Saturday, January 26, 2008


I have 3 desserts here that are lower-fat. The pie is a little indulgent, but just have a smaller piece!

First off, parfaits. I used both chocolate and vanilla Mori Nu pudding mixes, layered with frozen thawed raspberries, complete with chocolate shavings. (you can shave chocolate with a vegetable peeler, grater, or microplane). Very simple but somewhat impressive.

Next, Peaches and Cream. I just blended Ciao Bella coconut gelato with frozen peaches in the Vitamix.

And finally, Cherry Cheese Pie! Recipe below

This is just a veganized version of this recipe.

But what's a vegan to do since we don't have sweetened condensed milk? Make your own, of course. Silk recipes to the rescue! (I know the original recipe says 14oz, but 12 worked fine). I sort of Sandra Lee'd it because I used canned cherry pie filling AND a reduced-fat graham cracker crust...give me a break. I made my own sweetened condensed milk, and you will, too. The rest is a breeze. This pie doesn't really set up like the original, so if you want to experiment with a stabilizer like agar or cornstarch, go for it and let me know!

Cherry Cheese Pie Recipe

*1 pre-made pie crust (I used Reduced Fat Keebler). You can very well make a low-fat crust on your own, or just crush up graham crackers, or skip it altogether and serve in cups
*1 8-oz pkg. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (both the hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated have the same fat and calories, but I try to use the non-hydrogenated)
*1/3 cup lemon juice from concentrate
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 can cherry pie filling (you can use strawberry, raspberry, or blueberry also)

For Condensed Milk:
*4 1/2 cups soy/other non-dairy milk
*3/4 c sugar
*3/4 tsp vanilla
*large pinch salt

Make the condensed milk:
Combine milk and sugar in a saucepan and put over low heat. Stir very frequently until mixture thickens and equals 1 1/2 cups. (This will take a long time, but DO NOT turn the heat up to high or go far from the stove. Sugar burns quickly and you will have to start over). Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt. Cool completely.

After condensed milk is cooled, beat Tofutti cream cheese in a bowl until fluffy. Add homemade condensed soy milk. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla and pour into graham crust. Chill 3-4 hours then top with pie filling.

Note: You can make this in a small square pan for easier serving if preferred. Just remove crust from the pan it's in, crush it with your hands, and put in the bottom of an 8"x8" or 9"x9" sprayed pan and proceed as directed.
Slice pie into 8 or 16 servings. Each 1/8th serving has 10.75g fat/356 cal, each 1/16 serving has 5.38g fat/178 cal, if using the same brand crust as I did.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Trash to Treasure Chocolate Trifle, Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches

I call this "Trash to Treasure" because it saved a dessert. If you make it, just call it Chocolate-Strawberry Trifle with Balsamic Reduction because that sounds better (and because that is what it is!)

I hate throwing good food away. Hate hate hate. Well, I made the VCON Low-Fat bundt cake, but..I put it in mini-bundt pans and they stuck and came apart. Grease, grease, grease, flour, flour, flour next time, I guess. Or use a bigger bundt pan. Anyway, the cake was delicious but I can't very well serve crumbled cake to guests and tell them to eat it with their hands. I have also read about strawberry and balsamic vinegar pairing well together. Well, it turns out that is true. The sauces are optional, but I say DO IT because everyone will think you are a fancy-pants.

-1 recipe chocolate cake (whatever cake you want. Traditional trifles have spongy cake)
-1 regular recipe pudding (I did the VWAV pudding, but it came out gelatinous, but that's 100% acceptable for this recipe!). You can also use Mori-Nu or a vegan packet pudding. Be careful- some pudding mixes are vegan but don't set with soy milk)
-1 store-bought container (1 lb) sweetened slices strawberries (found in the frozen section), thawed OR 2 handfuls of strawberries, sliced and sugared and allowed to sit and become juicy (this is called maceration.
-Handful of strawberries, cleaned and sliced thinly (for top)
1/4-1/2 c regular balsamic vinegar (make sure it is not savory-flavored with garlic or anything infused in it)

More strawberries, pureed and sugared (same as above, only put in blender til smooth)

Layer cake in the bottom of a clear dish OR in separate clear serving dishes. Press down firmly.
Layer sweet strawberries
Layer pudding

Continue with cake, strawberries, pudding. Finish with cake. Press down firmly. Decorate the top with thin strawberries. Just go in a circle and face them all pointing the same way. Pour 1/3-2/3 juice to soften the cake. Wrap in plastic and chill 1-2 hours or overnight.

Sauce Directions:
Simmer the blended strawberries/juice in a pan until boiling. Add a little lemon juice, and allow to cool.

In a separate pan, heat the balsamic vinegar over medium heat and reduce. All this means is that you are taking some of the liquid out). You want to keep the vinegar moving because it will burn. You want to test to see if it's done. It is ready when it takes a secon to slide off of a metal spoon. It will thicken upon cooling. so don't overcook it!

Plate: pour some of the strawberry sauce, and some of the balsamic reduction in whatever design you wish, and then carefully cut a piece of the trifle and set on top. OR, if in glasses, place a little of each sauce on top.

Jackfruit/Seitan BBQ Sandwiches!

Several people on PPK havemade jackfruit so I decided to give it a try. You want to get the Young Jack Fruit in water or brine, NOT the cooked in syrup

Out of the can

On sandwich (salad plate)

To make:

Rinse and drain the jackfruit. Saute in a pan in a little oil, then add 1 bottle of your preferred BBQ sauce, a little water, a dash of vegan Worcestershire and liquid smoke. and simmer on very low for 1-2 hours. I added chopped seitan but that's optional. The jackfruit has a shredded texture, but is a little soft to me, so I added the seitan.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sweet Potato-Kale...Potstickers!

Sweet Potato and Kale seems to be the theme for several recipes I've seen lately. Well, I love Asian tastes and wanted to do something a little different. This recipe is loose and you can use what you want! I will tell you what I used.

1 med. sweet potato (peeled, chopped and cooked to your preference. I boiled)
about 1/4 head cabbage, cut small
1 small bunch Kale, ribs removed and cut small (please wash!)
2 hand-sized pieces seitan, cut small
1/4 block firm tofu, cut into chunks
Vegan Gyoza/Wonton wrappers
dash garlic powder
dash onion powder
2 good (or 3 sad-looking) green onions, chopped (also called scallions)
soy sauce to taste
sesame oil to taste
salt to taste
2/3-1 c vegetable broth

Saute kale and cabbage in large pan/skillet with a small amount of oil until tender (with soy sauce and a little sesame oil). Pulse in food processor until very small but not mushy. Place in bowl.

Pulse sweet potatoes in food processor. Lumps are okay. Add to cabbage/kale in bowl.

Saute seitan/tofu in skillet until done, 5+ minutes (also with a little soy sauce). Again, pulse in food processor until very small. Add to bowl.

Season mixture with onion and garlic powders, scallions, salt, more sesame oil, and soy sauce to taste. Mix very well. This will be a dense filling.

Fill about 1-1.5 tsp. filling into wrappers and place on a plate. Repeat with desired amount of wontons.

Heat a nonstick pan and add 1-2 tsp. peanut oil. Place dumplings in pan and cook until brownish. Add vegetable broth, cook and cover about 6 minutes, until broth is absorbed.

Plated with a splash each of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Use toothpicks (or your finger) to make a design on the plate. Garnished with thin strips of green onion.

Do not know how to fill a wrapper? Here is a video. Ignore the meaty. Also, don't fill as much. This person makes it a little more difficult than it has to be. (Person I linked to, if you want me to remove this, I will!)