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this one goes out to the ones I love

10 Feb

I am adrift in a sea of templates, CSS and code. Alas, I am making progress on my awesome new improvements to nom! nom! nom! and shall be debuting them soon.

In the meantime, here is a recipe from my upcoming book Have Your Cake and Vegan Too. Out of all 50 recipes, this is definitely in my personal top 5, perhaps even my top 2. It would make a fabulous cake for Valentine’s Day. Your only requirement is that you have to watch the YouTube video below, as it is classic comedy gold, plus the namesake of this mouth-watering treat. If you end up making the cake, you have an obligation to sing the song at least once.

Dad is Great Chocolate Cake

If you’re still freaking out about tofu in dessert do yourself and everyone else a favor and get over it! This loaf cake is delicious and decadent and so very simple. My insanely picky little brother (who lives off of chicken fingers and french fries, no joke) loved it and so I made sure to tease him about the fact that he ate tofu after polishing off his piece. Hehehehe… he never knew.

Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa, sifted
1 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/4 teas salt
1 cup milk of choice
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 teas. vanilla
1/4 teas. mild vinegar
3 tbsp. crushed chocolate cookies, crushed nuts or shaved chocolate to garnish

Chocolate Cream:
1 12 oz. aseptic container of firm silken tofu, room temperature
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
2 tbsp. brown rice syrup or agave
1/4 teas vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and dust (with cocoa powder) a 9×5 loaf pan.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Let sit for a minute. Add the dry to wet in batches, beating until just smooth. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before loosening and transferring to the cooling rack.

While cake is baking, prepare the chocolate cream. In a double boiler over low heat, melt the chocolate until smooth, stirring often. If you don’t have a double boiler, put about 1-2 inches of water in a pot and place a heat-safe bowl over it, making sure the bottom of the bowl is suspended over the water. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, crumble the tofu. Blend for about 30 seconds, until fairly smooth. Add the melted chocolate, brown rice syrup and vanilla and blend until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl or canister as needed. Transfer the cream to a container and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.

To assemble: Carefully cut the completely cooled cake into thirds using a cake leveler or knife. Spread 1/3 of the chocolate cream on top of the bottom layer and place the middle layer on top. Spread another 1/3 of the cream on that layer then place the top layer on. Spread the final 1/3 on top of the cake. Garnish with crumbled cookies or chocolate shavings.

Store cake in an sealed container in the fridge.

2 ingredient smoothie and book update

27 Jan

When I was a kid, I hated anything bitter. Grapefruit was the breakfast antithesis of all that is good in my chubby little world- sugar coated crunchies and custard filled donuts. Now as an adult my palette has changed quite a bit and bitter foods, like tahini and grapefruit, have come to hold a special place in my heart.

This simple, two ingredient smoothie has become a breakfast mainstay and I have to say, it’s truly awesome, even if reveling in the flavor of grapefruit makes me feel like like I’m getting on in years. Meh. Grapefruit’s good for the health, no? The late, great Jack LaLanne would certainly approve.



Kris’ Awesome Anti-Aging, OMG-I-AM-Aging 2 Ingredient Breakfast Smoothie

1 red grapefruit
1/2 a ripe banana, frozen

Segment the grapefruit, being mindful not to put your eye out. Place grapefruit and any additional juice from fruit rinds into a blender. Add the banana, chopped into chunks. Process until smooth. Add sweetener if desired, but know it will debit points from your geriatric street cred. 😉

And now, in other news…

The final touches have been made on the manuscript and it is off to the printers! My upcoming book Have Your Cake and Vegan Too is available for presale on Amazon! It features 50 vegan cake recipes, including some yummy gluten-free options and FULL COLOR PHOTOS! As fun as it is to presale books you’re anticipating, don’t forget that super cool vegan owned stores like Cosmos Vegan Shoppe will be carrying the book once it’s released. Our target release date is April 1st, no joke.

