2. Place the oil-coated artichoke hearts in a roasting pan and lightly sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping them over half-way through.

  3. Now we prepare the quinoa while the artichoke hearts roast. If you used the saucepan or frying pan to toss the artichokes in the olive oil, make sure there are no bits of artichokes left in there or they will burn. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in your saucepan or frying pan, throw in the onions and bell peppers and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until softened. Pour a small splash of broth here and there if your onions want to stick to the bottom of the pan.

  4. When that's done, throw in the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

  5. Throw in the quinoa, the broth, and the saffron and stir well. If your broth is salted you're probably good to go, if not you will need to add salt to taste.

  6. Cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.

  7. Remove from heat, top with your roasted artichoke hearts, drizzle a bit extra olive oil on top if you want, and enjoy!

Notes:

If you want to make this a whole meal, throw in a vegan sausage for good measure. If you can find or make a chorizo-style sausage that would be ideal.[br][br]If you don't have saffron you can use a pinch of turmeric for color.

Quinoa Paella with Roasted Artichoke Hearts

Quick question before I say adiós: how do you like the comments section in this new blog layout? I'm not being sly and asking you so that you will leave a comment, I am actually wondering if those of you who do stop by to leave me messages would like me to change anything. Or am I actually being sly? You'll never know! Ten points for Slytherin!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Zombie Apocalypse Chocolate Cookies

First things first - my apologies to all of you who subscribe to Wing It Vegan via email. Last week's email was humongous and it included my most recent ten posts! TEN! Oy! I think I figured out how to change the settings and today you should only be getting an email with just this post. If not, I will give myself a dirty look on your behalf later.

Cookie time! Do you watch The Walking Dead? If  you do and you're all caught up with the most recent episodes, then you might be familiar with Carol's cookies (warning: the recipe link does have a few spoilers.) AMC shared the recipe on their site and Mr. Wing-It tactfully suggested that I should make them. Tactfully, urgently, same thing. Don't worry, there will be no major spoilers here if you live somewhere where the most recent season hasn't aired yet, and soon enough you too will know the meaning behind "Carol's cookies". If you don't watch the show then I'm afraid a lot of this post won't make too much sense to you, but hey cookies!

Zombie Apocalypse Chocolate Cookies

I made some changes to the recipe because, as I've mentioned before, I prefer a puffy cookie over a chewy cookie, so I skipped the baking soda and used all baking powder instead. Instead of shortening I used coconut oil, but I also made a small test batch with vegetable oil which worked out perfectly. I quadrupled the vanilla because you only live once - kind of. Most importantly, I threw in some pecans!

These are supposed to be zombie-apocalypse friendly cookies because they're not made with eggs or butter or any other ingredient that would be difficult, or maybe impossible to find in a Dystopian environment, and they're made with regular pantry items. Pfft! All my cookies are zombie-apocalypse friendly! As long as I have electricity. And as long as the baking powder hasn't expired and lost its power.

Hopefully I haven't offended Carol with all these changes. Let's hope she doesn't torch my kitchen. With me in it.



Zombie Apocalypse Chocolate Cookies

Recipe Type: Dessert

Cuisine: Vegan

Author: Wing It Vegan. Adapted from amc.com

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 32 Mini Cookies


Ingredients:

2oz (60g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate bar, chopped
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
3 to 4 tbsp applesauce
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans


What To Do:

  1. First we're going to set up a double boiler to melt our ingredients together. If you have a double boiler you're good to go. If not, pour water into a saucepan (about two inches up) and bring to a boil. In a large glass bowl that will sit on top of your saucepan without touching the water, combine half of the chocolate, coconut oil, applesauce, white sugar, and brown sugar. Start with three tablespoons of applesauce. We don't want to have to add any extra flour later.

  2. Reduce the heat to simmer, place the glass bowl over the saucepan and slowly melt all the ingredients together, stirring frequently with a large spoon.

  3. When everything is melted, add in the vanilla extract and use a whisk or spoon to vigorously mix everything together. Careful though, if you burn yourself with the chocolate mix you'll be cryin'!

  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix well. Throw in the pecans and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. I know! Waiting sucks! But we don't want the rest of our chopped chocolate to melt into the warm cookie dough, so wait we must.

  5. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. I need to set up the oven rack on the top third half of the oven or everything that I bake will end up with overly browned bottoms. If your oven is a notorious bottom-burner, you may want to do the same for this recipe.

