Best Ever #Vegan Snickerdoodles

I had a hankering for some old fashioned Snickerdoodles just like I used to bake with my mom, only vegan this time.

I’ve been asked, so to clarify…yes, this is my pic I took of the just-baked Snickerdoodles, not a random Google photo.

I realize that a majority of my recipes are zero sugar and include all forms of kale and tofu and lentils; healthy and organic for the Angels, but they’re not here right now and I have truly eaten enough kale to last several lifetimes, haha.

I developed this recipe after doing tons of online research. The internet offers dozens of variations; some recipes include flax seeds, coconut sugar, and spelt/oat/amaranth/chickpea flours (including gluten free)–but I prefer to keep things simple.

My philosophy is that more people might want to try a vegan lifestyle if it’s not too complicated. At least at first, and then as one delves deeper into cruelty-free living, it’s fun to experiment with more exotic ingredients.

Gather ingredients; Cream of Tartar is the key to snickerdoodle’s unique flavor. I know it’s against all the rules to use Crisco shortening, but once in a while is OK, and it’s awesome for cookie texture.

I didn’t think anything could be better than my Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I was blissfully happy with the results of these crackly, chewy, intensely cinnamon-y full moon shaped pillows of satisfying spicy sweetness. (But not too sweet.)

If you have patience, let them cool for about ten minutes before eating, but if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to wait. I hope you try them and let me know your results.

My friend is going to drop off a bottle of imported vanilla so I’ll make them again, but I might still use the maple syrup because the maple flavor really enhanced the spicy cinnamon profile.

Caution: I go HEAVY on the cinnamon because I love it so much. If you don’t, adjust the amount to be mindful of your own tastebuds.

Yummy Vegan Veggie Lentil Soup

My doctor totally depressed me cos she told me her husband’s best friend just died from Covid-19 and because she’s on the frontlines treating patients, she cautioned me to be extra careful and stay home and away from people.

I decided it was a great day to make another version of my favorite hearty and healthy soup.

Lentil Tofu Veggie Soup

Ingredients:
*Carrots, 3 large
*Celery, 2-3 stalks including leaves
*Tofu, whole package
*Lentils,1.5 cups
*Kale, 2 cups
*Broccoli, half head
*Canned organic tomatoes, 28 ounce can
*Bay leaves and other garden herbs

–Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot.
–Add roughly chopped carrots and celery. I don’t like onions so I didn’t add them, but go ahead and chop up half an onion if you like them.
–When they’re nicely browned and have released a lot of flavor, add dried lentils and six cups of water along with a couple bay leaves.

–Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer.
–Add bite-sized pieces of broccoli and tofu along with chopped kale.
–Simmer for about an hour, stir every once in a while. Add more water as needed.
–Add a large can of diced tomatoes in juice and any herbs to taste.
–I picked sage and oregano and thyme from the garden.
–Add 1/2 teaspoon pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt (optional).

–Serve in a large bowl with freshly chopped cilantro and basil. I’ve been lucky enough to have beautiful lettuce this season, so I picked a few fresh leaves for a salad to accompany this delicious soup.

Sometimes I make a crusty French bread but I didn’t feel like it because I’m sad about almost losing our precious democracy but I might make vegan biscuits tomorrow cos I’ll eat this soup for a few days.

It gets better every day.

Easy Vegan Tofu Mayo

While everybody is posting pics of beautifully decorated cookies and cakes, I decided to go back to basics with a recipe for vegan mayo. 

No need to panic if you run out; it’s really easy to make your own!

I used to love Trader Joe’s vegan mayo but they’ve either been out of it for a long time or maybe they just stopped selling it, so I decided to experiment with my own version.

It’s simple and tasty but next time I’ll use vegetable oil instead of olive oil–that’s a personal preference because I don’t really like the taste of olive oil.

Easy Vegan Tofu Mayo

–7oz silken tofu
–1/3 cup oil
–1TBS lemon juice
–1tsp vinegar
–1 tsp (or more to your taste) dijon mustard
–1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt (to your taste)

Place all of the ingredients in the cup of an immersion blender and blend until smooth and thick.
Add a little more lemon juice if too thick. It should look exactly like mayo and spread easily.
If you don’t have silken tofu, you can try it with the firm option, but it won’t be as velvety.

That’s IT. Nothing fancy. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
And VERY healthy; packed with protein thanks to the tofu.

