Sunday, 30 November 2008

Winning Muffin Recipe!

Originally requested by my sister, Fiona, way back at the beginning of November, it seems you've all become enamoured with her long lost Spicy Spinach and Cream Cheese Muffin, and only fitting it be the last post of the month.
Spicy Spinach and Cream Cheese Muffins
For Fiona, in memory of the ones down the road from her work.
Makes 12

1 ¼ C Plain Flour
1 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 ½ t Baking Powder
½ t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
½ t Paprika
¼ t Pepper
Pinch Chili Flakes (to taste really so put in more to make it super spicy)
2 C Soymilk
1 ½ T Lemon Juice
¼ C Oil
½ C thawed and squeezed frozen Spinach *
½ C Vegan Cream Cheese

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare your muffin tins.
In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients – flours through chili flakes.
In another bowl combine the soymilk, lemon juice, oil and spinach. Mix so well combined.
Using your clean fingers break off small balls of the cream cheese, about the size of a ½ t scoop, and add to the dry ingredients. Very gently toss to coat with flour.
Add the liquid ingredients and fold the mix so as not to break up the cream cheese too much.
Carefully spoon into the prepared tins and then bake for 20 – 25 minutes until they test done.
Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then on the rack until completely cool.

* You want to thaw the spinach well in advance and then squeeze as much of the liquid out of it as you can. The measure is after squeezing.
I've been on liquid food for 3 days so have soup pictures to share for tomorrow!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Just a super quick post to say -

Happy Thanksgiving Day to any and all of my US readers.

Have a wonderful stress- and Turkey- free day!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Goodbye Teeth.

Tomorrow I'm getting 2 teeth extracted. They were both extensively filled and through one thing and another at different times the fillings came out, and as the fillings were holding them together the teeth need to come out. They're not sore any more, but will be this time tomorrow.
I'll be making soup for the next week or so, I'll try and make some interesting blog worthy ones , but if I don't it'll be a slow week at this here blog.
I'll be back to post the winning muffin recipe, as chosen by your dear readers, over the weekend.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Save on Foods!

When we first moved to Canada we lived in North Vancouver with my in laws, and then near to them. Once we moved to our own place, out in the wilds of Burnaby, I realised how spoiled we were to have a Save on Foods within walking distance. The closest one to us, right now anyway, is a 20 minute sky train journey away, so not the most convenient for every day shopping - as you can guess it's not somewhere I go often.
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I went today with R, while M was in school and Big A / Little A were off seeing the Aga Khan with their Mum and Dad, and I'm going to make time to go each week I think!! I love this store - it has a great bulk section where there is available, amoungst other stuff; gluten, spelt flour, kamut flour, yellow corn flour, rice flour, tapioca starch, potato flour, dried cranberries, blueberries and goji berries, vegan chocolate chips, all sorts of raw nuts and seeds, and on and on! It has better selection than my health food store and is cheaper than them too. Oh, yeah.
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And that's only the bulk section, the variety in their aisles (and freezer / refrigerated sections) is great too - and they have those special green sections with "healthy" or slightly alternative products with the standard offerings in each aisle. This is why I loved SOF before!
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There is a Save-On being built near us as part of a new development, and it was originally meant to be open by now (as if things ever open on time), but from the state of the building - it may even be this time next year. I truly can't wait. The prices may be more than the other supermarkets, but they are less than the HFS, and the selection is worth it!
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Please note. This rave is purely of my own incentive. I have received no financial reward, or shopping related goods, from the Save On Foods company to write this. Though, Save on Foods people - you want me to write more I'd be happy to take store credit!!!

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I also wanted to show you dinner last night - Tofu Scramble from VwaV, but with south of the border vegetables and stuff. The US / Mexican border that would be.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Muffins for my sisters.

With their kind permission I have condensed all the requests from my sisters Fiona and Linda into one post, and a poll. Seeing as between them they requested 5 muffins I thought the fairest way to decide which recipe to share would be a poll, and you, dear muffin readers, could decide. So here are the options -


Spicy Spinach and Cream Cheese Muffins
Black Forest Muffins
Nanaimo Muffins

Chocolate Caramel / Moro Bar Muffins
Hokey Pokey Muffins





So get voting!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

A muffin for -

Wingraclaire.