  6. Remove the bowl from the fridge and fold in the chocolate chunks.

  7. Scoop onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets, not too close together. I use a mini cookie scoop that holds two teaspoons of dough. You can use a regular sized cookie scoop if you're no fun. Kidding.

  8. Bake for 10 minutes. They may not seem like they're done, but if you over bake them they will be crispy instead of puffy. Not bad, but not what we're going for.

  9. Transfer to a cooling rack and let them cool down to room temperature. Or not. Just don't come crying when you burn your tongue with that chocolate lava.



The funny thing is that I bit myself while I was eating one of these. I gave the fleshy bit inside of my bottom lip a nice big *chomp*.  That sort of makes me a walker! But I'm alive. Then it makes me a cannibal? But I didn't enjoy the taste. Then that makes me a big great clumsy dum-dum? Yes. That's it.

Let's see what a random walker thinks about these cookies.

Zombie Apocalypse Chocolate Cookies

Zombie Apocalypse Chocolate Cookies

Random walker approves! Thanks for the recipe, Carol. Please don't kill me.


(The photo of the walker belongs to AMC. I do not own the rights to it and I did not take a photo of a cookie-hungry walker in my back yard.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day Savory Cupcakes


There's a new post, but the new blog feed doesn't seem to be properly configured yet. You can find it here: http://www.wingitvegan.com/2015/03/saint-patricks-day-savory-cupcakes.html



Saint Patrick's Day Savory Cupcakes

Well, that went well. My Blogger to WordPress migration was supposed to happen during the weekend, that way by Monday everything would be ready to go. It took all day for the DNS propagation to happen on Saturday, so that entire day was wasted. Then on Sunday when I was finally able to access the site and set up WordPress, I had to end up re-importing my Blogger blog into Wordpress six or seven times. Or was it a hundred and seven times? I don't know. Who can remember? Anyway, everything seems to be running properly now after days of behind-the-scenes work.

I really hope the new site doesn't crash your browser.

I really hope you don't get a megazillion emails from Feedburner.

I really hope you like it!

UPDATE: Oh, no. I just received the Feedburner subscription email and saw that it included the most recent ten posts in it. I'm so sorry! That's what I feared the most, and that's exactly what happened. :(

Should we carry on with the cooking and the eating now that Wing It Vegan is up and running again?




Saint Patrick's Day is coming! This is the first year since I started blogging that Mr. Wing-It and I have been home for this holiday. I am not Irish and neither is Mr. Wing-It, but we're both down with any holiday that has anything to do with food. Plus, I really want to visit Ireland some day, so that validates my right to celebrate this holiday right there. Yes, it does!

Anyway, I made a little batch of savory cupcakes with broccoli mashed potatoes because it is mandatory that one eats green food on Saint Patrick's Day. I did something I haven't done in over a decade and used a drop of green food coloring in the mashed potatoes. I'm not a fan of using food coloring, but the broccoli mashed potatoes didn't look in-your-face green like I had envisioned, so I figured one drop of food coloring isn't going to kill me. You can leave it out if you want a more natural, more pastel green.

Also, you can use any meatless meatloaf recipe that you like best. This is my favorite meatless-loaf that I make with my absolute favorite vegan beefless crumbles made by Beyond Meat. They are soy and gluten free, and they are delicious! I hadn't eaten any beefless crumbles in years because I went off the ones I used to enjoy in the past, so it has been nice to have a good beefy substitute that tastes good and works wonderfully.

Saint Patrick's Day Savory Cupcakes


Savory Cupcakes with Broccoli Mashed Potatoes

Recipe Type: Entree

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free Option

Author: Wing It Vegan

Total time:

Serves: 6


Ingredients:

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (about 24oz/640g)
3.5oz/200g frozen broccoli
2 1/4 cup meatless crumbles
3 tbsp chickpea flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp ground thyme
3 tbsp barbecue sauce
3 tbsp vegan mayo
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
olive oil for brushing
a dollop of vegan butter
extra salt and pepper, to taste
1 or two drops of green food coloring

What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Prepare mashed potatoes. We want the mashed potatoes and the little meatless-loaves to be done at the same time, so we're going to prep the potatoes but wait to turn the heat on until the mini loaves are ready to go in the oven. Place the cubed potatoes and broccoli in a large pot and fill with cold water until there's about an inch of water over the potatoes. Set aside.

  3. Defrost the meatless crumbles in a large microwaveable bowl. My microwave does this in two minutes, yours may be faster or slower.

