Fried “Egg”wich w/ “Bacon” & “Bleu Cheese” Crumbles.

& quotations. Lots of quotations.

So. I was browsing around on this here internet giving a looksy at some of my favorite blogs. I went on over to Smitten Kitchen and saw Deb’s post about a fried egg sandwich with bacon and bleu cheese. And ya know, that sounded good to me. Real good. But, well, without the egg, bacon or bleu cheese. Ha….but seriously, a vegan version had to be made and so it went.

I headed on over to Meet the Shannons to get the deets on how to make their recipe for a fried egg, which, btw, is super cute. Take a look at the recipe here. I had wanted to make this for a while, but I wanted to start making my own tofu or get some local tofu, as I heard that it’s loads better than the packaged stuff. I don’t know what happened, but I’m guessing I saw a pretty vegetable and forgot all about the tofu.

Fast forward to the other day and I just decided to use some water packed firm tofu for the egg. I had some leftover cheeze sauce (from last night’s dinner) reserved for the “yolk”. I used my cupcake filling injector (note to self: buy a legit injector) to insert the yolk into the center of my tofu squares and then did a light saute in a small amount of oil, so I’m not really sure my “egg” was really fried….totally okay by me (and my thighs). I also sprinkled my tofu with kala namak, which, in my opinion, is a MUST for making tofu scramble, tofu egg salad or on anything that is trying to mimic an egg. The sulfur content in this black salt (looks pinkish grey when ground) is what gives it such a particular smell and flavor, which is remarkably eggy.

Vegan Eggwich: Tofu Egg w/ Cheeze Yolk, Frisee, Shallots, Tempeh Bacon, Bleu Cheeze Crumbles

To finish the eggwich, I loosely followed Deb’s recipe. I sauteed half a package of tempeh bacon with a sliced shallot. Once I was ready to turn off the heat, I added 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and a tsp of dijon into the tempeh and shallot mixture. I dumped the contents of my pan into a metal bowl that I had some torn up frisee in it. I tossed everything around together. Lastly, I crumbled up some Sunergia Soy Bleu to top off the sandwich. I assembled everything on a toasted sourdough roll and devoured my delicious eggwich. 🙂

Future Treats.

I’ve been trying out some new recipes, flavors and ideas lately. I don’t have a recipe for you today, but I wanted to share some stuff I’ve been cooking and working on. These are the treats of the future.

 Gluten Free Lemon-Olive Oil-Rosemary Cookies

The inspiration for these cookies came from a recipe I do for a Lemon-Olive Oil-Rosemary Cake w/ Strawberry Glaze…which is nothing even close to being gluten free. I’ve been experimenting more these days with gluten free baking. I’m not allergic or sensitive to gluten (yay! I love glutens) but I like to incorporate as many different cooking and baking styles as I can. And you know, it turns out there are A LOT of people who cannot eat gluten. There was a cookie recipe posted on Manifest Vegan that I used as a baseline for helping me to formulate this recipe. I was really happy with these cookies. I made a big batch and passed a lot of them out and the reviews were very positive. At the same time, I’m not quite sure if I’m ready to share yet. I used a lemon-fused olive oil, handpicked lemons and fresh rosemary from around the neighborhood.

Maple Bacon Cookies

Oh man. Who knows why I had the desire to put fake bacon into cookies….But, it worked. I think I put just a touch too many bits in. They didn’t ruin the cookie or put it into the “savory” category, but they were just a touch too close to savory. Either that or they needed more chocolate. Great basic chocolate chip cookie recipe though, with a bit of sugar removed and a touch of maple syrup added. Will definitely perfect the measurements on these and share them. I gather these will be a hit with some and gross to others, so when the recipe is up, you’ll have to try them at your own risk. And beware, I’m also working on a potato chip cookie inspired by Smitten Kitchen.

Meyer Lemon Muffins w/ Red Wine, Slow Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Filling

The title is a mouthful. And so are the muffins. These were inspired by the magnificent Irvin of Eat The Love. I used his recipe for the strawberries and did a pretty basic lemon muffin, just with meyer lemon juice and zest. I think I overbaked these just a bit, but my testers seemed to like them. Another recipe requiring a few tweaks before I present a final version, but I think it’s pretty solid overall.

