Strawberry Loaf Cake

We’ve been getting regular deliveries of strawberries in our CSA, which has been a nice surprise. I honestly didn’t expect to get any fruit in any of our produce boxes. The past few weeks, I’ve just been slicing the strawberries on top of pancakes or just eating them whole. But this past week, I wanted to incorporate the strawberries into a recipe and decided to use a strawberry cake recipe from “The Joy of Vegan Baking” that was ridiculously easy.

My cake batter looked a bit dry after I mixed all of the ingredients together, so I splashed in some almond milk to moisten it a bit. Also, I opted to bake the cake in a loaf pan rather than as cupcakes and to forgo the icing. The result was a mix between a cake and a quick bread that is perfect for dessert or breakfast.

Strawberry Loaf Cake (adapted from “The Joy of Vegan Baking”)

Makes one, 9-inch loaf

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup non-dairy milk, or a little less if your batter is moist
8 ounces fresh, ripe strawberries, crushed with the back of a fork
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease loaf pan with cooking spray.

Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix together all of the wet ingredients, including the crushed strawberries, in a separate bowl. Create a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir just to combine. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center comes clean.

Enjoy!

 

Vegan Food Happenings

Man, I’m a bad blogger. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I apologize for the lack of posts. This past winter seemed to hit me pretty hard, motivation-wise. But I still cooked quite a bit and I even took a few (blurry) pictures. I tried out some new recipes—some good, some not so good. I even experimented a little on my own. For this post, I thought I’d share a few of the dishes that I made over the past few weeks.

My husband has been working nights for school, so I’ve been left up to my own devices for dinner. I’ve been making lots of tofu scrambles like the one you see below. I use the tofu scramble recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Brunch. It’s so easy and leaves lots of room for variation.

For this year’s Super Bowl, I decided to make a few snacks. While browsing the Whole Foods deli section, I came across a bag of pretzel bites that were vegan. They were still warm, so I couldn’t resist. The bags of pretzel bites were on a display with large blocks of cheddar cheese and beer, which gave me the idea to make a vegan version of beer cheese. It turned out way better than I expected. I used Lauren Ulm’s mac and cheese sauce for the base and added a few extra ingredients, including beer, to give it a more authentic taste. I plan on making it again, and when I do, I’ll post the recipe on here.

In addition to the beer cheese and pretzel bites, I also made a big bowl of guacamole.

I’m a big stickler for not wasting food. I’ve been known to throw together some, um, interesting dishes to avoid throwing out food. This cauliflower and lentil dish was such an experiment, but it turned out really well. It consisted of cauliflower, red lentils, and lots of spices that gave it an Indian vibe. Next time, I think I might roast the cauliflower in the oven to add another layer of flavor. Again, when I make it again (if I can remember how), I’ll post the recipe on here.

Finally, I’ve really been making an effort to make a substantial breakfast on Sundays. My husband and I are big fans of “CBS Sunday Morning,” so we’ve made it a tradition to enjoy our coffee while watching the show, and then make a good breakfast/brunch after the show ends at 10:30am. This morning, I decided to make banana-cinnamon pancakes with a side of veggie sausage.

Well, that’s it for now. I’m sorry I couldn’t offer any recipes this time around. Hope everyone is well!

 

Blog: BREAKFAST

I’ve never been a big breakfast person, at least until recently. My husband and I have been making a real effort to have a good, sit-down breakfast on the weekend and I’ve quickly been converted into a breakfast/brunch fan. I recently discovered this simple blog – BREAKFAST – that celebrates the most important meal of the day. It’s not vegan or vegetarian, but the pictures are stunning and definitely offer some inspiration for making vegan versions.

Tofu Scramble with Biscuits and Gravy

Well, it’s not the prettiest dish, but it sure is tasty! This tofu scramble recipe, taken from the wonderful Vegan Brunch book from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, has become a weekend breakfast staple for us. It’s incredibly fast and easy to make, and allows for lots of variation. I typically make mine just as the book suggests: with cumin, thyme, turmeric, garlic, and grated carrots. I also like to make the scramble with a side of biscuits and gravy, and if I’m feeling really bad, hashbrowns.

The Herbed Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits are also taken directly from Vegan Brunch, so I’m not going to post them here. The gravy, however, is my own recipe. It’s reminiscent of a béchamel sauce, but I add lots of cracked pepper. It’s certainly not the healthiest gravy (is there such a thing as “healthy” gravy?), but it tastes just like the white gravy that was smothered over biscuits I had growing up. Today, I tried adding crumbled Gimme Lean Breakfast Sausage to the gravy. It tasted good, but I actually prefer the gravy without it. Anyway, this is one gravy that you’ll want to use to smother everything on your plate.

White Gravy

Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

2 tbsp Earth Balance or olive oil
1/4 cup of white flour
4 cups almond or soy milk (unsweetened is ideal, but original works too — if you don’t mind a touch of sweetness)
1 tsp salt
Lots of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

Melt the butter or heat the oil over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the flour and whisk to incorporate (you’re making a roux). Cook the roux for about a minute to remove any raw flour taste, but be sure to stir constantly. It’ll bubble a little bit, but turn down the heat if it seems like it’s getting too hot. Add your milk and salt, and whisk constantly. If you turned down the heat for the roux, then turn it back up to medium-high. Stir constantly to avoid scorching the milk. After about 8  to 10 minutes, the gravy should start to thicken. If it doesn’t add a little more flour (not too much). Likewise, if it gets too thick, add a touch more milk. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Finally, add lots of cracked black pepper — you really want to see and taste it in the gravy. Remove from heat and smother all over your biscuits, scramble, hashbrowns, or whatever you’ve got.

Enjoy!