Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Accidentally Eggless Pumpkin Bundt (Vegan-able!)

There is story. For our anniversary Tai gets me this AWESOME rose-shaped bundt from Nordicware that I've secretly lusted after forever but never said anything about because I already have a tunnel of bundt pan and you really don't need more than one because he's psychic-awesome.

So obviously I've gotta make a spectacular cake to break it in, righ? And I'm on a pumpkin kick, so obviously it's gotta be pumpkin.

This cake is more complicated than the ones I usually make it needs THREE bowls @_@, so I set out all the ingredients beforehand and had them all measured out like a REAL baking champion instead of just kind-of measuring and just grabbing things as I need them, which is how I usually bake xD

So in the midst of all that being-super-prepared I forgot to add the eggs.

Yep.

Completely forgot them. Didn't even take 'em outta the fridge.

The batter was IN the pan before I even thought about eggs.

Nonetheless the cake came out really tasty -- filled with pumpkin-goodness, soft, spicy, tender...just perhaps denser and fall-apart-y than regular bundt xD

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Super-Easy Crustless Cheesecake (Gluten-free!)

No picture 'cause we ate it before I got a chance.  That's how good this is.

Ingredients
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened (leave sitting out at room temperature for a couple hours)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup unadultered sour cream (I recommend Daisy's), room temp
  • 1 splash vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Optional, add a tin of water to prevent cracking, or use a water bath.)
  2. Smush sugar and cream cheese together until homogenous.  Add eggs one at a time, beating 'til homogenous before adding the next one. 
  3. Add the sour cream and vanilla and homogenize. Pour into a glass pie dish.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until just set at the edges and still jiggly in the middle.
  5. Cool before serving.
DELICIOUS.

Okay so Tai didn't like it because it wasn't sweet enough. And didn't have a crust.  But everyone else liked it, so who cares >:D Read More......

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Easy Roasted Brussel Sprouts

So easy.  So good.  Sweet-savory and healthy to boot!  Also, brussels keep for a while if you don't get around to roasting them straightaway.  :D


I steamed these in my super-awesome Tatung steamer, but if you don't have one you can just as easily nuke 'em.  Or jerry-rig a steamer with a handful of chopsticks and a covered wok :D

If I made these again I would take the sprouts off the stalk; it makes it easier to cover them evenly with FLAVOR.

Materials & Method:

Steam the sprouts for ~10 minutes

In the meantime, whisk together:
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Oil
 Pro-Tip: Mix it in a liquid measuring cup 'cause the spout makes it easier to pour.  4 Tbsp is a quarter cup, so just eyeball it :D
 
Drizzle sprouts with mixture.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast at 350F for 45 min.
EATS.
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Easiest Peanut-Butter Cookies Ever. Gluten-Free!

So easy I feel silly even calling it a recipe. These delicious pucks of aromatic peanut-tastic protein can even be vegan!

I am super-yummyyyyyy
Easiest Peanut-Butter Cookies
Makes ~15 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar (or less; I used a scant 3/4)
1 egg or flax egg (1 Tbsp fine flaxseed meal and 3 Tbsp water, mixed and rest ~5 min. In fridge til gooey)

Directions:
Mix.
Drop. On the cookie sheet. Obviously.
Flatten -- they will keep whatever shape you leave 'em at, pretty much.
Bake. 375 F to desired crunchiness.
Om nom nom.
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Allium-Free Honey Mustard Dressing

A light tangy dressing without garlic or onions.

Materials and Method:

Whisk together:
1 part mustard (I used spicy brown)
1 part honey
1 part oil (I used sunflower, but any tasteless oil will do. )

Adjust flavors and consistency to taste. More oil if it's too thick.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Apple Almond Salad with Romaine and Roasted Carrots

Anytime there's fruit in a veggie salad I think it's super- fancy. Add nuts to the mix and it's practically gourmet. That being said, the complexity of the flavors in this dish is easily achieved with just a few ingredients. Easy AND delicious!
There is no recipe. Just look at the picture. XD I used smoked almonds, but plain would work too. It makes a great bento too! Just hold pack the mustard separately. Happy munching! Read More......