  4. Transfer the crumbles to a food processor and pulse three or four times until the bigger crumbles break up into smaller pieces. We don't want to turn them into a paste or over-process them. Just three or four quick pulses will do. This step is optional, I just don't like my meatless meatloaves to be very chunky.

  5. Prepare the binding mix by combining the chickpea flour, salt, onion powder, thyme, barbecue sauce, and mayo in a small bowl. Give it all a good whisking until smooth.

  6. Add the mix to the meatless crumbles and mix well.

  7. Throw in the breadcrumbs and stir them in until your meatless mix is workable. You don't want it to be sloppy and wet, but you don't want it to be dry and crumbly either.

  8. Brush plenty of olive oil all around and on the bottom of all the cups of a six-cup muffin tin. This is no time to hold back! About a teaspoon per cup was enough to keep my meatless-cupcakes from sticking. This is the six-cup muffin tin that I use,but if all you have is a twelve-cup tin that will work too.

  9. Press your meatless mix into each cup of the muffin tin (or into six of the cups if you're using a full size tin) and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. The edges will be a little jagged if you don't smooth them out first and they may get a bit too toasty in the oven.

  10. Bake for 25 minutes.

  11. Immediately bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes and broccoli for 18-20 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain well.

  12. Now your meatless cupcakes should be nearly ready. Remove them from the oven and let them cool down for a couple of minutes before you run a knife all around the edges to loosen them up. Flip them over on a chopping board or other flat surface and move on to the mashed potatoes. To flip the little meatless cupcakes over, it's best to put the chopping board right on top of the muffin tin and then flip it with the cupcakes right against the board. That way you don't give them the chance to crash down and break into pieces. If you oiled the muffin tin well this should be a smooth job. 

  13. Use an electric mixer on high to whip those potatoes and broccoli into a smooth "buttercream" frosting. Mix until super smooth. Add vegan butter and salt and pepper to taste. If you want to use food coloring this is the time to do it.

  14. Now the fun begins! Transfer your mashed potatoes to a piping bag or Ziploc bag fitted with a decorating tip and pipe the mashed potatoes over the meatless cupcakes any way you want. I like a big TOWER of mashed potatoes on mine, just like I like a big tower of frosting on my sweet cupcakes. The decorating tip that I used is a large Wilton 1M open star tip.You can use any tip you like really.

  15. Decorate with fresh herbs, sliced chives, or whatever floats your boat!

Saint Patrick's Day Savory Cupcakes
What do you think? Would you eat savory cupcakes or do you think they would break your brain because your brain would expect them to be sweet? Did I ever tell you about the time when I used a chunky block of white chocolate instead of a chunky block of parmesan cheese to grate over my pasta? Yep. I did that. My mom had the white chocolate sitting on the table because she was baking something and I just picked it up and piled that stuff up high on top of my pasta like it was going out of style. I took a bite and my taste buds were horrified. My brain was shocked and confused. It looked like salty cheese. It tasted like sweet chocolate. It was not good.

I made a similar version of these but with plain mashed potatoes back in 2008. Those had little parsley leaves as decorations, and by the looks of that photo I had piped the mashed potatoes onto the mini meatless cupcakes straight from a pastry bag. No decorating tip. So if you don't have a decorating tip you can still make make these! And if you don't even want to bother piping them at all, you can also just *plop* the mashed potatoes on with an ice cream scoop or even with a regular spoon. Check out this Mashed Potato Snowmen post to see how I did just that.

OK. I've done my damage here. Happy green food day!


This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Friday, March 6, 2015

No-Bake Mini Almond Butter Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting


Just a quick note before we get started with the foodstuffs. Wing It may be down for a couple of hours this weekend while I move some furniture around here. If you subscribe to my blog via email, you might receive a test email some time tomorrow or Sunday. Sorry about any inconvenience that may come from this - I'll try to get it all done as quickly as possible!

OK. Let's eat!


No-Bake Almond Chocolate "Cupcakes"


Aren't these cute? These tiny treats were inspired by and adapted from the wonderful Devil's Food Cupcakes from Practically Raw Desserts. They are, of course, not actually cupcakes in the strict sense of the word. No flour, baking powder, hot oven, and all that cupcakey stuff. Mr. Wing-It described them as deconstructed almond butter Reese's cups, which is a fairly accurate description.

These are not one of those "secretly healthy" things that are so popular right now. They are openly healthful and proud of it. Well, they still have sugar and fat, but compared to more traditional treats, I suppose they can get away with calling themselves openly healthful.


You know what I think of when I see something described as "secretly healthy"?

This.


