Saturday, September 13, 2008

Savory Pie hmm hmm hmm

Today Paul and I made Pie yayy!! My only verdict for making things are only to use up dying food. It was my first real food that I've eaten since school started. School is quite hectic and I barely have any time for anything.

We used a vegweb recipe for the pie crust I found it really oil though. When Paul made the pie crust it pooled on the bottom of the pan.

1 Baked pie Crust from Vegweb
1 Medium Onion
1 Shallot
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Bunch of Watercress
1 Bunch of Spinach
A handful of Amaranth Leaves ( Yeen Choy)
2 1/2 + 1 1/2 Tbsp Vegan Oyster Sauce
10 oz Froze Firm Tofu, Thawed
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
Salt for taste
Oil for sauteing

  • Rough chop and wash the watercress, spinach and amaranth leaves. If you don't have amaranth leaves just substitute with spinach.
  • Slice the onions, shallots and garlic.
  • Squeeze out the excess water from the tofu and crumble them into a separate bowl and mix in the 1 1/2 Tbsp of Vegan oyster sauce, garlic powder and salt for tasting.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  • Pour some oil onto a pan and heat it up on high heat. Add the onions and lower the heat to medium and saute the onion for two minutes, a little before the onions are cooked thoroughly. Then add in the shallots and garlic and saute for another minute.
  • Add in the leafy green mixture and saute them until they start to wilt. Then add in the 2 1/2 Tbsp of vegan oyster sauce and enough salt to taste.
  • Add in the tofu mixture into the pan. It should absorb all the excess water from the leafy greens.
  • Continue to saute the food until all the water is absorbed by the tofu and remove from heat.
  • Pour the mixture into the baked crust and placed the pie into the oven and bake it for 20-25 minutes. We made some decoration for the top of the pie so we baked until the extra pie crust on top turned golden.

3rd Attempt in Making Mooncake

I've used Lily's Wai Sek Hong's recipe for the Golden syrup since I was not able to find it in my local Asian market and I used Do What I Like's Mooncake Skin.

My first two attempt in making the mooncake skin was a failure. The consistency was crucial. It was something I could not get right due to the golden syrup. It would've been better if I had the golden syrup. The reason for all the failed attempt in making the mooncake skin was because of the golden syrup. I followed the instruction and boiled the sugar mixture until it was golden brown and when the syrup cooled down, it was really thick and hard like carmel so it made the skin way too hard and unmaleable. What I found out by the 3rd attemp was to boil it until it's slightly golden. A little lighter than vegetable oil. The texture of the mooncake skin dough is suppose to be very soft and maleable like bread dough except not gluteny. If the dough is breaking apart and crumbling, DON'T ADD MORE FLOUR!! Only add more flour if the mixture is still too sticky.

With all the failed attempts with the mooncake skin, I made them into cookies yay!! They were pretty good except for the cookies from the first failed attempt since I burnt them!!

Another unpredictable mistake that I had was the filling. I bought premade red bean paste, sesame paste and lotus paste in a can. The red bean and sesame paste were way too soft to roll the filling into balls. It just made a sticky mess on my hand. I tried freezing it, it helped but it made my mooncake skin cold and it tore easily. I mixed the sesame paste with peanut butter a 2 to 1 ratio but it was still too soft. It was much harder than the red bean paste.

The star had the lotus filling which had the correct consistency. The pig had the sesame and peanut butter paste. The cow had the red bean paste. You can tell in the pictures that as the consistency got softer, there were more breakage in the pastry skin. By the time I got to the red bean paste mooncakes the skin was blotched in red.

During the baking process the gravity pulled both the sesame & peanut butter mooncake and the red bean mooncake down so it looked as if it melted. I recommend to make your own paste if you were to make mooncake with filling other than lotus paste. If you decide to use canned red bean paste and black bean paste just reduce it on low-medium heat until it's thick enough for you to roll into a ball with your hands.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


School has started...great. Summer passed by so quickly.