Saturday, July 28, 2012

電鍋無蛋香蕉蛋糕(全素)

大家最愛的點心我終於翻出來了!



建康又美味~ 在家做超容易!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TASTE the Rainbow: Taiwanese Ratatouille

I LOVE colourful food.






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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Spaghetti with Balsamic Tri-colour Peppers & Mushrooms

Easy, flavourful, healthy, and satisfying. Tastes great fresh off the stovetop or at room temperature -- perfect for bento!


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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vegan Steamed Pineapple Upside-Down Cake





A very soft banana-free steamer cake!   While looking for ovenless baking I came across a peacecorps recipe book where one of the authors said steaming conventional cake batter still resulted in edible cake.  Delighted by this prospect, I tried this on a pineapple cake.

Pineapples are in season in Taiwan right now, and they are SO GOOD: super-sweet and tangy and juicy and pretty much awesome all around. 

Adapted from this recipe. Feel free to bake this in 350F oven instead of steaming ^o^
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cranberry-Orange Steamed Banana Cake with Banana-Coconut Ice 'Cream'

A fancy variation on the original steamed banana cake, this delectable cake is low in fat and 100% vegan! The key is the orange-flavoured cranberries. You can get them from Trader Joe's, Stateside. Otherwise you're SOL. J/K! Just use normal cranberries and orange zest.

The ice cream is also very simple to make, just time-consuming, since there's a lot of freezing involved.



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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Waffle-ize

More of a food share than a recipe, for one of my Chinese classes we've been talking about food and had to do a presentation on food. I chose to do mine on using a waffle iron to cook Taiwanese foods.



This is the magic cooking device!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cherry Tomato Spaghetti with Cheddar Cheese

A quick, easy, and COLOURFUL spaghetti to brighten your day! This dish tastes great warm or room temp, making it perfect for bento or packed lunches.  To cut down on prep time, make the spaghetti several days in advance and keep it in the fridge in serving-size containers.  When you're ready to cook, just take out a serving and sautee! 

Mmmmmm tomatoes! Vegans can omit the cheese, but I like it for the splash of yellow and tang ^^

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Steamed Sprouts & Egg Breakfast Bowl

High in protein, fiber, and greens. So easy there's not even a jump. Also makes a great snack or side.

Materials & Methods
1. Put sprouts in bowl. Toss with sesame oil, pinch salt, and pine nuts.
If you're lazy, or raw vegan, you can skip the rest of the steps and eat it as is! :D

2. Crack egg into bowl. For vegans, use soft tofu with a hint of curry spice or cumin, stirred up to a yogurt-like consistency. Steam 5-10 minutes, depending on your steamer and level of food safety deliciousness desired.
If using a Tatung steamer, a 1/2 cup of water should do -- just enough to cover the bottom of the steamer.
3. Enjoy.
As you can see, I went with very food-safe.  Actually, I just forgot it in the steamer for half an hour.  It was still delicious.
Happy Breakfasting! Read More......

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Maggie's French Tomato Thick Soup

A refreshing recipe from Maggie, who learned it from her French friend, who owns an organic flower and food garden. This light yet flavourful soup makes a satisfying accompaniment to salad or pasta for a hearty meal. Alternatively, serve it by itself with a side of crusty baguette and hard cheese!

The original recipe calls for removing the seeds and skin using some special French device designed specifically for this purpose. Maggie just gets rid of the skin. I would probably leave everything except the stems and give it an extra good whirl in the blender. Gotta get those vitamins in the skin! Or something...

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gua Bao 掛包: One-handed Taiwanese Sandwich!