Secretly Healthy Cupcakes


Secretly healthy cupcakes don't wanna go to school! OK, enough buffoonery. Let's get on with the recipe!


No-Bake Mini Almond Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Yields 12 mini cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1/2 cup smooth almond butter
1 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter, melted
2 tbsp agave nectar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut flour
1/16 tsp salt, optional

For the frosting:

1/2 cup bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp smooth almond butter
1 to 2 tbsp agave nectar
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp non-dairy milk

Alternative frosting:

1/4 cup smooth almond butter
2 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter, melted
1 to 2 tbsp agave nectar, to taste
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt, optional


1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, coconut oil, agave, and vanilla. Mix well with a spoon. 

2. Stir in the coconut flour and salt. Your dough should be fairly firm, but not hard and dry. It will firm up quite a bit in the fridge.

3. Line a mini muffin tin with 12 mini cupcake liners and evenly distribute your "cupcake" mix into each liner. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If you're not sure if your mix is firm enough to set in the fridge, try doing one cupcake first and refrigerate it for 30  minutes to see if it firmed up. If not, add a little bit more coconut flour to your mix. 

4. To make the frosting, combine the chocolate, almond butter, agave, and milk in a microwavable bowl. If you're using bittersweet chocolate, then one tablespoon of agave is probably plenty. If you're using unsweetened chocolate, then you might want to go with up to two tablespoons. Also, if you're only using one tablespoon of agave, you can go for the one and a half tablespoon of milk. But if you use two tablespoons of agave, then cut the milk to one tablespoon. It will keep your frosting from being too runny and un-pipable. 

5. Microwave the frosting ingredients for 15 seconds. Take the bowl out of the microwave and give it a good stir. Microwave for 15 more seconds and give it another stir. If it looks completely melted and smooth, you're done. If not, give it another 15 seconds in the microwave. Let it cool completely to room temperature.`

6. Pipe the frosting onto the little cupcakes using a fancy cake-decorating tip, or just *plop* it on top of the cupcakes with a spoon. It's all good.

Sprinkle some crushed slivered almonds on top if you want. Unless you think the crunchiness of the almonds will get in the way of your enjoyment of an otherwise smooth treat.

If your almond is already salted, you may want to skip the salt here. Give it a taste and add salt if you think it needs it.


To make the alternative frosting if you don't feel like melting chocolate:

1. In a mixing bowl combine the almond butter, melted coconut oil or vegan butter, and agave to taste. Mix well.

2. Sift in the cocoa powder, add a pinch of salt if your almond butter is unsalted, and stir until very smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.

3. If your almond butter is quite firm, then your frosting will be firm as well and you should be able to pipe the frosting on top of the little cupcakes. If your almond butter is runny, then your frosting will resemble a soft ganache and you won't be able to pipe it, but you can spread it on the cupcakes with a little spatula or a knife.

If you do have a firm almond butter, you can double the alternative frosting because you don't have to worry about it being soft and runny. Then you can pipe it up ridiculously high, like I did! :)





No-Bake Almond Chocolate "Cupcakes"



My almond butter came from Costco, and the only ingredient in it is almonds. Perfect! Check out a few other things that I picked up from Costco last week. Flax, baby! Do you have a Costco in your area? Have you tried these veggie burgers?


Costco

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Quick Penne with Creamy Pink Cashew Sauce


Do you always end up saving a little bit of marinara sauce in the fridge because you didn't use the whole jar? And then throw it away two weeks later because who's gonna eat such little sauce? I do that every time we eat pasta! This recipe calls for that little bit of sauce that nobody wants. Cheer up, Little Sauce! You now have a purpose!

Unless you're one of those people who always makes their marinara entirely from scratch. With fresh tomatoes from your own organic garden. Using a wooden spoon that you carved yourself from reclaimed lumber.

Suddenly I am filled with feelings of domestic inadequacy.


Penne with Creamy Pink Cashew Sauce


Cashew sauces have been around for years, but I don't make them very often because cashews are expensive and I am not made of money. My mother used to make this creamy pasta sauce about once a week, but she used to make it with heavy cream instead of cashews, of course. The trick is to use a very flavorful marinara sauce instead of just plain tomato sauce like most pink sauces are made with, because along with a garlic clove or two, it is the main source of flavor for this one. Most pink sauces also call for onion, but this lazy-friendly recipe doesn't. It has a fairly mild flavor, unless you really go to town on the garlic!

No cheese. No cheeze. No nutritional yeast. Just creamy cashews and a hint of sauciness.

