Wednesday, January 30, 2008

pizza dough!


1 cup warm water
1 package yeast
1.5 tbsp sugar
0.5 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2.5 cups flour


yes, i know it's lengthy, but i've worked hard to make this dough awesome, so i wanted to share everything i could remember!

"proof" the yeast. (mix water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes. it should be foamy and stuff afterwards, indicating your yeast is alive. if it's not foamy or bubbly, chuck it and try again with new yeast.

add in the salt, oil, and flour till it's all or mostly in the mix, and turn onto a floured surface. knead it well with floured hands for about 10 minutes. don't tire yourself out right away, because 10 minutes can be a long time, but don't be lazy either! work the dough well. if it seems too "sticky" work in a little more flour at a time (you may need to add up to a half cup more), and if it's too hard and stiff, you can try wetting your fingertips and working in some water a few drops at a time. eventually this blob of flour, yeast, and water will magically transform into pizza dough. it will just kind of become sticky-tacky and smooth and lovely. it'll be like you've created a masterpiece. form your masterpiece into a little sphere.

in a bowl (i use the same bowl because i hate doing dishes, but a clean bowl actually works better), roll your ball in a couple teaspoons of olive oil (this is not necessary but it makes it more tasty and delicious, i promise, and it also makes it easier to get out of the bowl later), cover the ball in the oily bowl with a wet cloth, and sit it someplace warm for about an hour. if your kitchen gets really cold in the winter like mine does, you can turn the oven to 200f and set the bowl on the center of the stovetop, or put it on top of your fridge, or just risk it and let it sit for 90 minutes instead.

when you come back, your dough should have doubled in size. roughly. don't go nuts over exact proportions, because you're just going to do the best part ever at this point:

make a good strong fist, haul back, and *punch* your dough ball to deflate it. seriously. put energy in it. it's great stress relief. and while you've destroyed something awesome, it's all in the name of making something more awesome: pizza dough.

turn your deflated dough onto a floured surface (or not-- it's pretty greasy), and knead it for about a minute or so to get it back to being "dough-like."

now it's ready to use, or ready to store. cut your ball in half to make two roughly 12-14" pizzas. you can store the dough in an airtight container (i use zippered plastic bags) in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it. i rarely do either-- usually when word gets out there's fresh pizza dough made, we're having pizza RIGHT NOW.

to turn your dough into a pizza, flour the counter top, flour your fingers and a rolling pin, and take your half-ball of dough and start molding and stretching it into a little circle. if you're really hardcore, you won't need a rolling pin, but i am not that hardcore. once you've got a good circle started, start rolling it onto the counter in all directions, spreading it out evenly until you get to your desired thickness. the dough isn't going to rise too much more in the oven, so go ahead and make it as thin or thick as you like. i like mine really really thin, so i go until i worry about it stretching apart.

sprinkle some corn meal on your baking pan-- i HIGHLY recommend a pizza stone for this, but if you don't have one, a baking sheet or cookie sheet will do fine-- and lay your dough out on that. if you don't have cornmeal or dont want to use it, a little bit of flour will do fine too. technically spray oil will also do, but you may not want the extra fat and grease.

top with toppings, and bake at 500f (or as high as you're comfortable making your oven go) until the crust is browned.

ps: your pizza may not be round. don't worry. it'll still taste delicious!

potential futures for this dough:
breadsticks (cover with garlic salt and olive oil!)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

the cookbook post!

i will try to keep this one up to date and linked somewhere, but i've been asked about my favorite cookbooks. i feel like if i tell you all my secrets you will never read my blog! but information should be free and all that open source crap, so here you go:

i apologize for the amazon links... i don't totally endorse amazon, but it's the best way i could find to link you to an image, so when you support your locally owned bookstores, you'll know what you're looking for.

