Category Archives: Bread & Baked Goods

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup and Vegan Red Lobster Biscuits

soup and biscuit

This soup from the Post Punk Kitchen is an old favorite and easily one of my favorite soups of all time. I’ve posted it here before, but it’s been a long time so I thought I would revisit. I’ve also changed my instructions slightly to cut out a couple of steps, making the prep time about 10 minutes.

biscuitsBut first. BUT FIRST. Let’s get to these biscuits. It’s been probably close to two decades since I’ve been to a Red Lobster. Something recently made me think of those biscuits they give you — salty, cheesy, flaky, bottomless baskets of delicious cheddar bay biscuits. PROBABLY not the healthiest thing on the planet, but making them at home helps. I found this recipe on the blog Amazeballs Eats.

claire biscuits Our resident tween, a self-appointed cheddar bay biscuit connoisseur, even said, “If you gave me a Red Lobster biscuit and gave me one of these biscuits, I wouldn’t know the difference. They are soooooo good.”

She always seems to like things she helped make more, but I can’t disagree. She was a great sous chef.

Do cheddar biscuits go with Thai flavors? I don’t know. But they were both good and nobody complained. Good enough for me.

Even the toddler ate some of the soup, which does have a bit of a kick in the background. She would eat a spoonful, say “hot,” push it away, then ask for more.

I’ve tried to add different vegetables over the years — it’s perfect as is. Sometimes I have to learn the hard way just to leave it alone. Also, don’t skip the cilantro and sesame oil garnish on this one. You might think it wouldn’t make that big of a difference, but you would be wrong. It completes the soup and is so much better than without. Now to the recipes!

Vegan Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Biscuit Ingredients
• 2 c. all-purpose flour — I’ve been using spelt flour a lot lately for a little extra health 🙂
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 3/4 tsp. salt (I put less in the biscuits and added to the buttery glaze that goes on top)
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
• 1 c. cheddar style shreds (I use and recommend Daiya)
• 1 c. plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (I went with almond)
• 1/2 c. vegan butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks), melted

Butter Topping Ingredients
• 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, melted
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. dried parsley (I used 1 tsp. fresh, minced parsley)

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Stir in the cheddar style shreds; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the almond milk and melted vegan butter until the butter forms small clumps. (Ours never formed clumps, so we just went for it. It was fine. They were flaky and wonderful!)
  4. Add the almond milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix gently with a rubber spatula just until a dough forms and no dry ingredients remain. Use a greased ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little more than an inch between biscuits.
  5. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes. While the biscuits are in the oven, stir together the 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter, garlic powder and parsley. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup

• 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
• 1/2 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1-2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
• 1 tablespoon red curry paste (or more for extra spice! I probably added closer to 2)
• 1 15 oz. coconut milk unsweetened
• 3 cup(s) vegetable broth
• 3 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon(s) sea salt
• 1 tablespoon(s) sesame oil
• 1/2 cup(s) cilantro, fresh

1. In a stock pot, saute onion and ginger in oil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add curry paste and cook for another minute or so.

2. Add sweet potato, diced small, and stir for about a minute.

3. Add coconut milk and veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.

4. Add lemon juice and salt. You’re ready to serve!

5. Once in bowls, drizzle with a little sesame oil and sprinkle with chopped cilantro (as much as you like).

 

Popeye Spinach Muffins

Spinach muffinsI had seen these spinach muffins floating around Facebook for a while. A friend, who also has a 1-year-old, made them and inspired me to finally do it too. I tweaked the original The Green Forks recipe, following her lead.

They turned out great and James LOVES them. My 6th-grader stepdaughter even agreed they taste more like banana muffins than anything. She took them to school to trick her friends and even the veg-hater liked them! 🙂

I’m going to list what I did, which worked out well. My changes included using coconut oil instead of canola, using 2 5 oz. bags of spinach instead of 1 6 oz. bag, using spelt flour instead of a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat and using applesauce and honey in place of sugar. (Find the original recipe via the link above).

This recipe made about 40 mini muffins and is supposed to make 16 full-sized muffins.

Ingredients
• 2 c. spelt flour
• 1/2 c. applesauce
• Approx. 2 Tbsp. honey
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. sea salt
• 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
• 3/4 c. almond milk (or milk of your choice)
• 2 5-ounce bags fresh baby spinach
• 1/2 c. mashed banana (I used one large banana)
• 2 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tin with paper liners or set silicone liners on a baking sheet.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

3. In a blender place rest of ingredients except banana and vanilla. Blend on high for 30+ seconds. I used a Vitamix, so I was fortunate to be able to use the tamper to push down the spinach and get it well incorporated. I’m not sure if it was because of the extra spinach or not, but without this, I don’t think it would have blended together as easily. Pre-chopping it in the food processor may have been necessary or scraping down the sides with a spatula to get the spinach in there.

