Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Almost Sugar-Free Sugar Free Mango Strudel

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

 How awesome is it that the recipe was already vegan?  Well, except that it called for butter which was easily substituted with Earth Balance.  It was too easy to make! The dough is supposed to be stretched and made very thin but even if it tears a bit, any minor imperfections are hidden when the dough and filling is rolled up into a log.  Love that part!

Linda and Courtney made apple filling for theirs, but as part of the challenge, they gave free reign to us to come up with whatever filling we wished, be it sweet or savoury.

I diced a mango and tossed it in a couple of tbsp's of rum before rolling it up and baking it in the oven. 

I used a baking stone, as I do with pretty much everything that I bake, be it cookies or pizza or whatever.  Here's the finished product before I sliced it up:

I chose not to use sugar and cinnamon, but decided instead to keep it as sugar free as possible.  Mango is so sweet already, so all I did was drizzle on a bit of agave nectar before indulging in this treat - and I had only a teeny bit of guilt about eating it at 10pm right before going to bed.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch

Breakfast is my least favorite meal when it comes to dining out at traditional restaurants.  There is hardly anything to choose from on the menu, so I usually end up ordering hashbrown potatoes and toast without butter.  How boring!  But I really wanted to go out for a nice Mother's Day brunch so I phoned up the The Boathouse restaurant a few weeks ago and asked what they were serving for Mother's Day, and explained that I am vegan.

What luck that they were not serving their regular menu - which is mainly seafood and not veg-friendly - they were having a brunch buffet, and they assured me that there would be lots of things for me to eat.  So I made the reservation for me and some close friends (and of course l'il Gordita) and waited patiently for today to come.

I tried to make the most of what they offered - which would have been a lot more if I ate eggs, but there really wasn't as many options as I had hoped for to make it worth the $35.00 price.

Here's my eggless, cheeseless omelette from the omelette bar:

Roasted potatoes with cracked peppercorns, mixed greens and watermelon:
 And Gordita with my pink carnation - a gift they were handing out to all the moms:
It looks like she's sniffing it, but in reality she took a bite and tried to eat it!

I did go back for another round of fresh fruit - strawberries, kiwi and pineapple, crackers, more potaoes and more salad but I didn't take another photo because it was practically the same thing again.  Also not pictured, the delicous mimosa.  What's brunch without a mimosa?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Feliz cinco de mayo!!!

Last year I made cornbread with black beans and rice for cinco de mayo.*  This year in keeping with the Mexican theme for the day, I had beans and rice for lunch, and then for dinner we made the same tacos that we had for Easter.  It had to be a quick dinner because Tuesday nights I have Spanish class.

* Cinco de mayo is the celebration of the victorious battle in 1852 where 2,000 Mexican peasants defeated the 6,000 man French army to reclaim their independence. 

Sorry I don't have any pictures of today's meals, but I do have some photos of other recent meals:

A delicious shepherd's pie:

A Thai noodle salad with brown rice noodles:
And my little gordita who is so cute I could just eat her up:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lemon Cheesecake with Mango-Dragonfruit Sauce

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
I once made a vegan key lime cheesecake using silken tofu and it turned out pretty good so I gave it a shot again this time, except I used a different recipe.  This one is from Bryanna Clark Grogan via  Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  It's a lemon cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, and I made a mango-dragonfruit sauce to go with it.  I was a bit impatient when cooking the the sauce so it wasn't as thick as it could have been, but it tasted so exotic and summer-y who cares what it looks like.  I love tropical fruits, they are so sweet on their own, so in this case I didn't need to add any sugar to the sauce, just steamed the fruit, pureed it and then cooked it some more to thicken it up - but as I mentioned, I didn't quite let it get thick enough.  Ah well, there's always next time!  I can't wait until next month's Daring Bakers challenge :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sometimes your meal doesn't turn out the way you hoped - this was one of those times

I had a hankering to make some veggie patties over the weekend, but this is something that I need to practice a bit more because while it tasted really good, this attempt at a chickpea-based patty was not all that solid.  My patty looks like a pile of thick hummus atop this colorful salad!!

I can't even bring myself to post the "recipe" because clearly it is the what-not-to-do-when-making-a-veg-patty type.  It involved chickpeas, scallions, parsley and a few other ingredients but I'll get back to you with a recipe when my veg patties resemble an actual veg patty.

On to slightly different topic: breakfast!  Lately I've been on an english muffin kick so the Vegan McMuffin has made a reappearance at the breakfast table.  I even made one to take to work tomorrow for breakfast because I love it so much.

Now I have to get back to the book I'm reading that I am absolutely GLUED to: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Díaz).  I'm only on chapter one but I really had to tear myself away from it to post this ;)