The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. i love to bake. i LOVE to bake. i can't say it enough and i'm always interested in vegan recipes for baking (it means less work for me if I don't have to veganize it). i haven't made a single thing i haven't enjoyed out of this cookbook. not only are there plenty of delicious and delectable treats here, but there's a huge variety of them, from healthy bran muffins to very sugary and guaranteed to satisfy cravings for chocolate and peanut butter bars. the drop biscuit recipe is the best i've ever found, and it's great that something so simple can be so wonderful. i admit, i like my waffle recipes a bit better than those here, but the ones here are healthier! every time i page through this book, i find something new and interesting and delicious.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskiwitz. This was actually the first vegan cookbook I bought. I've technically bought others, but the recipes were weird and foreign and disgusting-sounding so I gave up on vegan cookbooks for years. However, I love cupcakes. There's a reason this is the chubby vegan blog. So I bought this to get a feel for what a vegan treat could be (and not the weird and creepy dairy-free/egg-free/flavor-free overpriced stuff I knew so well at natural foods stores)... and I think I made three batches of cupcakes in three days. I was bringing them over to where I now live, making everyone eat them. I was packing the cookbook in my duffel bag when I visited for the weekends, so I could make more. Seriously... these cupcakes were my crack.

So between the cupcake crack and the great writing style of the authors (Isa writes with Terry Hope Romero), I invested in their first cookbook...

Vegan With A Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskiwitz. There's a lot of good stuff in here. And a lot of stuff I haven't even tried yet, but it looks delicious. It's also a great starting point for making my own versions of things I only knew in non-vegan ways. Like waffles and muffins and pancakes. I do own a container of Ener-G egg replacer, but there's a LOT to be said for being able to cook with "normal" ingredients that don't require a trip to some specialty store 2 hours away when you don't live near specialty stores or major metropolitan areas. One of my first recipes out of there is still one of my favorites: black-eyed pea and quinoa croquettes with mushroom sauce. I absolutely love croquettes. And the mushroom sauce has evolved into my mushroom gravy that I can't get enough of. It's delicious! Also good is the BBQ pomegranate tofu, chickpea broccoli casserole, carrot cake, pizza dough, tofu basil ricotta, tofu scramble, and pumpkin waffles. Pure love, I'm telling you.

Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskiwitz. This one's new and hasn't grown on me yet, but the sheer magnitude of recipes in this book make it worthy of mentioning. There's a good recipe for hummus (honestly, you can find hummus recipes anywhere online, so don't buy the book for that), including a lower fat/lower carb cauliflower hummus version. seitan cutlets are tasty and quicker than making seitan, but I still prefer seitan. There are a LOT of helpful tips and tricks and how-to's in there that other cookbooks are lacking. It's a great book, but it's too new for me to really be attached to it yet.

Oh, and for what it's worth, you oughtta also know the site that started all the above trends and awesomeness, the Post Punk Kitchen!

The Fat-free Vegan Kitchen blog is one of my favorite resources for recipes. I usually know something found here is going to be really tasty. Truth be told, though, I usually prefer the deviations that have some fat in them. ;)

The Vegan Cooking Community on is a great resource for recipes, tips and tricks, and reviews of products and recipes.

Vegan Yum Yum blog has some really amazing recipes and foodporn. Delicious stuff!

breakfast sammiches!

honestly? i don't miss those fast food restaurant breakfast sammiches because of the nastiness that they contain, but i miss the warm squishy salty chemically-flavored yumminess, as well as the plain old fun and simplicity of eating one.

but no eggs, dairy, or pork, please.

the "eggs" and bakon here are the leftovers from a failed attempt at tofu benedict (or bernaise, i think), a sauce that i had no right serving to anyone, but my trooper of a man ate two servings. maybe if it's perfected someday, you'll get to subject your own partners to it. ;)

so here goes:

seitan bakon ingredients:

seitan, cut into rounds, counting on two slices per sammich

for the marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp liquid smoke

seitan bakon directions:

preheat oven to 350f. spray a glass baking dish with oil, and lay the seitan rounds in it. mix the marinade well in a small bowl, and spoon half-to-two-thirds of it over the seitan. bake for 15 minutes, flip, add the rest of the marinade, and bake 15 minutes longer. it'll be firm and slightly crispy, but not brick-like.

note: i used very moist seitan from a batch that didn't come out so hot. if you have nice firm not-so-moist seitan, you may only need to cook this for 10 minutes a side. check after 10 minutes and see how crispy your seitan is doing.

tofu ingredients:
extra firm tofu, drained and pressed (if you like it chewy, freeze it first)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce

spices (mix in a little bowl):
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch of salt

tofu directions:

slice the tofu however you like, about 1/4-1/2" thick. i like to cut the block in half (the "short" way), and then slice the halves into bit square slices. figure one large slice or two smaller slices per sammich, so you can store unused and uncut tofu in fresh water for a week or two. spray a nonstick skillet with oil and heat at medium (or a little lower). lay the tofu slices in the pan, drizzle with a little soy sauce, and sprinkle with half-to-two-thirds of the spice mix. cook until they start to get crispy, or at least firm up, flip them, and sprinkle with the rest of the spice mix. (you don't have to, they'll have plenty of spice at this point, but i like the flavor). flip at will till they seem done. it'll probably take about 20 minutes.

