Thursday, May 28, 2015

Broccoli and Cauliflower Mini Casseroles

I've been making this casserole since the beginning of time, or so. I don't get to make it very often because the smell of cooking broccoli makes poor Mr. Wing-It gag, and this needs to bake for at least 45 long, stinking minutes. This is a very simple recipe with very simple flavors. I like simple flavors and this is my favorite way to enjoy this dish, but if you have more adventurous taste buds you can definitely customize it with herbs, or spicy peppers, or chocolate chips if that's what you want. I'm not judgin' you.




You can make this with fresh broccoli and cauliflower that you cook specifically for this casserole, but I usually just use leftover veg that needs to be used up. It doesn't have to be broccoli or cauliflower! This sauce is mild flavored and goes well with lots of vegetables. I've made it with sautéed mushrooms a few times which was quite tasty. I do add oregano and thyme when I make a mushroom casserole with this sauce.

Anyway, the sauce is cashew based. Cashews are expensive, so I try to combine me nuts with other cheaper thickeners to make saucy cashew dishes. In this case I used cornstarch, but I've made this with tapioca starch and it worked just as well. The cashews do need to be soaked in water, preferably overnight, because that's what makes this sauce nice and creamy. Prep time is only a few minutes if you're using leftover broccoli and cauliflower, which is a big plus for me because I've been feeling super lazy when it comes to cooking. And other things. Most things that aren't Netflix marathons.

This makes enough for two if you want it as a side dish, or just one if you're eating the whole thing by yourself straight out of the pan like a savage like me. Nobody's looking!

Mini Broccoli Casseroles

Broccoli and Cauliflower Mini Casserole


Recipe Type: Side Dish/Main Dish

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 2


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound cooked broccoli and/or cauliflower florets

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup unsweetened vegan milk (I use So Delicious coconut milk)

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese, optional

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and spray two four-ounce ramekins or one small casserole dish with cooking spray. Place the ramekins or casserole dish on a rimmed baking sheet in case there is any spillage while they're baking.

  2. Spread the broccoli and cauliflower florets evenly in the ramekins. If you're using small ramekins and your florets are too big and bulky, you can break them up into dainty little pieces.

  3. Meanwhile prepare the sauce. In a blender combine the cashews, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and water. Blend until smooth.

  4. If you're using vegan cheese, now would be a good time to stir it in.

  5. Pour the cashew sauce over the vegetables (it will be liquid) and arrange the florets so they're mostly covered with sauce. You can use a fine mesh strainer if you're worried about any chunky bits of cashew that didn't get blended, but personally I enjoy those chunky bits.

  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then crank the heat up to 375 F (190 C) and bake for 15 more minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the tops look golden. I like to broil mine for the final two or three minutes because my oven won't brown from the top very well. If you're baking this in one dish instead of two small ramekins you will need to bake it for a few more minutes.

Mini Broccoli Casseroles

Mini Broccoli Casseroles

Are you ready for this post's cute animal photo? What is going on here? Are these young geese running? Doing the funky chicken dance? Is the one in the back going to try to leap over the one in the front like Evel Knievel leaping over a long row of cars? Behold the cute!

Young Geese Running

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stuff I Ate

Warning: I am about to unload upon you a massive backlog of photos that I have been meaning to share for weeks, or even months! Some of these are just photos of wing-it stuff that I whip up quickly and without a recipe, so you can see what happens behinds the scenes when I'm not making blog food. I must warn you, it's not very exciting food. Also, a few of these photos are of recipes that I've been working on for a while.

I've been eating a lot of these simple lettuce salads with roasted chickpeas. Croutons schmoutons!

Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Lots of roasted broccoli and cauliflower with saucy nooch. Or noochy sauce.

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Saucy Nooch

Green beans and mushrooms with toasty sliced almonds.

Green Beans with Mushrooms and Almonds

This was a quick dish of Yukon gold potatoes, (leftover) caramelized onions, and spicy vegan sausage.

Sausage with Potatoes and Caramelized Onions

This is one I've been working on. It's farfalle with a broccoli/cashew sauce. It needs a bit of work still. I know it may not look too bad, but it was a bit bland. And basil did not work with this at all. *Basil FAIL* But bow ties are cool!

Broccoli Farfalle

Southwestern quinoa bowls. Super simple with onion, green pepper, fresh tomato, frozen corn, and black beans. The quinoa is not suspended in the air, it's just that the white bowl blends with the white napkin on which it is sitting. Well done, me!

Southwestern Quinoa

Another one I've been working on. These are whole wheat chocolate-hazelnut cookies made with olive oil. The recipe is almost ready to be shared with the world!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

One of Mr. Wing-It's favorite flavors is anise. This was a small batch of coconut-anise cookies and it's probably ready to be shared, but I have only made these once and I'd like to bake them at least one more time before I unleash them upon you.

Coconut Anise Cookies

Shortbread buttons with chocolate filling and rolled in shredded coconut. My favorite type of cookie!

Chocolate Sandwich Shortbread

And finally these were my failed attempt at making a cutesy batch of cookies inspired by a certain TV show that I love. I won't tell you what the show is until I make these again. Hopefully next time I will nail them. If you can guess what the TV show is you get 5,000 internet points! These are only two of the characters, and the hair styles are the biggest clues. Actually, you get 100,000 internet points if you guess. I'm pretty confident that the house will win this one.

Face Cookies *FAIL*

Speaking of disheveled. I shall leave you with a picture of one of our back yard robins, who neglected to groom those tatty chest feathers. Also looks rather grumpy. How dare I photograph her in that state?!

Disheveled Robin

Friday, May 8, 2015

Small-Batch Chocolate Muffins with Strawberry Jam

Life keeps getting in the way of my blogging fun! Hopefully blog normality will resume shortly. In the meantime, let's deal with life by eating chocolate muffins filled with strawberry jam, eh?




Small-Batch Chocolate Muffins with Strawberry Jam


Recipe Type: Muffins

Cuisine: Vegan

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 4


Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 2 tbsp finely ground flax seeds

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 4 tbsp milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 tsp seedless strawberry jam

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a muffin tin with four muffin liners. Spray each liner with cooking spray.

  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

  3. Whisk or stir well and mix in the chocolate chips.

  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flax seed, oil, applesauce, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Start with four tablespoons of milk and you can add more if needed.

  5. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and fold everything together without overmixing. The batter should be quite thick and firm, though not crumbly. If it's too crumbly or dough-like, add a bit of milk to make it workable.

  6. Scoop the batter into each prepared muffin well, but only about halfway full.

  7. Use a small spoon to make a little well in the center of each muffin and drop a teaspoon of jam in each of them. Keeping the jam secured in its little wells will keep it from spilling out and making a sticky mess.

  8. Top with the remaining muffin batter. You can fill these all the way up to the top because the batter is rather thick and it will not spill while baking.

  9. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees F (180 C) and bake for 10 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin (watch for jam or melted chocolate chips) comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Notes:

My first test batch had more jam in the middle, which ended up spilling over and making an oven mess. Fun! So, even though it's tempting to add more jam to these, the clean up isn't worth it.

I like to use half regular cocoa powder and half dutch-processed cocoa powder to get the best of both worlds. You can use one or the other, or combine them like I do.

My favorite test batch actually had 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of sugar, but they were really strong and I know not everybody likes that.

Jam-Filled Chocolate Muffins

If chocolate muffins aren't enough to make up for my recent lack of blogging, maybe these photos of our back yard baby geese and bunny will do the trick? Papa Goose wasn't particularly pleased with Bunny, but Bunny was too busy eating grass and tasty leaves to care at all.

Geese and Bunny

Baby Geese and Bunny