Tag Archives: blueberries

Random Eats: Week of July 31

Tofu with Black Bean Garlic Sauce from Cravings Restaurant, Champaign, IL. We love the owner of this place. He will cook us anything. My favorite dish is the green beans with spicy lemongrass. Their szechuan chili oil dishes are served sizzling-hot in little iron kettles, and will make you cough from across the room, they are so extremely spicy.

Black Bean Garlic Tofu

Our regular Channa Masala, cooked on the stove instead of the crock pot, with added cubes of super firm tofu. After marinating in the sauce, the texture is very, very close to paneer. I foresee a lot of vegetable + indian tomato gravy + cubed tofu combinations in my future.

channa masala with tofu

Pita with Cashew Goat Cheese (Vegetarian Times), fresh basil, and local tomatoes. With some fruit and nuts, it was enough to fuel a 9-mile run.

tomato basil pita with vegan goat cheese

Very Red Berry Smoothie. Super thick, almost like a dessert. I think this one contained frozen dark sweet cherries, frozen mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries), kale, golden flax meal, coconut milk, and a little cocoa powder.

red berry smoothie

I didn’t get a picture of the finished product for the ingredients below, but they became sauteed zucchini with Penzeys Greek Seasoning. Lance and I battled over the second helpings.

zucchini with greek seasoning

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

blueberry streusel muffins

My mom is known as “Grandma Who Makes Muffins” because of the recipe that inspired these muffins. Every year, mom and dad drive to Michigan and bring back large cases of fresh, in-season blueberries. This year, I used part of my ten pounds to create a veganized version of a favorite blueberry muffin recipe, with an added streusel topping.

The original recipe was loaded with oil and full-fat sour cream. I went half and half with the whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour. You might be able to use all ww pastry flour, but the muffins will probably be more dense. The vanilla soy yogurt substitutes well in sweet baked goods. You could also use regular flax meal, but the golden flax is easily disguised in this recipe.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Adapted from Blueberry Cream Muffins at Allrecipes.com

2 tbsp golden flax meal
1/4 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup vanilla soy yogurt (I used Silk)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries

Streusel topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vegan butter (well chilled)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk flax meal and 1/4 cup water. Let stand to thicken while preparing dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix flours, salt, and baking soda.

After flax mixture has thickened, whisk in sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and yogurt. Fold in dry ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Batter will be thick.

Fill muffin tins with batter. They will be quite full.

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, 2 tbsp flour and cinnamon until combined. Cut in butter with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Top muffins with streusel mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

Cashew Goat Cheese, Take One

I love the combination of leafy green salads with fruit, nuts, and goat cheese. I am looking for a goat cheese-like vegan substitute, so I tried this highly-regarded Vegetarian Times recipe for Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese.

I don’t think it turned out as it should have. Maybe I really need cheesecloth, as called for in the recipe, versus a paper towel I used to attempt to shape it into a log.

The texture is very soft, and it’s much too salty. It’s missing a sweetness that real goat cheese has. I’ll adjust the recipe and try again.

As a spread, it’s good on a bagel thin, with fresh blueberry jam.

cashew goat cheese on a bagel

Junior Chef Lance Presents: Spinach Mushroom Quesadillas

spinach mushroom quesadillas

My son Lance is 6 and a half. He loves Cholula, swimming, Legos, and Plants vs. Zombies (arguably the cutest, most addictive game ever, and the inspiration behind the name of this blog). He eats just about everything, except brains. He also likes to cook. Last week, he made himself dinner: pasta, black olives, and Tabasco, with raw oatmeal for a garnish. He ate it, so what can I say?

Ball Small Batch Pectin
If you have 2 cups of fruit, you can make our own jam. And control the sugar. It's so easy!

When asked what he wants for dinner, he’s likely to say, “quesadillas”. I asked, and we invented. We sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach. He added pepper, and tasted the cooked mushrooms with a toothpick. (Curious George says food always tastes better when it’s served on toothpicks.) He said it needed more salt, and he was right. We heated some tortillas on a griddle and added some Daiya Mozzarella. The garnish was completely his idea. These quesadillas remind me of what used to be my favorite meal at Chili’s. I think their version contained artichoke hearts, which would be a nice addition here as well. I love my little junior chef!

Blueberries are also in season. My mom and dad gave us 10 pounds of berries on their way back from Michigan. It’s a yearly trip for them, and each year I pledge to freeze some… but they’re always eaten fresh, or given to friends and neighbors. Lance and I ate at least a pound over the weekend.

I really need to save some berries so I can veganize my mom’s famous Blueberry Cream Muffins, which have earned her the name “Grandma Who Makes Muffins.” They are arguably the best blueberry muffins on the planet.

We also made freezer jam, which was so easy, you could do it while watching Doctor Who. Cook and mash 2 cups of fresh berries, add a packet of Ball Low or No-Sugar Pectin, some lemon juice and sugar (or no sugar), then ladle into freezer cups. It can also be canned in a water bath if you’re awesome and know how to do that.

blueberry freezer jam