Who requested a kid pleasing gluten free, nut free muffin.

Now, I'm going to start by saying I don't have much experience with Gluten free baking, so I played around with a wheat free one I had and removed the Spelt flour replacing it with a combination. It contains oats so its only really gluten free if you can guarantee the source of your oats (they're often contaminated) and there are brands out there which are, Cream Hill Estates for example. (I just use regular oats as GF isn't a consideration)

As for the rest, they are both nut free and soy free, and low in processed sugar. My 4 year old has eaten 2 in the hour since they've been out of the oven so they are recommended by at least 1 child! Its a classic cookie combination, so how could it go wrong? Make it a touch more healthy by using Carob chips instead of chocolate.
Wingraclaire's Oatmeal, Raisin, and Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12

½ C Raisins
½ C Boiling Water
1 C Rolled Oats
¾ C Oat Flour *
½ C Rice Flour
¼ C Potato Flour
2 T Cornstarch
2 T Tapioca Flour
2 T ground Flax Seeds
2 ½ t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
1 ½ t Cinnamon
¾ C Chocolate Chips
½ C + 2 T Rice Milk
¼ C Brown Sugar
¼ C Maple Syrup
¼ C + 2 T Oil
1 t Vanilla

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tins.
Soak the raisins in the boiling water, covered, for 15 minutes.
While the raisins are soaking whisk together the oats, flours, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon. Toss the chocolate chips through.
In a separate bowl mix together the milk, sugar, syrup, oil and vanilla.
Add the raisins and soaking water to the milk mix.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix to just combine.
Spoon mix into the prepared tins then bake for 18 - 22 minutes, until tests done.
Wingraclaire, if these aren't OK, then I don't mind trying again without using oats, but I may have to resort to a commercial GF flour mix. Leave me a comment, or email.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

So, Megan, You asked for it -

Thanks for leaving your comment with your requested muffin from the Xmas 2 I made earlier in the week - Just for you we have....
Megan's Xmas Soynog Muffins
Makes 12

1 C Plain Flour
¾ C Almond Meal
¾ C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 ½ t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
½ t Salt
2 T Cornstarch
½ t Cinnamon
¼ t Allspice
1 ¼ C Soynog *
1 t Vanilla
¼ C Oil
¼ C Agave
¼ C Maple Syrup

1 recipe Frothy Nutty Topping - follows

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare the muffin tins.
Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour through allspice – in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to just combine.
Spoon mix into the prepared tins and top each with some of the topping mix. Gently mix the topping with a little of the top batter to hold it in place as it cooks.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until tests done.
Cool in tins for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Frothy Nutty Topping –

¼ C finely chopped, toasted Almonds
¼ C Almond Meal
¼ C Breadcrumbs
½ t Cinnamon
1 T Oil

In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the topping and hold to one side until required.


What do you think? I was aiming for a frothy, heated milky look with the topping.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The Rice Challenge - Its over.

That was far too easy.


I never made sushi.

I never got to have a baked / grilled tofu dish over rice.

I only mixed rice with another grain once (for the burgers).

I never made a baked rice dish.

I didn't have to resort to rice crackers.

Care to challenge me to something else? Not saying I'll take you up on it mind!

The Rice Challenge: Day 7

Breakfast -
Rice with soynog, pistachios and cranberries

Lunch -
At the food court in the mall - Rice with Stir fried (very oily) vegetables

Dinner -
Attempt number 2 at the veggie rice burgers. They worked, but still not perfect!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Christmas Muffins for.....

Megan!

There's two of them. I'll make a proper Christmas Cake type muffin closer to the time but for now I've got these 2 for you to look at - Pomegranate and Caramelised Pecan, (to the left above) and Xmas Soynog (to the right).

and once more -

Pomegranate and Caramelised Pecan

Xmas Soynog

Leave a comment as to which recipe you want, Megan (and anyone else) and I'll post your request after I hear from you!