4. Add banana and vanilla, blend on low just to mix.

5. Pour pureed mixture into dry mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined .

6. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Making mini muffins, I thought I wouldn’t need to bake them as long, but I ended up baking them for the full amount of time.

Spiced Maple Pumpkin Muffins

IMG_2743When it came time for my daughter’s recent first birthday, I wasn’t sure how to handle the cake. I couldn’t see ordering a traditional birthday cake. You always end up with a bunch leftover and it just has so, so much sugar. J had never had actual sugar before her birthday. I’m not trying to keep her sheltered forever, but I just thought there must be some kind of compromise — something I could make that the masses might enjoy and our family could eat for days to come if there are lots of leftovers and wouldn’t keep my baby up all night.

The fact is — she didn’t know the difference. And i bet she liked this even more than she would have liked cake. Once we helped her get to the actual muffin, she loved it. She seems to love anything with a lot of flavor. We had pies and these muffins (“cupcakes”) topped with traditional cream cheese frosting (laden with tons of powdered sugar. I’m not a total fuddy-duddy).

Use eggs for the traditional recipe or flax eggs to veganize them. Thanks to Cookie + Kate for the original recipe!

Ingredients
• 1/3 c. melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil (I went with coconut)
• 1/2 c. maple syrup or honey (I went with maple syrup)
• 2 eggs at room temperature or 2 flax eggs
• 1 c. pumpkin puree
• 1/4 c. milk (I went with almond milk)
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
• 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp. allspice or cloves
• 1 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole wheat or all-purpose flour)
• 1/3 c. old-fashioned oats

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Because I only have 1 set of silicone muffin cups, I used paper muffin cups so I could bake more than one pan at once. For my daughter’s giant muffin, I lightly greased a large muffin tin with coconut oil.

2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and maple syrup or honey together with a whisk. Add eggs, and beat well. Mix in the pumpkin purée and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice or cloves.

3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the ten muffin cups. For these muffins, it’s ok to fill the cups a little higher than you normally would. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats if you like, followed by a sprinkle of cinnamon (I skipped this since I was going to be frosting them).

5. Bake muffins for 23 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool completely before removing from pan (if not using paper liners) or removing paper from them. I actually wish I would not have frosted ALL of them, so I just had some pumpkin muffins to eat after the party. I look forward to making these again soon!

Gluten-Free Vegan Snickerdoodles

I have a cookie problem. Not that I eat them a lot, but I want to. I really, really want to. I mostly fulfill this pregnancy craving by eating a Larabar. Yes, Larabar, your “peanut butter cookie” is quite delicious. Alas, it is not a cookie.

The other night in my regular quest for new recipes to try, I stumbled upon a recipe for vegan snickerdoodles — the classic cookie that is more or less a soft sugar cookie with a cinnamon-sugar coating. I couldn’t take it and closed the tab on my bot. Two days later…still thinking about them. I couldn’t find that original recipe I saw the other night, but a quick Google search turned up this one from Vegetarian Times. I decided to kick it up a notch (to basically a HEALTH FOOD, am I right?) by using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, making them gluten-free AND vegan.

My stepdaughter was key to the process as the chief roll-in-cinnamon-sugarer. They came out a great! A  little cakey/crumbly, but really tasty and totally satisfied my cookie desires. And all with about 20 minutes of prep time.

The original recipe said it would make 45 cookies, whereas we got about 25. Maybe ours were a little too big. Either way, it all worked out! I’ll continue to try to keep my craving in check. But when I can’t take it anymore, this will be a go-to quick and easy recipe.

Ingredients
• 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour (in my case, gluten-free)
• 1/4 c. cornstarch
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1 stick vegan margarine, softened (4 oz., I used Earth Balance buttery sticks)
• 3/4 c. sugar
• 1/4 c. vanilla soy milk (I used plain almond milk)
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1/2 c. sugar + 3 Tbsp. cinnamon (can add a little nutmeg or allspice for a little extra flavor)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Whisk together flour, cornstarch and baking powder in a small bowl.

3. In a large bowl, beat softened butter with an electric mixer. Add sugar and beat until fluffy.

4. Beat in milk and vanilla for about 30 seconds until smooth. Add flour mixture (I did about half the bowl at a time) and beat until smooth.

5. Combine cinnamon and sugar.

6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet (I didn’t grease the sheet and it was fine but there were a couple that stuck a little bit).

