Air Fryer Experiments

Hi!

As I mentioned in my last post, I bought an air fryer on sale. What is an air fryer, you ask? Well, it’s basically a healthier version of a deep fryer. It fries food with hot air instead of oil.

Personally, I am still figuring out what works and doesn’t work with it and trying to perfect temperatures and cooking times. I have found that using a lot of liquid batter without any kind of dry coating over it does not work so well. It says you can make donuts in it, but I have no clue how that’d work. I have not tried cooking french fries yet, but I really want to, just haven’t yet.

So far I have fried some soy curls using this recipe here. Those came out excellent, I think I cooked them at 350 for about 10 minutes. I also tried defrosting some Gardein chicken scallopini, coating it in watered down Neat egg substitute coated with vegan/gluten free rice crispy-esque cereal. That was okay, but not that exciting even though I had high hopes.

Then, when I botched a bunch of battered cauliflower, I came up with a splendid idea. But I didn’t have any more cauliflower, so I tried it with tofu. It’s supposed to be like coconut coated fried shrimp, but is made with tofu (and someday I need to try it with cauliflower, too!)

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Here is the recipe for it:

Coconut Crusted Air Fried Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vodka or unflavored soda water/seltzer
  • 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • one bag sweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • sweet chili sauce for dipping
  • 1 block tofu, preferably frozen, thawed, then pressed for 20 minutes

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk in the water, vodka/soda water until a liquid, medium thickness batter forms. Water it down if necessary to be the desired thickness, but it should stay fairly thick.
  3. Cut tofu into smallish rectangles.
  4. Place some of the sweetened coconut into a dish.
  5. Dip the tofu in the batter, then into the coconut.
  6. Delicately place in the air fryer tray.
  7. Air fry for 10 minutes, 350 degrees F or slightly lower if you don’t want it as browned as I did. May take some experimentation as I believe air fryers can vary quite a bit.
  8. Use sweet chili sauce to dip in, and serve with a generous helping of veggies!

I’m sure I’ll discover some new tips and tricks about air fryers soon!

So check back here for those.

Until then, or until another recipe creation strikes!

Take care! xo

 

Coconut Mango Muffin Madness!

IMG_3879So, I told you I have some healthier recipes coming your way!

I had a bunch of champagne mangos (I’ve been very into them lately…can’t get enough) and I wanted to put one into a baked good. I also wanted to bake in some Dang coconut chips as a topping on something and see if they’re just as good in baked items. So, that inspired me to make mango coconut muffins.

These are made with whole wheat pastry flour and no refined sugars. They’re quite healthy, but also tasty. I served them to my classmates early in the morning and they all loved them. Some knew they were vegan, others didn’t, and everyone said they were really good!

I found that they were the perfect texture. Not too chunky with the dried coconut, and not too moist but moist enough. I’ve never described a muffin this way, but the texture was smooth and almost creamy. Or dreamy…

Anyways, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp flaxmeal whisked with 4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (or a whole champagne mango, without the refuse) chopped mango
  • 1/2 cup shredded dried coconut
  • 1/3 cup crushed coconut chips, like Dang brand

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda together.
  3. In a separate larger mixing bowl, whisk together the flaxmeal and water. Let sit for a bit.
  4. Add the agave and coconut sugar to the flaxmeal. Whisk again.
  5. Whisk in the coconut oil.
  6. Add coconut milk, orange juice, and vanilla.
  7. Add the dry ingredients from the small bowl into the wet ingredients. Stir and fold in until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  8. Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin tin liners.
  9. Sprinkle the crushed coconut chips on top.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Enjoy!

Vegan MoFo Day 23: Too Good Baked Goods Tuesdays: Soft Baked Pretzel with Date Caramel Dipping Sauce

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I love these pretzels so much. The date caramel sauce makes them even tastier. The best part is though, that once you make a batch of these, if you set aside four of them, you will be able to make the most amazing bread pudding casserole when I post the recipe for the next Sunday Brunch post. I can hardly contain myself.

If this recipe makes too many for you (it can make 14-20 pretzels) you can halve it or make the whole thing, bake them, and then freeze some of them to eat later.

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I’m starting to get sad that Vegan MoFo 2014 is almost over! I’ve met so many awesome people from different blogs and my blog has been doing really well. Boo 😦 But I’ll save my sorrows for now, since there is still a full week left! Gotta give thanks where it is due!

