Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cabbage and Potato Casserole

Do you watch Miranda? Or, if you are in the UK, did you watch Miranda when it first aired on TV? I watch it on Hulu and it is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I have rewatched it several times! Unfortunately, the two final episodes are not yet available on Hulu. Soon, I hope!

I will probably write a Miranda-themed-food blog post at some point (no savory muffins, of course) and I'll tell you more about the show then, but the reason why I mention it today is that the name of this dish reminded me of Dreamboat Charlie's "pumpy de rumpy."

It's called rumbledethumps!

Rumbledethumps (Cabbage and Potato Casserole)

Oh, look. I've made more mini casseroles. In the same little white ramekins. Sat on the same metal baking pan as always. Photographed from the same angles as before. One trick pony.

My apologies to your corneas. There was some weird lighting going on there and the cheddar looks like it's blindingly glowing. Rumbledethumps is a Scottish dish that is made with mashed potatoes and shredded cabbage, cooked separately and then baked together with cheese on top. The recipe comes from Undiscovered Scotland. Couldn't be easier to make vegan. I used vegan butter instead of dairy butter and Vegan Gourmet cheddar instead of dairy-based cheddar. I know. I am quite ingenious.

Rumbledethumps (Cabbage and Potato Casserole)

Gooey! I did grind up the cheddar shreds in my Magic Bullet to make sure they melted evenly on top of my little casseroles. As you can see, I only made two little casseroles instead of a big one. I didn't actually weigh the ingredients, instead I eyeballed it to make sure I ended up with a bit more potato than cabbage. Unfortunately, and this will not come as a shock to those of you who know me, I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and ended up browning the onion even though the recipe says not to. It was lovely, brown onion and all! Also, I may have used about twice as  much cheese as the recipe called for. I may have done that on purpose.




It  was delicious even though I tried hard to ruin it by not weighing the ingredients, over-browning the onion, and using way more cheese than I was supposed to. Please, Scotland, don't be offended by my non-traditional wee Rumbledethumps.

Now I think we should wrap this up with some thumpy-de-buns. Check out the hair "gel" on the one in the foreground!

Bunnies

Friday, June 19, 2015

Individual Zucchini Casseroles for Two

This is the food that has made me want to start doing some strength-training. Please do not laugh at me while I share with you the following story. Oh, go ahead an laugh, actually. It was rather ridiculous.




This  recipe calls for two zucchinis and one carrot, all grated. Well, my mushy arms are used to grating things effortlessly using my food processor, but I wanted to do it manually for the blog to see how it would turn out because I know there are people who will need to do it with a manual grater. By the time I finished grating my first zucchini, my left triceps was already cramping up and burning. I still had another zucchini and a carrot to go! I started to question how bad I wanted that carrot, which was starting to look about as massive as a baseball bat, but I persevered and pushed through the pain. I did it! I felt like I'd just won a wrestling match! I proceeded to gleefully transfer the grated vegetables to the frying pan. As I was stirring the zucchini and carrot shreds with a wooden spoon, my arm suddenly seized up on me and did a sort of jerk upwards while I was holding that spoon which was loaded with my freshly grated veg. The contents of the spoon flew over my head and across the kitchen leaving a trail of vegetable carnage on the freshly mopped kitchen floor.

Well, that went well.

Strength-training starts today! Or maybe I'll just have a piece of cake instead. We'll see.

Individual Zucchini Casseroles for Two

Individual Zucchini Casseroles

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 2


Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion

  • 2-3 tbsp oil, for frying

  • 2 medium sized zucchinis, peeled

  • 1 medium sized carrot, peeled

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • black pepper to taste

  • For The Sauce:

  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vegan milk (I use So Delicious coconut milk)

  • ¼ to ½ cup shredded vegan cheese, optional

  • store-bought roasted red bell peppers, sliced (optional - this is just for a pop of color)


What to do:

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

  2. Cut the onion in half and cut it into thin slices, or you can just chop it finely.

  3. Sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat until soft and slightly browned. You may need to lower the heat if the onion is getting browned too quickly. If the onion wants to stick to the pan you can add a tiny splash of broth or water. Stir frequently.