7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies look dry on top and are lightly browned on the bottoms. 11 minutes was perfect for ours. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

 

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Muffins

Yes, it’s true. These muffins are all of those things! I have clients who are on the Paleo diet and this recipe for muffins from the Paleo Plan has become a weekly staple for them (and now other clients!). They are delicious and give you everything you want from a muffin — without the sugar, gluten and dairy!

They couldn’t be easier (no mixer necessary) to make and they’re pretty, aren’t they?

Here’s how it’s done.

Ingredients
• 1 1/2 c. almond flour
• 3/4 c. canned pumpkin (half of a small can — make a double batch or save the other half in the refrigerator for next time)
• 3 large eggs
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 1/4 c. raw honey, optional (I use regular honey most times)
• 2 tsp. almond butter
• Sliced almonds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Line muffin tin with paper cups and fill cups 1/2 to  3/4 of the way full. Should fill about 10 cups.

2. Sprinkle almonds or pepitas on the top.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

Mexican Cinnamon Cookies

Hola! Happy Seis de Mayo. Last night a group of us got together to welcome a good friend back to Detroit after a few years in Toronto. Since it was Cinco de Mayo, our menu was easy to determine. I’ll have to get our lovely host’s Swiss chard and tofu taco recipe for another day, but here are a cookies I brought. I literally Googled “Mexican cookies” and this is one of the recipes that came up.

They were really easy, ready in no time and everyone seemed to love them. They can easily be made vegan by swapping out the butter for something like Earth Balance Buttery Spread/Sticks.   The only thing I changed below was listing half the original recipe’s amount of sugar/cinnamon to roll the cookies in. Half of a cup should be plenty — I had tons left over! Enjoy!

Ingredients
• 1 c. butter, softened
• 1/2 c. powdered sugar
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
• 1/2 c. powdered sugar
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheets

2. In a medium bowl, cream together 1/2 c. powdered sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla.

3. Combine flour, salt, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and add to creamed mixture.

4. Combine remaining 1/2 c. powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.

5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls with hands and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. One batch makes 20-25 cookies.

6. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

 

Raw Vegan Spicy Walnut Burgers with Onion Bread and Ketchup

This is going to be a monster post, but I just have to do these recipes together — it just makes sense. I’m a personal chef and have been preparing food almost weekly for a raw vegan client for six months. I’m happy to say for three straight months she was able to be 100 percent raw with my help and feels great! The rest of the time, when traveling or on vacation, she eats vegan, but has noticed a big difference in her energy levels and how she feels when she falls off of the raw wagon.

As with most of the food I make for clients, I try to taste everything I make. Not only have I gotten into eating raw when I can (i.e. make the effort), but I’ve started eating at some great area raw restaurants (like Red Pepper Deli in Northville, Cacao Tree Cafe in Royal Oak  and The Raw Cafe in Detroit).

A favorite of my client are these spicy walnut burgers and onion bread, so I decided to make them at the recent (Un)Cooking Club night with a raw theme. Everything the ladies made was DELICIOUS and included raw cheeze dip, kale salad with miso dressing, fall fall harvest soup, avocado coconut soup, and chocolate truffles.  I’d like to say the burgers were a hit! They definitely were with me. My squeeze ate the leftover burgers the next day and I promptly made us another batch. I had an undisclosed number of them (more than 3, less than 5) for dinner tonight, wrapped in lettuce since a batch of the onion bread still is in the dehydrator.

I’ll say now too that I’m not exactly sure where I got any of these recipes. I’m constantly scouring websites, cookbooks and whatever I can get my hands on for new things, especially raw recipes. I then often tweak and adapt them to my or my clients’ tastes. I’ll be sure and give credit where credit is due if and when I come across them again.

Obviously, making things like this pretty much requires a dehydrator. If you don’t have one, you could try lining a sheet pan with unbleached parchment paper and keeping an eye on things in the oven. Considering things usually dehydrate for hours and hours, it would be quite a waste of energy to put the oven on its lowest setting and let things sit in there for a few hours, but you can do it. They say putting ovens on the lowest setting (ideally 175) and propping it open with a fork or a chopstick keeps it around 115 degrees — approximately the highest temperature at which things should be dehydrated to be considered raw/living. Above 118 degrees, food’s enzymes start breaking down and therefore they are no longer living. However, if you’re interested in trying these for flavor and health, and not their rawness, you can bake them in the oven at a low temperature (250? just a guess) and keep an eye on them.

On to the recipes.

Spicy Raw Walnut Burgers
You could leave the hot peppers out completely and it will still be delicious. Or, if you like things crazy hot like my client, throw in 2-3 habaneros or ghost peppers. I have been using 1 jalapeno or serrano and it’s been perfect for me.