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Pretzel Ingredients:

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 4 -6 tablespoons Earth Balance(melted)
  • to taste coarse salt (optional)

Caramel sauce ingredients:

  • 8 medjool dates, with pits removed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup original flavor coconut creamer
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

Directions for pretzels:

  1. Mix yeast with lukewarm water in large mixing bowl until the yeast is dissolved.
  2. Add to the yeast mixture the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved; add flours and stir with a spoon until combined or mix in a standing mixer with the dough hook attached.
  3. Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Let rise in the bowl with a towel covering it for 30 minutes.
  5. Around the time the dough is about to be ready, prepare a baking soda water bath with 4 cups warm water and 4 tbsp baking soda in another bowl. Stir this mixture often until ready to use (once you form the dough into pretzel shapes they will be dipped into this and baked).
  6. When the dough has risen, break dough into 14 even sized small balls, and then roll each ball into a snake/coil shape. There is an art to this that I have discovered. First, you knead the ball of dough and roll it around in your hand to soften it. Then you start to roll into a coil between the palm of your hands, focusing on the ends. Then you stretch it out by pulling it to elongate it, and roll it out more with the palm of one hand on a flat surface.
  7. Shape into pretzels…it’s pretty easy to figure it out, but you lay the coil down horizontally and curl the two ends in the middle so that they overlap.
  8. Dip the pretzels into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet (you will need at least two).
  9. Cover the baking sheets with a towel and allow pretzels to rise again 30 minutes. This is a good time to preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  11. Upon taking out of the oven, immediately brush with melted earth balance.
  12. Sprinkle with salt if desired, immediately after applying the earth balance. Allow to cool completely before eating.

For the date caramel sauce:

  1. Place dates in a small bowl and cover with the water. Let sit at least one hour.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a blender until it is as smooth as you can get it.
  3. You can heat this up on a stovetop before serving if you want, but it isn’t actually all that necessary.

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This post was brought to you by Vegan MoFo 2014, and the letter ‘P’

Vegan MoFo 2014: Too Good Baked Good Tuesday: Pina Colada Pie

Phew, I am barely making it to post this tonight. I literally just finished it, as it requires 3 hours of chill time.

This recipe was originally inspired by a recipe for lemon pie in the book Soy Not “Oi!”, but I ended up changing it quite a bit once I realized it was going to taste better and be a better consistency the way I wanted to. It’s still somewhat runny, but is incredibly delicious, if I may say myself (I just tasted it!) I am bringing the rest (I made 2!) to school tomorrow so they can all try it and give me feedback on it, as well.

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Pina Colada Pie

Makes 1 pie

Ingredients:

Pie crust:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp vegan sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold Earth Balance
  • 3 tbsp non-hydrogenated organic vegetable shortening
  • 2 tbsp cup cold water

Pie filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 teaspoons arrowroot
  • 3 tsp water
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance 
  • 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp agar agar powder

Whipped cream:

  • 1 can coconut milk (I used Goya brand), placed in the freezer for at least an 1 hour before use with the white cream scooped out only, not the rest of the clear liquid.
  • 1 1/2 cup vegan powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

To make the pie Crust:

  1. Place flours and sugar in a food processor. Give it a quick whir to combine together.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of shortening, quickly pulse, and continue to add the shortening 1 tbsp at a time until you’ve put in 3 tbsp.
  3. Follow the same method with the earth balance as above.
  4. With the processor running, open the little opening thing on top and slowly pour in the water.
  5. Smoosh into a round disk shape, and wrap in plastic wrap.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  8. Roll out the dough into a thin round layer on top of plastic wrap.
  9. Carefully place on top of a pie pan and shape the crust with your fingers around the edges of the pan.
  10. Bake in the oven 7-12 minutes until golden and crispy looking and not mushy when touched.

To make the pie filling:

  1. In a saucepan, add sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk and pineapple juice.
  3. In a separate cup, whisk the arrowroot and water together. Add to the other ingredients in the saucepan.
  4. Add the margarine and boiling water over the Earth Balance so it melts.
  5. Heat on medium heat on the stove until just starting to thicken, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
  6. Once starting to thicken, add in the agar agar powder and immediately start to whisk until combined. Be careful to whisk a.s.a.p after placing it in the saucepan and whisking all around the pan or you may end up with agar agar clumps throughout. It will thicken very quickly after this step.
  7. Shut off the heat and continue to whisk for a bit.
  8. Pour into the pie shell you made and refrigerate for 3 hours before piping the whipped cream on top.

To make the whipped cream:

  1. Place the coconut milk can in the freezer for at least 1 hour before using.
  2. Open the can and scoop out the solid cream with a spoon. Use the remainder of the watery coconut milk in a smoothie or whatever else you think you’d like it in.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar, shortening, and vanilla. Mix with a rubber spatula until combined.
  4. Use a handheld electric mixer and whisk in circles until peaks form.
  5. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use/place on top of the pie, or for at least an hour until it’s more solid. I like to place it in a ziploc bag and cut the tip and squirt it out in little round globs.
  6. You will have extra left depending on how you choose to decorate the pie, so use every last bit of that for other delicious reasons!

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Oh, and here’s an interesting wikipedia article on the history and other fun facts about one of the ingredients I used, agar agar.