Sugar Free Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Second attempt at ice cream! My testers liked this ice cream, but I need to add more balsamic next time. I also think that I’d like to do a combo of chopped strawberries and pureed strawberries rather than the bigger chunks.

Locali Loves Vol. 1

For those of you who don’t know, there’s a wondrous little shop named Locali on the corner of Franklin & Canyon. They sell all kinds of delicious treats, but the sandwiches, oh the sandwiches! Well, the sandwiches are the best. I should know because I’ve eaten them all. Every sandwich on the menu can be made vegan and they are always made to order. I love Locali. I want the world to know.

The Reuben (vegan) $10.50 full/$5.50 half

This sandwich is the best vegan reuben in the LA area….and there are a lot of them. I don’t know, vegan reubens are sort of a “thing”. I get it, it was one of my favorite sandwiches pre-vegan/vegetarian. Anyhow, this one is the best, hands down. I think it’s made truest to the traditional version. It’s got these convincing “pastrami” type slices on it, melted Daiya, great sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye. The one pictured above came on regular rye, the first one I ate was on marble rye, they were both amazing.

Locali

5825 Franklin Ave.

Los Angeles, Ca 90028

(323) 466-1360

 

Sweet Strawberry Cornbread Muffins.

I have a really good memory. I believe that once things are encoded into the brain, they are never forgotten. I think people just lose or don’t have the ability to recall. I’ll be going about my day and then remember, in vivid detail, a dream I had as a child. It’s strange because the memory has been stored for so long, it sort of surprises you when it just comes into your mind. My first memory of my life is from when I was 2. I remember being suspended in a baby floatie in my cousin’s above ground pool on Staten Island. I don’t really remember the experience, like what was talked about, or the way the water felt, but I remember the images. My bathing suit, my red baby floatie tube etc. I also have a few other memories from that age. Oh dear, I’m blathering about memory. What I’m getting to, is that part of how I exercise my memory is that I write things down and repeat things. Like ideas for food! I have so many ideas for recipes, alterations, veganizations  and the like, that I need to write them down or they won’t get made for 6 months….when I sporadically recall what I had wanted to make. But really, I come to this magical internet place to talk about food, not brains (memory=brainzzz!). Okay, sometimes brains, but food mostly. Now to the foodz.

Does everybody love cornbread? I think so. There are traditional, savory cornbread fans and there are sweet cornbread fans (think Marie Callender’s) and then there are people like me, who love and appreciate both. I was looking at some of my ideas and today the idea of Sweet Strawberry Cornbread jumped out at me. This is just a basic sweet cornbread with strawberries and corn added in and topped with a little all natural strawberry cane sugar. This was the first time I’ve experimented with this particular combo and I am happy to report I was super pleased with the results. I hope you will be too.

 Sweet Strawberry Cornbread Muffins

Ingredients:

1 c cornmeal

1 c unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ c raw turbinado sugar

1 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp egg replacer

1 1/2 tbsp water

1 c coconut milk (not the kind from the can, the So Delicious kind! ps. I like unsweetened)

1/3 c corn oil

½ c strawberries, chopped into small pieces

¼ c corn

*strawberry infused cane sugar, for sprinkling on top, optional*

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin tin with liners.

Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder thoroughly. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined, do not over mix. Add the strawberry pieces and corn and give one or two stirs, as few as possible. Fill the liners about ¾ way full and bake for 18-20 min. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins should come out clean.

Looks like there are no berries or corn in this one, but I promise it's because I ate those pieces out. 😉

* I wanted to include a little note on organics. I don’t write the word organic before all of my ingredients, well, because it’s too much writing. But just know, my basic policy is that if I can get the ingredient organic I do and if I can’t, I will buy conventional or not use that ingredient. That being said, I will only use organic corn and strawberries. Conventional corn is heavily genetically modified and conventional strawberries are heavily laden with pesticides and other poisons. It’s best to always go organic for those particular foods. For more info on which foods are important to always buy organic and which foods are okay to buy conventional, check out The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen.

