Tag Archives: vegan baking

Banana Split Pudding Brownies

I have been craving some chocolate lately, and in a mean, mean way. Since I can’t just run out an buy a candy bar, I have to make my own stuff. Normally, I would bust out my copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, close my eyes, hold out my finger and randomly pick a recipe (then flip around until I found something I REALLY wanted to make). However, I was in the mood for something a little more…fudgey. Not to mention we had a bunch of brown bananas that needed to go away as they were housing a colony of fruit flies on my damn windowsill. So, I opened my bent, dirty, sticky copy of Vegan With a Vengeance and found this heaven sent jumble of words. I’m not sure why they are called Banana Split Pudding Brownies, they were more like fudgey brownies with a creamy banana topping, but they were awesome nonetheless. Another home run by Isa. Love you, girl.

As usual, I made some adjustments to my liking and to how I do things, so if you see things differently here as to what’s in the book, get over it. I think next time I make these, though, I will put them in a smaller pan, maybe 9×9, and bake them longer. I’ll let you know how that turns out. Here they are-

For the brownies-

4 oz semi sweet chocolate chopped, or 4 oz mini chips

2 large overripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

For the topping-

2 large overripe mashed bananas

2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 cup soy milk *i used vanilla soy milk, it was all I had. Boooo….

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp arrowroot powder

For decoration and even more banana yumminess-

1 ripe, but not too ripe banana, sliced

Oven at 350. Spray a 9×13 pan with no-stick.

For the brownies…melt the chocolate chips in a small glass bowl in the microwave for one minute. Stir until smooth, set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix bananas, oil and sugar with your hand held mixer until well combined. Mix in vanilla and melted chocolate. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this to the banana mixture in batches and blend completely, but you know, as usual, don’t over mix.

In a small bowl, combine all topping ingredients and beat until well combined, about a minute.

Spread brownie mixture evenly in baking pan. pour banana topping over that and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 15, then move to fridge until fully cooled. To the left is what mine looked like when they came out of the oven. Cut into twelve portions, top with sliced bananas and serve. YUM. I actually cut them into 24 portions and there was no evil uprising. I kept them in the fridge because, I dunno, they just seemed like a fridge type thing. Her directions say to top with sliced bananas, place on plate, and eat with a fork but after cutting them smaller and refrigerating them, totally not necessary. The extra bananas are totally up to you.

Here they are again as smaller bars and with a movie I watched last night that I frigging loved to little bloody pieces. Best line ever- “You two took away everything I ever loved. Fuck you both.” Lucky Number Slevin. Go rent it.

So, my review of “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch” is going to be kinda negative. If this was a book you liked, well, you should buy better vegan cookbooks, truthfully. I didn’t hate it, let’s be honest, if I wrote a cookbook, it would have the kind of mean-spirited butthole-ishness that this one has. As I put in my previous post, one of the pages in the book states, and I quote, “There’s nothing more annoying that recipes with a million obscure ingredients.” Agreed. But then some of their recipes call for stuff like kelp powder, or refined coconut oil to the tune of $16 for 16 ounces. OUCH! Evaporated cane sugar? I couldn’t find that crap anywhere. A good portion of their recipes consist of things like “vegan cheese, vegan turkey lunch meat, vegan chicken cutlets, etc.” You know, the kind of stuff I could have figured out for myself, for pete’s sake. I was not impressed. Sigh….

I think maybe this book was made for girls who don’t know how to cook and just got into the whole vegan thing. In that respect, I can dig it. But if you are a seasoned home cook, like I am, this book won’t cut it. No offense ladies. However! I have found one recipe that I am willing to try and I will post/bitch about it in a few days.

Until then, have a good one! I know I will. I get to spend tomorrow night in Chicago while my daughter is at the Good Charlotte(gag) show. I’m going to see the Hulk and then it’s off to Veggie Bite or Joy’s Noodles. Probably Veggie Bite. I effing love their shakes. Woot.

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Tiramisu cuppies, garlic soup, Trader Joe’s and Veggie Bite!!

I’m not gonna lie…I’ve never like tiramisu very much. It’s just not chocolaty enough for me. In fact, the only chocolate in there is a lame dusting of cocoa powder on top. Blah. The first time I had it was when my mother and I went to eat at a restaurant in Colorado while visiting my brother about 13 years ago. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was sorely disappointed, let’s just put that out there.

Last week, my best friend Robert went to a wedding in California. I told him that when he got back, I would make him the tiramisu cupcakes(p119) from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. So, these are for you, gayhole.

You are making the basic vanilla cupcakes(p33) but doing things to the cupcake afterward to make it all tiramisu-y.