The Rice Challenge: Day 6

Breakfast -
Leftover Black Rice with Blueberries from yesterday. Look there if you want a picture.

Lunch -
Brown Rice stir fried with onions, garlic, and kale in a soy sauce and liquid smoke sauce.
Dinner -
I tried to make Veggie burgers with brown rice, veggies, and nuts and seeds. I failed.
It tasted nice, but didn't hold together and looked like slop so no photo of that either! Really, you don't want to see it!
I have leftover burger mix so am going to play with it for my dinner Day 7 (H doesn't want it again) so If I get it working I'll post a picture then!

Bit of a lame report today!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Rice Challenge: Day 5

Breakfast / Lunch -
At about 11 am so "brunch" maybe. Black Rice with Coconut Milk, Dried and Frozen Blueberries.

Dinner -
Brown Rice with stir fried Kale and Broccoli in an Asian Tahini Sauce.

I've got leftover black rice for breakfast tomorrow.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

2 muffins for -

LIZ! (EFCLiz)

Liz asked for chili muffins in her comment on my original post so I've taken the idea and run with it. From the chili I made the other day I made 2 muffins, slightly different, to see which one suits best.
Isa coined the term "Loaffin" on her blog in this post, and I think it fits the first recipe - they're like little sausage-y meat loaves in individual portions.

Liz' Chili Loaffins
Makes 12

½ C Soy Milk
1 t Apple Cider Vinegar
2 C Chili
½ C cooked (brown) Rice
¼ C Oil
½ C + 2 T Vital Wheat Gluten
1 C Plain Flour
2 t Baking Powder
½ t Salt
½ t Paprika
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F and prepare muffin tins.
In a large bowl, combine the soymilk and vinegar and allow to curdle.
Add the chili, rice and oil to the soymilk and mix well.
Sift in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Spoon into the prepared tins and bake for 30 minutes, until nicely browned.
Cool in tins for 5 minutes and serve warm or cold.

.........................................................................................................


These next muffins are more "muffin-y" and bake the chili into a cornbread batter. Best eaten warm but pretty good cold too.
Chili in Cornbread Muffins
For Liz
Makes 12

1 ½ C plain Soymilk
1 ½ t Apple Cider Vinegar
¾ C Chili – at room temperature
½ C + 2 T Cornmeal
½ C + 2 T Plain Flour
1 C Yellow Corn Flour
¼ C Corn Starch
1 T Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
¼ t Black Pepper
1 t minced Jalapeno Pepper (about 1) Use more if you like it really spicy!
¼ C Oil

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tins.
In a small bowl combine the soymilk and vinegar – stand for 5 minutes.
Load the chili into a piping bag with a very large open tip, nothing fancy but it has to be large enough to allow the chili through.
In large bowl whisk together the cornmeal, flours, cornstarch, baking powder / soda, salt and pepper. Toss in the minced pepper so spread throughout the dry mix.
Add the soymilk and oil to the dry ingredients and mix to just combine.
Spoon the mix into the prepared tins. Using the chili in the piping bag, pipe about 1 T of chili into the centre of the batter in each muffin tin.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until tests done.
Cool in tins for 5 minutes and the on rack.
Serve hot or cold, but for preference the warmer the better.

Liz, if neither of these are what you had in mind, give me some more guidelines and I'll be back to the drawing board. Otherwise, make one (or both) and tell me what you think.

The Rice Challenge: Day 4

Breakfast -
Coconut Cranberry Breakfast Rice

Lunch -
Stir fried rice with Cashews and Green Pepper.

Dinner -
We went out to H's work for dinner, so I didn't take a picture. I had a Vegetable Red Thai Curry served on rice with Bok Choi. Nice.

Friday, 14 November 2008

The Rice Challenge: Day 3

Breakfast -
Chocolate Caramel Rice Pudding

Lunch -
Plain steamed brown rice with broccoli and peanut sauce

Dinner -
Pumpkin (well Butternut Squash) Risotto.
All Yummy!!!!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Rice Challenge: Day 2

Here we go again -

Breakfast -
Rice with coconut milk, cardamom and pistachio nuts.