Adding Spice to My Life

I don’t know if it’s similar to the Great Toilet Paper Hoarding of 2020 or a supply chain issue, but when I used the very last drop of my Tapatio hot sauce, every store I went to was out of it.

I tried them all: Target, Stater Brothers, even WalMart, and there was the little sign on an empty space where the Tapatio should have been.

There were other hot sauces to choose from: Valentina, Crystal, Cholula, whatever Trader’s brand is, but not Tapatio. I was looking specifically for Mexican hot sauce, not Tabasco or Sriracha–it had to be Tapatio, my favorite.

I didn’t really want to order it online but I would have, except that at my final stop at Vons I found the VERY LAST BOTTLE of Tapatio, a giant thirty-two ounce size, so I’ll be happy and spicy for quite a while.

Funny enough, they were also completely out of the small sized bottle, so that’s all there was to choose from.

Now I can enjoy a yummy quesadilla with vegan cheese!

Do you have a favorite hot sauce?

[pah-tay-toe] Confessions

“GRANDMA ATE ALL OF THE POTATOES!”

I don’t care how you pronounce it, but I need to share my secret love for potatoes and there’s a recipe at the end.

Specifically, the much maligned WHITE potato: simple, sturdy, earthy.

On the last day of my most recent visit to the Angels, sadly, a very long time ago, DIL thoughtfully made a special going home dinner for me, all from scratch by the way, which made it even more wonderful.

There was vegan lasagna with a side of roasted potatoes and apple crumble. The lasagna was made with chard and kale from the garden and was SO VERY YUMMY and healthy.

Apparently (and rightly so) she thought I didn’t eat white potatoes because for the longest time, I would scowl at anything white: white rice, white flour, white sugar, white potatoes–as the source of empty calories, zero nutrition, and a great friend of diabetes. Not too healthy.

From the oven there emanated a most delicious perfume. I asked DIL what I was smelling and she said, “It’s roasted potatoes but you don’t have to eat them. I know you don’t like white potatoes.”

Not so fast, DIL.

I want to not like them, but I’m addicted to French fries (has anyone ever seen me hoard them? It’s not a pretty sight.) I actually dearly love white potatoes, but I try NOT to eat them and have some semblance of self control, like I say I don’t eat chocolate, only because I have no off switch. Once I start eating chocolate, I can’t stop. I don’t ever have any around because of my lack of restraint, which is also the reason why I buy Halloween candy like Skittles and other stuff I don’t like so I won’t be tempted.

OK, enough of the sidebar; back to the story of the roast potatoes.

Dinner was ready and we were setting the table. I was actually STARVING and had most likely once again forgotten to eat for the entire day.

DIL handed me a bowl of roasted potatoes and before they even reached the dining room table, I had eaten EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I brought the empty bowl into the kitchen and asked DIL where I could get seconds. She took one look at me and the empty bowl and started laughing.

“That was a sharing bowl! Did you eat all of them?”

“Well, yes, oops, sorry! I didn’t know they were for sharing!”

“T, Grandma ate ALL the potatoes!”

“YOU DID? HEY DAD, GRANDMA ATE ALL THE POTATOES IN THE SHARING BOWL! SHE REALLY DID!”

I hadn’t tasted anything so delicious in FOREVER; OMG they were so good, I’ve been thinking about them ever since I came home.

And by the way, I had never heard of the term “sharing bowl” before that day. It must be a British thing, as DIL is from the UK.

I finally broke down and bought two WHITE IDAHO potatoes and since it’s a bit rainy today and not devil hot, I’ll attempt a recreation of DILs heavenly dish. I’m even going to add salt and that’s also something I rarely do.

They tasted pretty yummy, but to be honest, not quite as good as DILs, but maybe that’s because it’s such a treat for me to have someone else cook, ‘cos I usually have that job.

I’m not sharing these, either!

Super Healthy Vegan Protein Smoothie

Happy Sunday!

The color of this smoothie was such a gorgeous jade green, I just had to pour it in a pretty cocktail glass and take a pic.

Ingredients:

+Vegan Pea Protein
+Moringa powder (Organic)
+Wheat grass powder (Organic)
+Spirulina powder (Organic)
+Kale
+Banana
+Mango Peach Juice

So easy; toss it all in a blender and enjoy!

3-Ingredient VEGAN Banana Oat Cookies

YES! It’s so simple and so healthy, a wonderful baking activity to do with children.

It’s your decision whether to stick with three basic ingredients or add extras. They can be as elaborate as you want.