1 cup soy milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

1 1/4 c ap flour

2 Tbsp cornstarch

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 c canola oil

3/4 sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

Put the soy milk aside with the cider vinegar to curdle, making it our version of buttermilk. This should only take about 5 minutes. Next, mix wet ingredients into it. Mix dry stuff separately, then mix it all together until there are no large lumps. As always, and you’ve heard it a million times, DO NOT overmix. Please.

Fill your lined muffin tins about 3/4 full or until you’ve used all the batter to make 12 cuppies. Bake for 20 minutes, maybe 22 if your oven is a jerk. Let cool.

I did not let mine cool completely, instead, I only let them cool for about 15 minutes. Then I cut out a cone shape with a paring knife. One of the only good uses for a paring knife, I believe. (How often do you use that thing? I mean, come on.)

Next, I made the cream cheese frosting(p158).

1/4 earth balance (or any non-hydrogenated vegan margarine)

1/4 vegan cream cheese, i used toffutti

2 c powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Cream margie and toffutti until fluffy, add vanilla, add powdered sugar. Bam! This didn’t taste very cream cheese-y to me, but it was still the shiz, so I’m keeping it.

I then mixed 1/3 cup Starbuck’s coffee liqueur with 1/3 cup water and 3 tsps of instant coffee mixed and microwaved. I wanted it strong, yo!! (You can use any coffee liqueur, really.) And for my straight edge friends, obviously if you omit this, add more of the extra strong coffee, probably espresso powder instead of coffee would be better. And if you have an espresso machine…well, you rule. Use that instead. And marry me, please.

You put about 2 Tbsp of this into the cavity of each cupcake, make sure it’s nice and soggy. Believe me, you want to taste the coffeeness. Pipe in your cream cheese frosting, and the replace the cone once you have dipped it into that coffee ooze. Use your sifter to dust a mixture of 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp cocoa powder over the tops of these.

These were amazing. I am totally hurting my shoulder patting myself on the back right now, but they were THAT good.

I also went to a place called Veggie Bite today and had the most amazing chocolate shake. My friend lives right by the one on 111th (which I had no idea of) in Chicago so I told her i would be visiting her more often. Even she, the veal and pate loving omnivore said, and I quote, “I am really impressed with how good this shake is right now.” Then she proceeded to argue with me- right in the joint- as to why cow’s milk is totally normal and good for you and okay to drink. Sigh. And she’s in law school, ya’ll. Don’t ya just love lawyers? They can rationalize anything.

And Trader Joe’s- what’s that all about?? I went there like ten years ago and forgot it even existed for while but I went back today. I wanted to take a picture of my receipt because, seriously, everything I bought was like two dollars. Seriously. I will be shopping there from now on. I think it’s totally worth the 25 minutes drive.

Oh, and I made this kickass garlic and white bean soup from Vegan With a Vengeance(p67). I served it with crusty wheat artisan (vegan) bread. It had just enough fennel to NOT be overpowering, because I totally hate that black licorice crap flavor, and I got to put my immersion blender to work. That poor thing has been collecting dust for far too long. Even my omni hubby loved this hearty and filling soup! But really, who wouldn’t like two whole bulbs of garlic roasted then squeezed and blended into soup? Especially these crazy eye-talians I find myself suddenly related to!

Until next time…vengeance is mine!! Oh, and so is the falafel.

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Affordable Veganism

First off, my husband has been hard at work making this giant Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba. I wish I could get him to put that much of himself into dishes or laundry, but oh well. A giant robot is the next best thing, right? On to the food…

I’m going to warn you up front that this is a loooooong winded blog but I think you’ll find the info interesting if you stick around to read it all.

I have been working on a feature for this blog titled- you guessed it- affordable veganism. My point is to simply let others know that you do NOT have to spend two hundred dollars a week at your local health food store in order to make this lifestyle choice.

Your first purchase as a vegan will undoubtedly be about four or five cookbooks, like mine was. I have some that I can suggest, but I would also like to suggest others that I do not have, but have researched and my sources tell me they are fabulous. Vegan Planet is awesome and has recipes for stuff like tofu sour cream and little things that you don’t want to have to spend all your money on. Veganomicon is kind of like the bible in that I reference it about 9 times a day and I am always quoting it. It has a few casseroles and one pot dishes that you can switch up a bit to suit your tastes, and they aren’t horribly expensive to make. Eat, Drink and Be Vegan is good, but some of the recipes can get a little pricey or weird. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World is great for sweet treats but you’re going to have to buy things like non-hydrogentated shortening and vegan margarine to make the frostings. The good news is, you only need a quarter cup of each so they will last you a while, but sticker shock may keep you away from them. Don’t let it. Oh, and Smart Balance makes a vegan margarine that is sold at your local chain. Good times!!!

