Monday, 4 October 2010

Those poor, neglected cupcakes!

Mr Landscaper has taken a week "off" (he's working on someone else's garden that was booked before we hired him) and so I spent last week "cleaning".

"Cleaning" consisted of taking everything out, sorting through it, tossing what should be tossed, shredded what should be shredded, donated what should be donated and finally (and most importantly!) organised what was left!

It took me more time than I care to admit but it was fun! I thoroughly enjoyed the work that went into getting everything sorted, streamlined, easier to find/use/clean. I have a deep feeling of satisfaction from having everything in its place and a place for everything. I am, however, more than a little embarrassed at having let things get in such a state that it took so long to pull them back together in some sense of non-chaos.

During this past week I've also done some cooking and baking.

The first thing I baked was Green Tea Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World - I've since discovered that simply baking them isn't enough. While I was so busy cleaning I left the poor things sitting for a week. No love, no icing, no photo shoot, not even a bite taken to test how they tasted. The poor things just went to waste. I feel so horrid. They were lovingly created and then quickly forgotten. Left to sit in a bag, unable to live to their fullest potential. Their lives unfulfilled. Their destiny the trashcan instead of satisfying some lonely tastebuds some where. Poor things. I'll have to make them again. Soon. And this time actually pay attention to them!

I've also made some delicious Veggie Burgers from a recipe created by this talented lady. With her permission, I'm now going to share the recipe for these little beauties with you.


Smoky Tofu and Red Bean Burgers

(makes 6 patties)

1 14oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 7 oz. firm tofu, squeezed of excess water and crumbled 1 carrot, grated 1/2 onion, chopped finely 2 cloves garlic, minced handful of parsley, chopped 1/2 cup whole grain vegan breadcrumbs (I use a little more to hold the patty together) 2 T flour 1/4 tsp liquid smoke 1 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp all purpose seasoning (like Mrs. Dash or Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute) 1/2 tsp each of garlic and onion powder (you may add less if you like) 1/2 tsp paprika salt and pepper to taste

Mash beans in a bowl and add the crumbled tofu. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. I like to use a blender/masher or fork to help chop and smoosh the mixture which will make it form into patties easier. You may have a taste in order to adjust seasonings.

Refrigerate mixture in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Shape into patties and place on oiled baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway at 400 degrees F or until browned and crispy. (I actually fry mine in olive oil), Serve on a bun w/ caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, sprouts and sauce below:

Thousand Island Burger Sauce With A Kick

1/2 cup vegan mayo 2-3 T ketchup 1 T chopped dill pickle or relish a squirt of lemon juice 1/4 tsp all purpose seasoning blend salt and pepper to taste 5-6 drops of hot sauce

Combine all ingredients and chill. Is great on the tofu burger and with seasoned fries.

I made mine a little differently. I placed my ingredients in my food processor and sort of pureed them. This meant I had to add more dry ingredients so I increased the flour by 1/4 cup and the breadcrumbs by 1 cup.

I really loved the way these tasted and can totally see them as "meatballs" in a pasta recipe! I will definitely make these again. And soon!

Now, for those of you wondering how I can have breadcrumbs since I can't have yeast I'll let you in on a little secret; I cheat.

Every once in a while (less often than I like, to be honest) I get to a Whole Foods and buy their sourdough bread. (It's amazing and light and not the least bit sour. I don't understand how this is but I don't argue!) When I slice it I don't like the ends as they're too thick for sandwiches or the toaster. Because of this I specifically leave the ends extra thick and throw them in the freezer. Then, I forget about them until I throw more into the freezer. Then I forget about them again and again until, eventually, I need breadcrumbs and I lament about not being able to have yeast. This happens for about 20 minutes before it finally dawns on me that I actually have yeast-free bread that I can use to make my own breadcrumbs! Yeah, sometimes I can be pretty slow. Don't ask. We don't like to talk about it.

I take the bread ends out of the freezer, let them defrost and then stick them into my food processor. (I find it's a lot easier to cut the thawed bread into golf-ball-sized pieces and use the "pulse" button on my machine. It cuts down a lot of the frustration and it makes the whole process take a lot less time.)

I then bag them in one cup portions (most recipes seem to call for this amount, why is that?), label the bags and store them in the freezer.

So, this week the landscaper is back (mid-week) and I can't wait. The closer we get to the finished product the more antsy I get to see it, use it, adore it.

I'm also getting a couple of little health nigglings sorted out in the next few weeks and working on my nutrition as I work on a vegetarian/vegan way of eating. (It's becoming more and more difficult as I'm having difficulties digesting beans without intense gas/wind and associated pain. Considering I'm allergic to lentils and don't want to over-do soy... I'm running out of ideas for proteins *frown*)

That's a savory recipe shared and the infamous vegan chocolate chip cookies recipe is on its way (hopefully this week) - so what would you like to see me make next?

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