Lunch -
Squash Soup with added Rice.

Dinner -
Rice with Chili. Recipe for the chili follows, and it is good!

Sweet and Spicy TVP Chili
Makes loads!

½ C TVP Mince
½ C Sundried Tomatoes – chopped
1 t Liquid Smoke
1 ½ C Boiling Water
1 stalk Celery – finely chopped
½ onion – finely chopped
1 Shallot – finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic – finely chopped
1 Red Pepper – chopped
½ Green Pepper – chopped
1 – 2 Jalapeno Peppers – minced (you decide!)
1 C drained tinned Tomatoes
1 C cooked Red Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
½ C Frozen Corn
3 T Tomato Paste
¼ C Ketchup
½ t Paprika
½ t Salt
¼ t Black pepper
1t Oregano
Pinch Chili Flakes (again you choose)
1 ½ C Tomato Juice
1 – 1 ½ C Water

In a small bowl soak theTVP and sundried tomatoes in the liquid smoke and boiling water, covered, for 15 minutes.
In a large soup pot, steam fry the celery, onion, shallot and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the soaked TVP mix and all the remaining ingredients, starting with 1 C water and adding more if necessary.
Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 45 – 50 minutes until reduced to 1/3 original volume and thickened nicely.
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Rice Challenge: Day 1

Way back at the beginning of Vegan MoFo I said in this post that I thought I could eat rice with every meal for a week and not get bored and Debbie challenged me to do it. Well now that VeganMoFo is over, and my teeth are half sorted, I am going to do it. So each day from here for a week I'm going to post what I had 3 meals a day with rice. They may not be exciting (I have been known to have Rice and Seasoned Nori sheets as lunch) but they will be rice as promised!

So here we go with Day 1.

Breakfast -
Rice I cooked yesterday with Date Puree, Raisins, Rice Milk, Cinnamon and Vanilla.
Lunch -
Leftover Red Pepper and Spinach Risotto, topped with Tofutti cream Cheese.
Dinner -
Brown Rice with Stir fried Green Vegetables.
More rice coming up tomorrow!
It was Remembrance Day - hope you remembered.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A muffin for two of you -

Jeni Treehugger and Courtney!

Jeni had requested a diabetic suitable muffin, and Courtney wanted non wheat without processed sugar. Those 2 requests go pretty well together don't you think. The result tasted pretty good too!

So here we have, non wheat, whole grain containing, sweetened with Maple Syrup and dried Apricots -
Treehugger Apricot and Cranberry Muffins
Makes 12

¾ C dried Apricots
1 C water
1 C Soy milk
1 t Apple Cider Vinegar
1 2/3 C whole grain Spelt Flour
½ C Rolled Oats
2 ½ t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
½ t Salt
½ t Cinnamon
¼ t Allspice
3 T Maple Syrup
3 T Cranberry Juice
2 T Oil
1 t Vanilla Essence
¾ C fresh / frozen Cranberries
¼ C finely chopped dried Apricots

In a small pan soak apricots in the water for at least 1 hour. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Stand off the heat a further 10 minutes. Mash with a fork, or blend, to a thick paste. Hold at room temperature until required. (If you have less than ¾ C of paste, add unsweetened applesauce to make up the missing quantity.)
Preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tins.
In a small bowl combine the soy milk and vinegar. Stand for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl whisk together the flours, oats, baking powder and soda, salt and spices. Add the chopped Apricots, break up to distribute evenly and toss to coat with the flour.
Add the soy milk mix, syrup, juice, oil and vanilla to the apricot mix and stir to combine.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry and just combine. Fold in the cranberries.
Spoon mix into prepared tins and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until tests done.
Cool muffins in tins for 5 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack.
What do you think ladies? does this meet the requirements?