Ah, unfrosted poptarts. The lazy vegan’s best friend for about a month until you get sick of the same three flavors.They are always on sale at my Jewel for like five dollars for three boxes.

My Jewel also carries it’s own line of organic crap so yay me. This soy milk pictured was $2.50 per half gallon. It sounds like a lot when cow’s milk is three bucks for a whole gallon but whatever. It’s cheaper than Silk. Also, this oatmeal (vegan) pictured is two for three dollars right now, so stock up.

I would go on Amazon.com for your cook books. While normally I would suggest giving your money to the authors of these books, we are doing this on a budget, right? And the point is to not exploit, harm, or kill any living being because of the food we eat so we’re not going to worry too much about lining the authors pockets at this point. Although, I guess technically they are living beings as well, but let’s not go there right now. However, if you can afford it, go right ahead. You only make it possible for them to write more wonderful cook books in the future so it is definitely good karma, or feng shui, or whatever.

In the front of most of these books is a “pantry” section where they tell you what you should always keep on hand. Some of the staples include coconut milk, canned pumpkin, etc as well as things you’ll REALLY need like canned tomatoes, beans, pasta, etc. I’m here to tell you scrap the coconut milk and canned pumpkin for now.

One of the cheapest, easiest things I make at least four nights a week is simply this- pasta, veggies, and beans. If tofu was on sale that week, i toss it in there, too. Of course, make sure your pasta is vegan, some of them use eggs. Go to your produce section and buy whatever is on sale this week- zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, escarole, tomatoes, eggplant (although, this can be a little tricky to cook with if you aren’t experienced in cooking), broccoli, carrots, green beans, etc. You can even be super cheap and go to the freezer section and buy frozen. It doesn’t really matter. This also works when certain things are not in season.

Next, go to your canned goods aisle and buy canned, chopped tomatoes. They come in all flavors now including olive oil with oregano, basil, garlic, and/or parsley, so half the work is done for you. Then you scootch down a few feet and pick out cannellini beans or garbanzos or navies and presto. Dinner is done for a couple days. This makes a huge pot of goodies. This picture above is of some spices and herbs that my Jewel carries for a dollar a bottle. They taste just as good as McCormick only without the price that makes you feel like your being violated in some way. Only thing is, it’s back by the dog food. I know, right?? And this giant bottle of pre-chopped garlic was like five bucks when i bought it a few months back. When I’m cooking for other people, I use the real peel and chop stuff, but when it’s just us…there you go. Anthony Bourdain says if you are too cheap and lazy to buy and chop your own garlic then you don’t deserve to eat it, but I disagree. I still love him, though.

Last week at my local Jewel, this hummus was buy one get one free. I bought a box of wheat thins (also on sale AND vegan) and baby carrots and my snack time was taken care of. This seasoned tofu was BOGO, too. The Italian stuff I’m using for tonight’s pasta dish. The Asian stuff went for yesterdays lunch with broccoli and carrots and white rice.

It’s all about looking through your paper and finding what’s on sale and making it work for you. Pre-sliced apples were buy one get one free also. I would never buy those things otherwise.

Each one of the canned goods I have pictured was right around a dollar. I am somewhat health conscious so I make sure my kids and I all get our veggies in, as well as our fruits, and mass amounts of protein in bean form, usually.

I do recommend picking out one or two of the meals from one of your books so that you can keep your family NOT bored with your food. I could eat the pasta stuff all year long with all the different combos of veggies and beans and it wouldn’t bother me. My kids, however, are a little more fickle. They get that from their dad.

This stuff is leek and bean cassolet with biscuits from Veganomicon. Next we have matzo ball soup from Vegan With a Vengeance. Tasty, but a pain in the ass to make. Then we have cholent, also from Veganomicon. My kids loved this stuff!!!

Next week, I’m going to make something a little more pricey. It has sun dried tomatoes, brussel sprouts, and some other stuff. Oh, and seitan, which i made myself last week and ate with my pasta but discovered that having a gluten intolerance means that eating

something made from gluten is a bad idea. Duh. Eating the pasta is bad enough but that only gives me minimal amounts of pain and torture. So, I’m going to use tempeh from now on.

And here’s one last picture of my little peanut. You know, doctors do everything they can in the emergency room to save lives so that they can say just that- “We did everything we could possibly do.” I don’t have much of a chance to make a difference in the world so I’m going to do it in a way so that I can say to my children some day, “I did everything I could possibly do.”

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Adventures in Vegan Cooking! And other stuff!