Black Forest Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

A week or so ago, I spied a recipe for gluten free black forest chocolate crinkle cookies. I love incorporating gluten foods, but since I have no sensitivity or allergy to gluten, I generally like to make things with wheat-based flours. Plus organic, wheat based flours are typically much more affordable than their gluten free counter-parts. Enter chocolate crinkle cookies filled with gluten and cherry goodness. You may be thinking….cherries are so not in season. Well, you’re right and that’s why we’re using dried cherries in this recipe. 😉

Black Forest Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Ingredients:

For Rolling Cookies:

1 c powdered sugar

1/3 c unbleached granulated cane sugar

For the cookie dough:

¾ c unbleached cane sugar

1/3 c canola oil

2 tbsp corn syrup (ew! But seriously, Wholesome Sweeteners makes a minimally processed, organic light corn syrup, which will work fine in these cookies. It’s not the same as high fructose corn syrup and you can use the rest to make candy)

2 tsp kirsch (cherry brandy) I used Aqua Perfecta Kirsch eau de vie by St. George Spirits

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1/3 c non-dairy milk, with 1 tsp removed (I know it’s sorta weird, but just dip your tsp into the cup & gently remove—this is to even out the liquid ingredients)

1 tbsp ground flax

½ c chocolate chips, melted

1 ¼ c plus 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tbsp black cocoa (I like King Arthur brand. I also think it’s worth it to add this cocoa to your pantry. You won’t end up using it every time you need cocoa powder, but it’s great when you want something extra dark, like for these cookies or homemade oreos!)

¾ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ c plus 2 tbsp dried cherries

Method: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with silpats. Place the powdered sugar on a dinner plate and place the granulated sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Bust out your mixing bowl and combine the sugar, oil, corn syrup, kirsch, vanilla bean seeds, non-dairy milk, flax seeds & melted chocolate. Mix until smooth. Stir in the flour, black cocoa, baking powder and salt. Fold in the dried cherries. Mix until you have a moist, thick dough. Place the dough in the fridge and chill 15-20 min.

Remove dough from the fridge and scoop a tbsp worth of dough. Roll into a ball and coat in granulated sugar and then generously coat in the powdered sugar.

Place the balls about 2” apart to account for spreading. Bake about 14-16 minutes until the cookies looked puffed and cracks have formed on the top. I baked one batch for 14 minutes and another batch for 16 minutes. Both batches were good, but I preferred the cookies that had a little longer to cook. Either way, let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 additional minutes. Gently remove the cookies with a spatula and transfer them to a cooling rack.

Double Chocolate Cookies with Orange & Grand Marnier

Recently I got the idea into my mind that I wanted to combine orange and chocolate. It’s a pretty classic combination, but I’ve only ever combined the flavors together once, in a chocolate-blood orange pudding (which was super good btw). At first, I wanted to do cupcakes. After contemplating my decision further, I decided that I really don’t make enough cookies. I mean, they’re sort of easier to make than cake or cupcakes and then it happened. I made cookies.

Double Chocolate Cookies w/ Orange & Grand Marnier

Adapted from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur

Ingredients:

½ c non-dairy milk

2/3 c canola oil

½ c chocolate chips, melted

1 tsp orange extract

1 tsp Grand Marnier

2 tsp orange zest

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1 ½ c unbleached cane sugar

2 tbsp arrowroot

2 c unbleached all-purpose flour

2/3 c dutch processed cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ c chocolate chips

sea salt, for sprinkling on top, optional

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with silpats.

Combine melted chocolate and 1/3 c of the non-dairy milk in medium to large mixing bowl. Then add the remaining non-dairy milk, oil, orange extract, Grand Marnier, orange zest, vanilla bean, sugar and arrowroot. Mix in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips.

You can make the cookies whatever size you want, as long as you adjust baking time. I made standard size cookies, about heaping tbsp full of dough flattened out a bit. Bake about 10 min until edges of cookies are very firm and centers look chewy. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack. Sprinkle the tops with a touch of sea salt for added flavor.