Tag Archives: muffins

More Vegan Brunch: Muffins and Frittata

So I’m still steadily making my way through Vegan Brunch – don’t you worry. First up, Blueberry Ginger Spelt Muffins! Made with half the fat (hello applesauce!) and a little bit of whole wheat flour because I ran out of spelt at 1 3/4 cups…

These muffins had such a nice springy texture and didn’t crumble apart in the slightest. Spelt’s the best, yo. And who can resist those bursting trickles of bluebie juice and little nubs of crystallized ginger peeking out of that muffin top?

I also made the Curried Cauliflower Frittata. This was good, but I didn’t loveee it.

I added an extra carrot because adding extra veggies is always better, but besides that, didn’t make any changes!

Here it is after inverting it. I kind of liked the first way better though…maybe I just don’t know what a frittata is supposed to look like?…

I definitely thought it needed a bit more salt, and the curry flavor was a little bit strong (to be fair though, Isa does warn that you might want to decrease the curry powder). The worst part of it was that I started making it with my friend Jo, but she had to leave halfway through and never got any. Sorry, Jo. Good thing it wasn’t amazing, or I would have felt really bad!

So, this post isn’t just brunch! I have a cookie recipe too. I made some significant changes to an old recipe I had lying around. I made these for a democratic event that my mom was volunteering for, hence the picture after the recipe. These cookies are delightfully chewy with a crisp exterior, and the lemon-cranberry-almond pairing – er, tripling? – is to die for! The banana flavor is subtle, but there. Enjoy.

Oatmeal-Lemon-Cranberry-Almond Bundle Cookies
(Adapted/healthified from my school’s coffee house’s recipe)
Makes two to three dozen

3 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 cup sugar
2 bananas
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted almond slivers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer, combine the sugar, banana, EB, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients, finishing with the cranberries and almonds. Form cookies into small balls and slightly flatten on a lightly greased baking tray (they won’t spread much at all). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops turn golden brown (they’ll firm up a lot on the tray, so don’t overbake them!)

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Cheese and Chocolate

No, not together. And not real cheese either. Obviously.

So the chocolate fest began on Monday night when my mom commissioned me to make dessert for an early birthday bash for my dad (his actual birthday’s tomorrow, but my sister Livie left for college on Tuesday, so we had to push it up a couple days…). I only recently acquired My Sweet Vegan, and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to take it for a spin. I wish I could say that I chose to make the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie because it’s my dad’s favorite, or something adorably sentimental like that, but really, it was the first decent recipe I found for which we had all the ingredients. :) It was dayummm good though! Here’s my pops blowing out his candles:

Okay, you got me. He’s not 23. Just like my recipe choice, the pie toppers were dictated by what was available.

Mmm. This is definitely a special occasion pie, as it’s LOADED with Earth Balance and sugar, but it was so delicious. I think next time I made it, I would just use the concept of this recipe, but use a super healthy cookie dough recipe like Dreena’s. But it was fun to make this once!

Something else I made recently – okay, so it’s not chocolate, but carob is close enough – Oatmeal Muffins from Eat’n Veg’n. Look at these cuties:

They’re super dense and healthy (mine were especially dense because I only made 10 muffins instead of 18), but in a good way! And they’re wheat/flour-free and sugar-free (besides the carob chips I added). They’re literally just bananas, peanut butter, oats, carob chips, cinnamon, raisins, and a little baking powder! And those, my friends, are a lot of my favorite things. :) They also make a fun template – you can switch up the nut butter, spices, and mix-ins easily.

Okay, another real chocolate recipe. Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Cookies from Simple Treats. This was my first time using this cookbook as well, though I can’t for the life of me imagine why! It’s right up my alley – delicious and healthy baked goods free of refined sugar and flour (they use barley flour instead of wheat flour in all the recipes).

I followed the recipe, but just swirled in a little peanut butter at the end to make them pretty. Did I do a good job? ;) That is not a rhetorical question.

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a cookie where I didn’t replace half the oil with applesauce or something, so this recipe was a welcome change because, with a cup of peanut butter and a bit of canola oil, these cookies achieved a “buttery,” flaky texture that my baking often lacks. I think I generally prefer “hippier,” chewier baked goods, but these were amazing and reminded me of these chocolate almond cookies my mom used to always make for me when I was pulling all-nighters writing papers in high school before I was vegan. :)

Enough chocolate! You want “cheese,” right? Thought so.