Monday, 10 November 2008

The Rice Challenge

I am going to do this from tomorrow. I wanted to assure you I will still get the muffins done and posted when they are, but in the meantime you'll also get lots of pictures of food with rice.
I have some guidelines in my own mind.
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- Rice 3 meals a day, therefore snacks are exempt so I can taste the muffins I'm creating.
- Its OK to pre-cook the rice in bulk!
- Rice crackers / cakes count. I may need emergency breakfasts or something.
- All types of rice are fair game - white, brown, black, risotto, sushi, wild (even though its not really rice) etc, alone or combined with other grains.
- Sweet and savoury are created equal. So for dinner I could have a bowl of soup and rice pudding and stay within the rules.
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Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner including Rice as from tomorrow - GO
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Timing is because of my tooth. I have a temporary fix in place but am going to have to have 2 teeth (the cracked one and a wisdom) surgically removed later in the month. Can't see me wanting to eat rice much after that!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

...and this muffin is for ...

Chantal! Chantal has too much Tamarind Concentrate and needs help using it up. In her comment she suggested a tamarind citrus combination. I am nothing if not obliging. Muffins to the rescue!!
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Now, Tamarind paste is quite strongly flavoured stuff, being that it is concentrated. I have only used a little here because I didn’t want its sour sweetness to be too dominant, and in this muffin it blends well with the other flavours to make a tongue pleasing delight. Hope you like it Chantal.

Chantal's Tamarind Muffins
Makes 12

2 ¾ C Spelt Flour
1/3 C Sugar
3 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
½ t Salt
½ t ground Ginger
1 t Cardamom
¾ C Rice Milk
½ C Orange Juice
2 T Oil
2 T Maple Syrup
1 t Orange Zest
3 T Tamarind Paste
1 t fresh Ginger – grated
1/3 C Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tins.
In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients – flour through cardamom.
In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to just combine.
Spoon mix into the prepared tins and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until tests done.
Cool muffins in tins for 5 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack to finish cooling.
Next up (probably Tuesday) will be a Jeni Treehugger / Courtney dual request effort.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

These Muffins are for...

my lovely sister, Sonia!

Sonia said in an email "I am generally a choc-loaded muffin fan, but don't make them often myself as fresh is much better and I'd get fat, since they're more like little cakes than muffins. So a 'diet' super-choc muffin would be ideal for me. However, I did just buy a muffin tin so I would 'christian' it with your recipe should you come up with one!"

Well, I have made one up. Remember that vegan baked goods are, by definition, cholesterol free (it only is found in animal foods) so there's a diet bonus right there. This one is low fat - really the most fat comes from the chocolate chips that you use, so choose wisely there. I've used Rice Milk as it is lower fat that soy milk, but I'm sure low-fat soy milk would work too. I've kept it lower sugar too - a lot of the sweetening comes from the chocolate, and the "fat replacer" I chose.
These are very chocolate-y but definitely a muffin. They are not light like a cupcake, but dense and filling. They’re not too sweet either so won't send you on a huge sugar rush. R, my youngest daughter, ate 2 while they were still warm out of the oven!
So here we have them -
Sonia's “Diet” Super Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12

½ C Prunes
¾ C Water
1 ¼ C Plain Flour
¾ C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
¼ C Cocoa Powder
2 ½ t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
½ t Salt
½ C Vegan Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
¼ C Cocoa Powder
½ C Sugar
1 t Vanilla
¼ C Maple Syrup
½ C Rice Milk
½ C Vegan Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (optional; to make them more chocolate-y and less diet-y)

In a small pan soak prunes in the water for 1 hour. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes, adding water by the tablespoon if required to stop mixture sticking. Stand off the heat a further 10 minutes. Blend, or mash with a fork to a thick paste. Hold at room temperature until required. (If you have less than ½ C of paste, add unsweetened applesauce to make up the missing quantity.)
Preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tins.
In a large bowl sift together the flours, first lot of cocoa powder, baking powder / soda and salt.
Combine the first lot of chocolate chips, the second cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, maple syrup and soy milk into the top of a double boiler (or a bowl which fits over a saucepan), heat, and stir until melted and smooth. Add the prune mix, stir to combine.
Work fast from here on as the chocolate will harden quickly once taken off from over the water. Pour chocolate mix into dry ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in the second lot of chocolate chips (if using).
Spoon into the prepared tins, then bake for 22 - 26 minutes until tests done.
Cool 5 minutes in the tins then on the rack.
If you want it even more chocolate-y but less diet-y, cover the tops with a chocolate ganache! The recipe in Vegan Cupcakes take over the World, is the one I use most often.