Ingredients
• 1 c. walnuts, soaked in filtered water for 2-4 hours
• 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in filtered water for 30+ min.
(Reserve soaking water)
• 1 hot pepper or more to taste
• 1/2 onion (This is up to your interpretation. I usually use half of a good-sized sweet onion)
• 1 Tbsp. nama shoyu OR Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce, tamari, etc., which aren’t technically raw)
• 1 tsp. salt-free meat seasoning (or a seasoning with salt and pepper and disregard the next two ingredients)
• 1/2 tsp. black pepper
• 1 tsp. sea salt

1. Process (drained) walnuts, (drained) sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/8 c. tomato soaking water in food processor, and process until it reaches a “meaty” consistency.

Here you can either remove from processor and combine with rest of ingredients in a bowl OR do what I do, and add rest of ingredients to the food processor and process until it reaches your desired smoothness or chunkiness, depending on what you like.

2. Turn dehydrator to 115 degrees and pull out trays, lined with with ParaFlexx sheets (or use parchment paper if you have a different kind of dehydrator). Form mixture into patties (be sure to use gloves if you’re using super spicy peppers. I learned this the hard way once…). I find the smaller the patties are the better because they dehydrate faster and they are a good size to either eat with the raw bread or wrap in a piece of lettuce like a burrito.

3. Put patties on trays (I made a double batch today and it made about 20 small burgers on 2 1/2 trays — I remove whatever trays I’m not using). Dehydrate for 1 hour.

4. Flip onto screen, removing the ParaFlexx sheet. You can either do this with a spatula or place an empty mesh-lined tray on top of a tray of burgers, flip it then carefully peel back the sheet. Dehydrate for an additional 1-2 hours until they are dehydrated to your liking.

Raw Onion Bread
I know I found this on a raw community forum. I remember it was referred to as “The Famous” onion bread. I LOVE the flavor of this bread. It also was delicious with the raw cashew “cheeze” that A made at cooking club.

Ingredients
• 2 1/2 pounds sweet onions (Any sweet onion will do — just make sure it’s some kind of sweet onion, like vidalia or walla walla, etc. If you can’t weight it, usually 3 medium to large onions hits around 2 1/2 pounds.)
• 1 c. ground sunflower seeds
• 1 c. ground flax seeds
• 3 oz. (1 1/2 Tbsp.) Nama Shoyu (or again, Bragg’s, etc.)
• 1 avocado, overripe*
• 1/4 c. olive oil

* Original recipes calls for 1/2 c. olive oil. I decided to substitute half of it with an avocado. At some point, I want to try to eliminate the oil altogether.

1. If you don’t have already ground flax or sunflower seeds, pulse in food processor until finely ground, then place in a medium sized mixing bowl.

2. Process roughly chopped onions in food processor until finely chopped but not total mush. Don’t worry, the seeds will soak up that extra liquid.

3. Place onions and rest of ingredients in with seeds and mix thoroughly. If your avocado isn’t super ripe, maybe leave some of the onions behind and process with the avocado to get it mushy, then add it to the rest.

4. Spread on ParaFlexx sheets about 1/2 inch thick. This recipe usually spreads to cover three trays. I usually “cut” it at this point with a pizza cutter or a dull/butter knife (carefully and lightly) into 9 squares each sheet. Although it doesn’t seem like it would do much, as it dehydrates it will separate more and make it easier to cut/break into pieces in the end.

5. Dehydrate at 115 for 4-5 hours. Then use the flipping trick mentioned above (if you can think of a better one, go for it. I felt like a genius the night I figured this out!) and dehydrate another 4-5 hours until it seems dehydrated to your liking. I actually usually flip, then go to bed, so it ends up dehydrating for 6 to 8 hours in the end and its just fine. It might not be as spongy or “bread-like” but it also doesn’t over-dehydrate it to a cracker state, so I’ve continued to do it this way.

6. Cut or break off pieces and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Use for sandwiches or however you like!

Raw Ketchup
This is quick and easy and very tasty!

Ingredients
• 1 c. diced tomato, any variety
• 2 tsp. cider vinegar
• 1 tsp. agave
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 c. sun-dried tomato

Place everything but the sun-dried tomatoes in a high-speed blender until smooth. Then add sun-dried tomatoes and blend until thick and smooth.

Throw this on a burger with the bread and a crispy piece of Romaine lettuce and enjoy! I don’t have this particular bread or ketchup photographed, but you can see the burgers and other raw foods that I’ve made on my Facebook page for my business HERE.