Macaroni and “Cheese” Casserole from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook. Look at that cute little curious noodle poking it’s noochy head up into the wide world from it’s cozy bed of bread crumbs:

I didn’t actually have any of this because I was helping my mom out by making it for one of her sick friends. Her friend loves Mac ‘n Cheese apparently, and my mom was going to make her some until I stepped in and set things right. :) It sure smelled good though. If I ever make this for myself however, I will probably quarter the fat or something. Lots and lots of Earth Balance and oil. I was too afraid to alter it for my mom’s omnivore friend because I didn’t want to lower the fat too much and give vegan food a bad rap since I have no experience with this recipe.

Naturally, I wanted something cheesy after making that dish for someone else, so I made the Zucchini Chedda Soup from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook with the optional brown rice added for extra comfort food power.

I’m not really sure I can accurately recall the taste of real cheese, but this tasted pretty freaking cheesy to me. Seriously, if someone else served this soup to me, I would’ve been like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you trying to pull?” The cheddar-cheese color comes from roasted red bell peppers blended up with a lot of nooch and other delicious things. I added a little turmeric and mustard for extra color, too. Look, it even stretches like cheese!

That’s it, except for some bonus smoothies! Here’s a blueberry-banana-cinnamon:

And here’s a yummy green monster, with mango, banana, kale, spinach, spirulina, hemp and flax.

Green smoothies really are the perfect breakfast. I need to have them more like every other day than once a week, which is what I do now. It’s insane how much nutrition you can pack into one Magic Bullet cup.

Did this post acquit me of my laziness in the past few days? I hope so! Oh, and Ruby Red Vegan, I sent your Weil bars out today!

More Simple Food, "Crummy" Muffins, and Magic Cookies

Today’s post is almost exactly the same as yesterdays: simple (yet delicious) flavors for me, and some decadence for my lucky family. :)

I had the same mango-banana-papaya-coconut smoothie as yesterday (also with flax seeds, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice), but I took a picture today so you can see its lovely shade (and my adorable baby bowl that I recently purchased from Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe).

A great smoothie strategy I’ve discovered lately is using extracts to pack flavor without extra calories. For example, in the above smoothie, I used a 1/4 tsp of coconut extract, which imparted a rich, yet calorieless coconut flavor to my smoothie (instead of coconut milk, which, though healthy, is pretty fatty, and in a smoothie with so many other flavors, I can do without i). I’ve also used almond extract – my favorite smoothie with it being cherry-almond. Obviously, vanilla goes with everything (especially PB smoothies!). I can’t wait to experiment with maple/coffee extract when I eventually get my hands on them.

My family requested muffins for brekkie, so I made the Apple Crumb Muffins from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan! I’m actually not a HUGE fan of crumb toppings on muffins–they just annoy me when they get everywhere), so I didn’t mind making these when I couldn’t have them. Plus, I love the act of baking in itself so much, who cares?!

This recipe is loaded with a delicious apple-maple-cinnamon-“buttery”-flavor, or so I heard, haha. I made 10 muffs instead of 12 to get the tops, but, as you’re about to see, that didn’t work out too well…The tops just broke right off (I think the crumb topping weighed them down too much, so they couldn’t really achieve their full potential and sturdiness). Behold the saddest muffin of the batch:

OMG, I know. You don’t even need to say anything. But, they weren’t all like that, I swear. See?

For lunch I had the exact same chickpea-brown rice-kale bowl as yesterday, but for dinner I switched things up a little and had red quinoa with cumin, lime, cinnamon, raisins, and hemp seeds with green beans, peas, and leftover white sweet potatoes. I decided to go sauceless because I think that cuke-yogurt sauce goes better with the rice and chickpeas.

Extra cinnamon on top!

My mom requested cookies after dinner (they request a lot, don’t they?), so I whipped up Magic Cookies from the same cookbook as the muffins (You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!). Now, these. THESE, I was jealous of not being able to eat. As in, the monster of jealousy inside me was greener than the peas in my detox bowl.

These are everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of cookies, loaded with carrots, pecans (and walnuts because I ran out), oats, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes. You’re supposed to make them really large (the recipe says 9 cookies per batch, and it’s NOT an unusually small amount of batter), but even making them as big as the book says, I got almost double the amount of cookies out of this recipe–and had to almost double the baking time, weird. Can’t complain, I guess. Their size allows them to have a crispy exterior while being delightfully chewy in the middle (or so I imagine, again…). My fam raved about these and said I could become FAMOUS for them!

