December 22, 2010

Breakfast Burritos

I discovered the sheer bliss of breakfast burritos while visiting friends in NM. There, green and red chile smother eggs and cheese and meat for three bucks a piece. Inspired, I started making my own early-morning burritos filled with tofu scramble, beans, salsa, avocado, and cilantro. Sour cream (dairy free), kale, and fried potatoes also make great additions.

For burritos, I like to add some spice to my tofu scramble. From the recipe listed on the blog, I exclude the thyme and add more cumin (1 tsp.), 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro, and 1 jalapeno. Dice the hot pepper and fry it with the onion and garlic early in the scramble process.

I was lucky this morning and had some left-over cooked beans from last night. If you are less fortunate and are starting from scratch, cook 1-2 cups of black beans with 1 tsp. cumin, 1 small onion, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 bay leaf. Remember to be patient.

Assemble the scramble, beans, avocado, cilantro, and salsa on warm tortillas and dig in!


December 14, 2010

Perfect Pillsbury Cinnamon Buns

K and I recently hosted a festive winter-y brunch filled with delicious quiches, glowing fruits, spicy sausages, and these yeasty cinnamon buns. You know your brunch has gone well when your guests stick around deep into the afternoon, playing Nilsson records and chasing the sun from one end of the apartment to the other. I hadn't made sticky buns in quite a while, but thanks to Lauren at veganyumyum, I pushed my fears aside and spent my Saturday night happily flinging flour around the kitchen. I combined a few recipes with what I learned at marie's to make these buns, which were quite a success if I can say so myself! One of my friends even said they tasted just like Pillsbury!

4 tsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water

1 cup soymilk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup earth balance
2 tsp. salt
6 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup earth balance (melted)
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 Tbs. cinnamon

Mix together the yeast, sugar and warm water and set aside until frothy. Next, heat the soymilk, sugar, and earth balance in a medium-sized saucepan until margarine is melted. Once the ingredients are combined, add the warm ingredients to the  yeast mixture. Make sure that the ingredients in the saucepan are lukewarm. Stir together the flour and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and knead for about ten minutes.

Place in an oiled bowl covered in a plastic bag and let sit in a warm spot in your apartment for two hours.

Once the dough has risen, punch down and flatten out into a large rectangular shape. Brush with melted margarine and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Roll the dough up length-wise into a large log. Next, cut the log into 10-12  pieces. Pour the remaining margarine into a casserole dish and sprinkle the margarine with sugar. Place the buns in the dish and let rise for another hour, covered. If you are going to bake them the next day, cover and place in the oven overnight.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Once cool, frost with a mixture of vanilla soymilk and confectioners sugar.

Here's to lazy brunches and holiday buns!

December 4, 2010

Walnut and Brussels Mixed Greens

Sometimes, even in December, you just need a good salad. This one's easy and delicious, if I may say so myself. The roasted brussels sprouts are perfectly meaty alongside crunchy, toasted almonds, roasted garlic, and thin slices of red onion. The salad greens are lightly coated in a handmade shallot vinaigrette. 

Components and Assembly

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Use as many sprouts as you think necessary to feed your table. I used about 10 for K and I. Quarter and trim the little cabbages and peel, trim, and half 4-5 cloves of garlic. Place the garlic and sprouts on a baking sheet and coat in 3 Tbs. olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and a heap of black pepper. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, stirring once, until the spouts are tender and outsides seem crisp.

Toasted Walnuts
Simply place a thin layer of walnuts on a baking sheet and toss them right in there with the sprouts, shaking them every now and then to make sure they aren't burning. The nuts will be toasted before the brussels are done, so keep your eyes on them.

Mixed Greens
It is always worthwhile to look through your greens for a moment to pick out all of the bad bits. Do that- and wash and dry the little leaves

Shallot  Vinaigrette
To taste- mix 1 minced shallot, 2 cloves garlic (minced), 2 Tbs fresh cilantro, about 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar, about 4 Tbs. olive oil, about 2 tsp. soy sauce, a pinch of fresh ground pepper, a pinch of brown sugar, and the juice of 1/2 a lime.

Top with thinly sliced pieces of red onion and green apple.


December 3, 2010

French Loaves

There is nothing I love more than toasty loaves of french bread right out of the oven. If you steam the oven correctly, you can be guaranteed a lovely crumb and a light, sponge of a center. Someday I will have baguette pans and these loaves will become less chubby, but for now they are perfect for holding spreads, earth balance, apple butter, and chunky preserves. Not to mention their aptitude for becoming gorgeous stacks of french toast the morning after!

I am under the belief that bread recipes have personalities and that they find you, like a good pair of used boots or an animal companion. I started with Mark Bittman's easy-peasy no-knead recipe from How to Cook Everything and then tweaked it a tad to involve more yeast, sugar, wheat flour, and handling.

Good Luck!