Gua-bao掛包 are like mantou 饅頭 in sandwich-able shapes.  They're usually served with pork, sprouts, and pickled veggies; we made 'em vegetarian by using vege-patties and adding more vegetables :D

They're great for a quick lunch or dinner.  If you don't have access to pre-made 掛包 you can make your own the same way you make mantou, just make a flat oval shape and fold it over itself instead of making a very long strip and rolling it up and cutting.  There's a handy tutorial on how to make mantou here.  It is ridiculously easy -- we used to make them back in the states.  We'd make TONNES at a time and freeze 'em for later.  It was a great family activity during the long Minnesotan winters ^o^

The key to making these delicious is keeping the filling relatively dry, so make sure you drain the sauteed veggies and pickled greens!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stir-fried Mifun with Carrot and Pea Sprout

A quick and easy entree.  Mifun cooks up quickly; just soak in water for about 10 minutes to slightly rehydrate before using.



Shown with Sacha-Soypaste Tofu.  You can also pair with Soy Stack.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mysterious Greens #2! Stir-fried with carrots and stuff!

I bought these on accident, thinking they were dragon's whiskers (^_^;). In my defense, it was rainy and I was in a hurry (to get out of the rain, duh. It was an outdoor market, and the awnings were positioned perfectly to dump water on anyone with an inkling to inspect whatever was being hawked. Efficacy, Taiwan does not has it.)


They made a pretty delicious stir-fry with some carrots and sesame oil.
I still have no idea what they are xD
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Buddhist-friendly Basil Pesto Sauce with Pinenuts

Flavorful Garlic-free Pesto Sauce keeps your breath fresh and your Buddhist/素食者 friends happy!

Su (素) vegetarians refrain from garlic, onions, chives, leeks, spring onions, (and I think shallots/rakkyo too, thought it's sometimes lumped in with 'onion' -- from a botanical standpoint it's just everything in the allium Family), referred to as the 5 Pungent Spices, because they are believed to induce imbalance in the body and mind (source). This type of vegetarianism is mostly found in China and Vietnam and is associated with the Buddhist faith. However, not all Buddhists follow this diet, and not all Su vegetarians (素食者) are Buddhist.

It's interesting to note that, in Taiwan at least, whether something is Su is primarily determined by the absence of the 5 plants aforementioned, as opposed to whether or not it contains eggs or milk. Some Su vegetarians are vegan (全素), while lacto (奶素) is the common assumption (usually when something is labeled Su it's lacto), although lacto-ovo is the most popular (蛋奶素). As an aside, Taiwan has some KICKASS labeling laws for Su vegetarians! It's similar to whether something can be labeled Kosher or Pareve in the U.S. Makes finding foodstuff SO MUCH EASIER. Also, most restaurants label their menus with whether something is vege. It's awesome.

Anyway, I thought Su vege was pretty bonkers at first, but after trying it for a while I guess it's pretty chill. I mean, I don't have to worry about having onion breath. Ever. :D Also, I discovered this awesome thing called Toon, which is used a lot in Su cooking to replace onion because it's DELICIOUS. More on that later. ^_^

There is no picture because I fail at photographing food :D
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Creamy Peanut Salad Dressing

A thick and flavorful dressing for salads. Peanuts are a great source of protein, which will keep you feeling full longer :)


COLOURS! They are important!
Materials & Methods:

In a food processor or Vita-Mix or Magic Bullet, blend hulled peanuts until almost peanut butter (the peanut powder will get kind of sticky). Add various oils, sauces, and vinegars a tablespoon at a time, blending in between each addition, until the desired consistency and flavor is reached. Just use whatever you have lying around. Chances are if you have it it's something you like, and if you like it it will probably taste good (to you, anyway).

I used ~1/4 C. peanuts, ~1/4 C. oil (mostly olive, but also some sesame, 'bitter tea', and fragrant oil), and a T. of ponzu sauce, some soy sauce, and a bit of rice vinegar and Asian Worcestershire/Black vinegar. If you like a sweeter sauce you can add liquid sweetener like fructose, agave, maple syrup, etc.

My Taiwanese friends enjoyed it with a bit of plum vinegar mixed in. I don't like Chinese pickled plums, so I abstained, but if you'd like a bit of fruitiness you could give it whirl :)
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cream Cheese-Bottom Apple Pie

HAPPY PIE DAY!!! What better way to celebrate than with a big ol' slice of pie?!