What do you reckon Sonia? good enough for your new muffin tin?

Friday, 7 November 2008

These Muffins are for -

Radioactivevegan!

(and Jeni Treehugger, and Courtney, as I have made them without processed sugar.)

As requested, Pumpkin Chai Muffins. These are a muffin-y muffin – moist, hearty, fragrant, and not too sweet. You’ll never mistake this one for a cupcake or find it masquerading as dessert, in fact eating these makes you feel virtuous and healthy!
Radioactivevegan's Pumpkin Chai Muffins
Makes 12

½ C Dates
¾ C Water
¾ C + 2 T Almond Milk
1 t Vanilla Extract
2 English Breakfast Teabag
2 t Cinnamon
1 t ground Ginger
¾ t Cardamon
¼ t Allspice
¼ t Black Pepper
1/8 t Cloves
¼ C Agave
¾ C Pumpkin Puree
2 T Oil
1 ¼ C Plain Flour
¾ C Whole Wheat Flour
2 T Cornstarch
2 t Baking Powder
½ t Baking Soda
½ t Salt

In a small pan soak dates in the water for at least 1 hour. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Stand off the heat a further 10 minutes. Mash with a fork to a paste. Hold in a large bowl at room temperature until required. (If you have less than ½ C of date paste, add unsweetened applesauce to make up the missing quantity.)
In a small saucepan bring the almond milk and vanilla just to the boil. Do not allow to actually boil. Add the tea bags and the spices (Cinnamon to Black Pepper). Remove from the heat, cover and allow to steep until milk is cool (about 20 minutes). Remove the tea bag, squeezing it out and add to the date mix.
While the above are cooling – preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tins.
Add the agave, pumpkin puree and spiced soymilk / tea to the date mix and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl sift together the remaining ingredients. Add these to the wet ingredients and mix to just combine. Don’t over mix as pumpkin can make things gummy if mixed too much.
Spoon mix into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until tests done.
Cool in tray for 5 minutes before turning onto cooling rack.

Are they what you had in mind radioactive? Would you (or Jeni or Courtney) like to make them and report back?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Doesn't look like much -

This brown slop was last nights dinner, but don't let its appearance put you off.

These are the Tamarind Lentils from Veganomicon, and they are super tasty! If you haven't made then yet I recommend you do!

Back to the baking! and, A vegan about town, the muffins aren't too carrot-y, but that depends in part on how carrot-y your carrots are (if you see what I mean) mine were quite mildly so.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

These Muffins are for...


and here we have them -
I put some nuts in as requested by my sister Sonia, but not walnuts (sorry). I really like the pistachio / carrot / cardamom combination this has. They are nice moist muffins without being too sweet. If you like muffins sweeter (A vegan about town or anyone), then just add another 1/4 C brown sugar when you make them.

and here's the recipe -

A vegan about town's Carrot and Pistachio Muffins
Makes 12

½ C Plain Flour
½ C WholeWheat Flour
1 C WholeWheat Pastry Flour
2 ½ t Baking Powder
½ t Salt
¼ t Nutmeg
¼ t Cardamom
¾ C shelled Pistachio Nuts – chopped and toasted**
½ C Soy Milk
6 T Apple Juice
¼ C Soy Creamer
¼ C Oil
½ C Brown Sugar
2 T Maple Syrup
1 ¼ C finely grated Carrot – tightly packed

12 - 36 shelled Pistachio Nuts to top

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tins.
In a large bowl sift together the flours, baking powder and soda, salt and spices. Add pistachios and toss to combine.
In another large bowl whisk together the milk, creamer, juice, oil, sugar and syrup. Stir in the grated carrot so well combined.
Pour the carrot mix into the dry ingredients, and mix to just combine.
Top each muffin with a pistachio (or two or three) and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until tests done.
Cool muffins in tins for 5 minutes and then on rack.

