spicy thai noodles, vegan MoFo.

spicythai

It is Vegan MoFo III, the Vegan Month of Food, Day 31.

This recipe is my husband’s creation. It’s really simple to whip up and it hits the spot when you’re looking for something a little spicy.

Spicy Thai Noodles

  • Soba or Udon noodles, one package
  • Silken tofu, one package
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (regular or light)
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb  Brussels sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • Olive oil, for sauteing

Prepare noodles as directed.

Warm oil over medium heat in a large skillet and saute mushrooms and Brussels. Remove mushrooms and Brussels and reserve. In the same skillet, scramble tofu. Set aside.

In a small pot, warm coconut milk. Add red curry paste and combine.

Add noodles to large skillet with tofu. Add mushrooms and coconut milk curry mixture. Stir well to combine.

Serve with chopsticks.

Happy Vegan MoFo everyone!

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best chocolate-chip cookies, ever.

alm_choco2b

It’s Vegan MoFo III, the Vegan Month of Food, Day 30.

Will you look at the crumb of that cookie?

Chocolate chip cookies are a very personal thing I find. Some like them crispy, others like them soft. Some like them huge, others prefer them to be more dainty. Some like them loaded up with chocolate, others prefer restraint in that area. You get the picture. Truth be told, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like. I’m a cookie monster and I’m not afraid to admit it.

What is it about chocolate-chip cookies that brings out the perfectionist in bakers? I’ll admit, I’ve made my fair share of them in an attempt to attain that elusive perfect cookie. I’ve never been completely satisfied with what I’ve made so far. There was always something not quite perfect – the texture, the sweetness, the crumb.

So when I whipped up these delicious cookie specimens from Hello Veggie blog a while back, I knew I was close – oh so close. In fact, those cookies are amazing, and it was quite by accident that I altered the recipe.

I was low on all-purpose flour and so I lessened that and increased the whole wheat pastry flour component. I also used golden sugar in place of dark brown, and reduced the amount. I did not have almond butter on hand (as with my previous attempt) but I did have almonds, so I processed a cup in the food processor until they stuck together when pressed. The almond definitely did not turn into butter but rather a very fine, moist powder. As I discovered later (when I re-made the cookies using almond butter) this makes a significant difference to the crumb of the finished cookie. It adds a lightness that I love and a truly perfect crumb.

This cookie is heavenly.

While the almond paste appears to be the magic ingredient in achieving the awesome texture of this cookie, it does not impart an almond taste – so, to keep the flavour neutral I ran with that idea and made another change: I omitted the almond extract that the original recipe calls for. I chose unsweetened almond milk as my non-dairy milk of choice.

Best Chocolate-Chip Cookies

(recipe adapted from Hello Veggie)

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached organic
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, unbleached organic
  • 1 cup almonds (whole raw, with skin on)
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy margarine
  • 3 Tbsp almond milk , unsweetened (or soy or oat milk)
  • 1/2 cup golden sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375ºF

Add almonds to food processor and process to a very fine grind – stop just short of allowing the almonds to turn into butter. You should get a very fine paste that sticks together when pressed but that will still crumble apart if disturbed. It might take upwards of 5-10 minutes depending on your processor. Be sure to stop the processor occasionally to stir the paste up from the bottom and get the drier top bits down there.

In a medium bowl, cream together almond paste, almond milk, vanilla, and non-dairy margarine until smooth.

In a larger bowl, add both flours, baking powder and salt. Whisk lightly to ensure dry ingredients are combined – do not over beat.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Once dough is combined, fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon dough onto ungreased baking sheets. I used a modest-sized ice-cream scoop to measure the dough (I got 22 cookies one time and 24 the next).

Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies should just slightly turn golden at some edges or rough corners that might be poking up, otherwise they should stay fairly white. Do not over bake.

Allow cookies to remain on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 22 to 24 cookies depending on how big you make them.

Try not to eat them all in one go. It’s not easy.

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kale chips, vegan MoFo.

kalechips1

It’s Vegan MoFo III, the Vegan Month of Food, Day 29.

I have been sharing a whole lot of sweets lately. And eating them. We must have balance. Enter, kale.

Kittee taught me how to make kale chips – thanks Kittee!

She generously provided this very clever suggestion for seasoning the kale, and it’s as lip-smacking delicious as it is simple. When you have a hankering for something savoury or salty, this fabulously healthy snack is it. So super easy to make. Who needs potato chips?

Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch kale
  • olive oil
  • soy sauce or bragg’s
  • nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 175F.

Wash kale and remove stems. Cut into manageable pieces. Place in salad spinner to remove water, or pat dry.

Place kale in very large bowl or pot (or season in batches) and season with olive oil, soy sauce and nutritional yeast – to taste. Amounts will depend on how much kale you have and what you like. Be careful with how much soy sauce or bragg’s you add as it might get too salty.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or foil and arrange kale in a single layer.

Slide baking sheets into oven. Allow to bake (really it’s drying out, not baking) for 30 minutes – you might want to check it after 20 minutes. The kale will need to be turned over. If it’s still super soggy, leave it in for a bit more before turning. If it has lightened up significantly, turn it over and let it bake for another 20-30 minutes.

If you’re in a rush – you can up the oven temperature to 200F which will cut the baking time in half. Be careful not to let them scorch, which will happen quickly. Monitor them closely.

What you’re looking for is for the kale to become completely dry and crisp – no moisture or chewiness. They will be light as air and feel as though they are made of paper. Delicious nutritious paper.

So much better than chips. Enjoy.

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