Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chickpea Tacos with Special Sauce

I call the sauce "special" because I'm not quite sure what to call it, but it is silky, creamy, and full of flavor and spice. It starts with my Cashew Sour Cream inspired by My New Roots, which I also use as the base for my Cashew Ranch Dressing. For my Special Sauce, I add roasted garlic and jalepeno, just like I did for my Roasted Garlic and Jalepeno Aioli. I always keep jalepenos from the farmers market in my freezer so I have them on hand.
  • First remove the paper from 1 large head of garlic
  • Seed and dice 1 jalepeno pepper
  • Put garlic and jalepeno into small rameken
  • Drizzle over 1 Tb olive oil to coat the garlic and jalepeno
  • Cover with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. I usually don't preheat, and ovens vary. Just make sure the garlic is soft enough to mash with a fork, but not burnt, just a slightly more brown color.
This is what it looks like before going into the oven
This is what it looks like out of the oven
In a magic bullet or other high speed blender, put in
  • roasted garlic and jalepeno, including the bit of oil left in the rameken 
  • 1 cup raw, whole cashews
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tb filtered water
  • 2 Tb Lemon juice 
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1 ts paprika
  • 1 ts cumin
Blend until smooth and silky. It should look just like nacho cheese. In fact, if you add 2 Tb of nutritional yeast it would be the best nacho cheese sauce ever.
For the chickpeas, you need
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1-2 Tb olive oil or coconut oil (I prefer coconut oil for frying, but I used olive oil this time)
Mash chickpeas with your hands but not completely so they still have some texture.
Heat oil on medium heat
Add chickpeas and leave undisturbed until edges are golden brown
Flip chickpeas and continue to cook until golden brown
Assemble the tacos however you want! I did mine in this order:
  • corn tortilla
  • special sauce
  • lettuce leaf
  • chickpeas
  • tomatoes
I made these for my two special guys, Jason and his best friend Gil. This is the time of year when he comes by every sunday and watches football. He's always been a big lover of my cooking, and these were thoroughly enjoyed by the three of us. See, even meat eaters can love plant based food if its made with flavor, passion, and love. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ooey Goey Chocolate Cookie Bars

Hi. My name is Anneka Schneider, and I'm a sugar addict. I have since grown up from the typical college addictions like drinking and partying. Now, its all about the sugar. Its both my friend and my enemy, but I did this for you my friends. That's my excuse at least.

The mind of an addict is always thinking of different ways to ingest the drug of choice. In this case, I couldn't just do a simple cookie. I had to do a cookie bar with an ooey gooey layer on top. The chocolate cookie layer is the Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Post Punk Kitchen. I just cut the recipe in half, omitted the chocolate chips, and pressed it into my Perfect Brownie Pan. Ever seen it on TV? Its the brownie pan with a grid to make perfect squares. Well, I didn't use the grid, but I like that the bottom is detachable so that I can easily lift it out of the pan. The top layer is made of peanut butter but tastes a lot like caramel. Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Chocolate Cookie Layer
6 Tbs safflower, peanut, or coconut oil
1 cup sugar
1 ts vanilla
2 ts whole or ground flax seeds
1/4 cup soy, almond, or rice milk
1 cup all purp or flour or white whole wheat
6 Tb cocoa powder
1/2 ts baking soda
1/4 ts salt

Blend milk and flax in a blender for 30 seconds or so. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In a seperate large bowl cream together oil and sugar. Add the flax seed/soy milk mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla.

Pour wet mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until everything is incorporated. 

Press into a lightly oiled 11x7 in brownie pan.

Ooey Goey Layer
1 cup pb
1 cup sugar
1 ts vanilla
1/2 cup almond, soy or rice milk

Beat ingredients till smooth. Mixture will be thick. Pour onto the cookie layer and spread evenly, being careful not to break up the cookie.

Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Green Enchiladas with Daiya Cheese and Gardein Chick'n Scalopini

Wow. These enchiladas are oozing with cheesy, creamy, faux meaty goodness. I've been on a mission to use up everything in my freezer, pantry, and fridge so I can go on a major food shopping spree. One of the things in my freezer from my early vegan days was a package of Gardein Chick'n Scallopini. I simply had to use it, along with a package of Daiya mozzarella, which I just bought for these enchiladas. If you want something super cheesy, this is the dish for you.

Even more creaminess comes from the cashew cheese, which comes from my original nacho cheese recipe. I used pine nuts in my original recipe because they blended up so easily, but now that I have a super high powered Ninja Pro Blender, cashews work beautifully. I just omitted the paprika to keep it white. Enjoy!

Cashew Cheese
1 1/2 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup filtered water
3 Tbs lemon juice
2 ts salt
1 ts white miso paste
1 ts garlic powder
1 ts onion powder
3 Tbs nutritional yeast

Blend in high speed blender until smooth and creamy

6 La Tortilla Factory grande white corn tortillas
1 package Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
Olive oil
1 package Daiya mozzarella
cashew cheese 
1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 Tbs chopped parsley
1 12 oz jar salsa verde
green tomato slices (optional)
  • Thaw chick'n scallopini and chop into small pieces
  • Saute chick'n scallopini in olive oil on medium heat in a non-stick skillet until browned on both sides.

  • Prepare cashew cheese
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together cashew cheese, Daiya cheese, chopped scallopini, green onion, and parsley
  • Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13 in baking dish with a touch of olive oil and the salsa in order to prevent the enchiladas from sticking
  • Spoon cheese mixture into a large corn tortilla, roll, and arrange in the baking dish. Repeat until all the mixture is used. Should be enough for 6.

  • If you like, top with green tomato slices. This is a good trick to prevent the sauce from drying out in the oven.

  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Vegan Chili Cheese Nachos

The ultimate street food enjoyed in the comfort of my own home. This is a modification of the highly acclaimed Nacho Cheese Dip from Shmooed Food. I wanted something quick and easy to serve my best friends who came to visit me last night for my belated birthday. 

One of them was the mastermind behind the best gift a vegan could get. Not a gift card to Vegan Essentials, but a donation in my name to Farm Sanctuary, an organization so close to my heart. Thats what friends are for=)

Anyway, back to the nachos. All I did was increase the amount of salt and seasonings and added paprika. Other than that, followed the directions exactly. This nacho cheese sang to me, and thats how I knew it was good.

2 cans of chili is enough for 4 people. The cheese recipe makes 2 cups, enough for 4 people. Enjoy!

2 cups filtered water
1/4 cup raw cashews
One 4 oz. jar pimentos, drained
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
2 ts salt
1 ts onion powder
1 ts garlic powder
1 ts cumin
1 ts paprika

I know I've talked about this, but I always have lemon ice cubes in my freezer to make my life easier. 1 cube equals 1 Tb. If you use lemon juice often like me, I highly recommend it. Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender until completely smooth. I just got the amazing Ninja Pro. I'm a total As Seen On TV groupie! Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickned, about 5 to 6 minutes.