**My pistachio's were ready shelled, roasted and salted. The salting I'm not fussed about but if you nuts are raw then please toast them lightly first.
A vegan about town - I hope you like them! Make then and report back please!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

So, you've asked for...

So far the requests are -


Pumpkin Chai

Suitable for diabetics

Fondant French Fancies

Spicy Chili

Carrot X 2

Kiwifruit

Feijoa

Avocado

Asparagus

"Diet" Super Chocolate

Tamarind Concentrate (maybe with citrus)

Hokey Pokey (maybe with vegan white chocolate)

Black Forest

Chocolate Caramel / Moro Bar

Nanaimo Bar

Spicy spinach and vegan feta


Now, (Dad) Feijoa isn't happening as I can't find them here. Avocados are $2 each so not at the moment, and it may be the season in New Zealand, but not here for asparagus. I have a good idea for asparagus, but it'll have to wait until spring.


I'm also not going to go with the French Fancies, they'd end up too cakey to be called muffins I think. All the rest seem potentially do-able, though may need some google work.


I have 2 versions of the chili request in mind, so I may make both and see which works best. Tamarind is intriguing. I have some concentrate in the fridge and haven't used it much. I must think further on that one.


I have decided I am going to start with the Carrot ones, as there have been 2 requests, then the pumpkin chai (and maybe another) which should be suitable (I hope) for diabetics, and then we'll see.


This has really sparked the creative part of my brain. Keep the ideas coming!!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Make it YOUR muffin.

So. To get November off and running I am asking my dear readers (all 5 of you, haha) to think about what sort of muffin you would like me to create for you. and of course name in your honour.
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You can give as many guidelines as you like - for example if you want lower fat, lower sugar, gluten free or whatever - as well as the flavour combination you think would be you. Be creative people!
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Then I'll off and create something, make it, fine tune it, and post the perfected recipe here. After that it would be great if you could make the muffin and report back. Like a whole interactive muffin game.
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If I get more than one or two responses I may have to randomly pick which one to make (first anyway), but if I'm intrigued by the suggestions I'll make more! Pass the word along and we'll see what we get!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Great Soup!

I'm really loving this soup at the moment. It comes out a lovely orange-y yellow colour, is super warming tasting, and best of all gets me lots of goodness without hurting my poor teeth! I think I've made it three times over the past 2 weeks and made it a little different every time so this is more a "guide to awesome soup" than an actual recipe.Bake 1 squash and 1 large sweet potato (orange fleshed) at 400F for about an hour (or until tender) You'll need to cut the squash into at least 1/4's and prick the sweet potato well. I've used a different squash each time and its all good! Cool, remove skins and roughly chop.

In a large soup pot saute an onion (I've used red and plain) some garlic and a shallot or 2 if you like. Add some of the following herbs / spices - Cumin, Coriander, Cardamon, Paprika, Turmeric, Majoram, Salt and Pepper - or whatever mix takes your fancy.

Add in 3 pretty big peeled and chopped white potatoes, a tin of coconut milk, some red lentils if you like them (I've made it with and without and both are good), the baked vegetables too, then cover with vegetable stock and water.

Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes and lentils (if using) are tender (up to an hour). You'll need more liquid if using the lentils so keep an eye on the soup as it cooks and add more as necessary.

Blend with your immersion blender until smooth. Makes loads. Art courtesy of M. ************************************************************************************
In case you were wondering, I did do some Halloween Baking for the girls school and preschool parties, Sugar cookies for one - (thanks to
Peggy for the recipe) and mini Jaffa (chocolate / orange) muffins for the other, but I neglected to take photos which is why you aren't getting a Halloween post this year. Sorry! Here's M looking cute in her costume.
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and - Thanks for your comments on the Creating / Experimenting post, try the muffins they're good. Yes, even you, my "original loving" Dad! I know Its November and I need to update the sidebar. I will get to it soon, hopefully tomorrow.