See you tomorrow for another entry for Vegan MoFo 2014!

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My own version of raw vegan pad thai!

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My friend Kian invited me over last night, and we made a really yummy recipe up together! Whenever I have tried to cook pre-created recipes with friends or other people, I have had a challenge doing so for some reason. But this time not following a specific recipe worked really well, and Kian and I made a really good team! Lucky for you all (my blog readers!) I did write what we did down so you can make it too!

Thank you Kian (if you are reading this!) for helping me figure out this delicious dish, and for making the (un)cooking extra fun with awesome conversation!

First of all, to make this recipe work well, you will either need a spiralizer, or some kind of a spiral cutter. I recently got this device from amazon, and that is what we used. It took a few tries to figure out exactly since it does not come with directions. Basically, you just push it into the middle and spin it around. It’s kind of like a veggie pencil sharpener!

Okay, so here is the recipe:

Laura and Kian’s Raw Vegan Pad Thai!

Serves 8-10, would be the perfect size for a picnic, potluck, or party too if you eat smaller portions

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • about 5 large zucchinis (we actually used ten mini ones) spiralized into a thick spaghetti type shape, but it’s okay if some pieces aren’t very long. We even used the parts that we could not get to spiral and just chopped them up into rounds to add some different textures in
  • 3 medium sized carrots
  • Mung bean sprouts (we used a large bag, probably about 4 cups, adjust to your liking/desired level of crunchy-ness!)
  • 1 bunch chopped scallions
  • 14 tbsp raw cashew butter (I made my own…I would say you could process 2 cups raw cashews  into a powder, then add 2 tbsp oil and some water as needed until it becomes pasty…or use store bought)
  • 8 tbsp coconut milk
  • Juice of one lime
  • 4 to 5 (or to your liking) tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated into a pulp)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (or less to your liking, it gets very strong when it’s raw)
  • about 1/3-1/2 cup chopped raw cashews (to place on top as garnish)1 bunch (or less)
  • Chopped cilantro (optional-I just put a tbsp of it on top after I served myself)

Directions:

  1. Chop the red peppers, spiralize the zucchini into noodle shapes, spiralize or peel the carrots in strips with a peeler, chop the scallions. Place in a large serving bowl, add the mung bean sprouts, and toss together.
  2. Now to make the sauce. In a medium bowl, place the cashew butter into it. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, and water. Whisk or stir with a spoon until combined. Add more water, a tbsp at a time, if necessary to reach your desired consistency (it’s really good thick, though! plus the veggies have water in them!)
  3. Mix in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder into the sauce.
  4. Mix the sauce into the veggies, making sure every part of it is coated.
  5. Add the cilantro if desired.
  6. Place the chopped cashews on top!
  7. Eat!

Foodie (Photo) Friday! Aloha salad, holiday pie, green smoothies, galore!

Hello!

I was sick this week with a pretty exhausting cold. I’m feeling much better now, though. Since my exhaustion and my lung congestion made it difficult for me to work out, I decided I was going to try and eat much better than usual and eat more fruits and veggies than normally (even though on average I get at least 10 servings a day or so) and so I finally gave in and tried some green smoothies. I think I’m going to be better about eating more fruits and veggies (Including green smoothies) from now on even though I’m not sick, because… duh. I also ate a lot of Amy’s No Chicken Noodle soup, which was awesome.

The first one was a banana-less kale based “Green monster” one here

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I had to add a lot of extra water because it came out way too thick. Also, I gagged several times still, and it sort of tasted like a salad dressing or something to me, oops. But I thought it was decent at first, since I had never had one before, that is, until I tried the Caramel Apple Green Smoothie from the recipes here. That one is by far much tastier. I used almond butter instead of sunbutter though. I don’t have a picture of that one, though.

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Next was the Holiday Pie from The Vegan Stoner Cookbook. It’s basically tofu and non dairy milk blended together, mushrooms and garlic cooked in soy sauce, prepared stuffing, and I decided to use the optional tofu hot dogs on top. I also dipped it in cranberry sauce. It was quite delicious.

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I rate this recipe 4 good bananas, one bad! (It just didn’t have the total wow! factor of 5 good ones, but I like it)

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Then there is this salad I made tonight!

Aloha Salad with Tiki Tempeh.

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So good, and made me think of fond memories from the Summer. I didn’t think bananas would be so tasty and add such a great texture contrast to this but it was definitely the best part for sure! Everything tastes so good, though! I also majorly splurged on a small amount of macadamia nuts which are so yummy, and added reduced fat dried coconut. The dressing is creamy and super tasty, the tempeh has great flavor, and all the fruits along with the spinach and cole slaw mix are wonderful together.

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I’m hoping this upcoming week I’ll have time to write some more fun entries besides just on Friday, but we’ll see what my life has in store from me. Until then take care and eat yummy foods!