But wait, do you go with the warm and comforting fruit pie, or the soft and creamy cream pie? How about BOTH!!
Mmmm the ultimate comfort food: a combination of cheesecake and apple pie.

This awesome pie combines the lusciousness of a cream-filled pie with the coziness of a fruit pie (is that weird? I think fruit pies are inherently cozy ^o^) Plus, it's REALLY easy to make!
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

I OFFER YOU GIVEAWAY in lieu of actual recipes ;P

There will be more recipes soon-ish, I swear! In the meantime~

$100 on Amazon.com from Chocolate-Covered Katie. Follow the instructions to enter!

I really love her blog 'cause everything is vegan, which means my Buddhist vegetarian friends can enjoy the recipes too! Now that I have access to a high-power blender, I'm hoping to make more of the recipes~ like fudge babies *u*

~*~ Read More......

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Colourful Spaghetti Sauce

A thick, flavourful, and NUTRITIOUS spaghetti sauce that is excellent on its own or part of a bake. Frozen veggie add colour and nourishment while keeping it easy :) Try making lasagna with it for extra veggie goodness!
Mmmmm veggies...topped with grated parmesan-reggiano and served over steamed green beans and spaghetti

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

EASY Chocolate Lava Cake!

I have gone through so many recipes for chocolate lava cake. This one is definitely the easiest, and requires the least measuring. Just make sure your eggs are room temp -- there is no screwing up.


Topped with vanilla ice cream!


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mushroom Noodle Soup

You can use pretty much any kind of edible mushroom in this quick and easy noodle soup :) If using dried mushrooms, reconstitute in water beforehand.

Shown served with steamed green beans and chayote sprouts/Dragon's Whiskers



Materials and Methods:

1. In a greased pot, stir-fry 'til fragrant:
1 generous handful Chopped mushrooms
1 Julienned carrot

2. Add your protein of choice, and stir fry a bit longer. (I used dou bao/soybean wrap(?) and 2 types of chopped vege meatball)

3. Add water to cover your ingredients twice over (so if you have ~1'' of stuff in your pot, add 2'' of water.) Bring to a boil.

4. Add 1 handful of dried noodles per person. You can use salted or unsalted noodles -- I used salted. Cook per package instructions.

5. When the noodles are almost done turn off the heat and season with salt, pepper, pepper salt, mushroom powder, or what-have-you. You can add some greens and cover for a minute or two to blanch them using the residual heat from cooking the noodles. That's what I did for the pictures above :)

Eat. OM NOM NOM! Read More......

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vegetarian Pot Pie

A great way to use up leftover pie crust! Which is exactly what I was doing O_O

Actually, if you've got leftover anything (i.e. curry, stir-fried whatever, etc.), feel free to throw it in as filling! I had leftover cream cheese ^^;



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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pumpkin-Seed Chocolate-Chip Cookie Bar

A wildly successful variation on the traditional chocolate chip cookie bar!

I made mine in a tiny Lock & Lock Glasslock for portability & portion control adorableness :) It will stick to the glass if you don't grease it first, but I wasn't sharing so I could eat it right out of the container with a spoon >:D



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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Coconut Cream Whip

A quick and easy single-ingredient whipped topping that you don't need beaters to make!

It's also vegan!

Materials & Methods:

1 can of chilled (in the fridge overnight or in the freezer 1/2 hour) unadultered (a.k.a. only 1 ingredient) full-fat coconut milk or cream -- DO NOT SHAKE IT.

Open it.
Scoop out the cream floating on top.
Whip it with a fork.

DONE.

Serves 5-6
Let it sit in the fridge to thicken even more, if desired.

Also, if your coconut milk has not separated, it will not work.

Further, this recipe doesn't make a whole lot. If you're looking to frost a cake with it, you'll probably need 4-5 cans of milk.

Finally, just 'cause it's vegan doesn't mean it's magically healthy. Coconut cream is almost pure fat, just like normal whipped cream is fat. Just puttin' that out there. Read More......

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

Another microwave minute muffin!

With more awesomeness than ever before!

Actually, I got bored of the old muffin, and I didn't have any normal sugar in the house, and I love almonds.

