Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

Lately I've been experimenting with putting coconut butter into all the places that vegan butter normally goes. Cookies, cupcakes, and everything else really. Sometimes it imparts a little bit of coconutty flavor, other times I don't even notice it except for the rich light texture it leaves. In cookies it keeps them moist and chewy but not oily, and in these cupcakes it made them a little denser than an ordinary cupcake but incredibly moist and flavorful. I hate the word moist but I honestly couldn't think of a word to replace it.

My original plan was to put lemon zest as well as juice in the batter, but our zester's vanished so that didn't happen. Adding a couple teaspoons would be an awesome addition though!

These guys are pretty tasty on their own, and frosting would make them even better. I'm one of those people who prefers the tops of muffins to the rest of them, and that happened with these a little as well. There's a couple sitting in my fridge decapitated right now actually. No shame.

I used homemade cashew milk for this recipe which turned out awesome, (1/4 cup cashews blended with 1 cup water), but any commercially made nut or soy milk should turn out fine as well.

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

1 cup cashew/almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut butter, softened
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup cake/pastry flour, sifted
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350, line a muffin tin with liners.

Mix together cashew milk and apple cider vinegar with lemon juice, set aside for a few minutes.

Cream together sugar and softened coconut butter. Add vanilla, and milk and apple cider vinegar mixture.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.

Mix the dry into the wet, and combine until smooth. Fill liners and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich has been one of my favorite things to eat since I can remember having favorite things to eat. At the beginning of January I had a pretty bad cold so I started putting ginger into everything, and this soup was born! It freezes and reheats really well, which is handy because when you're just trying to make soup for one every recipe seems to make enough to feed a village. If you don't like ginger feel free not to add it, but if you've got a cold it does an amazing job of clearing out your nose. Prepare your kleenex.

I've burned many a grilled cheese sandwich in my life, but I've found that using the heaviest pan you can (cast iron frying pans are awesome for this) work best and is the most even. On lower heat than you would expect, especially if the bread you're using is a bit thicker. Putting a lid over the pan while you're grilling it also helps the cheese to melt faster.

I don't know why it took me this long to add hummus to grilled cheese, but smearing both sides of the insides of the bread makes things extra amazing. So does adding tomatoes, if you're into that.

Roasted Tomato Soup
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 14 oz can roasted tomatoes
2 carrots, chopped
salt and pepper
a bay leaf
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2-1 cup almond milk

Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the garlic and onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir fry until soft, then add the tomatoes, ginger, chopped carrots, and bay leaf. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Take out the bay leaf and blend in batches in a blender until smooth, adding the almond milk. If you'd like it a little thinner add more veggie stock.

Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
2 slices bread(I used sprouted whole grain bread)
Vegan Butter
1/4 cup Daiya cheese
1 thin tomato slice

Butter one side of each slice of bread, and the insides of both slices with hummus. Butter side out fill the sandwich with Daiya cheese and the tomato slice. Grill in a preheated pan on low, flipping over halfway through.