Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spring Green and Gunpowder Explosions

Friends are all returning from school which is making the next few weeks very exciting for me and J. We're both equally as excited to have our friends return and it also helps me to feel as if this year is finally going to end. I walked down to the used book store today with one such returned friend. He bought something like 9 books by his favorite author to bring with him to Nantucket where he has a job for the summer and I purchased Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking. It was published in the early 80s and is filled with recipes from India, Japan, China etc. and I'm SO excited to get to start cooking from it! Most of the recipes which call for dairy call for products like milk and yogurt which are easy to substitute. After going to a lovely lunch last weekend at a local Indian restaurant I've been hoping to find a good Indian cook book and this one is perfect! So be ready to see lots of middle eastern foods popping up in the next few weeks.

In the name of getting back to blogging and getting back to eating healthy foods and eating real meals, I have a delicious lunch to share. I have had asparagus and zucchini on hand planning to make Spring Green Quinoa from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen and I finally had the opportunity today for lunch to whip it up.

As you can see I used red quinoa which my mom had bought from the co-op, "just for kicks". Other than that the only change I made to the original recipe was to omit a sun dried tomato because I only had ones packed in oil and I didn't feel like opening the new jar. I wouldn't say the dish lacked it however, as it packed a delicious flavor and I really enjoyed being able to taste the edamame, zucchini and asparagus in every bite. It was delectably like spring.
I really think the red quinoa gives the dish a pretty contrast of colors too which amused my dad.

The other cooking adventure I embarked on this weekend was to make Gunpowder Cookies off a recipe from VegWeb. I have a meeting tomorrow for a club to which I always bring some sort of baked good or snack. Last week it was guacamole and tomorrow it will be these delicious, sweet, spicy cookies.
I followed a suggestion from someone else on the forum and added some dried cranberries to the batter which really was an excellent addition. Each bite has new flavors, sweet, spicy, tart. It really is a nice mix. The original recipe can be found on vegweb but below is my adaptation of it, cranberries and all.

The original recipe says it serves roughly 2 dozen but I made HUGE cookies and only came out with one dozen so the calories are estimated for a batch of 12 very very large cookies, you could easily get 15 or even 18 and still serve very happy guests.

Gunpowder Cookies
makes 12
~247 calories each

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
egg replacer equal to 1 egg (I used EnerG powder but didn't add the water)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Make a well and add the wet ingredients. Mix together. Fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Scoop tablespoons onto cookie sheets roughly 2 inches away from each other and bake for 7-12 minutes at 400 F.

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