I have been working on a lot of really cool new things for nom! nom! nom! blog. The site is undergoing a complete redesign that will make it much more dynamic. In addition, the content and the ways I share said content will be changing. nom! nom! nom! will be growing from a blog to a very full and robust site. It’s still a couple of weeks out until the new site is up, but know that a change is comin’- and it’s going to be rad!

sprouted cookies = win!

24 Jan

Okay, so technically quick bread was the winner of my sprouted wheat poll, but after considering it I thought I’d take cookies for a spin with this first batch. I really wanted something that would bake for a shorter amount of time to really showcase the flavor of the flour. The fresh flour has a sweet grassy fragrance that I was worried would bake out of it.

Plus, I now have an excuse to sprout more flour and give it a go with bread. 🙂

Giddy-Up Janes

These cookies can easily be made with white whole wheat or an all-purpose flour rather than the sprouted wheat. They are a sweet oatmeal cookie with a kiss of peanut butter. Plus chocolate, they are nomtastic!

1 1/4 cup sprouted wheat flour (or white whole wheat or all-purpose)
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/4 teas. cinnamon
1/4 teas. salt
1/2 cup margarine, room temperature
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 teas. vanilla
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl cream together the margarine and sugar. Add the peanut butter and vanilla mix well. Add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the oatmeal in two batches, adding the chocolate chips with the second batch. The dough might be loose, but should be moist.

For dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies puff up a bit and look golden. Let cool on cooling rack for 5 minutes before moving from baking sheet to finish cooling on rack.

Yields: 2 dozen cookies

hello, 2011!

13 Jan

Wow, I’m finally getting to my first post of the new year. I can’t believe it’s 2011!

Every year I eager anticipate the holidays, to a bit of an extreme. I just love everything about the holiday time! The lights, the music, the food, family, wrapping presents… it’s just the best. Unfortunately, once the new year rolls around we’re just left with winter. Dreary, boring winter. Blah.

To counter the dark and the drizzle, here’s a healthy, hearty quick bread that is delicious and sure to perk up a wintery afternoon.

I’ve gotten really terrible with quinoa. Whenever I make it, there always seems to be some that’s left loitering around in my fridge with nothing to do. This quick bread uses some cooked quinoa to add protein and substance to this lightly-sweetened bread.



Cherry Almond Quinoa Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup organic sugar
1 1/2 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/4 teas. salt
1 1/2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. milk of choice
1/3 cup mild oil
1/2 teas. almond extract (optional)
1/4 teas. vanilla extract (increase if not using almond)
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour a standard sized loaf pan.

In a small bowl combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the quinoa, milk, oil and extracts. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches until just mixed. Gently mix in the chopped almonds, cherries and chocolate chips.

Bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (no batter, but okay if crumbs stick to the toothpick). Let bread cool in pan, on a cooling rack, for 30 minutes before serving.

Yields: 10-12 slices

simple pleasures

27 Dec

Things that make me happy:

The Pear Cinnamon Cider from Trader Joe’s is off-the-hook amazing. I’m afraid it will disappear right after the holidays, as many of the goodies they have this time of year do, so I’ve stockpiled several containers of it. SO FREAKING GOOD.

What makes it better? Drinking it with a nice lil’ Blueberry Gas Station Pie. Nom.

Blueberry Gas Station Pie

1/2 recipe Basic Pie Crust
1/4 cup organic granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
2 tbsp. water
1 teas. vanilla

Prepare pie crust per directions and let chill in fridge for at least 45 minutes before using.

To prepare the blueberry filling, in a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Mix until combined and no clumps exist in the cornstarch. Add the blueberries and water and cook over a medium heat, stirring often, until mixture becomes bubbly and berries begin to release their juices, about 10 minutes. Once bubbling, add the vanilla and lower heat to medium-low and continue stirring until mixture begins to thicken and can coat the back of a spoon well. Transfer blueberry mixture to a separate bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350. Remove crust from fridge and divide into 6 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a round disc, approximately 5-6 inches in diameter. Evenly divide the filling between the dough discs, scooping it onto one side of the dough. Fold dough over and pinch to seal (you may need to moisten the edges of the dough slightly to ensure a good seal). Using the tip of a knife, make a small air vent on the top of each pie. Carefully transfer the pies to a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake pies for 18-23 minutes, or until they look lightly golden and slightly browned on the edges. Remove from oven and let cool before brushing on a light glaze, made from a mixture of powdered sugar and a splash of your milk of choice, combined to your desired thickness.