I think that when I’m finally able to make these for myself, I’ll use: carob chips, oats, pecans, carrots, sunflower seeds, coconut, raisins, and PEANUT BUTTER. Doesn’t that sound like an even lovelier combo. Get better, tummy, please!

Carrot Bisque, Berry Muffins, and Norabars

My kitchen has been a happenin’ place of late! First up, the deliciously simple Carrot Bisque from Vegan with a Vengeance! I like the short ingredient list on this guy–I love intricate recipes, but sometimes I’m just not up for a 1/2 page-long spice list! Most of the flavor comes from (light) coconut milk, curry powder, and a touch of maple syrup.

Garnished with soy yogurt for some added refreshing creaminess!

At my mama’s request, I also made the Bakery-Style Berry Muffins from Vegan Brunch using blueberries and raspberries! I’ve made these before, but in my muffin top pan, which didn’t work as well as I’d hoped–they sort of came out like small, thick pancakes, and didn’t get crispy at all.

I think the way to go for killer, crispy muffin tops is just to overfill the tins (as Isa mentions in Vegan Brunch herself). She says to go for 10 for big tops, but I did 9. The batter was pretty thick, so each tin was probably filled a little over the top. They were much nicer than the flattish muffins I usually make, but next time I’m doing 8, so I can get–I don’t know if this is the best way to describe it–like, giant mushrooming tops. Haha.

How cute is that! I got such a shock when I was taking this shot and found myself in a staring contest through my Rebel’s viewfinder. He’s winking! I named him Berry Bob.

What a crumb.

I also made my own energy bars yesterday! I haven’t told you guys yet, but I signed up for the Disney Half-Marathon on September 6th with my good friend Chelsea from Pomona. I’ve always wanted to run one, and when she asked me to do it with her, I knew it’d be a great opportunity! I’ve never done anything like it before (I played soccer for 10 years, and 1 year in college, so at least I’m semi-athletic), and the most I’ve ever run at once was 5 1/2 miles in 8th grade at my summer camp’s race. But, I’ve found a training schedule, so I should be good!

Anyways, my point is, I wanted a good pre-run snack because I’ve discovered my body can’t handle very much food before I run. My stomach needs to be as empty as possible, but I obviously need fuel. So, semi-bored of the few Larabar flavors we always have, I made Norabars! They’re Cinnamon-Pecan with Cacao Nibs! I actually liked them better than the Larabars I’ve had (but don’t get me wrong, Larabars rock…they’re just expensive).

Cacao-Cinnamon-Pecan Norabars

1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1 cup toasted pecans*
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Process dates into a thick paste (it’s okay if there are chunks). Remove from food processor and place in a small bowl. Pulse toasted pecans until roughly powdered (again, you can leave them as chunky as you want), and add to the bowl of dates, along with the cinnamon and vanilla. Finally, pulse the cacao nibs until they’re slightly broken up, and add those to the bowl as well. Now, get your hands dirty and knead all the ingredients together in the bowl! To make the bars, divide “dough” into 4, place each lump on a piece of saran wrap. Wrap them up, then shape into bars by molding them through the plastic. Chill in fridge for a bit, and there you go! Homemade ____bars (insert your name there). If you’re making a bigger batch, you could also press the dough into a pan and cut it up into bars once chilled.

*Note: You can use raw pecans if you like, but I figured, since my cacao nibs are roasted anyways, I might as well toast the nuts for extra flavor. (It makes them taste more like cookies!)

Makes 4 bars.

Coffee Chip Muffins

From Vegan Brunch of course! I brought these charming little guys into work yesterday! They were a big hit. Thanks, Isa. :)

Didn’t make many changes. Just used unrefined sugar and white whole wheat flour (by the way, I think I like whole wheat pastry flour better. I think WWWF makes baked goods a lot denser than WWPF. Anyone else have that experience? I’m just trying to use up the bag of WWWF at this point). I think next time I’d add more (maybe even double) the amount of instant coffee crystals–you could barely taste them, and they’re Coffee Chip Muffins! Still, delicious. Even better with a big gob of peanut butter and eaten with–you guessed it–a nice cup ‘o Joe (Roasted Pecan, to be exact!)

We’re having my family birthday dinner tonight (2+ weeks late, haha), so dessert will be decadent! You’ll see tomorrow!