Monthly Archives: November 2015

T.G.I.F. Cereal Milk Martini

Cereal Milk Martini 003Thank Goodness It’s Flowing! I was hoping to put together a series of recipes leading up to a spectacular Thanksgiving feast, but life got in the way.  Quite frankly I could use a drink after the past few weeks, so I’m just going with this Cereal Milk Martini. Two days after returning from a recent trip to Kansas, I found out that the closing on my mom’s home would be in less than three weeks. Two days after that, we had to say goodbye to our 14 year old dog, Clancy. I’ve heard it said that God gives us only what we can handle. We’ve been faced with some stressful times during the past few years, so I think we deserve a break. Which brings me to today’s recipe. I ordered a Cereal Milk Martini at a local restaurant this week. As the name implies, it’s supposed to taste like milk that’s been soaking up all the sweetness from whatever cereal you’re having. The ingredient list read something like this: Rumchata, hazelnut liqueur and crème de cacao. Since Rumchata is a cream-based liqueur (and I didn’t want to spring for another bottle of specialty booze), I simply used rum and a soy-based coffee creamer. Pour the ingredients over ice, give a few shakes and float a spoonful of your favorite cereal on top (I used cocoa-flavored puffed rice). What a nice way to finish off your Thanksgiving meal.

It is customary to make a toast at a wedding, graduation, christening or retirement – occasions that celebrate the next stage in a person’s life. I’m facing my next stage and look forward to spending more time with family and friends, more attention to my health and a joyful return to cooking and blogging. Allow me to raise my glass and toast to the promise of  new beginnings. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Cereal Milk Martini

  • 1 part Rum
  • 2 parts Soy Creamer
  • 1 part Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • Splash of Crème de Cacao
  • One spoonful of your favorite cereal

Fill a cocktail shaker half way with cracked ice. Pour rum, soy creamer, Frangelico and crème de cacao over ice and shake well. Strain into martini glass and float a spoonful of cereal on the surface.

 

26 Nov 2015

“We Are Our Choices”: Blueberry-Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins

 Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins“We are our choices.”  This quote is attributed to Jean-Paul Sartre, a French existentialist and a leading figure in 20th century French philosophy. He declined the award of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age.”  While coming up with a title for today’s post, I was thinking along the lines of “Have It Your Way.” When one of America’s largest fast-food chains came up with this slogan over 40 years ago it was meant to make you feel as if you had choices. Even I bit into it that notion.  (They recently changed it to “Be Your Way”.  Sounds like poor English to me.  My friends at the English Language Institute are probably shaking their heads right about now.) Anyway, my aim is for you to realize that you have the power to adapt any of my recipes to suit your needs. I just couldn’t bring myself to use that worn-out saying since it represents an industry that does more harm than good. Since this post is about choices, I googled quotes about choices and was introduced to Jean-Paul Sartre. “We are our choices” is fitting on so many levels. It could be interpreted along the lines of “you are what you eat” to mean that whatever food we put into our bodies determines our health and well-being. So true. A deeper meaning lies in Sartre’s ideas that were filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth. This is a big part of what the plant-based and vegan movement is all about; freeing ourselves physically and ethically and searching for the truth about how food choices impact our community and our world.

My recipe for Blueberry-Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins is a good example of how you can adapt a recipe to make it fit into your lifestyle. You can choose to make the original recipe for basic blueberry muffins. If you plan on making a meal with chickpeas or white beans, you can save the cooking liquid and substitute the aquafaba for some of the milk. You can experiment with different types and proportions of flour. Sometimes I use all spelt flour; other times I use half spelt and half whole wheat pastry flour. Today I used 1 cup of spelt and 1 cup of all-purpose whole wheat flour. All good. You can make straight-up blueberry muffins or add the lemon juice and poppy seeds for something extra. If you want to reduce the amount of fat (or eliminate an extra task), you can use cupcake liners in lieu of greasing the muffin tins  Whatever options you choose, these muffins are great for breakfast, coffee break, afternoon tea or any other time of day. The choice is yours. I thank you for choosing Vegi-curious.

Blueberry Muffins
(with option for Lemon-Poppy Seed)

Wet Ingredients:
¼ cup almond butter
¼ cup granulated sugar (cane or coconut)
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons aquafaba – liquid from can of chickpeas (see notes)
3/4 cup unsweetened soy, cashew or almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups spelt flour (see notes)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1-1/2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin or line with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl cream together almond butter and sugar. Add the mashed banana, aquafaba, milk and maple syrup to the bowl.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently. Using a large ice cream scoop, fill muffins tins ¾ the way full. Bake at 350F for 23-27 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5-8 minutes and then transfer muffins to a cooling rack and cool for another 15 minutes.

Notes:
1. If you don’t have the aquafaba, add 2 extra tablespoons of milk.
2. You can use any combination and proportions of flours. I’ve used spelt, all-purpose whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, white flour.
3. If using frozen blueberries, be sure to leave them in the freezer (do not thaw) until just before you stir them into the batter. This helps prevent bleeding.
4. For Blueberry-Lemon-Poppy Seed muffins, add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 2 teaspoons poppy seeds.

06 Nov 2015

Addicted: Crack Corn Muffins

crack corn muffin 001All roads lead somewhere and so it is with my recipes. A few months ago I ordered freeze-dried corn powder to use in a vegan mayonnaise recipe. I ran into this recipe on some obscure site (actually, I think it was PBS) during one of my internet searches. I started my quest for the corn powder and found that it was a key ingredient in a recipe aptly called “Crack Pie” for it’s addictive qualities. So I got my first bag of “crack”. Well the mayonnaise didn’t turn out to my liking, so I put the bag of “crack” in the pantry. But I never forgot about it.

Freeze Dried corn 001Now it’s a few months later and Mom and I are getting ready for a trip to Kansas. I wish we could just put on our red shoes and click our heels, but it doesn’t work that way outside of Oz. Suffice it to say, the past few days have been pretty busy. Anyway, I usually slip a couple of muffins or other healthy snacks into Bruce’s lunch, so I wanted to make something before my trip to keep him on the straight and narrow. I decided to make my old faithful corn muffins because they don’t require a lot of prep or clean-up. I had some aquafaba in the fridge (left over from a chickpea blondie recipe that will be appearing soon), so I added that to the recipe. Then I got to thinking about how to get more corn flavor without adding more corn meal to my corn muffins. It’s been my experience that as I start to replace the flour in the recipe with more corn meal the muffins become dry and crumbly. And then I remembered that little bag of “crack” in my pantry. I bet that bag of gold dust would give these muffins the little something extra I was after. I added one tablespoon of the corn powder to the recipe. It was just enough to boost the corn flavor and still retain the moisture of the muffins. They’re like corn muffins on crack and I’m definitely hooked. Get yourself a bag of freeze-dried corn powder and get hooked yourself. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Crack Corn Muffins

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup non-dairy milk, room temperature (replace 3 tablespoons of milk with aquafaba)
¼ cup Earth Balance, melted

Dry Ingredients:

½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup corn meal
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon freeze-dried corn powder
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Whisk together milk and Earth balance. Whisk or sift together dry ingredients, then blend in liquid ingredients.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way and bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack, let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy while still warm.

Makes about 12 muffins.

03 Nov 2015

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