So much to post about today and i think i will start with this hilarious cross-stitch i got from a gal named City in New Zealand. Yes, that’s me in the picture. Ain’t i cute? Her site is on my blogroll where it says ‘city the nz cupcake queen.’ I think it should also say “city the nz cross-stitch queen’ cuz this thing is awesome. I have already pissed off my husband by not just owning it, but proudly displaying it in my kitchen where his uber-religious family members can see it. His brother-who is in a locally popular screaming hardcore band- says to me, “What kind of crowd are you running with these days? Geez…” I reply with “the usual. But it’s funny right? Cuz I’m a suburban housefrau but i worship satan. Come on, that’s funny, dammit!” Well, i think so.

City also features knuckle tattoo cross-stitches that read ‘cupcake’ and star wars.’ Cupcakes rule! Star wars, well, i guess thats an acquired taste but anyway. She sells her stuff on Etsy, which is where i picked mine up. you can go here to look at her shit.

Next, as i have said in my previous post, i am going mostly vegan. Why not all the way? Because I have to taste frostings and stuff, made with butter and a tiny bit of cream, to make sure they don’t taste like poo before someone pays money to eat them. When my hubby is home, he is usually my guinea pig but since he works nights, and a lot of my baking gets done at night, what do i do? I call myself vegetarian with a serious bend towards the darker side.

I went to our local health food store and holy mother of god are they expensive. But i want to support local business so i do it anyway. Plus, the place is owned by two of the coolest broads ever, and quite militant about eating vegan. Usually that turns me the hell away from vegans (and another reason why i hesitate to call myself that) but she says it with a smile and that just makes it all better.

I stocked up on some of the stuff i need to get a good start (oh, how i wish the whole foods wasn’t an hour away, sniff) but i have to go back for other stuff. My pal Kristen wants me to experiment with gluten-free crap so i’m going to buy about four different kinds of flour, probably to the tune of about $30. That’s okay though. When i open Joliet’s first cupcake shop/bulk spice store, i want to know what the hell i’m doing, you know?

Forgot to mention- this was my lunch for the past few days. I roasted some asparagus by rolling it in about a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and throwing it in the over at 400 for 15 minutes. When those tips turn black, you’re done. then i did about the same thing to the cauliflower, only i added garlic and oregano. It took about half an hour. Again, when some of the tips turned black, i took it out. i let it cool and then tossed it into the food processor until it was a coarse meal. Frigging awesome! Heaven (if i believed in it) on a platter!!! This is actually quite economical, too. All you need is a head of cauliflower and a bundle of asparagus. Next, i made some delicious pan fried tempeh to go with it. Just slice into strips, put it in a pan with veggie broth, cook until the broth goes away and it starts to get more browned, then put in some tamari(or soy sauce, whatever, really) and liquid smoke. i ate this for lunch for four days!

A super healthy meal and completely cruelty free. Unless you count the smell that’s all up in my house and my husband saying stuff like “making me smell that crap is mean.” He doesn’t count though, right? I’m only supposed to be nice to animals? ok, cool.

So my next experiment was with Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. the babes who wrote this book have an amazing blog that you can view here. I made the chocolate ones and i didn’t even bother making frosting. Seriously- they did not last that long in my house. they were loved by all. I think i may use this recipe for all my chocolate cupcakes in the future. the were the most moist, most flavorful, and garnered me the most compliments, which is really what i’m after.

As you can see i used my silicon baking cups for these. When I’m baking for my family, why waste paper? They are a pain in the arse to clean up, so spray a little no-stick in there to help you out. Although they will still be hard to clean. So whats worse? Wasting paper or wasting water? I have no idea anymore. Sigh…

I also made these fabulous vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting, vegan of course. you know, it’s times like this when i think that vanilla might be the new chocolate.

Yes, i did use a bunch of different liners for these, i know. I had a few of each different ones left over. A couple from easter, a couple from valentines day. What’s a girl to do? Who cares, just use the damn things. All people really want is what’s on the inside.

I brought these to my usual sunday night hang out when i don’t have to go bring jerkoffs food at the restaurant i work at. I wait anxiously until the baby is in bed and the teenagers are out of the shower and ready for bed. Then i get the hell outta there for some much needed adult time. The gang and i usually hang out at Britt’s house and watch Family Guy reruns.( ps- i hate the everloving crap outta that show but because i want out of my house so bad, i watch it, pretend to get it, then fake laugh.) Anyways, my friends wolfed these suckers down like they were never going to eat again. When i said, “They’re vegan!” only one person knew what that meant. Wow. Why do i hang out with these people again? They don’t even like chocolate. I know! I think it’s mostly for geographical convenience. Just kidding.