  4. The onion will take at least 10 minutes, so now is a good time to grate the zucchinis and carrot. I like mine finely shredded because I like a super creamy casserole, but if you want more texture you can grate them with the coarser side of your grater.

  5. When the onion has softened and browned, throw in the grated vegetables and stir well. Add nutmeg, salt, and black pepper to taste, and cook for another 10 or 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are fairly soft and considerably reduced in size. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings until you're happy with it. Keep in mind that the sauce will also have salt and black pepper.

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

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

  8. Pour the cashew sauce over the cooked vegetables and give it all a good stir. You can use a fine mesh strainer if you're worried about any chunky bits of cashew that didn't get blended.

  9. If you're using jarred bell peppers to make them more colorful, just spread a few around the tops willy-nilly.

  10. 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.

Individual Zucchini Casseroles for Two

Individual Zucchini Casseroles for Two

Individual Zucchini Casseroles for Two

And now for the cute. What is going on here? It's synchronized grooming! Interrupted by me, of course. Poor geese. Why do they even hang out here? Don't they know I'm always there harassing them with my camera? It's their fault, really.

Synchronized Grooming

Friday, June 12, 2015

Obscenely Fudgy Chocolate Cake

Are you looking for a healthy treat? Do you enjoy "secretly healthy" cakes? Are you maintaining or working hard for your "bikini body?"

Then look no more!

Look no more because what's coming next is a fat fest and a sugar spree. Sorry.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

This is a celebration cake. A special occasion cake. Or a rainy Saturday cake. Or a sunny Thursday cake. Whatever. I'm not judgin' if you're not judgin'.

The cake itself is the basic chocolate cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, but baked in an eight by eight inch cake pan for 25-30 minutes. The frosting is obscene. I usually make only half the amount of frosting that I made for this cake here, but this time I made it for the blog, and the blog requires chocolate obscenity.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Important Tip:

The best thing about making a double batch of frosting for this one is that there is frosting spillage all around the sides of the cake. So, assuming you cut it into nine squares, then all squares but the middle one will have frosting on the sides as well. It's important to give the middle square to your least favorite guest. It's like giving them "the finger" without giving them the finger. Depending on the level of dislike that you have for this guest, you can either give them the middle piece nonchalantly, or you can make it evident that you're giving them the least desired piece. Just serve your other guests the edge pieces that are overflowing with frosting, and then just hand that bastard the middle piece very slowly while maintaining eye contact and putting on your best deadpan face. Message received. No words needed.

Vegan Chocolate Cake


Obscene Chocolate Cake with Fudgy Frosting

Author: Wing It Vegan

Ingredients:

  • One batch of VCTOTW Basic Chocolate Cupcakes, baked in an eight by eight cake pan at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out mostly clean.

  • For the frosting:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1/4 cup vegan coffee creamer or milk

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter

  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

What to do:

  1. In a microwave save bowl, combine the chocolate chips and the creamer and nuke it for a minute. Stir well until completely smooth. I like to start with a large spoon and then use a whisk to make it nice and silky. If your chocolate isn't completely melted, throw it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds and stir again.

  2. When your chocolate is super smooth and ready to go, melt the butter in another microwave safe bowl. This should only take a few seconds, my microwave does this in 18-20 seconds.

  3. Dump the powdered sugar on top of the melted butter and mix well. I also like to use a little whisk for this to make sure the sugar and butter form a smooth and lump-free cream.

  4. Pour the sugar-butter mix on top of the melted chocolate and whisk until well combined and smooth. Let it all cool down to room temperature or nearly room temperature.

  5. Is your cake at room temperature? And your frosting? Excellent! Pour the frosting over the cake and spread evenly with an offset spatula or a knife.

