Friday, July 27, 2007

Soul Food

It's not always easy to get creative with dinner, especially after you've been baking pies all day. But a girls still gotta eat, and so does her family. Here's something that I made last night, and actually remembered to photograph before we dug in.

I decided to try my hand at Susan's Barbecued Ribz from the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. Let me just say that they are AMAZING! So, so good! They're also very easy to make, especially if you have a grill or cast iron grill pan. Don't double the recipe though, that was where I ran into a few little problems. Follow the recipe exactly. I also used smooth peanut butter and lots of BBQ sauce. Oh, and the Ribz are even more amazing the next day, after being chilled overnight.

To go with the Ribz, I cooked up some greens and some Mac & Cheeze (it was a Southern dinner after all). For the Mac & Cheeze, I used some brown rice penne pasta from Trader Joe's (love the stuff, but you could also use regular macaroni) and topped it with a variation of Bryanna Clark Grogan's Melty Chedda Cheeze recipe. It was a really delicious dinner. Thanks Susan and Bryanna for some awesome recipes! Here's my sauce recipe for you.

Julie's Version Of Bryanna's Melty Cheeze Sauce
makes about 2-1/2 cups

2 c. water (or you can use 1 cup water and 1 cup plain unsweetened soy milk)
2/3 c. nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon taco seasoning, optional
1/2 teaspoon sweet (Hungarian) paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light miso
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water or plain unsweetened soy milk to thin (or more as needed)
1 to 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (I use the whipped organic)
Salt to taste

Place the water, yeast, cornstarch, flour, taco seasoning, paprika, pimenton, garlic, salt, miso and lemon juice in blender, blending until smooth. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until sauce is very thick.

Whisk in water or soy milk and Earth Balance, stirring until smooth and is thin enough to use as a sauce. Add salt to taste and drizzle immediately over cooked pasta and serve.

**This sauce is also really good on nachos. If using for nachos, use 1 to 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or to taste) and add a little ground chipotle, cayenne or chopped Jalapenos for heat.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pie And Recipe Testers

Any bakers out there? I'm finishing up the manuscript for my pie book, and am wondering if there's anyone interested in testing some pie recipes. Let me know if your interested, either by email or posting here on the blog. Thanks!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Icy Treats

As soon as the temperature begins to sore, I start wanting, no craving, icy cold treats. Ice cream is always a nice fix and I certainly eat my fair share, but it can also be pretty caloric to eat throughout the day. This is where ice pops come in. You can make them in any flavor, quickly make bunches at a time and they can be very virtuous. They also cool you down quickly, making you forget for that icy moment, just how hot it is outside.

As promised, I have several quick and delicious recipes that will fill your freezer full of these icy treats. If you're really short on time, you can simply pour your favorite fruit juice directly into the molds for single flavor pops. Look for the pop molds online, at kitchen stores or even at grocery or dollar stores (the molds in the photo are from Tovolo). So what are you waiting for? Get freezing!

Iced Tea Lemonade Pops
These are very refreshing.

2 cups boiling water
2 to 3 tea bags (herbal, green or black)
2 cups lemonade or juice of choice
Sugar to taste

1. Place tea bags in boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes, or until temperature has cooled down slightly (if using green tea bags, only let mixture a couple of minutes or flavor can get too strong and grassy tasting).
2. Fill a large pitcher half full with ice. Pour brewed tea over ice. Top with lemonade, stirring well. Add sugar (or desired sweetener) to taste, stirring until dissolved.
3. Pour iced tea into pop molds. Place in freezer until frozen solid. If using paper cups, insert a popsicle stick into semi-frozen mixture. Continue freezing until solid.

Variation: You can substitute bottled unsweetened black or green tea for the hot water and tea bags.
Copyright © 2007 Julie Hasson

Mango Orange Vanilla Pops
Similar to a 50/50 bar, but better!

2 cups mango vanilla soy cream (Double Rainbow brand vanilla soy cream with mango sorbet, softened just enough to scoop easily
1-1/4 cups fresh orange juice
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In jar of blender, add ice cream, orange juice and vanilla. Blend on high until smooth. Mixture should be consistency of cream.
2. Pour mixture into ice pop molds and freeze until solid. If using paper cups, insert a popsicle stick into semi frozen mixture. Continue freezing until solid.
Copyright © 2007 Julie Hasson

Pina Colada Pops
These are so good! You'll feel like you're in the tropics.

1 pint coconut sorbet, softened just enough to scoop easily
1 cup pineapple juice

1. In jar of blender, add sorbet and pineapple juice. Blend on high until smooth. Mixture should be consistency of cream.
2. Pour mixture into ice pop molds and freeze until solid. If using paper cups, insert a popsicle stick into semi frozen mixture. Continue freezing until solid.
Copyright © 2007 Julie Hasson

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Icy Treats Coming Soon...

Sorry I haven't been posting much. I'm buried in recipe editing, but I promise to post tomorrow. I'm making some fun and icy treats tomorrow morning on AM Northwest (Channel 2 in Portland), and will post the recipes and photos on the blog. Should I take my camera down to the station and snap some pics too?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Berry Picking, Pie & Vegan Cookies

One of my favorite things to do is go berry picking. It's something that I look forward to each year. So last Saturday I dragged my hubby and son and went berry picking. We also had friends in town visiting from Boise, and they were dragged along too. Fortunately my son (who's 13), still loves picking berries. My daughter, on the other hand (who is 16 and still at camp), thinks that berry picking is one of the worst forms of torture inflicted on children.

So off we went to the West Union Gardens to fill our buckets and tummies. Their no spray berries were amazing, and just what I needed to help finish the recipes for my cookbook. The boys helped me pick about 20 pounds or so, and looked like they could have picked all day.

Here I am with my berry buckets, skipping down the path. You've got to love thorn-less berry bushes.

Then, as we were leaving, we saw the most adorable little girl, who looked like she was enjoying the berries as much as we were. We just had to snap her picture. As it turns out, this gorgeous little girl also happens to be vegan (let's hear it for healthy vegan children!). Her parents recognized me from the demo that Bryanna and I did at Vegfest. Small world.

On another note, if you happen to be in the Portland, Oregon area this Saturday (July 7th), stop by the Herbivore store at 2:00 for a vegan cookie fest.

I leave you with an easy berry pie recipe, perfect for the 4th of July. If anyone makes it, I would love to see your pictures.

Julie's Easy Berry Pie

4 cups fresh berries
1 9-inch pastry crust or crumb crust, baked and cooled (homemade or store-bought)
1 cup fresh or frozen berries
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
2/3 cup water
1 tbsp water

1. Place the 4 cups berries in cooled crust. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Slowly whisk in water until smooth. Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen berries and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously. Cook and stir until mixture is thick. Continue cooking 1 more minute and remove from heat. Whisk in additional 1 tablespoon water and spoon hot topping over berries in pie shell. Let pie sit until filling is cool. Cover and refrigerate for four hours before serving.

*You can include some fresh, sliced and peeled fresh peaches for part of the 4 cups fresh berries

**If you're looking for a good store-bought vegan crust, look for the Wholly Wholesome brand. They taste great and don't have any hydrogenated oils.