sammich assembly:

if you like real food, toast your muffins to your preferences, stack two slices of bakon on the bottom, one or two slices of tofu on that, and top off with the half a muffin.

if you're like me, assemble the sammich on an untoasted muffin, and stick it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. smother tofu in lotsa ketchup and enjoy! :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

chocolate pudding!

this was pretty quick, and pretty tasty. it set up really thick after few hours in the fridge, so i suspect decreasing the cooking time would make it thinner, if that's your preference.

2 cups soymilk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch (i packed it in pretty well, more thickening)
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

directions:whisk everything but the extracts in a medium saucepan and heat on medium until the mixture starts to bubble. it'll thicken quick, so take it off the heat. add extracts.

ladle into ramekins or dessert dishes, or beaker mugs, as you see fit... makes 4 1/2-cup servings, but i only got 3, because of how much the pudding stuck to the saucepan and ladle and whatnot.

we're all pudding lovers, so next time i'm doubling the recipe.

variations: i think this may work really well and faster with chocolate soymilk vs. plain, and omit the cocoa, but that'll have to be tested another day. this came out like a dark chocolate taste, and wasn't terribly sweet. i'm sure splenda could be used instead of sugar, for a lower calorie recipe (and even try unsweetened soymilk, with increased powdered sweetener). chocolate extract may add to the choco flavor goodness.

also: perhaps vanilla soymilk, more vanilla extract (or vanilla beans!), and a little extra cornstarch for a vanilla variety.

the possibilities are endless and i LOVE pudding!

original recipe slightly modified from "Vegan With A Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


seitan is one of those fabulous and awesome "meat substitutes" out there. i don't even like to call it a meat substitute (or fake meat or any of that) because i think it's so fabulous that it doesn't need to pretend to be something it's not. it's seitan! and it's delicious!

it can be served as the protein of any meal, as it is high in protein, low in fat, and not so bad for carbs. (various sources say a 1/3 cup serving has roughly 150 calories, 23 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, no cholesterol, and about 0.5 g fat. the recipe i use has nutritional yeast, which is loaded with b vitamins.)

so here's the recipe i've been using, modified from a few others i've found around the net and in my cookbooks.


2- 2 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth (or water, usually i top off the measurement with water if i run out of broth that's usually in the fridge)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp grated lemon peel (dried)

about 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder (or equivalent cubes)


in a large mixing bowl, mix the first three (dry) ingredients together with a fork. in a smaller mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients, garlic, and lemon peel. mix it up well (with the same fork even), and pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until all the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated. this shouldn't take much work.

turn the mixture onto the counter and knead for about 5 minutes. you don't have to knead quite as violently as one might knead bread, but definitely give it a workout. you want to get all the gluten to do its gluteny job, and become stretchy and firm and have some "meat" to it. it should be kind of like mutant bread dough when you're through. roll the dough into a log (about 10-14" long or so). let it rest while you get the broth ready for cooking it:

in a large pot, fill it up with water, add the bouillon, and set on the stove. the colder the water is the better.

cut the seitan log into about 6 pieces. i like to use a very sharp knife because it results in more consistent pieces in the end, but using your hands is fine, too. drop into the pot and set the heat to high. when the water boils, turn the temperature to low, cover, and let sit for an hour. after an hour, turn the heat off and let the seitan cool in the liquid. you can technically use it for whatever you want after the hour is up, but it seems to firm up a little better if you let it sit and cool with the liquid.

store in its own liquid in the fridge for up to a week. i hear you can freeze it but i've never tried it.

if you can take the time to mince fresh garlic, and use tomato paste instead of ketchup, and freshly grated lemon zest, you're much more hardcore than i am, and it may or may not make a difference. i mean, fresh is always better, but we go through it so quickly at our house that i end up trying to whip up a batch late at night so we can eat it the next day.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

pumpkin cheesecake cups

ingredients (for the crust):

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp margarine, melted
2 tbsp sugar

ingredients (for the cheesecake):

1 cup (8 oz) vegan cream cheese
1 pkg tofu in aseptic container (like mori-nu)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg


preheat oven to 350F. line cupcake pan with liners of your choice.