  6. Now comes the part where you call me nasty names. You're going to have to let that frosting set for at least three or four hours. Or more. Sorry. You can certainly eat it while the frosting is still soft and gooey, but if you wait a few hours then your frosting will become fudgy and perfect.

Notes:

I've had some mixed results refrigerating the cake to speed up the fudging up process. If you leave it in the fridge for too long then the frosting will be too hard and you'll have to let it sit out at room temperature to soften up a bit anyway. If you're feeling impatient and you must refrigerate your cake because you must have it now, then I would recommend checking it every five minutes. I've done this, but I tend to forget all about the cake and check it an hour later only to find that the frosting has hardened too much. Of course if you live somewhere where it's too warm and your chocolate won't fudge up at room temperature, you may have no choice but to refrigerate it.



^^ The side-frosting overfloweth.

And now as if this blog post wasn't sweet enough, I shall leave you with a photo of one of our baby geese. What's sweeter, the cake or the fuzzy little bebeh?

Baby Goose

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Couscous, Onion, and Cheese Croquettes

Well, I punched a dog in the face today. Yep. I did that. Do I need to turn in my vegan membership card now? I didn't to it intentionally! I was excited to see him, he was excited to see me, I bent down to pet him, he leaped up to lick my face, and my hand and his face met explosively in the middle. If we had been in an classic Batman episode, a big POW! would have popped up. He yelped, I apologized to him in the most high-pitched voice I had ever heard come out of me, and then it was all over and we carried on with the pettings. Nobody was injured, but the look he gave me shall remain engraved in my memory for all eternity. "How could you do this to me? I trusted you."

Let's assume that my vegan membership card is not going be revoked and let's make some vegan couscous croquettes! Or cousquettes?

Couscous Onion and Cheese Croquettes

This is actually a Wing It, Don't Fling It post! I had some leftover couscous and a baked onion that needed to be used up urgently, so I mixed the two together along with some Follow Your Heart cheddar shreds and Daiya mozzarella shreds and turned it all into crispy little croquettes. Because I already had my ingredients precooked, this is going to be more of a formula than a strict recipe.

Here's how it went down.

Couscous, Onion, and Cheese Croquettes

1 part shredded vegan cheese
2 parts cooked onion
4 parts cooked couscous
milk and breadcrumbs for coating
oil for frying

I mixed everything together in a microwaveable bowl and nuked it until the cheese had become soft and stringy. Then I stirred everything well to form a sort of sticky mix. My couscous was already seasoned, but if it had been plain couscous I probably would have thrown some herbs or other flavorful goodies in there. Then when the mix was cool enough to handle I shaped it into little logs. The logs were then dipped in some almond milk, and then rolled in a heavy coating of seasoned breadcrumbs. Then I pan-fried them in a bit of oil. I was generous with the oil because I wanted the breadcrumbs to be nice and crispy. I pan fried all the sides until they browned, which took about eight minutes. That was it!

This would probably work for rice and quinoa as well.

Can you bake them? Yes! I baked two just so I could report back to you. About 15 minutes, rotating them every five minutes or so, at 400 degrees did the trick. They are more delicate when they are baked than when they are pan fried.

So, that's what happened to my questionable leftover couscous. It became cousquettes!


Couscous Onion and Cheese Croquettes




Couscous Onion and Cheese Croquettes

Now for today's cute. Do you like comics? Do you like cute stuff? Do you like rabbits? Then I am about to impart some exciting news unto you. Those of you who have been around here since 2008 will undoubtedly remember "Rabbit." Rabbit used to have a food blog that will forever be my favorite of all time, and every now and then she would treat us to one of her "Friday Features," which were these adorable stories about Rabbit and "The Veggiesaurus." Now the artist formerly known as Rabbit (currently known as Humey) has started a new blog that is all about funny and adorable stories. You must check it out! It's called "humey toons" and it has just recently launched, so it still has that nice new-blog smell. Here is a sampling. Find more at humeytoons.com!