Makes: 6 pies

vegan fruitcake delight!

15 Dec

I couldn’t resist posting this fruitcake recipe. We never had fruitcake in my family when I was growing up, so I don’t have bad memories of it, but you can’t exist this time of year and not be familiar with the jokes that go along with fruitcake.

This fruitcake, however, is dense, moist and delicious and doesn’t take weeks to cure in the back of you pantry (yuck!). It’s quick and easy and can easily be adapted to meet your fruit cakey preferences (some darker sugar or alcohol, a spike of molasses, etc).

Ah, fruitcake. The butt of many a holiday joke. But no one will give you a hard time about this light cake, studded with dried fruit and nuts. They’ll be too busy stuffing their faces with it. This version is a bit less, um, brilliant than the traditional neon-candied cherries version, but you can feel free to substitute the dried fruit with those familiar favorites if you’d like. The added bonus is that these cakes don’t need to cure, so you don’t have to start working on them in October to enjoy their Yuletide cheer!

1 cup flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 teas. baking powder
1/8 teas. salt
1/3 cup agave
1/2 cup orange juice OR 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/4 cup alcohol (rum or bandy) if going for the boozy taste
2 tbsp. apple sauce
2 tbsp. oil
1 teas. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts of choice
1/2 cup chopped sweet dried fruit of choice (dates, figs, raisins, etc.)
1/2 cup chopped tart dried fruit of choice (apricots, candied orange peel, tart cherries, etc.)
1/3 cup alcohol (same as used in batter) or 1/3 cup apple cider

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease and flour 1 loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans.

In a small bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium sized bowl, combine the agave, orange juice, 1/4 cup alcohol (if using), applesauce, oil and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Add the dry to the wet in batches, until well combined. Add the nuts and dried fruit and mix until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan(s). For mini cakes, bake for 24-28 minutes and for a full loaf for 45-50 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven and set on rack. While warm, poke cake randomly with toothpick to create pin holes. Slowly and evenly pour the remaining alcohol or apple cider over the cakes, a little at at time to allow it time to absorb. Let cakes cool in pan for 20 minutes before inverting and let finish cooling on the rack.

Store cakes wrapped up or in a sealed container in fridge.

cookie, cookie, cookies!

13 Dec

Alright, as promised here is the Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie recipe, along with another cookie recipe that seems like it will pair perfectly with a cup of tea and some time with loved ones. Fatty sugar alert: these recipes are super not healthy. You have been warned.



Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teas. baking soda
1/4 teas. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
1/2 cup organic brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 teas. vanilla
1 teas. cornstarch
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together dry flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl, cream together sugar, brown sugars and softened margarine. Dissolve the cornstarch in the milk and add to sugar mixtures along with vanilla. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture in batches, then stir in chocolate chips and pecans.

Using a cookie dropper or tablespoon, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8–-10 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet pan for 5 minutes, then remove to cool on transfer to a cooling rack. Store cooled cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Yields: 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Spice and Ice Molasses Cookies

These cookies are chewy and deeply flavored. If you like a strong ginger bite, add some chopped crystallized ginger for some extra kick.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teas. baking soda
1 teas. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teas. ground ginger
1/8 teas. ground cloves
1/4 teas. salt
3/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup organic granulated or brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 teas. blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup organic granulated sugar

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. In a large bowl, cream together the melted margarine and the 1 cup of sugar. Add the molasses to the wet mixture and mix well. In batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet until a nice dough comes together. Let chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment, if using. Roll tablespoon sized balls of dough in the remaining sugar to coat well. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies have cracked and spread. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store cooled cookies in a loosely covered container at room temperature.

Yields: 2 1/2 dozen cookies