I made some Whole Wheat bread and I used a folding technique to knead my very very wet dough. Accord to the Fresh loaf, "the wetter the better". It's nearly impossible to knead wet bread since it'll stick all over your finger so that's where the folding method comes in. It came out very coarse so beats me. I must readjust some more. Yay!!

Mooncakee!! The mid autumn festival is coming well it's already the 2nd day. It's suppose to be on Sept 14th. Im going to make myself some vegan mooncakes. Im going to try the bing pei which is the one made with cooked glutinous rice flour (koh fun) and I'm going to try to make the traditional Cantonese baked mooncake. No salted duck eggs obviously :] If i have time I'll try to make the jelly mooncake which is made with agar agar. I'm so excited but with school and possibly observation for my secondary class, I'm quite scared I won't be able to make it on time.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lots of salad

Long Week

Since last week of Friday my b/f and Moses has been redoing an apartment in Brooklyn. It took us four days to finish and during one of those days we went to an authentic vegan Caribbean Restaurant. It was awesome. My b/f and Moses ordered the vegan hamburger but I bought my own lunch for that day. I made mushroom rice. The employees made the burgers fresh there. It was awesome. It wasn't like those frozen patty that they heated up, it was fresh. I took a bite out of my b/f's and it has a very delicious special sauce coating it. I couldn't help myself staring at all the baked goods so I bought myself a Cassava Pone and I bought my b/f a coconut roll but it wasn't the traditional coconut roll. It was colored by beets.

We worked Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. On sunday we went to the beach with a group of friend. I bought in the Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches from the FatFreeVegan blog. I think it tasted great but I don't think my other friends really liked the taste of nutritional yeast. :/ I can't force them. It's just that I have to pick better choices of vegan food they are more fond and use to.

Yesterday I bought some food to a picnic with my b/f but it was raining so we ate it in the car. I made some macaroni and cheese from VegWeb. I thought it tasted ok but it wasn't cheesy enough for your regular maracroni and cheese but it was pretty decent. I also made some garbanzo and black bean salad.

Yields 4 Serving 194 Cal/ Serving

8 oz Garbanzo Beans, Cooked and Drained
7 oz Black Beans, Cooked and Drained
1 Handful of Spinach
1 Handful of Amaranth ( Or just another handful of Spinach)
1/3 Cup Scallions, Chopped
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Basil, Minced
1 Tsp Fresh Lime Juice
1 Lemon Boy Tomato, Chopped (I used it for color since it's very yellow. You can use a regular beefsteak tomato)
10 Grape Tomatoes (Also used for color)
6 Green Olives
Salt and Pepper to taste

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Green and Brown Goodness

Vegetarian Times Vegan Thumbprint cookies

My boyfriend wanted to buy some Pepperidge Farm Verona cookies which are totally not vegan but he is not a vegan yet but he trying. I know he wasn't going to buy it but nevertheless, I felt bad and I told him I'll make him some vegan thumbprint cookies since apparently this current September issue of Vegetarian Times happens to have a recipe vegan thumbprint cookies.

I found the cookie to be quite tasty but before the initial bite there was a strong aroma of soy/tofu. I think it's just from the Soy Garden Earth Balance margarine I used. I also found the cookie to be a bit softer than how I hoped it to be. I used mayhaw jam rather than the traditional raspberry jam. I only had the mayhaw one at the time.

The thumbprint cookies does not even really resemble a thumbprint cookie. It looks more like a jam filled cookie. I know my boyfriend LOVES jam, well filling in general. He over does it many of the time so I decided to over do it just for him. Rather than giving the cookie a cute little thumb indentation, it was more like a huge TOE indentation. I over filled the middle with jam and it kinda spread during the baking process. Oh wells.