The best part of this recipe is that it uses ZERO sweetener, however if you add granola, remember that it’s most likely made with sugar or honey. I don’t have gluten issues, but I guess you could call this technically a gluten-free recipe.

The secret to success is VERY ripe bananas, the kind that you’d only use for banana bread or think about tossing into the compost. That’s the level of ripeness we’re looking for here.

3 Ingredient Vegan Banana Oat Cookies

-1-2 very ripe bananas
-1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats) OR 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup granola, mine contained raisins.
-1/2 cup chopped nuts, I used raw almonds.

Directions: Mash bananas, stir in oats and nuts. (I sprinkled in 1 teaspoon cinnamon.)
Other additions could be raisins, flax/chia/hemp seeds, other dried fruit, coconut.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, chill for 30 minutes or so; then drop by a full teaspoon on parchment covered baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 11-15 minutes, depending on your oven’s thermostat. Let cool on baking sheet before storing.

Aquafaba. Not Awkwafina and definitely not Paso Fino

NOT Awkwafina, one of my fave actors and comedians from one of my all-time fave films, Crazy Rich Asians.Awkwafina has a scene-stealing role as Constance Wu's old college roommate in "Crazy Rich Asians."

And not a beautiful Paso Fino, either. I had never heard of that breed as I’m not a very horsey person but I met one while hiking at the Daley Ranch and fell totally in love. He was the most gorgeous creature I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t stop petting him. He was all dressed up in a shiny silver bridle. I’m mostly afraid of horses because they’re so big but this guy was gentle and affectionate.(This isn’t the horse I met; this pic is from Wiki.)

Puerto rican-Paso-Fino-Horse-chestnut.jpg

No, what I’m talking about is AQUAFABA. I don’t know how it is that I’ve never heard of it, but that’s the truth. It slipped right by me, like the noxious slime that it is.

Up until now, I thought that the viscous liquid in cans of garbanzo beans was vile and slippery and I drain them IMMEDIATELY before making hummus or veggie burgers.

Who knew that some brilliant person must have thought to herself, “Hmm, what if I whip this shit up into a frothy mass and use it as a vegan replacement for egg wihites?”

And who came up with the NAME??? Aquafaba

I(t reminds me of that stuff I put on my lips ‘cos it’s so dry in SoCal: Aquaphor…)

I would really like to have a chitchat with that person because my unimaginative brain does NOT work that way.

My brain is more like “EWW, gross.”

I promise to try it in a recipe and post the results. I’d like to see how it compares to egg whites in a lemon meringue pie or a chocolate mousse or marshmallows. Apparently, it’s virtually calorie-free, so that’s a plus.

Try this site for some great recipe ideas: https://www.vegansociety.com/news/blog/20-amazing-things-you-can-do-aquafaba

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever worked with aquafaba.

BEST Vegan Banana-Apple Bread

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On a lighter note from yesterday’s post about how a previously undetected congenital defect caused me to almost lose my precious boy…

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe and even longer since I actually baked (unless it was for the Angel Boys), so this is a milestone.

I was invited to a neighborhood socially distanced party and thought I’d bake something to promote the vegan life.

Since I REALLY hate it when you search for a recipe and have to scroll down about five miles of blah, blah, blah to get to the actual ingredients and directions just to hold you hostage, I won’t do that to you. You’re welcome.

It’s my own creation, my own experiment, and I hope you enjoy it as much as my friends did! It always amazes non-vegans that desserts don’t need eggs or dairy to taste delicious.

BEST Banana-Apple Bread (Vegan)

2 ripe bananas
1 apple
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (you could substitute any kind of sugar. If you sub agave, add a bit more flour)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon (we like a lot)
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch sea salt
2 cups flour (I used whole wheat; you can use white or any combo)

Core and cut apple into chunks. Put oil and apples into a Bullet or a blender to make a slurry. You can also grate the apple but I find this way works great.

Empty into a mixing bowl where you’ve already mashed the two bananas. Add vanilla and sugar. Mix well. Add cinnamon, flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix to combine but don’t overmix. Stir just until all the flour is incorporated. If the batter seems a bit dry, add a couple tablespoons of plant-based milk.
**This is where you can get creative and add things like raisins, nuts, coconut, other dried fruits.

Spray oil into a loaf pan and spoon in batter. Sometimes I sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top prior to baking or I ice it after with a simple glaze of powdered sugar and lemon or orange juice. This time I sprinkled.

Bake at 350 degree preheated oven for about 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Don’t overbake. These breads should be super moist.