An average serving of pasta is two ounces, but I find that one and a half is plenty for this dish because the cashew sauce is very filling. This recipe makes enough for two people, especially if served with a side of roasted veggies or a salad.


Penne with Creamy Pink Cashew Sauce


Quick Penne with Creamy Pink Cashew Sauce
Serves two 

3 oz (85g) penne
1 tbsp olive oil
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup your favorite marinara sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
salt and black or white pepper, to taste


1. First, get your pasta started. Follow the directions on the box. My penne took seven minutes to cook. The penne should be al dente because it will cook a little bit more with the heat/steam of the sauce. 

2. While your pasta water is heating, preheat a saucepan over medium heat. Pour the olive oil in the center, throw in the garlic and cook until fragrant and golden.

3. Throw the cooked garlic into your blender, add in the soaked cashews, marinara sauce, and milk, and liquefy until completely smooth. 

4. Pour the sauce into the saucepan where you cooked the garlic and heat it gently over medium-low heat. Add a little salt and black or white pepper and give it a taste. Add more salt and pepper until you're happy with your sauce. It should be a creamy sauce, but not super thick. You can add a little bit more milk to make it more fluid if it's not workable. The consistence should be similar to pancake batter.

5. At this point, your pasta should be al dente. Drain it well and pop it right on top of the sauce. Coat the pasta with sauce thoroughly and serve immediately while it's hot.

If you want, you can drizzle a little more marinara on top of each serving.





Penne with Creamy Pink Cashew Sauce


Monday, March 2, 2015

Cheesy Deconstructed-Lasagna Quinoa Bowls


Are you tired of quinoa posts yet? Or should we just go ahead and declare all Mondays to be Quinoa Mondays?


Deconstructed Quinoa Lasagna Bowls


Deconstructed lasagna is not a novel idea. It's probably been around since the first time some Italian chef forgot to oil up the pan and ended up with a big lasagna stuck to it like glue. The chef probably dumped the non-stuck bits into a bowl and served it to some unsuspecting sucker as Deconstructed Lasagna.

Of course, this isn't even an authentic, unsuspecting-sucker-approved deconstructed lasagna because there is no pasta in it. Or sauce. But it has cheese and tomato! That's close enough.

These bowls have all the other ingredients I like to see in my regular lasagna. Mushrooms, spinach, tomato, garlic, basil, and mozzarella. My mozzarella of choice is always Daiya. As I mentioned before, this recipe makes enough quinoa for only one person because I am the only one who eats this here as Mr. Wing-It is not very keen on quinoa.

Ha! Get it?

Come on! That's funny! Keen on keen-wa?

Anybody?

Pity chuckle?

*cricket chirping*

Anyway, if your people are keen on quinoa, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled or multiplied as needed.




Deconstructed Lasagna-Style Quinoa Bowls
Serves one lonely diner.

1 or 2 tsp olive oil
2 or 3 mushrooms, washed and cut into quarters
a large handful of baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and black pepper to taste
1 small tomato, peeled, deseeded and coarsely chopped
4 or 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped or minced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp dry oregano (optional)
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup vegetable or chicken-style broth
your favorite vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Preheat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Throw in the mushrooms and cook for four or five minutes or until wilted and their liquid has evaporated.

2. Throw in the baby spinach and cook for about a minute or until fairly wilted.

3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. I like to clear a little spot in the center of the saucepan and cook the garlic in there without the spinach and the mushrooms getting in the way. Add a little bit of oil if the garlic is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. 

4. Add the tomato, basil, oregano, quinoa, and broth. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. If your broth is salted, you're probably good to go, if not you will need to add a little bit of salt to taste. 

5. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until all the broth has been absorbed. 

6. When the quinoa is done, remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for five minutes.

7. Fluff it up with a fork, throw in your shredded cheese and cover the pot again to let the cheese get nice and soft.

NOTES:

You can serve it with some marinara on top, but I found that the mushrooms and the tomato kept it plenty saucy for my taste.

Throw a vegan Italian sausage in there! I didn't have any, but it would have been extra tasty with a nice, sliced little sausage.


Deconstructed Quinoa Lasagna Bowls


Are you in the Northern hemisphere? Are you buried in snow? If you're in the Southern hemisphere, can you take in our backyard birds, ducks, and geese who have had enough of winter already? Which brings us to today's animal picture/optical illusion.

Which goose is the biggest in the picture below?


Which goose is closer?


Look closer. All three are exactly the same size. It's an optical illusion.

OK, that's not true.