Yields 36 cookies 76 Cal/Cookies
1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Margarine, Room Temperature
1/3 Cup Vanilla Soymilk
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Tsp Almond Extract
1 Cup Raspberry Jam [ Use any, Apricot taste good as well ]

  • Sift and combine all the flour, baking powder and salt together in a big bowl.
  • Beat the sugar and margarine together.
  • Then slowly beat in the soymilk, vanilla and almond extract.
  • Beat ind the flour mixture until everything is well combined
  • Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • Take the dough out and roll it into 36 balls and place it onto a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper lined onto of the cookie sheet.
  • Gently flatten the the ball of dough a bit and make an indentation with your thumb.
  • Put the cookie sheet back into the refrigerator.
  • Pour the jam into a bowl and break up the big chunk of jam with a fork.
  • Then place pur the jam into a pastry bag or a zip lock bag with a hole slit on a corner.
  • Take out your cookies and fill the indentations with the jam.
  • Place it into the oven and bake it for 12 to 15 minutes or or until lightly browned.
  • Cool the cookies on a cooling rack.
Fat Free Vegan Can't be Beet Chocolate Cake

I got this recipe off of FatfreeVegan. I wanted to get rid of some of the beets that I had in my fridge. These little cupcakes were really delicious but I found it to be a bit too chocolaty. This cake were moist and not dense despite the fact that it was made up of mainly whole wheat flour. I wanted to get rid of the baby food that were in my cupboard so I used that instead of the apple sauce and I also reduced the sugar from 1 Cup to 3/4 Cup. I found the cupcakes to be sweet enough but my boyfriend thought that it was very subtle and would preferred it to be sweeter. He described it as eating very dark chocolate. I made them as cupcakes since it were much easier for me to eat and I gave more than half away to my boyfriend since I'm the only one in my family who eats vegan food, chocolaty food and sweet food. I would never be able to finish it.

Avocado Amaranth CousCous for 1 Person

I don't normally post meal recipe since I'm never measure anything I just eyeball it so the measurements for this will obviously be from eyeballing. I hate it that I am the only one eating. My parents thinks that because I am vegan I don't have much to eat want so they don't eat my food even though I offer it to them. They also don't like any other type of food other than Chinese. I always end up with so much leftover and I hate that so this recipe should be enough for one person. I still think it's more than enough for one person. It's like for one and a half person. This dish is a bit Chinese and a bit Middle Eastern. I believe that's where it originated. I have never seen amaranth leaves sold anywhere else except for the Chinese market so if there aren't any amaranth leaves available, you can use spinach.

In Cantonese it's called Yeen Choy (莧菜). Amaranth is also called Chinese spinach and there are two varieties. There are the white and red. The white are just the regular green leaf but the red one has purple in the middle of the leaf and the purple branches outwards. When you blanch the red amaranth, the water turns purple like beets. Amaranth are very high Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium and iron. There is up to 28% Calcium and 17% iron in one cup of amaranth. That's how much I can grab with my chopstick at one time and I tend to reach for my amaranth several times cause I love it oh so much.

Yields 1 serving/ 289 Cal per Serving
1/4 Cup CousCous
1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth

2 Big Shallots, Finely Diced
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
Handful of Amaranth, Rinsed and Roughly Chopped [You can use Spinach]
2 Tsp Thai Basil, Minced [ You can use Basil ]
2 Tsp Cilantro, Minced
2 Strand of Green Onions, Finely chopped
1/3 Stalk of Celery, Finely Diced
1/4 Avocado, Diced
5 Grape tomatoes, Quartered
1 -1 1/2 Tbsp Tomato Sauce or enough to lightly coat everything.
Salt for tasting

  • Lightly spray a nonstick pan with oil and cook the shallots on medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic and continue to cook until the shallots are transparent.
  • Then add in the amaranth and cook until they are dark green. Then put it in a dish and set it aside.
  • Cook the couscous with the vegetable broth in the same pan as the onions until all the broth is gone. Please watch carefully since there is very little couscous and moisture, it will easily burn.
  • Fluff it up with a fork and mix the shallot and garlic into the couscous.
  • Lightly toss in the basil, cilantro, leek, celery, tomatoes and avocado.
  • Add in the salt and tomato sauce and lightly coat everything. I used tomato and basil flavored tomato sauce.