for the crust:

mix crust ingredients together until blended, and put about 1/8 cup in the bottom of each cupcake liner, and press down the crust with another cupcake liner, or bottom of a shot glass, or something similar.

for the cheesecake:

in a blender or food processor, mix the first 7 cheesecake ingredients, through the vanilla, until extremely smooth and creamy. put about 2 tbsp of this mixture in the bottom of each cheesecake wrapper. it's okay if it's not completely level, because the end result won't be level either.

to the remaining mixture, add the rest of the ingredients, and blend until extremely smooth. divide mixture among the cupcakes (about 1/2 cup per cupcake liner), and leave the mixture heaping in the middle. (it will flatten when baking.)

bake for 30-35 minutes, until tops look set (slightly drier than how they started). allow to cool (preferably on wire rack) and then transfer to the refrigerator. they're edible after a few hours (3 or 4) but they get positively amazing after setting overnight in the fridge.

modified from the fat free vegan blog.

apple cinnamon waffles

apple cinnamon waffles
these came out darker than i expected but they're pretty tasty.

1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup oats (i used regular, but quick-cooking would be better)
2/3 cup cinnamon apple sauce (or plain and add more cinnamon)
1 1/2 cup soymilk
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sugar (optional, i like mine sweet)
3 tbsp vegetable oil (i use canola)

mix the wet ingredients together well (electric mixers are great, but i hate doing dishes), and then add the dry. let the batter sit for a few minutes to get the oats good and soggy before making per your wafflemaker's directions.

i quartered my waffle up and dipped it in maple syrup, but i think they would be delicious just plain and dusted with powdered sugar. they were almost donut-like with a crispy outside and soft inside.


i used chunky cinnamon applesauce made by my lovely partner's mother. i suspect i would adjust the spices and sugar a bit if i used regular apple sauce from a jar.

these waffles cook at a much lower temperature than most other waffles i've made. if you can decrease the temperature, definitely do so. if you have trouble cooking them all the way through with your waffle iron without burning the outside, you might want to turn these into apple cinnamon pancakes instead.

Monday, January 7, 2008

meatloaf pie?

super seekrit super filling lentil quinoa dinner pie! (created 12.08.07)

prep time: about an hour and 15 minutes (if quinoa and lentils are already cooked)
(9 servings)

modified recipe from the magical loaf studio.

¾ cup cashews
about 12 baby carrots, ground in food processor
1 cup peas+carrots mix
3 cups cooked lentils
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 TB flaxseed meal
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried sage
few dashes fresh cracked pepper
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
3 TB olive oil
2 TB ketchup
2 TB soy sauce

8-10 medium potatoes, peeled and washed, cut in small chunks
½ c margarine
¼ c milk (I use soy)


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Grind the cashews into small pieces using a food processor (or a knife). Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Grate/grind baby carrots, and add to the cashews. Add everything else to the large mixing bowl. Mix together well, adding liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (I did not need to add any liquid, but would have used vegetable broth if I did). Add more flax or quinoa as needed if the mixture seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare mashed potatoes. Chop potatoes in small pieces and boil until fork tender (about 20 minutes). Drain and add margarine and milk. Mash with a masher or electric mixer.

Cover bottom layer in square pan with mashed potatoes and return to the oven for another 30 minutes. (Bump up the temp halfway through to 400ºF or so to make sure the potatoes brown a little bit.)

Serve squares covered with a small amount of mushroom gravy. (Mushroom gravy recipe comes from Vegan With A Vengeance)


hummus + love
Originally uploaded by broken dolly
so the first post is going to be a recent creation and a simple one. i'm going to work on posting my photos and recipes that i've already created as well as new stuff :)


1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tbsp tahini
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
dash of fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
about 1/4 cup water

throw everything but the water into a food processor, turn it up to high, and walk away for a few minutes to tidy up a bit. add a splash of water and continue to mix well. scrape the sides if you need to with a rubber spatula. add a little more water until you like the consistency.

variation: before adding more than a splash of water, add one roasted red pepper (either from a jar, or roast one yourself for 20min at 425F).

season to taste with more pepper, salt (if you use it), tahini, or lemon juice. add more garlic if you like it that way.

serve with chopped veggies, pita or flat bread, put on a slice of bread or a bagel, whatever. makes roughly 1 1/2 - 2 cups of hummus.