The black sugar topping makes it taste way more sweet without actually adding extra sugar. Plus it provides some crunch!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

VERMONT Curry with Chickpeas & Apple!

VERMONT curry is a brand of Japanese curry that contains apples and honey, which was originally formulated to be kid-friendly (kids love sweet stuff, amirite? ;D) This recipe contains apples and is relatively mild, hence the name.

It is not, however, your usual Japanese curry, since it lacks most of the spices found in Japanese curry (Tai is sensitive) and the thick roux.



For more on Vermont curry, check out this super-informative history of Japanese curry from House Foods, which produces Vermont Curry. This article also contains a breakdown of some of the spices used in curry, and their health benefits!

Also, on my web-adventures finding out the history of Vermont curry, I came across this ADORABLE commercial:

I did not know this before, but I guess cheese is an acceptable accompaniment to curry. I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE!!! Now my idea for a curry hot-dish is legitimized. MUST DO IT.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bailey's Dark Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

These cupcakes are not for the faint of heart.

They are VERY dark, VERY rich, VERY chocolatey, and VERY VERY VERY much filled with Bailey's.



Shown frosted with Cookie Dough Dip


We made these in normal cupcake tins, which resulted in MONDO cupcakes. When I make these again, I will definitely use mini tins -- they are that rich and fudgy.
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Festive Tomato Ramen

Originally created this during the Christmas season, hence the green ramen and red tomatoes :D

Actually, we had nothing else in the house except tomatoes (from making curry) and spinach noodles. And snacks. And I can't subsist on snacks. xD


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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Vegan Steamed Banana Cake

I've been making this cake weekly at the Taipei Compassion Field for almost 2 months now. It's pretty awesome.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Steamer Recipe: Mung Bean Dessert Soup

I had some extra mung beans from the Mung Bean and Mushroom Curry, so I threw together this dessert soup. By the time we were done with lunch, it was perfectly steamed!

Mung beans are usually eaten in the summer because they help 'cool' your body; in order to compensate for that (since it's now winter), I added ginger, which is a 'heating' food :) I think I should have added more ginger though, it wasn't spicy enough for my liking.

Johnny Walker approves of this dessert. Keep Walking ;P



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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mung Beans and Mushroom Curry!

It's like the Colourful Chickpea Curry with EVEN MORE VEGETABLES!!! And fungi!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Miso Soup with Carrot, Broccoli Greens, and Tofu

Keeping with the conservative theme of the previous post, this soup uses the scant handful of leaves that invariably accompanies every head of broccoli.

Colourful AND Tasty!

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Broccoli Stem Pickles

Waste not want not! After cutting off broccoli or cauliflower florets turn that leftover stem into a tasty side dish!

The trick is to cut off all the woody outer bits and just keep the sweet inner pith --you'll end up with about half as much stem as you started out with.

Tasty tasty stems!

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Asian Cowpea-Broccoli-Sprout Salad

It's been unseasonably warm these past few days (or least, it was when I wrote this post) so a cool salad was in order.
On a side note, broccoli is relatively expensive in Taiwanland (in comparison to other greens like...bok choi, or yam leaves), but there was a sale at the local grocer so we nabbed a fat head for a mere NT$15.



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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Miso Tofu a.k.a. Soy Stack

Super-tasty protein-licious and stupid-easy, what more could you ask for? It's just soy topped with soy drizzled with soy garnished with scallions.

You can tell exactly what is going to happen by looking at this picture


Since it's such a simple dish it's important to get top-notch ingredients. Also, since it's a cold dish and I'm paranoid about germs, I autoclave steam then chill the tofu if I get it from the market. If your tofu comes from a vaccuum-sealed plastic tub you're probably fine :)

Ingredients:
Tofu
Miso
Soy paste
Scallion

Method:
1. Put the tofu on a plate.
2. Put the miso on the tofu.
3. Put the scallion on the miso it sticks better and you can make artistic shapes this way!
4. Put the soy paste on the scallion, and elsewhere, but try to keep in on the plate. Read More......