Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cherry Themed Cupcakes

For the third year in a row I have attempted to find cherries in my co-op on George Washington’s birthday to no avail – not fresh, frozen, dried or canned. I scoured the shelves with my eyes, but could only come home with some Panda Cherry Licorice and some Chocolove Cherries and Almonds in Dark Chocolate bars. It would have to do, but it wasn’t the basis of a pie…so I made CHERRY THEMED CUPCAKES.

I was happy with how these turned out. They had a springy texture and a pleasant taste. The surprise filling was tasty and the chocolate on top was yummy. The licorice and almonds lent a different chew and crunch than normally comes with a cupcake. I am wondering if my good luck with the cherry themed cupcakes stemmed from my use of fresh baking powder. If you have a run of flat baked goods, don’t blame yourself too much; just go out and buy some fresh baking powder. 

This recipe makes 14 cupcakes. It is helpful to have some parchment baking cups on hand to insert in the muffin tins.                                                                                               

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tapioca Pudding is a Comfort Food

TAPIOCA PUDDING is one of those desserts you either have a fond memory of – maybe your grandmother always made it for you – or you find disgusting. It is smooth, but then what’s the deal with all those little balls in it? And yet there is a lovely sweet blandness to it. It could well be one of your comfort foods. Tapioca comes from the manioc or cassava plant, native to South America, and a staple there and in Africa, where the pearls are called Boba. It is considered a very digestible form of carbohydrate.

I served a batch of tapioca pudding to some dinner guests, one of whom having since requested the recipe, and it was a light, pleasant end to the meal. Really, I pretty much just followed the recipe on the box of Let’s Do Organic small pearl tapioca. I used their options down at the bottom of the recipe, and I left one ingredient out (shredded coconut). It’s a pretty easy recipe, and if you serve it in little fluted pudding cups it will seem more special. Double this recipe if you want to serve small servings to more than four people.

2 cups – water
3 Tbl. -- Tapioca pearls, small pearl variety
2 Tbl. – sugar
Sprinkle of salt
2/3 cup – light coconut milk (reduced fat organic version)
A banana – sliced, with a little lemon on it to keep it from browning

In a heavy bottomed saucepan boil the water before adding the tapioca pearls. Use a fork or whisk when pouring them in, to help keep them from bunching together. Let the tapioca cook for about fifteen minutes until it is looking more translucent, the mixture now seeming a little thicker and cloudy-looking. Add in the coconut milk, sugar and salt. Stir it together and let it cook an additional ten to fifteen minutes. During this time be sure to stir it, scraping the bottom of the pan, or the pearls will stick there like glue. Place a few slices of bananas in each cup and pour the pudding over them. Let the cups sit until they are just warm, and then refrigerate until cooled.

Alternately, you could refrigerate the tapioca pudding in one mixing bowl or the pan itself. Mix it all together before dolloping servings into small glasses or bowls. If you have some Soyatoo whipped cream, that would be fun to squirt on top.

Tapioca pudding can be made with some other kind of milk, like rice or soy, but the coconut gives it a little extra flavor. If you added some vanilla, that would help, too.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cilantro Hummus

I had a request for HUMMUS and pita chips today. I had defrosted a small container of home-cooked garbanzo beans already, so all that was necessary was to buy a bag of pita chips and use a small food processor to blend these ingredients together:
1 can – garbanzo beans (chick peas), or the equivalent
2 Tbl – tahini sesame paste
1 lg – lemon, juiced
1 – garlic clove
1 tsp – tamari soy sauce
½ tsp – olive oil
1 sm – bunch fresh cilantro or parsley
I used the cilantro for a different taste and liked it. Another time I stirred a small jar of capers into the hummus. If you don’t have pita chips, toast some bread or use chips or carrot sticks to scoop it up.