Tuesday, July 4, 2006

The Magical Loaf Studio (4 stars)

Jennifer at The Vegan Lunchbox created a web page called the Magical Loaf Studio which allows you to choose all the ingredients you want for your veggie loaf and generates a recipe for an "adventist style" loaf. My husband and I picked out all of our ingredients and then tried this last night. It came out really well. I made steamed broccoli/cauliflower and rosemary roasted potatoes to go along with it. I was afraid he was going to hate the loaf since I normally make a fat laden time consuming cheesy loaf that he loves. At the end of dinner I noticed that he had only potatoes left on his plate to finish last and I said, "I guess you liked the potatoes best, huh?". He replied that it was a tie between the potatoes and the loaf. I deem it a resounding success!

Depending on which ingredients you choose, this could even be a weeknight meal. I chose brown rice which takes a long time. Next time I will swap that ingredient for something quicker. My loaf had red crimson lentils (which cook in about 10 minutes), brown rice, walnuts, onion, garlic, carrot, veg broth, thyme, sage, basil, oregano, parsley, Nutritional Yeast Flakes, ketchup, pepper, flax seed meal, soy sauce, and olive oil.

I lined my loaf pan with foil (two pieces: one lengthwise, and one crosswise; overhanging the edges of the pan) and then sprayed the pan. Then when it was time to get the loaf out of the pan, we just lifted it out instead of flipping it onto the plate.

Is it possible to make a really good vegan cupcake? Yes! (5 star cupcakes)

I have seen many vegan cupcake recipes and all of them claim to be really good. Despite success that I have had with making some of my muffin recipes vegan, I was skeptical... especially about the frosting! As an experiment I made some white vegan cupcakes with white vegan frosting. They were really good and, ahem, gone. I even fed them to non-vegetetarian friends who also really liked them. The texture of the cake was dense and moist. It reminded me of the cupcakes I get at Whole Foods. The frosting was outstanding. I did have to use about a cup and a half more of the powdered sugar than it called for and I had to store them in the fridge because the frosting started to droop after an hour at room temp.

The cupcake recipe is from Jennifer at The Vegan Lunchbox. I replaced the coconut extract with almond extract because I could not find coconut extract.

The frosting recipe is from The Vegan Chef. I used Earth Balance brand soy margerine. I used regular powdered sugar. That was all they had at Whole Foods. They actually did have unbleached powdered sugar, but I think the frosting would have been light brown instead of white if I had used it (and it was wicked expensive).

These recipes are definitely keepers!