<—-Anyways, buy this book, you will NOT regret it. I’m still working on my Veganomicon, picking out recipes, buying ingredients. Oh hey, no one told me this, but seitan is apparently made from the very stuff that makes my insides feel like a mosh pit. Gluten! Argh! (ha! i went all pirate on ya!) I do indeed still eat the cupcakes that i make with flour, yes. I will pay for it all night with frequent trips to bathroom and a can of Febreze air effects close by, but sometimes, it’s worth it.

YOU try being a vegan with a wheat intolerance! It blows big time! Luckily, i love love love tempeh. Still trying to figure out baking tofu, also. Wish me luck! More to come kids, enjoy!!

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Just Desserts going vegan?

Nah…but I am going to dabble. Okay, here’s the deal.

Over a year ago my daughter decided she was done eating things that were once alive. She was surfing the web one day and came across the infamous PETA video of minks being skinned alive so that J-Lo may wear their precious fur. She was inconsolable. She said it made her feel guilty, and honestly, like she wanted to throw up all the meat she ever ate in her life. I supported her and tried to make things that i could easily set aside a portion of before i threw the meat into. You know, spaghetti, stir fry, that type of thing. I ended up buying her pre-made vegetarian stuff that while tasty, was not nearly as healthy as it should have been. She informed me that she wanted to do it the healthy way so i told her to go look at my cookbooks, since i have an arsenal of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks from my days as a person who once gave a crap about the environment.

That was so long ago, almost 8 years since i gave it up. Like all new vegetarians, i armed myself with the PETA starter kit-complete with stickers and a list of things that would be different if people would stop eating meat- and a brand new attitude about the sanctity of life. I was ready to be a good vegetarian, to have a plant-based, peace loving life.

I was shot down by about every single stinking person i came into contact with. I got laughed at, called names, had burger patties thrown at me. Yes, these were actual adults stooping to this level of childishness. I worked in a restaurant and no one there had any patience for a person like me. I was basically against everything they stood for, i suppose. I started to question the aforementioned sanctity of life thinking, “if i shanked one of these jagoffs, would anyone notice? Really?”

Anyhow, I was a vegetarian for quite a few years. I went vegan for about 8 months but I became skeletal because of my work schedule as well as my finances. I was too busy to make things and too broke to buy things pre-made. There was just nothing i could eat so i started eating cheese again and after about a month’s worth of shakes from Steak and Shake, i gained all my lovely weight back. Hooray!

I then met my now husband. He thought it was ‘cute’ that i didn’t eat meat so he tried to have meatless frozen dinners for when i would come to visit. Mmmm. Yummy. Not! When we moved in together, we settled into those sickeningly domestic roles of “I’ll cook and clean, you mow and take out the garbage.” It got too difficult to make two separate meals so i gave in and started eating flesh again. Fast forward almost 8 years and I’m ready to make my move against meat.

As you may have read in an earlier post, my hubby and i started the Nutri-system diet and i have chosen the vegetarian option as a precursor. I have many reasons for doing this. One of them is that my toddler won’t touch meat no matter how i cook it. She chews it, then spits it out. Another reason is my middle child pretty much goes with the flow and as long as there’s food, she’ll eat it. Myself, well, I’ve always been lactose intolerant so cheese hurts, as does a milkshake. I’m wheat intolerant, too, but that one i’ll deal with accordingly. I think the main reason is that whole environmental thing. Going green. You can’t avoid it anymore. Even celebrities are like “i like meat and all, but if it helps get Obama elected, I’ll stop” or whatever lame reasoning those creeps have. I don’t even care anymore, as long as people start doing something. Anything, really. I even called my garbage company and asked for two more recycle bins because i know i can throw more stuff in there and NOT in the local landfill.

I’m listening to my beautiful, wonderful Edward Norton narrate and host a program on channel eleven that i am DVRing to watch later. He’s talking about our country going to shit. Depressing. He said “it’s not enough to do just one thing anymore, we have to do more, but if only one thing is what you’re willing to do, then stop with those little plastic grocery bags. Many countries have banned them already. Why not us, also?” I love him.

Vegan is definitely the ultimate goal, or at least mostly vegan so i bought an arsenal of books online tonight, all of which i have posted in my blog for you to look at and then go purchase for yourselves.

Here’s a link to cupcakes made by my friend Natalie. They are vegan cookies and creme and i think she did a nice looking job, don’t you? you should tell her so. Chicks love compliments. And presents.

Vegan Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

So this will conclude my post on hopefully going vegan. My only issue will be dealing with all the extra gas from all those delicious veggies. I’m gonna have to buy up some stock in beano. Ahem.



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